Hold it with an Open Hand :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for July 16 – 22

Welcome to the liminal lands between eclipses. Bewildered? Disoriented? That makes at least two of us!

The week kicked off with a few awkward quincunxes. MONDAY featured Venus on center stage as the apex of a Yod aspect, quincunx both Hygeia as well as Mars, while conjunct Ceres and the Moon in Virgo. Our efforts to connect with others and with our values through actions that were responsible, dutiful and consistent, as well as nurturing and supportive of the wellbeing of ourselves and of others… may have expressed through a rather confuddled, rudderless, anxious conundrum.

Furthermore, Mercury in Leo was quincunx Pluto at the same time, perhaps throwing power dynamics, deep emotions, and latent, hidden messages into our communications… possibly thwarting a clear path forward; bringing old hurts to surface through words and thoughts; highlighting a betrayal, a lack of trust; or revealing where the faulty connections lie.

These MONDAY astro dynamics were spectacularly displayed  on the world stage by the U.S. President as he met privately with the President of Russia at an international gathering in Finland. He then preceded to undermine the evidence uncovered by US intelligence agencies that Russia interfered with the 2016 election… and then within 24 hours attempted to clumsily back-pedal as accusations of treason and calls for impeachment ripped through the political sphere.

In my personal world, on MONDAY my brother was still really sick. As we walked out the first 36 hours of him being diagnosed with a kidney infection, we struggled to discern if a hospital re-assessment was necessary and whether the antibiotics were working – and working fast enough. Last SUNDAY was the third anniversary of my dad’s death and there were unfortunately some parallels between their health journeys which created a situation that was more emotional tense and triggering than it would have been otherwise. Thankfully, he’s out of the woods it would seem.

I hope you are also navigating your way through and beyond, Pluto’s forest post-Cancer eclipse; finding liberation through facing fear, dismantling  the detrimental patterns and imprints of the past, and rewriting old stories and conditioning.

 

THURSDAY arrives with the First Quarter Moon in Libra; the first juncture in our lunar journey this cycle, following the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Cancer last Thursday. Relational matters are highlighted as we gather the emotional fortitude to initiate the next step in this lunation cycle. There may be efforts to smooth over conflict or disagreement to create peace, to achieve a fair compromise, to make a convincing argument, to repair and apologize or engage in a delicate public relations strategy –  despite strong Cancerian emotions invested in these matters.

Quarter Moons are quite transient and not always strongly demarcated in time… and yet, as a stepping stone in quite an intense eclipse lunation cycle, we are more likely to be aware of every plot twist.

Arguably the most important transit of the week is Mars perfecting its conjunction with the South Node in Aquarius on FRIDAY, while retrograde (although the conjunction continues to be very active throughout the week before and after it perfects).

The first conjunction (while Mars was direct) occurred early on June 8th. This was the week that suicide was so prominent in the news due to a number of public figures ending their lives.

If we bring an astrological lens to that week, as I did in an earlier post, we might say that the cosmic weather (Mars conjoining with the South Node of the Moon), may have correlated with a global increase of despair, frustration, futility, lacking the motivation and the energy to continue, old issues resurfacing, feeling trapped, believing that there was “no way out” or “no way forward”, and wanting to give up.

Mars is our raw life force energy, our fighting spirit and survival instincts, our inner warrior, our source of courage, our anger and our willpower, our drive and our internal motivation. In contrast, the South Node seeks to empty, to decrease, to release, to redirect, to let go.

Clearly then, Mars + the South Node sets the stage for some major frustration… but also for some potential re-configuring of our priorities, a rediscovery of our inner strength, and a rejuvenating springboard and upgrade for our Mars energy. In other words, don’t give up!

The intense Full Moon Lunar Eclipse next week on July 27th will occur at the midpoint of the Mars Retrograde journey, which began about three weeks ago on June 26th. The Lunar Eclipse will shine a very direct, explicit spotlight on what our Rx journey with Mars is all about, where it’s at, and what we are learning from working with it. In the meantime, on route, we are revisiting the South Node for Take 2.

Patience and pausing before impulsive reactions take over, are two pieces of advice I would offer for this week and the following one. This too shall pass, as the saying goes. Let yourself soften into the possibility that you may feel completely differently about some issue by late August. What seems so very desperate and extreme right now, may meld into corridors of hopeful potential as you stay with the process.

 


I have a personal South Node story I thought I would share, along with some reflections on Mars Rx globally…

Back in February, when the Sun was about to conjoin with the South Node in Aquarius, I was at an intersection in my life at the time, with a lot of important astro activity going on.

For the astro-nerds out there: A month after my Saturn Return had ended and Saturn had entered my 5th house, my Progressed Moon left Cancer for Leo, immediately squaring my nodal axis at 0 degrees Taurus/Scorpio. Chiron was exactly conjunct my Sun + Mercury for the fourth and final time, and there was a last quarter moon that was landing on my IC (home, family) squaring the transiting Sun + South Node in my 6th house of daily responsibilities, employment, and health.

I saw this astro ahead of time and I knew I would likely be faced with a decision to make. In early 2018, I was struggling as to whether or not to move forward with, and fully commit to, some creative projects and income-generating projects that I was working on behind the scenes (i.e. North Node + Progressed Moon in Leo, 12th house), or whether to plunge back into full-time work within a more mainstream context working with others (i.e. South Node in Aquarius, 6th house), which would require relocating (i.e. IC; Moon). Everyone, including myself, was aware that my energy and enthusiasm was invested in my creative projects.

I was thankful that I had been given space and freedom to pursue these… although I still had some hesitations. The urgent need for consistent income could not be denied, and I felt conflicted. When a healthcare-related job advertisement synchronistically came my way, related to an area of interest I had been researching for the last few months within my professional field, I spontaneously submitted an application at the last minute without anticipating it moving forward any further.

I did get a call-back. I was really thrown off because I was already mentally and emotionally oriented toward continuing on a different path. I do not handle big decisions well as a Pisces-Gemini type with a 3rd house Scorpio South Node! I was tortured over the possibility I would get the job offer and then would not be able to say no to it because I needed the income and the job was in an area of interest…. while also having doubts as to whether or not I had recovered sufficiently enough for that leap… and also being aware that I would have to significantly let go of my creative investments and plans. Furthermore, I have some identity insecurities and doubts related to the profession I was trained in (highlighted by Chiron transiting my natal Sun), and the job interview definitely presented a challenge to my confidence.

