I'll be honest: eclipses are never easy. They leave us stuck in liminal spaces, caught between our emotions and our identities, deep in our own shadows, highlighting the dichotomy of light and darkness within. On an astronomic level, eclipses are an interruption of pattern, a phenomenon that occurs when one celestial body passes through the orbit of another in a way that forces it into shadow. If we view astrology as a symbolic representation of archetypal energies, this phenomenon becomes an intense time of disruption and changes of perspective.
With everything happening in the world right now, it seems appropriate that we see the first eclipse of the Sagittarius/Gemini cycle today, June 5th at approximately 3:26PM EST.
Before we look at the specifics of this event, we need to understand a little bit about the cycles ending and beginning here.
Eclipses occur within a certain number of degrees (or “orb”) from the Lunar Nodes, of which there is a North and an opposing South. If you’re brand new to astrology, this might sound beyond confusing--for the purpose of this article, understand that the North Node represents the energy we’re meant to lean into, the guiding light, the healing that needs to be done in a time. Conversely, the South Node represents past energy, the energy that threatens to stagnate our growth, or that has outlived its use. Everything in astrology is nuanced and full of subtlety, but that is an article in and of itself: for the purpose of explaining this eclipse cycle, we simply need to understand that eclipses always occur within orb with these nodes.
Over the last two years, these nodes have largely occupied the signs of Cancer and Capricorn, with the eclipse axis following suit. The first Cancer eclipse of this cycle took place July 12, 2018, thrusting our private, domestic lives and the balance of home, family, career, and achievement into the spotlight of our consideration. This was a particularly tough cycle because of the heavy outer-planetary energy transiting the South Node, in Capricorn, culminating in a rare conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in January of this year. For many people, this was incredibly painful: Saturn and Pluto both have reputations for being planets of destruction, and with that energy focused on the longstanding, established energy in our lives, many saw structures they’d come to rely on ripped away without warning. When the Lunar Nodes finished their transit of these signs, many people were sheltering at home with family, for better or for worse, let go from jobs they relied upon for structure, and wondering whether life would ever return to something they might recognize as normal again. I would like to emphasize once more that this is an atypical nodal transit, and this destruction can really be viewed as an effect of the outer-planetary cycle that contributed to the energy.
In May of this year, the nodes changed signs: the North Node is now stationed in Gemini, the sign of learning, interpersonal relationships, early life, discovery, sibling interactions, and communications. This transit sets us up for a unique period of intellectual growth, acquiring new information and means of communicating. At first, we might have looked at this as inevitable considering old manners of communications (in-person meetings, workplace interactions, social gatherings) were all but cancelled for the time being. We needed to find new ways of reaching out to those we were separated from, as well as acquire new information about the world around us which was more and more foreign every day.
Conversely, the South Node moved into Sagittarius, the sign of dogma, truth, globalism, foreign travel, higher learning, and sportsmanship. The world had grown necessarily smaller, old truths no longer fit as well as they did, travel bans were in place, authorities were questioned. But while these transits are relatively brief, they still take more than a few weeks to complete, and we dance back and forth over these signs for the next year and a half. In order to anticipate what’s to come, we need to look at the complete astrological picture: aspects and transits which occur during this time, the eclipse cycles of 2020 and 2021, as well as cycles begun even farther back in time.
At some point, I’ll explain all of this--I promise. But we have time for that.
Today’s eclipse is the first in this new Gemini Sagittarius cycle, and it couldn’t be a more impactful starting point.
At the time of the eclipse, the Moon will be at 15 degrees of Sagittarius, in the chart’s 2nd House, though just barely. If the Moon is our emotional core, our spiritual home, the “heart” so to speak, the Full Moon in Sagittarius in the 2nd House leaves us feeling restless, displaced, unsure of where our security lies or where our stability comes from. We teeter on the precipice of speaking out, but ultimately we’re unsure of what to say and to whom. And since the Full Moon is always an opposition between the Moon and the Sun, this means the Sun is at 15 degrees of Gemini in the 8th House, a uniquely transformational place where death, birth, and life converge in one alchemical event. Expression is changing, shifting, melting down and starting anew. We compound this feeling of limitation with a solar conjunction to Venus, still in retrograde. Venus rules our relationships, which tends to be where people begin and end their Venusian exploration ( who doesn’t want to know about their love life?) but it’s also the keeper of harmony and peace. As Venus retrogrades through Gemini, we are thrown out of balance with those around us, feeling shut off and out of communication with those we care about most. And this takes on a particularly explosive volatility: close conjunctions to the Sun are sometimes referred to as “combustion” by traditional astrologers, as the strength of the Sun’s influence can all but burn up a gentler planet’s influence. In a time when we’re already feeling restless, this is a particularly alienating placement.
Tension between our inner and outer worlds are to be expected during full moons, but this eclipse chart has an additional source of aggravation: a T-square to Mars and Neptune in Pisces. Mars is a difficult planet to deal with: it directs our ambitions and drives, but it’s one of those planets that rarely finds higher expression and instead becomes an indicator of impatience, anger, and attack. In Pisces, this anger is entirely emotional, fueled by deep recesses of feeling we didn’t even know we had. We take on rage that may not be ours to begin with as Pisces is a sign that obscures the beginning and the end and blends boundaries beyond recognition. We cannot see where one pain point begins and another ends, contributing to a veritable geyser of negative emotion. And while Neptune in Pisces can bring compassion and empathy, it can also bring a cloud of fog creating a perfect storm of unquestioned authority and blind faith. I firmly believe that “negative” aspects are the best tools for growth, and if we allow it to, this aspect can bring the kind of empathetic action we need to get on course, but these are two planets that often create more chaos than order. Without discernment, we are open to grifters, con artists, and anyone with a smoke bomb looks like the Wizard of Oz.
