NorthPoint Astrology Journal
The Transformation Moon. This is the name I've given to this Thursday's Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse. Already we're feeling its influence. Looking at the waxing moon that lit up the sky last night, I got a strong sense of the energy that is building.
The name seems more than appropriate, for a couple of reasons. First, and most obviously, the eclipse occurs on New Year's Eve (for those who use the Gregorian calendar), a day already infused with the expectation of change and hope for the future.
We might think of the changing of the years as merely being a time construct created by humans, but the very fact that millions (billions?) of people consider it to be a time to begin anew truly does "make it so." The intention created by all those minds is more than enough to elevate an otherwise ordinary day to new energetic status.
Even more important, from an astrological perspective, is that the Lunar Eclipse on Thursday triggers the energies of the Pluto-Saturn square we've been working with for the past couple of months.
(For those interested in the astrology: At the time of the eclipse, Pluto is conjunct both Venus and the Sun in Capricorn, and all three are opposite the Moon in Cancer. Saturn in Libra is at a 90-degree angle to all four planetary bodies. And, we find Juno in Aries also involved, being directly opposite Saturn.)
Pluto usually lives up to his reputation when it comes to changing lives, taking us on journeys that can transform us into new versions of ourselves. And, true to his role as namesake of the god of the underworld, Pluto takes us to deeper realms than most of us visit in our day-to-day lives.
Pluto's process usually involves making us aware of some aspect of our psyche that has been controlling us from behind the scenes -- unnamed and unknown parts of us that have gained power over us through our ignorance of their existence. For us to regain our personal power, we must first acknowledge and then expose the games that have been played and the manipulations that have occurred -- both internally and externally.
A scene from "The Wizard of Oz" always comes to mind as I ponder Pluto's effect -- the one where Dorothy's dog Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal that the powerful wizard is just a man from Nebraska who has been ruling by intimidation and in actuality has none of the magical powers he claimed.
This is the job of Pluto in Capricorn -- to reveal the truth about manipulators, whether they appear externally in the form of other people or social/political institutions, or internally in the form of our own emotional and mental patterns.
It is interesting to note that this Lunar Eclipse is conjunct the Sun in golfer Tiger Wood's birthchart, making him an unfortunate example of how the Pluto-Saturn square can reveal hidden and uncomfortable truths.
Most of us won't have that extreme an experience with this eclipse energy, but all of us are being challenged now to get very honest with ourselves about what has really been holding us back from creating the life we want. We all know about those annoying life patterns that seem to repeat themselves over and over -- patterns of dysfunctional relationship, perhaps, or never quite reaching the level of success we believe we want and deserve.
The Pluto-Saturn square -- and, in particular, this week's Lunar Eclipse -- are dedicated to revealing "the man behind the curtain" who has fooled us into believing we are less than. Wherever we have fear, or a lack of self-confidence, or uncertainty of purpose, we must look beyond what appears on the surface to find what is really at work.
And, because Saturn rewards responsibility and practical action, we are challenged to move beyond blame or guilt, and to do whatever personal work is needed to regain our emotional and mental balance.
Astrologer Martin Goldsmith, in his updated and well-researched symbols for the 360 degrees of the zodiac, enters this image for the 11th degree of Cancer, the location of this week's Lunar Eclipse:
"A mother moderates a difficult discussion at the dinner table."
At first read, this image seems to involve many different personalities, and the need to handle external conflict in a way that is both equitable (Saturn in Libra) and authoritative (Pluto in Capricorn). And certainly, this may be a part of our experience at the time of the eclipse.
Mr. Goldsmith's interpretation of the image gives us more ideas of how we might use the eclipse energy:
"Engaging others emotionally and intellectually; having a heart-to-heart vs. sidestepping a difficult issue until the time is right; being cautious of one's effects on others vs. irresponsible and childish outbursts; seeing beyond social masks and listening with the heart; treating people with respect and care vs. being overly blunt; upping the ante vs. using humor to lighten things up; getting a good dialogue going between the rational and the emotional mind."
It is this last phrase -- "getting a good dialogue going between the rational and the emotional mind" -- that in particular catches my attention. Since both Mercury and Mars are retrograde (moving backward) at the time of the eclipse, we will especially benefit from first taking all issues that arise now from an inner perspective, before addressing them in the outer world.
It is powerful to consider this discussion as being between different (and perhaps warring) aspects of our own personality, and to maintain a loving higher perspective as a means to facilitate healing and empowerment. This week is an effective time to have a heart-to-heart talk with ourselves about what patterns are really behind the remaining dysfunctions in our lives.
Again, this is not about blame, guilt or excuses. For this exercise to be effectual, we want to be the fully-functional mother who encourages and empowers us to be the best we can be. Our inner mother must support us and love us unconditionally, while also guiding us to take responsibility for where we are and for what we need to do to take charge of our lives.
It perhaps seems contradictory that 2010 begins with both Mercury and Mars retrograde. This tends to put an anchor on the boat, again emphasizing the need to take an inner journey before initiating action in the outer world.
To help us out, Mercury is aligned with the North Node in Capricorn, focusing our attention on the inner work that needs to be done now. This pairing calls us to develop a stronger inner authority and self-confidence before stepping out into the world. It also gives us the opportunity to see what fears have been holding us back, and to release the past so that we can move ahead with greater success.
Mercury will be retrograde until January 15, the day of the Solar Eclipse. This correspondence with the lunar cycle underlines the importance of the inner work we are called to do as a part of this week's Lunar Eclipse. And, since Mars will be retrograde until March 10, much of the first three months of 2010 can be seen as an opportunity for re-evaluation, in preparation for the astrological New Year when the Sun enters Aries on March 20.
In contrast with the typical "New Year's resolutions," which often focus on accomplishments and a long "to-do" list, the energies for the beginning of 2010 support us in creating intentions of a different sort. We are encouraged to focus on the essence of what we want to create, rather than on specific forms. If before, we may have written "a new job" or "a better relationship," now we are to write "feeling personal fulfillment in my daily work" or "feeling the loving support of others."
The intentions most supported now will involve the energies we want to embody as we go forward -- who we want to BE -- rather than what we want to accomplish in concrete terms. The Universe, in partnership with our Higher Selves, will fill in the blanks from there.
Many blessings for your New Year,
NorthPoint Astrology Blog: I'll be posting additional perspectives during the coming week at http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/ -- please visit and add your comments!