There’s a new comet in the skies! C/2012 S1 (ISON) was discovered on the 21st September 2012 by Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok in Russia. The comet’s existence was confirmed by pictures also taken in December 2011. What is interesting about this comet is that there is some talk that it may be similar to the Great Comet of 1680 – so similar it could either be a related object or even the same comet.
The Great Comet of 1680 was particularly bright, some say even visible in daylight. It became famous via Isaac Newton who used it to test Keplers Laws of Planetary Motion and also he apparently caught onto the whole idea about gravity by observing the comet’s path.
Comet ISON, like the Great Comet of 1680 is a sun-grazing comet. This means that its orbit takes it extremely close to the Sun, whizzing around our star before speeding back towards the outer edges of the solar system. If we are lucky, the comet may form the long tail so typically shown in paintings of comets in the past. At the moment, astronomy predicts that the comet will be at its closest to us on 1st October next year, then again on 26th December 2013 on its return journey from the Sun.
As I couldn’t find the time that the comet was discovered and I like to work with exact data, I decided to draw up a chart for the time that the orbit of the comet was determined. This is given on Nasa’s Small Body Database as the 24th September 2012 at 12:50:02. Note that since I wrote this post Jamie Partridge over at Darkstar Astrology has proved his Googling prowess and found the actual discovery time! As I’d already completed this post and found some interesting information in the orbit determination chart and Jamie has already written a great post on the discovery chart, I decided to present my findings as a contrast.
The first thing that immediately caught my eye is the Sun conjunction to the MC – very appropriate for a ‘sun-grazing’ comet. The MC is on the Sabian symbol: –
Around A Campfire A Group Of Young People Sit In Spiritual Communion.
It’s interesting that the Sabian includes the image of fire as this is also connected to the Sun. The symbol itself is about the need for us to have a common goal and also to reconnect with our own inner light. The inner spark within each of us is connected to all other living things. A fire however needs to be fed, to be tended carefully much like our own spirits. When we are all focused on a common goal, the fire (the enthusiasm and inspiration to change) remains bright and warm.
The Sun’s Sabian is :-
The Dawn Of A New Day Reveals Everything Changed.
Here we have another reference to the Sun. This symbol speaks to me of wiping the slate clean. It shows that no matter what has happened before, the future can be changed, much like each day we are born anew.
As the Sun is about identity, I can’t help mentioning that I read the comet’s name initially as “Is On”. It’s like it’s switched on (especially with a frisson of Mercury opposite Uranus energy) and makes me think ‘bring it on!’.
Moving onto the Ascendant, Sagittarius here echoes the comet’s far-reaching journey. Sagittarius is the philosopher, the traveller, someone who is educated. Perhaps this comet really is the one that taught us so much back in 1680? But perhaps also, this comet is a herald reminding us to open our eyes, to great the world with enthusiasm and the willingness to learn. Ruler Jupiter sits on the Descendant (in the 6th house). I think this one likes to make a big entrance! Perhaps, with Jupiter in the 6th house, one message of this comet is to take care of our bodies for they are the temple of the soul.
The Ascendant sits on the Sabian :-
Children Playing On The Beach, Their Heads Protected By Sunbonnets.
Wow – another Sun reference!
This Sabian reminds us to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. Children just want to play outside when it’s sunny and have no real understanding that they might get sun-burned or heat-stroke. It is up to us as responsible adults to protect them. But the young children in this image can also represent those who are mentally, emotionally or spiritually immature. It is up to all of us to ensure they are safe.
Pluto in the first house shows that Comet ISON may have an intense impact upon us. It may even spark a little intrigue. Those with Pluto in the first house natally often keep their secrets well.
Mercury opposite Uranus (wide but still in orb) trips off the Uranus – Pluto square. This is an exciting and unpredictable energy at the best of times but certainly points to a possible transforming energy (Pluto as the apex of the T-square) should we choose to use it as such. Perhaps this comet may work like a messenger of the coming changes brought by the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square dance. Jamie also mentions this in his analysis of the discovery chart.
Mercury by the way is on the Sabian: –
In The Heat Of The Noon Hour A Man Takes A Siesta
Yes, yet another Sun reference! In it’s ‘wired’ position with Uranus, this image is actually a reminder that to think clearly, we must sometimes take some time out and learn to relax the mind. When Mercury and Uranus are connected, there’s a tendency towards hasty decisions and mad-cap ideas. If we are able to still the mind when everything around us is in chaos, we make room for the truly inspirational flashes that Uranus can bring.
With the North Node of the chart deep in the 12th house and in the sign Scorpio, perhaps it is one of the missions of this comet to simply make us wonder at the deep mysteries of life, death, the universe and beyond. The North Node is on the Sabian: –
The King Of The Fairies Approaching His Domain
This Sabian talks of a central power of consciousness. Dane Rudhyar says “all manifested entities are seen as multiple aspects of a central Power and Consciousness”. Much like our Sun is a unifying force, around which our Earth and other bodies of the solar system rotate, so too is there a spiritual or cosmic centre to which we can turn to for warmth (like the campfire) and enlightenment.
Witnessing a celestial event that may never come again has the capacity to unite us for a moment in awe. We get a vague sense of the enormity of it all. Maybe, it stirs in us a deep primal fear, a flight or fight, an adrenaline rush (Mars in the 12th house) that hints at how utterly small we are when looking into space. In that moment, maybe all we can do is bow to what is greater. With Neptune in the 3rd house, perhaps Comet ISON will inspire in each of us just a little poetry too.