Eclipse 2012: When the Sunlight is Gone and No Songbirds Are Singing
A Solar Eclipse in Australia, 14th November 2012
by Richard Giles
Australia is to experience a total solar eclipse of the Sun in mid November and it will be our first major experience of a solar eclipse since 1976 when the path of an eclipse went right through Victoria. There was previously a more recent eclipse but it was only the last minutes of the solar eclipse where the shadow came through Ceduna, South Australia, late in the afternoon. The November 2012 total solar eclipse begins in Australia on the morning of November 14th – this eclipse predates the December 21st, 2012 Mayan Calendar date by just 5 and 1/2 weeks.
The shadow begins near Darwin early on the morning of Wednesday 14th and moves across northern Australia to pass through the towns of Atherton, Mt Molloy and Pt Douglas (N.Qld) that morning peaking at about 6.38 am. Its exact time of maximum total shadow is 22.13 hrs (UT). The degree of totality in the western astrological zodiac is at 22 degrees Scorpio.
This eclipse then is the first where the shadow of totality crosses the Australian mainland since the Ceduna eclipse of December 2002.
Eclipses and History
Eclipses have been a major factor in mankind’s understanding of the heavens over the centuries as the astronomers and astrologers (who were the same thing back until the 18th century) predicted events in human society that would induce huge changes in the ensuing months after the eclipse.
As you can see from the explanations below, the Moon passing across the face of the Sun or the Earth’s shadow passing over the full Moon give us the eclipse phenomena. This happens because the disc of the Moon is almost exactly the same diameter visually as the disc of the Sun even though they are millions of kilometers apart. We just happen to have the Moon positioned at such a distance from the Earth that the disc visuals coincide and give us complete total eclipses.
English author David Ovason wrote a fascinating book on eclipses and in it explains with astrology charts the effects eclipses have on human history and quotes dozens of famous historical individuals and their lives with eclipse turning points to illustrate his contention. The book is called ‘The Book of Eclipse’ (publ. Random House, 1999). He says in the early chapters, “The real experience of the eclipse is that we stare into the temporary shadow of the Earth or the Moon – into a shadow which is made possible only by the pyrotechnics of the Sun. The absence of light is one thing; the coldness, the silence and the unaccustomed view of the stars in the middle of the day, is another.”
Mediaeval observers used to say that during the moments as the eclipse became total, “birds would suddenly drop in feare from the sky”. This extraordinary experience of loosing the Sun, the bringer of life, in the middle of the day gives the eclipse its magical and mysterious feeling. It can only be felt by being directly in the path of a total solar eclipse. In Australia we have witnessed just 4 of these between 1905 and 2002. There may be some of you reading this article who experienced the 1976 one in Melbourne when younger.
With this eclipse, totality will be visible from northern Australia and the southern Pacific Ocean. When seen from west of the International Date Line, e.g., from Cairns, the eclipse will take place on the morning of November 14. The greatest time of the eclipse, of duration 4 min 2 sec, will occur east of the International Date Line on November 13, approximately 2000 km east of New Zealand.
What are a Solar eclipse and a Lunar eclipse?
A Solar eclipse occurs when the Moon stands between the Sun and the Earth, cutting off the light of the Sun. A solar eclipse is always a new moon and in astrology tends to mark new beginnings.
A Lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth stands between the Moon and the Sun, cutting off the light of the Sun from the moon. A lunar eclipse is always a full Moon and usually marks endings or culmination points. They bring up memories, dreams, and emotions, so they often pack a big punch.
An eclipse of the Sun will more likely focus you on a prominent male in your life (father, husband, boss, or other key man). An eclipse of the Moon will centre more on the prominent women in your life (mother, wife, or female boss, for instance). This is not always the case, but you will find this will be a good rule of thumb.
Astrological Timing of the Effects of Eclipses
Astrologers look at the impact of an eclipse on a personal or national chart and use this formula. The duration of the solar eclipse in hours from the first moment to finish indicates the number of years the effects will be felt, e.g., total duration of an eclipse = 4 hours and 10 minutes, therefore the effects would last just over 4 years. The eclipse degree will also remain sensitive for just over 4 years.
An alternative system – the duration of the Solar eclipse’s totality in minutes indicates the number of years it will have an effect, e.g., a totality of 3 and a half minutes = 3 and half years duration.
The six month rule – the eclipse degree is active for six months until the next eclipse in the new series, especially for Solar eclipses. The first three months after the eclipse are the strongest for effects, when the Sun has moved 90 degrees (a quarter turn in the zodiac) from the eclipse position.
Meanings for Eclipses – How to Interpret Them:
* they bring sudden or unexpected events
* expose problems you didn’t know about
* the planet under stress in your chart is literally ‘eclipsed’ by the Sun or Moon
* the house in which the eclipse falls is a key to the changes
* they can make big changes in the area of life shown by house position.
Susan Miller’s 8 Main Points to Consider when Dealing with Eclipses.
This came from a longer article that Susan Miller wrote on the effects of eclipses. Here I’ve summarised only a few of the points she made and reduced them down to eight of the more important. For more information go to her web site.
1. Eclipses are dramatic “wild cards” in our horoscopes that we don’t see coming. They shake us up so that we can move from one level of maturity to another, very rapidly. They will provide whatever we need to get moving – a competitor, a rival or critic, a benefactor, funding, or some other force – that get us to think, decide, or change.
2. Eclipses work from the outside in. In that I mean that an outside event that has nothing to do with you, and over which you have no control, will often act in a way that affects your life in a powerful, direct, and lasting way. The outside force can be a small, casual event or comment – it need not be a big – but yet it can have monumental influence on our life anyway.
3. Eclipses bring news of big life events that you long remember. You may sell a house or buy one, or start a new business or close one. You may get a major promotion or a new client, or be given enviable publicity, or be downsized. You may meet someone new to date, or get engaged. Or, on the other hand, an eclipse may “eclipse out” someone from your life, as is the case in a break-up or divorce. Often at eclipse time, we are very aware of the passage of time, and that can make us a bit wistful even when the news is very happy.
4. Keep your eye on your health at eclipse time, and doubly so if the eclipse is near your birthday, is in your birth sign, or is six months away from your sign (i.e., opposite). If you need to address a health or dental issue, get advice and help so that you can get back to feeling tip top again soon!
5. You may feel like you are walking across a bridge to a new land at eclipse time. You are – with no ability to go back to the place you started. In that sense, after you start moving toward the new situation (by enforced changes or by your own volition), the bridge will collapse – there will be no way back. While you can’t go back to the good old days, you wouldn’t want to. You are ready for more. The universe wants us to embrace all that is new, not go back to what is tried and true.
6. Eclipses can help you do things you never thought you could do, overcome fears, and show yes, you CAN do it!
7. If an eclipse falls on your birthday, the year that follows certainly will be quite eventful. One part of your life is surely due for massive change. You may experience a big change in lifestyle or in one specific part of your chart. If an eclipse of the moon (a lunar eclipse) touches your birthday, it will be a year of endings, closure, and possibly, of fulfillment. Often a lunar eclipse creates changes within the family or home – you may move, see a roommate come or go, or in keeping with an eclipse’s ability to change family dynamics, a new baby may enter the picture, as a few examples.
8. Eclipses always bring unexpected changes of direction, but only if you have the Sun, Moon, a planet, or other major point in your natal chart being touched by it. The eclipse does not have to fall in your sign to affect you, but it would have to be within a ten-degree orb of a major planet or point in your chart. (Some astrologers only use a five-degree orb, but my experience shows you have to allow a wider area of influence, up to ten degrees.)
