[Vishnu as the celestial nymph Mohini, beheading the demon Rahu, source of the lunar nodes in Hindu mythology. Eclipses occur because of a regular alignment of the Sun, Moon, and nodes.]
FULL LUNAR ECLIPSE (6/15/11)
PURIFICATION: Traditionally eclipses are seen as disruptive, revealing and amplifying heavy energy. This also makes them opportunities for purification.
CHANGE: Contemporary astrology interprets eclipses more neutrally as agents of change, triggering breakthroughs or break downs.
RARE CENTRAL ECLIPSE: The intensity of an eclipse energetically depends on the degree and length of its obscuration. This eclipse is not only a total eclipse but a rare central eclipse, the darkest kind. The Moon will pass through the center of Earth’s shadow.
WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the Sun, the Moon, and the truth.”
The next full moon is June 15th, 2011 at 4:14 p.m. Eastern Time in Sagittarius. It is also a total lunar eclipse. During a lunar eclipse, the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. Since the Moon’s light is reflected sunlight, it appears to darken. This can only happen during a full moon. While solar eclipses are visible only in particular parts of the world, lunar eclipses are visible to everyone on the night side of the planet. Unfortunately we will not be able to see this one here in the US.
The degree of darkness depends on the Moon’s path through the shadow. During a total eclipse the entire face of the Moon darkens, turning brown, gray, or reddish orange. The exact color varies each time like a sunset, depending on dust in the Earth’s atmosphere. The intensity of an eclipse energetically depends on the degree and length of obscuration. The upcoming total eclipse is a rare central eclipse, meaning the Moon passes near the center of the Earth’s shadow. They are the darkest eclipses. While the next total eclipse is in 2012, the next central eclipse is not until 2018. An eclipse can last up to 107 minutes, this one will be 100. Only three other eclipses have lasted longer during the last century.
SEEING IN THE DARK
“In a clear and serene sky, the Moon was suddenly eclipsed… To assist the Moon in her labors, the air resounded with the clamor of brazen instruments, with the sound of trumpets, and other warlike music.”
~Tacitus, 1st century Roman historian~
Many traditional cultures see eclipses as disruptive. Like the dark of the new moon, they are associated with black magic, death, and disharmony. For example, visible eclipses are seen as sources of impurity in Hinduism, tainting exposed food and spreading disease. Since this spiritual pollution can be spread by touch, all activity stops, tools are set down, and most temples are closed. People fast, chant mantras, or perform charity to counter balance it. In other traditions people make loud noises, shoot off guns, or light fires to scare away the darkness, often imagined as a predator.
Dismissed as superstition, folklore can preserve spiritual technologies. Eclipses tend to reveal and amplify heavy energy. Noise, light, and water are universal cleansing agents. As polluting as Hinduism interprets them, they are also opportunities for purification. Hindus ritually bathe during an eclipse, believing all water is temporarily as pure as the holy river Ganges. While others are closed, some Shiva temples actually stay open. The dark night before every new moon is also sacred to him. People honor the Hindu god of transformation during moments of celestial darkness to overcome negativity, illness, and their own ego. Whatever your spiritual path, eclipses are opportunities to address inner and outer heavy energy. They can be used to amplify clearing and release work, from smudging to healing trauma.
AGENTS OF CHANGE
“If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they’d immediately go out.”
~William Blake, 18th century English poet and artist ~
Contemporary astrology interprets eclipses more neutrally as agents of change, triggering breakthroughs or break downs, significant endings and beginnings, and unexpected revelations. While a solar eclipse is experienced more externally, a lunar eclipse is felt more internally- interpersonally, domestically, and in our inner life. Since the Moon rules emotional expression, moods can darken, feelings can become more irrational, and denied emotions can rise to the surface to be addressed. Eclipses are due to an alignment of the Sun, Moon, and lunar nodes that occurs about every six months. Each eclipse season there can be up to three eclipses, alternating between solar and lunar. They often come in pairs. Events triggered by an eclipse tend to be experienced at least until the next season, six months away.
Not everyone experiences astrological events personally, they may just see the themes around them. The lunar eclipse takes place at 24°23' Sagittarius, the Sun is in Gemini. Those with planets and points in their charts in the mutable signs are the most likely influenced (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces). For example:
Sun Sign Gemini born around June 16th.
Sun Sign Virgo born around September 18th.
Sun Sign Sagittarius born around December 17th.
Sun Sign Pisces born around March 15th.
We should look for the eclipse’s energy in the Sagittarius associated parts of life: our philosophy and outlook on life, especially how we try to expand that understanding through higher education, long distance travel, and contact with foreign cultures.
For those with a little more astrological skill, you should check your natal chart to see what house the eclipse takes place in and look at a transit chart to see what aspects it is making. This will let you know how you will experience it personally, if at all.
C L Matthews, 2011