Saturday’s New Moon, taking place in the morning of August 11th, is yet another eclipse, the third in a series of three telling configurations this summer. The previous two, from mid-July and then the lunar eclipse of July 27th, were quite powerful and featured both Pluto and Uranus, harbingers of major cultural and personal transformation. This one is similar, with the Sun and Moon in close aspect once again to transformational Pluto, while retrograde Mercury becomes parallel to trickster Uranus, the latter also in close trine to limiting Saturn. This configuration is thus a fitting end-point to the much-touted summer of 2018 eclipse season, an end that is also a new beginning. What is the overall effect of these challenging times, as reflected in the heavens, and in the news, not to mention private individual experience? As the poet Gerard Manly Hopkins puts it: “Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie sheer and clear.” In other words, by going through the difficulties and the life-changing experiences of these times, we are building character. And in life here in the physical, there may indeed be no other way for that to happen. This is sometimes referred to as the “school of hard knocks.” Definitely it is schooling. With the aid of the astrological picture we get some validation for our trials that we are going through as being of a more general, and incidentally more spiritual, nature than we oftentimes give credit for. Plus, we can get a hint of some of the details.
Of the features of this August solar eclipse configuration, the aspect between Uranus and Saturn stands out in this regard. Saturn, moving backward through early Capricorn because currently in retrograde, has retreated to the three-degree mark, while Uranus, now in Taurus, has just stationed at the two-and-a-half degree mark of that sign. This trine aspect is therefore quite close, about thirty minutes of a degree, and even though the aspect is a trine, which is generally positive, does indicate an extreme clash of viewpoints. That is because these archetypes are so antithetical to each other. Uranus is for freedom from convention, and for go-go-go without stopping, shooting off in all directions, while stodgy old Saturn is the quintessential defender of the existing status quo. Saturn is also highlighted in the eclipse New Moon because the eclipse degree is in precise sesquiquadrate. This means that the twin impulses are still very much with us of stop versus go and innovate versus staying the course. There are thus almost schizophrenic conflicts that we must deal with in this way, emphasizing careful judgment and strategic decision-making, as this timing of Mercury Retrograde would imply. And this is on top of a powerful summer-long retrograde period of Mars, symbolizing action itself turned inward. This implies also that the current virulent societal polarity between progressive and conservative agendas shows no indications of fading away anytime soon.
Neptune too is highlighted in the eclipse configuration, being bolstered by a close forming trine from compatible Jupiter and challenged by an inconjunct from retrograde Mercury, square also to Jupiter. In this regard it is fascinating to note that Neptune and Pluto together make a yod to the eclipse degree, and there is as well as a sesqui-yod from Chiron and Saturn. The former brings an evolutionary orientation for ongoing transformational change, as well as spirituality, into the picture, while the latter is the signal for a major authority wound taking place in the world as we know it, as is quite visible in the headlines and can likely also be seen in the unfolding drama of our own lives. How and when do I take my authority? Is the authority of another viewpoint my legitimate guiding light, or is it a case of misplaced power going far out of control? And, can I meaningfully discern the difference?
The Sabian Symbol for this eclipse degree of 18+ Leo gives, as usual, an added dimension to the above discussion. It is “A houseboat party,” and we immediately think of society afloat on the rolling waters of spiritually-oriented Neptune, in joyful celebration perhaps, as is emblematic of jolly Jupiter. Marc Edmund Jones mentions “creative relaxation as a prelude to effective (social) effort.” He then goes on to call for “cooperative relationships with (the remainder of mankind)” and also references, “an intensified culture of skills and inspiration which can implement a contribution to the world at large.” And in this his own strong native Eris placement is showing.
In spite of difficulty, we are being called upon in this decade to rise to the occasion, showing ourselves and the world what we are made of and taking our stand for what we most deeply believe. And this is in spite of anything that tries to block our path. In this way we join our efforts with like-minded others, and raise a new flag over the troubled waters of our currently quite fragmented social setting.
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The Sun represents the Self, one's way of being in the world. It can represent, on different levels, both the ego and the higher Self or soul purpose. It rules Leo and is exalted in Aries. The Sun is the most important 'planet' in the chart and symbolizes one's will and sense of vitality. When the Sun is afflicted (poorly placed or poorly aspected) it could indicate problems with the father, or male role model. The Sun energizes your entire chart, and planets in close relationship to the Sun (by planetary aspect) are emphasized in your personality. If your Sun is prominent in your chart, you will exhibit great power to do and to be.
The Moon represents the personal self, the feelings and the unconscious. It is a reflection of the true self, represented by the Sun. The Moon also stands for security and instinctual or habitual patterns, as well as the ability to relate to others, and to be nurturing to others. The Moon rules Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. It is often contrasted with the Sun as the female receptive principle versus the masculine or positive principle. The Moon represents the feminine and nurturing part of oneself. In a male chart, the Moon represents the feminine within, or the 'anima' and also indicates the type of partner you will attract. The Moon also represents an attunement from the past, which operates at an instinctive or habitual level in your present life.
Mercury represents the mind and intellect, and rules Gemini, sign of duality also Virgo, and has its exaltation in Aquarius. Mercury is an airy planet, associated with all forms of communication and the in-flow and out-flow of intelligence. Its position indicates how your mental function will be expressed, and where techniques and skills are available to you.
Venus is the planet of love and relationship. Venus is in-taking, rather than out-going (as represented by Mars), and rules the signs Libra and Taurus. Venus has its exaltation in Pisces, and is associated with aesthetics, beauty, refinement and romance. Its position in the chart indicates the area in which the give and take of love, affection and sensual pleasure will be expressed.
Mars is the planet of outward activity and animal passion. It rules Aries and is exalted in Capricorn. This fiery planet is masculine in action, versus softer more receptive Venus. When strong in the chart it can indicate a volatile temper, and also great courage. Its position indicates how your personality will assert itself, and what modes of activity will stimulate your physical energies.
Jupiter is the planet of faith, positivism and optimism. It rules Sagittarius and is exalted in Cancer. Jupiter represents the principle of expansion, versus contraction (as represented by Saturn) and the aspirations of the higher self. Its position in the chart indicates how your faith will be expressed, and what modes of activity will stimulate self-confidence.
Saturn is the planet of limitation and contraction, and the trials of life experience. This includes disciplive, punctuality, and the conservation of material resources. Saturn rules Capricorn and is exalted in Libra, and is limited and material, versus unlimited faith (as represented by Jupiter). It indicates areas where the personality will be restricted by fears and lack of confidence, and also areas which are important to be worked on in this lifetime.
Uranus is the planet of freedom and revolutionary vision, the urge for change and the ability to visualize new possibilities. Uranus rules Aquarius, and is exalted in Scorpio. It is also associated with mental studies, electricity and astrology. Its position indicates the arena of originality and freedom from conventional thinking in your life.
Neptune represents the universal ocean of oneness with all beings. It is thus highly compassionate, also idealistic, imaginative and self login or even self undoing, and can be associated with drugs or media, as fantasy expressions. Neptune rules Pisces, and finds its exaltation in Cancer. Its position indicates where there may be confusion and also great creativity in poetic or musical fields. Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus.
Pluto is a force for change that can be destructive in its power. Pluto rules Scorpio, and is exalted in Leo. Pluto is related to will, and intense passion, and has a reputation for ruthlessness. As god of the underworld Pluto brings the deepest compulsions into the light. Its position indicates areas of life that must ultimately become transformed as part of the soul's evolution.
Chiron is a small planet, or 'planetoid' that was only discovered in 1977, and which has already shown itself to be quite powerful in an individual's chart. Occupying an eccentric orbit between Saturn and Uranus, and named for the centaur physician of Greek myth who taught ancient wisdom to mankind, Chiron represents the archetype of the "Wounded Healer" and is associated with shamanism and going within to heal oneself. Its discovery is synchronous with the rise of the holistic health movement. Chiron's position in the chart reveals where one has been wounded, and where also there is the opportunity for discovering healing from within and sharing this discovery with other people, since from our wounds arises our compassion for the suffering of others. The position of Chiron, by house and sign, can also show where we have talent and access to ancient wisdom, as well as where we may depart from the mainstream in service to a higher practicality. Those with prominent Chiron are likely to be educators and spiritual healers.
As goddess of the harvest and the natural process of fertility and renewal, Ceres represents the process of nurturing and motherhood in an individual chart, and has been attributed to the sign Cancer as a co-ruler with the Moon, as well as to the signs of Taurus, Scorpio and Virgo.
The astrology of the asteroid Pallas indicates the creative use of the mental faculty in combination with ageless wisdom, and is also involved with the arts, especially the plastic arts such as sculpture and pottery, and with medicinal remedies.
The astrology of Juno indicates partnering energy of intimate relationships, as in the more modern issues of where the boundaries are with another person, how much sharing is appropriate, versus holding back, are there issues of bitterness and jealousy, or projected authority and control onto another person, and intimacy needs in general.
In the astrology of Vesta issues of sexuality and completeness unto oneself predominate. Possible associations are the woman (or man) who chooses celibacy, but as a nun or monk takes on a higher purpose than normal family life, also issues of sexuality and who is ultimately served in the process, self or other.
While the lower expression of Eris might manifest as the lust for struggle and violence, there is also a more positive manifestation in the most basic defense of one's rights in standing up to established power, by violence if necessary. By recognizing and coming to terms with this potentially violent factor in ourselves we can grow as humans and become more whole.
The Part of Fortune (from the Latin Pars Fortuna) is the only Arabian astrology part still commonly used in modern astrology. It indicates an area of life that is a fortunate one for the native. The house in which the Part of Fortune is placed indicates an area of your life which is likely to be a successful one for you; an area where the applications of your skill will bear fruit. Its is where you will find good luck and happiness.
The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also referred to as the dragon's head, The North Node indicates your goals. The placement of the North Node indicates work that needs to be done in your life, or new faculties that need to be developed in the present lifetime.
The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also known as the dragon's tail, the South Node indicates areas of mastery, often from a previous lifetime.
Aries people tend to be energetic, forceful and outgoing. They are good at getting things done, although they prefer starting to finishing. Like the energy of the first rush of spring, they move into the world in a headstrong, pioneering way. Aries people are likely to rush into things before reflecting, and may also be impatient or unwilling to sit back and allow events to mature.
Taureans revel in the pleasures of life. They crave the security and comfort of relaxing in the warmth of their home environment. They value the senses and the enjoyment of material things. Taureans are likely to work hard to make their home an attractive one. They also have the makings of a healer and have a large capacity for kindness.
Gemini is the sign associated with communication, logical thought processes (based on duality) and the conscious mind. Gemini people tend to be airy and intellectual, glib of tongue and curious about life and other people. They can experience two sides of things at the same time, and may tend to be flighty.
Cancerians are nurturing and protective of others. Their ruling planet is the Moon, and they tend to be moody, with constantly changing emotions. Cancerians are also likely to be security-conscious and highly value their home life. They may appear passive, and tend to rely on their feelings to make decisions. They are subtle, rather than direct, and are likely to reflect the moods of those around them.
Leos are likely to express themselves in dramatic, creative and assertive ways. They are also likely to enjoy the warmth of the physical Sun. Leos have great energy, courage and honesty. They are likely to be self-confident and maybe even a bit self-indulgent as they expect to be the center of attention, and often are. Leos can be quite determined and usually get their way when they really want to. They also possess great integrity, and are a natural leader.
Virgos love work, service to others and the gathering of the fruits of the material world, as symbolized by the harvest. They are also likely to be a good conversationalist, with wide-ranging knowledge and interesting ideas. They can be analytical and perhaps overly fond of detail, with perfectionist tendencies, and they may miss out on the big picture by concentrating on the micro. It also benefits them to learn the fine line between discrimination and criticism.
Libra is the sign of harmony and relationship. The Sun in Libra is at the time of the Equinox, when day equals night, and similarly Libra strives for balance between polarities. Librans are known for their good taste, elegance and charm. They are seekers of harmony and beauty.
Scorpio is the most intense sign of the Zodiac, and is associated with sexual activity and with the symbolism of death and rebirth. Their emotions run deep. Scorpios have great personal magnetism and great powers of persuasion or even the ability to coerce others.
Sagittarius is an optimistic, positive-thinking sign associated with the quest for freedom from all restriction as well as idealism, religion and philosophy. Sagittarians are direct and forthright, good-natured and affirmative in their outlook.
Capricorn people are ambitious and practical, and are likely to have an excellent sense of social responsibility. They also tend to be conscious of social mores, perhaps to the point of over-concern. Their natural caution allows them to advance slowly and steadily to the top.
Aquarians have a rebellious nature, and are eccentric, spontaneous and original. They are forward thinking and detached, and can seem conservative though they really are not very much so. They are scientifically minded and logical, and confident in manner.
Pisceans are friendly and likable, and yet can be very moody and introspective as well. Pisces is a watery sign, concerned with subtle emotions and secret mystical depths. Pisceans are not entirely at home in this world.