Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Of Eclipses and Crop Circles

This is the latest Visual Astrology Newletter from Bernadette Brady. It's free, and you can subscribe here.

The Eclipse, the Swallows and Crop Circles -
Cosmos and Culture in the wheat fields.
Bernadette Brady M.A.

Every summer the south west of England is awash with the most magical and beautiful phenomena known as crop circles. Reported since the seventeenth-century, these circle have defied researchers as to how to understand them. Considered by most to be hoaxes, the simple fact stands that although some may well be made with ropes and planks, others are so large, so perfect and so mysterious in their geometry and appear so quickly that most unbiased viewers are left only with awe and wonder.

Independent of the nature of their creators, these circles are a cultural part of an English summer. The circles vary from one year to the next but this particular summer there has been a collection of astronomical circles suggestive of this current eclipse season [1].

Figure 1. Formation (left) at Winterbourne Bassett, England, on 18 June, possibly showing an eclipse, solar or lunar. Formation (right) at East Kennett, England, on 7 July appeared to give the correct timing to the lunar eclipse due on 16 August 2008.

The first of these cycles [2] appeared at Winterbourne Bassett, England, on 18 June (see Figure 1). It was rough which suggests that it is not made by the “crop circle artists” but it seemed to be showing an eclipse image. If we considered the large circle to be the sun with its corona, then this might be talking of the total solar eclipse on the 1 August 2008. If the large circle is the shadow of the earth and the smaller circle is the Moon passing through this shadow, then this might be talking of the lunar eclipse due on 16 August, 2008. Within a few weeks of this crop circle appearing, the eclipse theme was taking shape with the clearest example being a formation at East Kennett, England, on 7 July which shows "forty days or two Mayan months" until a near-total lunar eclipse on August 16, 2008” [3]

To possibly underline the Mayan message of this circle, on 15 July at Avebury Manor, Wiltshire, the “crop circle artists” then gave an almost standard Mayan signature - a circle which was a orrery in the wheat field showing the orientation of the solar system for the date 21 December, 2012 (Figure 2).

A crop circle orrery for 21 December 2012 seems to be referring to the ever-growing concerns for the year 2012. At the heart of these concerns is the ending of a Mayan calendar great cycle. The Mayan calendar includes the great cycle of precession where the north celestial pole slowly rotates through an ellipse which takes around 26,000 years to complete. In the year 2012 the current pole star Polaris will be as close as it can get to being exactly on the north celestial pole. Pole stars are rare, the last one being in approximately 2790 BCE with Thuban in Draco. This alignment of the pole with the star Polaris was, apparently, for the Mayans the marker for the beginning and end of their great cycle of ages.

Figure 2. Formation in Avebury, UK, on 15 July showing the solar system for 21 December, 2012.

Many people believe this to be apocalyptic but one must remember that, as with all cycles, they do not have shape edges but tend to slowly emerge as they step through their stages. thus any so called endings could take several thousand years to manifest.

Here the crop circle artist is capturing the cultural interest in this date – a literal cosmos and culture phenomena in the fields around Avebury, UK, and possibly suggesting the early eclipse crop circle is indeed based on the Mayan system of months.

So what are the eclipses of this current season that someone seems to be wanting to draw in the landscape?

The August 2008 Eclipses

The eclipse season of July-August 2008 produces a solar eclipse at 100 Leo on 1 August. This eclipse is from Saros Series 10 South which began on 10 March 1179 and will not complete until 13 April 2423. This series, based on its "birth" chart, is delineated in Predictive Astrology, the Eagle and the Lark as:

This saros series concerns itself with breaking out of a very negative situation where no hope can be seen to a more positive space containing many options. A worry that may have been affecting a person will suddenly clear. [4]

Already this theme is emerging with the Serbian ex-leader, Radovan Karadzic, who has been in hiding for the last 13 years, being found and bought to trial. On a smaller more personal level many clients have been reporting that their old problems, large and small, are emerging again but now with clarity and solutions. However, it is not the solar eclipse that is the theme of the wheat fields in the west of England.

The Lunar Eclipse on 16 August 2008

The lunar eclipse on the 16 August is at 240 Aquarius and belongs to the lunar Saros series labelled with the van den Berg number of 138. The series began on the 5 October 1503. [5]

This first eclipse, in 1503, occurred with the Moon located in the Babylonian constellation of “the swallows” which we now know as the fishes of Pisces.

