Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius

Ultimum Conjunction: Jupiter and the Royal Eagles of Projection (2019) by Marlene Seven Bremner

Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius

The usual silvery luminescence of the Moon turns blood red during a total lunar eclipse. The thrust of primal change, the disruption of existing stability, the awakening of what had been dormant that pours down from one can feel as extraordinary as glimpsing the Moon cloaked in rose. It can feel like the emptying of bloodletting that imbalances while rebalancing, as storylines surge with stunning developments, old forms and relationships leave our life as vital new forms and relationships take root. After the Moon’s glow transfigures into vermillion vibrancy only to have its red mask peeled back again, the wake of the eclipse may bring about a shedding of crucial elements of past patterns that allows for new stories to emerge.

While total lunar eclipses normally have a more powerful impact than the usual full moon, they tend to correspond with dramatic life changes when impacting important degrees in one’s natal chart. The Total Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on May 26, 2021 will be at 5°25′ Sagittarius with the South Node of the Moon at 10°43′ Sagittarius, and so if you have important parts of your natal chart in the first ten degrees of the mutable signs you will be more likely to be experiencing life altering events. In some cases, eclipses can correspond with experiences that result in radical changes that take us in completely new directions as we must let go simultaneously of the way things have been. For others an eclipse may come and go without obvious external changes appearing, but even in these cases there is typically an important inner metamorphosis happening in correspondence.

During the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse the Sun will be on the side of the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, casting the shadow of Earth across the face of the Moon. Dane Rudhyar described lunar eclipses as facilitating the emergence of new presence in how we meet experiences due to the Moon being covered in shadow, since the Moon holds memories and material from our past as well as unconscious patterns we have replicating. With the Moon forming a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius, while the Sun is joined by both Mercury and Venus on the side of the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, we may experience a confrontation with inner beliefs that have been dictating what we do and do not engage with or conceive as being possible. We may be drawn back into old stories or have fears of old storylines repeating in the new stories we are beginning. Yet the dissolving impact of the South Node of the Moon can facilitate an emptying and release of the thought forms and belief structures that are no longer serving us and in fact are getting in the way of embracing inner changes, embodying and expressing the new desires emerging from within.

Jupiter in Pisces not only rules the eclipse but is also forming a catalyzing square aspect with the syzygy, further facilitating a deepening into disassembling old beliefs in order to synthesize and weave together new meaning and vision. The eclipsed Moon will be separating from a square aspect with Jupiter in Pisces and applying toward a trine with Chiron in Aries and a sextile with Saturn in Aquarius, aspects which can foster growth and development within any chaotic changes happening. It’s especially important that Saturn in Aquarius stationed retrograde only a few days before the eclipse on May 22, giving extra prominence to the influence of Saturn and the lessons that Saturn has been demanding that we face and develop understanding from. With Jupiter at full strength in Pisces and Saturn making the weight of its gravity felt through the stillness of its stationing, pay attention to the inspiring new visions and desires being stirred up, devoting yourself and committing to putting in patient and steady work that will please Saturn. At the same time, if we wish to align with what Jupiter in Pisces has to offer we need to expand our vision of the potential we can bring into reality and embody in our life.

With the eclipse moving in between aspects between Jupiter in its home of Pisces and Saturn in its home of Aquarius, its tidal force will bring propulsive developments to the ways we have been changed and are continuing to change in correspondence with the grand conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that rippled outward on the solstice at the end of 2020. In fact, the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse on May 26 as well as the Gemini Solar Eclipse on June 10 are the first eclipses to follow the Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius that occurred on December 14, 2020 only a week before the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn. It’s hard to properly conceptualize the enormity of the Jupiter Saturn conjunction arriving on the solstice while simultaneously ushering in a new elemental era of air conjunctions between them, and we are only at the beginning of recognizing how our collective structures and personal lives will be irrevocably transfigured in correspondence. Yet we may certainly say that the forthcoming eclipse season will bring about an acceleration of the elements that have been shifting, breaking down, reforming, and recombining into new mixtures full of vital potency.