The interview was arranged… for the day that the Sun (purpose, identity) conjoined the South Node (release, surrender, redirection) in Aquarius (groups, teams, co-workers) in my 6th house (employment, daily responsibilities, health(care)).

This is where I – as an astrologer and someone who is inclined to search for patterns of meaning – look at my transits with a furrowed brow, asking plaintively:

WHAT does this all MEEAANN?! Should I not have applied because the South Node is in the 6th house of employment? Even though the timing of discovering the job ad (the day Saturn entered Capricorn), and the way it came my way was so unusually synchronistic? Should I cancel the interview or force myself to say no if I get it and work through the guilt that follows?? Or maybe the ‘release’ component of the South Node in my 6th house means I should let go of my resistance and fear related to relocating and buckling down with a more normal job?!”

Astrology is a potent, powerful, uncannily accurate tool for reflection and guidance. And yet sometimes you can drive yourself wild looking for correlations and trying to force meaning and answers out of everything. With a natal 3rd house South Node in Scorpio, I know I have to watch for this in myself.

Before the interview, someone said to me: “Hold it with an open hand.”

Hold it with an open hand.

How perfect is that for a South Node transit? It isn’t necessarily about forcing relinquishment, renunciation, or suddenly, drastically cutting something out of one’s life, but it involves opening up to uncertainty and redirection.

So I let out a deep exhale and unclenched my grasping fingers.

On the morning of the day of the interview (the day the Sun met with the transiting South Node in my 6th house) the employer cancelled the interview at the last minute because they were sick and woke up with no voice.

….?

I held it with an open hand.

It was rescheduled for the following week. During the interview I realized for a number of legitimate and obvious reasons, that this job and location was definitely not a good fit for me. The interview went well, but I was able to end the conversation knowing that were I to be offered it, I would turn it down without hesitation and without guilt because it so clearly was not in my best interest for multiple reasons.

…And I never did hear back from them. So that was that.

Now, about 6 months later, after investing in creative projects (one eclipse season to the next), I’ve changed my mind. I feel strongly, with much greater gut-level certainty than before, that it is time for me to relocate, and return to full-time work and utilize more of my training.

And yet, here we are in the liminal period in eclipse season, with a bunch of planets retrograde and the transiting South Node (release) is STILL in Aquarius (independent, but group-focused) in my 6th house (employment, daily work), and the transiting North Node (direction of personal growth) and my Progressed Moon are STILL in my 12th house (isolation, retreat, behind the scenes, surrender) in Leo (creative self-expression, passion projects). There’s even a job advertisement that closes this Friday that I plan on applying to – the same day that Mars (willpower, ambition) happens to perfect its conjunction to the South Node (surrender, release).

My point with sharing this story is that the symbolism of astrology can express and correlate with life events in various ways. And while it is such a gift to be able to incorporate astrology’s symbolism into one’s life as a creative act of meaning-making, grounding, reflecting, and healing, astrology should never control you or make you rigid with paranoia or overthinking.

I’m aware that the next 1.5 months or so, is a time of constant flux and change in terms of the cosmic weather. And while I do not plan on doing something rash, and I will try to pause before taking major action catalyzed by an emotional reaction, I will still proceed according to what feels intuitively right to me, right now.

And, I’ll continue to hold the summer’s twists and turns with an open hand as I engage in a daily process of acting and listening, acting and listening, while dialoguing with the symbolism of the sky and allowing myself to move with any unexpected plot twists that unfold as I maintain my active participation in my own life story.


What have you noticed since Mars stationed retrograde in Aquarius conjunct the South Node around June 26th? What has been re-assessed, revisited, and reviewed?

I’ve noticed a lot of people making public statements (very Aquarian) about disconnecting from their social media accounts (very South Node) because they are re-prioritizing how and where they invest their time and energy (very Mars retrograde). Aquarius is also associated with technology.

For me, Mars is retrograde in my 6th house, which includes daily routines, work, and responsibilities. (Unplanned) I bought an alarm clock that first week of the retrograde, because it would be more difficult to ignore than my phone, and would help me wake up earlier. I also bought a small timer to put on my desk to remind myself to get up and stretch every 20 minutes instead of risking an eventual collapse into a numbed-out, screen-blitzed state.

Mars in Aquarius really appreciates an efficient and systematic use of energy.

And what about the successful evacuation of the boys trapped in that cave in Thailand that they ventured into on June 23rd, as Mars was slowing down toward its stationing point? A number of astrologers have noticed the strong astro correlations with this narrative that began to unfold at the end of June.

It is always strange to me how challenging situations happen all over the world every single day, but certain stories or images manage to skyrocket onto the international world news stage because of certain scenario ingredients that capture the attention of the public on a vast scale. When this happens, I do tend to take a closer look at what inherent symbolism seems to be speaking to everyone at a collective level.

Thankfully, all the boys and their soccer coach were successfully freed after a very strategic, publicized, high-risk rescue mission liberated them from a cave (which is all so very Mars Rx conjunct the SN in Aquarius). The last of the 13 boys were rescued as the buoyant, hopeful, spiritually faithful, public and celebratory, “lucky” planet Jupiter, stationed direct at 13 degrees in the dark, cave-like sign of Scorpio on July 10th (18 days after they first found themselves trapped). The Jupiter symbolism for the final rescue day is pretty strong indeed. The following examples speak to some of the evident Jupiter, Mars, and Aquarius symbolism…

As I followed the story, I found it noteworthy that most of the news stories were full of maps and diagrams of the caves with illustrations of the proposed rescue plans. It was unusual; I felt almost like I was reading a puzzle book or learning about gaming strategies with the way it was presented. With the risks involved, this was not a rescue mission to be undertaken rashly or impulsively (i.e. what Mars, the warrior planet, is generally known for). It was a very Aquarian, very intellectual and innovative, very strategic, brainstorming process, which reflected the Mars (associated with sports, daring, risks, protection, courage, rescues) Retrograde (a time for more careful, thoughtful (re)assessment and action).

