From August 15th till August 31th, with any purchase of $10.00 or more, you will receive a three piece set Cedar, White & Blue Sage sticks. Yes, you heard right, you will receive all three of them with any order over $10.00. I know if you are like us you run through smudging sticks and this is a great way to stock up on them. The Sage sticks will be fixed in the back so you don’t have any trouble checking out. All you have to do is wait for them to show up in the mail and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
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.
2017 August 15
Stars, Gas, and Dust Battle in the Carina Nebula Image Credit & Copyright: Bastien Foucher
Explanation: Chaos reigns in the Carina Nebula where massive stars form and die. Striking and detailed, this close-up of a portion of the famous nebula is a combination of light emitted by hydrogen (shown in red) and oxygen (shown in blue). Dramatic dark dust knots and complex features revealed are sculpted by the winds and radiation of Carina’s massive and energetic stars. One iconic feature of the Carina Nebula is the dark V-shaped dust lane that occurs in the top half of the image. The Carina Nebula spans about 200 light years, lies about 7,500 light years distant, and is visible with binoculars toward the southern constellation of Carina. In a billion years after the dust settles — or is destroyed, and the gas dissipates — or gravitationally condenses, then only the stars will remain — but not even the brightest ones.
Add sunspots to the list of wondrous sights to look for during the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017
On August 14, 2017, a new active region showing small sunspots appeared on the eastern limb, or edge, of the surface of the sun. If this region on the sun remains active or evolves, the new sunspot(s) will – for those with access to telescopes – complement other amazing sights during the total solar eclipse of Monday, August 21, 2017. That’s great news and unexpected, since we’re now so near Solar Minimum, an 11-year cycle of activity on the sun, and sunspots aren’t as frequent this year as they were a few years ago. Spaceweather.com reported on August 14:
Suddenly, the eastern limb of the sun is crackling with minor solar flares, heralding the approach of a new sunspot …
The coming sunspot(s) likely require magnification to be visible, and please remember: always use safe solar filters whenever you observe or take pictures of the sun.
As the sun rotates, new sunspots appearing on the sun’s edge usually take from 5 to 6 days to reach the sun’s center – that is, the Earth-facing center of our star – and may take a total of from 11 to 12 days to reach the opposite edge of the sun. This means that if the new sunspot(s) that appeared on August 14 remain visible, these features should be located not far from the center area of the sun during the August 21 solar eclipse.
Sunspots are regions of intense magnetic activity which appear dark and are “cooler” or less hot than other areas on the surface of the sun. Sometimes they grow several times the size of Earth’s diameter.
On the morning of August 14, there were solar flares or explosions in the new active region of the solar surface. The largest was categorized as a C1-class explosion, and Spaceweather.com pointed out:
During Solar Maximum, such a solar flare would be considered too minor to report. Now, however, the sun is close to Solar Minimum, so even a C-flare is noteworthy. In fact, it is noteworthy. A typical C-class solar flare releases as much energy as 1 billion WWII atomic bombs. Only on the sun, which is itself a 1027 ton self-contained nuclear explosion, would such a blast be considered puny.
Amateur astronomers with safely-filtered solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor the eastern limb for further developments.
Eddie Irizarry of the Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe (Astronomical Society of the Caribbean) has been a NASA Solar System Ambassador since 2004. He loves public outreach and has published multiple astronomy articles for EarthSky, as well as for newspapers in Puerto Rico. He has also offered dozens of conferences related to asteroids and comets at the Arecibo Observatory.
This will never happen again in your lifetime! On August 21, 2017, a truly historic event will take place in the skies: a Total Solar Eclipse will cross the entire United States from West Coast to East Coast. The last time an eclipse spanned the United States (and only the United States) was before the “United States” even existed … in the year 1257!
In general, Total Eclipses over even the slightest part of the U.S. have been rare during our lifetime — the last Total Eclipse that was visible to anyone in the U.S. was in 1991, but you could only see it from Hawaii. Before that, there was a Total Eclipse visible in 1979, but that one was only visible in the Northwest states, and one in 1970 that could only be seen on the East Coast. Otherwise, the only eclipses you’ve seen in the U.S. in nearly 50 years have been partial eclipses. Hopefully by now you are realizing what an incredibly rare treat this upcoming eclipse is!
