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JANUARY 2019 ECLIPSES – Crossroads

 

When we look at the last few sets of eclipses in 2018, we can see a pattern beginning with Saturn and Pluto. The January and February 2018 eclipses occurred in Leo and Aquarius. Saturn was in Capricorn at that point and Aquarius is ruled by Saturn, so starting then there was a link to both Saturn (by sign rulership) and Pluto (also in Capricorn, Saturn’s sign). Then with the 7/12/2018 solar eclipse, bam! We got a very close opposition between the Sun/Moon conjunction in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn, Saturn’s other sign, bringing Saturn into the picture in a major way. There was also a strong focus on Mars and a lesser focus on Saturn.

Pluto continues to play a strong role in the January 2019 eclipses, and Saturn becomes increasingly prominent as it continues to move through Capricorn. Lunar eclipses and Full Moons fulfill, complete and establish. Pluto represents transformation coming from a forceful and volatile amalgamation of energies which have antipodal qualities. Any cycle featuring this planet is going to be a wild ride that will change us in fundamental ways. Also significant in the 7/12/2018 solar eclipse chart were quindecile (165 degree) aspects between the Sun/Moon conjunction and both Mars and Saturn – neither particularly close, but close enough to warrant attention, as the quindecile is a highly charged aspect that reflects frustration and a hard push ahead to alleviate it. There was also a Grand Trine between Sun/Moon in Cancer, Jupiter in Scorpio, and Neptune in Pisces – a truly magical and transcendental configuration offering the ability to manifest pretty much anything we could effectively visualize, which is as big of a boon as it is a responsibility. What were you asking for during the 7/12/2018 solar eclipse and in the six months following? You will probably be able to see how where you are now is a manifestation of that, but you may also have more to deal with than you feel you can handle as a result of what came! We should be reminded to be both careful of and responsible for what we ask for.

The 7/12/2018 solar eclipse thus marked the beginning of a major turning of the leaf. Many of us are looking hard at our own thoughts, seeing deeper layers of false thinking for the first time. The forceful and volatile transfiguration of Pluto reaches to the very core when acting with Saturn, which represents earthly foundation and the structure of things. This is the heavy stuff that pierces the root of our being - complexes like illusion of separateness, the convenient powerlessness of thinking of self as victim, and fear of vulnerability leading to dishonesty with self and others. Knowing everything you are working with, including your self-imposed pitfalls, is the first step to recovery, and here, we were able to start the work in earnest because vision was clear and visionary power was accentuated. This left us with the conception of a new way of being, thinking and manifesting that began to be realized with the following 7/27/2018 lunar eclipse, in which all of the same planets still had a major stake – Mars closely conjunct the Moon, Saturn quincunx the Sun and semi-sextile the Moon, and Pluto then in a quindecile with the Sun. Uranus, the clarion call of new ideas and information being revealed suddenly, also made a fairly close square to the Sun and the Moon, snapping us out of the trance of old, familiar, safe habits and patterns. A desire for serious soul growth has been stirring under the surface, perhaps not quite consciously recognized or understood, and this eclipse reflected the dawning of awareness of what we are allowing to keep us from what we are longing for. In the months that have followed, many of us have even been put in positions that forced or at least strongly encouraged us to begin doing the dirty work necessary to really know what we want. I continue to emphasize Saturn and Pluto in particular, however, because again with the 8/11/2018 eclipse, we see both Saturn and Pluto forming tense aspects to the lights – Saturn sesquisquare Sun/Moon and Pluto quincunx Sun/Moon.

I review the information above because, as we quickly learn in astrology, nothing happens in a vacuum. A single six month long eclipse cycle simply folds into a longer cycle, which in turn folds into a cycle longer than that. Every Full Moon between the January 2019 and the July/August 2019 eclipses has the Sun or the Moon (or their dispositors by sign) forming a major aspect to Saturn and/or Pluto. The bigger cycle framing the focus of these eclipses is that of Saturn and Pluto, themselves set to conjoin on 1/12/2020 right after the 1/10/2020 lunar eclipse, thereby ending that 38 year long cycle and starting a new 33 year long one. With the current set of eclipses, we see this Saturn-Pluto process continuing to gather steam. This infrequent conjunction will top off a difficult process that we have already been experiencing and levelling up with in 2018, and this continues with January 2019 eclipses.

