Green Comet, Green World

Friday January 27th 2023

If you’re lucky and the skies are dark and clear near you, you may be able to see the spectacular green comet hurtling through space right now. Here are directions how.

My friend and colleague Isabel Tifft explains what it might mean astrologically — taking the very long view. Her article is fascinating.

The Green Comet photographed by NASA in December

The Green Comet photographed by NASA in December

This comet is called C (for Comet) 2022 (year it was found) E (for the 5th half-month of the year, early March) 3 (the 3rd comet found in that time) ZTF (the acronym for the Zwicky Transient Facility where it was found.) The discoverers are Bryce Bolin and Frank Masci.


There’s an unusual green comet approaching Earth for the first time in fifty thousand years. 

“That’s weird,” I thought. “So what was happening 50,000 years ago?”

There was a lot going on – that was the end of the Late Pleistocene: a glacial period was in retreat, the Sahara was lush and green, and the continents had their current shape. Fresh water was pouring out of ice shields in North America and (less so) Siberia into the Arctic Ocean, disrupting the cyclical flow of salinity and temperature between the equator and the poles. This disruption created pulses of warming and cooling in the world, altered coastlines, and kept everything on their toes – if they had any. 

This was not the first time, of course. Ice Ages have these periods of advancing and retreating glaciation. It’s normal. Change is normal.

Two things were not normal.

One is that the megafauna started dying off and not being replaced: cave bears, saber-toothed tigers, and almost all the wooly mammoths. Might have been climate pressure, meteorites, disease – we still don’t know. This went on until they were all gone, about 10 000 years ago.

The other is that one of several hominid species, without any anatomical changes in their skulls, suddenly started acting differently: they successfully colonized new continents, invented things of new complexity, made art, developed nuanced language, and left traces suggesting that they created stories to explain the world to themselves. Might have been due to developing a voicebox, needing to hunt smaller game, experiment more with risky plant foods, population pressures – we still don’t know. 

A variety of human species existed, not only in Africa, but in Asia, Australia, and Europe for hundreds of thousands of years. A mere 300,000 years ago or so, one mongrel species emerged from the meeting and mingling, and starting around 50,000-60,000 years ago, it reached out and took over the world. 

We are, in fact, a young species, as brief as a blackhead. 

Three things were simultaneously true: 

  1. There were a lot of human species for a long time!
  2. Major changes take time to permeate the world, but they can’t get going without a sufficiently strong start. Whatever it is that was going on around 50,000 years ago, was a heck of a strong start.
  3. Symbolic thought, art, consonantal language, and culture took place among H. sapiens long before the 50k boundary, but they stayed in the heart of Africa, and were limited in locations and times. Brightly decorated points scattered through time.

The fossil record goes from “East Africa 279 000 years ago, spot of very clever human culture… North Africa 130 000 y.a., clever human culture… South Africa 100 000 y.a., clever human culture … Central Africa 90 000 y.a., clever human culture … South Africa 85 000 y.a., more clever human culture … but after about 50 000 y.a.? Holy moly, there’s clever human culture going everywhere, all the time!” 

This combination of Homo sapiens persistence and cultural density didn’t take off until around 50,000 years ago, and that’s what makes this green comet’s timing so fascinating to me. Also, knowing there was a leadup of about 10-15,000 years and an uptake taking about another 10-15,000 years, it’s definitely a long-game indicator — epochal. 

Immanence, not prescriptiveness

My view of astrology is immanence: the planetary bodies and mathematical-physical parameters they inhabit, are part of the same reality we inhabit. They don’t set the tone in the room, so to speak, but they can tell us what the tone is, if we know how to read them. 

With that in mind, and knowing this planet had a 10,000-year precursor to a huge cultural pivot in my species… What happened around 10,000 years ago, from now? What clues does that give about the nature of our coming change? 

Organized farming & herding came together. Probably not coincidentally, the last of the megafauna finally met their ends. Other human species collapsed, leaving only fossils and little traces in our own DNA. The first signs of environmental abuse (erosion and deforestation) occur, and diseases got worse as people crowded together and hung out more. Writing was invented and records started being kept. Possibly not coincidentally, it was the last time our skulls were that big; we’ve lost about 10-15% of skull space, on average, in the past 10,000 years, possibly because we stopped using the astonishing physical athleticism required for the hard, relentless life of hunting, gathering, and following the climate through glacial periods amidst megafauna with terrible natural weaponry. Physical skills take a lot of brain space.

