Understanding Eclipses

Historical Overview of Eclipses

In ancient Astrology, the Sun and Moon were considered the life force.  Astrologers used to look at power of both in a chart to assess the vitality and life length. At a Solar Eclipse, the moon’s shadow covers the Sun, despite being 400 times smaller than the Sun, but almost 400 times closer to earth. The Moon cuts off the light source of vital life. Solar Eclipses can be described as extra powerful New Moons. Historical predictions often foretold ominous events, especially for rulers, as representatives of a country. The Sun was thought to be eaten by a dragon or werewolf.  It portended a time when secrets would be exposed. That is still very true. Ancient feelings of things being ‘fated, still stir an instinctual response to the vital force being cut off. It can challenge the core of our being. It can carry us forward in ways we never imagined.  

A Lunar Eclipse is a large Full Moon which often brings ‘ahaaa moments’ of recognition, completion, closure, and sometimes reversals. It brings a peak of energy release, and if you have a planet close to the degree of the Eclipse, you will be personally affected, sometimes as much as six months before and after. Eclipse energies magnify or distort energy, they clean out closets, both figuratively and psychically. Use them to finish then prepare new territory.

What is an Eclipse and what do they ‘do’?  

Eclipses are power outages, followed by a surge, creating chaos, and opportunity.  What might be the most important Eclipse-takeaway is for you to know that all you do is sacred (because your thoughts and actions have power during an eclipse, especially if it hits a sensitive point in your chart). Be clear and conscious about wishes, hopes and dreams, as they have a high voltage currency running through them. A solar eclipse can multiply 10,0000 times the energy toward the actions you take. Eclipses create disturbances in the electromagnetic and, biologic fields opening lines of access to ‘Universal Source,’ which is another reason to understand what is of the utmost importance in your life now. Include a wish for the earth as well as yourself. Listen to your dreams, then prepare with sacred intentions. Be conscious of how you wish to change and grow, who you want to be as you embark on the new journey. 

All eclipses are Scorpionic in nature, offering opportunities for change and transformation. If you live in the path of one, or if you have a planet in the degree, or close to the degree of an eclipse, they have greater power to influence your life. People born on an Eclipse are particularly sensitive to the charge of an eclipse. Everyone is affected to some degree, and the more sensitive you are, the more you feel the effects. Hidden issues to the surface, forcing us to separate value from junk, then unload the junk. They create crises, but not necessarily mayhem. Priorities will often need reevaluation and decisions made about which fork in the road to take. The house where the eclipse falls is the primary territory of change.

Remember- Solar eclipses are essentially extremely powerful New Moons and tend to be more external, dealing with issues involving you. They are associated with events brought about by our own thoughts and feelings. Solar eclipses are manifested experiences that reveal hidden truths, as well as bring forth the power of truth. Lunar eclipses are essentially powerful Full Moons, more emotional and internal by nature, they often involve others in some way. 

Eclipse Complexities 

The Sun as the ego, ID, and giver of life, says: “The more I take in, the more space I need to occupy.” As we sense a greater need for space, we ask:  Is this particular space worth occupying?  Is it safe to occupy that space, or will I lose autonomy?  Will it weaken me?  Do others want that same space?  Can I safely defend the space once occupied?  To what purpose will I put that space?  What are your personal areas of bargaining in any eclipse? 

Before the Sun can take over more space, the Moon precedes him as scout.  If we take action correctly, the feminine always precedes the masculine.  She listens, and remembers, she is highly conditioned, by past experiences, and emotional tolerance.  She is always concerned for our safety and well-being.

The import/export bargaining is about asking, opening, offering, sharing, and risking in some form.  Prepare to move beyond old structures, asking to open to a more generous, expanded Self.  Feel into what is genuine, despite seeming crazy, but maybe decidedly real, then implement intuitive insight toward new revelations.  Learn to be naturally happy though sustained efforts of self-awareness – no easy thing.  (Move into the HAPPY BABY pose to grow more joy.)