This brainstorming process even included a proposed solution by the famous billionaire investor and engineer Elon Musk. Elon’s suggestion and submarine donation was eventually dismissed as impractical. It would appear Elon’s pride was hurt when his high-tech solution was refused and he lashed out impulsively in response to a comment that his donation was a PR stunt. This then spiraled into a Twitter fight that involved Elon eventually apologizing and admitting he “spoke out in anger” (i.e. impulsive Mars energy unleashed).

Interestingly, Elon Musk has his North Node and Mars conjunct in the strongly opinionated and visionary sign of Aquarius.

While this has propelled him into the limelight as a world leader with inventive technologies (and a progressively futuristic, sometimes humanitarian orientation)… during his reverse Nodal Return (i.e. when the transiting South Node is in the same sign as one’s natal North Node, bringing an element of release to that which you have been progressing toward).... at a time when Mars is retrograde conjunct the South Node…. clearly, a humble pause would have done him well and avoided potentially being sued for libel.

Anyway, perfect case in point re: how-not-to-respond-during-Mars-Rx-conjunct-South-Node-when-your-intentions-and-efforts-are-questioned-and-thwarted-and-you-are-frustrated. And yet, his efforts to apologize also fits with retrograde motion.

What this story and successful outcome DOES indicate, however, is that the next couple weeks are a good time to carefully consider ALL your options, to put aside any blinding pride and judgement, and carefully, systematically strategize, in order to come up with the most effective game plan that will lead you to your freedom.

Draw maps, draw diagrams, draw flowcharts, or do whatever best supports you with sorting, organizing, and prioritizing your ideas and corresponding actions.

Systems-thinking is always recommended for Aquarius transits…

Mars conjunct the South Node on FRIDAY may share some similarities with the events of the last conjunction around June 8th. It may also occur with some big emotions as the Moon interacts with the ripples of Jupiter in Scorpio also on FRIDAY.

SUNDAY brings us the Sun’s shift out of Cancer into the bright fires of Leo. Venus in Virgo will engage with a pleasant sextile to Jupiter in Scorpio around the same time, kicking off Leo Season with an invitation into expansive pleasure and connection that strives to be both emotionally intimate and responsibly navigated. As Pallas Athena conjoins with the North Node in Leo, we all may be granted fresh creative insight as to how to most effectively tap into our passion and manifest our dreams.

Pssst… for additional and more frequent cosmic weather updates, follow Lilith Rebellion on Instagram and Facebook. To receive a weekly cosmic weather overview by email, subscribe to Lilith Rebellion email updates. The week’s cosmic weather forecast will be published on the blog every Monday, with periodic additional posts to mark important cosmic events. To request an astrology consultation with me, check out my list of services.

Eclipse Season July 10 ~ August 16 :: Schedule of Events

Hi! It’s Eclipse Season again!

And I created a handy ‘Eclipse Season Schedule of Events’ to guide you through!

Eclipse Season encompasses a ~36 day period that occurs every 6 months and typically includes a pair of eclipses – both a new moon solar eclipse, and a full moon lunar eclipse.

This time around, we’ve got 3 eclipses coming our way this summer. 2x Solar Eclipses and 1x Lunar Eclipse! Lucky us!

Eclipse Season is a time of heightened change, transition, and intensity.

Eclipse Season begins when the Sun is within about 18 degrees of the Lunar Nodal axis – the South Node or the North Node (which is why it occurs twice a year, once at each end). Since the Nodal axis is in motion, moving in a backward direction and spending ~18 months in each sign, the placement of Eclipse Season in the calendar year, gradually changes.

Right now, because the Lunar Nodes are transiting the Leo-Aquarius axis, we have been experiencing eclipses around the time period when the Sun is in Aquarius early in the year (Jan/Feb), and when the Sun is in Leo during the summer (July/Aug).

Remember that eclipses hold different meaning and degree of significance for different people, and they can take up to 6 months for their meaning to fully bloom if they create important connections with your natal chart (although I often see correlations begin to unfold within a month or so). Regardless, you will still likely be aware of the general energy and themes of the eclipse in the days surrounding it – if not in your own life, then in the lives of others, or in the news.

That’s enough of a summary for now, because I’ve revised my Eclipse Primer to reflect the current season and included this detailed explanation below. As we encounter each eclipse week-by-week, I will try to go into more detail regarding the symbolic themes of each eclipse.

By the way, if you only read these blog posts on my website or receive them via email subscription and have wondered about the chunky uniform square images, it is because I prepare them that way in order to upload them on to Instagram 🙂 Pictures and diagrams are often the best way to demonstrate the astro, particularly in this case, and so I will rely on them heavily in this post.

Drum roll please…

This one, on July 12th, is just around the corner! I will discuss it in further detail over the week. The symbolic meaning of each eclipse and their intensity will depend on how they aspect your natal chart, which will be unique for everyone. However, on a global scale, I have ranked this eclipse the second most intense out of the three.

Why is there an eclipse in Cancer when the nodes are currently in Leo and Aquarius, you might ask? Well, it is only a partial eclipse because of its distance from the nodes, but since Cancer is right next to Leo, the Sun and Moon are still capable of conjoining for a New Moon Solar Eclipse within about 15-16 degrees of the North Node, in this case.

It might only be partial (meaning the Sun’s light is only partially blocked by the Moon crossing in front of it), but whoa. An exact opposition to Pluto, the mythic god of Hades in the very sensitive, nurturing, self-protective sign of Cancer?

It’s a New Moon, so it contains the dynamic of a new beginning… but it’s a new beginning whose freedom to grow is predicated on a difficult ending, confrontation, or moment of closure. It may require investigating some dark area, or on bringing to light some long hidden information, or finally finding the courage to face some deep repressed emotions or previously unconscious material.

Karmic justice can really catch up with us here, and if there is something/someone that needs to be gently released or immediately purged from your life, this is an opportune time. With Pluto and Cancer involved however, we are likely to be quite attached to, or guarded, about that which may be asking to be let go of.

The general atmosphere is likely to be rather intense and reactionary, as deep emotions and reactions (such as fear, paranoia, rage, grief, obsession or jealousy) come to the surface. Power struggles and family matters (particularly in relation to father-figures or authorities figures) may be front and center.

