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