Every time eclipse season rolls around, I get lots of requests from clients and friends for advice on how to deal with eclipses: ways to mitigate them and prevent the worst-case scenarios from occurring, or at least lessen the negative effects overall.
Eclipses are trickier to remediate than other negative astrological influences because of their inherently chaotic, disruptive, life-draining nature. All of the other planets have their own rules that they follow. They may not always behave well, but they will always operate within their own spheres of influence. Eclipses operate outside these rules.
(The outer planets – Uranus, Neptune and Pluto – also don’t behave in a way that’s easily mitigated. However, this is a post for another day.)
Contrary to what some popular online articles have said, eclipses are NOT a good time to do any kind of magic. Actually, eclipses aren’t really a good time to do anything – certainly not something that you actually care about or want to go well.
Now, obviously life goes on and we can’t just hide under our beds for the entire eclipse period, much as we might want to. However, try to avoid starting anything major at this time. And definitely don’t do any magic other than basic cleansing and protection. You’ve been warned.
There are some things you can do during the eclipses to hopefully mitigate their effects on your life. Eclipses will affect you more intensely if they hit a key part of your chart, but they are always a wild card so it’s a good idea to do some form of eclipse remediation each time they come around.
My number one suggestion for mitigating eclipses is to hide from the eclipse light. This is especially important if the eclipse is visible in your location. (To see where the eclipses are visible, check out this site.)
This means staying inside on the day/night of the eclipse and closing all your curtains and doors. Eclipse watching parties are a terrible idea that I find particularly horrifying. And yes, I’ve definitely watched eclipses before, especially lunar eclipses. I have to admit they look really cool, but since becoming an astrologer I will no longer watch them in person. I even feel weird looking at pictures of them now, to be honest.
If you have to be outside in the eclipse light, try to limit your exposure and definitely do some of the additional practices below.
Cleansing is just as important as avoiding eclipse light, and it becomes the most important thing you can do during eclipses if you have to be outside during them. I recommend a full cleanse of both your house and your self, on both a physical and a magical level, on the day of the eclipse.
Part of my eclipse remediation practice is doing a deep clean on my house a day or two before the eclipse – and I mean a really good deep clean, not just a quick tidy. I’m talking about moving the furniture to vacuum/mop every nook and cranny, dusting every surface, wiping off the baseboards, scrubbing down the entire bathroom, cleaning the fridge, and completely tidying up all the clutter (no small feat with small children in the house, trust me).
Because this can take so long depending on how slovenly I’ve been, I book time in my calendar to make sure I do these tasks. If there’s an area of the house that I know will take extra time (like scrubbing down the oven or doing a total fridge clean), often I’ll start this a few days before the eclipses. It’s a pain in the ass, admittedly – and also part of why I hate eclipse season! – but it’s also kind of nice having two predetermined time periods each year where I catch up on all the cleaning that often gets missed in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Forget spring cleaning: eclipse cleaning is where it’s at.
On the day of the eclipse, I take a normal shower in the morning to clean myself physically, and then I do a full ritual cleansing bath at some point later. Sometimes I do this right after the shower and sometimes I do it later in the day, depending on my schedule.
If you’ve never done something like this before, a good basic cleansing ritual is to draw a bath, light a candle, and meditate for a few moments to centre yourself. Sprinkle a liberal amount of sea salt into the bath, and recite a prayer over the water. Psalm 23 and 37 are good choices. Then get in the bath and wallow in it, making sure to submerge every part of yourself.
I highly recommend you experiment with your own form of a ritual cleansing bath until you find a method that you like. Try different prayers and different herbs and oils (though I always recommend having a lot of sea salt in there). Even if you don’t think of yourself as a magician and/or don’t feel like this applies to you, I promise that we all accumulate lots of psychic gunk as we go about our daily lives.
Really, we’re all basically swimming around in psychic shit constantly while never washing our hands afterwards. (This is doubly true if you spend any time on social media.) This hyper-materialist world would have you believe that only the physical level of matter is real. Nonsense. Learn to listen to yourself on an intuitive level and trust your gut – you know when something feels “off” yet there doesn’t seem to be any “rational” reason why. Build a regular cleansing practice into your life – and use it all the time, not just during eclipse season. (But especially use it during eclipse season.)
