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Lunar Eclipse by Mickie Mueller
Lunar Eclipse by Mickie Mueller

Eclipses


astrology greenglobe Solar Eclipse (Sun) | astrology greenglobe Lunar Eclipse (Moon) | astrology greenglobe How Eclipses happen

Go to TopThe Eclipse of the Moon

The eclipse of the Moon has traditionally been viewed as a bad omen, for it can awaken irrational responses. Since the Moon governs domestic matters, the public and the emotional personality, rather than leadership, it tends to have a more personal effect than the solar eclipse, which plays a more outward, even political, role.

As a rule, women and family are generally more affected by the lunar cycle, whereas men and politics are signified by the solar. This is not to say that women are not political animals, nor that men are distinct from the family, but that the private, nurturing side is more affected than the public, social and media driven arena, which even in the 21st Century is still primarily dominated by males, or at least by what might be described as masculine energies.

The first lunar eclipse of the year is a total eclipse in Virgo, at 3:27 hrs UT on Feb 21, 2008 (Feb 20 in the Americas). From start to finish, it lasts about three hours and twenty-six minutes (not including the penumbral phases which are very difficult to see). The partial eclipse begins as the Moon's eastern edge slowly moves into the Earth's umbral shadow. During the partial phases, it takes just over an hour for the Moon's orbital motion to carry it entirely within the Earth's dark umbra.

Chariot, by Pamela Coleman Smith
Vivid Red... or Orange?

The colour and brightness of the totally-eclipsed Moon can vary considerably from one eclipse to another. Dark eclipses are caused by volcanic gas and dust, which filters and blocks much of the Sun's light from reaching the Moon. But since no major volcanic eruptions have taken place recently, the Moon will probably take on a vivid red or orange colour during the total phase. After the total phase ends, it is once again followed by a partial eclipse, as the Moon gradually leaves the umbral shadow.

The total phase of a lunar eclipse is called totality. At this time, the Moon is completely immersed within the Earth's dark, umbral shadow. Totality will last just under 50 minutes. This is quite a bit less than the last total lunar eclipse on August 28, 2007, which lasted 90 minutes.

The eclipse occurs at 1°53' Virgo, in conjunction with the Fixed Star Megrez in the constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. This star is a star of Mars, so is passionate and driven. It symbolises spiritual sight; creativity and violence. It is also known as Atri, who was one of the seven Rishis (Hindu sages), the ruling star of the Great Bear, Ursa Major. The Great Bear gives a quiet, prudent, suspicious, mistrustful, self-controlled, patient nature, but an uneasy spirit and great anger when roused.. By the Kabalists it is associated with the Hebrew letter Zain and the 7th Tarot Trump, "The Chariot". The energies of the Chariot give great impetus in one's direction and also tend to reduce any surrounding negative effects.

Since different parts of the Moon will be covered by different portions of Earth's shadow, quite a variation in brightness and in colour can be expected. Consequently the southern half of the totally eclipsed Moon will appear considerably brighter than the northern half.

  • The eclipse is well-placed for North and South America as well as Western Europe and North-West Africa.
  • Observers along North America's west coast miss the early stages of the partial eclipse, because it begins before moonrise.
  • Alaskans in Anchorage and Fairbanks experience moonrise during totality, but bright evening twilight will make it difficult for sourdoughs to view the event.
  • At the instant of mid-totality (03:37 UT), the Moon will lie in the zenith for observers in French Guiana, and places in the eastern Caribbean.
  • Western Europe and northwest Africa also see the entire eclipse.
  • Further to the east (east Africa and central Asia), the Moon sets before the eclipse ends.
  • None of the eclipse is visible from eastern Asia, Australia or New Zealand.

For NASA's graphic illustration of the Moon's path through Earth's shadows, as well as Fred Espenak's map illustrating worldwide visibility, click here.

