An Undramatic Eclipse?


Somehow, this latest eclipse period—and Wednesday's (Feb 6) solar eclipse that informs it—has snuck up on me with little fanfare.

While I usually describe eclipse periods as approximately one-month-long phases of heightened, hastened dramatic transition (like turning from one chapter of a gripping novel to the next), this moment feels more like a simple continuation of all the change that's already been in motion for months now.

Perhaps this lack of eclipse conspicuousness is merely a statement on how up-in-the-air our lives already seem. (See also: Fighting Retrograde Fatigue and No Going Back from Here.)

Still, a solar eclipse offers a great excuse for rededicating ourselves, however we see fit. Of course, it works best when we analyze the specific astro-symbolism inherent in a particular eclipse, so we may work with the energies it stirs up. That way, we're actively co-creating its whirligig of sudden development… with hope that, by directing our force in this certain direction, in line with the eclipse's planetary logic, we'll benefit from its tailwind surge pushing us swiftly along.

Wednesday's eclipse falls in Aquarius (the first one in this sign in a while), following up this past two-year stint of eclipses on the Virgo/Pisces axis. And one reason this eclipse may 'blend in' with everything else going on is its conjunction to Neptune. Rather than some sharp blatant aspect to Saturn, Uranus or Pluto (the more loud and pushy planets), an eclipse conjunct Neptune doesn't necessarily exert a strong pressure on us to do anything at all. In fact, the healthier urge is to stop trying to control every last bit of our realities, just to make our desperate egos feel like they're serving us properly. To hear Neptune in Aquarius tell it, the broader context of social interconnectedness dwarfs any self's single importance—not, however, in a punitive manner, but merely as a reminder that the consequences to our individual actions extend far beyond the bounds of our discreet bodies.

Factor in that this is a North Node eclipse (one that brings us one step closer to the future, as opposed to one step further from the past), and it becomes clear that our biggest eclipse-related responsibility is merely to let go of attempts to fight the obvious accelerating changes. Expectations? How presumptuous of us to continue clutching them, like it's solely up to us as solitary entities to make or break a certain destiny. We've got to be okay playing this game collaboratively—asking others' opinions, coordinating ourselves with what they're doing, contemplating the best scenarios for everyone, and not just blindly assuming tradition (which was usually built to favor one powerful faction, to the disadvantage of another) continues to 'work'.

To that extent, good uses for this eclipse include: hopping on board with a team, organization or party-line that speaks to your highest ideals; imagining possible methods for doling out compassion, equanimity and empowerment across all social-identity boundaries; admitting our biases as an unavoidable side-effect of where we come from; creating beautiful art and other communications, with an underlying humanitarian theme ('we can make the world a whole lot brighter'); and politely correcting the self-absorption of those in our lives who don't exactly 'get' this larger mode of thinking.

If some of the threads of suggestion I mentioned ring a vague bell of recognition, it might be because they aren't dissimilar from what I wrote (here and here) about Mercury's present retrograde, which is also in Aquarius and conjunct Neptune. Here's another example of why this eclipse seamlessly weaves itself into what's already happening. Indeed, the eclipse holds a strong Mercurial imprint… as well as an additional note from Mercury's conjunction to wounded-healer Chiron at the same time.

As part of whatever we're currently up to, then, one important strategy that'll bring people together is speaking up about our personal challenges… in a fashion that rips away the mask of impenetrability many of us wear everyday, demystifying the difficulties of being human and replacing the fašade with unabashed pride in our innately flawed nature. Nothing says 'brave' more strongly than admitting our faults but refusing to allow them to stop us in our tracks. In fact, such courage unquestionably inspires others to do the same thing. Yet, should we instead maintain the tight wrinkle-free appearances, all we're inspiring folks to do is envy or hate us for looking like we've got everything in our lives perfectly together. That, incidentally, is a far distance from being human.

And lastly, the eclipse makes a nice easy trine to Mars, newly direct in Gemini, bringing in one more familiar tone that further demonstrates this continuity. Since our last few months have been totally dominated by Mars retrograde—and its dual oppositions to Jupiter and Pluto, both of which just moved into Capricorn—it makes sense that this eclipse, in its role as an instigator of movement, would help push us along to resolve any residual Mars hangover issue.

Mars in Gemini trining the eclipse only adds to the mental ingenuity, motivating us to come up with alternatives (as many as we can muster!) to how we were living prior to the events of, say, November of last year. We needn't possess the 'right answer' now; simply entertaining new options is enough to suffice. Those who refuse to experiment with these other options, meanwhile, are likeliest to suffer a life-blanketing melancholy… which, at its source, is merely a hopelessness born from refusing to see all the possibilities. (They are, however, there.)