As of May 26, at 7:19 a.m. EST, it’s officially eclipse season, which guarantees another round of jagged revelations, hard closure, and skin-shedding. The first round, a total lunar eclipse — or, for a more Sailor Moon zhuzh, the Super Flower Blood Moon — occurs when the earth comes directly between the sun and moon, momentarily flinging Luna into its abyssal shadow. As the moon turns red from the refraction of the sun’s light, it triggers a reclamation of the body, and of the present moment, exposing the limiting emotional directives to which we’ve pitched our lives.
Over the three-day full moon period, the moon will reach its closest point of orbit, or perigee, to the earth, appearing larger than at any other point of the year. However, at the moment of the eclipse, its rays, and their influence, will be obscured by the sun and earth. The moon rules the domain of the inner feminine, the soul, and the emotional terrain. Reflecting the sun’s light, it reveals our needs, our wants, and the inner histories which guide us. A full moon represents a bursting point of possibility, releasing and exhausting the intentions and desires stored up over its half of the monthly cycle. A full moon and total lunar eclipse initiates a painful release of dead and decayed inner layers. Eclipses blast open the gates to primal forces, which are neither subtle nor peaceful; this is not a moment for wading in the depths and discovering inner treasures, but for burning away, and claiming what survives the inferno.
The first main player of this showdown: the Gemini sun, ruling through June 20, closing the steady bloom of spring, and ending the work of Aries and Taurus to fully return us to our bodies, our desires, and our choices. Gemini season opens the floodgates to the unhinged raptures of the summer: new friends, new contact, a deluge of possibilities. An epidermal layer of survival was shed at the end of winter, and now we may try on as many faces as we like to find where we belong, and our place in the tribe, as Cancer season looms ahead.
The moon, meanwhile, goes full in Sagittarius, Gemini’s diametric opposite, initiating a classic faceoff. For all of Gemini’s self-involved mania, and inability to process anything but the immediate present, Sagittarius constantly flings itself into the future. Everything has to have a larger meaning or purpose, allowing for an endless fixation on institutions of power, conspiracies, and cults. No individual choice exists in a vacuum: everything must be connected. Sagittarians dream big, always reacting to (and looking to improve) the larger world around them. But in constantly peering forward and beyond, they can lose perspective on their footing.
For this moment in time, the Gemini sun will overpower the Sagittarius moon, challenging our ideas of individual action. Over the last 18 months, we have redefined our individual identities based on how we behave in a larger global framework. The sacrificing of personal desires has made a critical difference in enduring and someday overcoming the effects of a pandemic. But which measures of survival have become irrelevant, and which customs no longer hold truth? For many, losing work (and discovering unemployment) rattled the linearity of capitalist order. And now, for the freshly vaccinated, the masks to which we cleaved are no more than security blankets. The prescriptive notions of right and wrong feel like cages now that we are exposed to Gemini’s deluge of choice. Even our dreams, the goals we would have sacrificed everything for in 2019, may now feel like they’ve locked us on a fixed path, with no possibility of breaking course, cruising or discovering new facets to life.
Gemini season invites us to lose the mission and see where we’ve landed. With the twins’ air sign amoralism, we can observe which relationships, groups, lifestyles and beliefs of our old lives may no longer sync with what we’re feeling, right now. In the bracing rush of reopenings and reunions, so comes an inevitable disappointment, and discomfort: Do the old hangs bring you pleasure like they used to? How do you fit in here? This full moon sublimates the “should” of Sagittarius, allowing us to peer beyond the promises we’ve made to ourselves, and to engage with what attracts us in the present. Cast in blood red, it taps us into the pulse of our urges and dawning desires. It leads us back to our heartbeat.
With Jupiter in Pisces and Mercury in Gemini, we are guaranteed an early summer of contact, adventure and enmeshment. To be exposed to new ideas, and, possibly, the people who will comprise our new network, our only choice is to leap out of the tower of self-definition. Which beliefs belong to you, now, and which are driven by a fear of judgment from the immediate family, or cancellation from the larger culture? Which monoliths of duty overpower your freedom of self-expression, and experimentation? Who is holding you back from shapeshifting?
We’ve looked forward to this moment for many months, the event horizon when the future would finally catch up with itself. With this total full moon eclipse, we must abandon the ideal and plunge into the present. The beauty of the Sagittarius glyph, the centaur, is in its constant search for higher meaning. But the moon has exhausted the body and spirit, reacting to the endless stimuli of a crumbling global order, seeking definition and resisting inevitable destruction. The future Sagittarius clings to has been verbalized, literalized, and brought to full exposure. We must make do with the inelegant, chaotic present of Gemini. Whatever you were waiting for, it’s too late. You can’t take a picture of this; it’s already gone.