Ingresses, Lunations and Eclipses in predictive Astrology
Event charts cast for the precise times of solar ingresses, lunations and eclipses are said to be some of the most basic tools an astrologer has for predictive astrology. All three are very specific points within different cycles. So in order to understand the nature of these three charts in their greatest light, an overview of the nature of astrological cycles may be in order.
Today’s mundane astrologer might give a great bit of thanks to the French astrologer Andre Barbault who spent the better half of the past century studying the nature of cycles and their usefulness in astrological prediction. Thanks to his tireless efforts, evaluation of the planetary cycles is part of the mundane astrologer’s standard repertoire. His study of cycles began when he was in his mid-teens. His brother Armand, who considered himself an Alchemist rather than an Astrologer, noted in 1936 that the uprising of the Front Populaire in France occurred during a Saturn-Neptune opposition, while the Russian Revolution began under the conjunction of the same two planets. Could there be a deeper correlation? Eager to return to his alchemical works yet convinced that this Saturn-Neptune correlation warranted deeper study, Armand placed the responsibility of further investigation squarely upon his younger brother’s shoulders. Andre threw himself into the task, uncovering a strong correlation between populist uprisings and the 36-year Saturn-Neptune cycle. And from these findings, the younger Barbault was able to make accurate predictions for future critical points within the Saturn-Neptune cycle. The rest, as they say, is history.
Although Barbault’s extensive and detailed research into the use of planetary cycles is irrefutably considered one of the greatest contributions to modern astrology, he was, by no means, the first to employ the use of cycles in predictive work. In ancient times, an eclipse was a portent of doom, and it was the job of the astrologer to know where, when, how and to whom disaster would strike. Religions were based upon the cycles of the waxing and waning moon. And Ptolemy writes in Tetrabiblos of how the chart for the Aries Solar ingress may be used to foretell the fates of nations. Due to the most recent advancements in astrology, today’s astrologer knows that we can look to the cycles of the outer planets, or Great Cycles as they are called, to see social, economic and cultural trends, but even the ancient astrologer knew that the events of tomorrow, next week or next year could be extrapolated from the most visible planetary cycles of all, the eclipse, the lunation and the ingress.
The evaluation of astrological cycles is based on critical points in the series of aspects between any two given planets or points. Each of the aspects can shed a different sort of light on the relationship between any two planets, and consequently, how their combined energies can manifest. But time, tradition and experience have taught us that some aspects are more significant than others. For instance, we now know that the effects of two planets in conjunction are far more likely to have an effect upon the affairs of this world than two planets that are at a semi-novile separation. And it is when the aspects that we use more commonly, like the conjunction, the opposition, the square, the trine, the sextile, etc., happen between any two planets, bodies or points, the potential for experiencing the combined energies of these two planets is increased. Each planet strengthens the other’s energies as the aspect becomes more and more exact. Their energies combine, and at the moment when the aspect becomes absolutely exact, the two energies are experienced as one. This energy is far more powerful than the energy of either planet acting alone.
The nature of the experience produced by two planets in aspect is based primarily upon three points:
1.) The nature of the planets
2.) The nature of the aspect
3.) The condition of that which the cycle influences.
This is true no matter what facet of astrology you might be dealing with, whether it’s natal, mundane, event or any other. If it is a form of astrology, it is a matter of planetary cycles.
For a wonderful, in-depth analysis of each of the major and more common minor aspects within the continuum of the planetary cycles, please read chapter six of Mundane Astrology by Baigent, Campion and Harvey. Here is a brief summary:
The conjunction marks the ending of one cycle and the beginning of the next. The issues or conditions of the exiting cycle as it ends are the foundations for the cycle just beginning. There is the waxing phase (the conjunction through the opposition), which is said to represent the rise of the energies embodied within the cycle, and there is the waning phase (the opposition through the conjunction), which is said to represent the “dissemination,” as Rudhyar calls it, of the cycle of energy.
