Venus Retrograde

Venus Retrograde

Venus is a graceful balance that, simultaneously, warms and humidifies. Creator of her own light, she equally extends resourcefulness to her environment.

“Venus has the same powers and tempered nature of Jupiter, but acts in the opposite way; for she warms moderately because of her nearness to the sun, but chiefly humidifies, like the moon, because of the amount of her own light and because she appropriates the exhalations from the moist atmosphere surrounding the earth.” [Ptolemy, p.37]

Of Phosphorous Ascending: The Synodic Cycle of Venus and Her Phases of Renewal

Every five hundred and eighty-four days, Venus’ flickering pirouette scrapes the frost from an echoing past that taunts one’s resolve. Her retrograde glint, a wayward waltz of forty days (and forty nights), is propelled by the Morning Star’s ascension. This phase of renewal, as part of the Venus Cycle, is a principle intricately explored by ancient Mayan cosmology and mythology, most notably in the Mayan Venus Calendar and the Popol Vuh of the Quiche Maya. Perhaps the oldest record of the celestial movements of Venus is preserved in the Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa, whose origins date to mid-17th century BCE.

Her first phase, as Hesperus, marks her western descent as an evening star. Hesperos, or Vesper in Latin, is the origin of the name Hesperus, the evening star, sharing root with the English word ‘west’. Her mantled plunge below the blackened undercurrent is the secret bow before her inferior conjunction with the Sun in the east. This pivot marks her Phosphorous phase, bathed in blindingly ferocious light as Lucifer, or light-bearer. In Greek, the name for Morning Star is Heōsphoros (Ἑωσφόρος), translated as dawn-bringer.

Morning Star

Stanisław Wyspiański: Eos, Phosphoros, Hesperos, Helios, 1897.

“At that time when Eosphoros (Dawn Star) passes across earth, harbinger of light, and after him Eos (Dawn) of the saffron mantle is scattered across the sea.”

Homer, Iliad

The Five Celestial Flares

In a lifespan, Venus’ retrogrades trace a celestial five-pointed pentagram that, in turn, activate five specific zodiacal parts (or signs). To note, Venus does not commence retrogrades in Libra, Sagittarius, or Pisces, and, instead, begins in Aries, Gemini, Leo, Scorpio, and Capricorn. Upon completing five Venusian cycles of eight years, the Morning Star returns to the same point in the cosmos. When Venus repeats her retrograde cycle in the before mentioned signs, however, she successively does so a few degrees earlier each time.

It is helpful to recall prior Venus cycles in order to understand the intimate effects of Venus’ celestial sway as it unfurls before one’s current path. Recollecting one’s Venusian trajectory eight years ago can clarify its forthcoming theme. Note the following:

Natal planets (inner and outer) in Venus’ trajectory will activate the more subjectively challenging effects of this retrograde. Depending on the placement of Scorpio and Libra in one’s chart, Venus’ shadow period will also indicate an elongated stay in a particular chart sector. Generationally, natal outer planets in either Libra and/or Scorpio (from approximately 25° Libra to 10° Scorpio) will be conjoined by transiting Venus during her retrograde, depending on one’s birth year. For example, Neptune is activated from 1953–1962, Uranus from 1973-1977, and Pluto from 1981-1988. Of course, this is highly dependent upon the quality of Venus’ impact (or lack thereof) on one’s personal (or inner) planets, and, ultimately, the magnitude of signification in which effected planets represent in one’s own personal chart.

Venus in Scorpio, Uranus in Taurus: Pivotal Opposition

Venus In Scorpio

During this retrograde, Venus makes an exact opposition to Uranus thrice, on 9/12/18, 10/31/18, and 11/30/18, respectively. Noticeably, neither planet feels comfortable in the signs of their current ingresses. In Scorpio, Venus is in adversity (detriment), where the otherwise fluidly reconcilable qualities of Libran Venus are turned on their side. Uninhibitedly, Venus grants amelioration to any fragments of shattered sensitivity, serving as the equilibrium of supportively empathic partnerships. Likewise, she evokes capacity for aesthetic perceptions, and, ultimately, is a conduit for personal and worldly peace. Contrastingly, in Mars-ruled Scorpio, retrograde Venus can respond in indolence, manipulation, and destructively sensual abandonment. Her qualities are contorted when ingressed in a sign that thrives by dismantling the taboo, a territory seldomly charted via Venusian excursions.

