To Dare to Dream - An
Eclipse with Mercury in the Manger. Considering the
forthcoming solar eclipse and its relationship to Mercury.
From Turmoil To Challenge.
Looking at the Venus Mars on the Horns of the Bull at
the time of the eclipse.
Online seminars on Visual Astrology are next weekend - 25
and 26 July. If you have a PC and the inclination, why not
come along to these two three-hour intensives on reading a
natal sky map with Bernadette Brady.
for more information.
To Dare to Dream
An Eclipse with Mercury in
Bernadette Brady MA
This month sees a solar eclipse at
29 Cancer on 22 July. This particular eclipse belongs to the
Saros cycle known either as Saros Cycle 11 South, using the
astrological system of Carl Jansky, or Number 136, using the
astronomical system created by van den Bergh in the 1950s.
Every 18 years and some 9-to-11 days a Saros Series will
produce a solar eclipse. There are 18-to-20 Saros Series
active at any one time thus we have at a minimum a solar
eclipse twice a year, once when the sun transits the North
node and again when it transits the South node. By knowing the
actual Saros cycle to which an eclipse belongs we can examine
the chart for the origins of the particular series and thereby
gain an understanding of of the quality of all the eclipses
within the series.
This particular Saros cycle
began on 14 June, 1360, at the South Pole.
It occurred at the time of the
solstice (00 Cancer) and its origin chart
contained a Mars-Pluto conjunction, and Uranus at 190
Gemini was on the midpoint of Mercury at 190
Cancer and Venus at 190 Taurus.
It is currently around the
midpoint of this twelve hundred year cycle. This cycle
will not be completed until 30 July, 2622.
The last eclipse in the series
was the 11 July, 1991, and the next will be 2 August,
The chart for
the first eclipse in the
Saros Series 11 South (136 van den Bergh numbering).
In "Predictive Astrology" I delineated this series as
concerned with the need to make sudden reforms. Old ideas or
outmoded systems will fail and new systems will be required to
deal with the events brought about by the eclipse. As a
consequence all of us will need to think of new ways of
handling our ongoing problems and any blocks could be
violently removed.  The fact that it also occurred at
the solstice adds a strong focus on action which affects us
Thus we are in a period of violent and rapid change where
issues are found wanting both in our personal lives as well as
in the global situation. Already I note that here in the UK
the army is demanding more equipment to deal with heightened
military action. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
The bandaids on the world's banking systems will now start to
peel off and be shown to be insufficient to really solve the
problems within that sector. Indeed we will begin to see the
true nature and depth of some of the issue that are facing us
as a global community. Yet for all its intensity there is a
positive side to this eclipse which occurs on the 22 July, for
Mercury, the messenger, moves to sit right in the middle of
the Manger, a small cluster of stars on the shell of
Cancer the Crab, discussed in the last newsletter (June 2009).
Painting of unknown origin.
the "Manger" on 22 July, 2009,
and the eclipse which occurs on
the edge of the constellation.
Nabu, (left, c. 745 B.C.E.)
is the messenger of Babylonian astrology and the holder of
destiny. He is represented within their writings as
carrying information, informing conversations, bringing
lies and gossip or bringing truths to the ear of the king
(Saturn or the Sun).
To have him placed in the Manger at the time of this
stressful eclipse that is revealing the inadequacies of
the way we are dealing with problems is to suggest that
new ideas have a beginning.
constellation Cancer with
Mercury in The Manger.
This is a time to dream. This is a time to dare to think of
new pathways, of new concepts. This is a time to take that
small step which can become a great leap forward (to
paraphrase Neil Armstrong's famous line 40 years ago this
So keep a look out globally in this month for the small voice,
the minute idea, the miniscule news item which is saying
something different, which has a unique angle on a world
problem. This is the time of the birth of an idea both
globally as well as in your own life. Take that small step.
 Brady, Bernadette. (1992, 1998) Predictive
Astrology, the Eagle and the Lark. Maine, USA: Samuel Weiser.
From Turmoil To Challenge
There is a
pulsing sky story of mutual love and a deep, intense,
sexual passion. It is the passionate embrace of Venus (Erishkigal)
and Mars (Nergal) which in the course of their travels
through the ecliptic, allows them to connect and separate,
connect and separate again, loving, monogamous, time apart
and time together (See VAN April 2008). In June of this
year Nergal and Erishkigal ran towards each other through
the Swallows (the constellation Pisces) and held each
other in a lovers’ clinch in the Stare of Cetus.
