Solar and Lunar Eclipses

What is the astrological significance of an Eclipse?

Eclipses occur in a regular pattern, approximately every 6-7 months. An Eclipse is a New Moon or Full Moon that appears within 18 degrees of one of the Moon’s Nodes.

To understand their astrological significance, we first need to understand some basics of the Lunar cycle.

The New and Full Moons

The New Moon is the beginning of the waxing phase of the Lunar cycle, or the two weeks when the Moon increases in light. We can use the energy of the increasing light of the Moon to plant seeds, both literally and figuratively. We start new projects, buy new things, make new contacts. Farmers use this time to plant above-ground crops.

The Full Moon is the culmination of the Moon’s cycle, and the beginning of the waning phase. During the two weeks following the Full Moon, the Moon decreases in light. This is a good period for working on ourselves, finalizing things, processing information, wrapping up, and letting go of the things we don’t need anymore. This is a time for progress toward the inner, rather than outer, realm. Farmers often use this time to plant root crops, which grow under the surface of the earth.

Solar and Lunar Eclipses

Solar eclipse is a very special New Moon. Projects we start between the eclipse and the next Full Moon (about 2 weeks), take on added significance 6 months down the road. This applies to the seeds we plant, projects we undertake, contacts we make, and intentions we set.

Lunar eclipse is a very special Full Moon. Decisions, events efforts, and matters we finish during this waning cycle have significance in the future. It also powers up the process of letting go, working through hangups and clearing the clutter.

Full Moons in general, and Lunar eclipses in particular, are times of high emotion. The Full Moon brings activity and awareness, full illumination of the emotional realm. The Sun and the Moon, our animus and our emotions, are on opposite sides of the sky, as if the other were a mirror. We can see ourselves in others if we are willing to look. Many are not.

What is an eclipse?

Lunar Eclipse. Source: Wikimedia

The apparent path of the Sun and planets around the Earth (called the Ecliptic) and the Moon’s orbit around the earth are not parallel to one another. If you were to represent them using two hula hoops, you would cross them over in the middle, like this. (The angle is exaggerated here for effect.) The two paths intersect in two places. These points are called the Moon’s Nodes.

animation showing Eclipse cycles
If the animation stops before you want it to, try reloading the page.

An eclipse is a New or Full Moon that occurs near the Moon’s Nodes. Because the Moon and Sun are so close to the Nodes, they are aligned perfectly enough with the Earth to cast a shadow.

During a Solar eclipse, the Moon casts a shadow on the Earth. During a Lunar eclipse, the Earth casts a shadow on the Moon.


The Solar Eclipse list

You can do this anytime between the Solar Eclipse and the next Full Moon. Take out a sheet of paper and a pen. Find yourself a nice quiet spot. On the paper, make a list of 100 things you want. Don’t hold back! Don’t let your inner voice tell you that you can’t have it. It will be hard to think of things after the first 50, but keep at it. Be positive: “I will get a raise,” not “I want a raise.”

  1. I will make some new friends.
  2. I will have a beach named after me.
  3. I will be my own boss.
  4. I will solve climate change.
  5. I will have a new car.
  6. I will have a Xena Warrior Princess doll.
  7. My houseplants will live long and be green.

…and so on.

When you are finished, place your list in an envelope, seal it, write the date on it, and put it in a sacred place in your home. Or you could just bless it and stick it in a drawer. You have just asked for what you want. This is how you plant seeds. After 1 year has passed, take out your list, and see which of these seeds have taken root in your life.

The Lunar Eclipse meditation:

You can do this anytime between the Lunar Eclipse and the next New Moon. Same as the Solar Eclipse list, except this is a little harder. This time, think of the things in your life you would like to bring to a close, finish, or end. The contract you want to get signed, that job you want to finish. That guilty feeling. The unhealthy relationship.

Take some time to sit in a quiet space and breathe. Visualize the inner workings of that habit, the issue, the situation, as people. Give them names and faces! My addicted smoker and my inner doctor. My gentle self and my angry self. Visualize them each holding one end of a rope, like a tug of war. They can see each other now, how can they better understand one another? How can they work together to achieve balance? Picture each one gently dropping their end of the rope.

You have just asked for assistance from the universe to clear out old energies and make room for the things you want to bring in. There is great power in this request.

For more information about eclipses:

NASA: Fred Espenak’s Eclipse page
Contains lots of good astronomical information, including where the eclipses will be visible and the exact times.

1 thought on “Solar and Lunar Eclipses”

  1. Whoa! I didn’t know where I was when I got onto this page….. It looks super great! Super fantastic job on categorizing the archive and laying it out here in the sidebar!!!

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