My mother told me that she had the chance to talk to several of our relatives in the former Yugoslavia, Germany, and the island of Malta this morning (Chicago time). They’d all seen/experienced the total solar eclipse–their reactions?
“Terrifying,” Mama reported.
I understood such a response. On Tuesday, May 10, 1993, as I was preparing to leave my apartment to take my end-of-sophomore-year undergraduate Women’s Studies final exam at North Park University in Chicago, I experienced the eerie energies of a total solar eclipse around two in the afternoon. I decided to head out into my backyard and view the phenomenon, clutching a pair of welding glasses I’d borrowed from my father. As soon as I crossed the threshold between the back porch stairs and the door leading to the walkway in the yard, a full-throttle panic attack gripped me. I clutched at the center of my chest; the feeling of oppression was sudden and horrific. My heart rate: ridiculously elevated. And whereas earlier in the day I’d heard a full chorus of neighborhood birds singing away, the landscape–fences, phone wires, tree tops–was completely devoid of stirring wildlife. No sound whatsoever. My panic intensified; I’d broken into a clammy sweat. Now I see, my 19-year-old self thought. I can totally see why our ancient ancestors marked this astronomical phenomenon with utter dread. This is an Extinguishing, a Great Devouring. It seemed to me as though the time-space vacuum was somehow being sucked into itself, and that the very walkway I began to tread was going to crumble apart, leaving me with no choice but to tumble headlong into the Void from which all the Worlds were spun. The earth would swallow me whole.
The sky grew ineffably Other. There was more to it than just the onset of darkness. More to it than just the terror at witnessing the moon’s shadow wholly obscuring the sun in the middle of the day. I felt as though my own molecules were being rearranged somehow–that a strange, unasked-for alchemical transformation was occurring inside me, triggered by my choosing to be outdoors and exposed to the fullness of the eclipse energy. I’ve never done recreational drugs in my life but I imagine I underwent something akin to a powerful “trip” as I stood there that day with my father’s welding goggles on, feeling the paradoxical experiences of cosmic dissolution yet a profound feeling of “At One-Ness” with everything, spiraling back in time to the very first division of amoeba in the history of organic life on Earth. On top of that, I experienced acute sensory input and output; I remember staring from the sky, back to my hands, back up at the sky, then down to the ground, still feeling/fearing that I could be swallowed whole by the gaping maw of the earth split asunder at any second. Had anyone passed me by in the alley that day, they would have deemed me a strange sight, indeed.
I stood in that state of numinous awareness for about a half-hour to 40 minutes of time reckoned by ordinary consciousness. I remember that I walked very slowly back towards my building, removed the welding glasses, and then very matter-of-factly (I’m such a Virgo) grabbed my school bag, drove to campus, and subsequently aced my Women’s Studies exam. How did the solar eclipse that day affect me? I can’t quantify it, but I know I became a different person, much more receptive to spirits and earth energies; at that time, I was exactly a year “out of the Broom Closet” and I know my spiritual maturity kicked into high gear somehow as a result of being immersed in those total solar eclipse energies.
Fast forward 22 years to today’s total solar eclipse energies. Even though its full effects were best experienced a world away in Europe and North Africa, the solar eclipse, certainly an energetically potent phenomenon in and of itself, occurred hot on the heels of the new moon in the final (30th) degree of Pisces (at 4:36 a.m. Chicago time) AND Monday’s profoundly magical seventh-out-of-seven direct hits in the Uranus-Pluto square that’s been with us since 2012. So there is a lot of “cosmic dissolution” energy to contend with. To add to the intensity, at 5:28 a.m. Chicago time, the Moon entered the cardinal sign of Aries and the sun followed suit less than 15 minutes later, officially kicking off the Spring Equinox, which many Pagans in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate as the holiday/Sabbat of Ostara.
Are you dizzy yet?
To help process these energies, it naturally helps to know your natal chart and which of your planets in relationship to each other–as well as the Houses in which they’re positioned–are getting “pinged” by this week’s intense spate of cosmic activity. If you’re a Virgo like me, then the Uranus-Pluto square affects your 8th House of sex/intimacy, sources of indirect income/other peoples’ money (think of things like tax refunds, inheritances, and so forth) and death/rebirth. As I wrote about on Monday, the Uranus-Pluto dynamic centers on the keywords of dissolving that which is no longer working for you (or having it abruptly dissolved for you, as Uranian energy often strikes out of the blue) and restructuring from a foundation that is in alignment with your values (Pluto rebuilds after destroying and Capricorn is all about structure that comes from a place of personal integrity). As of the time of this writing, I’ve been feeling pretty lucky, as the Uranus-Pluto square has brought me very good news from the IRS in terms of my refund for last year’s taxes–i.e., for the first time in my life, not only do I not owe anyone any money, but I’m actually getting a refund. So for this alone I’ve been expressing profound thanks to the Goddesses, Gods, and Powers (including my own Ancestors) I serve.
