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THE GREAT CIRCLES AND THEIR POLES

 

Nick Anthony Fiorenza

nick@lunarplanner.com

The Ecliptic Poles are two points in the heavens that lie exactly perpendicular to the ecliptic plane. They are the "North Ecliptic Pole" (NEP) and "South Ecliptic Pole" (SEP). Because the Star Chart is a rectangular map of the celestial sphere, these points are stretched out to create the entire top and entire bottom of the chart.

Planets move west to east in the heavens--right to left in the Star Chart. Most planets lie close to the plane of the ecliptic, but many of the asteroids lie north and south of the ecliptic because their orbits around the sun are tilted with respect to Earth's orbital plane (the ecliptic).

The Galactic Equator

The Galactic Equator, a great circle in our celestial sphere shown as the violet line in the map, is defined by the spinning disc of our galaxy. The Galactic Equator is tilted at a 60 angle to the ecliptic and intersects the ecliptic at 5 sidereal Sagittarius, the galactic equatorial node (GEN), also called the "Gate of God," and 5 sidereal Gemini, the anti-GEN, called the "Gate of Man." The constellations which lie along this great circle are the "Galactic Constellations."

The Center of our Galaxy lies along the galactic equator just south of the Gate of God. Galactic Center (GC) enters the ecliptic at about 2 sidereal Sag.

The North and South Galactic poles, which are perpendicular to the galactic plane (galactic equator) are labeled NGP and SGP. The NGP lies in the constellation Coma Berenices, which lies 30 north of the ecliptic, above the head of the Virgin. The NGP enters the ecliptic at 5 sidereal Virgo. The SGP lies in the constellation Sculptor, 30 south of the ecliptic, and enters the ecliptic at 5 sidereal Pisces.

The Celestial Equator

Earth's equator projected out into the celestial sphere is called the Celestial Equator, a great circle shown as the green line in the Star Chart. The Celestial Equator, tilted at 23.5 to the ecliptic, currently intersects the ecliptic at 5 sidereal Pisces, which is called the vernal point (VP) and 5 sidereal Virgo (@2000 A.D.), which is called the Anit-VP. The vernal point is where the sun resides on the March equinox and the anti-vernal point is where the sun resides on the September equinox.

The Celestial Equator and the vernal points move westward (to the right) through the ecliptic at a rate of about 1 per 72 years with respect to the Galactic Equator, to the sidereal signs, and to the stars--all which remain fixed in the heavens--due to Earth's 25,000-year precessional cycle. Precessional movement is east to west in the heavens, the opposite direction of planetary movement.

The vernal point is called the Birthplace of the Sun / Sol / Soul. It is also called the Christ Point or Office of the Christ--referring to a position held that reveals where we, as a soul collective, reside in Earth's "Evolutionary Cycle of the Soul," a cycle driven by Earth's precessional movement. The vernal point is also the reference for the Tropical Zodiak, marking 0 tropical Aries. Thus the tropical signs (which can also be referred to as the "Houses of the Sun." move westward with respect to the sidereal signs and the stars.

Earth's North and South Celestial Poles, which are Earth's poles projected into the heavens, are labeled NCP and SCP. They move very slowly through the heavens as well due to Earth's precession. Earth's NCP currently lies in Ursa Minor, near the star Polaris, and enters the ecliptic at 5 sidereal Gemini (2000 AD). Earth's SCP lies in Octans and enters the ecliptic at 5 sidereal Sag (2000 AD).



 

Your Zenith and Nadir

Imagine looking directly up into the heavens from the location on the Earth where you were born, from your "natal location." This point in the heavens is called your "Zenith." Imagine standing on that location, but that your body extends through the Earth such that you feet extend through the opposite side of the Earth. That point projected into the heavens is called your "Nadir." Your Zenith and Nadir are always opposite each other in the heavens, just as are Earth's north and south celestial poles. The Zenith-Nadir axis creates your personal pole. You can think of it as the energy running through your spinal column.

The stars and constellations surrounding your Zenith reveal much about how you are guided in your life, your soul-level focus. The Nadir stars and constellations reveal much about your soul-level foundation.

