by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Shift of Solar Magnetism

This NASA-ESA-SOHO Observatory shows the Sun's magnetic flip already
in process, moving from the Sun's "north" pole down towards it's south pole.
(photo credit: NASA, ESA, SOHO, August 2013)

NASA put out a bulletin the other day on the fact that the Sun’s magnetic polarity is about to reverse.
Here’s a link to the full story in text…

…or for those who prefer the visual version, here’s a link to the YouTube version of same.

(It's the exact same information, just formatted in one place as text and in the other as a voice-over with pictures.)

Before you get all worried about this, according to NASA and scientists who study such things, this reversal happens about every eleven years. Not that the Sun uses any Earth-made calendar, mind you.

But that general expanse of time – eleven years – is an interesting reference, seeing as Jupiter (the planet which had it been just a smidge bigger would have also been a star) takes 11.86 years to complete one orbit around our Sun.

 The above chart (generated by the Wilcox Solar Observatory) shows the
timing of the Sun's magnetism flips starting in 1976

The chart above is a bit deceptive in that it was evidently run starting with a January 1st date and ending with a December 31st date with each line along the bottom referring to a three year interval. So from this, it’s a little hard to get the exact dates of pole reversals…but in general, considering NASA is telling us that the next field reversal is due in three to four months (call that November-December on our watch), to date – just using the 11 year marker - these reversals would have been  during 1980, 1991, 2002 and 2013.

And just in case you’re wondering (and not inclined to read or watch any of the NASA material) the study of our Sun’s polarity only goes back to 1976 – which in astrological terms grounds this whole study in the Pluto in Libra / Gen X period…a fact I mention seeing as the next couple of posts scheduled here at the blog concern Plutonic generations.

Interesting also is the fact that at the time these solar studies started, Uranus was at the spot Saturn is now – which is in itself an interesting comment on the famous Mayan ‘wheels within wheels’ concept on how everything and every cycle and the workings of time and manifestation…how they’re all seamlessly interlocked.

Just as a preliminary conceptualization here, I looked back to the positions of Jupiter for the years of past flips. (And yes, I’m going to look for exact dates when I get a bit of time.) In 1980, Jupiter was in Virgo and by November moved into Libra. In 1991, Jupiter started out in Leo, and by the end of the Earthly calendar year moved on into Virgo. 2002 had Jupiter starting out in Cancer and ending up in Leo…and for those who get the ‘sign drift’ here, it isn’t surprising to know that 2013 started out with Jupiter in Gemini, a position which has now evolved into Jupiter in Cancer.

This is plainly another form of the ‘counter-spin’ portion of ‘spin/counter-spin’ motion which typifies the functioning of matter at the atomic (particularly electron) level, and personally I wouldn’t be surprised to hear (in time) that there is something about the Jupiter-Sun mass-gravity-magnetism which helps keep our solar system duly organized and functioning as it does.

I’ll also guess – from very far out in the field (granted) that whatever this effect is, it accounts for holding the mass of rubble (important rubble, but rubble nonetheless) which is the asteroid belt where it is. It may even account for why the asteroid belt even exists.

Astrologically, spin-counter spin is all about how the daily rotation of the Earth as an object in space…a space which remains relatively static with regards to motion (taken on a daily basis, give or take the Moon) causes the wheel of the horoscope to appear to rotate.

And as the Earth turns, effectively ‘pushing’ zodiac degrees in a clockwise motion around the horoscope wheel, that is why on any given day the Sun “rises” at the eastern horizon - the Ascendant. And it’s why that turning of the Earth causes planets (which are in motion around the Sun independent of Earth) to appear to over time move in a counter-clockwise motion through the chart.

Spin, counter-spin. Inhale, exhale. Tides flow, tides ebb.

Jupiter’s cycling through this chart seems to speak to yet another form of metaphysical ‘bringing things home’ to us, rather as the Lunar Nodes do. With the nodes being a function of Earth’s own satellite Moon around its planet, it’s not too hard to understand why the nodes tend to picture our ‘world’ – our relationships with others and our relationships with society. That the nodes also cycle backwards has always struck me as a commentary on how what we do to grow (spin) is at least in part ‘responded to’ by life either granting rewards, posing new challenges or bringing about those eventual moments of downfall we tend to call ‘karma.’ That’s the ‘counter-spin.’ We do, we get what we create by doing: cause-effect…what you put out comes back to you…and for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.

