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The Moon has always been a witch’s friend.

Our pagan ancestors have been looking at its gleaming globe for answers for millennia, synching their lives and their magickal practices with its phases. And today, modern witches and Wiccans know that everything from our spellcasting to our mood can be affected by whether the Moon is waxing, waning, or full.

But what about those times when the Moon’s orbit meets the Sun’s? The times the Moon turns blood red in the sky? These are called lunar eclipses — and they are as powerful and transformative as they are unpredictable.

In this article, we’ll try to understand this lunar phenomenon and how it affects our lives and our magick a bit better as we prepare for the upcoming Blood Moon on May 26.

How lunar eclipses affect us

Today, we know that the blood-hued Moon results from the Earth’s shadow (the umbra) when the Moon’s orbit meets the Sun’s. But for our pagan ancestors, the Moon turning red in the sky was understandably a very frightening experience. They believed lunar eclipses could bring danger, bad luck, miscarriage… even the end of days. And in many ways, they were right.

Although not a harbinger of the Apocalypse in the biblical sense, a lunar eclipse does bring cataclysmic change on a personal and collective level. The tidewaters are higher, and the animals behave differently. And humans, especially humans who menstruate, can exhibit increased PMS symptoms, more bleeding, and intense cramps (which explains why our ancestors thought eclipses could cause a miscarriage).

Besides menstruation, though, it’s very common to feel a shift in your energy levels during a lunar eclipse. You may be feeling lethargic or irritable, unable to focus and finish tasks on time, moody, and imbalanced. It’s quite possible that you will have trouble sleeping. In times like this, it’s essential to practice self-care through soothing rituals. Meditation, mild exercise, ritual baths, and spending time working on your altar and reconnecting with your deities will help you find balance.

Lunar eclipses in astrology

The lunar eclipse symbolizes change. It activates the south and north lunar nodes in your birth chart, bringing you closer to achieving your destiny. There is a shift in perspective that happens during this time; you may feel the need to change habits, purge your physical and energetic space, give yourself a makeover, or Marie Kondo your apartment to get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Think of it as a cleansing fire, burning off deadwood so that you have a clear space to move forward.

The days around a lunar eclipse usually “speed up” this transformative process. You may find yourself in unexpected situations, with people or energies suddenly leaving your life only for something better to come along. The lunar eclipse resembles the Tower tarot card: change will come and shake you to your core, but you’ll be better off and more true to yourself afterward.

Astrologically speaking, a lunar eclipse is like a supercharged full moon. You already know that the full moon is a time of the culmination of energies, a time to turn a new leaf, starting to let go of what doesn’t serve you but also appreciate your achievements. The lunar eclipse has a similar premise, only dialed up to eleven. Whereas a full moon can illuminate the things that did and didn’t work out for you during that lunar phase, an eclipse deals with bigger-picture issues and motifs in your life that may have manifested throughout the year — or even started in the previous year.

What you need to know about the upcoming lunar eclipses

There are two lunar eclipses ahead of us in 2021: a total lunar eclipse (“Blood Moon”) on May 26 in Sagittarius and a partial lunar eclipse on November 18–19 in Taurus. To find out exactly what the lunar eclipse on May 26, as well as the November one, means for you, check out your birth chart. If your lunar nodes are on the Gemini-Sagittarius or the Taurus-Scorpio axis, expect major transformational energy during the eclipse.

For an overall idea of how the lunar eclipses will affect you, consult the passage below.

If your Sun/Ascendant is in Aries:

Traveling/living abroad, as well as matters regarding education, will be the focus on May 26. It’s a great time to learn new things and be open to different ways of thinking. If you’ve made travel plans, brace yourself for last-minute changes. In November, pay close attention to where you’re spending your hard-earned money — and why.

If your Sun/Ascendant is in Taurus:

Debts, inheritances, and joint bank accounts are affected by the lunar eclipse on May 26. You need to reexamine how much of yourself you give in a partnership and what you expect in return. By November, a total transformative process will take place — with the partial lunar eclipse in your sign giving you a chance to start over.

If your Sun/Ascendant is in Gemini:

The lunar eclipse on May 26 signals a major change in your relationships/partnerships, whether personal or professional. If you’ve identified toxic patterns or people in your life, now is the time to start the uncoupling process without guilt. By November, you’ll have succeeded in putting the past behind you.

If your Sun/Ascendant is in Cancer:

Your inherent need to take care of others will have to take second place during the lunar eclipse on May 26: now is the time to start taking better care of yourself and creating healthy daily habits around food, exercise, and work. In November, you will be called to reexamine your social life and find people who share your values.

If your Sun/Ascendant is in Leo:

The lunar eclipse of May 26 is aligning you with your creative, romantic self. Is there a project you have been working on or a human you’ve set your mind on lately? The eclipse will ask you to check your biases and expectations about them and surrender to newness. As for the November eclipse, it will shake things up in your career.

If your Sun/Ascendant is in Virgo:

Family and children (both human and fur babies) are your focus on this lunar eclipse on May 26. Whether it’s time to relocate to support your growing family or make time to be more playful yourself, your values and preconceptions of what it means to “parent” will be challenged. In November, be prepared for changes in your travel plans.

If your Sun/Ascendant is in Libra:

Loyalty, friendship, and sisterhood are the themes of the May 26 lunar eclipse for you. How much do you trust your friends and siblings — and how do you prove yourself worthy of their trust? In November, you’ll be called to reexamine your relationship with family finances and take charge of your literal and metaphorical fortune.

If your Sun/Ascendant is in Scorpio:

The May 26 lunar eclipse will challenge the way you treat (and think about) your body. Now is the time to heal your relationship with food and movement and invest in self-care rituals. Because in November, you’ll be called to reframe a very important relationship — and you can’t do that unless you first reframe your relationship with yourself.

If your Sun/Ascendant is in Sagittarius:

Nothing will stay the same during the lunar eclipse on May 26. Beliefs, habits, things you’ve been taking for granted or thought you couldn’t live without… Anything goes when it comes to doing an overhaul and starting fresh. Just make sure you don’t take up any unhealthy or dangerous habits because you’ll have to account for them in November. 

If your Sun/Ascendant is in Capricorn:

Capricorns won’t be affected much by the two lunar eclipses. However, the May 26 eclipse will make you wonder whether you remember things correctly or need to reframe the narrative of your life — particularly when it comes to how you view past partners. And the November eclipse will challenge your notions of romance.

If your Sun/Ascendant is in Aquarius:

The lunar eclipse of May 26 will shake up friendships, rumors and make you think twice before posting on social media. This is generally your year, though, so even if you manage to commit a blunder, chances are it won’t cost you in the long run. In November, be prepared to think about moving houses or reconsidering a family issue.

If your Sun/Ascendant is in Pisces:

How you work and how you see your career evolving in the future are the main focus points of the lunar eclipse of May 26 for you. If you feel that an employer is taking advantage of you, now it’s time to speak up. As for the November eclipse, it will make you reexamine who your close friends are — and how much you can confide in them.

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