Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio
The first week of May marks a turning in the seasons as the Sun reaches fifteen degrees of Taurus, placing the Sun midway between the Aries equinox and the Cancer solstice. In the northern hemisphere the corresponding blossoms of Spring herald the transition toward Summer and the seasonal festival of Beltane. Just like Beltane is a pivotal point in the year, so will the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio on 5 May signify leaving one phase of life behind for another. Though the Lunar Eclipse at 14º58’ Scorpio is penumbral and so will not result in the face of the Moon turning blood red, shadows will nonetheless obscure the light of the Scorpio Moon. With the watery nature of the eclipse accentuated by Mars, Saturn, and Neptune also occupying water signs, emotional purging may be necessary as unsettling emotions and memories emerge to be released and washed away.
The shadowy cloaking of the Moon’s light in the watery depth of Scorpio will have a dissolving effect upon the places where we have held onto fixed perspectives that have perpetuated problems. Since the Moon will be eclipsed on the side of the South Node while being overcome by shadows emitted from the Sun on the side of the North Node, the inner processes of disintegration and decomposition passing through can ultimately lead to the arising of regenerated forms of growth that can become sources of support and stability in the season ahead. Yet the penetrating absorption of the Scorpio Moon may soak up toxic, painful, or confusing feelings that will need to be dissolved as part of the process. James Hillman in Alchemical Psychology wrote that it is our “weeping, bleeding, sweating, urinating” that brings our alchemical Salt “out of its underground mines. It appears in our moistures, which are the flow of salt to the surface . . . Moments of dissolution are not mere collapses; they release a sense of personal human value from the encrustations of habit.”
The eclipsed Moon in Scorpio will be separating from a square with Pluto in Aquarius, a trine with Saturn in Pisces and an opposition with Mercury retrograde in Taurus while applying toward an opposition with Uranus in Taurus and flowing trine aspects with Mars in Cancer and Neptune in Pisces. The opposition between the Lunar Eclipse with Mercury retrograde and Uranus in Taurus is chaotic and could involve sudden plot twists to negotiate. Yet the tension with Uranus also means that some of the dredged-up material could lead to valuable insight and creative breakthroughs that dislodge us from stagnant and stuck patterns in need of letting go. Some of us may need extra time for rest and recovery, while others may need to engage in vigorous activity to help move the energy; one way or another we will need to have remedies and coping strategies ready in case we must attend to anxieties or disruptions to our nervous systems.
The nodes of the Moon are intersections between the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun that forms the zodiac belt) with the arc of the Moon’s orbit. The nodes of the Moon indicate the places where eclipses happen whenever a New Moon or Full Moon forms in close proximity, but they also mark dynamic points of change in lunar orbit. When the Moon passes through her own south node, it means she has descended from northern latitude to cross the ecliptic en route to traveling as far south as possible within her orbit. The descent of the Moon’s orbit during the eclipse is further mirrored by the Moon occupying her fall in Scorpio where she is brought into low lying places of subterranean depth. The Moon in her fall of Scorpio feels things intensely, necessitating a descent into buried, previously hidden material. Remarkably, the wayward path of Mercury retrograde will also be taking the star of Hermes from north to south across the ecliptic in the days surrounding the eclipse. Altogether there is clear symbolism of descent into inner depths where we will encounter material in need of releasing, emptying, detoxifying, purging, or decomposing.
The Scorpio Lunar Eclipse is the final eclipse to occur in the sign of Scorpio within the series of eclipses that have been forming dynamic tension with Uranus in Taurus since 2021. Each eclipse has occurred in either the same sign as Uranus or the opposite sign, increasing the volatile nature of Uranus within collective and personal events. The first eclipse to occur in the same sign as Uranus was the Taurus Lunar Eclipse in November 2021, followed by a Taurus Solar Eclipse in April 2022, a Scorpio Lunar Eclipse in May 2022, a Scorpio Solar Eclipse in October 2022, and a Taurus Lunar Eclipse in November 2022. Whereas the Taurus Lunar Eclipse on 8 November 2022 formed a close conjunction with Uranus, the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse will be forming a close opposition with Uranus. The years since 2020 have coincided with accelerated collective changes, with the Uranus eclipse series amplifying disruptions to old orders of security and stability. Following the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse, there will be one final Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on 28 October 2023 and so the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse will initiate us into the final installment of the story. The personal changes that have erupted in correspondence with these eclipses have been disorienting and exhausting for many, yet in keeping with the nature of Uranus they have also unlocked new sources of creative vitality and direction. As collective systems and structures continue to shape-shift, be curious about your own metamorphosis and explore the ways in which new pathways and opportunities are opening up.
The Scorpio Moon will be eclipsed in the inwardly directed, watery home of Mars while the Moon will be applying toward a flowing trine aspect with Mars. There is mutual reception between the eclipse and the red planet, as the Moon is in the domicile of Mars and Mars is in the domicile of the Moon. Combined with the Moon and Mars additionally forming trine aspects with Neptune in Pisces, there will be a watery triangle formed between the eclipse, Mars, and Neptune. Mars in Cancer can be both creative and protective, yet prone to emotional overwhelm that can make its aggressive expression unhinged and erratic. With the ruler of Mars becoming eclipsed, it will be important to calm nerves and refrain from escalating stress and conflict as much as possible. The influence of Neptune can allow imagination to run wild, which can be positive when focalized on creative expression. However, the distortions of Neptune can make us imagine present dynamics in ways that needlessly magnify difficulties or inaccurately project our own issues upon others. It can be an opportune time for noticing the ways in which your own internal issues are being projected outward through your relationships.
Mars is applying toward a collaborative sextile aspect with Ceres retrograde in Virgo at the same time that Ceres is stationing direct. Ceres will station direct one day after the eclipse while forming a sextile with Mars and a tense opposition with Neptune in Pisces. Ceres stationing at the same time as the eclipse amplifies the presence of Ceres and her multivalent meaning. Issues of food, food shortages, labor strikes and unrest are all topics we can expect to continue surfacing in the news. Due to stationing, Ceres will not form her final opposition with Neptune until 10 June 2023, and so an extended period of Ceres and Neptune holding a tension that could amplify themes of illusion and idealism will follow the eclipse. Ceres in her Greek form of Demeter brought both agriculture as well as the Mysteries to humanity, and so themes of underworld descent and inner revelation will also be amplified by the stationing of Ceres.
Mars applying to sextile Ceres could coincide with actions taken to protect or advocate on behalf of people suffering from food or economic crises as well as issues over mothers, children, land and labor. On personal levels, we can also imagine how Mars passing through a sextile with Ceres can be likened to an initiation of Mars by the Goddess. Ceres in her retrograde journey often brings up issues of grief and trauma and how they intersect with our attachment issues within relationship. Ceres stationed retrograde on 3 February 2023 in Libra while forming an opposition with Jupiter in Aries, and so it’s worth considering where the torch of Ceres has guided you through your own internal darkness since then. Ceres stationing indicates a shift of forward momentum is on the way, yet during the eclipse Ceres will be more in a place of recovery and collecting herself to begin moving forward again in the week ahead. Whatever inner wisdom and awareness of past wounding that Ceres has gathered can be passed along to inform the journey of Mars.
Venus in Gemini will be separating from a disorienting square aspect with Neptune in Pisces during the eclipse, having formed the exact square with Neptune on the day before the eclipse. The tension between Venus and Neptune can boost imaginal exploration and creative expression in some ways, but can also distort issues in ways that amplify the confusing obscuration of the eclipse. There may be realizations that bring about difficult feelings of disillusionment, yet the dissolving nature of the eclipse can be helpful in washing away false projections in order to realign with the deeper truth of circumstances. Venus will enter the watery sign of Cancer a few days after the eclipse on 7 May, offering a period of increased opportunities for sweetness and pleasure within relationship.
