Bursting Free: Solar Eclipse in Taurus

Dear Friend and Reader:

Yesterday we began our experience of a solar eclipse in Taurus. The nice thing about eclipses is that their effects last a while. Some astrologers say a few months, many say six months, though as I do lots of world horoscopes, I’ve noticed that the eclipses have effects that can last many years. So think of this as a beginning.

An opening into the East Woods on the Grandmother Land in High Falls, NY. Photo by Jenna Dern.

This eclipse looks like it has the potential to be an especially long-lasting one. On Tuesday as I was doing my Planet Waves FM webcast about yesterday’s eclipse (which also includes a reading about the young women who escaped captivity in Cleveland Monday) I started to wonder when was the last solar eclipse in Taurus. In theory, it should have been about nine years ago.

That’s because eclipses move in an approximately nine-year cycle, following these points called the lunar nodes. Solar eclipses should follow the nodes, but sometimes they skip signs. I’ve seen this twice before. By my reckoning (using this reliable tool programmed by my friend Tracy), when the lunar nodes (which travel as an axis) passed through Taurus and Scorpio in the early 2000s, there were no solar eclipses in Taurus.

Therefore, the most recent solar eclipse we experienced in Taurus was during the prior nodal cycle, on April 29, 1995. There also was a solar eclipse in Taurus in the same degree as the one that happens later Thursday on May 10, 1994.

Gee, that eclipse in 1995 was 18 years ago. Why is this delay significant? Eclipses represent an evolutionary process, helping us move from one place to another. They are the most dependable events for helping us to shift continuity, let go of past habits and attachments and enter new territory.

When a type of eclipse has skipped a sign, it suggests there’s been a kind of delay or pause in the evolutionary process in the area of our lives that sign represents. It might mean ‘stuck’ and it might mean ‘extra long gestation process’ on a particular theme. Further, this suggests we have some catching up to do, with which we’ll have some help from yesterday’s significantly potent Taurus New Moon eclipse (which was exact Thursday, May 9 at 8:28 pm EDT).

Rocks along the Atlantic Ocean near Portland, Maine. Photo by Eric.

This eclipse is conjunct two asteroids, to the degree: Pallas Athene and Lilith. Both Taurus and Pallas Athene are exemplary at maintaining appearances. They can create an exterior that’s impeccable, and often necessary for many kinds of social situations. Lilith, the ‘original woman’ from Medieval mythology, is what exists beneath that appearance. I read Lilith as ‘the woman within’, the one who won’t be subjugated by expectations or social circumstances.

Opposite the eclipse is Psyche in Scorpio — another image of what is under the surface: deep motives, and an element of pain, which emerges from a crisis of faith. Psyche asks the questions about how we could be loved, and whether we’re worthy of it. That’s not a statement but rather a question to resolve.

To one side of the eclipses there are squares coming from Diana and Icarus in Aquarius. There’s an element of protection (Diana, goddess of the hunt, who stands guard over young women) and an impulse to escape (Icarus, the guy caught in the maze who flew too close to the Sun).

To the other side of the eclipses is Dionysus in Leo, one of the most important mythological figures in all of ancient Greek lore. He’s described as the god of the grape harvest, of wine and of ritual madness and ecstasy. He represents another side of the impulse to escape — from the bonds of rationality.

I think the core aspect among these asteroids is Dionysus square Pallas: the inner impulse to liberate and shed the thick armor of personality, and Pallas, who in many ways embodies that armor (in which she was born). There is tension in this square, and it’s being emphasized by the eclipse (all of these aspects are within a one-degree orb of the eclipse).

Photo by Eric Francis.

The theme is that something in you wants to burst free. It’s not satisfied to live for appearances, for how proper you are, how predictable, how willing to subvert your own natural desires.

This has been going on for a while, as if it’s been gradually building. You may think it’s merely an impulse to escape. I would say it’s an impulse to evolve, to make contact with the inner person you contain and allow him or her to have a voice, to experience their feelings and to have a place in the world.

Yes, other people will have to deal with it, but in fact, they always do.

This sensation might come with the feeling of bursting free, though it’s not a matter of all or nothing, but of taking sincere steps, which include taking the risk of letting people know who you are and how you feel. Remind yourself that you have nobody to impress; you’re living your life and it’s not for anyone else to tell you whether that’s right or wrong, nor for you to judge yourself based on what someone else might think.

If events conspire to make that happen a little faster than you might have expected (which can happen where there’s been a long delay, or when you’ve never tried something you really want), I suggest you go with the flow of the cosmos. She has you held in her wisdom, and knows that you were born to love and live as you choose.

Other factors in this eclipse suggest that potent spiritual forces are at work to help us get where we want and need to be. Offer your cooperation and they will return the favor.


