Updated: Aug 4
We tell ourselves stories in order to live.
The July 4 Capricorn Lunar Eclipse at 9:44 pm PDT
cues us to tend the sacred flame
within our hearts, homes and communities by telling and listening to stories
that further inform the shape of what we believe and hold as true;
this will result in a renewed sense of direction, connection and purpose.
The Eclipse Moon is aligned with the star Vega in the constellation of Lyra
The red glow of the eclipse draws our attention to Vega, one of the brightest stars in the night sky and to a constellation associated with the celestial music that produces the harmony of the spheres. Lyra's music connects us with our origins and reminds us of our place in the universe and our reason for living. Vega bestows inspiration, poetry and creativity to those who were born with planets between 13 and 16 degrees Capricorn.
Lyra has been known by other names
For ancient Egyptians, it was The Vulture and for select Native American nations, The Turtle. Music is the common link between the Lyre, The Vulture and the Turtle. In Greek myth, the first lyre was made by Hermes when he attached three strings to the shell of a tortoise. The flute is credited with being the world's first musical instrument and it was made by cleaning and hollowing out the bone of a vulture.
Playing or making music over the next hours and days can open us to the gifts of the eclipse. Music throughout time is not just about a pleasing melody. More often, a story is told accompanied by music - whether in song or spoken word. A song is naturally woven and composed with a story, and music has been an integral medium for stories to be transmitted and passed down generation to generation.
Vega is The Bard
Bards of yore 'learned by heart' epic tales, histories and myths that they would either sing or speak accompanied historically by a harp or a drum, and more recently by a guitar or harmonica (to name a couple). The bards were the living library and memory of a people. They spent their lives sitting around hearth after hearth transmitting the stories from their vast repertoire to seed and stoke the memory and tradition of their people. Their dedication provided a continuous thread that wove together one generation to the next.
The customs and beliefs of a people were woven into stories, embedded in songs and transmitted orally. To speak a story, to listen and be audience for a storytelling touches the soul in some ineffable way. Something is lost in translation when the learning comes from the printed or virtual page. There is a legend that in ancient Egypt when the Pharaoh was told that they could now write and keep record of their history, he responded: But what will happen to our memory?
The International Storytelling Festival takes place Every October in Jonesborough, TN and I have gone as often as I can to sit and listen to story after story from the best of the world’s storytellers. It quickens the stories that live in me. It feeds my feeling of our common humanity, my link to the ancestors and to the common heart of all people. Something essential is lost when I simply read the same story in a book or listen to an audio tape ~a quickening of soul connection and soul memory. With this eclipse, I encourage us to tell stories and invite others tell theirs.
“Its all story. That’s all there is...
Healing: is a negotiation of story.”
The events of 2020 are unprecedented in many ways, and yet evoke stories of events decades or centuries old. The weave of the story we have told ourselves about our lives, our culture, our shared history and shared dreams is unraveling with the potential of being rewoven in a story that will carry humanity forward and not towards extinction.
Capricorn is a sign of boundaries, bones, laws, and the responsibilities and obligations that are born from these. For instance, if we purchase a house, the boundaries of the house and property define the bones of the story we tell of the house and the responsibilities that arise to keep, maintain, and live in the house. Capricorn functions in this way with all things large and small that make up our lives.
The July 5 Eclipse and the United States
are Public Dreams.
are Private Myths.
Since the recent eclipse on June 21, the Sun has been traveling in Cancer and for the eclipse Mercury Retrograde has cozied up to the Sun as the Moon comes to oppose them. The Sun's sojourn in Cancer has us seeking security, safety and a feeling of belonging. Cancer is our families, family of origin, our ancestor and our history, and feelings around one or more of these may surge at the eclipse. With all that has been unfolding, plans and perspectives are shifting. Mercury’s presence in Cancer punctuates our contemplation and review of initiatives, practices, and relationships with an eye to formulating an improved approach to feeling nurtured and getting our personal needs met.
The July 4 Penumbral (partial) eclipse is the final and third eclipse within a six-week period, marking a moment of crisis, culmination and potentially breakthrough. It will have a ripple effect that will last for some months.
This is an especially powerful eclipse for the United States as it falls on the country’s birthday and the path of the eclipse moves across the face of North America as its citizens are celebrating and setting off fireworks and other citizens are seeing it as a national day of mourning. The eclipse only serves to further accentuate and draw out the disparate stories and heated debate. Everyone is affected by eclipses whether or not they are in the path of an eclipse, but countries in the direct path are directly affected.
In my lifetime there have been two Lunar Eclipses in Capricorn. In the wake of the 1962 eclipse we had, most notably, Martin Luther King delivering his “I Have a Dream” speech and the assignation of President Kennedy. The second lunar eclipse in Capricorn occurred the summer of 2001, with the events of 9/11 dominating the news a short time later. Cancer (nurturance, country) experiences a crisis with Capricorn (buildings, leadership, boundaries). This doesn't necessarily mean the U.S. will experience something catastrophic in the coming months, but is it too much of a stretch to imagine it would? The Capricorn Lunar Eclipse certainly means there is no way back to the way things were in 2019 and that the crisis within the country is being fueled, not quieted.
