The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 423, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guest Nick Dagan Best
Episode originally released on October 20, 2023
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released October 26th, 2023
Copyright © 2023 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode astrologer Nick Dagan Best is joining me and we have an ‘eclipse’ extravaganza for you where we’re gonna look at a ton of eclipse charts to show you what it looks like and what some of the most major solar and lunar eclipses were in history that coincided with major historical events. So, hey, Nick. Thanks for joining me.
NICK DAGAN BEST: Hey, Chris. Thanks for having me back.
CB: All right, so we have done an intense bit of research here recently for this episode, and we’ve gone through and found a lot of different examples of basically some of the most defining events in the history of humanity over the past several thousand years and how many of those important turning points actually coincided with either a solar eclipse or a lunar eclipse or both. So this has been some really amazing research and I’m excited to share it with people. Because I think that by studying what eclipses have meant in the past and what they’ve coincided with we’re really gonna learn a lot about what eclipses mean in astrology, but then we can also use some of this information to then predict the future and what future eclipses will coincide with.
NDB: That’s right.
CB: So that’s part of what you’ve done with your research in general with Venus retrogrades, but here we’re gonna apply it to eclipses. All right, so our data for those curious—today we’re recording this on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, starting at 12:13 PM in Denver, Colorado. Not sure what episode of the show this is but there’s the data. So part of the premise of this discussion is that this month we’re actually in between eclipses right now. There’s a solar eclipse that just occurred recently in the sign of Libra and there’s a lunar eclipse that’s coming up in the sign of Taurus. And of course right now it’s already coincided with some really major events in terms of the conflict between Israel and Palestine and some of the just deep human tragedy and suffering that’s occurring right now, and clearly the eclipses are one factor indicating that we’re at a very important event and sort of potential turning point in world history.
So I wanted to look back into the past and collect and identify some other important events that have coincided with eclipses in the past in order to get a better sense for both the positive as well as the negative implications of eclipses and see what we can learn from history that might then be applicable to the present as part of the process of what we do sometimes as astrologers—even when there’s some really difficult or tragic or terrible things happening in the world—to try to understand them from this vantage point.
NDB: Yeah, I’m excited. We found a lot of interesting stuff. I can’t wait to share it with everyone.
CB: Yeah. All right, so we’re gonna do a quick little introduction to the astronomy of eclipses here first. Then eventually we’re gonna get into the early Mesopotamian tradition and eventually we’re gonna get into chart examples, and we have dozens and dozens of major chart examples to share of eclipses. So there will be timestamps for this episode. So if you want to jump around, you can find those either on the YouTube video or on the podcast website if you’re listening to the audio version of this episode. All right, so let’s jump into a very quick rundown of the astronomy of eclipses.
So as we all know, every month there’s a New Moon and a Full Moon, which is a conjunction and an opposition between the Sun and the Moon. These are conjunctions that take place in longitude in terms of the degrees and signs of the zodiac but not necessarily in latitude. And what happens is that about every six months the Sun and Moon come into alignment in both longitude as well as latitude, and this is when the path of the Moon actually crosses the path of the Sun and then you get an eclipse. Its most ideal form is, for example, a solar eclipse, when the Moon directly passes in front of the body of the Sun and eclipses or occults or obscures the Sun; basically hiding the Sun behind the body of the Moon.
So this is a really striking thing visually where it can actually block out the Sun in the middle of the day and make it appear dark around you. And that’s something that we saw recently just a few days ago. I actually woke up and I thought I had missed the eclipse. But then I looked outside and everything was just like gray outside, and it looked like the color had been sucked out of the air. And that was just a partial solar eclipse here in Denver, it wasn’t even in the path of totality, but it really is a very striking visual phenomenon if you witness one in person. Have you witnessed one?
NDB: Yeah. Although I did just miss this last one unfortunately. I was preoccupied.
CB: Okay. So that’s a solar eclipse. With a lunar eclipse what happens is that the Earth’s shadow obscures the face of the Moon and makes it dark, even though it’s at a Full Moon, when the Moon is at its most brightest. If the Moon is visible, for example, in the middle of the night—the Moon which is shining light and being the luminary during that part of the night—you’ll see a shadow like fall in front of the face of the Moon and suddenly again it becomes occulted, or it becomes endarkened, where it goes from being very bright to very dark. I actually have a picture of a lunar eclipse that I took, I think it was like a year or two ago, from here in Denver, and you can see the shadow starting to cover the Moon. And one of the things that happens sometimes with lunar eclipses is that due to atmospheric things, the Moon will appear red, and sometimes really red, like blood red. So it looks kind of ominous and kind of creepy and that will tie into some of our understanding of eclipses that we’re gonna get to in this episode.
CB: All right, so in terms of the zodiac, I wanted to talk a little bit about eclipses in the zodiac since that’s one of the things we’re gonna focus on the most in this episode. So eclipses come in pairs. There’s basically a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse that will always occur two weeks apart, and typically they will happen two weeks apart in opposing signs. So, for example, here are some eclipses that were occurring in 2022, where we see, for example, April 30 there was a solar eclipse in Taurus, and then two weeks later there was an eclipse in Scorpio on May 16. So exactly two weeks later there was a lunar eclipse. Or later that year there was a solar eclipse in Scorpio on October 25, and then two weeks after that there was a lunar eclipse in Taurus. So they always occur about two weeks apart, and they typically will occur in signs opposite to one another. So, for example, Taurus and Scorpio are signs that are opposite. Currently right now the eclipses are in the process of shifting to Aries and Libra because the eclipses, like the nodes, move backwards in the order of signs. And what will happen is you’ll get a series of eclipses that’ll typically take place in two opposing signs for about a-year-and-a-half to two years before it shifts to the next set of opposing signs. Does that sound right?
NDB: That sounds right. That’s what we’ve got down, yeah.
CB: Okay. Basically one of the ways you can see or find eclipses is when a conjunction or an opposition of the Sun and Moon happens close to the nodes, within 15° to 18°, that’s when eclipses happen because the nodes represent where the intersection of the paths of the Sun and Moon take place essentially, right?
NDB: Yeah, it’s where they merge, and therefore that’s how they can wind up occulting each other precisely because their paths are crossing over each other.
CB: Got it, okay. So when the nodes are at the beginning or end of signs that’s where sometimes things get a little wonky, and sometimes you’ll start seeing the eclipses taking place in signs that are not exactly opposite to each other, which is part of what’s happening this month, when we’re starting to have the shift from one pair of signs to another. So, for example, here, this month in October of 2023, we see that there’s a solar eclipse in Libra, but then there’s a lunar eclipse in Taurus. Basically the eclipses are shifting from the Taurus/Scorpio axis, where they’ve been for the past two years, to the Aries/Libra axis, where they’re going to be for a year or two.
CB: All right, so that’s the astronomy. The last thing I wanted to mention then is just the orb of influence of eclipses. So this is where things get a little bit unclear because there’s not very clearly-established orbs for eclipses. But certainly I think in our research one of the things that we’ve found that’s really potent is when you have that two-week period of eclipses—where you have one eclipse and another—that’s the most active period for sure, that period in between eclipses. Basically in between eclipses for two weeks but also in a week-or-two timeframe before that and a week-or-two timeframe after that. Does that make sense?
NDB: Sure. I mean, no event occurs in a vacuum. So when you’re looking at that process of roughly a month with the eclipses sort of sandwiched in the middle of all that, you’re talking about, yeah, this sort of isolated period of time where these sort of eclipse-related matters can unfold sequentially. And usually there’ll be some huge thing followed by fallout or something sort of building up to some kind of crescendo, but it all happened within the context of that month.
CB: Yeah, for sure. So let me put up a map. Here’s a chart for October of 2023. So we see the first eclipse was on the 14th and then the next eclipse, two weeks later, is on the 28th. So that special range in between eclipses is the most intense period. But there’s really like an opening about a week before the first eclipse at least, like starting on the 7th that’s building up to the eclipse, and then about a week after the second eclipse. So seven days after the 28th in this instance. So what that ends up creating then is about a month-long window or a month-long period of time surrounding the eclipses which ends up being this like really intense period where the astrological meaning of the eclipses are most acute, is I think how we could explain it the most broadly, right?
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Precisely.
CB: Okay, so that’s really important. There’s other timing things, but I think that’s the main thing I wanted to explain about the orb of influence. Certainly the closer an event is to an actual the exact eclipse that makes it more potent or more intense, but there is this range as we’re gonna see in the example charts we’re about to go through.
CB: All right, cool. So I think that’s good for the astronomy. Let’s start talking about the astrological meaning of eclipses at this point. So we’ll explore the meanings mostly through our examples. But just to give you some ideas, eclipses tend to be interpreted as negative omens in ancient astrology. There was a definite tendency to treat them as negative omens, and ancient texts often connected them to things like the rise and fall of kings and emperors, natural disasters like earthquakes, wars and battles, major battles, plagues and famine, and other things like that. So there’s a tendency to interpret eclipses as negative omens because they represent an interruption in nature, where the light of the luminaries of the Sun or the Moon is suddenly extinguished in a part of the day or the night when it shouldn’t be. It’s like every day we have this experience of just the regularity of nature and the cycles of the Sun and Moon and day and night, and there’s something reassuring about that that creates kind of like a foundation for our entire existence. But then eclipses are weird because every once in a while—they’re somewhat rare, they’re pretty rare—something will happen where suddenly the normal cycles of our day-to-day experiences are interrupted by this thing that extinguishes something that’s important for the very existence of life, which is the concept of light: the light of the Sun or even the light of the Moon.
CB: So there’s a tendency in traditional texts to view them as negative. In modern astrology, in the 20th century, they tend to be treated more like supercharged lunations. The rational was if a lunation or a New Moon or Full Moon represents the end of one cycle and the beginning of another at a New Moon, or if a Full Moon represents a culmination of events, where the Moon goes from New Moon to reaching its peak brightness and most mature fullness, then an eclipse by extension represents like a major end of one cycle and the beginning of a major new one, or an eclipse lunation represents a major culmination of events. So that tended to be how they were viewed more in the late 20th century. So in the research we’ll share today, I think we’ll show that both the ancient and the modern perspectives are valid and relevant in terms of many of the negative things being true, but also how they represent major beginnings and major endings, which are always my main keywords for eclipses. So ‘great beginnings’ and ‘great endings’. So they also more broadly seem to involve collectives and groups of people. And I think that’s one of the themes that we’re gonna see very starkly, the involving of the collective when it comes to eclipses, right?
NDB: Mm-hmm. In a big way, in a big way.
CB: Okay. And lastly, they do represent great beginnings and great endings. Although sometimes great endings or the ending of an era can involve in its most extreme form the death or the destruction of something, while in other instances it can represent the birth or the foundation of something new that will last for many years to come and that will influence many people, and these are some of the themes that we’ll see come up over and over again in eclipses. Eclipses also have this chaotic or sort of electric or charged quality to them, which you can really sense when you’re in the middle, in between two sets of eclipses like we are this month, when events start moving very quickly. Some of the other—go ahead.
NDB: Oh, I was just gonna say in terms of addressing the question of of eclipses typically having a negative connotation, I think one of the most accurate words you can use in the context of eclipses is ‘crisis’, which in itself has an implied negativity. And yet, as often as not, crisis is some opportunity to fix something that’s been either broken or hasn’t existed but needs to exist right up until that point. In so far as eclipses are related to new beginnings, they’re usually new beginnings that evolve out of some sort of crisis that had to be addressed or solved or what have you.
CB: Right. Yeah, that makes sense. So some of the different keywords I wrote down—and this is not fully everything. But some of the keywords I was writing down were ‘ominous’, ‘out of the ordinary’, ‘extraordinary’, ‘beginning’, ‘ending’, ‘birth’, ‘death’, ‘ascension’, ‘descension’, ‘rise’, ‘fall’, and especially ‘fall from grace’ is a keyword that we’ll see come up.
NDB: Yeah. The other thing I would say is ‘endure’.
CB: That which endures?
NDB: Yeah, yeah. You know, enduring some trial of fire or some crisis.
CB: Yeah, for sure. All right, so those are our initial keywords. We’ll see more as we get into the examples. So let’s transition. I want to talk about the Mesopotamian tradition here to set up some of the backdrop for the oldest recorded understanding of eclipses that goes back to the very beginning of the astrological tradition 4,000 years ago, to about 2000 BC. So eclipses may have been some of the earliest celestial omens that were recorded in Mesopotamia, which is where modern-day Iraq is roughly, where the Western astrological tradition started for all intents and purposes, or at least the foundation of the Western astrological tradition. So most of the early omens that were written down on cuneiform tablets—the earliest astrological omens that survive in written form—actually relate to eclipses, and very early on eclipses became associated with the deaths of kings and leaders. So one of the reasons for this is that there may have been these three different reigns of certain kings that ended, coinciding with an eclipse.
So there may have been three specific kings very early on in the Mesopotamian tradition who died at the same time that an eclipse took place. And one of the researchers I was reading, Huber, said if that was true and this was noticed over the course of like a century, then of course the Mesopotamians are gonna start paying attention to this. And this could have been the thing, I believe they speculated, that acted as the core foundation of the astrological tradition, seeing this really momentous event of the end of a king’s dynasty and then having that coincide with a very visible solar or lunar eclipse in the sky at the same time. That would have then created the foundation for understanding the basic astrological principle, which is that there’s a correlation between celestial movements and earthly events. And from that point forward the Mesopotamians started to study and record those observations between celestial movements and earthly events very intensely for many centuries, which is what eventually developed into the astrological tradition.
CB: So eclipses in the Mesopotamian tradition were also related to other things like wars and battles, sickness and plagues, market shifts interestingly which we’ll see later, as well as natural disasters like earthquakes. So one of the earliest records I was able to find was the Mesopotamian king Shulgi of Ur. It mentions a solar eclipse that coincided with a battle circa 2000 BCE. I also found a report from a Mesopotamian astrologer—and his name was Nabu-ahhe-eriba—who was an astrologer later on in the Mesopotamian tradition around 666 BCE.
NDB: 666 BCE.
CB: Yeah, exactly.
NDB: You did a great job of pronouncing his name, by the way. Your Babylonian is—
CB: Thank you.
CB: With your deep knowledge of cuneiform and Akkadian, I appreciate that. So this is a report that he was sending to the king. And there’s this funny little remark about it where he’s reading off some of the canonical omen series—the omens that were collected in Mesopotamia—and the rules that they give. And one of them says, “[If the moon] is surrounded [by a halo] and Cancer stands [in it]: the king of Akkad will extend the life. This [night] (the moon) was surrounded by a halo, it did not close.” And then he says, parenthetically, “Eclipse (means) trouble.” So that’s kind of an important statement there early on in the Mesopotamian tradition, and his summary is eclipse means trouble.
