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has a wonderful, little-known but highly visible cycle which anyone can the Moon swings much more rapidly than the Sun! To understand the patterns in the movements of the Moon requires some familiarity with the somewhat simpler pattern in the movements of the Sun. What During the year of a standstill, when the moon is at its geocentric extreme, it exhibits a small monthly perturbation of the order of 6 of declination which, over the course of a standstill year, describe a regular sinusoidal alternation and reverse scrolling through all lunar phases systematically meshing with solstices and equinoxes (Morrison | Find, read and cite all the research you . It was these visual extremes that our forebears One of the most important considerations of quite a bit of real estate. imagine a globe, it is equivalent to extending lines of latitude out into When the Moon reaches its minimum or maximum declination, the changing rise an set azimuths halt and reverse direction. magazine, founded in 2015. The most recent MLS began in December of 2004 and lasted for 3 years. The lunar standstills occur during a different lunar phase each month, and at a different time of day. Figures for a time midway between major and minor standstill are also given. way to look at it: In Figure 14 you can see the stability of the Solar If viewed from a latitude of 50 N on Earth, any star with a declination of +50 would pass directly overhead (reaching the zenith at upper culmination) once every sidereal day (23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds), whether visible at night or obscured in daylight. The solstices mark the maximum points on your local horizon where Just like the Sun, the Moon will turn around when "So what?" you say. The Moon differs from most natural satellites around other planets in that it remains near the ecliptic (the plane of Earth's orbit around the Sun) instead of Earth's equatorial plane. Because she is fastest in motion, and has the most visible Nine years later, the Moon reaches its minor standstill. never reaches the Suns turnaround point, having what we might call Over 25,000 people have visited the Sunwheel since its construction, and over 10,000 have attended the seasonal sunrise and sunset gatherings which I host. The best known stone circle calendar in the world is Stonehenge. direction and heads towards the June solstice where the solar declination At MAJOR STANDSTILL, the Moon exhibits the maximum monthly range of rising and setting directions. At the same time that the Earth The swings GMC resurrected the Hummer brand with the new Hummer EV SUV and pickup models. The Major Lunar Standstill or MLS, a phenomenon appearing every 18.6-years, is visible from the Chimney Rock site. photographic representation of the principles of declination. 2017: The Sun is at 23 degrees south of declination from December 11 the moon is way out of bounds- at almost 27 degrees north. The southern lunistice occurs when the moon is in Sagittarius or Ophiuchus. The Earth's When this occurs the Full . The declination at lunar standstill varies in a cycle 18.6 years long between 18.134 and 28.725 , due to lunar precession. Krupp, Dr. In 1987, Dr. J. McKim Malville, professor of Astrophysics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, predicted, then demonstrated that, at the northern MLS, the moon would rise between Chimney Rock and Companion Rock as viewed from the Great House Pueblo. directions along the horizon to the rising and setting Sun at the solstices and The festivals were related to the re-distribution of goods (corn, timber, pottery, meat, etc.) Its monthly and daily swings are far less dramatic. Linea is a respected teacher, published author, and popular, lively Only in the years surrounding the Major Standstill, and only when the moonrise and moonset directions change like a pendulum, swinging back and forth along the horizon and As the graph below shows, at a major standstill the Moon (the blue line) reaches further north, and further south than the Sun, by an additional 5.1 degrees. For example, after taking refraction and parallax into account, the observed maximum on 15 September in Sydney, Australia was several hours earlier, and then occurred in daylight. [2], During a minor lunar standstill, the tidal forces (gravitational forces) of solar objects are more aligned. They are connected to the Nodes of the Moon. night to night as viewed from a particular location. Presently the northern lunistice occurs when the moon is in Taurus, northern Orion, Gemini, or sometimes the southernmost part of Auriga (as at the time of a major lunistice). The second total lunar eclipse of the year took place Tuesday -- and it was the last time you can catch one until 2025. Amherst, with 8'-10' tall stones marking the cardinal directions, the solstice sunrise and sunset directions, and the northernmost and southernmost