And yet the grand water trine from last week is still present, although fading, encouraging us to keep moving, keep swimming through the experience of our emotions. Furthermore, a grand earth trine featuring Venus + Ceres, Uranus + Juno, and Saturn in the three earth signs, is quite active throughout the week, helping us find some stability, grounding, and leading us toward practical action.

The Nodes will shift into the Cancer-Capricorn axis this November, so this Solar Eclipse is like a preview of that upcoming chapter.

This Lunar Eclipse has been identified as one of the biggest cosmic events of the year. It’s pretty dynamic!

As you can see, it is right up close with the Lunar Nodes, meaning it is a Total Eclipse. Depending on where you are in the world, you may be able to witness the Moon turning red as it passes through a direct opposition with the Sun and receives the Sun’s light refracted through the atmosphere of the Earth. This creates the phenomenon of what is called the Blood Moon in popular media, but if you want to use a less sensationalized title you can just call it a ‘Total Lunar Eclipse’. It’s the same thing.

Because of its proximity to the South Node, it is anticipated to be the longest lunar eclipse of the last 100 years.

Mars, as you likely know, is retrograde for the summer. This Full Moon (Total) Lunar Eclipse lands right next to Mars, around the middle of its retrograde journey, thus amplifying its message in a major way.

How have we learned to work more effectively and strategically with our energy, our passion, our willpower and our anger? It may be time to find out!

With Mercury stationing retrograde at the same time and the Lunar Eclipse squaring Uranus in Taurus, pausing before we react would be well-advised! It’s a little volatile, to be honest. And yet… if you’ve been yearning for a major break-through and a leap toward freedom, perhaps this Lunar Eclipse is for you.

Here’s the image I created to illustrate how the various players involved in this Lunar Eclipse T-square may interact with each other…

 

Looks exciting, no? Unless you are in a situation where you want to capitalize on its risky freedom-at-all-costs energy, it might be a good idea to play it safe with this one since the atmosphere will be so charged to begin with 🙂

Finally, here’s the last one of the three for the season…

 

This New Moon Partial Solar Eclipse feels like a baby eclipse compared to the other two, but remember that Mars Rx is still in that disruptive square to Uranus within only a 2 degree orb at the time of this eclipse. Mercury is still retrograde and it is also square Jupiter for the second time. The awkward quincunx to Pluto suggests that we may be struggling to perceive a root cause, struggling to let go of something, or to take the next step toward a transformation.

Interestingly Mars will shift back into Capricorn the next day as it nears its Stationing point at 28 degrees Capricorn. Opportunities to master foundation-building in our lives, may be at hand.

Here are my most important words of advice for this ~36 day period: Life through the filter of Eclipse Season can be experienced as far more intense or desperate than it may otherwise be at a different time (especially when weighty eclipses aspect your natal chart). Hang in there and do what you need to, to take care of yourself (and others) and stay grounded! Eclipse Season tends to look different in retrospect than it does when you are in the thick of it.


Last year I wrote a comprehensive Eclipse Primer for the summer eclipse season 2017, which focused on the ‘Great American Eclipse’ on August 21st, 2017. I’ve revised it to make it relevant for this season. There may be some repeated information with what I described above, but the content below is far more thorough.

The eclipse frenzy on social media can be a little overwhelming to say the least – both astro-related and otherwise! Everything from ominous and dire apocalyptic predictions, to enormously inspirational messages about how this is going to be the month when your life transforms beyond your wildest hopes and dreams.

When I first plugged into astrology news years ago, there was such intensity around eclipse reporting that I got the impression eclipses were this really rare event. And different types of eclipses certainly are rare and particularly significant at a global level – and some of them may make an unusually strong connection with our natal charts at an individual level. But I think it is important to note that eclipses (including partial eclipses) occur at least twice a year, six months apart. Eclipses may only be personally significant or life changing for you if they land within 2-3 degrees of a personal planet or point via a hard aspect like a square – or particularly the opposition and the conjunction.

That’s not to say you won’t feel the intense heightened energy during eclipse season – eclipses just might not have the same level of potent ripple effect in your life as they do for others or vice versa.

Here are all the nitty gritty details beginning with the absolute basics, up to more advanced descriptions of what is actually happening and how to interpret eclipses according to how they activate your natal chart. I hope you find it grounding and informative!

Here we go. I’ll take you through it in point form:

  • Eclipses can only occur at New Moons (i.e. Solar Eclipses) and Full Moons (i.e. Lunar Eclipses).
  • The Earth orbits around the Sun, and the Moon orbits around the Earth.
  • The Moon does not emit its own light. It only reflects the light of the Sun. Therefore, when the Moon is blocked from the Sun during the night, or the Moon gets in the way of the Sun’s light during the day – we can experience increased darkness here on Earth.
  • New Moon (Solar) and Full Moon (Lunar) Eclipses occur when there is a perfect alignment of all three celestial bodies – in other words, when they are in a perfect straight line on the same plane.
  • During a New Moon Solar Eclipse the alignment order is: Sun – Moon – Earth. The Moon is between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out the Sun’s light to some extent. From an astro perspective this means the Sun and Moon are conjunct in the same degree, in the same zodiac sign.
  • During a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse the alignment order is: Sun – Earth – Moon. The Earth is between the Moon and the Sun, and thus the Earth’s shadow darkens the Moon temporarily. From an astro perspective this means the Sun and Moon are opposite each other in opposing zodiac signs at the same degree.

 

