The upcoming lunar and solar eclipses offer us a chance to drop the past and step into a new phase in our lives, which features a major shift in consciousness. Many people I talk to express their version of “I am in the midst of both inner and outer shifts, that feel very fundamental and require major decisions in order to proceed. I feel a new confidence and am ready for a fresh start. Maybe a bit scary, but it feels good”. How about you? What is shifting in your inner and outer worlds?
I detect a dawning of a new awareness. We live in very confusing times. Nobody knows for sure what is going to happen. To stay tuned in and to navigate our own lives, we have to be more awake, more relaxed and able to go with the flow and adapt to changing circumstances moment by moment. Being awake, and more present, with a compassionate heart used to be idealistic goals sought after primarily by spiritual seekers — luxury benefits reserved for an elite group. Now these goals/ways of being are a practical imperative for everyone to deal with the shifting sands (including mud slides and wild fires in California).
We need to be able to look under the crazy angry facades, be less reactive, more adaptive, and be able to hold and be held by a neutral mindset. We need to re-wire our mind from being exclusively in our thinking mode to being present in observing consciousness. A new game is arising. Dealing with reality by simply working hard and being blindly and aggressively ‘strong’ is not going to work anymore. We may go under if we don’t transform how we operate and relate to ourselves, our life, others, and the world.
January 19-20 – The Sun Moves into Aquarius – Who Is Here to Help
7:10 PM PST (3:10 GMT) through Feb 18 at 9:18 AM PST (21:18 GMT)
Visionary, future-oriented Aquarius sees beyond the present circumstances, connects with the bigger picture, and offers innovative solutions that expand and upgrade our reality. The flowing content from the urn carried by the Water Bearer is consciousness (not water). With an awakening of consciousness, we can tap into a higher more inclusive perspective and envision radical new possibilities.
Ruled by both revolutionary Uranus and earth bound Saturn, Uranus can come up with transformative, but also practical, solutions that demonstrate the power of the higher mind to figure out how we can participate in creating a more equitable, just, and sustainable world.
January 31 – Leo Total Lunar Eclipse Full Moon
5:26 AM PST (13:26 GMT) at 11 degrees Leo
The Leo Full Moon Total Lunar Eclipse invites us to open our hearts and activate our capacity to care and to love. During a lunar eclipse our shadows (or undeveloped aspects of ourselves) are revealed. Leo helps us see with more clarity how and why we have closed our hearts and prevented the flow of love in our lives. We can also see what we have not yet loved. And we can identify attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions that explain why. A big one is inner anger in the form of resentment, feeling like a victim, self-pity, low self-esteem, and lack of self-kindness.
Eclipses generally recur at the same degree of the same zodiac every 19 years. Take a look back at what was happening early 1999 and see how your heart space has evolved. August 21, 2017 there was a Leo solar eclipse at 28 degrees. What have you noticed since then?
This Leo Full Moon is conjunct the Leo North Node (the present and the future) and asteroid Ceres (nurturing). The alignment of the Leo Moon (inner child) Earth Mother Ceres can evoke inner child and mother wounds created from not receiving (or perceiving that we did not receive) unconditional love from our mother.
When I look into my past I realize my mother gave me what she could and I was not available yet to receive more. Check it out for yourself. It was an interesting revelation.
Zodiac antidotes are always found in polarities. Opposite the Leo trio (Moon, North Node and Ceres, the Sun, South Node, Venus, and Juno are all in Aquarius. The Aquarian higher mind holds the space to release our attachment to fantasies and idealistic illusions about love and life. Intellectual Aquarius can also detach from its emotions in order to not get involved or hurt. Leo, on the other hand, wants to play and be involved in the game of life, even when drama is involved. (Sometimes especially when drama is involved!)
The polarity formula is for the Aquarian neutral mind to hold the space open without judgment or stories so that we can open our Leo hearts to ourselves. In this honest space we can identify the root cause of emotional wounds related to rejection, abandonment, hurt, and loss. The root cause is always related to lack of self-love and self-acceptance. Leo reminds us that the solution resides in our own hearts and how we understand and treat (with kindness and compassion) ourselves and each other.
February 15 – Aquarius Solar Eclipse New Moon
1:05 PM PST (21:05 GMT) at 27 degrees Aquarius
This partial solar eclipse opens a door to transform our thinking, release old mindsets, and strengthen our commitment to more fully living our lives.
How we choose to direct our attention determines the quality and depth of our lives. With greater awareness, we can use the power of our mind to make more conscious choices. Greater awareness also gives us clarity about how we are blocking and sabotaging ourselves.
This solar eclipse is connected to the South Node (also in Aquarius.) The South Node is about the past, and thus we are urged to let go of something, some idea, or some situation to make room for something new.
This solar eclipse New Moon squares Jupiter in Scorpio, supporting deep transformation that requires getting to the root cause of our entrenched emotional patterns. Uranus in Aries sextiles the Sun and the Moon. The Uranus lightning bolt is directed
to where we hold on the tightest and what we defend with the most tenacity. Shocked as our old attachments are dissolved, expanded awareness sets us free.
