The Sun rises in the third decan of Aquarius this year on the 9th of February. This final decan of Aquarius is a complicated place, for here we struggle with the knots that bind us, both collectively and individually. But what is a knot? It is a pattern, a circuit, a shape. Superstrings and sub-atomic serpents tie themselves into knots to bring forth the world itself. Some of those tangles tie us into existence, yet others bind us to cruel patterns. They are trauma and drama circuits, feedback loops which repeat fruitlessly.
Some of these knots, which dwell both in our back and in our minds, must be untangled carefully, so as not to sever the vital cords which comprise them. Others, however, are chains best struck off, entrapping complexes we would be better to leave behind entirely. Thus it is important to figure out whether it is worth it to carefully diagnose and tease apart an issue, or whether it would be simpler and smarter to just chop through it and be done, as Alexander the Great did with the Gordian Knot.
The configurations which take place during the Sun’s passage through the third face of Aquarius this year are especially well disposed to this untangling work. The first is Venus’ entery into Pisces on the Saturday the 10th. Venus slips into oceanic Pisces with delight, as the sign of the Fishes is the place where Venus is exalted. All of Venus’ core significations — ease, luxury, joy and grace — are strengthened. This adds a mellow, tidal flow to the next month, supporting harmony and counter-pointing the antithesis. Venus will be in Pisces until March 6th.
While Venus’ entry into Pisces provides a soothing and supportive note, it is the other two configurations which highlight our liberation from knots large and small. A partial Solar Eclipse occurs on February 15th, and a Mercury-Sun conjunction follows on the 17th. Both of these significant configurations occur in the 3rd decan of Aquarius, intensifying its themes.
The Solar Eclipse on the 15th is a partial one, and will only be visible in Antarctica and in the southern portion of South America. While being in the zone where an Eclipse is visible intensifies its effects, it’s power nonetheless extends to the rest of the world. As a side note, it is worth recognizing that as this Eclipse is the second New Moon after the solstice, it is thus the lunation which marks the beginning of the Chinese Year.
This Eclipse occurs on Ketu, the Dragon’s Tail. Ketu has a cleansing, purging, releasing quality. It brings the poison to the surface, that it might be released. Cleaning is, ironically, a process that necessarily involves getting close to what is dirty. For the body to expel toxins, it must use one of its biological exit routes. In order to release yourself from a terrible experience, you must experience the purge of it.
This Solar Eclipse shines with a dark, unobtrusive light. Its shadow rays penetrate the surface, like x-rays, revealing the deep structure of bodies both subtle and gross. This touch of Eclipse-light may, in and of itself, be enough to untangle some knots, though others will merely be exposed. These more persistent tangles may require a thorough assessment, and a clever pair of fingers.
No one has more agile digits than Hermes, and so it is fortunate that Mercury is closely conjunct this Eclipse, and will complete a superior conjunction to the Sun less than two days afterward. Like the Eclipse, the Mercury-Sun conjunction also has purification and as a theme, particularly of the thinking mind. It thus behooves us to consider how to meet these configurations half-way. Though a passing rain might wash some of the dirt off of you, you’ll get considerably cleaner if you add some soap to the equation.
Sit down and take inventory of all that you’ve made space for in your mind. All of the images you’ve consumed, the 10,001 opinions you’ve reacted to, the set of worries you always end up gnawing on. It is your mind which gives them weight and substance. Each of these mental objects is an investment on your part. Each and every one requires psychic energy from you.
Those of us connected to the internet are constantly consuming far more information, image and opinion than our minds can digest. We are thus in a constant state of indigestion, our minds at risk of become bloated and sick.
The question is whether you need all of this, and whether you’ve left yourself any unused psychic energy. Excess mental power is not wasted, as it is through the uninvested mind that epiphanies emerge. It acts as a scyring mirror or satellite dish by which you can receive information and messages from beyond the normal boundaries of your world. Disentangling the mind from daily stimuli is a practice found at the heart of virtually every magical and mystical tradition.
One of the simplest and most universal ways to clean the body and mind is to fast. We have but to reduce our intake for the psyche’s digestive processes to catch up. Once the daily excess has been excreted, we will inevitably come across some more persistent issues, the stubborn tangles within us.
