In the Shadows

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Post by Jane Lewis

Autumn officially ends with the Sun’s ingress into Scorpio, celebrated at Samhain in Celtic tradition by the Festival of Death or Peace.  The soul lesson for the Sun in Scorpio is Peace through Love. Fixed water is very much about endings and beginnings, about the psychological (and sometimes physical) death of the old state ready for rebirth into the next higher one.  These days the death theme is marked mostly by spooky Halloween with all its ghosts and ghouls, skulls and skeletons jumping out at us from every dark recess.  With Scorpio we have the opportunity to open those dark closets we usually keep locked shut and face our fears by peering through the cobwebs and uncovering terrifying hidden secrets about death and the beyond.  However, Scorpio is not simply about things that go bump in the night, but about things hidden in deep darkness.  Things that, when revealed and brought up to the light of consciousness, have the power to change us forever.

Last month saw the 100 anniversary of the ‘discovery of the universe’ when on 6th October 1923 American astronomer Edwin Hubble first formally identified stars outside of the Milky Way.  Before then astronomers had debated whether stars were part of our own galaxy or part of others further away.  His discoveries about the brightness and variability of stars deepened our understanding of the universe which suddenly became hugely bigger than previously thought and brought the realisation that ours is but one of many billions of galaxies.   The scientific discovery must have a parallel in mankind’s psychic and spiritual development.

Edwin Hubble Horoscope

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Hubble’s horoscope shows a strong third house stellium with Uranus, planet of astronomy, on its cusp and the Lights, Mercury and Venus all there in Scorpio.  His Sun is in the very last degree on the IC opposition Neptune and Pluto in the tenth, and opposite the apex of the yod pattern comprising Moon, south node and Neptune.   Sun rulers Mars and Pluto are very strong, as are chart ruler Mercury and Saturn which is on his Virgo ascendant. This shows his love of astronomy and dedication to researching the subject, with destiny pointing its finger towards the vast ocean of space and the far-reaching impact his discovery would have on mankind.  His findings changed the scientific view of the universe and paved the way for future astronomers, and on 20th April 1990 he was memorialised when the Hubble Space Telescope was named after him.

To his credit, during his lifetime he always gave due recognition to the fact that his discovery would not have been possible had it not been for the ground-breaking work of Henrietta Leavitt (born 4th July 1868) who worked as part of a team of lady human computers at the Harvard College Observatory.  It was her painstaking work measuring photographic plates to catalogue the positions and brightness of stars that made it possible for Hubble to make his own discoveries.  Her work provided astronomers with the first standard candle that made it possible to measure the distance of other galaxies up to 20 million light years away. Leavitt’s horoscope (time unknown) reveals a very close Sun-Uranus conjunction which is zodiacally conjunct stars Sirius and Canopus.  Saturn is in the last degree of Scorpio exactly conjunct Hubble’s Sun, showing how his fame and reputation was founded on the hard-work she had put into her research.

A bi-wheel chart showing Leavitt’s horoscope outside the official launch chart of the Hubble Telescope is especially interesting as her Cancer stellium of Mercury, Sun-Uranus-Canopus sit on the launch ascendant and her Jupiter-Neptune conjunction on its midheaven.

Bi-wheel Hubble Telescope and Henrietta Leavitt

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Canopus, ‘the Pathfinder’, is the brightest star in the keel of the Argo constellation, the Ship, reminding us of the spaceships of NASA which sail the wide-open oceans of space and contains all the promise of human exploration and adventure.  Evidently, Henrietta Leavitt (and her lady human computer co-workers) stood in the shadows behind these momentous discoveries of astronomy but nevertheless held a bright torch that shone a great light for others to follow along the path.