April 25, 2013 Lunar Eclipse

The April 25, 2013 lunar eclipse marks the first eclipse of the year.  A lunar eclipse occurs when the full Moon is aligned with one of the lunar nodes (Rahu or Ketu). A full Moon happens whenever the Sun and Moon are opposite each other in the zodiac. The nodes are always situated directly opposite each other. 

Photo by Eklavya Prasad (@watervagabond)
Photo by Eklavya Prasad (@watervagabond)

Eclipses are generally viewed as inauspicious events in Vedic astrology, or Jyotish. It is ill-advised to view any eclipse.  Astrologers also heed against commencing any major activity within three days of an eclipse if the eclipse is visible in your locality.  According to NASA, the April 25, 2013 lunar eclipse is visible in parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

The nodes are correlated with illusion and disguise. Rahu has to do with unending desires, ambition and an insatiable appetite. Ketu is usually associated with more spiritual pursuits, though the theme of questing is still active.  The nodes have the capacity to grab a hold of our mind and to make it engage in relentless pursuits, to make the mind feel that there is so much more to achieve, to seek additional stimulation, or to unearth a greater challenge. The mind becomes unfocused due to the grasping nature of the nodes.

Whenever the Moon and Rahu are together, it brings about imaginative abilities and the theme of questing for situations which can be larger than life. Rational thought takes a back seat to unquenched desires.  This is great for artistic endeavors and brainstorming, but it doesn’t lend itself to dealing with practical matters with any rationality. 

This lunar eclipse (known as a Chandra grahini)  is occurring in Libra in Vedic astrology in the nakshatra or constellation of Svati. Joining the Moon in Svati is a doubly powerful Saturn. Saturn is both exalted and retrograde in Svati. Svati is symbolized by a young plant swaying in the wind, connoting the theme of instability and impermanence. Svati presiding deity is Vayu, the wind God. The wind can blow and scatter anything which is not deeply rooted. Given that today is Hanuman Jayanti, the birthday of lord Hanuman, this takes on an added layer of significance, as Hanuman is the son of the wind God. 

Svati is also associated with Sarasvati, the goddess of speech, learning, and wisdom. This is an excellent day for classical studies, the pursuit of musical talents, signing, and the repetition of chants, such as the Hanuman Chalisa.  Eclipses can be powerful times for spiritual practices in general.

Given that the fickle Moon and malleable Rahu will be influenced by a very strong Saturn, this makes for a fair amount of unpredictability. The Moon rules the mind. The fact that it’s eclipsed and in Svati nakshtara, the mind is very unbalanced. Rahu often acts like Saturn; given their association in Libra, Rahu can take on some of the dark, oppressive qualities of Saturn.  Being the master of disguise, Rahu is skilled at the art of illusion. Be mindful about falling prey to something which is not what you had previously anticipated.

Across from the full Moon is an exalted Sun in Aries, along with Mars, who is in its own sign. These powerful planetary placements have contributed to some of the tumultuous world events recently. Venus also joins the fiery pairing in Aries, but isn’t able to contribute much relief.

 Following on the heels of this partial lunar eclipse will be an annular solar eclipse on the new Moon on May 9 (May 10 in other parts of the world). NASA says this eclipse will be visible in regions of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, and Indonesia. Then there will be a lunar eclipse on May 24 on the full Moon. This will be visible in the U.S.