Spanning from Oregon to South Carolina, this epic cosmic event has been named the Great American Eclipse. The “path of totality” (where you must be in order to see the Total Eclipse) also crosses over parts of Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina. Thankfully, even if you aren’t in the path of totality during the eclipse, you can still see a partial eclipse from most of the U.S. However, the closer you are to the path of totality, the more impactful the eclipse will be!
The path of totality:
What is a Total Solar Eclipse?
During a Total Solar Eclipse, the Moon passes in front of the Sun, totally blocking out the Sun and its light from our view here on Earth. Because the Sun and Moon must be in the same place in the sky, a Solar Eclipse will always happen on a New Moon. On August 21, 2017, for 2 minutes or more, those in the path of totality will experience a complete blackout. It will be as if night has suddenly fallen upon us in the middle of the day. You will be able to see the stars against the black sky, and Mercury, Venus, and Mars will all be visible, too! Plants and animals are even tricked by this brief but total darkness, and will immediately react as if it is nighttime.
If you are near, but not in, the path of totality during this Great American Eclipse, you will see the Sun partially eclipsed by the Moon, but you will not experience total darkness.
What does this mean in Astrology?
This Great American Eclipse will happen when both the Sun and Moon are in Leo, and coincides with the Leo New Moon. Leo is a sign of expression and creativity, but also drama and pride, so you can expect things to get intense around this eclipse!
Astrologer Rick Levine explains, “Solar Eclipses may appear disruptive as they break up blockages in our lives.” This Solar Eclipse in Leo offers you a profound opportunity to realize the changes you must make in your own life.
The Pope says it is time for a test about promises. Oh, it is easy to promise. It costs nothing. Can you look someone in the eye, or they you, and say: “I want you to know that I kept my promise?” It is not too late to keep agreements. If you have avoided a conversation you vowed to have with yourself or promises you intended to keep, now is also the time.
Use your powers of freedom and flexibility to drive your future.
The Chariot Tarot card points to a triumphal feeling of freedom, as if the Charioteer is being paraded through the streets as a hero (or heroine). The card reflects congratulations for high achievement, and serves as a sign of empowerment.
Huge wheels and frisky steeds speed the rate at which the driver’s will power can be realized. This kind of charge makes more of the world accessible to one ambitious enough to seize The Chariot’s reins. But there is danger in this feeling of freedom, because of the increased rate of change and its power to magnify mistakes in judgment. As a seasoned warrior, the Charioteer is called upon to be extra attentive to the way ahead.
In the Advice Position
Look upon the movements of change as full of promise and adventure.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Chariot advises that you be prepared for changes that might include a move or an opportunity to travel. The Charioteer travels light and stays open to fresh experiences that change with every valley or mountain pass.
You may be asked to live out of a suitcase and consider every place your home for a while. Be receptive to new people who come into your life. Most especially, become more fluid and taste the joys of freedom. The Charioteer is nothing if not self-sufficient.
Be prepared and self-contained for the changes that will sweep in and carry you with them.
For the week of August 14, I chose the Ace of Pentacles reversed!
The Ace of Pentacles typically indicates a new opportunity associated with money, career, or physical things. It might be a new business opportunity, a new job, or a new investment opportunity.
Given this card is reversed this week, you may want to keep this new opportunity under wraps, especially if it is in the very early stages of development. You might have just had the idea to start a new business, or you might be in early negotiations for a new job. It doesn’t feel like the right time just yet to go shouting it from the rooftops (just in case it doesn’t come to fruition).
And, given we’ve just started Mercury Retrograde, it is very possible that you might change your mind about the opportunity in the next few weeks. So, take it easy, okay?
Ask the Tarot: What new opportunity is presenting itself to me?
The Two in this suit usually represents conflicting ideas or visions. These must be reconciled by communication in order to arrive in a harmonious place or to complete strategic negotiations. Mixed signals prevail.
