Fascination with Eclipses and the Fall of Empires
An eclipse can chill us to the bone- even when it is not visible to the naked eye. On March 20th in 2015 I went to Primrose Hill in London to observe the solar eclipse which was at 29°of Pisces- so inevitably it came with a mist. Thanks to London weather it was behind a veil of cloud that would not lift. My hopes of seeing it clearly were dashed. But it still produced goose bumps. The temperature dropped off a cliff- plunging a few degrees for the duration of the eclipse and we were shivering. Daylight was put on a dimmer switch so it was darker and colder. In 1834 a record drop of 28 ° Fahrenheit was noted. It is more dramatic if an eclipse is witnessed through protector lenses as thousands did for the Great American Eclipse of August 21st 2017 which crossed over the middle of the United States. But at least felt but not seen implies the power of an eclipse.
A solar eclipse is a new Moon where the Moon is hidden between the Earth and the Sun but its shadow falls on the Sun. A Lunar eclipse is different. It is where the Earth moves between the Moon and the Sun and throws its shadow on the Moon. These are pivot points that stand out almost like a gigantic revolving door across the ecliptic path: what goes in is not the same as what comes out.
This dance of the luminaries is continuous every new and full moon. But when the nodes of the Moon align with the new and full moons as well, eclipses happen. The nodes are the cross points between the dynamic push and pull of the Sun and the Moon. Sometimes we forget that the Earth is involved as that is our default position. Eclipses can be total, partial or annular and depending on the weather, fully visible. Another rarer phenomenon is a planet transit where it appears on the sun or the moon. The last one that created a hullabaloo was June 5th 2012 when Venus crossed the sun.
Eclipses evidence the truism that what goes around comes around. The eclipses and the effects can show up early. They reverberate weeks before and after the exact eclipse making that moment somewhat disappointing. The events they bring do not happen all at once. The sun represents leaders so when the sun is switched off, leaders, and empires tend to fall or be changed. Solar eclipses are linked to the deaths of leaders. Several major eclipses have coincided with the deaths of Kings e.g. King John in 1135. So viewing them as omens has a history but it is not all bad.
Symbolically eclipses are also a kind of chimerical marriage fusing usually disparate parts of the psyche: the moon as feminine principle on the sun as masculine for example, are conjoined on top of each other for a few minutes (the longest recorded was 6 mins) and the effect is dramatic, darkening the world, shifting towards elimination, growth and triggering new cycles- the revolving doors are turning a bit like the Wheel of Fortune Tarot card. They point to an emotional impetus to the soul’s story and the unification of opposites, at least temporarily, so a greater wholeness is possible.
The Nodes have shifted – into a new axis from their time in Cancer and Capricorn. They are now in Sagittarius and Gemini. This is significant. Sagittarius is the law, religion, publishing, philosophy and search for the truth which will come out, especially with Mercury now in Sagittarius and that might seem heavy and uncomfortable truths that radically shift deep-seated beliefs. Gemini is communications, business deals, interactions, and social-media noise. When Mercury is in Gemini the information dances on the lighter side but that superficiality includes more Loki, Elegua ‘trickster’ energy. Think Bugs Bunny running riot in your head. Switch off that jestercraft if you can and alternate modes with the more weighted style of Sagittarius knowledge which hopefully can deftly avoid the dogmatic and lead to ultimate wisdom.
You could say that Sagittarius is about Teaching and Gemini is about Learning but the two processes cannot easily be separated; the student becomes the teacher and the best way to learn is to teach. 2020 has taught us that truth and lies are enjoying a copulatory fusion where it is near impossible to see where one ends and the other begins. This year has also been an instant education about the psychology of the masses. We have seen the darker impulses lurking in the shadows of ordinary people rise to the surface and create conflict. This often reveals ‘little man’ syndrome and people’s unacknowledged religiosity compelled by rules and rituals worshipped in secular forms. To misunderstand how these Gemini-Sagittarius archetypes work could be to misread the entire situation. So paying attention to what events an Eclipse triggers and what we can learn from it is even more important- but don’t overlook at the symbolic and archetypal message. The stars should ‘impel’ not ‘compel’.
What the Nodal shift means points to these massive changes have and will continue to occur in education and perhaps in the future everyone can open their own university. One of the most productive things you can do when confined at home in front of a screen to embark on a course of study, or even become a teacher yourself. In education there is the concept of surface and deep learning – surface is a massing and storing of facts and figures, and deep is where you see how all that interconnects and engages the whole personality. This is another contrast between the view through the eyes of Gemini and through the eyes of Sagittarius.
Since the eclipses will be for a time in Gemini and Sagittarius, they combine in impact. Some general principles apply: check the position of these two signs in your chart, and then the degree of the Eclipses happening in them. These will impact you greatly if you have sun, moon or ascendant in either Gemini or Sagittarius, but also if you have planets in the 3rd or 9th houses, or the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius fall in those houses. If in the tenth, it would be in your career; if in the 4th, about your home life and self identity and so on around the houses. Planets especially personal planets at the same degree means it will affect you with greater intensity. Further away, less so. While many of these effects are global, it is best to study your own charts to see where this might show up.
