A Baffling Problem
During the total eclipse of May 29, 1919, A.S. Eddington and his colleagues made … photographs of a field of stars close to the sun. The positions of the stars were shifted, demonstrating that light passing the sun was indeed deflected. It was a confirmation that helped to make Einstein famous.” – Clifford M. Will, “Gravitation Theory”, Scientific American 11/74
This is the only historical instance of a solar eclipse having indubitably caused great changes in a native’s life; moreover, the precise date on which those changes took place is known. Eddington required several months to measure his photographs, and it wasn’t until 9/27/1919 that Einstein received word that Eddington’s measurements had indeed confirmed his theory; and then it took until 11/7/1919 for the press and general public to learn that Newton’s laws had been overthrown. On this latter date Einstein went from obscurity to worldwide fame overnight (date from Einstein – the Life and Times by Ronald W. Clark). Thus the “target date” which we wish to derive from the eclipse chart is 11/7/1919.
The first chart given below is Einstein’s natal chart (data from the American Book of Charts); the second chart is that of the solar eclipse of 5/29/1919, erected for Berlin (where Einstein was residing at the time. If erected for Principe Island, where Eddington took the photographs, the angles only move back 4 degrees).
Mercury in the eclipse chart is 2 degrees from natal Pluto, and Uranus in the eclipse chart is less than half a degree from opposition to natal Uranus. But the only thing that is especially suggestive of imminent fame is the eclipse DESC falling smack on Einstein’s natal 10th house Saturn – Mercury – Part of Fortune conjunction. Okay, so given that we know what kind of event to expect, how can we time it?
As far as the target date is concerned, it must be noted that on 11/8/1919 transiting Uranus turned direct on Einstein’s natal Jupiter, so this date is already demarcated without reference to the eclipse.
The only obvious eclipse referents are: 1) on 11/8/1919 transiting Mercury opposed the eclipse point, and 2) on this date also transiting north node opposed the eclipse Mercury / natal Pluto conjunction. These scarcely seem to be powerful enough influences to have triggered the eclipse effect; and even if they are, who could have predicted it?
With regard to the other date, 9/27/1919, when Einstein received the news of Eddington’s results, we have that the superior conjunction of Mercury with the sun occurred on the eclipse ASC on this day, and that transiting Mars conjoined the eclipse Saturn then also. However, while this date is more “predictable” from transits to the eclipse chart than is 11/7/1919, it is also of less significance. Einstein was never in doubt as to the validity of his theory, hence his receipt of the news from Eddington was not as important an event for him than the sudden fame which exploded on 11/7/1919.
Apart from transits, some authors have devised methods for predicting when the events symbolized by an eclipse will actually occur which depend upon the space between the eclipse ASC and the point of the eclipse (see Sepharial’s Eclipses, p.83 ff for a summary of these techniques). However, none of these methods work in the present case. Anybody have any ideas?
Bob Makransky’s Astrology Corner © 2001