Ideally, you should have some form of daily prayer practice already. However, I’m aware that prayer is often a difficult thing for many people, particularly those who have had bad experiences with organized religion and/or mega churches as a child. This is a struggle for many people in western culture, and something I had to contend with too.
However, the power of prayer is real, immediate and deeply human. Connecting with the divine on a regular basis has immeasurably positive effects on your entire life. Given how intense eclipses are and how relatively powerless we are to mitigate them, appealing to higher powers who do have mojo to work on your behalf is a very good practice.
There are many forms of prayer and I leave it to you to find the ones that work for you. Personally, I’m partial to the rosary. I recommend reading The Way of the Rose if you need to jailbreak the rosary, particularly if you’re not Catholic or had bad experience with Catholicism. The Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the most welcoming of all deities and I think she’s especially powerful for eclipse remediation, because of her association with the Moon and (divine) motherhood. She will never turn away any of her children who ask for her help – but you have to ask.
Mantras are also commonly used for astrological remediation, though this is very specific to Vedic astrology. I’m hesitant to recommend any specific mantras, as these are traditionally given by a guru to a student on an individual basis and tailored to their personal natal chart. I am emphatically not a guru.
The one exception is the Gayatri mantra, which is beautiful and transcendent and seems to work as a lovely balm for everyone, regardless of your background. I have never felt anything but gentle peace when I recite it. The Goddess Gayatri is also the pre-eminent mother in Hindu mythology and is therefore very aligned with the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Gayatri mantra is considered particularly auspicious during lunar eclipses. All Hindu mantras are usually chanted 108 times (or a multiple thereof).
You can also play mantras, prayers and other spiritual music on eclipse days, especially medieval chant like the work of Hildegard von Bingen. Check out Anonymous 4’s interpretations of Bingen’s work, as well as their other medieval chants. So good.
Abstaining from food, drink and drugs is a very good practice during eclipses. Now, I personally hate fasting and I don’t do well physically when I don’t eat anything, so instead of avoiding food entirely I just eat lightly instead. This is the point where I give my disclaimer that I’m not a medical doctor and I’m not giving any medical advice. Do what’s right for you and your body.
Many ancient texts and mythologies mention fasting during eclipses. Fasting is particularly useful during North Node eclipses, because the North Node is Rahu in Vedic astrology: the head of the dragon. He’s a ravenous force that can never be satiated, because he has no body to digest food.
In Hindu mythology, Rahu was a serpent entity who stole a drink of amrita – the nectar of the gods that grants immortality. Lord Vishnu discovered Rahu’s deception and beheaded him, severing him from his body (which became Ketu, the tail of the dragon). Because Rahu had that sip of amrita he became immortal and so he is forever trapped as a disembodied entity that swallows the Sun and Moon when he catches them, causing eclipses.
This myth illustrates the strong urge towards consumption and overconsumption during eclipses, North Node eclipses in particular. Doing the opposite of Rahu’s insatiable consumption, in the form of fasting and/or avoiding overindulgence, is a good way to remediate these energies.
I don’t mean this literally, though I suppose you could do that if you’re so inclined. (Again: not a medical doctor; not giving medical advice.)
By purging, I’m referring to getting rid of unwanted stuff and general clutter in your life. This is a great thing to do during South Node eclipses. In Vedic astrology, the South Node is Ketu, the tail of the dragon: the body that was severed from the immortal head of Rahu.
Ketu is the essence of non-attachment: he is release, purgation, divine emptying. Thus, South Node eclipses are a good time to shed the things that no longer serve you – donate clothing, household items, extra food. (Bonus points if you turn such donations into a mini planetary charity ritual in its own right.) Focus on releasing the attachments that bind you, both material and immaterial alike.
I wish you all the best during eclipse season. Do not believe any of the stupid, misguided posts claiming that eclipses are good for manifesting or doing cutesy-pie little spells. They are not good for anything besides draining your vitality and causing death, destruction and despair.
For some background on the astronomy and astrology of eclipses, read this post.
For the astrology and geopolitics of 2022 eclipses, read this post.