by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Solar Eclipse Map: Years 2001-2020

 NASA's solar eclipse path map (2001-2010)

Eclipses are interesting beasts. Cycling from one pole of our planet to the other, they spiral around and around our globe, describing a path which in the greater metaphysical perspective we well might see as a helix - or maybe you'd rather think of it as a spiral.

Either concept works...

The spiral stairs of Austria's Admont Abbey as photographed by Jorge Royal (September 2009)’s just how eclipses work - and how from the astrological perspective eclipses clocks various levels of growth, whether that's personal or corporate or national or familial - or anything else.

It's about growth - which is to say, how each thing grows unto its self as reflected astrologically in the chart. Each separate eclipse, singularly and as part of far a longer series of eclipses (each separated by 19 years) lets us know where we are - not with the world, but in terms of being more or less closely aligned with the inner human Self (speaking here to a person's natal chart) that they really are.

So when an eclipse shows up, will we learn something and ‘ascend’ another level? Or will we hold onto or work to preserve some status quo and either "leave ourselves behind" or end up going around in circles? From cycle to cycle (as eclipses repeat) the theory is that we get challenged by ‘like-themed’ situations, dynamics or people...and when that happens we learn whether it’s “just THAT again,” or whether we’ve learned how to be the person we really are on the inside - that person who, while they may well compromise with others, doesn’t compromise when it comes to living at a quality level for who they are as a human being.

That’s the eclipse ‘test’ and the source of whatever ‘breaks down’ at this time - which will of course be followed (as the eclipse flows through) by a 'shift' from 'break down' to adapting and making something positive of all which happens. There is a spectacularly 'nebulous' quality which seems to accompany eclipse periods - and with this April's eclipse being an annular eclipse (one where the dark disc of the Moon doesn't quite cover the disc of the Sun) we've all been living with-and-through several weeks now of strange feelings and feeling strange - however that has manifested.

An annular solar eclipse
(photo credit: Hannibal Poenaru, September 2006)

Eclipses have a funny way of feeling ‘fated’...and in a sense they are, considering we’re each fated by birth to live the life that we end up living.

But what we do along the way? What we focus on, why we invest ourselves in Thing A rather than Option B and whether those choices (and all that goes into them, obviously) are apt - those are the things eclipses are known for wrapping our brains around, reluctant (no, make that often...) though they may sometimes be to take some challenge on.

On the average, Earth experiences two solar and two lunar eclipses every year, though eclipse ‘seasons’ with two eclipse of one type are certainly not unknown: July/August 2009 hosted a two lunar/one solar eclipse passage while June/July 2011 saw us through one lunar and two solar eclipses.

The astrology of solar eclipses tells us that any solar eclipse has an effect, but that those solar eclipse which aspect something specific in your chart are far more potent in a manner which is inexorable, but seldom obvious. By ‘breaking down’ some situation or relationship or effort in your life, the eclipse forces you to ‘fall back’ on something which is important to you, but probably not being fully (or accurately) expressed or included in your life.

And that...slowly but surely...becomes more important in your life because of the eclipse - though whatever is “affected” and what you end up doing may bear no apparent bearing on each other.

You are eclipsing who you were in becoming more of who you should be.

And then....? Well, the way eclipse processes work, because you’ve been ‘eclipsed’ and have thus been “motivated” (read: pushed, shoved, inspired, cornered, dropped, jettisoned) into ‘eclipsing’ who you were being, at around six months shy of the end of the 36-month eclipse ‘life span’ something happens.

That something is something you could not have done or experienced or known even to take advantage of had you not grown past who you were a couple of years ago.

A few pieces of astro-math here for the curious: the three year (36 month) eclipse cycle is six times six months - six months being the final ‘development’ point in the eclipse process (give or take the fact we’ll run into this eclipse nineteen years from now). That ‘sectioning’ of the transit time suggests a cycle which is divided by six - which in zodiacal and astrological terms would be the (360 degree) circle divided into six parts: a Grand Sextile.

