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Working Within the Shadow of an Eclipse

Solar EclipseWe are approaching an Annular Solar Eclipse on February 6th and 7th, depending on where you live on the planet.

In ancient times, Solar Eclipses created quite a stir amongst the people who viewed them. The Sun, gradually darkening in the sky until all was completely dark, brought a sense of great foreboding. Would the King fall to another? Would the crops for that season fail? Would marauding enemies attack them? Eclipses came to be associated with omens of doom and gloom.

Even today, Mundane astrologers will often work with eclipses to track the coming trends in a nation or country, depending on the path the shadow (Umbra or Penumbra) takes across the globe during such an event. Will the nations impacted by the eclipse have crises that must be dealt with? This is often the case.

My focus in this site is more on the individual, however. I’m primarily interested in helping you to see how you can actually work with these occurrences. I want to demystify for you what they mean symbolically. The forces and cycles of nature are around us, and in us. When we work with them, we are more in harmony I feel.

So, without getting too technical with you, remember that we have anywhere from 3 to 7 Eclipses per year. This includes Solar and Lunar. They tend to run in pairs, but not always. This month, for example, we have the Solar Eclipse first, followed by a Lunar Eclipse on February 20-21st. ( I will write about this shortly before it occurs.)

A Solar Eclipse can only occur at a New Moon. This is known as a Conjunction. Furthermore, it can only occur when the Sun and Moon are parallel in declination and conjunct one of the Moon’s nodes. The Nodes describe the path of the Moon around the Earth on the Ecliptic, as she moves above (North) or below (South) this path. Solar Eclipses can be Partial or Total. Keep in mind, also, that Solar Eclipses have a real effect on our Earth’s electromagnetic field that can be measured and tested scientifically. Eclipses run in long cycles that have a very predictable nature. There are 19 different over-lapping cycles known as the Saros Series. A Saros cycle lasts a little over 18 years. Each cycle has come to be associated with key themes, believe it or not. But I don’t want to completely bore you with all these details. I’m only describing a phenomena that astrologers work with just as astronomers do; the difference between us simply being that we astrologers are trying to understand the underlying symbolism of what it all means.

So here’s a clue: At the Solar Eclipse the Moon is, for a brief moment in time, coming between our Earth and the Sun. The Moon is blotting out the Sun’s light momentarily. Think about that. What does the Moon symbolize? For brevity sake let’s keep it real simple: feelings, memories, and the past. The Sun is more symbolic of our heroes or heroines journey—-the intentional path we want to move forward with. So perhaps the Solar Eclipse can focus us on what from our past is keeping us from moving forward into our future? It’s within that rich ‘shadowy realm’ that we need to dig a bit further to understand what prevents us from moving ahead. It’s considered to be a rather ‘Scorpionic’ effect, a Solar Eclipse. Clean up the past before moving into the future. Purge or eliminate that which prevents further expansion and future growth.

The point where the Solar Eclipse occurs can be observed in your own Natal Birth Map. Here is where you either need to have a good working knowledge of your own chart, or the helpful input of your personal astrologer. The location of the Eclipse, then, becomes the area of your life that will be brought into the foreground for approximately six months, or until the next Solar Eclipse. If you have a natal planet or angle within 5 degrees of that Eclipse it will be highly emphasized, and you will very much feel the effects more strongly. The arena opposite this point will also be emphasized, like a polarity, and at the Lunar Eclipse perhaps that area can become a part of your solution in dealing with the release of anything that prevents you from moving forward.

So Eclipses really force us to pay attention and review as we ‘set our houses in order’, so to speak. They definitely track personal evolution and growth if you’re willing to work with them and participate consciously. You’ll see your own ‘progression’ over time. You can even look backwards in a cycle, say 18 years ago, to see how far you’ve come to this point in time with the themes that are being emphasized in your life with each passing Eclipse.

This February Eclipse is occurring in the Sign of Aquarius at the 18th degree (rounded up). The Sabian Symbol for this degree is “A man being unmasked at a masquerade”. Aquarius likes to get to the truth, the whole truth. This symbol implies a coming clean, a dropping away of pretense, a lifting of the persona to reveal one’s vulnerability. It can include either facing an inner truth about oneself or another. Perhaps the authentic self wishes to emerge. What is preventing that? Perhaps another is not revealing who they really are. Why? How can they be unmasked? To quote Groucho Marx, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”

Aquarius, by artist B.A.Vierling


There is a huge emphasis right now on the sign of Aquarius. Amassed in this sign with the Eclipse are Mercury Retrograde, Chiron, Neptune, Vesta, and the North Node. We’re combining intelligence and consciousness through reflectivity, vision, focus and devotion, healing, integration and a path ahead which must embrace the whole through a synthesis of all the diverse elements that make up that totality. Aquarius is always geared to the future if true to its placement in the zodiacal wheel. This is where the big picture needs to be seen. Unmasking anything that prevents one from truly perceiving the truth is very very important right now with this Eclipse.

So look at your own chart. What house/arena does this degree of Aquarius fall in? Are there any planets or angles within 5 degrees conjunct it, or opposite it? These points will be strongly emphasized from now until the next Solar Eclipse on August 1st. This is where you must clean up or deal with whatever prevents you from moving ahead.

