The 2010 Solstice Eclipse Breakdown

by Boots Hart, CAP on December 1, 2010

Full Lunar Eclipse, Solstice 2010

It’s time to “Think Eclipse”! And when we think eclipses, thinking of each season’s offerings of same both separately and as a pair is useful. After all, each has a particular meaning—yet, because Solar Eclipses mark life shifts against which Lunar Eclipses mark emotional events… they often fit together. How does this apply to today’s busy, unsettled life?

First, let’s start with Solar Eclipses as theory. Solar Eclipses begin manifesting six, often even eight weeks in advance of their actual occurrence. That means you may have sensed your status quo beginning to change as early as the last week or week-and-a-half of November. Because generally “how far in advance” we get the hunch that something’s changing corresponds directly to how “exact” the eclipse aspect is to our chart (and thus the relative magnitude of the change we’re in for—more on in a few minutes), having our antenna out now is useful.

Often our first inklings are merely little hunches. Or a growing awareness. Or a feeling unsettled. Something is off…something is odd. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but…

Then, as the Solar Eclipse gets nearer, your instincts really begin to prickle. People and issues begin popping out of the proverbial woodwork. So the time the Solar Eclipse actually hits, you’re already in the thick of things.

But here’s the curious part of the Solar Eclipse transit: we very seldom know where any Solar Eclipse is actually “taking us” until very near to the end of its unfolding. And how long is that? Three years.

You heard me—three years!

Yet this isn’t all bad or to quake in our shoes about. Far from it! Though often unsettling/upsetting to begin with, the theory of the Solar Eclipse is about the terrible habit we all have as humans of “making do.” We get comfy and stop trying…and thus fall short of our true, shining (solar) potential!

full solar eclipse

A full solar eclipse. (Above, the distinctive glowing orb of a full lunar eclipse.)

And that’s what Solar Eclipses are really about: “eclipsing” all those things which on the cosmic level are our personal excuses, diversions and compromises-of-self. The object is to strip off the excuse so we end up having to go on and be the person we’re supposed to be. And we know that. Deep down inside, we know we’re just “getting by.” We know we’ve been opting for tranquility instead of raw personal challenge. But that tranquility works, right? It’s holding up the roof, it’s a path we chose to take—and heck, changing anything might cause hurt, sacrifice, disruption and insecurity far outweighing our sense of boredom or lack of personal satisfaction.

You can see why it takes a real and cosmic kick in the pants (or elsewhere!) to get us moving again, right? And the celestial clockwork which times out such booting of our derrieres is called the Solar Eclipse. The more entrenched we are, the more comfy we are with our making do, the greater the blast force needed to get us out of built-up, built-in habits. So if things are odd and growing odder.…

In this case, the Solar Eclipse breakdown period comes after a November New Moon at 13 Scorpio and a December New Moon at 13 Sagittarius. Considering the Solar Eclipse will be at 13 Capricorn, this is a celestial parade of notices telling us first and foremost that the matter is emotional (13 as a second decanate “emotional” degree in every sign). It is also not exactly about ourselves as individuals, but it is about how we operate with others and in the world—Scorpio, Sagittarius and Capricorn all being “public” rather than “personal” signs. Scorpio and Sagittarius are interactive signs, Capricorn is a sign all about social standing, commerce, our place in the world, marriage as a social/societal institution, and the world’s structure, against the structuring of “our world.”

So this is a process which may have actually started innocently enough back in early November. And now as we move into/through the Solar Eclipse’s breakdown period, things are really beginning to shift.

Into all of which comes a Lunar Eclipse at 29 Sagittarius on December 21 (at 8:15 UT/+0).

Lunar Eclipse map, Solstice 2010

(Click to zoom) Global visibility of the December 2010 lunar eclipse (NASA).

Most seasons offer us one solar and one lunar eclipse. The order of which (yes) counts. To have a Lunar Eclipse occur before the Solar Eclipse tells us that some high level—in this case a critical (29-degree) level—of emotionality is part of the upheaval process.

In general, Sagittarius is about the functionality of one’s life. We find that out through testing how our life is working—by considering new ideas and recognizing that maybe our life isn’t working so well and is due for an upgrade (using that term here in the techy sense: “an expansion of limits or capacity”).

There are some whose charts will be hit dead on by the Lunar Eclipse and not by the Solar—and vice versa, obviously. And again, we can guess the extent or degree of change coming into our life by whether we’ve been feeling the Solar Eclipse breakdown and the Lunar Eclipse…or merely one or the other.

