An Eclipse in the key of Aquarius

Dear Friend and Reader:

We are now in the two-day zone before an eclipse of the Moon in Aquarius. This is a critical moment for navigating the turns of our lives; a kind of break-free point; a place of resolution and continuation. Therefore, we need to move gently through this whole week. This is going to take some faith. Plenty has been begun that is not resolved; there is still plenty of doubt, uncertainty and insecurity in the air; and the sequence of events this summer has many of us feeling pretty exhausted.

This is the fourth lunation of summer; they have all been spectacular (a polite way of saying rather intense and demanding, coming with all kinds of changes), and we are feeling it. We began with the New Moon in early Cancer on the solstice; followed by an eclipse of the Moon in Capricorn; followed by a total solar eclipse in the last degree of Cancer; now followed by an eclipse of the Moon in mid-Aquarius.

In terms of the cycle of the year, this eclipse occurs with the Sun near the midpoint of a fixed sign; In Leo, this is a cross-quarter day called Lammas or Lughnasadh. The ‘first harvest’ or ‘second planting’ holiday is celebrated some time the first week of August, depending on the local traditions (sometimes Aug. 1 and sometimes Aug. 5). As an astrologer I prefer to use the crossing of the midpoint of the fixed signs, combined with the nearest major lunation; with a Full Moon on the 5th, that rings the bell.

Lammas links into the three other cross-quarter days — Imbolc or Candlemas in early February (the midwinter holiday; in the modern calendar, Ground Hog Day or Valentine’s Day), followed by Beltane in early May (midspring holiday; May Day in many societies), followed by Lammas (midsummer holiday); followed by Sahwen, Samhain or Halloween (Days of the Dead; All Saint’s Day; All Soul’s Day; Pagan New Year). Each of these days falls at the midpoint between a solstice and an equinox.

Under this calendar structure, which is determined by the position of the Sun in relationship to the tropics, there are eight, six-week seasons each year. They are all tangible turning points, and they all relate to the Aries Point. The Aries Point, or the first degree of Aries, seems to respond most vividly to aspects related to the square (90-degree relationships). This includes the semi-square (45 degrees) and the sesquisquare (135 degrees). All of the quarter-days (solstices and equinoxes) and cross-quarter days therefore talk to the Aries Point and take us into that territory where collective events cross over with personal events.

Eclipses act much the same way. Energetically, the lunar nodes have that one particular thing in common with the Aries Point: being deeply personal and acting in way that is collective. If you’re looking at a chart and trying to figure out how someone got to have so much influence or became so well known, but has nothing much going on in the 10th house, look at the lunar nodes and the condition of their ruling planets. The nodes, though, have many other properties that can be a little difficult to grasp, but bear in mind that they point to a place near where an eclipse will occur. Eclipses follow the lunar nodes. The nodes have many of the properties of eclipses: but they are like a standing wave, rather than a big crashing wave.

Wednesday’s eclipse is conjunct Nessus, though what I missed and what Tracy point out is that it’s also conjunct Psyche. She had a gander through her charts files and the only chart she could come up with that had Moon, Nessus and Psyche was that of George Lucas.

I know this chart. I once wrote a book chapter about it, called ‘The Moon is a Silver Screen’. Lucas has all of his natal planets below the horizon, and his Moon gleaming at the top of his chart like a projection screen. And it’s conjunct Nessus and Psyche, which tells you a bit about the psychology behind his screenplays.

And it may tell us about him: remember that he is the biggest director, one with enormous impact, who refused to pander to Hollywood. Instead he started his own Hollywood up in the San Francisco area, revolutionizing technical filmmaking and special effects — very much apropos of that Moon position, in Aquarius. The thing to remember is that while his films are technically revolutionary, they lack nothing for psychological and spiritual substance. His characters are unforgettable. So much for the Aquarius Moon being shallow.


This is an eclipse, however, not just the Moon. An eclipse peels back the veils and reveals what is underneath.

I would like to focus this week on two themes associated with the eclipse: the first is our use of technology as a relational forum; and the ways in which we are influenced by this thing that used to be called peer pressure. Notably much of that pressure is coming from the mass use of technology, which is in turn influencing our relationships, both the ‘social’ kind and the ‘intimate’ kind.

