Rob Tillett has been an astrologer for more than three decades. In previous incarnations a poet, musician, magician, healer, dramatist & composer, he is the editor and publisher of Astrology on the Web and has written many articles on this website.
Rob lives in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia.
Click your sign to see how the Solar Eclipse affects you!
The 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.
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.
Solar Eclipse in Gemini on June 1st, 2011
Gemini, by Barbara Nagel
The second solar eclipse of 2011 is a partial eclipse of the Sun, at the New Moon in Gemini on June 1st. A partial eclipse is when only a part of the eclipsed body of the Sun is blocked out and darkened. It will be visible from high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere only, so should have a minimal effect on major population centres. However, as discussed below, there are a number of powerful factors at work that will be triggered by the weakening of the cosmic fabric.
The eclipse begins at sunrise in Siberia and northern China where the penumbral shadow first touches Earth at 19:25:18 UT. Northern Japan and North Korea will also receive a sunrise view. Two hours later, greatest eclipse occurs at 21:16:11 UT. At that time, an eclipse of magnitude 0.601 will be visible from the Arctic coast of western Siberia as the midnight Sun skirts the northern horizon. Although most of Alaska and northern Canada will witness the partial eclipse, the southern limit of the penumbra falls along a curve from south of Fairbanks to central New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Reykjavik, Iceland receives a 0.462 magnitude eclipse just before sunset, not far from Grimsvotn, the massive volcanic eruption that began on May 21. No doubt the sunset will be incredible! Northernmost Norway, Sweden and Finland also get a midnight Sun eclipse with the event hanging above the northern horizon. The partial eclipse ends at 23:06:56 UT when the penumbra leaves Earth just north of Newfoundland in the Atlantic Ocean. No eclipse will be visible from the rest of Canada, the US and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia or New Zealand. Four partial solar and two total lunar eclipses take place in 2011. Fred Espenak says that this 4:2 combination of solar and lunar eclipses in a single year is rather rare with only six cases during the 21st Century (2011, 2029, 2047, 2065, 2076 and 2094). The first and last eclipses always occur in January and December. For more detailed info from Fred Espenak on the path of the eclipse, please click here.
This eclipse occurs at 11°02' of Gemini, the sign of the Twins, tightly conjunct the fortunate Fixed Star, Tabit (π orionis), a star of Jupiter (fortune; expansion; spiritual mind) and Saturn (restriction; structure; tradition) in the constellation of Orion, the Hunter. It is one of a number of Pi (π) stars in the Lion's skin that Orion holds like a shield. According to Robson, Orion is associated by the Cabbalists with the Hebrew letter Aleph and the 1st Tarot Trump, The Magician. This portends well, showing that new and possibly potent ideas are in the mix. The Magician is the male power of creation by willpower and desire. The infinity symbol over his head symbolises the energy of thought. He draws divine power down from the heavens into his white wand, moulds it with that energy of thought, and makes it manifest on Earth—shown by his finger pointing to the ground. This is that most ancient magic to make real whatever he imagines in his head merely by saying it aloud. And God said "Let there be Light!" and there was Light...
However, the key here is that the eclipse is very weak (giving not much more pressure than a regular New Moon), and conjunct the Moon's south node, so it is of more interest to note that the Dragon's Tail (south node) is setting and actually right in the middle of Orion's Belt, conjunct the Behenian Fixed Star, Alnilam, the jewel in the centre of the "string of pearls" in the 24th degree of Gemini. It (like the eclipse) is setting in the UT chart, but of course rising in the China/Japan chart of the sunrise eclipse. In both cases it is angular, so has added significance; moreover, when Orion's Belt is rising or setting it implies considerable danger. Another edgy aspect is the exact T-square to the nodal axis from the minor planet Ceres, the Great Mother, a harbinger of trouble if ever there was one. Ceres has been shown to be active in disaster charts since we first noticed her action in the September 11 chart of the Twin Towers attack back in 2001 (conjunct the evil star Facies). Curiously, the nodal axis of this June 1 eclipse is precisely aligned with the mid-heaven/IC of the US Constitution chart, used in this diagram! Back in 2001, I did not consider Alnilam, but of course at that time it was right on the US mid-heaven too, adding to the considerable cosmic pressure!