Moreover, as the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn was applying to a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus, and since the waning square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that will be occurring three times in 2021 is the predominant astrological theme of the year, it’s further significant that the trajectory of the Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on May 26 followed by the Solar Eclipse in Gemini on June 10 will be leading us into the second exact square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that will take place on June 14, 2021. While in the past month the liberating impulses of Uranus in Taurus were stoked by stimulation from Venus, Mercury, and the Sun, whatever far reaching visions and desires were awakened must now be brought into relationship with the reordering of Saturn in Aquarius. With Saturn stationing only a few days before the eclipse and Saturn in Aquarius forming major aspects with the eclipses in Sagittarius and Gemini, we can now begin the process of discovering how to tend to both our imaginal landscape as well as our physical reality so that we may slowly and surely build and modify, create and recreate whatever is needed for the new visions to be nurtured in their roots so that they may blossom into vibrant strength.

In the Night by Morris Graves

Waiting in the wings of the eclipse with a patient intensity ready to pierce through the underlying dynamics of events is perhaps the most important character in the eclipse story to come: Hermes. Just like Saturn is carrying extra intensity due to stationing a few days before the eclipse, so is Mercury as the star of Hermes will station retrograde a few days after the eclipse on May 29 at 24°43′ Gemini. Mercury not only carries important influence over events associated with the eclipses due to stationing, but also due to the fact that Mercury is ruling the North Node of the Moon and will be ruling the upcoming Solar Eclipse in Gemini on June 10. In fact, in between Mercury stationing retrograde on May 29 and the solar eclipse on June 10, Mercury will be descending into the underworld in its psychopomp role of releasing what needs to be shed from our past, bringing us into deeper relationship with the new interests and ideas incubating within our inner darkness. Amazingly, Mercury will be forming its inferior conjunction with the Sun, when it is reseeded with the creative potency of its forthcoming cycle, at the same time as the Gemini Solar Eclipse. The powerful role Mercury will be playing in the weeks to come will be important to remember, and so we will need to maintain a flexibility of consciousness that is curious about the unexpected, finds meaning in synchronicities and changes in plan, and is willing to shift and move with the twists and turns in storylines that will occur.

Yet Mercury will not be retrograde when the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse occurs, and instead will be twinkling with light in the liminal shifting of hues following sunset. Most importantly, Mercury will be joined in the sky by Venus who is getting brighter and brighter as an Evening Star each day. The applying conjunction between Venus with Mercury, the ruler of the North Node of the Moon, suggests being mindful of our relationships and the ways our relational needs are changing. It will be important to engage in communication within relationships, and the link between Venus and Mercury further suggests it may be a time of transition in relationships with certain ones passing away as new ones grow in strength. It can also be a fruitfully creative time for experimenting with writing, art, or any crafts where Venus and Mercury can combine. Since Venus is only at the beginning of her new Evening Star phase and we are still settling into what has been reborn in correspondence with her superior conjunction with the Sun at the end of March, the fact that Mercury is pausing to wait for her suggests he will receive an important message from her regarding our desires and creativity to carry with him during his upcoming retrograde journey through the underworld and back again.

Mercury and Venus previously formed a conjunction on April 25, 2021 in Taurus a few degrees away from Uranus and also closely in range of a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. Their next exact conjunction will be on May 28 at 24°41′ Gemini at the same time that Mercury is stationing retrograde, with both Venus and Mercury forming a catalyzing square aspect with Neptune in Pisces. Since they are uniting while also forming a square with Neptune in Pisces, on one level we can observe how Mercury and Venus have been weaving together storylines and setting off foreshadowing that links together the events connected with the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus with the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces that will be a pivotal influence during 2022. However, rather than being swept away by dreams of the future we will need to focus on how things are developing in the present, drawing inspiration from whatever exciting new visions are being stimulated by the tension between Neptune with Venus and Mercury.

Indeed, the square aspect between Mercury and Neptune will be unusually long and merits closer examination. Mercury first formed a square aspect with Neptune on May 22, moving within three degrees of a square with Neptune on May 18. Mercury will remain within three degrees of a square aspect with Neptune until June 11, meaning that it will be tightly forming a square with Neptune from now all the way through the upcoming Gemini Solar Eclipse. It will be a potent period for dreaming and exploring imaginal landscapes, surrendering to feelings and letting old blockages erode within the oceanic waves of Neptune. Yet at the same time, Mercury being strong in its own airy home will be capable of retrieving pivotal insight, curiously exploring and examining the shells washing up on the shoreline of our psyche. There will be added intensity to the square between Mercury and Neptune during the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse, as Venus will be amplifying their dynamic as she passes through an exact square aspect with Neptune on May 27 and a conjunction with Mercury on May 28.

