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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