Check her website on – http://www.getastrology.com
Your Personal Planets
If you have a planet in your chart that is being touched by this eclipse in November you will experience changes that relate to the placement zodiac House of the planet. If you know the meaning of Houses you can work out some ideas as to its effects. If you don’t, you need to consult an astrologer about the placement and its meaning. As this eclipse takes place at 22 degrees Scorpio and if you have any planets close to that degree in Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius, then you will be directly effected by it. If your birthday is mid month in those birth months (February, May, August, or November) then you are a candidate for being changed by the events of November 2012.
The other interesting observation that comes out of the date is that the birth chart for Australia has the Moon’s position being directly triggered by this eclipse. Australia was born on 1st January 1901 and as such we have a Capricorn Sun and the Moon in our chart is in Taurus, another Earth sign, and our Ascendant is in Aries, the ram. Going back in history we note that Australia’s first successful rural industry was wool from the sheep’s back. The country was built on it as the saying goes (Australia rode on the sheep’s back). And the image of the male Merino ram was on all the woollen clothes, our older coins and most wool packing labels. That ram, of course, is representative of the sign Aries and with the curled horns on its head, gives the Taurean bull-like look to it.
Since the eclipse happens right opposite our earthy Taurus Moon (which is our emotional identity with the land and our collective sentiments about ourselves as a nation) then we can expect, following all the ideas I’ve put forward earlier, that this eclipse is going to trigger our feelings about our national identity in a very big way. Taurus also looks after food, water and sustainable items for us humans. What may come out of it is the issue of foreign ownership of our land and our productive farms and agricultural land. Selling off the land and farms to overseas companies may become a huge issue in 2013, as its already beginning to be now.
In the Australian chart the Moon is in the First House of personality and the eclipse is in the Seventh House of friends and enemies. So its not hard to see that we may either love or hate land purchasing foreigners even more strongly next year. The issue of refugees is also huge now. The national sentiments about “queue jumpers” and letting boat people into our country divides the nation and the parliament. 2013 will see more of it.
Past Australian Solar Eclipses –
These are where the totality shadow has passed through our mainland. We have had just four total solar eclipse shadows pass through Australia in the last 107 years. So it is a rare occurrence which makes this one all the more important to experience if you can. In Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast the eclipse will only be seen as a partial one and the full effect will not be felt or observed. If you have the opportunity to travel to north Queensland please do so to bathe in the shadow of the Moon on our landscape. Meanwhile here are the dates, zodiac signs and surrounding events of the previous Australian total solar eclipses.
March 6, 1905 (Pisces) – Dalgety selected as the first site for a Federal capital. The Wireless Telegraphy Act is passed by the Commonwealth Parliament to regulate experiments in wireless communication. Introduction of world’s first surf lifesaving reel at Bondi Beach, NSW. Sydney: First cinema opens.
Sept 21, 1922 (Virgo) – End of the Billy Hughes Government. Vegemite is invented by Cyril Callister. First radio stations begin broadcasting in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Qld: First Qantas flight with regular service between Charleville and Cloncurry. Canberra 1923: Work begins on construction of Parliament House.
Oct 23, 1976 (Libra/Scorpio) – Fraser Island is protected from destruction by sand miners when it is listed as Australia’s first item on the National Estate. Cigarette and Tobacco advertising banned on Radio and TV. Government Inquiry gives go ahead to the mining and export of uranium. Nov: The first Vietnamese boat people arrive on Australia’s northern shores. Jan 18, 1977: 83 people die in Australia’s worst train disaster when a section of a bridge collapses on a train at Granville.
Dec 4, 2002 (Sagittarius) – Oct: Bali – around 190 people, including at least 85 Australians, are killed after a car bomb explodes outside a Kuta nightclub. Dec 6; The Federal Govnt, in agreement with State Premiers, announces handgun buyback scheme. Feb 14-16, 2003; Hundreds of thousands of people participate in peace rallies across the country in protest against likely Australian involvement in a war against Iraq. Jan/Feb 2003; Bushfires across ACT, Vic, NSW, SA & Tas destroy homes and livestock throughout January and into February. Hundreds of people evacuate alpine towns in Victoria and NSW. On Jan 18-21 bushfires in Canberra destroy more than 100 homes, mainly in the western suburbs, and most of the historic Mount Stromlo observatory and telescope.
