article is excerpted from a lecture presented to the
San Diego Astrological Society in April 1999.
with eclipses in natal
don’t know if this is your experience, but I find that
a client usually comes to me for the first time because
they’re at a critical turning point, a “crisis” in their
life. It’s usually very easy to pinpoint the
source of the crisis with eclipses. I just map
out the solar and lunar eclipses for the year, figure
out where those points fall in the client’s chart by house
placement and hard aspect to natal planets. Then I backtrack
18 years, at 4.5 year intervals. These will show me years
where the client was receiving conjunctions, squares,
and oppositions from eclipses to roughly these same areas
of their chart.
that point, I have easy reference points for exploring
these issues in more depth during the reading. Then
I calculate secondary and solar arc progressions, transits,
and the solar return chart for the year; almost invariably,
the configurations in the chart receiving the most
emphasis from eclipses will also show a lot of important
activity in all these charts. Fairly quickly,
the main themes for the year emerge and provide a solid
framework for a reading.
is a fairly conventional way of working with any kind
of cycle, whether it’s cycles of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,
progressed lunar phases, anything. For me, what
makes eclipses especially appealing as a cyclical tool
really easy to use. If a client comes to
me and says, “When will I find a relationship?”
It’s a fairly simple matter to say, “Well, when were
you last in an important relationship?” – find where
the eclipses were, and work with 4.5 year periods
from there. The 9 year opposition part of the
cycle seems especially strong.
of all the tools we use in prediction, eclipses
are the least subtle! People notice their
effects. They have a kind of bare bones, brass
knuckles sort of immediacy about them.
eclipses show where crisis is occurring and how
it’s related to past events, in a way that can
reveal to your client just how far they’ve come in
dealing with a particular issue in their life.
That can be extremely helpful and validating when
your client is in “Why do I keep making these boneheaded
move clockwise through the chart, unlike progressions
and transits, which move counter-clockwise. And
because solar eclipses usually occur in opposite signs
in a given year, they will very often fall in houses of
the chart that directly oppose one another. So in
interpreting eclipses in the houses, I’m working not with
twelve individual houses so much as six teams of houses,
or house axes, directly opposite one another.
size of the houses in your chart vary, of course, depending
on where you were born. If you were born extremely
north or south of the equator, generally one or two of
these house axes will be quite large while the rest are
quite small--so that progressions, transits, and—yes—eclipses
spend more time transiting the large houses than the small
ones. On average, though, you can count on
eclipses falling in a particular axis of your chart for
about 1 ½ years at a time.