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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
What were you doing last April? How are the issues that were coming up then finding greater resolution? What are you relieved about? Regretful about? This is all good information about the eclipse season we’re in now. Eclipses put more force behind the full moons and new moons that they fall on as apexes of changes that have been building for the past three-six months. The first eclipse falls on the late night/early morning (depending on where you are) of October 8th and since it falls in Libra/Aries, keep in mind that there is no such thing as other people’s stuff.
It’s a wild card time in general, but with the grand trine in fire signs and mercury’s retrograde in Scorpio/Libra and Uranus and the Sun forming a lightening rod for cosmic energy, expect the unexpected. The grand trine in fire (now through the 8th) encourages us to use our creativity and spiritual aliveness to focus on all that warms our heart. It’s no surprise that San Francisco is being hit a heatwave. Monitor your energy levels for information about what brings vibrancy and go for more of that. Be careful of burnout though and remember to take refuge in the shade. A blow torch is more powerful than a bonfire or a burnt bridge though I can’t deny that we all don’t have some part of us that loves to watch it all burn. Burn candles, old sheets imbued with sex with an ex or old files that are dragging you down. What phoenix part of you might rise from those ashes?
Know that while eclipses bring change and fire signs love spontaneity, due to mercury’s retrograde, caution is indicated especially around anything that you might not be able to back out of. Feel free to write those harsh emails, but don’t necessarily send them without a trusted advisor’s revision. Burn those letters and journal pages where you've purged your vitriol then perhaps you'll be able to write from a more effective place.
Don’t overcommit yourself based on the intensity of the moment. If you’re even a little uncertain, breathe deep and expand your capacity to sit with the not knowing rather than forcing a resolution. When we’re seduced by the need to find closure, it’s almost always a sign that we're avoiding the work of sitting with our feelings. The solution is usually to put the phone down, come back to the present and know that the answer will come at the right time (if it hasn’t come, it’s not the right time).
There’s nothing like astrology to give us a sense of right timing and nothing like tarot to get us through those moments of uncertainty. The only question that matters right now is “what wants to happen next.” Pull out the tarot if you’ve got too many options and/or are feeling overwhelmed. Pull a card for each option and see what feelings arise from there. Keep in mind that the cards are a reflection of your relationship to the option in that moment. It’s okay to say “no” right now and you become a “yes” later, when the time is right and more information has been revealed. If you don't have a deck or are away from it, this is a sweet online resource. Use this wild card time to lean on our wild, artful divinatory cards.
As mercury's retrograde moves back into Libra, if you have trouble deciphering the message with all the taboo shit stirring that the Scorpionic energy brings, consult with another person. Take it all with a grain of salt because you’re the ultimate authority on your life, but there’s some clarity that can come only from sorting stuff out with another being. It will be much less about what’s being said and much more about what’s being felt. This is a great time to practice using feeling words in a non-blaming way (NVC anyone?). Good luck!
The final eclipse of this cycle is on October 23rd in Scorpio. We enter the depths, letting go and sinking in to all that we’re here to learn about our psyches. I’m planning to spend that night making a collage honoring that “no” is a complete sentence. What small, often quiet voice in you do you hope pay extra attention to as the energy of the moment shifts?
Have a blessed Samhain and happy new year to all the witches out there!
For folks that have been wondering where my more regular postings can be found, for the past six months or so, I've been toying with Facebook so follow me there for more consistent & brief astrologically inspired nuggets of wisdom. It's not my favorite platform, but it does make it easy.
Happy Summer Solstice! The night is returning. The day is to be celebrated and enjoyed. I read recently about a wise mother who, when her child became afraid of the dark, invited her to their backyard at night. There she shared with her child all things that were beautiful and right about the darkness.
The super full moon in Capricorn (6/23) asks us to walk the line in terms of doing and caring. Best thing to do is bring them together by doing that which demonstrates your care. I'm setting up a solstice ancestor altar, grateful for all that has been and trusting in what will be while doing my best to really occupy this space in between (now). It's all we have and all that.
