Skip to content

Tuning into the Subtler Signals in the Sky

Any astrologer who has been practicing for very long knows that certain themes weave in and out of one’s life as one reads charts. The latest theme for me is the importance of the middle degrees of Sagittarius, which have appeared often in my clients’ charts. This is the location of a super-galactic gravitational anomaly called the Great Attractor. What the heck is that, you might ask?

In his “cosmic blip” newsletter of October 28, Philip Sedgwick describes the Great Attractor thus: “This amazing ‘thing’ is one of the most powerful pulling influences in deep space. It radiates in every energy spectrum and is one of the most gravitationally potent objects in the Universe. Its gravitational effects actually bend light around the Great Attractor such that it can be seen from behind.” Philip notes that the “symbolic imagery is important at times when one stands on tip toes wanting to know what looms over the next horizon…” (1)

We can speculate that the world is being initiated into the energy of the Great Attractor via the lunar nodes, currently at 14° Gemini/Sagittarius. That means we may get some clues about the meaning of this strange thing. The nodes, however, are often vague and hard to pinpoint, possibly because most people don’t understand what they are.

The lunar nodes represent the intersection points of the path of the Moon and the (apparent) path of the Sun, or ecliptic. Eclipses occur when there are lunations near the nodes because the Earth, Sun, and Moon are perfectly aligned in three dimensions. Currently the nodes are transiting through Gemini and Sagittarius, so the eclipses are happening when the Sun and Moon transit these signs together. Intersections like this are very significant in astrology, forming a kind of crossroads, with the potential for a lot more action than other quieter stretches of the celestial highways.

The Great Attractor isn’t the only unusual thing located in the middle degrees of Sagittarius. In his essay “The Riddle of the USA Horoscope,” Dane Rudhyar points out that this is also the location of the planetary nodes of both Venus and Uranus. (2) Astrologers most commonly use the lunar nodes in their work, but the planets have nodes, too. Just as the intersection of the Moon’s orbit with the ecliptic forms nodes, so too do the intersections of the planetary orbits with the ecliptic, although planetary nodes move much, much slower. For instance, the long awaited transit of Venus in June 2012, wherein Venus eclipses the Sun, is due to the fact that the Sun and Venus are crossing Venus’ North Node at the same time. These unique Venus transits, with Venus also eclipsing the Sun, occur in pairs more than 100 years apart, and are currently in the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius. (The first Venus transit of the current pair was in June 2004.) It will take hundreds of years for these rare transits that are also eclipses to change signs, and 80,000 years for the nodes of Venus to make a full circuit around the zodiac! (3) Therefore, the planetary nodes are even more fixed, or slow moving, than the so-called fixed stars, whose precessional movement takes 26,000 years to make a zodiacal circuit. This means that the planetary nodes are pretty close now to where they were during the founding of the U.S.A. in 1776.

Since the location of the Great Attractor wasn’t known until 1986, we have to assume Dane Rudhyar didn’t know about it. While I agree with Rudhyar regarding the significance of the South Nodes of Uranus and Venus on the U.S.A. Ascendant, the presence of the Great Attractor really seals the deal for me about the correctness of the Sibley chart. For instance, immigration to the U.S.A. first crossed one million people per decade in the 1840’s; this shows that the U.S.A. personifies the enormous gravity of the Great Attractor. (4)

Also, adding the South Nodes of Venus and Uranus to the Sagittarius Ascendant gives a perfect description of The Statue of Liberty, which graces our Eastern shore like the Ascendant of a horoscope does.

Emma Lazarus wrote her famous sonnet to the Statue of Liberty, The New Colossus, in 1883. (5) Here is part of the poem, with my additions of the keywords for Venus, Uranus, Sagittarius, the South Node, and the Great Attractor added in italics:

“A mighty woman (Venus, whose metal is copper) with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning (Uranus), and her name
Mother of Exiles (South Node).  From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide (Sagittarius) welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities (Sagittarius, a double-bodied sign) frame.
‘Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!’ cries she
With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse (South Node) of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, (Great Attractor)
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

And who are the “wretched refuse” of America these days? We are. You and me. The 99%. The Banksters have stolen all our cash and cast us aside like trash. And the Occupy movements are bringing awareness to this fact. Accordingly, there is a conjunction of personal planets, Mercury and Venus, slowly moving toward a crescendo in the middle degrees of Sagittarius, where they will join with the North Node of the Moon, the Great Attractor, and the South Nodes of Venus and Uranus. The triple conjunction is at 14° Sagittarius on November 14.


