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The Saros Cycle and the astology of eclipses


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    • #6677

      I’ve recently been reading Bernadette Brady’s excellent book Predictive Astrology: the Eagle and the Lark, which I highly recommend to anyone who would like to understand this area of astrology better.

      One of the topics she covers in some depth is eclipses and specifically why some eclipses have such a dramatic impact while others seem almost benign, even when both trigger a sensitive point in the natal chart.

      The answer to this question lies in seeing the bigger picture, the greater cyclical pattern of eclipses known as the Saros Cycle. Each eclipse is part of a Saros series which is made up of hundreds of eclipses, each occurring approximately eighteen years apart over a period of more than 1000 years.

      There are many such series playing out simultaneously at this present moment with each series having a very particular quality based on its individual natal chart. Some are very heavy, for example with hard Pluto or Saturn aspects, while others are easier and generally have more harmonious aspects.

      For example there is a solar eclipse occurring on 21 August 2017 which belongs to the 1 North Saros series. This series began at the North pole on 4 January 1639 and will complete on 2 February 2883. The chart has some challenging aspects involving Pluto, Uranus, Saturn and Mars and suggests difficulties and unexpected events in personal relationships.

      This is a fascinating subject which you can read more on here at Bernadette’s website. It’s pretty easy to get your head around and there are charts available that tell you exactly which series each eclipse belongs to, along with the characteristics of each series.

      Is anyone already incorporating this into their practice of astrology and if so how accurate do you find it for predicting the outcome of eclipses? Personally, the eclipse of 21 August will occur at 29 degrees Leo, exactly conjunct my natal Saturn. I will let you know if there is a correlation between the nature of 1 North Saros series and my experiences around that date.

    • #6679

      Hello @admin,

      Donald Trump has mars at 26 degrees Leo in the 12th house and his rising sign is 29 degrees and fifty six minutes Leo. It will be interesting to see if this eclipse has some impact on him, being at the most personal point in the chart, and also touching mars in Leo in the 12th, which seems to represent his vanity, ego and ambition.

      Eclipses in ancient days, represented danger to the ruler, so the court astrologers were employed to keep track of eclipses. I don’t believe this, but an eclipse means a shadowing, or maybe something revealed in the shadows that was not visible in the bright sun.

      any thoughts?


    • #6681

      Hi @Linda

      When eclipses were first observed there was no such thing as natal astrology as we know it today. People were very communal and the impacts of the planetary cycles, eclipses and so on were seen in terms of how they affected the whole group. I can understand why eclipse were seen as dangerous to the ruler – the symbolism of a bright light being suddenly extinguished is easy to interpret in this way!

      What I found interesting about my research into the Saros cycles is that it provides an explanation for why some eclipses seem to be so dramatic in one’s personal life while others pass without much incident. I’ve long found this curious, especially when the eclipse touches a point in my natal chart.

      The other thing that’s fascinating about the Saros cycles is that they were first recognised such a long time ago, by the Babylonian astrologers. The fact that these astrologers were able to calculate and observe something on such a long-term scale, especially while still believing that the Earth was flat, is quite a testament to their expertise!

      The way Bernadette Brady describes them the Saros cycles are like waves washing over the Earth, as so many as concurrently active. Your comment that eclipses reveal something in the shadows that was not visible in the bright Sun makes me think of these waves as like a series of spotlights, or maybe dark lights, revealing small pieces of a picture but never the whole reality.

      My personal experience of eclipses is that they often bring things to a head, and this can sometimes mean having to face up to a stark or unpleasant reality! X

    • #6684
      AvatarIratxe Mendi

      Hi @admin Faith and @linda,

      Thanks for the information on eclipses, it comes right in time -not just to/for me, of course: there are so many astro-emails referring to August 21st eclipse…and not just those related to astrology, it seems to be a big key in terms of energy portals, movements, gateways and so on…

      Today I read Steven Forrest take on this upcoming eclipse and I have been thinking about it. I leave you here the link:

      I have enjoyed the article, it has helped me to realize in a new light and maybe in more depth the death and rebirth quality of it, and the sentence Wheels that start turning during that time are dying wheels, referring to the weeks before the actual eclipse, is still here. So, it seems like more than a good idea to leave those new beginnings for the days after the eclipse, and just let go and die everything that is asking to do so (after the full Moon in Aquarius this Sunday…)

      In his own words:

      “…there is a big difference between the “poetry” of the days leading up to an eclipse and the days immediately afterwards. Right before an eclipse, something is rather literally dying – the Moon cycle itself. Events rooted in those two weeks or so often go awry. Intentions are thwarted. Keep that in mind as you make any personal plans – or as you watch any news that might be unfolding – during the “fortnight” before August 21st.”

