This coming New Moon on March 8th packs a powerful punch, bringing with it a groundbreaking total solar eclipse. This will be the first in a series of eclipses to occur with the lunar nodes, Rahu and Ketu, on the sidereal Leo-Aquarius axis. The nodes moved into these signs at the end of January and will transit here until August of 2017, affecting us deeply in whatever areas of our lives are influenced in our personal charts. We will experience 3 eclipse cycles (pairs of eclipses, one solar and one lunar) during this transit–one now, one in September, and one in February of 2017. (Don’t miss my Free E-Book with lots of info on this transit and how it will affect your sign!)
This solar eclipse on the New Moon will set the tone for a tumultuous lunar cycle. The New Moon cycle begins at 5:54pm PST on March 8th, in sidereal Aquarius. The total solar eclipse (peaking around the same time) will be visible from Southeast Asia, most of Australia, the South Pacific and Indian Oceans and Hawaii. The effects will be most perceptible in these areas, but everyone will feel the disturbance at some level.
During the eclipse, the Sun’s light will be blocked out as he and the Moon align with Ketu, who casts a shadow of self-doubt and criticism on the planet of vitality. The results will be feelings of confusion and disconnection from our sense of strength, individual power, and our connection with Source (all things represented by the Sun). This is adding to our already diminished sense of personal empowerment that can come while Sun is in Aquarius, the sign of service and humility.
This solar eclipse, as well as the lunar eclipse to follow on March 23rd, will bring up a lot of our personal shadows around the quest for equilibrium between universal service and self-empowerment. This theme will continue through the broader year-and-a-half eclipse cycle we have entered.
At the time of the eclipse, Mercury and Venus join the Sun, Moon, and Ketu in Aquarius. This will add Ketu’s feelings of confusion, doubt, and aversion to our collective emotional body (the Moon), to our intellectual and analytical side (Mercury), and to our desirous, pleasure-seeking nature (Venus).
Don’t be surprised to see a chaotic departure from inner peace, rational thinking, and cooperative behavior around this eclipse.
This could be aggravated even more by Jupiter and Rahu, who oppose this New Moon cluster from Leo. Their conjunct energies are causing folks to become more and more amped up and self-righteous over their principles and beliefs. (Polarized election madness!) Saturn aspects the duo from his menacing position, joined Mars, in Scorpio, which puts the pressure on even more.
Mars casts his aspect onto the stellium in Aquarius. This could throw some fuel on the potentially explosive fire of transformation that is happening there with the eclipse. Mars in Scorpio gives us the chance to bring forth our warrior-like courage, which we will need in facing all of the disturbance and potential change arising.
This eclipse occurs with Sun, Moon and Ketu in the Vedic nakshatra called Purvabhadrapada. This star-sign falls on the constellation well-known as Pegasus (on the stars Alpha-Pegasi and Beta-Pegasi), bridging the Aquarius and Pisces regions of the sky. As such its symbol is a funeral cot, or bed, related to the fire of purification. This helps to prepare us to enter the darkness of the unknown to be met in Pisces.
The eclipse here will drive us strongly towards purification and transformation. This is for our higher purpose and spiritual development, but it may not be without some difficulty. The deity for this nakshatra is Aja-Ekapada (“the one-footed goat”), who is related to Rudra, a destructive aspect of Lord Shiva. This star is associated with darkness and black magic, which lays the groundwork for a very powerful eclipse.
Eclipses are times when we can literally see shadows in the sky, and they are opportunities to see the ugly psychological shadows lurking in our own subconscious. These need to be uncovered and released so we can free ourselves from them. This is a very important time to do sadhana (spiritual practice) and Self-inquiry, so we can know ourselves better and become enlightened by this gift of seeing what is normally in the dark.
This opportunity is amplified because Sunday night (Pacific, Monday in India) brings the Hindu holy time known as Maha Shivaratri (“the great night of Lord Shiva”). This is the most auspicious night to offer oneself into spiritual practice, in worship of Divine Consciousness. It is typical to stay up all night, fasting and engaging in worship such as mantra, chanting, meditation, and puja. With the eclipse so close at hand, this is an extremely potent time to call upon the light of consciousness and purification.
