Entering the Eclipse Zone with Pluto

Posted by Amanda Painter

It might look like they're about to step off the edge, but they're not. Photo by Amanda Painter.

Tonight is the Cancer New Moon, exact at 10:48 pm EDT (02:48 UTC Friday). But it’s not just a New Moon: it is also a partial solar eclipse. Not only that, it’s an eclipse opposite Pluto in Capricorn. Amanda Painter explores some of the themes for tonight’s eclipse chart, which begins a three-eclipse month.

By Amanda Painter

Tonight is the Cancer New Moon, exact at 10:48 pm EDT (02:48 UTC Friday). But it’s not just a New Moon: it is also a partial solar eclipse. Not only that, it’s an eclipse opposite Pluto in Capricorn.

It might look like they're about to step off the edge, but they're not. Photo by Amanda Painter.

It might look like they’re about to step off the edge, but they’re not. Photo by Amanda Painter.

Perhaps the most striking story I’ve seen in the news this week that illustrates this setup is the rescue of the 12 Thai student soccer players and their coach from the Tham Luang cave. Even though the rescue was completed on Tuesday, I’d say it’s still in the zone.

Pluto (lord of the underworld) in Capricorn (mountains) is absolutely subterranean. A New Moon is the darkest part of the lunar phase, yet it’s also the turning point when a new cycle begins. Cancer, of course, is a water sign — and the one most associated with taking care of others. It’s also worth noting that Jupiter stationed direct in Scorpio on Tuesday: an image of the trapped (or ‘fixed’) water that had closed off the cave deep under the surface, and the good fortune involved in being able to emerge from it.

Yet it’s Pluto’s associations with death, fear, and profound, soul-level change that really bring it all home. Think for a moment about the inherent metaphor: 13 people were ‘entombed’ while alive underground. They were brought back to the surface, but they will forever be changed in some way (likely in many ways) as a result of this experience. They can no longer be exactly who they were before — yet they still are who they are, and they are alive.

Change is not death; the cave was not death for the soccer team (though it easily could have been; and in fact it was for one member of the rescue team, a 38-year-old retired Thai Navy SEAL). I mention this because it is so easy to get caught up in the fear of change. Our egos can interpret any change, even positive change we’ve always dreamed of, as a threat; the ancient reptilian part of our brain senses the stress involved in anything exciting, uncertain or ‘dangerous’ and swoops in to keep us ‘safe’ from ourselves.

Transition and growth are not the same as death, no matter how scary they seem. Transition and growth are actually the opposite: they are life. They are what give our lives meaning and allow us to discover and pursue a sense of purpose. And as Eric mentioned in the Monday Astrology Diary, “nothing quite says ‘meaningful’ like an eclipse opposite Pluto.” It’s an encounter with our humanity via the most basic building blocks of existence: fear, sex, death, change, desire, growth, shadow and light.

Tonight’s Cancer New Moon and partial solar eclipse is not an event to be lived solely online; it’s not about our technology, or ‘communication’, or some filtered, enhanced, staged idea of who you are. This is internal and personal, and the chart as a whole offers a couple of reminders of what makes you human.

The first is a grand trine in the earth signs, comprising Uranus and Juno in Taurus, Venus and Ceres in Virgo, and Saturn in Capricorn. One reading of this is that there’s some physical stability and grounding amidst whatever events or changes the eclipse heralds, as well as the potential to bring something into the material/tangible plane.

The second reminder is a slightly looser grand water trine, involving the Sun and Moon in Cancer, Jupiter in Scorpio, and Neptune in Pisces. You could say this offers some emotional buoyancy to keep the planets in earth signs from feeling too heavy, including Pluto; and in so doing supports the flow of needed changes.

Yet the grand trines in earth and water signs are also a reminder of your literal body and your emotions: two of the key, inimitable things that separate you from robots and Artificial Intelligence. Your physical body and your emotions — in concert with your mind and that ineffable factor/process called ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’ — together make you more than the sum of your parts.

I’m not sure why it becomes so easy for so many people to forget this, to lose sight of the wholeness of a human being and then treat people as disposable objects — or worse. I suspect a good number of people reading this even treat their material possessions better than the way that U.S. immigration officials and the Trump administration (and many other people in many other parts of the world, for millennia) treat the human beings under their power.

Speaking of which: on Wednesday news broke that, faced with dueling requirements to release children from detention after 20 days and also to keep them with their parents or other adult relatives, federal officials said hundreds of migrant families being detained on the U.S. border will be released wearing ankle monitors. It’s not enough, and will not undo the psychological harm already done, but it’s better than holding children in cages separate from their parents.

Goddess willing, more developments in a more humane direction will unfold for the traumatized asylum-seekers and their children in this country, and elsewhere. If, like me, you had to briefly step back from actions calling for immediate relief, release and reunification, these eclipse weeks may be a good time to get involved again. Trump’s announcement of a Supreme Court justice nominee also bears following this month, and is another reason to make calls to your senator.

