References and Notes

1.  Tem Tarriktar, "Millennial Alignments:  1999-2000,"  The Mountain Astrologer, June/July 1998, p.67.
2.  Dane Rudhyar,   The Astrology of Personality,   Berkeley CA:  Doubleday,1970,pp. 239-40.
3. Bernadette Brady,  Predictive Astrology, The Eagle and the Lark,  York Beach, ME:  Samuel Weiser, Inc.,
4.  Brady,  Predictive Astrology,  p. 308.
5.  Bill Tierney,  Dynamics of Aspect Analysis, Reno, NV, CRCS Publications, 1983, p.168.
6.  Alan Oken,  Soul-Centered Astrology, New York, NY., Bantam Books, 1990, p. 297.
7.  Barbara Hand Clow,  Chiron:  Rainbow Bridge between the Inner and Outer Planets, St. Paul, MN., Llewellyn Publications, 1992, p. 132.
8.  Carrie Cooperman, "The Saros Cycles and the Eclipses of 1999,"  The Mountain Astrologer,  Dec/Jan 1998-99,  pp. 87-91. 

Some links to other eclipse sites (non-astrological)

NASA information
Ted Froberg's eclipse site
More links:
Eclipse UK 1999

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Great Eclipse and Grand Fixed Cross of August 11, 1999

The Great Eclipse and Grand Fixed Cross of August 1999 have been called the most powerful alignments of the century. (ref. 1) Click here for a larger view of this chart

What makes this eclipse so special is that it is part of a grand cross involving the middle degrees of the fixed signs of Taurus, Scorpio, Leo and Aquarius (diagram below right). The basic fixed cross is aptly named. All four of these signs are willful, resolute and determined to maintain their positions, desires and needs in the face of great opposition.  In a positive sense the energies of these signs are capable of great perseverance, persistence and sense of purpose. The great reserves of power inherent in the nature of these signs can become exaggerated into inflexible opinions, fanaticism  and becoming stubbornly resistant to change even if positively beneficial. These qualities will manifest according to the element of the sign involved . Taurus, the fixed-earth sign wants tangible results and to hold onto physical possessions and material wealth. Scorpio as fixed-water desires to control and concretize  emotional relationships by the imposition of an indomitable will if necessary. Leo as fixed-fire possesses an extremely powerful strength of purpose expressed as the desire to concentrate power according to ideas based on personal authority. Aquarius as fixed-air seeks to communicate new ideas and social doctrines to achieve the perfection of humanity as a newly birthed creation.  The middle degrees of the fixed signs are especially powerful points in the circle of the zodiac. The zodiac begins at the Vernal Equinox at 0 degrees Aries and is balanced by 0 degrees Libra, the Autumnal Equinox.  This axis is crossed by the Summer and Winter Solstices at 0 degrees Cancer and Capricorn respectively. The 15th degrees of the fixed signs make a cross-quarter square of the 360 degree zodiac (diagram at left). These degrees are known as Gates of Power or  "the Four Gates of Avataric Descent" (ref. 2). They are channels for the release of cosmic energy onto our planet and are symbolized  by the Bull, the Lion, the Eagle and the Angel.  This symbolism is found throughout esoteric literature and is especially vividly portrayed  in the Major Arcana cards X and XXI of traditional Tarot decks. According to Dane Rudhyar each creature depicts a particular type of Ray of Power and a dynamic power releasing initiation. Rudhyar describes the Bull and the Lion as representing 'individuating' power, power rooted in the planet. While the Eagle and the Angel symbolize the 'collectivizing' power, power that expands the individual into the collective and universal. He further describes the Gates as the Bull is power toward he formation of the individual being, while the Lion is power emanating from the "individual being. The Eagle is power toward the formation of the universal being, while the Angel is power emanating from the universal being." 

The dates on which the four "avataric" points occur are approximately May 6, August 8, November 8 and February 5. These are times of the release and manifestation of energies which were absorbed and gathered at the equinoxes and solstices. They further correspond to Celtic spirituality and Wiccan high holidays of Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas and Hallowmas or Samhain.

Sitting squarely at the Gate of the Bull is Saturn in Taurus in exact opposition to Mars energizing the Eagles's Gate in Scorpio. This is a stop/go energy pattern. Mars is ambitious and wants everything right now and Saturn keeps throwing up roadblocks and obstacles. Timing is off bringing rash, impulsive acts and times of inappropriate inaction.  Empowering the Lion's Gate with great authority is the eclipse itself, the Sun and Moon in Leo with the North Node . The Sun and Moon together do not allow much room for objectivity. It shows lack of perspective and extremes of temperament fueled by a strong self will and great ambition. This could indicate an authoritarian leader making a last stand. Think of Napoleon at Waterloo. Resisting all this personal power at the Angel's Gate is Uranus in Aquarius and the South Node. Uranus in Aquarius is all about social equality and progressive change for the betterment of humanity, by revolution if necessary. Both the French and American Revolutions occurred near the time of the sighting of Uranus in 1781. 

The squares in fixed signs are all about power struggles and require definite action to be released and are all about the preservation of our values, resources and desires. The Mars/Saturn opposition will work to breakdown outmoded value systems and structures at the deepest core levels. The old ways of economic distribution of Earth's resources are no longer functioning in a beneficial way for most of the planets' inhabitants. This will change and Earth Herself may trigger events which ensure this change in a decisive manner. This is suggested by the position of Uranus in the Grand Cross and is only one possibility for the release of tension.