There is no question but that there’s some form of spin-counterspin within each sign plus within each pair of signs – the polarity.

As for the current solar ‘flip,’ this would seem to be an emphasis on our coming either to ‘magnetic zero’ or into balance where we can make changes which have to do in particular with Jupiterian increased understandings of all things Cancer – whether that’s our inner psyche, our personal histories, our culture, our home life, our families…whatever your Cancerian issues are.

It’s another example of the notices we are getting from the solar system (and universe) around us that indeed life is changing. More specifically, our lives are changing and they’re changing – at least in part – by our recognizing who we are. And what our potentials are.

That this news comes out as Jupiter is coming to an exact opposition with Pluto’s position in Capricorn (with Pluto retrograde) speaks to a growth of internal understandings of things and about who we are, and the ‘responding shift’ in our comprehension of who we are able to be or become.

It doesn’t guarantee we’ll do anything about it, no. But the understanding is ‘coming upon us.’

NASA and the scientists at California’s Wilcox Solar Observatory (who are doing this work studying our Sun) say this solar ‘flip’ will occur in the next three to four months – towards the end of 2013. Considering what is happening between now and then, as an astrologer I would nominate a couple of ‘influx’ points as this awareness…or our need to become more aware…is going to come upon us.

Actually, one just started. It would be clocked by the ‘maturing’ of the 13 Capricorn Solar Eclipse which occurred back on January 4, 2011. If this eclipse hit your chart you probably remember it as events which disrupted your life and sense of ‘structure’ during November and December of 2010.

There will be a post on all of these ‘eclipse matters’ coming up at the first of next month, which would be the ‘official’ entering of the ‘breaking down’ period in advance of this November’s Solar Eclipse at 11 Scorpio. In the meantime, if you felt the energy start to fluctuate a couple of days ago (actually just one short day before NASA sent out this missive), this would be the start of a process which will have it’s first big peak at the eclipse (November 3rd) and another whenever it is that the Sun finally completes its process of magnetic reversal.

Yes, it’s already begun. And if you’re feeling like there are areas of your life – especially as that pertains to a new understanding of your mentality or how Gemini mentality works in Jupiter-Cancerian terms, you understand something about the enormity of the push life is giving not just you but ALL of us when it comes to growing past our old limitations, our old definitions and beyond our old boundaries, choices and sense of personal being.

There's a reason why the number '11' has always been known as a 'bridge number.' Astrologically associated with the duration of Jupiter's orbit, eleven is all about 'bridging' the gap between what we know now and what we will understand come tomorrow.

It's about our relationship between today and all those tomorrows, just as Saturn is always and eternally about what we've built, what we've already earned and the challenge to own the responsibility we have to be who we are. Known widely as Jupiter's 'partner' in the rise and fall of societies, the Jupiter-Saturn process is that of growth and restabilization, of letting go of what doesn't work so that we can grow and how (unfortunately) so many of us restrict ourselves - and thus our ability to grow - through fear, through grief, through a refusal to deal with things on the level of Saturn reality, preferring Jupiter's hugeness of scope as our panacea for dealing with that reality.  

After we enter the ‘eclipse zone’ on September 3rd will come Pluto’s September 20th station. The current Jupiter-Pluto opposition is difficult to handle; we’re all currently growing at a rate which is almost beyond our ability to handle…process…make good on.

Right now it’s internal. But once Pluto goes direct on September 20th, we can either use what we’re learning – putting our growth to work by investing in real time, real life, real ‘terms of engagement’ which grow our life, our structures, our goals, our worldly vision and the idea of who we are in this life (who others think of us as).

This is a test. On one end of the test is what we’re comfortable being…on the other is a testing maturation of our willingness to be more of who we really are, regardless of what that means.

It’s sort of like ‘coming out’ - to ourselves, yes.

November 3rd is the actual solar eclipse. And just for the record (since we're having this conversation), this eclipse is going to be colored by Saturn, which is currently in Scorpio. So as usual, we will encounter all the 'memorable shifts’ having to do with the eclipse process prior to the eclipse itself. And a lot of us are going to make huge and hard efforts while others of us are going to wall ourselves off. (You may have already noticed this in various combinations as people, companies and nations instinctively get into this eclipse-Saturn mode).