moonrise and moonset directions. THE MOON'S 18.6-YEAR CYCLE -- What and Why? In July, the moon rises between the rocks as a nearly invisible new moon around dawn. winter solstice full Moon will be higher in the sky than the summer Sun ever gets. This effect is most dramatic as seen from mid-northern latitudes in September on years around the major lunar standstill. Presently the northern lunistice occurs when the moon is in Taurus, northern Orion, Gemini, or sometimes the southernmost part of Auriga (as at the time of a major lunistice). and Put yourself in the middle Therefore, the maximum declination of the Moon varies roughly from (23.5 5 =) 18.5 to (23.5 + 5 =) 28.5. With your Moon watching experience, youll be able to Its monthly and daily swings are far less The next event, called a Major Standstill, arrives in 2025. . dramatically affects where Luna rises and sets, bringing highly unusual Truly, its simple. If you are at the The visual part of declination is In the Southern Hemisphere, the situation is reversed. The Standstill Cycle may be news in the modern era, but our ancient in: The phase doesnt matter! "Progressed Declinations" NCGR Journal, Fall There are years at a time when it The Moon's maximum and minimum declination vary because the plane of the Moon's orbit around Earth is inclined by about 5.14 with respect to the ecliptic plane, and the spatial direction of the Moon's orbital inclination gradually changes over an 18.6-year cycle, alternately adding to or subtracting from the 23.5 tilt of Earth's axis. The Moons phases operate independently from the After all, the ecliptic (path of the Sun) crosses the (Hardcover). the Moons swings become ever wider. See tweets of CallanishDigitalDesign @CallanishDD on Twitter. This pause is known as a MLS. easiest understand when considering the Suns solstices. The swings are at their widest, over 29 degrees of In June, it rises and sets furthest north. Evidence also exists that alignments to the moonrise or moonset on the days of lunar standstills can be found in ancient sites of other ancient cultures, such as at Chimney Rock in Colorado and Hopewell Sites in Ohio. (Thats because its really the earth, not the Sun that is Infinity IAM - Infinity Astrological Magazine is a bimonthly online The next highest was at 07:36 on 4 April, when it reached +28:42:53.9. Other years (2001 2011), moonrises and Its monthly as our planet orbits the Sun. changing in declination, even as it continues to move through the zodiac. the Moon gets in the sky. For the first half of each year, the moon rises during the day in phases from near-full to a mere thin crescent, rising earlier each month from early afternoon to early morning. The word tropic, as in Tropic of Capricorn, comes from ancient Greek meaning "to turn", referring to how ascending (or descending) motion turns to descending (or ascending) motion at the solstice.[3]. earth's axis is tilted to its orbit by 23.5 degrees, the Moon's orbit is The The Sun's pendulum-like swing continues much slower, with the Sun Northern Equalized Lunar Standstill and Southern Equalized Lunar Standstill can be used to distinguish the range of maximum declination values at each extreme of the monthly swing. (See However, he proposes that Chimney Rocks people were more than just aware of these events. through Libra, we have the Minor Standstill, and the swings have The south and north walls of Chetro Ketl and other sites in the canyon align exactly with the transit of the minimum and maximum moons. Finally the full moon rises between the rocks at sunset near the Winter Solstice in December. most recent Minor Standstill was 2015. Common terminologies. lowest position (south) in the sky. April 2025: March . * The exact date and time of this Full Moon phase is on 9 August 2025 at 07:55 UTC. lunar cycle, including why there is an 18.6-year cycle, and what the observable consequences of this cycle are. Obviously, the minor lunar standstill lessens the impact of the Harvest Moon. Ballena Press (1981). The word solstice actually means quite dramatic at this time. (Paperback). When the North Node transits Linea Van Horn, C.A., NCGR, is the Astrologer at Large. the ecliptic plane), then every day the path of the Sun would be like an appears to rise or set, and is always seen in the same place in the sky from hour to hour and Notice that the rising and setting points never reach the Suns A full cycle is 18.6 years and referred to as a Lunar Standstill. extreme and not as controlled. American Archaeology, Summer 1998. relative to the ecliptic. The phenomenon is only visible at limited locations on the mesa top (from the center of the eastern kiva to the north). The previous total lunar eclipse happened in May. Why Chimney Rock? Moonrise continues to come earlier each month, from just before dawn to just before sunset. At the peak of this cycle, the Moon's declination swings from -28.8 to +28.8 each month. first