Has anyone else been feeling the tension mounting for the last week or two? My life generally feels pretty smooth, and thanks to my practice I am able to cope with the little waves and bumps that add more stress to life. But for some reason, when the eclipse seasons come around, I feel more distraught and like the challenges seem to come all at once and pile up. This is when daily meditation becomes extra important, and if I miss it I feel even more out of whack.
We’re in an eclipse window now, approaching a Total Lunar Eclipse on January 31st. The maximum eclipse is at 5:29 am PST (13:29 UT), with the full eclipse from 4:51 to 6:07 am. Check out time-and-date.com for a full visual of the eclipse path, and enter your local city to see what time it is happening there. This eclipse will be at least partially visible from all of North America, Australia, Asia, and the middle East, and parts of South America, Africa and Europe.
This eclipse is bringing added intensity due to the weighted alignment of planets in a kala saarpa yoga, with four planets joining the nodes, and the three others to one side of the nodal axis (see chart below). When the planets are aligned like this, more shadow work arises due to a prominence of the nodes. Eclipses have a similar affect, so right now we are having a double-dose of heavy nodal energy affecting the atmosphere.
This full Moon and nodal alignment is happening along the Capricorn-Cancer axis, with the full Moon peaking at 17 degrees sidereal Cancer, at 5:27 am PST, just before the maximum point of the eclipse. A full Moon in Cancer normally illuminates our emotional side, bringing our attention to the heart, and its open, compassionate potential. This is in contrast to the practical approach to life brought on by the Sun-in-Capricorn cycle, which began on January 16th.
During an lunar eclipse, however, the Earth passes directly in between the Sun and the Moon, and the Sun’s light is blocked from illuminating the Moon as it normally does at this phase of the lunar cycle. The Moon doesn’t go totally black, because some of the Sun’s rays bounce around the earth through the atmosphere, so the Moon instead takes on a greyish-to-reddish hue. Energetically, the Moon relates to our heart, emotions, and peace of mind. There can be an eerie feeling of disconnection to these around a lunar eclipse and during the time leading up to it.
This month, the intensified awareness of our emotional body may take on a slightly darker tone. The nodes are the shadow planets, the subconscious parts of ourselves that our usually invisible, but during an eclipse these shadows rise to the surface and show themselves. So with the full Moon in Cancer eclipsed, it’s likely that we will see the ways in which our emotional nature can lead us astray, where we open our boundaries too wide, or may simply experience emotions that we normally avoid facing. For those who have a strong connection to their Cancerian nature already, this could be a difficult time, where the floodgates are opened and feel overwhelming, yet a lot of confusion is present until the eclipse passes.
To cope with whatever challenges are arising, it’s best to lay low during the eclipse. It’s a great time for sadhana, calling forth your higher power, and being introspective and reflective. Whatever is coming up for you during (and before) this eclipse is like an Easter egg to point you towards something deeper in your being that requires your attention and work.
Within Cancer, this total lunar eclipse will occur in the Vedic nakshatra called Ashlesha, “the entwiner.” This nakshatra can be located in a ring of stars within the western constellation Hydra, the water-serpent. Ashlesha is represented by a coiled snake, and is ruled by the Nagas, the serpent deities of wisdom. This nakshatra has a lot to do with discovering what is coiled deep within, so an eclipse here has the potential to churn up some deep-seated emotions that have not been felt for a while. It also has the ability to stir kundalini, so if you are doing spiritual practices, be prepared for some possible strong waves of energy.
At the same time, the snake also contains a poisonous venom. Because of the intensity of this eclipse and the surrounding alignment, it is quite possible for some of what gets stirred up to have a toxic quality. Like other detoxification processes, however, it is sometimes necessary for the toxins to filter through the body after they are dislodged, before being released back to the earth. Drink lots of water following this eclipse, but Indian tradition says that it is best not to eat, drink, or be outside during the eclipse, lest we absorb more of its negative affects. With any difficulties that arise, offer them back to the divine Mother, and call upon the cleansing power of water to help you through.
The effects of the eclipse may continue through mid-February, when we have the second eclipse of this cycle, a partial solar eclipse, happening on February 15th. These eclipses will bring up challenges specifically in the areas of life indicated by Cancer and Capricorn in your Vedic natal chart. There is a Free Forecast for your Rising Sign available here. (If you are new to the mailing list, you will be directed to the link. If you are already on the mailing list, please check your inbox as you would have received this forecast a while ago.)
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Transformation Portal: Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse Friday
The Full Moon in sidereal Cancer on Friday brings with it a penumbral lunar eclipse (February 10/11) that will be visible from most places on earth, except for Australia and the south Pacific. The Moon reaches maximum fullness at 4:33 p.m. PST, with the eclipse peaking at 4:43. This eclipse is part of a longer series of eclipses that we’ve been experiencing for the last year. Rahu and Ketu, the lunar nodes, have been transiting the Leo-Aquarius axis through this time, bringing pairs of lunar/solar eclipses last March and September, and this month. Download my Free E-Book about this eclipse series if you haven’t yet!
