How to survive eclipse season

by | Oct 2, 2023 | Astrology, Self-care | 0 comments

Uh-oh, it’s that time again… eclipse season is coming up! Even if you survived last week’s Full Moon in Aries (🥵), we’re not out of the woods yet. October has arrived, and it does not look like it’s gonna bring much chill.

Now, if you’ve been here long enough, you know I don’t do astro fearmongering. Quite the opposite actually – I can’t recount how often I’ve met with clients who were losing it over something they’ve read about their placements online and left our session feeling more hopeful and encouraged. You could say that uplifting and empowering astrology is kinda my thing.

But still, the astrology isn’t always pretty. That’s just the nature of time. There’s a season for everything.

And in general, eclipse seasons usually tend to be more chaotic. But they are often also misunderstood. So here’s your little eclipse survival guide.

What is an eclipse

First of all: what is an eclipse? The word eclipse refers to the concept of something being blocked or dimmed. Eclipses happen when the sun, moon and earth are all on the same plane. A lunar eclipse happens when the full moon moves into the earth’s shadow, blocking the moon’s light. During a solar eclipse, the sun’s light is obscured by the new moon passing between the sun and the earth. So, in both instances, the luminary that should be visible (either the sun, in a solar eclipse, or the full moon, in a lunar eclipse) temporarily becomes invisible.

There’s another technical piece here about the lunar nodes. The lunar nodes (north and south node of the moon) are another topic of great confusion and misinformation in astrology, and they probably deserve their very own blog post one day. But for now, suffice it to say that a new or full moon becomes an eclipse when the sun and moon need to be within 18 degrees of the lunar nodes. The closer the sun and moon are to the nodes, the more dramatic the eclipse is.

Eclipses in ancient astrology

Imagine for a second that you live some 2000 years ago — in a time before modern technology — and all of a sudden the sun disappears. That would freak you out, no?

In ancient astrology, eclipses were considered bad omens for that very reason. The luminaries (Sun and moon) were seen as life giving planetary bodies, and when their light was blocked, that usually wasn’t a great sign. Historically, eclipses were important significators for huge collective events, such as the rise and fall of nations and their leaders, as well as natural disasters.

How to interpret an eclipse

The sun and the moon both move in predictable ways. We know that the sun rises every morning in the east, and sets in the west. While the moon is more in flux and ever changing, her phases form a set pattern too. She waxes and wanes, renewing herself every 29.5 days. And every month, we have a full moon. All of this is pretty straightforward.

During eclipse season, however, this usual pattern is interrupted. The sun disappears briefly during a solar eclipse, and the moon is temporarily invisible during a lunar eclipse. What we see here is a disruption of something that’s usually predictable or reliable. This is also how we interpret eclipses when they happen at significant places in our chart: something that we consider to be regular is going to be temporarily disrupted.

Both the sun and moon share a quality of visibility. During the day time, we rely on the sun’s light to see where we’re going — quite literally. And during a regular, non-eclipsed full moon, the moon’s light is able to illuminate things in the darkness. But during an eclipse, the light we’re used to rely on is obscured. We see darkness where there should be light.

This means that there’s also an element of invisibility and confusion about eclipses. I often tell my clients that the entire eclipse “story” might take some time to unfold, simply because there is so much obscured during an eclipse that you often can’t see its impact until much later.

At the same time, because an eclipse “replaces” what would otherwise be a regular old new moon or full moon, we do see the significations of those events connected to eclipses as well. A solar eclipse (AKA an eclipsed new moon) markes a new beginning or start of something, while a lunar eclipse (AKA an eclipsed full moon) is a point of culmination or manifestation, something coming to completion. The usual beginnings and endings associated with the new and full moon become much more dramatic when they are eclipsed. Think extreme beginnings and endings. Life chapters starting and closing. Again: an interruption the usual pattern.

When does an eclipse matter

All of that sounds pretty… intense, right? Given that we have a series of eclipses twice a year, wouldn’t this imply constant disruptions and changes in our lives, or at least twice a year? Why aren’t we all going crazy all the time?

Here’s where eclipses are a little bit misunderstood. They seem like a big deal (and they are), but they’re not always out to get ya, wreaking havoc on your life.

As mentioned above, eclipses were historically associated with collective events, not so much personal ones. They are defining moments, for sure, but often more connected to world events or royalty (one of the sun’s main significations). And most of us are just plain people living our own little lives.