While they may be appearing to try to communicate, opposite sides are missing each other entirely, with possibly drastic consequences. In the best case, a frank discussion would clear the air and serve both sides, but one cannot expect that in every instance where this card appears.
Good energy is with you for connecting, learning, sharing, and communicating, dear Aries, although as the Moon and Saturn face off across your communications sector later today, there may be some frustration with differences of opinion or you begrudgingly need to crack down on your duties. Watch for overreaction and overindulgence today in general. A heavy influence this morning can have you second-guessing your decisions or worrying too much about your performance, and a lighter influence later today can brighten your mood but could also lead you to promise more than you can deliver. The latter is a Venus-Jupiter square, and while it’s one of the easier challenging aspects, there are some things to watch for. For one, people may be expecting a lot from you, and you may be tempted to go along with something just to make everyone happy, but this can backfire on you. For another, you may be enabling someone and they, you! Neither of these things is too serious, but if you can, remember your usual limits and don’t venture too far beyond them.
With a Venus-Jupiter square influencing your day, there is a real tendency to blow things out of proportion, dear Taurus. Venus is your ruler and is currently enjoying a guest stay in your communications sector, but Jupiter’s influence on Venus can lead you to believe you can do it all, and more! This can manifest as taking on too many projects, missing deadlines, or lining up more activities than you can reasonably manage. Alternatively, you could be reading too much into information you receive now and wasting a lot of time on something that isn’t even true. Aim to take things with a grain of salt, and avoid skipping steps and getting to a premature conclusion! Watch for making promises now if they’re based solely on the good mood of the moment.
Your feelings seem a little more colorful than usual as the Moon spends the day in your sign, dear Gemini. You are more in touch than usual with how you feel about recent and current events. Instead of ignoring or managing them, listen to your feelings and interpret them. You can learn a lot from your gut feelings and reactions, but be aware of two influences active today that can skew your perceptions a little. The first of these, active this morning, can have you stumbling on a decision. Whether to take action or wait things out can be the question. The second influence in effect later today is entirely different — it may have the effect of speeding up the decision-making process to the point that you jump to conclusions or jump into situations without enough thought. This is especially the case with money and love today!
While there is a retiring tendency with the Moon in your privacy sector all day, dear Cancer, Venus in your sign’s relationship with Jupiter puts you in the spotlight anyhow. However, it may, at times, be uncomfortable or pressured. Watch for impatience and overreaching. To get out of something you don’t want to do, you might promise something bigger, but that’s just unkind to your future self! You can be in an elevated good mood as the day advances, but you could also be expecting too much, and this sets you up for ups and downs. Try not to take others on that ride. You might also have great intentions for making improvements at home or making plans with loved ones, but you might also lose wind or motivation quickly. However, if you center yourself and aim to get in touch with what’s making you restless, you can avoid these little problems. Pamper yourself today, but don’t go so overboard that you have to pay the price in the future.
The Moon in your solar eleventh house all day points to a greater need than usual to enjoy a sense of community or to belong to a group or with friends, dear Leo. There is a happier outlook today, but perhaps a little volatile. Something started too quickly may burn out in the same fashion, not only because the next few weeks are not ideal for new launches, in general, but also because there is a tendency to become highly enthusiastic quickly without considering the practicality of your plans. You might begin a project or endeavor with gusto, but it may not “take” now with Venus in conflict with Jupiter. Of course, you can certainly make an effort and take your chances, especially if it’s something you enjoy, but try not to take on too much to the point of overwhelming yourself. A good mood or over-estimation of feelings and capabilities can lead to making commitments or promises that are later regretted. Enjoy yourself, but pace yourself as you do.
You’re more concerned about the rules and your performance or how others see you today, dear Virgo, with the Moon at the top of your solar chart making you feel more accountable. Today’s Venus-Jupiter square can steer you away from your priorities, however, and can challenge your concentration or commitment. It tends to stir up impatience with anything that seems dull or meaningless. While you can certainly use this restless energy to make changes, you might also be seeing things in extremes or making mountains out of molehills. Watch for overspending and overvaluing things, as well as relying too much on plans with friends. If you aim to hold off on decisions now, then it’s a good time to stretch your imagination and consider new things and ideas.
