Our first question with these eclipses must be, ‘Do we allow for bigger orbs than we would for an ‘ordinary’ New or Full Moon?’ My sense is that we should, especially if they’re approaching rather than separating, even if they are a little large (for the Solar eclipse of the 1st, the trine to Pluto is the largest, at a discrepancy of 5 degrees 43 minutes; for the Lunar eclipse of the 16th it’s an approaching opposition to Jupiter, perfecting in 7 degrees 14 minutes). In part I think we should extend the orbs for eclipses because all eclipses fall near the extreme points marked by the Nodes, and this extends the influence of these Lunar events, at least symbolically; then there’s the matter of the Moon moving on quickly, completing these aspects relatively soon after the eclipse itself. With the Lunar eclipse opposition to Jupiter, we should consider it because of the planet’s proximity to the Sun, since Sol is the initiating entity by virtue of its contribution of light (so creating and making visible the phenomenon in the first place); however, it’s important we confine our larger orbs to major aspects only, and keep these, even with our extended parameters, within acceptable maximums.
The first in the set, an annular Solar eclipse (New Moon) occurs at 2:03 AM Pacific time at 9 Virgo 21 on 1 September. During an annular Solar eclipse, a ring of the Sun’s light remains visible around the Moon as it passes between and on the same plane as the Earth and the Sun. An eclipse in Virgo implies that at least some of the matters of the House where the event falls in the natal chart, as well as those natal placements contacted and the matters of any Houses they rule, receive a kind of ‘wipeout’ energetically; the old state of things is swept away, and a new way to be is born, or, without removing what is, we see the beginnings of something else, on top of what is, like building upon (what effectively become) ruins—but neither new start begins without a Virgoan struggle of sorts, involving the need to modify the mentality, the way we process information, to bring critical thinking or new forms of accountability into being, to use discernment, to take an oath for or against something (likely informal) or form a promise to the Self or another, to shape a means of service, or to do the work appropriate to our expected ‘harvest’. With Virgo what begins may be relatively mundane, focused on detail or methodology, on serving, on the work of ‘growing’ a business or project, of production, and the transportation and distribution of results; it may also be the spark to a health matter or the roots of a learning or communication oriented venture. Because Virgo can concentrate so much on service, duty, and nursing projects along, we might see it as just another minor development in the everyday—but aligned with a Solar eclipse, what seems routine should be seen instead as a true sea change, a fundamental shift that sows the seeds (so Virgo!) of the future (the event occurs very near the North Node; all eclipses are close to one or the other Nodal point), and describes the character that future will have. However minor the event, it augurs what’s to come.
The New Moon creates a T-square with Mars and Saturn, which are together in Sagittarius; the eclipse also draws Neptune into this configuration by opposition, and if we accept those large orbs, we also see the NM as part of an Earth Grand Trine with Pluto and Ceres. It seems this new start comes with the brakes on—that is, some knowledge (Sagittarius) restrains or brings the material results of (Saturn) our actions or our impetus forward (Mars), and this occurs even as we are inspired or a dream is triggered, possibly by a negative experience, or one of denial or deception (the Neptune opposition). That restraint, however, whether Self-imposed or applied by external forces, may offer a means of finding balance between our need to feel powerful and to express this (Pluto), and our sense of personal authority, our claimed ‘territory’, and our relationships with those over whom we feel we have a say (Ceres), or, in some matter of health that involves our diet or the environment (Ceres), and requires transformation, change, or elimination (Pluto). A reckoning among these factors is a natural by-product of the eclipse, and of the experience of constraint, containment, or materialization triggered by it.
A sesquiquadrate to Uranus, sextiles to Juno and Black Moon Lilith, and a novile to Hygeia round out the eclipse contacts. What happens in connection to the eclipse may challenge our concepts of our own individuality; our independence or our originality may be questioned, prove an illusion, or take concrete form, even as we find the benefits in attending to what has been ignored or denied. In gaining a sense of the most effective way to implement our own empowerment, we also find a kind of serendipitous development that we might best describe as ‘offering health’—not quite a healing, more a restoration of balance, fairness, and function, probably in relationship (Hygeia in Libra).
The aspect to Uranus, a sesquiquadrate (135 degrees, plus or minus at most 2.5 degrees) brings forward a question in response to some who have emphasized what they see as a Finger of God with base of Uranus-Pallas and apex of Jupiter-Mercury as significant to the eclipse: does the Solar eclipse’s contact to Uranus somehow make the Finger important to the eclipse? If the Finger’s configuration were tighter, I would consider that a possibility, but in this case, with Jupiter-Merc well outside the maximum measurement for an inconjunct to either base body, I have to say no, this doesn’t even create a Finger, much less one that figures into eclipse events. We could make an exception if the eclipse were directly involved, but it’s not.
The Sabian for the Solar eclipse is, ‘Two Heads Looking Out And Beyond The Shadows’. Two heads: a pair, a partnership—and we’re told they’re ‘better than one’. This suggests that collaboration, cooperation, and the state of companionship arising from similar mental outlooks (‘heads looking out’) enables us to see past an unenlightened state (‘the shadows’) to a presumed ‘lighter’ (more enlightened) point of view. This may refer back to the eclipse’s contact to Uranus, and a matter we didn’t address in outlining eclipse effects; that is, the individual struggle for accommodation may specifically benefit by the correct alignment with the group. Two heads looking out and beyond the shadows suggests that they may be side by side, looking in the same direction, and this could point up that the individual expression benefits by inclusion in and support from like-minded assemblies, others, companions, groups; it may also suggest that, even in duality (in recognizing the separateness of individuals, or even within the individual’s own ‘divided’ mind) there are common ways of seeing, ways that can, by combining outlooks, give greater insight and enlightenment than would be available through a single individual (or through a divided individual outlook) alone.
