The Full Moon in Aquarius in Shatabisha nakshatra is happening tonight! The Moon reaches peak fullness at 12:03 am (just after midnight) Pacific time on September 6th, in the middle of sidereal Aquarius, in the nakshatra known as Shatabisha.
Aquarius and Leo
The Aquarian full Moon draws our mind more towards the collective good, and how we can be of service to society, in contrast to the Sun, Mars, and Mercury in Leo, who draw the emphasis to personal power. The Full Moon is a time to harmonize the energy of the two sides of this zodiacal axis, and utilize our Aquarian side to reflect upon service. How we can achieve this while actually standing in our own power and using it for good at the same time?
Full Moon Medicine
Shatabisha, the Vedic star-sign where this full Moon peaks, is a powerful nakshatra for healing of all kinds. Known as the “hundred medicines” or the “hundred physicians,” the energy here drives us to explore alternative forms of healing. This includes our quest for self-healing and also the tools that we might use to help to heal others. The deity for this nakshatra is Lord Varuna, the god of the cosmic waters. Let us pray for healing waters as opposed to those that have been so destructive of late!
After the intense solar eclipse that began this cycle on August 21st, we have seen a continued onslaught of natural disasters across the globe, and this is a potent time to reach into your apothecary for whatever medicines can help. This might mean different herbs or foods as medicine, or it could also include a practice such as dance or meditation. With the pleasure-loving Venus joining Rahu, be careful of over-indulging, especially if you have a tendency to abuse medicines or drugs.
Rahu, Ketu, & Eclipse Aftermath
The nodes are now on the cusp of Leo-Cancer and Aquarius-Capricorn, respectively. You may have seen some discrepancy among Vedic astrologers in citing the date of Rahu and Ketu’s transition from the Leo-Aquarius axis and into Cancer-Capricorn. This has to do with subtleties in the astronomical calculation methods and software settings involved. It may appear as if the nodes crossed the imaginary zero-degree mark on August 17th (as I’ve cited previously) according to some calculation methods, while other astrologers are still awaiting that change to occur, later in September.
Whether the nodes have technically crossed that imaginary line or not, they are still near the “cusp” of both sign-axes either way. Whenever planets are on the cusp of two signs, they are not strongly established in the energy of either sign, but might actually behave with influences from both of the two signs. Similarly, if someone was born with the ascendant close to the cusp of two signs, they may resonate with the energies of both signs to a degree, rather than one distinctly. Thus, Rahu is now exerting his harsh force (more powerfully because of the recent eclipse) with some energy of Cancer and some energy of Leo.
Fire vs. Water by FelipeS4rg
With all of the recent flooding across the world, I believe we’re strongly seeing the energy of Rahu in Cancer coming through. I predicted the “floodgate of the heart” would open during this transit, with perhaps some overwhelming emotions arising. With this recent bout of flooding surrounding the Great American Eclipse on August 21st, there is a strong presence of Rahu-in-Cancer energy visible. Simultaneously, with the multitude of forest fires raging, and the continued intensity of the political arena, we are also still experiencing the Leonian influence on Rahu. Rahu, the demon planet of intensity, appears to be rearing his (detached) head with both the water-power of Cancer and the fire-power of Leo. This influence is acutely felt across the US, where he showed his shadow in full power to begin this Moon cycle.
Mercury, Venus, Saturn & Jupiter
Mercury turns direct today! It will take him a few days to pick up forward-momentum, however, so be aware of potential stagnancy in communication, and the ironing out of details and logistics.
Venus, in my calculations, is now joining Rahu in the open-hearted sign of Cancer. This is a tough position for the planet of pleasure and compromise. Proximity to Rahu could cause us to over-indulge in sensory pleasures, while Venus is already feeling a bit challenged in the sign of the Moon. The Moon and Cancer compel us to open our hearts and bestow loving compassion on everyone. An intelligent Venus helps us to find a balance in the give-and-take of relationships, so with Venus in Cancer we have a tendency to open our boundaries too far, and present the possibility of being (or feeling) taken advantage of. Watch your boundaries in relationships over the next few weeks while Venus transits Cancer, approaching and passing Rahu.
Saturn stationed and turned direct on August 25th, and is now making his final traverse of Scorpio for the next 27 years. This is the home stretch of Saturn’s return and Sade Sati for some people, and for everyone it is the time to really reflect on how we have re-committed to our personal transformation over the past three years.
