Our solar system is a jewel box filled with a glittering variety of beautiful worlds–and not all of them are planets. This week, we present our solar system’s most marvelous moons.
1. Weird Weather: Titan
Saturn’s hazy moon Titan is larger than Mercury, but its size is not the only way it’s like a planet. Titan has a thick atmosphere, complete with its own “water cycle” – except that it’s way too cold on Titan for liquid water. Instead, rains of liquid hydrocarbons like ethane and methane fall onto icy mountains, run into rivers, and gather into great seas. Our Cassini spacecraft mapped the methane seas with radar, and its cameras even caught a glimpse of sunlight reflecting off the seas’ surface. Learn more about Titan: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/science/titan/
2. Icy Giant: Ganymede
Jupiter’s moon Ganymede is the largest in the solar system. It’s bigger than Mercury and Pluto, and three-quarters the size of Mars. It’s also the only moon known to have its own magnetic field. Details: solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/ganymede/indepth
3. Retrograde Rebel: Triton
Triton is Neptune’s largest moon, and the only one in the solar system to orbit in the opposite direction of its planet’s rotation, a retrograde orbit. It may have been captured from the Kuiper Belt, where Pluto orbits. Despite the frigid temperatures there, Triton has cryovolcanic activity – frozen nitrogen sometimes sublimates directly to gas and erupts from geysers on the surface. More on Triton: solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/triton/indepth
4. Cold Faithful: Enceladus
The most famous geysers in our solar system (outside of those on Earth) belong to Saturn’s moon Enceladus. It’s a small, icy body, but Cassini revealed this world to be one of the solar system’s most scientifically interesting destinations. Geyser-like jets spew water vapor and ice particles from an underground ocean beneath the icy crust of Enceladus. With its global ocean, unique chemistry and internal heat, Enceladus has become a promising lead in our search for worlds where life could exist. Get the details: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/science/enceladus/
5. Volcano World: Io
Jupiter’s moon Io is subjected to tremendous gravitational forces that cause its surface to bulge up and down by as much as 330 feet (100 m). The result? Io is the most volcanically active body in the Solar System, with hundreds of volcanoes, some erupting lava fountains dozens of miles high. More on Io’s volcanoes: solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/io/indepth
6. Yin and Yang Moon: Iapetus
When Giovanni Cassini discovered Iapetus in 1671, he observed that one side of this moon of Saturn was bright and the other dark. He noted that he could only see Iapetus on the west side of Saturn, and correctly concluded that Iapetus had one side much darker than the other side. Why? Three centuries later, the Cassini spacecraft solved the puzzle. Dark, reddish dust in Iapetus’s orbital path is swept up and lands on the leading face of the moon. The dark areas absorb energy and become warmer, while uncontaminated areas remain cooler. Learn more: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/2892/cassini-10-years-at-saturn-top-10-discoveries/#nine
7. A Double World: Charon and Pluto
At half the size of Pluto, Charon is the largest of Pluto’s moons and the largest known satellite relative to its parent body. The moon is so big compared to Pluto that Pluto and Charon are sometimes referred to as a double planet system. Charon’s orbit around Pluto takes 6.4 Earth days, and one Pluto rotation (a Pluto day) takes 6.4 Earth days. So from Pluto’s point of view Charon neither rises nor sets, but hovers over the same spot on Pluto’s surface, and the same side of Charon always faces Pluto. Get the details: www.nasa.gov/feature/pluto-and-charon-new-horizons-dynamic-duo
8. “Death Star” Moon: Mimas
Saturn’s moon Mimas has one feature that draws more attention than any other: the crater Herschel, which formed in an impact that nearly shattered the little world. Herschel gives Mimas a distinctive look that prompts an oft-repeated joke. But, yes, it’s a moon. More: olarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/mimas
9. Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Just Phobos
In mythology, Mars is a the god of war, so it’s fitting that its two small moons are called Phobos, “fear,” and Deimos, “terror.” Our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught this look at Phobos, which is roughly 17 miles (27 km) wide. In recent years, NASA scientists have come to think that Phobos will be torn apart by its host planet’s gravity. Details: www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/phobos-is-falling-apart
Although decades have passed since astronauts last set foot on its surface, Earth’s moon is far from abandoned. Several robotic missions have continued the exploration. For example, this stunning view of the moon’s famous Tycho crater was captured by our Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which continues to map the surface in fine detail today. More: www.lroc.asu.edu/posts/902
Discover more lists of 10 things to know about our solar system HERE.