Note that I said “this month,” not “the next two weeks.” The ‘Eclipse Zone’ is usually two weeks long, bookended by a pair of eclipses — one solar, one lunar. Once in a while, however, the Earth, Moon and Sun line up well enough to form three eclipses over a period of four weeks.

That is what’s happening this month and into August: tonight’s partial solar eclipse in Cancer will be followed by a total lunar eclipse with the Aquarius Full Moon on July 27, and then another partial solar eclipse on Aug. 11 (the Leo New Moon). So you appear to have an extended phase of time to work with the eclipse energy.

You might try focusing on initiating new patterns and setting new intentions with the first and third eclipses, and releasing that which does not align with your desired changes (or does not align with the events you’re called to surrender to) with the middle eclipse. With Mars retrograde in Aquarius the entire time, and Mercury soon to be retrograde in Leo, the shifts might not be as straightforward as you desire, but should still be interesting.

Keep us posted on what transpires for you — whether in a comment below this post or on another post in the coming weeks, on one of the Planet Waves Facebook pages, or via email. Most of all, stay alert for unusual opportunities, synchronicities and connections — and see what Pluto has to show you.


Eric has now completed all 12 signs of The Sacred Space of Self, the 2018 Spring Reading on Chiron’s transition into Aries, and Mars retrograde in Aquarius over the summer. Order today and get all 12 signs for just $99. Check out our sample videos here, and the full Guide to Chiron Transits here.

21 thoughts on “Entering the Eclipse Zone with Pluto

  1. Geoff Marsh

    Brilliantly astute description of this eclipse zone, Amanda. It is, I think, a period in our lives which we will remember for a long time.

    My recent comments on this website may well have offended those closely attached to Eric and his observations. I can only offer my apologies if this is the case. In defence, I would suggest that contrary opinions can only lead to improved resolutions to our present situation. I wish Eric well, and here is a tarot reading which provides hope for his future advancement.

    Trump is now in England. I call upon King Arthur and the Holy Grail to mend his mind and show him the benefits of mercy towards those less fortunate and left desperate by the success of others.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Geoff, I have not heard anything regarding your comments, but I suspect they’re considered all part of the grand conversation, if he’s seen them. He’s been incredibly busy lately!

      And yes, may King Arthur and the Grail prevail in that quest. It would seem to be one beset by perils…

  2. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

    This article crossed my path yesterday, and it struck me as an excellent look not only into the life of one of the boys trapped in the cave, but also into the lives of the many “stateless” ethnic minorities in Thailand and Myanmar:


    Adul-Sam-on sounds like a remarkable young man, and I wish him well. I suspect his language proficiency (In addition to his native language Wa and Tahi, Adul is also proficient in Burmese, Mandarin, and English) will stand him in good stead. I do hope his brief fame is helpful in building a purposeful life for himself; he’s already shown himself to be a hard worker in school, and capable in a crisis.

  3. LizzyLizzy

    Dear Amanda, I wanted to post this link under your wonderful piece – thanking you and with a proper comment – but heat, work and the eclipse are making it hard to stay upright at the moment! So I’ll post it here instead – it’s about how the boys in the cave got through their ordeal also thanks to meditation – I’ve done this type of meditation for many years now, and know its amazing benefits. Am hoping that this might encourage more people to take it up – and to get away from its image as just a trendy buzz word (mindfulness). xxxxx


    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Yes, Lizzy! I also have read that the young coach in the cave with the boys had been a Buddhist monk for a while, and taught the boys meditation while they were in the cave. I have no doubt it helped. And if I remember correctly, the coach himself is also a “stateless” person (or was a stateless youth, which I *think* is how he ended up at the monastery) — just like the young multilingual player who served as translator.

  4. Geoff Marsh

    It’s totally outrageous that Trump-supporter Elon Musk has accused one of the rescue divers of being a paedophile. Oh, they were all boys. And, of course, the diver didn’t think Musk’s submarine would be capable of navigating the narrow channel where another had already died.

    I hope the hero sues this self-publicist for many a million. Let’s keep a count of how many people the Tesla self-driving cars kill before they’re banned. Musk is turning out to be an insult to the name of Nikola Tesla.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Ugh — that is really disheartening to know that Musk stooped to such a cheap and potentially damaging insult just b/c his submarine was not used. I’ve long been a fan of his for much of his work (somehow missed his support of Trump), but the use of Twitter for cheap, libelous shots is truly toxic.

      1. Geoff Marsh

        According to The Advocate, Musk donated $38,900 last month to Protect the House, a political action committee dedicated to helping Republicans maintain control of the U.S. House of Representatives. He has, in the past, also donated to other political parties which is the safest policy if you’re in business and want to call in favours from whoever wins power. Pro-Trump on this occasion though.

        After the headlines following Trump’s meeting with Putin it might seem appropriate to render the acronym POTUS as Poodle of the United States.