Your Horizon Plane; ASC / DSC

Visualize a plane extending through the center of the Earth that lies perpendicular to your personal pole--to the Zenith / Nadir axis--much like Earth's equator is perpendicular to Earth's polar axis. This is your personal equator and it is called the "Horizon Plane." The Horizon Plane can be tilted at any angle with respect to Earth's equator, to the ecliptic, and to the galactic plane depending upon when and where you were born. (If you were born on the north or south pole of the Earth, your Horizon Plane would be the same as Earth's equatorial plane. If you were born exactly on Earth's equator, your Horizon Plane would lie parallel to Earth's pole.)

The points where the Horizon Plane intersect the Ecliptic Plane create your Ascendant (ASC) and Descendant (DSC). The ASC-DSC axis in the ecliptic is the horizontal axis in the typical astrology chart. Your Horizon is the orange line in your Star Chart. The stars conjoining your ASC are your "rising stars" and reveal much about the nature of your soul expression on Earth. The stars conjoining your DSC are your "setting stars" and reveal much about your interpersonal expression, the nature of the significant relations you draw to your self, and how you interrelate and present your self to others, You can think of your Horizon Plane (and the ASC / DSC axis in your natal sidereal astrology chart) as the plane upon which you participate. The stars and constellations along your horizon plane are like your personal zodiak.

Your Meridian; MC / IC

Visualize the longitude on the Earth where you were born, that which passes through your Zenith, and how it encircles the Earth. This great circle passes through your Horizon Plane at the most southern point from Earth's Equator (labeled S in your Star Chart) and the most northern point from Earth's Equator (labeled N). This great circle also passes through the north and south poles of the Earth (NCP and SCP) and your Nadir. This great circle or plane is perpendicular to your Horizon Plane and to Earth's Equatorial Plane (to the Celestial Equator).

This plane, or great circle projected into the heavens is your Meridian. The Meridian is the yellow line in your Star Chart. The points where the Meridian intersects the ecliptic create you Mid-Heaven (MC / media-colli) and your Anti-Mid-Heaven (IC / illia-colli). If you follow the yellow great circle in your Star Chart you will see it pass through the NCP (which lies to the upper right in your Star Chart near the star Polaris of Ursa Minor), through your Zenith, MC, the south point of your Horizon, the SCP, your Nadir, IC, and the north point of your Horizon.

The stars conjoining your MC reveal much about your day to day modality and focus in the world, how you see things, what is in your face. Mastering the theme of your MC is a part of claiming your personal power on the (horizon) plane upon which you participate. The stars conjoining your IC reveal the nature about the foundation upon which you stand and the nature of the environment that best serves you, as well as the nature of the family genetic coding (patterning) through which your soul expresses.

Your Equatorial Ascendant (East Point)

The eastern node created by the intersection of your Horizon Plane and the Celestial Equator is labeled "E" for east. This will be near your ASC. Your "Equatorial Ascendant" (or East Point) which resides on the ecliptic, is defined by a meridian of the Earth that passes through the east point on your horizon plane--it is labeled "EP."

Note: The Equatorial Ascendant is also called the East Point (EP), but this is not to be confused with the eastern point on the Horizon Plane (labeled E).

Many astrological authors have written about the nature of the Equatorial Ascendant. It may be worth researching their writings if you are not familiar with this point and are interested in its astrological significance.

I tend to think of the Equatorial Ascendant as our Earth Attitude--that is, how the soul currently views Earthian experience based on soul's accumulative experience up to this incarnation. Equatorial Ascendant stars often indicate the nature of soul-level grief or self-judgment. Exploring the stellar themes conjoining the Equatorial Ascendant can provide insight into our attitude and experience about life in general. Addressing any Equatorial Ascendant issues (perhaps some deep seated grief about what we did not accomplish or live up to in our previous incarnational experience) can serve us to express ourselves in greater self-empowerment.

Your Prime Vertical and your Vertex

The Prime Vertical is another great circle that passes through your Zenith and Nadir, except this one is perpendicular to your Meridian, thus passing through the eastern point on your Horizon Plane (labeled E) and the western point (labeled "W").

Your Vertex is where the Prime Vertical intersects the ecliptic from the western point on your horizon plane. This will be near your DSC. (Note: on some Star Charts, I've only shown the part of this great circle that creates the Vertex.)

