Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Moon August 1, 2008: The Golden Light of Self

Where I live in the northern Mississippi River watershed, the light at this time of year is dramatic. It is golden. The seed heads of the tall grass drink in this light and reflect it back to us. Now the Sun’s light slants long as it descends toward the temporary balance of the Equinox. There is still enough summer to feel luxurious about this light but the deeper shadows living right next to whatever is illuminated remind me that before long, we will return to death’s season. All artists know that it is the shadows that make the light special. This lunar cycle is full of light and shadow. We will experience two eclipses this month. A solar eclipse at the New Moon on August 1 and a lunar eclipse at the Full Moon on August 16. During an eclipse, light gives way to shadow suddenly and then returns just as quickly. Eclipses set us upon new pathways. They have the potential to be quite dramatic.

Eclipses happen at the new and full Moons that occur near the nodes of the Moon. An excellent overview of the nodes by Rob Tillet can be found at
Eclipses elicit stories from the pair of signs that the nodes are in. Since December 2007, the north node has been traveling through Aquarius and the south node, which is always exactly opposite the north, has been traveling through Leo. As we are almost midway through the nodes transiting this pair of signs, we have an opportunity this month to deepen our understanding about what this celestial seasoning means to us. [Nodes remain in a pair of signs for 18 months.]

The dragon in the sky. Astrologers imagine the nodes as a dragon eating the light of the Sun during a solar eclipse and the light of the Moon during a lunar eclipse. The head of the dragon is the north node and the tail is the south. The August 1 solar eclipse happens at the tail of the dragon in Leo. Our last solar eclipse [February 6, 2008] occurred at the dragon’s head in Aquarius. The south node carries the energy of the past and represents attitudes that need to be rethought, cleared away, reformulated. As the light goes out and comes back this month, we can all explore the ways we want to reframe the energy of Leo in our lives.

Leo’s flame. Imagine knowing your self worth. Imagine being able to share your gifts with the world in perfect balance—being appreciated for who you are and what you have to give without needing to bolster a fragile ego by needing others’ approval. This is the pure potential of Leo, which we all have within us, and which I believe we all need to realize at this time of a Leo eclipse .

Hope and self worth. We live in a time when hope is fragile, when we long for change that can make a difference, and perhaps when we wonder if our individual gifts could make any difference. A deflated ego says, I can’t make a difference and an inflated ego says, a better world is up to me only. Both states of ego get in the way of the possibility of being the change we want to be. Where Leo can get stuck is in one or both of these expressions of ego. As the light goes out and comes back at this new Moon, we have the opportunity to transform our ego patterns. Sometimes we can choose this path consciously, and sometimes the universe makes the shift for us. Eclipses are like that. This month, will you make a shift in how you value yourself? Can you imagine how this might change the world?

Speaking of changing the world. We are in an election year. Our two major candidates, McCain and Obama, share remarkable astrological signatures. These signatures are relevant to this month’s transits.

Both candidates share planets at the same degree of Leo. Obama’s Sun is at 12 Leo and McCain’s Mars is also at 12 Leo. This month’s eclipse is at 9 Leo. I usually do not consider a 3 degree orb [the difference between 9 and 12] to be applicable to an eclipse transit, however there is too much coincidence here to ignore. Something is up. Both of these candidates are experiencing this eclipse.

These aren’t the only degrees shared by these men. Other points are:
6 Virgo – McCain’s Sun and Obama’s Pluto
22 Virgo – McCain’s Venus and Obama’s Mars

This is interesting and I have no idea what it means. But I suspect we will find out, and perhaps this month. Why? As I write this, Saturn is at 6 Virgo and later this month, on August 6, Mars and Uranus will oppose each other at 22 Virgo.

The coincidences continue. I am most fascinated by the fact that in the U.S. birth chart [the Sibley chart], Neptune is also at 22 Virgo squaring Mars at 21 Gemini. Something important is happening in our nation’s history and destiny with the candidacy of these two men. The current transit of Uranus in Pisces and Saturn in Virgo are poised to expose what this is.

The square of Neptune to Mars in the U.S. chart signifies our national attitudes and experience with war, will, and leadership. We often engage in these energies under the illusions of Neptune. We fantasize that willful action can solve our problems. And sometimes our greatest dreams do spur us to action that is positive. But obviously, we have a lot to learn about using our muscles to solve our problems. Neptune makes sure we stay on the course of surrendering the old forms in order to evolve. The potential to do away with the mistakes of the past is very strong right now. The question is, what we will replace it with? Will the winner of this election be able to create the change we need? Who must we rely on to create the world we want to live in? Saturn moving through this pattern says, wake up to your own responsibility. Uranus traveling through this pattern says, the time to change is now. Back to the eclipse: Leo says, how will you change your self-perceptions to make way for authentic participation in this grand story?

August 1 is not only the new moon, but it is also the cross-quarter holy day of Lughnasad—the time to honor our first harvests and pray that the fall’s harvest will be bountiful. The Sun is our ally of the harvest. We are also Suns. We are the allies of the future’s harvest. This is a potent time to claim our own Sun’s energy.

The full Moon on August 16 is a lunar eclipse at 24 Leo/Aquarius. This is the time to realize what energy Aquarius contributes to recovering the wholeness of self. Aquarius is the collective and it is the impulse to embrace the future. An individual can change the world but we also need to work in groups to manifest our future. The give and take between these two signs creates something greater than the sum of its parts. At this full Moon, we might reach a breaking point or crisis in the balance between these two signs. Mars square to Pluto in this chart signifies possible eruptions. Pluto’s job is to release the shadow. As the light goes out of this full Moon, look within the shadows to claim your power.

Transits of interest this month:
August 5 – Venus enters Virgo [The goddess of beauty enters the golden fields of Virgo.]
August 6 – Mars (22 Virgo) opposite Uranus (22 Pisces) [Pay attention to will and the desire to change.]
August 6 – Mercury (23 Leo) opposite Neptune (23 Aquarius) [Messenger god meets the oceanic god of illusion and dream.]
August 13 – Venus (9 Virgo) conjunct Saturn [Love and responsibility merge.]
August 15 – Mercury (9 Virgo) conjunct Saturn [Communication about wholeness.]
August 17 – Mars (28 Virgo) square Pluto (28 Sagittarius) [Release of shadow, what is hidden?]
August 21 – Mercury (19 Virgo) conjunct Venus [The hermaphrodite. Alchemic merging of Mercury and Venus.]
August 23 – Mercury (21 Virgo) opposite Uranus (21 Pisces) [New ideas, revolutionary thoughts]
August 23 – Venus (21 Virgo) opposite Uranus (21 Pisces) [New partnerships and pairings, revolutionary relationships]
August 27 – Mercury (28 Virgo) square Pluto (28 Sagittarius) [Expressing what we have learned from the dark.]
August 29 – Venus (28 Virgo) square Pluto (28 Sagittarius) [Finding beauty there.]