Whenever it’s eclipse season, the North and South Nodes are the major players that bring in a karmic flavour and offer guidance on the pathway of releasing old patterns in favour of manifesting our destiny. The Lunar Nodes are in fact moving points in the sky that indicate the meeting point between the orbits of the Sun, Moon and Earth, and so are charged celestial gatekeepers of a special fusion of energy that symbolically suggests the unification of Spirit (Sun) and Matter (Moon) on the Earth plane. An eclipse always means that either the Sun or Moon is in conjunction with one of these karmic cosmic points.
The Solar eclipse in Leo, which is occurring on August 21st, is precipitated by a partial Lunar eclipse in the sign of Aquarius on August 7th. Before we can step into the light of our inner solar hero, we must attend to the floodgates of the emotional landscape, represented by the Moon. As the effects of eclipses last for approximately 6 months, it is important we harness these energies consciously and work with them to positively impact the forward motion of our lives.
Highlighting the Leo-Aquarius axis, this eclipse pattern is all about stepping into our individuated notion of completion or self-realization (Leo) in order to be of service to humanity and inspire the journeys of liberation belonging to our fellow human beings (Aquarius).
The Partial Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius will be happening at 15 degrees of this sign, during the Full Moon on August 7th. It is occurring in opposition to a Sun-Mars conjunction, which will continue through to the Solar Eclipse, meaning that this eclipse season is being clearly assisted by the energy of the inner warrior; the projective masculine force that seeks to conquer through force of will and applied effort. Mars represents the separative stage of the alchemical process, where we are consciously sifting through our emotions and unconscious impulses to create clearer boundaries around what aspects of the self we need to integrate (North Node) and what we would be better off releasing (South Node). Here, the Moon is in conjunction with the South Node, so the focus is on releasing the negative expressions of Aquarian energy in our lives.
As the natural polarity of Leo, a sign ruled by the Sun and immersed in a journey of learning to manage the personal ego, Aquarius contains the shadow expression of Leonine pride. Managing this shadow requires detachment from an isolative (or egoic) way of thinking in order to merge with the consciousness of the whole. This is the new energetic paradigm of which we are all a part, as we move into the Age of Aquarius. It is no longer material reality but the energetic ties between us all that determine the flow of our lives and the unfurling of our vision.
Aquarius is the sign of the world server; this means that fulfilment of the self alone is not enough to satisfy the demands of this energy. The universe will take care of your needs if you are making a contribution to the greater whole of which you are a part. This is the mandate of anyone whose incarnation is in the sign of Aquarius. During this eclipse period, it is important we ask ourselves: how do we integrate our purpose (Leo) in order to serve the community and be the world server of the sign Aquarius, the lover of humanity?
Experimentation with life is the key to the revolutionary feistiness of the Aquarian energy, which seeks to drive novelty forward by increasing the individual’s freedom. Break free from the mould, whether it is society, family or cultural ancestry, in order to more fully explore your individual path! Self-improvement is another major quality to be harnessed at this time, and involves taking responsibility for your own growth and how your personal journey impacts others and can be used to guide them on their own paths.
Freedom in love and allowing independent movement and growth within relationships is another major lesson of this eclipse energy. We need to learn to love without the expectation of admiration or attachment (the shadows of Leo’s magnetism and charisma) and also to let go of controlling the behaviour of those who love us and to whom we give our love. Luckily, the Full Moon will be trining Jupiter in Libra, which facilitates communication and collaboration in relationships and assists us in assimilating these energies.
The Sabian symbol for the degree of this lunar eclipse (15 degrees Aquarius) is especially interesting to note, and is uncannily complementary to the symbol given for 28 degrees Leo, the degree of the Solar eclipse:
Two lovebirds sitting on a fence and singing happily
This is symbolic of the blessing bestowed upon personal achievements (Leo!) by the spiritually fulfilled consciousness of the soul: two complementary aspects of spiritual reality are brought into union, resulting in bliss. Worthy to mention here that Aquarius is the point in the evolution of consciousness in which the body freely expresses the soul nature, achieved through a purification of the inner spirit. This corresponds to the Ajna (brow) chakra wherein one has full access to one's intuition, exhibiting the gifts of the properly integrated lunar (emotional) nature. This blesses the separative aspects of the ego into the fusion of ananda (bliss).
Following this, we have the Solar Eclipse in Leo on August 21st. This eclipse will also fall on the second New Moon in Leo this year, which is a testament to the importance of learning to work with the lion's energies at this time. The eclipse will be visible as a total solar eclipse to several areas spanning across the United States.
During the eclipse, the Sun is in a wide conjunction with Mars and is trining Uranus (the ruler of Aquarius). The inner warrior is again asking for applied focus and energy, while Uranus demands we do it in a way that is unique, unrestrained, liberating and intuitive. Here, the North Node is also in the mix and suggests the development of traits that are supportive to the fulfillment of both our individual destinies (Leo) and our destiny as a human collective (Aquarius).
The Sabian symbol for 28 degrees Leo is:
Many little birds on their limb of a big tree
Suggesting, according to Rudhyar, "a wide and perhaps confusing openness to a multiplicity of inspiring potentialities; flooding of the self with new ideas and new possibilities."
Focus (Mars!) will be imperative here for avoiding overwhelm. You can assist yourself by creating a very clear vision and statement (Uranus) for the growth you’d like to invite into your life over the next sixth month period.
Leo is the ruler of the heart in medical astrology and is ruled by the Sun. This energy is master of inner joy, bouyance and unashamed self-expression and creativity. A finely expressed Leo energy is generous, loving and extremely playful. Integrating playfulness is an important part of developing what astrologer Caroline Casey calls the trickster/redeemer within us all, which is the archetype of the planet Uranus, ruler of the opposing sign of Aquarius, and the agent of liberation from illusion; the illusion that life has to be taken so seriously. The Sun in trine aspect with this planet during the solar eclipse is a beautiful nod to this and again suggests the importance of fusing the sign energies of Leo and Aquarius.
The leader (Leo) of the wolf pack can be identified when he is still a pup because he will have the lowest resting heart rate and he will be the most able to entice the others wolfies into playful action, which evolves into playful problem solving and lightness of heart. We can apply determination towards the manifestation of our vision and be serious to the degree that it supports this cause, but all the while, we have to keep the joy in it. This eclipse season is about motivating ourselves and others to go bravely out into the world and shine forth our natural talents and creative abilities, fusing both leadership (Leo) and service (Aquarius) for the free expression of our inner solar genius.
It is also useful now to reflect on how you have not received and given love freely: where your greediness, possessiveness, jealousy and pride got in the way. These are the downfalls of the lion's way. Look also to how your detachment, emotional coldness or intellectual dominance in the realm of feeling have inhibited you from loving unconditionally or from allowing closeness to develop with a beloved. These are the downfalls of the Aquarian way. It is time to share our love freely and accept loving from others while remaining free ourselves.