Full Moon in Leo / Penumbral Lunar Eclipse — February 9, 2009, 14:49 UT

Lunar eclipses can only occur on the Full Moon, when the Sun and the Moon are opposing each other. The Earth is between the Sun and Moon, and the Moon is passing through the Earth’s shadow. This unique lunar eclipse in Leo is saturated with the healing energy of the Centaurs; Chiron, Chariklo, Elatus and Thereus (with Sedna) are in a grand cross configuration with the Luminaries. Venus is conjunct Bienor in Aries.

Mars has ingressed Aquarius and joined other planets (Jupiter, Juno, Nessus, the Sun, Chiron and Neptune) in the alignment. Chiron is in an exact conjunction with the Sun, while the eclipsed Moon in Leo is in close conjunction with Elatus, another Centaur planet.

The ruling planets of Aquarius, Saturn (ancient) and Uranus (modern) are opposing each other. This is the second opposition in the current series of five. Chiron and Elatus have been in a long ongoing opposition since 2003 and the aspect will continue until 2015.

Chiron is in the same degree with the Sun in Aquarius. This is a powerful conjunction, which on the positive side can help us to recognize our purpose and individual place in the world. On the other hand, the aspect can give us a sense of wound in our indivduality. Astrologer Melanie Reinhart has written:

“The Sun is the only heavenly body that casts a direct shadow on the earth; the full moon casts shadows but its more diffuse light is reflected from the Sun. This ‘dark side of the sun’ is relevant when Chiron aspects the Sun.”

Interesting synchronicity occurs: Just recently I received a newsletter announcing: “NASA Sees the Dark Side of the Sun.”

On Feb. 6, 2011, two spacecraft will be 180 degrees apart and will provide a complete view of all sides of the Sun for the first time in history. This is a perspective we’ve never had before; it will transform our view of the star. (There is no actual dark side of the Sun though, rather the side of it which we are not able to see at any given time.) At the moment the satellites are about 90 degrees apart, which allows a picture of about 270 degrees of the Sun.

In recent years, names proposed by astrologers for Centaur planets have in some cases been approved by the astronomical community. Elatus is one of those Centaurs. It was discovered in 1999. The naming took place in 2003.

In Greek mythology, Elatus is killed in a battle by the same poisoned arrow which wounds Chiron, shot by Heracles. The arrow first passed through Elatus’s arm and then pierced Chiron’s knee. Elatus died, but Chiron had to go on living in agony because he was immortal.

Tracy Delaney has an interesting article on Chiron and Elatus, studying in depth the myth, the discovery chart and the astrology of Elatus. Looking at the discovery chart she writes:

“Working with Elatus in charts, the art of communication is a theme commonly picked up by astrologers for this object, and that anaretic Scorpio Mercury, sextile Neptune, seems to sum up the challenges involved. Centaurs tend to be about deep transformative processes of learning, evolution and integration, usually involving challenges. In its highest form I think Elatus is about communicating that which is deeply felt and comes through you, echoing the arrow passing straight through him in the myth, changing him as it does so. This is really all you can do with anything that comes from Neptune, where words are inadequate. – – – You could look at it as a lesson about getting your ego out of the way, in this case to allow inspiration to come, for which you can take no credit.”

In the eclipse chart also Neptune is conjunct the Sun and Chiron, and opposing Elatus, thus emphasizing the themes which Tracy is discussing.

All Centaur planets have elliptical orbits, in most cases crossing the orbits of the outer planets. Chiron and Elatus are the two Centaurs travelling in space between Saturn and Uranus and linking the realms of these giant planets together. Both Centaurs on their elliptical orbit, cross the orbit of Saturn and come very near that of Uranus. You can study these orbits on Robert von Heeren’s website, The Centaur Research Project.

Symbolically Chiron and Elatus are bridging the conflicting meaning which Saturn and Uranus represent. Saturn is associated with limitations, structure and respect of tradition. Uranus symbolizes freedom, revolution and breaking down of old structures. Finding the balance between Saturn and Uranus is a challenge. At this eclipse Chiron and Elatus, now aligned with the Sun-Moon opposition, are helping us to find that balance.

To quote Juan Revilla: “Then came the Centaurs – – – that give us ecstasy and wound us at the same time. Like life and death together, which means more and more life by embracing death and developing compassion.” In the eclipse chart we can find compassion and strength required in the symbolism of the following Centaur planets:

Chariklo (compassion and emotional connection) in Scorpio is squaring the opposition formed by the Sun, Moon, Chiron and Elatus. Opposite Chariklo in Taurus we find Thereus (who caught angry bears and carried them home alive) in conjuntion with Sedna (keeping our heart open in hell) in Taurus. Venus in Aries is in conjunction with Bienor (whether to put our strength to work for us, or against us), the Centaur which I keep on noticing in charts of unique events that have happened for the first time in the history of mankind.

At this lunar eclipse we are on a threshold of a new experience, and the Centaurs are the door-openers.


Melanie Reinhart, Chiron and the Healing Journey, 1998, Penguin Books

NASA Sees the Dark Side of the Sun

Serennu, Chiron & Elatus

Robert von Heeren, The Centaur Research Project

Juan Revilla, Pluto is Changing its Skin

Eric Francis, Love As Anarchy

Eric Francis, Small World Stories, Chariklo

Melanie Reinhart, Sedna: Goddess of the Frozen Waters

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