Skip to content

The Lunar Eclipse: Shocking Revelations and a Media Event

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,


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.

Contact him at or visit his website:


  1. Hello Dale
    Thanks for your explanation. What i miss is the full analyse on the four other degrees. Dane Rudhyar has written that if you want to know where its all about an leading to than someone has to take also the degrees from the signs in opposition and squares. That is: What, 30gr. Gemini. Where to, 30gr.Sagitarius. How, 30gr. Vigro.Wherefore, 30gr.Pisces.
    I see this eclipse as the end of a cycle, also this eclipse falls in the end in movable signs, 30gr.
    I hope you get my point, because my English is not so good to give the full expression.

    With regards Dhyana (Netherlands)

  2. Hello Dhyana,

    Thank you for your comment. I agree with you and with Rudhyar about the importance of these other degree Symbols, as well as the Sabian Symbol for the New Moon prior to the lunar eclipse. In the big picture, we’re also interested in the degree image of the partial solar eclipse that followed (just hours ago). However, this medium of expression does not allow us to go on at such length.

    Very Briefly, however, note the Sabian Symbol of the illuminating Sun for that lunar eclipse, “The Pope blessing the faithful.” This tells us, in part, about the nature of that/who opposes the revelations mentioned. Consider “The Caution” about this 30th Sagittarius degree from Lynda Hill’s book (referenced above). In part, Lynda notes, “Negating, projecting and transferring one’s shadow onto others. Not taking responsibility for one’s actions….Manipulating for desired ends….Demanding obedience. Lording it over people. Leaving people out that don’t measure up or conform….” I’d say that accurately describes the U.S. federal government’s reactions to Assange and WikiLeaks, especially in December 2010.

    In dialogue,
    Dale O’Brien

  3. Hi, Dale,

    I like the bit of history in your piece. Can you please clarify for me if the Sabian 30 Gemini degree association with the Miss America contest was actually documented by MEJ or not?

    In the spirit of Sabian suggestibility, your mention of Michael Moore sparked a connection with Hollywood’s vocal (Gemini) “parade of bathing beauties” in my mind. Obviously a symbolic rather than literal image in Moore’s case. 🙂

  4. Hello pdw,

    Astrologer Marc Edmund Jones, to my knowledge, did not “document” the Miss America contest with the 30th degree Sabian Symbol image.In fact, when it came to the Sabian Symbols, he favored fewer words. In his 1953 book, THE SABIAN SYMBOLS IN ASTROLOGY he shortened the descriptions from his original notation (as quoted in Lynda Hill’s book). Near the end of his life, while giving a talk at Virginia Beach, he was asked about his abbreviated versions of the Sabian Symbols. Jones said that when it comes to these images, “I don’t believe in putting lace on panties” meaning he personally eschews lengthy descriptions of these degree images.
    Those of us who have studied these symbols comparatively and extensively have even wondered if his brevity preference may have even selectively edited what Elsie Wheeler described to him. Perhaps she mentioned the Atlantic City contest and Jones chose not to mention it. However, we don’t need to have explicit “documentation” to know that she most probably implicitly meant this contest. To wit, there is “a parade””of bathing beauties””before large beach crowds.” If anyone is skeptical about this, please show us another historical precedent of such “a parade” “before large beach crowds.” Obviously, she meant the Atlantic City contest. There was nothing like it, certainly at the time.
    Everyone that I know who has studied these symbols to any depth has voluntarily described this degree image as that annual contest.

    Thanks for your question, pdw, and thanks also for the Michael Moore comment. Lightness and even humor often come up in relation yo the Sabian Symbols. It’s particularly helpful here in contrast to the dark of the eclipse and the corresponding dark revelations.

    Dale O’Brien

  5. Thank you, Dale, for the clarification re: MEJ. I wouldn’t want to misquote one of our very fine artists.

  6. Happy Epiphany to All!!! (Three Astrologers’ Day)

    Yes, pdw, Marc Jones was indeed one of our very fine artists. He was quite the researcher as well, meticulously cross-indexing (without computer) 1,000 charts, planet by planet in his book on Sabian Symbols.

    Dale O’Brien

  7. Out of curiosity I took a look at wiki for 1639 and found the following: Jan: First constitution Fundamental Orders in Conneticut (accountability – Capricorn), first printing press Mass (Gemini – media) in Mass, Mar: Harvard U Mass, is named (education Sagittarius; Jerimah Horrocks records transit of venus accross the sun (you coincidently mention venus as an example.)

