January 21, 2019 at 12:17 AM (EST) marks a Total Lunar Eclipse occurring at 0° in the sign of Leo. Lunar Eclipses in general represent a time of realizations, letting go & epiphanies embodied by the themes associated with the sign in which it falls (Leo). But this one is a special kind of doozy—not only is this a Super Moon Lunar Eclipse, it’s also the final Eclipse in the Leo/Aquarius series. Taken together, these factors increase the intensity of feelings that bubble up now, giving us an electrifying “push” to break free of long-standing ruts that may’ve left us feeling stifled.
Lunations in Leo are about acknowledging our need for love, our need to for romance and creativity to blossom, our need to produce and to build something real from out of these needs. At the time of this Eclipse, this will likely involve confronting our fears & “who we really are” in our relationships, plus the need to get over the incessant need to be “right” in favor of recognizing that Truth is indeed Subjectivity. Because this is the basis of forgiveness. And if you can’t forgive, there’s no way you can forget, if you can’t forgive, there’s no way you can forget...And yadda yadda yadda.
Lunar Eclipses are challenging to describe because they bring deeply personal, inner revelations, but don’t necessarily correlate with external events in the way that Solar Eclipses do. It’s less about “activity” and more about reflection, which can be difficult or painful for some, especially those who tend to avoid reflecting and insist on compartmentalizing their emotions in the name of the Productivity. But this is a lapse in judgment, because the longer we bottle or neglect the needs of both ourselves and/or others in order to “get the job done,” so to speak, the more intensely these emotions come to the surface later on, whether through physical illness, psychological stress, feeling at loose ends, or not knowing which path to take.
Deconstructing Hairy (Relationships)
Leo has to do with themes of personal creativity—what we produce and how we perform in the world—as well as romance & love. So any blockages in these areas will be brought to light, and we may feel both physically and psychologically drained by others now. Secrets related to our relationships may surface that shed light on power dynamics at this time. Intense romantic emotions or feelings for/about another person in your life will be revealed in full force. Whether it’s an issue in a romantic situation that’s come to a stalemate or a friendship that’s hit rock bottom, we may feel like we just don’t want to put up with certain people or situations anymore. We’ve had it. But what can we do to change it?
This Leo Lunar Eclipse is certainly a foggy one rife with ambivalence and contradictions, but at the same time represents a quite forceful “response” to the January 5th Eclipse in Cap. With a Solar Eclipse we in Capricorn, we feel empowered and in charge. Compartmentalizing our emotions in order to make progress and be/feel productive comes naturally to us under this influence. But with the Lunar Eclipse in Leo, our ability to compartmentalize suddenly disappears, with emotions long-bottled bursting forth and demanding acknowledgement at once.
This Eclipse occurs at 0°52’ of Leo, directly opposing the Sun at 0°52’ of Aquarius and involves a slew of intense planetary connections that will unfold over the next several months. The T-Square between the Sun-Moon opposition in Leo-Aquarius and Uranus in Aries indicates a jolt of some kind that pushes us to break out of stressful interpersonal dynamics once and for all.
Leo is the sign associated with Royalty, and all Leos have an intense sense of pride and dignity, sometimes to the point of taking themselves too seriously or becoming so easily offended that it can feel impossible to deal with them at times (Leo Moon here, so trust me on this one). And while we’re not the “easiest” at times, once you’ve made it to the inner circle you’ll find yourself going from feeling iced out to being s(mothered) with so much affection you might feel like you’re dreaming.
Venus-Jupiter Square Neptune: To Love & Forgive
Speaking of dreaming, this Eclipse coincides with a Venus-Jupiter conjunction in Sagittarius, both trine Mars in Aries. With Venus, Jupiter & Mars all in Fire signs forming supportive angles to one another, this is a powerful constellation for L-O-V-E. We feel more passionate & creative than ever, and sparks will surely fly with whomever you’re involved with or thinking of lately. The only snag is that Venus-Jupiter in Sagittarius forms a tense alignment to Neptune in Pisces, leading us to both fear and idealize our romantic visions of the “Perfect Love” all at once.
Neptune is the planet of dreams and ideals, but indicates confusion and befuddlement at the same time. In the sign of Pisces, Neptune sensitizes us and fills us with romantic dreams and fantasies. With Neptune in Pisces challenging the sumptuous romance of Venus-Jupiter trine Mars, we could second-guess our impulse to indulge our more loving, passionate side, expecting disappointment or simply feeling like it’s “just too hard” to get whatever it is we want now, even if the “getting” really just involves a simple compromise or word of appreciation.
No matter your personal situation, there’s definitely some confusion about the “how” of it all, whether it’s a feeling of ambiguity over how things will play out in the long run with someone, how to go about getting the “One” we want, or some other variable that sensitizes us to the point where we may just want to hide under the covers. The antidote here is to keep in mind that the key to Neptune in Pisces is about letting go & giving in. Not up but in—a crucial difference worth mentioning in this case. Giving in and letting go implies the ability to forgive. With the Leo Full Moon telling us to indulge our pride and Neptune in Pisces telling us to forgive & forget, there’s an obvious conundrum here. Thus our capacity for Forgiveness will play a major role when it comes down to the question of whether we’re feeling the love now.