  5. Sue Edwards

    Aw shucks. I like poodles. Why insult them? There are so many others to choose from: “petulant”, “perverse”, “phony”, “paranoid”, “pugnacious”, “petty”, “putrid”, “pretentious”, “pompous”, “pitiful”, “porky”, “pinhead”, “punk”, “putz”, “prick” and “piss-ant”.

    1. Geoff Marsh

      Putin’s Poodle was the headline on one of Britain’s national dailies after the two leaders met in Helsinki. As a gay man I’m even more discombobulated by the choice of this particular species. Back in the day – before before – cartoonists would often choose a poodle as the canine companion of choice for an effeminate man. Now let me think, would that be acceptable today or not?

      1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

        Geoff, I know that locally in my community, I’m seeing a number of younger members of the LGBTQ community getting more and more vocal about calling out those who use comparisons to women, gay/lesbian, and transgender to make jokes — including about Trump and Putin. I’m sure they’re not the first to point out that anything along those lines implies that women and LGBTQ people are in some way “inferior” to men. But just possibly are we seeing an advance in the wave of sensitivity about who those jokes are really insulting?


        So, no, I would say that — at least in many circles — the poodle to indicate an effeminate man in a cartoon would not be acceptable.

        1. Geoff Marsh

          I’m happy to follow your reasoning, Amanda. As Amy pointed to, there were a number of marches in Britain which protested about Tony Blair’s unchallenging acceptance of George W. Bush’s military response to 9/11. Why the poor poodle should be picked on as a symbol of abject fawning is unclear – well-trained dogs of all breeds are usually obedient to their owners. Perhaps it’s the poodle’s tonsured coat which triggers people’s belief that it must be somehow religiously motivated towards being deferent. The Papacy abolished this practice in 1972 – round about the same time that I last saw a cartoon featuring a gay poodle-owner.

  6. Sue Edwards

    I’ve been completely ignorant, clueless, when it comes to the association of poodles with supposedly “prissy” people. I agree with Geoff when it comes to dogs in general.

    Dogs mirror our Personalities. Our relationship to dogs mirrors the relationship we have with our own Personality. Whatever it may be. I’m not a prissy person. So poodles aren’t for me. I’m a mutt. I can spend time getting myself all fixed up when occasions call for it. Hair cut, nails painted and a fancy collar. Most of the time I prefer just being the furry me. I get along with most all other dogs, so long as they aren’t trying to kill me.

    What kind of dog are you?

  7. Geoff Marsh

    I’m a catman, Batman, robbin’ dogs of their need for walkies while their owners squawk on their walkie-talkies. An independent puss, that’s me, a no-fuss Aquarius, happy catchin’ rats and lyin’ in the sun, letting my owner get the housework done. Until it’s winter, when I’ll still be fed while lying by the fire and sleeping on your bed.

    Dog days? No, cat days. It’s moggy month.

    How come there’s no cat among the constellations? It proves one thing: the Egyptians didn’t invent astrology.

    Oh, I forgot. The Sun’s just moved into Leo. Rub a lion’s tummy, then, go on.

  8. Sue Edwards

    Cats mirror our relationship to our intuition. Right now, with fostering momma cat and her kittens, I’ve got 12 cats and 3 dogs under my care. (They’re not all mine. I have 2 cats that I rescued earlier this year. That’s it.)

    Dogs tend to be “people pleasers” and their owners are often said to be their “Masters”. Cats don’t care if people are pleased and their owners are often said to be their “human”.

    Let me re-phrase the question. If you were a dog what type of dog would you be?

  9. Geoff Marsh

    My truthful answer to your question, Sue, is that I really don’t know. My family never owned a dog, they were more expensive to keep than we could afford. There was, however, always a more or less regular succession of cats to keep us company, although only one at a time. Consequently I am not very familiar with the different characteristics found among the breeds of dog.

    If I had to choose a dog that I liked it would be either a border collie or a golden retriever. The BBC has, or used to have, a popular TV show called One Man and His Dog which featured border collies from various farms in the north of England and south of Scotland competing for a shepherding prize. My current cat, Tibs, has similar black-and-white markings to this breed which is a plus in my book. They have been bred as working dogs, however, and although very intelligent, some have been known to cause problems in the home, by rounding-up small children, for instance.

    Golden retrievers seem very human to me. I feel a conversation with one of them is often as rewarding as with some adults. They are fashionably suave and smart while still enjoying the boisterous playfulness one hopes to find in a four-legged companion. I do feel you need to own a Volvo to make them feel truly at home, however, even if that does make me sound Volvist.

    It’s cats for me. Mine has that species-wide ability to seem to know the future with far greater accuracy than I do. Therefore I let him make all my major decisions – what time should I get up, for instance – and this seems to work out rather well. I found him living under my hedge and it took him three months to accept my hospitality and come indoors for food. He has never forgotten this kindness but he is still proudly part-feral and I have nips and scratches to let me know what he’s capable of if I don’t do as he pleads. Love him to bits. He is, in fact, the best cat I’ve ever had. A cat’s cat.

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