What happens when an eclipse falls in your zodiac sign?
The mystery of eclipses has captured the imaginations of mankind since the dawn of time. Even in today’s technologically driven world, the magic of the natural world continues to astound and captivate us. Astrology, with a history rich in symbolism, helps to divine the meanings of these mysterious natural phenomena. Eclipses are predictably occurring events that, since time immemorial, have been thought to herald great change for both individuals and countries.
Eclipses occur when a New or Full Moon (a lunation) falls close to the plane of the Earth. Lunations occur every two weeks, but it is only those that occur when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in alignment that create an eclipse. Eclipses appear to move through the sky, tracking backwards through the path of the zodiac; they illuminate a new pair of zodiac signs approximately every 18 months.
The term eclipse comes from the Greek word “ekleipo” meaning “to vanish” and is used to describe the celestial event where either the Sun or Moon appear to vanish from sight. Traditionally the Sun and Moon are the luminaries, or lights, of the sky and the vanishing of one or the other was of great significance.
The ancients placed great importance on the two celestial lights. The Sun was the day “light” and lord of the daytime; the Moon was the night “light” and lord of the night. It is believed all the other planets took their cue from the light of the hour. This belief has been somewhat lost in modern astrology. Traditionally if you were born during the night, the Moon was more important than the Sun in your birth chart. Entire systems of astrological prediction are skewed to either a day or a night birth. It was essential to know which was your guiding light. The Sun is the archetypal yang or masculine energy; the Moon was archetypally yin and feminine. The monthly dance between these two bodies reflects the essential need for balance between light/dark, hot/cold, wet/dry and male/female in nature.
An eclipse is essentially an interruption of a regular natural event. They represent a shearing through the veil of normality, triggering emotional, spiritual, physical and energetic change. Eclipses affect us individually as well as globally. Eclipses occur in families or groups known as a “Saros series”. Each Saros series lasts for about 1300 years, with an eclipse in each family occurring every 18 years. Eclipses can mark some of the most significant turning points in our lives but they’re more often used to describe the changes in dynasties, countries and kingdoms because of their long lifespans. For example Saros Series 2 Old North began in 792 AD, shortly before the first true King of England (the Anglo Saxon Ecgberht) came to power in 802 AD. Every 18 years since then an eclipse has occurred in this series. The last eclipse in Saros Series 2 Old North occurs in 2036 and eclipse astrologers predict that year will mark a significant turning point in the role and tradition of the British monarchy.
Because each Saros series has a distinct beginning and ending, each Saros series has a birth chart and begins at either the North or South Pole then moves up or down the globe accordingly. It is from this birth chart that the meaning of each Saros series is created.
Eclipses occur in “seasons” about six months apart. Each eclipse season consists of one solar eclipse and at least one, sometimes two, lunar eclipses. The lunar eclipse will occur two weeks before or after the solar eclipse. This gives us two solar eclipses a year. Solar eclipses are the ones to watch in terms of timing (and it is the solar eclipses that each Saros series is linked to), although lunar eclipses are powerful in their own right. In ancient times it was the solar eclipses that had the most impact. Imagine watching the Sun lose its light in the middle of the day. In modern society this doesn’t seem like much of a problem as we have numerous sources of artificial light and heat ensuring our survival. Ancient cultures depended on the Sun for light and heat, most importantly to grow crops. They had no back-up.
Eclipses occur in varying degrees of strength, depending on whether the light of the Sun or Moon is entirely or only partly blocked by the eclipsing body. Total eclipses are more intense and very exciting to watch. Technical terms that refer to the specific type of eclipse include “total”, “partial”, “annular” and “appulse”. Total and partial are terms used to describe both lunar and solar eclipses. A total eclipse is a complete eclipse, where the entire surface of either the Sun or the Moon is obscured. A partial eclipse is an eclipse where only part of the celestial body is obscured. An annular eclipse is a specific kind of solar eclipse where the Moon moves totally in front of the Sun but is too far from the Earth to completely block all light. An appulse eclipse is a specific lunar eclipse term referring to the Moon only entering the Earth’s shadow, rather than being blocked by the Earth itself.
What does it mean?
Eclipses falling in your zodiac sign signify a period of great change, encouraging you to move rapidly forward towards your destiny. This can sometimes feel dramatic and intense as profound changes occur throughout all areas of your life. When eclipses occur in your sign you have an opportunity to realign the external manifestation of your life with your internal, soul intention. Eclipses offer opportunities for remembering and reconnection.
A solar eclipse in your sign brings into focus external events and experiences that require conscious attention. Solar eclipses tend to manifest as “events around you”. Solar eclipses are about new beginnings, always occurring at a New Moon. Solar eclipses occur when the Sun’s (solar) light is blocked by the Moon moving between the Sun and the Earth.
Lunar eclipses are emotional and about your inner world – your feelings, thoughts and reflections. Lunar eclipses are about awareness and insight that we have to dig deeper to find and they only occur at the Full Moon. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s (lunar) light is blocked by the Earth moving between the Sun and the Moon.
Bernadette Brady in her book on eclipses, Predictive Astrology, sums this up as, “the solar eclipse will bring in events that we have not consciously precipitated and the lunar eclipses will be associated with events brought about by our own thoughts and feelings.” This reflects the essential qualities of the Sun (masculine, responsive, externalised ego) and the Moon (reflective, internalised, emotions and feelings).
Eclipses are said to create a vortex in the prevailing energetic imprint, allowing you to get a glimpse of what your future might look like if you continue down a current path. This foresight helps motivate change. Eclipses have a knack for speeding things up and bringing the achievement of goals and manifestation of plans forward. Don’t walk away from an opportunity to succeed at a long-term plan just because it appears to be manifesting much sooner than you expected.