Figure 3.The lunar eclipse series began (5 October, 1503) with a lunar eclipse in the stars of Pisces, known as "The Swallows" (Left). On the 10 July in Alton Priors, Wiltshire, a formation containing six birds appeared called the "Swallows" which expanded on 22 July to contain twelve swallows.

On 10 July 2008 a beautiful crop circle appeared on the hills around Alton Priors, UK, and it was named by the crop circles image collectors as “The Swallows”. It contained six swallows. However, by 22 July the crop circle had grown to contain twelve swallows. This formation was over 100 meters wide and 150 meters long and drew bus loads of foreign tourists to its beauty. I visited this formation myself and had the joy of watching swallows perform low flying swoops along the “rivers” of flattened wheat.

Various websites suggested that this huge formation was associated with the eclipses in August. However, the three way link between the eclipse, its origins within the Swallows in the sky on the on 5 October, 1503, and the crop circle formation of "The Swallows" is probably more synchronistic than planned. Nevertheless, it set me off on a journey of research of this particular lunar saros series. For me the zeitgeist was "speaking".

The Lunar Saros Series #138

The series, like a solar eclipse series, will produce a new lunar eclipse every 18 years 9 or 12 days (depending on the number of leap years in the 18 years). Each eclipse will occur 11-to-12 degrees further along in zodiacal degrees. At the beginning of the series the lunar eclipses (the position of the full moon) occurs in front of the transiting node (greater zodiacal longitude) but at each occurrence the orb decreases by around half a degree. Thus the lunar eclipses slowly become total and then move out again to partial and final complete and in this way the series unfolds over a period of 1481 years.

The dates of the entire Lunar Saros series (van don Berg #138).

1503 Oct 05 1521 Oct 15 1539 Oct 27 1557 Nov 06 1575 Nov 18 1593 Dec 08 1611 Dec 19 1629 Dec 30 1648 Jan 10 1666 Jan 20 1684 Feb 01 1702 Feb 12 1720 Feb 23 1738 Mar 06 1756 Mar 16 1774 Mar 27 1792 Apr 07 1810 Apr 19 1828 Apr 29 1846 May 11 1864 May 21 1882 Jun 01 1900 Jun 13 1918 Jun 24 1936 Jul 04 1954 Jul 16 1972 Jul 26 1990 Aug 06 2008 Aug 16 2026 Aug 28 2044 Sep 07 2062 Sep 18 2080 Sep 29 2098 Oct 10 2116 Oct 21 2134 Nov 02 2152 Nov 12 2170 Nov 23 2188 Dec 04 2206 Dec 16 2224 Dec 26 2243 Jan 07 2261 Jan 17 2279 Jan 28 2297 Feb 08 2315 Feb 20 2333 Mar 02 2351 Mar 13 2369 Mar 24 2387 Apr 04 2405 Apr 14 2423 Apr 26 2441 May 06 2459 May 17 2477 May 28 2495 Jun 08 2513 Jun 19 2531 Jun 30 2549 Jul 11 2567 Jul 22 2585 Aug 01 2603 Aug 13 2621 Aug 24 2639 Sep 04 2657 Sep 14 2675 Sep 26 2693 Oct 06 2711 Oct 18 2729 Oct 28 2747 Nov 09 2765 Nov 19 2783 Nov 30 2801 Dec 11 2819 Dec 22 2838 Jan 01 2856 Jan 13 2874 Jan 23 2892 Feb 03 2910 Feb 15 2928 Feb 26

Poison, popes and power - the first eclipse.

October 1503 was a time of intrigue in the Vatican The Pope Alexander VI had died, believed by poison, and the newly elected pope Pope Pius III was dead within ten days of being anointed. Into this time of upheaval, the power-hungry cardinal, Della Rovere succeeded by dexterous diplomacy to trick the weakened college of cardinals into supporting him.

Della Rovere was elected to the papal dignity by the near-unanimous vote of the cardinals. He became Pope Julius II and his reign was marked by an aggressive foreign policy, ambitious building projects, and patronage of the arts and literature. Indeed in 1506 he laid the foundation stone for the new Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome and Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel for him.

Figure 4 - The Lunar series #138 origin chart of 5 October, 1503.

The first Lunar eclipse in the series captured a cardinal grand cross of a partile square between Neptune and the eclipse and a Mars-Jupiter-Saturn combination.

Issues of poison, the arts, and religious military power and intrigue within the Vatican or any halls of power all seem to sit comfortably with chart. However, being the "birth" chart of an eclipse series, these themes, I believe, become embedded within the whole series.

We can follow this theme through history by looking at events at times of other occurrences of eclipses of the series. Here follow are some interesting examples:

June 1990 - The Boxer Rebellion in China - China in conflict with westerners.

