April 18, 2024

Working Knowledgeably with Eclipses

Working Knowledgeably with Eclipsesby Jill Amery

Jill Amery is our guest essayist this month and next, dealing with the phenomena of eclipses. Jill is a highest honors graduate of the Noel Tyl Master’s Degree Certification Program. She is a professional astrologer in Magill, South Australia: Jilamery@senet.com.au

Solar and lunar eclipses can appear as dynamic catalysts of clarity and resolution, and while they probably cannot be considered as sole primary indicators in analysis and interpretation, they can mark a significant focal point, particularly when they reflect themes developed by planetary transits both before and after the eclipse. We know that the house, or house axis, an eclipse falls in or across, is important as an area of emphasis in matters of that house. In mundane astrology, eclipses can be used in a similar analytical-interpretive way to that of an ingress horoscope; but eclipses have their own character and history through the Saros and Metonic cycles, some examples of which I’ll elaborate on in the next essay. [Part II will be presented here July 1.]

Sequences of eclipses can underscore critical periods in time, pinpointing areas of potential in a horoscope through planetary, house and angular emphasis. (In mundane terms, the eclipses both before and after the WTC Attack on September 11 2001, leading to the ongoing “war on terror”, exemplify this.) Rather than subscribe to the Ptolemy/von Norstrand idea that an eclipse’s effects may last for as many years, months, weeks or days as the eclipse lasted in hours or minutes, I think that the eclipse’s power, in mundane astrology, comes from its own occurrence with dynamic planetary-point configurations existing or building at a particular moment in time, and that eclipse degree can then act as a trigger point for later planetary or Lunar Nodal Axis transits.

Equally, an eclipse itself can trigger the point of a significant (4th harmonic) synodic cycle aspect (between Saturn and/or the outer planets especially) or a significant planetary station. In a personal horoscope, where the life span is limited (therefore synodic cycles not so relevant) an eclipse conjoining, opposing or squaring a significator brings a sharper focus to the symbolic potential of that significator.

The Moon’s degree position in any lunation (New and Full Moons) including eclipses, is in quindecile (165 degrees: upheaval, separation) aspect with each prior and subsequent degree position of a New Moon or Solar Eclipse. Apart from the physical phenomena of New and Full Moons (the conjunction or opposition of our Solar System luminaries) this continually evolving pattern must constitute part of the dynamic tension potential behind lunations and eclipses, as it reflects the birth/renewal phase (conjunction) and realisation/fruition phase (opposition) of the cycle. But eclipses are a stronger version of a lunation, not only because of the brief “disappearance” of our main luminaries, but also because of the Lunar Nodal Axis alignment with Sun and Moon, without which eclipses cannot occur; this happens at approximately 6-month intervals and so only twice per year.

When a solar ingress (i.e. the Sun’s entry into a Cardinal sign at the solstice or equinoctial points) coincides with an eclipse, there is an increased public projection potential as three considerations are involved: the Sun-Moon eclipse itself, the Nodal Axis, and the Aries Point. Developments and events of widespread public significance are then suggested and sharply focussed around that time, if simultaneously there is 1st, 2nd, or 4th harmonic interaction between Mars, and/or Saturn, and/or outer planet synodic cycles, and if the original Saros series (the eclipse’s “birth”) echoes similar themes.

Examples A major eclipse example for recent times is that of the Fixed Grand Cross eclipse of August 11, 1999. We can now see that this must have been the event alluded to in words from Nostradamus’s apocalyptic quatrain: “the year 1999 and seven months, from the sky will come a great King of Terror”. This of course was the solar eclipse in the sky, occurring at 18 degrees of the royal sign of Leo! This eclipse was indeed precursor to a number of natural and man-made disasters over the following years, and at 18 Leo fell opposite the USA Moon and Mars/Saturn midpoint, reflecting the potential of the nation’s position as both the attacked and the eventual attacker (USA: July 4 1776, 2:13am, Philadelphia, PA). Interestingly, this degree is also the Mars/Saturn midpoint of George W Bush.

At that eclipse, Mars and Saturn (traditional planets of war) opposed each other and they were squared by an opposition between Uranus and the solar eclipse, which straddled the USA MC-IC axis. This highly confronting, uncompromising configuration occurred at the mid-Fixed signs, which are not only of great importance to the USA historically and in the presidential cycle, but they are in 8th harmonic degree to the Aries Point, their fixity lending a reality check to their potential, suggesting an “earthing” of future events.

At the same eclipse, Pluto stationed in direct motion at 7 Sagittarius, precisely on the USA Descendant. Then on June 21 2001, at the total solar eclipse prior to the WTC Attack (which fell at the Aries Point at 0 Cancer!), transit Saturn’s degree of 7 Gemini fell precisely on the USA Ascendant, with Saturn later stationing on that degree, echoing Pluto’s previous station opposite. At the WTC Attack itself, transit Moon, Mars (in opposition) and the Nodal Axis triggered the degree of the previous (June 21 2001) eclipse at 0 Cancer.

Both degree associations clearly implicated the USA in current Saturn-Pluto interaction, synchronized in time through both solar eclipses. With the other major synodic cycle aspects of this period (the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction squared by Uranus); the Saturn-Pluto waxing opposition dictated a large part of the pace and the theme of major events around the millennium, the period being punctuated by a relevant series of eclipses between August 1999 until the present time (and beyond) which pinpoint important significators in the USA horoscope.

At the WTC attack, the Ascendant ruler, Venus, carried the August 11, 1999 eclipse theme through in its degree of 18 Leo. And at the December 4, 2002 eclipse prior to the USA’s declaration of war on Iraq, stationary Jupiter at 18 Leo repeated this degree! So (as I see it) Nostradamus’ “King of Terror” also encompassed a concisely cryptic description including the eclipse itself, the ensuing, continuing “war on terror” and the “kings” involved, from G.W. Bush to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. At the declaration of war on Iraq by the USA in March this year, transit Pluto was stationed precisely opposite the degree of the solar eclipse of June 10, 2002, at 19 Gemini, which fell conjunct transit Saturn and the Nodal Axis! So we can see how planetary/degree themes are carried through and given a focal point by an eclipse, providing, potentially, a valuable timing mechanism.

Significant degree areas critical to current events continue to be activated by eclipses, including that of 9 Gemini, which recently experienced a Solar eclipse on May 31 2003 (remember that this degree area was transited in recent years by Saturn-Pluto). Transit Jupiter returns for the last time to 18 Leo (opposed the US 10th-house Moon) in July 2003, around which time, Mars, Saturn, and Neptune transiting important significators in the USA horoscope, and transit Nodal Axis on the Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus configuration of May 2000 (this area of 24 Taurus-Scorpio also having experienced a lunar eclipse on May 16, 2003!) reflects further tension and challenges, and an ongoing sense of urgency in the management, accountability and resolution of critical issues facing the USA in its international image.