The SuperMoon Lunar Eclipse coming up on September 27 is creating quite a stir.
The mass media outlets love eclipses.
They give them opportunities to talk about once-in-a-lifetime events and never-before-seen cosmic phenomena.
Even if those phenomena are not really all that rare.
Take the SuperMoon Lunar Eclipse, for example.
It’s just a few days away, and the media is getting excited, describing it as the Eclipse of the Century.
They’re calling it a Blood Moon Eclipse.
They’re calling it a Harvest Moon Eclipse.
And, of course, they’re calling it a SuperMoon Lunar Eclipse.
So What’s A SuperMoon Lunar Eclipse?
It’s pretty simple, really. A SuperMoon Lunar Eclipse is just a lunar eclipse that happens at a SuperMoon.
Make that a Super Full Moon. Lunar eclipses can only happen at full moons.
And what’s a SuperMoon?
According to NASA, “A supermoon is a full or new moon that falls closest to the fall equinox, and is at its closest approach to the Earth. This results in the moon appearing up to 14% larger in diameter.”
That sounds pretty good. But it’s a more limited definition than was originally intended when the term was first used.
An Astrologer Got Here First
As I pointed out in a previous post on this blog, the term “SuperMoon” was first coined by astrologer Richard Nolle more than 30 hers ago.
He came up with the term, and since that time other astrologers and even some astronomers (most notably some of the ones at NASA) have been using it as well. It has gotten so much circulation, in fact, that it’s become a fairly common description of certain lunar phenomena.
And that’s where the confusion starts to come in.
As Richard Nolle himself puts it, “Clearly there’s a lot of confusion about what’s really a SuperMoon.
“When I see people misrepresenting the idea, not really understanding it at all, I feel impelled – not compelled – to try and set the record straight. Words mean things, after all…”
How NASA Changed The SuperMoon
Part of the confusion comes from the hysteria associated with the idea that a SuperMoon is some sort of evil omen, or a sign of certain disaster.
But even NASA has added to the mixed-up ideas about the SuperMoon.
Note that NASA’s definition says that only “a full or new moon that falls closest to the fall equinox, and is at its closest approach to the Earth” can be considered a SuperMoon.
But that doesn’t agree with Richard Nolle’s definition.
“SuperMoon is a word I coined in a 1979 article for Dell Publishing Company’s HOROSCOPE magazine, describing a new or full moon which occurs with the Moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit. In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth,” he explains.
Note that Nolle doesn’t limit SuperMoons to the new or full moon “closest to the fall equinox,” per the much later modification of the term by NASA.
Easier Than Perigee-Syzygy
“At any new or full moon,” Nolle goes on to say, “Earth and Moon and Sun are all in a line: Earth is in the middle in the full moon alignment, while the new moon happens with Moon in the middle. This coming together in an alignment is technically termed a syzygy.
“Sometimes – from a few times to a half-dozen times in a given year – these alignments also happen when the Moon is in its perigee, or closest approach to Earth. Astronomers call this very special alignment a perigee-syzygy. I call it a SuperMoon – which is a whole lot easier on the tongue.”
The restricted notion that NASA promotes severely limits, of course, the number of events that can be considered SuperMoons, which in turn makes SuperMoon Lunar Eclipses extremely rare indeed.
But Richard Nolle says that thinking of SuperMoons as extremely rare or unusual “is completely wrong. There are 4-6 SuperMoons a year on average.”
