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.
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!
TABLE OF ECLIPSES (2013-2020)
|Lunar||May 16 2003||3:40||24° Scorpio 53′|
|Solar||May 31 2003||4:07||09° Gemini 19′|
|Lunar||Nov 9 2003||1:18||16° Taurus 13′|
|Solar||Nov 23 2003||22:49||01° Sagittarius 14′|
|Solar||Apr 19 2004||13:33||29° Aries 49′|
|Lunar||May 4 2004||20:29||14° Scorpio 42′|
|Solar||Oct 14 2004||2:59||21° Libra 07′|
|Lunar||Oct 28 2004||3:03||05° Taurus 02′|
|Solar||Apr 8 2005||20:36||19° Aries 06′|
|Lunar||Apr 24 2005||9:55||04° Scorpio 19′|
|Solar||Oct 3 2005||10:31||10° Libra 19′|
|Lunar||Oct 17 2005||12:02||24° Aries 13′|
|Lunar||Mar 14 2006||23:47||24° Virgo 15′|
|Solar||Mar 29 2006||10:10||08° Aries 35′|
|Lunar||Sep 7 2006||18:50||15° Pisces 01′|
|Solar||Sep 22 2006||11:39||29° Virgo 20′|
|Lunar||Mar 3 2007||23:20||13° Virgo 00′|
|Solar||Mar 19 2007||2:32||28° Pisces 07′|
|Lunar||Aug 28 2007||10:37||04° Pisces 46′|
|Solar||Sep 11 2007||12:31||18° Virgo 24′|
|Solar||Feb 7 2008||3:55||17° Aquarius 44′|
|Lunar||Feb 21 2008||3:25||01° Virgo 52′|
|Solar||Aug 1 2008||10:20||09° Leo 32′|
|Lunar||Aug 16 2008||21:10||24° Aquarius 21′|
|Solar||Jan 26 2009||7:59||06° Aquarius 30′|
|Lunar||Feb 9 2009||14:37||20° Leo 59′|
|Lunar||Jul 7 2009||9:38||15° Capricorn 25′|
|Solar||Jul 22 2009||2:35||29° Cancer 27′|
|Lunar||Aug 6 2009||0:39||13° Aquarius 43′|
|Lunar||Dec 31 2009||19:21||10° Cancer 15′|
|Solar||Jan 15 2010||7:06||25° Capricorn 01′|
|Lunar||Jun 26 2010||11:37||04° Capricorn 46′|
|Solar||Jul 11 2010||19:33||19° Cancer 24′|
|Lunar||Dec 21 2010||8:16||29° Gemini 21′|
|Solar||Jan 4 2011||8:49||13° Capricorn 38′|
|Solar||Jun 1 2011||21:15||11° Gemini 02′|
|Lunar||Jun 15 2011||20:11||24° Sagittarius 23′|
|Solar||Jul 1 2011||8:38||09° Cancer 12′|
|Solar||Nov 25 2011||6:20||02° Sagittarius 37′|
|Lunar||Dec 10 2011||14:31||18° Gemini 11′|
|Solar||May 20 2012||23:52||00° Gemini 21′|
|Lunar||Jun 4 2012||11:03||14° Sagittarius 14′|
|Solar||Nov 13 2012||22:12||21° Scorpio 57′|
|Lunar||Nov 28 2012||14:33||06° Gemini 46′|
|Lunar||Apr 25 2013||20:06||05° Scorpio 46′|
|Solar||May 10 2013||0:24||19° Taurus 31′|
|Lunar||May 25 2013||4:09||04° Sagittarius 07′|
|Lunar||Oct 18 2013||23:49||25° Aries 46′|
|Solar||Nov 3 2013||12:46||11° Scorpio 16′|
|Lunar||Apr 15 2014||7:45||25° Libra 16′|
|Solar||Apr 29 2014||6:02||08° Taurus 51′|
|Lunar||Oct 8 2014||10:53||15° Aries 05′|
|Solar||Oct 23 2014||21:44||00° Scorpio 25′|
|Solar||Mar 20 2015||9:36 am||29° Pisces 27′|
|Lunar||Apr 4 2015||12:00||14° Libra 24′|
|Solar||Sep 13 2015||6:41 am||20° Virgo 10′|
|Lunar||Sep 28 2015||2:47||04° Aries 40′|
|Solar||Mar 9 2016||1:54 am||18° Pisces 56′|
|Lunar||Mar 23 2016||12:01 pm||3° Libra 17′|
|Solar||Sep 1 2016||9:03 am||9° Virgo 21′|
|Lunar||Sep 16 2016||7:05 pm||24° Pisces 20′|
|Lunar||Feb 11 2017||12:33 am||22° Leo 28′|
|Solar||Feb 26 2017||2:58 pm||8° Pisces 12′|
|Lunar||Aug 7 2017||6:11 pm||15° Aquarius 25′|
|Solar||Aug 21 2017||6:30 pm||28° Leo 53′|
|Lunar||Jan 31 2018||1:27 pm||11° Leo 37′|
|Solar||Feb 15 2018||9:05 pm||27° Aquarius 08′|
|Solar||Jul 13 2018||2:48 am||20° Cancer 41′|
|Lunar||Jul 27 2018||8:20 pm||04° Aquarius 45′|
|Solar||Aug 11 2018||9:58 am||18° Leo 42′|
|Solar||Jan 6 2019||1:28 am||15° Capricorn 25′|
|Lunar||Jan 21 2019||5:16 am||0° Leo 52′|
|Solar||Jul 02 2019||7:16 pm||10° Cancer 37′|
|Lunar||Jul 16 2019||9:38 pm||24° Capricorn 04′|
|Solar||Dec 26 2019||5:13 am||4° Capricorn 07′|
|Lunar||Jan 10 2020||7:21 pm||20° Cancer 00′|
|Lunar||Jun 5 2020||7:12 pm||15° Sagittarius 34′|
|Solar||Jun 21 2020||6:41 am||0° Cancer 21′|
|Lunar||Jul 5 2020||4:44 am||13° Capricorn 38′|
|Lunar||Nov 30 2020||9:30 am||8° Gemini 38′|
|Solar||Dec 14 2020||4:16 pm||23° Sagittarius 08′|
Eclipse tables from Skyscript.co.uk