In general, the hard aspects (the conjunction, opposition, the squares, semi-squares and sesquiquadrates) bring about tension, conflict and their necessary resolution. The soft aspects (trines and sextiles) are generally considered times of facility and equilibrium. The inconjuncts (semi-sextiles and quincunxes) are thought to bring uncertainty, while the quintiles and septiles are reflective of the creative and super-conscious tides of the cycle.
Because the hard aspects within the cycle are the most critical points, the turning points, the action points and the points where change is most often affected, charts drawn for the moment of a hard aspect within any planetary cycle are most likely to show how the energies of the cycle are going to play themselves out. This makes charts drawn for the exact moment of hard aspects some of the most important tools for the mundane astrologer. This is especially true of the charts for the conjunctions and the oppositions. I call these, the hard aspects, the Critical Points or Action points of the planetary cycles.
The Ingresses, Lunations and Eclipses as Action Points within Planetary Cycles
(This section is a lot of basic technical information, so if you already know what the ingress, lunation and eclipse charts are, you might want to skip ahead to the next section.)
While Barbault’s Saturn-Neptune cycle shows change in 36-year chunks, ingresses, lunations and eclipses are much smaller bits. It’s like comparing a cruise ship and a rowboat. Sure, the cruise ship can take you around the world, but if you want to get across the lake, a rowboat would be the more practical choice.
The lunation is the simplest of the three. A lunation is an Action Point in the Sun-Moon cycle. Lunation refers to either the New Moon (Sun-Moon conjunction) or the Full Moon (Sun-Moon opposition). Some astrologers use the New Moon, some use the Full moon and some use both for their predictive work. Some say that a lunation chart is effective for the entire Sun-Moon cycle while others say it is only effective until the next lunation. No consensus. No hard-fast rules. Most astrologers, however, do agree that their effectiveness is short-term and is best used for day-to-day, week-to-week or monthly prediction.
The eclipse is also an Action Point within the Sun-Moon cycle, but includes the Moon’s Nodes as well. Eclipses can only happen when the Sun is conjunct either the Moon’s North or South Node, which means that the Sun and the Moon are of similar declination. When the Moon is conjunct the Sun and the Node, there is a solar eclipse. When the Moon is opposite, there is a lunar eclipse. Some astrologers use primarily the Solar eclipse for predictive work with little emphasis on the Lunar eclipse, and many use the Solar eclipse exclusively. But the Lunar eclipse has also shown its value as a predictive tool. There is no consensus regarding how long the effects of an eclipse can last. Some say weeks or months, some say until the next eclipse, some say that the effects of any particular eclipse can last for two to three years. Some even say that the effects of any eclipse can last until the next eclipse in the same Saros Cycle (about 19 years). The concept of the Saros Cycle is deep and complicated, so I will not delve. If you would like more information on the Saros Cycle, you might check out http://www.arval.org.ve/metonic.htm.
The ingress is an Action Point within the Earth-Sun cycle. In a simple sense, it is the moment when the Sun moves into any one of the Cardinal signs. On a deeper level, Solar Ingresses are also part of a declination cycle. In the tropical zodiac, when the Sun is at a zero declination northbound, it is the moment of the Vernal Equinox or zero degrees Aries: the Aries Ingress. The Sun at maximum northern declination marks the Cancer Ingress. Zero declination southbound is the Libra Ingress and the Sun at maximum southern declination is the Capricorn Ingress. These are collectively called the Cardinal Ingresses. Some astrologers believe one or another to be symbolically more important than the others, use the one almost exclusively and believe the effects to last the entire year. Some believe all four to be equally valid and that the effects of each are in play until the next Cardinal Ingress. Some say that all four are important, use all four and believe the effects of each to last a year, so there would be four separate ingress charts in effect at any given moment.
There is also the sidereal ingress: the moment at which the Sun moves into the actual constellation of Aries, or sidereal Aries. Many astrologers, even western astrologers, have been able to use the sidereal ingress chart with great success.
Another point to keep in mind is that the effects of any ingress, lunation or eclipse can be manifested prior to the actual event. From what I’ve seen, most astrologers say a few days before the lunation, a couple of weeks before the ingress and up to six months before the eclipse, depending on different timing factors.
