And so we’ve reached the end. This week marks our completion of the Cancer/Capricorn Eclipse cycle, a cycle we will not see again until its inversion in 2027. Capricorn has been a tough place to be, a crowded house cluttered with weighty outer planets and until very recently, the Moon’s slightly stale South Node. As if these planetary aspects (inside and out) weren’t enough on their own, the eclipse axis electrified them into activating on a whole new level.
But it’s not really as simple as all that, and the word “end” feels incredibly inefficient to describe this event.
We’re not entirely done with Capricorn: the South Node moved out mid-May, but Saturn’s retrograde pulls it back into its home sign this week and Jupiter and Pluto perfect their retrograde conjunctions this Tuesday, all ahead of the Full Moon Penumbral Eclipse on Sunday. While these transits are about to give us a good hard look at our structures of power and control--structures which will likely remain on their last (sturdy) legs until Pluto enters the purifying waters of Aquarius--we’ll at least have a new perspective once the Eclipse cycle closes.
Jupiter, the King of Expansion, is astrology’s generous grandfather: he’s traveled the world, collected all the stories and wealth from every corner of the universe, and wants nothing more than to share his riches with those he loves. And like his namesake, the father of countless gods and heroes and lover of innumerable beauties, Jupiter loves everyone. But Capricorn, with all its rigidity and structure, is the sign of Jupiter’s fall. It poses so many rules on what, when, and how that Jupiter is barely recognizable as the Greater Benefic that he is. He’s spent much of his time in Capricorn trying to unknot our ties to scarcity behind the scenes; it’s an exhausting job considering how thoroughly we’ve internalized lack. This may be due in part to Pluto’s presence in the sign of Institutionalized Business, drawing attention to the many ways we’ve closed ourselves to wealth and surrendered our power to Big Business without a second thought.
In early April, when this aspect perfected for the first time this year, many of us were in full-scale freakout mode: we were out of work, furloughed or outright fired, unsure of how to take care of daily needs let alone the lifestyle we’d built for ourselves. Restaurants were closed, Amazon was redefining Snail Mail, and every conceivable modern consumer comfort was well out of reach. Small businesses were told to apply for government loans, individuals waited on pitiful stimulus checks, but major corporations were gifted with bailouts comparable to 2008, which were signed into effect while Jupiter was similarly caged in Capricorn--also the year that Pluto left the Global Stage of Sagittarius and turned Capricorn into his new Underworld.
But there was hope. However small those stimulus checks were, however insignificant they were against rent payments, utilities, insurance costs, or negative bank balances, they lifted moods and restored a sense of optimism to many. This could also be due in part to Neptune and Mercury in Pisces just hours out of their own direct conjunction. While this certainly obscured communications and made the real message difficult to decipher from lip service and placating promises, it’s important to remember that Pisces was traditionally ruled by Jupiter and his infamous Jovial optimism still electrifies these waters.
Retrograde season means we get hit with this aspect three times this year: first on April 5th, both planets direct, then again on June 30th while both planets are retrograde, and finally on November 13th when both planets have righted course. This gives us a chance to really dive deep and decode the meaning of this transit every step of the way. If we examine the symbol of the first conjunction, we see echoes to Saturn’s eventual station: both occur at 25 Degrees of Capricorn, a degree which speaks to unsuccessful attempts to abandon the past. We shoulder heavy burdens of karmic energy which we must bury once and for all if we are to continue our growth. But our next two conjunctions both speak to confusion and manipulation, revealing the larger theme of this transit as distinctly Plutonian struggles with power. More dangerously, they reveal that we have stopped struggling, submitted to the masters who would claim us, and so perfectly embodied their values that we are no longer seen for who we are. And this is the point at which we now arrive: unsure of where we fit into the rapidly-changing world around us, but continuing to wear the mask.
I believe the power of astrology lies in its ability to guide our growth, to give us ideas and archetypes to consider on our path forward. It is not a deep groove of destiny into which we are inescapably cast but rather presents us with a series of paths, some well-trodden, others still wild and overgrown. It’s up to us to pick which way we wish to proceed. There is a huge potential for growth between June 30th and November 13th: 26 Degrees of Capricorn symbolises its own crossroads, a hall of mirrors darkened by our own shadow where our only way forward is through ourselves. It is here that we learn our greatest adversary has always been internal--ourselves. We can use this retrograde season as a descent into the underworld, to examine the ways we’ve internalized shame and lack, to see how we’ve surrendered our power to fear. We can choose to excavate these concepts, to raise them from our psychic bedrock and bring them into the light, where--like so many revenants before them--they burn away in the Sun’s purifying fire of selfhood. If we do not, we risk losing ourselves to the darkness, selling our agency to Shadow Peddlers without ever realizing the currency we deal is our own.