A close (within two degrees) triple conjunction of Mercury and Venus with the lunar North Node in the middle degrees of Sagittarius is a very rare event. (6) This is about as rare as a Saturn-Pluto opposition from Gemini to Sagittarius. Since the Saturn-Pluto opposition across the U.S.A. horoscope’s horizon was such a big deal, it is quite possible this triple conjunction on the Ascendant will also be very important.

Beyond any possible mundane ramifications, what could this mean in the lives of regular people? Put simply, a heckuvalot.  One of my podcast listeners reminded me that it was at the last pass of the transiting lunar North Node over the Great Attractor (and the South Node of Venus) that I had my big Dream, where I saw the glyph for Venus in the heart of the Sun, and found out that was what was actually happening in the sky!

In the e-mail referred to above, Philip Sedgwick says, “The Node to the Great Attractor refreshes life mission statements.” Evolutionary astrologers believe the lunar nodes represent something akin to what Caroline Myss calls your “sacred contract.” This means the lunar nodes say something about a soul’s intentions for incarnating. I wrote about this perspective on the nodes for Planet Waves at the July 2011 Solar Eclipse. (7)

Let’s assume for a moment that the lunar nodes represent a sort of portal through which souls with similar intentions come into the material plane for certain kinds of experiences. What this means is that a particular kind of contract is being activated at any given time. Since the Sun and Moon align with the nodes at an eclipse, it could be a moment when these contracts are activated as agreements. This could mean that, right now, thousands of souls are getting their marching orders for incarnation over the next six months, or at least setting their intentions consciously.

What does this have to do with you? Well, what if you can re-negotiate your contract? What if, like the souls who’ve been waiting for incarnation, you can now get the stamp of approval for a change in your own marching orders? What if now is the perfect opportunity to shift your life’s focus from repeating your past, or your karma, to embracing your future, your calling, or dharma?

I would suggest that it doesn’t matter at all if any of this is “true.” What I’m proposing is a version of what coaches, therapists, and counselors call “the miracle question,” an aid to help you envision how the future will be different when any particular problem is no longer present. It also helps you to establish goals.

So, imagine that this is true. Imagine that you can re-negotiate, re-new, or re-affirm your sacred contract, your mission in life. Not only that, but imagine it works so well that you get the stamp of approval to change your contract in a way that would eliminate any problem in your life.

When you wake up the next morning, how will you begin to discover that the miracle has happened? What else are you going to notice? What else?

As Mercury, Venus, and the North Node of the Moon all head for a conjunction on the Great Attractor, now more than ever, communicating from your heart (expressing your Eros) has an attractive or unifying force that arises from within and makes you and others more aware of your true nature, one that is more fully realized and in tune with your world.


(1) Sign up for Philip’s Galactic Times newsletter to receive his “cosmic blip” e-mails. This quote is from the October 28, 2011 e-mail.

Astronomical data about the Great Attractor: (also from )

The Great Attractor (Abell 3627)
Tropical Longitude:14 Sagittarius 02 22 (epoch 2000.0)
Latitude: 38 S 54
Sidereal Longitude: 19 Scorpio 18 11
Right Ascension: 243 53 12
Declination: 64 S 55 on the GA

(2) The positions of the nodes of Venus and Uranus were one of Rudhyar’s reasons for favoring a Sagittarius Ascendant for the U.S.A. chart. The Sibley Ascendant is 12°21’ Sagittarius; Rudhyar rectified the chart to a 13°10’ Sagittarius Ascendant. Khaldea
The South Node of Uranus is 13°59′ Sagittarius; the South Node of Venus is 16°40′ Sagittarius. From: Heliocentric Astrology

(3) SavageGarden


(5) The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus

(6) Using Dan Ciubotaru’s configuration hunter website, I found that the previous triple conjunction was in 1285.
Configuration Hunter

(7) Planet Waves

Gary P. Caton is an eclectic Astrologer who embraces an organic process-oriented approach of spiritual exploration via the Living Sky. Gary has studied Spirituality for over 22 years. After exploring Shamanism & the Tarot, in 1993 his life was changed by a magnificent Dream where he was shown planetary alignments and became an Astrologer. Gary earned a degree in Counseling with honors and has developed a unique multi-disciplinary path to practicing Astrology over 18 years. Connect with Gary via his website DreamAstrologer


  1. I really enjoy articles that deal with obscure aspects of astrology because the author / astrologer has to be a craftsman to discover these subtle insights.

