by Robert Wilkinson
Since we have two Solar Eclipses each year and they usually affect us for years after they occur, it may be good to explore what they actually mean and how their influence works. This article expands on some things I've offered before about these recurring important stellar events, both regarding the myth and the reality. Historically, an eclipse, whether Solar or Lunar, is one of the most dreaded events in all of astrology.
Tables of various eclipse cycles have been kept since antiquity in several cultures, and it is said that the ancient Babylonians had eclipse tables over a 500,000 year period. Traditional thinking says that when the shadow of an eclipse falls on a nation or people, it is assumed to have dire consequences for the future of that nation. Historically, more than not this is accurate. Without this becoming a boring recitation of different empires crashing under the weight of their own excesses rather than an astronomical phenomenon, I will remind you that an astrological event does not make anything happen, correlations notwithstanding. That being said...
There are many cycles of eclipses, some recurring relatively frequently, some taking decades, even centuries to recur. The ancients felt that its shadow signified the passing from power of a ruling family or dynasty, the invasion of the nation by hostile foreign powers, the death of an era, even famine, drought, or pestilence. They indicate the shadowing of the "great light" by another object that obscures the greater light, if only momentarily. So an eclipse blocks the light of the Sun for a period of time, usually a few minutes, during which the skies go dark and we can see other, fainter light coming from stars we wouldn't ordinarily see.
This is certainly true of a total eclipse, and to a lesser degree during partial eclipses. The ancients also thought that the number of hours a Solar Eclipse lasts over a nation shows the number of years it would suffer affliction, and the number of hours a Lunar Eclipse lasts shows the number of months it will suffer. But of course, that doesn't happen in our ultra-rationalistic, left-brain reality any more, right?
Well, leaving aside any argument of causality, I have found that where an eclipse falls in a birth chart corresponds with something ending in that part of the life. Whatever house it occurs in is where something is about to end in a significant way. If the eclipse conjuncts a planet, expect to see endings in that old planetary psychological function. And of course, it will affect the houses ruled by any planet it touches.
If an eclipse conjuncts your Venus, you may assume that sooner or later you will confront the end of an old way of enjoying life, an old value, or an old relationship. You will see this work out in the houses ruled by Taurus and Libra. If it conjuncts Mercury, an old mindset or perception or interpretation that was a significant part of your life will pass away through the life areas ruled by Gemini and Virgo. If an eclipse conjuncts your Saturn, an old important responsibility, obligation, hinderance, or fear will leave the life as seen in the areas of life (houses) ruled by Capricorn and Aquarius.
If the eclipse affects the Moon, expect the ending of an old habit or way of experiencing life and the affairs of the house where you have Cancer. If Mars, an old hassle or quarrel will end, or there will be a hassle as a result of an ending in the houses ruled by Aries and Scorpio. If Jupiter, an old vision, philosophical view, or an obsolete moral stance affecting the houses with Sagittarius and Pisces on the cusp. If the eclipse falls on your Sun, expect the end of the light in some way, or perhaps the passing of an old life order. It will most affect the house with Leo on the cusp.
So it primarily shows as an ending in the house in which it falls. It shows as an ending of a psychological function if it conjuncts a planet, and this works out through the houses ruled by the planet it touches. Of course, if it affects a planet, it also affects all the other planets that are connected to the eclipsed planet by sign rulership, i.e., if an eclipse conjuncts your Venus, it will naturally affect whatever planets you have in Taurus or Libra.
Here it is useful to remember that in a chart all the planets represent important people in your life, both past and present. If an eclipse conjuncts your Jupiter, expect a relationship with a Jupiterian, Sagittarius, or Pisces to end, or go through such a radical change that it will seem like you're relating to an entirely different person. The same with Saturn and the rest. When an eclipse conjuncts your Saturn, it usually signifies the passing of an elder, someone in a position of power in your life, or someone who kept you under a limitation or fear. So even an eclipse can be beneficial in that it can remove obsolete elements in your life, or people that no longer symbolize who you really are, or who you have become since you originally met them.
Eclipses occur several times a year, and not all eclipses are equally influential. Yet they all indicate coming endings, obscurations, passings, maybe even deaths, both literal and metaphoric. We always are under the influence of more than one from the past, and always have others coming within a few months, due to the conjunctions with the Moon's Nodes.
One more thing to note: a Solar eclipse is a New Moon, while a Lunar eclipse is a Full Moon. Like all lunations, the Full Moon brings to form the promise of the seed represented by the New Moon. Eclipses work the same way, but are considered more influential over a longer period. Still, the basic relationship of the lunations to each other conforms to the general pattern, which may be helpful in understanding how the energetics work.
More on the influence of the Solar and Lunar Eclipses of October 2005 at this link.
© Copyright 2008 Robert Wilkinson