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Eclipses: As above, so below

Yogis understand Sun and Moon as energies that regulate prana, the life force as it shapes itself into the physical body of bones and blood as well as the subtle body of expanding auras of consciousness. Sun and Moon—pingala and ida, male and female, day and night, Shiva and Shakti—represent the fundamental duality of existence. Similarly, Jyotishis understand Sun and Moon as energies that govern the body of the cosmos, in particular the bhuvar-loka, the heavenly realm where the planets and luminaries (Sun and Moon) sojourn in harmonious, predictable cycles. Our human bodies mirror the cosmic body. 

Go outside on a clear night and look up at the sky, as far away from artificial light as possible. It’s one of my favourite remedies, guaranteed to release stress, soothe heartache, and open awareness. You can enhance the effect with measured breathing under that star-studded sky. I discovered that by chance, but it makes perfect sense. Pranayama harmonises the Sun and Moon energies of the body, the pingala and ida nadis along the length of the spine. The central nadi of the subtle body, the Sushumna, corresponds to Mount Meru, the mythological “spine” of the cosmos. The lokas of the different worlds correlate to the chakras, energy vortexes where ida and pingala cross over as they spiral in double helix fashion around the Sushumna. “As above, so below” . . . says the Hermetic axiom, expressing a truth that all mystical traditions understand. Pranayama under the night sky, with intention and reverence, harmonises your body with the cosmos. 

We all know, however, that our lives on this earth plane are not always peaceful and balanced. Where is the harmony, you wonder, in the face of tragedy, war, disease, corruption, deceit and death? It’s a profound metaphysical question, which theologians and philosophers have pondered since the beginning of time. Without getting into any of those theories, we can all just acknowledge what IS. From our perspective, we know that harmony very often is lacking. 

Jyotish attempts to understand the why and wherefore of that discord. In studying the intricate movements of the celestial bodies, it perceives the mirroring of patterns between sky and earth, the correspondence between celestial alignments and earthly phenomena. It reveals a deeper harmony—where even the discordant sings true. “Correspond” is the vital word to understand, because the one does not “cause” the other. Rather, they unfold in parallel, according to cosmic laws where every brush stroke belongs, contributing meaning to an ever evolving mural moving through time. 

Eclipses of the Sun and Moon occur every year. And every year they correspond to shock waves on earth. Think about it. These two great lights regulate all life on our planet. When their light is momentarily extinguished, our very existence feels the jolt, with after-effects that can last weeks, even months. Disturbances can also occur in the time leading up to the actual eclipse moment. An eclipse season is upon us now. First the Sun and then the Moon will be shrouded in darkness. Yet knowledge is power, so do not fear. As you understand how these energies could affect you, you can channel them to mitigate as much as possible any ensuing harm. 

On 25 October, a partial solar eclipse occurs at 7°49’ Libra, around noon London time, in the nakshatra (lunar constellation) of Swati, where Ketu will shadow the Sun. The Nodes of the Moon, Rahu and Ketu, are mathematical points, where the plane of the earth’s orbit round the Sun intersects Moon’s orbit round the earth. Always exactly 180° apart, Rahu and Ketu receive full graha (planetary) status in Vedic Astrology. They are powerful fields of energy, powerful enough to obstruct the source of life of our planet. 

The exact degree of an eclipse functions like a landmine, a hotspot that gets triggered by any planet transiting over it in the weeks and sometimes months to come. Look at your Vedic chart. Do you have any planets on or very close to the eclipse point at 7° Libra (or directly opposite at 7° Aries)? If so, you will experience this eclipse more profoundly than other people. How strongly an eclipse will affect you depends entirely upon your individual chart, which only a careful analysis of many factors can determine. 

In the chart of the solar eclipse below, look at the four planet configuration in Libra. Sun and Moon on the same degree indicate a Dark Moon. Ketu is not that close, at 19°36’, which makes this eclipse partial. But Venus, who rules Libra, is at home, residing less than 1° from the Sun. That is significant! And all four planets, Sun, Moon, Venus and Ketu, reside in the nakshatra of Swati, whose deity is Vayu, the god of wind.  

Swati exemplifies the energy of vata, already more active in the autumn. Its Shakti is the power to scatter like the wind. Swati sets things free, emboldening them with the desire to roam the universe, as unbound and unfettered as the wind. This energy can destabilise on many levels, with effects both destructive and transformative, depending upon the individual. Think of a tree bending against the winds of a hurricane (which we actually just saw with Ian coming less than a month before this eclipse). What gets uprooted? What can withstand the force and emerge renewed. As the vata storms gather momentum, think about your life, where are the dry leaves that need to go?  What should you cling to and cherish? 