The Lunar eclipse (Full Moon) is appulse (the apparent close approach of one celestial body to another which is created by the perspective from a third, in this case, the third being Earth) and occurs on 16 September at 12:05 PM PDT at 24 Pisces 19. Here we do see a Finger of God, with the eclipse and Sedna as base, apex Hygeia. With the Solar eclipse we were offered health, in some important way; now the Lunar eclipse declares we are likely to know instinctively in what way or form the restoration of balance or function was or is to be reached. The promise of the previous eclipse is fulfilled in this one—and that more than a little connects them in a deeper way than we usually experience, and this may be symbolized in the signs involved, with the Virgo Solar eclipse being very visible (or at least tangible—Earth sign), and the Lunar eclipse an event of completion, as all Full Moons are, this one Piscean, representing a subtle, evocative development below conscious awareness, possibly mainly perceived through the emotions or ‘sensed’ through intuitive or creative faculties.
The Lunar eclipse is conjoined Chiron, giving what concludes or ends at this time a theme of healing, or wounding, with the former the goal, and the latter the outcome to unresolved tensions not addressed adequately by the individual. The potential for this negative result is shown in the Moon-Earth/ Sun axis which creates a T-square with Mars; this brings the ego, the Will, and aggressive or assertive energies into play, and implies that the health and healing we seek (and we seek this whether we know it consciously or not) may not occur, if we are unable to resolve the tension between the ‘I Am’ or the ego and the event of the Lunar eclipse. That is, the Chirotic occurrence will initially bring upset to the ego; it’s in resolving this upset that we have the chance to heal.
The eclipse is also trine Vesta and novile Ceres. These aspects imply there will be available to us a powerful nurturing energy that unites personal power (derived from our natural authority, plus Nature and our place within it) with what we find sacred, specifically in the areas of home, family, and the act of giving succor. Whatever reaches fruition or ending with this eclipse will align with our truest values and those things we honor and find sacred. If we’re surprised by what develops, we should take it as bringing to our conscious attention what we really care about—and so eclipse events will offer the chance to move toward more authentic representations of our values, especially in the areas of nurture, dedication, and responsibility.
Should we count that out-of-sign opposition of the eclipse to Jupiter? Astrologer and early opinion-haver on this topic, William Lilly, tells us that to be considered combust the Sun, a planet must be within 8 degrees 30 minutes and in the same sign—which Jupiter is not; but he counts anything up to within 17 degrees of the Sun as being ‘under the sunbeams’, a condition that is debilitating for the body’s energy, but not so much as combustion (he contradicts himself later in discussing Horary astrology by stating that whether the body is in the same sign as the Sun does not matter). I think we must count Jupiter as having a part in the eclipse since the Sun is approaching conjunction to Jupiter in 7 degrees 14 minutes (with the meeting occurring in Libra), though I can’t name with any certainty whether we should consider this as having the nature of combustion or the condition of under the sunbeams—either way, we know Jupiter’s usual largesse is a bit dampened by the situation.
A Lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth comes between and is on the same plane as the Sun and Moon, from our point-of-view the Moon appearing to conjoin Earth with the meeting on the side opposite the Sun, with both these bodies opposing the Sun; that means that we ourselves, and material matters, block the illuminating light of the Sun, with most knowledge arriving through emotional or intuitive channels, and through ‘vibes’ gleaned off surroundings or material circumstances. Jupiter is, in essence, conjoined the Sun, and this may imply that Lunar eclipse events at least in part arise from lost knowledge, lost or blocked opportunity, or difficult circumstances surrounding the social arena or our own expansion attempts—and since the aspect has not yet perfected, we may not be aware of the loss, or we may have yet to see it peak.
The Sabian for the Lunar eclipse is, ‘A Religious Organization Succeeds In Overcoming The Corrupting Influence Of Perverted Practices and Materialized Ideals’. Even with the best of intentions, the spiritual easily becomes ‘corrupted’ as we try to incorporate it, represent it, and live it in the daily life; just witness the large number of individuals, religious institutions, and groups over the years who have failed to keep their reason-for-being in mind as the physical plane exerted its influence on their attempts at manifesting the spiritual one. Remember that healing we spoke of, that return to function or fitness? It may, through the action of the two eclipses, act to remove a corrupted or compromised set of practices or to eliminate inappropriate ways of manifesting spiritual energy. And the conjunction of Jupiter to the Sun, origin of the illumination of the eclipse situation in the first place, suggests that we will see a purification of beliefs or of religious practice, with this potential existing both personally and in a larger societal context. The Sun’s Sabian is, ‘A Flag At Half-Mast In Front Of A Public Building’; a flag at half-staff position (mast applies to ships) is an acknowledgment of something lost. Jupiter’s Sabian at the time of the eclipse is, ‘The Transmutation Of The Fruits Of Past Experiences Into The Seed-Realizations Of The Forever Creative Spirit’—well that says it all, doesn’t it? This confirms the positive nature of the change brought by the eclipse, both purifying and regenerative, bringing spirit back closer to its origins, potentially stripping away corrupt or distorted forms that have been applied via attempts at material manifestation.