Old-time astrological texts refer to grand sextiles (which can alternatively be seen as an interlocking of two grand trines) as the ‘connecting of heaven and earth’ - or that we humans call “fate” - hence the connecting of eclipses to things “fated.”

However...astrologically? Because each branch of the six-sided Grand Sextile is exactly that (a sixty degree sextile) and since sexiles represent opportunities we have to take consciously utilize, a Grand Sextile is - in the eclipse sense most particularly - a series of six 'six month' or "sextile" units of time which have to be 'linked together' in order to get to the 'outcome' (our greatest growth of Self)...and that doesn't begin to finalize until we're on that last "link" - the six months prior to what we might cheerfully call an eclipse's 'expiration date.'

Of course once we are that Self and have done all the work to re-balance our inner attributes through any given eclipse (adding in those which follow)...then we get the benefits of being that more integrated, mortally vitalized person.

Solar eclipses have a reputation for loss, which on one had is entirely well-founded in that they tend to strip away things we like, but which have in the greatest perspective of life outlived their usefulness. If you think of the image of the solar eclipse...

Total Eclipse of the Sun as seen from Hao in French Polynesia
(photo credit: Denys, July 2010)’s also rather apparent that in order to see the unique and special ‘enlightenment factor’ of this moment (represented by the Sun’s corona) the “ambient light of daily life”...has to be blocked out. And what is blocking it out? The Moon - our image of emotionality, values, feelings, nurturance, memory, culture, family, mortality...all that.

So solar eclipse periods tend to be very emotional. Should they be? Probably yes, as our emotions and feeling those emotions (or dealing with them) are part of our very human process.

But in the the end the point is some special quality of consciousness, something unique to us which is at the same time, universal in its meaning. Throughout your life, once activated that point and its position in your natal chart will become a fact or factor you’ll remember and feel yourself remembering as every nineteen years subsequent eclipses re-trigger that degree, too. What happens you feel and what you do...all that is some part of your process - the test we talked about - the most essential part of which is purely about your growth process with/within your Self. If you ‘got it’ the last time around, this time around you will probably get to capitalize on that experience, making your ‘front end’ of any current passage seem more or less easy.

Just remember: your ‘eclipse points’ (and there may be one or many of them) remain active - they’re part of how you were made. So you may excel in one area of your life (which you probably “recognize” as being the ‘echo’ of something you’ve met up with/learned about in the past)...but since that eclipse point is yours for life, even as you’re excelling, something else will be formulating in the mist which approaches the same point from your natal chart in some new and different way.

(Congratulations! Aren’t you excited?)

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

For Astrology Students: the best ‘general’ pointer I can offer on how to know where some trying aspect from 19 years ago is going to burst out like some bad case of metaphysical hives is to say look at the current solar return.

Step one: Look for the house where the eclipse is happening. Think through it's meaning, then look for the planet ruling the sign on the cusp of that house. Is that planet well placed and well aspected (aka "in good condition)? If yes, effects will trend more easily towards the positive. If no, effects will be particularly testing and if left unattended, tend to manifest as problems, upsets and/or slowdowns.

Step two: Look for where the natal point would fall in the solar chart. Think through it's meaning, then look for the planet ruling the sign on the house cusp. If that planet is well placed and well aspected (aka "in good condition), effects will trend more easily towards the positive. If no, effects will be particularly testing and if left unattended, tend to manifest as inhibitions, 'blockages' or blockades of some sort.

Step three: Synthesize the meanings of those houses, adding in any hard (conjunction, square, oppositional) aspects to the solar position.

Step four: Consider the delineation in contrast (or as part of) the whole of the solar chart being presented. If it’s not in theme, you’re looking at an “interruption.” If it is in theme, chances are good that the eclipse in part contributes to an ‘evolution’ of lessons learned the last time around and that will also reflect the houses as noted above. Beyond that, something new and long(er) term is likely to develop.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

This nineteen-year (“Metonic”) eclipse cycle is something worth astro-clocking from critical events in anyone’s early life. That ‘source’...that ‘first time around’ will set a ‘trend’ in a person’s life - just as many things in childhood do.

