Total Lunar Eclipse of Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007
By Eric Francis and Kirsti Melto | Lunations
THE AUGUST FULL MOON is a total lunar eclipse on the North Node and falls at 4+ degrees of the sensitive water sign Pisces — the last sign of the zodiac. This will be followed on Sep. 11 by a partial eclipse of the Sun in Virgo. There remains one more eclipse along the Virgo/Pisces axis — a total lunar eclipse on Feb. 20, very close in degrees to Monday’s. From this point on, the eclipses move to the Leo/Aquarius axis for about the next 18 months.
One dominant theme of this eclipse is about family relationships: the model we inherit from our parents, and which goes back about three generations. This is a theme of the minor planet Pholus (a centaur planet, much like Chiron), which is prominent in this chart.
Pholus speaks of an emotional release; a release from those models, and into a new reality — sometimes with breathtaking speed. It is the Centaur or rapid transformations. Its keynote is, “Small cause, big effect.” Other planets and asteroids only emphasize the same theme. But the D-words associated with Neptune — denial and drugs — come in as strong themes as well. The chart cautions us not to take the wrong path, as there are two major options and a branching of the road indicated. You could say that one branch goes toward the past, and the other goes toward a future that is different from the past.
Whether visible in your area or not, eclipses are usually experienced as high-intensity events that seem to draw us through a vortex.
They come with a surge of energy that we can either ride like a sailboat in a good wind, or get shocked by, sometimes both. The key to eclipses is to work with a high level of awareness, pay attention and make your choices as consciously as possible. In the season of eclipses, get ready to shift gears, to go to a new level or to have some other kind of break in continuity. Time seems to accelerate; events arrive with more significance; the impact of our choices is magnified.
If you take conscious steps, you will be directed more closely onto your true life path. Notably, this eclipse falls with a few days of a sign-change by Saturn (about to enter Virgo on Sept. 2). So there is a great deal of emphasis on the Virgo/Pisces axis at the moment.
Pisces is traditionally considered the realm of dreams and fantasies, but more holistically, it is the realm of the imagination. Pisces at its best knows no limits. Everyone has Pisces in their chart, as well as its associated planets, Jupiter and Neptune, so everyone is affected by this eclipse somewhere, somehow. It is also true that eclipses are among the most collective of astrological events — they affect people in large groups, and also reach us profoundly on an individual level.
The Moon disappearing for a few moments in this sign is like a veil being pulled back, or a doorway opening, that leads to another realm of possibilities. Too often, we look around us and we see the past. We expect people to act like they acted in the past, and we expect them, moreover, to fill the roles established by our family of origin. This eclipse reminds us that something else is possible.
The Realm of Imagination
Because it is associated with the imagination, it is also the sign associated with deception, denial and altered-state experiences of any kind. Many things hinge on the Pisces factor, particularly on how vigilant we are about this odd human psychological thing called denial — pretending that something is not so or does not exist.
A crucial Pisces factor is also about the influence of drink and drugs in families, and how this impacted the ability of you and the people around you to tell the truth about how you feel, or to have that truth be heard.
This eclipse could be a moment of total transparency, when you see through the veils of the world, discover the truth about yourself or someone else, and open a portal to much greater possibilities than you ever thought possible. The only way to do that is to live your truth boldly, and to step away from the things you were told about yourself when you were younger that are not true.
Pisces, symbolized by a fish, is the symbol of the Age of Pisces, that is, the 2000-year historic era that is in theory associated with Jesus and his teachings; one symbol of Christianity is the fish, and at its best, Christianity is the religion of unconditional love, arriving with the Piscean theme, “We are all one.”
Pisces is often depicted with two fish swimming in opposite directions, attached to one another. The zodiac ends with an image that polar opposites are inseparable. Like many signs, it is dualistic in nature, but in this form the dualism suggests the inseparable nature of seeming opposites.
Yet an eclipse in Pisces, particularly in aspect to Pholus, is the release from something, and into something else; it is a transition within the sphere of what we think is possible, and what we will admit is possible — one of the key factors that either limits humans, or sets them free from their limits.
Mutable Grand Cross
The Sun-Moon opposition (which always occurs at a Full Moon or lunar eclipse) forms a mutable Grand Cross with the centaur planet Pholus at 3+ degrees Sagittarius and the main belt asteroid Dionysus at 5+ degrees Gemini. Both of these small worlds possess similar themes, of emotional or psychic release, altered states or rapid transformation. Both Dionysus and Pholus are (astrologically) cousins of Neptune, though they also have an energetic intensity that is similar to Pluto and Chiron.
According to Greek mythology, the centaur (half man, half horse) Pholus had in his possession a jar of wine, which was a gift from Dionysus and common property of all the Centaurs. Pholus had kept the wine safe for three generations. Then Heracles, the great hero, visited Pholus one day and asked for some wine. Pholus, who was supposed to guard the wine, yielded to the pressure of this famous warrior in his presence and opened the jar. Other centaurs in the neighborhood became intoxicated with the smell. The result of it was a huge riot and chaos.