In their book Spiritual Astrology, authors Jan Spiller and Karen McCoy discuss the importance of your prenatal eclipse on setting the template for the karmic condition and experiences of your life. Prenatal eclipses refer to the eclipses which occur while you are in utero, between conception and birth. “These eclipses have a profound influence on the unborn child,” they say, “and the energy pattern dispensed during these eclipses follows you the rest of your life.”
Eclipses are known for shaking things up. As the eclipses move through Pisces and Virgo (until the end of 2007) and then Aquarius and Leo (2008 – mid 2009) they highlight the key principles of these zodiac signs.
Pisces and Virgo are signs of service and devotion. They seek to use their skills and talents in service to others either through daily tasks or divine union. These two signs are known for their selflessness, compassion and healing skills. As the eclipses draw these archetypes into focus, humans collectively have a chance to adopt more compassionate attitudes to those suffering around the globe. How could these eclipses inspire you to devote part of your energy or resources to a charitable or community-minded cause? What can you do to help someone less privileged than yourself?
Aquarius and Leo are signs of creativity, vision and leadership. These signs demand that leaders take ownership for the direction in which they are leading others. These signs hold a visionary, ahead-of-the-times perspective which can leave them feeling misunderstood by those they’re genuinely trying to inspire. A creative approach to life’s dramas could help us all see our way to a more community-minded future. Aquarius offers a utopian vision to guide us; Leo invokes the leadership skills necessary to get us there. How could you demand more integrity from those who lead your life? And at the same time display more honesty to the people that follow you? Regardless of your position, there is always someone you look up to and plenty of people who look up to you.
Eclipses are also said to most affect the countries from which they are visible. The eclipse on September 11, 2007 was visible over the southern half of South America. In 2008 the February 7 eclipse will be visible over parts of Antarctica. The total eclipse on August 1 will be visible from northernmost Canada, Russia, western Mongolia and parts of central China, including Beijing. With China’s role in global economic and foreign policies growing, this eclipse will certainly act as a catalyst for major developments in, and affecting, this region. It is interesting to note that the influence of this eclipse has already been felt as China will hold its first-ever Summer Olympics from August 8 to 24 in 2008. The August 2008 eclipse is about breaking away from the old. Could China be ready to present a new face to the world? This momentous sporting event occurring simultaneously with a powerful solar eclipse suggests that something more than “just another Olympics” is in store.
If you know that in your birth chart you have chart points or other planets around the degrees of 18 and 24 Aquarius, 2 and 18 Virgo, 10 Leo and 5 Pisces, the eclipses of 2007 and 2008 will be particularly important for you.
On September 11, 2007 we have a solar eclipse at 18 Virgo from the Saros series 9 New South. This was preceded by a lunar eclipse on August 28 at 5 Pisces.
This Saros series began on July 19, 1917 at the South Pole and runs until August 17, 3161. It’s a relatively new family of eclipses and as such is still growing in strength. (Saros series reach their peak when they are half-way through their cycle, i.e. when they’re around 650 years old.) Mercury, Saturn and the New Moon in Cancer are active in the birth chart of this eclipse, indicating this Saros series is about family news that might be worrying at times. Information received now has a sense of destiny or fate to it.
In 2008 we have a solar eclipse at 18 Aquarius on February 7 from Saros 10 North followed by a lunar eclipse at 2 Virgo on February 21. This Saros series began on April 25, 944 AD at the North Pole and runs until May 27, 2188. A New Moon (in Taurus) with Mercury and Saturn active in the series birth chart reinforces themes of communication. Saturn’s influence in this chart suggests slowing down and avoiding overreacting to new information. Young people are a focus, as is the need for restrained or planned pleasure.
The second eclipse season of 2008 has a solar eclipse on August 1 at 10 Leo from Saros series 10 South, followed by a lunar eclipse August 16 at 24 Aquarius.
This Saros series began on March 10, 1179 at the South Pole and runs until April 13, 2423. A New Moon in Pisces combined with Saturn and Mars in the birth chart of this eclipse gives this series the image of “breaking away from the old”. It’s about moving out of seemingly hopeless situations that have no end in sight into a new positive space that has many options. Worries clear and solutions that arise (especially if by intuition) need to be acted upon without delay.
Eclipses are beacons of light illuminating different areas of your life, via your birth chart. Remember that even though you only have one Sun (star) sign, the entire zodiac vibrates through your birth chart linking different zodiac signs to different areas of your life (via the houses). Thus, while the eclipses might not be in your Sun sign this year or even next, they will be energising a particular area of your horoscope. It is in this area of life that you’ll have a unique opportunity to grasp more clearly your purpose and soul intentions. For a more detailed look at how the eclipses are affecting you, contact your local astrologer or get into some DIY astrology through www.astro.com. Eclipses bring to light what has previously been in darkness, as the change in energy patterns from one of the celestial lights dimming reverberates around the globe. As the madness of the everyday slows, you have a chance to reconnect with your true purpose. Eclipses are sometimes said to invoke madness but perhaps it is simply the temporary stilling of the daily madness (what we call life) which allows us to see an essence or truth. Coming into contact with something that seems so pure can feel like madness or craziness when you are disconnected from it so much of the time.
Eclipses can help you completely reshape your life, if you’re willing.
Kelly Surtees is passionate about astrology and respected among her peers for her insight and knowledge. She offers readings to clients around the world. A full-time astrologer, Kelly is based in Sydney where she teaches a full program in astrology through the Earth Institute (www.earthinstitute.com.au). Contact her through her website www.kellysurtees.com.