As the Morning Star, Phosphorous Venus’ pulverizing light is akin to the severing quality of the Warrior, Mars. In parallel, the position of Venus as Morning Star was the centerpiece of Mayan warfare strategy, noted by the Tlaloc-Venus execution, whose implementation violently resolved Mayan ‘competition’ in A.D. 378 [Schele, p.130]

The maximum separation possible between Venus and the Sun is 48 degrees, which, not unlike Mercury, binds her to the solar ego. Swiftly, Venus can be absorbed by self-possession and lassitude. Retrograde Venus can often socially retreat, becoming immersed in insecurities, unworthiness, and doubt. She accentuates emotive renewal, inspecting the structure of our value system while striving to escape the barricades of a past that taunts our resolve. Likewise, this is an opportune moment to exercise creative potential, a process that, independently, can harmonize the psyche’s bellicose divisions.

Uranus In Taurus

In another sense, we are intuitively aware of the disparities between a planet that rebelliously demands liberation through unorthodox pathways versus a sign that thrives via tradition and paced rhythms. Uranus is the riotous, individual quality inherent in the mind’s structure. Nothing is more rapturous to it than the prospect of insurgence. In essence, the transcendence of cultural and social programming, particularly in relation to the collective and individualistic perspective of currency, is the vigorous current of Uranus in Taurus.

Operating on sensation instead of action, Uranus in Taurus functions through a Venusian lens. However, Uranus transcends worldly matter, aligning with the elevated realms of thought. The innate incompatibility between worldly desires and transcendental exaltation is the impetus behind forthcoming revolutionary change. Historically, Uranus’ previous Taurean transit, from June 1934 to May 1942, ushered a plethora of revolutionary fluctuations, including economic shifts deviating from the U.S. gold standard coupled with bank closures, the lamentable rise of the Hitler regime, and the Great Depression (to the middle of World War II). In essence, values inherent in materialism were as challenged by the erratic undercurrent of Uranian transcendence as they are currently underway.

Venus Retrograde

Venus Opposite Uranus: Tug-of-War

Newly sparked relationships during Venus retrograde likely mirror subconscious forms of necessary escapism from quotidian settings. Permanent bonds are unlikely manifestations under the erratic impetus of Uranus. The undercurrent of Venus and Uranus seeks stimulation, excitement, and unusual experiences through the realm of relationships. A type of friction, or tug-of-war, is surged between the intensely alluring guise of Venus, and the rebellious nature of Uranus, as the latter, dominated by the fixed grasp of Taurus, becomes begrudgingly afflicted. In other words, pressure erupts as a result of the innately incompatible natures of Venus and Uranus when ingressed in signs that cannot adequately compliment their respective energies (Scorpio and Taurus, respectively). Impulsive spending is another key theme under this configuration, as Venus oversees our livelihoods and can justify frivolous consumerism as a form of satiating subconscious voids.

Elemental Fire Void

Until Jupiter ingresses into Sagittarius on November 8th, 2018, an underlying fire void accompanies most of the Venus retrograde. A transit fire void can often manifest as a lack of dynamism coupled with dubiousness regarding the sustenance in the life force itself. This can be accompanied by apathy, low energy, and a lack of motivation to mobilize goals. Self-confidence may be compromised with a tendency towards despondency. Fire voids are often significant indicators of obstacles regarding the manner in which one approaches the scope of experience. All activities, including dietary and exercise regimens, should be moderately implemented in order to preserve energetic reserves. As water-earth is the current elemental emphasis, the fulfillment of security needs become paramount, often to the detriment of intellectual and communicative faculties. Caution should be noted against manipulative tendencies in the pursuit of earthly goals.

The Moon-goddess accompanied by the Dioscuri, or Phosphoros (the Morning Star) and Hesperos (the Evening Star). Marble altar, 2nd century CE.

Venus in Libra on Arcturus and Spica

Venus conjoins Arcturus and Spica during her retrograde and upon stationing direct. Between Spica and Arcturus, there is a minor difference in longitude and a significant distance in latitude. Both fixed stars are omens of good fortune with similar attributes, although Arcturus’ comparative role is that of the Unbiased Protector.

