Dawne Kovan

Sky Watching Wisdom , Astrology

The history of Eclipses

The astrology that we in the West use comes from the Chaldeans, who lived in Babylonia around 2,500 years ago. These people were mathematical geniuses – much like the Mayans – who had complex systems for predicting the movement of eclipses. There are reliable records of this since about 747 BC, which was the beginning of King Nabonassar’s reign. In the British Museum there are a number of these ancient records. One is carved on a large stone from Nineveh that listed their kings and the eclipses that occurred during their reigns.

From this they were able to perceive the cyclic nature of eclipses and able to predict eclipses accurately for years and centuries ahead.

They knew that eclipses belong to families and that they follow each other through time. The ancient image of the Serpent and the Egg is a graphic description of the movement of eclipses as they cross the earth in spiral pathways from North to South and back again.

And they did this without telescopes, by observation only – and observations that would extend beyond their own lifetimes. As eclipses tend to repeat every 18/19 years, they would have been lucky to be able to measure three repeats in their lifetimes – life was short in those days.

The Saros cycle is the result of these calculations that came from their observations that not every Solar or Lunar eclipse is total – some are more or less just a brief shadow across the face of the luminary in question. For example, the last Lunar eclipse on 25th April was a slight shadow at the top left hand side of an amber Moon, so an old eclipse.

These Priest Kings of ancient times calculated the birth of each Eclipse cycle at their seeding on the North or South Poles and then watched as they developed from a tiny shadow to a full blown Total Eclipse and then back to tiny shadows again on the opposite Pole from their birth. This takes 1,260 years and consists of about 70 eclipses per cycle.

The twisting snake around the Earth Egg is showing that each eclipse in the Saros Cycle occurs over the earth at a different point – 120 degrees West – each time. So the shadow will fall further West next time. While it falls across Perth, Australia, this month, it will fall a third further of the Earth’s mass to the West next time.

As the birth of each eclipse (or Saros Cycle) can be calculated, then we can find the flavour of each one in its particular family. Therefore we can safely say that not every eclipse is a negative event as is often portrayed by the media.

The Eclipse of 10th May is an annular eclipse which means that it is total but with a slight ring of light around it. It was born in 1472 on the South Pole. It has an energy of creativity about it and a release of tension. A situation that has been taking its time to clear will suddenly be resolved. This may bring a sense of disorientation that could take us by surprise, yet ultimately it will be seen to be a good thing. Eclipses are always heralds of beginnings and endings – so we just have to flow with the energy rather than walling ourselves against the changes implied.

The other cycle that the Babylonians used was the 19 year repeat by degree pattern known as the Metonic Cycle (from Meton of Athens, 5th Century BC). The Bahai religion uses a 19 year cycle in their devotions. As did the ancient Chinese calendar and the Hebrew calendar.

And all you have to do is ask yourself what you were doing around May in 1994, 1975 and 1956 – this is because the eclipse will fall in the same house and on the same degree on your chart – and you can then guess as to how it is likely to manifest this time for you.

I am currently also looking at pre-Natal Eclipses and their relationship to Karma and Life Purpose – which are probably one and the same thing. It is the Eclipse that falls before your birth – for some it can be within a couple of days, showing a certain reluctance to be here on earth – and for others it can be a far as 5 months before.

This is exciting work and I will write about it later when I have fully digested its implications.

My new Astrology class is going well and my students report that they are hooked. What more could any teacher want? If you wish to study with me, then you can let me know through the blog or by email and we can take it from there.


  1. Thanks Dawne, very interesting as always and am looking forward to hearing more about the pre natal aspect whenever it births! Will enjoy a portugese eclipse.

    Dawne Kovan Reply:

    Thank you Clare for your kind comments.I hope you enjoy your Portugese Eclipse – have a great holiday and come back refreshed.

  2. Hello Dawne,

    The detective in you may have touched on something unexpected. When I read the “…ancient image of the Serpent….” I immediately thought of one of the major symbols of Australian Aboriginal cultures – the oldest continuous cultures on earth. That symbol is the Rainbow Serpent, and it is regarded by anthropologists to be the oldest “religious” symbol in the world. (There was an article about this years ago in the Sydney Morning Herald)

    So I wonder if there is a connection? I actually have a painting that colourfully illustrates a Rainbow Serpent encircling the globe!

    Aboriginal Cosmology is sophisticated and the old story tellers revealed many aspects of culture, as they passed down ancient knowledge to younger generations. One story explains that some stars of Constellation Scorpius were formed by boomerangs thrown in to the sky in the Dreamtime, the Creation Era of Aboriginal cultures.

    Thank you very much for sparking these thoughts, and I look forward to your next blog beaming in from cyberspace…

    Dawne Kovan Reply:

    Hello Paul, thank you so much for your connection with the ancient Australian symbols from your expert knowledge on the subject. Like you I do believe that the oldest cultures know the most about our origins in their hearts, while we today try to work it out in our heads. Please send me a photo of the World Serpent – I’d love to see it.