The corollary of course is that we can’t be ‘learning’ from some ‘first time’ until the ‘second’ time arrives.

....So there you are excelling at/on/as this thing you’ve already learned about. And as you’re feeling all fine and fettled about that, something else - something new and unexpected - arises.

Life goes on. There’s always more to learn.

And because this is an eclipse (a global event), as you’re doing whatever you’re doing, you are also likely to be seeing other people going through their ‘eclipse stuff’ - which is where we tend to project (eclipses are famous for it) and think they have no clue and we’re so hugely clued.

Generally that’s wrong. But you know...people are going to think what they’re going to think as that’s human nature.

Not to worry. If this eclipse has their number on it, they’ll be dealing with their own slice of humble pie, don’t you worry about it. That you might notice them...? Well, that’s that old ‘like attracts like’ (aka “water seeks its own level”) thing, a factor which at eclipse time can act as a weird sort of magnet drawing you into seeing other people in a strange new ‘light.’ So some will confuse, startle or even delight you even as others just as plainly seem to be struggling with their eclipse process - just about to the same extent that you’re struggling with yours.

And sometimes both those things can occur in the very same person - whether that’s you or not you.

What we put out comes back to us....sometimes in the form of witnessing others, or in being witnessed by them. Even in experiencing them as a mirror on our life or times. And though you may like (or not like) this fact, over the thousands of years of years that astrology has existed all the notes and treatises come down to one fact - namely that everything which goes on now is part of your eclipse experience, and therefore some sort of life experience asking to be liberated, experienced and dealt with.

It’s all part of a single universal, highly personal process. What means so much to us means something to others and that ‘something’ may be entirely different if equally valid in their life.

We exist to learn about our lives and we do that through things we meet up with and people we interact with in this world. All things solar systemic apply to all people one eclipse, one planet and many, many human individuals at a time. That even by the most conservative of calculations charts simply can’t repeat but once every 26,000 years is quite enough to give us individuality while simultaneously tying us to the eons.

Every time an eclipse repeats, the path that it follows tracking across our planet Earth varies slightly. It pushes “forward” just slightly, seeming to image life’s effort to get us to move on, grow and evolve as an individual. Also worth noting is that any planet in your personal chart which is ‘hit’ by an eclipse will become a life-long ‘timer’ of sort. Matters pertaining to that point, planet, dwarf planet, axis, node (etc.) will be known - at least by you - to be those you end up ‘dealing’ with over time.

Maybe you’ll master them. (At least some of them.) Or maybe you’ll be mastered by the situations, relationships or efforts they provoke, involve or lead you to becoming involved with. With solar eclipses being the world-wide phenomenon they are, our “eclipse event” will tend to involve others or be something someone else will take note of, though that doesn’t mean eclipses are necessarily ‘societal.’ They can be - eclipses on specific sensitive points of a national or corporate chart could well indicate the beginning of some long (or long-ish) term change in operation or direction. But most eclipse effects are personal and merely end up being noticed by those nearest to us - or with whom we work, live or play.

Solar Eclipse Paths: 2001-2020
(enlargement/the Americas)
(image credit: NASA)

Solar Eclipse Paths: 2001-2020
(enlargement/Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia)
(image credit: NASA)

I'm posting this map to the blog so it will be here for you to think about. Eclipse paths indicate world swaths and longitudinal sections which will experience the eclipse intensely and often an area of the world others ‘look to’ or ‘look at,’ depending on what’s going on.

But the effect - how we take anything and what we do about it? That’s on our plate - each one of our plates. Even when an eclipse hits you full force, how you respond to it is still up to you.

And that in part is how we learn about our world and ourselves through and sometimes because of - even in spite of others.

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