Total Solar Eclipse in Cancer: July 2, 2019

Its eclipse season! The first eclipse will be a Total Solar Eclipse on July 2 @ 11:55am CST. The eclipse will be primarily visible from South America, but its energetic impact will be universal depending on how the eclipse affects your chart. Astrologically, I view eclipses in the same vein as outer planet transits. This eclipse is happening in the sign of Cancer. If you have Ascendant, Ascendant Lord, Sun, Moon, Ātmakāraka, or one of the lunar nodes in Cancer, then you can expect this to be a significant eclipse for you. Further, if your 1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th house cusps fall in Cancer, this will also be an important eclipse for you, and you will especially see its effect in your outer life. (Free Chart Calculator below).

What are eclipses all about? It depends on your perspective. Astronomically, solar eclipses occur when either the north (Rāhu) or south node (Ketu) of the Moon intersects the orbital plane of the Moon and the ecliptic (apparent path of the Sun around the Earth). When this intersection occurs, the light of the Sun is temporarily obscured. Mythologically, the origin of eclipses is told in the myth of Lord Vishnu churning the ocean to produce the nectar of immortality (amrita) for the gods. A demon named Svarbhānu was falsely posed as a god, waiting to receive the nectar of immortality. Lord Vishnu recognized the demon's deception and cut Svarbhānu in half as punishment. However, the demon had already tasted a drop, and was thus immortalized in its fracture. It is said that ever since this event, from time to time, the demon takes revenge and swallows the gods, seen as the event of solar and lunar eclipses. 

Thus, from the Vedic perspective, eclipses are seen as an inauspicious time when the demons are victorious over the gods. Yet this is only one interpretation. If we take a psychological perspective and see the lunar nodes as "shadow points", then we have another perspective on eclipses. The two halves of the severed demon are what we now refer to as the nodes of the Moon. The Moon is the archetype of our mind, and so everyone born in this world is born with a fractured consciousness, a world of duality, opposites, and friction that is the source of psychological strife. We can also consider the traditional Vedic descriptions of the Moon as "lovesick", or always separated from its "other half". These are all ways of describing the nature of the human mind. 

From this view, the depiction of Rahu or Ketu vengefully swallowing the Sun or Moon is a symbol of the unconscious shadow swallowing the light of Divinity within us. What is unconscious is a part of us that we are not yet conscious of, that remains yet un-illumined. Until it is illuminated, or brought to consciousness, it represents a vacuum, an obscuration of light. If we consider the phenomenology of eclipses to be primarily psychological, then we can appreciate the transformative potential of these alignments in nature. The premise of astrology and also medicine is the same: what is outside corresponds to what is inside. Therefore, an eclipse is a potent reflection of a psychological dynamic that is in fact always active within us and which is seeking resolution. The eclipse can thus serve as a magnifier, allowing us to see more clearly something which was always there, waiting to be consciously assimilated. 

From the perspective of the Kalacakra Tantra, eclipses are a time when the energies of nature are absorbed in their original spaciousness. As space (or ether) is the first element, space is the singularity and unmanifest potential that gives rise to the world of duality. During an eclipse, the duality of nature (Sun and Moon) are temporarily resolved in their "source". As such, the Tantra states that during an eclipse, the polar currents of life-energy (ida and pingala nādis) are temporarily drawn into the central channel (sushumna nādi) from which they originate, a phenomenon that is the goal of traditional Yoga. In this sense, an eclipse temporarily offers the merits of Yoga, even to the unqualified. This is why it is said that spiritual practices engaged during an eclipse are a thousand times more effective. 

Returning to Lord Vishnu's churning of the ocean, we can see that it is really a metaphor for the alchemical processes of Yoga. The churning of the ocean purifies it of toxins. The pure is now fully separated from the impure, just as ghee is clarified from butter. The remaining essence is the nectar (amrita) of immortal life. But the poison must also be released, and here we must remember that it is Lord Shiva, the Supreme Yogi, who holds the poison in his throat and remains unaffected. 

Thus, the consideration of eclipses must shift from its focus as a purely outer event, to an event of personal, psychological, and potentially Yogic significance. The consideration of a north node eclipse is what new forms of nourishment are you capable of assimilating? And therefore, what are you willing to let go of? As it is a solar eclipse, it is a time to re-evaluate our creative inspirations and how we want to manifest ourselves in the world. All of this points us back to the polarity of the Capricorn-Cancer eclipse axis: the integration of the outer and inner worlds. 

