That 'Great American Eclipse'


My astrologer's conscience has been itching to write you more on the total solar eclipse in Leo, coming up just days from now on Aug 21.

I offer this up not merely because, yes, this is a potent astrological happening (the effects of which, dare I say, are already showing themselves)… but more out of concern for how the unhelpful, overwrought hype surrounding it may be fostering fear and panic amongst our omen-observing kin.

This approaching event has been dubbed by popular media as 'The Great American Eclipse', mainly due to its path of visible totality stretching all the way across the US, from Oregon to South Carolina (click for maps). This is big news: The last total solar eclipse visible at all from the US occurred in 1979, while the last time one spanned a path across the whole country was back in 1918. Having direct experience of such an astronomical marvel is a rarity, which is why so many people are expected to travel to the visibility-zone to catch their glimpse (through eclipse-viewing safety glasses, I hope).

Astrologers traditionally assign a more acute significance to an eclipse's impact within localities where the phenomenon can be directly seen. This is an interpretive inclination which points all the way back to the earliest skywatchers, who may not have possessed sophisticated celestial-cycle tracking systems or astro-interpretive frameworks like we do, but who undoubtedly felt and understood the power of the Sun or Moon suddenly going dark for a few minutes. What a humbling, awe-inspiring, terror-provoking encounter with the enormity of nature that must've been back then… a sure sign, I'd imagine, that the whole world was ending, or at least some version of it, that palpable moment of perceivable reset. Ah, how we've changed. Or haven't.

The US is right in the crosshairs of this eclipse's visibility, at an unmistakably uncertain time in our country's history, when the foundation of how we govern ourselves is undergoing a major transition—from what to what?—as a direct result of last year's presidential election. Whether this is an inspiring or alarming trend depends on one's worldview, I suppose, though nobody on any end of the ideological spectrum could write off these current developments as 'more of the same' or 'business as usual'. (This, of course, is Uranus's language being spoken.)

The Aug 21 eclipse falls at 28 Leo, within a couple-degrees' orb of opposing the natal Moon (placed at 27 Aquarius) in the US Sibly chart, the birthchart astrologers most commonly refer to for insight into this country. An opposition from such a potent eclipse to a country's Moon (the symbol of its populace's emotional heart-center) bespeaks of collectively confronting some disruption to the society's status-quo, a discontinuity or reset in the underlying emotional climate bringing forth a new chapter. The eclipse also forms a very tight trine to Uranus (28 Aries), a major player in both the year's astrology and the current political atmosphere, positioning it as one more unsteadying flashpoint in this concentrated stream of consciousness-jolts.

Perhaps not too much of a surprise, Donald Trump's birthchart is also being vigorously activated by this 'great American eclipse'. Trump was actually born on the day of a lunar eclipse, with his Sun conjunct Uranus and his Moon opposed it. He's always already a living embodiment of both legendary eclipse-style dramatics and Uranian unpredictability; he was meant to 'shake things up' in a big way. In addition, Trump's chart features a prominent Mars at 26 Leo conjunct his Ascendant: an indicator of somebody who instinctively leads with a strong self-centering will and a showy aggressiveness, whether intended or not… who goes for the desire or the dare, the spectacle or the challenge, over a cool or understated approach every time… and who attracts animosity and attack as a natural result. This coming eclipse conjoins Trump's Mars and Ascendant very closely (with a trine of Uranian support for good measure), bringing this side of his personality front-and-center, and giving us a hint into what type of attitude or action is likeliest to mark his 'next chapter' as augured by the eclipse. (And, yes, if you put two and two together, you discover Trump's natal Mars also opposes the US's natal Moon, an aspect that describes how his deeds and desires serve to fire up, agitate, and/or assail the country's emotions.)

As I already shared in my previous post, August's astrology is dominated by an ongoing symbiosis between the Sun and Mars in Leo, a ratcheting-up of theatricalized shows of strength, desire, and/or antagonism… a tone which suggestively mirrors Trump's instinctive tendencies, as signified by his Mars on the Ascendant in Leo. But what does it mean? What's going to happen?

By reading these signs, we may assume Trump is presently even more susceptible to attacks than at other times. He could be on the receiving end of more bombastic criticism than ever, a heating-up of the ongoing investigations against him, even violence. Or he could be the one issuing the attacks (for he's never one to shy away from a fight), whether against perceived foes in the government or media, international adversaries, illegal immigrants. Maybe he will take a bold assertive step that positions him as a hero on the public stage. Or maybe someone else will make a heroic move that neutralizes the threat he represents to a wide swath of the collective emotional landscape. He could destroy us all, or save us from a certain demise. Or are we being just a bit dramatic?

I don't know exactly what will happen, and neither does any other astrologer or prophet. The future isn't written in stone. This chapter-turn especially hinges on dramatic acts of individual gallantry and grandiosity, honor and hubris—and such acts are rarely decided upon or fully committed to until that critical moment when a response or advance is demanded. Even in retrospect, what's considered 'honorable' to one commentator is seen as 'immoral' (or even 'evil') by another. Many would welcome harm coming to Trump as an end that justified its means… though, in similar cases involving different leaders, they might view the same thought as treasonous or horrid. What makes a singular commanding personality worthy of admiration, reverence, or respect? What deems them pompous, undeserving, despotic? A champ, or a windbag? Hero or villain?

Nor does it take a spectacular eclipse to tell us the United States is on the verge of a new chapter in our history, ushered in by the ascent of this singular character to its highest office. Under this astrological call for lion-hearted valor, will we courageously reaffirm the ideals which make this country great… and heroically save it from deteriorating further into moral rot? Would this be done by a dauntless defense of our multi-branched governmental structure, preventing a corrupt centralizing-of-power from dismantling our system of checks and balances? Is a confident display of muscle what's needed to preserve our exceptional role in global relations? Do we seek to continue modeling a society that other nations have looked to as a beacon for stability, opportunity, and justice? Do we seek to continue self-centeredly situating ourselves as the dominant superpower, even as the world grows smaller and flatter and increasingly interdependent? Whether we're making this country 'great again' or witnessing the painful decline of a dying empire, a page in this story is definitely turning.

As I view it, astrology is not literally predictive, but symbolically so. The larger number of people possessing freer agency to actively help shape their own fates now (versus in earlier moments during astrology's history) only makes it that much harder to reliably foresee exactly what will happen. That fact also raises the stakes for each of us, in terms of what any one of us will do at such an eclipse-conjured crossroads… if we're allowing our fearful attentions to feed the likelihood that worst-case scenarios will manifest, or if we take actions that further our positive contribution to the fabric of society and hopefully tip the scale towards good. Are we generous and heart-centered, or greedy and self-absorbed? Heroic, or oblivious? Believe me, it matters.

Further reading:
'A guide to interpreting the great American eclipse' by Wade Caves (
'The Big August Eclipse - What Does it Mean?' by Steven Forrest (
'The Eclipse as Dark Omen' by Ross Andersen (