Eclipses carry the signature of change. They may shake us up, turn us around, and they may ask us to adapt to changing conditions.
The house an eclipse falls in show us the area(s) of life in which we will be asked to grow beyond what we’ve previously known. The astrological house has become too small, cramped, tight. You’re ready to experience a rapid infusion of new awareness, here.
Eclipses fall in pairs, several times a year, occurring two weeks from one another. Lunar eclipses, since they involve both Sun and Moon in an opposition, will span a polarity of two houses in your birth chart. Similar to a full moon, there’s a bit more of information to hold and integrate into our awareness. Solar eclipses will feature one house, and so will be focused on that particular house and its issues.
The flickering lights of the Sun and Moon act like light bulbs, and as they turn on and off in an irregular fashion they can bring issues that have quietly existed in the shadows up until now out into the light of day. Via periods of intensity or crisis (during the 4-6 weeks surrounding an eclipse pair) our attention is mobilized on these areas of life. Yet just because eclipse season is over doesn’t mean we stop integrating what we’ve learned; the Moon’s nodes are transiting through this house over a longer 18-24 month period.
Eclipses are part of a larger cycle of patterns. If you research the term “Eclipses + Saros cycles” you’ll begin to barely scratch the surface of just how far back and forward recurring patterns of eclipses actually extend. If you want to work with your own lifetime of patterns and events, and want a rewarding, if not laborious, exercise: Map out your life events for every eclipse set. For instance, if you are in the Taurus/Scorpio eclipse cycle currently, what was going on in your life at the last cycle of these same transiting signs (__Taurus/Scorpio/your current eclipse set here_). In approximately 9 and 18 year increments, going backward, what did you experience? How did you grow? Some believe that this process of reflection will illuminate your personal eclipse story… your unfolding life narrative.
This article’s purpose is to explore the question: Where does this eclipse set occur, for you? First, identify the house in which an eclipse falls by locating the current eclipse degree and placing it within your chart. Then, overlay the signs onto the natural house meanings of your chart, as well. For instance, if the lunar full moon eclipse aligns at 28 Taurus-Scorpio, and this falls in your natal 4th and 10th houses, read for both 4th/10th axis -AND- Taurus-Scorpio, then integrate them. Integrating multiple bits of information is a challenge of astrology.
Before reading below: The house and sign explorations are listed backwards, from the first house to the twelfth, eleventh, and so on… because I wanted to mirror the actual backward precession of the lunar nodes through the signs and chart. The nodes move backwards through the signs, which also speaks to their lunar nature of memory, history, reflection, emotion, patterns. Nodes define eclipses. The proximity of nodes to the new and full moon are what differentiates an eclipse lunation from a typical new or full moon lunation.
The “here’s how it might play out” possibilities below are just that: creative possibilities to stimulate the imagination. They are not meant to be predictions. If, instead of your creative imagination, your fear is being stimulated, I suggest reading this or this.
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Axis of Self-Identity & Partnering. Aries-Libra.
The 1st/7th House or Aries-Libra eclipse axis asks you to grow beyond the familiar four walls of identity and partnership and to do what it takes to express that. You’re ready to express a new way of being in the world, and experience the evolutionary impact of others in your life. This is the axis of self and other; independence and interdependence, of how to go my own way and co-exist all in the same sentence. How you see your self versus how others see you is at issue here, and if one is at odds with the other you’ll need to reconcile the difference at this time.
You may ask yourself: does my personal style and approach to life fully reflect who I am? How is my personal style and approach working, or not helping, me in my relationship to others? Are my relationships keeping pace with who I am today? Perhaps you’ve grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, and now it’s time to integrate this awareness into your conscious personality. New styles will be tried on, identities and/or relationships pursued, and as a consequence new agreements may need to be negotiated in relationship. Aries/1st House empowers courageous acts of moxie and bold moves on behalf of one’s personal liberty; Libra/7th House, empowers the desire to be beholden to another. Classic Aries-Libra dilemmas: Is there room for an I in We? or Are you the right one for me? or Can we be happy together forever?
First House keywords: birth, self-discovery, selfhood, independence, new choices, your self-motivation, taking a calculated risk, how you approach new beginnings, your noticeable personality, the impact you have on others, the unbearable weight of being your own person
Seventh House keywords: what you need from others to feel complete, partners: friendships, counselors, spouse, enemies -people who act as teacher or nemesis, contracts/agreements with others, marriage, your shadow (what you don’t like)- which you project onto others
Here’s how it might play out:
-You’ve lost weight. You’ve grown in spiritual mastery. But you still see yourself as that chubby overweight kid, or, likewise the perpetual student who knows nothing. Now is the time to steep in the awareness of just how much you’ve changed. Play with your new identity, try it on. Then be a boss, own it.
