Dr. Vanessa Strauss
The October and November eclipses of 2022 invited growth opportunities through shadow work, ancestral connection, and, may I dare say it, a miracle, even if just a small one. Sometimes with the intensity of growth, we can miss those small miracles and blessings. It is, therefore, worthy of pausing, reflecting and contemplating our time through the Eclipse Season.
Let's start with critical dates, terminology, and sacred celestial passages of time. Then we shall explore the timeless classic Conference of The Birds by Farid Ud-Din Attar to demonstrate the psychological nature of eclipses. Finally, I will offer some Acupoints and tuning forks I like administering during this time.
Dates, Eclipse Terminology and Sacred Astronomy
Eclipse Season commences once the Sun is 18 degrees away from either the South or North Node of the Moon. The Sun was traveling with Ketu, the South Node of the Moon, giving the overarching theme of this eclipse season; release, letting go, and purging. Something from the past arises to be completed and ultimately surrendered to forces more extensive than our own will. October 18th 2022, was the opening of the season and the closing date was November 24th 2022, giving us just under 40 days to work with these cosmic energies. I find it curious that many cultures and religions see the significance of making a change in 40 days.
- Rain fell for "forty days and forty nights" during the flood (Genesis 7:4)
- Moses spent three different periods of "forty days and forty nights" on Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 9:11; 9:25; and 10:10)
- Before the temptation, Jesus fasted "forty days and forty nights" in the desert (Matthew 4:2; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2)
- In modern Christian traditions, the time of Lent is 40 days before Easter
- Eastern Orthodox believe that the deceased's soul remains on Earth for 40 days
- Muhammad was 40 years old when he received his first revelation
- Forty days of meditation to break a habit in Kundalini Yoga.
Interestingly, eclipse seasons last from approximately 36 days to 42 days. When we reflect on this time frame rather than just the eclipse phenomena, we can gain more profound clarity and perspective into the transformations and miracles of the season.
Image One: Opening of Eclipse season as demonstrated on the astrological chart
Image Two: Closing of Eclipse Season on the astrological chart.
The energies of eclipses amplify even more with the first eclipse for the season, as it delineates the opening of the Eclipse Portal - the time frame between the first and last eclipse for the season. This celestial time passage can also be referred to as the 'Thinning of The Veils'. For example, the eclipse portal recently opened on October 25th 2022, with a partial solar eclipse in Scorpio. The portal closed on a Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 8th, 2022.
This two-week period is where significant or sudden changes can occur that require us to grow beyond our comfort zone, especially if we are leaning into these natural forces and are willing to do our inner world. It is a celestial time when:
- We are more sensitive and attuned to receiving and giving messages to and from other worlds
- The ancestors can be more easily communed with our sensitivity is heightened, and we may know things because we feel them within our bodies; the Moon is our somatic feelings and emotions,
- A time when our gut instincts are more substantial than the rational mind; the Moon also rules the stomach.
Although this may have mystic and spiritual connotations, it can be a confusing and stressful experience as we try to make sense of what we are feeling and why we are feeling it. The eclipse portal is a time to slow down, become more present with the inner landscape, be still, meditate and receive these blessings and subtle messages, and offer our prayers for loved ones who have passed over the rainbow bridge. It is a time to remember where we have come from, where we are going and how we are a small part of a lineage and legacy more remarkable than our individual identity.
Image 3: Partial Solar Eclipse: For this Eclipse season, it opened the Eclipse Portal
Image 4: Total Lunar Eclipse (Blood Moon): this is the closing of the Eclipse Portal. The passage of time (2 weeks) between the two eclipses is called the eclipse portal. The selection of time from when the Sun is 18 degrees from the node where the solar eclipse will occur till the Sun is 18 degrees past the same Lunar node is the approximate 40-day Eclipse season.
The eclipse events are a merger of the Father Sun and Mother Moon, a union of polarities, and this spectacular event is only visible from Earth. The miracle that the Moon can block out the Sun entirely during a solar eclipse is an astonishing concept, given the Moon is much smaller than the Sun. This illusion occurs because the Moon is 400 times closer to the Earth than the Sun, but the Sun is 400 times larger than the Moon.
