Moon Diary: The Galactic Total Lunar Eclipse 21st December 2010
By Jane Lyle
A total lunar eclipse takes place on the Winter Solstice, 21st December, 2010, at 29 degrees of Gemini.
It will be visible all over Europe, East Africa, Asia, Australia, the Pacific, and North America.
It has significance written all over it for a number of reasons, but most notably because it is opposite the Galactic Centre - a dark ribbon of sky in the Milky Way, our home galaxy. For the ancient Egyptians this was the portal to the Netherworld, the sacred destination of the souls of the dead, the place where they enjoyed eternal life. For many spiritual people today, it represents a place of higher consciousness or wisdom. The Moon will also be conjunct the ninth brightest star in our skies, Betelgeuse, a gigantic, powerful red star in the constellation of Orion the Hunter. This mythical, mighty warrior was born from the mingled urine of three Greek gods - sea god, Poseidon (Neptune), father of the skies, Zeus (Jupiter), and the fluid messenger god, Hermes (Mercury). This constellation is therefore, amusingly, associated with plenty of water - rainfall, tempests, and storms at sea. So perhaps we can only guess at how portentous this eclipse will prove to be, bearing in mind that its influence lasts for about six months. We are looking at powerful symbols, connected with leaders, kings, global corporations and the super-rich. Their roles in our lives are sometimes subtle or hidden, until some dramatic news alerts us to the part they play.
The eclipse belongs to a series of full Moons at the last degree of a sign. This degree is all about finishing things, ending phases and themes in a truly emphatic way - a need for a proper full stop. In Gemini, super-charged by the eclipse, this might highlight communication, or the lack of it, in our lives. It connects with how we communicate, what, where, when, and why. And since it also links up with electrical Uranus, social networking and other internet based forms of talking to each other will be in focus. The same goes for mobile phones, texting, twittering, and so on. Those who advocate digital detoxing or giving up watching television for a while may get some serious media attention during the coming months. Are we entering a new phase, communicating in new ways? We can wonder how real our online ‘friends' are, how much information we really want to share with the entire planet, or how best to use online dating sites.
Certainly the mix of a full Moon in chatty, restless Gemini linking with Uranus, boundary-less in sensitive, psychic Pisces, suggests innovative ways of thinking about how we use technology globally, and the effects of globalisation on our finances, culture, brains and beliefs. Look at a classic movie from the 1930's or 1940's and watch how people used to use the telephone, and how this has changed. Then you'll see how our relationship with new technology, and how we use it with our friends, family, and workmates, may develop and change too. And, you know, you have choices in how you communicate, and this lunar eclipse might be a positive time to think about changing that so that you find it more fulfilling, or less time consuming. Neptune's dreamy influence is also around, pumping up the psychic and intuitive parts of our minds, and possibly increasing the chances of scandals, secrets and lies coming to light. In Aquarius, this, too, suggests internet-based leaks, hacking, or even computer viruses. Just think twice before writing that email or posting that photo!
This Winter Solstice eclipse is also conjunct the Pole Star, Polaris, in the constellation of Ursa Minor, the Little Bear. This star, which never sets, shines directly over the North Pole; stars in this constellation have guided travellers on land and sea for thousands of years - just as the Magi were said to have been guided by a star on their journey towards Bethlehem. It is sometimes known as Stella Maris, the Star of the Sea - a name of mythic goddesses such as Egyptian Isis, Greek Aphrodite, and Mesopotamian Ishtar. It is also a name given to the Virgin Mary. So, many magical, seasonal connections surround this eclipse. It's influence over the coming months looks complicated and dramatic for many of us. But I think the potential for guidance on our personal journeys is there if we can stay true to ourselves, and allow ourselves to speak from the heart, and listen.
If you'd like to know more about the astronomy of lunar eclipses, please visit http://www.mreclipse.com for a wealth of fascinating information.
New Moon 5th December 2010
By Jane Lyle
December's new Moon in Sagittarius the Archer tunes in to the philosophical, intuitive side of this adaptable fire sign. So although this is the party season, the next couple of weeks are coloured by a higher, more inward-looking vibration too.
