Turnings and the Return of Nut  - Looking at the sky and the solstice. Five thousand years ago Nut was involved with the earth's seasons and now she is with us again.

The 2010 June Solstice - some mundane points - Observations on the parans to the partile Sun square Uranus in the Solstice chart and how being latitude-sensitive changes how they affect countries.

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90 days ... StarLogos >>> 2010

We are counting down...  StarLogos >>> 2010 is being held under Santa Fe skies in New Mexico. It is a stellar intensive of Visual Astrology with lectures, hands-on learning to read natal sky maps and fixed star work PLUS looking at the night sky, to learn to see the constellations. Your tutors are Bernadette Brady, Darrelyn Gunzburg, with guest tutor, Darby Costello.

We are now filling the final 10 places!  


Turnings and the Return of Nut
Bernadette Brady M.A.

In the 3rd century BCE Aratus wrote the Phaenomena, the Greek poetic work which described the constellations as well as the celestial sphere. In this poem Aratus talked of the place in the sky of the 'turnings', the location amongst the stars where the Sun 'turns' or what we now call the solstice locations.

Aratus, who did not comment on precession, lamented that these important sky points were not occupied by bright stars, for in his time the summer turning was amongst the small dim stars of Cancer the Crab.

Precession, of course, shifts the location of these two turning points of the summer and winter solstices, just as it shifts the location of the equinoxes. These four key seasonal points shift backwards along the ecliptic in a cycle which takes close to 26,000 years.

Aratus, with his descriptions, drew the lines of the celestial sphere through the constellations so that one could identify them in the night sky. In this way he defined the equator, and the two latitude bands that we know as the tropic of Cancer and Capricorn. He carefully traced these through a series of stars and constellations so that an observer could stand under a starry sky and 'see' these lines arching overhead, (see figure 1)

Figure 1

Where the ecliptic is furthest from the equator in the north, marks the Tropic of Cancer. When the Sun occupies this position it is at one of its 'Turnings'.

Figure 1 is the position of the summer solstice at the time of Aratus, (c.300 BCE). It is located in the dim stars of the constellation Cancer.

Due to precession, the constellations which occupy this position  slide backwards. Now, in 2010 (figure 2) the stars which mark the summer solstice in the north lie between Gemini and Taurus, just above the club of Orion. 

Figure 2

The Milky Way and the Turnings
However, before Aratus began his description of the celestial sphere, he digressed from his topic and talked of the natural circle of stars in the sky that we know as the Milky Way. In this poem he acknowledged that, although wonderful to observe, it did not form a part of the important circles that he was about to describe. Nevertheless he marvelled at its beauty and wrote:

If ever on a clear night, when Night in the heavens shows to men all her stars in their brightness and no star is borne faintly gleaming at the midmonth moon, but they all sharply pierce the darkness if in such an hour wonder rises in thy heart to mark on every side the heaven cleft by a broad belt, or if someone at thy side point out that circle set with brilliants that is what men call the Milky Way. A match for it in colour thou wilt find no circle wheel... [1]

However, the ecliptic does cross the Milky Way, with the stars of Orion/Gemini being located in one side of the arch and the stars of Sagittarius on the other. Thus, with the slow movement of precession, over its 26,000 year cycle, the seasonal markers of summer or winter solstice or one of the equinoxes will eventually become located in "that circle set with brilliants".  Indeed this is the case for our current era, and this will continue so for the next few hundred years. As can be seen in figure 3,  the location of the summer solstice occurs just above the club of Orion (winter solstice for the southern hemisphere) in the Milky Way.

Figure 3 - The Milky Way and a bright moon just set. The ecliptic (red) cuts through the Milky Way in the place of Gemini/Orion shown above, and Sagittarius (not shown). Currently the summer solstice (or winter for the southern hemisphere) is located at a point just above the club of Orion.

