Full Moon in Gemini

Hilma af Klint, The Swan, NO. 1 (1915)

Full Moon in Gemini

Gemini is the sign of the Twins, an archetypal image carrying multitudinous stories from multitudinous cultures around the world. In the Greek mythos there are a pair of twins, one mortal and one immortal in each pairing of Castor and Pollux, Helen and Clytemnestra, conjuring images of being simultaneously bound to an immortal soul while being separated into incarnate form. All stories of twins involve symbiosis that becomes differentiated into separate paths emanating from a shared source. In astrology, the airy sign of Gemini is ruled by the planet Mercury named after the cunning Hermes of myth who is available at the crossroads where one path separates into a choice of options. Mercury like the sign of Gemini holds the tension of paradox, probes the meaning that weaves together differences, questions the certainty of righteousness in order to tease out the insight necessary for a deeper and more authentic engagement. The Full Moon in Gemini on December 18 will illuminate a pivotal turning point in personal and collective stories, a quality of time holding the tension of astrological influences simultaneously culminating with intensity while on the threshold of dramatic change.

The Gemini Full Moon will brighten the night during the time of peak darkness in the northern hemisphere, a few days before the deep stillness of the Sun entering Capricorn and reaching the nadir of the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year that signals the return of light to come. At the same time the final exact square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus will be amplifying their longstanding tension until forming on December 23. Moreover, Venus will station retrograde while conjoining Pluto the day after the lunation, while Jupiter will finally leave Aquarius for its home sign of Pisces during the waning half of the lunar cycle on December 28. Yet not only is Jupiter in Aquarius during the lunation, the Gemini Full Moon is applying to a flowing trine with the star of Zeus. The trine between the Gemini Full Moon with Jupiter holds the promise of finding the light within the darkness to guide the path forward, to stabilize a sense of coherence amidst the flux of fluidly shapeshifting dynamics.

The final exact square aspect between Saturn and Uranus occurs less than a week after the Gemini Full Moon on December 23. The previous exact square aspects between Saturn and Uranus were on February 17 and June 14, 2021: looking back you may realize ways in which the previous exact alignments involved longstanding structures of stability became shattered or dislodged with new sources of liberating inspiration thrusting through the death of the old. In personal and collective events their alignments have forced the collapse of systems no longer capable of moving forward with sustainability through the changing of the times, forcing awareness to what needs to be addressed with creative renovation. Although the moments of their exact aspects forming can bring events and insight of peak intensity, it is important to realize that an extremely powerful impact of the square between Saturn and Uranus in fact lasts for the entirety of 2021 as well as 2022 with extremely important experiences occurring in relation outside the periods of time in which they form exact aspects. Nonetheless, with the third and final square aspect forming in the wake of the Gemini Full Moon it will be important to pay close attention to witness and contemplate ways in which the new storylines that have erupted in alignment with Saturn and Uranus clashing take on new forms and meaning during the waning half of the present lunar cycle.

Mercury in Capricorn rules the Full Moon while applying to a flowing trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus, stoking perception toward the emancipatory potential of new creative paths and aligning choices with the exciting, liberating side of Uranus within its tension with Saturn rather than clinging on to old patterns and relationships you have outgrown. Vitally, Mercury is barely separating from an exact square aspect with Chiron in Aries, during the same time that Chiron is stationing direct on December 19. Listen for the message being transmitted by Chiron to Mercury which can help in bridging choices and reality from the old structures of Saturn passing away into the more authentic, passionate aliveness that can be embodied through Uranus.

Within the astrology of astronomy, Chiron’s orbit bridges the realms of Saturn and Uranus, with his transit in Aries placing him on the side of Uranus. In myth, Chiron similarly bridged celestial insight from the heavens into material forms of medicinal as well as martial arts, nurturing heroic capacity from his dark, Saturnine cave. Chiron brings understanding for our wounds, fragmentation, and alienation experienced with our identity, showing how the external forms of matter and relationship we struggle within have the same divine source, teaching us how to move with heart-centeredness through our difficulties in ways that can companion and ally with others experiencing their own struggles.

