From October 15-November 2, 2023 retrograde Eris forms an exact conjunction with the North Node--during the fall eclipse season. As it activates the eclipse energy, we have a powerful window of opportunity for greater understanding and integration of this archetype personally and collectively.
I want to acknowledge that I struggle with how to talk about the astrology of now without using it as a spiritual bypass to avoid the discomfort or use it as a way to oversimplify its impact. But my process for understanding what's happening collectively and personally, includes utilizing the cosmos as a tool, but not necessarily the Truth. Though when it comes to understanding how specific archetypes move through us, I find it helpful to understand our collective lessons and how those translate to our individual ones. And the lunar nodes and eclipse seasons specifically help point us in the cosmic compass direction.
The Lunar Nodes represent fundamental ideas of where we have been and where we are headed in our collective transformation. The most recent nodal shift occurred in July with the Aries and Libra axis and suggests how we relate with one another while retaining our individuality. It heals through navigating the tension in how we care for each other while asserting our own independence. The reveal key themes for integration learning on how to become more independent and self-reliant while honoring the whole. It asks us move away from codependent patterning, or relying heavily on others for satisfaction or approval. And gives us some collective homework to foster our boldness over keeping the peace.
As the eclipse energies build, Eris seemed to expedite this personal and collective (r)evolution. Collectively, Eris opens a space for all of us to ask bigger questions about who belongs and who decides who belongs. With Eris, the more recent history holds many moments ripe for assimilation--particularly around the themes of shadow projection and scapegoating, rejection and retaliation, and aggression and assertiveness. On an individual level, the natal chart Eris highlights the sense of exclusion or where and with whom we create adversaries consciously and unconsciously.
And on a collective level it shows our "enemy-making" mind, and we seem to be in a deep collective awakening of our scapegoated "other." The parts of us that we have disowned and projected onto others as well as groups of people and pushed them out or cast aside. Eris has deep ties to Pluto and shadow work, and an eclipse provides a ripe time for these insights and dance of light.
But Eris also wants us to go deeper than exclusion and inclusion to the glaring issues of how exclusion sits with the themes of shadow projection, scapegoating, rejection, oppression, prejudice, and the outsider nature. And how that then can feed colonizing and genocide.
The North Node shifts can reveal the teachings we need to embrace for emotional evolution and personally can point to us some of our most important soul school lessons. As the North Node pulls us forward into what’s next, Eris leads the way, and my belief is that peace isn't the immediate answer.
Eris wants us to evolve to move towards something new with the North Node and eclipse season, like the nodes in our natal chart offer a middle path for integration. In this case, it may not be jumping to peace and co-dependency of Libra nor Aries violence and independence, but the midpoint of co-liberation and interdependence. Like any healthy relationship that requires togetherness and separateness, Eris asks the same.
The stages of alchemy include separation then conjunction (unity), praying for peace without freedom misaligns momentum.
Other Eris astrological activations include 2024 begins with Eris in retrograde motion through January 11 and still in wide square to Pluto through end of 2023. While I don't like to lean into predictions, I do look for patterns and if this combination is anything like what we're seeing the Eris themes continue to be ripe for remembering. Particularly as we see them showing up now--my heart with Palestine and Israel.
