The lunar eclipse on September 27-28 occurs in the star group known as Uttara Bhādrapadā. Uttara Bhādrapadā is a star cluster situated in the Pisces constellation. It is said to be ruled by Varshodyamana śakti – the ability to bring rain.
The presiding deity or devatā is Ahirbudhnya अहिर्बुध्न्यदेवत्य. Ahirbudhnya is sometimes symbolized as a coiled snake which resides in the depths of the ocean, but is generally part of a class of atmospheric deities which reside in the clouds.
Ahirbudhnya is one of the 11 Rudras born to Sage Kaśyapa and Surabhi in order to eliminate demons who at the time were causing the gods great trouble. The Rudras are primarily atmospheric deities who catalyze the creation of prāṇa in nature which invigorates and gives life to all creatures on earth. Ahirbudhnya resides in the clouds like a coiled serpent. When he uncoils, he unleashes purifying and life giving rain to all creatures and plants on the earth.
Ahi अही is a synonym of cloud – megha. The ancient scholar Yaska writes, "The cloud (ahi) is named this on account of its motion in the atmosphere. The other meaning of ahi is serpent." Yaska goes on to write, "budhnam means atmosphere, waters are held bound in it ... budhnam meaning body, is derived from the same root; breath is held bound in it. He who is ahi is budhnya बुध्न्य swelling in the atmosphere...may Ahi who dwells in the atmosphere not put us to injury."
In some lineages of Taoism, the Blood Moon is referred to as a Fire Moon. A Fire Moon exhibits qualities of extreme yang, and thus is considered to spur more quarrels amongst men, saber rattling, and accidents due to haste. The cutting of trees are considered one of the main reasons the moon turns red. It symbolizes the pollution created by man's destruction and the spilling of the blood of the plant world.
1. Harvest Moon
The Lunar eclipse on September 27th falls on the Harvest Moon. Vegetables, fruits and herbs should only be harvested 24-36 hours before the eclipse begins or 24-36 hours after it ends. Furthermore, once the produce is harvested, extreme caution must be taken that neither the shadow nor the eclipsing light of the Moon touches the freshly harvested produce, lest it will wither and decompose much faster than what the farmer would expect.
2. Holy Water
Though one should not drink water exposed to the eclipse, water is made holy for ritualistic and bathing purposes during an eclipse.
3. Rudrākṣa to the Rescue
Rudrākṣa beads work as a talisman and are very beneficial to wear during eclipses.
Women that are pregnant should do everything to avoid the light of the fractured moon as well as its shadow. This principle is not only followed in India and China, but in Central America amongst the Mayans and Aztecs as well.
Full Moons tend to rally the libido into party mode. It is beneficial to not engage in any form of copulation 48-96 hours before to 48-96 hours after an eclipse. It is absolutely forbidden to impregnate a woman during this time, for all types of issues may affect the child. In India, farmers will go as far as to separate livestock to insure no mating occurs during the period of an eclipse.
All food and water should be kept away from the shadow and splintered light of an eclipse. Food and water exposed to the light or shadow of an eclipse will decompose quicker and lose its ability to nourish the body.
One must not consume food during the eclipse of the Sun or the Moon — Viṣṇusūtram
Good karma is said to multiply during eclipses when donations are given.
~ The fruits secured by giving away dāna during solar eclipse at Kurukshetra would indeed exceed the recitation of the Sahasranāma ~ Lalita Sahasranāma
8. Sprirtual Practice
Though one can find ślokas that say that spiritual practices performed during an eclipse are magnified a thousand-fold, we can also find passages that say otherwise. Obviously it seems to be a specialized practice in which you should get guidance from your guru before you proceed. In India one can observe that many temples are closed and deities are covered from the light and shadow during an eclipse
The reasons to discontinue recitation of the Vedas till the next day are earthquake, lightning, fall of meteors or an eclipse ~ Gautama
He who recites the Gaṇapatyarthavaśīrṣa during solar eclipse, on the shores of great rivers or in front of Gaṇeśa every month, would obtain siddhi and all he tells would become true ~ Gaṇapatyarthavaśīrṣa
9.Commencement ceremonies, Marriage
Aside from very few highly esoteric practices, new works should not be commenced during an eclipse, and marriage on this day is strictly forbidden.
10. Tulasī (Tulsi), Dūrvā, Kuśa
Though they should not be harvested during an eclipse, Tulasī (Tulsi), Dūrvā, and Kuśa grass are considered sacred during the time of an eclipse. There is a particular practice that lays pregnant women on a bed of Dūrvā grass, and it is also placed on their sides while they rest during the periods of an eclipse. Food and even idols are covered in the sacred grasses during times of an eclipse.
One should wear a new Tulsi mala, after taking a bath, or after the impure period following a solar or lunar eclipse. The old mala should be dropped under a tree or in a natural body of water; ocean, river, lake ~ Śrī Vallabhacharya
As Pisces is the last sign of the natural zodiac, it generally represents the conclusion of matters. The star of Uttara Bhādrapadā is a close neighbor to the Andromeda galaxy located in Pisces. Andromeda is one of very few galaxies that can be seen by the naked eye. Astronomers predict that within 4 billion years, the Andromeda galaxy will collide with our own Milky Way galaxy, bringing an explosive mind-boggling conclusion to our humble little place in the universe. It is quite curious to think that thousands of years ago, the ancients classified Pisces as the zodiac sign that represents the end, and Andromeda may very well cause the end of our entire galaxy. Current studies suggest there is at least a 50% chance our solar system will be swept 3 times farther out of its current orbit in our galaxy, and a 12% chance that our solar system will be completely ejected during the collision. I predict a 90% chance of rain showers with strong winds that day.
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