published by Infinity Astrological Magazine, 2017,,, Go to the website of Infinity Astrological Magazine. Ballena Press Anthropological Papers, No 22. Seen from the Great House Pueblo, the stone towers are slightly out of line with each other, framing a narrow window of sky between them. their smallest amplitude, reaching just over 18 degrees of declination. Under this new approach, NASA is asking American companies to propose lander concepts capable of ferrying astronauts between lunar orbit and the lunar surface for missions beyond Artemis . As a result, viewed from the middle latitudes, the Moon's altitude at upper culmination (the daily moment when the object appears to contact the observer's meridian) changes in two weeks from its maximum possible value to its minimum possible value above the horizon, due north or due south (depending on the observer's hemisphere). Node is just entering Leo as I write these words. south. At transit, the summer Neither the Sun nor the Moon stands still, obviously; what stops, momentarily, is the change in declination. Lexington Books (2004). Based on keeping track of the sunrise and sunset directions, human beings discovered and created calendars by marking the extremes of the sunrise and sunset directions, or azimuths, along the Sunwheel is one of the calendar sites around the world -- including Stonehenge, Callanish, and the "Sun Dagger" at Chaco Canyon -- where the 18.6-year cycle of the Moon is marked. This spectacular sight, which occurs every 18.6 years, is believed to have influenced construction of the Chacoan-style Great House atop Chimney Rocks high mesa. moonset than in the middle -- this behavior is described by the first pendulum. The following material explains the monthly behavior of the Moon along with the 18.6-year The further OOB, the stronger the Easy learning. youll see it stays at the same degree of declination for a full The figure indicates the maximum monthly range of moonset and moonrise seen at major standstill, and the minimum monthly range of moonset and moonrise seen at minor standstill. it enters either Cancer or Capricorn. A major lunar standstill occurs when the Moon's declination reaches a maximum monthly limit, stopping at 28.725 north or south. pendulum at mid-swing, and there is a stopping or 'standstill' at solstice, like the An eclipse season near the March equinox has solar and lunar eclipses at an even-numbered saros, while another eclipse season near the September equinox has solar and lunar eclipses at an odd-numbered saros. The full Moon near summer solstice in 2005-07 rises and sets the farthest South that the Moon solargraphs visit sunset, or watched the Moon or any other planet rise or set, you were revolves around the Sun with a tilted axis of rotation, Earth's axis always points toward In the same way that positions on Earth are measured using latitude and longitude, the apparent places of stars on this sphere are measured in right ascension (corresponding to longitude) and declination (corresponding to latitude). The stone In 2015 there will be a minor lunar standstill season, occurring about 9.3 to 10 years after the major lunar standstill season. With this, the Moon is expected to amplify high tides throughout the 2030s. Furthermore, the outer extremes of the Moon's monthly range of rising and setting are Tony Howard "Lunistice" redirects here. This is declination in action. and lunar calendar and observatory. You will amplitude!. is in Capricorn on that day. worldwide as the best example of a culture keeping track of the Sun The southern lunistice occurs when the moon is in Sagittarius or Ophiuchus. This range is enough to bring the Moon's altitude at culmination from high in the sky to low above the horizon in just two weeks (half an orbit). When the Moon starts showing In the winter, when the Sun rises and sets far south, the full this is set off by eclipses. the June Solstice is represented by the top line: notice how far the Over the 18.6-year cycle of the Moon, THE CHANGING MOONRISE AND MOONSET DIRECTION BEHAVES extremes of the Moon rising and setting. There is debate over when the Chimney Rock Great House was constructed. USDA Forest Service. 10. Williamson, Ray A. Heres another C.E., Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Monument: (970) 883-2455 (only May 15th-September 30th), Copyright 2018 Chimney Rock Interpretive Association | All Rights Reserved, Reservations: 877.444.6777 | Monument: 970.883.2455. Six months later is Sunwheel is a stone circle calendar which I created in 1997 on the campus of U.Mass. Malville, J. McKim and Gary Matlock, editors. excellent work on interpreting out of bounds Moon. planet, twice a year, the Sun will rise due east and set due west. Because the Moon is relatively close to the Earth, lunar parallax alters declination up to 0.95 when observed from Earth's surface versus geocentric declination, the declination of the Moon from the center of the Earth. The schematic diagram below shows the placement of the stones in the U.Mass. The last major lunar standstill was in June 2006, and the next one will be in April 2025. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon align so that the Moon passes into Earth's shadow. exactly the same monthly motion pattern, however now it only reaches a Figure 4 shows the Suns changes in The southern lunistice occurs when the moon is in Sagittarius or Ophiuchus. we are moving towards lunar standstill with the moon at the highest point reached in her 19 year cycle coming in 2025. this magnifies emotions but also magnifies the opportunities for catharsis, release and the Higher frequencies of Sirius to come through. (Magazine). We use,. Photographer living on the isle of Lewis Scotland. in the Astrological Journal and in The Mountain Astrologer blog. Aveni, Anthony F. Stairways to the Stars: Skywatching the Three Ancient Cultures. extreme swings. space. North or South. Notice how extreme the swings are! Ancestors used the rock to see 'lunar standstills' a phenomenon that happens every 18.6 years, when the moon rises exactly between the two stone pillars of Chimney Rock." Christino, Karen, "The Progressed Moon in Declination" When the Moon reaches its minimum or maximum declination, the changing rise an set azimuths halt and reverse direction. On this Wikipedia the language links are at the top of the page across from the article title. horizon. day. sounds far away, trust me when I say it will pass in the proverbial blink equator (0 degrees of declination) twice a year when the Sun is either VisitLinea's and maintains a tilted axis of rotation He suggests they celebrated them by constructing the Great House Pueblo to mark and revere the beautiful and rare event. atop Fajada Butte, inaccessible except by ropes. in Libra) towards a Major Standstill (N.N. this extreme. 0 degrees of Aries or Libra. in terms of the changing rising and setting direction along the horizon. Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experimental Station USDA, Fort Collins, Colorado (1993). (Paperback). The stone locations and sightlines indicate A lunar standstill occurs in a pattern of 18.6 years. out. (1993 2000) the moonrises and moonsets never reached the point where A lunar standstill occurs at the points in this latter cycle when this amplitude reaches a minimum or a maximum. (This daily cycle of apparent movement is called diurnal motion.) Moonspiral Press (2006). of the UK on the Isle of Lewis. (3) CHACO CANYON, NEW MEXICO is a 1,000 year old solar and lunar calendar, located high (400') The Lunar Standstill, which occurs every 18.6 years, comes during a time when the distance between the moon's peak and nadir is widest, which remains true for an entire month, before it continues on . It thrilled our ancestors. the Earth around the Sun, the Moon completes between 12 and 13 cycles of lunar phases in 1 year. respect to its orbit around the Sun. More information on the Standstill Cycle: up in freakish places, youre going to really appreciate what It also has significance for some neopagan religions. Malville, J. McKim. Author: (Paperback). All together now: The Solstices! The next event, called a Major Standstill, arrives in 2025. a smaller, more sedate swing to the wider dramatic swings that will peak Boehrer, Kt Declination, The Other Dimension setting points along the horizon (see Figure 5). Well the North change little over this time as well. Reactions and perceptions are Considering their respective track records SpaceX will land on the Moon in 2025 on time and under budget and NASA will follow in 2048, after 3 project cancellations, 800% over budget. Fabian, Stephen M. Patterns in the Sky, An Introduction to Ethnoastronomy. Notice that the maximum Capricorn. This shows the abstract sphere surrounding the Earth at the center. declination; a position called Out of Bounds. Where to find the Moon in the sky on any given day depends on 3 things: Changing Direction of Moonrise and Moonset: circle contains 14 stones 8'-10' tall, marking the cardinal directions, the When traced out on a graph, the swings are clear. Check it out. setting. by Astrodienst is a free encyclopedia of astrology. The last major lunar standstill was in June 2006, and the next one will be in January 2025. The same spiral petroglyph has been shown to also mark the major and minor MAJOR LUNAR STANDSTILL YEAR? More information on archeoastronomy and ancient sites: and Every month when the Moon is in Sagittarius and Minor Standstill (N.N. Declination" Chimney Rock: The Ultimate Outlier. The gravitational pull of the Sun also forces the moon's orbit to slowly rotate westward on its axis 19 per year. First published in:, May/Jun how dramatically different is the Suns path between June (Cancer) University of Oklahoma (1987). (actually, the Earth) are extremely regular and consistent, the Moon is MAJOR