-You’ve decided to pursue a career as an artist and you feel your straight-laced clothes may be giving off the wrong impression to people you meet. You change your appearance and begin dressing like an artist (because you are one) to more fully embody an identity. This throws your accountant boyfriend into a tailspin while simultaneously drawing new arts-y folks into your orbit.
-You have the shocking realization that your self-image, and your friends, are completely tied into your partnership. You make this harrowing discovery when your lover leaves and you no longer recognize your self.
-You unconsciously see your self as an eternal bachelor or bachelorette. You discover this when you meet someone you want to spend more time with and they challenge your footloose self-image by asking you to settle down.
–You’re in a stable partnership and your partner develops new interests outside of the home. Now you have more time on your hands. This free time stimulates you to ‘do something’. Suddenly you’re off and running in a new direction of self-discovery.
Axis of Adaptation & Retreat*. Virgo-Pisces.
The 6th/12th House or Virgo-Pisces axis asks you to grow beyond the four familiar walls of your habitual habits, your physical and daily work routines and enter into a new relationship with your mind-body-spirit. Embrace a season of adapting to a new set of circumstances. You may discover you need a new set of on the job skills. You may finally face and conquer self-defeating psychological and health habits. Or you may reach a crisis point in your self-care and need to make new choices.
This axis works prescriptively: if there are more demands at work, you can take more time to just stare at the ceiling. For every step toward perfecting your existence, remember that it is enough to just be. Virgo empowers keeping the body/mind/spirit temple in working psychological and physical order, and eclipses bring things to light, so health problems that arise will call you into action. Meanwhile Pisces empowers the need for integrating fantasy, meditation and contemplation into your life. Rest up, and take care. This is a time for fixing what can be fixed (sixth/Virgo) and a time for surrendering what you can’t control, a time for giving up to God (twelfth/Pisces).
Sixth House keywords: adjustments to: health, mind-body-spirit, work life, co-workers, service, pets, mentoring and apprenticeship, lineage of aunts and uncles, mundane routines, daily habits, healthy attitudes to cultivate, work on, blind spots you don’t see in yourself
Twelfth House keywords: retreating from view, dreams, your personal guru, hidden enemies you encounter in yourself (self-sabotage), secrets, spiritual consciousness, meditation, prayer, allowing yourself to receive, loss and surrender, saying goodbye, the end of a cycle
Here’s how it might play out:
-You’re swamped at work and in need of rest you never seem to get. Then a co-worker quits and you have even more responsibility than you had before. You know if you can survive this fallow period of grunt work, you’ll be rewarded with a promotion down the road but in order to survive, you’ll need to do more yoga, make healthier eating choices and take care of your most precious instrument – your body.
-You have a seasonal job and it’s low season. You find your self watching a lot of television and maybe even using some recreational drugs to bide the long expanse of time you now have available. You’ve neglected housework, bills and this is having repercussions in your partnership. You need to make new choices about how you manage your day to day along with examining how drug use affects your productivity.
-Your doctor notices a suspicious looking lesion. You get it biopsied and it’s cancerous. This experience, although not life-threatening forces you to take time off, slow down and re-evaluate your priorities. This facilitates an interest in exploring your spirituality and years down the road you’re teaching invaluable classes on facing one’s own death. This all happened because you were stopped in your tracks.
-You adopt a pet. Coming home everyday to, feeding, walking and serving the needs of this pet definitely changes your daily routines but you also find that your connection is a spiritual one. You are nourished by this creature connection. Caring for this pet relieves other stressors in your life; you feel better physically and spiritually.
-You are feeling insecure and confused about your life direction, and you wish someone could help you. You get a mentor who helps you with skills you want to develop, or find a therapist who can help you make sense of your fears and lead you toward greater self-acceptance. A cycle of apprenticeship is initiated whereby eventually you become your own best expert.
*the 6th-12th axis phrase ‘adaptation and retreat’ respectfully used, with permission, from April Elliott Kent.
Axis of Authenticity & Creative Contribution. Leo-Aquarius.
When eclipses transit your 5th/11th House or Leo-Aquarius axis, step outside your familiar four walls of creative self-expression and life dreams. You’re ready to claim and express your most authentic self, and to put your self out there, be seen. You may find your self making long-term future plans for the first time in your life, or drafting your five and ten year life goals. You may download a personal dream or vision that also happens to fit into a collective current.
Networks of friends and social groups play a role in reaching your dreams. Personal limelights are featured now. Creative energy and romance takes new focus and expression. Leo empowers creative births, including children, the claiming of talents, and the revitalizing need for joy and pleasure in one’s life; Aquarius empowers radical acts of self-authenticity, claiming of a personal truth-along with those fears of being rejected by our social network or tribe for making that choice.
