Sun-Psyche — and a short period comet outburst

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Short-period comet 168/P, currently very close to the Sun. It was discovered by American astronomer Carl W. Hergenrother, who first noted the comet using the facilities of the Catalina Sky Survey in 1998 (its previous visit was in 2005). 168/P is now 65.5 million km away from Earth. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.

Note to Readers: Occasionally I write a blog post that seems to describe the moment. A version of this appeared on yesterday’s Daily Astrology & Adventure. — efc

Dear Friend and Reader:

This week the Sun is in a long conjunction with Psyche, one of the top 10 most massive asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter. First noted way back in 1852, it was the 16th asteroid ever discovered, hence it’s properly called (16) Psyche.

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Vashon ferry. Photo by Eric Francis.

Thematically, it’s also one of the most interesting, and describes much of our spiritual condition at this point in history: the struggle for soul contact, having faith in oneself, or even acknowledging one’s own existence. As a point of background remember that the Sun-Psyche conjunction happens in Libra, so there will be a relationship focus.

Said in a more complex way, Psyche is the state of mind which might lead you to believe that you’re psychologically injured and that there is no way out. (It also relates to head injuries.) We have a lot of this going around lately — for example, many people carry a psychiatric diagnosis, mainly as a prerequisite for being prescribed some form of medication.

A good few people have taken this path believing that they don’t really have a viable option; we need to get through the day, keeping above water. The obvious question, though, involves the long-term healing prospects. Too often, meds are given outside the context of therapy, and come with the idea that the person will need them for life. Is this really true? Have you considered your options? What are your medium and long-range plans? If you’re experiencing depression or anxiety, at a certain point you will actually have to address the underlying causes. The question Psyche is asking is whether you believe that’s possible.

More often, Psyche can represent the feeling of being unable to connect with the deeper part of yourself, or struggling for faith in yourself. This often manifests in relationships as choosing people who somehow reflect that lack of faith, who seem psychologically or spiritually injured, or where there is a ‘locked-in’ experience of codependency in the relationship.

This leads to a question: what do you identify with in others? Their creativity? Their ability to nourish you? Or their sense of wounding? The answer to that will give you a clue where you are, in relationship to Psyche. An asteroid called Hebe is also in the aspect (a few degrees away, in mid-Libra), which emphasizes the questions of codependency, and the role of alcohol and meds in the relationship. Also, consider any situation that is triangular in nature (many relationships are). Who is the ‘third person’ and what is their role?

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Sunset over Vashon. Photo by Eric Francis.

Mercury and Saturn have recently ingressed (entered) Scorpio, which brings up the theme of secrets. Saturn in Scorpio, among other things, is a long investigation into the secrets you keep and why you keep them. It’s about the role of concealing and revealing information within relationships, and the associated theme of power. Saturn is in an exact trine to Neptune.

There’s a little joke in here — with such strong contact between Scorpio and Pisces, with Neptune directly involved, you can safely assume that everyone has access to any information they need. There comes a point in spiritual development where it’s suddenly obvious that secrecy not only doesn’t work — it doesn’t exist, except as a little mind game.

If you’re looking for a path to healing in the midst of all this, Mercury in Scorpio is trine Chiron in Pisces. There is a way to have the conversation, if your commitment is to healing and reality.

That is one option; there are others. There’s one last aspect afoot — Mars is currently in an exact square to Neptune. Here’s another aspect that pushes the boundaries of integrity. There can also be a self-destructive tendency with a Mars-Neptune square. It has an aggressive quality, so beware of someone pushing an agenda onto you. Note the sensation that ‘something doesn’t feel right’ and when in doubt, delay. The truth WILL come out, and you’ll see it if you want to. Notice when you’re doubting yourself or your judgment. Really — pay attention to that one.

As for the Comet

In the midst of much other interesting astrology, we have a comet on the radar. I don’t have a direct interpretation — except for one word: emphasis. It reached its closest point to the Sun about 8 days ago and is now in full bloom — the heat of the Sun melts off a bit of the comet, making it seem large and bright.

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Anthony Ayiomamitis, our resident astro-photographer, writes:

“A very pleasant surprise this week with the periodic comet 168/P Hergenrother in Pegasus. More specifically, this periodic comet, which returns to the inner solar system every 6.923 years, was at perihelion a few days ago (Oct. 1, 2012) and is now in outburst (post-perihelion). This comet has a sizable nucleus and is quite bright with a magnitude just over magnitude 10.

“The attached animation and time series show the comet moving through the Great Square of Pegasus (and heading north). Seventy-four one-minute exposures were captured over 90 minutes (accounting for download times) with a sub-selection used to construct the two attachments with an interval of seven minutes between frames.

“This periodic comet reaches perihelion at 1.426 AU while aphelion is at 5.839 AU. The comet was discovered and is named after American astronomer Carl W. Hergenrother who first noted the comet using the facilities of the Catalina Sky Survey in 1998 (the previous visit was in 2005). The comet is currently at 65.5 million km away from Earth.” [Learn more at this link.]


Attention those with Libra Sun or Libra rising (and those who love them): the 2012 Libra Birthday Reading is still available, and makes a great gift (for a loved one or yourself!). Please use this link to order.

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