December 14, 2020 – Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius

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We close out the final eclipse season of 2020 with a solar eclipse in Sagittarius. This high-octane new moon ushers in big changes and new beginnings – in some cases, those changes may be quite dramatic. Where we see these changes & new beginnings depends on where the eclipse occurs in our natal chart.

In 2020, we had eclipses in Gemini and Sagittarius and in Cancer and Capricorn:

June 5, 2020 – Lunar Eclipse at 15 degrees Sagittarius
June 21, 2020 – Solar Eclipse at 0 degrees Cancer
July 5, 2020 – Lunar Eclipse at 13 degrees Capricorn
November 30, 2020 – Lunar Eclipse at 8 degrees Gemini
December 14, 2020 – Solar Eclipse at 23 degrees Sagittarius

Along the Cancer-Capricorn axis, we see themes related to building solid foundations whether at home (Cancer) or in career (Capricorn). For the Gemini-Sagittarius axis, the themes are about knowledge and how we use it: are we gathering lots of information for later study and reference (Gemini) or are we synthesizing all that we’ve learned to bring about change (Sagittarius)?

With this solar eclipse in Sagittarius, we’re looking at the big picture and discovering the areas where we want to bring about change. We’re taking all that information we’ve gathered since the June 5 Lunar Eclipse and piecing it together, letting the Sagittarius Moon inspire our process.

Sagittarius

Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign, meaning that it exhibits the energetic, adventurous qualities found in the fire element, but is more changeable and unpredictable. Mutable signs rule the time of year when the seasons are shifting: when the Sun is in Sagittarius in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s not quite autumn anymore, but it’s not quite winter, either.

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Jacopo Montano, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s fitting, then, that the sign of Sagittarius is represented by the centaur: he’s half-man, half-horse. His interests & skills cover everything from studying philosophy and religion to going on adventures all over the world. He’s skilled in archery – hence the arrow glyph for the sign – yet also has a warm, generous side.

Ruled by Jupiter, the planet of luck and optimism, Sagittarius has a reputation of being a party sign. They dream big, think big, and play big. If you’ve ever known a Sagittarius, you’ve probably seen their expansive, gregarious nature at work. The Sagittarians I know personally are very intelligent people in search of big, deep truths – and also well-crafted cocktails.

Jeff Bridges is a Sagittarius and one of his best known roles was as The Dude in The Big Lebowski – the quintessential Sagittarian in his love of a white Russian cocktail and being at peace with everything in his life, even when things get tough.

via GIPHY

Miley Cyrus’s song “Midnight Sky” captures her own Sagittarian mindset: the desire for freedom and the need to aim high.

Moon in Sagittarius

When the Moon is in Sagittarius, it embraces a more ebullient nature: it’s cheerful and optimistic, and feels best when it’s going out and exploring the world. Because the Moon is influenced by the mutable energy of Sagittarius, it will adapt to whatever comes its way, but if it feels constricted or bound to routines, it will escape – whether literal or figurative.

If you have your Sun, Moon, or Rising in Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, these last couple of days may have been particularly challenging, especially as many areas in the United States are enforcing new restrictions in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. But if we channel that adaptability of the Sagittarius Moon, we can find escape through studying something new (like astrology, world religions, or philosophy) or watching documentaries on topics we are passionate about: climate change, immigration reform, LGBTQ rights, dismantling systemic racism.

If you know your rising sign, here’s a rundown of what aspects of your life the Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius will be affecting:

    • Aries Rising – personal philosophy, spirituality and beliefs; higher education
    • Taurus Rising – regeneration, transformation, death
    • Gemini Rising – relationships and partnerships (romantic, business, platonic)
    • Cancer Rising – work and work environment, service, health
    • Leo Rising – creativity & creative pursuits, children, where you find & seek pleasure
    • Virgo Rising – home, family life, your past, ancestors
    • Libra Rising – communication skills & tools for communicating with others, sibling relationships, short trips
    • Scorpio Rising – finances, material possessions, self-esteem
    • Sagittarius Rising – physical appearance, self-awareness
    • Capricorn Rising – subconscious thoughts & feelings, karmic debts
    • Aquarius Rising – friends and social groups, hopes, goals
    • Pisces Rising – career, fame, reputation