Jupiter enters Cancer (6/25), the sign it will call home for the next year. This ushers in the summertime heavy hit of astro-weather, a Grand trine in water. Every time we say or feel love, a part of us knows that we'll also lose it, often to separation, always to death. Still, when the endings come, most of us know we'd do it all over again. Dreams, trance, meditation bend time and space and in that way mean moments of liberation and consolation. We must feel it all or feel nothing at all. The ocean flows from our eyes or we are thirsty in the desert, sometimes both at once. Death reminds us to live. Letting go reminds us to hold on while we can. Love it all. Swim.
Mercury goes retrograde in Cancer on June 26th-July 20th though we get to ride the shadow phase through August 5th. Talk with your feelings. Ask them what they want. I've been worried that my recent grieving has been too public, too vulnerable, too real. Grieving in the internet age is a different thing. No one can see me wearing black. And yet, I can't imagine any other way. This sadness isn't a private thing, it's everything and nothing, an illusion and all that is real. Whatever it is you're feeling, say it, dance it, sing it, draw it, share it, make it real enough to let go all the while allowing the waves to ebb and flow. Know also that we are not our feelings. When feeling enslaved or obsessed by the undertow, move sideways, give yourself a break, breathe, allow the flow to buoy you. Stop striving for perfection. Find the meaning and revelation in the mistakes. Love it all. You can't do it wrong. Your words can be salve. Use them wisely. Reap, rest, respect.
Uranus/Pluto-The intense tug of war between our need for collective transformation and individual liberation continues to tie us up in knots. There can be something meditative about untangling the knots. At other times, it's best to throw it into the cauldron and see what messages the flames bring. When panicked about a decision, it's probably not actually time to make it. Just remember, don't just do something, sit there.
What does it mean to let go of expectations and allow what is to simply (or complicatedly) be? More importantly, how the hell does one get to that sweet place of acceptance? I have a feeling that this Mercury retrograde will bring those questions to the fore of our psyches. All there is to do is feel your way through it. It won't hurt to back up your computer, but in ocean of feeling Pisces, Mercury's retrograde will be more about how we feel when we are running late, not meeting that deadline, encountering that technical difficulty.
I caught myself being really mean to myself for not leaving the house soon enough to make it to my drawing class on time. I was frantic until I remembered that in terms of the vastness of all that is was or will be, being on time to a class doesn't actually matter. I was able to shift my perspective enough, only after feeling really bad, just breathed thru it, talked myself down and relaxed. I got to class and we were attending an art opening so no one even noticed my tardiness. The process of letting the feeling come and then go made me better ready to do my creative work. Not so coincidentally, the class was focused on perspective. It's amazing how much can shift when you shift yours. I found myself letting go perfection and going with good enough. I hope to bring that insight into the next few weeks which will surely be filled with a bounty of imperfection and even more good enough if I can just open my eyes to it.
I was struck after such a potent, simple lesson, to encounter this brilliant endeavor to use art as ritual. In the heroic effort to let go of disappointment and transform it into contentment, artist Jodi Sharp, takes the words (mercury) exchanged in one of those challenging relationships and literally tries them on. She then wears them into the bathtub (a Pisces place to be sure) and lets the story that I suspect has been so draining, drain away. It creates a beautiful mess as any relationship that lasts long enough will. Do you want to focus on the beauty or the mess? When words get jumbled and misconstrued, when feelings get hurt, when our hearts race around all that we don't have any control over, it's time to look at the sky, seek the vastness and breathe yourself back into the moment. As Jodi's blog name suggests, it's all in process. Be gentle and kind to yourself thru the process.
I recommend checking out Jodi's full process and description here too. Pisces loves art, music, poetry, any kind of creativity that gets you in the zone, transcendant and in the present. Mercury the messenger loves doing that which helps you communicate ideas and experiences. Perhaps reading her eloquent words will inspire your very own artful medicine spell for this precious moment.
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