Saturn’s Return

Synodic Cycle of Saturn begins at  Conjunction

In case you were wondering (and you know you were, even if you weren’t, or didn’t think you were, or hadn’t thought that you weren’t)…

Previous post: Weekdays Explored – Saturday – Saturn the planet, and the titan

As part of theAbysmal Calendar (just because I say so), I’ve added the cycles of the 8 planets (sorry Pluto, but since you’re the devil, I’ll leave you to the cold darkness of planetoid status). theAbysmal Calendar tracks the synodic cycles, that is, the time it takes for the planet to return to the same position in the sky as seen from Earth. This is different from the orbital period. Just as we measure the lunar month by its synodic period of 29.53 days instead of its orbital period of 27.32 days.

Planetary cycles are numbered beginning with 0, which is the cycle that takes place during Day 0 of theAbysmal Calendar (equivalent to Dec 21st 2012). So this marks the beginning of Saturn’s cycle 0. Mercury’s cycle 0 begins next month, and all of the other planets have already begun theirs.

Clear? Probably not, but let’s move on, shall we?

The start of the planetary cycle depends if it’s an inferior planet (i.e. Mercury & Venus, whose orbits are between Earths & the Sun), or superior (Earth’s orbit lies between theirs and the Sun). Saturn is superior (just ask him).

Superior planetary cycles begin at conjunction, when they are on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth, and therefore invisible to us (just as the Moon is invisible at the New Moon which begins its cycle). This is in keeping with theAbysmal symbolism of the Abyss. Thus, today, Saturn is at Conjunction. Now you know. Use this information wisely.

Saturn’s synodic period takes an average of 378.09 Earth days. However, each period will be a set number of days. Cycle 0 will take 377 days. Planetary cycles are tracked by theAbysmal Calendar’s chromatic counter, as well as its Lunations (lunar months).

Why track the planets?

We’ve been doing it forever, and 6 of the 7 other planets are visible from Earth with the naked eye (although you have to squint to see Uranus). Living in brightly lit cities has removed us from the aeon-old practice of stargazing and skywatching. It’s a pity, really, as these are the foundations of daykeeping and calendar systems. As a result, since we have advanced astronomy by leaps and bounds over the centuries, we may as well take advantage and keep an eye (if only the mind’s eye) on what’s going on in the celestial heavens.

Also, Saturn, at least in Greco-Roman mythology, began time when he separated Earth and Sky (or, as the myth has it, castrated his father Ouranos – the sky – while he was copulating with Gaia – the earth. Messy business this inventing time).


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