Eclipses are times when sudden, unexpected change can happen. They are times of transformation. They can bring much-needed clarity, but they can also bring confusion and stress from a lack of discernment. The very nature of eclipses implies a shadow, a twilight, a time where light bends in unusual ways, making it difficult for us to correctly discern what is right before us. This light casts “a shadow of a doubt,” and the mind is unsure of what is real and what is false.
*Note: The information in this article comes the perspective of Vedic Astrology, aka Jyotish. This system uses a sidereal zodiac; Western astrology uses a tropical zodiac. There are differences between the two systems, and there are similarities.
We have three eclipses coming up in the next four weeks, so we have three times to experience this phenomenon.
Generally, eclipses come in pairs, ie:
- solar then lunar
- or lunar and then solar
The first sequence is considered auspicious because of the progression from an new (invisible) moon to a full moon. The second sequence is considered inauspicious because we move from a full mind to an empty or shadowy mind.
The moon in Vedic astrology represents the mind and its capacity to perceive. A weak moon indicates a weak mind or an eclipsed (in shadow) soul that has a diminished capacity for right-perception whereas a full moon indicates a strong capable mind and can easily and accurately perceive what is in front of it.
Periods of time where there are three eclipses—as we have this summer—indicate a time of dis-balance. There is no balance struck between the two types of eclipse (solar and lunar) and the energetics that they highlight. The third eclipse tends to bring about upheaval. This does, in time, get balanced, but it can be a long wait. This is one aspect of these current eclipses to note.
- On July 12/13 we have a partial solar eclipse.
- On July 27 we have a lunar eclipse.
- On August 11 we have another partial solar eclipse.
At first glance, this looks like an okay scenario. The first eclipse is solar; the second is lunar. That’s a more desired progression, right? We do have that troublesome third eclipse, but maybe it’s not so terrible. Well, Jyotish tracks time differently than we do. Jyotish marks the dates when the sun moves into a different sign of the sidereal zodiac as the beginning of a new month. This date is in the middle of the months as we know and use them (ie: January 14th or 15th). What this means for these three eclipses is that the first one on July 12/13 falls within a different month than the other two. So we end up with the less auspicious progression of lunar eclipse to solar eclipse in the second set of eclipses in addition to the unbalanced third eclipse. This is another aspect of these eclipses that is worth noting.
The Eclipses Themselves
- This eclipse will peak at 8:01 pm PDT on July 12th. It will not be visible to the vast majority of the planet due to where it occurs (very southern Australia).
- This eclipse will take place in 26° of sidereal Gemini in the nakshatra of Punarvasu. Anyone who has their natal sun, moon, or Ascendant in Gemini (especially +/- 5° of this placement) will be effected by this eclipse. Likewise, those with natal sun, moon, or ascendant directly opposite this placement (Sagittarius) will feel this eclipse directly.
Gemini’s role is to communicate and associate. Gemini is associated with things such as agreements, contracts, understandings, trust, partnerships, common ground, and friendships.
The ruler of Gemini is the planet Mercury. Mercury is currently transiting in Cancer with Rahu. Mercury is afflicted in this current placement, which lends a debility to the sign of Gemini, which is governed by Mercury. The result is that this eclipse threatens hope and trust. It brings the integrity of relationships and agreements into question.
And, remember that this eclipse is not balanced out by another eclipse; it is unbalanced. This lends another degree of instability in an already dis-balanced time.
The good news is that during this eclipse Jupiter aspects both the sun and moon. This confers the beneficence of Jupiter’s wisdom and knowledge (Jupiter is the guru) to overcome any loss of hope. Thus, the treatment or remedy for this eclipse is to use your highest wisdom and discernment. “It’s all in your head. This, too, shall pass. This is temporary. This is but a moment in time.” These statements are all true; this moment will pass, and the next one will be a different experience.
The best thing to do during this eclipse is to avoid feeding into another’s negativity, even if it directly concerns you. Silence, here, is golden. Observe silence. This is the practice of mauna. Meditation will also help—going within and stilling the busy, chatty mind. By July 15th this energy will have shifted, and you can more easily address whatever needs to be worked out in your relationships.
- This eclipse will peak at 1:21 pm PDT. It will be visible in the Middle East, eastern Africa, and some parts of western Russia.
- This eclipse will take place at 10° of sidereal Capricorn in the nakshatra of Shravana. Those with natal sun, moon, or Ascendant +/- 5° of this placement will feel this eclipse very intensely. Likewise, those with natal sun, moon, or ascendant directly opposite this placement (Cancer) will feel this eclipse directly.
