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Eclipse Trip: The Virgo Moon

Dear Friends Around the World:

Eclipses are great if you're tired of things being the way they are. Everybody has something, someplace, someone, or some situation they've had it with.

Usually it is a pattern of some kind, be it a psychological pattern (most of them are), an emotional pattern in a relationship, a physical pattern involving our body. It can include the way we structure our days, our living spaces and all other habits. As one who is continually moving around the world, I keep getting reminded of how much energy patterns consume, because as I keep changing them, I keep seeing and feeling their effects. But I'm also aware that habits are necessary modes of organization, which help us remember the details and focus our energy.

With an eclipse of the Moon in Virgo, this is the territory we are in, which will help us shift energy out of ruts and containers and get it flowing again. In a time when we must depend so heavily on control and critical judgment (Virgo themes) we need to make sure that the patterns we live with support us and don't become conceptual prisons that extinguish all our creative energy.

Next week's eclipse presents an opportunity to let go of conditioning, redistribute mental energy, take a step away from some past circumstances, and burn off the emotional residue of the past few seasons. Indeed, tune in and you will see that these processes are already underway in your own life.

Spring, which is quickly approaching here in the Northern Hemisphere, is a good time to be restless and use the equinox energy to rebalance everything, and autumn, which our friends down under are experiencing, has much the same effect. The Virgo eclipse so close to equinox is a great time to turn that restlessness into action.

First, however, let's set the backdrop: our external circumstances. Is everyone aware that we live in tremendously uncertain times? Made all the more edgy by the constant outpouring of fear, fear, fear, mixed with intolerance and spiked with a stiff shot of greed? Every day we hear news of the planet heating up, of fuel running out, and of spreading war, and at the same time, we are marketed to death.

At the same time, individuals face more pressure and more responsibility than we ever have in history. Your average entry-level worker seems to maintain a schedule as intense as a top corporate official, but that's what happens when you have to work three jobs.

Meanwhile, the pressure is on from the outside, because anyone who looks can see exactly what is happening. Instead of shepherding the planet, our "leaders" seem to be smoking crack, going out on murderous rampages and using the planet as their personal ATM. It seems like a bad time for the good guys, an even worse time for the ordinary folk, and the news seems designed to train us to accept the fact that we are simply not safe anytime or anywhere.

In the midst of this all, many live with the feeling of time going faster every week. If we stop to think about it, and look at the basic facts, it's possible to get the feeling that history is moving toward a vortex of some kind: perhaps a threshold, perhaps a shift to another level. One way to look at the chaos we're seeing now is either the result of resistance to that change, or a warm-up to it -- probably both.

Yet the most bizarre part is how nonchalant we're supposed to be about all of it, and without ever counting the human cost.

There's a theory I've heard that says what we're experiencing now is not the end of humanity, but rather the end of pre-history and the approach to the beginning of our real history. The frightening old paradigm of "exploit the planet, kill whoever you want and profit wherever you can," is reaching its eventual end, though that end may also involve seeing some of the logical conclusions of these policies. One of them is a measure of chaos. Another is living in a time where change is so fast, it's become invisible, and where the structure of time seems to collapse and everything happens all at once.

Another is noticing with how manipulated we are, and how manipulated society is, principally by fear. And the paradox of fear is that we have to face it, or it does not go away.

Then comes the beginning.

Enter the Virgo lunar eclipse of March 14/15.

Eclipse 14th March

Astrology suggests that these cycles of death and rebirth are played out in miniature over and over again. Astrology demonstrates that time, rather than being this thread we all walk along, exists in holographic patterns. Time is cyclical and there are patterns to the cycles. Holographic theory says you could examine any phase of time -- a year, a day, an hour -- and size up a much longer one.

Eclipses help demarcate the landscapes of time, and are natural shifts in the environment. They represent concentrations of experience, focal points of change, and moments when fate seems to be overactive. We cannot take all change all at once, but we can organize it into territories. With each set of eclipses, we get a new phase to work with and change the patterns that add up to the greater whole.

A lunar eclipse presents a nice image of the concentration of time, which we can work with consciously. It begins as a Full Moon. Then, perhaps half an hour later, the Moon is dark; then half an hour after that, it is full again. It's as if we live a month of experience in two hours. But if you consider that the effects of the eclipse radiate out, it's more like we live through the energetic equivalent of a year in a day. Imagine if that actually happened, how disoriented you might feel: going to bed and waking up a year later.

In a sense, we get an antidote to 'speeding time' by pushing the concentration even further. An eclipse is like a massive homeopathic dose of time.

Eclipses generally come in pairs (sometimes in threes, but this time in pairs). Following the lunar eclipse, we enter the territory of the inter-eclipse zone, a little valley in time which leads to the total solar eclipse of March 29 and what I am calling the 3/29 cluster. This 3/29 grouping of events includes the eclipse itself, which is situated just a few degrees from the Aries Point ('the personal is political'); as well as Pluto stationing retrograde on the Galactic Core; as well as the progressions to the Bush/Cheney inauguration chart going off like wildfire -- all within about 24 hours.

The strength and impact of a total solar eclipse near the Aries Point cannot be overstated. We have seen many effects of the Aries Point the past five years, and they all have the quality of affecting large numbers of people -- somewhere. (I would be inclined to use the path of totality of the eclipse to predict where, but I have not seen this to be an effective method of prediction.)