It's like ribbons of red wine swirling down through a glass of water. We may enjoy smaller, cosier gatherings of friends, or, if we're attending some big party find ourselves wanting a proper chat with one or two people, rather than running about frantically socialising and networking.
The Moon in astrology represents (amongst other things) our unconscious drives and habit patterns. This one makes links with Saturn, Chiron, Neptune and Uranus. These symbolise rules and structures (Saturn), healing (Chiron), dreams and intuitions (Neptune), and exciting innovations (Uranus). So this new Moon offers us the chance to understand our habitual ways of thinking or responding to life - few of us are fully aware of emotional patterns of behaviour, or take the time to question our beliefs about ourselves. We can be more dogmatic than we realise - ‘but I/we always…..' is one little clue to those deeply-ingrained points of view. The time leading up to the Christmas holiday can stir up difficult memories, or make us dread spending time with certain relatives. People can feel lonely, sad, stressed and overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and obligation. New ways of looking at routines - including our ways of thinking about our lives - can be effective now. And even tiny changes can have a big impact. You know, like fixing a broken lamp or a dripping tap. Ask yourself how much energy you waste being irritated by some small everyday annoyance. You may be surprised by the answers you discover.
New Moons are always about fresh starts. So why not invest time and imagination in joyful rituals, or create some new ones for yourself and those you love?
21st November 2010: Full Moon in Taurus
November's full Moon rises in earthy Taurus. Practical, materialistic, stubborn and sensual, this is a Moon that highlights both emotions and desires.
It's another in the series of full Moons at the 29th degree of a sign that began in October, a pattern which continues into early 2011. This Moon, poised on the brink of Gemini, could be a potent one if your birthday falls around these dates:
20th-21st May (Taurus/Gemini)
22nd-23rd August (Leo/Virgo)
21st-22nd November (Scorpio/Sagittarius)
18th-19th February (Aquarius/Pisces)
Or, of course, if you have planets in your horoscope at this sensitive degree.
It's potent because the connections surrounding this full Moon are complex. What's practical (Taurus Moon) is challenged by Neptune's fantasies, dreams, and strong feelings that the forces of destiny are at work in our lives. Some of us may be all too eager to rush into the arms of fate, enticed by that seductive stranger, or lucrative deal, without realising there is usually a price to be paid, or a difficult lesson to be learned on the journey through life. Taurus is all about caution and maintaining the status quo, which sits uneasily with visionary Neptune and his current constant companion, Chiron, in their role as spiritual agent provocateurs. Realisations and thoughts you've suppressed for months, even years, pop into your head and need to be considered properly. We can always choose not to change. But it is not always a very life-affirming choice to make.
Expansive Jupiter and mad, eccentric genius, Uranus - travelling together through Pisces - also fling a little emotional, creative mayhem into the full Moon mix. Emotions ride a rollercoaster to bliss, people fall in love at first sight, rush to buy a romantic, dilapidated cottage by the sea, or invest in an insane alchemical scheme to turn base metal into gold. Feelings could get switched on and off at high speed - the atmosphere promises to confuse, but at the same time enlighten some of us by shaking up our certainties, and showing us which outworn attitudes hold us back. Pisces is a sacrificial sign, and this full Moon could see many of us realising what we must lose or sacrifice if we are to expand and develop in our lives. There could be much soul-searching accompanied by bottles of wine or intoxicating cocktails. For some of us, there could be exciting lucky breaks or astonishingly creative moments.
Venus in Scorpio's involvement further expands the theme of emotion, passion, and challenge around this time. Sexual tensions and bedroom fireworks are likely, with the chances of break-up or make-up sex pretty high on the agenda. The need for emotional connections without words could be very strong. And Taurus is, after all, a sensuous sign.
This Moon also connects with the fixed star Alcyone, in the Pleiades - a constellation associated from ancient times with human tears and heavy rainfall. So yes, all things considered, there will be tears before bedtime. But since this is no time to suppress emotions we must remember that tears can be healing, and a strange kind of peace can be their gift.
New Moon in Scorpio, 6th November 2010
November's new Moon has strong connections with the traditional, ancient Celtic new year, and all the legends and rituals surrounding Samhain (or Hallowe'en, if you prefer).
