March Lunar Eclipse 2016
‘Make of yourself a light,’ said the Buddha, before he died - Mary Oliver
Full moon on 23rd March (2pm Greek time) is a penumbral lunar eclipse in peace-loving Libra opposite the sun in fiery combative Aries. Thid eclipse, a four hour long dimming of the moon's light, can bring to the surface a healing crisis, and we are seeing a double impact with the energy of the powerful healing/wounding solar eclipse on the 8th March meeting the war/peace theme of this full moon. Mars is involved also, fired up in Sagittarius to push for freedom and fight for its beliefs. Our challenge is how to respond to both eclipses as healers and warriors of peace, how to keep balance and equanimity in the face of the polarisation and violence around us. A time of great wounding brings the potential for great healing.
'Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom' - Viktor Frankl
We may glimpse how we subscribe to polarisation even within our own psyche as it reflects the outer world, how we get hypnotised by limiting definitions of dark and light on which our collective psyche is based. As we see figures in the external world inciting polarisation it is easy to polarise against them! We are being pushed now to make a leap beyond the duality of dark and light to the root where all polarities dissolve into emptiness, oneness.
Here we can re-integrate the energy lost in fragmentation, in taking sides. This takes immense courage and inner balance but it is worth every effort, we need this energy to move forward. The processes happening around us are too vast for us to grasp, only our connection with emptiness is vaster than any of these processes manifesting in time.
This month’s eclipses are like mirror images of the eclipses of last September with the sun and moon in exactly the same axis in reversed positions. Whatever issues were brought to the surface then (13th and 28th September) may re-emerge now in the light of new information. Mercury the messenger at this eclipse is hand in hand with the sun. Again both eclipses are aligned with sensitive points (sun/Chiron, moon/Pluto) on both the 1821 and 1974 charts of Greece and we may expect new revelations to emerge over the next days and weeks. This eclipse is also lined up with the Dragon’s head (Destiny) and Venus (symbolising both money and relationships) on the 1950 chart of the formation of the EU.
This is the last of a series of six lunar eclipses in Libra/Aries beginning in October 2013 that have challenged us to focus on our skills of relating, on how we make choices and how we balance ourselves between the ‘I’ and ‘we’. It poses the question of how inclusive is the embrace of ‘we’? For our exclusivity perpetuates a sense of separateness that feeds the egoic impulse of Aries to fight and win at all costs. The ‘we’ that identifies with less than passionate inclusivity can only be an agent of fragmentation!
We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness' - Thich Nhat Han
This eclipse can focus a collaborative activation of the potential that has been accumulating through the upheaval we have been going through and growing through over the entire period of the Uranus-Pluto meltdown of the last four years. These planets of revolution and oppression, symbolising the darkening of the light or lightening of the dark are finally moving out of reach of each other. We may find ourselves balanced or rather completely unbalanced in a gap between worlds, a potential breathing wisdom space:
'Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself' - Rumi
This moon calls for action with magnanimity. It asks us to take responsibility for the Whole not just one side. This takes tolerance of intolerance and powerful non-violent communication skills based on listening not only to what the other side says but to what they don't say: listening with the heart. We need to tune into the unexpressed needs, sadness and hopelessness behind the blame, self justification or aggression we may be receiving.
'What is the key To untie the knot of the mind's suffering? Benevolent thought, sound And movement. Act great. My dear, always act great' ~ Hafiz
Jupiter, planet of expansion is confronting Saturn, planet of contraction at this full moon for the second time (the first encounter was last August and the third and final encounter is May 26th) and both planets are aligned with Chiron (wounds/healing) and Neptune (chaos/ spirituality) in Pisces.
Jupiter is currently backtracking since January and is now in the area it was last October, reviewing and taking back its previous visions and undertakings. Open door policies have turned into wall building. Only in May Jupiter U-turns to move forward again and could renew its Virgoan commitment to implement humane and practical solutions.
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here." - Lewis Carroll
Neptune in Pisces represents Chaos. It is pure spaciousness, emptiness, embracing all. Or we can get lost in it, feeling out of control, helpless like a victim. Saturn in Sagittarius tries to put boundaries around it, revealing both on a personal and global level our limiting beliefs, and where our longing for meaning may have got confused with our longing for security.
Saturn U-turns like Jupiter to move backwards from 25th March until August and does not return to its current position until mid November. We are in spirals of change not linear processes. We may have a glimpse of the way forward but as yet we don’t have enough pieces of the jigsaw to grasp what it represents. We need more clarity for decisive action and at the same time we need to prepare for the unpredictable: Uranus, the rude awakener, is accelerating forwards into totally fresh territory from April to July.
If we tune inwards this moon gives energy for the observation of fear underlying not only reactive action but also paralysis, indecision and confusion. Confusion is actually another name for fear - fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of suffering. If the mind defines fear as confusion then it is creating more confusion!
Choices are hard to make without dissolving fear. By tuning in directly to the energy of fear the real issues behind indecision and confusion become clear. Only by dissolving the root of fear into emptiness, where there is nothing to lose and nothing to gain, the movement forward is free from repeating patterns of the past:
'And then I feel the sun itself as it blazes over the hills, like a million flowers on fire – clearly I’m not needed, yet I feel myself turning into something of inexplicable value'
- Mary Oliver 'The Buddha’s Last Instruction'