Solar eclipse of July 1860, taken by Warren De La Rue using the Kew photoheliograph.
On July 18, 1860, a total solar eclipse in the sign of Cancer enchanted the Western world. It was visible throughout the United States as well as France and Spain, where the first ever photograph of a solar eclipse was taken by astrophotographer Warren De La Rue. It was the most dramatic and scientifically important solar eclipse of the century.
But even more dramatically, two days later a major meteor procession burned across the night sky of the Eastern United States, recounted by witnesses from Catskill to Asheville.
During that cosmically eventful week, Saturn was at a direct opposition to Abraham Lincoln's Sun. Fittingly, Lincoln was keeping a low profile as the Republican Party stumped for his presidential campaign. From a broader astrological lens, the combination of the solar eclipse with this Saturn transit implied a major life chapter was about to unfold for him. The added ingredient of the country being grazed by a massive meteor lends an almost biblically prophetic feeling for what was to come. Four months later, as Jupiter crossed the exact same point where Saturn was during the eclipse, Lincoln won the presidency, the most significant election in American history. Five months after that, the country was embroiled in its bloodiest war on record.
The most dramatic solar eclipse, meteoric procession, presidential election, and subsequent war in American history, all occurred within less than a year of each other. Today we are, again, entering a cosmically profound election cycle whose outcome likely will determine the long term path of the United States.
While astrology cannot predict meteoric events, we can see that on April 8th, 2024, the path of a total solar eclipse will cut across the United States, up from Mexico, through Texas, and up through Maine. This eclipse is a kind of bookend paired with the US-centric eclipse that cut across the entire country in 2017. We may recall a presidential election with major political consequences occurred just nine months before, handing the presidency to a man whose Ascendant coincides precisely with the degree of that eclipse.
Major eclipses wipe away something from the past — a mode of thinking, a style of being, a social, political, or cultural paradigm — and initiate a new phase. Think of the 1860 solar eclipse's proximity to the war that ended slavery, or the 2017 eclipse's proximity to Trump's presidential term. Given the 2017 and 2024 eclipses focused on the U.S., along with a set of rare and politically charged upcoming outer planet alignments, we are clearly in the long-running throes of a cultural and political reboot.
The best keynote I can offer for this election cycle is: trust the unexpected. Whatever we think is happening is never the entire picture, and whatever does happen may be more positive for the future of the planet than we think. Taking in new perspectives is an important part of psychological health, and something astrology excels at giving us. Let's dig in.