The Witches Digest for Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Almighty Gods and Goddesses of Old,
Grant Lady A healing
Of mind, body, heart and spirit
Send your divine power
To mend everything that is broken
Center what might have become unbalanced
And soothe and ease her pain
Return our precious lady to us
Whole in body as in spirit.
In your Divine name we pray,
So Mote It Be.
Sun & Moon Data for Tuesday, December 12
Sun Direction: ↑ 129.98° SE
Sun Altitude: 10.71°
Sun Distance: 91.519 million mi
Next Solstice: Dec 21, 2017 10:27 am (Winter)
Sunrise Today: 6:58 am↑ 119° Southeast
Sunset Today: 4:37 pm↑ 241° Southwest
Length of daylight: 9 hours, 39 minutes
Moon Direction: ↑ 191.62° SSW
Moon Altitude: 48.91°
Moon Distance: 244158 mi
Next New Moon: Dec 18, 201712:30 am
Next Full Moon: Jan 1, 20188:24 pm
Next Moonset: Today1:38 pm
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent
Moon Illumination: 27.6%
The Lunar Calendar
Moon Phase Tonight: Waning Crescent
New Moon: Dec 18, 2017 at 12:30 am
Third Quarter: Dec 10, 2017 at 1:51 am
The Astrology for Tuesday, Demember 12
The Moon is in Libra.
The Moon is waning and in its Last Quarter phase.
The Last Quarter Moon occurred on the 10th, and the New Moon will occur on December 18th.
Mercury is retrograde in the sign of Sagittarius (Mercury is retrograde from December 3-22).
Moon in Libra
Creating order is the focus, not necessarily through tidying or organizing as was the case while the Moon was in Virgo, but rather through pleasing interactions with others and aesthetics in our environment. We tend to solve problems through diplomacy, and we are more able to put aside our own emotions in order to achieve the peace we crave. The tendency now is to avoid direct confrontations. Decisions do not come easily. Seeing both sides to any given situation is the main reason for hesitation. Fear of losing others’ approval is another.
The Moon in Libra generally favors the following activities: Relationship and partnership issues, activities involving teamwork and cooperation, activities that involve self-examination, activities related to beauty.
The Astronomy for Tuesday, December 12
Mercury in retrograde motion aligns with the Sun today, bringing illumination to our thoughts. This is a critical time for new ideas, although they’re very new and raw at this “birthing” stage. There is an awakening happening now as we release old patterns of thought and communication and begin anew. Technically, Mercury passes between the Earth and the Sun at its inferior conjunction, and this marks the halfway point in Mercury’s retrograde cycle. It’s a good time for processing recent events and ideas, as well as for beginning to look at problems or issues from a new perspective and with a new understanding. Significant new ideas may be born at this time, and these are likely to have real staying power or importance in our lives. What we say or write now has an impact, for better or for worse!
The Moon spends the day in Libra, and we’re doing a balancing act. We draw upon our negotiation skills now.
The sky this week for December 12 to 17
The Last Quarter Moon wanes and the Geminid meteor shower peaks in the sky this week.
By Richard Talcott
Tuesday, December 12
Although the calendar says December, the Summer Triangle of bright stars remains prominent during the early evening. Look for this large asterism in the western sky after darkness falls. Approximately one-third of the way to the zenith lies the Triangle’s brightest member, magnitude 0.0 Vega in the constellation Lyra. Magnitude 1.3 Deneb in Cygnus stands about 25° above Vega. And 35° to Vega’s left lies magnitude 0.8 Altair in Aquila. Altair sets shortly before 9 p.m. local time, destroying the geometric pattern.
Mercury reaches inferior conjunction, passing between the Sun and Earth, at 9 p.m. EST. The fast-moving innermost planet will return to view before dawn next week.
Wednesday, December 13
The waning crescent Moon points the way to Mars this morning. Earth’s only natural satellite appears 5° above Mars in the southeastern predawn sky, while Jupiter appears 11° below its sister planet. Of course, the Red Planet stands out on mornings all this week. The magnitude 1.6 world rises four hours before the Sun and appears 25° high as twilight starts to paint the sky. It resides among the background stars of Virgo, about 10° to the lower left of the Maiden’s brightest star, 1st-magnitude Spica. Notice the color contrast between the orange-red planet and the blue-white star. Unfortunately, the view through a telescope proves disappointing — Mars spans just 4″ and shows no detail.
