Your Guide to the 2020 Sagittarius Solar Eclipse

Originally published in The Scribe

Hallelujah! On Monday, Dec. 14th, we will have the last solar eclipse of 2020 in high-minded fire sign Sagittarius.

This total solar eclipse is particularly potent, as it occurs only a few degrees from the Galactic Center, and is activating momentous mindset shifts for everyone. Mercury, the planet of communication and linear thinking, is also conjunct this lunation, so the compulsion to contemplate and chew over our as-yet unmet aspirations will be especially strong. 

     “What sets this eclipse apart is that the lunation is not configured to the benefic planets Venus and Jupiter, but it is configured to Mars,” says California-based astrologer Liam Sofias, “which makes the eclipse extraordinarily Martial in its significations.” 

     According to Sofias, Mars, a lesser malefic– or unfortunate planet –is qualified as being excessively hot and dry. In Hellenistic astrology, heat excites and energizes while dry picks apart and distinguishes differences. Left unchecked, this can be a moment that gets us wrapped up in our own aggression and fuels a feeling of separation. 

     For those unfamiliar with eclipses, there are two types: Solar and Lunar. The latter eclipses occur when the moon is full, whereas Solar Eclipses happen during lunations known as a New Moon. Traditionally, new moons are times when we set intentions to manifest our goals. However, intention-setting and manifesting on Monday’s total Solar eclipse in Sagittarius is a big no-no.

     The reason for this is simple: a total solar eclipse occurs when the moon casts a shadow on the Earth, fully obscuring light from the Sun. 

     Let’s break down the symbolism of this. Astrologically speaking, the Moon rules over our emotions, the Sun rules our identity, and the Earth rules our physical matter. During a Solar Eclipse, our physical bodies and identities are momentarily obscured by the emotional shadow of the Moon. In other words, the energy of Monday’s Sagittarius Solar Eclipse is operating under shadow energy, which makes it a particularly unstable transit.  

      “We have to remember that the nodes are inherently lunar,” says astrologer Liam Sofias, “the Moon is a planet of constant change, we can visibly see her grow and shrink from night to night. This variability is what characterizes the eclipses: they are moments of true variability.” 

     Eclipses can be likened to Uranus transits– they’re unstable, erratic, and just about anything can happen, which is not a good base in which to plant seeds for your intentions. This is especially true given the sign Monday’s Solar Eclipse falls under: mutable fire Sagittarius.

     Archetypally, Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius is the zodiac’s philosophizing guru, the optimistic teacher who guides, synthesizes, and searches for truth. Wherever Sagittarius is in our chart is where we need to search and find meaning; it also represents our higher mind and aspirations. As a mutable fire sign, the way in which Sagittarius pursues truth and higher goals is volatile, fickle, and spirited, if not a bit aggressive. 

    Whereas Lunar Eclipses thrust us into situations or events that force us to make major changes, Solar Eclipses initiate vitalizing new beginnings. Since Monday’s Solar Eclipse occurs in philosophical and zealous Sagittarius, we are urged to intensely wonder about the goals of our higher selves. But keep in mind it’s operating under shadow energy, so these goals will be temporarily occulted by emotional discord. So, expect some major existential pondering.

     There are steps we can take to mitigate this, Sofias adds. First and foremost is to practice awareness. Questions we can ask ourselves: what might you be externally projecting out onto the people around you? What is at the heart of your reactions? 

     “After we set the time aside to be aware, this transit won’t have the harsh effect that it would otherwise,” Sofias adds. “A way to balance [the eclipse’s] martial influence is to lean into Venus, a naturally stabilizing and benefic planet of temperance. My favorite way is to drink rose tea and listen to some music!” 

     Journaling is also a must on Monday. Jotting down your worries, woes, and sought after higher goals will help you better understand what work needs to begin in 2021. 

     Since everyone has Sagittarius in their chart, Monday’s Solar Eclipse will have an impact, but it will be especially significant and transformative for those who have prominent planets in Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and/or Pisces. 

     To read more astrology wisdom from Liam Sofias, find him on Instagram and Twitter

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