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).
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
The new moon in Pisces and Hindu New Year will fall on the early morning of April 7th, 2016 (at 4:24 a.m. PDT), initiating a lunar cycle that will connect us deeply with our emotion and intuition, and allow us to choose where and how we will direct our energy through the coming year.
This new Moon begins the first month of the Hindu calendar year (called Chaitra), during which the Sun makes his transition into Aries sign (or Meesha rashi, in sanskrit). Sun enters sidereal Aries on April 13th, a good three weeks after the equinox. (The western, Tropical zodiac aligns the spring equinox with zero degrees Aries. The sidereal zodiac, used by most Vedic Astrologers, marks the position of the planets as they align with the constellations as viewed from Earth.) From our vantage point, this lunar cycle begins with the Sun, Moon and Venus in the Piscean section of the sky.
We will feel a surge of emotions stirring this month, because of the strong watery nature of Pisces, which is the only purely water-going rashi (sign) in the Vedic zodiac. Your intuition will be strong, as your heart and mind (Moon), soul (Sun), and desire-nature (Venus) align in the “self-abiding” sign of the twin fishes. Jupiter’s rulership over Pisces helps us to connect these with our higher purpose and most optimistic beliefs. Venus is the planet that drives us to seek happiness and pleasure (usually sensual). With Venus in Pisces, it’s possible for our desire-nature to expand, so watch out for over-indulging. At the same time, the sattvic nature of Pisces gives us the opportunity to elevate our desires into things that support our values and our path to spiritual liberation.
In the environment, our bodies are engulfed in the watery flow of winter’s melting ice and spring’s rushing rivers. Internally, our minds and emotional bodies have begun to thaw out of the static quietude of winter, as the nourishing rains create fertile beds for our hopes and dreams to grow. Pisces’ energy will draw us deeply into our imaginations and our mystical power of psychic awareness. Through these, we can discover our most purposeful visions for the coming year, and Pisces’ flexibility will give us the power to change directions if necessary. This is a prime time to orient ourselves in the direction we want to go this year, so that when Sun transits into Aries and we speed ahead into activity, we will be facing the direction that we want to go.
Where do you want to steer your precious life-force this year? The dark Moon time (mostly on Wednesday, April 6th, before the new cycle begins on the 7th) is a potent night to go inward and reflect on what you learned during the last lunar cycle (and the last yearly cycle through the seasons). The most recent moon cycle brought two eclipses, which revealed a lot of our subconscious patterning, whatever was holding us back or calling for our attention. After the illumination of these shadows, we saw where we need to make some changes in our lives, either by throwing out limiting beliefs, or by realigning ourselves towards our highest potential with more clarity and purpose.
The new Moon in Pisces offers us the chance to enter deeper states of meditation, and brings forth our sattvic nature (the part of us that is most aligned with universal spirit). This new Moon is in the Vedic nakshatra (constellation) called Revati, “the wealthy.” This star relates to Goddess Lakshmi’s abundance (both material and spiritual wealth). Though we often think first of her material blessings, this star actually has a great deal to do with unlocking spiritual wealth and wisdom. It is the last of the 27 nakshatras, symbolizing the spiritual maturity that can be achieved as one nears the end of life (or a cycle) in the material realm. It is a place of letting go of earthly attachment, and preparing to enter the mystery of the next unknown chapter.
The ruling deity of Revati is Pushan, who ensures safe journeys (including those into the next realm), and the care of livestock and pastures (also symbolic of wealth). As you follow your intuition and psychic awareness, you may feel called to embark upon a new venture this year. This dark Moon time is a good night to gather your energy and your prayers, and call in divine support for a prosperous journey. Pisces, like the small fish in the vast ocean, evokes the energy of surrender and faith. After we have chosen our direction (with cues from the intuitive silence of meditation), and offered our prayers to the universe for guidance, we must also surrender to the flow and have faith that it will carry us where we are meant to go.
Rahu and Jupiter remain joined in sidereal Leo, exaggerating the general sense of the importance of one’s own beliefs right now. At the time of this new Moon, these planets will be in the sixth house of task-oriented hard work, selfless service, and dealings with enemies and opponents. If you’re feeling political, this month’s energy may inspire you to get involved and do some 6th-house “chores” of service to support your beliefs and challenge your opponents (like fundraising and sharing information about your favorite candidate, or getting on the phone bank to encourage supporters to go out and vote on caucus days). Be aware of the potential to face some serious clashes with those who disagree with you philosophically.
The new Moon joins Venus in Pisces as well, aligning our heart and soul with our desires and relationships. We may really bond with people over dreams and visions this month, especially when Venus enters Revati (on the 14th), his nakshatra of exaltation. Here our normally sensory-bound desire bodies reach for a more emotionally and spiritually based satisfaction. There could be some strong psychic connections. In partnerships we could be feeling especially romantic and optimistic right now, and may be coming together around shared principles, hopes, and dreams. Be mindful of overindulging, however, or going too far into the dream-world, especially if you have a tendency to try to escape from reality.
