Supernovae in Astrology

The following article was first featured in my October newsletter. I wanted to lift it and keep it, so I’m transferring it here!

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Okay, okay, I really am sorry for being the bearer of bad news about October, but I promise I didn’t just create this newsletter for doom and gloom. I still have a lot I want to share with you, including a topic I’m currently studying: the wider stars and mansions of astrology!

Now, I am no expert on such things, by no means, but nonetheless I wanted to share with you one particular aspect of this study which has been thoroughly inspiring to me: supernovae and what they can show us in astrology.

A supernova, or supernovae when plural, is the abundant light energy which is given out when a star dies. Scientifically, it is when a star increases greatly in brightness due to the catastrophic explosion which causes it to eject most of its mass (thus, dies, or nearly does.) These are certainly not every day occurrences and we usually may not even see them here on Earth! One example of a supernova we were able to see, visible with the eye, from here was Supernova 1987A, so named as it was seen in 1987.

If and when a supernova is known here on earth – either with the naked eye or not – what it can show us is a tumultuous new beginning or discovery. What I like most about applying these in astrology is that supernovae embrace the newness which comes with the creation of light, with the fact that… they were stars that were always there! I find this so inspiring, because it suggests that, to plot these astrologically, we may notice that we ‘discover’ things which… were always there! It is the astrological version of shining a bright, obvious light on something previously unseen.

Now, going back to Supernova 1987A, the light reached earth on February 23rd, meaning that is how long it took us to become conscious of the vast, magnificent transition and explosion which this supernova underwent. Working with the brief idea that supernovae representing already real facts coming to light, what did this supernova actually coincide with here on earth? Looking solely at 1987 and the fact the supernova occurred and no further information on it, there’s already a few events which could lend themselves to the astrological meaning of a supernova. For instance…

  • In June 1987, Reagan visited West Berlin to urge the leader of the USSR to open the Berlin Wall, which had stood since 1961. It was then in 1989 that the wall was finally torn down by the people.
  • In August 1987, the presidents of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua gathered to sign the Esquipulas Peace Agreement, which had been in the works (unfinalised) since a summit in 1986.
  • In September, Donald Trump took out a full page advertisement in the New York Times to criticise Japan, stating they could defend themselves and the US shouldn’t pay to defend others who could do this. Under his presidency, in 2017, he then said this once again to Japan, this time not paying for ad though, but telling them they could buy US arms.

Now, like said, I’m no expert on this particular astrological subject – I’m sharing it to learn with you! – but just from these examples, I can see that meaning of the supernovae forcibly bringing to light things which have been dark or formulating out of sight for a while. What I also didn’t mention, though it is worth doing so, is this is the year that peace deals surrounding withdrawal of nuclear weapons, especially between the USA and USSR, were signed. Remember how I said I wasn’t yet looking at other information? Let’s do that now.

SN 1987A was thought to be a core-collapse supernova, which is where the star uses up all its nuclear energy, then causing a giant shock as the materials within it pile up and rebound outward. If we take this as a metaphor, we could say that this supernova – if it were to be astrologically applied – was showing us nuclear reactions (or core, instinctual reactions) which are forced to come to an end, and expand outwards (either become more dangerous, or to expand with love), in society. From the handful of examples I’ve picked out, I can see this theme, as we have examples of peace being pioneered after difficult international relations, or even people rearing their heads, perhaps for the first time, to align with that expanding danger.

While studying supernovae and other less so common occurrences in the solar system may just seem like a fun tangent of astrology for the seriously nerdy, I would suggest instead that it is a practice which truly highlights the deeply intricate nature of astrology itself, and brings us closer to the core, historic traditions of the study: exploring, pondering, consulting metaphor and myth. Not only that, but for me anyway, it invigorates my inner animist and shifts my previously somewhat clinical view of astrology (in the days where I was first learning years ago) into a wild, somewhat chaotic expression of nature and divinity itself. Perhaps that isn’t for everyone, but it may be for you.

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