Link to an essay I wrote last year, "The Yoga of Eclipses", that explores these concepts in more depth:

The two primary aspects of the body-mind must be balanced and they must be joined at the center, at the heart, at the feeling dimension. When they have been purified, balanced, equalized, clarified, then the very Nature of which they are the modification Awakens or Shines forth. That Nature is asleep now. It is only permitted to reveal itself in states of consciousness that you do not remember, basically during deep sleep. In deep, dreamless sleep you enter into direct association with the state that you are eternally, but you have no consciousness at all. That association is only permitted in a state of unconsciousness. But if in the waking state we become responsible for the phases of the body-mind, and for this curious idea we have of the body-mind as an independent fleshy thing, and of our souls as independent, internal, subjective, or mental things, we can become liberated from illusions and stand as we are. And suddenly that Consciousness which is otherwise revealed only in unconsciousness Awakens during the waking state. 

Avatar Adi Da Samraj

“Enlightenment Is True Health”, The Eating Gorilla Comes In Peace, p. 168

Total Lunar Eclipse of Guru Purnima

There is a total lunar eclipse on July 27th, the day of Guru Purnima. As I said earlier, this eclipse brings to fullness the basic energy of the partial solar eclipse, while also bringing some unique patterns of its own. While the solar eclipse was a north node (Rahu) eclipse, this lunar eclipse is a south node (Ketu) eclipse. It will also be the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century, with a duration of 103 minutes.

Rahu eclipses confront us with that which we need to assimilate. Ketu eclipses bring up in us that which we need to release. All that we have suppressed and repressed has to bear the light of Consciousness, at some point or another. This eclipse can also be a time when suppressed illness re- surfaces, so it is an important time to guard health, and also to be wise about treatment. Ketu gives us an opportunity to release the buried, the hidden, the unconscious, it is best to make use of it. I have particularly noticed that fevers tend to arise before or after a powerful eclipse. Fever is the sign of an intelligent physiology working to re-balance itself. We typically suppress fevers, which requires our imbalance to find a deeper place of manifestation. And this is true of suppression at all levels. This is a time to allow the release, with discrimination and understanding.

This is a difficult eclipse that reminds me of the total solar eclipse of August 2017. People with Ascendant, Sun, or Moon in Leo have had to endure a number of difficult eclipses in the past year, and this is yet another one with a theme surrounding relationships. Personal relationships will be tested and many may even come to an end. So if you are a Leo person who knows exactly what I'm talking about, then hang on, and see where it goes. See if this is the moment to let go of something you don't need to be holding on to anymore, or if its just a moment to shed a deeper layer of unhealthy patterns in relationship.

Eclipses are traditionally considered to be a time to engage in spiritual practices, such as meditation, prayer, and fasting. The temporary obscuration of the outer light allows for a magnified perception of the indwelling light of Consciousness. Therefore, the unique significance of this lunar eclipse is its conjunction with Guru Purnima, the Full Moon of the remover of darkness.

Guru Purnima is considered a day when the Blessings of the Guru flow abundantly to the devotee, and the devotee likewise gives the fullness of devotion in celebration of the Guru. As Robert Svoboda has put it: "They say in Hindi, 'Light comes from the moon, not the stars; love comes from one, not many.' That one is the guru, and only when you have learned how to love your guru will you ever learn how to love God. The relationship between guru and disciple can begin only when the disciple forgets everyone else except that one; once that happens then everything follows".

In astrological language, Jupiter is referred to as "Guru". The Advayataraka Upanishad describes the meaning of Guru: "The syllable gu means darkness, the syllable ru, he who dispels them, Because of the power to dispel darkness, the guru is thus named". Another meaning of "Guru" is "heavy". Thus, it is Jupiter that is the heaviest planet and is also the planet of Spirituality, wisdom, and true joy. Jupiter is the true benefic, who casts a graceful light on all that he joins and influences. Jupiter is also Exalted in Cancer, the sign of the Moon. We see that there is a strong connection between Jupiter and the Moon, and therefore between this lunar eclipse and Guru Purnima. The Full Moon

of the lunisolar month of Āshādha is considered to be Guru Purnima because it is the brightest Moon of the year. The month of Āshādha also marks the beginning of the Monsoon season, a symbol for the Descent of Grace, the Baptism of the Guru.

