A Small Sacrifice

A Small Sacrifice


     An annular solar eclipse occurs on Thursday, May 9th, visible primarily over Australia and the Pacific.  This eclipse occurs atop the south node of the Moon, the old Tail of the Dragon, Ketu to Vedic astrologers.  I did a little writing about this eclipse my 2013 Almanac.  It went something like this-

“    …the South Node has no ketuinvertphysical body, it is merely a point  determined by the intersection of the Sun, Moon and Earth’s revolutions which has been calculated for thousands of years to predict eclipses.  Yet this intersection has a life of its own, and the power to devour the Sun and Moon.  Ketu, as it is called in India, is often imagined as a headless, serpentine figure, half of a primordial dragon.  Yet only a fool would think this horror a demon, for Ketu has a vital role to play.  He detaches mind from matter.  Without this function, our identifications and attachments would only grow unchecked, degrading the pristine state of mind to that of a metastisizing tumor.  No matter how vital his function, though, few welcome headless Ketu into their lives, for the eclipses which he heralds threaten our most entrenched attachments. 

      Ketu spends this year in Taurus, lying in wait for the quarter of planets moving through it.  Normally a natural time for indulgence, this year there is, courtesy of Ketu, a subtle but insistent pull towards asceticism.  Desires, spurred to furious levels by the co-presence of both Mars and Venus in the lustful sign, are denied rather than sated.  Or, if sated, come with unforeseen and unwanted consequences.  Here Ketu targets those things we have saddled ourselves with in order to feel stable, secure.  By holding on to these things we fix our position, reducing our mobility and adaptability.  Yet mobility, adaptability and fluidity is exactly what this year demands.  Saturn in Scorpio whispers that we are in a transition from one stable state into another, yet we are within neither.   We’ve got to keep moving.

     The Solar Eclipse in Taurus on May 9th places these themes in the foreground, offering us a hole in sky in which to cast what we cannot take with us on journey.  In addition to this, the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars must all conjoin Ketu individually, each purged, each offering a sacrifice.  Yet the sacrifice is often only the illusion of control.  Once one has let go of the attachment to something, be it a person, an object or a swath of land, the natural course of things is restored and the wheel of karma, unstuck, turns again.”

     The black rays of the eclipse beat down the writer as well as the reader, and I have a small sacrifice to make, myself.  As my more regular readers may have noted, I’ve been pretty slack about posting my weekly column over the last few months. I’ve taken on obligations and projects over the last year which have left me without the time and energy to create the kind of columns I like to write.  I saw this coming in the November, when the first eclipse in Scorpio occurred, but I thought I could just muscle through it.  Turns out muscles have their limits.  Now, on the eve of the second solar  eclipse in this cycle, it’s become clear to me that I need to let it go.

     As much as I don’t want to say it- I won’t be writing a weekly column any more.  At least not for a while.

     That’s my sacrifice.  The thing I can’t take with me.   I’ve written a column nearly every week since mid 2005 and it’s a place I’ve come to feel comfortable and confident, secure and appreciated.  However, like most things that make us feel safe, it’s also tied me down, bound my energy and time into a particular form.  And that’s exactly what this cycle of eclipses is hunting.

     Things are changing, for myself as well as the world.  As much as I like narrating each week, there are other things I’d like to talk about, and the commitment to a weekly column hasn’t left room for them.  Again, that’s the theme for these eclipses-  unbinding your energy, liberating it from one form so that it is free to invigorate others.  It’s the Solve of alchemy, the process of separating spirit from matter, that spirit might animate a new body.  Some folks might call that dying, but I digress.  In alchemy, the separation generally takes place two ways.  The first is through the process of putrefaction, or, in common parlance- rotting.  This is the wet way, the slow way.  The second is called calcination, and it’s hotter, and faster.  You toss the matter into the furnace and burn it to a fine white ash.  Cremation.  As much as I don’t like to admit it, my weekly work has been rotting for a while.  I’ve missing weeks and have spent more time feeling guilty than a person needs to.  So in order to keep the flies away, I’m tossing it into the fire, a burnt offering to the way things need to be. 

     For those who’ve read my column for years now, I apologize.  I feel like I owe you, even though that’s crazy.  But I’m not going silent, merely changing things up.  I’ll still be writing.  Actually, I’ll be writing considerably more.  I’ve already committed to another yearly Almanac, a huge book on the decans for Three Hands Press, articles for CLAVIS and the Mountain Astrologer, some screenwriting and a few other things, as well.  I also plan to continue to blog about the astrology as it unfolds- just not in the form of a weekly column. .

     For those who’ve made it this far into my soliloquy, I thank you for your patience.   In addition to explaining the programming change, I hoped that a little transparency about my small sacrifice might shed a little light on the nature of the eclipse cycle we’re experiencing.   What is it that you can’t take with you?  Is there some old attachment rotting in a dark corner of your mind, something perhaps better served by a quick cremation?


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Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Ashland, OR. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as “The Online Almanac”. This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization “Association for Young Astrologers” from 2012-2016. His most recent book is “36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans”, published by Three Hands Press.


  1. MicheleWhite 10 years ago

    I have been here from the beginning, and will be here in the end…I

  2. MicheleWhite 10 years ago

    I do not see this as an ending at all…rather I predicted a rising from the ashes in a new form, a new being…one as of yet unseen. I look forward to watching you unfurl your wings!

  3. AngelaFinbow 10 years ago

    Thankyou! Good Luck!

  4. pascaleJ 10 years ago

    hi Austin,
    so you did remind me, so it was mid 2005. So i have ””known”’ you for practically 8 years ?? 
    You certainly never bore me, which is very rare with me. Well 8 years, you are allowed to swerve directions now and then, right ?? And yes, I just lost my weekly task that was bringing me income, and I do notice the real difference of not having to feel tied to that date, whichever date that is the end of the week, or the ”’deadline”” of the week. 
    So long as you still jot down something in a blog or on fb or whatever, but really it was GRAND and amazingly GENEROUS of you to do this just out of love for your craft and your fellow humans. That was beyond words. Perhaps you were the only one Astrologer to give so much and regularly and Free of charge. I hope people do appreciate this. How generous this has been for those years. 
    I thank you from my heart and brain cells, Austin. Samadhi. Yes, keep centered and what you cannot do, you just cannot do it. This is not a puzzle.
    I am very proud of you that you have so many important projects in the making.  Congratulations, you ARE a MASTER.. in your Art or Science, sure is a lot of but a lot of studying.  Very proud and happy to have come across your path.
    Keep in touch us poor earthlings that do not know as much as you do… You are very useful to us.
    And never forget to sleep—— Thank you Vielen Dank.. Vielen Gruessen.. 
    With love.. from Van. CANada… Keep your energies on the Chi… !!!!! love..

  5. Layo 10 years ago

    I’ve enjoyed your column very much!  But if it needs to be put on hold so that you can write a book on the decans, the sacrifice is worth it.  🙂  I’m excited by your forthcoming work, and I loved your take on the recent eclipse.

  6. Magikstuff 10 years ago

    Sad day!

  7. Robinthe 10 years ago

    Mmmmm…2005.  Has it been that long?  You’re an old friend to so many you’ve never met.  
    Do you feel like you owe us?  I think it is a mutual feeling of debts owed and paid in full.  You keep us entertained while providing us with insight to our lives and the world in which we live.  We give you motivation to GROW, LEARN, BECOME…as you do us.
    Thank you for the wisdom and laughs you’ve given me weekly throughout the years.  DEBT PAID IN FULL!

  8. Amulette 10 years ago

    WTF??  “SMALL” sacrifice??? talk about a travesty…

    Can’t you consider dropping the Screenwriting instead.  I’m from LA.  I happen to know that Screenwriters come a dime a dozen but Baron Austin Samadhi Coppockalypse Weekly Horoscope Columns do NOT.  How will we prepare ourselves for the horrific aspects ahead without our snide but astute Jedi Master to flail sarcastic suggestions on us so we can move forth with insight.  I feel extremely ill.
    This is going to be a hard loss to adjust to.  I mean this wholeheartedly.
    Thank you for all the years of guidance, chuckles and brilliance and many more to come without the weekly columns I hope.  You offed the Baron, now your weekly horoscopes.  Don’t kill the whole blog please. Do you have Scorpio Mars or something…

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