As Mark’s article points out, the two eclipses in the summer of 1999 will be exceptionally intense if we measure intensity by close aspects involving major planets. Only one previous eclipse in this century had a grand cross within five degrees orb which included the Sun, Moon, and major planets. It was a partial solar eclipse on October 11, 1931, as the earth was sliding into the great depression of the 1930s. It occurred in cardinal signs, with the Sun-Moon very closely opposite Uranus in Aries and square Saturn and Vesta in Capricorn. Juno and Pluto in Cancer completed the grand cross with somewhat wider orbs.
Additional factors in Libra included the south lunar node, Mercury, Venus, and Pallas. Libra can be expressed in partnership and cooperation or in competition, litigation, and conflict. In the years immediately following this eclipse, jobs and incomes were slashed in much of the world in a downward spiral that fed on itself. The United States elected Franklin Roosevelt and made major changes in its legal system in response to widespread poverty. The financial crisis in Germany is credited in part with Hitler’s rise to power and World War II.
Astrology associates money and material possessions, personal and joint, with Taurus and Scorpio. Leo is connected to investment and speculation, so we would expect conflict aspects to factors in fixed signs in addition to the cardinal cross. As anticipated, in the 1931 eclipse chart, Jupiter in Leo squares Ceres and Mars in Scorpio, and Chiron more widely forms a T-square from Taurus. Also, the fixed principle is present in the cardinal cross, which includes Juno and Pluto, as rulers of Scorpio. Challenges involving jobs and work are highlighted in the cardinal cross with Vesta closely conjunct Saturn in Capricorn. To get a full picture of this eclipse, we would need to calculate it for the countries most impacted by the depression, where we would expect aspects to the local chart angles.
Both the lunar and solar eclipses in the summer of 1999 are dominated by fixed signs. The lunar eclipse on July 28 includes a grand cross in earlier degrees of the fixed signs, with the Sun and Moon close to 5 Leo-Aquarius, Jupiter in 3 Taurus, and Mars more widely involved in 9 Scorpio. Additional factors in Leo include Mercury, Ceres, and the north lunar node. Neptune opposes Mercury and Ceres from early Aquarius, and the south lunar node and Uranus in mid-Aquarius are square the Scorpio Mars and Saturn in Taurus. The solar eclipse just two weeks later brings the Sun and Moon together opposite Uranus and square Mars and Saturn. By this time, Mars has moved into an exact opposition to Saturn and they fall on the midpoint axis of the Sun-Moon/Uranus, adding to the intensity of the aspect configuration. Jupiter, Mercury, and Neptune remain in a second T-square in earlier degrees of the fixed signs.
Astrologers are sometimes puzzled because the Sun and Moon are not exactly conjunct or opposite each other at what astronomers consider the most exact moment in an eclipse. As Mark explained in his article, the astronomical calculations are complex, and the coordinate system called Right Ascension, which measures around the earth’s equator, produces a closer time for the exact eclipse than does measuring around the earth’s ecliptic, the system which produces Zodiacal Longitude. This is one of many areas of astrology that might benefit from systematic research. The time difference between the exact conjunction in longitude of the Sun and Moon in August 1999 and the time the eclipse is considered most exact by astronomers is over 5 minutes. Since astrologers use Longitude rather than Right Ascension, it is conceivable that the longitude conjunction (and opposition for the lunar eclipse) might “work” better than the approved astronomical moment. We won’t know until we test both systems, and I suspect that both will “work,” as I find with the two ways to calculate the lunar nodes. As an example of the variance, the MC for the 1999 solar eclipse in Washington, DC shifts from 22 Taurus 6 to 20 Taurus 39, with similar changes in the other house cusps. In this article, I will be using the times accepted by astronomers.
Once we have the horoscopes for the coming eclipses, produced easily thanks to computers, can we anticipate the meaning they offer? Most astrologers will want the eclipses calculated for the capital cities of their own countries, and perhaps also for their own localities. Mundane students may study a variety of local charts. At this point, I have looked at charts for Washington, DC, our political capital, and for New York, which is our financial capital. Los Angeles and San Francisco can give us a good idea of how the eclipses might play in California, the state of many of our readers. Maritha and I will be seeing the eclipse in Plymouth, England, where we will be speaking for the big international conference to be held under the path of totality. In a quick look at that chart, I can see that the T-square in the early degrees of the fixed signs will be close to major angles. It is composed of the mutable planets Mercury, Jupiter, and Neptune. Mercury on the MC certainly fits a major educational event, and Neptune on the IC is appropriate for its site near the ocean and for potential mystical experiences. The local East Point in early Scorpio puts Jupiter on the West Point. That should be good for shared knowledge and fun, but will be expensive for astrologers who are not usually noted for wealth. However, Juno and Chiron in late Scorpio trine the MC from the second house, so participants should gain knowledge and make pleasant contacts even if they have to do it on borrowed money.
