Hindu mythology behind Solar eclipse & its relation with Tarot

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

Chhavi Tarot-Solar Eclipse
Solar eclipse & its relation with Tarot

The solar eclipse is an astronomical and celestial process with eminence in both spiritual and scientific spheres. Numerous legends are surrounding solar eclipses in different cultures. In ancient China, it is believed that a celestial dragon engulfed the Sun; the ancient Greeks believed that a solar eclipse was an indication that gods were angry; and according to Hindu mythology, it is Rahu who devours the Sun causing an eclipse.

India's contributions towards astronomy (solar eclipses, earth's circumference, the earth is round, etc.) are significant and explicit. Its references are extensively made in Rig Veda, dated 2000 BC- 5000 BC.

According to Vedic mythology, Rishi Atri was the first to predict solar eclipses and calculate their extent. He says Svarbhanu (Moon) (Bhanu means the Sun and Svarbhanu means lighted by the Sun), comes between the Sun and the earth, and thus solar eclipse takes place. In Puranic mythology, the name Svarbhanu is also attributed to the demon Rahu and Ketu, who are also connected to Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse.

In the 5th Mandala of Rig Veda, the 40th sukta and 5th Rik, Rishi Atri describes a total solar eclipse.

यत् त्वा सूर्य स्वर्भानुस् तमसाविध्यद् आसुरः

अक्षेत्रविद् यथा मुग्धो भुवनान्य् अदीधयुः ||

O Surya, when the Asura's descendant Svarbhanu, pierced thee through and through with darkness, All creatures looked like one who is bewildered, who knoweth not the place where he is standing.

But why does Svarbhanu come between the Sun and earth?

It is said, at the time of Samudra Manthan, after the god's nectar (Amrita or elixir) was churned out of the ocean, one of the Asuras, Svarbhanu, changed form as a Deva to get a share of the potion.

He sat between the Sun and the Moon, but Lord Vishnu recognized him. By this time, Swarbhanu had already drunk some of the nectar. Lord Vishnu beheaded Swarbhanu, but the nectar had already reached his throat; therefore, only his head became immortal.

The head of the demon is called Rahu, and its rest of the body is Ketu. According to the legend, to avenge the denial of amrita, Rahu swallows the Sun causing a solar eclipse.

Let's try to understand the phenomenon of Solar eclipse with respect to the Tarot. Sun represents the conscious mind or the logical & practical aspect, and Moon represents the unconscious or emotional aspect. At the time of the solar eclipse, the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth; in other words, the Moon and the Sun are in alignment. Therefore, solar eclipses can be used as a time to address and bring the conscious and the unconscious together to assess the current situation or issues. It's a time for new beginnings, blending both (logic & emotions) while moving forward and planning for the future.

Utilise this time to connect with you higher self & sublime consciousness. During the solar eclipse you can choose a quiet place in your home and meditate- it is one of the most powerful to align with your higher self, ask for guidance, an insight, or an answer as you go in silence; Chant mantras- it could be Gayatri mantra or guru mantra (one that a guru gives to a disciple).