As I discussed in the June Astro Weather post, last week's full moon lunar eclipse in the nakshatra of Mula heralded the opening of the King Tut Exhibit in Denver, with its symbolic display of funerary art. Under the light of this shadow moon, stories of King Tut's missing penis made headlines. Even Stephen Colbert was intrigued by the missing phallus. Besides the sensationalized mystery of why it is missing, it is intriguing because during the lunar eclipse the Sun was in the nakshatra of Ardra, which is associated with the constellation of Orion and the fixed star Sirius. These stars correspond to the Egyptian goddess Isis, and her husband O-Siris, who was also known for missing a penis. Osiris is a god of resurrection and Lord of the Underworld.
Ancient Egyptians viewed the fixed star Sirius as a giver of life for it always reappeared at the time of the annual flooding of the Nile. When the star sank in the west and disappeared from the night sky, it remained hidden for 70 days before emerging in the east in the morning. This period was viewed as a time of death and rebirth. The Egyptians designed their funeral ceremonies to reflect this phenomenon. When an Egyptian king died, his body was mummified, then interred in a pyramid or other tomb. By custom, burial took place 70 days after death, when the king was "reborn" in the stars. As Sirius was involved in this eclipse, it points to the period of its helical rising, July 3 - August 11th, the possibility that a king may undergo burial rites.
During this eclipse period many themes of death and the underworld have surfaced in the media and mass consciousness. It is no coincidence that the vampire blockbuster The Twilight Saga opened the third installment aptly named Eclipse during this time. We also witnessed intense riots and political protests at the G20 Summit in Toronto, where an unusual 5.0 earthquake shook the ground three days earlier. Tropical storm Alex threatened to push the spilled oil into the northern Gulf, but turned towards Mexico instead. The stock market may be taking another dive dubbed a "death cross."
And more frightening discussions of the BP oil spill fulfilling an apocalyptic prophecy with an upcoming event that could cause the deaths of 1.5 - 3 billion people.
Thus the effects of Rahu on this full moon lunar eclipse seem to have amplified the collective fear of our death urge. Rahu is sometimes described as the enemy of the moon, or negative Moon. Rahu as Negative Moon brings negative mental states such as psychosis, paranoia, illusion and trance. My personal experience of this lunar eclipse was a positive one as it effected benefics in my own natal chart. I attended a transcendent yoga class that surprisingly brought me back to the root (Mula) of my essence and that night I experienced significant dreams.
New Moon, Solar Eclipse July 11, 2010 12:40 pm PDT
The next phase of this eclipse period is the new moon solar eclipse on July 11, 2010 at 12:40 pm PDT. July's eclipse is the second solar eclipse of the year, but unlike the January 15th partial Rahu eclipse, this one will be a total Ketu eclipse. In Vedic Astrology Ketu is described as the enemy of the Sun, and as the Negative Sun may bring self-doubt, lack of confidence and self worth, or its opposite megalomania. As opposed to Rahu's affliction of the mind, Ketu can afflict the body. Ketu is a moksha-karaka, indicator of liberation from the cycle of birth and death, and it performs this function through dissolution. Thus we may expect to see sudden disease or cataclysmic events that dissolve the body and bring unexpected deaths; leaders may be less effective to make confident decisions; countries may find themselves dissolving political ties; or a delusional leader may incite a volatile incident.
During this new moon solar eclipse both the Sun and Moon fall in the sign of Gemini in the 7th nakshatra of Punarvasu. The nakshatra Punarvasu consists of two bright stars, Castor and Pollux, above the constellation of Orion. Many ancient cultures saw these stars as twins or lovers, but ancient Vedic seers interpreted them as a "quiver of arrows. And these are no ordinary arrows. Punar means "to repeat" or to "return" and these arrows function like boomerangs, or divine astras, that magically return after fulfilling their function or mission. Their perigee is the moment they hit their target, but that is not the end as the arrow must bring its rewards by returning. Thus Punarvasu symbolizes renewal, regeneration and endless beginnings. What ever we set our intent for under this influence is bound to be a completed mission. So perhaps this new moon eclipse will offer the opportunity for all of us to reach for our magical arrow, send it off with well planned intent of requesting sacred space for movement and abundance to be generated not just for ourselves, but for all earth kind.
This benefic nakshatra is is ruled by Aditi the Mother of a group of solar deities called the Adityas. The Adityas protect against various diseases, and belong to the Devas, a generic term for divine beings. They are: Ansa, Aryman, Bhaga, Daksha, Dhatri, Indra, Mitra, Ravi, Savitri, Surya, Varuna, and Yama. Surya is the deity associated with the Sun and as he is being eclipsed, his energy may not be as powerful during this time. Surya is an indicator of kings and leaders, and this eclipse may be a difficult time for any leader or countries with planets at 25 degrees Gemini. For example, the famous Indian astrologer Gayatri Vasudev uses a US chart with a Gemini ascendant, and we may witness more difficulty for President Obama as his natal Venus, ruler of his 10th house of public life) falls in Gemini in the 6th house of disease and enemies.
Adithi is Sanskrit for "limitless" and thus Aditi is also described as a sky goddess representing the unlimited space of the heavens.
Prash Trivedi writes:
Aditi, or space, is the sinequanon for any motion or movement. If there is no space, there is no motion. . . Just like the space which accommodates all, Punarvasu is very accommodating of people, situations, circumstances, and energies.
