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Eclipses often bring about dramatic change or sudden transformation.

The summer of 2018 features three eclipses: two in July (12th/13th and 27th) and one in August (11th).

The total lunar eclipse which will take place on July 27th is particularly interesting because it falls *very* close to Ketu and retrograde Mars, which are transiting the Capricorn/Cancer axis.

Mars is a planet of the warrior, of vigor and vitality. Mars like to get things done—preferably yesterday. Mars signifies assertiveness, competition, leadership, and ambition. Mars runs hot and is a Pitta planet. Mars is currently in its strongest sign in Capricorn, and it is retrograde. A retrograde planet expresses its energy more intensely than when it is in a direct motion.

Ketu (aka the south node of the moon) is also a very hot planet. It signifies philosophy, spirituality and religion, renunciation, letting go, and withdrawing. Ketu is also one of the planets of warfare.

When you put Mars and Ketu together, you can get an incendiary combination. Add to that a point of transformation in the form of a strong eclipse, and, well, you see the potential for a flame-thrower-like experience that is less than pleasant.

Fortunately, there is a positive side to a Mars-Ketu combination. This pairing favors anything that promotes the flow of subtle energy: yoga, tai chi, meditation, pranayama, acupuncture, vastu shastra, walking in nature, and chanting mantra.

In light of this, let us come together to chant for peace and equanimity during this potentially turbulent time so that calmer cooler heads may prevail.

We will chant the Gāyatrī mantra, which is a mantra that by its very meter and rhythm lends protection and promotes the flow of subtle energy. Use of the Gāyatrī Mantra is widespread throughout the world. The Vedas say “To chant the Gāyatrī mantra purifies the chanter. To listen to the Gāyatrī mantra purifies the listener.”