I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of the world today, and I wonder if we are under some form of curse. And no, not something performed by a tricky magician with his own personal motives. Instead, this is something deeper.
The ancient Greeks viewed curses much differently than we do, and it usually begins with some slight or offense towards some king or deity. Of course, a curse is placed upon the trespasser (usually someone that has committed hubris), and the person that is cursed suffers greatly. Unfortunately, the person that is cursed goes through some rather difficult experiences; the family usually experiences more acts of hubris resulting in curses until one individual is forced to deal with the mess that their ancestors have caused. One of the most famous is ‘The Curse of the House of Atreus’, which did not begin with the central character Orestes, but with his great grandfather Tantalus, who arrogantly fed the Olympians a dish of his son, Pelops. Unfortunately, and after several generations of more curses, Orestes ends up dealing with and resolving the curse through many trials and tribulations of his own – that he didn’t ask for or deserve.
There is another curse that occurs on more of a collective level, and you can find that in Judeo Christian mythology. Yahweh gets offended by the evil activity that becomes rampant on earth starting with the slaying of Abel and decides to cleanse the planet with a flood saving only Noah, his family, and a pair of every creature on the face of the earth.
As I look at the world stage, I often wonder if we are under a ‘new’ collective curse? Have we offended some god that is now looking for contrition? Have we committed some form of collective hubris? I mean look at what is going on in the world – possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, a nuclear standoff with North Korea, increased racial tensions, police violence, global warming, income inequality, and rather curious leaders on the world stage. Have we reached a ‘new’ collective critical mass?
This brings me to the ‘Great American Eclipse,’ that happens on August 21, 2017, at 2:30 PM EST.
Now, there are already numerous articles on the eclipse – some rather good ones and some others that are seasoned with rather curious new age secretions. And, as I stated in 2012, the world is not going to come to an end, and I seriously doubt any shift in consciousness is going to occur. However, this eclipse is going to be very powerful, and if enough people heed its call, we may be able to change our individual lives into something more meaningful. I think we need to examine the sign of Leo a bit deeper and get to its true meaning.
One of the main mythic images that I use to understand the sign of Leo is Parsifal from the Grail Legends. He is not a traditional hero because he doesn’t come with the grit and brawn of Hercules or Theseus – even though he does become a knight and does have some rather curious quests, but because he is forced on a path towards individual development, which is as heroic as any other hero’s journey.
Parsifal’s story is rather long and complex, and not really within the scope of an eclipse blog post. So, let me give you the cliff notes version.
The story begins with Parsifal being fatherless and living alone with his mother. One day he comes upon some knights and decides that he wants to become one, leaving his mother behind. Of course, the mother then dies in grief, which does not seem to bother Parsifal, because he is rather self-absorbed (a negative quality of Leo’s). He fights with another knight and wins and has a rather sordid love affair with a woman – who he abandons like his mother. He finally comes across a castle and is asked a rather simple question, “Who does the Grail serve?” Parsifal, of course, cannot answer the question and has to go and experience more of life before he ultimately comes back and answers the question correctly, and heals the Grail King, who surprisingly turns out to be his grandfather.
Of course, the answer to “Who does the Grail serve?” is oneself, and it is this context that I think we see the true essence of the sign of Leo. Although often showy and flamboyant, the real creation that Leo is trying to birth is themselves, and the sign is the archetypal path of individual maturation. We go through experiences in life that alchemically change us and make us authentically ourselves, and Leo’s that fail to take up this hero’s journey often end up depressed and bitter towards life. Why? Because they failed to birth the creation that is the most meaningful – themselves.
Finally, I want to address one more point in this abridged version of the Parsifal myth. Parsifal does not conquer dragons or demons or slay something and bring it home to an open reception of the kingdom. Instead, he simply asks questions. Brawn or brains do not resolve the state of the kingdom, it is resolved by answers that bring forth a state of consciousness within the individual.
We can ultimately even ask this question ourselves, but with a twist: Who does this life serve? It serves the person asking the question, and that deep realization provides us with inner potency, spiritual meaning, and despite the difficulties of living life, we become the masters of our destiny. In the end, life is what we make of it.
The eclipse occurs at 29 degrees of Leo, which is considered an aneretic degree. Some astrologers view this degree as a crisis point that coincides with confusion, difficulty making decisions, and excessive worry. Other astrologers believe that the aneretic degree has karmic intonations and both could be right, on one level or another. In many ways, you can state that we are at a crisis point in the geopolitical storyline, which is confirmed by the evening news.
A solar eclipse is a conjunction of the Sun and Moon in a sign that is conjoined with one of the lunar nodes. In this case, the North Node. Remember a solar eclipse is a New Moon and implies the birth of a new cycle or a new beginning, and even though it often coincides with crises in the world, the death of world leaders, changes of the guard, and the occasional coup, it denotes new beginnings.
There is a natural tendency for us to focus on some of the political figures whose charts are highly impacted by this eclipse – Donald Trump being one of the most important, and surely since he is a collective figure, it will impact us on a global scale. Many are also concerned about the Queen of England’s health since solar eclipses tend to signify leadership changes. However, I think that all of this takes away from the power of this eclipse on the personal level.
Celeste Teal in her book on Eclipses has the following to say:
“There may be a feeling of newfound power and strength with the North Node Solar Eclipse; one is finally able to push through a barrier, or there’s a sudden break. A Solar eclipse with the North Node attending is often quite positive about the types of experiences and material manifestation that may come from it, although one must have the courage to grab onto an opportunity that suddenly arises, tap into the expanding influences, and accept it graciously. The weave of in rushing energy can take one by surprise so that it’s experienced as upsetting because an old set of comfortable conditions may have to end to move into the new experience” — Kindle Version location 1313
In essence, Teal is stating that resisting the eclipse and attempting to hold onto things that need to change, will be painful and discouraging. If we go with the flow, something new will be born that will ultimately be positive and more rewarding for our individual growth.
The 4th house of the eclipse chart reveals the emotional weather of the eclipse. And, there are some similar trends to what occurred with the Lunar eclipse two weeks ago. Once again, Neptune and Chiron strongly influence the 4th house, which reveals a lot of inner confusion and wounds related to life’s unfairness. The eclipse is a great time for you to look at what you feel is unfair in your life, and whether you can constructively do anything about it. This could mean that you need to take some very drastic changes in your life – like train in new skills or release outworn relationships, but accepting that the situation for what it is creates a pathway towards healing.
The 1st house of the eclipse chart reveals the path or the road we need to walk down. Sagittarius is on the cusp of the 1st and always denotes hope and positive aspirations towards the future, but in the 1st house has Saturn retrograde, which reveals something damaged or blocked with its roots in the past is preventing our forward movement. It can also mean that we need to struggle, work hard, and push through the current obstacles that are in our lives and that the result is a stronger sense of structure than we had before. The ascendant is amplified by Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, in the hopeful 11th house.
The eclipse occurs in the 9th house, which has traditionally been relegated to higher education and teachers. Now, on its face, these descriptions are valid, but I have always felt that its missing something, and I have concluded that the 9th house represents the ‘big picture,’ and the area of life that we need to focus on to achieve our goals. In this case, the leonine eclipse in the 9th asks the following question: What is my big picture plans and what actions am I going to take to achieve them?
The eclipse forms a spectacular grand trine in the sky – a trine to Saturn and a trine to Uranus conjunct Eris. Fire sign trines are about potential and possibility and this essentially a gift from the universe because trines are easy to manifest, if you put some energy into it, and avoid getting lazy.
But, let’s break this grand trine down:
I wrote about Uranus conjunct Eris extensively in my lunar eclipse blog post, so I am not going to cover it again here. But, to put it in its simplest form Uranus conjunct Eris is a political vision or plan that balances trespasses towards natural laws. This combination together is a cosmic wrecking ball that wishes to set the system straight again; like a gigantic reset button. Of course, it does it in some rather destructive ways because that seems to be the only currency available that wakes people up.
This eclipse is a gigantic wake-up call. It’s the cosmic sign post that says – YOU MUST CHANGE, and fortunately, with the aspects to the eclipse being mainly positive, we could work towards this goal rather effectively. We begin our Parsifal journey, but what does it require?
According to the eclipse chart, the requirements are structure and change. The Sun’s trine to Saturn makes it easy for us to hone in on putting our lives together and taking responsibility on our terms. The eclipse reveals that it is no longer viable for us to rely upon externals in the world to make our lives better, we must rely on ourselves. Sun trine Saturn gives you the discipline to make things happen, and this is a great time for you to analyze what you have built so far and continue to build upon your successes one step at a time. Additionally, the Sun’s trine to Uranus encourages us not to be afraid of making changes when necessary. If you’re a living a life that is not working for you, now is the time to add new things (hobbies, courses of studies, interests) that will enrich your life and make it more meaningful.
The eclipse chart offers us one additional tool, which despite its notorious reputation is a saving grace – Mercury Retrograde. Mercury retrograde allows us to reanalyze our lives and put things into proper perspective. He gives us insight, and using this insight will allow us to break out of any rut that we have been in. Mercury also sits in the big picture 9th house and rules the 10th, and forms an opposition with Neptune. This reflects that despite the confusion we feel, and the uncertainty that exists in the world, once we push past the clouds and get a glimpse at the true light of our lives, we can begin to govern our lives more effectively with meaning and grace.
Before we get to the personal points in eclipse charts, I think in many ways; the world has become the wounded Grail king. The kingdom is barren, and the king cannot find ways to help his land or people. I am reminded of the current political backbiting that serves to promote special interest groups and personal agendas leaving the rest of us behind. We are afflicted with a collective spiritual sickness, and this eclipse is telling us that it is time to reflect and become conscious of the meaning of things.
Perhaps, we need to ask a new question – Who is going to change the world for the better?
I think you know the answer.
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 ultimate 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, its 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 road-blocks, 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 for us to 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.
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.
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, ideals, 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 19, 2017
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