The moon. Every witch keeps it in conscience. Nearly every religion seems to have something to say about it. In science, history, religion, even in architecture, the moon has come to show its importance and status. Babylonian astronomers in the 5th century BC recorded a lunar cycle, and back in 4th century BC, Chinese Astronomer Shi Shen created a guide regarding the prediction of lunar eclipses. Civilizations like the Han Dynasty thought the moon to be a driving force, while many Native American tribes associated it with female divinity. So, with all this in mind, how can we use and understand the positioning of the moon to better our witchcraft today?
First, we have to understand a lunation. A lunation is a roughly 30 day cycle, from new moon to new moon. The word moon actually comes from the word month. Ancestors used and understood the moon phases to tell time. Each phase lasts a few days to the naked eye, though the moon is really only in each phase for a brief second. It appears the moon stays in a certain phase due to the time buffer in which we on earth see the light. The New Moon represents the start of a new cycle.
So, exactly what does each cycle mean, and how does it correspond with the craft?
New Moon - The new moon is a time of new beginnings. The Sun and Moon are aligned, leaving the moon dark and invisible to our eyes on earth. It will also rise and set around the same time as the sun. It is a time to start new projects, jobs, friendships, and to seek new intentions. Starting a diet, trying to kick an old habit, or redecorating will all be made easier by the energy given by the New Moon. Wishing upon a New Moon is also a good way to bring in some luck.
Waxing Crescent - Also known as the ‘young moon,’ the crescent begins the move towards a full moon. A small, sliver shaped section of the moon is illuminated. Plans or goals that were made during the New Moon can be solidified and worked towards, and often clarified.
First Quarter - The first quarter moon is a small pause from the motivation and working to balance oneself out and discover possible mistakes and holes in plans and ideas we had made. Now is a time to focus and fine tune little things in your life. Meditation and introspective journeys are at hand.
Waxing Gibbous - Also known as the three quarter moon, the waxing gibbous is ¼ away from becoming the anticipated full moon. Spells for success and goal reaching work best, especially in relation to the project you’ve been working on. Think about positive spaces and constructive magic–bringing in money, romance, etc. If your project so far has failed, the Gibbous will help recharge it.
FULL MOON - The full moon. Esbat. Regarded highly as the best and most effective time to cast spells, lore and tales have surrounded the mysterious full moon for centuries. It is a time of heightened psychic awareness, in which everything comes together, including family, friends, plans, and ideas. In Wicca, the full moon is the mother’s moon, and in folklore, the full moon represents divine female power. Divining is especially powerful during a full moon. It is a perfect time to make Moon Water and to perform any exciting or lengthy spells you’ve been working on.
Waning Gibbous - As the waning begins, so does the shedding of old or toxic things in your life. Removing bad habits, curing illnesses, quitting bad jobs, ending addiction, or even breaking off relationships can be planned or started. This is also the time of the goddess Demeter.
Last Quarter - Continue banishing work here, especially focused on your emotions and negativity. Remember things you want to improve and save them for the upcoming new moon, but for now, simply make room for them.
Waning Crescent - The final waning phase before the start of a new cycle, now is a time to confront head on what is causing chaos in your life. A little hexing here and then, if such practice coheres with your beliefs, might just work out during this moon phase.
The moon tarot invokes the unconscious, introspect, and discovery. The face of the moon is half seen, symbolizing pregnancy and the mystery of the soul. The rays of light represent creation and power, and are a vital symbol of life. The animals, perhaps a wolf or dog, sit opposite of a river, mouths lifting to howl at the moon. This can represent the cutting of ties with someone close, and is especially poignant in the idea of hiding or forgetting ones ancestry. A crustacean sits in blue water at height of a pond, symbolizing hidden emotions and sensitivity. The water flowing towards the moon along with the crustacean and dogs rising towards it can be seen as a unity of self. The water at the bottom, where the crustacean sits, is drawn in by the moon, evoking female cycles, as well as passage from life to death and vice versa.
This will most likely be updated and added to, but for now, here this is! I hope this can help somebody out.
If you happen to gaze up at the night sky on June 9, you’ll see a mini Strawberry Moon.
June’s full moon is also known as the “Strawberry Moon.” The
fruity moniker doesn’t actually have anything to do with the moon’s
color, shape or size.
