The New Moon in Libra today provided the catalyst for the beginning of eclipse season. And this Solar Eclipse has kick-started a domino array of energy that will continue for at least the next year and a half – and for some of us, the energetic currents may have caused permanent shifts.
Let’s talk about what was unique with this eclipse! Eclipses are not rare – in fact, every six months we get eclipses. Typically, we get one solar eclipse and one lunar eclipse every six months (when the Sun and the Moon’s position coincides with that of the Moon Nodes, meaning that the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth are all on the same plane and one of these bodies has the ability to “block” another one from our sight. So if eclipses occur every six months, what is so special about this one in October of 2023?
To answer that, it’s important to understand that the energy of the planets has effects regardless of whether we can see them. i.e. We will all feel Pluto when he passes through important points in our birth chart, even though we can’t see Pluto without a powerful telescope. However, historically in ancient times, the focus of astrology was on what people could observe and see in the sky. In those days Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto weren’t even factored into astrology because they weren’t visible with the naked eye and thus weren’t discovered yet. So, even though these outer planets provide excellent nuance to our understanding of astrology, astrology actually works really well without them – just using the planetary bodies that people can actually see in the sky!
If we take this one step further, when we boil astrology down to its most basic parts, what do people identify with? Their Sun Sign. When someone says, “I am a Scorpio”, “I am a Libra”, they are not referring to the position of their Moon, or their Venus, or their Mercury. They are referring to the position in the sky the Sun was in at the moment of their birth. If we think about what is most visible in the sky, we would all agree that the Sun is it! Many of us can live for years, decades, or even our whole lives without consciously being aware of where Venus is or where Saturn is. But we are all absolutely aware of where the Sun is at any moment – that’s what defines for us whether it’s morning, afternoon, or the middle of the night!
In this same way, eclipses are important because they are so visible. They were viewed as powerful and impactful to ancient people because there was no way to ignore them. As people watched, the Sun or the Moon disappeared from view. Ancient peoples had stories for what caused this, but regardless of the exact story, everyone believed that this was an important and powerful time when there were battles in the sky causing the Sun or the Moon to be temporarily hidden. From a visibility perspective, however, not all eclipses are visible! Many eclipses occur primarily over oceans and are visible to very few people – 70% of our planet is covered by water after all! And many other eclipses aren’t profound enough to notice. So if there is an eclipse that covers 10% of the Sun, we are unlikely to notice. The Sun will be a little less bright, but unless we are carefully noticing how bright it seems outside, we won’t notice. It is really the exact eclipses when the Sun or Moon have a big percentage of them hidden that are the most visible and impactful. These exact eclipses (also called “total” or “annular” eclipses) occur when the Sun and Moon are very close to the Moon Nodes. Most eclipses aren’t exact enough to notice.
Coming all the way back around to our eclipse in October 2023, this eclipse is unique because it is an annular eclipse (meaning that it is exact – the Moon can’t quite cover the Sun, so there was a ring of fire around the Moon as it moved on top of the Sun, but the Sun and Moon nearly exactly lined up with the Moon Nodes) and it was in a highly populated area and thus physically visible over much of the Americas. This gives this eclipse a higher potency and impact.
In addition, this eclipse was opposite Chiron (the asteroid that represents the “wounded healer” archetype, and square Pluto (the planet that represents deep, transformational change).
Put all together, the energy of this eclipse brings a powerful, immovable force pushing us toward change and healing. This is not an explosive energy (the way it would be if this eclipse were in Aries). This energy is more about weighing the pro’s and con’s of the state of our lives right now. It is the energy of leaning on others to give us a different perspective on where we need healing and where we are actually happy and fulfilled vs “going with the flow” of life without really living and experiencing it at its fullest. In the classic Libra sense, this energy will help us weigh the scales and show us where it is absolutely “worth it” to make meaningful, lasting changes in our lives with all of the transformational force of Pluto and the desire to heal our deepest wounds of Chiron.
This eclipse encourages us to let go of what is no longer helping us. Let go of hurt, bitterness, or fear that have prevented us from healing. Let go of what we realize is deeply unsatisfying to our souls. Often this has the feeling of swinging on a trapeze. We have to let go of the bar that is behind us before we can reach out for the bar that is ahead of us. That moment of transition where we find ourselves holding onto nothing and suspended briefly in the air is terrifying. But without that moment of nothingness, we can’t forward – we are stuck swinging back and forth endlessly on our single trapeze bar. We have to let go of what is behind us to focus on what is ahead, and our consciousness needs to move from what we are currently holding to what is awaiting us on the horizon. And once our eyes are fixed on that, we need to make the leap. That leap is the theme of this eclipse.
As you are able to, spend some time and intention and focus on areas for transformation, healing, and growth for you over the next 18 months (and possibly beyond!). There is a Lunar eclipse at the end of this month in Taurus, which will close out the eclipses for another six months. If you use these next few weeks to set strong intentions, you can use the grounded, determinedness of the Bull to really start moving those changes forward in small steps. If you leverage this energy, you may be shocked next year to realize how far you have come with small, but intentional steps. Sending love & light as you start on a new path of growth that your future Self will be grateful for!
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