Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Final Eclipse of the Summer

Partial Solar Eclipse Friday, July 1, 2011 1:54 am pdt
The final eclipse of the summer occurs in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, July 1, 2011. As you can see from the graphics at Shadow and Substance, as well as in the illustration to the right, this partial eclipse will only be visible in the southern hemisphere between the tip of Africa to the unpopulated waters of Antarctica. With maximum obscuration of 9.7% it may not even be visible from space. So like the proverbial tree falling in a forest, what is the effect of this occultation if no one is there to witness and experience its darkening effects. Moreover, as this partial eclipse takes place while Ketu, the South Node, and luminaries are in different signs, it seems unlikely that its effects will be very significant. The Moon actually contacts the shadow-making South Node, Ketu, in Taurus on Wednesday June 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm before it conjoins the Sun in Gemini on Friday. Thus the effects of this eclipse span across two signs and two days with a 15 degree separation between Ketu and the New Moon.

So with limited visibility and out-of-sign alignment, why have so many astrologers proposed that this eclipse will be significantly dire? Perhaps it is because this eclipse is the first of a Saros cycle that has not been seen before and will introduce new energies that we do not yet know or understand. Solar eclipses of Saros 156 will all occur at the Moon’s descending node with the Moon traveling northward with each subsequent eclipse. The Saros series 156 begins with Friday's partial eclipse in the southern hemisphere and ends with a partial eclipse in the northern hemisphere on July 14, 3237. The total duration of Saros series 156 is 1226.05 years.

The word Saros appears to come from the ancient Sumerian/Babylonia sar meaning to enclose. Sar also means 3600 in Sumerian and is harmonically related to the measurement of a circle that the Sumerians were the first to divide into 360 degrees. A Saros Cycle is an eclipse period with 223 synodic months (approximately 6585.3213 days, or nearly 18 years 11 1/3 days), that can be used to predict eclipses of the Sun and Moon. Ancient Babylonians may have used a device like the ancient Antikythera mechanism to track these cycles.

Each eclipse of a Saros group happen 18 years apart and are linked together in families. Ancient Babylonian astronomers used these patterns to understand events associated with each family. These families evolve cyclically over time lasting 1200-1400 years encompassing 70-80 eclipses in each series. The entire cycle has a "personality" all its own that colors each family. This Saros personality is based on the first eclipse in the Saros Family which becomes its birthchart for the entire cycle. Each subsequent eclipse in the family is thematically related to this initial chart and raises the energy to the next level. Thus for the next 1200 years the Saros 156 series will repeat itself with the same familial themes, with the same node of Moon, at almost the same distance from Earth. Similar to Saros 136 below, the eclipse location for Saros 156 will slowly move northwards until it completes its run in the Arctic region near the North Pole on July 14, 3237.

As the initial eclipse of the Saros 156 series occurs so close to the South Pole, some astrologers have suggested that the vibrations released with its first eclipse will have an effect on the magnetic resonance of the South Pole. And since the Series ends with an eclipse at the North Pole, the Saros 156 series appears to be bringing in vibrations that effect the very core of the Earth. Thus studying the birthchart of this new family of eclipses might give us a hint of what the future may hold, in particular concerning the poles and axis of the earth.

In 1934 the infamous psychic Edgar Cayce first described a pole-shifting cataclysm:

"The earth will be broken up in the western portion of America. The greater portion of Japan must go into the sea. The upper portion of Europe will be changed as in the twinkling of an eye. Land will appear off the east coast of America. There will be the upheavals in the Arctic and in the Antarctic that will make for the eruption of volcanoes in the torrid areas, and there will be the shifting then of the poles — so that where there has been those of a frigid or the semi-tropical will become the more tropical, and moss and fern will grow."

Since that time the concept of pole shift has been investigated and discussed by scientists and new age thinkers. It became linked to the 2012 phenomenon by authors like Charles Hapsgood, Graham Hancock, and Drunvalo Melchizedek to name a few. I first became aware of this phenomenon when I read Greg Braden's book Awakening to Zero Point which completely changed how I viewed the world.

