Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of August 15th, - May 21st, 2008

The Dragon's Tail

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Lunar eclipse

Lunar eclipse

  Besides the thunderstorms which have been moving through the area of late, this is also a season of a different sort, what is called an 'eclipse' season.

  The dragon has long been associated with eclipses. The old Chinese tale of the dragon eating the Sun or Moon at the time of an eclipse comes from this notion. Another name for it is the Moon's lunar node. The Latin name for the Moon's north lunar node was Caput Draconis, while the Moon's south lunar node was known as Cauda Draconis, the head and tail of the dragon.

  Astronomically speaking, these two points are where the paths of the Sun and Moon intersect. It takes over 18 years for the lunar nodes to complete one full cycle of the zodiac, so it is in each sign or constellation for about a year and a half. This generates an 'eclipse season' and right now the eclipses are falling in Leo (where the Sun is), and Aquarius (where the Full Moon will be). That means for now the eclipse seasons are in February and August.

  For most of the year, when we experience a New or a Full Moon, the Sun, Moon and Earth are not in a straight line with each other. For instance with a New Moon, the Moon is usually either a little above or below the Sun, lost in the glare of daylight where we can't see it. But, if one of these lunations falls close to the head or tail of the dragon, their light is obscured, and either the Full Moon (lunar eclipse) or the New Moon (solar eclipse) falls into shadow. One major difference between the two is that a lunar eclipse may be seen from anywhere on the Earth where it's nighttime, while a solar eclipse only falls along a small and fairly narrowly defined path, meaning that only a select few on the Earth get to see the Sun blocked from the sky, a time when darkness begins to fall on what otherwise would be the middle of the day.

Lunar light

Light and shadow

  Traditionally, either eclipse has been thought of as a time for concern. For solar eclipses, animals return to their nest and the safety of Mother Nature's skirts, while the Mayans sought to close off their doors and windows and block off their chimneys lest any of the nefarious rays penetrate into their homes and lives. Since kings are thought to be ruled by the Sun, rulers often felt they had more to worry about under their influence, and with good reason.

  My own personal experience has been that eclipses act like outer planet transits. They mark a changing set of circumstances, defined by what planet you may have that is receiving the 'hit.' Like the eclipse, there is usually an interruption of the energy. The eclipse on Saturday, August 16th occurs at 5:10 PM EDT and occurs at 24 degrees of Aquarius. With Neptune at 22 Aquarius, and Chiron and the Moon's South Node at 18 Aquarius, there is the potential for some serious shake-ups. Check your chart and see if you have any planets at any of these degrees (the 24th degree is the most powerfully affected), and note the house position that it falls in. This will be the area that is about to be impacted in your life. However, unlike most planetary combinations which grow to some of their greatest power with the exact alignment, the eclipses set the stage for the event, and it will transpire either in the following month (lunar eclipse) or year (solar eclipse).

  The dragon has been stirring the weather patterns of late. Let's watch the upcoming month and observe what happens. Whatever it is (and it will affect different people in different ways), it should be obvious.

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