July 4th-5th finds us with another minor lunar (penumbral) eclipse, wrapping up our summer eclipse cycle. Here is the full scoop for this one…
From Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, the penumbral eclipse starts at 11:07pm EDT on Saturday, July 4th. The maximum point will be 12:29am on July 5th, and the eclipse will end around 1:52am EDT. Should we have a clear sky (as of writing this snippet, the weather forecast is indeed showing so), this lunar eclipse will be visible, as the moonrise will be at 8:55pm along the ecliptic, on the Eastern Horizon.
Penumbral eclipses are less noticeable than total lunar eclipses – this is because the diffused shadow created by the earth, called the penumbra (as opposed to the direct shadow, or umbra) is cast upon the moon. At its greatest point, the penumbra of the earth will only cover approximately a third of the moon (at least, from Mississauga).
Eclipses occur when the nodal axis of Rahu and Ketu (fixed points in space which cause shadows of luminary bodies) fall on new moons or full moons. Depending on where they fall in the zodiac, they can generate areas of change and transformation. That juicy energy of the full moon becomes distorted and diffused during this time. Astrologically, it’s important to observe for the next few months (indeed - years) what happens to our consciousness, particularly along the path where the eclipse is visible. Changes can be subtle, but noticeable. As the moon is the indicator of manas – the mind, our sense of social connection and compassion, and Ketu is the indicator of rejection of material pursuits in favor of liberation, I see this eclipse (even if it is minor in intensity) as an opportunity to project our manifesting our spiritual goals outwardly towards humanity. Not in a manner which breeds divisiveness (indeed – the world has had enough of this), but in a manner and intention that generates healing of social wounds and injustices. Here’s why…
Astrologically, this eclipse falls squarely midway in Sidereal Sagittarius (19 degrees 21 mins). As it is ruled by Jupiter, this is ultimately the area of the zodiac that influences our outward projection of higher truths, principles, and where we draw our inspiration from. It falls in the Vedic lunar asterism of Purvashadha, ruled by the Vedic Deity Apah, the cosmic waters spreading in all directions, giving rise to humanity. This is a powerful, albeit fierce and destructive space in the sky. Real inner work is hard, and spirituality born from detachment isn’t easy – through suffering and painful experiences, we search and yearn for deeper truths. This nakshatra is also a lot about confrontation…that said, confronting the world around us does not create lasting change. We need to turn that confrontation inwards during this eclipse and fight out own demons rather than the other illusory ones around us if we want to grow.
A few other observations, Jupiter will retrograde into its own sign of Sagittarius on June 29th, and will be present for this eclipse. This is significant as our sense of justice, purpose, optimism and inspiration will feel like it is moving backwards, but will find some relief until November 20th. Saturn continues its retrograde motion as well focusing a deep and hard long look at our commitments and hard work.
The ancient seer and astrologer Vahamihira writes that if Jupiter should be eclipsed by the lunar disc, that men, rulers and Brahmins as well as food grains and mountains will suffer for the next ten months. Insofar as social gatherings, social distancing and COVID-19, I’d consider this eclipse as inauspicious. Relief from the planets is coming, but we need to be patient with our present karmas, and especially attentive to the lessons we are learning over the remainder of 2020.
That this eclipse falls on the US independence day, and will be visible from the same is a special nimita (omen). According to James Kelleher’s chart of the independence of the US, this eclipse lands approximately ten degrees from the USA’s birth. This eclipse definitely lands on the axis that has energetically created the strong sense of political and social divisiveness that the citizens of the US are facing, on a karmic level. Aside from any divisive or political commentary from a non-US citizen, the rest of the world stands eager in solidarity with our American brothers and sisters in hopes of restoring the beauty, spiritual depth and prosperity that their founding fathers of this country have boldly envisioned. I’d like to reiterate, however, that real and lasting change does not begin and end with democracy, since divisive rhetoric is what led us to the current situation in the first place. As Gandhi said “Become the change you want to see in this world.” This is the reflective lesson that Ketu and the Moon are trying to teach us in this eclipse.
Some questions that resonate with me that I’d like to share that are of relevance for this eclipse:
How do I feel connected to the greater self? Am I grounded, or restless? What can I do to change this?
Where are my greatest trigger points in life? How can I loosen that noose around my ego and learn to surrender more?
How can I live my life in a way where my higher principles can serve to inspire others? Am I preaching too much? In spite of the current negativity the world faces, the ultimate realization here is that you can’t change others…you can only change yourself. As the great saint Paramahansa Yogananda said: “Reform yourself & you will have reformed thousands.”
Be well – and may you remain healthy and sane in these crazy times.