Lunar Eclipse in Leo
The Moon will glow in rosy shadow as the Total Lunar Eclipse in Leo culminates on January 31. Eclipses reveal the wonder of our living world through the stunning optics of our Moon not only appearing to be the same size as our Sun, but also mutating in color during the exact alignment. During a total lunar eclipse the Sun casts a shadow of our planet upon the face of the Moon, creating a reddish light as opposed to the total blackness that manifests in a solar eclipse. Venus joins the Sun in Aquarius as it casts shadows on the Leo Lunar Eclipse, bringing an influence of searching for inner harmony amidst the numerous corresponding changes that will occur in between the lunar eclipse and the Solar Eclipse in Aquarius arriving February 15. We all know the Leo stereotype in astrology of the solar hero journeying for personal glory. Yet the type of heroine illuminated by the Leo Lunar Eclipse willingly descends into shadowy inner depths in order to discover the essential value they may serve the needs of the collective with, helping to heal and strengthen bonds of community.
Lunar eclipses occur when a Full Moon aligns with the degrees of the transiting North Node and South Node of the Moon, meaning that the polarity of Sun and Moon aligns with the intersection of the orbital arcs of Sun and Moon. The nodes of the Moon in this arrangement are symbolized by a great dragon that consumes our lights, since the Sun is overcome by shadow in a solar eclipse and the Moon is consumed with shadow during a lunar eclipse. The dragon symbolism further links eclipses with the ouroboros imagery of a dragon or serpent consuming its own tail, mirroring the dissolution of nature that leads to the arising of new forms. When eclipses form in our heavens, the corresponding changes similarly lead us to release fixation on the elements of our life in need of letting go, while a burgeoning promise of new form coming together can be felt.
The meaning of a Lunar Eclipse is rooted in the phenomenon of our Sun casting the shadow of our Earth onto the face of our Moon. Dane Rudhyar viewed this solar shadow as symbolizing the present overcoming the past, as our solar awareness and purpose veils the lunar impact of past conditioning on our present consciousness. Linking the Moon to what we carry with us in our body and mind, these memories of the past can be released to allow for the emergence of new ways of being embodied in the moment. Since the Leo Lunar Eclipse is aligned with the North Node of the Moon, while our fiery Sun is burning on the side of the South Node of the Moon, it corresponds that growth will come from the resolution and release of old karma, patterns, and attachments whose time has come. These themes are amplified by the ruler of the Leo Lunar Eclipse, the Aquarius Sun, being conjoined the South Node of the Moon.
The Leo Lunar Eclipse is “total” and particularly potent due to it being closely aligned with the lunar nodes, with both the Sun and Moon only three degrees away. While the influence of the Moon residing in Leo brings an element of creative actualization, the weight of Aquarian leverage on the syzygy necessitates taking into account a wider perspective of humanitarian concerns. Those who have been alienated or choose to inhabit the fringe will demand attention as our planet’s shadow slips across the face of our Moon. Creative solutions are needed for the vast array of issues people are struggling with around the world; while those solutions will not be appearing magically in the eclipsed light of the Moon, personal and collective narratives will shift dramatically in its wake and force issues to surface awareness. Within the turning wheel of fortune we can gain clarity for what needs our full attention within intimate circles as well as within broader collective concerns. The eclipse season we are entering swings toward an emphasis on Aquarius and the South Node, just as the eclipses in 2017 had more emphasis on the North Node side of Leo.
The dwarf planet Ceres is closely conjoined the eclipse, only two minutes away from the eclipsed Leo Moon. As an archetype, Ceres both produces the resources needed for vitality as well as bears the seeds of renewal. Yet the swing of her scythe that brings the harvest necessitates loss as much as it brings forth gain. Just as the Leo Moon will be eclipsed by shadow, so was Ceres eclipsed by pain and rage over her own personal tragedy. In an element of her myth that parallels the story of Isis and Osiris, Ceres was willing to incarnate into human form as part of fully embodying her grief. Though she needed to take time away from producing growth in the world in order to process and release her trauma, Ceres ultimately mediated a compromise in which she returned to her service of providing fertile abundance for the greater collective. Ceres reveals the importance of taking time and space away from production in order to grieve, while also illuminating the resolve necessary to return to the world of suffering in order to bolster strength in others.
