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.
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.
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
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.
If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!
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.