Many astrological authors have written about the nature of the Vertex as well, which may be worth exploring if you are not familiar with this point. The Vertex is where things just occur as if they are fated--seemingly planned from a soul-level and beyond the awareness of the incarnate person. Thus, the Vertex is often significantly aspected when there is a death (or birth), or the ending or beginning of a significant relationship, or events of that nature. Some suggest it to be where we draw adversaries, although this may be dependant upon the nature of any Vertex aspects. Vertex stars might be considered to reveal the nature of our soul-level agreements. Or they may reveal the nature of interpersonal issues we hold at a transcendent level.

Additional Perspective of the East Point and Vertex

The East Point (Equatorial Ascendant) can be found by following an Earth meridian to the Ecliptic. The Vertex can be found by following a Horizon Plane meridian to the ecliptic. Thus, the East Point is common to Earth's equatorial plane, whereas the Vertex, being an orthogonal projection from the Horizon Plane, is common to soul's personal plane, somewhat removed from or transcendent to the Earth plane. This perspective may help provide insight as to why the Prime Vertical and the Vertex are more related to transcendent or fated matters, those unique to or intended by the soul; or simply how the world can act upon us regardless of our personal intent and actions. For those with strong vertex alignments (i.e., conjoining planets, primary asteroids, or significant stars) this may be all the more true--where it seems certain things just happen or even seemed blocked until the mysterious universe decides otherwise.

About the Great Circles' Nodes

Keep in mind that all of the great circles in your Star Chart are planes of energy or consciousness. The intersection of these great circles create nodes that translate energy from one plane to another--nodes are points of commonality between different aspects of self. Exploring the stars and constellations surrounding the nodes of your great circles may provide other interesting insights about your self.

Planes common to us all

The Galactic Plane
The Ecliptic Plane
The Celestial Equatorial Plane

The Personal Planes

The Horizon Plane
The Meridian
The Prime Vertical

The planes common to us all create the Holy Cross in the ecliptic, consisting of the GEN, Anti-GEN and the Vernal Point and Anti-Vernal Point. This Cross, determined by Earth's precessional cycle, defines where we reside in the timing of the evolutionary cycle of the soul collective--the incarnational (punctual) timing of the (durative) soul. Our personal planes create our Personal Cross (Natal Cross) consisting of the ASC-DCS / MC-IC. Our Personal Cross nests upon the Holy Cross, giving us temporal form in Earth's time and space. The planets nest upon the Crosses, as seen in an astrology chart. Planets on or around our personal points are accentuated significantly in our psychophysiology and their resonance dominates our expression and experience on Earth.

Conjoining Stars

The stars conjoining each of your planets, asteroids, and personal points (ASC, DSC, MC, IC, EP, and Vertex) are those that lie along the ecliptical longitude (a straight vertical line) through each item. A relatively tight orb is used for stars -- 1 or 2 degrees in ecliptical longitude -- so only those stars that are very close to each planet's ecliptical longitude are considered conjoining. (Keep in mind each zodiakal sign is 30 wide to estimate a 1 or 2 degree orb). It does not matter how far north or south of the ecliptic a star is to be of significance. Although the themes of the conjoining stars express through the character of each planet and personal point, the themes of adjoining stars (those which lie in a wider orb), will reveal a backdrop theme as well, as will the myth of each constellation. Exploring the themes of adjoining stars often help us to understand the themes of the stars tightly conjoining any planet or personal point (The individual star themes reveal the ever-changing character within each zodiakal sign).

Having some astrological appreciation for the planetary themes is fundamental to understand how the stellar themes will express through your planets. The stellar themes reveal a far deeper and clearer level of our consciousness. Star level sidereal astrology compared to simple sign-based astrology is like adjusting an out-of focus camera lens into crystal clarity.

You can gain an appreciation for individual star themes as I write about them in the monthly lunar planners (keeping an eye out for those stars that are significant in your personal chart); and by also exploring back issues of the monthly lunar planners listed in the Lunar Planner Archive.

Also take note of the stars surrounding your zenith and nadir, they are your personal pole stars--those of the zenith, provide guidance; those of the nadir, foundational. Stars surrounding any of the other nodes created by any of the Great Circles can also provide interesting insight--like those of the nodes at the four directions found along your horizon plane (N,S,E,W).

Stars conjoing planets or asteroids within a couple of degree in ecliptic lattitude (in paralell) can also be of influence.

 

WEBMASTER  CECE    CeceSt@aol.com

http://www.internationalastrologers.com

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