Solar and Lunar Eclipses in Astrology

As children, we were cautioned not to look directly at an eclipse, most especially a Solar Eclipse, for fear we could be blinded. (Incidentally, this is still sound advice!) In school we all remember making our little boxes for “viewing” the eclipse.

Then, excitedly, we would rush outside at the appointed time and perform our science experiments, and “see” the eclipse on our homemade contraptions. Throughout our lives, we have all heard a lot of folklore surrounding eclipses as well, much of it quite funny.

Many people feel that there is no importance to eclipses unless they can be physically seen, as we did as children with our little contraptions. However, astrologically, no matter where that eclipse may be, and no matter how visible, it falls somewhere in our charts.

All we have to do is to plot them in our charts and see what may be in store for us in the upcoming months.

There are two types of eclipses – a Lunar Eclipse, which is an eclipse of the Moon; and a Solar Eclipse, which is an eclipse of the Sun. The Solar Eclipse comes from the West and the Lunar Eclipse comes from the East.

A Solar Eclipse is when both the Sun and the Moon appear to occupy the same spot in the Heavens! We generally refer to this as a New Moon. Of course we have a New Moon every lunar month, but certainly there is no eclipse each month.

In fact, the norm is two Solar Eclipses a year. However, one of the things that is required for a Solar Eclipse to occur is a new moon.

For an eclipse to occur, not only are the Sun and Moon conjunct each other, but they both must also conjunct one of the Moon’s Nodes within a very tight orb. Nodes are the points on the ecliptic where the orbits of the Moon and the Earth intersect.

During the eclipse, the Moon stands between the Sun and Earth and cuts off our vision of the Sun along with the light of the Sun itself.

Eclipses affect the Earth’s electromagnetic field and this can be scientifically measured. Additionally, eclipses occur in Cycles and can be accurately predicted for many years to come. There are partial and total eclipses of the Sun.

When the Moon and Sun are in opposition to each other, it is called a Full Moon on a monthly calendar. However, to be a Lunar Eclipse, more factors are involved, just as we discovered with the Solar Eclipse.

We have a Lunar Eclipse when the Earth cuts off light from the Sun, depriving the Moon of the Sun’s illumination, but still leaving visible a dark and shadowy circle around the Moon. Both the Sun and Moon are conjunct the Moon’s nodes within a very tight orb. This too has a measurable effect upon the Earth’s electromagnetic field.

Lunar Eclipses also happen in Cycles and also can be accurately predicted for years to come and can be either partial or total. Lunar Eclipses can only occur approximately fourteen (14) days before or after a Solar Eclipse.

An eclipse can also occur between the Sun, the Earth and a planet, but that is of infrequent occurrence. It can also occur between the Moon, the Earth and a planet – with the Moon coming between the Earth and a planet. The eclipse of a planet by the Moon is called an Occultation.

The Ancients thought that eclipses were malefic and predicted dire events should an eclipse closely touch planets or points within a chart. Apparently they only used the eclipses they could see since they had no modern equipment to track eclipses throughout the world. However, they did know about the cycles of the eclipses, and used them.

Modern Astrologers, however, take a bit different view. First, we know that the eclipse points are going to fall in everyone’s chart at some point or other. And we know this is going to happen with some regularity. So we tend to take the effects of eclipses as guide posts rather than fire alarms!

The ancients also reckoned that the effects of a Solar Eclipse would last as long in years as the eclipse lasted in minutes. In a Lunar Eclipse, they reckoned a month for every minute. The time of totality is what is considered.

However, some writings suggest the Ancients used the time from the very beginning to the very ending of an eclipse, which would include the shadow of the eclipse in addition to its totality.

There has been much discussion over the years about how long each of us will be effected by an eclipse. Many theories have been advanced throughout the years on the lasting effects of Eclipses.

Currently, there are several views on the use of Eclipses in chart work.

Some Astrologers believe that you must be within the eclipse shadow to feel the impact and for it to have much meaning in your life. There is a body of thought that you must be in a country where the shadow falls and that only those in that area will be affected. In other words, if you can’t see it, it won’t bother you! (Sounds like that late great “ostrich theory”!)

My own experience with my clients has been that generally the effect lasts until the next set of eclipses comes along – or about six months. You can plot the eclipse in your Chart, noting the house it is in, along with the position and any planets or points that may be touched.

Generally, you will find that for the next six months you will be doing a lot of thinking, talking, and dealing with the matters of that particular house. If there is planetary involvement, and most particularly if there are configurations, such as T-Squares, Yods, etc., there is a high probability of significant matters occurring, and they are generally of a challenging nature.

Give this theory a try sometime, by taking a friend or client’s chart, and placing the last eclipses in the chart, and then ask if they have been dealing a great deal with the House Matters concerning the houses where the current eclipses are located. It will surprise you both!

Whatever that area of concentration may be, does not necessarily mean that it will be evil as the Ancients thought. It just means there is opportunity for growth in that area, and that this is where some lessons might be learned.

Remember, however, that there are generally two eclipses, since they come in pairs. (In some years there will be more.) So, if you have one house touched, there will be another house touched as well – and that house is usually in opposition aspect to the other house. (Sometimes it is inconjunct.) This tells you that an adjustment will be made somewhere along the line.

Plot Eclipse points in your chart and see what planets and or points might be involved.

You can get an idea then of what you may be dealing with for the upcoming six months. Remember to delineate the house that the Eclipse falls in – the signs and any planetary involvement. Also, it will be important to look at the ruler of the House that the eclipse falls in along with where it is positioned in your Chart.

Many people also keep up with their prenatal Eclipses. These have proven a matter of great interest to astrologers throughout the years, and can be very informative. It’s wise to keep them aspected with transits and progressions.

It’s not necessary to run and hide when you hear an eclipse is on the Horizon!

But it would be prudent to take out that little box your teacher taught you how to make so many years ago and think about what the Universe might have in store for you for now! You might find yourself amazed again, as you were in childhood, to see that the Universe is lending you a hand in planning ahead!