Go to TopA Critical Event

The Moon is eclipsed in Virgo, so people at this time will feel quite reserved, eschewing flattery or emotional display. Selfishness, narrow-mindedness, trouble in employment, or with employees are likely. Passion is overcome by intellect and people are likely to be extremely critical and picky, both of themselves and others, especially their partners. The military is likely to be very edgy and inclined to take the lead, particularly if there is political disagreement, which is indicated by current aspects. Mars is the fierce, passionate warrior and transiting Mars, notably, is conjunct Polaris and more ominously Betelgeuse in the constellation of Orion, suggesting war, carnage and general damage due to misunderstanding and undue edginess. Remember, the Moon in the eclipse is conjunct Megrez, a star of Mars.

Virgo by Barbara Nagel

The Moon however is eclipsed in fortunate trine to Pluto, the dark lord of transformation. This reduces the negative effects and suggests that the long term outcome may be beneficial, or at least more beneficial than might otherwise be the case, especially for the younger generation. Note that obstructive Pluto in GWB's chart is conjunct the Ascendant (self-image) of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pluto in Iran's chart is conjunct GWB's Moon (the public; homeland security) and his Jupiter (politics; religion; the law), so it is sure to stir some trouble. Nevertheless, the eclipse in Iran will not be fully visible, unlike in the US, reducing its impact. War birds will hopefully remain hovering, rather than diving into action, though diplomacy will surely be put to the test.

Health issues are likely to be in the news. Saturn, lord of Karma, and the bright Royal Star, Regulus, are only three degrees (three fingers' width) east and west, respectively, of the Moon. Regulus, a star of Mars combined with Jupiter, is the most Royal Star. Known as Raphael, the Healing Archangel, healing is thus restated as an issue. This star was anciently the Watcher of the North, noted for his nobility, ambition, alertness, great power, status and leadership, but associated with sudden downfall, accidents and violence. Snce Regulus is in the last degree of tropical Leo, this diminishes his power somewhat, being out-of-sign in this figure, but if the US decides to take its threatened action against Iran, this would be a likely trigger.

Saturn is retrograde in Virgo, conjunct the eclipsed Moon – and the Saturn of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran is therefore undergoing its Saturn Return conjunct GWB's natal Mars! Transiting Uranus (sudden catastrophes; unexpected events; technological upsets) is tightly conjunct Iran's south lunar node (sorrow; loss; inevitable karmic events). On this day, transiting Mars is conjunct Iran's Mars, so headstrong, warlike feelings will rule, especially since the solar eclipse on Feb. 7 fell in Iran's nodal degree in its seventh house of open enemies.

This is a definite warning for hostilities, but also showing at a more personal level that relationships and family life will be liable to restrictive feelings – feelings of aridity and sorrow. Saturn opposes the Sun in Pisces, increasing responsibilities and drudgery. The Sun in the eclipse is conjunct the Royal Star Fomalhaut, so the temptation will be to resort to alcohol, or drugs. Fomalhaut is the Archangel Gabriel, the Watcher of the South. You need to watch your associates. It may seem as though you are taking one step forward and eight steps back. Forget about receiving any show of thanks or gratitude. Nit-pickers and those in charge seem to take it for granted that you will have what they need and are fully prepared to execute their demands. Sloppy work or irresponsibility you exhibit under this influence will not only be unacceptable now, but may work against you in the future. Do not seek favours, or promotion – and don't count on luck. It is a transitional energy. Issues will come to a head at the Solar Eclipse on August 1st.

People with mutable signs prominent in their charts will have a hard time separating their egos from their emotions, failing to recognise that something (or someone) they want may simply represent ego involvement, instead of emotional commitment. The mutable signs are Virgo; Pisces; Gemini; and Sagittarius. What we are called upon (or driven) to do may often interfere with what gives us emotional satisfaction, or we chase after our desires, while we waste or fail to develop our talents and skills. A tug-of-war exists between desires and emotional needs and practical ambitions. Appreciate whatever positive circumstances you encounter, and don’t be misguided enough to believe you can easily overcome any negative ones.

