Category: Astrology Basics Written by Robert Wilkinson
Eclipses are one of the most misunderstood regular occurrences in all of Astrology. While they always remove something, or shut something down, they also create space for new life experiences.
Eclipses happen regularly and their positions have been tracked for many centuries. We usually have two Solar Eclipses each year, and two Lunar eclipses each year, except for when we have three of one or the other. Solar eclipse effects are said to last a few years, and Lunar eclipse effects are said to last for a few months, depending on the length of the eclipse. The magnitude determines its strength.
Some years there are an abnormal number of eclipses. For example, between December 2019 and December 2020 we had three Solar eclipses (one on Christmas Day 2019 and the 2 we had in 2020). We also had FOUR Lunar eclipses in 2020, which is highly unusual. The Christmas 2019 eclipse at 5 Capricorn and Solstice 2020 eclipse at 1 Cancer were Annular eclipses, and the December Solar Eclipse at 24 Sagittarius was a Total eclipse. Seven eclipses in 12 months is a very rare occurrence!
Between December 2020 and December 2021 we returned to our usual number of 4 or 5 eclipses in a year. December 2020 gave us the Total Solar eclipse at 24 Sagittarius. We then had a Total Lunar eclipse at 6 Sagittarius/6 Gemini on May 26, and an Annular Solar eclipse at 20 Gemini on June 10. In late 2021, we had a Partial Lunar eclipse at 28 Taurus/28 Scorpio on November 19, and a Total Solar eclipse at 13 Sagittarius on December 4, 2021.
What’s An Eclipse and How Does it Work
A Solar eclipse is a New Moon conjunct the Lunar Nodal axis, while a Lunar eclipse is a Full Moon conjunct the Lunar Nodal axis. So all eclipses indicate something being taken in with other things being released, as well as a line of evolutionary development (North Node emphasis) and/or a line of demonstrating what we already know (South Node emphasis.)
All eclipses work like other lunations, where the Full Moon brings to form the promise of the seed represented by the New Moon. Lunar eclipses also bring to fulfillment what was promised by the previous New Moon, but they are considered more influential over a longer period. A useful area of study is whether the Solar eclipse precedes the Lunar eclipse or vice versa.
This Partial Solar eclipse at 11 Taurus occurs at 1:28 pm PDT, 9:28 pm BST on April 30. It will be followed by a Total Lunar eclipse at 26 Taurus/26 Scorpio on May 15/16. So this pair of eclipses are similar in their influences because both eclipse Suns are in Taurus and conjunct the North Node.
So Why Are Eclipses So Important?
Let’s begin with the belief, thousands of years old, that eclipses are associated with the fall of empires, the death of important figures, and the end of old ways of life. Tables of various eclipse cycles have been kept since antiquity in several cultures, and I once read the ancient Babylonians had eclipse tables over thousands of years. 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, an eclipse, whether Solar or Lunar, is one of the most dreaded events in all of astrology, with many myths about how they spell “doom and gloom.” In Aquarian Age astrology, we understand that what any eclipse takes away merely fulfills their role as “cosmic recyclers” who mark the removal of old life forms so new ones may take their place.
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.
Historically, more than not this is accurate. From that we infer the Total Solar eclipse of August 2017 at 29 Leo which tracked across the entire US indicated that those places in the eclipse path, as well as those states, towns, and people in power with anything near 29 Leo, have been and continue to be affected! Think of all that has been shut down and/or ended in the US since August 2017 to get a sense of the process.
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...
Eclipses, Afflictions, and the End of Empires
Solar eclipses indicate the shadowing of the "great light" by another object 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?
As I pointed out yesterday, looking at the 2017 American Eclipse, we see the Penumbral phase lasted about 5 hours and 17 minutes, showing the general effect will be through the 2022 election. The Umbral (most intense) phase of that eclipse lasted 3 hours and 15 minutes. That translates into 3 years and 3 months.
That means while the eclipse showed effects from August 2017 to October 2018 initially, because the Umbral phase began an hour and 12 from the beginning of the eclipse, the most intense part of the eclipse effects began November 2018 and lasted through February 2022. Looking back, it’s clear to see America has been “eclipsed” by world events, with maximum intensity in 2019-2020-2021!
Of major importance is the very long Total Solar eclipse cutting across the US coming in April 2024! That one moves from southwest to northeast, tracks the New Madrid fault line, and makes an “X” with the 2017 eclipse line at a pressure point in that major fault! Given the activation of “the Ring of Fire” around the Pacific rim these past few years, the coming “X” Total Solar eclipse could very well portend a shifting of the tectonic plates affecting the US, Canada, and Mexico as a region. In any case, it seems the US is being forced to deal with letting go of a lot.
