The Witches Astronomy Journal for Saturday, June 23
It is like looking into a mirror.
Our souls seem as one;
Split long ago,
But now reunited alas!
Our power combined
Is untamable and raw.
Our balance of light and dark
Is utterly perfect.
The world is ours to conquer,
And we are coming with a vengeance!
Beware to all to stand in our way!
For we are unstoppable!
—By The Light Of The Crystal Moon: A Book of Pagan Poetry and Short Stories
Custom Planetary Positions
June 23, 2018
Zodiac: Tropical (Standard Western)
Sun: 01 Cancer 41
Moon: 04 Scorpio 52
Mercury: 20 Cancer 06
Venus: 10 Leo 45
Mars: 09 Aquarius 08
Jupiter: 13 Scorpio 48 Rx
Saturn: 06 Capricorn 11 Rx
Uranus: 01 Taurus 44
Neptune: 16 Pisces 29 Rx
Pluto: 20 Capricorn 29 Rx
True Lunar Node: 06 Leo 27 Rx
Mean Lunar Node: 07 Leo 44 Rx
Chiron: 02 Aries 22
Ceres: 27 Leo 58
Pallas: 19 Cancer 10
Juno: 26 Aries 18
Vesta: 27 Sagittarius 41 Rx
Eris: 24 Aries 02
About the Planets
The planets in astrology represent the actors in life’s drama. The planets symbolize the forces which make things happen, interpreted in whatever context is appropriate. On a global scale, the planets represent forces of nature which cause weather, for example, and other natural phenomena. In social or cultural terms, they represent people, institutions, and organizations playing on the national or the world stage; or, more psychologically, they represent forces working within the collective consciousness of a group, a nation, or the world at large. For an individual, the planets represent the various functions of consciousness through which that person interacts with the world around him or her.
In every case, the key element of the planets is action: the planets represent the forces that make things happen. Planetary motions, therefore, trace out the unfolding course of action in any situation. As the planets touch sensitive points in a horoscope, and as they interact with one another through the angles they form, we see the ebb and the flow of the plot of life.
Remaining stricly on an individual level of interpretation for the time being, we can think of the planets as functions of consciousness — as the distinct modes of activity through which an individual consciousness interacts with its environment on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Each function operates in a particular manner and serves a particular purpose within the consciousness as a whole. Sometimes the various functions work in harmony with one another, while at other times they clash and pull the person in several directions at once. Although the underlying psychology of a human consciousness is extremely complex, the planetary motions enable us to see clearly the various forces at work and their interactions with one another.
The planetary motions are most often referred to an individual natal horoscope for interpretation. The ways in which these “transiting” planetary motions interact with the individual horoscope bring the abstract concepts behind the planetary symbols to a focus upon and within a specific individual. They depict the complex interactions among the various forces and functions in and around the person on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. They show, in short, what is happening to that person, as well as how he or she is responding.
Your Daily Sun & Moon Data for Saturday, June 23
Sun Direction: ↑ 49.60° NE
Sun Altitude: -10.59°
Sun Distance: 94.475 million mi
Next Equinox: Sep 22, 2018 8:54 pm (Autumnal)
Sunrise Today: 5:35 am↑ 59° Northeast
Sunset Today: 8:17 pm↑ 301° Northwest
Length of Daylight: 14 hours, 42 minutes
Moon Direction: ↑ 274.72° W
Moon Altitude: -22.28°
Moon Distance: 243563 mi
Next Full Moon: Jun 27, 201811:53 pm
Next New Moon: Jul 12, 20189:47 pm
Next Moonrise: Today4:12 pm
Current Moon Phase:Waxing Gibbous
Astrology of Today – Saturday, June 23, 2018
The Moon is in Scorpio.
The Moon is waxing and in its First Quarter phase.
The First Quarter Moon occurred on the 20th, and the Full Moon will occur on the 27th.
Mars is in its pre-retrograde shadow (Mars will retrograde from June 26th to August 27th).
The Sun is in Cancer; Mercury is in Cancer; Venus is in Leo; Mars is in Aquarius.
The Sun is in Cancer from June 21-July 22. We are self-protective and insular under this influence. Our attention turns to our nest–our families, homes, and anything that makes us feel “at home”, safe, and secure. Nurturing and taking care of our loved ones and our pet projects come into focus. Emotions run deep. We are more susceptible to the ups and downs of the Moon while the Sun is in Cancer.