Whether this pole shift is a geomagnetic reversal or actual cataclysmic axial realignment, there is plenty of evidence pointing to inevitable and imminent earth changes. Thus this new Saros cycle may be heralding that the time is upon us as it is being birthed at the south pole; and its effects over the next 1200 years fit both the scientific and new age time models for pole shift.

As Ketu is the initial eclipsing node, its nature and symbolism becomes especially significant to understanding Saros 156. In the Vedic traditions Ketu is considered the oldest planet and "head" of all the stars and planets (ironic English wording as Ketu has no head). As the oldest planet, Ketu reflects the original primordial forces of chaos and disorder. Its energy is erratic and sublime, sometimes contacting, often dissolving. Thus it represents extremes, such as creation and destruction, beginnings and endings -- perhaps like the chaotic shifts that occur during a pole reversal. Ketu is an enemy of the Sun, and as the Negative Sun may bring self-doubt, lack of confidence and self worth, or its extreme opposite megalomania, during eclipses. It tends to effect the physical body more than the mind, which is more effected by Rahu, and it's shadow may trigger changes in the earth like tectonic movement, or in our own bodies. Ketu is always concerned with the past, and is what attaches us to our roots in the form of family and ancestors. Thus it is intriguing what it might mean for this new family of eclipses, the Saros 156 series.

In The Key of Life Prash Trivedi points out that the main symbols associated with Ketu are a flag fitted to a pole, a mace, the Ouroborous, an arrow and swastika. The flag is an emblem of authority and ownership, like marking the poles with the various national flags. Ketu always indicates a higher authority is at work in any process of change.

The mace is a weapon that represents the potential destructive aspect of Ketu. However, the mace is also associated with Ganesha, the first child of the Universe whose mace overcomes obstacles. The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol of the cyclic nature of time and eternity. The arrow symbolizes how we direct our aim, either reaching for higher consciousness, or dropping into darkness. And finally the swastika is a symbol that represents the spin of magnetic fields. It may described as right or left-handed indicating clockwise, or counterclockwise spin.

Nassim Haramein has developed a fascinating unified theory that describes spin as the key to understanding the structure of the universe.

The magnetic field of the earth acts very much like the Torus in the video above. A shift of spin is a natural occurrence that happens in the macrocosmic layers and cycles of the universe, as well as in the microcosmic levels of our human body. For example, women of reproductive age have a monthly pole shift in their energetic fields that precipitate their menstrual cycle. In Chinese medicine, the chong channel is called the sea of qi and blood, and in women, it flows upward for 3 week and then reverses allowing menstruation to take place. Could a pole reversal be a natural rhythm for the earth, its own menstrual cycle? Thus this initial Ketu eclipse of the Saros 156 cycle may indeed be pointing to the earth's next menstrual cycle, a pole shift that literally begins with this eclipse at the South Pole, the "root chakra" of the Earth and works its way to the "crown chakra" in 1200 years.

Ketu has recently shifted from the sign of Gemini to Taurus, the astrological sign most associated with the Earth, fertility, and accumulation. As Ketu's nature is to dissolve attachment, it is not very comfortable in Taurus. Ketu was separated from its head, Rahu, at the throat, ruled by Taurus. The headless Ketu does not have the traditional five senses to count on (or be distracted by), but instead must rely on the perceptive field of the heart, a magnetic torus, to experience reality. Thus Ketu's effects are unpredictable to the mind, and felt deeply in realms beyond the senses - like the magnetic field.

Currently Ketu is transiting the nakshatra of Mrigashira which like this eclipse spans both signs of Taurus and Gemini. It is connected with the constellation of Orion, the Hunter, and the bright star Bellatrix, and three faint stars resembling a deer's head. Although Mrigashira is ruled by Mars, (which will conjoin Ketu on July 21, 2011) it is a gentle and peaceful nakshatra. Another symbol for Mrigashira is a pot full of Soma, the celestial nectar of the gods. In Hindu mythology, the story of the creation of the nodes has to do with obtaining the elixir of immortality (for more see a previous post). Thus this solar eclipse is triggered by Ketu sipping on the soma of Mrigrashira, first touched by the Sun on June 14, 2011 and then by the Moon on June 29, 2011. So one might say this eclipse has been building during this time.

