Saturday, April 6, 2024

More on the April 8th eclipse…on slicing through the Gordian knots of our times


Alexander cutting the Gordian knot

It seems to me that, by their very nature, total solar eclipses tell us what they’re about, but whenever the details and speculations and commercialization start to cloud over the fundamentals of eclipse astrology, I try to return to the basics that Celeste Teal provides so efficiently, first by emphasizing the role that the Lunar Nodes play. She reminds us that the Nodes “make an eclipse possible only about every six months, when a New Moon or a Full Moon aligns closely with either the North Lunar Node or the opposite South Lunar Node” [1]

Of course, a Total Solar Eclipse is only astronomically possible at a New Moon, which is perhaps the best starting point we have for drawing out the wisdom of such an event. Teal elaborates, emphasizing the cosmic “portals” that open during such events as well:  

“When we have a Solar eclipse, it’s like a super New Moon, with effects lasting for many months due to the magnetic properties of the Lunar Nodes, which draw upon the energy vibrations of nearby planetary bodies to a powerful degree. The North Lunar Node and the South Lunar Node act as portals through which cosmic energy flows, and these portals remain open during the entire span of the eclipse era, enabling new energy to stimulate conditions and bring about events at certain times within the eclipse era whenever another planet passes by the open Lunar portal.” [1]

As we discussed in the last post here, Teal also posits that the passages of Mars and/or Saturn over this Lunar portal are particularly key to the unfolding “story” of any eclipse, and as it happens, this potent  April 8th eclipse will offer us an opportunity to test this principle.  Mars will transit conjunct the Aries region of this eclipse in May 2024 and May 2026 and will oppose that same region in September 2025 and August 2027. Teal teaches that the Saturn passage over an eclipse point “closes” the eclipse portal, so bringing closure to its story, but it will be interesting to see if the Mars passage in August 2027 re-stimulates it in some way. 


A scene from the 4/3/2024 Hualien earthquake

We also discussed in the last post that eclipses are known to wield influence for some time period before they even perfect, which may explain some of the volatile stories in the news this past week. For instance, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Hualien, Taiwan about 8 a.m. this past Wednesday morning, killing a growing number and injuring hundreds, with more missing. Jupiter and Uranus were conjunct and rising near the Taurus ASC (Chart #1 below) when the quake struck, but the all-important Aries-Libra Nodal axis (the axis that will be active during the eclipse on Monday) stretched across the chart’s 11th-5th house axis and dramatically punctuated with the No. Node conjunct Aries Chiron.

The No. Node thus resonated with this volatile Uranus (natural 11th house ruler) and the So. Node did likewise with the mid-Aries Sun (natural 5th house ruler). Thankfully, it appears at this time that material damage (Uranus rattles Taurus) will outweigh the human toll, but our hearts go out to all who have been touched by this event.

Chart ruler Venus exactly conjoined Neptune in Pisces, also in the 11th house, perhaps reflecting the closely offshore epicenter of the quake; adding more watery pressure were Mars conjoined Saturn in Pisces in the structure-related 10th house. Not to be ignored, Chiron fell precisely where the April 8th eclipse will perfect on Monday, as if to “warm up” that degree for things to come. Taiwan builders know how to construct for earthquakes, but news pictures show many tall buildings that are tilted precariously and possibly trapping people, nevertheless. 

So, did the upcoming eclipse cause the Hualien earthquake? It may be more accurate to say that the Nodal Axis conjunct Chiron in mid-Aries gave Hualien a “sneak peek” of the impending 19°+Aries eclipse degree and could very well have triggered other conditions that lent themselves to Monday's events.  


Chart #1. Hualien Earthquake, April 3, 2024, 8 a.m. ST, Hualien, Taiwan. Source: Reuters news story.