I found another report from I think around the same timeframe, like the 7th century BCE, from another astrologer, where it’s reading some of the interpretive rules, and it says, for example, “If there’s an eclipse in Sivan (III) [which is the third month] on the 14th day, a mighty king who is famous will die, but his son who has been designated for kingship will take the throne and there will be hostility, variant: there will be deaths.” Then it gives another one: “If there is an eclipse in Sivan…from the 1st to the 30th day: eclipse of the kind of Akkad; there will be a peak flood, and Adad will devastate the harvest of the land; a great army will fall. If you perform it for the well-being of [the] king, city, and its people: well-being; there will be a decrease of barley. if there is an eclipse in Sivan (III) at an unappointed time: the king of the universe will die, and Adad will devastate; a flood will come, Adad will diminish the harvest of the land; a leader of troops will fall. If Jupiter becomes steady in the morning: enemy kings will be reconciled.”
I just wanted to read that off to give you some sort of idea of the tradition that started to develop over hundreds of years of recording observations of what happened when eclipses happened in the past, as they started collecting these on these tablets and then passing them forward for generations, so that by studying the past astrologers in the future would know what eclipses would mean when they occurred again in the present or in the future, as well as some of the types of events which seem very dramatic: they’re talking about deaths, or they’re talking about famines or floods or other things like that. But as we’ll see, there might be good reasons for some of the things that they said. The last thing I wanted to mention—or is there anything about that that you find interesting?
NDB: Well, I mean, all of it. But let’s move on.
CB: Okay. We’re doing this kind of quick basically ‘cause we have a huge outline.
CB: So for the listener, we didn’t want to get stuck on the introduction. So we’re just trying to jam through the introduction so we can get to the examples, and we are almost there. So that’s why we’re moving kind of quickly, and Nick is gonna have a lot more to say about some of these examples when we get there.
NDB: That’s right. I’m letting you speak so that I don’t slow us down.
CB: Yeah, okay. So the last thing I wanted to mention about the Mesopotamian tradition is their lore surrounding eclipses, and especially that they tended to be potentially negative omens for rulers and for kings and the death of kings. It was so much so that eventually they developed something called the ‘substitute king’ ritual. What would happen is under certain circumstances, if there was a really negative eclipse that happened—and through interpretive rules that they had developed over centuries it indicated that the leader who was in charge at the time, the king, would die—they would then resort to these different propitiation rituals or namburi rituals and one of them was the ‘substitute king ritual’.
For a period of time they would actually make somebody else king, and the goal was to transfer the omen from the king to the substitute. And during this time the king was referred to as a peasant or as a farmer and was like no longer the official king during that time essentially. And sometimes this period of the substitute king could last for up to 100 days, although it could often also be much shorter. So this is like how intense the Mesopotamian tradition became, how much their observation of this led to them trying to sometimes take some pretty extreme measures just in order to avoid the negative indications that they came to associate with eclipses.
NDB: Good strategy.
CB: Yeah. Well, a side note—a really cool movie idea I hope somebody makes someday is a movie about like a substitute king who gets switched out and then they almost kill him, which is unfortunately part of the darker side of that sometimes and the darker side of that history in the tradition. But in my version of it, in the movie, he would outwit the palace officials and manage to stay king from that point forward and then it would have a happy ending. An amazing idea.
NDB: Yeah, you would go all Hollywood with that. You really would.
CB: Yeah, I would.
NDB: There was a movie called King Ralph with John Goodman. I don’t think it was exactly like he was a substitute king. But somewhere in the recess of my memory, I think there is some movie or comedy show or setup that does resemble that storyline where you have someone who’s put in as a substitute king and somehow maneuvers their way out. I’m trying to remember is it Mel Brooks? Richard Pryor? Yeah, I can’t remember. But you may not be the first Hollywood whiz kid to come up with such an idea, such a premise. Still, good.
CB: All right. Well, maybe I’ll be in the starring role. Maybe that can be the difference, I’ll be the—
NDB: Okay, that’ll work.
CB: That’ll work? All right. Hit me up Hollywood, I’m open.
NDB: Obviously chock-full of charisma, this one.
CB: Exactly. Well, that’s why it would work ‘cause I’m so charismatic that they would want to let me just stay king, and the old king would be like, “It’s yours.”
NDB: Yep, there you go.
CB: All right, good times. So that is the introduction. We’ve gotten the introduction out of the way in a surprising 30 minutes, so now let’s transition into our chart examples. So I want to start first with a section on the birth, ascension, and death of world leaders and other noble figures in history as our first set of charts. So the very first one I want to start with actually turns out to be the most famous eclipse in history. Even though it’s connected with religion and some of the mythology surrounding it, it’s still potentially the most famous example in history, which is the death of Jesus. So Jesus of course in the Gospel of Matthew was famously said to be born under some unknown astrological alignment that signified his birth, but then even in the Bible, at the end of his life, there is actually eclipse imagery on the day of the death of Jesus.
Especially in the Gospel of Luke 23:44-45, in the New American version of the Bible, it says, “It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the Sun.” And then there’s two other gospels that also note a sudden midday darkness, so this is often interpreted as an eclipse taking place in the middle of the day. And regardless of debates over the historicity of that or what have you, it means that very early on in the tradition of Western culture and religion we have this story about the death of a notable figure at the time of an eclipse, which at the very least sort of like cements that in our collective psyche to some extent, right?
CB: So that’s for that. But getting into more secure dates with other historical figures, the first one I want to mention is Alexander the Great. So Alexander was probably born July 20, 356 BCE, which was 10 days before a lunar eclipse in the sign of Aquarius, which took place on July 30. So this is our first example of a theme we’ll come to a few times with different examples. Sometimes what happens is important people are born around the time of a solar or lunar eclipse and this is our first example of that. So what’s interesting when that happens then is that sometimes when a person is born near an eclipse, eclipses can then show up at very crucial times in that person’s life, at very crucial turning points.
So for Alexander, this famously happened at the Battle of Gaugamela, which was preceded by a lunar eclipse by about a week. So the eclipse should have taken place September 20, 331 BCE, and all the armies were like meeting up—these were the armies of Alexander and the Greeks and Macedonians out of Europe, who had stormed out of out of Greece and were basically in the process of fighting the Persian king, Darius—and this was the final decisive battle where Alexander defeated Darius and then became the undisputed king of what for him at least was the entire known world at that point because there was no other major military power that was able to defeat Alexander after that besides the Persian emperor who was just defeated.
NDB: Yeah. And Gaugamela is sort of Northern Iraq. So ironically it’s also pretty close to where all the astrology was being done.
CB: Right. Well, yeah, and that’s really important and that actually comes up that astrologers feature in the story. One of the things that happened is this eclipse happened as the camps were meeting up. And so, both sides had astrologers, but reportedly the Persian side was actually the most spooked by it, and they were the ones that would have had had the Mesopotamian astrologers that knew this is a bad omen for the king at the time who was Darius. And, indeed, Darius was defeated, and then after this point Alexander came to dominate the Middle East and Persia and Egypt, all the way over to the western-most portions of India. So this happened at the final, culminating battle. In one of the most important battles in human history an eclipse took place literally right before it.
CB: Interestingly, the astrologers tried to warn Alexander towards the end of his life, when he came back to Babylon. Presumably they were seeing some sort of omen about his impending death which may have been eclipse-related, we’re not really clear, but he ended up not following that. There’s some garbled account that almost sounds like an allusion to a substitute king ritual but it’s not really clear at this time, but then Alexander ended up dying under mysterious circumstances in Babylon. And then his entire empire was divided up by his generals after that.
CB: All right, so that’s example one. The second example is the Emperor Constantine I. So Constantine—this is one you worked on. Do you want to introduce this one?
NDB: No, you go ahead. It’s pretty succinct. You do a better job.
CB: Okay, so Constantine—this is during the time of the Roman Empire. Constantine was actually proclaimed emperor by his army on July 25, 306 CE, and this is two days before a solar eclipse in Leo on July 27. So he was proclaimed Emperor basically on a solar eclipse, which is pretty striking, right?
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: So Constantine was important because Constantine is the one who converted to Christianity and ended up issuing the Edict of Milan which proclaimed and permanently established religious toleration for Christianity throughout the Roman Empire after a few centuries of persecution. So what’s interesting about this is the Edict of Milan was issued in February 313—sometime in February, we’re not sure the exact date—but there was a lunar eclipse the same month in the sign of Virgo. So there’s a very good chance that the Edict of Milan, which is one of the things that Constantine was the most known for—which basically established legally Christianity in the Roman Empire—occurred right around the time of a lunar eclipse which is pretty striking. And then finally Constantine himself died May 22 of 337 CE, and that was five days after a solar eclipse in Taurus which occurred on May 17. So he was proclaimed Emperor on an eclipse, he legalized Christianity on an eclipse, and then he died on an eclipse, which is pretty compelling, right?
CB: Yeah? Do you think it’s compelling? How do you feel? Or what’s your reaction to that?
NDB: No, I was just letting you get through it so we could keep moving. But, yeah, I mean, that that’s the thing—this is a pattern we’re gonna keep seeing; often these notable people are born during eclipses. One of their most enduring acts or events or what have you, something that they instigated in history that had a lasting effect, the thing that they’re known for would also occur during an eclipse, and then even sometimes their death. And then Constantine is a hat trick in this case. We get all three of those in one.
CB: Right, for sure. The only thing we’re a little uncertain about is his birth date, so that’s the part we can’t get. But that’s pretty impressive.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: All right, so moving on to our next example, the next example is Napoleon who was actually defeated at the Battle of Waterloo on June 18 of 1815, and this was three days before a lunar eclipse, which occurred on June 21 in the sign of Sagittarius. So this marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars that had engulfed Europe up to that point, and actually after that point there was a relative period of peace all the way up until World War I began in 1914, almost a century later.
NDB: Yeah, that’s right. Napoleon wasn’t born under an eclipse, nor would he die under an eclipse, but there was a lot over the course of that period—the French Revolution leading up to Waterloo—a lot of big events. And certainly the big military battles in particular occurred during eclipses. So prior to Waterloo, there was Borodino, where Napoleon fought the Russians after his invasion of Moscow that famously went terrible for him. He had previous battles with Russia, previous battles with Wellington before Waterloo. Battles that he had in Spain and Portugal—or that his army had against Waterloo—occurred during eclipses. And even during the French Revolution, famous battles like Valmy and Hondschoote and these famous battles that occurred during the Revolutionary War, were all during eclipses. And Napoleon had even seized power—the famous coup of 18 Brumaire on November 9, 1799—close to an eclipse.
So, yeah, his timeline is loaded, especially when it comes to these really decisive battles, and not just his timeline. I’d say the timeline of the French Revolution, the eclipse periods pop up exactly where you would sort of expect them to be, where there was some kind of crisis and one phase of the revolution would give way to another. And what ends with Waterloo, that same week, the Congress of Vienna is sort of tying things up in a neat little bow, and, indeed, you have largely a lasting peace in Europe for the next century, apart from a little skirmish, if you will, in the Crimea of all places. Sound familiar?
CB: Right. Yeah, that would be interesting to look at with the eclipse repetitions. But for our purposes, the main thing we’re emphasizing here is just already we’ve got like two of the biggest battles in history—the Battle of Gaugamela with Alexander and the Battle of Waterloo—which are the most notable and well-known battles in history, and both of them occurred right around the time of an eclipse. All right, so moving on, the next example is the Emperor Hirohito who was the emperor of Japan during World War II. So Hirohito was actually born about four or five days before a lunar eclipse in the sign of Scorpio. So he was born on April 29, 1901, and the eclipse happened on May 4 in Scorpio. So one of the things that I thought was the most interesting about Hirohito’s life when it comes to eclipses is that after World War II the US and the Allies basically forced Hirohito to issue a declaration which is known now as the Humanity Declaration and this occurred two days before a solar eclipse. And what happened is that in this declaration Hirohito denied the concept of his own divinity because up to that point the emperor of Japan had been treated as a god by the people of Japan for centuries. But all of a sudden there’s this very important turning point in history where the emperor of Japan is no longer seen as a god, and this declaration, this turning point in world history occurred two days before a solar eclipse.
NDB: Yeah, that’s right. And there were other things in Hirohito’s life leading up to that that also coincided with eclipses. So here again we have someone who was born during an eclipse. But when the Japanese military invaded Manchuria beginning with a skirmish in Mukden, September 19, 1931, this was seven days following a solar eclipse in Virgo, and seven days before a total lunar eclipse in Aries. So absolutely one of these areas we’re talking about where you’re in between the solar and lunar eclipses or lunar and solar eclipses. And then there was also the signing of the Axis Pact. Germany, Italy, and Japan on September 27, 1940 signed that the Axis Pact—the Second World War was already underway—really sort of cementing their alliance. And this was signed in Berlin on September 27, 1940, as I said, and this was three days prior to a total solar eclipse at 8 Libra and 19 days before a lunar eclipse in Aries.
CB: Wow. Okay, so that’s really important and crucial. And the other thing that’s worth noting here is this is our first example where this eclipse actually hit a very personal planet in Hirohito’s chart and that’s part of the reason why it was so important. So this is Hirohito’s chart which has 26° of Sagittarius rising, and the ruler of the ascendant—which is one of the most important planets in the chart—is Jupiter, which is placed at 13° of Capricorn. And the solar eclipse that occurred on January 1, 1946, when the Humanity Declaration was issued, that eclipse took place at 12° of Capricorn. So it was very closely conjunct the Jupiter in Hirohito’s chart, which was the ruler of the ascendant.
NDB: Yeah. And the planet of a living god if we ever had one.
CB: Would be Jupiter.
NDB: Yeah, I’d say so.
CB: For sure. So this brings up points that we’re not gonna get into a lot in this because we’re primarily just pointing out in this episode the coinciding of major historical events that occurred around the time of an eclipse. But there’s further interpretive principles underlying a lot of this, which is that if an eclipse falls very close to a personal planet in a person’s chart, especially within a degree or two, that’s when you know even more so that that eclipse is gonna be very personally relevant to that person. All right, so is that it? Yeah, I think that’s it. So that’s the initial section that I wanted to do on some births, ascensions, and deaths of world leaders; there’s gonna be more of that. So one of the things that’s cool, and we’re gonna keep doing this, is running through older history up until more recent times. One of the themes that we’ve seen already that start to come up a little bit here, for example with Constantine, is the death of a major world leader under an eclipse.
So one of the other themes that came up a lot in some of our research also is that there have been a number of notable assassinations of world leaders that have occurred on eclipses as well, so that’s the next segment I wanted to do. And I meant to mention earlier that we’re gonna kind of front-load this episode with a lot of the more more negative or challenging examples in the first-half of this episode, many of which kind of confirm some of the older Mesopotamian tradition that tended to associate eclipses with negative things, and we’re gonna see how a lot a lot of that actually still plays out and holds true today. But then in the second-half of this episode with our examples, we’re gonna get into some of the more positive instances where eclipses actually coincided with good things, or things are potentially much more positive than some of the negative examples.
All right, so assassinations—the first and one of the most notable ones is the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. So Abraham Lincoln was famously assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, and this occurred just four days after a lunar eclipse. So Lincoln was assassinated, he was shot on April 14, died on April 15, and a lunar eclipse had taken place in Libra on April 10, just four days earlier. So this is a pretty notable example because one of the things from an interpretive perspective is that his death actually happened in between eclipses where an eclipse happened and then he died. And then what’s interesting is that he had a very long and very public funeral procession which took place, where his body was loaded up on a train and then it went around to several different states in the United States, where there were hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of onlookers who paid their respects before it eventually made it back to his home state in Illinois.
