September 2016 will bring a Solar Eclipse in Virgo (Sep. 1) and a Lunar Eclipse in Pisces (Sep. 16). Many astrological calendars and websites also list the August 18, 2016 Aquarius Full Moon as a lunar eclipse. When I noticed that this eclipse did not appear in the calculations for my Moonshadow personal eclipse report, I went looking for the reason.
First, I noticed that this eclipse did not appear on NASA’s list of eclipses. It seems that the earth’s shadow just misses touching the Moon; it will not produce a visible eclipse event anywhere on earth. It’s a kind of phantom, “almost-eclipse.” I checked with Astro.com, creators of the Swiss Ephemeris (tables of planetary positions used in many software programs). They told me that they listed the August 18 Full Moon as an eclipse in earlier versions of the ephemeris. They later discovered that this was an error and subsequently removed it. Other ephemerides do include the eclipse, however, and that is most likely why it appears in so many astrology calendars.
So … is it a lunar eclipse?
I may be proven wrong, but I doubt the August 18 Full Moon will really behave like an eclipse, astrologically speaking. It may, however, act as a kind of early warning signal for eclipses near the same point on Feb. 11, 2017 (22.28 Leo) and Aug. 21, 2017 (28.52 Leo). If your birth chart has planets or angles in the last ten degrees of a fixed sign, you will likely find those eclipses bring more change and drama to your life than the August 18 Full Moon.
There is, however, a connection between this Full Moon and a Lunar eclipse in the same series on August 8, 1998; that time period may emerge as relevant at the August 18 Full Moon.
© 2016 April Elliott Kent