Cosmic Heads or Tails

The configuration of planets and stars in the morning sky this week and this month (March 2022) suggest that we’re in a “threshold crossing” moment.

The constellation Capricorn hugs the eastern horizon at dawn right now, unusually imagined as a sea-goat since ancient ages. A sea-goat has the upper body of a goat and the lower half of a fish, and while that seems like a crazy combination, this region of sky was often regarded as the most holy, in that it represented the gateway of the gods.

The stars that mark the forehead of the goat and the tail of the fish can be imagined as the sacred pillars that adorn the gate, and it’s here we find the morning sky planets: Venus and Mars at the head, near the star Algedi; Saturn at the tail, Deneb Algedi.

Image from Sky & Telescope

The ancients represented this region of sky this way in anticipation of the time when the Age of the Goat would give way to the Age of the Fishes. This happened in 215 AD, when the Vernal Point moved from Aries, where it had been for a few thousand years, into Pisces, where it is now, and where it will be for several hundred more years. This whole Piscean Age can be imagined as crossing through the gateway of the gods, as a humanity, and even in our personal lives.

The message that sounded out at the beginning of this era, when the goat gave way to the fishes was “To love one another, just as I have loved you,” to “Love thy neighbor,” and to note that “all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

Watch this configuration of Venus, Mars and Saturn all month, moving across the Capricorn gateway of the gods, from where they ask us whether we’ve found the way.

And may you go on in these days as Keats, brimfull of the friendliness you have found,


Keen, fitful gusts are whisp’ring here and there
Among the bushes half leafless, and dry;
The stars look very cold about the sky,
And I have many miles on foot to fare.
Yet feel I little of the cool bleak air,
Or of the dead leaves rustling drearily,
Or of those silver lamps that burn on high,
Or of the distance from home’s pleasant lair:
For I am brimfull of the friendliness
That in a little cottage I have found;
Of fair-hair’d Milton’s eloquent distress,
And all his love for gentle Lycid drown’d;
Of lovely Laura in her light green dress,
And faithful Petrarch gloriously crown’d.

This week’s podacst on Interlochen Public Radio and The Storyteller’s Night Sky

The ancient and unusual Capricorn sea-goat anticipated the era when the Vernal Point precessed from Aries, the goat or ram, into Pisces, the fishes, which began in 215 AD and extends until 2375, when the Vernal Point precesses into Aquarius, and a new age begins. Image above by Hevelius from 1690.