Astrology of Now: Between the Eclipses

Friday February 9th 2018
Toilette — Mary Cassatt

Toilette — Mary Cassatt. My mother kept a postcard of this picture for a long time.

Subscribers to the horoscopes already know that I had my own private eclipse at the end of January: my darling mother died.

Here’s some of what I wrote then:

“She went back to bed one morning, feeling a little odd — and never got up. Yes, she had a Leo Moon, right in the path of that eclipse. Appropriately for me, at the heart of the eclipse was Ceres, the planet of motherhood and cherishing, and the only retrograde planet in the sky at that moment.

“My mother had some of the most enviable attributes of a Libra Sun — including grace. She went with no fuss, in her sleep, avoiding hospitals, tubes, interventions, and until the very last day she was active, alert and making life a little more beautiful for everyone around her.

“…I am writing this from my mother’s house, a big stone presbytery in the Montagne Noir in southern France. Since her death four days ago, the house has sprung leaks — all unrelated to each other — in the roof, spraying out of the wall, under the sink. The boiler and the dishwasher have both had to be replaced since Monday. Maybe the house is crying because my mother loved it, or maybe it’s leakng out all the pent up emotional energy of the last decades.

“I can’t help thinking of how these solid Saturnian walls are suddenly full of Neptunian leaks, leaks that were blocked by my mother’s will. (Not to mention the fact that my Neptunian father is on a days-long bender. It’s OK, he’s in hospital now on a saline drip.)

“Oh and while all this was happening I had to negotiate a feline hostage situation. The neighbours were threatening to have my dad’s horny, stinky, street-fighting cat castrated, because he’d gone nuts again in their house. They had him at the vet’s on the table. Cojones were saved for another week thanks to some rash promises from me. But they probably won’t stay in for long.

“So much drama — but then it is a Full Moon, Super-Duper Eclipserama in Leo, the sign that likes to shake its mane all over. Hey, do you think an almost-castrated cat counts as a Leo lunar eclipse event?”


Well, I’ve been a semi-orphan for a few weeks now — and, as those of you who have lost a parent will guess, I’m feeling strange, as if I have a new, tender hide. Sometimes I am floating.

I am sad, because I loved my mother and I was never able to see enough of her, but I also feel that her life was completed. Her book is closed, and like all good books, it had an exciting beginning, some excellent chapters, a bit of a muddle in the middle, tragedy and contention, a cast of diverse characters and a satisfying ending.

We are in between eclipses now — a moment to pause, gain clarity.

During the week of the January eclipse, my mother lay in the funeral parlour. She was buried that Friday.

This next eclipse on February 15 is spicy, sharp, liberating — Uranus and Mercury are at its heart. Both are also making exact aspects to my mother’s triple conjunction at 25° Libra (Sun-Mars-Lilith!).

I am going back to France with my eldest daughter. We will have my mother’s house to ourselves (most leaks repaired now, although after I wrote the above, the radiators started too; Dad in convalescent home). We will read my mother’s teenage diaries (communism, skiing in Grenoble, spaghetti on a primus) and cherish her watercolours (London in the 50s, Cairo in the 70s, France now); remember her young and gleeful, old and wise, middle-aged and powerful — happy, bitter, kind, cruel, weak, strong, loving. We will remember my mother’s hands. We will open all the windows and all the doors and let the cold mountain air whistle through the rooms and corridors. It has always been a house thick with spirits. We will polish the floors and wipe away the dust, bring in fresh flowers and change all the linen. We will do our best to set my mother’s spirit free.


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  1. Jur says:

    Very beautiful evocative and moving words Christina, thank you for sharing in what must be a surreal and intense time. And fascinating to see the astrological perspective interwoven.

  2. Diane Lang says:

    {{{{{Christina}}}}} What a tough transition it is losing our mothers. 🙁 My Libra mom will be gone 11 yrs in March and there are still moments when I miss her so much. She too managed to ease out of our lives quietly. May we all do the same for our loved ones. Don’t forget to take care of yourself too! xoxo diane~

  3. Shannon Sagittarius (?) says:

    So sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. That was an eloquent, beautiful tribute you wrote about her. Sending peace to you and yours.

  4. stephen m clifton says:

    That was a beautiful piece of writing. I lost my mother a few months ago so please take my hug.

  5. Simon Jenner says:

    What a beautiful and beautifully written tribute. Deft with a little heartbreaking humour amidst a clearly exceptionally difficult time: the suddeness, the leaks, the Neptunian father. There’s more than an operation of grace in your own handling of this Simon xx

  6. SaturnsChild says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I was worried and sad for you; losing someone, especially a parent, can be devastating. I came to your site to see if you posted anything since, hoping that wasn’t the case, and I’m so glad you’re still active. I also love how well you’re embracing this part of her cycle. We all fear this happening, and not many people talk about it when it does, so reading your tribute and your approach is a bit like a balm. I hope it’s also a balm for you to tell it. –Lis

  7. My sincere condolences. A heart-felt beautiful eulogy Christina! Safe travels to your mother. And may Time sooth your pain.

  8. Faye says:

    So sorry to hear about your mother – astrology certainly helps at those times. My condolences and may the fresh mountain air take her home. x And you too.