    This is just beyond the realm of coincidence however – even the fact that I saw both of these things within the span of minutes at Jan 6 10-10:20pm edt
    1639 – Russian Cossacks advance over the Urals to the Pacific, to Okhotsk. (wiki)
    2011 Jan 6 – January 6, 2011 — Sea of Okhotsk, Sakhalin Gulf, Vladivostok, Russia (Reuters) A rescue operation is underway to free ships trapped in ice in the Sea of Okhotsk. (Reuters)

    Don’t know what it means.. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. All I know is the eclipse gave me a bit of the heebie jeebies so I stayed in bed and covered my head 🙂

  8. Hello Dale
    My replay will be,according to Rudhyar book, in key words.Lunar eclips, What= 30gr. Gemini The show is over. Where to-, 30gr. Sig.It, the show ,that is over. What can be a blessing or a curse.How= 30gr.Vigro,Become free from illusions.Why= 30gr. Pices,So a new seed can become for the new cyclus.

    Solar eclips What,14gr.Capricorn.To make discrimination between what are good values and those how not serve./ As a nation, group or individual./
    Where to 14gr.Cancer Brings to the deept of empthyness or transcedante Wisdom.
    How,14 gr.Aries ,through a conflict between soul purpose and ego demands.
    Why, 14gr.Libra.If rightly understand it will bring balance between the soul and ego.

    I hope you can get my point, as you know Englisch is not my mothers language……..

    What I personly understand is ,Ego should become a instrument for the soul. But everone has a choise. That will give in the first stap of initatie always a conflict.
    That is what i have under understood about thise lunar and solar eclips.
    It´s for everyone according his piont in the evolution where will his/hear show be over. So that one-self get free from illusions . But also for groups and nations, what is more complicateted to see directly in front.

    A cross is always a sign where the energie are comming in.The lunar was on the end of the movable signs., falling sign… What gives the end of a cycle.The solaris a head sign. A new beginning .If That can be graps.
    There is a deeper meaning about the 3 cross.
    A.Baily has named them the tree cross of Goglotha.

    I do hope you get my point.Englisch is not my first language.

    with regards Dhyana

  9. Hello Dhyana,

    I do get your point, and appreciate what you have shared with us.

    Thank you,
    Dale O’Brien

  10. Hi Dale, fabulous article! Thanks, it’s so interesting. What an interesting time that would have been = the ’20’s in California! And what a topsy turvey time with the depression following on the heels of all that fashion and freedom. It must have been turbulent to say the least to have survived the depression.

    Your reference to Wikileaks is spot on. In this context, the Bathing Beach Beauties shows all things being on display, being someone ‘naked’, revealed, stripped down. There were a lot of ‘judgments’ (like the judges watching the beauty contest) from people all over the globe about Wikileaks and Julian Assange. Some are very relieved that finally some secrets are coming out (undressed for all to see) and some were outraged that he perpetrated unpatriotic acts, deserved to be assassinated, etc. (The bit about being unpatriotic amuses many Australians (as Julian Assange is) as we’re not particularly into waving the flag and we don’t go on about one being a patriot or not – in fact, I’ve never heard anyone commenting on anyone Australian on issues to do with their patriotism).

    Some may ask, what does this have to do with the Bathing Beach Beauties – it’s got a lot to do with it… and the opposite point of Sag 30: The Pope Blessing The Faithful also speaks to the issue of Wikileaks = part of it is whether people saw Wikileaks as a blessing or a curse…

    Of course, it’s way more than that as well… as you’ve eluded to.

    Great post, Dale! Thanks,

  11. Hello Nancy,

    Thanks for your observations. There’s a lot to be said about the build up to the December 21, 1638 and December 21, 2010 lunar eclipses, followed by Solar Eclipses immediately after on January 4 of the following years. I have found further correspondences between then and now, plus my interpretation of those correspondences, but the length of that material is probably too long for a comment block like this.

    Dale O’Brien

  12. Welcome Lynda!

    One thing that hasn’t been talked about yet is that all these (wikileaks) “revelations” are as if on “parade”, but they’re also in contest with one another. Since so few of these have been reveled so far, we don’t know which will ultimately be the most outstanding revelation.

    The Atalntic City contestants came from different places, and even the leaks mentioned so far involve different locations.



    As many astrologers know, there are other ways to look at certain Zodiacal degrees other than the Sabian Symbols. The late horary astrologer Ivy Jacobson Goldstein saw the last degree of any sign (in horary or electional charts) indicating a situation where someone feels he or she is “at the end of his” (or her) “rope.” She further said that under such circumstances, out of desperation can come desperate actions. The recent tragic shooting of a congresswoman and many others evoked this comment. However, that “end of one’s rope” feeling seems to fit the Assange and WikiLeaks revelations situation as well.

    Private Bradley Manning, purportedly the source of at least one or more of these leaks, has been held in austere solitary confinement for some time now. He has been quoted as describing his feelings in words approximating “being at the end of his rope.” Julian Assange, was “seemingly at the end of his rope” when he turned himself into British authorities. Upon his release from his own brief (and presumably relatively more benign) solitary confinement, he expressed similar feelings, and empathy for Manning. Assange later
    spoke of how his legal and economic circumstances left him with no choice but to quickly write a book in order to make money for his legal expenses.

