by Alison Price
Solar Eclipses are Cool
A Solar Eclipse happens when the Moon moves in front of the Sun. The Moon blocks out the light and the heat from the Sun.
Usually the birds stop tweeting as well which is a strange thing about solar eclipses.
I first experienced the cooling effects of a solar eclipse when we lived in a town called Phalaborwa in the province of Limpopo in South Africa. This place name means The Town of Two Summers as the temperature is hot in winter and hot in summer.
Phalaborwa is situated right on the Tropic of Capricorn and experiences relentless dry heat all the time. It is a mining town and copper is the reason the settlement is there at all.
In Phalaborwa, any tree is a good tree because it is a shade tree. In the three years we lived there is rained three times for ten minutes each time. Dry, dry, dry.
The Eclipse Starts
It was about 2pm and a hot afternoon. I was ready for the solar eclipse and had the special eclipse glasses for all the kids as we sat in the garden sipping lemonade. Looking up into the clear blue sky we watched the Moon slowly creep over the face of the Sun.
Looking up into the clear blue sky we watched the Moon slowly creep over the face of the Sun.
But, that’s when I noticed the drop in temperature and the chill of the eclipse. Bearing in mind that temperatures were normally 40C at midday, suddenly it became cool and dark. Not fully night as it was a partial solar eclipse, but still enough to reduce the light to dusky levels.
Not fully night as it was a partial solar eclipse, but still enough to reduce the light to dusky levels.
Cold and gloomy the kids ran inside and were excited and anxious at the same time.
Within five minutes the Moon had moved over the disk of the Sun and again the bright light and heat came flooding back to the afternoon. And almost as sudden it felt as it had never happened.
Such is the nature of a Solar eclipse.
If you get a chance to experience a solar eclipse, like the one happening this week, pay attention to all your senses and not just sight and you will have a richer experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Every month there is a New Moon which occurs in the same sign as the Sun. Each New Moon is usually in the following sign from the last one.
When the Sun is in Libra we have the Libra New Moon. When the Sun is in Scorpio it will be the Scorpio New Moon.
A New Moon is a time to sow seeds, begin things and start a new course of action. A New Moon will affect all the things shown by the area of life (house) in which it occurs in your natal chart. If you know where this is going to happen you can plan ahead.
Types of Eclipses
There are two types of eclipse, a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse.
Either type of eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon and Earth line up exactly in the sky.
For a solar eclipse the sequence is: Sun – Moon – Earth.
For a lunar eclipse the sequence is: Sun – Earth – Moon
A solar eclipse happens when the Moon moves in front of the Sun and blocks out the light. If the Moon is close enough to the Earth that its umbra (main) shadow can reach Earth it will cast a shadow across the face of the Earth, this is known as the eclipse path.
The eclipse path is usually quite thin and can be up to 170km wide crossing the face of the Earth. This width varies with each individual eclipse.
Only places on Earth on the eclipse path and in the full shadow of the Moon will experience totality.
Annular Solar Eclipse
It depends on how close the Sun is to the node whether it is a partial, total, total annular or hybrid (a bit of both) eclipse.
When the orb between the Sun and the node is less than 9 degrees it is an annular eclipse.
If the Earth is also at perihelion the Moon can fully cover the Sun’s disk and it is a total solar eclipse.
If the Moon does not fully cover the Sun’s face then it is a partial eclipse.
The Eclipse Path
Solar eclipses can only be seen during the day when the Sun is above the horizon.
An eclipse is visible from all places marked in the dark red (in the image) and can be seen as a partial eclipse in the light red areas on Earth.
It you are on the eclipse path you will see the eclipse.
An eclipse will occur at different times depending where on Earth you are and you can catch a glimpse of one if you are near the eclipse path.
The Astrology of Eclipses
All eclipses are not created equal. Some are simply more dynamic and have a greater potential within themselves than others. Each one has to be judged on it’s own merits.
Astrologically eclipses are both general and personal. It depends on the eclipse chart (see above) and your own birth chart and if and how they connect. Therefore some eclipses have a deeper and more profound effect than others.
General Effects of an Eclipse
- This eclipse will be in a sign and the ruler(s) of the sign will have influence over the eclipse.
- If it is an eclipse at the Moon’s north node it indicates that we are focussing on future things and drawing in people, goods and experiences to ourselves.
- If it is at the Moon south node it suggests that we are letting go of people, stuff and emotional baggage.
- The Sun and Moon may be conjoined a planet which inclines towards discussing the issues brought about at the eclipse and the meaning of the planet.
Personal Effects of an Eclipse
- Whichever house the eclipse occurs in your natal chart will be the area of life that will be affected. For example in your first house your looks, seventh house your romance, partner, relationship or in your tenth house your career and goal setting.
- If it is your birthday on the eclipse day you will feel the most effect from the eclipse.
- If your Ascendant is on the eclipse degree the effects of this eclipse will be impressive and there may be a huge change for your life, your personality and how other see you.
- If you have any planets in your natal chart at the eclipse degree they will be stimulated by the eclipse.
How Long an Eclipse Lasts
The actual eclipse lasts about one hour but the effects of the eclipse are usually for around six months.
If a particular eclipse connects with your chart by any of the ways mentioned above it will have an effect on you for about six months and again this depends on how close the eclipse falls to your chart planets and points (Ascendant, MC, nodes, Vertex or Part of Fortune).
There are specific timing strategies that astrologers use which can change this six-month rule of thumb but you would have to consult with myself or your astrologer to fully determine how each eclipse in the next year or so will affect you directly.
Every six months the Sun draws near one of the lunar nodes and we have eclipses. Sometimes only two and on occasion three. It depends on how close the Sun is to the nodes in degrees. The closer the orb the more likely eclipse.
Eclipses at the New Moon are always solar.
Solar eclipses impart a masculine or yang feel. This means it is an active eclipse where you can get started on your intentions right away.
This eclipse is at the north node which suggests the future. That is, your future can be supported based on intentions begun now.
If it is your birthday on a solar eclipse day you will feel that particular eclipse intensely. This is because it forms part of your Solar Return chart whose energies are in place for the next twelve months.
Eclipse conjunct a natal planet
Now and then an eclipse will be right on the degree of a natal planet, ascendant or MC in your chart. Obviously, this doesn’t happen often but when it does you need to pay attention.
An astrologer can quickly tell when this will happen for you.