North Node Eclipse Remediation + Rituals
(This is the right article for the Eclipse on June 20th, 2020)
In my earlier Eclipse Misconceptions post, I talked about how Eclipses are not good times to perform standard New or Full Moon magic.
In this post, we’ll talk about some appropriate mundane and ritual activities to do during Eclipses. I already wrote about South Node Eclipses, so this is the partner piece for those occurring on the North Node.
Rahu is the Vedic term for the ascending Lunar Node, AKA Dragon’s Head. The Vedic tradition works a lot with the Nodes and offers us much in the way of lore and remedial guidance.
Much of this information was transmitted to me from Austin Coppock, who is currently learning it from his own Vedic astrology teacher Freedom Cole. Freedom is an insanely good Jyotishi and we recommend his books, Science of Light volumes one + two, teachings, and services whole heartedly.
Why Bother Remediating Eclipses
Because every Eclipse happens somewhere in your chart, and in the world. Eclipses are big doses of negative energy, and working with them intentionally will help reduce potential ill-effects. It makes the most of a bad transit, and can improve your real-time experience and emotional state.
The Effects of Rahu
Someone asked me on Twitter recently if tonight’s Eclipse would be less malefic than the last because it’s on the ascending Node, and I had to break it to them that Rahu is not a benefic.
Our capitalist relationship to consumption and the American/ Western view that More is More can give the impression that Rahu is “better” than Ketu, but it isn’t. The nodes serve equal, separate functions, and whether you privilege one above the other is a simple matter of your cultural values and personal aspirations.
Rahu is good for material gain, because it’s sticky and hungry. It wants to consume, and can do so endlessly because the Dragon’s Head is detached from its stomach.
Rahu is a black hole of desire, impossible to sate. That can manifest in the life as someone who has many possessions and is very driven, but there are obvious drawbacks to endless consumption and never being satisfied with what one already has.
The destruction and exploitation of the planet by capitalist and colonizing forces is the most global example of this, and the great Pacific garbage patch is a great representation of what happens in the mind when there is no gratitude, no sense of obligation to clean up your own mess, and no care for anyone but yourself and your own convenience.
At best, Rahu brings intelligence, creativity, abundance, wealth, good luck, drive, and an expansive, popular persona. At worst, Rahu manifests in delusions of the mind, self-importance, self-destruction (via bad habits and consumption), obsession, excessive lust and perversion, and an overly inflated ego.
Whether or not you are performing any formal ritual, I recommend taking a salt bath on any Eclipse. It cleanses your own energy and will help keep negative Eclipse vibes from sticking to you. Note that while epsom salt is wonderful for the muscles, it isn’t a genuine salt with energetically clearing properties, so make sure to use natural table salt, himalayan salt, or sea salt.
Altars, Associations, and Ritual Activities
If you would like to ritualize your engagement with a North Node Eclipse, you can construct an appropriate altar and make offerings to either Rahu or the deities who help to mediate Rahu’s influence.
There are two approaches to dealing with Rahu —
- Feed the beast, which is a contended approach by some given Rahu’s insatiable nature.
- Use an intermediary deity to counter and negate Rahu’s influence.
Feeding the Beast
The ideal location for a Rahu altar is facing Southwest, the direction associated with the Nodes. Activated charcoal and black salt, both of which absorb negativity, would be appropriate to place on any Eclipse altar, an example for a Rahu Eclipse could include:
- Blue or black altar cloth (or in a pinch, paper to place the items on)
- Virgin candle, white, blue, or black
- Bowl of salt water
- Hessonite, gomed, or agate (the stones used for Rahu remediation)
- A piece of lead
- A dish of mustard oil
- Cooked black rice
After taking a salt bath, light the candle and listen to or chant appropriate Rahu mantras (OM RAHAVE NAMAHA) while meditating, simply being with the altar. When you’ve attuned yourself and are in the zone, pray aloud. An example script could be:
Lord Rahu! Lioness born, who has conquered the Sun and the Moon, who has a snake on your flag and a lotus in hand! I have set this altar and prepared this offering of mustard oil and black rice for you! Please accept it, be peaceful to me and bless my mind with illumination. I pray for your blessings, and thank you for them!
