Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of July 31st - August 6th, 2009

Eclipse Number Three

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Lunar eclipse

Lunar Eclipse

  In an unusual series, this week we will see the 3rd eclipse in as many lunations. One month ago there was a lunar eclipse at 15 degrees of Capricorn, two weeks ago we had the solar eclipse at 29 degrees of Cancer, and this week we will experience another lunar eclipse at 13 degrees of Aquarius.

  Eclipses represent an interruption of the life force. Those of us who have natal angles or planets at any of these degrees are the ones who are being 'celestially selected' to experience whatever heaven has in store. Unlike most other aspects that build to a peak under their exact geometric alignment, eclipses seem to work on their own time-line, with the lunar eclipses occurring sometime through the course of the month following the eclipse, and the solar eclipse taking place sometime through the course of the following year. I have heard a number of formulas for the 'secondary trigger' that supposedly 'sets off' the combination, but personally have not found them to be consistent. Some have said that when Mars rolls over the relevant degree, it will set things in motion. I have heard others say that when any of the four lunar phases (New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, and Third Quarter) fall on the eclipse degree, that will set it off. While either of these may be true in specific cases, my own personal experience has not found them to be regularly reliable as the sole indicator. We'll simply have to wait until the jury comes in.

Xerxes or Darius

A possible likeness of Xerxes

  Having said that, I have seen major life events realigned under the eclipse. Hidden issues can come to light, people can get 'kicked-off' of sitting on a fence, forcing them to make a decision one way or the other, or important events or relationships can come to an end. Like our two celestial luminaries, the flow of energy (light) is interrupted, truncated or shut off. To provide a few examples, in one case an auto accident nudged a seven year relationship into finally getting married, while in another case a solar eclipse to Pluto on the 7th house cusp signaled the death (Pluto) of the marriage partner (7th house).

  In a literary example from Chapter XX of the Odyssey, Homer states that the Sun vanished out of heaven and an evil gloom covered all things about the hour of the midday meal, during the celebration of the New Moon. This occurred just before Penelope's suitors were finally dispatched.

  Years later according to Herodotus, an annular eclipse of the Sun occurred in Sardis on February 17, 478 BC, while Xerxes was departing for his expedition against Greece. The outcome was disastrous for Xerxes. Herodotus also reported that another solar eclipse was observed in Sparta during the following year, on August 1, 477 BC. The sky suddenly darkened in the middle of the day long after the battles of Thermopylae and Salamis. The Persian commander Mardonius in this cycle began his second attack on Athens, but finally failed in his attempt to defeat the Greeks yet again.

  Kings and military commanders expressed understandable concern over solar eclipses, as the Sun rules affairs of the king, while lunar eclipses did not bode well for the nation as a whole. The Aztecs would close off their doors and windows, as well as stop up their chimneys in an effort to impede the nefarious 'rays' from adversely influencing their daily lives.

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