Total Lunar Eclipse of February, 2008

By Kirsti Melto and Eric Francis| Lunations

ALL ECLIPSES give us a chance to enter into a new territory. A potent total lunar eclipse on Feb. 20 (in the States) 21 (in the UK and Europe) occurs in the second degree of Virgo. It takes place in a region called the Sphinx Point on the Leo-Virgo cusp, one of the most fertile places of the zodiac. It is a place where passion meets mind.

The Moon here adds extra feminine energy into the blend, though the Sun plays an important counterpoint, balancing out the lunar energy. The part-imaginary, part-real zones where two astrological signs meet are always interesting because the transition between two different energies releases a lot of potential for originality. Leo to Virgo is helpful because it emphasizes the discipline necessary to sustain creativity.

Virgo is one of the signs associated with Chiron, and Chiron heals through raising awareness. In the eclipse chart Chiron at 17+ degrees Aquarius makes precise aspects to several planets: a semisextile (30-degree meeting, or one sigh away) Uranus in Pisces, burning with curiosity; it makes a square to the nurturing Ceres in Taurus, challenging us to meet our body’s needs; and a quincunx to Varuna, the great equalizer, in Cancer.

Planets are still grouped in Aquarius, one of the signs of technology. Besides Chiron there are Mercury (now direct), Nessus, Neptune and the North Node. Venus entered Aquarius on Feb. 17 putting the emphasis on companionship and independence in relationships.

The eclipse chart’s Sun is still in a wide conjunction with imaginative Neptune in Aquarius, the ruler of Pisces. The Sun is exactly conjunct sparkling Vesta, the brightest of asteroids. Retrograding Saturn in Virgo in opposition to these planets and conjunct the Full Moon gives the necessary grounding.

The Moon is conjunct Saturn and both are trine Pluto in early Capricorn. This is a gentle invitation to deal with reality.

Pluto is square Bienor at the Aries Point, an aspect which will be in place for a long time because both Pluto and Bienor move so slowly. Bienor carries the idea of whether we put our strength to work for us, or against us.

Mars in Gemini, which recently stationed direct, is very close to its last opposition to the Galactic Core for this cycle. Here, the energy of the warrior and of desire is trying to decide what it wants. Gemini often represents a decision; the Galactic Core, looking back at Mars, is a question of how we conceive of desire as part of a self-image. We tend to think of it as “unspiritual,” without recognizing that without the engine of desire deep in the human psyche, little would happen on our planet.

Soon, Mars opposes Pluto in Capricorn for the third time. This represents the long working out of some kind of confrontation. Situations that seem highly polarized now will seem less so after these two important oppositions — Moon to Sun and Mars to Pluto — work themselves out.

Mars in late Gemini is square Pallas in Pisces, the asteroid of mind. Pallas is the archetype of strategy, law, wisdom and protection. So this is a question of whether what we want goes along with out strategy for how to get it. For sure, the question will arise.

Asteroid Atlantis, one of the minor planets representing technology, is retrograde in the late degrees of Libra, hovering over the cusp of Scorpio — the sign ruled by Pluto and Mars. Atlantis carries a theme of “whether we are all doomed” or something imminent that may be in our imagination, or lurking in our DNA from ancient history. Still, it often seems that our current world leaders bear some resemblance to the Atlantians who did not know better than to ease off on their greed and do something productive with all the technological power they had in their hands.

We till have a chance to learn. We might ask — do we use our technology for beauty? Or do we merely use it for power and profit? Beauty seems the way to go, and the cosmos will surely be offering something unusual, passionate and aesthetically beautiful in the form of tonight’s total eclipse of the Moon.

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