Mercury is in Cancer from June 12-29. When Mercury is in Cancer, we move from the desire for quantity to the need for quality in terms of the information we are attracted to. We think, speak, and take in information on a deeper, more instinctive level now. We have less interest in what is universal, and more interest in what affects us personally and what affects the people around us. Our thoughts are colored by our emotions, so it is more challenging to be objective.
Venus is in Leo from June 13-July 9. Love is magnificent and grand. We take pride in love, and we are generous with our money as well. This is a warmhearted, teasing, expressive, proud, and extravagant placement for Venus. Love is a bit of a game–a game that is perpetual, as Venus in Leo is forever stuck in the romance stage of a relationship. We feed on attention, acknowledgment, validation, and adoration. Venus in Leo loves to be adored, pampered, and admired. Pride and passion are hallmarks of this cycle. We have a strong ego investment in our love lives during this period. The negative expression of this placement is overstating our feelings simply for the effect, as well as extravagance.
Mars is in Aquarius from May 16-August 12 and September 10-November 15. Dynamic yet erratic energy levels, achieving our goals through hit or miss tactics, and impersonal expression of anger are characteristics of Mars in Aquarius. We are team players–cooperative and less concerned about personal power. We are attracted to unconventional methods and tend to approach problems from an intellectual, detached perspective.
Moon in Scorpio
Intensity is what the Moon in Scorpio is all about. Whether it’s passion, elation, sorrow, or desire, emotions are felt on a deeply personal level. We are motivated by the desire to get to the bottom of things, and we instinctively read between the lines. Superficiality won’t work for us now. The Moon in Scorpio urges us to uncover our own power, and it’s an excellent time to rid ourselves of old fears and limiting habits. It can be an intimate and passionate time. Avoid manipulative tactics, brooding, and suspicion.
The Moon in Scorpio generally favors the following activities: Taxes, accounting, intimacy issues, psychological examinations, research, self-examination, getting rid of old things.
A Look At Your Planets And Stars for Saturday, June 23
Mercury opposes Pluto this morning, and we might either feel a compulsive need to talk and question or to withhold information. There can be an insistence on knowing the truth or on exposing falsehoods. We might also feel pressure to come to a decision. There may be some paranoid thoughts or extreme suspicion under this influence. We can be dealing with issues of power and competition, and there can be a feeling that external circumstances are undermining our sense of personal power. In the process, we may be able to get in touch with our motivations. Outside forces can remind us of our need to take better charge of our lives, but shortcuts to gaining control will not work out for us. This influence can bring a tricky or buried issue to a head.
The Sun’s square to Chiron today can pull up insecurities and areas of vulnerability, possibly disruptively. We could too easily follow others’ leads due to self-doubt, to please them, or out of fear of asserting our desires. Alternatively, we might go to great lengths to prove ourselves or assert our individuality, when a better approach would be to recognize our feelings of vulnerability that may be stirred by people or circumstances.
The Moon spends the day in the sign of Scorpio, and we tend to want to read between the lines, for better or for worse! The Scorpio Moon is a perceptive and probing influence.
The sky this week for June 23 to July 1
Mercury, Mars, Venus, Uranus — a slew of brilliant planets will grace the sky this week.
By Richard Talcott
Saturday, June 23
The waxing gibbous Moon passes near Jupiter tonight. From North America, the two were closest this afternoon (when they were below the horizon), though they remain within 5° of each other after darkness falls. Despite Luna’s brilliance dominating the scene, you should have little trouble picking out the magnitude –2.4 planet to its lower right. The best time to observe Jupiter through a telescope is when the Moon doesn’t lie so close. This week, the gas giant spans 42″ and displays a wealth of detail in its cloud tops.
Sunday, June 24
Observers of the outer solar system get their first good views of Uranus before dawn in late June. The best time to look for it is shortly before twilight begins around 3:30 a.m. local daylight time. Uranus then lies 15° above the eastern horizon among the background stars of southwestern Aries the Ram. This morning, use binoculars to find the magnitude 5.9 planet 4° northeast of the 4th-magnitude star Omicron (ο) Piscium. A telescope reveals Uranus’ blue-green disk, which spans 3.5″.
Monday, June 25
Skygazers can catch a peek of Mercury in this week’s early evening sky. The innermost planet stands 9° high in the west-northwest a half-hour after sunset tonight, and it will gain another degree of altitude by the weekend. Although Mercury glows brightly this evening, at magnitude –0.4, you might need binoculars to spot it initially against the twilight glow. Binoculars also should reveal the 1st-magnitude star Pollux, which stands 5° north of the planet tonight. Through a telescope, Mercury shows a disk that spans 6.1″ and appears 70 percent lit.