Leave the candle to burn all the way if it is safe, and leave the offerings out at least overnight or until the Moon leaves the sign in which the Eclipse occurred.
Intermediary Gods (preferred!)
There are two Vedic deities who are considered the primary mitigators of Rahu. If you have a pre-existing relationship with one of them, all the better. If they are new to you, select the one that appeals most and print out their image. Place it above or standing propped on a surface you can use as an altar. Have a virgin candle and a place to put offerings.
Durga is the Goddess slayer of Rahu and the consort of Lord Shiva. She has three eyes, the left representing the Moon, the right representing the Sun, and the central third eye representing the fire of knowledge.
Set an altar space facing Southwest, light the candle, and chant or listen to this Durga mantra, geared toward clearing the mind/heart/life, with no backfire potential, or if excess sadness and anger are present, this one for Chandi, a fiercer form of Durga. Offer her a lemon, which she likes and has cleansing and clarifying properties. Cut it in half or in slices before presenting it to her. She also likes ghee, sugar, honey, and milk. Pray to her for illumination and liberation from delusion.
Daksinamurti is Lord Shiva in his guru aspect. He specializes in cutting through the bondage of materiality and illuminating the mind, making him a primo Rahu slayer.
He is seen sitting beneath a Banyan tree in meditation surrounded by sages or wild animals. He has four arms, his hands often depicted holding a rosary and/or snake, the flame of illumination, and grass or a roll of sacred scriptures, while his right hand makes the mudra of knowledge and wisdom.
In this particular image, his foot is holding down a blue figure holding a snake (representing ignorance, but also Rahu) and you can observe the Sun, Moon, and third eyes near his head, denoting his mitigating influence on the North Node and allegiance to the luminaries.
Daksinamurti is one of the only Vedic deities who faces South, so print his image and create an altar space facing that direction. Common offerings are chick peas and jasmine flowers. Light a candle and chant (or listen as you meditate to) appropriate Daksinamurti mantras.
A simple mantra from Freedom Cole’s Science of Light volume II is —
Many of the mantras come down to praising the power of Daksinamurti and asking for his blessings of intelligence, knowledge, and understanding. You can make prayers in your own words to that effect.
If you would like to form an ongoing Daksinamurti practice, continue making offerings on Thursdays, the day which belongs to him.
Asclepius and Eclipses
Items from the Asclepius series transmute negative energy into sources of healing and wisdom. They help assimilate toxicity in the body, heart, and mind to provide more objectivity and the distillation of wisdom from experience. All of those are excellent influences to bring into your sphere during Eclipses, so if you have items from the Asclepius series, now is an excellent time to use them. Especially the bath salt, ritual salt, and water.
Mundane Activities for Eclipses
Cleansing, organizing, and getting rid of old things are great Eclipse activities. Clean your house, garage, closets, car, or office desk. Get rid of clutter and old things you no longer have a use for. Bust out your copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
[Let the record show that this advice and link were in the original piece, written long before Marie Kondo’s Netflix show debuted 😂]
Eclipses can be great opportunities to get RID of things and people you no longer want in your life. If there is a big project you’ve been avoiding and need to get done, and you’re feeling productive, it may be a good time to tackle that and do yourself the favor of getting it off your plate. Give yourself a literal or metaphorical enema.
Or, give yourself the day off! Eclipses very often result in lack of energy and motivation. Breathe deeply. Drink water. Meditate. Fast (or eat lightly and healthily). Reduce exposure to Eclipse light. Be kind to yourself. Rest 🙏
Any and all of these suggestions can be done during the live Eclipse window, but are also good to enact until the Moon leaves the sign in which the Eclipse occurred and even the Bardo period.