Annular solar eclipse occurring on May 20-21, 2012 will be visible in eastern Asia, the northern Pacific Ocean and the western United States. For the cities in eastern hemisphere the eclipse will be visible on May 21, 2012. Partial eclipse may be seen from much of Asia, the Pacific and the western 2/3 of North America. In India, partial eclipse may be visible for a few minutes in some parts of eastern states including West Bengal, Assam, Sikkim, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Manipur. Annular solar eclipse of May 20-21 will be followed by a partial lunar eclipse on June 4, 2012. Eclipses signify change; finishing of unfinished karma, and new beginnings. They intensify the process of rebirth on spiritual level.
As per vedic astrology, this solar eclipse takes place at the descending node of moon in Krittika Nakshatra in the sign of Taurus. Krittika Nakshatra is associated with the star cluster Pleiades, star of the stars. Lord of Krittika is Surya, the sun and ruling deity is Agni, god of fire. During eclipse five planets viz the sun, moon, venus(r), jupiter and ketu will be in the sign of Taurus. This solar eclipse is special as the sun and moon are aligned with the Pleiades, the constellation responsible for the shift or ascension of mother earth. The interval of time between two eclipses is important for the spiritual regeneration of the earth and people on earth. This is also potent time for healing, transformation and purification.
In Vedas, it is believed that a demon called Swarbhanu is responsible for causing eclipses. According to the Aitareya Brahmana, demon Swarbhanu swallows both the luminaries causing solar eclipse. Later the moon revives back from the sun’s body. Demon Swarbhanu refers to the lunar nodes rahu and ketu. Though the nodes are mere shadows, they have the power to consume the luminaries. In that capacity they are stronger than any planet. There is another myth describing how the nodes became so powerful. Once the devas and asuras joined hands to churn the Kshirsagar, the cosmic sea to find the nectar of immortality. When the nectar was found devas became greedy and kept it to themselves and refused to share with asuras. When the nectar was being distributed, Rahu-Ketu joined devas in disguise. Vishnu recognized him as an asura and cut him into two using his weapon Sudarshan Chakra. During the struggle, a few drops of nectar fell on Rahu-Ketu. As a result, in spite of being cut in two, they became immortal.
On cosmic level, the nodes represent the law of divine manifestation. Under the influence of cosmic laws, even the sun and moon have to undergo eclipses. During this time period, the earth is severed from the life giving and life sustaining energies of the sun and moon. Solar eclipse is symbolic of the process of initiation. The sun and moon, symbols of the soul and psyche respectively are overshadowed by the tendencies of materialism. During the process of initiation, human psyche merges with the sun of spirituality and goes through radical transformation. At the end of this process psyche or the moon emerges back purified and rejuvenated from the bosom of sun.
During this solar eclipse, new moon joins with the south lunar node, ketu. Rahu and ketu are visualized as snake shaped. Rahu is the head and ketu is tail part of the snake. The snake or serpentfire is a symbol of spiritual energy. Ketu has its own splendor and wisdom. Understanding mysteries hidden behind the veil of creation falls within the domain of ketu. Ketu bestows the knowledge of cosmic forces and insight into the working of natural laws. Ketu helps in uniting individual consciousness with the primordial consciousness. As venus is also retrograde at this time, intuitive powers, empathy and refined perception can be easily developed. Occult and esoteric rituals performed during the eclipse will fructify immediately.
On individual level, the nodes represent the law of karma. During their dasa period, they put an individual in difficult situations, so that the balancing of karma is achieved. During this difficult phase, an individual is compelled to change his outlook. His way of thinking and attitude towards life are fundamentally changed. He is drawn towards spirituality and mysticism to find a solution to the restrictions experienced on mental and emotional levels. As a result, latent abilities and spiritual powers are awakened and ultimate wisdom is gained. Healing and vitality are experienced on physical level, also.
Rahu and ketu were revered and worshipped by the vedic sages and seers. The nodes generate turmoil on mental emotional level, similar to churning experience, leading towards illumination of mind.