“Okay, so that’s like a hundred different charts to tell me what’s going to happen in the near future. Which do I use?”
Wow. That’s a good question. The truth is that there has been no conclusive evidence of any one chart being more effective than any other, nor has there been any conclusive data supporting cut-off dates. In general, the eclipse chart is thought to carry more weight than the ingress and the ingress is thought to carry more weight than the lunation. Each individual astrologer needs to do the trial and error game, find out which charts fit most comfortably in the tool belt, and decide for oneself when it gets worn out and in need of replacement. The heavens do give us some clue, however, in helping us figure out how strong a tool any individual chart can be.
Surmising the Magnitude of a Chart’s Potential Influence
Each of these charts, the lunation, the ingress and the eclipse, contains an Action Point, and therefore is capable by itself of bringing change. But what if there are other factors that magnify the importance of the aspect? What if one specific chart contains Critical Points within other cycles? What if there are factors in the lunation chart that reinforce similar factors in the previous eclipse or ingress chart? Are any planets stationary? Are there planets at parallel or contra-parallel declinations? The more magnifying factors there are in a chart, the more influence that chart is capable of wielding. And if the magnifying factors have to do with other planets, fixed stars, etc., the bodies involved may give us a clue as to what to expect.
First take a simple example: the Super Moon, another type of lunation with a built-in magnifying factor. Modern astrologer Richard Noelle (www.astropro.com) has done much research and found that the effects of a lunation are heightened when the lunation occurs when the moon is at its closest approach to Earth. This is called the lunar perigee. Similar studies have found that the effects of a lunation are magnified when the Earth is at perihelion, or its closest approach to the Sun. This is not merely an astrological concept. Jim Berkland, a geologist who focuses his research on earthquakes, has come to the same conclusion and has based earthquake predictions upon these conditions (www.syzygyjob.org).
Another magnifying factor is when the lunation, eclipse or ingress happens when the Action Point of the chart is in hard aspect with one or more other bodies. A perfect example of this is the total Solar eclipse of 11 August 1999: At the moment of the eclipse, the Sun and Moon were opposite Uranus and squared by Saturn and Mars. The opposition between Saturn and Mars was off by only 2 minutes of arc. The near exactness of this opposition makes this magnifying factor even more potent. Uranus, Saturn and Mars in hard aspect with the Sun and Moon might suggest sudden loss or bodily harm through a violent event, or sudden events that bring sorrow to the people. Six days later, a devastating 7.7 earthquake hit Turkey, directly beneath the eclipse’s path of totality. Over 15,000 people lost their lives.
Aspects to Fixed Stars can also be a magnifying factor (a one-degree orb is usually used). This is a list of the aspects to fixed stars for the 1999 eclipse chart as prepared by Janus version 3.0:
Jupiter conjunct Sheratan 0°43'
Sheratan, (El Scheratain), in Aries (The Ram), means "a sign" in Arabic. It is in the "left Horn of the Ram." It is associated with violence. Danger can come to those who act in a reckless or careless manner.
Neptune conjunct Altair 0°47'
Altair, from the Arabic word for the constellation of Aquila (the eagle), is the brightest star in Aquila. Altair is associated with excessive ambition. With benefics, Altair is credited with bestowing hardiness, courage and generosity, especially if on the Ascendant. With the Mc and in good aspect, Altair promises rise in life and high honours. Connected to the malefics, Altair can bring danger from venomous creatures.
Moon's North Node conjunct Kochab 0°21'
Kochab, in Ursa Minor (The Little Bear), means "Buck" in Arabic. With an afflicted Sun, danger to life is indicated. This star has not been researched much.
Moon's North Node conjunct Acubens 0°40'
Acubens, (also called Sertan), in Cancer (The Crab), is Arabic for "claws" of the crab. It can indicate an unstable and highly strung nature. If conjunct with Mars, Sun, or Uranus, this will make for changeable thinking. If conjunct with Saturn it will cause disappointments, ordeals, losses, disputes and potential exposure to deception.