But what was interesting is that the second eclipse in the series occurred right in the middle of this whole funeral procession, when a solar eclipse occurred on April 25 in Taurus, 1865. So what happened is he died very close to the first eclipse, and then the second eclipse two weeks later happened right in the middle of when basically the entire nation is mourning and grieving his loss essentially. And, interestingly, that specific day, April 25, was the day that his body was shown in New York City, which I have to think probably would have been one of the biggest cities, if not the biggest city. So therefore that may have been the day that his funeral or his body had like the biggest audience potentially. I don’t know if that’s true but that’s kind of my inference. What do you think?
NDB: What I do know about that day is there’s a famous photo from the funeral procession in New York City because you can see there’s this crowd. It’s a street picture, and you can see the procession moving through the streets of New York. And out of an open window, in a building, they’ve identified that there’s a boy watching the procession, and that boy is Theodore Roosevelt watching Lincoln, As a young kid, Roosevelt would have been about six- or seven-years-old, six-and-a-half at the time, and he was he watched uh uh Lincoln’s procession go through the streets in New York. This is a famous photo. And it certainly looks like a big crowd to me. But there were huge crowds everywhere, and I don’t know the actual figures of attendance. But it would stand to reason that New York would be the biggest or one of them.
CB: That’s amazing.
NDB: Yeah. I just wanted to interject one thing, and we’re gonna stick with Lincoln. But there’s a sort of an elephant in the room that we’re overlooking. The eclipse on April 10 that occurred just before he was murdered also occurred one day after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox. And this is something else that we keep seeing—sort of like Waterloo or Gaugamela—there’s also the ending of a war that’s coincident with with Lincoln’s assassination. So as we’re moving into assassinations and their relationship to eclipses we’re also seeing sort of an overlay of a theme that we’ve already seen a few times here, which is the surrender of an army.
CB: For sure. And it’s interesting, both of those carry the theme of like major endings. One of them is a major ending of a war, although I guess depending on what side you’re on, is like a good thing; but I guess that’s somewhat subjective theoretically. But the other one is a major ending, in another instance, of a person’s life. And I guess that’s one of the reasons I connect the major endings and major beginnings things to eclipses. There’s no greater ending than the finality of death in some instances, and I think that’s where it ties in to some extent.
NDB: Yeah. I mean, Lincoln seemed to be a martyr for a cause in some ways. Like he isn’t merely a murder victim, it’s a very symbolic murder, and that’s that that’s something that really seems to pop up when people are taken from us during eclipses or around eclipses.
CB: Yeah. And this was not the only eclipse in Lincoln’s history. It turns out that the Gettysburg’s Address—which is his most famous speech and one of the most famous speeches in American history—happened in that range in between eclipses. So the Gettysburg’s Address was delivered November 19, 1863, and this was just after a solar eclipse had taken place on November 11 in Scorpio and just before a lunar eclipse happened in Gemini on November 25. So this is something we’re gonna see come up over and over again, that there’s just really important events that happen sometimes in that two-week interim period, that intermediary period in between eclipses in a given month.
NDB: Yes, that’s right. And then a year after Gettysburg, Lincoln was reelected in November of 1864, and this is six months before his assassination of course. And as you know, eclipses occur at these six-month intervals. And his re-election on November 8 occurred in between a solar eclipse in Scorpio on October 30 and a lunar eclipse in Taurus on November 13. So yet again, not unlike his assassination, the Gettysburg Address and his reelection in 1864 both occurred during this special period in between eclipses.
CB: Yeah, that’s super important. We’ll see that come up over and over again. And just to summarize why Lincoln is an important figure, summarize it in a very short paragraph.
NDB: Well, he ultimately redefined what the United States would be from here on. Like it was it was literally a different country prior to the Civil War than it would be afterwards. A lot more centralized for starters, and obviously with some important new laws in place, but it really did sort of change the nature of the nation.
CB: Right. So he was the president during the United States Civil War, which was the deadliest war in American history, and also the president that ended up ending slavery effectively.
CB: Okay. So that’s one, and his assassination is one of the most famous events in American history as well. All right, so that’s one. The next example that I wanted to talk about is Martin Luther King, Jr. who unfortunately was also assassinated very close to an eclipse. So Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, and this happened in that space in between eclipses, where a solar eclipse had just taken place on March 28 in Aries and a lunar eclipse took place after his assassination on April 12 in Libra. So what ended up happening is he was basically assassinated right after an eclipse. And then the president, for example, declared a national day of mourning on April 7, and his funeral ended up taking place on April 9, which was very close to the second eclipse on April 12.
NDB: Yeah. And yet again we have someone who’s seen as a martyr. You know, it’s not merely the murder of a person, but sort of a symbolic sacrifice that’s made for a great cause, not unlike Lincoln. So, yeah, it’s not merely the murder of a human being, it’s something far greater.
CB: Yeah. Again, if you could, help me summarize what was significant about his life for let’s say somebody who has no background on American history. He was one of the greatest civil rights leaders in American history.
NDB: He was an important leader in the human rights movement of the United States in the 1950s and ‘60s that led toward, amongst other things, just a greater sort of consciousness and self-confidence amongst the African-American public. But certainly his efforts helped desegregate different areas of the United States for starters and in different ways sort of set up a structure or set up a precedent by which citizens in the United States felt that they could advocate for themselves a lot more effectively. So, yeah, it ties into the larger voice of the protest movement, the various protest movements in the ‘60s that I think came out of what we call the Civil Rights movement.
CB: Yeah. And he was also involved in something that’ll come up again later, which was the Civil Rights Act, one of the major pieces of legislation that helped to end segregation and other things related to it, which we’ll come back to later ‘cause it turns out that that was actually connected with an eclipse. And we’re gonna have a whole segment actually later on in the second-half of this episode on eclipses actually being tied in with different civil rights movements, which turns out to be one of the positive sides of eclipses that we’ll get to later.
CB: All right, so another major assassination. And this is, I promise, the last assassination we’ll do, I think. One of the other major assassinations that took place in the 20th century was the assassination of the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, who was prime minister of Israel in the 1990s and who helped to broker the Oslo Accords, which was a peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians. And as a result of this he was murdered by a far-right Israeli extremist, which partially helped to derail the peace process. So he was killed on November 4, 1995. He was shot and killed, and there was a solar eclipse that occurred right before that in Scorpio on October 23. So it, again, ended up being kind of an ominous thing that happened where there’s an eclipse right before the death of a major world leader.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. And again someone who died for a specific cause. Again, it’s not merely the murder of a human being, it’s someone who’s been sacrificed in the name of a crisis. Again, that term comes up. I mean, all these sort of largely negative connotations that come out of eclipses just have to do with these are crisis periods where something has to give, something has to change; something has to disappear in order for something else to emerge in its place.
CB: I mean, yeah, that ends up being the effect. It’s not that this needs to happen. These are all terrible tragic events and hopefully shouldn’t happen, but there are definitely different things that come from them in different positive and negative ways. They definitely end up being intersection points I think in human history in very major ways, and I think that’s one of the themes we’ll come back to over and over again—eclipses as a nexus or an intersection point in human history.
CB: All right, so that’s the end of that section. I wanted to start a new section talking about the births of world leaders and major figures. That’s something we touched on a little bit in some of the previous ones, but I want to drill down into that just a little bit more with some contemporary examples of that. So the first one is Barack Obama who was born six days before a solar eclipse in the sign of Leo, so he was born basically on or close to an eclipse. His first inauguration, there was an eclipse that occurred right around that time when he was first inaugurated and became president in 2009. So this was a solar eclipse in Aquarius, which is also his rising sign, just six days after he was inaugurated. He was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, and then this eclipse occurred right after in Aquarius on January 26, so that was notable.
And then interestingly, he was reelected four years later, and what happened is the eclipses shifted to his 10th house. And what happened is he was reelected on November 6, 2012, and then right after that there was an eclipse in the sign of Scorpio on November 13, after he won a second term in office, and that ended up being indicators in both of those instances. The fact that he had a solar eclipse happening in his 1st house on Inauguration Day essentially in 2009, and then he would have an eclipse in his 10th house right after the 2012 election ended up being indicators that he would be the one who would win the presidency over the people he was running against previously, which were John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2012.
So that actually turns out to be a pattern that is held up over the past several presidents, where over the past two decades almost every president that ended up winning their election had an eclipse take place in their 1st or 10th house around the time of the election. So that happened with Obama in both of his presidencies as we’ll get into in a minute. It also happened with Trump, it happened with Biden, and it also happened with George W. Bush, and probably goes back further. But for our immediate purposes it’s actually really striking that every presidency over the past two decades has had that. With George W. Bush, it was eclipses in Leo and Taurus in his 1st and 10th house and so on and so forth.
NDB: Right. And as for inaugurations during eclipses, the prior one had been Reagan during his first term. He was inaugurated during an eclipse, so it does happen from time to time and usually with these very sort of popular presidents.
CB: And Reagan—that one was like on the day of his inauguration?
NDB: It’s very close. I would have to look it up to double-check, but it’s very close.
CB: Okay, no problem. So that was notable that Obama was born at an eclipse and then became president twice, for two terms, when eclipses hit his birth chart in very prominent places. Another recent example was Donald Trump who was born literally the same day as a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius. One of the most striking things about Trump’s chart is that he was born the day of a lunar eclipse. And what’s interesting is that of course for those of us who’ve been around over the past few years, right after he was elected, the so-called Great American Eclipse occurred in 2017 in Leo. There was this major solar eclipse that happened that was visible across a large part of the United States that millions of Americans witnessed, and this happened about six months into his presidency. And in retrospect ended up being an indicator that he would be the one that would win the presidency because it turned out that that eclipse fell very close to the degree of his ascendant. That eclipse happened in late Leo, and his ascendant is in late Leo.
NDB: Yeah. And of course you remember he famously looked up at that eclipse without wearing eye protection. When everyone else was taking the usual precautions, he threw caution to the wind.
CB: Yeah, so that was a notable one that occurred a bit into his presidency. All right, so those are the two presidents. There’s another more recent one that’s a little bit more developing, but it’s gonna lead us into another subsection, and that is Prince William who was also born on the day of an eclipse. So let me give a short snapshot version of why his is interesting, and then we’re gonna go into a longer subsection about the British royal family and how eclipses are just all over their history over the past century. So the short version of the Prince William one is that Prince William was born the day of a solar eclipse in the sign of Cancer, literally the same day. His parents, Charles and Diana, were married at the same time as an eclipse. Prince William’s wife, Kate Middleton, was also born the same day as a lunar eclipse. Then his mother, Princess Diana, died just a few days after an eclipse in 1997. And then finally his father, Prince Charles, now King Charles, his coronation occurred the very day of an eclipse just earlier this year in 2023. So that’s the sort of snapshot version. Already when you put it like that it’s pretty striking and it seems like it can’t get any more striking than that, right?
NDB: Oh, I’m gonna say no because I know what’s coming up. You would think, but spoiler alert, it’s just the shaving from the top. It goes so deep.
CB: That is the tip of the iceberg. All right, so it turns out that the British royal family over the past century has eclipses just like all over the place, everywhere you look. And this is gonna be a little deep dive, but this is still probably only just scratching the surface.
NDB: Good thing you have an American audience because no one else is interested in the British royal family.
CB: Yeah. And we’ll try to explain it for everyone that doesn’t follow the British royal family and some of the nuances. All right, so here it is. So now King Charles, who is William’s father, was born two weeks after an eclipse. So he was born November 14, 1948, and a solar eclipse happened just before that on November 1 in Scorpio, so that puts a little bit of an eclipse imprint in Charles’ chart. So that is two weeks. So that’s like the—I don’t want to say the upper limit, but for the most part we’ve tried to stick in our methodology with eclipses about a week or two before or after eclipses. Most of our examples fit that, or they fall in the in-between segment, in that two-week period in between eclipses, right?
NDB: Charles is about as far as we allowed ourselves to stray outside the range of the exact eclipse because of everything else in his life: from his wedding, to his children, to his coronation. And the divorce was announced under an eclipse and all this stuff. So just everything in his life is, as I said to Chris earlier, chock-full of eclipses. And so, with that in mind, yeah, we’re we’re we’re mentioning his birth. Even though it’s not as close, it’s pretty close, but not as close to eclipse periods as all the other examples that we’re giving you today.
CB: Yeah. Well, I think though it points to that the range is a little bigger than you might think it is because he’s two weeks but he ends up being a compelling example. Okay, so Charles is born basically on an eclipse. Then the next piece is that Charles and Diana were married under an eclipse; they were married July 29, 1981. And there’s a lunar eclipse before that on July 17 in Capricorn, and then there was a solar eclipse right after that on July 31 in Leo. So they’re basically born within a couple of days of a solar eclipse—or they were married within a couple days of a solar eclipse. All right, so Charles and Diana married under an eclipse. Then Prince William, a year later, was born the day of a solar eclipse in Gemini on June 21, 1982. His wife, Kate Middleton, was born the same day as a lunar eclipse in Cancer, six months earlier before William. So Kate was born January 9, 1982. There was a lunar eclipse January 9, 1982 in Cancer. The book Diana: Her True Story was published by Diana on June 15, 1992 close to an eclipse. And that was part of her exposé about the British royal family, right?
NDB: Yeah, yeah. And it would lead to six months later the separation of Charles and Diana which would be their ultimate divorce. That was announced on December 9, 1982, also close to an eclipse, six months after that book was published.
CB: So Charles and Diana’s separation was announced close to an eclipse in December of ‘92?
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: Okay, so that’s one. Then Diana of course famously died just two days before a solar eclipse in a car accident in Paris. She died on August 31, 1997, and then there was a solar eclipse in Virgo on September 2. And then just a few days later her funeral took place on September 6, 1997. Next, Charles’ coronation happened the day after a lunar eclipse earlier this year. So he was coronated on May 6, 2023, and a lunar eclipse had just taken place in Scorpio the previous day on May 5. So that’s it.
NDB: That’s it. We have nothing more to say about the British royal family.
CB: Surely there’s nothing else there.
NDB: Can’t possibly be.
CB: You are mistaken.
CB: It gets weirder.
NDB: What? No.
CB: I didn’t want to tell you about this, but it turns out there’s more.
NDB: Oh, dear.
CB: Nick found these. So it turns out that there are eclipses going further back in their family history. So Queen Elizabeth, Charles’ mother, ascended to the throne close to an eclipse when her father, George VI died on February 6, 1952. So he died after a long illness. And then immediately after he died, Elizabeth ascended to the throne, becoming Queen Elizabeth II and taking on all of the responsibilities that came with her new title. So he died February 6, 1952. There was a lunar eclipse on February 11 in Leo, so right after the death—
NDB: Five days after, yeah.
CB: Yeah. And then his funeral took place February 15, 1952.
