The Solar Eclipse on 4 January 2011 is at 13°39′ Capricorn. It is conjunct the fixed star Ascella “Of the nature of Jupiter and Mercury. It gives good fortune and happiness.” With the Moon “New and influential friends, valuable gifts, love of respectable women.” 
Ascella is in the constellation Sagittarius, the Kabbalists associate it with the tarot card “The Lovers”. Presumably because of the Cupid above them drawing his bow and arrow like the archer. The word Sag means ‘To seek out’. To seek out a mate perhaps?
The only planetary aspect the Moon makes is a square to Saturn. Despite the square, the stars influence is a fortunate, optimistic one and just makes the Saturn influence more about seeking to settle down and work hard. Maybe aiming to strike a deal in a working partnership. People pulling together, opening the doors of communication and trusting each other.
Elsewhere in the chart there are some interesting conjunctions going on. Seed moments. Back in October 2010 we had the “Tricky Seeds” New Moon. Importantly just fours afters after this eclipse, the last of three Jupiter Uranus Conjunction’s goes exact. We also have Neptune and Chiron like in 2010. But unlike now they were all retrograde and under the influence of tricky Algorab the Crow.
I wrote then “ we are planting in the dark. We have no idea what form these seeds will take. The whole thing is shrouded in mystery.”
Again we have an abundance of possible seed moments. But this time the land lies very different. We now have the added potency of an eclipse on a benefic star. Unlike October there is no delusion or trickery and no retrogrades. Pluto meeting with Ceres, he was just getting used to being demoted and having to put up with her taunting. This partnership with Pallas-Athena though quite obsessive is less stressful, they have no history or baggage to sort out.
So the feeling of this Eclipse is one of relief. We are looking forward to 2011 with a much clearer idea of where things are heading. No frills or drama with the square from Saturn. Just getting on with things, being practical. Organizing for the year ahead. Planting realistic seeds. Ones that will flower in the way you want them too. No nasty shocks. This is quite a bullshit free Eclipse. No smoke & mirrors, promises of second comings or Armageddon. We got through 2010 and the Cardinal Crisis. We are wiser and less naive.
One of the bullshit-busting aspects is Venus squaring the Guru conjunction Neptune & Chiron. Venus with Neptune is one of those overly-romanticized aspects that are usually bitterly disappointing. It’s a so called “Soulmate” aspect in Synastry. Well it is too, but often not the “Happy every after” we expect. This square will help keep our goals and dreams realistic. On the other hand Venus is trining Uranus/Jupiter conjunction. These two are now direct and this is their last “Quickening” conjunction also. Venus trine Jupiter should work out as super-benefic, with maybe some pleasant surprises with Uranus.
Dare I say this set-up could yield something quite miraculous? No I dare not. This is the no BS Eclipse remember. Keeping it real… At the very least the “new and influential” friends should be made under this Eclipse where it falls in your natal chart. The other “No BS” aspect is Mercury square Black Moon Lilith. This is no fear of shouting out that the Emperor has no clothes on. People will be more inclined to speak their truth and act authentically. So you can trust those new friends you make are genuine.
The Moon is conjunct is Asteroid Eros (38’) Which is a great compliment to Sagittarius’s Archer and Cupid’s bow I mentioned at the start. This Moon then has a theme of seeking and taking aim. Going for it without hesitation. Eros is the symbol of erotic love. He is a primal, phallic god who embodies the masculine sexual force.
Eros is like a higher octave of Mars, refining the raw sexual drive and channeling it into a path of spiritual enlightenment. He does this through his union with Psyche. This is why partnership is so important with this New Moon. Of course this being an eclipse it’s also about the Moons marriage with the Sun. Unifying opposites. Ying and yang. Like Psyche with Eros, the Moon tempers the ego somewhat.
Eros is about being “turned on”. So its square to Saturn would be about getting turned on by real life and hard work. A great time to form business partnerships, though the square will mean they are challenging. The challenge is a good thing however, ridding us of fluff by creating healthy competition. Squares are dynamic and get things done.
This 1st Eclipse of 2011 all about cutting the bullshit, pulling together and making hard-graft sexy. Eros is about motivation, and passion to make things work. A no-nonsense creative impulse. With Ascella this is seeking out your partners and planting realistic seeds for the future. With Venus trine Jupiter blessing it, these seeds are pretty much guaranteed success, if you put some welly into it!
This partial solar eclipse will be visible in North Africa and Europe as shown in this map from Wikipedia. It starts at 6:40 am and ends at 11:00 am on Tuesday 4 January 2010 (Universal Time). The maximum eclipse will be at 8:52 am at coordinates 64.7N 20.8E. This is in Sweden near the city of Skellefteå.
Reference: 1 The Fixed stars & Constellations. Robson p.141.