As noted more than once here already, readers of my blogs have asked for the occasional venue to ask me questions, along the line of Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” sessions. This is this month’s contribution to that series—with an additional feature. Over the last month or so I’ve fielded a number of inquiries about what astrology would make of the recent solar eclipse over the United States, and I took some time while the eclipse was happening to cast and delineate a chart. That’s below, for those who are interested in such things. For the rest of you, this is an ordinary open post. Ask me anything, and discuss among yourselves—subject to the usual rules, of course.
Okay, on to the eclipse. Traditionally, solar eclipses are seen as harbingers of trouble, and the standard texts of mundane astrology—the two I use these days are both titled Mundane Astrology, unimaginatively enough, and were written by “Raphael” (Robert Cross) and H.S. Green respectively—give prognostications based on the point on the ecliptic where the eclipse takes place. It’s worth noting, though, that there are three to five solar eclipses every year, so those who expect this one to predict the end of the world or anything equally colorful are going to be disappointed. A solar eclipse, rather, predicts a limited period of ordinary trouble affecting the regions from which the eclipse could be seen clearly. Here, given the path of totality, that means the United States.
Here’s the chart of the eclipse, cast for Washington DC—that’s traditional, since eclipses are a factor in mundane (that is, political) astrology, and mundane charts are always cast for the capital of the political unit under consideration. (If you don’t know what any of this means, see this essay introducing astrology from one of my old blogs.) See the symbols for Sun and Moon near the top, both marked with the position 28 degrees 52 minutes of Leo? That’s the eclipse.
The signs of the zodiac are divided into cardinal, fixed, and mutable signs, and Leo’s a fixed sign. Eclipses in fixed signs tend to predict enduring effects, and often—though not always—those effects begin with a bang. The signs are also divided among the four classic elements, and Leo’s a fire sign; eclipses in fire signs predict discontent and dissension among the people, as well as violence, fires, fevers, pestilences, and agricultural failures. The eclipse was in the ninth house of the chart; this can indicate trouble over religion, on the one hand, or trouble relating to a foreign country far from the US, on the other—or it can mean both. Finally, the eclipse was in the early afternoon; this indicates that the effects will begin to be felt about four months after the eclipse itself, peak between six and eight months after the eclipse, and fade out thereafter.
So that gives the basic outline. It’s when we factor in the rest of the planets that things get more specific. A really thorough delineation would discuss the position and implications of every planet, and then pull those together into an overall synthesis. Since this isn’t an astrology blog, I’m going to let that pass for now, and talk about the important stuff.
The first thing to notice is that the eclipse is conjunct Mercury, on the one hand, and Mars on the other, but these two are too far away to be conjunct each other. Thus it’s very likely that both the traditional meanings of a ninth house eclipse apply: there will be trouble with a foreign nation during the time the eclipse has its effect, and there will also be religious turmoil. Let’s take these one at a time.
Mercury, the planet of mind and communication, is opposite Neptune, which is the planet of spirituality in its higher expressions and of confusion, deception, and addiction in its lower manifestations. Mercury is in the ninth house of religion and foreign relations, so we can expect the trouble to surface in one, or more likely both of these areas. What’s more, Mercury and Neptune are both in the signs they rule, and both retrograde—strong, in other words, but not in a good way—and Mercury rules the midheaven while Neptune rules the nadir, thus having a major influence on the chart. (The planet ruling the sign on any house cusp is the ruler of that cusp.)
In a mundane chart, Mercury opposite Neptune predicts notable frauds, mass delusions, and highly public scandals, as well as endless disputes and recriminations in the press. The presence of Mercury alongside the eclipse in the ninth house suggests that at least one explosive scandal dealing with religion will seize the public imagination during the time the eclipse has its effect, and it’s also very likely that a new and very controversial religious movement will become a focus of public attention and debate during this time. More broadly, the media (ruled by Mercury) in the US will be even more of a basket case than it is now, full of confusion and misinformation; when dealing with foreign countries, in particular, you’ll be able to assume that anything that appears in the US media is basically nonsense.
