Eclipses are wildcard lunations that represent the apex of changes that have been brewing for the past season or two. The moonths following eclipses are where we integrate those changes. The unexpected rules the day as much that was obscured is revealed. If you're not sure about something, now is a time to expand your ability to sit with that uncertainty, setting intentions for actions you wish to take, feelings you wish to feel more, rather than forcing a particular plan or outcome.
August 7th brings the full moon lunar eclipse where our intuitive knowing and emotional insight is most activated, while the inner shifts gestate before taking form in the externally oriented companion eclipse on August 21st. This solar eclipse is getting a lot of attention because it will be visible across the contiguous US and will be total in a path that begins in the Pacific Northwest and ends in South Carolina. These locations are known for their long histories of racist segregation. With the success of efforts to remove statues that elevate that terrible past, we must not forget that we must do the work today that undoes the inheritance of said oppressions. The sources of profit and privilege persist in shameful and disturbing ways. Our efforts are often symbolic and must be much more than that too.
Leo is the sign of royalty. There is something disturbing about the way astrologers emphasize this without questioning the celebration of colonialism that this can represent. When we celebrate the part of us that centers ourselves in our own stories, we must make every effort to do so in a way that doesn't deny others that same right. If our regalness is built on the backs of others then the emporer has no clothes. Standing naked in the vulnerability of doing our best, honest about our not enoughness, can be a liberation of sorts.
The Sabian Symbol or evocative image associated with the Sun's degree during 8/7 eclipse is "Brilliant sunshine just after a storm" and the Moon's image exactly opposite that is "A big business man at his desk." These images echo that sense that while we must enjoy the relief that we might feel whenever we can, at every small, not enough creative or political victory, we must remain vigilant around the forces of profiteering corporate greed and exploitations. The Sun and Moon join on 8/21 at the degree "A mermaid emerges from the ocean waves ready for rebirth in human form." The mythopoeticspiritual part of us that can both breathe underwater and sacrifice (to make sacred) itself to be reborn on land is calling us toward these bigger purposes. Like the sun and moon are reborn through their cycles, we can turn this wheel evermore towards justice.
The planet Mars, protector and activator, is accompanying us on this solilunar journey and asking....what can I protect? What am I hear to take care of? What am I willing to do with my energy? Mercury goes retrograde on August 12th-September 5th and will station and go direct on the same degree that the solar eclipse activates. Expecting unexpected answers to those questions would be wise. Perhaps the whispers of spirit we've been hearing will be harder to ignore. We must be willing to take more risks and show up in all our fierce truth and compassion or we risk losing our self respect. As is often the case in these times of surrender to the larger cosmic cycles, plans will shift and life will reveal to us what's wanting to happen. Keep doing the next right feeling thing, allowing nature and your own intuition be your guide.
Ways to honor these eclipses:
-Reflect on what was happening in your life in August 1999 and July 2009 when these areas of your life/chart/sky were last activated by these particular cha-cha-change energies
-Enjoy sunflowers & sunflower flower essence
-Do heart opening body movements & meditations
-Gather with your favorite people to bear witness to this magical moment (get your eclipse viewing glasses to share so you can do so safely). Best info for what will be visible when wherever you are is available here.
-Reflect on what you most want to protect (give that Mars a mission)
-Play and create
-Be inspired by pampered house cats (especially when they're purring) and children (especially when they're sharing)
-Adorn yourself in ways that make you feel radiant and alive
I'll be hosting an intimate gathering of folks who want to explore these themes more on Thursday, August 10th at 7:30pm. RSVPs are required so I can plan (hahahaha...) accordingly. Please email me at email@example.com if you're in the SF Bay Area and would like to join us. Mermaids ready for rebirth are especially welcome.
Above image acknowledgement and gratitude to Judy Schmidt and Astronomy Picture of the Day. Below image is in the public domain found on Wikimedia.
"The best political, social, and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others." -Carl Jung
On this healing path, I've worked a lot on "not taking on other people's stuff." This is a phrase we speak often in bay area healing circles. While I've benefitted immeasurably from the meditations where I've given people back their stuff, envisioned myself surrounded by a protective orb of energy and all that powerful woo, I'm feeling more and more like it's a lie that reveals the truth rather than the truth itself.
