The Witches Digest for Friday, January 19th, 2018
(Part 1 Astronomy)
The Cauldron Chant
We form the Circle,
The Circle most round.
We form the Chalice,
The Chalice now found.
We call the Goddess,
to meet the great need.
We call the God,
To plant His fertile seed.
We call the quarters,
which we call four.
We summon the powers,
that contain the force.
We stir the Cauldron,
from which we were born.
We call the Gods,
from whom we were torn.
We say the words,
which lead us round.
We pass the kiss,
with our lovers found.
We face our dreams,
in nights psychic flight.
We face our hopes,
in bright moon of the night.
We face our fears,
on the Dark Lords Horn.
We face our failure,
in the Mothers new planted corn.
We live our lives,
drumming and dancing on the meadow.
We confront our Death,
in the dancing moon light shadow.
Our paths run quickly,
on fleet foot and wing.
Our Circle is joyous,
with our Queens and our Kings.
Let our little Circle be happy,
with Bell, Bowl or Bow.
And form now this Circle,
with gracious Love, Joy and Hope.
—Ammond ShadowCraft, Author
Originally published on Pagan Library
Your Daily Sun & Moon Data for Friday, January 19th
Sun Direction: ↑ 117.96° ESE
Sun Altitude: 2.82°
Sun Distance: 91.467 million mi
Next Equinox: Mar 20, 2018 11:15 am (Vernal)
Sunrise Today: 7:05 am↑ 115° Southeast
Sunset Today: 5:05 pm↑ 245° West
Length of Daylight: 10 hours
Moon Direction: ↑ 96.83° E
Moon Altitude: -14.75°
Moon Distance: 248692 mi
Next Full Moon: Jan 31, 20187:26 am
Next New Moon: Feb 15, 20183:05 pm
Next Moonrise: Today8:39 am
The Lunar Calendar
Moon Phase Tonight: Waxing Crescent
First Quarter: Jan 24, 2018 at 4:20 pm
New Moon: Jan 16, 2018 at 8:17 pm
Your Astronomy for Friday, January 19th
Mars-Uranus early today is progressive. A Last Quarter Moon occurs shortly before midday, and asks us to consider our spiritual needs.
The Moon is in Pisces all day (until Wednesday, June 10th, at 7:13 AM).
The Moon is void from 2:08 PM forward (until tomorrow at 7:13 AM).
The Moon is waning and in its Waning Gibbous phase until 11:41 AM/ Third Quarter phase from 11:41 AM forward.
The Third Quarter Moon occurs at 11:41 AM in Pisces.
Mercury is retrograde. (Mercury is retrograde from May 18 to June 11 in the sign of Gemini).
Moon in Aquarius
The Moon is traveling through Aquarius today. Go against the grain. Fight for a cause. Stand up for the underdog.
Attraction to all that is new and unusual, and an instinctive need for improvement, characterize the Moon in Aquarius. Reactions are more intellectual than emotional, and interactions are more impersonal than personal, under this influence. This is a time that promotes social gatherings, dealing with group ideals and goals for the future, brainstorming, new ideas, and progressive changes. We are open to new methods of doing things and we have our eye on the future. It can be hard to stick to schedules now, as personal freedom is most important to us.
The Moon in Aquarius generally favors the following activities: Unusual or radical undertakings, social pursuits, group projects, trying something new, joining a group.
An Overview of the Sky, Stars & Planets for January 19th
Mercury forms a sextile to Neptune today, and there can be notable compassion or gentleness in our communications. Our imaginations are easily stirred, and we tune into all sorts of layers and levels of any given situation as we have an increased appreciation for subtleties. We are inspired, and we can encourage others with our words. There can be psychic openness in our interactions. We’re likely to experience a sense of knowing and understanding with minimal explanation or instruction. Intuition is highlighted or awakened. Nevertheless, we can be quite particular with our tastes and money today.
