Yesterday morning I was interviewed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report about tomorrow’s partial eclipse of the sun, specifically concerning the national Elections that are being held the next day. I always feel a profound nervousness when asked by the mainstream media for an astrological opinion, as I’ve seen many of my colleagues suffer under an interviewer’s ignorant cynicism. I don’t see such ‘opportunities’ doing anything positive for astrology. But this interview was short and specific enough for it not to get into questions of credulity or my sanity.
However, it’s shortness left me feeling as if I’d liked to have said a good deal more about this topic, so I thought I’d bring a few of these ideas together on this blog.
The thrust of the interview concerned the concurrence of the Election and a Solar Eclipse, visible over parts of New Zealand only hours before the polls open for the elections. What might it mean? And is it indeed an ill omen?
Well, from both traditional lore and modern evidence the answer to the latter has to be ‘yes’!
An eclipse of the Sun has always been associated with collective events - natural or political - of a difficult or destructive or unpredictable nature. Happening only at New Moons near the nodal axis - this being the points where the Moon’s path around the Earth crosses the Earth’s path around the Sun - they are powerful lunations that bring something to the surface, force a confrontation with a truth, initiate unexpected and often profound changes.
One way I like to see them is, if one sees the Earth as a living being, that they initiate on Earth, or part thereof, an acute illness or crisis, forcing a correction or adjustment. Therefore in a way they initiate a collective healing.
But with the radiance of the Sun - symbol of kingship, divine or sovereign power, leadership - being totally or partially obscured by the dark Moon, the Solar Eclipse is also traditionally linked with crisis in the ruling powers or even the death of the leader. More recent interpretations of this suggests that this link is particularly so when an eclipse is total, and in the places at which the eclipse is visible (solar Eclipses are visible on only small portions of the Earth’s surface - see NASA’s excellent eclipse website for more on this ) - and more so still if the eclipse falls on key points of the leader’s or the nation’s chart.
One example is that of John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated soon after a total eclipse of the Sun, which happened to fall precisely both on his 10th house Saturn and opposite the USA’s Pluto. And this eclipse was only partially visible from America.
Another is Princess Diana’s death, which occurred only a day before a partial Solar eclipse. The position of this eclipse was directly on Diana’s Pluto.
Though there is clearly a personal story in both examples, both people were extremely potent figureheads who’s tragic fall is poignantly symbolised by the eclipse. And the examples show how the event may occur both before or after the eclipse itself.
But what of the looming elections.
Parliament - and more specifically our prime minister - is also our ‘king’, our royalty. Thus when an election occurs within days of an eclipse we have a strong omen of leadership instability or change. The king will be eclipsed.
A great example of this occurred in the UK in their 1945 elections, which took place over 5 days centered, almost as if deliberately planned, on a total Solar Eclipse, partially visible in London. Having taken the UK right through World War Two as prime minister, Winston Churchill lost these elections in a totally unexpected landslide swing to Labour.
In New Zealand the 1928 Elections occurred only one and a half days after a partial Solar Eclipse, not visible from New Zealand. To the surprise of all, the brand new United Party, which had only recently emerged out of the dissolved Liberal Party, won a majority. Joseph Ward, from the liberals, became prime minister, only to have to move aside within the year for bad health.
And the last elections in New Zealand to have occurred near to an eclipse were in 1996, brought forward to avoid a by-election - and to coincide within 1 day of a Solar Eclipse! These, you may remember, were the first elections under the MMP voting system. New Zealand First gained 17 seats in a huge swing in their favour. This created political chaos as their leader, Winston Peters, held the country to ransom in his long-winded negotiations with both the Labour and National Parties, earning him the title ‘King-Maker’ (most appropriate for a Leo Ascendant!).It is interesting and relevant to note that Jim Bolger, who continued on as prime minister after these elections, was toppled whilst overseas in a sneaky caucus coup less than a year later - showing an eclipse election’s reputation for leadership changes.
Tomorrow’s eclipse is in the sign of Sagittarius. According to 17th Century English astrology William Lilly this brings “disaster to famous people”. Perhaps John Key should have checked his bid for celebrity status.
So whether tomorrows eclipse augurs leadership change at Saturday’s elections or ensuing instability followed by a delayed exit, astrological tradition and our election history suggests that John Key may not be at the helm for much longer.
One final note: at the time of the eclipse in New Zealand (see the chart above, drawn for the capital, Wellington) the eclipse itself is found in the 7th house, the house of marriages, partnerships, alliances and enemies - and according to Lilly brings “wars and contentions”. What is this suggesting about the possibilities of an easy coalition forming...?