The SuperMoon Lunar Eclipse Roll Call
Even so, SuperMoon Lunar Eclipses, with a total lunar eclipse at the time of a SuperMoon, do occur infrequently enough that they deserve some special attention. According to Nolle’s calculations, there have just been 16 of them since the year 1900:
November 16, 1910, with the Moon at 23° Taurus
March 22, 1913, with the Moon at 01° Libra
April 2, 1930, with the Moon at 12° Libra
December 8, 1946, with the Moon at 16° Gemini
April 13, 1949, with the Moon at 22° Libra
April 2, 1950, with the Moon at 12° Libra
December 18, 1964, with the Moon at 27° Gemini
April 13, 1968, with the Moon at 23° Libra
September 8, 1979, with the Moon at 13° Pisces
December 30, 1982, with the Moon at 08° Cancer
May 8, 1985, with the Moon at 14° Scorpio
April 24, 1986, with the Moon at 04° Scorpio
September 16, 1997, with the Moon at 23° Pisces
January 21, 2000, with the Moon at 00° Leo
January 9, 2001, with the Moon at 20° Cancer
May 15, 2003, with the Moon at 24° Scorpio
When the next SuperMoon Lunar Eclipse arrives a few days from now, it will occur with the Moon in the fire sign Aries. It’s noteworthy that only of the 16 previous SuperMoon Lunar Eclipses – the one on January 21, 2000 – took place with the Moon in a fire sign.
Nobody seems to be really sure about how the rumor got started.
But when something goes viral on the internet, there’s no stopping it.
If doesn’t matter if it’s fact or fiction.
In the case of the of the latest asteroid collision forecast, it pretty much turned out to be fiction.
So we can all breathe a big sigh of relief.
This Asteroid Collision Was “The Big One”
As fearful fantasies go, an asteroid collision with the Earth is not all that rare.
There have plenty of asteroid collision forecasts in the past, with some of them coming from certifiable crackpots and others coming from otherwise reputable sources.
But what made this latest forecast so striking was the specificity of the projected impact zone, and the scale of the asteroid collision itself.
Bye-Bye, Puerto Rico!
According to the internet rumor, a major asteroid collision was due sometime between September 15 and September 28.
It was going to be so massive that it would completely destroy Puerto Rico, as well as big chunks of Central and South America and much of the coastlines of the United States and Mexico on the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean as well.
NASA Says No
Late September will definitely be a time when we’ll want to watch the skies..The next solar and lunar eclipses will be coming up, and there will be plenty of cosmic action to keep astro-traders well occupied.
But an asteroid collision won’t be one of them, at least as far as NASA is concerned.
According to the director of NASA’s Near Earth Object office, “There is no scientific basis – not one sred of evidenc – that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates.”
As far as the space scientists are concerned, seeing is believing.
“If there were any object large enough to do that type of destruction in September, we would have seen something of it by now.”
NASA always does a great job of keeping us up to speed on the action in the solar system.
The charts and graphs the agency shares on its spaceweather.com website are enlightening.
The photos are spectacular.
And the stuff from NASA isn’t just about what’s going on in space.
It’s about the impact of solar system events on life here on Earth as well.
Funny thing about that.
It used to be that only astrologers thought that the action in space makes an impact on human affairs.
Astrologers used to get ridiculed for that crazy idea.
But now the astronomers who work with NASA, the guys and gals peering through the telescopes into the night sky, have figured it out as well!
Good for them!
NASA Shows Us The Solar Action
Of course the astronomers may or may not recognize the fact that they’re getting a little closer to astrology every day.
Either way, it’s important for us as astrologers – and as astro-traders, too – to pay attention to the information coming out of NASA.
Like this photograph the agency released earlier today:
This is an image of sunspot AR2242 erupting at 00:27 UT on Saturday, December 20,
A Heliocentric-Uranian Blend?
If you were clocking things astrologically then, you might have noted that this took place just a few hours after heliocentric Venus entered Aquarius.
It was also just a few hours before an exact 120-degree alignment between heliocentric Mars and heliocentric Poseidon. (That’s for those of you who dare mix Uranian and heliocentric techniques!)
But as NASA knows, the real action was on the Sun – and on the Earth as well.
The eruption of sunspot AR2242 produced a massive X1.8-class solar flare. That’s the big plume of fire shooting out from the Sun at the lower-right corner of the photograph.
Feeling The Solar Impact
We’ve already felt the effects on Earth.
NASA reported that the solar flare produced an extremely high level of ultraviolet radiation which ionized a big chunk of the Earth’s upper atmosphere earlier today.
That atmospheric ionization blacked out high-frequency radio communications over Australia and much of the South Pacific when it hit.
