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".

Renewing Our Life-Force: The Total Lunar Eclipse of January 31

With less than a week until the total lunar eclipse of January 31, we are currently well within its orb of influence. Are you feeling it? The weeks before and after an eclipse are the most potent periods, but an eclipse will continue to echo its energy for the next 6 months.

The total lunar eclipse of January 31 is the first eclipse of 2018, followed by a partial solar eclipse on February 15, partial solar eclipse on July 14, total lunar eclipse on July 27, and a partial solar eclipse on August 11.

The full eclipse begins at 2:51am in Hawaii. This Moon is also considered to be a Blue Supermoon (a supermoon is a Moon that is orbiting very close to the Earth). Unlike the August 21 solar eclipse, this eclipse will be visible from many parts of the world: before sunrise in North America and Hawaii, and after sunset in the Middle East, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand. It is said that eclipses affect the areas from which they are visible.

What is happening with this eclipse as opposed to the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017? To understand the impact of this upcoming eclipse, we have to contemplate the significance of the Moon as a graha, and then the sign and nakshatra it is in during the eclipse. Beyond this, we also must consider the eclipse pattern itself, or which Saros Series it is a part of and what that portends.

Chandra, The Moon
Having no light of its own, the Moon exists to receive and reflect the light of the Sun. It is through the Moon that we receive and know life. The Moon therefore is our ability to be nourished by life, to conduct the universal life-energy of which this world is a reflection. The Moon is how the light of the Sun is reflected and subjectively experienced as individual consciousness, with all of its emotions, thoughts, and self- imagery. Just as the moonlight is not truly separate from the sunlight that is its source, so the apparently individual consciousness is not truly separate from the Divine Consciousness of which it is only a reflection. If we identify with the reflected life, living and acting as though it has independent existence, then we live a life of egoic consciousness, of ups and downs, of fundamental suffering. As Ernst

Wilhelm Wilhelm writes in "Graha Sutras":

"The Jiva is the living being of consciousness that experiences the entirety of creation through the five senses. The first thing which the Jiva experiences is itself, and thus the Jiva is always accompanied by ego. . .The idea of separate existence gives rise to the consciousness of 'I,' which creates the consciousness of 'Mine,' and all the resulting attachments. The Moon thus represents the individual consciousness experiencing all of its joys and sorrows".

The Moon is our ability to receive nourishment from the things in our life and from life itself. The Moon's role is to enable us to receive that essential nourishment by allowing us to adapt and renew in the face of a constantly changing life. In the classical text of Ayurveda, it is said, "candramā vai somah", or "The Moon is Soma". The Moon provides the body with "Soma", the cooling, nourishing, and stabilizing form of prāna. Soma is the raw material from which ojas, the vital essence of our immunity, is created. If we have enough soma, then we feel sufficiently nourished at every level of our being, and we are able to withstand the stresses of life without losing our vital force.

During this eclipse period, the Moon's energy will be shadowed by Rahu. Anytime the Sun or Moon are eclipsed (especially a total eclipse) we have to guard our health. There is less soma available in the cosmic environment right now, and so we must conserve our life-force. Do not expend your energy unnecessarily because the ability to recuperate and withstand stressors is lessened. The Moon is about reception and connection, the conductivity of life-energy. The Moon is about being, not doing. Activity ignites agni which burns soma for its fuel. If we have enough soma, then there is no problem, but during the eclipse we should only burden our agni as needed. This is also why the eclipse is a good time for meditation and contemplative spiritual practices. We preserve the lunar force by reducing stress of all kinds, especially that of food. The more stress, the more the Moon has to work to adapt. With less stress, the Moon can simply be. Eat light and easy-to-digest foods during this period of time (or even better, fast!). Avoid eating foods you know are a burden on your digestion. This alone will help you maintain the lunar essence.

Moon in Leo, Aslesa
The Moon will be in the sign of Leo and nakshatra of Aslesa. If you have Ascendant, Sun, Moon, Ātmakāraka, or a lot of planets in Leo, then you will feel this eclipse just as you felt the last one. But fear not, this eclipse is quite different from the August 21st solar eclipse. The August eclipse was a very difficult eclipse that brought a lot of buried things to the surface in personal relationships. This upcoming lunar eclipse will be a relief for Leo people, because it is about creativity and insight. Are any of you

Leos feeling a surge of creative ideas, insights, and epiphanies? If so, then use this eclipse to your advantage! Start writing down your thoughts and following through on your inspiration. This is a chance to move forward with a creative expression and to uncover deeper meanings.

In terms of eclipse patterns, this lunar eclipse is part of Saros Series 124. Astrologer Brady Bernadette writes of this eclipse family in his book "Predictive Astrology": "This family of eclipses is concerned with ideas and their enthusiastic expression. If this eclipse affects your chart, you will be flooded with ideas or options. There may seem to be an element of haste, but if you can go with the new ideas, they will have positive outcomes".

The nakshatras are described classically as the wives of the Moon. As such, the nakshatras reflect the pattern of our consciousness. The Moon will be in the nakshatra of Aslesa, so by examining Aslesa, we can gain insight into the effect of this eclipse at the level of consciousness. Aslesa corresponds to the constellation Hydra. It is referred to as "the clinging star" and literally means "the entwiner". A deeply mystical nakshatra, Aslesa is symbolized by a coiled serpent, and there are strong themes of "serpent power" or the awakening of Kundalini in this asterism. Its deity is Ahi, the King of the Nagas (water serpents). Aslesa is thus a nakshatra of deep creative power, sexuality, tantra, and spirituality. As it is a nakshatra of such powerful energies, there is great potential for healing in Aslesa as well.

With this eclipse, take time to let go of the past, especially if you suffered the last eclipse. Use this shift in consciousness to assess your deepest needs, your true inspirations, and thereby release internal blocks. It is a time of renewal, of healing, and of rising again with the creative power of life. May it be so!