In my other Eclipse Misconceptions in Magic post, I detailed how Eclipses are not great times to perform typical Lunar rituals having to do with abundance, growth, or protection. In this post, we’ll talk about some appropriate mundane + ritual activities to do during Eclipses…
South Node Eclipses, to be exact. Here is the same for Rahu.
List of South Node Eclipses
Click here or the links below to find more detailed Eclipse data… window of time, visibility, &c.
- December 14th, 2020: Total Solar
- May 26th, 2021: Total Lunar
- December 4th, 2021: Total Solar
- May 15-16, 2022: Total Lunar
Ketu is the Jyotish term for the descending Lunar Node, AKA Dragon’s Tail. The Vedic tradition has worked extensively with the Nodes over the course of hundreds (if not thousands!) of years, and thus has much to offer in terms of lore and remedial guidance.
But first, why bother?
Because the Eclipse is happening somewhere in your chart, and in the world. Eclipses are big doses of powerful (but mostly negative) energy, and working them intentionally helps reduce fallout in the life and body while also harnessing them for what they’re good for. Everything is an opportunity if you just know what to make of it 😉
Ritually observing Eclipses also improves our real-time experience and emotional state in the days surrounding the event, and helps orient transit manifestations in a productive manner.
Also, since manifestation and protection based rituals are often scheduled on New + Full Moons (and witches of social media often urge people to perform them), it is good to know when any given Lunation is an Eclipse to get the best results and shift intentions accordingly.
The Impacts of Ketu
At its best, Ketu clarifies thought and action, spiritualizes what it touches, and helps to cleanse and purify.
At worst, it utterly deprives, stripping away that which we need to sustain ourselves and our lives, and can cause psychological disturbances, paranormal activity, and mental illness.
Working with the South Node intentionally will help safeguard your body, possessions, and loved ones, while also helping clear your mind and heart of negativity and delusion. A win-win, if you ask me!
Associations, Altars, and Ritual Activities
Magically, Ketu is associated with black items and foods. Good offerings include black cloth, cooked black rice, and black sesame seeds. Activated charcoal and black salt (both of which absorb negativity) would also be appropriate to offer or place on a Ketu altar, an example of which could include:
- Black altar cloth (or in a pinch, a black piece of paper to place the items on)
- Virgin candle, white or black
- Bowl of salt water
- Cat’s Eye (the stone used for Ketu remediation)
- Bowl of black rice, black sesame or poppy seeds as an offering
- Snake’s shed
Cleansing your body and energy is a remedial act in and of itself, and Ketu likes clean things and clean people. Wear clean clothes or be nude.
Light the candle and incense and listen to/ chant Ketu mantras, and simply abide with your Eclipse altar. When you’ve had your fill (or more aptly, sufficiently emptied!), pray aloud to Lord Ketu. An example script could be:
Lord Ketu! Bringer of clarity and purification! I have set this altar and prepared this offering of (black rice and sesame seeds) for you! I pray you accept it and that it please you. Grant me the blessings of enlightenment, and clarity of heart and mind. Only remove that which brings delusion and negativity. I pray for your blessings, and I thank you for them!
You can also perform Ketu Eclipse observations using altars, prayers, and offerings to Lord Ganesha, famed remover of obstacles and a main deity associated with Ketu.
Ganesha’s typical offerings include bananas and coconuts, but he appreciates other fruits and foods, and also conch shells. South Node Eclipses are good times to clean Ganesha altars, feed, and venerate him.
Leave the food offerings out overnight, and then remove them the next day, or when the Moon leaves the sign. It’s generally not a great idea to let food and beverage offerings rot on an altar, but Ketu’s preference for cleanliness and freshness makes it an even bigger no no for these to go bad.
Most offerings are best disposed of by composting or putting them outside for nature to feed on, and Ketu’s are no different. Some offerings, such as those for Venus, are fine or even desirable to eat and help attune you to the Sphere, but due to the Eclipse’s toxicity, it’s best not to take any additional Eclipse charge into your body.
Other ritual activities suitable to Eclipse times include:
- Smudging + energetic cleansing
- Cord cutting + releasing ceremonies
- White spirit baths, as per Lucumi and similar traditions
- Energetic Clearing + Ritual Bath protocol (optionally listen to mantras in the bath and during the pouring phase, add a prayer to Lord Ketu or Ganesha to open or close the ritual).
- Triple Purification of Asclepius ritual, or using any of the items from the Asclepius series. These help cleanse and transform toxic energies.
What you want to avoid on South Node Eclipses are rituals and magic intended for financial, material, or physical gain. Those are the type that will likely backfire. It is ill advised to cleanse or charge most crystals in Eclipse rays. Close blinds or cover most altars for success, manifestation, &c.
Dragons + Serpents > Reptiles + Snakes
With the Nodes representing the head and tail of a mythical dragon, literal manifestations of snakes and reptiles are frequent occurrences in Eclipse events, especially of a magical nature.
As an example, my own rosy boa (Erichthonius) had been missing for over a year, and long assumed dead.
It turns out he had been living in the basement the whole time and was revealed on August 10th, 2018, on the last of three back to back Eclipses!
If you own a reptile, South Node Eclipses are good times to clean their cage and freshen their water bowl, while North Node Eclipses are good opportunities to ritually feed them. Either type is an excellent time pay extra attention to serpentine familiars.
Mundane Activities for Eclipses
Taking salt baths can be a full on ritual activity, or just a mundane action. Either way, they are the primary remedial action I always recommend during Eclipses.
Cleansing, organizing, and getting rid of old things are great South Node Eclipse activities. Clean your house, garage, closets, car, or office desk. Get rid of clutter and things you no longer have a use for. Bust out your copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, or watch Marie Kondo’s Netflix series based on the book.
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 when the Moon is within 12 degrees (a tithi) on either side of the Eclipse point, or once Luna leaves the sign in which the Eclipse took place.