As a Virgo, the New Moon in 30th degree of Pisces affects the cusp between my 7th House of Partnership and 8th House. The solar eclipse and Aries Sun are also affecting my 8th House, so these same issues of sex, intimacy, other peoples’ money and death and rebirth are very much in the forefront of my mind.
I had none of these issues in mind when I spontaneously decided, about two weeks ago, to book a romantic getaway at a Wisconsin B&B to celebrate my Aries boyfriend Dan’s birthday this Sunday. But how fitting that my reveries of soaking in a double jacuzzi and snuggling before a roaring stone fireplace in a rural locale neither he nor I have been to before align themselves so well (so juicily, I might say) with the 8th House sex/intimacy dynamic presented by this week’s series of intense astronomical phenomena. Funny how that just works out.
Regardless of your Sun Sign, today’s new moon/solar eclipse combo will produce long-term implications for transformation at the individual and collective level. At the Spring Equinox, many rituals involve the literal blessing and planting of seeds as a means of visually expressing the growth we’d like to achieve in the goals we set for ourselves in the coming year. The understanding is that we do so in a state of mindfulness, fully expecting to reap later on in the year the fruits of our results in acts of symbolic or actual harvesting. What seeds are you sowing at this time for your conscious evolution? If you know your natal chart and can ascertain where the new moon, solar eclipse/Spring Equinox energies affect your natal planets and the Houses wherein they lie, how will you capitalize upon the opportunities for inner and outer transformation?
“As above, so below; as within, so without,” declares the famous maxim of the Emerald Tablet ascribed to the mage Hermes Trismegistus.
We’re conscious in our harried, work-a-day world/the Overculture we live in of the importance of kronos, of keeping chronological time. Adhering to schedules. Tracking “progress” in measurable results that unfold in linear, straight-shooting fashion. But the ancient Greeks also bequeathed us with a far different, much more spiritually attuned concept of “time” called kairos, or “Divine Timing.” We’ve all experienced this numerous times in our lives: the sense of being at the right place at the right time, and having wonderful doors of opportunity open for us because the right connections were aligned with the right resources. Being told after a successful job interview that you’re hired. Falling in love. Narrowly avoiding an accident. Experiencing other strokes of good fortune. They’re all predicated on kairos working in your favor, all because you’ve made yourself receptive to receiving its influence.
Instead of unfolding in a linear fashion, kairos operates cyclically, in my view. With each turn of the spiral, we have the opportunity to build upon the understanding of who we were before with added insights, a greater willingness to share the gifts of our newly obtained wisdom. Astrologically, the expression of kairos in your life could be traced to where your Part of Fortune lies or where Jupiter (the Daddy Warbucks of our solar system) resides–what are the Houses? Are there any planetary aspects formed?
In the pattern of today’s solar eclipse, Jupiter in heart-centered Leo stands resolutely alone across the Zodiac from the other planets, which are contained in the arc from the beginning of the sign of fiery Sagittarius–where we find dour Saturn stationed, reminding us of our limitations–to earthy Taurus, where sweet Venus unfurls Her charms in spades (I’m talking about the Goddess as much as I am the planet) as this is one of the signs She rules. Venus entered Taurus this past Tuesday the 17th, adding grace and flirtatious charm to the Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations that took place here in The Chi and elsewhere. If you’re a Virgo, Venus entered your 9th House of expanding horizons (intellectual as well as physical), philosophy, and religion. This is an excellent time to go on a trip, as well as adopt artistic pursuits that may be new forms of learning/expression for you or even study new forms of investing (Venus rules money, not just beauty and romance). Philosophical musings on Beauty (the highest Good, according to Plato) and religious rituals that are suffused in sensual expression–go for the incense, the candles, the crystals on the altar–get a good Venusian seal of approval.
However the cosmic messages from this week’s spate of starry events resonate with your particular life situation, it’s important to not succumb to lower vibrational energies. If you are a male-identified person, this solar eclipse is said to have a stronger effect on you than if you were a female-identified person (for whom lunar eclipse energies hold more sway, and we’re slated for one of those soon on the full moon of April 4, so stay tuned!). Anecdotally, I can say there’s ample evidence of people really losing their tempers/their shit/their sense of common courtesy at this time of the Uranus-Pluto square with a solar eclipse on top of it, so make sure that your energy levels don’t get “baited” into responding in a negative way to an irritating event that, really, at the end of the day, is nothing more than a trifle but seems like a bigger deal to you than it is when it happens.
