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    Re: a grand tradition
    From: John Huth
    Date: 2011 Oct 21, 10:18 -0400
    I've worked out/memorized a system for figuring the positions of stars and the sun over the course of a year, so I now don't have to take recourse to a chart, which is very liberating.

    I did have one interesting collision with "reality".    Jupiter is currently in retrograde as we overtake it in our orbit.   

    Fair enough, right?   So, just for grins, I wanted to find out when it leaves retrograde and I can mark its forward progress again.    So, googling "jupiter" and "retrograde" - the first surprise was that I got 5 solid pages of astrology hits.   

    Then, the pages tell me that Jupiter is retrograde in Taurus.   But, when I look up in the sky, Jupiter is nowhere near Taurus.   Taurus is over there, and Jupiter is over "there".   What's going on?

    I had to consult my astrology gurus - but it turns out that all of western astrology is frozen around 200 AD or thereabouts.  Now, I knew about the issue of the sun signs being distorted by the precession of the equinoxes, but it didn't occur to me that planetary motion was also distorted.   

    I finally found that there are two branches of astrology:  tropical and sidereal astrology.   The tropical guys win in the west, I guess, but I'm told that in India, they practice sidereal astrology there, where Jupiter can actually be in Aries.

    On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 9:15 AM, Michael Dorl <mdorl@wisc.edu> wrote:

    I think it's also due to the fact that very few people are in a position to view the heavens regularly.  I'm out side every morning an hour or so before sunrise looking at the Eastern sky.  It's amazing how fast the daily scene changes.  It seems like only last week that Orion, Mars, and Gemini were in the East; now they are well to the South or overhead.  Intellectually I know that the stars move West relative to the Sun about one degree per day or 30 degrees per month and the Moon lags the Sun by 12 degrees per day but it's another thing the see it. I have to keep looking at a sky chart to see what's coming next.

    Right now Saturn and the Sun are very close, in another Month Saturn will have moved West enough for me to see it in the East.






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    Keeping up with the grind
       
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