Eclipse season is officially here!!!
Aww it's that time of year again... when we start to shift our gears in some respects to certain inner and outer changes and readjustments that are calling to be made in our lives. Eclipses have always been a hot astrological / astronomical topic since the ancients began observing them many moons ago!
It's hard not to be mesmerized and enamored by an eclipse. Think about what it would have been like in past times, when our ancestors looked to the sky one day and saw either the light of the Sun or the light of the Moon darken right before their very eyes. You might have thought the world was ending!
I can see how that would seem very ominous in a time where the luminaries were the main source of light on the planet. When life givers go dark, you begin to question your own fate... and this is exactly what eclipse season still brings to us.
So let's dive into the first event of the season... the Total Lunar Eclipse in Leo on Wed, January 31st 2018 at 5:27am PT / 1:27pm UT / 11:27 pm AEST.
What is a lunar eclipse? Scientifically speaking...
So what exactly is a lunar eclipse? In simple terms it's when the Earth blocks out the light from the Sun, which in turn blocks the reflection of light that illuminates the Moon. Our lunar lady is a tricky gal, as by all appearances she creates her own light, but the truth of the matter is it is all the Sun's doing... which really speaks to the symbology of the Moon. But more on that later... 😉
There is also another key factor in eclipse making, and that is the lunar nodes. Lunar nodes are not actual celestial bodies; rather they are mathematical points based on the the ecliptic of the Sun and the Moon. There is a slight variation in the angle of these paths as you can see by the diagram below. Where the paths meet is what defines the nodal placement. Since the planetary bodies are always moving, these imaginary points move as well.
So how does this all fit together? In order to have a solar or lunar eclipse, we need to have a New Moon or a Full Moon that is in close proximity to these nodal points. The difference in degrees is what determines the exactness or "totality" of an eclipse. In order to have a Total Lunar Eclipse, our monthly Full Moon must fall within 3°45' - 6° of the lunar nodes... and our Full Moon on 1/31 will be providing that exact criteria.
Picking Up Where We Left Off - The Leo / Aquarius Polarity & Themes for the Total Lunar Eclipse at 11° 37' Leo
The thing about eclipses is that they come in pairs - sometimes even triplets, like what's in store later this summer! Yet typically we have a lunar and solar eclipse that happens within a few weeks of one another and comprises an eclipse "season" of approximately 36 days. Sometimes the lunar will come first with the solar at it's heels like the set-up for this pair, or the order may be reversed.
Also, we must note that not only do they come in pairs, they also pair up with another set of eclipses that happen the season prior or following. This season just happens to pair up with last August's eclipses - Aug 7th & 21st respectively. That set of eclipses were life changing for many people with the events that unfolded in August and throughout the rest of 2017. This eclipse is picking up where we left off in relation to those areas of life that were shifting, whether internally or externally - most likely both.
The August eclipses had a martian flare to them as Mars was conjunct the Sun in Leo. Mars is not the easiest planet to deal with... on one hand it can motivate us to a great extent to drive us forward with what we personally desire in life; while on the other, it can work much like the surgeon's blade and cut things from our live's that weren't serving us in the grander scheme.
There was also the element of Uranus in Aries that played very heavily into the Solar Eclipse, bringing unexpected events into areas of our lives that challenged us to roll with the changing tides and rebuild certain areas of our existence from the ground up.
To some extent we move blindly through life, learning to trust the process as we go so the Mars element mixed with the Uranian element might have had us surprised about where we ended up. If all this wasn't enough, we also had Mercury who was retrograding from Virgo to Leo (eventually stationing on the exact eclipse point) which sprung us into full on review mode. It's safe to say we learned a lot about ourselves and the world in August.
All this was and still is happening in the realm of the Leo / Aquarius polarity, an axis that touches on themes regarding the individual vs the group. What our heart desires vs. what society expects from us. How our special destiny enhances the collective good. Since the nodes moved into this axis back in May 2017 these particular themes have been popping up in areas of our lives. We've increasingly had to find a great deal of courage to move through shifting sands and detach from certain ego responses that no longer support our life's bigger agenda. Our creative selves have been called into being as well, asking that we express ourselves authentically and in turn the right audience will find and support the expression of our gifts.
