Digging Down and Reaching Up
The Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio can help you face the chaotic, conflicted, cynical world we're living in. Take your passionate depths and transform them into a higher understanding by building courage, faith and wisdom.
I know you're tired but come, this is the way. ~ Jalalu'l-din Rumi
FULL MOON in SCORPIO
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
May. 16, 2022, 12:14 AM EDT
May. 15, 2022
11:14 PM CDT
10:14 PM MDT
9:14 PM PDT
8:14 PM AKDT
7:14 PM HAST
May. 16, 2022, 5:14 AM BST
May. 16, 2022, 2:14 PM AEST
At the heart of Scorpio lies passion, purpose, and the gritty authenticity of all that we are. We humans tend to driven by passion. We may long to be seized by a deep emotional fervour that gives us a sense of purpose. Or perhaps we vow to detach from those yearnings and compulsions, to free us from the shackles of obsessive passion. Whatever our aim, we seem to place a high regard on holding a deep level of commitment to something meaningful that can transform us into our best self.
This Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio grants us x-ray vision that reveals the hidden components required to pursue that goal of meaningful dedication to a higher cause. We've been living in an unusually complicated world filled with chaos, conflict and cynicism. Especially in discouraging, frustrating or overwhelming times, it is our passion—in whatever form we seek it—that can carry us through.
So, whether you're all fired up and looking to focus your passion like a laser beam, or you feel like you're running on empty and need to rejuvenate that passion, this lunar eclipse can point you to a path of transformation.
Let's start with Mars which arguably has the most challenging job description in the chart. As the traditional ruler of Scorpio, whatever Mars is doing in the chart will ricochet back into the overall eclipse energy. And right now Mars is a very busy boy. Mars is tightly conjunct Neptune and widely conjunct Jupiter, which means the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction continues to illuminate our skies with their mysterious, magical, aurora-like glow.
Mars is currently just 1½ degrees, and 2 days, from Neptune which completely submerses him in Piscean waters (exact May 18). He later catches up to Jupiter on May 29, just in time for the New Moon in Gemini on May 30. So, Mars is basically activating the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction throughout May and half-way through June.
While conjunct Neptune, Mars essentially wants to "get high." On one hand, his normally spontaneous, fiery, active energy could seem a bit drunk or stoned – unfocused, wobbly, and subject to unconscious undercurrents of feelings. On the other hand, our Mars' drive and passion may yearn to surrender to something greater than ourselves – hopefully something beautiful or virtuous, but if that seems unreachable we may succumb to it through blurred feelings (e.g. alcohol) or giving up (e.g. lethargy). That said, taking the sharp focus off painful feelings can be healing for a while, and giving up can also be a form of letting go of something that's just too heavy to carry right now.
At best, Mars-Neptune can inspire us to reach beyond our usual familiar range of motives and intentions, to push ourselves to do better. For example, to channel anger and frustration into creativity, or to redirect our personal hurts into selfless giving.
At worst, Mars-Neptune could lead us to vent our feelings in hurtful or destructive ways while rationalizing that "they're bad or wrong, so they deserved it." Let's be clear: it's healthy to respond assertively when you need to stand up for what you believe is right. But it's something else again to be vindictive and use an unjust situation as a punching bag to gratuitously vent old hurts that may have nothing to do with the current situation. Likewise, Mars-Neptune could erode your courage to be forthright, resulting in passive-aggressive behaviour.
Neptune could blur the distinction between these perspectives, so it helps to keep an eye on your true feelings. Take some time out when you're triggered and meditate on what's really going on inside, so that you're not reacting reflexively from an unconscious trigger.
To explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life
And new civilizations
To boldly go where no man/one has gone before
~ Mission Statement of Star Trek
When conjunct Jupiter, Mars is also looking to "get high" but this time is driven more by noble principles and righteous wisdom than by some hazy yearning for Neptunian perfection. You may be inspired to fight for justice, to defend a principle you believe in, or to take action locally with a bigger picture in mind.
Jupiter challenges us to quest after a higher purpose through which to channel our actions and intentions; one that's based on principles, virtues and wisdom. Broadening our horizons—literally or figuratively—is part of this. One way to do that is to explore the world beyond your familiar little corner of the world through travel, or by learning a new language, or reading about distant lands and cultures, or participating in activities guided by religious, spiritual or moral values.
