The Dark Side of the Feminine
Eclipses come in pairs. Earlier this month we had the Cancer New Moon enhanced by a total solar eclipse. Now, on Tuesday, July 16, we will have a partial lunar eclipse with the Capricorn Full Moon. The eclipse occurs at 2:55 pm EDT, and the Moon will be full at 24° of Capricorn at 5:38 pm EDT.
Capricorn is the cardinal Earth sign, as the Sun’s entry into that sign marks the winter solstice. However, the full Moon in Capricorn is opposed by the Sun in Cancer, which is also Cardinal as the sign that starts summer. This is a feminine phase and occultation, with the elements of Water and Earth being dominant.
It is appropriate then that the card bearing the oracle message of Water for this full moon (and eclipse) is…
Again we see a single figure on this card, as we did in Boreas for the new moon eclipse in Cancer. Interestingly enough, I felt pulled to two cards that were side-by-side in the outspread deck. I felt a slightly stronger pull to the one on the left and so chose Cleopatra. My curiosity had me flip over the other card, which was Boreas.
Both eclipses bring us messages of singularity and the individual.
If there is a most famous, singular, wildly influential female figure in history, it is Cleopatra. The Cleopatra, that is, as many women in her dynasty bore this name. But it is Cleopatra VII, the Ptolemaic princess, that had her famous affairs with Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius that we all know, even if we don’t know her well.
More than these affairs, she had considerable power and influence over politics, intrigues, wars and conquest and she even led a fleet in a naval battle. Though some romantic lore had her to be so, Cleopatra was not a beautiful woman. Yet she was alluring, charming, seductive and powerful. And dangerous.
Cleopatra, like so many rulers of those (and of all) times, was cunning, manipulative and ruthless. She was not above having her rival Pompey or even her young brother-husband assassinated, nor having others murdered and all manner of affairs if it suited her plans. This doesn’t exactly make her the most admirable figure. The senator Cicero described her as arrogant, hardly surprising given her belief in her divinity, her status as an important royal, and all her deceptive and violent machinations and conquests.
What then, is the key message here during this eclipse of the Moon, of the feminine and the emotions?
If there is a famous, influential female figure that is the portrait of the most dark and damaging of feminine traits and power…now that is Cleopatra. She was very well educated and spoke several languages, she was fearless and strategic, yes, but remarkably deceptive and, again, manipulative in the extreme. She famously used all her wit and skill, all her feminine wiles and seduction and temptations to get powerful men, anyone around her really, to do and give her exactly what she wanted.
How appropriate that such a poisonous and deadly woman should die in the wake of her own massive failures and defeat and from the venom of a snake (or some other toxin). Could there be a more poetically just end to such a conniving woman? She was even suspected of brainwashing Marcus Antonius with sorcery, and this is not necessarily such a stretch of the imagination. What is the ability to deceive and manipulate someone’s heart, in any way, so that they will do what you want (and even believe that love is shared when it is not) if not sorcery?
A curiously relevant fact about Cleopatra, given this eclipse, is that her twins by Marcus Antonius were named Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene – Helios and Selene meaning “Sun” and “Moon”, respectively.
During a lunar eclipse, the Moon is darkened as the Earth passes between the Moon and Sun. This suggests, in the context of this oracle message and Cleopatra’s character, that the darker (in the sense of being more “negative”) aspects of femininity and of emotion and desire are being obscured and overruled by the stability and practicality of Earth.
Earth is also feminine, so the message for this full moon is perhaps two-fold: to be aware of such cunning and destructive seductions and manipulations, and any false emotions or emotional/spiritual affectations, particularly any that may come from a certain woman; and to perhaps be aware of these traits and temptations in ourselves, whether male or female (for men are no exception to toxic, manipulative behavior, nor immune to any wiles), and overcome or at least balance them with the better, “lighter” aspects and traits of femininity, and with truth.
We are being encouraged to check ourselves and our motives at this time and to be sure that we are using our intuition and emotions (and indeed spirituality or even magic) to the pure benefit and growth of ourselves and others, not to put on airs or affectations, nor to manipulate or deceive others to our own selfish ends.
There is a whole spectrum of this kind of behavior, from having seductive, traitorous affairs with powerful people and subversively assassinating others – literally or in terms of character or reputation – to simply pretending to be something you’re not in order to win and keep admirers and followers. But toxic is as toxic does, regardless of the end of that spectrum. The lower end is simply the beginning of the progression towards the higher end. So, beware.
What goes around does indeed come around, as illustrated by Cleopatra’s woeful and dramatic demise. Such was her pride that she preferred to kill herself – and take a couple of servants with her – than to be led around Rome in humiliation as part of Octavian’s (Caesar Augustus) triumph.
For, in the end, deceit and betrayal and selfish sorcery never triumph.
© 2019 Meredith Everwhite – All Rights Reserved
Featured image: “The Goat” 1904 by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis