So here we go into Eclipse season, which I covered in depth in the blog for the current week. It’s not too late to receive that blog if you want to subscribe at any time, just get in touch for easy instructions, and here’s an excerpt of some of the important points –
It’s a brilliant lesson in symbolism and magic to think about the Sun and the Moon in terms of how we see them from planet Earth. They appear to be the same size. We therefore attribute equal importance to them in the horoscope. In other words, your Moon sign is just as important as your Sun sign. They weigh the same.
And it is only because they appear to us to be the same size that the wonder of Eclipses can happen at all, the disc of one fitting exactly over the disc of the other –
The Sun’s distance from Earth is about 400 times the Moon’s distance, and the Sun’s diameter is about 400 times the Moon’s diameter. Because these ratios are approximately the same, the Sun and the Moon as seen from Earth appear to be approximately the same size (Wikipedia)
HOW OFTEN DO ECLIPSES OCCUR?
Eclipses occur every 6 months when a New or Full Moon is also conjunct the Moon’s Nodes. The North and South Node are not heavenly bodies, they are the imaginary points at which the Moon cuts across the Ecliptic (from which we derive the word Eclipse) which is the apparent path of the Sun’s motion as seen from planet Earth. It’s because the Earth’s axis is tilted that we don’t get Eclipses every month.
Eclipses work in pairs, sometimes in threes. A Solar Eclipse (on a New Moon) is therefore always followed two weeks later by a Lunar Eclipse (on a Full Moon) or vice versa.
- A Solar Eclipse – occurs when the Sun is obscured by the shadow of the Moon at the time of a New Moon
- A Lunar Eclipse – occurs when the Moon is obscured by the shadow of the earth at the time of a Full Moon
So today it’s the New Moon/Solar Eclipse at 21.08 Libra on Saturday 14 October, and the next one will be Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse at 05.09 Taurus on Saturday 28 October.
Saturday 14 October
- New Moon/Solar Eclipse 21 Libra 18.56 BST
Saturday 28 October
- Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse 5 Taurus 05.09 BST
Both of these Eclipses link to the horoscope for Israel – conjunct the Ascendant of 23 Libra, square the Moon (the people in a country’s horoscope) at 4 Leo. There’s more interpretation of this in the weekly blog.
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Eclipses get mixed press but basically they’re points of significant change that often involve power issues and/or the crux points of triangular situations, ie as symbolized by the intricate relationship between the three bodies of the Sun, Moon and Earth. Who is going to overshadow whom?
IN YOUR OWN CHART – if you have planets or Angles (beginning to the 1st, 4th, 7th or 10th Houses) at or very close to the Eclipse degrees then these will be relevant to your own life events. Also look to see if those degrees feature in the horoscopes of those closest to you, especially the ones who are going through the same event alongside you.
Key themes to look out for –
- Themes of empowerment – disempowerment, including transferal of power. Unsurprisingly Eclipses often feature at times of the change of a monarch, either through the death of a King or Queen or through abdications – (examples in last week’s blog – Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, William and Harry, Beatrix Queen of the Netherlands, Juan Carlos of Spain)
- Being overshadowed, feeling in the dark
- Themes of inevitability – Eclipses light a fuse that can’t be extinguished
- Themes of loss/endings that change your life and set you on a different path
- Themes of symbolic death/rebirth – out with the old, in with the new, literally or psychologically
- Sorting winners from losers between twos or threes (Sun, Moon, Earth), eg tipping points in affairs, job applications or promotions, house buying, any competitive situation. One person’s loss is another person’s gain
- Dealing with that which, until now, has been hidden from us in some way
- Revelations – sometimes on the run up to the Eclipse, sometimes even exactly on the day
- Revelations in the not very distant future, when we learn what happened when we weren’t looking, when we were in the dark or “when the light went out”
- Tipping points of change and goodbyes – no going back to something belonging to your old life
- Getting out of your own way OR standing up for yourself or for someone else who’s “in the shadows”
HOW LONG DO ECLIPSES LAST?
This is the kind of question that has many different answers, depending on what you read, but in reality can be answered only by very close study and observation. In nearly 40 years of studying astrology I can only say that the closer the event to the actual Eclipse moment, the more significant it is. It really is that simple.
However, events that show on or very close to the Eclipse date will capture the symbolism BUT they can also light a fuse, and it can take weeks, months or longer for that fuse to burn out. The Eclipse is the moment that changes everything, like abdications as covered in last week’s blog. The Eclipse moment is the heart of the shadow.