      The eclipse touches my South Node at 29 degrees Leo (well, one of them…the mean one). I am not sure what it can bring, I’ll try to be present and grounded. Also, even if this is one of those obvious remarks, I guess we need to take into account the whole picture, since there are other powerful aspects going on: Chiron is inconjunct Sun and Moon, Uranus makes a trine…also, Pluto is opposite Ceres, another death and rebirth theme from a different angle or so…

      When it comes to our natal chart, I wonder if we only take into account conjunctions. The eclipse is squaring natal Neptune, so I guess some veils can fall, which is welcomed. What do you think about this? For instance, @admin Faith, you mention it does conjunct you natal Saturn, this would be the main point element you check? I don’t want to go nuts with the “eclipse phenomenon”, but, after reading Forrest’s article, I am more aware and it does resonate as something to take care of.

      I download the pdf you provide, let’s see…there is so much information about this one that it’s even funny…where did the emperor go?

    • #6685

      Hello @iratxe and @Admin,

      I have so much astrology in my mind, and even if I want to turn it off, and I do try, at times like this my more neanderthal self is thinking about the eclipse which touches Chiron 27 degrees Leo in my chart and the Part of fortune at 29 degrees Leo. I have no idea what that means, and I don’t want to imagine.

      , my mom was raised in the country on a farm and she told me that all the animals knew, the cows started heading home, the chickens roosted and the horse became upset, and the other birds went to sleep. That used to scare me, but now that I think of it – they thought it was dusk, that’s all! They just instinctively responded to the lack of day light. she also said you could see the stars.

      Then I began thinking a little more rationally, we have a big dark shadow gradually fall over us everyday – It’s the nighttime. The night is sometimes scary, but the night sky is illuminated by beautiful stars and the moon, and although we are more cautious at night, we don’t usually fear catastrophe because the sun disappears.the difference is – it is predictable, but the change to darkness is the same.

      I have a hard time with Steve Forest’s uses of the words life and death, endings and beginnings. He uses those words in a foreboding sense, yet many of would welcome some endings, like being transferred away from a horrible boss, or having a long lasting family strife end, or relief from some nagging worry! It seems to me that beginnings and endings life and death are not just cut off points, but have transitions, unless it’s an Act of God or a Tidal Wave or sudden accident, and accidents happen everyday without an eclipse.

      Sometimes I think daylight is more blinding than the dark, as we are conscious in the dark of lurking dangers, but in daytime deceit, lies and deception also exist, but we are more focused on the norm – the sun, and pay little attention to the shadows.

      Here in the states we have a lunatic fascist for a leader who has put all his favorite crazy people in office. It’s chaos and people are torn apart by political factions, and so much hate, which probably has been long hidden. Here it’s almost like the eclipse of reason has already happened. We are the laughing stock of the world. I am very curious about the eclipse before this one, and if it foreshadowed this election, scandal and abuse of the constitution. I think I will look it up. Frankly I don’t see how it could get any worse, unless there is another terrorist activity, and I pray that we be spared.

      I have great respect for Steve Forrest, and he lives in the dessert right here in Southern California and I learned astrology from some of his books, but I think we have to be aware that commercial interests and news agencies are grabbing onto this eclipse just like valentines day and mother’s day and father’s day, Christmas ect. It’s to sell stuff or grab people’s interest on the Internet.I had never even heard of a super moon until a couple of years ago.

      You can see I’m trying to minimize this eclipse because like you I have been backing away from my astrology mindset.None of my friends like it, and with the exception of the forum, I’m having conversations with myself.

      If there was an ending with this Leo eclipse, I wish it could be to selfies, and cell phone hypnotism, and also narcissism and vanity and the cult of Hollywood Stars, when all they are are actors doing a job. [Hollywood is a big influence on So. Cal.] I do sense a big rumbling here of revolutionary voices and organized citizen action criticizing the government, our terrible problem with homelessness because of the cost of living, – marches, signs etc. So something is happening, but it’s just as strong on the right as the left. Maybe the eclipse will bring this to a turning point.

      So to answer your question, I am processing my neanderthal self that wants to sacrifice a pig to the eclipse, and instead I am hoping that the endings will just fall naturally as leaves do in nature!

      Thank you for your posts @Iratxe and @admin,
      [PS I have node in Leo too.]

    • #6686
      AvatarIratxe Mendi

      Hi @linda,

      I just read your post and I am laughing with the pig! thank you for your wise words, the way you describe the light and shadow in nature, all the rest. Also, what you mention about Forrest’s take on beginnings and endings: I didn’t notice when I read it, which means I was in that duality myself…hum, what do I need to end? OK, so I wont’ start anything new…let’s see if there is some veil that falls…rrrr…As you mention, even if I am reshaping the relationship with astrology, my mind keeps clinging to it. Also here, there is no band with which I can share my thoughts. And it is just OK, let’s leave her play until she just gets used to the city again. In the meantime, I will check some of the articles that resonate and let it be. It is just a shift, isn’t it? my youngest sister was born right at the eclipse of 1979 (Feb. 26th) and she did read a lot of catastrophic articles that did not help her at all! I told her that I felt it was just a shift, a more neat or neater shift that came with that new Moon. So this month…the same or so.