The nodes on the Leo-Aquarius axis raise questions about personal power versus universal service. Last year through the US election cycle we saw an intense play for personal power on the large scale, with extremist viewpoints (Rahu) rising into the place of authority (Leo). With Ketu’s shadow energy casting doubt in the sign of Aquarius, ideas of oneness and service to society at large have faced heavy criticism. On a personal level, we experience the controversy of this duality in our own lives, and question where and how we seek power and offer service.
Last year, Rahu’s lust for power in Leo was highly dogmatized due to Jupiter’s conjunction with him there (through September). This brought beliefs and values under the influence of the radical, obsessive and insecure shadow planet. In August Jupiter moved on into Virgo, however, putting our values and attention under a slightly more practical perspective. Most recently, on February 5th, Jupiter’s motion turned retrograde, which gives us the opportunity to back up and rethink some of the ways that we approach our beliefs and apply them in our lives. We may be second-guessing our relationships with our teachers at this time, or considering going back to school for some more education.
Saturn also made a major transit recently, moving into sidereal Sagittarius in the end of January. This puts the planet of commitment in the sign of inspired action, and will compel us to persevere and stand up for what we believe in. This transit will span the next three years, save for a brief period later this year when Saturn’s retrograde motion takes him back into Scorpio. The influence of Saturn in our personal lives during this time can be immense (this begins Saturn’s return and/or Sade Sati for many). He will bring pressure as he helps us figure out how to really stand behind and take action for our beliefs, particularly in the area indicated by Sagittarius in your chart.
This Full Moon falls in the end of the water sign of Cancer, adding a heavy emotional component to our experience this month. The eclipse energy here can help us to see some of our deepest shadows, particularly in how we handle ourselves emotionally. Cancer is the Moon’s own sign, and the capacity for receptivity here is great. We may feel our hearts wide open during this Full Moon, but with this also comes a sensitivity and vulnerability that can throw us off balance under the shadow influence of the eclipse.
In particular, the Moon will be in the Vedic constellation (nakshatra) of Ashlesha, the sign of the water serpent. This nakshatra has to do with deeply coiled energies and hidden potential (kundalini specifically). It is ruled by the Nagas, the serpents of wisdom. There is a potential for great awakening as the Moon is eclipsed in this sign. We momentarily feel cut off from the light of emotional intelligence during a lunar eclipse, and are forced to become aware of the dark shadows that obscure peace in our hearts. Bringing awareness to these can help us to break free from them, uncoiling our own inner mess and helping us blossom into wisdom.
Connecting with the heart and the water element is important during this Full Moon. What’s more, Venus is currently exalted, having moved into Pisces at the end of January. He will transit here for the next four months, giving us the potential to elevate our relationships and the ways we pursue our desires. In Pisces, Venus is under Jupiter’s rule, which can inspire the planet of pleasure to get in line with our values. It’s also another water sign, the last of the 12 major signs, and a place that compels us to surrender to the divine flow. With Saturn pushing our commitment onto our principles, from Sagittarius, and Jupiter helping us with the earthly details, from Virgo, this all adds up to a huge growth opportunity around this eclipse.
The solar eclipse of this eclipse-pair will come on February 26th. Eclipses come in pairs, and we feel the intense energy of the cycle from a few weeks before the first until soon after the second. This is the third pair of eclipses in the larger cycle, since last January when Rahu and Ketu moved into Leo and Aquarius. During the next pair of eclipses, in August, they will be right on the cusp of Cancer and Capricorn. Between now and then we will really finalize implementing the lessons and changes brought up throughout their Leo-Aquarius transit, and we will begin exploring our shadows along the Cancer-Capricorn axis.
To help you make sense of these major astrological events, I am offering individual readings to look at Saturn, Venus, and the Eclipses, or you can request a 2017 Reading to talk about the effects of all three.
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The Full Moon occurs this Saturday, August 29th, at 11:35am PDT. The night of the fullest waxing Moon is Friday night, August 28th. This Full Moon will be in the nakshatra Shatabisha, the healing star, in sidereal Aquarius. Translated as “the hundred physicians,” this star sign relates to medicine and healing, often through many modalities, and this Full Moon brings this potential to the forefront. It’s a good time to visit your healers or dedicate some time and attention to your own self-care routine. Ruled by Rahu, the shadowy north node of the Moon, Shatabisha relates to hidden powers and mysteries. This is a good time to probe deeply into your own heart, or for researching things in general.
