The Lunar Eclipse of 12/31 and Teddy Kennedy’s Legacy

Our New Year’s Eve lunar eclipse at 10° Cancer/Capricorn is a singular mark on the Senate’s December 24, 2009 final vote on its health care reform bill. The next step is for the House of Representatives to cobble together their version of the bill with the Senate’s.

Political sausage is ugly in the making, so expect fresh rounds of blistering harangues, rehashes of “death panel” conspiracies, and spicy but stale accusations of Nazism and Fascism.

But before we are forced to return to the ugliness of business as usual, commemorating 2009’s last eclipse holds special significance. This celestial event falls on the Ascendant and Descendant cusps of liberal lion of the Senate, Teddy Kennedy.

Health care reform was “the cause of my life,” he stated during the closing days of his life. Had he lived to see the historic Senate vote (beloved wife Reggie was on the Senate floor to witness it for him), this astrologer thinks he would have shouted, “Darn good start!”

Teddy Kennedy was diagnosed in late May 2008 of a lethal brain cancer called Glioma. There is no cure and most sufferers die in a matter of months. For luckier patients like Kennedy, they survive about a year.

After a valiant struggle, Kennedy succumbed late in the evening of August 25, 2009, about a year and a half from the date he endorsed Barack Obama for president (Jan. 28, 2008). It bears mentioning that there is a 29-year age difference between Teddy Kennedy and Barack Obama – the equivalent of one full Saturn cycle. When Kennedy said he was handing over “the torch of a new generation” to Obama, astrologers know he wasn’t kidding.

The December 31 eclipse on Kennedy’s Ascendant axis shows how:

A person’s chart lives on and continues to resonate during key transits and eclipses;
How a chart reveals the legacies, legends, and dynamic histories of key national figures; and
Provides a glimpse into the hearts of those who know intuitively that life is a seamless web transcending generations and enduring beyond one single person’s incarnation.

Teddy Kennedy grew from a spoiled playboy into a man who could bear and contain that level of soul responsibility.

Regardless of whether one identifies as a progressive or conservative (labels that took on heavier baggage with four oppositions of Saturn-Uranus in Virgo-Pisces), or whether one is a Kennedy fan or not, his devotion to the fight for those who couldn’t fight for themselves became his life’s mission

Edward M. Kennedy

Edward Moore Kennedy (nicknamed Teddy by an older sister) was born Feb. 22, 1932, the worst year of the Great Depression. He was just shy of nine months of age when Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in November of the same year. Teddy was born rich and would never know a day of hunger, homelessness, or denial of a whim. Even so, this man with a compassionate Pisces Sun and Virgo Moon conjunct Neptune found it natural in later years to reach beyond the boundaries of self to champion others.

Kennedy was elected nine times to the U.S. Senate and served a total of 46 years. He outlived his two iconic brothers – one a president, the other his Attorney General – and left a body of social, legal, and economic reforms that are unmatched.

Kennedy’s Pisces Sun is empowered by an out-of-sign conjunction with Mars and Mercury in Aquarius. Mercury (exalted in the sign) is drawn into the opposition with Kennedy’s Moon-Neptune conjunction in Virgo. Freedom-fighting Mars in the every man sign of Aquarius, coupled with Sun in oceanic Pisces, spurred Kennedy to strive ever harder for social justice.

Mercury’s out-of-sign tie-in to Moon and Neptune also made him a marvelous storyteller and spellbinding orator. Kennedy loved to sail (Pisces/water), and whether he was on his sailboat or “sailing” on oratory or raucous song, this man of large appetites and huge emotions lived an unfettered life.

Mars’s placement by itself, however, was always a bane as well as a boon for Kennedy. The warrior planet is posited in mutual reception with his Uranus in Aries. He had a lightning wit for sure. Also a knack for “cutting to the chase,” which allowed him to slice into the core of any issue. His caustic barbs blurted to anyone with the guts to invoke his Irish ire in the Senate were another story. Sometimes the lion suffered from a momentary case of paw in mouth.

That same incisive Mars-Uranus mutual reception finally taught Kennedy how to set safe boundaries around his Moon-Neptune conjunction. The lion could bite. The lion was finally protected.

As this sensitive, but often egotistical, Pisces man (with Jupiter, the Sun’s traditional ruler, in Leo!) matured – and grew into his natal Saturn – he devoted himself to a life of good deeds, redemption (he was a devoted Catholic), and atonement. (The night of July 18, 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne, a Kennedy staff campaign worker, lost her life when Kennedy’s car careened off the side of a narrow bridge. It was alleged that Kennedy was drunk at the wheel and lost control of the car. Kennedy was charged with fleeing the scene of the accident, but not with Mary Jo’s death.)

