Solar and Lunar Eclipses in Astrology: Cosmic Change Agents


Eclipses happen four to six times a year, activating the unexpected and forcing us to take swift action. Ready or not, it’s time for change—and a clear decision.

Dragging your feet? Avoiding the inevitable? Resistance and procrastination are natural; we tend to avoid what’s painful and stay in our comfort zones. Solar and lunar eclipses are dramatic turning points. They provide the cosmic kick in the pants to push us off the fence and into action. On the upside, if you’ve been waiting around for a clear sign or answer, an eclipse will speed up the process.

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Eclipses are these agents of change. They occur four to six times a year and turn things upside-down. In our disoriented state, we may act out of character or see turbulence in the world. Eclipses can also help break patterns and shift dynamics. However, most astrologers suggest waiting a week or so before taking drastic action, allowing the eclipse energy to settle first.

Solar eclipses: Time to start fresh

Solar eclipses occur at new moons. During a solar eclipse, the moon is directly between the Earth and Sun (known as a conjunction, or meetup, of the Sun and the moon). During this brief time, the moon can block out the Sun’s light, temporarily disconnecting us from our sense of reality.

In astrology, a solar eclipse could bring a bold beginning, setting us on a new path that we hadn’t imagined for ourselves. While it may be surprising—or not something you even expected—a solar eclipse has a bigger vision in store for us. We have a finite focus as human beings, and it’s natural to concentrate on what’s in front of us. At times, this can limit our perspectives, and cause us to miss out on opportunities. Solar eclipses might snatch away the familiar temporarily, forcing us to consider options we would never otherwise explore. Although this can cause upheaval, eclipses are “cruel to be kind.” Major growth can happen during these cosmic power outages. This is when we should leap into new (and generally improved) terrain, even if we feel forced there by circumstances beyond our control.

Lunar eclipses: Let it go, let it flow

Lunar eclipses occur at full moons. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is nearing its full state and enters the Earth’s shadow. During a Lunar eclipse, the Earth is exactly between the Sun and the moon (known as an opposition between the Sun and the moon). For a brief spell, we can see the Earth’s shadow turning the luminous full moon intense shades of reds, browns and grays. Depending on where in the world you are, an eclipse may be visible.

According to astrology, lunar eclipses give us a glimpse into what Carl Jung referred to as the “shadow self.” We all want to think of ourselves as good, kind people, but hey—we’re also human! What we discover about ourselves and others during lunar eclipses can be tough to admit, even shocking. Still, this gives us the opportunity to embrace our wholeness, and see where we have room to grow in new directions.

Owning the fact that we have emotions (like fear, anger, jealousy and rage) is the first step to getting a handle on them. Trying to pretend we’re perfect or stuffing down our feelings? That’s when our unexamined issues creep up and overwhelm us. If we’re willing to suspend judgment and accept the good along with the bad, lunar eclipses can be potent moments of self-discovery.

Why our ancestors feared eclipses

Eclipses throughout history have gotten a bad rap. They were both revered and feared. The ancients were baffled by the Sun’s “disappearance” from the sky during a solar eclipse, so they made up stories involving angry (or “hangry”) gods eating the Sun! Because eclipses have correlated with climate catastrophes, such as hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes, many cultures believed that eclipses angered the gods. During lunar eclipses, people were known to act “loony” (root word: lunatic, which is of the root word lunar)—and in our own informal observation, we’ve noticed that, too. However, Western science has only confirmed a single fact: We need to protect our eyes if we watch a solar eclipse!

Rituals for the eclipses: Renew and release 

Rituals for new and full moons are becoming more popular by the day. At an eclipse, a ritual can help you stay grounded in the face of any chaos, especially if you set dedicated intentions.

Solar eclipses fall at new moons, so a ritual or intention-setting could focus on helping you start anew. Themes could include: finding the courage to make a fresh start, embracing change, taking a risk (even if you’re scared), putting yourself out there, making a big reveal/coming out of the metaphorical closet.

Lunar eclipses fall at full moons, which are times of ending, closure, manifestation and transition. Lunar eclipse rituals may center around having a huge breakthrough, pushing past barriers and limits, letting go of a painful situation for good, breaking free of an addictive pattern, healing or releasing.

You may want to do a zodiac-specific ritual depending on which sign the eclipse falls in astrologically. Follow our tips for new and full moon rituals and gatherings. You can do a ritual by yourself or gather with friends to amplify your intentions.

Eclipses and the Lunar Nodes of Astrology

Lunar nodes—the “destiny points” in astrology—are tied to the eclipses. The lunar nodes are determined by the points where the moon’s orbit crosses the “ecliptic”—the apparent path the Sun makes around the earth that is the basis of Western astrology. The north and south nodes in your chart are determined by where the eclipses were happening. So from a mystical perspective, eclipses are tied to our past lives, karmic paths and soul missions!

