Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

The Hall of Stars in the Palace of the Queen of the Night, from The Magic Flute by Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

Eclipses are portals of intersecting pathways, signaling an upswing of new relational developments entering our life while older storylines end in release or fade from focalization. Lunar eclipses occur when a Full Moon occurs near the intersection between the Moon’s orbit and the ecliptic, the apparent pathway of the Sun from our perspective on Earth. As the crossroads of the Sun and Moon becomes illuminated, so does our sense of soulful direction and destiny. Since the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19, 2021 is the first eclipse to occur in Taurus and is co-present with an activated Uranus in Taurus, there is greater likelihood for new attractions, revelations, disruptions, challenges, and opportunities to emerge in the surrounding time period. There may be a need to create time and space for restorative rest and resourcing to help digest what needs to be integrated into one’s life and understanding.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is the first eclipse of the series that will be going back and forth between the fixed signs of Taurus and Scorpio, initiating new narratives involving the signs of Scorpio and Taurus that will last until the final eclipse in the series occurs on October 28, 2023 in Taurus. In addition to activating a new zodiacal sign polarity, it is also the first eclipse to occur in the same sign as Uranus since Uranus entered Taurus in 2018. Later eclipses in the series will be exactly aligned with Uranus and more potent in their promethean expression, and so the Taurus Lunar Eclipse will bring an initial sense for how the combination of eclipses occurring in the same sign as Uranus will be accelerating change and inspiring breakthroughs in the next couple of years.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse will catalyze the recent release of tension and dynamism created by Mars in Scorpio forming an exact opposition with Uranus in Taurus on November 17, after Mars previously formed a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on November 10. The ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus has been underlying all of the radical structural changes that have been rippling across 2021, as it has been bringing the consolidating contraction of Saturn that builds enduring structures into conflict with the accelerated vision of Uranus that resists restrictions and insists on making innovative changes to the status quo. Though dramatic external changes that have correlated with Mars in Scorpio igniting the friction between Saturn and Uranus may already be obvious, the Moon being eclipsed only a couple of days after the exact opposition between Mars and Uranus will bring a stronger sense for how inner processes are being transmuted in correlation. Since Venus in Capricorn rules the eclipse and is forming a trine aspect with Uranus and a sextile aspect with Mars, we will be able to attune to deep changes within our inner realm while we simultaneously receive a felt sense for how our interpersonal relationships are likewise shifting in correlation with the larger changes at work.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is separating from a sextile aspect with Pluto in Capricorn and a propulsive square aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius, bringing vital insight into whatever goals and projects connected with our core purpose and values we have been contemplating and developing. As the Moon becomes eclipsed while inhabiting her sign of exaltation, there may be old idealizations that will be brought down from their formerly lofty heights as we realize what their exalted light has been obscuring within shadow. It will be necessary to become clear about the challenges we are facing, while also kindling visions of vivifying growth and creative expression that can emerge within the dismantling and regeneration underway.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse will be partial, meaning that while the shadow cast across the face of the Moon will become ruddy in color, it will not become the more vibrant blood red color that occurs during a total lunar eclipse. The lunar eclipse will be unusually long, in fact the longest partial lunar eclipse since 1440, and visible across North and South America, Asia, and Australia. The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is also a member of an eclipse family associated with the saros series 126, and is the first partial lunar eclipse following a long sequence of total lunar eclipses. The last lunar eclipse in the series was total and took place on 9 November 2003, with the previous total lunar eclipses in the series occurring on 28 October 1985 and 18 October 1967. You may notice some strange recurrences or replicating patterns associated with events that took place during previous lunar eclipses in the series.

Salome and the Apparition of the Baptist’s Head (1876) by Gustave Moreau

Astrological tradition imagines eclipses as a great dragon or serpent consuming the light of our Sun and Moon, with the North Node of the Moon symbolizing its head and the South Node its tail. The Lunar Eclipse at 27º14’ Taurus will be aligned with the head of the dragon, as the North Node of the Moon will be at 1º47’ Gemini, introducing a symbolic dragon with a head in Taurus and tail in Scorpio that will take much stronger form over the course of 2022. The dragon symbolism further links eclipses with ouroboros imagery of a dragon consuming its own tail that has been used in Hermetic arts for ages. The dragon devouring itself mirrors the dissolution of nature that leads to the arising of new forms. In alchemical work the arts of separation and union tied to this imagery reflect our capacity for purifying material attachments. The inner and outer changes we experience in correlation with eclipses can facilitate a letting go of fixation to enable release, while a burgeoning sense of new forms coming together to emerge can be felt.