NDB: Right, right. And just to explain for people who aren’t familiar with the process, a royal will ascend to the throne and then they’ll have a coronation. So the ascension happens right when the parent—usually it’s the parent—of the new royal dies. And so, immediately they’re the new king or queen. But then usually about a year later—Charles was shorter than a year because I guess it’s easier to do it sooner. But it used to be about a year they’d wait and they’d have a coronation, and that’s the big ceremony where the royal in question fully becomes the monarch or official, if you will. Yeah, like an inauguration except they are officially or unofficially the monarch prior to the coronation as well as soon as they ascend.
CB: Yeah, that was one of the things that was a little weird about Elizabeth versus Charles. For Elizabeth, the eclipse happened when her father died and she ascended, and then for Charles, the eclipse really fell right on his coronation for some reason.
NDB: Right, right. But, yeah, leading up to Charles, the pattern in the 20th century was there tended to be eclipses at the ascension of a new royal when the previous royal died. So George VI is just the first of three examples in the 20th century of this because when his father—well actually he became king when his brother abdicated. His brother had been King Edward VIII who famously abdicated the throne to marry an American divorcee.
CB: So this is Queen Elizabeth’s father who died and made her queen.
CB: This is who we’re talking about now, Queen Elizabeth’s father who was George VI.
NDB: That’s right. And her uncle was Edward VIII, so her uncle was king. So this is the thing: Elizabeth wasn’t born to be queen. I mean, she was born in line to be, but the idea was that her uncle would marry a ‘suitable’ royal, a suitable wife, one that he could have children and they would go on to be the next kings or queens of England. But since he abdicated the throne, and her father was unexpectedly thrust into the throne, that suddenly made her the next queen sort of out of nowhere.
CB: It was like Edward VIII, he was only king for less than a year, but then he wanted to marry this woman. But because she had been divorced, it was gonna create a major political crisis.
NDB: It was absolutely unheard of at that point. I mean, this has been sort of the ongoing struggle in the British royal family over the course of the 20th century as they try to be human beings while holding these insane titles. But, yeah, I mean, long story short, when Edward VIII abdicated the throne on December 10, 1936, it was just three days before a solar eclipse on December 13. And not only did it put her dad like right in the hot seat, if you will, where he would suddenly become king, even though he was unwilling and unprepared, but it also suddenly meant that she would be the next queen, which she had also not expected.
CB: Yeah. One of the things I love about this example is this is an abdication, so it’s like the end of one king and the beginning of another’s reign. But in this instance it’s not a death, it’s somebody giving up the kingship in order to pursue a romantic relationship. And one of the things I like about that, for those wondering, it turned out to be like a happy story. They lived happily ever after once he ceased to be king and then went off to marry this other woman, right?
NDB: Well, I mean—
NDB: I mean, sort of, sort of. I mean, there was some bitterness. But, I mean, some people struggle much harder, so it’s hard to be too sympathetic. They lived luxurious lives but somewhat in disgrace. I guess the hardest thing was they were sort of persona non grata to his family for the longest, longest, longest time, and so that’s personally painful. But that was the sacrifice he made at the time.
CB: Got it, okay.
CB: So there was another example we wanted to mention about this, right?
NDB: Well, yeah, more. I was gonna go into how Edward VIII became king.
CB: Well, we haven’t finished with George. Have we? So the point is that—hold on. Okay, so George VI was Elizabeth’s father, he became king when Edward VIII abdicated.
CB: What’s interesting about this is he abdicated the throne on December 10, 1936, and then there was a solar eclipse three days later in Sagittarius on December 13. His solar return that year ended up being that eclipse.
NDB: Right, right. Yeah, I should have mentioned that. There you are.
CB: So here’s, just to show it, the chart. We’re not showing a lot of charts ‘cause that would eat up a ton of time. We’re just saying them.
NDB: And it’s when the eclipse is on his Sun that he’s suddenly thrown into becoming king because his brother abdicates three days before or four days before his birthday.
CB: Yeah, okay. So that’s really interesting. And again it just brings up the point about if an eclipse is very closely conjunct a personal planet in the chart, it will have a tendency to be more personally important. It also brings up a thing we may get into a little bit later about solar returns. That when a solar return happens close to an eclipse sometimes it indicates a very important year in the person’s life. I think we have a couple examples of that later.
NDB: Yeah. Yeah, we do.
CB: Okay. And then the final thing was—oh, yeah, so the king that abdicated in order to get married, he actually then gets married under eclipses in the subsequent year. Like six months later I believe, right?
NDB: Six months later, yeah. Which is also right around—maybe we don’t have it in the thing there. But also around when George VI has his coronation is during the same eclipse period. I’ll just look up the wedding date while you talk about the wedding.
CB: So the wedding date itself—they were married June 3, 1937. And there was a lunar eclipse that had just happened on May 25 in Sagittarius, and then there was a solar eclipse that occurred just after on June 8 in Gemini. So that one I like because it’s like he steps down and ceases to be king on an eclipse conjunct his Sun, and then six months later in the same eclipse series—where it’s still bouncing back and forth between the same two signs, between Gemini and Sagittarius—he then actually gets married.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. King George VIII was crowned on May 12. So it’s a little bit before this eclipse period but not too long before, just like two weeks before the lunar eclipse on May 25.
CB: Oh, yeah.
NDB: Yeah, that all came together. ‘Cause that was the thing, to go back to that whole ascension and then coronation, Edward VIII was immediately called king ‘cause he had ascended to the throne. He had never had a coronation. It was his brother who had the coronation in his place.
CB: Okay. ‘Cause he wasn’t king long enough to have a coronation?
NDB: Exactly. ‘Cause they usually wait about a year—which takes us to the next eclipse and the next death. So how did Edward VIII become king? Well, it was because his father, who was also Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather, King George V. He died on January 20, 1936, which was 12 days after a lunar eclipse on January 8 and just under a month after the solar eclipse on December 25 in Capricorn. King George V had been king since 1910, so it was like about a quarter of a century.
CB: And he died ‘cause his health declined over the previous few months due to a chronic health issue of some sort?
NDB: Yeah. But actually in a very, very slight way he was murdered. Let me explain.
CB: Yeah, please.
NDB: It was nighttime, and they knew he would die within the next 24 hours, but there was a great concern over what time of day he would die because that would determine which newspaper would announce his death. And the snobby, upper class people around the royals really preferred that it would be The London Times, if I remember correctly, which was a morning paper; whereas if he lived a little bit longer, his death would be announced later in the day in one of the sort of ‘lower class’ afternoon or evening papers. So his doctor basically gave him a lethal dose of morphine at night to ensure that his passing would occur in time for his death to be announced in The London Times and not some rag sheet or whatever they would have considered it.
NDB: Yeah, that’s just an interesting detail in all that.
CB: But that’s like euthanasia.
NDB: I mean, yeah, he was about to die. So when I say ‘murder’ obviously I was being deliberately farcical. I mean, his doctor did instigate his death, let’s put it that way.
CB: Yeah, I don’t want to joke about stuff like that just because I want to get the history down as clearly as we can here.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: But anyway, so he died basically on an eclipse again.
NDB: Close to it, yeah.
CB: And this is George V who died, which Edward VIII king, and Edward VIII is the one who abdicated the throne for love. So then it goes back further, right?
NDB: Yes, yes. Because George V had become king when his father, King Edward VII, died. He died on May 6, 1910. Edward VII was famously sort of an overeater, heavy smoker. He just lapsed into a coma and died, but his health had always been bad. And he died one day after a solar eclipse in Taurus, on May 9, 1910.
CB: Three days, right?
NDB: Oh, sorry. He died three days before the eclipse rather. Yeah, he died May 6, the eclipse was May 9. Thank you.
CB: Right. Again, we just went through a long list of basically all of the ascensions and descensions. And especially deaths of kings in the 20th century in the British royal family were all happening on eclipses.
NDB: Yeah. And these are the three three kings that occur in between Queen Victoria, who was Edward VII’s mother, and Elizabeth II, who was the daughter of George VI. But this does take up the first half of the 20th century, the three monarchs who ruled reigned during that time. I can’t say ‘ruled’, that’s not really true. Who reigned during that time all died and ascended during eclipses.
CB: So can we take a moment just to process that? That’s just incredible. This is modern history we’re talking about over the past century of course compared to some of the tablets that we were reading from Mesopotamian astrology, from 3,000 years ago from 4,000 years ago, where there’s these legends and some of the scholars aren’t clear: Did this happen? Did this not happen? Did eclipses actually happen when three kings died and their reign began or ended 4,000 years ago? And was that the start of the astrological tradition and the reason why then Mesopotamian culture developed this intense fascination with watching the skies and recording events on Earth? You know, is that how astrology started? Well, if we look at modern parallels, it’s still happening for some reason. And so, we could very well say, well, yeah, that may have been what some of the first astrological observations were at the very beginning of our tradition that led to astrology, and this is why—because this phenomenon is still occurring.
NDB: Sure. I mean, if we hypothetically had never had astrology, if it had never existed, but we came into the 20th century and we were studying astronomy and we noticed that these kings kept dying during eclipses, that might have been the kind of observation that would prompt us to invent astrology, if you will, if it had never existed already.
CB: For sure. All right, I want to take a little bit of a break here at this point. All of the charts that we’re presenting here are being shown with the software called Solar Fire by alabe.com, which you can get a 15% discount on by using the promo code ‘AP15’. And I’m actually excited to announce that we’re actually releasing part of Nick’s database of 20,000 astrological charts for sale, which can be used in Solar Fire for the first time ever after about three decades of Nick researching them. So you’ve been compiling this database for almost 30 years now, right?
NDB: Yeah, yeah. 25. More than 25. So, yeah, nearly 30 years that I’ve been compiling charts for Solar Fire. And I’m releasing a database for astrologers to use. These are three files for my personal database. The first is the general natal file. So this is over 13,000 charts of timed and untimed nativities/birthdays for all kinds of major and supporting historical figures in politics, the arts, and to a lesser degree, sports. Secondly, I have an American history file. This is nearly 6,000 charts of timed and untimed charts of people and events covering the entirety of US history. And finally there’s a Great Britain file. This is 2,500 charts of timed and untimed charts of people in events covering the history of Great Britain and Ireland.
CB: Brilliant. So you’re releasing all three of those which totals over 20,000 chart files as a single package. And this is really exciting ‘cause I’ve been encouraging you to release this for years and to make it available for the public; this is actually a large part of what we drew on for our research in this episode and is part of what allowed us to do this research. When you have this database, Solar Fire has some very powerful search features which you can use to search through the charts in the database to look for specific configurations. So, for example, in our research here we used Solar Fire to search your database for charts and events and people that were born at the time of solar or lunar eclipses, which is one of the things that you can do with Solar Fire. So it becomes a very powerful research tool when your database is combined with Solar Fire.
NDB: That’s right. You can do searches for any number of astrological factors. You can, say, in the American history file, look for any chart that had Mars in Scorpio, or any chart that had Venus trine Jupiter or what have you. Any kind of aspect, any planet in sign, solar/lunar phenomenon—anything like that can be researched really easily and really effectively. And it’s relatively large samples of data to use, and I was very excited to share it.
CB: That’s been indispensable for my research over the years and for this episode. What’s also nice is that each chart file contains source notes that explains the source and the reliability of the birth data, as well as a Rodden rating to rate and categorize its reliability in terms of whether there’s a birth time, how reliable the birth time is, etc. The files also contain an extensive write up with biographical information about individuals or historical information about historic events, which is super useful. So this is your first time releasing this as a package. And so, we’re gonna release it here at first with this introductory price of $20. So $20 to get this entire database of 20,000 charts which can be used in Solar Fire. People can find out more information about it at theastrologypodcast.com/database and you can purchase it there. If you have any questions, you can email Nick. What’s your email address again?
NDB: You can email me at Nick@NickDaganBestAstrologer.com.
CB: Okay. And if this goes well there may be other future databases. This is an ongoing project, but this is kind of the initial test to see if there would be interest in releasing the database you’ve compiled. And I’m excited to put it out there just because it’s been such a huge tool for me, and I know it could help a lot of other astrologers to do the type of research that you and I do with eclipses in this episode or in previous episodes. Your research with Venus retrogrades is very much reflected in the database and other things like that. So it’s a great tool, and I I hope a lot of people will take advantage of it.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. They should, they should. It’s got no end of uses for any style of astrologer, any orientation, whether you’re a professional astrologer or a researcher or what have you.
CB: Cool. So people check it out at theastrologypodcast.com/database. All right, so let’s move on to our next section. So the next section is gonna be a little intense ‘cause I wanted to talk about disasters, eclipses as omens, and generally just like not-good events that have occurred in world history that have coincided with eclipses—because that is definitely one major aspect of eclipses—and then eventually we’ll start getting into some more positive or like constructive things after this section. So the first one I wanted to touch on, that’s one of the most famous events that’s commonly talked about in the history books in association with an eclipse that happened, is the fall of Constantinople.
And this marked essentially the end of the Byzantine Empire, and in some ways it was the end of the Roman Empire because the Byzantine Empire was the empire that survived the fall of Rome when they had moved the capital from Rome to Byzantium or to Constantinople essentially. So there was this direct lineage from the Roman Empire through the Byzantine Empire all the way up until this very pivotal day, which is May 29, 1453. And this is the day when the walls of Constantinople finally crumbled and fell and Constantinople was conquered by Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire, marking the end of the Byzantine Empire. And what happened is that this occurred on May 29, 1453 and it was preceded a few days by a lunar eclipse which occurred on May 22 in Sagittarius.
And what’s really interesting about this eclipse is that in the history books it actually would have risen over the horizon, and they described—both sides of the of the battle witnessing this—that it was like a blood-red crescent Moon, which the people of Constantinople, who were sort of the inheritors of the Greek and Hellenistic astrological tradition at that point took as a bad omen. So the people in the city of Constantinople saw this; they saw a bloody red Moon lunar eclipse rising up over the horizon one night, and they knew this isn’t good. And there was also some sort of old prophecy that tied in with the Moon as well, which is the other reason that they took it as negative, while the Ottomans actually took it as a good omen for them, which turned out to be true. So one of the interesting takeaways from this is one man’s bad omen can sometimes be another person’s good omen, it kind of just depends on what side you’re on or what your perspective is.
CB: So that’s a pretty striking one, right? The fall of Constantinople because of the important role it played.
NDB: Absolutely. And also it does occur to me, I’ve been to Istanbul. And the Byzantines—they’re looking East, whereas the Ottomans are coming from the East. In other words, when the eclipse would be in the sky, the Byzantines would be watching it sort of like in front of them. I mean, sure, the Ottomans turned around and noticed it’s happening, but it’s behind them, if you know what I mean. There’s a sort of East/West dynamic in terms of how the eclipse appears and what the perspective is; the literal perspective between the eventual conquerors and the eventual vanquished.
CB: Okay. And it brings up points that in the ancient Mesopotamian tradition they had a bunch of rules for what direction the eclipse shadow comes from and like different quadrants of the Moon related to different geographical areas relative to their neighbors, and they had a whole system worked out for determining like does the eclipse refer to our king dying or does it refer to like the neighbor’s king dying or like our opponents in battle, their king dying or what have you. So there may have been in ancient times at least some more complicated rules for ‘what means what’ depending on your perspective. And of course the perspective of the observer always really matters when you’re looking at omens and using forms of divination, which is broadly connected to the perspective that the observer is actually crucial in that.