The Full Moon in Aquarius is opposite the Sun in Leo, and it shines a light on the dichotomy between the two signs. Leo, ruled by the Sun, is where our personal power is strong, as well as our sense of responsibility and our connection with source energy. Aquarius is ruled by Saturn and relates more to austerities and service to others, where we often renounce our individual will in favor of the greater good. This full Moon calls us to balance the energies of the two signs, working on our understanding of how we can use our individual strengths to be of service to others without feeling our light diminished. This is a time for letting your juices flow freely from wherever you find your inspiration, in ways that will in turn benefit society and inspire others. Saturn’s rulership of Aquarius helps us to direct our personal power towards actions that create valuable long-term results, not just immediate gratification — i.e., things that will be good for the world around us in which we live.
The task at hand may feel a bit overwhelming, however, because of Jupiter’s close alignment with the Sun. This “combust” Jupiter could be causing us to feel a lack of hope, or a lack of support from our higher teachings or teachers. Our philosophies (the energy of Jupiter) may be feeling burnt up in the proximity to the solar giant, who reminds us that only the soul is eternal. Jupiter and Sun are also feeling the pressure of Saturn’s glare as he aspects them from Scorpio. Be careful not to let pessimism overrun you if you feel like things just aren’t gong your way right now. Use this instead as part of your call to healing and to connecting with your inner strength, the brightness of the everlasting divinity within. Take things one step at a time and remember that divine grace is always there, even though it could feel blocked up right now because of Jupiter’s combustion. On the other hand, you may be strongly connecting with your philosophies, but frustrated in the attempt to put them into action.Another reason actions may still feel held up is because Mars remains in its debilitated placement in Cancer. Mars wants to take action and be courageous, but the sideways-moving crab rashi (sign) slows and waters it down. Over the next few days we’ll see a close alignment of Venus and Mars, which could harmonize masculine and feminine energies. They are joined in the star sign Ashlesha, relating to serpent energy and kundalini, so sexual appetites could be high now. These two may struggle for dominance in our energy fields in the beginning of next week, however, as they pass over each other in the sky. This means our desires and instincts can feel at odds. Venus is still retrograde, pushing us to review our relationships and pursuits of happiness. Call forth your higher power for wisdom to help guide you.
The intellect may be an ally for us this month, as Mercury is now in its sign of exaltation, Virgo. This earth sign brings some grounding to the quickly-moving planet of curiosity, and helps us to sort out the details of life and focus the mind on what is most practical. As Mercury is also joined with Rahu in Virgo now, the intellect may be able to make connections to otherwise hidden information, as Rahu is a shadow planet. His connection here could also cause us to obsess over details a bit, however, or add an element of anxiety to the mind. We will experience the energy of Rahu in Virgo more acutely as we approach the upcoming eclipses on September 12th (partial solar) and 27th (total lunar)–report on those to come! Eclipse cycles are a good time to receive a personal reading, as we can feel a lot of upheaval and uncertainty in the area of life where the nodes fall in our individual charts.
Overall this is a good time for personal healing, as well as healing in the relationships in our lives as Mars and retrograde Venus are so close during this Shatabisha Full Moon. It’s a time to integrate our sense of personal power with our will to serve society. Call on your healing practices and your inner strength to achieve equilibrium. Find peace in the heart through service, especially if your usual teachers or philosophies are feeling hard to reach or to engage. Have faith in yourself and the inner-abiding source, even if outward circumstances seem unmanageable. Eclipse cycles can be stressful, and as we are approaching that window, remember that it too shall pass, after giving us the opportunity to do some deep inner transformation, reorganization, and healing.
The New Moon will occur in Ashlesha nakshatra in sidereal Cancer, at 7:54am PDT on Friday, August 14th. This means that the darkest night, beginning this new cycle, is the night of Thursday, August 13th. New Moon nights are a great time for inner practice and ritual, fully releasing everything from the last cycle and preparing for the new.
Ashlesha (or Aslesha) nakshatra and Cancer are both related to the water element, which correlates with our emotions and second chakra. This cycle will call us to explore the depths of our emotions. Cancer is ruled by the Moon, the feminine reflective principle in the cosmos. While the Sun represents the primordial source that fuels all life, the Moon is that wherein Sun’s power is reflected on another body. Moon is therefore the planet that feels what it is like to be a material body animated by divine consciousness. The Cancer cycle will allow us to tap in to our emotional and feminine side, as Moon is the archetype of the divine feminine principle. Examine and honor the waves of feelings as they come up for you throughout the month.
The potency of this cycle is enhanced by Ashlesha nakshatra, found in the constellation Hydra, the water snake. The snake represents kundalini energy, which often lies coiled in a dormant state at the base of the spine. In this cycle there is the potential for that coil to unwind and for kundalini energy to rise, as flow energy is enhanced and blockages dissolve. This is a time for emotional transformation.