The Athenians saw the Bootes constellation as the leader of people who had fallen at difficult times. The alpha star of Bootes is the brilliantly golden star Arcturus. As per Ptolemy’s location, Arcturus is the bright star in the fringe of the Tunic, representing leadership skills and pioneering vision. Conjoined Venus, Arcturus becomes “a leader in the arts or humanist politics, coupled with a willingness to explore the difficult or unusual in friendships, arts, and social events.” Likewise, Arcturus is said to bestow “popular, gifts and favors from friends.” According to Ptolemy, Arcturus is of the qualities of Jupiter and Mars.

The famous Spica, the wheat sheaf in the hand of the goddess, symbolizes gifts of knowledge, insight, and the potential for brilliance. According to Ptolemy, Spica is of the qualities of Venus, and, “in a less degree, that of Mars.” [Ptolemy, p.51] Conjoined Venus, Spica draws “gifted” people into the native’s circle. However, older texts caution of Arcturus above the benefactor Spica, as if implying celestial justice in the face of possible greed.

Timeline of the 2018 Venus Retrograde in Scorpio/ Libra

Below is my own chronological synopsis of the 2018 Venus retrograde cycle. During this passage, Venus squares Mars and opposes Uranus thrice. As Venus oscillates from Evening to Morning Star, we witness the shifting of the Nodes, followed by Jupiter’s ingress into his domicile. As Venus stations direct at 25º14′ Libra (on fixed stars Arcturus and Spica), on November 16th, 2018, at 6:52 AM EDT, we firstly witness both benefics simultaneously posited in their own domiciles.

  • 9/3/18: Venus enters pre-shadow phase in Libra.
  • 9/8/18: Venus square Mars at 29°36′ Libra-Capricorn at 4:05 PM EDT.
  • 9/12/18: Venus opposite Uranus at 2°03′ Scorpio-Taurus at 4:41 AM EDT.
  • 10/5/18: Evening Star/ Hesperus Venus stations retrograde at 10º50′ Scorpio (decan I) on 10/5/18 at 3:43 PM EDT.
  • 10/11/18: Venus square Mars exact at 10º16′ Scorpio-Aquarius at 10:29 PM EDT.
  • 10/26/18: Venus in the heart of the Sun/ Cazimi exact at 3º06′ Scorpio at 10:17 AM EDT.

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  • 10/26/18: Venus is now in her Morning Star/ Phosphorous /Lucifer phase and commences a new 584 day cycle.
  • 10/26/18: Venus under the beams of the Sun/ combust at 2:29 PM EDT.
  • 10/31/18: Venus opposite Uranus at 0º15′ Scorpio-Taurus square 0º37′ Leo North Node, at 4:21 AM EDT.
  • 10/31/18: Venus ingresses into 29º59′ Libra, decan III, at 3:42 PM EDT.
  • 11/6/18: The North Node ingresses into 29º59′ Cancer at 2:10 PM EDT.
  • 11/6/18: Uranus regresses into 29º59′ Aries at 2:58 PM EDT, as Venus resumes retrograde at 27º08′ Libra.
  • 11/8/18: Jupiter ingresses into Sagittarius, at 8:39 AM EDT, conjoining 0º03′ Luna, exact at 3:05 PM EDT.
  • 11/16/18: Venus stations direct at 25º14′ Libra on fixed stars Arcturus and Spica, at 6:52 AM EDT.
  • 11/30/18: Anaretic Venus opposite Uranus 29° Libra-Taurus
  • 12/2/18: Venus regresses into Scorpio at 1:02 PM EDT.
  • 12/17/18: Venus exits post-shadow period in Scorpio.

References:

1. Homer, Iliad, Hackett Publishing.

2. Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, Harvard Press.

3. Robson, Vivian E., Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology.

4. Ebertin, Elsbeth, Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation.

5. Brady, Bernadette, Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars.

6. Brady, Bernadette, Star and Planet Combinations.

Copyright © 2018 Saturn & the Sun Astrology. All rights reserved.

Mercury Cazimi

Mercury Cazimi

September 20th, 2018: Mercury Cazimi

When in its own domicile, a planet is considered impervious to the Sun’s beams. For example, while the Sun currently illuminates Virgo, fleet-footed Mercury’s recent ingress into The Virgin remains impenetrably poised, as a result of his domicile (and exaltation). However, as Mercury swiftly approaches the heart of the King on 9/20/18, he will be enveloped within 16 arc minutes of the solar rays. This condition, known as Cazimi, is the Medieval astrological term that defines closely conjoined planets (within 16 arc minutes).*

