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The Galactic Nucleus Date Published: 11/14/2002 by Michael Erlewine
Bio: Michael Erlewine

Author Michael Erlewine Besides being the author/astrologer behind our top-selling Astro*Talk, TimeLine, and Friends and Lovers report programs, Michael is the man who founded Matrix back in the late '70s. Michael and his brother Stephen Erlewine (Stephen is still head of all astrological programming for Matrix) built Matrix into the leading producer of astrology software.

For many years Michael lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was much in demand as a counseling astrologer specializing in relationship and vocational advice. He also taught astrology at local schools and colleges, working with groups of as many as 1,200 people.

Michael is also known for his entrepreneurial drive which, in addition to Matrix, led him to create the All Music Guide - the largest music database in the world - and the All Movie Guide, as well as several award-winning websites, including

Michael also founded the Heart Center Library, the largest astrological library in North America that is open to the public. He remains curator of the works contained in this library, tapping this resource for one of his pet projects - a complete astrological encyclopedia.

Today Michael lives in the northern Michigan community of Big Rapids with his wife of 33 years and his family. He still does occasional private astrological counseling as people from around the world continue to seek his advice.

Those interested in a personal reading by Michael may contact him at:



The Galactic Nucleus or Center of the Galaxy is located at Celestial or Zodiac Longitude 266deg 07min 53sec and latitude -05 deg 31m 48s (or in other words, about 26 degrees Sagittarius). Here is the center about which our Sun gravitates and revolves — our Sun's Sun. As can be seen in the diagram, the area around the Galactic Nucleus and along the Galactic Equator or plane is crowded with radiating material. The visual objects pictured here are not simple single stars but in many cases represent intense clusters of thousands of stars each. Each year, several days before the Summer Solstice, the Earth/Sun axis or line is conjunct the direction of the center of our Galaxy. A few days later, the earth crosses the equatorial plane of the Galaxy and is in line with the plane of the Galaxy. The exact nodal points are 269 deg 19m 15s and 89 deg 19m 15s on the ecliptic and the earth crosses the second point near the Winter Solstice.

It is clear from this diagram, as well as the other illustrations in this article, that almost the entire Zodiac Sign Sagittarius and most of Capricorn occur in the region of the Galactic Nucleus and in the opposite direction, that of the Anti-Center of the Galaxy located at 26deg 07m 53s Gemini. Most of Gemini and part of the sign Cancer represents this same direction — the Galactic Plane, as it exists beyond the other side of the earth.

In other words, the Plane of the Galaxy intersects the Zodiac almost exactly at the 0-degree points of the Cardinal signs, Capricorn, and Cancer. The plane of the Galaxy is inclined, or tilted, to the zodiac by an angle of about 60degress, a sextile aspect. As astrologers, we should note the location of this great Center and the Anti-Center and check these points out in the natal charts of individuals, events, by transit, and so forth to determine their value in our work. Research underway by astrologers in many countries shows the Galactic Center (G.C.) to be a point of special significance — literally the lifeline to our Sun. The sign Sagittarius has been long connected to the idea of truth and God or religion. Perhaps here is factual confirmation of what we have long known through our intuitive resources: that the direction of Sagittarius and Capricorn is indeed somehow connected with truth or Center.

The Sun protects most of the planets in our system with a kind of aura called the Solar Wind, that effectively pushes back particles such as cosmic rays coming from "outer space" or the center of the galaxy. It is scientific fact that at the low points in the sunspot cycle when the sun has the weakest aura, cosmic rays penetrate toward the center of the solar system and to the earth at a significantly higher rate than at the peak of sunspot activity when the solar wind pushes these particles back. During sunspot lows, perhaps the seed or Cosmic Message will impregnate us. Many of the most startling discoveries in modern astrophysical research such as pulsars, black holes etc. occurred in the late l960's - a sunspot minimum.

The Metagalaxy

Our Milky Way Galaxy is a member of a yet larger structure containing many tens of thousands of galaxies that cluster together to form a large, rotating, flattened, disc-shaped meta- or Super Galaxy. Our galaxy is located towards the extreme edge of this Super Galaxy and therefore the greatest number of external galaxies that make up our Super Galaxy are all in the same general direction in space with their center at 1 deg 05m 28s Libra in Zodiac Longitude and +l4 deg 54m 03s in latitude. The equator or plane of the Super Galaxy is inclined to our Zodiac by an an angle of about 52 deg (a septile), with the intersection or Line of Nodes to the Ecliptic at l6 deg 21m 06s Aries/Libra (northern node in Aries).

In the illustration, a section of the Zodiac through Virgo and early Libra is shown, where the Super Galactic Plane intersects the Zodiac and some attempt has been made to present the mass of external galaxies in this region, although in fact, there are literally ten of thousands in this area. The greatest concentration of galaxies increases through the sign Virgo, reaching the Super Galactic Center at about 0 Libra, crossing the Ecliptic in the middle of Libra, after which there is a gradual decrease in concentration.

