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The deep side of the total solar eclipse

On Saturday, October 14th at 10:04 a.m. CST, a total solar eclipse begins that will be visible across the central U.S.. This is a big deal. People from across the country typically travel in search of an ideal viewing spot, clogging up roadways and filling local and state parks. This time, I'll be one of them. Two friends and I are going to a ranch in the country to experience it. Granted, it’s quite a spectacle to see, scientifically and astronomically speaking, yet there are more subtle aspects to a solar eclipse that are worth noting, and that’s what I peek at here.

In the yogic tradition, or at least the kundalini yoga tradition that I teach and practice, sages discourage direct viewing of an eclipse. Nothing bad happens if you do (and I plan to take a little look at this one myself), yet they offer us so much more than just a cool, entertaining spectacle. For instance, it is taught that practicing yoga and meditation during an eclipse is energetically extra super duper powerful—my words, not theirs. In their words, the effects of doing yoga and meditating during an eclipse are much more energetically potent than usual, and totally worth the effort.

Also, what astrological sign or House the eclipse falls in on our birth chart is significant, guiding us to more deeply connect with that aspect of our life during the eclipse and after. For this eclipse, we need only look at what sign was in the eastern horizon when we were born. This provides us with a direction to explore and an opening to heal something significant in our life, and perhaps even evolve on a soul level. I looked mine up, and this eclipse falls in my 5th House. According to my yoga teacher and Vedic astrology master Jai Dev Singh, this house is about “good luck, good fortune from previous karmas, education and intelligence, romance and dating.” Okay…I’m not sure exactly what all of that means, but it has a good vibe to it so I'll take it! You can bet that I’ll be meditating on this during the eclipse. If you want to know what House this eclipse falls in for you, meaning what area of your life this particular eclipse is impacting, go to Deva.guru and check it out for free. You need to input your birth city, state, date, and time.

In the kundalini yoga tradition, eclipses are perceived as especially mystical times that add a shadowy layer of energy over everything, both internally and externally. They are great times to avoid making decisions and taking actions on big, important things in our lives. Too much may be obscured or hidden from our view and awareness to wisely do so until after the eclipse. It’s actually why I cancelled a meeting for a potential investment that was scheduled for the 14th.

On the other hand, eclipses are great times to explore the shit "beneath or behind the curtain and under the rug" in our lives. Rather than continuing to avoid or push these things out of our view, this may be a great time to face and embrace them for genuine healing and transformation. Exploring our shadowy aspects of self can feel daunting, yet when we consciously create a sacred space in which to do so, they are exceptionally fruitful in my experience. Personally, I like to call in my spirit guides and allies to accompany me on these ventures, especially during such a potent time as this eclipse will be.

If you do choose to watch the eclipse for the amazing natural phenomena that it is, it's imperative that you do so through properly filtered glasses so as not to cause permanent damage to your eyes. You can’t safely look through a camera lens or even binoculars for this. Doing so will burn your eyes. You must either purchase properly filtered, safe viewing glasses (I got a pack of 4 for about $11) or if you’re feeling particularly creative, make a classic pinhole camera to watch it through. This link gives instructions on how to do so: https://www.popsci.com/diy/how-to-make-a-pinhole-camera/ . Whatever you do, I invite you to make space in your Saturday on October 14th to witness this amazing astronomical event right here in our U.S. skies. Happy trails!

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