Jupiter in your sign is in challenging aspect to Venus today, dear Libra, and it’s an energy that is best used for having a little fun. However, there is a tendency to want–or pursue–too much under this influence, to go over the top or to feel discontent with what you get, or to live beyond your means. You may be tempted to act totally out of character today, which could negatively but temporarily impact your reputation. Self-restraint and patience can save the day and can help you save face, too. Trying too hard may come across poorly when all you need to sell yourself is you! The Moon in your spirit and adventure sector all day helps you to rise above most problems, although its opposition to Saturn suggests you need to keep at least one foot on the ground.
Emotions run deeper than usual today, dear Scorpio, or you are taking them or yourself more seriously! A Venus-Jupiter influence kicks in as the day advances, and it can encourage pleasure-seeking and fun activities, although it can also lead to over-indulgence. There are a number of ways we can end up borrowing from the future, such as buying on credit, but also non-financial routes, such as overindulging and promising ourselves we’ll cut back tomorrow, or making promises so you can put something off. You may want to watch for these tendencies to prevent future regret. As well, keep in mind that feelings are expanded now, and you might end up making more of a situation than is necessary or healthy. Tame impulsive decisions, and you’ll put yourself in much better shape for personal enjoyment. You may end up discovering areas of your life that could stand a change or expansion in the process.
You can be swinging up and down with emotions today, dear Sagittarius, but if you aim to keep your expectations in check, you’ll put yourself in the position to enjoy yourself, stretch your mind, and discover your feelings for someone or something. Unrealistic expectations in a relationship do nobody any favors, as they put the pressure on and make you or someone else feel they haven’t measured up. With Venus in challenging aspect to Jupiter (your ruler) today, intentions are likely good, but there is a tendency to go too far or over the top in your pursuit of a goal. However, with self-awareness, this needn’t be difficult. In fact, restlessness stirred today can give some huge clues as to what may be missing from your life.
You may continue to swing from feeling confident and second-guessing yourself or others today, dear Capricorn, but as the day advances, you feel less weighed down by frustration and seek out greener pastures. Mind you, this is due to a square between Venus and Jupiter, which has the potential of opening your heart to new experiences and possibilities, but it also seems to encourage going too far with this. Expectations may be too high or simply unrealistic. Relationship problems may be magnified now, mainly because of these expectations that put undue pressure on the people involved. This isn’t fair to you or others, so do your best to take things as they come and adjust. Be cautious when it comes to speaking too soon or too much about a matter, particularly in a public way. Taking charge of your life direction or formulating goals can help improve a relationship.
This is another day when we may be making too much of a situation, dear Aquarius, and decisions may be poor as a result. Your restless spirit is best fed with a varied routine, conversation, or knowledge, but a Venus-Jupiter square today can mislead you into thinking that it’s about something else altogether or something elusive. Finding a happy medium between filling your responsibilities and satiating your desire for experience and excitement may be challenging, but doable with some patience and self-awareness. Mistakes made now are likely due to overblown expectations and lack of foresight, particularly in your relationships or at work. Be careful when it comes to what you say and what you sign just now, as promises made today may be difficult to keep later. Keeping these in check puts you in a far better position to enjoy yourself and mix things up just enough to freshen up your mood.
The Moon in your home and family sector all day points to a legitimate need for extra security, comfort, familiarity, and rest, dear Pisces. Planetary influences today, however, tend to challenge you to seek out more from life than the ordinary, but be on the lookout for becoming misguided by your own whims. Without self-study, you may not be in touch with what you actually want and end up chasing rainbows. Do your best to remember your usual limits, as circumstances can seem to encourage you to forget them today! Judgment can be compromised just for now if you make decisions based on the feeling of the moment, which is likely very positive but perhaps overdone. There is a tendency to make promises or statements that are taken as more than they are. Do what you can to tame excessive impulses so that you can enjoy a smoother, more moderate day.