Saturn has recently turned retrograde, where he appears to move backwards through the sky from our viewpoint on earth. This will last through the summer, and will give us all a good look at our long-term goals, especially in the area of life where Saturn is currently transiting (sidereal Scorpio) over our personal chart. If you have planets in sidereal Scorpio, you may feel like the pressure is on to do some serious reflection in that area of your life. He may also disrupt things in the two houses that he rules for us individually. For a deeper look at how Saturn Retrograde is affecting you, be sure to sign up for my mailing list so you’ll be the first to get the free Saturn Retrograde Forecast for Your Sign.
The first nine days of this lunar month, Chaitra, comprise Vasanta Navaratri, a springtime festival for honoring the many forms of the Goddess (the Maha, or “Great,” Navaratri is observed in the fall)–Jai Ma Durga!. The ninth day of Chaitra is Ram Navami, the celebration of the birth of Lord Ram. Chant the name of Ram! Then the birth of Hanuman, Ram’s greatest devotee, is celebrated on purnima tithi, the full Moon phase of the month. This is called Hanuman Jayanti, and falls on April 21st in North America. It is a powerful holy day to offer prayers to Lord Hanuman, to summon personal devotion and strength, and invoke the grace to calm and tame our restless minds so that we may live in blissful awareness of divine presence. Jai Hanuman!
A penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible from most places on earth this Wednesday, including North and South America (except Eastern Brazil), India, Asia, Australia, the Pacific, Antarctica and the Arctic. The greatest moment of the eclipse happens at 4:48am PDT on March 23rd, just before the peak of the Full Moon at 5:01am.
We’re now halfway through this lunar cycle, which began with a Total Solar Eclipse and a huge pileup of planets in sidereal Aquarius. I’ve heard from many people that this stirred up a lot of issues in their lives, including a lot of deep psychological work. The first eclipse brought forward our shadows around the dichotomy between universal service and our own self-empowerment and personal values, and pushed us to unearth limiting beliefs and negative patterns around the themes of the house that Aquarius is in our personal Vedic chart (download my Free E-Book with the Forecast for your Sign if you haven’t yet!).
The Full Moon point in a cycle is the time to reflect back on the energy that started us out and take a look at how to integrate that energy in a new way. This Full Moon falls in sidereal Virgo, just beyond the Aquarius-balancing sign of Leo. This compels us to look even further, beyond harmonizing the energy that was eclipsed, and into a transformative level. It pushes us to get really clear about the details of whatever shadow work came up for us around March 8th. We need to get down to the nitty-gritty and re-organize our patterns of thinking and behavior, and find some practical routines that will help us to move forward, free from the shadows that have arisen.
The eclipse occurs with the full Moon in the same Vedic sign where Rahu resides, Uttara Phalguni. This Vedic nakshatra bridges Leo and Virgo. This is a very powerful star for helping us to balance universal-love and self-love, which were areas that the solar eclipse challenged us to integrate better. Uttara Phalguni is a star of charity and generosity, ruled by the Sun, and brings forth an energy of leadership, courage, and care for society. It is also related to relaxation, reminding us that we must care for ourselves in order to be able to care for others. Its deity is Aryaman, a deva of friendship, companionship and kindness.
As Rahu’s shadow obscures the Moon in this sign during the Lunar Eclipse, we might feel cut off from these benevolent qualities, and may struggle to find contact with our emotional bodies. It is best not to eat or drink during the eclipse, and not to look at it directly. Instead, do practices like chanting or meditation, and call forth the highest lessons that the eclipse has to offer you. We could either fall into emotional confusion, or we could take this moment to consciously embrace emotional detachment, and step into a space of Virgoan practicality, as we examine the shadows brought forth by the eclipse.
The Mercury-ruled, down-to-earth sign of Virgo aims to give us a much needed sensibility to balance the intensity of our inflamed beliefs (resulting from Jupiter and Rahu in Leo). Watch out though — on the other side of the sky, Virgo’s ruler Mercury sits in combustion and debilitation, in close alignment with the Sun in sidereal Pisces. This could make us a little more steam-headed than usual (as Sun boils Mercury in Piscean waters!), and less on track with those details we so wish we could get organized. Remember that this eclipse cycle is part of a larger one that is running from now through mid-2017, so we will have more chances to get it right.
This lunar eclipse will drive you deeper into exploring the themes of the Aquarius-Leo house axis in your chart. It will be especially potent for anyone who has prominent planets or a rising sign in Uttara Phalguni nakshatra.*
This Full Moon also kicks off the Hindu holiday of “Holi.” In this sportive festival (much like a new year’s celebration), people throw colored powders at each other, as a way to playfully let go of any aggression held from the past year. It’s a time to forgive and start anew, coming just after the Equinox, a balancing point of the solar cycle. It is a fresh start for Mother Nature in the northern hemisphere (great time for a spring cleanse!). If you’re in a place where you can celebrate Holi, go out and playfully participate! Use this collective energy of renewal to help you with the transformative process thrust upon you by the eclipses!
Get ready for another compelling planetary motion later this week, when Saturn comes to a stop and then begins his Retrograde course from now through August. This will give us a final chance to do some deep work around our commitment to transformation, as Saturn’s last period of retrograde motion in Scorpio.
*I’m still offering a special Eclipse Reading Package to help you to navigate through this 1.5-year transit of Rahu and Ketu! You’ll get 3 personal readings around each of the 3 eclipse cycles during this period.
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!