Mercury in Aquarius (within 2 degrees of the Sun and Moon) is also eclipsed, diverting our attention from outer preoccupations and drawing us inward to take a break from our obsessive mental states. We can simply observe our thoughts and reactions and not get entangled in either. We can experience a moment of freedom when we stop believing what we think or cease becoming emotionally involved in how we interpret the facts.
The asteroid Juno in Aquarius, Goddess of Marriage, also conjuncts this New Moon. Are you ready for an upgrade concerning how you view and interact in relationships? I hope so because that is the current cosmic agenda. Are your ideals real or attainable? What do you really want? Are you married to an illusion or to a real person?
In one way or another we have to break free from conventional norms and seemingly convenient alliances that don’t serve either party. We have to heal past wounds that may have left a trail of jealousy, anger, and betrayal. The North Node in Leo sets the standards — come from your heart, honor yourself and the other person. Clean up the past and leave no trails that can fester into the same negative stories. Come clean with self-love, empathy, and compassion for all concerned.
With Uranus involved, there is a quickening. There is a surge of momentum also because all major planets have been direct since January 2 and remain direct until March 8 when Jupiter goes retrograde and Mercury begins to slow down as it approaches retrograde March 22.
The Aquarius New Moon inaugurates the Chinese New Year. The Earth Dog favors new and expanded business ventures, major lifestyle changes, and rewards generosity, loyalty, and a warm heart. I used to think that I would like to be like my Border Collie dog – always present, alert, total love, highly intuitive (she didn’t think, she just knew), and able to relax when not engaged. I have decided that my role model this year is going to be a Zen Dog.
Who Is Aquarius?
Like every archetype and zodiac sign, how Aquarius expresses depends upon our state of consciousness, which fall into 3 basic, but always evolving and overlapping, categories (1) asleep, (2) waking up, and (3) awake.
(1) Confusing or Surprising
At first glance Aquarius can appear confusing. Actually Aquarius likes to appear confusing because confusing us is one of its wake up strategies. Surprises, shocks, magic, miracles — whenever you need to take notice of the obvious (or not so obvious) Aquarius is ready to call upon its comrade Uranus to deliver a wake up call.
(2) Cold and Detached or Neutral
Aquarius can seem cold and detached, which if checked out, not present, and mindlessly fixated on some electronic devise is not an optimal place to reside. However, as Aquarius awakens the higher mind, we see that what may seem cold is simply neutral. Remaining detached is an optimal way to avoid unnecessary emotional turmoil and how we connect with the universal mind.
(3) Emotionally Disconnected or Observant
Aquarius can seem emotionally disconnected, and that can be true. The good thing is that Aquarius can remain cool, nonchalant, and relaxed and even add humor to situations without getting emotionally involved or losing its composure. In the neutral mind, Aquarius sees what is bogus and doesn’t take what others might consider insults seriously.
(4) Loner or Participant
Aquarius may seem like a loner, but the Water Bearer needs a group to relate to. The problem is the difficulty in finding a group that welcomes everyone’s creativity in service of the common good and doesn’t represent and work for the status quo and self-serving greed.
(5) Opinionated or Free from Dogma
Aquarius values freedom, but is often a slave to its own beliefs. To find freedom we have to liberate ourselves from our own judgments and mental constructs. Until we do so, we imprison ourselves in our own thought forms.
(6) Fixated or an Anchor for the Common Good
Aquarius is a fixed sign, which can express as stuck in its own ideas OR a solid anchor for the unfolding of new more contributory social systems and ways of connecting with and serving the common good.
(7) Eccentric or Authentic
Aquarius can seem eccentric, or possibly even weird. Well, get used to it. Someone has to do challenge the status quo, and Aquarius likes the role. Aquarius is just trying to figure out how to be authentic in this cookie cutter world.
(8) Story Teller or Zen Master
Aquarius can be the Zen master who teaches us that if we don’t take the bait we won’t get hooked. Non-attachment is a basic spiritual teaching. We are reminded again and again that if we don’t fabricate a story around a situation, it passes and disappears. If we don’t attach to a passing event and let it go by, there is no problem. If we make up a problem, we will certainly have a problem.
How many stories have we constructed from our conditioned-driven interpretations of — he/she doesn’t love, respect, honor me because at this moment he or she is not paying attention to me?
The fact is that we will never know inner peace if we can’t see the truth beyond our stories. Don’t let yourself get caught in a net of your own creation!
Let Go of Arrogance and Entitlement
Eclipses come in pairs every six months. The Leo/Aquarius pair offers us an opening to look at how we make up fantasies about how we think things are supposed to be. When things don’t turn out the way we want them to, we get angry, disappointed, frustrated, and depressed. Check it out. Is that true for you?
Aquarius and Uranus teach us that there is no guarantee that way things will work out exactly the way we want them to. Life almost never unfolds precisely the way we think, plan, intend, believe, or desire it will. And if it does, we often get bored and want something else. The truth is that we (and our vision boards) are not totally in control. We have been blinded by our attachment to certainty, to the comfort of thinking we were in control, of living in the illusion that we can and must figure out everything ourselves.
