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Total Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius: Freedom in Chaos


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

Partial Solar Eclipse in Aquarius: True Belonging

This partial solar eclipse happens at 27.08 Aquarius on February 15th at 4:05 pm ET

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This eclipse follows the most recent total lunar eclipse in Leo on January 31st. It's the fifth in our Leo-Aquarius eclipse cycle, which will continue with eclipses in July and August 2018, and January 2019. Because the Leo-Aquarius axis is about giving and receiving gifts, about belonging to society and the courage to be an individual, about ideal visions and big hearts, I think this recent episode of On Being with Brene Brown is remarkably well timed.

This one is next to Mercury, god of conversations, and squaring Jupiter in Scorpio, a sign which represents (among other things) fear and darkness. In the interview, Brene Brown and Krista Tippett discuss the concept of true belonging, and the "strong back, soft front" we all need to have if we're going to make space for our fear and pain, and transform through this series of social crises without severing our connections to each other. Here are some highlights from their conversation, edited for length and clarity.

...[belonging] is the spiritual practice of believing in ourselves and belonging to ourselves so fully that we find what’s sacred in not only being a part of something...but also, we find sacred the need, on occasion, to stand alone in our values, in our beliefs, when we’re called to do that, as well. And so, to me, this idea of true belonging is a type of belonging that never requires us to be inauthentic or change who we are, but a type of belonging that demands who we are — that we be who we are — even when we jeopardize connection with other people, even when we have to say, ‘I disagree. That’s not funny. I’m not on board.’
...we’ve sorted ourselves into ideological bunkers. And what’s so crazy is how that social demographic changing — of sorting into those ideological bunkers — tracks exactly with increasing rates of loneliness...[When] our connection is just an intimacy created by hating the same people, it’s absolutely not sustainable. It’s counterfeit connection.
The first practice of true belonging is, ‘People are hard to hate close up. Move in.’
When I asked...the participants for the research, what are the limits of moving close to people that you disagree with? The two big pieces were physical safety and dehumanization. And to not understand that that’s a truth for people — is privilege.
Feeling vulnerable, imperfect, and afraid is human. It’s when we lose our capacity to hold space for these struggles that we become dangerous.
The research participants who had the highest levels of true belonging sought out experiences of collective joy and collective pain. Durkheim, the French sociologist, called this experience ‘collective effervescence’’s the coming together in shared emotion.”
...we’ve got to stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that we do not belong, because we will always find it. It’s the confirmation bias. If you are looking for confirmation you don’t belong, you’re gonna find it. We don’t negotiate our belonging externally. It’s not something that we negotiate with other people or groups of one can give us this. We carry this in our heart.

For those who are interested, we are almost exactly 6 months past the American Eclipse of August 2017. Tomorrow's eclipse is in direct conversation with that one, because it's exactly opposite Donald Trump's Mars in Leo. It's also opposing his ascendant and Regulus, then, and it falls on his Part of Fortune too. I also noticed that Uranus is conjunct his Mars this year by solar arc. That Mars rising represents his ego, the bluster and aggression that he's known for; Uranus exacerbates such outbursts and brings surprises. The traditional ruler of this eclipse, Saturn (reponsibility, consequences) is opposing his natal Mercury (speech, communication). Without going into too much detail on this one, I would expect to see something to do with his health, a bluster or adaptive strategy having to do with fear or secrets around the January 31st eclipse, one of his so-called "great friends" or an enemy who shows up at this time. The part of fortune is considered a chart's "pot of gold," something that brings one good fortune when done right. But since his suggests that he would do well to let go of his ego and develop equal partnerships...let's just say he's not earning that gold. I would expect the opposite of good fortune for him. However, I'm biased, and since he seems to thrive in the center of chaos, again I make no promises.

A series of eclipses all aspecting someone's natal planets and points exactly would only happen if that person had a ton of sensitive planets/points on the axis of the eclipse cycle. So I do think it's significant that the last three have hit his chart so precisely.

These are uncertain times. We all have to carry with us the courage and vulnerability of true belonging, not to make ourselves vulnerable to those who threaten our physical safety or dehumanize us, but to find the many who can share our common humanity. I highly recommend using this post-eclipse-season new moon cycle to make a new beginning in this way.


As always, you can find more specific advice for this eclipse in the horoscopes.


Image credit: Foreigners, Claudia Fontes