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.


Notes -  The 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. Click here for more information.

To Dare to Dream
An Eclipse with Mercury in
the Manger 
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, 2027.

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. [1]  The fact that it also occurred at the solstice adds a strong focus on action which affects us all.
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).



The Manger 1025-1050
Painting of unknown origin.

Mercury in 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.

The 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 month).


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.


[1] Brady, Bernadette. (1992, 1998) Predictive Astrology, the Eagle and the Lark. Maine, USA: Samuel Weiser. pg 324.


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From Turmoil To Challenge
by Darrelyn Gunzburg


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.

Any planet/luminary 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 possible tragedy.

Nergal and Erishkigal [1]



The 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 surface.


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.

So this 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.


On 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.

Example: President Barack Obama

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 Obama's Saturn:

Barack Obama has Saturn culminating when Ankaa is rising (from SPC):
A path maker - someone who can build new direction from chaos.
To learn that difficulties are really a source of strength, a source of new beginnings.


Obama’s 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.

Barack 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 culminating
(from SPC): Building and seeking honour in daily life.

The spiritual and/or physical warrior striving to express themselves.

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 (Saturn-Altair).

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 eclipse.

In summary…

* 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.




[1] Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer. 1983  Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth, Her Stories and Hymns From Sumer. New York: Harper & Row.pg.43.

SPC is Brady, Bernadette. (2008) Star and Planet Combinations. Bournemouth, UK: Wessex Astrologer.