A Scorpio new Moon is, like October's Libran new Moon, about our links with others. But something vital has changed. While the Libran relationship theme tends to be about talking, and public symbols of relationship status, such as marriage, the Scorpio theme is deeper than words, and full of telepathy, instinct, and sexual passion.
This Scorpio new Moon is a time to consider our deepest feelings, and connections that seem fated or karmic in some way. ‘Soul mate' is a term that sometimes sounds very romantic and poetic. Yet if you believe someone is in your life for a purpose, or that you have a karmic link with that person, then now's the time when we may realise that our link is less like a sugary sweet dream and more like a restless night, even a nightmare.
What we learn from, and experience in our relationships - including close friendships - isn't always easy to digest, understand, or forgive for that matter. Too much light, in fact, can cast a very inky black shadow. So this Moon glimmers on a darker landscape than usual. There may be fights and arguments, resentments, anger, and passion. It's possible to heal something under Scorpio's rays, but not without searing honesty and a willingness to look within. Scorpio's essence is not about simply talking things through. It is intense, and completely disinterested in keeping up appearances or impressing anybody. Scorpio seeks the kind of union that involves mind, body, and spirit. It dreams of the alchemical transformations of sexual energy that can lift both lovers into another realm. Such energies can be as intimidating as they are bewitching. They lie at the heart of eastern tantric teachings, and have been explored by those who practise sex magick in western cultures.
If you have planets at 13 degrees of a fixed sign - Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius, this new Moon promises to energise your horoscope and bring deeper feelings to the surface. And even if you don't, the potent vibrations of a Scorpio new Moon suggest that the themes of secrets, destiny, and passion will be all around us. Some candlelit relaxation in a calm, quiet space or a warm, scented bath is always a delightful thing to do. Under such a Moon, it might also be essential.
Full Moon in Aries, October 23rd 2010
It’s full Moon in Aries again, but this time right at the very end of the sign (29 degrees). September’s full Moon was at 0 degrees of this fiery cardinal sign. The 29th degree of a sign is called the ‘anaretic’ degree – it’s the point of transition between one zodiac sign and another, a place where the expression of the sign is softened or even weakened in some way as it picks up the vibrations of the incoming sign. In this instance, practical Taurus. If you have a planet or important point in your chart at this degree, this full Moon is especially meaningful for you.
Not to say it isn’t meaningful for everyone, for it strongly symbolises finishing things up; cutting ties; or creating a clean, blank space ready for something new. This is, after all, the beginning of the dark time of the year here in the northern hemisphere. The time of the last harvest, and of preparing the ground for winter. In the southern hemisphere, it is also a time of preparation for spring and summer, and of leaving the winter season behind. Either way, preparation and saying goodbye to something or someone are highlighted.
Mars, Uranus, Neptune and Chiron gather around this Moon too. There’s confusion and sad or bewildering dreams, all mixed up with the overwhelming desire to cut and run, make it stop, shout out ‘I’ve had enough!’ or vow ‘no more Mr. Nice Guy’, slam the door, and stomp off. Mars, strong in Scorpio, brings raw, salty emotions. Chiron in Aquarius brings the desire to analyse past trauma or injustice. Neptune brings his usual misty fantasies and illusions, while Uranus reminds us of how much we wanted our freedom back in the spring, and asks how come we’re still in the same trap? As you can see, perhaps not the very best time to make a huge, sudden life-changing decision. But a wonderful time to prepare for it with focus and intention, rather than procrastination. It’s time to think about your commitments and contracts too. What would you like to change? What doesn’t work? What can you do to improve things?
A wise friend once told me a great way to get things moving when they seem to be stuck. It seems like the right time to share it. You make a list of all the things that are draining your energy or annoying you and begin by dealing with the simple ones, such as a dripping tap, lumpy pillow, or pile of useless junk in the hall. I was amazed how well it worked, and how much mental energy is used up by such small irritations. The larger, more momentous things don’t become easier or less painful, they just seem less intimidating. Change and personal growth are rarely achieved without a struggle, or some emotional pain. But as you clear clutter from your head in this way, one step at a time, you make a space for a more positive present and future. It’s a kind of magic really.