Teddy’s bouts with alcoholism, philandering, a broken back suffered in a plane crash, the assassination of two brothers, and the death of his older sister Kathleen, exacted a heavy toll. Outside events proved to be what was necessary to force Kennedy to embrace his unaspected first-house Saturn posited in duty-laden Capricorn.

The aforementioned tragedies tempered the anger, the ego, and the bluster. He donned the mantle of family patriarch and stand-in father for Jack and Bobby’s children. It was then that Kennedy fully embraced his destiny. The long road of a privileged yet tragedy-burdened life combined to make him a champion of the common people — the liberal lion of the U.S. Senate.

Lunar Eclipse

As mentioned above, eclipse Sun conjoins Teddy’s Ascendant and the Moon conjoins his Descendant. The eclipse itself is a South Node event highlighting the past, family, deep feelings, endings, and the final rest of those who have passed on.

Pluto, Venus, and Sun oppose the eclipse Moon and all flow into a t-square with Saturn positioned at 4° Libra. Teddy’s natal Ascendant joins Pluto, Venus, and Sun in the 8th house of the eclipse chart, the house of legacies, death, and inheritances. It is the house also associated with insurance and corporations.

Looking at the same planets placed in Teddy’s chart brings the Capricorn crowd in alignment with Teddy’s first,house unaspected Saturn. Although none are far enough along by degree to conjoin Teddy’s Saturn, Venus will by January 17 (two days after 2010’s first major Solar Eclipse). It will take Pluto many years to meet Teddy’s Saturn. This will occur close to and just after the USA’s first Pluto return of 2022-2023. However, the twin themes of identity (first house) and legacy/inheritances (8th house) are merged here in the charts and more will be revealed as the eclipse cycle of 2010 unfolds.

Saturn, currently in transit through Libra, is squared by the eclipse Sun, Moon, and the Capricorn players, Pluto and Venus. Venus is also in mutual reception with Saturn until mid-January 2010. Retrograde Mercury at 19° Capricorn stationed on December 26 while conjunct the North Node. This signals that the health care bill’s final form will be the result of a renewed battle between corporate special interests (Pluto in Capricorn) seeking to undermine advocates of a structured health care bill that favors fairness (Saturn in Libra).

As the United States moves closer to its 8th Saturn Return (Dec. 3, 2010), it will also make its 8th waxing square to the USA’s vulnerable Cancer Sun. The stress of that, combined with energy offloading from the cardinal t-square (transiting Saturn, Pluto, and Uranus), may force legislation that removes insurance company mandates and proposed IRS penalties. The failure of the U.S. economy and looming bankruptcy of the health care system itself may do for the public what it cannot do for itself.

Perhaps in the end health care reform will arise out of the sheer burden of necessity (Saturn). It may be that the Saturnian lesson Teddy was forced to learn personally will push the United States as a country into evolving, into manifesting something closer to the true reform Teddy Kennedy envisioned.

The Sabian Symbol for eclipse Moon is “A Clown is Caricaturing Well-Known Personalities.” Alongside the impersonations and send-ups of politicians from the likes of Leno, Letterman, and SNL, we can look forward to more biting sarcasm from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central.

Politicians will not disappoint. The usual suspects will hit the airwaves in all their majesty. Exaggerated claims made by the buffoonish Sarah Palin and the Kabuki Theater of right wing court jesters such Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Glenn Beck will continue unabated.

The Sabian Symbol for eclipse Sun is “Pheasants Display Their Brilliant Colors on a Private Estate.” Privilege, position, and power are clearly indicated by this Saturn-ruled Sun position. As Lynda Hill outlines in her brilliant Sabian Symbols book, “360 Degrees of Wisdom,” we have some keywords to consider: “Glorious houses and estates. Lawns and gardens. . . .  [the] Aristocracy and the ruling elite.”

The two eclipse degree symbols are either a Greek tragedy or a Greek comedy. At this stage, I’m not sure which!

Buffoons and elites will mingle this New Year’s Eve while the USA, looking a bit like the Titanic, still relies on the working class to rearrange the deck chairs. Let us hope that relief is on the way.


Edward M. Kennedy; Feb. 22, 1932; 3:58 am, EST; Dorchester, Massachusetts (42°N17’, 71°W04’). AA
Lunar Eclipse; Dec. 31, 2009; 2:12:45 pm EST; Washington, DC, (38°N53’, 77°W02’).

© 2009 Claudia D. Dikinis

Claudia D. Dikinis (Starcats) is an astrologer, poet and writer located in Santa Monica, California. As founder of AstroConsultants of Santa Monica, she maintains a thriving practice as a full-time astrologer and writer. To learn more about Claudia, her services and check out her Starcats astrology articles and blogs, visit her website: Starcats You can also email Claudia at