The United States is feeling the rumblings of its first Pluto Return. In 2022, after 246 years Pluto will return to the exact place in the sky where it was at the signing of the Declaration of Independence (the birthday of the United States). Pluto, the planet of power, powerlessness and transformation resides in the U.S. Sibley Chart’s second house.
The second house is: Values and Money. There is a building crisis focused on the values that created this nation and a deep divide over the values that the collective wishes to uphold and have sacred moving forward. What do the words “All men are created equal mean in the 21st century? What violates free speech? What is religious freedom? Capitalism will especially come under scrutiny as a value as the second house is pointedly the house of money and it follows that financial systems, markets and banks are likely to go through an upheaval during this transit.
This eclipse is a potent moment for setting into motion a direction that will determine how the future will unfold for the U.S. Because the eclipse falls on the nation’s birthday, the nation carries the energy of the eclipse throughout the next year until its next birthday. Leadership is represented by the Sun and the People are represented by the Moon. At an eclipse, they are opposed each other creating a dynamic tension that begs resolution and remedy that will play out over the coming year.
The nodal axis is conjunct the Sun/Moon during an eclipse
The Nodal axis reveals the path to understanding how to face our past and look to our collective future. We are to heed the lessons and mistakes from the past so we do not repeat them (South Node eclipse). The South Node in Sagittarius compels us to examine our beliefs and our interpretation and understanding of truth. The North Node in Gemini shows that through communication, through exchange of information and stories, some beliefs will be revealed as faulty. It is beneficial to remain open, allow our mind to soften, recognize that there is more that we don’t know than what we do know, and welcome conversations that offer new or fresh perspective.
July 5, The Moon will then meet up with Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn
The shared agenda of these three planets traveling together in Capricorn throughout 2020 portends transformation and revision of the status quo. Capricorn is the sign of governments, financial institutions, corporations and leadership. The highly emotionally-charged energy of the Eclipse and the fully illuminated Moon will engage the year's core dynamic expressed through the rare and powerful conjunction of these three planets.
Feelings will be heightened, if not triggered. And with Mercury moving Retrograde, it will be difficult to discern truth or act in a logical way. Yet, listening to and riding our feelings, without making any rash decision or speaking some ultimatum, will ultimately lead us to a clearer perspective that will arrive after Mercury goes direct on July 12.
The Capricorn Moon aligned with Vega provides the clue as to where to put our attention to meet the Cancer needs of security, safety and belonging. The focus is on the weave of the stories that form the bones of the country, and of human society. Listening to new stories of shared history of our family, neighbors and ancestors, a new story will be woven that provides the bones, the boundaries, the customs in which the U.S. can realign with its initial vision for forming, informed by 246 year's of implementation of the vision has revealed. A foundational value in the U.S. is freedom, and there is an inquiry and reshaping of how this story is told - its meaning and how it is lived. The Moon’s trine to Uranus indicates we are ready for something new, ready to step outside the box in which we have been living and discover a kind of freedom that has been a collective dream of the western world for centuries.
You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe,
an intrinsic part of it.
Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point
where the universe is becoming conscious of itself.
What an amazing miracle.
A Bigger Story: Taking a Closer Look at Vega
There are stories within stories. There is our personal story and the story of our family, community and organizations we belong to. There is the story of our country, of humanity and of earth. There are bigger and bigger stories. In the end, they are not separate stories, but layered and all part of the same story, akin to the idea of the Russian nesting dolls that live one inside the other. In this vein, I am going to tell a story here that is as old as time. It may seem irrelevant or perhaps we may feel it has nothing to do with us, and yet we live inside of it and the stories we tell are happening within this story as well.
Vega, illuminated by the Moon at the eclipse, is the brightest star in the August night sky and along with two other stars forms what is called the Summer Triangle seen by all humanity around the globe since the beginning of time.
Due to the procession of the earth’s axis, there is a 26,000-year cycle where five different stars each take turns being the pole star. Currently, the pole star is Polaris, but in 12 – 11,000 BCE Vega was the pole star and will return to being the pole star in another 11,500 years. It is by far the brightest of the pole stars and its presence as True North when a pole star would have been unmistakable.
The Earth is moving towards the star Vega at 15 miles per second. So, not only does the earth rotate around its axis, and make an annual journey around the sun, it is hurtling through space away from the star Sirius and towards the star Vega. There are stories that have come from Egypt and Africa that tell a story that thousands of years ago of the brilliance of Sirius. Due to the annual orbits of both bodies, three days every summer Sirius appeared as a second sun in our sky. This is where we get the term: the dog days of summer and why Sirius is known as the The Dog Star. The Sun at the Lunar Eclipse is aligned with Sirius and so we find ourselves somewhere in the story of the movement away form Sirius and towards Vega.