October 7th 2010 : New Moon in Libra
October’s new Moon sits in the scales of airy Libra, sign of partnerships, balance, harmony and beauty. So this new Moon symbolises beautiful beginnings in love, in your profession, appearance, or the general gorgeousness of your home surroundings. This next month could be an excellent time to focus on such things.
But partnerships of every sort can also involve power struggles and negotiations. Libra’s natural house is the seventh, the house of partnerships and - we must remember - open enemies. Since Libra is a sign with much mental energy, some of these partnership struggles emerge as arguments, or very heated discussions as each person fights to present their own point of view. The ultimate aim may be to establish harmony, but it can be hard going getting there.
This particular new Moon appears in the circumpolar constellation of Draco, the Dragon, and is also conjunct the fixed star Algorab in the constellation of Corvus, the Crow or magical Raven, bird of prophecy. Links with the celestial Dragon on this new Moon suggest that, like the dragons of myth and legend, protecting gold and treasure will be a theme for many of us - from the global money markets to our own savings and investments. The dragon breathes his legendary fire in fables and mythologies all over Europe, the Middle and Far East. As a glittering creature with great, leathery wings he is symbolically associated with flight, airwaves, space, and airborne toxins and infections. These themes resonate with this new Moon too.
The fixed star Algorab is also associated with the theme of power - but the power is out of balance because it has been seized, as in military or board-room coups. Extreme manipulation, threats, or other aggressive behaviour is being used by one person (or a group) to get their own way at the expense of another’s freedom and well-being. As another winged creature, the Raven’s constellation is also linked with the idea of flight, and strong winds.
So, one way or another, this new Moon highlights partnership issues and conflicts for many of us. Venus (ruler of Libra) and Mars are currently in Scorpio, too, giving the planets of love and desire a very passionate, intense expression. Fluffy sentiments won’t work now, but honesty and fearlessness are favoured. Fresh starts demand nothing less - fortune favours the brave.
Stormy weather? Perhaps. But stronger partnerships do eventually emerge from times of struggle. Or the relief of dissolving them brings another kind of resolution. Certainly, an excellent time for us, or our governments, to begin working out the ground rules for new agreements. Looking for love, or beginning a professional partnership are also activities we might like to begin now. Just be careful what you wish for.
23rd September 2010 is a very special day. There’s a super-potent full Moon in Aries, and it is also the autumn equinox here in the northern hemisphere - or the spring one if you’re located in the southern hemisphere.
Both celestial events stir up all those patterns we’ve been living with this past summer, acting as a kind of culmination, a cosmic crescendo, a great big ‘ta-da’...
All full Moons represent culminations, but because this one ties in with other important planet patterns it is poised to have a greater impact on us. And in a curious topsy-turvy way, it is also about beginnings. Perhaps the kind of beginnings you’ve only imagined, ideas you’ve played around with since April or May, projects that have lived mainly in your head. Every beginning needs a clear pathway, so the clearing out vibe of a full Moon makes sense too. You’ll be especially sensitive to this one if your birthday falls on these dates below. But please do remember that anyone can have these sensitive points in their natal horoscope, and you need your personal chart to tell you that.
Birthdays that might want to pay particular attention to this full Moon are:
- Pisces/Aries: 17th March - 23rd March
- Gemini/Cancer: 17th June - 24th June
- Virgo/Libra: 19th September - 25th September
- Sagittarius/Capricorn: 17th December - 24th December
The energy will feel familiar as we remember what we’ve half forgotten, or find ourselves simply having to deal with something that seemed to go away for a little while. No. It’s back. And yes, it does promise to be turbulent. But it is also inventive, revolutionary, and potentially dynamic. A fascinating fixed star, called Scheat, in the constellation of Pegasus is also present on the astrological stellar stage. This constellation is symbolised by that beautiful, white winged horse of Greek mythology, Pegasus. He carries thunder and lightning for the gods as he soars upwards on powerful wings. But he can also fall to earth, and so is associated with people who are over-reaching themselves in some way. Sooner or later, they too will fall. So we’ve got storms of inspiration, emotion, and possibly real storms here on earth. Scheat is linked to both extremes - positive invention and fresh, original thinking, or dramatic accidents in the air and at sea.