In Vedic tradition it is thought that the negative energy of the nodes pervades the atmosphere during the time of the eclipse, and it is therefore best not to eat or drink during this time. (The eclipse window is from 3:19pm to 8:34pm PST.) It is also best to refrain from looking at the eclipse directly, or being outside in its atmosphere, especially if you are somewhere the eclipse will be visible.
One more thing to add to the mix on this powerful New Moon: March 8th is also International Women’s Day! Let’s use this transformative time to honor and elevate the sisters, mothers and daughters of this world!
As a special gift to help you navigate through this time, I’ve put together a Free e-Book on Rahu, Ketu, and the Eclipses for the 12 Vedic Rising Signs , which includes a forecast for your personal sign!
Eclipse periods are some of the best times to book a personal reading to help you to understand your personal karma and to process the energy brought up by the nodes.
Top Image Credit: “Eclipsed? Not totally” by James Jordan, CC license Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
The Moon will be at its fullest on Monday night! Tuesday, October 27th brings the peak of the full Moon in Ashwini nakshatra at 5:05am PDT. Ashwini is the first constellation in the order of the zodiac, comprised of the two bright stars Hamal (alpha arietis) and Sheratan (beta arietis) on the side of Aries closest to Pisces. Ashwini refers to a horse-woman and carries horse-power with it. In it lies the energy we require to get moving and power through things. We may feel a sudden burst of energy around this full Moon, and can attempt to harness that power towards our goals and the new direction we’ve found after emerging from the transitions of the recent eclipse cycle.
The deities for this star are the Ashwin Kumars, the divine physicians, and this full Moon brings their great healing potential. This cycle began with Sun and Moon in Chitra, related to Vishvakarma, the celestial architect who inspires creativity and perfecting the structures we create. With the full Moon in Ashwini, we can call upon the celestial physicians to help heal and strengthen the places we need divine medicine to move forward in strength on our creative journey. These juices flow from deep within you, and now is a chance to get in touch with your self-healing potential.
It’s a fortunate time for this opportunity, because there are a few factors that may have been making us feel spread a little thin this month. The Sun, the planet of our vitality and inner power, entered his sign of debilitation (Libra) on October 17th. When Sun is in Libra we tend to place more emphasis on trying to please others and balance relationships than we do on taking care of ourselves. Sun in Libra can fashion us the peacemaker, trying to negotiate a good deal for everyone else but sometimes forgetting about our own self-care regimen.
Furthermore, Sun will be in the nakshatra called Swati during this full Moon, which is a place in the sky that often scatters everything like the wind. Try to center your energy before taking big strides, and hold tight to the reins (through focus and practice) so the horse-power of Ashwini doesn’t pull you astray. On top of this, vata dosha (cold, dry, and windy) naturally increases during fall and winter, so in the northern hemisphere we are facing increasing vata, which can also make us feel scattered and depleted. With all of these factors, be sure to take the time to care for yourself this month. It’s a good time to start bundling up and nourishing yourself with warm soups, cozy baths, and moisturizing oils. The full Moon in Aries will remind us of how we feel about our personal strength, so it will be a good time to check in and reconnect with your own health and well-being, while calling upon the healing energies of Ashwini.
We may also be feeling inspired as well as overwhelmed by the pile-up of planets in sidereal Leo–Jupiter, Mars, and Venus. These three are conjunct this month, which amps up the energy we feel behind our philosophies, will, and desires. We can see this bright cluster on the eastern horizon just before sunrise. The confluence of these planetary energies can support each other if we do the work needed to introspect and synthesize them towards our highest purpose, but they can also be at odds with each other when the planets get too close for comfort (within one degree celestial longitude).
For example, on October 15th-17th Mars and Jupiter were so close that we may have faced some blow-ups over our philosophies. If our actions weren’t totally in line with our values, there might have been explosive shifts to help propel us into alignment. October 24th-26th brings a tight conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, which could bring up a discrepancy between our values and our relationships and pleasurable pursuits. We could be facing some tough choices about compromising. October 31st-November 3rd, Mars and Venus are closely conjunct, which will pin our individual will against our ability to compromise. It could be a pivotal time for healing relationships and moving forward. The three planets are in Purva Phalguni nakshatra during this full Moon, which brings the energies of relaxation and rejuvenation. With all of these planets in Leo, the fiery sign of the Sun, we have the opportunity to purify ourselves and clean up our energies so that we feel totally oriented in the right direction in all areas of life. On the night of November 2nd both Mars and Venus will enter Virgo (where Venus is debilitated), joining Rahu, which could make us face romance in a more practical, analytical way, but could also intensify our desires.