Let’s briefly consider some ideas about the Internet as a forum for relationships. I have said a few times that the Internet is a metaphor for a psychic field that is opening up. It is literally a new dimension of consciousness that did not exist when we were born. It bears striking similarities to the astral, mental and causal planes, except that it lends itself to documentation, to repeat visits to the same place, and we can quickly ground certain events that occur there (such as meeting people) in 3D. While this is less easy only using purely psychic portals, we face some of the same issues getting things to stick; working the Internet well takes discipline, sensitivity and an astonishing degree of creativity.

The Net offers us something else: a place to experiment; with one another, with our fantasies; with our ideas; and with relationships that presumably have a lesser degree of commitment than those conducted in physical space and time. We need this place to experiment, particularly with sexuality. And I would add, we need this dearly.

Most of what you hear is critique: how much porn there В is; how addicted people are to the Net; how it’s used as a substitute for reality; and so on. I think of it more as a dynamic fantasy world where anything is possible, within the basic guidelines of that particular dimension. You cannot physically touch someone on the Internet but you can certainly touch them mentally or emotionally; and conveying words, sounds and images is more powerful than most people imagine.

Most of us need exchanges in this dimension as much as we need to be touched and held; as much as we need to feed one another healthy food. The Internet offers us a way out of our tight little reality boxes and into a world where any idea is up for consideration. We are able to experiment with who we are, and stretch into self-concepts that might indeed help point the way to Self.

It is true that this power is rarely used to its full extent or directed in truly creative directions — but we’re gradually making progress. The thing we know about the Net is that it responds to our imagination. Most of it does not simply come at us; we have to drive it like a car in order to get anywhere. If we have the focus and resources to create a forum for ourselves, we can actually reach people and explore.

I for one am an advocate of the Net as a sexual fantasyland; as a vast hall of mirrors where we can indeed speak our desires and be heard. The Net offers safety: we don’t need to touch or physically show up. It is dangerous: attachments can form, and our investment in those contacts can be overdone and result in real pain.

For sure, it’s a space where we can ‘put ourselves out there’ and see what, or who, comes back. I suggest we honor this power of communication and contact before we critique it.

As for where to explore: I am a great fan of the site Solotouch. It is dynamic site in that the whole site is reader-written, and there are about 50,000 posts to read. What is fact and what is fantasy is for you to decide. A site in Australia called Beautiful Agony offers much of the same, only it’s visual and auditory: you see only the person’s face. You can actually contribute one of your own orgasms to the project. There are many sample videos and a couple of introductory ones, though I would put in a bid for getting a subscription for at least one month, so that you can explore the great diversity of pleasure and orgasm.

Is it real or is it fantasy?

Yours and truly,

Eric Francis

24 thoughts on “An Eclipse in the key of Aquarius”

  1. jlo. .before you read my last entry, here is a correction. Third paragraph should read:

    However, I just remembered that they are setup to go only to 2020 (real time) . . .

  2. Hi Jere,

    I DID use a day for a year and I think it is secondary progression, but I too am clueless about solar arc and other type progressions. What I did was back track 33 birthdays to get the year you were born, picked the day the Sun was 2 Sag, then looked for when Mars went direct (that year) and then counted the days in between. That’s all.

    Astrolabe ( will do a free chart for that date that will give you the ascendent and MC if you click on “free chart” then insert the exact time of your birth, along with the new date (Mars direct) and the city and state where you are now. Then you will have the “progressed” chart for your year of 2033.

    However, I just remembered that they are setup to go only to (real time) at this time so if you wanted to get a Solar Return chart from them you can get the next 11 years (the next 12 birthdays for you since you haven’t had one this year yet.)

    I really like this tool because you can compare the solar return chart to the progressed chart and get a better understanding of your state of mind/interest/feeling for any given year. It really helps to have the angles (rising sign, etc) of the chart (any chart!) as well as the change of signs the planets go through. An example of this is your progressed moon for the year 2009 will be conjunct your natal north node. Progressed Venus is also close (as she is/was for 2008 progressed chart) and depending on the house, it could be about opportunities regarding love, money, family, security or all of it! You might have something in your solar return chart that emphasises this.