The effects of this eclipse will be felt July 24-31.
Currently Mars and Ketu are residing at this exact location. Mars in Capricorn is exalted, so its qualities (assertiveness, aggression, competitiveness, drive, action-orientation, having an agenda to get things done, and passion) are felt very intensely. Ketu’s qualities are similarly heating and inflammatory. Put these two together, and you get a flamethrower or a raging furnace.
The moon will be uncomfortably sandwiched between these two planets and only 1° apart from both Mars and Ketu during the eclipse. The moon—which favors qualities such as romanticism and nurturance—is very uncomfortable here.
To add another layer to this eclipse is the fact that Mercury (debilitated) and Rahu are opposite in Cancer. Rahu is a highly windy or airy planet. When you add Rahu to the Mars-Ketu mix, you get what I call a fire tornado. Not a pretty phenomenon. Fire and air egg each other on, creating a very difficult-to-control dynamic. Think of the wildfires we have had the past couple of years. You get the idea of the dynamic contained with this eclipse.
This eclipse will be intense in that it will be—unfortunately—a call to louder action by those who have been causing much drama in 2018. It is easy to get caught up in drama, but it rarely produces anything of actual or lasting value.
Expected outcomes of this eclipse include natural earth- and related water-related disasters: tectonic movements and tsunamis (fierce water issues), for instance.
Unfortunately, there are no saving graces with this eclipse, as there is with the July 11/12 one.
The nakshatra that this eclipse occurs within (Shravana) is represented by expansion, communication, listening, and growth. When Shravana is threatened, the very reason for life becomes threatened, our connection with dharma and purpose come under question. This is how the mind is effected during an eclipse; it becomes debilitated and weak. This can lead to depression.
The treatment for this eclipse is to meditate, to go inward in order to discern absolute truth, as well as to quiet the overactive mind. Another remedy is to listen to uplifting music, to chant out loud. Mantra will work very well here.
- This eclipse will peak at 2:26 pm PDT. It will be visible in very northern regions of the arctic.
- This eclipse will take place at 24° of sidereal Cancer in the nakshatra of Ashlesha. Those with natal sun, moon, or Ascendant +/- 5° of this placement will feel this eclipse very intensely. Likewise, those with natal sun, moon, or ascendant directly opposite this placement (Capricorn) will feel this eclipse directly.
This eclipse occurs close to sunrise for much of the United States and as a consequence is a harbinger of abnormal rainfall and water regulation. For instance, there will be excessive water where there should not be, and there will be scarce water where there usually is plenty. Flooding and dams breaking are some possible outcomes.
The nakshatra of Ashlesha is represented by a snake, kundalini energy, shakti, pent-up energy, the frustration of the masses. It holds the energy of a revolution. Ashlesha can generate hatred and intolerance.
We again have a combination of Mars, Ketu, Rahu, and debilitated Mercury to contend with in this eclipse. This creates a break-down of communication and resulting tensions. This eclipse portends a shift in leadership for the USA by the end of 2018.
The remedy for this eclipse is to do guided work with the kundalini energy, to open or balance the flow of the chakras, and to generally transmute/transform/convert energies to a beneficent and positive outcome. This eclipse can be positive for creating new hope/beginnings/new relationships—and it can even be used to develop the subtle energies or occult knowledge.
We are lucky to have some clear indications for how to transmute the difficult and potentially troublesome effects of these three eclipses. And—lucky for you—the Ayurvedic Health Center is providing events designed to help us come together in community through activities that will help us (singly and collectively) do just that. Please see our events page for these events:
- Creating a Personal Altar for Transformation—Here we can create a intentional focal point for transmuting the difficulty eclipse energies into something long-lasting and absolutely true. We can bring the mind into a zen-like meditative state where we imagine what is possible in our lives.
- Chanting for Transformation—Here we can come together in supportive community to chant mantra for the purpose of healing ourselves, our communities, and our world. This is lasting change that has a real impact.
- Pranayama for Transformation—Here we can use intentional breathing to transmute the intense eclipse energies into something healthful. This might be the beginning of a new self-care practice for you!
Also, in general, it is said that a pledge or intention stated consciously when an eclipse ends, stays with you forever, defeating the shadow of the eclipse with a strong mind.
Generally during eclipses, it is recommended to
- avoid intense movies and input/stimuli in general (music, etc)
- stay indoors (during solar eclipses)
- stay with people you know and have good relationship with (during lunar eclipses)
- avoid standing out in a crowd
- avoid travel, if possible