The Ultimate Guide to Lunar & Solar Eclipses
As we enter eclipse season, what better time than this to explore everything about these planetary events that mesmerize us and shake things up?
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about eclipses – both solar and lunar – and how to mentally and emotionally prepare for the energy that accompanies them!
Don’t forget to check out: Prepare for 2022 Eclipse Season with This Guide
What is an Eclipse?
According to NASA, “an eclipse takes place when one heavenly body such as a moon or planet moves into the shadow of another heavenly body.” In other words, an eclipse occurs when any planet or Moon passes between another planet, Moon, or Sun.
Eclipses are caused by a planet’s natural trajectory, as a planet or a moon may naturally pass between the Sun and the Earth.
The History of Eclipses
Traditionally, Solar eclipses have been thought of as bad omens or a sign of death. While they are not a bad omen, Solar eclipses can cause uncomfortable emotions or mood swings.
According to Herodotus, a Greek historian, the war between the Lydians and the Medes ended with the appearance of a solar eclipse. Those fighting viewed the dark sky as a sign from the heavens to conclude their war and live peacefully.
Lunar vs. Solar Eclipses
You may be wondering what the difference between a Solar and Lunar eclipse is. A Lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes directly between the Sun and the Moon – the resulting shadow is the Lunar Eclipse. Lunar eclipses take place during the New Moon, while Solar eclipses occur on the Full Moon.
A Solar eclipse takes place when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking the light of the Sun. Lunar eclipses are easier for us to experience, as the shadow created by the Earth covering the Moon is much larger than the shadow created by the Moon blocking the light of the Sun.
Lunar and Solar eclipses do share a few similarities, however, including the fact that there are at least two of each kind of eclipse.
While there can be up to five Lunar and five Solar eclipses in a year, the average is about seven at most. Both Solar and Lunar eclipses can be predicted with outstanding accuracy as well.
What is a Lunar Eclipse?
As we briefly mentioned, a Lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into the shadow of the Earth, and it occurs only during the Full Moon.
The Moon is blocked from any sunlight, often resulting in a reddish tint coming from the glowing Moon above. This is why totally eclipsed Moons are sometimes referred to as Blood Moons.
The phases of the Moon do not affect eclipses, however a Lunar eclipse will only take place when the Moon is full.
Eclipses have a naturally revealing energy, and during a Lunar eclipse you may learn information that greatly affects or changes your life. Because of their revealing nature, you may have more intense, vivid dreams during a Lunar eclipse. Keep a notebook next to your bed during a Lunar eclipse to quickly write your dreams down when you wake up. You may find beneficial information or visions in these dreams.
This revealing period also has an interesting effect on relationships, and it may cause you to reevaluate your existing relationships and friendships.
Information may be revealed that causes you to think twice about your current romantic endeavors, especially if there is any toxicity in your relationship. This is an important time to take stock of your emotions regarding your partner; however, a Lunar eclipse is not the best time to make life-altering decisions.
At least two Lunar eclipses occur each year, however, we may experience as many as five in one year.
How Will a Lunar Eclipse Affect Your Sign?
As the first Fire sign of the astrological calendar, you are prone towards transformation and desire new beginnings under a Lunar eclipse. A Lunar eclipse will propel you towards your goals, helping you find new and exciting ways to achieve them. This influence is likely to encourage you to seize the moment and try new things.
A Lunar eclipse is likely to encourage new money-making ideas for you, Taurus, especially as the first Earth sign of the zodiac. Your head is always creating new ways to go for your goals and bring more wealth into your life, and this influence only amplifies that part of your nature. Take note of your ideas during this time, as you may receive flashes of insight.
Lunar eclipses can cause irritation and emotional upsets for you, Gemini. As an Air sign, you’re quite social, but you may feel drawn towards conflict during a Lunar eclipse. This is not a great time for deep discussions about feelings, as you may experience emotional outbursts. Spend this time practicing meditation and chakra healing work.
Because your sign is ruled by the Moon, you may experience Lunar eclipses more deeply than most. This is a good time to stay cozy at home and perform any rituals that bring you peace and joy. Cancers are already a rather home-oriented sign, comfortable in their own abode, and surrounding by their own things. This isn’t a great time for travel.
Lunar eclipses may stress you out, Leo. You may find yourself worried about health and finances, making it important that you practice exercises that boost your mood and help you focus on the positive. Manifestation work is favored now, as it allows you to practice gratitude for what you already have and focus on bringing the future you desire into your field of vision.
You will need to practice patience during Lunar eclipses, Virgo, as they tend to bring out feelings of frustration and aggression for you. Yoga is favored, especially as you are an Earth sign who benefits from physical exercise that connects you to the Universe. Try practicing yoga in the morning to help you avoid taking on negativity.
