Eclipses are a natural phenomenon that catch the attention of one and all. Regardless of whether a person has any astrological knowledge or not, eclipses invoke superstitions about negativity and poison. Even scientific advice states that looking at a solar eclipse with the naked eye is extremely harmful to sight. There is an average of two solar eclipses every year. A lunar eclipse occurs within a fortnight of a solar eclipse. These eclipses are not visible in all parts of the earth but the effect according to astrology is worldwide. So, if an eclipse is such an inauspicious time, what effect does it have on a child who is born at this time?
What Is An Eclipse
We know that astronomically, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks the light of the sun from the earth for a short period of time. Lunar eclipses occur when the earth blocks the light of the sun from the Moon. So why do eclipses not occur more often? This is because the ecliptic of the Earth around the Sun and that of the Moon around the Earth are not in the same plane. So, it is only when these planes intersect and either the Sun or Moon or both are at these points of intersection that the three can be in an exact straight line.
Rahu and Ketu
Rahu and Ketu are called the nodes of the Moon. To understand them we have to picture the path of the moon’s orbit around the Earth. This is at a plane that is not the same as that of the Earth’s ecliptic around the Sun. The points at which the path of the Moon coincide with the ecliptic are the nodes. Rahu is the name of the North or ascending node of the Moon while Ketu is the South or descending node of the Moon.
Phases Of The Moon
In a birth chart we can see the astronomical positions of the Grahas placed on the chart. We know that the Sun takes one year to make a complete revolution through the 12 Rashis and that the Moon takes 28 days to go through all the Rashis. So the Sun spends a month in each Rashi and the transition from one Rashi to another is a Sankranti.
The phases of the Moon are related to the relative position of the Moon from the Sun. This is called the Tithi. The Waxing phase of the Moon is called Shukla Paksha and the waning phase is called Krishna Paksha. When the Moon is conjunct with the Sun, it is not seen and this is called the new Moon or Amavasya. The Moon directly opposite to the Sun is called Poornima or full Moon. A lunar eclipse can only occur during a full moon because that is the only possibility when the Earth is in the middle and the Sun and the Moon are opposite. However since the orbital path is not usually in line, the shadow of the Earth does not fall exactly on the Moon.
An eclipse only occurs when the luminaries, Sun or Moon are near the intersection of the ecliptic which is the Nodes. So, in astrology, we can see that an eclipse occurs when the Full Moon is around 11 degrees near the nodes. And a solar eclipse can occur when the Earth is on one side and the Moon comes in between the Earth and the Sun in the same line of sight. This happens when the Sun and Moon are within approximately 17 degrees of either of the nodes. When the distance is closer to 10 to 12 degrees the eclipse is closer to total and is the degrees are from 12 to 17 the eclipse is partial.
So, once we understand the astronomy of an eclipse it is very easy to spot it in a birth chart. When you see that the nodes Rahu or Ketu are very close in degree to the Sun and Moon it is an eclipse. This is Grahan Dosh.
The severity of this Dosh depends on the closeness of the degrees. The Sun gets conjunct with the nodes twice in a year so, it is not rare to have this in a chart. The Moon conjuncts the nodes twice a month and this is not that rare either. But the eclipses happen around twice a year. The eclipse affects both the Sun and Moon at the same time. The Sun and the Moon are the significators of the father and the mother, soul and mind respectively.
Moon + Rahu, Sun + Rahu
Rahu is shadowy, causes illusions, breaks the rules, manipulates, is overly ambitious, insatiable and extreme. The Moon is mother, emotions, mind, home and the psychology of the person. When one has Rahu near the Moon there will be a tendency to have imagined fears. So, Rahu with the Moon can make the person imaginative but also emotionally unbalanced. The person will be cunning, dramatic and obsessive. This can be used in a productive way. Unconventional thinking can be applied in a career that uses imagination and lateral thinking to the maximum. There might also be psychic abilities. Much depends on the strength of the Moon.
Sun is the representative of the father, government, ego and status. When the Sun is impacted by Rahu, the person will have outward amplification of the ego and confidence. This will not match the inner fears and inferiority complex of the person. There might be too much self-centeredness as Rahu might start behaving like another Sun creating too much of that energy. There might be a tendency to get into unsavoury dealings with the government or authority figures.
Moon + Ketu, Sun + Ketu
Ketu is detaching energy that is also as deceptive as Rahu but in a thoughtless and careless way. While Rahu obsesses, Ketu does not care less. So Ketu with the Moon gives the person a detached mind. This could make them unsympathetic, detached from the mother or create an emotional vacuum. When the Sun is with Ketu there could be disorientation or disconnect with the father, government or authority. Since the Sun is ego and confidence, Ketu with the Sun can create low self-esteem and confidence issues.
When a person is born during a lunar eclipse, it will be a Poornima. This means that the Sun and Moon will be opposite to each other. One of them will be afflicted by Rahu while the other will be affected by Ketu. So, we will see the situations described above not individually but paired. So one node will affect the Sun while the other affects the Moon. This is sure to cause double trouble for the native. The combination could cause a Ketu affected Moon with low emotional sensitivity. This is paired with an overly and falsely (Rahu) amplified ego (Sun). Or, it could be a Rahu affected delusional and obsessive mind that is paired with low self-confidence issues.
During a solar eclipse, the Sun and the Moon are together influenced by one of the nodes. This means that not only are the Sun and Moon both affected by the same influence of Rahu or Ketu but that the Moon is also totally ‘burnt’ by the Sun.
Birth during the Amavasya Tithi itself is considered inauspicious and the addition of one of the nodes to the combination makes its effects amplified.
Effects Of Birth In Eclipses
It is no wonder that in the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, the Sage states that, “O Brahmin! A person, whose birth takes place at the time of solar, or lunar eclipse, suffers from ailments, distress and poverty and faces danger of death.”.
When the Moon or Sun is not strong in the chart, the combined effects are very negative. The nodes Rahu and Ketu are said to be very karmic Grahas. So, we can say that these individuals have very strongly Karmic lives. One must also check the axis on which this eclipse is falling in order to gauge the areas in which the person is likely to be affected by it.
Not all eclipses are as straightforward as most of the gloom and doom that is described in most texts. One must remember that when the Sun and Moon are strong and the rest of the horoscope supports it, the nodes can serve as great amplifiers. The chart of Jeff Bezos has Rahu in Mithuna (Gemini) and Moon, Sun and Mercury conjunct Ketu in Dhanus (Saggitarius) in his tenth house. We can see how this has worked out into a man who has been very daring and unstoppable in his career.
Donald Trump has Moon and Ketu in Vrsihik (Scorpio) and Sun and Rahu in Rishaba (Taurus). It is obvious to see that these people are by no means poverty-stricken or afflicted in all ways. While certain areas of their lives are not ideal, their node affected Moon and Sun have actually given them more insatiable ambition and drive than the average person. The British Royal family also has many events and births that are closely linked to eclipses.