This Friday, October 18th the full moon brings us a lunar eclipse in Aries/Libra. So much of the Aries/Libra story is about self and other. Over the next year or so, our job is to learn as much as we can about how we relate and how we act as individuals in those relations. Now is a moment where we're probably getting a lot of information about that. I keep thinking about an old neighbor who was struggling with addiction. He was abusive, acting out in all sorts of ways and destroyed my garden more than once. Nothing I did got him to act more sane until I stopped trying to get him to do anything, hung up some mirrors on the front door and in the garden and started wishing him well. Even then, not much changed with him, but I did. Years later, in retrospect, as the child of an alcoholic, I can't deny that me learning how to live with addiction is completely my stuff.
It's so easy to get caught up in feeling wronged, feeling that if other people would just do what we think is best then we could finally relax and life would get better, we get distracted from what we actually can change: ourselves. The crucial thing to remember in this eclipse heightened time is that whatever is coming up is a mirror. All the things, especially when we're obsessing about the outer world, are just reflections of our inner life. Often they are mirrors of your beauty. Sometimes though facebook, our friends, our family, our inbox, etc. are reflections of our unresolved stuff. The good news is we're being given the (sometimes) agonizing gift of greater resolution and healing, if we take the time to go inward.
Two weeks from now on November 3rd, that inner work will help us rise to meet a solar eclipse in Scorpio. Along with mercury retrograde also in Scorpio (10/21-11/9), now is a time to look at that part of ourselves that keeps getting attracted to the same lessons, that keeps looking in the same mirrors (over and over and over again). Invite your psyche to tea and ask the bigger questions of what you are to learn from this shifting time. Let go of blame and heal what only you can heal.
Halloween and Day of the Dead remind us that Scorpio's time is a one to sit with the reality of death. Somehow this unifying thread amongst us all, this promise of a returning to source, even just as compost, helped me to see that the more I embraced the mirrors in my life, the more clearly I could see myself. Yes, we are separate, embodied beings AND in this mystery of oneness, whatever Scorpionic sh*t you're called on to deal with now is yours to compost, even if it appears to be somebody else's. Perhaps it's as simple as there is no other? Perhaps it's all just a lie that reveals the truth? Either way, enjoy the reflections.
Photo credit: Nathan Taylor
I'll be honest folks, these eclipses have been kicking my ass in the best and worst ways. Eclipses as the apex of changes that have been brewing for the past 3-6 months tend to do that, especially when they are activating tender parts of us. Sometimes the universe just knows we need to be further tenderized. In these times, I find myself leaning into care and community. I find that's where the meaning to near constant seeming barrage of transition and change crystalizes. Community and care is also where I find the magic insight I need to accept what is so I can rest in the chaos (something I'm learning how to do better and better). I figure I might not be the only one who needs to up the stress relieving ante right now and in that spirit, I offer you these:
Community Care Resources
Acupuncture - http://www.caworks.org/ (LOVE)
CIIS student therapists - http://www.ciis.edu/about_ciis/counseling_centers.html (sliding scale work that I've mostly loved as long as I've gone in telling them what I'm needing and being willing to change therapists if it's not working out)
Massage - http://nhi.edu/massage_clinic/index.html (sometimes amazing massages by students, not always, but you're not allowed to tip so it really costs what it costs)
Massage & acupuncture & herbs/nutrition & some free classes/support groups - http://www.kwanyinhealingarts.com/
Acupuncture - http://www.actcm.edu/content.php?topmenu=7 (haven't been here in years since community acupuncture opened near me, but I loved it and it helped me thru some tough times. They even have free ear acupuncture clinic where the suggested donation was $5)
Herbal medicine - http://herbesofafeather.com/about/ (so good)
Flower essences - http://starsinjarsessences.blogspot.com/ (spiritually nourishing)
Yoga by donation - http://www.athayoga.com/2007/01/mondays-from-8-to-930pm.html (most delightful yoga teacher I've experienced)
Haven't experienced these but know they are out there:
Therapy - https://www.queerlifespace.org/ (heard it's great)
Reiki - http://www.meetup.com/Reiki-Healing-Center/events/114047742/
Acupuncture - http://missionsfca.com/
Acupuncture - http://www.circleca.com/
Herbal medicine (east bay) - http://www.ohlonecenter.org/clinic/ (this is where the above herbalist studied and teaches)
Yoga - almost every studio I've been to has a community class aka more affordable. I've heard there are free classes out there, but none come to mind immediately.
These are by not means exhaustive, but rather what came immediately to mind. I'd love folks to share their websites and recommendations in the comments so we can build even more resourced movements and healing communities. Obviously, these are pretty SF bay area specific. For folks that don't live around here, I hope this helps you think outside the box to find the wellness resources in your communities. Please share them here for the rest of us. I travel a lot and have been amazed by the community acupuncture movements expansion to give working class folks access to those deeply healing needles.
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