While Mercury is engaging with Uranus and Chiron, Mars in Sagittarius is engaging with the side of Saturn and Chiron. Mars is sextile Saturn in Aquarius and applying to a trine with stationing Chiron in Aries, having recently separated from a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius. Mars in the sign of the Centaur will be receiving Chiron through a flowing trine, making the star of Ares receptive to the wisdom and guidance that Chiron has to offer. Moreover, the sextile between Saturn and Mars can help in taking decisive action when necessary that is grounded and focalized on the matters at hand that most need our attention. Mars in Sagittarius can help in separating from what needs to be left behind, protecting what needs to be held, and pursuing visions of new growth and inspiration. Mars in Sagittarius will be ruled by Jupiter in Aquarius until Jupiter returns to its home sign of Pisces on December 28, at which point we may experience a kindling of inner celestial fire to transmit through our experience of Mars in Sagittarius.

Helen by Gustave Moreau

Venus retrograde in Capricorn

Some men say an army of horse and some men say an army on foot / and some men say an army of ships is the most beautiful thing / on the black earth. But I say it is / what you love.

Easy to make this understood by all. / For she who overcame everyone / in beauty (Helen) / left her fine husband

behind and went sailing to Troy. / Not for her children nor her dear parents / had she a thought, no- / ] led her astray

] for / ] lightly / ] reminded me now of Anaktoria / who is gone.

I would rather see her lovely step / and the motion of light on her face / than the chariots of Lydians or ranks / of foot soldiers to arms.

] not possible to happen / ] to pray for a share / ] / ] / ] / ] / ] / toward [

] / ] / ] / out of the unexpected.

Sappho 16 translated by Anne Carson

Venus will station retrograde in Capricorn about six hours after the exact alignment of the Gemini Full Moon. Venus will station retrograde within a degree of Pluto, and will form her second exact conjunction with Pluto on December 25 at 25º43’ Capricorn (Venus previously formed a conjunction with Pluto at 25º19’ Capricorn on December 11).  Venus will be glowing bright in twilight on the western horizon during the Gemini Full Moon, heralding the rise of the illuminated Moon in the east. Her proximity with Pluto has brought an extended process of old relational issues and patterns resurfacing to be engaged with. In some cases the messages gleaned need to be integrated, in other cases bringing awareness to what needs to be shed and released from the past with finality. In some cases there may be harrowing and terrifying fears and memories resurfacing that could influence present perceptions, yet also bring the possibility of realization regarding how present relational dynamics are not the same as the past. Thus relationships in which trust, devotion and mutual support are present may experience a deepening with Pluto and Venus together, whereas relationships replicating patterns of past toxicity may bring realization of what needs to be ended, separated, remediated, or have boundaries redrawn. Like Helen, the immortal twin of Gemini, there is much more to come from her story and presence following her initial abduction by Plutonic forces.

After Venus stations retrograde on December 19 at 26°29′ Capricorn, she will initiate us into a forty-one day period in which the star of Aphrodite will backtrack through the zodiac until stationing direct on January 29, 2022 at 11º05′ Capricorn. Thus the zodiacal terrain of eleven to twenty-seven degrees of Capricorn will receive a thorough excavation from Venus as it moves back and forth across the degree range, digging up some emotional material in need of release or recycling, while also rediscovering ancient artifacts of our psyche that can reveal vital lessons we need to learn in the present. Venus first crossed eleven degrees of Capricorn on November 17 and will not finally move beyond 26°29′ Capricorn until March 1, 2022. Fascinatingly, once Venus finally moves beyond the point of her retrograde stationing she will have one more exact encounter with Pluto on March 3, 2022; however, this time around she will be accompanied by Mars in his exaltation of Capricorn.

Centrally, Venus retrograde brings an end to Venus being visible at night and initiates her phase of being visible before sunrise. Venus will descend from visibility as an Evening Star in the beginning of January, disappearing into an invisible and liminal passage of rebirth until reemerging in visibility within her Morning Star phase. As Venus transitions from a nocturnal to diurnal phase, her apparent backward motion is a result of her orbiting in between our Earth and Sun, coming to her closest proximity with us in orbit. In our personal lives, Venus retrograde brings an intensification of all things related to Venus, as her visual descent in the sky reflects a call for an inner descent to dig up the roots of our desires, purging and purifying material that will bring about a reseeding of desire on the other side.