Tonight, the Sun enters Aquarius, where it will transit until February 18th. During this month-long cycle, we are motivated by our hunger for knowledge, experience, and originality. Innovation is more important to us than convention. We become more aware of what is outdated in our lives and strive to find new perspectives and new ways to do things. The class distinctions, structure, and order that Capricorn finds appealing now seem rigid, although we also appreciate they’ve been laid out for us. We strive to free ourselves from some of the restrictions, inhibitions, and limitations that now feel constraining rather than safe.
The Moon continues its transit of Aquarius until 3:28 PM EST, after which the Moon is in Pisces.
The Moon is void from 6:53 AM EST, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (a square to Mars), until the Moon enters Pisces at 3:28 PM EST.
In the Sky This Month
The year’s first month ends with perhaps the best skywatching show of the year, as the Moon passes through Earth’s shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse. The nights leading up to the eclipse provide plenty of beautiful sights, though. Mars and Jupiter are climbing higher into the morning sky, and snuggle close together for several days. Orion climbs high across the south during the evening hours, with its belt pointing toward Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.
January 18: Bright Stars
Winter nights abound with some of the brightest stars in the sky: Rigel and Betelgeuse in Orion, Aldebaran in Taurus, Sirius in Canis Major (the big dog), and Procyon in Canis Minor (the little dog), to name but a few.
January 19: Crescent Moon
The Moon was new on Tuesday as it passed between Earth and the Sun. Today the Moon has moved away from the Sun, but it still lines up in the Sun’s general direction. At that angle, the Moon form a thin crescent, which is low in the southwest at sunset.
The Sky this week for January 19 to 21
A Mercury-Saturn conjunction, two striking star clusters, and a blazing Jupiter all take stage in the sky this week.
By Richard Talcott
Friday, January 19
Uranus reached opposition and peak visibility three months ago today, but it remains a tempting target. The outer planet appears nearly two-thirds of the way to the zenith in the southern sky as darkness falls. The magnitude 5.8 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 3.5″.
Saturday, January 20
Two of the finest deep-sky objects shine prominently on January evenings. The Pleiades and Hyades star clusters appear highest in the south in early evening but remain conspicuous until well past midnight. The Pleiades, also known at the Seven Sisters and M45, looks like a small dipper to the naked eye. The larger Hyades forms the V-shaped head of Taurus the Bull. Although both look nice without optical aid, binoculars show them best.
Sunday, January 21
Head outside before dawn and you’ll find Jupiter blazing in the southeast some 7° to the upper right of Mars. The giant planet climbs 30° high by the time twilight commences. Jupiter shines at magnitude –1.9, which makes it the brightest point of light in the night sky, and resides among the much dimmer stars of the constellation Libra. A telescope reveals the planet’s 35″-diameter disk.
The Witches Current Moon Phase for Friday, January 19th
The Moon today is in a Waxing Crescent Phase. A Waxing Crescent is the first Phase after the New Moon and is a great time to see the features of the moon’s surface. During this phase the Moon can be seen in the wester sky after the sun dips below the horizon at sunset. The moon is close to the sun in the sky and mostly dark except for the right edge of the moon which becomes brighter as the days get closer to the next phase which is a First Quarter with a 50% illumination.
PHASE DETAILS FOR – FRIDAY, JANUARY 19, 2018
Phase: Waxing Crescent
Moon Age: 2.17 days
Moon Angle: 0.50
Moon Distance: 398,111.82 km
Sun Angle: 0.54
Sun Distance: 147,200,683.60 km
What is a Blue Moon?
In average, there’s a Blue Moon about every 33 months. Blue Moons are rare because the Moon is full every 29 and a half days, so the timing has to be just right to squeeze two full Moons into a calendar month. The timing has to be really precise to fit two Blue Moons into a single year. It can only happen on either side of February, whose 28-day span is short enough time span to have NO full Moons during the month.
The term “blue Moon” has not always been used this way, however. While the exact origin of the phrase remains unclear, it does in fact refer to a rare blue coloring of the Moon caused by high-altitude dust particles. Most sources credit this unusual event, occurring only “once in a blue moon,” as the true progenitor of the colorful phrase.
