Saturday, 19 August 2017

Great American Eclipse 2017: Saros Cycle 145

Before there are any misunderstandings, a little disclaimer. . .I know that when we (astrologers) look at events around eclipses, we need to take into account bigger chunks of time rather than a specific day (and I think this article shows this). But I just wanted to do a little experiment by investigating events that happen on the actual day of the solar eclipse in a particular Saros cycle. I'm not trying to create new rules or anything, I'm just trying decide if I want to do more research.

I have to admit I have my hands so busy with other things that I don't get time (or the inclination) to research everything that catches my astrological fancy. But during my time off of Facebook, I've managed to clear some writing projects and as I woke up early on a Saturday morning, I thought I'd hit the laptop with some research on the upcoming eclipse. 

The first thing to catch my eye is that I know a lot of folks are hoping a certain someone is going to be eclipsed in a few days!

I have to admit to not doing too much of my own research into eclipses. I kind of take other people's word for it when it comes to eclipses--you know let them do the hard work so I can just quote them and get on with educating eager minds and doing my own thing with astrology and education.

But it seems like every astrologer I know is talking about the eclipse, about a certain someone in a big white house and even non astrologers are starting to get their hopes up. Pah, I thought. We can all live in hope (I'm a little off astrology predications since a little incident that happened in CA late last year).

There are lots of links to a variety of opinions on eclipses these days. And plenty more besides these.

And then there's this:


However, eclipses are components of bigger cycles and astrologers point out that events that happen near in time to them are related and over a long period of time, they sort of tell a story. Those cycles are called Saros cycles and here is the full, nerdy definition: A Saros is a period of approximately 223 synodic months (approximately 6585.3211 days, or 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours), that can be used to predict eclipses of the Sun and Moon. One Saros after an eclipse, the Sun, Earth and Moon turn to approximately the same relative geometry, a near straight line, and a nearly identical eclipse will occur, in what is referred to as an eclipse cycle. A sar is one half of a saros. A series of eclipses that are separated by one saros is called a saros series.
(from RH van Gent's "A Catalogue of Eclipses", pilfered from Wikipedia)

Saros series are numbered and the eclipse that is coming up, "The Great American Eclipse" is the 22nd one of Saros Series 145 (according to David or S.S. 19 South according to Bernadette Brady). So I was poking around one of David Cochrane's posts on Facebook and came across the charts he did from his astrology software that lists all the eclipses in this Saros cycle.

Now most astrologers I know are aware that Charles and Diana married on an eclipse but the upcoming eclipse is the same Saros cycle as the one the day after their wedding. And what should come up in my newsfeed? All the speculation that Prince Harry is about to pop the question to his girlfriend Megan Markle.

So that just made me more curious. And on this cloudy Saturday, I started looking at events that happen near to the day of the eclipses (even though astrologers usually consider a much longer period of time for the effect of the eclipse to kick in). There's another reason for my curiosity: the Saros cycle picks up a lot of my natal planets and the Great American Eclipse is bang on my natal Moon ("The Throne Room" for you Siderealists).

Bernadette Brady, from The Eagle and the Lark, says: "This is a family of eclipses that brings with it the element of surprise. Sudden happiness, a joyful event, the lucky break, the lucky win. The events can be believed and can positively change the person's life."

Well yes please then.

Bernadette has recently done a podcast with Chris Brennan which can he found here.

But to be honest, it doesn't really look like too many nice things happen on the days of the Saros Series 145 eclipses.

Here's a BRIEF summary. Before we get too excited, let me just say this is just a LITTLE test run before I decide if I want to take on another full scale research project (especially when I really do have enough nerdery on my plate at the moment).

11 August 1999

9 August 1999: Boris Yeltsin dismisses his Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin as well as his entire cabinet (for the 4th time)
10 August: A Pakistani Navy plane is shot down in India, sparking tensions between the two countries.
August 19 1999  In Belgrade, tens of thousands of Serbians rally to demand the resignation of Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. (a little far away from being exact to the day but I thought it was interesting).

30 July 1981

29 July 1981 wedding of Charles and Diana

On 30 July 1981, Dawda Jawara, the president of the Gambia is deposed in a coup whilst a guest at the royal wedding in the UK

19 July 1963
Colonel Jassem Alwan of the Syrian army leads an attempt to overthrow the government in Syria. Hundreds of people were killed in the battle that followed.

8 July 1945
Allied forces celebrate victory in Berlin (6 July 1945)
Norway declares war on Japan (6 July 1945)
Kalagong massacre by Japanese soldiers in Burma (7 July 1945)
Australian troops land in Borneo (8 July 1945)
Utah prisoner of war massacre (8 July 1945)
Funeral of John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia (9 July 1945)

28 June 1927
Japanese leaders meet to discuss long range strategy for the conquest of China and possibly the world (27 June 1927)

16 June 1909
Alfonso Pena dies on 14 June and a replacement is sworn in on 15 June 1909

5 June 1891
John MacDonald, Canadian Prime Minister dies

25 May 1873
President Thiers resigns and the right-wing monarchist candidate Marshal Marie Edme MacMahon is elected president (24 May 1873)

14 May 1855
The Italian revolutionary Pianori is executed in Paris for attempting to assassinate Napoleon III

3 May 1837
Panic of 1837: A financial crisis in the US that led to banks stopping redemption of paper currency to its full value in 10 May 1837

23 April 1819
(haven't found anything significant yet)

11April 1801
(haven't found anything significant yet)

