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ISON…once more

Melanie Reinhart’s Comet ISON blog from last week generated a record response: 198 “likes” and 91 “shares” on TMA’s Facebook page.

Please do read her beautiful analysis if you missed it last week.

It’s not just astrologers who have been fascinated. Astronomers have been watching ISON since its discovery in September 2012 and “knew they had a special opportunity to watch a pristine comet come in from the very edge of the solar system and make its first (and apparently only) swing around the sun.“ (1)

Referring to ISON’s unusual trajectory since its discovery, and especially its startling appearance close to the Sun (i.e., perihelion) on November 28, Karl Battams of CIOC (NASA Comet Observing Campaign) wrote: “We’ve had a crazy year, an even crazier past few months, and a truly insane couple of days. But everything we get out of this will make it more than worth it, and for me it’s just a privilege to have played a part in this unprecedented and extraordinary event.” (2)

(Here’s an awesome video of ISON’s perihelion. Remember, aside from its current trivialized usage, the word “awesome” is connected to a capacity to feel awe. “Genuine awe is when something is beyond our capacity to rationalize it; it is incredible and we only experience it at the level of our soul.”) (3)

And here is Melanie’s graphic from last week for November 28.
ISON perihelion

As Melanie noted, the mystic Rudolf Steiner wrote provocatively about comets. One of his ideas is that comets all have a specific purpose and arrive in our solar system at the cosmically ordained time. (4) Many are millions of years old; they travel into the inner solar system from the Oort cloud, or, as recently discovered, from the asteroid belt. (5)

Steiner sometimes referred to comets as connected to the astral body, i.e., a subtle realm connected in many energy systems to the emotional body.

This view of comets coming into our solar system and collecting astral/emotional debris has long appealed to me. (With natal Sun, Moon, and Ascendant in water signs, I seem to cling to emotional debris.)

In the spirit of recording immediate impressions of such a magnificent and mysterious celestial omen, I have a few personal stories.

On November 25, I caught a glimpse of someone with whom I have a rich (and incomplete) emotional history, someone that I hadn’t spoken to (or even seen) in several years. I asked for a meeting, which was a surprise; he said I was very brave (I was). The conversation played out over the evening and was so, so helpful — soothing, forgiving, honest. I left feeling so refreshed, as if a stubborn scar had been truly, surprisingly, magically transformed.

On Thanksgiving Day, I had dinner with a few family members, with whom there had also been awkwardness and unspoken regret and recrimination strongly in the air in the past years. We spent three days together and it was also an amazingly comfortable and easeful time. At first, I was thinking rather ordinarily that time really does heal wounds, and I did notice planetary symbolism that spoke to the happiness and graciousness we all felt. (6)

But then I remembered the comet! And had a whole new view of how this happened — the collecting of emotional residue and clearing the energy felt absolutely true. I also believe in the possibility that our simple actions and experiences can be magnified and offered for the good of the whole. Hail ISON!

I spoke with my sister Kate, an astrologer in New York (I’m in Oregon). She had a similar experience on Thanksgiving Day. She spent part of the day with long known friends, connections that had also previously been colored by the hint of remorse that also disappeared; the emotional air was cleared and fresh and new for them as well.  (See Footnote for another astrological detail.) (7)

As Melanie Reinhart wrote last week: “If we can allow our imaginations to sense and feel the meaning of the images suggested here, we participate in a deeply personal way with these energies. ‘Our’ meaning is unique to ‘our’ journey, and we do not need to impress it on anyone else, as it is not ‘the ultimate truth.’ The experience of meaning is sufficient unto itself.”

We’d love to hear your ISON stories.


(1) NBC News

(2) ISON Campaign

(3) The Path of Awe

(4) “Slightly later, on 18 April 1910, Steiner discussed these points again, more briefly and from a slightly different angle: ‘Just as the movements of the planets circling the sun correspond to the regular events in the evolution of humanity, so the appearance of a comet corresponds to an influence that runs counter to the regular events. Rosicrucian research has demonstrated that every comet exerts a particular influence on human evolution.’”
RS Archive

(5) From an article dated August 2, 2013: “PARIS: Astronomers on Friday said a vast cemetery of comets lies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, some revived by a nudge from the Sun after millions of years of dormancy, a finding that would overturn conventional thinking about these wanderers of the Solar System.
‘We found a graveyard of comets,’ said Ignacio Ferrín of the University of Anitoquia in Medellin, Colombia. ‘Imagine all these asteroids going around the Sun for aeons, with no hint of activity. We have found that some of these are not dead rocks after all, but are dormant comets that may yet come back to life if the energy that they receive from the Sun increases by a few percent.’ ”
Science Tech Daily

(6) As for the day itself, you may remember that Jupiter in Cancer, dispositor of the Sun in Sagittarius was opposite Venus in Capricorn that day (of ISON’s perihelion).

