A supercharged Full Blood (Hunter’s) Moon/Lunar Eclipse will occur on Friday, October 18. This one is an appulse or penumbral eclipse in which the Moon moves through Earth’s penumbra (partial shadow) and is slightly, not fully, dimmed. Here’s what Earthsky.org has to say about it: “As the Moon rises in the east at dusk (Friday, October 18) in the continental United States, the lunar disk will be partially covered over by the Earth’s faint penumbral shadow. But you’re very unlikely to notice any shading at all on the Moon’s surface. Europe and Africa will be in a better position to see the subtle penumbral eclipse because the lunar eclipse takes place at late night (instead of evening or morning twilight). For the most of Asia, the Moon will be in eclipse as its sets at sunrise..[on] Saturday, October 19… The Moon does not dip into the Earth’s dark umbral shadow during this eclipse, so – at best – the partial penumbral eclipse may be seen as a slight shading of the Moon’s southern limb.”
Keep in mind that a week or so before and after a lunar eclipse can signify a time of heavy vibrations, some overall instability and emotional challenges. Unconscious or unresolved issues can surface and trigger a need for action. The lunar eclipse occurs in Aries, a sign of initiative, dynamism and forward momentum. Two weeks after the lunar eclipse will come a solar eclipse in the opposite sign of Libra on Nov. 3. This axis of Aries and Libra points to a focus on all kinds of relationships—between people; between people and circumstances; between mind and body; between matter and spirit; and between nature and humanity.
Most importantly, the Aries-Libra principle is about b-a-l-a-n-c-e. How do I balance my own needs and expectations with those of others? How do I fulfill my goals and responsibilities while also managing to keep everything else in my life in order? How do I find a sense of equipoise within, remaining centered and peaceful even amid inner conflict? Where might I need to make a compromise in my life? Is it possible to reconcile with the bare hard truth that so much of our world seems way off balance? For all of these dilemmas, some of the best advice I can offer comes from Darwi Odrade in Frank Herbert’s Dune: “There’s no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.”
Aries full Moon can lend an impulsive, irritable or argumentative tone, and this is even more possible because the Moon is conjoined its arch enemy Ketu (the South Node of the Moon) and opposite the debilitated Sun, a combination which can indicate tendencies for ambiguity, thoughtlessness, “brain fog,” distrust, anxiety, antagonism, confusion, and accidents, so please take it easy out there in the coming weeks…be calm and maintain inner peace at all cost.
Eclipses prompt and foreshadow change and involve the whole world even if they are not strongly influencing an individual horoscope or geographical area. Sage Varahamihira said that when a lunar eclipse precedes a solar eclipse as is happening now, this foretells unrest in the world, and vice versa. The October 18 event is not a full eclipse; at maximum, only 77% of the Moon’s disk will be in the Earth’s penumbral shadow. Because of this, one could argue that its effects will be less disruptive than otherwise.
Nonetheless, yogis recommend that we rest, meditate, chant, recite mantras or do other kinds of contemplative, healing or creative practices during an eclipse because the subtle powers generated during this time are multiplied and thus are enormously conducive to healing and spiritual empowerment. Fasting from food is undertaken by yogis during the eclipse, which is itself a powerful spiritual discipline but also is done to prevent indigestion which can sometimes occur.
The timing for the eclipse is Oct. 18 at 9:53 PM UTC until Oct. 19 at 1:48 AM UTC. The maximum is at 11:50 PM UTC (near the bewitching hour!). This time translated to the US is 5:53 PM to 9:48 PM EDT and 2:53 PM to 5:48 PM PDT, with maximum at 7:50 PM EDT and 4:50 PM PDT.
Usually, I am all for “Full Moon Meditation” and often recommend the rejuvenating and devotional practice of sitting outside under the Moon to soak up the lunar radiance. However, during a lunar eclipse it is not recommended to be outside under the Moon; best is to be inside, especially for those who are either pregnant or facing a health issue.
This information about not going outside during an eclipse is considered to be controversial and not universally accepted. I follow it because it was given to us by Vedic sages who felt that the occult effects of an eclipse can be detrimental psychically and also physically in regard to health and other worldly matters. As the light of a luminary (Sun or Moon) is being cut off during an eclipse, so symbolically does our ability to access the outer light get cut off somewhat, and we are encouraged to go within and connect with the inner light of the divine Self instead. It is my feeling that recommendations for spiritual practice and admonitions about staying inside are much more important during a solar eclipse than a lunar eclipse.
The lunar eclipse chart for the collective United States and the government in Washington DC is set for 7:37:39 PM and is erected using the sidereal zodiac (Lahiri ayanamsha), which I exclusively use. You may observe that this chart has the eclipsed Moon in the all-important first house and additionally, a very interesting configuration in the ascendant, or rising sign (lagna), which is considered a microcosm of the entire chart. This ascendant point is at 29 degrees of Aries. Aries rules new beginnings, and the full Moon generally reflects a cycle of fulfillment and completion.
However, this ascendant at the 29th degree of the sign, known as the anaretic or karmic degree, often involves some kind of trouble. This degree reflects the great impasse that is happening in Washington which will most surely be resolved but will be well past overdue. The 29th degree often means that something has to change or is changing with some immediacy, but that there is a problem involved around making a decision. Often the anaretic degree signifies that something is happening with a deficiency (too little and too late). This chart indicates that budget and debt ceiling decisions will most likely be made but will be forced or will only be a temporary fix and will have longstanding repercussions such as another credit downgrade for the US, as has been noted by Washington pundits.