Eclipse Passages: Toward Work


Eclipse times are here again… which means a month or so of concentrated climactic development in the stories of our lives.

But before you get all uppity on me, muttering in disbelief, 'Haven't we already been going through some shit?', let's be clear on the distinction between different types of said astro-shit.

In recent weeks, we've been neck-deep in this Venus retrograde, which is all tied up with Saturn's passage out of Leo (and away from the opposition with Neptune)… and that whole shebang, as I've described already, is more about revisiting unfinished business. The Venus retrograde is helping us gain perspective on that which we value most (especially in relationships and finances), often by exposing us to glimpses from the past. All the while, Venus is also acting as a farewell ambassador to a phase of time, bidding adieu to the disenchanting Saturn-Neptune opposition that has dampened our moods over the past year. All of this really qualifies as a sort of wrap-up of already-in-process circumstances… a reorientation of priorities in advance of the next turn of events.

Then comes a pair of eclipses—a lunar eclipse next Tuesday (Aug 28), followed by a solar eclipse on Sep 11—to hasten that very turn, and give us something sensationally new to chew on.

I always interpret eclipses in the context of an entire period of intense change, extending a couple weeks in either direction of the actual events… and that certainly puts us already within range. What really stands out about this particular period is that, during the 2-week span between the lunar and solar eclipses, we'll witness the movement of Saturn from Leo into Virgo. Add to that the fact of the Sep 11 solar eclipse (the more significant of the two, in my opinion) is also in Virgo, and we can start to get a feel for the theme of these oncoming developments.

Virgo is a sign of patterns, habits, methods and formulas. Where Virgo is concerned, little is accomplished by random chance or carefree serendipity. Rather, a close focus on work and the fine-spun details necessary for its most proficient production is Virgo's preferred style. When Virgo is serious about its mission to put its talents to dutiful earthly service, he develops streamlined systems for completing the same work… repeating and refining the steps until the kinks are buffed away, the efficiency epitomized, and the purest harvest thus reaped.

Following on the heels of (1) Saturn's transit through Leo, which pushed us to straighten up our modes of self-expression, so how we represent ourselves better aligns with our what's authentically in our hearts, (2) the Saturn-Neptune opposition that revealed the glaring chasm between our most idealistic hopes for universal betterment and the structural reality that falls disappointingly short, and (3) Venus retrograde's reminder of how we most want to relate to who (and what) we have love and affection for, the solar eclipse in Virgo sets us up to do the actual work to create whatever we've discovered we want… to become more genuinely ourselves, to remedy any dissatisfaction we've allowed to build up, and to share our lives with the appropriate companions in the best way we know how.

On the functional level, 'doing the work' to achieve an improved manner of being isn't something you tackle once, like cleaning out the garage, and expect it to be taken care of. Rather, it requires regular and continual effort on a day-to-day basis, in order to build a new facet into the fabric of one's life… while, at the same time, being diligent about removing the ingrained obstacles to these improvements, which may be deeply patterned into how we do what we do. To that extent, in preparation for this eclipse, we should be thinking about which bad habits we desperately need to break to move ahead—and the best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a healthy one.

Yet, before we get there, we have Tuesday's lunar eclipse in Pisces to release a cloudily undifferentiated blob of emotion at our doorsteps… giving us an opportunity to feel grief and longing for what's passed (or passing) away, to embrace a unifying compassion that overpowers our 'rational' reasons for not caring what happens to others, and to otherwise float, unclear, in a fog of simple everythingness, in advance of leaving that behind and getting back to business.

Lunar eclipses, after all, are merely super-duper full moons… and, in water signs, they essentially serve to bombard us with emotions we might normally overlook. With the influence of Pisces, we must try to be wise enough to note all that we feel may not necessarily belong to us, in the predictable sense of 'this happened to me, therefore I feel this way.'

Under Pisces, our ego boundaries are thinner—and the emotive sensations we experience in our bodies might in fact be sensitivities to others' pain or anxiety, which we pick up like radio receivers tapping into the invisible waves everywhere around us. We may let them wash over us, without indulging the confusion that accompanies trying to figure out what they all mean.

As long as we are kind to the feelings as they come (and to ourselves in the process), they can serve the valuable purpose of affirming and accentuating our latest lessons currently drawing to a close… and further inspire us in the work we have ahead.