The Silent Eye

The Silent Eye


This week entails two very interesting celestial events.  First, on Tuesday morning, Venus stations retrograde, beginning her 6 week retreat across the sky’s catwalk.    Then, on Sunday, we’re treated to an annular solar eclipse in Gemini.  Between these two occurrences, we plunge headlong into the next phase of the year, marked by an unusual amount of time in the sign of the Twins.

Normally, the Gemini pattern is about differentiation and multiplication.    However, with Venus moving backward through Gemini and a solar eclipse, there is a curbing and reversal of this pattern.  Instead of multiplication, there is a withdrawal over extension and a return to the center.

Venus Stations Retrograde

After weeks of growing tension and slowing motion, Venus finally stations retrograde this Tuesday, May 15th.  The lead up to the bright planet’s retrograde has involved intermittent social breakdowns, odd mood swings and some interrupted financial transactions.  Venus’ actual turn retrograde this week takes us beneath these phenomena, into the Empress’ underworld, which we’ll be exploring for the next 6 weeks.

The central theme of Venus’ retrograde is quite simple.  Normally, Venus presides over and encourages connection.  We extrude energetic tentacles which grasp what we desire, binding the objects of our passion to us, and us to them.   During Venus’ retrograde, we are moved to retract these grasping hands, to reel in our fishing line as well as our bait.  Venus’ retrograde is an insistent call to return to the source of desire.  What we find, of course, is that desire’s objects are much simpler to identify than its source, which lies somewhere within us, beneath layers of invisible veils.

This retraction of desire to its source is an important end of one cycle and the beginning of another.  Really, though, it is the space between, which is of both the past and the future.   This indeterminate quality is another one of Venus retrograde’s primary characteristics.  Many people experience an intense oscillation between the emotional polarities of attraction and repulsion.  With the retrograde before us in Gemini, these emotional extremes are sure to be heightened.   As we spiral backwards towards the source of desire, like bathwater down the drain, we’ll feel things from a dizzying 360 degrees before plunging into the quiet clarity of the center.

For more on the qualities of Venus’ retrograde through Gemini this May and June, read “Venus Retrograde in Gemini.”

 Annular Solar Eclipse

The Sun enters Gemini on May 20th and is almost immediately eclipsed.  The annular solar eclipse will be seen across eastern Asia and the western United states.  We’ll jump through this blazing ring like a portal, entering a series of weeks full of strange, accelerated changes.  This is the 2nd and last Solar Eclipse in Gemini for about a decade.  The next solar eclipse, in November, will take place deep in Scorpio, opening a tunnel into a whole new series of challenges.

This eclipse, like all solar eclipses, is a special variety of New Moon.  Normally during a New Moon we recenter our energy and plant an intention for the month.  However, with this New Moon being an eclipse on the Tail, our intention should not be to add but to subtract.   The Dragon’s Tail lashes, destroying obstructions within.  Work with it.  Instead of adding more ideas, more words, more desires to your life, try subtracting.  Try recognizing that you’ve probably got too many as it is.  If you would invite abundance, make room for it.  If you would court genius, clear enough space in your mind to allow it freedom.

This is the Taoist logic that eclipses on the Tail operate on- if you would experience fullness, first become empty. Accordingly, eclipses on the Tail are excellent for practicing austerities of all types.  The mind, body and heart all benefit from the occasional fast.

Palasa-puspa-sankasam taraka-graha-mastakam

raudram raudratmakam ghoram tam ketum pranamamy aham

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Horoscopes are not a real chart reading by an experienced astrologer. They are fun and can be reasonably accurate, however. In addition to referring to your Sun sign, read from your Ascendant and Moon if you know them. If you don’t, find out! I’m a long time fan of the free chart generation software at
Aries: The Ram
Taurus: The Bull
Gemini: The Twins
Cancer: The Crab
Leo: The Lion
Virgo: The Virgin
Libra: The Scales
Scorpio: The Scorpion
Sagittarius: The Centaur
Capricorn: The Goat
Aquarius: The Waterbearer
Pisces: The Fish
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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. Anri 11 years ago

    Any more information on the choice of the Ketu mantra?
    * (must have something to do with the eclipse right? I havent quite wrapped my head around Vedic astrology yet.) So as I understand it, it is the South Node? Why at this point then, during the Gemini eclipse would it be wise to contact Ketu in this way?

    And perhaps, could you give me a taste of some ways to empower the mantra with some information on any traditional rituals surrounding its use? Even if just a link to a Vedic site that you find isn’t too superficial in its application.


    • Author
      Austin Coppock 11 years ago

      The South Node, Ketu and the Tail of the Dragon all refer to the same point. That point, and it’s opposite, the N. Node/Rahu/Head of the Dragon have been calculated for several millenia in a variety of cultures precisely because they mark the points where eclipses occur. Their meaning is inextricable from that of eclipses.

      Every eclipse, solar and lunar, occurs with the eclipsed body in conjunction with one of the two nodes, up to a maximum orb of about 15 degrees.

      The solar eclipse this Sunday takes place atop the S.Node/Ketu/Tail. There is a large and accessible vocabulary of yantra and mantra devoted to Ketu, much of it within reach of a quick google. I don’t have any particular favorites, as I don’t work in a traditional Hindu manner. .

  2. Anri 11 years ago

    Thanks. I’ve googled it already. lol. Was just curious about the connection between the nodes and the eclipses, which, strangely enough was something I haven’t picked up on yet. So wow. Shot!

    • Author
      Austin Coppock 11 years ago

      Yeah, for some reason the meanings of the nodes have become detached from the actual phenomenon of eclipses. The nodes make much more sense when viewed in the context of the astronomical events they were originally calculated to predict.

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