Total Lunar Eclipse in Leo: Gift/Vergift

This total lunar eclipse happens at 11.37 Leo on Wednesday, January 31st at 8:26 am (EST)

 Remedios Varo, La Llamada (The Call)

Remedios Varo, La Llamada (The Call)

Early on Wednesday morning, for those who can see it, the full moon will appear reddish in hue as it passes through the Earth’s shadow. Here’s what you should know about this “super blood blue moon eclipse.”

  • All total lunar eclipses look red, because when the moon passes behind the Earth the light is refracted through the Earth’s shadow. The term “blood moon” has some reference in the Bible, and has been popularized by religious zealots eager to find an omen that portends the end of the world. This is not astrologically more significant than any other total lunar eclipse.

  • It’s a blue moon, which means that it’s the second full moon in a Gregorian calendar month. Because this is just a coincidence having to do with the Gregorian calendar, blue moons don’t have much significance in my book.

  • It is another supermoon, which means that it’s close to perigee (the point on the moon’s orbit closest to Earth). This makes it look bigger than the average full moon.

  • It’s part of a pattern of eclipses along the Leo-Aquarius axis that began in February 2017 and continued in August 2017.

  • It’s in Leo, conjunct asteroid Ceres and opposing Venus in Aquarius.

I sense a rising pitch of internet hysteria around the astrology of supermoons and eclipses and blood moons and blue moons these days, which probably has more to do with successful clickbait than anything else. I’m a loony lunar person, being Cancer rising with the moon heavily aspected in my chart, so I regularly advocate planning your life by the moon. On the one hand I’m glad to have everyone talking about her. But without the greater context of the eclipse cycle, the outer planet transits, and interaction with personal charts, it’s just not as meaningful.

So let’s talk cycles.

This one dates back to the Leo-Aquarius eclipse cycle of August 1998 - February 2000. If you’re looking for a point of reference to see what the current cycle means for your life, think back to that time. Similar themes have been ripening since February 2017, and will continue to do so through January 2019.

For the eclipse on February 10, 2017, I wrote about shine theory (the idea that women shine brighter when we befriend other accomplished women instead of competing). The August 7th lunar eclipse in Aquarius was about holding the vision and trusting the process even when it feels like things are turning upside down. My post for the American eclipse on August 21st was darker, regarding Trump and the shadow of white supremacy. If you want, you can see all of my posts on the Leo-Aquarius eclipse cycle for yourself.

Shining your light, holding your vision, and confronting your shadow. The Leo-Aquarius axis is about what you generate that can only come from you--your creative work, your babies, your passion--and who you choose to share it with. It is not easy to take something fresh and newborn and precious and make an offering of it, to hold it up to the light and say proudly “Here it is, world! What do you think?” The whole concept of an offering is sacrifice; it’s a gift. When we say someone is gifted, when we talk about sharing one’s gifts, we’re discussing the themes of the Leo-Aquarius axis. The gifted are so called because they have received their talents from some natural or miraculous source: the gift of a singing voice, the gift of athletic ability. The gift comes from the eleventh house of hopes, dreams, and wishes fulfilled to the fifth house of creation, with the expectation that talented Leo of the fifth house will turn around and share her gifts with others (Aquarius, the eleventh house, the community).

The axis of giving and receiving love is disrupted when we are rejected because others don’t value the gifts we offer. It’s disrupted when others reject our gifts because they don’t know how to receive, having learned that to give is good, but that it’s shameful to receive without immediately closing the loop by giving back. It’s disrupted when a low sense of self-worth keeps us in fear of being rejected, the fear that our gifts are not worth giving.

We all have Leo in our chart somewhere and we all have a fifth house, which is to say that we all have gifts. We all have love to offer in some form. This eclipse is next to asteroid Ceres, the archetypal mother, she who will not rest until her daughter Persephone is safe. As the goddess of grains, she is nurturing and nourishing, and as the guardian of a young girl she is fierce. This eclipse calls for you to Mother Bear your gifts. Guard them, nurture them, refuse to let them be stolen by anyone who would take them for granted. When they’re ready to be given, share them freely with those who will value them. And if someone is trying to share a gift with you, practice just receiving, without the expectation that you must reciprocate. Consider that the art of receiving openly is what you give to the other person. Someone with love to give needs someone to receive it.

That’s the eclipse on a personal level. As always, you can join for more specific advice in the horoscopes. And now for a short comment on the political level...


The American Eclipse was on Trump’s ascendant, his Mars, and the fixed star Regulus, making it very much about him. Because eclipses work in six-month cycles, this one is related to the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. We may see something come to fruition from that time, regarding Trump.

Two big things happened around that time in August: the Charlottesville Rallies once again pushed this administration’s white supremacy to the forefront, and Bannon left the White House. Now we have debates over immigration, walls and DACA, Bannon has been subpoenaed in Mueller’s Russia investigation following his contributions to Fire and Fury, and we get the State of the Union tonight.

Wednesday’s eclipse is on Trump’s Pluto, in his twelfth house, and just as transiting Ceres is on the moon, this lunation opposes his natal Ceres in Aquarius. The sun and Venus on the south node, opposite the eclipse, transit his natal Ceres as well. Because an eclipse on a sensitive natal point always suggests a major turning point or decision, I see this as a crisis of hidden enemies and secrets for him, particularly those involving women. He has often been his own worst enemy, which is what we may witness, as Pluto in the twelfth can suggest inner demons and personal crises/transformations over a lifetime. Obsession, certainly narcissism, and trauma is suggested here. Then again, with the hidden realms of the twelfth involved, this may not be something we witness quite yet. The cycle continues for another year.

I see a strong Persephone story theme for him, with Ceres so heavily involved, and asteroid Proserpina (the Roman version) transiting the exact degree of his natal moon while asteroid Persephone (the Greek version) transits the exact degree of his natal Chiron. In fact, in the natal chart he has asteroid Prosperpina within one degree of his Midheaven, suggesting that he could become known for something that mirrors the myth of Persephone. Make no mistake, his metaphorical role here is of Pluto, Hades, the abductor. It’s the inner darkness that is disrupted or awakened with this eclipse, a shadow he is (we are) are forced to confront again. Knowing what we already know about the rapist in chief, it’s not hard to imagine awful things that he could be hiding. But I do want to clarify that even as I look specifically at the way this eclipse interacts with Trump’s natal chart, I’m aware that he is not the source of all of our problems. There are entire ranks of the powerful and elite behind him. Any darkness that arises is about all of us, not just him. Yet he seems to be the funhouse mirror through which our image is projected back at us lately.


It’s interesting to me that I found in the etymology of the word gift that in many Germanic languages, the word for poison is equivalent to the English word “gift.” (Old High German gift, German Gift, Danish and Swedish gift; Dutch gift, vergift.) This is thought to be partly a euphemism, partly derived from the Greek word dosis, meaning “a portion prescribed, a giving, a medical dose.” The only difference, often, between medicine and poison is in the dose. Such as when one child receives a gift (medicine) and another receives too many gifts that spoil him (poison).

Much of art is alchemy, when a leaden shadow in the artist’s life is transformed into the gold of art, then shared with the community. To access the gift, you may need to transform the poison into medicine. The Mother Bear in you may be protecting others from poisonous words or deeds; that protection can be the gift that you give. All of us, I think, are called on by the community to transmute the poison of dark times into a healing medicine. Repair your axis of giving and receiving love. Accept the gifts and give freely of them, so that others can do the same.