This week is host to a total solar eclipse in Pisces. The eclipse, which takes place on Tuesday evening (March 8th, 8:57 PM EST), will be visible over South/Southeast Asia, northern Australia and many of the Pacific islands. But one need not stare into the blind eye of an eclipse to be seen by it. Its gaze will sweep across the Earth and even penetrate to the ocean’s lightless bottom. It is there, amid ancient ship wrecks and bioluminescent entities, that our story will take place- deep in the aphotic zone.
Leviathan’s Head and Tail
Eclipses occur on one of two points, the North or South Node of the Moon, traditionally called the Head and Tail of the Dragon. The one this Tuesday happens atop the South Node, while the Lunar eclipse which waits for us on March 22nd will be on the North Node.
Though much has, and will be, said about the two nodes, their powers can be adequately summarized as the twinned powers of the Moon- wax and wane. To the Head of the Dragon belongs the waxing power of the Moon- the increase of manifestation. To the South Node, the Tail of the Dragon, belongs Luna’s waning potency, the capacity for release and the diminishment of form.
Eclipses on the Tail, such as the one which occurs this week, are therefore helpful for those works which have release as their essential action. The release of deep emotions, as well as of physical toxins, is augured by this eclipse. As the Sun’s orb empties out, so too do the body and mind follow. Programs of fasting, abstention and reflection are thus highly favored.
Yet in darkness, otherwise un-noticed points of light draw our attention. The same is true of silence, which allows us to hear the faintest of sounds. Movement toward absence reveals subtle presences. Thus, in the midnight darkness of the deep ocean, we find ourselves surrounded by the strange phosphorescence of ancient and exotic life-forms.
This solar eclipse on the Tail of the Dragon in the tropical sign of the Fishes brings us to this particular locale- the point where the landscapes of the underworld and the ocean overlap. Although the underworld is not described in marine terms in the Judeo-Christian tradition, it is a not unknown characterization in world mythology.
As Thor once attempted to drink the ocean and Shiva consumed the entirety of the poison-sea, here we are offered a draught of these Stygian waters. The chalice’s contents are salty and psychedelic, and once imbibed, sure to bring dreams of the ocean’s floor.
No light reaches the sea bottom, yet much that dwells within and upon the ocean eventually makes its way here. The aphotic zone, as it is called by scientists, is a thriving graveyard, fed by the organic matter which drifts down from above. In addition to the microscopic soup constantly descending, there are entire ecosystems which form around the fall of a great whale to the ocean bottom. These “whale-fall economies” bring strange vigor to the deeps.
All that is heavy enough descends to this layer of the world, and of the psyche, for digestion. Like the intestinal underworld where food is digested, the presence of the daylight mind is normally not required. Yet it is here, far below the waves, that the eclipse takes us, for there is work to do. We are pulled to inspect these depths, for among the whale bones and odd denizens there are also the preserved hulks of old ships, their contents resistant to the scavengers of the deeps. These ships, which never arrived, bear the messages and treasures of the past, as well as a few very confused ghosts.
The solar eclipse’s blacklight penetrates to this alien graveyard, guiding us toward those treasures forgotten and lost. Yet the sea-bottom is not dead, not silent. Its residents and guardians range from the odd to the terrifying, for this is where our Leviathans dwell, and creatures of impossible anatomy thrive. For this place is marked by the beginnings of life, older by aeons than anything above. There is thus wisdom in this place, the pearls of a consciousness long forgotten.
Let what seeks the daylight float to the surface, yet let what is leaden fall to the bottom. We may have old hurts and sad stories which can only be buried at this depth, tokens of bitterness or pain whose weight we continually bear. These we might bury under miles of water, their release an offering to the powers of the deep, and a meal for the industrious scavengers of the abyss. This sorting process is natural, for once released, all things rise or fall to their proper elevation.
So drink and descend. Seek the preserved message-in-a-bottle, and search for the lost treasure ship. The Kraken has secrets to whisper to you, and you have tragic stories to leave at the sea bottom.
Yet if it all seems too strange, worry not. You are a creature of light and land, and your buoyancy guarantees a temporary stay in these depths. You’re sure to awaken on a beach some days hence with only an empty bottle of some strange brew, a hangover, and a fistful of odd sea shells.
Om Ketave Namaha