NDB: Yeah, and that’s just it. Because the Byzantines were under siege, they’re in their fortress and they’re looking out. I mean, they can walk around the fortress and go look West or go look North or go look South, but they won’t be seeing the Ottomans besieging their fortress unless they’re looking East, which is where the eclipse would be coming from. So, yeah, I just find it striking in that sense.
CB: Yeah, and it’s like they viewed it negative. Also, it’s a bloody red Moon. Constantinople had actually withstood many other previous attempts to penetrate its walls and to to take it over because it was this crazy fortress with these huge thick walls that other conquerors had tried and failed to breach.
NDB: Yeah, it was incredibly well-defended. Very sophisticated defense systems.
CB: And then I’m not sure if this is true, but one of the reports I read was that the Ottoman side, that were trying to conquer it and trying to breach the walls, may have viewed it as a good omen because it was a crescent Moon which matched the symbol for Islam which is like a crescent Moon. And I don’t know if that’s true ‘cause there’s like a little uncertainty about when that became the widespread symbol for Islam, but it may be tied in here for some reason.
NDB: I don’t know the specific history of that, but it it occurs to me that if it hadn’t been already the existing Islamic symbol its presence at this at this juncture would certainly justify its introduction as a symbol—
CB: For sure.
NDB: —considering the nature of the victory.
CB: Yeah, although there’s other reasons. It’s like the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar.
CB: And we were gonna do a little segment, right after the one on Jesus, on Muhammad because we were seeing reports that Muhammad was born near an eclipse. But then we were unable to actually verify that, so we’re not sure if that’s true.
CB: And then we do know that the Islamic calendar—beginning with the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina—the start of that calendar actually begins with a lunar eclipse in this lunar calendar. Although in researching that, again, we didn’t include it because it turned out that the start of that may have been picked by a later ruler when they were setting up a new calendar. So it’s not clear if that does closely correspond to the actual date of the Hegira—I think that’s how you pronounce it—the flight of Muhammad, or if it’s just a later approximation. But nonetheless, that’s still interesting that at the very start of the Islamic calendar is a lunar eclipse.
NDB: Yeah. I mean, either literally or at the very least symbolically.
CB: For sure.
CB: Anyway, so that’s an interesting piece. All right, so that’s one ancient example of an eclipse being a bad omen, at least for the people that were being conquered at that point, but it was a good omen for the people that were conquering. The next one I wanted to talk about is the Titanic, which it turns out that the Titanic sank in between eclipses, in between two eclipses. So there was a lunar eclipse on April 1, 1912, and then right after that the Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, and then just two days later there’s a solar eclipse on April 17, 1912. So the Titanic basically sank closer to a solar eclipse, right before a solar eclipse, although it was in that really important intermediate period between two eclipses.
CB: And that was like one of the greatest disasters of its time, right? Do you know what the total loss of life was?
NDB: It’s somewhere around a thousand, like 1,000-something. It’s a lot of people. It’s a lot of people dying in a really horrible way.
NDB: And this was before the First World War. This was two years before the First World War. So it wasn’t like the world was really prepared to have over a thousand people die in one fell swoop like that; it really was extraordinary.
CB: Yeah, it says about 1,500 people perished when the Titanic famously— which was thought to be indestructible and was the largest ship of its time—struck an iceberg and then sank suddenly in this huge disaster.
NDB: And then Kate Winslet let Leonardo drown even though there was room on the door. I mean, there was room on the door.
CB: That was probably the greatest tragedy, I agree.
NDB: That was, yeah.
CB: Yeah, they could have both survived.
NDB: I don’t know what she was thinking.
CB: All right, the Titanic. So that’s an example of what I’m talking about when I’m talking about an omen or like a disaster, where something just kind of random and tragic happens; it’s something we sometimes see with eclipses. The next one I wanted to talk about is the Reichstag fire in which1933 coincided with an eclipse. The Reichstag fire happened February 27, 1933 and there was a solar eclipse in Pisces on February 24, 1933, just a few days earlier. And this solar eclipse interestingly was opposite to a Mars-Neptune conjunction. So for those not familiar with German history, why is that important? Or what was the significance of this, briefly?
NDB: Well, Hitler had just been named chancellor in January of 1933. And in these early years of the Reich as it were, of the Nazi regime, the German establishment thought that they could put Hitler in power but sort of control him. He wasn’t in the top top position yet, that was still Hindenburg at this point, who was the president, which is a sort of symbolic head of state position as opposed to the chancellor which was more like a prime minister. Anyway, in order to sort of consolidate Nazi power and put down his enemies there was Reichstag fire, the Reichstag being the German Parliament; it caught fire. And they found a suspect who probably, if he was involved, wasn’t involved by himself. But he was a Dutch guy who was sort of mentally-impaired as I understand it, and he was put on trial and executed.
But then the Reichstag fire was used as a pretense for the Nazis to sort of come down on their enemies. And the very first inmates of the Dachau concentration camp, which opened not long after this in 1933, were dissidents who were rounded up. People who were sort of against the Nazis who were rounded up and put in Dachau and that’s the beginning of the whole concentration camp thing. So this is basically the Reichstag fire being a political maneuver, sort of like a false flag in a way, in order to have a pretext to come down on enemies and be oppressive, as the Nazis would continue to be for the next 12 years.
CB: Okay. So the Reichstag fire was the pretext the Nazis used basically to seize power. And there have been speculations about whether it was a false flag or not, whether the Nazis themselves started the fire.
NDB: If it’s not false, it’s incredibly convenient, let’s put it that way.
CB: And the thing I noticed that was interesting when I looked at the chart for this—this is the chart of the Reichstag fire—we see the Sun is at 8° of Pisces and the Moon is at 13° of Pisces, which means—
CB: —or Aries, thank you. Which means the solar eclipse just occurred a few days earlier at 5° of Pisces, and it was opposite to this Mars-Neptune conjunction. Mars was at 11, and the Reichstag fire was at 11 Virgo, and Neptune was at 8 Virgo. And that’s really interesting to me in terms of the discussion about whether it was a false flag or not.
CB: Mars is the planet of fire and war and aggression, and Neptune is the planet of nebulousness and deceit and mysteriousness. And just the fact that there’s still a century later these discussions about this mysteriousness surrounding whether this actually happened and then they used it as a pretext, or whether they made it happen in order to use it as a pretext—the chart is interesting in terms of reflecting that.
NDB: Yeah. And you saw that Jupiter was there in Virgo co-present with the Mars-Neptune. And when you think about, I mean, this is February of 1933. Exactly one Jupiter return later in the spring of 1945, Jupiter will be back in Virgo as the Nazi regime comes crumbling down and Hitler takes his life on April 30, 1945. So if you think of the Reichstag fire in ‘33 to Hitler’s death and the surrender of Germany in April-May of 1945, you’re getting this rather perfect Jupiter return in that whole story as well. Like you can think of the Nazi story being one transit of Jupiter in Virgo to a following transit of Jupiter in Virgo.
CB: Yeah, that’s interesting. So the last thing this brings up is just something the Mesopotamian astrologers were already doing in ancient times—they were paying attention to what planets were configured to the eclipse. And that’s something that’s still very relevant here, where we’re bringing in that there was a Mars-Neptune conjunction opposite to the degrees of the eclipse, and then that adds to part of the subtext of what happened at that time. And I think that’s something we see a few times, but I just wanted to mention it briefly in passing. ‘Cause even though we’re not going into that deeply here—because it would just make the episode even longer—it is part of the interpretive approach for eclipses to see what the eclipse is configured to by very close aspects. All right, so that’s the Reichstag fire. Moving forward, the next one I wanted to mention is the atomic bomb: the development of the atomic bomb and the very first successful test of an atomic bomb, which was the Trinity test which occurred July 16, 1945. It happened just after a solar eclipse in Cancer that was conjunct to Saturn on July 9, 1945. And then there was a lunar eclipse right before that which was on June 25. What?
NDB: Oh, no, sorry.
CB: So what that means is that the very first time a nuclear bomb was successfully tested happened immediately after a solar eclipse conjunct Saturn. And then of course a few weeks later the United States immediately deployed it in war and dropped the first atomic bombs on a civilian population of Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9.
NDB: Yeah. That is intriguing about the end of the Second World War that the eclipse actually falls as they’re developing the bomb, and not, say, with the surrender of Germany or the surrender of Japan, which are basically two months on either side of this event. Well, I guess two months for the surrender of Germany and about a month before the bombs are dropped. In other words, this really does point to this part of 1945 being the most consequential. And you can really understand why because it almost sort of dwarfs the fact that there was this terrible war going on against Germany and Japan. The fact that this new technology was developed has much longer-term consequences than defeating these enemies involved.
CB: Yeah. Well, that was an important turning point in human history. That was the beginning of the atomic age and the starting point of what eventually would become the Cold War, but especially humanity reaching a point where suddenly it could destroy itself. Like realistically humanity could wipe itself out in a nuclear war from this point forward, which would then become the looming threat over the course of the rest of the 20th century and early 21st century. And it literally started with the Trinity test and with the set of eclipses that immediately preceded it, or in some ways heralded it.
CB: So here’s the chart of the Trinity test. And, yeah, that eclipse had taken place on July 9 at 16° of Cancer, and then it was conjunct Saturn which was around 15 Cancer at the time. And then interestingly, in the Trinity test itself, Cancer was rising.
CB: All right, so first atomic bomb eclipse. Next one, jumping forward, similar thematically, I discovered that the Chernobyl disaster—which I think was the worst nuclear disaster in history—occurred on an eclipse. So Chernobyl happened April 26, 1986, and there was a lunar eclipse in Scorpio just two days earlier on April 24. Interestingly, this lunar eclipse was conjunct Pluto. So Chernobyl—worst nuclear disaster in history. Is that true?
NDB: As far as I know, yeah. I don’t know of any that’s been more serious. There have been others, but this was massive because it just sort of spread all over Europe. So it happened in the top northeastern corner of Ukraine, but the fallout was hitting everywhere, and it really was a wake-up call. But I do believe it’s the biggest. It’s certainly the most notorious, and it was terrifying at the time.
CB: Here’s the chart. I set it for Moscow. It’s not set for the correct location, it’s just approximate.
CB: This is April 26. And if you back it up just two days earlier, you see this lunar eclipse right there at about 3-ish°, 3°-4° degrees of Scorpio, basically closely conjunct Pluto at 6° of Scorpio.
NDB: Yeah, I might have the exact time if you wanted it. I’m pretty sure I do.
CB: No, that’s all right.
CB: Yeah, we still have so much more. I haven’t been showing charts for the most part. I might put them in post, I’m not sure, but I just want to keep us—
NDB: It’s 1:23 AM, anyway. I looked it up quickly. But you don’t need it. I just wanted to tell you, for anyone watching.
CB: Okay. And then the last major disaster. Again, we’ve moved up to the present, and that’s something I keep doing here is starting in old ones. We started with Constantinople, then the Titanic, the Reichstag, the atomic bomb, Chernobyl. The most recent one that was the most notable, that’s still in all of our minds—and that coincided with an eclipse that started with an eclipse—was the COVID pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic really became known to the world under a set of eclipses that occurred in late 2019 and early 2020. So what happened is that there was a solar eclipse in Capricorn on December 26, 2019, and then there was a lunar eclipse two weeks later in Cancer on January 11, 2020. I compiled a timeline from different websites which I just wanted to show on the screen really quick and read because it really drives home the point.
So here it is from our written outline. All right, so like I said, the first eclipse, a solar eclipse December 26, 2019, then a lunar eclipse January 11. Listen to this timeline. December 12, 2019, so just a couple weeks before the first eclipse: A cluster of patients in China’s Hubei province in the city of Wuhan begin to experience the symptoms of an atypical pneumonia-like illness that does not respond well to standard treatments. Then jump forward to December 31, so this is just after the first eclipse, which was on December 26: The World Health Organization Country Office in China is informed of several cases of a pneumonia of unknown ideology (cause) with symptoms including shortness of breath and fever occurring in Wuhan. All initial cases seem connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market or Hunan Seafood Wholesale Market.
Then January 1: The Hunan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan is closed amid worries in China of a reprise of the 2002 through 2004 SARS outbreak. Everything just starts moving really fast basically after the first eclipse at the end of December and right before the next eclipse on the 11th. So January 2: The World Health Organization activates its Incident Management Support Team across all three organization levels—country office, regional office, and headquarters—in China. January 3—China informs the World Health Organization that they have identified over 40 cases of pneumonia of unknown ideology. January 9—so this is just two days before the January 11 lunar eclipse, the second eclipse; the World Health Organization announces a mysterious coronavirus-related pneumonia in Wuhan, China. So this is the World Health Organization announcing it finally to the world. Then we jump forward after the second eclipse, which occurred on January 11, about a week, and we get to January 20: The CDC in America says that three US airports will begin screening for the coronavirus. Then January 21: The CDC confirms the first US coronavirus case.
NDB: That’s just 10 days after the eclipse now.
NDB: So it’s still very close.
CB: So then January 21, same day: Chinese scientists confirms COVID-19 human transmission. So they confirmed that it’s transmitted from human to human to human. This is the one I always remember, this New York Times headline. New York Times, January 21: “China reports first death from new virus.” Actually I think I have another one, another New York Times article. All right, maybe I don’t have it here. January 23: Wuhan now under quarantine. January 31: World Health Organization issues global health emergency. So by the end of the month, just a couple of weeks after that eclipse, it’s happening; it’s like it’s really starting to happen at this point. But just notice how quickly things started to develop in this period around those two eclipses.
NDB: Yeah, that’s a really great breakdown. And I think that illustrates perfectly how you see these things escalate very quickly during that eclipse period when you’re between the two eclipses.
CB: Yeah. And one of the things is the eclipses are not the only thing going on astrologically at that time because in early January there was also a Saturn-Pluto conjunction, which had also coincided with the AIDS outbreak 40 years earlier, or at least when AIDS became known, as well as other major losses of life. And then a few months after that there was an alignment of Mars and Saturn—
CB: —and Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn all at the same time, and that was when the lockdowns happened in the US and pretty much across the world at that point in March and April of 2020. So the point is that there were lots of different astrological factors going on, but the eclipses really seemed to heighten and to highlight a very important period where the pandemic really started to come into view and become known and where humanity started to realize what was about to happen.
CB: So that’s really crucial. I did have a bit on AIDS, but I’m gonna skip it. But I did want to mention at least that when AIDS was first named in 1982—when they gave it the name AIDS and that acronym—it was around the time of an eclipse as well. So there’s a whole interesting thing with AIDS and eclipses, but I pulled it out of here for the sake of time ‘cause I think the COVID one is sufficiently impressive.
NDB: Yeah, agreed, agreed.
