The final eclipse of the summer occurs in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, July 1, 2011. As you can see from the graphics at Shadow and Substance, as well as in the illustration to the right, this partial eclipse will only be visible in the southern hemisphere between the tip of Africa to the unpopulated waters of Antarctica. With maximum obscuration of 9.7% it may not even be visible from space. So like the proverbial tree falling in a forest, what is the effect of this occultation if no one is there to witness and experience its darkening effects. Moreover, as this partial eclipse takes place while Ketu, the South Node, and luminaries are in different signs, it seems unlikely that its effects will be very significant. The Moon actually contacts the shadow-making South Node, Ketu, in Taurus on Wednesday June 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm before it conjoins the Sun in Gemini on Friday. Thus the effects of this eclipse span across two signs and two days with a 15 degree separation between Ketu and the New Moon.
So with limited visibility and out-of-sign alignment, why have so many astrologers proposed that this eclipse will be significantly dire? Perhaps it is because this eclipse is the first of a Saros cycle that has not been seen before and will introduce new energies that we do not yet know or understand. Solar eclipses of Saros 156 will all occur at the Moon’s descending node with the Moon traveling northward with each subsequent eclipse. The Saros series 156 begins with Friday's partial eclipse in the southern hemisphere and ends with a partial eclipse in the northern hemisphere on July 14, 3237. The total duration of Saros series 156 is 1226.05 years.
The word Saros appears to come from the ancient Sumerian/Babylonia sar meaning to enclose. Sar also means 3600 in Sumerian and is harmonically related to the measurement of a circle that the Sumerians were the first to divide into 360 degrees. A Saros Cycle is an eclipse period with 223 synodic months (approximately 6585.3213 days, or nearly 18 years 11 1/3 days), that can be used to predict eclipses of the Sun and Moon. Ancient Babylonians may have used a device like the ancient Antikythera mechanism to track these cycles.
Each eclipse of a Saros group happen 18 years apart and are linked together in families. Ancient Babylonian astronomers used these patterns to understand events associated with each family. These families evolve cyclically over time lasting 1200-1400 years encompassing 70-80 eclipses in each series. The entire cycle has a "personality" all its own that colors each family. This Saros personality is based on the first eclipse in the Saros Family which becomes its birthchart for the entire cycle. Each subsequent eclipse in the family is thematically related to this initial chart and raises the energy to the next level. Thus for the next 1200 years the Saros 156 series will repeat itself with the same familial themes, with the same node of Moon, at almost the same distance from Earth. Similar to Saros 136 below, the eclipse location for Saros 156 will slowly move northwards until it completes its run in the Arctic region near the North Pole on July 14, 3237.
As the initial eclipse of the Saros 156 series occurs so close to the South Pole, some astrologers have suggested that the vibrations released with its first eclipse will have an effect on the magnetic resonance of the South Pole. And since the Series ends with an eclipse at the North Pole, the Saros 156 series appears to be bringing in vibrations that effect the very core of the Earth. Thus studying the birthchart of this new family of eclipses might give us a hint of what the future may hold, in particular concerning the poles and axis of the earth.
In 1934 the infamous psychic Edgar Cayce first described a pole-shifting cataclysm:
"The earth will be broken up in the western portion of America. The greater portion of Japan must go into the sea. The upper portion of Europe will be changed as in the twinkling of an eye. Land will appear off the east coast of America. There will be the upheavals in the Arctic and in the Antarctic that will make for the eruption of volcanoes in the torrid areas, and there will be the shifting then of the poles — so that where there has been those of a frigid or the semi-tropical will become the more tropical, and moss and fern will grow."
Since that time the concept of pole shift has been investigated and discussed by scientists and new age thinkers. It became linked to the 2012 phenomenon by authors like Charles Hapsgood, Graham Hancock, and Drunvalo Melchizedek to name a few. I first became aware of this phenomenon when I read Greg Braden's book Awakening to Zero Point which completely changed how I viewed the world.
Whether this pole shift is a geomagnetic reversal or actual cataclysmic axial realignment, there is plenty of evidence pointing to inevitable and imminent earth changes. Thus this new Saros cycle may be heralding that the time is upon us as it is being birthed at the south pole; and its effects over the next 1200 years fit both the scientific and new age time models for pole shift.
As Ketu is the initial eclipsing node, its nature and symbolism becomes especially significant to understanding Saros 156. In the Vedic traditions Ketu is considered the oldest planet and "head" of all the stars and planets (ironic English wording as Ketu has no head). As the oldest planet, Ketu reflects the original primordial forces of chaos and disorder. Its energy is erratic and sublime, sometimes contacting, often dissolving. Thus it represents extremes, such as creation and destruction, beginnings and endings -- perhaps like the chaotic shifts that occur during a pole reversal. Ketu is an enemy of the Sun, and as the Negative Sun may bring self-doubt, lack of confidence and self worth, or its extreme opposite megalomania, during eclipses. It tends to effect the physical body more than the mind, which is more effected by Rahu, and it's shadow may trigger changes in the earth like tectonic movement, or in our own bodies. Ketu is always concerned with the past, and is what attaches us to our roots in the form of family and ancestors. Thus it is intriguing what it might mean for this new family of eclipses, the Saros 156 series.
