When an Eclipse Hits the Astrological Houses

What sorts of life changes or revelations will you experience?

Eclipse on Beach / Getty Images.

There can be a jittery buzz of anticipation in the days leading up to a Solar Eclipse. Something meaningful is percolating up from places where the Sun don't shine, and the blocking out of a constant light source is a symbolic block of familiar ways of being and perceiving.

The lunar eclipse also holds sway. Like the Moon card in the Tarot, it's a time of chaos or confusion, discovery or rediscovery.

What is there to be absorbed, revealed or remembered?

The solar and lunar eclipses are sometimes disruptive shake-ups, leading to major life events or more subtle inner changes. What's neat to note is that eclipses run through the Zodiac every 19 years, in what's called the Saros Cycle. When the eclipse occurs, try to remember what happened to you 19 years ago. Is that core theme playing out again?

Double Act

It's useful to look at Zodiac signs, as well as the transiting houses of the eclipse, as a two-act production also. Since Zodiac signs correspond to a house, their symbolic themes are similar. Here are some notes to get you started, by looking at where the eclipses land in your own chart.

Eclipses go in reverse of the natural Zodiac (Aries to Pisces). You can track themes to become more aware of each eclipse cycle.

First and Seventh Houses (or Aries-Libra)

An eclipse in the first house strongly involves a sense of self.

You may experience a desire to firm up your stance by claiming "I am" with self-defining acts or plans. In more extreme cases, it might mean the end to an entanglement that's muddled your sense of self. Or perhaps merging lives with another with accompanying fears of losing the self. A challenge here is to balance personal initiation and identity with meaningful relationships in your life.

 

Eclipses in the seventh house also affect relationships that weigh heavily on the self. There can be upheavals in these big relationships, ranging from emotional shocks, deepening intimacy, or breaking up. A relationship can be wholly absorbing until you realize you've lost your own defining edges. Some might awaken to the naked truth about what's been lost or gained by being in cahoots with a close friend, lover, or business associate. Who am I in this relationship? Who will I become?

Overall, themes of an eclipse in the first or seventh house include identity crisis, self-hood, and relationships. This could mean going into a partnership or marriage or having periods of solo retreats.

Sixth or Twelfth House (or Virgo-Pisces)

When there is an eclipse in the sixth house, you are more sensitive to the body either spiritually or physically. This may be a time of accidents, life-threatening illness, or spiritual healing, which can shake you out of a deadening routine and put your life in perspective. By asking yourself questions such as "Is my job missing something?" or "Can I achieve a great connection or purpose?" you will strive for more soulful work and a more engaged life. These changes can either be subtle or in-your-face.

 

Eclipses in the twelfth house emphasize tending to the soul. You may experience soul messages through vivid dreams or seemingly otherworldly happenings. One outcome of eclipses here is to become aware of something previously veiled. That could include behaviors that you show in the workplace or relationships that have been unconsciously playing out. A breakthrough can be humbling at first and then lead to being more real and physically present in your life.

In general, sixth of twelfth house eclipses with make you question the minutia and the infinite in your life's direction.

Fifth and Eleventh House (or Leo-Aquarius)

An eclipse in your fifth house will highlight what makes you unique. It could be a wake-up call to seize the day with your creative gifts. You may creatively express yourself alone or in collaboration.

You may experience acknowledging the need for recognition and setting out on a path to that uses your talents. Perhaps this means turning what you love into your life's work or taking a gamble with your heart.

Eclipses in the eleventh house have to do with extended friend networks -- colleagues and collaborators, near and far. Your attention is on these wider circles, with possible endings of some alliances or keeping up-to-date with others. You might meet odd characters, or reveal your own strange inclinations or fascination. The genius is unleashed, and you experience more freedom to say and do what you like.

Fifth and eleventh house eclipses will urge you to make a name for yourself, bring your attention to social networks, cause up and downs in friendships, and even lead to a shift with your child.

Fourth and Tenth House (Cancer/Capricorn)

Eclipses in the fourth house bring attention to home life. The forces that shaped your emotional body loom large, perhaps triggered by an event. A crisis here could bring you back to your roots, through tragedy or a sense of responsibility. 

An eclipse in the tenth house rouses dynamics of authority -- claiming it or giving it away. Often times, sources of authority come from family members, so relationships with parents or kids may be affected. During this time, events may happen that challenge you to overcome emotional legacies that keep you from symbolically climbing that mountain. 

Overall, eclipses that engage the fourth and tenth house have something to do with home (be it going back or creating a new home), parenting, emotional roots, and ancestral legacies.

 

Third and Ninth House (Or Gemini/Sagittarius)

Eclipses in the third house jolt the nervous system and affects the networks you're plugged into. Something meaningful happens in the local neighborhood, or siblings, school mates, and extended family could play a larger role in your life. An eclipse could also activate an urge to go back to school or be trained in a new field.​

An eclipse in the ninth house lures you out of the known and into the edge of your personal frontier. A path opens, and with a trust in the universe, you signal you're ready to grow beyond known borders. This can involve travel, a sabbatical, or time as an exchange student. Your philosophy is altered, or you begin a course of study, not knowing how it'll change you.

Themes of third and ninth house eclipses include student/teacher relationships, a quest for consciousness and knowledge, apprenticeships, gaining credentials, and travel.

Second and Eighth House (or Taurus-Scorpio)

An eclipse in the second house hits on material realities -- money, what you own or owe, what you've built (symbolically) with your own two hands. A crisis here could shake you at your base. Perhaps your finances and possessions that you see as what makes you, you are destabilized. It could set off an ordeal, where you're tested to stick with a soul's calling through hardships. There can be inner wrestling with how much to invest, and what's most important to achieve.

Eclipses in the eighth house are intense, and bring on soul-searching.

Some might become aware of the heavy energetic price of debt or toxic entanglements. A catharsis might be due in order to summon emotional courage and transform your darkest fears into productive action. Being close to death is a possibility, with all the reflection the ultimate life passage brings. Other possibilities are banishing intensity around sex, meeting your or another person's dark side, or leaving a controlling situation.

Overall, eclipses in the second and eighth house involve developing or squandering natural talents, realizing your values, selling your soul, fertility, and death.