It has been a long time since we have had a seasonal marker amongst the stars of the Milky Way. The last time was in the 3rd millennium BCE and it was acknowledge by the Egyptians of the Old Kingdom. For them the times of 'equal day and night' occurred in this natural starry belt and they embraced this in their mythology and religions. For the Egyptians of this period the Milky Way was their sky goddess Nut.[2] Indeed Nut is one of the earliest known expression of a goddess located in the sky. Previously the icons of goddesses tended to be associated with the earth, located in caves and stones. But Nut changed this pattern and in her starry sky role she was the mother of the Sun disk, Ra, and hence the mother of all of life. Thus Nut as the anthropomorphic form of the Milky Way allowed the Egyptians to raised the goddess into a stellar concept rather than belonging solely to the earth.

Figure 4 - 2700 BCE, the summer solstice is conjunct Regulus in the constellation Leo while the March equinox, which occurs when the Sun is at point where the ecliptic crosses the equator, is located on the edge of the Milky Way, around the stars of Taurus and Orion.

In Egyptian mythology the head of the goddess Nut was placed at the location of the equinox in the stars of Orion and Gemini (see figure 4). As the Sun moved into this day of 'equal day and night' and began the seasonal time of the lengthening of days and the commencement of summer, Egyptian mythology talked of Nut swallowing or ingesting the Sun. Nine months later, at the winter solstice, she would give birth to him when the Sun rose with an horizon alignment to Deneb Adige, in Cygnus the Swan, located in her genitals

Figure 5-  The star goddess Nut was the arch of the Milky Way and the in the middle of the 3rd millennium BCE the Sun was located in her head at the time of the spring equinox.
Now this same position is the location of the current summer solstices.

Since the time of the Old Kingdom Nut has not been involved with the earth's seasons, for since that time no seasonal turning point has fallen within the Milky Way. However, after five thousands years, one of our seasonal markers is back in this same place (see figure 5). Our northern hemisphere summer solstice is in the head of Nut. This has not just happened. It has been the case for the last hundred years and will continue to be so for the next few hundreds years, so it it not so much a comment about the coming year but rather a comment about the epoch in which we find ourselves. 

As visual astrologers with an awareness of cycles, patterns, sky images, and history, we acknowledge the importance of this visual event. We may not understand its expression but we accept the intent of its symbolism.

If we step back and look at our era we can see that it does present different problems to those of the past. Our era is defined by the globalisation of economies, environment, social networks, knowledge and information. So our crises are global, unlike the problems of war and the plagues of history, our problems involve issues such as pollution, energy crisis and matters of petroleum. In this way we are only too aware that the problems of one country become the problems of the world. 

As visual astrologers we would like to think that the summer solstice occurring in the head of Nut suggests that we are at an era of change, that a 'turning around' is possible. It may well take a few more hundred years but somehow we can take comforted, or even feel a little optimistic for the earth, as now the ancient sky goddess has returned and once again is engaging with our earthly seasonal cycles. 

You cannot see the Head of Nut in the sky at the moment, because the Sun is there. However, next September through to March, or indeed the next time you look upon the stars of Orion, let you eyes blur a little, particularly if it is, as Aratus suggested, a moonless night. Then look to the club of Orion and follow the train of foggy or glowing stars and see if you can begin to see Nut, the goddess of the sky who is once again retouching the earth and its seasons. If you do see her then welcome her back.

[Note: For those of you coming to StarLogos >> 2010, we are hoping to be able to see Nut - the milky way - in the dark velvet night sky in Santa Fe. It is going to be one of our focuses on the star-watching night.]


1. Aratus, "The Phaenomena" in, Callimachus, Hymns and Epigrams, Lycophron, Aratus. Translated A.W. Mair, G.R. Mair. Harvard University Press, London, [1921], 1989. p.245. 

2. Wells, R.A., "The Mythology of Nut and the Birth of Ra", Studien zur Altagyptischen Kulter, Bd. 19,1992. p.309.



The 2010 June Solstice - some mundane points
Darrelyn Gunzburg


The June solstice this year occurs as the Sun forms a partile square to Uranus. This is also part of a T-Square with Pluto. However let us just focus on the partile square to Uranus at 00 Aries. [1]


As astrologers we all know that the symbolism of this combination suggests a season of sudden mishaps or unexpected events. In truth we can look at any year in the past and point to unexpected events but this exact square at the solstice is thought-provoking.