Tuesday, June 26
Look high in the northwest after darkness falls, and you’ll be greeted by the familiar sight of the Big Dipper. The Dipper is the most conspicuous asterism — a recognizable pattern of stars that doesn’t form a complete constellation shape — in the entire sky. It forms the body and tail of Ursa Major the Great Bear. Use the Pointers, the two stars at the end of the Dipper’s bowl, to find Polaris, which lies due north for everyone north of the equator. Polaris marks the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. On June evenings, the relatively faint stars of this dipper arc directly above Polaris.
Wednesday, June 27
Saturn lies opposite the Sun in our sky today, reaching its peak visibility for 2018. The ringed world appears low in the southeast as darkness falls and climbs higher as the evening wears on. It stands about one-third of the way to the zenith in the southern sky around 1 a.m. local daylight time. If you need help finding Saturn, tonight’s Full Moon points the way. Our satellite lies within 2° of the planet all night. (The Moon is officially Full at 12:53 a.m. EDT tomorrow morning.) Saturn shines at magnitude 0.0 and stands out well on any other night this week when the Moon isn’t so close. Both objects lie among the background stars of northern Sagittarius. When viewed through a telescope this week, the planet shows an 18″-diameter disk surrounded by a dramatic ring system that spans 42″ and tilts 26° to our line of sight.
Thursday, June 28
Mars remains a stunning sight all week. The Red Planet reaches its stationary point today, which means that its eastward motion relative to the background stars of Capricornus comes to a halt and it begins moving westward. Mars rises around 11 p.m. local daylight time and climbs highest in the south just before morning twilight commences. The planet shines at magnitude –2.1, making the third-brightest point of light in the night sky after Venus and Jupiter. If you point a telescope toward Mars, you’ll see its 21″-diameter disk and perhaps some subtle surface features — though many of these likely will be obscured by the planet’s major ongoing dust storm.
Friday, June 29
Venus dominates the western sky after sunset. The dazzling object shines at magnitude –4.1 among the background stars of western Leo, having crossed the border from Cancer earlier in the day. The planet appears 15° high an hour after sundown and sets around 11 p.m. local daylight time. When viewed through a telescope, Venus appears 16″ across and 70 percent lit.
The Moon reaches apogee, the farthest point in its orbit around Earth, at 10:43 p.m. EDT. It then lies 252,315 miles (406,061 kilometers) from Earth’s center.
Saturday, June 30
The waning gibbous Moon rises in the east-southeast just as the last vestiges of twilight fade away. About 15 minutes later, ruddy Mars joins our satellite. The two stand about 5° apart as they cross the sky tonight.
For people who live near 30° north latitude, today marks the latest sunset of the year. Although Earth’s summer solstice and the Northern Hemisphere’s longest day occurred more than a week ago (on the 21st), latest sunset happens several days after and earliest sunrise several days before. The specific dates depend on your latitude, however — latest sunset at 40° north took place June 27. In general, latest sunset occurs closer to the solstice the farther north you live.
Sunday, July 1
Now that the Moon is exiting the evening sky, this is a good opportunity for binocular users to track down one of summer’s finest open star clusters. NGC 6231 lies in the tail of Scorpius the Scorpion, just 0.5° north of the double star Zeta (ζ) Scorpii (which is another fine binocular sight). NGC 6231 shines at magnitude 2.6 and packs more than 100 stars into a region about half the width of the Full Moon. This part of Scorpius lies nearly due south after darkness falls, though it doesn’t climb high from mid-northern latitudes.
In the Sky This Month
The planets seem especially busy this month, highlighting both morning and evening skies. Venus reigns as the Evening Star, and points out some interesting sights in Gemini and Cancer during the month. Saturn puts in its best showing of the year, with Jupiter just past its best. And Mars climbs inexorably across the sky, toward its best appearance next month.
June 23: Moon and Jupiter
Brilliant Jupiter stands to the lower right of the Moon as night falls. Although it looks like a bright star, it’s actually the largest planet in the solar system. It is about 11 times Earth’s diameter and more than 300 times Earth’s mass.
June 24: Saturn at Opposition
The planet Saturn is low in the southeast as night falls, and looks like a bright star. Its luster is dimmed by the gibbous Moon, far to Saturn’s upper right. Even so, Saturn outshines all but a few other objects in the night sky, so it’s hard to miss.
