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 Press Room President, Rick Levine, shares his recent eclipse experience and photos from this historic astrology conference.

Plymouth England was in the path of totality on August 11, 1999

StarIQ AstroPortal
Linking you to astrology on the Internet.

Read Roy Gillett's full comments about the eclipse conference at the Astrology Association Web Site.

Read some other comments or add your own at the British Astrology Association Web Site.

Rick's Eclipse Conference Photos

Eclipse Links

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Solar Eclipse Paths

Stories from the Path of Totality

Eclipse Links

About Eclipses
by Jeff Jawer
StarIQ cofounder

The Saros Cycle - Eclipses come in Families,
by Bernadette Brady

The Eclipse and the New Millennium
by Roy Gillett

Conference hailed as “great success...”

“With approximately 550 attendees from seventeen countries and over 100 sessions, this six-day event was the largest gathering ever of astrologers in Britain.”
--Roy Gillett, President of the Astrological Association of Great Britain--

Eclipses have been the cause of wonder since the dawn of time. When astrologers from all over the world gathered to celebrate the last total eclipse of the millennium, there was bound to be learning, excitement, and camaraderie.

The dormitory where I stayed at Plymouth CollegeAfter five days of lectures at Plymouth College on academic, technical, and experiential astrology, hundreds of astrologers sat in a green meadow midst a roundabout in the town of Plymouth, England to experience the total eclipse. The sky was gray, but the astrologers, who had journeyed from every part of the UK and from all over the world, did not mind the clouds. The event they had gathered for was not limited to the visible total eclipse that was distracting the rest of England and Europe this summer day. No doubt these astrologers would have liked to see the sun's corona for a brief magical moment, but they had gathered for something more.

For centuries, eclipses have been the harbingers of political, social and economic change. This day, with astrology resurging in popularity, hundreds of astrologers watched as the sky went dark in the middle of the day.

To me, the most surprising thing about the total darkness was the speed with which it came and went. Not that it only lasted a couple of minutes, but the speed at which the Moon moved over the Sun and the speed at which the darkness, and then the light, came rushing across the earth.

When we look at the Moon, or any of the planets in our vast skies, the distances hide the speeds at which the planets move and at which the earth rotates. Normally the spinning earth creates day and night and day again. When day comes and goes, there is a period of twilight. The transition between day and night can last a half hour or so, or even longer on a midsummer night in the northern latitudes. We grow accustomed to the speed of this transition.

During the total eclipse of the Sun, the transition to darkness and back to light lasts only minutes. The senses absorb it, but the mind become quite uneasy with the change of light. It's like you can actually feel the crashing of the darkness. The actual shadow of totality races over the surface of the earth at nearly 2,000 miles per hour! And when it hit, the intensity was quite unnerving!

Several people have asked me, “Did you enjoy the eclipse?” Joy is not among the words that I would use. I did not feel joy. I felt awe—awe in the presence of something truly cosmic. The word "cosmic" is derived from a Greek word, meaning both "order" and "beauty." Experiencing the order and the beauty of the cosmic spheres brought forth the kind of awe that would be reserved for only events of cosmic proportion.

During the minutes before and after totality, the words do not do justice to the feelings involved. It wasn't just the muted colors in the clouds showing rapidly changing hues of purples and grays. Try to imagine a sunset speeded up by a factor of ten or twenty times. Now add to this impossibility the sensation of midday night. My brain screamed! But all was perfectly still.

Except for the birds. More than 50 large gulls circled above us astrologers. They screamed wildly for the sun to return. I had the distinct feeling that each of those birds temporarily was a manifestation of one great astrologer, now passed on to the other side, but momentarily joining this most auspicious astrological moment with their incarnated disciples. In the sky, in those birds, I saw Pythagoras, Ptolemy and Plotinus. I saw Abu M'ashar. Up there was Marsilio Ficino, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. Flying around us, in the sky were Culpeper, Lily, Leo, and Lewi and Lewis. It was a bird party, but it was not as it appeared to be. Eclipses never are.

Then, as suddenly as the darkness came, the light returned. The birds vanished and the crowd of astrologers dispersed.

But the feeling that I had experienced something magical, something from another dimension, remains.

Rick Levine Cofounder

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Rick Levine is Co-founder of He has been involved in the technology sector for 30 years. As a Founding Trustee of Kepler College, he is interested in the education of astrologers. As a frequent lecturer at astrology conferences, he teaches about the important relationships between science, astrology and our spiritual traditions. He writes the Daily Horoscope Column for, which is published on,,,, and more. He co-authors (with Jeff Jawer)

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For more information about Rick Levine, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Rick Levine:

  • Opa Retreat - Marco Island, Florida -- April 22-25, 2004   2/7/2004
  • Winter Solstice Poem   12/19/2003
  • The Gift of the Magi   12/24/2001
  • Astrological Christmas Carols   12/20/2001
  • Solstice 2001   12/17/2001
  • Recent Saturn-Pluto Cycles   11/10/2001
  • The New Global Perspective   10/20/2001
  • Ben Affleck Turns 29   8/20/2001
  • Attack on Kepler College: A Modern Inquisition   5/18/2001
  • A Christmas Poem   12/24/2000
  • Mercury Retrograde: A Modern Look   11/9/1999
  • The Mercury Retrograde Story   11/8/1999
  • ProSig October 1999   10/20/1999

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