Leo Solar Eclipse: A Shadow Falls Across the Land

The exact new moon/solar eclipse at 28.52 Leo occurs on Monday, August 21st at 2:30 PM EST.

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The sun was going, and the world was wrong. The grasses were wrong; they were platinum. Their every detail of stem, head, and blade shone lightless and artificially distinct as an art photographer’s platinum print. This color has never been seen on earth. The hues were metallic; their finish was matte. The hillside was a nineteenth-century tinted photograph from which the tints had faded. All the people you see in the photograph, distinct and detailed as their faces look, are now dead. The sky was navy blue. My hands were silver. All the distant hills’ grasses were finespun metal which the wind laid down. I was watching a faded color print of a movie filmed in the Middle Ages. I missed my own century, the people I knew, and the real light of day.
— Annie Dillard, "Total Eclipse"

The world was wrong. I missed my own century, the people I knew, and the real light of day. Annie Dillard's words struck a chord yesterday when I was reading her famous essay. In the past week, it has felt like the world is sliding backwards, into a Medieval darkness. It may only feel that way because I'm white. That we live in a white supremacist nation isn't news to me. The evidence of white supremacists living in America isn't news to me. It's never been news to people of color. Trump is the symptom, not the disease. The KKK has been here all along.

This particular eclipse is astrologically significant, for America and for Donald Trump. Collectively, we are being plunged into darkness, and we must ask ourselves how we can find our way back to the light. You don’t have to be an astrologer to understand how clearly the timing of this natural metaphor coincides with our politics at the moment. On Monday, a shadow falls across the land. You have seen it coming.

Before we drag our nation’s shadows into the full, bright sunshine where they cannot hide, we must acknowledge that they are part of us. If we deny our shadows, if we say we are only light and the darkness is not in us, the darkness does not go away; it only grows more dangerous. In Jungian psychoanalysis, the shadow-self has to be acknowledged and integrated so that the self can be whole. We’ve been given a call to do this collectively, as a nation, and specifically white people. All white people benefit from white privilege. Dismantling the white supremacist system is our work to do.

At the lunar eclipse in Aquarius two weeks ago, I spoke of crisis as both calamity and decision point. That full moon saw my husband and me at a house party where he played a cover of "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House. With that song he created a moment of almost embarrassing sincerity, an emotional sing-along in a Bushwick basement full of twenty-somethings. They come, they come/To build a wall between us/We know they won't win. The past two years have been dark and exhausting. I recommend occasionally coping with '80s ballads.

Aquarius is about the vision. At the lunar eclipse, I urged you to remember the vision, the potential and dreams of society. I was speaking about eclipses on a personal level then, but with the solar eclipse I feel it's necessary to address what this means for us collectively. We are in the midst of a crisis. As a nation, we must make a decision, not about who we are--because the truth hurts, but this is who we are right now--but about who we are going to be, which direction we are heading in. 

The solar eclipse happens in direct opposition to the Aquarius moon of the United States' chart. That Aquarius moon is our collective dream of a society that hasn't yet been realized, a more perfect Union. That Aquarius moon represents the best parts of our favorite fiction: the American Dream. The moon in a collective sense often represents the public, and so it is in the USA's chart. We love our Aquarians -- Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, Abraham Lincoln, and Rosa Parks -- for standing out and creating social change. We love our inventors, our zany ideas, our space explorers, our rugged individualists, our breathless hurtle towards the future, consequences be damned. That's America. And that dream of America is about to face a total eclipse.

The crisis of an eclipse, as I mentioned before, is most likely to occur if it closely aspects planets or points of the chart in question.

This eclipse is also conjunct Donald Trump's ascendant exactly, and his Mars by two degrees. The conjunction is the most powerful aspect in astrology, representing the total fusion or collision of two energies. And the ascendant is a very sensitive point. I was at a talk given by astrologer Monty Taylor last month. He told us that when an eclipse fell on his ascendant recently, he had a heart attack. I can't make the same exact prediction for Trump or anyone else, as astrology is a language of archetypes that can manifest themselves in many different ways. But since Leo is the sign that rules the heart, I am thinking of Donald Trump's heart. Or rather, the lack of it.

Trump's refusal to act as a moral arbiter for the nation in the wake of the Charlottesville violence was remarkable for the President of the United States. Even the Grand Old Party cannot defend his refusal to denounce white supremacy, and his insistence that he will not put anyone involved "on a moral plane." It's offensive to the ideals of our collective Aquarius moon, but we are also a nation founded under the sign of Cancer. A refusal to recognize the historical context of the Charlottesville rally, and to sympathize with the innocent, is offensive to our Cancerian sense of history and tradition, and to our hand wringing, moralistic side as well.

We often have to question the intentions behind the things Trump says -- did he mean that? Did he know what he was saying? Is he mentally ill? Is he actually fully aware of the connections between rhetoric, propaganda, and power? Is he intentionally misdirecting us? Probably, the answer to all questions is yes. With this particular set of remarks, we can't dismiss POTUS as unaware. He has always supported the KKK, and he benefits directly by doing that.

In the recent words of the National Women's Liberation, "White supremacists, especially those who speak with torches, nooses and guns, are calling for the subordination and extermination of people of color and Jewish people. Ignoring them will not make them go away.  They threaten the lives of people of color and Jewish people, and make white people think that the source of their pain is people of different races, when in fact it's the billionaire class that exploits whites and people of color alike, and blocks us all from getting the things we need."