In addition, another major underlying influence during the eclipse will be the opposition forming between Mars in Cancer with Pluto in Capricorn that will eventually become exact on June 5. Mars in Cancer will be forming a flowing trine aspect with Neptune that it will complete on May 30, while Neptune is also in range of a harmonious sextile aspect with Pluto. The opposition between Mars and Pluto can have multivalent meaning in many different contexts, ranging from an intensification of desire, enmeshment within difficult power dynamics, or a need to be resiliently empowered in the face of strong opposition among many other possible impacts. Due to Mars and Pluto also forming aspects with Neptune, it will be important to pay close attention to inner feelings and any way we may be projecting internal dynamics on others. At the same time, these same aspects could be bringing genuine ideals and visions of authentic actualization to develop within our relationships and work. Combined with everything else, it will be important to avoid negating the beautiful vision of what can potentially be developed while also making sure to remain grounded and tend to whatever needs care within relationships and what will need to be altered or modified within work and creative projects.

Temperance by Leonora Carrington

Although there are a lot of intense astrological aspects surrounding the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse, the fact that Jupiter in Pisces is ruling the eclipse brings greater potential for integration and being able to gather deeper meaning and inspiration from our experiences. Within the nocturnal water of Pisces, Jupiter can facilitate a sinking into deeper embodiment the more we let things slow down and take shape rather than trying to force things to happen or speed up events. Jupiter in Pisces can assist in seeing through and feeling into experiences, finding coherence through relating to what is happening within us as well as listening and relating within our external relationships. No matter what sort of volatile events erupt in the weeks ahead, see how you can draw on the combined strength of Jupiter in Pisces (ruling the South Node) and Mercury in Gemini (ruling the North Node) for blending, moderating, and measuring how you are internally impacted, finding outlets for circulating and moving the energy through you. As old beliefs and dreams are released into the eclipse portal aligned with the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius, the presence of Jupiter in Pisces will be ready to spin new tales and construct new stories that will be more aligned with whatever new presence is emerging from within.

The XIV Temperance arcanum in tarot has been syncretized by many with the zodiac sign of Sagittarius. In their book on the tarot, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa wrote the following message spoken by Temperance:

“I’ve been called ‘guardian angel’; that is how the Church imagined me, with the appearance of a child. I am that, but I am also much more than that. I am a part of your subconscious, its benevolent part, the part that helps and keeps watch over you even when you are sleeping. I am there to urge you to act when an action is good for you. Trust me: I am here to balance you. Those who suffer and torture themselves do not know me, yet I am also there for them. I am only waiting for them to see me and to call upon me.

“I ask only one thing of you: that you recognize that you are not alone. But then you ask, what must be done to reach me? I shall answer you: you must begin by imagining me. You may first invoke my childish image of a guardian angel; that’s a good start. Play with me like a child speaking to his angel. Act as if I existed. Imagine me, there, right next to you, all the time, and that my sole purpose is to help you. Most importantly, like a trusting child, you must accept my aid.”

The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa
8 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Sagittarius 1 Decan

The Moon will be eclipsed in the first decan of Sagittarius associated with the Eight of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we can see eight staffs or wands sailing swiftly across the sky and above a flowing river, evoking a focus on movement. Indeed, the Eight of Wands signifies a multiplicity of developments as well as the speed of thought applied to a passionate goal, which fits well with Mercury being the ruler of the first face of Sagittarius. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces described the chief meaning of this decan being “the speed of an idea or vision, the velocity of imagination,” writing that “the essence of this decan entails the swift emergence of a motivating vision and the attainment of a vehicle to move one toward the pictured goal.”

Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “The Poisoned Arrow” to the first decan of Sagittarius, describing the complex relationship between the speed of vision found within this face and the potential to have thought manipulated by external sources. In part Coppock related this concept to the attribution of daimons of plague by the Hellenistic text 36 Airs to this face, noting this decan also involves “the secrets of propaganda” and other viruses that can “infect the psyche” and hijack our bodies, emotions, and minds, like influential ideas and propaganda that goes viral on the Internet. Coppock further noted that the “energy patterning of this decan is linear and ruthless,” like an arrow shot with violent precision at a target. As a result, the first decan of Sagittarius teaches the importance of remembering that our mind, body, and emotions are vulnerable to infections from external sources. By protecting our psyche from external manipulation, Coppock further pointed out that we can instead become infected with “enthusiasm.” Indeed, also present within this face is “the ideal self, the half divine hero . . . composed entirely of spirit fire” from whom “a story unfolds – a quest, a target, a driven myth.”

