Solar Eclipse on the Cancer-Leo Cusp


I like to utilize the energies of a solar eclipse—like the one falling on Tuesday (Jul 21)—as potent amplifiers for setting intentions that are in alignment with the astro-symbolism of the eclipse's chart.

Like I've repeatedly said, eclipse moments mark a definitive turning, from one chapter to the next, in the stories of our lives. They often bring dramatic narrative climaxes (most typically when they form very close conjunctions to a natal-chart placement), though the specifics of their wild-card effects are quite difficult to predict.

I prefer to exercise my free will, rather than passively awaiting turns-of-fortune, by concentrating my attention in whatever direction the unique astrology of that eclipse points me. As I see it, working with the eclipse's particular energies invites the celestial gods to shine more favorably on us, since we're demonstrating our due respect for their impact on our destiny. Walking toward an eclipse, not running away from it, shows our willingness to live with nature's rhythms instead of trying to trump them with arrogant human-centeredness.

Tuesday's total solar eclipse (a conjunction of the Sun and Moon) falls in the last degree of Cancer, very near the lunar south node located in the first degree of Leo. The symbolism of the Sun and Moon is combined, then, not just in the typical new-moon/eclipse unity of their conjunction, but also in the eclipse's positioning on the cusp of the two signs (Cancer and Leo) ruled by the luminaries.

This eclipse speaks about bringing together one's subconscious feelings and triggered behaviors (Cancer/Moon) with one's conscious ego and sincerest self-expressions (Leo/Sun).

Cancer, the Moon-ruled sign of the eclipse, is the zodiac's archetypal caregiver—the nurturing mother-figure, deeply connected by emotion to those she's invested in, intuitively aware when they face painful or treacherous situations, feeling it in her belly and body, so in tune with the invisible watery currents that she rises and falls with these wider interpersonal tides.

At its best, Cancer wraps her loving arms around her proverbial children, cooking them warm meals and tucking them into cushy beds, paying deep homage to the water element: 'When my emotions speak up, that's all that matters. When somebody is in need, it is my precious duty to tend to their well-being.'

At its worst, alas, Cancer is a maternal meddler, needy in emotional involvements, even indirectly manipulative, heading off others' assertions of their potentially-perilous independent wills out of so-called 'care', attempting to spare them their hurt feelings by persuading them not to veer too far from the safety of the proverbial home: 'When your heart aches, mine aches along with it. So let me save us both the heartache by convincing you not to risk it.'

The eclipse's conjunction to a Leo south node imprints it with a signature of residue from the past… uncanny resonances from a history of prideful acts, from when we sought to 'save face' instead of doing what secretly felt right, fearful of how others might react to our expressing our truer callings. The Sun (Leo's ruler) is about the external—about what we put out there and how the outside world sees us—in contrast with the Moon's symbolic reign over our internal landscape and those emotional motivations driving us from within.

This eclipse-charged coming-together of the Sun and Moon on the cusp of their home signs begs us to correct any instances where our outward self has diverged from what we inside know to be our most authentic feelings. With the dignified Moon in Cancer as final dispositor of the eclipse chart, it must be our feelings that lead the way—not our egos.

Do we seek to control others' emotional reactions, even with the 'best of intentions', by telling them what we imagine they want to hear… rather than our unabashed (and possibly jarring) emotional reality? Do we freak out about jeopardizing that connection we already share with them, were we to 'come clean' and act straight from the heart?

Sometimes, our genuine desires don't seem to obediently align with what we think we should show people, to prove that we really do care about them. So, under the auspices of loving consideration for those we care for, we withhold certain emotional facts—awarenesses that are unambiguously true for us (if we're willing to cut through the mind's mediating crap and be real with ourselves)—to supposedly shield or protect our loved ones from the pain our 'realness' might cause. Showing care through inauthenticity or dishonesty? How real is that 'care'?

Though our hearts may be in the right place, such efforts are misguided. We are presumptuous and self-centered to head off disconnection (even of the temporary kind) from our closest companions by attempting to manage their emotional reactions for them, suppressing the information we possess (which is probably quite relevant) so they're never forced to react at all. We don't want to cause them discomfort, so we smile and say everything's fine… and in the process, we rob them of another opportunity to grow and deepen, to learn from the very reaction we have selfishly headed off at the pass ,to alleviate our own discomfort. (See how we've projected all that onto them?) Meanwhile, we rob ourselves of the possibility of the greater satisfaction which would come from living more truthfully, no longer repressing our heart's truths. Who knows? They might surprise us by not reacting as we'd assumed they would.

This eclipse is ideal for committing to a cessation of these misguided, manipulative efforts—for others' benefit and for ours. To allow major chasms to exist between what we feel inside and what we put out there is to invite a flat listless quality to color over our lives, in detriment to our well-being (physically, as well as psychologically) and in disrespect to our intuitive brilliance, which speaks through the feelings.

Little internal debate or analytic rationalization is actually necessary to determine what's true for us. We know it, without a doubt, in bold black-and-white clarity. Whether we're brave enough to act on it is an entirely separate story.

To mark Tuesday's eclipse, let us dare to become outwardly real with our feelings… even when they may threaten the supposed sanctity of relationships we're clinging to, though they may not be as great as we think they are if we must swallow the full truth to remain in them.

Let us show genuine caring by not presumptuously taking unwarranted responsibility for how other people will respond to our truths… for while we might have to bear a few unpleasant (though passing) circumstances in the moment of sharing, we will have cleared a path for us to interrelate on a real level, no relevant details omitted to 'spare' anyone.

Let us be proud of the intuitive wisdom we innately hold, as evidenced by our emotions speaking up in euphoria, or agitation, or dread… signaling that we value its insights, and want them to continue flowing truth in and out of our hearts, through agreeing to proceed according to our inner compass.

What do you feel right now, knowing deep in your heart it is totally and unambiguously true?

Where have you faltered in the forthright expression of it?

Is there one big step toward living your truth out loud that you can commit to, to commemorate the occasion of this eclipse?