One of the points about working with fixed star parans is that they are highly latitude-sensitive. By focusing on the nature of the Uranus and looking at its parans for some of the world's key capitol cities, we can observe how differently the parans are being expressed and thus suggest how different nations may handle this Sun-Uranus solstice square.


The following list will highlight to you the importance of latitude with fixed star parans and give us all some clues as to the issues that will unfold from this 'turning' to the next seasonal change at the September equinox.

[If you own Starlight, have a look to see if there are any parans to Uranus for your latitude. Select 'Mundane Parans' from the text buttons.]


Image of National Flag "Stars and Stripes" Washington, DC  - latitude 38N55'
Culminating when Ras Algethi is Setting 
A sudden upset in the political balance of power

This may have more to do with the BP oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and describe a change of focus by the current administration.
Image of Union Flag & Naval Jack London, UK  - latitude 51N30'
on Nadir when Aldebaran is Setting 
The population is asked to act with dignity and social awareness
This may reflect the aftermath of the Cumbria  gun-shooting massacre where Derrick Bird shot 12 people and then himself on Wednesday 2nd June 2010.
Image of European Union Brussels, Belgium, capitol of the European Union - latitude 50N50'
Setting when Vega is Setting 
A popular leader, being loved by the masses

On Nadir when Aldebaran is Setting 
The population is asked to act with dignity and social awareness

On Nadir when Alcyone is Setting 
An angry group in the community

The European commission based in Brussels is currently fighting off the IMF based in New York who are advising the beleaguered socialist government of George Papandreou to seek help from Washington.[2] The solstice may see an escalation of anger in the Brussels administration but also the emergence of a leader who can navigate this difficult financial situation.

Image of National Flag

Pretoria, South Africa - latitude 25S42'
Rising when Scheat is Rising 
Educational, or sports, institutions come under investigation

The World Cup happens in South Africa in June 2010.  

Image of National Flag Cairo, Egypt - latitude 40N04'
Rising when Zosma is Setting
A controversial, or upsetting, outcome
Egypt signed a peace deal with Israel in 1979 and is one of only two Arab states maintaining diplomatic relations with Israel. However, on 5th June the State Council's Supreme Administrative Court backed annulling the citizenship of Egyptians married to Israelis in cases which Egypt's national security may be at stake.
Image of National Flag Athens, Greece - latitude 37N59'
Setting when Alkes is Rising
A person who holds a special place in people's hearts

On Nadir when Antares is Rising
Collective worry, collective concern about wellbeing

Culminating when Ras Algethi is Setting
A sudden upset in the political balance of power

Greece has a long track record of defaulting on its monetary loans and has been through five big defaults in less than 200 years.[3] The risk of another default or the doomsday scenario of Greece, has frightened  investors. These parans suggest the situation may in fact worsen.

Image of National Flag Jerusalem, Israel - latitude 31N46'
Uranus on Nadir when Sirius is Setting 
Seeking awe and wonder

Culminating when Castor is Rising
A popular author, film, or cause takes the community's attention

Given the complexity of Israel position in world events it's hard to make any suggestions with regard to these particular parans. However, Sirius always brings resolutions through very difficult events, so it is well worth keeping any eye out to see how it emerges.

Capital cities considered but with  no parans with Uranus Islamabad, Pakistan (latitude 33N42). Beijing, China (latitude 39N56'), Paris, France (latitude 48N52'), Kabul, Afghanistan (latitude 34N31'), Berlin, Germany (latitude 52N31'), Ottawa, Canada (latitude 45N25'), Tokyo, Japan (latitude 35N41'), Canberra, Australia, (latitude 35S17').

1.   The breaking up of old situations at the grass-roots level through upheavals is one of the most common mundane expressions of a Sun-Uranus combination. These parans to Uranus sitting underneath this aspect suggest, at the different latitudes, the various ways such change may be attained. It will be interesting to see how these expressions emerge in the coming months.


