Catching Eclipse Fever


The latest period of wild developments is unofficially underway, thanks to the pair of eclipses headed our direction.

The upcoming solar eclipse on Mar 29, in fire-starter Aries, is the fierce initiator of pioneering action—a supreme inspiration for forging refreshingly forward, in service to our own independent will.

Before that, we've got this Tuesday's (Mar 14) lunar eclipse, an especially stirring full moon in the analytic sign of Virgo. Its main theme is to spur emotional clean-up… so we can file away our long-undealt-with stuff in the appropriate boxes, send it off to storage, and create space for new experiences and feelings to enliven our days and nights.

Don't be fooled, though. It ain't as neat and tidy a procedure as it sounds.

Eclipses scared the living hell out of ancient sky-watchers. Imagine possessing virtually none of the astronomical knowledge we moderns have established… and then, with no apparent explanation, the Sun or the Moon in the sky rapidly begins to darken. What a most glaringly obvious type of omen, and one which sent folks running for cover and preparing for the worst. Learning when to expect such an event was one of the earliest impetuses for the development of astrology.

Nowadays, we're so much smarter about such phenomena—or perhaps too 'smart' for our own good. Those who dismiss the mystical significance of eclipses, which occur every six months or so in sets of two or three, in favor of a purely scientific explanation of orbital mechanics are missing out.

Eclipses have historically captured our imagination for a reason. In my opinion, they're one of the most dramatic and easy-to-track astrological occurrences that exists. During the few weeks surrounding eclipses (which I refer to as an 'eclipse period'), we witness striking, climactic advancement in our life stories. One chapter comes to a conclusive close, and another begins with a wallop or a whammy.

In this way, eclipses are a helpful structuring tool for understanding our progress—if we chop our lives into 6-month chunks, it's easier to encapsulate our growth and change under broader themes of focus.

Lunar eclipses, like the one this week, lift our usually-restrained(-or-repressed) feelings from their resting grounds and dangle them in our face… so we're no longer able to pretend everything's proper and polished as a sitcom family's script-doctored quips. In real life, problems and reactions and emotional injuries take longer than a half-hour to resolve—if we ever resolve 'em at all.

When the heightened feelings crop up again, it's a blessed moment to dig fully into the heart of their source. If you're that upset or uncomfortable about the current situation, then the emotions surely stem from somewhere deeper… an unresolved ache from further back in your history, which festers and returns when some present-day trigger hits the same spot.

The Virgoan impact on this eclipse bears great faith in our ability to make rational sense of whatever comes our way. Virgo likes labels and categories, as functional means for organizing details into their most efficient places. It's not the easiest influence when it comes to emotions—which are, by definition, irrational and hard to organize.

Still, the Virgo eclipse assists us in differentiating among the finer nuances of how we feel… to rescue us from vulnerability to a single giant misunderstood and chaotic lump of emotion. Contrary to what we may tell ourselves when we're staying mum about the pain we're holding, we actually can describe our feelings with specificity. Shame is not the same as sadness, and neither is anger nor relief nor profound hopelessness… though we may feel them all at once. Under the Virgo Moon, let's call a spade a spade.

This lunar eclipse is not messing around with its cathartic potential—the Sun/Moon axis makes a T-square to psychological purgative Pluto, and scrapes against our insides with merciless intensity. Every last sensitivity that's stoked this week is surely connected to a bigger piece of the puzzle, for you and for them.

And that explains why envy, fury, grief, and even abuse (self- or other-directed) are some of the likelier responses we may face… even when nothing so powerful was intended. A single sentence, spun in the just the right (or wrong) manner, can upturn the whole wagon. Out of nowhere, demons dormant since adolescence come screaming out of silence. Yes, Pluto can come off as quite an asshole. But the uneasiness he brings is powerful medicine, if we take the recommended dose for its full duration.

The most extreme results of this Pluto-crossed eclipse will be felt by those with strong placements in the mutable signs—Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces, and, of course, Virgo.

Whatever comes to the surface over this next week or two, please be kind and compassionate with yourself. Virgo Moons are infamous for self-criticality, since they are so sharp at determining where real life has fallen short of the ideal. Okay, so you could've done it better in the past. So what? What's done is done, and all that matters is moving forward with a full recognition of what's come before… not lashing yourself with a wet noodle for all your imperfections.

Grant yourself mercy, and the subsequent freedom will thrill your gallant soul.

For more of my eclipse comments, read my column at FAMOUS Magazine Online. For astronomical info on the eclipse, check out this piece from the fine folks at