Alnilam is square in the heavens to the unfortunate star Markab and opposes the very unfortunate stars Lesath and Shaula, the Scorpion's Sting. So Ceres in this current eclipse is right on top of Markab, while the Dragon's Head (north node) is smack on Lesath and Shaula. Now the Moon in the upcoming Lunar Eclipse of June 15 is in this degree, so awakening Lesath and Shaula to full intensity (see Lunar Eclipse). This is shivery!
Mercury, the planetary lord of Gemini (and so lord of the eclipse and of the south node) is in Taurus conjunct the evil star Caput Algol (the Demon's Head) and the Pleiades, an unfortunate group of stars in the shoulder of the Bull. This suggests that communication will be severely blocked and that violence, mass catastrophe, trouble with the opposite sex and loss are in the stars. Let's see how it works out as Warrior Mars moves over this point at the upcoming Lunar Eclipse on June 15.
Saturn in the figure is trine the eclipse from Libra, the sign of his exaltation. This is a fortunate aspect, though Saturn rarely brings anyone much good. This is especially so as the Lord of Sorrows is retrograde, but almost stationary, preparing to turn direct in the 11th degree of Libra just before the Lunar Eclipse. Saturn remains in this degree until after the subsequent Solar Eclipse in Cancer on July 1. The trine from the Sun and Moon in the eclipse to Saturn stabilizes the difficult energies and hopefully offers a structured way through them. The most benefit will be gained through careful planning and organization. Accept your responsibilities: it's a good time to initiate important projects that require long-term efforts, especially if related to real estate, business, building, or engineering. People in authority are approachable, so seek out those who are older and wiser, with more experience than you.
There is an issue however with the conjunction of Saturn with the malevolent Fixed Star, Gienah in the constellation of the Raven, which is also a Behenian Star employed anciently for not-so-nice magickal purposes. This star reminds us of the unfortunate planets Saturn and Mars, and exhibits typical characteristics of craftiness, greed, revengefulness, passion, selfishness, lying, aggression, and material instincts; it sometimes encourages agitators, but has the more positive side of ingenuity and patience. Saturn is retrograde, so the more fated side of this star is likely to be brought out, even though it's receiving a fortunate trine from the eclipse.
As mentioned earlier this year, the USA is undergoing its Saturn Return and so is suffering from regret and the consequences of decisions made long ago. The eclipse is on the cusp of the US 7th house, the house of partners and open enemies, so old partnerships may fall apart and open opponents get a boost. It's time for the USA to make a new start with its alliances, especially in the Arab world. More warfare is indicated by the movement of the Moon's south node towards the conjunction with the US natal Mars (war; conflict; aggression) in this house of enemies, and significantly, towards the hostile square aspect to President Obama's natal Mars. The conjunction with Obama's Mars will be exact on the day of the subsequent Solar Eclipse on July 1, 2011. The eclipse is in a relatively good position for the President, as it is sextile his natal Sun, so he will feel the urge to get out and about, creating new opportunities as he goes. However, in his Washington chart (relocated because he is now based in Washington DC, as the leader of the Free World), his Sun is in the 12th house, suggesting that figures at work behind the scenes will be busy trying to turn him to their point of view. President Obama, it's worth noting, is currently undergoing his Chiron Return, the cosmic signature of the beginning of the decade of the 50's, a massive change of life for any person so affected, especially the most powerful man on Earth.
