Monday, March 7, 2016


Photo by NASA

The first of four eclipses this year is a total solar eclipse that begins at 5:54 pm PST on March 8. A solar eclipse happens when the Moon is positioned between our planet and the Sun, thereby casting a shadow over Earth. Eclipses occur when the planes of the orbits of the Moon and the Earth intersect at the nodal axis of the Moon (either on the North or South Node).

Residents of some of the Asian nations of the Pacific Rim (such as Indonesia) will be able to view this total solar eclipse. These observers in the direct path of this phenomenon will see the sun's corona, its faint outer atmosphere. The NASA photo above captures how a total solar eclipse appears with the accompanying corona.

According to astronomers, the periodicity and recurrence of eclipses are established by what is known as the Saros cycle. Eclipse families occur in cycles roughly every 18+ years and this one will be at 18° 55’ Pisces. This eclipse family last made its appearance on March 8, 1997, when the solar eclipse fell at 18° 36’ Pisces. Those of you who were alive 18-19 years ago may once again experience themes that were spotlighted then.

From an astrological perspective, eclipses that occur on the South Node represent times when we release the old to set the stage for the new. Because the nodes of the Moon symbolize relating to others, the thrust of this eclipse centers on the releasing of outdated relationships to make room for new ones. Consequently, wherever 18° (plus or two degrees) Pisces falls in your natal chart symbolizes an area of your life that is ripe for endings. Some astrologers believe that 18° (plus or minus two degrees) of the other mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius) in the natal chart also represent life areas that will be impacted (as they form oppositions and squares to Pisces). 

Because this eclipse falls in Pisces, there is a focus on the themes of this sign. We may experience the need to heal and to become whole, particularly in the realm of emotions and spirit. This concept of healing is even more relevant with this eclipse because the asteroid Chiron ("the Wounded Healer") will be within two degrees of this eclipse degree.

Below is an animated NASA graphic that illustrates the path of the March 8/9 solar eclipse and its timeframe.

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