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Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Eclipse?

afraid-eclipseWhen I was new to astrology, I was easily frightened by it. Astrology seemed accurate about so many things that I assumed it was right about everything, and so much of what I found in astrology books was profoundly scary.

Eventually I came to realize that the disturbing interpretations in those books were simply the way a few astrologers saw the world, and not gospel. Many years later, having watched all sorts of planetary cycles come and go, I’m rarely afraid of anything astrology can throw my way. Yet, I have to admit: When eclipses will aspect particular planets in my birth chart, I feel uneasy.

I hasten to tell you that this has nothing to do with eclipses in general, and I’m not saying that eclipses should scare you. To be honest, though eclipses are dramatic and interesting, few of them are truly life-changing. For many of us, this Solar Eclipse will come and go with some mild emotional disruption and perhaps some unexpected developments in some area of life, and that’s about it.

But watch your chart closely over a number of years, and you learn to identify its hot spots. And there is a particular eclipse cycle that triggers one of mine. When eclipses occur near a particular degree of the zodiac, it triggers sensitive and challenging aspects in my chart. My parents died suddenly after two separate Solar Eclipses near this degree, 27 years apart. Each of the three Solar Eclipses at these degrees since my birth coincided with important relocations and change in my life’s direction, including the purchase of my first house and the transition to my career as an astrologer.

Granted, even if history repeats itself (or at least rhymes), subsequent eclipses at this degree are unlikely to bring about the same events. I have no parents left to lose. I’ve lived in the same house since 1997 and am unlikely to move anytime soon, and my career is pretty stable. But if roughly four decades of astrological study have taught me anything, it’s that astrology is endlessly creative in the ways that it manifests. So, I’m always a little nervous to see what else the universe will dish up.

I’m not sharing this with you to feed any fear you may have about eclipses. I guess I just want to acknowledge that an intimate knowledge of how our own charts work means that we’ll be able to recognize our particular astrological bugaboos when we see them coming. It’s for this reason, in fact, that I refuse to learn anything about the astrology of death. I’d just as soon that particular transition came as a complete surprise to me.

When speaking with clients who are fearful of some important transit or progression that’s headed their way, I can nearly always find a comforting way to frame the situation. Faced with such a fear myself, though, I find I’m at a loss to come up with a soothing story or philosophical context for it.

Some transits, or eclipses, or progressions are tough, and the only way to deal with them is to simply face them down with as much courage as we can muster. Leonardo DiCaprio’s recent Academy Award win got me thinking about Titanic. I wasn’t a fan of the film, but I was impressed by the bravery of DiCaprio’s character in the face of a life-threatening peril. When faced with likely death on the high seas, many of us would freeze like deer caught in the headlights. But Jack Dawson fought for survival every step of the way, until it became obvious that (spoiler alert!) he had to sacrifice his life so someone else could live.

Part of me finds it a bit unrealistic when characters in books or film behave with such heroic pluck in the face of almost certain death. But it’s inspiring, too. Based on past experience, I know that raw courage is probably not my default setting in difficult circumstances, but it’s certainly the way I would like to act.

Even if this particular eclipse cycle doesn’t trigger a critical point in your personal birth chart, you don’t have to look far to see a lot uncertainty and worry in the world. The degree of the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse, visible across the United States,  is conjoined the fixed star Regulus, the star of kings; solar eclipses here auger ill for those in power. This degree is also conjoined the Ascendant and Mars of our current President, and that has a lot of people talking.

We don’t really need eclipses or Saturn transits or Mars retrograde to tell us that life will periodically throw us personal and societal challenges—loss, uncertainty, illness, grief. It’s normal to fear these things. But as it’s often said, courage isn’t the absence of fear, but rather the refusal to let fear defeat you. When we see potentially difficult transits, the repeat of a troublesome eclipse cycle, or a painful secondary progressed aspect in our future, it’s natural to want to “let this cup pass away from us.” And it’s okay to be afraid—but we can’t let fear stop us in our tracks while the ship is sinking.

Previous eclipses near the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse degree at 28.53 Leo include Feb. 21, 2008 (lunar, 1.52 Virgo), Feb. 16, 1999 (solar, 27.08 Aquarius) and Aug. 22, 1998 (28.58 Leo).

© 2016, 2017 April Elliott Kent

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14 comments to " Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Eclipse? "

  • Kent, sometimes you give us dates to look back on to compare with other events in our lives. Can you tell us when the last two eclipses at this degree took place? There is something important happening Tuesday I’m concerned about. Thanks!

    • You bet… I’ve edited to add them at the end of the article. Pick up your sword and be brave! 🙂

      • Yeehaw! Thanks, doll!

      • Holy fucking shit. March 9, 1997 — the day I first went to the doctor with hand and neck pain before I was diagnosed a month later with a full-blown, work-related disability. September 7, 2006 — the exact day I moved to France.

        I do have another big change that *should* be official as of tomorrow. There hasn’t been much uncertainty about it, but now I know for sure. And it’s all good.

        THANK YOU! 🙂

  • beachfrontbabe

    Thanks for this great article!

    The SE is opposite my Uranus/Pluto in the 6th – I am just starting self employment. Got wind of the contract the last full moon, which was exactly conjunct my Sun.

    Trepidation mixed with a lot of excitement!

  • Karen TripleVirgo

    The SE lands on my Vertex in the 7th house and is exactly opposite my natal Sun and I just ended a significant relationship because I needed more commitment. Not sure what the vertex means but it sounds like the 7th house is being activated already. Thanks for the interesting article. I will have to track what has happened in the past.

  • This eclipse is in my 5th house, conj. The natal conjunction of Pallas Athene and Black moon Lilith. I’ve been stuck in procrastination/resistance with my creativity…I have this big dream of creating beautiful jewelry with crystals and gems along with a blog where I can speak my truth and find my tribe. I know what I need to do, I just can’t talk myself into doing it. The last 2 days I’ve been in serious purge mode, cleaning and organizing and making space for whatever is about to show up. I definately feel a big shift coming my way!

  • Natori

    It’s starting to pour rain as I’m typing here–eclipse related? IDK. In any event, if I may say so the eclipse in aspect to your MC has a Presidential flavor to it…of the SDAS type. Better living through leadership! 🙂 And opening new doors.

  • Caryl Adams

    RIP Nancy Reagan. I wasn’t a fan of her or her husband but of course the news items relating to her death have brought up her attraction/reliance to/on astrology, which at the time was viewed negatively. What’s your take on this and her? Just curious.

  • Loretta Kaczmarek

    Today is the SE and I have been holding my breath to see what happens, as this SE will make a T-square to my natal sun at 20 Sagittarius which is exact on my 4th house cusp, moon 14 Virgo, Saturn 19 Virgo, asc 21 Virgo and Mars 24,Virgo. My mother is 93 yrs old and in good health but I wonder if this is a pre-shadowing to her death when transiting Saturn conjunctions my natal sun. Thank you for the reminder to be brave!

  • A good friend of mine wound up with a detached retina. Talk about an eclipse! I don’t have her birth info but I bet it was a solid hit to something like her ASC or something in Aries.

  • Cynthia Snowden

    Exactly square my MC/IC from my first. I’m relocating to Reno from San Francisco, and looking for work, found apt. Will be looking for house to buy . Just retired from taxi cab industry and moving on 4/1/16

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