Entering the Eclipse Room

By Amanda Painter

Here we are, on the doorstep of this summer’s eclipse season: on Monday, Aug. 7, at 2:10 pm EDT, we have an Aquarius Full Moon and partial lunar eclipse; then on Aug. 21, there’s the total solar eclipse and second Leo New Moon. You might be wondering how best to step into this metaphorical room once the door opens, and the chart for Monday’s lunar eclipse offers some ideas.

The Lodge at Pook's Hill, Belize; photo by Hal Cohen.

Pook’s Hill Lodge, Belize; photo by Hal Cohen.

Anytime you enter a room full of people, you encounter a specific dynamic: one in which you are aware of yourself as an individual and the impact you may have on the group, and are simultaneously aware of the group as an entity with its own presence and impact on you. At least, that’s the ideal.

Many people walk around completely oblivious to both sides of that equation, or else so over-focused on one side of the dynamic that they have no sense of the balancing half. For example, someone who’s very egocentric might only be concerned about their own presence and making sure others respond to them. Someone with very low self-esteem might feel completely at the mercy of a group’s expectations and perceived pecking order, and think they have no impact on the other people at all. It’s also possible not to give any of it much conscious thought.

Yet here we are, just four days from an eclipse involving two very social zodiac signs: Leo (where the Sun is) and Aquarius (where the Moon will be). The Sun in Leo speaks to that idea of being aware of one’s own presence, and the influence or impact you can have on others. The Moon in Aquarius, on the other hand, relates to how group structures, customs and expectations effect you, particularly at the unconscious or emotional level.

Any Full Moon across Leo and Aquarius could speak to these internal and external social dynamics, and where they meet. What makes having an eclipse across these signs special is that it indicates the potential for a significant shift in how it all operates within your own experience.

Specifically, with the Moon conjunct the lunar South Node, it looks like there’s a real opportunity to shed certain group expectations, and the way they have been influencing (or even dictating) your life in unconscious ways. The most likely group this would apply to would be the very first group you ever belonged to: your family of origin. Yet, since we tend to re-create family dynamics in all of our relationships — and a group is merely a collection of interconnected relationships — chances are you can identify other groups that have some measure of unconscious or semi-conscious sway over you, and which fit the pattern of your family.

Note, this can be subtle. For example, it might not be as simple and obvious as having an overbearing boss, and then you outwardly rebel against him like you did with your strict father. It could be that you have a female friend or coworker who, for whatever reason, elicits from you a fight-or-flight emotional and energetic sensation that you’ve never quite understood, but which still relates to your dad. The permutations are endless, and can cross genders and obvious social roles.

You might not even be clear on what kind of inherent social/familial dynamics and ‘rules’ to look for. I suspect that’s okay — because it is, after all, the less conscious side of the eclipse equation. Though anything that raises guilt or the sensation of being ‘wrong’ for who you are is suspect. Thankfully, there’s some real energy feeding into the more conscious side (the Sun in Leo) via other aspects.

To me this says that it’s possible to work these more conscious aspects and reap some tangible benefit. All the better if you happen to journal your dreams, listen to your intuition and make note of any unexpected insights that pop up. Those could be key to helping you fill in the missing or ‘hidden’ side of things, and make real use of whatever else develops.

First of all, the Sun is still loosely conjunct Mars in Leo. That is all about energy, so you might as well use it while you have it, remembering to guide it with compassion, empathy, and self-awareness.

The Sun (and to a lesser degree, Mars) is also making aspects to Jupiter in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn — which themselves are in a square aspect (written about in Monday’s Astrology Diary).

The Sun-Mars sextile to Jupiter indicates a storehouse of positive energy you can tap into to really get something done. It’s very social energy, and Mars adds physical vitality. Jupiter is also lending the ability to see the big picture — both regarding your relationships (thanks to Libra) and any goals, plans for the future and ideals that you have.

At the time of Monday’s eclipse, the Sun and Mars will still be building to their respective aspects to Jupiter. Which means that the eclipse is just the beginning; the potential for real progress, and to develop in a new trajectory — as you jettison something is no longer working for you — looks like it increases just after the partial lunar eclipse itself.

This makes sense, since the second eclipse of the pair, on Aug. 21, will be conjunct the lunar North Node. That’s the point that astrologers interpret as having to do with your path forward: growth, dharma, the soul-purpose that you can emerge into if you’re willing to make the effort and step toward the unknown.

Speaking of growth: that seems to be what Pluto is emphasizing in the lunar eclipse chart. It’s making ‘uncomfortable’ aspects to the Sun and Moon, and serves as a reminder that growth can be uncomfortable. If you feel at all stuck, keep making adjustments.

Most of all, stay in touch with your vision for the life you desire, and do what you can that’s related to that vision, and to what you love, leading up to and after Monday’s eclipse. Even if you aren’t ready to publicize your vision to the world, you might see if you can enlist others in it — including authority figures. As mentioned, this is social astrology. Shine the light, look around the room and in the shadows, and see if the dynamic changes as you do.



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