Despite feeling insecure or out of control, even feeling ‘fated’, it’s a good time for meditation as the electromagnetic field is disrupted, often bringing in unexpected ideas, as well as frustrations and disruption. Stay grounded and pay attention to daily habits.  Reality can feel a bit surreal or exhausting for no apparent reason.  During these mystical alignments, certain situations, feelings or relationships are cosmically transformed, by our daring to look and go beyond the norm.  You have been feeling this for a while, and will ‘after the fact’ for an ‘Eclipse hit’ does not usually happen on the day of.  Powerful ones began their work 6 months prior, and continue at least 6 months after, more if you get a direct hit on your Sun, Moon, or Ascendant.

Astrological factors relating to Eclipses creating personal importance

In which house does the eclipse fall?  And what are the keywords for the house polarity?  What are the needs of that house, or houses as these will come to the forefront.  The demand will be to expand the space we occupy at physical, emotional, spiritual levels. It asks how well we are doing in that territory.  It’s a great opportunity to put that house into better order. 

  • Does the eclipse conjunct or oppose a natal point? Esp. Sun or Moon?
  • What is the planetary ruler of the Eclipse, and does it lie in the path?  
  • Eclipses belong to families called Saros Cycles.  Just as we do, they have a birth chart, with an essential energy to express.  They are members of a tribe, or leaves off the same tree, cycling back around every 18 years, and 9-11 days.  They take about 1280 years to complete.  Each time it reappears, it is approximately 10 degrees further along, and more powerful.  As they reappear in 18 year cyles, you can look back to what happened of note 18 years ago.  If it was important, it will give you an idea of what may happen now.  Don’t get confused by the form.  Look at the energy.  Ask- what was up for you then?  Can you trace a link to now? Often what was hidden or divisive becomes conscious.
  • Does the umbral path pass over/close to geographical area where you live?  Or where you were born? The areas blocked out remain sensitized for months after.  
  • Standing under a total Eclipse is wild and emotionally surprising.  Birds go crazy, then silent.  As the Sun is blocked not only does the light dim, but it grows cold, and you realize the life giving force of the Sun.  What is familiar is removed, offering opportunity to re-set.  The old light of guidance may no longer be helpful, or true, or powerful enough.
  • Is the eclipse partial, annular or total?  What is the overall assessment of the strength of this eclipse upon you, the life of the land and its people, especially its ‘royal rulers.’  
  • Where an Eclipse hits your personal chart can portend something leaving, and there may be some depletion or lack of vitality at the time.  Let whatever passes out of life –go. Keep recklessness and fears under control.  Remember, Eclipses are simply making room for the new, therefore ask for what you need, and wish for the planet.  Welcome the new light with prayer and meditation.  

A personal reveal regarding an Eclipse hit

I had a direct eclipse hit on my Sun several years ago, and one of the major life-time Solar-issues that I struggled with was a sense of ‘legitimacy.’  The Sun, as ego and identity, the masculine aspect of self and representing the father, never felt it was enough. It was not legitimate. Some of this was conscious, more- unconscious.  My daddy was a bastard, from the bayou of Louisiana, and when he was 7, his momma died.  All his life, his illegitimacy chased and haunted him, and it turns out, me as well. I inherited the issue. But my job was to work with illegitimacy in a very different way.  The eclipse offered me opportunities throughout a very difficult year to heal and bring the issue to conscious light. Was it easy? No. But amazing insights prevailed once the work emerged from the dark. I began to see where it tripped me up over and over in different guises. The Eclipse was a gift and a blessing transforming my life.  

Below is a famous letter from Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille which has been a life-long pole-star for me. Once again, NOW is a perfect time to accept its precept. Back in the 1950’s, She wrote to Agnes, but she includes all of us willing to try again and again, those whose spirit never surrenders. She urges and honors unearthing and expressing our unique genius; the artist who lives from the heart.  This is for those of you who offer yourself as vessels to be filled by transmutations in the light force.

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

– Martha Graham

Samantha, your entry about the eclipse moved me. I was not able to travel to see it in totality and so much wish I could. I’ve been hanging on every word of those who did see and feeling continually craving for more description. No one has been able to articulate like you and reading your account I felt finally like I can understand something about just what people mean when they call it “life-changing” or other such terms. Your words brought chills and a stronger beat to my heart. Thank you so much for sharing your entry. I’ve been thinking of you a lot. And also working through my own journey wondering where/what/when/who etc….always love your shares. thank you. Love Steph 

 (Written 8/ 2017 after the Great American Eclipse)


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