Thursday, December 14
A day after its close approach to Mars, the waning crescent Moon hangs near Jupiter. Our satellite’s 12-percent-lit crescent appears 5° to Jupiter’s upper left. The giant planet shines at magnitude –1.7 and is the brightest point of light in the night sky. Look for it any morning this week — it rises three hours before the Sun and climbs 20° high an hour before sunup. A telescope reveals the planet’s 32″-diameter disk.
The Geminid meteor shower peaks this morning under nearly ideal conditions. The waning crescent Moon near Jupiter doesn’t rise until 3:30 a.m., and even after that if sheds little light. Observers under a clear dark sky can expect to see up to 120 meteors per hour — an average of two per minute. The meteors appear to radiate from a spot just north of Castor, the bright star in the northern part of the constellation Gemini the Twins. This region passes nearly overhead from mid-northern latitudes around 2 a.m. local time, although conditions remain excellent from mid-evening yesterday until morning twilight commences.
Friday, December 15
Uranus reached opposition nearly two months ago, but it remains a tempting target. The outer planet climbs highest in the south around 8 p.m. local time, when it appears two-thirds of the way to the zenith. The magnitude 5.7 world lies in southeastern Pisces, 3.5° west of the 4th-magnitude star Omicron (ο) Piscium. Although Uranus shines brightly enough to glimpse with the naked eye under a dark sky, binoculars make the task much easier. A telescope reveals the planet’s blue-green disk, which spans 3.6″.
Saturday, December 16
Head outside in early evening this week and you can see the Big Dipper scraping the northern horizon. For latitudes north of about 40°, this conspicuous asterism never sets (“circumpolar” in astronomical parlance), though December evenings find it at its lowest ebb. This means that the constellation on the opposite side of the North Celestial Pole, the familiar W-shaped Cassiopeia, currently rides highest in the sky.
Sunday, December 17
The variable star Algol in Perseus appears faintest at 2:22 a.m. EST tomorrow morning, when it shines at magnitude 3.4. Observers across North America should start watching it after darkness falls tonight if they want to witness its dramatic drop from peak brightness (magnitude 2.1). This eclipsing binary star runs through a cycle from minimum to maximum and back every 2.87 days, but the drop from peak brightness and subsequent rise lasts only about 10 hours. Algol appears in the east-northeast after sunset and passes nearly overhead around 9:30 p.m. local time.
The Current Moon Phase for Tuesday, December 12
The Moon today is in a Waning Crescent phase. In this phase the Moon’s illumination is growing smaller each day until the New Moon. During this phase the Moon is getting closer to the Sun as viewed from Earth and the night side of the Moon is facing the Earth with only a small edge of the Moon being illuminated. This phase is best viewed an hour or 2 before the sunrise and can be quite beautiful if you’re willing to get up early. It can also be a great time to see the features of the Moon’s surface. Along the edge where the illuminated portion meets the dark side, the craters and mountains cast long shadows making them easier to observe with a telescope or binoculars.
PHASE DETAILS FOR – TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2017
Phase: Waning Crescent
Moon Age: 24.26 days
Moon Angle: 0.51
Moon Distance: 388,220.49 km
Sun Angle: 0.54
Sun Distance: 147,272,569.34 km
Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius
Mercury backtracks through the sign of travellers, philosophers, sportsmen and women, humorists and adventurers. I don’t think it bodes well for seamless holiday travel plans – strikes, cancellations, and other delays or hold-ups are very likely. Making careful plans, allowing plenty of time, and seeing the funny side should help.
Things tend to backfire when Mercury travels in reverse – and in Sagittarius this includes jokes, social media posts, and generally tactless remarks. Avoiding social media when intoxicated is always wise, and never more so than right now.
Mercury retrograde is always a helpful time to review things. If something needs more research, or a fresh point of view, now’s the time to tackle that.
Mercury is retrograde from 3rd December until 23rd December.
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