New year, new essay! We are entering eclipse season, and this is the first of a few essays I will be writing about eclipses.
Eclipses are a mysterious phenomenon, even in astrological literature. Are eclipses good or bad? Poisonous or nectarous? What is the right understanding and the real significance of eclipses?
In this essay, "The Yoga of Eclipses", I explore these questions from two perspectives: the Vedic view and the Tantric view. As eclipses cannot be discussed without exploring the meaning of Rahu and Ketu, this essay became the most comprehensive writing I have done on Rahu and Ketu so far. This is truly a book-length topic I hope to do justice to at some point in the future, but for now I hope this essay can serve as a summary consideration.
Excerpt: Eclipses are among the most significant astrological events to understand, because the lunar nodes are arguably the most significant points and patterns in the chart. Yet, there is minimal discussion in traditional astrological literature about the meaning and import of eclipses. This is not entirely surprising, as eclipses are by nature shadowy and obscure. Their light is not externally visible, but inwardly perceived when the shadowy mists of our unconscious parts in the clarity of consciousness. We can only understand eclipses by plunging into the level of consciousness that they affect. Therefore, this essay is an exploration of the esoteric meaning and import of eclipses. Within this essay, we will consider eclipses from two perspectives which represent the major currents of Indian philosophy and practice: the Vedic perspective and the Tantric perspective. In my experience, most of the philosophical disagreements found in the contemporary practice of the ancient Indian sciences (including astrology, Ayurveda, and yoga) can be reduced to the apparent disparity of the original Vedic worldview of India and its expansion in the form of Tantra. We will see how each of these perspectives understand and relate to eclipses, including the ways in which they are similar, the ways in which they differ, and why this is significant in human terms.
Stay tuned, my next two essays will focus on how to interpret eclipses astrologically and what the partial solar eclipse of January 6 is all about!