Friday, 27 March 2015

The Next Lunar Eclipse - Reclaiming the Shadow

On April 04, 2015, a lunar eclipse will occur. This is part of a current series of four (known as a Tetrad - four consecutive total lunar eclipses with six Full Moons in between). These eclipses have coincided with the culmination of other intense planetary happenings, namely the Uranus-Pluto Square series that peaked recently (March 2015). The 2014/15 Lunar Eclipse Tetrad is in the Zodiac Signs of Aries and Libra. It is indicative of our individual and collective struggles, as we each come to terms with our own pain and the shared suffering of our fellow humans. Through these experiences, we encounter a sort of personal rebirth and ultimately the whole of the human race evolves greater awareness and insight.

Astronomically, a lunar eclipse happens when the Moon is positioned directly behind the Earth and thus in its shadow, unable to reflect any sunlight. Lunar eclipses are visible anywhere on the night-side of the Earth. (There are variations including total, partial and penumbral eclipses, when part of the Moon passes through the Earth's shadow or is merely dimmed by it.)

Lunar eclipses in astrology often symbolise a time of crisis, specifically emotional because of the Moon's association with our mood and feelings. We can think of an eclipse as our emotional character or feelings being briefly immersed in the shadows, after which something new is revealed to us (when the Moon passes out of the Earth's umbra and into the light of the Sun again). Therefore a lunar eclipse will often coincide with a moment of panic that something is being kept hidden, perhaps valuable knowledge or a piece of information that we perceive as vital. Or maybe that a dark secret or act of deceit is about to be revealed. Either way, when the eclipse ends we are often confronted with the truth - the revelation, brought from the shadows back into the light. And this can be the crisis moment. However everything that is revealed to us is perhaps done so in a cosmically timed manner - particularly from an astrological viewpoint; in other words, only when we are ready to confront that which was previously hidden. Although it might feel uncomfortable, disappointing or shocking, even devastating, it is essential that we 'see the light' to enable us to move forward. Of course we might well be relieved to finally have the truth.

The current Tetrad occurs on the Aries-Libra axis. This suggests the focus is on Self and ego (Aries) versus others and relationship (Libra). It doesn't mean that only Aries and Libra will experience crises and revelation, for we all have these Signs somewhere in our personal birth charts and thus we will all experience the eclipses in some way. The fact that we're having a series of these eclipses points to the great emotional turmoil and confusion that many are experiencing at this time. And it also relates to our collective journey. There is much being revealed from the shadows, including our own personal demons and secrets that need to see the light of day (or Sun) and evidently the secrets that have been kept from the masses, by people in roles of authority and influence in society. This cannot all happen at once, of course, as the power of emotions and their effect on the psyche can be both transformative and destructive. Therefore, it seems, we are being guided through a gradual exposition.

The eclipse on April 4th is close to the Spring Equinox, a time of year associated with the theme of resurrection (in the Northern hemisphere). It might feel like our sense of self (Aries) is under scrutiny from others (Libra) and that certain aspects of our self are being unavoidably exposed. What is in fact happening is that we are rewriting parts of our identity from within, which are gradually brought to the surface with the help of others. This can happen either voluntarily, by revealing our fears and secrets or via increasing encounters with people and circumstances that draw them out. Consequently many of us are learning to become our own teachers and guides now, through greater authenticity and self-empowerment. Along with the transformative Uranus-Pluto Squares, more of us are also beginning to understand how projection functions in our social world, specifically in relation to our Shadow Self (the eclipses). Thus it is time to reclaim our negative projections, to own our Shadow and discover ways in which we can mindfully release our unhealthy projections. It is time to stop living in denial and attacking or blaming others based on our own repressed desires, urges and fears. As the next eclipse occurs, we must embrace courage and look to our inner darkness to face what is lurking in the Shadow. Perhaps the easiest, albeit most uncomfortable, method is to admit something that you often strongly attack in others and take this on your inner eclipse journey, confronting its root within your psyche. What is the reasoning? And what is the threat to your Self underpinning that reasoning? And what is the fear at the root of that threat? Gradually, through such inner workings, we can uncover aspects of our Shadow and expose them to the light, like the Moon emerging from the darkness of an eclipse. In this way, we ultimately let go of the fear and cease projecting it onto the world. This allows our soul (and the world) to heal. 

Of course all of this cannot be accomplished with one or even a series of eclipses. Yet the current zeitgeist is about inevitable shift and change in the human collective; we are moving into a time of rediscovering our interconnectedness and the importance of the consequences of our actions, even our thoughts, on community and environment. This collective rebirth, as our race matures emotionally and spiritually, lends us the confidence to reveal more of things that frighten us in a supportive capacity. And the more fears we expose and unravel, the more we evolve.

