Next Tuesday brings Guru Purnima on the Full Moon in Capricorn. The peak of the full Moon will occur on July 19, 2016 at 3:57 pm PDT. Purnima is the full Moon phase of the month, and guru means remover of darkness, but is commonly translated as teacher. Guru Purnima is an auspicious time for celebrating our teachers. Under the light of the full Moon, we give thanks for the illumination and wisdom that they have brought into our lives. Guru is also the planetary name for Jupiter (in Sanskrit and Vedic astrology), who represents the principles of expansion and inspiration in our lives.
This full Moon falls at 3 degrees of sidereal Capricorn, highlighting our quest for structure to support to our feminine, yin essence. Capricorn is a feminine earth sign and is ruled by Saturn, the planet that drives our focus towards the bigger picture. Saturn makes us remember the eternal nature of our soul, and through Capricorn, he inspires practical action in the earth realm to help us to protect and support our soul’s evolution. This full Moon will help us to remember to rise to meet our responsibilities and persevere through any difficulties we are facing.
This Capricorn energy offers a great time to tap into your spiritual practices. It’s time to bring them into the earthly realm, rather than just thinking about them. Capricorn is practical, and that means it’s time to practice. Sit down on the ground and connect with your crystals, cards, malas, or instruments. Practice also includes doing your duty as well as selfless service. Service that upholds the teachings of your gurus can be a special offering you make on this day.
In the Vedic calendar this full Moon and Guru Purnima fall on the nakshatra of Uttara Ashadha. This star-sign is ruled by the Vishvadevas, the 10 lords of dharma. Dharma refers to our duty in life, both earthly and spiritual. These will both be illuminated for us on this full Moon. Uttara Ashadha constellation bridges Sagittarius and Capricorn, signs ruled by Jupiter and Saturn. Its energy supports holding high ideals, and the commitment needed to support them. In remembering our teachers we will also remember our highest values and our purpose. It is said that in addition to each individual’s unique purpose in this life, we all share the higher purpose of attaining self-realization.
At the time of the full Moon, the Sun will be opposite Capricorn, in sidereal Cancer. We are at the point in the cycle where we need to harmonize the energy of these two signs, balancing our watery emotional nature with our practical earthy side. With the Sun in Cancer, we find our strength through the heart and our intuition. The Moon in Capricorn balances this by bringing our focus towards the earth realm and the bigger picture, while our emotional sensitivity and intuition is heightened.
The bigger picture and our long-term goals and commitments are definitely on our minds right now because of Saturn’s influence. This Full Moon is receiving an aspect from retrograde Saturn in sidereal Scorpio. Since March, Saturn has appeared to move backwards in retrograde motion, causing us to backtrack and reconsider our long-term commitments in a few specific areas of life. (The areas of life indicated by Scorpio, Capricorn and Aquarius in your Vedic chart have been under scrutinization, or may have just felt stuck.)
There is one month left during Saturn retrograde. This is our time to really go inward, finding our truth, facing our fears, and determining the long-term direction we want to pursue. We feel a lot of pressure here now because Mars is once again joining Saturn in Scorpio, and will be for the next two months. The two will come head-to-head in late August (within one degree of each other), and we will need to really stay centered to maintain balance amidst this energy.
Jupiter is also getting ready to move signs in about one month, transiting fully from sidereal Leo to Virgo. For the last year he has been in sidereal Leo, and personal beliefs and self-empowerment have been getting a lot of attention. Since January, the shadow planet Rahu has also been joining him there, inciting some very radical ideas and power-struggles. When Jupiter transits into Virgo in mid-August, we will feel a shift towards more grounded philosophies, at large, and more trends towards practical thinking. This transit will also have profound effects for each individual based on where Virgo lies in your chart. You will feel a boost of energy for the next year in this area of life. (Be sure to sign up for free updates at my site to receive your personal Jupiter in Virgo forecast, coming soon to your inbox).
As my guru says, “May we all become lamps spreading light to the world, and may grace help us to achieve this.” This Guru Purnima on the full Moon in Capricorn, connect with your teachers and that which inspires you most.
With the upcoming shifts of Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter, now is a great time to book a personal reading to see what will be changing for you. Be sure to sign up here to receive your free personal forecasts and Vedic Astrology news.
