Total Solar Eclipse in Scorpio

Dear Friend and Reader:

Today’s edition is a recap of the total solar eclipse that takes place today, Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 5:09 pm EST. It is the first solar eclipse in Scorpio since 1995.

I’ve condensed some of the key ideas in a few different articles for this letter. [Here is an article that covers the brass tacks of the astrology in summary form.] One reminder I would offer is to use this energy to visualize the life you want; to consider the changes you want to make; and to summon yourself into harmony with the flow of life, which — combined with your clear intentions — is what will get you there.

The Sun’s corona surrounds the total solar eclipse in Leo on Aug. 1, 2008. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.

Before I get into the personal attributes of this event, notice what’s going on in the collective mind — a sex scandal involving someone who was the head of the CIA, a shirtless FBI agent, and as of this morning, John Allen, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan.

Only a rare total solar eclipse in Scorpio could come with this line from an Associated Press article, referencing the comments of a senior defense official — “He would not say whether they involved sexual matters or whether they are thought to include unauthorized disclosures of classified information.” If you’re an astrology student, you file this whole event under “Introduction to Scorpio.” But of course there is more.

This eclipse is conjunct an asteroid called Tantalus. It’s opposite one called Arachne (in Taurus). And it’s square a centaur planet called Nessus (in Aquarius). Each of these helps focus the theme of this event.

The last time the lunar nodes (which hint where eclipses will be) passed through Taurus and Scorpio was in 2003-2004. However, as occasionally happens, the cosmos served up a series of lunar eclipses in Scorpio, but no solar eclipses.

Seventeen years is a long time for there to be no solar eclipses in a sign — especially one as close to the core of human experience and consciousness as is Scorpio.

And now at long last we’re about to have one, which is sure to flush some of that rich silt up from the bottom of the river and out onto the flood plain, as well as fear, shadow material and anything else we may be hiding. When there are no solar eclipses in a sign for a long time, the feeling can be like pent-up energy behind a dam, which suddenly bursts when the eclipse happens.

With Scorpio, as mentioned above, this will include deeply personal material related to sex, death and the exchange of resources, including potentially the zones where all these things blend into one.

Solar chart for total solar eclipse. The eclipse is to the top right of the chart — the Moon is gray and the Sun is yellow. Here is a glyph key.

The eclipse is conjunct a point called Tantalus, an asteroid named for the Greek mythological figure. This is a complex myth, though the presence of this point in Scorpio essentially says to be conscious of anything that has a sexual tease. Tantalus is the source of the word tantalize, and the myth is a story of punishment through deprivation.

Nearly everything involving sex and sexuality comes with a tease, though often not the pleasant kind. Potential partners and existing ones can deprive one another of sex for a diversity of reasons. Many people are attracted to what they cannot have. Others concentrate power by using sex as a lure and then depriving someone of it. Often it takes two to play this game.

One way it manifests is in issues around availability. This might be a tendency to play with approach-avoid, which is usually a sign of guilt or shame. I suggest you monitor all the ways you make yourself unavailable and see if you notice a pattern, and can discern why you’re doing it. Are you being defensive? Are you afraid to be vulnerable? Are you trying to get power over someone, or to control yourself?

Opposite the eclipse is a point called Arachne, also an asteroid. Arachne represents a conspiratorial view of life, as well as the stories we tell one another, and the ones we accept. Arachne here is suggesting to be aware of the role of gossip (scandal is a form of sexual repression), and to be mindful of your fear of conspiracies. There is also a reminder here that we are all connected, something that humans live with every day and just as often deny.

Finally, Nessus is in the aspect pattern, square the eclipse. Nessus is a centaur planet, somewhat like Chiron in that its orientation is healing. However, Nessus is about trust, betrayal and the karma associated with these things. Nessus is in Aquarius, the sign of ‘what others think’, though it’s square the eclipse — this is about what you think others think. This could also represent what you take on from society, including the immediate society of your circle of friends, and how you let this shape you. Groups of very nice people can hold people to sometimes vicious, hypocritical standards. Yet for that to work you would need to cooperate, and one way to do that is by taking on the judgments of others, or their perceived judgments.

To end the tease, say yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no. The moment you find yourself saying something other than what you feel, or denying yourself or someone else against your desires, that’s a moment to let go. Sex is not an ulterior purpose, a bargaining chip or a reward. It’s a natural experience of life, and we would be a lot happier for treating it that way.

Chart for the total solar eclipse on Tuesday, including the minor planets, handwritten. Here is a larger version of this chart.

The eclipse seems to illustrate the release of aggressive instincts into something more constructively passionate. There is also the message not to take things so personally. We see this in Mars, the ruler of Scorpio (and thus of the eclipse) in Sagittarius — placed on the Galactic Core. Mars is a personal planet; the Galactic Core offers a wide perspective, even on a global or cosmic level. The GC operates in the background of everything.

One message here is that desire is cosmic in nature. It’s not a moral issue any more than breathing is, and like breath, it represents the forward movement of existence. What contacts the Galactic Core can have an exotic feeling, even seeming to be unattainable, impossible to describe or even feel in the usual sense. When you combine this with Mars, the result can be cosmic desire that’s yearning for expression in a human, physical and emotional way.

Meanwhile, Mercury is also in Sagittarius, in an especially interesting position: it’s square both Neptune and a hypothetical point called Transpluto. This is a message to question one specific lie: that your existence is wrong. This is a lie propagated by religion, for example in the form of ‘original sin’. Going back further into Jewish tradition, we have the idea of an omniscient God who is concerned with every last detail of what we do; the Jews thus invented guilt. If you’re Muslim, you would get the idea that your existence is wrong if you’re female (and there are plenty of messages coming through Judaism and Christianity to the same effect).

The alignment of retrograde Mercury, Neptune and Transpluto is an invitation to question this assault on nature in general and on your own nature. To do so, you will need to stay awake, stay with your feelings and know that self-criticism is the problem and not the solution. When in doubt, open up to yourself first and then to others.

The Moon ingressed Scorpio at 6:10 am EST Monday, where it picked up on Neptune and Chiron in Pisces and made a conjunction to Saturn in Scorpio. This series of aspects has a clairvoyant feeling; just make sure that if you have your remote sensors on, you are willing to deal with any information you pick up. On the other side, the mix of Neptune, Chiron and Saturn can have the feeling of giving tangible form to your imagination. This is the visioning factor, the best way to make changes in a creative way. Get it going.


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