A New Moon Solar Eclipse of Restrained and Thoughtful Activity

Posted on August 7, 2018 by Henry Seltzer of ASTROGRAPH.COM

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.