By the time of the actual eclipse on July 1, 2011 the Sun and Moon will be 15 degrees away in the nakshatra of Ardra, also connected with the constellation of Orion and the bright red star Betelgeuse. The ancient seers saw this bright red star as associated with Rudra, whose name means "the ruddy red one," the fierce red form of Shiva. Rudra was also seen as a Storm god in many ancient texts. Thus this nakshatra is associated with turbulent weather patterns like those that were triggered by full lunar eclipse of December 2010. However, this new moon lunation is far enough away from the south node that its escalating effects may be minimal.

On the other hand, this new moon may have a very significant role in the birth chart of the Saros 156 cycle. All eclipses in this cycle will be marked by the nakshatra Ardra, which means the "moist one" and is often depicted by a teardrop. According to Dennis Harness, "it is described as green, fresh, soft, wet, and shining like a gem." These descriptions reveal an underlying sense of renewal, like the wet grass and fresh air after a spring storm. By releasing the stagnation of accumulation through a series of stormy events, Ardra signals a purifying cleanse.

Moreover, Prash Trivedi describes Rudra's stormy nature as auspicious:

"Rudra is intimately connected with the constellation of Orion, the Hunter. It is revered in all the Vedic texts as the gateway from where the souls descend to begin their earthly life and is thus called the "Giver of Life." It aids in the evolutionary process of humanity through triggering important changes. Some of these changes may appear destructive on an individual or collective level like a violent storm, but they are always auspicious in the sense that they trigger new growth."

Thus whatever this new eclipse series brings, there is a promise of renewal and evolutionary progress. Most astrologers agree that eclipses are not an auspicious a time for any activity except meditation, mantra, and prayers, which may be up to 1,000 stronger under these special conditions. If this is the case, then it would be wise to pray for the protection and enlightenment for all sentient beings during this potentially stormy shift.


Update: This beautiful prayer was posted on my Facebook by an astrological friend. I think it is quite appropriate for this eclipse.

There is peace in the planetary region; there is peace in the atmosphere; there is peace on earth; there is coolness in the water; the medicinal herbs are healing; the plants are peace giving; there is peace in the planets; there is perfection in the eternal knowledge; everything in the universe is peaceful; peace pervades everywhere. May that peace come to me. Om shanti, shanti, shanti, peace, peace, peace. --Yajur Veda

Monday, June 13, 2011

Full Lunar Eclipse

Full Lunar Eclipse Wednesday June 15, 2011 will begin at will begin at 10:24 am PDT (17:24 GMT) and last until 4 pm PDT (23:00 GMT)

On Wednesday afternoon the longest total lunar eclipse since July 2000 will occur in the night skies over Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia. Although it will not be visible to those of us in the United States (click here for an illustration of its path), its effects will still be felt as the shadow of Rahu, the dragon's head, appears to swallow the Moon obscuring its bright light with a blood red veil. When the Moon passes through the dragon's mouth, it dims as the dragon feeds on its light, blocking it from its children on Earth. In astrology the Moon represents our emotional body and reflective mind. Thus Rahu casts a bizarre shadow on our emotions and perceptions which may create fear or bring new perceptions depending on how you use the energy.

Most astrologers agree that it is not a time for any activity except meditation, mantra, and prayers, which may be up to 1,000 stronger under these special conditions. As many people will not, or can not, heed this advice, the collective is particularly susceptible to its intoxicating and illusionary power which propels us into the inevitable dramas that unfold under this obstructive and often destructive cloud. But clouds do pass; and sometimes the day of the eclipse is calm, like the eye of a hurricane, when the destructive force of the storm hit you before and after.

