The full Moon in Aries will reach peak fullness for this cycle on Friday, November 3rd at 10:22 pm PDT. This full Moon falls in sidereal Aries, opposite the Sun, Jupiter and Venus (all in sidereal Libra). It will be in the Vedic nakshatra called Bharani, a portal of birth, death, and rebirth. Quite a fitting coincidence for the week of Halloween and the Day of the Dead. The veil between realms is thin while the Moon traverses this sign, especially during peak fullness.
Full Moon in Aries
The Aries full Moon illuminates our innate animal instinct and power, as well as our individual strength. Aries is naturally the first sign of the zodiac, and is the masculine (active) expression of its ruler, Mars. Aries energy directs us to find and express our individual strength. It brings out our warrior side, which needs to move through the world in a certain way to survive. With the Moon full in Aries, we are reminded of our most basic drives, and may feel compelled to express our individual strength and courage.
This is especially important this lunar cycle, which began with the Sun and Moon in Libra. The Sun is still in Libra, where he is considered debilitated. That is because during this transit we tend to spend a lot of our energy caring for others and balancing external situations. Self-care is often neglected under this placement, and it is easy to become depleted, physically and spiritually, as we try to balance too much and manage others more than ourselves.
When the Moon waxes to fullness in Aries, we will find more remembrance of what it feels like to be a strong and healthy individual. There is some danger of exerting too much strength here, by getting into arguments, but there is a benefic influence shining on this Moon from the presence of both Jupiter and Venus, opposite, in Libra.
The full Moon within Aries is also in the Vedic star-sign called Bharani, “the bearer. This adds more auspiciousness to the Western associations of All Hallow’s Eve and Day of the Dead. Bharani’s symbol is the yoni (the female reproductive organ), and its deity is Lord Yama, the god of death. This imagery elicits the idea of a portal between the realms of life and death, which will be fully illuminated on Friday under this full Moon.
Whether you are celebrating the Christian or Mexican holidays mentioned, now is an excellent time to contemplate these things, and offer prayers for those who are on a journey between these realms. It is also a potent day to consider what in your life is ready for its death, or composting, and what seeds you are ready to nurture with your energetic womb medicine. Creative energy will be high during this full Moon, especially with the expansive influence of Jupiter and artistic influence of Venus in Libra, giving direct aspects to this Full Moon.
Saturn in Sagittarius
On October 26th, Saturn finally completed his 2.5-year transit of Scorpio and entered sidereal Sagittarius, where he will now remain until January 23, 2020. Throughout this time, Shani (Saturn) will compel us to reexamine our fears and responsibilities, especially where they relate to social service and taking action for our higher principles and beliefs. It’s likely that we’ll see a lot of people getting much more serious about these things, and taking a stand through committed actions that support a social cause or principle.
We will re-evaluate our approach to hard work and commitment to our beliefs, as well as in the specific area of life indicated by Sagittarius in our personal Vedic natal chart. By grace, this will be a period where we are really able to sort through our philosophies and commit only to the highest, and the corresponding actions that support them. It will be a three-year process of re-evaluating our long term goals and values, and reconsidering how we approach hard work and responsibility (in regards to our beliefs, and to the area of life indicated by Sagittarius in our natal chart). For some folks, this is the beginning (or end) of some intense saturnine influences, like Saturn’s “return”, and Sade Sati. (See full article to find out if you are affected.)
During this full Moon we will have an exchange between Mercury and Mars. Mercury moves into sidereal Scorpio (ruled by Mars) on November 1st, and Mars is still transiting sidereal Virgo (ruled by Mercury). The exchange of rulership here adds a harmony between the two planets, mitigating that potential for arguing mentioned earlier. With the planet of courage and strength (Mars) working amiably with the planet of intellect and communication (Mercury), there’s a likelihood that we will be able to express our power with more grace and impartiality.
Jupiter and Venus
Venus will move into his own sign of Libra on November 2nd. This will definitely boost our creative drive. It also adds to the desire to bring more harmony into our relationships, but again, remember that the Sun also in Libra can cause us to make ourselves a little too dependent on them. Be sure you aren’t identifying with your personal power only through interpersonal reflections and interactions.
Look out for a planetary war between Venus and Jupiter on November 12-13. When these two come within one degree of each other in the sky, their purposes tend to fight for dominance within us. Jupiter compels us to stand up for beliefs and higher principles, while Venus drives us towards pleasure and compromise. It’s a time to watch out for compromising on your beliefs, or, on the opposite pole, throwing out a relationship altogether because of a certain principle (at least not on these days of extremity).
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Full Moon in Leo, Holi & Retrograde Venus
Sunday’s full Moon in sidereal Leo illuminates a more independent part of the sky, contrasting to the Aquarian New Moon and solar eclipse we experienced two weeks ago. The full Moon peaks at 7:53 a.m. PST on Sunday, so the brightest waxing Moon night is Saturday, the 11th. Sunday also brings the Hindu holiday Holi, the “festival of colors.”
The energy of Aquarius that began this lunar cycle compels us to think about the bigger picture, the greater good, and how we may offer our service into society at large. Through the healing nakshatra of Shatabisha, the solar eclipse energy of February 26th helped us to realize the potential of our personal healing journey contributing to our offering of service. The full Moon in Leo this weekend reminds us of our individual strength and power. Before we are able to serve others well, we need to feel strong in our own light.
Leo is the sign that reminds us of our own strength in a sattvic way, as he is ruled by the Sun, the sattvic planet of purity and illumination. Our highest potential through Leo is to connect with our own divine strength and use it for good and generous ends (rather than selfish). Benevolent leadership is a positive manifestation of this potential. Leo gets a bad rap sometimes as being bossy and overbearing, but this happens when we try to possess the divine strength of the Sun rather than let it shine forth. When we allow the source light to pass through us, purify us, and illuminate outwardly, we find a peaceful sense of self-establishment by which we can support others into their power as well, rather than feel threatened by it.
The nakshatra of this full Moon is Uttara Phalguni, a radiant constellation that bridges Leo and Virgo. The energy of this star-sign signifies the relaxation and rejuvenation (found once we establish our own power in Leo), but reminds us of returning to work and the details of life, as it crosses into Virgo. The deity who rules here is Aryaman, an emblem of friendship, nobility, and generosity. The austere mood of the Shivaratri and the previous new Moon is contrasted by this full Moon of rejuvenation.
Venus is holding a strong influence in the sky right now, as he continues his journey of exaltation through the sign of Pisces. He entered Pisces at the end of January, and is receiving a powerful aspect from his ruler, Jupiter, who is directly across the sky in sidereal Virgo. This relationships gives us the opportunity to bring our desires (coming from Venus) into alignment with our principles and beliefs (influenced by Jupiter).
Since March 4th Venus has been retrograde, appearing to move backwards through Pisces from our perspective here on earth. Venus retrograde only occurs once every 18 months, so this is a rare opportunity to go inward and become more introspective about our desires, which usually follow an outward, seeking direction. We may be doing a lot of re-thinking of relationships at this time, or may find past acquaintances popping back up into our lives to complete some unfinished business.
Be especially careful of allowing arguments to go too far, as breaking relationships is also a potential during this Venus retrograde. Mars, the planet of war and fire, is currently in his own firey sign of Aries. This can add some extra heat to arguments, and makes us feel particularly headstrong and independent (especially in addition to the full Moon in Leo). With Venus retrograde in Pisces, there’s opportunity to surrender our desires and allow our values to take the upper hand, but there’s also the potential that we will choose to break from relationships, as Pisces carries a strong energy of releasing and letting go.
Rahu, Ketu & Saturn
Though we have passed the eclipses for this cycle, Sun and Moon are still in the same signs as Rahu and Ketu, separated by about 20 degrees, so there is still some shadow energy working through our fields. Saturn’s influence on the Sun during this time continues to pressure us into aligning ourselves with a higher purpose, however, so don’t pass up any opportunities for service. It will prove to be very purifying during this time.
This full Moon also commemorates the Hindu festival of “Holi,” as the last full Moon coming before the Spring Equinox. This is a joyful festival of renewal, best-known for its colorful celebration in which people throw bright powders at each other. The playful combat is a way to let go of any past aggression held over the past year and start anew with forgiveness and friendship.
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Amidst all these retrograde planets
, (Saturn, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter) we can sigh a breath of relief this weekend with the onset of Akshaya Tritiya and Jupiter direct!
We’ve just entered an auspicious alignment and a window of abundance! Now through tomorrow night, the Sun and Moon are both in their signs of exaltation (sidereal Aries and Taurus, respectively). This means we are feeling the best parts of these planets shining through us. We feel empowered and generous, connected to source, and peaceful in our hearts and minds.
Tomorrow in particular (the third lunar phase of this month), is known as AKSHAYA TRITIYA, the day of “never diminishing.” Each year, on the third day after the New Moon in Aries, Sun and Moon are both exalted. This creates a powerful portal day for calling wealth, prosperity and abundance into your life (both on the material and spiritual levels). With a full spirit and peaceful heart, take advantage of this auspicious time and plant the seeds for manifesting your dreams! Anything you begin today will grow bountifully.
Sun is exalted in Aries because Mars’ rulership there brings a feeling of courage and strength to the planet of our vitality and spiritual illumination. Moon is exalted in Taurus because the often-turbulent and ever-flowing emotional body finds comfort and stable ground in this Venus-ruled earth sign.
Even more good news… Jupiter is finishing his retrograde motion and going direct on Monday! This will open another doorway to prosperity, and we will start feeling more clear about our purpose and beliefs, as well as around matters of education and teachers. Jupiter is Guru, and when he’s going backwards a lot of things can feel confusing as we question our philosophy and the teachings we value. With Akshaya Tritiya and Jupiter direct, the flow of grace feels less obstructed!
Remember though, Saturn, Mars and Mercury are still retrograde, so we need to reflect on our long-term goals, summon our courage, and double-check details with whatever you’re putting in motion. To enhance your receptivity to the best of what Sun and Moon have to offer, honor both in your practices today. You can do both surya namaskaras and chandra namaskaras, or try some nadi shodhana (alternate-nostril breathing) to harmonize the solar and lunar energies flowing through you. In the spirit of abundance, share your energy and your gifts through loving service or charity, and that karmic investment will come back to you multiplied.
Friday, May 6th, 2016 brings the new Moon in Bharani nakshatra, the womb star, a portal of life and death. Bharani is one of the 27 divisions of the sky visited by the Moon each lunar cycle, and is known as “the bearer.” Its symbol is the yoni (the female reproductive organs), and its deity is Lord Yama, the god of death. This star brings the strong potential for death and rebirth this lunar cycle. (Side note… any Game of Thrones fans?) The dark Moon night is Thursday in most places, and is an excellent time to contemplate what in your life is ready for its death, or composting, and what seeds you are ready to nurture with your energetic womb medicine.
The new cycle begins at 12:29 P.D.T. on Friday, with Sun, Moon, and Venus all in Bharani nakshatra, which falls in the middle of sidereal Aries. This will bring out our creative and nurturing energy, as well as our sexuality and passion. Mars’ influence on Aries makes this is a very willful nakshatra, which will make us very headstrong this month. It also brings the courage and the will to purify ourselves and follow our hearts. Now is the time to birth your passions into being, and nurture what you want to see grow this season.
