Sudden Transformation and the Loud and Steady Beats of the Drums of War: The Astrology of the May 26 Full Moon Eclipse in Sagittarius

In evolutionary astrology, when we talk about lunar or solar eclipses, we’re referring to two things: the astronomical event itself (e.g., its specific date and exact time, placement in the heavens with aspects formed to the planets in transit in our solar system) and the energies surrounding the Zodiacal signs associated with the eclipse and how those energies can build up for weeks in advance of the actual event itself and tellingly play themselves out in one’s life for several months afterwards.

The May 26 Super “Flower” Full Moon Eclipse in Sagittarius is intensely Mutable—we have no less than 8 planets occupying Mutable Signs (Sagittarius, Gemini, and Pisces)—and disturbingly dark given its prominent association with the Fixed Star of Antares, the violently throbbing, warmongering “heart” of the constellation of Scorpio.

Ready or Not, Galloping Sagittarius Brings Swift, Radical Changes in a Quest for Truth

The Sagittarius Full Moon is the strongest Super Moon of this year (Super Moons are full moons with closer proximity to Earth than normal), which is enough of a factor to make it a “full moon on steroids” type of experience. The Moon at 5° of Sagittarius will reach its apogée of fullness at 6:14 a.m. Central Standard Time (please adjust for your local time zone) on Wednesday, May 26. A mere five minutes later, at 6:19, the Total Eclipse of the Moon occurs.

As the chart (set from the perspective of the City of Chicago, my hometown) below shows, the 5° Sag Moon is at 180° opposition to the Sun at 5° of Gemini (the Mutable Sign of Air), and both are forming tight 90° angles known as squares to powerful Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, which recently entered Pisces (the Mutable Sign of Water). This pairing of simultaneous squares from the same numerical degree (5° in this case: Sagittarius and Gemini) with a planetary focal point (or planet caught in the middle, as I like to see it) is called a T-square (you can trace an imaginary inverted capital letter “T” connecting the Sun, the Moon, and Jupiter in the chart below) and is characterized as being a greatly challenging aspect in a horoscope. I personally experience T-squares viscerally with sensations of heart palpitations, free-floating anxiety, and a slight degree of nausea up to a week before they reach their moments of being exact in the heavens. They can be quite distressing.

My snapshot of the eclipse set from the coordinates of Chicago and timed for 6:19 a.m. CST for May 26. The chart to the left about a quarter of the way down notes the Elements and Modes of this eclipse. It’s not just predominantly Mutable, it’s very Airy! The bottom half of the left breaks down the degrees of the Signs the planets happen to be occupying at the time of the eclipse.

You’ll note that the Sagittarius Moon (in the 6th House from a Chicago perspective) is in a 5° conjunction with the South Node, a karmic clearing point on the Moon’s elliptical path of orbit known as the ecliptic. Opposite the zodiac, in the 12th House, you can see the Sun at 5° of Gemini in a 5° conjunction with the South Node’s opposite, the North Node: the point of collective dharma, what we should all be aspiring towards, at this time of the eclipse.

All eclipses entail opposition between the Moon and the Sun and the South and the North Nodes. We need to contemplate these Signs, House placements, and mathematical degrees to extract the story of this eclipse. As mentioned earlier, this opposition is a Mutable one: Sagittarius is Mutable Fire and Gemini is Mutable Air. Mutable Signs are not just amenable to change, they actively court it.

What Man that sees the ever-whirling Wheel

Of Change, the which all mortal things doth sway,

But that thereby doth find, and plainly feel,

How MUTABILITY in them doth play

Her cruel Sports, to many Mens decay?

 

For, she the Face of earthly Things so chang’d,

That all with Nature had establisht first

In good Estate, and in meet Order rang’d,

She did pervert, and all their Statutes burst:

And all the World’s fair Frame (which none yet durst

Of Gods or Men to alter or misguide)

She alter’d quite, and made them all accurst

That God had blest; and did at first provide

In that still happy State for ever to abide.

Ne she the Laws of Nature only broke,

But eke of Justice, and of Policy;

And Wrong of Right, and Bad of Good did make,

And Death for Life exchangeth foolishly

Since which, all living Wights have learn’d to die,

And all this World is woxen daily worse.

O piteous Work of MUTABILITY!

By which, we all are subject to that Curse,

And Death instead of Life have sucked from our Nurse.

—Edmund Spenser, “The Mutabilitie Cantos,” lines 5-9; lines 40-58  from The Faerie Queene, folio edition of 1609

Intensely Mutable Energies: Gemini Sun, Sag Moon, the Lunar Nodes, and Jupiter in Pisces

Charming and highly sociable Gemini is interested in gathering information and creating change, however fleeting, from what it discovers. Whether the information is true or not is irrelevant: Gemini wants to relay the information as quickly as possible. Ruled by fleet-footed Mercury, cerebral Gemini excels at mental agility, quick thinking, public speaking or presenting, teaching, and, on a negative note, trafficking in gossip.

The Centaur of Mutable Fire that we know as the Sign of Sagittarius in Western Astrology shares Gemini’s desire for not being restrained, and that can take the form of championing intellectual freedom, seeking spiritual enlightenment, or searching for literal expansive territory to spontaneously wander and slake the Sagittarius spirit of adventure. (The famous country ballad “Don’t Fence Me In” is the Sagittarius anthem par excellence!) As I mentioned earlier, Jupiter is the planetary ruler of Sagittarius, bringing an optimistic personality, a fondness for long-distance travel (and experiencing foreign cultures), and the pursuit of wisdom in the categories I call “horizon-expanding” ones: religion, law, philosophy, cultural anthropology. Expansive Jupiter loves to broadcast that wisdom in the fields of publishing and advertising. Sagittarius’ greatest care, in contradistinction to Gemini’s fondness for informational tidbits that may or may not be true and which will fade from attention in the blink of an eye, is for the Truth. Capital “T” Truth.

Now let’s look back at the eclipse horoscope chart above for a moment. Let’s look at the Moon, Sun, the two lunar Nodes (North and South), and Jupiter in Pisces caught in the crossfire of that T-square. The South Node represents karmic releasing—the lessons we’ve gleaned from experiencing (and re-experiencing!) challenging lessons in the School of Hard Knocks are hopefully ones we can incorporate into our psyches to avoid having external events in our lives repeat those lessons for us again. The North Node signifies dharmic evolution: the goal we should aspire toward, based on the Sign and House this Node occupies at the time of an eclipse, in the Ultimate Life Purpose of unfolding/fully developing our sacred Selfhood.

This Sagittarius Super Full Moon, paired as it is with the South Node in Sagittarius, demands that we eclipse all falsehoods—all false narratives. Sagittarius requires the Truth be told, even if it’s a tactless blurting out disclosure of Truth that no one expected in the moment. What areas in your life are due for a reality check when it comes to Radical Truth-Telling? What have you been in denial about and around which you’ve been building false narratives to shield yourself from a potentially painful, unpleasant-to-acknowledge truth? How this “aha!” moment will unfold for you thanks to the eclipse will depend where Sagittarius energy falls (placement and mathematical degree) in your own chart. Since all Mutable Signs move swiftly, we’re talking rapid-fire changes in the Unmasking of Falsehoods and Alignment with Truth. Externally driven changes that will irrevocably alter your life so that the Truth of the situation can be championed: maybe it’s the surprising loss of a relationship/change in marital or relationship status (either you or the other person suddenly walking away); the loss of a job or the career trajectory you thought you were taking/advancing towards; the desire to uproot yourself and change your physical residence (long-distance move?); a life-affecting legal issue (Jupiter rules laws, lawyers, statutes, and courts), or something else?

But there will be a struggle to keep the status quo of the false narrative in power: Look back at the chart and see where the Sun and the North Node in Gemini are located—the 12th House, the House of Hidden Things/The Occult/Action Behind the Scenes. The Powers That Be are desperately striving to keep the Truth concealed. But their efforts go against the dharma of these placements of the Gemini Sun and the Gemini North Node—what we should be collectively and individually evolving towards—is rooting our consciousness and vitality (the Sun) to cosmic awareness (the Spiritual Source Animating All That Is; in Kabbalistic terms, the Unmanifest Ain Soph-Ur which gives rise to Manifestation).

Poor Jupiter in Pisces, caught in the T-square between the Gemini Sun and Sag Moon’s opposition, is also contributing to the murkying of the waters when it comes to outing the Truth. At the time of the Full Moon eclipse, Jupiter occupies the same House as Neptune, Pisces’ ruler: they are forming a Trine with one another. Given Neptune’s associations with Illusion and Theatrics, and Jupiter’s rulership of the media and advertising, we’re likely going to be bombarded with a promulgation of false narratives, especially concerning global events that make the news headlines. Fake news, in other words. Keep your antennae up and discern the energies at work behind the scenes of the Official Story you’re being sold.

Mars at 20° of Cancer, the Sign of His “fall,” is also forming a trine to illusion-weaving Neptune. Not only does this advance the causes of Falsehood, as Mars here is weak and irritable and prone to being manipulated (and manifest as passive-aggressive behavior, to boot!), more disturbingly, this aspect historically has been known to amplify viruses/intensify pandemics! So be vigilant and increase your intake of Vitamin C and Zinc to keep your immune system robust!

