From There to Here, and Onward: Leo New Moon Eclipse

Posted by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter.

On Saturday, Aug. 11, we’ll experience a partial solar eclipse with the Leo New Moon. This is the third and final eclipse of the current series. Amanda Painter explores some of this event’s themes.

By Amanda Painter

On Saturday, Aug. 11, we’ll experience a partial solar eclipse with the Leo New Moon. This is the third and final eclipse of the current series. In modern Western astrology, eclipses are associated with the path forward into purpose — though a sense of purpose can be hard to come by with so much distraction and difficulty in the world, and at our fingertips.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

I say that eclipses are associated with purpose because when the Sun and Moon make their conjunction at 5:58 am EDT (9:58 UTC) on Saturday, they’ll be roughly conjunct the lunar North Node.

The Nodes are continually moving invisible points that represent the intersection between the path the Sun appears to make around the Earth from our perspective, and the Moon’s actual orbit.

When a Full or New Moon occurs near these points, we get an eclipse. In astrology, the South Node is associated with ‘karma’ — which you can also think of as overdeveloped character traits or comfortable habits that impede your growth, if you’re not into the idea of past lives. We associate the North Node with underdeveloped qualities or the life lessons necessary for growth — things that can also be thought of as your ‘soul’s path forward’ or ‘dharma’.

Dharma can also be translated as “acting as if to hold the world together” — or, as Eric wrote recently, “acting as if to hold the world.” No single person can actually, literally accomplish the feat of holding the world together. Yet what each of us can do is to be as conscientious as we can about always living our values and ethics; to behave with empathy, generosity and responsibility; to make choices that cause ourselves and others the least possible harm and greatest good; and being willing to move continually closer to what feels like a life lived with clear purpose.

You could probably distill that quite easily to some version of the Golden Rule. Even so, embracing a life of dharma is not easy or simple for most people. It’s just not the ‘norm’ of Western culture (especially in the U.S.) as much as one might like — though the idea does seem to be gaining traction in ever-widening circles.

No matter where you are with your relationship to the concept of dharma (or your relationship to its lived reality), a perennial question seems to emerge right around eclipse time for many people: How do I build up the momentum necessary to break out of the familiar, habitual factors of my environment and behavior, and emerge into a new phase of growth?

I confess: I’m struggling with this very question myself right now. Even though I just returned from my annual spirit-enriching week at dance camp — complete with plenty of adaption to a new camp location to help loosen up decade-old habits — I’m not sure how to use the shift in environment and perspective now that I’m home. It’s all too easy to set a new experience aside as something that was ‘temporary’ or ‘not part of regular life’, and then just slide back into previously existing patterns.

Having both the Full Moon eclipse two weeks ago and the New Moon eclipse on Saturday in fixed signs, along with several planets in fixed signs, may be exacerbating this sensation for some people. In case you were wondering, here’s a list of the major bodies in fixed signs right now: in Taurus, we have Uranus and Juno; in Leo, we have retrograde Mercury, Pallas, the Sun (the Moon joins them on Friday) and the North Node; Jupiter is in Scorpio; and retrograde Mars, Black Moon Lilith, and the South Node inhabit Aquarius.

That’s a lot of planetary energy in signs that tend to have an affinity for patterns, attachments and stability. Yet, that does not mean there can be no movement with this eclipse. It might, however, mean surfing its energy in a slightly more practical way — at least, compared to the movement encouraged by some of the other eclipses you’ve experienced in recent years.

Note, for example, that the asteroid Pallas is just over a degree-and-a-half away from the Sun and Moon on Aug. 11, and Mercury is only four degrees away. This points to the importance of having a strategy for moving toward your vision — one that engages heart and head, intuition and conscious awareness. The fascinating paradox inherent in dharma (at least as I see it right now), is the need to put oneself front and center — like the Sun — to come alive in one’s passions and purpose; and then, from that place, one can most effectively be of service to the world in the ways that best utilize one’s many gifts.

It’s like that famous Howard Thurman quote: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Being able to recognize what makes us come alive — and actually doing it — seems to be getting dampened by life on the internet. True, there have always been obstacles to this, such as poverty, geography, class, race, and so on. Yet digital life has a curious way of fooling us into thinking that we’re “coming alive” every time we engage in an online debate, share words of wisdom and photos on social media, and click a petition. It’s not really the same thing; it just uses up the same energy.

However, there are some helper-planets in the eclipse chart. For example, Juno in Taurus is making a square to the eclipse cluster in Leo. If you are not listening carefully these days to your body’s physical and sensual needs and meeting them, what do you need to do differently? How do those factors, and your relationship values and needs, inform your vision for your life?

