Total Solar Eclipse
28º Leo 53’
August 21, 2017
“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that has nothing to do with you, this storm is you. Something inside you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up the sky like pulverized bones.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
Apocalypse (Greek) literally means "an uncovering." A disclosure of knowledge; revelation.
Eclipses are activators. They set things in motion, or initiate things, or reveal, or dissolve/ destroy… often all of the above simultaneously.
An eclipse could be represented as the image of the Tower tarot card, where there is the promise of inevitable transformation but with no clear indication of exactly what it will be or exactly how it will manifest. An eclipse is like a jolt of electricity, the zap of a lightning bolt, an intense power surge- they can create chaos and instigate change and generally shake people up. What has been in the shadows comes into the light.
It is likely that we could be pushed to the limits, we could feel a resurfacing of the very depths that we keep hidden inside, we could have more of ourselves revealed to us, more truth exposed, more purging of the psyche.
This is the second eclipse in this portal along the Aquarius/Leo axis, and it occurs alongside the second consecutive Leo New Moon. (The Aquarius Full Moon/ Lunar Eclipse was at 15º Aquarius on August 7). You may remember that in May of this year the North Node moved into Leo and the South Node to Aquarius. Eclipses belong to particular groups, or families, called Saros cycles, which span the course of 1300 years in the move from one pole to the other. Solar Eclipses repeat approximately every 18 years. This is an oversimplified explanation of a complex astronomical idea, but I include it to provide some context. One way to begin to understand the implications of this eclipse (and others) is to understand which Saros Series it’s part of and the extended context in which it occurs, including historical and personal events that occur along the relevant eighteen year intervals. Tomorrow’s eclipse is part of the series called Saros 145. And there have been major historical events in this country that have happened near eclipses in this series.
The Leo Solar Eclipse is also significant and getting an excessive amount of social media coverage because it is visible only in the US, and that is unusual- a first since the nation was founded. While eclipse effects will be felt no matter where one is located, the effects of the eclipse will be felt most profoundly where it is visible, and major changes will be initiated. That’s why this eclipse has been named “the Great American Eclipse” and why it’s getting so much attention. The other reason for the frenzy is the fact that it hits the same spot in the heavens of the ascendant of Trump, meaning it will occur at the same point (28º Leo) in the heavens as when he was born. There will inevitably be personal implications for him as well as political implications. We (most astrologers) have been watching and waiting these past months anticipating this eclipse and knowing its personal significance to “45” … and that anything could happen. There will be fallout, but it may take a while to play out. The New Moon and Eclipse occur in the sign of Leo, the sign of leadership, ruled by the Sun. There’s also the conjuction with fixed star Regulus which is associated with royalty and rulership; this sets the scene for the rise or the fall of a leader. One thing is certain: things will be set into motion.
During a Total Solar Eclipse, and visible in the path of totality, the Sun’s light will be blocked out entirely by the Moon and the sky will darken. The darkness and shadows that are invoked literally and metaphorically are necessary and must be acknowledged and integrated for the total transformation that longs for manifestation.
Not everyone will be out for this hugely popular event in the US, watching with their much-discussed eclipse glasses, because there are some cultures that believe this to be an inauspicious event, or an intimate event between the sun and the moon (and not for our observation). Vedic astrology has a different perspective on total solar eclipses, as do the Dine’ for example, and some other American Indian tribes. You may choose to observe in a more reverent way if you can tune in genuinely to these powerful energies. Listen to and trust your intuition. It is in the shadows that our eyes adjust and are able to see in the dark. This is a necessary skill for these dark days; we can’t “wishful think” our troubles away, or “light and love” the situation into a higher vibration. When you’re in the dark your orientation shifts so that you move from a deeper place, a soul place, listening with your bones and feeling with your belly.
Eclipses amplify and magnify and activate. To work with these potently charged energies, clarify for yourself what you intend to have activated, what area of your life might need revelation and understanding. Excavate your most hidden and secret shadowy parts, where shame has rooted in and saturated your soul, where avoidance and dissociation have grown vine-like to choke your authenticity.
Set an intention, as you do at all New Moons. Be prepared to have a big shift, but know that it can take up to six months or a year to understand the extent of the changes and where exactly these shifts have taken place. There is always potential for healing to unfold in these times of epic change and turmoil. Death always gives way to rebirth, just as the light cannot exist without darkness; these are Laws of Nature. The process can rip us apart, but we can gather the pieces and create a mosaic with the shards of our broken-heartedness. We have fallen apart, personally, collectively… and the wounds are so deep, the fragility so fully exposed, that no one can deny the brokenness any longer, nor exclaim our okayness, our “oneness” or our “rise-above-it-ness.” We must feel our traumas and wounds, totally, entirely, honestly, intensely. We can turn pain into beauty, churn these difficulties into nectar - it’s alchemy after all. And although there’s no tidy plan or easy path forward, we have the capacity to bear the burden of the alchemist if we choose. There is deep work to do. Let this eclipse portal be a gateway into your own intensity, to have the truth revealed to you, so that you can be uncompromising in the way you live life, so that you can magnetize those forces that bring blessings, so you can rest in the wholeness of your brokenness, shadows embraced, and know that you will rise.