Bharani is also known as the “star of restraint,” due to Yama’s influence. “The bearer” is both the one who creates and nurtures, and the one who endures or bears hardships. Lord Yama relates to death as well as to spiritual discipline, which we often choose to undertake when the awareness of our ultimate death dawns in our consciousness. This is an excellent time to adopt and endure some self-discipline aimed at self-purification, as part of the process of nurturing your goals and creations.
You could synthesize these energies of Bharani by designing a new sadhana practice for yourself to support your goals, especially one that includes yogic regimens of self-restraint, such as a cleansing diet or a new exercise routine. With Sun exalted in Aries, we are compelled to purify ourselves, using Mars’ courageous energy to strengthen our health and our connection with source. It’s not too late for a spring cleanse (you may actually have more impetus to do one now than before). With Sun in Aries, we remember our inherent strength and connection, and our power to share that light by putting it into action. Aries gives us the courage to step into our power and shine our brightest.
Since Jupiter and Rahu are both still in the Sun’s sign of Leo, this also adds potency to the heated ideological debates still happening in the U.S. political campaign. Jupiter directs his aspect onto Sun, Moon, Venus, and retrograde Mercury, all in Aries on this new Moon. Don’t be surprised if some of the passions being birthed right now are sprung from extremist philosophical convictions. Because Jupiter is retrograde, many people have recently had a change of heart around their belief systems, and because Rahu is joining him, many of the philosophies recently adopted are radical and revolutionary.
Saturn and Mars are also both in retrograde motion, joined in sidereal Scorpio. This has been causing more than a few disruptions, and has shaken us into awareness of our fragility and the sudden changes that seem to keep happening throughout life. Since this is the 8th house from this new Moon in Aries, this just adds to the transformative energy for death and rebirth offered in this cycle.
Mars and Saturn will be joined in Scorpio through most of the summer, which is an unusually long conjunction for these two planets. It could be challenging, as both Saturn and Mars help to teach us the hard lessons in life. This Saturn retrograde transit is showing us where in life are reevaluating our long-term goals, and Mars adds the explosive fire of transformation to this process.
Last but not least, Mercury is also in retrograde motion, and joins Sun, Moon and Venus in Aries on this new Moon. This means we have the chance to go back and finish some communication or correspondence that was not yet finalized. On the other hand, it can also mean that some of your Mercurial efforts get a bit jumbled or delayed (missed appointments or overlooked messages). If that’s the case, try to tap into the patience that retrograde Saturn is trying to teach (after all it’s only 3 more weeks). You can bring forward the best that these planets have to offer, by engaging in quiet meditation or service for Saturn, and self-discipline for #Mars. This can help you to replace fear, anxiety and anger with wisdom and courage.
To help you understand how this awesome lineup of planets is affecting your chart, I’m offering personal Vedic astrology chart readings with an extra emphasis on the retrograde planets’ effects in your life.
It’s an auspicious full Moon and Hanuman Jayanti this week! This full Moon falls at 8 degrees of sidereal Libra, opposite the exalted sun in Aries, and brings the celebration of Hanuman Jayanti (the birth of Lord Hanuman!). In Vedic astrology, the sky is divided into 27 sections. These are constellations or stars called nakshatras, and there is one for each night of the moon’s transit in a lunar cycle (they were said to be the 27 wives of the Moon). The nakshatras are even more specific than the 12 major constellations we know from Western astrology. Each nakshatra has a special significance and brings a powerful energy that is related to both a Vedic deity and a planet.
This full Moon will occur at 10:24 p.m. PDT this Thursday, April 21st, in the nakshatra called Swati, “the independent one.” The symbol of Swati is a young plant blowing in the wind. The energy of this star evokes our sense of independence, but also represents the struggle that we can feel while trying to assert our place in the world. Its deity is Vayu (wind personified), who is the father of Lord Hanuman, also associated with this star. Swati is related to the shadow planet Rahu, adding a deep psychological quality and offering the chance to tap into our hidden power (Rahu is often related to kundalini energy).
