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It won’t be this dramatic. ‘The Execution of Lady Jane Grey’ By Paul Delaroche 1834 {{PD}}

The total Lunar eclipse begins just after 3:02 AM PST as Moon aligns with Earth and Sun at precisely 16 degrees of Taurus. The dynamic is very much one of oppositional energies, as Moon-Earth conjoins Uranus and the Sun is poised for Superior Conjunction with Mercury (as you know, that’s when Mercury and the Sun meet with Merc in direct apparent motion), this latter bringing to fruition something planted around the Inferior Conjunction of 23rd-24th of September, though there are three additions to the picture that add their own twists to the sense of denouement that may arise: a trine of the eclipse to Ceres in Virgo, a novile to just-retrograded Mars in Gemini, and a square to Saturn in Aquarius.

Being Total we should expect no mercy with this eclipse. Falling in Taurus, we’ll experience the wipe-out of circumstances related to some aspect of our own comfort, security, resources, assets, or even talents, or to matters of the House in the natal chart where Taurus falls, and this will bring certain emotions and conclusions about our own feelings to consciousness. The Sun in Scorpio is the light-giver, but in this situation it’s temporarily and completely blocked, implying that our view must change: the Scorpionic light currently cast on things (a light that looks to illuminate the need for change, to ferret out the Truth, to destroy what’s unnecessary or detrimental, to x-ray what surrounds us and reveal what’s hidden) is suddenly removed, with the suddenness of the alteration only emphasized by the eclipse’s conjunction to Uranus. What we see when that critical light of dissection and Truth-delving is gone will not be what we expect. It may in fact be something so new, so unanticipated, that we are shocked, by what happens, or by our own reaction to it, or by the message/ information contained in events (Sun conj Mercury).

Did I say no mercy? That’s not quite right; we find extenuating influences in those other aspects the eclipse makes. The change wrought by the eclipse may easily come about through Mother Nature (trine to Ceres in Virgo) in her critical response to current conditions–and those may be global, like climate change, or personal, like diet or responses to Nature via allergens or disease–so that we may quite abruptly be facing a situation that is the perfect storm of what’s natural combined with our own choices. This could also imply we’ll be faced with the results of our own exercise of personal authority, or our nurture (or failure to nurture) those for whom we’re responsible. Nature will try to re-direct us, and in most cases this won’t be traumatic; it’s up to us to take the hint.

There’s also that novile to retro Mars.You may have wondered why I haven’t made any specific comment on Mars going retro–and I don’t know why, either. Maybe it’s that it’s happening in Gemini, giving me the impression that so much that is aggressive, threatened, imposed, or potentially violent will actually turn out to be ‘all talk, no action’. Maybe it’s the way Chiron and Eris are the only bodies in Aries at the moment, suggesting we could all use a little relief, possibly offered via retro ruler status, from our wounds and from those major sources of aggravation I like to call sh*t-stirrers. But, in terms of the eclipse, Mars’ novile implies a little bit of genius implicit in eclipse events, the kind that may see our hesitation, reluctance, or changed choice or action as a good thing, keeping us from stepping in it.

If you’re concerned this is all too nebulous, don’t be: the eclipse square to Saturn in Aquarius promises real-life effects, solidly grounded, but that must be viewed through the lens of Higher Mind. Is, say, the loss of an asset at this time really about the circumstances surrounding that loss, or is it more about what that loss says, about what we find reward or profit in, about how we spend our energy, about the role of possessions (or possibly the impermanence of these)? If it is about the circumstances of the loss, then it may be that we need to look at our own vulnerabilities, or to the ways our ideas do (or don’t) transfer to reality. For some it may be a bit of the opposite, a question of whether we are playing an intellectual game with reality that keeps us from connecting the dots; in this case, we may be so mired in our own reasoning or tortuous mental justifications that we don’t register how these are seriously at odds with the real-world picture. The ancient ruler of Aquarius traveling through the sign and squared by an eclipse definitely says the brakes will be put on somewhere, that we’re going to come slamming up against something of the real world–the good news is, we can use the mind to de-code what happens.

So, a little thought experiment with the Sabians: I’d been taught that a placement at, as our eclipse is, 16 degrees, no minutes, of a sign meant it actually was part of the preceding degree picture; it hadn’t yet proceeded into the 16th degree because there are no minutes. That’s the way I’ve always read them, but today I questioned that interpretation, so I’ve decided to take a look at both possibilities. I’m not beyond learning a better (more correct?) way, so here goes:

The eclipse Sabian is, ‘An Old Teacher Fails To Interest His Pupils In Traditional Knowledge’–or is it, ‘A Symbolical Battle Between “Swords” And “Torches”’? The old teacher could be Aquarian Saturn in hard aspect to the event indicators, suggesting we won’t learn from what’s come before–that argues for the way I was taught to read them, as this is the preceding symbol. The ‘battle’ is of course between a Water placement (the Scorpio Sun) and an Earth placement (Moon-Earth)–not exactly symbolic of swords or torches, but we could see it as torches being the fire of feeling (Scorpio Water) and swords being something physically effecting (Taurus Earth), though a bit contradictory to the retro Mars aspect–but let’s look at the possibilities for the Sun–maybe that will sort it out. The Sun is, ‘A Girl’s Face Breaking Into A Smile’, and ‘A Woman, Fecundated By Her Own Spirit, Is “Great With Child”’. Hmmm. No help there, in my view. This may be my signal to step back from the Sabians for a while–just not feeling them–I’ll return to them when I do.

But I can offer you this unusual dream Word Image: at an open air market there are steps down which water begins to flow. Someone has placed several small children, no bigger than the palm of your hand, along the steps, and the water is knocking them over, sometimes face down, and the person responsible for them is nowhere in sight. I go and lift each one out of the water, make sure they are breathing, and as I work anticipate that whoever is in charge of them will be rushing up any second, angry that I am handling these delicate creatures. What ‘other person’s baby’ are you in a position to in some way ‘rescue’? If you step in somewhere to help, who will be angry, and why? Or maybe that’s the point: we need to show mercy, in the face of dangerous times, no matter the personal cost. Just a little something to think about–have a great weekend (don’t forget to take that hour back), and an enlightening eclipse!