September 27th, 2015

Tonight’s Eclipse: Independence vs Nostalgia


Eclipses have a bad reputation. This relates to the days when only kings and queens had their horoscopes prepared — and what might befall a ruler meant the entire village was going to suffer or succeed as well.

The fact that an eclipse involves an astronomical exactitude can, for individuals, translate into a sense of pressure that triggers increased or diminished awareness. In other words, a lunar eclipse like tonight’s illuminates what is sending you to sleep— distancing you from the awakened state.

Eclipses are anachronistic. Dimmed lunar light tweaks cellular memory — that reptilian/mammalian part of the brain which winds through our DNA like a tendril. Dreams unhinge, longings feel jammed-to-bursting. Again, it’s about the amplification of awareness — how it ascends or descends — and what that sets off in our habitual nature.

The early-century occultist Rudolph Steiner had a wild theory about eclipses and I’ll share it here because it’s so fascinating. This is from Dennis Elwell‘s stellar book Cosmic Loom:

He said they serve as safety valves, a solar eclipse carrying out into space the evil that spreads over the earth, so that it might work its havoc in a less concentrated sphere. A lunar eclipse, on the other hand, allows evil thoughts present in the cosmos to approach those humans who are willing to be possessed by them.

Kind of creepy. But the point here, if we move away from the goofy moralistic tone, is that eclipses shift or tilt the balance between solar and lunar properties, and how we as humans align with those impressions via intention or choice or accident.

Eclipses are easier to comprehend, in a practical way, if viewed through the lens of Gurdjieff‘s cosmology. Where the Moon is associated with emotional habits that support sleep-walking, a kind of devolution. And the Sun is linked to awareness, concentrated presence, a quality of one-pointedness that is very ‘now’-oriented; not retro-pulled towards old memories or conventional ways of being.

If momentum in one’s life is towards the Moon — a calcification of the psyche — a lunar eclipse heightens this dilemma. A solar eclipse does the opposite — assists the ascending solar arc towards the awakened state.

So, what of Libra, the sign in which the Sun is situated during tonight’s eclipse? Read more

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April 17th, 2011

Full Moon Watch: Time Stops to Release a Goddess


It’s time to talk about time.

The four cardinal signs of the zodiac — Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn — all of which are active during tonight’s Full Moon — have jurisdiction over the experience of time. As the place holders of the four seasons, the cardinal signs push time forward (in the spring and fall) and rearrange time (in the summer and winter) when time ‘stops,’ as the Sun changes its course during the solstice. Read more

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March 18th, 2011

Full Moon Watch: Virgo SuperMoon A Go-Go


You’ve no doubt heard about tomorrow’s Full Moon SuperMoon. What’s that about exactly?

Occasionally the Moon misses the Earth a little too much and decides to move a bit closer to us during her new or full phase. That’s what will happen tomorrow. Astronomers call this a lunar perigee. But a guy named Richard Nolle coined the term SuperMoon to describe the proximity. You can read his explanation here — a nice clarification because it dispels a lot of misinformation about the SuperMoon too.

Because of the curve of the Earth (and the crazy curve of your mind during a Full Moon), the SuperMoon appears gigantic once she’s slid above the magnifying effect of the horizon. She’s so humongous that you start to worry that your roof will be damaged as Luna glides across the night sky. That’s a metaphor, actually, to let you know that this Full Moon might take the top of your head off. Read more

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December 20th, 2010

A Rare Winter Solstice Eclipse Welcomes the Mysteries of 2011: A Dialogue with Heather Roan Robbins

“The cycle of life does not allow static fulfillment. Everything turns into its opposite. The wheel moves everlastingly and the Day-force interplays with the Night-force in an ever-renewed drama which is life itself.”
— Dane Rudhyar

 The sense of levity and joy that so many of us respond to, perhaps unwittingly, during the Christmas season, has a cosmic correlation with the return of the light, which the Winter Solstice celebrates in the Northern Hemisphere. Dane Rudhyar describes the Winter Solstice as a turning point, where the personalizing Day-Force overtakes the in-gathering effects of the Night-Force. He associates the increase of the Day-Force with the embodiment of the spiritual impetus: spirit that is actualized, grounded and set to work. Thus the traditional association of the Day-Force with the Christos, born as Jesus, at the Solstice. A birth that re-occurs, with the return of the light each year.

Rudhyar explains that each Solstice sets in motion a process that transforms “the scattered and disintegrated remains of the previous cycle into a new organic whole.” And after living through another year of Pluto’s dismantling process in Capricorn, Rudhyar’s words sound doubly refreshing to me. I’m ready to connect with the stirrings of a new organic whole. Aren’t you?


To study and appreciate this year’s Solstice, I asked one of my favorite astrologers, Heather Roan Robbins (right) to participate in a dialogue about this very unusual and rare Solstice event. I’ve read Heather’s weekly Starcodes reports for years now, and have appreciated her commentaries; Heather communicates to her readers from a place of wise understanding and offers down-to-earth, creative ways for us to align with the daily celestial motions. Heather and I connected via email to compare notes and impressions about this year’s dynamic Solstice chart.

Please, pour yourself some tea and join us:

Frederick:What caught my attention about this year’s Solstice — which is the chart that marks the commencement of the upcoming new year — is the Full Moon eclipse that occurs in tandem with the Sun’s entry into Capricorn, which initiates the Solstice. So we have the solar awakening on one hand, and a fruition of the lunar light on the other. A cosmic opening and closing if you will. Read more

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October 22nd, 2010

Full Moon Watch: Revisiting the Dream


To really experience autumn, in our bones, we wait until the Sun moves into Scorpio. This is when the promise of the Fall Equinox blooms: The dimming begins. The dappled daylight of September gives the impression that summer hasn’t quite given up the ghost. October, with the solar ingress into Scorpio, begins to reveal the twilight quietude. Light is fading. Dusk feels braced and melancholic; and we sense the passing of light as the cycle of life opens towards closure. Moving towards winter, for which Emily Dickinson wrote:

There’s a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

The nimbus of light, from fall to winter, feels heavier. Opening towards closure. A little grief always accompanies a parting. So we prepare to put down what needs to be finished and then, perhaps, begin to settle, to hibernate on a dream. Read more

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September 04th, 2009

Full Moon Watch: Lewis Carroll Recreates 1984

“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”
— Edward R. Murrow

If you’ve wondered about the legitimacy of working with the Sabian symbols today’s Pisces Full Moon should quell any doubts. The images are kick-in-the-gut cogent. For 13 degrees Virgo, where the Sun resides, we have the image: “A powerful statesman overcomes a state of political hysteria.”

For the Moon’s degree in Pisces, the symbol depicts: “An ancient sword, used in many battles, is displayed in a museum.” Both of these emblems portend much, hold a dynamic promise (or debacle) — especially as Obama prepares what will be a last-ditch, make-or-break speech addressing both houses of Congress next week. And I’ll talk a bit more about this below. Read more

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