1. Some astrologers will argue that Uranus forms an out of sign opposition with Saturn at 280 Virgo and thus creates a Grand Cross with the Sun opposition Pluto. However, we prefer to take in-sign aspecting only.

2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/feb/07/greece-fiscal-crisis-european-union-euro

3Rogoff, Kenneth S and Reinhart, Carmen M. (2008) This Time Is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises (Harvard University)

Issue No. 66
June, 2010

On related topics

March 2005

The Astrological Ages and new ideas on the timing of the Age of Aquarius.

November 2005

The Rhythm of a City; The use of the annual pattern of heliacal rising stars that are unique for a given latitude to gain insights into the pulse of a city or place.


November 2007

Tipping Point People a look at two men and their stars. Comparing Mundane Star Parans to those of Natal Star Parans.  


January 2009

A place and a time: the inauguration of US Presidents. Using mundane parans to look at the history of the location and timing of US presidential inaugurations.



In brief...

The June Solstice has many faces. One is how these 'turning points' interact with Nut, one of the earliest known expressions of a goddess located in the sky. Another is that just because an aspect appears in the Solstice chart does not mean it affects all countries equally. Parans being latitude-sensitive means the parans sitting underneath this aspect will have different effects in different countries.

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visual astrology  sky happenings

June 2010

Saturn continues its occupation of the wing of Virgo and will now be high in the sky at sunset.  On the night of 18th June the First Quarter Moon will (for those in the Northern Hemisphere) pass underneath Saturn.

Jupiter moves into the phase of Segmagar, free of the sun and high in the sky at night.  On 6th June in the pre- dawn light there will be a lovely Moon-Jupiter joining in the fishes of Pisces. 

Mars - On the night of 6th-7th June Mars will be conjunct Regulus. All through this month Mars is going through the 'Gate Keepers'. Look to the west at the same time each evening and you will see Mars getting a little lower each night.  This is his journey into the Underworld.

Venus is now a bright evening star. On 14th June the Moon joins her in the early evening  between the constellations Gemini and Cancer. This should be a lovely sight if the sky is clear for you. 



Calendar of
forthcoming lectures


3-19 June, 2010 Shropshire, UK Conversations with Astrologers
with Robert Hand, Liz Greene, Bernadette Brady and Nick Campion.

Rescheduled after  the chaos of the Icelandic volcano:
10-11 July, 2010 Bristol, UK
Imagining Astrology: Painted Schemes and Threads of the Soul Conference,
The University of Bristol, UK

Organized by
Darrelyn Gunzburg and Liz Greene.

Click here for further information, provisional programme and to register.

24-25 July,2010
Bath, UK
This conference will, for the first time, bring together academics to investigate the theory and practice of astrology in the modern world, from c.1800 to the present day.

Speakers include: Rob Hand, Nick Campion, Liz Greene, Darrelyn Gunzburg, Bernadette Brady, and Garry Phillipson.

9-13 September, 2010
Santa Fe, New Mexico

StarLogos >>> 2010
Bernadette Brady, Darrelyn Gunzburg, and guest lecturer Darby Costello.

The 2nd Visual Astrology Conference under Santa Fe's big skies.

24- 26 September, 2010
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Workshops with Darrelyn Gunzburg

Friday evening 23rd September:
AstroGraphology at Astroinspiratie
Saturday 24th and
Sunday 25th:
Delineation (Saturday), and Children's' charts (Sunday). Further information: contact Darrelyn Gunzburg at the AstroLogos website.

25 - 29 October 2010
Bernadette Brady and Darrelyn Gunzburg are both presenting papers at this conference.
More information.


8-10 January, 2011
Adelaide, Australia

Cosmology, Sky and Charts
A three-day specialist conference with Bernadette Brady and Darrelyn Gunzburg
Details still to be announced.

May, 2011
North East Coast,  USA
Bernadette Brady and Nick Campion
More information still to be announced.

If you enjoy Visual Astrology and would like to look at sky maps and also create full fixed star reports for yourself as well as clients, then have a look at Starlight the software that has provided the foundation stone for the development of visual astrology over the last 6 years.
 Visit:  www.Zyntara.com