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Western astrology, due to interference from certain religions, has lost much of its magic and soul. Western astrologers mostly focus on psychological archetypes and do not consider “remedies” that are prescribed by Vedic astrologers and used within Hindu communities.
I believe that some of these practices were once part of the Western traditions. Vedic astrology and the Hindu religion are part of the Indo-European religious family and share many similarities. Hinduism survives as the least corrupted, polytheistic religion and we can take some inspiration from Hindu religious rites to piece together some missing parts of our own, Northern, traditions.
I have used astrological and planetary remedies with much success within my own spiritual workings. In this article, I will make some suggestions on how you, the reader, can make the most out of eclipse periods for yourselves.
I should also point out that Western and Vedic astrology both work, and we do not have to choose between one or the other. Western astrology is more solar based, Vedic places more importance on the moon. Western astrology is based on the ecliptic and seasonal cycle.
Many astrologers are trained in both systems and use each practice for different things. However, when the Great library of Alexandria burned down, and during periods dominated by Christianity and Islam, much of the real information regarding Western astrology was destroyed. Western astrology has also been subverted by new-age characters such as Helena Blavatsky.
I have made it a special goal in my life, as much as I can, to restore some power to Western astrology as it is so much more than the diluted, psychology based system that is used by modern astrologers today.
Eclipses come in pairs, starting with an opening eclipse and closing with another eclipse. The space in-between an eclipse pair is incredibly powerful, and useful for working through ancestral karma or contributing to spiritual growth. An eclipse will coincide with a new moon or full moon.
Hinduism has a rich tradition of beliefs and practices associated with eclipses, which are seen as significant astronomical events with spiritual implications. The ancient Hindu texts describe eclipses as occurring when the demon Rahu, who was beheaded by Lord Vishnu, tries to swallow the sun or the moon.
In Western astrology, we know Rahu as the North Node. This lunar Node is a point at which the orbit of the moon intersects with the ecliptic. All birth charts contain the North and South nodes and these points are said to be malefic in nature. Rahu, or the North Node can symbolise an unknown area which can become a point of obsession. The South Node, Ketu, is said to be an area of expertise and the native cannot grow here.
Rahu and Ketu are the cause of solar and lunar eclipses which occur during an alignment of the Sun, Moon with these lunar points.
During an eclipse, Hindus believe that cosmic disturbances are intensified, and therefore they observe certain rituals and practices to minimise the negative effects of an eclipse and utilise its energy.
Here are some practices to observe during an eclipse and within the space between eclipses.
Fasting: During the period that an eclipse is visible on earth, it is advised to fast and refrain from eating or drinking anything other than water. Obviously, this practice is only advisable if you are up to it physically. Fasting purifies the body, can help with certain diseases, and on a spiritual level, fasting can help us to gain clarity and increases the ability to connect with the spirit worlds. The intention here is to remove negative character traits and spiritual impurities.
Bathing: Taking a bath or shower during an eclipse with the intention of washing impurities from the spiritual body. The chakras and energetic body are not new-age concepts, in fact this knowledge comes from the Vedas which are many thousands of years old.
Adding pure, unrefined, sea salt to the bath makes it even more effective.
Many Hindus take a dip in holy rivers during an eclipse. If you live in the British Isles, there are many “Holy” wells which actually were sacred waters during pagan times. If you are brave enough, wash yourself in some of these waters. Please don’t get arrested!
Chanting mantras: Mantras are a strong part of the Hindu religion. In the North, Galdr or gealdor is part of our pagan traditions. Galdr involves using the voice to vibrate the names of runes or phrases with the purpose of creating changes in our lives. For example, If I wanted to focus on healing my physical body, I would vibrate “Uruz” 108 times during an eclipse. God names can also be chanted during an eclipse.
Offering prayers: Many Hindus offer prayers to the Gods and perform puja during an eclipse. This involves lighting incense, and offering flowers, fruits and sweets to a deity.
Depending on the astrological nature of the eclipse, and as I am a follower of the Nordic Gods, I might give offerings like mead, fire and foods to Odin, Freja, Thor or one of the other Gods.
Donating: Donating to, and helping the poor is common practice within Hinduism during eclipse seasons as it is believed to neutralise negative karma.
Hospitality is part of the Northern traditions, as is the philosophy of “a gift for a gift.” During eclipse season, we could work in a food bank or animal shelter.
Resolving ancestral issues: If an eclipse cycle falls within the period from mid-late October, we can perform rituals to resolve ancestral curses or trauma. This involves making offerings of food, fire and incense to our ancestors. Many of these family members did not receive the correct funeral rites which is common in the modern age and a huge issue in the West. I will write more on this topic at another time. Nearly all polytheistic societies venerated and made offerings to their ancestors for the benefit of the entire blood-lines. It’s easy to notice the patterns which repeat through family generations, but the position of Saturn, Rahu and Ketu, and other parts of the birth chart can provide us with more insight on ancestral problems.
Lastly, it’s important to note where an eclipse is falling within a personal birth chart, as an eclipse will trigger certain life areas that are unique to each person. Different planets will be affected within each birth chart. Planetary talismans or remedies may be prescribed by an astrologer with experience in this area.