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Solar Eclipse (Sun) Lunar Eclipse (Moon) How Eclipses happen
The eclipse of the Moon, when the light of the Moon mysteriously darkens at the luminous height of a Full Moon, has traditionally been viewed as a bad omen. It can awaken distinctly 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.
The first lunar eclipse of 2010 (in Capricorn on Jun 26) is a significant eclipse, even though partial, so not darkening the entirety of the Moon's light. It will be visible from much of the Americas, the Pacific and eastern Asia, with greatest eclipse over the South Pacific. New England and eastern Canada will miss the entire eclipse since the event begins after moonset from those regions. Observers in western Canada and US will have the best views, with moonset occurring sometime after mid-eclipse. The eclipse will not be visible from Africa, Europe or Western Asia, though a penumbral eclipse will be seen in India. To catch the entire event, one must be located in the Pacific, New Zealand, or eastern Australia. To download a PDF of 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.
The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on June 26th, 2010 occurs at 4°50' Capricorn, a Cardinal sign, with the Sun on the mid-heaven in Cancer, another Cardinal sign (remember, the Sun and Moon are always opposed at a Lunar Eclipse). It is significant because, although not visible in Europe and some other parts of the world, the Moon is exactly conjunct Pluto (obstruction; transformation) at the nadir of the Greenwich chart, while Saturn (karma; restriction; sorrow) is rising conjunct the ascendant, closely opposing Uranus (disruption) and Jupiter (leadership; fortune), which are setting (in Aries, another Cardinal sign). An angular Grand Cross aspect is formed, superimposed upon a Grand Trine! This is a foretaste of the complex Cardinal Climax phase that is forming in the heavens, climaxing this year on July 31, a rare occurrence indeed and one which will have powerful effects upon the world and those who dwell therein. It makes intense contacts with the US chart, the UK chart, the EC (European Community, now the European Union) chart, the Federal Reserve chart and the UN chart—not to mention the Australia chart. The FIFA World Cup in South Africa has been positioned right across the eclipse cycle (June 11 – July 11), with the last day of the contest being on the day of the Solar Eclipse! Did they consult an astrologer for that..? [The Cardinal Climax, a once-in-a-lifetime development between 2009 and 2012 that retunes the collective unconscious, redirecting social imperatives, will be analysed in another article, under preparation.]
Let's look at these aspects individually. The most immediately striking thing is the conjunction of the Moon with Pluto, with the Sun conjunct Mercury in opposition at the time of the eclipse. In addition to the stress inherent in the Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse, the conjunction of the Moon and Pluto awakens very powerful, strong-willed emotions and intense feelings. The Sun in opposition gives difficulties with obstacles from those whose egos are threatened by situations in which power and control are paramount. Political disputes and social revolutions threaten danger and destruction. The common people (the Moon, Saturn) will be inclined to overthrow or resist their rulers (Sun, Jupiter) who will seek to control and repress them, even while offering blandishments and concessions.
Saturn is rising in Virgo, so the military will be ready to take control in trouble spots. These are likely to be in Europe, where tinder-boxes are crackling, thanks to the financial crisis. The eclipse angles are exactly superimposed upon the chart of the European Community, so Saturn (restriction, control, sorrow, karma, the past, the masses) is rising exactly conjunct the EC ascendant. This chart is very heavily stressed in weeks ahead by the Solar Eclipse and then the Cardinal Climax. Greece's chart too is heavily stressed by the eclipses and the 1974 chart also has Moon conjunct Pluto. This is not to say that other areas will not be affected. For example, Thailand is already more than crackling with political violence, and it's significant that the eclipse Moon and Pluto fall exactly upon the ascendant of King Phumiphon Adunyadet (who is currently very ill in hospital), while eclipse Mars (violence) is exactly square his natal Saturn (common people) and eclipse Saturn is exactly opposed to his natal Uranus (disruption;catastrophe). Astrologically, the chart of the ruler always indicates developments in the nation, when activated. The Solar Eclipse also violently activates his chart, but enough of that.