Another magnifying factor that is being used more and more is the use of the Heliocentric Planetary Nodes. The helio nodes are the points where the orbits of the other planets intersect the plane of Earth’s orbit. In the previous example of the 1999 eclipse, the eclipse itself occurred in an exact square aspect to Mercury’s helio node, the Lunar Node was conjunct Neptune’s helio node, and Pluto was in sesquiquadrate to Saturn’s helio node. When the helio nodes are heavily aspecting the planets of a cycle chart (a one degree orb is usually used), the helio nodes can strongly magnify the planet’s impact.
The positions of the Heliocentric Planetary nodes for 2001, with their annual forward motion given in parenthesis are as follows:
Mercury: 18Taurus21 (42.66 seconds)
Venus: 16Gemini41 (32.29 seconds)
Mars: 19Taurus35 (27.75 seconds)
Jupiter: 10 Cancer28 (36.39 seconds)
Saturn: 23 Cancer40 (31.43 seconds)
Uranus: 13 Gemini59 (18.38 seconds)
Neptune: 11Leo47 (39.66 seconds)
Pluto: 20 Cancer 20 (48.00 seconds)
Another place to look for potential magnifiers would be midpoints or planetary pictures, if you are accustomed to using and evaluating these. Whether you are using Cosmobiological or Uranian techniques, the more powerful the pictures that are found in the chart, the more likely that change will be affected. The same is true for any specialized field of astrological techniques. The more indicators for potential action that you find, the more weight the chart carries. The stronger the elements within the chart, the more likely you will be to see events unravel.
One of the most essential elements in evaluating the lunation, eclipse and ingress charts is how the planets aspect the Ascendant and the Midheaven. The Ascendant and the Midheaven are considered the “Here and the Now” in mundane astrology. When the Action Point and any magnifiers are tied into the angles, it is as if the chart is saying, ”At this place and at this time, these factors are influencing events.” But for a chart to have an Ascendant and a Midheaven, you will need to have specific coordinates to base the chart on. This raises the question, “How do we find these coordinates?”
The Locators – Astro*Carto*Graphy, Geodetics and Mundane Charts
Sometimes it’s simple. If you want to find out how the upcoming new moon is going to affect labor negations in Detroit, you can simply cast the chart for Detroit and evaluate the whole chart in relation to the angles. But if you don’t know the “where” ahead of time, you will need to use the tools of locational astrology.
First let’s look at Mundane charts, i.e., the charts of Nations and their leaders. Suppose we are looking at the chart of a new moon, where Mars, Saturn and Venus magnify the Sun-Moon conjunction at 4Leo58. Then you look at the charts of different nations and find that the India Proclamation chart shows the Sun at 5Aqu40, the Moon at 5Tau43 and Saturn at 18Vir47. So you cast the new moon chart for India and find that the chart’s Ascendant is in tight conjunction with India’s Lunar Node. Now you know that A.) The new moon may affect India’s relations with neighboring countries (Asc conjunct Node), and B.) The transiting Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars and Saturn are all aspecting India’s radix Sun, Moon and Saturn, so you know that the transiting planets may affect India’s leadership, people and base of structure. At this point, you might take a look at their national condition: Have there been any hints of problems with their trade agreements? Does it look like border-dispute tensions might break out soon? How might the new moon chart show facets of India’s future? From here it is possible to make predictions. And now that you have a location and angles on the lunation chart, you can use house systems, Arabic parts, etc., to look for further clues as to what the New Moon may bring.
Geodetics are another locational tool. They are easy to use and straightforward in their implications. Many different systems of Geodetics have been proposed, but the one most commonly used is Sephiral’s system where 0 degrees longitude (Greenwich Observatory) correlates to 0 degrees Aries. The zodiac advances degree-per-degree around the world heading east, so that longitude 30e00 correlates to 0Taurus00, the International Date Line is 0Libra00 and longitude 120w00 correlates to 0Sagittarius00. Now, if an eclipse were to happen at 14Aquarius22, the geodetic equivalent would be 45w38, so you’d take a look that longitudinal line. If three planets at about 14 degrees of the fixed signs accompanied the eclipse, you might consider taking a look at 136w (14 Scorpio), 44e (14 Taurus) and 134e (14 Leo) as well. Sephiral set up this system so that the longitudes are considered Midheaven degrees, and from these, he has set up Ascendant lines as well. For more information of Sephiral’s Geodetic Equivalents, along with a link to his Geodetic Equivalent Map, check out http://www.nucleus.com/~starwaves/history.html . As I mentioned, there are many different systems of Geodetics that have been put forth. And though Sephiral’s system is the most popular, many others have shown usefulness. Mundane Astrology by Baigent, Campion and Harvey takes a look at several of the systems and how they work.