During the total lunar eclipse and Guru Purnima, Jupiter is placed in its own nakshatra, Visākha. The Taittiriya Brahmāna (as translated by Ernst Wilhelm) says of Visākha:
indrāgniyorviśākhe yugāni parastatkṛṣamāṇā avastāt |
The branched of The Conqueror and The Fire are yokes from above and crops from below.

This nakshatra is about the unified action of the two gods, Indra and Agni. "The Conqueror" is a translation of "Indra" and "The Fire" of "Agni". Indra is considered to be the deity that rules Jupiter, as it is Jupiter who gives the spark of life. Agni is the deity of the Sun, the flame that grows from Indra's spark. The meaning of this verse is a description of Indra as the god of thunder and Agni as the god of lightning. Together, they are the storm that descends (or "yokes") from above, evidenced as natural life (or "crops") below. In other words, Indra and Agni are the Consciousness and Energy from which all life is born. This is why of all the "deva" (godly) nakshatras, Visākha is considered the most auspicious. We are left to contemplate the beautiful mystery of Jupiter as Brihaspati, the Lord of devotion, placed in this nakshatra on Guru Purnima.

Jupiter is currently in Scorpio until November 8 when it enters Sagittarius. Scorpio is the sign of internal transformation. Jupiter is also in Scorpio in the navāmsa, where it joins Mars, Ketu, and Neptune. At the time of Guru Purnima, Taurus is the Ascendant, and in the navāmsa, Pisces is the Ascendant. Pisces is the sign of Spiritual connection, and it gives Jupiter another level of significance in the navāmsa. We can see that the moment of Guru Purnima is really Jupiter's time to shine.

The Moon, Ketu, and Mars are all placed in the nakshatra of Śravana. The Taiitiriya Brahmāna says of Śravana:

viṣṇoḥ śroṇā pṛcchamānāḥ parastātpanthā avastāt |
The cripples of The All Pervasive are inquiring ideas from above and the paths from below.

We have to appreciate that Śravana is a nakshatra ruled by the Moon, and the Moon is placed in it during the lunar eclipse. We noted earlier that Jupiter was also placed in its own nakshatra, and among all the planets, it is Jupiter and Moon whose pattern is featured on Guru Purnima. It is auspicious that their astrological pattern is so naturally prominent on this day. Given that prominence, what is the meaning of this verse? The verse is essentially saying that the "cripples" (or children, or limbs) of God are calling out for a Teaching and a Way, that which can only be given by a true Guru. Śravana has an additional meaning which is subtly alluded to in this verse, and that is of the All-Pervading Sound. In one sense, it is the sound of human prayer being heard by the Divine. In another sense, it is to "hear" the Spiritual Sound, to be attuned to the Vibratory Hum of Reality.

The Moon is placed in Aquarius, the sign of the Water-Bearer, the one who comes bearing the nectar of immortality (amritā). Aquarius is the archetype of the God-Man, or the human Guru. He is depicted as Lord Dhanvāntari, a form of Vishnu who is the source of the Ayurvedic lineage, who churned the oceans to collect the nectar of immortality. He comes bearing the ambrosia in a kumbha (or pot), as an offering to humanity. Thus, Aquarius is the archetype of the Guru, the Divine Grace who Appears amidst humanity with the offering of eternal life (or God-Realization).

We can also consider the eclipse from the perspective of the Cards of Truth system, as I did with the partial solar eclipse. This lunar eclipse belongs to Saros Series 129, the first eclipse of which was on June 10, 1351. The birth card for that first eclipse is a 7 of diamonds, the feminine pole of the former solar eclipse (a 7 of clubs). 7 cards are ruled by Saturn, the 7th planet, and the keyword is "destruction". 7 of diamonds corresponds to the Death card in the Major Arcana. In the birth spread of the eclipse, the Saturn card is a King of Diamonds with Pluto placed in it, and the Venus card is a King of Hearts with Saturn, Uranus, and Mercury placed in it. And Kings are the card signifying Pluto. Pluto is also with the midheaven placed in the Mars card, a 9 of Clubs which Ketu rules.