Pholus points to multigenerational issues. It tells us what we have taken on from our grandparents and great grandparents, including matters involving addiction and sacrifice.
Pholus has a way of making fast or even instantaneous transitions and healing processes whereas Chiron tends to makes slow ones. It’s as if Pholus says: “Three generations? That’s enough! You figured it out! Now you’re free!”
Free from what? Pholus squares the Sun and Moon of the eclipse, suggesting we can free ourselves of both the Mother and Father complexes — how we drag our parents around inside us for most of our lives.
Pholus recently stationed direct at 3+ degrees Sagittarius on Aug. 15 after a retrogradation period of five months, so it is slow and powerful in the visionary sign Sagittarius.
Dionysus, opposite Pholus in the chart, is the ancient Greek god of wine, fertility and ecstasy. He was depicted as a young and attractive man, wearing a crown made of vine leaves and grapes and holding a staff. He was also known as the Liberator. He traveled from land to land, taught people the art of making wine and spread drunken ecstasy everywhere he went. He was followed by singing, noisy and wild revelers, many of them women. Peak experiences and pushing things past the limits are attributes of Dionysus and in spite of the strong Neptunian association he can be rather associated with Pluto.
Remember that Dionysus is also associated with Pluto, the god of progress and evolution. It was Richard Tarnas who first referenced this association, most recently in his book Cosmos & Psyche. He references the intense ecstatic experiences of the 1960s, when Uranus and Pluto were in a conjunction. If you want a modern image of Dionysus, he said recently, think of Mick Jagger — pushing everything and everyone to the edge.
Jagger and many of his Sixties counterculture leaders were the cause of much dissent in families and helped symbolize the “generation gap” that characterized that era of history so clearly.
Also of Note: Other Asteroids
Asteroid Pandora in Virgo squares Pluto on the Galactic Core. The energy of Pandora resembles that of Pholus: a sudden release; the opening of something (a box, rather than a jar); and the irrevocable changes associated with that opening.
Pluto is sextiled (60 degree aspect, of balance and harmony) by four objects in conjunction in Libra, namely centaur Chariklo, and the asteroids Juno, Bacchus and Hidalgo. This quadruple conjunction partly repeats the same kind of energies that the members of the grand cross pattern in this chart represent. Roman Bacchus is equivalent to Greek Dionysus, with themes connected to Neptune.
Hidalgo is a complex asteroid dealing with themes of rebelling against hypocrisy. Hidalgo speaks to the perplexing hypocrisies presented to us by culture, the ones we have to swallow every day and are often humiliated in so doing. Hidalgo is about our response to absurd social hypocrisies, whether or not we revolt against them, and how we do it. This is a major factor in many families, where the “culture” of the families makes certain behaviors and ideas automatically unacceptable, inviting younger people to rebel against them by one means or another.
Chariklo is a centaur planet discovered in 1997. The orbit of Chariklo crosses that of Uranus, making her a highly charged factor for rebellion, like her mythical husband Chiron. Astrologically she is about compassion and emotional connection.
Juno is the third asteroid ever discovered (1804). In Roman mythology she is the wife of Jupiter and the queen of the gods. She could also throw lightning bolts like Jupiter, and was known for her jealousy (not just of Jupiter and his many love affairs, but in many other instances). Astrologically, Juno represents the institution of marriage, partnership dynamics, fidelity and jealousy.
The theme of Juno, so dominant in so many families, where parents are jealous of one another, and often of their own children, is a meaningful point to meditate on. Does jealousy really serve us? What is its purpose, and what is its origin? Is it worth the fuss, and does it persist in the world because we are so attached to it?