The King’s Heart

When a planet is ‘in the heart’ of the King, or Cazimi, it is, simultaneously, shielded and strengthened in the commencement of a new solar cycle. The Medieval term Cazimi is the Latin transliteration of the Arabic term ‘kaṣmīmī’, implying ‘as if in the heart’. Essentially, this is the translation of the Greek term egkardios (meaning ‘in the heart’), originating in the works of Rhetorius of Egypt, circa 7th century CE. *There are disparities amongst Medieval sources regarding the exact proximity between the Sun and another planet in order to be deemed Cazimi, with earlier authors attributing a broader 1° value and later astrologers decreasing range to 16’. However, even the 16′ value presents discordance amongst later astrologers. William Lilly, for example, extends Cazimi to 17′. For the purposes of this article, I will be focusing on the tighter value of 16 arc minutes. 

Mercury

Meticulous Messenger

Traditional associations of a dignified Mercury punctuate sharp intellect and cogitation. Here, debaters and logicians mastering knowledge and articulation are rendered, as are seekers of mysteries, amalgamating information without external guidance or teachers. Of additional Mercurial attributes, Lilly emphasizes those being “ambitious of being exquisite in every Science, desirous naturally of travel and seeing foreign parts: a man of an unwearied fancy, curious in the search of any occult knowledge; able by his own Genius to produce wonders; given to Divination and the more secret knowledge; if he turn Merchant, no man exceeds him in a way of Trade or invention of new wayes whereby to obtain wealth.”

Since Mercury in Virgo is already in his domicile and exaltation, on 9/10/18, its momentary Cazimi placement will doubly fortify its Mercurial correlations. As a rare and auspicious election, The Messenger oversees cerebral activities involving dexterity and precision, strengthening his associations with critical thinking, judgement, and, traversing the ninth place (see chart election), grants swift and safe journeys.

Ursa Major

Mercury Cazimi on Fixed Star Alkaid

Mercury and the Sun, at 27°34’ and 27°47’ respectively, conjoin fixed star Alkaid, at 27°10’ Virgo, the final resplendent white star perched on the tail of the Great Bear. Although Benetnash (Alkaid) is considered the star of “hired mourners” with the influence of a “Mars-Uranus-Saturn” nature, it is said to grant protection in travels. The Mars-like quality attributed to Ursa Major is pronounced in Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos. “Of the stars in the configurations north of the zodiac… those in Ursa Major (are like) that of Mars.” According to Agrippa in Three Books of Occult Philosophy, the ancients inscribed an “image of a pensive Man, or of a Bull, or the Figure of a Calf; it availeth against incantations, and maketh him who carrieth it secure in his travels.” If one wishes to further implement the protective properties of this star, chicory juice with wormwood and periwinkle flower should be combined with a magnetic stone such as mineral magnetite (lodestone). Specifically, of The Bear, Agrippa ascribes rulership over “the loadstone; amongst herbs, over succory or chicory, whose leaves and flowers turn towards the north; also mug-wort and the flowers of periwinkle…” According to Hermes on the 15 Fixed Stars, this combination repels enchantments, dryness, and grants safe excursions.

Mercury Election

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The September 20th election is ideal for travel, journeys, and all matters pertinent to the ninth place. Of the ninth, this extends to foreigners and foreign lands, religious associations, astronomy, astrology, oracular decrees, philosophy, and prophecies. Like the third place, where Luna traditionally rejoices, the ninth is the Sun’s joy, emphasizing authorities and sovereigns.

For this election, while the ruler of the first is Saturn, he is posited in his domicile. Being a diurnal chart, Saturn is not the malefic contrary to the sect in favor, and both benefics are overcoming The Time Keeper. As a result, his more constructive energies are capable of manifestation. The benefic of the sect in favor, Jupiter, governs the 3rd and 12th places. While there are no perfect elections, and Mars (the malefic contrary to the sect in favor) can present financial challenges in the 2nd place, both benefics overcome him. Luckily, Mars, in aversion to Saturn, cannot extend his malefic energy to the domicile lord. Although separating, Venus, ruler of the 10th and 5th, is in a square configuration to Mars. Aside from the auspicious implications of Mercury Cazimi, note that the Sun and Jupiter rejoice in the 9th and 11th, respectively.

In the King’s heart, Mercury (Cazimi) is graced with the protective warmth of the solar rays. Additional fortitude is granted by The Messenger’s journey through his Virgoan domicile and exaltation. On 9/20/18 at 3:44 PM EDT, this celestial portal will briefly offer guardianship in excursions, adorned by Alkaid’s fiery light. To commence travels, this is one favorable election.