Fasting, mentally and otherwise, thus helps us isolate what the real issues are. These are the knots, the things we’re stuck on, the objects we’ve bought and the ideas we’ve bought into. These require a different and more conscious protocol, parallel in many ways to physical decluttering. While fasting and abstention simply require the will to not-intake, decluttering and reorganizing requires choices. To accomplish this you will need to take mental inventory, and then examine each bit individually. When dealing with physical possessions, you probably won’t get back what you paid for it. However, when you engage in psychic decluttering, the energy you invest is instantly restored to you. Your mind has a full money back guarantee return policy, with no time limit.
Our mind is not unlike a child’s toy box. It contains a bunch of junk, and several priceless treasures. Yet even the valuable bits are often left all over the floor, an indiscriminate foot-threatening mine-field. The things we want to keep should be put back in the box. Those which you don’t are to be tossed into the shadowy fire of the Eclipse, which you should keep in a fireplace. Feed the mental garbage to the dark flame. It will unmake the trash quietly and without foul smoke, reducing it back to the psychic prima materia from which it came.
Although some of this process will occur on its own over the coming days, you can get better results if you match it to a practice. Though several would work, I have one to recommend, inspired by Franz Bardon’s mental exercises. To perform this practice, sit comfortably, and let your mind do what it will. As the thoughts arise, inspect them. If they are not worth keeping, let them go. If they are, in fact, important, then you finish them, and put them away. To “finish” a thought, you need to sit with it long enough to see it clearly. The thought might be “What am I going to do about taxes this year? I’m afraid of what the new law means.” Acknowledge that it is there, but don’t try to make it go away. Think through it, before long, you will come to the point where you can make no further progress without getting more information or taking action. When you get to that point, write the action required to continue moving forward, and then mentally move on. Continue with this practice until the time limit you have set expires.
Although this Eclipse and Mercury-Sun conjunction both call for and magnify the need for this sort of practice, such mental housekeeping should be part of every day, just like brushing your teeth or doing the dishes. Start with 5-minutes a day, just before lunch, and 5 minutes a day, as the Sun sets. If you do this for just the 10 days that the Sun is in the last decan of Aquarius, you will be shocked at the equanimity you will have attained. That mental balance is not only crucial for effective action in the world, it also makes the space required for revelation, as you must make room in your mind for your soul to dwell happily there.
The Solar Eclipse targets your social sphere for a little mental cleaning. Turn your mind to the webwork of friendship and community you exist within. Let the faces and characters pop up as they will. Work through your thoughts and feelings about each of them. You may find that you have something you need to say to some of them, something honest. It might be how you felt about a particular interaction, or it might be a compliment — something you really appreciate about them but never communicate. Whatever it is, write it down and make room for that conversation.
Look to your professional life during this span of days. There are few portions of life with as much potential for the excesses of fear and desire, where we are routinely judged by ourselves and other people. There are also the positive attachments, as well. Longing for, desiring success. Failing to obtain it and the disappointment that follows. Succeeding in attaining it and the ego inflation that comes naturally. It’s so easy to get stuck in all of this, that cleaning up your thoughts and feelings is vital, with tremendous benefits. It would be good to spend some time this decan unknotting your thoughts about your career, but it would be even better if you made that good hygiene a habit.
This Eclipse asks you to do a little cleansing of your aspirations. It’s easy to start feeling guilty about not achieving your long-term goals. Frustration can creep in here, too, as well as confusion and anxiety. “Am I going in the right direction? Will I ever get there? What if I’m on the wrong path?” Et cetera. These questions and feelings happen, but they don’t help you get anywhere faster, and they don’t help clarify your path. Instead, they slow you down and cloud your
compass. Let the sliver of darkened Eclipse light cut through these concerns like an x-ray, passing through the bullshit and reassuring you of the Tao and your way.
The Eclipse calls for you to clean up your perspective on the exchanges of time, money and energy between yourself and other people. You might feel guilty about receiving, or like you can never give enough because you’re actually trying to atone for some forgotten sin. Or perhaps you’re certain that you deserve more, and receive without gratitude. The flows of time, money and energy between people, the borrowing, loaning, giving and receiving, are inherently emotionally loaded. Having little resentments, guilts and worries is not a sign of dysfunction, it’s inevitable. Being inevitable, it’s important to routinely review and clean this area. In the days surrounding the Eclipse, sit and spend a little time with these themes, reviewing your exchanges.