The axis squared by Mars in Scorpio and Saturn in Taurus is the eclipse itself (the Sun & Moon) in Leo and Uranus in Aquarius, the axis of humanity. This powerful axis is one of great tension. The collective energy of Uranian change cannot be stopped and there will be great opposition to a smooth transfer of power. Impulsive acts that raze the old, outworn structures to the ground are indicated. The process of unifying this polarity involves transmuting the personal authority of willful individuals into cooperative, humanitarian endeavors for the benefit of all. This polarity represents a struggle between personal power and impersonal service to humanity.

In trying to understand the nature of an eclipse there is a greater cycle of meaning into which an individual eclipse falls. Each eclipse is a "family member" of a much larger Saros Series which runs for almost 1300 years.  All families have their own dynamics, traits and qualities. The first eclipse in a Saros Series is the birth eclipse or Mother eclipse for that series which  will include 71 to 73 solar eclipse events every 18 years. (ref. 3)  The August 11,1999 eclipse is a member of Saros Series 1 North or S.S.1 N and was born on January 4, 1639. Click here for a larger view of this chart. Bernadette Brady describes this eclipse as "Unexpected events involving friends or groups place a great deal of pressure on personal relationships". These relationship issues may loom large as the eclipse affects the chart. The individual would be wise not to make any hasty decisions since information is distorted and possibly false. The eclipse also has an essence of tiredness or health problems attached to it." (ref. 4) 

So what does this mean for us now? The Mother eclipse has the Sun and Moon in Capricorn, the sign of big government, social and economic systems and structures. These have all been under siege the last decade or so by transiting Uranus and Neptune (i.e.) the fall of the Berlin Wall and breakup of the Soviet Union. Great social and economic shifts effecting large groups of people in a very personal way is part of the nature of this eclipse family. This energy pattern is brought into sharp focus by the August eclipse with its Grand Fixed Cross primed for dramatic revolutionary change. 

In fact, there is an extremely sharply focused planetary configuration known in esoteric astrology as the "Finger of God" or Finger of Fate" commonly called a Yod. The apex of the Yod is Pluto, planet of transformation, regeneration and metamorphosis. Big Stuff!  And it will happen on a planetary level affecting the collective consciousness of all beings. Pluto doesn't do anything halfway, he's an all or none kind of guy. As Bill Tierney puts it, "the established conditions operating previous to the full activation of this Yod prove non-essential for the ongoing growth once the new path has been undertaken. Thus, they are likely to be destroyed or completely abandoned in the course of this destined change" (ref. 5). There is a sense of destiny with this Yod as the base involves the North Node, point of greatest fulfillment of destiny in a chart. Uranus, planet of revolutionary change and possibly earth upheaval is the other point in this Yod. Sitting exactly at their midpoint in direct opposition to Pluto is Jupiter. The great, gaseous, giant planet of our solar system family fueling this dynamic, focused force for change and transcendental growth.

The nature of the fuel is important too, as it is one of nuclear fusion. Jupiter rules the higher mind and is integral to melding the dualities of heart and mind and body and soul bringing wisdom and fluid perceptive understanding. In soul-centered astrology, Alan Oken sees Jupiter as instrumental in the "resolution of duality" and states that "It is Jupiter's' specific function within this alchemy to awaken one to the presence of Love as the essence which abides within any given form. Jupiter is thus the tool for the expansion of love consciousness" (ref. 6). Jupiter is called the 'Great Benefic' and is the esoteric ruler of Aquarius and the New Age. And as Alice Bailey reports, is 'home of the Masters', but that's another story.

Pluto at the Yod apex can be quite drastic and even brutal as he goes about his job of transforming everybody and everything. This is an evolutionary force which will brook no opposition on its inexorable path towards wholeness and perfection. Clearing away the dead wood is part of the process. 

There is, besides Jupiter, another bright light beaming at us from the S.S.1N Mother chart. Chiron, newest member of our solar system family activating the opening of consciousness between the personal planets and the planets of the collective multidimensional spheres of influence. Chiron is the only planetary being from the S.S.1N  Mother chart that fits precisely into the current Grand Fixed Cross at 14 degrees Taurus. This puts Chiron is a beautiful, harmonious trine to the series birth chart Sun and Moon. In a word, Grace. This trine brings a very creative view of the universe by attuning a natural awareness to the power for fluid transmutation inherent within all structures (ref. 7). This Grace is focused directly at us through the Taurean Gate of Avataric Descent grounded into the future by Saturn's vigilance. 

Make no mistake about the power of this Great Eclipse and Grand Fixed Cross. You can be swept away in the coming social changes by choosing to be part of the emotional dramas acted out on the world stage. You don't have to live in Kosovo to be in upheaval. Evolutionary transformation is an impersonal force.You can sit in your living room and watch the news and be sucked into the dramas in very emotionally personal ways, or you can choose to shift and surf the tsunami by attuning to the higher vibrational energy fields beyond duality.

Copyright 1999, Debrah Burnight

Astrology has been an avocation of Debrah Burnight for 20 years. 
She can be reached at