Jupiter is getting ready for another major transit as well, beginning on September 11th when he will cross the imaginary line between Virgo and Libra. For the past thirteen months we have experienced the influence of Jupiterian expansion, luck, and grace in the style of Virgo, in the house indicated by Virgo in our charts. Once Jupiter settles fully into Libra, we will experience this effect in that area of our lives. This could add to some more collective balance and harmony in the world, as we begin to think about applying our principles in a more fair and balanced way. It will also have positive expansive influences on Libra-, Aquarius-, and Gemini-rising people in general. Each sign will gain Jupiter’s positive effects in a specific area of life, so look out for the Jupiter-in-Libra forecast coming this month! (Sign up for the free mailing list here if you aren’t already on it…you’ll also get last year’s free Jupiter-in-Virgo e-book if you want to take a look at where this transit already affected you).
The last two weeks since the eclipse had us in a quasi-Kala Sarpa yoga alignment, with all the planets joining or on one side of the Rahu-Ketu axis. (This is using the calculation that puts Rahu in Cancer.) This intensifies everything, including those water-fire effects of the recent eclipse over the US. I’m hoping that the next few weeks will have a lessening of intensity around these themes, especially as the Moon begins his waning journey tomorrow .
Each year, the full Moon in the Hindu month of Ashadha is dedicated to celebrating our gurus. This year’s Guru Purnima falls on the night of July 8th in North America and India, with the Moon reaching peak fullness at 9:07 pm PDT on Saturday. This year, Guru Purnima’s full Moon falls in Purvashada nakshatra (Vedic constellation), in the middle of sidereal Sagittarius, close to the galactic center. The Moon will be opposite the Sun in sidereal Gemini, where we began this lunar cycle.
The Sanskrit word guru is most commonly translated as “teacher.” It refers not only to the mighty spiritual teachers that are often associated with this word, but can indicate teachers in many fields of study or practice. One might have a spiritual guru, a yoga guru, an astrology guru, or even a knitting, cooking, or physics guru. “Gu” is often translated as darkness or ignorance while “ru” implies dispelling, disseminating, or removing. Guru as an adjective often implies grandeur or weight, frequently translated as “heavy,” which is a way that one might describe our most influential teachers. Students of jyotish will also recognize Guru as the name for Jupiter, who even the ancients knew as a large and profoundly influential planet. His influence in our lives is often in the realms of higher teachings and philosophy, and his position in someone’s natal chart can tell us about their path of learning and relationships with teachers. (For more rumination on the concept of guru in general, check out previous years’ articles.)
Each month, as the Moon waxes and wanes his way through the ecliptic, he undergoes 30 phases known as tithis in Vedic astrology. Although the transition is smooth, the tithis are delineated distinctly, and each one carries a certain supportive energy. The purnima phase, roughly a day long, is the fullest phase of the Moon, with the peak of fullness happening at the last moment of the phase (given as Full Moon time), before the light on the Moon begins to recede again as we enter the waning phase.
Purnima is generally thought of as the most auspicious phase of the month, and is positive for most activities, especially spiritual activities. There is a harmony of lunar and solar energy at this time. The Moon influences the ebb and flow of our watery emotions and our state of mind. We are most able to perceive this subtle body within when the outer Moon is fully illuminated. It is also a time where opposite poles within us (and in the external solar system), are both illuminated at the same time. Wherever the Full Moon occurs, it is on the exact opposite side of the zodiac from the Sun. On this Full Moon, the Sun is illuminating the Gemini part of the sky while the Moon’s light brightens Sagittarius for us. We are better able to integrate the two opposite poles within us when this occurs.
Sagittarius Full Moon
The Sagittarius section of the sky carries an energy of optimism and idealism, under Jupiter’s idealistic rulership. With the Moon here we are inspired to act on our beliefs, and share our purpose with the world. There is a great charitable nature here. Sagittarius is opposite from Gemini, where Sun and Moon began this lunar cycle, which is a place of much more practicality and impartiality, ruled by Mercury. On this full Moon we are able to see a better path towards balancing our flexible, curious, intellectual side (airy Gemini) with our passionate and idealistic side (firey Sagittarius).
The Vedic sky is divided into 27 sections or nakshatras, along the same band of the ecliptic as we see the twelve major zodiac signs. These smaller sections give us much more information about the energy coming from that part of the cosmos, and the mood that the planets will take on as they pass there. This Full Moon falls in Purva Ashadha nakshatra, known as “the invincible one.” There is a great deal of optimism and power here, so this could be a great time to face some fears and challenges that require confrontation. The water deity Apas presides here, strengthening our connection to the water element and our inner sensitivity.
