Eclipses have always been considered omens, which essentially means that they predict the future. But there is no clear consensus as to how to time the events predicted by eclipses in astrological writing. In this article, I will discuss some of the methods for timing eclipse results, and why this is a tricky matter, and also try to cover some of the principles used for eclipse interpretation.
We often see some effects from eclipses before the actual eclipse occurs. Charles Jayne mentions in his writing that eclipse effects can manifest from three to six months before the eclipse occurs. I usually observe the three month limit in my work with them in all astro-economic studies, and any personal astrological charts that have a significant connection with the eclipse degree, due to my experience with them.
Another of Jayne’s observations is that the most immediate and potent events connected with the eclipse occur within 7 – 10 days on either side of the eclipse date. My opinion is that this range can easily be approximated by using the period from the Last Quarter Moon before an eclipse to the First Quarter Moon after (of course this rule is reversed in the case of Lunar Eclipses, a discussion of which will be found in the Omens of June) – this consideration usually works out to around 7 days, depending on the speed of the Moon’s motion.
There are also important principles from Medieval/Renaissance astrology that should come into consideration. For instance, it’s generally considered unfortunate to begin a new venture during the last quarter of the Moon, and fortunate to make a new start during the time from the New Moon to the first quarter. As an example, those who make talismans for astrological magic have an excellent opportunity to create one for the Moon on the 25th of May, as long as they can avoid the Moon’s square to Saturn. This would be true for any election having to do with Lunar activities on that date.
In fact, my experience in working with them show that anything begun 7 – 10 days before an eclipse turns out differently than one would expect, and events started immediately after an eclipse may require a change in plans due to the sudden awareness of new information or factors that force a different path to be taken. In other words, it’s a good idea to wait a week (or at least 24 hours) before making important decisions at the time of an eclipse – but let’s move on.
The first planet that the Moon makes an aspect to after leaving the eclipse degree leaves a powerful signature on what the eclipse portends. As you can see in the chart above, the first aspect happens to be ta square to Neptune, which is less than 3 degrees away. Much of the writing I have seen concerning this eclipse covers the “spiritual” qualities of Neptune, but that may be because people don’t like to scare their readers with the overwhelmingly negative possibilities. Neptune is not only a planet of vision and creativity, but a planet of illusion, confusion, and dissipation. It also has strong effects on the weather and the economy, being the planet of inflation. Were Neptune in a favorable configuration with Jupiter, there may be better news. Since it is not, watch for things like sudden changes in oil prices, toxic spills, environmental damage to the oceans during the time the eclipse is active, and the various planets transit the eclipse degree.
In classical literature, in both the east and the west, it is said that Mars’ aspects to the eclipse degree activate the effects of an eclipse, and Saturn’s brings them to a close. It’s a nice and neat idea, but I find that any planet coming into conjunction, opposition and sometimes square the eclipse degree will trigger the eclipse indications.
Just looking at this chart, it’s obvious that it won’t be long before Mercury and Jupiter reach the eclipse degree – and it won’t be that long before Mars enters Sagittarius and is opposite the eclipse. The Neptune effect is already in force, because it is beyond the square to the eclipse degree. The first news I received this morning (the day of the Mercury conjunction) was that China has become the first nation in history to be given access to trading in US treasury bonds. Please note that the path of this eclipse stretched from China to North America.
But this discussion begs the next question. How long do the effects of an eclipse last?
The classical method of determining the length of eclipse effects is by counting the hours elapsed during the trajectory of an eclipse, and convert this time into years for a Solar eclipse and months for a Lunar eclipse. Using this method, this eclipse has a period of 3.5 years. Some astrologers, like Bill Meridian, use a rule of thumb of a year to a year and a half. There is another method based on the speed of the Moon on an eclipse day, but I have found this rule to be unreliable. Johndro had a phase arc method of timing eclipse effects, which is a little complicated as far as this discussion goes – I will cover it in a future article.
