In episode 119 of the podcast Dr. Bernadette Brady joins the show to talk about the astrological significance of eclipses, and how astrologers have viewed and worked with them, both in ancient and in modern times.
Bernadette has a PhD in Anthropology, and she is a tutor for the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology program at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. In 1992 she published a book titled The Eagle and the Lark: A Textbook of Predictive Astrology, which contained an influential chapter on the use of eclipses in western astrology.
In the first part of the show we talk about how eclipses were viewed by astrologers in the ancient Mesopotamian astrological tradition, and then later we transition into a discussion a discussion about eclipses in modern astrology, including her influential work on the Saros cycle and the concept of eclipse families.
You can find out more information about Bernadette through her website:
Below you will find the show notes with an outline of some of the points we touched on in the discussion, followed by links to download or stream the recording of this episode of the podcast at the bottom of the page.
First, one quick announcement:
Announcement: Great American Eclipse Documentary
I recently did an interview with a team of filmmakers from California who are making a documentary that focuses on the Great American Eclipse. The title of the documentary is Umbra, and it is being directed by a listener of the podcast named Natalie Rold.
The production of the film is being funded through a crowd-funding website called IndieGoGo, and they are currently about 60% of the way to their funding goal, with the deadline for funding the project ending next Tuesday, August 22.
After meeting with the team involved in this project, I think that this is going to be a really great film, and I would encourage all of my listeners to look into it and consider making a contribution in order to help the group fund the project.
You can find out more information about the project on their page on IndieGoGo:
If they are able to reach their funding goal then we should see a really well-made documentary that talks about both the astronomy and the astrology of the Great American Eclipse by sometime next year.
- Much attention on the so-called Great American Eclipse set to happen next week.
- Thought Bernadette would be a great person to talk to about this topic, since she is well-known in the astrological community for her work on eclipses.
- Introducing Bernadette and talking about her background in astrology.
- Author of The Eagle and the Lark: A Textbook on Predictive Astrology (1992)
- The Eagle and the Lark contained a great chapter on eclipses.
- The astronomy of eclipses.
- Defining the basics.
- Eclipses occur when the luminaries fall on the same path by longitude & latitude
- Connection between eclipses and the nodes.
- The path of the eclipse casting a shadow on certain parts of the earth.
- The experience of darkness during the middle of the day
- Astrological views on eclipses
- Eclipses as some of the earliest types of astrological omens.
- How were eclipses viewed in ancient times?
- Eclipses in the Mesopotamian astrological tradition
- Nearly 40% of lunar tablets in the Enuma Anu Enlil were on eclipse omens.
- The eclipse of the Sun often interpreted as a negative omen, although not always.
- The Mesopotamians mainly focused on mundane astrology.
- Eclipse propitiation rituals in Mesopotamia
- Fate seen as negotiable.
- The substitute king ritual.
- That negative indications could be averted provided motivation to predict eclipses.
- Later traditional views on eclipses.
- In Medieval astrology eclipses did not always coincide with an event immediately.
- Eclipses in modern astrology
- Not necessarily viewed as negative, but powerful.
- Important if they fall close to planets in the natal chart.
- Bernadette recommends using tight orbs of 2-3 degrees.
- House placement of an eclipse
- Lights up an axis for 12-18 months.
- In this way not a one time event, but often sequence or series.
- Bernadette notes a sort of wildcard quality to eclipses.
- The Eagle and the Lark contained a unique and innovative chapter on eclipses and the Saros cycle.
- Introduces the concept of the Saros cycle.
- Article on the Saros cycle on Bernadette’s website
- Discussion about the Saros cycle and its use in astrology
- Eclipses as belonging to families or cycles.
- Each Saros Series produces an eclipse 18 years plus 9 to 11 days.
- Moves 10 degrees each time.
- Similar expression
- Study the past to predict the future.
- Casting a chart for the birth of each Saros series.
- That chart imprinting all future eclipses in that series.
- The importance of studying astrology from a historical and cultural perspective.
A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 119 transcript
Listen to This Episode
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