by AJ McGettigan, shamanic astronomer
The stage is set for a very unusual celestial event. From late Aprilthrough May 2004 two recently discovered comets will simultaneously maketheir closest approach to Earth. Comet NEAT (C/2001 Q4) will be movingfrom south to north in the evening skies. Comet NEAT will be visible inboth the northern and southern hemispheres. Comet LINEAR (C/2002 T7)will be moving easterly across the southern skies. Comet Linear is notexpected to be visible from the northern hemisphere.
Although the brightness of comets is very difficult to predict, theircloseness to Earth makes it likely that these comets will appear atleast as bright as Comet Hyakutake in 1996--easily visible to the nakedeye.
It is an extremely unusual event to have two comets passing closely toEarth within a period of days. Interestingly, the paths of these cometsare roughly perpendicular to each other, forming the shape of a "cross"or a "medicine wheel" in our sky. Some people will naturally see thisevent as a sign in the heavens. This event will likely produce someinteresting observations from indigenous elders and prophets of alltraditions across the planet. No matter how it is interpreted, however,this event is certainly in one sense a great blessing--for it willafford us an opportunity to look to the sky together and appreciate thebeauty of the living universe that both surrounds and fills us all.
Viewa QuickTime(1) movie here(2) created by AJ, showing the passage of the comets.
Updates related to this event will be posted on the author's web site,ncrising.com(3).