Weekly Horoscope for Friday, May 10, 2013 #949 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — How can you value yourself if you’re afraid to show the world who you are? The two concepts form a direct contradiction to one another. I suggest you monitor your thoughts carefully for any hint of ‘restrain yourself’ or ‘don’t say how you feel’ and notice whether these impulses are connected to the issue of worthiness. It’s true from one limited point of view that there’s an appropriate time for everything. The question is what side of the line of appropriateness do you choose to err on? You can practice conservatism as a veiled form of living in fear, or you can err on the side of expressing yourself in that moment when you might be pushing boundaries. You’re safe doing this as long as you’re actually coming from what you truly value. In the process, you’re just as likely to discover that what you thought was true for you no longer is. This implies conducting your life as an experiment, which in turn hints at not knowing the outcome in advance.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — This may be a time in your life unlike any other, and I do mean in some profound ways. I am also speaking in the longterm — you’ve just experienced the first solar eclipse in your birth sign since 1995, suggesting that you can move long-stuck energy, and bring desires to fruition that have potentially been brewing all that time. Yet to take advantage of the moment and its opportunities for growth and celebrating life, it’s necessary to go beneath the image you wish to portray to the world and offer the substance you’re made of. This can be challenging if past experiences of revealing yourself have ended badly — and who hasn’t had some of those? One thing to keep in mind is that people in your environment are making contact with some of their deepest insecurities. They may or may not be revealing that; they may be more or less aware of what’s happening. Pay special attention to sexual situations that seem to provoke the fear of intimacy, or some form of jealousy. There’s more potential for healing in those situations than you may imagine.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — The current astrology has you on a tour of the unknown, uncharted, unacknowledged regions of your psyche. This is likely to come with some form of the message that there’s a lot you don’t know about yourself. Few people are comfortable with that feeling, but when you’re there, you’re there. Yet sincere not knowing is the state that usually precedes sincerely finding out. If you work with this equation over the next few weeks, you’re almost certain to make some discoveries that will help you guide your life in the direction that you’ve been called for a long time. You’re unlikely to have certainty in advance that the choices you make are right. Indeed, you seem to be going through an encounter with your own doubts. You need to go beyond your opinions or your feelings to do this. Rather, document your observations, particularly those of a spiritual or self-realization nature. At times you may find yourself in a dreamlike state, and you may forget things that you see and experience. When the time comes to know and remember, you will be happy you’ve left yourself some notes.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — It’s a frightful thought for most people to have their innermost self or innermost thoughts known to others. Think of all the effort that goes into putting up various veils, decoys and disguises. Consider all the thought that goes into being polite, stating things in oblique ways and even learning how to tell creative white lies. Now imagine how much energy all of this image-building creates — and tune into the feeling of how all you really want to do is be real. You may be bursting to express what is true and what is most valuable to you. I suggest you take this as a moment when you can initiate that, or step up your efforts and be more bold than usual. You may find this idea helpful. Your solar chart suggests that it’s obvious to others who you are, so you don’t need to worry about anyone finding out something new. The question is your relationship to who you actually are. Avoidance or denial will consume your energy; sincerity and willingness to be clear and vulnerable will concentrate and focus your energy.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — It’s worth considering the differences between the perception of success and actual achievement. It’s also worth considering the relationship between them — there is one. People seem more inclined to bet on who they think looks like a winner, vote for who looks like president or invest in a company with a strong image. The pattern in yesterday’s solar eclipse describes you integrating the two ideas — what you’ve accomplished and presenting what you’ve accomplished in a way that focuses attention. The chart also includes the description of a longterm project coming to fruition financially; one of the things described involves the financial rewards of your work. This is something that can grow and develop over time, on every level: economic, creative and also social. The social piece is integral to everything, since both outreach and fostering cooperation are essential to almost any venture or project that is focused on people, and these factors are especially strong. I suggest you work them consciously, because what you focus on will have a tendency to increase.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You’re being invited into a new universe of possibilities, and to get there, it’ll help significantly if you leave a number of old beliefs and mental habits behind. Many of these look like some of the stereotypical self-critical Virgo issues, though as anyone born under your sign knows, that’s neither a myth nor a legend. Be aware of all beliefs that would qualify as hostile to yourself. These have had a way of turning into a religion, and you need a better one of those — one that’s worldly and practical and that has your happiness and success as its primary goal. Speaking of religion, I’ve often noticed the extent to which people underestimate the impact of religion. This can include what came by osmosis (from various sources, ranging from grandparents to movies to the Boy Scouts). I suggest you pay attention and inquire whether any vaguely negative or self-hostile thought doesn’t have its roots in a religious notion, whether you consciously chose it or not. It’s time for a mental purge of all such influences, which will help you discover what they’ve been hiding from your view.