Chariklo and Hidalgo, sharing space in Libra with Juno, offer other perspectives: keep a balanced mind; meet jealousy with compassion; and perhaps consider some innovative way to rebel against this oppressive mental phenomenon by raising awareness if you are in pain. We can do better than we have in the past — and there is another way.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, August 24, 2007, #677 – By ERIC FRANCIS
Aries (March 20-April 19)
Gradually you are gaining the focus and motivation to do the things you want to do. If you didn’t hold yourself to such a high standard, you would achieve greater things. I am not recommending that you aspire to mediocrity. Rather, I propose that you slip into the rapidly moving waters of inspiration, and let the experience be about movement rather than arriving anywhere. There is an element to creating (in any form) that involves focus and discipline, and another aspect that involves letting go into what feels like boundless chaos. You are in the second stage right now. Forget who you think you are, or better yet, go to the place where it’s impossible to remember.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You are remembering, and you are forgetting — praise the gods, and your own passionate drive to eat, drink and feel life, that you have finally gotten around to doing both. You are remembering the long-forgotten details of who you are. You are forgetting the painful way you were taught to replace the nuances of your existence with judgment, a sense of frailty and an obsession over being right. Bear in mind that the first thing we need to remember about the past is that it is an interpretation. It is not the truth, and it is not a direct recording of events, feelings or experiences. All in all, we could sum up this phase of your life by saying that your interpretation is changing fast.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Mars is getting into position to make some sparks in your professional life, and you may find yourself feeling full of rebellion and the urgent drive to make progress. If you have a boss, the chances are he or she is just as much of a revolutionary as you are, it’s just cleverly disguised. Don’t make this person an adversary. The way to do that is to proceed on your journey of disentangling yourself from ideas that quite literally immobilize you. We are all taught to play games, but the games we play against ourselves are the ones that do us the most damage. The antithesis to any game is to begin by telling yourself the truth about what you want and how you feel.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You are gaining momentum, but more to the point, you are removing certain ideas from your psychic library that have presented serious obstacles to your progress in the past. In essence, emotional needs you did not clearly identify were making it difficult for you to think clearly, to plan effectively, or to have any idea of what your true long-term objectives were. With these false realities out of the way, you will be able to connect with your longed-for long-range vision. Here is a clue, however: long range does not mean far away, or far in the future. Its roots exist in the moment you’re currently standing in, in the place where your feet are touching the ground.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
The solution to a financial crisis is available, indeed, it is inevitable — and trying to make itself known to you. Get it out of your mind that you’re going to do this alone; you need help, and you have that help. Of the few truisms we can make about Leo, your pride seems to prevent you from being too dependent on others, or from letting it be known that you are even in a position of need. Resources don’t flow on their own; they require information and guidance, which will come from you. Part of what you are gaining is an understanding of a new kind of financial commitment, based on a clear understanding and intentional strategy.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Imagine that you have been walking around with a psychic sheet over your head that prevents you from sensing the people and places around you. Clearly you would have a hard time sensing yourself in this situation because we get to know ourselves through a vast experiment of trial and error in relation to the world around us. I would propose that suddenly, not only do many things around you become clearer, but your response to them becomes more vivid. In the process, you may notice an ominous sense that the world, and your world, are changing, yet consider that these are exactly the changes you said you needed.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You may not know what to believe, or who to believe; everything that you once held to be true is now looking at itself in the mirror. Yet the pressure is mounting to know, to understand, and to act on a new depth of understanding life. At this point, even the quest for understanding counts for success. Why is that? Typically, so few people ever even dare to look for their own truth, much less any objective version of the truth. Usually, this is born of two things: the belief that it does not exist, and more to the point, the desire to believe what is not true. You can afford neither so-called luxury right now.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You seem to exist in an environment where loyalties are shifting, where many past questions are coming up, and where you may fear certain events that happened in the past. The more fear you are feeling, the less you are experiencing and applying your creative gifts, and by that, I mean the natural creativity of your soul — the creativity which gives you life. Take a moment and go where you fear to tread. Let yourself dare to be some aspect of who you are deep inside. Risk offending the people around you, or someone close to you, by being different than they expect. This will put you in touch with a deep, extraordinary layer of impulsive originality, authentic brilliance and the craving for freedom that always gets its way.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
On and off, your home life threatens to take over and seemingly to topple all that you have achieved. This is not really true; the problem is that you are trying to look through a fog on certain issues, and you often experience the headlight phenomenon. You know, you’re driving in a fog, and you turn on your high beams, and visibility gets worse. When looking through a fog, you have to use low light, because most of what you see is a chaotic reflection. Where a particular family matter is concerned, keep your awareness on dim, and don’t strain your vision. Feel into those spaces where there seems to be nothing: indeed, there is something.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
You have made great strides in your project of taking a playful attitude toward life, and not letting the details get in the way of your quest for truth. You have a pleasant shock coming: an overwhelming experience of remembering a vast database of knowledge from the past. This past may be past lives, it may be a past body of work, it may be genetic memory — but an inheritance of knowledge is coming your way. It is not surfacing for no reason. You need it, you know you need it, and I suggest you not refuse your impulse to teach and share that wisdom. In truth, these days and weeks come with your taking up your true mantle of your earthly mission, as a teacher.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
The upcoming pair of eclipses sweeps across the money and shared resources angle of your solar chart. Something big is up, and it’s something that you’ve been building up to for a long time. Remember that all matters involving resources come right back to questions of survival, which is a question of life, and that in turn has a sexual element. To navigate the waters you are in, I suggest you start by never forgetting that sexual element, and not allowing yourself to pretend that it’s not there. Behind the seemingly logical exterior of life, and of agreements and contracts, for most people there exists the primal crisis of struggling to survive on an isolated planet.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
This week’s total eclipse of the Moon in your birth sign opens the way to your future. The way to the future is right now, and that is convenient because right now is a truly compelling moment. This moment, in an odd and cosmic way, contains all that you need to know; all the information about how to access the deeper layers of your creative joy, your revolutionary tendencies and your commitment above all else to being as free and as authentic of a person as you can be. You are being invited to let go of an illusion about yourself, and in its place, embrace something real, compelling and inevitable in the best sense of the word.