There is a large vata quality to this star, which can cause a restless mind. With the full Moon here, we may have a sense of our great internal potency, but feel a good deal of nervousness about it at the same time. We can ease our sense of agitation by channeling that energy into worship, and contemplating the qualities of Lord Hanuman. He demonstrates that even our restless monkey minds can be tamed through one-pointed focus on devotional service, such as he has. Swati is also the nakshatra where Saturn, the planet of service, reaches exaltation.
How fitting that this full Moon also brings the Hindu holiday Hanuman Jayanti! This is a time for celebrating Lord Hanuman’s divine qualities. Hanuman is the greatest devotee of Lord Ram, and exemplifies loving selfless service. He embodies many virtues, including service, strength, devotion, courage, humility, and morality. In some places, the celebration of Lord Hanuman’s birth will be even greater than that of Lord Rama’s (last week). This is because of the value we see in the qualities that arise in a devotee’s heart and mind through practicing love for one’s deity. These lead us into actions of love and service, and spread peace and happiness throughout the world.
How can we celebrate Hanuman Jayanti? Begin at sunrise, if possible, because that is when Hanuman was born. It is customary to fast from sunrise until sunset on Hanuman’s birthday. You can offer him sweets, bananas, flowers, prasad, puja, or mantra. The Hanuman Chalisa is the supreme Hanuman mantra. Chant a few or many of these throughout the day. For times when you can’t do that, simply chanting the name Ram (aloud or silently) will also be a potent offering into the collective consciousness of prayer on this day. The power of prayer increases exponentially with more people joining in unison. You can also read passages from the Ramayana.
Many temples will be celebrating Hanuman Jayanti on the 21st (in North America), the actual Chaitra Purnima (the 15th moon phase of this lunar month, Chaitra), but some are hosting gatherings on the weekend to offer more devotees the chance to commune. (Note: In India, this year’s full Moon and Hanuman Jayanti falls on April 22nd.)
Other influences to be aware of this full Moon:
Moon is being lit from across the earth by an exalted Sun, who is now transiting Aries’ part of the sky. With sun in the powerful sign of Aries, ruled by Mars, we have the courage to share our light and our power, and to purify ourselves with the discipline of Mars and the inspiring energy of Sun. Purification can definitely include turning your attention onto your physical health this month. Now is a great time to reignite your exercise routine and do some dietary cleansing to strengthen your physical body. As yoginis know, the body is the vessel for the soul, so taking care of your temple will also create a purification of mind and heart, and a vibrancy of spirit. This placement also strongly supports cultivating some yogic discipline. The energy of the full Moon falling in Libra reminds us to find balance while pursuing energetic purification.
Expect some potential intensity, as well, because Aries’ ruler Mars has just turned retrograde, and is now headed back towards an also-retrograde Saturn (from our vantage point on Earth). Both are in sidereal Scorpio. This could create some conflicts, both internally and externally. Saturn puts on the pressure and tries to make us slow down, proceed with caution, and re-evaluate our commitment to long-term goals, especially around how we approach internal transformation. He urges us to seek enduring structure to support our deep-seated vulnerability. Mars, on the other hand, wants us to take courageous, warrior-like action, and immediately destroy anything that is standing in the way of overcoming our fears. The combination of these two is like pressing the gas and the brakes at the same time, creating a potentially explosive situation.
Rahu and retrograde Jupiter are still joined in Leo (you can see Jupiter there every night), and continue to foster a period of extremist beliefs on both personal and societal levels. Watch out for self-righteousness. For some good news, on the other hand, Venus is in his nakshatra of exaltation at the moment (Revati). This gives us the chance to elevate some of our earthly sensual desires into desires for spiritual upliftment and liberation from material focus. At the same time, if you have a tendency to escape reality or go overboard into dreamland, you may find yourself taking that to the extreme right now.
Vedic Astrology chart for Full Moon on April 21st/22nd 2016