In the hours after the brutal attacks on the innocent people in Brussels on March 22, 2016, I have been horrified, much as I was horrified by the attacks on the people of Paris in November 2015. This was, of course, no ‘ordinary’ attack, and was deliberately done to create maximum carnage and fear.
Being an astrologer I was of course interested to see exactly what would indicate this. The first attack took place (by currently available reports) in their main airport shortly after 8:00 am local time. The second came approximately one hour later in their subway system. While we do not have the exact minute of the detonation(s), we can come very, very close.
When I first looked at this chart I was astounded – a mere hours before a Full Moon. But this is no ordinary Full Moon, it is a Lunar Eclipse. Since for many years (decades) I have worked with eclipse charts and done an annual review of each year’s coming eclipses, I returned to my notes when working on this lecture early last fall.
The area(s) of the world most affected by eclipses are those where the eclipse is visible. A Lunar Eclipse is visible to literally half the world – anywhere where someone can see the Moon at the time of the exact opposition of the Moon with the Sun. This eclipse was a Penumbral eclipse, in other words a ‘minor’ eclipse as lunar eclipses go. Most astrologers do not pay attention to these, however I use only the data generated by NASA, and NASA does recognize these as eclipses.
In my personal eclipse papers I noted that the area where the Moon would be visible extended from the eastern-most portions of Brazil through the Middle East. Thus all of Europe and all of Africa would have the greatest effects of this eclipse.
Length of Effects
For a lunar eclipse we need to pay attention to the total length of the eclipse – from the moment the Moon enters the Earth’s shadow (or in the case of a Penumbral eclipse such as this, the ‘partial’ shadow), until the Moon has completely passed this shadow. The total length of this eclipse is 4 hours and 15 minutes.
Once we have this information we can determine how long the effects of the eclipse will last. For a Lunar Eclipse, the number of hours equates to the number of months of the effects. Thus, we can expect the effect to linger for approximately 4 months and 1 week. Astrologically it will take until at least the end of July before Brussels – and Europe in general – for people to ‘get through’ this energy.
Eclipse Placement and Ruler
For a Lunar Eclipse we always look to the position of the Moon to identify the eclipse placement and sign, and the planetary ruler of this sign which is identified as the eclipse ruler. The sign the Moon is in, and its planetary ruler, are of considerable significance. And while these attacks on Brussels occurred on March 22, for Brussels the eclipse itself is almost EXACTLY at the Immum Coeli, the IC or 4th House cusp. An eclipse conjunct the MC/IC axis is always more powerful in that “line” of terrestrial longitude.
Thus, not only is Brussels affected by this eclipse, but ALL countries having close to this degree of longitude will be affected. Notably this is specifically much of western Europe, and locations in Africa with similar longitude. In Mundane Astrology the IC and 4th House are directly associated with countries and their people. This is their home and directly relates to their patriotism.
And while at this writing (less than 24 hours following the attack) reports are still scattered and inconsistent, it appears that evacuations have also occurred in the city of Toulouse, France… again very close to this same degree of longitude.
While at the time of the attack the Moon was in the sign of Virgo (ruled by Mercury), the eclipse itself takes place at 3 degrees of Libra, ruled by Venus. In both the attack chart and the eclipse chart itself Mercury is conjunction the Sun; in the attack chart Mercury is at 0 Aries – the Aries Point, the most sensitive degree of the entire zodiac! Following an event of this kind it takes some time to assess the situation, due to the magnitude of the effects.
Interestingly reports are now coming in that the Belgian telephone system is ‘overloaded’ and not functioning, clearly a Mercury-type issue. However, by Wednesday (the actual day of the eclipse) the Venus energy will begin to become apparent with an outpouring of sympathy from many countries of the world – each of which could potentially be a similar target of similar terrorists.
This attack was directly upon the country and people of Belgium, the seat of the European Union. However, it needs to be noted that this eclipse also affects The Netherlands – home to both The Hague and NATO. The Netherlands also lie very close to this eclipse MC/IC axis by longitude. The European Union has developed in part to open borders between the countries to allow for easier trade and access among the countries of Europe. The Hague stands as a bastion to unite the countries of the world. And NATO developed post-WWII and was meant to serve as a bond uniting Europe and the west in combatting attacks on their countries.
