After two years of eclipses in Leo and Aquarius, this New Moon brings the first in a series of eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn–the sign polarity that balances the need for self-discovery and nurturing with the desire for worldly accomplishments and respect.
It’s human nature to pursue goals and to want to make a contribution to the world. It only becomes a problem when the desire for achievement is divorced from the deeper part of yourself, where passion, inspiring ideas, and great love are nurtured.
In Jerry Seinfeld’s interview with comic Dave Chapelle for his amusing Netflix series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Chapelle notes that if he undertakes a creative project just because he felt he felt he should do something—to satisfy his ego—it doesn’t work out well. Instead, his most satisfying work happens when he lets a compelling idea drive the project.
As a writer who makes part of her living “generating content,” I can attest that my best work comes when I fall in love with an idea, something that comes from the truest part of myself. But these New Moon and Full Moon essays must be created twice every month, and the ideas sometimes get delayed in traffic and don’t show up on time. It sometimes happens that the soul is hibernating, resting up after startling developments in one’s life, and isn’t ready to be engaged. And that’s when I have to drive the car myself instead of waiting for the idea to show up.
At moments like that, I’m tempted to complain about writer’s block. But really, when I’m not able to write it’s usually because I haven’t blocked out enough time to let ideas to bubble to the surface. And sometimes, it’s a question of being willing to go deep and unearth whatever it is that I’d rather avoid.
“Going deep” is unquestionably one of the assignments for this Solar Eclipse, with the Sun and Moon in Cancer exactly opposite Pluto in Capricorn. I don’t want to speak ill of Pluto, which symbolizes the necessary functions of tearing down, rooting out decay, and winnowing out weakness. Even in nature, forests need occasional fires in order to renew themselves and thrive. But sometimes, Pluto’s destructive side gets out of control.
Pluto has been strutting around my neighborhood for months. Each day seems to bring another empty lot, where a 90-year-old bungalow used to stand, waiting for condos to be built in its place. A handful of beloved, decades-old businesses have closed. Ancient shade trees are dying, casualties of a long drought, a spider mite infestation, and gophers that have proliferated and are eating the trees’ roots. The beautiful old grapefruit tree in our backyard is on the verge of giving up; a few days ago, confronted with temperatures well over 100 degrees, it dropped dozens of fruits and a shocking number of leaves overnight. We water and feed, but the damaged roots are having trouble absorbing enough nourishment to support the rest of the system.
Pluto’s tearing down process is having a rough effect on humans, too. In the wake of some recent high-profile suicides, I came across an article that explored the rising suicide rate in the United States. Among other things, it was suggested that social media plays a role in this crisis of existential despair. That may sound a tad hyperbolic, but speaking as a fairly ambitious and competitive person, too much social media can make me completely and miserably crazy. I can’t seem to help comparing my own accomplishments to what several hundred people on my Facebook timeline are getting done on a daily basis. In a fairly short time, I find myself preoccupied with matching that pace instead of paying attention to what I really want to do, be, and accomplish. So after a particularly exhausting couple of months of engaging with the outside world, I’ve drastically reduced the time I spend on social media, and I already feel 100% better.
You have to attend to your root system, you see. If you allow Pluto’s underground minions to run unchecked, they will nibble at your roots until you can no longer nourish yourself. An eclipse in Cancer emphasizes the importance of closing ranks around yourself, going deep inside for renewal and self-discovery, and to heal your root system.
During a Solar Eclipse, the Moon passes between the earth and the Sun, giving the soulful and intuitive lunar functions an opportunity to triumph over the solar ego. Eclipses bring change, and that can be scary; but this one offers a jolt that places us firmly on the path with heart, moving toward a nurturing, inner embrace. At this eclipse, don’t stand on the sidelines, in a harsh, dry landscape of self-sabotage, letting Pluto nibble away at the roots of your Cancerian tenderness and vulnerability. Instead, climb into the passenger’s seat for awhile and let your Cancerian intuition do the driving – carrying you toward your truest, most soulful self.
© 2018 April Elliott Kent