So let's look at the energy of our Jan 31st Total Lunar Eclipse. Below is a chart set for my location and 0° Aries.
Like the last set up of eclipses, the lunar will happen before the solar - which brings themes of working through internal, emotional change and then implementing that shift into our external realities.
Lunar eclipses in general bring up issues of where and how we emotionally attach ourselves to things, people, ideas... etc. We begin to ponder our life's internal landscape and whether or not we feel nourished and fully secure within our own skin. That being said, this can be a time of great intuition that will lead us head on into spiritual shifts! Since the Moon reflects the light of the Sun, she is always shining back to us what is our very purpose in life. Feelings are the radar of the soul.
The difference between last August's Lunar Eclipse and this January's is that the prior was falling on the South Node. We most likely found ourselves in need of releasing from old attachments and past conditioning in some way so that we could emotionally move on in our lives. With this upcoming eclipse conjunct the North Node (and total I might add) we are going to find that we are connecting ourselves to new feelings and attachments which will bring an overall increase that is seemingly more fulfilling in our lives.
The themes popping out to me in the chart above really speak to how dynamically different the energy is from last August. Where Mars was lurking around the luminaries before, we now have Venus having her say. A softer element is in play that is asking us to open up to our personal place within society and allowing ourselves to emotionally express our uniqueness to the world. With the Moon being disposed - or represented - by the Sun in Aquarius, the theme of "increasing our place within the collective" is definitely at play. We are going to be much more aware of where we give ourselves and with who we spend our precious time and energy. When we reach the Solar Eclipse on Feb 15th, I feel that we will find ourselves partnering with others who support our personal dreams. A little adjustment may be called for but if we open up and receive we will be right on track.
Yet within all that, there is still an even bigger picture...
The Grander View - Saros Cycle S.S. 1 South & It's Themes
But wait... there's more!!! Since eclipses have a cycle of their own, there are even more layers of relevance to eclipse season. First we have our pair of seasonal eclipses, and then that is paired with companion eclipses as I spoke of earlier. What makes them companion eclipses are determined by something called a "Saros Cycle."
A Saros Cycle is approximately 6585.3211 days, or 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours in length. It takes that long for us to experience the Sun, Moon, & Earth arriving to the same geometric point for identical eclipses to take place. The last Saros period in relation to this set of eclipses was back in January / February of 2000. You can look back on your life at that time and find similar themes to what you are working with today. Of course, life changes a great deal in 18 years, yet you'll be surprised to find certain larger themes at play.
Last August's eclipses were in SS. 1 North while our current pair of eclipses are in SS. 1 South. Being "South" references that the eclipse series itself started at the South Pole. All Saros cycles are contained within a Saros series that begins at either the North or South Pole and works it's way up or down. Similar series, different pole.
Below we have an animation provided by NASA of the trajectory of this long running cycle, however, please note that it only is referencing the Solar Eclipses so our lunar variety is not featured. However, the visual can provide a basic understanding on how a series begins and evolves over time. LOTS of time.
S.S 1 South started on August 24th, 1729 with a partial eclipse at the South Pole; it will take roughly 1280 years for it to complete it's whole series. In order to find the theme within the series itself, which of course trickles down into the cycles, we reference the chart for when the first partial eclipse occurred - which is the date above.
Within the chart below, we see a Mercurial theme with Mercury conjunct the South Node. The node is also on the midpoint of the Mars / Jupiter conjunction to the luminaries. In Bernadette Brady's phenomenal book "Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark" she says the following about the series:
"This family of eclipses is concerned with ideas and their enthusiastic expression. If this eclipse affects your chart, you will be flooded with ideas or options. There may seem to be an element of haste, but if you can go with the new ideas, they will have positive outcomes."
I love what she says there... especially paired with the fact that this is a North Node eclipse, meaning that we can now attach ourselves to new ideas and ways of expression which can lead us to greater increase and growth in the areas of our charts that the eclipse hits. It seems like an easier, and less ominous tone than other series' might invoke.