My observations favor that the effects of a given eclipse last from three months before to 1.5 years after, or, at the very least, until the next eclipse in the opposite sign. Sometimes eclipses come in bundles, where we have a Solar eclipse, followed by a Lunar eclipse and then another Solar eclipse; in years like this, the effects tend to last longer. Sometimes the effects last longer, but this is usually due to other factors, such as when eclipses that “pick up” something important from previous ones.
You probably wonder how eclipse related events can happen before the eclipse occurs – but think about it. Most of the events that occur in the world, whether they affect you personally or not, happen before you become aware of them. Think about wellness – you may not become aware of a problem with your health, or with the health of another, until it is revealed to you by a doctor’s visit. A decision may have been made to hire someone for a job long before he or she becomes aware of it. An eclipse-related event rarely falls on the day of the eclipse…
It’s plain to see that for any event or natal chart, a number of eclipses can be operating at the same time. I have also seen instances in which an eclipse activates a previous eclipse that occurred quite a while before it, and we are just scratching the surface of how that can happen in this discussion.
In other words, there are no absolute rules for timing eclipse effects, but plenty of excellent guidelines – and a good set of guidelines is usually enough. Let’s check out a couple of examples:
First, a historical example. Here we have the chart of the terrorist attack on New York City of September 11, 2001. We can see that within a few hours of the attack, the Moon was exactly opposite Mars, who had just crossed on to the cardinal axis, called the “Earth Axis” or “World Axis” by Uranian astrologers.
When we look at the previous Solar Eclipse chart, it is plainly visible that it occurred on the World Axis as well, and it is a pretty standard rule that eclipses on the Cardinal points tend to be stronger. From the position of Mars in the eclipse chart, it is easily seen that Mars is not too far from being opposite the eclipse degree. A quick check in the ephemeris (or through the use of an astrological program), it would take less than a minute to determine that Mars would be opposite the eclipse degree in a very short period of time, even when accounting for the remainder of it’s retrograde. Counting the days to exact opposition would have brought one to within a day or two of the event.
The interesting thing about this particular chart is that Mars had already opposed the eclipse degree. It was already separating by a degree – it was almost as if the event waited for the Moon to become close enough to “trigger” the effect.
In cases like this, I tend to forgo the traditional restrictions about “cross sign” aspects; but on the other hand, this Moon was effective because it will aspect the eclipse degree and Mars as soon as it enters the next sign, and this is occurring on the World Axis, where astrological events seem to be more intense in general, in the same way that planets express themselves more strongly on the angles of a chart.
This example illustrates one of the simplest and most basic methods of timing eclipse results, but there is much more to the practice of Universal (Mundane) astrology. Studies could have been done based on the US chart or the chart of New York City as well – when studying Universal Astrology, national charts and the charts of the heads of state are also considered. If we were doing so, and had this eclipse chart handy, it would have “clinched” an accurate prediction – I believe that Robert Zoller included this eclipse in his prediction of the terrorist attack that was made long before the event. I personally keep eclipse degrees in mind when working with any natal or Universal charts.
In other words, making predictions based on eclipse charts alone certainly can be difficult, but looking for connections to the eclipse in national charts makes the job less difficult than it might otherwise be. One of the most important tools in this stage of eclipse analysis is to study the birth eclipse of an individual, business or nation, and see whether or not it connects with current eclipses. Here is the birth eclipse of Japan.
Please note that the eclipse falls in the early degrees of Pisces – the early degrees of mutable signs seem to be especially sensitive in Japan’s chart, because that’s where the MC/AS axes fall. Sometimes the birth eclipse is hard to figure, but this was a case where it was easy, and it has tested well in the studies of Japan’s geopolitical and economic presence. For the Radix, I use the official time when independence and sovereignty was restored, at the declaration of peace between the US and Japan.
