By Whitney Will
There will be a lunar eclipse in the wee hours of Friday, Nov. 19, that opens up a new series of eclipses taking place over the next 18 months. There will then be a solar eclipse on Dec. 4 that closes down the series we have been experiencing over the past 18 months. The next two weeks straddle these storylines, opening new chapters while closing others. It is a crowded liminality.
Messiness exists as much in the interwoven cycles of astrology as it does in life. Beginnings and endings are rarely clean and obvious, because it is usually “the next thing” that leads us away from the previous one. New adventures, relationships, careers pull us across boundaries in our lives that we often have no knowledge of crossing until it is already done.
Though much of how astrology is used is in predicting the archetypal structures of the future, it is perhaps just as appropriate as a container of the past. Just as it can help us notice when things begin and culminate, it also provides the boundary lines for when a season of experiences is likely to dissipate, freeing us up for the next adventure.
The core assumption of astrology is that time has a qualitative property, and though the clock may tick the seconds away at a steady rate, that is rarely how we, in our subjectivity, experience it. If we are paying attention, often we have a sense of when the time is ripe or unripe, when to push forward and when to let go.
The next assumption is that there is a correlation between the cycles of the planets and their archetypes with the seasons of creativity and dormancy in our own lives. We can view astrology, like any ritual practice, as the desire to find order and beauty in a life that is so often chaotic and overwhelming.
The eclipses to come involve a collective turbulence around our relationship to the material world. Not the part of life about ideas, or the internet, or conspiracy theories, or party lines, but about the pounding of rivers, where your food comes from and how safe your body feels in your environment.
The axis receiving Friday’s eclipse, and the ones to come, is between Taurus and Scorpio. These two signs frame the polarized and paradoxical truths that “mother nature” can offer scenes of pastoral tranquility (Taurus) and also violence and decay (Scorpio). Both signs are concerned with material security but, while Taurus prefers overt and obvious control, Scorpio is more insidious.
Eclipses in these signs will occur in pairs, roughly six months apart, from now until May of 2023. Over this time we will see shifts in climate concerns and power struggles collectively. Personally, many of us will face revelations in areas of deepest vulnerability (wherever Scorpio falls in your natal chart) and cravings for the simple pleasures of stability and contentment (Taurus). Far from trivial, these spaces are primitive and remind us, as well as connect us, with the truth that we are animals, whatever intellects we boast.
Friday’s eclipse hosts a special guest, the fixed star Algol, known as the “Demon Star,” found in the constellation Perseus and zodiacally at the end of Taurus. From the same root as “ghoul” and ‘“alcohol,” Algol portends violent outcomes. When the shadow covers the moon, and the light goes out, who knows what might escape through the eclipse portal?
The season coming to a close is a polarity I wrote about a year ago in my column published on Nov. 24, 2021. Decidedly more cerebral, the eclipses in Gemini and Sagittarius have seen major shifts in education and travel: the two greatest streams for the transfer of ideas. We have also seen the ideological factions of the country deepen. Whether it be around vaccines or fake news, many of us have found ourselves emphatically on one side of the line or the other, or trying desperately to keep our social connections from buckling under the tension.
Personally, the Gemini/Sagittarius axis revolves around the student and professor within. Where do we fancy ourselves experts and where neophytes (newbies)? How does curiosity and multiplicity find a focus that becomes a belief system that becomes a creed? After the solar eclipse on Dec. 4, we will finish clearing out musty old dogmas for (hopefully) more inclusive views.
Eclipse seasons may feel heavy, fostering a month that feels more “fated” than average. The choices and shifts in perspective that occur over the next month will last long beyond it. Use this time well.
Raised in Carbondale, Whitney Will is a professional astrologer, writer, and teacher. For courses and readings, visit: www.starhearthastrology.com