With this period being marked as it is, it’s probable that we can expect the between-now-and-November period to be one which beats the band. The temptation (as always) is to project. To think that someone else is in charge of what becomes of us or to try to ‘protect’ ourselves from those who are different who in actuality we have drawn into our world because we need to understand that sort of ‘difference’ in ourselves.

And yes, our ability to live differently and to think about things differently and maybe even to make a different difference.

Successful relationships – whether that’s between ourselves and others, ourselves and our world or our Self and our life or our jobs or our finances - it all has to do with owning our own ‘stuff’ and using that process, inclusive of all which it attracts to us, as a means for personal growth. The most powerful and long-lasting of relationships and experiences are always interactive, and that particular quality is being emphasized this year by the Cancer/Capricorn (Jupiter/Pluto) opposition.

Our Changing Sun (photo credit: NASA)

With that said, given the current Taurus/Scorpio solar eclipse series, life is also particularly trying. The Taurus-Scorpio polarity is always about needing to accept risks on an interactive level which force us to look at ourselves.

Again, it’s not about others…it’s about who others make us feel ourselves being. Or not being. The flip of the Sun’s magnetic axis would seem to indicate that we are in for a ‘flip’ in life (Sun) directions. And since this is the Sun we’re talking about, it’s hardly a matter of total choice. Since the Sun is obviously part of the solar eclipse image, we are being slowly but steadily ‘unmasked’ not so that we can hurt or have hard times, but so that we can let go of things which aren’t working for us so that we can hopefully grow into a new and sunnier and more potently powerful auric skin.


  1. Yes, there actually is "something about the Jupiter-Sun mass-gravity-magnetism which helps keep our solar system duly organized and functioning." What you are talking about is known as the "n-body problem" and dates back to Kepler and Newton. The n-body problem refers to solving the orbital mechanics of n objects in orbit around another object. It can be solved for n=2, the "two body problem," but is generally unsolved for n=3.

    The problem here is that while the Sun is the largest gravitational point in the Solar System, each planet also exerts a gravitational pull on every other planet. So for example, Jupiter exerts a pull back on the Sun, just as the Sun pulls on Jupiter with enough force to keep it in orbit. So Jupiter alone can make the Sun wobble back and forth, they are conjoined in orbit around a common "barycenter" point that is proportional to both their masses. Oh hell this is getting mathematically complex.

    You ought to look at the wikipedia article "Stability of the Solar System." The article in itself is actually rather poor, but it briefly touches on some of the math involved in stable planetary orbits, in the section "Resonance." There are certain orbital distances from the sun that cannot have stable orbits since Jupiter's gravity will pull any object out of that orbit. Of course that's a vast simplification, but it is clear there are certain distances from the Sun that have stable orbits, and certain integer ratios of orbits that just can't be a stable orbital distance. It is rather odd, in that the most orderly orbital positions are unfavorable, and the gravitational physics favors instability. You can observe this somewhat in Saturn's rings. The moons of Saturn are in resonance with the planet, which causes gaps in the rings, where the moons' gravitation pulls the particles out to another orbit.

    There is so much cool mathematics around this subject, but it is too complex to deal with in the space of this brief comment field. But the list of great minds goes on and on, giving their names to attempts at solving the problem. Kepler Orbits, Euler's Three Body Problem, the Jacobi Integral, Legendre polynomials, Laplace's coefficients of gravitational potential, the list goes on and on. Basically the entire history of science and mathematics was driven by men looking at the motion of the planets and trying to figure it out. And this continues on until today, as you have noted from the NASA research.

    1. Hi, Charles!

      You get my Hero of the Day award. Resonance - on the whole - fascinates me, as I'm sure everybody who reads this blog knows by now, what with Neptune's and the Plutinos (which sounds a bit like a 1950s singing group). I've read a bit on Jovian resonance - most of it being about Jupiter's participation in the control of centaur and damocledian-class objects. And yes, it would seem to be pretty obvious that the Jupiter-Sun connective organizes the inner solar system, though I don't think I've seen anything which specifically speaks to the asteroid belt AS the asteroid other words, why that 'district' or "rung" in our solar system is made up of what astrologer Marion March loved to call "rubble." (Which one day I gracelessly added to by asking her if the first name of that rubble was Barney.)