Relating these charts to the Tohuku Earthquake (that destroyed the Nuclear Reactors at Sendai, which has already proven to be a disaster far worse that Chernobyl), we’ll take a look at the eclipses around the time of the Tsunami, and the event chart itself. Even though the chart above for November 2011 is not calculated for Japan, we can see a relationship between the Natal Chart of Japan, the birth eclipse of Japan, and this disaster chart, through the position of the Moon in the event chart and other factors that we will describe here.
Now take a look at the eclipse previous to this event. There may not appear to be anything spectacular about it at first glance, but look at the position of Saturn, who began to retrograde shortly before the event. Then look at the eclipse degree – it sits at the trigger position of a T-square formed by Jupiter and Saturn in the event chart!
Then there is the position of Uranus in the event chart – although it’s almost the same as the position of the very close Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in the eclipse, while Jupiter has moved forward to form the T-square involving the eclipse degree and Saturn. We could also say that Pluto has moved far enough to participate in a square with Jupiter, which would mean that it is also configured with the eclipse itself. It’s somewhat out of orb with Saturn and the Eclipse, but being involved in any way with a configuration like this certainly means it has something to say. Mars, in the eclipse chart, is in a similar situation with Saturn, in that it is close enough to be configured with Saturn – the eclipse is very close to a 90 degree midpoint configuration between Saturn and Mars.
The Natal chart for Japan has Mercury in Aries opposite Saturn in Libra, both square to Uranus in Cancer. That’s a very earthquake prone combination, and predicting earthquakes for Japan is like predicting the average number of beers purchased in a sports pub during a playoff game – but here’s one timing device that most moderns don’t notice. Yes Mars was in a square to Saturn during the eclipse, but as it moved forward and separated from the square, it eventually got to the 13th degree of Pisces, which is the Antiscion of Saturn and the IC of the eclipse chart.
Finally relating these to the May eclipse, we see the obvious relationship – first of all, the eclipse formed in the exact degree of the earthquake chart’s Moon. This means that it was placed on the angles of Japan’s Radix (at the DS), and square to the degree of the Birth Eclipse. Pluto, in this eclipse chart, forms a grand square with Uranus, Saturn and Mercury at the other 3 points. Neptune is square the current eclipse point, and conjunct Japan’s Birth Eclipse. It also picks up energy from the last eclipse, as seen above, which was located at the 3rd degree of Sagittarius, on Japan’s IC. As I’ve mentioned earlier in the article, this eclipse is still active, as detailed by many of the geopolitical events in the news.
Long before Mars reaches the opposition of the eclipse degree in the 1st degree of Sagittarius, Jupiter will have made a conjunction with this month’s eclipse – but Mars is very active in future events concerning this, because it will be making squares to Pluto, Saturn, the eclipse degree prior to the earthquake (which has some extra clout because of the t-square it forms in the earthquake chart) and other players in the cardinal signs.
Mars will, in squaring Pluto, activate the earthquake prone T-square of Saturn, Mercury and Uranus. Although these Mars transits happen every couple of years, we must consider the gravity of these combinations in the light of present and coming astrological events; the Uranus/Pluto Square, the Jupiter Barycenter event I’ve discussed in a previous article, the Neptune station on the angles of Japan’s natal chart, as well as the eclipse degree, and the Moon of the Event chart at the center of it all. Earthquakes come and go, but this one not only moved the axis of the earth, but triggered a Nuclear event with the potential for untold damage to the biosphere, especially for the people of Japan.
The Moon visits the early degrees of Gemini every month, so if you are interested in watching these events unfold, it would be a good idea to look at the status of all the planets from Mars out during the first day of it’s visit to Gemini.
Most of the material in this post was designed to give some background on the nature of timing events with eclipses – it’s length is due to the various factors that need to be taken into consideration. During June, I’ll be working on the “Are You Eclipsed” articles in order to explain many of these principles, and list important dates to watch out for concerning current and future eclipses.
Sorry I don’t have time to cover the European and US economy right now, but keep watching the journal – it’s in the works!
Note: All charts created in Solar Fire, ACG map from Matrix Horizons…