Lunar eclipse day!
Today, a meditation from the I Ching. If you'd like more hard astrology on the eclipse, check out yesterday's post for more info on how to track the eclipse in your own birth chart.
* The 22nd hexagram of the I Ching is called Grace, or adornment, and its image is that of a fire at the base of a mountain.
* The fire at nighttime illuminates the mountain, and so to detect or recognize the greatness of something we need small accent lights, small adornments that draw attention to things that are otherwise not naturally visible or accessible.
* Lunar eclipses are like these fires. The expose what is in the shadow...the big ugly stuff and the invisible and divine stuff.
* In order to see what a lunar eclipse is showing, we have to look by means of the events that come up, rather than looking directly at them.
* When we look by means of an event, good or bad, the event becomes the fire illuminating the mountain behind.
* When we see by means of events, rather than looking at them, we see the divine plan for our life.
* When we see by means of events, rather than looking at them, we see the unconscious material whose time has come...it's time to change it because by means of these events we finally see and finally recognize what's at the root of something.
* When we see by means of events, rather than looking at them, all events are an opportunity for devotional service to the divine and to others.
* When we look AT events, literalizing them, we get lost in vanity, reaction, confusion, and dissociation from our spiritual nature.
* Let this lunar eclipse, and the events surrounding it, be the fire that illuminates the mountain. See by means of this moment rather than getting lost looking AT it.
* The 5th line of the I Ching says, "Your small roll of silk seems a shameful offering among the wealth of his gardens, yet it is your sincerity that is prized."
* This is a fortunate line. Think about it like this. How do we get others to see the mountain? How do we get others in our lives to see the stuff that matters, the stuff they need to change, or the divine that lies beyond the stuff they're stuck in? Or for that matter, how do we get ourselves to change or see the divine? The answer repeats itself...when events happen, rather than looking AT them, we choose to see by means of them into the timeless and eternal. This action is an act of sacrifice...because it means we give up our investment in the literalness of what is happening around us. We can't see by means of things we are attached to...their transparency is blocked. So when we offer things up, even small things, things that we desire or recognize the temptation to hold onto, then we are immediately gifted back with real vision...vision of the mountain beyond. The same goes for others. The quickest way for us to help others "see the mountain" behind the adorning fire, is to become the means by which others may see. We become this through loving service, and simple sincere, and small sacrifices that we make of our most needy interests, demands, or impatient desires within our relationships. If you want someone to see the truth, or see the divine, then offer small sacrifices of your own ego's needs in relationships regularly.
* Similarly, if we want a loving and reciprocal relationship with the divine, if we are having trouble seeing the mountain, then small acts of loving devotion, sincerely offered, patiently and regularly, are just as valued as large or lavish gifts or abilities or insights or visions.
* Imagine God like someone who gives you a million dollars, only to ask for you to give it back. When you give it back, you are then given a billion dollars, only to be asked to give it back. Finally, the scale becomes so large, that the numerical value of what is being given is irrelevant. The most important thing is the sincerity, and the joy that is found as much in the giving as in the receiving. Sincere, small, offerings, regularly, go a long way to helping us see the mountain beyond the small fires of everyday life...
* When line 5 changes it transforms hexagram 22 into 37, family duties. The hexagram points to the importance of maintaining proper balance and equilibrium among the integral parts of a whole. It's also quite literally about the sacrifices we have to make for our families and their needs.
* Lunar eclipses often bring up various elements of our family karma. Not everyone in our families see the mountain beyond the small fires at the base. On the other hand, sometimes we spend so much time looking at the faults and flaws of our family members, that we miss the beauty, support, stability, tradition, and depth of what our family has actually done for us, or continues to do for us, invisible but constant.
* If we want to see the divine by means of our family, or help our family to see beyond the literal fires of life, then we have to be resolved to practice service and devotion to our families. That's not easy, but if we can't do it there, then we carry a shadow with us wherever we go, a secret, or a lingering doubt.
* Lunar eclipses are here to help us see, see what's in the shadows of our lives, see by means of the events that come to pass....the great mountains beyond.
Prayer: Help us to see by means of these eclipsing events, help us to see and to adorn and to serve.