The solar eclipse chart in California appears relatively innocuous as a key to the general region. Obviously, individuals whose personal charts are strongly aspected will need to interpret the meaning of the eclipse in their own lives. The MCs in San Francisco and Los Angeles are 3 and 7 Aries, with trines to Pluto and the early Leo planets. The Ascendants are 19 and 21 Cancer, sextile Saturn and Vesta and trine Mars. Most of the west coast of the U.S. will have these approximate angles, with higher degrees as one moves inland.
However, we get a very different picture when we look at some of the trouble spots of the world. In Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, where the Serbs and Albanians are currently locked in combat, the Ascendant will be 13 Scorpio 38, closely square the lunar nodes and Uranus, with Mars rising and Saturn opposite the Ascendant. As this is being written, the military force of the Albanians, the KLA, has promised to sign a peace agreement that offers some autonomy to Kosovo, but Milosevik, the Serbian leader, is still refusing to allow NATO forces to monitor the area to keep his armed forces from continuing to slaughter civilians and burn their homes. In working with the charts of other current events, I noted that during this conference/confrontation that is ongoing near Paris between the western powers and representatives of Milosevik, the asteroid Beograd, named for the capital of Serbia, is traveling within one degree of Libitina, a death goddess. Milosevik is continuing to send armed “police” into Kosovo who continue to kill civilians, and the threat of NATO bombs hitting the homeland of Serbia hangs on a thread like the sword of Damocles. The latter asteroid, coincidentally, is traveling in middle Aquarius within a degree of Winchester, the asteroid of guns. The majority of the asteroids are between Mars and Jupiter, and their similar orbital time around the Sun can sometimes keep them traveling together for weeks or months.
Moving the 1999 solar eclipse to Baghdad, Iraq, where the U.S. and Britain have been bombing almost daily since mid-December 1998, Pluto will be conjunct the Ascendant. Using the calculations of the astronomers, it is 1 degree 11 minutes from the Ascendant. When the Sun and Moon are exactly conjunct, Pluto will be just 3 minutes of longitude from the Ascendant. In another article in this issue of The Mutable Dilemma, I noted that three of the 1999 cardinal ingress charts for Iraq have Pluto conjunct the MC and the fourth has the MC in Scorpio. The eclipse MC is conjunct Vesta, with its potential for ruthlessness, and Vesta is also square the East Point in Baghdad.
In Ankara, the capital of Turkey, where the Kurds have intensified their bombing campaign following the capture of their leader, Ocalan, Pluto squares the MC and is widely conjunct the East Point. Juno and Chiron are rising, quincunx Pallas in the eighth house. Pallas could signify a political solution if Turkey was willing to allow the Kurds to have their own language, radio and TV programs, etc., but at this point they show no willingness to compromise. The Ankara Part of Death in 1 Libra is exactly octile Mars and trioctile Saturn, closely tied to the whole fixed cross.
In Moscow, the solar eclipse Mars is just over one degree from the Ascendant, with Saturn equally close to the Descendant. The Sun-Moon eclipse point squares the Ascendant within one degree. Mercury is exactly quincunx the Antivertex, the East Point is quincunx Saturn, and the south lunar node is quincunx the MC. Quincunxes can point to turning points, which could lead to better conditions, but the way the fixed cross hits the Ascendant is hardly likely to bring improvement, even though it is also hard to see how conditions in Russia could get worse.
In light of our current furor over the possibility that China stole nuclear and other technological information from the U.S. during the middle 1980s, you will not be surprised to know that the Ascendant in Beijing is also in the fixed cross. At 15 Aquarius, it is precisely on Uranus, an appropriate aspect for technology issues. Pluto is on the MC within five degrees, and square the Antivertex. The Tokyo angles are less critical. They are in mutable signs, with Pallas on the IC and Vesta near the Descendant, suggesting a continuing focus on jobs and the political system.