Venus retrograde periods invite us to depart from the usual into exploring the unusual, shedding old desires while coming into relationship with neglected parts of ourselves and new desires emerging from within. Venus when moving direct enjoys uniting and harmonizing elements, such as the pleasures of fresh fruit and flowers, copulation, love, art, music, aesthetics, and whatever we attract and find attractive in relationship. During Venus retrograde, the nature of Venus shifts from seeking social harmony into a transitional space of social norms loosening to allow for deep reevaluation of inner values as well as how we are seeking to fulfill our changing values and needs.

While Venus is normally associated with seductive pleasures that draw us into full sensual engagement in our body, as Venus draws closer to us in orbit through her retrograde her magnetism on our desires increases and creates a potent influence on our daily experiences. Pivotal turning points in stories often occur and important new relational developments and directions often emerge as we simultaneously must confront and lay to rest old issues from the past. Emotions and desires become messy and paradoxical during Venus retrograde, a necessary disorder that becomes part of a process of reordering passions.

During the waning half of the present lunar cycle, we may experience a more intensified purging and putrefaction of past relational patterns and old value systems as part of a process of clearing the ground for new relational desires and inner values to take root. The upcoming New Moon in Capricorn at 12°20′ Capricorn on January 2, 2022 (close to the same degree where Venus will ultimately station direct on January 29) will be applying toward a conjunction with Venus and will initiate us into the invisible, underworld phase of the retrograde journey of Venus which will culminate with her rebirth in the heart of the Sun on January 8 at 18°43′ Capricorn.

Kore (6th–5th century B.C.)

While the stationing of Venus with Pluto has obvious mythic parallels to the story of Demeter (aka Ceres) and the abduction of her daughter Persephone by Hades, it is further fascinating that the dwarf planet Ceres as well as the asteroid Persephone are both present in Gemini near the North Node of the Moon in Gemini during the Full Moon in Gemini. With Ceres retrograde in Gemini at 00º22’ conjoining the mean North Node of the Moon in Gemini at 00º12’ and the Persephone asteroid at 03º18’ Gemini, their co-presence with the Gemini Full Moon likewise illuminates their archetypal themes in personal and collective events.  

Tim Addey in Seven Myths of the Soul analyzed that while Persephone’s name can be translated as “death bringer,” and she does indeed step into the role of ruling over the realm of the dead, she equally signifies our incarnation of being an eternal soul fully embodied within a material realm of continual life and death. Addey focused upon the 6th century Platonic philosopher Damascius who linked Persephone with the soul’s descent into generation, interpreting how Persephone is drawn toward the narcissus flower, a bloom whose name has mythic associations with the soul falling in love with its reflection in matter. Her innocent, purely spiritual state is shattered by her violent pull into the underworld of death, yet ultimately on the other side Persephone discovers a powerful underworld role of mediation and rulership to embody. 

Safron Rossi in The Kore Goddess: A Mythology & Psychology associated the archetypal Kore being bound within an archetypal polarity with the Great Mother, and her insights regarding their relationship to me is significant to the meaning of Ceres within astrology as I have previously associated her with themes related to the Great Mother. Rossi summarized the Great Mother as “a vesseling and containing condition of consciousness whereby individuality is returned to primordial oneness . . . Nurturing and devouring, the Great Mother obscures the presence of the Kore because autonomy and difference stand in opposition to her principles.” The separation and strife encountered by Kore and her descent into underworld processes becomes a necessity for her to to differentiate her own autonomy and sovereignty. Thus within the astrological associations, we can imagine how the inexhaustible abundance of Ceres as the goddess of fertility and agriculture can be set against limitation and loss until integrating the grieving side of Ceres associated with the introduction of the Mysteries to humanity. Rossi wrote that the Great Mother can constellate a “generally unconscious expectation of life that demands equal and ever-increasing plenty,” which “stands in contrast to the focus and choice of the Kore” and her “celebration of the limited.” Rossi declared that “the Kore makes sacrifices, differentiates, and incubates the unique . . .[helping] women focus and make choices without feeling they are betraying something of their own nature.”