You may have already noticed the emotional field heating up over the past two weeks since the kick-off of this current eclipse cycle. I have certainly witnessed an increase in emotional and physical stress expressed by my acupuncture patients, but then this eclipse is effecting the 10th house of my natal chart which represents my career and public life. I am also running Rahu's maha dasha which heightens these eclipse periods like a giant karmic exclamation mark. Unfortunately you do not need to be running Rahu's dasha to feel it disturbing waves because Rahu's shadow is full and potent in the sign of its mulatrikona, Scorpio; and since Rahu effects the collective, just associating with those of us under its sway may effect those who may not be under its immediate astrological grasp.

During the next three days the Moon will occupy its sign of debilitation, Scorpio. On the day of the eclipse it will remain in Scorpio for most of the morning leading up to totality, when it shifts into Sagittarius and makes the Full Moon opposition to the Sun at 0 degrees that afternoon. Thus this lunar eclipse spans two signs and two nakshatras through critical gandantic degrees of both water and fire (click here for previous post). As the Moon transits across the galactic center from the dark rift of Jyeshta towards the galactic core of Mula, it receives the shakti vibrations emanating from that area of space. However, when the head of the dragon, Rahu, casts its shadow across the bright face of the Moon, it sucks up the soma for itself mixing its with own intoxicating saliva. As the bite of a serpent may kill or heal, so too is the power of Rahu. In its lowest expression it might create anxiety and fear, in its highest form it might bring insight into our karmic bonds and how to release them.

Rahu entered the late degrees of Scorpio on June 6, 2011 and has been hovering in the stellar fields of the Jyeshta for the past week. This nakshatra contains three stars that the ancient seers described as an umbrella, ring, earring, or round talisman. All of these circular shapes are representations of cycles and the protective,governing forces of the universe. They have been embedded in royal symbolism around the world in objects like crowns, orbs, rings, and earrings like those below worn by ancient kings in India.

The deity associated with Jyeshta is Indra, the divine warrior who reflects the power of this nakshatra to rise and conquer and gain courage in battle (arohana shakti). In a famous myth, Indra must face a dragon-demon named Vritra, who had taken and hoarded all the waters of the earth causing a devastating drought over the world. To prepare for battle, Indra drank a large quantity of soma, the divine elixir of immortality, which also endowed him enormous strength. When he stormed the dragon's lair, the divine warrior split the belly of the demon with his thunderbolt, releasing the waters and regenerating life onto the planet. Some sources suggest that Indra's defeat of Vritra takes place again whenever strong winds and rains, such as those associated with a monsoon, arrive after a seasonal drought.

So what happens when a dragon, Rahu, eclipses the Moon in the sign of the dragon slayer? Well, shadow issues may rise for warriors and those leaders involved in conflict. We may also see may an increase in drought, hoarding of water and other natural resources; or we might see the opposite effect, an increase in monsoon rains -- amplified under the influence of Rahu. Even before this eclipse, there has been unusual rains and catastrophic flooding in China, Tibet, India, Pakistan, Japan, the US, and Cyprus to name just a few.

Although Rahu cannot contain the Moon in its jaws for for long as it has no body, its effects do last about a month for a lunar eclipse (and six months for a solar eclipse). And keep in mind the peak moment of this eclipse occurs in Sagittarius, a fire sign, so we may also see fires and volcanic activity such as the fires in Arizona and Canada, and the erupting Chilean volcano Puyehue with its eery thunderbolts (Indra).

In addition to earth changes, this lunar eclipse may inspire a shift in consciousness as it takes place against the backdrop of two nakshatras associated with galactic cycles. The nakshatra Jyeshta is the last step before we come back to a rebirth at the root of the Galaxy, literally Mula also called the Vishnuabi, or Vishnu's belly button, the center from which our entire galaxy grew. Depictions of Vishnu, the preserver, often portray him asleep dreaming on the coiled-up thousand-hooded Shesha Naga, with his consort Lakshmi, floating on the Kshira Sagar meaning 'ocean of milk,' the Milky Way. Here the Dragon or serpent is a benevolent naga, perhaps a distant relative of Rahu. Mula is ruled by Ketu, the tail of the dragon, indicator of enlightenment, and according to some sources the oldest planetary being of our solar system. The power of Mula is to ruin, destroy and break things apart (barhana shakti). It dissolves our physical attachments, so we may return to our own vishnuabhi or divine center.