It's worth noting that the Moon is also slowly moving away from Earth each year; therefore, this phenomenon is only available for sighting for a limited time. Not to worry, the Moon is moving so slowly from Earth that there will still be eclipses for many centuries. Now we can see why eclipses are miracles in themselves and how they can invite in a miracle for you too.
Not all cultures interpret eclipses as a sacred union between natural polarities. Many foresaw the energies of eclipses as dark, foreboding and macabre. The Norse thought a wolf was eating the Sun, and Vedic astrology believes a dragon called Rahu Ketu is seeking revenge on the Sun (Surya) and the Moon (Chandra). In China, India, southeastern Asia and Peru, there were beliefs that dragons or demons attack the Sun during eclipses. In North America, dogs and coyotes; in South America, big cats like pumas; in Vietnam, an enormous frog tries to swallow the Sun.
Image 5: The Churn of The Ocean of Milk: Where the demon Rahu was deceived by the devas thus resulting in Rahu forever seeking revenge on Chandra and Surya.
Image 6: Rahu eats the Sun, Vedic mythology of eclipses.
I have personally been researching the effects of eclipses in my life since 2015, as well as in my patients' lives. I find them to bring increased awareness to a more authentic life path. I've noticed that the degree to which we are misaligned with our soul path, the more amplified and painful these times can present.
For example, in this past eclipse season, on the morning of the total Lunar Eclipse, I had a visceral dream of my Grandmother. The first one I have had since she crossed over in 2021. This dream filled me with deep peace and gratitude. I experienced the profound love that a child feels when sitting on her Grandmothers lap as she knits, a timeless love beyond the shackles of time and space. Although this may not seem grandiose in its presentation for me it was the first time connecting in with a biological ancestor that I have known in the physical. I had been open to receiving a message, communication, connection from my Grandmother but it took a year and a half and the eclipse portal till I felt her, like really really felt her as if she was right here in the flesh. It was truly a miracle for me.
Another time during an Eclipse, I sold a property, which almost didn't sell but via a loophole in the paperwork, it happened! And it was during the Cancer/Capricorn Eclipses. Cancer is a sign of the home.
In 2017, the total Leo Solar eclipse gave the sweet blessings of Learning of Credo Mutwa an African Shaman and the sacredness of the White Lions of Timbavati through the transmission of Linda Tucker and her book The Mystery of the White Lions. This transmission of wisdom and knowledge was deeply moving and touching for me and has shaped me in a certain way. It felt like a miracle to receive such an activation and an awakening at a soulful level.
Image 7: Mystery of the White Lions, Linda Tucker.
During this current eclipse season, I also had a visit from my living Mother, and it was the first time we had seen each other in person in 7 years. These eclipses have fallen in my 4th and 10th house axis. The 4th house, ruled by the Moon, offers themes of ancestry, the home, the roots and the Mother. I have also connected in deeply with "Black Elk", a Native American Medicine Man, Holy Man, and Heyoka of the Oglala Lakota Sioux, of the Sacred Black Hills in South Dakota. He lived throughout the genocide of the Native American Indians and transitioned from the true Lakota ways of living to the imposed culture, language, food and religion of the settlers. I have had the Book "Black Elk Speaks" by John. G. Neihardt in my Kindle App for years, but it was only during this eclipse season that I opened the first page and received his powerful legacy and transmission from the sixth Grandfather, Black Elk. The wisdom imparted through this book was indeed visceral and touched me to my core. I was calling in strength at a time of despair and received so much more.
Image 8: Black Elk Speaks, John .G. Neihardt
The more I lean into the eclipse mysteries, the more I seem to receive throughout the sacred passages of time, particularly if I tune into the events during the 40 days of the Eclipse Season, not just the phenomena of the eclipses themselves. I intend to inspire you to do the same.
I suggest you keep a tight journal of themes that arise during an Eclipse Season and reflect upon them when the portal closes. Especially pay attention to the zodiac signs the eclipses fall in and the houses activated by the eclipses in your natal chart.
Now, I would like to introduce you to another theme and characteristic of Eclipses. They don't only occur in pairs (or occasional triplets) during an eclipse season, but they also belong to a phenomenon called Saros Cycles. Saros means 'to repeat', concerning the solar eclipses only, not the lunar eclipses. They form a larger pattern that spans both time and space. This cycle is 1,200 - 1,500 years long and has a definitive beginning, middle and end.
Image 9: An illustration of the Saros across the Earth.
