-text by Dan Uza;
Cluj zodiacal bridge photos by Mircea Corpodean-

“… from God it is given that nothing is stable in the world,
but all is wasteful and passing:
He climbs up the down people and climbs down the up people,
to make us know that we have nothing in the world,
except only good things…”

-Miron Costin’s Chronicles, 17th century-

A few thousand years ago,
when people began to systematically observe the sky,
the zodiacal signs and the zodiacal constellations were the same.
But if in those times the Sun rose during the spring equinox
with the stars of the constellation Ram in the background
(or, simply, when the Sun passed through Aries),
now, in the same moment,
he apparently carries the constellation Fishes in his back.
This slip of the canopy of heaven is the result of Earth’s precession,
which provoked the retrograde moving of the signs
relative to the constellations,
and which also flustered the names of the terrestrial tropics:
thus, now the Sun is not in the constellation Cancer
when he touches the maximum height above the Equator,
but in Gemini,
while in the south hemisphere
Capricornus should be replaced by Aquarius.
So today the astrologers work with zodiacal signs
(which have a mystical character)
while the astronomers work with zodiacal constellations
(based on visual reality).

He who was the mayor in the city of Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania
in between 2009 and 2011
promised to continue to modernize the pedestrian bridges
over the Little Somes River.

After the success in improving the Elisabeta Bridge,
the next was a metallic one
between the Grigorescu District and the Hatieganu Park.
The builders consolidated its structure with 12 metallic seals
corresponding to a transom with the zodiacal signs.

But in the meantime
the too retrograde signs of the zodiac ceased to be favourable
to the too modern mayor,
who was arrested for taking bribe.

-March 2012-


A few months later, in August 2012
during an observational evening on the Feleac Hill
I was visited by a few ladies passionate for astrology,
that old science which connects
people’s destinies to heavenly bodies’ configurations.

Although using planets and constellations for making astrograms,
those ladies confessed that it was for the first time
when they watched the planet Mars.

This was for me just like a funny paradox
because of the current separation between
astrology (remained fixed in a quasi-autism)
and astronomy (too puzzling for many).

So I just indicated the planet Mars,
a reddish light near the star Spica
in the constellation Maiden.

“Oh, but my convincement has been that now
Mars is in the Scales!”
one of those ladies said to me
with astrological reproach.

“Esteemed lady,”
I replied,
“the astronomical Maiden
(Virgo in Latin, Fecioara in Romanian)
is not the same with the astrological Maiden,
while the astrological Balance or Scales
(Libra in Latin, Balanta in Romanian)
is not the same with the astronomical Balance.
Due to the precession of Earth’s axis
(which is also named the precession of equinoxes)
the signs have retrogradely moved relative to the constellations
with about 28 degrees.

So please excuse my reaction,
but that means almost…
a constellation!”


These materials were first published in Romanian on Dan Uza’s blog
“Cercul de Stele” (Circle of Stars);
English translation by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe;
Design: Florin Stancu;
© 2012 Borealis Astroclub and SARM