As usual with rare astronomical/astrological events, a lot of speculation, rumor, hype and superstition surround it. The unfortunate part of this is that it spreads a lot of fear, anxiety, and then, when some momentous event doesn’t in fact happen, it reinforces a perception among the general public that astrology again failed and got a lot of people worked up over nothing. As you probably now know, next week’s lunar eclipse leads into a total solar eclipse in Leo just two weeks later on Aug 21. It will only appear as a total solar eclipse for those residing in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, south eastern Georgia, and South Carolina. For everyone else in the U.S., it will appear as a partial eclipse (still a pretty cool experience).
As you may or may not know, as an astrologer I stay away from making radical predictions and claims. While I’m not completely against the idea that there are many predetermined events in life, I think that for the most part, consciousness can alter and change our experiences. I think that life is a mixture of fate and free-will. So often, our predictions fail to manifest as we expect them to. That could be partially a result of faulty technique, but I think it more often has to do with the fact that astrological symbolism is multivalent. Each sign and planet has an array of possible expressions. Even with a finely tuned, time-tested technique, astrologers will never be 100 percent accurate in predicting the future. One thing that I’ve learned about astrology, especially the more I engage with it consciously, is that it’s so often hundreds of steps ahead of me.
I’m more often completely surprised by how things actually turn out. In hindsight, I look back and the event certainly fit the symbolism, but never could I have imagined the end result. I think most of us experience life like that. Astrology shouldn’t be used to control your choices or dread the future, but rather to help you make more conscious and informed choices. Rarely do the worse-case scenarios ever manifest as we feared. With that said, and considering where the U.S. currently is politically, this event is pretty interesting. The first thing to consider is that eclipses are not isolated events. Eclipses open a portal in the zodiac that becomes an active hot zone. Planets that cross over or aspect the degree of the eclipse can trigger its manifestations for weeks, months, or even years into the future. The first step in analyzing this eclipse is to consider that it’s emphasizing the United States because it will be visible here and cross from coast to coast, which means that it’s making a statement about this country. The next step is to look at what kind of eclipse it is. Since it’s a solar eclipse, it’s basically a supercharged New Moon. It symbolizes a dramatic end and beginning of something.
Death is a natural part of life. That’s an obvious statement, but so often we choose to forget it for good reasons. We’re here to live our lives; there’s no sense in dwelling on death while in the thick of life. But I think every nation, or anything that gains considerable power in the world, creates an illusion that it’s somehow omnipotent and immortal. As an American myself, I grew up with this belief pounded into my head that my country was the “greatest” and would never end. I obviously didn’t grow up to believe that. All empires meet their end. Everything dies. While we might not have the capacity to comprehend it, the Sun will die too. The entire Universe will cease to exist. These unsettling thoughts threaten the ego, that dominating part of our consciousness that has gained such power over the western mind.
Empires come and go, just as people do. As the Buddhists would say, “all is impermanent.” I think eclipses are fascinating because they generate this very real sense that there’s something more powerful than we are. Like an earthquake or severe storm, we’re suddenly minimal in comparison. Our existence is instantly put into perspective. It would seem that this eclipse kind of sends that message to America: “you’re not the center of the universe and there are greater powers than you.” You can interpret that in many ways. I’m certainly not predicting the fall of the American Empire over this eclipse, but it may well signify the beginning of an end in terms of how we’ve perceived ourselves as a nation. Consider the tropical sign of Leo, and consider how this eclipse occurs at the end, the anaretic degrees of this sign.
Leo is a fixed, fire sign of yang polarity. It’s ruled by the Sun. It carries this symbolism of gravitas, presence, and a sense of permanent ruler ship and power. The Sun is the center of our solar system. The Sun forces all planets to orbit around it, but as I just said, the Sun will not have rule forever. It too will die. I think this illusion in the American psyche of being the dominating and fixed power center of the world needs a serious reality check. It has mobilized a movement of people who seriously lack perspective, and I think that’s a dangerous thing. I think the United States needs some humility and respect of other perspectives. And I think it’s highly possible that this eclipse signifies the beginning of the end of this illusion. Many would say that began long ago, but I’m not sure it’s reached the collective consciousness of the United States just yet. Perhaps it soon will.
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President Donald Trump and the U.S. Horoscope
As you may be aware, this “Great American Eclipse” touches the horoscope of President Donald Trump. You’ve probably heard of him. I’m going to steer clear of expressing any personal bias or opinions about him here. The eclipse touches on Donald Trump’s Ascendant. This is the sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at the time he came screaming into the world (I imagine he was probably pretty vocal with a 10th house Gemini Sun, but maybe not). In modern astrology, the Ascendant is the cusp of the first house, and in ancient, Hellenistic astrology (which tended to favor whole sign places over houses), the first house was known as the Helm. In simple words, this place originally signified where we steer the ship, that is to say, how we direct our lives. In modern, evolutionary astrology, the Ascendant is a symbol of our persona or outward mask. This is separate from our public mask. It’s more personal and one on one. It’s what my teacher, Steven Forrest, calls the mask we wear at a cocktail party.
I would argue that the mask we see of Donald Trump is more described by his 10th house and the sign that falls on his Midheaven because it’s what he shows to the public (though you’ll soon see that his Ascendant and Midheaven are interchangeable). Using equal houses, Trump has his Sun conjunct Uranus and the North Node in Gemini in his 10th house. We see a statement about a person who has greatly emphasized public and career matters (10th house) and that he’s using radical and rebellious vocal expression as a means of getting ahead in life (Uranus conjunct Sun). With a strong 10th house statement, Donald Trump is deeply concerned with status, reputation, and making a stamp on the world. With Uranus making such a statement here as well, Donald Trump is a rebel and has an eccentric public persona. With Taurus on his Midheaven, immediately we see a fixed, stubborn, and determined edge to this. Taurus is an immovable sign, and it symbolizes energy that stands tall and firmly entrenched.
The ruler of his Midheaven is Venus which is separating from a conjunction with Saturn in Cancer in the 11th house. This reveals that a big part of his public image depicts him networking and schmoozing, but also gives a traditional, conservative side (Saturn in Cancer) to his otherwise eccentric and radical Uranus vibes. The 11th house is known traditionally as the house of dreams, hopes, and friends. With Saturn placed in Cancer and conjunct Venus, this placement also shows a person who is fated to have a history of separations and challenges in his friendships and relationships (which will be very much public knowledge). Also, from a modern perspective, this Venus/Saturn conjunction in Cancer paints a person whose public image is predicated upon laying out nostalgic dreams and visions of the “good old days”, promising security, safety, and practical goals. Do we see his, “Make America Great Again” slogan emerging from these symbols?