The Skeptic's Guide to Negotiating the Solar Eclipse

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Urban Outfitters

On August 21, a solar eclipse will be visible across the United States for the first time in decades: The moon will pass in front of the sun, casting a dark shadow for several minutes in the middle of the day. This natural phenomenon is newsworthy in and of itself—but if you subscribe to astrology, there might be implications you hadn't predicted. (Spoiler: This is a really great time to take charge of your health and set new intentions—something that even those of us who don't subscribe to astrology can get behind.) To find out how the eclipse might impact our horoscopes, we turned to our resident astrologist Rose Theodora. Below, she breaks it down sign by sign.

The total solar eclipse on August 21, in Leo, is a big deal. When solar eclipses happen, they aren't usually total (exact), nor are they visible over the United States. In fact, the last visible total solar eclipse occurred in 1979. Here's the DL on everything you need to prepare:

  • It's like a new moon on steroids, so try to make the most out of it. Observing the day won't kill you. In fact, it's a scientific phenomenon that you won't want to miss. (Just be careful to avert your eyes!)
  • Expect unexpected events, news, incidents, and surrender. Remember that this isn't an isolated event; it's a continuum of planetary transits. In other words, it's the chapter of a novel, not the book itself.
  • Expect to feel weird. Eclipses are a complete alignment of the moon passing between the sun and earth. When this happens, the moon blocks the light of the sun in the middle of the day for approximately three minutes. Considering that we aren't used to this and that we need light to survive, this shakes our nervous system up a bit—this is normal.
  • The sun represents our ego, our identity, and illuminates all that we consciously see. The moon is representative of our emotions and our soul. It's a subconscious light—illuminating all that we cannot see but feel. When the sun and the moon align, we experience both intensely—hence why eclipses are so intense. 
  • The eclipse is a spiritual alignment of the mind (sun) with your soul (moon) and physical body (earth).
  • Set some intentions about what you want to create in your life. This might be more peace, more fun, a better job, closer friends—whatever.
  • Let whatever isn't working go. That way, you'll make room for the new stuff heading your way.

Aries

Gambling doesn't have to be literal—you're in the mood to take a real risk in your life and you should. Love, romance, and taking a gamble on a creative venture are all plausible experiences for you on this solar eclipse. You've had to let go of a friend or two and really focus on developing your own creative talents and romanticized ideas. This is an exciting one for you! Avoid the color red (which will temper impulsiveness. Taking a risk is fun, but being careless can be destructive—it's a fine line), and try wearing more rose gold—it suits you this eclipse season.

Taurus

Focus on mending your emotional needs and ties to your family. Remember that solar eclipses bring a windfall of opportunities to the area of your chart that the eclipse touches, but sometimes we aren't prepared, so it feels overwhelming. When one area of our life grows, another is pruned—so expect to make changes related to family and home. Let go of expectation and rethink what's really important to you. Spending quality time with family reconnects you to your values and gifts you deeper insight into what you truly want in life.

Gemini

Inspiration comes from your immediate environment. This solar eclipse inspires you to perfect your communication skills, and immersing yourself deeper in your surroundings gifts you a new perspective, one that is worth sharing. If you wanted to write, now is the time—dive in! Getting closer to your siblings is inevitable (and if you're an only child, then with friends who are like siblings). Plan that road trip you've been meaning to take. This one will be unforgettable.

Cancer

Financial and emotional security is always important to you, but now more than ever you'll be forced to see exactly why. Look more closely at the root of your spending and need for security. The eclipse brings you new financial opportunities, but you'll need to gain perspective before turning it into something truly profitable. Tune into your heart and ask yourself if it's in alignment with your soul's purpose. No one can answer this but you. Ask and listen without judgment.

Leo

Grandiose achievements. It's essential that you are aware of your motives during this eclipse—it is, after all, in your sign, Leo. This means that you are in the most personalized experience of self-development, which can go one of two ways: One, you realize that you have weaknesses like everyone else and you accept them fearlessly, realizing that they've made you who you are and you're stronger and more dynamic because of it. Two, that you deny your weaknesses and plow onward in search of recognition, which would unproductive and somewhat painful. Remember that in searching for self-recognition and finding self-acceptance you'll actually be propelled forward and feel freer to express yourself.

Virgo

Your psychological and spiritual development requires some TLC during this solar eclipse. (Why not tap into it with some mediation or yoga?) We all have intuitive gifts, so don't be surprised when you're experiencing some psychic phenomenon, insights, or even more déjà vu—this is normal. When a person develops their intuitive powers, there can be a sense of confusion or fear that accompanies this process. Know that this is normal and it's a gift from the universe. When you strengthen the subtle parts of your nature, you become a force to be reckoned with.

Libra

Your position is expanded when you selflessly give of yourself to a cause. Your focus with this solar eclipse will be to view relationships through new eyes, giving ones. Being in a relationship, friendships, and or romantic ones always requires give and take. Focus on giving more and open yourself to receiving. Experiencing yourself on a larger scale is sometimes necessary. Remember that like everyone, you have an impact on others, and it's always a two-way street. Be mindful about what you're putting out into the world.

Scorpio

You work hard and passionately for the things that you want, so it should be no surprise when you receive some form of recognition with this eclipse. Stay open while remaining strategic for the next month; things in regards to your home and career are shifting for the best, and you'll want to observe these changes rather than being overreactive. This is a good thing—a very good thing. Stay positive and inspired. Things will work out nicely, I assure you.

Sagittarius

You're always in search of wisdom and the truth, and this eclipse reminds you of that tenfold. Traveling, learning, reading, exploring philosophical ideologies, religious mediums, media, film, and history are all ways in which you discover and express yourself. Continue to focus on what makes you feel most alive and nurture this part of you. This eclipse brings things back into balance. Let go of nonsensical inner chatter and worry, and hold space for clearer more abstract ideas.

Capricorn

Doing everything on your own is reaching the point of exhaustion for you—that's crystal clear. To grow, to really expand, and to create the stability—not only material but emotional, too—you'll need to open yourself to others. Partnering with someone else or asking for help will be your challenge with this eclipse, one that proves its weight in gold. Be open to receiving insight from others, as this will only strengthen you.

Aquarius

This is a rare case when you'll need to admit that you're half-empty in order to allow someone else to fill your cup—this means admitting that you're human and vulnerable like anyone else. The eclipse is all about relationships—business and romantic—and you know very well that any successful relationship is based on giving and receiving. Relationships that are thriving and beneficial to you soar during this transit, whereas unstable ones will likely crumble. Surrender to your hearts desires and really put a lot of love into the relationships that feel good to you.

Pisces

Finding positive ways to organize your life is where your focus needs to be now, but first, you'll need to let go of ambiguous expectations. This eclipse is ideal for creating a healthier work environment and for starting a new long-term lifestyle shift (a better diet, more sleep, exercise, a new meditation practice—you know the drill). In fact, this is such a powerful time for you to capitalize on your health, doing so will forever change your life. When one area of your life becomes healthier it changes everything, and this one will eventually impact everything the amount of money in your bank account, your relationships and your overall satisfaction in life. If you're unhappy with a job, this means that you'll need to let it go to truly open yourself to receive something new and healthier.

Next up: Four women share what it's really like to have endometriosis.