Many cultures around the globe have looked at the constellation that features Vega, and see it is the celestial musical instrument that creates the music of the spheres, the order and harmony of the solar system and our home. Orienting to it, we can align with a cosmic order that infuses us with creativity, inspiration and a feeling of living in harmony with creation.
I do not pretend to understand the meaning of what the story of earth’s relationship with Vega means, only that it has been a constant and dynamic one since the dawn of humanity. Rather than looking for a rational explanation for how it is connected to the movements on earth or in our lives, I invite us all to go out on a clear night and look towards the northern section of the summer sky and locate the brightest star you see. Then, take a moment to contemplate Vega and the larger story that we each live inside of and be open to what may be opened within us.
Maybe you are searching in the branches
for what only appears in the roots.
The Treasure Found Within those Who have Lived the Story
Coming back to earth, the Capricorn Moon points to the stories of the old ones. Capricorn is the Lord of Time and of old age. It is the old ones that hold the memory. Perhaps we have a grandmother or uncle or even a neighbor who is well into their senior years, has seen many things, and can tell us a story.
Recently, I was on a call with a tech agent who lives in Guatemala and we began talking about things other than my tech problem. He said that the idea of sacrificing his grandparents for money, for the health of an economy was an insane notion to Guatemalans. He said: our old ones are our greatest treasure.
Currently many of our senior citizens are shut away and in lock down. These measures are for their protection, but we all experience the side effects of this. Those living in senior homes cannot see or visit with family. Already marginalized by society and isolated before the pandemic, their isolation and disconnection from us and society has only increased. Perhaps we can call one and invite them to tell a story they hold before the story disappears.
And if we have more years behind us than before us in this earthly walk, perhaps it's an opportune time to pass on to our children and grandchildren a not-yet-told story we hold.
Asteroid Vesta, the Sacred Fire, is traveling with the Sun and Mercury in Cancer
Vesta's presence here reminds us to tend the hearth. For many of our ancestors it was vital to keep the ‘home fire burning’, to not let it go out. Even when a people traveled from one location to the other, they carried that fire with them without letting it go out. The sacred fire connects us to those who have come before us and connects us to the divine source that feeds and warms us. In tending it, we recognize that we stand on the shoulder of our ancestors. Their love and struggle laid the foundation for us to seed, take root and bloom. We are grown in the rich soil of their story. In holding their story as part of ours, we may find shame, pride, or liberation. We may discover something about what makes us who we are, something we didn’t know before.
Telling and retelling of stories
is the powerful means by which cultures of families and communities
are formed and maintained, national and personal identities are preserved,
problem-solving skills are taught, and moral values are instilled.
Stories can inspire, uplift and transform their listeners."
Lewis Mehl- Medrona
Bringing it Home
It is easy to get caught up in the current story happening on the world stage. It is dramatic, often shocking and full of cliff hangers that compel us to stay tuned for the next episode. And so, the end of this post will bring the eclipse home to our daily lives and how it will be directly felt.
With the stars Vega and Sirius featured in this eclipse, we may experience a great surge of creative energy (Vega) and the potential for healing (Sirius). Sirius is sometimes referred to as the Bright or Blazing One. It can indicate success in our ventures if we are aligned with our soul purpose and the gift we are to deliver to the world.
For many of us, we are in need of some adjustment. Emotions can be high. Cherished dreams or beliefs may be undergoing challenge and provoking a period of questioning ourselves. Fortunately, we are in the mood for change (Moon trine Uranus). We are curious to peek outside the box we have constructed for our life (Capricorn), review how we arrived at what we have have come to believe as truth (S. Node in Sagittarius) and find ourselves in interesting conversations and dialogues that provide new insights (N. Node in Gemini). There is a readiness to restructure and reform the rules, agreements and definitions that shape our life (Saturn revisiting Capricorn until December)
As we are part of greater and greater wholes, we may better see how our lives are a microcosm for what is happening on the world stage and beyond. The interesting thing about the planets right now is they are all moving quite slowly. Except for the Sun, no planet will be changing signs this month. More than half the planets are retrograde. It is not a time to initiate change or drive our lives forward as the planets movements indicate a slowing down, a grounding, and a reflective quality.
And in the end, we are being compelled look at the stories that shapes our lives and to examine the threads that wove them.
Where 13 Capricorn lands in your chart will indicate the focus on where the restructuring of the story is taking place. The opposite house will reveal what is wanting to be nurtured through the reshaping of the story. The focus may be personal, within the family system, at the workplace, the community, on a global scale, or with the cosmos itself.
Let us listen to stories and tell stories that feed the sacred flame (Vesta) that brings warmth, nurturing and meaning to our life, imagining they will lead us to our rightful place in the family of creation.