Here is what happens during a lunar eclipse: the Earth casts a shadow on the Moon, blocking it from reflecting the Sun’s light. How do you like that? Here’s the little Moon, furiously trying to find some light to bounce around, only to find there’s a big old ball of dirt in her way.
Similarly, at a lunar eclipse our ability to transmit and receive light – to channel and midwife divine inspiration – is trumped by the impulses of pure worldliness. Sometimes, it’s the worldliness of physical disease or limitation that casts a long shadow; other times, the pain of Earthly need and loss.
Usually, it’s a pain you recognize. Eclipses have 19 year cycles, so an eclipse falls in the same sign and the same part of your chart every 19 years, and in the opposite spot every nine and a half years. What happens on the outside, in your outer life, is a little different each time – but the thing that’s touched inside of you is exactly the same. At the lunar eclipse, an antidote to these earthly difficulties seems to lie in the celebration of Earth’s healing, stabilizing powers.
Years ago, after my mother died, I was desperate to reclaim a sense of rootedness and security. So three days after a lunar eclipse fell in my fourth house, my husband and I closed escrow on the first house we’d owned together. Lord knows I had no solar light of inspiration to send out into the world, and not much light was able to each my barren, lunar surface; I was emotionally fragile and scarred. All I could reach out for and rely upon was the real, the tangible… the worldly. My own little ball of dirt; a stake in the planet. Nine years later, it was career success that represented this security for me. I beganworking harder than ever to carve out a place in the world outside my little fourth-house environment – but for exactly the same reason that motivated me to buy a house: security.
At the solar eclipse, earlier this month (January 5/6), it was the Sun, the splendid, extravagant ego, that was obscured by the wild, intuitive energy of the Moon, creating a fun-house mirror effect of exaggerated images and freakish sensations. But at this lunar eclipse, your vision is clear – or at least, you are guided by keen instinct; not the wild, emotional intuition of the Moon, but rather the quiet instincts of the Earth. They are the same instincts that guide the hand of the craftsman as it chooses just the right piece of wood for his project; as it hovers for a moment over one chisel, before selecting another that’s just right for the task.
At this lunar eclipse, there is something in you that longs to connect more deeply with the Earth, to drink from her cool waters and lay your head upon her sweet grass. Some long-ago pain has reared up and sent you packing, returning home to mother Earth for solace. As you gaze up at the half-bitten Moon, know that the Earth is offering you something, some smooth block of marble, a piece of wood, a section of clay. Open your instinctive mind, and ask yourself: What is it that wants to be brought into being? And what is the right tool with which to carve it out?
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