The Coils of the Serpent: In Between Eclipses

If you are feeling squeezed and anxious, or have the sense that fate has closed in, you are not alone. This time between eclipses packs a powerful wallop and while the release may come in part on Tuesday, often it takes as long as six weeks for the intensity of an eclipse to unwind. 

The United States goes to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, with a total lunar eclipse visible on the east coast in the early hours of the morning. The south node is in Scorpio and it can bring sweet release, or a more extreme form of letting go. 

In this image of the young god Krishna, we see that even the divine can be entwined and bound. The Kaliyamardana tells the story of Krishna as a young cowherd playing with his ball, which accidentally falls in the river. Kaliya, a great serpent, a naga, with many heads, has taken up residence in the river, spewing venom, poisoning the water, and making life difficult for all who live nearby. The others beg Krishna to let the ball go, but he jumps into the river. When Kaliya coils his tail around the boy, Krishna stomps on it, telling him to stop bothering people. Then the powerful serpent wraps him completely in his coils and pulls him into the river. 

When we are caught by our own psychic distortions or affected by the poisonous words, thoughts and actions of others, It may feel there is no way out. The south node Solar eclipse in Scorpio, which occurred on October 25, reveals just such a situation. We are either bound by the results of a certain way of being, or have the insight to step away from difficult situations to release toxic attachments. The conscious process of letting go can be particularly fruitful now.

Regrettably, collective events can reflect this entrapment, which we saw only last week in the horrifying images of young people in Seoul, caught in the alleyways of the nightlife district and crushed by the movement of the crowd. Kim Jong-il has been launching ballistic missiles into the surrounding waters of the sea of Japan. Enormous suffering and death on both sides continues in Ukraine. Violent attacks on political figures and their loved ones have even been met with mockery and mistruth. And media stars are spewing the poison of hatred and anti-semitism. 

Krishna escapes by “enlarging himself”. He then begins to dance on the head of the naga, bringing the weight of the entire world into his feet. We too are asked to step beyond the entrapment. It may seem an impossible task, when the airwaves are filled with apocalyptic predictions, rampant prejudice and destructive speech. Mars is the one of the rulers of the south node, it is in Gemini, a sign that splits our action along two sides, and can lead to misunderstanding. But as my colleague Nadiya Shah pointed out in a podcast, Mars retrograde in Gemini also means we are called to wise action and conscious speech. Tuesday’s full Moon is exactly conjunct Uranus, a planet of sudden change, of reversal, of freedom. The Moon will be in Taurus calling us back to solid ground. Taurus sustains life, Uranus brings the unexpected. Fate is not irreversible. 

In the end, Krishna releases the naga, softened by the prayers of his serpent wives, and he promises to go elsewhere and stop polluting the waters. This eclipse cycle, which is still active until the summer of 2023, calls up the fate of the earth as well as the dark forces in our social and political world. We are living a moment of great power. We can choose to let go of destructive behavior. If inexplicable experiences arise in your own life right now, they may also be an opportunity for the release of deeply embedded behaviors. With luck, you will never be ensnared again.

 In June I gave a six-part class for Caroline Myss’s Reflections series 

 “Being Swallowed by the Dragon”. 

You can find it here:

The first episode is free to watch: