Asteroid Astrology: Page 6

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House Diary: Beltane

Beltane, AKA May Day, is one of the Cross-Quarter days in the pagan year, the midpoint of Spring. Beltane’s focus is fertility, and in the Old Days, we’d all be out rutting in the fields to encourage a good harvest, not a bad religious tenet when you think about it (though somewhat hard on the back). So Beltane represents the earth’s fecundity, with nature coming into its first exuberant flush of bloom and growth. As such, it’s known for warm, wet days, lots of flowers, and the first bits of fruitfulness, as asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, and cold-frame lettuces are ready for harvest.

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House Diary: Ostara

For readers unfamiliar with my saga, I’m an inveterate celebrator of the seasons. Although raised as a fundamentalist Protestant, what my parents truly inculcated in me was a love of nature and the wilds. Those few precious hours between Sunday morning school and church services and Sunday evening prayer meetings were often spent in the backroads and byways of the Poconos, identifying the local flora and fauna, which was where my spirit truly soared.

So pagan practice was something I gravitated to naturally when I threw off the confines of my upbringing. But as a city dweller for 35 years, without regular access to the fields and woods of my boyhood, I’ve had to recreate those spaces indoors, and I decorate extensively season to season, using the Wiccan Wheel of the Year as my model and faux or artificial elements as my tools. These days I have no faith, terming myself a “lapsed Pagan”, but I still enjoy the rituals of my maturity and the traditions of my youth when holidays roll around.

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Moving Day

It’s been a year since my father died, leaving me my boyhood home, and I am finally ready to make the move! I won’t actually be completely cleared out from my old digs and off that lease until June 1, but Friday, April 3 was the day I chose to transfer focus to the new house in Nazareth. Until then, my base had been Philadelphia, with frequent trips north to prep the new space; now I’ll flip that script, staying mainly in Nazareth while I travel back to Philly to continue final packing. We’ve already done two prior major moves, with one remaining. But the key moment in this protracted process is when I move Ashes, my sweet-cranky tortoiseshell cat, who has been with me 13 years. Where she is, is home! And that date was set for April 3.

As ever with the cosmos, all things are perfect in their timing, and I hadn’t really consulted an ephemeris before I chose the date, relying on the heavens to do its thing. And a chart cast for moving day shows my faith was not misplaced, with the momentous event perfectly portrayed in celestial symmetry.

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Coronavirus Update: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson

Coronavirus received its first celebrity “spokespersons” on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, when actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, announced they had tested positive for the virus. Thankfully, the couple was in Australia for the filming of Hanks’ latest movie, giving them access to adequate testing facilities unavailable in the US. Both had been feeling unwell, tired and achy, with Ms. Wilson also experiencing chills and slight fever.

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Leap (of Faith) Day

It only happens every four years – Leap Day! Carved from the monotony of the calendar by the cosmos’ refusal to divide itself evenly into neat 24 hour increments just to suit human constructs, Leap Day provides us with an extra day, the opportunity to do whatever we like. Well, in theory.

 

This year I’m using my Leap Day to publish some random musings on the intricacies of the celestial sphere with additional asteroid research that really doesn’t fit into any category. I encounter these points haphazardly, and don’t always have a chance to thoroughly investigate them at the time.

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Asteroid Sleuth: The Case of the Manhole Mishap

On October 15, 2019 at 3:15 AM EDT, a crew of Verizon workers raised a heavy iron manhole cover in the Columbus Circle section of Manhattan, to be assaulted by a putrid smell. Investigation into the vault below found the badly decomposed body of a man, partially consumed by rats, who had clearly been dead for some time. The mystery of how the corpse got under the 300 pound manhole cover, which normally takes two people to lift it, was resolved by examination of surveillance footage of the area.

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