Colonel Gaddafi, Libyan President
It's also important to note that the eclipse occurs in close conjunction with Colonel Gaddafi's natal Sun. Moammar al-Gaddafi is the president of Libya, which is currently undergoing a violent revolution against his government. The US and NATO are supporting the uprising, and as I said in the previous eclipse article, it looks as though the Colonel will fall, but not without a fight. The south node (karma; loss) is exactly on his natal Mercury at the eclipse (indicating that his intelligence is faulty), and it is approaching the conjunction with his natal Sun. The Lunar Eclipse is also not well placed for him. If the US escalates its involvement in Libya as seems imminent, he is likely to be defeated before the end of 2011.
Solar eclipses 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). This one affects a very small population, though it may have some effect on northern Japan, North Korea, northern China and Russia. 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 Gemini means that people with Mutable signs (Gemini; Virgo; Sagittarius; Pisces) featured in their birthcharts are more likely to be affected. The next eclipse of the Sun will be in Cancer on July 1, 2011, but the next total Solar Eclipse is not until Nov 13, 2012.
Click your sign to see how the Lunar Eclipse affects you!
The Eclipse of the Moon
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.
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.
Sagittarius, by Barbara Nagel
Total Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on June 15th, 2011
A total lunar eclipse on June 15th, 2011 occurs at 24°23' Sagittarius, a Mutable sign, with the Sun in Gemini, another Mutable sign (remember, the Sun and Moon are always opposed at a lunar eclipse, since it's a Full Moon). This magnificent spectacle will be the first lunar eclipse of 2011, a powerful total eclipse that occurs at the Moon's ascending node in the southern part of the constellation Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, about 7° west of the Lagoon Nebula (M8), a cluster of stars on the Bow of the Archer. It's a lengthy eclipse, with the total phase itself lasting 100 minutes. The last eclipse to beat it was way back in July 2000!
Here's how it runs:
Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 17:24:34 UT
Partial Eclipse Begins: 18:22:56 UT
Total Eclipse Begins: 19:22:30 UT
Greatest Eclipse: 20:12:37 UT
Total Eclipse Ends: 21:02:42 UT
Partial Eclipse Ends: 22:02:15 UT
Penumbral Eclipse Ends: 23:00:45 UT
The entire cosmic event will be visible from the eastern half of Africa, the Middle East, central Asia and western Australia. Observers throughout Europe will miss the early stages of the eclipse, because they occur before moonrise. Fortunately, totality will be seen throughout the continent except for northern Scotland and northern Scandinavia. Eastern Asia, eastern Australia, and New Zealand will miss the last stages of eclipse because they occur after moonset, but the total phase will be seen from most of these regions. Observers in eastern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina will witness totality, but none of the eclipse will be visible from North America. At mid-eclipse, the Moon is near the zenith for observers from Reunion and Mauritius, off the eastern coast of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean.
The Eclipse is not all you can see from Mauritius!
When the Moon is completely immersed within the Earth's dark umbral shadow, scientists call this totality. During this eclipse, totality will last just over 100 minutes—longer than any total lunar eclipse since July 16th, 2000, which lasted for 107 minutes (close to the maximum possible duration). After the total phase ends, we will see a partial eclipse as the Moon gradually leaves the umbral shadow. To view 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!
