The August Eclipse set will fire us up (Leo) and present us with a distinct mental challenge (Aquarius): do we put ourselves first, or do we go with the group? For some, this will translate into an even more personal dynamic, with a twist: the dilemma will be between weighing the efficacy of what we must do to earn individual glory, versus the temptation to rebel against group demands, which offer an implied glory for the individual (likely of a reflective nature, where the individual basks in the glory of group achievement or ascendancy), just without the personal ‘spotlight’ effect. So, the essence of the eclipse influence will be a measuring of action (Fire) in terms of a kind of ‘attention payoff,’ with the main question involving whether the choices must be independent and Self-focused to attain Self-glory, or whether acts must comply with what the group thinks, wants, requires in order to earn its acclaim.

The total Solar eclipse of August 1st occurs at 3:12 AM PDT at 9 Leo 32, and is part of a single configuration; the Sun/Moon conjunction, opposed Earth, forms a T-square with Vesta in Taurus (see previous entry for other aspects active at this point). A fire lights us from within as the Moon and Sun meet; the aspect pattern says we will assess our material situation to see how this fits with the urge to act, and it also implies our conflicts in this regard will be presented by the home situation, the sex life, and/ or those subjects we hold sacred. That’s a formidable challenge, and one that is at the core of who we are; in order to successfully negotiate the eclipse energy, we must determine what our essential sacred values are, and then we must act accordingly. This is, however, only the initial phase of the set, and so we look to the Lunar eclipse that follows for clues as to how this scenario will play out.

The two weeks between the eclipse points will be fraught with tension, at least as regards our personal ambitions and our urge to forward our own cause. Though some may paint this as too much Self-focus, too vain, it is an absolutely appropriate response–no time should be wasted in judging ourselves for what occupies our attention. Instead we must make a concerted effort to understand our priorities, and what we need to fulfill the Leonine desire for acclaim. Focus on the Leo related elements of your natal chart will outline the methods, venues, and most effective approach(es) that you can take in dealing with the initial eclipse energy. During the two week interim both Mercury and Venus move from Leo to Virgo, and gently move our processing abilities from concentration on ego needs to the categorization and details that will help us implement the actions we’ve discovered we must take in order to thrive. When each of these energies meets Saturn (Mercury the 15th, Venus the 13th) be prepared to be presented with either an actual material manifestation of the action-need, or with an idea or concept that will point the way to fulfillment–either way, it will be solid; the only thing preventing successful use will be an unwillingness to recognize what’s come to us.

The partial Lunar eclipse (Full Moon) arrives at 2:15 PM PDT on August 16th at 24 Aquarius 21. Is a partial eclipse less powerful than a total one? I like to think so, simply because ‘total’ suggests an overwhelming influence we can’t avoid, while ‘partial’ gives us wiggle room, and possibly implies that some will remain largely unaffected by this contact unless it also aspects a personal natal placement or point.

This is a meshing of Moon and Earth, a blending of emotion/ intuition and the material; the Sun in opposition puts ego and Soul urges ‘out there,’ either in direct contrast to, or unavailable or unrelated to, the Moon/ Earth combo. The Soul/ ego/ identity becomes ‘the Other,’ and our focus becomes the emotional reaction to the material surroundings/ situation. We look to the feeling reality to guide us in material choices; the sensibilities respond to the unseen behind the physical world and the everyday object. We can make decisions about material matters with uncanny emotional accuracy at this point, if we can allow intuition to work ‘in the moment’–trying to get intuitive insight ahead of the game means we will be relying on every faculty except the intuitive–keep this in mind if you happen to be one who finds it difficult to walk into something without your mind already made up.

At Lunar Eclipse time we also see Mars exactly square Pluto and sextile Ceres, Chiron less than one degree from conjunction with the North Node, and Venus exact trine Vesta. Less precise in aspect, but still of note, are Ceres sesquiquadrate Juno and quincunx Pluto. These aspects suggest the atmosphere we’ll face as we are immersed in the emotional/ material meld. The ego Self will be bent on destruction or transformation, either in concert with or on its own authority; action feels both necessary and justified, but that authortiy on which we rely, whether personal or external, may need adjustment in order to truly be in our own best interests, the kind that keep us empowered, and again, the destruction/ transformation urge is linked with this. With Chiron/ NN and Venus trine Vesta we see elements of (misperceived) fatedness or woundedness, and a possibly too-adamant reverence for the sacred, enter the mix. These can make us intractable, unreasonable, and can give the ego too strong a foothold on the action, as it uses what we hold dear to justify nearly anything it wants. On the positive side, we may see Chirotic skills brought to the fore, and a true appreciation for relationships/ assets; we may even profit from events.

Though eclipse effects are strongest at the event itself, influences will play out through to the next eclipse set in January/ February 2009. Matters of Self, Self-promotion, and absorption/ resistance to the group will be recurring themes; look to the Houses of the natal chart where the eclipses occur for the areas of your life mostly likely to be affected.

Watch the eclipse here: http://oregonspacegrant.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/view-a-full-solar-eclipse-webcast-live-at-omsi-august-1-2008/