Shadows & Light; The Yoga of Eclipses

December 2016

The sun is associated with illumination, and therefore enlightenment. The Sun is the king of the sky, the embodiment of righteousness (dharma), and is the most visible and easily recognized of deities. Seeing and being seen (dharshana) by an enlightened deity is auspicious and tends to improve luck.

Spending time near an enlightened being or in a location (like on a sacred mountain, or at the shore of a sacred river, or in a temple) that is auspicious will “rub off” on you and help you to align with the enlightened state of that being, or the auspicious nature of that location. Actions, situations, and locations that obscure your ability to see clearly or be enlightened are generally considered inauspicious and best avoided. Eclipses block the illuminating power of the Sun (Righteousness/Dharma) and the Moon (Nourishment/Intuition). The word for planet in Sanskrit “Graha” means “to seize.” because their influence is said to ‘seize’ our consciousness and cause us to play out our karma in a reactive way.

This can be understood as a kind of possession, a partial possession, in that you are being possessed by an energetic pattern that causes you to act like a puppet. You are still “you” but heavily influenced in an unconscious way. This isn’t “bad,” it’s just normal, but it does imply a lack of freedom. The whole point of spiritual practice is to increase your freedom, self-possession, the ability to discern and choose for yourself what you wish to do and which path you wish to walk. The more directly you view planet, or bathe in its light, and the longer time you soak up the light, the stronger the influence.

As yogins, our path is one of skillful means, choosing the situations and experiences that lead us toward our goal, whether that is stillness, liberation, or union. So it is important for us to be clear about the choices we make that lead toward illumination or toward obscuration. It is to CHOOSE what is appropriate for you at this time, what helps you along your path. In Vedic astrology, solar eclipses are said to accelerate social evolution, often through agitation, which may present as some kind of crisis or confusion. Synchronistic with this view is that the shadow of this eclipse will move across the states from cost to cost, at a time when the U.S. government seems to be teetering on the edge of a breakdown.

Monday’s solar eclipse falls in the area of the sky known as the heart of Leo the lion. The magnanimous Leo is a generous and honorable star that holds the blessings of our ancestors and the powerful bonds of loyalty held within bloodlines. But called the “throne of kings,” because it is also the star of authoritarian power, nationalistic and racial pride—it also happens to be the rising birth star (ascendant) of the current American president, a president who was born during an eclipse. Trump’s astrology shows a unique configuration where all the planets at the time of his birth were in “the belly of the serpent.” They are grouped between the shadow planets known as the north and south node that create the alignment of the eclipse. Traditionally it is recommended that one stay indoors during the eclipse, not to cook food or eat, and to wear lightcolored clothing (that which best reflects light.)

David Moreno

Scroll to Top