There’s the astronomical view of eclipses which is the mechanics of planetary motion -the exact date and time and position. Then there’s the astrological view which is all about what it means to us collectively and personally. This is where we feel it unfold in daily events, and in the world at large. The zodiac is the shape of the inner psyche/soul and it could be useful not to view time as fixed and wholly external to but personal and psychological. A cycle of time, its periodicity, is forever returning offering a new and even intimate glimpses of insight into what went before. As mentioned, eclipses happen where the nodal points align to the paths of luminaries. Hence we hear mention of Dragon’s Heads ( Rahu– the North node) and Tails ( Ketu, the South node), the North signifying Life Purpose and the South signifying the default mode, or Past lives. Eclipses also come in family groups. The Saros cycle may be most well-known. The Saros cycle is linked to the moon covering roughly a wave of eclipses over18 years and each carrying a theme. So eclipses have a particular character.
The 2020 Finale: Eclipse Season
December is revving up to a crescendo on the whole of 2020. On December 7th we are exactly at the mid-point between a Lunar on the 30th November and the Solar eclipse on December 14th. They come in pairs so reflection on its meaning is timely but still absorbing the impact, getting ready. The Lunar Eclipse at 8 ° Gemini on November 30th brought some creative energy into the mix. The Solar Eclipse at 23° Sagittarius is its twin. This one comes on December 14th and is powerful for many reasons, not least because it is on my Sun and so has personal significance for my story. This eclipse may bring in a revolving door transformation in whichever house it lands in your chart. It can speak of a revelation of truth and a return to what is lawful that prepares the way for the great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter at zero ° of Aquarius that follows. Major currents are blowing in the wind here, and we are braced for a mixture of good and bad events, of tumult and dilemmas we must face with great resolution and courage. Friedrich Nietzsche, who could see what was coming even before the word ‘modern; had currency, has Saturn at zero ° of Aquarius. Fresh Zarathustra-like inspiration is possible with both Jupiter and Saturn in an Air sign which is for the first time since the last cycle from 1186-1405 when the Renaissance was just beginning with the likes of Giotto (1266-1337).
The Dec 14th Eclipse
But what is curious is that the Dec 14th eclipse is exactly – in the sense of precision timing – between the two Great American Eclipses of 2017 and 2024. (Fig 1) shows details of how this eclipse acts as an unnoticed pivot point to the fate of the United States defined by the bookends of the two Great eclipses. The next Great American eclipse pathway marks the States like a giant X across the middle of the country. And that is the year of the next election 2024. So it seems the furore we are in is not over yet and the larger story it encapsulates is still to unfold.
There was a preview of the Gemini-Sagittarius flavour on the June 5th Lunar Eclipse at 15° of Sagittarius. But besides that you might also look back to the previous cycle of Eclipses in Gemini and Sag roughly 9 years previous to this one. See if there are any resonances spiraling back at you today. I know myself that the Gemini-Sagittarius eclipses even as far back as December 1982, 2001 and 2011 triggered major changes in life, along with opportunities and big moves. The positives of this eclipse are that the Sun/Moon/Mercury are trine to Mars, giving a go-getter type of energy. It’s time to move forward. Every planet except Uranus is direct. We have to wait until January for Uranus to join in the line up for progress. But, Jupiter is at 29 ° of Capricorn, so the lessons of its path through the CEO head office of the zodiac must be learned.
Also, this Eclipse is in a T-Square to Neptune which could spell trouble as the entire mish mash of truth and lies will still not be easy to unpick, the deliberate promotion of disinformation is rife leading to false conclusions about basic facts, when the truth might be the reverse. Added to that Mercury is conjunct the South Node. The eclipse might give us a flash of that, a download, a broader perspective that may shock us into a realisation we had not expected. It may be a fight to continue seeing through the fog. We see history being created in this time of flux where the future hangs in the balance. Voltaire said “History is the lie commonly agreed upon” and yet another veil may come down to cloud our vision, or it may be pierced and this is why many astrologers and channelers are referring to a ‘great awakening’. If this is true there will be a lot of groggy, craggy people rubbing their eyes as they realised perhaps with dismay that the world they clung on to before has dissolved and different rules apply in the one we enter.
The conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius is every 20 years, but it reverberates like a humongous bell on the same Cardinal point of the winter solstice 21st December. Zero is the fresh start and the solstice loads in extra power to initiate the new phase in Air, and all that that may bring in terms of technical innovation and increased mental and psychic abilities. They are calling it the ‘shift of the ages’ as if we haven’t had enough shifts already in 2020. If it has not improved our 2020 vision of what is really going on, then some polishing of your glasses may still be needed until your eyes adjust.
Whatever the combined force of the eclipse and the brings we need to be preparing for massive moves forward in 2021 on many levels- societal, economic, personal and universal. If it does bring the fall of an empire, then it will just prove that those unaware of the cycles of history are doomed to repeat them. Even the word ‘Saros’ means ‘repeat’. There are other layers to this eclipse with asteroids and fixed stars but I think we have enough going on just sticking to these basics and getting ready for a blast of change the likes of which we have not seen in a very long time. This eclipse forces us to ask the powerful questions: just how much do I genuinely respect the truth, and how far am I willing to go to honour that?
© Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, December 6th, 2020.
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