The Quiet Before The Storm: The Great American Solar Eclipse (Part III)

The Great American Solar Eclipse has come and gone--or so it seems. The energy was building quite intensely before the eclipse. The racist riots in Charlottesville are one example of that dramatic energy--the shadows of this country coming to the surface pre-eclipse. Afterwards, President Trump's failure to unambiguously condemn racism became the most defining blunder of his Presidency. This was followed by the exit of his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, symbol of the alt-right. It seemed like the country was going through a total meltdown the week before the eclipse.

But then the eclipse happened. Americans stepped aside and stood in awe of this event. I saw quotes from people saying they had never seen something so incredible before. Others were crying in wonder. Facebook was filled with amazing photos. The next morning the major newspapers had the eclipse as front page news.

The eclipse itself was the still-point, the quiet before the storm--the transitional space between the building energy of the days that preceded it and the explosion of energy that has occurred since. The eclipse managed to serve us with majesty and magic, even if only for a day. Yet such is the energy of Rahu. It attracts us while it deceives us. It lifts us up but drops us at no warning. While we are entranced, we feel we are Kings and Queens, but only to see that our souls are impoverished.

For those who are wondering about the effects of the eclipse on Trump's Presidency, one needs only to see the picture of him looking straight into the eclipse without proper eyewear. The night of the eclipse, the President addressed the nation, announcing more troops in Afghanistan while also affirming the values of tolerance and unity. It is interesting that the President chose to address the nation on the night of the eclipse. It was an opportunity for him to clearly disavow his former remarks on the Charlottesville riots, but he only made subtle and inadequate remarks about the values of tolerance and unity. In his recent speech in Arizona, he actually doubled-down on his previous controversial remarks, showing that he does not regret what he said, but feels more confident and secure in himself than he has before. His recent pardoning of Sherriff Joe Arpaio (who was convicted of racial profiling) is a clear sign of his stance and the boldness with which he will continue to do what he wants. He will stand firm even if everything around him falls apart.

It is clear that the direction of the country is not going to change dramatically during Trump's Presidency. The eclipse has only showed us what we already know. Trump was born during an eclipse, so it is appropriate enough that he would be our President during the most significant eclipse in the past 99 years of US history. But more significantly, Trump represents the shadow of this country that we all must face. Rahu teaches us that we cannot grow without facing our shadows. In some twisted turn of destiny, Trump shows us the darker side of our nation, without which we cannot realize true progress. This is certainly a more dramatic way of going about it, but it is what is happening now. The moral is to embrace Rahu, get the lessons, and move forward into the light.

Hurricane Harvey is the first sign of the post-eclipse drama and is still causing catastrophic flooding in Texas. Eclipses in the Saros 145 series indicate extreme weather patterns, such as hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, etc. The last Saros 145 total solar eclipse of August 11, 1999 was across the north Atlantic Ocean and during this time there were 5 category 4 hurricanes in the Atlantic, most notably Hurricane Floyd which formed on September 7, nearly one month after the eclipse. There was also the Great Mississippi Flood of April 1927 which preceded the Saros 145 eclipse of June 29.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Rockport, Texas at 10:00pm on August 26 at peak intensity and with winds of 130mph. During this time, Moon was in Scorpio in the nakshatra of Svati. The deity that rules Svati nakshatra is Vayu, the god of wind. Svati nakshatra is also ruled by Rahu, the airy planet, and the cause of this recent eclipse. Currently, Rahu and Mars are experiencing a very tight conjunction in the sign of Leo, Magha nakshatra, only 1 degree apart. Both Rahu and Mars are associated with storms. Rahu can stir up winds while Mars can cause sudden violent storms. As these two forces come together, we can see hurricanes or fires that suddenly emerge with great strength and destructive potential. Mars also rules Scorpio, the Moon's sign at this time, and Scorpio is also a water sign. Neptune is also placed in Pisces, a water sign, in the 12th house of loss and confinement. (In Roman mythology, Neptune is the god of the sea.) At the moment of Harvey's landfall, Aries is the Ascendant-- the sign of passionate forward-moving energy ruled by Mars. And Uranus--the sign of sudden transformative events--is conjunct Aries Ascendant.

Thus, we can see astrologically the influences that shaped this storm. Unfortunately, storms such as these are in the pattern of eclipses that we just experienced and so there could be more. Hurricane Harvey is an example of

how eclipses can trigger events that are outside its "path of totality". Florida is another place where these types of weather patterns could emerge.

If you have Ascendant, Sun, Moon, Rahu, or Mars in Leo, then you might be feeling fatigued, feverish, or sick right now. This eclipse in particular can cause imbalances in our health. With Mars (a fiery planet) in the sign of the Sun and conjunct Rahu, we become susceptible to Pitta-type (and Vata-Pitta type) imbalances. The best thing to do in this moment is rest. This is the worst time to overexert yourself or to test your limits. Take it slower than you normally would--and rest.

My prayers are with family, friends, and everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Harvey, including those who have lost their lives. Mother Nature is a power beyond our control, and the best we can do in these moments is unite as one family and weather the storm together. Eclipses portend challenges and unfortunate events, but eclipses only exist because of light. While the light of the Sun may at times be eclipsed, the light in our hearts remains ever-radiant. Facing our shadows, we must now wear the burdens of light with faith and inspiration as we press toward the dawn of new horizons.

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