The Zodiac Constellations & Virgo Season

The Zodiac Constellation

It’s my birthday eve and I’ve been reading up on all things Virgo. ‘Tis the season! I love that astrology has its roots in science and then goes way beyond.

The American Astronomical Society explains the difference between astronomy and astrology.

Astronomy is a science that studies everything outside of the earth’s atmosphere, such as planets, stars, asteroids, galaxies; and the properties and relationships of those celestial bodies. Astronomers base their studies on research and observation. Astrology, on the other hand, is the belief that the positioning of the stars and planets affect the way events occur on earth.

Just as the phases of the moon heavily influences the tides, to me it’s quite logical that positions of the stars and planets may impact people. With more than half of our body weight consisting of water, it makes sense that the moon could impact our behavior. So why not the other planets too?

The object pictured above is NGC 4388, which is part of the Virgo Cluster, which contains more than 1300 galaxies. The center of this cluster of galaxies is part of the constellation of Virgo. It’s so beautiful!

The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains Earth and our solar system. The Virgo Cluster is the closest large cluster of galaxies to us. The lingo can get a little complicated, so here are some quick definitions as I understand them.

Star clusters are groups of stars held together by gravitational pull. A constellation is a name given to a group of stars based on a pattern that appears in the sky. Stars are also the “fundamental building blocks of galaxies.”

So when does astrology kick in?

When the planets, moon and sun pass through the Zodiac constellations. The constellations correlate to our astrological sign, which is also our sun sign. But there is one additional constellation, Ophiuchus, which is not used as a zodiac sign.

What’s interesting is that when we can see our own zodiac constellation in the night sky does not correlate with the timing of our birthday. The Virgo constellation appears in late May, June and July, according to EarthSky.

The sun passes in front of the constellation Virgo each year from about September 16 to October 30. Because Virgo is such a large constellation, the sun stays in front of Virgo for longer than one month.

The dates of the sun’s passage through Virgo may conflict with what you read on the horoscope page, which probably says from about August 23 to September 22. Keep in mind that astrologers are referring to the sign – not the constellation – Virgo. Yes, there is a difference between a constellation and a sign!

A constellation of the zodiac refers to certain section of the starry sky. On the other hand, a sign of the zodiac refers to the seasonal position of the sun, irrespective of what constellation backdrops the sun at a given season.

As I approach my 56th time circling the sun, I remember the past, look forward to the future and feel grateful for my birthday present.

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Image Credit: ESA/NASA

Catching a Glimpse: Boston

Boston's cobblestone streetsNo matter how many times I walk around Boston, I still find myself taken aback by the beauty of this city.

Something about the curve of the street, the cobblestones, the shadow and light, flags blowing in the wind. And even the neon Red Sox sign. It caught my breath.  This street has felt a lot of footsteps. Seen so much history along with the mundane.

Next Friday is my birthday and my driver’s license was getting ready to expire. Luckily, where I was working yesterday wasn’t too long of a walk to the Haymarket branch of the RMV. A month ago when I went to the opening of Boston Public Market, I noticed that location.

As I was leaving the RMV, I saw this street and had to double back and take a couple of pictures. All the tourists were too. Or maybe they were just like me. Locals seeing Boston with fresh eyes and wanting to keep a piece of it.

For the past few months, I’ve been reading Chani Nicholas, a really interesting astrology website. For those of us who are Virgos, we’ve been in a pretty interesting cycle.

Before I even read about it, I could feel a pull to the past. Like things were resetting and coming full circle from a few years ago. I was wondering what was going on, so when I read about Venus retrograde in Virgo, it started to make sense. Below is a portion from one of Chani’s posts.

Venus will be retrograde from July 25th to September 6th 2015.

Within our lifetimes (thus far) Venus has gone retrograde between the signs of Virgo and Leo once every 8 years. Therefore you can look to see what of significance happened in your life 8 years ago to get a feel for what this retrograde cycle could be about.

Venus deals with issues of love, connectivity, art, pleasure, pleasing, what we value, how we feel about what we value, creating culture, erotic energy, Goddess, anyone who identifies as a woman and all things to do with relationships. When Planets slow down to station retrograde, they tend to have a powerful effect on our lives (especially given the topics they govern).

This Venus retrograde begins in Virgo. Venus in Virgo is said to be in its fall; it is said to not “work as well,” meaning that all this Venus wants to do is work. That’s not what the goddess of love and hanky-panky usually likes to do though. Therefore this Venus station retrograde could have us working over time.

I suggest utilizing the energy of Venus in Virgo stationing retrograde by doing intentional ritual (Virgo loves a good structured, devotional practice) that is focused on purifying, cleansing or cleaning (Virgo wants it tidy) out old baggage from past loves. That could be emotional messiness, physical objects that are cluttering up your energetic space or habitual patterns that cause romantic casualties.

I’ve gotten back into my yoga practice and have been working hard. Figuring out some other things too. This weekend, I still have a lot to do, but definitely plan to take some time to stop and smell the flowers as I head into my birthday week.

Have a wonderful long holiday weekend!