26 February 2017, 15h00 GMT
The first Solar Eclipse for 2017 takes place in dreamy, romantic Pisces.This eclipse is likely to herald in a six month period characterised by a focus on dreams and ideals vs. reality, largely as a result of the Sun and Moon’s proximity to glamorous and alluring Neptune.
Neptune is the planet par excellence of mirages. It tends to evoke themes around:
- Truth vs. lies
- Confusion vs. certainty
- Dreams/visions/imagination versus mundane reality/execution of that vision
- The physical/material world vs. the spiritual dimensions
We’ve seen a lot in the news lately about ‘fake news’ and ‘post truth politics’ – a theme that fits very well with Pisces and Neptune, so it seems very likely that these will continue to play out on the world stage until at least the autumn.
Neptune is also the planet which rules make-believe, and the glamour of film, photography – and of course, the bubble that is LA-LA Land. It is therefore fascinating that this eclipse happens to coincide with the 89th Academy Awards (did someone choose this date on purpose?). On this particular date, we will get a triple hit of dreamy Neptunian energy from the Sun and Moon in Pisces, as well as their conjunction to Neptune-ruled Pisces .
An Oscar is also one of the most intensely sought-after awards for creative professionals. Given that solar energy tends to predominate during these types of New Moon events, it seems possible that it will be the traditionally male-dominated categories that will attract the most attention, but also credit lots of newcomers – after all, this event takes place at New Moon, ushering in a fresh six month cycle.
Of course, the downside of Neptune is its tendency to seduce with unrealistic promises and unattainable images – something to bear in mind when it comes to examining or judging your own life in comparison to what you see in the media or on social media, for that matter. Very little of what we see in magazines, films, or even on Instagram is realistically attainable – certainly not all the time – unless, perhaps you have pots of money. It’s important to remember that these images have been created through artifice: they are the product of photo filters, air brushing, lighting, art direction, make-up etc, and are not supposed to be attainable for the majority of us. Some things are created simply to be inspiring and iconic – something to aspire to, but not necessarily to emulate exactly. So don’t believe everything you see, and try not to take everything too literally, or you’ll always be unhappy and discontented with your lot.
The same could also be said of spirituality, or happiness, come to think of it. Spiritual nirvana and emotional bliss, are by their very nature, transitory: states that aren’t meant to be permanent. Their fleeting quality is part of what makes them so precious and so bittersweet. Buddhists have an excellent understanding of the impermanence of life and encourage us all to accept that ultimately, everything is constantly in flux: a very fluid, Neptunian quality.Compassion for others, a detachment from possessiveness and an accepting, non-judgmental attitude all represent the positive qualities of this planet.
However, Buddhism is also very good at pointing out less desirable Neptunian traits such as Maya (illusion), which can also encompass qualities like pretension (‘I am a spiritually superior human being,’ for instance) and deceit, both of oneself and others. There are many ego pitfalls, especially within the field of spirituality, such as setting oneself up as a guru or ‘expert’. Ultimately, I think it is foolhardy to think that any wisdom we have to offer is ours alone, or is indeed, that original.
Edward Steinbrecher always warned against the seductions and dangers of the false spirit guides, some of which can trick you into thinking that you are right – or even convince someone reading for you that they have the answers to your particular dilemma. In reality, they are simply emanations of the ego and will do nothing to advance your spiritual growth. So be sure to use spiritual protection techniques and don’t believe everything that you hear or are told between now & August 2017 – sometimes it is good to be discriminating (a Virgo quality which acts as a counter-balance to too much Piscean psychic openness) and to test certain premises out in real life to make sure that they are true.
And here endeth my sermon!
This eclipse occurs in the 9th degree of Pisces, the Sabian symbol for which is:
THE RACE BEGINS: A JOCKEY SPURS HIS HORSE TO GREAT SPEED.
Isn’t it interesting that we have another horse-related symbol at work, given the Sabian symbol for the Leo lunar eclipse earlier this month.
In many ways, this symbol is all about speed, agility and the ability to keep up with the competition. It is also about single-mindedness and focus, as well as about comparing oneself to others – something we discussed at length in the first section of this forecast. After all, the jockey has to keep looking around to make sure he is ahead, even as he drives his horse forward.
This eclipse therefore seems to be about how you deal with situations in which you feel a certain degree of pressure to succeed. How do you handle competition? is it something that brings out the best in you/ or does it just make you go to pieces? Do you thrive on competition, or is it just all too ego-centred for you to give it too much credence?
It is worth pausing to consider these questions over the next six months, especially if you need to make some important lifestyle or career decisions. After all, if you hate pressure and the jockeying that comes with certain crowds, then a job in competitive sports, sales or stock market trading is not going to be for you! Neither is living in a big city, where jostling for resources is just a byproduct of too many people living in close proximity, and where people are more likely to be rude and aggressive than friendly, polite or chatty.
The Sabian Oracle offers some other keywords to consider here which may pertain to your personal experience of this event:
Competitiveness and high ambitions. Wanting to win, sometimes against the odds. Losing and gaining weight. Weightlessness. Racing to be first at things. Demanding quick flight. Bolting out of the gate. Aggressive desires. Exhilaration. Wanting to better oneself. Being on the home run. Speed and the need for it. Facing forward with great intensity. Rivals and competitors. The value of training. Horsemanship. Discipline. Energy poured into the drive to succeed. Starting whistles, pistols or lights.
This eclipse forms part of Brady’s 19 South Saros series, which she describes in The Eagle and the Lark as:
…a family of eclipses that brings with it an element of pleasant surprise. Sudden happiness, a joyful event, the lucky break, the lucky win.
