The solar eclipse on July 1 2011 is at 9º Cancer and conjunct the fixed star Alhena in constellation Gemini. It is also square Saturn and opposed Pluto. Both these planets are usually about endings, well death if we are going to be frank. These hard aspects could make us more inclined to view this eclipse with traditional dread, except no! This eclipse is actually the beginning of a new Saros cycle.
So what are Saros cycles? But briefly, a Saros cycle is a family of eclipses born at one of the poles. Each saros cycle is numbered and has its own birthchart. This, as well as the obvious differences in monthly
astro weather, explains why some eclipses are rotters and some are plain sailing.
So here we have the birth of a new eclipse baby! No history to speak of. This chart is also it’s birthchart! As we can see from the somewhat grim aspects above, this kid could turn out to be a little minx.
Although this is all very apocalyptic, if this is the start of a new Saros cycle then it cannot mean the end. I think this solar eclipse must be talking about a birth of something that will bring the death of something else. A dawning of a new era. An intense and powerful Hades moon, wanting to experience everything so deeply and profoundly, willing to confront it’s shadow and exorcise it’s demons.
Quite aptly then that this eclipse is on the fixed star Alhena in Gemini. This constellation is all about embracing both twins, Castor and his “evil” twin Pollux. The fixed star Pollux is can be the tortured writer. Alhena in the heel of Pollux, is associating with marching for a cause, even if it brings pain. Generally though, Alhena is thought of as a fortunate star bestowing artistic talents, especially in communications and mass media, it is also beneficial for negotiating peace treaties.
Alhena sits between the two twins, so I would say it also has the ability to blend these two opposites and create a novel solution. That fits well with the Eclipse opposing Pluto, which, like I wrote in Sun opposing Pluto “swings between extremes of light and dark. Extrovert and introvert. …They are adept at pulling the long buried demons out of of the woodwork and shining their glaring solar torch right in their eyes. They enjoy exposing secrets and hypocrisy” We can liken the personality of this eclipse to that of Marie Curie, Anna Freud, John Hurt and Johnny Rotten who all have this aspect natally.
The twin’s spokeman Mercury is involved with a trine to Ceres. Ceres of course had to forsake her precious daughter to part time underworld action with her dark lover Pluto. Mercury in the spirit of Alhena negotiating a settlement, is letting Ceres know that it’s all going to be alright. Ceres is on Scheat make’s her daring, making her open to more unconventional domestic arrangements.
But what of Pluto, four aspects fan out from him, one being a quincunx to Mars. Mars Pluto aspects are sexual, but can be abusive. So like Pollux’s injured heel, this eclipse does have an element of pain involved, the quincunx could make it kinky even or at worst bitter and twisted. However, this mildly sadistic touch is part of the intense experience that the Hades moon thrives on.
The other solemn aspect is the square from the Moon to Saturn. I like Liz Greens’ take on this which also fits so well with the spirit of this eclipse “ It is often very dangerous to assume that one has the right because of blood ties to command emotional support from others. Parents can die, partners can leave and children grow up: and the person with Moon Saturn is generally courting pain and disappointment of he seeks to bind these external things to himself by emotional need.” 
Put that with Moon opposite Pluto and we have some really gut-wrenching emotional decisions regarding obsession, possession and the pain of letting go. For Saturn is only 10’ from conjunction to Gienah in the crow, the slightly more magical, less tricky version of it’s fiendish sister Algorab. Thank god we have the help of negotiating star Alhena. If anyone knows how to deal with trickster energy it’s Gemini’s twins.
Lets hope the practical magical side of this star is brought out by Saturn, otherwise Saturn is also with Porrima which is “Intelligent, studious, home troubles in early life, evil environment, liable to imprisonment, suffers through conspiracy of friends or relatives, domestic disharmony, sickly children, home broken up, death in prison.”  Not great for Saturn to be on such a home-wrecking star such as this when it is square to the Moon.
Ice, Ice Baby
The card I picked for this eclipse was the Queen of Cups. Again fitting as this card is fixed water, the frozen ice of Scorpio. She is the embodiment of watery Dark Goddess, like the underwater sirens. The Queen of Cups carries the theme of thawing those long stashed feelings and bringing them up for Plutonic transformation.
More cleansing watery themes in the Asteroid Xanthe which is also conjunct this eclipse. Xanthe was one of the Oceanids in Greek mythology, one of 6000 children of Oceanus. Each was appointed a particular spring, pond, lake, river or even a cloud. It means faired-haired beauty in Greek. Lampeta is the other Asteroid conjunct the eclipse, which is the personification of light. Although these are mere asteroids, its nice to see some brightness to balance the deep dark pockets found elsewhere in this chart.
Lovers versus mothers, dark goddess versus light goddess, the theme continues.. Maybe this is the birth of recognizing how we polarize and demonize our shadow selves. This eclipse could herald the start of a journey to real understanding of the “evil” twin that lives inside of all of us.
1. Saturn. A New Look At An Old Devil. Liz Green.
2.The Fixed Stars & Constellations. Robson, p.153.