Since the meaning of a lunar eclipse is rooted in the phenomenon of the Sun casting the Earth’s shadow onto the face of the Moon, Dane Rudhyar interpreted the solar shadow as symbolizing the present overcoming the past as shadows veil the lunar impact of past conditioning and attachments on our present consciousness. Since the Taurus Lunar Eclipse is aligned with the North Node of the Moon while the Sun is illuminating the side of the South Node of the Moon, growth will come from the resolution and release of old issues, emotional material, and familial conditioning that have shaped our actions and relationships. Engaging whatever insights may be excavated or new growth nurtured from the putrefaction of the past will continue to be important as we traverse the strange vortex of time that occurs in between eclipses, as the Taurus Lunar Eclipse will be followed by a Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4 that will be aligned with the South Node of the Moon. The intersection of the past into the coming eclipse portal brings a dragon’s pearl to the surface that has been born from the darkness of the beast’s belly, a natural gem purified across time that now opens awareness to future potential and growth that may emerge from decomposition of the past.

Gorgon (around 580 BC), as depicted on a pediment from the temple of Artemis in Corfu

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse occurs near the fixed star Algol, known as the severed head of Medusa in some traditions and the head of the demon in others. Algol fits well with eclipses due to it being a three star system containing an eclipsing binary which causes Algol to blink in the night sky, as it contains stars that are constantly eclipsing themselves. Just like astrologers have long feared the volatile impact of eclipses within mundane events, so have they also feared Algol. However, although Diana Rosenberg wrote that Algol has been correlated with horrific events in human history, in natal charts “it is not necessarily malevolent and may, in fact, bestow considerable benefits, including intellectual brilliance, creativity and originality.” Rosenberg wrote that having Algol strongly connected to a nativity “does not necessarily mean one will commit or experience violence; it is, rather, that one will not be able to remain aloof from the awareness of that level of human experience, and will be led to come to terms with it in some manner.” Rosenberg gave the examples of a journalist covering tragedies or those called to comfort or assist victims of disaster or those recovering from trauma.

Yet Rosenberg also warned of the potential for one to “lose one’s head” under the influence of Algol, going against better judgement through “dictatorial” and “absolutist” tendencies with an “unwillingness to see any humanity in their opponents,” leading to “wanton aggressiveness,” “criminal intolerance,” and using “religion or intense patriotism to justify violence against others.” Similarly, Bernadette Brady wrote that “Algol represents a strong consuming passion that may devour you with anger and rage.” Yet Brady also wrote that if “one can contain an unconscious compulsion to take revenge, and focus that passion into a more productive outcome, Algol is one of the most powerful stars in the sky.” Along these lines Rosenberg wrote that there is a strong artistic and intellectual side to Algol that can lead to great ambition and accomplishment.

As a result, the eclipse occurring near Algol may bring increased awareness of the ways systemic oppression has been causing devastation within the natural environment and landscape of human relationships. There may be increased waves of anger and rage unleashed in retribution, as well as polarized conflicts within politics continuing with each side locked in projecting back and forth without listening to one another or reflecting on how one’s own shadow may be influencing their behavior. Yet within our personal experience we may gain a deeper sense for how some of our own wounds and frustrating patterns are connected to must vaster ancestral patterns underlying the present conflicts within surrounding culture. Turning within to explore one’s shadow when needed, making effort to pull back one’s projections when possible, and deeply listening to internal processes and the messages received within relationship can help in finding creative ways to engage with whatever material becomes stirred up by the eclipse.

Queen of the Night by Marjorie Miller

Venus in Capricorn rules the eclipse while shining brightly as an evening star following sunset. Venus is out of bounds in southern declination, and so is appearing low in the sky in the northern hemisphere. The freedom oriented nature of Venus being out of bounds is further amplified due to Venus actively engaging and mediating the recent opposition between Mars in Scorpio and Uranus in Taurus that has dislodged and jarred loose stuck material and issues. Venus is separating from a trine aspect with Uranus and applying to a sextile aspect with Mars in Scorpio, both aspects that suggest opportunities being available to become creatively activated. Moreover, there is reception involved in the aspects Venus is making with both Uranus and Mars, as Venus is receiving Uranus within her earthy home of Taurus and Mars is receiving Venus through Venus being in the exaltation of Mars. Venus in Capricorn is capable of enforcing boundaries and cultivating containers within which shared intimacy and creativity may flourish, and her supportive aspects with Mars and Uranus suggest opportunities for deepening our engagement with whatever relational processes and revelations become activated while also having the courage to embrace the depths of our experience.

Yet Venus is also beginning to approach another significant aspect with Pluto in Capricorn that will become stronger as we approach the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4. Venus will be within three degrees of a conjunction with Pluto during the upcoming solar eclipse, eventually forming a conjunction with Pluto on December 11 the first time and then again on December 25 after stationing retrograde on December 19. Venus will then remain within three degrees of Pluto until January 1, 2022. Although Venus is twelve degrees away from Pluto during the Taurus Lunar Eclipse, during the waning half of the lunar cycle we will be gaining a stronger sense of whatever deep material that Venus and Pluto will be bringing to the surface for an extended process of engagement.

