August 2018 Astrology: The longest Lunar Eclipse of the century, multiple retrogrades and the ongoing risky dance of Mars-Uranus

Eclipse ancient artA slightly shorter version of this post was published in early August 2918 in the Uki Village News.

Last Eclipse Season for 2018

Spanning the months of July and August 2018 the Eclipse season will be intensified in its effect and extended in its duration by the fact that many planets are going retrograde, including our closest brothers, Mercury and Mars, with Saturn, Chiron, Neptune, Pluto and, from August 7, Uranus also. Mercury’s retro period in Leo will go from July 25 to August 19, while Mars’ current retrogradation, between Aquarius and Capricorn, will last until August 27. On top of this Mars has been closest to our planet for a number of years, fact that tends to make his war-like nature more evident; while, between July 7 and September 24, Mars will also be ‘out of bounds’ (beyond the usual 23° declination), another factor that could make the martial energy more erratic and unpredictable .

The Cancer Solar Eclipse of July 13 began the cycle and the August 11 Leo Solar Eclipse will end it. The July 28 Total Lunar Eclipse represents the culmination of the whole period, right in the middle of it, and it is indeed a very special event, not only to astrologers but astronomers as well, because of its length, a whopping one hour and 42 minutes, the longest lasting of the whole 21st century.

Many Retrogrades

In August and September the July 28 Total Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius will still dominate. The reason for this is that during the eclipse Mars is closely conjunct the Moon and thus the difficult ongoing 90° between Mars and Uranus (active at least until October) will also involve the Moon, the Sun and the Lunar Nodes (T Square). This is a combination of energies that could sorely try our collective patience.

This transit acquires strength due to the Lunar Eclipse, thus extending its influence beyond the month of August, but it started having an effect already in May 2018, when the first pass of the Mars-Uranus’ Square took place, just as both planets were entering Aquarius and Taurus respectively (exact on May 16).

The fact is that while Mars, in backward motion, implies that we are required to soften our stance, looking inward rather than outward for the causes of conflicts and misunderstanding, the strong involvement of Uranus could make it a lot more difficult to find the patience and calm needed to review the way we usually deal with conflicts. And retro Mercury will not help by aggravating any difficulty in communication.

Mars retro always represents an opportunity to avoid arguments by maintaining a calm and detached attitude, remaining centered in the eye of any storm that may come our way, avoiding unfruitful retaliation. The angle with Uranus, especially coinciding with such a full on eclipse, could make this task ever more difficult, because we are, at the same time, pulled toward a more antagonistic and rebellious way of dealing with confrontations, while our reactions could be exaggerated and compulsive. Uranus is in fact the least diplomatic, more radical and uncompromising planetary energy there is!

Again the Fixed Signs of Aquarius, Leo, Taurus and Scorpio are the ones that could be more directly affected by these events, especially if the 4th, 5th or 6th degrees (Lunar Eclipse) or the 17th, 18th or 19th degrees (Solar Eclipse) of these Signs are highlighted in your Birth Horoscope. Because the nature of these Signs is wilful and focussed there is here a need for everyone to be more flexible and tolerant.

The Lunar Node involved in the Lunar Eclipse is the South, indicating that whatever we need to face now, individually and collectively, has to do with negative patterns established long ago, and that this could be an ideal time to recognize and release them.

Positive Transits

To help dealing with the emotional extremes and frustration of the Mars-Uranus’ aspect, Jupiter in Scorpio, is forming a harmonious angle (120°) with Neptune in Pisces, exact on August 19, and active until early September. Here perhaps is one cosmic key to survive and thrive through this challenging and intense period: the cultivation of compassion, closeness to nature and any activities that can help you relax and unwind, thus reconnect to your emotional/spiritual source.

Another helpful transit, active between August 7 and September 9, is the passage of Venus through Libra, the Sign of cooperation and justice, showing us a way of reconciling differences and finding a middle ground from which to work out these differences in creative rather than disruptive ways.

September 2018

Past August the month of September looks mild in comparison, with a stronger accent on the Earth Signs, implying a more practical and realistic outlook that will help all of us to stay more grounded.

Mars will then be direct in motion too, encouraging the start or re-start of any enterprise and project we may have had to put on halt during retrogradation. The effect of all the aspects I discussed before will be still lingering though, if not as intense.

