October 18, 2013 Lunar Eclipse

IMG_1838The October 18, 2013 lunar eclipse is the first in a series of two upcoming eclipses.   In Vedic astrology or Jyotish, a lunar eclipse occurs when the full Moon is in close proximity to one of the lunar nodes (Rahu or Ketu).   A full Moon happens whenever the Sun and Moon are opposite each other in the zodiac. 

In this particular eclipse, the Moon is in Aries in Vedic astrology.   Being a lunar based system, Vedic astrology considers a full Moon as a sign of planetary strength.   However, when the Moon is involved in an eclipse, it is considered to be a sign of weakness in Vedic astrology.  Both factors will play out.

The Moon will be in the star or nakshatra of Ashvini in Aries during the October 18, 2013 lunar eclipse. A lunar eclipse is called a Chandra Grahini in Sanskrit.  The Moon will be with South node Ketu. Opposite the Moon will be an exalted Saturn, a debilitated Sun, Mercury, and North node Rahu. Thus, there will be multiple factors influencing the Moon.  

Ashvini is connoted with the Ashvini Kumars, the celestial twin equine physicians who brought Ayurveda to the world.  Like the horse, there can be the tendency to rush into a situation, stubbornly and assertively, and then think about consequences later.  Self-expression takes on great importance, even if it is out of sync with how society in general behaves.  Ashvini likes to take charge of a situation. The nodes are always seeking greater challenges, so this lunar eclipse adds to the dynamic.

According to NASA, the October 13, 2013 lunar  eclipse is visible in North America, Europe, Africa and partially in Asia.  In the San FranciscoBay area, the eclipse is from 2:50 pm  PST to 6:50 pm PST.  The local timings of the eclipse can be found at: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/JLEX/JLEX-NA.html

An eclipse involves the North and South nodes, Rahu and Ketu. As the nodes are points on the ecliptic, they are invisible. The nodes are equated with suddenness, questing, and disguise.  Things may not be what they appear to be during the time of an eclipse.   The Moon represents the emotions.  Be mindful of your interactions with others, and do not let your imagination carry you away. The ego may rear its head strongly, especially during an eclipse, when the emotions are clouded.

How this eclipse may impact you will depend on what house Aries rules in your chart (1st to 12th), and what planetary cycle you are experiencing. Those in a cycle of the nodes or of the Moon may feel the greatest impact of this lunar eclipse.

Rather than gazing at the Moon, it’s recommended that a person spend the time during an eclipse indoors, engaged in meditation or other spiritual practices and keep an inward focus, rather than an outward focus. It’s a time to eat lightly and to eat pure foods. Shades should be drawn and food should not be kept out and exposed to the moonlit rays.

Jyotish is the study of light and it strongly advises against looking at any eclipses. In a eclipse, the Sun and Moon are not able to perform their normal functions in the sky. Our vision of them is occluded.  The obstruction of these luminaries is a powerful event, but not one in which we should put our outward focus.  It makes for an ideal time to do spiritual practices. Ideally, one should not engage in any new undertakings three days after this eclipse. 

The final eclipse of 2013 occurs on November 3, with the new Moon in Libra.  According to NASA, this partial eclipse will be visible in Eastern North America, the Northern part of South America, the Middle East, and Africa.  Most of the U.S. will not see the eclipse. You can find local timings of the solar eclipse on the NASA website