July’s Solar Eclipse in Cancer not only brings back lessons and experiences from 2014 to process and integrate; it may also force many of us to come face to face with the masks that we, and others, wear in close relationships that lead to tension, conflict and a lack of real closeness. The flip side of ridicule, laughter and playing the fool, especially if a joke/bit of entertainment is taken too far, could also become an issue between now and the end of the year. The key to mastering this particular eclipse cycle is to find positive and healthy ways to express your feelings, needs and opinions without hurting others or permanently damaging the dynamics between you and your tribe.



In a repeat of summer 2018, the second solar eclipse of 2019 will take place on 2 July 2019 at 20h16 BST (21h16 SAST).

Cancer is a cardinal water sign,  sothe Crab is all about emotion, feeling, nurturing, raising/caring for others and being cared for. It is also about belonging, so close relationships and dynamics with members of your ‘tribe’ are likely to loom large. This soli-lunar event calls on us all to examine our relationships with our ‘tribes’  – family, friendships, and especially those we share our domestic (and online) space with.

Over the next six months, you may find yourself reviewing certain dynamics within close relationships to check for unhealthy patterns, such as co-dependence, an inability to self-soothe or self-nurture or a tendency to compromise one’s values or needs in order to belong. Here we are not talking about the large, impersonal groups associated with Aquarius, but more the close-knit units we develop with relatives, loved ones and bosom buddies.

Other key themes associated with Cancer include:

  • Food, nourishment and cooking
  • Home, lifestyle and domestic arrangements
  • Childhood, motherhood, conception and birth
  • Habits, unconscious patterns/psychodynamics, instinctual reactions
  • Family welfare, protection of loved ones/self, security of your home
  • Self-care, self-nurturing, psychological wellbeing and emotional sustenance

The last time we experienced a solar eclipse in this Saros cycle – 3 North – was 8 Oct 2014; and in this Saros cycle AND sign: July 2001. If you need a quick reminder of the astrology of these events, then visit my eclipse chronology page.

Sabian Symbol

This eclipse occurs at 11th degree of Cancer. The Sabian Symbol for this degree is:

A clown making grimaces/A clown caricaturing well-known personalities

This to me, covers two issues that have been constellating quite strongly recently:

  • The masks that people wear
  • Bullying and/or passive aggressive behaviour, such as being nasty to/critical of loved ones under the guise of being funny/’just joking’

Masks, lies and fake behaviour

As the television programme, “Catfish” has revealed, the online world is a murky place where appearances can be very deceptive. There are a lot of people out there who set up fake profiles on social media and use them for variously unsavoury purposes, from grooming young children, to getting online attention from the opposite sex, to conning people out of money. Many usnsuspecting souls have found themselves falling in love with, or getting close to people online, only to find that the other person either doesn’t exist or is not at all who they portray themselves to be. This can be extremely hurtful and disheartening. It also throws up all sorts of questions about social media, masks and the construction of online identities  – a veritable minefield when it comes to ethics, especially as many people now  socialise and begin many of their key relationships online…Trust and authenticity have never become more important, something highlighted by Uranus’ tour through earthy Taurus…

With Neptune retrograde, and Pluto making a number of challenging aspects to the inner and outer planets, masks are beginning to slip, so those people who thrive on lies, manipulation and deception should watch out – their time in the driving seat may soon be coming to a close…let’s hope so!

During the second half of 2019, we are being urged to find ways to protect ourselves from abuse but not at the expense of hardening us to genuine, heartfelt contact. Learning how we get unconsciously triggered by other people and introducing healthy boundaries are just some of the ways that we can try to better navigate our way through what can sometimes be dificult emotional waters.

Laughter – not always the best medicine?

We’ve all heard sayings like “Laughter is  the best medicine” and “Many a true word is said in jest.” There are certainly times when this is true. However, much usually depends on whether people are laughing WITH someone or AT them. Some people find it difficult to express their opinions and feelings directly, which means that they can resort to passive aggressive tactics like making oblique jokes or online remarks designed to hide their true emotions but still “have a dig”. As Lynda Hill says:

Perhaps someone is not being real, using masks and play-acting in order to hide what their true emotions, needs or objectives are? Or, they can just be playing the fool when the situation needs a more serious response. This can be acceptable for a while, but, sooner or later, this kind of behavior can end up being both annoying and frustrating.