As you tune into your own heart under the Guru Purnima full Moon, acknowledge the teachers and gurus who have and continued to support you along your journey. This is a particularly auspicious day for honoring them, upholding tradition, and even setting intentions for new paths of learning or teaching that you plan to follow.
Jupiter, Venus & Saturn
The Guru planet himself is in Hasta nakshatra at the moment, the sign of “the hand,” which adds even more expansion to our opportunities for learning and strengthening our skills. He is also aspecting Venus, who is now in Taurus, his own sign. Venus in Taurus (most of this month), elevates the artistry in our life, bringing more beauty and amplifying our connection with all sensual pleasures — nature, art, music, food, and our surroundings in general.
With this aspect it could be a good month to improve your material situation … but be aware that retrograde Saturn is also aspecting Venus now, having just transited back into sidereal Scorpio. While Jupiter’s aspect helps us to expand in Venusian endeavors, Saturn’s disciplinarian mood may bring up feelings of restriction. Take this as a lesson to broaden your vision and look at the long-term results of your decisions. Indulging in your pleasures now may require a bit of hard-work and commitment because of Saturn’s influence, but that is a reminder of the effort we will need to put forth over time to support our actions.
Saturn is transiting back into sidereal Scorpio tomorrow, June 22nd. The coming months will be Saturn’s last visit to Scorpio for the next 27 years. The last three years, during his transit here, have been a pivotal junction for many, and have helped us to orient ourselves towards new goals and commitments. We are now more clear where we are willing to put our effort, which parts of our life deserve our perseverance, and where we are willing to face the fear, pressures, and challenges that come along the path. We have particularly resolved to take responsibility for our own internal development, as Saturn in Scorpio compelled us to face our deepest emotional vulnerability.
Saturn (Lord Shani) has been doing his dance around the edges of Scorpio and Sagittarius throughout this year. He first entered sidereal Sagittarius on January 26th. He slowed to a stop and began retrograde motion on April 5th. For some time now, he has been at the cusp of these two signs, which is known as a gandanta zone — a knot — representing a place in the zodiac that brings up a lot of our most tightly-wound karma and inner struggles. As the planet of career, commitment, pressure, and maturity, Saturn’s visit to this part of the sky causes us to look at some of our most resistant blockages around these concepts.
On June 22nd Shani officially crosses from Sagittarius back into Scorpio, but we will continue to feel the pressure of his gandanta position for a few more weeks. Astrologers calculate the breadth of the gandanta zone differently; some would say that Saturn’s gandanta transit is lasting for roughly the month of June, while others would mark it as lasting from May through November of this year.
Shani will continue his retrograde motion until August 25th, when he’ll turn direct and continue through Scorpio until late October. The retrograde motion of Saturn in general helps us to slow down and become more introspective about our commitments, our long-term goals, and how we handle pressure and hard work. It also helps us to look at some of our deeper fears, and areas where we hold back because of an innate inner feeling of restriction.
As Saturn passes through Scorpio, we are re-evaluating our goals most specifically in the areas of life indicated by Scorpio’s house in our natal chart. This retrograde trip through Scorpio lasts from now through October, and is the last portion of Saturn’s 3-year transit here, during which time we adjusted our goals and commitments in one particular area of life.*
Those with natal Saturn in Scorpio are just finishing their Saturn’s return, while those with natal Saturn in Sagittarius have just begun it. Those with natal Moon in Libra are just finishing the Sade Sati period (7.5 year influence of Saturn), while those with natal Moon in Capricorn have just begun. Those with natal Moon in Scorpio or Sagittarius are well into the middle of Sade Sati.
Now is a good time to reflect on the work you’ve been doing over the last three years, in terms of your work and your commitments, particularly in the “house” marked by Scorpio in your natal chart. Saturn’s transit of Scorpio has forced us to step up and face our fears, especially in regards to our internal transformation. He has helped us to commit to our own self-development and become more gracious in accepting the challenging work of acknowledging our own inner vulnerability. During the next few months, reflects on the lessons you have been learning along this line, and take one last chance to affirm your commitment to developing strength from within your sensitive internal waters.
*If you are already on my mailing list, you should have received the Saturn Retrograde Guide with Saturn-in-Scorpio forecast for your sign, either in April 2016 or when you joined the list, whichever is more recent. (Search your inbox for it if you’re already on the list!) If you’ve not yet joined the list, you can get the Saturn Retrograde Guide by signing up here, for free!
