(My obeisance to Sage Parasara who gave us the treatise Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra; Sage VarahaMihira who wrote the Brihat Samhita Hora, and the current astrologers Joni Patry, Komilla Sutton and a host of other experts who have made astrology comprehensible to the layman. I am attempting this essay only because of them. Any errors are only mine.)
The month of June is an interesting time for sky-watchers considering both lunar and solar eclipses are occurring withing a fortnight. Astronomically too, there is a lot going on in the universe. Let’s start with the lunar eclipses.
Lunar Eclipse; June 5th: The lunar eclipse is set to occur on June 5 (Friday) and it will span over 3 hours long. It is a upachaya eclipse and this is happening in the 21st degree of the constellation of Scorpio or Vrischika Rashi in Jyeshtha Nakshatra. This is the 2nd upachaya penumbral lunar eclipse of 2020, as the first one occurred in on the interceding night of January 10 and January 11. This eclipse is also known as the ‘Strawberry Moon Eclipse’ and will not be visible to the naked eye. The name strawberry moon originated when it was derived from the traditional name given by Native Americans who used the full moons as a way of following the planting and harvesting seasons. This was the time when the strawberries ripened in June in the part of the world.
So, what is a Upachaya eclipse? On June 5th, the Moon will merely pass through the outer portion of the Earth’s shadow. During the Upachaya Grahan, the alignment of the Sun, the Earth and the Moon is in a way that the entire Moon does not get eclipsed, so it is an ‘imperfect’ eclipse. This is encompassing in nearly 75 % of the world, namely Asia, Australia, Europe and bit of South America. It is not visible in North America.
The Penumbral Eclipse will reportedly begin with the first contact of the Penumbra at about 11:16 PM, June 5 in India. The effect will be maximum at 12:54 AM on June 6, and it shall pass at 2:32 AM on June 6. Astrologically, the eclipse is of not much consequence, except that it is in Scorpio (astrologers consider it as a secretive rashi). This is because India’s ascendant is Taurus, and Moon is located in the 3rd house of Scorpio. The third house is about siblings and neighbours. The position, astrologers say, is indicative that India needs to be alert with all our neighbours and tighten its borders- as the neighbours will be indulging in secret activities. But the eclipse also makes sure that such attempts will fail.
However, for the common man, on the day of the eclipse, it makes sense that you keep the day simple and not take up too many activities.
There is another lunar eclipse on July 5th. The day is Guru Purnima and a full moon in 19 degrees in Sagittarius in Purvashada Nakshatra. But more on that in my next piece.
Solar Eclipse June 21st: The June month will also witness a rare partial solar eclipse on June 21 – the summer solstice with 86.31 per cent of the sun covered by the moon (in the northern hemisphere) and winter solstice in the southern hemisphere. This is happening in Gemini (Mithuna Rashi) and Mrigashira nakshatra.
Residents of India can see when it will occur in their city in the above link. In Bangalore, for instance, it starts at 10.13 am and goes until 13.32 pm (3 hours 18 minutes) and in Mumbai, it starts at 10.01 am and goes until 13.28 pm (3 hours 27 minutes). The ‘sutak kal’ will be assumed from 10.30 pm on 20th June. The period of sutak means that you are advised not to do anything auspicious. You are also advised not to eat or touch idols of Gods and Goddesses. Hence, you find that temples are also shut during the period of the eclipse.
The eclipse starts from Africa and goes to north of India and south of China and ends in China. Astrologically it is supposed to be a powerful event. On the day of eclipse and a day before, it is best to avoid travel and going into crowds. The solar eclipse also borders India and China border. Interestingly, this eclipse is exactly on the same day and axis as the 2001 eclipse, that may have led to the September 11, 2011 terror events. This is a Metonic cycle – in chronology, a period of 19 years in which there are 235 lunations, or synodic months, after which the Moon’s phases recur on the same days of the solar year, or year of the seasons. The cycle was discovered by Meton (fl. 432 bc), an Athenian astronomer. You can read more about it here. This season may also trigger many souls departing or souls planning to arrive.
However, the difference between the two events is that Rahu is not in Ardra Nakshatra and has now moved to Mrigashira Nakshatra and will not go over this sensitive point. And that is a relief. In this transit, along with Sun in Gemini, Rahu and Mercury are also found in this position. This time’s eclipse is also known as ‘Choodamani Grahan’, as it falls on Sunday- its own day of the week. Nearly 99.4% of the sun is eclipsed during this celestial event. According the Astrological Shastras, the period from the day of eclipse to three months (in this case September 21st), is a crucial period. And that should keep mankind very alert.
