by Boots Hart, CAP

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Taurus Solar Eclipse

 The annular solar eclipse of May 2012 (at 0 Gemini) as
 photographed in New Harmony, Utah by makelessnoise
This May’s solar eclipse is not a total eclipse. It’s an annular eclipse, meaning that even as the Earth, Moon and Sun come into alignment (with the Moon in the middle), there will still be a “ring” of the Sun – the solar rim – left visible. This means that the brilliant streams, the ‘halo’ which has so awed mankind for thousands of years is not going to be part of this eclipse.

Are annular eclipses thought to function differently than total eclipses in astrological terms? Somewhat, yes, though the basic time period involved is still thirty six months (3 years) and all eclipses, total, annular or otherwise (yes, there are a few more variations on this theme) come with a quirk or ‘twist’ as we get to the end of that time, providing that  eclipse aspects our natal chart (or the chart of a company or whatever else you’re concerned with) with any acuity.

So let’s get to that part. This eclipse is going to be at 19 Taurus and the basic (standard) allowance for any conjunction is within 5 degrees either way. So if in your natal chart (or any other chart which is important to you, be that the chart of a relationship, a child or the chart of your company – even a product) has any point in it which falls between 14 Taurus and 23 Taurus, that point is being eclipsed through conjunction.

The diagram above is of the ‘natural’ zodiac wheel – starting with Aries at the Ascendant (“9 o’clock”) and working around the wheel counter-clockwise with Pisces ending up just above the Ascendant, at what we would think of as between 9 and 10 o’clock on the face of a clock.

As you look around this diagram, you’ll see the degrees of each sign which are going to be affected by this eclipse. You’ll also see notations differing approaching from departing signs.

What does that mean? That refers to the a situation or effort pertaining to ‘departing’ from the norm or status quo (or which forces you to depart from the norm or status quo) as opposed to an energetic which is about trying to bring something into being, or learning about something new.

These differences are subtle, yet important. Take the squares to this eclipse. Squares being often the most difficult for most of us to manage, how would the departing square (Leo) differ from the approaching square (Aquarius) apart from the fact that these are two entirely different signs?

The question is the goal (Aquarius) versus the basis upon which one is working (Leo). If you think of the eclipse as a ‘rattling’ force, the ground the Leo effort is being built on is now ‘rattled.’ The goal the Aquarian effort is aiming at? The goal itself may change, or what it takes to get there may change, or this may be a moment when you realize that something you’ve been working towards is not going to scratch that itch or fulfill your true dreams.

Something gets in the way now, and that ‘something’ is the eclipse, which by giving your sense of security a shudder, causes you to think again. Or maybe you just weren’t thinking in sensible terms to begin with? That may happen too.

Conjunctions are the vital force, the ‘I can’t see the forest for the trees, nor would I want to while all the trees are falling on me’ sort of thing. Anyone who has what we’ll refer to as a ‘vitally personal point’ in Taurus is going to feel this eclipse in a very personal way.

What are those vital points? Those would include the personal planets: Sun (life, will, goals, consciousness, intellect), Moon (feelings, money, unconscious, family, culture, home/homeland, past), Mercury (mentality, choices, activities, priorities), Venus (values, resources, security, satisfaction) and Mars (assertion/assertiveness, motivation, energy, drive, actions/activities).

An Aries Wheel (location not specific) of the annular Solar Eclipse
which will take place on May 10, 2012 at 0:30 a.m. (UT/+0) 

This would also include the Ascendant: your personality, physicality and manner of doing things. It would include your Descendant: how your interactions with others and your world creates that which you get as a response from others or the world. Also included here would be the Midheaven or MC (the top of the chart): your worldly status and all that you achieve and/or are ‘seen as,’ and the IC or Nadir, the bottom of the chart which is what you stand on (and for), your basis of operations (mental, physical, financial or emotional) and where you ‘stand’ with yourself.

The last thing on this list would be the Nodes, North and South. They represent relationships and our ability to relate, whether that’s to friends, family, co-workers, the world and it goes ‘round and ‘round – the whole thing.

