gaze at the shadows cast by your proud and waving flag: new moon-solar eclipse in Leo
As creator of ‘nataleo.com’ I’d be remiss not to publish an article about the giant, important, awe-and-fear-inspiring, so-called “Great American Solar Eclipse” that is happening in the late degrees of Leo on Monday, wouldn’t I?
SO MUCH has been written on it, by vague, new-age-y astrologers and excellent, critical, well-researched astrologers and everyone in between. It can be overwhelming to try and contribute something interesting, unique, and fresh.
I don’t wish to repeat what others have said so well, and there are so many layers to this moment in time.
Check out this article for a really technical, political look at the eclipse. Check this one for a soul-moving, in-depth examination of dragons, shadows, eclipses, and more. Check out this podcast for a detailed examination of eclipse cycles in human history.
What do I have to contribute, then?
Well, Leo is the sign of the Self, sovereignty, and creative expression. Leo is where we shine our unique light out into the world, loud and proud and authentic. I am a Leo (Sun, Moon, and Mars) but when one applies the technique of progressions (an astrological technique that shows how your chart evolves through time), I’ve transformed into a reserved and analytical Virgo (Sun, Mars, Mercury, Venus).
My personal journey from Leo to Virgo positions me with an interesting and lived experience to share with respect to this eclipse. Why? Because Monday's big event occurs very close to Regulus, a bright star much revered by ancients that shone in the sign of Leo for over 2000 years and only in the past few years, has migrated into Virgo (ref. 1). This larger time-scale transition from Leo to Virgo, from glory giving itself over to humility, is highlighted during Monday's eclipse.
So here is my take. It is not comprehensive, it is not especially technical, but it is what is alive for me right now as I examine the eclipse chart with the knowledge and experience I’ve acquired up to this moment in my astrology practice.
What is an eclipse?
Firstly, a solar eclipse can only occur during a new moon when Luna is precisely aligned with the Sun such that her silvery body occludes or blocks the light of the Sun from the Earth’s perspective.
The Sun symbolizes:
- Light of awareness (your headlamp, where you are looking and going, the quality and brightness of your light shining outward)
- Choices and decisions
- Masculine essence (shining out from a single point)
The Moon symbolizes
- What is needed to survive, what can be evoked from you in times of pressure, stress, relaxation
- Instincts and intuition
- Feminine essence (the void that contains all that could potentially exist)
So during the eclipse, the intuitive, soul-level aspect temporarily blocks out the light of awareness, in a sign where the Sun is King (Leo). Even though the Sun is strong here, he gives way for at least a few moments to the mysterious rhythm of the Moon. The morning chill is returning, the winds portend autumn around the corner, the nights arrive earlier and earlier. As the proud Leo Sun is blotted out for a moment, we are drawn into the mysteries of surrender, of letting go, into the felt urges and sensations of our primal bodies that we might not necessarily choose or welcome on a regular day. We are pulled into our own darkness and shadow, but this pull is intelligent and draw us toward areas that are begging for attention and release.
The new-moon-solar-eclipse occurs in the final third of Leo near the planet Mars. Mars has recently gone through his personal phase of re-birthing, so he is naked and flailing, pushing and poking into the world around him. As the eclipse comes to pass, Mars will soon become visible in the morning sky after his period of invisibility in the womb of the Sun. Visibility gives a planet more strength and with fresh, energetic Mars in Leo, strength is added to endeavours around protecting and defending the self and one's clan.
Indeed, in the last face of Leo where this eclipse occurs, Mars-like images emerge: dramatic battles to retain the glorious heights to which one has soared, reflecting the proud beliefs that drive each person and tribe's righteous struggle (ref. 2). Before we weave and wave our colourful banners and chant and cheer our fighting cries, before we proclaim the glory of ‘our way’, we’d better be certain and clear that these messages and values deserve to go public. Does 'our way' include the health and happiness of all people? Is it based on a self-serving or ego-driven fear or desire?
