Solar Eclipse of August 11, 1999
Much has been written in the past few months about the August 11, 1999 solar eclipse at 18 degrees 21 minutes Leo. It forms one corner of a Grand Square, a.k.a. Grand Cross, in Fixed signs. The Sun-Moon conjunction (eclipse) is in opposition (aspect of projection, as in “blame somebody else for the problem”) to Uranus in Aquarius. This opposition is, in turn, in square (aspect of frustration, the sense of being blocked) to the opposition of Mars in Scorpio to Saturn in Taurus. There you have a “yang” opposition in square to a “yin” opposition! The irresistable force meets the immovable object, and something’s got to give! Sun, Moon, Mars and Uranus demand action! Saturn in Taurus digs in and resists any and all change as bad; “Viva the status quo!” and “Viva the good ole’ days!” are Saturn’s battle cries.
Grand Crosses, in general, indicate the path of maximum stress and most resistance. They are very powerful major configurations. They are closed configurations as well. That means this eclipse carries psychological power, intensity, emotional crises and a sense of being separated, isolated, alienated, boxed in or closed off. We can expect to see examples of very troubled psychologies, psychopathological behaviors, extremism, risk-taking, accidents and illnesses. The Grand Square is the mark of the “mover and shaker.” And we will all be moved and shaken up by events that make the headlines in the news, if not by circumstances in out personal lives.
The qualities of the Grand Cross are amplified, magnified, because the Solar Eclipse is involved. Some tendencies are: violence, intensity, “chip on the shoulder” attitude, emotional challenge-seeking behavior. Further, because this Grand Square is in Fixed signs, we can expect attitudes of “hang tough,” unbudgeable resistance/insistence/persistence, extreme frustration. Fires, conflagrations, guns, knives, violence are possibilities, too, for the eclipse is in a Fire sign and is squared to a Mars singleton in Scorpio, the only planet in the water, or emotional, element.
So, there is high focus on rage as the primary emotional expression of this period. Creative, fun-loving impulses of Leo are frustrated by the square from Saturn and his demand to work hard, pay the rent. There is a conflict involving the deep desires of Mars (maybe not enough money for pleasure, entertainment, a vacation with the kids). Scorpio rules money, especially things like insurance and the stockmarket where everybody’s money is pooled (Scorpio involves “other people’s money”).
Throw Uranus into the equation, and you have an explosive mix! Sun, Mars and Uranus are in the signs they rule and Saturn is very strong and comfortable in the Earth sign Taurus! They are all very stubborn, all demand the center of the stage! Is it any wonder many people feel “drawn and quartered.”
In the chart for the time of the eclipse on the West Coast (PDT), the angular planets are Mercury in the volatile zero degree of Leo in the first house, opposing Neptune retrograde in the seventh. We may tend to be confused in our thinking, experience misunderstandings or outright deceptions or deceive others with what we say. Thinking is fuzzy. We are vulnerable to being caught up in too much fantasy and fooled by glamour.
When the chart is set up for Washington, D.C. (EDT), late Leo rises at nearly 28 degrees, conjunct the fixed star Regulus (the king-maker, or breaker). In this chart, the singleton Mars is on the fourth house cusp opposing Saturn on the Mid-Heaven. Mars and Saturn playing teeter-totter on the vertical axis suggests conflict between home and family and career ambitions. Willfulness (Fixed signs) and ego (the sign Leo and a Mars singleton) coupled with Uranian instability lead to impetuousness, rash acts, headlong rushes into things before the time is right leading to unexpected accidents. Although it is not part of the Grand Gross, in this chart Pluto is angular in the fourth house and throwing a square to Venus retrograde in Virgo in the first. We’d better check out our values and valuables very carefully now. Venus/Pluto correlates with heartache, heartbreak and market “corrections.”
Many astrologers say the effect of the eclipse is felt before the actual occurrence. The degrees 15 through 18 of Fixed signs will be trigger points. Sometimes even the degrees themselves, in other than Fixed signs, will trigger events when planets transit through them. We have certainly been seeing events in the news which reflect the eclipse energies, including the death in a motor cycle accident of a former astronaut. On April 25th the North Node reached 18 degrees Leo; on April 20 the nation was in a state of shock over the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado.
Other dates to look at are May 22nd, Uranus’ retrograde station at 16 degrees 48 minutes Aquarius; July 29th, the day after a Full Moon conjunction with Neptune at 4 degrees 48 minutes (5 degrees rounded off) when Venus makes a station at 5 degrees 8 minutes Virgo; August 13-14th when Mars crosses the 18th degree; August 30th Saturn makes its retrograde station at 17 degrees 11 minutes; and finally September 11th when Venus goes stationary direct at 18 degrees 48 minutes of Leo. These are a few possible trigger dates to check out in the news.
As far as how the eclipse will (or already has!) influence your life, check the house position of the eclipse in you natal chart; also, check the houses in which the Grand Cross falls (where are transiting Mars, Saturn and Uranus?). This shows were you are likely to experience stress and tension. The manner in which your life is affected is determined by the planet in your chart the Sun last passed over prior to the eclipse. For example, you have Pluto at 14 degrees Leo and Saturn at 21 degrees Leo. Pluto is the planet last passed over, however, the eclipse falls very close to Saturn as well; so expect it to be activated, too.
I wrote the above paragraphs on July 1st. Today is July 31st! The news items in the intervening weeks have reflected the sorts of things symbolized by the signs and planets involved in the coming Grand Cross Solar Eclipse! The death of John Kennedy (a Leonine hero figure ) in an airplane crash (Uranus square Mars) into the ocean (Scorpio is deep water) was shocking, unexpected. The orgy of rage demonstrated at the close of Woodstock ’99, the beheading murder in Yosemite, and the insane mass shooting at brokerage houses in Alabama before which the gunman had murdered his wife and children, and after which he committed suicide, show both individual and group reactions to cosmic energies of the moment.
Unfortunately, too many people feel the stress “in the air” and personalize it, not realizing it is just the climate of the time and will change. They project their rage and frustation on people and situations around them. Space and science (Uranus in Aquarius) seem to be the only areas so far unscathed. The recent space launch to position a telescope in space was successful as was the purposefull crash landing of the Pioneer on the Moon once its mission was complete.
To get a feel for the eclipse just visualize a stern and rich old man (Saturn in Taurus) sitting in judgement of the fun loving youths (Leo) and the detached scientists (Aquarius). The guerilla fighter (Mars in Scorpio) is giving the “bird” to all of them!
My favorite and oft repeated phrase from the Bible is “it came to pass. . .” It did not come to stay!
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.