What if the enlightening rays of this nakshatra are meant not only for the human spirit, but also for our planetary guides. Although a sworn enemy of the Moon, Rahu still desires the lunar light, and by consuming it draws in its wisdom and grace. By grasping for an expression of full divine feminine aligned with the galactic core, even our shadows may be transformed. Thus this lunar eclipse may prove to be uplifting for many sentient beings. I pray that we all make time for sacred space and ask that our prayers and understanding be amplified under these cosmic conditions. Mantras to Durga and Ganesha are particularly protective and beneficial under eclipse periods. May Indra's thunderbolt awaken and release the divine waters within each of us.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Saturn, the Lord of Time, Stands Still

Saturn stations June 12-14, 2011

This week the most visually stunning and mysterious gas giant, Saturn, will momentarily appear to stand still in the stars of Virgo as it end its westward, or retrograde, motion and returns to its direct, eastward motion for the next 8 months. Avid sky watchers will be able to clearly view its spectacular rings and dragon storm from backyard telescopes. Even the Washington Post mentions its center place in the night sky this summer:

"The evening show through the late spring and early summer weeks has Saturn at center stage. Find the ringed planet high in the south at zero magnitude (bright). By the middle of June, it has shifted to the western sky at dusk. You might notice the planet’s current travel companion Spica, a star in the constellation Virgo, lower and to the east of Saturn. In the waning days of June, Saturn sets just after midnight."

At first glance it might seem strange that The Washington Post would highlight this news story that seems more pertinent for an astronomy magazine or blog. However, as the constellation of Virgo figures prominently in countless artistic references throughout the architecture, paintings, statuary, and facades of Washington, D.C., there may be more to the story than meets the all-seeing eye. Yes, that's right, I'm talking about the Masonic symbolism embedded in our nation's capital city. While controversial, the author David Ovason does make a fascinating case in his book: The Secret Architecture of Our Nation’s Capital (1999).

From these diagrams, you can see how the architectural layout of the streets around the Federal Triangle (the Washington Monument, the White House and Capitol) are aligned in a similar fashion as the constellation of Virgo and the fixed star Spica. Moreover, it is said that the construction of all three were connected astrologically to the sign of Virgo, including the cornerstone ceremony for the Washington Monument which occurred precisely when Spica was rising (August 7, 1880 at 10:59 AM). Even today NORAD refers to Virgo in its references to a series of ongoing exercises called Falcon-Virgo that are designed to test airspace security, especially around major American cities like New York and Washington, D.C. (click here). (Falcon is a reference to the Egyptian god Horus, whose all seeing eye is immortalized on our one dollar bill.) Thus some might say that Saturn's passage through the stars of Virgo may draw the shakti power of these asterisms down to special centers of power that were designed to collect this energy at specific points and times. Or the alignment of key architectural structures with these stars act as an astronomical clock pointing to the dawn a new age, the return of Atlantis, or New World Order.

Or perhaps the unusual spotlight on Virgo and Saturn's movement through this part of the summer sky is an unconscious expression of Saturn's role in the U.S. birth chart. The great planet Saturn rules the Aquarius ascendant of U.S. Scorpionic chart (David Solté). This version of the nation's birth chart is based on the signing of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union(on November 15, 1777 at 12:26 pm in York, PA) giving the United States an Aquarius ascendant ruled by an exalted Saturn conjoined Mercury and Venus in the fortunate 9th house (sidereal). Below is the commemorative stamp for the 200th birthday of the signing of the Articles of Confederation: a 13 cent stamp not only representing the 13 colonies, but also the thirteen bits of Horus' father Osiris. (Horus, the falcon rules the air, and his father, Osiris, rules the underworld.)