So, this comet arrived 10,000 years after our species set off to be fruitful and multiply. Its arrival marked the time we suddenly exploded into productivity and creativity and effectiveness. If, 10 000 years ago, we first started truly abusing the earth we depend on for life and not doing too well by our hygiene either, and this comet arrives now as we’re spiralling into a vortex of environmental chaos that our combined greed and productivity created – one well outside the usual pulse of temperature cycling – then I think we’re about to see some changes that will reform everything about us. 

This comet saw us into the world. It may well see us out; on the other hand, and this is not a contradiction, it may see us bootstrap ourselves into another grand leap of cultural evolution. After all, it took another 15,000 years or so for our skulls to take on the modern form, bringing us from Cro-Magnon to fully modern Homo Sapiens around 35,000 years ago.

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the chart of its discovery.

No birth time, so do ignore the houses. Orcus is at 13° Virgo and makes aspects around the chart which don’t show on AstroGold.

I can’t find any time referents as to when someone stuck his finger out and said, “Ah-hah!” They probably crunched the data for days. Weeks. More. Anyway, they doubtless spotted the comet at night, so the time is set for 11.30 pm. Ignore the house placements though since time is really unknown.

I included an array of dwarf planets for insight into the major planets’ impact, the Centaurs as bridges between the personal and cosmic, and some TNOs (trans-Neptunian objects, arguably related to Oort cloud bodies) partly for company, and partly because they tend to relate to our relationship to our Earth and that felt relevant in light of the paleohistory involved.

This comet comes from the Oort cloud, that massive sphere of bodies that have been pushed out of the solar system by the forces of harmonics and energy. It comes in from above our ecliptic plane, drops through the ecliptic between Earth and Mars just as we go by (closest around Imbolc, or Groundhog Day, Feb 2), and swoops away below the ecliptic to loop back again to the Oort cloud. Link to excellent descriptive graphics here. 

It’s missing us by the thickness of a stamp. I wonder if the previous pass was so close. It’s breathtaking.

We’ve got a rectangle of flowing energy, a harsh arrow of squares, and some eye-watering stelliums:

Firstly, enlarging/lucky Jupiter, centaur Nessus of brutal transitions, and the humanistic Moon are cazimi the Piscean Sun. Looks like this is when have to rip our own skins off, the only way to rid ourselves of poison and start the long road to healing. Sun is holding this intense, transient energy right in its Eye, from the deepest lens in the Zodiac, Pisces. The fast-moving Moon broke this up quickly, but then, this whole cometary event is uniquely tight. 

Next, in Capricorn, less than a minute separates Pluto (what’s in the Earth, from buried treasure to magma; shared resources; the hidden powers that be), Mars (fire; starting something; cutting into), and Venus (the Earth herself; treasure; fertility). Vesta is a minute away, boosting the signal of work and home, and possibly sacrifice. This incredibly tight, intense stellium takes place in Capricorn, the sign that can never climb high enough to soothe that inward drive, and yet still needs limits and strictures and rules to measure itself by.

This stellium trines the True Node-Sedna conjunction in Taurus. This suggests that the whole point of this comet’s entry into our awareness is all about what we do to our cosmic home – mining, fuel attainment, farming, water use, and the culture and politics driving those methods. As things stand, the net effect of those methods is appalling, and seemingly unstoppable.

Unstoppable… well, with that in mind, let’s look at what Saturn, the ultimate stop-er, is up to.

Look at that, another extra-tight conjunction! Saturn is a few seconds from electrical and communicative Mercury in the sign of Aquarius, spinner of ideas and webs and societies. Saturn is in Mercury’s sign, and Mercury is applying to Saturn in this chart and close enough to kiss. It looks like Mercury is asking for Saturn’s help in setting some boundaries; they’re squaring Hygeia in deep Scorpio, and radioactive Uranus in earthy Taurus – it surprises nobody that the message is to clean up our ideas about how to do these things. Clean methods for mining, farming, water management, and fueling exist. Revolutionary they may seem, but they’ve been held out of reach for too long.

