Its just a phase

PRECISE TIMING WITH THE ECLIPSES

Slacker, 1990
Slacker, 1990

What is an eclipse?

Ancient cultures across the world regarded eclipses as significant celestial events. For an eclipse to take place, three celestial bodies must be in a straight line within their orbits. This is called a syzygy, from the Greek word “súzugos,” meaning paired.

Eclipses run like clockwork and can be predicted to the minute. The Babylonians were able to calculate that there were 38 possible eclipses within a period of approximately 223 months or 18 years 11 days 8 hours. This period was identified as a Saros cycle by the Mesopotamians and it was considered important as this timing predicted when nearly identical eclipse patterns were going to occur.

Astrologically, the eclipse follows the lunar nodes. The nodes are considered ‘destiny points’ in astrology. They are calculated as the point where the moon’s orbit crosses the ‘ecliptic’ which is the path the Sun follows around the earth. There is a lunar north node, and a south node – the north node is what we are striving for collectively and the south node shows us what we are releasing.

For example, the Aries-Libra eclipse series began with the April 20, 2023 new moon. For this eclipse cycle Aries is the north node and so collectively we are looking at ways to individuate while balancing out Libra traits, such as putting other people’s desires before our own.

The last time we experienced eclipses on the Aries-Libra axis was 9 years ago, but the nodes (north and south) were reversed; at that point in time Libra values were prioritised and we were balancing out Aries individualistic dominance. The exact nodal cycle that we are experiencing right now occurred 18 years ago.

You can look back at these dates to understand what sort of influence was dominant for you to work out how they affect you personally. Eclipse series go on for approximately 18 months, so you might like to consider the 18 month cycle as an opportunity to keep an eye out for certain themes.

Destiny points

The lunar nodes are significant during the time we’re born. Natally where they occur are said to correspond to what comes naturally to you (south node) and north node is what you’re striving for. A balancing out of the two energies is thought to be the best approach as you don’t want to ignore one over the other, more so use your south node ‘experience’ to help you lean into your north node projection.

Use this chart to calculate where the lunar nodes were when you were born and think about whether it has been particularly satisfying to work toward your north node, or if it feels calming/reassuring to ‘do’ your south node when you’re feeling uncertain.

A great resource on nodes is by Jan Spiller. She sums up the meaning of each axis to help with considering their themes and how they’ve played out for you.

The usual interpretation of the eclipse.
Eclipses are said to herald unexpected changes. Full moon eclipses can mean sudden endings or that someone is ‘eclipsed out’, a new moon eclipse can provide new opportunities or new beginnings.

Since the moon blocks out the sun on these periods, usually more is revealed as time passes, so it’s recommended to proceed slowly and jot down the upcoming eclipse dates on the same axis to anticipate more information.

Keep Track

Use our app to note eclipse times and anything significant that happened around these dates. These dates can be thought of as building blocks surrounding a particular theme; take notes to keep these dates in mind and at the very least remind you of what you’ve learned and how far you’ve come.

If you’d like to see eclipse timings included in the app consider donating to our developer fund here.

SUB ROSA, OR, WHY JOURNALLING IS GOOD FOR YOU

Heathers, 1988
Heathers, 1988

It’s Just a Phase is an intentionally quiet space; a place to gather thoughts, reflect and plan. It is not a social platform. The reason for this relates to the ideal of sub rosa. Literally translated from Latin to ‘under the rose’, denoting something that is done in secret.

‘What we do is secret.’ – Darby Crash

Transparency is a notion that is foisted on us; something culture has moved toward simply because of endless opportunities for self expression via social platforms and online. Rob Horning posits that the opportunities to post outweigh the things we can confidently share about ourselves. The dopamine cycle of sharing for likes is addictive, so we start to share curated content, or worse borrow from our future selves: ‘the push towards a self-concept of perpetual becoming would seem to thwart subjectivation as a kind of social control. But the more we construct identity through these means of social media, the more we self-assimilate into the incentives built into them, which is to turn all experience into more and more strategic expression.’

When we move into the headspace of ‘content creator’ subconsciously or otherwise, the temptation to over-share is always looming. Byung-Chul Han writes in ‘The Transparency Society’, ‘Total transparency imposes a temporality on political communication that makes slow, long term planning impossible.’ This applies to us too. Once we start to talk about our hopes and goals, the seed of intent that is still nebulous and unformed is out in the open – the energy has sprung a leak.

Research from NYU, led by Peter Gollwitzer, found that goals shared publicly risk widening the intention – behaviour gap ‘when other people take notice of an individual’s identity-related behavioural intention, this gives the individual a premature sense of possessing the aspired-to identity.’

To go back to the analogy of the rose, think of over-sharing like gifting someone a rose bud; not yet opened or formed. The bud could die, be nurtured into bloom by it’s new owner, or worse – you could be handing over a bunch of thorns.

Where to begin?

In a world over-wrung with content, we’re all used to parsing data, sharing it and quickly digesting it before scrolling onto the next thing. Having a practice to slow down and reflect might feel foreign to begin with.

Carl Jung wrote, ‘until you make the unconscious conscious, it will rule your life and you will call it fate.’

A personal practice like journalling gives form to the subconscious. Self-inquiry and contemplation can help us to move through blocks and yield discernment. Journalling is a salve and unlike a dopamine hit the results are long term.

Tracking the phases of the moon opens up the idea of repeating patterns; the cycles are never exact but they are consistent. In that consistency we have a canvas in which to relate to, to understand our own experience of the world. We can also start to shape it through intentional action, better yet, informed by our inner knowing.

What is sub rosa for you? Use the journalling feature in It’s Just a Phase to give structure and find prompts to keep track of your own patterns, intentions and where you’re committing your energy.

 

Writing about the past and the future

Writing about past events can help to find perspective, come to terms with outcomes through reframing and consolidating information. Writing by hand is proven to have better wellness results stimulating a connection between hand and brain. If you are looking at past events through the lens of astrology, you can consider where planets were in the sky, or particular celestial events (like full moons, eclipses and such) to remind you of where you were at a particular time and what patterns have reoccurred since. To learn about these mundane events, subscribe here to receive an outline of these patterns each month.

Writing about the future is just as important. A study conducted at Southern Methodist Univeristy recognised that while reflective writing is cathartic, ‘writing about life goals was significantly less upsetting than writing about trauma and was associated with a significant increase in subjective well-being’. Writing about your future self, or possible self can give an insight into what action is needed and helps with motivation, while this study found that writing about a possible optimistic future leads to positive expectancies.

We can help

For more ideas on what to journal or celestial intel for the upcoming month, consider our Future Field Report subscription. It is a guide for the themes of the month, and provides structure on reflection, writing about goals and praxis. With so much content to consume, create your own. These zines are designed to be generative, so you can create a keepsake for yourself each month.