Athena's Web Weekly Column

  Week of July 9th - July 15th,  2010

The Solar Eclipse

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  Looking at the week ahead, the major event we see coming into focus is the Solar Eclipse on Sunday, July 11th, at 3:39 PM at 19 degrees of Cancer and 23 minutes. If you have any planets or angles in your chart at this degree, it is likely that events in your life are getting ready to change.

Note the color of the Moon
close to the horizon

  A Solar Eclipse is also a New Moon, but it is a very special New Moon. Every month we say that the Sun and Moon align in the heavens, and indeed they do, but twice through the course of the year they align in a special way. Usually this 'alignment' is a little off, with the Moon actually falling above or below the orb of the Sun. But during the eclipse 'season', the body of the Moon overlaps the circle of the Sun and blocks it from our view, cutting off its light. Naturally, if this happens during the nocturnal hours, then we don't see it anyway; but even if it occurs during the daytime, not all parts of the Earth are able to witness this event, as the shadow of the eclipse falls in a very limited trajectory across the body of our planet.

  This Solar Eclipse is particularly elusive, and very few of the Earth's population will be able to witness its path of totality. It will only be visible along a very narrow corridor that falls largely across the Pacific Ocean. It is a total eclipse of the Sun, but this will only be visible from the Cook Islands and Easter Island. This path of totality ends shortly after crossing the southern tip of Chile and Argentina.

  However, the Moon's penumbral shadow produces a much larger partial eclipse that will be visible from a much larger region covering the South Pacific and southern South America. A penumbral shadow is a partial blocking of the light of the Sun.


The Moon blocking the light of the Sun
during a Solar Eclipse

  The fixed star Muliphein is being triggered by this eclipse. It is located in the constellation Canis Major, very close to the bright star Sirius. Sirius is thought to be the mouth of the 'Big Dog', while Muliphein is located in the neck. Legend states that this was the dog Zeus sent to guard Europa, or that it was Laelaps, the hound of Actaeon. Ptolemy claimed that the stars of this constellation fell under the influence of Venus with the exception of Sirius, which was known for having a particularly malefic influence. Muliphein gave good qualities, charity and a faithful heart, but that there was danger of dog bites and a pronounced fear, or even danger, from the dark.

  My experience has been that when myth speaks of themes such as this, it can be literal, but it can also represent verbal attacks or confrontations.

  An eclipse, whether Solar or Lunar, represents an interruption of the light source. Solar eclipses bring a dimming of the light, a time when things grow very still, and when birds and animals head for their nests. Kings and heads of state were particularly wary of Solar Eclipses as the King is ruled by the Sun (as is his kingdom), and it could mean that either their reign, or their life, was about to come to an end.

  Check you chart for planetary activity around 19 degrees of Cancer. I like to keep the orbs tight, say, within one or two degrees, although most astrologers claim a five degree orb for their influence. My feeling is, the closer the aspect, the more powerfully it hits you. Even though we won't be able to see it in the Northern Hemisphere, the question is, will we feel it?


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