I would be remiss in leaving Mercury in Gemini out of this discussion, because, as Gemini’s ruler, Mercury excels at information-gathering and disseminating ideas. However, at the time of the eclipse, the planetary Messenger of the Gods is nearly halted in the heavens, getting ready to turn Retrograde at 26° of Gemini on May 29 (lasting until June 22). At the time of the eclipse, Mercury in Gemini will be in a strong square with Neptune in Pisces (within 1.3 degrees): beware of being lied to or manipulated; you won’t have all the facts to make a rational decision. The silver lining to this aspect is that poetic reverie and imaginative currents will be strong. Pay attention to your dreams and use this time to communicate with spirits (bearing in mind the caveat that spirits can lie to you, too!).

Bottom line: linear/logical thinking will be beset with challenges, and clarity will be hard to come by in the days leading up to and following this eclipse. What will likely happen is the external event that radically changes your life or “eclipses” falsehood in a life-altering way will happen to you first, without warning, and the mental somersaulting/struggle to gain clarity will follow in its wake.

Enter the Scorpion

As if all the energies I detail above weren’t intense enough for this Sagittarius Super Full Moon Eclipse, we have to factor in the awareness that the Sag Moon will be aligned with a Fixed Star with a very sinister reputation: Antares, the brightest star in the heart of the constellation of Scorpio. The name of this star literally means “Rival to Ares,” both in its blood-red appearance in the heavens (akin to the planet Mars, or Ares to the Greeks) and its connotations as a malefic star with warfare and violent death (either through battle, or death by fire, or death by metal/machines).

We’re seeing this energetic expression already in global events, sadly, as the cease-fire agreement between Israel and Palestine seems tenuous at best at the time of this writing. (Again, the energies of an eclipse can manifest days or weeks before the event is exact in the heavens.) Antares is a whopper of a Fixed Star as well: more than 800 times greater in diameter than that of our Sun! That’s quite a powerful heart Scorpio’s got there!

Antares and the escalating drumbeats for war—not just war between nations, but within nations as well—receives a needed boost from the extremely tight square (within 1.4 degrees) between Saturn at 13° in the Fixed Air Sign of Aquarius and Uranus, ruler of Aquarius, at 12° in the Fixed Earth Sign of Taurus. While I’ve written about this aspect before, it has cautions of physical danger in everyday life to definitely bear top of mind during this cagey eclipse period. Uranian energy is electrifying—literally so—and it can bring all kinds of sudden accidents, from electrical fires to car crashes to a surgeon’s hands slipping with a scalpel during a critical moment in surgery. (Needless to say, I would not elect to have surgery of any kind during this eclipse period! Delay surgeries until July if at all possible.) I had a nearly disastrous kitchen accident involving a sharp knife while slicing an avocado just before I sat down to compose this blog post: I nearly sliced the tip of the middle finger of my left hand open! Thankfully, the groove of the cut didn’t go very deep, and my rubbing alcohol rinse and taut bandage are doing their thing.

Saturn represents time-tested Authority, Structure, and Good Karma for Hard Work. If you’re putting in the hours and sweat equity, Saturn notices and will reward you. But if you’re the type of person to want to cut corners or compromise on integrity and/or quality, He’ll bitch-slap you.

The square between Uranus and Saturn is the age-old story of rebellion against The Way We’ve Always Done Things. Unbridled youth versus the caution of maturity. From nationwide movements to defund the police to rewriting laws to the global growth of cryptocurrency, there are multiple ways this energetic expression is playing itself out on the world stage. But what about within you and the everyday drama of your own life? Where are you yearning for change, radical change (Uranus), but are fearful of the “what-ifs” that keep movement in check (Saturn)? How can you tap into the Uranus-Saturn square on top of the intense Mutable Energy of the Sag Super Full Moon Eclipse to attain the courage needed to effect radical changes in your life?

Again, maybe it’s not going to be you who does the “choosing”: maybe the changes will come in the form of unexpected things happening to you/imposed on you from without. Time will tell.

But with Antares involved as the blood-red, throbbing heart beating in the backdrop of this eclipse, my sense is the changes may not always be welcome nor “pretty”/tidy in their execution.

Ways to Process This Eclipse Energy: (Black) Magic, Ritual, and Meditation

I don’t normally run around blithely advocating hexes or black magic, but, my Gods! If you’re looking to throw some goofer dust someone’s way or work some tapa boca mojo to shut their damn, jabbering (Gemini-inspired, LOL), wagging tongues, TIME YOUR WORKING TO THIS ECLIPSE! You are never going to find one this potent with Antares pulsating your scorpion sting of a magical working in the background! Not for a long, long time. So get those black candles and coffin nails out and put ’em to work!

