There is one abiding mystery associated with Johannes Kepler’s Fiery Trigons.
Why is the 1st Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aries every ~ 800 years so very influential?
So far there are no definite answers – only coincidences.
The most curious coincidence is the close alignment of the start of Aries with the Andromeda Galaxy which is currently on a collision course with the Milky Way.
The 1702 conjunction of Jupiter-Saturn with a right ascension of 00:29:18 was closely aligned with the Andromeda Galaxy at 00:42:44 i.e. a difference of only 00:13:26.
Andromeda Galaxy‘s tangential or sideways velocity with respect to the Milky Way is relatively much smaller than the approaching velocity and therefore it is expected to collide directly with the Milky Way in about 4 billion years.
Another curious coincidence is the alignment of the Phoenix constellation.
Phoenix is a minor constellation in the southern sky.
Named after the mythical phoenix, it was first depicted on a celestial atlas by Johann Bayer in his 1603 Uranometria.
The French explorer and astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille charted the brighter stars and gave their Bayer designations in 1756.
The constellation stretches from roughly −39° to −57° declination, and from 23.5h to 2.5h of right ascension.
The constellations Phoenix, Grus, Pavo and Tucana, are known as the Southern Birds.
The brightest star in Phoenix has a right ascension of 00:26:17.
The brightest star, Alpha Phoenicis, is named Ankaa, an Arabic word meaning ‘the Phoenix’.
Right ascension 00h 26m 17.05140s
The brightest star in Phoenix acquired the name “Ankaa” from the Arabic for phoenix “sometime after 1800” while an adjacent constellation acquired the name “Machina Electrica” in 1800.
It also bore the traditional name Ankaa sometime after 1800, from the Arabic al-ʽanqāʼ “the phoenix” for the name of the constellation.
Machina Electrica (Latin for electricity generator) was a constellation created by Johann Bode in 1800.
He created it from faint stars between Fornax and Sculptor, to the south of Cetus.
It represented an electrostatic generator.
The constellation was never popular and is no longer in use.
Uranographia covers the entire sky on 20 maps
Uranographia – J E Bode – Berlino – 1801
Sadly, the gradualist astronomers are fairly diligent Orwellian housekeepers and much of underlying knowledge base appears to have been tidied away.
However, some artefacts suggest the Phoenix was astrologically significant in medieval times.
The phoenix is sometimes pictured in ancient and medieval literature and medieval art as endowed with a halo, which emphasizes the bird’s connection with the Sun.
In the oldest images of phoenixes on record these nimbuses often have seven rays, like Helios (the Greek personification of the Sun).
The Aberdeen Bestiary is a 12th-century English illuminated manuscript bestiary that was first listed in 1542 in the inventory of the Old Royal Library at the Palace of Westminster.
An astrological Phoenix that’s reborn every 500 years was specifically mentioned by Dante.
Dante refers to the phoenix in Inferno Canto XXIV:
Even thus by the great sages ’tis confessed
The phoenix dies, and then is born again,
When it approaches its five-hundredth year;
On herb or grain it feeds not in its life,
But only on tears of incense and amomum,
And nard and myrrh are its last winding-sheet.
Dante Alighieri or simply as Dante (c. 1265 – 1321), was an Italian poet during the Late Middle Ages.
Arguably, the cyclical rebirth of the Phoenix represents the Great Mutation Cycle.
Associated with the Sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.
According to some sources, the phoenix dies in a show of flames and combustion, although there are other sources that claim that the legendary bird dies and simply decomposes before being born again.
There are different traditions concerning the lifespan of the phoenix, but by most accounts the phoenix lived for 500 years before rebirth.
Herodotus, Lucan, Pliny the Elder, Pope Clement I, Lactantius, Ovid, and Isidore of Seville are among those who have contributed to the retelling and transmission of the phoenix motif.
In ancient Greece and Rome, the phoenix was associated with Phoenicia, (modern Lebanon), a civilization famous for its production of purple dye from conch shells.
If that is the case then it explains why there are so many phoenix analogues.
Scholars have observed analogues to the phoenix in a variety of cultures. These analogues include the
Hindu garuda and gandaberunda, the
Russian firebird, the
Georgian paskunji, the
Arabian anka and the derived
Turkish Zümrüdü Anka, the
Tibetan Me byi karmo, the
Chinese Fenghuang and zhu que, and the
In Russian folklore and fairytales the Firebird (Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Slovene) is a magical glowing bird from a faraway land, which is both a blessing and a bringer of doom to its captor.
The Firebird is described as a large bird with majestic plumage that glows brightly emitting red, orange, and yellow light, like a bonfire that is just past the turbulent flame.
But as mentioned earlier:
So far there are no definite conclusions – only coincidences and conjecture.