Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius | July 27, 2018
4 degrees | 1:20pm PST
On July 22, the roar of Leo season ripped through a regressive sky. The weight of Cancer season’s built-up undersea pressure has lifted, but the weight of so many retrograde planets has not. Friday’s Full Moon Lunar Eclipse* shares the sky with five planets plus Chiron retrograde, and about a week after the Eclipse, Uranus will station retrograde as well.
This Full Moon is, by any standards, remarkable. It is a Blood Moon, and has the longest duration of eclipse in a century (six hours). Mercury stations retrograde two days before the Eclipse, Uranus squares Luna, retrograde Mars conjuncts the Eclipse, and the Moon sits so close to her own South Node that she will don the mantle of a total Lunar Eclipse. Ravens from other worlds call, we find the dragons of the psyche and cosmic loopholes whose passage will take us only the gods know where. So much retrogradation and the sheer longevity of the Eclipse itself whisper intimations of a portal to a space outside of linear time. We get a clue as to what uncanny distillations of the soul are possible when we participate with the directions it gives us.
Mercury’s retrograde clues us in to some of the work this lunation offers up: note that when Mercury stations retrograde, it does so because it’s as far away from the Sun as it can get. This means that our cognition, thoughts, and rationality, have walked the path of daylight to discover thoughts as far from the realm of the Sun –our sense of sanity and the personal center– as they can. Now our thoughts must come home, and they must go into the shadows of night to do it.
Our last Eclipse, the New Moon in Cancer, scared up plenty of headlines that felt far from sanity. Headlines aside, many hearts and minds have strayed far from center as well. Inflammatory language has made for some conversations moot to reason. Evolving the external conditions of our lives toward increase has been hard going.
Instead we've been in the purgative phase, asked to drop whatever doesn’t serve our health. With Mercury retrograde during most of Leo season (until August 18), how we see and present ourselves publicly is meant to change. The ego usually rails against this type of change, so make space for the friction. Remember that the purification process is not always attractive. It is, after all, maggots that clean the bones so we can see the condition of the skeleton beneath. Opportunities for review and revision will be pressed up to the window, and we may see them with disgust, distorted skin flattened against glass.
As gross as the process of transformation may seem, we ultimately have to turn to the purifying waters of Luna, the soul, who herself eclipses during Full phase, taking still more light out when our bodies least expect it, accustomed as they are to the cycles of the Moon. With so much darkness, perhaps we aren’t meant to scrutinize the process of change too closely. Fear is programmed into cellular memory when we face this kind of eclipsing activity (in the firmament or in ourselves), but with our agency, pure, non-judgmental awareness can take the reins.
When we experience a lack of clear, rational, sunlit perception, we are usually granted vision of the interior kind. We may remember that sometimes we have to take steps backward in order to take any more steps forward intact. In the end we choose whether we struggle against the retrograde motions, or instead trust the axiomatic “As above so below” and turn retrograde with the planets.
It's interesting to note that this Full Moon Lunar Eclipse takes place when the Moon is at apogee, or farthest away from the Earth. As opposed to a "Supermoon," this one is what we call a "Micromoon." This is one reason the duration of the Eclipse is so long. The symbolism continues to point us toward taking steps back for perspective, zooming out and seeing the broader scope, feeling into the full process of our emotional transformation.
Still on the matter of cultivating distance, this Eclipse takes place in Aquarius, whose archetype is the self-proclaimed exile, aiming only for liberation. We’re called to strip ourselves of some worldly power in order to go beyond the safe container of human society so that the true stuff of the self can be seen. Polarities rise together: in this lunation, real-time social inflammation rises to show us the value of the spacious and autonomous zone of Aquarius’ beyond-the-wall sovereignty. At this point in Eclipse Season, we need elbow room to do it right.
Let’s recall the recurring importance of Mars’ retrograde themes: the purification of the warrior body, and detachment from our sense of passion and excitement to put ourselves “out there.” Our rage may feel bottled up with no clear outlet for expression.
With purification themes amplified by this Eclipse, our trek beyond the wall is where the journey for the wild healing herb begins. In effect, it is time to go up into the mountain to find the medicine for the wound that lies beneath our confounding sense of rage. Where you see the feral id (of a nation, of a community, of a self) unleashed, full of sound and fury signifying nothing, stop. Stop partaking and instead seek the wound beneath, and call in the healers, call yourself out to the quest for the medicine.
A journey up a mountain for a healing balm is rarely sanctioned by the state as productive. We’re unlikely to find outside applause for this work, and in Leo season that can be hard for some.
But works of magic are potent in Full Moon times, and so up we go, to a place where we watch deep time unfold and we bid nothing but the call of the journey. Praise that the previous New Moon Solar Eclipse opposite Pluto’s hellish gaze jarred us out of our comfort zones. By now, we can coolly observe the burning embers of the fact that compromise will never take us to the extremes necessary for healing.
Perhaps the mountain you climb looks like taking a step back from a claustrophobic relationship. Perhaps it is taking the risk of dropping some hours at your job, or changing jobs. Perhaps it looks like letting go of substance, or putting down your device and turning your gaze inward, or toward the actual state of life around you in real time. This mountain is a polymorphous thing, and only your intuition will tell you how to climb it.
While eclipse season has been volcanically intense for many, there have been some consistent safety nets granted by the stars: Jupiter continues to trine Neptune, softening the edges and easing the flow of energy toward spiritual development. This Full Moon Eclipse in Aquarius also takes place on Friday, Venus’ day, and Venus herself exactly trines Pluto, making the beauty in our hard work apparent. If you can release the external conditions, the internal pressures, the resentments, or the rage that hide your truest wounds from you, you may be surprised by the pleasure the healing process affords.
*This Eclipse is visible in much of Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the southern portion of North America, South America, and Antarctica.
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