Astrological/Astronomical Insights

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Student of Socrates - Plato

The Stars are souls waiting to be born, which travel down to Earth through the seven spheres of the Planets.

The Sun is the heart and soul of life. The Sun is the father, giver of light and represents reasoning, the rational mind and leans toward dryness.

The Moon is the nurturer and protector of life. The Moon is the mother, the regulator and is also the reflector of light, emotional, habitual and moist.

The Earth is life, the result of the harmony that exists between the luminaries. The Sun is 1,392,000 kilometers in diameter while the Moon is only 3,476 kilometers in diameter. This is a ratio of approximately 400:1. The Sun is about 400 times larger than the moon. The sun is approximately 149,600,000 kilometers from earth; the Moon is 384,500 kilometres from the earth. As luck goes the ratio between the distant's of the Sun and Moon to the Earth is 400:1.

The result of these two ratios's being equal, allows the Moon when central in location to the Sun and Earth, to cover the disc perfectly. While independent in there orbital plans, Sun, Earth and Moon come together in an ever moving cycle, but at a reoccurring time and place. While the Sun stays fixed and constant the Moon is swift and light, ascending and then descending. The Moon sharing equal time North and South, East and west, of the Sun's constant path. Where the Moon and Earth's orbital plane's cross the constant path of the Sun, a point is marked and this is known as the Node intersection. The Ecliptic is the name giving to the constant path and it is along this path that the Sun, Moon and Earth, come together at least twice a year and this is known as an Eclipse season.

Our Ancient ancestors recognized this phenomenon and it was with fear! they looked on. The early Babylonian people known as the Chaldean's were amongst the first to understand the reoccurrence of eclipses. The first eclipses to be identified were the lunar and later the solar eclipse was found to be responsible for the occurrence of the Lunar. Some time later the Greek's became the master's of understanding the whole picture. It is said that the Greek Thales of Miletus, predicted the solar eclipse of 28th May, 585 BC; when a battle in the war between the Medes and the Lydian's stopped due to the Omen.

The Babylonians first observational experiences of the eclipses were of immense importance, taken down and recorded They recorded the color of the sky and noted any planets that may be visible during the eclipse, as this then gave them an idea, as to the nature the eclipse would take. After a solar eclipse the first day of the new crescent moon, which is about 13 degrees of Zodiacal movement or 24 hrs, when first visibility was noticeable, was of utmost importance. Also what planets were setting with the Moon and whether there are planets on angles, Ascendant, descendant and the MC. The morning sky was also observed with the same principle. Any planet or fix star especially stars of 1st magnitude on or near the ecliptic, rising before the sun and clearly visible were noted.

There are two types of eclipse.

(1) A Solar eclipse is the Moon occulting the sun and thus preventing the light from the Sun reaching the Earth. This phenomenon occurs when a New Moon falls on or near the ecliptic.

(2) A Lunar eclipse is the Earth preventing the light of the Sun from reaching the Moon. As with the solar eclipse a lunar eclipse occurs when a Full Moon falls on or near the ecliptic.

The ecliptic is the apparent path of the Sun across the sky or the Earth's orbital path around the Sun. The Earth's orbital plane is tilted at approximately 23º degrees to the ecliptic and an eclipse occurs where the Earth's equator intersects the ecliptic. The Moon's orbital path around the Earth is inclined at 5º:15 degree's to the Earth's orbit. The intersection of these paths is marked by two opposite points known as North descending Node and South ascending Node. These points of intersecting are regressing month to month, and in approximately 19 years complete 360 º degrees of the zodiac.

The lunar cycles are a product of the Sun and Moon and Earth at different points in time. The Moon's orbit around the Earth is not circular, but rather oval or elliptical.

At its closest point (called perigee), the Moon is 356,000 kilometers away, while at its farthest (apogee), the Moon is 407,000 kilometers distant. Earth's orbit is also elliptical around the Sun and at its (perihelion) closest point the Earth is 147,100,000 kilometers away, while at its (aphelion) farthest point it is some 152,102,000 kilometers distant.

