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"I'm seeing that this is one of the friendliest eclipses of the whole year."

Sarah Gray
February 15, 2018

The skies will be graced by a partial solar eclipse on Feb. 15, and astrologers have forecasts (albeit conflicting) for what this event means based on their views.

Most of us — those in North America, Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and the northern half of South America — won't able to see this partial solar eclipse as it will only be visible in Antarctica, areas of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and portions of southern South America.

For those who believe in astrology – the interpretation of celestial bodies, their positions, and how they influence the natural world – this matters to a degree.

According to queer, feminist astrologer Chani Nicholas, who is based in Los Angeles, "If eclipses are visible, the impact is magnified, but that doesn’t mean it’s magnified in a positive way," she wrote over email. "Many thought that being under the shadow of an eclipse wasn’t good."

"Eclipses were historically seen as ominous events in many traditions as the luminaries, the sun and moon, are viewed as places of life in astrological terms," she continued. "To have either a light or life source obscured was thought of as inauspicious most times."

This particular partial solar eclipse is a time to "consciously set new patterns," Nicholas said. "Because this is also a new moon this is doubly so, as new moons are times to begin things in our life that we hope to see grow into fruition."

Astrologer Shelley Ackerman's reading of the partial solar eclipse veers towards the political. Ackerman, who is on the board of directors of the International Society for Astrological Research, believes that given the position of the moon (27 degrees of Aquarius) and the birth date of the United States (July 4, 1776), this eclipse is significant for the U.S. "because the moon is the population, Aquarius is the masses."

"There's going to be a big kind of shift in the collective consciousness and the collective expression of what they need from their elected officials," she said, sharing her view that this eclipse is just the prelude to bigger astrological and political changes to come in the next few years.

For popular New York-based astrologer Susan Miller, the eclipse is more personal than political. Miller also noted the 27 degrees of Aquarius position but said, unlike some eclipses that can be negative, she sees this as a kinder eclipse — especially for the zodiac signs Aquarius, Libra, and Leo.

"I can't see everybody's charts, it's all unique, but generally I'm seeing that this is one of the friendliest eclipses of the whole year," she said. "I really like it ... and it opens a new path because that's what new moons do."

NASA has accepted that "Like reading fantasy stories, many people enjoy reading their 'astrological forecast' or 'horoscope' in the newspaper every day." But, the agency emphasizes that astrology "is not science," which Nicholas acknowledges.

The University of California Berkeley's Understanding Science website further clarifies the distinction between astrology and science, reading, "Although astrologers seek to explain the natural world, they don't usually attempt to critically evaluate whether those explanations are valid — and this is a key part of science."

The next partial solar eclipses of note take place on July 13 and August 11 of 2018, while the next total solar eclipse visible from North America won't be until April 8, 2024.

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