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.

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.

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.

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.

Sagittarius Full Moon: Volcano Sharks

The moon is full at 18.53 Sagittarius on Friday, June 9th at 9:10 AM EST.

                                                                                       I don't know who made this, but good job.

                                                                                       I don't know who made this, but good job.

This week I was reading about scientists' discovery of sharks living in an active underwater volcano. The discovery was made in 2015, but as of April 2017 they're still sending robots down and planning to tag a shark to find out more about how these creatures survive in an environment that shouldn't be hospitable to life-forms. From what I can tell, they're not much closer to solving this mystery. I realized that these days I feel kind of like those sharks, living in the cloudy, overheated water of a volcano ready to explode at any moment. And yet, somehow, making it a home.

Full moons always ramp up the intensity. This one feels especially hot. See: Comey's testimony and Britain's vote. This lunation falls on Comey's Sagittarius sun, and is conjunct Trump's (full) natal moon in Sagittarius, putting the spotlight on both of them. Just to be clear, I'm not making any truly dire predictions for volcanic activity in our political landscape or your personal one. But this year's signatures of Saturn trine Uranus and Jupiter opposite Uranus promise surprises. We are living in a volcano of our own making. While that might be a scary thing to say, I will remind you: two years later, there are still sharks.

Tomorrow's full moon is next to Saturn, the planet of limitations that has been taming adventuresome Sags since December 2014. Sagittarius the explorer loves hanging out off the coasts of remote islands, exploring active underwater volcanoes. And Saturn, the disciplined authority, would absolutely continue that exploration through serious scientific study. Where Saturn has transited through your chart in the past three years, you have tamed your explorations, making your search for truth and knowledge more disciplined. Now the energy of Saturn trine Uranus invites you to use the structure you've created to follow new inspirations. Like a scientist studying something as weird as volcano sharks, you're using disciplined methods to get to that eureka moment.

In the political landscape, this is a fiery full moon that I believe serves as a precursor to the Leo solar eclipse on August 21st, which will fall on Donald Trump's ascendant and natal Mars. Eclipses signify beginnings and endings. Something big will happen at the end of August, and it is not likely to be good for Trump, positioned as it is on the north node and fixed star Regulus, "the Little King," symbol of destructive violence. Many astrologers are predicting the fall of this little king; I hope so too, but who knows who will benefit until it happens. I can say it will be momentous. Because of the trine that eclipse will make to Saturn and Lilith in Sagittarius (on Trump's moon), and Uranus in Aries, I predict the news will contain echoes of this full moon.

What does this full moon mean for you personally? You may need to adapt to life in a volcano of sorts. Something serious, of the nature of Saturn (hard work/consequences) needs to be addressed. This doesn't mean it's all bad; for some people, the "volcano" is a busy but fulfilling project or a hot new relationship. Luckily, this lunation is part of the Grand Fire Trine that has been in effect over the last few weeks: Saturn trine Uranus and the North Node in Leo. The times might be uncertain, but we are creative. If this week or weekend is especially intense for you, take heart in the knowledge that things are looking up. Jupiter, the ruler of this full moon, moves direct tomorrow! Mercury is at home in Gemini, Venus is direct and at home in Taurus, flirting with Mars in Cancer. The slow, reflective retrograde energy of the past six months is dissipating, and we are moving forward. Keep swimming.

To learn how this year's moon cycles affect you personally, order my custom 13 Moons report.