31 March 1783
(haven't found anything significant yet)

20 March 1765
(haven't found anything significant yet)

9 March 1747
(haven't found anything significant yet)

26 February 1729
(haven't found anything significant yet)

16 February 1711
(haven't found anything significant yet)

3 February 1693
(haven't found anything significant yet)

24 January 1675
(haven't found anything significant yet)

13 January 1657
(haven't found anything significant yet)

2 January 1639
(haven't found anything significant yet)

So obviously A LOT of holes in the research that need to be filled. But it also needs to be said those holes don't mean nothing happened either. We all know news travels much, much faster these days. I also have to say, I didn't find eclipses to have a significant result in my research on adolescent behaviour and lunar phase. However, this was a bit of fun on a Saturday but I don't think I have the time or energy to check into bigger stretches of time. BUT I'm happy to collaborate if anyone wants to help.

Any takers?

In other news, I'm gearing up for my UK tour, including the Scottish Astrological Association. And I'm over the Moon to be a bridesmaid in Ana Carrapichano and Nick Dagan Best's wedding in Cape Town in early 2018. I couldn't be happier for them, for me (!) and for all the other family, friends and tribesmen who will be gathering to help them celebrate. Astrological wedding of the century! I've never been a bridesmaid before so I'm doubly excited.

Sunday, 13 August 2017


The morning after being locked out of Facebook. . .note smile
So for the past month I've been MIAA (missing in astrological action) because I was locked out of Facebook. I wasn't really out of action because I do have a website but comically, with T Uranus square my Sun I was also locked out of this at one point (all resolved)!

I didn't realise what a problem all this was going to be until my return to London when my email inbox was FLOODED with demands to know where I was. I was scolded by quite a few lurkers for not being more on the ball in letting folks know I had landed safely (guys, I'm not Buddy Holly!). How was I to know so many people follow my adventures when they don't like or comment on my posts? Fortunately, there's good old blogger and it kind of took the pressure off of having to answer so many emails just to be able to post that I really had landed safely.

But back to Facebook. . .

It was a bit of a bummer to get locked out of Facebook. I tried not to make a big deal out of of it but I realised what a problem it was when it dawned on me what a lot of work it was to respond to individual emails or to pick up the phone to actually talk to people.

And here's where we get to the source of the problem: my hearing ain't so good. I can't hear on phones unless I have earbuds in--and what a drag it is to know the phone is vibrating but not being able to get the buds out in time to answer the phone. And then to have to hear the message (and lately I get an awful lot of JUNK messages). Anyway, I decided that if folks want to talk to me, they could do it via written messages so I ditched the phone (actually the battery blew and I couldn't be bothered to replace it). I didn't bother to update the cell phone number stored on Facebook because wtf, why would I need to do that?

Anyhoo. . .with all the travelling, I guess Facebook wanted to make sure my account was safe and secure by sending codes to this old cell phone number (which I no longer had access to). And as there seem to be no humans one can reach on Facebook, I just had to be patient. As Tom Petty once said "The Waiting is the Hardest Part"!

I even went through the 5 stages of grief:

1) Denial: I kept compulsively trying to log in and then checking to see if I really was locked out
2) Anger: I try not to swear because as a teacher that is definitely not a habit I need to cultivate. But I did a lot of swearing in Facebook's direction
3) Bargaining: Well, I told myself, if I can't access my old account, I can always start from scratch (actually I couldn't because when I gave in and tried to start a new account. . .Facebook sent more codes to the old number!!). That was a bummer of a day.
4) Depression: Kubler-Ross herself said that the stages of grief didn't always follow the same order nor did they necessarily happen at all. I wasn't depressed but I was pretty frustrated.
5) Acceptance: Of course eventually, I just let it all go. I reckoned I played on Facebook far too often and I just focused on my work. And good goddess, I had a PILE of stuff to get on with. And I finished most of it before Facebook sent me an email with a link to help me.

Almost straightaway, I got access to my account again. I was delighted to see so many of my friends had been campaigning for my return! Gosh! Thank you!

Tea at the Queen's house (yes I do have permission to use their photos!)
So to update on what I'm doing now. . .I am deep, deep, deep undercover as a teacher of English as a foreign language. A lot of teachers are too knackered to work over the summer (and they get paid anyway) but as a working job teacher, I'm both lucky enough and experienced enough to be able to walk into any school and just get on with it. I've got a good gig going on in an ultra plush school in a VERY nice part of London. I've seen a West End show ("School of Rock" thank you very much!), went to Harry Potter World, Arsenal Football stadium (this experience is for another post!), every museum in town and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. I even had tea with the Queen (OK maybe I pushed it a bit there--I did the tour of Buckingham Palace and had tea in the garden with all the other tourists including my pupils).

Oh and I have to give a MASSIVE shout out to Chris Renstrom!!! I've been using his daily horoscopes to teach English idioms and new vocabulary!! Astrologers always ask me how I squeeze astrology into education and when one has 20+ teenagers reading out their daily horoscopes, the only option is to stand back and admire the beauty of the heavens in the classroom! And I could not have wished for a better astrologer than Chris. Thanks buddy and I can't wait to see you in INDIA!!

I have to keep reminding myself that I'm in the quiet before the storm. The KIA/IVC conference in India is like 5 months away and very shortly, I'm going to be BURIED in academic papers. Good job I'm a teacher, eh?

More news on our great connections a bit later. . .