What is an eclipse?
Ancient cultures across the world regarded eclipses as significant celestial events. For an eclipse to take place, three celestial bodies must be in a straight line within their orbits. This is called a syzygy, from the Greek word “súzugos,” meaning paired.
Eclipses run like clockwork and can be predicted to the minute. The Babylonians were able to calculate that there were 38 possible eclipses within a period of approximately 223 months or 18 years 11 days 8 hours. This period was identified as a Saros cycle by the Mesopotamians and it was considered important as this timing predicted when nearly identical eclipse patterns were going to occur.
Astrologically, the eclipse follows the lunar nodes. The nodes are considered ‘destiny points’ in astrology. They are calculated as the point where the moon’s orbit crosses the ‘ecliptic’ which is the path the Sun follows around the earth. There is a lunar north node, and a south node – the north node is what we are striving for collectively and the south node shows us what we are releasing.
For example, the Aries-Libra eclipse series began with the April 20, 2023 new moon. For this eclipse cycle Aries is the north node and so collectively we are looking at ways to individuate while balancing out Libra traits, such as putting other people’s desires before our own.
The last time we experienced eclipses on the Aries-Libra axis was 9 years ago, but the nodes (north and south) were reversed; at that point in time Libra values were prioritised and we were balancing out Aries individualistic dominance. The exact nodal cycle that we are experiencing right now occurred 18 years ago.
You can look back at these dates to understand what sort of influence was dominant for you to work out how they affect you personally. Eclipse series go on for approximately 18 months, so you might like to consider the 18 month cycle as an opportunity to keep an eye out for certain themes.
The lunar nodes are significant during the time we’re born. Natally where they occur are said to correspond to what comes naturally to you (south node) and north node is what you’re striving for. A balancing out of the two energies is thought to be the best approach as you don’t want to ignore one over the other, more so use your south node ‘experience’ to help you lean into your north node projection.
Use this chart to calculate where the lunar nodes were when you were born and think about whether it has been particularly satisfying to work toward your north node, or if it feels calming/reassuring to ‘do’ your south node when you’re feeling uncertain.
A great resource on nodes is by Jan Spiller. She sums up the meaning of each axis to help with considering their themes and how they’ve played out for you.
The usual interpretation of the eclipse.
Eclipses are said to herald unexpected changes. Full moon eclipses can mean sudden endings or that someone is ‘eclipsed out’, a new moon eclipse can provide new opportunities or new beginnings.
Since the moon blocks out the sun on these periods, usually more is revealed as time passes, so it’s recommended to proceed slowly and jot down the upcoming eclipse dates on the same axis to anticipate more information.
Use our app to note eclipse times and anything significant that happened around these dates. These dates can be thought of as building blocks surrounding a particular theme; take notes to keep these dates in mind and at the very least remind you of what you’ve learned and how far you’ve come.
If you’d like to see eclipse timings included in the app consider donating to our developer fund here.