Ask Chris Hipkins, who succeeded Jacinda Ardern (Jacindamania, a tough act to follow but in fact he inherited a great deal of mess) as prime minister for New Zealand. On Saturday he was eclipsed, he lost the elections. No horoscope for him, but born 5 September 1978 – and therefore has Mars at 20 Libra, almost exactly conjunct the Solar Eclipse degree.
The chart for New Zealand has a Gemini Ascendant and therefore the chart ruler is Mercury. We then find Mercury at 15 Libra, just over the traditional 5 degrees away but close enough to count. This in itself would be the showing of a change of government.
There was also a very interesting feature this week on the BBC website about Eclipses, not linked to astrology but to the astronomy –
LIBRA TIME OF YEAR
The Sun is still in Libra (go to the end of this newsletter for the complete Libra section taken from my book) with today’s Solar Eclipse at 21 degrees of this sign.
Is this significant for all Librans? In terms of astrological craft I was always taught that a lunation (New or Full Moon) is relevant to the individual if it falls within 2 degrees of a natal planet or Angle, and that an Eclipse is relevant if it falls within 5 degrees.
I’ve always found that you can allow slightly wider orbs than this but, as with all craft, the tighter the orb (the more exact the contact) the more important it will be in terms of reflecting a life event.
For example, if you have a planet or Angle at 21 Libra this Eclipse will have a 0 degree orb for you, if you have a planet or Angle at 23 Libra then it will be a 2 degree orb, and so on.
So all Librans born 5 days either side of today can count this Eclipse as personally relevant as their natal Sun will be somewhere between 16 and 26 degrees of Libra. The same for those born in the opposite sign of Aries for the corresponding 2 weeks (6th to 16th April), putting the Sun between 16 and 26 degrees of Aries. Eclipses by square also count, which means those born with the Sun between 16 – 26 degrees of Cancer/Capricorn are in the mix too.
Of course it’s not just about the Sun. Any other planets or Angles that fall between 6 and 16 degrees of the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) are in the path of this Eclipse.
INTERPRETING YOUR OWN CHART
Re interpretation you will need to look at which planet is involved, and how that planet sits in relation to the rest of your horoscope. As I always teach when looking at a planet the first question to ask is – what is its condition, by sign, house, aspect? Is it powerful or is it in trouble? I’ll write more in the coming week’s blog about how to use this essential interpretation technique.
All astrology works at a particular level (for the individual) and also at the universal level (how it shows for the collective, such as a a community, a country, or even the whole world). Both of these Eclipses link to the horoscope for Israel and I’ll be interpreting this in the blog for the coming week.
GREEK ISLAND SUMMER SCHOOL 2024
There are four courses scheduled for next year and there are bookings and provisional reservations for all of them, so they’re definitely going ahead. Here’s the choice and please feel free to ask questions, no matter how small, we’re here to help –
- 5 June – Tarot & Astrology with Joanna – 5 OF 10 PLACES AVAILABLE
- 12 June – Questions, Questions – Horary Astrology with Elisabeth Brooke – 6 OF 10 PLACES AVAILABLE
- 4 September – Intermediate Astrology – How to do Readings with Joanna – 6 OF 10 PLACES AVAILABLE
- 11 September – Medieval Astrology with Chris Mitchell – 8 OF 10 PLACES AVAILABLE
ELISABETH BROOKE & CHRIS MITCHELL
If you want to find out more about the courses with our visiting tutors you can contact them direct, and here’s the link to Elisabeth’s latest blog as well –
Until next time, with love from Greece
ALL ABOUT LIBRA
Here’s a copy of the Libra chapter taken from my book Essential Astrology (previous titled Be Your Own Astrologer) which has just been relaunched under the new title by Cico Books –
Ruling planet: Venus
Symbol: The Scales
Element and Mode: Cardinal Air
Key Phrase: I Relate
Spot the Libra
Venus’ first sign is Taurus, who embodies the earthy sensual nature of this planet, and her second is Libra, the sign of the Scales. The obvious themes of balance and symmetry often show in the physical appearance and, as Venus rules beauty itself, many Librans are real good lookers. The chief characteristics are well proportioned faces, regular features, a full sensual mouth, a seductive smile and sometimes dimples in the cheeks or the chin. The eyes are usually large, almond shaped and beautiful, whatever the colour. Librans are natural socialites, but they tend not to play to the gallery and can find the role of social butterfly tiring or superficial. You are more likely to find them engaged in earnest, one to one conversations. Librans also have an eye for fashion and can pick out the right outfit at twenty paces. Casual or dressed up to the nines, the look is stylish and perfectly coordinated.