      To your point on instability of orbits and the rings of Saturn, I think I read something about that with regards to why some of the rings are "braided," to use the term cited.

      Since everything in the end can be translated into numbers - that being in the final analysis why astrology works - I find myself thinking through this flip of solar magnetism schedule on one level as a 'time/era defining mechanism' which separates sub-sets of nativities and social evolutionary processes and on the other as a shift of energetic dynamics in real time, meaning as a contributor to all else going on in the moment.

      As for all the cool math...I'm there. Math has always been one of my fascinations and bedrock references. Certainly when we're in doubt in the metaphysical world going back to Systems Theory (numeric sequence interpretation) provides a clarifying factor which is ultimately hugely useful.

      Thanks for chiming in - I love this stuff!


    2. Yeah, the math starts to get really fascinating once you get to the level of Calculus, which is all Newton and Newtonian Physics. It's another level of abstraction that can unite forces that seem unconnected. And Newton was rather mystical in a lot of ways.

      I recall seeing something about how the braiding of Saturn's rings were unpredictable 2nd order effects of the gravitation of the moons. The influences are too difficult to calculate with so many moons, but in a sense, the rings themselves are a massive calculator of those influences, we can watch them and see the incalculable results of those influences.

      And that's one of my oddball theories in astrology. I have enough problems with interpreting the influences of the basic luminaries, let alone the TNOs, Centaurs, etc. So I want a system that interprets the planetary moons, before we get to those TNOs etc. After all, we do interpret Earth's moon, we should probably account for the moons of nearby planets before we start scouring the Kuiper Belt for other bodies.

    3. I'm absolutely with you on wanting software which will allow me to deal with planetary moons. Once upon a time...around the era of Windows as an upgrade out of DOS, I recall...there was a program which allowed us to switch perspectives and go 'planet-centric' - in other words, view the zodiac as if you were ON Saturn or Mars or wherever. These days there's merely geocentric and heliocentric..but I think that other theory was on a really interesting trajectory.

      What I have thought to do is use planetary nodes as at least a rudimentary signal of additional planetary information...and although astro-software hasn't kept up with the idea that a planet with multiple moons would have multiple sets of nodes, it's something. If you use Solar Fire, look under 'reports' for any given chart and look at the planetary node listing there. By thinking about how they function in the chart against the placements of the 'parent planet' and others (and fixed stars and such) you can get an interesting 'take' on the 'flavorings' and focus of planets which goes beyond their position in degrees and aspects to other planets.

      I love your concept of the rings as indicators of Saturn's 'activity' as well. What I don't know of is any 'real time' way to keep up on that...which is cause to sulk, obviously!

      Should we put the matter of planetary moons as more important than Kuiper Belt objects? That, I'm not sure of. After all, taking Eris just as an example, we're talking about an object bigger than Pluto - and who's going to toss out the idea of Pluto?

      The LOOKING for planetary moons is being done - guys like Mike Brown at Caltech are all about that stuff. The problem is getting the folks who build astrological software to program in the new bodies and figure ways which will allow us to access their positions with some semblance of ease.

      As for learning to synthesize the basics, I will paraphrase a friend of mine who said "it's only the first 20,000 times you do it which is hard." In astrology there really is no substitute for data, by which I mean personal data and the doing it over and over and seeing what happens and checking your work to see why you did or didn't understand something. In my work, using TNOs and centaurs has immeasurably assisted with understanding the positive/negative of things and the nuances of how they'll work...but yes, that's just me. As someone who spent the latter part of their formal schooling delighting in those calculus problems where one equation would take me two happy hours of puttering through to calculate, I'm into nuance. But then, I'm also a writer working on finishing the edit/proofing of a 1200 page epic fantasy which people who know me in that quadrant of life say 'how the heck did you write that monster?' to which I answer 'one page at a time.'

      I tend to think my Scorpio Moon/Saturn with Saturn exalted by being in 7 shows up exactly why I have the patience required to do such things - and to write this blog as well. But by now I've learned that such heavy duty work is how I learn I just keep doing them. We are who we are who we are, right?


