The second full moon of 2018 brings force. Happening at 11 degrees of Leo at 8:26 am ET on January 31st, this rare lunar event—a total lunar eclipse that’s dubbed a “blood moon”—electrifies the atmosphere in a raucous manner.
But before we get carried away with jargon and superlatives, let’s break down what this means. Shall we?
What Does It All Mean?
First off a blue moon occurs when there are two full moons in one month. Some astrologers argue that the true meaning of a blue moon is when there are 4 full moons in a season (as opposed to the typical 3), and I find that argument valid. (You can read more about that here.) But for purposes of simplification, this particular full moon dons the status of being blue because it’s the second full moon in January.
A lunar eclipse happens when the full moon is blocked by the Earth’s shadow, preventing the sun’s light from reaching and reflecting off of the moon’s surface. Since a full moon occurs when the sun and moon are in a direct opposition, a lunar eclipse can only occur when the moon is full. Because the Earth’s shadow will cover the moon, the moon will turn a shade of red, creating the effect of a blood moon.
On top of this, the moon will be particularly close to the planet, hence the title “super moon” (simply meaning that the moon will appear larger than normal). Now, because the moon’s gravitational forces impact things here on Earth, especially water (the highest tides occur during full super moons), we can expect to feel this enormously in our bodies and our beings. With this in mind, I urge you not to underestimate the impact that our closest celestial body has on us as humans, and especially as women.
The Shadow Revealed
Further, while this fantastic eye candy warrants attention and scientific study, from a spiritual perspective, when the shadow of the Earth casts itself upon the moon (as opposed to light of the sun), it’s believed to render inauspicious activity. Yes—inauspicious. The shadow takes over, instead of the light, disrupting the normal course of events, bringing things to the surface that otherwise have been hidden in a blind spot.
Now if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I am not a doom and gloom astrologer—so please don’t misunderstand me. Eclipses are beautiful and scientifically fascinating. Yet, they require respect and caution. They also warrant astute attention to details. On top of it, lunar eclipses (especially super moon lunar eclipses) can startle our emotional bodies, so they call for extraordinary self-care.
Because you can’t control a lunar eclipse, it’s essential to stay open to what it brings up. And even more so than a regular full moon, now’s the time to release that which isn’t working.
Eclipses require a certain sense of grace; the willingness to bend into them, rather than fight them. Lunar eclipses require the spiritual wisdom to stay in the seat of the observer, as opposed to the warrior. Now’s not the time to fight, but rather to witness, pray, and observe, and also fiercely release whatever is no longer serving you.
The Completion Of A Major Cycle
Eclipses happen in Saros cycles. This particular eclipse belongs to Saros cycle 124. A Saros cycle is 18 years, 11 days and 8 hours. The last time we had a lunar eclipse in this cycle was January 20, 2000. Because this is the next lunar eclipse in the cycle, it’s important to consider what chapter, which was unfolding then, is coming to completion now. In addition to Saros cycles, eclipses also work in Metonic cycles too, which occur in 19-year increments (or 235 lunar cycles), it’s essential to look back to 1999 as well.
Let me say this another way…
This lunar eclipse completes a cycle of 235 lunations.
I mean—that’s heavy.
Because of this, it’s essential to truly consider what’s coming up for you this lunar cycle, and how it relates to the many moons that have passed in your life since 1999.
When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going
In my own life, 1999 brought tremendous upheaval. As the first year after my radical hysterectomy, I found myself in the midst of heavy PTSD and post-menopausal. At 19 years old, my life fell in stark contrast to that of my peers. I didn’t really know what to do, so I did the only thing I could—keep going.
I took every travel opportunity that presented itself, hoping for a location cure. I went to South Africa to study abroad on winter break. When I came back, my intense episodes of panic only became worse, pushing me to the point of needing a complete leave of absence from school. I went on to backpack Europe. And while traveling to five countries in 21 days via the Eurorail provided much inspiration, it did little to cure my anxiety. (Plus, it didn’t help that I was eating almost exclusively bread and cheese because it was all I could afford.)
Within a month of returning from that trip, I realized I needed an extreme change and finally moved to San Diego to reinvent my life. With very little money, I flew on a one way ticket to California from New Jersey on standby to restart my life. I had no idea where that journey would lead me.
In hindsight, I realize it commenced my healing in all earnest.
So, as I work with this intense full moon in my own life, I reflect on who I was at age 19, when I made some really bold decisions in the aftermath of cancer, menopause and trauma. Many moons later, with my life fairly settled, I have peace around so much of this, and in many ways I am healed.
Yet, I hold space for the deeper essence of my shadow to reveal herself to me. Because yes, there’s always more to learn! Further, this lunar event will likely shine a light on things I have yet to consider as it relates to my life journey.
Evaluate What’s Come To Fruition And Honor What’s Come To Completion
Here are five things you can do to embrace the power of this month’s super blue blood total lunar eclipse in Leo.
- Journal. Think back to where you were 19 years ago and consider how much life has changed since then. What chapter did you start then, that’s coming to completion now. What can you do to ritualize this? Consider writing a letter to your younger self, thanking her. (If thinking back 19 years feels like way too big of a task, think back to the new moon that seeded this particular full moon on August 2, 2016.) Acknowledge your younger self for making the decisions she made then that helped you actualize your growth now. Process on paper how you have grown. What are you grateful for?
- Engage your creativity. Given the intensity of this lunation, you definitely want to dig deep and connect to your drive, determination, and creativity. Do you have a creative project you need to give your all to? Now’s the time to go deep. Focus your passion on productivity. Nothing creative percolating? Then bust out your crayons and simply color. Buy an adult coloring book and get to work. With this full moon in Leo, play goes a long way. So indulge it.
- Dance. With so much intensity in the sky and in our bodies, now’s the time to move. Put on your favorite music and let it take you away. Leo, the sign of the performer, deserves respect, so get down with some of the best performers of our time. Not sure what to play? Check out this video of the Pointer Sisters singing Yes We Can Can!
Want to go deeper? I made a playlist for this Lunar Eclipse on Spotify. Listen here.
- Consciously release that which isn’t working. Let go of items you no longer need. End the relationship that isn’t working. Let go of the client you can’t really help. Take out your sage and cleanse your house. And speaking of sage…
- Perform a lunar ritual. Not sure how? Start by cleaning your home physically. Then find space to set out some sacred objects (items that mean something to you spiritually) and some candles. Honor your spiritual support team (your connection to the Divine), light your candles and say a prayer, asking for support. Be specific in your prayer. Then give thanks. Honor yourself in a way that feels sacred to you.
Nothing like a blue-blood-total-lunar-eclipse-super-moon in Leo for a bit of drama! This passionate full moon might be a bit crazy-making in essence, but it asks you to embrace the drama… so try have a good time with it. Lead from your heart.
Now I’d love to hear from you. What’s coming up in your life? How do you want to dance with this full moon (both literally and metaphorically)! Leave me a comment below.
Want to go even deeper on the topic of how to work with the moon’s phases and astrology? Consider joining Lunar Logic Moon School. More on this soon.