[asa] The equinox

From: Preston Garrison <pngarrison@att.net>
Date: Tue Apr 14 2009 - 12:11:18 EDT


Since the equinox was discussed in regard to Easter, I thought some
might like Dante's comments on the spring equinox, the time at which
he reaches the sphere of the sun in the Paradiso:

Then, reader, lift your eyes with me to see
the high wheels; gaze directly at that part
where the one motion strikes against the other; [intersection of
equator and ecliptic]
and there begin to look with longing at
the masters art, which in Himself he loves
so much that His eye never parts from it.

See there the circle branching from that cross-point
obliquely; zodiac to bear the planets
that satisfy the world in need of them.

For if the planets path were not aslant,
much of the heaven's virture would be wasted
and almost every power on earth be dead;
and if the zodiac swerved more or less
far from the straight course, then earth's harmony
would be defective in both hemispheres.


The greatest minister of nature - he
who imprints earth with heaven's worth, with [the sun]
his light, provides the measurement for time-
since he was in conjunction with the part [spring equinox]
I noted, now was wheeling through the spirals
where he appears more early every day.


Of course I got to this passage 2 weeks after the equinox, late as
usual. If you have a telescope and find the point of the autumnal
equinox now in the evening in the east, Saturn is close by. The
non-scientific people around find it very impressive that you can
actually see the rings, but are disappointed that they don't look
like the space probe pictures.


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Received on Tue Apr 14 12:11:29 2009

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