South Node Eclipse Remediation + Rituals
In my other Eclipse Misconceptions post, I talked about how Eclipses are not good times to perform typical lunar rituals having to do with abundance, growth, or protection. In this post, we’ll talk about some appropriate mundane and ritual activities to do during Eclipses. South Node eclipses specifically, since one is occurring December 25-26 (check these links for more info on visibility and exact time in your location)
Ketu is the Vedic term for the descending Lunar Node, AKA Dragon’s Tail. The Vedic tradition works a lot with the Nodes and offers us much in the way 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 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 Impacts of Ketu
Ketu at its best offers clarity of thought and action, grants spirituality, and helps 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
As far as a ritual process goes, I recommend taking a pre-game salt bath. This is remedial in and of itself, but it also cleanses your body and energy, and Ketu likes clean things and clean people. Put on clean clothes or be nude. If smudging is your thing, go for it – for extra credit, use dharba grass.
Light the candle and incense and listen to or chant Ketu mantras while meditating, simply being with the 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! Please accept it and grant me your blessings of enlightenment, and a clear heart and mind. Only remove that which brings delusion and negativity. I pray for your blessings, and 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. His 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 the offerings go bad.
Eclipse offerings are best disposed of by composting or putting them outside for nature to feed on. Some offerings, such as those for Venus, are fine to eat and can actually help attune you to the sphere, but due to the Eclipse’s toxicity, it’s best not to take additional Eclipse charge into your body.
Other ritual activities suitable to Eclipse times include:
- Smudging and energetic cleansing
- Cord cutting and releasing ceremonies
- White spirit baths, as per Lucumi and similar traditions
- 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 are rituals and magic intended for financial, material, or physical gain. Those are the type that will likely backfire.
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, 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 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 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, 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, also noting when the Moon leaves the sign in which the Eclipse occured.