solar and lunar eclipse

  • Not everyone on the planet will be able to witness a Lunar or Solar Eclipse in action when it occurs. It depends on whether the skies are clear, whether it aligns with the daytime hours (for a Solar Eclipse) or the nighttime hours (for a Lunar Eclipse), and whether your location allows you to view it at the right angle.
  • The Moon’s orbit is on a 5 degree tilt. If the Moon’s orbit were not tilted, it would perfectly line up with the Sun and every single New Moon and Full Moon would be an eclipse.
  • Imagine inserting one hula hoop into another so they are almost lined up, but on a slight angle to each other. There will be two opposing places where the hula hoops will cross. In astro terms one hula hoop is the Sun’s path around the Earth (called the ecliptic), and the other hoola hoop is the Moon’s path around the Earth.
  • The two opposing points where the Moon’s path intersects with the Sun’s path are called the Lunar Nodes. The Nodes are not physical objects, but rather, they are two gradually shifting mathematical points in space that, from an astrological perspective, are energetically activated when the Moon, Sun, or other planet intersects with them.
  • THE SUN’S PATH (the ecliptic): The Earth orbits the Sun, and not the other way around, but the predictable, gradual shift of the Sun’s position through our skies has an exact logic to it due to the fact that the Earth is positioned on a tilted axis while completing a 365-day orbit around the Sun. This creates varying seasons and weather conditions as the Sun moves closer to the Northern axis (toward the June solstice) and then back down toward the Southern axis (toward the December solstice). This “path” is divided into the 12 zodiac signs (Aries – Pisces) – through each of which, the Sun travels for about 30 days at a time, completing an entire rotation of the zodiac wheel every year.
  • THE MOON’s PATH: The Moon takes about 29 days to complete it’s orbit around the Earth and return to the New Moon position. Thinking back to the hula hoop example where the hula hoops intersect at two points, this means that during each monthly lunation cycle, the Moon’s path of orbit will intersect with the Sun’s path of orbit twice, every single month. This does not always produce an eclipse obviously, because an eclipse can only happen during the Full Moon or New Moon phase when the Sun is also near one of the Nodes and a straight line alignment occurs between the Sun, Moon, and Earth. For example, if the Moon passed this nodal point of intersection while at its first quarter phase, it would not be in a straight line alignment with the Sun and the Earth, and so we would not experience an eclipse.
  • The Moon symbolizes our embodied soul, our emotions, our deepest needs, and our subconscious desires, while the Sun symbolizes our purpose-driven, rational ego self that is seeking to self-actualize. So when the Moon’s orbit intersects with the Sun’s ecliptic, according to certain branches of astrology, symbolically our soul is intersecting with the call to manifest our purpose or destiny.
  •  The Descending Node (also called the South Node or Dragon’s Tail), is our comfort zone. The South Node represents an area of strength and ability, but also an area that asks for decrease, diminishment, surrender or release. The South Node is life content that is familiar and easy. In a static natal chart,this is an area where we have strong skills. If you believe in reincarnation, the South Node in our natal chart may represent previous life experiences where we were given the opportunity to perfect certain skills. Now it is time to move toward greater balance by integrating this area with the North Node’s life content. Although we don’t want to dismiss the South Node gifts, we also don’t want to get stuck there because this is when we can overdo it and its shadow sides could begin emerging in our life. By transit (rather than natal chart placement), the South Node can temporarily highlight an area of life where we need to practice release and let go.
  • The Ascending Node (also called the North Node or the Dragon’s Head) symbolizes the direction in which our soul longs to evolve toward. The North Node is like a magnet throughout our lives, always challenging us and pulling us forward in a particular direction for the next 18 months or so (by transit), and during our life time (according to the Nodes’ static placement in our natal charts). The North Node represents foreign, unfamiliar life territory for us. When we move toward the North Node we are out of our comfort zone. Life becomes a bit more uncomfortable as growing pains set in, but evolution and personal growth are worth it!

  • A New Moon or Full Moon eclipse can occur when the Sun is within about 18 degrees of either the South Node, or the North Node. The closer the Sun (and therefore by extension, the Moon) is to one of the Lunar Nodes, the more powerful an eclipse will be as the straight-line alignment between the Earth, Moon, and Sun becomes more exact.
  • There are three types of eclipses: Total, Annular, and Partial. Total Eclipses are the most dramatic and symbolically the strongest. Total Eclipses occur when the alignment is quite close to a node. Partial Eclipses are the weakest type of eclipse and occur when a Full Moon or New Moon alignment is farther away from the South or North node.
  • The Nodal Axis, the two points where the Moon’s path intersects with the Sun’s path (think of the two hula hoops touching), is not static (except in your birth chart). The Nodal Axis predictably shifts into a new set of opposing zodiac signs every 18 months. Right now the North Node is in Leo and the South Node is in Aquarius (Leo & Aquarius are directly opposite each other in the zodiac wheel).
  • Each zodiac sign is 30 degrees, and together the 12 zodiac signs form a 360° wheel (i.e. 12 x 30 degrees).
  • The Lunar Nodes move backwards (i.e. retrograde) through the zodiac ecliptic, beginning at 29° of each sign, working their way back to 0° before they shift into the next set of signs.
  • As the Lunar Nodes get closer to 0° Leo and Aquarius (over the course of 18 months), we begin having overlapping eclipses in the next set of opposing signs – Cancer and Capricorn – because an eclipse can occur whenever the Sun is within about 18 degrees of the Nodes, even if in a different zodiac sign. Susan Miller has published an easy-to-read eclipse table on her website, indicating when and where (in what sign) eclipses will occur between the years 1994 – 2030.
  • Because the Sun takes a year to orbit the Earth, it will cross the Lunar Nodes twice a year – once at the South Node, and again at the North Node about 6 months later.
  • Therefore, you’ll hear astrologers refer to these two time periods in a year, as ‘Eclipse Seasons’; an astrological contrast to our regular transitions through the seasons of Spring to Winter, etc. The Sun moves through the zodiac ecliptic at about one degree per day, and thus an Eclipse Season is said to last about 36 days – the period of time during which the Sun will either be within 18 degrees approaching the Nodes, or within 18 degrees moving away from the Nodes (i.e. 18° + 18°, at 1° per day = 36 days).
  • Whatever Full Moons and New Moons occur during ‘Eclipse Season’, they will arrive as a Solar or Lunar Eclipse. Most of the time, but not always, there will be both a Full Moon eclipse and a New Moon eclipse (occurring as a pair of eclipses, one arriving right after the other), and sometimes there will be up to three eclipses within one Eclipse Season of 36 days.