Jupiter in Scorpio is also square the Leo eclipse cluster. This looks like it’s adding some real mojo to whatever long-range plans you set at this time — particularly pertaining to emotional, financial or sexual transformation. Think big — just know you’ll have to take care of the details at some point along the way.

Meanwhile, Pluto in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces are both quincunx the Leo eclipse cluster. Quincunxes are just one sign off from an opposition, and indicate a need for continual adjustment.

With Pluto (ruling change) in a very practical sign, and Neptune (associated with dreams) in a very fluid and creative sign, I can’t think of two better planets to have in quincunxes to the eclipse. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but it really does suggest to me the ability to keep moving incrementally toward your vision, putting that process into actual motion. Think of it this way: every time Pluto clears some space, Neptune can fill it with a new version of the vision; every time you adjust your dream, Pluto comes through to disrupt what might hold you back from it.

Either way, whether you’re seeking freedom from actual social rigidity (as suggested by the Sabian symbol for this eclipse at 19 Leo) or freedom from some internalized version of that rigidity, Saturday’s eclipse offers some potential for movement. To get a fuller image of what you’re moving from, and how it informs what you’re moving toward, you might think about what you were doing in August 1999.

That may seem like forever ago, but the solar eclipse that happened then is linked to the one this weekend. You certainly know how you got from there to here. Where do you want to go next?


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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.

16 thoughts on “From There to Here, and Onward: Leo New Moon Eclipse

  1. Geoff Marsh

    I haven’t seen it mentioned here that Uranus turned retrograde on Tuesday. This brings the total number of planets retrograde, including Pluto, to six. Only Venus and Jupiter are currently in direct motion – a time to take a break from in-fighting and big up on some loving, perhaps. I’ve read that the current period would be a good time for some serious introspection, helping one to determine what dharma can be effectively realised.

    The Uranus retrograde lasts until 2019 January 6, almost exactly five months, and this planet will be the last of the current bunch to turn direct. When it does so, all planets in the solar system will be in direct motion. Twelfth night might be more than the last day of Christmas, it could herald the start of a very active year.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Geoff — thank you for noticing Uranus stationing Rx! I confess, I often don’t pay as much attention to the outer-planet retrogrades, simply because they spend so much time in that state. But it’s worth noting that this Rx of Uranus just started will bring it back into Aries — looks like that happens right around the beginning of November of this year. So I guess that means we’ll be revisiting what Uranus in Aries signified as this year ends and 2019 begins — and then it will return to Taurus in early March 2019.

      We’ll be keeping our eyes on that. Hopefully when Uranus comes back to Taurus, we’ll be able to use what we’ve learned about it in these current months. Either way, I agree about this being a great time for introspection — though I suspect for some, that inner thoughtfulness will be accompanied by some action, all depending on how the current astrology and lived circumstances intersect with a person’s individual chart. Interesting times, for sure…

      1. Geoff Marsh

        It seems that the Uranus return to Aries will coincide with mid-term election results in the U.S. and these will undoubtedly pass some kind of comment on the transit of this planet through that sign. Unexpected leadership? Trump would, I feel, qualify.

        The last time Uranus retrograded into Aries was October 1934, shortly after Hitler had been appointed Chancellor of Germany. In China, The Long March, a military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party to evade pursuit by the Chinese Nationalist Party, also began. It coincided with the birth of the 1960s German anarcho-revolutionary Ulrike Meinhof who co-founded the Red Army Faction with Andreas Baader. Are these some pointers to what we might expect? A successful and necessary retreat in the face of overwhelming odds, coupled with the birth of a generation prepared violently to uproot social inequalities?

  2. Pisces SunPisces Sun

    Thank you Amanda Geoff for the excellent points to ponder. This generation born into war, some who have turned into soldiers themselves, will likely will uproot many social systems and institutions that allow or create social inequality. The condition of life and death treats one and all the same. And if war doesn’t make enough of an impact on this generation to move them, the ensuing effect of climate change leading to mass migration, rampant devastation, and homelessness, will move many more, likely in angry fashion towards us. How did we let this happen? How did we only care about the moment with no regard to the next generation’s future? leading me to ask, now in this context, how can we affect our dharma as we make our choice today? Or said differently in a nod to Eric, how will we hold the world?

  3. Geoff Marsh

    Seeking to be realistic rather than depressing, Pisces Sun, I cannot help but think that Gaia has invoked gay consciousness at this time in an attempt to curb further proliferation of human beings – there are enough of us already. Far be it from me to infer that non-breeding people should be exterminated in order to save food and resources for the breeders of future generations but I believe sincerely that we should now be concerned with raising Brave New Worlders rather than alpha-male cannon fodder. We must stop breeding quantity and start teaching cosmic awareness to our offspring in order for our species to survive. In my view, like it or not, genetically-modified kids are the future. Wouldn’t you prefer your children to be free from major diseases, with physical attributes that make them most attractive to their fellow Earthmates?

