This picture appeared at a food truck park at the perfect time, on a Thursday evening, November 18th, 2021, a few hours before the near-full Taurus lunar eclipse. My nuclear family went to get burritos, arepas and plantanos on a chilly, cloudy night after the full moon rose. The “park” was a parking lot, with five food trucks, a couple metal fire pits, and some powerful kerosene heaters. There were a few small unadorned booths set up for local crafts. One very approachable woman was painting in the corner stall. We conversed for a while and I glanced at her prints. My wife, Jill, handed her a flier for her upcoming art auction, and the painter, Summer Small , donated a print, which was really nice for a complete stranger (@summersmallstudio).
After we ate our dinner at the nearby table, I felt this need to support Summer and buy one of her prints. I’m not into most prints, as I prefer originals, but I examined them anyway, hoping to find something. My eye landed on this one, which reminded me of the Buddha. After a while, I noticed the dandelion. I then realized with serendipitous surprise that this painting captured two timely events over my past week:
One, the roots: I had told a client who has the upcoming solar eclipse precisely on her IC (Imum Coeli — the root of the chart from which we derive the psychological nutrients that support our life) that she has a chance over the next half year to “repot her plant.” This means baring the roots. And here in this painting, the roots are naked for us to see. This is mid-repot. What kind of soil will the dandelion be getting? What will the colorations of the pot be? What will its new life look like?
Two, I told someone earlier that day that while a full moon is like blowing the pappi from a dandelion flower, the lunar eclipse is like you either miss the flower head with your breath all together, or you only succeed in knocking some of the pappi free… In the first case, where did your exhale land? It had to land somewhere. Our task, then, is to trace the trajectory and note where our breath landed. The object covered by our breath is the secret to Scorpio’s want, and the uncovering of the object, the cleaning, is the want fulfilled. This takes attending. In the second case, where you actually managed to knock off some of the pappi, your task is to pluck the remaining seeds by hand. There are over a hundred feathery bristles on a dandelion, so this could take awhile. What will you do with them? Will you eat them? You can!
But the amazing thing about this painting is that it is the picture of an eclipse. A dandelion eclipse. The flower head is literally eclipsing the rest of the plant. The silver disk is the Moon, emanating shades of concentric blues, while the shadow spreads down like a spotlight, except that it’s a spot-shade. It’s an eclipse, but it’s not exactly a lunar eclipse because the moon is not in the shade. The moon is not the object. Rather, the moon is the acting agent here, and the flower is shaded. If you will get very loose and poetic with me, there is a sense in which this picture is like a solar eclipse, because the Moon is the acting agent there as well, blocking the Sun. In this case, the dandelion is the sun. During a total solar eclipse, you can look directly towards the Moon/Sun and watch the Sun’s corona streaming from behind the Moon. In this painting, the dandelion top is unobscured, so it is like the corona. We can only see the corona during a total eclipse. Otherwise, we would never know it’s there. It is ironic that the moment, and only the moment, that Helios’ face is completely blocked, can we see his crown — his beautiful, alluring crown. In a week, on December 4th, there will be a solar eclipse in Sagittarius. (Note that only a few people will be able to see this upcoming eclipse — the few brave in Antarctica, and those in the southern tips of South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and some islands around the southern climes.)
What do we do with the crown? We can eat it, and probably should. Have you eaten a dandelion flower? I’m not sure, but I probably have. However, it’s been so long who can say? And so many things are like that. It’s cold now in Tennessee, and the dandelions are dead. But are they? No, they’re not. They’re not dead at all. Their roots live deep underground, beyond the gaze of mortals. We have a chance here to go back in time — we already blew the pappi off the plant last week with the lunar eclipse, and now this painting shows the solar eclipse coming next week, impossibly in full bloom. We have a chance here to reclaim what was lost during Scorpio season. It is Sagittarius season now. It’s colder in the northern hemisphere, but warmer in the southern. The dandelion is always blooming somewhere.
So Summer’s painting has captured both the current lunar and solar eclipse this Scorpio/Sagittarius season. How will you use the shade to enlighten?