Eclipses, which are major transits, are among the oldest forecasting tools used by astrologers. From the earliest of times, eclipses were noted for their significance preceding broad scale events such as famine, war, disease or prosperity. They were noted for reflecting conditions affecting the multitudes. While events affecting the common people were attributed to Lunar eclipses, it was Solar eclipses that foreshadowed events affecting heads of states and countries.
An eclipse by sign carries a message for the world. The zodiac sign of an eclipse, whether of the element of Fire, Earth, Air or Water was regarded by early astrologers as highly symbolic of the nature of events coming due. As such, an eclipse taking place in any of the three Fire signs was symbolic of wars and terrible slaughters; in Earth signs, of barrenness, scarcities, droughts and earthquakes; in Air signs, of wind and storm and sociological upheavals; in Water signs, of heavy rains and floods. Then, the Lord of the eclipse, usually the planet ruling the sign, is used for further definition. For example, an eclipse in the Fire sign Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, might portend a holy war. But, it would also announce changes in foreign affairs, overseas shipping, travel, publishing, education, religion, and laws. Those working in these fields would also be impacted by changes, including journalists, professors, the judiciary and so forth. An eclipse involves a process of transformation and points to where change is necessary.
In our own lives, an eclipse may point to an area of imbalance and raise our consciousness to this so that we may respond, resulting in more satisfying conditions. Even if eclipses are of greater importance as they reflect conditions affecting the multitudes, nearly everyone is curious about what an eclipse means for them personally.
A Solar eclipse shows by its natal house placement the department of life where important changes and new developments will require your attention for the coming year. The affairs ruled by this house are in a transformational process. There are changes occurring here and in the opposite house. If the eclipse falls near one of your planets it holds special meaning for you. Each planet has specific significance, but let’s take the example of the Sun. If an eclipse falls within a few days of your birthday you need to be extra careful, for this can bring an accident prone period, more so if the eclipse has the nearby influence of the South Node, which might also mean that you’d experience something of a temporary identity crisis.
A Solar Eclipse often puts us into reaction mode in handling our affairs; especially should our self-image be threatened. There’s an increased likelihood of reacting impulsively to defend ourselves. Thus, we can easily make regrettable mistakes. It is similar with a Lunar Eclipse, when a sense of losing control can drive people to make emotional, unalterable changes, often involving relationships, without clear considerations of the consequences. That’s why it is best to refrain from implementing major changes during the days leading up to an eclipse. Plans or actions implemented near the time of an eclipse tend not to go as anticipated. Remember that the eclipse energy impacts everyone, some more than others. Be observant. Allow the eclipse energy that is coming into the atmosphere to settle some before making big changes. You may also enjoy the following articles on eclipses. Wishing you all the best, Celeste Teal
by Celeste Teal
Throughout history, eclipses have been considered as very powerful phenomenon and especially so in ancient times as they fell on important places in the horoscopes of kings and countries. In those days, astronomy and astrology were not divided and because religious and other ceremonies were set to take place in accordance with the stars, priests were the acting astrologers. In fact, it was only the very influential who had privy to the services of an astrologer. Leaders ran their countries according to the information provided and eclipses were noted to be of significance preceding famine, prosperity, disease, war, and other broad-scale events affecting the multitudes. If an eclipse occurred within a few degrees of the Sun, Moon, or Midheaven of a leader or a country, they were regarded with much anticipation as reflective of coming events well into the future.
Drawing on information provided them by their astrologers, some leaders used this privy knowledge to manipulate their subjects, instilling fear in the common people by promising that a dragon would come to devour the Sun on a certain day and at a certain time. Although impressed by his accurate vision of the future, people came to be terrified of eclipses. Noisy ceremonies were performed, complete with beating drums and shooting arrows, to chase away the evil dragon they believed was trying to eat up the Sun.
