CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Blood Moon, Black Moon, Lords of War, Order and Revolution – all come out to play during the July 27/28 Aquarius Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse – the longest eclipse of its kind during this century.
Sound intense? Let’s see how astrologers around the Web assess this powerful – and perhaps iconoclastic – lunation.
Aquarius Full Moon
A Full Moon occurs each month when the Sun and Moon are opposite one another. Since the waxing and waning Moon flows like our emotions, astrologers see Full Moons are moments which herald emotional culminations – for good or for ill.
However, the annual Aquarius Full Moon adds an extra nuance. As a fixed air sign, Aquarius leans toward detachment in the name of adhering to one’s own ideas and ideology. I explain in my forecast:
“Because the Moon is in the sign of Aquarius, some of [our emotional]process might be detached and intellectual, as if we’re suspended above the action and commenting on it. … Then again, emotions might run higher than high, despite Aquarian logic.”
Blood Moon, Black Moon
Lunar eclipses are like a Full Moon on steroids, crescendo-ing into revelations, endings and departures. They can herald deep change, from which there’s no going back.
Approximately twice a year, the Sun, Moon and Earth precisely align. As the Moon passes into the Earth’s shadow, the light that the Moon reflects from the Sun is temporarily blocked, or eclipsed.
These precise alignments only occur when the Sun and Moon are near the Moon’s nodes.
However, not all lunar eclipses are created equal. Sometimes, the Moon just brushes the edge of Earth’s shadow. But other times, the Moon passes right through the heart of the deepest shade, called the umbra. During these total lunar eclipses, sunlight, shining through the edges of the Earth’s atmosphere – all the world’s sunrises and sunsets – tinges the Moon a bloody, red hue.
This month’s Aquarius Full Moon is one of those Blood Moons.
And there’s more…
The Aquarius Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse is also near its apogee, or the furthest distance from the Earth it travels in its elliptical orbit. Since it appears smaller and moves slower near its apogee, it takes an unusually long time to travel through Earth’s umbra. As a result, the Aquarius Full Moon is also the longest lunar eclipse of the century, with totality lasting one hour, 42 minutes and 47 seconds.
Astrologers have another name for the lunar apogee: Black Moon Lilith. In mythology, Lilith is the wild, untamable feminine, a queen of demons and shadow places.
Black Moon, Blood Moon…seems ominous, right? Some astrologers would agree; others see opportunity for evolution.
The triple alignment of Sun and Moon, with the lunar nodes, and the apogee and perigee, makes for the most intense lunar eclipse in decades. Eclipse, Lilith, and even the eclipse location at the Moon’s South node all suggest collectively moving into the shadowy deep.
It’s position in the summer’s eclipse cycle also points to its profundity. This lunar eclipse is the second – and most potent — of three eclipses, says Andrew Ifandis, Cosmos of Astrology, and therefore:
“This eclipse raises the volume of the already-loud Solar Eclipse in Cancer. [It’s] our emotional response to the events that have started to manifest. … Emotions are very, very tense.” For example, a “crisis in friendships or at home … heightens to overreaction and emotional outbursts that eventually affect our relations. … This lasts until at least the upcoming solar eclipse in Leo, when we may finally find the courtly demeanor to talk things over.”
Eclipses connect us to longer cycles still, including the 18-year progression of the lunar nodes around the Zodiac, spending a few years in each pair of signs. My forecast explores how this lunar eclipse fits into the unfolding tale of Leo/Aquarius:
“This eclipse marks the halfway point in the current eclipses on the Leo/Aquarius axis, which began last summer and continues into early 2019. … All the drama points to one core theme: self-actualization. That boils down to Oscar Wilde’s advice: ‘Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.’ And it involves accepting yourself, allowing more of yourself to show, and taking note of others’ response.”
Blood Moon, Meet Red Planet
As if that wasn’t intense enough, the Blood Moon’s companion is warrior god Mars, who happens to be at his own perigee – the point in his orbit nearest Earth. In fact, his ruddy light shines brighter than he has since 2003, when he was at its closest approach to the Earth in 70,000 years.
Mars’s perigee crossing always occurs as he’s retrograding; when a planet is retrograde it appears to be “backtracking” through the Zodiac. Nadia Gilchrist, Ruby Slipper Astrology, explains what we can expect:
“Whatever Mars Retrograde has been stirring up so far will be clarified under the light of this Full Moon — this eclipse will be a turning point regarding efforts to detach from the past or intensify actions to bring something to culmination. There will be nothing passive about what happens. You may have to act quickly, or maybe you’ll be pushed to redo/revisit.”
My forecast adds: “The Moon’s conjunction with retrograde Mars … fuses the eclipse with retrospection, regressiveness and agitation and supersizes the eclipse’s door-closing nature.”
Courage and action are possible by-products. Nicole O’Byrne, Inner Doorways, sees the conjunction:
“giving us warrior energy to forge ahead. … Mars is in retrograde and may be causing creative blocks, irritability, and impulsive behaviors. This stems from the inactivity of the creative spirit. … It’s time to move the creation that needs to be birthed from inside us out into reality.”