References:

1. Chris Brennan, Hellenistic Astrology

2. William Lilly, Christian Astrology

3. Elsbeth Ebertin, Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation

4. Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos

5. Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, Three Books of Occult Philosophy

6. John Michael Greer, Hermes on the 15 Fixed Stars

Copyright © 2018 Saturn & the Sun. All rights reserved.

Roaring Umbra: Partial Solar Eclipse at 18°41’ Leo

In moments of personal victory, is one’s energy guided by the blaze of creative wisdom, or is it, instead, scorched by e-motive annihilation? When “in the grip of the lion’s paw”, the process prior to triumph not only defines strength of character, but is equally symbolic of moral courage and self-restraint.

Leo, Latin for lion, is the only sign in the zodiacal sphere portrayed as a ‘beast of prey’. The Latin etymology of Leo, namely, to ‘blot out, to annihilate, to destroy’, aligns with the foundational nature of the lion. [Carey, p.130] Leo synthesizes with the fifth division of the human body via motion, energy manifesting in action, and the anatomical parts corresponding with the heart and motor nerves. Concerned with dividing, lifting, and circulating the blood, the heart’s great mass of muscular tissue receives from the inner sun in Aries the ‘divine fire’ [Carey, p.131] in order to generate both tangible and invisible activities. Therefore, in order to harmoniously labor with The Ram, all precipitated energy must be constructively wielded by The Lion.


At 18°41’ Leo, lavished via Jupitarian rulership, ample triumph spawns in The Lion’s second face. In the Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Agrippa notes “…a man on whose head is a Crown; he hath the appearance of an angry man, and one that threatneth, having in his right hand a Sword drawn out…” It emphasizes “hidden contentions, unknown victories, base men… quarrels and battels [battles]” Furthermore, multiple figures adorned with laurels emerge violently victorious, illustrated by Ezra as a man wearing “…a crown of white myrtle, and a bow in hand [who] is fierce like a lion in his anger.” This imagery is echoed in (both the Arabic and Latin) Picatrix, alongside Birhat Jakata, whose “man… with white garlands [is] fierce as a lion with a bow in the hand…” Noted is the annihilatory nature of The Lion, now lacking harmony with the inner Sun or divine spark of Aries, and, as a result, unable to constructively wield the embers of motion (versus e-motion) and creative action.

As Luna’s penumbra pierces Augustus’ solar rays, this year’s final eclipse conjoins Pallas Athena and Mercury retrograde (at 17°06’ and 14°41’ Leo, respectively). Its potent focus, propelled by the wayward waltz of Hermes’ inferior conjunction (retrograde), finalizes this year’s ecliptic impetus in the axis of The Lion and Water Bearer (until 1/20/19). In essence, the partial solar eclipse merges the necessity of mental agility in alignment with purity of creative (life-bestowing) intent.

The heightened potential of Mercury’s fiery flight through Leo’s lunar umbrage blazes thought, opinion, and events which not only digress from the main current, but merge the above and below (i.e., the conscious and unconscious/ rational and irrational vigour of the mind). This cerebral voyage molds an interface between the establishment and the more progressive social factions, while merging the spiritual and soulful modes of consciousness. The unification of this mental excursion offers cultural diversity through new options and previously unimagined perspectives. However, these benefits request mental magnification, fortitude and cerebral flexibility beyond The Greater Benefic’s (Jupiter) currently opaque lens, in order to adjust and reform antiquated views. Mercury’s square to Jupiter, the most potent aspect apart from the actual eclipse, offers a macro-perspective, encompassing broad themes, structures, and abstract thought. However, its idealism and overt generalization can dismiss important details that significantly impede the fruition of visionary goals. Fortunately, Pallas Athena (Jupiter’s parthenogenetic daughter) in Leo, functioning as one’s capacity for realization and accomplishment, invokes the wisdom of creative spontaneity that spawns new modes of unique visionary expression. Conjoining the eclipse, Pallas Athena coalesces the mental-creative principle with the emotive realm in lucidity of the feminine expression.

While Jupiter challenges our levels of realism throughout this eclipse, its harmony with Neptune bestows much-needed humanitarian and empathic qualities. Participation in altruistic work is both likely and beneficial. The Jupiter-Neptune dialogue, stimulating the esoteric realm of our personalities, potentially ushers professors, mentors, or suitable guides that foster progress in spiritual endeavors or other meaningful journies.

