Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Venus & The Capricorn Solar Eclipse

This January's Capricorn New Moon is a Solar Eclipse, which carries a very special message from Venus.

First up, what's an Eclipse?

An Eclipse occurs when the Earth aligns with the Sun and Moon during a New Moon or a Full Moon. During a Lunar Eclipse, the Earth passes between the Full Moon opposition of the Sun and the Moon, temporarily blocking the reflected light of the Moon. A Solar Eclipse occurs under a New Moon, when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking out the light of the Sun. Eclipses come in pairs, with a Lunar Eclipse following a Solar Eclipse a couple of weeks later, or vice versa, and we usually experience two pairs of Eclipses each calendar year. The January 15th Solar Eclipse follows the Lunar Eclipse on December 31st.

What is the general meaning of an Eclipse?

Eclipses are very dramatic events to observe, as those lucky enough to have witnessed a Total Eclipse of the Sun or watched on a clear night as the Moon disappeared behind the shadow of the Earth, will verify. However, you don’t need to directly experience an eclipse for its symbolism to reflect in your personal experiences. The old adage as above, so below, stands firm.That said it is difficult to predict exactly what will happen when an eclipse touches your personal astrological chart. Their effects are sometimes exciting, sometimes stressful, often passing by without having any sort of obvious effect at the time, only to manifest as an event some weeks later. In most general terms though, eclipses represent endings and new beginnings, times when the light goes out and something is taken away, creating a space for something new to germinate. If a particular Eclipse falls on a planet or point in your natal chart and you want to work consciously with the energies, they are good times for beginning the process of releasing and letting go of outdated, worn-out emotional baggage.

What are the themes of the January 15th Solar Eclipse?

In Capricorn, this Eclipse highlights all the themes and issues that fall under the sign of the goat, whose goal is to climb and conquer every mountain, step by step by step. Yes, Capricorn is the upwardly mobile organizer-administrator of the zodiac, a practical, material, get things done kind of guy. Driven by ambition and the need to progress, Capricorn is associated with managers, politicians, business people and authority figures in general. Capricorn often gets a bad press, but we need these energies, otherwise there would be worldly chaos.

When I look at the chart for this Capricorn Eclipse, I am drawn to the Saturn-Pluto Square. This is because Pluto is in the sign of this Eclipse, Capricorn, and Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn. With Saturn and Pluto's alignment coming to another exact angle at the end of January, the tensions of this challenging aspect are building once again. We can look to Venus for some interpretive clues as to where we might particularly focus our attention during this time. This is because Venus, also in Capricorn, is conjunct the Eclipse and in a mutual reception with Saturn in Libra, who has just turned Retrograde.
What does this all mean? Well, I think there are three strands of possible interpretation here.

Firstly, if we take Venus to symbolize money, and we take the Saturn-Pluto square and the planets in Capricorn, to be about, on one level, big business, big money and politics, we have a clear message for the world. This Saturn and Pluto alignment can all too easily bring out the shadow side of Capricorn, which is rigid, over-structured and cold, a dark place where making progress in the material world is the only thing that matters and integrity and taking responsibility for our actions go out of the window. Have we not witnessed this already in the excesses of an unregulated financial market and the moral bankruptcy of our politicians? Just this week, the press announced that the one-off windfall tax on city bonuses in the UK has done nothing to curb bumper payouts by the major city institutions. Tell that to the hard-up homeowners who last year were forced to make mortgage payments by credit card! Eclipses are about endings and new beginnings, so clearly something has got to seriously change in the way our society handles the business of money and distributes its wealth.

Secondly, Venus is about relationships and with Saturn in Libra having just gone Retrograde at the time of this Eclipse, this is a good time to review how we relate to others. I discussed this in some depth in my last blog, so I won’t repeat myself here. Here’s the link: Saturn Libra Retrograde: Relationship Revision Time

Lastly, Venus represents feminine energies. I have been writing in this blog since I started it about the need to find a powerful, fresh perspective and respect for feminine values. Think of Capricorn’s opposite sign, Cancer. Ruled by the Moon, Cancer is also archetypically feminine, representing the mother, the nurturer, the ebbs and flows of our emotions. While Capricorn thrusts us out into the world, Cancer brings us home again safely. As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, Eclipses come in pairs, so we must also consider the Cancer Lunar Eclipse which helped us to ring in 2010. These Eclipses together remind us to balance the ‘out there’ with the ‘in here’, harmonise our work life with our home life and exercise compassion and fairness along with ambition and the need to progress.

All the same, just as with Capricorn, we need to ensure we don’t fall into the shadow side of Cancer, which can be needy, over-protective and emotionally manipulative. We should seek to express the higher expressions of both signs, a space where we can nurture ourselves and others and where we are willing to serve with integrity and discipline and administrate progress through responsible action and the right use of our emotional and material resources. In essence, Cancer and Capricorn really are two expressions of the same energies, constantly flowing towards and away from balance, an eternal dance of opposition and harmony.

By holding and grounding these energies in balance, we can each, in our way, create a vessel to positively carry forward the current planetary energies, energies which seem to be prompting us ever more urgently to create a new way of equality, fairness, responsible individual freedom, cooperation and community. Something I think Saturn in Libra would very much approve of.

Will this Eclipse Affect You?

This eclipse will be particularly relevant to you if you have a planet or angle between 23 and 26 degrees of Capricorn or between 23 and 26 degrees of Cancer. In particular, if it's your birthday on 14 or 15 January or 14 or 15 July, this is a powerful eclipse indeed, with the potential for major change in the air for you. If you do not know if you have planets or angles in the relevant degrees and/or signs you can quickly download your own birth chart which will provide you with this information in a simply understood way at http://www.alabe.com/

Further Resources

For a more detailed explanation of Eclipse phenomena, click here> to read an article by astrologer Celeste Teal, author of the book Eclipses.

In his blog for The Mountain Astrologer on this Eclipse, A New Power Emerges, Gary P Caton, discusses the bigger picture.

For NASA's webpage about this eclipse including eclipse path maps, click here>.

If you want to learn more about how to work with the energies of Eclipses on a personal level see my blog Working with Eclipses

Here again is the link to Saturn Libra Retrograde: Relationship Revision Time which poses lots of questions about how we interrelate.

Also, a link to my pieces on the current Saturn-Pluto squares.

Additionally, astrologer Donna Cunningham’s Sky Writer blog has many useful posts to help with Saturn-Pluto issues and a whole range of other stuff.

For more on the Cancer Lunar Eclipse of 31 December and how important I think the sign of Cancer is to the upcoming Cardinal T-Square, see Astro Energies for 2010.

With love,

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