Astronomy | Not every point of interest in the sky is a celestial body. Each eclipse is an introduction to the lunar nodes — the two points where the orbital planes of the Earth and the moon intersect. It is at these two points where the sun, moon, and Earth are in the crucial alignment required for eclipses to occur. The ancient Hindus envisioned the nodes as Rahu and Ketu, the dragon’s head and tail. The poetry of this name becomes apparent when we observe the moon in relation to its nodes. Because the moon orbits the earth on a different plane than the Earth revolves around the sun (the ecliptic), its path across our sky appears to sidewind, following the shape of a sine wave with the ecliptic as the midline. The “dragon’s head” refers to the place where the moon crosses the ecliptic moving northward, while diametrically opposed is the “dragon’s tail,” where the moon crosses southward. Thus, the path of the moon undulates like a sinuous reptile, snaking to and fro across our sky each month. The moon crosses the north node on the evening of Jan. 12, reaching its northernmost point approximately a week later, on Jan. 20, then curving southward to intersect the south node on the 26th. It reaches its southernmost arc on Feb. 1, before turning northward once again to complete one nodal cycle on Feb. 8.
Astrology | We are in the midst of Venus retrograde, a celestial event that happens once every 18 months. From its breathtaking evening display, Venus disappeared into the light of the sun, also known as her descent into “the Underworld,” passing through seven gates along her way, discarding a veil at each doorway. Venus originally stationed retrograde on Dec. 19, while conjunct with Pluto, the mythic ruler of the Underworld. Having formed three conjunctions with the planet already, she will do so once again in March after stationing direct. These two energies illuminate power dynamics in relationships — division of resources, controlling tendencies, and manipulative behaviors. But it also reveals our unspoken desires, and how our unhealthy compulsions are the result of suppressing our passion. In the structured sign of Capricorn, we have an opportunity to reengineer this internal infrastructure, to dismantle the dam of shame, and open a natural flow of instinctual comprehension and coherence. Instead of being embarrassed by our erotic power, we can be empowered by it, for it is the pulse of life and creation itself. As Venus returns now as the Morning Star, it is the dawn of a new day.
~ Dawn Andreoni is a yoga teacher and astrologer living on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. You can find more about her offerings at celestialdawnastrology.com or follow her at facebook.com/astronotions.