Once again upon us is eclipse season: that twice-a-year phase of escalation in our life-narrative, when developments which have been gradually ripening over the preceding few months hit their critical zenith, an concentration of 'breakthrough' energy that pushes the story precipitously along to its next chapter.

'It was going along like this… and, following this turn-of-events, it'll now be going along like that for the foreseeable future.'

'Eclipse season' is the few-weeks' period, every six months or so, surrounding a pair (or, in some cases, a trio) of extra-super-special new moons and full moons which qualify as eclipses due to the Sun-and-Moon's conjunctions to lunar nodes. Our last eclipses occurred in a set of three this past April and May (which you can review through what I wrote here, here and here).

This coming Friday (Oct 18), we welcome a lunar eclipse full moon in Aries, opposing the Sun in Libra… definitely not the most powerful as far as eclipses go, seeing as the Sun/Moon axis don't make any tight or trying aspects to other planets, yet still packing a bit more punch than your run-of-the-mill full moon. Like any full moon, this lunar eclipse creates a moment of heightened emotional awareness, as the not-exactly-for-public-consumption feelings we usually do a pretty good job of keeping under wraps (symbolized by the astrological Moon) become exposed to the fullness of ego-consciousness's light (through opposition to the Sun), no longer allowing us to hide them behind the deliberate civility of our personalities. That's why full moons are said to bring out the crazy: They reveal what is ordinarily concealed, exacerbating whatever tendencies we typically downplay, intensifying the power of latent emotions as they arise from their latency.

Factor in the Aries/Libra qualities to this lunar eclipse opposition between the Moon and the Sun, then, and there's a theme of surprise self-centered impulses cropping up (Moon in Aries) to subvert any thoughtful taking-both-sides-into-account considerateness which has recently been at play, at least as far as appearances would suggest, with the Sun in Libra. By its very nature, a Moon in Aries does not inspire us to check with anybody else—nor even to spend much effort weighing options in our own head—before launching straight into whatever behavior we are instinctively moved to engage in. It is always already in motion, according to what, in that given moment, feels right.

This fiery fast-acting energy of the Aries lunar eclipse is further accentuated by Venus's current position in Sagittarius, another fire-sign placement that favors brash advances toward that which is exciting, edifying and/or adventurous over too much careful forethought. During this lunar-eclipse week, Venus trines shock-jock Uranus in Aries (exact on Wed Oct 17), fueling our affection for risky forward thrusts… and helping encourage us to learn about any self-serving feelings we've been disavowing, through simply following our urges (perhaps hastily? perhaps unapologetically?) and seeing where they take us.

The arguably bigger eclipse event comes two weeks later, on Sun Nov 3, when a solar eclipse new moon in Scorpio occurs in conjunction with both Mercury and Saturn, as well as the Moon's North Node. It has been just over a year since Saturn first entered Scorpio, where he remains through the end of next year (with a quick revisit from June to September of 2015)… and thus this Saturn-conjoined solar eclipse serves as a poignant check-in on how well we've done with Saturn's challenging energies. In many ways, Saturn in Scorpio tests how far we're willing to go psychologically in order to embrace our darker matter… to break compulsive patterns that keep us reacting like prey under threat, scorned lovers or traumatized children, so we can recognize our triggers before they trigger us to lash out or buckle under the echoing pain… and ultimately to emerge in greater wholeness, knowing the depths of everything we are, by refusing to pretend it's all sweetness and light. At the same time, Saturn in Scorpio seeks to put us in check if we're needlessly wooing the extreme, as if powerless to resist the allure of pulling the 'caution: do not pull' lever or going all the way, at the expense of a reasonable sanity-level.

Saturn aims for the proper balance. In Scorpio, that balance is between (1) pushing beyond the superficial, convenient and too-neat-and-tidy, to engage with the oft-uncomfortable reality of conflicting feelings and motives and psychological histories, to promote greater intimacy, depth and passion, and (2) refraining from going so far into every last psychic nook-and-cranny, for no other sake than an obsessive or addictive desire for this sort of engagement all the time, to simplify one's life such that other goals (which demand a certain amount of discipline or self-denial to attain) can also be met.

As a robust focal-point for our past year's Saturn work, this Scorpio solar eclipse is an invitation to recommit to both owning our shit and not pointlessly rolling around in it. And like any new moon, it's an excellent opportunity to ritualize whatever intention-setting we'd like to see materialize, bit by bit, as the Moon's light grows. As such, we'll want to reflect back over the past year… and either forge a course-correction, if we've managed to part ways with the sort of brutal Scorpio honesty that's required for transforming unconscious material into integrated human wisdom, or double-down on the hard-earned successes we've made in this arena. With Mercury retrograde, having just finished his second of three Saturn conjunctions and exactly conjunct the North Node at the time of the eclipse (re-read this still-very-relevant article on why 'Mercury means serious business'), there's also a theme of revisiting any communications which either were conducted too harshly and gracelessly or fell short of their much-needed full brunt due to fearful pussyfooting or blatant disingenuousness.

To continue moving ahead, as this eclipse suggests, we must be willing to bravely Go There… to that place where our demons are not only welcome to join us at the table, but are actually honored guests… for as long as we keep icing them out, they'll have no choice but to show up against our wishes, at the most inopportune moments possible, pissed off about being excluded yet again, and really cause a scene.