Eclipses occur when the Sun, Moon and Earth come into a straight line. With a Solar Eclipse, the Moon casts a shadow upon the Sun as the Moon passes directly between the Earth and Sun. The Moon eventually becomes contained within the Sun’s disk and with a Total Solar Eclipse, there’s a narrow rim of sunlight that is visible around the Moon during the totality of the eclipse. A Solar Eclipse occurs when the New Moon forms within eighteen and a half degrees of one of the Lunar Nodes. The motion of the nodes is about nineteen degrees per year backward through the zodiac. Conditions are just right for Solar Eclipses to occur during two time periods each year. Most years we have two Solar Eclipses, as the Sun moves into the zodiac sign occupied by either the North or South Node, however, some years there are more. A Solar Eclipse lasts on average between three and four hours from the beginning to the end of the shadow phases. These eclipses are considered to foreshadow events affecting nobles, leaders and countries.
A Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Full Moon forms within roughly twelve degrees of the North or South Lunar Node. A Lunar Eclipse results from the Earth coming directly between the Sun and Moon. The Moon loses its reflected light from the Sun as the Earth interrupts it. Often the Moon appears to turn dark red while in the Earth’s shadow. A Lunar Eclipse usually occurs two weeks before or two weeks after a Solar Eclipse, however it is possible to have a Lunar Eclipse both before and after a Solar Eclipse. In those instances we have a series of three eclipses in a row, each two weeks apart. A Lunar Eclipse lasts an average of four to five hours from beginning to end of the shadow phases. These eclipses have long been believed to foreshadow events affecting the common people.
The lunar nodes themselves, though nothing more than a point of intersection and not planetary bodies at all, show a point for potentially dynamic activity. These invisible nodes mark a point of magnetism, drawing upon the vibrations of other nearby bodies to a powerful degree. The nodes in close contact to the Sun or Moon are most relevant to earth’s inhabitants and the closer they fall to the degree in which the Sun and Moon form their conjunction (New Moon) or opposition (Full Moon), the more powerful the eclipse potential to presage events of magnitude.
Stemming from the ancient lore surrounding eclipses, the names Dragon’s Head and Dragon’s Tail were given to differentiate the North and South Nodes. The North Node is ascending, of a positive nature, while the South Node is descending and receptive in nature. The North Node appears to bestow special strength and a blessing, while the South Node reflects an area of potential vulnerability. The North Node is all about getting and the South Node is all about giving.
In a general way you can track the transiting North Node through your chart to find the areas to focus your attention and energy that will result in some good coming to you. This is an area of opportunity, where rewards, good fortune and happiness can be found. By directing your efforts there, rewards easily come forth. The house occupied by the transiting South Node indicates an area of potential vulnerability, where you may be working through an issue, and where you might experience some loss or make a sacrifice. Sometimes it means you have a gift to share and the Universe expects something from you. Link to more about the dynamic activity reflected by contacts of the Moon’s Nodes.
Since the transiting nodes indicate where eclipses will be forming, you can see ahead of time what areas in your life and what relationships are due for change or transformation. An eclipse always means that some amount of change is due, or sometimes overdue. If one has neglected the matters, issues, or relationship delegated to a house, then an eclipse of the South Node influence falling in that house may bring a sort of crisis in order to turn things around and bring things back into a healthier balance. On the other hand, an eclipse falling in a house of the North Node influence may open new doors and present major life changing opportunities.
When an eclipse aligns closely with one of your planets, this is all the more important and this is a very significant eclipse for you. The closer the eclipse aligns with your natal planet, the more important it is. One of the most dynamic places for an eclipse to occur is when it falls on your Sun. This happens if an eclipse falls on or near your birthday. This ushers in an important year because the Sun rules your very identity, your individuality and your sense of being a unique person. The Sun also rules your vitality and your health to a large degree. Since an eclipse automatically ushers in change and transformation, it brings in a year of making important contacts and critical decisions, as one is often gaining greater notice. While there are several variables involved in interpreting this eclipse to see if it will increase or decrease the recognition and admiration coming to you, it will sometimes cause you to become a little accident-prone. With either this eclipse or an eclipse falling exactly six months before or after your birthday (180 days or close to it), it is important to guard your health and maintain your regular check ups.
