November’s Solar Hybrid Eclipse:
If all eclipses are of interest to astrologers, then the solar hybrid variety should be in a league of their own. During the whole of the 20th Century, only 6 hybrid eclipses took place (Dec. 23 1908, June 17, 1909, April 17 1912, April 28 1930, Oct 3, 1986, March 29, 1987). I first become aware of this small family of eclipses while doing some research on revolutions, of the “overthrow of monarch” variety. The eclipse that took place on May 24th 1789, just two months before the ‘storming of the Bastille’ on July 14th 1789, was a solar hybrid eclipse.
What makes a solar hybrid eclipse special? I quote here from Wikipedia: ‘A hybrid eclipse (also called annular/total eclipse) shifts between a total and annular eclipse. At certain points on the surface of Earth it appears as a total eclipse, whereas at other points it appears as annular. Hybrid eclipses are comparatively rare.” Interestingly I found more information on this eclipse in the Dutch language than in English. Dutch Wikipedia states that it kicks off as an annular eclipse, but thereafter it becomes -and remains – a total eclipse, which makes it stand out even more. Add to this, the appearance of comet ISON, and we have a very interesting combination of stellar happenings to muse over this autumn. Incidentally, we won’t have another eclipse like this one, until 2072.
An eclipse reminds me of a torch in the way it lights up and marks out an area, a cosmic “X marks the spot”. November’s eclipse begins off the coast of the US then crosses the Atlantic and stretches over Africa, from Gabon on the West Coast to Somalia on the East Coast, so that a whole continent is picked out. The eclipse falls in 11 degrees 15 Scorpio, and Sun and Moon are both applying to a conjunction with Saturn. As a sign, Scorpio has affinity with the end of life, with death and the process -both psychological and physical – of dying itself. Rotting processes invoke Mars, as does the valiant movement towards our return to nature’s womb. A powerful poem by the (Scorpion – Welsh) poet Dylan Thomas, comes to mind: “Do not go gently into that good night…….rage, rage, against the dying of the light.”
Africa used to be called “the dark continent’, a term which alludes to the mystery of the place, particularly its interior regions. Only when a remedy was found against malaria, was the African interior fully mapped out. Interestingly, many of the countries that the November eclipse crosses, were gaining their independence from their former colonial masters, around the time of the conjunction of Uranus with Pluto in the mid 1960’s, and it is my belief that the Uranus/Pluto cycle itself is closely related to the gradual emergence from the chrysalis of just such new potentially powerful regions. We are currently moving through the very formative first square of Uranus and Pluto since that conjunction, and it is particularly the area above the eclipse line, that has been struggling to re-define its identity in a swathe of revolutions given the appropriate name, ‘the Arab Spring’. The word ‘spring’ itself, clearly invoking the gushing energy of Aries as it wildly rushes forth, first awakening then lighting Uranus’ revolutionary sparklings.
Recent weeks has seen Africa very much in the news, the attack in a shopping mall in Kenya though harrowing, is, in my opinion, overshadowed by the horrendous loss of life of African immigrants, as boat after boat, sunk in the warm blue waters around Lampedusa. Eclipses are strange creatures that have the ability to attract events across space and make a mockery of our narrow perception of time. Eclipses come from the land of ‘No-where”, that unique place, where other rules apply. The scarce faces of bedraggled immigrant survivors, many of them fleeing regions shadowing the eclipse line, caught on camera and dazed like rabbits in a headlight, raise many questions. Personally, I see a vast chasm opening up under the current Uranus/Pluto square. It seems to me that since Pluto entered Capricorn, and the financial world tree was shaken, a major redistribution of wealth and power has taken place. The rich have gotten richer, while the invisible poor queue -even in rich Western cities- for food parcels. How very reminiscent of the soup kitchens of the 1930’s and the previous Uranus/Pluto square. No one really governs the global economy. It has no rulers – yet IT rules all. Pluto’s helm of invisibility covers the face of many evils.
Uranus is bound up with the universal need for freedom and autonomy and Aries dares go where angels fear to tread. It must take enormous courage to step into un-seaworthy vessels and venture cross an ocean to an uncertain future. Uranus in Aries typifies the immigrant all fired up by future potential, often fleeing from war, who looks and talks, thinks and acts differently and so has the power to unsettle the status quo. Pluto in Capricorn is a beautiful symbol of “Fort Europe” with its tight fisted, closed off, and sometime degrading and therefore inhuman rules and regulations. For too many souls, Lampedusa has become the entrance to Hades. Mercury, is the journey and the guide, and it is powerfully linked to the eclipse, because it conjuncts the North Node and is in strong mutual reception with eclipse ruler Mars. Mars and in particular Mercury after it turns retrograde on October 21st, offer an opportunity to re-think risky undertakings, to review our motives and reasons, to go back to the drawing table and do the necessary mental work. It is to be hoped that this re-think will somehow include the political will to solve the human tragedy around Lampedusa, whether this take the form of more boats patrolling the waters or whether it be better controls at points along the route where people board such vessels.
Africa is still emerging and in the coming weeks, I for one, will be making a consistent effort to follow the news from there.
Eclipse Horoscope, Location Lampedusa, Italy
Elizabeth Hathway, DFAstrolS, QHP