That being said, there are a few instances when certain eclipses might be more personal for you:

  • When the eclipses take place in one of your angular houses (1st, 4th, 7th, 10th). For the Aries-Libra eclipses in 2023 and 2024, that concerns folks with Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn rising.
  • If the Moon or Sun is activated by annual profection.
  • If you were born around the time of an eclipse. Demetra George writes in Ancient Astrology vol. 1 that for folks born near an eclipse, ‘the personal events of their life are “fated” in so far as the person plays a role that impacts or participates in collective destinies.’
  • If the eclipses take place in the same signs as your natal nodal axis. This is the classic nodal return or opposition. You’ll probably get more insight into what the nodal story in your chart means.

How to survive an eclipse

Regardless of whether an eclipse is going to stir up anything big in your life (trust me, those angular eclipses will leave their mark 😅), eclipses still disrupt and cause chaos in the world. So in general, I’d advise you to sit back and take it easy — if that’s available for you, of course.

Some other things you might do or not do during eclipse season:

Use your senses

Because we’re, sometimes quite literally, groping around in the dark during an eclipse, we have to rely on other senses than our sight. Eclipse season is a perfect time to engage with our more subtle senses and move forward without having all the facts. Concretely, this means that you may get more information from your body than your mind. Make space for embodiment practices such as yoga, breath work, meditation in order to get out of your head (something we might automatically do in hectic times). Pay attention to any insights your body is giving you.

Take note of what happens

This is especially relevant if the eclipse is personal to you (see above). Eclipses happen in the same sign over the course of 1.5 years, and sometimes it takes that long before you can figure out what the eclipse story was about for you. What can help is to keep a journal of your thoughts, emotions, and significant events that happened during the eclipse season. This will make it easier to connect the dots afterwards.

Don’t make any big decisions

It usually isn’t a great idea to make major life decisions when you don’t have all the facts. And because of the nature of eclipses, there’s probably going to be a level of obscurity to whatever you’re deciding on. Of course, not everyone has the luxury to put everything on hold twice a year, and if this eclipse isn’t hitting many things in your own birth chart: by all means, knock yourself out. But if you can wait a little until the metaphorical storm has passed, you might find that you’re able to see a bit more clearly where to go next.

Trust the process

That being said, the nature of eclipses is that they represent new beginnings and endings. And if an eclipse is hitting your chart in some way, there will be changes underway. If you know something is about to happen (whether by knowing your birth chart or just sensing a disruption in the force), allow yourself to be taken on a ride. Assess where in your life you’re ready to make space for something new and what things you want to say goodbye. And trust that life has its divine timing for introducing new things and people in your life, or ending previous chapters.

Take care of your health

The sun and moon represent our vitality and physical well-being. During eclipse season, we might find that we have less energy than usual. That’s very likely a temporary thing, so take it easy and make sure you take care of your body. That can look differently for everyone, but it probably includes elements of eating well, getting enough sleep, and moving your body.

Final thoughts on surviving eclipses

Eclipses can seem scary and if you think of what an eclipse would look like to someone 2000 years ago, it’s definitely frightening to see the sun or moon disappear. For a large part, this fear seems to be based on the uncertainty that comes with a sudden disruption. Will the sun and moon come back again? Or when we look at the impact of eclipses in our own personal lives: after all of this chaos, will things go back to normal again?

I’m not here to pretend that eclipses don’t turn everything upside down every now and then. Having gone through my fair share of eclipses, I know that some of them have impacted my life significantly. One of the reasons I’m writing this blog and am now a professional astrologer is because I went through some life-changing eclipses back in 2017 and 2018. During those years, I quit my PhD and started walking a new path that led me to where I am now today.

So while change and uncertainty can be scary, it’s not all bad. You have survived everything that you’ve experienced until now. And if you look back, you might find that major events happened during certain previous eclipses. It can help to think back to that time to appreciate the changes that happened and the lessons you’ve learned from those experiences. What helped you ground and stay present during those times? Where were you able to give yourself support or receive support from others? Reflecting on these questions for yourself can help increase your capacity for uncertainty.

If you want to understand how to interpret eclipses in your own birth chart and how to navigate change in your life, I’d love to see you in a consult.

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Hi, I´m Britt!

I am a down-to-earth astrologer and embodiment coach, here to offer you guidance on your path of self discovery and healing. My work blends traditional astrology  techniques with insights from modern psychology, mindfulness, and parts work to help you cultivate grounding, self-compassion, and a sense of belonging to this earth.

 

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