As I am writing rain is falling outside. It has been raining and raining and raining. I am now in Portugal where the temperatures are mild but storm after storm has been hitting the coast. A storm named Ruth, another named Hercules but the feeling of the population is best expressed by the cartoon character Mafalda:
Before NOAA, the Weather Channel, Windguru, etc., the yearly almanac was in charge of weather forecasting. I have one of them on my desk, “The True Almanac Borda d’Água”, published in Portugal since 1929, with information for agriculture and animal husbandry, some astrological interpretations, dates of country fairs and weekly weather forecasts.
Almanacs have their origin in Babylon astronomy which we would call now calendars. The oldest known almanac with a “modern” format was written by the Muslim “scientist” Ibn Zarqala in 1088 in the city of Toledo, containing planetary positions. Throughout the centuries several types of almanacs were published with information useful to sailors, others to farmers and to astrologers.
In the United States during the 18th century, Benjamin Franklin published for 30 years the “Poor Richards Almanack”. The statement of the cover informs the readers that it contains “Lunations, Eclipses, and Judgment of the Weather, Spring Tides, Planets Motion and mutual Aspects….” We have a definite connection between astrology and weather forecasting.
On the February page of the 2014 Borda d’Água the weather forecast for the week starting on the 6th is Wind and storms. That has been the case! The forecasts are drawn on lunations days (new moo m, first quarter, full moon and second quarter).
Nowadays weather forecasting using astrology is called astrometereology. I really do not know which method Ben Franklin or Borda d’Agua use in their predictions. I studied this field of astrology with a Rhode Island colleague, Carolyn Egan, who is a true expert and does professional forecasts.
Here is how it works: planets have qualities regarding temperature, moisture and wind that fit the larger archetype of the each planet. Some of these qualities have been handed down from medieval astrology. Briefly, the Sun, our main source of energy, and Mars, the red planet, are dry and hot; the Moon is cold and moist, Mercury breezy, dry and cool. Venus, a benefic planet reflects moderate temperatures and is moist and so is the other benefic, Jupiter, who is warmer. The great malefic, Saturn is considered to be cold and dry but since it is connected with low pressure systems that bring rain it can get confusing. Uranus reflects reversals and general instability, Neptune fog and Pluto intensifies the energy of whichever other planet it aspects.
The signs also have their own characteristics and with this interpretive key we analyze in the first place the chart of the solstice or equinox of the current season. This chart provides the background information. Presently we would consider the chart drawn for the Capricorn ingress which took place in December 21, 2013. Next we would draw the weekly lunation charts.
Astrometereology is a complicated field, includes rulerships, aspects to angles and between planets, and truth be told I never mastered this craft but a couple of things popped when I look at the solstice chart for the place where I live now, Estoril, Portugal:
a) Venus does not aspect any other planet therefore its moderating influence is absent.
b) Uranus, the planet of storms, forms challenging aspects to Mars and Pluto who amplify its energy.
We have already experienced these to features…. Now, what is in store for us next week?
The next chart to be considered is the full moon chart for February the 14th. Here Mars is in a prominent position conjunct and ruling the ascendant but this time with harmonious aspects to other planets. The two benefics, Venus and Jupiter are in aspect with each other. This chart does not nullify the solstice one but gives us hope of a little break in the weather.
My Portuguese almanac agrees with my interpretation and predicts Fair Weather for the week starting on Saint Valentine’s Day. And so does Windguru… Can we really leave the umbrella at home?