Eclipse Page-Flip


Just as they are known to do, the new-moon solar eclipse this coming Tuesday (Mar 8) will coincide with a distinct transition from one chapter of our life-story to the next.

This palpable sense of changing astro-energies is only punctuated by the dual sign-shifts of both Mercury and Mars, into Pisces and Sagittarius respectively, occurring just a few days earlier (on Sat Mar 5).

Every six months or so, eclipse-periods (i.e., the few weeks immediately surrounding a pair or trio of eclipses) serve as sort of 'chapter-markers' in the narrative development of our circumstances… bringing our most recent chunk of activity to a climax and/or flipping the page ahead to a new focal-point, through an intensification of action or progress during a relatively concentrated span of time.

Interesting to note, the last eclipse-period occurred back in September, at the tail end of both Venus's retrograde and Saturn's brief retreat back into Scorpio. Now, this latest eclipse-period comes shortly after we've entered the shadow preceding Mars's upcoming retrograde which, as I've recently mentioned, falls in this very same zone of late-Scorpio/early-Sagittarius where Saturn had been traveling at that time. To put a further full-cycle finish on this astrology, the next eclipse-period (anchored by three eclipses, two lunars and a solar) falls from mid-August into mid-September… right when Mars is finally leaving its post-retrograde shadow.

Therefore, it's fair to conclude this entire 'chapter'—bookmarked by eclipses at the beginning of Mars's pre-retrograde shadow and at the end of Mars's post-retrograde shadow—seems to be all about this upcoming Mars retrograde.

And though we must admittedly acknowledge that the events which often transpire while Mars is retrograde are difficult to accurately describe in precise forecasting terms (for the very nature of a Mars-retrograde is to have our bodily impulses, initiative, or will abruptly rerouted, in a manner or direction we hadn't anticipated), we do know there will be some symbolic correspondence or similarity between (1) the Mars-retrograde-impacted happenings we can expect during this next chapter and (2) the Saturn-imposed lessons we were learning last year, during the chapter before this most recent one.

It makes sense, then, that Mars would arrive to Sagittarius right as this latest eclipse action goes down. Mars in Sagittarius is only too eager to propel us forward, always jonesing for a spirited participation in whatever's likeliest to yield excitement, epiphany, or another stride ahead on life's amazing journey. Mars-in-Sagittarius's main job is to keep us moving ever onward toward greater meaning, interest, and personal growth. It strips our desires free of the useless attachments and cursory crap. It simplifies our options down to their most fundamental This-or-Thats; anything else is just a waste of time and attention. It's hard to stay settled or frozen in inertia, dissatisfaction, or boredom when Mars is in Sagittarius. Life's too short not to hunt for something else, better, more.

But Mars also brings a hasty, careless, impatient side along with it when in Sagittarius. Why dawdle or dilly-dally with the annoying details and superficial little shit, when there's always a world of adventure waiting just a hop-skip-and-jump beyond here? It's this side of Mars in Sagittarius which threatens to cause us problems in this next chapter.

This go-around, Mars will be in Sagittarius far longer than its usual six-to-seven weeks: Mars remains in Sagittarius for three full months (through late May), with half of that time spent retrograde; and then, after having returned to Scorpio for just over two months (into early August), Mars lands back in Sagittarius for another two months. That'll bring a longer-than-usual window in which we're likely to feel instinctively driven to enthusiastically leap into adventurous actions, possibly overlooking critical details and/or reducing complex considerations to crude blacks-and-whites. Sure, we'll be making strides… though if we're not careful, we might also make a mess or two in the process.

And of course once Mars is retrograde (as of April 17), we may find our earlier haste or laxness will have to be addressed with reiterating deeds, remedial fixes, or full-on undos… and/or that we aren't able to conclusively achieve what we set out to do, at least not immediately, due to an unforeseen need to suddenly pivot our efforts elsewhere. With Saturn's present sign-position also in Sagittarius, we mustn't neglect to responsibly moderate our pace, lest we suffer the ramifications of choosing fast advances, crude methods, or too-unspecific forethought over a sustainable rate of progress, conscientious attention to practical details, and adequate consideration of the subtleties and complexities involved. From this context, Mars's retrograding through Sagittarius seems like a divinely-ordained test of our capacity to keep moving forward—minus the clumsy false-starts, skipped steps, and naively-ignored critical-factors.

Tuesday's solar eclipse in Pisces offers us a chance to mindfully inscribe our intentions onto this next chapter. Not only is a solar-eclipse new moon one of the most potent occasions for ritual intention-setting, but astrological moments in which Pisces is a dominant energy are especially responsive to magical tactics and/or spiritual-mindedness. In addition to the Sun and Moon conjoining the lunar South Node in Pisces, we'll also welcome Mercury's conjunction to Neptune in Pisces (exact on Thu Mar 9). This is an aspect which promotes poetic imaginativeness, compassionate idealism, and an acute mental sensitivity to others' concerns… as well as wishful thinking, subjective emotion-laden analyses, and an inability to step back from a situation to gain clarifying perspective. This heightened Piscean influence strengthens even more once Venus arrives to the fish-sign later in the week (on Sat Mar 12).

Though this Piscean solar eclipse does invite us to leave our hopeful, heartfelt, magical imprint on its door-opening energy, it also forms a square to Saturn in Sagittarius. This aspect carries a couple important lessons with it:

(1) Wishing and praying, though more impactful than many folks like to admit, are not enough in themselves to effect change. Without taking some corresponding action that demonstrates literal motion toward the desired intention, not much is liable to 'magically' happen. From this angle, passivity can actually be a type of self-sabotage and/or perpetuate masochistic suffering.

(2) Certain Saturn-style reality-checks, which reveal what key details had been missed and/or processes rashly hurried through, can only be obtained once action has already been taken. It's impossible to thoroughly think through (or 'feel into', as a Piscean voice might add) every possible variable. That's why a modest pace of movement is so vital at the moment, so as to prevent us from going too far into the unknown all at once, where budding problems can quickly become too big to easily rectify.

Pointing to the most progressive evolutionary potential of this eclipse, however, we see Jupiter conjoined the lunar North Node in Virgo, directly opposed (to the exact degree!) to the eclipsed Sun and Moon in Pisces. In general, Jupiter in Virgo encourages us to magnify our attention to those very details which both Pisces and Sagittarius typically avoid, rush past, and/or wish into oblivion. As a force in direct opposition to this Pisces eclipse, Jupiter can hopefully inspire us to actively foster a productive relational discussion with those who only gaze at their intended aims through rose-colored glasses and/or resist facing the cold hard facts. It's through such regular dialogues, where ideas which aren't fully fleshed out or lack consideration of all the relevant specifics get subjected to clarifying questions and real-world-feasibility vetting, that we can thoughtfully develop the step-by-step plans to practically realize our dreams.

As I recently wrote, little moves pave the way for bigger ones. Applying this logic to the current eclipse-period, let's consider our 'bigger' steps to be the intentions we are now establishing or reaffirming under this ultra-Piscean energies. The Sagittarian influence (via Mars and Saturn) wants us to keep making moves, rather than freeze up or cower… but not too sloppily or hurriedly. The Jupiter-North Node conjunction in Virgo, then, reminds us to observe the results and crunch the data after every move, leaving ourselves room to fiddle and tweak with our methods based upon each new discovery. Can we integrate intention, motion, and pragmatism as we continue executing these 'little' moves throughout a fiery, retrograde-mischievous chapter?