Summer Eclipse Season Is Changing Literally Everything

Aliza Kelly
Photo credit: Getty/Katie Buckleitner
Photo credit: Getty/Katie Buckleitner

From Cosmopolitan

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s pretty clear that 2020 is a monumental year (to say the very least)—and astrologically, that checks out. At the beginning of January, several planets formed aligned that hadn’t occurred in decades—in some cases, the celestial bodies hadn’t connected in hundreds of years. And as we tracked the rare movement of the planets, the eclipses weighed in heavily.

There are seven eclipses in 2020—if that seems like a lot, well, it is. That is, quite literally, the maximum number of eclipses that can occur in one calendar year. And, considering that 2020 is truly one of the most intense years in history (like, literally), that makes perfect sense. So if you’ve been feeling the pressure building over the last few weeks, it will come as no surprise that we’re about to experience the highest concentration of eclipses in 2020: get ready for three back-to-back eclipses this summer, electrifying the sky on June 5, June 21, and July 5.

So what does this mean? What will happen? Are eclipses good or (*gulp*) bad? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Here are the answers to all the questions about this summer's eclipses that you’ve been too afraid to ask:

WTF IS AN ECLIPSE?

The Moon is mysterious. She moves so quickly that even over the course of one night, it can be hard to catch up with her as she darts across the sky. The Moon is also constantly changing her appearance throughout her eight-phase, 28-day cycle, with the darkness of the New Moon and illumination of the Full Moon serving as checkpoints.

Usually, the Moon’s movements are solo: This celestial satellite enjoys doing her own thing. As the Moon cruises around its own ecliptic (in other words, it follows an independent circular orbit around the Earth), it will occasionally reach the upper and lower boundaries of its path. And sometimes, when the Moon reaches these two points (referred to as the “lunar nodes”), it will have company. In certain, extraordinary moments, the Sun, Moon, and Earth perfectly align at these nodal points, resulting in Solar and Lunar Eclipses.

Solar Eclipses correspond with New Moons. During this lunation, the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, temporarily obstructing the Sun—if you’re in the “path of totality,” you can witness this striking visual as the Moon silhouettes the Sun, creating several minutes of complete darkness.

Lunar Eclipses, however, occur during Full Moons, when the Earth wedges itself between the Sun and Moon. Usually, during a Full Moon, the Moon glows bright, reflecting the Sun’s powerful radiance. But during a Lunar Eclipse, the Moon’s shiny surface casts a dark, tawny red as it reflects the Earth’s shadow (known as the “umbra”). This unusual hue is exactly why Lunar Eclipses are often referred to as “Blood Moons.”

WHAT DO ECLIPSES EVEN DO?

In astrology, the Moon’s lunar nodes are referred to as the North and South Nodes, which symbolize destiny, karma, and purpose. (Pro tip: You can spot the North and South Nodes in your birth chart pretty easily; the symbols usually look like little horseshoes. Every person has both the North and South Node embedded within their birth chart, and they will always directly oppose one another). Because eclipses occur on the North and South Nodes (as the Sun, Moon, and Earth all align), these karmic points are activated by eclipses, kicking off major transformations in nearly every area of life. Ya know, NBD.

So it should come as no surprise that eclipses are pretty… extra. During an eclipse season, you may encounter lots of seemingly abrupt, impulsive decisions. Against the backdrop of non-stop drama, it feels like everything is dialed up to eleven. Suddenly, you’re navigating back-to-back, life-changing predicaments: Should you quit your job? Should you reconcile with your ex? Should you reinvent yourself completely?

Stakes are high, but it’s important to note that eclipses simply speed up the inevitable: Anything that happens during eclipse season was bound to happen eventually. So, if you’re contemplating ending a relationship or starting a new job in, let’s say, the next year, the eclipses will make sure you do that RIGHT F*CKING NOW. And, sure, that's going to feel intense (how could it not?!), but at the end of the day, eclipses are activating your destiny. These powerful lunations have your best interest in mind! While Solar and Eclipses may shut down existing situations, they’re simply clearing space for new opportunities. So generous, right!?

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THESE SUMMER ECLIPSES?

This summer, three eclipses will electrify the sky. The first—a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius on June 5—is extra special, because it’s the first installment of a brand new eclipse series. For the next 18 months, eclipses will occur on the Gemini-Sagittarius axis (the future dates are November 30, 2020; December 14, 2020; May 26, 2021; June 10, 2021; and December 4, 2021). Gemini is all about data, while Sagittarius is defined through expansion—so don’t be surprised if there are major changes with the way we receive and process information throughout this next eclipse series.

And, just as we begin a new eclipse series on the Gemini-Sagittarius axis, we close out the existing cycle: the solar eclipse in Cancer on June 21 and the lunar eclipse in Capricorn on July 5 are the final installments of the Cancer-Capricorn eclipse series. This cycle started in July 2018, so these eclipses have been the backdrop of our personal and collective stories for the past two years. Major themes on the Cancer-Capricorn axis are tradition and security, so as you look back in your personal recent history, consider how these concepts shifted in your life. What have you learned? What have you accomplished? How has your reality shifted? If you’re not exactly where you’d like to be, don’t worry—there are still two more powerful lunations left in the series, so loose ends will definitely be tied up in the next few weeks.

HOW DO I KNOW IF THE ECLIPSES WILL IMPACT ME?

Unsure of whether these eclipses will be relevant to your life? Guess what—they are! Just as everyone has every sign embedded within their 360º birth chart, everyone is impacted by the eclipses! Sorry, I don’t make the rules!

But it’s important to note that eclipses don’t just trigger random one-offs; they actually create narratives that unfold over time. The new Gemini-Sagittarius eclipse series is just beginning, so on June 5, keep a close eye on your current realities. This is an excellent opportunity to track your “eclipse story” in real-time, so grab a journal (yes, this is your permission to splurge on a cute notebook) and jot down your present conditions: What’s going on in your life? Who’s involved? What are your hopes? Fears? Wishes? By establishing your “before,” you can observe how the Gemini-Sagittarius eclipses transform your life—by the time this cycle ends in December 2021, your “after” is sure to look extremely different!

Likewise, as the Cancer-Capricorn eclipses come to a close, reflect on what’s transformed in your reality since July 2018. Solar eclipse (like the one upcoming on June 21) are all about opportunities, while lunar eclipse (like the one on July 5) are connected to release. So even though things may seem very strange at the present moment, don’t forget that—when it comes to astrology—there’s always a method to the madness. Brace yourself for a wild few weeks, because everything is changing.


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