The power associated with Punarvasu is to gain wealth or substance, vasutva prapana shakti. So will Ketu's shadow influence dissolve this power, or accentuate it? Or will it yield enlightenment about how unbalanced our concepts of wealth and money are? Will Aditi, a symbol of the earth itself, who grants all abundance and gives birth to all the gods, be eclipsed by Ketu? Will she be able to heal herself, or will she 'quiver' under the shadow of Ketu?
The path of the eclipse usually points to the areas of the world that will be most effected. In this case the solar eclipse will be visible in the South Pacific and southern South America, following a path over the Cook Islands, Tahiti, Easter Island, and finally Chile and Argentina. As Chile suffered a major earthquake 6 weeks after the last solar eclipse in January, it may have experience more earth changes.
The focal point of this eclipse is Easter Island, known around the world as the location of the mysterious giant carvings called moai. Easter Island was also called Te-Pito-O-Te Henua which means "the Navel of the Earth." What could a total eclipse do to this magical site and how does it tie into the mother earth archetypes being triggered?
Easter Island has always inspired wild speculation about UFO's, Lemuria, and vanished advanced ancient races. The legends of Easter Island speak of 'Hiva' which sank beneath the waves as people fled. As the words "Punar" means repeat, and "Vasu" translates as ray of light, Punarvasu is also known as "the star of renewal" and marks the return of the light after the storm. Perhaps we will see stories surface that reveal lost ancient worlds? Or perhaps we will see the return of a cataclysmic event?
Are Eclipses Really to be Feared?
This eclipse is part of Saros cycle 146, repeating every 18 years 11 days. Saros 146 occurred previously at the Total Solar Eclipse of June 30, 1992, and will next occur at the Total Solar Eclipse of July 22, 2028. I remember the 1992 solar eclipse as I was fascinated by how the light shifted. It seemed very gray to me. All my co-workers went outside to experience the event. Instead of looking at the sky, we watched the eclipse in the bizarre shadows cast by the trees.
I was just beginning to study astrology, and wondered how this energy effected our own energetic field and shadows. The following year was one of great change that initiated me on my spiritual path.
Astrological traditions view eclipse cycles as a karmic time periods in which the obscuration of the luminaries brings out psychological disturbances, political unrest, shadow issues, and fear. Historically eclipses have been described in the mythology and literature of different cultures as signs of the overthrow of the natural order of things. The word eclipse comes from a Greek word ekleipsis meaning "to fail to appear" or "abandonment." Quite literally, an eclipse was seen as the sun abandoning the earth. It is unfortunate that so much negativity is associated with eclipses because my recent experiences have found that eclipses bring in profound and evolutionary information.
If we look at the phenomenon of an eclipse, we may begin to realize what is happening beyond an archetypal level. At the beginning of the solar eclipse, the Moon progressively covers the solar disk. Illumination of Earth's surface rapidly diminishes. Even the air temperature falls a few degrees. Seconds before the totality of the eclipse, shadow bands appear.
Shadow bands are irregular bands of shadow, a few centimeters wide and up to a meter apart, moving over the ground. There is a theory that suggests that shadow bands are not just visual events but also sonic, as the moon is believed to move at a supersonic speed, creating various sound waves during the solar eclipse. Sound waves travel 4.3 times faster in water than air, so we can only imagine what effect these sonic shadows bands may have on the waters of our planet, and in our bodies.
The next phase of an eclipse is called the diamond ring phase during which Bailey's beads appear on the solar limb. Bailey's beads are a string of bright beads of light produced by the uneven shape of the lunar limb. Baily's beads make their brief appearance up to 15 seconds before totality. When a single point of sunlight remains, a beautiful "diamond ring" effect is created against the outline of the Moon.
This sparkling signals the arrival of the moon's shadow when the last ray of sunlight vanishes and totality begins. Maximal duration of totality varies from eclipse to eclipse lasting up to 7.5 minutes.
During totality, a luminous white crown of light shines in all directions around the darkened solar disk. A million times fainter than the Sun itself, the full glory of the corona is visible only during a total solar eclipse. Wispy plumes and streamers of coronal light reach out distances up to several diameters of the Sun before they fade into darkness. The sun's corona is much hotter -- by a factor of nearly 200 -- than the visible surface of the Sun. The high temperature of the corona gives it unusual spectral features that have been traced to highly ionized Iron. The exact mechanism by which the corona is heated is still the subject of some debate, but likely possibilities include induction by the Sun's magnetic field and sonic pressure waves from below. I can't help but view the corona as the auric field of the sun, and thus wonder if we can't see other auric fields during an eclipse? Or if we may be able to access astral fields more clearly during this time manifesting in seeing auras or other psychic phenomenon in dream and meditative states.
To me the most amazing thing about totality is that the brightest stars and planets are observable during a time when they are usually blocked by the sun's light. It seems to me that we may receive more galactic information at this time. My teacher used to say that during a solar eclipse, one should take notice of the stars when the Sun is obscured. The stars are the issues that are always there, but can't be seen in the bright light of day. In other words eclipses are opportunities to realize what is present beyond daily vision, and these issues may thus be addressed.
Although this eclipse period promises to be intense, it is important to remember not to get caught up in the drama of any karmic release. Ketu 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. This Ketu opportunity to bring balance is exactly what the earth needs right now.