Moonlight Mandala—Total Lunar Eclipse—May 26th
The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it—Terry Pratchett.
A voluminous Moon shimmers through a sphere of strange light tonight, swelling the tides, unsettling sleeping birds, spilling her milky light on lovers that lie encircled in each other’s arms. Tonight’s Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius may stir a crisis in faith, may carry us in our dream time to faraway places, stir those longings we have secreted behind bright smiles and positive thinking for so many months now.
This super-charged Full Moon is in the sign of the Archer. She nestles close to the South Node, pulling us back to prior lifetimes, to the womb of past beliefs that may comfort or burden us now.
Sagittarius is the nomad, the pilgrim, the outlander, the foreigner. Those who are introverted by nature may feel like a foreigner or outsider amidst the noise and the laughter of a social gathering. Those of us who are in a place of transition, may feel like outsiders in our families or communities.
Sagittarius and Jupiter are associated with journeys (and travel restrictions) and with our beliefs. Last year’s explosive Sagittarius Full Moon Eclipse (June 5th, 2020) bared ancient prejudices, and eons of racial and social inequality. Systemic change is barely noticeable one year after the brutal killing of George Floyd on May 25th 2020. This year’s Eclipse jolts Uranus in America’s chart and the T-square with Jupiter may expose those those certainties we thought were truths, challenge our faith in a future that still seems uncertain, strengthen our resolve to be kinder to one another.
In the affairs of nations, and in our own lives, eclipses herald times of endings; they ease our ability to release, to let go. They are harbingers of new beginnings concealed in painful endings; silver threads of thoughts and choices that we spin and weave for years to come.
Eclipses upend the natural order; they stir up those things we’d thought we’d burnt and buried, nine, eighteen years ago. They catapult us to the crossroads of choice; they bare uncomfortable truths about triangular relationships that usually accompany power-over someone else. They expose our shadows. Tip those rose-coloured glasses from our eyes.
As the Moon slips through the Earth’s shadow tonight, she charges the night with infinite possibilities, sensitising planets or angles at 5° Sagittarius, Gemini, Virgo and Pisces. We may wish to stay with what feels familiar or safe, yet this full moon may light our path towards deep soul healing that truly sets us free as she makes a trine to Chiron.
This month, stern Saturn in Aquarius and quicksilver Mercury in Gemini begin their backwards dance across the skies.
Saturn’s backward motion in Aquarius (May 23rd – October 10th) functions as a celestial task master this summer, as we learn to be patient and resilient, as we embody new ways of living in a world of rules and restrictions that inhibit our spontaneity; challenge our imagination.
Magician/Trickster Mercury begins his notorious Retrograde (May 29th – June 22nd) and will don his clown suit and toss banana peels as some of the world’s leaders and their retinues converge on the pristine coastal town of Carbis Bay, Cornwall for the 47th G7 Summit (11-13th June.)
The astrological weather forecast predicts protests, disruption, civil unrest.
The troublesome Saturn (rules, restrictions, delays) /Uranus (electric, iconoclastic) square infuses 2021 with drama, violence, plans upended, sudden shocks and serendipities. The waning square is in effect throughout 2021, with the final square on December 24th. It came up close on February 17th, and again delivers a concentrated clout on June 14th shaken, not stirred, by the Solar Annular Eclipse on June 10th as police prepare for mass protests in the UK. Priti Patel’s “digitise the border” project alters the UK’s asylum and immigration system that separates human beings into “them and us”—cast adrift, shut out. Strangers in a foreign land. This is the motif of Sagittarius as the wanderer, walled and shut out by Saturn’s bureaucratic boundaries and the unpredictable omnipotence of Uranus.
The motif of The Journey is emphasised today as the Moon shines so brightly in Sagittarius even though most of us are choosing to stay home this Summer. Every quest, every journey, requires preparation. Every quest, every journey requires us to choose what to take with us and what to leave behind.
Dr Edith Eger’s inspiring book, The Choice: Embrace the Possible, describes a journey of healing, of forgiveness and of faith. A journey that began in her family home, with her parents and sister, and ended at Auschwitz. Her mother’s words as they travelled have been an integral part of her healing and her work as a psychologist: “We don’t know where we’re going, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but no one can take away from you what you put in your own mind.”
In these uncertain times, we may need to plot our journey with care. We may need to listen to our instincts and be aware that our open minds can be filled with someone else’s beliefs about the world.
“To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journeying is to be a pilgrim,” poet Mark Nepo writes.
At the start of this eclipse season, we may feel as if we are stepping onto foreign ground. So much has changed, so much is changing. May we travel lightly on this earth. May we know who we are and why we are here as we begin our journey.
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