Ceres moving retrograde in alignment with the North Node of the Moon symbolizes the need for grief and expressing rage against the injustices and oppression of our world, releasing the emotions felt when experiencing death or loss. For nine days Ceres aka Demeter refused to eat and mourned; Addey in Seven Myths of the Soul interpreted the fasting of Demeter as representing “the need to purge the concerns of matter from our perception if we are to rediscover the soul lost in hyle (matter).” Likewise the purging and putrefaction we experience and emote in the next couple of weeks of the opening stage of Venus retrograde will ultimately open deeper levels of self realization. With Venus retrograde occurring in Capricorn, a sign that exalts Mars and is home to Saturn, we can find ways to protect our inner wildness from outside threats while gestating and incubating new forms of desires taking shape.

Due to Ceres and Persephone both moving retrograde in close proximity with the transiting North Node of the Moon, they will continue to do so until each stations direct in turn. Ceres will station direct at 27º57’ Taurus on January 14, 2022 while Persephone will station direct at 00º24’ Gemini on January 19, 2022. They will eventually reunite on March 23, 2022 at 10º15’ during the return of Spring in the northern hemisphere.  

10 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Gemini 3 Decan

The Full Moon in Gemini will arise in the third decan of Gemini associated with the Ten of Swords card illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith. While the card’s image contains dark skies and death, there is also brilliant light present in the sky revealing new beginnings. The Sun is the ruler of the third face of Gemini, and since the Sun is moving through the opposite zodiacal terrain en route to its glorious appearance at dawn on December 21 during the Capricorn Solstice, we likewise will be experiencing the death of one season of light for the birth of another.

The death and regeneration within the image of the Ten of Swords fits with the influence of Egyptian culture upon Hellenistic astrology and the Thema Mundi chart for the birth of the universe which lies at the foundation for numerous astrological concepts: from this perspective Cancer is the beginning of the cycle and the first house of the nativity, making the third decan of Gemini the end of the cycle, the final of the thirty-six faces of the zodiac. Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “An Executioner’s Sword” to the third decan of Gemini, writing that though “the other decans of Gemini involve discovery, exploration, and simultaneity, in the third wait choices- judgments that must be made. To achieve actuality, a multitude of possibilities must be sacrificed.” Thus the image of a dead man with ten swords plunged into his back resonates with surrendering to the end or death of a cycle, as Coppock described this face as “the final bloom of internal and external polarization.”

The Hellenistic text 36 Airs named Praxidike to this face, goddess of judgment and exactor of vengeance, signifying the complex karma encountered here in decisions made and actions undertaken. Fascinatingly, the Orphic hymn to Persephone connects Praxidike to the subterranean queen, signifying the psychopomp side of Gemini that holds space between worlds and between cycles. Coppock linked the decan’s image of “An Executioner’s Sword” to Praxidike through the “sword of judgement.” To Coppock, “to hold or face such a blade is to understand the consequences of one’s choices. Those entrusted with this blade grow wise and judicious, else fall to the very tool they wield.”

Demetra George recently shared her translation of The Sacred Book of Hermes to Asclepius (a Greek language text ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus during early Roman Imperial period, possibly around 50 CE) in a webinar entitled Egyptian Decans: Star Gods of Time. In her presentation Demetra shared her translation for the image in the text associated with the third face of Gemini: “It is the figure of a woman who seizes a thunderbolt in her right hand and holds a small water urn in her left hand. Her body is winged from her middle to her feet and she has a crown upon her head.”

As Safron Rossi’s extended exploration of the Kore archetype is rooted in Carl Jung’s association of the Kore with the Self, so does the image from The Sacred Book of Hermes to Asclepius for the third decan of Gemini reflect the potent divine wholeness our path may turn towards when making the pivotal decisions found within the third face of Gemini. May the light of the Gemini Full Moon illuminate the way forward in alignment with your most essential and authentic soulfulness.

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References 

Addey, Tim. (2000). The Seven Myths of the Soul. The Prometheus Trust.

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

George, Demetra. (2021). Egyptian Decans: Star Gods of Time. Astrology University.

Rossi, Safron. (2021). The Kore Goddess: A Mythology & Psychology. Winter Press. 


Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius

Disappearing Act by André Kertész

Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius

The Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4, 2021 is total, resulting in the blackness of night completely overcoming the light of the Sun. In Hesiod’s Theogony, the earliest known mythical cosmogony in ancient Greece, it is Chaos who gives birth to Gaia along with Erebus (primordial deity of Darkness) and Night who mate and give birth to Day and Aether. As there are many other creation stories in which Day/Light is born from Night/Darkness, the phenomenon of eclipses cloaking the radiance of solar light in darkness both visually and psychologically returns us to a sense of the chaotic abyss, chasm, and fertile void which opens wide to bring forth creation. Similarly, the diverse cultures that have imagined mythic tales of chaotic dragons attempting to devour heroes also corresponds with past astrological traditions equating the lunar nodes with chaotic dragons and serpents which devour the light of the sun during solar eclipses.