At 19°41’ Leo, fixed Star Merak, a pale-green star in the flank of the Great Bear, conjoins the eclipse, and is said to bestow “a love of command and domination”. According to Ebertin, it fortifies perseverance and is influenced by the potency of Mars. [Ebertin, p.49] Additionally, the eclipse finds fixed stars Acubens and Dubhe conjunct Mercury. Of Mercury-Saturn influence, Acubens is stationed on the southern claw of The Crab near the head of the Hydra constellation. Popularly termed “the sheltering of hiding place,” fixed star Acubens is said to beget “activity, malevolence and poison, making its natives liars and criminals.’ [Robson, p.116] According to Dr. Morse, Acuben’s more positive quality stems from a “sharp intellect” and seamless problem-solving capabilities, “for which one might earn public renown.” However, Dr. Morse notes the latter as resulting from covert influence of external factors. [Dr. Eric Morse, p.50] Additionally, fixed star Dubhe, a yellow star perched on the back of the Great Bear (via Ptolemy’s location) is associated with the destructive nature of Mars [Ebertin, p.43]. However, it is likewise concerned with insight, persistence, and passive strength [Brady, p. 160] Dubhe’s constructive fortitude involves the ability to apply time to problem-solving strategies, alongside its faith in life’s rhythmic patterns.

Leo’s second face is attributed to the Six of Wands, yet another affluent emblem of victory (as per the RWS tarot), mirroring the optimism of its Jupitarian rulership, and paralleling the images of conquest previously excavated (in Leo’s second decanate). A young man on a white horse, adorned by a crowning wreath (on both the head and wand), proudly greets a jovial crowd in regal triumph. The traditional meaning of this card denotes victory following prolonged perseverance, labor, and the tenacity echoed by the The Lion’s strength.

In the Epinomis and Chaldean Oracles, Leo’s second face corresponds to Isis, the Egyptian goddess of protection and magical prowess. Isis, Egyptian Aset or Eset, is considered one of the most prominent goddesses of ancient Egypt. In resonance with the regal prestige of Leo II, her name is the Greek form of an ancient Egyptian word for ‘throne’. However, in the second face of Leo, she emerges as a merciful expression invoking the potency of creative, life-bestowing action and progress.

 Eclipse Visibility 

The maximal phase of the partial eclipse will be recorded in the East Siberian Sea, near the Wrangel Island.

The Partial Solar eclipse, whose maximal phase will register in the east Siberian Sea near the Wrangel Island, retains visibility in Canada, Greenland, Scotland, most of the Nordic countries (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland), Estonia, Latvia, Russia (excluding southwest of Pskov), Moscow, Penza, eastern points of the Far East, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and China. During sunset, the eclipse is observable in North and South Korea.

Possible Social Effects

Solar eclipses in Leo are generally intense, as its fixed mode denotes lasting duration. However, because this is a partial eclipse, it can, to a lesser extent, influence matters related to governments, rulerships, management, nuclear power, expenditure, gold, vacation and recreation industries. Leaders may either rise or fall to power, and the economy can be impacted via banking (resulting from the influence of fellow fixed signs Taurus and Scorpio). Stocks may erratically oscillate within a period of 30 days to a year of this eclipse. Finally, broad events including political demonstrations upon groups and their governments/ leaders can be expected. Again, please note that because this is a partial eclipse, these effects are both lessened and relative to the visibility in one’s location (see eclipse visibility).

Copyright © Saturn & the Sun Astrology. All rights reserved.

* The eclipse is exact on the day of Saturn, August 11th, at 5:57 AM ET.

July 27 2018 Total Lunar Eclipse: Toil and Triumph


How do we best endure crisis? When change’s certainty looms unannounced, we are often forced to confront the unknown with voiceless humility and grace. Beyond the relinquishment of preconceived existence, truth’s immeasurable beauty emerges, heralding uncharted experience.

At 4° 44’ Aquarius, the lengthiest total lunar eclipse of this century (occurring near apogee at 1 hour, 42 minutes, and 57 seconds) is barricaded between the South Node and retrograde Mars (at 5° 53′ and 3° 58′ Aquarius, respectively). Its potent focus, largely fueled by the ferocity of Mars, portends to the ultimate pulverization of the past’s antiquated patterns. Herein is the precipice of willful exodus: the first face of Aquarius heralds the abandonment of oppression in favor of spiritual transcendance. Crystallized belief structures supressing progress potentially surge and shatter, if we laboriously wield the fixed (Aquarius, Leo, Scorpio, Taurus) and retrograde (Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto, Chiron) energy emphasized in this eclipse’s chart.