Fifth House keywords: art, creativity, short-term partnerships (love affairs), falling in love, children, your creative inner child, self-expression, recreation, performance, spontaneous pleasures, sharing from your heart, being seen, love you give others
Eleventh House keywords: embracing the future, goals, hopes, wishes & dreams, groups of friends and networks, making progress, blooming in mid-life, being recognized for your gifts and contribution, having an audience, love received from others
Here’s how it might play out:
-You’ve recently conquered an addiction to drink, but your friends still drink. They still invite you to social functions where everyone drinks, and you find you have less and less in common with them. Your facing the fact that your lifelong friends no longer reflect the person you’ve become. Yet the friendships you strike up in your AA meetings do.
-You’ve been a performer in other people’s shows. An event coordinator calls you up and asks you to choreograph your own piece and perform solo. This seems like a huge risk to you – you’ve never performed alone, at least in public. You take the leap and are met with roaring success.
-You’re noticing people who are at the level you want to be at and frankly you’re a little jealous. You wonder: how did they get there? What do they have that you don’t? Instead of feeding your insecurity, you risk your self by reaching out to them – giving them a compliment on their work, and to your surprise – they embrace you.
-You’ve never had friends in your field of work and feel like a bit of a lone wolf. You surprise your self one day by bringing your banjo to a company talent show where you discover a group of people who regularly get together to pick ‘n play. Suddenly, through sharing your hobby with others, you’ve discovered people you genuinely like to be around.
-You’ve found a great love, something that makes you feel passionately alive – piano. You spend every spare moment developing this hobby, spending weekends at specialty music stores, and a staff member at this particular store is very knowledgeable about classical piano. He invites you on a date. You two develop a love affair, inspired by your mutual muse.
Axis of Mission & Soul Memory. Cancer-Capricorn.
The 4th/10th House or Cancer/Capricorn axis represents the most intimate structures of our lives – home & family, aligning our personal mission with who we are in the world, and how we parent our self. We all want to be recognized in the world (Tenth House), to essentially get paid for being our self (Fourth House).
During this season you’ll attempt to marry your soul essence with the purposeful destiny you’ve chosen. We may have meaningful encounters with who we are, remember our legacy, discover a buried treasure from the past. We may be recognized on a whole new professional level. Cancer needs to connect to the soul essence, the deeper nature behind purpose; Capricorn needs to find a meaningful place in society which perfectly expresses that essence. An idyllic view of home, family, or the perfect career may now change because it no longer fits reality, or the person you truly are. Classic Cancer-Capricorn dilemmas: Follow your heart and the money will follow; I’ve never felt ‘at home’ in my town – should I move?; My job leaves me no room for a personal life.
Fourth House keywords: your private innermost self, home, family, roots, foundations, committed partnership/marriage/family, father (or mother), inner psychological self, introspection, imagination, psyche, your secret self, the person no one sees
Tenth House keywords: career, public image (who I am to those who don’t know me personally), personal calling, fame, who I am recognized as being in my community, recognition from VIP’s, worldly ambition, your contribution to community
Here’s how it might play out:
-You’ve been chronically dissatisfied with your job for as long as you can remember. Then your boss promotes you. This forces you to reconcile and heal who you always wanted to be with who you’re known as in the professional world. You realize that your parents never liked their jobs, either, and how this has influenced you.
-Your love life is in perpetual upheaval and now you’re starting to feel strongly about starting a family. This heart longing brings up buried memories of being abandoned by your mother or father which, you realize, explains a lot about your love life. You begin the work of parenting your self, and your inner child.
-You want to have children. You visit an astrologer to see if they can see whether children are ‘in the stars’ for you two. The astrologer gives you some dates you might conceive. You get pregnant (5th/11th eclipses) and start a family (4th/10th eclipses).
-A parent dies, and as you grieve them you wonder about your psychological and personal inheritance from them – the legacy they have left you. Some parts of their life you don’t identify with, but some parts, you do, like their un-lived talents & dreams. You discover that you want to further an inherited gift they have given you in some way.
-Your home life has been crumbling and now reveals itself as a wreck. You and your partner are ‘staying together for the family’ but now, because your children are having behavior problems and the family house is infested with mold so you’re going to have to move, that’s no longer working. Your eyes have been opened to the changes you need to make.
Axis of Perception & Expansive Growth. Gemini-Sagittarius.
During the eclipse of the 3rd/9th House or Gemini/Sagittarius axis, it’s time to expand beyond the familiar four walls of your mind. Imagine that your way of seeing your world, including your beliefs, your level of education and knowledge, is ripe for new information. Gemini/Sagittarius is the axis of learning and expansion. Why you think the way you do & why you believe what you believe needs to be examined and likely, changed.
