The dictionary describes occultation as a concealment, especially of one of the heavenly bodies by another. This comes from the latin root occultus, meaning to hide. Hence the derivation of other meanings associated with the occult and of secret esoteric wisdoms: being beyond the range of sense; transcending the bounds of natural knowledge; mysterious and supernatural.

There are usually only a couple of occultations per year. However, 1992 holds 16 occultations (listed below). Perhaps it is therefore appropriate to investigate the astrological implications of this amazing phenomenon.


First Principles

As with any astrological event, if one approaches the subject rationally, it is possible to deduce from already established principles the import of the occultation. As an occultation is classified as an eclipse, its effects must therefore be similar to the more common eclipses of the sun and the moon, although not necessarily as powerful. This has it's basis in the fact that firstly, the Sun and Moon are among the most significant factors in the chart. Secondly, there must be consideration that although the Moon intervenes between the heavenly object and the observer in an occultation of one of the planets, the light from the Sun to the planet is not thwarted, but only gives the appearance of being so.


All factors must be fully taken into consideration and weighed against each other before a full assessment can be made. From the solar eclipse it can be deduced that eclipses have a similar function to Pluto, matters pertinent to the 8th house and the nature of Scorpio. This is evidenced by the fact that the solar eclipse brings an end to situations through the elimination of certain factors of life which no longer have any relevancy. This in turn allows for new growth in one's life.

One must also balance the principles of the interactive planets as well as the nature of the intervening planet. In occultations the lunar factor must necessarily be taken into consideration because of its consistent involvement. The Moon represents the feminine principle. It is changeable, characterising the emotions, the home, women, children, the roots of our being and conditions at the end of life. The earth principle is fixed and endurable.

Planetary Dysfunction

Significance must further be given to the fact that the sun energises the lunar and planetary principles. However, it should also be realised that in the intervention of the Moon between the earth and a planet there can only be a perceived dysfunction of the planetary principles. The planet is still receiving it's light from the sun; but this is blocked to the observer on earth.

Fundamental Truths

The occultation itself therefore has esoteric implications. It can be analysed as meaning an obvious hidden wisdom, a fundamental truth which is so simple that its very simplicity conceals it's truth. The planetary energy represents a fundamental principle which has not a beginning, nor an end. The truth of this principle is always there, just as the light is always there.

Nor is truth something which can be defined in the limited language of man. This is something altogether different to the nature of facts, which are merely empirically established truths. Not all truth can be established in such a manner. Rather, it is something which can only be totally perceived with the heart. It therefore has connections with the essence of our being and also our emotions.

It is at the time of occultations that these fundamental truths about various principles in life must surface into the consciousness of the individual, in relevance to that individual's life. Therefore events in one's life affected by the occultation also require a great deal of soul searching as one has to reach into the depth of one's being. The occultation must represent a relevantly significant event in an individual's life, forcing that individual to look for the truth of a matter. Perhaps this also has its basis in the fact that many of us do not appreciate the value of something until the risk of loss becomes apparent. In order to determine the significance of each occultation, one must look to the principle signified by each planet. This must also be balanced by another factor. As the lunar eclipse can only occur at full Moon (Sun opposition Moon aspect), and as the solar eclipse can only occur at a new moon, (Sun conjunct Moon aspect); then occultations must be considered in light of a lunar conjunction with the planetary principle involved, viz, Moon conjunct Venus, Moon conjunct Mars, Moon conjunct Uranus, Moon conjunct Neptune as examples in these instances.

Eight Principles of Life

MercuryMercury was also known as Thoth or Hermes. He is the messenger of the gods and protector of merchants. His principle is Knowledge. The occultation with Mercury must teach one a lesson of knowledge: that knowledge being of daily life and how to cope with it. This aspect is benign, and can only be perceived through the amalgamation of the mind and the senses. Restlessness and a need for change must be symptomatic of this occultation.

