Some ruminations on the relations between the zodiac and the fixed stars.
All bodies reach their highest altitude as they cross the meridian and unless they are circumpolar—obviously a body never sets if its distance from the celestial pole (90 minus declination) is less than the pole’s altitude (equal to local geographical latitude)—rise and set at the same angle east and west of the meridian. This means, always measuring from the north, that a star or planet sets at azimuth 360° minus its rising azimuth.
On the other hand, the angles of ascendant and descendant always differ by 180° regardless of declination. What’s going on there? All it means really is that half of the celestial background of Earth’s orbit is always above the horizon, but what is interesting is that the arc of the visible zodiac, unlike the arcs from rise to set of everything in it, is independent of north, i.e. the rising constellation at any moment will set the same distance from north, not over where its opposite constellation is now setting.
If you stand under the night sky long enough and often enough you will witness the regular oscillation of the arc of the visible zodiac swinging left and right. When Sagittarius or Gemini is at the meridian the zodiac is symmetrically positioned across the sky from 270° west to 90° east, but halfway through a 60° swing from one side of north to the other. If you stretch your arms east and west when Virgo or Pisces is at the meridian you will have to twist 30° left or right respectively in order to reorientate to the centre of the zodiac. Finally, you will realise that the swing back the other way begins when Virgo or Pisces is at the centre of the zodiac, about an hour and twenty minutes before or after transit and about 20° east or west of the meridian.
If every time you orientate in this way you will experience two norths, a centre of the astrological sky and a point often considerably off centre where the stars are reaching their highest altitude. When that point is to the right you may be aware of an imbalance to the west and imagine an attraction to the east and uplift, and when the stars of zodiac centre are still rising you may feel too much of your focus directed east and be drawn westward towards the downside.
There is a connection here with how I arrange the houses and the resonances of the constellations.
The western hemisphere contains the houses of social interaction and influence by the discrimination of others both conscious and unconscious. When a constellation is in the west, it carries the symbol or sign given it in the northern hemisphere, reminding us that like all structures, schools of ontology and cosmology, including astrology, are the solidified byproduct of once vital energy, and the confirmation of bias. Let the denizens of the old country argue sidereal vs tropical. We have bigger fish to fry.
What? The personal hemisphere of the east is what. This is where we inhabit our environment, nobody else’s, and that is of course impossible, but where we learn in our own way from our mistakes and piss off those who piss us off, a time and place for obsession, self-absorption and self-fulfilling script-writing—where we judge lest we be judged. Here we say the first thing that comes to mind—or nothing at all—and devil take the hindmost.
We affect individuality, but are largely oblivious to the patents on our behaviour. Go within and have another look, is the echo of the western hemisphere here, in order to engage with now and move authentically forward—responsible for your image but not believing a word of it.
If this sounds like the self-indulgent raving of a recluse on a Friday night, there is a reason, and I hope you are as empty of delusion as you demand of others. Fat chance, but hey, who’s to say? It’s difficult to pick somebody out who is on the straight and narrow.