The Strawberry Moon celebrates the coming of prime
strawberry-picking season, which reaches its peak in June, according to
Strawberries are one of the earliest fruits to ripen, second only to rhubarb. With this in mind, the Algonquin
Native American tribes lent this month’s full moon its nickname as a
reminder to pick the quintessential summer fruit come June. Read more (6/9/17)
Jupiter, our solar system’s largest planet, is making a good showing in night skies this month. Look for it in the southeast in each evening. With binoculars, you may be able to see the planet’s four largest moons. Here are some need-to-know facts about the King of the Planets.
1. The Biggest Planet:
With a radius of 43,440.7 miles (69,911 kilometers), Jupiter is 11 times wider than Earth. If Earth were the size of a nickel, Jupiter would be about as big as a basketball.
2. Fifth in Line
Jupiter orbits our sun, and is the fifth planet from the sun at a distance of about 484 million miles (778 million km) or 5.2 Astronomical Units (AU). Earth is one AU from the sun.
3. Short Day / Long Year
One day on Jupiter takes about 10 hours (the time it takes for Jupiter to rotate or spin once). Jupiter makes a complete orbit around the sun (a year in Jovian time) in about 12 Earth years (4,333 Earth days).
4. What’s Inside?
Jupiter is a gas-giant planet without a solid surface. However, the planet may have a solid, inner core about the size of Earth.
Jupiter’s atmosphere is made up mostly of hydrogen (H2) and helium (He).
6. Many Moons
Jupiter has 53 known moons, with an additional 14 moons awaiting confirmation of their discovery — a total of 67 moons.
7. Ringed World
All four giant planets in our solar system have ring systems and Jupiter is no exception. Its faint ring system was discovered in 1979 by the Voyager 1 mission.
8. Exploring Jupiter:
Many missions have visited Jupiter and its system of moons. The Juno spacecraft is currently orbiting Jupiter.
9. Ingredients for Life?
Jupiter cannot support life as we know it. However, some of Jupiter’s moons have oceans underneath their crusts that might support life.
10. Did You Know?
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a gigantic storm (about the size of Earth) that has been raging for hundreds of years.
Discover more lists of 10 things to know about our solar system HERE.
Today astrology refers
to the observation of human behavior in relation to the stars and planets. But
for most of European history, it also included the science we now call astronomy. Astrology was in turn closely
tied to alchemy, a millennia-old
blend of science and spirituality that sought to unlock the secrets of creation.
In antiquity, seven planets were known—the sun, the moon,
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The physical world, meanwhile, was
composed of four elements, while the heavens included the “fifth element,” quintessentia. In the alchemical-astrological
worldview, the seven planets were tied to the seven known metals—gold, silver,
quicksilver (mercury), copper, iron, tin, and lead. In astrology, each sign is
also tied to one of the four elements.
We asked 21st-century astrologist Rose Theodora to explain how each of
the signs maps to the planets, metals, and elements:
Aries is ruled by the planet Mars
and is associated with the metal iron
and the element fire. Mars represents
one’s instinctive physical response and determines a person’s energy level.
Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus
and is associated with the metal copper and
the element earth. Venus describes
one’s aesthetic preferences.
Gemini is ruled by the planet Mercury
and is associated with the metal mercuryand the element air. Mercury denotes a person’s mental fluidity and communication
Cancer is ruled by the planet of the Moon and is associated with the metal silver and the element water.
The Moon determines our emotional and habitual nature.
Leo is ruled by the planet of the Sunand is associated
with the metal gold and the element fire. The Sun signifies our life path
Virgo is ruled by the planet Mercury
and is associated with the metal mercury
and the element earth. Mercury
denotes a person’s mental fluidity and communication skills.
Libra is ruled by the planet Venus
and is associated with the metal copper
and the element air. Venus describes
one’s aesthetic preferences.
Scorpio is ruled by the planet Mars
and is associated with the metal iron
and the element water. Mars
represents one’s instinctive physical response and determines a person’s energy
Sagittarius is ruled by the planet Jupiter and is associated with the metal tin and the element fire.
Jupiter is associated with one’s innate gifts, intelligence, and luck.
Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn and is associated with the metal lead and the element earth.
Saturn is associated with a person’s karmic life path, on which they must work
methodically to overcome obstacles.
