About Eclipses

As we are in the middle of eclipse season, it seemed to be a good time to talk about eclipses.  Eclipse season is the period of time in between a pair (or trio) of eclipses.  Generally, each year has two eclipse seasons, with at least one solar and one lunar eclipse within a few weeks of each other.  Physically, these are the new and full moons which occur near the North and South Nodes, or the head and tail of the dragon.  Metaphysically, the lunar light blocks the solar, and as the lunar is dependent upon the solar, her own light becomes blocked as well.

With this understanding, it is easy to see why eclipses have been traditionally seen as evil omens.  Modern Western rationalist scholarship teaches that this view is based on a naive superstition that the sun (or moon) would never return.  Given the incredible detail in which the Ancients charted the heavens, including the timing of eclipses, this view strains credulity.

In addition to coming in pairs (or trios), each eclipse is part of a larger family of eclipses, known as a Saros Series.  Saros Series are 12 to 15 centuries long, with an eclipse from the Series touching down approximately every 18 years.  While Solar and Lunar Eclipses each have their own Saros Series, they come in pairs (or trios) that touch down together.

The most recent Solar Eclipse which occurred shortly before the Vernal Equinox is from Saros Series 120, which was born on May 27, 933 AD, and which will have its last eclipse on July 7, 2195.  The paired Lunar Eclipse, which will occur on April 4, 2015, is from Saros Series 132, which was born on May 12, 1492, and which will have its last eclipse on June 26, 2754.  As you can see, the Solar Saros Series is older than the Lunar Saros Series.  Prior the birth of the younger Lunar 132, Solar Saros 120 was paired with Lunar Saros 94, which was born on May 9, 320 and had its last eclipse on June 6, 1582.

When one Saros Series is in its last eclipses, a new Saros Series is born to replace it.  When there are three eclipses in a season, one of the Saros Series is elderly, the Saros Series of the other luminary is in its prime, and the third Saros Series is in its infancy.

Queen-Isabella-and-Christopher-ColumbusFor astrologers who study Mundane Astrology, or the astrology of world events, each Saros Series can be linked to historical themes with long pedigrees.  Those familiar with U.S. history will likely recognize the year of the birth of the current Lunar Saros Series, 1492.  Interestingly enough, it was during the eclipse season that Christopher Columbus signed the contract with Spain and was given the commission to equip his fleet.  This was the expedition that led him to “discover” the Americas.  That season began with an eclipse from Lunar Saros 94 on April 12, 1492.  Next, on April 26, 1492, there was a Solar Eclipse from Saros 120.  The season ended with the first eclipse from Lunar Saros 132 on May 12, 1942.

On April 17, 1492, Christopher Columbus signed the contract with Spain to search for the Indies, and on April 30, 1492, he is given his commission to equip the royal fleet.  Also on April 30, Spain announced that it was expelling all Jewish people from the country.

Interestingly enough, the second eclipse season from that same year occurred between October 5, 1492, with Lunar Saros 99 and October 21, 1492 with Solar Saros 125.  It was during this period of time, Mr. Columbus “discovered” several places in the Americas.

A detailed analysis of the meaning of these events is beyond the scope of this article, but I think that it is safe to say that despite apparent material benefits, there was also Darkness surrounding these events.  One can not scratch the surface of historical records of subsequent events without uncovering horrors and cruelty.  On the other hand, I think that it is a good illustration of the effect of eclipses in general.  On a material level, what will actually happen during an Eclipse season can be complicated, and might even seem fortunate.  On the other hand, it will be laced with Darkness and poison, which may or may not be immediately apparent.

The good news is that from eclipse lore throughout the world, the effects of an eclipse can be avoided if proper precautions are taken.  Indeed, one of traditional duties of astrologers was to predict the timing of eclipses so that these precautions could be taken.  These precautions included staying indoors, fasting, covering wells, and most of all, avoiding viewing eclipses.  Today, eclipses are announced and filmed for people to watch over the Internet.  This seems particularly risky on a soul level.

The current eclipse season in quite interesting in its timing.  The Solar Eclipse occurred just before the Spring Equinox.  For Filianists, it occurred on the day in which Hiatus is observed.  A detailed article about the Solar Eclipse and Hiatus observance can be found here.  In short, for Filianists, Hiatus the day (or days) that ritually do not exist, and which has the same ritual symbolism as an Eclipse.

Physically, the Solar Eclipse occurred at 29 degrees of Pisces, rather than 0 degrees of Aries.  This is very important.  A Solar Eclipse at 0 degrees Aries, which is the beginning of the astrological new year, would have been particularly ominous, I think.  At 29 degrees, it still occurred during the old astrological year, and at the very end of the year at that, giving it much less impact.

Also interesting is that the paired Lunar Eclipse will occur on April 4, 2015, which for Western Christians is Holy Saturday, the day in between Good Friday and Easter, which also has the same ritual symbolism of an Eclipse.

In the modern world, it may seem difficult to protect ourselves from the effects of eclipses.  World events intrude upon our lives whether we want them or not.  Still, I think it is possible to take some basic precautions.  First and foremost, it is wise to avoid viewing eclipses at all, whether physically or on the internet.  Ritual warding and expelling of evil according to one’s tradition is also a good idea.  Also, it is good to be careful of any “opportunities” that present themselves during an eclipse season.  Even if they seem fortunate, they may be quite costly on a soul level.  Additionally, it is wise to back off from any conflict during this time, as it may be being fueled by the storm of eclipse season.  In general, it seems best to avoid anything during this season that can wait until the season is over.

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