Lastly, let’s look at the figure that, to me, looks like an ancient Roman legionnaire holding his shield:

The shield is formed by a Uranus-Orcus trine, a trine between the Sun’s stellium and Hygeia, and the sextiles between Orcus-Hygeia and Uranus-Sun stellium. This is a gorgeous arrangement of energies! Uranus gives that agonizing stellium a way forward from the pain and damage of being flayed; Orcus pours water on the wounds and Hygeia washes them clean. The imaginary soldier’s shoulder-armor is drawn by the celestial bodies in the Aries-Pisces span, from the wound-that-makes-you-wiser of Chiron, through strategic and artful Pallas, through the life-giving vigor of Eros, widely conjunct the powerful watery depths of Neptune in his own sign. These are held up and supported by trines to that brutal Pluto-Mars-Venus stellium, the True Node-Sedna conjunction, and by nourishing Ceres in sees-both-sides Gemini. 

Clearly, the Earth will thrive with us or without us. The question is whether we, as a species, will do what it takes to be here when that happens.

Essentially, this looks like a brutal pivot point, but that’s really no surprise to anyone who remembers what the climate, or farming, or mining, or water, was like 20 or 40 or 60 years ago. Looking at the +10 000-year span it took us to get here is not necessary, but it may help to realize just what kind of work we have ahead of us if we intend to survive as a species. 

While we should have started this course-correction any time in the last 10 millenia, the only time we can make changes in is the present. With that in mind, feel free to nag your legislators and politicians. What they currently think doesn’t matter; it’s about adding to the data their offices inevitably collect and record. Our communication gifts, such a marker of this evolutionary leap in the first place, are they key to our transformation. It’s too late to pass on a comfortable world, but not yet too late to pass on a survivable one.

Mercury says that structural Saturn wants to hear from you. Pluto is holding people everywhere responsible. It’s not one call that makes things change; it’s the accumulation of calls, the landslides of votes, the ways that decentralized power can stymie centralized power and the way Saturnian and Plutonic consequences catch up with irresponsible behavior. How dare we imagine that we’re helpless… this species took over the world. We can take over ourselves.

This is not a time when great individuals get to make the difference, this is an epochal struggle we’ve inherited from our grandcestors and will pass on. Most individuals – Mars, Venus, and the Moon – are pinned by greater forces, but our collective work – pre-emptive Uranus in practical Taurus; merciless Pluto in hardworking Capricorn; chatty and androgynous Mercury in networking Aquarius; and Saturn who takes with one firm hand but can give with two, who’s listening to Mercury in visionary Aquarius – these will determine the shape of our future. 

The Earth herself will be fine either way. 

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  1. Isy says:

    Images of the comet abound online. Take a look, if you can. It has a bluish-green head, yellow-green back, and up to 3 tails! Gorgeous!

  2. Jeanne says:

    Amazing, Christina.

    I looked up Orcus online, and among other things he punishes broken promises. Avenging dark angel, perhaps. Still much cleansing to be done.

    • Isabel says:

      I’m intrigued by the inescapable meticulousness of Orcus and Hygeia pinning one end of the shield down, while the messiness of Uranus and the Solar stellium blow up the other end.

    • Christina says:

      We’ll see. I love the way Isabel weaves in what was happening 50,000 years ago. Imagine our ancestors looking up at the truly dark skies back then and seeing this magical fellow swooshing past.

  3. Rhonda Buttery says:

    Why do you say AstroGold does’t show the aspects to Orcas?

    • Christina says:

      I couldn’t get it to. Is there something I should know?

      • Christina says:

        Rhonda sent me a very nice email explaining what to do.

        Hi Christina.
        When adding extra points in AstroGold MAC OS, if you click the tick under A at the right of the extra points you have added to display, they will also be aspected points.


        That is the kind of service I love. She’s the chief trainer at AstroGold.

  4. […] Tonight we take a look at the life of George Ellery Hale, pioneering astronomer and the father of Palomar Observatory . . . where the mysterious new green comet was discovered, only 11 months ago and visible in the skies this week. It’s EPISODE #180: THE GREEN COMET. But what does it mean? […]

  5. La'Mar Harmon says:

    Anyway to ascertain the astrological placement in the sky….50K years ago to the date?