Jupiter just moved into Aries on May 10. It later dips back into Pisces on Oct. 28, and then on Dec. 20 it returns to Aries until May 16, 2023. Mars is in Pisces right now until May 24. So, with Mars in Jupiter's sign of Pisces, and Jupiter in Mars' sign of Aries, they are in Mutual Reception. This intensifies their approaching conjunction, and by the time Mars catches up to Jupiter (May 29) they are both in Mars' sign of Aries, suggesting that Mars will have the upper hand.
Not only does Jupiter zip in and out of Aries throughout this year, it also goes back and forth over the Celestial Equator – 0 degrees of declination. This is a powerful point – as 0 degrees of Aries is the quintessential starter point of the zodiac, 0 degrees of declination is a kind of reset point where the planet moves from one Earth-related hemisphere to the other.
In this case, Jupiter does a little cha-cha dance before it heads into the Northern hemisphere for the next 6 years. With Jupiter zigzagging across the Equator, it implies that we are entering a long-term period of reset, renewal and revision, especially in terms of our philosophy of life, moral values, spiritual beliefs, judgments and assumptions.
If you feel like parts of life and the world around you don't make sense the way they used to, this is likely part of this long-term process. You may feel the urge to make changes to your higher aspirations, moral convictions and understanding about how the Universe works – especially in the sense of putting your wisdom into action, walking the walk, and making your behaviour reflect your principles. When you feel impatient, it may help to remind yourself to trust the process and stay alert for new perspectives that must develop over time.
- Jupiter enters Aries – May 10, 2022
- Jupiter crosses Equator (North-bound) – May 25, 2022
- Jupiter Rx enters Pisces – Oct. 28, 2022
- Jupiter Rx crosses Equator (South-bound) – Sep. 26, 2022
- Jupiter enters Aries – May 16, 2023
- Jupiter crosses Equator (North-bound) – Jan. 13, 2023
At the lunar eclipse, Jupiter is still in the first degree of Aries. In this sign, Jupiter seeks to find the virtue in action, independence, adventure and forthrightness. You may be prone to make a quick assessment of people and situations or even snap judgments, which may or may not show the full picture if faced with a complex situation. Or you might be more open to stepping out to discover what's really happening, rather than relying primarily on previous experience or assumptions.
Collectively or individually, one thing we could see as Mars moves closer to Jupiter is increasingly vigorous conflict over issues of justice, religious beliefs, moral values, and/or international disagreements. This is likely to flare up even more-so when Mars enters his own sign on May 24 and remains within orb of Jupiter until mid-June.
So for now, as Mars visits his Neptunian guru in the Pisces ashram, that Mars part of us—passion, drive, anger, desire and motivation—has a chance to aspire to the transcendent virtues of compassion, beauty, creative imagination, and detaching with love from despair, cynicism and friction.
By immersing ourselves in these qualities, we can carry them into the upcoming encounter with the more proactive Jupiter in Aries, where we may be able to act in sync with our highest principles. We can be in a better position to embrace a sense of faith, hope, mercy and wisdom, which can be brought into clearer focus by the newly washed, fluffed and folded Mars fresh out of the Neptune/Pisces laundromat.
Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.
~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
So, how can you work with Mars to find the subtle glow of Neptune, and how do you bring that to illuminate virtuous action with Jupiter? One option is to use a structured approach of walk a predetermined path. For example, a formal religion or faith tradition typically presents a system of beliefs, mindsets, practices and values that together form a kind of map through Neptune's ambiguous waters. Kind of "when in doubt, do this." This option has the advantage that it's possible to find like-minded others who can help you "work the system" and walk the walk.
Another option is to kind of figure it out as you go along according to what makes sense to you in the moment. For example, this may be the person who answers "spiritual, not religious" or "no religion" on forms. This tends to be the harder option, since it doesn't usually come with an "instruction manual" to turn to if you get stuck. However, with Jupiter in independent Aries now, and initially activated by self-sufficient Mars, don't be surprised if you feel a bit more drawn to this kind of path over the coming year.
Like an explorer of exotic distant lands, this approach involves checking in with your internal impulses to decide which direction to go in and what your priorities are. You get to wander off the beaten path and discover new ideas, perspectives and viewpoints. This can be exciting and illuminating, but also runs the risk of getting lost in the jungle in your search for meaning.
This route can also be lonelier since there often isn't a designated community to help you make good choices. And few of us have a solid enough sense of self to go it completely alone on this kind of journey. So it can be very helpful to seek out others who follow a similar approach, and start discovering the big picture within which you both can find common ground.
All of this is to say that whatever path you follow for understanding life, the Jupiter-Neptune process may be leading you to question that focus or to make changes to it this year. As Mars goes through their now-separating conjunction, he visits Neptune first and then Jupiter 11 days later, all through May. Before Mars there was Venus in April, and before that there were Mercury and the Sun in March.
If during these times you've been feeling a heavier demand on your sense of confidence, or faith in humanity, or trust in the process, or hope for the future, it's possible you're being drowned and tumble-dried in the Jupiter-Neptune laundromat, courtesy of the faster-moving planets who keep pushing the ON button.
So, hang in there. And whether you're on the do-it-yourself path or the follow-the-manual path, keep moving.
The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek therefore, not to find out Who You Are, but seek to determine Who You Want to Be.
~ Neale Donald Walsch
Back to the Lunar Eclipse chart. The eclipsed Moon is in Scorpio – not a sign known for its ease in letting go of old baggage, difficult feelings, or control. Scorpio's archetype holds our deepest urges, most passionate desires, and tenacious determination. It is a Water sign, as is Pisces, so both are at home in the realm of feelings, emotions, creativity and intuition; however, each sign has an entirely different relationship to those qualities.
As a Fixed Water sign, Scorpio has the ability to hold and maintain focused concentration in the area of feelings and intuition. This is Scorpio's superpower when it comes to loyalty, facing painful situations, and protection against upsetting or harmful experiences – but it can become a liability if we can't bring ourselves to let go of those feelings when it's healthy to do so.
As a Mutable Water sign, Pisces can easily move from feeling to feeling, impression to impression. Pisces' superpower is the ability to flow and drift beyond seemingly impenetrable boundaries – but this can be a liability in a situation that calls for sustained focus or establishing healthy boundaries.
As a result, this eclipse blesses us with an abundance of feelings, emotions and creativity, but also a challenge to figure out how to navigate between tenacity and fluidity in these areas. One way you could do that is through creative activities – perhaps but not necessarily artistic, but just finding ways to beautify your environment, or to make a situation more pleasant or uplifting.
You might also look for ways to melt some of your more hardened or habitual reactions to good or bad situations. For example, be open to detecting the deeper hurt underneath defensive anger, or seeing the greater possibilities in how a more selfless response could make a good situation better.
Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
There's a very tight T-square aspect pattern with Saturn square the Sun-Moon-Nodes opposition. This combination speaks of struggle and difficult choices, but also of accomplishments that can be achieved through discipline and commitment.
Saturn being in Aquarius also hints that networking with like-minded people which might not be easy but it can still be valuable. That includes friends, groups (e.g. astrological associations), Internet friends, and the greater community, society or planet.
Since Aquarian Saturn is in a conflict relationship with the Scorpio Moon and Taurus Sun, as well as the Lunar Nodes, it seems there is a lesson to be learned here that will require some effort and perseverance. On the plus side, it hints that finding allies who understand your goals, passions and dreams may help you get organized and focused to actually create something substantial. On the minus side, though, there is also a hint that it may not be a good idea to align yourself with others who demand so much allegiance or conformity that you risk sacrificing too much of your independence or individuality.
With the Lunar Nodes involved, this T-square dynamic has implications not just for what you are trying to do (e.g. project, task, goal) but also where that is taking you in the greater context of your life. The eclipsed Scorpio Moon is at the South Lunar Node, suggesting that your aim should be to let go of that which is holding you back or contaminating the virtue of your goals. So, Saturn's purpose may be to put up a stop-sign to make you think twice about your usual reactions and desires – are they really getting you where you need to go, or are they keeping you stuck?
Saturn also squares the Sun which is at the North Lunar Node. The Sun (25:17 Taurus) also happens to be tightly conjunct the fixed star Algol (26:28 Taurus), which greatly intensifies the Sun's role in this drama.
