Note that this is Part one of a two part post –
On the 20th of May we have a Solar Annular Eclipse. An annular eclipse is a “ring” eclipse, in which the Moon does not appear to completely cover the solar disc. It will be visible in heavily populated areas of the earth, covering a good portion of eastern Asia and much of North America. The land masses surrounding the Pacific Ocean are often called “the Ring of Fire”, because of the tectonic plates, fault lines, and volcanoes that are present there, hence the nickname “the Ring of Fire Eclipse.”
A lot has been said about this eclipse online already, so this article will try to avoid rehashing the opinions of others. Let’s start with ways that modern astrologers judge their strength and the quality of their effects. Here are a few proven “rules” that can be considered:
1. A total eclipse is considered stronger than a partial eclipse. In a partial eclipse, the Moon only covers a part of the Solar disk. An annular eclipse is almost as strong as a total eclipse, in terms of the effects that are noticeable on the earth. Solar eclipses are stronger than lunar eclipses. The latter will be discussed in upcoming articles and posts.
2. The effect of the eclipse is strongest along its central path (seen as a red line on the map above).
3. Eclipses that are a part of key planetary combinations (i.e a T-Square or Grand Cross) are more powerful.
4. Eclipses whose shadows cover densely populated parts of the world are more powerful.
5. Eclipses close to the exact degree of previous powerful eclipses are very strong.
6. Eclipses with an extremely low “Gamma” are very powerful.
7. Eclipses conjunct the natal Sun, Ascendant or Midheaven (or planets with 0 latitude) are more powerful than those which aspect the planets.
8. When the eclipse path crosses a planetary line on an Astral Map, that line’s effect is greatly enhanced.
There are a number of other important rules and observations that I will cover in future articles.
For the eclipse of May 20th, rule #1 is obvious, this is a very strong eclipse although it is not total – this also speaks of rule number 4, because it is covers some of the most heavily populated areas of the earth.
Let’s jump to rule # 5 for a moment and look at some of the historical eclipses near (or opposite) the 1st degree of Gemini, where this one occurs.
In May of 1919, Einstein’s general theory of relativity was confirmed by scientists’ observations of the total eclipse in Brazil in the 8th degree of Gemini. Having a “low Gamma” (rule #6) means that the eclipse center is close to the center of its Saros Series, and this one qualifies. Interestingly, the Annular Eclipse in November 1919, at 30 Scorpio, occurred at almost the same time as the announcement of the confirmation to the scientific community at large.
Extension lines are horizontal and vertical lines projected from the “sunrise, noon and sunset” points of an eclipse path that have very powerful effects. From the May eclipse, we can project a vertical extension line from the sunrise point that passes near Washington, DC – and in early June, the US Congress ratified the 19th amendment to the constitution, giving women the right to vote. A Vertical Extension Line from the sunset point of the eclipse path passes close to Moscow – the opponent in the cold war.
A total non-central eclipse in May of 1938 saw Hitler’s announcement that he would destroy Czechoslovakia. Extension lines from the sunset point of this eclipse pass through central Europe. Another rule of importance is that eclipses that occur very near the poles tend to affect the entire earth with their omens. As an interesting side note, shortly after this eclipse the first issue of Action Comics was released; it included the first appearance of Superman.
The May eclipse of 1947 came near the official beginning of the cold war. Both underwater and open air testing of nuclear weapons were in the news that year. Four days after the November Partial Eclipse in the 1st degree of Sagittarius, Prime Minister Nehru called for the abandonment of the arms race and total Nuclear disarmament. Solar Eclipses in 1965 near or opposite these degrees saw tremendous activity in the Vietnam war, which overshadowed most other events, one of which was that Tokyo officially became the largest city in the world. The May eclipse of 1985 occurred near the time of the discovery of the hole in the Ozone Layer. There have been several other eclipses near these degrees over the centuries; I wanted to illustrate that this is a way of finding a “strength pedigree” of an eclipse.
Rule 7 and many other points will be discussed when the Birth Eclipse is discussed in “Are You Eclipsed, Part 2” in the near future.
This eclipse appears to bring a harbinger of serious events. The central line of the eclipse crosses Tokyo, and passes close enough to the melting nuclear reactors at Sendai, Japan to be considered exact. The chart of the Tsunami disaster that started these events has the Moon in this eclipse degree.
The eclipse is part of a wide T Square with Mars and Neptune, and all of Japan is sandwiched between the Uranus/MC and Saturn IC lines on the map. Saturn’s AS line crosses the eclipse path in western Nevada, and is not far from it in south-central California. The Mars/MC line that covers New York City and Washington DC does not cross the eclipse path, which is a good thing, according to rule #8 – but there is so much going on in currency markets with the opening of trade in the Chinese Yuan and the Euro/USD market, that one should expect much from it. It’s likely that the European monetary crisis will not take center stage as this eclipse is activated by planetary transits, except for the places along the Mars/DS line, which runs through Greece, and even that is not likely to overshadow the news from Asia and the west coast of the US.
More good news is that this eclipse has a fairly high Gamma – it seems that the central eclipse of this Saros Series was on December 8, 1741. The first eclipse in Saros Series 128 was in 984 AD, and the final eclipse in this series will be in 2084 – it has only 4 more eclipses.
The Astral Map of the eclipse, showing the ACG lines, is seen below. Part two of this article, which covers the timing of eclipse events, will delve more deeply into the effects of the eclipse over time.