  9. Gillybean says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss , such beautiful writing , I can almost visualise your mother through it …take time to care for each other
    Love never leaves us my darling mum went home
    Nearly thirty eight years ago , I think about her most days about the love she gave ..the legacy lives on …until we see them on the other side
    Wishing you strength xxxx

  10. mimi says:

    I missed the announcement of your Mum’s death, please accept my sincere condolences.
    I love this beautiful tribute to your mother – it’s very sad and difficult to lose a parent. It means you have to grow up and really really become an adult now (of course your Dad will still be around).

    I wish you every strength in the months and years to come and please keep writing because I love the way you do astrology. Where in your own horoscope was this eclipse taking place ? what planet or asteroide was involved ?

    p.s. : I love the postcard your mother kept – it’s a lovely painting.


  11. Gilly says:

    Christina, I am so terribly, terribly sorry to hear your sad news and my heart goes out to you. I’ve lost both my parents now and know it’s something you never get over. Your experiences with the leaks made me smile. When my father finally does after a long and terrible illness, a titanic struggle, the house, which was always kept so clean and warm, just began to fall apart – water leaks from the loft and then the roof, the boiler blew up, the windows began to shrink and leak. Like he was what held it all together and when he was gone. Love to all your family. XXX

  12. Gracey Hitchcock says:

    My sincerest condolences for your loss.
    What a beautiful tribute to your mother. I can’t help but feel you were both very lucky in each other. It’s always painful to part from loved ones but what a lovely to leave this world.
    I hope time soothes your pain and burnishes your memories.
    Warm regards,
    Gracey Hitchcock

  13. Pamela says:

    Our house did the same thing as my husband entered hospice and passed on last May and June. All manner of things important to him broke, and the house had two leaks, one of them huge.
    P.S. My Paypal account doesn’t work. I would subscribe if you offered another pay option. I’ve sent e-mails. Apparently they do not reach you. Perhaps my comment will. Many thanks for sharing your great wisdom and communication skills.

  14. Angelena Boden says:

    Big hugs from me. I’ve been there. Grief is such a painful process at times so be good to yourself. It’s what our mothers would want. Xxx

  15. Blaine Bolton says:

    What a beautiful message about your Mum and your journey with her and her death. I love know that she is partly responsible for you love of art as that is the one of the things that attracted me to your site. Enjoy going thru her work and I hope you will post some of her work. Hugs to you Christina

  16. Isy says:

    I ove how deftly you’ve done justice to her in so few words. I was quietly fascinated by her because she was, indeed, all those things, and all of them slid with perfect seamless ease beneath her almost translucent skin. Looking at her with the third eye was a bit like looking at a first-class ballet production: while the main action was obvious and riveting, the abundance of characters, colors, preparation, and scenery was quietly embedded in the whole, ready to step forth. I’m not satisfied with that metaphor. More in email. She was wonderful, and she loved me and fed me and made me feel all right, safe in your home even when the world at large was dangerous, and not everyone in the room was necessarily stable. She was quite something.

  17. severne says:

    Thinking of you and yours during this journey…dearest Christina. How deeply beautiful that you and your daughter will share those moments together…cleansing, releasing, celebrating her life. Much love…

  18. Les says:

    Oh, Christina, I’m so sorry for your loss. When my mom died (10 days after an eclipse conjunct my IC in my Solar Return chart) 10 years ago, a friend who had lost her mom told me it’s like a physical blow when your mother dies. You need to give yourself lots of healing time, at 3 months until you begin to feel like yourself again. I found that to be true.

    I’m glad it was a peaceful passing. But my deep sympathies for your loss.

  19. soab says:

    That would be the way I would like to go – in my sleep. It seems the best way to go, of all the ways. When we are sad, we are sad alone; when we cry we cry alone; such lonely places.

  20. beverley shiller says:

    So very sorry for your loss Christina. My mother passed away on January 5th so I really understand what you are going through. I wish you and your family peace of heart.

  21. aqua says:

    Dear Christina
    There are no words to express the depth of this.My mother is just hanging on, and my best friend has just left. I feel you.
    The painting sums it up. May you find comfort – love to you.

  22. Jane says:

    Dear Christina, heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Your lovely mother just shines so brightly in this beautiful post.

    It is strange, too, how our homes seem to respond to someone passing. We had a flood at my own mother’s house after she died, and a number of pictures just jumped off the walls of my own home. That mysterious life force energy seems to be expressing itself as it makes the transition.

    Look after yourself at this profound time. There is something very beautiful as well as deeply sad about grief. xxx

  23. So sorry to hear about your dear Mother’s death, but comforting to know it was a quick and easy passing. Sending blessing to you in this time of remembering her. And yes, I’ll bet it was her house weeping that caused all those leaks. May your Mother walk in beauty on the rainbow trail.

  24. Fairhavenmaven says:

    I always enjoy the intelligence and lyricism of your writing. Thanks for sharing this passage of life. When my Dad died we too had a major pipe break in his house. Hmmmmmm

  25. Fairhavenmaven says:

    I always enjoy the intelligence and lyricism of your writing. Thanks for sharing this passage of life. We too had a major pipe break in Dad’s house when he died.

  26. Jem says:

    How beautifully you write, so sorry for your loss but how wonderful was your mum, so grateful you shared this with us. My mum passed away when transiting Pluto conjunct my ceres at 26 sag. I hate him! She had a Leo moon too and her death was very sudden, her costumes were hanging ready for her next performance at the end of that week. I too mourned that I could never get enough of her, always part of the social scene. But this about your mum and those wonderful memories that will always keep you close to her.