by Robert Wilkinson
Since we usually have two Solar Eclipses each year and they often affect us for several years after they occur, today we’ll explore what they are and how their influence works. They are recurring important stellar events, and there are a lot of myths about them. Historically, an eclipse, whether Solar or Lunar, is one of the most dreaded events in all of astrology.
The coming Partial Solar Eclipse falls at 28 Aquarius on February 15 at 1:05 pm PST, 9:05 pm GMT. I’ll explain more about its unique qualities over the next week. Today we’ll discuss Solar Eclipses in general.
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 sources of antiquity state 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. That means this one will not affect very many people, since it’s only visible from Antarctica and the southernmost part of South America. As it is not very strong, we won’t see nearly the dramatic effects in the states, towns, and people with anything near 28 Aquarius as we have and will those states, towns, and people “under the beams” of the August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse at 29 Leo!
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.
Solar Eclipses indicate the shadowing of the "great light" by another object (the Moon) that obscures that light, if only momentarily. So an eclipse blocks the light of the Sun for a period of time, from a few minutes to a few hours, and in those places that the Eclipses are most visible, 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 Solar 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?
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. It could be said that eclipses are “Cosmic Recyclers,” taking away what we no longer need, creating space for new things to present themselves.
We can learn a lot about how they impact us by seeing how they aspect our planets and angles. If the eclipse conjuncts a planet, we can expect to see endings in that old planetary psychological function in the house (life area) the Eclipse falls in. And of course, it will affect the houses ruled by any planet it touches.
For example, 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, perception, attitude, or way of interpreting or communicating 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, limitation, obligation, hindrance, 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. Usually there are major personality shifts and endings associated with parts of the life represented by the houses where you have Cancer and Leo.
If Mars is affected, it could mean that an old hassle, aggravation, or quarrel will end, or there will be a hassle or aggravation as a result of an ending in the houses ruled by Aries and Scorpio. Of course, it could mean the end of an old way of “attacking the problems of life,” or an old way of responding to a call for immediate action.
If a Solar Eclipse impacts our Jupiter, an old vision, philosophical view, or an obsolete moral stance will end, or there will be something taken away that affects the houses with Sagittarius and Pisces on the cusp. This contact shows an end to a spiritual focus or aspiration, or a line of opportunity ceases and another one opens wherever the Eclipse falls in the chart.
If the eclipse falls on your Sun, you can expect the end of your Light or Life in some way. This shows the passing of an old life order, but of course since Nature abhors a vacuum it also shows that a new life and light will begin. It will most affect the houses with Leo and Cancer on the cusp, and transform the part of the life represented by the house the Eclipse falls in.
All eclipses primarily indicate an ending in the house in which it falls. If it conjuncts a planet, it shows an ending of a related psychological function, demonstrating 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 planets you have in Taurus or Libra.
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, or someone with strong Sagittarius or Pisces in their charts, to end or go through such a radical change that it will seem like you're relating to an entirely different person. If it impacts your Sun, expect the passage of someone of power, authority, or significance to your life or illumination.
The same with Saturn and the rest of the planets. 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. It also indicates the ending of an old duty, responsibility, or purpose in our lives so we can redirect the energy of Self-mastery to other ends.
Every ending is beneficial because they remove obsolete elements in our lives, or people that no longer symbolize who we really are, or who we have become since we originally met them. Old illusions give way to greater realizations. When a fulfilled planetary manifestation ends, we are free to recreate a higher and greater manifestation of that planet in our lives in new ways. Lesser Wisdom gives way to greater Wisdom, and lesser forms of love give way to greater Love.
Eclipses occur several times a year, and not all eclipses are equally influential. The next set will come in about 5 to 6 months when the Sun and Moon next conjunct the Moon’s Nodes, and unlike 2017, in 2018 the Lunar Eclipses are far stronger than the Solar Eclipses.
Regardless of power and duration, all eclipses are followed by a period of endings, obscurations, and the passing of people and things out of our lives. Also, eclipses do not act in a vacuum. We always are under the influence of more than one Solar Eclipse from the past, and there’s always a Lunar Eclipse about two weeks before or after a Solar Eclipse.
Remember that 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.
To return to an important point, Solar Eclipse effects last for years, while Lunar Eclipse effects last for a few months. From one approach, the Lunar Eclipse may distill the essential elements that must be shut down in the weeks it is in play, and after that, other transits trigger the Solar and Lunar effects in secondary ways.
That’s why an Eclipse can still be triggered years down the road by the outer planet transits, and demonstrates the importance of what houses and planets have been impacted by past eclipses. And as I mentioned, we always have several from the past that are still at work moving things out of our lives so we can attract other things more appropriate to who we are now.
See you soon with part one on this fairly weak Partial Solar Eclipse in Aquarius!
© Copyright 2018 Robert Wilkinson