Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2016 March 25
Explanation: Comet 252P/Linear’s lovely greenish coma is easy to spot in this expansive southern skyscape. Visible to the naked eye from the dark site near Flinders, Victoria, Australia, the comet appears tailless. Still, its surprisingly bright coma spans about 1 degree, posed here below the nebulae, stars, and dark rifts of the Milky Way. The five panels used in the wide-field mosaic were captured after moonset and before morning twilight on March 21. That was less than 24 hours from the comet’s closest approach, a mere 5.3 million kilometers from our fair planet. Sweeping quickly across the sky because it is so close to Earth, the comet should be spotted in the coming days by northern hemisphere comet watchers. In predawn but moonlit skies it will move through Sagittarius and Scorpius seen toward the southern horizon. That’s near the triangle formed by bright, yellowish, Mars, Saturn, and Antares at the upper left of this frame
Move forward even as the karma planet turns back
Saturn is turning retrograde, moving backward through Sagittarius, from March 25 to August 13, 2016. This planet of order’s retrograde period is a time to cultivate discipline, patience and self-restraint.
When faster moving planets like Mercury or Mars go retrograde, confusion typically reigns. But that’s not necessarily so with slower moving planets. Saturn Retrograde may actually help us see things clearer by shifting our focus from the external to the internal, which may even empower us to move forward!
Saturn’s role in our world
Strict Saturn is infamous for keeping other planets and zodiac signs in check, and in this way it helps remind us all of our own limitations. As the “karma planet,” Saturn tells us what we are and are not allowed to do, and what society expects from us.
When strict Saturn is direct, it can be a bit of a buzzkill. But in retrograde Saturn gives us an opportunity to look over our personal set of rules. We have the chance to see what kind of internal and emotional factors motivate us … including fear.
Saturn in reverse means that the external boundaries we live within take a backseat to our rich inner world. We’ll trust ourselves enough to question these boundaries, and because retrograde with any planet is a prime time to look back on our personal paths, we can examine failures and let-downs, learn from them, apply these lessons to how we’ll conduct ourselves in the future … then move on.
What goes up must come down
When Saturn goes direct again on August 2, we’ll stop feeling quite so free to play with our personal processes. Until then, self-awareness can be very healing and will ultimately make us more productive as a whole!
Before Saturn goes retrograde on March 14, consider what you’re allowing to hold you back so you can work on it over the next couple months — you have Saturn’s permission!
Part of the Daily Insight Group
The Wisdom of Buddha
To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
Consult the Psychic Eight Ball Oracle
Question: How will our weekend be?
I should know by now, hmm!
Your Weekend Ancient Symbol Cards
The Hourglass is a gentle reminder that time passes and with it goes opportunity. Every moment is a moment we cannot retrieve or relive, and there are no guarantees that what we put off today really can be done tomorrow. The Hourglass urges us to make every second of our lives as rich and fulfilling as we possibly can.
Balance denotes the benefits of keeping the use of your energies justifiably proportioned between your pursuits. The symbol Yin and Yang is used to represent the balance. Yin and Yang is possibly the most elegant and sometimes elusive definition of Balance there is. While Balance is rarely if ever perfect, being far out of Balance means that while one part of you may be thriving tremendously, another part of your life may be wilting.
Your Weekend Pyramid Drawing
This Weekend’s Theme
The World Tree
The universe and all its blessings are available to everyone who seeks knowledge and wisdom with a sincere heart.
On every level, the cosmos has a generous bounty and gives freely of its rich nourishment and fulfilment. This may relate to material gain and wealth or to spiritual happiness and emotional security, but after the long process of learning, responsibility and rebirth, it is now time to bathe in the light of renewal, attainment and personal triumph.
Breathe in the rich air, drink of the sweet water and rejoice in the warming fire of the universal life force.
You stand at the centre as the Tree, your journey complete. You are able to draw on all the qualities from the other cards in the wheel, you are in balance, a whole person.
You are at one with yourself, your immediate universe, your own path and a greater destiny.
This Weekend’s Challenge
Seven of Wands
A time to make decisions and priorities. Focus on what you really need in your life and what it is timely to cut away. Regrowth is fertilized by the ability to utilize.
…cutting down dead wood, and pruning to enable better future growth.
It is time to take action in order to clear outworn modes of behaviour from areas of your life. A clarification, a paring down of intention. The fire purifies negativity, transforming the energy.
Your Weekend’s Ally
It is time to face the inevitable, to let the bones be laid bare and acknowledge the deepest aspects of your fears and desires. Do not fear change, however, because this is also a time of purification and realignment. This change may seem extreme and destructive, but old crops must be cleared for new growth to thrive and static or sterile modes and concepts must perish.
A celebration of the past or an acknowledgement of the passing of one part of life may be required.
Let the threads of the old slip from your fingers with joyful remembrance and enter this time of withdrawal and renewal with patience and calm.
You are confronting your essential self, without the secondary defences and protection of the mirror, mists and metaphors of reflection. (Mourning, seven of cups) will bring some relief. Seek comfort.
When you have managed to clear, process and thus lay to rest the issues raised by Death, you will feel a great burden has been lifted, and that you can turn towards life.
Casting the Stones
Your Rune Reading for the Weekend of March 25th
The Past That Will Effect You This Weekend
Laguz is the feminine Rune. It denotes a deep sexuality and fertility. Laguz also represents that which is ever changing and renewal. You may be in a tremendous spiritual growth period.
The Present That Is Effecting You Now & This Weekend
Hagalaz is the hail Rune. It denotes chaos, destruction and disruption on a primal level. You may experience delays in moving toward your goals.
The Future Events That Will Influence This Weekend
Now is the time for you to explore your inner self and those of others. Your intelligence and creativity are very well honed at the moment. Cooperation from and with others should be very easy to attain.
Your Secret Desire Cards Drawn for the Weekend
The Hanged Man
The Hanged Man is the most enigmatic card of the Tarot. Even Tarot giants like Waite, Crowley and Levi had trouble deciphering The Hanged Man’s true meaning. Generally The Hanged Man is thought to represent the value of surrender and selfless acts. The Hanged Man embodies the notion that sometimes to lose is to win. Unlike the aggressive Chariot, The Hanged Man creates his fate through inaction and accepts his fortune passively, without resistance. He does not struggle to control the path his life takes, but rather allows events to sweep him where they will, even if he is called upon to sacrifice himself. He is so at ease with the Fate the Universe chose for him that even hanging upside down from a tree does not ruffle his inner peace.
When The High Priestess or Strength is among your personal cards, the influence of The Hanged Man may be increased. Having The Magus or Chariot in your personal cards may diminish the influence of The Hanged Man.
The Empress is “The Earth Mother” of the Tarot. She embodies all that is nurturing, clean andwholesome. Her powers resonate from her drive to create and care for life on a grand scale. She is in tune with Nature’s rhythm and realizes that life’s most pleasurable moments often stem from the simplest things. She is not afraid to enjoy herself–to let loose—to the point of being lavish. Abundance and luxury are important to her. The Empress is completely comfortable with her femininity and her sexuality. She is sensual, earthy, generous, and likes the good life. Still, her driving force is a need to create and nurture, and fulfilling this need overrides everything else.
When The Lover or The Star are among your personal cards, the influence of The Empress may be increased. Having the Emperor or Death in your personal cards may diminish the influence of The Empress.