The USA will experience, in central regions, a total eclipse of the Sun later this month on the 21st of August. This is obviously a common subject for discussion this month as we near the date of the eclipse itself, so I felt that for my first post in a few months (having been busy with moving and work) I would talk a little about solar eclipses from the perspective of vedic astrology, and how we can better understand what it means for the people and leaders of the USA.
A fundamental principle of astrology is that the Sun and Moon both represent the life force and growth of a person, country, endeavor, etc. Any obstruction of these planets will likewise damage those areas of our life that they govern (our health for the Sun, and our mind for the Moon). An eclipse is a MAJOR obstruction! So while the rarity of such an eclipse will be an ample opportunity for fun parties and get-togethers across the country, the fun and celebration are actually a little misplaced, though understandable. The Sun represents health, knowledge, wisdom, governments, kings, and the king’s court. Any solar eclipse is, for the most part, a bad thing for these areas of life. The fact that this particular eclipse is covering the entire USA from coast to coast, straight through the center, so that it is observable from ANYWHERE in the USA, should be interpreted by any astrologer as dangerous and a sign of difficult times ahead of us as a country.
To understand an eclipse we have to examine a number of factors that help us interpret its power and effects, and some of these factors can only be determined during the eclipse itself by observation. The first thing we need to look for is WHERE in the night sky is the eclipse happening? There are twelve zodiac signs and 27 lunar mansions, and like-wise the eclipse will carry a different effect depending on the properties of the zodiac sign and lunar mansion that the Sun and Moon inhabit during the eclipse. For this particular eclipse in August, the Sun and Moon are both in Leo; the zodiac sign of rulership and government. This is probably one of the worst places to have a solar eclipse since the planet of rulers and governments is being eclipsed in the SIGN of rulers and governments, in the lunar mansion of Magha (the mansion of rulers and governments!!). The only silver lining here is that such an eclipse is more likely to destroy the heads of government than it is to destroy the people of the country, but this shouldn’t be misunderstood. When an eclipse harms the people, it does so through famine, financial crisis, disease, etc. When an eclipse harms a ruler or government it can cause revolts, wars, civil disorder, and all of these can likewise lead to financial crises and other civic problems. So just because this eclipse is more focused on the government doesn’t mean everyone else will be fine.
Another factor is whether the eclipse is occurring while the Sun is in its northern course or southern course. Since this eclipse is occurring before the Fall Equinox, the Sun will be in its Northern Course (Uttarayana) over the ecliptic. Classically, this again means that ministers and rulers are more likely to be affected, according to the traditional treatises on astrology.
The only planets with an aspect on the Sun during this eclipse are Rahu and Mercury. Rahu will agitate the problems and can lead to violence, while Mercury indicates problems in negotiation and breakdowns in communication. Neither of these planets have the power to stop the malefic influence of the eclipse. The only good support we see is that Jupiter is in the second house from the Sun, which should help keep things stable even in the midst of serious problems.
Now for some positive stuff……
An eclipse is essentially a change of energy in the Sun’s relationship to our planet. Despite all the negative indications mentioned above, when the Sun “dies” for a few moments on the 21st, it gets “reborn” in the strong and auspicious sign of Leo. While the negative effects of the eclipse will likely last for up to 6 months afterward, the new Leo-centered energy will last until the next major total eclipse in the USA again (long ways away!). The energy of the USA is being “reset”, so-to-say, and after the malefic effects of this change have worn off, the positive power of Leo will still remain to help the country grow and remain strong. However, this “strength” will likely not be a soft strength, but a strong and decisive one that may appear harsh to a lot of people. Afterall, this is Leo, the Lion, and it can be a heavy-handed sign in how it chooses to respond to situations and obstacles. Time will tell if this ends up being a positive or a negative thing, and political views will, of course, play a big role in how you interpret it.
How does it affect you?
The simplest way to understand how this eclipse will influence your personal life is to use an astrology program to find your 12 houses, and then read the descriptions below based on which house the eclipse is happening in for you. The eclipse will cause changes and potential problems to these respective areas of your life based on where it is.
1st house: detriments health and physical body
2nd house: problems with immediate family and properties
3rd house: problems with siblings, contracts, extended family
4th house: depression, problems with mother, loss of property
5th house: problems with children and education
6th house: destruction of enemies
7th house: problems with relationship/spouse/business partners
8th house: destruction of diseases, problems from spirits and ghosts
9th house: father’s health suffers
10th house: loss or change of job or status (followed by new job if benefics aspect)
11th house: changes in finances, problems with cousins/distant relatives, problems with older siblings
12th house: Problems with investments, loans, gambling.
This is a very general list of qualities associated with the 12 houses. Any negative aspects or planets (Mars/Saturn/Rahu/Ketu) in your natal chart in that house will make the eclipse give its bad results. Any good planet (Venus, Moon, Jupiter) aspecting that house (or in it) will lessen or even eradicate the adverse effects of the eclipse. These results, whether positive or negative, will be felt for the next few months.
It is recommended to fast on the day of an eclipse. People who are inclined towards vedic culture and beliefs should make offerings to the planet Rahu as per the boon of Rahu to protect those who make offerings to him during an eclipse, and/or make offerings to ishtadevata. Prayers of protection can be offered, especially during the eclipse itself. Psalms of David relating to spiritual protection are good for Jews or Christians, and Catholics can recite one of the litanies to St.Michael the Archangel for protection. Muslims should offer the two rakats of prayer for the eclipse and make Du’a for protection. Buddhists can recite Hayagriva prayers or those of some other wrathful deity for protection, especially during the few minutes of total darkness. If you can not fast the entire day (until sunset) then at least fast during the hour or so that the eclipse begins, has its totality, and ends. Do not eat or drink anything until the Sun has returned to normal and the color of the sky has resumed its normal color.