As I’m writing this the news over the last few days has been on the total solar eclipse that was visible in parts of northern Europe on the 20th March, though the area of totality was in a small area in the Arctic Circle. This was literally a world attention grabber, with pictures and stories about it on almost every news bulletin I saw and there is no doubt that there is nothing in nature that is as spectacular. I thought that this was a good time to get behind this powerful phenomena, explain a little about the significance behind the solar eclipse on the 20th March, even though it’s over and also the lead up to a second eclipse, this time a total lunar eclipse on the 5th April.
Eclipses themselves aren’t rare and every six months we have a pair of eclipses, a lunar and solar eclipse 2 weeks apart. I was listening to Cooper Anderson on CNN News and he had an Astronomer on explaining the science behind eclipses and when asked how we could predict them months, years, if not centuries ahead and his reply was ‘it’s all down to the physics’ and that’s exactly what it is. For example, I can pop into my software programme and see that at 11.25 am (plus 13 seconds) on Saturday 7th May 2050 a total lunar eclipse will fall at 16 degrees 35 minutes Scorpio, in just over 35 years time. I could do the same 10 years later or earlier, 100 years later or even 500 years later, because the nature of the universe is so mechanical and so exact that we can tell exactly, to the second when and where the Sun and Moon will cross paths and that to me is the true beauty and sheer awe inspiring nature that has been referred to as the ‘music of the spheres’ or the ‘dance’ or the ‘choreography of the planets’.
Fortunately we don’t have to wait another 35 years to see a total lunar eclipse nor is it limited to the small area of the Earth. A solar eclipse can have a path of just 80 kilometres and within that a very tiny strip will be the total portion. Having a total solar eclipse where you live is so rare that you would have to wait hundreds of years to witness one, which is why the travel industry booms when there is a total solar eclipse, because if the eclipse won’t come to us we go to them. I have witnessed a partial solar eclipse but never a total solar eclipse, but it’s definitely on my bucket list.
However, with a total lunar eclipse the rule of thumb is, if you can see the Moon you’ll see the eclipse, which means that half the world should get to see it and it’s well worth making the effort, especially as it falls over Easter. It’s all those that missed out on the total solar eclipse that will get to see the total lunar eclipse, which will be visible in New Zealand, Australia, North and South America and for much of the globe except for Asia, Africa and Europe.
However, eclipses aren’t random and fall at a point in the sky known as the lunar nodes. These are the points where the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is intercepted by the Moon’s orbit around the Earth and it’s when the Sun is positioned where their paths cross, which happens when every 6 months, that the New and Full Moon that will fall during that time will be a solar and a lunar eclipse.
However, while we have a pair of eclipses every 6 months the lunar nodes are in position there all year and since February 2014 the South Node has been in Aries and the North Node in Libra, which is why the eclipses over recent years have fallen here and why Easter’s total lunar eclipse will fall in Libra. However, the total solar eclipse on the 20th March was in neither and it fell in Pisces, albeit by the skin of its teeth, with the Sun and Moon both leaving just 3 minutes after it peaked, right on the cusp of the spring/autumn equinox.
The fact that it did fall in Pisces, even if it was ‘just’ is a sign is that while the nodes aren’t in Pisces they’re getting close and in November the South Node will move back into Pisces. With Mercury having just left Pisces on the 31st March and some active months having just run their course as we move into the new month, much of what this has or will trigger might not play out until later in the year. Eclipses are always wildcards and the impact they’ll have isn’t necessarily evident at the time, which is why, in the Pisces ruled area of your chart, there is a need to ‘watch this space’, especially with Neptune and Chiron staying on to keep the momentum going.
It’s the total lunar eclipse that peaks at 1.05 am on the morning of Sunday 5th April (New Zealand time – 4th April everywhere else) that is more likely to have an immediate impact, for the North Node has not only been here since February 2014 but this is the second eclipse here in as many years, with a total lunar eclipse here last April as well. A year ago this was right in the heart of some really challenging times, with a Jupiter/Pluto opposition playing out, a Pluto/Uranus square and Mars, making a nearly 8 month visit to Libra moving into opposition with every planet that moved through Aries. I’ve been writing Horoscopes for 17 years now and April 2014 was the toughest month I’ve ever seen and with another lunar eclipse coming this could see old alarm bells ringing, except the conditions have changed dramatically.
It’s not just that the lunar eclipse over Easter is set to bring things in the Libra area of your chart to a head, turning and/or tipping point that is set to make this a spectacular lunar eclipse, but the support that it has. Libra is an Air sign and it’s Ceres’ return to fellow Air sign Aquarius, less than 12 hours before the lunar eclipse and the fact that Venus will return to fellow Air sign Gemini just a week later that sets these three areas of your chart alive, switching them on in a way that will remain lit. Ceres is in Aquarius for the next 4 months and Venus, who will return to Gemini 6 weeks ahead of the Sun, will kick off an active period that will span several months, while the North Node will remain in Libra until November. Last year’s challenges have been completely flipped on their heads this year, with nothing but support for this lunar eclipse.