  • The criterion distance range or “orb” allowed for a Full Moon eclipse is narrower than it is for a New Moon Eclipse. For a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse to occur, the Sun and Moon need to be within at least 13° of the Nodes, rather than within the ~18° of distance from the Nodes that is permitted for a New Moon Solar Eclipse to occur.
  • For example, the New Moon Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, July 12th will occur with the Moon and Sun at 20°Cancer near the North Node in Leo. The Lunar nodes are currently at ~6° Aquarius and Leo. Therefore, since each sign is 30 degrees we have 10 degrees of Cancer + 6 degrees of Leo = ~16° distance between the New Moon conjunction and the North Node. The alignment needs to be tighter than this to be a Total New Moon Eclipse, but it still qualifies as a Partial New Moon Eclipse.
  • The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on July 27th will occur with the Sun at 4° Leo and the Moon at 4° Aquarius, conjunct the South Node, which will still be at just less than 6° Aquarius at this time. Therefore, there is only about a 2° distance between the Full Moon and the South Node. This 2° distance indicates that this Full Moon will be a Total Lunar Eclipse, where the Moon will move into a near exact alignment with the Sun and the Earth, with the Earth in between them, blocking the Sun’s light from reaching the Moon.
  • As I mentioned, in general, eclipses themselves are not rare. Some form of Solar or Lunar eclipse (total, annular, or partial) will occur at least twice a year, at least six months apart, during the ~36 days of Eclipse Season when the Sun is within 18 degrees of the Lunar Nodes.
  • Some questions that are asked to determine whether an eclipse is globally significant or not, include: Is it a Total Eclipse? Total Eclipses are understood to be more powerful than a Partial Eclipse since they are closer to the Nodal Axis. From what countries or states will the eclipse be visible from? In other words, on what countries or parts of the world, is the shadow of the eclipse falling on? What Saros Series does this eclipse belong to and what has happened previously during an eclipse in this same series?
  • The Saros Series is complicated to fully describe here, but briefly: Each eclipse belongs to a Saros Series (Saros is a Greek word that means repetition or to be repeated). Each Saros Series of eclipses has a lifespan of about 1300 years. Each Saros Series is birthed at either the North Pole or the South Pole, and finishes at the opposite Pole after about 1300 years. There are always about 42 Saros Series active at one time. A Saros Series produces a New Moon Solar Eclipse about every 18 years. Each Eclipse in a Saros Series will jump forward about 10 degrees along the zodiac wheel when it occurs 18 years after the last Eclipse was produced in that particular Saros Series. Eclipses in any one Saros Series begin as Partial Eclipses and gradually become more Total as they reach their midlife point at the equator and conjoin the Nodal Axis (when a Saros Series is about 650 years old). They will then will begin petering out as successive Partial Eclipses near the end of their 1300 year life span toward the North or South Pole. In total, each Saros Series will produce about 72 Solar Eclipses over the course of its lifespan. *Huge thanks to Bernadette Brady whose wonderful book “Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark”, helped me finally understand how the Saros Series worked!
  • Therefore, one of the ways (although not the only way) the symbolic meaning of any eclipse can be probed, is to analyze the birth chart for the Saros Series it belongs to, and to reflect on the historical events in the past 18 year intervals that correspond with eclipses in the same series (at a global and personal level). Some Saros Series are more challenging than others.

  • When trying to determine what an eclipse might mean personally or globally, my advice would be to begin with the basic symbolism of the New Moon or Full Moon.
  • New Moons are beginnings. They are births. They are launches. They occur when either a) when the Moon is between the Sun and Earth and the Moon’s reflective surface is reflecting light back to the Sun, rather than reflecting the Sun’s light to the Earth at an angle (i.e. what happens at a regular New Moon), or b) when the Sun’s light is completely blocked by the Moon (as during a Solar Eclipse).  Either way, New Moons occur in the darkness, when we have a sense that something new is being seeded, but we aren’t always sure exactly what it is, or how it will grow. These can be hopeful, as well as confusing or disorienting times of change.
  • Full Moons are culminations. Story resolutions. Some life project we’ve been working on, or life journey we’ve been traveling, is now completed, finished. We have this sense that we’ve come full circle in regards to some issue in our life. Full Moons are like mountain peaks. We started climbing the mountain at the New Moon, and now we’ve reached the top. We can see our entire journey laid out behind us and we can now appreciate the big-picture view. At a Full Moon, the entirety of the Moon’s outline is illuminated by the Sun, which opposes it from the other side of the Earth. Only at a Full Moon can we enjoy the glorious splendor of the Moon majestically shining down on us with all its power. Even when the Earth’s shadow falls across the Moon during a Lunar Eclipse, the Moon is still at maximum strength in its apex position, facing off with the Sun.
  • In astrology, the Moon symbolizes our more sensitive, emotional selves that we may tend to hide as we live out our day-to-day lives beneath the Sun’s glare. Full Moons are known to be more emotional times because symbolically, here the Moon is at full strength. Any emotional content that we have tried to suppressed, is more likely to emerge spontaneously. In astrology, oppositions in the zodiac wheel are often projected, or resolved and integrated through relational dynamics. This is particularly true with the Sun and the Moon, our two key luminaries, representing important aspects of our personality. Therefore, relational themes abound during the Full Moon.
  • An eclipse is said to be like a New Moon or Full Moon on steroids, amplifying New and Full Moon themes. New Moon beginnings involve greater, more daring leaps toward a new direction and require more courage during a Solar Eclipse. Full Moon completions and culminations become more final, and can require more emotional stamina in order to release or bring closure to something at a Lunar Eclipse.
  • Now we need to combine the meaning of the Solar and Lunar Eclipses with the meaning of the Nodes (see image above for key words and phrases). Every new beginning follows an ending, so any New Moon Solar Eclipse (at the North or South node) could bring about an ending as well as a beginning (and vice versa for Full Moon Lunar Eclipses), but the point here, is that the placement of the nodes determine where the focus is placed.
  • For example, the year that I finished 10 years of University by finally completing my overdue thesis within a month of my Dad dying – both of which launched an existential/identity crisis – kicked off with a powerful Total New Moon Solar Eclipse near the South Node (at the critical and urgent 29th anaretic degree no less), within a few days of my birthday – thus within a few degrees of my Pisces Sun in the 8th House. This was a massively important transitional year for me. Yes, significant new beginnings in my life did occur from these endings, or following these endings, but with the Solar Eclipse occurring near the South Node, the focus at the time was on the rather painful and difficult process of releasing. A New Moon Solar Eclipse near the North Node, and thus still associated with a new beginning, would also likely involve some sort of “ending”, but here the focus is on gathering the courage and strength to step into something new, rather than a focus on what you are leaving behind and trying to let go of.
  • Once again, the eclipse on July 12th is a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Cancer near the North Node (in Leo)the eclipse on July 27th is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse near the South Node (in Aquarius), and the eclipse on August 11th is a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Leo near the North Node. Therefore, the July 12th and August 11th eclipses are about transitions toward new beginnings that will require courage to break ground in a new direction. Whereas the July 27th eclipse will be about completing something, bringing something full circle, or the culmination of some issue in order to release it – and being a Full Moon it may be particularly relational in nature.
  • Now that we’ve combined the meanings of the moon phases (New Moon vs. Full Moon) with the meanings of the Lunar Nodes, and amplified the themes to match the increased intensity of eclipses, we can incorporate the particular meaning of the zodiac signs. There is plenty of accessible information online regarding each of the zodiac signs, but I’ll provide a few key words. With the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Cancer on July 12th, as I mentioned, we could see themes related to home, family, birthing and creating, roots and origins, history, nationality, belonging, protection of vulnerable people and the need for emotional safety and secure relational attachment. With the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius, questions, concerns, and culminations related to our group involvements and collaborations may emerge. Are we an outsider or an insider? Are we a leader or a follower? Are our group collaborations progressing effectively toward the hoped-for outcome, or are our group associations disintegrating? Do our group associations encourage and support our individuality, or do they suppress it? How much compromise is too much compromise? Finally, with the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Leo on Aug. 11th, there may be dominant themes related to our individual creative expression, our confidence, and the pursuit of our passions in the public sphere.
  • The ~36 days of Eclipse Season are likely to feel a bit restless, chaotic, tumultuous – and exciting! – as you and everyone around you feels the powerful change energies of eclipse portals opening up the potentials in the Nodal Axis. Eclipses (as well as regular Full Moons and New Moons) can also have a powerful impact on your body and overall health because of their intensity.
  • Eclipses are often described as portals because as the Sun or the Moon disappears into darkness and then re-emerges, symbolically and energetically one door closes and another door opens, and the Nodal axis is activated. Whether a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse or a New Moon Solar Eclipse, all eclipses involve light being (temporarily) blocked and obscured.