If the Fixed Water sign of Scorpio is about tenacity of the emotional world, the Fixed Earth sign of Taurus is about persistence in the physical world. This includes pleasures through our five senses, and the resources and means by which we maintain our ability to embrace them.
With Saturn challenging both ends of the Taurus/Scorpio axis, it may be advising us that a little detachment, distance, or just chilling out could be a good thing to prevent our emotional and physical obsessions from interfering with the greater potential of the situation.
The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It's our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.
~ Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
There's another notable aspect pattern in the eclipse chart, called a Cradle. It starts with the Sun-Moon opposition, plus to apex points that are connected to the Sun-Moon axis and to each other through trine and sextile aspects. In this case, one apex point is Pluto in Capricorn, and the other apex is the Mars-Neptune-Jupiter conjunction.
Amid all the complication and struggle of the rest of the chart, the Cradle figure blesses the chart with an abundance of easy-going energy. This can make the tension of the Sun-Moon axis soften a bit and grant beneficial resources that help you work with the eclipse energy a little easier.
One resource is Pluto which brings potential longevity and empowerment to the table. Being the modern co-ruler of Scorpio, Pluto's role can make that Scorpio energy more accessible – more productive, constructive and straightforward. But, as with all the outer planets, we are warned to treat this energy with respect and caution, since it could potentially be used in an abusive or manipulative way that carries hidden agendas.
The other resource is the Mars-Neptune conjunct, and Jupiter in Aries is in orb to be part of this apex as well. This group was discussed in-depth above. Their significance here is that stepping out into the bigger picture and reaching for higher values, principles and intentions can give you a focus through which you can detach and let go of whatever is keeping you stuck, especially emotionally.
When letting go of the familiar, sometimes all you feel is the loss, but doing it with a greater vision in mind can perhaps soften any feelings of abandonment, loss or shame. The caution here is to avoid detaching so completely that you just go into denial and lose your connection to your authentic self.
You will never follow your own inner voice until you clear up the doubts in your mind.
~ Roy T. Bennett
Last but not least is Mercury who is now retrograde in Gemini (May 10 to June 3). Mercury makes some sweet, easy-going aspects during his retrograde cycle:
- Mercury sextile Mars – April 8, May 24, July 5
- Mercury sextile Jupiter – April 27, May 20, June 10
- Mercury trine Pluto – April 28, May 25, June 10
Mercury retrograde is always a bit of a challenge (it's what he does – challenges us to question what we think we know and be open to new information and ideas). However, during this cycle he is supported by some planetary friends who are ready to jump in if needed. Mars can contribute motivation and courage. Jupiter provides perspective and opportunities that can bring advantages. And Pluto encourages depth of inquiry, to seek more understanding below the surface of events.
The Sabian Symbol for the Lunar Eclipse is Scorpio 26: Indigenous people making camp.
I always find it hard to talk about this Sabian Symbol. The original 1930s wording of this Symbol – "Indians making camp" – feels uncomfortably out of step with today's world in which Indigenous people (a preferred term for First Nations people) are finally being seen and telling their stories in their own right, not seen merely as some kind of "symbol" to white-dominated culture. The meaning of this Symbol quickly becomes complicated (or perhaps enhanced?) by the history of forced evacuation from their home lands, as well as the tragic history of Indigenous children being forced into residential schools and subjected to years of abuse.
The historical implications within this symbol would reequire a whole other article, but our purpose here is to try to distill a more generic symbolic meaning from this image. Dane Rudhyar (An Astrological Mandala) saw this image in the context of the people having just moved to a new territory, and saw in it "the ability to adjust swiftly to a new situation by turning in to its requirements." With the lunar eclipse being at the South Node, signifying a process of letting go of the past, this symbol seems to suggest it may be helpful to frame our letting go as an adjustment or perhaps a transition, rather than as a loss, per se.
The next update will be for the New Moon in Gemini on May 30. Until then, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you. ❤️
Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
© 2022-05-14 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. Astrological diagrams by Wendy Guy. Divider by D. Van Rensburg via Pixabay.com. Trail of Tears Display - Cherokee Campsite - Roubidoux Spring - Waynesville - Missouri - USA by Adam Jones via WikiCommons.org.