“What’s the Great Conjunction? The Great Conjunction is the end of the world! Or the beginning. End, begin, all the same. Big change. Sometimes good, sometimes bad…. Listen, Gelfling, there is much to be learned. And you have no time.”
– Aughra (the astrologer) from The Dark Crystal

solar eclipseThe June 26th Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn activated the Cardinal Grand Cross. This extremely rare planetary configuration signifies humanity at a crossroads, poised to evolve quickly or self-destruct. As we approach the July 11th Solar Eclipse in Cancer, we are each standing at our own personal, more or less dramatic version of a crossroads.

A Solar Eclipse is a precise conjunction of the Sun and Moon — a super-powerful New Moon that heralds major endings and beginnings. On the long road to a new reality, as pointed to by the astrology of the next several years, this Eclipse represents a choice point.

Solar Eclipses — when the Moon’s shadow darkens the light of the Sun — were feared by our ancient ancestors. The disappearance of the Sun is a scary thing — without its light, we all die. Although most moderns are barely even aware of Eclipses, let alone their historical meaning, the fear factor still tends to amplify.

During Eclipse Season — in this case, June 12 to July 25– feelings that have been hidden, buried or denied rise to the surface. The Lunar Eclipse was in Capricorn, the sign associated with fear, and the Moon was conjunct Pluto, the planet representing what terrifies us, and what we therefore banish to the Underworld. The feeling that has been most readily available, and calling for attention and healing, is FEAR.

From Fear to Freedom

“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.” – Marilyn Ferguson

Everything going on “out there” is so very compelling. We Westerners (Americans in particular) have been conditioned to prioritize the material world — how much money are you making? what kind of job do you have? what’s your “relationship status?” It’s all about performance, achievement, success, how things appear on the outside. In astrological terms, this is represented by the sign Capricorn.

But what’s actually fueling all this concern about whether we’re good or successful enough, or people like us, or we have enough money or the perfect job or relationship? The feelings hidden beneath the surface. The belief systems that got implanted in our sponge-like little brains before we learned to think for ourselves. In other words, the subconscious.

cancerAstrologically, the subconscious is represented by the Moon, and the sign Cancer (Capricorn’s opposite) — the watery feminine. Most of us learned early on to suppress, invalidate and ignore this part of ourselves — the part that has needs, the part that seems irrational to the almighty intellect, the part that cries and rages and loses control. We can stuff and banish and medicate them all we want, but these parts of ourselves don’t go away. They live in the basement, out of sight, but nevertheless running the show.

The Cancer Solar Eclipse pulls our attention into the subconscious, where we encounter fears, buried feelings and whatever else might be lurking down there. At the time of the Eclipse, Pluto, the Dark Lord, is, once again, highly active — our own inner darkness will be readily available. But Pluto will be forming a tight square with both Jupiter, the principle of expansion, and Uranus, the planet of liberation. The opportunity here is liberation from fear, and, says Pluto, the only way out is through. If we have the courage to feel into the fear, we can get to the other side, and free ourselves from the grip of its control.

As the mostly missing point of the Cardinal Cross, Cancer is the key to balancing the energy of this intense aspect. Cancer says that the power we’re seeking is within us, not outside of us.

Standing at the crossroads, faced with making life-course-altering decisions, what matters is not so much what we choose, but what’s motivating our choices. The motivation determines the outcome. As more and more of us attend to and heal our fears, as more and more of us choose aliveness, truth, integrity and freedom instead of fear, we dissolve the old fear-based reality, and start creating a new world.