    Also, your progressed Jupiter, after turning direct some years ago, is back to the degree of your natal Jupiter and this would affect your new attitude and outlook.

    I enjoy your writing (your sense of humor about your experiences especially) and look forward to hearing more tales as you travel this new path. Best of luck!

  3. You are correct B. Checking’s progressed me, 2033 is when my mars goes direct. I was using 1 day=1 year, apparently that’s for secondary progressions and solar arcs (neither one of which I’ve any clue how to work with). What is the formula for progressions?

    Thanks for the good vibes you guys! I’ll say that sobriety is probably one of the trippiest experiences I’ve had/having. It’s weird with so much activity outside my being, and the mellow evenness on the inside. I’ve given myself 2 months ’til I pick up some good organic Wolaver’s oatmeal stout and make a day of it, then I’ve 2 more months ’til my B-day and I’ll do it again. I just needed to break the pattern (and quit buckling over, salivating, and dry heaving when the thought of vodka or whiskey crossed my mind), and regain/gain control of my own will. Life was getting frustrating as a spectator. And honestly, I’ve been beyond bored.

    Have a fine evening all,


  4. jlo, correct me if I’m wrong ( been known to miscalculate) but my ephemeris (book) says your Mars should go direct in about 24-25 years, not 44. Still, I wouldn’t be holding my breath! My Mars was/is retrograde natally and if I hadn’t been involved in astrology I might not have noticed the difference when it went direct. But I did.

    Also noticed you had the south node in Taurus, so with a 12th house Mars, Dionysys and Nessus all rx and all in Cancer, who the hell needs any Pisces planets to get drunk, right? If I’ve got the correct year and all, looks like Mercury is right on your Sun too. Put it all together; sensitive, intelligent, introspective, but outgoing. . perfect setup for astrological study! As for the healing power of Nessus, I’m still working on it, but Phil’s perspective has helped me too. Here’s to your next 13 days “off”, and engaging life too.

  5. Wow, Jere, you really have your act together on both the astrological and personal levels. It’s an inspiration for me. Thank you for sharing. So many people got bruised over the last 4 weeks. It really helps my own heart to feel more balanced, hearing of your good news. It really helps my erudition when you share your astrological expertise. Please continue to contribute your observations, i’ll be looking for them, always eager to learn more.

    Way to go, jlo!
    Len Wallick

  6. B, mars is the first of those three to go direct, but that won’t be ’til I’m 77. 44 more years from 33 (those are cool looking numbers). Saturn took me aside for my return 4 years ago tomorrow. These eclipses nailed my leo setup: saturn 2, moon 18, 1st & 2nd houses. I’ve had trouble with differentiating my 2 sag sun from that saturn, now I know how trines can suck. But, I think I’m getting the hang of feeling out my saturn, moon, sun and mars dynamic. It’s like a flowing cascading feeling. And I’m pretty jazzed about my potential to engage life.

    Love ya,


  7. jlo. . curious as to when and/or if any of those 3 retrogrades went direct in your progressed chart (for this year).

  8. If i properly understand the rest of your most recent post, may i please presume to posit that we take love and tolerance as a summary of this rare eclipse cycle so recently closed.

    May this First Harvest be abundant for you.

    Thanks Len, for the blessing. It comes right back to you. Certainly, love and tolerance (the old religious word ‘forbearance’?) and, as gaelfire added, awareness of one’s own wounds’ impact, would sum things up nicely. All these things make integrity both possible and powerful.