We might also find ourselves fighting on behalf of our tribe, too. Says Marina Marcario, Darkstar Astrology:
“Moon conjunct Mars is passionate about protection of the family and those they love. Everything is about strategy, instincts are extra-sensitive and react super-fast to any outside threat…. At this time we may find it quite hard to mellow out, even when at home and out of the war zone.”
And still, there’s more. As he retrogrades, Mars sinks unusually far beneath the ecliptic, the Sun’s apparent path across the sky, what astrologers call “out of bounds.” Out-of-bounds planets are less willing to play by anyone’s rules but their own.
Andrew Ifandis, Cosmos of Astrology, explains the details:
“Mars is in Aquarius so inner tension relationship to how we assert our individuality is building…. The planet is also Out of Bounds from July 7 until Sept. 27, roaming high above the ecliptic. This means UNPREDICTABLE behavior and this peaks between Aug. 14-19, when Mars will reach an astounding declination of 26’ 29” south,” approximately 13 percent south of his usual path.
Hair-Trigger Today, Gone Tomorrow
And if your blood’s not pumping yet, tight squares from the Sun, Full Blood Moon and Mars to unpredictable Uranus further heightens the volatility and drama inherent in this lunar eclipse.
“Endings/goodbyes/results will hit suddenly. Uranus’ … theme of liberation will be emphasized – consider any sharp turn of events to be a necessary break from the past. Clarity will be thrust upon you, as well as freedom. If results are severe enough, this won’t feel like freedom. Rest assured that it is.”
Nadia Gilchrist, Ruby Slipper Astrology
“Mars square Uranus makes this lunar eclipse a risk-taker and racer. The collective will feed off adrenaline and have very little patience.…
“Sharp blades of Mars combine with Uranus’s sudden action so that could stir up a national emergency. Fireworks are symbolic of this aspect too, in the bedroom department as well as in temperament. And yes, quick tempers are easily aroused.”
Marina Marcario, Darkstar Astrology
Uranus sits at the midpoint of the Sun and Moon, and the lunar nodes, which astrologers call “the bendings.” As such, it’s also at the apex of an aspect pattern called a T-square – two (or more) planets in opposition, squared by a third planet (or several more planets).
My forecast puts the pieces of this lunation’s T-square together.
“In one corner we have [Mars, the Blood Moon, Lilith and the South Node representing] a masculine, conflict-driven way of being, the way things have always been. And it’s pitted against the way the feminine is leading us: the Leo Sun fused with the path of the future (some would even say destiny) the North Node, and the [nearby]asteroid Pallas – the maiden warrior who employs intelligence, wisdom and strategy.”
In other words, “The male-driven way of the past and the female-driven way of the future are pressing equally hard against volatile Uranus in Taurus.” … Another indicator that past ways aren’t holding any longer.
Lord of the Dance
Traditionally speaking, as ruler of Aquarius, Saturn acts as lord of the eclipse, casting his serious and stabilizing gaze over the eclipse proceedings.
All summer long, Saturn’s traveled in a fortuitous trine with Uranus, which modern astrologers also link with Aquarius. Saturn imposes structure while Uranus disrupts, yet their different styles are working together now.
Jamie Partridge, Astrology King, explores the personal benefits:
“This aspect makes the emotional turmoil and change caused by the lunar eclipse less upsetting or erratic. It helps you stay calm and patient. You can find new ways of doing old things without rocking the boat…. You may be given more responsibility but also be allowed enough freedom to tackle the work in your own way.”
My forecast elaborates:
“Despite Uranus’ unpredictability, chaos and change promise surprising stability. The lord of order, Saturn, is traveling all summer long in the easy flow of a trine to Uranus, birthing new forms and structures, and making situations manifest, concrete and tangible that have been building for some time.”
Intensifying the, well, intensity, is a trine between the love goddess Venus and Pluto, lord of the underworld. My forecast explains:
“This sky has a strong streak of having to capitulate to forces greater than mortal will. … This contact makes desires, relationships, money and values primal and intense, with a tractor-beam magnetism that overrides sense and intellect. The trine also focuses and streamlines them, making us more selective but also more relentless in pursuit.
“Secrets will come out and factor into the revelations and chapter-endings. It’s nigh on impossible to keep triangulation under wraps. If you’re in one (or learn that you’re in one), relationships have no choice but to change.”
Nadia Gilchrist, Ruby Slipper Astrology, sees healthy benefits in the trine:
“There will be practical empowerment happening in the background — a gentle strengthening of what you know is right and good for you.”
He Said, She Said
Adding to the volatility, cosmic messenger Mercury, the ruler of communication and transportation, stations retrograde the day before the Aquarius Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse. This means, at the time of the eclipse, it appears he’s barely moving, as if waiting to see how things will turn out.
Andrew Ifandis, Cosmos of Astrology, wonders:
“Either misunderstandings and drama or detached emotional coldness that may cut us off from important others. Are these really our only options?”
The sky is vast, and so are the number of ways astrologers have found meaning in the heavens above. Let’s look at how some of these add meaning, nuance and depth to the Aquarius Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse.
