When does the Sun actually change Signs?

Have you noticed that the Solstices occur on a different day each time and that the beginning and ending dates for zodiac signs are different depending on which book you read?  Did you wonder why one year Cancer begins on the 21st and the next on the 22nd? This is because both solstices and sun signs relate to the Sun’s path along the ecliptic and the Sun doesn’t change from one sign to another at exactly midnight. See Kelly’s article below for a table that shows this better. These variable dates can be a concern if you are born on one of those days when the Sun is changed signs, sometimes you’ll hear it referred to as a cusp and people will say you aren’t really one or the other but that isn’t true. The Sun moves through all 30 degrees of one sign before passing into the next so even if you are born close to a boundary you’ll be either 29 degrees Cancer or even 0 degrees Leo. 0 degrees Leo is still Leo and an astrologer can easily look up your date in an ephemeris and tell which on side of the cusp you fall. Or you can check your own using the ephemeris links below.

Here is an Ephemeris to check your own birth date: Link Astro.com, Swiss Ephemeris Files 

Here is a good article in which Kelly Surtees shows why these cusp dates may look confusing. Link: Kelly’s Astrology – Sun Changing Sign, Dates for 2015

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Welcome Autumn!

zodiac_signs_28318_lgSeptember 21st is the Autumnal Equinox: The day the Sun enters Libra and the beginning of Autumn. In the same way that the Solstice marks the days of longest and shortest “light,” the Equinoxes mark the day of equal light. Nox is the Roman goddess of night so equinox literally means “equal night.” The glyph for Libra represents the setting sun expressing the balance between night and day. In traditional Astrology, the Sun is “exalted” in Aries while halfway through its circuit along the ecliptic, it is in “fall” in Libra, Aries’ opposite sign.

The rising of the constellation Libra marked the beginning of the New Year in ancient Egypt. Equinoxes are the two points in the year (March 19-21 and September 21-23) when the Sun crosses the celestial equator. At these times, day and night in Northern and Southern hemispheres are of equal length. The Spring (vernal) Equinox occurs midway between the Winter and Summer solstices; the Autumnal Equinox occurs midway between the Summer and Winter solstices. The Autumn equinoctial festival of Mabon mirrors the spring equinoctial festival of Oestara with the Light and Dark forces of the Universe switching ascendancy.

In myth, the goddess Persephone departs the earth to join her husband in the underworld. It is time to give thanks for the summer and to welcome the impending dark. Traditionally, this is when some of the heaviest work of the agricultural year begins. The harvest is stored away, the farm animals are measured against their feed and decisions are made about how many to keep and how many to slaughter and eat. This is why so much Thanksgiving feasting goes on now. Fresh meat and fruit only last so long.

Symbols of Autumn:

Blackberries, cranberries, wine, gourds, pinecones, acorns, nuts, corn, apples, pomegranates, ivy

Foods of Autumn:

Breads, nuts, apples, squash, pomegranates, and pumpkin pie.

Colors of Autumn:

The colors of the sunset: violet, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.

Stones of Autumn:

Libra is pink tourmaline, opals and rhodochrosite. Scorpio is topaz, bloodstone, and yellow agate. Sagittarius is turquoise and jasper.

Activities of Autumn:

Making cider and wine, gathering seeds and seedpods, walking in the woods, Halloween, and Thanksgiving celebrations, Christmas shopping.



Chinese New Year is Jan 31st

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photo: wikipedia

This is the Year of the Wood Horse

And just in time to celebrate… here is a free lecture from The Teaching Company.

You know how much I love history… and The Teaching Company. This one’s part of the course, Foundations of Eastern Civilization, by Dr. Craig G. Benjamin, Associate Professor of History in the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. In this lecture, you will:

  • look at the political rebellions that led to today’s republic,
  • meet Mao Zedong, Sun Yatsen, and Chiang Kai-shek,
  • and witness conflict between Nationalist and Communist parties.

Click to listen: Teaching Company Free Lecture

Click to learn about the course: Foundations of Eastern Civilization

Click to learn more about the Chinese Zodiac

Click here for other element Horse years


Check out my flashcards | Quizlet

I set up some flashcards on Quizlet. You can use them to study or to test yourself.

Astrological Dignities

Tarot: Minor Arcana: Golden Dawn correspondences

Some characters from Greco-Roman Mythology

Please let me know if you find any booboos!


Mythology Monday – Olympians and Olympics

The gods of Olympus, after whom the Solar Syst...

The Olympians:

Spending the first weekend of the Olympics in Olympia was a fun coincidence.  According to Greek Mythology, the Olympian gods are Hermes, Artemis, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Ares, Athena, Poseidon, Hestia and Demeter. Hades was not usually included in lists although he is a brother of Zeus and Poseidon, etc. The Olympians are second generation gods who took over the earth, sky, ocean and underworld after defeating the Titans. The term “Olympian” refers to Mt Olympus. Each god has their own home, made by Hephaestus, the smith-god, but  Mt Olympus is where they hold court. The Milky Way is called the road to Olympus. It bisects the ecliptic, or path of the Sun, which includes the constellations associated with the god’s homes, the Zodiac. Read the rest of this entry »


Pet Sun Signs

I believe Astrology is the best way to learn about yourself and those close to you. While Sun sign astrology can describe one aspect of a person, detailed astrological insight requires accurate birth data in order include their desires, learning style and motivations. Think about what this kind of insight could provide you about your pets…

What kind of issues will they be likely to have?
How can you motivate them?
How nervous will they be about new experiences?

You can answer these questions about your pets by studying about their Sun Signs.

Read the rest of this entry »


Kindle Love!

I always loved the aesthetics of a book, the bindings and covers, the quality paper, printed fonts, the whole package. I never thought I would prefer an e-reader over a book, but I do.

Let me list some of the benefits of the kindle:

It is small enough to read in bed and still “turn pages” one-handed.

I can carry 100+ books with me at all times.

My bookmarks don’t fall out and get lost.

I don’t end up using important bills, photos or tickets as bookmarks.

I like to take notes when I read and the kindle allows me to annotate and highlight digitally. The best part is that I can then download my notes and highlights directly from the kindle into a text file on my pc.

Makes packing for a trip easier, and lighter. Really, what is the hardest part of packing for a trip? Making sure you squeeze enough books into your suitcase, right? I mean now I only need to bring one or two print-books  just in case the kindle and my pc simultaneously malfunction or the plane crashes and I am marooned on an island.

I can play Panda Poet on it.

The battery lasts forever.

The range of available books is incredible. I have archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, nutrition, running, ethnography and even some fiction on mine.

Public domain books are available for free.

If one was so inclined, Kindle can be accessorized with skins, covers etc.

I love my kindle!


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