Riots in Greece
Each of us will experience these stresses according to where the eclipse falls in our own charts, but stresses they will be! The Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) will be most affected, especially if you were born early in the sign. There are a number of other notable aspects, the most intense being the opposition of Mercury and Pluto, so it may be we are so intent on exerting the force of our own thoughts that we refuse to listen, or that others attempt to manipulate our ideas to their advantage. It just isn't the best time for easy exchanges or free thinking. Information may be withheld as a form of paranoia or protection, or the wrong information is deliberately given in an effort to mislead. Jupiter and Saturn are the Great Chronocrators, or Time Lords, and their major aspects always mark important developments, with the opposition being the most cathartic. The T-square of Sun/Mercury to Jupiter and Uranus opposing Saturn announces a major shift of social priorities, probably in a direction that has been unexpected by most. Traditional values are threatened or even overthrown in the chaos, which comes about through forces over which we have no personal control. Normal schedules or plans may be disrupted by the weather, war, or other forces in the environment. The good side is that we will be forced to create unorthodox responses that may prove valuable in the long term. We may also feel that we are asserting our freedom or independence in so doing.
The eclipse Sun/Mercury is conjunct the malefic fixed star, Propus, or Tejat Prior, which is in the foot of Castor, the Mortal Twin, a harbinger of overconfidence and pride, mixed with shamelessness and violence, but also offering eminence to those who can make use of the energy. Robson says it is associated by the Cabbalists with the Hebrew letter, Qoph, and the 19th Tarot Trump, The Sun. Propus emphasises the dangers inherent in this eclipse: serious accidents, blows, stabs, shooting, shipwreck, injuries to the face, blindness, disease, violent fevers, homosexuality, rape or murder committed or suffered, imprisonment, banishment, even decapitation. Gosh. Luckily it also gives prominence in occult matters, and in government work dealing with foreign affairs. Since Jupiter is square to this point, there will need to be quite a bit of international toing and froing, with pride, national prestige and the like being key factors. So far as we astrologers are concerned, our remarkable psychic powers will bring criticism and ridicule, but eventual prominence. Haha.
Opposing the Sun, the Moon aspects all of these nasties. She is conjunct Pluto, which is ominous in itself, but her conjunction with Kaus Medius, a star in the middle of the Archer's Bow, is quite threatening. Jamie Funk, of FunkAstrology, reminds us that "Pluto has been conjunct Kaus Medius this year during the Haiti earthquake, the Chile earthquake, the plane crash which killed the Polish president, the Qinghai earthquake, and the Iceland volcanic ash cloud eruption, all under one degree." It is interesting that the chart for South Africa (Pretoria, April 27, 1994) has Moon conjunct Pluto—and Cancer rising! The Lunar Eclipse during the World Cup falls right on South Africa's ascendant. Pluto will remain within this orb till 10 July, and then finally in direct motion from 14 November this year till 12 January 2011. Funk notes that the last time Pluto was conjunct Kaus Medius, in 1762, half a million Sikh’s were killed in the Great Holocaust in Indian Punjab. Well, not looking so good, especially when we factor in the malefic star Scheat, which is even now moving into Aries and will be stimulated by an incredibly rare conjunction with Jupiter and Uranus in the first degree of Aries in the second week of June 2010. Located in the constellation Pegasus (who in mythology was born from the blood of Medusa when Perseus cut off her head), our friend Scheat is fond of imprisonment, murder, suicide, drowning, and every manner of extreme misfortune—and he will be highly stimulated in this position. Blimey! Now Sagittarius (the Archer) is noted for his fierceness, but Kaus Medius is traditionally a fortunate star in the Archer's Bow, so this may be a mitigating factor, being favourable for ceremonies, friendships, planting trees and building things. Cabalistically, this constellation is associated with the 6th Tarot Trump, The Lovers and the Hebrew letter Vau.
Check out this fabulous animation of the eclipse, on shadowandsubstance.com!
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.
