Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of Mar 10th - Mar 16th, 2006

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  We are now entering the eclipse season.
Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse

Twice during the year, solar and lunar eclipses happen together in fairly close proximity, falling two weeks apart. These two 'seasons' are at opposite times of the year, much like the spoke of a wheel which starts on one rim, runs through the center hub and then reconnects with the rim again on the other side of the wheel. It just so happens that this year the eclipse seasons are occurring close to the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, around the 21st of March and the 20th of September. These opposing dates shift slowly over the course of time, so that in 18.6 years they complete a full cycle. This means that a pair of eclipses, one solar and one lunar, will occur this year around the Spring and Fall ingress. The first of these, the lunar eclipse, will occur this week with the Full Moon on March 14th, while the Solar eclipse (the New Moon) will occur on March 29th. Following that, we will have to wait until September for our next pair.

  The light of the Sun and Moon are obviously the strongest, brightest and most notable objects in our sky. One is said (by Genesis) to rule over the day, while the other rules over the night. Normally, their light is consistent (weather depending), with the Sun rising and setting each day, while the Moon passes through its monthly phases, waxing to the Full Moon, waning back to the New Moon, and then starting the cycle all over again.

Full Moon

Full Moon

  During an eclipse, the light of the luminaries is interrupted. During the solar eclipse, the Moon comes directly between the Sun and the Earth, and a small portion of the Earth falls in the Moon's shadow. During a lunar eclipse, the Earth slips between the Sun and the Moon, and the Earth's shadow falls on the Moon, throwing it into darkness. Since the lunar eclipse happens on the Full Moon, the contrast is quite striking. In a comparatively short time the light of the Full Moon goes from its brightest, to quite dark, and back again.

  This week, there will be a lunar eclipse at 24 degrees and 15" of Virgo. Since the US Midheaven is 24 degrees and 52" of this same sign, the eclipse falls right on it (less than 2/3 of a degree). This tight alignment will influence our executive status. Since eclipses are an interruption in the flow of energy, we can anticipate that either the President (the Midheaven) or Vice President (Moon on the Midheaven) will be impacted. Something will happen which affects either their political health, physical health, administrative decisions, or their staff and support systems (all ruled by Virgo), undermining their ability to govern.

  Unlike most aspects, eclipses generally do not occur just as the alignment becomes exact, but set the stage for the days ahead. Lunar eclipses are said to be triggered sometime within the coming month (the lunar cycle). Exactly when within that month events might be stimulated, the jury is out. Some would say that it's on the day Pluto pivots (also March 29th), transiting Mars will be right on the US Mars, which may stir events. Others would content that it would be when Mars squares the eclipse point on April 3rd, but we'll see what happens. The Moon also rules the tide of public opinion, and the metaphorical suggestion is that the lights are getting ready to go out on the administration.

  Stay tuned.

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