Eclipse in Sagittarius
Mercury, Lord of Communication, is combust (i.e. "burnt" by a close conjunction with the Sun) in Gemini and opposed by a warlike Sagittarian Moon. The Gemini Sun is ruled by Mercury, so communication now is hardly likely to bring much emotional satisfaction. Be prepared to confront opinions and ideas that run counter to your feelings. Getting things to run smoothly is not easy, and a change of heart can bring things to a halt. Schedules run into conflict. People and situations block our progress at every turn, literally or figuratively. Mercury is also square Ceres (the Great Mother and harbinger of loss) and Uranus (disruption; catastrophe), so sudden or unexpected losses and disruptions are in the wind. Things easily get out of sync, especially considering that Merc is conjunct the ominously red star Betelgeuse, in the shoulder of Orion, the Hunter. Hindu astrologers say that this star is ruled by the god Rudra, the Destroyer, and creates storms and bad weather, not to mention war and carnage. Well that would be right! This star here can bring inconstant thinking and is subject to accidents, punishment, torture, imprisonment, and even exorcism! Gosh. As we saw under the solar eclipse of June 1, Orion is considered by the Cabbalists to be associated with the first Tarot Trump, The Magician, and the Hebrew letter Aleph. This is a card of Mercury: charismatic, inventive and scientific—revealer of truth. Why is Mercury important in this figure? Well, it's the planetary ruler of Gemini, and it's in a tight trine with the US Moon (that's good!), as well as opposing the Moon in the eclipse and combust (that's bad...). Mixed messages then, but not so mixed when we see that it's inconjunct by quincunx to the US Pluto, warning that mixed messages could lead to big trouble!
The Tower, by Virginijus Poshkus
In addition to the stress inherent in the Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse—the Sun (leadership; true self) versus the Moon (the masses; emotional personality)—we see a mirror image of the previous lunar eclipse of Dec 2010. The Sun and Moon in particular are again on very unfortunate stars. The Sun is conjunct Al Hecka, the southern horn of the Bull, and the Moon conjunct Lesath and Shaula, the Scorpion's Sting, as well as the south node. According to Robson, Scorpio is associated with the Hebrew letter Oin and the 16th Tarot Trump, The Lightning-Struck Tower. Mars the Warrior rules Scorpio, and the Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. As Thirteen says, "this is a card about anything we believe to be true, but later learn is false. This realization usually comes as a shock, hence, the violent image. It is, quite simply, that moment in any story where someone finds out a shocking truth, one that shatters their perceptions and makes them reassess their beliefs". In fact, structures will fall and personal integrity will be threatened. We must remain focused after a rude awakening on rebuilding our personal strengths, remaining connected with the divine, the inner nature that shows us what we need, rather than being blinded by what we want. In the event that we are not connected with this inner lifeline, we will be forced to create a connection, or be crushed under the rubble.
This sounds a bit scary, but when we look deeper we can see that there's more to come. Aggressive Mars, the traditional planetary Lord of Scorpio, is under severe pressure from the eclipse Moon and is right on top of the truly evil star, Caput Algol, the Demon's Head. Algol is considered the most problematic cosmic influence of them all. Located at the 27th degree of Taurus, in the head of the Gorgon, Medusa (which has just been severed by the hero Perseus), Algol is a visibly eclipsing binary star that is associated with horrific events affecting large numbers of people, especially events caused by major meteorological phenomena. Of the nature of Saturn (restriction; sorrow; death; the common people) and Jupiter (expansion; overconfidence; recklessness; ruling classes) it brings misfortune, violence, decapitation, hanging, mob violence, and violent death. And Mars at the eclipse is square the US Moon and semi-square the US Sun. When we see that eclipse Saturn is square the US Sun and sesqui-square the US Moon, while eclipse Pluto opposes the US Sun, Jupiter and Venus, and eclipse Uranus squares US Jupiter and Venus, how much more hostile can you get?
The Dodo, extinct bird from Mauritius!
I could go on, but that's more than enough. It's very much the expression of the cosmic pressure to change ourselves and society that has been at work since 2007, as those among you who have been following the articles on this site would already be aware (if just watching the news is not sufficient!). It's a black picture, but one that has some positive aspects. Algol can also be associated with great creativity, for out of suffering can come enlightenment, but this time I would not hold my breath. However, despite the remaining outpourings of the cosmic Grand Cross in Cardinal Signs discussed in earlier articles, Jupiter by now has moved out of the equation into Taurus (Jupiter entered Taurus on June 4, 2011), forming a trine aspect to eclipse Pluto, and aiding the Moon, but also forming a nice aspect to the upcoming solar eclipse on July 1, 2011. Eclipse Mars is in lucky sextile aspect to eclipse Ceres, but I'm not sure how much good that will bring, as Ceres is always prominent in disaster charts, and it may simply mean that less children are done away with than might otherwise be the case. Since Ceres is in a tight T-square to the Sun and Moon at the eclipse, it would be best to prepare for the worst.