 

Solar Eclipse (Partial) – Saturday 1/5/2019 5:28:05pm Pacific Time (15d 25m Capricorn)

 

The Sun-Moon conjunction occurs at 15 Capricorn, opposing Jupiter’s exaltation degree. The message is clear – the training wheels are off! Jupiter does, however, also parallel the Sun and the Moon, so there is actually a very nice celestial balance here, a measure of grace and a possibility for expansion even under the extreme pressure of odds that may at times seemed stacked against us.

Venus is in a wide semi-square to the lights, so there is some roughness, perhaps less concern with polite veneers and even a questioning of them when they are being used to veil a problem that needs work. We are not on the lighter, easier side of things. It’s time to work hard, and work at gaining real, measurable ground in identifying and going after what the soul needs. Inertia and resistance arise when we are always doing things the same safe, old way, going through the motions and getting the immediate job done but not learning or improving.

Perhaps the most highly charged symbol is the Sun-Moon conjunction at the Saturn-Pluto midpoint, with the two planets standing close on either side of the lights, a condition sometimes called entrapment. The lights are between a rock and a hard place. There is nowhere to go but straight into what we know will be difficult, but this is softened by knowing it is exactly what we should be doing rather than resisting it and trying to numb ourselves or check out at this critical time.

The combination of Saturn and Pluto can be compared to the stage of nigredo in alchemy. Nigredo is blackness, a state of decay, decomposition, and putrefaction that symbolizes the complete burning or falling away of all that which is base and false. Saturn is the prime significator of death in traditional astrology, and Pluto, a modern addition to western astrology, has been understood to represent (among other things) a process of breaking down and rebuilding. The process coming into play now is no minor thing; it is a stage of the Great Work, to whatever degree a person is ready to approach it. There will be multiple opportunities for truly meaningful growth where growth matters – within the spirit – but this kind of growth takes hard work, dedication, and even suffering. This is sometimes also called the Dark Night of the Soul, when every source of light is taken away and one must seek for it like never before. Sometimes it can seem like setting one’s own self on fire is the only way to the light, which is an excellent metaphor for seeking the light within. Burning off layers of false thinking is burning off what we have falsely identified as being part of who we are. Once we recognize how we’ve put ourselves at the mercy of our own negative thoughts, we become empowered to move through the fire, allowing it to burn down what isn’t working so we can later start rebuilding and reconfiguring. Getting through the fire is where we are, and it hurts, but we can use it to make ourselves into better, purer beings if we go through the fire with our eyes fully open, seeing what it is about ourselves and our lives that we don’t like, how we got here, and how to improve.

Charubel’s symbol for the eclipse degree reads “A man of stout make, good proportions round rosy features, looking very merry, dancing grotesquely.” There is a combination of heaviness and movement here, and we see that movement fully realized in La Volasfera’s symbol: “A man riding at high speed upon a well-conditioned horse.” There is the ability to lift ourselves out of self-generated inertia between this eclipse and the next, and although it will take supreme effort, the struggle to do so will be well rewarded.

 

Lunar Eclipse (Total) - Sunday 1/20/2019 9:15:59pm Pacific Time (0d 52m Leo/Aquarius)

 