When you experience an eclipse by conjunction, whether total or annular or any other kind, you will find that there is something which is ‘wiped out’ or taken away from you. Because this eclipse is happening in Taurus, this may at some level be your experience of security or satisfaction with yourself, your life, what you’ve been doing or how you’ve been doing it. The phrase ‘your experience’ is italicized here because your actual security (as in, your life, your ability to survive) may not be endangered in the least bit. But something is amiss. Some part of your world will not be feeling as secure as assured, as satisfying as it had been before this eclipse came along.

These effects have probably been growing on you now for some two months or so. Solar Eclipses are notorious for their ‘lead in’ effects, which I often refer to as a ‘breaking down’ of something. That ‘something’ has to do with the eclipse, which in this case is coming at us from an emotional degree of Taurus (19 Taurus) which lore suggests is a difficult degree many of us will tend to react to with what might be called ‘emotional listlessness.’ For the moment, our gung-ho has been de-gunged, and we aren’t all that happy about it.

Wherever Taurus appears in your chart, by aspect, by house, whatever…this is where the energy of this eclipse is going to come ‘at’ you.

But all is not lost. The Sabian Symbol for 19 Taurus being WISPS OF WINGLIKE CLOUDS STREAMING ACROSS THE SKY, as Dane Rudhyar suggests, many of us are going to be aware of spiritual processes at work. Everything happens for a reason, they say. So if you can, even if this is a difficult time, try to see it as an opportunity not to meet up with greater difficulties in the future. We are being given a ‘check point’ here so we will stop and consider – carefully – what it is going to take to achieve our aims, and if those aims are really the ones we want (or need) to achieve.

Not that we should expect this process to be easy or simple. There is a t-square which comes with this eclipse. It looks like this:

All t-squares present us with a challenge which asks that we get past thinking about the issue in terms of our Self. Generally, the lesson is about taking some stance or insisting on doing something in a manner which doesn’t work for others, that idea coming from the idea that t-squares always involve an ‘opposition point’ which by definition means one end of the t-square is in a public or worldly sign with the other being in a personal sign.

This particular t-square starts with the North Node in Scorpio, a requirement that we understand others and allow for the differences between ourselves and others, forging a platform of alliance. Fighting won’t work, particularly fighting which violates the Deucalion morality clause. TNO Deucalion is an object which seems to embody a joint message about ‘finding our way’ and sorting through questions of morality about ‘building a world.’

Deucalion entered Scorpio back in May of 2003 and will be in Scorpio until September 2027, meaning this is a time when we all are supposed to face issues of morality in building our world, personal and global. BUT…! As we say that, the Scorpio part of this says it’s not up to one person or one segment of life or the world to define what ‘moral’ is. That we – as individuals and nations and various other kinds of factions have a problem with that is obvious.

And this is a time when those difficulties are supposed to become obvious. The problem you never see, after all, is the problem you’ll never confront or contemplate fixing.

The ‘t’ of this t-suare is Juno (self discipline or discipline of the self), Icarus (haste) and Sualocin, a fixed star which is all about the burning desire to be effective, well thought of…let’s just say ‘validated’ or ‘accredited’ or ‘appreciated,’ whichever works best for your situation.

Presented in Aquarius, this sets up some (sigh…) standard Scorpio-Aquarius conflicts.  One rather common form of this conflict frames up as ‘localized’ power not being global power. So just because your ‘group’ thinks you’re the cat’s meow that doesn’t mean everybody is going to agree with you…and thus, if you go out onto the veldt, some lion may bite you.

This is a call to conceive of universality in more universal terms. And that gets to the hard part of this square: thinking in either less OR more precise terms. Aquarius calls for preciseness, clarity and a truth which works across the board, not just as you define it. Just recently someone wrote me suggesting that some asteroids could have ‘localized’ or purely individualized meanings. Their basis for argument was that there are just so darned many of the things!

And yes, there are!

But they’re all part of the same Existence. And that’s the Aquarian point. We are all part of the same existence, and though we may not all become botanists, botany as a concept is part of each of our lives. Any point is in every chart. So astrology has to function from a universal perspective. The emphasis is unique to each chart, the meanings of the points in each and every chart must have a universal meaning.