The Total Sagittarius Solar Eclipse will be at 12º22’ Sagittarius aligned on the side of the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius, known as the tail end of the imaginal astrological dragon. Similar to how the South Node can be a place of sacrificial fires of purification in traditional Indian astrology, Dane Rudhyar described the South Node as a place of sacrifice as in “making sacred” rather than egoic sacrifice in which we expect something in return. Amidst whatever liminal transitions you have been experiencing, intentionally making the changes sacred will bring you into better flow with the eclipse, such as releasing fixations and being willing to enter the mysterious unknown. Rather than focus on expansive new growth, themes such as releasing, purifying, emptying, and letting go will be favored. The way forward requires returning to patterns of the past that need to be laid to rest in putrefaction that will eventually give rise to new desires. The dissolution of old forms that leads to the arising of new forms in times of eclipses is symbolized well by the ancient ouroboros image of a dragon devouring its own tail. As Brian Clark beautifully described in Soul, Symbol, and Imagination:

“The ouroboros is a cross-cultural symbol which uses the fabled image of the dragon-serpent swallowing its own tail to embody the recurrent nature of the cosmos; on one hand it represents the alpha, the beginning or the head, and the omega, the ending or the tail, yet both are the same point. In astrology we know this point as the conjunction, the beginning of a new cycle marked by the end of the old. This eternal cycle suggests that creation emerges out of destruction, or that life is renewed through death. As the dragon-serpent devours its own tail, its life carries on in a renewed form. Death and rebirth, creation and destruction, beginning and ending, heads and tales mark the eternal return, the never-ending cycle of regeneration.”

Brian Clark

The Sagittarius Solar Eclipse is the final eclipse to occur in the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius, and so serves as the final chapter of the eclipse stories that have been coinciding with eclipses in Gemini and Sagittarius. The first eclipse in the series was a Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on 5 June 2020, followed by a Lunar Eclipse in Gemini on 30 November 2020, a Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on 14 December 2020, a Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on 26 May 2021, and a Solar Eclipse in Gemini on 10 June 2021. As these eclipses have flowed back and forth between whatever places the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius occupy in your natal chart, you can trace narrative themes that have developed in correspondence involving the ways both Gemini and Sagittarius are involved in your nativity. Yet since there has been more of an emphasis on eclipses in the sign of Sagittarius, it is fitting that the sequence ends with a Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius.

Sagittarius is the fiery home of Jupiter, zodiacal terrain which kindles inner embers into flames of expansive vision and intuitive knowing that can be fervently expressed in outward action. As a fire sign which excels in distinguishing and separating matters to aim with precision at a targeted goal, the Sun in Sagittarius being eclipsed suggests that righteous knowing will become cloaked by a dark tapestry of unknowing and questioning the course of direction forward. As we are in a collective period of great upheaval with numerous societal systems on the brink of collapse and in need of radical reformation, the shadow side of Sagittarius that can become ruthless with dogma and moralizing preaching needs emptying and release. On the other side near the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, the close presence of Ceres retrograde calls for deep listening to our grief and the grief shared by others we encounter through dialogue and witnessing.

Robert Fludd from Utriusque Cosmi (1617)

Mercury in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces are especially important influences on the eclipse. Mercury is only three degrees away from the solar eclipse, having recently been reanimated in the heart of the Sagittarius Sun on November 28. The close proximity of Mercury to the eclipse will make significations of Mercury readily apparent in events connected with the eclipse. In contrast, Neptune stationed direct a few days before the eclipse on December 1, and so is saturating the astrological landscape with its imaginal influence. While the Sagittarius Moon is applying to a square aspect with Neptune it will complete later on the same day as the eclipse, Mercury is also applying to a square aspect with Neptune that it will complete on December 7. While the impact of Neptune can often feel like an imperceptible underlying influence, its stationing and catalyzing aspects with the eclipse and Mercury will make it much more viscerally felt than normal. It will be worthwhile to explore the meaning of any images that grab your attention through dreams or in your waking life. The contact between Mercury and the eclipse with Neptune may bring inspirational images, ideas, and messages into your awareness that unveil aspects of inner psyche and ineffable qualities of soul patterns that will reward attention and contemplation.