Nov 14, 2012 (Scorpio) – What Next? What will we see in 2013 and the six months down the track after that eclipse? We can await the outcome of November 2012 events with great interest.
There are a number of web sites on information, tours and accommodation. If you’re so inclined have a look. Check here –
NASA Eclipse Page: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2012.html#SE2012Nov13T
David Ovason, ‘The Book of Eclipse’ (Random, 1999). http://www.davidovason.co.uk/index.html
Richard Giles :
Richard lives in SE Queensland at Crystal Waters community where he runs a Feng Shui, Geomancy and Astrology consultancy business. Check his website at http://www.RichardGiles.info and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/richgiles89. Richard lectures for local groups on the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Contact him on (07) 5435.0158, email: ricgiles [at] powerup.com.au And change [at] to @.
Addendum from Kashonia
I have a couple more resources for you including the answer to one of the most asked questions about Solar Eclipses. So we’ll start with that one.
Why does a solar eclipse move from west to east, while the sun moves from east to west?
The Moon orbits the Earth from west to east. If you want to verify this, watch Moonrise on successive nights and you’ll see that it rises later each day as the Earth’s rotation needs more time to ‘catch up’ with the Moon in its orbit.
The Moon’s orbital velocity is about 1 km/sec, so its shadow travels at that same velocity. While the Earth’s rotation also proceeds from west to east, the FASTEST motion generated by that rotation is at the equator and works out to less than .5 km/sec. So the Moon’s shadow moves eastward at a velocity greater than the Earth’s rotational velocity at any location or time, causing it to travel west to east across the Earth’s surface.
Answered by: Paul Walorski, B.A. Physics, Part-time Physics Instructor on http://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae88.cfm
Here is another answer to the same question, and although I think the above answer is a little easier to understand. This site is well worth a good look as it has a lot of information and diagrams.
This answer can be found on http://www.hermit.org/eclipse/why_solar.html
It Goes The Wrong Way!
So much for how eclipses happen — but one question that often comes up is, why does the eclipse go from West to East, when the Sun and Moon go the other way?
Well, the movement of the Moon — from East to West — is, in fact, an illusion caused by the Earth’s rotation. As a matter of fact, the Moon orbits in the same direction that the Earth rotates; anticlockwise, as seen from above the North pole. But whereas the Earth takes just 24 hours to do one rotation, the Moon takes a month to go round the Earth (actually, the Moon takes 27.32 days to orbit the Earth).
In other words, if the Earth was sitting still, the Moon would cross the sky from West to East. It would take 14 days to cross from horizon to horizon, and another 14 days to come around into view again. But the Earth doesn’t sit still — it rotates, every 24 hours, which is significantly faster than this. It’s like if you’re driving a car and overtake a jogger, they seem to be going backwards relative to you; the Earth rotates faster than the Moon’s orbit, so the Moon seems to be going backwards, when it’s actually going the same way.
So what happens to “fix” things during an eclipse? Well, the Moon orbits the Earth once a month; but the distance that it travels in that month is a whopping 2,415,256km! This means that it’s moving really fast. By contrast, the Earth is a tiny 12,000km across; so for the Moon to cross in front of the Earth — for its shadow to cross the Earth — doesn’t take long at all; the Moon moves 12,000km in just 3 hours. (The exact time for the eclipse to cross the Earth depends on whether the Moon is crossing over the centre of the Earth or off-centre, and on what part of its elliptical orbit the Moon is in.) So the shadow zips across much faster than the Earth’s rotation, which makes its real direction apparent.
To put it another way, the Moon only has to cross a tiny part of the sky — a small fraction of its total orbit — for its shadow to cross the Earth completely. This means that for an eclipse, the Moon’s own “real” movement is the main cause of its movement; so the shadow goes West-to-East.
This last link is very basic, very simple, and very interesting giving some very fundamental explanations and diagrams re Eclipses.