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Planet Weather for the Week of July 16, 2006
SkyWatch – Moon phase of the week: 7/17 -- The Moon enters her Last Quarter phase at 3:13 PM EDT, at 25 degrees of Aries, several hours after Moonset on the U.S. East Coast. Last Quarter Moons rise around local midnight and set about noon the next day. On clear days, you can usually spot the last quarter Moon sinking slowly in the west, a kind of washed-out white semicircle with blue shadings. Sky-watching events of the week: 7/20 -- The waning Balsamic Moon (the minor phase immediately following Last Quarter) passes less than half a degree from the Pleiades star cluster (the so-called "Seven Sisters," also sometimes spelled "Pleiedes") just before sunrise on the U.S. East Coast. 7/21 -- Mars passes close to the star Regulus, low in the western sky after sunset. The closest approach happens about 4 AM EDT, the following morning, long after planet and star have set in most locations. Space news of the week: Space Shuttle Discovery is cleared for re-entry in the 7/17-18 time frame, depending on the weather. This clearance follows the most extensive inspection for damage ever carried out on a Space Shuttle. The Shuttle separated from the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday after successful tests of inspection and repair techniques on the Shuttle itself, as well as carrying out repairs on the ISS that will allow construction of the space habitat to proceed after a hiatus of nearly a year due to broken equipment. If all goes well, Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled for launch this August to really get the entire ISS program back in gear! Go out! Look up!
Venus enters cardinal, watery Cancer on Tuesday, July18, 2006 @ 10:41PM EDT. This Venus brings more calm and soothing emotional waters after the sometimes scattered energies of Venus/Gemini, especially since it had to deal with a square (90deg.) to Uranus/Pisces and an opposition (180deg.) to Pluto/Sagittarius. Venus/Cancer will form a grand trine in the sky with first Jupiter/Scorpio, and then Uranus/Pisces – some struggles have more potential to be worked out; some solutions are more readily available. Taking the broader view will make the difference.
The Sun enters fixed, fiery Leo on Saturday, July 22, 2006 @ 7:18PM EDT. Leo always represents the heat of the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Being a fixed sign, it exudes energy strongly and sometimes too forcefully or powerfully, as is the case with all the fixed signs (Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus). This year, because Saturn is also in Leo, our sense of heart-matters – love, vibrancy, generosity, play and creativity to name a few – are issues that are up-front. Ego-based actions will not fare well under this transit. It’s time to narrow your choices and make commitments to what really will make your life heart-felt and joyful and your time spent wisely towards those goals.
Mars enters mutable, earthy Virgo on Saturday, July 22, 2006 @ 7:18PM EDT, until 9/7/06. Mars in Virgo is definitely more subdued than Mars/Leo. This Mars takes actions based on fact and is cognizant of its skill level, often underplaying its talent. It is not comfortable being on center stage like Mars/Leo. Virgo is ruled by Mercury, and so reason is used for troubleshooting, editing, and, in general, finding how to make systems work more smoothly. Above all, it is practical and cautious in its initiative. It understands completely that “the devil is in the details.”
Mercury turned Rx (retrograde) @ 1 Leo on 7/4/06 @ 3:34PM EDT. (Mercury entered fixed, fiery Leo on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 @ 3:57PM. However, Mercury reached 21 Cancer on 6/18/06, the degree at which it will turn direct. Although not technically retrograde motion – that time period (6/18/06 – 7/4/06, and then 7/28/06 - 8/12/06) represents the shadow. Between those two times is the actual Rx cycle. On 7/10/06, Mercury retrogressed back into cardinal, watery Cancer. Mercury turns direct @ 21 Cancer on 7/28/06 @ 8:40PM EDT. Now that the technical retrograde cycle will be over, it’s time to come to terms with the processing that occurred.