A shadow 40 years long?
Astrology studies the correspondences between earth and sky. Theoretically, anything that has a beginning has a horoscope—a map of the sky at the time and place of the beginning. Theoretically, again, the map of the sky symbolizes the nature of the thing coming into being at that time, and that character description offers clues to the future manifestations of the new being. Where a cycle is taken as a key to a period, theoretically, the quality of the cosmic map at the start of the cycle symbolizes the nature of the period, until a new cycle replaces and supercedes the old one.
An eclipse of the Sun is really a conjunction of the Sun and Moon, when the Moon comes between the Earth and the Sun. There are both solar and lunar eclipses most years, often more than one. Depending on the date and time, different parts of the Earth will see an eclipse as total or partial. Ancient tradition varies on the length of time that the eclipse chart remains meaningful. One tradition suggests three years duration for the eclipse point as a sensitive spot in the sky, to be considered when progressed or transiting planets aspect it. Another tradition suggests that the eclipse message remains important for the number of years equal to the hours of time from the beginning to the end of a solar eclipse. The meaningful time period for the lunar eclipse is said to involve the same number of months as the hours of duration of the eclipse, always measuring from beginning to end, not just including the period of totality. If the rules applied to other cycles were used, an eclipse map would be superceded by the next eclipse. But what if the eclipse were distinctive in some way, so that there would not be another of that nature for a long time? That is the situation and the question in regard to the eclipse which was exact on February 26, 1979, at 16:46 Ephemeris Time.
This eclipse was visible as a total one across a band of the northwestern United States, plus a good stretch of Canada. It is the last that will be seen as a total eclipse anywhere in the continental United States or Canada for the balance of this century. There will be the usual number of eclipses each year through the next forty years, but they will be total only over other areas of Earth. It seems at least logical and possible that this 1979 eclipse carries a special meaning for the area of Earth where it was seen as total—the United States and Canada. As is customary with mundane charts, we have drawn them for the respective capital cities. As is readily apparent, the one set up for Washington, DC. offers a rather challenging picture. If this is the key to our next forty years, it should be interesting, to say the least. Mars is just one degree from the MC in Washington; Uranus remains quincunx the Ascendant for forty years; Neptune remains in opposition to the Ascendant by progression for fifty five years and since we will have a new total eclipse by then (in 2017), we can consider the aspect a permanent feature of the chart. The Jupiter quincunx to Mars stays within the one degree orb to 2032, but that is a general feature, not limited to the U.S. Jupiter starts a quincunx to the Washington MC in twenty years. It is the powerful aspects to the Washington angles that make the map so interesting—especially if it is actually a clue to the interval until the next total eclipse visible in the U.S.
As readers of our journal are aware, I do not think the planets are “doing” anything except symbolizing character and its potential destiny. It is our character and if we change it, we change our destiny. So what is the message of this chart for Capitol Hill and the White House and for the U.S. citizens who elect the inhabitants of those power centers? It is a pretty clear focus on the last three letters of the astrological alphabet with Virgo added as part of the lesson. We have got to bring our ideals into the material world; to integrate the Piscean vision of a perfect world with the Capricorn one we are inhabiting, complete with natural law, a bureaucratic structure, power organizations and people, the economic system, the consequences of the past and its inertia, and all the other inherent limits and rules of the game. The message could not be given more clearly, with the stellium in Pisces in the Capricorn house, including the two Virgo asteroids conjunct the eclipse point, plus the Pisces opposite the Virgo in the Fourth House, with Virgo supporting the need to work, to find practical, small steps to move towards the great Piscean dream.
Can the people move into power, make their voices heard, facilitate the realization of the great dream? Yes, they can! Sun, Mercury, Vesta and Ceres, all the rulers of the signs in the Fourth House, are in the Tenth House, as well as the Moon which is the natural ruler of the Fourth. Unfortunately, to say they can, does not mean they will. For further emphasis, Saturn, the co-ruler of Aquarius, is in the Fourth House. The people do have some potential power in the executive area. Uranus, another ruler of the Tenth House, is in the Sixth house trine Mercury, ruler of the Ascendant. The intelligence is also there to take constructive, Virgo action to move toward that better world. Venus in Capricorn in the Eighth House is sextile both the Mercury in Pisces and the Uranus in Scorpio, so joint resources could be applied in an effective way to help the world actualize the vision. Pluto, natural ruler of Letter Eight, is trine the Ascendant and semi- sextile Uranus in its sign, but square Venus in its house. Still, the potential is there to achieve the teamwork needed to reach the goals.
But, obviously, there are critical challenges also. Where do they lie? Mercury, ruler of the Ascendant, key to personal action—“what really happens”—is square the Ascendant and Neptune, ruler of the Mercury sign. Mars, the natural key to action, is quincunx Jupiter, the other ruler of the Pisces stellium. There is a very clear danger of confusion and lack of clarity over what goals are most important or desirable; or uncertainty over what practical steps to take to get to the desired goals; or a danger of action against the reasoned judgment; or of the goals being so impossibly high that nothing effective is done; or all of the above. The solution is primarily a Virgo one! We solve uncertainty over which goals and what steps can be taken to reach them and in what order and how, with Virgo analysis. We muster the patience and effort and commitment to take the steps, resisting the temptation to try unrealistic shortcuts or just to goof off, with Virgo willingness to start small and keep trying.
Can the U.S. government learn to do the Virgo trip? If this chart is a valid key to the current situation and to the period of time up to the next total eclipse in the U.S., they can. That does not mean they will, despite the enormous Virgo emphasis of Vesta and Ceres on the eclipse Sun-Moon conjunction, Uranus and Neptune, rulers of the Tenth House in the Virgo House, Saturn, natural and co-ruler of the Tenth in the sign of Virgo and the North Node of Vesta, our super-Virgo asteroid, conjunct the Ascendant. The danger of grandiosity, excesses, unrealism, conflict between values, action against better judgment, is a very real danger. But if we the citizens can learn that Virgo lesson of Saturn, we can put some real leverage on our elected representatives to do the same. At least it’s worth a try.
In terms of the potential of the eclipse chart to function as a key to events over the next few years, only time will tell. We can watch it, to determine whether it is useful as a mundane map. If it proves valid, we can see the potential of an administration change in 1980-8l. Progressed Ascendant moves to quincunx Venus, and Sun moves to oppose progressed Saturn, looking like a change of executive power, with Neptune opposite and Uranus quincunx to Ascendant already, as well as Jupiter quincunx Mars and progressed MC quincunx Jupiter adding their weight to the picture.
For our Canadian readers, we have also included the eclipse chart set for Ottawa, but time and space limit comments to a brief one. Canada obviously has the MC-Mars conjunction quincunx Jupiter in high focus, with some of the same potential for unseating an executive, but the higher latitude has spared it the intense Ascendant aspects to Mercury, Uranus, and Neptune. There may still be conflict over goals and action against better judgment, but seemingly much less so than in the U.S., or else its conflicts are less publicly aired or have less impact on the rest of the world.
The charts discussed are set for the time that the Sun-Moon conjunction was exact by zodiacal longitude—the traditional usage in astrology. (The time of 16:46 given in the American Ephemeris is Ephemeris Time. We adjusted for delta-T, then adjusted a few more seconds to get the conjunction as precise as possible. The time we are using should be within a few seconds of the correct time. MMP) But since time is a function of right ascension, a logical case might be made for charts when the Sun and Moon are conjunct in right ascension. For those who would like to experiment, the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac gives an Ephemeris Time of 17:22:09.05 for the geocentric conjunction in Right Ascension. If delta-T is 50 seconds, this gives a Universal Time of 17:21:19. An accompanying article by Mark Pottenger gives additional astronomical information on the subject.