Tag Archives: Astrology

Mooning about

If you think you’ve heard about supermoons a lot this year, you’re not mistaken. Today’s full moon (occurring at exactly 6:05 this afternoon in Chicagoland) is the fifth supermoon of the year, following similar displays in April, May, October and November.

A supermoon is a full moon when the moon is in its closest orbit to earth. We won’t get another supermoon of the magnitude of November’s impressive display until 2034, but today’s full moon is also considered a supermoon. Some will call it a Full Cold Moon because it falls so close to Winter Solstice. I’m calling it Stone Cold Awesome (apologies to WWE fans).

Astrologically (if you’re into star signs and horoscopes), people get loony when the moon is full so theoretically, they go super crazy in a supermoon. Are you going super crazy? I go super crazy with every full moon because I believe anew that I can get a good picture of it.


I’ve tried and failed to take decent photographs of the moon, but the camera on my iPhone is just not designed for night photography. This is a photo I snapped during last month’s full moon. That’s no filter; as blurry as this image is, it could be a watercolor painting.

You might also notice the lack of snow cover a month ago. We have plenty now, thanks to Jack Frost and his army of nimble flakes.

Here’s to the last full moon of the year. Wishing you lunacy.

“There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.”

~ George Carlin



Jupiter Return promises big things

It’s a Jupiter Return year for me.  When I turn 48 in a month, I will celebrate what’s known in the astrological world as a Jupiter Return.

You might celebrate a Jupiter Return this year, too. Jupiter takes about 12 years to orbit the sun, thus every 12 years, we circle back to wherever Jupiter was when we were born. Jupiter Returns occur at ages 12, 24, 36, 48, etc.

This milestone year been described to me like the hands of a clock passing 12 — we’re at the top of our game, the beginning of a new cycle. Jupiter comes back and reminds you of the opportunities you need to be looking for and taking and creating. During a Jupiter Return, the universe is trying to hold doors open for you that might otherwise be closed. It’s a year when money flows, especially if you’re aligned with your soul’s calling, according to Molly Hall at About Religion.

Germanic people translated “day of Jupiter” to “Thor’s day” (eventually becoming Thursday). Thor, if cinema can be believed, is a bombastic god of hot air, big plans and big demands; remember, Jupiter is our solar system’s biggest planet. Jupiter expands one’s energy, optimism and self-importance and offers an overflowing cup — we can accept it, reject or drown in it, according to Christine Broadbent at Astrological Healing Alternatives.

It all sounds pretty optimistic except for the drowning part, but I’m a lifeguard so that doesn’t scare me — I’ll just tread water if necessary. Instead of dreading adding another year to my chronological age, maybe I should be excited.

Looking back, I celebrated Jupiter Returns in 1978, 1990 and 2002. I can’t remember a whole lot of abundance in seventh grade but it wasn’t the worst year of school either. I graduated college, got married for the first time and moved four states from home to take my first real job in 1990. Life definitely felt abundant then, until I discovered earning $1,000 a month wasn’t the life of wealth I had envisioned as a poor college student. Still, life was pretty good.

The year 2002 marked the end of a dreadful marital incident (so dreadful, in fact, I wrote a whole book about it), but the hands were definitely crossing 12 in 2002 and I started a new cycle.

My Beloved is a “go big or go home” type of guy who throws lightning bolts around for fun; he’s the perfect partner for a Jupiter Return year. And here’s a fortune I found with my Chinese black bean shrimp not long ago, so pertinent it was that I taped it to my computer:

A bold and dashing adventure
is in your future within the year.

Bring it on.

Planetary proximity

Venus and Jupiter look like they’re cozying up together in the Western sky tonight and tomorrow night.

The are within three degrees of each other — the width of your thumb at arm’s length (try it — stick your thumb out there). With the relative lack of light pollution in the little burg of Hampshire, I observed them through the leafless trees in my back yard tonight. Venus is brighter (of course she is) because she is relatively closer to Earth than Jupiter.

In third grade, my teacher created one of those famed bulletin board displays that burns into one’s brain like witnessing a fellow third grader puke green beans all over his melmac tray at lunch. You just can’t erase the memory.

Because of her (the teacher, not the source of green vomit), I understand the order of the planets and what makes them unique — tiny Mercury, cloudy Venus,  life-giving Earth, red Mars, Jupiter with its weird eye, ringed Saturn, unremarkable Uranus and Neptune and, at the time, far-flung Pluto. Since the ’70s, Pluto lost its standing as a planet and is now considered just a big hunk of space rock but the nostalgic armchair astronomists assign her past title like a head of state. Once President Bush, always President Bush. Once Planet Pluto, always Planet Pluto.

And yes, I did that on purpose. Astronomist = astronomer + astrologist. While I can guess what happens with Venus, the planet of love and beauty, dances near to Jupiter, the symbol of growth, expansion and prosperity, I’m not astrologist. You’re on your own.

Getting nostalgic for third grade and thinking of dancing planets has me musing philosophical about another bit of random pop culture.

Goddess on the mountain top,
Burning like a silver flame,
The summit of beauty and love,
And Venus was her name.

~ “Venus” performed by Bananarama