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 our sense of increased or diminished awareness. In other words, a lunar eclipse 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 spiraled tendril. Dreams unhinge, longings feel jammed-to-bursting. Again, it’s about the amplification of awareness — how it ascends or descends.
Kind of creepy. But the point here, if we move away from the moralistic tone, is that eclipses shift or tilt the balance between solar and lunar properties, and how we as humans align with those impressions.
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 somnambulism, a kind of devolution. And the sun is linked to awareness, presence, a quality of one-pointedness that is ‘now’-oriented; not retro-pulled towards womb memories.
If momentum in one’s life is towards the moon — a calcification of the psyche — the influence of the lunar eclipse will heighten awareness of this dilemma. A solar eclipse does the opposite — assists the ascending solar arc towards the awakened state.
But what of the sign in which the sun abides tonight? Libra is a peculiar symbol. Neither human or animal. Within a menagerie of critters Libra marks the virtues that transcend the passions personified by our animal nature.
Ignited by a full moon in Aries, the Libra sun leans towards warfare in the name of truth and beauty: Noetic forms that inspire a marriage of the human and divine. As this is a lunar eclipse the tendency is to avoid clarity for comfort’s sake. Too bad. We might miss the potential to make and attend our wedding. To actualize the steps that mark progress — from animal to the divine. A struggle is afoot. Bring your best weapons.
The good news? Lunar eclipses syphon into consciousness many of the alchemical forces associated with the final stages of the Work. That place where alpha and omega blend, igniting an inner illumination.
Here is the Alchemist’s Prayer. You might need it tonight:
“Oh, most singular and unspeakable Presence, first and last in the universe, heighten the fury of my fire and burn away the dross of my being. Cleanse my soiled soul; bathe me in your awesome light. Set me free from my history and cut me loose from my boundaries. Unite me with the One Thing hidden in my life, wherein is my only strength. Fill me with your Presence, allow me to see through your Eye, grant me entry to your Mind, let me resonate with your Will. Make me transparent to your flame, and fashion me into a lens for your light only. Transmute me into an incorruptible Stone in your eternal service, like the golden light that surrounds you.”
Illustration: Wilfried Podriech Satty
Today’s the big New Moon eclipse in Taurus. It’s a peculiar one. I’ve had a hard time wrapping my mind around it because with Taurus — the thickest, densest, weightiest most substantial part of the Zodiac (imagine picking up a bull) — we have to see what the bull will offer us, rather than trying to peer into his bovine brain. So I took a zen approach to this eclipse and let it come to me (Cancer astrologers can do this better than, well, you can.)
Lying in the bathtub this morning I received a text message from a friend on his way to a big Kabbalah conference on the East Coast. He’d cut and pasted the entire Sabian Symbol reading for the eclipse degree, from grandaddy Dane Rudhyar, into the message. What a revelation! Look it up for yourself (20 degrees Taurus) because I’m going to talk about other stuff now. But his text completed the download that started several days ago, just as the eclipse point began to perturbate.
The first sputterings arrived when I encountered the above painting of the Bull of Zaandam. The painting’s flat earth tones are keenly complimented by its geometric beauty; and just staring at it opened a tiny doorway into my brain through which a baby bull entered. So I knew I was on to something. Gurdjieff would deem a painting like this an example of conscious art, a form of art designed to illicit a distinct, specific emotional or spiritual response. Most art does not do this.
The painting depicts the legend of an unfortunate meeting between a bull, some kites, a father and a pregnant mother. The outcome of the disaster is an airborne newborn. The story is hedged round with chthonic flavorings — death, birth and magic. New Moon eclipses have a similar confluence.
Something of the primordial realm is afoot during an eclipse, the stable door’s left open you could say. Our response to an eclipse stretches back to the origins of time — alarm vibrates in our cells — our visceral response to the darkening of the Sun. At such times chiefs, kings, tribal elders — all were put on the spot to get the fucking Sun back on track. Something’s awry in the biosphere, set it right! But now the corrective measures must be our own. Mom and dad aren’t here for us. They got killed by a bull.
How do we do it?
Follow the snorting, feel the gravitas — give it a project worthy its potency. Like all of the fixed signs, access to Taurus’s power is protected, hidden deep — you must either burn, drown, suffocate or be buried alive to get to the gold of the fixed signs. Taurus is no exception. When you engage with the fixed signs you’re engaging with tantra. And this is why most folks do not understand the power of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius. Of all the zodiacal signs these four are shrouded with hackneyed keywords. All of the cliches protect the fixed sign’s esoteric nature. Power is rarely used for constructive purposes once encountered or unleashed. Google ‘Hiroshima’ someday.
Taurus marries virility to steadfastness. So you have a fount of rich loamy soil, still and brown black, allocated for fecundity. It’s stock still seed-shelter, the sort of thing that makes birds go wild with song and weeds appear en masse overnight. But this force needs a plow and driver. Harnessing.
Disengaged, Taurus involutes. Lethargy and indulgence bloom and empty Cheetos bags and porn site passwords litter the floor and computer desktop. It’s a slippery slope with Taurus because, again, people do not have a clear relationship with power — much can go awry. Which, as we’ll see, this eclipse will reveal in the coming six months as the degree point is set off by transits.
So engage now. Use alchemical mixing to optimize the staggering weight of the bull. How? Locate Neptune in your natal chart and marry the two.
Neptune’s vespers are completely antithetical to Taurus’ virility I don’t even know if Neptune even exists per se. I mean, it might be the size of a tennis ball and the rest is all fog, smoke and haze. This same something-nothing translates over to the house Neptune occupies in your natal chart.
So, an example: If Neptune is in your 3rd you’ve a colorful imagination but no real feel for being able to do anything tangible with it, there’s a book in there, say, that no one will ever read. Neptune in the 7th conveys a longing for relationship that can open your heart to all of humanity — but this seems too lofty an aim — so you never engage this part of your life; all of your relationships feel incomplete; someone’s always missing.
Wildman astrologer Al H. Morrison said of Neptune: “Wherever you have Neptune” in your chart, “you have to grasp the opportunity. You have to establish an entity, you have got to organize the thrust of what you are going to do…” to give form to this area of life. We respond to each other’s Neptune, we sense a lure or charisma but often this remains vauge and nascent — far from manifestation. Always a deep longing, always something promised but missing — so fill it in, fill it up.
I’m not talking about magical thinking here, in fact the opposite: Something pragmatic and very Taurus. As Pluto continues to move through Capricorn and reality keeps rearranging and shifting with shadow inflation creeping and job numbers stagnating — the Neptune fuzziness needs to focus. It’s a tricky Catch 22. Neptune hints at the magic — what the world is longing for — but also there’s the madness. People can sense it, but can’t see it. Help yourself (and conversely them) to see it.
So rub the genies lamp during today’s eclipse. Out pops a baby bull. Put him to work for you.