During the full Moon in Ashwini nakshatra on October 27th, give thanks to the divine physicians and bask in the healing energy of the Moon!
Don’t forget to change clocks back in the U.S. on November 1st!
The New Moon happens tonight at 9:13pm Pacific time. Sun and Moon join in Taurus, beginning the new lunar cycle in the Vedic nakshatra (star-sign) of Krittika. Krittika is known as “the cutter” and is represented by a razor or an axe. It is also associated with a flame, as the deity for this star is Agni, the fire God. This is the birthstar (Moon’s star-sign) of the guru Amritanandamayi Devi (or Amma, “the hugging saint”). Guru literally means “remover of darkness,” or ignorance.
Like Krittika, a good guru has the ability to cut away the illusion or darkness that does not serve, in order to help us see clearly. The quest of spiritual aspirants is to experience universal truth both internally and externally. This lunar cycle will be a great time for cutting away ignorance and illusions in order to deepen our understandings of Self and purpose. It is a good time to clarify our intentions for the year. The Aries cycle before this gave us a boost of energy, but may have been headstrong without considering the long-term benefits. Taurus is more grounded and slow-moving than Aries, so we may be able to come to terms with what is more practical in our plans for this year now. It is ruled by Venus and relates to our hearts, comforts, values and surroundings.
Taurus or “Vrisha” is the sign of the bull. This large, four-footed creature has a strong will, and Taurus is a fixed sign. This is a time to stay focused on our goals, especially as related to our surroundings, and also be careful not to be too stubborn about them. This new cycle begins with Sun and Moon joined with Mercury and Mars (in Taurus), and opposite Saturn (in Scorpio). This may bring a strong tendency to over-analyze (Mercury) and then over-react (Mars) to things this month. Saturn’s influence, opposite Mars, could bring frustration to the impulses to vocalize and act out. We may want to go forward based on our gut feeling and analysis of the situation, but may feel caught up by fear or stress that keeps us from taking action. When you feel that stagnation, turn to practices that can help you engage the Taurus energy one task at a time. This could include a little redecorating of your home space, cooking a meal or tending to the garden. Since Venus is the ruler of Taurus, fulfilling small desires in the realm of aesthetics will be satisfying. Sketch or paint something to allow that Venusian energy to flow.
Venus relates to earth, water, and air, so bring these elements into your spiritual practice. Feel into your rocks and crystals to study the energies that are coming up inside of you. Keep a fountain bubbling or visit a nearby body of water to let your prayers flow. Burning some incense, sage, or palo santo will help purify your home or altar space for this new cycle, and will also bring in the air element and the fire element (the deity of Krittika). Pray for the Divine Universe to cut away what you don’t need this cycle, and allow your purest goals and visions to manifest. Despite the challenges of the Mars/Saturn opposition, Taurus can bring us the determination needed to follow our hearts. Taurus is the sign of the Anahata or heart-chakra.
Heads up! Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow, until June 11th. It may be a time to reorganize our thoughts and revisit communication that needs to be clarified, but watch for the influence of Mars and Saturn bringing heat and pressure to your desire for coherence.
The Full Moon will be in sidereal Libra tomorrow, Sunday May 3rd, at 8:42 pm PST. Moon is in Libra already today, hemmed between Saturn and Rahu (Saturn is to one side of the Moon in the sky, in Scorpio, and Rahu is on its other side, in Virgo). This alignment has been happening monthly as the Moon transits through the Zodiac, passing through this Virgo-Libra-Scorpio portion of the sky for about a quarter of each month. When this happens, we may feel our emotional body influenced first by the planet of intense, obsessive attachment (Rahu), and then by pressure, and potential stress and fear (Saturn).
During the full Moon, our emotional body (Moon) passes through the sign opposite from the our higher self and soul power (exalted Sun). Sun is now in Aries, where we started this cycle on the new Moon, two weeks ago. The Aries cycle is about tapping into our personal power and energy (Sun) to get moving and start new projects, putting that illuminated energy into actions. We may have felt a big spurt of energy and enthusiasm for projects and plans, and put those in motion over the last couple of weeks.