When an eclipse falls on your Moon, your Venus, your Mars or any other planet, it is very meaningful and the nature of the planet as well as its house position is significant in determining the likely changes that you are entering into. It is similar with an eclipse falling on your Ascendant or Midheaven. Also, each eclipse can be one of four types. We have the North Node Solar Eclipse, the South Node Solar Eclipse, the North Node Lunar Eclipse and the South Node Lunar Eclipse. They are each unique and the kind of energy they imbue your planet with is quite different, resulting in different kinds of experiences attached to each. My book, Eclipses, Predicting World Events & Personal Transformation, explains all of this in detail and offers summaries of the kinds of experiences coming due from an eclipse falling on any one of your planets or important points. Check the Tutorial to find the house meaning of an eclipse in your chart.
If one wants to be thorough in tracing personal eclipses in a horoscope, the progressed places of the planets should also be considered. Eclipses to these are also important. Learn more about Progressions.
In the outside world and in our personal lives, an eclipse is a dynamic transit that often coincides with important developments. An eclipse contains a stimulating and excitable energy that is sometimes a bit destabilizing. Activity often increases shortly following an eclipse or even prior to the eclipse in some cases. This is why it’s recommended to hold off on making major life altering changes or decisions around the time of an eclipse. The atmospheric energy needs a little time to settle out. That way your new plan, project or strategy has a better chance of stabilizing and working out in your favor. Everyone feels the stimulation of an eclipse to some degree. For some it is subtle while for others it can be quite intense. It can be enlightening to simply observe the things going on around you at eclipse time. Sometimes a relatively small incident gives clues to issues that will take on more importance in the months to come.
The degree of an eclipse remains hot for some time due to the influence of the nodal factor that more or less turned a regular New Moon into a Super New Moon, or an ordinary Full Moon into a Super Full Moon. That degree is prone to stimulation from other transiting planets following the eclipse. The period of time that the degree remains sensitive often lasts three years or more. So, an eclipse falling on a natal planet supercharges that planet and it becomes quite sensitive to transits for a good while. In other words, more major events may come about when this natal eclipsed planet is transited by any other planetary body than if it had not been eclipsed. Ideally, each transit should be monitored.
Transits of Mars and Saturn were traditionally considered to be most notable as they crossed an eclipsed degree. Mars stimulates and starts events connected with an eclipse. Mars is quick on the draw, often premature. Saturn consummates the eclipse conditions. Mars frequently activates an eclipse shortly following the eclipse although Saturn’s transit may come much later. Of course, ancient astrologers had no opportunity to observe the transits of the outer planets as they crossed an eclipsed degree. Research shows that each of the planetary transits can be traced to coincide with spectacular events as they stimulate an active eclipse, just as Mars and Saturn do. Learn more about Mars Transits.
All of this information can be found in my book: Eclipses, Predicting World Events & Personal Transformation, where each eclipse through 2012 is listed and discussed and where an appendix gives the transit dates of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn as well as the outer planets to each eclipse. It is possible to make some amazingly accurate forecasts based only on the eclipse factors influencing a horoscope when you know what to look for. I would encourage astrologers at all levels everywhere to brush up on their skills for interpreting eclipses. You’ll find things you wouldn’t otherwise find. Wishing you the best in your studies and many happy eclipses! Celeste Teal
The above article appears in the Llewellyn Journal and may not be quoted without permission.
My first two books, Identifying Planetary Triggers and Predicting Events with Astrology, also includes material on the lunar nodes and eclipses, with tables to trace their positions through 2050 and instructions on how to interpret their significance in your Solar Return, falling on a natal planet, and much more. Email Celeste Teal.