    I like Phillip, too. Very nice guy and charismatic, but way over my head a lot of the time.

    I’ve been working on a chart for the 2012 Winter Solstice (the Mayans, the calendar, the end of times…yeah, that day), and I see interesting similarities between the Capricorn Ingress chart and the Great Attractor. The Ingress Mercury, at 14 Sag, conjuncts the Sibly asc, and receives a trine from an Aries moon. But it’s in mutual reception with Jupiter in Gemini, which is the apex of a yod with Saturn and Pluto, also in mutual reception, which is all about corruption and greed, and the birth of Occupy Wall Street. But I digress.

    The Capricorn Ingress / Winter Solstice chart gets very interesting when applied to the Sibly chart, where the Great Attractor is active. Things are about to get very interesting.

    One last note–I REALLY want to change my sacred contract. Will it neutralize this cursed Grand Cross in my chart? If so, what are the penalties? It’s not like selling my soul for fame and fortune, is it?

  2. Hi Memphis, thanks for reading and commenting.
    I had to LOL at your last comment/question. No, I see the process more as adding a rider, addendum or amendment. On a practical level that means awakening, activating or re-invigorating a different part of your chart (in your case one of the other modalities than the one the cross is in). Also since the upcoming eclipses and Mercury Rx are in fire/air signs, then working those elements into the contract and/or ceremony seems appropriate.
    Happy Contracting!

  3. Thanks GARY for bringing the Great Attractor to my attention and its connection to the Sibley chart-I am thinking that as yesterday was election day and from the first reports I’ve read some national races have been won by the progressives. This would be happening at the same time as the Venus and Mercury transits are connecting with the Uranus and Venus south nodes and the Greater Attractor on the Sibley ascendent. Venus (values) Uranus (progressives) have won across the country voting down a wide range of conservative agenda propositions. THANKS AGAIN.

  4. Gary,

    I’m guess I’m glad I didn’t get a chance to read your article until tonight because I needed something special now, and this is perfect. One of my astrological passions is digging into hot spots like the Galactic Core and the Great Attractor. I love that you have added some new (to me) info for my data bank about the GA and felt also that the conjunction of Mercury and Venus for such a long period of time had to be meaningful.

    The present location of the Moon’s south node is where, in the Venus-occult-the-Sun chart (6/5/12 at 15 Gemini 44) is, and also where TNO Chaos will be, where it is now, and where it has been for some time. It is also where Herman Cain’s natal Uranus is (15 Gemini 10). At that time (6/5/12), transiting Mars will be at 16 Virgo 49 adding more flavor to the stew.

    So thank you, and thanks also to Memphis for his/her info on the Solstice Mercury and the yod (another passion of mine), and to Katie for her observations on the Venus-Uranus nodal contact to the U.S. chart.

    Gee, with so much to digest here I might not need one of those white chocolate-macadamia nut cookies I just baked.

  5. Wow, thanks Barbk, any time I can substitute for cookies I must be doing something right 😉

    And yes, thanks Katie, it does seem that as Mercury and Venus came within orb of the N Node there was a definitive tone to this election season, with regard to values and the re-affirmation of our National sacred contract -particularly regarding labor rights, women’s rights, the right to the ballot, and the right to be welcomed here as an immigrant in this country of immigrants.

    Who knows, with the aspects still applying maybe there is even more good news on the horizon.

  6. Dear Gary,

    Although I am a Neo-Vedic astrologer (with a sidereal bias), I really enjoyed your article. I also like to look at new astronomical discoveries and ponder on what messages they may have for us. When I first read the article, I was tripping over the tropical and sidereal gap and was going to comment on how I wish astrologers would use astronomical references for new phenomenon and not sign references. But the Great Attractor is a fascinating enigma no matter which zodiacal map one uses, and it turns out both systems reflect its magic.

