Astronomy | The Fourth of July is not the only light show this summer! Each year from mid-July to late August, the Earth passes through the stream of debris left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle, resulting in a glittering display known as the Perseid meteor shower. Meteors are pieces of space dust that enter and burn up in the earth’s atmosphere, creating blazing trails of light commonly called “shooting stars.” The Perseids is named after the constellation Perseus, home of the shower’s radial point, the area from which the meteors appear to radiate outward. Although this is the technical center of the shower, shooting stars can appear anywhere in the sky. The Perseids are a particularly popular celestial event worldwide, consistently producing shooting stars that are brighter and more frequent than other annual showers. We will have excellent viewing conditions this year with the peak days — Aug. 12 and 13 — falling shortly after the new moon on Aug. 8. The best time to view the Perseids is from midnight to dawn, at which time the waxing crescent moon will have already set, ensuring a dark sky to spy even the fainter meteors.
Astrology | On Aug. 2, the sun in Leo opposes Saturn in Aquarius. As the planet of mastery, Saturn is associated with the qualities of discipline, concentration, and structure. Like the rings of the planet suggest, Saturnian energy encourages us to tighten our belts, buckle down, and focus on our goals. When properly embraced, Saturn reveals the road to success, but does so by showing us the obstacles in our path. Sun-Saturn oppositions always occur when the planet is in retrograde motion. Astrologically speaking, retrogrades indicate an inward flow of the planetary energy. This implies that what holds us back from actualizing our goals is not simply the result of external conditions, but also how we choose to approach these hurdles. With Mercury, the planet of mind, conjunct the sun at this same time, this is a time to recognize how our internal self-talk shapes our attitude. Saturn opposed Mercury invites the question — are we mastering our minds or letting our minds be our masters? Leo season encourages us to show up in our full radiance, creativity, and self-expression. At opposition with the sun, Saturn is shining his brightest, and we can most fully absorb these lessons by standing under his light. Get outside to better see within. Spend time under this giant golden planet, watching as it rises during the sunset, culminates in the southern sky near midnight, and sets at sunrise.
~ 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.