Mars is in a very different condition, supported by favorable aspects—a trine (120 degrees) with Saturn and a sextile (60 degrees) with Jupiter. If Mars was angular—in the first, fourth, seventh, or tenth houses—we could count on a war, but the ninth is a weak, cadent house, so we can most likely expect threats of war rather than an actual outbreak. The threats will be directed against a country that doesn’t border the USA (the ninth house influence again) and will be more or less successful (as shown by the favorable Jupiter and Saturn aspects), but a great many people in America and elsewhere can be expected to freak out about the situation as it unfolds. Look for impressive amounts of overheated rhetoric and plenty of loud emotional meltdowns here in the US (that’s the Mercury-Neptune axis again).
A variety of other details can be extracted from the chart as it stands, but I’ll limit myself to one: serious economic trouble, slow and grinding rather than sudden and sharp. Saturn in the first house is a reliable indicator of impoverishment among the mass of the population. It warns of unemployment, loss of trade, public health crises, and discontent. That’s not going to blow up during the period governed by the eclipse, but it’s going to fester, and feed explosions later on.
Okay, on to the last thing I want to talk about on this subject, which is the importance of the eclipse in terms of the overall trajectory of the United States. You determine that by comparing the eclipse chart, or any other mundane chart you’re assessing, with the foundation chart of the country you have in mind. For the United States, that’s rendered complex by the fact that there are a range of competing times. The most widely used one, which I also use, takes the time as recorded by the astrologer Ebenezer Sibly in England, who got the data from friends in America; that’s 5:10 pm local mean time, July 4 , 1776, which matches other sources such as Jefferson’s own comments in later years.
What makes the Sibly time controversial is simply that it puts Saturn in the tenth house, which is a widely recognized indicator in astrology: it predicts a sudden fall from great power. John F. Kennedy and Adolf Hitler, for example, both had it in their natal charts, and very few US astrologers have wanted to deal with the implications of its presence in our national horoscope. That’s not a habit I find praiseworthy—particularly when the eclipse forms an aspect with the location of Saturn in the Sibly-based US foundation chart.
It’s not a strong aspect, mind you. It’s a semisquare, which is a mild negative aspect, implying that the events following the eclipse will contribute something to the future collapse of the US—the kind of thing historians talk about when they discuss causes and consequences. Far more significant is the hard opposition between the eclipse and the US chart’s Moon.
The Moon represents the ordinary people of a nation. The eclipse opposite the foundation chart Moon foretells that the events predicted by the eclipse will have a major negative impact on ordinary Americans, and will inspire even more disgust with politicians and the political system than we already see. This could well be the point at which the crisis of legitimacy that’s been building in this country for decades now breaks into the open once and for all.
There are plenty of other things that could be read from the relationship between the eclipse chart and the US foundation chart, but that’s a matter for a lengthier essay; this has already gone on longer than I had in mind. We’ll discuss more of these matters in later posts.
Whenever I post something about astrology, I can count on fielding at least one email asking me if I actually believe in “that stuff.” I like to point out in this context that belief is overrated. I’m far less interested in believing things than I am in trying them out and seeing what happens. If astrology works, it should be possible to demonstrate that by making predictions based on the standard methods of astrological analysis, and seeing how they turn out. I’ve just made a set of predictions. Now we’ll see…
Finally, I’m pleased to announce that Founders House Publishing is now offering a couple of special offers on deindustrial fiction. Those of my readers who don’t happen to have Retrotopia and An Archdruid’s Tales on their bookshelves can now get both of them at a 25% discount off the cover price. Those who didn’t collect the set of After Oil deindustrial short stories anthologies, or who lent them out and haven’t seen them since — I’ve been told that this has happened to more than one of my readers — can buy all four volumes, also at a 25% discount. If you’re short on reading material, I can heartily recommend either or both. 😉
With that said, on to the discussion!