Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse arrives with the New Moon in Leo. The first total eclipse visible in the USA since 1979 and the first coast-to-coast eclipse since 1918, this event looms large in our consciousness. Millions of people are traveling from all over the world into the path of totality.
This New Moon eclipse happens at the end of Leo, the sign of courage, creativity, playfulness, joy, and the heart, of kings and megalomaniacs, childlike joy and childish demands for attention, heart-centered creativity and small-ego craving for an audience. Light and Shadow inextricably mixed.
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Solar eclipses occur at New Moons as the Nodes of the Mood align with the Sun–Moon conjunction. Basically, the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth in a direct line that blocks some or all of the Sun’s energy from reaching the Earth. Monday, the Sun, Moon, and North Node are together in Leo.
The North Node is the point of the future, the place of our unfolding. In Vedic astrology, this is the head of the dragon. We are invited to step into our biggest and best Leo selves, an invitation offered at every Leo New Moon. This particular eclipse, though, is extraordinary in several ways. First and foremost is its dramatic emphasis on Fire.
Mars in Leo joins the Sun–Moon–North Node. This adds a martial quality, a drive to act, and a willingness to take risks, qualities we can express in life-affirming or life-negating ways. Also aligned with this eclipse is the fixed star Regulus, called the Heart of the Lion, a star associated with the fate of kings.
The eclipse is part of a larger pattern in Fire, a Grand Trine that includes the Sun–Moon–North Node–Mars–Regulus at one corner of the triad. We find Uranus and Eris in Aries at another corner. These two have been traveling together, combining their energies for radical change and a revolutionary approach. Right now, they are too far apart to be considered conjunct on their own, but the potency of the eclipse New Moon brings them together.
The third corner is held by Saturn and the asteroid Lilith. These two are the boundary-setters, the limit-definers, the no-I-won’t-go-there pair. They are tightly conjunct but too far from Uranus to be considered in aspect. Once again, the power of the eclipse New Moon draws them in.
We are in eclipse season. Finding examples of erupting Fire energy is all too easy. The terrible events in Charlottesville and in Barcelona continue to unfold. Boreal forests worldwide, warming faster than other ecosystems, are suffering increasingly damaging fire seasons, and fires rage in other forests as well.
Fire is fuel as well as destruction, energizing our passion for positive change, determination to create a world that embodies our best values, and the will not only to survive, but thrive. We can find examples of this kind of fire, too, in the responses to resist fascism, speak truth to power, and stand in solidarity with those under attack.
In this season, specific dates mark important celestial turning points. I am paying attention to five. Additional events could be added, but these are the focal points.
The New Moon at 0 Leo on July 23. The Sun entered Leo. The Moon and Mars were there. At this New Moon, I spoke about the “Man in the Arena” speech and asked the question, which arenas are we in? This question has only become more pertinent since then.
The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on August 7. This Full Moon, which arrived on the ancient Celtic Fire Festival of Lughnasadh, illuminated our balance between Air and Fire, and asked us to ground ourselves in the Earth. This is the official opening of eclipse season.
On August 12, Mercury stationed retrograde at 11 Virgo. This slowed us down, making sure we’re paying attention to what’s happening. We focus on the “re-” words: reflect, revise, reexamine, review. The news almost seems to be stuck on replay as we face things we thought would not happen again.
The New Moon Solar Eclipse at 28 Leo on August 21. Read more right here!
Eclipse effects carry on far longer that those of a typical New Moon. We will be watching events unfolding for months, possibly years, to come. But on September 5, Mercury stations direct at 28 Leo, which is where the eclipse happens. We may see something specific that highlights or emphasizes eclipse themes.
What do we watch for with this eclipse? I know I recommend checking your birth chart all the time, but it’s especially important now. In the global sense, this eclipse affects us all. But it has a more potent individual impact on those of us experiencing important eclipse transits to our birth charts. In addition, it’s worth checking all five focal events to see which of those might transit your birth chart in an significant way.
Here are some themes to watch for:
Remember that everything happening is tied to the lunar cycle.
From a New Moon to the Full Moon, the Moon waxes, gaining light. Things planted in the quiescent dark of the New Moon germinate and grow. At the Full Moon, they flower. From the Full Moon to the New, the Moon wanes. Light is dimmer. We release what we have created into the world and compost whatever we no longer need.
There is a tremendous emphasis on Fire.
Leo is fixed Fire, but the presence of Uranus, Eris, Saturn, asteroid Lilith, Mars, and the North Node add to the flames. These are not small energies. Uranus, in particular, represents radical, revolutionary change. Mars is there to get stuff done.
Eclipses are times of Shadow. The Sun and Moon light our world. Without the Sun, there is no life. Without the Moon, our world would have uniformly dark nights and less poetry. During lunar and solar eclipses, those lights are blocked, temporarily but dramatically.
What happens when the lights go out? In past times, eclipses have been seen as loss, a literal darkening. Armies did not go into battle under an eclipse. Journeys were not begun. Darkness brought the threat of death.
When a bright light is dimmed, peripheral lights can be seen. During the solar eclipse, stars and planets will be visible during the day. They are, of course, always there, but on that day, for a few minutes, we will see them.
What does it mean to consciously receive light from Venus? Or from Regulus? Perhaps we will catch glimpses of what is peripheral, partially hidden, or needing a softer light to be seen.
This eclipse happens in the sign of kings, conjunct Regulus, the star of kings. Who are “kings” today? Political leaders? Billionaires? Media celebrities? What does it mean to be king? How do we, as individuals, claim our sovereignty?
Our attention these days is drawn to events on national and global stages. At the same time, we need to remember that this New Moon eclipse is a unique opening for setting our own intentions for the future. What do we wish for now that relates to themes of kingship, creativity, joy, and our personal and collective Shadow? What work are we ready to take on? What stage are we willing to step onto? And how can we do this with joy?
We are walking through fire. Breathe in. Exhale. Take my hand. We got this.