|SEPTEMBER 2014 FORECAST
©2014 by Richard Nolle
last revised AUG 30, 2014
If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world, not some mystical mumbo-jumbo psycho-babble word salad. If it's real astrology for yourself that you want, you can get it by phone or in print. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying this article, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT, aka GMT). Also please be aware that, while I never change a forecast once it's published, I do post errata to acknowledge typographical errors and the like.
PLEASE NOTE: This month’s forecast incorporates elements of (and refers to) my complete 2014 World Forecast Highlights (41 8-1/2 x 11” illustrated pages), focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. The full version of my 2014 World Forecast Highlights is available in hard copy by mail ($75) or as a PDF document by email ($50). Orders may be phoned in (toll-free from anywhere in North America to 800-527-8761) and charged to any major credit card. PayPal orders may be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to firstname.lastname@example.org – or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.
The future is like a corridor into which we can see only by the light coming from behind.
-- Edward Weyer Jr.
September is a month of wrap-ups: the last SuperMoon and last Mercury Max cycle of the year, as well as the onset of the last major solar eruption phase of 2014. While this combination is rather plain and simple compared to all the celestial alignments at work in each of the last several months, appearances can be deceiving. September enters and exits with a bang, and pretty much muddles through the middle. It starts like this . . .
SuperMoon Full Moon Shock Window
Following a brief (September 2-4) bout of geophysical (i.e., storm, tide and seismic) disturbances associated with the Moon reaching maximum declination south of the celestial equator, this month’s main event is another full SuperMoon. The September 9 full moon at 16° 19’ Pisces is the caboose on the summer SuperMoon train. It comes along within a couple hours of the Moon making its northward crossing of the celestial equator, which adds a little torque to the tidal pull of this alignment. Being a full moon, this one signals emotional confrontation and conflict as much as it does geophysical upheaval. People are more keenly focused on the rights and wrongs of interpersonal relationships at times like this. Feeling wronged, being the martyr, and passive-aggressive behavior will draw far more attention than usual during this SuperMoon window, which runs from the 6th through the 12th.
Full moons are always dramatic sights to see, particularly when the moon is just rising in the east as the sun sets. Any full moon near the horizon looks preternaturally large. A SuperMoon looks larger still, because it’s so much closer to Earth than usual. That’s what a SuperMoon is, per the definition I gave it back in 1979: a new or full moon that occurs when the Moon is at or very near lunar perigee - the point in its orbit when it is closest to Earth.
How much bigger does a SuperMoon full moon look, compared to a full moon that occurs with Luna at apogee (the most distant point from earth in the moon’s orbit)? Some critics have charged that you can’t tell the difference, which is just plain silly. A very close estimate of the difference in apparent size can be obtained from the ratio of the full moon’s distance at perigee, divided by the full moon’s distance at apogee. (The result from this method actually agrees to within less than one percent of the actual difference in apparent size as measured in pixels with a CCD.)
Take for example the March 19, 2011 SuperMoon, at 356,577 km. away. Compare that to the 406,434 km. distance of the apogee full moon on October 12, 2011: 406,434/356,577 = 1.1398. This puts the moon 14% (49,857 km.) closer to earth on the March 19 SuperMoon than it was on the October 12, 2011 full moon. The intensity of light being the inverse square of the distance between a light source and an observer, squaring this ratio tells us how much brighter the March 19 SuperMoon appears in comparison to the October 12 apogee full moon: 1.139822 = 1.299, or 30% brighter.
Back in 1997, in his free online Inconstant Moon article, John Walker illustrated the difference, with actual side-by-side photos of the perigee and apogee full moons of August 1987 and February 1988, respectively. People who say you can’t tell the difference between al SuperMoon full moon and the garden variety plainly can’t see the truth when they’re looking right at it! More likely, they’ve never bothered to look, because scoffers by definition don’t bother to inform themselves before making their pronouncements. Where’s a real skeptic when you need one?!
Apparent size in the sky isn’t the whole SuperMoon story – not by any means – although it is the focus of popular media coverage. For one thing, it only applies to full moons. But perigee-syzygy by definition includes any syzygy (new or full moon) that occurs with the Moon at or very near perigee.
New moons can’t be seen at all, of course. (That’s why I have dubbed them “Stealth SuperMoons.) But as the fox told Saint-Exupery’s Little Prince, "What is essential is invisible to the eye." The increased tidal pull (perigean spring tide) of a SuperMoon is invisible to the eye, but its manifestations are not.
The greater tidal pull stirring up Earth’s crust, seas and sky is essential to any SuperMoon, new or full. Which is why, 35 years ago now, I associated increased seismicity (moderate-to-severe earthquakes), elevated coastal tides, and severe storms with the SuperMoon – typically within a "shock window" of plus or minus three days, but in some cases extended a day or two when the SuperMoon shock window melds into another enhanced lunar factor (a declination peak or equatorial crossing).