Did You Know: A Rare Blue Moon Lunar Eclipse That Hasn’t Been Seen in 35 Years Is Coming Soon. Here’s What You Need to Know
By MELISSA CHAN January 10, 2018
The moon will appear larger, brighter and reddish-orange for some skygazers later this month when a total lunar eclipse occurs during a blue moon and a so-called supermoon, in what scientists say is a rare occurrence.
Much of America could witness the Jan. 31 celestial spectacle, which is a “collision of multiple lunar events,” according to Dr. Noah Petro, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Many have begun calling the combination a “super blue blood moon eclipse.”
On that night, there will be a total lunar eclipse, which happens when the Earth passes between the sun and moon, blocking sunlight from reaching the moon. The lunar eclipse will occur at the same time as a blue moon, a term given to the second full moon of a given calendar month. And it will be considered by some a “supermoon,” or a full moon that’s closer to Earth than usual and can appear slightly brighter and larger than normal.
“A lot of things are happening at once,” Petro said. “It’s a cool event.”
The last time this cosmic coincidence occurred was 35 years ago, according to Ernest Wright, a programmer in the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. While some reports say such a sky show hasn’t happened for more than 150 years, Wright and Fred Espenak, a famed eclipse expert and retired NASA astrophysicist, said the last total lunar eclipse during a super blue moon was on Dec. 30, 1982.
Here’s what else to know about the upcoming total lunar eclipse, supermoon and blue moon.
What will we see during the total lunar eclipse?
Don’t be confused by the term “blue moon,” which has nothing to do with the color of the moon, scientists say. In fact, the full moon will appear red or a burnt-orange hue, which is where it gets its “blood moon” moniker. NASA says this happens because the indirect sunlight that reaches the moon, during a total lunar eclipse, first makes its way through the Earth’s atmosphere, where most of the scattered blue-colored light is filtered out. The moon could also appear blood red, dark brown or gray.
The exact shade will depend on global atmospheric conditions, like the amount of dust in Earth’s atmosphere, at the time of the total lunar eclipse. Petro says there’s a very small chance the total lunar eclipse during a blue moon could even appear to have a blue hue to it, but that would depend on a massive volcanic eruption happening beforehand. Particles in plumes of ash-clouds from such an eruption could scatter away red light, according to NASA.
Whether you’ll see the show also depends on local weather conditions, since cloud cover could partially or completely block the spectacle in some areas.
During a supermoon — like the one that took place Jan. 1 of this year, when the moon was closer to Earth than it will be for all of 2018 — the moon appears about 15% larger than usual and 30% brighter, Petro said. Some scientists only use the term supermoon to describe the single closest full moon in a 14-month cycle, but NASA uses the term more broadly to describe a full moon that occurs within 90% of the moon’s closest approach to Earth, according to Petro. (Because the moon’s orbit around Earth is elliptical, its distance from Earth is not fixed. Instead, it fluctuates between 225,600 miles and 252,100 miles, on average, according to Wright.)
When will we see the total lunar eclipse?
Sky watchers on the West Coast and in the middle of the U.S. will have the best chance at catching the total lunar eclipse if they are early risers. Residents in Australia and Asia will get a “really good view” as well, Petro said. But people on the East Coast will have a less impressive view, since the lunar eclipse’s totality will occur as the sun is rising and moon is setting, Petro said.
Overall, totality will last for about 1 hour and 16 minutes. Petro said it starts on the West Coast at about 4:51 a.m. PT and lasts until about 6:07 a.m. PT on Jan. 31. On the East Coast, the moon will be completely eclipsed starting at 7:51 a.m. ET. People willing to get up early, Petro said, will likely be rewarded for their efforts. “I hope the people who have the chance to see this eclipse really take it,” he said. “Go out and look at the night sky.”
When is the next total lunar eclipse?
The next total lunar eclipse can be seen on July 27, 2018 on several continents, including South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The event will be visible again in America on Jan. 21, 2019.