Since most of our readers are in the U.S., we will look more closely at the solar eclipse in Washington, DC. In our apparent role as policeman to the world, it is not surprising that the major angles are connected to the fixed cross. Saturn is on the MC and Mars opposes it within less than 4 degrees. The East Point is just over one degree from an opposition to Uranus and squares to Saturn and Mars. The Ascendant/East Point midpoint squares the MC. Juno and Chiron square the Ascendant. On the positive side, the Antivertex is sextile Saturn and trine Mars, the MC trines Vesta, and the rising Venus trines Jupiter, though it is also quincunx Neptune. We will probably continue to be successful, but not without an effort.
As always, there are many interesting asteroids. Even without doing local houses for mundane charts, the asteroids can often point to geographic regions that will be in the news. A number of countries in Africa have had asteroids named for them. Among many which could be listed in this eclipse chart, a cluster of asteroids from 16 to 18 Taurus includes Angola and Liberia, along with Kassandra who predicted only negatives, and Aletheia, the goddess of truth. Tyr, the Norse Mars, is in 15 Taurus, connected by an overlapping orb with the rest through its conjunction with Minos. The latter implies that Crete and its nation, Greece, will face the issues of the fixed cross along with the African nations. Angola has been involved for years in an intermittent civil war. Ruanda was the scene of horrifying genocide a few years ago, and fugitive Hutus recently killed some western tourists in Uganda. In the solar eclipse chart, Ruanda is in 29 Sagittarius, octile Uranus and Gaea (earth), on their midpoint, and trioctile Tyr, an equivalent to Mars. Ethiopia is another African nation that is currently at war. It could be classed as internal or civil, since it is being fought with a former part of the country which gained independence. The asteroid Ethiopia is conjunct Mars opposite Saturn.
Algeria, where thousands have been killed in an ongoing civil war between the government and the religious fundamentalists, has its asteroid in 23 Leo, conjunct Unitas (in this case signifying the total lack of unity) and Astraea for human justice (again pointing to a lack of the principle). Algeria is also square Toro, which was named for a city in Spain noted for religious and political intolerance and violence, in 23 Scorpio. A grand fixed cross is produced by Attila, named for the ruthless leader of the Huns who overran Eastern Europe, in 23 Taurus, and Dresden in 23 Aquarius. The latter asteroid was named for the city firebombed by the Allies in World War II, though it was not a legitimate military target, housing only non-combatants and refugees.
Libya in northern Africa is still being boycotted by the U.S. and other countries until it allows a trial of two of its citizens who are accused of master-minding the destruction of a plane which crashed near Lockerbie, Scotland. The asteroid Libya is just under 18 Virgo, conjunct Atropos, a death goddess, and Hybris (hubris), and it is also trioctile Neptune. Overlapping orbs connect it to a massive cross in 4 degrees of the fixed signs: Jupiter, Hestia (similar to Vesta) and Megaira (vengeance) in 4 Leo, Belisana (war goddess) in 4 Scorpio, and Bellona (war goddess) in 4 Aquarius. The combination fits Kadafi’s dubious judgment and overreach record, and it is not encouraging for his prospects for becoming peaceful.
Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, is in 5 Leo, linked to the preceding fixed-sign cross with overlapping orbs. It is also conjunct Justitia as it seeks to attain justice for its own formerly warring races as well as working to solve the staggering problems of its African neighbors. Maybe the trine to Jupiter from the asteroid named for the continent offers at least a glimmer of hope for the “dark continent.” Africa is in 3 Virgo. Kenya in 16 Virgo sextiles Mars and trines Saturn, but it is trioctile Neptune as the country struggles to recover from the destruction of the bomb that was meant to hurt the U.S. but mostly killed and injured Kenyans. Uganda in 15 Pisces is opposite Kenya and also sextile/trine the Mars-Saturn opposition. The country has made progress in recent years, but major challenges remain, partly due to the conflicts in its neighbors, Ruanda and the Congo. Having some harmony aspects may signify fewer crises, but aspects to the conflict networks still suggest involvement in the problems of the region. Somalia in 9 Taurus squares Ceres and is conjunct ARA, which was named for the American Relief Administration that provided help for Europe in a time of famine. Though this is a chart for August 11, 1999, the aspects fit the current situation. Ceres was a goddess of grain, and Somalia and Sudan are in desperate need of food aid at this time.