13 June, 1900 - This was the period of the Boxer Rebellion in China when troops from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United States, Russia and Japan were all under siege in an area near the Forbidden City in Peking (Beijing) and the provincial governments of China was declaring war on all westerners and Christians in the city.

Figure 4 - (left) A Chinese Boxer rebel (1900) waving a banner supporting the imperial armies conflict with ALL foreigners; and (right) a Chinese member of the Olympic ceremony waving a banner for the games.

This same series which is linked with the Boxer rebellion, where the Chinese declared war on all western countries, is now returning With the Chinese staging the Olympic games, athletic teams from all the different nations of the world are "invading" China and the Chinese, being the host country, are openly in "conflict" with them all in order to win medals.

The Partition of Vietnam and its reuniting in 1972.

The series also occurred in mid July 1954 and this was the timing of the Geneva Conference which partitioned Vietnam into North and South Vietnam. This partition was in place until the very next occurrence in the series on 26 July 1972, when the last US troops were removed from Vietnam on 25 July 1972.

The Gulf War - the last occurrence of the eclipse series.

The last occurrence of this series was on 6 August 1990, the date when Iraq invaded Kuwait which lead to the first Gulf War and began the still-continuing conflict in Iraq. A time of military conflict fuelled by the lust for oil which dragged many nations into the conflict. Added to this and largely missed by the world press which was occupied with the conflict in the Gulf, there was an announcement by the Germans that East and West Germany would reunite to form one country once again.

The forthcoming lunar eclipse

There are many other occurrences of this eclipse without the death of popes, partitioning or rejoining of countries and the emphasis on the arts and literature. However, if we consider the crop circles (regardless of their origins) as an expression of a theme or idea in the the collective, the current zeitgeist, then this implies a focus on this particular expression. But there is another interesting feature of this eclipse. If we look at the sky maps for the original eclipse in 1503 and compare this to the sky for the time of the forthcoming eclipse - 16 August 2008 - there are some interesting similarities. Both eclipses haveNeptune and Uranus in the same location amongst the stars. (see figure 5).

Figure 5 - Above - the sky map for the first lunar eclipse in this series with Neptune approaching the stars of Capricorn and Uranus amongst the stars of Aquarius. Below - the sky map for the forthcoming lunar eclipse on the 16 August, 2008, showing similar positions for Neptune and Uranus.

Intrigue in places of power

The Olympic games in China will, I feel, embrace the conflict nature of this eclipse particularly with its association with the Boxer Rebellion. However, is it possible that in this summer we may see the return of some papal intrigue, some Vatican mystery or this intrigue could occur in other halls of power.

At the moment the UK Prime ministership sits uneasily on Gordon Brown's shoulders. Further, one can only guess at the issues of power within the dynamics of the USA political system with an outgoing President and two presidential hopefuls. Or will a return of the eclipse of "The Swallows" bring with it division or reunion of countries? After all "The Swallows" are traditionally two animals (birds or fishes) moving in different directions but held together by the knot star Al Rescha.

The crop circles may not know but they may still be valid symbols of things to come -let us wait and see what the lunar eclipse of the Swallows brings.


1. Astronomical, lunar emphasis, crop circles have also been reported in Korea.

2. All crop circle images are from www.cropcircleconnector.com accessed 30 July 2008.

3. http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/eastkennett/eastkennett2008a.html accessed 30 July 2008

4. Brady, Bernadette (1992, 98). Predictive Astrology, the Eagle and the Lark. Samuel Weiser; Maine, USA. pg 323. All the solar Saros Series are astrologically delineated in this text.

5. For all the lunar eclipse series information see http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEsaros/LEsaros138.html accessed 30 July 2008.

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Combining said...

What is it like to stand in a crop circle? How does it feel? Do you have any sense of what it is while you are near or in it?

Monica said...

Thanks for posting this Bernadette Brady piece. It has everything one could want to know about the crop circles and the eclipses. Amazing stuff! We'll keep our eye on the Vatican.

Jacob said...

Crop circle is an amazing and beautiful phenomena. But there are many people who are still getting confused what actually it is. At least, By reading this article, I have known some information related to crop circle. Thanks

Blaine said...

Few months ago, people in Yogyakarta, Indonesia were surprised with the appearance of crop circle in rice field area. I was having my vacation there when this phenomenon occured. many people there were really curious about who did this brilliant "artwork". Some people insisted that it is alien work, but some other said that it is made by some students of local universities there.