Why Not To Look At The Eclipse

Why Not To Look At An Eclipse

On August 21, 2017 the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years will cut a diagonal path through the United States. Many people will flock to view it and it has created a media hype.  As a Vedic astrologer I have always been cautioned by my teachers to not view eclipses due to the fact that this can intensify the karmic effects that one could have on us individually.  According to reference.com, the eclipse itself only lasts a few minutes, at the most one can last up to 7 minutes and 31 seconds.

When I sat down to write this piece on why one should not look directly at an eclipse my mind went first to the physical reasons.  First of all, the Sun’s radiation can be harmful when looked at directly and looking at it can result in eye damage due to retinal burns.

If you must watch the eclipse then please use special eclipse glasses.

Throughout history eclipses have been both honored and feared.  In ancient times, astrologers were beheaded for not alerting the Royalty of an eclipse.  Many cultures fast and stay indoors and use the the time for inward contemplation and meditation.  The Navajos believe that the sun dies during an eclipse and they refrain from eating, sleeping and work activities.  There is great reverence for the sun and the moon during the eclipse process. The Hindus fast during an eclipse due to the belief that food prepared during this time is not fit for consumption.

Astrologically, Hindus believe that if the eclipse falls in an upachaya house of a natal chart then it can be auspicious.  The upachaya houses are houses 3, 6, 10 and 11.  If it falls in the moksha houses – houses 4, 8 or 12, then it is considered to be inauspicious for the person and bring bad luck.  All other houses of the chart are considered moderately auspicious.

What To Do During The Eclipse

Eclipses are not rare or uncommon events.  There are two solar eclipses or eclipse seasons per year.  This is caused by the nodes of the moon Rahu and Ketu lining up with the new moon and/or full moon.  Rahu and Ketu are referred to as shadow planets as they are not actually celestial bodies but mathematically calculated points.  By an eclipse season I am referring to the weeks prior to or following a solar or lunar eclipse.  The opinions vary on how many weeks but I think that it is safe to say two weeks is a definite window of time to observe the effects.  An eclipse season is not a good time to start new activities but it is an excellent time for doing inner work such as meditation or introspection.

Avoid important new activities about two weeks before and after the eclipse. Also, eclipses tend to bring things that have been hidden to light.  Pay attention to the news and you will see this in action.  People tend to be on edge during eclipse periods and behave strangely so exercise more patience with others and yourself.  You can get great insight from your dreams during this time as well.  Be diligent about writing down your dreams for you will get answers to things that you have been pondering.

Mythological Eclipse Stories

The nodes of the moon are the primary indicators of our fate and destiny.  There is a myth about them that involves a demon serpent crashing a dinner party where an immortal nectar was to be served to the invited guests.  He disguises himself but is caught out by the sun and the moon.  Before the host Lord Vishnu could oust him, the serpent grabbed the amrita (immortal nectar) and drank it down to the last drop.  Lord Vishnu was so enraged that he threw a discus at the serpent and cut him in two.  The head of the serpent represents Rahu and the tail represents Ketu.  To get revenge on the sun and the moon, the beheaded serpent periodically blocks their light, thus creating eclipses.

Another story is that Ganesha accidentally tripped and fell, breaking one of his tusks. The moon laughed at him. Ganesha put a curse on the Moon that anyone who sees the moon will incur bad luck.  The Moon asked for mercy and Ganesha could only amend the curse to anyone who looks at the Moon during a solar eclipse will incur bad luck.

Joelle came into this life with a passion for astrology. She began by studying Western astrology as a young adult but always felt that there was something deeper. After several years of continued study, in 2004 she went to her first Vedic Astrology class and she knew that she had finally found her niche. She felt her life change and was led onto her path of Kriya Yoga and studies of Eastern philosophy. She took the unique opportunity to study in person with well known Master astrologer Joni Patry. Joelle believes that we are all supposed to know how the Universe works and astrology is a valuable tool in doing so. She loves to serve and help others through following her heart and teaching this ancient Vedic Science. She is known for her clear and systematic approach in teaching and reading charts. Her background in both Western and Eastern astrology lends to this style. She is on the faculty for the University of Vedic Astrology and writes for several astrology and ayurvedic magazines and blogs. Her other passion is ayurveda and ayurvedic nutrition. She has an interned with and assisted several accomplished ayurvedic chefs, learning how the spices can heal and benefit one's health. She loves to be in the kitchen preparing beautiful ayurvedic meals when time allows outside of her astrology practice. Joelle is available for personal readings and conducts workshops and classes.


  1. Thank you so Joelle, for this. Is it also considered inauspicious to watch the eclipse live stream on the computer?

  2. ‘…upachaya house of a natal chart then it can be auspicious. The upachaya houses are houses 3, 6, 10 and 11. If it falls in the moksha houses – houses 4, 8 or 12, then it is considered to be inauspicious for the person and bring bad luck. All other houses of the chart are considered moderately auspicious.’
    That’s it? Didn’t think to mention which house this eclipse falls in? This has to be the least informative post on the eclipse I’ve read yet

  3. Lovely Joelle! Thank you for putting this all together.

  4. I have a question about what might happen if we are to be involved with doing avery stresssful new activity during this “eclipse season”? I have a friend who is being forced to suddenly undergo a harried residential move with so many complications, including dealing with a rescued dog she is housing that is being even more traumatized by the move. Also, how might they modify the stress effects on everyone, including the dear animal?

    • Hi Anita,

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I hope that the lunar eclipse was not too stressful for you and your friend. The eclipse falling on a personal planet can certainly trigger an event. We do have another solar eclipse coming on August 11. Emotions are running so high right now so it is important for us to do our inner work as in meditation and yoga to deal with the emotions. Having more patience with others is essential too. Having the awareness of the energy though I think helps me a lot. I absolutely do think that animals are effected. I am sorry for the situation that your friend is in. I truly hope that this smooths out quickly. Love and light.


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