New Moon in Capricorn, 15˚ 25’ 5:28 PM, PST, January 5th, 2019. Saturn, Capricorn, 11˚ 58’ and Pluto, Capricorn, 20˚ 46’. Partial Solar Eclipse.
Life is funny sometimes; how it brings back the past, reconfigures it and then touches us to move ahead into something new. There is a partial solar eclipse this Saturday, January 5th, at 5:28 PM PST, a New Moon in Capricorn, 15 degrees. It is part of a set or family of eclipses occurring in Cancer/Capricorn through 2020. It won’t be visible here in California nor will it make much of a splash as the Super Moon lunar eclipse probably will later in the month. But it is a very special one for me because of the particular degree and area in the zodiac it occurs. Synchronicity and an old photograph, a slide, gave me a chance to learn.
Many years ago, I was an art history professor at a university and I was putting together a lecture with slides. It was a time of pre-digital imagery; finding good, clear pictures with proper color of paintings was always a challenge, something we take for granted today. I had a few slides of very good quality that my father had taken and had gifted to me before he died.
I was working on a talk about iconography, subject matter, that included this painting below. It is a famous one by Georges de La Tour, a 17th-century French painter, a master of capturing light. It shows Saint Joseph as a teacher, an intimate scene of “father” - stepfather, mentor - and Son, Jesus. I really loved the slide. My Dad had taken it in the Louvre in Paris, where the painting still lives today. Old Kodachrome slides have dates printed on them and on the cardboard was stamped, “July, 1963.” I realized then in my heart, as I stared at the slide, that I was there that day with my parents, so close in that museum, in front of that painting. You see I was in my mama’s womb, about 4 months old, that summer. I heard my father and mother discuss composition, light and the beauty of the art they saw together as he captured it on film. I was born in December later that year.
In July, 1963, the same month as my “in utero” visit to the Louvre, the lunar eclipse was at Capricorn 14 degrees, one degree off from where the solar eclipse is this coming weekend. Both eclipses conjunct my natal 11th House Mars at 17 Capricorn, Mercury at 20. Both also conjunct my south node of the Moon, at 11 Capricorn, and Sun, 6, in the 10th House. The solar eclipse occurred later that month at 27 degrees of Cancer, the one that preceded JFK’s assassination. Considered my “prenatal eclipse,” the one closest to the time of my birth, this one fell in my 5th House, house of joy and creative expression. The sign Cancer embodied the nurturing love I received from my parents, who encouraged me to think, write and embrace who I am. Prenatal eclipses seem to amplify the part of our birth chart that they touch. Current eclipses can bring into focus something new or something not previously seen.
I loved my father and I loved art history…and his words infused me then and moved me to create the life work that gave my soul meaning. When I reflect back upon the eclipses, it helps me to feel my family is still with me and that they give me strength and support in what I do. With this weekend’s solar eclipse, I feel I am changing. I am finding a new voice, a new direction, a Mars one. Where does the eclipse fall in your chart? A New Moon grants us a time to set intentions, have hope, new visions. With Saturn and Pluto in conjunction with the Sun and Moon this weekend, we can make intentions real with hard work, effort and perseverance. We may feel alone and our goals hard to reach. Just don’t give up; challenges lead us to transform and let us align with who we are becoming.
Astronomers and astrologers alike seem to love the Saros - the period or cycle of roughly 18 years that can be used to predict eclipses, solar and lunar. But I am always surprised by how most of the general public has no idea about them. Even the word “Saros” is a bit of a mystery to most I meet. The cycles of eclipses, how they repeat, not exactly, but so close to degree and in geometry, is very old sacred knowledge indeed. I’m pretty naive about it all and I don’t know a lot. There are plenty of folks online - astronomers and astrologers - who can tell you much more. My examples – lunar and solar in 1963 and just one solar in 2019 do not correspond to the same Saros cycle. But simply knowing about eclipses, how they appear to repeat, and how they can touch your birth chart, can be very meaningful and helpful. You just have to look…or have someone help you see them. Awareness of the past, and where we come from, just might open us to new paths now and in the future. Maybe your prenatal eclipse has something to say?