Leaving aside any argument of causality, on a personal level 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. Again, as we can never lose what really belongs to us, it’s useful to see eclipses are “Cosmic Recyclers,” taking away what we no longer need, creating space for new things to present themselves.
How Does An Eclipse Affect Me Personally If It Conjuncts A Planet in My Chart?
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 as well as planets in those signs.
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, and if you have a planet in Gemini or Virgo then that part of the personality will be affected as well.
If an eclipse conjuncts your Saturn, an old important responsibility, limitation, obligation, hindrance, or fear will leave the life. Old ways of looking at the areas of life (houses) ruled by Capricorn and Aquarius will end, as will how planets in those signs express themselves.
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, and any planets you have in those signs will experience a loss of old ways of expression.
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. It could also accompany 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 there are planets in Aries or Scorpio, It would shut down some parts of the ways those planets express themselves.
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 and any planets we have in those signs. This contacts show 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, any planets we have in those signs, and transform the part of the life represented by the house the Eclipse falls in.
So it primarily shows as three things: a) an ending in the life area represented by the house in which it falls; b) an ending of a psychological function if it conjuncts a planet; and c) these endings work out through the houses and any other planets ruled by the planet an eclipse touches. If it does conjunct a planet which rules other planets as their dispositor, then those planetary functions will have some parts shut down, to be replaced with new expressions of that planetary “department of labor” or internal function.
Endings Allow Us To Begin Anew
Since “planets are people,” with all the planets representing various important people in your life, both past and present, if an eclipse conjuncts one of your planets, it’s likely someone representing that planet in your life with leave, or change dramatically. For example, 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 who illuminated you in some way. It may be someone with a “sunny disposition,” or someone who behaves like the ruler of a realm. If the Moon, someone from your past, someone who you cared for or cared for you, or someone who you were intimately familiar with will leave or change.
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.
If Saturn is our “Ring Pass Not,” or that part of our Higher Self which binds our lower self to certain limits until we are ready to grow in our awareness, then an eclipse affecting our Saturn, whether directly or indirectly, could indicate a time when old limits fall away, and we can direct our organized efforts to expand our ability to fulfill our life purpose. You can find out more about this by referring to chapter 5 in Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend
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.
All Eclipses indicate coming endings, obscurations, and the passing of people and things out of our lives, and maybe even deaths, both literal and metaphoric. We always are under the influence of several Solar eclipses from recent years, and there’s always a Lunar eclipse two weeks before or after a Solar eclipse. It’s like the Lunar eclipse shows us what is immediately passing, while Solar eclipses show us what is passing over many months and years.
Solar and Lunar eclipses occur several times a year, and not all eclipses are equally influential. The strength of an eclipse is determined by its magnitude (brightness) and longevity. Generally speaking, we’ve been on a run of very bright Solar eclipses for the past 7 years, with only their length fluctuating to any great degree. Some have been of VERY long duration, showing effects lasting years, while others have been so short that the influence came and went fairly quickly.
Taking a look at recent years, 2017’s Solar eclipses were relatively bright but only one was of any significant duration, while all of 2018’s Solar eclipses were relatively short and weak. The one in August 2018 was the strongest since Summer 2017, and slightly stronger than the one which occurred in January 2019. After that one, the Solar eclipses for July and Dec 2019 were long and strong, as were the two in 2020.
The June 10, 2021 Annular Solar eclipse was fairly bright and long, indicating about 5 years of effects where we have 20 Gemini, with the most intense period lasting about 21 months beginning in late 2022. The December 2021 Total eclipse on December 4 was bright but not very long, indicating a powerful effect where we have 13 Sagittarius which will last a little over 4 years, with the most intense period lasting a little over a year beginning around June 2023. Seems 2024 is going to heat up in major ways!
Because Lunar eclipse effects last a few months, and Solar eclipse effects last for years, it could also be said that Lunar eclipses distill essential elements which must be shut down in the weeks it is in play, in some way related to the larger changes portended by the Solar eclipse which always comes just before it or just after it. We can learn a lot about the timing on these endings by observing the transits happening before and after the Eclipses.
Often eclipse effects are not very obvious until a significant transit happens, triggering the previous eclipse related to that transit. 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 Partial Solar Eclipse in Taurus!
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with written permission from Robert Wilkinson. Copying this article to other blogs is strictly prohibited. It is copyright protected.
© Copyright 2022 Robert Wilkinson
© Copyright 2022 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
About the author:
Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca. with written persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
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