If you’ve ever been in the path of totality during a total solar eclipse, you’ll know how eerie, magical and unforgettable it is to witness this spectacular natural event. Today, we understand the astronomical oddities which cause a solar eclipse, yet still these events inspire awe and wonder as darkness falls and birds stop singing – for our ancient ancestors, it must have been a truly frightening moment. But what does a solar eclipse mean, astrologically speaking? And what is it anyway? Let’s find out.
What is a Solar Eclipse?
A solar eclipse occurs during a New Moon, when the Moon passes between the earth and the Sun, so that from earth it looks as though the Moon’s disc has blocked out the Sun. This phenomenon is a happy astronomical accident – the Sun is roughly 400 times bigger than the Moon, but it’s also roughly 400 times further away from us than the Moon. This means that, seen from earth, the two discs are approximately the same size, which allows them to occasionally appear to block one another.
Why are Solar Eclipses So Rare?
They’re not! Every year, there are at least two solar eclipses, and two lunar eclipses. However, not all of these are total eclipses – some are only partial eclipses, or annular eclipses which are a kind of almost-but-not-quite eclipse. A total solar eclipse can be seen from somewhere on earth approximately twice every three years – not so rare at all. We tend to think of total solar eclipses as being rare, however, because a total eclipse can only be seen from a path approximately 50 miles wide. This means that in any given location a total eclipse may only be viewable once a century or so.
What Does a Solar Eclipse Mean in Astrology?
An eclipse in astrology – whether solar or lunar – heralds unexpected events or life-changing moments. Traditionally, it was believed that a solar eclipse was a bad omen, but today we understand that a solar eclipse tends to bring new beginnings and new opportunities, even though these fortunate events are sometimes triggered by unwelcome drama. After all, the light disappears during an eclipse – but it quickly comes back.
Eclipses occur in pairs of opposite zodiac signs, during Full Moons and New Moons approximately 5.5 months apart. In a two-year period, there can be 6 or more eclipses involving a pair of signs and sometimes three signs, so in this way the eclipse cycle allows for a themed pattern of change in your life.
Not everyone’s natal chart is affected by every solar or lunar eclipse. You’re more likely to feel the energy of an eclipse when it occurs in your Sun sign, your Moon sign or your Ascendant sign, or when it occurs at the exact degree of your birth chart which is already occupied by a major planet.
Every 19 years, the eclipse cycle repeats itself to almost the same degree in the same sign and almost the same date of occurrence. This means that when a solar eclipse is due to affect your chart significantly, you can probably get a sense of its theme by looking back to your life 19 years previously – astrology is full of fascinating long-term cycles like this!
The astrological house of your chart where an eclipse occurs tells us a lot about the potential nature of the eclipse energy in your life. The house is more important than the zodiac sign, because the whole world will be experiencing the solar eclipse in that sign at that time. To get an idea of the cosmic energies surrounding each eclipse of the Sun, let’s take a look at the solar eclipse through the astrological houses.
The Solar Eclipse Through the Houses in Astrology
Remember – you will not feel every eclipse in every house; for a solar eclipse to have a noticeable effect on your astrology, it needs to be in one of your most important signs or close to an important planet in your birth chart.
Solar Eclipse in the 1st House
This eclipse energy is all about personal development and growth as a person and as an individual. Events will help you to become more assertive or better at dealing with people. Expect to be thrust into the limelight, whether you like it or not.
Solar Eclipse in the 2nd House
A solar eclipse in the 2nd house could bring drama around personal finances. However, the key is to learn from such problems, if they occur. Look at ways of shoring up your sense of security so that you are not so dependent on materialism.
Solar Eclipse in the 3rd House
Eclipse energy in the 3rd house centers around the need to grow intellectually. A lack of knowledge may be highlighted, but the positive effect of this will be a return to education or a bettering of the mind in some manner.
Solar Eclipse in the 4th House
A solar eclipse in the family zone could bring drama to your home or family life. Although this can feel chaotic and unsettling, look for the chance to create a positive new beginning once the dust has settled.
Solar Eclipse in the 5th House
Eclipse energy in this house is all about risk-taking. Expect to feel an urge to push the boundaries but beware that doing so may have consequences. Try to find a safer way to spice up your love life or to enhance your creativity.
Solar Eclipse in the 6th House
A solar eclipse in the 6th house prompts a sudden change of habits or lifestyle, perhaps following an unwelcome or even slightly scary wake-up call. A cosmic warning is not much fun, but it does give you the chance to make positive changes.
Solar Eclipse in the 7th House
Eclipse energy in your love zone is difficult to handle and could bring a break-up or an ending of some kind. However, this is for the best in the long term. It’s important to seek out the positive and to know that a new dawn is coming.
Solar Eclipse in the 8th House
A solar eclipse here brings hidden things to light – usually in a dramatic and rather unwelcome way. This could cause chaos but focus on the fact that it’s “better out than in”. Once life has re-settled, you can rebuild.
Solar Eclipse in the 9th House
Eclipse energy in the 9th house is about escaping stifling conditions. A sudden urge to travel or to hand in your notice may seem crazy but go with it. Changes you make now will have far-reaching effects.
Solar Eclipse in the 10th House
A solar eclipse in your career zone brings drama in your working life. Your authority or status may suffer, but do not panic. From what seems like a disaster, you can rescue, rebuild and come back stronger than ever.
Solar Eclipse in the 11th House
A solar eclipse in the 11th house puts pressure on your friendships and social life. Something may snap, especially if trouble has been brewing for a while. Remember that as one person leaves your life, another is sure to enter.
Solar Eclipse in the 12th House
Eclipse energy in your most spiritual zone comes around a time of spiritual breakthrough. This learning and growing period may seem painful and you may be ready to give up, but you’re closer than you think to your goal.