The planetary excitement in late Leo both sends and receives fiery energy from Saturn in late Sagittarius and Uranus in late Aries. As the fire proudly burns and begins to exhaust its supply of materials to burn, fire gives way to ash and earth. The late fire signs each signify a struggle to unite or pull together (ref. 2). In late Aries where shock-and-awe Uranus currently resides, the struggle is to unite disparate and hostile forces through raw and authentic expression of the spirit. In late Sagittarius, the struggle is to unite all elements of body, mind, and soul toward a valiant goal in the distance. Visions of failure, of sacrifice, of burning away into dust abound here, so even though this 'grand fire trine' is energetic, dynamic, and inspiring, the fire consumes and leaves space for something new, quiet, and tender to take form.
The Eclipse & the Goddess
During this potent collection of moments, when the sky goes dark for some of humanity, there are other planetary and heavenly conversations going on. Not all are so apparent, not all are spoken with words, but these exchanges do each speak to this theme of the Sun giving itself over to the Moon, to the masculine being embraced and drenched by the feminine (if only for a moment). These exchanges include: Lilith aligned with Saturn; Ceres opposing Pluto; and Eris near Uranus.
Lilith conjunct Saturn
Black Moon Lilith is a point in space, not a physical body. She is the point along Luna’s orbit that is furthest away from Earth at any given time (the lunar apogee).
Lilith is the dark and wild instinctual feminine. Her stories and myths weave through history and culture, intertwining with the transition into patriarchal systems. She is the subtle message in a gentle breeze and violent wind, she is the screech owl haunting the nights, she is the last exhale of a child fading into death before life has taken root, she is the hot and juicy purifying force of sexual alchemy.
On the day of the eclipse Saturn, grandmother/grandfather-time, bringer of consequence, builder of walls, keeper of tradition, and ultimate authority figure, precisely aligns with the lunar apogee.
What happens when the most structured and dense planet passes through the black void of Lilith?
For this pairing touches my heart and my root in a most intimate way, so I offer you a poem:
First women, first wife
First rebel, first feminist
Keeper of the holy word
Teacher, mentor of original sin
Keeper of the blood mysteries
Maiden to the great goddess
Dweller in the tree of the regal courtyard
Among the animals
Removed by force
Through the cooperation
Of Man & Wife
Wife who was goddess
Who had loved Lilith so
"Send this wild back to the forests!
To the sea,
Where she can dwell with animals and demons alike,
Send this wild away from me,
And build a bed that is so soft, warm, and comfortable,
That I might never remember..."
The haunting whispers
Of frail babies
Of tearing flesh
The rage of life
That roars within me
That empties and fills each moon
Cast her out with flame and fury
Chop down her tree
And send her away from me
So you and I, sweet husband
Can live safe and protected
Comfortable and predictable
For all of time
From the wild of my veins
And I shall serve you well
For I won’t feel the alive-ness of rage
When you extract work and wealth
From the vulnerable, the humble
For I won’t stop you with my holy hollering
When you pillage and invade
And bring me trinkets so exotic
For I will lay beneath you
Sweet enough, soft enough
But in between my ears
I am now haunted
In between my legs
I am now haunted
For it is too quiet
And too tight
And my thoughts beat me with their incessant circling
I stomp my feet to get them out
But no stomp or kicks are hard enough
When Lilith presses upon the door
This wall of fear
Holds Lilith dear
Too far too far
And yes I love you,
Adam of mine
And yes I am grateful
For your protection of me
For the gifts you bring
The comforts you secure
But I yearn to open
And one cannot give way to the other
When Lilith is cast beyond these sturdy walls
May you find the space to release something old this eclipse. May you find the courage to feel into the void before something new rushes to fill the space. May you examine your colours, symbols, and messages before you proudly wear them into battle.
If you would like to talk about the eclipse in relation to your personal chart, email me anytime (email@example.com) in the next five days with your:
· Date of birth
· Exact birth time
· City of birth
· An e-transfer donation ($5 - $50)
And I will send you a personalized eclipse horoscope.
Stay tuned for an upcoming newsletter and weekly astrology meet-ups in Saskatoon!
***Blog art by Mark Kostabi***
2) 36 Faces by Austin Coppock