Q&A: Predictions For The Kali Yuga?

A client asked a great question today that I thought would be interesting for everyone. 

QUESTION: Neeshee, some Vedic astrologers are making dire prediction like the world is coming to an end, that we will experience natural disasters, calamities, billions will die, and such.

Others are saying it is a time of great transformations for all mankind and individuals.

What is your take on all these astrological patterns?

ANSWER: That is a very good question. Light and dark are two sides of the same coin, so it is possible to notice them simultaneously. You can say that the times are dark right now but you can also say that it is a great moment of transformation and evolution--and both could be seen as true. 

As for dire astrological predictions, I do not believe that what is to come is predictable. You can of course plot the current pattern of things and see what would happen if that just continued. But that is a fatalistic stance that I do not agree with. There is the possibility for change and nothing is set in stone. I see the current moment more as an opportunity. What is useful from an astrological perspective is to help people consciously harmonize with a positive destiny. I do not think it is useful to make apocalyptic predictions because it appeals to people's fears and anxieties, and more often leaves them less empowered to do what could make a difference. Ultimately, it depends on whether you believe life is a rigged system, that whatever is going to happen is going to happen anyways, or whether you feel it is possible to be a creative participant. In other words, should we just resign to Saturn or should we aspire to be the Sun?

Transformation is by its very nature the friction between birth and death. Something is dying and something new is taking shape. If you get too focused on either extreme, then you lose the bigger picture. It can seem like everything is dying and falling apart (apocalypse) or it can seem like something new is emerging (evolution). Neither one is absolutely true in itself. We are certainly living in a transformative time--whether it results in something evolutionary or simply becomes a new version of the same old thing remains to be seen and depends on the choices we make as a collective. Fundamentally, astrology is about living a conscious life, and the light of consciousness is the only remedy for darkness. 

I'll leave you with the words of my Guru, from a talk He gave in 1993 titled "The Happiness That Transcends The World": 

"DEVOTEE: Beloved Master, You refer to this era as the "dark" time. Is that reference specifically relative to human existence? Or is this time 'dark' in relation to existence altogether? 

AVATAR ADI DA SAMRAJ: This is the 'dark' time in terms of human existence--but everything else is affected by humankind. Existence is a Unity. 

If you watch the 'daily news', or otherwise stay in touch with what is happening in the 'world', it is not difficult to perceive that this is a rather 'dark' time, and not a 'new age' or 'golden age'. Especially since the nineteenth century, the idea of 'progress' has been heavily promoted. For a long while, people were even hopeful about manifesting utopia via science and technology. Various cultural devices have likewise been promoted based on that utopian idealism, that notion of 'progress'. In the 1960s and 1970s especially, and even up until now, people have been promoting 'new-age consciousness', 'new-age religion', and so on. These, too, are based on the current idealism about 'progress' that began especially in the mid-nineteenth century. 

However, the 'world' is now in a period of time in which one can see what is actually happening as a result of idealizing the notion of 'progress'. Not too long from now, not only human life but even life of any kind on this planet could become untenable. This is at time of political and social and cultural degradation and upheaval. There is the potential for profound destruction and the death of billions of human beings. 

Changes must be made--and they are not being made presently. All kinds of things should be straightened out relative to the effects humankind is having on the Earth-environment. All kinds of changes should be made politically and socially, on a global scale, through cooperative efforts and embrace of right principles. But that is not being done. The effort toward competition and falseness is continuing. 

Of course, the situation on Earth will not necessarily be so bad that no life is tenable. Life, including human life, may continue on this planet. It just depends on how human beings do it. It just depends on how much of this 'dark' result human beings collectively wind up manufacturing. It is not 'written'. It is up to you.

. . .The Heart Is Paradise, regardless of the signs of the times. . .The general history to come is 'dark', and you should take that possibility seriously. Others in the past have lived in 'dark' times, too. Just because the 'late-time' (or 'dark' epoch) is occurring on a bigger scale this time, and appearing on TV, does not mean that others in the past have not lived and suffered through, and died in, 'dark' times. 

