Eclipses Are Major Turning Points, And Why You Should Always Leave Room for Surprise
Agnes Pelton, Orbits, oil on canvas, 1934
As we approach the Fall of eclipses of 2023, I wanted to take a moment to tell you a bit about them, and to let you know that I will be offering Eclipse Readings through October 13th. I will also share a personal eclipse story to illuminate how they can impact our lives in profound and surprising ways — and why you should always leave room for the unexpected (no matter what the astrology appears to be saying).
Since ancient times and across cultures, eclipses have regarded as a time where the normal patterns of daily life are suspended and thrown off course by the temporary occlusion of the sun’s light, generating awe and terror in its observers. Coming from the Greek word meaning “disappearance”, eclipses seem to coincide with high gusts of change, kicking up psychic debris and instigating major beginnings and endings (especially when impacting a planet or point in your birth chart specifically). When this happens, major life shifts can occur that often have the quality of feeling fated.
Calculating an eclipse, from 15th c Germany
Eclipses always occur near the North and South Nodes of the Moon, which travel as a pair in opposite signs of the zodiac, and have been depicted as a dragon head and tail since the dawn of astrology. The Dragon’s Head as the North Node represents desire, increase, gain, and accumulation; the Dragon’s Tail as the South Node symbolizes release, surrender, loss, and letting go. Thus, eclipses tend to highlight where we are being pushed to grow and expand (and where we can sometimes be blinded by an insatiable hunger), or else where we are being encouraged to let go and release (and where we sometimes resist change).
The Nodes as a dragon, Peter Apian, "Astronomicum Caesareum" 1540
2023 brings the end of the Taurus-Scorpio eclipses (which began in late 2021) and the beginning of Aries-Libra eclipses (which began with an Aries eclipse in April 2023). Whereas the Taurus-Scorpio axis deals with resources and security, the Aries-Libra axis highlights questions of relationship — to the self and to others.
The eclipse on October 14th marks the first Libra eclipse in almost two decades. It is a South Node eclipse, highlighting themes of release and surrender, but it is also a New Moon eclipse, which indicates beginnings and new seeds being planted. That these two themes are highlighted simultaneously suggests that something must be released in order for something new to take root.
The story that will play out across your Libra and Aries houses are the site of these beginnings and endings, and I would love to help you glimpse the possibilities of what this new cycle may catalyze for you. I have 7 spots available before October 14th for Eclipse Readings, and if you’re so inclined, you can book yours below!
The second eclipse of the Fall season, the Taurus eclipse on October 28th, closes out a two year Taurus-Scorpio eclipse cycle which began in November of 2021. This eclipse will act as a kind of closure on whatever has transpired for you over this eclipse series — at least until the next Scorpio-Taurus eclipses occur in 2041.
If I may look back at the Taurus-Scorpio eclipses for a moment: as a Scorpio rising, they occurred across my 1st house of identity and my 7th house of committed partnership. These eclipses coincided almost to the day with two very different kinds of life events: major financial losses due to investments which had been made under misleading pretenses, as well as the official intertwining of my life to my now husband through marriage and a wedding. As I was forced to let go of my attachment to that which brought me a sense of security (Scorpio South Node eclipses in the 1st house), I was also reconfiguring my identity as an essentially autonomous person through marriage (Taurus North Node eclipses in my 7th house of partnership).
Because of how precisely the first two Scorpio eclipses coincided with financial losses (in May and November of 2022), I was looking towards the third and final Scorpio eclipse of May 2023 with a slight feeling of dread. It had all the markings of a decidedly gnarly moment (the Moon in fall in Scorpio conjunct the South Node, ruled by Mars in fall in Cancer, opposite Uranus in Taurus). It was also within 1 degree of my Ascendant, the most sensitive part of any chart, making this the most personal eclipse in my lifetime thus far. Against my better judgement, I couldn’t stop myself from wondering and worrying, what else would I lose?
The Great Eclipse of 1878, pastel drawing by E.L. Trouvelot, 1878
If you read my last newsletter, you will already know that I discovered I was pregnant during the Mercury cazimi on May 1st (from an at-home test). As it turned out, May 5th was the day that I received official confirmation of this pregnancy from a blood test done at my doctor’s office. Suffice to say that this news, received on the day of the final Scorpio eclipse, came as a tremendous relief and underscored the theme, experienced earlier in the year through my marriage, of a deep reconfiguration of my sense of self. The signatures of the eclipse were on point: a highly personal loss of some aspect of my identity (as a biologically individual person) was underway, but it was also an opportunity to expand my definition of self to include the possibility of new life.
Agnes Pelton, Departure, oil on canvas, 1952
I share this personal tale with you to illustrate how, even when the astrological signatures inspire fear, trepidation, or anxiety, it is always in our best interest to leave room to be surprised. So for all the Libra risings out there, who will also have the South Node eclipses in your 1st house of identity: ye shall not forget that experiences of loss, release, and surrender can also act as catalysts for massive gifts. Everyone will experience this eclipse in some part of your chart, so this sentiment applies to all, though to varying degrees of intensity based on your chart.
With astrology, planetary cycles recur and morph and re-iterate, but they don’t ever truly end. It is us who have definite endings, though we have been granted the gift (or curse?) of living inside time, and to have the distinctly human experience of living through endings and beginnings in many ways, both big and small, throughout our lives. Eclipses are like micro-moments of the birth and death process, and if you feel called to explore, I would be thrilled to be your astrological guide through this season of change.