Super Moon


© March 18, 2011 – Arielle Guttman
These words are pearls of wisdom that are attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, thought to be a blending of the Greek god Hermes and Egyptian Thoth, god of wisdom and magic. As a mediator between Heaven and Earth, Hermes Trismegistus (thrice-blessed) can be traced back to the era of 1500-2000 BCE.
The Super Moon describes the phenomenal brightness and size of this month’s full moon due to its closest approach to Earth in more than 18 years. This event is extraordinarily timed to the eve of the Spring Equinox (in the northern hemisphere, Fall Equinox in the southern hemisphere). This occurs around 3 pm eastern time on Saturday, March 19, a mere twenty-four hours before the Equinox.
The last turning of the seasons – the 2010 Solstice (Winter in the north and Summer in the South) also hosted an unusual full moon on its eve. In that case it was a full moon lunar eclipse.
We all know the full moon affects the ocean’s tides. We also know how the full moons affect animal and plant behavior as well as human behavior. Full Moons are periods of heightened emotional tension, crisis and release.
Supermoons? Multiply that times a hundred. Yet the majority of mass media will describe in one sentence or two, this unusual lunar occurrence. The Super Moon merits far more.
In the case of the 2010 Winter Solstice and Full Moon Eclipse, there was massive flooding in California, so much so, that many towns were wiped out, highways were closed and holiday travelers were stranded. On the East coast and Midwest, the snow was so heavy, that tens of thousands of holiday travelers were stranded in airports for days.
In the case of the 2011 Spring Equinox, again the news is of a tumultuous world. On the heels of many protests around the world, including Bahrain, Egypt, Libya and Wisconsin, emotional tensions are high.
Then the unthinkable happened. Japan had an earthquake quickly followed by a tsunami that traveled all the way across the Pacific Ocean. Then, it faced a nuclear disaster that is also sending particles of radiation and giant servings of fear around the world. On a Super Moon.
In fact, my Yahoo news page has this to report: “The supermoon will not cause natural disasters, such as the Japan earthquake”, a NASA scientist has stressed.
They also reported this: “The moon has not been in a position to appear this large since March 1993”.  Anyone remember the events of early 1993? Bill Clinton had just taken office and the Republicans were hoping to hang him. Any similarity to what the Republicans are attempting to do now with Obama, of course, is purely coincidental.
Until politicians, the media and the countless talking heads and bloggers out there do recognize the principles of “As Above, So Below” people will be stuck in a disconnected universe where they will continue to point their fingers at anyone else and blame the other guy for the messy situation the world finds itself in.
The alternative? Recognize the inter-connectedness of all things in the universe, both near and far, and realize the importance of every single act, thought and word and the effects they have on all of us sharing this tiny planet.

Ophiuchus, the 13th Sign

The Constellation of Ophiuchus

Asklepius, the Greek God of Healing through Dreams was the subject of an in depth article that I penned on Dream Interpretation Using Astrology and Myth in the Feb/Mar 2011 issue of The Mountain Astrologer.  Greek myth tells us that because Asklepius was able to literally bring people back from the dead, he was killed by Zeus with a thunderbolt.  Later, remorseful Zeus placed Asklepius in the sky as the image Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer.  Sandwiched in-between Scorpio and Sagittarius, barely touching the ecliptic, stands a giant serpent holder…a giant man in the sky, the image of Ophiuchus.  The serpent represents the Kundalini and the double helix of the DNA. And of course, serpent symbolism can be found all over the ancient world as a complement or consort to the Age of Taurus motifs liberally shown in places where the bulls and the horns of bulls are seen, and snakes are also present. During the era that the signs of Gemini and Taurus rose (approximately 6,000 to 4,000 years ago) the stars of Scorpio and Sagittarius were on the western horizon, including the sign in the middle: Ophiuchus. Testaments to these signs as guiding beacons are the numerous emblems carved in stones, painted on fresco walls and left as bas-reliefs by our predecessors.  Especially noteworthy is the emblem of the snake wrapped around the healing rod caduceus as the identifying cult symbol for the followers of Asklepius (Ophiuchus) at this time. And, that emblem has endured through time.  A descendant of Asklepius is Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, and the caduceus symbol of serpentine healing power can be seen all over the world in hospitals, healing clinics, ambulances and everywhere people go to attempt to obtain healing cures for all types of disorders and illness.

The 13th sign is somewhat obscured from view and is not generally included in the zodiac of twelve signs that astrologers generally use. This may be due to the fact that visible from the ecliptic are only the feet of Ophiuchus (see star diagram above) with the rest of his body towering above the constellations and not contained within the rest of the zodiac.  In fact, one foot of Ophiuchus is smashing the Scorpion’s claws while the other foot is where the Archer’s arrow is aimed. Nevertheless, astrologers definitely know it is there, and I for one, have been an advocate for including the interpretation of Ophiuchus in people’s charts ever since I first learned of his existence from the lectures and articles of astrologer Robert Hand, some thirty years ago. In other words, if a person’s horoscope contains many points in late Scorpio and early to mid Sagittarius, then they are indeed “born” under the influence of Ophiuchus, and the healing wisdom of Asklepius and Chiron is inherent in that person’s repertoire of opportunities, abilities and influences in life.

Because Chiron the centaur is a recent addition to our solar system, located in an altogether different sector than the rest of the body of centaurs which are located beyond the orbit of Pluto, and because he was the god-father and mentor to Asklepius (Ophiuchus), I have come to proclaim Chiron as the ruler of the 13th sign. This Ophiuchus constellation takes up almost a half of each of the signs mentioned earlier (Scorpio and Sagittarius).  A great deal of Scorpio symbolism for healing, depth, penetrating beneath the surface (including journeys to the unconscious realm) and transformation are all related to Ophiuchus.  As for Sagittarius? The sage, the interest in philosophy and the burning desire to know the meaning of life are also contained in the mysteries of Ophiuchus and its serpent-kundalini energy source.

References to Ophiuchus, Asklepius and the 13th sign can be found in:  Guttman, Arielle and Johnson, Kenneth: Mythic Astrology: Internalizing the Planetary Powers (1993-2004) and Mythic Astrology Applied: Personal Healing through the Planets (2004) both published by Llewellyn Publications, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

© Arielle Guttman 2011. Both volumes are available through Arielle’s website: