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Solar Eclipses: Their Meaning and Message

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A solar eclipse occurs at a new moon and sees the light of the sun obscured by the moon. Astrologically, the sun reflects our core will and essence. It reveals the qualities that we manifest as we mature (giving it a future-oriented quality) and the path we must walk to step into an independent, unique expression of our being. As such it is the organising force of the psyche through which is filtered all experience, both internal and external. The sun relates to consciousness and in growing increasingly conscious of ourselves and our motivation we step more deeply into its life-giving energy.

The moon, on the other hand, is our instinctive and feeling self. A part of us so deep within and close to our very core that we barely know it consciously, instead expressing it as readily but unconsciously as we draw breath. Reflecting both subconscious and unconscious forces in the psyche, the moon reveals our emotional habits and our default orientation towards life. Where the sun is conscious and radiant, the moon is unconscious and deceptively influential. Born of our innate subjectivity and yet all encompassing, it both constrains us within our individual world view and connects us with the collective consciousness from which we all draw breath.

Because the light of the Sun (the life-force expressed as will) is blocked by the physicality of the Moon (the life force expressed as instinct) the shape of our life at a solar eclipse often reveals the consequences of past actions and reactions. How we manage our emotions and feelings, how we respond to those of others, the stories we tell ourselves about the ‘who, what, where and how’ of our existence, all have consequences which a solar eclipse can bring into sharp relief. If we find ourselves challenged by unexpected disruption now, honest and open reflection may reveal our part in current events no matter how randomly beyond our control they at first appear. Identifying the present consequences of past actions and omissions, denials and assertions, will assist us greatly in moving forward with deeper wisdom that supports a more awakened responsiveness in future. Such a process allows for humility, not despair, to arise in the face of challenge. It asserts authority over victimhood and reminds us that everything we do has consequences, many of which are out of our grasp as soon as we’ve acted. Whilst life does indeed deal unexpected cards and everyone is blindsided sometimes, being able to trace our own footsteps and fingerprints among what may at first look like a pile of rubble enables us to take stock, ‘cowboy up’ and get back in the saddle!

Nonetheless, we may be tempted into victim mentality at this time, convinced we are being punished or scapegoated, unfairly treated or powerless to effect change in our lives. But we are only victims if we allow something or someone to dictate our state of mind and heart, instead of rising up, sovereign even in the face of our greatest challenge. To do the latter we must understand how our mind and heart work: what triggers our own personal spiral into despair or hopelessness, anger or confusion. There’s simply no time to wait for feelings to change of their own accord now. We must be masters of our destiny and agents of necessary change. Within the darkness of a solar eclipse we need to hold our centre and stand firm, allowing whatever occurs to penetrate us to our deepest core and speak its wisdom. We may not want to hear this particular piece of wisdom right away, of course, but the least we can do is write it down and return to it later, because we can rest assured it will be central to our lives and how we live them before too long.

Like the obscured light of the sun, our capacity to take effective action may seem blocked at a solar eclipse, but not for want of trying! These eclipses tend to have a mind of their own, shaping events and emotions according to their own often difficult to comprehend priorities. They disrupt our malaise and act to insert new experience into our personal timeline. Events associated with solar eclipses can be shocking by nature and wholly unexpected. Just when we thought life was taking us in one direction we are turned to face a different one and must forge a new path ahead. Aspects of our life which we assumed were unassailable can be thrown into disarray and we must pick up the pieces, like it or not. Alternatively, a solar eclipse may bring an unexpected and often inexplicable stroke of good luck which changes our life for the better in ways we couldn’t possibly have imagined. But adjustment will still be necessary and we may at first discover we’re a lot more scared of positive change and progress than we previously anticipated!

An interesting paradox exists within every solar eclipse, for whilst they augur a time of high energy and often radical experiences, they occur at a new moon which is a time of retreat, low energy, introspection and inner illumination. So a solar eclipse is akin to driving a car with one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake! We must decide which foot to move in response to the road ahead. Do we release the break and progress at increasing speed, or do we release the accelerator and rest for a while? Either choice is fine, as long as it’s the right one! If we need to slow down and rest we won’t miss the boat. It’ll wait because our resting is all part of the process towards the next step. But if we need to keep going on a wave of high energy, that’s all good too. We can rest another time. So choose wisely when the sun is eclipsed. Don’t push yourself if you know it’s time to step back, because stepping back at the right moment is equally important as stepping forward, and both contribute to the potential of an eclipse well-lived.

Despite the intense nature of a solar eclipse its fruits may take the following six months to ripen, fertilised by our energy during the two or three days either side of the actual event. It is therefore especially important to attend to the quality of our thoughts, emotions and behaviour at this time. A solar eclipse reminds us we are both sovereign over our life and subject to forces beyond our control. Playing our part as well as possible, with integrity, awareness and grace, ensures our power is used to the fullest and greatest effect. The rest we must leave to chance and embrace when it arrives!

So we could say a solar eclipse is a brush with destiny, but not in the ‘pre-ordained there’s no avoiding it’ kind of way. We are our own destiny, a fact which may become startlingly apparent at this time. The events of our lives, their twists and turns, challenges and triumphs, reflect our deepest essence and unique presence in this world. We are force-fields of energy and intent, interacting with the unified field of being woven through all things. The causative factors of events in our lives are many and varied, but we are the common denominator and it is through self-knowledge and self-acceptance that we can more fully live, whatever life (and a solar eclipse!) throws our way.

If you want to understand how a particular solar eclipse impacts you more personally, look to the house where it falls in your birth chart. Here you will experience its direct impact as the affairs and issues of that house are subject to disruptive or unexpected forces which may feel beyond your control. Previous activity or achievement in the eclipse house may be undermined and new plans or efforts required. You may have to think on your feet for a while if you want to make up lost ground. Alternatively, it may make more sense to let go of previous goals and reconsider the shape of things to come in this area of your life.

Any aspects the eclipse makes to natal planets, or conjunctions to the Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven or Imum Coeli, will also influence how its energies are experienced. Look especially to the personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and sometimes Jupiter) and to conjunctions, squares and oppositions, which will be most acutely felt.

Look also to the position and condition (aspects and strength etc.) of your natal sun, whose impact upon your life will be emphasised during a solar eclipse. You may find that the issues your natal sun reflects in your chart are particularly brought to bear in the house where the eclipse occurs. For example, if your natal sun is in your 10th house of career and public life and the eclipse is in your 4th house of home and family, you may find that work issues and demands from the outside world greatly impact your home life, and your work/personal life balance requires some skilful attention.

It’s also worth considering the house ruled by the sun in your natal chart: that is the house with Leo on its cusp. Here you will also feel the impact from a solar eclipse, but often more in the long-term than at the actual time of the eclipse. Once the eclipse season has passed and things begin to settle you may see a gradual change in this area over the following few months, as events and changes associated with the eclipse ‘bed in’ to your life. Your decision-making abilities and sense of sovereignty in this area of your life will mature as a result of the eclipse and you will gain a broader and wiser perspective upon the affairs of this house and how best to take them forward.

The next solar eclipse will be at 8:52 p.m. UT on 15th  February 2018 in the 28th degree of Aquarius. 

© Sarah Varcas 2016. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to freely share this article in its entirety on the condition that full credit is given to the author, it is distributed freely and the URL www.astro-awakenings.co.uk is included.
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