  9. Hey al, did you check out the planet wiki entry on nessus?

    I don’t think the delineations are so different as they are issued from slightly askew viewpoints. I’ll try to bridge the comparative with my perception of my own natal position. In my chart I’ve got nessus at 2 cancer, tucked between mars at 0, and dionysus at 5, all retrograde in the 12th. Over the past 21 years I haven’t done shit ’cause I’ve been drunk. Liquor and some other stuff came on at 12 years old, part out of curiosity, and mostly out of the fact that my psychic space was getting its ass kicked and I wanted out. Parents, churches, schools… all shitty. So for all that time, mars and dionysus were kickin’ back screwin’ me over. What nessus did was make sure that the conversation between mars and dionysus always stuck to the topic of surfacing inner wounds, no matter how fucked up they got they still stuck together to work it out. In filling that position, nessus, with its “buck stops with… …personal responsibility” got me to work through the nasties that screwed with my functioning, and to drop the wounds, along with the bottle (alright, it’s only been 13 days off but, there is no struggle, and I haven’t been more than 6 days in possibly a decade, so this actually is the rest of my life…). Now that I’m through the 12th/mars/dionysus shit, I can play with the 12th/mars/dionysus groove vibe. The space where camping music festivals is where I trip out, ’cause that’s what I’ve wanted to do since the grateful dead days (and hell yeah I’ll still drink…just not with a junkie pattern, always in aware moderation!). Nessus has helped me to clear the shit, and make room to enjoy the bounty of “(throw in that last bit you posted from phil)”.

    I hope that came out coherently. My mind’s been taking a much needed breather lately, so it seems a bit sluggish.



  10. al,

    Thank you for inviting my response regarding Nessus given that, not 48 hours ago, i stuck my bigger-than-i-let on foot into my mouth and tangled the laces in my teeth.
    However, Eric recently wrote that we should be doing it for ourselves (and Nessus has no ancient astrological dogma or tradition) so let’s take a flyer and see if i can break my nose, shall we?

    You and Philip Sedgewick said worthy a lot already. Mr. Sedgewick is, in my estimation, a giant of astrology and his take on Nessus is deserving of careful consideration and respect. What i like most about Sedgewick is that he has a bit of an edge. Curious then, that his take on Nessus is less edgy than mine.

    Given that today’s penumbral lucar eclipse was pretty much on my natal Sun and given it’s placement in my natal chart (which i don’t really grok but is self-evidently prominent), i’ve had my taste lately. Given my limitations, my approach has been somewhat primitive – restraint is better than repentance.

    Please allow a bit of disclosure. Who knows for sure if Centaurs ever existed in the flesh (perhaps the result of some pre-historic genetic shenanigans)? Right, now, however, they are just an idea. The idea, however, holds some unexplainable threat to my poor widdle masculinity (cross reference Sari from Wales). Like, i should compete with that? Like, it makes sense to think that way? Like i should live so long? So, it’s a loaded subject for sure. Add to that the posited theme of universal abuse and neglect and the idea that resonates best for me is that Nessus represents an opportunity to stop blaming others, to take responsibility, to let the buck stop with me, to requite injury with healing.

    if i think i know anything, i’m convinced that we are One With, al. i invite you to accept that if you chose or eat like an owl and leave the indegestible parts on the forest floor to compost and, ultimately, nourish.

    Len Wallick

  11. Patty: “Most people go to church because they need help, not because they are already pre-packaged and ready to enter heaven!”

    Here in the South, a great many children “get saved” early in life. *Their parents tell them*, when they are about 6-7 years old, that they need help. The kid usually has no idea s/he needs help–s/he simply accepts without question the word of the authority figure who tells them so. The kid gets saved and baptized, and then spends a lot of years thinking it’s all those *other people* who need help. Then s/he realizes that the church isn’t helping very many people at all. I’m not talking about monetary charity. I’m talking about wounds dealt to the spirit. Which, in my experience, the church is very good at handing out.

    Unfortunately, I’ve met many, many people in my daily walk who’ve been through similar things.

    Me: MC 9, Chiron 7, Jupiter 4, all in Pisces/9th. The wounds are what they are, and I’m often painfully aware of them. I also encounter far too many people who like to stick hot knives in my wounded places.

    It’s not just today’s post. I’ve noticed your presence in the PW comment stream for a while, Patty. You’re one of those “godly bitches” with the knives.

    Just keeping it real.

  12. Half,
    Likewise a pleasure. You have my admiration and respect to have retained such stout integrity and strong sense self in your a demanding profession. i’ll bet your yoga (whatever form it is) is very well developed. You give me the feeling that my back would be quite safe wiith you.

