Full Lunar Eclipse Wednesday June 15, 2011 will begin at will begin at 10:24 am PDT (17:24 GMT) and last until 4 pm PDT (23:00 GMT)
On Wednesday afternoon the longest total lunar eclipse since July 2000 will occur in the night skies over Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia. Although it will not be visible to those of us in the United States (click here for an illustration of its path), its effects will still be felt as the shadow of Rahu, the dragon's head, appears to swallow the Moon obscuring its bright light with a blood red veil. When the Moon passes through the dragon's mouth, it dims as the dragon feeds on its light, blocking it from its children on Earth. In astrology the Moon represents our emotional body and reflective mind. Thus Rahu casts a bizarre shadow on our emotions and perceptions which may create fear or bring new perceptions depending on how you use the energy.
Most astrologers agree that it is not a time for any activity except meditation, mantra, and prayers, which may be up to 1,000 stronger under these special conditions. As many people will not, or can not, heed this advice, the collective is particularly susceptible to its intoxicating and illusionary power which propels us into the inevitable dramas that unfold under this obstructive and often destructive cloud. But clouds do pass; and sometimes the day of the eclipse is calm, like the eye of a hurricane, when the destructive force of the storm hit you before and after.
You may have already noticed the emotional field heating up over the past two weeks since the kick-off of this current eclipse cycle. I have certainly witnessed an increase in emotional and physical stress expressed by my acupuncture patients, but then this eclipse is effecting the 10th house of my natal chart which represents my career and public life. I am also running Rahu's maha dasha which heightens these eclipse periods like a giant karmic exclamation mark. Unfortunately you do not need to be running Rahu's dasha to feel it disturbing waves because Rahu's shadow is full and potent in the sign of its mulatrikona, Scorpio; and since Rahu effects the collective, just associating with those of us under its sway may effect those who may not be under its immediate astrological grasp.
During the next three days the Moon will occupy its sign of debilitation, Scorpio. On the day of the eclipse it will remain in Scorpio for most of the morning leading up to totality, when it shifts into Sagittarius and makes the Full Moon opposition to the Sun at 0 degrees that afternoon. Thus this lunar eclipse spans two signs and two nakshatras through critical gandantic degrees of both water and fire (click here for previous post). As the Moon transits across the galactic center from the dark rift of Jyeshta towards the galactic core of Mula, it receives the shakti vibrations emanating from that area of space. However, when the head of the dragon, Rahu, casts its shadow across the bright face of the Moon, it sucks up the soma for itself mixing its with own intoxicating saliva. As the bite of a serpent may kill or heal, so too is the power of Rahu. In its lowest expression it might create anxiety and fear, in its highest form it might bring insight into our karmic bonds and how to release them.
Rahu entered the late degrees of Scorpio on June 6, 2011 and has been hovering in the stellar fields of the Jyeshta for the past week. This nakshatra contains three stars that the ancient seers described as an umbrella, ring, earring, or round talisman. All of these circular shapes are representations of cycles and the protective,governing forces of the universe. They have been embedded in royal symbolism around the world in objects like crowns, orbs, rings, and earrings like those below worn by ancient kings in India.
The deity associated with Jyeshta is Indra, the divine warrior who reflects the power of this nakshatra to rise and conquer and gain courage in battle (arohana shakti). In a famous myth, Indra must face a dragon-demon named Vritra, who had taken and hoarded all the waters of the earth causing a devastating drought over the world. To prepare for battle, Indra drank a large quantity of soma, the divine elixir of immortality, which also endowed him enormous strength. When he stormed the dragon's lair, the divine warrior split the belly of the demon with his thunderbolt, releasing the waters and regenerating life onto the planet. Some sources suggest that Indra's defeat of Vritra takes place again whenever strong winds and rains, such as those associated with a monsoon, arrive after a seasonal drought.
So what happens when a dragon, Rahu, eclipses the Moon in the sign of the dragon slayer? Well, shadow issues may rise for warriors and those leaders involved in conflict. We may also see may an increase in drought, hoarding of water and other natural resources; or we might see the opposite effect, an increase in monsoon rains -- amplified under the influence of Rahu. Even before this eclipse, there has been unusual rains and catastrophic flooding in China, Tibet, India, Pakistan, Japan, the US, and Cyprus to name just a few.
Although Rahu cannot contain the Moon in its jaws for for long as it has no body, its effects do last about a month for a lunar eclipse (and six months for a solar eclipse). And keep in mind the peak moment of this eclipse occurs in Sagittarius, a fire sign, so we may also see fires and volcanic activity such as the fires in Arizona and Canada, and the erupting Chilean volcano Puyehue with its eery thunderbolts (Indra).
In addition to earth changes, this lunar eclipse may inspire a shift in consciousness as it takes place against the backdrop of two nakshatras associated with galactic cycles. The nakshatra Jyeshta is the last step before we come back to a rebirth at the root of the Galaxy, literally Mula also called the Vishnuabi, or Vishnu's belly button, the center from which our entire galaxy grew. Depictions of Vishnu, the preserver, often portray him asleep dreaming on the coiled-up thousand-hooded Shesha Naga, with his consort Lakshmi, floating on the Kshira Sagar meaning 'ocean of milk,' the Milky Way. Here the Dragon or serpent is a benevolent naga, perhaps a distant relative of Rahu. Mula is ruled by Ketu, the tail of the dragon, indicator of enlightenment, and according to some sources the oldest planetary being of our solar system. The power of Mula is to ruin, destroy and break things apart (barhana shakti). It dissolves our physical attachments, so we may return to our own vishnuabhi or divine center.
What if the enlightening rays of this nakshatra are meant not only for the human spirit, but also for our planetary guides. Although a sworn enemy of the Moon, Rahu still desires the lunar light, and by consuming it draws in its wisdom and grace. By grasping for an expression of full divine feminine aligned with the galactic core, even our shadows may be transformed. Thus this lunar eclipse may prove to be uplifting for many sentient beings. I pray that we all make time for sacred space and ask that our prayers and understanding be amplified under these cosmic conditions. Mantras to Durga and Ganesha are particularly protective and beneficial under eclipse periods. May Indra's thunderbolt awaken and release the divine waters within each of us.