The Moon is in Gemini today, moving toward a trine with the Sun by tomorrow.
Important things to note:
* Venus has entered the sign of Aries, the sign of her planetary contrariety, Mars. It's a good time to stay aware of how our desires are driving us right now. What are we obsessing over, who or what are we pursuing, or who or what is pursuing us? With Mars and Venus together in the sign of the warrior right now the hunter and the hunted are a significant image worth paying attention to. Because Venus is chasing Mars in the sky right now but will refrain and turn retrograde before they can meet, we may anticipate that something we think we need or want may change in the near future, or we may face rejection, or we might have to find the courage to say no to something tormenting or driving us obsessively toward unconscious desires.
* Similarly, with Venus and Mars in a fire sign, there is an aura of fierce love surrounding us. The archetype of the holy or sacred battle comes to mind, and perhaps the question we're asking ourselves right now is "How do I summon the strength to fight for what I believe in without harming those I love or compromising the values I hold most dear?"
* In just the next week there will be a full moon, lunar eclipse between Aquarius and Leo. The king and the tyrant, the ruler and the outcast, the powerful and the marginalized, or even the proclamation and the resistance are all themes that come to mind with this eclipse. The sun (Leo) symbolizes all that is honorable, clarifying, authoritative, and mandated from above, whereas Saturn (Aquarius) signifies all that is oppressive, rejected or marginalized, ignorant or hiding in the shadows. Although the connections to the current political climate in the US are obvious, personally what might this indicate? Perhaps the simplest theme has to do with bringing light to something marginalized, illuminating a pocket of ignorance, or trying to bring light and clarity to something saturnine that would otherwise typically be cast out or hidden away. Also the question of power and suppression comes to mind. How do we use whatever control or privilege and authority we have in life? Are we using it to bring light, comfort, hope, and love to others or are we hoarding our time, energy, and resources, and constantly fighting against whatever threats we perceive to our sovereignty?
* It's also important to note that Jupiter is moving into an opposition with Uranus again in the next month, just days after our solar eclipse. Jupiter in the sign of the balance opposite Uranus in the sign of the Ram is very much at play in the unfolding of a major polarization in local and even global politics. The conservative, isolationist populism rising up around the globe in different faces is in a kind of ground war with progressive liberalism and a rising populism in the opposite direction. We also see the image of the independence of the courts (Jupiter in Libra) facing off against the executive orders of what is essentially a populist dictator style strong man (Uranus in Aries), and it's likely that themes like these will peak several times in the next year (next month and again in late Summer).
* Remember that Mars will also be triggering the opposition several times over the next weeks, and this will greatly intensify the dynamic above, potentially unleashing violence, threats of war, and much greater demonstrations of force and power on the side of Uranus, which could tilt the scales in either directions, and potentially back and forth in unpredictable ways.
It's an exciting time to be alive because the overall effect of the transits above is to awaken something dead or asleep within us. As we approach astrological spring this force will have grown much stronger!
Prayer: Awaken us, and liberate us, protect us.
The Moon is void of course in Aquarius this morning and will soon enter Pisces, moving swiftly toward its culmination Sunday evening: a rare super moon lunar eclipse across the 0 Aries/Libra axis.
Meanwhile Mercury is exactly square to Pluto, and Mars has finally left Leo and entered Virgo.