A diverse range of countries resonate with this full Moon. In South America there’s Brazil, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador and Colombia. In Eastern Europe there’s Romania, Slovenia, Latvia, and Bosnia Herzegovina. India and Pakistan continue to be in news focus, as do North and South Korea. There are others too, but these groups seem to stand out. Events concerning these countries and their people, culture, and even their history are likely to find their way into the news around this time. And because the Moon coincides with the equinox, the effects are said to linger until the winter solstice in December.
Magically, this is traditionally an excellent time for banishing bad influences, particularly once the Moon begins to wane in Aries. If you’re not magically inclined, then it is an equally good time for chucking out unwanted belongings, clearing rooms, gardens, or banishing your most repetitive negative thoughts. Seeking inspiration for a new direction is another use of this energy. You might not be ready to begin, but you can clear your mind of mental junk and make a space where inspiration can flow.
This seasonal turning-point always seems to bring a sense of excitement, change, and even determination to begin anew. And never more so than this September. Enjoy yourself, and seize the day.
New Moon September 8th 2010
September’s new Moon rises in meticulous Virgo the Virgin Maiden, a sign that constantly moves between active and passive, fluctuating like all the mutable signs do (the others being Gemini, Sagittarius, and Pisces). We are in transition now, moving between the seasons. Preparing for fresh beginnings and reflecting upon the past tunes in to this Moon’s vibrations perfectly.
Virgo rules our everyday routines, our work - but not our ambitions, our well-being, and also our pets, gardens or pot plants. The Moon here invites us to turn our attention to what’s around us at home, and also have a closer look at our habits, routines, and well-being. Yes, it’s about health, but health is not just about the body. It’s about the mind and spirit too. Stuffing your face with cake might not be a great habit to have, but negative thoughts or a refusal to admit you’re unhappy with something in your life can undermine your energy and well-being too. So think of this new Moon as an opportunity to heal something, cleanse something, or see what you’ve learned from your experiences over the past few challenging months.
This new Moon is closely connected to two stars, Mizar and Alcor, in the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear. Astrologers associate the meaning of this constellation with contemplation and reflection, with an inward-looking phase, and a time when many of us will need a little space - even if only for an hour or so in the bath, or on a walk. Without that, some of us might get a little cantankerous! Ancient astrologers associated these two stars with mourning, too. This makes sense if you think about the inward, thoughtful mood that comes with the acceptance of sorrow. But you don’t need to be sad to want to think quietly about things. Both traditional folk magic and astrology agree that a Virgo Moon is a great time for healing thoughts, or lavishing some love and care on your home, pets, and anyone who’s unwell or in need of help.
In the wider world, Ursa Major is the constellation traditionally linked with Russia, whose symbolic animal is a great, powerful bear. Symbolically, we do think of Russia as a country of secrets, deep thinkers, and dark nights. So watch out for news connected with Russia, or Russian culture around the time of this new Moon.
Main picture: The Siren of the Wildsea from "Legends of the Black Forest" (1890). Courtesy of http://Fromoldbooks.org
The August Full Moon - 24th August 2010
August’s full Moon rises in glamorous, changeable Pisces. It sits amidst a complicated web of aspects, weaving dreams and spreading confusion, caprice, secrets and lies. If you’re prone to confusion, expect more. If your emotions are running at high tide, expect a flood. Take everything with a pinch of salt, and avoid negative friends if at all possible. Also avoid anything requiring meticulous planning, or beginning projects that require clear objectivity. For a day or so, this will be in short supply.
On the other hand, inspiration hovers over the creative, the spiritual, and the erotically inclined. If you feel like drifting in a fantasy world for a few hours, this is the time to indulge yourself. Music, poetry, heady perfumes and potent cocktails may beguile you under this influence. The world of illusion flourishes, giving performance artists a thrill, painters an obsession, audiences a memorable night out.
This particular Pisces full Moon may herald turbulent rainstorms, delayed journeys, and news items about air travel, ships, floods, drugs and scandals.
According to magical sources, this is a terrible Moon for spell-casting. It will all unravel or have mad, messy, unintended results. Better by far to go with the flow and wait for a more propitious time.
All full Moons are a good time for finishing things up, clearing things out, and reviewing your thoughts. On this one, though, be aware that you might not be seeing things as they really are, but through the distorting lens of the fish’s gaze. Sweet dreams…….