With Jupiter in Pisces ruling the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse, we can expect new myths and stories to emerge within our collective psyche. As Wole Soyinka wrote in his introduction to his interpretation of The Bacchae of Euripedes, “Myth is part wish-fulfillment through hero projections” as well as “an outline for action, especially for groups within society who have experienced loss and deprivation.” Regarding the figure of Dionysus who is deeply resonant with Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces, Soyinka wrote that the history of Dionysus “was extravagantly rich in all the ingredients of a ravaged social psyche: displacement, suppression of identity, dissociation, dispossession, trials and the goal of restoration.” Just like Soyinka pointed out how Dionysus as “deity of the moist elements” connected the masses with the rhythms of Nature as well as allowed for the release of “the pent-up frustrated energy of all the downtrodden,” so can we expect a regeneration of collective myths and stories to emerge giving voice to those who have been on the outskirts of consensus, central narrative viewpoints. Within your personal life, listen for the voice of your guardian daimon/angel and the enlivening quests and stories ready to emerge from a new chapter in your life. The illuminated intuition found within, vivified by inner spirit fire, may guide the way forward if we trust it.

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References

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

Jodorowsky, Alejandro and Costa, Marianne. (2004). The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards. Destiny Books.

Soyinka, Wole. (1973). The Bacchae of Euripedes: A Communion Rite. W.W. Norton & Company.

Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius

charles white love letter III

Love Letter III (1973) by Charles White

Take up the blood from the grass, sun.
Take it up.
These people do not thirst for it.
Take up the insect children that play in
the grass, sun.
Take them away.
These people are sick of them.
Take down the long slender reeds, sun.
Cut them down.
These people cannot make flutes any longer.
Now sun, come closer to the earth!
Even closer than that.
Closer. Now, sun.
Take away the shape from the metal, sun.
They are like stone, these people.
Now make them lava.

— Henry Dumas, Kef 12

Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius

Eclipses bring shadows. Shadows that cloak and conceal light. Shadows that disrupt your carefully arranged plans and destabilize your certainty. Eclipses bring the timeless into time, the primordial into the present. Some say it’s a dragon that consumes the Moon. A dragon whose tail weaves around you like a snake and pulls you into inner depths. Some want to slay the dragon, while those over there want to ride it. Its silvery scales reflect back all of your dogma with the glare of your ideals and self-righteousness.

The Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse on June 5, 2020 is the first of a series of eclipses that will occur in the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius until December 2021. With the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, the Gemini side of your natal chart will be receiving a surge of increased curiosity and desire to ask questions and gather information. The influence from Gemini disrupts and divides in order to form new connections that weave together a greater diversity of perspectives. With the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius, the Sagittarius side of your natal chart will be called to release the ways in which society or your surrounding culture has conditioned you into beliefs that are no longer aligned with your experience, as Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto dredge up the accumulated toxicity of civilizations impacted by colonizing empires.

A confrontation is necessary with the inner source of your perceptions, the place your perspective projects from and distorts your relationships with others. Discernment is needed regarding which beliefs need to be sacrificed and let go due the way they have become interwoven into structural systems of societal oppression that cause harm through institutional “-isms” like racism and sexism. This inner work is vital due to the likelihood that the many people unwilling to do this inner work will only have their dogmatic and self-righteous beliefs reinforced and amplified in reaction to the web of events unleashed by the eclipses in the next couple of months.

Eclipses can feel like a tidal force taking you into the unknown, ready or not. Eclipses involve the ouroboros imagery of a dragon consuming its own tail, mirroring 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 reflects the ability to purify material attachments.  Eclipses open a period of great change during which we can more readily release fixation on the elements of our life in need of letting go, while a burgeoning promise of new forms coming together can be felt. In the United States of America, the protests and riots that have erupted over the murder of George Floyd have made it clear that the Gemini-Sagittarius dragon beginning to take form will be demanding a confrontation with the racism that has been embedded within the societal structures of the USA since the dawn of its creation and which has been part of the militarization of its police forces.

During a lunar eclipse the Sun casts a shadow of our Earth upon the face of the Moon, turning it blood red during a total lunar eclipse. However, the Gemini Sun is too far from the lunar nodes to redden the face of the Sagittarius Moon and will instead project a diffuse shadow. Although it’s not a total eclipse, the Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius is extremely potent due to the Moon applying closely to an intensifying square aspect with Mars and the eclipse forming only a couple of days after Venus retrograde has been reanimated by the Sun. The death of the previous phase of Venus and the revitalization of values reseeded by the recent union of Venus with the Sun will be projecting the shadow through the solar rays, calling each of us to search within our inner shadows to be accountable for whatever ways we have been complicit in sustaining the systemic forms of oppression that have been erupting and demanding attention in correlation with the paradigm shattering astrology of 2020.

As the shadow projected from the Gemini Sun will obscure and inhibit the light reflected by the Sagittarius Moon, there is a traditional association of the populace being more impacted than those in positions of rulership or government leadership. We will be experiencing three eclipses in a row, with the Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on June 5 and the Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn on July 4 being much weaker in impact than the Solar Eclipse in Cancer on June 21 that will be extremely close to the North Node of the Moon, resulting in the visual effect of a glowing ring encircling a completely blackened Sun.  Thus while we will enter and leave the eclipse season of June and July with eclipses more directly impacting the people, the most intense and disruptive eclipse in the middle is focused more intensely on those in positions of leadership and high office. We will all be impacted on deep levels by the Solar Eclipse on June 21 that will occur on the Solstice, and this means that its coming intensity will be increasingly felt during the waning half of the current lunar cycle.

In contrast to a solar eclipse in which the Sun is overwhelmed by the shadow of the Moon, symbolically 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. Linking the Moon to what we carry from the past within our body and mind, the past transmutes in the shadowy face of the Moon to allow for new emergence and presence.  Dane Rudhyar in The Astrology of Transformation wrote that at a lunar eclipse “the traditional perspective born of past experiences of adjusting to life and society is blotted out by an eagerness to meet experience in a new, original manner.” Rudhyar’s emphasis on new choices and vision is amplified by the Sun being on the side of the North Node of the Moon in Gemini. Yet it’s also important to bring discernment toward the tendency of the North Node of the Moon to amplify ambitions, especially as we get closer to the North Node Solar Eclipse on June 21. The Sagittarius Moon heading toward a union with the South Node of the Moon can bring balance by letting go of the material attachments that need to be released.

jean-michel-basquiat-back-of-the-neck

Back of the Neck (1983) by Jean-Michel Basquiat

The Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius is applying closely to a catalyzing square aspect with Mars, bringing a lot of volatility, destructiveness, and super charged passions into the impact of the lunation. Mars is also being initiated into a key phase of its synodic cycle with the Sun as it forms a waxing first quarter square with the Sun. As Mars enters the second quarter of its cycle it will become increasingly heated, maturing in power as it approaches its retrograde phase in Aries that will begin in September. Mars is one of the key players in the astrological drama of 2020, not only due to the hard aspects it has been and will be continuing to make with Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, but also due to it forming a series of three first quarter square aspects with Venus during the year. Now that we have passed through the second square aspect between Mars and Venus this year, the societal issues of strife that need repair, the levels of protection that need to be implemented, have become much more obvious.

In the week following the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse, Mars will be getting closer and closer to its conjunction with Neptune it will complete on June 13 at 20º56′ Pisces, around the same time that Venus retrograde will be returning to visibility in pre-dawn skies in its Morning Star phase. As the present Venus retrograde began with a square aspect between Neptune and Venus, there has been a great dissolution of Neptune looming over and flooding events. Many blame Neptune as being a source of poisonous illusions, but perhaps it is Neptune that exposes one’s own inner poisons and the ways one has become consumed by linear concepts of time and perspectives disconnected from relationship with the interconnected web of meaning underlying reality. Neptune is capable of flooding structural systems with a wave that will persist and dissolve attempts to hold it back through control. The present movement of Mars toward Neptune is likely to result in a persistent push within the populace to protest systems of oppression with inspired determination.