Typically, Aquarius is the sign of income and worldly success. It is the sign of systems and groups – and acceptance in a group or by a group. Aquarius is the sign of ‘mass markets’ and social bodies from corporations to your local parent/teacher organization to your community to those who belong to your profession – and so on. If you’re marketing, Aquarius is not your audience but it is the acceptance of your product in the greater marketplace.

Aquarius only works when we are able to access and accept being part of the many and finding our unique place in the mass of information and functionality which is life. Life wants us to participate. But life will not accept us when we simply demand that things be the way we want to define them, whether the subject is your relationships, your outlook on life, your behavior, the abilities you bring to your job - whatever.

That’s the ‘hurdle’ in this eclipse t-square. The goal is all that Taurean stuff in the diagram – the freedom to be who we imagine ourselves being (Child), the knowledge (Pallas) that we’re okay and that we have an ability to move forward in life without having to worry about every little step or moment (Sun/Moon/Lilith), our having some conviction in what we’re doing (Mercury) and our ability to tolerate a world which offers us much but which isn’t always what we think it is…or what we’d like it to be (Mars/Menkar).

Yet there is a level at which this ‘solution’ to the t-square is not as described. Yes, it could be that. And maybe we’d like it to be that. But let’s remember – that’s where the eclipse is hitting.

So the goal – as a goal – that goal is being either taken away entirely, or supplanted by some new formulation that we can’t see yet.

At least not clearly. This being an annular eclipse, the image is of a ‘right of fire’ around the darkened disc of the Moon. So there is something awesome and beautiful out there for us. It just requires that we let go of what we have been holding onto on a daily basis (as represented by the Moon) so that we can get there.

And that may hurt. It may be perplexing. Even confusing. Looking back to Juno at the ‘t’ of the t-square, something we have been ‘disciplining’ ourselves or working long and hard to achieve may now be being taken away by some force which is entirely beyond our control.

Life is proving to be bigger than we are. Juno’s presenting it’s ‘hurdle’ in Aquarius suggests a societal or social, group…maybe even income-oriented effort.

A solar map - the path of the eclipse projected onto the map of our world showing
where the eclipse will be visible (greatest visibility will be along the red line in the
center of the image). Those who study eclipse maps say that greatest effects are
along the longitudes where the eclipse starts or ends, and that sometimes we see
connections between these two points or longitudes.
 (Image produced by Solar Fire v8)    

Is the message that we shouldn’t try? Or that we need to change the nature of our trying – or maybe the scope of the outcome?

Probably the latter. That would be consistent with Juno-Sualocin in Aquarius. We want to master something. We want to achieve something. We want to achieve mastery at least over our innermost vulnerabilities.

And maybe we will. We’re just not going to do it right now. Those whose charts have points falling within the ‘sensitive’ degrees indicated above are going to have to make a few changes.

Or…maybe now is when you have the opportunity to make a few changes?

Eclipses aren’t known to be nature’s most genteel force. The conjunction by eclipse is akin to life swallowing you whole for a while. The opposition faces us down with something we had hoped we’d never have to learn. The two inconjuncts tell us that we need to change our attitude about something – the 6th house attitude being all about responsibility, methodology and mental continuity and the 8th house attitude being about questions of risk-versus-power.

Then there is the sextile. Sextiles are always opportunities. Not to be confused with the sextile (60 degrees) is the semi-sextile (30 degrees) which is an ego-bruising aspect which tends to require that we reconsider values and priorities.

Then there are the squares. When an eclipse squares our natal chart placements something throws us off track or derails us. We are challenged to handle a lot of input delivered suddenly from an unexpected direction. If we’re lucky, we learn something intrinsically valuable about ourselves in the process. If we’re not lucky, we hit ‘overload’ and get so overwhelmed we get close to nothing done, if sometimes for totally obvious reasons.

Last are the squares. Though more subtle than other eclipse aspects, the eclipse by trine often alters our life through something ongoing, or something we didn’t know would end. And then it does.

Nor are we done yet. Not only does this eclipse come equipped with a t-square, it also includes two grand trines:

This first one also touches on North Node, House (feeling at home with ourselves or with what we’re doing) and Deucalion – an important idea since this tells us why we will come into this time feeling  so ‘rooted’ in our individual Scorpio forms of how we want things to work.

