By Dottie Willis (Head of Chezzetcook, Nova Scotia)
1 . Introduction:
When Robin first asked for an article on weather, my first reaction was an emphatic no. I don’t know enough. It is a new study and three years barely scratches the surface. Then the thought occurred, when does one really “know enough”? Followed rapidly by “from where and how does one learn”? There are no books on the subject. It is occasionally touched on in some chapter of a general astrology work, a sentence here or there, if lucky one short chapter. The most comprehensive section lies in A. J. Pearce’s book, “Textbook of Astrology”, but it was written somewhere around 1900, and never reprinted until 1970! It is a straight reprint, no updating. George J. MCCormick of Fair Lawn, New Jersey is the only person I’ve found who offers a modern course. This includes his notebook covering 45 years of observations and case studies, and is an absolute jewel of research. He is elderly, and I don’t know if his course is still available. With those thoughts in mind, I decided any information I could pass on might be useful to other weather buffs like myself.
This article is directed therefore to two levels of readers. The expert, and the novice, with the hope that the expert will comment, criticize, and offer help in correlating knowledge, and that the novice who may have become utterly discouraged at the lack of material available may gather the BROADER, GENERALIZED outlines and take heart. To me it is the most important field in cosmic study, simply because the entire solar system is spun by a thread of balance, when imbalance occurs, the earth reacts, nations react, and the individual reacts.
Man is and always has been dependent upon the social structure in which he lives. That society is in turn dependent upon and shaped by its surrounding environment. Environment is a Constant Change Factor. It translates the cosmic into the geological earth conditions. The relationship between changing planetary positions and changing earth conditions constitutes the study of Astro-Meteorology, or Astro-Weather. It provides a sense of continuity of centuries, it is the very basis of all existent life, here or elsewhere, and its origin is rooted in the pure astronomical, scientific FACT. It is the cyclic repetition of the phenomena, from the past, across the present and into the future that brings the reassurance omitted by the “doomsday prophets”. It is when those cyclic repetitions are taken out of context by a few sensationalists and set up in isolation, that panic is generated. It is true our climate is degenerating to our way of thinking, it is getting colder, and will continue. But, it is no more an ice age than it was at the end of the 18th and 19th centuries, or middle 16th. The outer planets will enter the cold signs of Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aquarius from 1986 on. They do so every century! With the exception of Pluto. He enters every second century. He was in his coldest sign while this continent was being settled. Knowing these things have happened many times over, man should not view the future with fear but with the reassurance that if he chooses, he can bring comfort to himself. He cannot change the planetary positions, but he certainly can mitigate their effects once he is aware of them.
It is because the individual is completely dominated by his environment through his society that weather seems the logical beginning. The identical chart is used for Mundane Astrology, and in the far past this was the bible for civilizations. Weather governed agriculture, while the mundane governed the political. Both being identical, court astrologers had no problem forecasting “unrest due to poor crops” idea. One can combine these two fields fairly easily. The weather chart easily shows the areas of the earth that are under strain. The mundane shows the areas of a civilization where the greatest affliction or fortune will register, and the natal chart shows the same for the individual. Each leads logically to the other, but there has to be a beginning. Logically, the beginning sees the world at its designated rebirth as the background over the year in question. The ending sees the focus clear and sharp on one miniscule point of observation, at one fraction of a moment when the Constant Change Factor is in the process of changing. This is a miracle of unparalleled excitement.
2. Planetary Weather Interpretations:
Because of the number of variables, interpretations may seem at first very confusing – they are difficult.
Basically the elemental properties of the planets set their interpretation. They are hot or cold, wet or dry, negative or positive, turbulent or disruptive, carrying high or low barometric readings, or magnetic. These are physical properties, and in weather we are looking for physical manifestations.
While each planet is an element unto itself, it can never be read as an isolated entity, but always interpreted in aspect to the others. Therefore, the following list must always carry either modification or intensification as two or more are aspected mutually, or with the Moon.
