September 28th, 2015, will see another total lunar eclipse. This is the final eclipse in a series of four, known as a Tetrad (four consecutive total lunar eclipses with six Full Moons in between). The 2014/15 Lunar Eclipse Tetrad occurs in the Zodiac Signs Aries and Libra. They are indicative of our individual and collective struggles, as we each come to terms with our pain and the shared suffering of humanity. Through these experiences, we encounter a personal rebirth and ultimately the whole of the human race evolves greater awareness and insight.
Astronomically, a lunar eclipse happens when the Moon is positioned directly behind the Earth thus in its shadow, unable to reflect any sunlight. Lunar eclipses are visible anywhere on the night-side of the Earth. The previous eclipses in this Tetrad were 15th April 2014, 8th October 2014 and 4th April 2015.
Lunar eclipses in astrology can 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 the time around a lunar eclipse will often coincide with feelings of panic or 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 unveiled. Either way, when the eclipse ends we are confronted with the truth - the revelation, brought from the shadows back into 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 on the Aries-Libra axis suggests a focus on 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. A series of eclipses points to great emotional turmoil and confusion, which is very evident at this time, as well as 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 those in roles of authority and influence in society (the eclipsed Moon). 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 we are guided through a gradual exposition, as with the previous eclipses.
So what might we expect from the final eclipse in this current series? It occurs on September 27th-28th (depending on your time zone), with the Sun in the Zodiac Sign of Libra opposite the Moon in Aries.The Sun and Moon will create another T-square pattern with Pluto (a tense triangle aspect). This signifies the end of the current tough lesson in Self vs. Other - the ego versus the whole, involving a struggle. In previous posts, I mentioned how this final eclipse would likely relate to more people uniting and sharing responsibility for improving life on planet Earth. But we must be spurred into such action and an obvious catalyst is a crisis. The recent plight of refugees is perhaps the clearest manifestation, which has provoked an outpouring of solidarity and support across Europe and beyond. Additionally there is the rise of terrorism, particularly groups that seek to control and dominate the masses through fear and violence. This further encourages us to join forces and stand up for what we believe to be morally right, in greater numbers.
This latest eclipse is also joined by Saturn, forming positive aspects to both the Sun and Moon, indicating strength and support. Moreover Saturn will just have entered the Zodiac Sign of Sagittarius on September 18th, after almost three years in Scorpio. Saturn in Scorpio, especially at the last degree, gave rise to a multitude of deep fears and emotional crises for many individuals. And this occurred collectively too. Even a Doomsday prophecy surfaced relating to the eclipse Tetrad, predicting the end of the world on September 28th. This clearly represents our collective apprehension, the rise of much fear from our shadowy depths. However Sagittarius brings hope - a refreshing new perspective, like the archer riding wild and free and aiming his arrow high. Together, with the culmination of the eclipse Tetrad, many will begin to sense a real shift, particularly on an emotional and shared level. We might feel lighter or freer, relieved of recent burdens and worries, receive good news or at the very least gain a renewed sense of hope. Sagittarius wants optimism and insight through understanding while Saturn demands practical realism and the building of secure foundations. This pairing might well represent our long-awaited chance to start putting things right, further emphasised by the culmination of the eclipse Tetrad and the resolve of recent Shadow work.
The outcome of this eclipse is that hopefully more of us will recognise the common themes being exposed now - and that they all stem from the same place. Whatever angers or disgusts us is ripe for confrontation and change, but through a deeper understanding of its origins. Therefore we must look within for the source of negative feelings and reactions we have towards others. The more we learn to address matters in this way, rather than our default behaviour of attacking, rejecting or condemning others, the easier it will be to heal and release. Ideally, the Aries-Libra Tetrad will have helped us embrace our unique qualities and skills so that we may put them to good use in transforming our communities.
Below, for those interested, is a little more on the symbolism of Aries and Libra, as well as a review of previous eclipses in the latest Tetrad.
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 a 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 together, we can accomplish more and restore harmony not just to our self but to others.
How might all of this contribute to our ongoing spiritual and collective evolution? Essentially, we are each being tasked with confronting, healing and releasing our own individual pain and suffering, our regrets and sorrows, so that we can contribute to the collective healing of humanity. This is what the Aries-Libra eclipses are showing us. It might even extend to past life incarnations, if you so believe, perhaps the reason why it feels so overwhelming at times; as we prepare to move into a new time (the shift in consciousness), we are required to let go of all karmic baggage. It is no coincidence that Neptune and Chiron are in Pisces now, the astrological indicators of humanities pending rebirth. Pisces, as the last Zodiac Sign, represents the collective and all that has gone before, including our suffering. Pisces has great empathy and charity and is therefore capable of soothing and healing the wounds of the past through genuine care and love. This is, of course, necessary before we can move into Aries, the first Sign of the Zodiac and begin again anew.