Giving up control doesn’t mean we don’t participate. We are always participating in a oneness universe. It means we give up our small ego arrogance and participate at a deeper, more heart-centered, conscious level.
We live in very uncertain times. We don’t really know how things will unfold. And they often unfold in ways that have little or nothing to do with our self-constructed and socially supported illusions that seduce us into unawareness and complacency. When things seem to go as planned for a long time, we are even more vulnerable to rude awakenings.
Nowadays the news is filled with disturbing shocks and surprises. We wonder what is going to happen next. Rude awakenings challenge us to not fall asleep again, to not fall prey to resentment, blaming, and being a victim. One of our biggest life challenges is to commit to and practice staying awake. That is why meditation is so important. We are so accustomed to being asleep. And our society conspires to support our fantasies and encourages us to live in blind denial so we can be pawns of a greedy exploitative system. We can wake up to a bigger reality, but to do so we have to give up our attachment to our small reality. Our inner peace and freedom depend upon it. These are basic themes of these eclipses and the times we live in.
Of course, it is important to have a good attitude and to live with faith instead of fear. But we might also consider giving up some of our arrogance and entitlement. Since things do change beyond our control, and the future is in so many ways uncertain, our best chance is to align with the Divine, go with the flow, live by natural laws, and live with a compassionate heart.
Neutral Mind Consciousness
Neutral mind consciousness is required to recognize our inner struggle and to be willing to let go of our futile forcing and resistance to inevitable change. The universal forces that drive events (that is why we study astrology) are fundamentally neutral and impersonal. The Earth Movie reflects causes and conditions that we create by our own individual and collective fear, greed, anger, ignorance, and complacency OR by our inner state of peace, love, kindness, and compassion. Watch for yourselves how the current cosmic events play out in your life. Do events in your life reflect your inner state of consciousness?
When this pair of eclipses pass, will we go back to sleep again? We do not have to. Will we be lulled into another dream and forget again? We have to practice staying awake. Then we can become aware of our myopia and see the love and the amazing universe that lives beyond the facade. We can make ourselves more available, with less naive expectations and more heart.
Dying Before You Die
Uranian wake up calls and eclipses are about cleaning house and making room for something new. When we don’t do this voluntarily, we get help from the universe.
Cosmic wake up calls alert us to an expanded reality beyond the limited view constructed by our self-preoccupied ego. We cannot perceive a greater reality and the forces that orchestrate it when we are blinded by our opinions and preferences and unexamined conditioning. The Aquarian archetype is about dying before we die, so that we can live fuller lives. The goal is not physical death, but the death of our attachment to an ego-centric view of life where we are so self-preoccupied with our own story that we get lost in an illusory reality.
Uranian wake up calls jolt us out of our automatic routine so we can, at least for a moment, transcend the seduction of the familiar, become conscious of impersonal forces, connect with the mystery of life, and look and feel more deeply beyond fear and surface appearances.
Actually every milestone in our lives is both a death and a rebirth. We don’t have to, and, in fact, can’t cling to what had been before. (488) It feels good to complete a cycle and even to celebrate with a ritual of closure and welcoming in the new. Letting go of the past happen in awareness, where experiential knowing elevates us beyond concepts (which can be useful to get us to where we don’t need them anymore.) :+)
The Aquarian archetype and the Aquarian Age are about connecting in our mind and body with the life pulsating interconnected universal web to which we all belong. Our being has a life of its own that exists in other dimensions that are not perceived by our limited ego/thinking mind.
Our evolutionary goal is to live an awakened life, where the isolated, separated limited ego ‘I’ wakes up to its connection with all that is. Death before we die is about finding a new life by becoming conscious of yet unexplored dimensions of being.
The Aquarius archetype is about awakening to our oneness here on Planet Earth. In our higher neutral mind we can experience and hold the reality of oneness without being disturbed and distracted. We aren’t cold. We are present in conscious awareness with an open heart to our common humanity. Both our neutral mind and heart can hold a context and a space that connects with and honors something bigger that unites us all. In silence we can know this reality.
“Life is not given to us to live as a routine. It is given to us as our destiny. It is given so we experience life. Every day we must die and we must experience that death. And every day we must be reborn and must experience resurrection”. Yogi Bhajan
Butler, Simone, “How Secure Is Your Moon?” The Mountain Astrologer, October/November 2017, pp. 12-17.
Kabat-Zinn, Jon, “Coming to Our Senses”, Hyperion, New York, 2005.
Levine, Rick, “2018 Change is Inevitable, Growth Is Optional”, The Mountain Astrologer, December/January 2018, pp. 29-31.
Trinkaus, Emily, “Aquarius Solar Eclipse – February 15”, The Mountain Astrologer, February/March 2018, p. 93.
Trinkaus, Emily, “Leo Lunar Eclipse – January 31”, The Mountain Astrologer, December/January 2018, p. 103.