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Venus is now in Cancer, and the Moon is joining Rahu and Jupiter in Leo for the next two days. With Venus in Cancer, we feel a lot of emotion about our desires. As we approach compromise, we may feel flooded with compassion, or maybe just flooded with emotion. It might be difficult to erect proper boundaries in both compromising and seeking to fulfill our desires. Keep an eye out for this over the next couple of weeks.
Now and for the next two days, the Moon is in the same sign as Jupiter and Rahu, which could add some intensity to our hearts and minds, especially around beliefs. As the Moon rules Cancer, this intensity could spill over into our desire and relationships, especially Friday night as the Moon is sandwiched between Rahu and Jupiter.
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
This Saturday, January 23rd, we will have a Full Moon in sidereal Cancer at 5:46pm PST. Opposite the Sun who is in the austere, Saturn-ruled sign of Capricorn, the full Moon in the loving, comfort-seeking sign of Cancer compels us to cozy up and nourish ourselves and others during this cold, vata season. Moon is in the Vedic star-sign or nakshatra called Pushya, which is all about nourishment.
Pushya literally translates as “nourishment,” and its symbol is the udder of a cow, another emblem of sustenance. Cows are revered in Hindu tradition for this reason. They give so much towards our own livelihood — dairy, meat, bones, leather. Ghee (clarified butter derived from cow milk) is one of the most sacred substances in Vedic practice. It is used to light oil lamps, is offered to deities in worship, and is also one of the most nourishing substances for the human body to consume, according to the tradition of Ayurveda (the health science of the Vedic tradition). It is easily absorbed and metabolized by all the layers of tissue in the body, and for that reason is also the best medium for taking medicinal and nutritive herbs.
The deity for Pushya is Brihaspati, a form of Jupiter, a Brahmin priest who is the guru or teacher of the devas (Gods). A well-known story of Brihaspati is that of his marriage with Tara. The story goes that Tara ran away with Chandra, the Moon, and had an affair (some say she was abducted), which resulted in the birth of Budha (the planet Mercury). Eventually Tara returned to Brihaspati, and he graciously accepted her and even raised Budha as his own. This caring benevolence is a quality of the nakshatra Pushya, and of the energy around this Full Moon. It is a time when compassion will be high, and you can tap into your qualities of forgiveness and acceptance and offer that forward wherever it is required in your life.
Mercury is still in his retrograde course, and is joined with Venus in Sagittarius. We may have big ideals for our relationships right now but may be holding back a little in communicating them. Jupiter rules Sagittarius where these two are residing, and is also aspecting them from his retrograde position in Leo. This period of Jupiter retrograde gives us a chance to slow down before projecting our philosophies and ideals out into the world. It’s a good time for meditating on which belief systems and sets of teachings are serving us the most, and to resist imposing them on others, especially when we are still in contemplation. We may reevaluate some of our convictions over the next few months and expand our vision to encompass new ideas.
A very important transit will be happening on January 29th, opening up a new chapter for us all for the next year-and-a-half. Rahu and Ketu, the north and south nodes of the Moon, are finally shifting from the Virgo-Pisces axis into the Leo-Aquarius axis. They sat in Virgo and Pisces for the last year-and-a-half, which brought light to our shadow work that needed to be done around our tendencies of over-organizing vs. escaping and avoiding responsibility. Some of us tend towards one extreme in some cases and the opposite in others. The themes apply especially to what houses those signs occupy, which is different for each individual according to your birth chart.
For the next-year-and-a-half, Rahu and Ketu will be stirring things up around our Leo-Aquarius issues. This means we’ll really be examining our sense of personal power and strength, vs. our sense of commitment to universal duty and service. These things may sometimes come in conflict with one another, or we may emphasize one more than the other in different places in our lives. Both need attention and balance, to be utilized in a healthy way without going to extremes in either direction. We will particularly feel the affects of this transit around the Eclipse Cycles (the first of which comes in March), and around the houses in your chart that fall on Leo and Aquarius. Personal readings are available now to help you understand what themes this transit will raise for you in the coming year.
For now, enjoy the Full Moon light from the loving, maternal sign of Cancer, and the caring, paternal constellation of Pushya!
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.