Pisces Solar Eclipse: We Ride

Posted & filed under Eclipses, Lunar Phases, New Moon, Pisces, Sabian Symbols.

In a critical scene from True Grit (2010), grizzled old Rooster Cogburn carries badly injured young Mattie Ross on horseback through the cold winter night to seek medical help. Shaped by a culture with a profound regard for horses—that will, in fact, kill a man for stealing one—Cogburn nevertheless pushes the steed cruelly, digging with his spurs until the poor creature’s mouth begins to foam. We feel its agony, and the old man’s exhaustion, and Mattie’s fading strength as she stares up at the lyrically beautiful, inky expanse of prairie night sky. When the horse stumbles and falls, there is nothing for the old man to do but shoot the poor animal, scoop the injured girl into his tired old arms, and continue the race on foot.

The Sabian Symbol for this Solar Eclipse is Pisces 9, THE RACE BEGINS: INTENT ON OUTDISTANCING HIS RIVALS, A JOCKEY SPURS HIS HORSE TO GREAT SPEED. I didn’t know what to make of the Sabian Symbols when I first came across them; I read them too literally. Sometimes, they do play out that way. But they’re a bit dreamlike, too, and I find I usually get more from them through a sideways glance, my eyes a bit squinted. From that perspective, one can easily see the horse fleeing at great speed across an icy prairie, note that the jockey is an old man with an eye-patch and steely determination, and that the rival he’s trying to outdistance is a young girl’s death.

He rides like hell, because if this girl dies, it will hurt. This is a fine girl, a brave, unsentimental one. Her death would make the world less than it could have been. Old Cogburn may be a drunken mercenary when Mattie hires him to avenge her father, but he wasn’t always, and he still recognizes a quality human when he sees one. She’s the kind of girl who makes you stand up a little straighter, one with a spine of steel, who makes up with true grit what she lacks in years.

And so we understand his wild midnight ride across the prairie, undertaken without hesitation and without a single care for his own safety or for the welfare of the horse.

What can I tell you? This is the image that came to me when I thought about this Pisces Solar Eclipse—the last we’ll have in this mysterious sign until 2024. Everyone I know remarks on how fast the world seems to be moving, as though we’re all spurring our horses on to greater and greater speed. There are some who seem intent on the race itself, consumed with the need to be first, to be seen as better than, smarter than, righter than everyone else. The brutality of the race, the damage to the beautiful animal, are all in service of nothing beyond their own small interests, their preening and hubris, a fever for punishment and vengeance.

This was my rather dismal first reading of this eclipse degree’s Sabian Symbol.

But then I remembered Rooster and Mattie and their desperate midnight ride, and I realized that the rest of us are running a different kind of race. We ride with urgency, because something is at stake, something fine. It has something to do with the way it feels to love people, the terrifying, trapdoor sensation of losing them, the redemption we feel when we sacrifice ourselves for someone else. It is about the ecstasy of merging with our fellows, like stars collected in a single, throbbing galaxy. If we lose all of this—the bleeding, pierced, and sacrificial Piscean heart of it all—then the world becomes less than it could have been.

And so, we ride—through the icy darkness, pushing ourselves and our mounts to the brink of exhaustion. With everything at stake, we ride…mortality nipping at our heels, goodness threatening to slip away from us, against the inky backdrop of a perfect, infinite sky.

© 2017 April Elliott Kent

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11 Responses to “Pisces Solar Eclipse: We Ride”

  1. Susan Christine

    This was very helpful for me to read today. I have your moon shadow report which I am going to read again tonight. Pisces is in 8 degrees in my 7th house. Leo is my Ascendant in 26 degrees. Very hurtful things coming to the surface these last couple of weeks. This week I am retrieving little pieces of my soul from times when I made life seem a little more adorable than it actually was. Thank you so much! Blessings to you!

    Reply
  2. Lilah

    Thank you for such a touching article and a way to explore the Sabian symbols. For me, my dad embodies the Piscean/Neptunian archetype (a musician, poet, artist, a mystic and spiritual seeker, an alcoholic, and a self-sacrificing parent). He also had a beautiful lotus with the word compassion tattooed on his forearm. Your article made me think of my experience of him in a nursing home with Parkinson’s in his last years. Suffering but with great compassion for those around him. Thank you for sharing your astrological wisdom with us!

    Reply
  3. Steve

    April, this is superb and makes perfect sense (and I love that film). As it happens, I decided to shoot a metaphorical horse in the run up to this eclipse to ensure my business’s survival (8th house eclipse). Not quite so Piscean dreamy, but hey.

    Reply
  4. Michelle

    I think your reflection beautifully depicts with keen insight the difference between the ego riding/driving the horse for its own use and aggrandizement, and the soul utilizing/harnessing the horse energy – and sacrificing – for a greater good. Very helpful – thank you!

    Reply
  5. Mary McClain

    Lovely analogy! I definitely feel like I need to stand up and fight for precious values (like human rights and compassion) that should not be forgotten! The eclipse was exactly on my IC/4th house cusp, South Node and Moon opposite MC/N Node and Pluto!
    Thank you..

    Reply

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