ALL THREE – the European Union, The Hague and NATO – are likely to change policies (more later!) following this tragic event.
An ‘Astrological” Look at the Lunar Eclipse
When I first looked at this eclipse chart last fall one thing ‘stood out’ as being highly significant: the Jupiter-Saturn square, which is EXACT to the minute! Jupiter is at 16 Virgo 24, and Saturn is at 16 Sagittarius 24. While astrological literature is abundant with descriptions of this aspect, it is very clear these two planets do NOT work well together. Jupiter wants its ‘freedom’ and is happy-go-lucky, freewheeling and (sometimes overly) optimistic. Saturn is the complete antithesis – it wants rules and regulations, strict adherence to these, and yes it is (sometimes overly) pessimistic.
Clearly the European Union and The Hague were meant to be Jupiterian and bring people ‘together’. However, this Jupiter square to Saturn would indicate the attacks in Brussels, not long after the attacks in Paris, will force world leaders to re-evaluate things. For the European Union I would expect that border and transportation hub cities will become far more strict in the way they allow people to pass. Passports, visas and customs will no longer be a ‘quick and easy’ brush through paperwork, and each individual will come under greater scrutiny as the exodus from the Middle East continues throughout Europe.
For both the Hague and NATO, this attack is likely to generate a world-wide response, because the terrorists have no ‘recognition’ for the value of people or human life. Attacks such as this one on Brussels, the one late last year on Paris, and numerous other (mainly unreported) ‘minor’ incidents in other parts of Europe and the world will finally open the eyes of world leaders that this is a world-wide issue. The countries of the world will NEED to act together simply to protect their citizens and homelands. However, a Lunar Eclipse is an opposition, so agreement on how best to do this will not come quickly or easily. It is likely each country will take individual steps based on its peoples and issues. Agreement among countries does not seem to be ‘on the drawing board’.
Looking further at this eclipse chart I also noted (yes, last fall) that there are NO planets in Fixed Signs!! This is highly unusual, and indicates the situation is ‘fluid’ and no immediate resolution – of any kind – is in the foreseeable future. People will be ‘acting’ (cardinal energy), and ‘changing’ things (mutable energy), but there will be NO settlement or agreement on how best to resolve the issues (no earth-stability), at least for now.
And, if we look at the planet Saturn, we see that Venus is in square aspect to it. Yes there is a 3-degree separation, but this is an applying aspect, thus it is getting stronger. It needs to be remembered that Venus is the RULER of this eclipse. Venus is the lesser benefic to Jupiter; it wants peace and harmony. Saturn wants rules and regulations. The result is there will be less peace and harmony, and rules and regulations will be difficult to attain. Yes, there are likely to be ‘new’ rules, and no one will be happy.
A little more than a century ago the astrologer Walter Gorn Old (who used the penname Sepharial) presented a means of identifying when the results of an eclipse would ‘manifest’. This technique has some questions, but does give something to look for.
An eclipse chart is calculated for the moment when the Moon is directly opposition the Sun. However, it is a LOCATION-SPECIFIC chart. This means that the eclipse chart for Brussels will not look the same as the eclipse charts for London or New York City or Sydney, Australia – even though the chart is calculated for the exact same moment in time.
The chart I have used is for the exact time of the eclipse for Brussels (50N50, 4E20), the target of the attacks. It is set for 12:01 pm GMT on March 23, the exact moment of the opposition of the Moon and Sun.
The MC for this chart is 6 Aries 31, with the Sun just inside of the 9th House at 3 Aries 17. The Ascendant is 0 Leo 25. It is the Ascendant that requires attention in Sepharial’s method. This is a two-step method, which first requires identifying the luminary which last passed over the Ascendant. In this chart it is the Sun. The second part is to count the number of degrees between the Ascendant and this luminary. In this chart the Sun is 117 degrees from the Ascendant. This number of degrees will tell us in how many days after the eclipse event we will see the ‘peak’ response to the eclipse energy. The ‘outcome’ of this eclipse energy therefore will not be manifest until the end of July.