The Eclipse and subsequent Mercury-Sun conjunction shine a subtle, penetrating light on your relationships. It goes without saying that partnership is a complicated thing, and that the roles we play in one another’s lives need to be reviewed regularly. But being alone is similarly complicated, just less visibly so. As you sit with the subject of Relationship, don’t just look at the space in your life occupied by people, but also the negative space, where people could or might fit in.
This decan’s configurations offer you the opportunity to clarify your thoughts on the routine labors which life requires. Resentments, anxieties, and irritations can easily build up around life’s little chores if we don’t take the time to dust them off. Consider writing a to-do list as a meditation. As you write each tiny commandment, sit with it, and notice what thoughts and feelings are attached to it. You may find that bigger worries and fears have attached themselves to simple tasks. Doing the dishes can become a symbol of unequal dynamics in a relationship. Doing your accounting can become charged with every fear you have about your financial status. The dishes need to be done, and your account balance needs to be checked, but those bigger issues are much better thought through on their own. Separate the two, and solve the large and the small on their own terms.
This decan points toward the hidden well of creative power within you. It is easy for that well to get clogged with our expectations. We demand specific inspirations rather than making the space to receive what is offered. Even when creativity is applied to every day problem solving, and not artistic aspiration, we must still treat it as a visitor, a muse, we make space for. The remedial practice for this is to let yourself play. Let go, temporarily, of what things needs to be, and let your ideas transform and develop without undue pressure, as you would let a child learn by playing.
This Eclipse asks you to scoop out the litterbox of feelings you have about home and family. The concept of home is loaded, as it is synonymous with both biological and emotional safety. Being tied into these fundamental drives, it is easy for problems in this area to set off adrenal alarm bells. Although those fears can bring our attention to potential threats to our safety, it’s rare. You’re not going to forget to stay safe or pay the mortgage just because you aren’t terrified. So during the days around the Eclipse, sit and spend a little time sorting and separating your feelings about your dwelling-place from what is actionable information.
The Eclipse and the Mercury-Sun conjunction which follow both point toward your weekly calendar. It may be that you’ve been so focused on achieving next week’s goals that you’ve lost sight of your larger, overarching aims. Take some time to put your regular tasks into right perspective, to make sure you’re not infusing those little accomplishments with a higher priority than they’re due. As an exercise, sit with your calendar. Look over each scheduled thing and stay with each item. Note the mental and emotional reaction you have to it, and sort through it, before moving on to the next. You will inevitably discover that some of these activities are more emotionally loaded than is appropriate, and are eating up your available mental energy. Put things back into perspective — let the small be small, and the big be big.
This span of days points towards what’s in your bank account, as well as the complex of hopes and fears tied to that string of numbers. The Eclipse and Mercury’s conjunction with the Sun both make for a perfect week to take a look at how you look at money. The presence of desire and anxiety around the all-important bottom line is understandable, but it doesn’t put bills in the bank, and it certainly doesn’t help you make wise decisions. On the days surrounding the Eclipse, find some time to sit with the hopes and fears you have around money. You may not banish all anxiety or lust, but there is great benefit to be obtained simply by recognizing that you have particular emotional reactions, as that acknowledgement will, in and of itself, keep you from being wholly contained by them.
This decan’s configurations ask you to consider the construction of your identity. It is a mosaic-mask, made up of the moments and actions you have let define you, as well as those you’ve chosen to identify with. Though you wear the mask, you are also the mask-maker, which is so easy to forget. What you once needed to be, how you once needed to see yourself, may no longer serve or be necessary. Though our core is unchanging, we craft and discard masks as a snake grows and sheds skin. As a sliver of shadow creeps across the Sun, sit with your ideas about who you are, and why you are that way. You may find that you’ve outgrown your current wears.
This Eclipse does not call for you to clean up and release one particular area of life. Instead, its compromised light shines on the mind which frets and desires over every area of your life. A mental fast is highly recommended. Reduce the calorie count of the ideas and images you take in. You don’t have to retreat into a cave to work with this Eclipse, but you should consider significantly reducing the amount of media you’re consuming, especially the high calorie/low nutrition ones. Although the meditation cave would be ideal, you can get plenty done by just identifying what the worst part of your mental diet is. What elicits the strongest and most negative emotional reactions from you, and provides you the least actionable information or personal growth in return? Whatever it is, cut it out, at least for the 10 days of this decan, and see how you feel. The mind, like the body, will begin to heal of its own accord once you stop poisoning it.