The Solar Eclipse in Leo occurs August 21st, 2017 at 28°52’ of Leo.
Try checking what area of your birth chart is ruled by Leo or the house where your natal Sun is found for more insight.
If you are new or new-ish to astrology, this post is a good place to start for generating your birth chart and checking out which part of your chart is being touched by this lunation.
You can find out more about how to work with eclipses here.
SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT: YOU COULD ALSO SIGN UP FOR MY NEXT CLASS ON THE LUNAR CYCLES
Solar Eclipse in Leo – August 21st, 2017 // A Thin Line Between Love & Hover
“The most deeply moving element in the contemplation of beauty is the element of loss.
We desire to hold; but the sunset melts into the night, and the secret of the painting on the wall can never be the secret of the buyer.”
– Pamela Hansford Johnson
At solar eclipses, like all New Moons, the Sun and Moon unite in hieros gamos, the sacred marriage of the Sun King and the Moon Goddess.
Inevitably though, when things are combined, something is lost.
Two becoming one has been the inspiration of alchemically-inclined romantics throughout history (as well as the Spice Girls) but in truth, the disappearing of “the one” into “the other” works much better as a poetic device than a partnership guideline.
The well-expressed individual needs ample air as the Sun requires a wide sky; sometimes when two deeply enmeshed elements finally separate – a child and parent, for example – a new space is provided in which the tender shoots of individuality can be nourished by a different, more personal impulse.
The Solar Eclipse in Leo is bad news for devouring mothers of all description. Clinging vines, helicopter parents and overly attendant paramours take note: this eclipse is coming for you.
There is a fine line between love and hover, something that Ceres, ancient Goddess of Grain and Grin-and-Bear-it, knew all too well. Her myth of love lost and found represents a particular vein of wisdom that some may find themselves becoming familiar with over the next few months as the effects of this eclipse unfold.
Ceres’ tale is one of an all-enveloping love for her maiden-child Kore: the best of friends, they are connected at the hip day and night. Suitors come for Kore, but inevitably they find themselves brushed off. So at home in the arms of her mother is Kore that she is unable to separate herself from the comfort of her mother’s company.
Until that is, Pluto begins to wonder if being God of the Underworld should automatically condemn him to a life of companion-less below-ground wandering.
Eyeing his target from afar, Pluto makes his move under the approving eyes of Zeus. As Kore wanders in the fields with other unattached femmes (Artemis & Athena), she crouches to behold a flower – a Narcissus with one hundred blooms – and is swallowed whole, the Earth around her splitting open to the Underworld below, where Pluto waits with arms wide open.
Ceres is despondent: “…like a solitary wild bird she streaked out across dry land searching […] for nine days queenly Ceres circled over the Earth.” When Ceres realizes that no one, whether God or mortal, will help her find Kore, her wrath manifests as a great famine on Earth.
But a funny thing happens while Kore is trapped below: she becomes a Queen of the Underworld, and her name changes from Kore to Persephone, meaning alternatively ‘She who shines from below’ and ‘destroyer-slayer.’ Persephone is no longer the simple maiden Kore, she has met pain and walked alone in darkness.
Now, Persephone has power. With a nod of her head, she can pardon or punish and put her merciful manner to good use. In one hand she holds the key to Heaven, and in the other, the keys to Earth.
Eventually, though, a mother’s love wins out. Ceres’ famine is too brutal, the effects too dire for her Olympians cohorts to ignore her any longer. A deal is bartered: if Ceres relents, she can have her beloved daughter Persephone above ground for two-thirds of the year, the remaining time Persephone must return to the Underworld. It is a solution that seems to satisfy all parties.
If we read this story solely as a punishing loss for Ceres, it is easy to peg Pluto as the heartless aggressor, but if we read past the immediate and understand all Persephone has gained (independence, experience, self-discovery), we can re-envision his ruthlessness as a liberating force, like a double-axe that both kills and frees.
When by smoke, mirror, and subterfuge Pluto manages to trick Persephone into staying as his Queen, it is a reminder that “you can never go home again.” Persephone has been stretched too much to return to her original form, the light-hearted pursuits of the Maiden will no longer satisfy the Queen of the Underworld.
As one of the essential stories of Greek myth, this a lunar story of appearance and disappearance, separation and return. Like the Sun and Moon, we too must separate – from others, from our partners, from our parents and our ‘stories’ – so that we may change and grow, wax and wane, build and destroy. (Sun trine Uranus, Ceres opposite Pluto)
And like the Moon, we will return, just as the Moon will always find its way back to the Sun.
It is poignant that each time the Moon falls into the embrace of the Sun, we call it ‘new.’
For the Moon that newly arrives always bears some similarity to that which came before, yet it cannot be the same – that Moon traveled, lived, shared, reflected – and died. It has peeled away its skin, dropped into the ocean and been reborn.
And just like the Moon, so shall you be.
I send all of you love and wishes for renewal, change, and the separation from the things that hold you back, with full faith that you will weather the storms and forge ahead.
Share your stories, breath yourself into being, live loudly or not all. Life is short – make haste (for you contain multitudes).
Want to know more about the Moon?
…or why the number 13 isn’t unlucky at all?
…or how the Moon connects to sacred feminine mythology?
…or my step-by-step method for interpreting every New & Full Moon for yourself?
THE SOLAR ECLIPSE IN LEO CHART
August 21st, 2017, Leo 28°52′