travelling through this part of the sky is ‘trapped’
across the ecliptic between the stare of the sea monster
and the stare of Algol. This part of the sky adds a level
of independence to any planet. However, this comes at a
price, for the person has a choice to make, either to
engage willingly with difficult personal, family or global
issues and gain great insight, or avoid confrontation and
find that hidden issues erupt with great intensity and
conjunction of Venus (Erishkigal) and Mars (Nergal) comes with
its own fusion of intensity but in June, when they were also
crossing the Stare of Cetus, high-octane fuel just got
inputted to their passion. So for you personally in June, if
you were willing to put prejudices aside, you may have learnt
new information that changed your biases or prejudices in your
personal relationships, or else been forced to face
unconscious hidden issues that were suddenly brought to the
Now in July, with their passion spent, Venus (Erishkigal)
and Mars (Nergal) have begun their separation in the Horns
of the Great Bull of Heaven.
story of intense passion and monogamous grip has moved
from turmoil (the Stare of Cetus) to challenge (the Horns
of the Great Bull).
This is the
time to actively fix up any old problems in your life or
suffer the consequences as they return to bite you.
Mercury in the Manger
with the Eclipse
In this same time period there is a solar eclipse as Mercury
moves into the asterism in The Crab known as The Manger (see
article above). So any little seeds planted now may seem tiny
but if they are held correctly and nourished appropriately,
they can grow into great ideas, great centres of thought and
achievement. Since the eclipse at SS 11 South (29
degrees Cancer) is connected with old ideas or methods that
start to fail, collapse or are violently or tragically removed
in some way, then it would seem that this is a time ripe for
new thinking that starts in small ways.
a personal level if you have any planet or luminary at 29
degrees of cardinal then the eclipse is affecting you, so be
aware that in your life old ideas or methods will fail and you
will be asked to think of new ways of handling the issues.
Look at where your interest lie, the ideas with which you
tussle, the articles or books you are writing or intend to
write, and recognize that with appropriate foundations, care
and cultivation, they can become great oaks of your thinking.
A public example to watch is Barack Obama who has the eclipse
opposite his natal 12th house Saturn at 25 degrees Capricorn.
Firstly, let us consider the fixed stars that sit underneath
Barack Obama has Saturn culminating when Ankaa is rising (from
A path maker - someone who can build new direction from
To learn that difficulties are really a source of strength, a
source of new beginnings.
Saturn is not only in rulership, making it effective in
expression but it is sextile to his MC, making it
pro-active. This placement in the 12th house means he must
use this strength for and on behalf of the people he
serves as President of the USA. The planet gains the skill
of hard work and commitment via its trine to Mars in Virgo
on the cusp of the 8th house and in the same sign as it,
and it also receives the Saturn (Mars is exalted in
Capricorn), adding impetus to its expression.
Obama, 4 August 1961.
Honolulu, Hawaii. 19.24 AHST
So this aspect suggests a skill at being able to work long and
hard at bringing irrevocable change to the masses, and then to
build a new direction from the upheaval (Saturn-Ankaa),
allowing difficulties to be the grit in the oyster that serves
as the pearl of new beginnings.
Barack Obama also has Saturn culminating when Altair is
(from SPC): Building and seeking honour in daily life.
The spiritual and/or physical warrior striving to express
The principal of Altair in the constellation Aquila the Eagle
is boldness and military power but it carries with it the
divine fire of inspiration which transforms into
determination, the ability to achieve through risk-taking or
dogged determination. It is a star of action and strength not
just for its own sake but also in serving others. Being in
paran with Obama’s Saturn it suggests risk-taking and new
solutions that perhaps come out of left of field but which
contain the spark of inspiration and determination
So when all of the above is melded with the eclipse on the 22
July, 2009, that is occurring opposite Obama’s natal Saturn
this suggest that as the old ideas or methods start to fail,
collapse or are violently or tragically removed in some way
(eclipse SS11 South), through dogged determination
(Saturn-Altair), President Obama sets in motion new
risk-taking ideas, such as new plans or new bills of
legislation, which bring irrevocable change to the USA’s
systems or structural components (Saturn-Ankaa).
Time will tell how these events pan out but for you personally
if you have the eclipse on a planet or luminary , look at what
parans sit underneath that planet or luminary and then
consider what this means for you in connection with this
* Actively fix up any old problems in your life - The Solar
Eclipse from Saros Series 11 South, and emphasised by Venus (Erishkigal)
and Mars (Nergal) in the Horns of the Great Bull of Heaven. *
Cultivate the seeds of new ideas to become great oaks of your
thinking. * Find new ways of handling old issues.
Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer. 1983 Inanna
Queen of Heaven and Earth, Her Stories and Hymns From
Sumer. New York: Harper & Row.pg.43.
is Brady, Bernadette. (2008) Star and Planet Combinations.
Bournemouth, UK: Wessex Astrologer.