Predicting the outcome of an eclipse is sort of like predicting the weather – you usually go in knowing there’s a good chance you’ll be wrong. Sure, astrologers alert us to the probable focus of an eclipse’s energy by discussing the astrological signs involved, and the event’s relationship to other planets. But whether the outcome will be positive or negative is tough to say – sometimes even after it’s over.
Eclipses have interesting characteristics that help to make them seem unpredictable. Let’s take a look at why their effects are so elusive.
First, the effect is often felt at least two weeks – and sometimes as far ahead as six weeks – before the event, and can still resonate up to a year after the eclipse itself, particularly in an affected individual’s life.
Second, the very fact that an eclipse happens causes the disruption of normal processes. They create an interruption of solar or lunar energy, since solar eclipses are caused by the Moon standing between the Sun and the Earth, and lunar eclipses occur when the Earth stands between Moon and Sun. In effect, the eclipse temporarily shuts down the light from one of the two most significant bodies in our astrological system, and rather like a rowdy classroom when the teacher steps out for a moment, all the less powerful bodies grab the moment to make themselves heard, often with chaotic results. The power of the disruption is increased by the fact that eclipses occur on full and new moons, when the pull of the Sun and Moon are the strongest.
Third, eclipses nearly always occur in pairs, packing a one-two punch (usually one solar and one lunar) over a two week period – which often leaves people, governments and corporations reeling. They also occur at least twice a year.
And last, according to Bernadette Brady in her book The Eagle and the Lark, eclipses move in families – or cycles. Each cycle has a different birth chart, and produces only one single eclipse pair every 18 years – and each cycle lasts about 1,300 years. No wonder they’re hard to predict! But there’s hope. Brady predicts the individual natures of each cycle, as well as the positive or negative effects of eclipses, by describing the birth chart for each series. Her book has an appendix that identifies and interprets every eclipse from 1900 to 2050. It’s a great resource!
To start working with eclipses, get an astrological chart that is based on your actual birth time. An eclipse is especially important for you if it occurs within a degree or two of planets, angles or significant points in your personal chart. However, eclipses can even have major effects in the areas of your life ruled by the houses in your chart in which they take place – even without direct aspects. Also, many believe that being in the eclipse’s path increases the strength of its impact.
Next, get a handle on the difference between how solar and lunar eclipses operate, and notice which one or ones in a pair or group actually hit points in your chart. Because the light of the Sun, which rules our conscious nature, is blocked out by a solar eclipse, we tend to react thoughtlessly – immediately, instinctively and often defensively – when under its influence. Since the Moon is connected with our subconscious or emotional natures, when its light is blocked our emotions are intensified – while our motives remain hidden from us.
Watch what happens
For some reason, eclipses create the urge or mandate to react immediately, and this can happen even if you think you know what’s coming, and have decided to be cautious. Because of the intensification of energies, a lot seems to happen in a short time during an eclipse’s influence, and things appear to have changed a lot after it all shakes out. Some believe that eclipses are triggers for quantum leaps, those radical discontinuities in events or actions that make long-blocked changes possible.
Since eclipses seem to target what’s not working, you can cooperate with eclipse changes by identifying what you’d like to change in the areas that will be affected by the eclipse. An astrologer can help you identify the affected areas, and then you can use journaling, meditation or some other inner process to focus on what you’d like to work on, and what you’d like to change – with the rather unpredictable assistance of your upcoming eclipse.
Just remember that any time you bring awareness to your experience of a powerful astrological influence, and are willing to welcome change, you can ride those energies into a positive and powerful future!
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