The paradox of this Eclipse is that while on the one hand we’re lost in dreams & building castles in the sky, the realization that we’re only human is impossible to ignore now. This is because the Eclipse coincides with a challenging Mars-Saturn square, with Mars in Aries forming a contentious angle to Saturn in Capricorn. Both planets are in their “home” signs (Mars rules Aries; Saturn rules Capricorn), intensifying the struggle between the urge to “go for it” in the present tense (Mars in Aries) vs. the urge to wait things out and and exercise patience, or just straight up withhold (Saturn in Capricorn). The frustration this combination breeds is tough to deal with for sure, amplifying our fears around expressing ourselves.
Those born with any type of Mars-Saturn connection in their birth charts know this feeling well, as it can often lead to feeling constantly defeated, as if their efforts to take the initiative in any context just won’t amount to anything. The upshot here is that Saturn ultimately serves us by helping to ground our fantasies and assess how realistic they really are. But even with this, we’ll likely feel the need to avoid or gloss over certain points now, aware as we are of our own emotional sensitivity as well as the needs of both ourselves and others for love and affection.
Leo + Cap=Clash of Control
This Eclipse pairing is unique in that it forces us to deal with these issues of power & control in ourselves—where/to whom we may have taken or given too much of it—in both our work (Cap) and personal (Leo) lives. Capricorn wants to conquer the work world (usually by running a business or climbing the ladder of an organization with prestige in some form or another) and dominate at home. The way they do this is by working hard, exercising patience and using the power of delegation (Caps are excellent delegators).
Capricorn and Leo are very different signs, but what they have in common is the theme of power, dominance & control in relationships. While Leo is just as ambitious as Capricorn, Leos are true blue Romantics at heart. Despite Leo’s inner need to control loved ones (or at least feel like they’re calling the shots), they truly love Love, and will do anything it takes to woo the object of their desire. Generous, loving and powerful, Leos feel the need to both give & receive love intensely and do not let go easily once they’ve fixated on someone or something they want. So this Eclipse brings up feelings of intense bittersweetness, as it forces us to sacrifice our inner control freak so that we can move forward in Life & Love.
Leo, unlike Cap, asserts the need to conquer in a very different fashion, spotting what they want and going after it simply by sitting back and letting others come to them. Acting “as if” they are in charge & exuding a playful confidence works magic, attracting people and opportunities, seeming to put a spell on everyone they meet. But life is performance as they say, and Leos know how to perform. This is their strength, but that’s not to say it isn’t hard work in its own way. Leo more than anything wants to woo & be wooed, requiring compliments & affection by the boatload, often hiding their own vulnerability and feelings of inadequacy in the process. So while it might be easy to look at Leos with green-eyed envy for all the attention they seem to get, one might say they do the most difficult job of all: they perform. And that, my friend, can get very exhausting.
Leo vs. Cap: What is Work?
The most obvious example that comes to mind is Whitney Houston—to me the embodiment of the penultimate Leo. One of the greatest talents of all time, Whitney supported her entire family, performing constantly, fueling herself with drugs and alcohol to keep herself going, all with little to no gratitude from the people she supported both spiritually and financially. And all many have say about her incredible life is that she was “an addict,” when she was arguably the first Black Woman to “make it” in Pop music, not to mention a true Legend in her own right.
On a larger scale, it’s imperative that we recognize that the work of giving to, performing for and nurturing others is work just like getting up early to go to a job that gives you a paycheck, and it’s time that we value the people in our lives who do this work. The people that reach out, who breathe life into stale relationships, who forgive and embrace. Because this the work that brings love into the world, builds families, creates strong networks and keeps communities alive.
So while the need to give & receive love (Leo) seems at times to stand in direct opposition to the demand that we compartmentalize our emotions for the sake of productivity (Cap), what this Super Moon Eclipse in Leo reminds us of is the need to check our pride and recognize that while it may not show in dollar amounts, emotional work is work too—even when it seems to “get in the way” of so-called Productivity. We need to value the emotional work we do, because it involves so much more than setting alarms and scrubbing the kitchen floor. It’s about the cultivation of an inner resolve to make positive changes that affect ourselves and the ones we care about most. And let’s just say it’s not as easy as taking out the garbage.
Make New Friends & Keep the Gold
Whether we’re more the “givers” or the “takers” in our emotional/interpersonal lives, the point of this Eclipse is to find balance through releasing the past, forging new bonds & re-creating or re-purposing the old—a process that takes time and effort but will be well worth it in the end. Because without challenge there is no growth. Eclipses have a period of effect that lasts up to 6 months, so we may need time to process and release. But there is no doubt that this is a time of significant change where we finally recognize the need to release relationship complexes and to reinvent ourselves in terms of our creative & romantic style.
So let go of your pride & fears of disappointment or rejection. Put worn out conflicts to rest. Share your deepest dream-desires with those you trust. Just don’t go down the rabbit hole of delusion and do nothing, hoping that Love falls into your lap (Note: It won’t).