VenusVenus is the ancient goddess of Love, desire and harmony. She is associated with the Greek Aphrodite and Babylonian Ishtar. She was daughter of Uranus, and was born after Cronos castrated his father and threw his genitals into the sea. From the waves emerged Aphrodite: and where she walked on land, grass sprang at her feet. Hence she was the protector of sailors, and a goddess of fertility. The occultation with Venus must teach one the true value of love and balance, through one's relationships with others. Perhaps it also inspires new life, in whatever form.

MarsMars is the ancient god which was the spirit of the season of growth and harvest, and also of the season of warfare. He was the initiator, the protector. For these he needed the qualities of strength, force and Courage. The occultation with Mars suggests that one must learn how to handle energy and willpower, knowing how and when to use such energy appropriately. It therefore gives us the courage to face whatever life has to hold.

JupiterJupiter's domain is Wisdom, from his absorption of the characteristics of the ancient Etruscan goddess Minerva. He was the god of the Sun and rain, and was equivalent to the Greek god Zeus. The search for wisdom is often a long one; and the occultation with Jupiter must generate a situation where one may add to his store of wisdom through being forced to take an overview of an entire situation. Perhaps one needs to be more broadminded with life; but may also need to learn the negative implications of excess, self righteousness and arrogance.

SaturnThe Roman god for the seed and sowing (particularly in the winter season) was Saturn. By association with the Greek god Cronos, he also ruled time. Saturn's sphere of practical influence is experience and Reason. The old biblical saying of "a time to reap, and a time to sow" is associated with this ancient deity. The occultation with Saturn must suggest that there are some fairly difficult lessons to be realised through experience, hard work and perhaps loss. There is a time and place for everything.

UranusAccording to ancient Greek legends, Uranus or Ouranus (Heaven), was the son and husband of Gaea (Earth) was father of the Titans, the Furies and Cyclops. His name is derived from the Greek "ouraios" which means "of a tail, serpent", and hence his relation to the various ancient stories of creation. His theme is one of origin, being the male essence in the mother/father god concept. Hence Originality is his main principle. The occultation with Uranus calls for one to be entirely creative and original in handling a situation. This perhaps gives rise to a greater degree of independence. This can perhaps be upsetting to those who are inflexible in their ways.

NeptuneNeptune (alias Poseiden) was god of the sea and freshwater. Poseiden, was the brother of Zeus, son of Cronos and Gaea. His name literally means "Lord of the earth". He was also god of earthquakes. His general character was violent and inspired fear. Hence his association with the unknown, the intangible world of all that is not physical; of the twelfth house associations with sorrow. This is the planet, which by positive polarity, must relate to Inspiration, spirituality, and concepts. The occultation with Neptune must necessarily evoke one to reach into the depths of their subconscious and to face their fears. This process can cause much disorientation and confusion. However, In doing so, the phantoms disappear and the essence of life can then be perceived with the senses. This perhaps gives birth to a new spirituality.

PlutoPluto, also known as Hades, was also the brother of Zeus. Hades means "not see". Therefore he was god of the unseen, of the underworld, and lord of the dead. He won the realm of the underworld, when he and his brothers Zeus and Poseiden cast lots for the division of the world. As death is a transformation, this is one of the characteristics of Plutonian energy. In order to reach this state, one has to go to the depths of the unseen in order to be reborn. The principles of destruction and creation are allied to Pluto. Another word for this is Regeneration. The occultation with Pluto must force one to acknowledge their own part in a greater cycle of life and death. Therefore many things in life must pass away, in order to make room for new growth. Often deep emotional responses are evoked for fear of the unseen and lack of personal control. But in facing these, even on the most trivial of levels, one learns to cope with and become part of the eternal flux of life.

Apart from the implications for the individual, there are further conclusions which can be drawn from the numerous occultations which occur during 1992. This must have significations for mankind as a whole. It seems that 1992 will be a year of revelation of important spiritual and humanistic principles, that must necessarily uplift the consciousness of mankind.

Copyright, Alison Moroney, 1991

First published in "Astrological Monthly Review" in 1991.