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Solar Eclipse by Jean-Paul Avisse
Solar Eclipse by Jean-Paul Avisse
Go to TopThe Eclipse of the Sun

The eclipse of the Sun has traditionally been viewed with dread over the ages, as the great giver of life seems inexplicably to disappear from the sky. Birds prepare for bed; the sky darkens in the middle of the day. It seems as though something dreadful is about to happen. Over the years, experience has shown us that old things come to an end (or are overthrown!) under a solar eclipse and a new beginning can be made. The effect on the world of eclipses has been seen to be generally felt for some six months, until the next eclipse then restructures the cosmic energies.

Astrologically, solar eclipses signify the fall of the mighty (or at least, they're in big trouble!). Depending where in the zodiac the eclipse occurs, stress is always placed on the matters governed by that sign, or sector of the zodiac. A powerful Solar Eclipse can create massive havoc, in accordance with other aspects in the heavens at the time, as can be clearly seen by the trail of earthquakes and other disasters associated with the Solar Eclipse and Grand Cross of August 1999.

Go to TopSolar Eclipse at Chinese New Year on February 7th, 2008

The first solar eclipse of 2008 is an annular eclipse of the Sun, at the New Moon on February 7 – Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat! Unfortunately, it will mainly be visible only in the Southern Hemisphere, notably Antarctica, the South Pacific, Eastern Australia and New Zealand. It's a sunset eclipse. Data from the observatories are somewhat unclear, but the Navy table indicates that the eclipse begins at the South Pole at 02:11 UT and ends at Suva Fiji at 06:10 UT. Maximum Eclipse in Sydney is 05:44 UT (4:44 PM Sydney time). Unfortunately no eclipse is visible from the North America or Europe.

According to Fred Espenak, the most unusual characteristic of this eclipse is that it begins and ends along Earth's sunset line. Most eclipse paths travel from west to east, but the 2008 annular eclipse path begins by running east to west and slowly turns north, before curving west to east near its terminus. View the map here. For more on the science of eclipses, see Fred Espenak's NASA Eclipse Home Page.

Go to TopEclipse in Aquarius
Aquarius by Barbara Nagel

This eclipse occurs at 17°44' of Aquarius, the sign of the Water-Bearer, but this is the first solar eclipse in 19 years with the nodes in Aquarius (see my article on the nodes changing sign in December 2007) and the first eclipse of this cycle with Pluto having made the transit into Capricorn, along with Jupiter into Capricorn and Saturn into Virgo, changing the elemental flavour of the world from fiery to earthy. This eclipse is by no means as powerful as that of August 1999, but it does restimulate the energies of that massive cosmic event, for it falls exactly opposite its position in the zodiac, in 18 Aquarius, as opposed to 18 Leo!

It occurs in the constellation Delphinus, the Dolphin, in the fortunate Hindu asterism, Dhanishtha. There are many aspects in the heavens on the day, so this eclipse seems to mark a fortunate entry into the new Earth-focused decade ahead. Perhaps the pursuit of the great sea mammals in the Southern Ocean will be resolved in their favour! Or maybe people will make more money out of them. Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, and Japanese whalers, take note...

It does however lie in the shadow of the upcoming Mars/Pluto opposition, when opposing forces will have a paralyzing effect. A contest of wills, especially in the political environment is sure to result in trouble. Governments and the powerful are likely to fall, or if not, to have no clear mandate, thus inclining the people to rebel. Efforts to gain control may produce precisely the opposite effect. This is not the time to change or interfere with the status quo. Deliberately engaging the hostility of another is to arouse a formidable opponent you might not otherwise have had to confront. Eschew underhand manipulations, as they are likely to create more trouble than they are worth. Matters will come to a head at the Full Moon, which is of course the Lunar Eclipse on Feb 20/21.

