Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation
Penumbral Eclipse
A penumbral eclipse


March Skywatch

by Maya del Mar

Two eclipses mark March as a dramatic sky month—where they are visible. There will be two more eclipses in September, for a total of four eclipses in 2006. Eclipses are catalysts. They can suddenly open doors to the future and close doors to the past.

The first one is a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on March 14. Here the Moon sits at the edge of the Earth’s shadow, and it is only partially darkened, sometimes difficult even to see. What I notice is that the brightness is missing; there is a flat, grayish shading. In the U.S., people from the Rockies eastward can catch a glimpse of the Lunar Eclipse as Moon rises shortly after sunset. Exactness is at 6:48 p.m. EST. It is visible wherever it is dark, but easier to discern where the Moon is higher in the sky.

This is the beginning eclipse in the Virgo-Pisces polarity, which will last for another two years (with overlap in Leo-Aquarius). It is 24 Virgo in tropical astrology, and squares Pluto, to create an explosive situation.

The Total Solar Eclipse on March 29 at tropical 9 Aries begins in Brazil and crosses the Atlantic to Africa, the middle east, and over Russia. It is total at 2:15 a.m. EST. The Eclipse starts on the coast of Brazil at 8:35 a.m., hits North Africa about 9:00 a.m., Georgia about 10:00 a.m., and then crosses over Asia and finishes in northern Russia at sunset. (Russia is huge—I think 11 time zones.) For watchers in those locations, there is excellent information on the internet.

The totality of this eclipse is fairly long, over 4 minutes. A very long eclipse, over 7 minutes, will cross the Far East in July 2009.

Look for golden Saturn an hour after sunset high in the southeast. On March 10, look for it to the right of the waxing moon.

Mars rises earlier, and appears higher in the sky. Find Orion. Westward is orangish Mars, reddish Aldebaran, the Eye of the Bull, and further on, the cluster which is the Pleiades. All three are close together. On March 5, the crescent moon passes between Mars and the Pleiades. Mars is fading in brightness as the month wears on.

Early in the evening of April 1, we can view a magical sight. A crescent moon filled with earthshine will pass through the Pleiades.

Early risers still get the view the jewels of the sky, Venus and Jupiter.

About two hours before sunrise, Venus rises brightly in the southeast sky. On March 25, a waning crescent moon passes to her right. Moon and Venus together are always magical. At the same time, Mercury is turning direct, about to become a morning star.

Jupiter rises before midnight, but it never rises very high, and it is a few hours before it gets high enough to strut its brilliance. Later in the morning, watch for red Antares, Scorpio’s bright star, rising to Jupiter’s lower left.

The constant changing-ness of the sky views is fascinating. There is never the same picture twice, just as there is never the same horoscope twice. Watching the sky night after night dramatizes this changing panoramas.