If you're in the United States, you are probably well aware of the 2017 new moon solar eclipse. The moon passes in-between the sun and the earth, creating a dark sun in the line of totality. For astrologers, this has been an exciting eclipse season, with powerful planetary energy surrounding it. Though full moons are visually stunning, for astrologers they don't have as much meaning as new moons. The new moon signals the end of a cycle and the start of a new cycle, beginnings, and other powerful things. In order to harness this energy, I decided to try some solar eclipse rituals to achieve a little spiritual cleansing.
Awesome Twitters like Danielle Ayoka's Mystic Lipstick are the authority on rituals and setting intentions, specifically for new moons. I personally have never done a ritual before this, but when I was asked to do this I was very excited. I woke up early (7-ish a.m.), so I had time to start the ritual before the eclipse began in my state (around 9:13 a.m.). At first, I felt a little odd because when I think of rituals, I think nighttime, not morning. But this is a solar eclipse, and in the sun's home of Leo, fire and light are a theme throughout.
According to The Hood Witch, before a ritual, people should clear their energy. I dimmed the lights, lit some candles, I grabbed some Epsom salt, and took a warm salt bath to clear my head.
My Leo mother also offered me an oil blend of rose and lavender oils to anoint my bath, and since it was for the heart (the Leo's ruling body part!), I happily obliged.
Soaking in the sweet smelling salt-water, surrounded by warm flickering candles, I couldn't help but feel calm.
On the way out of the bath, I scrubbed my feet with a pumice stone. As cheesy as it sounds, I want my feet to be clean and new, so I can walk through new doors of opportunity.
Writing your intentions.
After my energy was cleaned and refreshed, I wrote down my intentions for this eclipse. Intentions have to be definitive statements “I am,” “I have,” and “I attract.” Usually, new moon rituals ask you consider the next month of your life. But because this new moon is also an eclipse, it's better to consider the next half year for writing intentions because eclipses follow six-month cycles. As a recent college grad with an uncertain future, thinking about the next year is something that I am all too familiar with.
With these intentions in mind, I filled a glass jar with water and tightened the lid. This idea came from an NPR article, which says that water left out during an eclipse can harness some of its power. This water can be used in a multitude of ways, I plan on using it to cleanse my face before important events and for watering my plants.
I put the jar of water in an old wagon-turned-planter in my backyard, 45 minutes before the official start time. There was a sun decoration nearby so I put it in the planter as a symbol of Leo and solar power, and wished my jar well. I put it inside after the eclipse ended about two hours later.
Reflections from the day.
After all is said and done, I do feel much more at peace with life and much more in-tune with my self. Maybe it was the bath, but I feel clean and refreshed. It feels like a new day. I don't think my jar of eclipse water has any magical powers, but I'm happy I can look back at August 21, 2017 and remember exactly what I did and what my intentions were for these next six months. The eclipse water will help any plants that need a boost and will help clean my face for special occasions, and it will remind me of my written intentions for this cycle.
Whether you believe in it or not, doing anything with intention is a great skill. Focusing on something and putting your energy into things is healthy and necessary. Rituals help ground us, make us think hard about what we want, and keep us in tune with the natural rhythms of our universe.
If you want to celebrate the end of this moon cycle or Leo season, treat yourself and mean it! Leo is all about flair, confidence, exuberance, self-expression, and loving without fear. Kiss someone, get dressed up, sing loudly. This Leo season, I got a new, fun job (writing about astrology!) and have been revising my resume -- fittingly, this eclipse has fallen into my 10th house of career. To find out which part of your life this eclipse will affect, find the 29th degree of Leo in your birth chart and consider which house it falls in (cast one here).
Hope the next six months bring you wellness and joy!