The full Moon occurs in sidereal Gemini tonight! The exact full Moon time is 6:34 am EST on January 12th. This full Moon falls in the Vedic nakshatra of Punarvasu, a constellation of renewal. Meaning “good again,” or “more light,” this is a great nakshatra to connect with as we begin the new year. This star-sign comes after the stormy and turbulent nakshatra of Ardra, and represents the calm after the storm. Many people experienced 2016 as especially turbulent (and many astrological alignments contributed to that!). Now is is an excellent time to be reminded of the rebirth that can come after chaotic times.
Punarvasu can be identified in sidereal Gemini, around the stars Castor and Pollux. The preceding constellation, Ardra, is ruled by Rudra, a fierce form of Shiva. He reminds us of the destructive powers of nature, and challenges us to find peace and consciousness amidst turmoil. Punarvasu comes after Ardra, and signifies the return of light. During this time of year we begin to feel the light of the Sun returning after the December solstice, as the seasons begin to wax in the northern hemisphere. The deity for this nakshatra is Aditi, a fertile mother-goddess. After the rains, the ground becomes moist, lush and ready for new life to begin its journey upward.
What have the intense rains of winter watered in your life? What has been destroyed by them, creating space for something new to be planted? Where have you nourished the grounds thus far, and what do you desire to grow this year? Now is a time to rise up and connect with your intentions, offering your vision forward and finding the light after the wreckage. The Gemini full Moon offers a fresh start. This is fitting as it coincides with the start of the New Year, and also with Makara Sankranti (January 14th), a Hindu holiday celebrating the return of the light when the Sun enters sidereal Capricorn.
Both Gemini and Punarvasu are strongly dual in nature, enabling us to see both sides of a situation. In Western lore, the twins, Castor and Pollux are found here. In Vedic mythology, Gemini is called Mithuna, “the pair.” The two figures were seen in Vedic times as a male and a female, representing the yin and yang aspects of existence, and the dance between the two.
Gemini reminds us to be open, curious, and playful. The full Moon here offers a contrast to the strongly opinionated and purposeful energy of Sagittarius, where we began this cycle. Under a Sagittarian influence, we move and act closely in alignment with our beliefs. This can sometimes lead us in the right direction, but sometimes can lead us into dogmatism or over-zealousness. Gemini reminds us to remain flexible, and allows us to change directions if we want. The light of the full Moon here illuminates the amenable and resilient side of ourselves, and aids us in going with the flow and adapting to life’s circumstance. This lunar cycle teaches us to move with purpose, while at the same time reminds us of the need to stay open.
The energy of this month may be very tough on relationships, as we’ve had Venus, Mars, and Ketu joining together in Aquarius for the last couple of weeks. All three remain here for another week more to come, and Venus and Ketu stay joined through the 27th. Ketu with Venus brings up doubts and shadows around relationships, while Mars adds a level of passion and intensity that can result in arguing or fighting. Ketu also has the potential to break things and set us free from the past. If you’ve been trying to move forward from something or someone, this could be the time. If you’re trying to hold something together, be aware of the added challenge that is coming from this alignment. With these planets in Aquarius, work on aligning your relationships, pursuit of happiness, and actions with your highest goals. Service to society or a greater cause will help you to work with these energies now.
We’re nearing another eclipse cycle, with the nodes eclipsing the Moon and Sun (partially) on February 10th and 26th. This is the last full eclipse cycle with the nodes on the Leo-Aquarius axis. If you never read the report for your sign about this, download the free e-book now. The coming eclipse cycle is a final time to get a really good glimpse of our shadows around power and service, and particularly in relation to the house-axis aligned with Leo and Aquarius in your Vedic chart. If there are lessons you’ve been trying to ignore for the past year, don’t pass up this opportunity to pay attention to them and make some changes in your life, whether internal or external.
At the end of the month, on January 26th, Saturn will enter Sagittarius for the first time, after a 2.5-year transit through Scorpio. This will bring big changes in where and how we approach our long-term goals, and where we feel acute pressures in life. Then on the 27th, Venus will transit into Pisces, where he’ll remain exalted for four full months, including a 6-week period in retrograde motion. This has major impact potential for relationships and how we approach happiness in general. Stay updated to get the upcoming forecasts for your sign on both of these major transits!