    In the Vedic tradition we use the sidereal zodiac and according Sedgwick’s notes the Great Attractor is located at 19 degrees Scorpio (well truly Ophiuchus). But by the Lahiri ayanamsa it might be closer to 20-21 degrees where the North Node/Rahu is currently transiting for the next month, and as you pointed out is involved in the next eclipse cycle — especially the lunar eclipse on December 10. Some Vedic traditions believe that the North Node is exalted in the sign of Scorpio, and this makes sense in light of your and Sedgwick’s interpretation of the Great Attractor. It is an intriguing idea that the North Node/Rahu becomes more powerful when it aligns with another shadow phenomenon that has great universal power. I am very excited to experience the energy of the upcoming eclipses with this in mind and plan to write about it on my own blog!

    And there is also an interesting synchronicity with your interpretation of Emma Lazarus’ poem linking the Statue of Liberty with the Sibley Chart’s Sagittarius ascendant. I’ve always associated Lady Liberty with Isis and the Dogstar Sirius of the Gemini Constellation. So at first I wasn’t so sure about this interpretation, but then I looked more closely.

    In the Vedic tradition there are as many choices for the US chart as in the Western tradition. Although I prefer the Scorpionic America chart, MOST of my colleagues use a Sagittarius Ascendant (which would be a 29 deg Sagittarius Ascendant in Tropical). What is different between tropical and sidereal is the sign that the chart ruler, Jupiter, falls in. Tropically it is in Cancer, and siderally it is in Gemini (in the nakshatra Ardra)which contains the Star Sirius. In other words the ruler of the Vedic chart is under the same symbolic and sign influences as Lady Liberty — Sag/Gem the axis of the Milky Way.

    Again, thanks for sharing this intriguing perspective on the Great Attractor. Cheers!

  7. Hi Gary,
    I have long felt that Uranus plays a special role in Australia. We were “discovered” or entered European consciousness right when uranus was dicovered. Everything in me says Australia will be the awakener in the future. The trickster-leader who will break the rules of the western worldview and faciliate other nations following our lead. Breaking the rules is part of our culture. Most likely after Pluto crosses our Sun in the next few years…. and beautiful to find on our federation chart Uranus…yes 14 sag right on the great attractor.
    Thanks Jeff

  8. To the Memphis Astrologer: Please see that a Grand Cross can also be described as a Grand Square. (Noel Tyl wrote a little about them in his SYNTHESIS book.) I’ve got two of those Grand Squares in my birth chart, offset by 45° from each other, which I discovered once I saw that I could also make 90° connections to the asteroids to form the second Grand Square.
    I don’t regard Grand Squares as a curse, but rather a Great Challenge. Think positive, please!
    And regarding soul contracts: I have had to revise mine several times, using the help of a shaman friend who can SEE through the dimensions to Upstairs, especially after I intuited that mine had been tampered with by Unfriendly Forces looking to do me damage. The Dark Side doesn’t like people with Grand Squares, probably because of all the talents that they receive from the many planet-energies in the Grand Square. Rejoice in your talents, please. Crosses are for deceased religious icons, not live people doing Good Works.

  9. The 1% have evicted the Occupiers for now, but Mercury still has to go over the N Node and GA in Rx motion. It will be interesting to see what happens with OWS at the next two passes, Dec 2 & Dec 26
    Not to mention that on Tue Mars was rising just before 1am. Mars is nearing the “shadow” of his retrograde -the part of Virgo he will eventually cross 3 times. This could also mean this eviction will be re-visited at least two more times early next year…
    The last time Mars stationed Rx and D in Virgo was 1965 when there where 3 marches from Selma to Montgomery

  10. This article on the great attractor is fascinating for me. I saw a very interesting energy fluctuation in the stars when I was in meditation two weeks ago. I didn’t know what it was. Then a week later I came upon your article and I got it. I then checked my transit chart and my north node is at 14 Sagittarius. I was stunned.
    I work with universal word energies and I discovered that 14 Sagittarius – Sabian Symbol #254 means, “Holy spirit is within you. Move forward toward your goals.” And that certainly resembles the symbol “A vast panorama of sand and time is unfolding. The pyramids and sphinx in their glory rise before the eye” Whatever you create or begin during the time of the great attractor will be monumental! Like the doors of opportunity open before you to create something that lasts forever.
    So I am looking for great things to come my way. Thank you for the article and I hope my comments help others to understand the great marvel of the universe in the hands of our creator!

Comments are closed for this article!