Set your goals and intentions into motion this month and reap the rewards for months to come.

North America’s first total solar eclipse in decades will light up our skies (and our consciousness!) today, August 21, alongside the Leo new moon. This eclipse confluence provides us with an energetic and psychological impact that will remain for six months to a year. This means that what you set into motion this month with your intention and attention will bear fruit for a long time to come.

Engaging consciously with the eclipse energy of August is the best thing you can do to harness the powerful forces present during this month. Most potently, these eclipses act to conceal and reveal the depths of our psyche and the power of our spirit. Anything hidden in the shadows of our unconscious must be brought to light, and the light of our consciousness needs to reflect what is most important to us. Events like this inevitably stir up old wounds, challenge our perceptions of ourselves and others, and reflect our inadequacies back to us in ways that must be addressed.

If we do not address what comes up this month, then what is left undealt with will continue to dominate our lives, actions and decisions for a long time to come. The only way to deal with and process what is revealed through these eclipses is with patience, acceptance and gratitude. Patience helps us to take things one step at a time; acceptance allows us to be kind to ourselves through the process; and gratitude reveals the gift of whatever is showing up for us.

There is always a gift. In fact, it is within the darkest reaches of our psyche that our greatest gifts lie. This opportunity to bring them into the light is precious. Rather than let them continue to hide in the shadows, use the revelatory power of this month to bring them to the forefront and transmute what may at first feel like heaviness or darkness into light.

This is an old alchemical process that each of us is empowered to do this month. It began with the full moon and partial lunar eclipse in Aquarius on August 7 that challenged us to defy expectations, grow beyond our limiting beliefs and follow our flashes of inspiration to align with what is best for us. As the light of the moon was eclipsed, and darkened, we may have notice we were more easily triggered, quicker to anger or cast judgment. These were opportunities to notice what was hiding in our shadow! Our triggers show us what we are passionate about; our anger reveals the depth of our love; and judgment shows where we ourselves are not yet free.

All of this invaluable information—this darkness—is brought back into the light with the solar eclipse during the new moon in Leo today, August 21. This is our chance for the alchemical shift of our darkness into light, or the proverbial transformation of “lead into gold.” This is a metaphorical movement of our spirit as we take what has been revealed to us this month that is no longer serving us and start leaning toward the light. We do this by maintaining elevated focus and intention during this time, and concentrating all of our energy on elevating our hearts and minds. Exit this eclipse shining like the sun and expand your elevated energy out into the world!

Photo credit: solarseven, Thinkstock