Ask the Astrologer: Significance of lunar eclipse?

By Christopher Renstrom

I am leading a labyrinth walk and mini-retreat in Salt Lake City on the Winter Solstice, December 21, 2010. There will also be a full lunar eclipse visible in North America on the solstice. Can you give me some information on the significance of this event, both personally and globally?

There are two types of eclipses: solar and lunar. A solar eclipse is when the Moon passes between the earth and the Sun and obscures the Sun from our eyes. This takes place during a New Moon. A lunar eclipse is when the earth stands between the Sun and the Moon and casts its shadow on the Moon. This takes place during a Full Moon. In Judicial Astrology (that’s the type of astrology that focuses on global affairs), the solar eclipse impacts heads of state (the Sun rules rulers and people in the public eye) while the lunar eclipse impacts the masses (because the Moon rules over “plain folk” and its changing appearance in the sky was said to reflect the fickleness of public opinion).

The lunar eclipse will be taking place at 29 degrees Gemini on December 21, 2010 and what makes this significant is that the 29th degree is seen as a critical degree in Astrology. This will probably impact the areas of life that are traditionally associated to the planet Mercury which is the planet that rules the eclipse. Mercury rules communication, information, the media, education, and transportation. Chances are something will be revealed that will send waves through the blogosphere and get certain people up on their high horses decrying this or that. It will likely stem from events that took place in mid July 2010. I’d love to say it will be significant, but it’s hard to tell given our hyperventilating news cycle. What’s important one day seems to have exhausted itself by the next.

What intrigues me most about your labyrinth walk is that Mercury was named after Hermes, the greek god of roads, paths, and mazes. The messenger god Hermes was also the guide of souls. Hermes is the pathfinder in Greek mythology and of all the Olympians, Hermes was the only god who could travel from heaven to earth to hell and back again. He knew all the ins and outs. Moreover we get our word “hermetic” from Hermes—in essence making him the father of the hidden mysteries which is why Hermes Trismegistus is named after him.

Most importantly Hermes was known as the companion to man. He wasn’t remote or hard to fathom like other gods could be. In fact you never knew where you might run into him. He might be standing behind you in line at the marketplace or the god who came for you at the hour of your death to lead you from this world to the next. To me what’s beautiful about Hermes is that he represents the sacred in your everyday life. He doesn’t live in a church nor is he hidden in an altar or closed up inside a book. He’s out and about; providing guidance in a world where it isn’t always easy to find one’s way. If I were to suggest an idea for your meditation it would be that.

This article was originally published on November 15, 2010.