Eclipses are often associated with periods of change and transformation. While a solar eclipse opens the portal for new beginnings and change, a lunar eclipse reveals energies that help us complete a journey or shift our course in some way.
What is an Eclipse?
In case you need an astronomy refresher like I did, an eclipse occurs when one heavenly body, such as a moon or planet, moves into the shadow of another heavenly body.
A lunar eclipse is caused when Earth blocks sunlight from reaching the moon and creates a shadow across the lunar surface. The sun-blocking Earth casts two shadows that fall on the moon during a lunar eclipse: the umbra is a full, dark shadow, and the penumbra is a partial outer shadow.
A lunar eclipse usually lasts for a few hours and at least two partial lunar eclipses happen each year, but total lunar eclipses are rare. Unlike with a solar eclipse, it is safe to look at the moon during a lunar eclipse. Mark your calendar because the next lunar eclipse occurs this month on October 23rd.
Lunar Eclipse Myths
To this day, superstitions persist about eclipses. Many cultures still believe that eclipses are evil omens that bring death and destruction. One of the most pervasive myths is that eclipses are dangerous to young children and pregnant women.
Other popular myths surround how the rays of a solar eclipse affect cooked food. Some believe that eating cooked food during the eclipse may cause an upset stomach. As such, you should avoid eating during this time because your food is under the “negative” energy of the eclipse. A few researchers have even accepted the fact that eating during the eclipse period can cause indigestion so, if you do eat around the eclipse, you may want to consider observing a fast 24-48 hours afterwards.
How Does Eclipse Energy Manifest?
A lunar eclipse can be an extremely powerful time for cleansing emotional energy and setting future intentions for renewal and rejuvenation. The energetic cycles of the lunar eclipse tend to extend beyond the actual eclipse for up to three months, making it an ideal time for planning and setting intentions.
The spiritual aspects of the moon represent our deep emotional tides which is why astrologists believe that an eclipse is an ideal time to seek change and usher in evolution. During a lunar eclipse, when the moon is covered in the shadow of the earth, your emotions and subconscious patterns will be revealed.
Lunar eclipses are more feminine in nature and seem to affect the emotional body to a greater degree. They are more emotionally charged than solar eclipses and can often result in emotional breakdowns, and breakthroughs, as you embrace the lunar eclipse energy.
How to Use This Time Intentionally
Tapping into the Moon’s energy cycles means connecting to the energy of openness, healing, renewal, intuition, and wisdom. When you connect with the phases of the moon, you bring awareness to the rhythms and patterns within your own body, mind, and spirit.
Consider creating a personal ritual on the lunar eclipse like lighting a candle and writing down your intentions on paper, and then burning it, to encourage letting go as you simultaneously usher in new changes.
During this time, when the luminaries are caught in each other’s eclipse shadow, the cosmic energy is more intense and unpredictable so you will want to avoid charging or bathing your crystals. The energy a lunar eclipse gives off is chaotic so you should avoid anything that invites heavy energy into your life. This is a time to shed negativity, relax, and restore so focus on activities and rituals that promote calm and relaxation.
Eclipses have always been regarded as ideal opportunities for chanting and meditation in yoga – but not necessarily for asanas. If you choose to engage in a physical practice during the lunar eclipse this month, consider grounding or restorative postures, or a restorative or yin yoga class. Ohana Yoga + Barre has a full library of on-demand classes, as well as in-studio classes, to help you harness the eclipse energy to bring about positive change in your life.
Erin Entlich is a certified yoga instructor, personal trainer, holistic health coach, and writer. She believes doing good starts with feeling good, which is why she loves helping people weave movement, mindfulness, and healthy eating into their daily lives. Find out more at www.erinentlich.com.