Eclipses are a unique type of New or Full Moon that differ from regular lunations. Eclipses occur when the Sun, Moon and the Earth occupy the same plane on the ecliptic. Due to their closer alignment on the ecliptic they interact with each other’s light in a different way.
There are two types of eclipses, just as there are two types of lunations. A New Moon or a Solar Eclipse happens when the Sun’s light is blocked by the Moon. A Full Moon or Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Moon’s light is blocked by the Earth.
In other words, a solar eclipse is the Sun’s light being eclipsed and the same applies for the lunar eclipses is when the Moon’s light is being blocked, but by the Earth.
If you know a little about astrology already, you may be familiar with the North and South Nodes of the Moon. These tell us much about ourselves and are chart points that resonate deeply within us. However, they are not celestial bodies, they are calculated points that allow us to determine which lunations will actually be eclipses.
Eclipses occur in seasons which happen twice and year, every six months. A New or Full Moon is defined as an eclipse if it is within 18 degrees of either the North or South Node. An eclipse can occur within 36 degrees in total, either side of the eclipse. Eclipses can occur in the same sign as the nodes, and sometimes in the adjoining signs if the Nodes themselves are at the beginning or end of a sign. The closer the lunation occurs to the degree of the Node, the more total the eclipse will be.
The Nodes travel together in pairs, always in opposition to each other. At present, the North Node occupies Leo, and the South Node is in Aquarius. Nodes occupy opposing signs for approximately 18 months. For this period of time, eclipses will activate or trigger any planets you have in the signs of the Nodes. Even if you don’t have any planets in the signs the Nodes occupy at any given time, you will have houses. It is this area of your life the eclipses call attention to.
The Nodes moved into the Leo/Aquarius axis in May this year, and will continue through until November 2018, when they’ll dip into Cancer/Capricorn. The Nodes travel in reverse through the Zodiac.
Eclipses occur in groups or families known as the Saros Series. These series can run for well over a thousand years. The word saros means repetition. So while astrologers can predict the timing of eclipses, their meaning or manifestation can be a wild card. The Saros Series an eclipse belongs to can give some insight into the meaning of a given eclipse.
Eclipses have been viewed as powerful omens since antiquity. Considering the astronomy of an eclipse, according to astrologer Geoffrey de Meaux in 1348,
‘for when the sun is directly opposite the moon, then power of each of them reaches the earth in a straight line, and the mingling of influences of the sun and moon with that of the superior planets creates a single celestial fore.’
Another primary way to consider the meaning of an eclipse is to evaluate the ruler of the eclipse, most particularly, the traditional sign ruler. In the case of the upcoming eclipses, the lunar eclipse is in Aquarius, ruled by Saturn, and the solar eclipse later in the month in Leo, is ruled by the Sun.
Casting your mind back to February 2017 may give some insight or guidance as to what themes could be in play for you during this months’ eclipses. In my client sessions, I’ve invited many to consider February as a preview or trailer to what will be the headliners for you now.
Full Moons are about culmination and reaching a decision or turning point. As this eclipse is aligned with the karmic South Node of the Moon, it’s themes are strongly tied to that of release and letting go. Aquarius is about your place in the collective, the group or the family. Where have you given up your sense of bold individuality (Leo) in order to appease someone else? While this eclipse can trigger a memory, habit or a connection from the past, you may come to realise you’ve outgrown what is familiar, safe or comfortable. With Jupiter making a supportive aspect to this eclipse, honesty and authenticity will be vital, especially if a relationship is the issue. Compromise can be possible by being open and even a bit outspoken about what you believe to be right or true.
Check to see where Saturn in Sagittarius, the eclipse ruler is in your chart (where he’s been for the last 3 years). This will hold a clue to what topics you need the most honesty around now.
Lunar Eclipse 15 Aquarius
New Zealand: 6:10am
New York: 2:10pm
You may enjoy this past post from February to help you cast your mind back to what was happening then.