For me personally, this eclipse hits my Mercury / Jupiter conjunction in Leo. And when I look back to the beginning of 2000 (the last Saros cycle in this series), that is when I decided to move 3,000 miles across the country on a whim, to start a new life that led to greater expression. I would definitely say that has a Mercury / Mars / Jupiter flare to it!
What About Me? Finding the Significance in Your Own Chart...
When an eclipse arrives, we are all going to feel it in some area of our lives. However, some will feel it more than others. If you have a planet that is within 2° of the eclipse by conjunction or opposition, you are probably going to feel it's affects rather heavily. With the lunar eclipse, there will be an emotional churning around the energy/planet that gets contacted and the effects can be rather immediate.
If you don't have a planet or significant chart point near that particular degree, you are still going to feel it within the house polarity that it hits. You may not feel it right away, but as time goes on, you'll notice it's effect within those areas of your life... which will still bring change, just in a more subtle way.
Here is a quick rundown by sign polarities of what areas of life may be triggered by these sets of eclipses. Like I mentioned above, we are having new feelings in these realms of our lives and are opening up to increase and greater abundance through new ideas and options we feel we want to act on. Reference both your Sun & Rising sign to get a bigger picture:
Aries / Libra:
creative output, children, what and who you love, artistic pursuits, leisure time
- vs -
future goals, friendships, who we associate with, the groups that we belong to, society
Taurus / Scorpio:
home, family, emotional foundation, parents & early conditioning, endings to a situation
- vs -
social status, career moves, our legacy in society, what we do for personal fulfillment
Gemini / Sagittarius:
immediate environment, neighborhood, siblings, daily attitude & thought processes
- vs -
travel, study, going beyond what we've been, new experiences, your life's philosophy
Cancer / Capricorn:
personal resources, self-esteem & self-worth, physical possessions, value system
- vs -
shared resources & debts, boundaries, change & transformation, life / death / rebirth
Leo / Aquarius:
the self, your physical body, your appearance, your identity, independent action
- vs -
partnerships (personal & business), marriage, divorce, lawsuits, your shadow self
Virgo / Pisces:
daily routine, your health & diet, breaking habits, being of service
- vs -
retreat, being alone, illness, surrendering control, secrecy, finding hope through the spiritual
Keep in mind, these are are just some generalities into where you might experience the energy. As every person is different, every chart is different as well! And that's what us astrologer's are here for... to help pinpoint that detail through an in-depth chart reading.
3 Ways To Work With Eclipse Energy
1. Day of observation
The Tibetan buddhists have always used eclipses as a day of observation. It's the perfect time to meditate on your life and be conscious of how you are directing it. There is the thought that our actions - positive or negative - are multiplied greatly on the day of an eclipse. 1,000 X for a Lunar Eclipse & 100,000 X for a Solar Eclipse. So what better time to "take the time" and put out positivity into our world within our own reflection and heartfelt intention?
2. Acceptance of shift
Throughout history eclipses have mostly been regarded as fear inducing but with our modern understanding, that doesn't have to be the case. In our technological age, we know the Moon is getting blotted out by the Earth momentarily and that there is no need to panic. Change is the only constant and if we can look forward to our internal and external shifts with a sense of optimism, we will not only have an increased understanding of ourselves, we will also have a positive future view that can allow us to act on what we can control and surrender what we cannot.
3. Journal your process
If you are not already an avid journaler, this would be a great time to start. Even if you were to just record your thoughts around the days of the eclipse, it can be very revealing into your own life story when you read it later on. Documenting your process for later days, especially later eclipses, can be incredibly fruitful and entertaining! "You've come a long way, baby."
Eclipse Blessings For All!!! 💫
Eclipse seasons can be intense, yet oh so exciting! I hope that this article has helped to shine light on the many layers of an eclipse and how fascinating it really all is! This is what magic is made of... and such magic never ceases to amaze me! If you have any eclipse stories or added musings, I'd love to hear them! Wishing everyone Full Moon Lunar Eclipse blessings... and as always...
May the stars be with you!!
PS. Check the map below to see if you will be in viewing range of this mystical event! And if you are, get that camera out, and have a look! I know I will! 🤩