The Moon of this eclipse is in a degree (29 Gemini) where, if things go all hodgepodge, expect some sense of “cruelty” to be cited in the mix. This isn’t necessarily “real” cruelty though—it may just be an emotional reaction to change long overdue. (Some people really hate change!) The Moon of this Lunar Eclipse conjunct fixed star Betelgeuse (the easy way) at 28 Gemini is all about the (lunar) longing for the easy way out. And for many, seeing that the Moon also represents “home,” “family,” and “money” (particularly “business money”), this is where the eclipse(s) is(are) going to symbolically manifest—as upheavals in these arenas. Or even the clinging to them as the “certainty” which will “protect” you from change.

But wait—that’s not all! On the other side of the coin (Lunar Eclipses always have “flip sides”) the Sun is exactly conjunct Lachesis (duration). And Hybris (arrogance which comes to an ill end). And Kassandra (truth which isn’t believed) standing in opposition.

This could thus be very good or very bad news (or feelings) arising in your life—anything between “I don’t believe that!” to “I can’t believe it” to “I really HAVE to?” versus “They’re going to get away with that!” to the ever-popular “Why ME?”

For those with natal chart positions (planets, nodes, axis points) between 24 Gemini and 4 Cancer OR 24 Sagittarius and 4 Capricorn, this is personal. This Lunar Eclipse is right in your face.

For those with natal positions between 24 Pisces and 4 Aries (OR) 24 Virgo and 4 Libra, this is something or someone getting in your way, throwing a wrench into your works or something which alters your plans. You are going to have to deal with it. The thing to avoid is thinking it is all them or all you. It isn’t.

For those with natal positions between 27 Taurus and 1 Gemini (OR) 27 Cancer and 1 Leo, expect a bump in your road and a bruise to your ego. Try not to yelp too loud…and don’t hit back! Think logically, not emotionally. Be civil, not sarcastic!

For those with natal positions between 27 Scorpio and 1 Sagittarius, expect critiques. They may not make you happy, but to get where you need to go, you need to deal with it. Whether you know it/like it or not this is an opportunity to learn something useful and valuable, so grumble and get on with it!

For those with natal positions between 27 Capricorn and 1 Aquarius, the reactions/responses you want are not forthcoming. No, it’s not the end of the world. Do yourself a favor—check with your insides. Either you’re not risking enough, you’re not making the effort to be valuable/of value or you’re just plain in the wrong game. On this last—be careful. You may be tempted to pull out just because the going is getting tough. That won’t get you where you want to go either—this is not supposed to be easy!!!

For those with natal placements between 26 Aries and 2 Taurus (OR) 23 Leo and 2 Virgo, you have an opportunity to express yourself in some meaningful way. It’s not mandatory, but if you do speak, you will get heard, which isn’t always the case.

For those with natal placements between 24 Libra and 4 Scorpio (OR) 24 Aquarius and 4 Pisces, you’re in the flow and may as well ride the wave. On the Libra/Scorpio end you’re building something, on the Aquarius/Pisces side you’re finishing a personal cycle. Either way—accept, utilize where you can, enjoy!

Unlike Solar Eclipses, Lunar Eclipses tend to be “prompt”: the date for this event is December 21 (give or take time zones) so, give or take 24 hours, this is the moment. Like all things lunar, Lunar Eclipses are about emotions and things which evoke emotions. Unlike a Solar Eclipse, Lunar Eclipses crest at the eclipse and from there fade into a “gosh, that was some deal!” sort of thing within three months.

Path of a lunar eclipse by David Ball

Lunar eclipse path, photo by David Ball, davidball.net.

On the Solar Eclipse side, things are not so clear-cut. As noted, Solar Eclipses represent evolutionary life processes which stay with(in) us and take time to unfold, evolve and lead us where we (eventually) are meant to go. But there’s no question that as we approach a Solar Eclipse, if it’s “on” our chart (or “hits” our chart, as astrologers tend to say) we will feel the proverbial ground move beneath our feet.

The Solar Eclipse of January 4, 2011 (1:02am UT/+0) is at 13 Capricorn, as stated. Merely by degree this is thus all about our need or desire to get where we want to go in life or to build a life which is in sync with our being and personal sense of purpose and integrity. Known as a “steely” degree, 13 Capricorn carries some reputation for ruthlessness, but the “ruthlessness” which is the result of understanding a process logically and embodying the logical result…which to many is even scarier! Or which can be used as a scary weapon.

Path of the January 2011 solar eclipse

Visibility map of the January 4, 2011 solar eclipse (Wikipedia).