Having recently been regenerated by the Sun, Mercury is moving fast through its invisible phase, actively in process of gestating the forms of new ideas that will be injected by the otherworldly influences of the eclipse and Neptune. Mercury in Sagittarius excels at taking visionary leaps of thought and synthesizing information with sharp intuition, but its propensity for blazing speed of thought can lead us to excitedly rush forward before throughly analyzing dynamics. Moreover, the square between Mercury in Sagittarius with Neptune can also manifest as dogmatic crusaders or excessively idealistic evangelists wishing to convert others to whatever perspective, philosophy, or belief they have become impassioned by. Making a conscious effort to ground and slow down to allow for thought processes to deepen can help in opening to the imaginative influences of Mercury with Neptune while also creating space to separate the illusory from the authentic.

Eagle by Morris Graves

Jupiter in Aquarius rules the eclipse, with Mars in Scorpio applying toward a square aspect with Jupiter he will complete on December 8. While Jupiter is positively in a whole sign sextile aspect with the eclipse, the overbearing influence of Mars upon Jupiter can create a more volatile atmosphere in which anger and anxiety can be more readily triggered. As a result, it will be helpful to find a balance between resting and relaxing to calm nerves as well as making an effort to be physically or creatively active to move and release energy rather than having it become bottled up and at risk of imploding. Positively, the friction between Mars and Jupiter can be invigorating and fuel dynamic action and courageous efforts to fight through obstacles as well as bravely bring protection to those who are vulnerable.

Jupiter is sharing the same sign of Aquarius with Saturn for a few more weeks, as he will enter his expansive ocean home of Pisces on December 28. Fortunately, this means that Jupiter will be present in the same sign as Saturn during the time period in which the final exact square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus will be building in intensity until it becomes completed on December 24. Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche described periods of Saturn and Uranus as involving “the exacerbation of tensions between authority and rebellion, order and freedom, structure and change” as well as “repressive revolution,” “erratically unpredictable authority,” “sudden collapse of structures,” and “grim awakenings.” While these themes elucidated by Tarnas have fit perfectly with events that have erupted during the past year of Saturn and Uranus clashing, in our personal lives we will be able to have more agency to create the changes we wish to experience than within the much larger societal events that careen out of our control. During the final weeks of Jupiter sharing the sign of Aquarius with Saturn, see how you can continue to embrace whatever radical changes you have been inspired to embody and enact, finding ways to make space for shifting perceptions so you can more resolutely release the forms and patterns of the past that need to be let go of.

The Dancing Faun (1919) by André Kertész

Within the darkness of the solar eclipse, Venus in Capricorn will be glowing very bright as an Evening Star in twilight. Although Venus will be shining brightly in the night, she is also slowing down in speed as she approaches her retrograde stationing on December 19. Moreover, Venus is applying closely to a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn that she will complete on December 11, the first of three conjunctions that Venus will form with Pluto over the course of her upcoming retrograde phase (the next two will be on December 25, 2021 and March 3, 2022). Gary Caton and other astrologers have compared the present phase of Venus that lasts until she stations retrograde and disappears into her invisible phase with the nigredo of alchemy, a period in which we experience loss and putrefaction of matters that will create space for us to receive the seeds of new desires and visions to come into relationship with. The close proximity between Venus with Pluto in the month following the eclipse will amplify the intensity of old relational patterns needing to rise into awareness so we may shed the dead skin of past patterns that no longer align with our present relational needs. It will not be an easy or quick process, but the deep regenerative potency of Pluto can help purge past toxicity as we make more intimate contact with the relational needs and desires that are authentically aligned with our emerging presence.

While Mars in Scorpio is making an activating and disruptive aspect with Jupiter, it is simultaneously forming a harmonious sextile aspect with Pluto in Capricorn that will become exact on December 6. However, although Venus is only about a degree away from an exact sextile aspect with Mars in Scorpio during the eclipse, due to Venus stationing she will not complete the sextile aspect before she stations retrograde and moves away from Mars in the opposite direction. The influence of Mars in Scorpio upon Venus and Pluto in Capricorn will further volatilize and deepen the transformative process already underway for Venus, making it a potent time for deep listening and sharing within intimate relationships. While much can be uncovered within relational dialogue that facilitates penetration into the core dynamics and patterns at play, it will also be important to make time and space for solitary contemplation and becoming more grounded and rooted in one’s sovereign sense of self outside of relationship.