But the effects may not stop with that period of radio silence. NASA says that there’s also the possibility that a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the same sunspot eruption could be on its way to Earth.
If that’s the case, and if the CME arrives in the next couple of days as NASA suggests, we could see more communications interference.
We could also see an impact on the markets. Key research by some of the pioneers in financial astrology revealed important correlations between sunspot cycles and the rhythms of the markets.
As astro-traders, then, we need to keep an eye on solar events like this one reported by NASA.
Even if we have a different perspective than the NASA astronomers!
I got a call a couple of hours ago from one of clients. He’s consulted with me for a number of years to get astrological perspectives on business and personal matters, and we’ve become good friends along the way.
“I was thinking about you last night,” he said.
“Yeah. The dog wanted to go out, and woke me up at about four o’clock in the morning. So I walked outside with the dog, and saw the Moon. It was really an incredible sight! And I had heard that it was some kind of eclipse, so naturally I thought of you.”
I told him I was glad that he was remembering to make astrological connections, and that he was able to experience the beauty of the eclipse, even if it did mean getting up in the middle of the night.
His experience was fairly typical– just about everyone who was able to see the lunar eclipse last night was awestruck by how magnificent it looked, even though not everyone got to witness the blood-red color that had given it the Blood Moon designation.
What some people saw was dark orange instead. Depending on the local weather conditions, others saw the eclipse as dirty brown, or even a greyish tint.
But everybody was impressed.
The next lunar eclipse will come in October. But in the meantime, of course, we’ve got the big solar eclipse coming up in just two weeks. We can expect it to have a major influence on global affairs and on the financial markets as well.
I was in the middle of a client consultation in my office yesterday, discussing astrologically-grounded marketing strategies for an expanding enterprise, when the president of the company stopped me in mid-sentence.
“I almost forgot to ask you,” she said. “Tell me about the Blood Moon. Is it something we should be worried about?”
In the conversation that followed, it soon became apparent that she had gotten sucked into an a maelstrom of half-baked superstitions, Biblical prophecies, and media misinformation, with pundits and commentators fanning the flames sparked by Pastor John Hagee of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, whom you may remember as the guy who claimed that Hurricane Katrina was the result of rampant homosexuality in New Orleans.
At any rate, my client was already upset by the Blood Moon brouhaha– after all, if the end of the world is here, why bother to plan a marketing campaign for your business?
I reassured her, and pointed out that even if you’e a fan of apocalyptic propaganda the Biblical connections with current events are pretty sketchy at best.
For starters, the lunar eclipse on Tuesday may not even be the color of blood. According to NASA, the current atmospheric conditions are more likely to make the eclipsed Moon look orange instead.
One of the claims about this week’s Blood Moon is that it’s particularly fated because it’s the first eclipse in a tetrad of four consecutive total lunar eclipses.
That, according to the end-time zealots, is completely unprecedented.
Actually, though, even though it’s somewhat rare to have four total lunar eclipses in a row, it’s not totally unheard of.
It happened in January 1909 through November 1910.
It happened in January 1927 through November 1928.
It happened in April 1949 through September 1950.
It happened in April 1967 through October 1968.
It happened in May 1985 through October 1986.
And it happened most recently in May 2003 through October 2004.
While it might be interesting to go back to those lunar eclipse dates and see what happened when the world ended then, but for now I’d rather pay attention to the potential impact of the Blood Moon on the action in the stock market.
In fact, that was one of the topics I discussed with Michael Yorba during my interview with him on Thursday. When I made that live appearance on his Traders Network radio show I was on my cell phone in an airport, so the audio quality is a little rough in places. Even so, I think you’ll find this two-part interview worth listening to.
The week began with a super-spectacular Solar Flare, sending huge amounts of energy from the Sun hurtling toward the Earth just as we were directing our attention to the Sun for hints about upcoming price action in the markets.
Although the big solar explosion was massive enough to impact geomagnetic activity on the Earth, it was really the Sun’s translation of the Jupiter/Uranus/Pluto T-Square that we were most concerned about.