We don’t need to wait until November to embark on this journey--in fact, it’s imperative that we do not. There are valuable tools to be had in this eclipse, and as the last in its cycle, it may in fact hold the full set of keys.
The Full Moon represents the imbalance of our inner and outer worlds, symbolised by the opposition between the Moon, our heart and soul, and the Sun, our self expression. Lunar Eclipses intensify this as the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow--the territory of the hidden and unconscious. During any Lunar Eclipse we are given a glimpse behind the curtain of our own actions, allowed a peek into the depths of our souls, but the Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn holds fascinating contradictions.
Cancer is Cardinal among the water triplicity, meaning it symbolises the most noble and definitive water characteristics: it is highly intuitive and emotional, the ruler of our heart emphasized by its status as the Moon’s dominion. The Sun’s annual transit through Cancer brings deep introspection and highly charged emotional revelations. But astrology is an exercise in duality, and Cancer’s opposition is Capricorn: Cardinal Earth, firm and rocky, mountainous terrain that encourages us to reach new heights. It is also the sign of the Moon’s Exile, cutting it off from the qualities it requires to operate best, challenging its latent intuition with hard logic and historical precedent. Capricorn asks the Moon, “on what basis?” and the Moon cannot respond satisfactorily.
So the Full Moon in Capricorn illuminates where our emotions are challenged, and during the Lunar Eclipse we see where our own internal forces have cut us off from our intuition. This does not mean that we’re immediately meant to shout our truths from the mountaintops, especially as this particular Full Moon arrives at a loose applying conjunction to Mercury, still in retrograde. Observation is key and we’ll have plenty of time for self expression during Leo Season. Remember that Solar Conjunctions can often be incredibly precarious for the other planets involved: Mercury does not quite escape combustion, and anyone who speaks now is too emotionally charged to see the damage they do to the world around them. Negativity can spread like wildfire and even the Cancerian flood cannot extinguish these flames.
If allowed to blaze, this fire would only distract from the real issue: the Moon, our soul, is still under the influence of this domineering Pluto Jupiter conjunction, strengthened by their proximity to Saturn, now back in his home sign. Our emotions are held captive, hostage to authority that is not our own. With Pluto alongside Jupiter, power feels like an insurmountable outside force. But we’re not the only one feeling the heat: the pair breathes down the neck of Saturn, still retrograde, exerting the same brutal force upon the structures that hold us in place. The thick fog of Neptune may obscure the identities of who these figures are and the exact amount of power they hold, casting villains as heroes and placing trust in questionable sources, but it does not keep us from recognizing our precarious place on the ledge. Where is the breaking point, and who will be the first to reach it?
If we follow the tension we find this Full Moon makes a nearly perfect T-square to its own Ascendant at 12 Degrees of Aries. This is the Sign of Self-Development, and this degree in particular reminds us that we can--and will--endure. Aries indicates the self, the single force with which we identify and through which we evolve. Lilith marches bravely over the cusp of the 1st House, daring us to step into this energy--right now, any attention to self feels completely taboo: who are we to think we deserve to work on ourselves, to attain personal empowerment when the world around us is in flames? It feels as if reaching into our own depths will guarantee our exile, cast forever as the dangerous, selfish rebel. However, Chiron remains just behind the curtain, his voice barely audible against the roar of wildfire: you cannot heal others until you tend to your own wounds.
We like our cycles to finish neatly, happily-ever-after tied off in a bow, but it’s important to remember that the end of one cycle simply begins another. We never reach a true end and ultimately, that’s a good thing: we are afforded constant opportunities for growth and evolution. Real endpoints would be anticlimactic by comparison. As we reach the end of so many of these cycles--ecliptic and outerplanetary alike--we are urged to pick up the pace. So many lessons land at once that we absolutely must be on top of our game to pick them up and integrate them accordingly. If you have not yet committed to doing the work--to going inside and dredging the depths of yourself, bringing all the dark and malformed pieces to light--now is the time. Take this week to examine your influences and their origins. Who has drafted your map? Push aside fear of your internal landscape and make a point to begin exploring it. Remember: all trails were once wild. All territory was once uncharted. It’s time for us to forge our own way forward and map the landscape of our own psyche.
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 ...
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