If you think you know all the you need to know about the world, prepare to be surprised. These eclipses will shake up your mental circuitry; your perceptions and/or your worldview. Your old ways of thinking aren’t getting you where you need to be. You may need to work on communicating more effectively, or to further your education. To “make the eclipse Gods of the 3rd/9th work for you”, as astrologer Carolyn Casey says, invite new ways of believing and thinking into your world: step outside your door and say hello to your neighbors, or neighboring country. Take a class. Learn. Teach. This axis contains your mind, education, your beliefs, philosophy, spirituality and/or religion.
Third House keywords: learning, teaching, the mind and perception, neighbors and your neighborhood, how you adapt to your everyday environment, how you adapt to rapidly changing circumstances, language, communication, changes happening quickly
Ninth House keywords: belief systems, worldview, higher education, wisdom, foreign travel, gurus, culture shock, publishing, personal growth and expansion, your lens of perceiving, philosophy, the search for meaning/the bigger picture/perspective
Here’s how it might play out:
-You have always wanted to visit India. You synchronously have a conversation with a friendly native who offers you the opportunity to visit and stay at his place. It’ll be risky (you’ve never been to India!) but saying no is simply not an option. So you say yes and have the time of your life.
-You’ve been journalling about your exceptional childhood growing up in the Middle East. A writer acquaintance comes across a call for essays about growing up in Islam and encourages you to submit a piece. You do. In so doing, a whole new world opens up to you. Eventually you start earning money as a writer (that’s next, during the 2nd/8th house eclipses).
-You’re a specialist in your field and you’re interviewed in a local news article. From out of the blue someone from a University contacts you asking if you’d be a guest lecturer. You’ve never taught before. You discover that you enjoy the stimulating environment, and the students are hungry for knowledge. This eventually extends into a semi-permanent position.
-You need some more tools in your career toolkit. You feel you just can’t accomplish the visions you have in your head without adding to your knowledge base. You go back to school.
-You visit a local meditation center. After sitting in meditation there you have an encounter with a person from another country and spirituality whose backgrounds and beliefs are so diversely different from yours. You have fascinating conversations over coffee. This encounter connects you to your spirituality in a whole new way. Eventually, because of their influence on you, you take up studying a particular form of Buddhism.
Axis of Security & Mystery. Taurus-Scorpio.
The 2nd/8th House or Taurus/Scorpio axis asks you to question the solidity of the material and stuff you keep within your four walls. Stuff is an illusion; the only constant in life is change. Does that scare you? Insecurity goads you to examine the deeper questions about being an immaterial being in a material world.
With this axis we’re coming to terms with the fact that nothing is solid or permanent in this world. What are your true resources? What is unshakable and undying and confident within you? What gifts and skills are you wanting to reclaim? Not all is immaterial though; money is important. How are you managing yours? Are you in debt to another? Are you underestimating, undervaluing your skills? If the prospect of confidence & believing in yourself enough to make a financial move stirs up fear for you, psychologically investigate why. It may ask you to take a leap of faith. The alchemical processes of the Eighth House allows for transformation, the honest stripping down of what’s inessential in order to discover what’s lasting and true. There’s potential for a shamanic, magical, ancestral or mystical journey. This eclipse cycle rifles through the taboo topics of our lives: money, attitude toward possessions, sexuality, our intimate relations.
Second House keywords: money, talents/gifts/skills/resources you have that can financially support you, movable possessions, resources, where you derive your security, your ability to survive and feel safe in the world, self-trust
Eighth House keywords: your attitude toward transformation, death, grief, sexual intimacy, psychological honesty, intimate bonding, other people’s money and resources, ancestors, legacy, inheritance -material and immaterial, psychism, things we hide from others
Here’s how it might play out:
-A dear friend commits suicide, leaving you with many questions and even more chaos in your soul where you experience a ‘dark night’. You question the value of a single life and wonder who will remember you when you’re gone. Your vulnerable questioning temporarily isolates you then makes you tender, forging deeper bonds to the temporary nature of life, to the people you love.
-You reconnect with an old lover and end up sleeping together. You feel terrible about yourself in the morning, experiencing the old familiar sexual hangover yet again -a feeling of diminished self-worth. You’ve given away your pearls to swine and today you call your self on it. You begin to address the deeper issues behind your patterns of sexual intimacy.
-You aren’t feeling fairly compensated for your craft. You’re selling your work at far below market value. A friend asks whether you even value your own gifts and talents. You start to do spiritual work on scarcity, and discover a new sense of spiritual security arising in you. Because you did the spiritual-magical work, when you raise your rates people are happy to pay them.
-Your partner financially supports you which the eventuality you’d find your direction, find a job and start contributing to the household income. That day hasn’t come. You wonder if money is a measure of worth. You see the gifts you bring — like being a supportive partner and parent, which can’t be measured in dollars. You realize your self-worth is not dependent on money.
-You loan money to a cousin who just lost a job. She promises to repay you, but doesn’t. You wrestle with your emotions, realizing animosity will cost you this dear relationship. You forgive her. You’re learning lessons around spiritual generosity.