As always, make self-care a top priority. Take time to breathe deeply from your diaphragm–not just if you should happen to get upset, but for general wellness maintenance. I advocate deep inhalations through your nose to a slow count of 8, hold the breath to a count of 8, and slowly but forcefully exhale to a count of 8–either nasally or through your mouth. If you choose the latter and you don’t mind audibly exhaling, consider either hissing as you expel the air or squeezing out a loud “HA!” sound with the final ounce of expelled breath from your diaphragm. Repeat the process at least four times and I guarantee you’ll feel lighter in spirit than when you were upset.
Aside from breathing exercises, take the “alone time” you need to really connect with the land at Vernal Equinox, regardless of the weather. Connect with your Powers outdoors if at all possible. I’m very much looking forward to my escape starting this afternoon with my Bodacious Beau™ to wonderfully wild Wisconsin. As strange as this sounds, I’m already feeling the presences of the landvaettir/genii loci/spirits of place there, and my Petite Priestess Powers™ are informing me that Dan and I will be welcomed/accepted into their territory, new to us, and, in turn, our acts of honoring those spirits through the biodegradable, non-invasive offerings we plan on giving them will also be welcomed. This, to me, is the full expression of one of the meanings of the rune Gyfu—loving exchange. For “a gift demands a gift,” as my Havamal-quoting Heathen friends often remind me, and I rightly agree.
Third in the prioritization of self-care as I see it for the handling of these astrological energies is to detach yourself from drama as much as possible. While this ties into my first bit of advice about not succumbing to the temptation to respond to annoyances at this time with low vibrational energies, it’s my clarion call to you to ensure your psychological/spiritual boundaries or wards are intact. Define for yourself the kinds of behaviors from other people you will and will not put up with. And when a line gets crossed that goes against your sense of personal integrity, make that known in a respectful way and extricate yourself from the energy–at least psychologically if not physically, though doing both would be ideal.
In other words, when you’re exposed to other peoples’ emotional meltdowns at this time, and these are people you care about, make it clear that you’ll be emotionally present for them/anchor a heartfelt space for them to find healing but you’ll do so in a way that respects your own boundaries (as well as theirs). Give those people space to process their feelings. Especially if they’re people born under the signs of Pisces or Aries. Furthermore, let them come to you in the aftermath of the meltdowns; don’t go chasing after them, demanding explanations or insisting that they stay put and “hash things out” if their inclination is to not fully articulate what they’re experiencing and they’d rather flee (choose “flight” instead of “fight” when that ol’ reptilian brain gets provoked) and sort their feelings out in solitude (a tactic often chosen by Piscean folks, who are typically nonconfrontational and introverted by nature). Let them go. Don’t worry; they’ll be back once they’ve simmered down and they’ve been able to put things in perspective. And you’ll be there, the anchor of calm; and your calming vibes will be just what’s needed to facilitate positive, non-judgmental discussion.
Aries energy is the energy of a newborn, which makes sense since it’s the first sign of our Zodiac. The Aries phrase is “me first!” It’s typically said with a childlike sense of innocence, though less spiritually evolved Aries adults can certainly wield that phrase with narcissistic aplomb. As when dealing with Pisces’ emotional meltdown, handle an Aries’ meltdown in the same way: hold a compassionate space but give literal and metaphorical distance. And remember not to take responsibility/accountability for the meltdown in the first place (unless, of course, you’re truly at fault for causing the person’s emotional wound to begin with!). Just know that the recent Plutonian energy in particular is culpable for causing deeply repressed forms of woundedness to find expression at this time. A lot of feelings, collectively, are coming to the surface of a great, societal cauldron–and now they’re seething. If you’re not directly involved, stay calm and keep your boundaries intact. Anchor space for healing in a heart-centric way.
But if you are one of the people being swept by these powerful emotional currents, my words of advice to you are to ride the waves and fully trust the process. Don’t suppress your emotions, but don’t allow them to explode from the full force of your being unconsciously and impulsively, with no regard to the impact on others either. In other words, express them appropriately, using “I” statements: “I feel angry because…” “I’m feeling overwhelmed right now and I’d rather talk about it later.” Words, while instruments of love and healing, can also serve as peerless weapons, after all, so think rightly on how the ones you utter will impact the recipient(s) upon detonation.
Controlled breathing. Self-care. Nourishment from the natural world and from your Gods, Goddesses, and Powers you serve. These are your compass points for navigating these interesting times in the greening of the year. Blessed Be!