And by the same token, step up your apotropaic (evil-averting) magic! Give extra offerings to your Gods and spirits, especially your own ancestors, to watch your back during these precarious days. As I sit and type these words, my crown, throat, heart, and solar plexus chakras have various amulets and talismans striding them, not the least of which is my newly consecrated devotional necklace made in honor of the Kemetic Goddess, Taweret (deserving company of Bes and Set!). La Santa Muerte Negra stands guard to the left of my computer desk and La Blanca stands to my right: They’ve received heaps of tobacco and tequila offerings today. And tonight, I’ll offer my endometriosis-enriched menstrual blood as payment to other Gods and spirits—the Chthonic Ones of my household cultus and Patrons of my Iseum of the Rekhet Akhu.

Of course, the most common symbolic appropriation of eclipse energy in a ritual working is to consciously craft a ritual around “eclipsing” or banishing unwanted things, situations, or people in your life as well as undesirable aspects of yourself that deserve to be jettisoned in order to evolve into the New You. Given that Sagittarius governs the Moon at the time of the eclipse, why not build a ritual fire and ceremonially burn in effigy those unwanted things that need or deserve to be eclipsed? Since the Sun is in Gemini, even writing up a list of the undesirable and burning it will suffice.

A World Tree Meditation for Grounding

Mutable Energy isn’t something that a lot of people “play well” with, and as the above discussion shows, this eclipse has Mutable Energy in spades. Confusion, free-floating anxiety, rapid or shallow breathing, insomnia, and heart palpitations are signs your body and mind are feeling overwhelmed by this eclipse. Perform grounding rituals: eat more protein and actually increase your salt intake (but hydrate accordingly) to make your own personal energy feel more dense. Try to steer clear of caffeine. Maybe Jupiter in Pisces will entice you to take a long, relaxing bath, one that has epsom salts or magical herbs added to the water to promote calm?

If those activities aren’t enough to help bring a sense of stability, I suggest trying out this World Tree meditation I’ve taught in various ritual groups over the years. Ideally, you want to do this outdoors as you stand barefoot on the earth. Standing feet shoulder-width apart, slowly exhale as you bend forward as if you’re about to touch your toes. Then gently raise your spinal column up and stretch our your arms—up and then out to the sides—as you slowly inhale and get into “Tree” form. Stretch out your fingers and tilt your head up towards the sky. Visualize yourself as a conductor of energy in the form of the World Tree: the Axis Mundi whose trunk ties together the Heavens, the World of Mortals, and the Ancestors in the Underworld. Depending on your tradition, you may think of a specific tree. Heathens or Norse Polytheists, of course, have Yggdrasill, the Ash Tree, to think of. For Slavs like me, there’s the Oak on whose branches the Thunder God, Perun, is perched in Eagle form (and under whose roots the Underworld god Veles, in either black dragon or serpent form, lies coiled). In Kemetic belief, this Sacred Tree would be a Sycamore in whose trunk Osiris was interred, and so forth.

In your glorious Tree form, inhale slowly to a count of 4 and exhale deeply from the diaphragm to a count of 6 or even 8. Feel yourself tingle with Awareness of All That Is. Know that you are stable, supported by the Cosmos, and safe. You may even want to recite a little mantra like this (doggerel verse works wonders!):

“Where I stand,

So meets Earth and Sky.

Strong Between the Worlds,

The World Tree am I!”

Keep saying it until you believe with all your heart that this is True in a Sagittarian TRUTH kind of way!

I routinely engage in this meditation and can assure you it works!

My Astrology Services Are Always There for You

If you’re not sure where this Sagittarius/South Node Full Moon eclipse opposition to the Gemini Sun/North Node is playing out in your own natal chart, I can help you! I would love to put my planetary sleuthing skills and top-notch Virgo analytical reporting to work on your behalf. After all, “As above, so below”: we are indeed encoded with the language of planetary motion, and I am happy to help you decode yourself! Reach out to me at jackalmoondesigns@gmail.com to learn more about the suite of astrology packages I offer; regardless of budget, there is something for everyone.

Stay healthy, stay grounded, and put the gift of discernment to use during these “interesting times”!

Hail and Welcome, life-changing Powers and Principalities of this eclipse!

One thought on “Sudden Transformation and the Loud and Steady Beats of the Drums of War: The Astrology of the May 26 Full Moon Eclipse in Sagittarius

  1. Pingback: Happy Belated World Tarot Day! | amor et mortem

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