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On May 20th, the first annular eclipse in 18 years will be visible from the United States. Albuquerque, New Mexico is said to be the best urban location to view this “ultimate astronomical event.” An annular eclipse occurs when the moon covers most of the sun’s disk leaving a thin ring of light around the edge appearing as a “ring of fire.”
And, yes, here we are in southwestern Colorado, on the edge of the eclipse path, wondering just how much we will be able to see. And since we’re not too far from Albuquerque, we just might get lucky…
The Sun will be low on the horizon for the event: 1st contact (when the Moon begins to cover the Sun) takes place at 6:28 pm MDT. 2nd contact (when the Moon is completely within the disk of the Sun) is at 7:33 pm, and will last for 4 minutes and 26 seconds at optimum viewing. 3rd contact is at 7:38 pm (when the Moon touches the edge of the disk of the Sun on its way out of the Sun’s disk). The Sun sets at 8:20 pm, before the eclipse is over, so it should be an interesting event to watch.
May’s event is called an annular or “ring” eclipse because the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun but will cover only 88% of it. The undersize lunar disk results because the eclipse occurs just one day after the Moon reaches apogee, the most distant point in its orbit around Earth. So the black lunar silhouette will appear completely surrounded by the Sun’s disk from a generously wide path that’s at least 150 miles (240 km) across. Astronomers refer to this kind of incomplete lunar shadow as an antumbra.
Now all that is astronomy. What about the astrology of it?
As always, eclipses are paramount celestial events in Earth’s annual cycle around the Sun. From four to six lunar (full Moons) and solar (new Moons) eclipses take place each year, and they occur in pairs. (A full Moon lunar eclipse follows a new Moon solar eclipse, or vice versa). As long as I have tracked eclipses, I have found that the events and energies within two weeks before and after each eclipse (what I refer to as the “eclipse window”) is a period packed full of feelings, synchronicities, omens and messages that resonate with the collective evolutionary intention and ultimate direction of humanity and all life on planet Earth at any particular point in time. Deaths and births, shocking news, scandals, breakthroughs and epiphanies take place during these poignant, powerful days and weeks. Princess Diana and Mother Teresa both passed during the Virgo/Pisces eclipse cycle of 1997. Virgo and Pisces reverberate with service, humility, compassion and spirituality. Michael Jackson left us during the Cancer/Capricorn eclipse cycle of 2009. We looked at the issues of parent, child, power and dependence. George H. Walker Bush announced the invasion of and “first” War in Iraq during the eclipse cycle of January 1991. Another Capricorn message regarding government and power.
This eclipse cycle began a couple weeks ago, with the advent of the May 5th Scorpio/Taurus supermoon. A high point in the graph comes about on Sunday, May 20th with the annular solar eclipse at 01º21’ Gemini. Two weeks later, on June 4th, a lunar eclipse bookends the cycle at 14º14’ Gemini. The following two weeks, we integrate the energies, events, epiphanies, etc. of what we have experienced. All I can say is, pay attention to what you do, say, hear and see, where you go and how you feel. Open your heart, follow your intuition and let Spirit be your guide.
Aries (Mar. 20-Apr.19) An extraordinary annular solar eclipse takes place on May 20th as the Sun moves into mutable Gemini. This translates as an extremely powerful new, multi-dimensional beginning in almost every facet of your life. The way you think, talk, communicate and actually perceive reality has transformed. What once was, no longer is. Embrace the magic and go with it.
Taurus (Apr. 20-May 20) A rather long period of education and learning comes to an end. 18 years of exploring life via trial and error comes to a close. You can see the value of every stumble and ascent, understand the equation of action and consequence and embrace the power of personal choice. Once upon a time, you blamed others for distress and pain. No more. It’s up to you.
Gemini (May 21-June 21) Gemini symbolizes learning gained by the exploration of duality. As the first air sign, it represents the development of mental perception, intelligence and communication. This week, the Gemini solar eclipse aligns with the Pleiades star system, opening your heart and mind to cosmic consciousness via stellar transmission. Embrace the flow and stay in the light.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) You may feel mysteriously adrift in the numinous waters of cosmic consciousness or lost in a dream world of divine light and stellar intelligence. Whatever the manifestation, relax and let it flow. Connect with people and friends who inspire and uplift you. As you move into a period of heightened creative sensitivity, protect your muses and take care.
Leo (July 23-Aug.22) Solar eclipses are extra-powerful new Moons, signaling major endings and beginnings. Take a look at where you were 18 years ago, in the spring of 1994. The completion of a cycle and a spiral to the next level is taking place. Pay attention to the signs and omens, especially the people and places that inspire you. Stick with the winners and do the next right thing.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep.22) A grand new plan for your personal achievement and success is on the table. Take time to examine, assess and execute the terms via action. You know exactly what you need to do. Routine and practice are keys to making it work, one day at a time. Self-defeating, self-destructive patterns and behaviors are history. It’s time to think, act and be positive. Yes!
Libra (Sep. 23-Oct. 22) A potent solar eclipse in fellow air-sign Gemini awakens higher-self being and living. Inter-galactic messages are emanating throughout the cosmos, adjust your antennae and tune the dial via quiet calm and inner peace. Spiritual practice is the best practice these days and times. This includes daily walks, a healthy diet, meditation and prayer. Look and listen.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) Soul and psyche rule this week as the Moon eclipses the Sun in your solar 8th house of deep sharing and pairing. This is an excellent time to start fresh in your most intimate and committed relationships. Cultivate rigorous self-honesty as you express feelings and communicate needs. Karma plays a powerful role here. Give to others what you want to receive.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 20) Take a stroll down memory lane and explore the places and remember the people in your life 18 years ago. Whoever and wherever you were then is now winking goodbye and encouraging you to glean the lessons, embrace the wisdom and start fresh in life’s precious journey of love and learning. Surround yourself with goodness and go forth.
Capricorn (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) The Sun and Moon conjoin the Pleiades in a powerful solar eclipse this week, turning the page on another saros cycle that connects you with days and themes of 1994. Something significant from then is ending now. Take a deep breath, count your blessings and consider your commitment to spiritual rebirth and physical renewal. It’s time for a daily practice.
Aquarius (Jan. 19-Feb. 18) The sacred path of the warrior beckons to humanitarian Aquarians as the Moon conjoins the Sun in fellow air-sign Gemini. Armed with compassion, loving-kindness and an open and courageous heart, you do no wrong. Remain flexible in the face of adversity and focus on solutions rather than dwelling on what went wrong. Humility and gratitude are allies.
Pisces (Feb. 18-Mar. 20) Today we associate intelligence with learning skill, verbal acuity and problem-solving, but there are many paths to acquiring and applying knowledge. This week, you are somewhat like a cell phone tower as ruler Neptune squares the solar eclipse. Cosmic and psychic information flows. Tap into intuition and heart-centered wisdom. Look, learn and listen.
Cynthia is a third generation astrologer living on a high mountain mesa 40 miles west of Telluride. Visit her website @ www.alacazem.com.