Though Clinton recently visited Africa and the U.S. provides some help, we are more urgently concerned at this time with the crisis in the former Yugoslavia and the ongoing war with Saddam Hussein in Iraq. In addition to an asteroid named Yugoslavia, we have Srbija (Serbia) and Beograd (for Serbia’s capital, Belgrade). There is also an asteroid for Croatia, but that part of the former Yugoslavia is less threatened at the moment. Srbija in 20 Leo squares the eclipse MC for Washington, DC, an obviously appropriate aspect as we threaten to bomb them. Yugoslavia in 17 Capricorn is just over a degree from the Vertex in Washington, DC, trioctile our rising Venus. Beograd in 8 Cancer is conjunct our MC/Ascendant midpoint, which is equivalent in meaning to being on both of these major angles. Note that factors in 8 degrees of the cardinal signs are octile or trioctile factors in 23 degrees of the fixed signs, and remember the grand cross described when discussing Algeria. It included Algeria, Toro, Attila, and Dresden. It certainly looks as if we will still be enmeshed in the Balkans in the summer of 1999, and probably for some time to come if Kosovo/Serbia resembles another Algeria.
The closest match we have for asteroids for Iraq and/or Iran are those named for ancient kingdoms in the Near East. In the solar eclipse chart, Chaldaea is in 16 Virgo 42 and Sumeria is in 3 Cancer 50. Sumeria is octile the Sun-Moon, and square Guernica, an asteroid which, like Dresden, was named for a military attack on non-combatants. It is also quincunx the war goddess Bellona, which connects it to the cross in 4 degrees of the fixed signs. Chaldaea is connected to the cross in the middle degrees of the fixed signs with a sextile and trine to the Mars-Saturn opposition. Though these are harmony aspects, they may not help when they are part of a network of stress aspects. The Near East in general will remain a tinderbox, waiting for a match. For a more precise picture, we would look at the eclipse chart calculated for specific locations.
From the preceding survey, the eclipse chart seems to be saying that the earth will continue its civil wars, one of the typical reactions to conflicts involving fixed planets, houses, and/or signs. But many other details are possible, certainly including continuing financial struggles. Is the chart a warning of another major depression like the 1930s? Economists are deeply divided over that potential. The U.S. stands almost alone in the world in maintaining a healthy, growing economy, though there are other countries which seem to be holding their own relatively well. In Asia, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia are holding, and India and China have been less damaged because they had limits on the power of foreign currency traders to speculate with their currency and to make short term loans which could be quickly called in. Japan is unique with its successful industry and exports, but its citizens who save rather than spend to keep the economy going as in the U.S. Europe is also unique as it works toward a functional unity. As this is written, the European Commission has just resigned en-masse after a report claiming widespread corruption and nepotism. Also, Germany’s leftist Finance Minister has resigned, bringing joy to German businesses and its stock market, but also new uncertainties.
Could the financial struggles of much of the world still catch up with the U.S.? This is certainly possible. In the solar eclipse chart in Washington, Mercury and Venus rule the signs in the second house, and Neptune, Jupiter, and Mars rule the signs in the eighth house. Pluto, of course, is the natural ruler of the eighth, and I interpret Juno as another Pluto. Though Venus is trine Jupiter, it is also quincunx Neptune, which forms a T-square to Jupiter and Mercury, and it is widely square Pluto. Juno and Chiron, which I interpret as another Jupiter, are closely square the Washington Ascendant. At the very least, the aspects suggest a roller coaster financial picture, which would be a continuation of the current scene. For more on the financial picture, see the current (Winter 1999) Asteroid-World.
One of the few, perhaps the only, specific year mentioned in the Nostradamus prophecies refers to the seventh month of 1999. The famous French seer would have been working with the Julian calendar, so I checked to find the equivalent time in our modern Gregorian calendar. From the beginning to the end of July 1999 in the Julian calendar, the Sun would move from 21 Cancer to 20 Leo. During July 1999 in the Gregorian calendar, the Sun moves from 9 Cancer to 7 Leo. If we take the Julian calendar positions, the Nostradamus prophecy would cover the two important eclipses during this summer of 1999.
The relevant verse from Nostradamus is Quatrain 72 in Century 10. Erika Cheetham translates it as: “In the year 1999 and seven months from the sky will come the great King of Terror. He will bring back to life the great king of the Mongols. Before and after War reigns happily.” The actual word used by Nostradamus is d’Angolmois, which Erika thinks is an anagram for Mongols. ??? It could be an interesting summer, perhaps adding Kosovo-Serbia to Iraq as a target for our bombs. The Aries cardinal ingress in Serbia-Kosovo looks as deadly as it does in Baghdad.