By Mary Plumb | November 28, 2016
This week we are midway between two solar eclipses, acutely sensitive points in the fabric of time. Eclipses are used for tracking mundane events, but also can be felt in the innermost self, particularly if aspecting — by conjunction or opposition — the natal Sun, Moon, or Ascendant degree.
The approaching New Moon at 7°42′ Sag (4:18 a.m. PST on Tuesday) is squaring the (past) September 1 North Node solar eclipse at 9° Virgo, and the upcoming South Node solar eclipse on February 26 at 8° Pisces.
Eclipses occur near the lunar nodes, the astronomical points where the Moon’s orbit around the earth intersects with earth’s path around the Sun. I remember Charles Harvey speaking of the word “node” meaning “knot.” Since then I have thought that the nodes tie together the three great realms (and all the symbolisms) of Sun, Moon, and Earth.
I also like the simple imagery of the North Node = Dragon’s Head and South Node = Dragon’s Tail. We sense the new, take in life, energy, experience, nourishment through the mouth, the eyes, the nostrils (all in the head), and eliminate through the tail that which has been digested and assimilated. (1)
I want to return to the Saros cycle which I wrote about earlier this year. (Solar Eclipse: a moment in a longer cycle of time )
The Saros cycle connects eclipses at 18.3-year intervals and were understood by the earliest known astrologers, the Chaldeans.
The solar eclipse on September 1, 2016, at 9° Virgo was part of Saros 19N, about which Bernadette Brady writes: “This Saros Series is about realism, a coming down to earth. The individual will become aware of an old situation and see it for what it is rather than what he or she thought it was. This can be a constructive time for tackling the truth.” (2)
Well, in my personal life something that I had hoped and wished for (augmented, no doubt, by the long Saturn-Neptune square that had its last pass on September 10) absolutely landed with a thud in late September.
In the mundane picture: the transiting node reached 9° Virgo (the eclipse degree) in mid November; the election results brought a new reality requiring many to “see it for what it is rather than what he or she thought it was.”
Just as this week the New Moon is awakening the sensitive degrees of the surrounding eclipses, transiting Mars is also moving into position to directly trigger the themes and events signified by the eclipses.
From December 29 – 31, transiting Mars and Neptune will come together at 9° Pisces, opposite the September eclipse degree and foreshadowing the February eclipse. (Mars-Neptune is naturally hard to quantify: it can signify refinement, altruism and devotion, and hopelessly confused, ineffective, or deceptive actions. Straightforward self-reflection is recommended.)
Then, Mars moves into his home sign Aries on January 27 and will be conjunct Uranus (22° Aries) at the February eclipse. Jupiter, the dispositor of the eclipse (the traditional ruler of Pisces), will be at 22° Libra, exactly opposite the Mars-Uranus conjunction at the eclipse.
Jupiter in Libra holds the beacon for social concerns and justice. All levels and manifestations of rebellion against inequality or repression and fighting for fairness are bound to part of our landscape for a while.
The nodal axis has been in Virgo/Pisces since November 2015. With North Node in Virgo, that house of the horoscope has been the place to sense and bravely follow a vigorous opening in your life. The Pisces South Node house is a realm where you are winding down — the story has gotten old, accompanied perhaps by bittersweet loss or despair, which although cherished, can be blessed and released.
During this eclipse season, where 8° – 9° Virgo/Pisces falls in the natal horoscope is where we are realigning and repositioning ourselves. This week, as the Sun squares the eclipse degrees, we are at a crossroads where we may notice the parallel motifs from the nodal axis. Awareness is the first step, as many teachers say.
See footnote below for Bernadette Brady’s note on the Saros cycle for the upcoming eclipse. Enjoy yourselves!
(1) The North Node, the Dragon’s Head, (aka ascending node) marks the point where the Moon crosses the ecliptic and ascends into the northern celestial latitudes; the South Node, or the descending node, marks the descent from north to south latitudes.
The North and South Nodes of the Moon are known in Vedic astrology as Rahu and Ketu, respectively; their epic story is told in the ancient Indian text, the Mahabharata.
(2) Bernadette Brady, Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark, Samuel Weiser, 1999, pg. 334.
Brady’s synopsis for the February 26 eclipse (Saros 19S) reads: “This is a family of eclipses that brings with it the elements of the pleasant surprise. Sudden happiness. A joyful event, the lucky break, the lucky win. The events which will be occurring can be believed and can positively change the person’s life.” Ibid, p. 336.