Paralleling Saturnian perseverance, Aquarius’ first decanate evokes imagery of independent labor and thought. While The Timekeeper’s presence surveys Aquarius (via traditional rulership and triplicity), in decan I, his stoicism is pronounced as “a prudent man and the form of a woman spinning”. Here, the impression of steady, incessant work services a broader intent. According to Agrippa, significance denotes “thinking and working for gain in poverty, and for usefulness.” While scarcity and toil “in poverty and baseness” are emblematic of Saturn, allusion to Venus is disclosed by Ezra as “a man skilled in copper”. Derived from the word Kyprus, copper signals the island of Cyprus, regarded as Aphrodite’s birthplace. Again, in Picatrix (both Arabic and Latin correspondences), Venus emerges as “a man (holding) a peacock”. Although the first face of Aquarius is enshrouded in laborious imagery, its Venusian correspondence unveils the pleasure of personal independence.

Out-of-bounds Mars (7/7-9/24/18) conjoins Luna on the South Node, accentuating a prominent shift within its retrograde phase (6/26-8/27/18) that re-evaluates our collective contribution while reclaiming individuality and freedom. Particular receptivity stems from dismantling that which stagnates motivation, inspiration, and impedes individual growth. Out-of-bounds Mars correlates with cataclysmic manifestations of the yang’s penumbra. While socially erupting via war, violence, and dominion, collective recognition and con-structive action toward imperative change is Mars’ higher potential, and its masculine energy is best wielded past the archaic structures of societal paradigms.

The total lunar eclipse (along with Mars) conjoins fixed stars Giedi, Dabih, Oculus, and Bos, all within the Capricornus Constellation (in the head of the Sea-Goat). At 4° 1′ Aquarius, Giedi’s nature, simultaneously Venusian and Martian (according to Ptolemy), is “associated with piety and self-sacrifice.” [Larousse’s Encyclopedia of Astrology] At 4° 18′ Aquarius, fixed star Dabih denotes an “influential position but scarcely realizes ambitions, (along with) trouble through (the) opposite sex, deserved criticism and censure. [Robson, p.157.] At a mere 28′ distance, Oculus and Bos (at 4° 58′ and 5° 25′ Aquarius, respectively) being Venusian and Saturnian in nature, influence conservatism and a lack of progressiveness in crisis. [Morse, p.101] Overall, the Capricornus constellation bestows potent influence over human affairs, directing shifts in areas regarding climate and political customs.

In the Epinomis and Chaldean Oracles, Aquarius’ first face corresponds to Dikē, Greek goddess of enforced moral justice. Under Saturnian rulership and in alliance with this decan’s emblem of willful exodus, Dikē’s sword severs partnerships incongruent with the moral compass of Lady Justice. As her indiscriminate cleave cuts past all hindrances of freedom and liberation, Aquarius’ first facade toils to pulverize the barricades of injustice.

Aquarius’ modern ruler, Uranus, squares the Sun, Luna, Mars, and the nodal axis, magnifying the impetus and prophetical potency of this lunation. Unprecedented events saturated by Uranian unpredictability via erratic swerves and transformative severing from the past are probable themes. This seeming whirlwind of chaotic disarray is somewhat anchored as Uranus trines Saturn, however, supporting rigorous integration of this lunation’s forthcoming shifts. As Uranus’ current harmonizes with The GateKeeper, the strive for change is patiently labored through strategic efforts. While this eclipse pierces the emotive core, Luna’s semi-sextile to Saturn brings necessary equilibrium between obligations and emotional needs. Although the amplification of Mars grapples repressed and subconscious anger, Luna and Saturn work to prevent otherwise lamentable actions. Lastly, the Venus-Pluto trine unravels the depths of relationship dynamics, offering profound assertion through psychological insights. In essence, this intensification is the psyche’s own power, now seeking expression through the physical vessel.

Eclipse Visibility

At the exactitude of the 21st century’s greatest eclipse, Luna lies near the zenith from a point in the Indian Ocean that is east of Madagascar. This lunation is visibly posited for Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. While a portion of South America will view fragments of its final stages (as Luna rises), this eclipse’s visibility will not extend to North America.

