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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Eclipse ~ Part II

The Total Solar Eclipse of July 11, 2010 & more, more, more!

Most of what I write about in this blog is in response and reply to your questions and issues* and I want it to be interesting and relevant to you. I’m back to the eclipse now more than a month later. I hope it does not seem irrelevant after the fact.

Some astrologers suggest that the resonance of an eclipse may be measured in years, with one year given for each minute of totality (in this case 5 minutes 20 seconds is 5 years 4 months). It is not uncommon for astrologers to consider the degree of an eclipse a “sensitive point” in the Zodiac for years to come (this eclipse at 19°23’ Cancer). Personally, I give greatest focus to a particular eclipse until another similar eclipse occurs (the next total solar eclipse occurs November 13, 2012). There are exceptions, but there is so much in astrology to take into account that I try and apply the KISS principle (keep it simple sir). In short, a) this eclipse is still relevant, b) some principles that I offer here have been utilized for centuries, and c) occasionally my fifty plus years of study allows for a useful observation.

“The second solar eclipse of 2010 occurs at the Moon's descending node in central Gemini just 45 arc-minutes east of the 3rd magnitude star Delta Geminorum.” So begins my favorite source for eclipse information via NASA from astronomers Espenak and Anderson. Astrologically that suggests a look-up of that star for whatever insights it may give us. We might phrase it that the eclipse is conjunct Delta Geminorum, a star with the traditional name Wasat.

Astrology gets information from placement (in the apparently fixed background of space) and proximity or relationship (to bodies or points in motion). “Sign” measurement (placement) is longitude (east-west, right-left) along the ecliptic (the path through the sky traveled by the sun, moon, and planets). The 360° circle of the ecliptic is made sexier, more fun, and gets suggested meaning by naming the 30° degree segments, Aries, Taurus, and so forth. The segments are linked precisely with the Earth’s seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and the Solstices and Equinoxes that mark those. That is why the Zodiac of the seasons is known as the Tropical (seasonal) Zodiac. Once, some two thousand years ago, named constellations matched the Signs of the seasons, now they are nearly a full Sign out of synch. Various matches of Zodiac to constellations are referred to as the Sidereal (constellational) Zodiac. There is easily a small book about what that suggests.

The longitude degree of the lunation or New Moon of the July 11, 2010 Total Solar Eclipse is 19°23’ Cancer (the point of greatest eclipse is very slightly different). Our NASA astronomers tell us that is minutes of longitude from the star Delta Geminorum. The traditional name of that star is Wasat, Arabic for “middle”. That refers to the star’s location either in the middle of the constellation Gemini or near the middle of the constellation Orion - to know which, you had to have been there when they named it.

Now Wasat is at 18°39’59” Cancer. It is Yellowish-White, Magnitude +3.5 (not all that bright), and according to Ptolemy has the nature of Saturn. From deVore’s Encyclopedia of Astrology we have: “Wasat, Delta Geminorum. A pale white and purple double star in the right arm of the Northern Twin. (Saturn) Malevolence, violence and destructiveness; associated with poisons and gases.” And, “Interpretations given are mostly from ancient authorities, who apparently were inclined to place undue stress upon the direful.”

Wasat is only two-tenths of a degree south of the ecliptic and therefore is occasionally occulted by the Moon and more rarely by a planet. The last occultation by a planet was by Saturn on June 30, 1857 and the next will be by Venus on August 12, 2420. This may be a contributing factor to the negative quality ascribed to Wasat since the occultation by Saturn may have given a saturnine taint or color to Wasat. Maybe 25th Century interpretation will give a nicer, Venusian quality to that star.

In Chinese astronomy, Delta Geminorum was one of a triangle of stars on the ecliptic forming Tianzun, a wine cup or water jar with three feet. Maybe some connection with water and its presence or lack. I don’t know about how the entire Pacific is doing but Hawai’i is experiencing a devastating drought, the worst by far of any US State.

We would not be mistaken to link this eclipse with the worst environmental disaster in US history, the oil spilling into the Gulf as a result of high tech poking into the sea bed. The substance of mundane (Earth events) astrology comes from combining many astronomical/astrological events of which eclipses are near or at the top of the list.

A wee bit beyond the customary degree for involvement by conjunction (within one degree) we may also take note of the proximity of the geocentric North Node (NN) of Pluto at 20° 26’ 33” Cancer (heliocentric node, 20° 28’ 13”) to the degree of the eclipse. Pluto’s node is suggestive of death and rebirth transformation. Pluto is of course the Lord of the Underworld and in charge of hidden riches buried deep within the earth.

In many references one can find, “20°... Degree of limitation and hindrance.” (A degree and one or more minutes is customarily regarded as the next whole degree, e.g., one degree one minute is two degrees, one degree fifty-nine minutes is two degrees.)

This is a total eclipse, spectacular to those able to view it, but the path is sparsely populated. Good viewing locations were Easter Island, Tahiti, and Mangaia Island (Cook Island). One might have seen some of the eclipse way south where it ends in Chile and Argentina (dead winter there) and some other islands in the South Pacific.

One reason we look to the eclipse path is visibility, where can one view the eclipse? Where is the eclipse to be seen? Just as the degree of an eclipse is said to sensitize that degree, the path of an eclipse is thought to indicate a geographical area that may be likely for events that correlate to the astrological themes given by the eclipse degree and aspects.
For millennia, events have followed in regions where an eclipse was witnessed, events that people have connected to the fact of the eclipse. Some interesting connections I recall are that the eclipse prior to the birth of Alexander the Great traced the extent of his empire; in a similar way the eclipse prior to the birth of Karl Marx indicated the area of the Soviet Union. I’d like to give more examples but my library has mostly been donated to the Bob Mulligan School of Astrology and I can’t play my research game of pull books from the shelves.

SKIP NEXT THREE PARAGRAPHS unless you are the complete astro-nerd!

To add further depth (or to further complicate) the study of the symbolic effects of an eclipse, we can consider the “family” to which an eclipse belongs. There, we look especially to charting of the first eclipse of a family (Saros Series) for themes that might “color” all the eclipses of the series.

“This is the 27th eclipse of Saros 146 (Espenak and Meeus, 2006). The series began on 1541 Sep 19 with the first of an unusually long series of 22 partial eclipses. . . . The 2010 eclipse marks the longest totality of Saros 146 because future durations will decrease. . . . The series ends with a set of 13 partial eclipses the last of which occurs on 2893 Dec 29.

“In all, Saros 146 produces 35 partial, 13 total, 4 hybrid and 24 annular eclipses. Complete details for the series can be found at:


Astronomy measures while astrology draws meaning. The suggestion of the eclipse is the extinguishing or dimming of light. That often has been linked with the passing of leaders. The Sun represents, the center, the king, the chief.

Another kind of information gleaned from eclipses that is crossing the astrolo-astrono divide is geophysical phenomena (earthquakes, volcanoes, all kinds of storms, etc.). The precise alignments that result in an eclipse also contribute to gravitational anomalies that are linked to the geophysical. Things tend to speed up during eclipse season.

For a lovely article on the eclipse, NASA Science News offers the story and great pictures at

* I haven’t yet got a good handle on this Internet communicating and am trying many avenues (this blog, Facebook – Astrology with Tim Rubald – a fan page, a Tim Rubald Facebook page,, and some dozen other places as well). Any way you want to get in touch to have me address a particular topic is fine; there may be more continuity if it is here in the blog, but any way is fine.