An Eclipse Guide for Intentional Beings
Eclipses: To Fail, Omit, Abandon
“But what is this? Shadows have begirt midday. Phoebus [Helios the sun] fares with darkened face though there be no cloud. Who puts the day to flight and drives it back to dawn? Whence does an unfamiliar night rear its black head? Whence do so many stars fill the sky though it is day?”
The root of the word ‘eclipse’ in Greek means to “forsake.” I’ve always found this particularly interesting – and sensible. If your entire life revolved around the Sun and the Moon as it did for the Ancients, wouldn’t you also feel abandoned if your only sources of light suddenly departed?
But just because the Ancients feared eclipses doesn’t mean you have to as well.
I’m not a great fan of fear-based, doom & gloom spirituality. Mercury retrograde will not ruin your life. If you were born with 1,000 planets in retrograde you’ll be fine (just check out Muhammad Ali).
Repeat after me: Eclipses aren’t something to fear.
At the same time, Eclipses are not always easy, either. It depends largely on your relationship to knowing yourself and your ‘shadow.’
If you’re dedicated to unraveling the great mystery known as you, you’ll likely find eclipses challenging but revelatory. There’s no reason to approach these grand lunations with worry. Dedicate your mind to studying what energies are coming forward asking for your attention instead of worrying.
Solar Eclipses, like New Moons, are the more potent of the two lunations. Solar Eclipses occur at a New Moon when the Moon moves between the Sun and the Earth and blocks out the Sun’s light.
Solar Eclipses can be treated like super-powered New Moons which have the potential to create what I often refer to as a cosmic portal. There is an opening, awakening or new seed planted in an area of your life that can last up to 6 months (some ancient astrologers said that the effect lasted as many years as the eclipse did in hours!).
At Solar Eclipses we may be more able to get in better touch with our emotions, body or feelings; we may have stark realizations about how our ‘present’ is being informed by the past.
Similar to New Moons, something might need to die away in order for the newness to break through. Surrender is key.
Lunar eclipses and the “red moon” were believed to be caused by evil witches who drew the Moon goddess Selene down from the sky in order to extract her blood.
In the real world, they just occur when the Earth moves between the Sun and Moon and blocks the reflective light of the Moon.
Lunar eclipses are similar to pumped-up Full Moons, and can sometimes bring matters to a close or peak illumination, depending on what part of your chart they activate. The effect of a lunar eclipse usually lasts several weeks but the impact may feel more sudden or brutal; ancient astrologers thought the effects of lunar eclipses lasted as many months as the eclipse lasted in hours. At a Lunar Eclipse, we may be operating under the full force of our ego, so it’s not always best to take immediate action. Waiting a few days can help allow our emotions to re-integrate so we make decisions for the best, and not simply as a reaction.
Dayne Rudhyar asserted that lunar eclipses are opportunities to release the past: with the Moon as the celestial body responsible for memories, nostalgia and our childhood origins eclipsed in darkness, we may better integrate ourselves into the present and leave the things that no longer serve us to the past.
Lunar eclipses in bad aspect to the Midheaven and Venus notoriously spell out endings of sorts in work, money or career (and possibly relationships too, since Venus covers both money and lurve).
Overall, lunar Eclipses tend to bring a feeling of finality. If something breaks down during a Lunar Eclipse, do not expect it to get back on track very easily.
A NOTE ON THE NODES
The north and south node are involved with every eclipse. Most of us are familiar with the nodes as they come up in our birth charts and are often mentioned by astrologers. The nodes are of course not planets or celestial objects, but imaginary points that rotate around the Earth. The role of the nodes in an eclipse is pretty straightforward: the nodal points are where the Sun or Moon must cross to manifest an eclipse; they are as the ancients called them, the ‘eclipse points.’
Some astrologers distinguish between the South and North Nodes activating an eclipse. I have not seen a huge difference myself but continue to evaluate my thoughts on this concept (and note it here so you can too!).
The theory is that South Nodes joining the Sun will dredge up a more karmic feeling; the North node will create a new illumination or realization in the current time/space.
HOW TO WORK WITH ECLIPSES
2 ) Check the DEGREE and SIGN of the eclipse. Is the eclipse happening anywhere near a planet in your chart? If yes – check in with what planet its contacting. What is the planet about? What are that planet’s themes? If you’re already familiar with astrology, also check the aspects to other natal planets: squares and oppositions will be
If you’re familiar with astrology, also check the aspects to other natal planets: squares and oppositions will be more tense; sextiles and trines more helpful.
3 ) Check the HOUSE where the eclipse will occur. Is this house playing a major role in your life right now? Are there any tensions in this area of life for you? Is there something here you’re trying to hide, suppress or deny?
4 ) Check the ELEMENT that the house will occur in.
5 ) If you’re slightly more advanced in your astrology study, check out your transits or progressed chart, and re-evaluate the above steps.
6 ) Extra-extra bonus is checking whether or not Saturn or Mars will march over the same degree as the Eclipse in the coming months.