The total lunar eclipse of July 27th itself has a birth card of an Ace of Clubs, signifying the birth of a new pattern. The Pluto card is a King of Hearts and is abiding in the Saturn card, a 7 of diamonds, the birth card for the eclipse cycle itself. The midheaven is in the Moon card, appropriately enough given it is a lunar eclipse, and the Moon itself is placed in the Saturn card. It is interesting how this eclipse points back to the larger pattern of its family with the 7 of diamonds and Saturn, because this is the card holding the most energy during the eclipse, with Moon, Mars, Saturn, Ketu, and Pluto all placed in it.

The pattern of this Guru Purnima eclipse is one of the destruction of the old, the release of what is no longer necessary but which has been unconsciously held in place. There is a tension between the past and the future, the shedding of old paradigms and the birth of the new. In the human scale, this is a tension between the individual (Leo) and the collective (Aquarius). The resolution of this dynamic is in the recognition of a more radical Truth and of the One who reveals it, giving us a Transcendental understanding of the world and our place in it.

It is a day to celebrate the Supreme Form of Grace, the Light beyond the Sun, the Guru. Yet, we must appreciate that the Guru is both a Graceful and Destructive Force. He is the one who destroys the suffering of the ego and bestows the Bliss of God-Realization. Such is also the purpose of Pluto: destroying limitations for the sake of a greater realization. It is also the Guru's Light that reveals all the darkness of Rahu and Ketu, showing us the hidden chambers of our own unconsciousness in the Light of Consciousness. The darkness is dispelled in the Radiance of the Guru's Grace, and at His Holy Feet we dissolve in the currents of His Love.

In the words of my Guru, Adi Da Samraj:

"I am like the sunlight in the morning.
I Intensify the light of morning until you Awaken.

Until the Light Awakens you, even the Light of Consciousness Itself, you continue to dream, try to survive within the dream, manipulate yourself within the dream, pursue all kinds of goals, searches-- none of which Awaken you. The ordinary means only console you and distract you within the dream.

I Myself, the One Who would Awaken you, am not a person, not an individual within the dream. I Am your Very Consciousness".

The Mysticism of Magha: The Great American Solar Eclipse (Part II)

In my first post about the Aug 21 eclipse, I gave an overview of the significance and energetic influence behind the Aug 21 eclipse. As my initial post was well-received among everyone, I felt I should uncover another layer of the eclipse by focusing on its spiritual significance.

 As I alluded to in my original post, eclipses are traditionally seen as inauspicious events, but are considered to be auspicious for spiritual practice. And this is a pattern we see in life: what is often seen as inauspicious in the world of mundane life is seen as auspicious in the context of spiritual life. This is not to suggest a struggle between the ordinary and the spiritual, as these must be integrated. Rather, this pattern illuminates the power of our motivations in life. For the spiritual aspirant, every moment is the moment of spiritual opportunity, and thus there can be no inauspicious times.

 During the Aug 21 solar eclipse, the Sun, Moon, Mars, and Rahu will all be in the sign of Leo and the nakshatra of Magha. Therefore, in order to grasp the deeper realities of this event, we need to look more closely at Leo and Magha.

 Leo is ruled by the Sun and represented by a Lion. The Lion is the King of the jungle, and thus, Leo shows individuals who come from (or are associated with) royalty. People with Ascendant or Sun in Leo are noble, dignified, and have a regal flair to their personality. They are rulers, leaders, and bright people. President Trump has his Ascendant in Leo, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton both have Sun in Leo.

 The energy of Leo is that of power and magnetism. People with Leo Ascendant or Sun come into this life with a very clear sense of who they are and what they are here to do. They exemplify the qualities of confidence, stability, and security.

 Yet Leo has two levels of manifestation. At its lower level, Leo can develop and intense self-focus, becoming absorbed in its sense of individual self. This type of Leo is attracted to its own magnetism, for who could be more attractive?

 At its higher level of manifestation, Leo becomes absorbed in the Divine Self. Here, Leo recognizes that the radiance he exudes in life is only a reflection of Divine Light. Instead of becoming fascinated with their own brightness, such people become conduits for the Light of Consciousness. A deep motivation for Realization awakens and they become magnetized to the highest expression of Self, beyond the sense of individuation.

