Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Would you like more tea? Okay. Have you tried the lemon slices? They were made fresh this morning.
Excellent. Now that you are all nice and relaxed, it’s time to talk about the September 1st Solar Eclipse in Virgo.
Now just calm down there a second, okay? Whenever I find myself writing about the astrological effects of a Solar Eclipse it always seems to start out with two general statements:
1) Eclipses aren’t as much a cause for alarm as many people might think. Astronomically they are certainly interesting, and there is a certain deep-down superstitious thrill to be had at the thought of one of the big lights in the sky going temporarily dark. But the astrological effects of an Eclipse are subtle, and it’s never just an Eclipse itself that will sink your boat.
2) Any Full Moon or New Moon has some astrological significance, and an Eclipse certainly seems to heighten that significance. But again, an Eclipse isn’t going to do anything to you on its own… it has to be activated by transits from other planets.
Having said that: I will admit that the September 1st Solar Eclipse in Virgo looks nasty on paper. Ten degrees Virgo is an awkward place for anything to be of late, given that the Saturn-Neptune square is banging on that point from Sagittarius and Pisces respectively. That’s a tough transit, but it’s been ongoing for a long time now. This means that the Eclipse isn’t likely going to do anything new and horrible to you. At most it will activate new and horrible potentials based on where Saturn and Neptune are right now, and will cause the effects of that transit to come out in relatively surprising and unexpected ways.
See? That wasn’t so bad was it?
Stop choking on that lemon slice, dear friend. You’re going to be all right. Let me explain.
How this Eclipse will affect you — if it affects you at all — will be dependent on the individual placements in your birth chart. Here are a few brief guidelines as to which of you are most likely to be affected.
If you were born: February 23-March 6, May 26-June 5, August 28-September 7, or November 27-December 7 (in any year), this Eclipse is aspecting The Sun in your birth chart. Who are you, and what do you want? If you’ve had many doubts about this in the last couple of months, you can expect the other shoe to drop… for good or ill… relatively soon. Remember: the closer your birthday is to the middle of one of those date ranges, the stronger the effect will be.
If your Ascendant is between 5-15 degrees Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, or Pisces, the big question this Eclipse could be raising is “who are these people in my life?” Also: “what am I doing for these people and what am I doing for them?” Also, possibly: “who the heck are you, and how did you get into my life? Should I have invested in a burglar alarm?”
If your Midheaven is between 5-15 degrees Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, or Pisces, this Eclipse could be doing big things to your career path (or lack thereof), or in a more general sense, “what you want to be when you grow up.” You may not like what you’re doing for a living like you once did… or potentially, those forces that you were afraid may push you out may finally do so.
There is also a long list of birth dates that will be affected based on the position of one of the outer planets (Saturn through Pluto) at your time of birth, but rather than catalog those here, if you’re really concerned you might want to consider getting a reading write me about that… discount for new clients!
One thing to keep in mind if you are worried about this Eclipse is that regardless of how it affects the other points in your birth chart, one of the traditional rules I find works is that an Eclipse is more of a cause for concern if it happens above the Horizon in your birth chart… in other words, if 10 degrees Virgo fall somewhere in your 7th to 12th houses. This doesn’t mean that if you have Taurus Rising (for example) you’re automatically off the hook, but it can be a good sign.
Finally: Eclipses may bring unexpected events, but unexpected events aren’t always bad. For every point in any given chart that is being squared or opposed by an Eclipse, another point will be getting a trine or sextile, and those are generally considered “good” aspects. It’s just that the Evening News never starts with a long list of all the terrible things that didn’t happen today, does it?
On the other hand, Eclipse or not… there’s still that whole Saturn square Neptune thing going on, and if you enjoy being panicked that’s bad enough isn’t it?
As any astrologer can tell you, Neptune is the planet most associated with delusion and self-deception. Furthermore, a planet is particularly strong when it is in the Sign that it rules. So it’s perhaps no surprise that Neptune in Pisces has brought us a new and modern twist on delusion: clickbait.
If you are unfamiliar with the clickbait concept, you have almost certainly encountered it on the Internet. Here is an example…
Even if you aren’t into politics, if you’re on Facebook you undoubtedly have a few friends who are very loud about the subject. Some people will seemingly repost any nonsense that agrees with their political beliefs, regardless of whether or not what is being posted has any basis in fact whatsoever.
There are many web sites out there dedicated to making a buck off of your clicks by cranking out a large volume of poorly thought-out or completely un-researched articles designed to make you feel like yes, Politician X really is a terrible person, and here’s more proof!