At a more personal level, the solar eclipse can have a big effect on our personal lives when it occurs in conjunction with one of our natal planets, especially our natal Sun, Moon, or Ruling Planet. Other important chart factors, such as Moon's Nodes, Ascendant, Mid-heaven, or Part of Fortune can also have a very significant effect when impacted by a solar eclipse. Where the eclipse falls in the chart is significant, as the energies expressed by its house placement will show the areas of life that are affected by the new beginning that is implied.
The second solar eclipse of 2010 is a total eclipse of the Sun, at the New Moon in Cancer on July 11th—the climax of the FIFA World Cup. Football fans can expect some real excitement, even though the eclipse will not be visible in South Africa. A total eclipse is when the whole of the eclipsed body of the Sun is blocked out and darkened. This eclipse, although total, will not be seen by many people, as most of its pathway lies over the vast expanses of the South Pacific Ocean. It makes no landfall except for Mangaia (Cook Islands), Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) and several isolated atolls. The umbra, the path of totality, ends just after reaching southern Chile and Argentina. The much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow produces a partial eclipse visible from a larger region covering the South Pacific and southern South America. Unfortunately no eclipse is visible from the rest of the world.
The central eclipse path begins in the South Pacific about 700 km southeast of Tonga at 18:15 UT. Travelling northeast, the track misses Rarotonga—the largest and most populous of the Cook Islands—by just 25 km. The first landfall occurs at Mangaia, where the total eclipse lasts 3 minutes 18 seconds with the Sun 14° above the horizon.
The path ends in southern Argentina, when the Moon's deep umbral shadow slips off the Earth's surface as it returns to space at 20:52 UT. Over the course of 2 hours 40 minutes or so, the umbra travels along a track approximately 11,100 km long that covers 0.48% of Earth's surface area. For more detailed info from Fred Espenak on the path of the eclipse, please click here. Or you can view some excellent images here.
Check out this fabulous animation of the eclipse, on shadowandsubstance.com!
This eclipse occurs at 19°24' of Cancer, the sign of the Crab, tightly conjunct the malefic Fixed Star, Wasat (δ geminorum), a star of Saturn (karma; restriction; sorrow) and Mars (violence; action; passion; warfare) on the midriff of the Immortal Twin, Pollux, son of Jupiter. Wasat is especially significant as it is almost on the ecliptic (the path of the Sun), so is more powerful than we might expect, even though it is only a 3.5 magnitude star. Some view it as the elbow of Castor, the Mortal Twin, but it seems more to me to be part of Pollux, the "Heartless Judge". It is interesting that the planet Pluto, which plays a major part in this eclipse season, was discovered close to this star on Feb 18th 1930, by Clyde Tombaugh. Wasat is a malevolent influence, awakening violence and destructiveness as a first principle, governing chemicals, poisons, and gas. Fits with Pluto rather well! People will tend to be pessimistic under this influence, though will be swayed by a clear, authoritative voice. Those born under this star may find prominence in public affairs.
The asteroid Juno is conjunct the eclipse and also Wasat, but interestingly, the eclipse Uranus (disruption) is retrograde and exactly conjunct President Obama's natal Juno. Juno, the wife of Jupiter, can be fierce and is bound by a sense of duty and social obligation. Her dark side also rules such things as divorce, and separation, infidelity and open conflict between partners. Will the pressure tell on his marriage? Or will he face the issues of compatibility, receptivity to others, mutual sharing, trust, jealousy, possessiveness and power struggles..? Uranus and Jupiter were conjunct this point in early June 2010, but moved on past it only to turn retrograde subsequently. Since Juno governs such things as contracts and binding agreements, will these unravel, once Jupiter turns retrograde too? Jupiter recrosses this point during the first ten days of September while retrograde, then hits it again travelling forwards in the last fortnight of January 2011. Obama's public and private commitments will come under scrutiny, so let us hope he can maintain his integrity and his wife stands by her man.
