The Solar Eclipse of the Century and The Eclipses of July/August 2009

by Daniel Giamario

When determined by length (six minutes 39 seconds) and centrality (the umbra only 275 miles north of the center of the earth) the total solar eclipse of July 21 through July 22 is rightly called the Solar Eclipse of the Century. None will surpass it until 2114. This solar eclipse is part of Saros Cycle 136 that has produced the longest eclipses over the last several hundred years. The term Saros refers to a “family” of eclipses that repeat about every 18 years and 11 days. This particular Saros began in June of 1360 and finishes up in July of 2622, a total of 71 eclipses over 1262 years. This Saros cycle gave us the longest total solar eclipses of the last century, including the only three eclipses over seven minutes long in 1937, 1955 and 1973. Every eclipse in this family from 1901 until 2063 is over six minutes, a length justifying the title “Great Eclipse”.

It is interesting writing this from Hawaii, as I had the opportunity to co-facilitate a two week event on the Big Island for the Great Eclipse of 1991 that covered parts of Hawaii before tracking across Mexico. On July 21, those of us in Hawaii will be able to see a 15% partial eclipse, but North America misses the show. The central track of totality stretches from India, across Bhutan, over China and Japan and then out into the Pacific. Hundreds of millions of people will have an opportunity to experience this Great Eclipse of the Sun, total and partial. Interestingly, the central track of totality just barely misses the top of Mount Everest. Many websites and publications offer detailed data on the exact track of the eclipse.

Eclipse seasons happen twice a year spaced around six months apart, and last just over four weeks. The centrality of this total solar eclipse places July 21 through July 22 right at the center of the eclipse season, producing the relatively rare situation of three eclipses within one season, in this case rather minor penumbral lunar eclipses, two weeks before and after the total solar. There has been surfacing some alarmists and sensationalized material recently with regard to this triple eclipse season, much of which has been coming out of India. The research presents the case that a lunar-solar-lunar sequence is connected with great wars and turmoil. Maybe so, but the situation is not really all that rare. In fact, three eclipses in one season occurs around eight times ever 28 years, averaging every 3.5 years, or eight of every 59 eclipse seasons. Here are the most recent and next ones (note capital L for Lunar or capital S for Solar indicates that a lunar or solar eclipse starts the triple sequence):

L 1998
S 2000
L 2002
L 2009
S 2011
L 2013
L 2020

One thing is sure. If there is anything to the dire predictions, we will find out soon, due to the extreme centrality of the solar eclipse. Consider the following: a really long total solar eclipse requires three things

1)    The syzygy is when the Sun and Moon line up (New Moon)
2)    A close nodal  conjunction at syzygy
3)    Maximum perigee -closest approach of the Moon to the Earth.

In this case the perigee is just 6.3 hours before the New Moon Solar Eclipse and is the nearest perigee of the Moon this year, just 222,128 miles. The next closest doesn’t occur until November 14, 2016. The high tides phenomena and the possible connection to earthquakes is well known, plus visually the Moon is really big especially as it is rising. Then just 75 minutes before exact syzygy, the Sun reaches the exact south node, almost exactly in the precise center of the eclipse season. These factors together create the most central eclipse of the century, not to be equaled until 2114.

The Shamanic Astrology Mystery School chooses not to describe positive/negative, good/bad dualistic judgments to any event or cycle. The really negative interpretations historically attributed to eclipses are well known and taken into consideration. Also, we do not make the mistake of some light polarized all optimistic meaning.

Simply put, a lunar eclipse is a super Full Moon and a solar eclipse is a super New Moon. A central, over six minutes long, total solar eclipse is as super as a New Moon can get! There are two other factors to consider:

1) The physical path of the track of totality, pointing our attention to those regions of the earth darkened, example, India, Tibet, China, and partial over North Korea.
2) This is a south node solar eclipse. The shadow of the past cannot be suppressed or denied. Embracing the shadow precedes the new seeding occurring at a New Moon.

Note that the lunar eclipses surrounding the total solar eclipse are both north node (future oriented) eclipses. These two full moons on July 7 at 15 Capricorn 24, August 5 at 13 Aquarius 43 may help illuminate the central issues facing global humanity. The Full Moon of Aquarius that occurs every year in late July through August has been seen by many to be a truly celestial portal, the Full Moon of vision quest and the Ascended Masters.

As for all of these great astronomical cosmological events, in the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School we encourage participation with our awareness, and holding ceremonial space for the rapidly accelerating plan of Great Mystery.

1) The 10% to 15% partial solar eclipse begins about 5:00pm on Tuesday
afternoon, July 21 and lasts until about 6:15 pm Hawaii time. Make sure to get some kind of solar filter for safe viewing of the partial eclipse.

2) Since Hawaii is south of 23 degree north latitude, it is in the geographical zone where twice a year, the sun will be exactly on the zenith, a situation where there is NO SHADOW! This is an interesting complement to the time of shadow with the eclipses. On Maui, this phenomena happens in May and July and is called “lahaina noon.” This July, on the Lahaina side of Maui it happens on July 17 at 12:32 pm and on the Hana side it occurs July 18 at 12:30pm. I believe it is July 19th on the Big Island around the same time.

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