Lunar eclipses have an interesting effect on you Libra, as they cause you to speak without thinking, which can lead to conflicts, remorse, or regrets. Writing in your journal during this time allows you to release negative emotions without hurting anyone’s feelings, allowing you to address your feelings and move on.
Lunar eclipses may encourage stress and emotional disturbances for you Scorpio, especially as an emotional Water sign. It’s important that you incorporate rituals into your daily life that boost your mood and amplify confidence during this time. Positive affirmations are a great way to remind yourself that you are talented, gifted, and loved.
You may find yourself overthinking things more than usual during a Lunar eclipse, Sagittarius. While analyzation is great for many parts of life, this is a time to allow yourself to feel your emotions deeply rather than thinking about them. The Lunar eclipse encourages you to open up and receive the messages flowing towards you from the Universe beyond.
You will find yourself more concerned with your health during the Lunar eclipse, and you may even begin to worry about your physical health. But remember, positivity is crucial for physical health. Repeating positive affirmations throughout the day will help you avoid falling into a pit of despair and stress. You should incorporate positive affirmations into any Full Moon or Lunar eclipse ritual you perform at this time.
Lunar eclipses make it more difficult for you to get along with others, Aquarius, a wide step away from your compassionate, humanitarian personality. You may find yourself in conflicts with those around you, and you’ll need to amplify your patience and understanding to avoid becoming emotionally overwhelmed or starting arguments.
A Lunar eclipse urges you to take precautions, Pisces, avoiding unnecessary trips or risks. Pay close attention to your actions and make sure to think things through before following the course. Writing in your journal is favored for exploring your feelings in a safe and healthy manner during this emotional time.
What is a Solar Eclipse?
A Solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, obscuring our vision of the Sun. We experience a total Solar eclipse roughly once every 18 months. Solar eclipses occur during the New Moon, while Lunar eclipses take place during a Full Moon.
You may experience unusual dreams during a Solar eclipse, because each planetary transit has an effect on our mood and emotions. It’s important to take note of these dreams and try to interpret them, as the Universe may be sending you a message.
Solar eclipses have a similar effect on relationships as lunar eclipses, in that both types of eclipse involve an aspect of revelation.
These types of planetary transits can reveal hidden information, encouraging you to take a deeper, more meaningful look at your relationships. While a Solar eclipse isn’t the best time to make life-altering decisions, this is a good time to evaluate your personal relationships and determine whether they are still serving you.
How Will a Solar Eclipse Affect Your Sign?
A Solar eclipse will likely amplify your creativity and help you feel more inspired. This is an excellent time for any kind of creative endeavor, as energy and inspiration from the Universe flows through you effortlessly. You may also feel like your life is changing or that there are forces out of your control – which self-expression can help you manage.
Taurus is typically a sign of relaxation and appreciation for the senses, but a Solar eclipse shakes this energy up and encourages you toward hard work and adventure. This is a good time for trying new things and allowing yourself to break free from any ruts you may have felt stuck in. Focusing on your goals will help you achieve your dreams during this transit.
Solar eclipses bring positive changes into your life, even if they seem scary at first. This is a time to embrace the transformation and trust the Universe, as it has many surprises in store for you. Manifestation work and practicing gratitude will help you sail through a Solar eclipse with positivity and inspiration.
A Solar eclipse brings peace and harmony into the home, allowing any existing tensions to settle. There is a sense of stability that makes you feel more mellow and grateful than usual. Take advantage of this energy by spending time with your friends and family. Being connected will help you feel more aligned in the Universe.
For a Leo, a Solar eclipse can help wipe the slate clean and give you the sense of starting over. You feel refreshed and revitalized, better able to take on the world around you. While there may be some feelings of uncertainty, it’s important to embrace the changes brought on by a Solar eclipse.
Meditation will help you find the balance you need to accept transformation.
A Solar eclipse encourages you to look inward, Virgo, exploring your emotions – which you may otherwise feel removed from. Don’t hold yourself back if you feel emotional, allow your feelings to flow out of you so they don’t take hold. Writing is a great way to let these emotions out without feeling too vulnerable, so turn to your journal during this time.
For Libras, a Solar eclipse increases the desire to connect with others – especially those people that you may have been in conflict with lately. Reaching out and working through issues will help you feel more balanced and aligned with the positive energies of the Universe. Whether virtual or physical, this is a time to converse with those you love.
When the Moon moves between the Sun and the Earth, you may find yourself rehashing issues in your life that still bother you on a subconscious level. Interesting or confusing challenges may rise to the surface, forcing you to confront potentially uncomfortable issues. But, facing them head-on will lead to a rewarding level of comfort.