The locational astrology technique I use most often is Astro*Carto*Graphy, pioneered by Jim Lewis. Astro*Carto*Graphy produces a map of the world with a whole bunch of lines drawn over it. These lines represent all of the places in the world where any given planet is angular at the time of the chart. So if you cast a chart for the upcoming Libra ingress, you can draw up a map that will show you where Uranus is on the Ascendant or where Neptune is on the Midheaven, etc., at the exact moment of the ingress. Most astrology software programs have a feature to produce these maps, but they are often called by other names, as Astro*Carto*Graphy carries a Trademark. Janus calls this same feature “Astrolocality Maps,” for instance. These maps are most often used in relocational astrology, but they are an indispensable tool for the mundane astrologer.
To find where there may be potential activity that stems from the chart you’re working with, you take a look at the cycle chart and determine which planets carry the most weight, which ones have the most magnifying factors. Then you go to the map and see where these planets are angular. These will be important areas. And if there is a spot where two of the lines cross, this might represent a particularly active area, and it might be a good idea to cast a chart for the cycle based on these coordinates. Or if you’re looking for potential earthquake activity, and you know that Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto are often involved in earthquakes, take a look at where these lines cross. If you have all four crossing over the San Andreas Fault line, it might be time to investigate the likelihood of an upcoming quake there.
Astrolocality maps are one of the best tools we’ve got today, but they do have their drawbacks. First of all, the lines that are drawn are based on right ascention rather than the actual ecliptic longitude that most charts show. The greater the declination of a planet, the greater the difference is between right ascention and ecliptic longitude. Because of this, the lines are sometimes off, especially when a planet is at an extreme declination. This is particularly problematic with Pluto, since Pluto is often at an extreme declination. So when your astrolocality map shows Pluto on the Ascendant crossing the Moon on the Midheaven in Vienna, and you go to cast your chart for Vienna, the Moon might be pretty close to the Midheaven, but Pluto may be several degrees from the Ascendant.
Other Useful Cycles
The lunation, ingress and eclipse are all Critical Points within the cycles of the Earth, Sun and Moon. But beyond this, there are eight other planets in our solar system, a handful of hypotheticals and asteroids as well. And there is a cycle between any two of these. Each of these cycles has Critical Points. And a chart for any Critical Point can be used in predictive astrology.
An example: Mars-180-Admetos, 26 Jan 2001, 14:25:01UT
Mars+Admetos is defined in Witte-Lefeldt’s Rules for Planetary-Pictures as “Specialism. Special work. The sinking of the market. Decrease of work. Throttling, suppression. Terror. Rawness, Crudeness. Rocks, fragments, debris, to wreck.” The opposition occurred exactly across Mars’ own helio node with Admetos at 19Taurus35 and Mars at 19Scorpio35. Uranus tightly squared the opposition at 20Aquarius01 (from Rules: Mars+Admetos-Uranus: “Sudden restriction in the field of work. Enemies made suddenly. To rip or tear something suddenly. Fragments and rags”), and Zeus semi-squared Mars at 6Libra07 (Rules: Mars+Admetos-Zeus: “To want to make room. To move things out of the way to make room for new things. To wreck things. To be the cause of destruction”). Saturn and Jupiter had both just made their stations turning direct. The sun was near perihelion, and Zeus and Hades were at precisely parallel declinations. This is an example of a highly charged planetary cycle chart.