    4. Well that's the first practical theory I've heard to deal with planetary moons. It's an amazing idea, I never thought of doing, say, Mars-centric and then calculating nodes of Deimos, Phobos and their nodes. Oh I'm all into the orbital mechanics of the moon nodes, but the interpretation is still beyond my grasp. NASA publishes immense amounts of data on planetary moons and I'm sure there is an ephemeris for each moon, I could calculate it manually, ifI had to. But for now I'd just be happy finding a nice Heliocentric astro software.

      Oh.. I just realized, if you want to keep an eye on Saturn's activity in real time (or near real time) check out the NASA Cassini probe. It's live in orbit, around Saturn and just sent back a pick of Earth and the Moon as viewed from Saturn. Now we're getting Saturn-centric!

      I also recommend as the definitive site for watching solar activity. They have done some incredible things. At one point, they had some astronomers calculate light transmitted through the Sun itself, and to their surprise, they could see sunspots on the far side of the Sun, and predict accurately when they would become visible on the near side facing earth.I was impressed with that trick..

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    6. Hey, Charles...!

      Ah yes...NASA's Cassini pages - I know them well. Cassini has probably prompted more gawking on my part than anything else apart from (well, let's be honest...) Hubble and Chandra. The famous photo "In the Shadow of Saturn" is often on my desktop. Like many, I'm fascinated by Saturn. I think it was about the time that I read "about the time you were standing on the surface of Saturn you'd be under it (the surface)" I was hooked.

      And yes - isn't Space Weather fun? I'm on their mailing list - I'm guessing you are too. There's also PSRD ( ...they're connected with the Keck Telescope team on the Big Island. And of course, there's Mike Brown's Planets (Google-able under that name). Mike isn't as techy as others, but I rather enjoy hearing the tales of a guy actually doing this work. He's also an invaluable resource if you get stuck for some esoteric question like the rate of movement for the Galactic Center and if it's constant or not. (Yes, I emailed him when I was working on Mayan Calendar calculations and he got right back to me with the calc numbers. You can't say cooler than that!)

      About heliocentric astrology...I don't know what program you're using, but in Solar fire there is either the 'cheap and dirty' method of adding Earth to your object selection in Solar Fire...OR...when you cast a new chart you can choose the 'Heliocentric' option. The program is built to toggle from geocentric to heliocentric.

      On planet-centric astrology, if you'd like, I'll be happy to send a question on such software to ISAR - that will go out to astrologers worldwide and we could see what that produces. The source I had for that one program is gone, and I don't think it ever went to the Windows development stage. If nothing else, maybe asking will get a few minds thinking. In the meantime, if you are using Solar Fire, you can get planetary nodes for all the 'usual suspects'(planets) plus dwarf planets Pluto, Sedna and Eris.

      About the sunspots...I think they (NASA) are getting at least some of that info from JAXA's (Japan's) solar observatory. Here's a link to their project page:

      I know that some of the JAXA photos are on NASA's site - just as there are photos from ESA (which I gather is ESA-NASA) in Chili and others. Also, the Wilcox Observatory (WSO) in northern California which has been doing the magnetism's part of Stanford U and here's their web address:

      Do you also prowl the JPL side of the NASA site? There's a lot of great stuff there too.

      Happy to know a fellow Cassini lover!


  2. Fascinating! I'm honing in on a few facets, but especially your comment about the beginning of the eclipse series starting on 3rd Sept. my birthday is the 4th, but my solar return this year is on the 3rd Start of eclipse and solar return together, i wonder what that means for my new year - sunny or stormy?

  3. The eclipse factor with regards to your birthday I'd think would be tied in to a process which hasn't yet happened, but which you are being asked to move towards. There will be a lengthy post on September 2nd on the cycling of eclipses you may want to read.

    From the dates however, I would look more towards the fact that Pholus is going direct on September 1st and Ixion is going direct on September 2nd for information on your incoming year. Since your birthday is after both station/direct dates and leading into the eclipse 'breaking down' (of personal masks) period, it seems likely that something you have already done or which has already happened is at least part of the basis for this solar year's evolution.

    And yes - there is an Ixion/Pholus post scheduled. I hope you'll share more thoughts as you get closer to your birthday. (Besides, you'll give me a chance to give you the big HB cheer!)

    More soon!


  4. So thankful for your Scorpio Moon, your patience and depth, and sharing it!

    1. You're welcome, Angi - my pleasure!