Closely confined

There are two more sky events for Wednesday, though unlike tonight’s occultation of Aldebaran they are for mind rather than eye. They come close together, and that’s what’s interesting about them. At 8 hours Universal Time (3 AM in eastern North America) the Sun enters Capricornus, and at 15 UT it enters the sign Aquarius.

This coincidence between the two kinds of “Sun enters” event is the closest in the year. The reason why the Sun is said to be in a certain astrological “sign” when its actual position against the background stars is different is explained in the “Sun, Earth, and Seasons” section of the Astronomical Calendar, and also here, back in September, when I tried several variations for my diagram of these “sliding blocks of time.”

I thought of playing more freely with the colors:


Watery Aquarius presumably has to be a shade of blue, Leo tawny, Taurus claims red; you may have better suggestions.

I also made the program save me some subtracting by giving the intervals of time between the events. The coincidence on Jan. 20 is only 0.322 of a day; the next shortest is at June 20/21, when the Sun will enter the sign Cancer and, 0.408 day later, the actual constellation Gemini. You can see the almost straight lines across the diagram at these dates.

Someone with interesting ideas about the constellations is Michael Garcia. He has written to me about, for instance, the setting of Aquarius as Leo rises and their possible connection with the Hebrew legend of the birth of Jacob on the heels of Esau. Another suggestion of his is that the cockleshell, symbol of the bringing of the body of St. James (Jacob) to a distant shore, has to do with the rising of Venus; and anyone who has seen Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” will be ready to give thought to this.

Botticelli, "The Birth of Venus"

Michael has to write in longhand because he is in prison. He will be able to use email after he is out in 2017. He has told me that what he has a lot of is time to think, and “how good it feels for an inmate to receive letters from real people.” I don’t know what he is in for, but he says “You may ask anything about me or my personal life, my case, and/or my daily life and/or my life before I “fell.”.. Please feel free to post my address on your web page. I would love to correspond with someone with common interests. I am 49 years old, single, Native American, and enjoy long walks in the yard and a good book.” His address is Michael Garcia, G-63946, P.O. Box 705, Soledad, CA 93960-0705.


7 thoughts on “Closely confined”

  1. thanks for the explanations. trying to get away of the confusion… zodiac signs and constellations.

    sorry for the pal in prison. praying you get out (reformed) soon to enjoy your passion.

  2. I do have suggestions for the colors; how about a sort of rainbow? Starting with tawny for Leo, I use a golden yellow ochre, more exactly. Then from there; Virgo is orange, Libra, a salmon color, Scorpio is red ( autumn colors for autumn) Sagittarius, purple, Capricorn would be black as in the north it is darkest then, Aquarius a dark blue, Pisces turquoise, Aries forest green, Taurus, spring green, Gemini, light yellow, Cancer white.

    1. Good alternative plan, alternative to what might be called the color-by-character scheme: graded color by seasons (partly vegetation, partly sunniness). I did something similar, less conspicuous, in the month names at top left of the month pages in “To Know the Stars”.) But the successive boxes do have to contrast with one another. If you have used your seasonal set of colors somewhere, you might tell us your percentages of cyan-magenta-yellow-black, or of red-green-blue.

      1. I painted a set of Tarot cards and used these colors to represent the signs, and the passage of the sun through the ecliptic on several of the images…. I used these colors on the back of the cards and on the Ace of Wands, which I know is up on my website; I also used those colors on The Sun, the Chariot, The World, The Wheel of Fortune…. Several others. I don’t have the colors in rgb or cmyk, I paint with a brush and paints!

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