    If i properly understand the rest of your most recent post, may i please presume to posit that we take love and tolerance as a summary of this rare eclipse cycle so recently closed.

    May this First Harvest be abundant for you.
    -Len Wallick

  13. I noticed that I did not copy the whole section on Nessus–here it is continued: “Nessus is a powerful healer. He insists that you open yourself to the realm of sensuality in life. Smell flowers, taste food, feel the air, enjoy touch, savor success and feel everything fully. He provides the ultimate in healing issues of converting poverty to abundance. He brings about the exchange of lust, shame and guilt for healthy physical enjoyment of life, whether explored intimately with another or in one’s relationship with the Creator.”

    I would like anyone else’s thoughts as well (Len and/or HDW…as I always enjoy your thoughts much).

  14. Hey Eric–as we head into this eclipse, I have a query. Philip Sedgewick describes Nessus quite differently…here is the description from his report: Nessus refers to a level of desire that goes beyond need. Wanting more, coveting or even qualities of lust fall
    under his influence. Nessus refers to the two juicy areas of life: monetary matters and intimate relationships.
    He seeks out the things you unconsciously want but might not be able to articulate. He notes those things you
    feel you do not deserve, yet crave. First, though, he uncovers urges and desires that may not feel comfortable
    to your “I am a good person,” belief system. But he transforms all negatives if given a chance. He works with
    you to ensure you enjoy the bounty of your relationship with healthy abundance. Nessus observes your
    financial state in life, then offers his position on what would really make you feel good in an unlimited way.
    Ultimately, Nessus’ balance would be to have enough money not to need more and not so much that it
    consumes your time and thoughts.

    I wondered what your thoughts on this were, as I know you take everything into consideration.

  15. Hi Len,

    Nice finally sharing a direct connection here. I absolutely concur about what we experience a great deal of the time. My own struggle has been protracted in working within modern bureaucratic structures. Sadly, I have rarely seen them fail to strangle the very values that originated the ideas they seek to ‘efficiently’ bring to fruition. This is largely because they externalise how value is calibrated – so making for a cosmetic fulfilment of ‘goals’ evidenced via woefully inadequate measures (quantitative, based upon outputs – rather than processes and more authentic means of measuring value).

    This bureaucratic dominance of our values means that the wrong sort of folk naturally do well within the system (largely, anal retentives!)

    In the UK there is an almost rabid detestation of Social Workers – which, as a stereotyping phenomenon, is woeful yet remains widespread. The real problem is managerialism. Managerialism values people who ‘get things done’. They steamroll things through and get respect for ‘results’, all the while alienating many.

    What is needed is the kind of leadership that humanises people – encourages them to learn from their mistakes. Such leadership is from behind and is gentle, carrying everyone along together on a collective journey, rather than a fascist imposition of the oligarchy’s values on the proles (so to speak) – or developing a shared vision, if you like.

    I am a mental health worker, and a fine one at that. It is simplistic simply to dismiss whole categories of workers and professional groupings (just as with race and culture issues) simply because tendencies exist within social groupings that have problematic aspects.

    Whenever people dismiss others simply on the basis that they are part of a group with an ethos, or certain associations, we have a problem. Still, we are all human and subject to our own painful experiences. I’m not particularly tolerant of organised religious mentalities and have to remind myself not to write people off who are zealous in such matters, as being victims. Many of them are – but NOT all. We all benefit from keeping at least one eye on the ball..


  16. Half,
    With sincere respect and no judgement, surely you would acknowledge that there are professionals who besmirch their professions by becoming hired guns for a pre-determined agenda. Witness our former Attorney General (and his minions who twisted rationale to justify torture as legal). Witness Miichael Jackson’s so-called doctor. Witness the scientists on the payroll of oil companies. When the source of the paycheck determines the truth there’s gonna be a problem.
    -Len Wallick

  17. Prescriptive positions – only a mental health worker could come up with jargon like that. Last time I checked, the conservatives enjoyed sex too, and are owners of many blogs and twitters, and I don’t know anyone, nor any church, that has a neatly packaged moral universe. Most people go to church because they need help, not because they are already pre-packaged and ready to enter heaven!