The trine to Pisces speaks to an underlying and ongoing sense of wanting to fix things (Chiron). We want not to be affected by fears which keep popping up (Achernar/Medusa) and we certainly want to make good on our (Orpheus/Tantalus) promise.

The other trine – to Cancer – speaks of our need to follow the steps which take us from planting to harvest (Ceres) and while on one hand we recognize the need to keep learning, Charybdis/Sirius also has us leaning on whatever long-standing ‘basis of personal emotional operation’ we have built up until now.

Grand Trines are notoriously difficult to break out of. But when we look at the grand trine above in light of its aspects to the eclipse, we see Medusa in Pisces and the North Node and House in Scorpio are both in line to be eclipsed.

That tells us that this eclipse is about moving us past our Medusa fears of what we might have to learn about ourselves and whatever reluctance we have about moving out of our (North Node/House) ‘comfort zone’ in our relationships with others.

Put more plainly: if we want to succeed going forward, things have to change.

The other grand trine which is part of this eclipse is a variation on one we’ve seen before now:

If you didn’t catch these posts, you may want to read them to get the fullest view:

Differing from the other two planetary pictures, this one is not aspected to the eclipse. And that’s an interesting metaphysical note since the degree Saturn went retrograde at back in mid-February (11 Scorpio) is the degree of the eclipse we will experience come this November. By itself, that would seem to draw a line from February to November, as if life is giving us this ‘space’ in which to make changes…a ‘space’ which is not being directly altered by the eclipse.

That, on a metaphysical level, would tend to say that while this eclipse may be about something entirely different from that which you’re trying to (Saturn) accomplish this year, it could also be trying to liberate you from some sort of personal ‘sticking point’ which is getting in the way of those things you are trying to accomplish this year.

The one item which probably merits the most commentary in this grand trine however (at least to this astrologer) is the involvement of Vesta in Cancer. Vesta is about our promises, and the ‘cost’ of keeping those promises, whether that means sacrifice, money or having to move away from some long-cherished (or simply comfortable) situation, position or idea.

This grand trine suggests that there is an ‘ongoing’ (grand trine) ‘cost’ which must be paid if we are going to make our (Neptune, Fomalhaut, Deneb) dreams a (Saturn) reality.

And let us not forget the great Neptune/Fomalhaut challenge: corruption and coerciveness are not going to lead to success. If you’re thinking you can ‘get past’ something by insisting or arguing or ignoring someone, you’re certainly free to try. But if you’re doing that because you are trying to shield yourself from your own emotional vulnerabilities (wherever they stem from) or if you are harming anybody (including but not limited to yourself) in the process…if you are trying to ignore standards of acceptable behavior or standards of decency, you’re likely to meet up with more trouble than success.

And that isn’t going to change because of this eclipse. We know that because the eclipse (at 19 Taurus) is not in aspect to Fomalhaut/Neptune - at least not an old-fashioned standard Ptolemaic aspect.

In the eight weeks leading into this eclipse we have all been through many trying moments. We’ve seen terrible things happen, we’ve had tradeoffs in our personal life which feel….okay. But there’s still been an inordinate, overhanging, inescapable sense of being under a microscope of our own devising.

Things may happen. Things have happened. But the fact that we feel them so acutely is at the core of this eclipse. With all the analysis said and done and delved into and delineated, still we are left with the simplest of simple mortal questions: WHY?

Why does life do these kinds of things to us? What good can come from it?

Answer: much good and we need to re-learn a certain kind of emotional awareness, lest we assume there’s nothing left to do.

That would be true because life is not about having everything be easy. That’s the message provided by Menkar being part of this eclipse. And yes, why I made sure to write the post on Menkar so you could read it prior to the eclipse.

A couple of years ago we saw Aldebaran, the royal star of integrity, get eclipsed. Immediately in its wake a bunch of public figures take a great tumble for their lack of integrity. We also heard integrity become a huge subject of public conversation.

