New Moon in Leo / Total Solar Eclipse — August 1, 2008, 10:13 UT

By Kirsti Melto

Eclipses offer us a chance to have a break in continuity and establish new patterns. “The more consciously eclipses are handled, the less they are inclined to do damage and the more they are inclined to give us a push in the right direction,” Eric wrote in his blog earlier this week.

Choosing a new direction in life, or moving stuck energy, may not be easy: this is true when planets are gathered in fixed signs, or when the eclipse takes place on the South Node of the Moon, which tends to keep us tied to the past, or even when a Venus-Neptune opposition bedims reality. Luckily, this somewhat paradoxical eclipse chart also contains aspects that have the potential to bring us safely to a new space.

Leo, Aquarius, Taurus and Scorpio are the four fixed signs of the zodiac. The eclipse, which is a conjunction of the Sun and Moon, occurs in Leo conjunct Mercury. Also Venus is in Leo. In the opposite sign, Aquarius, are Neptune and Chiron. Two important asteroids, Vesta and Pallas Athene are in Taurus. So we are dealing with a lot of fixed energy, which tends to keep us stuck in the prevailing ideas and conditions; a change is not alluring. But the fixed signs can be persistent, and Mars-Uranus opposition strives for a reform.

Each eclipse is a member of a larger eclipse family, which is called the Saros Series. Each series spans over a thousand years, produces an eclipse every 18 years, and has certain characteristics, revealed by the aspects in its birth chart. You may be able to recognize some similarities between events that occurred 18 years ago and those unfolding now. This particular eclipse belongs to a Saros Series number 10 South. Bernadette Brady’s delineation encourages us in the attempt to let go of the past:

“This Saros Series concerns itself with breaking out of a very negative situation where no hope can be seen to a more positive space containing many options. A worry that may have been affecting a person will suddenly clear. The solution is shown by the Cosmos and needs to be taken up without too much delay.”

Traditionally, astrologers would appoint the Lord of the Eclipse, the planet that was most prominent in the chart, supposedly coloring the future events. This could be the planet closest to the eclipse degree, a planet at an angle, or the one that is most heavily aspected. By the rule, the Sun and Moon cannot be used. There are two things that emphasize Mercury as the Lord of the Eclipse: Mercury is in conjunction with the eclipse, and Mercury being occulted by the Moon just some hours after the solar eclipse.

Hermes, the Greek equivalent for Roman Mercury, an expert in transformations, was a swiftly moving deity, a messenger of gods who was able to travel through three worlds; just as the metal mercury — also known as quicksilver — can be seen in the three states of matter: solid, liquid and vapor.

In the eclipse chart, Mercury (as well as the Sun and Moon) is squaring Vesta in Taurus. In Scorpio, asteroid Hermes is opposite Vesta and square to Mercury. Hestia, meanwhile, is the Greek equivalent for Vesta.

Hermes and Hestia are two complementary archetypes. In ancient Greece, a warm hearth dedicated to Hestia was central to every home, and at the front door was a pillar in honor of Hermes. Hestia represents focus and integrity, and Hermes represents motion and changeability. Together this couple expresses tension, as do the aspects between them in the chart. But Hermes is also the archetype unifying the opposites, and he is also capable of enlarging our possibilities.

Centaur planet Asbolus is in conjunction with Vesta in Taurus. Eric has delineated Asbolus as: “Survival and the recognition of having survived. Deep contact with something organic and essential — the ability to endure and even thrive ‘despite it all’. Asbolus arrives with intense circumstances but also protection from victimhood, and protection even when it seems like none is there, such as in the story ‘Footsteps’.”

The Sabian Symbol for the eclipse degree is Leo 10 Early morning dew. “This is a symbol of the eternal refreshment which comes to the individual with every recurrent cycle of his experience, and of nature’s continual endorsement of his aims or benediction on his efforts. There are unexpected resources which man can find at hand when life otherwise may seem to have defeated him, and these are often revealed to him despite his lack of expectation. He reaps real fruits as he develops a genuine alertness to the unexpected, and denies all personal limitation. The keyword is rejuvenation. When positive, the degree is a special talent for finding the better in every situation where a worse may threaten disaster, and when negative, procrastination and total insensibility to the real powers of selfhood.”


Bernadette Brady, The Eagle and the Lark, Samuel Weiser, 1999

Derek Appleby and Maurice McCann, Eclipses: the power points of astrology, The Aquarian Press, 1989

Nick Kollerstrom, The Metal-Planet Relationship, Borderland Sciences Research Foundation, 1993

Marja-Liisa Niemi-Mattila, Ajattomat arkkityypit, WSOY, 1998

Planet Wiki, Asbolus

Marc Edmund Jones, The Sabian Symbols in Astrology, Aurora Press, 1993

2 Responses to “New Moon in Leo / Total Solar Eclipse — August 1, 2008, 10:13 UT”

  1. susan Says:

    Kirsti, this was the best thing I’ve read about the eclipse. The Sabian symbol information was particularly helpful. Thank you.

  2. Dunya Says:


    I had this eclipse conjunct my natal Vesta by 1 degree (H9). How could this be interpreted? A change in direction to what I consider sacred? A new and sacred truth emerging? (Or finalizing – because the eclipse is conjunct the south node). What do you think?

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