Nakshatra significations function like archetypes, indicating the mythic dimension of celestial alignments. The stars belong to svah-loka, the celestial realm beyond our solar system, beyond bhuvar-loka of the planets, a more subtle plane of existence. Interestingly, this partial solar eclipse in Swati occurs just a week before the Celtic festival of Samhain, when the veils between the worlds reach their thinnest. In other words, the potential for spiritual realisation will be most potent exactly at the time when deeper meditation, fasting, solitude and stillness are in order according to Indian tradition. Japa meditation is particularly powerful during an eclipse. For a solar eclipse, Surya mantras are recommended to uplift the Sun energy. And since the eclipse occurs in Swati, Hanuman mantras would be particularly efficacious, infusing the wind with auspicious potential. Hanuman, the Monkey God, is the Breath of Ram, who travels faster than wind in service of his Divine Master, Lord Rama, incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the sustainer of life and emblem of Eternal Being. 

Swati is a moveable nakshatra—dynamic, changeable, ephemeral—facilitating flight into the lokas (worlds) beyond. Its vata nature is enhanced by Rahu, the lord of Swati, whose dosha is pure vata; and so Saturn, the other pure vata planet, gets exalted in Swati. Vata deranged can be the source of all kinds of breakdowns, emotional, mental and physical. But vata balanced generates creativity, imagination, intuition and spiritual growth. Both are possible with this eclipse. Venus so close to the Sun is weakened for his worldly attributes of romance, luxury and sensory comforts, but strengthened for his spiritual potential as a Brahmin planet, the one who guards the mantra of immortality. His placement for the eclipse echoes the exact condition of Mercury a month earlier at the equinox. Here too is another clue indicating the spiritual potential of this eclipse—for souls evolved enough to see through the veils. 

However, as far as the world is concerned, and particularly the USA, this eclipse season indicates the likelihood of something quite explosive. As I mentioned earlier, if the degree of important planets in your chart corresponds to the eclipse point (or also directly opposite), you will experience the effect most profoundly. That alignment exists in the charts of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. At the eclipse, Mars will be right over Mars in the country chart of the USA. And the mid-term elections, scheduled for 8 November, coincide exactly with this eclipse season—occurring two weeks after the partial solar eclipse and aligning to the day with the total lunar eclipse, 8 November 2022. Watch this space! The turbulent energy of 2022 has not finished with us yet. 


On 1 November, Mars begins his long retrograde cycle.  Among other things, a retrograde planet signifies past karma coming to fruition, something destined by complex patterns of past action and fulfilling a purpose not always apparent at the time. After a brief sojourn into Gemini, Mars travels back to Taurus on 14 Nov, remaining retrograde there until 12 January 2023 . He doesn’t move onto Gemini again until 13 March 2023. For a total of six months, Mars brings to fruition karma indicated by Taurus, place of fixed earth and Second House in the natural zodiac. Speech, domestic harmony, food and money are Second House indications, which a powerful malefic Mars will activate over these months. Channelled through different charts, this energy will manifest in various ways. 

Mars’s fiery speech can be a call to justice and truth, the spiritual warrior proclaiming the path of righteousness. Or it can be an aggressive war cry, an enticement to conflict or battle.  These energies will play out through the lives of all as well as upon the world stage. Courageous leaders will continue to expose deeper layers of corruption behind the Covid-19 fiasco, speaking truth just as the voices of propaganda and censorship will amplify to suppress them. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict shows no sign of abating during this period. It might escalate, though more likely will remain contained but prolonged, with the chart of Vladimir Putin showing mixed indications for the autumn. However, the war will continue to affect the entire world with shortages, supply chain disruptions, inflation, and energy problems — all issues related to the Second House of artha (wealth, resources).

Food and money have become major problems around the world.  Mars’s long sojourn through Taurus will exacerbate food shortages, price increases, and even famine in certain places. Taurus represents fertility, the earth fecund with lush vegetation and healthy animal life. Venus owned and sign of Moon’s exaltation, Taurus carries a kapha energy, moist, expansive, and growth-enhancing. It’s the proverbial land of milk (Moon) and honey (Venus). The hot, dry energy of Mars, who by nature is celibate, brings sterility to this place. The aspects of Saturn and Rahu upon Mars, both highly vata, increase the drying effect. It’s said that Saturn passing through the wain of Rohini (a nakshatra in Taurus) brings famine to the land. For most of his sojourn in Taurus, Mars will be in Rohini, experiencing Saturn’s cold gaze from Capricorn (via mutual rashi dristi). Developed countries accustomed to surpluses will have ways to cope with food scarcity, though many will experience financial hardship. Poorer countries will be hit hard by lack of both food and money. With Rahu’s influence throughout, powerful leaders will attempt to gain control globally over food and money. 


