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This week, all of my thoughts on the full moon will be sent to subscribers in the Lunar Letter.

For the past 2+ years, I have written a blog post on each new and full moon. The blog will remain active with other astro-posts, but thoughts on the lunar cycle will be sent directly to subscribers from now on.⠀


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Partial Solar Eclipse in Leo: Recovery

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This partial solar eclipse is at 18.41 Leo on August 11 at 5:57 am

It's the second-to-last eclipse in our Leo-Aquarius eclipse cycle. The last one will be a total lunar eclipse in Leo on January 21, 2019. Normally, I would say that the new moon is a time for setting intentions that you can act on once the moon begins waxing. This one is a little different, though, because the solar eclipse happens to be next to Mercury retrograde in Leo at a time when nearly everything else is retrograde, too. The moon and Mercury Rx are also squaring Jupiter in Scorpio.

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Since October 2017, Jupiter in Scorpio has been solving mysteries and uncovering long-buried secrets. We've all been in a collective process of recovery: uncovering "open secrets" about patterns of sexual harassment and abuse, recovering from abuses of power, and resisting the secrecy of those who want to bury the truth. In your own private life you may be recovering hidden memories and truths, or undergoing a kind of initiation by Jupiter into knowledge of the mysterious. This solar eclipse is very much about this kind of recovery: a recovery of self.

The Leo-Aquarius eclipse cycle has been about allowing yourself and others to shine individually while creating a collective vision for the future. All of the axes of signs are described with a set of balanced or paradoxical archetypes. The two signs complement each other. Leo and Aquarius are along the axis of individual and community. When an individual dares to be different, shining brightly, he or she will almost always create a community of people who appreciate that individuality, and together they develop a shared vision. Having the courage to stand alone, paradoxically, brings us together.

With Mercury retrograde in Leo squaring Jupiter right now, you are uncovering something important about yourself. It may be some special weirdness that you've hidden from the rest of the world in an act of self-preservation, or a latent talent you almost forgot that you had. You might decide to free yourself from a secret that you're tired of keeping to protect someone else's reputation. You might remember something that was once repressed, or find something you once lost. This eclipse has an element of memoir to it. You are declaring ownership of your story and re-telling it in your own words.

I find it metaphorically resonant that this eclipse happened at dawn, just as the sun was coming up over the horizon. Discovery can happen like daybreak: a shadow passes over and the light returns, and nothing is ever the same again. Internally, you are reflecting on the changes that have occurred throughout this eclipse cycle since February 2017. You have recovered something about yourself, and you're getting ready to share that with the people who recognize your true belonging.

Image Credit: 20,000 Leagues under th thingy by Pete Amachree

Total Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius: Freedom in Chaos

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Since May, when Mars entered Aquarius and Uranus entered Taurus and the two began squaring each other, the changes have been overwhelming for many of us. And especially since Mars stationed retrograde in my eighth house at the end of June, still squaring Uranus, I’ve had to face all kinds of old blocks I thought I had moved past. Any eighth house transit is a therapy transit. You have to meet your shadow again and again. While not everyone is experiencing this Mars retrograde in the exact same way, eclipses are by definition a kind of shadowing.

In Babylon, an eclipse could foretell the death of a king. Measures were taken to protect the king, namely the practice of šar pūhi, the substitute king, where a decoy was placed on the throne for the time of the eclipse. Eclipses were omens in the ancient world, and a total lunar eclipse on Mars retrograde would have been seen as an ill omen. The destruction that precedes change has always been scary.

The modern eclipse cycle is still a cycle of change, and it can still be volatile, frightening, and unwelcome. But we live in a time of increasing disorder, so these days, you’d do better to embrace the chaos than to fear it.

I don’t go in for a lot of hype about blood moons, blue moons, or supermoons. All total lunar eclipses turn red. This one just happens to be more symbolically “red” by virtue of its conjunction with Mars retrograde. On the flip side, I’m not a fan of pseudo-astrologer-lightworkers who tell everyone that all eclipses represent a time to “go inward” and “get to know yourself.” I’m seeing this more prevalently with every astrological event, from retrogrades to new moons, full moons, and eclipses, and it’s just not always true. That’s a lazy interpretation. I’m an advocate for living in the moon house, for introspection, rest, review, and slowing down on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean it’s the central message of every transit. Don’t try to tell me this grizzly bear is a teddy bear.

Eclipse cycles are cycles of change. And they are always happening. Somewhere in your chart, every few months, you are experiencing a gradually unfolding 18-month period of transformation with some jarring spikes in your stress level. Some are bigger than others. Some are scarier than others. Some will require you to wrestle your shadow to the ground, and others may go practically unnoticed.

This Mars retrograde shows you where your freedom is restricted; where you feel frustrated. In what area of life would you kill for some freedom? What, metaphorically, needs to die so you can have that freedom? This week, as the eclipse energy grew stronger and Mercury stationed retrograde in the opposite sign of Leo, I began to see through some false barriers I had erected for myself a long time ago. Aquarius can’t stand binary thinking. Aquarius is just so far beyond binaries. Man/Woman, Reality/Imagination, Magical/Mundane, Religion/Science, Art/Commerce, Individual/Society, Literature/Mass Market, Can Do/Can’t Do. How flimsy and boring the barriers between these seemingly opposing things. There were several things that I previously crossed off my list of “can do” that I am now seeing uncrossed, part and parcel with the whole of what I already do. This is an eclipse for erasing the borders between things. For tearing down fences and gaining that freedom you so desperately desire. For conquering old fears that took the form of walls you built yourself.

Seeing past binaries and linear thinking is the first step in becoming antifragile. And I do believe that the best way to use astrology is as a tool for your own antifragility. So at this eclipse, make friends with chaos. See what kinds of freedoms you might win. You have more available to you than you may have seen before.

Image Credit: Jan Matejko, Astronomer Copernicus-Conversations with God