The Kala Sarpa Yoga will also be finally over on June 21st. More details about it can be found here. The following are other transitions and astrologers have analysed them to indicate what they portend.
- .From 17th – 25th June, there are four planets are in retrograde (Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter) in addition to Rahu and Ketu. This is very unusual and it is better to be conscious of information, so that we are not misled with an overdose of it. I have explained about retrograde planets in my previous article.
- Mars will be moving into Pisces on June 18th which is a more calming position.
- However, Mars will be viewing the solar eclipse from Pisces (water sign) towards Gemini- which is four astrological houses away. These may indicate events connected with the Earth- like earthquakes, floods, cyclones, scarcity of food.The eclipse is happening in the airy sign of Gemini, which represents air travel. So air travel will be affected. Air travel has already been challenging but it will be more – and maybe an air tragedy., not just for India but all over the world. According to Brihat Samhita by Varaha Mihira, Gemini also represents Heads of state , people in the field of arts, army men and women leaders. So there could be untoward incidents with celebrities from the film industries. These could happen anytime between June 21st, 2020 to March 2021. Eclipses are all about collective destiny rather than individual destinies. Communist governments around world are likely to go weak. Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar and parts of Indo-Gangetic plains will be affected.
- Brihat Samhita also emphasises on omens. The death of the elephant on May 27th in the middle of the river does not augur well for south of India, in particular, the state of Kerala. Water led calamities will happen in the next 3-5 months.
- Right now, Mars is in Aquarius which is an air sign and the air energy are stoking up the fire, as seen in the protests spreading in the United States. You can read more about Mars in Aquarius here.
- Sun moves out from Taurus into Gemini in 14th of June. Since it is part of the eclipse, it could be part of the volatility of the month. Almost immediately Rahu is also there.
- 20th & 21st is the Sun and Rahu conjunction, followed by the solar eclipse. This is expected to cause disturbed energy. The eclipse will be visible in parts of Europe, Middle- East, North India, southern China and ends in China. There is disturbed energy for India and China. Border issues are predicted.
- Since Sun is eclipsed, people at the top of the ladder have to be very careful. Typically Rahu makes you want to rush into a rushed decisions, so it is better that we take any important decision after July 5th.
- Venus is still retrograde since May 13th and will go direct on 27th June.
- Saturn and Jupiter in Capricorn (all about justice) is also retrograde till September 28th.
- You will notice that Mercury is in Ardra Nakshatra. Mercury is all about communication and is in a destructive nakshatra. Hence, it is about media wars and contrasting information. There will be censorships- specifically in social media. The media will be instrumental in bringing in divisiveness. So – it would be better to be extremely careful of the news you read or hear. A good month to do a detox of TV news channels.
- The powerful eclipse energies accompanied by other planetary events around it make it extremely potent.
- Mercury Retrograde – 18th Jun – North Node (Rahu) conjunct Sun – 19th Jun – Solar Eclipse – 21st Jun – Neptune Retrograde – 23rd Jun – Venus Direct – 25th Jun – Jupiter-Pluto Conjunction – 29th June
To repeat from what I wrote in my previous post, “The fact Saturn and Jupiter are in Capricorn, means it is all about governments, and their decisions and the outcome are bound to be heavy. Saturn in Capricorn represents a time of reckoning, a judgement time (Saturn) particularly for those in positions of authority, who have a duty of care to others, whose role it is to ensure the material well-being of others, to protect and defend them, and to provide the necessary organisation, systems, rules and discipline to do this (Capricorn).” Agitations, protests and violence could be seen in many, many countries. Retrogrades will cause the common people to sway and believe stray rumours. Government all over the world have to step down from their arrogant stance. Saturn speaks for the common man, the truth and doesn’t care for authority. The top officials/ leaders of Russia, China, India and Great Britain will have dangers to their lives. Hence, the security of these leaders has to be bolstered.
So, it is definitely worthwhile to see where the solar eclipse and the transit of Mars is happening in your personal charts. However, the eclipse is a global event and will affect the world – both positively and negatively. For all signs and nakshatras, the key is to exercise restraint in speech, finance or not embark on taking major decisions – as much as possible. It is better to wait it out till after July 5th. This period is very good to read, chant and meditate. The seers in the texts advice that during the eclipses it is best to avoid food and take a shower after the eclipse. Worshiping an idol is not recommended. The ‘Aditya Hridayam’ is a powerful and simple mantra to chant during the day. This is indeed an important month.