What the May 5 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio Means for You, Astrologically

It’s that time again, moons-and-stargazers: We will soon experience the beauty and wonder of a lunar eclipse. (Well, more the wonder versus the beauty, but we'll expand on that in a moment.) Specifically, it is a penumbral lunar eclipse and it comes to us under the zodiac sign of Scorpio. While appearances may indicate that it is a far quieter celestial event than some of its eclipse counterparts, the penumbral lunar eclipse on May 5 has astrologers excited for a number of reasons.

It won’t be visible to us in the Western Hemisphere, but on some level of our consciousness, we will all feel the intensity of this potent lunar eclipse. It is a beautiful and powerful phenomenon. However, if you live in the United States — as so many of our readers do — you will not be able to observe this eclipse in Scorpio at all. So, why are we talking about it?

In this story:

  • When is the May 2023 lunar eclipse?

  • What is a penumbral lunar eclipse, and how is it different from other types of eclipses?

  • How does a lunar eclipse affect you, astrologically speaking?

  • What is the astrological meaning of the lunar eclipse in Scorpio?

When is the May 2023 lunar eclipse? How do I see it?

We are going to have a lunar eclipse on Friday, May 5, 2023, arriving at 1:34 p.m. (EST), according to the forever-trusty Farmer’s Almanac. This particular lunar eclipse will be in the zodiac sign of Scorpio, positioned at 14 degrees and 48 seconds.

As previously mentioned, stargazers in the U.S. will not be able to see this lunar eclipse. (The Farmer’s Almanac tells us it will be visible from “the Antarctic, Oceania, Australasia, Asia, Europe, Africa, South Georgia, and the South Sandwich Islands.” Sure sounds like the denizens of North America are some of the only guests not invited to the party, but c’est la vie.) From an astrologer’s perspective, though, it still bears great significance, regardless of whether we can see it or not.

What is a penumbral lunar eclipse, and how is it different from other types of eclipses?

A lunar eclipse, according to NASA, happens when the sun, the Earth, and the moon align, thereby allowing the moon to pass in the Earth’s shadow. In the case of a total lunar eclipse, the whole moon passes into the umbra, the darkest part of our planet’s shadow, while a penumbral lunar eclipse sees the moon pass into the penumbra, which, as those knowledgeable in prefixes may have guessed, is the outer portion of Earth’s shadow. There are also partial lunar eclipses, where the moon — surprise — only partly passes into the umbra. (I’d recommend watching this video from the Lowell Observatory to see a solid illustration of how it works.) This type of lunar eclipse is often subtler and can be more difficult to observe.

Lunar eclipses, of course, differ from solar eclipses, which are often what people think of when they hear the word “eclipse,” when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, causing the sun’s light to be blocked from our earthbound perspectives. These can be partial solar eclipses, when the moon only blocks a portion of the sun’s light; total solar eclipses, when the moon wholly blocks out the sun’s light from view; and annular solar eclipses, when the moon’s orbit is more distant to the Earth, causing the appearance of a ring of light around the moon.

*A penumbral lunar eclipse*

Lunar Eclipse on May 5, 2023, and What It Means Astrologically — Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

*A penumbral lunar eclipse*
Getty Images

How does a lunar eclipse affect you, astrologically speaking?

The period around an eclipse, whether it is solar or lunar, is considered potent by astrologers. This is true regardless of how visible it is, if it’s even visible to our position on Earth at all. These are times when great change can happen — swiftly and unexpectedly. These portals of consciousness can be life-changing, setting us on a completely different path than the one we’d been walking.

That said, eclipses are fairly common, occurring four to five times per year. What’s more, they will not always be personal to you — good news for those whose lives may have been thrown asunder amid the big sign-shifting transit of Pluto or the recent Mercury retrograde in Taurus and are finding themselves tired of change. There was a solar eclipse in this cycle on Thursday, April 20, 2023, at 12:13 a.m. (EST), positioned at 29 degrees of Aries. If you’ve had experiences related to asserting yourself or learning to be selfish (in a positive, put-your-mask-on-before-helping-others way), then this may have prompted an active eclipse time for you.

Solar eclipses, such as this last one in Aries, tend to come at new beginnings and new opportunities, as they are, in my eyes, supercharged new moons; lunar eclipses, on the other hand, can be seen as a more intense full moon, therefore making them more about endings, releasing, and letting go — or, in some cases, having things being “let go” for us. Whether this is a positive, negative, bittersweet, or even totally uneventful time for you, it is worth paying attention to how this moon impacts your circumstances, moods, and experiences.

What is the astrological significance of the lunar eclipse in Scorpio?

Scorpio is the sign of deep feeling. secrecy, privacy, and ambition, which means this penumbral lunar eclipse is going to be intense. Scorpio is the sign that in the Northern Hemisphere heralds the season when things begin to die, or at least prepare to do so, as it is historically after farmers have harvested crops in Virgo and celebrated the autumn equinox in Libra. What’s left in the field? Little, other than the rejects, and so everything withers, which is one reason Scorpio is also known as the sign of death, decay, and hardship. This does not have to be negative, of course: without death, there is no life — and no new beginnings.

*A composite image of the phases of a lunar eclipse*

Lunar Eclipse on May 5, 2023, and What It Means Astrologically — Composite phases of a lunar eclipse

*A composite image of the phases of a lunar eclipse*
Getty Images

This is a thoughtful time, though you do not necessarily have to meditate, journal, manifest, or go into trance to “connect” with the eclipse. It is not as subtle as it seems — even to those who can’t physically observe it with their own eyes — and it will make itself known. If this is an important time for you, you will feel it, particularly if you have a planet at 12 to 16 degrees of a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius). Eclipses exert a powerful influence and usually manifest themselves as events in one’s life: an unmistakable physical event, a decision, a person saying goodbye forever. I am sorry to sound so morbid but I have personally been broken up with or lost people during an eclipse; they can be scary and sad, but they can also be beautiful and enlightening.

As always, be kind to yourself, practice self-care, and we’ll see you in the stars.

Originally Appeared on Allure