    Patty, I am sorry you have had such negative experiences of mental health workers.

    “Prescriptive positions” is not jargon, by the way! You may wish to designate it so, but that would amount to a prescriptive position..

    Plenty people have neatly packaged moral universes, buttressed by fear and hardcore religious types are often their most ardent inhabitors. Morality ALWAYS belongs to somebody else (and has an implicit punitive dimension) but within organised religion this is projected onto God as the guarantor of ultimate validity. This means that anyone seeking their autonomy in owning their experiences, body and their very life usually becomes a closet heretic, a renegade – and crippled by guilt for the privilege. Morality is for children – and not in a good way.

    And, I would contest most vigorously your view of why people ‘go to church’. Most people do not go to church because they feel they need help. If they do feel that, it is probably because they have been successfully disempowered by a tyrannical God-concept! Most people, I would suggest, go to church, because they feel they are worshipping, honouring *God* and in order to experience a sense of belonging, just as with other forms of social aggregation.

    When you deal in stereotypes you close a part of yourself off and make it hard to reach. There may be lots to explore in those places. It often helps to let go of those sorts of emotional lock-in.

  18. Wanted to point out that Asbolus at 15 degrees taurus is kickin’ a pretty tight T-square with our eclipse alignment… on the opening side of the sun/nessus setup.


  19. No but the cellphones and cameras work, and are working wonders. There is still hope, in spite of the social workers and mental health ‘experts’.

    I worked along side the mental health workers in my job for several years. Their role was always to protect the company, not help the employee. Always. ALWAYS. I’d bet a million dollars it was a military psychologist that recommended banning the facebook and twittering. At work it was the psychologists who taught us how to ask the revealing questions durng job interviews – to trap the poor soul into admitting a fault, an accident, a moment of ill temper, or a lie.

    Prescriptive positions – only a mental health worker could come up with jargon like that. Last time I checked, the conservatives enjoyed sex too, and are owners of many blogs and twitters, and I don’t know anyone, nor any church, that has a neatly packaged moral universe. Most people go to church because they need help, not because they are already pre-packaged and ready to enter heaven! Most of the military people I know (and I know many) are proud of their service and the work they have done in the regions where they served. It is only when they come home and face the ‘experts’ (those godless sons of bitches) that they run into ridicule for being damaged and are made to feel like they don’t fit in.

  20. In the news today (August 4th) the United States Marines ban social networking. No tweets in the Corps anymore. No jarheads in Facebook. While one can, of course, provide rationalization for such a measure (loose thumbs sink ships, etc) it’s clear that Eric’s net themes of peer pressure and experimental opportunities would interfere with the “tight little reality boxes” that any military organization seeks to confine their personnel to. Long ago, some of us would ask aloud, “what if they had a war and nobody came?” as a way of keeping hope alive. Now, the two themes Eric cites seem to be perceived a very real threat to our ability to make war. At least one could hope. You nailed it again, Eric.
    -Len Wallick

  21. And so the efforts of control oriented organizations and people to censor and monitor internet content and accessability.

    Helpful perspectives for sure, Eric and Half.


  22. Most of what you hear is critique: how much porn there is; how addicted people are to the Net; how it’s used as a substitute for reality; and so on. I think of it more as a dynamic fantasy world where anything is possible, within the basic guidelines of that particular dimension.
    Indeed! It is noticeable that some of the most conservative people do the critiquing, because cyberspace destabilises any neatly packaged, moral universe. Prescriptive positions and interests are threatened by this – loss of power is a real possibility.

    This experimental nature of interactions in cyberspace is precisely the therapeutic aspect that people who have experienced social de-skilling due to psychological damage, can benefit richly from (if guided properly). In fact, I have utilised facebook before now as a recovery tool, in my work in the field of mental health, as a method of reconnecting with one’s world safely.

    In fact, the simile of human connectivity being like technological connectivity, is highly conducive to my mind. It is rich indeed.

    Thanks for sharing this insight, Eric, and for outlining the salient astrology.

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