The SUN is the heart of the solar system, the constitutional energy. Its aspects generate the physical influences of other planets, it is of course hot and dry too, but its function lies in generating the energies of others. For example, the Sun to Mars would bring rising temperatures.
The MOON is the distributor of the earth’s moisture, and reflects the basic elements of the planets she aspects. Being the fastest moving body, she is responsible for weather changes, and acts as a functional detonator to the mutual aspects of other planets.
MERCURY is the wind planet. He is dry, highly electrical, and reflective. When Mercury transits a warm planet to negatively aspect a cold planet, wind turbulence will be intense, adverse is always higher winds. To Uranus, always turbulence. The sextile in winter brings blizzards, the squares and oppositions bring disruption in communications and electrical transmissions, summer, hail, thunderstorms and hurricanes. To Neptune when positive, fair weather, but when negative, tornadoes can be spawned. His winds are usually towards the centre of a low, and where he occupies the Nadir on an ingress or lunation chart, unseasonably low temperatures will occur. In conjunction or equal declination with the Sun, high winds and high barometric readings. He is the 2nd most important timer or detonator of phenomena. Seismic activity also follows him, particularly when he crosses the Equator, and frequently he will set off the vibrations already existing as he crosses other aspects. His stationary positions intensify turbulence, either transitting the 4th and the 10th houses or squared to them.
VENUS is usually thought of as the fair weather, gentle harmonious planet. She does not mitigate adverse conditions in this way. She is the 2nd WETTEST planet in the system, Neptune ranking first. She is warm, magnetic and also frequently a spark to the outer planet aspects. In Taurus, she brings copious rain, also when aspected to Neptune and the Moon. When positively aspecting, she brings warming and fair weather. She also acts as a seismic trigger, and needs very careful study to determine her exact role in any situation.
MARS is the planet of evaporation and friction. Hot and dry. His action is swift, intense and energetic, and at his worst if badly aspected in perigee. He intensifies adverse mutual aspects. The conjunction, opposition and square to Neptune generally results in seismic activity also violent, acute storm areas, hurricanes, winds, and tornadoes. With Saturn he brings winds. With Jupiter positive brings fairer weather, negative stormy. With Venus, warmer and dry. The conjunction with Jupiter brings drought and heat waves in summer, thunderstorms in winter. With Uranus regardless of aspect, expect wind turbulence. Positive aspects to Neptune brings rising temperatures and humidity, the heat of Mars evaporating the wetness of Neptune. Mars and Saturn are diametric opposites. Adverse conditions bring extremely violent winds. The positive aspects bring cloudy and windy weather. The Sun-Mars conjunction taking place in Leo brings extreme heat, with cases of spontaneous combustion increased. When Mars is in perigee, there seems to be an increase in inflammatory diseases. If Mars is in Northern declination disease intensities are Northern, when in Southern declination, then it seems to follow the intensity of outbreaks are in the Southern Hemisphere and south North.
JUPITER is positive, temperate and when well aspected, good weather. Jupiter and Mars expands the Earth, Jupiter and Saturn contracts the Earth, and Jupiter and Uranus explodes the Earth. Primarily Jupiter is the planet of expansion, and this reading carries through all aspects. If adverse, Jupiter expands the adversity, and he is connected with seismic and volcanic activity, and of course with Sun-spot activity. From recent studies of influences of the Solar tides, Jupiter appears to have tremendous electro magnetic pull, both on the tides of the Sun’s energy, and on the Earth. With Uranus in positive aspect, the Northern Lights, pleasant, cooler, drier weather. Negative aspects bring winds, conjunctions and equal declinations and opposite being very strong. Adverse with Neptune, flood warnings.