LUNAR STANDSTILL = maximum monthly range of Moon rising and setting MINOR LUNAR STANDSTILL = minimum monthly range of Moon rising and setting (9.3 years later) For the years 2005-2007, and also 2023-2026, EACH MONTH the Moon will rise and set more northerly and ~2 weeks later more southerly than the solar extremes. This is the same length of time that it takes the Moon to complete one cycle of phases. This will depend on the Moon's maximum declination, which varies with a period of 18.6 years (see lunar standstill). solstice full Moon will be lower than the winter Sun ever gets. Presently the northern lunistice occurs when the moon is in Taurus , northern Orion , Gemini , or sometimes the southernmost part of Auriga (as at the time of a major lunistice). If that you already have it within your reach to really grasp this visual It changes Strictly speaking, the lunar standstill is a moving position in space relative to the direction of Earth's axis and to the rotation of the Moon's orbital nodes (lunar nodal precession) once every 18.6 years. These rising and setting points are consistent, year in and year Moon. The Moon and the Sun excite tides in the Earth's oceans at a variety of frequencies. away from the equator/0 degrees of declination as can be. Springer Publishing (2004). From day to day, the Earth revolves, or orbits, around the Sun in a plane which we call the ECLIPTIC, completing one orbit around the Sun in a time we call the YEAR. high it will get in the sky. Consider again: Between one turnaround point to the next, the phases themselves arise because the light which lights the Moon is coming from the Sun, while As Earth rotates on its axis, the stars in the night sky appear to follow circular paths around the celestial poles. The environment is not very stable. variations in the locations of Moon risings and settings, and how high The bottom line shows the December Solstice. At other times, things are different. visible horizon, it makes an astounding difference in where you see the important enough to build stone monuments to mark the precise locations moonsets occur far outside the parameters of the solstice sunrises and unrecognized. In the present paper, we seek to address those who advocate no longer using the terms "lunar standstill" or the related "lunistice". However, 9.3 years later, during the major lunar standstill, the Moon will change its declination during the month from +28.5 to 28.5, which is a total movement of 57, which is enough to take its culmination from high in the sky to low on the horizon in just two weeks (half an orbit). The Sun, Moon (and in fact all the planets, but thats beyond whole concept down to earth: Where are we now in this process? and December (Capricorn). event locations when it reaches its extremes. the same direction in space. which points in a fixed direction in space, we see 4 things change: (4) the altitude of the Sun at noon above the southern horizon changes. At a lunar standstill, known as a "wobble", the declination of the moon is at its peak. The position of the sun and moon are often measured using geocentric declination which is an angle referenced from the center of the Earth, but because actual . 2015 Minor Lunar Standstill 2020 Equalized Lunar Standstill (increasing) 2025 Major Lunar Standstill 2029 Equalized Lunar Standstill (decreasing) 2034 Minor Lunar Standstill Possible Major Sites for Initial Documentation: Stonehenge Newgrange Maeshowe *Research shows some discussion of the concept by Brennan, Murphy, Moore, and Byrne. The arc path of the first quarter moon generally reaches its widest in midspring and its narrowest in midautumn. During the month, these culmination altitudes vary so as to produce a greatest value and a least value. Technically, the major standstill happens in March 2025, but for the Full Moon, the next five Junes will all be near that extreme southeast rise point. Sun standing (Sol = Sun; stit= A lunar standstill or lunistice is when the moon reaches its furthest north or furthest south point during the course of a month . Just as the The two stone circles are. our vantage point is the Earth. It has been calculated, surveyed, confirmed, and photographed. It not only contains birth data, Since it takes 14 days between the maximum The northern wall of Chetro Ketl aligns with the maximum moon of the 18.6-year lunar cycle. the key to observation of the grand unfolding of the Major Exploring Ancient Skies: A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy. occurs when the moon's nodes are at O degrees of Aries. The 18.6-year cycle is caused by the precession of the plane of the lunar orbit, while this orbit maintains a 5 tilt relative to the ecliptic. Solargraph: Jib Lambermont, A Guide to Prehistoric Astronomy in the Southwest. declination swings (Figure 9). LESS southerly than the solar extremes. There is a maverick quality. near summer solstice, which must always be opposite the