I am still shocked!

I have had a difficult time since the election.  It’s been hard to understand the current state of the United States. The division and the backbiting.  The derision on social media and people being bitterly antagonistic to any belief and anyone that differs with them is a difficult and bitter pill to swallow.

I disconnected.  I pulled back.   I had to once again learn about boundaries, limits, and creating my space.

I’ve been angry.   REAL ANGRY.

I’ve been depressed, more depressed, and lost interest in everything – even astrology.

I would try to force myself to write; pen on paper, fingers on the keyboard, buying new notebooks and pens that I thought would trigger my desire to write, but words just wouldn’t come out.

I was frozen.

I tried to make sense of it all.  It hasn’t been easy, and ultimately, I have had to surrender and just focus on what I am good at – helping other people take control and make the most out of their personal lives.

This eclipse article is going to be a bit different than ones I have written in the past.  Yes, I will have to write about collective trends and how those trends have influenced politics, but this is going to be more about people using the energy in productive ways to make the most out of it.

It’s REALLY (and everything) is about you.

Before we get to the eclipse though, we need to look at some of the larger collective currents, which are running the show.

So, get a cup of something, this is going to be a wild ride.

Saturn square Neptune Redux

For the past two years, we have had Saturn in Sagittarius squaring Neptune in Pisces.  Saturn is the planet that represents foundation, structure, the rule of law, and our psychic skin.  It’s our defense mechanism that protects us (constructively or dysfunctionally) from the outer world.   Neptune, on the other hand, is concerned with redemption from ordinary mortal sins and the vision of a perfect world.  When you combine these two planets together, you get a whiff of the populist tidal wave that has possessed both the United States and Western Europe and was apparent on both sides of the aisle in the 2016 US Election.

Saturn square Neptune makes us painfully aware of the areas of life where we experience internal disappointment and frustration.  It tends to manifest in the belief that things could be so much better if circumstances were different. In many ways, it is a battle of entitlements:  Saturn feels entitled to what it possesses because it has worked hard for it, and Neptune feels entitled because certain things should be guaranteed to all humans and seeks a messianic figure to redeem us from suffering.   It’s a conundrum, and perhaps, both planets are right from their perspectives.

The current Saturn square Neptune has manifested both of these conflicting ideas.  The rich and powerful are seen as the enemy of the people and the general population is seen as crybabies who are petulant and self-indulgent.   The 1% believes that people should work a little more and take responsibility for themselves; whereas, the 99% believes that rich people should pay a little more and quit being selfish.

Another manifestation of this aspect has been ‘group think’.   You can see across social media platforms people lining up on one side or the other sharing like-minded posts and battling the other side like never before.   The need to belong to a familiar collective is highly Neptunian and it allows us to elect our heroes and enemies.   It also allows us to be easily duped by information that is not factual and in many ways, is the fantasies and dreams of those caught up in the groups.   It also loves a good slogan – a future we can believe in, make America great again, or even stray hashtags such as #fakenews.

All Hail Eris

The other major planetary aspect currently active is Uranus conjunct Eris in the sign of Aries, and both planets have been in square to Pluto in Capricorn.

I have written extensively about Uranus square Pluto over the past 7 years, and I am not going to do so here – but you can read it my other blog posts.   Instead, I am going to focus on Uranus conjunct Eris.

I have not written much about Eris up to this point.  It is a peculiar planet (dwarf planet) and has not really been part of the astrological toolkit for too long.

Eris in Greek myth is the goddess of strife and discord.   She has a rather nasty reputation and is probably one of myths greatest villainesses.  But, no archetypal figure lives without necessity, and it is necessary to probe beneath the surface of the Eris myths to understand what she is all about.

The most famous myth that Eris appears in known as the Judgement of Paris.  A story that revolves around a young man who is forced to decide a beauty contest between the goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite and his decision (of Aphrodite) leads to the Trojan War.  However, I believe that Eris simply throwing an apple on a table is insufficient in understand her overall purpose in the myth.

The myth begins when an Oracle informs Zeus that if his brothers or he ever impregnate the goddess Thetis, the spawn of this union would eventually overthrow the Olympians.  So, being like most gods that want to retain their power, Zeus sets to form an arranged marriage between Thetis and mortal named Peleus.  Of course, Thetis resents the marriage and tries to get out of it by transforming herself, but Peleus continues to hold on to her and eventually Thetis relents.  Here is the deal: we have a woman who is relinquishing her personal power to satisfy masculine principles and ideals – which like any resentment it builds up over time and eventually seeps out in curious and destructive ways.

The story continues…

Hera agrees to put together the reception for the wedding, and she decides to do it at the full moon.  This part of the myth is fascinating because the honored guests at the wedding were the 12 Olympians, and in mythology numbers matter.  Twelve reflects the solar calendar of 12 months that is based on the sun moving through the signs of the zodiac.  Solar ideals are based on individual destiny, purpose, and meaning.  However, Hera schedules the reception during a full moon, which is based on lunar needs – comfort, emotions, security, attachment to family and roots, and survival.  And, let us not forget that Hera is the wife of Zeus, who received the Oracle originally, and how many women are going to want to arrange a reception for another woman that their husband may or may not be interested in?

Of course, we know that Eris (the unconscious repressed feminine) bursts through the door and tosses an apple down the table that is inscribed “to the fairest” and all hell breaks loose and you have a rivalry begin between three goddesses that ultimately leads to the Trojan War.

In another myth, there is a wedding between Perithous and Hippodaeia.  Perithous invited the Olympians again, except for Aries and Eris – because he remembered the mischief Eris created at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis.  This reminds me of Einstein’s famous quote, “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes again and again, but expecting different results.”  Yet, on a deeper level, we can begin to see that ‘solar’ principles were favored over lunar needs.  Of course, Eris retaliates and we end up with the feud between the Lapiths and the Centaurs.

We can get a lot of keywords for Eris through myth – the obvious is strife and discord.  But, I think using keywords for Eris that are already part of our planetary pantheon gives great disservice to her (strife and discord are already covered quite well with Mars), and of course, we know Eris will strike back if she is insulted.  Instead, I think we need to look deeper and understand what causes strife and what causes discord?  Is there a deeper element to the myth?

Let’s dig a bit deeper…

There is something that occurs at the beginning of each of the major Eris myths.  Someone has pushed the gods to their limits.  It is either through some form of trespass or insult against the gods, but regardless, a slight has occurred and the gods are looking for revenge.   This is called hubris.

According to Mr. Webster the definition of hubris is as follows:

Excessive pride towards or defiance of the gods, which leads to Nemesis.

Nemesis is the Greek term for one’s inescapable fate that leads to their downfall.  She was also a rather feared goddess.

In many cases, we all commit hubris.  We become too big for our britches or we do questionable things to succeed.   We push the limits of what is permissible and sometimes blow back occurs.   Sometimes we even ignore the warnings of the gods, and one thing they dislike is being ignored.   Eris seems to appear at the point in the myth where everything is so blown up that a major event needs to occur to settle scores or level the playing field for things to return to their natural order.

Over the past few years transiting Uranus has been conjoined to Eris in Aries.  Uranus is a political vision or plan and Eris is the balance of hubris and the rectification of natural laws.   Additionally, the sign of Aries is the need to be independent and get our personal desires met.

Adding all of this together, you can clearly see how it’s been very easy for us to get the point we are at.  For far too long, people have been suffering at the hands of governmental structures who have disregarded the will of the people and have been more concerned with their personal careers and donations from special interest groups.  There is race inequality, gender inequality, sexual identity inequality, and perhaps most importantly financial inequality.  Rebellions and protests have erupted throughout the world, and the will of the people is as elusive as ever.  Hubris has been adding up over time as seen through our treatment of resources and the environment.   But, perhaps the greatest hubris overall is handing over our personal responsibilities to others – whether that be politicians, our communities, or even our families.

The Lunar Eclipse:

Now that we have put the big picture together, it is time to bring this back down to our personal lives.  Yes, most likely we will see large events during this eclipse cycle that could potentially be game changers on the world stage.  So, expect some rather heated news over the next few weeks.   But, what about how the eclipse is going to affect our personal lives.

Any collective based chart (including eclipse and ingress charts) can be used in understanding the individual – because we are each part of the collective.  These charts can be read to show areas of life where we need to be reflective and areas where it may be easy for us to fall prey to collective trends.

The first thing that we are going to look at is the 4th house of the eclipse chart (since most of my clients live in the US or Canada, I have customized this article more for them, but the general energy of the eclipse is relevant for everyone).  Planets in the 4th house are going to have enormous power because they reflect the current emotional weather within the collective.  Neptune and Chiron are in the 4th and both are retrograde indicating a lot of energy of this eclipse is connected to the past.   Further, both rulers of the 4th house (Saturn and Uranus) are retrograde confirming that the answers are found by deep reflection on how we got into our current situation.

Neptune in the 4th house implies that the collective is confused and emotionally yearning for redemption.  It usually elects people to be messianic figures that will save us from the sins of ordinary living.  In this case, we are currently dealing with issues around health care, equal rights, and environmental concerns.  Unfortunately, Neptune can often lead us towards charismatic figures that often promise a lot, but deliver very little.  This is further amplified by Chiron.  Chiron reflects wounds caused by life’s unfairness.  Our current economic situation, health care problems, equality issues, and pollution have been caused by many generations of failing to address these potent issues.  These wounds can often (especially when partnered with Neptune) take over and practical sensibility is superseded by anger and deep resentments.

The ruler of the 4th house (Saturn) lands in the 2nd house of house of personal values.  Saturn forms a sextile to the Moon and a trine to the Sun.  As lord of the eclipse, Saturn urges us to look at our values, seek our own identities by focusing on our own beliefs and ideals (Saturn also rules the 3rd house), and find ways to get our needs met.

Are we currently getting our needs met by the group or have we simply fallen into ‘group think’ and catering to others because it’s easier than facing potential conflicts that may occur because of differing opinions?  Has our reliance on the group to solve our problems increased them?

The Ascendant of an eclipse chart and planets in the 1st are considered energies that we need to integrate into our personality.  The sign on the 1st house is Scorpio, which reflects enforced change.  Circumstances have reached a point where we can no longer continue the way we have been, which is confirmed by Pluto being in the 2nd house of values.   Pluto in the 2nd shows how our values may be outdated and we need to let go of beliefs that may not be useful to us and diminish our lives rather than add to them.

Two planets make aspects to Pluto:  Mercury and Venus.

Mercury is the planet through which we get ideas and how we understand life.  It lands in the 8th house of the horoscope and forms a beautiful trine to Pluto.  Since Mercury is retrograde in the eclipse chart, it gives us the ability to reflect and deeply probe our own nature.   This is extremely useful to get to the bottom difficulties you may face, which are often covered up by deep seated issues.   It’s also a wonderful time (since the 8th involves our psychological inheritances) to deal with family of origin issues.

Whereas Mercury rules the mind, Venus rules values and relationships.   Pluto forms a sextile (opportunities) to Venus.   This provides us the opportunity to really look at our relationships with others and see what we get out of them.  If relationships are not working well, Pluto can provide us with the personal power to manage them by dealing with the issues that are causing problems.  Venus rules the 7th, 11th, and 12th houses of the chart – all of which deal with relationships with others, on one level or another.    This is a great time to explore what are our own values and what values we may have inherited through our relationships (7th), our friends (11th), or even our ancestors (12th).  We can then keep what values that we hold dear, and perhaps, release those that are no longer viable or no longer resonate with us.

Since Mars is the co-ruler of Scorpio, we need to analyze his placement and aspects.   Mars is located in the 9th house of the chart.  The 9th house has to do with higher education, beliefs, and the big picture.  Mars forms a conjunction with the Sun (ruler of the 10th) an opposition to the eclipse Moon (ruler of the 9th), and a sextile to Jupiter (ruler of the 2nd).  This is a powerful combination which puts our own values and beliefs at odds with others.  It may be necessary for you to stand your ground and use better negotiation skills to get what you want, but overall, the conjunction with the Sun gives us all a dose of individual potency that lets us go our own path and forge our own destiny.

The striking thing about this eclipse chart is its consistent theme of our personal values.   Many of us go through our lives living out other people’s values and the eclipse states that it is time for us to stand on our own two feet and become truly individual.  After all, the sign that opposes Aquarius (where the eclipse occurs) is Leo.  We may need to value those like-minded individuals who support us and strengthen our personal positions, but the eclipse tells us that those personal values need to be uniquely our own.

 Now that we have covered all the collective stuff – which is important.  Let’s dive into the personal.

If you know your own chart look at planets that are between 10-20 degrees of a sign and the closer to 15 degrees the stronger the eclipse will be for you – especially if those planets are in the signs of Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, or Aquarius.

An eclipsed planet signifies that the nature of the planet affected will come up through this eclipse cycle.  Although, I am giving a guide map of general areas that will be influenced, getting an eclipse reading might help you understand its full impact better.

Here is how the eclipse will affect your personal planets:

The Sun – The Sun reflects our personal destiny and the core of the individuality of the personality.  The eclipsed Sun signifies issues that arise that may ultimately change our course and put us on a new path.  This can come in either a new vocation, creative or artistic endeavor, and since the Sun is the natural ruler of children, they are not out of the question.

The Moon – The Moon is our emotions, connections to our physical bodies, and our families.  She is known as the archetypal mother and like nature itself, she changes constantly.  The Eclipsed Moon signifies emotional issues that can either complicate our lives or breakthroughs (in the material and emotional world) can easily occur.  This can come through relationship or familial problems, sudden endings and beginnings, and fluctuations within our day to day life.  The Moon is the natural ruler of the 4th house and when she is eclipsed it can signify a change of residence can occur.

Mercury – Mercury is the planet of ideas and helps us understand life.  It is the information processing center of the psyche.  The eclipsed Mercury can influence how we think about things, change our opinions, and issues with electronic devices or automobiles are common.  Since Mercury is the natural ruler of the commerce, issues surrounding business, buying and selling, trade, or our job may arise.   If you have an eclipsed Mercury, it’s auspicious for you to consider your health and exercise regime and this energy can be used to effectively break bad habits.

Venus – Venus is the planet of relationships and values.  She brings people together – in every sense of the word.  The eclipsed Venus can influence how we relate to others.  At this time, relationships can either move to the next level or they can suddenly end.  Additionally, our values can come under fire and we might find ourselves in circumstances where what we once held dear suddenly comes under fire and forces our values to become more malleable or change.   If you have an eclipsed Venus, it’s necessary to view your relationships in an honest light and decide whether it is something you should continue to invest in.  You might meet new people and start new relationships that are extremely important over the next 6 months.

Mars – Mars is the planet of desire, warfare, and willpower.  He is the planet that goes out into the world and gets us what we want.  Of course, any time we use our own will there is the potential of conflict with others.  An eclipsed Mars often brings your personal agenda forward, and this could lead to opportunities and complications.  It’s always best to be assertive and stay true to your vision while Mars is triggered.  Try to avoid arguments and confrontation because they will usually only frustrate you further.  Since Mars is the natural ruler of the 1st house, this eclipse season is all about you – so take advantage of it.

Jupiter – Jupiter is the planet of expansion.  He loves to make everything bigger.  Everything!   Sometimes expansion is not a good thing, especially when it involves our waistline.  An eclipsed Jupiter brings expansion into the areas of your life, and it’s a time that traditional astrologers consider ‘lucky’.  Now, luck is a pretty tricky word that even the least skeptically minded question, and perhaps what occurs when Jupiter is activated is that we become more attuned to potentials and possibilities.  Jupiter gives us a glimpse of what can happen, but it’s up to us to take advantage of it.

Saturn – Saturn is the planet of restriction and fears.  Unlike Jupiter, Saturn likes to make everything small and often comes with a dose of depression.   Restriction is not necessarily a bad thing because Saturn teaches us how to live within our limits and often is the knee-jerk response to too much Jupiter in our lives.  An eclipsed Saturn brings restriction into your life and often is accompanied with roadblocks, frustrations, anxiety, and long-standing fears rise to the surface.  Saturn teaches us that we must do things methodically, with careful consideration, and tons of patience.   If you have things you need to accomplish and finish, an eclipsed Saturn is the perfect time to get off the couch and do so.

Chiron – Chiron is the planetoid of life’s unfairness.  Yep, sh*t happens and sometimes it’s not anyone’s fault and just part of living.   Chiron tends to be angry and bitter when it is activated.   Why?  Well, usually there is no one to blame and it tends to act like an abscess that refuses to heal.   It’s painful and tender to the touch.  An eclipsed Chiron tends to bring up areas of our life where we have experienced life’s unfairness.   The pains of the past come back to haunt us, and many times, it’s the areas of life that we think we have overcome that creep back to the surface.  The key to working with Chiron is acceptance.  It doesn’t take the hurt away, but it allows us to move on.

Eclipsed Outer Planets:

Uranus – Uranus is the planet of rebellion and sudden changes.  He is a generational planet, so you will find that many people in your age group will experience similar issues at the same time.   Uranus breaks up things that have remained stagnant and unchanging over lengthy periods of time to create a new scheme or a new plan.   This can be extremely difficult for people with a lot of earth and water in their charts.   An eclipsed Uranus reflects a period where old ideas and philosophies that you have held dear, come to an abrupt change.  This can come in sudden changes in your life – including relationship and career changes.  The key with Uranus is that if you hold on too tight to outdated ideas, the more difficult it will be.  It’s best to surrender and go with the flow.

Neptune – Neptune is the planet of redemption with a good ole fashion dose of delusion.  On one hand, he can bring forth intense artistic creativity, yet on another, he often seeks redeemers to save us from the ills we suffer.   Unfortunately, those redeemers end up being human with their own frailties and can lead to feelings of victimization or deception.  An eclipsed Neptune augurs a time for you to be cautious about choices and decisions that you make or people that you meet.  If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.  The key to an eclipsed Neptune is realizing that the only person that can be your savior is you.

Pluto – Pluto is the planet of death and regeneration.  He tends to amputate the things in our life that are past the sell by date and are spoiling on the shelf.  This often leads to endings (and new beginnings) in areas of our life that can lead to some rather dark feelings – including depression and rage.  An eclipsed Pluto tells us that something in our life needs to change.  It needs to be let go of so we can begin to prosper once again.  It reminds me of the gardener who has to prune shrubs so that they can continue to grow, and Pluto tends to point out the areas of our life where dead wood exists.  The key to an eclipsed Pluto is just giving in and letting go, fighting it is simply futile.

Aspects:

There is a lot of controversy over aspects with eclipses.  Some astrologers only use the conjunction and opposition, and others add the squares.  Sextiles and trines are usually ignored.

In my experience, nothing in astrology should be ignored.  Yes, an eclipse conjoined, opposed, or squared to your natal planet can be felt more strongly and often the more difficult sides of the eclipse can occur.  However, sextiles often provide opportunities, if you are willing to work with them, and I have found trines can make things flow relatively easily.  For example, a squared Venus could bring forth difficulties in relationships that are hard to manage or bring forth emotional pain, but a trine to Venus could show that those difficulties will be resolved easily and without much effort.

The Houses:

In addition to planets, the house that an eclipse lands in is important.  Houses show the area of influence while the eclipse is active.

1st house:  An eclipse in the 1st hour reflects a changing identity.   It might mean that you become more malleable or that you suddenly take a different path in life.  Finally, the aspects of femininity might need to be integrated now.

2nd house:   An eclipse in the 2nd house means that our values and our sense of self-esteem might come under pressure.  We will find evidence of this in things we attempt to birth into the physical world.

3rd house:  Siblings, short communication, ideas, and simple communication.  An eclipse in the third house might reveal changes in how we understand life.

4th house:  An eclipse in the 4th house brings changes to our home, family, and sense of security.

5th house:  The 5th house traditionally is the house of children and recreational activities.  However, psychologically we view it as the house where we tend to shine the most.  An eclipse in this house can often bring new talents and the experience of joy into our lives.

6th house:  Since the 6th house is our day to day activities and jobs, it is also the house of what we are working on.  This is the spring cleaning house and an eclipse occurring within this house could reflect the need for us to make changes in our life and immediate environment.  Health and small pets could also be a concern.

7th house:  Relationships – both romantic and business.   Additionally, this is the house of open enemies and issues and conflicts with others can peak while the eclipse is active.

8th house:  In traditional astrology, the 8th house is the house of death, sex, and regeneration.   It’s where circumstances change and when an eclipse occurs within this house, it often reflects that enforced changes happen that are difficult to deal with.  Also, issues that have been inherited psychologically become apparent.

9th house:  The 9th house is our teacher.  It’s where we learn things and form our opinions.  An eclipse occurring in this house reflects the need for us to learn from our experiences of life and look at the big picture rather than small personal concerns.

10th house:  The 10th house is our governing principle.  It is how we govern ourselves and how we adapt to the outer world.  An eclipse occurring in the 10th could reflect changes in our reputation and position.

11th house:  The 11th house is the house of the group.   It shows where we are influenced by others and how we fit into the larger fabric of society.   An eclipse in the 11th could reflect changes in our network and social circles.

12th house:  The house of retreat.  An eclipse in the 12th house augurs a time where we need to reflect deeply on our lives and make changes accordingly.  Self-defeating behaviors could easily come to the surface, but also the change to change them and heal our past.

Storm Cestavani, August 6, 2017

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bloodmoonLunar Eclipse in Aries

The #1 topic I get asked to write about is eclipses.  There is something mysterious, ominous, and awe inspiring about these heavenly events which happen in cycles approximately every 6 months that puts those with even the slightest astrological knowledge into a frenzy.

I will admit eclipses are not my area of expertise.  I tend to look at them psychologically and spiritually rather than attempting to predict events with them.  I would probably even debate that outer events that often occur simultaneously with eclipses are physical manifestations of a psychological or spiritual process.

There is a bit of controversy over what in the chart is influenced by an eclipse.  Some astrologers pay attention to every planet in or around (3 degree orb) the eclipse, while other astrologers only focus on the conjunction and opposition aspects. I personally believe that since an eclipse is either a New Moon (Solar Eclipse) or a Full Moon (Lunar Eclipse) that for the sake of simplicity its best to focus on the conjunction and oppositions.  This makes the chart easier to manage especially when there is an eclipsed planet.

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