SATURN is cold, wet, negative, concentrating. Erratic in timing, with more widespread effects than the others. This malefic is the marker respitory epidemic disease, which moves from East to West, contrary to the weather flow of West to East. Saturn reflects the sign he is in. In Cancer now, we have more moisture, in Leo, heat waves and humidity, in water signs more rain. In summer this means a damp cool summer, with subsequent crop damage and failure, and insect invasions. Saturn’s winds are Easterly, with lower barometric readings. Saturn sextiled to Uranus is one of the coldest aspects. Lowest barometric pressure, with maximum cold wet centers lie where Saturn occupies or squares the Midheaven point of ingress and lunation charts sexti1ed to Uranus. The location of Saturn on the Nadir of an ingress chart shows the Earth’s point of least resistance, and the spot most likely for an earthquake. In Southern declinations Saturn is inclined to bring longer and more intense cold waves, deeper frosts and thicker ice.
URANUS is the most positive electrical planet, bringing the highest barometric pressures. The most frigid planet, with the strength to dominate others in aspect, passing its cold down. Uranus energizes the jet stream’s frigid air descent. It is dry. As in other fields, it is the planet of sudden and catastrophic occurances figuring malifically in short term phenomena around the world. In Southern declinations (Sag., Cap., & Aqua.) he brings the most severely bitter cold winters.
NEPTUNE’s nebulosity is reflected through fogs and mist and smogs. High humidity, the wettest planet, with the lowest barometric readings. He brings variability to weather, milder temperatures which in winter produce sudden thaws, forerunners of avalanches. Narrow atmospheric turbulence at the point of observation, very difficult to pinpoint (that elusive quality is there.). Neptune brings floods and crop ruination from excessive dampness frequently resulting in insect invasion. He is also a harbinger of respitory diseases, and a volcanic planet, especially when conjunct or opposing Mars. His role in seismic and volcanic reaction has been researched over years.
PLUTO needs so much work and research. While he is furthest from us, at perihelion he is closer than Neptune! So far he is thought to be warm and wet, and read as an intensification of Mars. Research connects him with volcanism when negatively aspected. I’ve also found this true in hurricane studies. Mercury, Venus, and Mars seem to be the keys to Pluto’s actions (it goes without saying that the Moon is always in the first detonating position). Sometimes there seems to be a delay factor present, as there is with Saturn. As a quick case study, 1974 Vernal Equinox shows Pluto conjunct the Ascendant for Xenia III quincunx the Jupiter-Mercury conjunction. The winter Solstice for Darwin, Australia, the Moon on the Ascendant opposite Pluto on the Descendant with Mercury on the Midheaven squared to both, and Venus also squared to Pluto. The lunation of Dec. 29th, 1974, for Hawaii placed Pluto on the Nadir, squared to the Sun-Moon opposition and squared to Mercury. Recorded observation is the chief means of collecting information.
Comets and Asteroids have little conclusive research available, other than the generally accepted theory that both phenomena entering our solar system disturb atmospheric conditions and upset the planetary aspects bringing turbulence.
3. ASPECTS AND CYCLES
The cyclic rhythm that continually flows between the planets is just about the key to all weather interpretation. Aspects between planets are actually mini-cycles.
All but the 2 quintile aspects are in general use, and even they come in handy at times, but they generally aren’t that necessary. Major aspects determine the year’s phenomena, the minor aspects determine minor effects of the same overall phenomena, and help the timing mechanism. Along with the generally used configurations, more attention is focused on such points as parallels, perigee and aphelion stations, stationary positions, equator and tropical occupancies, the nodal position for both Moon and the planets, (Saturn’s nodes are 2 and 23 Capricorn) midaspect points, the declinations of planets, of conjunctions and oppositions, superior conjunctions, inferior, and every fact pertinent to the Moon.
Adverse Aspects: Parallel, conjunction, opposition, square, semi-square, and sesquiquadrate.
Less Adverse: Trine, sextile, semi-sextile.
Undecided: Quincunx. Generally less adverse than the square, but not as positive as the benefic.
Both the quincunx and sesqui-quadrature indicate points of contact, strain or mitigating strain.
