Thursday’s partial solar eclipse in Aquarius (27 degrees; 1:05pm PST; February 15th), offers balance after the potent total lunar eclipse in Leo two weeks ago. It also offers an immense opportunity for release as the eclipse is on the South Node of the Moon, the tail of the dragon, the singular point in the sky associated with release, letting go, endings, and the past.
The eclipse is conjunct Mercury, ruler of the mind, and sextile (30º) Uranus, the “higher” mind, the deep unconscious, the nonlinear mind that glimpses connections, intuits the future, sources creative solutions, and is capable of radical change. The eclipse thus bridges everyday rationality and lightning bolt genius; thought and intuition; reality and possibility; the conscious and the unconscious.
Aquarius relates to our social circles, our communities--to the ways in which we belong. But it equally relates to the ways in which we don’t belong, to exclusion, to the trauma of exile. With the links to mind, the unconscious, and the past, this eclipse triggers memories, imprints, and mental patterns based on exclusion and persecution. What part of you feels like an outsider? What part of you is afraid of not belonging? Whether it’s potent and accessible, or deeply buried, this eclipse triggers the aspect within each of us that fears we don’t fit in, or worse that we may be or have been banished or persecuted.
Over the course of human history, an immense number of people have been persecuted and tormented, tortured, exiled, or killed for their beliefs, identity, or way of life. This story resides deep in the collective unconscious, if not our conscious memories, and is passed down through the generations: we inherit the trauma of our parents and their parents. Even if we have no awareness of what they faced, their emotional conditioning and strategies of coping are the psychological environment into which we incarnate.
When fear is rooted in trauma, whether from this lifetime, or another, it can implicate much of our psychology without our knowledge. It affects our ways of interacting with others, the assumptions and expectations we hold, and how we interpret events. When fear is no longer based on fact, it serves us to release it.
Perhaps in these days around the eclipse you’ve caught some glimpses of your barely conscious programming, of the assumptions buried in the deepest layer of your thought structures, the assumptions that offer the foundation for your mind. Perhaps you’ve seen that some of those assumptions are rooted in trauma and fear. Perhaps you’ve witnessed how your actions are informed by such assumptions.
It’s one thing to see our assumptions and beliefs and how they may not serve us. It’s another thing entirely to release them. An important part of release is to simply be present and aware, to witness such thoughts and assumptions, to observe ourselves perhaps acting on them. As our awareness grows, our freedom of choice grows as well: next time we see ourselves about to act on a flawed assumption, there may be enough space between the thought and the act that we may choose to respond differently. This method requires patience but it works; simply through observing ourselves, over time, we change.
Another potent way to work with release is through ritual. The mind is symbolic, and acting out our intentions in a symbolic way sends a strong message to the unconscious mind. One simple and effective ritual of release is to write down all the things you wish to let go of. Take a few minutes and just free write. Don’t censor yourself, just get it all down on the page. Then rip it up and throw it in the river or the toilet, or burn it. Meditate and imagine those thought forms dissolving. Imagine another way of being.
Uranus, ruling planet of this eclipse, is associated with freedom and revolution. And we can see the connection to trauma: whether in this lifetime or another, whether conscious or unconscious, as memory or fear of what may come, so many of us have been deeply traumatized by state control, fascism, war, military dictatorship, state violence, systemic oppression, forced migration, the list goes on.
So there is an activist impulse to this eclipse; the urgent desire for change, for a better future. For some people who have comfortable lives, Uranian trauma shows up as a fear of losing that comfort: fear of revolution. Fear of revolution is based on Uranian trauma just as much as the revolutionary impulse: some perhaps unconscious memory of trauma inflicted by the state: those who finally feel safe cling to that safety even when other people are not afforded the same. But living in a castle while all around are people suffering hardly sounds like Utopia.
Who knows what the future holds. We hope for better, but fascism is a distinct possibility. Spirituality means awareness, it means seeing truth, so it requires we face the possibility of fascism. To see the possibility of a future we don’t desire can help motivate us to take a different course and enables us to clarify just what we desire. So, how do we confront fascism?
There is a lot of work to be done, and there is a lot of work currently being done, in the external world, confronting fascism and fascist ideology. I wish to speak to a more subtle realm of work--which is not to say the external work is not important--it is just not my primary focus. There tends already to be a focus on the external but the internal is just as important, and it’s not alway so readily acknowledged.
So confronting fascists externally is important, but how does the fascist impulse show up within, *in each one of us*? That’s the hardest question. We want to pit ourselves against fascism, but we should be suspect of us vs. them narratives. Are we really so angelic? As long as the most subtle impulse toward controlling others exists within us, there is the seed of fascism.
As Foucault says in his introduction to Anti-Oedipus by Deleuze and Guattari, “how does one keep from being fascist, even (especially) when one believes oneself to be a revolutionary militant? How do we rid our speech and our acts, our hearts and our pleasures, of fascism? How do we ferret out the fascism that is ingrained in our behaviour?”
This may sound extreme, but this is what spirituality will have us recognize: the mirror between the internal and the external. We may not be in circumstances which draw out our violent impulses, but they may be there nonetheless, in seed form. On a spiritual level, we are all connected. The distinction between individuals is a useful fiction. Dive deep enough into the unconscious, and we are all one. Going within, we can witness and dig up the little seeds of fascism within us as a spiritual counterpart to activism in the physical world. And the work of healing is deeply implicated; as we heal ourselves we really do heal the world.
So, let’s allow this wave of eclipse energy to wash away the aspects of our trauma, pain, and fear that are ready to be released. Let’s allow the past to be taken out with the tide. Let’s step into the future now. Let’s welcome change. Let’s open our minds to possibility. Let’s imagine big. The past need not look like the future. Let’s not allow habit and addiction to determine our course. Let’s direct ourselves with intention, not blindness and pain. Let’s see past our differences: the Aquarian community is made of utterly unique, individuated beings; beings so radically different, they recognize their common humanity.
If you're in Vancouver, come out to my weekly astrology circle where we can explore community-based healing together: 1:30-2:30pm Sundays at Unity Yoga Teahouse. <3