Remembering Wholeness

This Tuesday March 8th is International Women’s Day. It also happens to be the day that brings us a Solar-Eclipse New Moon in Pisces. The New Moon always occurs in the same sign that the Sun is currently moving through, which in this case is Pisces, the sign which says “I believe.”

We have a New Moon every month, but a Solar Eclipse, when the body of the Moon blocks out the light of the Sun, occurs about twice a year. The Solar Eclipse in March is a total eclipse and will be visible throughout the Pacific Ocean. (Check out my General Guidelines for Eclipses.)

Eclipses were viewed as ominous and frightening for people throughout the ancient world. Today, we may be less superstitious about the occurrence of eclipses since we understand the physical reasons behind them. But they still hold a powerful sway over the collective imagination, especially the Solar Eclipse, which brings darkness over the Earth during the day.

In astrology, the Solar Eclipse is said to provide a potent portal for setting intentions and revealing startling truths that have been buried. Physically, the light of the Sun is obscured, while the body of the Moon takes full focus. Metaphorically, we could say that what is usually hidden from us comes into sharper view. The Moon is a symbol of the feminine, the soul, and the mysterious; it is that which rules the inner landscape as opposed to the outer world of accomplishments.

Now, as a mother I know that the Moon actually accomplishes a hell of a lot, but it’s very different than “solar” accomplishments. The Moon is responsible for providing nourishment, tending to illness, taking care of the children, giving comfort in times of stress. The Moon’s accomplishments are cyclical; they are the things we do that have to be repeated again and again in the course of living. They are the invisible actions that make the whole world go round. And they are often taken for granted.

When the Moon covers the light of our achievements and goals (The Sun), we are left to face the rest of ourselves: the not so glamourous, daily rites of caring for ourselves and others. Who are you beyond what you do? What is the essence within you that makes everything else happen, but is often unrecognized?

I’m thinking of “women’s work” and its invisibility, the things that happen all the time but are largely unpaid or unrewarded by our society. I’m also thinking of our individual lives and how we so often fail to see the smaller actions that support us in tackling those larger issues. This failure is linked to “solar consciousness” that only validates individual success, while “lunar consciousness” draws a circle around everything, both productive and nonproductive, creative and regenerative.

To tap into this New Moon Solar Eclipse in Pisces, consider the parts of yourself that you have exiled from the circle of your life. Pisces holds the energy of compassion, sensitivity, imagination, and wholeness. It can remind us what we’ve left out, what needs our attention.

As Audre Lorde put it, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

Eclipse months tend to bring up the unexpected, so it can be extra difficult for us to remember to take care of ourselves. But this is one of the biggest lessons this eclipse cycle has for us: to care. To let ourselves tend that which has been neglected, forgotten, or taken for granted. Sometimes nurturing ourselves is enough. Make your thinking big enough to remember that your actions – no matter how small – do have an impact. The universe is a remarkably miraculous place, and tiny actions can have unforeseen gifts that ripple out into big changes in the world.