Eclipses are symbols of awakening, and the first one in a new pair of signs always gets our attention. New ground is broken. New challenges emerge.
For a full, 29-year Saturn cycle, a small, empty lot at the end of our street was the site of a flourishing community garden. There was usually a long waiting list to rent one of the dozen small plots, and each one was carefully and creatively tended. It was always a pleasure to pass it on our walks and see what the local gardeners were nurturing – sunflowers, squash, tomatoes, sweetpeas. Cuttings and excess produce on a shelf outside the gate shared the wealth with the rest of the neighborhood’s gardeners.
Five months ago, the owner decided to sell the land. Everyone understood, of course. It’s a white-hot real estate market, and a lot of older residents realize that if they’re ever going to sell, the time is now. But it’s not overstating things to say that the neighborhood is grieving the loss, too. So many of the grace notes that attracted many of us to the neighborhood – 1920’s bungalows, used book stores, mom and pop restaurants, a community garden – have gradually disappeared, and their replacements, by and large, lack charm or grace. I think we all understand that constant change is here to stay, but the loss of these familiar landmarks hurts.
Well, I suppose I sound like an old crank. And you’ll be wondering where the astrology is in all this, I guess. And here it is: There’s a turning point in every story, when things that have been going in one direction turn around and move in the other. And eclipses mark those turning points.
For a couple of years now, eclipses have fallen along the nodal axis of Gemini and Sagittarius. This week’s Lunar Eclipse at 27.14 Taurus (Nov. 19, 2021, 12:57 am PST) is the first in series that will fall in Taurus and Scorpio through October 2023. In January, the Moon’s nodes, representing the points where the Moon’s path around the Earth intersects with the ecliptic, also settle back into those signs.
The lunar nodes travel backward
The Lunar Nodes move backward, an elegant reminder that not all paths to growth point forward. Falling in pairs of opposing signs for roughly 18 months at a time, they represent the path of least resistance and least progress (South Node) and the road to personal growth (North Node). The trick lies in not getting stuck in the South Node’s comfort zone – and eclipses, which fall near these points, attempt to shake us out of complacency and propel us toward real change.
While the North Node has been in Gemini (since May 2020), this path to growth has been signposted with question marks, puzzles, and curiosity. But the competing narrative of the Sagittarius South Node has been a comforting conviction that what we believe is unquestionably true and doesn’t require further inquiry. Ideally, the Sagittarius South Node is a storehouse of knowledge, optimism and desire for new frontiers that can lead us confidently toward new ideas. Imagine a talented, humble, and secure professor who’s never stopped learning and never pretends to know everything. If you’re trained in recognizing bad ideas, you have nothing to fear in embracing Gemini’s questioning and curiosity.
Now, as the Lunar Nodes and eclipses drift backward, the South Node in Scorpio has the potential to keep us stuck in dire and destructive ways of imagining the world and its future – Scorpio’s shadow tendency – while the Taurus North Node beckons in the direction of growth, security, and cultivation. “Stop obsessing about things that haven’t even happened yet,” says Taurus. “Stop looking for trouble in the shadows. Start mending the dark divisions that separate you from one another, and grow something together.” But don’t overlook the gifts of the Scorpio South Node, which has learned the hard way not to rely on others for our sense of security. As long as we don’t let that wariness harden into bitterness, it can actually help us achieve the true security that the Taurus North Node seeks.
The true value of everything
Eclipses are symbols of awakening, and the first one in a new pair of signs always gets our attention. New ground is broken. New challenges emerge. The coming eclipses in Taurus and Scorpio will awaken us to the true value of everything, and often that begins with loss, sometimes very small, sometimes life-changing. Some are like a lost garden that we’d taken for granted, and now are called to recreate in some other form or place.
The road forward invites us to take what we have and make something of it, something that makes our world more secure, comfortable, and pleasurable. It leads to an empty lot where, for decades, constant gardeners have taken pleasure in their small piece of earth, filling it with beauty and nourishment. The soil is insanely fertile; it’s begging for new plantings. Even now, worms are doing Scorpio’s work of breaking down compost into rich loam. Many of us feel broken down into nutrients ourselves, after these past few, cruel years. But nature teaches us to be hopeful and optimistic, and it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.
Just be careful about planting your garden on someone else’s land.
How is this eclipse affecting you? For a more detailed view, order my best-selling eclipse report: “Followed by a Moonshadow”