CB: All right, so I want to move on to the next section which is on stock market crashes as well as peaks. So this is the last little section on somewhat ominous phenomena before we get into more positive ones and start looking at the positive eclipse correlations. But this one I think is important because, remember, one of the things that was mentioned in the Mesopotamian tradition was the markets. It’s interesting that they’re tracking that back in the Mesopotamian tradition and sometimes noticing fluctuations in their version of the markets 2,000, 3,000, 4,000 years ago. But interestingly that still continues to be the case today, where the markets sometimes fluctuate in connection with eclipses. So one of the most famous examples is the Wall Street Crash of 1929 happened very close to a set of eclipses. So this was the worst stock market crash in US history, and it signaled the beginning of the Great Depression, and it started happening just days before a set of eclipses.
So there was a solar eclipse on November 1, 1929, and then two weeks later there was a lunar eclipse in Taurus on November 16, and basically the stock market crashed in the week leading up to that Scorpio eclipse which occurred on November 1. So I think it was from Wikipedia, but the quote is, “The Great Crash is mostly associated with October 24, 1929, called Black Thursday, the day of the largest sell-off of shares in U.S. history,” which is eight days before the eclipse. But then it goes on and it says, “It’s also associated with October 29, 1929 [which is] called Black Tuesday, when investors traded some 16 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day.” And that of course is just two days before the Scorpio eclipse which occurred on November 1. But basically after this point, by the time the eclipses actually hit, the stock market is just like decimated and this has just a huge impact on the economy.
NDB: Indeed, the Great Depression as it was called. Global.
CB: Okay, so this was basically then the onset of the Great Depression.
NDB: Yeah, Black Tuesday in particular is usually cited as the single day that begins the Great Depression, that triggers it. It took a while for everything to really fully come apart. In 1930, they still think they can reverse it. By 1932, they know it’s hopeless and something new needs to be done.
CB: Yeah. And in my full write-up I noticed six months earlier there was a set of eclipses that actually presaged or foreshadowed what would happen in the crash later in October and November. But I pulled that out of here just for timing reasons, but there’s all sorts of other stuff you could go into here.
NDB: Yeah, you can get into the weeds if you want, but we’re just doing the outline.
CB: Yeah, but I think this is important that basically eclipses coincided with the worst stock market crash in US history. Moving forward to more recent times, Bitcoin has actually coincided very closely with lunar eclipses over the course of the past decade or so that it’s been around, including going back to the very origins of Bitcoin. Bitcoin was actually invented and introduced by a mysterious anonymous founder; we don’t actually know the real identity of this person. But the very first indications that he was in the process of creating Bitcoin happened in the summer of 2008 when bitcoin.org was registered as a domain name on August 18, 2008, and this was just two days after a lunar eclipse in Aquarius that occurred on August 16, 2008. So this is really important and it’s also notable and insightful because Bitcoin itself wasn’t introduced until early the following year, 2009.
In January, the first Bitcoins were made and astrologers often use that as the founding chart for Bitcoin. But this is a good example that sometimes eclipses indicate that something major has started, but it’s something that sometimes starts small or is obscure unto later on. This is true both in world events, as well as in personal events that I’ve seen in people’s charts when they’re hit by eclipses. Sometimes it represents a new beginning that has a humble origin that at the time the people themselves may not even think is gonna be a big deal, or they may not know the full implications of it. But if you see an eclipse happening when something new starts, sometimes it indicates that that thing is gonna be much more important or have much more far-ranging implications than you might realize at first.
So with Bitcoin there were a few other things in the history of Bitcoin more recently, I won’t go through all of them. But I did want to mention one that I actually paid attention to and we talked about a lot at the time when it happened—and I actually did a Bitcoin episode back in late 2020 after this event happened—which was that Bitcoin reached a new high when it first hit or started to go above $20,000 in value for each Bitcoin; and that happened exactly on an eclipse which happened on November 30, 2020. And that day there was a New York Times article that was titled “Bitcoin Hits New Record, This Time With Less Talk of a Bubble,” and that ended up being the starting point of just a meteoric huge rise in Bitcoin that lasted for a couple of years until that started to collapse over the course of the past year-and-a-half or so, and two of those events coincided with eclipses. One of them is that the Luna coin failed in May of 2020, and this coincided with a set of eclipses that occurred in Taurus and Scorpio, with a solar eclipse on April 30 in Taurus and a lunar eclipse on May 16 in Scorpio. And it was especially that lunar eclipse on May 16 where the price of this sort of alternative cryptocurrency crashed in between the eclipses, eventually culminating on the lunar eclipse, and over $60 billion got wiped out of the digital currency space at this time.
So it was one of the biggest market crashes of the current century, of the 21st century, and it very much shook the faith in the crypto market in 2020. So this occurred in May of 2022. And then six months later we got the next set of eclipses, and what happens is that right on those eclipses the FTX collapse happened. So it all happened right around the lunar eclipse in November. And this was a lunar eclipse on November 8 in the sign of Taurus, which followed after a solar eclipse on October 25 in Scorpio. And what happened is this ended up being one of the biggest financial frauds in American history and one of the largest and most sudden crashes because it happened so quickly over the course of about a week around the time of the eclipse, and it crashed the value of a bunch of cryptocurrencies at that time. So those are some pretty recent examples which are showing that lunar eclipses are still tied in with markets, both traditional markets (like the stock market, for example, with the 1920 crash) but also even emerging markets (like cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin).
CB: All right, so that brings us to the largely extremely depressing half of this talk. And now I want to transition into talking about some of the more positive stuff that sometimes coincides with eclipses, which does happen. I think that in the first half we have confirmed that some of the negative stuff is true. Some of the ancient ominous readings of eclipses that have to do with very negative things like deaths and assassinations and battles and market crashes and all this other stuff is true and does happen partially because the eclipses are are sort of ominous and because they represent great endings of things. And sometimes an ending can be like the death or destruction of an entity. However, let’s talk about some positive stuff because there are a bunch of instances that we found in our research where eclipses actually showed positive turning points for humanity, and that’s what I would like to talk about next.
NDB: All right.
CB: Is that good for you? We could stick with negative ones.
NDB: No. What we’ll do is we’ll continue with these positive ones, but I’ll do my best to put a negative spin on every single one of them. How’s that?
CB: That’s good. Well, this first one I think is arguable depending on your perspective. It’s actually kind of funny. It was debatable whether I should have this as the first one. But from my perspective I’ll I’ll say—
NDB: Oh, it’s fine.
NDB: Because I’m Canadian, I’m supposed to be on the other side of this argument?
CB: No, I wasn’t saying that. I was just saying—
NDB: How dare you betray our king?
CB: Right. All right, so the first event, to let people in on the joke, is the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia on September 5, 1774. And this was an event that would eventually lead to the formation of the United States of America as a separate country from Great Britain. And the very same day as the First Continental Congress met there was an eclipse in the sign of Virgo. It was a solar eclipse, right?
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, think about it. This is the first day that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the other founding fathers are all in the same room. It’s the day they’re all meeting; these people are gonna make history together. They all come together and they’re just sort of getting a sense of each other and who they are and what they want to do and whether they have a common purpose at all.
CB: That’s amazing. And this was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?
NDB: That’s right.
CB: All right, let me put the chart up for that just so people can see it for a reference point ‘cause this is one of the most stunning ones. This is one where it’s not like a few days before, it’s not a few days after; it’s not like a week before, a week after. Literally the same day that the First Continental Congress met there was a solar eclipse in the sign of Virgo.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: There it is. So it looks like it took place later that night at 13°of Virgo. Actually that’s kind of interesting just in terms of the aspect. It’s applying to a trine with Jupiter as one of the closest aspects, which is at 16° of Taurus.
NDB: Yeah, and that means that Jupiter has just made a station, indeed, the previous day. Because when the Sun is trine Jupiter that’s when Jupiter makes its station. Also, that’s Jupiter making a phasis configured to the eclipse.
CB: You know, it’s funny actually looking at the—
NDB: And it’s a total, total solar eclipse. I mean, look at that. The node is right with the Sun and Moon.
CB: Yeah, so there’s the Jupiter station. That’s not the only planet stationing.
NDB: Oh, yeah, Uranus.
CB: Uranus is also stationing.
NDB: That Uranus station I think I did cover when I was doing Uranus USA because those Uranus stations during the Revolutionary War are quite spectacular. But, yeah, it speaks for itself. This is the beginning of the Uranus in Gemini age and the Revolutionary War is about to happen. I mean, this is what this meeting’s about. “Are we actually gonna go to war with Britain?” that kind of thing, so yeah.
CB: And you and I famously did a whole episode on the Uranus return of the United States and how there’s this mysterious correlation where every time Uranus goes through Gemini the US is involved in a major war, which included the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II. And unfortunately we’re like coming up for Uranus going into Gemini here in the next few years, so we’re all a little bit nervous about that. But for more on that, people can listen to that episode. What was it? It’s titled “The Uranus Return of the United States” or something like that I believe.
NDB: Yeah, something like that. It’s a good episode, check it out, and we’ll bum you out in a whole other way than we’ve bummed you out with this eclipse episode.
CB: Yeah, we are harbingers of bad astrological news, but let’s do some positive news. Okay, so that one, like I said, I think that’s kind of cool. I think it’s a good one. All right, so more positively, the next one I wanted to introduce is that Einstein’s theory of relativity was famously confirmed as a result of an eclipse, and this was connected to the Eddington expedition where an eclipse took place on May 29, 1919. And this was basically used in order to confirm Einstein’s theory of relativity, which was a huge turning point in human history and in in science and in terms of our understanding of the world which built on Newton’s previous theories surrounding gravity, but also changed them in like a major way and set up a large part of our current understanding of how the universe works over the past century.
NDB: Yeah, it redefined physics. It did away with Newtonian physics or what was not sort of sustainable about Newtonian physics. So, yeah, yeah, it was a real sea change, a real sea change.
CB: So interestingly they confirmed it through an eclipse. They had to observe the eclipse because it predicted how the light would be refracted. So that’s kind of interesting and somebody could argue and be like, “Well, it happened on an eclipse because they were looking for an eclipse.” But get this—so six months later, after the eclipse took place in the Eddington expedition, the results of the Eddington expedition were announced at a meeting of the Royal Society in London on November 6, 1919, and then Einstein became world famous the next day on November 7, 1919 following the press’s publication of what happened and the announcement in that meeting. And then guess what? There was a lunar eclipse in Taurus on November 7, 1919, right when those results were announced essentially, which is just stunning basically.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. ‘Cause like you said the Eddington expedition of course took place during the eclipse. It had to. That was related to the experiment itself. But the fact that the results were announced six months later on the day of an eclipse, yeah, Einstein literally becomes a celebrity overnight. He was a nobody right up until this day, relatively speaking.
CB: So this is a huge turning point in world history, both for better or worse arguably, primarily for better. Although there was some other stuff that happened later on that we’ve mentioned already that was connected to this that’s not that great, but I would mark this in the positive category of an eclipse coinciding with an important turning point and positive turning point in world history. So interestingly, in 1905, in Einstein’s biography, this was said to be his ‘miracle’ year, where he published these four different crucial scientific papers that were super important for science and for his biography and everything else. And interestingly there was a solar eclipse in Pisces a week before his birthday, or his solar return that year. So that it was kind of baking an eclipse into his solar return chart which had ended up designating what’s commonly referred to in the history books as his ‘miracle’ year.
NDB: Yeah. Actually they give it the Latin term, annus mirabilis, which is funny to me because when we were talking about the British royals earlier, Queen Elizabeth would go on to call 1992 her annus horribilis because it was such a terrible year with the divorce and all that. And ‘92, as we saw for the royal family, was also an eclipse-designated year for the royals just like 1905 is in a positive sense for Albert Einstein, where he delivers four really important papers, one after the other, over the course of 1905.
CB: Nice. That’s amazing. All right, so moving on, one of the other most stunning positive events I found in human history that coincided with an eclipse is when the United Nations Charter was signed. The United Nations was basically founded on June 26, 1945, and this was literally the day after a lunar eclipse occurred in Capricorn on June 25. So the United Nations was founded under a lunar eclipse. And I think this is so notable as a positive example because this was the attempt of the world after the carnage and the horrors of World War II to try to ensure that that never happened again by creating this organization that was dedicated to allowing nations to talk and negotiate and come to agreements with each other and to create more of a sense of unification with the world instead of having the world and having countries at each other’s throats.
NDB: Indeed. And it’s also sort of a testament to the staying power of institutions that are created during eclipse periods. Because the United Nations of course was sort of a sequel of sorts to the League of Nations, which had been founded in 1920, not during in eclipse period, and it was notoriously ineffectual and didn’t prevent the Second World War and was ultimately sort of reconfigured into this new organization that was better conceived, better organized. For all its successes and failures it certainly has staying power and is still a central force in our society today. So it’s sort of a testament. You know, you have these two institutions with a similar agenda: one was not founded during an eclipse period and it failed and didn’t accomplish much, and then the other’s founded during an eclipse period. It’s not a total success, but it’s a large success certainly compared to what existed before, which was basically nothing.
CB: Right, for sure. Here’s the chart. So this is for June 26, 1945, San Francisco. This isn’t a timed chart. I don’t know if we have a timed chart for the United Nations, so I just have it set for noon. But we can see the Sun in early Cancer at 4° of Cancer and the Moon in the middle of Capricorn at noon at like 18° of Capricorn. So we know that a Full Moon has taken place and we see the nodes right there, with the North Node at 9° of Cancer and the South Node at 9° of Capricorn. So the previous day of course would have been an eclipse, which was at 3° of Cancer. Sorry, 3° of Capricorn, I should say.
CB: Yeah, so that’s one of the more striking positive examples for me. I mean, obviously you can make arguments about the ineffectiveness of the United Nations at being able to stop certain things from happening and certain wars and atrocities and other things or ways that it’s been used, but for the most part I think it was a positive turning point for humanity.
NDB: I’d say despite its failures, things probably would have been worse if it hadn’t existed. That would be my verdict on it.
CB: For sure. All right, other positive things. This is one that you discovered, where Alexander Graham Bell famously made the first telephone call on March 10, 1876, and this was the exact same day as a lunar eclipse in the sign of Virgo.
NDB: Yeah. I mean, Virgo, a Mercury-ruled sign, etc., etc. But, yeah, it’s famous. Funny enough, Alexander Graham Bell had no idea that this invention would later be used to take videos of cats and things like that, but for the time being it was just a mere communication device.
CB: Yeah. Although that’s why it’s probably the most positive example in our entire list because of the cat photo-taking potential.
NDB: Right. Exactly.
CB: So here’s the chart. So March 10, 1876, and we see the nodes there in Virgo and Pisces, and we see that there was this eclipse that went exact at 20° of Virgo literally that exact day. Again, this is one of the ones like the Continental Congress and stuff like that where there’s no argument about that, it’s like right on the same day. And this would end up being just like a huge, again, turning point, in this instance in the case of technology, but a pretty big turning point in humanity and the way that that transformed the world over the course of the next century.
NDB: Yeah, absolutely.
