I need to make a correction regarding last week’s post. I wrote that the lunar eclipse would fall in the Nakshatra known as Anuradha, when it actually happened in Jyeshta, “the Eldest.” Please disregard every thing I said about the eclipse and accept my apologies. How did I make such a horrible mistake? The astrological calendar I use is based on the western, or “Tropical” zodiac. To convert to the Jyotish, or “Sidereal” zodiac, there is a correction of 24 degrees that has to be made. Last Sunday morning when I was in Spokane I was looking at the calendar to see the time and the degree of the eclipse on Monday. By western reckoning, the eclipse occurred at 14 degrees Sagittarius. To make the correction to the Jyotish system you need to go back 24 degrees, which places it at 20 degrees Scorpio. Each of the 27 nakshatras covers just over 13 degrees of the zodiac, which the Moon transits in just over 24 hours. Anuradha covers the portion of Scorpio from 3 degrees/20’ to 16 degrees/40’, and Jyeshta from 16 degrees/40’ to 30 degrees Scorpio. When I realized my mistake I said, “Oh Shiva!” Everything I had said in relation to the Moon in Anuradha would be happening on Sunday rather than Monday (except for the eclipse, of course). Usually I’m pretty good at math—good enough to help my daughter with her fourth grade homework, anyway—but in this case I had a “senior moment.” The eclipse in Jyeshta means something totally different, of course. Jyeshta relates to what is called “Arohana Shakti”, which means the power to rise above perils. The governing diety of Jyeshta is Indra, the king of the Devas and the God of Storms. The symbol for Jyeshta is an umbrella, which in India is a sign of status and also something that provides protection form the sun and rain. Jyeshta indicates that there has been some achievement of status, fame, and power, and also the tendency to identify oneself with these outer trappings of success, and, possibly, to be overly concerned with the impression we make on others and how they perceive us. Arohana Shakti prepares us for battle—its task is to conquer the demons within us that keep us stuck in the subconscious forces of limitation and materiality, so we can move beyond our conditioning and realign ourselves with the Universal Forces that allow for a more fluid identity and a continually evolving existence.
When my wife, Carol, and I need to consult an astrologer, we usually call on Marga Laube, a Vedic astrologer based in Ashland, Oregon. Marga confided to me recently that she reads my blog, so I felt particularly embarrassed about spreading misinformation in regards to astrology. Yesterday I read her monthly newsletter, which is called “Marga’s Cosmic Almanac”. She got the information right about the eclipse, of course, because she’s a professional. The big news in the heavens today is the Sun’s conjunction with Venus at 6:10pm PDT. For a period of six hours, Venus can be observed transiting the upper portion of the Sun. (It will be small in comparison to the Sun.) The best time for viewing this should be just prior to sunset—be sure to wear sunglasses. What does it mean on an internal level? Marga says that it will facilitate a shift in our understanding of Value-- we will arrive at a new understanding of the cost of our attachment to “stuff”, and a heightened appreciation of those things that really make our heart sing.
Speaking of hearts singing, on Saturday June 9th from 7-9pm there will be a kirtan led by Naren Schreiner—who specializes in the “Yoga of Music”--at the Ashtanga Yoga Center .