Meditations on the August 11, 1999 Solar Eclipse

It seems that we are living in a time of prophecy. And depending on which prophecy your talking about and how it’s being interpreted, that can be either exciting or terrifying. There are a few dates that are standouts, but one that seems crucial to many astrologers is August 11, 1999. On this day there will be a solar eclipse,( a conjunction of the Sun and the Moon), at 18 Leo. The eclipse is part of a larger configuration know as a grand cross. The Sun/Moon at 18 Leo will oppose Uranus at 14 Aquarius, while Mars at 16 Scorpio will oppose Saturn at 16 Taurus. With most of the heavenly bodies in our solar system lined up near one the of these four corners, this aspect pattern sort of resembles a cosmic tug-of-war. Grand cross configurations occur fairly regularly, many of us were born with them in our own birth charts. What makes the August 11th pattern so unusual is the simultaneous eclipse and the emphasis of the middle degrees of the fixed signs, which are particularly potent areas of the zodiac. This does add up to a huge amount of dynamic tension. Many people have decided to label this date as ominous, particularly in light of recent world events and certain rather suspicious ancient prophecies, such as Nostradamus and the Aztecs. In my opinion, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that this event portends inevitable disaster. However, I don’t want to underestimate the importance of what is happening. This event has been anticipated for decades and represents a powerful turning point in history. We may also see profound turning points in our own personal lives as well.

So, what is this all about, you might ask? One source I read sited a very similar astronomical event in 110 B.C., and from all available historical data, the world seems to have survived. But the number of prophecies pointing at this date is certainly interesting. Most notably, Nostradamus, who to my understanding sites July 1999 in one of his most famous quatrains. I will take a great liberty and give you my translation of what he wrote. In the year 1999 and 7 months, from the sky will come a terrible king. Resurrecting the great king of the Mongols. Before and after, Mars reigns in his happy hour. Now, this is not the easiest thing to figure out, but obviously points to some kind of warlike event. Some believe it signifies the war to end all wars, some say nuclear disaster, and perhaps an attack from hostile aliens. Quite frankly, this does not have to mean any of those things. But one has to admit, war and the threat of war is a powerful reality in our world right now. Perhaps this year will mark some kind of turning point in our awareness concerning war.

Strangely, the Aztecs also site a nearby date, August 13th, 1999, as the end of a significant 1,248 year cycle. Apparently, some feel it represents an ending or disaster. Others feel it marks a more spiritual kind of shift. Could this be a symbolic death and rebirth in our collective consciousness?

And what are astrologers saying? Well, everything from the collapse of world economic stability to “earth changes”. But those are the extremes. After sifting through an enormous pile of articles and data, the core message from reputable astrologers is much more logical, and not so prone to sensational predicting. The actual path of the eclipse begins off the coast of New York, crosses the Atlantic to Europe, the Balkans, over the Iran/Iraq border, and down through India. The destinies of these parts of the globe could be more profoundly affected. And since the effects of eclipse are said to precede them , we can already see that these areas are in the throes of great change. One of my favorite astrologers, Maya Del Mar, who regularly writes for Mountain Astrologer, points to Baghdad as a landmark of astrological activity during the eclipse. Saddam Hussein, a Taurus, might be particularly fired up in August, which could spark a higher degree of tension worldwide.

I hesitate to make sweeping predictions, but it is my feeling that no matter what happens around August 11th, we will prevail. A heightening of political turmoil would make sense to me, especially in light of the planets and signs involved in the grand cross. The Sun in Leo has an association with kings, i.e. world leaders, and their destinies. The Moon stimulates changes that affect public awareness. Uranus in Aquarius symbolizes revolution, social reform, and sudden, explosive changes. Mars in Scorpio suggests secretive, potent, and powerful aggression, perhaps sparked from past resentment. Saturn in Taurus represents conservative authority figures, financial institutions, and the status quo. With these forces in this proverbial clash of the Titans, the energy will build up and must find a release somewhere in the form of action. In times of critical mass, people of greatness tend to rise to the occasion. I think this may be one of those times. On the positive side, this event may mark a great increase of tension that forces people to mobilize to find solutions to difficulty. Remaining centered, logical, and courageous will help all of us get the most out of this unique opportunity for change. This is a time of global identity crisis. We are questioning our leaders, our values, our violence, our technology, and ourselves. This has already been an incredibly dramatic year, with terrible violence in our high schools in the U.S., the specter of Y2K looming in the back of our minds, scandal in the White House, and war. Perhaps this eclipse will stimulate a deep and profound awakening in us to change the course of our destinies.

At this point, I would like to turn to Dane Rudyar’s Astrological Mandala for some insight into to the symbolic meaning of the degrees of the August 11th grand cross. For the 18th degree of Leo, which is the Sun/Moon eclipse, we go to the next degree, 19 Leo, which is as follows. The symbol is that of a Houseboat Party. That might sound a bit strange, but the underlying meaning of the symbol is that of freedom from social rigidity and enhanced interpersonal contacts. This can mean an escape from our routine existence and a connection to a freer flow of our vital energies.

The symbol for Uranus at 14 degrees Aquarius,(which rolls over to the following degree at 15 degrees Aquarius), is that of Two Love Birds Sitting on a Fence and singing Happily. The meaning of this symbol is Beatitude. Inner happiness is our reward for our contribution to society. Understanding the duality of spiritual reality, the Yin and Yang, creative and destructive, helps us unify, resulting in ananda, or spiritual bliss and oneness.

The symbol for Mars at 16 degrees Scorpio,(which rolls over the following degree at 17 degrees Scorpio), is A Woman, Fecundated by Her Own Spirit, is “Great with Child”. This powerful Goddess image signifies faith in the divine and the sacrifice of the ego in order to live the Transpersonal Way.

Finally, Saturn at 16 degrees Taurus, (which rolls over to 17 degrees Taurus), is the Symbolic Battle Between “Swords” and “Torches”. “Refusing to depend upon the past, the seeker turns warrior, fighting anew the eternal Great War.” This represents the soul’s struggle against the ego-will, which only knows how to manipulate the material and intellectual world. It is a polarization of our values, fighting to bring spiritual values into balance with our material experience.

When I look at these symbols together, I see an awakening of social and spiritual consciousness, and the birth of a spiritual warrior within each of us. This will be my meditation for August 11th, 1999. Look to your natal chart to see which houses and planets will be affected in your own life. This may point the way to your particular area of personal transformation. Remember, whenever we create positive change in our own lives, the world benefits.