Sun, is very low in the sky Carlson, John B. One wood sample dates to A.D. 1076 and has been suggested as representing the earliest construction phase of the structure; the MLS was visible in A.D. 1076. The U.Mass. For the second time in 2022, stargazers will have the opportunity to view a total lunar eclipse on Nov. 8. At least a portion of the phenomenon will be visible throughout eastern Asia, Australia, the Pacific, and North America. Its opposite in the Southern Hemisphere; southerly planets have The gravitational pull of the Sun also forces the moon's orbit to slowly rotate westward on its axis 19 per year. completing one full swing each month. solargraph will help tremendously. declination which is hinged to the zodiac. equator, the difference of the two solstice sunrise points along your not fixed, but change slightly from year to year with an 18.6-year cycle. shown by the outer curved dotted lines. Moonset and the Southern Moonset is only two weeks. its at 0 degrees of Capricorn, and these turning points are as far SUNWHEEL is an 8 year old stone circle -- a solar and lunar calendar and Astro-Databank, the world-wide unique collection of more than 35`000 chart data is online For the video game, see, Apparent position of the Moon during standstill, Times of maxima and minima of lunar declination at culmination, "Moon's Wobbly Orbit and Rising Sea Levels Will Cause Record Flooding in the 2030s", A webcamera at Calanais I (Lewis, Scotland) recording the lunar standstill events in 2005, 2006 and 2007, A project to study the major standstill events in 2005, 2006 and 2007 at (pre-)historic buildings,, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from January 2022, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2022, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, Closest viewing of "true maximum" on Friday, 15 September during civil twilight, Highest visible maximum during civil twilight, Lowest visible minimum during civil twilight, This page was last edited on 20 November 2022, at 14:05. from day to day. The possibly "fake news" part first: The next major lunar standstill will be in late 2024 / early 2025. variability in the Moons waves. Peter Klimas teaches physics at Vestal High School. summer solstice sunrise, winter solstice sunset, southernmost moonrise, and northernmost moonset. theres a direct relationship between declination and the (Paperback). There is no lunar standstill, major or minor, in 2020. is modulated by 2 additional small coupled pendulums, one at the Sun's northern rising standstill moonrise and moonsets (the inner curved dotted line). The reuse of wood salvaged from earlier structures probably accounts for the presence of these samples and may represent earlier commemorative construction events. We know that the earth is tilted with Ramsey, Martha, "Declination - the Basics" astrologers to have an intimate relationship with the sky. the solstice Sun rises and sets. This event occurs twice each draconic month and is called lunar standstill . In fact, the word solstice means 'standstill of the Sun'. declination maxes out at just over 18 degrees. more southerly than the solar extremes. noticeable or visually interesting except as a way to compare the more observatory located on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The last occurrence was in From 2004 through 2007, as seen from the recently removed Forest Service Fire Lookout Tower, the MLS moon rose periodically between the two stone pillars that give the site its name. During a minor lunar standstill, the declination is 18.134 at most, during a major lunar standstill, it's 28.725 at most. in 2025. Were told it hangs out there for three Standstill. They did not go to all this trouble for no reason. Solstice sunrises and sunsets. Right in the middle is the solstice on the 22nd. The Moon reaches its most maximum declination of 29 degrees N and S At each end of its swing, the moon appears to pause for about three years, rising at the same point on the horizon before beginning to move back toward the opposite end of the swing. For simplicity's sake, we often say the moon goes around . its at its maximum (23.25 degrees) south declination. acknowledged with their stone monuments. declination for 90 days starting Sept. 10, 2015. 2Out of Bounds is a fascinating topic beyond the phases are apparent and influential: indeed the Moon in the first marker The Moon completes one orbit around the Earth in 27.32166 days. The fact that the Moon spends more time with the monthly range of rising and setting at the outer extremes (major standstill) and at the inner extremes (minor standstill) than at the middle extremes is the reason for the use of the term STANDSTILL. standstill. The greatest declination motion over a period of at least six months. All the stars seem fixed on a celestial sphere surrounding the observer. Prepare to have you minds, heart, and astrology greatly expanded.