PLAYING IN THE Shadows of the Eclipsed Libra Full Moon

PLAYING IN THE Shadows of the Eclipsed Libra Full Moon

The partial eclipse of the Libra Full Moon on March 25 ushers us into 2024’s first eclipse season, which includes a total eclipse of the Sun on April 8.

A rare triple conjunction on February 28 involving the Sun, Mercury and Saturn brings together our sense of self and trajectory (Sun) with the mental process that guides us (Mercury), and the reality which both constrains and creates (Saturn). This combination can indicate pessimism and taking too narrow of a view; therefore, many of us will need to beware of unduly constricted thinking, or perhaps getting caught in looping thoughts. Repeating sacred mantras can channel this tendency in a generative direction. Note that the Sun’s annual conjunction with the cosmic boss, Saturn, usually brings up all the duties we have neglected, and actual issues that can no longer be postponed. We might then try turning Saturn’s energy towards making realistic plans to address whatever truly must be completed.

Eclipses are symbolic of the mysterious and profound nature of attention and awareness, which both discloses and conceals facts of the world and can construct a reality that could be faithful to events, or could be an utter illusion.

That these eclipses are occurring at the start of the three-year conjunction between the reality principle and lord of karma, Saturn, and the queen of illusions and infinite perspectives, Neptune, recommends that we take special note of revelations occurring over the next six months. These disclosures may provide foreshadowing of some of the nature of Saturn-Neptune’s longer-term impact on our lives, as this archetypal influence itself has a tendency to reveal what is ordinarily hidden from view, a reality that dwells beneath surface appearances.

But it can be quite a path to achieve clarity, as Venus conjunct Neptune (exact April 3) reminds us of the importance of devotion to knowing what is real and true. It is so easy to overlook flaws or to bypass what is uncomfortable under this shorter term influence. However, drawing upon the kind and compassionate nature of Venus-Neptune can help our hearts open to what might be otherwise quite harsh.

How fortunate to have the two cosmic jokers, Jupiter and Uranus conjoining (exact April 20) to remind us of the importance of a sense of humor to avoid the rigidity that can lead to fragility and inflexibility.  Given that Mercury will be making their first retrograde of the year at this time, a sense of humor can also help diffuse frustrations caused by unwanted delays, miscommunication and not getting what we want when we want it. All of this trickster energy calls to mind the classic expression of the trickster archetype, overturning cherished assumptions and questioning our values.

Fruitful engagement with the innovative cosmic trickster that would like to pierce the veneer of normality hinges on the quality of our attention. How we attend to the world very much affects the picture that emerges into awareness; by invoking Saturn’s sobriety tempered with Neptune’s compassion, we might be able to unearth important patterns lurking in the penumbra of our awareness this eclipse season, bringing the obscure into focus.

Eclipse of the Libra Full Moon

On March 25 at midnight U.S./Pacific, the Libra Full Moon will perfect her opposition to the Aries Sun, though her form will be obscured over much of the globe as the Earth intrudes upon the light of the luminaries to make a penumbral lunar eclipse. The miraculous nature of our powers of attention to conceal and reveal are symbolized by the ecliptic dynamic between the conscious awareness of the Sun and the unconsciousness of the Moon. Perhaps that which plays at the penumbra of our awareness—partially seen but not fully recognized—will begin to expose itself as we move towards the total solar eclipse of April 8, whose path of totality crosses Mexico, the U.S., and far eastern Canada.  

Eclipses are often times of revelation, as well as the burial of secrets, and are reminiscent of the activity of the human psychological shadow. 

The shadow is what we literally do not know to be true—about ourselves, about the world—but which is in fact a reality. Sometimes these unwanted or simply unseen truths gnaw at the edges of our awareness like a light wind that suddenly gusts to rough up our hair or ripples over our skin or garment, as if to say, “I’m here.” But like the wind, this truth is at once everywhere and yet nowhere to be seen.  Our looking must be preceded by a sensing.

