Total Solar Eclipse @ 28 tropical Leo 53'
August 21, 2017
11:30 AM Los Angeles
2:30 PM New York
1:30 PM Chicago
7:30 PM London
2:30 AM Hong Kong
4:30 AM Sydney
6:30 AM Aukland
*The U.S. times above are for the precise conjunction of Sun and Moon as measured from the center of the Earth, not the times for the maximum phase of the eclipse if you plan to view it. Also, NEVER watch a solar eclipse without using eclipse glasses or a special filter. For eclipse safety and viewing times, please read this article.
This much anticipated total solar eclipse in tropical Leo is here (much anticipated for those visiting or living in the United States, especially those on the path of totality). For thousands of years, eclipses were viewed by many cultures as negative omens, often feared and revered by those who witnessed them, and for obvious reasons. Especially with a total solar eclipse, the experience is mesmerizing, visceral, and eerie. In a little over an hour, the Moon passes over the Sun, creating a darkening of the sky, a drastic drop in temperature, and during the few minutes of totality, spectators witness spectacular visual effects such as the appearance of the solar corona, the emergence of stars and planets typically hidden, and sometimes, in rare cases, shadow bands (which appear as shimmering, wavy shadows on white or very lightly colored objects below).
It’s no wonder that our ancestors viewed eclipses with terror and came up with various superstitions about them. Science has done much to dispel this superstition, and has given us a more precise technical understanding of why eclipses happen, but science has also stripped the magic and archetypal reality away from the modern mind. Those who witness a total solar eclipse cannot deny their own experience which is profound and unforgettable. In that moment, a beauty and power that’s hard to describe overtakes you. Even the most staunch materialist will be consumed with awe by the sheer magnificence and mystery of the experience, even sometimes drawn to tears. Something primal inside of us responds to this, even if it’s just a mechanical fluke of nature. As an astrologer, I avoid making outlandish claims and speculations when it comes to astrology, but I also study the subject and observe its relevance in my life and the life of friends, family, clients, and notable figures.
And because of that, I can say with much certainty that eclipses, like any other astronomical event, have a direct correlation with human life. There is convincing evidence that throughout history, eclipses that occur over a specific region perceptibly impact that place in significant and notable ways. Aside from their historical implications, they can accelerate interpersonal changes, life transitions, and amplify emotional and psychological constructs within us. And collectively, a rapid series of events begins to unfold. What will happen with this particular eclipse? I don’t know concretely, and I won’t pretend that I do. Eclipses are hard to understand while they happen, and because they tend to develop weeks, months, and even years after the event itself, they’re more discernible in hindsight. But, especially with a total solar eclipse, the symbolism speaks volumes. The Moon, a symbol of the irrational, unconscious, and hidden dimensions of life experience, momentarily overtakes the light of the Sun.
The Sun symbolizes the rational, apollonian archetype related to the visible world we see and interact with. A solar eclipse is a powerful New Moon, which is a symbolic death and rebirth of the lunar cycle. Thus, what I can say with confidence is that a large shadow will be cast across the United States and a powerful, unconscious narrative/mythos will overtake the collective mind of this country. Many people will be swept up in a collective drama with origins lying deep within the collective psyche, or what psychologist Carl Jung called the collective unconscious (the repository of repressed psychic content within a given culture). We will also witness some very drastic external changes happening in this nation from here on out, especially since the U.S. is nearing its first Pluto return alongside a conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in 2020, and will also witness another total solar eclipse in 2024. What that will all look like, I don’t know exactly, but I think we are already seeing it emerge on the world stage as I write these words. It is a dynamic process of death, rebirth, and an upwelling of contraction.
I’d suggest looking into the work of scholars who specialize in studying historical and economic trends, as well as mundane astrologers with that kind of analytical expertise for a better understanding the unfolding historical narrative. My focus is more so on the personal dimensions of astrological application. For a more mundane perspective on this eclipse, do read my article here. This New Moon/total solar eclipse occurs at the final degrees of Leo. Leo is a fire sign of yang polarity. The solar eclipse also creates a fire grand trine between Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries. The trine to Uranus is particularly significant in its precision, and can empower the rebellious, revolutionary, and unstable elements surrounding this eclipse. Personally, it can feel like a dramatic, passionate, and creative uprising within each of us (as well as collectively). This solar eclipse seeks to awaken within us a renewed desire for life, vitality, and self-expression which serves to liberate and free us from limitations and past constraints.
As always with Uranus, previous barriers and obstacles are suddenly and unexpectedly cleared, making way for new avenues of experience and opportunities to express individuality. For good or ill, this eclipse is empowering individuals to step out and gain more visibility in the world. The wider trine to Saturn can help us gain more traction, as well as bring forth the fruits of hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. If you’re feeling motivated to bring forth your creative energy now, you should feel a sense of greater confidence and courage to do so. If you’re unclear of what you want to create or express exactly, this eclipse can help catalyze movement by igniting inspiration and motivation to make some drastic changes within yourself and within your personal life. These changes will unfold and develop in the coming weeks and months.
With the south nodal lunar eclipse in Aquarius just two weeks ago, we crossed a threshold of accelerated release and dissipation of past patterns, attitudes, and behaviors that have been limiting the flow of life force, creativity, passion, and vitality in our lives. This north nodal solar eclipse in Leo is like a great awakening of excitement and zeal. While certainly we can take some positive steps, and gradually begin expressing our talents and willpower, there’s a negative side to these symbols too. Leo can indicate a blindness as a result of overt subjectivity and egocentricity. It can also incite an over dramatization of the ego (or false self) which can empower others to overstep boundaries and impose themselves tactlessly and harshly. Be mindful that what you’re expressing now is actually in alignment with your authentic self, not something imposed on you externally. Eclipses can also relate to a difficult transition or even a sudden fading away of the past, which can be painful for some.
The positive side of Leo is the ability to bring forth our creative, child-like self in healthy ways which helps to inspire and enliven others. Tantrums and misguided revolts are an expression of the fear based components of the inner child and will work to harm or otherwise keep us from fulfilling our true potential during this eclipse. Remember, that the greatest of all revolutions are within. Uranus’ close trine to this eclipse encourages us to liberate ourselves and gain more autonomy and independence to be who we are. If you’re feeling the need to step into this fire, do so. This eclipse will express both the positive and negative faces of these energies. Seeing that western culture is rather unconscious of its own myths and demons, the demons are likely to run amok here. But you have the power to face your own, and by doing that, you’ll be creating not only the life you want and deserve, but also helping to bring us all back to wholeness.
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Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path. Evolutionary Astrology can help.
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