As Ceres aligns with the Moon on the North Node side of Leo, Venus accompanies the Sun on the other side of the axis in Aquarius. While Ceres and the Moon are in the Egyptian bounds of Saturn, the Aquarius Sun is in the Egyptian bounds of Venus. We can find here the message Ceres received in her journey into the mysteries of darkness, that though life and love will return so will death and strife coexist. The gravitas of Saturn that demands us to mature and be accountable for how we navigate cycles of change is amplified by Saturn in Capricorn ruling the Sun, South Node of the Moon, and Venus in Aquarius. The influence of Venus in Aquarius upon the lunar eclipse is not about hedonistic desire for everything we find pleasurable, but rather brings a purification to our pursuits of pleasure and what we value. Saturn in Capricorn hones the raw into the fine-tuned and essential, and so its influence on the Sun and Venus at the eclipse takes us into a process of clarifying the values to prioritize in our choices and discovering who we want to become based more upon internal authenticity rather than external acclaim.
Venus in Aquarius is also in the bounds of Jupiter at the lunar eclipse, while Jupiter in Scorpio is engaged in an impactful relationship with both the Leo Lunar Eclipse on January 31 and the Aquarius Solar Eclipse on February 15. Moreover, Jupiter is in its own bounds, ruled by Mars in the home and bounds of Jupiter (4º of Sagittarius). As I’ve previously written, Jupiter in Scorpio facilitates delving deeper into our own subconscious as well as gaining insight into the sea of collective unconscious swirling around us. Combined with Saturn in Capricorn, Jupiter in Scorpio brings ample stores of determination and willpower to infuse into whatever we are developing, pursuing, or protecting. Yet its challenging square aspect to the eclipses in Leo and Aquarius necessitates courageously facing difficult, disillusioning questions and allowing the answers we discover to help us shed beliefs that have been keeping us contained within illusion rather than being alertly aware in the present moment.
Nodes of Neptune
The eclipse falls across the nodes of Neptune, with the Leo Moon and North Node of the Moon conjoining the North Node of Neptune. This also means that the Sun, South Node of the Moon, and Venus are also conjoining the South Node of Neptune in Aquarius. The nodes of Neptune being in Leo and Aquarius is something I have spent time contemplating yet still have difficulty putting into words. Like all archetypes, the best we can do in the end is observe how events and images emerge into form in correspondence. One element I feel involves the archetypal arc of Neptune being related to spirituality as an access point into the interconnected field of our reality, and how this connection with Spirit can both connect us to the needs of living diversity across our world, as well as often necessitates time in exile, as a hermit or recluse in order to connect with divinity from within. It also makes sense that the North Node of Neptune in Leo goes along with the phenomenon of spiritual glamor, and how there has been many examples of people taking on spiritual guru roles revealed to be narcissistic abusers of power. Ultimately, it seems the North Node of Neptune in Leo is about centering consciousness in our heart so that we can engage the interconnected field of our reality from a heart-centered place of love and compassion.
For another perspective, the evolutionary astrologer Mark Jones has theorized that the North Node of Neptune in Leo correlates with an evolutionary choice to re-integrate our personal and collective traumatic memories through a creative actualization in some way. Part of this interpretation relates to the Uranus rulership of Aquarius developed by Jeff Green in evolutionary astrology, wherein Uranus is linked to both traumatic memories from past lives held by the soul, as well as our capacity to liberate ourselves from being incapacitated by them. Two areas this interpretation could play out are found in art and activism, both art integrating activism and activism incorporating art. There are powerful aspects found within the Leo Lunar Eclipse to facilitate dynamic creative breakthroughs, and its alignment with the nodes of Neptune brings the potential to release elements of tragedy and trauma fettering within our collective through artistic expression. There is a lot of innovation within the aspects of the Leo Lunar Eclipse to wield in the process of making the change you wish to see in the world.
Leo 2 Decan
The Leo eclipses falls in the second decan of Leo associated with the Six of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. We find here an image of triumphant victory, a strident champion riding a white horse and hailed by a wreath of laurel and an adoring crowd. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Crown of Laurels” to this face, proclaiming it “holds within it the magical power of authenticity- here defined as a harmonious connection between the external sphere in which one acts and the spirit fire within each individual.” The pride and glory of victory in the Six of Wands image also reflects its shadow of hubris, a complex that deserves attention since the Leo Moon will become engulfed in blood red shadow.
Jupiter rules the second decan of Leo, and so with Jupiter in Scorpio as well as Saturn in Capricorn in the background of the eclipse, its more likely than normal that those who seek glory and fame without inner integrity will fall or be cut down from heights. Its worth contemplating the question of what does victory truly mean for you, and what degree of external validation is actually needed. Allow the redness of the Moon to take you within the purity of heart, and let the authentic presence you discover there take the helm of navigating through the sweeping tides of the coming eclipse season.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.