Each of us will experience these stresses according to where the eclipse falls in our own charts. The Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) will take the brunt, especially if you were born late in the sign. Even though this eclipse and its associated aspects are quite brutal, we can still take positive steps to reduce the stress.
There is another Solar Eclipse due on July 1, 2011, but it again is a minor one, being seen probably by no more than a few penguins at the South Pole. However, it does have some significance and I will write more on this topic here in days to come. In the meantime, count your blessings and sail a tight ship.
Click your sign to see how the Solar Eclipse affects you!
Solar Eclipse in Cancer on July 1st, 2011
Cancer, by Barbara Nagel
The third solar eclipse of 2011 is another partial eclipse of the Sun, at the New Moon in Cancer on July 1st, just a month after the previous one on June 1 in Gemini. That's quite unusual. As mentioned, a partial eclipse is when only a part of the eclipsed body of the Sun is blocked out and darkened. This one however will only be visible from high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, so should have little effect on major population centres (though perhaps a considerable one on the penguins and seals at the South Pole!). In fact, it might be the eclipse that no-one sees!
The eclipse occurs in a D shaped region pretty much due south of the island of Madagascar off the east coast of Africa. In fact the peak eclipse, which happens at 08:38 UT will be best seen at a point just off the coast of Antarctica some 4,000 km (2500 miles) south-east of Port Elizabeth (in South Africa). No major city on earth will be able to view the eclipse.
Four partial solar and two total lunar eclipses take place in 2011. Fred Espenak says that this 4:2 combination of solar and lunar eclipses in a single year is rather rare with only six cases during the 21st Century (2011, 2029, 2047, 2065, 2076 and 2094). The first and last eclipses always occur in January and December. For more detailed info from Fred Espenak on the path of the eclipse, please click here.
This eclipse occurs at 9°12' of Cancer, the sign of the Crab, tightly conjunct the fortunate Fixed Star, Alhena (γ geminorum), a star of Mercury (intellect; communication), Venus (pleasure; desire; money) and Jupiter (fortune; expansion) in the constellation of the Twins. According to Robson, it is associated by the Cabbalists with the Hebrew letter Qoph and the 19th Tarot Trump, The Sun. This is a good thing, but the eclipse is very weak (giving little more pressure than a regular New Moon), so insofar as there are any close planetary aspects, these are the ones that will stand out. We are all a bit burned out by the natural disasters, wars, rumours of wars and so on, so the nature of this eclipse, or rather the New Moon in Cancer, is reasonably benign. A place in which to catch our breath.
We are still in the midst of the general cosmic shakeup that I have outlined in the previous section under the Lunar Eclipse, and of course there are some difficult aspects, especially for those born in early Cancer and the first decanate of the other Cardinal Signs (Aries, where disruptive Uranus crouches ready to pounce; Libra, holding cold Saturn in kid gloves; and Capricorn, in which Pluto has been ploughing through our lives for quite some time and will continue so to do for years to come). Nevertheless, it's a good time to dump the past and make a fresh start.
Saturn in the figure is square the eclipse from Libra, the sign of his exaltation. This, although it tends to bring out the higher, more structured side, is a much less fortunate aspect than his moderating trine at the Lunar Eclipse, but at least Saturn has returned to direct motion, albeit moving slowly as he does so. This is a time when hard work, organization, and planning will stand us in good stead. If you have not previously conducted your affairs in this manner, you may now wish that you had. We may not initiate or be in control of the events and circumstances that occur under this influence, but we will nevertheless be called upon to measure up, to take a responsible position in some way. Life may be, or seem to be, more sombre than usual. Timing tends to be off and we are more easily discouraged by problems usually regarded as minor annoyances. The answer is to forge ahead. Forget instant gratification. Wait for the rewards or real enjoyment to come later. There remains an issue however with the conjunction of Saturn with the malevolent Fixed Star, Gienah in the constellation of the Raven, which is also a Behenian Star employed anciently for not-so-nice magickal purposes. As already mentioned under the Gemini Eclipse section, this star reminds us of the unfortunate planets Saturn and Mars, and exhibits typical characteristics of craftiness, greed, revengefulness, passion, selfishness, lying, aggression, and material instincts; it sometimes encourages agitators, but has the more positive side of ingenuity and patience.