As a result, the apparent sizes of the Sun and Moon vary slightly viewed from earth. The greater the Moon-to-Sun size ratio, the longer an eclipse's duration at its longest, totality can last 7 minutes, 31 seconds, but this is rare.

The Moon has a number of cycles the first is the completion of the sidereal month, in which the Moon's cycle is measured against the back ground of the stars. In a sidereal month it takes the Moon 27:3 days to return to the same point as marked against the fixed stars.

 The next cycle is the synodic month, in which the Moon completes one full lunar phase. This takes 29:5 days, two days longer than the sidereal return. The New Moon to New Moon phase takes longer due to Earth's orbit around the Sun.

It takes 365.25 days for the earth to complete one return around the Sun, which is divided into 12 months and then again divided into four seasons.

The Moon's 12 synodic returns or months are equal to 354 days, which is 11 days 8hrs shorter than the Earth year.

One eclipse year consist of 346.6 days, about 18.6 days shorter than the calendar year. One eclipse season to the next is 173.3 days, thus there are at least two or more solar and lunar eclipses in a calendar year, up to 5 can occur but the combined solar and lunar eclipses never exceed 7 in a calendar year.

There are 36 days during one eclipse season; thus 36 degrees, which is then, divided giving 18 degrees either side of totality.

There is also the Metonic cycle which is independent from the saros cycle. In the Metonic cycle the Moon returns to occupy the same degree of the zodiac on the same calendar day, 25 years later, and with the Sun it's 19 years later.

Eclipse phases and their cycles, which have become known as the Saros series.

First in the series is the Partial Eclipse, which can start at either the North Pole or the South Pole and will ascend or descend and move forward about 10º degrees of zodiacal longitude, every return of 18 years 11 days 8hrs.

The North Pole or descending cycle of 18 years 11 days 8hrs will begin as a partial and then when nearing the equator the eclipse will move to an Annual Eclipse or a Total Eclipse.

The eclipse cycle than keeps moving south till eventually ending as Partial Eclipse again, but this time at the South Pole some 865 - 1,300 years later.

The eclipse at the South Pole and ascends north will start and end the same way only at the North Pole.

Now as there is an 8hr fraction of a day in the cycle, the umbral track of the eclipse shifts approximately 120º degrees West at each return; hence on every 4th Saros return of 54 years, it recurs in the same longitude as measured from 00º Greenwich, but somewhat farther north or south, measured as latitude from the equator.

A lunar cycle consists of approximately 48 to 49 eclipses over a period of about 865 years.

A solar cycle of 68 to 75 returns, over a period of about 1260 years.

A Saros cycle usually consists of 14 partial, 17 annular and 10 total eclipses, and some 29 lunar, with a total of about 70 eclipses.

The saros family, so named for the fact that they repeat, is numbered astrologically from 1- 19, even numbered for the descending north or odd for the ascending south and new or old.

The result being that some 42 eclipses running con-current can be active at one time. It can be said then, that an eclipse can have a birth and a death, beginning as a partial gaining strength as it approaches the equator, where it maximizes totality, and then finally dies as partial.

The path of the solar eclipse is quite narrow about 100-120 kilometers, in width and can also vary in length. So the solar eclipse is only visible to the observer in the viewing path.

The lunar eclipse of the Moon can be seen from the side of the Earth which is facing it. Hence at least halve the world can see it.

The orb's of zodiacal longitude for a Solar eclipse can vary from the furthest distant, a Partial beginning with the Sun and Moon, New Moon moving within the eclipse Node degree. This begins at 18º31 degrees, through to 15º21 degrees, 15º degrees to 11ºdegrees also Partial, moving through to Annual from 11º and onto central Totality from within 9º degrees of the Node's.

The orb's for a Lunar eclipse are from within, a Partial 12º15 degrees through to 9º30, Penumbral from 9º 30 through to 6º degrees and for a Total from 6º to within 3º for Totality.