Every energy has a contrasting and complementary opposite energy from which we must learn. With this full Moon in Libra, we are probably feeling the influence that our relationships have on our emotional bodies. These may help or hinder the efforts we are making from that place of personal power, in Aries. Libra is ruled by Venus and seeks to balance the scales, and make everyone happy, not just ourselves. So if some of the projects or plans we have started are not working well for our close friends, business partners, or significant others, our emotional body will be feeling that discrepancy. We may need to reexamine the course.
The influence of Saturn and Rahu could make this feel really stressful, so do your best not to submit to fear, or the need to control all the details. The light of the full Libra moon can show us a fuller path to compromise and support those around us in conjunction with our illuminated efforts. As always, meditation and spiritual practice support the higher energies of the planets–well-constructed compromises and actions that benefit the whole, not just ourselves. The lower potential of the Aries-Libra axis is holding too tightly to or giving away too much of our personal power.
In the Vedic Zodiac, this full Moon falls on the nakshatra (star-sign) of Swati, related to Lord Hanuman and the wind. Swati has the power to scatter our energy like the monkey mind is often scattered. With the pressure of Rahu and Saturn on either side of the Moon, it is important to do your best to root yourself through grounding practices. Working with the earth, practicing asana yoga, sitting at your altar, and applying oils to the soles of the feet will help. Care for your hips as well, as these relate to the sign of Libra, and a lot of emotional energy can get stuck there. Chanting the Hanuman Chaleesa will be a great way to orient that monkey mind towards one-pointed higher purpose.
Venus moved from sidereal Taurus into Gemini Saturday morning, May 2nd. This could lighten the desire for stable physical comfort, and bring more flexibility and curiosity to our ideas about relationships and happiness. Mars also changes signs this weekend, moving out of Aries and into Taurus at 11am on Sunday, just hours before the full Moon. It is still in the sign of Krttika, “the cutter,” and may help us cut away more of what we don’t need. In Aries it may have been making us a little hot-headed and prone to arguments.
The full moon will be fullest just after it has risen on the Pacific coast of North America. Jupiter will be directly overhead at this time. It’s a great night for sitting up, chanting, and calling in a higher understanding of ourselves and how we relate with others. Specific themes will be illuminated for each individual related to whatever house Libra is in your Vedic chart.
From today through Wednesday morning (PDT) there is a really graceful alignment of planets in the sky. Five planets are either in their own signs or their signs of exaltation. This combination or “yoga” in Vedic astrology is a powerful one, and grants auspiciousness to activities undertaken during this time. Mars and Venus are in signs that they rule (Aries and Taurus, respectively), and the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter are in their signs of exaltation (Aries, Taurus, and Cancer). This means that we will find it easier to connect with our courage and strength for acting (Mars), with spirit and illuminated consciousness (Sun), with peace and contentment in our hearts (Moon), with finding happiness and beauty in life, and through compromise and relationships (Venus), and with our senses of higher purpose, hope and optimism (Jupiter). We will have five exalted or sva planets (in their own signs) again when Moon passes through his own sign, Cancer, from Friday through Sunday morning. For the next two days, however, with the Sun and Moon exalted, we are in the auspicious Hindu holy days of Akshaya Tritiya. The “tritiya” refers to the third day of the waxing moon, and each year on the third day after new Moon in Aries, both Sun and Moon are exalted (Sun in Aries and Moon in Taurus). “Akshaya” means “never diminishing” and is associated with prosperity and wealth. This is a good time for beginning both material and spiritual ventures. With Mars and Sun in Aries, we already have a lot of potency for initiating activities, and with Moon also exalted, this aligns us with our heart’s truest contentment. Moon is exalted in Taurus because the emotions are able to rest peacefully in that fixed earth sign. It is a Kapha dosha sign, which supports the emotional body because it is less prone towards restlessness and anxiety. With a full spirit and peaceful heart, and a strong connection to your strength, pleasure and purpose, do some work these days on manifesting your dreams.
Some times of day are even more potent than others for setting your goals in motion, and as well you may find this window especially graceful for activities related to the specific houses affected in your chart.