Cynthia Thorburn 21 August 2012


It must be because Jupiter is transiting through Gemini that I’m beginning to write articles again, this one somewhat prematurely in order to give our editing team a chance to post it on ASSA’s website in good time. Although eclipses do have personal meaning, they are clearly more significant in mundane work.  The focus of interpretation is clean and simple – eclipses have most effect in terms of house position.  Keywords are EMPHASIS and CRISIS – concepts intended to be neutral and not necessarily pejorative.

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This implies a sharp focus on the affairs of the relevant house where the pressure of circumstance (seemingly) will demand attention, time or energy. When an eclipse conjuncts or opposes a natal planet, critical mass is reached and the issue can sometimes take on major proportions.  Eclipses themselves are exclusively the product of conjunctions and oppositions, thus only these two aspects should be used in interpretation.  The orb used is generally 3 degrees; some astrologers use as little as 1 degree and others as much as 5 degrees (too much!)  An eclipse is essentially an occultation where one body passes in front of another and hides it from view – a ‘darkening of the light’. A lunar eclipse is commonly regarded as less important (is it?) than the solar eclipse, so let us start with that one first.  A lunar eclipse (‘the Point of Illumination’ (Esoteric)) is an opposition of the Sun and Moon (Full Moon) when conjunct one of the Moon’s Nodes and contra-parallel by declination and longitude.  In other words an eclipse will not occur unless the Sun and Moon are lined up in a straight line, otherwise we would experience an eclipse once every 28 days at the Sun-Moon opposition (and conjunction) – which we don’t!  There are three types of lunar eclipses according to the amount of coverage of the Moon by the Sun – Appulse, Partial or Total.  An Appulse lunar eclipse will occur at 6Gemini47’, at 16.34 hours South African Time, on 28 November 2012, with 0.915% coverage. Because it is the Moon (the unconscious, the feminine) that is blotted out here, the untrammelled Yang or animus psychic force can run amok and rampantly destroy all in its path.  Lunar events tend to arrive in short sharp bursts with painful immediate consequences.  Remember the Boipatong Massacre in June 1992?  It occurred within 24 hours of a lunar eclipse that fell on South Africa’s own Moon (the old Republic chart).  Warring male factions (eclipsed Moon) indulged in cruel slaughter of the people (SA Moon) in a rabid, power-seeking vendetta (10th House) – truly a manifestation of the distorted or brutalised masculine archetype. A solar eclipse (‘the Seed Point’) is a conjunction of the Sun and Moon (New Moon) when conjunct one of the Moon’s Nodes and parallel by declination and longitude.  Again, there are three types of solar eclipses depending on the level of coverage of the Sun by the Moon – Partial, Annular or Total.  Because it is the Sun (consciousness, the masculine) that is darkened here, the unconscious or instinctual holds sway.  A senseless turmoil of neurosis reigns supreme and affairs can fall into utter chaos and confusion.

Especially if it is a Total Solar Eclipse, we can perhaps see it as ‘a Dark Night of the World Soul’, far more serious and insidious because longer lasting.  A Total solar eclipse will occur at 21Scorpio57, at 00.09 hours South African Time, on 14 November 2012, and last for 4.2 minutes – somewhat difficult to appreciate at the witching hour, I’d say! In mundane astrology, an emphasised solar eclipse is traditionally the harbinger of national upheavals and natural disasters where Mother Earth, the ultimate female archetype, wreaks an ancient revenge.  Typically, the way ahead is ‘dark’, and by no rational extrapolation can we see into tomorrow, let alone into next month.  The dead lock, or chaos appears to be irreversible. But is it?  How long, I hear you ask?  According to Ptolemy the effects of a solar eclipse will last as long in months as it did in minutes.  Jansky says the influence continues unabated until the next eclipse; I don’t think he’s right.  Remember here that we speak in grave tones only of eclipses that very closely contact a personal or national natal planet.  Should they not do so, no doubt we will continue with our ‘normal’ South African insanities. Solar eclipses occur approximately twice a year, regress by degree, and occupy polarity signs alternatively.  After the eclipses stated above, the next set will grace our skies as follows. An Annular Solar Eclipse at 19Taurus31, at 02.26 hours SAT, on 10 May 2013, lasting 6.3 minutes. An Appulse Lunar Eclipse at 04Sagittarius08, at 06.11 hours SAT, on 25 May 2013, coverage 0.015%. Neither should the pre-natal solar eclipse ever be ignored.  It acts as a spotlight illuminating by house placement a specific life area, an environmental stricture, that is highly significant and pointedly emphasised throughout the life span.  It is always here that something is added in the interests of spiritual growth and evolution.  It is said that where the pre-natal solar eclipse falls, the individual will complete the task indicated by that house in their life time.