by Robert Wilkinson
There is a lot of fear and trepidation connected to Eclipses, an unfortunate leftover from previous centuries when Eclipses were believed to augur the fall of empires, dynasties, and powerful people anywhere the Eclipse shadow fell. While Eclipses do tend to shut down some elements in the area of life (house) in which they fall, this is not necessarily a bad thing, since we must bring some things to an end if we are to embrace newer, better ways of doing our Being. While the future effects of an Eclipse may be powerful, in that they last over a long period, they are not necessarily bad.
No Astrological event need be "bad," or have "evil" effects, regardless of whether we're using Vedic, Chinese, Western, or any other approach to defining "All-That-Is" within a precise system of space-time factors. Though a circumstance may seem to have "bad" omens for the future, we can always transcend any negativity and turn the future to beneficent possibilities. No matter where an Eclipse falls, we can turn it to good.
Here it is important to remember Astrology is NOT a "predictive" art, in the usual way this is understood. The craft is less deterministic than most believe, including we professional Astrologers who seem to be able to "hit the mark" regarding future manifestations.
Pattern is everything, and time is a continuity. By knowing the past and present, we can often extrapolate the future. But we can never know how a being will respond to any given life challenge, whether pleasant or painful. Each has their ability to respond as they choose in the moment.
This directly related to the concept that each planet has a duality of function. It is up to us to determine whether the Moon, Sun, Mercury or any other planet involved in eclipses, "bad" aspects, configurations and other phenomena manifests productively or non-productively. To remind you, a square can be more productive than a trine, and an opposition can produce awareness. Polarization is only a problem on the ego level. Seen from a higher angle, oppositions are necessary for us to acquire objectivity and the ability to encompass duality within a higher view.
We who explore Astrology can see patterns, but EVERYTHING is "free will" in a higher or lower sense of that concept. How we respond to any challenge or circumstance entirely determines the outcome. Period. There is no Astrological configuration or event that can override our potential responses. Everything depends on our acuity, intelligence, and willingness to do whatever it takes to bring order out of chaos, and wisdom out of experience.
Bringing this down to specifics, I had an eclipse fall on my Ascendant in 1989. As with all eclipses, it did bring many things in my life to an end. However, it also opened an 18 year period of working and then living in California. Did my old life in Austin end? Yes. Was it "bad?" No.
Necessary endings lead to powerful beginnings and manifestations of destiny if we ride the wave rather than resist it. When the 1989 Eclipse conjuncted my Ascendant, I had been in a period of deep grief, frustration, and feeling a profound lack of fulfillment in my life since I had "been there, done that" for longer than anyone else I knew. I felt I had fulfilled my potential in Texas, and having just completed my first trip to California, I couldn't figure out what my past, present, or future held for me.
The 1989 Leo eclipse ended that phase and opened me to a whole new healing process and work that resulted in my sponsoring a bunch of men's gatherings and a national media event that opened the door for thousands of men to express their feelings. It moved my grief work into a much more effective process, and gave me a sense of my life being in motion again after a long period of being dead in the water in several areas of my life.
It trined my Sun, opposed my Moon, and made other aspects that definitely showed exactly as we are taught they do. It kicked off a very harmonious beginning of a long chapter in my life. While I've had other challenges (remember all challenges are our eternally human "grist for the mill of Soul") it's easy to see that my life before the 1989 Eclipse was radically different than what I've been experiencing these past 19 years.
I have no doubt that though things end throughout our lives some endings are very much a blessing. After the 1989 eclipse on my Ascendant, my intense grief resolved itself within 2 years of that event and I no longer suffered the roller coaster of one shipwrecked in Hell. I ended old heart constrictions (Leo) and understood clearly my need for more creativity and connectedness with life in ways that made me feel good.
In the time after that eclipse, I started making money and having fun in sunny SoCal hitting the beach on a regular basis, and opened a much wider circle of friends. I was more appreciated for my skills than I had been in years, and so yes, it DID "shut down" an old self image and matters of the heart while opening me to more love and appreciation of my life, friends, and clients than I had known for years.
All in all, that eclipse on my Ascendant began a very enjoyable 18 year period of my life that opened many doors and changed my life and self image forever. You can apply this in other ways, For example, the one on my Sun in 1997 ended a frustrating life struggle and coincided with my "Mercury Retrograde" book breaking to international acclaim. There are countless ways an eclipse can manifest, depending entirely on what we're doing in our world.
So take heart, and stop worrying about possible negatives to come after this or any eclipse. Better to apply yourself wholeheartedly to letting go of what you no longer need physically, emotionally, and mentally, and embrace the adventure of breathing out the old life substance so you can breath in some newer, more fulfilling future tendencies. Any eclipse shows us it's time to empty our cup of old substance, and welcome the ambrosia that could be ours.
© Copyright 2008 Robert Wilkinson