The Solar Eclipse of the Century and The Eclipses of July/August 2009

by Daniel Giamario

When determined by length (six minutes 39 seconds) and centrality (the umbra only 275 miles north of the center of the earth) the total solar eclipse of July 21 through July 22 is rightly called the Solar Eclipse of the Century. None will surpass it until 2114. This solar eclipse is part of Saros Cycle 136 that has produced the longest eclipses over the last several hundred years. The term Saros refers to a “family” of eclipses that repeat about every 18 years and 11 days. This particular Saros began in June of 1360 and finishes up in July of 2622, a total of 71 eclipses over 1262 years. This Saros cycle gave us the longest total solar eclipses of the last century, including the only three eclipses over seven minutes long in 1937, 1955 and 1973. Every eclipse in this family from 1901 until 2063 is over six minutes, a length justifying the title “Great Eclipse”.

It is interesting writing this from Hawaii, as I had the opportunity to co-facilitate a two week event on the Big Island for the Great Eclipse of 1991 that covered parts of Hawaii before tracking across Mexico. On July 21, those of us in Hawaii will be able to see a 15% partial eclipse, but North America misses the show. The central track of totality stretches from India, across Bhutan, over China and Japan and then out into the Pacific. Hundreds of millions of people will have an opportunity to experience this Great Eclipse of the Sun, total and partial. Interestingly, the central track of totality just barely misses the top of Mount Everest. Many websites and publications offer detailed data on the exact track of the eclipse.

Eclipse seasons happen twice a year spaced around six months apart, and last just over four weeks. The centrality of this total solar eclipse places July 21 through July 22 right at the center of the eclipse season, producing the relatively rare situation of three eclipses within one season, in this case rather minor penumbral lunar eclipses, two weeks before and after the total solar. There has been surfacing some alarmists and sensationalized material recently with regard to this triple eclipse season, much of which has been coming out of India. The research presents the case that a lunar-solar-lunar sequence is connected with great wars and turmoil. Maybe so, but the situation is not really all that rare. In fact, three eclipses in one season occurs around eight times ever 28 years, averaging every 3.5 years, or eight of every 59 eclipse seasons. Here are the most recent and next ones (note capital L for Lunar or capital S for Solar indicates that a lunar or solar eclipse starts the triple sequence):

L 1998
S 2000
L 2002
L 2009
S 2011
L 2013
L 2020

One thing is sure. If there is anything to the dire predictions, we will find out soon, due to the extreme centrality of the solar eclipse. Consider the following: a really long total solar eclipse requires three things

1)    The syzygy is when the Sun and Moon line up (New Moon)
2)    A close nodal  conjunction at syzygy
3)    Maximum perigee -closest approach of the Moon to the Earth.

In this case the perigee is just 6.3 hours before the New Moon Solar Eclipse and is the nearest perigee of the Moon this year, just 222,128 miles. The next closest doesn’t occur until November 14, 2016. The high tides phenomena and the possible connection to earthquakes is well known, plus visually the Moon is really big especially as it is rising. Then just 75 minutes before exact syzygy, the Sun reaches the exact south node, almost exactly in the precise center of the eclipse season. These factors together create the most central eclipse of the century, not to be equaled until 2114.

The Shamanic Astrology Mystery School chooses not to describe positive/negative, good/bad dualistic judgments to any event or cycle. The really negative interpretations historically attributed to eclipses are well known and taken into consideration. Also, we do not make the mistake of some light polarized all optimistic meaning.

Simply put, a lunar eclipse is a super Full Moon and a solar eclipse is a super New Moon. A central, over six minutes long, total solar eclipse is as super as a New Moon can get! There are two other factors to consider:

1) The physical path of the track of totality, pointing our attention to those regions of the earth darkened, example, India, Tibet, China, and partial over North Korea.
2) This is a south node solar eclipse. The shadow of the past cannot be suppressed or denied. Embracing the shadow precedes the new seeding occurring at a New Moon.

Note that the lunar eclipses surrounding the total solar eclipse are both north node (future oriented) eclipses. These two full moons on July 7 at 15 Capricorn 24, August 5 at 13 Aquarius 43 may help illuminate the central issues facing global humanity. The Full Moon of Aquarius that occurs every year in late July through August has been seen by many to be a truly celestial portal, the Full Moon of vision quest and the Ascended Masters.

As for all of these great astronomical cosmological events, in the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School we encourage participation with our awareness, and holding ceremonial space for the rapidly accelerating plan of Great Mystery.

1) The 10% to 15% partial solar eclipse begins about 5:00pm on Tuesday
afternoon, July 21 and lasts until about 6:15 pm Hawaii time. Make sure to get some kind of solar filter for safe viewing of the partial eclipse.