This year we are likely to hear a lot of Menkar stories. And as that happens, those of us who are not stumbling over our fears (or our denial that we too are vulnerable like the rest of the human race) will take stock of what needs doing and dealing with and begin walking that road.

The good thing there is that we will be walking in the good and human company of all the other people who have also just shed their mental masks in favor of owning their humanity.

And maybe that will help us reach out to each other…and help one another…

…And together, with soulful openness we can achieve our goals without the ego-striving which is so common with the drive to succeed. That well may be the way to turn Juno-Sualocin from detriment and hurdle to glorious, universal power – by getting past whatever our fears are about who we are (or aren't)...or about what we have or don't have - or what someone else has or doesn't have. Our differences are important, no question. And at some level, they define us - especially when we utilize them in becoming respected, supported and even admired by others.

But all that pales into meaningless vapor when we forget that beyond the networking is the realm where we accept being accepted as part of a whole which is only whole when we ourselves are whole. And when in being ourselves, we add to the functionality of the whole.

It is what we do and how we do it which reveals why we do anything. That's the level at which others, consciously or unconsciously and react to us. 

Those barriers, those boundaries, wherever we are blind to our own potentials and limiting factors, those issues are now coming to the fore and being eclipsed.

Where we go from here...? That's up to us.  


  1. I'm not sure what to think about this eclipse. I have my natal Moon at 26 Taurus, and Sun at 27 Taurus. They're a little out of orb. Then I have Mercury and my N Node at 1 Taurus. And my MC is 5 Taurus. The eclipse is kind of right in the middle of all that.

  2. You're right - this eclipse is out of direct orb to the points you've mentioned in your chart. But the recent lunar eclipse was at 5 Scorpio, which would have landed exactly on your IC. And considering the overarching 'degree structure' of this year's stations and eclipses, the fact that the Taurus solar eclipse (19 Taurus) and this coming November's 11 Scorpio solar eclipse are making 'statements' in your 10th and 4th house, which will manifest as a less 'acute' but nonetheless meaningful shift in your sense of who you are in the world...and maybe what's important to you or the 'direction' of your life.

    Personally, I wouldn't knock a solar eclipse which happens close rather than in conjunction (square, opposition, inconjunct) to something in my chart. Solar eclipses have been known for thousands of years as the markers of the rise AND fall of kings and societies, so maybe the 'nudge' is better than the direct hit?

    Plus there is another way to see this: last November's solar eclipse was at 21 Scorpio, and that would have opposed your Moon. So you're still going through that - solar eclipses take a full 3 years to 'play out,' and I would suggest thinking of the intervening eclipses (which will continue to be in Taurus and Scorpio with more 'hits' yet to come) as a long-term process indicating the phasing out of some things and the taking on or growing of new ways of seeing and being.

  3. Hey thanks for the reply. Yeah, I didn't see that 5 Sco lunar eclipse coming, I was so busy looking at the solar eclipse that I didn't notice it was happening right on my IC. And I have quite an MC/IC axis, I have Mercury and N Node conjunct MC, Neptune conjunct IC (and all of them in very tight orb).

    I heard a buddhist myth about solar eclipses. The Sun is the source of all energy on Earth, and the Sun's rays exert pressure that keeps spirits trapped on Earth. But during an eclipse, they can escape out into the universe and dissipate. Whether those spirits are supporting or opposing you, they needed to escape and return to the void.

    Anyway, I am still going through your extensive article which I will probably still be reviewing at the time of the eclipse.

  4. Love the Buddhist myth - thanks for sharing that! I'd never heard it, but think it's not at all inconsistent with the general teachings on solar eclipses, especially when we consider the Buddhist concept of not 'holding onto' things, but letting all be what it is in each moment. Personally, the idea that the Sun's corona represents those special and unique qualities in each life which generally go unseen except during an eclipse inspires me. That things we are used to or which we cherish may leave our lives with a solar eclipse is hard to accept as a 'good' thing, but it is the way of life - and thus part of the great lesson of existence, namely that we are part of the All, not the controllers of all.

    I will hope your spirit finds much freedom with this eclipse - of expression and elevated enlightenment, Charles. You're starting into a long period of personal evolution which I hope becomes a fruitful path for honoring everything you are and have created to be...and become.