As I suggested a few days ago, the solar aspects to Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto on April 1, 2, and 3 could define resistance that will come into play again around April 21-23, as transiting Mars converts the big T-Square alignment into a Grand Cross in the cardinal signs of the zodiac.
On Tuesday, April 1, with the Sun/Jupiter waxing square, the S&P hit a high of 1885.84.
On Wednesday, April 2, with the Sun/Uranus conjunction, the index topped out at 1893.17.
That price level got immediate reinforcement as resistance during the trading action today, with the intra-day high for the S&P hitting 1893.80.
While we could certainly see prices higher than those during the trading days just ahead of us, we’ll be keeping 1885 and 1893 in mind a little later in the month, when the T-Square lines up on April 20 and 21 and the Grand Cross comes into play during the days immediately after that.
“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing,” Mick Jagger once famously said, and his words came to mind earlier today when I was reviewing some information from NASA about Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs).
NASA defines PHAs as “space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.”
These aren’t tiny pebbles. 100 meters is roughly the height of a 27-storey building, and longer than an American football field. So if one of these space rocks were to come hurtling out of the sky and smash into the local neighborhood, it would be a memorable event!
But it wasn’t the size of these objects as much as the sheer number of them that got my attention, bringing Mick Jagger to mind.
According to the folks at NASA, as of today they are tracking 1,421 PHAs. You can get a complete list of them by CLICKING HERE.
What concerns me here is not so much the likelihood of a space rock suddenly crashing through my roof– that seems like a remote possibility at best.
What I’m actually worried about is the passion that some astrologers have about including every newly-discovered object in our solar system as a symbolic object in their horoscopes.
Since the invention of the telescope, astrology has moved far beyond the Seven Sacred Planets of the ancient world– the wandering bodies that can be sighted with the naked eye. By the time Pluto was discovered in 1930, astrology had begun reinventing itself to include more planets that the astronomers had observed, as well as the transneptunian factors postulated by Alfred Witte and his students.
In later decades the major asteroids– Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, and Juno– started showing up in horoscopes, and they were soon followed by more asteroids, planetoids, comets, and hypothetical objects. The result has been an incredible capacity for clutter in the horoscope wheel, as this chart for the New York Stock Exchange illustrates:
This NYSE horoscope includes positions for transneptunians, asteroids, comets, and stray dogs– 46 separate objects in all.
The obvious potential problem here is in not being able to see the forest for the trees. Being effective as astro-traders depends on maintaining our skill at pattern recognition, so that we can see the emerging trends in the market.
In short, whether we’re working with the natal horoscope for an individual or a First-Trade chart for a stock, too much information is not always a good thing, in spite of what Mick Jagger says.
By the way, if you think this chart looks cluttered with 46 factors included, can you imagine what it wil look like when we add 1,421 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids?
Jupiter is nearing its annual conjunction with the Sun, and it’s attracting a lot of attention in the process.
A Sun/Jupiter conjunction isn’t a terribly rare event by itself– what IS rare this time is the fact that the Sun/Jupiter alignment will take place vertically as well as horizontally.
In other words, what we’ll be getting next week will be the Sun eclipsing Jupiter. As seen from our perspective here on Earth, Jupiter will be passing behind the Sun, coming less than a quarter of a degree away from the exact center of the solar disk.
That’s an extremely precise alignment, so it’s attracted plenty of notice from the astronomers peering through telescopes, although it hasn’t gotten much extra attention from the astrological community. Thanks to NASA and its Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SoHO), we got this coronagraph picture earlier today, showing Jupiter approaching the Sun.
When this photo was taken, Jupiter was about three and a half degrees away from the Sun. The conjunction will be taking place in late Gemini on June 19, just two days before the Summer Solstice. It’s already impossible to see Jupiter’s approach with the naked eye, however, thanks to the power of the solar glare.
That’s why it’s so wonderful having the SoHO photos and other NASA materials available– they not only take us past the realm of our astrological charts; they also take us far beyond what we can observe by just staring up into the sky.
Astro-Trading & Financial Astrology Insights from Tim Bost