Aquarius is ruled by the planet Saturn
and is associated with the metal lead
and the element air. Saturn is
associated with a person’s karmic life path, on which they must work
methodically to overcome obstacles.
Pisces is ruled by the planet Jupiter
and is associated with the metal tin and
the element water. Jupiter is
associated with one’s innate gifts, intelligence, and luck.
“In our quest for innate oneness,” Rose tells us, “we are
similar to the alchemist. It is through the astrologer’s lens that we can learn
how to uniquely express each element within our own divine nature.”
Do you identify with
your sign—and its planet, metal, and element?
Calculating Celestial Movement, Peter Hille.
Engraving in Leonhard Thurneisser zum Thurn, Der Planeten Circkel und Lauff (Berlin, 1575), fol. 3. The Getty
Research Institute, 92-F166
The Microcosm and the Macrocosm, Matthäus Merian the
Elder. Engraving in Musaeum Hermeticum,
pl. 4. The Getty Research Institute, 1380-912
Midsummer, or Litha in some traditions,
is the Summer Solstice—the longest day and shortest night of the
year. The power of the sun is at its
peak and plant life is flourishing. However, contained in the moment
of the sun’s triumph is the seed of its decline, for the days begin
shortening again after this point. (In Celtic traditions, this is dramatized as the Holly King of winter defeating the Oak King of summer in combat. The situation is reversed at Yule.)
This is perhaps the ultimate “live
in the moment” Sabbat—enjoying the abundance of the present
without worrying about the future. There will be time for that later
in the year.
closest Full Moon to this date is known as the Mead Moon, so mead and
honey have a special connection with Midsummer. It is also said to be
a time of intense faerie activity, hence Shakespeare’s play, “A
Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
to do for Midsummer, whether or not you’re Pagan:
picnic lunch in the park.
sumptuous barbecue feast and invite the neighbors.
an apiary (bee farm) and get honey and beeswax right from the source.
herbs from your garden or a plot of land where you have permission.
example of the delightful appropriateness of nature, sunflowers are
usually in full bloom at this time. Obtain an especially nice one, or
a bouquet of them, and give it a place of honor.
playlist of songs praising the sun and summertime and listen to it
a bonfire in the evening (with the proper permits and following all
fire safety regulations, of course). After it dies down, jump over
the really hardcore…stay up all night and watch the sunrise. At
least it’s a short night!
falls on June 21 this year. Have a blast!
Moon in 1st:
Independent, doesn't like to rely on others, shows emotions outwardly, self-confidence is important, thoughts and emotions come quickly.
Moon in 2nd:
Physical/financial security is important, materialistic, ambitious, lazy, physical comfort is important, connects emotions with food, feels better if future is known or secured.
Moon in 3rd:
Communication is important, wants to know the details, indecisive, curious, artistic, holds information well, likes to learn/read.
Moon in 4th:
Personal space is important, needs alone time, good intuition, emotional, doesn't like to show emotions, distressed when family is unharmonious, happy living environment is important.
Moon in 5th:
Opportunities to express oneself is important, doesn't like for things to be too serious, passionate, impulsive emotions, important for emotions to be heard/acknowledged, praise from others is valued.
Moon in 6th:
Being able to work through their emotions is important, works through emotions logically, can be nit picky, important for them to be treated with patience, takes time to understand their emotions, likes to distract themselves, can undermine emotions.
Moon in 7th:
Likes to have a partner, solitude is not preferred, feels most secure in relationships or partnerships, likes to depend on others, indecisive, nurturing.
Moon in 8th:
solitude is important to them, paranoid with others and their intentions, intense and passionate emotions, intrigued by the taboo, links emotions with sex, uses sex or relationships to feel nurtured, sensitive to others emotions and vibes.
Moon in 9th:
Likes to learn/read, growth is important to them, wants excitement and change, impulsive emotions, energetic, opinionated.
Moon in 10th:
Important for them to feel successful. ambitious, good self control, emotions often on display, hard on oneself, views emotions logically.
Moon in 11th:
Important for them to be with friends or family in hard times, detaches from emotions, good with people and others emotions.
Moon in 12th:
Important for them to reflect on their emotions, better dealing with others emotions than their own, wants to escape from emotions, unaware of emotions, sensitive, deep feeling.