Solar eclipses can have an especially positive influence on your life, Sagittarius. Personal growth and transformation are on the menu during a Solar eclipse. Take this energy in stride and use it to your advantage when you can. Start by taking a look at your physical exercise and self-care routines, as this is a great time to incorporate new practices into your life.
During a Solar eclipse, you may experience a resurfacing of acquaintances or friends that have not been around lately, which can be both positive and negative, depending on your outlook. If you feel like reconnecting with these people, this is a good time to do so. But you should be careful to recognize toxic behaviors from those around you.
A Solar eclipse will amplify your eccentricities and desires for unusual or interesting experiences, Aquarius. This is the perfect time to explore your favorite hobbies and activities, indulging in the practices that bring you joy. Working with crystals will help you connect to your genuine self during a Solar eclipse.
For Pisces, a Solar eclipse encourages you to slow down and smell the roses. This is a time to appreciate the present moment and focus on the things that you feel grateful for right now. Any creative self-expression is favored during a Solar eclipse, especially for Pisces – as you are a naturally imaginative and creative sign.
Are There Other Types of Eclipses?
1. Total Eclipse
A total eclipse happens when either the Sun or the Moon is completely covered or blocked out by another planet. A total Solar eclipse blocks out the light of the Sun, while a total Lunar eclipse completely blocks the light of the Moon. The Moon often takes on a vivid red color during a total Lunar eclipse.
2. Partial Eclipse
During a partial eclipse, the Moon crosses paths with the Sun, but in this case, the Moon does not completely block the light of the Sun. The result is that the Sun looks like it is missing a chunk of its mass during a partial eclipse.
3. Annular Eclipse
Named after the word “annulus,” meaning ring, an annular eclipse occurs when the Moon covers the center of the Sun but does not cover the outer edges. A ring of golden light is visible, which is where this type of eclipse gets its name.
4. Hybrid Eclipse
The hybrid eclipse is quite rare but takes place when one part of the Earth experiences an annular eclipse, while another part of the Earth experiences a total eclipse.
5. Prenumbral Eclipse
This type of eclipse is not as easy to observe as other eclipses, and it occurs when the Moon passes through Earth’s prenumbral shadow – or rather, when the Earth, Moon, and Sun are imperfectly aligned.
Which Crystals Do You Need for an Eclipse?
- Labradorite is an excellent stone to work with during any kind of eclipse, as it is highly spiritual and connected to Universe energy.
- Moonstone is the perfect stone to use during a Lunar eclipse.
- Sunstone is the best crystal to work with during a Solar eclipse.
Other beneficial crystals include moldavite, clear quartz, and smokey quartz.
Read this next: Your Guide to Moonstone - Lunar Vibes
Try These Rituals for Eclipses
A Solar Eclipse Ritual
Because the energy during a Solar eclipse is so intense, this is an excellent time for rituals that promote self-love and self-acceptance, as the results will be amplified. Begin by setting your intentions for positivity. Settle yourself in a comfortable position, and make sure you have the crystals, sage, notebook, and pen that you might need.
Positive affirmations are a great way to amplify confidence, so begin your ritual by making a list of positive affirmations about yourself. Smudge yourself with sage to let go of negativity and toxic energy. Now, try taking this moment to surround yourself in healing crystals and write about the things and relationships you want to manifest in your life.
Read this next: Solar Eclipse Rituals - 7 Healing Crystals For New Beginnings
A Lunar Eclipse Ritual
Moon connects to Water, making this a great time for a ritualistic, healing bath. Gather crystals like moonstone and rose quartz, as well as your favorite essential oils and bath bombs. Slice chilled cucumber to place over your eyes for cooling relief.
You can even sprinkle rose petals or lavender into the bathtub for more healing. Place crystals along the edge of the tub to provide even more positive energy. Put your favorite album or playlist on and sink into the relaxing environment, allowing your body and your mind to rest and find revitalization.
When is the Next Eclipse?
You can either mark these dates down in your favorite planner. Please note these dates reflect transits occurring in Eastern Standard Time.
- December 4th (2021) – New Moon in Sagittarius, Total Solar Eclipse
- April 30th (2022) – New Moon in Taurus, Partial Solar Eclipse
- May 16th (2022) – Full Moon in Scorpio, Total Lunar Eclipse
- October 25th (2022) – New Moon in Scorpio, Partial Solar Eclipse
- November 8th (2022) – Full Moon in Taurus, Total Lunar Eclipse
Time to Embrace the Shifting Energies
It doesn’t matter how you choose to celebrate or honor the eclipse, because the effects will continue regardless. But making a ritual for yourself and purposefully setting a moment aside to celebrate this shifting energy will help you get the most out of the healing energy that accompanies any Lunar or Solar eclipse.
Feel free to create your own rituals and remember to have fun with it!
Related article: A Tarot Spread for Working Through Eclipse Season
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