1st Eclipse: 15th April 2014
Sun in Aries opposite Moon in Libra
The first eclipse of the Tetrad concerned the Sun in fiery Aries, in spring, a time of beginnings. It also connected with the Uranus-Pluto Square and the Sun and Moon to form a Grand Cross with Jupiter and Mars. Essentially this looks like a giant square, between the angles of four planets, with two pairs opposite one another (Mars in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries; Jupiter in Cancer opposite Pluto in Capricorn). This is still a time of real tension on a global scale; Mars opposite Uranus symbolises the need for each one of us to stand up and speak out freely and honestly, to let our voices, our concerns be heard - although Libra asks that we do this with tact and grace! Mars, as ruler of Aries, wants its own way - the individual ego, while Jupiter in Cancer represents the family or clan - those with whom we join for shared causes. The Jupiter-Pluto opposition embodies the ongoing struggle with the old paradigm - the patriarchy, governments, corporations et al that have controlled the masses. Mars and Jupiter's squares to Pluto and Uranus signify the individual ego's and the clans joining together in protest against the power-hungry ego's of dominating bureaucracies. So, together with the first Aries-Libra eclipse, we see many signs of tension and a need to come out of the shadows.
2nd Eclipse: 8th October 2014
Sun in Libra opposite Moon in Aries
The second eclipse saw the Sun and Moon switch Signs. It increased the ante, 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 was simultaneously formed, known as a Kite, involving Mars in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Leo, lending support and harmony. This was essentially a natural progression from the previous eclipse, whereby Mars and Jupiter supported the eclipse from their new positions. It was about learning how to raise our concerns without antagonism or causing offence, not generating more aggravation and upheaval but finding better ways to communicate, to be heard. Mars in Sagittarius symbolised the fight for freedom but from a more philosophical viewpoint whilst receiving support from a strong-willed, confident Leo Jupiter. On an individual level, people might have felt better equipped to handle their shadow traits, emerging from the eclipse. This was helped by Venus at home, in Libra, in tight orb to the Sun - perhaps suggesting a deeper sense of love and acceptance for surfacing issues. However Venus also opposed the Moon, in Aries, suggesting people were still finding it difficult to convey or share their darkest feelings, perhaps through misunderstandings, fear or a lack of empathy and self-awareness.
3rd Eclipse: 4 April 2015
Sun in Aries opposite Moon in Libra
The final Uranus-Pluto Square was activated by both the Sun and Moon during this eclipse. The configuration represented the continual and mounting pressure - necessary to push through into a new paradigm, to essentially rebirth the collective consciousness. Jupiter in Leo combined with Saturn in Sagittarius to form a positive aspect pattern with Uranus, called a Grand Trine (a large triangle formed between the angles of these planets). This pointed to increasing harmonious solutions amid the chaos and tension of the separating Pluto-Uranus Square. Saturn, as the planet of realism, symbolised assistance in helping to ground and tame Leo Jupiter's wild ideas. This presented more practical and mature ways to move forward, to make real progress. Saturn supported Uranus in helping the revolution to shift gears in a positive manner. Perhaps more of us learned to identify our own shadow traits (which we often project onto others) allowing us to relate better and release our unhealthy projections.
Ultimately, more and more people are choosing to become their own teacher resulting from greater access to information and self-education, leading to increased insight, awareness and empathy (part of the current Neptune and Chiron transit through Pisces). The majority are no longer willing to tolerate oppression or being kept in the dark by self-appointed rulers and elites; we are living in a time when it is becoming less of a necessity for the many to be ruled by the few because of our ongoing liberation and spiritual maturation. And so the rebellions and revolutions will continue, in order to reach the equality and harmony that all souls seek. This is also related to the reawakening of the Kundalini, which is gradually being pushed further up the chakras, allowing more of us to tune deeply into our souls, to Spirit. The end of the Uranus-Pluto Squares will help relieve the recent periods of extreme tension however these planets will remain in Aries and Capricorn, respectively, for some time, as our world continues to be reshaped. But of one thing we can be sure, with each passing year more of the cosmic puzzle is fitting into place.
There are 8 sets of Tetrads in the 21st Century with the next set to occur in 2032.