During the past two years Saturn's transit through Virgo has taken it through the 8th house of the U.S. chart, which is the house associated with debt, joint money (taxes), death (and longevity), sex, secrets, and metaphysics. Saturn has certainly been keeping these issues in the headlines. By the time it returns to its sign of exaltation in November, it will mark the 8th Saturn return for the nation.

Even as I write this post, the waxing Moon meets up with Saturn and Spica. Spica is the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo, the Virgin or Maiden, and represents the sheath of wheat that the goddess dropped to form the Milky Way. (According to Masonic tradition, Virgo represents the goddess Isis, sister-wife of Osiris and mother of Horus.)

In Brady's Book of Fixed Stars, Bernadette Brady writes that the ancient goddess in the sky was probably part of the original six zodiac constellation and is considered by some astronomers to be part of human awareness for over 15,000 years when Virgo was the sign of the spring equinox. The Golden Age was said to have ended when this goddess no longer governed the solstices. This shift in the night sky gave rise to the belief that the goddess left the earth in distress at the declining behavior of humans in the darkening age; but as the goddess also ruled cycles of all kinds, there was also a promise of her return to rule again during the next Golden Age.

Western mythologies also associate Saturn with ruling a lost Golden Age, so eloquently described by Tracy R. Twyman in her two-part article: Regnum in Potentia: Saturn’s Kingdom Transformed Into the Golden Age:

"Saturn was thought of as the Lord of Unrule, and during this epoch, his subjects wanted for nothing. There was no money, nobody had to work for a living, and all things were held in common. It was a paradise in which everyone was free to do as they wished because there no lack, and therefore no need for involuntary compulsion through violent force. Or so it is implied. . . As I stated in Money Grows on the Tree of Knowledge, there is a moral dilemma implied in the story of Chronos/Saturn. Saturn is associated with liberty, and a Golden Age of peaceful anarchy. Yet we know that in order to maintain this form of rule, he killed his own children to prevent them from growing up to overtake him. The only reason the Golden Age was so golden was because Saturn’s children were paying the price of the sacrifice. . . . What these myths of the Golden Age, Garden of Eden, and other primordial paradises really point to is the concept of a cosmic center: a kingdom that doesn’t really exist, except in the Otherworld, in potentia. But it is said to be at the heart of our own existence, and its essence can be felt everywhere. It is a place where there is no time as we know it. Rather, all points of time exist simultaneously, and all space as well. This is why the people who live there are said to never grow old".

As much of Twyman's work reveals, the Saturn-Chronos archetype of the Western Alchemical tradition is not only embedded into our rituals and traditions, but also into our minds. We all yearn for this peaceful paradise that seems so elusive in the current age, yet whose frightening shadow is deeply repressed. Saturn's transit through the sign of Virgo seems to have triggered this longing for freedom as many have taken to the streets in protest of current economic, political, and social structures. It has also revealed the shadow of our collective denial around money, debt, and improper use of world energy resources how this karma will effect future generations. Although Saturn transits through the stellar fields of Virgo every 30 years, this time around it coincides with a period of increasing earth changes which many prophecies concerning a rebirth or return of the Golden Age.

Saturn's passing association with the fixed star Spica is said to bring a gift of brilliance or a skill that is out of the ordinary. This star represents the sheaf of wheat held by the goddess. Wheat is a life-giving plant that is subject to repeating cycles: the seed, fruit, and then the harvested kernels. Thereafter, the seeds returns to the earth to grow again in unending cycles. The potential energy packed in a seed waiting for its release is much like the pure energy of the divine hidden deeply in matter, and in ourselves. Spica reminds us of our hidden divine potential which Saturn may lead to the harvest this fall.

In addition to its brush with the fixed star Spica, MSNBC announced that Saturn will also dance by another binary pair of stars:

"Saturn will spend the entire month within half a degree or less of a third-magnitude double star in Virgo named Porrima."