2) Since Hawaii is south of 23 degree north latitude, it is in the geographical zone where twice a year, the sun will be exactly on the zenith, a situation where there is NO SHADOW! This is an interesting complement to the time of shadow with the eclipses. On Maui, this phenomena happens in May and July and is called “lahaina noon.” This July, on the Lahaina side of Maui it happens on July 17 at 12:32 pm and on the Hana side it occurs July 18 at 12:30pm. I believe it is July 19th on the Big Island around the same time.


  1. Thank you, Daniel, for the precise and excellent description and explanation of eclipses; particularly our upcoming solar eclipse. You are certainly honoured and appreciated by many for creating and maintaining the finest presentation of astrology. Many blessings to you and your people. Ruth Eileen, Missoula, MT

  2. I, too, really liked this “eclipse season special”, Daniel!

    There are two additional factors on which I am meditating regarding eclipses. I say “meditating” because I am still working out how to interpret their implications for people’s charts.

    One thing that feels significant is the special fractal of time eclipses symbolize. A day with a total solar eclipse is like going through another whole day in 3-7 minutes; a night with a lunar eclipse is like going through another whole month in a few hours.

    The second thing is a timing cycle noted by Boston astrologer Dietrich Pessin. 9 months after a solar eclipse, the Moon will reach Her first quarter very near the same degree of the same sign; 9 months later, She will be full near that degree; 9 months later She will be at Her last quarter near that degree. It is as if the energies set in motion have 2 1/2 to 3 years to fully play out. This eclipse’s lunar phase repetitions will occur on 4/21/10 (1st qtr), 1/19/11 (full), 10/20/11 (3rd qtr). Instead of an “eclipse effect” lasting only 3 or 6 months, a 2 1/2 year evolution of its energy pattern can be traced through one’s life, especially if the eclipse itself impacts important natal points.

    Best to all,
    Marcia Butchart, Sammamish, WA

    • Thank you Marica for these great additional insights you shared on July 7th. I have also noticed what you are mentioning as it happens with any New or Full Moon point and of course really captures our attention with this type of an eclipse.

      I researched the coming Moon phases degrees for those who are interested. Keep in Mind the center point of the this eclipse is 29 Cancer 27…

      April 21, 2010 1st Quarter 1 Leo 32
      Jan 19, 2011 Full Moon 29 Cancer 27 (This is the closest most exact Moon phase to the eclipse degree)
      Oct 19, 2011 Last Quarter 26 Cancer 27
      July 18, 2012 New Moon 26 Cancer 54

      I looked through the next round as well as the Moon stays near these degrees…

      April 18, 2013 1st Quarter 28 Cancer 38
      Jan 15, 2014 Full Moon 25 Cancer 58
      Oct 15, 2014 Last Quarter 22 Cancer 21
      July 16, 2015 New Moon 23 Cancer 14

      So from 2009 to 2015 the Cancer New Moon is drifting about 3 degrees in these three year intervals.
      2009 New Moon 29 Cancer 27
      2012 New Moon 26 Cancer 54
      2015 New Moon 23 Cancer 14

    • The eclipse is exact at 7:35 pm Pacific Time so that is 4:35 pm Hawaii Time on July 21. In most parts of the world where the eclipse is reaching totality it will be the 22nd already due to the time difference.

    • Singapore

      Singapore – 08:40:51 AM to 09:43:55 AM


      Yangon – 06:31:39 AM to 08:35:40 AM


      Manila – 08:33:01 AM to 11:01:51 AM


      Kuala Lumpur – 07:29:00 AM to 08:48:44 AM


      Bangkok – 07:06:48 AM to 09:08:44 AM

      Hong Kong

      Victoria – 08:14:30 AM to 10:45:56 AM


      Ho Chi Minh City – 07:17:28 AM to 09:15:43 AM


      Bandar Seri Begawan – 08:48:00 AM to 10:22:56 AM


      Phnom Penh – 07:13:58 AM to 09:13:28

      Here is a list of important places in India where the Total Solar Eclipse on July 22, 2009 is Visible in its totality.


      The total eclipse begins from Western part of India near Surat.

      * Eclipse begins before sunrise
      * Total Solar Eclipse Begins at 06:21:16 AM

  3. The July 2009 Solar Eclipse occurred within 1 day of my birthday. I’d give OH so much to find out just WHAT that means for ME. The astrology book said “a landmark year”. That it has certainly been!

  4. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing about this eclipse. It is nice info and you are right , many people follow faith blindly is not fair ….but I think some time its working but can’t believe always ….. they don’t know how to do effectively so before doing blindly just analysis ….

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