18 December 2010

Solstice Eclipse of December 2010 - Part 2

Continuing from the previous post, let's look at the Solstice. As most people know, the Solstice marks the beginning of a new season, either the summer or the winter, depending on whether it's June or December, and whether you are in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. Tropical astrology, the kind of astrology practiced in much of the world other than in India, is linked to the relationship between the Sun and the Earth, and therefore to the seasons. So the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is also by definition the moment that the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn. It's also the moment when the Sun is lined up with the Tropic of Capricorn, which is about 23 degrees south of the equator.

Traditionally, when the Sun goes into one of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) is the time to cast the chart for a country and make predictions based upon that chart. However, there were conditions here. The astrologer starts with casting the first chart of the year at Aries, the Spring equinox. Depending on which quadrant of the chart the Sun falls in, this might be enough for the whole year. For example, if the Sun falls in the bottom left quadrant of the chart, the main action will occur soon, and one would then need to cast a new chart at the Cancer Solstice. If the Sun appeared in the second quadrant (top left), then the chart was good for 6 months, and then one would cast the next chart for the Libra ingress (fall equinox). If the Sun fell in the right half of the chart (the third and/or fourth quadrants), then the major effects of the chart would either be spread over most of the year, or actually happen in the second half of the year (measuring the year from one spring equinox to the next).

For the Aries chart in 2010, in Washington DC, the Sun falls in the 3rd quadrant. It's up in the upper right side of the chart, indicating that the energy would last most of the year, or perhaps have a focus in the Fall. One might point to the elections and the subsequent scrambling by the lame-duck congress to pass as much legislation as they can before the power shift happens as evidence of this. However, it does point to the idea that we are just riding this energy out until the next Spring equinox chart. So we might not want to look to this Capricorn solstice chart to try to draw too many conclusions for the USA itself.

How might these two events fit together?
The eclipse happens at 29 degrees Gemini-Sagittarius, while the Solstice, by definition, happens at 0 degrees Capricorn. While in popular astrology, the idea is popular that if something is on the cusp, it picks up the energy of both signs, this is exactly contrary to the classical way of approaching things. For the ancient astrologers, there was something almost sacred about boundaries. Something is in either one sign or the other, not both. The boundary between signs is like a wall between rooms. One might open the door very briefly to move from one room to the next, but one cannot simultaneously be in both rooms.

There is, however, one idea to consider from classical astrology that may be important here. When planets or other points in a chart fall exactly equidistant from a solstice degree or an equinox degree, they are linked on some level. Here, the eclipse is on degree before the solstice, and the solstice itself of course, is in its own first degree. So we now take two seemingly unrelated energies and make them equivalent to a conjunction. However, nearly everything about Sagittarius/Gemini and Capricorn is different. Sag is a hot fire sign and Gemini a warm air sign, while Capricorn is a cold earth sign. They have precious little in common. So rather than combining these two energies, my sense is that they will just stack energy on top of energy and create a lot of buzz. In fact, one might not want to do anything to augment the energies of the eclipse, given that it's generally not the most favorable of astrological occurrences.

A word on magic and timing
For those who plan to try to harness or celebrate these energies on the 21st, there are a few things that you should be aware of. These types of astrological energies, and aspects in general, work somewhat like an orgasm, to be blunt. That is, the energy builds and builds, until the moment that it is at its height, and then it fades away very quickly. If one is attempting to work with the Full Moon/Eclipse, you should really do your work before the eclipse is at its fullest (or up to that point). After that, even if we can't see it, that energy will dissipate immediately. There may be a desire to wait until one is closest to the Solstice, but if you do that, you will lose any real power that might have been available. On the other hand, the Solstice marks the entrance of the Sun into a new sign. One does not want to anticipate this, since before the moment of the solstice, the Sun is actually still in Sagittarius.

So while the two events may have some important links, I encourage you to work with each one on its own terms, in order to make the most of each. While the temptation may be there to create some grand ritual that combines all of these, it may prove futile or powerless in the end.

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