Friday, April 10, 2009

Comet Yi-Swan

Yi Swan

Another SWAN comet is making astronomical news, Comet Yi-SWAN, discovered by amateur astronomers Dae-am Yi in Korea on March 26, 2009, and then later confirmed by professional astronomer Robert Matson on April 4, 2009. Right now the new comet is traveling in a highly inclined parabolic orbit, moving slowly across the constellation of Cassiopeia toward Perseus. It may be viewed by telescope all night long and brightest around May 9, 2009. The last SWAN comet was discovered in 2006 by Matson, and transited the constellation of Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown of Ariadne.

In mythology Cassiopeia is the queen whose vanity threatened the life of her daughter Andromeda, who was set up as sacrificial offering to the sea monster Cetus to pay for her mother's boastful hubris. As I mentioned in the previous post, Venus, the planet of beauty and vanity, has been doing a debilitated retrograde through the constellation Andromeda for the past month. This new siting brings more attention to this myth of sacrifice and rescue, synchronistically occurring during the holiday periods of Passover and Easter.

As I have written in previous posts, comets are seen by astrologers as messengers and harbingers of death of kings and queens. In this case, it may be a vain queen, or her daughter, up for cosmic retribution. The name of the comet, Yi-Swan is intriguing. Swans are often associated with Venus in mythology. In the Greek story of Leda and the Swan, Zeus disguised himself as a swan to hide his sexual union with Leda from his wife Hera. As a result, Helen of Troy, the icon of beauty that sparked the Trojan war was conceived. Other references in classical literature include the belief that upon death the otherwise silent Mute Swan would sing beautifully - hence the phrase swan song. Could a pop star act out the drama of Cassiopea, or will it be a political figure?

In Chinese yi may be translated as black, gift, one, greet, he/she, and Iran/Iraq. The black swan is also a potent symbol. There is a sarcastic reference to a good woman being a "rare bird, as rare on earth as a black swan", from which we get the Latin phrase rara avis, rare bird. While researching swan symbolism, I came across a recent book called The Black Swan that caught my psychic attention. As summarized in Wikipedia:

The Black Swan theory (in Nassim Nicholas Taleb's version) refers to a large-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare event beyond the realm of normal expectations. Unlike the philosophical "black swan problem", the "Black Swan" theory refers only to events of large consequence and their dominant role in history. Black Swan events may also be called outliers. The theory was described by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2007 book The Black Swan. Taleb regards many scientific discoveries as "black swans" — undirected and unpredicted. He gives the rise of the Internet, the personal computer, World War I, and the September 11, 2001 attacks as examples of Black Swan events. The term Black Swan comes from the assumption that 'All swans are white'. In that context, a black swan was a metaphor for something that could not exist. The 17th Century discovery of black swans in Australia metamorphosed the term to connote that the perceived impossibility actually came to pass. Taleb notes that John Stuart Mill first used the Black Swan narrative to discuss falsification.

It looks like we may be in for something that shifts outdated beliefs. Who or what is the black swan?

Venus is re-emerging as the morning star and will go stationary direct in her sign of exhaltation on April 17, 2009. As I mentioned in my March 6, 2009 post, The Babylonians called Venus the double-phased Ishtar -- the morning star of war and the evening star of love. Greek astrologers called the morning phase of Venus Lucifer ("the light bearer"). The Mesoamericans linked the morning phase of Venus with Quetzalcoatl, believing that this was a time when leaders are struck down and natural disasters occur. In addition, the number 17 is a significant one for the conspiracy crowd who understand its connection to solar deity, and thus kingship, symbolism (even popped up in the black swan lore as it was discovered in the 17th century). Pay attention to the collective symbols that are broadcast on the 17th of each month. Venus will be the morning star of war until December 2009 when she undergoes her transformation back to evening star of love. Let's hope she will take on her mantle of diplomacy and charm, and keep the asuras at bay.

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