      It is interesting to read what you mention about the new trend with supermoons and all that, yes…I try not to read lunation posts until it is over. This time, for some reason, I started earlier…even before this next full Moon that also brings her waters and shifts…

      Your words have helped me to become aware of a lot. I leave the “a lot” to be short. All this I am already mentioning and more :)

      Right now I have Jupiter on my natal Mercury and so Pluto squaring the two…and more…the resonance chamber. At times I have wondered if this reshaping movement comes from the plutonian pressure to AS and Mercury, and then I just leave it. There is something about a more organic or just mute way of living Astrology that I am starting to recover – the way it did start here, very clumsy and yet, maybe what I needed. And then it evolves and moves, and so now I have my mind structure filled with maps and grooves that keep shining at night. More and more I let them be, and sometimes they bring presents. It is tricky…maybe what you name as those leaves of the trees falling down, slowly. It will come.

      • #6688
        AvatarIratxe Mendi

        I have read the pdf provided within this topic, and also have connected to this month’s energies and movements through different approaches, including the astrological map. One eclipse might be a neater shift, but it is not just that. Or a death-rebirth phenomenon whatever is the pace it may take. The other day I answered (fast) and wrote from a place that I feel does not honor the whole movement, the mystery. And I don’t want to be another part of it. There is too much desecration going on so far. And again, it is OK, we are all learning here. I did find keys reading Forrest as I have found keys reading this text by Brady. For some reason, eclipses feel too big for me to tap into them. I don’t see-sense so much of the multidimensional journey. I am pretty ignorant in that realm. Or maybe just blind. I am sure there are movements and openings coming that I cannot see. However, I can feel the shifts in my face and bodies. Eclipses have so much charge surrounding them, so many myths and tales attached to them that it is hard…From now, I rather be silent and present – and see what happens with that South Node and all the rest while I just keep living.

        I hope you all enjoy the shifts and all the rest.

    • #6690

      @Iratxe I think we have agreed before that it’s sometimes better to detach from an intellectual understanding of astrology and feel our way into it through our individual experience of the transits and their affects on our lives day by day. To connect intuitively with the mystery so to speak…

      What I enjoyed about researching the Saros Cycles was that it made me realise how much more profound the impacts of the eclipses are when viewed from this macro-cosmic perspective. We can see that they are likely instrumental in great cultural and social shifts, perhaps more so than personal transformations. It puts the phenomenon of eclipses into a cyclical context which was a missing piece of the picture for me…

      you are so right that there is a great deal of sensationalism associated with individual eclipses (‘super moons’ and the like) and I think this actually detracts from an understanding of these cycles and their deeper impacts.

    • #6691

      Hello @admin and @iratxe,

      Yes, Faith, @admin, I also want to see this as astronomy and astrology, but I do want to fall into superstition or personalize this event. It is really a wonder of nature and a chance to see or feel the sun and moon in actual moving relationship. I just have to detach from the media who are capitalizing on this. Yet, I can imagine that for humans seeing and feeling an eclipse, puts us in direct relationship with our planetary status, which is usually “eclipsed” by business as usual and a big blue sky. I can easily see the fear invoked historically and the hysteria and fear at seeing the sun disappear, in earlier times.

      One thing I wanted to add is there are 40 Saros cycles, so this number 145 is just one of 40, not some special eclipse. But astronomically it is a North Node Eclipse, which astrologically according to the reading I did, it is a burst of constructive change, with the Sun being nourished by the North Node in Leo.

      Interestingly, researching a typically doomday blog prediction for the eclipse of May 2012, in early Gemini and Late Taurus, I could see after the fact this prediction played out on the world stage, tragically. Here it is in 2012 all it’s forboding and fate that are scary. This is what I can only read after the fact.}

      May 20, 2012 Eclipse in Gemini

      The author points out that this was a South Node Eclipse, and thus released South Node types of situations or past, unresolved situations, or hidden potentially destructive conflicts were highlighted on the world plane, or in the personal life. She sounds like a soothsayer, yet it is undeniable that violence has increased across the world, and her warnings are about the fixed star Agol, and the Pliedes, fixed stars that are traditionally cruel and sorrowful, that conjuncted this South Node Eclipse. In retrospect, I can see this violence played out through the Syrian Crisis, Israel’s attack on Palestine, the refugee crisis, Isis, and the unresolved relationship between Russia and the US, and terrorism all over the world. With Agol, blood runs in the street, and that has happened, but I don’t believe it has to happen, deep historical wounds were reopened and continued to be shadowed by the South Node.

      It seems to me that this South Node Gemini Saros 2012 Eclipse was the turning point, and ushered in a bunch of Gemini double talk, like “fake news” media controlled reality and a war of words inciting hatred, plus publishing monopolies that own most of the news outlets. Maybe the worst has happened already with this South Node Venting of hidden evils, finally exposed.

      To think of this August eclipse as a North Node gift is wholesome, I think.



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