Chances are, your birth chart contains at least one planetary configuration so dreadful that astrologers take one look and gasp: “How do you live with that?”
And you shrug. Because it’s like having been born with blue eyes or red hair: that’s the way it’s always been for you, so you’re pretty much used to it, much the way one gets used to a throbbing arthritic joint. A hypothetically awful aspect is your cross to bear, as Sister Rita used to say. But the very aspects that inspire terror in the casual observer are, potentially, your treasure.
Planets woven together by difficult aspects are as strong as steel. They represent problems you can’t ignore, and conflicts that chew at you until you find a resolution – or at least détente. They describe your defining attributes; and each time an eclipse scores a glancing blow off these aspects (about every four and a half years), you’re given another chance to become a little bit more … you.
So not even the most unpleasant natal aspect is inherently awful. And despite the unease they inspire, neither are eclipses. Some are part of a larger and more daunting planetary picture with global implications. Personally, however, we tend to experience eclipses most strongly when they form close aspects (especially conjunctions, squares, and oppositions) to planets in our birth chart. Each time an eclipse aspects one of the planetary crosses that you bear, a narrative of change emerges – one that is repeated over and over throughout your lifetime.
Unless an eclipse triggers these high-tension natal aspects, or falls very close to the cusps of the first, fourth, seventh, or tenth houses, you are likely to experience its influence as relatively subtle, like the flutter of a leaf in a chilling breeze. But let one of your more sensitive aspects get triggered, and it’s the difference between a doctor checking your reflexes during an exam and hammering an arthritic knee.
- Eclipse aspecting the natal Sun: If life is a movie, the Sun is the protagonist – however flawed – for whom we cheer. Each of us is born to be the hero of our own life story; but often, timidity or false modesty persuades us to hand over that role to others. When eclipses aspect your natal Sun, you are thrust into the starring role – and if you’re not used to it, that can be uncomfortable.
- Eclipses aspecting the natal Moon – From the moment we’re ripped from mom’s womb, we seek to reclaim the security and safety that we knew there. We feather our nests, stock the pantry with foods we like, and surround ourselves with people who make us feel comfortable. But when eclipses aspect the natal Moon, something – a new living situation, a change in health – may leave you feeling as exposed as a crab with her shell cracked open.
- Eclipses aspecting Mercury: How do you define yourself? Usually, it begins with a name. Then, with your rank in the family pecking order, on the playground, in the workplace. Finally, numbers (grades in school, numbers on a paycheck) define you. When eclipses aspect natal Mercury, the god of definition, prepare for a change in your name, rank, or serial number – and for a change in how you define yourself.
- Eclipses aspecting Venus: If only each of us were endowed with flawless confidence, great relationships, bountiful self-esteem, and oodles of cash! Eclipse aspects to Venus remind us that world will not always give us the treatment, whether kind or cruel, that we think we deserve.
- Eclipses aspecting Mars: Mars is a trained, ruthless guard dog that answers only to you. He guards you and your home, defends your reputation, and helps you get all the cool things that you want. When eclipses aspect natal Mars, the watch dog is stirred up and straining at his leash; get what’s yours, but don’t let anyone get hurt.
- Eclipses aspecting Jupiter: When was the last time you had an adventure? When eclipses aspect Jupiter, you’re itching to take a chance, to feel the thrill of being completely alive. These can be times when you overreach out of sheer optimism; but they are also moments when your life jumps tracks and starts moving in a new direction.
- Eclipses aspecting Saturn: When eclipses aspect Saturn, you may feel worn out and discouraged. Probably, you’ve outgrown your life or are playing by outdated rules. But you’ll never get anywhere by blaming others for your problems. Regardless of how things got this way, what are you going to do to make your life better?
- Eclipses aspecting Uranus: When eclipses aspect Uranus, you may feel like a misfit – and that can hurt. Recognizing who your friends are (and aren’t), and looking for a tribe that lets you be yourself, is the challenge of these eclipses.
- Eclipses aspecting Neptune: These eclipses compel you to examine your blind spots, question your faith, and dispute what you previously thought was indisputable. If you’ve been fooling yourself – like a wife who ignores the signs that her husband has strayed, or the man who is disillusioned by his womanizing guru – these eclipses can deliver a wakeup call.
- Eclipses aspecting Pluto: In each of us, there is a dark side. There are feelings that are unworthy of us – rage, jealousy, fear, covetousness. They weaken us, making us slaves to our emotions and to people who are more self-possessed. When eclipses aspect Pluto, we meet that dark self and the others who embody it for us, grappling with power and the need for control.
Combine these descriptions to better understand the sensitive points in your own chart that will be awakened by the upcoming eclipses on October 18, 2013 (lunar eclipse at 25.46 Aries) and November 3, 2013 (solar eclipse at 11.16 Scorpio. If a planet in your birth chart, or the Ascendant/Midheaven, falls:
- between about 21 to 29 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn (October 18), or
- between about 7 and 15 degrees of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Aquarius (November 3)
your reflexes will be working overtime… and that arthritic knee is going to be really, really sore.
© April Elliott Kent All rights reserved.
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