“Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born: – you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.”
― E.E. Cummings
As “Eclipse Season” is upon us, I thought it might be time to take a look at what the two “Luminaries” The Sun & The Moon actually mean in our horoscopes, and what this may mean when we consider the nature of eclipses, and their effect, or indeed perhaps lack, on us. The word ECLIPSE is defined in the dictionary is as follows:
“an obscuring of the light from one celestial body by the passage of another between it and the observer or between it and its source of illumination.” or “a loss of significance or power in relation to another person or thing”
The Astrological Sun
The Sun in the Horoscope represents the central core of our being, our life force and vitality, and shows, how (by sign) and where (by house) we need to radiate and shine, to display our sense of being unique.
Our inner authority and self-confidence are governed by The Sun, it represents Father, the masculine principle and our image of the hero.
Sunday is the day of the Sun and The Sun rules the astrological sign of Leo. Astronomically the Sun is the centre of the Solar System and all the planets revolve around it. There is no life without the Sun; it provides light and heat and orders our days with its rising and setting and our years with the rhythm of the seasons in temperate climates.
In mythology most ancient cultures have worshiped a solar deity – although not all Sun deities have been male – the Sun goddess in European myths was the Baltic Saule, the German Sol/Sunna, the English Sun, the Slavic Solntse and the Gaulish Sul. The shrine to the Romano-British Goddess Sulis Minerva can still be seen at Bath.
The Earth revolves around the Sun in the same way that we revolve around the central core of the Sun in our birth chart.
In order to develop our best potential, we have to center ourselves and focus our energies in a particular direction, and the position of our Sun in the chart will give a strong indication as to what that focus and direction might be.
In our chart the Sun describes our sense of identity, our purpose in life, what we want to concentrate on, focus ourselves around, where we are headed, our goals and what we are becoming.
The Sun is our centre, the path to the expression of the self, and corresponds to the divine spark, the individual creative spirit within us. The Sun is the inner light of individual power, our essential vitality, the voice which says ‘I am’.
The Moon governs our instinctive reactions and feelings, and is intimately connected to the rhythm of our inner and domestic life. What is safe and familiar, how we feed and nurture both ourselves and others is governed by The Moon.
The symbol for the Moon is two, or three, backwards semicircles of soul, the image of the waxing Moon. This seems to represent the reflective principle of the Moon and its association with the past.
The cycle of the Moon can be seen as two-fold (waxing and waning) but has also been seen in a triple aspect associated with Fate, such as the Maiden, Mother and Crone or the three Nornsor WyrdSisters of Norse mythology –the Spinner, the Weaver and the Cutter of the thread of life.
Monday is ruled by the Moon, as is the sign of Cancer; astronomically the Moon has a recognizable cycle in which it waxes from New Moon to Full, then wanes again, so it presents change within a predictable monthly rhythm. In the birth chart it associates with mood and with the idea of flux and change.
The Moon is the satellite of the Earth –it has no light of its own but reflects the light of the Sun, going through an astrological sign once in about 2 ½ days and through the whole 12 signs once in 29 ½ days; there are 13 ‘lunations’ in a solar year. The first calendars were lunar ones, some dating back to the Ice Age, so we know that time was originally reckoned from the Moon.
In the mythology of many ancient cultures the Moon was associated with the Goddess, the Primal Deity, ruler over the Wheel of Birth, Life and Death.
- The Full Moon: Ceres/Demeter/Mother Earth The Mother/Weaver of the Thread Maturity Woman at her most fecund and motherly
- The Waning Moon: Hecate/The Crone Cutter of the Thread Old Age/the older woman The healer, ‘witch’ or wise woman
- The Waxing Moon: Artemis/Diana the huntress Youth/The young woman, full of life Spinner of the Thread
From this idea of the cycle of life, The Moon has become associated with fate and therefore with the body which represents incarnation on the physical plane.
In the personal birth chart the Moon represents the body, its physical nature and physical needs, what food it needs and its daily rhythms. There is a parallel here with nurturing in general, and the Moon denotes how we nurture and take care of ourselves and how we nurture and take care of others –it describes what we need in order to make us feel safe and secure, held and contained.
Whereas the Sun engages us on a lifelong journey of heroic discovery, the Moon tells us what we are by nature and what we do well without trying, symbolizing areas where things ebb and flow or fluctuate, much in the same way that the Moon waxes and wanes.
The Moon has been linked to the soul in both ancient and esoteric astrology and, some would say, reveals what the soul has brought along to its present incarnation.
While the Sun looks forward, the Moon looks back, carrying our ancestral memories down through the generations. It represents our instinctive responses to situations, our gut reactions, the reaction we have before we have the chance to think ‘logically’. The Moon can therefore appear irrational, although at heart it isn’t -our lunar reactions are based on deep needs and instincts which are very powerful and cannot be ignored. At the time of eclipses, I feel that, depending on how strong the connection with our natal chart is, that we are triggered into actions and behaviors that are linked deeply with our soul path.
Even if the eclipse does not contact your natal planets directly (and I would be using an orb of about one degree only) you can look to the house of your horoscope where the eclipse falls, and take the opportunity to see what maybe coming to an end, what is being “eclipsed”. This next eclipse is an eclipse of The Moon, so matters connected to lunar issues as outlined above may be coming to a head. Family, children, home, security and resources will be highlighted, as well as ancestral patterns. This may be the perfect time to look at how out-dated inherited behaviors can be released from our lives, so that we may usher in new and more authentic ways of relating to ourselves and to others.
See how it falls in your chart, by looking at the degrees involved, and happy Moon Watching!
My name is Joanna Grant, I am an Astrologer, Tarot Reader and Writer, who lives on the beautiful Beara Peninsula in the South West of Ireland. My long knowledge of Astrology leads and informs my practice in offering guidance and empowerment, helping others to lead a more authentic and magical life. You can read more about me here.
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