Today's powerful solar eclipse was at 9:58 AM EST at 8 degrees Pisces.
This eclipse ends a two-year cycle of eclipses in Virgo and Pisces. Expect the energy to linger for about six months, until the Leo solar eclipse on August 21st marks a definitively Leo-Aquarius cycle.
Pisces is the twelfth sign of the zodiac, the ending and release. The sign of the fishes corresponds to the Earth's oceans, those vast bodies of water that contain countless things: ocean creatures from the shallows to the depths, oil spills and garbage, wrecked ships and mermaid lore. Pisces finds a way to embrace it all. It is the sign of imagination but also mental illness, consciousness and spirituality but also escapism through drug use. The Pisces fish can swim both ways.
This eclipse happened right next to Neptune, the modern ruler of Pisces. Neptune intensifies the Pisces experience, making what is imaginary or visionary or delusional even more so. This eclipse for you may be the definition of surreal. For others, it's the washing away of ideas or structures that once felt supporting, the realization that you're floating. It's the understanding that you are one tiny part of a vast universe.
I found myself yesterday reading Kathryn Schulz's essay "When Things Go Missing," about two seasons of personal loss: an uncharacteristic few months of misplacing her personal items, and the real, final loss of her father's life. There is also the loss that we collectively experienced on November 8th. Of this, Schulz writes: "The morning after the election, I cried again, missing my refugee father, missing the future I had thought would unfold. In its place, other kinds of losses suddenly seemed imminent: of civil rights, personal safety, financial security, the foundational American values of respect for dissent and difference, the institutions and protections of democracy."
I would say all of us experienced that loss, even though some of us chose it. The Trump voter's experience of loss either came before (all is already lost for me; my vote is a comment on futility) or will come later, perhaps generations later. Whether or not people think they are experiencing loss as a result of the 2016 American election and the swerve to the far right in Europe, a loss for some - immigrants, Muslims, black people, refugees, women, LGBTQ people - and especially a loss for the environment and the climate, is a loss for all of us.
All signs operate on an axis, complementing each other. The opposite and complement of Pisces is Virgo: discriminating, detail-oriented, able to separate Pisces' cosmic soup into distinct categories. Virgo's downfall is in making the perfect the enemy of the good, over-criticizing, focusing on the flaws to the detriment of the whole. And Pisces can be too checked out, too full of pain to do anything about it except retreat and escape. But when the Virgo-Pisces axis is working well, the collective becomes organized. You get useful resources like Wall-of-Us, which emails four concrete actions for resistance every week. You get worldwide protests with clever signs. You get an ocean of people, all of whom are different, but who are unified in a bid for common humanity. Water is powerful. Water can seep through cracks and erode whole structures over time, and water can form a massive tidal wave, a wall of ocean.
The Leo-Aquarius axis asks how you're unique and who is in your tribe. Aquarius especially is often associated with civil rights, innovative new ideas, and a progressive push toward the future. But the sign of Pisces is about seeing the whole, the bad and the good, and accepting all of it. It's about compassion in it's highest form: being able to empathize with someone whose experience is far different from yours, even someone you once hated or feared. A solar eclipse in Pisces asks us to find some universality in our experience, to imagine what it must be like to be someone else, and then to act on that empathy.
The traditional ruler of this eclipse, Jupiter, sits in Libra, sign of justice, balance, and relationship. Jupiter is part of an intense T-square with Pluto and Uranus that we've all been experiencing, giving us explosions, surprises, innovations, expressions of power. In the last week we have lived through a difficult Mars-Pluto square, and now that energy grows more intense with Mars and Uranus in Aries opposing Jupiter in Libra. The actions these aspects call for are big. Game-changers. It will be important for us to carry this Pisces energy of compassion, this experience of loss but also the dream of a collectively powerful humanity, forward into our shared future. Imagine what that could look like.