Eclipses: Point Your Canoe Straight Down the River

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen

Dear Friend and Reader:

We are in the season of eclipses. This is another one of those situations where you could say that such events tend to represent an acceleration of the historical process and a concentration of experience. But these days, who can tell?

Let’s see if we can sort this out.

A solar eclipse is approaching overnight April 19 to April 20, and a lunar eclipse takes place with the Sun on the Beltane cross quarter, on May 5. Both take place in Mars-ruled signs, Aries and Scorpio.

In the next set of eclipses, coming in October, are both in Venus-ruled signs: the solar in Libra, followed by a lunar in Taurus. I’ve never noticed this kind of pattern; I am curious how it will manifest.

If you look up eclipses in an old book, you will discover that astrologers of yore say they represent blights, pestilences, seditions, anguish, scarcity, plus various mischiefs, sorceries and calamities thrown in for good humor. This is starting to sound like your average day on the planet.

Eclipses are the original astrological omens (meaning a predictive augury), and their abuse is part of what gives astrology a bad rap. We’ve all heard the story of Magellan telling the natives he had the power to make the Sun go away, and Columbus (using an almanac by Regiomontanus) saying he had the power to make the Moon go away.

Modern psychological astrology looks at eclipses more kindly, as points of transition and transformation.

Chart for the Great American Eclipse, 2017.

Sometimes They Are Really Weird

However, eclipses do occasionally live up to their old reputation and arrive with unusual difficulties for society. A powerful eclipse on the summer solstice of 2001 (an Aries Point event) should have predicted not just the events of Sept. 11, 2001, but also the total revolution and changes in the world that would result.

Nothing like that was in the discussion, and no astrologer who made a prediction saw what was coming. One (writing in an almanac) predicted terrorism that day; another (in a scholarly article) predicted a war with Afghanistan. None even hinted at the total, irreversible transformation of the world into a national security state. None hinted at a false-flag event.

Going back a generation, Bush War I was commenced within days of a solar eclipse in Aquarius. At the time, it felt like the world was ending.

Other times, there is a lot of drama but no disaster. A good example of that was the grand cross-total solar eclipse of August 1999. This truly outstanding chat came complete with a Nostradamus quatrain about the “great king of terror” coming from the sky, within weeks. The eclipse coincided within hours with the Cassini Space Probe flying by (on its way from Venus to Saturn) loaded with 72 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium. Had that entered the Earth’s atmosphere and burned up, there would have been big problems for all of us.

Cassini’s flyby of the Earth went flawlessly. The plutonium (i.e., the entire spacecraft) was ultimately ditched into Saturn’s atmosphere in 2017. This was done to avoid any risk of the plutonium striking and contaminating one of Saturn’s natural satellites, some of which resemble proto-Earths and might harbor nascent life.

Then there is the grand scheme. The all-but-forgotten Great American Eclipse of 2017 cut a swath of darkness across the continent from the Pacific to the Atlantic for the first time in recorded history. This represented the vicious division of the nation that accelerated under the Trump administration, followed soon after by the entire country, its friends, its families and its institutions, being ripped apart by the “covid” scenario.

Charts for the two eclipses.

Eclipse Influence in the Human World

To understand eclipses, keep in mind that they combine the effects of three different cycles — the Moon, the Sun and the lunar nodes. These affect several elements of space and time, so they also act like a multidimensional vortex that is opening up.

In the realm of human experience, eclipses feel like an acceleration and concentration of events. One metaphor is a device called a Venturi (see illustration here, and read more interesting eclipse history). A Venturi used to be a working part of an old thing called a carburetor. It’s a narrow point in a tube that causes the acceleration of fluid flow, which turns liquid gasoline to vapor; then it can explode.

Eclipses have that sense of passing rapidly through a narrow opening and also of something volatile going on.

They can also come with the feeling that events are karmic or in some way predestined. They have that sense of “meant to be” even if you don’t like what is implied. This may or may not be a real effect. However, the lunar nodes represent a karmic process, and all eclipses activate them.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

Wrap Up Old Business

A New Moon eclipse like the one we are about to experience is a potent, urgent call to wrap up old business and prepare for something new. This is true of every New Moon, but eclipses represent metacycles — multiple cycles turning over at once — and so the effect is next level.

The thing about eclipses is that they can grab you whether you’re ready for them or not. They tend to blindside people, to sneak up and catch them unprepared. Most people don’t know they’re happening or that there could be some effect in the human world.

So, since you’re aware of astrology, part of what you can do is use them in a conscious way. That means being aware of what they are about, and setting intentions by action, not merely thinking about something. To me, “intention” means taking the steps designed to get a result or effect that you want.

One closing thought for today. Eclipses set patterns. As they approach, do more of what you want to do, rather than what you must. Set intentions by taking action, not by making plans.

Johnny holds down the beat.

The Self-Actualization Element

If you had to pick one sign that represented self-actualization, it would be Aries. Of course we can say this is true of the whole astrological endeavor. This eclipse takes place on the final edge of Aries, 10 arc minutes (one-sixth of a degree) from Taurus.

Aries has long been experiencing an influence that fragments people as individuals, pushes them out of themselves, and organizes them into pseudo-tribes: that would be Eris. That dates back a century, to the dawn of the radio era.

Since 2018, Aries has also been home to an influence that grants an ability to integrate yourself and stand apart from the crowd (Chiron). Yet this can also have a toxic effect of substituting “identity” for one’s actual self. Identity is self-concept; self is a direct experience of your core reality.

These days, a self-actualized person stands out as the adult in the room. You don’t need to have done therapy directly with Fritz Perls, or complete The Forum eight times, or participate in an ayahuasca ceremony in the rainforest or downtown Toledo.

All you have to do is show that you’re consistently capable of making rational decisions and (grading on a curve) you qualify as self-actualized. If you can think thoughts like “what is in our mutual interests?” you may even qualify.

San Francisco, may 2020. It seemed like a good idea…or did it? This is your brain under full digital conditions. Photo by Justin Sullivan.

Overexposure To Digital Conditions

The coming solar eclipse in Aries takes place right near Eris. That is calling for some reflection on who and what we have become due to overexposure to digital conditions. Most people will read that sentence without even thinking about it. That’s the problem.

It also happens as Mars approaches a 90-degree aspect to Chiron. This can be an aspect of great integrity, or of “I have more integrity than you.” It’s the perfect symbol of how uptight it’s supposedly so wonderful to be. Mars square Chiron is like having a super fun party where everyone is invited — but nobody can get in without being the right kind of person, and flashing a QR code.

We forget we can just have a party, or do the project, and skip the purity test and flaunting all that alleged virtue. Part of the peacock like-display of how wonderful one is relates to the bottom falling out on internal reality. If you don’t know who you are, and if you are not sincerely curious, it’s necessary to suit up and “be someone.”

You already are someone, though to actualize that can take practice. That is about you, not about them. This has become a real mess under digital conditions, where everything and everyone seems reduced to irrelevance. Yet that is not true. Something else is.

Meantime, when eclipses are happening, the most important thing you can do is point your canoe straight down the river. You don’t want to float sideways. The rapids are approaching. It can be fun, but there are rocks, standing waves and other obstacles.

So aim your vessel and keep your paddle in the water.

With love,

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