In The Key of Life Prash Trivedi points out that the main symbols associated with Ketu are a flag fitted to a pole, a mace, the Ouroborous, an arrow and swastika. The flag is an emblem of authority and ownership, like marking the poles with the various national flags. Ketu always indicates a higher authority is at work in any process of change.
The mace is a weapon that represents the potential destructive aspect of Ketu. However, the mace is also associated with Ganesha, the first child of the Universe whose mace overcomes obstacles. The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol of the cyclic nature of time and eternity. The arrow symbolizes how we direct our aim, either reaching for higher consciousness, or dropping into darkness. And finally the swastika is a symbol that represents the spin of magnetic fields. It may described as right or left-handed indicating clockwise, or counterclockwise spin.
Nassim Haramein has developed a fascinating unified theory that describes spin as the key to understanding the structure of the universe.
The magnetic field of the earth acts very much like the Torus in the video above. A shift of spin is a natural occurrence that happens in the macrocosmic layers and cycles of the universe, as well as in the microcosmic levels of our human body. For example, women of reproductive age have a monthly pole shift in their energetic fields that precipitate their menstrual cycle. In Chinese medicine, the chong channel is called the sea of qi and blood, and in women, it flows upward for 3 week and then reverses allowing menstruation to take place. Could a pole reversal be a natural rhythm for the earth, its own menstrual cycle? Thus this initial Ketu eclipse of the Saros 156 cycle may indeed be pointing to the earth's next menstrual cycle, a pole shift that literally begins with this eclipse at the South Pole, the "root chakra" of the Earth and works its way to the "crown chakra" in 1200 years.
Ketu has recently shifted from the sign of Gemini to Taurus, the astrological sign most associated with the Earth, fertility, and accumulation. As Ketu's nature is to dissolve attachment, it is not very comfortable in Taurus. Ketu was separated from its head, Rahu, at the throat, ruled by Taurus. The headless Ketu does not have the traditional five senses to count on (or be distracted by), but instead must rely on the perceptive field of the heart, a magnetic torus, to experience reality. Thus Ketu's effects are unpredictable to the mind, and felt deeply in realms beyond the senses - like the magnetic field.
Currently Ketu is transiting the nakshatra of Mrigashira which like this eclipse spans both signs of Taurus and Gemini. It is connected with the constellation of Orion, the Hunter, and the bright star Bellatrix, and three faint stars resembling a deer's head. Although Mrigashira is ruled by Mars, (which will conjoin Ketu on July 21, 2011) it is a gentle and peaceful nakshatra. Another symbol for Mrigashira is a pot full of Soma, the celestial nectar of the gods. In Hindu mythology, the story of the creation of the nodes has to do with obtaining the elixir of immortality (for more see a previous post). Thus this solar eclipse is triggered by Ketu sipping on the soma of Mrigrashira, first touched by the Sun on June 14, 2011 and then by the Moon on June 29, 2011. So one might say this eclipse has been building during this time.
By the time of the actual eclipse on July 1, 2011 the Sun and Moon will be 15 degrees away in the nakshatra of Ardra, also connected with the constellation of Orion and the bright red star Betelgeuse. The ancient seers saw this bright red star as associated with Rudra, whose name means "the ruddy red one," the fierce red form of Shiva. Rudra was also seen as a Storm god in many ancient texts. Thus this nakshatra is associated with turbulent weather patterns like those that were triggered by full lunar eclipse of December 2010. However, this new moon lunation is far enough away from the south node that its escalating effects may be minimal.
On the other hand, this new moon may have a very significant role in the birth chart of the Saros 156 cycle. All eclipses in this cycle will be marked by the nakshatra Ardra, which means the "moist one" and is often depicted by a teardrop. According to Dennis Harness, "it is described as green, fresh, soft, wet, and shining like a gem." These descriptions reveal an underlying sense of renewal, like the wet grass and fresh air after a spring storm. By releasing the stagnation of accumulation through a series of stormy events, Ardra signals a purifying cleanse.
Moreover, Prash Trivedi describes Rudra's stormy nature as auspicious:
"Rudra is intimately connected with the constellation of Orion, the Hunter. It is revered in all the Vedic texts as the gateway from where the souls descend to begin their earthly life and is thus called the "Giver of Life." It aids in the evolutionary process of humanity through triggering important changes. Some of these changes may appear destructive on an individual or collective level like a violent storm, but they are always auspicious in the sense that they trigger new growth."
Thus whatever this new eclipse series brings, there is a promise of renewal and evolutionary progress. Most astrologers agree that eclipses are not an auspicious a time for any activity except meditation, mantra, and prayers, which may be up to 1,000 stronger under these special conditions. If this is the case, then it would be wise to pray for the protection and enlightenment for all sentient beings during this potentially stormy shift.
Update: This beautiful prayer was posted on my Facebook by an astrological friend. I think it is quite appropriate for this eclipse.
There is peace in the planetary region; there is peace in the atmosphere; there is peace on earth; there is coolness in the water; the medicinal herbs are healing; the plants are peace giving; there is peace in the planets; there is perfection in the eternal knowledge; everything in the universe is peaceful; peace pervades everywhere. May that peace come to me. Om shanti, shanti, shanti, peace, peace, peace. --Yajur Veda