Conjunct fixed star Vega (charisma) the extremes here are “sweet talking evil” against “doing what needs to be done.” So how to tell which is which? Actually…probably by whether/what type of change is actually asked for or involved. A Solar Eclipse atop Vega means it’s time to stop with ideals and what “sounds” good (the “charismatic” presence) and go with actual workable notions. With asteroid Eros (attraction, desire) currently conjunct Vega, there will be coercive forces which make us wonder what it is we really “long for.”

That some sacrifice is called for here (and abhorred) is pictured by the opposition of dog star Sirius (the small thing which has big consequences) and Pandora (the box of ills) to this eclipse: some small act or choice may now have great repercussions and “unleash” a box of ills. But remember—this is about us, not life. Hopefully with Pluto exiting the shadow of its 2010 transit pattern as of January 2 we will finally “see” some things with greater clarity…but will that make our lives easier? In some ways yes, in some ways no: there is still (Capricorn) work and structuring/restructuring to do and we plainly don’t really want to do it, or it wouldn’t take a Solar Eclipse to shove it under our nose.

All eclipses are eclipses because a New or Full Moon happens within a specified range of the Lunar Nodes, forcing us (our lives—the Sun/Moon part) to deal with our life or world (the Lunar Nodes) with a degree of Earth(ly) clarity we at other times seem to miss. In this case, with the Sun about as far away as possible from the Nodes to still have an eclipse, a parting of ways or paths is implied. It’s time to leave something behind. Whatever it is, given how Solar Eclipses are not known for genteel effects, like as not angst (Moon), will (Sun) and effort (Capricorn) are involved. Yet the purpose is not evil or cruel. The purpose of any eclipse is to move us forward in our life. So like what happens now or not, life is not out “to get you.” Then again, it’s not out to reward you either! You’re here and things happen. Real life is real, life is about what we do with our days and talents, and without a verb, sentences go nowhere!

So saying, those with natal positions (planets, nodes or axis points) between 8 and 18 of any of the cardinal signs—Capricorn, Aries, Cancer or Libra—will feel this Solar Eclipse as a change of life priorities and/or direction. You are being asked to harness yourself as a Self and be in the world at a whole different level. Or in a whole new way. The Aries and Libra positions are much challenged; like as not you come into this time focused elsewhere and are forced “off track.” By accepting challenges and working to integrate them into your life, you will end up with many things gained which you otherwise wouldn’t have had. Or maybe even thought of! Capricorn and Cancer positions are representative of realizations being confronted at a very intrinsic level—which of course varies depending on the position or symbol being eclipsed. You may be tempted to think this is not happening or will “go away” but it is happening and isn’t going to get “better” until you deal with it honestly.

Those with natal positions between 11 and 15 Sagittarius (OR) Aquarius are in for a reforming of outlooks. The tendency will be to feel “insulted,” “rejected” or “outmoded” but that’s not you, that’s your ego! By managing your ego bruises (go ahead, grumble!) while asking yourself why you’re so tender there AND by learning from changing social/societal trends, you can change and get ahead of the game again. Or you can resist change and feel more and more desperate. You are your own cure here!

Those with natal positions between 10 Pisces and 16 Pisces (OR) 10 Scorpio and 16 Scorpio are being given an opportunity. The Pisces side of this is to build something new (coming from wherever/whatever the eclipse strikes) and the Scorpio side is all about integrating what you know works in a greater scope or venue—again, depending on what part of the natal chart gets “eclipsed.” Either way, getting past your own feelings on the subject are going to be necessary.

Lastly we have those with chart positions between 8 and 18 Taurus or 8 and 18 Virgo. That which you have leaned on for support or “trusted” to be there which is no longer there—that’s the sign that you need to build something new (Taurus) or rebuild/restructure in some new way (Virgo). It’s not a comfortable process, no. But it’s also not avoidable. AND there are better times to come providing you undertake the work. This is not about life “forcing you,” this is about working for what you want.

Parts of many lives simply “melt” away every time we have an eclipse. As a heads up, 2011 comes equipped with an “extra” Solar Eclipse during the Cancer season, too. This is not about any “end of the world” as some insist on threatening us all with, but about an end to many a habit and clinging to old ways which has held us—and our world—off the path to true and real and evolutionary growth.

2011 solar eclipse global path

Animated map of the January 4, 2011 solar eclipse visibility area (NASA).

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Kiana December 19, 2010 at 10:42 pm

well this lunar eclipse has me wide awake my rising sign is 29 degree gemini. I guess I should buckle my seat belt?

Chesa Keane December 20, 2010 at 2:01 pm

This is a terrific analysis and helps me understand why things are so turned over in my business. I also realized that my business’ Saturn return is right around the corner. A ride on its way!


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