Mars in Pisces is also heading toward a square with the lunar nodes at the southern bending, a place in which its fiery desire will be kindled by the full potency of our unconscious. Vitally, Mars is presently at the southern bending of the nodes of Uranus, as the Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius is aligned with the planetary nodes of Uranus. While the Gemini Sun is conjoining the North Node of Uranus, the eclipsed Sagittarius Moon is conjoining the South Node of Uranus. This means that both the eclipse as well as Mars are activating the archetypal sweep of Uranus at an incredibly deep level. This brings a full activation of Uranus into the Lunar Eclipse that carries the legacy of previous movements for emancipation and liberation across time into the present. With regard to the United States of America, it is further compelling that the Sibley chart often used as its national nativity has an ascendant close to the South Node of Uranus and a descendant close to the North Node of Uranus.

Moreover, the nodes of Venus are also activated in addition to the nodes of Uranus, as the recent inferior conjunction of Venus on June 3 was conjoining the geocentric North Node of Venus, and the Lunar Eclipse is also in alignment with the heliocentric nodes of Venus. This further means that not only was Mars recently forming an exact square with Venus, it also is forming an exact square to the heliocentric nodes of Venus.  Again, this points to the extraordinary confluence of century old issues of oppression becoming activated and how the police murder of George Floyd just as Venus was descending into darkness has been able to demand more attention than ever be brought to the longstanding oppression of black people by law enforcement in the USA. The complex astrology of the nodes of both Venus and Uranus being catalyzed by the Lunar Eclipse reveals the extraordinary potential of the moment for a deep confrontation with one’s inner values and to what degree we are embodying and living in full integrity with our authentic values.

Mercury is the ruler of the North Node and the Sun in Gemini and is out of bounds in Cancer. Mercury is also at maximum elongation as an Evening Star, meaning that it is slowing down to reach the same speed as the Sun in preparation for stationing retrograde on June 17. Gary Caton in his book Hermetica Triptycha revealed that Mercury reaches maximum elongation around the same degree where it will eventually experience it’s union with the Sun when retrograde (in this case it’s 9-10º Cancer on June 4 and June 30) and that this sometimes happens in close proximity with a fixed star. For this cycle of Mercury, its maximum elongation is occurring close to Alhena in the heel of the immortal twin Pollux in the Gemini constellation. Bernadette Brady described Alhena as the “Proudly Marching One,” the “heel of an immortal or sacred one who touches the earth with great pride” and “is associated with the following of a cause, a belief for which one will march”

basquiat jesse

Jesse (1983) by Jean-Michel Basquiat

The Lunar Eclipse is ruled by Jupiter in Capricorn as it approaches its second conjunction with Pluto that will form on June 30. Jupiter aligning with Pluto in its fall of Capricorn has been exposing numerous issues of injustice and oppression within society, but as Jupiter carries significations of justice it is especially relevant for the entire system of justice and law enforcement within the USA to be on trial during the Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius. The passage of Jupiter passing through its fall of Capricorn under the wing of Pluto will not be easy, but the societal atrocities and injustices it will continue to expose will be necessary in order to have any hope of addressing and repairing them through reformation. Things must fall apart before they can come back together, and so as structural systems continue to become destabilized and destroyed it will be vital to maintain ones inner sense of integrity, accountability, authority, and responsibility in order to help guide us through to the other side.

Jupiter and Pluto form conjunctions roughly every twelve and a half years, including in previous years of immense volatility in society such as in 1968 and 1931. The present union of Jupiter and Pluto has been similar disruptive as 1968 and 1931 due to it also being part of larger outer planetary alignments. While in 2020 we have Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto all beginning a new cycle together, in 1968 we experienced Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto ending and beginning new cycles together. Furthermore, the 1931 conjunction between Jupiter and Pluto was in opposition with Saturn in Capricorn while Uranus in Aries was forming square aspects with both Saturn as well as the Jupiter Pluto conjunction.

The worst side of Jupiter Pluto conjunctions can be seen in the rise of totalitarian groups following the economic instability surrounding the 1931 conjunction. In Planetary Cycles: Mundane Astrology, André Barbault demonstrated how the roots of the totalitarian surge in 1931 can be found in nationalist groups that began rising in power following the Jupiter and Pluto conjunction in 1918 and the economic crises of that period. This is the compulsive side of Jupiter and Pluto that involves obsessive desire for power sourced from shadowy fear that we need to be on guard against as we enter a time period of not only great economic instability but also amplified conflict over racism and the militarization of law enforcement.