Here’s how this sort of thing works:
- Find a YouTube video that someone made in their basement ranting about how politician ex is a terrible person. Bonus points if that video uses “Sandstorm” by Darude or “Clubbed To Death” from The Matrix soundtrack.
- Come up with a catchy, shout-y title that demands you click on it immediately. Example: POLITICIAN X’S HIDDEN AGENDA DESTROYED BY ONE SIMPLE FACT!
- Crank out a couple of hundred words more or less supporting the point being made by the YouTube video. It doesn’t matter really: by the time you’re actually reading the article the website has already registered that precious click, thus making it more valuable to its advertisers.
- Don’t bother with facts, quotes, or citing your sources. People are here to click on the ads, not to think.
See how easy it is to make money from home with Neptune? And now do you see why that crap you keep reposting make you look stupid to everyone except the people who already agree with you on the subject, and who are likely to like and repost that seemed meaningless nonsense you just posted, thus increasing the net worth of some guy sitting in a server room in Slovakia?
Now, here’s a video some guy made in his basement that reveals the shocking TRUTH about Saturn!
Imagine for a moment that Western astrology and Vedic astrology are two separate camps located near each other out in the woods. They engage in largely the same practices, but each camp has their own particular spin on thing and speaks in their own special dialect. For the most part though they tend to ignore each other.
Then one night each camp decides to send another spy over to the other one to listen in on their conversations, to see what they could learn from the experience the other group is having.
The next morning the Vedic spy returns to his camp, smiling. “I’ve got good news folks! There is this thing we aren’t using called the Midheaven, and it’s fantastic for stuff like career planning!”
The Western spy returns to his camp and sits down on the ground and rests his face in his hands, looking miserable. “Bad news, people. I’ve just discovered something else terrible that Saturn does…”
You’ve got to be careful when translating Vedic concepts into Western astrology and vice versa. Many techniques from one system can work in the other system, but as any professional translator can tell you certain subtleties in one language are hard to convey in another. I’m reminded of an early experiment in computer translation where the English phrase “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” was translated into Russian. The Russian translation came out as saying “the meat is good, but the alcohol is diluted.” This is the sort of thing that can happen when you translate Vedic astrology concepts into the Western system: not only will meaning be lost, if poorly done you’ll come across as just plain stupid.
If you are into Western astrology but want to learn more Vedic, I encourage you to keep the charts and the observations you make separate from each other. Both can be surprisingly accurate, but they speak essentially different languages. You can describe yourself in terms of your height, weight, build, hobbies, and occupation — or you can describe yourself as a carbon-based bipedal hominid who requires an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere, dihydrogen monoxide, and a temperature range of between 280-300 degrees Kelvin. Both of these descriptions would be entirely accurate, but one is best suited to a dating profile, and the other one is best when first communicating with the Ambassador from Planet Zoolak… otherwise you’ll just sound weird and won’t get the results you were looking for.
I’ve had just enough experience with Vedic astrology that I wouldn’t necessarily bill myself as a Vedic astrologer, but I’ve learned enough to know which concepts import well and which ones don’t. On occasion here I will be presenting certain Vedic concepts that are particularly useful alongside Western techniques. I’ve already written one such blog entry, and you can see it here.
I’ve taught Western astrology before, and whenever the subject of Vedic comes up I encourage my students to learn more with the joke/warning that “if you are learning Vedic astrology and having fun with it, you’re probably doing it wrong.” Vedic tends to come across a lot more pessimistic than Western astrology does. It isn’t really, but both Western in Vedic astrology have distinctive you points on The Human Condition call me and to a Westerner that can often come across as gloomy.
Just relax. I will attempt to make this as enjoyable and painless as possible. Keep that in mind when you read the next sentence.
NEXT TIME: Sade Sati… the other awful thing Saturn does to you.
The issue of relationships come up a lot in my line of work. Astrologers have been looking at the dynamics of how people relate to each other — and have even put together many arranged marriages — for centuries now. So it’s natural that we would have a number of techniques that involve determining how well or how poorly a couple will function together. One of those techniques is a particularly powerful one, yet also one that is easily misinterpreted: the composite chart.
An astrologer will usually start interpreting the relationship potential for two charts by looking at what we call synastry: that’s where we see how each of the planets in the chart pf Person X connects to all of the planets in the chart of Person Y. A composite chart is when you take the mathematical average of the two charts and put them together. If your Moon is at 10 degrees Aries and your partner’s Moon is at 10 degrees Gemini, then your composite chart will have a Moon of 10 degrees Taurus.
