Feeling a bit overstimulated? We now have Mercury, Sun and Venus in Gemini. This makes for an active mind and body, looking in many directions at once to satisfy curiosity and desire. This abundance of vata can lead to physical or mental fatigue. Consider connecting with the earth and water elements to create some balance, while we have 7 out of 9 planets in air & fire signs. This will feel especially soothing to the heart today as Moon transits Pisces and is aspected by Jupiter (joined Rahu in Leo).
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!
Happy Solstice, Full Moon, Christmas and New Year!! The winter solstice on December 21st was the turning point in the annual Sun cycle. It was the darkest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, as the Sun reached the furthest point in his southerly course as seen from Earth. From now forward we experience the return of the light, as the Sun begins his northerly course and daylight hours get a bit longer each day. The winter solstice and the days around it bring a still point before the new beginning of the annual solar cycle. This is similar to the still point that we experience each month before the New Moon begins the lunar cycle, bringing with it renewal and a fresh energy for that cycle related to the position of the planets at that time.
The December solstice passes while the Sun is aligned with Sagittarius constellation and the core of the Milky Way galaxy, in the Vedic constellation or nakshatra called Mula (or Moola). Sun is also in Mula on this coming Full Moon (December 25th!). Mula literally means “the root” (muladhara = root support) and represents the energy of roots — origins, deep meaning, and life rising out of the darkness. The deity for Mula is Nirriti, a dark goddess who relates to death and destruction.
This symbolism reminds us of the great opportunity for spiritual growth associated with this part of the sky and this time of year. It is when we let go of the material that we can begin to pursue deeper spiritual meaning (and then light can dawn!). With the physical death that occurs in nature at the end of the solar cycle, we are offered a moment for stillness and contemplation. As daylight begins to return, we can recognize that the physical death of winter is actually just a period of transformation–that life continues and grows again each year with the coming of the new cycle.
The Full Moon occurs in Ardra nakshatra (within the constellation of Orion, near Gemini) on December 25th at 3:12am PST. The brightest moonlight of the cycle is on the night of December 24th! Ardra is often translated as “moist,” “fresh,” or “green,” and represents the energies both of destruction and renewal. Its deity is Rudra, a destructive and stormy form of Shiva. The symbolism of the storm also illustrates both the purifying and nourishing power of rains, which wash away impurities and feed the seeds and soil to allow new life to sprout.
The alignment of the Full Moon in Ardra and the Sun in Mula offers great opportunity for transformation, rebirth and renewal. It is not surprising that this occurs around the time of the solstice, and the holiday of Christmas. The prevalent energy of Ardra, however, is its intensity, which may be a quality we feel during the transformation and rebirthing happening at this time. Whatever storms have been brewing in your life or nature, you may feel a peak in the upheaval around this Full Moon.
Allow the winter storms to aid in your own personal renewal and refreshment. This is a good time to witness and accept the death of stagnant and collapsing energies from the last year and last season. Let loose on the reins and let all your endeavors rest for a moment while you enter the void before new beginnings. You can align yourself with the pure and mysterious energy of this space through practicing meditation. What is washed away in the storm will be composted and recycled, later to become the fuel for your new endeavors in the coming year. Allow yourself to pause and sit with the stillness, and discover its deeper meaning as you connect with the root of your own heart. This quiet moment of listening will help your desires and purpose to become clear, so that you can enter the New Year in more alignment with your goals and dharma.
Enjoy this magical time of winter stillness. Happy Solstice, Full Moon, Christmas and New Year!
The New Moon initiates our next lunar cycle tomorrow, July 15th, at 6:25pm PDT, from the very end of sidereal Gemini (29 degrees). Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mars will all be joined in the lunar mansion (nakshatra) called Punarvasu, a star-sign that symbolizes renewal and abundance. This energy accompanies Jupiter’s very recent transition from Cancer into Leo, whence he will shine for the next year or so, bringing grace and hope to a powerful position in the heavens. Punarvasu comes from the root words “Punar” meaning “again” or “repeatedly,” and “vasu” meaning “light” in this instance. Therefore this nakshatra’s cycle is a place where we can find “light again,” (which follows naturally as Punarvasu comes after the nakshatra Ardra, a place of storms, tears and raindrops). It symbolizes the renewal and regrowth that comes after a storm or heavy rain. The ruler of Punarvasu is Jupiter, who brings optimism and expansion. Its deity is Aditi, the mother of all the Gods in Hindu mythology, who symbolizes wealth and abundance. In this cycle we may feel a lot of ambition and drive, and it is a great time to harness the opportunity for a fresh start and renewed abundance in most pursuits.