This sounds like a rather fabulous prospect, especially if you are an Oscars contender! So look out for some pleasant surprises and positive life changing moments between now and next months Full Moon, because that is the period when you are most likely to witness them.
Unlike the fixed and rather dramatic energy of the Leo lunar eclipse, this is particular solar eclipse, which takes place in mutable signs, is likely to be a much more subtle affair, possibly even deceptively so. Decisions to make personal changes could well sneak up on you, but looking back, you may realise that these change of heart or circumstances may actually have been coming for a while. Look out for signs, especially in the days surrounding the New Moon, as well as the period leading up to next month’s New Moon (ie a full lunar cycle) because sometimes these types of events need some steam to build up before they manifest in physical reality.The good news is that any changes in circumstances or fresh beginnings that are catalysed by this eclipse are likely to be constructive and bring positive improvements, so there’s no need to second-guess them – just go with the flow!
As I mentioned earlier, the main aspect this time round will be a conjunction to Neptune by the Sun and Moon, emphasising creativity, spirituality and liminality.At this time, and for the next six months, keep arrangements fluid and go with the flow. The signs will be there to guide you, so have faith and follow your own ‘yellow brick road’.
Given the themes I raised earlier, I also find it interesting that in this eclipse chart, both the Part of Spirit and the Part of Fortune are rising (and are conjunct both each other and the AS). This is highly unusual – both represent the usually opposing qualities of spiritual growth and material fortune/success. One can’t help but interpret their converging like this in the sign of Leo as significant. Right now – and over the next six months or so, then, it would seem that the path to personal satisfaction, abundance and enlightenment are one and the same. So, by living from the ‘inside out’ – that is, by doing spiritual work and making changes to yourself on the inner planes, you can expect to see unexpectedly positive shifts in the outer world that may also have knock-on effects on career, money etc – wow! Perhaps we should all take as a moment to remind ourselves that the material world of cause and effect that we think is so real – is, in fact, an illusion – and that what we see and experience in our lives is a result of what we are creating with our thoughts and consciousness, and not the other way around. Although this can often sound pretty flaky in a culture obsessed with scientific ‘proof’, it worth acknowledging that almost every religion/spiritual doctrine in the world says the same thing.
If you’re at all sceptical, may I suggest that you read – and then try – the Inner Guide Meditation by Edwin Steinbrecher and then see for yourself…Miracles can happen when you realise the ‘wonder of the one thing’!…
Parts and Lots
At eclipse time, as has been so often the case over the last few years, both the Sun and the Moon will be conjunct the Part of the Honourable Acquaintance. It therefore seems to be an ongoing theme for us all to consider how trustworthy we think the people around us are. Can we count on them in a crisis?
Equally, it is worth asking how much you feel you live according to your highest truth.Integrity is such a rare quality these days, but is a key component of living an authentic, peaceful life. It is something that is emphasized in the Toltec wisdom made famous in the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (who these days is best known as ‘Tom Brady’s shaman’). Putting aside the whole famous personality thing for a second, it’s worth contemplating the first agreement, which is to:
Be Impeccable with Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
A former student of Ruiz, Gary van Warmerdam, writes that:
When we are acting from our Integrity, what we could call our authentic self, we don’t try. We don’t have a need to try. We just take action. We don’t concern ourselves with whether what we are doing is the right thing. We also don’t have a need to justify or defend what we are doing to anybody. This includes ourselves. The action comes from the heart and is with love, that is how we know it is true. It also comes with humility because we are acting on behalf of love and not for ourselves or a sense of righteousness. Emotional integrity words don’t corrupt this authenticity with chatter in the mind.
Are you a person of integrity? Would it make you happier to live from a place of truth and authenticity, but also of love, peace and acceptance? If so, then you may want to spend the next six months considering how you can go about achieving this. The stars have paved the way and will help you along – all you need to do is make the first move.
The Sun and Moon will be opposing Regulus, which is pretty interesting, as Regulus will be orbiting close to the North Node, or the Dragon’s Head. This, in turn, infers that the Sun and Moon will be conjunct the Dragon’s Tail…
Now, the nodal axis has a symbolic affinity with the fixed star, Thuban, which sits at the ‘heart’ of the constellation of Draco (the dragon). The name ‘Thuban’ comes from the Arabic word for ‘snake’ or dragon. In an article about Draco, Deborah Houlding quotes Valentia Straiton about the mythic significance of this constellation:
Eden has another name, Gen-Eden, which means Paradise, a “Garden of Delight,” a “Region of Supreme Loveliness.” It also means to encompass, to surround, to clasp, to enclose. It was a circle of space, a cycle of time, a ring… A symbol of sacred knowledge in antiquity was a Tree, ever guarded by a serpent, the serpent or dragon of wisdom. The serpent of Hercules was said to guard the golden apple that hung from the Pole, the Tree of Life, in the midst of the garden of the Hesperides. The serpent that guarded the golden fruit in the garden of the Hesperides and the serpent of the Garden of Eden, which enfolded with its coils that mysterious tree, are the same.
If we combine all this symbolism together, it is probably fair to say that this eclipse is likely to evoke a sense of cosmic evolution and cyclic shifts. Without wanting to sound apocalyptic, I think it is fair to say that many people feel as though we – and the planet – are going through a period of transition. Will it be one of evolution, or revolution? The next six months may provide us with some clues…
This eclipse will take place mostly in the southern hemisphere ad is only likely to be visible from the southerly parts of the Americas and Africa. The eclipse will begin at around 13:30 UT and last until around 16h30 UT. For more information, and a diagram of its visibility, visit the NASA page for this series of eclipses.
This group of eclipses previously occurred in 1908, 1927, 1945, 1963, 1981, 1999 and will not take place again until 2035.