World Domination For Dummies, by Shirekat
Actions and Consequences
As mentioned earlier this year, the USA is undergoing its Saturn Return and so is suffering from regret and the consequences of decisions made long ago. The eclipse lies on the midpoint between the US natal Sun and Jupiter in Cancer, straddling the cusp of the US eighth house, the sector governing other people's money, life's mysteries such as sex, death and taxes. It's time for the USA to make a new start with its financial setup, especially with regard to its government (Jupiter) and leadership (Sun). More warfare is indicated by the conjunction of the Moon's south node (karmic commitment; loss) with the US natal Mars (war; conflict; aggression) in the US 7th house of enemies, and significantly, in the hostile T-square aspect to President Obama's natal Mars. This very awkward T-square with Obama's Mars is exact on the day of the eclipse: July 1, 2011. Also to be noted is very close conjunction of eclipse Mars with the US Uranus (disruption; catastrophe), which is exact two days later.
The obvious cases for warfare (other than Iraq and Afghanistan) are Libya and Syria (though the whole of the Mediterranean arena, North Africa, Europe and the Middle East are like tinder boxes). However, the charts of both Col. Gaddafi, head of Libya, and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, are both favoured by the eclipse. Therefore it is likely that both will receive some sort of reprieve in the near term anyway, though Assad seems likely to make a new start by entering a period of seclusion (retirement? illness? imprisonment?) which would suit him better than the stress of leading the country, and Gaddafi is favoured temporarily by the conjunction of eclipse Venus with his natal Jupiter, though neither of these charts look good long term, given the stressful nature of the cosmos over coming months.
The eclipse is also opposed to Pluto, which brings out the unfortunate, long term effects of the opposition from transiting Pluto to the US natal Jupiter and (eventually) natal Sun. This long-term, unfavourable influence has been active for months already and will remain in place for many months yet. We suffer the struggle between opposing forces, a contest of wills, and no-compromise situations. Something gained may well be won at the expense of something more important that has been lost. Americans, and the US leadership in particular, have to accept that they are not likely to succeed in removing opposing forces, but will be forced to find a constructive way to work around them.
Intellectual endeavours, spiritual growth, political ambitions, and economic expansion are not likely to prosper as American society, government, families, the military-industrial complex and its financial backers suffer loss of status and are forced to begin again. The president and other important figures have a negative and significantly karmic role to play in what happens this year. Boasting and exaggeration will backfire since the focus here is brutal honesty. America will be forced to recognize (and admit) its own limitations, especially in its struggle for world domination and so-called "war" on such things as drugs and terrorism, which of course has only massively exacerbated the problem. Remember Prohibition..? Social or religious ideas are in danger of becoming fanatical, as an afflicted Jupiter always blows things right out of all proportion. Issues from the other side of the world (and from foreign countries nearer at hand—Mexico with the immigration crisis and the border drug wars comes to mind!) will have a profound influence on the wellbeing of America and its people. We must remain aware of the consequences of this aspect, as misdeeds or mistakes made now may come back to haunt us.
Solar eclipses 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). 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 in Sagittarius on November 25, 2011, but the next total Solar Eclipse is not due until Nov 13, 2012.
How do Eclipses Happen?
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.
New Moon Solar Eclipse
Full Moon Lunar Eclipse
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.
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.