The Sagittarius Solar Eclipse is part of the saros 152 eclipse family that originated with a partial solar eclipse in the southern hemisphere on July 26, 1805; all of the eclipses in this family occur on the south or descending node of the Moon. Interestingly, at the time of the origin eclipse in 1805 there was a conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Scorpio, reflecting the Jupiter Neptune conjunction in Pisces in 2022, and there was also a conjunction forming between Saturn and Uranus in Libra, reflecting the building tension of the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus occurring during the present eclipse.

Thus the saros family of the Sagittarius Solar Eclipse has a strong connection to both the Jupiter Neptune and Saturn Uranus cycles that will be the key astrological themes of the year ahead. The last three solar eclipses in this series have been total: 23 November 2003, 12 November 1985, and 2 November 1967. Regarding the eclipse’s metonic cycle, the last time there was a total solar eclipse at twelve degrees of Sagittarius near the South Node of the Moon was on December 4, 2002 and so the same aspects of your natal chart would have been activated by that eclipse as the present one.

9 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Sagittarius 2 Decan

The second decan of Sagittarius where the Sun will be eclipsed is 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 is ruler of the second face of Sagittarius, the fact that the Moon is eclipsing the Sun while in her own face 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 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.

Safron Rossi in her recent book The Kore Goddess: A Mythology & Psychology associated the archetypal Kore with “psychological integrity” and “what it means to be grounded in one’s essential nature as an individual.” To Rossi, the sacred qualities that the Kore personifies include “unto-oneself, sovereignty, vitality” and “authenticity,” viewing “one-in-herself as central to the archetypal stream of the Kore.” She further referenced classicist Guilia Sissa that the Greek meanings of kore and parthenos included “a treasure that one guards (phylassein), a value that must be respected (terein).” With an eclipse in a decan associated with Kore, Rossi’s identification of the Kore’s shadow as involving “innocence” and becoming “untouchable, impenetrable, self-enclosed,” is further vital to consider.

In relation to the association of the Kore with Persephone, Rossi noted that “when we can embrace a more complex perspective that is not primarily concerned with maintaining psychological innocence, Persephone’s myth shows us how Kore consciousness is forged by underworld initiation.” Indeed, Rossi stated that “Persephone-Kore is the divinity within the painful loss of innocence for it is she who shows how there would be no growing down into authenticity without the forays into the underworld.” These archetypal revelations concerning Persephone-Kore will be important to keep in mind as Venus stations retrograde while conjoining Pluto within the forthcoming lunar cycle. They also connect with the synchronicity that during the time of the Sagittarius Solar Eclipse the Persephone asteroid will be retrograde at 6º16’ Gemini nearby Ceres retrograde at 3º26’ Gemini and the true north node of the Moon at 1º44’ Gemini.

In some versions of Persephone’s story, her playmates by her side before her abduction by Hades were none other than the Sirens, daughters of the muse of melody and tragedy, Melpomene. Just like Persephone ultimately brings her divine beauty into a sovereign role as Queen of the Underworld, so do the Sirens bring their beautiful voices into a psychopomp role of helping to maintain harmony between the underworld and the upper world through music. Safron Rossi in The Kore Goddess mused “that Kore consciousness can experience the Siren’s songs as north stars, calling us to move beyond our limited perspective and gain further knowledge of ourselves and the world.” In the aftermath of the eclipse, may you hear the music and songs of soulfulness that help you cope with whatever grieving and wounding needs tending, and call you to embark upon a journey beyond past confinement with fiery vision and aplomb, like a piercing arrow shot forth from the sacred bow of Sagittarius.

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References

Clark, Brian. (2019). Soul, Symbol, and Imagination. Astro*Synthesis.

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

Rossi, Safron. (2021). The Kore Goddess: A Mythology & Psychology. Winter Press.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1971). The Planetary and Lunar Nodes. CSA Press.

Tarnas, Richard. (2007). Cosmos and Psyche. Plume.