Solar eclipses don't often pass over populated areas, but when they do, they appear to have significant disruptive effects on the people and nations concerned (e.g., economic or political crises, civil unrest). My colleague, Ian Thurnwald, points out that Solar Eclipses also seem either to trigger or amplify natural events in the regions they affect (e.g., severe weather, earthquakes). Whether this effect is an astrological one or not, is a moot point, though recent scientific work on the effects of the Moon on earthquakes and other terrestrial phenomena is interesting. No doubt they would hasten to deny any astrological effect! The eclipse being in Aquarius means that people with Fixed signs (Aquarius; Leo; Scorpio; Taurus) featured in their birthcharts are more likely to be affected. The next eclipse of the Sun will be on August 1, 2008.

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Go to TopHow do Eclipses Happen?

In ancient times, priests and astrologers discovered how to predict eclipses, having realised their significance. Using observation and mathematics, they prepared reliable tables utilising their knowledge of the movement of the Moon's Nodes that have hardly been surpassed for accuracy until the recent advent of the computer. The Moon's Nodes mark the points where the path of the Moon's orbit around the Earth crosses the path of the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun and planets around the Earth) as viewed from the surface of the Earth. An eclipse takes place when either a New Moon (producing a Solar Eclipse) or a Full Moon (producing a Lunar Eclipse) occurs close to the either of the Nodes.

The Moon's light is reflected from the Sun, as the Moon does not shine of her own accord. Each month the Moon in her orbit travels completely around the Earth and the New and Full Moons happen as the Sun aligns with the Moon, either in conjunction or opposition. These powerful periods are called lunations. Among other effects on the world, they generate the tides. When lunations are also eclipses, their effect is even more powerful — although solar eclipses are generally more strongly felt than lunar eclipses. Eclipses usually occur in pairs, with either a lunar eclipse (Full Moon) heralding a solar eclipse (New Moon) about two weeks later, or vice versa. The energy of any lunation is always most strongly felt a day or so before the Moon (emotions; habit patterns; the public) reaches the exact alignment with the Sun (character; rationality; rulers).

At a Full Moon, when the Earth, Sun and Moon are so closely aligned that the Earth is located precisely between the Sun and the Moon, the shadow of the Earth covers the face of the Moon generating a Lunar Eclipse. The light of the Moon is darkened temporarily. It is safe to observe the Lunar Eclipse, or to take photographs, as there is no likelihood of eye damage, unlike the dangers during a Solar Eclipse.

When similarly aligned at a New Moon, the body of the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, producing a Solar Eclipse by hiding the face of the Sun. Remember, you should never view eclipses of the Sun directly with the naked eye, because the potential for eye damage is high.

For more on the science of eclipses, click here. Remember when looking at this astronomical material that they are using the sidereal zodiac, whilst we are using the tropical zodiac, so sign placements may seem out of whack with those mentioned here. This is due to the cosmic phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes, which makes the tropical zodiac of the seasons, as used on this site, seem out of sync with the constellations. This factor however has no effect on the predictive power of astrology.

Go to TopCosmic Coincidence?

Although the actual size of the Moon is much smaller than the size of the Sun, one of the most remarkable facts about our universe is that, when viewed from the Earth during a total eclipse, the Moon's disc exactly covers the disc of the Sun. The odds against such a striking coincidence happening in the one known area of the Universe where intelligent beings can experience it are, in a word, astronomical! This is one more in a long list of phenomena that inclines this writer to believe that our world is much more like a mind than a thing. See Is Astrology Scientific, for more on this approach.

Astrology shows that the stars and planets are a map to our personalities and a guide to our place in the world. It also explains how the world is regular and predictable (up to a point!). An astrological forecast will place these trends into a context, with regard to our own personal destinies.

Enlightened Astrology does not teach a fatalistic view of the world. Within the environment indicated by the stars, we have considerable freedom to move and make decisions, according to our character and circumstances. See Nexus of Probability.


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Click here to go to Pisces Click here to go to Aquarius Click here to go to Capricorn Click here to go to Sagittarius Click here to go to Scorpio Click here to go to Libra Click here to go to Virgo Click here to go to Leo Click here to go to Cancer Click here to go to Gemini Click here to go to Taurus Click here to go to Aries This page was last modified on Saturday, 12 December 2015