: cancer - your year in the stars :
Traditionally, you are ruled by the Moon. Hence your fluctuating and fluid moods: said to reflect in part, the continual cycle of wax and wane evinced by our satellite. There has even been a push in certain quarters, towards renaming your sign the Moon Child, because of negative associations with the disease of cancer in the bulk of people’s minds. The Greek physician Hippocrates, considered by many to have laid the foundations for modern medicine, first used the word καρκίνος (karkinos) around 400 BC, to describe the malignant tumours he had encountered. This ancient word is nowadays translated to mean crab, so perhaps the swollen veins that surrounded these tumours were reminiscent of crab’s legs? Still, the place of Cancer the constellation, was already established in the classical myths of his contemporaries.

Over 350 years later, Hippocrates' Greek term was translated to the familiar cancer, the Latin word for crab. So it is fitting then, considering your association with the brightest occupant of our night sky, that the tone of your coming year is set early on; by a partial eclipse of the Sun on Friday, July 13. This is of course a memorable date, but not a cause for paraskevidekatriaphobia: because the new moon and thus solar eclipse are both in your sign, while the astrological portents for this moment are really rather encouraging. Solar and lunar eclipses happen because of the orbital dynamics between the Sun, Moon and Earth. In a total solar eclipse, the Moon’s shadow neatly blots out the Sun: since the Sun is four hundred times bigger, but also four hundred times further away. Sometimes, a bright ring of the Sun remains around it.
Totality is only ever visible along a comparatively narrow path. The Moon’s inner shadow is at its largest 273 km (169.6 miles) in diameter, even at the best of times and frequently a great deal less. When the alignment is not so precise a partial solar eclipse is witnessed, since the Moon’s inner shadow misses the Earth. Yet you are far more likely to catch a partial solar eclipse, since total eclipses will appear partial too, if you are away from the centre line.

On this occasion, greatest eclipse occurs over Wilkes Land in the remote east of Antarctica, during the depths of the Antarctic winter. Less than 23% of the Sun will be obscured as it struggles over the horizon, during what passes at these latitudes for late morning, to commence a day lasting a bit less than four hours. Temperatures historically are in the region of -65°C (-85°F) and below. Plus you should consider the chances of clear skies, at a fairly lengthy 9/2 shot or just 18%, for a betting person bent on going so far. A more realistic proposition should be to visit Hobart in Tasmania, which sees 3.5% of the Sun covered around lunchtime, on a day that has been cloudy more often than not, by a factor of two to one. The very south of Tasmania might manage, a little more. Even Melbourne, or Stewart Island in New Zealand may catch a fractional obscuration, but as you’ve probably gathered by now this won’t be anything to write home about, while the chances of cloud cover are increased.

So what is the big deal, around a minor eclipse that in probability, almost nobody is going to see? Firstly, the fact it occurs in your sign, where it calls into question how you’ve been dealing with the world and those you have encountered along life’s pathway. Maybe, you need to take the perspective of others in to greater account, or establish a set of values that goes beyond a purely materialistic worth. Perhaps you would rather live your own life, rather than let society at large dictate, what you should and oughtn’t to be feeling?
: cancer - june 2018/june 2019 :
Possibly, your task is to combine these two extremes, to ensure your individuality can be fully expressed within a framework, that does not upset or offend anyone and avoids unnecessary discord or controversy. Also, this elusive eclipse belongs to a series that is almost incomprehensibly old. It began in 792 AD, which for reference if you weren’t there yourself, was a leap year starting on a Sunday. King Charlemagne was in the news for those in the know, well on his way to becoming Holy Roman Emperor on Xmas Day, eight years later. Further north, Offa of Mercia made approaches to the southern kingdoms of Essex, Kent and Sussex in an attempt to unify England. Elsewhere in the world the Byzantine Empire, was in full effect. Eighteen years and a little afterwards, this same series fired another eclipse.

It’s the established pattern with eclipse cycles called the Saros Series. This is a repeat of Series 117, out of 157 since the start of the second millennium BC. July 2018 marks the sixty-ninth eclipse in this ancient sequence, the oldest currently still running. There are just two partial solar eclipses to go, growing one degree closer to the South Pole and progressively more marginal each time; while a second series that started in 1928, rises to take its place. The thing to know about the solar eclipse of July 13 and its ancestors, first noted over northern North America on the margins of the Arctic Circle; is this progenitor was also in your region of the sky. With your respect for the past, an eclipse in your sign that has roots in your constellation, marks one of the most significant junctures you have come across, in an extremely long while.
 © Paul Wade 2018 cancer - your character
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