June 25: Moon and Antares
Antares, one of the brightest stars in the night sky, is not far to the lower right of the almost-full Moon at nightfall. Antares is near the middle of the curved body of Scorpius, which is in the south-southeast.
June 26: Delphinus
Delphinus, the dolphin, glides through the Milky Way on summer evenings. Tonight it rises not long after sunset and arcs high overhead. Look for it below the Summer Triangle, which is well up in the east a couple of hours after darkness falls.
June 27: More Saturn at Opposition
Saturn lines up opposite the Sun today, so it rises at sunset and is in view all night. A planet is closest to Earth at opposition, so it shines brightest for the year. Tonight, Saturn will stick close to the Moon.
June 28: Colorful Arcturus
Arcturus, the leading light of Bootes, the herdsman, stands high in the south as twilight turns to darkness. It is the brightest true star in the sky during the evening hours, so it’s hard to miss. It shines yellow-orange.
June 29: Moon and Mars
The planet Mars is growing brighter by the day. It’s in good view in the southeast by midnight, and looks like a bright orange star. Tonight, it stands to the lower left of the Moon.
Your Daily Cosmic Calendar for Saturday, June 23
Old secrets and mysteries can be revealed during the annual Mercury opposition to Pluto from Cancer to Capricorn (2:28am). Studies in psychology and metaphysics are highlighted during this profound polarity. Strengthen your optimistic mind-set during the monthly moon conjunction with Jupiter in Scorpio (2:12pm). Tweak a solar square to Chiron (2:40pm) away from feeling the pain of psychic wounds and in the direction of learning more about sensible holistic healing techniques. The fourth significant grand triangle of June provides a feast for your imagination and intellect this evening and into the morning hours tomorrow as the moon trines Neptune in Pisces (7:24pm) and continues to form a second trine to Mercury in Cancer (7:01am on Sunday).
[Note to readers: All times are now calculated for Pacific Daylight Time. Be sure to adjust all times according to your own local time so the alignments noted above will be exact for your location.]
Copyright 2018 Mark Lerner & Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd.
The Witches Current Moon Phase for Saturday, June 23
Tomorow the Moon will be in a Waxing Gibbous phase. This phase is when the moon is more than 50% illuminated but not yet a Full Moon. The phase lasts round 7 days with the moon becoming more illuminated each day until the Full Moon. During a Waxing Gibbous the moon will rise in the east in mid-afternoon and will be high in the eastern sky at sunset. The moon is then visible though most of the night sky setting a few hour before sunrise. The word Gibbous first appeared in the 14th century and has its roots in the Latin word “gibbosus” meaning humpbacked.
PHASE DETAILS FOR – SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2018
Phase: Waxing Gibbous
Moon Age: 10.41 days
Moon Angle: 0.51
Moon Distance: 388,547.45 km
Sun Angle: 0.52
Sun Distance: 152,055,164.64 km
Waxing Gibbous Moon Phase
What is a waxing gibbous moon? The waxing gibbous moon, is defined to occur when the Moon appears to be more than one-half but not fully illuminated by direct sunlight. Because the fraction of the Moon’s disk that is illuminated is increasing, we consider the Moon to be “waxing.” Each new lunar cycle is measured beginning at each new moon and the waxing crescent moon occurs when the Moon is more than one-quarter but less than one-half of the way around the sky (i.e., along its orbit) from new moon.
Waxing Gibbous Moon Dates / Next Waxing Gibbous Moon
When is the next waxing gibbous moon? A waxing gibbous moon is seen one to two weeks after a new moon. The average calendrical month, which is 1/12 of a year, is about 30.44 days, while the Moon’s phase (synodic) cycle repeats on average every 29.53 days. Therefore the timing of the Moon’s phases shifts by an average of almost one day for each successive month.
Waxing Gibbous Moon and The Moon Phases
The waxing gibbous moon happens when the moon is between a 45 and 90 degree angle with respect to the Earth and Sun. So we are seeing more than half of the moon illuminated and less than half in shadow. The word gibbous refers to phases where the moon is more than half illuminated. “Waxing” essentially means growing or increasing in illumination. Each evening, as the moon’s orbital motion carries it towards the Earth-sun line, we see more of the moon’s day side.
Each lunar cycle begins with a new moon. As the Moon moves eastward away from the Sun in the sky, we see a bit more of the sunlit side of the Moon each night. We call this waxing. After the new moon, the sunlit portion is increasing, but less than half illuminated, so it is a waxing crescent moon. When half of the Moon’s disc is illuminated, we call it the first quarter moon. As the sunlit portion continues to increase, now more than half illuminated, it becomes waxing gibbous moon. When the Moon reaches maximum illumination, a full moon, the Moon has completed one half of the lunar month.