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — This is a time of resolving your old commitments and entanglements, and moving on to a life that may take you far from anywhere you’ve ever been before. I suggest you summon your sense of adventure and your faith in yourself and get ready to make a series of moves. Don’t waste your time delaying on resolving what you know you’re through with. Make a list of the remaining points to address or work through and set a short schedule for doing so. You are being called beyond those prior attachments, commitments and ideas of who you need to be to others. This may include being drawn to other parts of the country or the world, and beginning what looks like it could be the adventure of a lifetime. This may feel like expressing another aspect of yourself entirely, a hidden side or some parallel reality that you might not have expressed under more typical circumstances. Yet if ever there was a rare moment in your life, this is it.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Give partners or loved ones a chance to meet you on their own terms — and see if that’s acceptable to you. There’s a good chance that when someone you care about or have an interest in finds their own way in life, it will have some significant overlap with your ideas or your plans. Yet a key element in this scenario is that whoever we’re talking about comes to whatever conclusion or decision they are going to make on their own, rather than under your influence. Part of what they’re experiencing is feeling too influenced by others, and wanting with every cell in their body not to feel that pressure. As for your own involvement, it would be healthy of you to diversify a bit, and to explore a concept of relationship that does not insist on a high level of attachment or even involvement. Our marriage-obsessed culture tends to do things backwards, like set a goal of a ‘permanent’ partner rather than exploring a process of seeing who you trust, who you like and what you have in common.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — It’s important to know how much is enough, which includes enough work, enough attention to your health, enough time or effort spent on something and enough emphasis on the idea of relationships rather than the reality. No sign description of Sagittarius that you’ll ever read would say, “These people are good at living a balanced life,” though it’s clear that one of the inevitable longterm projects you’re involved with is one of balance. The way the scale is tipping right now, some balance in the direction of what actually makes you happy would serve you well. This would include being alert for what aggravates, irritates and eats your energy. I suggest you also be alert for what you have not completed, and set about the task of wrapping things up with that person or aspect of your life. At the moment, everything in your chart is guiding you in the direction of closure. You’re about to have access to a lot of energy — I do mean a lot — and you don’t want to waste it dragging behind you anything you don’t really want or need.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — I’ve described this week’s solar eclipse as moving heaven and Earth — and that is certainly true for you. Eclipses have long-lasting effects; this one isn’t over. It actually just began, and what’s interesting is that there hasn’t been a solar eclipse in Taurus since 1995 — an unusually long time. So this signifies setting free an awesome amount of energy in the creative zone of your chart — your solar 5th house of play, art, pleasure and sex for fun. Since it’s also about children, you might want to monitor changes in their lives if you have any, though let’s stick to you. You could say that this eclipse is about letting go in all of the places where you’ve tended to hold back. As you let go, you may notice that some deeper themes or issues come up. Creativity, love, passion and pleasure all tend to bring up everything unlike themselves. So as you explore your more expressive side, leave some room for what comes up for healing — and the energy to address that.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You may think that you have to get your life in order, or feel perfectly secure, before you dare to express yourself creatively. However, that’s a setup for not expressing yourself much at all, since it’s rare that our lives are in perfect order (and besides, creativity thrives with at least a dash of chaos or challenge). It’s worth questioning these kinds of if/then statements: if I’m healed, or perfect, I can do this or that. Often the healing or the ‘perfecting’ comes in the process of creation, or of somehow taking action. Said another way, creative and sexual experiences are part of the normal flow of life, not the outcome of some special effort, or state of deserving. The confidence you seek you will find through taking chances, not by waiting until you’re confident to take a chance. There may be some obvious signs that this is true, for example an alluring opportunity that you might try if you felt up to it, but which you can still try, even if you’re not sure.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — We’ve all heard the term “Think globally, act locally.” The idea is reputed to come from a Scottish town planner and urban theorist named Patrick Geddes (1854-1932). Geddes also gave us the idea of a ‘region’ and coined the term ‘conurbation’, which describes a metropolitan area where towns and cities seem to overlap. These are all themes that relate to how Thursday’s solar eclipse aspected your chart. In a sense, it’s about claiming the space you occupy, though it’s more of the regional space: your community and local slice of the orange on which you live. It’s also describing your relationship to your neighbors and the people in your community, encouraging you to invest your energy locally to the greatest extent possible. There’s likely to be a beautiful result if you do. One other thing — this is the year when you take concrete steps to improve your quality of life, specifically in the spaces that you occupy. This happens every now and then, though the conditions are perfect for creating more space, better space and better use of space. That, in turn, is about creating harmony between your life and your world.

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