Your Individual Monthly Horoscope Reports will detail which area of your chart these three signs rule and your Monthly Horoscopes may touch on them, but as an example for the Earth signs (Virgo, Taurus and Capricorn) the three Aries signs rule your income, work and career sector and for the Fire signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) they rule your communication, relationship and friendship sectors.
Of course a lunar eclipse, a super charged version of a Full Moon, will still create some pressure, due to the fact that it’s formed by an opposition between the Sun and Moon and that will be especially so for the planets moving through Aries. However, as the only real wakeup call they’ll get and especially considering how much worse it was last year and the support that you have, this will do nothing more than provide a valuable wakeup call.
The Sun will always spend the first 3 weeks of April in Aries and the Full Moon that falls at some point during the month he’ll spend there will not only always fall in Libra, but will determine when Easter falls, so this is simply a super charged version of what we normally have, with the real boost going to the Libra ruled area of your chart.
Any pressure this does put on the Sun and Mercury, in his early days in Aries by then, will be balanced out by the fact that while the Sun is here at this time every year, it’s been 12 years since Jupiter was in fellow Fire sign Leo and 28 years since Saturn was in fellow Fire sign Sagittarius, creating a triad of Fire energy to go with the triad of Air energy. Again, your Individual Monthly Horoscope Reports will detail which area of your chart these three areas rule and your Monthly Horoscopes may touch on them, but as an example for the Water signs (Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio) this triad will play out in what is known as the ‘success triad’, that of your income, work and career sectors while for the Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius’ this is what is known as the ‘interpersonal triad’, that of your communication, relationship and friendship sectors.
It’s in Aries that this month’s New Moon will fall on the 19th April and falling during the Sun’s last full day this will bring a chance to commit to the future and the journey ahead. For once the Sun leaves that will be the end of your annual update and with Venus, Mars and Mercury all been and gone by then, this is when Uranus and the South Node will take over, shifting the focus making to long term, sustainable momentum.
Between New Year’s Day and early March we saw a total of four Jupiter oppositions as one by one Mars, the Sun, Venus and finally Mercury all moved into opposition as they moved through Aquarius and into opposition with Jupiter in Leo. However, while Ceres will return to Aquarius on the 4th April the one thing I do need to address is that we won’t see a return of the Jupiter oppositions over previous months. That’s because Ceres will get no further than 9 degrees Aquarius before turning retrograde and then eventually retrograding back out in Aquarius and the furthest Jupiter, still in retrograde motion as we move into April, will retrograde back is 12 degrees Leo. Even then it’s going to take Ceres until late June to get to 9 degrees by which point Jupiter will no longer be at 12 degrees. This means they’ll never move into opposition, however Ceres will have a balancing effect, making sure the lessons from recent challenges aren’t forgotten, without having to repeat them and also keeping Jupiter on and the Leo ruled area of your chart on your toes, just when you need it most.
For it’s on the 9th April that Jupiter turns direct, ending a 4 month retrograde phase that began on the 9th December, creating a turning point not only in the month but in the year itself. Jupiter is the planet that brings expansion, growth and opportunity and in retrograde motion since late last year, he’s been working behind the scenes but without any forward progress to show for it. Once Jupiter turns direct he’ll begin to wrap up his once in a 12 year visit and until leaving on the 11th August will gradually grow in strength, speed and the impact that he has, while continuing to enjoy the support of Saturn and Uranus and being kept on his toes by Ceres, dwarf planet and goddess of the solar system.
The final thing to note this month is Venus and Mars, who are out on their own blazing trails and leaving footprints for the other planets to follow. With Venus having returned to Taurus on the 17th March and Mars returning on the 1st April they’re already having an impact before the Sun returns on the 20th April and your annual review begins. Venus will be gone by then leaving Taurus and returning to Gemini on the 12th April, nearly 6 weeks ahead of the Sun. This is giving your heart and Mars’ passions the first say, acting as the bow of an icebreaker, getting areas of your chart back to life that haven’t been active for nearly a year.
Mars will stay on in Taurus for the rest of the month, not leaving until early May, able to act as support for Pluto, over in fellow Earth sign Capricorn, both in his final days in direct motion and after turning retrograde on the 15th April.
What I love about April is that it brings a whole new energy into play without having to give up on anything. All the areas of your chart that were active over recent months will remain active, Jupiter’s direct turn will see the pace of life pick up, Easter’s solar eclipse will bring the Air ruled area of your chart back to life and Taurus and Gemini, areas of your chart that haven’t been active for nearly a year, are all of a sudden not only back in the game, but are being triggered by Venus and Mars, getting in before any housekeeping is required, allowing them to focus on getting you excited and attracting opportunities.