Take, for example, the July 9-17 shock window my July forecast specified for that month’s full SuperMoon: 30 Magnitude 5+ quakes (including three Magnitude 6 or higher), the strongest tropical storm of 2014 to date (Super Typhoon Rammasun), plus new volcanic seismicity and eruptions in Indonesia, the Philippines and on the Chile-Argentina border; not to mention strong storms in the US West and Midwest. And then there’s the tally for the August 6-14 SuperMoon shock window specified in my forecast for that month: a baker’s dozen M5+ quakes, and a succession of damaging storms across the US, including killer flash floods in several states.) But, also as specified in my August forecast, there’s more to SuperMoon than the geophysical stuff.
"Remember," as called out in the forecast, "that geophysical drama isn’t the only kind that comes with a SuperMoon full moon. Individuals are also charged up for relationship issues – which can lead to breakthroughs or breakdowns. It’s often a come together or come apart time when it comes to interpersonal connections . . . " As pointed out in the forecast, the August 10 full SuperMoon occurred within a single day of one of the critical points in the 2013-2014 Mars Max cycle, during which time "all things pertaining to Mars loom larger and larger in human experience during this period: haste, recklessness, heat, fire, danger, belligerence and conflict - literally and figuratively - are more and more on the rise . . . This means a spike across the whole spectrum of violence, from the individual to the collective, from domestic, school and workplace violence to mass murder and spree killings all the way to suicide bombings and other terrorist atrocities." In that light, what’s been happening in Iraq and Ukraine at the macro level, and in Missouri on the micro level, fits perfectly into context. (Michael Brown was shot dead on the eve of the SuperMoon, and the riots in Ferguson broke out under the light of the full SuperMoon itself.) But that was then. Here’s what lies ahead . . .
Regulars know the drill by now: expect a surplus in headlining storms, tidal surges and seismic activity during the September 6-12 SuperMoon shock window. As always, being astronomical in scale makes this a planet-wide phenomenon. The formation of strong, massive low pressure systems stirs up a surplus of severe storms and extreme tides. Flooding goes with this particular SuperMoon: coastal flooding due to peak tides (amplified by strong, storm driven winds setting the same way as the tide), as well as inland flooding due to heavy precipitation. Of course the usual Magnitude 5+ earthquakes and noteworthy volcanic eruptions are on tap as well.
Consulting an astro-locality map - see below, if you're new to the subject - for clues to areas of special vulnerability to geophysical disturbances during this SuperMoon, The longitudinal (north-south) sun-moon meridian lines are mostly over open ocean in the western hemisphere, although Greenland and Iceland get a brush; while in the eastern hemisphere, the same line drops from Kamchatka due south through the Pacific Ocean to graze Papua New Guinea, before crossing over Australia’s eastern seaboard. There’s also a horizon arc of note, coming up through the eastern Pacific Ocean across western Mexico and southern California, up through the US Southwest into the Rockies and across western Canada; before arcing easterly and then southerly through the eastern hemisphere, down through western Russia (look out, Ukraine!) and southwest Asia (touching Iran and Afghanistan).
I can guarantee you that these will not be the only loci for this particular SuperMoon barrage. This is an astronomical alignment, which means its scope is planet-wide. So don’t be complacent if none of these lines is anywhere near you. But on the other hand, don’t be at all surprised to see the aforementioned zones figuring prominently in the headlines of the day.
While natural cataclysms are in many ways the most obvious signs of the SuperMoon alignment, there’s also a more microcosmic manifestation; namely, at the level of human feeling, behavior and experience. Any full moon brings conflict into high contrast, in and between each of us as individuals, as well as en masse at the collective level. Tensions become acute, perceptions of difference are exaggerated, and the result can range from disagreements and argument to murder and mayhem.
Mars Max is over now, but the fuse it lit is not extinguished. From strikes and riots all the way to revolution and war, this SuperMoon brings it all to light for a time. Blessed are the peacemakers, because without them too many of the meek will indeed inherit the earth – six feet of it, more or less. (The target zones mentioned above bear watching.)
A word about astro-locality mapping is appropriate here, if you’re unfamiliar with the technique. The heart of the matter is that these maps show where on earth the planets (and other points) are rising/setting and culminating/anti-culminating at the moment of an event – a birth, a planetary configuration, etc. Rising and setting should be self-explanatory: they’re the places at which a planet is on the eastern or the western horizon, respectively. Culminating/anti-culminating roughly equates to being directly overhead/directly below. The rising/setting lines are curving arcs, while the culminate/anti-culminate lines are longitudinal (straight up and down, i.e. north-south). In the format I use (the Solar Maps module in Esoteric Technologies’ Solar Fire software), rising arcs are white, setting arcs are black; culminating lines are solid, anti-culminating lines are dashed.