You can also read that list for your Sun sign, which would also be impacted, though maybe not as strongly. (Not sure about your rising sign? Visit https://chart.chaninicholas.com/ to generate your natal chart for free.)
Some questions to consider over the next couple of days:

    • Where do I want to see changes in my life?
    • What changes do I want to see in my community? What can I do to help with that process?
    • How have I changed over the last 6 months?

You may find it helpful to journal about these questions, or perhaps use them as a starting point for a Tarot or oracle card reading. If you are considering some ritual work during the solar eclipse, this article has some very helpful suggestions.

Here’s to being open and adaptable during this solar eclipse, and to discovering how we can embrace change on personal and global levels.

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September 1-2, 2020 – Full Moon in Pisces

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The Pisces Full Moon happening on September 1, 2020 (or in the early hours of September 2, depending on your time zone) is a beautiful time to dream and reflect. We may feel more inclined toward emotional responses – tears close to the surface, for example, or moodiness – yet also feel receptive and softer than ever before. The Moon, which rules Cancer, a cardinal water sign, is more at home in Pisces, a mutable water sign, but it can easily get lost in the depths, or unable to maintain boundaries when necessary.

Moon in Pisces

When the Moon is in Pisces, it’s as if a spell has been cast over the collective, making us all a bit more tuned in to emotions and the subconscious desires of others. Some folks who have a highly developed intuition may feel extra sensitive during this time. Artists, writers and other creatives may feel overwhelmed with new ideas for projects. Dreams may be more prophetic or insightful. I like to imagine a Pisces Moon – especially this month’s Pisces Full Moon – as rising out of the ocean, soaking wet, with a neon blue octopus clinging to its craters.

Since I began studying astrology 20 years ago, I’ve come to know several people who were born when the Moon was in Pisces. They are dreamy souls, with an ability to see into the subconscious in ways that others cannot. They have incredible compassion and an innate understanding of humanity’s deepest needs. But these Pisces Moon natives also tend to get waterlogged, struggling to find solid footing in the real world.

At this point in 2020, the pandemic, protests, natural disasters and political activities around the world have lit up those areas where humanity is in need of massive change. We have experienced some collective grounding due to all these events and situations, and it’s caused immeasurable stress. This Full Moon in Pisces offers an opportunity for healing by allowing us to soften our gaze and dream a little. We get a chance to visualize what’s possible by tuning in to what unites us – and later using those visualizations to fuel practical, real-world solutions.

Here are some ideas for things you can do to channel this Pisces Full Moon energy. For optimal results, do these activities between Monday night and Thursday afternoon.

Activities for the Pisces Full Moon

  • Get wet. Dance outside in the rain, go for a swim, take a bath. Pisces and the Moon are both connected to water.
  • Visit a body of water. If you live close to a stream, river, lake, or ocean, the Pisces Full Moon is a wonderful time to visit and reflect on the role and meaning of water in your life, and give thanks for its existence.
  • Eat some seafood. Embrace your inner pescatarian and have a meal of fish and shellfish.
    • Vegetarians/vegans can enjoy cauliflower, cabbage, cheese, cucumbers, melon, mushrooms, pumpkins or turnips – these are all Moon-ruled foods.
  • Start a dream journal. This journal could include a daily log of your dreams, as well as a place where you can explore the dreams you want to manifest in the world. For tips on recording your dreams, check out this article.
  • Stare at the clouds. If the weather permits where you live, take a blanket outside, lie down and watch the clouds roll by.
  • Take care of your feet. Pisces rules the feet, so a Pisces Full Moon is a great time to pamper them. Give yourself a pedicure or foot massageor give one to your partner. Even simply washing your feet and following up with lotion or cream can be incredibly soothing.

Colors for the Pisces Full Moon

You can wear these colors in your clothing, jewelry, makeup or nail polish.