Japan Earthquake, March 11, 2011

A massive earthquake has hit Japan  at 2.46 pm (AEDST = 9 hours East of GMT).  It was followed by an horrific tsunami event, for which alarms have been sent to numerous countries, as far as the Chilean coast, across the Pacific.

The quake struck at sea, but devastated the Eastern coastline, with the Tsunami said to have reached 10 km inland in some place. The death toll is unknown, but could rise into the thousands.

This is the biggest earthquake to hit Japan in 140 years, and apparently the seventh biggest seismic event in the whole world, magnitude 8.9, according to the US Geological survey.

Astrologers would be forgiven to think that the imminent ingress of Uranus in Aries, on March 12, has something to do with it all.

By itself  however even this significant cosmic event couldn’t explain the scale of this ongoing disaster, if we weren’t also aware of other important synchronicities. Like, for instance, catalyst Mercury, fastest planet in the Solar System and ancient Messenger of the Gods, just separating from a conjunction to Uranus, the day before the earthquake. And Neptune, also on the threshold of a new Sign, on the 29th degree of Aquarius, and in semi-sextile aspect to Uranus on the 29th degree of Pisces. We shouldn’t also forget that the last Full Moons, since September 2010, have occurred on the 29th degree of zodiacal Signs, and that one of these FUll Moons corresponded to a Total Eclipse of the Moon, on the very day of the Capricorn Solstice, a traditional astrological year opener.

Another curious fact is that the next Full Moon, on the 28th degree of Virgo, on March 19, will be the closest to planet Earth in the whole year (Moon at perigee). Some observers think that this has a lot to do with the extremity of this event as well.

Time is running out for my lapttop battery and solar batteries too. Frustrating, but I can’t go on for the moment.

More about this incredible event in my next post.

For the moment these are the preliminary Charts for the study of the March 2011 Japanese Earthquake.

North-Eastern Coast of Japan Earthquake, March 11, 2.46 pm, local time

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Japan Birth Chart 1889, February 11, 10.30 am

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Modern Japan Birth Chart 1952, April 28, 10.30 pm

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Double Wheel Japan 1889 and the transits of the March 11 2011 Earthquake

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Double Wheel Japan 1952 and the transits of the March 11 2011 Earthquake

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Can we see the Total Lunar Eclipse in Australia?

Total Lunar Eclipse, photo credits: Nick James

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This is a night of night: a Total Eclipse of the Moon happening just as the Sun enters the Sign of Capricorn, right on the Summer Solstice in Southern latitudes. This means that the Sun is as South as it can be (perpendicular at midday over the Tropic of Capricorn),  and the Moon as North as it can be, because in opposition to the Sun. This fact makes it more difficult for southern observers to view the Eclipse, because the Moon will be at its greatest northerly declination, therefore lowest in our southern skies.

The Moon will enter the shadow of the Earth just on moon-rise this evening, in some parts of Eastern Australia.

The eclipse will be partially visible for about 13 minutes in Brisbane, for instance, and the beautiful Northern Rivers region where I live. In the best of circumstances we may be able to observe it in its totality for a little while. The best observation points in Australia will be in Queensland, getting better and better as we travel North, toward the Tropic of Capricorn.

Entering the Earth’s shadow so close to the horizon will have the effect of colouring the Moon’s disk with a rusty-red hue. For the same reason you’ll need a clear vista toward the East-North-East, or you’ll miss it.

Here are two sky-scapes recorded by Stellarium (free software program). The top one shows the Moon rising at around 8 pm, looking East-North-East, and the bottom one is from the same angle but taken half an hour later, around 8.30 pm. Notice the reddish-rusty look of the Earth shadow over the Moon.

In places like North America  and Western South America, where the Eclipse will be visible in its entirety, the event will last one hour and 13 minutes.

Sadly for Sydney’s observers by the time the Moon becomes visible the Eclipse will be just about over.

In some parts of mainland Australia people will be able to watch just a fraction of the event. As we go further West the Moon will rise too late for the Eclipse to be visible.

There will be no Eclipse view at all in Western Australia.

For an astrological interpretation of the possible effects of this Eclipse, and the Horoscope of the actual event, please navigate to my post: The Total Gemini/Cancer Lunar Eclipse at the Capricorn Solstice, too much for one day?

For more information on this and other Eclipses, past and future, please navigate to the Nasa Eclipse Page here.