Placing the chart on an astrolocality map, we find the Saturn Midheaven line crosses the Transpluto Ascendant line at 24n17, 70e01, just off the northwestern coast of India.
At 3:16:41UT on 26 Jan 2001, some 11 hours prior to the opposition, a hugely devastating 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck 65 miles NNE of Jamngar, India, at 23n19’34”, 70e19’01”. Over 20,000 people lost their lives and damages exceeded $4.5 billion. The epicenter of the earthquake was located only 60 miles from where the Saturn and Transpluto lines crossed on the astrolocality map.
Throughout this discussion, we have briefly touched on declinations, mainly as related to the Earth-Sun-Moon cycles. But every planet has a declination. A planet’s declination is its distance north or south of the earth’s equator measured as an angle in degrees, minutes and seconds. Many astrologers have conducted extensive research into declinations and new techniques for their use are emerging. But the most traditional use of declinations is perhaps the most simple: When two planets are at equal declinations (i.e., Mars at 10n18 and Jupiter at 10n18) they are said to be at parallel declination, producing effects similar to a conjunction. When two planets are at equal but opposite declinations (i.e., Mars at 10n18 and Jupiter at 10s18) they are said to be contra-parallel, producing effects similar to that of an opposition. These can be important magnifying factors within a chart, especially if two planets are in aspect to each other and are also parallel or contra-parallel. And when two planets are conjunct and at equal declinations, this is called an occultation. The union of the energies of the two planets is magnified. Therefore, an occultation is thought to carry extra weight.
One interesting predictive technique involving the declinations cycles can be found in an article by Naomi Bennett at http://www0.delphi.com/zodiac/MundaneA.htm (This is in fact an excellent three-part article entitled “Some Mundane Basics” that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in learning more about predictive astrology). This technique involves casting a chart for the moment that a planet’s declination is zero, headed north or south and noting the positions of all of the planets in the chart. So let’s say you’ve cast a chart for the Mars declination cycle. You would then note the positions of each of the planets. Then whenever Mars aspected one of the points you’ve noted on the radix chart, you could theoretically expect some sort of Mars-related activity. An easy way to do this would be through the use of a graphic ephemeris containing the radix positions of the planets and the Mars transits.
So I did an experiment to test the validity of this technique. Keep in mind that this experiment is limited in its scope and to state conclusive results would require extensive experiments over greater time spans. I provide this only for two reasons: 1.) To illustrate how the technique is used, and 2.) To put forth an idea of its potential effectiveness as a predictive tool.
The last Mars zero declination occurred on 9 November 2000 at 0:12:12UT. So I constructed a 45-degree graphic ephemeris using the ten traditional planets plus the Lunar Node, which would show any time that Mars aspected any one of the radix planets by conjunction, opposition, square, semi-square or sesquiquadrate.
Between 1 November 2000 and 30 June 2001, there have been 13 earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or greater. Each of these occurred within (+/-) four days of a transiting Mars aspecting a radix planet.
There have been 20 instances of Mars making aspects to the radix positions between 9 November and 30 June. Of these 20 instances, ten were accompanied by at least one major earthquake within four days. This is approximately 46% more often than the law of averages would dictate.
According to Bennett’s article, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn declination cycle charts, used in this manner, produce the most consistently reliable results.
These are but a few of the astrological predictive methods out there. And I am certain that there are many more waiting to be discovered. The reading and the studying is the easy part. It is my conviction that if anyone wants to become truly good at predictive astrology, the very best way is to dig into your charts and start looking for some of the things that we’ve discussed. And when you start seeing potentials, make your predictions. Tell your friends, your spouse, anyone who will listen. Or get really brave and post them on an astrology news group. Even if you are off in your prediction (and even the very best astrologers are often off), you have learned from the experience, and you get that much braver. The times when your predictions come true, and even the times when your predictions are close in either timing or location, these times will bestow you with enough enthusiasm to keep going. The more you practice, the better you will become.
© Talia Starkweather-Jones 2001
The interpretive text on fixed stars, as quoted from Janus version 3.0, is courtesy of Astrology House, New Zealand http://www.astrologyware.com