August 11th 2018: Lion’s Gate Leo New Moon and partial solar eclipse. For in-depth insights into the past week leading up to the solar eclipse, read more about Lion’s Gate Astrology with Planetary Clarity:
August 5th: Black Moon Lilith Tarot
August 7th: Uranus Station Retrograde -and- Sun Conjunct Mercury
August 9th: Moon Enters Leo
Saturday’s New Moon at 18° Leo is part of a lampshade aspect pattern (a sextile and a trine joined by two squares) but the most compelling point of this configuration is Pluto’s nearly-exact aspects to Persephone, Ceres, and the New Moon.
A grand trine of Inner Strength (Juno in Taurus), Shadow (Pluto in Capricorn), and Grief (Ceres in Virgo), moderated by a magic new beginning in the heart (Leo New Moon) and She Who Navigates Between Realms (Persephone in Libra).
A lampshade configuration shows us where we are trying too hard (the sextile, purple), and the dual tasks(squares, red) that will shift the situation to where things flow easily (trine, blue). Here, the situation that is draining an excess amount of our energy is symbolized by the Leo New Moon sextile asteroid Persephone. The challenges are Persephone square Pluto, and New Moon square Juno. The goal of easy flowing we want to reach, can be realized through Pluto trine Juno.
Persephone cannot be reduced to keywords and basic ideas. Like many myths, her story is often flattened to surface level interpretations. The myth of Persephone and Pluto is not literally about sexual assault and kidnapping. It’s allegorical for soul-level and psychological-level processes that happen as forces of nature. No one can stay innocent forever. One option is to individuate as an adult (separating from the Mother, Ceres) choose to face the wholeness of the world, and learn to accept pain and pleasure as equal halves of reality. Lots of people resist this type of individuation, and are then eventually “forced” into a plutonic transformational traumatic event. The kidnapping of Persephone is a metaphor for this. Being forced to grow up. The type of thing you see with Pluto transits.
The New Moon sextile Persephone places us in that moment where we can choose to harness the power of owning our darkness, where we are possibly resisting making such a choice. Persephone square Pluto guides us, like a handrail, down to the gates of hell. Pluto is unavoidable. Persephone has the strength to face him again and again because she knows, trusts, in her bones, that she will always come back. The New Moon in Leo square Juno in Taurus challenges us to trust ourselves, to be confident enough to be flexible, to bend and not break.
Pluto trine Juno is a flowing balance between darkness and light. The Queen of Heaven and the King of the Underworld. Their identities and themes are polar opposites- Female/Male, Heaven/Hell, Boundaries/Intrusion. The word that comes to mind with this trine is Temperance- beyond balance, which implies equality, or 50/50, Temperance is about balance in proportion.
Which brings us to Ceres in Virgo, at the midpoint of New Moon/Persephone, and completing a grand trine with Pluto and Juno. The myth of Persephone is also the myth of Ceres, a story of the great mother’s grief, and the strength that can be found in embracing grief. I see this reflected in the reports out of Puget Sound that a mother Orca has been carrying the body of her deceased calf through the ocean for weeks. I have been moved to tears almost daily as she continues to refuse to let her baby go. Never before has a wild animal been observed engaging in this level of grieving behavior, reflecting the intensity of the energies we are all processing here on Mother Earth. She carries the body of her baby, she carries the grief of the great mother.
The Lion’s Gate Leo New Moon is all about embracing grief, and accessing unprecedented strength and peace through the grief itself. The strength and peace that will then transform our heartspace in ways that we are only beginning to be able to imagine.
Stay tuned for my most personally anticipated astrological event of the year: Prometheus in Libra opposite Chiron in Aries, exact on August 13th, followed by Moon conjunct Venus in Libra representing Inanna’s ascent through the gate of the Third Eye.
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