The last solar eclipse of the year is going to fall on 26 December. This was a year of three solar eclipses. The previous occasions were 6 January and 2 July this year. This solar eclipse can be witnessed in most cities in India. This solar eclipse will be annular, which means that at the time of eclipse you will be able to see the sun as a bright ring when the moon comes in the passage of sunlight to the earth. The eclipse will start at 8 AM and last till 10:48 AM. To those who believe, certain tasks are considered taboo during this period. According to astrologers, the eclipse will end entirely at 1.36 PM, thus prolonging the time to 5 h 36 min.
This solar eclipse will be seen the best from south India. Here, people will be able to see the eclipse very clearly like a bright ring. Whenever there is an eclipse, there are many misconceptions about sutak (a period for which certain tasks are not done). Given that separate periods of sutak are prescribed in the scriptures for women who just delivered babies, it indicates science was camouflaged with taboo so that people observe the rules out of a sense of awe. Brahmin women were given 10 days of rest because they had the least tasking work to do. Kshatriya women got a 15-day rest post-pregnancy. Vaishya women got 20 days and Shudra women were given 30 days of rest because the last had the most tasking of jobs to perform.
However, the concept got extended to other spheres, affecting the period of eclipses as well. Astrologers advise pregnant women to take special care during this period. They must start exercising caution at 8 PM on 25 December.
A solar eclipse is generally considered inauspicious in astrology. According to astrologers, one day before the eclipse, Mars is going to enter the Scorpio constellation in the month of Pausha. Scorpio being the zodiac sign, a major natural disaster may occur at this juncture. Earthquakes, heavy snowfall leading to avalanches in mountainous areas, tsunami, etc are possibilities. People living on the banks of the sea and foothills of mountains need to take special precautions.
Effect of solar eclipse on Sabarimala
This solar eclipse, when seen in Cheruvathur, Kerala, will impact the Lord Ayyappa shrine. The sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple will remain closed for four hours on 26 December due to it. Followers of the sect are advised not to chant the Ayyapa mantra during the eclipse.
Other believers, astrologers advise, must put a tulsi (basil) leaf on every edible item. This, again, has something to do with ancient wisdom about science. Microbes were believed to get hyperactive during an eclipse and tulsi was supposed to be a disinfectant that protected the food during this period.
As soon as the eclipse is over, the entire house should be cleaned. At the time of the eclipse, do not cook or eat. Pregnant women are advised to take a bath to save themselves from heightened microbial activity. Theists should pray to God for the entire period of the eclipse.
Besides India, this solar eclipse will be visible in eastern Europe, Asia, northern and western Australia and east Africa. The eclipse can be seen in Afghanistan, Pakistan and China as well.
Those interested in the view may witness the solar eclipse, but not look at the solar eclipse with naked eyes. Use dark sunglasses or, as ancient people used to do, look at its reflection on a still water body like a pond or lake or water kept in utensils.
Impact on zodiac signs
While there are no auspicious signs from the three-day eclipse, this solar eclipse may benefit a few more than others.
- Taureans will overcome obstacles with bullish energy
- Cancerians will attain perfection
- Sagittarians will enjoy better mental health due to improved situations and
- Aquarians will see their hard work pay off
The period will not be as good for
- Arians who will suffer from stress due to personal affairs
- Geminians may find themselves in the middle of sudden untoward happenings
- Librans may make bad decisions and have mental health issues and
- Scorpions face risks to their health
The writer is a practising astrologer