July 16 A Day to be Reckoned With

The Moon will be Full this week on July 16th, a rather peculiar day in history, and one to be reckoned with. Let’s consider:

On July 16 in 1054 the Great Schism occurred that broke the Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic churches from one another.

On July 16 in 1945 the United States conducted the first test of the atomic bomb.

On July 16 in 1969 NASA launched Apollo 11, which put the first human being on the Moon.

On July 16 in 1994 the Comet Shoemaker-Levy broke apart and smashed into the planet Jupiter.

And then, at the beginning of the 21st century, on July 16 in the year 2000, a very long Total Lunar Eclipse occurred, one that won’t be equaled for over 1000 years!

So what is it with July 16 that makes it so remarkable?

In the tropical zodiac, the Sun is in the sign of Cancer on July 16th, with the Full Moon opposite, in Capricorn. To the ancients, Cancer represented the gateway of the human being, while Capricorn represented the gateway of the gods.

When we look into the sky on July 16, we find that the Sun and Moon will stand on opposite sides of the zodiac, right where it crosses the plane of the Milky Way galaxy. These crossing points articulate an axis that for ancient astrologers represented the forces of midday and midnight, a sacred axis that must be dealt with responsibly, unless spiritual forces be trapped in unnatural rhythms created by human beings on the earth.

Perhaps it was this that the late Stephen Hawking had in mind when he said:

Success in creating Artificial Intelligence would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.

You can hear this segment from my Storyteller’s Night Sky radio program on Interlochen Public Radio here.

Following the rhythm,


ps the NASA image above is of the Crab Nebula, which was formed by a star that went supernova in July 1054, just a few days before the Great Schism between the Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic Churches, one of many dramatic events that happened on July 16 throughout history.