. . .Do not expect utopia to happen on Earth. The times are "dark". It will be so. Perhaps something better can be done--that is to be seen. The manifestation of something better in the "world" requires that you also participate in the process of transformation. . .Who knows how long the Earth will be a survivable place for human beings? This is not the only "world", in any case--and you were always going to die. Death is guaranteed, anyway. As the "world" takes on the color of death, you must more and more take on the color of the Heart". 

(Quotation excerpted from My 'Bright' Form, pp. 234 - 237, Copyright © 2016 ASA).

Seasonal Gaps of Transformation

Some interesting shifts today. Uranus entered Taurus again after completing its retrograde cycle in Aries. It is also a New Moon in Pisces. And Mercury began its retrograde cycle (which will end March 28). Also worth mentioning is the Spring Equinox exactly two weeks away (March 20). 

A lot of initiatory energy! Inspiration is on the rise as the Sun gets closer to its exaltation in Aries on March 20. This is a great time to consider how you want to conduct all the creative energy that is starting to blossom. We are now in the transitional space between seasons, further magnified by Uranus entering Taurus and Mercury going retrograde. These transitional spaces can feel unsettling, precisely because it is "in between" things. 

We are so used to motion that we often forget about the precious opportunity of space. The "gap" of a seasonal cusp is a time to connect with what is happening in your life (internally and externally) without the burdens of motion. Space gives us clarity, so use it to process what you don't need to carry into the next season, and to feel what you would like to manifest anew. The soil is growing fertile--what weeds do you want to pull and which seeds do you want to sprout?

Rahu in Cancer / Ketu in Capricorn

Rahu and Ketu moved into Cancer and Capricorn today after spending the past year and a half in Leo and Aquarius! Are you feeling the shifts? 

Today is also the midterm election in the US, which is very interesting timing. What does this mean? Rahu in Cancer indicates the need to develop internally where the true source of stability and happiness is found, while Ketu in Capricorn indicates the need to release the stress of trying to manage the outer conditions of life as an exclusive means of stability and happiness. 

The lesson of this election is that change is an inside out process. The true signs of change, transformation, and stability will not necessarily be reflected in the outer landscape of life until it has grown and ripened in the inner landscape of human consciousness (individually and collectively). Just as ripe fruit has no choice but to fall from the tree and nourish the ground on which it falls, the seeds of inner change are inevitably expressed outwardly. 

Many are feeling the evolutionary urge of Rahu today as they go and cast their vote (many for the first time), but our expectations for change must also direct us to the deeper process of understanding and transcendence which is its proper fuel. 

Rahu and Ketu are a polarity, an apparent tension of opposites. This tension affects our live at every level, and we can see it quite easily in the two-party system of American politics. The idea that a tug of war will enable one side to win over the other is a false resolution. The true resolution of polarity is not in the potency of opposition but in the revelation of unity. 

Two days from now on Nov 8, Jupiter enters its own sign of Sagittarius, a gracious and beneficial transit for all. Jupiter is the flow of goodness that stands beyond all oppositions, casting its light on enemies and friends alike. We have much to learn from Jupiter and from all its manifestations, especially the teachers and Gurus who embody its Gracious expression and light the sparks of Universal Joy within us. 

"The truly mature human individual is, characteristically, free of all the intrinsically and inevitably frustrating limitations of conditional reality and the personal and collective relationship-politics of social egoity. 

The truly mature human individual is radiant in the world, such that the Prior Unity of Reality Itself Is egolessly Alive As his or her human person. 

Therefore, a world-collective of truly mature (and, thus, rightly humanly and esoterically acculturated) human individuals can create a truly human, benign, moral, and Reality-Enlightened culture, founded in the Intrinsic Self-Apprehension of the Self-Nature, Self-Condition, and Self-State of Reality Itself. 