Here's what to watch for:
* A surge called holy mission, the drive for purity, the organizational effort or mobilization (Mars entering Virgo)
* The sense that an important process is culminating, something is finally transitioning or reaching its peak point (Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse coming)
* Fairness, reform, revision, reorganization, and a transformation of principles, guiding ethics, morals, or contractual agreements (Mercury Rx square to Pluto)
* The revelation or revealing of hidden information, truths, or insights that profoundly modify or change our perceptions (Mercury Rx in Libra square to Pluto)
* The step by step transformation of one's vision, approach, and direction (Mars entering Virgo and applying to conjoin Jupiter)
* The rapid accomplishment of goals and ambitions, through pure, wholesome, reformed procedures and/or reorganized efforts (Mars/Jupiter in Virgo)
* The receiving of pardons or forgiveness, blessings or boons, grace and expansion, faster than we expected (Jupiter opp Neptune with Mars speeding the process)
* The increasing need for moral, ideological, religious, or ethical evaluation...are we walking our talk, are we aiming for the right things, are we using the right approach, is our money where our mouth is? (Saturn in Sagittarius, engaging both Jupiter/Neptune in Virgo/Pisces)
* The return of the past, of tradition, of conservative or stricter values, methods, practices, and approaches...extreme and loud or quiet and modest in application? (Saturn in Sagittarius with Jupiter in Virgo)
* Devotion, imagination, fantasy, dreams, beauty, and the longing for something more...visionary and romantic revelry guiding us toward the Full Moon (Moon moving into Pisces)
* The ocean, water, the tempest, the wave, the healing immersion or submersion (Moon in Pisces with Neptune and opposite Jupiter)
Prayer: Star of the Sea, with hands of outstretched promise and faith, we walk with you toward this full moon...help us to prepare for this sacred eclipsing...to celebrate this culmination and to let the rest be washed away
Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse today!
We’ve finally made it to the peak of our eclipse cycle. A full moon that features near exact alignment with the Pluto/Uranus square. This cycle has not been messing around, and most of us have felt it in one way or another. With a constellation of Arian planets around the south node, and with our eclipse season opening with a strong equinox solar eclipse, there are very strong (much stronger than usual) new beginnings happening right now. The Arian energy brings the qualities of birth, rebirth, strong new openings, new phases or seasons of life, new jobs, new relationships, new lessons and learning, all with secondary adjectives like: speed, adrenaline, courage, confrontation, impulsiveness, willfulness, recklessness, and independence.
With all the Arian planets being ruled by Mars, and with Mars in Taurus right now, we are looking at what resources we have to work with, what we desire to gain or earn, and how we meet the hardships associated with survival (bills, food, clothing, income brackets, taxes, social class concerns, welfare, wealth, etc). This new beginning might have something to do with these themes, or it might be specifically qualified by these concerns somehow.
With the south node of the Moon in the mix with the Arian stellium, there is also the distinct feeling of “having been here before,” though we might be feeling a little wiser this time around. Is there something about everything happening right now that feels like a blessing or challenge from the past…ancestral, karmic, unconscious, historical or cultural? Meditating on this deeper layer of the story might help us reach an important level of clarity regarding next steps or how to proceed wisely.
In the meantime, our Libra Moon and the north node in Libra are symbolizing an oppositional tension that is pointing us toward relationships, negotiation, and complex levels of discernment or judgment that are needed in the mix of an otherwise very fiery and exciting time (a time where impulses are running high). Relationships and the subject of independence or freedom are critical right now. It’s important that we have these conversations and that we do the difficult work of sorting through the past, honoring the free spirit in each of us, while also carefully discerning the most compromising and harmonious picture of the future.
With the north node and the Moon both in Libra, we have to take a look at the planet Venus to understand what’s happening a little more precisely. Venus, like Mars, is in Taurus (her rulership!). She has a kind of secret rulership over Mars right now, as well, since Mars is in her sign (and therefore in his detriment).
In the third decan of Taurus, Venus is in the face of Taurus traditionally given to Saturn. This face of Taurus is a bit like the phrase “the lord giveth and the lord taketh away,” or like the IChing talking about times of plenty leading to times of scarcity, and vice versa. The wisdom of scarcity should be with us during times of abundance, as well as the knowledge of abundance not forgotten during times of scarcity. How do these teachings permeate the atmosphere right now?
Additionally the last decan of Taurus suggests that preservation and careful maintenance of “the goodness of the work” (whatever that might be for each person), requires careful planning, stocking, organizing, and downsizing. This advice is most important when we’ve reached a stage of abundance, or it comes as a reminder right now because we’re looking back seeing where we didn’t do this when we should have.
There is also a secret warning in the mix of our doubly Taurus themed rulers of this eclipse weekend…BEWARE or rushing to completion. Though there is a new beginning or powerful new directives coming through, and though we might see clearly what we want or where we’re going, implementation is calling for lots of TLC right now.