It should be noted that this is an unusual chart in that the MC and Ascendant are in a TRINE aspect, as is the Sun with the Ascendant. Thus it would seem that the world leaders (such as the European Union, The Hague and NATO) will indeed step-up to address the stresses created by this eclipse. With the eclipse Sun in the 9th House for Brussels, an international response would be expected. And even if by late July new regulations are put into place, this is a cardinal-mutable eclipse (remember – NO earth), such efforts will change as time goes forward. And as said earlier, there is likely to be no agreement as to what will be the best way to implement these changes.
The Saros Cycle Influence
Every eclipse belongs to a ‘family’ of eclipses known as a Saros Cycle. These Saros families were actually identified in ancient times by the Chaldeans, who observed these 18-year Saros cycles – that Lunations and Eclipses will occur at the EXACT same position in the sky every 18 years, 11-1/2 days. It was unquestionably their greatest contribution to both astronomy and astrology.
To give further ‘depth’ to the reading of an eclipse chart we need to look to the eclipse chart for the FIRST eclipse of its kind (either Solar or Lunar) in the family. This eclipse will ‘set the pace’ for the entire ‘family’. Again taking data from the NASA website, this eclipse belongs to what NASA identifies as Saros 142, and is the 18th of a total of 74 lunar eclipses in this family.
The first lunar eclipse for Saros 142 occurred on September 19, 1709 at 12:31 am GMT. In calculating a chart for Brussels for this time (remember, the chart IS location-specific), there are two major oppositions. The first is of course the eclipse itself, Moon opposition Sun. This eclipse takes place at 25 Pisces 41, thus the ruler(s) is Jupiter (traditional) and/or Neptune (modern).
The second opposition is what is more significant here. We have Mars at 23 Libra 27 in a wide ‘out-of-sign’ conjunction with Jupiter at 1 degree Scorpio 52. BOTH are opposing Neptune, and more interesting is the fact that Neptune, at 27 Aries 24 Rx, is on the midpoint opposing these two planets. Thus even though this is a ‘wide’ conjunction of Mars and Jupiter, by translation of light they are brought closer together through that opposition to Neptune.
The Mars-Jupiter conjunction is, of course, a volatile one. Anger in abundance. However, also action in abundance. Perhaps too much action – essentially a ‘knee jerk’ reaction to the eclipse energy. And with both planets opposing Neptune there is confusion in how to respond and understand what is happening on a moment-by-moment, day-by-day timeline.
There is however a note of hope in this first chart – namely that Neptune is in an EXACT (to the minute!) trine with Pluto (at 27 Leo 24), the planet of power and control. It appears that today’s world leaders will step up to address the issues of terrorism on an international basis. And, again by translation of light, this Pluto is sextile to both Mars and Jupiter. It should be remembered that Jupiter is the planet ruling ‘law’, and it is likely that new laws will be enacted. Again, it is interesting to note that the current 2016 eclipse has an EXACT square of Jupiter and Saturn, while the first eclipse in the Saros has an EXACT trine involving Jupiter and Pluto. And remarkably BOTH of these aspects are TO THE EXACT MINUTE OF ARC! Since both the current eclipse and this first Saros eclipse have exact and major aspects which involve the planet Jupiter, legislation (in abundance) is expected.
While I do not have (or use) a crystal ball to ‘see’ into the future, as an astrologer it is apparent to me that the actions of terrorists – those in Brussels, Paris and other parts of the world – WILL be addressed on an international basis. However, because of the lack of earth in the 2016 eclipse, and the power of Neptune in that first Saros eclipse, the reaction will be confusing, and ‘fluid’ in how new laws will be enacted and enforced. Different countries will see the threat of terrorism differently, and (again with Jupiter ‘expanding’ the situation on an ‘international’ basis), it is likely there will be multiple laws enacted by different countries, which of course will only makes the confusion in how to travel more difficult.
Square aspects force change, often change which is painful and frustrating. With Jupiter square to Saturn in our current eclipse this will indeed be an international challenge. It is clear that world (as we have known it in recent decades) is moving into a ‘new reality’. And with Neptune’s influence, there is no ‘clear path’ ahead.
For more information on eclipses, view Christine's webinar from 2014: