November 2012’s Solar Eclipse

I have given it some thought and I have determined that it might be useful to say a few words about the current Solar Eclipse at (close to) 22 Scorpio. Of course you can read plenty of commentary on this from various astrologers who will all tell you that this eclipse will signify a time of deepening responses, the beginning of new cycles of difficult but ultimately rewarding emotional change and a feeling that it is time to get serious or real about life, most especially about the affairs of the house with Scorpio on its cusp, the house where the eclipse falls, and to some extent, as a kind of moderating influence, the houses containing and ruled by the Sun and Moon.

As an example, the eclipse falls for me in the 6th house, and with Sun in the 6th too, ruling the 3rd, and Moon on the Descendant, I am starting my new astrology school. That will change the way that I work (6th) in a profound way (Scorpio) through teaching my skills (3rd) to others (Dsc). It is very simple when you look at it that way. Of course, you will have to look at these factors as they apply to your own nativity and transpose that onto your subjective reality to have it make sense.

What most astrologers fail to mention about this eclipse , or any other lunation for that matter, is that understanding the effect for you and your life depends – and hugely – on where you are in the world when the eclipse (or any lunar phase) occurs.

For example, in the UK this eclipse has been a very curious phenomenon. The Sun and Moon are perfectly balanced, as are Venus and Mars, and too Jupiter and Saturn. These pairs of planets form polarised partnerships in astrology and therefore the fact that each pair is equally potent in the UK eclipse chart is quite fascinating. This suggests to me that there is a getting back to balance imperative arising from the event.

But despite this, in the UK at least, the strongest planet, by some considerable degree, is Neptune. This means that Neptune sets the tone for the eclipse, so the new emotional changes that are called for are to do with getting back to a place of reality, of rebalancing one’s spiritual energy and either fixing, or killing off difficult relationships.

Because that is the other foundation stone of the lunation cycle: every phase is concerned with relating. So if the eclipse falls in your 10th house, it’s the way in which your relationships make you appear to the world at large which needs rebalancing. Have you held onto people in your life because they make you look good, in spite of the fact that perhaps they don’t really nurture you in any meaningful way? Or conversely, have you shut somebody out of your life because of shame, or because they don’t really suit your image and lifestyle somehow? Now is the time to examine how appearances and relationships go together in your life.

As another example, what if this eclipse falls in your 7th house? An eclipse in the 7th is always especially powerful because not only is it an angular position, it’s also a relating house even without the confluence of solar and lunar energies. Here you are being asked to examine the ways in which you relate to partners, especially marital partners (past and present!) Have you let any ‘bad habits’ creep into your primary relationship over the last few months or years? Now is the time to set things straight again, to get some balance back into the relationship. Maybe that means that rather than opting for an easy life, you finally just say what’s been on your mind and get it out into the open, or alternatively, maybe it’s time you were honest with your partner about that situation that you’ve been brooding on for all this time. You know. That situation.

This advice always comes with a caveat though. Neptune is extremely strong and Mercury is weak through this eclipse, so the danger is that you struggle to speak authentically. With strong Scorpio energy the natural predilection is to speak to the heart of any matter, but where Mercury is weak one’s reasoning powers are unlikely to be terribly incisive, and as Mercury squares a very strong Neptune it is extremely tempting to put things in such a way that it glamorises your own part in the proceedings. Indeed, it’s almost impossible not to do this under this influence.

There is a solution to the problem of Mercury – Neptune though, and it goes like this:

  1. Hold in your mind an image of the person that you love (or loved, if they are gone) most in the world and really experience your feelings as you “look” at them.
  2. As you picture that beloved soul in front of you, become aware of your eyes and how they feel soft and caring.
  3. Now, as you relate to others at this time, look at them through these same eyes.

It is such a simple trick, and it is powerfully effective. This completely catharsises negative Neptune energy right at the source and you will find that you can relate to anyone in this way and speak the truth without evasion or unconscious malice.


Of course the situation is going to be different wherever you might be in the world. In New York for instance, Neptune is still strong, but so is Mars. This means that the tone of the eclipse for those living in New York is going to be subtly, but experientially quite different from anyone in London. There’s more sexual energy at work, so it’s useful to go with the current lessons of Saturn in Scorpio and ask yourself where you’ve been avoiding intimacy in your life. As an aside, if you’re looking for more insight about this, try Mandi Lockley’s in-depth but highly accessible Saturn in Scorpio. The other side of the New York eclipse lies in the use and abuse of energy in your relationships, here are a few questions that might get you thinking along useful and self-edifying lines at this time:

  • Is it fair for me to be angry at someone who’s sick, helpless or a victim?
  • Is it fair for that person to be angry with me when it’s not my fault?
  • How does passive and covert aggression block me from relating to others meaningfully?
  • Does being tired prevent me from getting the most out of my relationships?
  • What dreams, desires and fantasies am I keeping hidden from my significant other?

As a final observation for New York, Orcus energy is quite ferocious for this eclipse in your part of the world, so loneliness is part of this picture! If you’re not intimate then you are likely lonesome, right? Time to put your energy into a relationship that can work, and get shot of what’s too broken to be worth rescuing! Yes, plenty of Neptune here. For some instant therapy try reading The Shipping News.

As a final illustration, if you are in Sydney Australia, then the eclipse is going to be even more powerful and profound because it’s visible. But here Saturn is the heavyweight in the eclipse chart, in more ways than one! Mars is also flexing his muscles so the energy here is about a real blockage. What is it you’re not doing out of fear or because of a lack of confidence? Your relationships with friends are highlighted, but this eclipse also focuses inner resources on the way in which your primary relationship fits into your social life. How does your primary relationship stop you being free with your friends? How do your friends stop you from being intimate with your loved ones?

So you see, the tone of an eclipse has a basic quality, but you cannot gauge its specific quality independently of your location. When you apply the locality of this eclipse to your nativity you can begin to formulate some very clear observations about how it will affect you.

If you want to learn how to understand these matters for yourself, then sign up for my 2013 Astrology School. I can show you how it’s done, and much more besides.

And do let me know how the eclipse applies to you: all war stories are gratefully received!


The Solar Eclipse of Jan 15, a detailed study.

The Solar Eclipse of January 15th looks to be a big deal; certainly, it affects countless people of my current association and I think that the next 3 years or so are going to bear an indelible impression of the darkness at 25 Capricorn. I have been working at some fairly advanced interpretations in an attempt to see where it might lead; and some of the material that follows is beyond even advanced astrology; there’s no need to worry too much about that because I’ll try and give some clues about the manifesting influences of the eclipse.

The eclipse cycle which the January 15th event falls under was instantiated on May 19th 1613 (for those interested in tracing the technical progression of the luminary conjunction it falls in the 12 North Saros Cycle), so in order that we understand the major themes of the eclipse and how it plays out we need to grapple with the chart for the originating event which is shown here:

The originator eclipse of 1613

I only include Zeus and Chiron for the purpose of defining the Star of David aspect pattern; it suggests that financial/material issues and a tendency toward rapid progress are inherent in the eclipse of January 15th. The originating eclipse is conjunct both Hopi and Proserpina, so there are themes of indigenous peoples (Hopi) and the kidnap of daughters (Proserpina).

Now, get this…

In March 1613, Pocahontas was residing at Passapatanzy, a village of the Patawomecks, a Virginia Indian tribe that traded with Powhatans… in the care of the Patawomec chief Japazaws (or Japazeus).

When two English colonists began trading with the Patawomec, they discovered Pocahontas. With the help of Japazaws, they tricked Pocahontas into captivity. They intended to hold her to ransom and release her in exchange for English prisoners held by Chief Powhatan, along with various weapons and tools stolen by the Powhatan. Powhatan returned the prisoners, but failed to satisfy the colonists with the number of weapons and tools he returned. A long standoff ensued, during which the English kept Pocahontas captive.

So, the Saros 12 North eclipse cycle began with the kidnap of the daughter (Proserpina) of an Indian (Hopi) chief (Sun)!  Of course, a big part of the argument that led to the kidnap was to do with firearms: the Su/Mo/Ho/Pr conjunction opposes Zeus, which rules firearms!

The first themes of the eclipse then are hinted at in this originating event: people in minority positions or who feel (for whatever reason) that they are being discriminated against will be coerced, removed from a secure position or in some way surprised or ‘ambushed’ (another Hopi theme) in order to ensure compliance: ultimately as a power-play.

Next, look to the elements: no fire at all, and that includes asteroids, there isn’t a single astrological body in the element of fire! So, all subsequent Saros 12N eclipses will inevitably be marked by a dearth of the fiery quality: thus despondency, a lack of optimism, failure to initiate, playing it too safe, and most of all lacking faith. The grand earth trine projecting into the eclipse at the kite’s apex is determinant: here is a warning that being too materialistic is going to trigger the negative consequences of the Su/Mo/Ho/Pr opp. Zeus spine, thus there is volatility, high blood pressure, having to keep a lid on things and all because it’s a struggle to have faith that things will turn out alright in the end. Moon opposes Zeus too, so women are going to get feisty and be the cause of the high-blood pressure; children might get taken elsewhere because of previous attempts to control, to enforce conditions and solutions. With Zeus opposing Proserpina and Hopi, take care that your daughter’s car isn’t stolen by an Indian!