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TABLE OF ECLIPSES (2013-2020)

2003

Lunar May 16 20033:4024° Scorpio 53′
Solar May 31 20034:0709° Gemini 19′
Lunar Nov 9 20031:1816° Taurus 13′
Solar Nov 23 200322:4901° Sagittarius 14′

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2004

Solar Apr 19 200413:3329° Aries 49′
Lunar May 4 200420:2914° Scorpio 42′
Solar Oct 14 20042:5921° Libra 07′
Lunar Oct 28 20043:0305° Taurus 02′

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2005

Solar Apr 8 200520:3619° Aries 06′
Lunar Apr 24 20059:5504° Scorpio 19′
Solar Oct 3 200510:3110° Libra 19′
Lunar Oct 17 200512:0224° Aries 13′

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2006

Lunar Mar 14 200623:4724° Virgo 15′
Solar Mar 29 200610:1008° Aries 35′
Lunar Sep 7 200618:5015° Pisces 01′
Solar Sep 22 200611:3929° Virgo 20′

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2007

Lunar Mar 3 200723:2013° Virgo 00′
Solar Mar 19 20072:3228° Pisces 07′
Lunar Aug 28 200710:3704° Pisces 46′
Solar Sep 11 200712:3118° Virgo 24′

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2008

Solar Feb 7 20083:5517° Aquarius 44′
Lunar Feb 21 20083:2501° Virgo 52′
Solar Aug 1 200810:2009° Leo 32′
Lunar Aug 16 200821:1024° Aquarius 21′

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2009

Solar Jan 26 20097:5906° Aquarius 30′
Lunar Feb 9 200914:3720° Leo 59′
Lunar Jul 7 20099:3815° Capricorn 25′
Solar Jul 22 20092:3529° Cancer 27′
Lunar Aug 6 20090:3913° Aquarius 43′
Lunar Dec 31 200919:2110° Cancer 15′

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2010

Solar Jan 15 20107:0625° Capricorn 01′
Lunar Jun 26 201011:3704° Capricorn 46′
Solar Jul 11 201019:3319° Cancer 24′
Lunar Dec 21 20108:1629° Gemini 21′

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20011

Solar Jan 4 20118:4913° Capricorn 38′
Solar Jun 1 201121:1511° Gemini 02′
Lunar Jun 15 201120:1124° Sagittarius 23′
Solar Jul 1 20118:3809° Cancer 12′
Solar Nov 25 20116:2002° Sagittarius 37′
Lunar Dec 10 201114:3118° Gemini 11′

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2012

Solar May 20 201223:5200° Gemini 21′
Lunar Jun 4 201211:0314° Sagittarius 14′
Solar Nov 13 201222:1221° Scorpio 57′
Lunar Nov 28 201214:3306° Gemini 46′

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2013

Lunar Apr 25 201320:0605° Scorpio 46′
Solar May 10 20130:2419° Taurus 31′
Lunar May 25 20134:0904° Sagittarius 07′
Lunar Oct 18 201323:4925° Aries 46′
Solar Nov 3 201312:4611° Scorpio 16′

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2014

Lunar Apr 15 20147:4525° Libra 16′
Solar Apr 29 20146:0208° Taurus 51′
Lunar Oct 8 201410:5315° Aries 05′
Solar Oct 23 201421:4400° Scorpio 25′

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2015

Solar Mar 20 20159:36 am29° Pisces 27′
Lunar Apr 4 201512:0014° Libra 24′
Solar Sep 13 20156:41 am20° Virgo 10′
Lunar Sep 28 20152:4704° Aries 40′

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2016

Solar Mar 9 20161:54 am18° Pisces 56′
Lunar Mar 23 201612:01 pm3° Libra 17′
Solar Sep 1 20169:03 am9° Virgo 21′
Lunar Sep 16 20167:05 pm24° Pisces 20′

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2017

Lunar Feb 11 201712:33 am22° Leo 28′
Solar Feb 26 20172:58 pm8° Pisces 12′
Lunar Aug 7 20176:11 pm15° Aquarius 25′
Solar Aug 21 20176:30 pm28° Leo 53′

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2018

Lunar Jan 31 20181:27 pm11° Leo 37′
Solar Feb 15 20189:05 pm27° Aquarius 08′
Solar Jul 13 20182:48 am20° Cancer 41′
Lunar Jul 27 20188:20 pm04° Aquarius 45′
Solar Aug 11 20189:58 am18° Leo 42′

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2019

Solar Jan 6 20191:28 am15° Capricorn 25′
Lunar Jan 21 20195:16 am0° Leo 52′
Solar Jul 02 20197:16 pm10° Cancer 37′
Lunar Jul 16 20199:38 pm24° Capricorn 04′
Solar Dec 26 20195:13 am4° Capricorn 07′

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2020

Lunar Jan 10 20207:21 pm20° Cancer 00′
Lunar Jun 5 20207:12 pm15° Sagittarius 34′
Solar Jun 21 20206:41 am0° Cancer 21′
Lunar Jul 5 20204:44 am13° Capricorn 38′
Lunar Nov 30 20209:30 am8° Gemini 38′
Solar Dec 14 20204:16 pm23° Sagittarius 08′

Eclipse tables from Skyscript.co.uk

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