Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Into the Deep: Solar Eclipse in Scorpio 2014

The Moon and the solar corona, Venus in
the distance; photo by NASA/U.S. Geological

Solar Eclipse @ 00 degrees Scorpio 
October 23, 2014
5:57 PM Eastern
2:57 PM Pacific

As we reach the final eclipse of 2014 (a Solar Eclipse in tropical Scorpio) we’re invited to look deeply into ourselves to assess the changes taking place there. As I explored in the previous Lunar Eclipse article, eclipses are moments of collective change and transition. While there are differences in the nature of each eclipse (whether lunar or solar), they each share this common attribute.

What I failed to mention (as if I can remember everything) was the sense of acceleration that accompanies an eclipse. This is not the same as “time acceleration” attributed to major aspectual contacts between outer planets, i.e., the Uranus and Pluto square. No, this sense of acceleration relates principally to rapid developments or a quickening of unfolding circumstances (either externally or internally). While related to the subjective experience of accelerated time (since unfolding events relate to a specific duration of time), they are slightly different experiences.

The eclipse has the power to open new portals into our lives, which can rapidly precipitate new paths of growth and development. These portals bring us opportunities to enter new territories, landscapes or narratives. Yet, with Mercury drifting backwards at this time, there is also a sense of familiarity to these “new” realms, since they are likely to be new expressions of unresolved past, experiences. Relationships are likely to be a major component since the Libran archetype is accentuated now—though we cannot limit our interpretation to that.

Libra is also a rather artistic and creative archetype; relationships can be forged between seemingly disparate elements to create an object of beauty. Libra is also a stabilizing archetype which can assist us in acquiring more balance and equilibrium. Thus, this month may have us feeling very creative and passionate as well as more aesthetically or romantically inclined (co-dependency or neediness would be the most shadowy expression).

The Solar Eclipse tends to place more emphasis on the momentary dissolution of the ego—to see deeper into ourselves and others to glimpse the more authentic elements of the psyche. The moment of the eclipse (the day or night of) is a time to simply observe and look more deeply at the symbolic meaning of the events unfolding around us. Much of the work that accompanies an eclipse is very unconscious, though what emerges into conscious awareness is often quite revealing and informative.

Mercury’s backtrack from Scorpio to Libra is about re-establishing trust and equilibrium. Scorpio, which holds space for this month’s Solar Eclipse is a sign of depth and intensity as well as intimacy. As I stated before, the Scorpionic impulse must follow the establishment of trust. Can we trust ourselves to move forward? Can we trust someone else enough to make a deeper connection beyond the façade of social niceties? Ultimately, can we trust the universe to bring us what we need at any given moment?

As the Sun and Moon conjoin toward the end of October, they also conjoin Venus and Pallas Athena (an asteroid) at the very entry of Scorpio—the place where trust has been established on some level and consciousness decides to take a risk.  This is a partial eclipse of the Sun so its impact is less intense than the Lunar Eclipse two weeks prior, but all eclipses are significant from the astrological perspective.

Similar to last week’s Lunar Eclipse, another occultation occurs, but with the planet Venus. That is to say that the Moon conceals Venus due to its relative declination; however, if looked at from above, if one were hovering in a spaceship just above the solar system, Venus would be on the far side of the Sun, thus further concealed by Sol’s irradiation. Again, we are dealing with layers of concealment or obfuscation with this eclipse.

Occultations are seen as highly pronounced conjunctions—an accentuated infusion of archetypal energies. The expression of the planets involved is fermented by the presence of the planet or planets they conjoin.  A planet that is occultated in a natal chart has a far more vibrant expression; the occulted planet is also seen as a hidden talent or capacity which must be probed consciously to fully access its potential.

With Venus as the concealed element in this eclipse—again, we’re brought back to the theme of relating, the urge is to seek souls with which we can authentically connect. In Scorpio, there is, of course, an element of intensity, passion and excitement. Needless to say, this eclipse may lead to some dramatic and emotional interactions, which may assist in deepening pre-established bonds or cementing something new—though we must also be careful.

I say this because this eclipse symbolizes a moment of intense vulnerability. The Sun becomes porous and translucent during an eclipse—revealing layers within the psyche usually concealed. This may have the effect of dissolving boundaries which are necessary most of the time, to keep us from revealing too much, or to protect others from things we wouldn’t share in more casual circumstances. Scorpio likes to get straight to the point; it is relatively matter of fact in its expression. But that doesn’t mean that Scorpio lays all its secrets on the table but that it is often quite blunt about what it wants or needs.

As you go about your interactions in the days surrounding this eclipse, keep your mind sharp and be conscious of what you reveal to others. What we feel in the heat of the moment may not always be entirely appropriate for various reasons. While the eclipse itself has a momentary ego dissolving effect, we must be conscious of what we are actually projecting. Are we sharing ourselves as we truly are, or are we merely presenting an image that will receive immediate approval or get us what we want?