We shall now present one of the most fascinating aspects of the study of cosmic structure that this author has encountered: the center of the Super Galaxy at 1 deg. Libra is almost exactly at a 90 degree angle from the center of the Galaxy at 26 deg Sagittarius. Furthermore, the equatorial planes of the Galaxy and the Super Galaxy are inclined to each other by an angle of about 84 degrees, again, almost a right angle! As previously mentioned, the Galaxy is inclined to the Earth's orbit, the Ecliptic or Zodiac by a sextile, and to the Super Galaxy by a septile, and to each other by a square! In other words, the Cardinal Sign axes are in line with the two greatest superstructures we know.

These superstructures are literally perpendicular to each other with their centers at the zero points of the Cardinal signs. Here is great food for thought in understanding the traditional meaning of the zodiac. Each year the Earth passes through the plane of the Super Galaxy at the Equinoxes and the plane of our Galaxy around the Solstices. The midpoint between these two great planes and centers occurs in Scorpio/Taurus, and it is in these signs that the earth/sun axis moves out-of-line with one great center and begins to form an alignment with the other. This is perhaps added confirmation as to the significance of the Scorpio/Taurus axis in astrology.

Transit Tables

As pointed out previously, the equators of the Galaxy and Super Galaxy are inclined one to another by about a 90 degree angle. A practical result of this is that when one of these planes is directly above us by Meridian transit, the other plane is roughly on the East Point or what is sometimes called the Equatorial Ascendant (a point 90 degrees from the RAMC or Sidereal Time.) Included in this article are tables for all North Latitudes from 0-60 degrees of Meridian transit of the central planes of both the Galaxy and Super Galaxy listed by the Midheaven (M.C.) or l0th house cusp that indicates the point of transit. We list the M.C. rather than the Sidereal Time (RAMC) since most astrologers are more familiar with the location and use of the Zodiac than they are with the Equatorial Coordinates, altlhough it must be understood that calculation of these points is to be done on the Celestial Equator rather than the Zodiac or Ecliptic.

It is traditional to associate the qualities of Sagittarius (the direction of the Galactic center) with Integrity, truth, and religion. The qualities of the Super Galactic Center (associated with Virgo/Libra) such as service care, reflection, and responsibility are not generally regarded as the defining qualities of religion, but are considered to be secondary or accompanying virtues — the "handmaidens" of Religion.

For each of the equators, that of the Galaxy and Super Galaxy, there are two transits per day — one in the direction of the Center and one each of the Anti-Center direction. All four points are listed. To use these tables simply look through your collection of natal or event charts for those having Midheavens (for the latitude of birth) on or near the listed values. You may comfortably use a wide orb (at least 5-6 degrees either side of the listed value) and the values in the table are for the exact intersection of the various planes with that particular latitude. For example, if I am born at 40 degrees latitude North, and my Midheaven is 0 degrees Libra, I can know that I have the plane of the Super Galaxy overhead, and that my place of birth is oriented or inclined to this plane. Another valuable technique is to determine the time of these daily transits and what kind of time you have. This will of course depend upon your affinity/non-affinity for the given plane (whether you happened to be inclined or disinclined to it) but in general, orientation the Galactic plane will find one very active and moving (driving across town to get something, for instance) and the influence of the Super Galactic plane seems to bring reverie and especially clear thoughts and ideas. A simple look at one's friends and associates can be very revealing in terms of their orientation or affinity to one or the other of these two great planes.

For all latitudes the plane of the galaxy is on the East Point when the M.C. is either 13 deg 18m 53s Aries or Libra and for SGC 12 deg 14m 57s Cancer or Capricorn.


© Copyright: Michael Erlewine





Other articles by Michael Erlewine

Erlewine, MichaelSaturn: the Sequencer

Erlewine, MichaelThe Value of the Heliocentric/Geocentric Comparison

Erlewine, MichaelThe Astrology of Local Space

Erlewine, MichaelThe Counselor: Midwife of the Psyche

Erlewine, MichaelTidal Vector Forces: Lunar Phenoma

Erlewine, MichaelBurn Rate: The Retrograde Phenomenon

Erlewine, MichaelThe Uranian Signs

Erlewine, MichaelTibetan Astrology

Erlewine, MichaelOutline of Major Tibetan Techniques

Erlewine, MichaelThe Tibetan Calendar: The 12 Months of the Year

Erlewine, MichaelTibetan Astrology: Appendix A

Erlewine, MichaelAstrological Signs

Erlewine, MichaelThe Planets, Signs, & Houses

Erlewine, MichaelZodiac Cycles and Signs

Erlewine, MichaelAstro*Map Hi-Res 1988

Erlewine, MichaelLocal Space Astrology — Relocation

Erlewine, MichaelLunar Gaps: Taking Advantage of the Lunar Cycle

Erlewine, MichaelThe Lunation Cycle: East and West

Erlewine, MichaelScience and the Lunation Cycle

Erlewine, MichaelInterface: Planetary Nodes - Part I

Erlewine, MichaelInterface: Planetary Nodes - Part II

Erlewine, MichaelGalaxy: Circles, Cycles, Circulation

Erlewine, MichaelGalaxy: Higher Order Structuring

Erlewine, MichaelHeliocentrics

Erlewine, MichaelOur Roots in the Sun



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