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Below, for those interested, is a little more on the symbolism of Aries and Libra, as well as a breakdown of each eclipse in the current Tetrad.

Aries, as the first Zodiac Sign, symbolises our birth and the emergence of the ego, our individual identity. Its place is to explore the Self, to be concerned with individuality and discover what or who that is. In this way we each become empowered, realising our unique set of skills, talents and gifts. However in this process we might begin to over-identify with our ego or encounter aspects of our self that frighten and concern us. Consequently we can become conceited, fixated on our own ego's desires and thus behave selfishly. Simultaneously we tend to hide from the parts we dislike or cannot integrate safely in our everyday lives; these aspects of our self are then pushed into the shadows, ultimately creating our shadow self. But, like the conscious ego, the shadow self continues to grow and gain power albeit hidden in our subconscious (which the Moon also governs in astrology). Although the ego has its purpose and can be healthy, it soon predominates and seeks to exert its presence and power over others, to constantly put itself first. Likewise, the shadow side of our ego will eventually erupt in the psyche, seeking attention. This typically manifests in other people, whereby others come into our lives and act as mirrors, reflecting the shadow aspects of our character that we have repressed or tried to hide. In this way, we are forced to literally confront them. We see this happening every day, all around the world, in our relationship dramas and altercations, as well as on a collective scale with whole sections of society and countries opposing and attacking one another. When we refuse to or simply cannot deal with the whole spectrum of our feelings, they are brought to us in others, as a way of helping us to deal and resolve. Lunar eclipses usually signify times when significant parts of our shadow self are revealed in this way. Therefore a relationship might reach breaking point or an ongoing struggle will climax. And this will be happening on the world stage too, for instance, among different factions of society.

This is where Libra comes into play, as Aries' opposing Sign in the Zodiac. It represents the Other; our relationships, marriage and partnership, how to work and function together and the promotion of equality and harmony over the selfish wants of the ego. Libra can aid the task of the shadow self by bringing forth people who can help us feel whatever it is we're denying or suppressing. Libra also encourages the individual ego's (Aries) to find common ground, a shared space where they may work together as a team, pooling all of their unique qualities for the greater good. It becomes no longer about serving the self for the self, but employing the strengths of the self to serve everyone. Libra impels Aries to ask 'What can I offer that will help improve the outcome?' Thus the self still gets to feel important in playing its role. In another way, Libra - as the Sign of balance, the Scales, can show us how and where to regain balance in life, in our psyche, by embracing the exposed shadow traits and ultimately healing them. Libra likes to share and so one way we might achieve this is by sharing our fears and pain, which is what we see happening more and more in society today. Again the internet and social media is building bridges in this way, uniting people for shared causes or just providing a medium through to share pain, anger, frustration and so on. As these eclipses continue to unfold, we will face more of our shadows and bring them back into the light of the Sun, each passing eclipse exposing and healing a little bit more. Libra plays its role by showing us that together, we can accomplish more and restore harmony not just to our self but to others.

How might all of this contribute to our ongoing spiritual and collective evolution? Essentially, we are each being tasked with confronting, healing and releasing our own individual pain and suffering, our regrets and sorrows, so that we can contribute to the collective healing of humanity. This is what the Aries-Libra eclipses are showing us. It might even extend to past life incarnations, if you so believe, perhaps the reason why it feels so overwhelming at times; as we prepare to move into a new time (the shift in consciousness), we are required to let go of all karmic baggage. It is no coincidence that Neptune and Chiron are in Pisces now, the astrological indicators of humanities pending rebirth. Pisces, as the last Zodiac Sign, represents the collective and all that has gone before, including our suffering. Pisces has great empathy and charity and is therefore capable of soothing and healing the wounds of the past through genuine care and love. This is, of course, necessary before we can move into Aries, the first Sign of the Zodiac and begin again anew.

1st Eclipse: 15th April 2014
Sun in Aries opposite Moon in Libra

The first eclipse of the Tetrad concerned the Sun in fiery Aries, in spring, a time of beginnings. It also connected with the Uranus-Pluto Square and the Sun and Moon to form a Grand Cross with Jupiter and Mars. Essentially this looks like a giant square, between the angles of four planets, with two pairs opposite one another (Mars in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries; Jupiter in Cancer opposite Pluto in Capricorn). This is still a time of real tension on a global scale; Mars opposite Uranus symbolises the need for each one of us to stand up and speak out freely and honestly, to let our voices, our concerns be heard - although Libra asks that we do this with tact and grace! Mars, as ruler of Aries, wants its own way - the individual ego, while Jupiter in Cancer represents the family or clan - those with whom we join for shared causes. The Jupiter-Pluto opposition embodies the ongoing struggle with the old paradigm - the patriarchy, governments, corporations et al that have controlled the masses. Mars and Jupiter's squares to Pluto and Uranus signify the individual ego's and the clans joining together in protest against the power-hungry ego's of dominating bureaucracies. So, together with the first Aries-Libra eclipse, we see many signs of tension and a need to come out of the shadows.