Remember, at the heart of Scorpio is the impetus to probe and reveal deeper chasms within the self and others. At its highest expression, Venus helps us to establish relationships that truly feed us on a soul level, not simply for reasons of convenience or to temporarily ease a bout of chronic loneliness. What isn’t true or what isn’t real at this point, is simply reflecting the fact that a deeper connection to ourselves is needed at this time. What doesn’t feel right may still feel good at the moment, but will it last? Will it sustain us? Is it truly what we need?

Only you can answer those questions for yourself. For current relationships, this eclipse may prompt us to look at our connections from a different vantage point—to see things we have been avoiding. If worked with consciously, we can bring to light certain blind spots that could potentially trip us up if we continue to remain unconscious of them. Mercury retrograde will assist us in talking things out and changing our perspective.

Mars makes a sextile to the eclipse while Neptune connects through a trine aspect. Mars’ presence from Sagittarius excites and stimulates these highly charged emotional energies, again amplifying an impulse to blurt the truth in some raw or intense way. Truth-telling isn’t necessarily a bad thing with this eclipse if we are fully conscious of what we’re sharing with another—aware of the deeper motivations for doing so as well as the ramifications. Neptune’s “favorable” aspect adds a spiritual or visionary dimension to the conversation, which can prompt an awareness of numinous realities.

Neptune and Venus are, however, prone to idealizing things beyond what they really are. Idealism must be tempered with rationality and common sense. All archetypal currents must be handled cautiously and with care if we are to make proper use of their impulses. If we can navigate this eclipse carefully, we’ll be able to reap its potential benefits far more successfully. As this eclipse builds momentum in the collective psyche over the coming days, be exceedingly mindful of the impulses that arise within you.

It’s best to simply explore impulses that suddenly arise from within the psyche before choosing to act them out. If we’re grounded and balanced, we can approach this sensitive material in a way that doesn’t overwhelm us or those we’re likely to interact with. Utilize this energy to open up on a much deeper level than you would otherwise. Be wary of the fact that many of the secrets locked deep inside are often concealed for very good reasons and must be approached cautiously. 

Scorpio, above all, is a symbol of transformation—shedding the skin we have outgrown. As we pass through this final eclipse portal, something is shifting within each of us and that may be a little uncomfortable initially. We are letting go and awakening to new realities that lie before us. Transformation is often a very scary thing, but the more we cling to what no longer serves us, the more frightening it will become. 

Also, this transformative eclipse is a release of pent-up emotional and psychic energies, related specifically to our relationships and interactions. Keep this in mind and try to have compassion for what others may be experiencing now. Not everyone is comfortable with these energies. Mercury turns retrograde on Oct. 25 and will gradually shift the collective awareness from an inward, introspective focus back to the way things usually are. If you're brave enough with this eclipse, take the plunge now and do some inner work. You'll be grateful that you did. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Genius Hides in the Deep: Total Lunar Eclipse in Aries 2014

Sculpture of Prometheus by Hungarian sculptor
Imre Varga; 1978; Szekszard, City Centre; Photo
by Csanady via Wikimedia Commons.

Total Lunar Eclipse @ 15 Aries 05'
Oct 8, 2014
3:51 AM Pacific
6:51 AM Eastern

The paradox of light is that ­­­­­it reveals artifacts within the visible spectrum but obfuscates that which is hidden from perceptual view—the unconscious, ethereal, and unseen chasms of reality. The visible world is a façade; all spiritual teachings tell us this (this has been a redundant theme in the astrology lately). Deep down, we intuit this to be true, but what we see with our eyes is so convincing and palpable; it’s all we really know. Who we think we are, our identity or ego, is equally illusory, a momentary garb to interact with the visible world.

Eclipses are mysterious moments in time when the light that emanates from the Sun becomes eclipsed and the visible world becomes momentarily obscured from view, symbolically and literally speaking. During a Lunar Eclipse, which occurs on Oct. 8, the Sun’s light is concealed (though not entirely) by the presence of the Earth which casts its shadow upon the Moon. This alignment of celestial objects emerges within each of us as a bursting forth of unconscious content.

The light that illuminates gives way to that which it hides from view. For some, that is a precarious situation, for others a moment of clarity and ironically, illumination. A Lunar Eclipse, we could say, is an amplified Full Moon—a critical culmination of psychic energies from the depths of the unconscious. Eclipses are collective opportunities to make shifts and adjustments within ourselves—to respond to messages arising from our very souls and to acknowledge what it is we really are.

When you strip away the exterior garment, you’re left with only the essence of your true nature. The degree of your attachment to that façade indicates whether such times present you with a liberating experience or a crisis (or both). Naturally, during a Lunar Eclipse, as well as a Solar Eclipse, we are encouraged by the universe to simply observe our very nature, to see consciousness as it truly is, not what we project on to it.

