II’ve been ignoring current events to the best of my ability for some time now, but the occasional atrocity slips past the goalie – the COVID saga, small businesses driven into extinction, death counts, the divisiveness even among old allies. It’s all too big and too terrible, and when we try to swallow each day’s events in one tremendous social media gulp—the politics, the hatred, the death counts, the news of friends variously losing parents and pets and jobs and health—we naturally choke on it.
The Dec. 14 New Moon/Solar Eclipse is in Sagittarius (Dec. 14, 2020, 8:17 am PST, 23.08 Sagittarius), and with Jupiter (Sagittarius’ ruling planet) traveling close to Saturn and Pluto all year, it’s been a challenge for me to locate Sagittarius’ wisdom, native optimism, and zest for adventure. It’s especially hard as we slide into winter, with its short, cold days and without even the usual holiday parties and celebrations to brighten them.
These times feel too large for my brand of astrology, which has always been most effective when it’s miniaturized to fit my own little life, struggles, and victories. I’ve always hoped that if I presented my miniature astrology carefully enough, thoughtfully enough, it would become a kind of infinitely expandable vector image that could fit just about everyone’s experience. But it’s hard to feel that way on the days when the world just feels too big and unhinged for me to bring it down to size and into order.
Enter Sagittarius, the wise pilgrim who travels happily through life, learning from everyone and leaving sagacity in his or her wake. If we seek them, wise pilgrims can always be found. I remember, shaken and despairing after 9/11, finding the wise pilgrim in the inspiring books of Pema Chodron. On a particularly hopeless day not long ago, I spotted a letter written by the Dalai Lama, detailing the many reasons he remains hopeful for the future—including the growing recognition of human rights, support for gender equality, rejection of war, and a reduction in the world’s nuclear weapons. And just yesterday, I made an annual pilgrimage to Charles Schultz’s lovely A Charlie Brown Christmas, with its gentle message of love and kindness over commercialism.
Then there’s a dear friend who was born with Sagittarius on her Ascendant. She’s weathered countless personal storms and known terrible loss and heartbreak, but her outlook is genuinely positive, warm, and generous. When I asked her how she manages it, she said that it’s a conscious decision, one to which she recommits herself each and every day. A wise pilgrim indeed, she gives herself fully to life’s adventures, refusing to hold herself back out of fear or give into cynicism or despair.
This eclipse is near the Moon’s South Node, a point that symbolizes release, and square Neptune, planet of faith. This is a time when we should think carefully about our beliefs; which are the ones that are truly ours, arrived at with an open heart through experience and inquiry? Those are beliefs worth holding onto as guiding lights on our journey. But we’d do well at this New Moon to scrutinize the ones that we’ve inherited without thought, and sift them through a soulful, introspective filter so the hard, brittle, ugly bits can be isolated and thrown away.
Thoreau taking an inner journey into Walden, Odysseus traveling home from Troy, Charlie Brown seeking the meaning of Christmas, my brave friend refusing to let sadness define her life—these are the wise pilgrims who inspire me at this Sagittarius New Moon/Solar Eclipse. As Jupiter and Saturn prepare to come together in Aquarius (on Dec. 21, 2020) for the first time since 1405, we’re embarking on a journey into a new and different world. To prepare ourselves to make the most of it, we’ll have to let go of the beliefs that limit us and stretch ourselves to make room for a new vision – one with more compassion, wisdom, and hope.
This eclipse is at the same degree as Solar eclipses on Dec. 15, 1982 and Dec. 14, 2001, and Lunar eclipses on June 13 1984, June 15 1992, and June 15, 2011. Looking back at these years could be helpful as you think about what this eclipse is bringing your way. For more insights, order my Followed by a Moonshadow Eclipse report!
© 2016 – 2023 April Elliott Kent