In addition to Punarvasu’s graceful energy, Jupiter transitioned from Cancer into Leo on Monday, July 13th, where he will serve a powerful dose of energy to us for the next year. Leo is ruled by the Sun, the primordial, pure life-force behind all consciousness, and is a place of power in the zodiac. Jupiter, another sattvic planet, is well-placed here. Sun in his highest sense offers us illumination and the opportunity for embodying our higher potential. Under Sun’s rulership, Jupiter may be able to direct much positive expansion and philosophical influence to us from Leo. If well-channeled and applied, this dose of philosophy and optimism could yield wisdom, abundance and generosity. On the other hand, we may experience people getting really heated over their beliefs, as this position strengthens Jupiter’s potential for dogmatism. Jupiter will have a particularly strong influence on people with rising fire-signs (Leo, Sagittarius, and Aries) this year, and will be enhancing specific activities for every individual, depending on your Vedic rising sign and which houses he rules for you.
Venus also moved from Cancer to Leo, last week, but faces a more strained relationship under Sun’s rulership than Jupiter does. The highest side of Sun compels us to freely share our love, like the Sun does endlessly without request for anything in return, (in his awareness of himSelf as an infinite source of energy). Venus, on the other hand, drives the part of us that seeks pleasure for ourselves, especially in relationships. Venus in Leo could compel us to act like a king or queen in our relationships, as it struggles to get past the immensity of power encountered here, and perhaps forgets the usual methods of compromising (since one person’s happiness can’t really come at the cost of another’s in relationships, at least not for long). If we stay on a course of self-inquiry, it will be possible that this placement could help illuminate more self-love, which in turn can be shared abundantly with all those around us. Saturn is also casting his gaze on Jupiter and Venus as long as they are in Leo, bringing us more ability to look at these planets’ energies with long-term vision.
Watch for Venus to turn Retrograde on July 25th. At this point we may really start looking at our relationships and the way we go about seeking beauty and pleasure in life. Love relationships could slow down a little, or the power-tripping could if that is an issue that arises for you with Venus in Leo. Now is a great time to harness the Sun’s illumination on both Venus and Jupiter (who informs our philosophies and most valued teachings). While this source energy is strong, tap into it in your meditations and reflect on how you can do the most good with the power you have been given. Venus will cross directly over Jupiter again on August 6th, which will be beautiful but may cause us to feel the dichotomy between relationships and personal philosophy again. Be aware that Mercury is both combust and tightly conjunct with Mars during this New Moon in Punarvasu. This tight a conjunction makes a planetary war that can cause stress between the two forces within us, where intellect and instinct struggle for dominance. It could make for some heated discussions. Try to wait a day or two if you’re feeling hot-hearted or -headed, for these two to separate a little, before launching into anything you feel torn up about. On the 16th, Sun and Moon tip over the Gemini-Cancer line (still in Punarvasu nakshatra) into Cancer, and Mars and Mercury will be starting to separate. This will be a good time to start putting your renewal efforts into action, before Mars goes debilitated (into Cancer) on July 30th. In this water-sign, with so much comforting, nurturing, motherly-love energy, it can be harder to call forth Mars’ courage and assertiveness into our endeavors and actions. Overall, we will be feeling a surge of optimism, effort, and drive towards abundance this cycle. With the start of Jupiter’s new year in Leo, we are all likely to feel a major shift as the teacher of the Gods moves into the all-powerful Sun’s house, which could shine a lot of light, energy, and clarity on our hopes, dreams and beliefs. Each rising sign will experience this strength in a particular area of life (or three). Sign up for a reading today to find out which of your strengths are ripening for an extra juicy harvest this year!