August 2017 Leo eclipse

from the Tarot de St Croix

The Solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 falls in the sign of Leo, the Divine Child – the innocent heart, the soul of magic and wonder.  Leo rules the heart and the vitality of the Self: it encourages us to open our hearts to love for others and for ourselves. Ruled by the Sun itself, Leo is the essence of Kingship – the divine and royal part of ourselves that is full of self-respect and kindness.  Leo encourages us to express our best selves and while Leo is associated with the need for admiration, ultimately our best selves find expression without the need for others’ notice and attention.  Creative self-expression and the courage and confidence to allow our inner beauty to be expressed through outward means are the force behind the Leo New Moon.

A solar eclipse occurs at the New Moon, when the Sun and Moon are conjunct (next to each other) in the sky.  As the Moon moves through its orbit it passes between the Sun and the Earth, briefly obscuring the light of the Sun.  A New Moon is only an eclipse when the lunation (Sun/Moon conjunction) occurs near the lunar nodes, the points where the Moon crosses the path of the Sun.  Here is where astrology gets involved:  The descending (South) and ascending (North) nodes of the Moon represent a path of Fate from the past (South Node) to the future (North Node).  For this reason, an astrological eclipse can bring about events that have enormous significance, especially if they fall on a point in someone’s individual chart.

The chart this eclipse is a fiery one!  This is the second Leo New Moon in a month, and at nearly (28 degrees 50 minutes) the last degree of Leo, completing a pattern around self-actualization and ego development.  We see not only the Sun and Moon with the North Node in Leo, but we also have Mars in Leo (action and courage) in a Grand Fire Trine with Saturn in Sagittarius (testing of ideologies and beliefs) and Uranus in Aries (the power of the individual to create change).  Fire Grand Trines facilitate action but are not always self-aware (air) or pragmatic (earth) enough to create smart and well reasoned strategies.  The harmonious trine between Uranus and the eclipse is just about exact, making this a powerful harmonic integration of individuality and soul purpose.

Saturn and Mercury are retrograde, suggesting that there will be further tests before a plan is brought to fruition. Pluto in Capricorn (breakdown of power structures and transformation) is in a challenging square to All About Favorite Jupiter (positive relationships) which could be a harbinger of a further breakdown of political alliances, especially in the US where the eclipse is most visible.

On a transformational and psychological level, eclipses are associated with the unmasking of something which has been hidden.   The unconscious motivations and hidden dreams of the lunar force temporarily obscures the solar force of consciousness and the power of the will.  In the heart-opening sign of Leo, this is an opportunity to ask for the courage to love unconditionally – to clear any blockages of fear and distress which shut down the creative force.  That creative loving force is the power behind our inspiration as well as our life force and physical energy.  Leo rules the physical heart which is powered by the emotional heart of the Moon, and in this New Moon the force of divine love is as strong as it can get.

This eclipse famously falls on the ascendant (rising sign) in the chart of Donald J. Trump and is very near his natal Mars.  An hysterically entitled (but otherwise fair) Newsweek article reflects the opinions of many astrologers that this could be the ultimate downfall of the Trump presidency.*  I will write a separate article about this, but suffice it to say that this is a very significant planetary influence for Trump. The fact that the eclipse triggers his Mars (aggressive force) is problematic, particularly in light of his tendency to exert that aggressive force in unpredictable ways.

As with any New Moon, this Solar Eclipse is an opportunity for us to dramatically transform our lives by allowing all subterfuge and false modesty to fall away, allowing our true selves to emerge and shine gloriously as the Sun.  Embracing our vulnerability, let us explore the innocence of the pure heart within us and fearlessly dance before the entire world with magic and beauty.

Astronomical details.  Much is being written about this solar eclipse being a once in a lifetime event, overstating its significance to the global community.  To put things in perspective, there are typically two solar eclipses every year.  One solar eclipse every one to three years is a total eclipse.  What makes the eclipse in August 2017 unusual is that the path of the eclipse covers ONLY the United States, and some believe that the effect of an eclipse is strongest in areas where it is most visible.

* The Newsweek article claims that this is the first eclipse since 1776 which falls exclusively across the United States, but while it would be a fascinating corollary if true, the eclipse of November 30 1776 appears not to have hit the US at all according to this NASA article.

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