Let's take these one chart at a time; this week starting with the lunar eclipse and picking up next week with a reading of the solar eclipse. To me, there is something more personal about the lunar eclipse next week and something more distinctly public about the solar eclipse two weeks later. If you would like to open it in a new window, use this link and it will come up.

This chart is set for The Hague, in the Netherlands, world capital of peace and justice. Notice that the Moon is high in the sky, which means that the eclipse is visible at the place the chart is cast (clouds permitting).

Before I get to the main stage, let's take a look in Aquarius, because activity in that sign sets the stage and hints at the values involved. The stellium of Ceres, Chiron and Venus in Aquarius gives us a picture of something we are all in together. The suggestion is that your feelings are not yours alone; that the complexity of your emotions and your response to your history is something you share with many other people. This extraordinarily poignant aspect illustrates the nexus of nourishment, pleasure, grief, wounding and healing that we need to experience in our relationships in order to have a balanced experience of them.

More than saying 'take the bad with the good', the message is that we need to allow the difficulty and pain to feed our process of growing strong without growing resentful or embittered. Through being hurt and then getting strong, we need to become healers -- and that means living the process of getting well and sharing our strength with others.

Now let's look at the most obvious thing about this event, which is that it forms a grand cross aspect. The Moon and the Sun form the main axis, and Pluto (red planet, to the lower left next t the number 24) and Juno (purple planet next to the number 24, to the upper right) form another axis. Notice that reading the numbers is how you see aspects. The Sun and Moon each have a 24 next to them; they are on the same wavelength as Pluto and Juno, which have a 26 and 24 respectively. These four planets function as a unified energy system.

Pluto represents compelling change. The Moon and Sun pushing on, or applying to, Pluto, suggest that we are all going through compelling inner changes associated with this eclipse, both on the internal (lunar) or external and expressive (solar) levels. This is what I would describe as a reorientation.

With the Virgo Moon, what gets reoriented is the peculiar way we relate to our emotions mentally and our thoughts emotionally. You could say that most people lack a sufficient boundary between the mental and the emotional spheres to tell one from the other, or to have much of a handle on their psychic experience. This eclipse is saying get that sorted. With the Moon dimming out in Virgo, there is an emotional release point in a mental sign, and we get some clarity where before there may have been none. It seems like we get a few veils pulled back and can see what is behind what were previously unconscious mental emotions.

Pisces Sun square Pluto is fiercely independent, and suggests we have both the right and the opportunity to feel what we feel independently of what others may want. But it's a little bit resentful, and that quality needs to be watched. This aspect demonstrates that our feelings have results, because Pluto square the Sun is about taking action and action is the measurement. What we do may seem like the only choice, it may seem like the most necessary choice, or it may be that something 'just happens' -- particularly a tangible step of growth -- but the clarity of the Virgo eclipse leads to a solid sense of what must be related to Sun square Pluto.

The Sun is conjunct a Centaur planet (a newly discovered planet in Chiron's class), as yet unmentioned in this space, and not very well delineated. The planet is Bienor, and the name is a literal translation of 'strong man'. Conjunct the Sun, square Pluto, square Juno and opposing an eclipse, we have an image of male energy that is not afraid to take action.

Juno is in Gemini and is precisely square the eclipse, down to a fraction of a degree. Juno represents conventional monogamous partnerships and the values systems that support them. Her most basic psychological property (on the low-brow end of the spectrum) is scorekeeping in relationships. Juno can also come with a good bit of jealousy or resentment -- and when working well, her own form of true devotion.

Juno on another level signifies the properties of traditional monogamy and our ideas about the ideal marriage partner. In Gemini suggests that we are of two minds; that there are often two partners, no matter how dense, chill, suave or nonchalant or nonexistent is the cover-up; that all people and thus all partners, have at least two sides; that we need a choice in matters of relationship; and that we often have a double standard, and we live with double standards as a way of life. In other words, quite often different rules apply to both partners in any relationship.

When this is healthy, the equation is like: "Do what you need to do, I understand you have needs that I don't have." At its most negative, that usually involves some form of the equation, "I can meet my needs, but when you meet your needs, I get insecure and thus jealous and try to take control." Juno can be controlling, but of course real control is impossible. This situation often presents us with a diversity of contradictions in our intimate relationships and these, we need to work out. It would seem that the eclipse is a beckoning to do just that; that we need to push all these processes, arrangements, rules and score cards up to the 1-A level of awareness, pay attention and go through the changes we need to be more free, and to allow one another to be more free.

One implication is that there is a meeting point, but which due to the square to Pluto requires both parties to the discussion to change and evolve (NOT compromise -- Pluto is not about compromise), and then the relationship itself can go through an evolutionary shift (opposite Pluto). This 'third party' of the relationship is what will change as a result of the individuals involved changing, and if it does not change, it will meet Pluto full on and, basically, be a bit vaporized.

All this is symbolic, of course. But there may be ways these symbols apply to your life. The MOST important patterns on the Earth-plane are relationships. The harsh rules, often senseless and unnecessarily controlling, of conventional monogamy tend to monopolize all the other guidelines by which we relate to others. Juno taking part so prominently in this eclipse is no small cosmic gesture; she has come up front and center for review, and to remind us to put forth the best part of her nature: true commitment to devotion.

Editorial Assistants: Arwynne O'Neill and Rachael Stillman

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