“The most beautiful thing that we can experience is the mysterious”, said a wise man who really knew a few things about the secrets of the universe, none other than Albert Einstein. Living here on Earth we can witness some spectacular displays of physics in motion, and eclipses fall into that category. There will be a lunar eclipse in Aquarius on Monday, August 7th and a solar event in Leo on August 21st.
Ready for an eighth grade science refresher? We all know that the Moon revolves around Earth in a 28-day orbit. When the Moon is said to be “new”, it is directly between the Sun and Earth. It can’t be seen at night. Exactly 14 days later it will be behind Earth, basking in the light of the Sun in what we humans call a full moon. But what many people don’t know is that the Moon’s orbit around Earth is tilted, so when it zips around our planet it’s not doing so at a 90 degree angle to the equator.
Also, any time you have a sphere (Earth) with a big light (the Sun) shining on it a cone-shaped shadow will be produced behind the sphere. As a result there is a shadow behind Earth 24/7 called the “umbra”. There are 13 full moons and new moons per year (yup, 365 days divided by 28 days for 1 moon orbit =13), and most of the time the Moon misses going into the umbra when it’s reaching the full position. But about four times a year La Luna just happens to be in a sweet spot, when that tilted lunar orbit pops the Moon right into the shadow—and a lunar eclipse occurs.
If you’ve never seen one, I highly recommend that you do, as they are moody, weird and magical. The full yellow moon starts to disappear into the shadow, and you can actually witness one side of it slowly start to disappear into darkness. Eventually the Moon is completely in the umbra, at which time it begins to turn groovy shades of red, from a pinkish hue to a brickish red-brown color. The moon will travel through the shadow for about two hours then reappear on the other side of it. These are safe to watch and everyone who lives on the side of Earth facing the Moon will be able to see it, weather permitting.
Cool fact: eclipses always occur in pairs. So there will be a solar (new moon) eclipse either 14 days before a lunar event, or 14 days afterward. Solar eclipses take place during the day, affecting the side of the planet that faces the Sun. Again, due to that wonky tilted orbit, the Moon happens to glide right in front of the Sun, blocking its rays. A small part of the Earth will be in complete darkness.
Why? Well, remember that a spherical object casts a cone-shaped shadow. The spherical Moon creates its own umbra, a small shadow that falls upon a narrow band of the Earth. These are the eclipses that require special safety glasses for viewing, because even if most of the Sun’s light is blotted out, enough rays manage to wrap around the Moon’s curved surface that can damage your retinas.
OK, class dismissed. So why are eclipses such a big deal in astrology? Ancient astrologers viewed new moons as auspicious times for new beginnings, which is why farmers planted crops at that time and women tried to conceive babies. In modern times, they are still considered to be important for launching fresh endeavors, whether it’s married life with your partner, a new job, a fitness regime or a helpful habit, as examples. Over the following six months you can make progress in whatever part of your chart that happens to be affected.
Full moons in astrology are considered to be just the opposite, a grand finale. They wrap things up for better or for worse—which means that you can decide to leave your lover, quit smoking, stop putting up with someone’s BS or land a book deal after months of trying. But because they close out chapters, a new one now begins, so in a way full moons are transition periods in which your circumstances change.
Eclipses are new and full moons on steroids. They are game changers, because they pack a heck of a lot more cosmic firepower than a standard new or full moon. They act quickly and often without warning, rapidly changing our circumstances in ways that we may not have seen coming. Let’s face it, we all get into ruts. Eclipses are the universe’s way of taking us by the hand (or the hair) and pulling us out of the muck and mire. We can either go along with a calm smile on our faces or be dragged kicking and screaming into the new phase of our lives.
Whether an eclipse is a helpful or stressful depends upon what’s going on elsewhere in the cosmos. If the other planets are at war with each other, forming squares or oppositions, the eclipse could bring jarring news. And that’s what eclipses often do: deliver news of some kind, and it’s usually major stuff. However, if the planets are in good aspects at eclipse time the event will then be auspicious, and the scoops that you’ll hear are good ones: a prestigious job offer, for example, or someone asking for your hand in marriage.
The twelve signs of the zodiac can actually be seen in the night sky. There is a constellation Scorpio, and on one side of it is the constellation Libra. On the other side is Sagittarius. The twelve constellations form a ring or band around Earth, with all 12 signs of the zodiac in order. So when we say that a solar eclipse is occurring in Capricorn, for instance, that constellation happens to be behind the Moon and the Sun. If a lunar eclipse is taking place in Pisces, then if you were to look up into the night sky you’d be able to see the constellation Pisces behind the glistening Moon.
Not only do eclipses occur in pairs four to five times a year, they also will occur in the same zodiac signs for about two years. From March 2015 through February 2017, the solar and lunar eclipses all occurred in Pisces and Virgo. Obviously if you were born under one of these signs, you would have been profoundly affected. But eclipses affect all signs of the zodiac, and the results that you experience could be in any area of your life, from love to home to money to health. It all depends upon which part of your chart is governed by the eclipse.
In February 2017 a new series of eclipses began on the Leo-Aquarius axis. All of the eclipses between then and January 2019 will take place in these two signs. So let’s just say that Leo is your house of romance (which is the case for Aries people). The solar and lunar eclipses in Leo will all advance your love life in some way, either helping you find someone new, leave a relationship that has soured, conceive a baby, get engaged or take an existing happy union to a higher level.
If Aquarius is your career and goals sector (true for Taurus) then the Aquarian eclipses will advance your big plans. A tough eclipse may find you leaving a job that isn’t advancing your career or just sucks the soul from you, but a good eclipse can then take you to a much better place. So the bottom line for all 12 signs is that every eclipse from February 2017 through January 2019 will advance your plans in a particular area of your life. Then once January 2019 rolls around, their job is done—you’re in a completely different place (emotionally, financially, health-wise, career, home life) and a new series begins.
The main thing to remember about eclipses is that they bring about massive change. They do this by swiftly and unapologetically making us face what’s working on what’s not. We are quickly pushed to a break point, pushed off of a fence or out of bad situations. This includes unhealthy habits and thought patterns, so the change that you witness may come from within, not just from the outside world. As a result eclipses can be quite emotional because we are forced to do some serious inner work that may be long overdue.
That said, we also can witness major changes in the people around us. Eclipses are known to remove people from our lives, such as the boss from hell who gets “eclipsed out” by management, or the great boss whom decides to change companies. A lover could leave (or be shown the door) but a new one appears on the scene. People often reveal their true nature at an eclipse. Secrets can be revealed too, and major events on the world stage can rapidly take place.
Astrology is a timing device, suggesting the best times to work on a particular area. It’s like the tide: you can try to swim against it, panting for breath as you struggle, or you can choose to go with the flow. Once an eclipse occurs, the most potent time to take action on its energy is within the two to four weeks that follow. However, the entire six-month period afterward is beneficial, a period in which you can manifest the rewards of your efforts.
How will you be affected by the next upcoming eclipse? The best way to find out is to check your monthly horoscope here on My Stars! Horoscopes, where I’ll provide you with the lowdown when an eclipse is about to occur. Check your weekly horoscope too on Saturday night at 8 PM EST, the week before the eclipse, as that’s when the weeklies go live. And sign up for my newsletter at the top right of the page, as I’ll be sending out updates with what you can expect at eclipse time.
Here are the dates for the next batch of eclipses:
2017: February 10, August 7 and August 21
2018: January 31, February 15, July 13, July 27/28 and August 11