 These two levels are nicely illustrated in the examples of our current President and the great Yogis, Paramahamsa Yogananda and his teacher, Sri Yukteswar. All three have their Ascendants in Leo in the nakshatra of Magha. If we were to only look at this pattern in the charts of Yogananda and Sri Yukteswar, we would be very confused about our current President! This shows how things operate on many levels.

 For those who wonder how President Trump won the election, it is not only due to the failures of the DNC. He is a magnetic individual born with the karmas of rulership and power. Many people naturally feel a sense of confidence in him, despite his rhetoric. It does not matter what he says or does not say, it is simply by being who he is that attracts the masses. He appears confident and secure in himself which also develops tendencies for narcissism as discussed eariler. Here, the noble energies of Leo can turn in a more authoritarian direction--one need only read the history of past monarchies to see the patterns of traditional rulership. We can also see from this why loyalty is important to Trump.

 Magha means "the mighty one" and so the noble and royal characteristics of Leo are deepened in this nakshatra. But there are two levels of manifestation here as well. The nakshatra is ruled by Ketu, the south node of the Moon--and this is where see the spiritual (and highest) potential of Leo. In Vedic astrology, Ketu is the mokshā kāraka, or the giver of liberation. Ketu's influence in the horoscope reveals our past karmas--all that we have mastered and feel secure with in this life. Whatever Ketu influences in the horoscope, we eventually feel dissatisfied with, but not for superficial reasons. Ketu allows us to see through the veil of māya, and shows us that there is nothing in the conditional world that can fulfill us. Thus, Ketu confronts us with the truth of impermanence and the necessity of spiritual Realization. As Leo is ruled by the Sun and Magha is ruled by Ketu, when Leo is placed in the nakshatra of Magha, we see the powerful Sun-Ketu dynamic: dissolution of the egoic self.  We can see clearly now how Yogananda and Sri Yukteswar exemplify the spiritual potential of Leo: God-Realization.

 Magha also shows reverence to one's lineage, or all that one has come from. People with their Ascendant in Magha have great respect for their family values and cultural traditions. This championing of the past is another sign of Ketu's rulership of this nakshatra. Yogananda had great reverence for his Guru, Sri Yukteswar, who was associated with a lineage of Gurus. And Yogananda ultimately embodied his Guru's teachings and ensured the continuation of its lineage. President Trump has reverence for traditional American values. He is not here to change things or help the country evolve. He is interested in preserving what he sees as valuable and defining. "Making America Great Again" is a clear slogan for resurrection and restoration of how things once were.  

 Leo in Magha is the potential of this upcoming eclipse. The racist riots in Charlottesville are an example of how this energy can be manifested at the lowest possible level as the shadow side of Magha is racial superiority. Yet, the higher potential is equally as present but we are not likely to see it featured in the news.

If you have been considering taking up a spiritual path, this is the moment to start. If you are already on a spiritual path but have been progressing slowly due to your own lack of motivation, this is the moment to get serious. During this time, people may experience a deep connection with their past karmas. There can be past-life insights in the form of dreams and reveries. But primarily the fruits of our past karmas are especially available to us during this time, and so we should make auspicious use of it. If you feel inclined to let go of something you have been holding on to, then it is because Ketu is showing you that this is not something that will fulfill you. Letting go is the dawn on the horizon.

 And rising on the horizon of this eclipse is Scorpio! Those born during the actual time of the eclipse will have Scorpio as their Ascendant. This is a very auspicious window to be born within, and it is likely that people with significant spiritual karmas will be born at this time. Scorpio is also the sign of deep transformation, and shows again the more profound possibilities lurking within this eclipse. Scorpio is a hidden and secretive sign, so the truth of this moment will also remain mysteriously unapparent. But beneath the surface is an absolute intensity.

 I said in my first post that the eclipse is about transformation. What is transformation? Transformation is the fire of life, requiring the extremes of death and rebirth, the past and the future. Magha is showing the energy of the past (what must be sacrificed), but the eclipse is being caused by Rahu (what must now be born). More than anything, these times teach us to maintain our heart, our faith, and to persevere in the fire of transformation.

 I would like to conclude with the words of my Spiritual Master, Avatar Adi Da Samraj:

 Where There Is Light
There Is Heat.
Where There Is Heat
There Is Fire.
Where There Is Fire
There Is Light.

 ~Avatar Adi Da Samraj
The Aletheon