Musings on Comet Neowise

comet Neowise C 2020 F3 at sunset in the skies of Tourtour Provence Photo credit © Marco Migliardi

I employ the title of this piece advisedly. It consists of musings, a simple series of notes and observations on an extraordinary event. This is the brightest and most significant comet in 25 years. At that time, Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp discovered Comet Hale–Bopp separately on July 23, 1995, before it became visible to the naked eye.

Comet Hale-Bopp © 1997 Richard Wainscoat, All Rights Reserved.

The golden-white comet streaking we see across the sky in the Summer of 2020 was first discovered by a space telescope named Neowwise, hence the nomenclature. At the point of this discovery, Neowise the comet was in the zodiacal position of 29° Gemini, the last degree of the mutable air sign. We can say that this was the moment that it came into our collective consciousness, but long before it was visible to the naked eye.

When we look more closely at the light spectrum, we can see that it is gold, orange and yellow. In comet lore, these colours are associated with the Sun, Jupiter, and Venus.  As awe-inspiring or intimidating as the sight of the comet may be, this luminary and planets are not regarded as malefic in and of themselves.

By some accounts, the time of the first visibility, albeit by space telescope, is the only available moment we can read regarding an astrological interpretation.

My colleague and protégé.Pablo Ianiszewski. has posted a brilliant piece invoking the above event on his Facebook page. in Spanish, emphasizing the nodal element among other crucial elements. He notes that Neowise was:

” in conjunction with the head of the dragon, having as a dispositor Mercury, who at that time was afflicted by being a pilgrim, oriental, retrograde and burning in Cancer, in addition to being under the square of Mars. About his golden tint, the wise al-Biruni (973–1048 AD) tells us that such a colour announces “conflict between kings.”

Cynthia Thinnes, a former student of mine also published a brilliant article on her Filianist astrology blog, The Wisdom of Our Grandmothers.  The two readings use different dates as points of reference and in my view are both highly valuable contributions. I, therefore, recommend reading both articles.  I see no reason why we cannot read the passage of a comet as a story, rather than insisting on a single phase of its unfolding as its only defining moment.

To summarize, there is no doubt that 29° Gemini position and interpretation has unquestionable validity. However, the culmination and greatest visibility of the comet is found in the auspicious constellation of Ursa Major at  20°34′ Leo and is too rich in symbolism to ignore. The Great Bear is held to be of virtually singular importance among the circumpolar constellations in ancient cultures as otherwise diverse as ancient Indian, indigenous American and Indo-Europeans, since the earliest records.

Ursa Major is, in fact, the origin of the ancient swastika symbol. It is one of the most ancient symbols known to us and has been found carved on a 15,000-year-old of a bird made from a mammoth tusk. From its origin, the symbol has been meant to be positive and life-affirming. The modern name for the icon, derived from the Sanskrit svastika, means “conducive to well-being.” In fact. the swastica illustrates the constellation Ursa Major as it appears during the four seasons. Vedic writers refer to the stars as the Seven Sages

Ursa Major through the Four Seasons

The term Maharshi is a collective term that points to the seven sages or rishis referred to in the Rig Veda and the Puranas,. The nomenclature used is Saptarishi. They are clearly and adamantly associated with the seven stars of the constellation Ursa Major. There is a deeper association with creation itself and the reception of primordial wisdom from the stars.

This position is also momentous in relation to the culminating Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that will prefect at the Winter Solstice 2020. In terms of the comet augering for the fall of a great king, I believe this is much more about the demise or transformation of something on a grander scale than a single potentate. Currently, we can say that the Leo position is inconjunct Jupiter and Saturn in the latter degrees of Capricorn and that this ‘blindness’ is an eloquent metaphor of what is to come when the zodiacal point occupies the opposing axis of the monumental Grand Conjunction in Aquarius, We can read the unfolding of this story in relation to other recent events, such as the Lunar and Solar eclipses we have been following.

That something can be destructive as well as benevolent, is not at all contradictory. The seasons are a perfect case in point. The cycle of life is a story of inception to destruction, followed by resurrection. It is the dance of Shiva when expanded to the infinite cosmic point of being.


The comet, riding as it were the Great Bear, is augering doom for what has to be destroyed before a new order may come into being. It is not hard to see this regal comet as a presage of a falling order. One may recall the words “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). These words sound harsh and patriarchal to many modern ears, but the essential meaning is clear. Humanity cannot forever defy the natural order with impunity.

The idea of a divine plan is anathema to the materialist cultures of our time.others. A new and authentic way of being can only occur universally when we recognize our extraordinary place in the universe, as both macrocosm and microcosm – creators and created.

We are in times of extraordinary consequence. What we do now will determine whether we rise or fall as a species.

The mystical T.S. Eliot put it thus: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” (Little Gidding from Four Quartets)

2 thoughts on “Musings on Comet Neowise

  1. Extraordinary. I am quite sure this is all significant. As you have so eloquently described in several pieces already this year and previously, the ‘signs of the times’ are literally speaking volumes. I think we are indeed on the threshold of a new age. Thank you for your enlightenment.

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