As I start this latest post, the Sun has traversed 2/3 of the sign of Scorpio. Halloween has passed, the election is over, Mercury stationed, and now today is 11/11. In 31 days, it will be 12/12/12 and in 40 days, it will be 12/21/12. Can you believe there is only 50 days left of this year 2012?
The next astronomical (and astrological) event comes in two days, and it is not insignificant. It is the first Solar Eclipse in Scorpio in years. Looking at the chart below, notice that the sun-moon conjunction (a.k.a new moon) is only a few degrees from the North Node of the moon. The Nodes of the moon are the places in the lunar orbit where the moon is directly above the equator. Thus, when the sun and moon are near the nodes of the moon, and they conjunct or oppose, that is when we have a solar or lunar eclipse. Astrologers track the nodes in part for this reason.
In meaning, the nodes represent what I would call past and future karma (the south node and north node respectively). This solar eclipse is near the north node.
Although solar eclipses are not rare, they are quite difficult to see. They last a few minutes at best, and only a small fraction of the planet passes under the shadow. When you consider how much of the planet is covered with water, or otherwise uninhabited, that makes it even harder. And then there’s the possibility of weather interfering. It is truly an honor to witness one.
And at the same time, it must feel surreal once it has passed. We can’t hold on to the experience or the image. Our memory of it starts to fade as soon as it is over. To me, a solar eclipse is a significant example of a moment in time.
Time is a funny thing. We all notice that time flows differently at different times. Unlike the old adage, time doesn’t only fly when we’re having fun. Most recently, time has been flying by, and I’m grateful for that. Time heals all wounds and I’m healing.
But the flow of time is only one aspect of time. Points in time are another. And since we cannot freeze time, the difference between a point in time and a period of time is simply duration. 9/11 is a point in time. It may have lasted 24 hours, but we think of it as a single moment – and one that changed life for many of us. When we look back on our past, we remember points in time poignantly.
I find is interesting that endings seem more profound than beginnings. Beginnings seem to take more time. For example, a life takes so long to get started, we can’t agree on a point in time to consider it begun. Is it conception? Birth? Somewhere in between? And yet, from our vantage, death is most often a sharp and painful moment. We may see it coming for some time, but the moment itself occurs as that last breath.
Since I last wrote, I witnessed a beloved being take his last breath. My cat Notte died on November 7th at 9:12 am. In a transit chart (comparing that moment to my birth chart), the moon appeared just above my Ascendant and the Sun was a few degrees off of my IC. This was certainly the end of an era, poignantly emotional, and an event that will affect my life in innumerable and immeasurable ways.
This year is the first time I have observed the passing of time by tracking the movement of planets in detail. I have entered into an experiential study of Astrology and have learned so much. In a strange way, it is fitting that I would experience a death during the month of Scorpio.
Scorpio is the sign of transformation. As fixed water, it is about feeling to the core. The 8th house (related to Scorpio) rules sex, other people’s stuff, mergers, and death. Regardless how you define the beginning of life, it typically requires a merger of one being’s stuff, with another being’s stuff and most commonly through sex. So Scorpio and the 8th house cover both ends of a lifetime.
Now that I can discuss things without bawling my eyes out, I would like to share some aspects of my recent experience. You all know that I am a metaphysician. As such, I work with the unseen. I don’t consider myself a clairvoyant, but I do have access to… information from… somewhere. That being said, it should come as no surprise that I had plenty of foreknowledge of Notte’s passing. Intuitively, I started sensing it early this year. I can’t even remember why, but soon after I moved into this house, I started to feel it. As such, I more intently cherished every moment I had left with him. I spent time every day as consciously present with him as I could. Sadly, 11 months of warning and 12 ½ years together just don’t feel like enough. But I digress <sniff>.
About 2 weeks ago, I had done a reading on Notte’s health, and that’s when it became clear that his death was imminent and would progress quickly. Even as recent as a week ago, it wasn’t completely clear it was going to happen, but from then to Wednesday, it went fast.
Let’s fast-forward to Friday early morning. I am up hours too early and can’t sleep – mostly because I went to sleep hours before bedtime. I’m thinking about my boy and am emotionally calm. So I call out to him and ask him to visit – something we talked about before he left. When I am finally falling back to sleep, I feel him near but as my mind is not lucid, I think I need to get him from outside, and that wakes me back up.
Next, I think to ask for a sign. A close friend does this often and has had amazing results. Even though I believe he is well, safe, and happy, I want confirmation – and consolation. I want to know with more certainty. I wasn’t necessarily asking him, but I was asking whoever was listening – and right as I did, I hear or think “sea lion”. Sea lion – why sea lion? That felt so random, so obscure. I think to myself that it will be such a stretch to see or hear about a sea lion, that it will surely be the sign. Despite the odds, I go with it. I concede. OK, sea lion; that’s the sign.
A few hours later, I am awake again, but this time it is late enough to get out of bed. I make coffee, and then do an online crossword puzzle. Within it is the word ‘otter’. Close, but no cigar. Here is where I start to think. An otter is pretty darn close to a sea lion, but there’s still plenty of doubt. It is not the sign, so I can’t count it assuredly. So I let it go.
Much later in the day, I have some time to pass, so I sit in front of the TV and watch a show that the DVR had recorded earlier. About halfway through, one of the characters is eating popcorn by throwing kernels into the air and catching them with his mouth. Another character enters the room and says, “Will you stop eating that like a sea lion?”
I immediately pause the show. A tear comes to my eye, not with grief, but joy. My heart flies open with warmth as I know this to be my sign. Somehow, this changes everything for me. I can’t explain it, but receiving that sign let’s me know it’s ok.
I say, “it’s ok,” because the greater concern now is for me. I don’t have to worry about him any more. He is no longer in my care. In some ways, caring for him has allowed me to put off caring for other things in my life. In the back of my mind, for at least a year, I’ve known that Notte’s death would mark a beginning for something unknown. Whatever it is, it is still unknown.
And that brings us back to this imminent Total Solar Eclipse in Scorpio. Remember a few months ago when I said that everything in the chart was moving toward Scorpio? I didn’t know what that meant then, and still don’t, but I think it has something to do with this eclipse – a moment in time among many, a threshold.
No matter how much I ask, I can’t get even an impression of what’s ahead. Not for me. Not for the world at large. A part of me says that all of the predictions that are out there are just too much of a discontinuity. The realist in me says, “life can’t change that much, that quickly”.
And yet, it does. For me, my life is completely different now. The shift is profound. No matter how much appears unchanged, it has changed, and I can feel it.
For many in the Northeast, Sandy did the same.
I remember back to the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. That was a brief moment that changed the cities of San Francisco and Oakland quiet noticeably.
Everyday, if we choose, we can experience the transition from day to night and back again. When I lived in San Diego, I watched the sun set into the ocean at least once nearly every week. It’s addictive. During that time, we pass through the best part of the day: the last of the sunlight and the waning of the daylight. I always wish it would last so much longer.
This time, I want the transition to drift off quickly – and it is. Death, as magical a transition as it may be, is also far too painful to endure. I appreciate the gift of Notte passing in my presence, but now I want to put it as far behind me as I can.
However, in many ways, I am less afraid of what’s ahead. The seconds and minutes continue to flow. Today will be the past soon enough. There are unforeseen experiences coming. It’s the same as it’s always been, but, it is unlike it has ever been before.