Applicable for those for whom a particular eclipse is highly relevant…

Symbolically it is as if, beneath a suddenly darkened sky, we blink confusedly and stumble for a few minutes, before our eyes begin to adjust to the darkness. Sacred mysteries, latent possibilities, and hidden secrets that were rendered invisible and impotent in the light, are now revealed in new ways. The light had to be extinguished in order to wean us from our reliance, our dependence on reality as it currently exists. Now we begin to perceive something deeper, below the surface of reality, something that we can only sense with our inner-most self, our soul and spirit. Greater truths are illuminated. Suppressed shadows loom large and refuse to be ignored any longer.

Eclipses can mark times of transition and change. Eclipses are moments when Fate and Freewill intersect and intimately link limbs in a magical, mysterious dance. We may be catapulted forward in a new direction. We may feel as though, after months of treading water, a gigantic wave has swept us up. We are now riding the crest; it’s exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.


How to apply this information to your Natal Chart and discern if an eclipse holds any special meaning for your life:

  • Eclipses can hold particular significance for an individual on a personal level based on 1) what house the eclipse is occurring in within their natal chart, and 2) if the eclipse occurs within about 3 degrees of a planet (particularly the personal planets – Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars) or sensitive angles (like the Ascendant or Midheaven) in their natal chart. If the eclipse is tightly squaring or opposing a personal planet or point in your chart, it could also be strongly experienced. If you have a personal planet or sensitive angle being activated by an eclipse (like I did when my Sun was activated by the March 2015 eclipse), you likely have a very eventful, life-changing or transitional 6+ months ahead of you. However, even if the eclipse is not activating a personal planet or point in your chart, the house-based themes that eclipses highlight in your chart throughout the 1–2 years it takes for the Nodal Axis to journey through an opposing house axis, will likely be very prominent for you during this time.
  • A note regarding the July 27th Lunar Eclipse conjunct the South Node: What I have foundis that the South Node “letting go process” is very dependent on how a particular person expresses, responds to, and lives out this area of their natal chart. Therefore, regardless of whether you have planets in Aquarius, what is Aquarius up to in your natal chart? What does Aquarius mean for you in your natal chart according to the house it rules and the placement of its ruling planet (Saturn according to traditional astrology, Uranus according to modern astrology)? What might “letting go” or “surrendering” mean to you in this area of your chart, in order to bring greater balance into your life, based on your current interaction with your chart’s Aquarius energy? Remember that “letting go” could also suggest the release of defensive resistance in that area of life.
  • Every Full Moon is both the peak of the 29-day moon cycle that began with a New Moon, as well as the culmination of New Moon seeds that were planted 6 months ago. The Sun takes 6 months to reach the other side of the zodiac. Full Moons occur when the Moon is opposite the Sun. This means that every New Moon in a zodiac sign, will correspond with the Full Moon in the same zodiac sign 6 months later.
  • So for example, the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius corresponds to the New Moon in Aquarius that occurred on February 15th, 2018. Do you see any connections between now and then? Because eclipses can bring new information to light and catalyze events, there may have been something that was confusing or obscured from view around the week of February 15th, 2018, that is now repeated or emerges in a new way for you, and can now be addressed. Or something that you had hoped would happen, but it didn’t come together at the time, and now it resolves itself.
  • Because of this 6-month growth period between the New Moon and the Full Moon in the same sign (and the 6-month period between a Full Moon and the next New Moon in the same sign), you may experience some immediate and surprising unexpected events during Eclipse Season (particularly if your natal chart is powerfully activated by the eclipses), but the true purpose of the eclipse energy released in your life, may only come to full fruition over the course of 6 months (with impacts potentially reaching much further). Eclipses are stones thrown into the cosmic pond, creating ripple effects across its starry surface. There may be a larger life story, that is about to unfurl over time.
  • Regardless of whether they are experienced as difficult challenges or blissful opportunities, all eclipses open up a window, a portal, for healing, for growth, for personal and global evolution. Ultimately, within a benefic view of the universe, eclipses are moving us forward, even if their logic and rationale appears unclear to us sometimes.

