Lunar eclipse: Why astrology says 10 Jan relatively innocuous

There are three types of lunar eclipse: total or umbral, partial and penumbral. The third is not recognised in Vedic astrology. However, believers among pregnant women may exercise some caution to be sure rather than sorry.

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VS Philip
VS Philip
Retired government servant based in Ranchi
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On 26 December last year, there was a solar eclipse. Now the world awaits the lunar eclipse of this 2020. Those astrologically inclined may want to know how long the sutaka (inauspicious period) will be.

This lunar eclipse will start at 10:37 PM on 10 January and will last till 2:42 AM of 11 January (as per the Western timing system). This lunar eclipse will last about 4 h and 5 min. It is said that an eclipse should not be seen with naked eyes, but this caution is misplaced for a lunar eclipse.

According to Vedic astrology, every eclipse perforce has some good and bad effects on a person’s life and health. Especially pregnant women must be careful, it prescribes.

However, a māndya chandra grahana [penumbral lunar eclipse caused by the penumbra (upachchhāya) rather than the main portion of the earth’s shadow (umbra/prachchhāya) on the moon] is not seen as an eclipse in the scriptures. Due to this particular lunar eclipse, caused by the penumbra of the shadow of the earth on the moon, there will be no bar on worship during the period. But avoid touching the idols in this period.

Yet, pregnant women are advised to take some precautions. The following is suggested rather than instructed, unlike in the case of a total lunar eclipse.

It is believed in general for all eclipses that microbes display heightened activity during the period, adversely affecting people’s health. The worst effect that the 10 January lunar eclipse might have on pregnant women might be on the physical and/or mental health of the unborn child. But this possibility being rare, abstaining from eating during the period will be adequate. If food cooked at home must cross that period, sprinkle basil leaves on it.

Additionally, pregnant women should avoid using sharp objects like knives, scissors, needles etc during any eclipse. These objects cast an adverse effect on the foetus if handled during an eclipse, Vedic astrology says.

Pregnant women must bathe after the eclipse to cleanse the impact of the astronomical phenomenon on the skin which, in turn, may affect the child. Also, the would-be mother should not leave home until the eclipse is over.

Astrology prescribes that sexual partners must abstain from getting physical during the eclipse. Avoiding any consumption of medicine is advised. Sleeping in this period is forbidden.

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