This creates a third chart, which tells us a lot about the nature of the relationship itself as opposed to simply how those two individuals act towards each other. As you can imagine, this produces a lot of very useful information. However, in my experience, a composite chart can be incredibly misleading if you aren’t objective about it.
I recently wrote two blog entries about a readers marriage… Part One is here and Part Two is here if you didn’t see them already. GN had a question about leaving a marriage, and without even looking at the spouse’s birth chart I was able to dig up a fair deal of information about the marriage and what it’s going through now.
Since then I have had a look at the chart of GN’s spouse. Looking at the synastry between the two of them would take at least another two blog entries, but here is their composite chart:
Unlike my previous entries on this particular couple, the composite illustrates clearly the forces that brought them together and the forces that are pulling them apart. This chart has two of the aspects that are most likely to guarantee relationship success, and some features that are very likely to lead to some kind of breakdown.
Sometimes relationships are like cockroaches: horrible things that are very hard to get rid of. Sometimes relationships are like ice cream: delicious but doomed to not last long. And many relationships take turns at being both.
Here is what is best about this composite chart… and what could be most misleading if all you want to hear is good news:
- Sun conjunct Venus is usually a sign of warm mutual feelings and an ability to generally like each other.
- Jupiter conjunct descendant is an excellent sign for Mutual understanding and support.
Furthermore, we see Mars Trine Saturn, which is often an indication the negativity that invariably arrives eventually in a relationship can be dealt with in a constructive manner. Moon and Mercury conjunct and sextile Saturn lends a sort of emotional durability to the entire situation.
Under the right circumstances, like when a relationship is a relatively new or things are going relatively smoothly, it would be easy to look at these factors in the composite chart and declare the whole thing to be a profound and unmitigated success. Except of course, there is also bad news…
That Sun-Venus conjunction is in a close square to the Uranus-Pluto conjunction. That kind of aspect in a composite might make for lively fun at first, like a spirited game of Monopoly. Ultimately though, it can easily break down into power struggles and underhandedness and a lot of backstabbing, intentional or otherwise. It certainly isn’t helping that transiting Saturn is opposing/squaring that aspect now.
The Moon in this composite chart may be in a nice place in regard to the relatively dangerous planets Mars and Saturn, but is also conjunct the midpoint of those two planets. That is never an entirely comfortable place for the Moon to be. An unhappy Moon makes for an unhappy chart.
Just as it is easy to ignore the bad news when things are going well, it’s easy to overlook the potential good when things are going badly. I think that, based on my experience, this is why so many students of astrology use a composite to justify a bad relationship that they want to stay in — or to dismiss one they want to leave but have a hard time describing as being all that bad.
This is why I think it’s important to get an objective outside opinion when looking at one’s astrology, either your own or that of someone else you are in a relationship with. All the astrological technique in the world is of limited use if you aren’t being objective about things.
Here is an example of how that works. Thanks to the miracle of the composite I believe I have discovered My Ultimate Twin Flame Soul Mate Super Awesome Marriage Partner, and here’s the chart that proves that!
This is a composite for me and international movie star, producer, director, and former adult film actress (and fellow Canadian) Sunny Leone. Whatever you do, please do not Google that name from work. But just look! Look at that composite chart! Look at how fantastic it is!
Moon and Jupiter both within conjunction range of the Ascendant and each other? Woo hoo, that’s fantastic! Saturn and Uranus both making aspects to that Moon-Jupiter-Ascendant? That will make things both exciting and more stable! Venus opposite Pluto? What an incredible depth of emotion!
This of course completely ignores Sun square Neptune and Mars square Saturn, which indicates there is something inherently delusional about this relationship and that things could turn ugly under the right circumstances. Like, for example… if I were to actually approach Sunny Leone with this incredible true astrological wisdom about us as a couple, which would undoubtedly result in some combination of her screaming and running away and /or an intervention by security or police. Sunny Leone doesn’t know me from Adam and has undoubtedly had many stalkers appear, most of whom are probably even more dangerous than me. Also: she’s married, which just complicates things even more.
So yeah… objectivity. It counts for something. If you need objectivity about your relationship call me write me for details about doing a reading. And if you’re reading this, Sunny Leone? Heck, I won’t even charge you, because obviously it’s Cosmic Destiny or something.
Okay, okay, jeez Sunny… I’ll stop.