Friday, August 10, 2007

Eclipses - Rahu Ketu

One of my favorite books and movies from childhood is Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. It combined the science fiction theme of time travel with my favorite legendary period of Camelot. The main character, Hank Morgan (played by Bing Crosby in the 1949 movie),overthrows Merlin as the most powerful magician because he was able to block out the rays of the sun. This Connecticut Yankee somehow knew the eclipse tables and that a total solar eclipse would occur in England in 528 AD, and used them to demonstrate his great power. Eclipses have long been associated with the ursurption of power, with the politics of kings and leaders, and with cycles of death and rebirth. Ancient mythology and modern fiction are filled with examples of their compelling effect on the earth.

An eclipse is defined as an astronomical event in which one celestial object moves into the shadow of another. Although any planet or moon can be involved in an eclipse, here on earth our energetic lives are dramatically shifted during lunar and solar eclipses. A solar eclipse occurs during a new moon when the moon aligns with the one of the nodes and blocks the full light of the sun from the earth, creating a darken daytime sky, and literally shifting the light patterns of the sun. The shadows that are cast on the earth during this time are a carbon copy of the eclipse above. It is rather surreal, and thus associated with psychological disturbances, shadow issues, and fear. A lunar eclipse occurs during a full moon and has a less dramatic effect on light patterns, but does create an eerie red glow on the full moon. It's psychic effects are unpredictable ranging from the gift of new insight to the release of repressed emotions.

The North and South Nodes of the moon are the points where the moon crosses the ecliptic, the sun's path in the sky. The ascending node, called Rahu in Vedic astrology, is where the moon crosses to the north of the ecliptic. The descending node, called Ketu, is where it crosses to the south. Rahu is the head of the dragon, and Ketu is the tail. Because of their ability to swallow the sun (the light of the soul and source of life itself) and moon (the reflected light of consciousness) and then return them imprinted with new information, they are associated with death and rebirth, and thus indicators of karma.

There are many allegorical stories about the lunar nodes. In Hindu mythology, Rahu is a snake that swallows the sun or the moon causing eclipses. According to legend, the asura Rahu drank some of the divine nectar of immortality. Before the nectar could pass his throat, Vishnu/Mohini cut off his head. The head, however, remained immortal as it had already tasted the divine elixir. Because of its desire for divine nectar, Rahu is associated with intoxication and is an indicator of obsession with power and fame (immortality). Rahu on a physical plane gives insatiable desire to achieve, to conquer, and to possess.

Ketu is what remains of the body of Rahu, the headless tail. The lost head symbolizes the loss of the thinking mind. The headless body may also represent an enlightened being who is freed from the thinking mind. As opposed to Rahu's affliction of the mind, Ketu can afflict the body. It is a moksha-karaka, indicator of liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Ketu can bestow great insight and healing ability, or it may place obstacles that ultimately change how one thinks. It brings spiritual tendencies, ascetism and nonattachment to worldly desires and ambitions, and it balances the materialistic compulsion of Rahu with its impulse to enlightenment.

There is a terrific modern myth that exemplify these energies: LOST. Fans of this amazing TV series may recognize the interplay of the archetypal Rahu/Ketu energies expressed in the characters of Jack Shephard and John Locke. Jack is a Rahu type, whose logical mind brings him success as a doctor, but becomes afflicted with fear, alcohol and a blinding obsession to get off the island. Locke, the Ketu type, whose afflicted body is healed on the island, proceeds on the fools journey by using intuition alone. The LOST myth unfolds according to the actions and results of the actions of these two men. This dance with their individual, but intertwining karmas occurs on the ruins of the "Dharma" Initiative. We are never sure who is good or who is bad. Season Finales are like eclipses -- releasing the built up karma and propelling the characters into a new understanding of reality.

Vedic astrologer Komilla Sutton beautifully sums up the opposing influences of eclipses and the Rahu-Ketu dynamic:

Rahu Ketu have twin purpose, one in the mundane life and another in the spiritual life but it is intertwined, like their shadowy nature. Their actions in the material realm are meant so that we change our thoughts and ideas about what we want and desire. What is darkness to a person enmeshed in materialistic ambitions can be powerful spiritual energy for those on the path of Moksha and spiritual enlightenment. The nodes always serves opposing purposes- good and bad, lots and nothing, give and take. Rahu gives, Ketu takes back. The are no straight rules about them. They operate in so many different colours which can lead you to the highest spiritual pinnacle to the greatest financial achievements or vice versa. They can give contrary results. You can never give predictions dealing with surety.

Lunar Eclipse August 28, 2007
A total eclipse of the Moon occurs during the early morning of Tuesday, August 28, 2007. The event is widely visible from the United States and Canada as well as South America, the Pacific Ocean, western Asia and Australia. The Moon will be eclipsed by Rahu in Aquarius. The chart for the event in Seattle has a Cancer rising, which is ruled by the Moon in Aquarius that happens to be placed in the 8th house (hidden things,death) with the planet Uranus. It falls in the Nakshatra of Shatabishak, also known as the "veiling star." What will be unveiled? The deity associated with these stars is Varuna, bearer of cosmic waters. Much has been written about Lunar Eclipses and earthquakes, and as an observer of cycles it seems to me like there is a strong possibility for an earthquake all along the Pacific rim during the two weeks prior and after the actual eclipse. (The earthquake in Peru happened just after this was originally posted.) Ocean storms may also be stirred up. (And it is hurricane season.) I am not a fan of dire predictions, and would rather offer the earth love and gratitude to pray for healing movement rather than destruction.

Solar Eclipse September 11, 2007
The last eclipse of 2007 is a partial solar eclipse at the Moon's descending node in southern Leo. Its visibility is confined to parts of South America, Antarctica and the South Atlantic. The chart for the event shows that the eclipse occurs at the horizon and is tied to the planets Saturn and Mercury. I would listen closely to the words and stories presented by the media at this time. There may be an increase in propaganda that may over-dramatize world or national events, or important information that was hidden may be brought to light. Perhaps the truth of what really happened on the overplayed 911 tragedy will be revealed?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As always, fabulous commentary!