The asteroid Pallas Athena is co-present with Jupiter and Pluto during all three of their conjunctions in 2020, and has recently slipped through the border between Capricorn and Aquarius to rejoin Jupiter and Pluto in retrograde movement through Capricorn. Pallas Athena brings a complicated mythology with her, an upholder of law and order in civilization whose mythic origins link her further back to the divine goddesses of Cunning Wisdom and Justice whose power goes far beyond attempts of control by ruling empires. Above all, Pallas Athena brings the gifts of strategy and the kind of prophetic vision that can anticipate troubles and formulate effective strategies in response.  As Pallas Athena moves retrograde through Capricorn with Jupiter and Pluto, as issues of injustice and inequity continue to be exposed, it will be up to each one of us to formulate effective strategies of response to protect those who are vulnerable and to be accountable in devising cunning ways of bringing about a fundamental reordering of societal structures.

wands09

9 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Sagittarius 2 Decan

The Moon will be partially eclipsed in the second decan of Sagittarius associated with the Nine of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  In the image a bandaged and alert figure stands with his chosen staff planted firmly in the ground, with eight other wands of varying size rooted behind him. There is a resilient strength and courage to persist in the face of opposition found here that resonates with the meaning of the second face of Sagittarius. It is significant that the figure has been wounded at the top of his head, as Sagittarius unifies fiery spirit with the will of the body. Since the Moon and Mars rule the second face of Sagittarius, the fact that the eclipsed Moon in its own face is forming a square with Mars makes the meaning of this decan especially activated.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Bridle” to the second face of Sagittarius, stating that the battles and conflicts pictured in the Nine of Wands card “are necessary to inflame the will and provide the heat necessary for the fusion of the mind and body.” Coppock praised the capacity of the second face of Sagittarius “to keep the body and mind in line with intention, despite contrary forces,” as its rulership by the Moon and Mars brings the ferocious resiliency needed to protect what we most value in the face of opposition with all of the odds stacked against us.  Yet Coppock cautioned that while the second face of Sagittarius “represents a formula for strength in the face of opposition,” we must discern when circumstances “do not demand, nor reward such a response” but instead require yielding to develop a different strategy.

The dichotomy of fighting to protect a vision, whether it is securing a boon through victory or bewailing the loss of defeat, is found in ancient textual images of the second decan of Sagittarius. In the Birhat Jakarta a golden woman of grace picks up gems from the ocean, while in The Beginning of Wisdom by Ibn Ezra as well as the Yavanajataka there is a chest of golden ornaments and jewels set before a beautiful woman. These images are in contrast to images in other tomes signifying sadness and fear, such as a “lamenting woman” in Three Books of Occult Philosophy.  These images of mourning and unearthed treasure are also curiously resonant with the figure of Kore (aka Persephone) who was ascribed to the second face of Sagittarius by the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs. Austin Coppock linked Kore’s presence here with her form as Persephone Praxidike, mistress of the furies and the forces of nemesis that create the adversarial force necessary to bring forth our most heroic qualities.

Kore, daughter of the sky god and earth goddess, queen of the underworld, is interesting to consider in relation to the Lunar Eclipse coinciding with the nadir of the present Venus retrograde in Gemini with Venus passing through the underworld. Within the next couple of weeks, Venus retrograde will re-emerge from her present underworld passage into visibility again as she continues to slowly move backwards in retrograde motion. When Kore ascends to the upper world she retains connection with her presence in the underworld where she is a mediatrix of soul. While Kore conducts work and connects in relationship above ground, she remembers her role underground guiding souls.

At the present time of the Lunar Eclipse, however, we are only beginning to emerge from the deepest levels of purgation brought by Venus retrograde. Allow the inner burning of her inner fire to melt down your fixed notions of certainty so you can align with want wants to emerge from you in the new cycle of Venus to come. As we deepen into the chaotic flux of eclipse season, be willing to listen to what the wider community needs from you and the gifts you possess that need to be developed to support, protect, and inspire others.

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References

Barbault, André. (2014). Planetary Cycles: Mundane Astrology. The Astrological Association.

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

Caton, Gary. (2017). Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year. Rubedo Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.