Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

The Galactic Core

December 3, 2004


Dear Readers:

Mercury has gone retrograde but not wayward in Sagittarius, stationing in a close conjunction to the core of our galaxy. Little used in astrological work and rarely considered by those on Earth, the galactic core is the center of our local universe -- our spiral island floating in the vast reaches space. We live in what scientists call a "typical giant spiral galaxy" that includes an estimated 100 billion stars (some scientists say three times that number), held together by a black hole. Clustered around this black hole is a massive bulge of stars, called the core. The core's current location, from the viewpoint of the Earth, is Sagittarius 26 degrees and 54 minutes. Mercury stationed retrograde Wednesday morning at Sagittarius 26 degrees and 43.4 arc minutes, a distance from the core of less than 11 arc minutes -- or less than one-sixth of a degree.


I have no idea what that means, but it sounds pretty darned cool.


What is this galactic core? What does it feel like as you approach the center and the stars grow more densely compacted -- eventually becoming so concentrated that on any planet near one of those central stars, the night sky would be so lit up that you would need starglasses and stellar tan lotion at night? What kinds of record stores do they have there, and do they accept Visa? How does your sense of reality change, how does time feel, and how does one's soul vibrate with the approach to the core? Can ice cream remain solid long enough to eat? We can only wonder.


For those who may ponder such things -- and it is an obvious question -- the Sabian degree symbol for the 27th degree of Sagittarius is "A sculptor at his work. The ability to project one's vision upon and to give form to materials." Think of it: the galaxy as a sculpture.


From what I have gathered in five minutes of deeply devoted research, the Earth/Sun system is almost 25,000 light years distant from the core. (Once you've moved outward from the bulge, the spiral of the galaxy is kind of flat, so we can consider it as being on one plane.) That means it would take you 25,000 years moving at the speed of light, from where you sit right now, to reach the center. Fortunately, moving at that speed, time would slow down to nearly nothing, and you would probably have time to get there alive. Still, I suggest you pack a fairly large lunch and get the biggest iPod.


The radius of our galaxy, that is, the distance from the core to the outside of the spirals, is about 60,000 light years -- so we're located nearly halfway out, positioned between two of the spiral arms. We are, basically, located on a side street, out in a remote and undeveloped suburb. No wonder it gets lonely here. The next house (Alpha Centauri) is four light years away. Linked here is an illustration that gives you a good bird's eye view of the setup, including the ring of a billion stars (kind of like Saturn has rings) that surrounds the outer rim of the galaxy.


The spiral of our galaxy is in motion, and our Sun orbits the core. It takes more than 200 million years for the Sun to make one trip around the core. I once got a sense with a tangible example of how long that is. In the underground healing temple (really, an abandoned cement mine) where I did much of my early astrological study, called the Chironian, the ceiling was made of fossilized sea floor that had been flipped upside down by geologic movement. One can see and touch this ancient seabed, which has fossils of all kinds of weird critters from which we evolved, is a quarter billion years old -- somewhat older than one galactic year. And to think, most of that was ground up and made into a highway earlier in the century.


For those who equate astrology with spiritual process and experience, the galaxy, its mysteries and its energies are a source of deep inspiration. Think about it long enough and you too will start writing books about your previous lifetimes. The image of a spiral appears throughout nature, in seashells and other natural formations. It has long been considered a symbol of infinity.


The reality of this infinity projects itself through the tropical zodiac sign Sagittarius, where the galactic core is physically located and the time when many freaky people who know no limits are born. There, the ancients saw the image of a centaur, who guards the path to the galaxy, or perhaps who invites us to take our awareness there. It was not until much later on, November 1977, that the first centaur planet, Chiron, was discovered.


The Sun aligns with the core every year around Dec. 17-19, just before the winter solstice (summer solstice in Oz). Imagine looking at the Sun and seeing the spiral arms of the Milky Way extend outward from the Sun on a steep inclination, far out to the left and the right. (We have all seen the Milky Way in summer, which is a long cloudy streak across the clear night sky. This time of year, that streak is behind the Sun.) We could speculate about the meaning of this annual passage, or we can take the ride and experience what if feels like to go past this point in space as the next two weeks approach, since that's precisely what we will be doing. With the Mercury station happening so close to this point, there should (one would hope) be something obvious to anyone paying attention besides the latest cabinet member to resign from the White House.


Some scholars feel that the galactic core was an important point of reckoning for the ancient Mayan people, who held it as a center of the universe. The Mayans were able to work with much longer periods of time than our modern astrology can handle. The mathematicians and astronomers -- who were also their daykeepers or astrologers -- designed the Mayan calendrical systems. They apparently timed the conclusion of the 13th baktun in 2012 (culminating a count of 5,125 years or about 1.8 million days) with a rare precessional alignment with this point in space.


If that is true, we are extremely close to that alignment today, as the seven years between now and 2012 is a tiny fraction of 5,125 years in the whole cycle. This could help us account for how mad the world is going, in the face of the quickening spiritual vibrations associated with the 2012 shift. Unfortunately, it seems that as the pace of growth and evolution of certain people increases, there is a corresponding increase in fear, hostility and greed in certain others. It seems like approximately half the species understands that this hostility and greed threaten our collective survival; and the other half is so consumed by fear that it won't acknowledge that simple fact.


The question is: what will it take to get us past this critical point of evolution? What does it take for any one person to take a step beyond their own personal concerns, and begin to think on the level of planetary awareness -- and then act on that level? What did it take, or what would it take, for you?


Please write to me and tell me what you think.


Here are a few reflections on your questions this week.