CB: All right, so along those lines in terms of technology, another one that’s really important that I noted in a similar vein is that Tim Berners Lee submitted the proposal for the World Wide Web on March 12, 1989. And this was right in between a set of eclipses or right after a set of eclipses I should say, where a solar eclipse had just taken place in Pisces on March 7; so just like a few days earlier. So the proposal and the thing that would become the internet basically or the World Wide Web—that written proposal was created under a set of eclipses in 1989. So it’s kind of like a similar thing with Bitcoin where it’s like you can see the genesis of it in the creation of that website and stuff earlier, under the eclipse, but then eventually the full manifestation of it would come later. But there’s something about the eclipse where like the seeds of what would later come are really being planted.
NDB: Yeah, exactly.
CB: Yeah, and then that’s the internet and just the way that that’s completely transformed the world and society over the past 30 years since that time.
NDB: Yeah. And funny enough when it started the internet was connected by phone lines. So thank you, Alexander Graham Bell for that. There’s almost like a link between those two.
CB: Well, yeah. And there very well may be an actual link because it’s in Virgo and Pisces. It’s the same signs and same eclipse pairs then between those two sets of signs.
NDB: That’s right.
CB: All right, so let’s transition now into our final section where I wanted to talk about the correlations between eclipses and different civil rights movements, which is a major thing that I found and is probably one of the most positive things that I found in doing some of this eclipse research. The sort of forward progress of humanity in terms of giving people rights basically seems to coincide very closely with the eclipse series. So the first one I want to talk about is the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote in the United States. So it passed the house on May 21, 1919, and there was an eclipse in Gemini on May 29, 1919, and then it was eventually passed by the Senate on June 4, 1919. So what we’re pointing out here is that basically there was an eclipse, a solar eclipse in Gemini that happened right around the time that the House and the Senate voted to give women the right to vote essentially. So it didn’t end up actually being ratified by enough states to go into effect until August of 1920, the following year, but it’s interesting that the actual legislative effort, which was the most important part in the House and the Senate, occurred right on a solar eclipse.
NDB: Indeed. It’s actually that same Eddington eclipse that we were just talking about, the May 29, 1919 one. And this is an interesting period. There’s so much going on in this May-June period of 1919. This is also where Germany listed their terms of surrender, ending the First World War. And of course Einstein’s life is changing at this time. So, yeah, there was a lot going on and this was really instrumental in this being passed in the United States. We didn’t include it for brevity’s sake, but I looked at the history of the suffragette movement in Britain, and there were a lot of events and key people in that situation which was to get women the vote in Great Britain. A lot of those events and people coincided with eclipses as well. So there’s an interesting history there. We’re not covering it today, but there’s a lot in this history of getting women the vote that coincides with eclipses overall.
CB: So this one’s important. This is one area of civil rights—like women not having the right to vote—and then this finally being changed in the Constitution, basically with an amendment to the Constitution in the United States, representing the forward progress of women. Or at least taking one incremental step in terms of equality between the sexes and stuff, which seems like a very important turning point in human history, like one of many. So moving on, that’s not the only civil rights movement that eclipses coincided with. Another famous one is Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Alabama just two days after a lunar eclipse. So she refused to give up her seat on December 1, 1955, and this was two days after a lunar eclipse at 6° of Gemini. And it was also 13 days prior to a solar eclipse at 21° of Sagittarius, which meant that it happened in that interim phase in between two eclipses because of some of the stuff that would happen subsequent to it, which helped to initiate the civil rights movement in the United States.
NDB: Yeah. And it’s such a great eclipse example too because it’s a simple gesture. It wasn’t as spontaneous as they sort of pretended it was, but it was still a solitary gesture that initiated a movement that in some ways still has a lot of momentum and miles to cover today. uh But this really got the whole movement rolling like nothing else. It’s a really seminal event in the changing perspective on the right and wrong way to run American society. And this was, yeah, the beginning of all that.
CB: Yeah, for sure, so that’s huge. And that’s a good point. Because it’s like, again, humble origins is one of the themes with these great beginnings of eclipses. It’s like things that have seemingly small starting points in a small act of defiance that then snowballs into something much larger.
CB: That’s great as a recurrent theme. Okay, other things—the US Civil Rights Act of 1964 occurred just a week after a lunar eclipse. So the US Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, and, yeah, it fell right in a period with eclipses.
NDB: Yeah, there was a solar eclipse in Gemini on June 10, and the bill was passed on June 19, then a lunar eclipse followed on June 24 in Capricorn. So once again you’re having this event occur right in between those two eclipses, in that special two-week period. And the act was signed into law by Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964. Now I promised you I was gonna bum you out a bit, so I will. Amidst all this positivity there was something gruesome that occurred right in the middle, during the same period, in between these two eclipses.
On June 21, 1964, there were three young members of CORE, an activist group that was working in Mississippi to help people of color vote in the upcoming election, and three of these young people—Michael Schwerner, James Cheney, Andy Goodman—were were murdered and their bodies were buried in a swamp. They were later recovered, but it was another one of these crisis moments in the civil rights movement, and one that was especially shocking to the public ‘cause these were three young men in their late teens, early 20s. But, yeah, that was happening in the midst of all this other important and positive advancement in American law.
CB: One of the takeaways I think that’s important about this one in particular—where we’re seeing the events happen in between the two eclipses, but also like building up to the eclipses and then coming down in the week or so afterwards—one of the takeaways is that eclipses often encompass a process, especially during the period in between two eclipses. But it also sort of radiates outwards at least a week or two before or after each lunation, which creates essentially about a month-long window of time at least, or a portal, if you will, or whatever you want to call it. But it’s a portal where something really special can happen sometimes in terms of the positive manifestations of human progress.
NDB: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.
CB: So that’s really important. And then that was the biggest Civil Rights Act, legislatively, of the 20th century. But then it turned out that in American history that wasn’t the only one; in fact, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 also coincided with an eclipse. So what was the significance of this one, again?
NDB: It was the first United States federal law to define citizenship and affirmed that all citizens were equally protected by the law. And in the wake of the American American Civil War the intention was to protect the civil rights of people of African descent who had been born in or brought to the United States.
CB: So it became effective, this law, April 9, 1866, which was between two eclipses, where a lunar eclipse had happened just before that on March 30 in Libra and then a solar eclipse occurred right after it on April 15 in Aries.
NDB: Right. I mean, this is a really famous one because that the act was passed by Congress and then President Andrew Johnson vetoed it, but then Congress overrode him, and this would eventually snowball into Johnson being the first impeached president. Although like other impeached presidents, the Senate would not vote to impeach him, he was impeached by Congress.
CB: Got it. And there’s a parallel there with the 1964 bill. I was reading, in 1964—I think it was Wikipedia and that was what we reading earlier—it said, “Never before in its entire history had the Senate been able to muster enough votes to defeat a filibuster on a civil rights bill,” and that was in the 1964 one that happened under eclipses. So there was a similar thing here legislatively where the president tried to veto it and then Congress overrode him, which was historic at the time.
CB: All right, so that’s the American history; there was one last story. And there’s lots of other stuff we could go into in terms of American history and civil rights and other stuff, but there was one last story that was really impressive with eclipses that I know you’ve done a lot of research on that I thought would be a good one to end with this.
NDB: This is a great one to end with because this is the man I’m gonna call the ‘mac daddy’ of eclipses. Just everything in this person’s life is connected to eclipses, not their birth. Our figure is of course the great Nelson Mandela. So Nelson Mandela was born July 18, 1918 in Umtata, which is in Eastern South Africa. We don’t know what time he was born; he was born in a small village. At one point someone asked him what time he was born and he said afternoon, but that’s the only sort of word we have on that. Now who was Nelson Mandela? Nelson Mandela was an African activist who was a leader in the movement to end apartheid in South Africa, racial separation in South Africa, which had all kinds of consequences and was really devastating for the African population living there at the time; and yeah, his biography is replete with events that occurred close to or during eclipses. We’re not even gonna go into all of them, just the really key ones.
First of all, he was arrested three times for his actions working against apartheid and all three of his arrests occurred during eclipses. So the first was on July 30, 1952. He was arrested in a group with others. I think there were like 18 or 19 others, but he was arrested with them and charged with ‘statutory communism’. This was in Johannesburg on July 30, 1952. Basically like communism by association. The position of the South African government at the time was that if you were against apartheid, you were a communist, which was itself a crime. So it was all interlinked. To be anti-apartheid meant to the South Africans that you were a communist. So this first arrest in 1952 occurred six days prior to the lunar eclipse at 13 Aquarius and 21 days prior to a solar eclipse at 27 Leo. So this is not in the two weeks, but it’s less than a week before the first of the two eclipses.
Second, the next arrest, this was even bigger. He was arrested with over a hundred people, but he was a real leader in this; he was already making a name for himself. December 5, 1956, he’s arrested on treason charges in Soweto, and this was three days after a solar eclipse at 10 Sagittarius. And because this treason charge went on for over a year eventually the charges were dropped, but the anti-apartheid activists knew that they had to get a lot more serious and probably work underground as opposed to just engaging in Gandhian-type nonviolent resistance. So Mandela went underground, and I think he was in some way instrumental in blowing up some power lines, which was considered a terrorist act, although no people were hurt. And he was arrested this time by himself on August 5, 1962 on incitement charges in Howick. I’ve actually been to the site where this arrest occurred, not too far from Durban, north of Durban. And this is the charge that would lead to his eventual life sentence. This arrest on August 5, 1962 occurred five days after a solar eclipse at 7 Leo and 15 days prior to a lunar eclipse at 22 Aquarius. So, again, like that first arrest, it was sort of just prior to the double-eclipse period but very, very close to it.
So after being arrested on August 5, 1962, he was put on trial with some other defendants in what was called the Rivonia trial. There were white and black defendants in this big, big trial, a huge deal in Pretoria. And on June 12, 1964, Mandela and his fellow Rivonia trial defendants were all sentenced to life in prison. He had actually given this amazing speech where he said he was not afraid to die; they fully expected to be sentenced to death on these charges. And really the only reason they weren’t sentenced to death was the South African regime was afraid it would muster too much sympathy, so they were merely sentenced to life in prison. Years later, when Mandela would be president of South Africa, he would meet with that judge who gave him the life sentence and was more gracious than I would be, I’ll say that. So this life sentence on June 12, 1964 occurred three days after a solar eclipse in 19 Gemini and 12 days prior to a total lunar eclipse at 3 Capricorn. So that’s that same eclipse we were just talking about with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It’s that same period in June of 1964.
CB: So that’s crucial. One of the most defining events of his biography is Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment as part of the struggle for civil rights literally three days after a solar eclipse in his biography.
NDB: That’s right. And he would stay in prison until the day he walked out of a prison in Paarl on February 11, 1990, which was two days after a total lunar eclipse at 20 Leo and 16 days after a solar eclipse at 6 Aquarius. So just after the two eclipses, but just two days after the total lunar eclipse. So he was arrested on the eclipse—he was always arrested on eclipses—he was sentenced to life in prison on an eclipse, and he was released from prison on an eclipse. And then four years later he would be elected president of the Republic of South Africa on May 10, 1994, the day of a solar eclipse at 19 Taurus and 14 days prior to a lunar eclipse at 3 Sagittarius.
So, yeah, I mean, just everything about Mandela’ life that makes him a legend and one of the most important figures of the 20th century all correspond to these events in his chronology that occurred during eclipses. And like I said, there’s all kinds of other things relating to his life that aren’t specifically about his involvement in the movement that also connect to eclipses. I have to say I’ve never seen a single human individual have their timeline so populated, for want of a better term, by events that occurred close to eclipses. So, yeah, if we were handing out a crown, he would get it for the most eclipse-connected life I’ve ever seen.
CB: Yeah, that’s just incredibly stunning, his chart, and how striking that is, how his chronology is tied in with eclipses, but then how his personal story then changes the history of South Africa, changes the civil rights movement there, and changes world history in some ways.
NDB: Oh, yeah, yeah. He’s got a huge international reach. It wasn’t just South Africa that he changed, he changed the world.
CB: Right. And here’s his chart, just briefly. I do note that he has like three planets in Cancer. I don’t know if that’s relevant here ‘cause we don’t know what his rising sign is.
NDB: Yeah, you’re using a time that’s from Astro-Databank, but that’s just based on the fact that someone quoted him saying he was born in the afternoon. I think Frances McEvoy’s son and daughter-in-law met him and asked him, and he said afternoon and that’s all we know.
CB: Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.
NDB: No, that’s okay.
CB: I was trying to cast a noon chart. So I’m just gonna switch it to like a noon chart ‘cause we have no idea.
NDB: But this is an important point—even though we don’t know what time Nelson Mandela was born, we were able nonetheless just looking at the transits of his life to garner some really interesting and seemingly important astrological information with regards to his life and with regards to his presence, his impact on history.
CB: Just using eclipses.
NDB: Yeah, even though we can’t do a proper horoscopic reading of his chart. We can’t do his zodiacal releasing or talk about the ruler of his ascendant or anything like that, but we can say, hey, the man’s life was continuously connected to these eclipse patterns.
CB: Yeah. He does have Jupiter, Pluto and the Sun in Cancer. I don’t know if that’s relevant in some way in terms of why his life is so closely tied in with the Moon and with eclipses by virtue of that, who knows. But, yeah, I mean, actually a point with Einstein I always thought was interesting is we do have a timed chart for him, and he has Cancer rising.
CB: So I thought it was curious that those eclipses ended up being so crucial in his biography.
NDB: Yeah, ‘cause he’s another one—not as much as Mandela—but certainly I found a lot of other eclipse-related events in Einstein’s life that we’re not talking about today. Things relating to his citizenship, his relationship to Germany, his relationship to the United States, where eventually lived, things like that. But, yeah, indeed, there just seems to be some people’s lives that are really, really tied to eclipses. And as often as not, they’re people who have these enormous impacts on history, even if they’re relatively humble, unassuming. Neither Albert Einstein or Nelson Mandela were born thinking that they would change the world or born wanting to change the world; it’s just they were in the so-called right place and right time.
CB: Yeah. So I wanted to end with that example ‘cause I think it’s really stunning, and it shows the interrelationship where the eclipses are still sometimes indicating great struggle and great hardship at different points in his life and during the process of the civil rights movement and different things like that, but then eventually also positive things. The positive things of like getting out of jail, becoming president and other things like that, and the broader impact that that ended up having on the world at large. And I think that’s really illustrative and maybe useful for us to understand when we’re trying to contextualize ultimately even events that are happening today or events in the future when we’re seeing widespread tragedy and hardship and injustices and different things like that, that sometimes there can be positive things that come out of that in the long term. And when eclipses are involved, especially sometimes those hardships can eventually be the turning point that leads to a galvanization that hopefully at some point leads to progress and positive change.
NDB: Yeah. Like I said at the outset, I think the eclipses represent periods of crisis. And so, one can either rise to meet the challenge of a crisis and overcome it successfully, maybe even to the extent that that life itself has improved dramatically despite that the crisis instigated the need to to respond, which in turn improved things. And then at the devastating times it’s just, yeah, a crisis and people either failing or not being able to to meet the demands of that crisis. And I think that’s the dividing line here when it comes to the eclipse periods. There’s the crisis that you can meet and somehow turn on its head, and then there’s the crisis that can just be overwhelming and devastating.