    When WikiLeaks was significantly cut off financially, Assange’s colleagues took desperate and extreme hacking actions against their financial victimizers. On the opposite side of the issue, desperate measures were called for. Death threats were made against Assange’s children. Highly visible public figures publicly expressed wishes that Assange be killed. No doubt that many of those vehemently opposed to Assange, Bradley, etc. would like to Assange “dangle from the end of his rope.”

    Obviously, the relevancy of the Lunar Eclipse of 12/21/2010 has not declined, even as the Moon waxes from the Solar Eclipse of January 4, 2011.


    Dale O’Brien

  14. Since I found this discussion about the meaning of the degree quite interesting in the view of the explosive shooting of a congresswoman so close to the eclipse, I’ve decided to consult the Vedic sky. Each zodiacal degree is filled with meaning there.
    Interestingly, the eclipse fell into Mula constellation, spanning 0 -13’20 of sidereal Sagittarius. It’s symbol is the bunch of tied roots, suggesting of karma coming to a head. Its presiding Vedic deity is a destructive demon whose name, Nritti,
    translates as “calamity”
    Also interesting, that her actions of destruction always have constructive aspect, as it promotes non-violence.
    My take is that after this terrible incident we may actually begin to restore civility in politics and may ban assult weapons again.

  15. Hi Dale:

    I’m responding to your informative blog about the lunar eclipse/winter solstice in 2010.

    You gave me latitude to stop and really think about how we can shift ourselves and consequently all of our established organizations.

    Also, the Sabian symbol of the bathing beauties in front of a large crowd stuck in my head as you related it to Wikileaks. Particularly how the local people had such a strong voice in the decisions. And then the “preeminent media of the time” broadcast the decisions.

    The web address below will take you to a documentary about a broader view of how the internet’s vast communication capabilities is changing and will change our governments and our institutions in a manner eerily similar to the inception of the beauty contests – by garnering individual opinions in areas of life and truly democratizing them. The documentary talks about how important transparency is coming to be since everything is revealed.

    I found it fascinating – I promise it’s worth an hour of your time.

  16. Thank you, Iris for sharing your thoughts with us, and the “hulu” web address — very interesting. In terms of the judgment of the Atlantic City contests, indeed half of the decision was made by public opinion, but the other half of the decision was made by the V.I.P.’s in charge. I could not find anything about what did/might have happened in the event of a tie. If the people “vote” one way about WikiLeaks revelations
    and the corporate and governmental V.I.P.’s another way, what will happen?

    Dale O’Brien

  17. The chart I have for the birth of the Computer, has the 29th degree strong as the Sun and Uranius is conjunct that degree. Some businesses are training their employees to do business the old fashion way as they fear the end of the computer. Would like to see your view on this.

  18. Hello Rochelle,

    Thanks for sharing your comment with us. IF I can assume that your Birth of the Computer chart has Sun and Uranus conjunct at 29degrees+any minutes of arc, then the 30th Sabian Symbol degree image (the degree of the 12/21/2010 Lunar Eclipse). Presuming that, there as a populist and opportunist dimension being expressed. Anyone willing can express her/his/their selves, and in a variety of ways. New ways of making money, or attempting to do so, can be pursued. However, the opposite degree, the degree of the Sun for the 12/21/2011 eclipse, “opposes” that open participation spirit.
    To wit, what we’ve seen is internet control and censorship aimed at WikiLeaks. At another level, the largest Telecom monopolists are attempting to restrict internet Neutrality and accessibility. Will they succeed? If they do, the dark shadow falls ominously over what was purportedly “everyone’s” opportunity to share information, to read, to speak, etc. If they merely nearly do so, or only temporarily do so, the dark shadow of possibility may move away.
    Critical to outcome is the Sabian Symbol story of the 1/4/2011 partial Solar Eclipse. As in the 17th century when there was last a pair of eclipses on these degrees, significant changes in government tell the story. Enough time has passed, including the very recent State of the Union address, to tell us that the U.S. Government has chosen to favor corporations over human citizens. The Solar Eclipse Sabian Symbol, “AN ANCIENT BAS-RELIEF CARVED IN GRANITE REMAINS A WITNESS TO A LONG-FORGOTTEN CULTURE”
    (particularly in relation to an until-now political precedent) tells us that this new definition of government is very long term. In other words, this country and the U.S. government-controlled internet will likely more and more no longer be free and open access to any and all of its citizenry, but rather under control of the “blessing” or “excommunication” power of the government and it’s V.I.P. mega-corporations. Let’s hope not, but it looks that way.
    I apologize if I seem to be negative, and/or too generalizing in my comments. I’ve written at length about the history related to the 17th century eclipses, but did not have my analysis published anywhere (yet). Comment spaces like this are inappropriate, in my opinion, for longer pieces that would help put my words here into a larger context.

    Dale (O’Brien)

Comments are closed for this article!