The Libra Nature
The constant weighing of the scales, listing the pros and cons, considering all angles and the desire to arrive at a balanced judgment all lie at the root of Libra’s reputation for dithering and indecision. When you have a conversation that is peppered with “on the other hand”, “all things considered”, “to be fair” and “what do you think?” you’ll know you are talking to a Libran. As with all the air signs they love to chat but they especially love to bounce their thoughts and ideas off others and collect different views and opinions.
The famous Scales also symbolize the two sides to a partnership and most Librans are natural diplomats. They have huge amounts of charm and their powers of negotiation, arbitration and compromise are second to none. On a good day they are sweetness and light personified. However, when ruffled, tired or unfulfilled Librans suffer from a lack of purpose or sense of urgency and can be seriously cranky, argumentative and chaotic. Their opposite sign of Aries embodies the directness and immediacy that Libra struggles to acquire.
Love & Relationships
Relationships are of course important for everyone but for a Libran they amount to life support. A one sided set of scales is of no use, to anyone, so Librans are wired for partnership and generally dislike doing things solo. Loneliness can be their biggest fear, sometimes to the extent of spending time with people that they don’t especially like. Conversely, they may find themselves saddled with difficult people because they find it so hard to say no and dread giving offence. It takes a lot for a Libran to reject. They are the ultimate people pleasers or rescuers and easily fall into the trap of trying to be everything to everyone. However, they have a shy streak and often find it hard to ask for what they want in return.
Unsurprisingly it is rare for a Libran to be without a relationship for any great length of time. The next partner seems to materialize with surprising ease, much to the chagrin of their single friends. They make it look very easy. The flipside of the coin is the “someone is better than no-one” trap, over dependency or neediness, but ultimately they value mental chemistry. Of all the signs they are the most likely to make a success of a platonic relationship, especially if there is a meeting of minds and enjoyable companionship.
As one of the Venus ruled signs many Librans are found in the beauty industry and all jobs that relate to makeup, perfume, lotions and potions. Anything that makes you feel good and look good is the Libra domain, so here we also find the fashion designers and jewelry experts of the zodiac. If you want to dejunk and revamp your wardrobe enlist a Libran. Apart from the fact that they love to be needed and take pleasure in helping you they have a natural feel for style and fabrics. This is where their indecisive streak disappears. They have very definite tastes, they know what suits them – and you – and they can put the perfect outfit together in a matter of minutes. This talent also extends to interior design and a typical Libran home will be a place of great beauty, comfort and luxury. A bed is not a bed unless it’s piled high with cushions, a living room is not a living room unless it is rich with soft furnishings and objects of art.
Libra’s sociable nature and ability to charm, smooth and soothe can also lead to great success in the diplomatic and business worlds. In addition to a definite taste for the high life they excel at wining, dining and PR. The fair minded nature of this sign also lends them to legal careers, such as judges, magistrates and any work in a court of law.
In the physical body Libra rules the kidneys. With their love of good living Librans need to flush out the old and to keep their lives moving. Illnesses may arise from over indulgence or inactivity, or the inertia of depression. They also invariably have a sweet tooth and need to control their sugar intake to ward off the risk of diabetes. They tend to have extremely sensitive blood sugar levels and their energy can plummet without regular fuel.
Find me a Libran who doesn’t love a bath. This is where they soak away the tensions of each day and quiet the noise in their busy heads. Here they find solitude rather than the dreaded loneliness, the oasis in their constantly interactive world. Librans have to learn firm boundaries to protect themselves from other people’s stress and not feel guilty about it.
In a nutshell: sociable, charming, indecisive, diplomatic, discursive, fair
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, named by People Magazine in April 2013 as “Most Beautiful Woman”. She announced her separation as “conscious uncoupling”, the practice of ending a marriage in a cooperative and respectful way.
Television and music entrepreneur Simon Cowell, best known for his role as talent judge on The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent series, and for the fact that his entourage includes all his ex partners.
One of the original pinups and best known sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s French actress, singer and model Brigitte Bardot was considered to be the ultimate in feminine beauty.