Possible Environmental Effects

The Aquarian lunar eclipse, as a fixed air mode, influences the air, trees, birds, human communications (particularly as this lunation is ushered by Mercury retrograde), transit, transportation, electricity, hurricanes, tornadoes, winds, polluted air, airborne disease, radiation, wind energy, computer technology, postal systems, communication networks, and space discoveries. Magnifying the fixed mode, this eclipse suggests long-term, finalizing results.

On the day of Venus, the July 27th Total Lunar Eclipse is exact at 4:41 PM ET.

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Castor and the Phoenix: Partial Solar Eclipse at 20° 41′ Cancer

What is luxury? As defined by the third decanate of The Mother archetype, it is ‘having more than we need’ [Coppock]. At 20° 41′, The Crab’s third face grapples the dynamics of earthly excess and scarcity in earnest inquiry, as this decanate juxtaposes the advantage and precariousness of both extremes.

In the Rider Waite’s Four of Cups, the tarot card coalesced with this decan, a levitating hand offers a cup to a man perched beneath a tree (already in possession of three cups). The adept’s crossed arms imply the refusal to claim more than he requires, and this card’s ascetic interpretation echoes the ethics of Victorian esotericists accountable for its creation.

Paralleling this decan’s Jupitarian rulership (via triplicity/ parasara), multiple images unravel excursion in search for affluence. In Ibn Ezra, Cancer III depicts “a man… (who) intends to go to sea and bring gold and silver to make rings for his wives.” Not only is this search pertinent to luxurious commodities (in the form of gold and silver), but the concept of excess extends to partner multiplicity. Again, in the Birhat Jakarta, we encounter “a man with serpents… crossing the ocean in search of wife’s jewels.” Both men navigate the sea (Pisces/ Neptune in modern rulership) in search of abundance (Jupiter).

At 20° 14′, fixed star Castor, in the head of the Northern Twin, precisely conjoins the Sun and Luna. Castor, illuminated beside its counterpart Pollux, is a binary star associated with “skill in taming and managing horses.” [Robson p.154] In the Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology, Castor is associated with “guile and duplicity.” According to Brady, Castor conjunct Luna fosters therapeutic use of humor and the involvement in education. In paran with the Sun, Castor promotes “skilled language and professions linked with writing and communication”. [Brady p.146]

Luna-ruled Cancer, beyond its correspondence to the foundational roots of physical home and family (including the maternal womb), refers to the body as habitat for spirit. Therefore, the physical vessel must be honored in the pursuit of earthly work. As the interminable escapade for security unfurls through this decan’s imagery (summoning visions of jewels, luxuries, and excess), we realize that the only authentic source of security stems from within.

Favorably, an earthy grand trine between Capricornian Saturn, Taurean Uranus and Juno, and Virgoan Venus and Ceres fosters the solidity necessary to ground our higher self in the physical sphere. Further support is offered by the continuing Jupiter-Neptune trine, activating all three water signs via eclipse energy, and harnessing the fortitude of our imaginations and sense of initiative.

As eclipses become potent accelerators of transformation and growth via endings and renewals, the Cancerian lunation emotively dismantles, albeit uncomfortably, facets of our lives that neither nurture nor support our core progression. Despite this lunation’s tenebrous facade, eclipse energy illuminates the obscured stagnancy that, under Cancerian influence, beckons intuitive and emotive release.

The exact solar and lunar opposition to Pluto intensifies the transformative potency of this lunation. Pluto stirs an impenetrable force that incessantly functions within the depths of our unconsciousness, as its energies govern both our undercurrents and elevation. Arriving as inconspicuously as a new day’s dawn, its energy transforms from a core, visceral foundation, and alters the self with impervious permanence. As a vehicle for transformative transcendence, Pluto molds the self as a silhouette salvaged from the depths of putridity. In evolutionary essence, its planetary vestige is one of grace and regeneration.

*Note: In our charts, the house near 20 degrees Cancer is the focal point for potential rebirth. Prominent planets on or in close proximity to the eclipse’s degree will manifest change more rapidly. As always, for further insight, we refer to the previous two eclipses (namely, the 1/31/18 Leo lunar eclipse and the 2/15/18 Aquarius solar eclipse, respectively).

The New Moon Partial Solar Eclipse occurs on July 12, 2018, at 10:47 PM EDT.

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