The deities for Ashlesha are the Nagas, the serpents of wisdom. We have the opportunity to receive guidance from these serpents and receive more wisdom about our own hidden emotions. In your practice time, you can ask yourself what is coiled within? Where in your body do you feel a coil or a knot that can be loosened? Around what themes in life do you feel stuck? Probing into these matters and calling upon the water element or the Nagas can help to bring you more fluidity around them.
Mars is currently sitting in sidereal Cancer, where he is debilitated (at his least strong position in the cosmos). This means that our energy towards taking actions could be low right now. All the more reason to tap into that feminine, internal reflective principle, in order to loosen the emotional joints so that we can act with more clarity when Mars has more power again.
Jupiter is settling nicely into sidereal Leo, where he began his year-long transit a few weeks ago. Around this time we saw in the world a sudden righteous crusade towards celebrating lions (Cecil) and the rest of the wildlife kingdom. Leo, or the lion, is indeed the monarch of this realm, and Jupiter is a planet that relates to our values and principles. The worldwide value of these things suddenly surged when Jupiter took his seat on this zodiacal throne. During his transit here we may see many principle-based movements rise, in which large groups of believers will be pushing to get their values to the seat of power.
Venus continues his retrograde transit, now backtracking into the sign of Cancer. This is a time for reviewing relationships in our lives, and how we compromise and maneuver while seeking happiness. He continues retrograde motion until September 6th, after which time things should start moving forward again around those themes. With Venus retrograde so close to this New Moon, coupled with Ashlesha energy relating to the depths of our emotions, a lot could be coming up in our minds and hearts about past relationships. Remember to allow the flow and let the purifying waters of Cancer and Ashlesha wash away what is ready to move on, and nourish that which needs more unconditional love.Mercury is joined with Jupiter in Leo right now, so we could easily feel the temptation to talk a lot. Like any serpent, Ashlesha has the power of venom within its tongue as well, so take heed to speak slowly to avoid harmful remarks. As with any purification process, we may feel the sting of that poison in ourselves as we release unwanted energies from our system. Be nourishing towards yourself, and drink lots of water to enhance the flow and cleansing. This will be a sensitive time, but a potent one for diving deep into the depths of our sensual bodies, and emerging from those waters with stronger emotional health and clarity.
If you’ve been watching Venus approach Jupiter in the evening sky over the last month, tonight will be the night not to miss! Last night the two appeared very close together from Earth, and tonight they will be at almost the exact same degrees in the sky (about 27 1/2 sidereal Cancer), appearing like a bright double-star. These are always the two brightest planets from earth’s perspective, so together this will be an incredibly beautiful light to behold. Look for the conjunction in the west from around sunset until the two planets set around 10:45 pm PDT. The best view will be just after it gets dark. They will also be quite close but beginning to separate tomorrow evening, setting in the west as the full Moon is rising in the east. (Check back for the Full Moon Report!)
In Vedic astrology and mythology, Jupiter and Venus are two benefic planets (saumya grahas), meaning they bring gentle energies and often boost our happiness. Jupiter is the planet of hope and optimism, while Venus is the planet of beauty and pleasure. The tight conjunction of these two may be elevating our happiness and expanding our positivity right now. It may even feel like the heart is overflowing. Jupiter brings us higher philosophy and belief systems, and our ability to discriminate or judge what we value. The supreme court decision to expand marriage rights in the US is totally aligned with this Jupiter-Venus meet-up– love wins! In this time we may really believe in our relationships, or whatever it is that is driving our pursuit of happiness. This conjunction is on the first house for sidereal Cancer rising folks, and aspects Scorpio and Pisces ascendants.
These two are in the Vedic nakshatra (star-sign) of Ashlesha, “the entwiner.” This star has to do with the coiled serpent of kundalini energy, and heightens our senses of intuition and sexuality. The ruling deities are the Nagas, the serpents of wisdom. Our hearts and minds may be guided towards unveiling deep hidden wisdom from the realms beyond the veil of illusion. It is really the Sun’s light that we see reflected off of these two beauties, Jupiter and Venus, and the Sun is the source of all life and the planet of pure consciousness. At this time you can offer yourself up, with gratitude, for heart-mind expansion and invite in the source energy to brighten your beliefs, desires and relationships. Remember that in Ashlesha, as with a serpent’s bite, some poison may come up as part of the process of illumination. This can also result because Jupiter and Venus so close together can create friction as they fight over whether values or desires will come out on top.
A close conjunction of Jupiter and Venus also occurred around 2 B.C.E., and may have been the phenomena dubbed the “Star of Bethlehem.” Overall, this is a time to enjoy the incredibly beauty being offered from the cosmos. Bask in the lovelight of Jupiter and Venus tonight — it is on!