Musings from the Philosopher’s Den: Total Solar Eclipse 2017 August

Posted on August 20, 2017
Posted by Jim Sher

Astrologers can become very focused on predicting the meaning and possible events that might be produced by a solar eclipse. But for a moment, I’d like to take a big step back and wonder about how our ancient forbearers experienced this powerful astronomical event. It is believed that the ancient Chinese may have been able to predict solar eclipses as far back as 2500 B.C. The earliest known record of an eclipse in Babylonia was in 1375 B.C., but it is unclear how accurate their predictions were. Around 200 A.D., Ptolemy was able to predict solar eclipses with reasonable accuracy and in 1598 a solar eclipse was predicted within an hour.

But, let’s go back to a time when humanity was completely surprised by a solar eclipse. What would they have felt? My sense is that it would have evoked a great sense of fear. It would have been a very rare event to these people and while stories of such events were probably told, to actually see one would have been profound. After the eclipse ended, they would have been very observant of events that occurred and would have associated these events with the eclipse and regarded it as having a cause and effect relationship. Even after eclipses could be predicted to witness this event would have been a profound experience and so it is today. Is it possible that the fears our ancestors felt lies within us still?

Why is a total eclipse so profound in ‘modern’ times? Firstly, I do think we all carry in our DNA the same awe and fear human being’s experienced thousands of years ago. But the difference now is that we live in a scientific world that tends to demystify life, taking away its sense of awe and meaning. When an eclipse occurs, we are reminded that we are living on a planet, that there is a Moon circling us and that we are part of a Solar system which in turn is part of a Galaxy, amid billions of other Galaxies, etc. We are not reminded in a mere mental way, but viscerally, organically and physically. Just look at the way so many people are doing all they can to see this total eclipse first-hand. We can feel it’s vibrancy and power deep within.

The fact that we tend not to be aware of these astronomical facts and have forgotten that we are a small part of a vast universe can now, for a short time at least, be stripped away and we can be left with a renewed sense of who and where we are. It can make us more human if we let it. It can reduce our self-importance and ego, if we allow ourselves to feel our small place in the universe and yet, it can also remind us that we are all together, united as human beings on a small planet in the outer ring of a small galaxy we call the Milky Way.

This eclipse comes at a time of national anger, frustration and division. Old divisions are resurgent as we are reliving unresolved aspects of the Civil War once again. And what is arousing all of this? In a word, fear. This article is not intended to go into the societal, economic and political forces that are shaping events right now, though I still encourage you to listen in to Fareed Zakaria’s take on things for as a pundit, he is pretty damn good.

Astrology, in my view, should not be divorced from our experience of life so it seems to me that a total solar eclipse can evoke national fear. Why might this be so? Perhaps, because as the Moon comes in between the Sun and Earth and blocks out the Sun, it creates a Moon-shade in its path. The Moon rules our emotions, fears and insecurities so might the eclipse bring these more into our consciousness? The value of an eclipse is that the sub-conscious contents of our psyche are brought forward into our awareness and must now be dealt with as consciously as possible, both within ourselves and as a society. Right now, the divisions in this country are growing daily. Leaders are not, for the most part, calling this out and advocating for a rediscovery of a unified purpose that might help us rise above the history of conflict of this nation.

The most evolutionary thing we can do is recognize and work to let go of fear. When we don’t do this, we project it out onto those we blame for our fear. This creates, chaos, anger, disorder and unleashes destructive forces that can include war. Is it the total solar eclipse that causes this? No. it is human being’s that cause it by not taking responsibility for their emotions and fears. The eclipse just brings this out into the open. This has been building for many years and in fact, in many cases, the fear has been stoked by segments of our society that benefit from it. What is needed is that the nation as a whole speak to fear and call it out for what it is. In many cases, the legitimate causes of these fears need to be addressed. But, one thing is certain. Nothing constructive can emerge from the growing divisions and even hatred that are coming to the surface now. I hope this eclipse will stimulate the forces of constructive change so they grow and blot out the forces of destruction that seem to be growing daily.

Astrology Musings from the Philosophers Den musings
Jim Sher

Jim brings over 35 years of experience as a therapist and transformational counselor to his practice of astrology, metaphysics, meditation and philosophy. He operates as a teacher and counselor and specializes in the use of discourse as a part of his teaching approach.

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