Contrary to popular belief, eclipses are not rare. We typically get about three to seven each year, but they shift in message and meaning based on the signs in which they fall. This summer’s Eclipse Season is comprised of a Solar Eclipse in Cancer which happened on July 2nd and a Partial Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn to take place on July 16th and 17th.
Cancer and Capricorn demonstrate the polarity of safety and security, empathy and responsibility, humanitarianism and conservatism, and the rights of the people and power of the institutions they sustain. Polar signs are like two sides of the same coin. Both want essentially the same thing but go about getting it in opposing fashion — which we can see being reflected in the discourse and debates playing out in our communities right now! Even if eclipse chasers are out of the direct viewing path, the effects of these celestial events can be felt in our bodies and psyches.
So what actually is an eclipse?
From the perspective of Earth, the planets appear to move along the band of zodiacal constellations in the sky. This imaginary line is called the “ecliptic” or celestial equator. Each month, the Sun and Moon align with the Earth in different signs along the ecliptic to form the New and Full Moon.
If we have New and Full Moons every month, then why aren’t there more eclipses?
Eclipses occur when New or Full Moons interact with the Lunar Nodes, which is where Moon’s orbit crosses the ecliptic in ascending or descending fashion. The North and South Nodes of the Moon always fall in zodiac signs opposite each other, symbolizing karma. Therefore, astrologically speaking, eclipses act as supercharged New and Full Moons, moments when we can reach out and grab evolutionary potential. Last year we saw the first eclipse on this Cancer-Capricorn axis, and the last of the series will be in 2020.
What can we expect from the next lunar eclipse on July 16th and 17th?
The Capricorn Full Moon Lunar Eclipse wants to balance compassion and pragmatism, but Saturn (the disciplinarian) is conjuncting the South Node, and Venus (the lover) is conjuncting the North Node. While we desire deeper, more supportive relationships, our past prejudices, fears, and compulsions are holding us back from forging healthy connections. We now see the pitfalls of being emotionally unavailable, manipulative, or callous, as both individuals and as a society. But don’t fret! Eclipses illuminate so we can have a better roadmap for growth.
Should you use Eclipse Season for manifestation?
Unlike New and Full Moons, this might not be the best time to set new intentions. Eclipses have an electric, unsettling quality that can jar our nerves and make for rash decisions and emotional outbursts. (Earthquakes have a correlation with eclipses, particularly solar eclipses.)
When the Sun, Moon, and Earth are aligned, the gravitational pull affects plate tectonics much like the tides. All animals on the planet are subject to the effects of magnetism and frequency — it’s how migratory routes are established.
Our ancestors didn’t think eclipse phenomena was a “bad omen” as we’ve been taught to believe; rather they were in tune with the environment and knew to be vigilant for unexpected shifts in the ecosystem.
When we experience an eclipse, we have a vibrational memory and a soul memory that predisposes us to anxiety. Naturally, it’s best not to manifest when you’re “under the influence” of anxiety, so instead, use eclipses for evaluation and reflection, taking in the flavor of the experience. Don’t worry about making an eclipse “work for you.” The job will get done… one way or another.
Will you see the effects of an eclipse immediately?
It is helpful to know your personal astrological placements to gauge how Eclipse Season will affect you. You can use a birth chart calculator on sites like astro.com or astrotheme.com to see if your personal planets fall around 10 degrees of Cancer (for the Solar Eclipse) or 24 degrees Capricorn (for the Lunar Eclipse).
The houses which contain Cancer and Capricorn may be of particular relevance, and not just on the day of the eclipse. Where these points fall in your chart will be especially sensitive for the full calendar year, subject to changes whenever another planet transits or aspects that point. You might also consider looking back to what was happening in your life around last year’s July 18th eclipse. Perhaps you’ll notice a significant change in a major life theme like money, career, or partnership. Generally speaking, if your Sun or Moon is in any of the cardinal signs (Cancer, Capricorn, Libra, or Aries) these Eclipses may prove especially potent.
Nyssa Grazda is an LA-based astrological consultant, writer, and intuitive. She speaks to planetary transits, magic, healing, and personal empowerment on her Instagram at @neongeometryastrology.