For example, a Saros Series of eclipses might start at the North Pole in AD 1000. This Series would then have an eclipse every 18 years plus a few days. Each eclipse will move across the face of the Earth by 120° of longitude from the previous one, and each eclipse will move a bit further south. By 1650 the Saros Series will be halfway through its lifespan and be producing eclipses around the equatorial region of the globe. As the Series ages, it draws closer to the South Pole and eventually, by approximately 2300, the Series will produce a tiny partial eclipse at the South Pole, which will be its last eclipse. (Brady, 1992)
Simultaneously, we also have the same pattern occurring from the South Pole towards the North Pole, thereby giving a double helix strand geometry over the face of the Earth over 1200 years.
According to the Law of Signature, 'like treats like'. Let's take into consideration the geometry and lifespan of the Saros Cycle. We then observe that eclipses relate to our ancestry, DNA, genetic coding, family conditioning, subconscious patterns passed down through the generations, and gifts and prayers embodied in our heritage. They also relate to our fate and our destiny.
The South Node (Ketu) is our fate, and the North Node (Rahu) is our destiny. Rahu is the head of the dragon and is hungry for what's not integrated at the soul level. Ketu in the natal chart is the area of what we are letting go, and Rahu is what we embody. A true master will take the powers from the past and integrate those gifts into the unfamiliarity of Rahu, bringing us the ouroboros.
Image 10: The Lunar Nodes: Rahu and Ketu.
Image 11: The snake eating its tail, the symbology of the integration of Rahu/North Node and Ketu/South Node.
In the Conference of the Birds, a golden feather is found by the birds, and they gather in counsel to discuss which bird the golden feather belongs. Yet no breed can identify with it. So a longing to know who this great feather belongs to was created in their hearts. They set out as one to come to find the great "Simorgh" as they have termed it. All the birds leave behind their current ways and set flight to traverse seven valleys, with each valley an initiation in coming closer to the true nature of one's heart and soul.
- The Valley of the Quest
- The Valley of Love
- The Valley of Knowledge
- The Valley of Detachment
- The Valley of Unity
- The Valley of Bewilderment
- The Valley of Annihilation
However, not all birds make it through each of the valleys. They must overcome truth challenges and pilgrim the dark night of the soul to meet the bird of all birds. In the end, only 30 birds meet the great Simorgh, a phoenix. Simorgh teaches the birds that they are a reflection of the great one and that they, too, can put themselves into the ashes and be reborn. They can rise from the translucent red flames of the fire and emerge as a phoenix.
Image 12: Conference of the Birds, Attar.
The poetry of Attar mirrors the message of the eclipses; if we go into the unknown and face what may arise, we shall find our inner treasures and be reborn anew. We can transform our adversities into miracles to liberate ourselves from what binds us.
Here are the key Acupuncture points to use during the eclipse portal:
Kidney 20 Pinyin: Futong, Open Valley/Through the Valley and Kidney 21 Pinyin: Youmen, which translates to depressed, full of worries, feeling down/Dark Gate
Begin with Neptune to establish a deep longing for the great one. To come close to God, to come closer to your own immaculate heart. Then apply Pluto for the initiation into the Valley/Dark Gate
Complete with Uranus for the individuation, the breakthrough and the liberation.
When we enter an eclipse season, the above points can support us through the valleys and keep up with the integration process offered.
Let's end with this direct quote from The Conference of the Birds that captures the essence of our inner process during eclipse season.
Dr Vanessa Strauss
Vanessa is a registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner with Ahpra and has been a member of AACMA since 2002. She completed her Master's Degree at RMIT University in 2012, travelled the world as an acupuncturist on Steiner Transocean, and was a lecturer at Endeavour College of Natural Health. She has been in clinical practice since graduating in 2006 with a Bachelor of Health Science/Acupuncture.
In 2013, Vanessa started training in the Acutonics Integrative Medicine system and commenced further studies in astrology, which have been ongoing ever since. She has a unique approach to her clinical practice marrying 17 years of clinical experience in Chinese Medicine with mythology, astrology, astronomy, psychology, sound and Daoist Stone Medicine into her treatments. She currently resides in Byron Bay, Australia and is available for online Astrology readings and in-person healings.
You can find Vanessa on IG at: Vanessa_Strauss_Astrology