New Moon Solar Eclipse in Leo | Saturday, August 11
18 degrees | 2:57am
“O insupportable! O heavy hour!
Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse
Of sun and moon, and that th’ affrighted globe
Should yawn at alteration.” - Shakespeare, Othello
Eclipses have always been associated with apocalypse. When we look at pre-scientific revolution accounts of them, we get colorful descriptions about “demons of darkness” coming to “eat men,” or “dark terror hanging over mankind,” about “the end of the world.” Etc.
Apocalypse is an interesting concept. It’s a Greek word, and when we look at the direct translation, the meaning is “an uncovering.” I’ve also heard it translated as “a lifting of the veil.” Technically with eclipses, there is a lifting of they veil, after it drops, of course: the veil being the shadow of the earth, or the body of one luminary passing in front of the other. In the case of the Solar Eclipse like we’ll see late Friday night/early Saturday morning, we get the latter: the Moon aligns just so, and she passes before the Sun, blocking its light.
If the Moon represents our internal knowledge and the deepest mysteries of our intuition, then what happens during a Solar Eclipse is that our lunar intuition uncovers new ways that we can be powered by the Sun, i.e. our identity, or, who we think we are. This Eclipse takes place in Leo, the Sun’s own domicile, so the concept of identity really reaches a watershed moment here. Who we think we are becomes overpowered by what we feel. Our masks literally fall off, and our true faces open to the world. We uncover both what is useless to us and may fall away, and what we are underneath the old excess. From humiliation to triumph, the full gamut of emotional experience accompanies the process.
While Eclipse season usually only sees two eclipse events, this weekend’s is our final of three eclipses this year. A month and half in to this energetic portal, the word “intense” hangs on the line, a threadbare flag, floundering in the wind. Look around yourself and notice what has changed. Internally, externally. If you can, open up to still more change, the final push that takes you beyond the constant flux of this rebirth process. The wisest thing you can do is to relax into it.
This affair is taxing. Let’s remember that Eclipse season is not the season in which we “succeed” in the conventional sense of the word. It’s not when we see all the results of the efforts we have put in, it’s when we witness the breathtakingly elegant proportions of this solar system as our luminaries disappear behind shadows and behind one another. Our work now is to plant the seeds of pure awareness and allowance, without judgment or attachment to outcome.
Far beyond our control, this is when the belly of the earth opens up and gushes out hot, fresh magma, extremely fertile as it cools. What we do now is watch the outpouring, adjust to its alteration of the landscape, and cultivate our own resilience and plasticity with a disposition of lightness. Consciousness is the product of billions of years of slow evolution. Eclipses remind us that to demand immediate results for our efforts is foolish. Instead, we’re wise to direct our intentions toward serving the authentic stuff that turns up from the center of “th’affrighted globe.” It is the realest stuff we have.
I highly recommend seeing where this Eclipse falls in your chart, or having a professional Astrologer calculate that for you, as this will tell you about the nature of the magma revealing itself, and how you might want to handle it in the future. But of course for all of us, the chart of this event holds plenty of relevant information.
This New Moon Eclipse event is quincunx both Pluto and Neptune, which creates an acute fulcrum energy. We are working with the sense that the spiritual significance of the collective, historical state of affairs must be responded to, and simultaneously there is this extremely important and heavy-hitting personal project of nurturing and ultimately sharing our own individuated emotional realities and creativity with the world around us. Much hangs on our capacity to hold both projects steadfastly, but their relationship creates substantial tension. To the logical brain, the relationship between them is oblique and if we’re not careful, one could easily bulldoze the other. However the quincunx in this chart tells us that these two projects are entirely related and require one another in the process of their own becoming. To fully understand and begin healing the historical reality, we have to dedicate energy inward.
Proportion is everything. It is bizarre that the Moon, 64.3 million of which could fit into the Sun, appears from the Earth to be the exact same size as the Sun during Eclipses, and can even entirely obscure it. The Moon represents our emotions, our soul, and the very intimate secrets to our happiness. It’s scale is private and small. In many ways, it’s our reptile brain, containing our emotional intelligence and the intuition that escapes the rational mind.
While the Moon is so much smaller than the Sun (the Sun representing who we perceive ourselves to be), the Solar Eclipse illustrates how in the end, our proximity to the Moon makes the emotional body as and sometimes much more powerful than the rational body of the Sun. If we fail to tend the emotional body, her eclipse activity will stop at destabilizing the solar energy. But if we tend her well, she will also purge, renew and reinvigorate it as well.
The most important aspect of tending the emotional body comes in bearing it witness, but the Eclipse’s chart also offers us tactics. First, we’ll want to catch and cast out self-limiting beliefs (Sun and Moon square Jupiter), as well as energy leaks in personal relationships (Venus in Libra trine South Node and Mars and opposite Chiron). Let discipline and structure be your friend (Saturn square Venus), and balance boundaries with pleasure. Don’t be afraid to look, and mentally assess your fears and doubts around the image you present to your community (Sun/Moon conjunct Mercury Rx). There is magic available for creating new kinds of beauty, for dropping and renewing the masks, exoskeletons, and costumes we show the world.
These themes will continue to resonate for the few months ahead, as Eclipse charts carry potent energy for some time. So don’t rush yourself. Plant the intentions now from a place of gut instinct. Remember that while this is an Eclipse, it is still a New Moon, and this is the cycle’s tenderest time. The dense, chthonic energy of the the dark moon invites our engagement, but it only shows the multivalence of its fertility as the light waxes in the coming weeks.
The day after this final Eclipse, Mars will retrograde back into Capricorn, where he is exalted. This chapter of Mars Rx, which lasts until August 27, will likely be somewhat easier Mars’ Rx trip through Aquarius. In Capricorn, Mars dons the mantle of the archetypal wise warrior, who has a much easier time picking the right battles than Mars’ youthful, futuristic, revolutionary Aquarian face. We may collectively feel the willingness to slow down, take a deep breath of Capricorn’s fine mountain air, and move at exactly the pace of pragmatism that we need, discerning what work in front of us is ours to do.
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