Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Working with Eclipses [Updated]

Upcoming and Recent Eclipses (GMT dates):

31 December ’09: Lunar Eclipse at 10 Cancer 14
15 January ’10: Solar Eclipse at 25 Capricorn 01
26 June ‘10: Lunar Eclipse at 4 Capricorn 46
11 July ‘10: Total Solar Eclipse at 19 Cancer 23
21 December ’10: Total Lunar Eclipse at 29 Gemini 20
4 January ’11: Solar Eclipse at 13 Capricorn 38
1 June '11: Solar Eclipse at 11 Gemini 01
15 June '11: Total Lunar Eclipse at 24 Sagittarius 23
1 July '11: Solar Eclipse at 9 Cancer 12
24 November '11: Solar Eclipse at 02 Sagittarius 36

10 December '11: Total Lunar Eclipse at 18 Gemini 10
20 May '12: Solar Eclipse at 00 Gemini 20
4 June '12: Lunar Eclipse at 14 Sagittarius 13

Working with Eclipses:

If you feel strongly affected by any of these Eclipses, it might help to go a bit further and work with the energy of the Eclipses and see how they fit into your personal astrological cycles.

You will find that the most potent Eclipses for you personally are those that fall in very close proximity, by sign and degree, to planets and points in your natal horoscope. Personally, I only consider Eclipses which make tight (within 2 ½ degrees or less of orb) Conjunction, Square and Opposition aspects with natal planets and points. You can safely ignore the Trines, Sextiles and the minor aspects and many astrologers don’t even bother with the Squares, but I think they are worth considering.

Also bear in mind that astrological measurements tend to symbolize the processes and journeys of our lives and these processes take time to develop. For this reason, life ‘events’ rarely happen on the exact date of an astrological measurement, so when considering the effect of an Eclipse on your natal chart cast your net wide, by perhaps looking back three months before the Eclipse and a few weeks after. You may find that nothing actual ‘happens’ as such, but the Eclipse reflects an inner emotional or psychological process.

Here are a few keywords for working with Eclipses: endings; new beginnings; new chapters in life; the need to release/let go/cut cords emotionally, or in specific areas of your life; events and feelings coming to a head.

The Eclipse will express itself in terms of the sign in which it falls. For example, Aquarius is to do with community, friends, innovation, detachment; Cancer is to do with mothers, nurturing, domestic matters, feeling safe; Capricorn speaks about tradition, authority, ambition, the administration of life and Leo is all about pride, creativity, confidence, being loved and appreciated.

Eclipses will also express themselves in terms of the planet or points they aspect in your natal chart. For example an Eclipse on your Venus may be about your relationships, your assets, your social reach, your self esteem, how you give and share with others. With Mars it is about where and how you channel your energy; issues around assertiveness or aggression or issues around sexuality. For the Midheaven (MC) it will be about career; vocation; your social standing and status; the authority figures in your life.

However, when looking at the way an Eclipse affects you, don’t get too hung up on making your experiences ‘fit’ the key words, these are just prompts, what really matters most is your own, personal, unique experiences.

Below are three methods of looking at Eclipses that you might find helpful and illuminating.

The 19 Year Eclipse Cycle:

An Eclipse falls at the same degree of the Zodiac once every 19 years, giving us the opportunity to review the longer cycles of our lives, to look at the bigger picture.

For example, the Solar Eclipse of 22nd July 2009 fell on my IC Angle (therefore opposing my career Angle, the MC). Looking back 19 years, the 22nd July 1990 Eclipse fell at the same point. This corresponded with me starting my first job following graduation. Looking back over the years at my career progress I feel disappointed that I didn’t follow and fulfil the dreams I had in my heart back then. However, these dreams have recently re-awakened, causing stress and upheaval, but ultimately giving me an opportunity to release the dreams of my youth and reinvent them, with the benefit of maturity and experience.

To find out what this year’s Eclipses say about the bigger picture of your life, pick those Eclipses that touched planets and points in your chart very closely, then reflect on what was happening in your life 19 years previously to see if there is any connection. Were big changes occurring then? Are they related in any way to what is happening now? If you are very young, look at what was happening in your general family life, with your parents or siblings, for clues.

Looking at the Eclipses this way, can help you recognise recurring patterns in your life and show you how much progress you have made or where you have fallen off track.

Below is a list of recent and upcoming Eclipses and their corresponding Eclipses 19 years earlier:

22nd July 2009: Solar Eclipse at 29 Cancer 26
Corresponding Solar Eclipse at 29 Cancer 03 on 22nd July 1990

6th August 2009: Lunar Eclipse at 13 Aquarius 43
Corresponding Lunar Eclipse at 13 Aquarius 51 on 6th August 1990

31 December ’09: Lunar Eclipse at 10 Cancer 14
The corresponding Full Moon at 9 Cancer 49 on 31 December 1990 was not eclipsed, but this Full Moon can still be used as a reference point.

15 January ’10: Solar Eclipse at 25 Capricorn 01
Corresponding Solar Eclipse at 25 Capricorn 20 on 15 Jan 1991

26 June ‘10: Lunar Eclipse at 4 Capricorn 46
Corresponding Solar Eclipse at 4 Capricorn 59 on 27 June 1991

11 July ‘10: Total Solar Eclipse at 19 Cancer 23
Corresponding Solar Eclipse at 18 Cancer 58 on 11 July 1991

21 December ’10: Total Lunar Eclipse at 29 Gemini 20
Corresponding Lunar Eclipse at 29 Gemini 02 on 21 December 1991

Transits to Eclipse Degrees:

Tracking Transits to the Eclipse degrees is a tried and tested method used in Mundane astrology to predict events and changes in the fortunes in the horoscopes of countries and their leaders.
This method also works well with natal astrology. If an Eclipse fell on a planet or point in your chart, that planet or point will be supercharged and will be susceptible to the effects of the next planet which transits it.

For example, in September 2007, a Solar Eclipse fell at 18 degrees of Virgo, exactly conjunct my natal Uranus-Pluto conjunction. This was a happy time for me, I had just got engaged and was busy planning my wedding, but all was not well with my job. My boss had moved on and I had a new boss who I found it difficult to communicate with and who I felt did not value my contribution, but with so much happiness around me elsewhere it was easy to put the difficult work situation to one side, which I did, for too long! Then, in October 2008, transiting Saturn in Virgo made a conjunction to Uranus-Pluto, the first hit of three and I was laid off from my job. This was a very difficult and painful process, but I am now very happy in a new job and can see that the change needed to happen. It now seems clear to me that the Eclipse at 18 degrees Virgo in 2007, falling on my Uranus-Pluto, was the start of the process of losing my job, especially as Uranus and Pluto rule my 6th and 10th houses respectively, the houses associated most closely with work. Because I didn’t follow the loud and strong cues from the Universe to leave my job willingly (underlined by Transiting Uranus also opposing Uranus-Pluto) it took Saturn to finally oust me from the job. The whole process since (during Saturn’s 2nd and 3rd hits) has been about letting go of the old way of working, so I can succeed in a new career.

An Eclipse as Part of a Moon Family:

Astrologer Dietrech J Pessin discovered that all lunations, including Eclipses, form part of a family of related lunations. She found that every New Moon starts a new family cycle, consisting of a New Moon phase, a First Quarter Moon phase, a Full Moon phase and a Last Quarter Moon phase, with each lunation occurring in the same sign and approximate degree, nine months apart, the whole cycle covering a period of 2 ½ years.

A Moon family which aspects your natal horoscope closely is worth following, as the Moon phases of the family will most often reflect patterns in your own life development.

See Dietrech Pessin’s website, Lunar Shadows, for details of the current Moon Family.

From this page you can also click on a link that describes what each of the Moon phases mean.

As an example, the 7th July 2009 Lunar Eclipse at 15 Capricorn (a Full Moon phase) was the peak of a Moon family which began with the Capricorn New Moon at 17 Capricorn in January 2008, continued with the First Quarter Moon at 14 Capricorn in October 2008 and concludes at the Last Quarter Moon at 16 Capricorn in April 2010. This Moon family will particularly affect Capricorns born between 4th and 8th January and Cancerians born between 6th and 10th July, as well as people who have other planets or angles between 13 and 18 Capricorn or Cancer.

Dietrech’s book Lunar Shadows, available from her website, contains details of all the Moon Family’s as well as details of all Eclipses and comes highly recommended.

Other books on Eclipses that I would recommend are Eclipses by Celeste Teal and Predictive Astrology by Bernadette Brady.

I hope you find the process of working with Eclipses useful and illuminating. Leave a comment if you have any individual questions or stories to share.



  1. Hi Mandi,
    Enjoyed your article, very well composed, thank you. :)

  2. Thank you Kachina, season's greetings and blessings to you
    Mandi :D

  3. Thank you Mandi!
    Happy holidays and blessings to you also. :)


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