October 8th, 2014, is a Lunar Eclipse. But not just any eclipse, for this one marks the second of four in a row otherwise known by the odd name 'Tetrad' (four consecutive total lunar eclipses with six Full Moons in
between.) The 2014/15 Tetrad occurs in the Zodiac Signs of Aries and Libra, with
the next two due on April 4th 2015, and September 28th
2015 (the first was on April 15th 2014).
Astronomically, a total lunar eclipse happens when the Moon is positioned directly behind the Earth and thus in its shadow, unable to reflect any sunlight. Lunar eclipses are visible anywhere on the night-side of the Earth. (There are also partial and penumbral eclipses, when part of the Moon passes through the Earth's shadow or is merely dimmed by it.)
Lunar eclipses in astrology often symbolise a time of crisis, specifically emotional because of the Moon's association with our mood and feelings. We can think of an eclipse as our emotional character or feelings being briefly immersed in the shadows, after which something new is revealed to us (when the Moon passes out of the Earth's umbra and into the light of the Sun again). Therefore a lunar eclipse will often coincide with a moment of panic that something is being kept hidden, perhaps valuable knowledge or a piece of information that we perceive as vital – or maybe that a dark secret or act of deceit is about to be revealed. Either way, when the eclipse ends we are often confronted with the truth - the revelation, brought from the shadows back into the light. And this can be the crisis moment. However everything that is revealed to us is perhaps done so in a cosmically timed manner - particularly from an astrological viewpoint; in other words, only when we are ready to confront that which was previously hidden. Although it might feel uncomfortable, disappointing or shocking, even devastating, it is essential that we 'see the light' to enable us to move forward. Of course we might well be relieved to finally have the truth.
The current Tetrad occurs on the Aries-Libra axis. This suggests that focus will be on the self and ego (Aries) versus others and relationship (Libra). It doesn't mean that only Aries and Libra will experience crises and revelation, for we all have these Signs somewhere in our personal birth charts and thus we will all experience the eclipses in some way. The fact that we're having a series of these lunar eclipses points to the great emotional turmoil and confusion that many people are experiencing at this time. And it also relates to our collective journey. There is much being revealed from the shadows, including our own personal demons and secrets that need to see the light of day (or Sun) and evidently the secrets that have been kept from the masses, by people in roles of authority and influence in society. This cannot all happen at once, of course, as the power of emotions and their effect on the psyche can be both transformative and destructive. Therefore, it seems, we are being guided through a gradual exposition.
Aries, as the first Zodiac Sign, symbolises our birth and the emergence of the ego, our individual identity. Its place is to explore the Self, to be concerned with individuality and discover what or who that is. In this way we each become empowered, realising our unique set of skills, talents and gifts. However in this process we might begin to over-identify with our ego or encounter aspects of our self that frighten and concern us. Consequently we can become conceited, fixated on our own ego's desires and thus behave selfishly. Simultaneously we tend to hide from the parts we dislike or cannot integrate safely in our everyday lives; these aspects of our self are then pushed into the shadows, ultimately creating our shadow self. But, like the conscious ego, the shadow self continues to grow and gain power albeit hidden in our subconscious (which the Moon also governs in astrology). Although the ego has its purpose and can be healthy, it soon predominates and seeks to exert its presence and power over others, to constantly put itself first. Likewise, the shadow side of our ego will eventually erupt in the psyche, seeking attention. This typically manifests in other people, whereby others come into our lives and act as mirrors, reflecting the shadow aspects of our character that we have repressed or tried to hide. In this way, we are forced to literally confront them. We see this happening every day, all around the world, in our relationship dramas and altercations, as well as on a collective scale with whole sections of society and countries opposing and attacking one another. When we refuse to or simply cannot deal with the whole spectrum of our feelings, they are brought to us in others, as a way of helping us to deal and resolve. Lunar eclipses usually signify times when significant parts of our shadow self are revealed in this way. Therefore a relationship might reach breaking point or an ongoing struggle will climax. And this will be happening on the world stage too, for instance, among different factions of society.
This is where Libra comes into play, as Aries' opposing Sign in the Zodiac. It represents the Other; our relationships, marriage and partnership, how to work and function together and the promotion of equality and harmony over the selfish wants of the ego. Libra can aid the task of the shadow self by bringing forth people who can help us feel whatever it is we're denying or suppressing. Libra also encourages the individual ego's (Aries) to find common ground, a shared space where they may work together as a team, pooling all of their unique qualities for the greater good. It becomes no longer about serving the self for the self, but employing the strengths of the self to serve everyone. Libra impels Aries to ask 'What can I offer that will help improve the outcome?' Thus the self still gets to feel important in playing its role. In another way, Libra - as the Sign of balance, the Scales, can show us how and where to regain balance in life, in our psyche, by embracing the exposed shadow traits and ultimately healing them. Libra likes to share and so one way we might achieve this is by sharing our fears and pain, which is what we see happening more and more in society today. Again the internet and social media is building bridges in this way, uniting people for shared causes or just providing a medium through to share pain, anger, frustration and so on. As these eclipses continue to unfold, we will face more of our shadows and bring them back into the light of the Sun, each passing eclipse exposing and healing a little bit more. Libra plays its role by showing us that we can accomplish more together and restore harmony not just to our selves but to others.
Today’s eclipse, specifically, occurs with the Sun in Libra opposite the Moon in Aries. This second eclipse of the Tetrad ups the ante from the first, with both the Sun and Moon activating Uranus-Pluto in a tense T-square aspect (a tight triangle pattern formed between the angles of the planets). However a beneficial aspect pattern also forms simultaneously, known as a Kite, with the Sun and Moon joining Mars, now in Sagittarius and Jupiter, now in Leo, in supportive and harmonious aspects. This is essentially a natural progression from the previous eclipse, whereby Mars and Jupiter are now supporting the eclipse. Thus many of us have opportunities to raise our concerns now without antagonism or causing offence, without generating more aggravation and upheaval but finding better ways to communicate and be heard.
Mars in Sagittarius will be fighting for more freedom now but from a rather philosophical viewpoint, whilst receiving support from the strong-willed and confident Leo Jupiter. On an individual level, we might be feeling better equipped to handle the next wave of shadow traits that are emerging from this eclipse – what’s lurking in your depths that you need to confront? This is helped now by Venus, at home in her Sign of Libra and close to the Sun, perhaps suggesting that we’ll find a deeper sense of love and acceptance for any issues that arise – particularly if we share those with people close to us, whom we can trust.
Conversely, the Sun’s opposition to the Aries Moon now could mean that we're still finding it difficult to convey or share our darkest feelings with others. This is most likely a result of misunderstandings or fears. Therefore we might still be feeling repelled or incensed by those who continue to display our own shadows and unable to extend empathy and understanding towards these people. If so, this will be the true test of the current eclipse.
There are 8 sets of Tetrads in the 21st Century and the next one will occur in 2032.