Total Solar Eclipse November 2012

This Total Solar Eclipse is a Southern Hemisphere event, visible from Northern Australia across to South America. I’m in Sydney at the moment, and as I write, eclipse enthusiasts are piling up camper vans and cars and driving the long haul up to Cairns to witness it. Everyone should see a Solar Eclipse at least once in their lifetime: it is an awesome event that forever changes your perception of reality and teaches you viscerally about our relationship with light and warmth aka the Sun. Lunar eclipses teach us about the Moon, but that’s another story.

Solar eclipses always occur with a New Moon. At the New Moon the Sun and Moon appear from the Earth’s perspective to be in the same part of the sky. So when the Moon moves directly in front of the Sun, as seen from Earth, the Sun is temporarily blotted out, giving an eerie period of darkness during the daytime. In Northern Australia, the eclipse happens an hour after daybreak, so will be visible (at 06:38 AEDT). Obviously if it occurs at night, you don’t see anything. The total part of this eclipse lasts four minutes, and two minutes of that will occur in Cairns. Two whole minutes of total darkness in the morning. Think about that. It’s a much longer time than you might think. Northern New Zealand will see a partial eclipse, with Auckland having 87% of the Sun blocked out.

The eclipse starts at 19:38 Universal Time (what used to be called Greenwich Mean Time) on November 13, and ends at 00:46 UT November 14. The New Moon is exact at 22:08 UT November 13 (that’s 17:08 pm Eastern, 14:08 Pacific, 9:08 Australian East Coast time the next day). So the US and Europe will be under the influence of the New Moon and the Eclipse vibe during the afternoon and evening of the 13th and for Australia and New Zealand, the morning of the 14th.

Eclipses are big news to astrologers because the ancients observed that eclipses coincided with more than usual amounts of change, especially at the public macro level, which was of course the arena that ancient astrology was most involved with, having little concern for individual fate and circumstance. The King was the thing, and indeed, major events in public life do occur with major eclipses. We’ve just had the US election, a political event covered more widely in the rest of the world than any other non-domestic leadership battle. The reelection of Obama may turn out to be more change-inducing than we currently are aware.

Eclipses occur in series that replicate astronomical placements, and the Saros series recur every 18 years 11 days. This eclipse is part of the Saros 133 series that began in 1219 and ends in 2499. In astrological terms, some Saros series are more benign than others, and 133, known astrologically as Saros 15 North, is known as a kinder eclipse cycle, bringing joy through commitment, according to eclipse analyser and astrologer Bernadette Brady.

It is a North Node eclipse, meaning that the New Moon is conjunct the North Node. (Eclipses occur when the New or Full Moon conjuncts a Lunar Node, so you can always tell what month eclipses will happen if you know the signs the Nodes are in.) The North Node is more about the future than the past, so the inference is that North Node eclipses move us forward.

The eclipse occurs with the Sun at 22 degrees Scorpio. The Sun and Moon aren’t making any aspects apart from a semi-sextile to Venus, which does support the joy and commitment symbolism, but is not a strong aspect. Then the Moon immediately goes void-of-course. So the important thing is the degree and the moment of the eclipse itself, and whether or not that resonates with your own birth chart. For all of us a Total Solar Eclipse marks an opportunity for a new beginning, a new start in whatever area of life the eclipse falls in. For me it’s in my 6th house of health and lifestyle, and funnily enough, without realising at the time the appropriateness of this astrologically, I decided a couple of days ago it was time for a bit of an internal cleanse and ordered some herbs to support a week of light fasting. That’s a classic Scorpio in the 6th thing to do.

So check out where 22 Scorpio falls in your chart and see if some new impulse arises in that area of your life, either from within or without. Scorpio as a sign is all about release and regeneration, the principle of death giving birth to new life. We are always letting things go so that life can continue to create through us, and when the Sun is in Scorpio this aspect of living is emphasised.

A Total Solar Eclipse is a magnified New Moon, a super strong New Moon. Always with the New Moon it is a great opportunity to say thanks for what we have and to allow ourselves a break from busyness, to withdraw at Moon-dark to contemplate, renew and restore. Then as the Moon becomes visible as a crescent sliver in the sky, we, like Her, come out into the world again, refreshed for a new month.

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