In our personal lives, we also encounter those who find it difficult to be honest or their authentic selves all of the time, which can lead to misunderstandings as well as conflict in relationships. Over the next six months, it is possible that these types of situations may take centre stage, perhaps through your own, or a loved one’s personal experiences. Given the nature of this particular Saros series, this could lead to a lot of unnecessary drama – and hurt – in your life, especially if matters are taken too far, or people are too proud to apologize or admit they were wrong. So it may well be worth weighing up the pro’s and the con’s of a particular issue to assess how to find a positive balance between self-care, on one hand, and fostering healthier ties with others, on the other.

Taking a Joke too Far…

And when it comes to jokes and ridicule, satire is one thing, but cruelty masked as humour is quite another. Sometimes we are only trying to provide some light relief or entertainment, but it ends up causing someone else a great deal of harm. In today’s online environment, it can be so easy for people to do this without giving it too much thought, especially if we don’t have to deal with the immediate reactions and feedback we get from face-to-face interactions. Research is beginning to show that the increasing use of technology and the online environment seems to be making people less empathetic. This may be why we have seen a rise in online bullying and hate speech.

As reports of this phenomenon grow in the media, and more and more young people are taking their own lives as a result of this insidious behaviour, it would seem that politicians may finally be beginning to listen – fresh calls for extended legislation designed to tackle this problem have been popping up in the media. With a new six-month cycle due to begin in this area, let’s hope that something is finally done about it. Between now and December, we may see the drafting (or passing) of stricter legislation aimed at dealing with identity fraud, online bullying and so on.

The Sabian Oracle therefore gives the following keywords as starting points for meditations on this particular degree:

Keywords: Exaggerated responses. Wanting to entertain. Show business. Trying to be something or someone that one’s not. Putting on a face. Comic performances. Parodies of personalities. Making fun of someone. Clowns and clowning. Life imitating art. Always performing. Irony. Satire. Objective observance. Criticism. Laughter. Caricatures. Cartoons. Lampooning. Voice impressions.

The Caution: Being foolish in the face of positive potential. Trying to cover up reality through buffoonery. Being constantly “on stage”. Living vicariously. Inauthentic behavior. Not having the courage to display one’s true self. Putting on a face to manipulate or fool others. Irritating behavior that wears thin after a while. Being the laughing stock. Overblown impressions. Loss of true identity.

Astrological chart

Key Aspects

This particular solar eclipse is unusual in that the Sun and Moon will not be aspecting any other planets. Like several of our most recent lunar phases, this is therefore likely to make the energy of luminaries quite pure and undiluted.

Interestingly, the Moon’s position in Cancer makes lunar energy very strong at this time. Cancerian themes are thereforelikely to be strong over the next six months.

Fixed Stars

According to Astrology King:

The July 2019 solar eclipse is refreshingly positive. It joins a star in Gemini Constellation called Alhena that brings good health, honor, and riches. This is an excellent eclipse for enjoying good times with friends and especially your family. This star is good for artists and scientists. The spiritual nature of this star brings people together so it is a good omen for ending conflict through peace negotiations.

Saturn and Pluto will also be orbiting very close to the south node, as well as the fixed star Rukbat at the time of the eclipse, which suggests that there may be opportunities for karmic clearing and internal restructuring over the next two months. Rukbat is a star in Capricorn that confers steadiness and strength on planets that aspect it.

Arabic Parts

The Sun and Moon will be conjunct the Part of the Honourable Acquaintance, as it so often is at eclipses, perhaps because its formula involves calculating the ratios between Ascendant, Sun and the Part of Fortune.


The Cancer eclipse forms part of the Brady’s 3 North Saros series (Van den Berg 127), which she sees as being concerned with excessive, exaggerated or over the top behaviour that can lead to obsession, worry or transformative developments that permanently alter a situation.

In other words, plenty of drama with the potential for tragedy if people get too carried away. Rather than getting too carried away, or trying to be too grandiose or ambitious, it’s best to keep things simple.

If we consider this in relation to our Sabian symbol, the message seems to be not to take the ‘joke’ too far because it may not turn out to be that funny, especially if people end up getting hurt.

Past Precedent

This group of eclipses first began in the year 1389 CE/AD and will end in around 2633. More recent solar eclipses in this series occurred in 1911, 1929, 1947, 1965, 1983 and 2001. The next elipse in this series take splace in 2038.

Geographical position

NASA Map Jul 2019 eclipse

This particular solar eclipse occurs in the southern hemisphere, which means that it will only be visible in parts of South America, including Argentina and Chile.

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