On Monday night the Moon and Sun will coincide in the heart of the scorpion, leading us into a New Moon in Scorpio in the early morning. The exact conjunction will be at 4:18 am PST on the morning of November 29th. The dark Moon night is always a time to go inward, and this new Moon in particular offers the chance to go really deep. Not only are the Moon and Sun coinciding in Scorpio, a sign of depth and intensity, but they are right in the middle of a kala sarpa yoga between Rahu and Ketu.
At this new Moon time, Rahu and Ketu fall at 13° of sidereal Leo and Aquarius, respectively, and Sun and Moon at 13° of Scorpio, exactly in between. A kala sarpa yoga is formed when all of the planets are on one side of the Rahu-Ketu axis, with none in the planets on the other side (see picture). This refers to the seven major planets recognized in Vedic astrology–Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn.
Kala Sarpa can be translated as either the “black snake” or the “serpent of time.” As you can imagine, whenever this alignment occurs we experience some intense or dark energy at large. One of the best words to describe the kala sarpa circumstance is heavy. The nodes, also called the shadow planets, relate to some of our deepest subconscious drives and karma. When the other planets fall on one side of their axis, a lot of the subconscious buildup can surface all of a sudden and we can feel overwhelmed with the amount that life is putting on our plate. It can also appear as the actual occurrence of intense karmic events. If we stay dedicated in practice, meditation, and focus, however, we can find clearer vision and discrimination on how we can use these circumstances for our growth.
We’ve experienced the kala sarpa yoga many times in the last year. When this alignment occurs, it lasts for two weeks at a time, from when the Moon passes Rahu until it passes Ketu, after passing all the other planets in between. This incidence will end in about a week, and then two weeks later we’ll begin the last kala sarpa cycle until late next year. Between now and then there will always be some planets on both sides of the Rahu-Ketu axis. In the late part of 2017, they will all pass Rahu and it will begin again, for two weeks at a time over a few months.
There’s even more pressure surfacing to begin this lunar cycle, because Saturn is also situated in Scorpio, joining the new Moon. It is said that when Saturn visits you, he sits on your head, like a great weight. Adding his weight to this new Moon in Scorpio, we can expect to feel some heaviness and pressure through this lunar cycle, particularly when it comes to our own inner emotions and transformational power. Saturn’s goal is to teach us how to slow down, be patient, make commitments, and persevere through hard work to reach our desired long-term goals. When we apply his energy this way in Scorpio, we can make great strides in spiritual and emotional development.
Scorpio is a feminine water sign, which brings up our inner emotions, and is ruled by Mars, the warrior planet. It is here that we face our deepest emotions and become aware of our vulnerable nature. We face the fears that are hidden deep within, and the temporary nature of all we hold dear. I think of Scorpio as the sign of the spiritual warrior, because once we become aware of these things, we can turn on Mars’ strength and courage in order to defeat these inner challenges.
Following the new Moon in Scorpio, it will be a month to get in touch with your inner warrior. Allow the passion and the tears, and use them to fortify yourself. It’s time to call upon the courage to look at our own dark sides. See the shadows in your mind that are holding you up–your fears–and strike your warrior’s sword against them.
The nakshatra (Vedic constellation) where this New Moon falls is Anuradha. Anuradha makes up the middle of Scorpio, including the bright star Antares, called the heart of the scorpion. Anuradha is an incredibly devotional nakshatra. It translates as “after Radha,” Krishna’s greatest devotee. Radha is widely recognized as the paramount example of devotion, so the one who chases after her surely wishes to embody and demonstrate devotion. Saturn’s association with Anuradha will help us to persevere in our quest to strengthen ourselves and our emotions.
Despite the difficulty that often accompanies Scorpio, the natural eighth sign, Anuradha is a place where great blossoming is possible. It is thus associated with the symbol of the lotus, whose pure beauty springs from the depths of mud and muck. The ruling deity of Anuradha is Mitra, a god of light and friendship. This reminds us that collaboration can be useful (sometimes even necessary), despite the fiercely introverted quality that the Moon in Scorpio compels. Through devotion and effort, as well as cooperation, the lunar cycle beginning around this star can lead to great successes.
This cycle offers awesome potential for growth and achievement, especially in the realm of overcoming inner fears and strengthening our emotions. An awareness of our fragility may be surfacing acutely, but the warrior spirit of Mars and the committed potential of Saturn offer tools to forge through the fears and move closer towards our goals. Mars and Saturn are considered malefic planets, but they are actually the ones who present challenges and opportunities that will make us stronger and wiser. Take some time to sit quietly on this dark Moon night, looking inward to see where you can wield your warrior’s sword and pressure yourself aptly, in order to transform and allow your inner lotus to blossom.
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