by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The 2012 Orionid Meteor Shower

 Comet Bradfield from Cactus Flats in northeast Colorado, just before sunrise
(photo credit: the Starmom, May 2004)

Since the dawn of time, humans have watched night skies. We seem to take untold delight in spotting the streak of a meteor, as if its transient beauty somehow renews the innocence of childlike pleasures.

And maybe that’s what meteors are really all about. 

Certainly astrologically, these ‘dapplings of light’ are like the sparking of ideas and moments of sparkling pleasure we each so treasure, from wherever they may come.

This year’s Orionid meteor shower will be seen on October 20th and 21st. That it falls under the auspices of a Sun in late Libra and just as Venus moves into Virgo’s third decan may indicate glimmerings of hope. Or maybe a sense that all our hard (Venus in Virgo) efforts are finally going to (Sun in late Libra) meet with approval.

Or maybe just get finished. So many of us have been struggling with too much to (Venus in Virgo) to do and a disquieting feeling that what we’re doing (Venus/Sun) isn’t paying off. Not at least the way we might have wanted it to.

But with asteroid Bali – representing the pleasures of ‘paradise’ – having just gone direct, maybe…just maybe we’re going to find our way. Maybe all we need is a sprinkling of light, a bit of joy when all else seems dark to get us all through.

That the Moon will be in Capricorn during these days cautions against haste. Yet despite feelings of needing to be practical, maybe we can afford a moment of softening hardened hearts?

Goodness knows we all need it.

Against this, we have the reminder that the Orionids exist because of Comet Halley, probably our solar systems most famous comet – at least with Earthlings!
And fame does seem to be the operative word here. Because the orbit of comet Halley pretty much draws a metaphysical ‘loop’ between  Neptune and Venus, especially considering the fact that 2012 finds these two planets are in opposing signs the pluses and minuses of notoriety and idealization stand out here. Which means some among us will find their high flying ideals being plunged into the very cold water of reality about now.

If you want to read all the details, HERE is the link to the nitty-gritty blog on Comet Halley.

But what seems important to note here is how this Orionid shower – as spectacular as any meteor shower is if you can get to a place dark (and comfortable) enough – that it’s part two of Comet Halley, 2012 Edition.

That’s right…Earth passes through the floating tail left in Halley’s passage twice during its orbit around the Sun.

Maybe that’s why Halley is such a famous comet among humans? Metaphysically that could be. If so, it would also speak to ‘frequency of experience’ as a molding force in human experience.

I’m sure advertisers will agree with that thought. As will (interestingly enough) psychologists, seeing as they use exactly this sort of ‘repetition’ to get some clients past aversions and fears in a process known as ‘aversion therapy.'

In Comet Halley’s case, its relationship with Earth is shaped by Halley’s orbit.

 The orbit of comet 1P, otherwise known as Halley's Comet
(diagram courtesy of the JLP Small Body Database)

Because Halley crosses Earth’s orbit around the Sun twice in two very different moments, the effects have come to be known by different names. The May shower is the Eta Aquarids; the October meteor shower is the Orionid.

Two things arise from this fact. One, and maybe the most important to us as individuals, is that this ties events of May 2012 (just before Venus went retrograde and our experience of a Solar Eclipse at 0 Gemini) to present-day circumstances, problems, challenges, events, victories and realities.

The other thing worth giving a thought to is that this describes a conceptual and metaphysical tie between Orion and Aquarius.

How it would do that (and what that means) is a whole other facet of spiritual and astronomical mechanics having to do with what things look like…and whether that’s the truth.

Allow me to explain…meteor showers are named for where the comet which creates them (in this case, comet 1P, otherwise known as Comet Halley) ‘comes from.’

Or, to be more honest about it, where they appear to come from. That point – the ‘radiant’ point, gets cited, and from that comes the name of the meteor shower. So here’s how it works…when Earth moves through the flowing remnants of Halley’s tail during October, astronomers look for the source (Halley) and its orbit – because of where Earth is on its orbit – appears to come from Orion. Similarly, during May, we look to the sky, do the calculations and Halley appears to ‘come from’ right near Eta Aquarii, one of constellation Aquarius’ brightest stars.

But life is a whole. Life is one thing, not ‘this’ and ‘that’ experience ‘now’ and ‘then.’ The cumulative experience of life is life. So for those of us who think that all Which Is matters, this in some ways ties the idea of Libra/Scorpio to Aquarius.

Libra/Scorpio? Yes, well...the Orionid shower does often overlap the change of signs from Libra to Scorpio. It sort of depends on where we are in our Leap Year cycle.

(Don’t get me started on leap years!)

But however you see it, this does make astrological sense. After all, Libra and Scorpio are about relating to others (and who we relate to either by choice, need or inclination) where Aquarius is about what we get out of life (and how comfortable we are with and in this life) depending on our ability and willingness to fit in, contribute, appreciate others and be appreciated in turn (both for who we innately are and what we earn through what we do).

Because Libra does its relating mentally (airily, in theory and through ideas) and Scorpio does it through all means and methods which evoke, provoke and test our emotions, values and sense of self worth there is, in fact, something of an ‘easier’ time expected here simply because Aquarius is also an air sign.

It’s the idea of the thing, you see.

And yet…that can be exactly what comes back to haunt (or even bite) us now. People love to ballyhoo trines like they’re something magically pleasant, but all a trine says is that things are ‘more automatic.’ So if you’re in the midst of bad times, that can mean that more bad shows up more easily than good, which takes some doing to achieve.

Likewise, trines in the natal chart can indicate great abilities…or simply bad habits we find terribly hard to break.

There’s another thing which occurs to me here…namely that in having two totally “different” meteor showers which “appear” to come from different places in the sky, Halley is indeed living up to its own cycle – that between Neptune and Venus. Those who know even a little astrology probably can easily envision this pair in combination as idyllic love and blissful enjoyment.

It takes a little more soul searching to realize that heartbreaks, huge financial and personal losses come through these very same symbolic mechanisms.

A mosaic overlay of the central section of the Orion Nebula
(photo credit: ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Parnal Observatory, 2001)

The lesson here is that its wonderful to love, but always important to be realistic enough to know the difference between the vision of beauty and the fact that life, by its very nature, is very seldom – if ever – perfect.

And that, if all things happen for a reason and all things are what they should be in any given moment because there are things we can only learn through passing through the deepest darkness so that we can appreciate the beauty of a star…

…or the beauty of accepting ourselves as we are, or others as they are - that in that moment and essence we may have indeed discovered the path to perfection here on Earth.

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