On 8 November, a total lunar eclipse occurs around 11 am London time, the day of mid-term elections in the USA. With more malefic alignments lining up, the likelihood of something erratic, explosive or extraordinary happening is quite high, particularly given the context of an intensely polarised American society. Since it’s a full eclipse, Sun and Moon are almost exactly on the degree points of Rahu and Ketu. Sun in Libra is debilitated, uncomfortable in a medium foreign to his kingly nature. Both Mercury and Venus are very close to the Sun (combust)—Mercury almost to the minute. With the Full Moon conjunct Rahu, and Saturn aspecting Jupiter (by graha dristi), every planet of inherent grace (Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Full Moon) is diminished in some way. Once again, the lunar eclipse as the solar eclipse impacts strongly the charts of America’s leaders. It’s a highly unstable time for the USA. Some surprise lies ahead.

As Mars retrogrades further into Taurus, his power in that medium only increases as the darkness of winter deepens. On 1 December, Mars reaches perigee, his point closest to the earth. This makes him more powerful than ever. It’s the major theme for the last months of 2022. At perigee, Earth travels right between Mars and Sun, amplifying the Martian influence onto our planet. And on 8 December, Mars and Sun are directly opposite each other, with earth in the centre. Mars at perigee is mighty! The phenomenon occurs around every two years, but this year, given the strength of Mars already—retrograde for six months and aspected by Rahu— its effect will be compounded. Everything mentioned above about Mars in Taurus will be amplified. As always sadhana is the best remedy for challenge, along with a good dose this winter of frugality and patience. The law of the cosmos is change. All things will pass, and springtime will bring some relief. Meanwhile, watch for the red planet against the darkness of the mid-winter sky—and breathe deeply. He will be potent! 

Om Shanti 🙏

2 thoughts on “Eclipses: As above, so below”

  1. Dear Marianne:

    Thanks to your blogging, I am tuning in to the meanders of Vedic-Jyotish vocabulary. I am writing to you “on the spot”, after reading the post. Hoping that through some sort of autonomous intent, this keying of mine will be pertinent. Most probably not at all.

    I don’t even write or speak “English”, but very, very rarely on my day to day routines of a 74 year-old man-being.

    This second season of eclipses, for 2022, is entangled to the previous one, February or so. And that was the start of the War Normal, after the viral New Normal.

    I hope to hope that it won’t be, as if for a certain writer, already deceased, we will not see in the screens THE END, capital letters, and underlined. Full stop.

    The writer I mention is Dennis Potter, which worked for the English channels, BBC and so on. After graduating from Oxford, in the 50-60, he meant to get into politics. But was struck by a rare disease, a rash skin disease extending to the articulations and joints, mostly of hand and fingers. He became a cripple, over the years, and opted for writing. Then started in scripts. TV series and some plays and movies. In the late 1998 or so, a health crisis set in, and it was pancreas cancer.

    His last two works, the 4 episode series Karaoke and it’s complement a science fiction feature named Cold Lazarus, 4 episodes, are his last works and cover the evolution of a 4 day crises…and the 8 weeks after it, when he learned from the doctors in Hospital in London, that
    Death was is Future.

    Both series are available at Youtube. A few minutes before the final run of names in the production, the autographic caracter, Daniel Feeld, says that line I mentioned above, about THE END. All his work covers popular music, since WWII, 50’s, 6O’s. In my opinion he will be in tthe line of a Shakespear for the era of electronic media.

    Who’s END? And you Marianne, with your name of the Lady Republic of the French, are certainly for the Happy Ending, even if Vedic seems exotic, even eccentric.


    OM Shanti

    1. Yes, as one carrying the name of Lady Liberty, Victor, I am for happiness . . . but not endings. Or rather, not for final endings, as in THE END. What seems to end is only mutating into something else.
      Jyotish, as all Indian metaphysics, considers absolutely vast time spans, dwarfing our present reality to a momentary flash. Though it can make one feel quite insignificant, the words of Kabir say otherwise. “”All know that the drop merges into the ocean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.”
      Thank you for your comment! Many blessings, Marianne

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