Shifting to Gaza, in an even more disturbing outbreak of volatility during the late night hours of Monday, April 1st, 7 aid workers with the World Central Kitchen were killed by an Israeli strike—despite their 3-vehicle convoy traveling along a designated “humanitarian corridor” with well-marked and identified vehicles and despite the efforts that were made to coordinate with the Israeli military for safe passage. Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized and claimed the deaths were a “tragic case of our forces unintentionally harming innocent people in the Gaza Strip.” Words that seem very hollow in the face of this horrendous loss. 

But Netanyahu made no mention of the dire humanitarian impact these deaths are bound to create, as the WCK has now suspended its operations in Gaza. Official denials abound, but it’s difficult to dismiss suspicions expressed on the part of WCK head Chef José Andrés that the aid convoy was deliberately targeted and destroyed. The Israeli government has terminated two military officials who were involved, but time will tell if their targeting practices will change. 


(L-R) Chef Jose Andres and the remains of a destroyed WCK vehicle.

Chef Andrés’ suspicions are potentially upheld by a 10 p.m. chart cast for this event (Chart #2 below; the news reports don’t commit beyond “late night attack”) that shows Taurus Jupiter and Uranus conjunct on the 7th house cusp and Chiron tightly conjunct the impending 19°+Aries eclipse point.

As we saw with the Taiwan earthquake chart, Chiron’s wounding influence is poised to usher in the energies of this eclipse, the impact of which is likely to be amplified by the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction and the Pisces Mars-Saturn conjunction, both aspects that will remain strong in the April 8th eclipse chart discussed in the last post.

In Chart #2 below, Pisces Mars also sextiles the early Capricorn Moon, which stands in wide 3Q waning square to the Aries Sun. This positions the WCK convoy attack as a harbinger of the final lunar quarter ahead (leading into the New Moon conjunction/eclipse of April 8th), one that could continue triggering volatile events and tightening the “Gordian knot” of contradictory priorities and entangled power relationships. Leaders must be equipped to navigate such contradictions and still be able to issue clear, rational and ethical policies and implementation orders; if this had been the case with Israeli leadership this past week, perhaps the soldiers who launched weapons at the WCK convoy would have made better choices. 


Leadership in a nutshell?

Legend has it that Alexander the Great was confronted with a physical “Gordian knot” to untangle, and he chose to simply slice through it with his sword. Biden may need to be a little more nuanced about resolving today’s issues and contradictions, but the need for unwavering, decisive action remains. 


Chart #2. Israeli WCK strike, April 1, 2024, 10 p.m. DST, Deir al Balah, Palestine. Source: report.


Personally, I take heart at the incredible outpouring of global revulsion and protest that has met Israel’s killing of WCK aid workers—accidental or not: may we continue to feel the same about every Palestinian child or mother who starves from lack of aid going forward. Indeed, with their lack of consideration for civilians, Israel may have badly damaged the world’s sympathy for their quest to eliminate Hamas.

Perhaps they are beginning to get that message, especially since the Biden administration is now more intensely pressuring Israel PM Netanyahu to negotiate an immediate cease fire. I don't think Biden has a "magic wand" that he can wave to change things overnight, but continued pressure and leverage might just start making a difference.

Of course, the situation in Gaza and our long history of support for Israel threatens to strangle Biden’s political fortunes in that mythically difficult “knot:” he must reckon with not only an unmovable extremist right-wing force in Israel that keeps the carnage flowing and a UN that seems determined to prosecute Israel for war crimes against humanity if it doesn’t heed the calls for immediate ceasefire, but he must also deal with an American left that has found its voice against this war during an election year.

I would be lying if I said I'm not concerned for Biden's political fortunes going forward, especially if this Middle East situation doesn't come to some kind of resolution, and soon. I'm a little too reminded of the Vietnam era astrologically, and with the way it opened the door to Richard Nixon's corrupt presidency. That era was also marked by a dicey combination of Cardinal and Mutable energies and by potent Aries eclipses, two in the critical year of 1968, for instance. 