Aspects act to intensify or mitigate the effects of two or more bodies fusing. They do not change the basic principals of those planets reactions to each other. A trine can be hostile. The fact that the positive aspects are not the panacea in weather that they are in other areas is probably the most difficult change to become attuned to. At times an overlying trine seems to facilitate the action of an underlying square. Xena III last spring is an example. A grand trine between Mars, Venus, and Uranus was in force. But, Mercury was squared to Mars. Saturn was squared to Uranus and Mars had just entered the orb of conjunction to Saturn, a conjunction that brings particularly violent destructive winds. (At its most virulent in Cancer, as it will be in 1976). The physical properties assigned the planets are the tangibles with which one works in weather. The yearly ephemeris is the guidebook for the aspects, and does cut the work, or simplifies it considerably.
Some of the rhythmic cycles between planets are well documented, and well known. Some are not so well known. Almost all of us are aware of Saturn’s cycles, and of the Jupiter Sun-spot cycles. How many are aware of Jupiter’s 41-42 year subcycle? Of the Sun’s 11 year cycle, or 22 year magnetic reversal cycle. Of Uranus cycles? Most of these are not used to any great extent in natal charts, simply because they do not occur in the progressed charts. But they do occur continually in transit. The metonic solar lunar eclipse cycle every 19 years are pertinent at this time, as in 1976, that 19 year cycle of the eclipse in Taurus takes place, and this has been proven to be the drought eclipse.
Records kept from the 1800’s bare out this theory. The dust drought of the 30’s; the “potato famine” in Ireland, Taurus rules potatoes and root crops and corn. Next year it returns. With the eclipse itself, we also have Jupiter conjuncting in opposition. Jupiter-Uranus brings seismic activity. It also brings expanded devastation for drought affected areas. Mars conjuncts Saturn in Cancer in May, heralding violent wind storms, tornadoes and/or hurricanes. Drought connotations also brings flood connotations, adding to the crop ruination. Anyone interested in doing up the two charts for next year, the Equinox and eclipse chart, and perhaps the 3rd one for the Mars-Saturn conjunction will have some interesting reading and pondering.
The simplifying role that cycles play lies in the fact that one has the past already researched and documented. The overall picture is done, and only slight modifications exist. These phenomena have happened before, and will continue, and it is our eternal cry that the leaders of man are stubbornly blind to the portents of the sky.
4. Setting Up:
In the western hemisphere weather patterns normally move from west to east. While storm tracts may originate almost anywhere, nearly all of them leavy by way of either the St. Lawrence Gulf, or Newfoundland. Those who go the former, affect Montreal long, and the latter the Maritimes. Storms are inclined to be double in winter. The timing of storms and of weather generally is a very difficult thing. The Moon, being the swiftest body, is the first consideration. She controls the distribution of moisture, be it rain, sleet, or snow. She moves roughly 13 degrees per day, however a storm can suddenly become stationary, say when blocked on its eastern fringe by a high, or it can with the winds behind it, move a good thousand miles a day.
Then the topography of the area under study plays an important role, both in timing and in effects. The same planetary position on a waterfront might give torrential cloudbursts, but in a desert area tornadoes. At the same time patterns do repeat themselves half way around the globe. If one has Uranus bringing cold waves from Alaska down and East, one has Uranus doing the same thing from Siberia, or arctic Russia, down and across western Europe. In the northern Lat. chart the Midheaven is South, influencing areas nearer the equator, the Nadir is North, influencing northern areas.
In the Southern Latitudes, this is reversed, with the Midheaven STILL INFLUENCING NEAR THE EQUATOR, but northward in the chart (it would have to be) and the Nadir influences the Southern arctic regions.
The mathematical process is exactly the same as for a natal chart. The birth time is the exact time figured from the ephemeris of whatever phenomena one wishes. The year begins with the Sun’s entry into Aries, the Vernal Equinox. The supplementary charts are the Sun’s entry into Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn as the year progresses.