CB: I mean, that’s kind of interesting, and it makes me think of one of the previous episodes about the nodes, talking about those as the intersection points between the path of the Sun and the path of the Moon, and how in ancient astrology the Sun was associated with spirit and with choice and acts of volition, essentially free will, whereas the Moon was associated with with fortune and with the material realm and essentially with acts of fate or things that are outside of your control. So maybe part of what we’re seeing here with the eclipses is that intersection between choice and fate or choice and circumstances; like a nexus in time where all those different intersections between a choice and circumstances are all happening to create something that’s truly important as a turning point.
NDB: I think that’s absolutely correct. I would just add to that the point that the Sun and Moon are also about the distinct individual and the collective, and there’s also some sort of merging or interaction between those two forces. And, indeed, like when you look at a lot of the events that we’ve been looking at, it has often involved a singular individual doing what they can to manage some crisis that really actually has to do with the masses. Whether it’s Alexander the Great or Lincoln or Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela, or Napoleon—there’s sort of that singular individual who for whatever reason is meeting the needs or the crisis of the collective and molding it in some way. Their actions actually have some kind of impact.
CB: That’s such a great point ‘cause, yeah, the Sun in Hellenistic astrology represents the king or the leaders or even celebrities, whereas the Moon represents the masses and the public and the collective. And here we are seeing the intersection of those two things. That’s really interesting.
NDB: Yeah. That’s how I’ve always sort of seen the interaction between the Sun and Moon. Those are the two essential forces, let’s say, of politics, right? I mean, the singular challenge in having a political life is somehow mediating the needs of the individual with the needs of the collective, and every society has its own variant in managing that distinction or defining that distinction. But the basic building block of how we have a society, how we have a political world is determining the needs of the individual versus the needs of the collective.
CB: That’s brilliant. So maybe then I’m gonna summarize part of that and say that eclipses can sometimes represent moments when the action or even the fate of an individual can affect the collective and the world at large.
CB: All right, so we’re in our final section of just talking about conclusions that we can draw from all of this research. Clearly, I think we’ve shown here that eclipses can sometimes coincide with or can represent major turning points in world history. Clearly, they can be tough; I think we’ve shown that. Are they always bad though? No. Sometimes the endings they represent can be really stark in terms of those keywords that I always have of major beginnings and major endings, where they represent at the very least like the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. And sometimes the biggest end to something, the greatest end to something can be like the death of something or the end of a life cycle, whereas the biggest beginning of something can be new life. So I’m reminded of that famous ‘90s Semisonic song “Closing Time”, where they sing, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” If I had the rights to that I would play it right now, but I don’t.
NDB: I have it tattooed in Japanese on my arm, that same lyric.
CB: Oh, yeah.
NDB: That’s what they tell me anyway.
CB: Such a Joker. So as we’ve said earlier, like with most techniques, eclipses are an important and major factor—it’s a major timing technique—but obviously they are not the only technique or the only factor. There’s many other factors involved that we didn’t get into with each of these events that are always happening oftentimes, or sometimes happening simultaneously. So, for example, zodiacal releasing was one of the indicators I’ve used for Hirohito, indicating a major transition point in terms of career and overall life direction. It was indicated by the zodiacal releasing technique in that year, at the end of World War II, and especially when that declaration was made that he was no longer a god. So there’s different techniques that sometimes will point to the same time periods and sometimes will give you additional or give you more information about what’s actually gonna take place at that time beyond what the eclipse itself can tell you. So this technique should be used in conjunction with other techniques.
NDB: Yeah, absolutely. And I think the eclipse periods are those periods that sort of determine what the agenda is gonna be for the following six months. And all the transits, all the other planetary transits that are happening during the eclipse or following the eclipse sometimes—because they’re making configurations or conjunctions to the eclipse degree in particular—are sort of the response to whatever crisis the eclipse period sets up.
CB: For sure. Let’s see, there’s other factors, timing factors. We didn’t get into it with repetitions. For example, there’s a 19-year eclipse repetition thing that happens. One of the ones we didn’t go into we just had this solar eclipse in Libra, and there’s some of the stuff going on with Israel going into Gaza, and exactly 19 years earlier on the same day, Israel was doing a similar thing in terms of going into Gaza. So sometimes there’s these repetitions of eclipses at the same degrees which can connect together events in 19-year periods or other increments of time depending on the repetition.
NDB: Yeah. I just wanted to say what happens is that the Sun and Moon on their own have a 19-year return cycle. If you look at a New Moon, like the last New Moon we had at the eclipse, if you go back every 19 years prior to that there was always a New Moon. But in that 19-year New Moon cycle—or any sort of lunar cycle, the Full Moon as well—eventually the nodes sort of wander in and you get a sequence of eclipses with that lunation for a few 19-year returns and then the nodes wander off and they go back to just being New Moons, regular old lunations again, if if you catch my drift. So there is a 19-year pattern with the Sun and Moon, and then the eclipse cycle will sort of wander in, and for a period of time you’ll have a sequence of these same eclipses at the same degree every 19 years.
CB: Got it, okay. And then there’s also other patterns like the Saros series, which is sort of closer to an 18.5-year-type series. That’s something I’ve talked about previously in Episode 119 of The Astrology Podcast that was titled “The Astrology of Eclipses, with Bernadette Brady.” So you can look into that episode for more on that. I also actually have done a bunch of previous episodes where I showed how you can understand eclipses and how they relate to your life personally based on which houses they fall on in your birth chart. And if you do a search for “Eclipses as Transits in Astrology” you’ll see one of my previous core episodes on YouTube I did on that, doing a workshop. I’ve done at least two or three workshops on that in the past. Other things that we wanted to mention, I don’t think that eclipses cause events to happen, but they just act as omens or indicators that something important is happening at that point in time. And that’s obviously part of a broader discussion that’s been going on for 2,000 years in the astrological community of whether astrology works through signs or through causes or through the planets acting as signs or causes that we don’t have to get into.
NDB: Please don’t.
CB: Okay. Yeah, we won’t recapitulate that. But I just wanted to mention it ‘cause I was wondering if a non-astrologer is watching this—they’ve just watched this entire thing—and they’ve become sufficiently impressed, but then they’re wondering if we think the eclipses are causing like the Civil Rights Act to be passed in 1964 or what have you. Like I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. I do think there is a weird energy that happens in the month of eclipses, and especially in that two-week period in between two eclipses, and we’re kind of experiencing that now. But I often think that’s ‘cause the pace of events quickens and there’s all this stuff that starts happening in different stories, and different people’s lives start ascending or descending very rapidly. So I don’t know that the feeling of ‘eclipse energy’, if you want to call it that, if that’s due to some actual thing that’s tangible, or if it’s just due to the observation that the eclipses are coinciding with very important turning points at that point in time. But I tend to err more on the side of thinking that they are just indicators or markers of important points in time rather than causes.
NDB: Yeah. I mean, that’s a whole kettle of fish in itself. My tendency, or my verdict if I have one, is to think that if there’s a mechanism involved, if there’s something that’s making things happen, it’s something beyond the planets and stars that’s making the planets turn and making us you know have Civil Rights Acts or whatever. If anything’s causing any of this it’s not the planets, it’s something that’s sort of beyond all of it. But, yeah, that’s so hypothetical. It’s just my notion of how it all comes together.
CB: Sure, sure. All right other things—we’ve already said this, but to recapitulate one of the points I wanted to say was eclipses especially seem to relate to events that involve large groups of people. While they can be personalized for individuals for sure, they seem to relate especially to collectives and collective moments of change, beginnings and endings, birth and death. In eclipses we see the full range of human experience, from the absolute lowest depths of human tragedy and suffering to the achievement of the highest aspirations of freedom and liberation. So we’ve only scratched the surface here. We know that there are many more compelling examples of eclipses that we haven’t documented or didn’t document here. Our hope is that astrologers can take what we’ve done here in this episode and some of the research methodology that we’ve demonstrated, the approach we’ve demonstrated and replicated, especially in other specialist fields.
I was talking to an astrologer from Hawaii who has done a lot of work with like Native Hawaiian indigenous traditions and astrology and their views on eclipses, and she had pointed out some important moments in Hawaiian history. Like when the first British explorer, when the first European landed in Hawaii, James Cook, it coincided with an eclipse. And that’s something I hadn’t caught, but she caught because she’s working in that specific area. And I’m sure there’s so many other specialized areas where if somebody really wanted to drill down on a specific field of knowledge or a specific part of the world or culture or historical era that you could find just tons and tons of even more striking examples because that’s a thing in of itself. In this episode we focused especially on one-off events, singular events, but oftentimes events are part of a sequence of actions and a sequence of events; it’s like a process.
And one of the things actually—if you spend more time with eclipses, especially in personal charts—that you see is that the eclipses bounce back and forth between two houses in your chart for about a year-and-a-half. And what happens is the first time they start having eclipses in that sign, you’ll start seeing a series of changes in that area of your life, and it’ll eventually culminate, and then eventually it will end and pass away by the time that series is done taking place in six-month increments over the course of a year-and-a-half or two. But it’s like sometimes it’s a process and it’s a sequence that you can see as the eclipses keep bouncing back and forth in that area of your chart over a two-year period, and it gives you a greater sense of the process, that eclipses are often a process rather than just a singular event. And while we didn’t didn’t convey that very clearly in this episode, it’s something that I think when people start applying this they’ll see more clearly.
NDB: Yeah, absolutely. Maybe with the use of my database for purchase at theastrologypodcast.com/database.
CB: For sure. I would definitely recommend people availing themselves of that because that’s such a valuable thing that you’ve released and that we’ve used. Thank you for allowing me to use that, and all the work that you put into that. I’m glad that we’ve gotten a chance to hear—as well as in other episodes of the past years—and to take advantage of all the research you did to create something very concrete for the astrological community by presenting this research. And I hope people will take advantage and get your database so they can take part in that, and take part in some of this research.
What a great time to be an astrologer. Like imagine the Mesopotamian tradition thousands of years ago. It’s like they were observing these things. They were going outside every night, they’re observing the stars. They were especially paying attention to and watching eclipses and then noting what happened, and then passing those things forward in cuneiform tablets and in oral traditions over centuries. But what a great time for us to be astrologers where we can have something like a database that has 20,000 charts that you can search through at the click of a button and just do all this amazing research with. There’s truly like no better time in history to be an astrologer I think.
NDB: That was exactly my thought. I started making the database in the spring of 1999 when Solar Fire Version 4 came out. It was the hot, new version of Solar Fire. And suddenly you could do what I wanted to do, which was make all these files and do all this cross-referencing. So, in other words, the technology was only just becoming available when I started making the database. An astrologer who started studying 10 years before me would not have had that available to them the way I did. And of course that’s over 20 years ago now and everything has accelerated. So, yeah, this is a really exciting time. I just want to remind people when Galileo used a telescope to find the four moons of Jupiter, he was using a telescope that was using new lens technology that had only been developed that year. So, in other words, when Galileo saw the moons of Jupiter—look, Galileo was still Galileo, he’s still a genius. But that telescope he’s using to see the moons of Jupiter, it only came into existence as he was starting that work.
CB: Wasn’t that an eclipse, by the way?
NDB: I can’t remember off the top of my head.
NDB: Not to compare myself to Galileo, but it’s that same feeling like, yeah, you can do something really incredible as soon as the technology becomes available. So, yeah, I hope a lot of astrologers do avail themselves of this database ‘cause it really does kick you into a whole other dimension in terms of what you can do research-wise, learning-wise and so forth.
CB: For sure. Speaking of that, the emergence of AI that we’ve seen in artificial intelligence over the past year and that we’ve talked about, we did try applying some of that to this research. Although it’s funny ‘cause we’re like right on the cusp of that being a tool that’s gonna be super useful, that’s gonna really accelerate astrologers’ research. But it failed ‘cause basically ChatGPT is still hallucinating and it doesn’t do very well with astronomical data. It will come up with fake dates basically when you ask it to look at planetary alignments. So we’re still at a point where the technology’s not quite there but it’s almost there, and we can kind of see that we’re on the cusp of something huge in terms of that.
NDB: I did take a perverse pleasure in seeing you struggling with ChatGPT when I was just playing around with my database.
NDB: For the time being my database is far superior to ChatGPT. Patrick Watson and I are working on ways to make the development of my database cohesive with the development of AI technology, and so we’re working on a bunch of different ways to do that. And hopefully we either succeed or the gains we make helps someone else succeed down the road.
CB: Yeah. If anybody has any specialist training and wants to reach out to help with that or has any ways that they could, then feel free to reach out to us.
NDB: Yeah, please do. So far I’ve had quite a few people reach out, and it’s almost like I’ll get to you when I’m ready to get to you. But, yeah, it’s not something that’s gonna happen overnight. But, yeah, absolutely, this is gonna be a joint project in the end.
CB: Yeah, well, it’s something I’d been working on, but I’m interested in moving forward with it in some form with software and AI. ‘Cause I could see in this instance how if some of that stuff was in place this would have been even more extravagant. We could have gone even further with this if we hadn’t been doing it manually. But it also just gives you an idea that all we had to do was think of major events in history—like what are the major historical events that you learn about in school that everybody knows about—and cast a chart, and then we would see it’s right there, there’s an eclipse.
CB: That was often the experience we were having. So there’s a lot more to learn and find out I think in the future.
NDB: Absolutely, absolutely. And it’s got to be a collective movement. I made a lot of progress developing the database, but this took me over 20 years to develop, and it’s gonna get to the point where someone could recreate the same database maybe in a matter of days and a matter of hours. So I envy those of you who will be able to avail yourselves of that kind of effort. Although spending over 20 years making a database certainly is an education in itself. No regrets.
CB: And all of us stand on the shoulders of giants in terms of our astrological predecessors, and I think what you’ve built is one of those things that others will stand on your shoulders in taking things forward.
NDB: Thank you.
CB: So hopefully in the comments other astrologers can do this research and let us know what other major historical events you found that coincided with an eclipse. And if you see any then please leave it as a comment below this YouTube video and let us know, and that can be a way that we can continue some of this research in the future. But otherwise I think a final remark I wanted to say is just that by reaching back into our history here with eclipses over the past 4,000 years, we have laid a new foundation for the future and the next 4,000 years of the astrological tradition. So thanks a lot, buddy, for doing this with me.
NDB: My pleasure, friend.
CB: Thanks everybody for joining us for this episode of The Astrology Podcast. Thanks especially to all the patrons who support my work on The Astrology Podcast through my page on Patreon because that’s what allows me to spend all the time doing research like this and then presenting it to the world for free instead of putting it behind a paywall. So I thank you, I appreciate it. Feel free to sign up if you want to support this work in the future. But otherwise—oh, yeah, what’s your website, Nick?
NDB: NickDaganBestAstrologer.com. Open for business: consultations, rectifications, electionals. Just your plain old country astrologer with a little shingle out.
CB: Good. And you can—
NDB: Come find me if you want me.
CB: —apply this to people’s natal charts in order to help them understand how eclipses have been relevant in their personal life. It’s one of the things you do in addition to Venus retrogrades and a number of other techniques.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s all a big kit of tools that you can use for different occasions.
CB: Amazing. All right, well, I think that’s it for this episode. So thanks everyone for watching or listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast, and we’ll see you again next time.
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