Lunar Mansions

Lunar mansion are a series of 28 division of the Moon's travel through one complete circuit of the 360 degree zodiac, each lunar mansion equal to one day of moon's average travel. Particular attention was placed of the Full Moon or New Moon falling on one of the Cardinal Lunar Mansion.

"There are 28 Tropical Lunar Stations, beginning at 0 Aries and progressing by the Moon's mean motion of 13 daily. So the 2nd Lunar Station is 13 Aries and so on. But there are only 12 cardinal degrees. It has been observed that these 12 are the most active of all the Stations. Of the Cardinal degrees, the Cancer/Capricorn axis appears to be the most malefic. An eclipse falling on these stations, if occupied by a planet, is not to be taken lightly"

Because every eclipse series has a starting point there will be a planetary picture for the commencement. As with an event chart the planetary patterns forming to the luminaries could give you an idea to what the flavour of the eclipse series might be.

Bernadette Brady in her book the "Eagle and the Lark" gives delineation's for the complete saros series.

Whether this pattern of energy that is formed at the commencement will follow and continue through every return is I think open to suggestion. I say that because the life of the eclipse has an approximately 1,300 year period and is subject to many patterns being formed throughout its course. While the initial natal birth of the eclipse will progress with the energy that is created at its birth, it must by the number of reoccurrences and mixing of the patterns take on part of the energy being created at that moment.

Thus judging the event needs to proceed with view of the whole picture. How then do we delineate an eclipse astrologically? First we can look to the essences and structure that forms an eclipse.

The Solar eclipse can be said to be a special New Moon.

The Lunar eclipse can be said to be a special Full Moon.

The intersection point of the Node's planes at which an eclipse can take place, can be viewed as a fated point in time and place. Thus this meeting in time may give us information as to what fate may lay ahead. Eclipses have throughout history had the reparation of being the cause of many fatalistic events. Eclipses receive credit for such things as earthquakes and catastrophes of cataclysmic type.

The recent eclipse of the 11th of August 1999 at 18º degrees Leo is example. Featuring in the famous predictions of Nostradamus, this eclipse was taken to be responsible for the earthquakes in Turkey that followed the next day. These earthquakes reoccurred some 90 days later at the square position of the sun to the sun degree of the eclipse. As this saros 1 north eclipse's path of central maximum totality fell directly over the area afflicted the immediate response was that this was the trigger.

There are different astrological charts to apply the fate to.

The mundane chart an interpretation of astrology in terms of world trends. Destinies of nations are determined from the ingress of the sun at the equinoxes and solstices, eclipses, new moons and major planetary conjunctions are taken into account.

Then there's the event chart which is set for specific time and place and the natal chart which is the individual birth horoscope. (Example Charles and Camilla)

How an eclipse than plays out can be determined from the understanding of what chart we are dealing with first.

When we have dealt with the choice of chart that we studying we can then proceed to deal with the sector of the chart that will be directly affected by the eclipse.

The dignity ruler, Exaltation lord and lords of triplicity for the place of interest are studied for their strength and the places they rule are studied. Any planet occupying the degree of the eclipse or the opposition place of the eclipse is too studied.

The exact degree on which the eclipse falls may become the trigger point when planets cross this degree, conjunction to opposition being the most noticeable. Just how long the point will stay a hot spot is generally determined from the duration of the eclipse. I.e., we measure this from the time the very first contact occur. With a Solar eclipses hours are taken as years, minutes as months, and seconds as days. Likewise with a Lunar eclipses hours are months and minutes are days.

The Moon in a solar eclipse absorbs the heat from the sun and the temperature can rise to a very hot extreme degree. Likewise the temperature of the moon when blocked from the light of the earth in a lunar eclipse can fall to a very extreme cold degree. Solar eclipses tend to deal with old business, thing from past that need to move forward and are more group orientated. Lunar eclipses deal more with the personal issues and are more family orientated.

The Comments on this Page are not to be taken to mean any harm or injury to any person or place. They are written solely as entertainment.

© Gregory Clare

Birth Chart World