Two Ritual Suggestions for New Moons:

1) At each New Moon, eclipse or not, I first set some short-term goals that I want to achieve within the 14 days it takes for the Moon to transition to the Full Moon phase in the current lunation cycle. I set these goals based on the themes of the house the Moon will be highlighting in my natal chart at the time of the Full Moon;

2) Second, I write a letter to myself to be opened on the Full Moon in the same sign, 6 months later, documenting my reflections, hopes and dreams, related to the themes of the opposing house that the Sun will be highlighting in my natal chart in 6 months. So if the New Moon is occurring in my 1st house for example, I would write a letter to myself with the 7th house themes in mind – relationships and partnerships – because the Sun will be in the 7th House at the time of the corresponding Full Moon (with the Moon opposite the Sun back in the 1st House).

On December 22nd, 2018, we will experience a Full Moon in Cancer, which will correspond to the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Cancer on July 12th, 2018. On January 21st, 2019, we will experience a Full Moon in Leo (a Total Lunar Eclipse), which will correspond to the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Leo on August 11th, 2018.

What would you hope for yourself and others, in 6 months time? Write down your reflections and seal up the letter!

 


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Managing the Inflammatory Response :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for July 2nd – 8th

 

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine acquired a really deep splinter. There were no visible signs of it on the surface, although there was some pain when pressure was applied to the area. There was nothing to pull on with a splinter, so she ignored it.

Over time, the area became slightly red and swollen, and eventually the swelling formed around a protruding nodule – the inflammation, part of the body’s immune response, was literally pushing the splinter out of the body on its own. It resolved itself without reaching the point where medical attention was required.

What does this have to do with astro? Continue reading “Managing the Inflammatory Response :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for July 2nd – 8th”

Quotes for a South Node Solar Eclipse in Aquarius

Today, February 15th, we arrive at the Solar Eclipse New Moon in Aquarius.

Aquarius, as I described in my last post, is associated with the independent outsider who goes against the mainstream current with its unconventional message of liberation. Aquarius is the exile and the rebel within us all – the part of us that always feels different and separate from others, no matter how many friends and genuine connections we have.

Paradoxically, Aquarius is also associated with group collaboration and mutual support in order to create a brighter future.

A healthy expression of Aquarius involves a striking a balance between insider and outsider status. Continue reading “Quotes for a South Node Solar Eclipse in Aquarius”

“Creativity takes Courage” :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for January 29th – February 4th

Eclipse Season is upon us once again!

Eclipse Season occurs when the Sun is within about 18 degrees of the Lunar Nodal axis. Therefore, Eclipse Season began around the time of the Capricorn New Moon late on January 16th. The air will be swirling with change  and synchronicity until Eclipse Season ends around February 21st. Eclipse Season can feel like a bit of a whirlwind – kind of as if someone hit a fast-forward button on life.

The last Eclipse Season was six months ago during August 2017 (they’re always about six months apart). Continue reading ““Creativity takes Courage” :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for January 29th – February 4th”

You Have Permission to… :: Cosmic Weather Forecast January 15th – 21st

In the last few days I have had meaningful conversations with older people in my life whom I look up to and respect, who have affirmed the tough decisions I have been tentatively holding. They explicitly “gave me permission” to move in the direction that is calling me.

These conversations have aligned with the Mercury-Saturn conjunction over the past weekend and Capricorn’s New Moon stellium occurring today (TUESDAY), both of which bring up themes regarding elders, wisdom, authority, respect, decisions, and authenticity.

Did I really need someone else to give me permission to do something I want to do and verbally affirm the internal truth emerging within me?

Well, no, I suppose not. But coming from people I trust, I really appreciated it. It can be very encouraging for someone to see what you already know about yourself, and then to echo it back to you in confirmation, allowing some of the hesitation and doubts to dissolve.

It can be really hard to make decisions that move against the grain, against the norm. It can be challenging to allow ourselves to relax into our true Self. Continue reading “You Have Permission to… :: Cosmic Weather Forecast January 15th – 21st”

The Beauty of Wilted Flowers :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for December 11th – 17th

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As of today (MONDAY), Saturn is now at the 29th degree, the final Anaretic degree, of Sagittarius . The countdown to Saturn’s ingress into Capricorn on December 19th/20th continues! Just over a week remains (…between now and the end of my Saturn Return, hallelujah).

Here at the 29th degree – the degree on which Mercury pivoted and first began its retrograde – Saturn in Sag is scrutinizing, probing, examining, and bringing a serious sense of urgency to our actions and big decisions.

What is your Truth? Are you in alignment with it? Continue reading “The Beauty of Wilted Flowers :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for December 11th – 17th”

Introducing Dragons :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for October 23rd – 29th

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This week introduces us to our inner dragons.

Dragons mysteriously show up in numerous cultural histories and mythologies around the world. In Chinese traditions, for example, dragons symbolize power, strength, good fortune, and they rule over all bodies of water.

Books, movies, video games, role-playing games and TV have repeatedly breathed these majestic, mystical creatures back into the public imagination, reigniting images of scaly, fire-breathing flying dragons within our collective consciousness.

This week also (re)introduces us to our demons… or maybe they already showed up a few weeks ago, coinciding with Jupiter’s ingress into Scorpio. Continue reading “Introducing Dragons :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for October 23rd – 29th”

An Eclipse Primer

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The eclipse frenzy on social media is a little overwhelming to say the least – both astro-related and otherwise! Everything from ominous and dire apocalyptic predictions, to enormously inspirational messages about how this is going to be the month when your life transforms beyond your wildest hopes and dreams.

When I first plugged into astrology news years ago, there was such intensity around eclipse reporting that I got the impression eclipses were this really rare event. And different types of eclipses certainly are rare and particularly significant at a global level – like the long-awaited Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st. But I think it is important to note that eclipses (including partial eclipses) occur at least twice a year, six months apart. Eclipses may only be personally significant or life changing for you if they land within 2-3 degrees of a personal planet or angle. That’s not to say you won’t feel the intense heightened energy during eclipse season – eclipses just might not have the same level of potent ripple effect in your life as they do for others or vice versa.

I hope to publish a post later about the symbolism of the Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius (since as some of you know, I’m a little obsessed right now with analyzing the Leo-Aquarius axis; my natal chart horizon line), but before I do that, here are all the nitty gritty details beginning with the absolute basics, up to more advanced descriptions of what is actually happening and how to interpret eclipses according to how they activate your natal chart. I hope you find it grounding and informative!

Here we go, in point form:  Continue reading “An Eclipse Primer”