2nd Eclipse: 8th October 2014
Sun in Libra opposite Moon in Aries

The second eclipse will see the Sun and Moon switch Signs. It will up the ante, with both the Sun and Moon activating Uranus-Pluto in a tense T-square aspect (a tight triangle pattern formed between the angles of the planets). However a beneficial aspect pattern will be formed simultaneously, known as a Kite, with the Sun and Moon joining Mars, now in Sagittarius and Jupiter, now in Leo, in supportive and harmonious aspects. This is essentially a natural progression from the previous eclipse, whereby Mars and Jupiter will now be supporting the eclipse from their new positions. Thus many of us will be learning how to raise our concerns without antagonism or causing offence, not generating more aggravation and upheaval but finding better ways to communicate, to be heard. Mars in Sagittarius will be fighting for freedom but from a more philosophical viewpoint whilst receiving support from a strong-willed, confident Leo Jupiter. On an individual level, we might feel better equipped to handle the next wave of shadow traits that emerge from the eclipse. This will be helped by Venus, at home in Libra, in tight orb to the Sun - perhaps suggesting a deeper sense of love and acceptance for issues that arise. However its opposition to the Moon, in Aries, could mean we're still finding it difficult to convey or share our darkest feelings with others, through misunderstandings or fear. Therefore we might still feel repelled or incensed by those who continue to display our own shadows and unable to extend empathy and understanding.


3rd Eclipse: 4 April 2015
Sun in Aries opposite Moon in Libra

The final Uranus-Pluto Square is activated by both the Sun and Moon. This configuration represents the continual and mounting pressure that is necessary to push us through into the new paradigm, to essentially rebirth our consciousness. This time around, Jupiter in Leo will combine with Saturn in Sagittarius to form a positive aspect pattern with Uranus, called a Grand Trine (a large triangle formed between the angles of these planets). This points to increasing harmonious solutions amid the chaos and tension of the separating Pluto-Uranus Square. Saturn, as the planet of realism, symbolises assistance in helping to ground and tame Leo Jupiter's wild ideas. This will present practical and mature ways to move forward, to make real progress. Concurrently Saturn will be supporting Uranus, helping the revolution shift gears in a positive manner. Perhaps more of us will be learning to identify with what we're seeing in ourselves and others and therefore relate better; the Moon in Libra always wants to relate. This aides any work we might undertake on the self to confront and release Shadow projections.


4th Eclipse: 28th September 2015
Sun in Libra opposite Moon in Aries

The last of the Aries-Libra eclipses occurs a few months from the final Uranus-Pluto Square. The Sun and Moon will create another T-square with Pluto. This is essentially signifying the end of the current eclipse lesson in self vs other, the ego vs the whole. It will be inherently linked with the changes that have been taking place in society and on a global scale. This is likely to do with more of us uniting and sharing responsibility for improving life on Earth. It will also have helped many of us, on an individual level, to work more effectively with our Shadow. The ideal outcome would be that more people recognise the common themes being exposed and that they all stem from the same place; what angers or disgusts the majority is ripe for confrontation and change but through a deeper understanding of its origins. The more of us who can learn to address matters in this way, rather than the default of attack/reject/condemn, the easier it will become to heal and release. The Aries-Libra Tetrad will hopefully help more people to embrace their uniqueness and put it to good use in society.


Ultimately, more and more people are choosing to become their own teacher resulting from greater access to information and self-education, leading to increased insight, awareness and empathy (part of the ongoing Neptune and Chiron transit through Pisces). The majority are no longer willing to tolerate oppression or being kept in the dark by self-appointed rulers and elites; we are living in a time when it is becoming less of a necessity for the many to be ruled by the few because of our ongoing liberation and spiritual maturation. And so the rebellions and revolutions will continue, in order to reach the equality and harmony that all souls seek. This is also related to the reawakening of the Kundalini, which is gradually being pushed further up the chakras, allowing more of us to tune deeply into our souls, to Spirit. The end of the Uranus-Pluto Squares will help relieve the recent periods of extreme tension however these planets will remain in Aries and Capricorn, respectively, for some time, as our world continues to be reshaped. But of one thing we can be sure, with each passing year more of the cosmic puzzle is fitting into place.

There are 8 sets of Tetrads in the 21st Century with the next set to occur in 2032.