I find it deeply disturbing to even raise this precedent for our current moment, but I think we must be willing to face that even the most justified sounding wars are prone to madness and geopolitical destruction. Rarely is there any "winning," per se. Israel seems to have a valid case against Hamas, but where is the line between a justified war and a campaign of revenge or stark territorial convenience? 

Arguably, it’s where the lives of civilians are most at stake. Similar quandaries plagued our leaders with the Vietnam war as well--the infamous My Lai massacre in March, 1968 comes to mind. Shortly after that beyond-tragic event, then-president Lyndon B. Johnson simply gave up, despite many notable accomplishments, and decided not to run for re-election. 

Doing the right thing always sounds simpler than it is—hence the Gordian knot confronting Biden and our diplomats.

In the end, Biden may pressure Netanyahu to call for immediate ceasefire, but given the approaching eclipse and how it’s already stirring the geopolitical cauldron, we dare not look the other way on this one. Simply put, violence against humanity (and the Earth, always a victim in such things) has its uses for some—perhaps the message Chiron is pressing most fiercely on us in Chart #2 above, but when does catering to special interests and extremist ideologies ever stop? I’m hopeful that Monday’s eclipse may open Chiron’s healing path for all embroiled in that war and that a permanent cease fire can be reached in short order. Slice through the KnotEnough is enough! 


Being our True Self as a nation

So, we might spare our eyeballs the radiation damage of an eclipse by wearing special glasses, but the depths of a powerful eclipse’s impact on our individual and collective psyches—our national Soul, if you will—is another story entirely. Perhaps it will help to remember that Aries is an active sign, signaling the need for passion and forward momentum, driven by deep commitment to our True Self as a nation.

What does that even mean for a nation state? Always in tune with the collective and the individual challenges of our times, spiritual teacher Richard Rohr offers the following thoughts on what he terms the “false self” and the “True self:”

“Culture and even religion often teach us to live out of our false self: reputation, self-image, role, possessions, money, appearance, and so on. It is only as this false self fails us, and it always eventually does, that the True Self stands revealed and ready to guide us.

The True Self does not teach us compassion as much as it is compassion already. From this more spacious and grounded place, we naturally connect, empathize, forgive, and love just about everything. We were made in love, for love, and unto love.” [2]

Why shouldn’t these uplifting ideas apply to a nation like ours? What could better describe the challenge posed by the upcoming Aries eclipse? The “false” Aries “self” pursues division, conflict—even violence—to feel empowered; the “True” Aries “Self” enlivens, motivates and inspires, and yes, it Loves with active, fiery com-passion. Like the proverbial Knight in Shining Armor, the True Aries Self ventures forth for Humanity in whatever way it is able: surely, the sooner We the People embody this Aries passion for all the good it can do and the sooner we reject the divisive violence that some would like to evoke in us, the better.


A "Gordian Knot" by artist Mick Burton

Final thoughts

With all the heaviness threatening to weigh us down and eat away at our collective values these days, we could as a nation take the path of least resistance and just let things happen. The Pisces energy afloat in the charts we've considered here and in the April 8, 2024 eclipse chart discussed here  could enable such a passive response. Yet, this eclipse is likely to cut through any passivity and demand action, and therein lies the quandary…where to start? Well, for starters, we might try to appreciate this eclipse as the awareness-raising gift to Humanity it most certainly can be. Being aware can be painful, of course, but perhaps just painful enough that we will consciously—and with great heart—pull back from the brink of "default" disaster. Aries brings awakenings and refreshed perspectives...and not a moment too soon!

Don’t forget to wear those eclipse glasses on Monday!




[1] Celeste Teal, Eclipses: Predicting World Events & Personal Transformation, Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, MN, p. 10.

[2] Richard Rohr, Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation, Franciscan Media. Kindle Edition, p. 51.


Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and retired educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, U.S. history, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Her articles on these topics have appeared in several key astrology journals over the years, including most recently, the TMA blog. For information about individual chart readings, contact:

© Raye Robertson 2024. All rights reserved.