Eclipses in your Chart
Now, use asterisks to mark where eclipses are falling in your chart. Eclipses are a prelude to important events and by house position indicate where change is coming due. While eclipses can be relied upon to point to areas of change regardless of other techniques, they often corroborate the findings in the progressions, providing more clarity.
Recent & Coming Eclipses:
- Solar Eclipse, March 8, 2016 at 18º Pisces
- Lunar Eclipse, March 23, 2016 at 3º Libra
- Solar Eclipse, September 1, 2016 at 9º Virgo
- Lunar Eclipse, September 16, 2016 at 24º Pisces
- Lunar Eclipse, February 10, 2017 at 22º Leo
- Solar Eclipse, February 26, 2017 at 8º Pisces
- Lunar Eclipse, August 7, 2017 at 15º Aquarius
- Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017 at 28º Leo
If an eclipse falls within 3º of a planet or important point in your chart, by conjunction or opposition, it is of special personal significance and there are experiences ahead that are in keeping with the nature of that planet. Check the keyword symbolism of the planet to learn the issues or people it describes. For example, Venus is naturally associated with the Second House of finances but this planet also rules loved ones. The Sun rules your physical vitality but it also symbolizes the important men in your life, especially the father. Sometimes an eclipse brings a focus to some matter that has been crying for attention as it’s been neglected or a situation has gone on too long. An eclipse brings a turning point.
An eclipse falling on a planet magnifies the planet potential and sensitizes it to transits. Events symbolized by the eclipse may come about three months following the eclipse, at the first square of the Sun and still more processes connected to the eclipse will often transpire when Mars transits by conjunction or opposition. Either of these can usher in events related to the eclipse, with Mars frequently bringing a necessary conflict.
Saturn brings completion and if its closing aspect to the eclipse degree (conjunction or opposition), comes within three and a half years, there can be immense progress and accomplishments made in a short time in the area brought to light by the eclipse. This is a special “window of opportunity” to take command of a situation.
You might like a copy of my Eclipse Data & Tables to keep track of transits. That way if you have an eclipse falling on a personal planet, you can check the dates in the tables that it receives planetary stimulation and note this on your calendar. Go to Training & Services for more about this downloadable PDF.
For a Solar Eclipse, if it doesn’t actually fall in conjunction or opposition of any of your planets, check the last planet in your natal chart that the Sun passed over. This is the nearest planet going clockwise in the chart from the place of the eclipse. That planet will give you a clue to the nature of experiences coming due.
For example, the last contact to the Sun may call for a crucial decision and contacts with important people. A last contact to Moon signifies issues with women or changing conditions that could provoke an emotional response. With Mercury, correspondence or travel may be required or if over Venus, artistic or social pursuits come into focus.
If the last contact was to Mars, a conflict of some sort is likely so be sure to vent these energies into physical activity so as not to become accident-prone. With Jupiter, the possibilities are endless but careful not to go overboard in your current optimistic frame of mind. Of course Saturn reminds you of the need to work hard and requires a period of increased responsibility.
If the Sun’s last pass was over Uranus, things are rather unpredictable so prepare to be flexible in regard to matters symbolized by the house where the eclipse falls. With Neptune, confusing elements and uncertainties require waiting before putting plans into action. Finally, Pluto suggests persistent efforts to improve a situation.
Combined with the house position, the preceding hints may be used to explore the possibilities as indicated by the nature of the planet contacted.
Eclipses are often labeled as undesirable because they sometimes appear to provoke a crisis, but they are really a gift from the cosmos, showing where a more healthy state of affairs will evolve. Check out my book, Eclipses, Predicting World Events & Personal Transformation to learn of the many fascinating elements of an eclipse and just how to know what each one means for you. Best wishes, Celeste Teal
Go to the Shop for an article on Forecasting Personal Events using the Moon Phases. If you’re a beginner, use the Astrologer’s Toolkit in the Tutorial to assist in finding the symbolism of the planets.