So where do we look for help? With so much of the eclipse energy pointing at confusion and unrest, where does relief come in?
Sometimes, the emptiness in a chart can speak volumes. This is the first lunar eclipse in Sagittarius, the sign of the Archer, whose arrow always seeks truth. And the T-square closely resembles a bow pulled taught, representing both the tension contained in the aspect and the aim of the arrow--in this case, the chart’s empty Virgo 11th House.
Virgo rules personal health, thought, intellectualism, the written word, attention to detail. It also occupies a unique place in the evolutionary pattern of the zodiac as the place where we prepare to receive others. Virgo is the isolation necessary to understand one’s self before inviting another into our experience. The 11th House is one of community, the group of peers we identify with as well as the friends we acquire and the outreach we build. In order to relieve the tension, we need to look inward. We need to improve the health of our communities, prepare ourselves for the experience of others, and get our thoughts and words in order.
At the time this eclipse perfects, Libra is rising, highlighting the importance of balance and togetherness in the themes of this eclipse, but it also means that Aries is on the descendant--a reminder that our experience of others begins with ourselves. That harmony will only be achieved by internal work within us. This eclipse is also the latest in a cycle that began in 1912, Saros Series 111, which also began in Libra; it’s thought that all eclipses within a particular Saros Series take on qualities of the sign in which it began, further emphasizing that this is a moon to illuminate our experience of others, to open ourselves to receive ideas and information, and to harmonize the environments around us.
There’s no doubt that we’re looking at some tough astrology, but I maintain that challenge is how we best grow. We need the hard angles and tension to stretch ourselves into new spaces and force us out of our comfort zones. It’s also important to know where this eclipse hits your own chart--we’ve explored the chart of the eclipse itself, but depending on where these signs and planets hit you personally, you may find yourself asked to work with the energy in a particular way. I’m more than happy to answer any questions you have in the comments below about your personal relationship to these energies. And if you found this article valuable, I would ask that you please tell three friends about this community. I’d like to grow this community as a place for education and information and I truly believe more than ever that astrology is an invaluable tool for personal growth and understanding the world around us. We need more than surface sun sign astrology columns and memes; we need honest assessments of the energies and complete information of the whole picture. And that’s exactly what I will give you.
The energy of the eclipse does not dissipate at 3:27 this afternoon, or even by the time the moon reveals herself tonight. This is an energy that will hang in the air for days, even weeks to come. We’ll feel this tension until the next lunation and likely beyond which gives us ample time to internalize this energy and learn the lessons contained. And we will need every last second of it: begin today by assessing these energies in your own life. Where can you scale back your life in order to make room for other experience? Where have you allowed yourself to follow without question? How long have you spoken words that do not originate in your own throat? It’s important to note that shame and guilt have no room here--in order to overcome the energies that be, we need to throw our energy into building better, healthier communities. This begins by taking an honest assessment of your own mental health and taking the necessary steps to put yourself in a better place. If this sounds selfish, understand that it is anything but: we need whole people with unfractured minds, able to lead by example. You must heal yourself before you are able to turn your healing capacity to others. With the involvement of Pluto in this year’s astrology, I’ve long suspected that this would be an intense time of shadow manifestation and integration--take advantage of Pluto’s retrograde and get your shadow in check now. It’s time to take control and bring things into harmony.
What drives paranoia?
We may think that it’s a fear of the new, an inability to quantify the changes on the horizon, to see where they may lead. Over the last few years, many have invoked visions of dystopia as a dark parallel of our rapidly changing society. Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Terry Gilliam, and Margaret Atwood gave us some of the most enduring visions of a fear-based future, but these dystopian nightmares have something more than their fear in common, and it links them with this very moment in time: Saros Cycle 121.
The name sounds like yet another science-fiction reality, but Saros Cycles are part of an ancient tradition that maps the trajectory of eclipses and calculates exactly what type of eclipse will occur. By looking at these events, the Chaldeans were able to organize them into cycles known as Saros, “repetitions,” stretching over vast lengths of time. Each eclipse in a cycle occurred roughly 18 years apart, a variation on the eclipse preceding it. These cycles could be ...
I was a little surprised to receive a digest in my email earlier this week announcing a dozen or so new members to this group. I began this in the summer of 2020 when Instagram debuted some new features that rubbed me the wrong way. It was the first wave of a new trend of censorship, with algorithms combing through new posts, choosing words out of context and crushing distribution as a result. While plenty of creators noticed their reach decreasing, it didn't seem to affect popular opinion and it was difficult to convince readers that Instagram--among other platforms--would not be the future of content creation. I am incredibly grateful for the readers who joined me here from the beginning, but this platform had its growing pains and for small creators like me, the walled garden model wasn't exactly conducive to growth.
However, with the recent TOS changes across the internet and social media transforming itself into so many publishers of moderated content, platforms like ...
Desire is tension. It exists only in the moments before it is fulfilled with the bowstring pulled tight, begging for release. To shoot the arrow turns desire into reality, a success or failure, satisfaction or emptiness. Just as archery requires extreme discipline and patience, so too does desire: one must hold that tension with care and strength until it is aligned with the target. Too often we wait for the target to move towards us, for reality to align with our own desires. We choose to live in the state of tension, turning it into conflict.
This transformational nature of desire is at the very heart of Taurus. As the ruler of the 2nd House, it represents those things we literally desire — possessions, money, jobs, houses, material objects. After establishing the ego and perception of identity, Taurus represents the point at which we identify with desire, emphasizing the physical experience. In the acid-washed psychedelia of the zodiac-crazed 70s, Taurus is the lusty-eyed bull surrounded by ...