The Sailor Moon paper I wrote for my gender studies class
Last week, I mentioned the presentation I did on Sailor Moon for my gender studies class, and how my professor was so impressed by Sailor Moon’s themes that she told me she wants to show it to her kids. Anyway, I promised that I would post the paper the presentation focused on once I finished writing it, so here it is!
I drew quite a bit from a previous paper I wrote on Sailor Moon, but I also included a lot of new things. Particularly, I added sections on how femininity is often negatively portrayed in the media, Haruka’s gender nonconformity in the manga, and the presence of the Outer family.
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
It seems as though more and more frequently, the lack of female-centric media is being called into question. It appears as though the majority of movies, tv shows, and other media feature a male protagonist, with female characters being relegated to the sidelines. Even if there is a female protagonist, it often feels like she doesn’t get to develop strong relationships with other female characters. The lack of deep female relationships and overall female representation in media is indeed unacceptable; the same can be said for the lack of representation regarding LGBT people. However, I feel as though we should praise a particular series that not only delivers on those things, but proves that doing so can lead to massive success. It’s called Sailor Moon (known as Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon in its native country of Japan), an anime (cartoon) and manga (comic book) series aimed at girls. SailorMoon is so impressive because it provides positive portrayals of femininity, female relationships (both platonic and romantic), gender nonconformity, and even non-traditional families.
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, which means “Beautiful Soldier Sailor Moon” in Japanese, was created by a female Japanese mangaka,or manga artist, named Naoko Takeuchi. The manga debuted in the girls’ magazine Nakayoshi on December 28, 1991 and ended on February 3, 1997; the animated adaptation premiered on March 7, 1992 and ended February 8, 1997. From the very beginning, Sailor Moon was a smash hit; originally intended to only consist of a single arc, its popularity caused Takeuchi to expand it to five arcs. In addition to the original anime and manga, Sailor Moon’s enormous popularity has resulted in, as of 2017: A series of stage musicals, 31 in all; three movies with theatrical releases; a live-action series that comprised of 52 episodes; numerous rereleases of the manga and anime; many video game spinoffs; many foreign-language dubs; and finally, a new, updated anime reboot entitled Sailor Moon Crystal that is ongoing.
Tomorrow’s night we are going to see The Bloody Moon. It’s an important night for all of us, don’t forget about it!
The Blood Moon is the last of the harvest moons, and the one closest to Samhain, the time when the veil between this world and the Otherworld is the thinnest. Also known as “moon of the changing season” and “failing leaf moon” the Blood Moon represents the death of one cycle and the birth of a new cycle. Blood is the life force that flows through your physical body. The Blood Moon ritual gives you the opportunity to give thanks and celebrate this life force. For this ritual, you will need a white candle, a red candle, a red apple, a chalice full of cranberry juice, and three daffodil bulbs.
Draw a magick circle and call in the elements. Light the white candle and say: I light this candle for eternal light. Light the red candle and say: I light this candle for eternal life.
Give thanks to the Goddess before eating the apple: Divine Lady, I thank you for your gift of life.
Place any seeds from the apple on the altar. Take the chalice of juice and go to each of the four directions while calling out:
Oh great and mighty one, ruler of eternal life Our blood runs together as One on this sacred night.
Thank the Goddess and bid farewell to the elements. Pull up the circle and in the morning, take the three daffodil bulbs and plant them into the ground. They represent the eternal life of the divine Goddess being renewed for the next year. Return the apple seeds to the earth.
Albert Aublet - Séléné  by Gandalf Via Flickr: When Albert Aublet exhibited Séléné (later known as The New Moon), at the Salon of 1879, the work was accompanied by a poem written by his friend, Charles Grandmougin (translated from the French):
Barely hatched, the silver stars are trembling, At the foot of the golden mountains the lake becomes obscure,
And, through thin pink clouds, she is sailing,
The blonde Séléné is awaking into the azure;
Like a rounded arch, she is floating and rising,
Slowly stretching her beautiful rejuvenated body,
Eyes closed, and savouring at the heart of the infinity,
All the delights from the night and the dreaming.
As suggested by the poem, Aublet’s pearlescent-skinned Séléné soars through the star-dappled sky, high above a landscape of purple mountains and ice blue waters. His version stands in evocative contrast to depictions in Classical antiquity of the moon goddess as a young woman with a pale white face, wearing the moon as a crown, travelling on a chariot drawn by two horses.
[Sotheby’s, New York - Oil on canvas, 143.8 x 115.5 cm]