Occultations and tight conjunctions in transit
My interest in occultation started with the birth of my daughter, Kim. I had entered the delivery room with the Raphael Ephemeris (1) in my pocket, plus a list of the calculated AS for each hour coming… but I was also aware that an occultation of Saturn was passing by… a bit scary since Kim was being born 2 months premature. She was delivered less than 1h30 after the exact (partil) aspect, but in local space, it still was under the tight orb. In fact, she was so strong, she only spent one week in the incubator and, at 21 days, was allowed home.
This event opened my eyes to occultations. They are rare phenomena, only a few occur each year : they happen when the Moon conjuncts another planet, but only when the distance apart in declination between the 2 bodies is +/- inferior to 1°, in other words, when the Moon eclipses the planet. An ordinary year averages of 4 to 8 occultations.
As I specialize in representing planetary motions graphically, I noticed that this year 2001 was unusual: 19 occultation ! But don't panic, looking closer, this was due to a series of them on Saturn and Jupiter, each lunar month from May 2001. Wanting to check the bigger picture, I investigated page 38 of all my collection of Raphael Ephemeris. For the past 20 years, I found similar sort of condensed series of occultations in 1982 (Neptune), 1983-84 (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune), 1990-91 (Jupiter and Saturn), 1991-92 (Uranus and Neptune), 1997-98 (Jupiter and Saturn) and again now in 2001-02 (Saturn and Jupiter). Also then, I noticed that both my husband and I were born in such a period (1956-57). In other words, we had Saturn occultations in our progressed charts… (quite strong in mine, adding to the fact I was also born between a Sun and Moon eclipse).
Trying to interpret this findings, I concluded that occultations increase the effect of the occulted planet in positive or negative like usual astrological interpretation. Then I thought, but if we measure occultations by the Moon, we should also measure the tight conjunctions made by the Sun to the other planets, because they should also occur occasionally (recalling André Barbault's comments of the importance of the annual conjunctions of the Sun to the slow planets). Searching for the tightest ones (called "cazimi"), I found an average of 4 or 5 per year. Because the Moon takes 2 hours to pass one degree, 2h corresponds to the average maximal duration of the aspect. But when the Sun hides another planet by cazimi, it can last up to 12 hours (when the distance apart in declination is close to zero) !
On the 26th January 2001, I noticed the Sun was conjunct Neptune at 3h55' GMT (distance apart 0°10'), so already in orb DURING the earthquake in India : Jan 26, 8h46' (3h16GMT), Bhuj (23N15-69E49), Magnitude 7.9 causing 25,000 deaths. Simultaneously a parallel was involving the Moon, Mars and Uranus, all in contra-parallel to Saturn. Then, not long after the Sun-Uranus tight cazimi (Feb. 9th, 12h19 GMT, distance apart 0°38'), on February 13th, earthquakes occurred in San Salvador, Japan and Sumatra.
To my delight, on 23rd April, when the Sun conjunct Mercury (0°25' apart), a member of the mailing list I follow won the lottery in a big manner ! He then wondered if this was linked to his natal Mercury in the 5th… The aspect of cazimi was still ON when the New Moon occurred the same day, that is to say with Mercury hyper-conjunct (behind) to the Sun. I said nothing but kept on noting.
Having partially based my 2001 forecasts on planetary movements in longitude and declination, I had also noted the series of coming occultation, and as the spring passed, I noticed that shortly after the 1st series of Saturn and Jupiter occultation (May 23rd), we witnessed the 1st suicide attack of the recent series of them to hit Israel (June 1st, 23h30, Tel Aviv, in front of a discotheque), and the following day was when the Nepalese prince happened to murder all his family, then eventually kill himself.
Looking at the collective transits, I realize how we are more touched by them than we tend to think. Because when an aspect is there in horary time, it's there for all. The difference is how each of us will react to it and to the strong events they may provoke. On June 14th, it was Jupiter to be cazimi by the Sun (distance apart 0°19').
Being optimistic by nature, I started to draw the charts (and cartography) of the coming occultations as reference. Until June 20th, when the Mars-Jupiter opposition burst my hard disk and monitor with lightening… intensifying the standstill of the June 21st Sun solstice eclipse… Without computer, I had plenty of time to analyse the charts. The previous Saturn occultation that occurred on June 19th was at 7° Gemini.
The only member of my close family with a planet on that degree is Kim, with her 7° Gemini Mars conjunct her MC (sextile to Jupiter Leo and trine to Aquarius Moon-Saturn and Mercury). I recalled that, on the evening of the occultation, we had been speaking about looking for tennis classes for her summer holidays. She took the idea with great enthusiasm and the next day, I'd found a club nearby and enrolled her for even earlier than expected, as a new series of classes was starting on the following Sunday morning, on June 24th. She also went in August for more during her holidays and now, as she loves it, she continues the Sunday classes. This is to conclude that in this case, the occultation helped to concentrate and make things move on a level that matches her chart so well if we think about it : Mars (muscles for sport) in Gemini (arms) => tennis. Another anecdote, Kim was born with one arm up (Gemini Mars on MC) like the statue of liberty (Aquarius Sun). The occultation helps to focus, to concentrate, on whatever it touches.
Then, later, a series of 4 occultations (Saturn, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury) occurred on July 17th and July 19th, a rave party turned on July 15th into a party grill burning 110 cars and injuring 69 police near Paris (Aulnais-sous-Bois). Also, the Etna started to erupt around the 17th, while at the same period, India and Korea experienced big floods (after a drought in Seoul). And on the 20th, the G8 conference in Genoa was witnessing a sad death among the anti-globalisation group.
The following month, the Jupiter occultation coincided exactly with a huge storm in Chateauroux (August 15th, 19h, France), causing the fall of a big tree on a music concert playing under a marquee.
Another illustration showing the impact of this serie of occultations...
The following occultation of Saturn of Oct 7th, 2001, occuring during the 1st evening of the Afghan war.
© Astrid Fallon. 2003. Sheffield, September 30th 2001. Article illustrated on 6th November 2003. All rights reserved.