The Saturn-Pluto presence identified in the 1/5/2019 solar eclipse further intensifies with the 1/20/2019 lunar eclipse. The Sun is in a wide conjunction with Pluto, and Pluto in turn is in a wide conjunction with Saturn, which is an echo of the conjunction of the 1/5/2019 solar eclipse with both Saturn and Pluto, repeating the theme. Mercury, however, is also present in the conjunction with this eclipse, bridging the gap between Sun-Moon and Saturn-Pluto. There is a very intriguing dialogue happening here. Mercury is thoughts, ideas, communication. Thus, what has been conceived with the 1/5/2019 solar eclipse surfaces with the 1/20/2019 lunar eclipse in the logical mind, and also in the communications we share with people. We’re thinking and talking about the big challenges coming up right now, and we’re willing to go where it’s uncomfortable. We’re analyzing the problems and taking their measure by uniting minds and voices instead of keeping them separate and divided. This is the bold beginning of breaking out of self-limiting (Saturn) and self-destructive (Pluto) patterns. Neptune, sextile Sun/Moon with the 1/5/2019 solar eclipse, is now semisquare the 1/20/2019 solar eclipse, signifying an opportunity to escape fuzzy headed thinking and see the reality beyond illusion and projection.

The next most high-profile statement is Uranus forming a T-Square with the Sun and the Moon. The same aspect occurred in the 7/27/2018 lunar eclipse chart. It’s out of sign with the 1/20/2019 eclipse, but it’s still very close. This repeated action of Uranus not being particularly prominent in the solar eclipse but then being emphasized in the lunar eclipse is important to recognize. Lunar eclipses are Full Moons, and what is coming forth and materializing out of this Full Moon will probably not be what is expected. With Uranus in a tense major or minor aspect with the lights and every planet other than Mars and Saturn, there are many good possibilities, but it will take significant adjustments and some intellectual brilliance in order to manifest what we want. Chafing against the need to make what are really only relatively small adjustments will only unnecessarily weaken us and our results. We need to stare down the long shadow our minds cast behind what may seem like senseless drudgery, see the work we are doing to the end effectively, and most importantly, pay attention to the internal process of improvement that is happening as imagined mountains are seen for the anthills they really are. In watching what is happening, we can keep the improvement train going through the next sixth months and on to the next eclipse cycle instead of stalling on the way.

The Sun and Moon are respectively semisquare and sesquisquare the Venus-Jupiter conjunction. Although these are edgy minor aspects, this is ultimately helpful, which is hinted at with the Sun-Venus parallel. The two benefics conjoined in Sagittarius (and Jupiter well dignified by sign and triplicity) may suggest a temptation to court the comfort of ingrained but outgrown habits, or even to seek distraction and escape in far flung wishful thinking or the sudden seeking of new and distant horizons that have little to do with the here and now. However, there is also the possibility of an expansive and uplifting outlook even amidst internal or external chaos, which goes a long way. If we believe in ourselves, we are capable of the very best from this lunation, but we must not shy away from acting with full presence when the time is right, otherwise we’ll stay in the realm of missed chances and mere theory. Mars is at the critical 13th degree of his domicile of Aries, in a creative quintile with the Sun, and closely trine Venus/Jupiter, showing the possibility of high-powered forward action, lighting us up with not only the good ideas needed to devise a plan of action, but the force of will needed to implement the plan. This can also, however, present us with a nervous trigger finger, tempting us to take actions that may be premature. The key is figuring out the right steps and the right order to take them in, and not skipping steps or changing direction before the next best step is reached.

Charubel’s degree symbol is apt: “A man standing at the junction of cross roads, not knowing which way to go.” We may be daunted and even overpowered by a state of indecision, but even getting to a crossroads is a great achievement, and I emphasize two great things about crossroads, which are freedom and opportunity. Despite the difficult material conditions that are symbolized by the various placements and configurations in the eclipse charts, we always have freedom of will, and we can always make the best decision possible once we’ve tapped all of the resources available to make that good decision. As already outlined, the opportunity available is to clearly see the current state of affairs and to burn up the stuff in the way that is now obviously problematic – what is holding us (Saturn) from merging with those we love and can effectively co-evolve with in meaningful, transformational ways (Pluto) and/or truly surrendering to a serious upgrade of self, even at the cost of giving up or significantly changing relationships or ways of being that cannot lead to personal or collective evolution in their current form (Pluto). The La Volasfera symbol confirms the sharpened vision and the activated nobility of spirit that will see us through – “here stands a lion upon an elevation looking towards a rising sun.”

And so, we begin anew, again.