I’ll give you a couple of examples from my own work with recent clients: the first is a man who is already highly evolved in his consciousness and is experiencing his Chiron Return at exactly that degree of 18 Aquarius. ( In fact, any of you turning 50 years in the next few months, may have this Chirotic note emphasized. Chiron is symbolic of many things including the path of healing, teaching, and working towards greater social justice, especially when it occurs in Aquarius.) The Eclipse is occurring in his house/arena of work/health/and service. What he really needed was a fine-tuning of that note. Since he has already eliminated habits which were either destructive to his health, or distracting him from real humanitarian service to others, he is now ready to simply polish things up a bit more in readiness for something new in his daily life and work. He will undoubtedly move forward quickly between now and August with the intention of serving others in a more visionary and healing way.

A woman saw me today who will experience this Eclipse directly on her Venus in her house/arena of resources, earning ability, talents, and gifts. We spent a great deal of time focusing on her special artistic gifts and how she can best bring them more into focus as well as increase her earning capacity through the use of those talents. We also looked at ways she can release old patterns and relationships that impede her growth and progress towards greater wholeness and happiness in terms of what she truly loves and values.

Where can you focus and increase your intention with this Eclipse? As you peer more deeply into the shadowy spaces of your own self, and are willing to face whatever holds you back, allow your inner Solar Light to guide you towards greater Self-realization.

February 5, 2008  5 Comments
Categories: Astrology, Eclipses | Tags: , , ,


1 Mia { 02.06.08 at 7:46 pm }

Thank you for this lovely forum, Genevieve. It is really wonderful. I guess this eclipse holds certain relevance for me as I have Mars 19 degrees Aquarius opposing Uranus 17 Leo in the 5th. So I will try to turn the energy toward growth and positivism as I work with groups…Am I understanding this correctly? Is there a potential for things to get dark and difficult otherwise?
Anyhow, I hope that you are well and wish you the best. I have enjoyed this cold weather–almost sad to see it go. But I am ready for some warmth now…
Love, Mia

2 Genevieve { 02.06.08 at 8:51 pm }

Yes, working with groups in an Aquarian way is the place to focus on for the next six months. Perhaps reviewing where greater diversity within the whole can be accomplished. I happen to know that you are a fine teacher, so this would be where your incredibly inventive and creative gifts from Uranus, in the 5th, can be directed towards. The darker more shadowy side of this dynamic is always the tension that exists between Mars and Uranus for a balance of power. Allowing others to express their feelings of anger, in a safe environment would be one way of deflecting potential tensions from building into explosive outbursts, for example. Art and writing provide good positive outlets, creatively speaking, for such potenitally wild energy. Mars is also physical energy and the need for action. Movement and dance come to mind with this interplay. I would also encourage you to break out more in your own wild and vibrantly unique creative way!

3 Mia { 02.18.08 at 12:33 pm }

Thank you, Genevieve. I have found your articles to be informative and uplifting. I kept your advice in mind last week as I was asked to invervene in a heated dispute between a teacher and a new student. The young girl was very upset and defensive, and as she ranted, I remembered your words about the importance of “…Allowing others to express their feelings of anger, in a safe environment…” and it turned out very well. Thanks…

4 Genevieve { 02.18.08 at 1:37 pm }

Thanks for that in-put, Mia. That’s my goal: to give you tools that are useable in your own life situations.

I have been thinking about this theme endlessly because of the recent latest string ot shooting tragedies in American schools. It’s too early to assess the young 27 year old man’s psychological state and motives yet, but I can’t help wondering what this country is breeding when the emotions of anger, rage, and deep self-loathing are constantly repressed by the use of pharmaceuticals rather than addressing the honest issues of what is creating such angst in the first place. What struck me about the young man was a certain news statement that he had gone off the anti-depressants because he ‘felt like a zombie’. These are grave issues we are now facing as a collective. I, for one, certainly ponder them a great deal and try do my best to allow for others in my sphere to also express their authentic feelings as they arise.

5 Mia { 02.23.08 at 2:14 pm }

You know, I too am saddened by the recent events and have given it a lot of thought.
I think we have sown the conditions for a large-scale spiritual fragmentation. In the absence of cohesive families and a centralized ethos, our media are left to dictate our values. We value things (clothes, nice cars, expensive jewelry, the big house). We value looks (sexy bodies, white teeth, perpetual youth). We value the wealth that gets us those things. We require the superficial to define who we are and how successful we feel. We look for these things in search for happiness, but often, we aren’t happy. We just want more.
Our media is also left to dictate our behavior. Our children watch programming in which bad attitudes are upheld as a norm and adults are idiots. And without connections to or appreciation of what has come before, how can we understand where we belong in the world? Where are the connections that support our beings and help us to feel whole?
…And of course, there are drugs too.
Deep down, there is something common in us all: the desire to discover what connects each of us to the other, what uholds within us our universal potential for compassion and love. And when we veer from this quest, or are led astray by misguided messages, it is no surprise that anger, rage, and self-loathing result…
Still, on a positive note, I’d like to believe that we can find a path that leads us–as a collective–to higher ground. It is do-able. I know it is.

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