New Moon, Total Solar Eclipse & Maha Shivaratri
The Total Solar Eclipse will be happening this Tuesday, March 8th from 1:19 pm HST to 6:34 pm HST. While the total eclipse will only be visible from parts of Indonessia and some locations in the Pacific, here in Hawaii we will witness a partial eclipse from 4:37 pm to 6:32 pm, with the peak of our visibility being at 5:37pm. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon comes between the Earth and the Sun, causing it to black out. In astrology, we call the eclipse points nodes, and they are Rahu, the North Node of the Moon, and Ketu, the South Node. These are mathematical points that show where the Moon will intersect the ecliptic, the Earth's orbital plane. This determines where the eclipses will be occurring over the next year and a half. In Vedic mythology, Rahu was one being, an asura (a demon) with a ugly face and long tail trailing off at the end of his body. He is bluish-black and smokey in appearance. At the great Churning of the Milky Way, the demons and gods had to work together in order to release the immortal nectar, or soma, from the Primordial Sea. When the soma came out, Vishnu disguised himself as a beautiful woman and teased the demons while only feeding the nectar to the gods. Rahu snuck in between the Sun and the Moon and got himself a serving-full before the Sun and Moon noticed this and ratted him out to Vishnu. Vishnu then threw his discus at Rahu, slicing him in half, except the nectar had already been digested and he was now immortal. His two halves of this body stick around to haunt the Moon and Sun forever more to pay them back for telling on them. Rahu is just a head, that goes around devouring anything and everything in sight, and Ketu is just a body with a tail that has no interest in this world.
Ketu is shadowing the Sun, eclipsing our power and source of energy. This is the first eclipse in the new cycle that technically began on January 9th of this year when the lunar nodes moved signs into the Leo/Aquarius axis. While the overwhelming trend of the next year and a half while the nodes are in this placement is one of coming into our own power and strength and sense of leadership/authority, and pulling away from a more humanitarian vision, this first eclipse of the "season" is going to show a real withdrawal from our inner source of power. The Sun in Aquarius is already at its most humble, reflecting all its energy to the bigger worldview and often negating ourselves in the process, and for the afternoon/evening of March 8th (into the morning of March 9 for much of the world) we will experience the same blackout that is happening to the physical sun in our own Soul. New Moon's are already a time where we fade out of our emotional/thought-oriented mind and become more quiet, meditative, internal in our process. In the solar eclipse we will be feeling the fade out in both our Mind and our Soul Power, causing us to feel less inspired, more critical and to feel the mysterious and often confusing energy of Ketu, the south node, literally digesting our inner Sun. Whatever karma we are working through regarding standing in our Power, Authority, Leadership, and Strength is coming to pass right now. Also what our biggger vision for all of humanity is, how we can be progressive thinkers and help the whole world, not just ourselves. This is because the eclipse is happening in Aquarius, the sign of the hunble visionary, and we need to overcome our shyness and find our strength while remaining humble in order to truly stand in our power and lead others.
This eclipse is happening in the nakshatra of Purva Bhadrapada, "Early Blessed Result" and is ruled over by the deity Aja Eka Pada, the one-footed goat. This asterism is a place where we receive great insight, like a flash of lightening, and are suddenly aware of ourselves as Divine, rather than merely of this world. This wake-up call can propel us towards our final journey home, to a peaceful state of happiness and Oneness with all, but we must first walk the path that is now before us, as shown by the word "Pada" which means "foot". It is easy to think we have arrived when we have this kind of awakening, but there is still much work to do which is shown in the next nakshatra, Uttara Bhadrapada, or "Later Blessed Result". Ruled by Jupiter and straddling the signs of Aquarius and Pisces, this star cluster is one where we begin to spiritualize our bigger vision for the world.
Mercury moved into Aquarius on March 1st and Venus will have just entered Aquarius on March 7th, giving our Communication and energy when Relating to Others a humanitarian bent. Here we are less grounded and resourceful in our speech, but more likely to want to look at the bigger picture and how our words and ideas can help everyone, not just us. Our relationships will also take on a less selfish energy and perhaps less intimate as we focus more on how we can use our shared efforts to move forward our big ideas out into the world. These two planets (especially Venus) are a good distance from the Sun and Moon for this New Moon, but they will still have some effect of Ketu withdrawing their power and finishing some karma in terms of our Relationships, Ability to be Happy and Intellect and Communication.
