The solar eclipse is almost here!
Eclipses always come in pairs, and on Friday 20th March, we’ll see the solar eclipse first, as the Moon will sail between Earth and Sun, casting her shadow onto vast areas of our planet.
This celestial set-up means that a solar eclipse must be accompanied by a new Moon (as opposed to a Full Moon – as reported by some ill-informed national newspapers!)
New Moons are the originators: bringers of new ideas, new beginnings and opportunities for renewal. These times of rebirth come around each cycle – we get thirteen of them in each year, but this time, as lunar energy flips from retreat and dissolution into growth and creation, she will also be just about to dramatically obscure the Sun’s constantly present glare.
It’ll be an awesome sight!
But what about other significance for us, on our more subtle levels of experience?
First, lets quickly look at the ‘qualities’ of solar energy, in order to understand what happens when it is eclipsed.
It’s very easy to simply tag solar energy as ‘masculine’ and lunar energy as ‘feminine’, but I recently came across the work of Howard Teich, about these celestial energy types, and how they don’t necessarily reside within this culturally manufactured masculine/feminine split.
Long, long before our ancient ancestors worshiped gods and goddesses, they regarded the Sun and Moon as twin deities… without gender.
Whilst it was certainly believed that each of these celestial bodies imparted a very different energetic influence from the other one, affecting different parts of our psyches, and different functions within the natural world, they weren’t labeled as ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’.
So rather than their foundations being in the binary of gender, the basic functioning and belief systems of these very ancient earthly cultures was not in the God/Goddess, but in solar-lunar consciousness.
“The qualities that the ancients ascribed to the Sun were generally “oneness” because the sun predictably rises every day. To the Moon they ascribed “variations” because the Moon changes according to a 28-day cycle”.
So examples of those characteristics of “oneness” associated with sunlight could be strength, authority, logic, assertion, competition, and clarity of vision.
Those of “variation”, associated with moonlight, could be intuitive and emotional insight, sensitivity and receptiveness, sensuality and eroticism.
These qualities are all present, in varying degrees, in both men and women, but are not specific to either, and don’t completely define one or other gender, either. So our more modern habit of this gender-assignment, and the greater cultural and social repercussions of describing solar qualities as “masculine” and lunar qualities as “feminine” aren’t coming from a place of accuracy.
I wanted to bring this up, because it is so easy to slip into unconscious gender stereotyping when talking about solar and lunar energy (I do it all the time!) and words are so powerful, so we need to take care when using them, especially when discussing such fundamental ideas.
Back to the eclipse:
Eclipses have long been known to bring about change in human lives.
As the Moon and the Sun – these two celestial bodies – align precisely with each other, and with our own bodies, our energetic matrices are also aligning, and this can radically re-shift what we create in our lives from this point, as all originates from what is felt in our energetic bodies.
There are also many astrological factors at play, which will also generate an effect, but here I want to focus on the lunar-solar interplay.
The crucial thing is, these shifts are unlikely to be what we’ve been planning for or expecting. Ordinarily, on a New Moon there is a degree of structure, when we set intentions, and plan for change, and work with rising lunar energy to make things happen, because we’re using both solar and lunar consciousness to do this. (Bear in mind some people would still describe this as using masculine and feminine energy).
But during the solar eclipse, the New Moon energy of inception, new beginnings, and originating change, is working independently. Luna begins this new cycle of creation by eclipsing the sun, and by doing so, she intercepts and prevents the energetic input of solar consciousness.
So the change, growth and creation that is born in each of us during this lunar cycle, will come through lunar qualities of “variation” (to use Teich’s words); From intuition, emotional insight, sensitivity and receptiveness.
Attempts that we make to control the changes that this New Moon eclipse brings in, (by trying to engage a whole lot of solar consciousness) may not go to plan, as we’ll be on our own, working against the cosmic tides.
It’s likely that things will feel like they are in flux for a couple of weeks.
I mentioned that eclipses come in pairs, and in a fortnight’s time (on April 4th), the Full Moon will be eclipsed, as our planet’s shadow falls onto the surface of the fully illuminated Moon, making her face appear to turn blood red.
It’s actually the whole two-week portal, and crucially how we handle it, that is the change-maker. So what can we do, to work best with the energy of the eclipses?
- Use this time as an opportunity to receive change, not resist it.
- Trust cosmic guidance – release the desire to forge on with headstrong determination, instead allow things to take place around you, and try to go in whichever direction opens up to you.
- That said, if you are feeling driven to work, then work. If you are driven to play, then play. If you are driven to rest, then rest.
- Don’t expect to have all the answers. We can easily interpret the energy of change that eclipses carry, as confusion, doubt and lack of direction. But uncertainty isn’t a bad thing – nothing is certain during times of transition, it’s the nature of the process.
- Get close to Mother Earth. Connect with her to allow your own bodily rhythms to harmonize and re-calibrate, so you can tune in to any subtle changes being presented you.
- Unplug from the techno world as much as you can – re-harmonize yourself, for the same reasons.
You may feel this eclipse immensely, or maybe hardly at all. It’s effects maybe instantaneous, or perhaps they won’t filter into your lived experience for months!
But these times are a gift – the opportunities they bring for big renewal and improvement, whether we welcome them or not, are sitting right there on the path in front of us. You can stop and put up a fight, or cruise up and have a smooch…. The choice belongs to you.
Whatever does happen, I hope the journey brings you joy.
A beautifully put piece, so much resonates with me, thank you. I think I’ll have a smooch!
Thanks Amy, think I will too!