Trump is a white supremacist who has allied himself with other white supremacists, including David Duke and Steve Bannon, and refuses to denounce white supremacy with any sincerity or consistency. He is also a member of the billionaire class who wishes to exploit the 99% in service to himself. He benefits directly by "making white people think that the source of their pain is people of different races, when in fact it's the billionaire class." He has used racist rhetoric deliberately to do just this. On Monday, he will be eclipsed. This is a moment where he could fall. This is a decision we should have made long before he was ever elected. Sometimes it takes a crisis to bring us to the brink, to realize what we're really made of.

How will you react in a crisis? I hope you choose to resist.

How to work with Mercury Retrograde in Virgo

Mercury is retrograde from August 12 - September 5, 2017
11.38 Virgo - 28.25 Leo

I like to play it cool with retrogrades. They're regularly timed periods for reflection and revision, after all. But Mercury retro in Virgo and Gemini tends to be more...shall we say noticeable? Back up your computer and access your reserves of patience. We're embarking on a reflective journey to re-organize our lives.

Here are some ways to use the 2017 mercury retrograde in Virgo:

  • Revisit your past writing and artwork. You may glean new inspiration from a piece you had forgotten about.
  • Plan revisions for this time period. Revising writing will be far more fruitful than beginning a project during these weeks.
  • Go minimalist. Virgo loves editing out anything superfluous, in life and art. This is a great time to donate things you no longer want or need.
  • Re-organize your office. Go through old files (or file anything at all), create better systems, maybe redecorate a little. By the time the lines of communication are clear, you'll be refreshed and ready.
  • Recommit to service. This could mean donating your time or money to a cause you care about, or taking care of friends, family, and neighbors in small ways.
  • Reclaim your time. Track how much time you're spending on everything and do a complete audit of your daily and weekly routine. How could you make it more efficient? How could you find more time for yourself and the things you enjoy?
  • Reflect on your health. What does healthy living mean to you? Maybe you used to have a meditation practice that slipped, or you really could use more sleep. Virgo retrogrades are an excellent time to recommit to self-care.

How do you plan to use this retrograde?

Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius: The Vision

This full moon eclipse occurs at 15.25 degrees of Aquarius on Monday, August 7th at 2:11 PM EST.

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You won't be able to see this eclipse, but the solar (new moon) eclipse in Leo on August 21st will be visible from anywhere in the United States.

Eclipses, like the ones on the Aquarius-Leo axis this month, are thought to be more powerful than regular new and full moons. My take on this is that eclipses do pack a punch IF they occur in close aspect to planets and points in your natal chart. When this happens, it tends to signify a crisis. These days we think of a crisis as a terrible emergency, but the word actually comes from the Greek, krisis, meaning "decision." The idea of a crisis as a decisive point dates back to the early 17th century.

I think our current definition of a crisis as a calamity comes from our idea that progress must be a constant, unbroken path upwards, towards ever better things. A break in the perceived continuity of progress is considered dangerous because it thwarts our ideals. In reality, progress is messy. It's uneven and circular and quite often calls for darkness. Along our individual and collective paths, we all come to a crossroads at some point.

Let's consider this eclipse a crisis according to a second definition: "a time when a difficult or important decision must be made." It can be a watershed moment for you. (Consider that a watershed is a ridge of land separating waters so that they must flow into two different bodies.) It's a turning point, but that doesn't mean that it's always a disaster. I decided to start this business in the aftermath of an eclipse cycle on my axis of vocation and identity (the 10th and 4th houses). I'm very glad that I did.

What decisions do you need to make? What have you been waiting for, toying with, or perhaps ignoring? It could all come to a head this month. Themes of the Aquarius and Leo axis include your community and networks, your individual identity, your plans, goals, dreams and visions, your hopes and wishes, your creativity, and the audience for your creative work. 

This particular eclipse is opposing showman Mars in Leo. Shining, being yourself, could be more than a dream for you -- it feels like a question of survival. Jupiter in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn are squaring off exactly, bringing up intense questions of power and who has it. At this eclipse, you can shine. You can claim your own power. You can find your audience.

And if it feels like a crisis in the worst sense, if you feel you have no good options or you don't know what decision to make: remember your vision. Aquarius is a sign concerned with vision. Aquarius sees things that haven't yet come to be. The Water Bearer holds the potential and dreams of society in his ever-full vessel. The progress to your goal will not be a straight line, a well lit, unbroken path. It's messy and circular, and sometimes you're plunged into darkness. Sometimes you have to choose one of two ways, knowing that the paths may connect again at some point -- or they might not. What feels like a disaster now could someday be the best thing that ever happened. Trust the process. Hold on to the vision.

Want to know how the eclipse cycle affects your individual chart? Order my 13 Moons Report, on sale until midnight tonight!

How is this eclipse affecting you? Feel free to share in the comments!

Happy Birthday to all the Leos!

Happy birthday Leo darlings! The sun is in your sign, so you get a discount on readings.

Leos get 30% off readings with code COURAGE.

This offer is valid until August 22, 2017. Only valid for clients with sun in Leo. One special offer per client, good for one-time use. Offers cannot be combined.