By Dale OBrien | January 3, 2011
Here’s a belated offering toward understanding the recent, very rare, total lunar eclipse, occurring just hours before the winter solstice and widely visible across North America. Although astrologers tend to focus on upcoming astrological events, particularly at the beginning of the calendar year, the close proximity of the lunar eclipse to the winter solstice suggests a great and long-lasting significance to this celestial event. This piece deals with an analysis of the zodiacal degree imagery for that eclipse.
A Matter of Degree
In 1925 Elsie Wheeler, in collaboration with astrologer Marc Edmund Jones, psychically derived images for each of the degrees of the zodiac. From that time until the present, astrologers have studied the images and commented upon them extensively, including the wonderful work of Australia’s Lynda Hill. The description of the degree image that follows comes from Jones’s own notation of what Elsie Wheeler clairvoyantly “saw” as quoted in Lynda Hill’s book, The Sabian Symbols As An Oracle. (1) These images provide amazing insight into personal charts, but also into any astrological chart, including the recent momentous lunar eclipse.
Ideally, to understand a lunar eclipse via degree image analysis, we would look not only at the degree of the eclipsed Moon, but the opposite degree where the Sun was illuminating this Moon. Since space does not allow that here, we will only look at the most important “Sabian” degree, that of the eclipsed Moon. The 30º Gemini image is “a parade of bathing beauties before large beach crowds.” What might this odd image tell us about 2010 and the astrological year that began just hours later at the winter solstice?
Let’s look at this particular lunar eclipse image within the social context, time, and place from which the symbols “emerged.” Elsie Wheeler received the Sabian symbol images in America, where she lived, in 1925; the cultural milieu of the United States in the early 1920s is a kind of backdrop to the symbols. The “bathing beauties” of the early to mid 1920s were the contestants in the recently created Miss America contest, based in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in September 1920. (2)
At the time, this contest was a highly controversial national issue and a major media event. Prudish, outraged women’s groups and equally outraged conservative, male religious and political leaders, opposed the event, adamant that such public exposure and media attention was a bad thing. On the other side of the issue were various newspapers, promoters, a large portion of the general public, numerous young female contestants and finalists, and a controversial female swimsuit designer. The women in favor of the contest saw it as a unique opportunity for fame and fortune in a male-dominated economy. Since the contest had both a “professional” and “amateur” division, there was significant opportunity for recognition for the typically little known “ordinary” female folk.
Over fifty major U.S. newspapers, attempting to increase circulation, promoted local contests to choose representatives for the national contest. Miss America contestants were judged, of course, on beauty, but also on intelligence, talent, personality, healthiness, and fitness. The judges included artists, such as Norman Rockwell. These judges had a fifty percent say in picking the winner; in-person public opinion delivered the other fifty percent of the decision. In 1923 alone, over 300,000 people ventured to see the contestants and presumably have their voices heard. In 1923 the results were aired on national radio, which was the preeminent media of the time. Some successful contestants moved on to fame and fortune, and various artists shared the images of contest participants in photography, film, and sculpture. Controversy over the contest continued throughout the 1920s, with adversaries even shutting down the event in 1928. However, with time, the annual contest became a widely accepted American institution, just as early contest judge Norman Rockwell became an American icon.
The main controversy regarding the contest involved the public exposure of that which had previously been hidden versus those who wanted “cover-ups,” or wanted the whole thing to simply stop happening and be forgotten. However, ultimately the ongoing “revelations” did not stop what would soon become an accepted part of modern American culture.
Applying This Degree Analysis to the Lunar Eclipse of December 2010
The fine art of astrology involves, in part, the synthesis of a particular planet’s nature in the unique context of celestial place, i.e., its zodiacal sign and degree. Therefore, for example, brightly beautiful Venus on 30º degree of Gemini has quite a different expression than the eclipsed Moon on the same degree. Astrology, as an art, tells us that that which is visually obvious is also symbolically obvious. The lunar eclipse shows bright Moonlight turning dark, even blood red, before returning again to brightness. In this case, all of this occurs just hours before the winter solstice — an extremely rare occurrence.
Each lunar month, the Moon’s light emerges from the darkness of the previous New Moon and grows in light toward the maximum of the Full Moon. At a lunar eclipse, however, that full light will darken, dim, and become “off color.” Knowing this, as astrological detectives, we look to see what captured collective attention from the time of the New Moon (December 5) to the Full Moon lunar eclipse (December 21) for correlation of an issue involving exposure of multiple dark lit facts about people, with an atmosphere of controversy and significant media attention. Since the eclipse was (weather permitting) visible over the first 48 states, we are emphasizing stories involving the United States.
Obviously, for December 2010 (and beyond!), we are looking at the WikiLeaks story, including WikiLeaks principle Julian Assange being involved in a sexual scandal the included the issue of the purportedly forced removal of a woman’s clothing — an issue of exposure. Even more importantly, approximately the first 10% of the WikiLeaks information discloses the murder of innocents, widespread, enormous corruption, and other dark revelations.
Synthesizing the astrology here, the expected sequence is as follows: At first, some of these WikiLeaks revelations are “brought to light” like the fully illuminated Moon before the lunar eclipse, then the revelations are “cast in a dark light” analogous to the Earth’s shadow creating the eclipse. The nature of a lunar eclipse, especially on this particular degree, implies that WikiLeaks and/or similar revelations are likely to emerge in a bright light.
This particular Sabian symbol does not tell us one way or the other about what will happen to the man Julian Assange. However, the lunar eclipse here strongly implies that WikiLeaks (or similar) revelations are not going to go away, and after early strife, their truth is likely to be seen in “a good light” by the general public. Various contemporary artists may very well aid their vindication. For instance, documentary maker/celebrity Michael Moore has already helped with Assange’s bail.
A Tough Act to Follow: Winter Solstice 2010 Upstaged
Every year between 1639 and 2009, no celestial event in December upstaged the significance of the winter solstice. It’s quite a different story in 2010, since the just-eclipsed Moon’s dramatic “show” grabbed our attention from the annual new beginning of the winter solstice. There has been nothing like December 2010 since December 1638, when there was a total lunar eclipse on the same degree, just before winter solstice. (The comparison of then and now is a story in itself. Look for another TMA blog about this soon.)
If there is anything to this Sabian symbol analysis, unprecedented transparent truth will ultimately prevail. Peace in our lifetime? Perhaps. If so, this Sabian’s story implies not now, and probably not right away. But if the U.S. government and other world leaders ever do become peace-oriented, this Sabian symbol implies that we’ll likely have WikiLeaks to thank, as controversial as it may be to write this so soon after this eclipse.
(1) The Sabian Symbols As An Oracle, Lynda Hill, first edition 1995, A White Horse Book, Avalon, Australia, sabiansymbols.com
Dale O’Brien has been a full-time astrologer since 1991 and a member of ISAR (C.A.P.), AFAN, and NCGR, a Jim Lewis-trained Certified Astro*Carto*Graphy Interpreter. His writings have appeared in The Mountain Astrologer, From Here to There (An Astrologer’s Guide to Astromapping), and elsewhere. Dale has taught astrology at all levels and has presented, conventionally and experientially, for UAC, ISAR, NCGR, and elsewhere, as well as on radio. He is also trained as a Dream Tender. Dale lives in Eugene, Oregon.