Jupiter is still Retrograde, 4 degrees away from the north node Rahu in Leo, and in dual dristhi with all the planets in Aquarius. This is adding to some of our confusion and self-doubt, as we are feeling uncertain about our Wisdom and if we have the right knowledge and teachings that really align with our highest beliefs and ideals, but it is offering the grace of Guru nonetheless to our eclipse and the planets surrounding. If we can trust that the truth will reveal itself in due time and continue allowing ourselves to be exposed to different ideas without clinging to our rigid, sectarian mindsets about what we believe, this period that Jupiter is retrograde will offer us great insight and wisdom moving forward.
We are still facing ourselves and our fears in Scorpio with the Mars/Saturn conjunction. This is the place in our lives that is exploding right now, maybe in tiny bursts or maybe in one huge blast. This depends on not only where it is in our chart and how charged that area already is, and also on how much intelligence we have with Saturn to begin with. If we have been using the last year to really roll up our sleeves and do the hard work, to humble ourselves in order to really deal with our fears and emotions and how we project those onto others, then we are really likely to have tinier explosions in that area of our life, handling each one as it comes up and finding the inner discipline to deal with our own baggage rather than just turning to scream and yell at everyone else. This is a time for really finding the courage to look at our fears and real or imagined issues from the perspective that we are the keepers of our own karma and have the power to shift our own life through a simple shift in view point. The next time we think that someone else has wronged us, we can instead shift our perspective to wonder what we could do differently in the future so that our needs can be met. Perhaps the answer is not dealing with that person anymore, but we still understand from this perspective that they are not the problem in and of themselves, the issue is rather that we have chosen to engage with them and we have different values or psychologies that make us incompatible for engaging with that person. We take the energy off of what is wrong with them, and into the empowering realm of what we can do about our current situation to make it the way we want it to be. This is the great power of both Saturn and Mars. They are energies we are meant to use on ourselves, to discipline, strengthen, humble and determine to do what needs to be done. When we use these energies in an intelligent way, they create great strides for us in both our personal and professional lives because Action occurs, and the Commitment necessary to really take those actions to the next level. When we spend our time disciplining and humbling others by projecting our fears and anger onto them, we waste this valuable energy and cause conflict in our lives that ultimately upsets our own discipline and flow of progress. The only way in which we should use these planets with other people is to maintain our own boundaries and daily practices/disciplines so that we do not get distracted or side tracked from our forward trajectory by our relationships with others..
This New Moon is being preceded on Sunday,March 6th (here in Hawaii, it's Monday in India) by Maha Shivaratri, the great night of Lord Shiva. Shiva is the Divine Masculine and in his embodied presence is generally found in Meditation on top of Mount Kailash. He is said to have been married to Parvati on Maha Shivaratri, one of the embodied forms of his counterpart, the Divine Feminine or Shakti. Another story is that it is when he danced his great Tandava, the dance of primal creation, preservation and destruction, It is also said that he manifested as a lingam here on earth on this holy night. This night falls on the 14th lunar phase of the Waning Moon in the month of Magha, which corresponds roughly to February/March in the gregorian calendar. The New Moon is always a time for meditation and prayer and Shivaratri will only increase our powers to do so. Fasting or light eating is also practiced on this day and any kind of sadhana, daily practices, will be given Shiva's blessing. Chanting 'Om Namah Shivayah' 108 times, or simply sitting with yourself and breathing long deep breaths in and out through the nose as you allow the mental activity to fade from your brain, is also a good way to honor this auspicious night. This mantra below is especially powerful on Shivaratri and is offered as a blessing for protection, if you have a japa practice you can chant it 108 times also. Hare Ohm
Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
Om Trayambakam yajamahe sugandhim pushti vardanam urvarukamiva bandhanan mrityor mokshiya ma'mratat
OM. We worship the 3-eyed Lord Who is fragrant and Who nourishes all beings. As the ripened cucumber is freed from its bondage (to the creeper vine), may He liberate us from death and bring us to immortality.
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