February 2017 Lunar Eclipse in Āśleṣā

Our first lunar eclipse of 2017 occurs on the evening of Friday, February 10 for most of us in the western hemisphere and on February 11 for many in the eastern hemisphere.

The eclipse, a result of Candra (Moon) joining the north node, Rāhu, begins for those of us in Central Texas at 4:34PM on February 10, 2017. It won’t be visible here (in Texas) at first, but by the time it hits it’s max at 6:43PM the lunar eclipse will be visible. Normally a visible eclipse suggests that whatever issues arise due to the eclipse are out in the open instead of hidden from us. The eclipse officially ends at 8:53PM Texas Time.

Of course, an eclipse means a full moon (Purnima), suggesting it’ll be a good time for spiritual ceremonies and both finishing things up and starting anything new. Candra Purnima is ruled by the Viśvedevāḥ and Kāmeśvarī. It will shift to it’s first tithi (phase) on the night of the 10th, which is ruled by Brahma and is great for positive efforts and ceremonies.

The lunar eclipse will begin on the 10th with Candra in the Nakṣatra (asterism) of Āśleṣā, where it’ll remain until 9:26PM. Āśleṣā, as the Nāgas, emphasizes Rāhu’s ability to inflict poison, as both represent the serpent of wisdom. This offers us spiritual and practical wisdom, kundalini activation, and mystic power. Candra here offers a mystical understanding and the ability to explore the depths of our souls and transform ourselves.

When Candra changes Nakṣatram to Maghā at 9:26PM we have access to the Śakti of leaving the body and changing our conditions/states. While Āśleṣā gives us the wisdom of the Nāgas, Maghā, as the next step in the process, lets us begin the journey propped up by that wisdom. It’s putting the soul’s journey, fueled by the seed that’s the knowledge and ideas of the Nāgas, into fruition and motion – beginning to make them tangible.

With Candra moving here it’s the perfect time for worship of devata and ancestors (Pitris) and for performing mystical work, but we’ll need to have some sort of outlet to properly express our collected/built-up emotions so we don’t lash out like an agitated snake. Rāhu, the beheaded Rākṣasa which cursed Sūrya and Candra and is responsible for eclipses, shares the Nakṣatra of Maghā with Candra for most of the 11th.

Our forward-moving, innovative aspects of Rāhu experience some obstruction in Maghā on the 11th, as Maghā is ruled by Rāhu’s detached tail and polar opposite, Ketu, so there is some amount of “cancelling out” that will happen. This might actually help temper Rāhu. Rāhu is still capable of creating karma here, though, and could add to some fears and maybe frustration for some – especially any fears related to achieving something because of this obstruction. That’s why it’s best that, for Rāhu in Maghā following the penumbral eclipse, for us to let go of expectations and not be so concerned with reaching any end or concerning ourselves with material successes.

Om Shri Ashlesha Nakshatra Devataye Namah

UPDATE: I find it wonderfully appropriate, as well, that a comet passing by 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova also happened soon after the eclipse. Rāhu, after all, is said to have 32 sons (called “Ketus”), which are like comets. You could say that Rāhu dragged along one of his sons to “shadow” him during the eclipse, appearing at around 2AM CST.

February 2017 Full Moon

February 2017 Full Moon. Photo by John A. Noss (Siri Anand).

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