The Moon is pressed in a kind of “conjunction sandwich” between two pairs of fixed stars. It has just passed over Dahib and Giedi and moves toward Oculus and Bos, all in the head of the constellation Capricorn the Goat.
Jamie Partridge, Astrology King, describes their influences:
“Giedi gives beneficence, sacrifice and offering. Mars with Giedi causes abruptness, aggression and much criticism. … Dabih with the Moon gives success in business and wealth, but trouble through the opposite sex, deserved criticism and censure. [quoting Vivian E. Robson]It also causes extreme emotional problems.
“Oculus and Bos are similar to Giedi and Dabih, but with a tendency towards conservatism, and perhaps lack forward-looking vision in times of crisis. [quoting Dr. Eric Morse]”
Asteroids & Minor Planets
Retrograde Chiron, known as the wounded healer, in Aries also makes an eclipse appearance; Chiron’s trine the Sun/North Node and sextile the Moon/South Node. Nadia Gilchrist, Ruby Slipper Astrology, explains:
“The Sun (ruler of the North Node-path forward) trines Chiron Rx in Aries (ruled by Mars), underlining the point that what’s happening is necessary and may ultimately be a relief. The confrontation or breakaway will help you move through what makes you afraid or vulnerable. It may even boost your confidence.
“For some, this could be a crazy leap into the unknown that is part of your new agenda of radical healing. Again, that Mars theme – courage, action, anger, doing something definitive. Chiron and Mars are both Rx, so maybe you’re finally confronting a painful issue that’s been simmering for a while.”
The Aquarius Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse also makes a semi-sextile, an aspect nudging growth and adjustment, to stabilizing Saturn.
“Moon semi-sextile Saturn makes you feel protective of your family and partner. Saturn will moderate your emotions to an extent and make it easier to calm down. It gives a caring, patient and responsible attitude. Feelings of commitment, respect and loyalty to family may not be as strong as your anger and resentment, but they may stop you from taking rash actions that you would soon regret.”
Jamie Partridge, Astrology King
Each astrological sign can be divided into three sections, known as decans (10-degree divisions of the Zodiac). This Moon is in Aquarius decan 1, which is ruled by Venus and Saturn.
Marina Marcario, Darkstar Astrology, perceives inherent discomfort for the Moon.
“The needy embryonic Moon is not comfortable in a decan that is so much about cutting the umbilical cord to freedom. It is also one that will tend to rebel against its mother country and feel at odds in whatever home they find themselves. The Moon here is continually searching for the ‘Promised Land’ but rarely finds it.”
Over the years, astrologers have devised systems to assign meaning to each degree of the Zodiac. The most popular of the past century has been the Sabian Symbols, proposed by Marc Edmund Jones.
The Sabian Symbol for the 5th degree of Aquarius is: “A Council of Ancestors Is Seen Implementing the Efforts of a Young Leader.”
In his commentary on the Symbol, astrologer Dane Rudhyar explained, “Every individual is far more dependent upon the strength of his ancestors’ achievements – or oppressed by their failures and lack of vision – than he usually believes. This can mean a hidden foundation of individual strength, or the inertia of a tradition unable to transcend its limited origins.”
We’re all familiar with the 12-sign solar Zodiac. But there’s also an even older 28-sign (to some 27-sign) lunar Zodiac, the starry path followed by the Moon from night to night. Indian astrologers call these the naksatras; Arab astrologers called them the Mansions of the Moon.
The Aquarius Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse falls in Lunar Mansion 24, which the Arab astrologers called I (The Luckiest of the Lucky). Donna Woodwell of Donna Philosophica nicknamed it “The Mother.”
Donna says: “The mansion’s purpose is to nurture yourself and your projects. …Take care of yourself. Acknowledge your desires. Ask for support, allow others to assist you. But don’t expect someone to rescue you, you are responsible for tending your own garden.”
Summing It Up
The Aquarius Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse is a dynamic, volatile, milestone event. My forecast sums it up:
“It’s bringing revelations, departures and endings that change our emotions, viewpoints, relationships (specific connections, as well as ground rules and agreements), networks and alliances. All drive home the imperative to express ourselves – not merely to use our voices and speak our minds, but also to let our unique being braze brightly and unapologetically.”
With, of course, more to be revealed…
The Total Lunar Eclipse is visible in Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South America, but not in North America. For eclipse-watching details, check TimeandDate.com
Last Moon Phase: July New Moon in Cancer
Next Moon Phase: August New Moon in Leo
July Aquarius Full Moon Times and Dates:
San Francisco: Friday, July 27, 1:20 p.m. PDT
New York: Friday, July 27, 4:20 p.m. EDT
São Paulo: Friday, July 27, 5:20 p.m. BRST
London: Friday, July 27, 9:20 p.m. BST
Istanbul: Friday, July 27, 11:20 p.m. TRT
Mumbai: Saturday, July 28, 1:50 a.m. IST
Tokyo: Saturday, July 28, 5:20 a.m. JST
Sydney: Saturday, July 28, 6:20 a.m. AEST
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