Mercury Max Is Back
Mercury Max is to Mercury as a SuperMoon is to a regular new or full moon. Mercury Max includes the perigee of the little planet – its closest approach to Earth, that is. The Mercury Max cycle reflects the orbital interplay of Earth, Sun and Mercury, from a terrestrial perspective. On its inner orbital path, the faster moving Mercury catches up on and then passes Earth, moving between us and Sol before pulling way and leaving us behind.
During this close pass, Mercury appears bigger and brighter in our skies than at any other time in its orbital cycle – much as a full SuperMoon is bigger and brighter than normal. And for part of this Mercury Max cycle, the little planet’s progress through our night skies appears to slow, then stop, and then reverse for several weeks, before again standing still and then resuming normal direct motion.
This period of reversal is the infamous Mercury retrograde of astrological lore; which is said to be a time when all things pertaining to Mercury are somehow debilitated. Which is just plain silly on the face of it. Mercury is weaker, when it’s closer and bigger and brighter? Really? That’s just plain silly. It’s the kind of nonsensical tradition passed down by uncritical minds, and eyes that don’t watch the sky. I say Mercury Max is enhanced, not debilitated. For a fuller presentation on this – including the silliness of Mercury retrograde and its so-called "shadow" and "storm” periods, see my free online Mercury Max article. For now, suffice it to say that the September 21 to November 1 Mercury Max cycle is a time to stay sharp and focused, to be alert and attentive. It’s not a time when the Cosmos turns us into dummies, but it is a time when we can dumb ourselves down if we don’t step up.
There is a word of caution to bear in mind during this and any Mercury Max cycle. I believe it’s the reason that this cycle (and more particularly the lesser included retrograde portion of it) is associated with screw-ups, communication and transportation breakdowns and the like. Yes, these things do happen – some due to weather, more due to human inattention. The connection in both cases is not to the little sun-grazing planet per se, but to solar storm cycles triggered around the key points in the Mercury Max cycle.
2014 MERCURY MAX
Max-E S-Rx CNJ SU S-D Max-W JAN 31 FEB 6 FEB 15 FEB 28 MAR 14 MAY 25 JUN 7 JUN 19 JUL 1 JUL 12 SEP 21 OCT 4 OCT 16 OCT 25 NOV 1
Solar Storm Watch
All five critical points in the Mercury Max cycle – the maximum eastern elongation, retrograde station, inferior solar conjunction, direct station and maximum eastern elongation – typically coincide (give or take a few days) with solar outbursts: Coronal Max Ejections (CMEs), M and X class solar flares and geomagnetic storms (Kp index of 5 and up). For this month, this means that a solar storm watch is in effect from this 18th through the 24th.
Dumping Gigawatts of extra solar radiation and particles into the terrestrial system fires up disturbances in the Earth’s geomagnetic field, atmosphere and crust. Spectacular auroral displays farther than usual from the poles are one obvious manifestation of this kind of phenomenon. Others include overloaded electrical and electronic infrastructure, from power grids to computer and satellite networks. Keep your surge protection and backups tested and ready. And remember that we humans too are bioelectric networks: if you feel fritzy, get a grip. Slow down, focus, clear your mind, double-check just to be sure.
Other Geocosmic Stress Windows
While the September 9 SuperMoon is far and away the major storm and seismic signal of the month, it’s not alone. I’ve already mentioned the lunar south declination peak on the 3rd. Similar in nature is the north declination peak on the 16th (in effect from the 15th through the 17); likewise the Moons September 30 south declination extreme, in effect from the 29th into October 1. All of these lunar declination extremes raise the level of tidal surges, powerful storms with damaging winds and heavy precipitation, and notable seismic activity (M5 and up earthquakes, plus news-making volcanic eruptions. But second only in length and strength to the SuperMoon itself is the geophysical shock window associated with the new moon at on the 24th.
In effect from the 23rd through the 27th, and amplified by the Moon’s southward crossing of the celestial equator on the 23rd, the September 24 new moon at 1d 7’ Libra is liable to get an extra kick from Mercury reaching maximum elongation east of the Sun on the 21st. Keep your eyes on the skies, have your emergency kit ready – and if traveling, make allowances for delays, missed connections and the like – many of them weather related, some to other atmospheric phenomena, some to electrical/electronic infrastructure breakdowns (including human misfeasance/malfeasance).
All astrological charts as well as eclipse and astro-locality maps are calculated and produced using Esoteric Technologies’ Solar Fire Gold Version 7.0.8. Unless sotherwise noted, sky map images are screen captures from the Pocket Universe app for iPhone, or produced by Starry Night for Windows; storm tracks are screen captures from The Weather Channel app for iPhone; and earthquake maps are screen captures from Quakes Pro Earthquake Alerts app for iPhone.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)
||Richard Nolle, Certified Professional Astrologer
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