  • Iridescent and opalescent shades
  • Silvery grey
  • White

Crystals for the Pisces Full Moon

You can place these crystals on your altar, if you have one, or in a prominent place in your home for 2-3 nights during the Pisces Full Moon.

  • Chrysolite or peridot
  • Coral
  • Moonstone

Want to try out my Full Moon Tarot Spread? Check it out here.

Getting Through the Buzzing

Have you ever been disturbed by a humming or buzzing sound? The drone of a motor, the vibration of metal on metal, the whir of an appliance left on inadvertently? Did you try to pinpoint the source of the sound, only to be unable to permanently disable it? Maybe you were able to lessen its severity, but you couldn’t make it stop, no matter how hard you tried. Or maybe you noticed the sound was unpredictable, kicking on under certain circumstances, but quiet during other times. You learned to live with it as best you could.

That’s what chronic depression is like. It is a constant hum in the background of daily living. It is the soundtrack by which I live, by which 3 to 5 percent of people live.

Sometimes I try to squelch the buzzing through self-medicating with food, sleep, music, movies, TV show binges, or alcohol. These things work for a while, then the effects wear off. Social media medication, which I define as repeatedly going on Facebook or Twitter, has side effects I dislike: irritability and frustration tinged with bouts of laughter, tears (both happy and sad) and smiles. But I still use all these methods of self-medicating. It may not be healthy, but it distracts me from the buzzing.

Lately, however, the buzzing is the worst it’s been in years.

This morning I realized the last time the buzzing got the better of me was 16 years ago. My then-husband and I were struggling to pay the bills, as well as communicate with each other. I was raising our dog while trying to freelance as a writer, which failed spectacularly. I remember walking on the treadmill in our basement while watching TV, tears streaming down my face, hoping exercise would quiet the buzz. It didn’t.

Most days I could not get out of bed until late afternoon. I did not want to live, but felt like such a failure I figured if I attempted suicide, I would screw that up, too. My psychiatrist sent me to a mental health facility, a place where the buzzing was even louder because I was surrounded by the buzzing of other patients, many of whom were dealing with much more severe issues than I was. I couldn’t sleep the night I was admitted. The next day, I sat in the common room with my journal and wrote about getting the hell out of there. I would find a different way to deal with the buzz. Less than 12 hours later, I was home, with orders to enroll in an outpatient program at a nearby hospital. That outpatient program helped shut off the buzz for a while, as did new medication and a new psychiatrist.

Fast forward to today. We filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of 2000, and I moved to the west coast that spring. My husband and I separated after he decided not to follow me out here. We later divorced. I threw myself into spiritual and metaphysical studies, let my medications run out. I haven’t been under a psychiatrist’s care since then, nor have I seen a therapist. The buzzing was relatively manageable.

Yet the buzzing never goes away. Spiritual practices, such as meditation and prayer, mitigates its severity. Talking honestly to trusted friends and journaling is useful. Writing blog posts such as this one alleviates some of the buzzing’s effects.

But over the last couple months, all I can hear is the buzzing. It pushes out all the loving, compassionate thoughts my soul needs. It makes me angry at the world, at my friends and family, at myself. It keeps me in bed, unwilling to move except to do the bare minimum of self-care and cat maintenance. It constantly reminds me of all my financial debt, all the incomplete tasks, all the negative things people have said or done to me over the years, all the broken pieces in my life.

When the buzzing was last at its peak, a therapist taught me to write down three tasks each day that I could reasonably complete. As I was washing dishes this afternoon, crying, I remembered this technique and how useful it had been in quieting the buzz. I wrote down my tasks and breathed my way through completing them.

  1. I responded to an email about a work project.
  2. I got dressed.
  3. I wrote this post. (This was actually written as “write in journal”, but while completing #2, I thought it would make a good post. I’ll still write in my journal, however.)

I know I need to see a professional for more long-term strategy in addressing the buzzing. At the moment, it’s at a low-level hum. For that, I am grateful.