Predictive Asrology: The Eagle and the Lark by Bernadette Brady. Red Wheel/Weiser, 1999. Bernadette Brady is one of the brightest astrologers Ive encountered. She practices in Australia, but lectures worldwide. Ive never heard her, but her books are masterpieces.
Every time I open this book, Im amazed. All you need to do predictive astrology well is right hereplanetary cycles, and how planets work together, chart angles and houses, working with transits and progressions, creating time maps, and working with the eclipses. Bernadette is thorough, and she also covers planetary returns for all the planets. She writes in a clear and interesting fashion, and does not waste words on side issues. She is a fine teacher.
The chapter I find most fascinating is "Eclipses and the Saros Cycle." The information here is particularly relevant this year, a year of extraordinary eclipses. (See my article on these eclipses in the April-May Mountain Astrologer.)
Eclipses are critical nodes of growth and evolution, and their effects are deep, global and long-lasting. One could do a good reading of global and personal history using only eclipses. Nevertheless eclipses in modern-day astrology are very poorly understood. Even information about them is sparse, compared to their great power and mystery. Perhaps it is appropriate that Neptune dominates the skies now.
One problem with particular eclipses is exact timing. Although at times they may be precise triggers like transits are, most of the time they are not. Another problem is that eclipse-related events can happen both before and after the eclipse. Most of the time, eclipse events do happen in the time frame around an eclipse, often two weeks before or two weeks after, frequently three months before or after, when the transiting Sun squares that point, and often six months before or after the eclipse.
There are about two eclipses about every six months, and they are in more or less opposition to one another. Eclipses occur in a particular zodiacal polarity over a period of about two years. It is easiest to track eclipses during that more or less two-year period. After approximately two years, changes in our approach to life in the given polarity become obvious.
Eclipse-related events often happen years later, although by that time the picture is clouded with new eclipses. Transits, progressions, and planetary returns can all trigger sensitive eclipse points. So research gets complicated. Once, I took one eclipse, and for three years noted every transit to that point, including lunar transits. There were perhaps 15 per month, some more major than others. But with every single such transit, noticeable related events occurred. After three years, the activity was still going strong.
This is just one small illustration of how there are many concurrent energy cycles in which we swim. Eclipses themselves have a few major cycles. One of those cycles for eclipses, which lasts 1280 years, is called the Saros cycle.
Bernadette tells us that by 747 B.C., the Babylonians could accurately predict the timing of an eclipse, and that by the 4th century B.C. they recognized that solar eclipses occurred in series.
Each Saros Series starts at one of the poles as a small partial eclipse, and then succeeding eclipses gradually move towards and over the equator. By then they have become total eclipses. They end at the opposite pole as a small partial eclipse again. The series lasts about 1280 years, with an eclipse about every 18 years, and 71-73 eclipses in the entire series. There are many concurrent series running, which complicates research.
Each series starts with an eclipse, and the character of that eclipse defines the entire series, over 1280 years. It is its birth chart. Well, not only does Bernadette give us the planetary placements at that first eclipse, but she gives us a verbal definition of the character of the series. She also notes the recent years in which solar eclipses in that series have occurred, and the near future years in which they will occur. This gives us another kind of information to use in looking at eclipse effects.
For instance, the eclipses in May 2003 belong to Saros Series 5 North. The birth eclipse occurred on October 12, 1624 at the north pole. Sun-Moon were at 20 Libra then, conjoined by Neptune at 21 Libra, and Venus at 25 Libra. Neptune is the cosmic channel, and we can surmise that we are particularly open to spiritual knowledge now, under the influence of Saros Series 5 North.
One connection jumps into my mind. Bushs nadir, and the Libra planets close to his nadir, may be brought into play. Let us watch for good fortune for him. Those planets have been stimulated by progressions ever since 9-11, so we may see a continuation of his "success."
Bernadette says about this series, "A very unusual series involving sudden flashes of ideas that have a psychic or unconscious flavor to them. Hunches, visions, prophetic dreams, are the essence of this series. A truly creative series which should leave the individual enriched. The ideas or hunches which come from this eclipse can be acted upon."
This is a resource-packed book, invaluable for the novice as well as for the advanced astrologer. Anyone who wants to learn about astrological prediction should have it.