Okay, on a more serious note, Pluto is peregrine (just), but is conjunct Bacchus(so somebody is getting high on their power trip) and at the apex of a slightly out of orb tee-square from Mars opposing Chiron. People are taking things into their own hands and being impulsive out of a need to cause some hurt, hitting somebody in the sensitive area of their life and it’s going to force a big transformation, or a real life and death struggle.

All the trines and sextiles suggest that things happen fast, there’s plenty of movement and lubrication, expect changes to be quick, but the repercussions to hang around for quite a long time. The only other problem is the opposition of Saturn to Neptune which tee-squares to Mercury in his sign widely conjunct Uranus. Here, material things are dissolving and it’s causing outbursts, people are thinking they’ve got it all worked out but are in danger of over-intellectualising their opinions and views and that’s simply adding to the problems.

So, to summarise then, there are several themes which acompany this eclipse in broad terms:

  1. An overemphasis on material viewpoints, practicalities and finances at the expense of faith, optimism and enthusiasm.
  2. People may be discriminated against (and in Taurus: perhaps because of their poverty) as part of a power play or reach for control.
  3. Children, access rights and custody battles may all be configured.
  4. Things will move fast.
  5. Overintellectualising leads to outbursts which in turn engender fierce arguments.
  6. Venus trines Jupiter, and while Venus is strong Jupiter struggles, the trine is in earth again, so it promises material increase, but this could simply be the underlying impetus for the material tone of the eclipse itself, “an opportunity for gain” is at the forefront of the ensuing dynamics.

And that’s the originator: what of the eclipse on January 15th?

The big themes here are quite clear:

  1. The conjunction conjoins Venus in Capricorn, thus relationships that are based on responsibility or duty are at the core of the eclipse energy, and most especially relationships with a financial dimension. If you overlay this onto the 1613 eclipse there are themes of alimony, child support, reparation paid to disenfranchised minorities and a sense that money can in some sense buy or compensate for love and affection.
  2. The eclipse (and Venus) opposes Hopi, so discrimination based on material resources (or lack of them) are strongly suggested. It also squares Kassandra in Libra, so legal advice might be a theme of this eclipse as a result, but beware of what you believe, somebody may not be playing you completely straight.
  3. The really tough break is contained in the eclipse halfsum of Sun=Mars/Saturn, a prominent male might die during the eclipse period (approximately 3-4 years). Placed in the context of the original eclipse there is a problem with Zeus, so motor accidents, explosions or deaths related to high blood-pressure are all possible.
  4. Mercury is conjunct Pluto: obsessive ideas and opinions are a big problem, and squaring Saturn, they’re based around older men, authorities, fathers and traditional viewpoints or perspectives. Me/Pl also opposes Kronos, so the obsessive idea (Me/Pl) that is brought to bear by an authoritative male (Sa) is opposed by a family expert or expert/authoritative mother (Kronos-Cancer). If you consider that to be a traditional tee-square then the tension of the obsession being opposed by the family expert results in a legal decision being handed down by the judge (squares Sat. in Libra!)
  5. Even more remarkably, Venus (and the eclipse itself) oppose Vulcanus (Venus by only 3 minutes of arc). Wow, that’s quite scary. Here there are others making plays to force you to fall into line, enforced payments are key and there may be compulsive attractions (due to Ve. opp. Vu) which complicate the financial situation. If you consider the dynamic of Vulcanus conj. Hopi opposing Venus and the eclipse, there is also a theme of being forced into or out of poverty, perhaps as the result of the death of a male.
  6. The eclipse opposition to Vulcanus tee-squares Apollon which suggests that there is an impression that the outcome of the struggle might hinge on who has the most support and the greatest number of ‘followers’. Canvassing for support might then be a natural consequence of this eclipse, but the danger here is that with the tense energies configured you might simply get the wrong type of supporters onside.

So then, let’s put all this together. The eclipse seems to promise a power struggle that centres around material issues, responsibilities and a male being taken out of the picture. Legal contests especially that relate to children, alimony, child support, divorce settlements and attempts to gain control especially through denigrating opponents because of their financial position. Ultimately, sense will prevail, but it might take a legal ruling to sort it out once and for all.

And how does this apply to you? Here there is another layer of synthesis required; expect these kinds of themes to become noticeable in your life and environment over the next few weeks and months and look to house position and the position of Saturn as a further clue. If the eclipse falls in your 2nd house there may be a custody dispute over some prized possession, if in the 12th you may find that these themes have been playing out without your knowledge of them.

You should really sit up and take notice if the eclipse conjoins or opposes major points in your nativity, because this will colour your experience of it and determine the manner or areas of life in which you will be affected by these themes. It is complex and confusing, but if you’re really stuck, why not consider consulting a professional astrologer for some insight.