The approaching confrontation between Venus and Pluto conjures the myth of Persephone aka Proserpina and her mother Demeter aka Ceres. During the Taurus Lunar Eclipse, Ceres is retrograde in Gemini near the north node of the Moon, with the eclipsed Moon applying toward a conjunction with Ceres. There is a fascinating link between the Taurus Lunar Eclipse and the present period of Ceres retrograde: the degree of the lunar eclipse at 27º14′ Taurus is the same degree where Ceres will eventually station direct on January 14, 2022 at 27º58′ Taurus. Thus whatever material emerges from shadows in connection with the lunar eclipse may have an important relationship with whatever material that Ceres is leading us to remember and integrate during the course of her present retrograde. Ceres previously stationed retrograde on October 8, 2021 at 12º08′ Gemini, creating a region from twelve degrees of Gemini to twenty-seven degrees of Taurus to pay attention to in your natal chart. An incredible additional synchronicity is that the Persephone asteroid stationed retrograde at the same time as Ceres, within a few degrees, and so is also on a simultaneous retrograde journey nearby Ceres.

Ceres 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, and her retrograde passage can correlate with her passage of grief following the loss of her daughter to the underworld.  Just as the Taurus 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. Ceres reveals the importance of taking time and space away from production in order to grieve and tend to inner darkness, while also illuminating the resolve necessary to return to the world of suffering in order to bolster strength in others. Just as the myth of Ceres/Demeter tells the story of how the mystery initiations were brought to humanity, so does the connection of the dwarf planet Ceres with the Taurus Lunar Eclipse suggest paying mindful attention to the deeper mystery of your experiences and what important aspects of soul are emerging within your interactions with others that contain a wealth of insight to reflect upon and slowly integrate across the course of Ceres being retrograde.

7 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 3 Decan

The Moon will be eclipsed in the third decan of Taurus associated with the Seven of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of a farmer or gardener carefully watching over the growth of green foliage he hopes will ultimately ripen into a bountiful harvest, it is a card of delayed gratification that necessitates patiently cultivating the process at work so that a savory climax of fulfilling ripeness can later be enjoyed. Fittingly, Saturn rules the third face of Taurus as it is zodiacal terrain where the calm, prudent, and attentive countenance of the farmer in the image of the Seven of Pentacles is needed to make sure all of the necessary planning and responsibilities will be completed even when facing adversity. Similarly, we will need to mediate whatever blessings or burdens emerge with the Taurus Lunar Eclipse while maintaining a long range perspective that will allow for carefully tending to and nurturing the needs of our relationships and endeavors so that they may ultimately bloom in healthy wholeness.  

The destabilizing nature of eclipses aligns well with the meaning that Austin Coppock gave to the third face of Taurus in his book 36 Faces. Coppock ascribed the image of “A String of Prayer Beads” to this face, stating that it “represents a confrontation with destructive factors which impede completion,” as well as the need to enact remediation and “make plans to accommodate the unforeseen.”  While Coppock acknowledged that we must face toil and difficulty at times in this decan due to everything that can go wrong in between the germination of a seed and its ultimate flowering and fruiting, he also listed virtues such as “wisdom, patience, humility, and foresight” as being “the unexpected fruits of the destructive forces which prowl this face.” Indeed, Coppock concluded that while this face may make us confront potential disaster, it is also a place from which we can call for support from higher powers and worthy allies while developing the remedies needed to overcome threats. 

T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets made the astute observation that it is important to “consider the nature of boundaries” in all of the decans ruled by Saturn, as “freedom depends on its limits.” Chang also noted that the image of the farmer staring into space in the Seven of Pentacles image suggests “a sort of timelessness” inherent in the card’s meaning, not unlike the role Saturn plays in astrology as the threshold guardian between time and timelessness. To Chang there is a lesson in this face found within the relationship between our finite perception of time and the truly infinite nature of time. Indeed, by patiently attending to what needs to be completed or cared for in accordance with the finiteness of time, we may also gain wisdom from and find strength within the infiniteness of time in ways that can help us withstand hardship and toil. 

Since the Taurus Lunar Eclipse will be followed by a Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4, we have forewarning that significant changes will be occurring, especially for those whose natal charts have natal placements impacted by the eclipses. The wisdom of the third decan of Taurus suggests we may prepare through patient attention to whatever needs attending to, as well as by reaching out for support from those who will be able to assist us through whatever transitions we will be moving through. Choose rest and personal nurturance rather than burning yourself out through overproduction, as there will be much to gain through focusing on mutually supportive relationships and taking the time to attend to foundational elements of life that will bolster your long-term health and prosperity.

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References

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars. Weiser.

Brady, Bernadette. (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. The Wessex Astrologer.

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press. 

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

George, Demetra. (1994). Finding Our Way Through the Dark: an astrological companion to Mysteries of the Dark Moon. AFA.

Rosenberg, Diana. (2012). Secrets of the Ancient Skies, Volume 1. Ancient Skies Press.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1980). The Astrology of Transformation. Quest Books

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