Only such a world-collective of truly mature human individuals is truly free of the inherent and chronic frustrations that otherwise constantly and only produce subhuman societies, subhuman cravings, and subhuman destinies (both before and after death)". 

~Avatar Adi Da Samraj
from "The ego-Culture of Desire and The ego-Transcending Culture of Love"
Not-Two Is Peace

The Lost Calculation: Between India and Tibet

I am happy to announce the completion of my essay, "The Lost Calculation: Between India and Tibet". This essay is a brief examination of the Kālacakra Tantra and its implications for astrology (Indian and Tibetan). What has been of interest to me is the Tantra's criticism and correction of the siddhāntic calculations, which amounts to an adjustment of the sidereal calculations to tropical calculations. It is interesting that the Tibetans incorporated Indian astrology (signs, nakshatras, etc.), but adjusted the calculations to a tropical zodiac. Given the tediousness of manual calculations, we must at least be open to considering that they had compelling reasons for doing so. 

My purpose in presenting this is not to incite a zodiac debate, as I don't believe polemics have any utility. Rather, I hope the verses of the Tantra will engender an open and positive consideration of astrology, zodiacs, and the implication of cross-cultural exchanges. 

Astrologers and Lovers

I've just returned from spending time with my astrology teacher, Ernst Wilhelm, alongside fellow students and astrologers. There is so much that was given during this beautiful period of time that I cannot articulate, but there are a few things that I would like to share. 

Astrology is an esoteric science and the study of it requires an esoteric process. There is endless amount of knowledge we can gain in this world about such subjects, but the mere accumulation of knowledge is not necessarily significant or meaningful. Astrology is the eye of the vedas (vedānga jyotiśa), or that through which we can see the lighted truth of life. Seeing is not only a vision, but an understanding. 

It makes sense then that every night we spent hours looking at the planets and nakshatras through a telescope. In doing so, we were not just seeing physical planets in space, but understanding them. When the Divine appears in the form of the Guru, it is the very Sight of the Guru that transmits Realization to the devotee, and this is the meaning of Darshan. Gazing at the planets through the telescope each night was also a form of darshan, a sighting that was a receptive participation in the pattern and energy of the planets. What better way to study astrology than through direct perception? 

The planets are only a reflection of what appears below them. What is revealed is a structure of consciousness that transcends the apparent difference and separation of these forms, a pattern of Transcendental Consciousness that is the life of all that appears. Astrology is therefore calling us to live a conscious life, to participate in the cosmic play with true vision. The esoteric message of astrology is that we can live in communion with life and the Consciousness that transcends it. We should study the great astrological texts, but we should also live a life of visionary understanding if we are to become seers. It is that contemplative openness that is the astrologer's meditation. 

The study of astrology really has no end point, as I see it. There is no final goal, no final conclusion to what can be known. The study of astrology mirrors and entails the very process of living life. Consciousness requires a vessel in order to be known, just as the planets flow through a rāsi. The astrologer likewise has to become attuned to the stars and what they signify at the level of pattern, consciousness, and light. This requires vulnerability, not abstraction. An open heart is the conduit of knowledge, which is why Jupiter is exalted in Cancer (the sign that corresponds to the heart). Astrologers therefore must become lovers if they are to be true seers. 

The Spiritual Guru is the Form in which Divine Consciousness is Revealed. But even all great teachers exemplify the crystallization of consciousness at one level or another. The secret of learning and growth is the transference of consciousness, or simply to spend time in the company of such people. We must study and prepare, but we must also be open to all that may flow into us through the excesses of grace. I am often asked what is the best way to study astrology, and my answer is to find a teacher, live life, and love. My deepest gratitude to Ernst Wilhelm and Srishti Wilhelm, my beautiful love Nicole Ortega for supporting me with great patience, and a special shout-out to Corey DowdsRyan KurczakNicole BrennyChanning AyersKaren White, and Laura Barat.

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!

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