Both the US chart and the EC chart are buffeted by the eclipses, with Saturn (restriction, control, sorrow, karma, the past, the masses) rising within 2 minutes of the EC ascendant (29°27' Virgo) and conjunct the mid-heaven of the US Silby chart, again almost to the minute. The ascendant stands for the sense of selfhood of the community and the way it projects itself to the world. The self-image of the community is hit for six. The mid-heaven stands for the leadership and the way the nation is seen by the world, as opposed to the way it would like to be seen, represented by the ascendant. A lot of pressure is on. Interestingly, eclipse Saturn is closely conjunct the ascendant of the new British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Mars in the Solar Eclipse is exactly conjunct his natal Pluto at 19°07' Virgo, receiving a powerful aspect from the Solar Eclipse itself., which is at 19°19' of Cancer. He will no doubt be shocked by the situation this once-great nation has got itself into, once he is fully briefed by the Civil Service mandarins. Everything comes together at once this year!
When we look at the Wall Street chart (NY, May 17, 1792) we see that during this eclipse phase, Saturn is conjunct the Moon's north node and Uranus is conjunct the Moon's south node. Jupiter is also conjunct the south node, and the significance of this must not be underestimated, as the opposition of Saturn and Jupiter at the Aries Point (in the first degree of Cardinal Signs) is a very major event. When you add disruptive Uranus into the mix we must be ready for some very unusual events, which seem to come out of the blue. Uranus last entered Aries 75 years ago, in 1935! Remember, you heard it here first...
It is also instructive to see how the eclipses strike the chart of the Federal Reserve (Washington DC, Dec 23, 1913). During the Lunar Eclipse, the Moon and Pluto are conjunct the Fed's Sun and Ceres; Mercury and Sun are conjunct the Fed's natal Pluto, so in effect, the eclipse is mirroring one of the deep contradictions in the Fed's chart, the need for complete control. We'll be flooded with propaganda, as the Fed struggles to maintain its position. Disruptive Uranus is rising in the Fed chart, within minutes of the noon ascendant, opposed by Saturn, suggesting the collapse of institutional structures, possibly through unfavourable legislation (as Jupiter is in on the act also, rising conjunct Uranus). The Solar Eclipse is exactly conjunct the Fed's Mars (action—will the troops be called in?) and exactly inconjunct the Fed's Venus (money; foreign dealings as Venus is conjunct Mercury in the Fed's ninth house). Eclipse Mars is exactly conjunct the Fed's south node (loss) and exactly square its Venus! This energises the inborn T-square in the Fed's chart, a very stressful aspect. But that gives us a fair idea of what to expect in the public and financial arenas. The Fed is also having its Chiron Return, so it will have to shed some karmic baggage and prepare for a big restructuring. Chiron at the eclipse is exactly conjunct the Fed's Vesta, so it will have to do some housekeeping. This action is happening in the Fed's twelfth house of secrets and sorrows, so expect some revelations that many will find hard to believe.
How all this affects you as an individual depends on where it falls in your own chart. Check our links at the top of the page to get some idea. Check your Sun sign and if you know it, your Rising Sign. You can calculate your rising sign here (if you know your time of birth).
Solar eclipses like this one don't often pass over populated areas. That's a good thing! However, when they do, they appear to have significant disruptive effects on the people and nations concerned (e.g., economic or political crises, civil unrest). 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! See my article on Moon Wobbles. The eclipse being in Cancer means that people with Cardinal signs (Cancer; Libra; Capricorn; Aries) featured in their birthcharts are more likely to be affected. The next eclipse of the Sun will be on January 4, 2011, but it will be 29 months before the next total Solar Eclipse on Nov 13, 2012.
Eclipses of the Sun or of the Moon are material, astronomical events, obvious to the naked eye, and as regular and as predictable as clockwork. They have an evident physical effect, as the light of either the Sun or the Moon is noticeably dimmed during the period of the eclipse. This is a scientific phenomenon, one which has been carefully observed since quite primitive times. In astrology, which studies the cosmic phenomena in terms of their effects on the lives of beings that inhabit the Earth, an eclipse is also a psychological, spiritual, social and emotional phenomenon. This aspect of eclipses has also been studied intensely, since before the beginning of civilisation.
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 plane 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 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; 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, as well as stimulating primeval zoological, biological and botanical phenomena which are well-documented in the scientific literature.
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.
Check out this fabulous animation of the eclipse, on shadowandsubstance.com!
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.
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.