Since the eclipse is forming a watery triangle with Neptune in Pisces and Mars in Cancer, its worth considering the larger scope of how the eclipse is situated within the trajectory of Saturn and Neptune in Pisces drawing closer to one another in the years ahead. We are only at the beginning of acclimating to Saturn and Neptune sharing the waters of Pisces, yet numerous collective events that have occurred since Saturn entered Pisces indicate ways in which their shared influence is already being felt. Saturn is not at home in water signs, and the excessive coldness of Saturn is increased by the cold, internal nature of water in ways that can lead into states of depression and emotional overwhelm. Yet at the same time, the dryness of Saturn is tempered by the moistness of Pisces in ways that can accentuate creativity and the synthesis of ideas, influences, and inspiration together. However, since the dryness of Saturn that helps establish restrictions and limits is also being lessened, we will need to make sure we are tending to our own containment and maintaining the necessary boundaries and limits in our lives.
Marsilio Ficino wrote that the reason Saturn excels at discovering and retaining things is that it pulls us down to the center of individual subjects, from the external to the internal, from the circumference to the center; yet while forcing investigations to the center of individual subjects, at the same time Saturn leads us to contemplate the highest realm, because Saturn is the highest planet. As the nocturnal, inwardly directed moistness of Saturn will pull us down into imaginative depths, we will need to be careful to not sink too low into the melancholia of a downward spiral that makes it difficult to stay afloat. The contraction and consolidation of Saturn within the imaginal water of Pisces will call for preservation of our dreams and ideals while we navigate the dissolving and disillusioning influence of Neptune occupying the same sign. Some cherished ideals of the past may need to be washed away, yet underneath the waves new vibrant visions will also be discovered.
In many ways we can associate the extended period of Saturn and Neptune in Pisces with the solutio alchemical phase, with the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse and Mars in Cancer accelerating and deepening our initiation into their dissolution. The solutio phase involves the dissolution of solid, differentiated matter into its original undifferentiated state, known as the prima materia. One of the reasons water is associated with spiritual regeneration is due to the alchemical concept that substances cannot be transformed until reduced to prima materia. Old forms of security and stability will be dissolving, yet within the stirring of Saturn in Pisces new forms will also begin coagulating and emerging with time and attention. As we are only at the beginning of adjusting to Saturn and Neptune it can feel especially confusing, but the more we can begin adjusting now the better we will be able to flow with the tides of change they will be bringing in the years ahead.
Mercury will continue to slowly move backwards in retrograde motion during the week following the eclipse, ultimately stationing direct on 15 May. Make intentional effort to be mindful in the days surrounding Mercury’s stationing, as Mercury’s return to visibility in the sky before dawn will correspond with meaningful messages arising into awareness. The second half of May hosts astrological transits that can activate significant developments and new opportunities, and so utilizing the final period of Mercury retrograde for adjusting routines and personal structures will help prepare for an influx of growth. Mercury will station direct while forming harmonious sextile aspects with Venus in Cancer and Saturn in Pisces, initiating a period of forward momentum that will support dynamic creativity combined with focused, practical application.
The most significant astrological event of May occurs the day after Mercury stations direct, when Jupiter enters Taurus on 16 May. Jupiter has quickly moved through Aries after entering the fiery home of Mars on 20 December 2022, following an additional stint from 11 May to 28 October 2022. While Jupiter in Aries supported accelerated growth and courageous risk taking, the pace of Jupiter will considerably slow down within the fertile, earthy terrain of Taurus. Jupiter in Taurus patiently tends to long-term goals that will foster increased stability and security over time. Jupiter in Taurus loves being surrounded by beauty and favors the tangible and sensual over ungrounded ideas. With both Mercury and Jupiter visible as morning stars heralding sunrise each day in Taurus, it will be an ideal time to construct a garden to contain and nurture the fruits and flowers of your imagination.
Scorpio 2 Decan
The Scorpio Moon will become eclipsed in the second decan of Scorpio associated with the Six of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image reveals the virtuous innocence of receiving through giving, which connects with the Sun and Jupiter being the rulers of the second face of Scorpio. With the Moon becoming eclipsed within the second decan of Scorpio, on one hand it will be important to tend and contain inner processes to avoid adversely impacting relationships with our own emotional purging and purification. On the other hand, we may need to reach out for support or be willing to offer our support and presence to relationships in need of care and nurturance. T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets brilliantly broadened the scope of the personal relationship within the Six of Cups to the “alchemy of sacrifice” between generations and lineages. Chang wrote that “each of us shall pass, but our lineage shall live forever . . . the only prize is the love we bear for one another from one generation to the next.” As the eclipse within the second decan of Scorpio is occurring during a period of accelerated collective change, be mindful of the larger implications of personal choices and the importance of making caring decisions and nurturing actions that keep the livelihoods of future generations in mind.
Austin Coppock in 36 Faces ascribed the image of “An Apparatus for Mutual Distillation” to the second decan of Scorpio, describing it as a face in which mutual distillation within relationship allows for matters to be passed back and forth as in an alembic, “growing increasingly rarefied and potent.” Coppock wrote that while “it is easy to imagine these dynamics between romantic partners, all relationships which rely on trust and continuous exchange generate such circuits.” Coppock’s description of ideal relational exchanges rooted in trust also brings to mind the antithesis of broken trust and toxic relational dynamics that can also be found in the second decan of Scorpio. Indeed, Coppock warned that we need to be careful to whom we bare ourselves to, because the “virtuous circuit of exchange can become vicious in this face . . . the process of dual cultivation becomes one of mutual degradation, each destroying the quality of the other with each pass.” Coppock noted that “fixity of relationship is a key characteristic of this decan,” as the second decan of Scorpio “concentrates and fixes the passions generally” and establishes “fixed relationships with people, places, and areas of study.” An eclipse in the second decan of Scorpio may bring disruption to previously fixated dynamics, but by working through the deeper issues at play the necessary renegotiation and renewal will result.
The Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the Titaness Leto to the second decan of Scorpio. Sister to the starry, divinatory goddess Asteria and mother to the twin lights of Artemis and Apollo, Leto’s presence in the decan where shadows will obscure the light of the Moon reveals the need to protectively nurture whatever we wish to bring into the world. Leto had to flee and take refuge on an isolated island unattached to the ocean floor in order to escape the wrath of Hera, who had made all lands exclude Leto from entry due to her anger over the affair between Leto and Zeus. It was said that the twin offspring of Leto would stabilize the new order of Olympian deities, and so her persistence in nurturing the birth of Apollo and Artemis additionally supported the birth of a new collective age. In this time of great global shifts and collective thresholds, Leto is a fitting symbol for taking the necessary steps to give birth to the world you wish yourself and the generations to follow to inhabit.
In contrast, twelfth century astrologer Ibn Ezra in The Beginning of Wisdom wrote that within the second face of Scorpio there “ascends a woman who has left her house; she is naked and has nothing on and she is entering the sea.” Perhaps this image is most fitting of all for the powerful purging, purification, and dissolution present in the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse. Although the image presents a solitary human figure, she is also immersed in deep relationship with the potent regeneration of the Sea. As the power found in the second face of Scorpio involves distillation and cultivation from intimate exchanges, the mutual support of relationship will be the vessel to tend and drink from in the coming weeks. Though the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse may dredge up difficult material to process and release, the deep cleansing that may ultimately result can help in drawing us closer within mutually supportive dynamics and enduring bonds of support.
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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.
Hillman, James. (2014). Alchemical Psychology. Spring publications.