As for the personal charts: I have late Scorpio ascending; the visiting son has early Scorpio ascending. His progressed Ascendant has come to the degree of my natal Ascendant. His progressed MC degree has also come to my natal MC degree. His father (my former husband) has Taurus Ascending natally; progressed Venus has come to 6° Virgo, my natal and our son’s progressed MC. (Progressions move slowly and, when precise, have a significant impact.)

(7) Interestingly, in this case, her friend’s progressed Venus has also arrived at her natal Ascendant degree — a story, as in my case, of progressed planets in one chart coming to a natal angle in the other’s chart.


  1. Nice Mary-cosmic and personal at the same time. I like Steiner’s understanding that comets come to us at specifically ordained times. And this one came as the Sun was passing in front of Ophiuchus-the healer of the wounds of Scorpio. Love…

    • Hi Kate,

      Thanks for commenting…

      That phone call with you Sat morning sparked the idea for this blog…

      Love to you and the rest of the family.


  2. Interestingly it is my experience that exact degrees and signs on directed angles corresponding to natal signs and degrees, represent people we will share important time with in the year indicated. I often thought it my imagination and “flukes” but time has borne this out in family, friends’ charts but also client charts (when I have filed family members, for example).
    Your comments brought this to mind. And validated what I have seen. I cannot remember having come across this phenomen in literature. Although it is possible certainly. Conjecture about the meanings for this will surely resonate with astrologers practicing all forms of astrology.

    • Hello Silke,

      If I understand you correctly, you are speaking about degrees on directed angles being prominent in chart’s of people who are important in your life at that time..

      I have definitely noticed that in solar and lunar return angles..I’m sure it would be true with directed charts too..

      Thank you for commenting..

  3. I have to add my Thanksgiving Day experience was identical. I was not looking forward to this family dinner, the underlying hostility from one of our girls was still alive and well. I took 2 St. John’s Wort capsules to make sure I didn’t add any negative responses and sat down to dinner. It went so well! The afternoon was peaceful, with the joy of each others company. Driving home I was amazed and so happy about it. Grateful and hopeful too, that this is a new path that can stay for awhile. I don’t know if it is ISON, the Venus Jupiter interplay, or Orphichus (didn’t know about that one, so interesting) to look to for the day. ISON being a once in a 1000 lifetime phenomena
    makes it hopeful this kind of clear and peaceful interaction would telescope out to our world leaders and that the energy of it endures.

    • Thanks Paula, so good to hear your happy healing story..

  4. Awesome cometary stuff by R Steiner. Thx for the link.

    Bernardo Mora,MscD
    DF Astrol S

    • Hello Bernardo..

      Yes, I was happy to find that page too..

  5. Fascinating watching. Amazes me that this is not covered on daily news reports.

  6. Yep, the comet swings by the sun, gets to burn off all sorts of ancient crap, becomes majorly enlightened in the process and gets another lease on life- forever altered! Hope the same rings true for humanity and I hope little ISON gets to beam down some of this energy to earth so we can all benefit! Yeah, you rock – little rock in the sky!!!!

  7. Hello Mary! I loved reading your piece on the comet. Thank you for sharing these poignant anecdotes.

    Here in the UK, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day as a national event, but what I felt at perihelion is echoed by what you’ve shared … I feel I’m still processing ‘what happened’. I’ve long known Steiner’s ‘take’ on what comets do, but this was the first time I actually experienced it.

    Another ‘factoid’ heard on the radio … this is believed to be the first time this comet has entered our solar system. It’s said to be a residue left over from the formation of the solar system, upwards of five million years ago. Wow … talk about a visit from the ‘ancient of days’! Perhaps ISON came by to pay its respects to those in the ‘graveyard of comets’. Amazing phrase …

    • Hi Melanie,

      I am also still feeling into ISON..the whole event has been as glorious, rare and wonderous as can be!

      Many thanks again for your inspiration..


  8. hi, mary!

    great couple of blogs here on ISON, which appears now to definitely be defunct, according to pbs ( and abc (

    I really enjoyed the description in the abc article of a comet as less of a solid mass, and more of a bee swarm, small particles bound together temporarily by ice, which, as ISON neared the sun, melted and separated into their distinct parts. I think that speaks to the astrological nature of this event, a body held together for 4.5 billion years for a unique purpose, now gone as a unique entity. NASA’s Pesnell states that ISON may have disintegrated even before reaching perihelion, just short of its metaphysical “goal”, which well reflects my own experience of the day.

    my experience at thanksgiving was similar to those recounted here, but with less resolution than you seem to have had. I spent a large portion of the evening discussing my father’s impending mortality with him, trying to get him to the point of acceptance now that his chemotherapy has failed. despite his avowed strong Christian beliefs and his desire to be reunited with my mother, he is simply not ready to go, and trying to engage him in the shopworn religious metaphors he is used to relating to was a very difficult, taxing, and ultimately fruitless, task.

    I was admittedly distracted during the period, but I took note of no event of global import at perihelion, and I suspect the impact, as melanie suggests, will be largely personal, and devoid of larger dimension.

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