A Lunar Eclipse, specifically, is a time to recharge our souls and to allow that which is eternal and authentic to imprint itself upon the very fabric of the external. I can’t help but overemphasize the profundity of these events, which happen (usually in pairs) two times a year. When we embrace the Eclipse process we come out the other end renewed and reconnected to our life path and potential. We are given the opportunity to change our course which happens only after we have made a shift within ourselves.

Mercury is still stationary and changing direction at the time of this Eclipse—indicating that we are stepping back to essentially move forward. To complicate matters, this month’s Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse (total as in complete obfuscation of light and thus more impactful) occurs in the tropical sign of Aries—which, to say the least, is a very action-oriented sign, a sign that emphasizes the power of the will to take action and make change.

But only fools will actually jump off the precipice with this lunation—that is, take the archetypal impulse literally. Change begins inside of us; remember that. If you want to see changes in your life, you have to shift your inner life first and foremost (thinking, beliefs, and emotional reactions). During times such as these, we are usually better off to remain stationary while the events unfold around us. What we have already put into motion will simply transform accordingly. All we have to do is watch and respond appropriately at the opportune moment.

In other words, life doesn’t stop, but rather the usual process—the dynamics of cause and effect often becomes inverted. If we are aware of this, we can simply be in the moment and not push ourselves into forcing anything to happen through willful action. That is how we can work and flow with the Eclipse and retrograde energies. Mercury’s retrograde cycle encourages us to make changes and adjustments to a project or process that we’ve already put into motion—to deconstruct and ultimately refine. If you come up against resistance it’s usually a sign to back off and adjust your strategy.

Interestingly, there are many layers of obfuscation with this Eclipse. The Moon, prior to coming to full opposition to the Sun, occults the planet Uranus, concealing it from view; or looked at another way: merging completely with its archetypal nature. The two become one, both Moon and Uranus. Of course, without a telescope or good pair of binoculars, Uranus is invisible to the naked eye; it belongs to the trans-perceptual realms. Its vibration is subtle yet that does not lessen its influence upon the psyche. That which is unconscious (invisible) often has more power over us than we wish to admit.

Yoda meme exemplifying Uranian wisdom.

That which we don’t see, or worse, what we refuse to acknowledge, tends to direct our lives, often to our detriment. The need for emotional individuation is strong with this lunation, but the risk of drowning in overt subjectivity is equally tenacious. Uranus must be acknowledged and heard: you are not the product of your conditioning; you are vastly more powerful and eternal than you have been led to believe. The paradox of this lunation is that freedom is essential but ultimately limited and finite. While we all need our own space to become who we are, we depend on others for optimal survival. Freedom is always a double edged sword.

This South Nodal Eclipse opposes the Sun, Venus and North Node in Libra—emphasizing relationships and negotiation. Often, our facades become mechanical and routine—our interactions scripted and banal. Uranus hiding behind this dimly lit Full Moon reminds us that we need not hide who we are. We can be authentic and still interact with the world. Whether the world approves of us or not isn’t the point. The risk of being authentic nourishes our soul and that is reflected in the external environment. Eventually, the more we remain true to our nature, we attract those (soul mates) that can respect and love us as is.

As this lunar cycle culminates, we are encouraged to face our stale and mechanical acts—to nourish our soul essence and allow the true being to burst forth. Beyond all those layers of social conditioning lies the divine genius, who revitalizes us through bursts of spontaneous creative inspiration. How have you lost touch with such a force? How can you revitalize your connection? A fire grand trine between Moon/Uranus, Jupiter and Mars connects this Eclipse in a web of passion, playfulness, motivation, adventurousness and the eternal fire that fuels the life force within all sentient beings. Creativity is strong here and there is certainly no shortage of supply.

To access these energies, we must step back and face what’s true, real and raw within us. Pluto’s square may challenge us to face fears that have shaped our lives, holding us back from what we have come here to do. Introspection and honesty are needed. The opposition with Sun/Venus in Libra presents a challenging balancing act: to be true to ourselves yet to make peace with the world the way that it is—regardless of whether it approves of us or not. In the end, the external is always a mirror of the internal. What’s out there is inside of us. The separation is merely an illusion of our limited, human perception.

*This eclipse will be visible throughout much of the world including North and Central America, Greenland, some parts of Austrailia and most of Asia. South America will only see the onset of the eclipse. It will not be visible in Africa, Europe or the western portion of Russia or Asia. During a Lunar Eclipse, the Moon will gradually take on a red-orange hue often called a "Blood Moon". The effect is quite ominous looking and hard to miss (if you're awake, of course). 

The West Coast of North America will have the best view, since it occurs several hours before sunrise; thus the Moon's reddish-orange color will be particularly striking. If you can stay up or get up for this Eclipse, it will be worth your while, especially if you've never seen one. I've seen several, so I may actually skip this one (sleep is far more valuable for me these days). For more on the astronomy of this eclipse, check out this article over at

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