What Is An Occultation? How To Tune Into These Subtle Eclipses In Your Chart

by Rosey Baker

The dictionary defines an occultation as "the passage of one celestial body in front of another, thus hiding the other from view: applied especially to the moon's coming between an observer and a star or planet." More often, we call this type of an event an eclipse, although it's true that we mostly apply it to the moon and the sun, in a solar eclipse. So what is an occultation? Why is it so special? An occultation is the event of the moon obscuring our view of another planet, such as Pluto, or Saturn, or Venus, etc. We don't hear much about it in astrology, although when you consider the massive influence of the moon on our day to day lives, it might be beneficial to start paying more attention to occultations, as this planetary movement has some strong astrological implications. Each planet has a lesson to teach us, and the moon (which represents our subconscious, learned knowledge) is hiding this lesson from view.

This month, on Sept. 18, there will be an occultation of the planet Venus, which governs love, beauty, and creative pursuits. This won't be an event we can see with our eyes, but perhaps if we tune into our own energy and the energy of those around us, we might begin to understand the significance of this astronomical event on an astrological level.

Venus' Influence In Our Everyday Lives

The planet Venus is what is called a personal planet in the birth chart, meaning we feel its influence in to the same degree that we feel the influence of the sun or moon in our chart.  Venus governs love, beauty, and creative endeavors, but if we're to understand how it might be affected by an occultation, we have to get more specific.

In astrology, Venus represents what we desire from our partners in order to feel loved. Venus also rules over the kinds of things we spend money on, what we consider beautiful, the arts, good food, and creature comforts. This planet symbolizes the emotions of love and harmony with others. It indicates a need for refinement, luxury and convenience.

The shadow side of Venus lends a propensity for laziness, dependency on others, drowsiness, and a lack of confidence.

The Moon Eclipsing Venus

The moon has its own influence on the birth chart, equally as personal. It represents the beliefs and thinking patterns we adopted as children, that become so much a part of our psychology we rarely notice their massive influence on our thoughts and actions. These beliefs come to govern our gut feelings, especially in new or unfamiliar situations.

When the moon obscures Venus, the lessons we learn have to do with love. Something hidden deep within us (the moons influence) may come to the surface, teaching us something about the true value of love and balance. It may also have a lesson or two to teach about the value of self-care, since the quality of love we give ourselves is directly related to the love we receive from others.

When the moon eclipses Venus, you may find your involvement with a new relationship to be too consuming, and may redirect your energy somewhat onto carving out more time for solitude, so that you create balance in your own life and in your relationship. Because of the moon's influence, your S.O. might feel threatened by your need for solitude; this is the kind of hidden information that could come up.

From there, the relationship might fizzle out, or you might find ways to discuss your feelings and work them out. I can't see your individual charts, but since Venus is a friendly planet, and the moon is nurturing, I see this working out for the better, as long as these two planets aren't afflicted in your charts.

While this event isn't brought much attention in astrology today, it's hard to understand why. We care a lot about the movement of the moon, and the movement of other planets (whether they are moving direct or retrograde) so it only makes sense that more attention is paid to the eclipses that occur like the one we'll see on Sept. 18.

For more information on what's happening this month, take a look at your September horoscopes here.