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Oh, Geoff, please do tell me that you’re being tongue-in-cheek with your assertion of genetically modified kids? It does seem we may be heading that way, but damn is that a slippery slope. A wonderful short film from the UK called “The Right Choice” does a brilliant job of showing how wrong that could go:

      https://vimeo.com/234539631

      Sadly, that trailer does not show any of the meat of the short. Suffice it to say, things get problematic as the baby-choosing counselor gets into the stats on the disadvantages faced by, for ex, girls in the world — and especially the darker-skinned folks in our midst. Why wouldn’t you want your child to have every advantage? Well, perhaps because a world with only male babies won’t keep humans going for very long…and because choosing to have babies with lighter skin than oneself — even by just a shade — does not address racial iniquity. It just might eventually erase it into a sea of genetically opted-in whiteness.

      1. Geoff Marsh

        I wish I were being tongue-in-cheek, Amanda. In reality, I think gen-mod is the inevitable human future, even if not for all. In essence it will all come down to what your money can buy, and I understand that the first steps on this precarious path are already being taken. In all probability, what will add impetus to this industry is the long-term exploration and exploitation of space. There is no doubt that low gravity over long periods of time weakens our bones and this will be one area for research by companies undertaking ventures such as asteroid mining or having a need for a semi-permanent human presence on the Moon or Mars.

        What I do sincerely hope is that we will have, by and large, overcome some of the social problems that you mention by the time gen-mod becomes a standard option. In my view, if solar warming continues, those with skin featuring extra melatonin would likely to be at an advantage and consequently more desirable. It might become essential to be black. The manufacture of a Master Race is, of course, always a possibility, but it wouldn’t be the first time this had been attempted. A World War 3 would probably play into the hands of your worst fears since science and technology are always developmentally centre-stage in times of conflict.

        Gen-mod has already provided us with some technologies that enable us to feed ever-growing numbers of people. How many people can Earth support? Large families and tribes were once a successful survivalist strategy but are now often the result of recreational sex, except where science is allowed to intervene.

        Research into DNA seems in tandem with studies being made on sub-atomic particles. How we are made and what we are capable of is in step with our knowledge of what our universe consists of and why it functions the way it does. We are indeed at a very interesting time in history. I look forward to a great change in our understanding of life, how we live it and the cosmos we inhabit.

          1. Geoff Marsh

            Many thanks for the correction, Amanda. It must be all those natural sleeping aids I’ve been taking. Mel A-tonin’ – sounds like a Spice Girl.

            Well, ugh, perhaps. But I can’t help feeling that a lot of medical and scientific practices which we take for granted today received a similar reaction when first proposed. Would you rather die than have someone else’s heart (possibly a pig’s) transplanted into your chest?

            As an Aquarian, I do feel a sense of some relief that we are hopefully now moving from an Age of Faith to an Age of Knowledge, even if results do still seem to come from byting on an Apple.

            Looking forward to the next 2,000 years with intrigue, trepidation, some scepticism and a hearty pinch of turmeric.

            Love, Geoff.

  4. Glen Young

    Its interesting that Uranus in Taurus is ruled by Venus, and in Libra Venus is the ruler as well. On the Esoteric ruler ship Uranus is Libra’s ruler. The esoteric ruler of Taurus is Vulcan, less then a degree from the eclipse point; Vulcan being a point in itself. There’s a young lady who explains these soul awakening incredibly well: Magick Minute Episode 1: Leo New Moon, Solar Eclipse August 2018, Resurrection of the Renaissance
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiT4mZ6hgz0

  5. Sue Edwards

    I see it as a basic formula of cause and effect. Trying to genetically engineer vanity children will result in a lot of surprise packages of dysfunction. Research is in its infancy. What has been labeled “junk” in the past is now being revealed as instructions. Kind of reminds me of an episode of the original Star Trek series where aliens put back together the pieces of a human being without knowing what a human being was suppose to look like or instructions on what went where. She lived but was dysfunctional.

    We’ll learn, one way or another. Hubris has its costs. Maybe a dysfunctional form is exactly what some of us will need for our future lifetimes? So we can develop some depth and substance of character while learning that it’s what on the inside that counts.

  6. Sue Edwards

    With your comment about a pig’s heart, I thought you’d appreciate the sense of humor for me in that as a Taurus sun, I have a bovine vein replacement as one of my by-passes. It keeps the blood flowing to my left arm. Still like to eat hamburgers and often wondered if that made me a cannibal.

  7. Sue Edwards

    Glen, with my Taurus sun, Libra moon and ascendant in Cancer conjunct Uranus, my personal experience of Vulcan has been one of a blacksmith. Life has been an adventure of being put into the fire and then hammered. Over and over.

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