The “place of birth” is transposed to the locality of observation after it is charted for Greenwich. i.e. All phenomena are timed for Greenwich local time, therefore, 1st the calculated S.T. is worked for Greenwich, then the time differential is added or subtracted for the desired area. Planetary positions are corrected and placed accordingly for Greenwich. These are transposed as they are to whatever Longitude desired. The Midheaven and Ascendant points are the only ones which change according to locality. Each ingress chart holds dominance according to its sign, fixed, cardinal, or mutable, 1 year, 6 months, or 3. During the tenancy of each ingress are charted all major planetary aspects, the 4 monthly lunations, any solar or lunar eclipses, and any other phenomena which might be pertinent, such as planets becoming stationary, positions on the Equator, etc. One can be as detailed or as broad as one’s need and interest. Some phenomena who’s effects have not yet culminated are frequently held over to the next ingress, there is no shut off time, but a continually flowing series of aspects. Eclipses in particular frequently must be held out as they may not culminate for many months.
The next step is to determine the terrestial location of the various planets themselves.
To work this the 10th and 4th house cusps are used. For points east one adds, for west one subtracts at the 10th, and the reverse on the 4th. The 9th and 3rd houses tell the weather which is coming in. A specific example would be a midheaven point of 0º Aries at 60º west Longitude. Mars at 27º Pisces, is 3º from the Midheaven to the West, therefore we say Mars is transitting the Midheaven at 63º West Longitude. Venus at 3º Aries would be transitting the Midheaven at 57º West Longitude. The 4th house cusp, Nadir, would be 0º Libra. Saturn at 25º Libra would be 25 degrees East of the locality, thus subtracted from 60 shows Saturn transitting the nadir at 35º West Longitude.
Another way is by using the Table of Houses taking the Sidereal Time (S.T.) at the Midheaven point of the planet in question. The difference between the S.T. of the phenomena and of the planet will equal the terrestial position.
For example: Calculated ST. at Greenwich for the Equinox reads 17:29:35, which equals 23º Sagittarius at the midheaven. Neptune is at 11ºSagittarius.The Midheaven time for that degree is 16:37:42. The difference is minus, 51 minutes or roughly 1 hour.1hour minus from Greenwich gives the longitude of 15º West. That also roughly equals Neptune’s calculated position of 12º West of the Equinox Midheaven. These are rough figures, one would work precisely in a chart. For this Spring we find Uranus transitting the M.C. at 52º West Longitude. Pluto at 75º West Longitude. Saturn is transitting the Nadir at 11º East Longitude. Mars the MC at 40º East Longitude. Jupiter and the Sun on the Nadir, 82º W. Longitude.
A chart drawn up for the Vernal Equinox this March shows some drastic climatic and geological occurrences. Immediately we have the Sun-Jupiter conjunction (1975), and the Uranus-Venus opposition. All the Moon’s aspects are major. Mars forms a “T” square to Uranus and Venus, intensifying the results of both planets and the opposition. Neptune is squared to Mercury, sextiled to Pluto and Mars, a rather hostile aspect due to the elements involved. The Sun and Jupiter are applying to the opposition of Pluto. We also have two eclipses coming in May, one a partial solar, and the other a total lunar. Following on the heels of the lunar eclipse, the 1st square of Jupiter to Saturn takes place, the forerunner of unusual seismic disturbances.
Broadly and briefly, Uranus-Venus brings cold waves. Locating the terrestial position gives a forecast of cold and ice storms, rain, sleet, snow depending on the Latitude, to the East coast. In the Southern Hemisphere this brings much colder than normal temperatures to Northern Brazil, rain in the mountains, swelling the Amazon tributaries, resulting in flood through out the Amazon Valley.
Seismic activity seems to be fairly wide spread. Alaska, the central U.S.A., Panama District, coastal mountains of Peru, Italy, Russia, and Japan.
Flooding is also fairly wide spread, Central U.S.A. and Canada, also the East and Southeast and of course Brazil. Violent windstorms through the South Central states.
There is upset over Pakistan and also through the Longitudinal line over Darwin, Australia again. Drought continues in Africa.
Astro-weather brings the world to you. There are so many variables that simple explanations are difficult, there is such a dearth of material that knowledge is hard to come by. Recorded observations give the best work books; from the past so reads the future. Anybody interested is warmly welcome.