Skillfully Engaging Eclipses

This is my regular reminder that eclipses are considered inauspicious, according to traditional Jyotish teachings and my gurus.

The deity who causes eclipses (Rahu and his other half Ketu) is inherently mysterious, but associated with addiction, compulsion, obsession, ambition, avarice, attachment, provocation, poison, and disruption, as well as exotica, illusion, disguises, secrets, obscuration, denial, and delusion.

If the term “enlightenment” is about receiving the “light” of knowledge that frees your soul from suffering, then the energy of this event is “endarkenment”.

Watching the eclipse is like getting darshana (exposure) of this anti-god, in which case these characteristics will be empowered in YOU. The related karmas will be churned up to be experienced. Supposedly, the effects of the exposure can last for years.

Folks are advised to stay inside, curtains drawn, and do spiritual practice.

Folks who go out to see and be seen by one of the most powerful anti-gods (demons or titans of Hindu myth are called Asuras) do so at their own peril. FOMO (fear of missing out) is arguably the core impulse that keeps us bound on the wheel of karma and cycles of reincarnation.

For the ‘heroic’ spiritual practitioner, it is an opportunity to examine these inauspicious characteristics and behaviors, to transform them into wisdom and compassion. It is a chance to dig up the very seeds of the binding karmas that keep us in ignorance or in denial of our true nature.

Rahu is a devotee of Lord Shiva (the Lord of Yoga). So Shiva sadhana is generally advisable both for protection and to help re-direct this demon (and your own demonic tendencies) toward the dharma.

Any enlightened deity will give protection, but are unlikely to protect you from your own foolishness – out of tremendous respect for your free will, including the freedom to suffer.

If you MUST go out, one strategy is to chant Shiva mantras (or the mantras or prayers of your chosen deity) continuously. Whether your experience is enjoyable or not, auspicious or not, the point is to remain aware throughout, to stay in choice, to bring “light” into the darkness, rather than being swept up in spectacle and reactivity.