The exacerbated conflict between Hamas and Israel governments--being clear the government are not the same as the people--brings up so many lessons on outdated Eris energies. I've also struggled with how to look at my own unconsciousness through the lens of the way Eris creates chaos to constellate harmony. Eris sits at my mid heaven in wide conjunction with my Moon and Venus, offering a guiding light or misguiding one depending.;)
When archetypes sit near our moon they become often an element of our emotional and often unconscious realm, similar to the collective unconscious. I have come to see Eris asks us to hold the paradox rather than getting overly attached to side. Eris protects, so rooting for the underdog or unfairness may guide where Eris sides. And this has felt particularly clear to me in what looks like an unfair fight between Palestinians, Hamas, and Israeli government. Here are the places of integration for me to feel aligned:
One can be pro-Palestinian and not necessarily anti-Israel or pro-Hamas
One can be anti-Zionist and not anti-Semitic
Supporting one group over another doesn't mean someone doesn't care about lives lost for both
Seeing the attacks on Palestinians and genocide, doesn't mean someone doesn't care about the Holocaust
And the Eris themes of othering and extreme separation becoming only greater and greater in the larger psyche. My frustration around people focusing on the Hamas attacks rather than the Gaza strip and Palestinian genocide for the past 75 years, which reminded me of the Black Lives Matter looters made out to be the "bad ones" rather than police brutality or the collective oppression and prejudice. The vast power imbalance between Palestine, Hamas, and Israel continues to shock me as a core element of my understanding.
I'm doing my best to untangle the stories I have from Hebrew school about the Israel homeland that they could do no wrong. And for me the sentiments of harm keep adding up between the cringe of their TikTok channel as perfect propaganda with soldiers dancing and thirst traps of young women. But it has been the quotes from Israeli officials that has me on alert that Israel is perpetuating its own ancestral wounds. The Major General of the Israeli army, "Animal humans will be treated accordingly, you wanted hell and you'll get hell." Or the Israeli Prime Minister "This is a struggle between the children of light and the children of darkness, between humanity and the law of the jungle."
These emphasize Palestinians as less than human or darkness--this is genocide language, similar to Nazi propaganda and I find it terrifying. Yet that doesn't mean I think all Israeli citizens agree with these sentiments.
To me actions of Gaza holds an element of obvious retaliation--classic Eris--and then as the days continued Israel continued with war crime behavior of demanding impossible evacuations and withholding basic supplies that they already control. My heart continuously breaks around what feels like a hopeless situation for all involved. I hear Eris in the fear of those who have been oppressors' of the retaliation after the rejection of so long, Israeli worried about more attacks if they loosen their grip. But to my knowledge India didn't declare war on Great Britain, and I still hope for freedom for not just Palestine but also Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
I won't pretend to have the answers or know everything, but I do know what feels right to me. Which is Israel's ceasefire and not having the USA side with Israeli government, that has show itself to use not only genocidal language but withhold resources to the entire country of Palestine. I read recently with Reuters and AP proven figures that more Palestinians have been massacred over the past 12 days than the total number of Israeli's killed over the past 30 years.
Side note, if you're looking for aligned actions here a few suggestions:
My shadowy Eris wants to make everyone wrong who sides with Israel, my elevated Eris holds the paradox of their perspective while staying true to my own protective instincts to side with the oppressed--in this case Palestine. I don't feel chaotic in this opinion, I feel clear that rather than Aries who fights to fight, Eris chooses battles wisely, something I can get behind as a "side."
Understanding Eris can help us individually assert our will in a more healthy way and own protective instincts in service of the greater good. Though before we can assimilate Eris more fully, the past several years hold many moments ripe for acknowledging many of Eris’ out-of-balance shadow elements. Eris either upholds dominant social systems such as patriarchy or works to untangle them. It may reside unconsciously in the fear of retaliation from those we’ve oppressed as well as siding with oppression as an easier option.
Questions for the North Node conjunct Eris:
What themes or lessons do I notice in me that reflect the larger eclipse energies of independence over co-dependence?
What does co-liberation mean to me in relationship to wanting harmony?
What elements of conflict make me most uncomfortable?
I'm doing my best to straddle the worlds of the collective while staying present in my own life. To hold the paradox that as a global citizen and an individual I have to balance both within me. It would be easier to pretend Eris doesn't exist, to attempt to keep her tied up with a bow in a box of hidden parts of the psyche.
Eris exerts her shadow when suppressed and unintegrated, just like our own psyche. With more awareness hopefully we can evolve and elevate the Eris archetype to include a radical rebel for inclusion and a consciousness of co-liberation.