Porrima is the Latin name for a binary star that lies on the waist or hip of the Virgin. It is named after one of the two sister goddesses of prophecy: Porrima and Postorta. Postorta was believed to tap into the past, while her sister Porrima predicts the future. Other traditions suggest that Porrima and Postorta may be two aspects of the Roman goddess of childbirth, Carmenta, who may have been invoked by two names, Prorsa (head first) and Postversa (feet first), the two positions in which a child can be born. As Western alchemical traditions portray Saturn as the child-eating king of the lost Golden Age, his association with the goddess(es) of childbirth may be a bit ominous during these summer months.

However, I have yet to find a story describing Saturn's penchant for eating children to preserve a place of kingship among the gods in the Vedas; but Shani, as Saturn is called in Sanskrit, is equally frightening. In the Vedic tradition Saturn is an indicator of death and destruction causing fear in both men and gods. But Shani's death and destruction is of the ego, of the body, and other temporal illusions that keep us trapped in this illusion of what we believe is reality.

As Robert Svoboda describes in The Greatness of Saturn: a Therapeutic Myth/Shani Mahatma:

"Saturn is the supreme terrifier among planets. All beings fear him, for he rules bereavements and misfortunes. If pleased he will give you a kingdom, but if irate he will snatch everything away from you in the moment. . . Saturn determines longevity and death for he is Lord of Time."

This summer Saturn stations in the 13th nakshatra of Hasta, the hand, located in the constellation of Corvus, the crow.

As the crow is Saturn's vahana, or mount, this is a friendly placement of support for the greatest malefic. The Vedic seers perceived the five stars of this nakshatra as five fingers of a hand offering blessings to humanity, similar in spirit to Spica. The deity of this nakshatra is Savitar, the Sun god who gives life and aids in childbirth, repeating the similar theme found its association with Porrima. However, Saturn is not a huge fan of the Sun, his father.

Yes, the Sun is the father of Saturn, whose wife Samja tired of his excessive effulgence and left a shadow, Chaya, in her place. While she was away, the Sun did not perceive the switch and conceived three children with Chaya: Saturn, Savarni, and Tapati. Thus Saturn is born from the shadow of the divine feminine. As soon as Saturn was born, his gaze fell on his father and caused vitiligo (sunspots?), next it broke the leg of the Sun's charioteer, and blinded his father's seven horses. It was only when he left, that these afflictions cleared.

Thus, as Saturn is born from the Sun's union with shadow, he has a connection to the other shadow planets like the nodes of the Moon, Rahu and Ketu. Like the nodes, Saturn has the power to eclipse the luminaries and thus bring darkness, devastation, disease and most of all fear. The Western alchemical tradition also makes this connection between Saturn and the Nodes in its depiction of Saturn's chariot pulled by snakes and/or dragons. In addition, both Saturn and the Nodes are said to rule the poles, the mythological portals to both inner and outer worlds.

Although the power of Saturn to destroy and bring misfortune should not be minimized, it may also bring positive lessons about the truth of reality and help us break through the bonds of fear (f=false, e=evidence/experience, a=appearing, r=real). As David Frawley writes:

"Saturn shows us the limitation of this realm, which is the necessary but painful lesson we must learn to find our way into the unlimited. Saturn is death that takes us beyond the limitations of mortal life, which is the gateway to the eternal, though straight and narrow as the razor's edge."

Thus while Saturn travels through the nakshatra of Hasta, we may experience either the blessings of an open hand, or the gripping control of a closed fist. It all depends on our relationship with Saturn. Hasta's special shakti power is the ability to manifest what we are seeking and to place it in our hands (hasta sthapaniya agama shakti). So if we are seeking illusion, we may be in for some rude awakening, but if we are seeking truth, we may be blessed with a true awakening.

Om Hlim Sham Shanaye Namah


In this spectacular video of a compilation of Cassini's images, we are gifted an extraordinary glimpse of Saturn, the gateway to truth and the Golden Age, in all its mysterious glory complete with appropriate melancholy soundtrack. Please check it out.

CASSINI MISSION from Chris Abbas on Vimeo.