My friends have always joked about the newsletter sign-up on my website, which says that the newsletter is “really low volume”. The joke here is that there’s never been a newsletter… until now. Welcome to the first edition of the Ken Reads Jyotish newsletter!
I think it's time to address the elephant in the room - he's Ganesha! Ganesha is the remover of obstacles, and the ruler of Vedic Astrology. His mantra is traditionally the first mantra done in Vedic ceremonies, so it's appropriate to have his photo appear in the first newsletter. I have made a very subtle change to the painting to make it fit with the Christmas theme (Photoshopped it all by myself), let me know if you aren't able to find it.*
So this being the very first edition, feedback is of course welcome, but I thought I would try and make this newsletter as useful as possible. So, I’m going to tell you about an upcoming eclipse.
There is a partial solar eclipse happening in early January, and is only visible in the North Pacific and East Asian region:
Photo taken from here (link).
The eclipse's maximum point takes place at 12:41 PM AEST on January 6th (9:41 PM EST on January 5th).
Even if it isn’t visible where you are, eclipses are an important cosmic event. A Solar Eclipse is where the Moon covers the Sun. In Jyotish, the Moon represents your emotional mind, and the Sun represents your soul. The covering or blocking of your soul by your emotional mind makes the eclipse day (and the 3 days before and after it) not a good time to start anything important. The only thing that eclipses are good for is inward reflection and meditation.
In India and other parts of Asia, when an eclipse is taking place, people will stay in their homes or go to a temple, and close the blinds to the outside world. It is seen as inauspicious to look at an eclipse. This is an external representation of what we should do inwardly - we should be closing the blinds to the external world and going deeper within ourselves. During eclipses, the material energy of our world is disrupted, making it easier to meditate deeply, and so we should take advantage of these eclipse times.
The eclipse is taking place in a Nakshatra (constellation) called Purva Ashadha. The Nakshatra’s desire is to gain the ocean upon wishing for it, and it is ruled by Apas, defied water. So maybe if meditation isn’t your thing, an alternate way to spend the eclipse day would be to go on a quiet hike or backpacking trip to a lake or ocean.
Eclipses always happen in pairs, and so there’s a second eclipse coming up later in January, so stay tuned for more information! In the meantime, I hope you all have wonderful holidays with your families.