Saturn Conjunct Neptune

The uncertainties created by self-reflective consciousness, or being aware of our own awareness, is one of the great mysteries of existence represented by the planetary archetype of Neptune. We must somehow contend with invisibilities created by our own awareness, as well-symbolized by eclipses of the Sun and the Moon.  We are in the first set of 14 eclipses that occur during the incoming Saturn-Neptune world transit (March 2024 - May 2027) and this first set happens to fall on the Aries/Libra axis of Self/Other where Saturn and Neptune will make their exact conjunction in Aries in February 2026. As important as it may be to attend to the visible “other” outside of us, it could be even more crucial to attend to the invisible “other” within.

Saturn-Neptune at its best can pierce through surface appearances to see the previously hidden, and provide a means of sober discernment. But the sobriety necessary for discernment is a product of spiritual practice and attending to psychological wellness, grounding into the community of life and everything it uniquely calls us to love, serve and protect. Otherwise, Saturn-Neptune could easily pull us into an impenetrable thicket of fear or despair, resulting in isolation rather than clarification.

Venus Conjunct Neptune

It was the belief of the Jungian analyst Marion Woodman (who was also born with Venus-Neptune) that “A life truly lived constantly burns away veils of illusion, burns away what is no longer relevant, gradually reveals our essence, until, at last, we are strong enough to stand in our naked truth.” 

And what if the unadorned truth at the center of our being is actually profound beauty, but one we cannot see without a kind of sobriety?

Venus’s conjunction with Neptune (exact April 3) can definitely indicate spiritual intoxication, a love (Venus) of the divine (Neptune) that can wreak havoc in our lives when it is misplaced, and used to bypass the truth rather than as a steadfast devotion to carry us to the truth—and the reality (Saturn) of its beauty. If Neptune can lend itself to spiritual inflation and escapism, getting caught in the tangle of self-awareness, it is Saturn that comes along and punctures our illusions. But to what end? Should we curse the wind because we cannot see it, and must at first feel it, observe its effects and then finally discern—aha!—THAT is where it’s coming from…?

Coming into consciousness may not be terribly flattering to our egoic sense of self because it can catch us by surprise, or really gut our self-confidence, hence our intense resistance to the shadows of our awareness.

But it is a convoluted path to the beauty of the truth at the center of our being. And if we need to feel competent, how about bringing a sense of humor, kindness, and compassion? The loss of illusion or the intrusion of reality might then crack our hearts open to belonging to something far greater than our single selves, caring for and being cared for by others, something so crucial to the human being. To know that we do in fact belong to the Earth Community—both human and other-than-human—is one of the larger dramas working itself out over the several-year stretch of Saturn-Neptune.

Jupiter Conjunct Uranus

Mercury Retrograde

The possibility of a radical and joyful breakthrough is also written into this part of the solar new year, as expansive Jupiter and innovative Uranus edge ever closer to their exact conjunction on April 20.  These two cosmic clowns are both in earthly Taurus and ruled over by the same Venus that rules the Libra Full Moon. This suggests an exciting or jarring or freeing nature to this eclipse season, which will also be heavily influenced by messenger Mercury’s stationing retrograde on April 1 in impulsive Aries.

Trickster energy will be running high, throwing a monkey wrench not only into our plans but also maybe disturbing some of our cherished notions of propriety and provoking a reordering or at least a reexamination of values and assumptions. It has become cliché to say that innovation involves disruption, but the type of disruption that may bring a truly new twist to the plot will not be contrived. It might rather emerge from the quality of our attention.

For example, the wisdom traditions formed out of the teachings of the Buddha starting some 2,500 years ago describe the world as arising out of causes and conditions that lead to effects. The cause is like a seed, and the conditions are the ground in which it is planted. Depending on the conditions, the causal seed will or will not germinate or give rise to effects. In the view of Buddhist traditions, meditation such as shamatha (calming the mind) and vipassana (insight into the mind) are ways of working the soil that the seeds of karma are planted in, and it is the quantity and especially the quality of our attention that provides the means of disrupting the ordering of cause, conditions and effect. Invoking Saturn’s sobriety, ultimately held with love, we might be able to meditatively pull some important patterns from the penumbra of our awareness this eclipse season, and help make our world that much more whole.        


Full Moon in Libra by Moon Sign

The Moon represents who we are before we even think about who we are. She represents our instinctual self, and she describes our deepest vulnerabilities, as well as our most profound capacity to connect with others. Full Moons amplify energy and emotions, and this one is tickling us at the edges of our awareness, a mischievous pull from the penumbral periphery.

Let’s see how the eclipsed Libra Full Moon impacts your own Moon placement!

Aries Moon

Don’t be surprised, Aries Moon, if you get some great gushes of emotion as a result of the eclipsed Libra Moon and all it is trying to pull into awareness. Whether it’s a good cleansing cry, or a morass of conflicted feelings, try to trust that the process is leading you somewhere—let it flow, let it flow, let it go.

Taurus Moon

If the pace has felt frenetic the last six months or more, don’t worry, you only have a few months more of this Jupiter-Uranus jive, Taurus Moon. Some of you have been catching a wave, and others have been struggling to stay on the surfboard, but the eclipsed Libra Full Moon is wearing a big ol’ smile as your new, reimagined style emerges out of the chaos with clarity.

Gemini Moon

The eclipsed Libra Moon may draw your attention to friends and allies whose allegiance is ambiguous. Beware of overly negative assessments, Gemini Moon, as more will be revealed through the course of Mercury’s retrograde. You don’t want to accidentally burn a bridge or self-sabotage by acting on an incomplete picture.  

Cancer Moon

If you’re nursing a well of misgivings, doubts, or uncertainty, Cancer Moon, this eclipsed Libra Moon is urging you to believe in yourself. Sure, you may have to seriously revise your story of how you got here, and where you’re headed, but the keys to success are dangling from your faith in your own abilities.

Leo Moon

Watch out for being too heavy-handed, Leo Moon, as some situations may seem quite provocative but need a more delicate approach. This eclipsed Libra Moon may test your ability to be tactful, yet firm in standing up for what you know is right.

Virgo Moon

What on Earth are you doing with your partners in love, in business, in creating, in celebrating this life? This eclipsed Libra Full Moon is likely to kick off some serious reconsideration of who you are joining forces with, and whether and how you are still in alignment with each other. Flipping the script on Virgo’s critical stance: Don’t forget how crucial your “yes” is to your “no”.

Libra Moon

This is your Full Moon of 2024, Libra Moon, and on top of it all, it’s an eclipse! Whether you need more rest, or to work harder, this eclipse season would like you to think about how you weave service into everything you do. Your creativity and output have so much to do with the balance of work and play, which means that excess is likely what undermines your days.

Scorpio Moon

What does love mean to you, Scorpio Moon? There seems to be some ancient pattern that is both completely irrelevant and crucially important to how you inhabit this mysterious gravity—love—that holds the cosmos together. The eclipse of the Libra Full Moon aims to rearrange the irrelevancies, but will need you at your most playful, free, and open-hearted.

Sagittarius Moon

“Revelation must be terrible,” writes the poet David Whyte, and the pressing necessity of unmuting your own true voice may be part of the unfolding of this eclipsed Libra Full Moon. Is it no longer an option to hide, Sag Moon, whether behind exaggeration or plagiarizing the feelings of others. The cosmos is calling you in, to take up your true home among the stars.

Capricorn Moon

Hearth and home are likely to be tugging at your attention under the lunar eclipse of the Libra Moon. The trouble is, you may want to redouble your focus on your more public roles. Don’t let the trickster fool you, Capricorn Moon, it’s the home fires that are trying to light catch the flame of your awareness.  

Aquarius Moon

The intellectual approach to straddling the paradoxes in your life—those things that seem to fundamentally contradict—is likely to fry your nervous system, Aquarius Moon. The eclipsed Libra Full Moon may be pushing you to drop the mental gymnastics, and just feel your way into the story of how you’re just the good guy (or the bad guy) and discover something a lot more nuanced, and freeing.

Pisces Moon

The best defense is a good offense, according to the trickster dancing a jig through your chart, Pisces Moon. It might run counter to your better nature to launch a preemptive attack, but pay close attention to what the eclipsed Libra Full Moon turns up in your life and see how you can get the jump on those who demonstrate they don’t have your best interests at heart.

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