During the second half of the lunar month, the Moon grows thinner each night. We call this waning. The waning gibbous moon phase occurs first, followed by the last quarter moon when half of the Moon’s disc is illuminated. Next is the waning crescent moon, which wanes until the illumination is completely gone; a new moon.
Facts About The Moon
There are many interesting facts about the moon. Some of these moon facts include its age, gravity, orbital period, circumference, declination and its distance to earth. The Moon is the only natural satellite of the Earth, and the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System. The Moon is the only celestial body other than Earth on which humans have set foot. While the Soviet Union’s Luna programme was the first to reach the Moon with unmanned spacecraft in 1959, the United States’ NASA Apollo program achieved the only manned missions to date, beginning with the first manned lunar orbiting mission by Apollo 8 in 1968, and six manned lunar landings between 1969 and 1972, with the first being Apollo 11. See the table below for some of the most commonly searched facts about the moon.
Basic Moon Information
Moon Topic Moon Fact
Name The Moon
Age of the Moon 4.527 billion years
Moon’s Distance to Earth 238,900 miles (384,400 km)
Traveling by Car 130 Days
Traveling by Rocket 13 Hours
Traveling by Light 1.52 Seconds
Gravity of the Moon 1.624 m/s²
Orbital Period of the Moon 27 days
Circumference of the Moon 6,784 miles (10,917 km)
Declination of the Moon 28° 0.000′
Mass of the Moon 73,490,000,000,000,000 million kg
Shape of the Moon Egg-Shaped
Family of the Moon Our solar system
Satellite Status Only satellite of Earth
Active Relationships of the Moon Orbits around Earth
Mean Synodic Period of the Moon 29.530588861 days
Mean Orbital Velocity of the Moon 1.023 km/sec
About June’s Strawberry Moon
The wild strawberries that start to ripen during early summer gave name to the Full Moon in June. Other names are Rose Moon, Hot Moon, and Mead Moon.
Paddleboarders below the strawberry moon at Barceloneta beach, Barcelona, Spain.
When are the Full Moons this year?
In ancient times, it was common to track the changing seasons by following the lunar month rather than the solar year, which the 12 months in our modern calendar are based on.
For millennia, people across Europe, as well as Native American tribes, named the months after features they associated with the Northern Hemisphere seasons, and many of these names are very similar or identical.
Full Moon Names
Today, we use many of these ancient month names as Full Moon names. A common explanation is that Colonial Americans adopted many of the Native American names and incorporated them into the modern calendar.
However, it seems that it is a combination of Native American, Anglo-Saxon, and Germanic month names which gave birth to the names commonly used for the Full Moon today.
Some years have 13 Full Moons, which makes one of them a Blue Moon, as it doesn’t quite fit in with the traditional Full Moon naming system. However, this is not the only definition of a Blue Moon.
June’s Full Moon is named after the wild strawberries that start to ripen during this month. According to some sources, a European name for this early summer month was Rose Moon, and another was Hot Moon, for the beginning of the summer heat. Other sources quote Mead Moon as the Anglo-Saxon name because this was the time for mowing the meads, or meadows.
There are several different kinds of wild strawberries. The native North American type is the Virginia strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), also known as Mountain strawberry or Common strawberry. It grows naturally in the United States, including Alaska, and Canada. It has also been exported; one popular variety, which was imported to Great Britain in the early 1900s, is called Little Scarlet.
It was an accidental cross of Fragaria virginiana and the South American Fragaria chiloensis, also know as Sand or Beach strawberry, with larger fruit, which resulted in the modern strawberry grown commercially and in gardens, the Fragaria ananassa.
Europe has its own native wild strawberry; the Alpine strawberry (Fragaria vesca), also called European strawberry, Woodland strawberry, or fraisier des bois.
New Species in Oregon
In 2012, a new wild strawberry species was discovered in the high peaks of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains at elevations of about 3000 to 5000 feet (900 to 1500 meters). The species is endemic to the Western Cascades, and Dr. Kim Hummer who discovered it named the species Fragaria cascadensis. It differs from other strawberry species both in the structure of the leaves and the fruit surface. It also has 10 sets of chromosomes, unlike other wild and commercial strawberries which have 8 sets of chromosomes.
Close to Summer Solstice
Around every 20 years, the Strawberry Moon coincides with the summer solstice, which is either on June 20, 21, or 22.