The Eclipse Season is Upon Us!
This week sees us entering the first eclipse season of 2013, on 18th April. An eclipse season lasts for 36 days, during which time any Full or New Moons occur as Lunar and Solar Eclipses respectively. In this season we have three eclipses: Lunar on 25th April in Scorpio, Solar on 10th May in Taurus and Lunar on 25th May in Sagittarius. We also have the third Uranus/Pluto square in Aries/Capricorn on 20th May, just to spice things up even further!
Eclipse seasons are notoriously unpredictable in their effects. Even aside from the actual eclipses, once we’re in the season all bets are off and anything could happen. Life often takes on a feeling of speeding–up in some way. Pressure mounts and tensions bubble over when we least expect it.
Alternatively breakthroughs can occur and unexpected progress can be made. Sometimes both things are happening at the same time, and more! Eclipses teach us that there are many other dimensions at work in our lives and we cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, control them all. We are subject to all manner of forces, influences and energies to which we must bow at times like this, recognising that, as the Dalai Lama once said, ‘Sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful piece of luck’.
Studying the effects of eclipses over the years has revealed to me that they often seem to condense a process that would otherwise take far longer. That relationship that we were thinking we should really end in the next few months suddenly finishes over night. Done and dusted and no going back. That work project we’ve been cooking up for the past year and which we’re hoping to launch in the coming one suddenly finds its moment and has to be born quickly to catch the tide.
That niggling pain we’ve had for the past few months and which we know we should have gotten some advice about becomes unavoidable over night and we find ourselves in the hospital emergency department. Eclipses circumvent the process and shift us along to another stage. Sometimes this can be exhilarating, other times extremely scary, but either way they show us that whatever we thought we had planned probably wasn’t actually how it was all going to work out, and once we have this fact revealed to us, we have a choice. And it is this choice which lies at the heart of the challenge presented by an eclipse season:
Do we resist and struggle against the new timetable in our lives, or do we rip up the old one and get on with the new arrangement?
Of course, we probably all know the ‘right’ answer: don’t resist the universe, just get on with it. But it’s just not that easy is it? We are so heavily wired to believe that our life should be a certain way and unfold in our timing not someone else’s, that when we’re side-swiped by unexpected occurrences our default setting is to try to get back to how things were, or bemoan the ‘fate’ that has befallen us as unfair. We may identify so strongly with this view that we refuse to even look for a positive way to manage this new set of circumstances in our lives because to do so seems tantamount to accepting it without a struggle, and we’re just not prepared to do that. So we fight against the events in our lives, telling ourselves that we can’t manage with the new order of things.
We need to wrest back some control and get back on top of events. Even when things seem to be going our way, an eclipse can leave us feeling out of control and destabilised: ‘I didn’t realise I’d get this much success and attention’, can be just as unnerving as ‘How am I going to cope without the person I’ve just spent the last ten years with?’. Underlying both of these questions is the essence of the human challenge:
‘How do I live when life doesn’t meet my expectations?’
I don’t know about you, but I’m just loaded with expectations from the minute I awake to the minute I flop into bed at the end of the day. Some seem fairly insignificant, like I expect there to be bread in the bread-bin for breakfast (and sometimes I discover we’ve eaten it all without realising), and I expect water to come out of the tap when I go to fill the kettle (and almost without fail it does). Others carry far more gravity: I expect to be able to walk when I get out of bed, and I expect my husband and I to end the day together, not separated through some unexpected life-altering tragedy.
But the truth is none of us know what the next moment holds, and when an eclipse season is upon us we are collectively reminded of this fact, not to highlight the cruel twists of fate that play upon our lives, but to encourage us to awaken to the weight of expectations in our lives and begin to free ourselves from their constricting grip.
Once we can do this (and I’m still practicing, believe me!), life takes on a very different hue. The water that comes out of the tap becomes an everyday miracle that keeps us alive. The empty bread bin is a reminder that even breakfast cannot be predicted! The tragedy that we all pray will not befall us reveals one of the deepest mysteries of life: that even in our darkest hours we can find moments, seconds, of peace if we seek them, and that the thing we fear will break us, may eventually make us stronger and wiser.
Within the constellation of expectations that we all carry lie the roots of discontent, distress and dissatisfaction. The more energy we invest in them the less energy we have available to us when life doesn’t go to plan. The key is not to ensure that never happens (which we can’t do, no matter how hard we try!), but to embrace the fact that it does, and that, in many ways, life is living us not the other way around.
This is a central message of an eclipse season, and one which we need to accept and even celebrate. Because if life only does what we want when we want, we are forever limited by our imaginations and the expectations dreamt up in our tiny and inconsequential minds. Once life is allowed to take over, not even the sky’s the limit, and who knows where it could take us? What we deem an inconvenience can become the gateway to a whole new experience. What we label as a tragedy becomes the moment we recognise what really matters in life. What we see as a failure becomes the path to discovering a hidden talent we never even knew we had.
So it’s time to welcome this eclipse season and all it has in store for us, both personally and collectively. Because whatever it is, we can rest assured that the biggest stumbling block will always be within us, in the form of our expectations and assumptions about life. Ultimately, it is how we manage them that’s being honed at this time of change and unpredictablility.
Thank you for taking time out to visit my web site and read my thoughts. Here’s wishing you a positive and productive week ahead.