Imagine: before making the decision, clean every room in the house from top to bottom, organize and downsize, trim the fat, and get your life in order. Then, wait until the next new moon. Then wait some more and as the next moon cycle waxes, you will have put your house in order to receive the correct instructions.
We so quickly rush past the ceremonial and aesthetic aspects of change. Just because the gods are here banging down the door, doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate us saying, “I see you’re here. Let me put my house in order and make it beautiful so to receive you properly.” In fact, it’s in the way we structure our receiving of these times that we create ceremony, and from ceremony its so much easier to know how these big changes should implement themselves, step by step, and not just the steps but “how” they are being done..what kind of atmosphere we create around them….(that’s also Venus’ request from her rulership in Taurus right now!).
Prayer: the prayer is so often found in the way we prepare the temple for the god to come and speak…not in what we ask for, or what words we say, but the simple preparations we make…
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Image by courtesy of Paolo, at creative commons image licensing
The Moon is in Gemini today, applying to sextile Uranus in Aries before squaring Chiron and Mercury in Pisces. Meanwhile the Sun in Aries trines Saturn in Sagittarius today and Venus in Taurus is moving into a square with Jupiter in Leo. And of course Uranus and Pluto are still square!
What to watch for:
* The cutting, separating, and dividing necessary for a new beginning
* Vacillating between several options, an underlying feeling of ambivalence, even boredom
* Revisioning our philosophical position or spiritual/religious outlook, maybe around a particular issue
* Love drugs, the feeling of desirous intoxication
* Excessive love, praise, confidence, adoration, pride, and even worship
* Spending, fashion, big purchases, bling, glamour and wealth
* Gathering facts, organizing plans, but feeling somewhat foggy mentally
* The voice of the healer...
* Listening, really hearing someone
* Rejecting a hard truth
* Something that looks like a proud new beginning is slowly showing itself to have its selfish side too
* Impulsive or reckless impatience
* A deeper understanding of our core calling...its history...its demands at this time in our lives
This Moon cycle is deceptively strong. "Deceptively strong" because it's hard for us to get a clear picture right now of where things are heading. Mercury in Pisces suggests that our minds are in something like labor right now. We are looking for a clear, rational grasp on what's happening, where things are going, or how things are shaping up, but that understanding will remain elusive until right around our full moon eclipse this month. Until then you might swear that things are just business as usual. Right up until yet another bizarre synchronicity, dejavu, dream, or blip on the radar shows up again and once more we just "know" something is happening.
Though there are new beginnings taking shape right now (look especially to the Aries portion of your birth chart), these new beginnings are also swirling around something from the past that will need to be dealt with..potentially some old patterns that will need rooting out. The temptation for decisions to be so individualistic right now that they aren't properly judged or balanced against a variety of equally important factors is strong, so we should be very careful to consider all the circumstances that play a part in our lives as we move forward.
There's a powerful theme at play in the stars right now about abdicating some element of our self-interest, and it's going to play a strong part in how this cycle's next eclipse unfolds. Compromises will likely play a role in some big changes that happen between now and the end of this moon cycle. Can we imagine success, dignity, and victory in a different style? Can we dismount from our high horses to find an even greater degree of satisfaction?
The Sun in Aries is considered "exalted," which means that the fiery drive to place ourselves first is very strong and effective at the moment. Yet the Sun in Aries will conjoin the south node of the Moon at the full moon while it opposes the Moon in Libra at the north node (destiny, evolution, and growth symbolized by compromise, discernment, wise judgments, harmony in relationships, etc).
When something doesn't work out solely in our favor, or we are deeply disappointed by something not turning out as we hoped it would, it might be a humbling experience, but it will also show us the face of what needs cultivating in our lives, and what relationships need deeper cultivation.
Prayer: clarity rising...help us to see the truth of what's brought us to this moment and how to move forward with wiser judgments this time around.
Image courtesy of creative commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dionnehartnett/
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Adam Elenbaas is a professional astrologer and the founder of the Nightlight Astrology School. Adam holds an MA and MFA in English and Creative Writing and is one of the founding writers at RealitySandwich. To learn more about Adam, click here.