The first set of eclipses to stradde old and new year in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn, you could almost call them the ‘Janus’ eclipses, janus sbeing the two-faced Roman god who faced both past and future simultaneously.

Janus is also associated with the Saturnalia, a festival of inversion in which servants dressed up as masters and vice-versa, which seems fitting for this pair of occultations: the old year was ‘eclipsed’ or closed out with a lunar eclipse in Cancer, while the new year got underway with a solar eclipse in Capricorn.

Strangely, but in keeping with the difficult energy of the Saturn-Pluto squares, this eclipse seemed to augur in a time of exits and endings, rather than new beginnings – this eclipse coincided with a number of mass deaths due to earthquakes, as well as a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


At the time of the lunar eclipse, the Full Moon in Cancer was opposed by a stellium in Capricorn that included Venus, Mercury and Pluto, suggesting a major shift in the way we relate to others or in terms of our personal values.

Both sets of planets, particularly thos ein the early degrees of Cancer/Capricorn (eg Pluto and Venus) also formed a cardinal T-square t transiting Saturn in Libra, again suggesting additional pressures, duties or burdens being placed on key relationships. Sometimes Saturn in Libra represents commitments, but it can also signal karmic or legal agreements that create an onus or obligation of some kind. These could be a marriage, but equally, might have something to do with business.

For instance, this might indicate the additional stress that comes with an impending wedding, which always seems to create drama and turn ordinarily sweet-natured individuals into bridezilla. Full moon eclipses can heighten emotions in and of themselves. Add to that the fact that it took place in Cancer, and it coudl well have turned mothers into potential monsters-in-law to be, or just emotional wrecks.

Saturn is also associated with cold temperatures, and the winter of 2009-2010 happened to be exceptionally cold.

Globally, unusual weather patterns brought cold, moist air from the north. Weather systems were undergoing cyclogenesis from North American storms moving across the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and saw many parts of Europe experiencing heavy snowfall and record-low temperatures. This led to a number of deaths, widespread transport disruption, power failures and postponed sporting events.


According to the BBC:

Snow and ice dominated the headlines for more than a week at the start of the year, as Britain shivered in the longest cold spell for almost 30 years. Thousands of schools closed, buses, trains and planes were delayed, and power supplies failed as winter chaos reigned.

BBC News

At the time of the eclipse, transiting Saturn was slap bang on top of the Duchess of Cambridge’s natal Mars in Libra, which may have affected her energy levels.


The Capricorn solar eclipse on 12 January 2010, took place on the same day as a devastating earthquake that struck Haiti, claiming 230,000 lives and leaving more than one million people homeless. This was followed a month later by a massive earthquake in Chile that killed more than 200 people and affected two million more. At the time, almost all the planets were in Capricorn and Aquarius, creating a massive build-up of energy one small zone of the zodiac.

The British fashion world was also devastated by the suicide of Alexander McQueen. Lots of shock exits and endings, then, which fits with the fact that the luminaries were contacing transiting Uranus in Pisces, which was placing quite a lot of stress on natal planets in McQueen’s chart, for one. Uranus is associated with the short sharp cut of the guillotine and so can cause shocks and abrupt endings.

The planets of death, Saturn and Pluto, were also forming a tense square to each other in Capricorn and Libra, which woudl have added to the sense of doom and gloom, as well as finality that accompanied loss of lif eon such a large scale. In a way, this was echoed soe years later in January 2020 when these two planets came together for a deadly conjunction in Capricorn, signalling the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still within the orb of this six month eclipse cycle was the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 oil workers and led to one of the worst oil spills in history. Pluto rules oil and Uranus, explosions. Given that Uranus was transiting through Pisces, the sign of the oceans, the symbolism appears to ft quite well.

Bernadette Brady attributes this family of eclipses to the 12 North Saros family which began in May 1613. Previous eclipses in this series during the 20th and 21st centuries occurred in: 1901, 1919, 1937, 1955, 1973, and 1992.

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