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Life Arts

Cancer Lunar Eclipse -" December 31, 2009

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When you understand symbolic language, you add depth and meaning to events in your life. It's time to open the door to your Imagination and let meaning in.

We are at the end of a decade (see NYTimes) as well as a year, and it seems significant that 2009 ends with a lunar eclipse. (While modern usage of the term "Blue Moon" is being applied to this 2nd full Moon in a calendar month, there's really nothing special about it. It is significant when there is a 2nd full Moon in an astrological sign, which happens about every 2 years. The last one occurred in May 2008.)

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During a lunar eclipse, the Earth, Sun and Moon are in alignment and the Earth slips between the Sun and Moon, creating the shadow of the eclipse. The energetic light stream from the Sun cannot be reflected back to us by the Moon there is an eclipse (eclipse means a failure or to leave out) and something goes missing.

So maybe for a moment during this eclipse (December 31, 2009 at 2:13pm EST/11:13 PST), you might lose yourself or at least your conscious image of yourself. You might find that your Shadow is showing!

As much as our society associates negative images with the Full Moon (werewolves, lunacy, magic anyone?), it is the light of the Full Moon which shines her imaginative consciousness on us and shows us who we really are madmen or werewolves, vampires or wise women.

Like a bad acid trip, the only monsters we tend to meet are the ones we create inside ourselves. Or on a collective level, those we refuse to acknowledge as our own. The shadow of the eclipse mirrors the shadow of our individual and national identities. (This is especially true for Americans since this eclipse is conjunct America's Sun in the 4th of July birth chart.)

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It is so important for each of us to deal with our personal Shadow, because to change the world we have to take on and transform our collective Shadow. In Jungian psychology, the Shadow is the part of the unconscious psyche that consists of repressed aspects of the personality those parts of our unique energies which are seen as weaknesses, shortcomings, or often just our instincts. "Everyone carries a shadow," Jung wrote, "and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is." (Jung, C.G. (1938). "Psychology and Religion." In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.131)

According to Jung, since our ego cannot acknowledge the energy and perceptions of the shadow, we project it out onto someone else, turning our own feelings of inadequacy into someone else's (or another nation's) moral failings, all the while acting out those very traits unconsciously ourselves. And yet, once we do accept our shadow and integrate it into our personality, it brings us new creativity and energy.

So this eclipse can show us what we've left out of the equation. It can show us a quality that we never realized we possessed or it can show us what we need to let go of. Full Moons usually offer us the gift of awareness, if we can bare the tension of opposite energies and perspectives. Eclipses offer us an awareness of the darkness and shadows that we on Earth cast.

Let this lunar eclipse open you to what's been hidden in the depths, what lurks in shadows, or what feels like an absence. Look your shadow in the eye. Then peel off or unravel the unconscious bindings that keep you stuck in old unproductive feelings, thoughts and habits. This release and cleansing is best accomplished through meditation and active imagination. Then bring it into the body through dance, art or music. In two weeks there will be a solar eclipse, when you can make new beginnings or form new seed ideas. For now, just let go.

With Mercury and Mars in retrograde motion, both the mind (Mercury) and the passions (Mars) are inwardly focused, helping us search out the inner darkness that keeps us off balance and unsure of ourselves.

Pluto, Venus, Sun, Mercury and the North Node in Capricorn focus our attention on our responsibilities to our Earth and to our society. Pluto square Saturn in Libra demands a restructuring of our collective life through truth, fairness and personal inner balance, so look to your relationships to show you exactly where your shadow comes into play. Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter in Aquarius still offer us a new story of our uniqueness as well as our oneness with each other. And Uranus in Pisces keeps the emotional surprises coming.

This full Moon is in Cancer, while the Sun is in Capricorn. What we might consider releasing are old wounded feelings, old collective rules and habits that no longer nurture us, old beliefs about what constitutes power (like the rule of the fathers), old forms of emotional security. Cancer has to do with our emotional body and the need to nurture our emotional intelligence.

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Cancer dives deeply into the unconscious, emotional, intuitive aspects of life. This eclipse can show us where we are cut off from the living waters of life. Try to find an entirely different emotional standpoint to operate from; one that incorporates a bigger picture of both yourself and your potentials, and of your purpose to the collective.

As Pluto moves through Capricorn in the next decade, we will see the end of our patriarchal culture. Humanity must grow up and do away with both patriarchy and matriarchy and create a society of equal partnership between men and women. This lunar eclipse is one step in that direction.

The Sabian symbol for the Sun at 11* Capricorn is: A large group of pheasant on a private estate. This symbol tells us something about how our natural resources have been privatized by rich individuals. This is a natural outcome of any economic or philosophical system that values one person or thing above another. This is an attitude that gives rise to big shadows such as greed and ignorance and violence.

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Cathy Pagano is the author of a new book, "Wisdom's Daughters: How Women Can Change the World". Cathy trained at the C. G. Jung Institut-Zurich in dream interpretation, then got her M.A. in Counseling Psychology in Feminine Spirituality, and along the way became a certified Life Coach. As an astrologer and storyteller, she weaves the Cosmic Stories written in the stars and from The Bard's Grove, comments on emerging archetypal themes in movies. Cathy works with the tools of the imagination - dreams, alchemy, myths, astrology, symbolic language, storytelling, ritual - to awaken the Soul's wisdom.

I believe that Americans are called to a higher consciousness at this point in our history. We are called on to live up to our ideals and create the country our forefathers imagined. Inner consciousness needs to be acted upon for social justice.

Cathy believes that our writers and artists must take up our responsibility to create art that inspires, teaches and heals our humanity.

Cathy writes about political, psychological/spiritual, and cultural issues.

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