Mercury retrograde has begun again as we approach the darkest day of the year on the winter solstice tomorrow (northern hemisphere bias). It’s natural to feel more inwardly drawn than usual during these days, so take it easy on yourself if you feel like hanging back from the party or social atmosphere. We’re getting the smallest dose of the Sun’s energy right now, who is responsible for our feelings of connection with divine strength, power, and inspiration. We’re in the most yin time of year, so the sensitive receptivity of the divine feminine is highly perceptible.
Take some time to be quiet and sit in the stillness, reveling in the amazing potency of the moment between the exhale and the inhale (on a solar scale). It’s a moment to feel our roots reaching deep into the earth, into the depths of the inner abyss. (Incidentally, the Sun is in Moola nakshatra at the moment, “the root” constellation in the center of the galaxy. The goddess Nirriti presides here, a fierce version of Kali who wields her powers of death and destruction.)
The winter solstice represents death on many levels, as we have reached the end of the annual solar life cycle. Now is a time for letting go. Release all that has happened in the last year and let the candle blow out where need be. It’s also a time to give thanks for all that’s come and gone, to celebrate it with gratitude, and acknowledge its place in the eternal timeline. We can then allow our vessel to empty in preparation for the new energy that is to come.
Following some days of darkness, the return of the light of Surya (the Sun) is coming soon. He will once again infuse the world with his solar breath. The new solar cycle gives us the opportunity for another year of growth, and recession, expansion, and contraction.
If you’re in the southern hemisphere, jump for joy and celebrate the peak of Surya’s cycle towards you! Revel in the ecstatic moment between the inhale and the exhale. Give thanks for the energy that has filled your cup thus far this year, and prepare for the germination process now that your seeds have been planted. The wheel of time is the only constant backdrop to our existence here.
Om Namah Shivaya Om Kali Ma Om Suryaya Namaha
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Summer Solstice Sagittarius Full Moon: Roots Run Deep
Roots run deep on this summer solstice Sagittarius full Moon, occurring Monday, June 20th at 4:03 a.m. PDT. This full Moon falls in Mula (or Moola) nakshatra, meaning “root,” a Vedic constellation towards the center of the Milky Way. Though technically in Sagittarius, we locate this Vedic star-sign around the tail of the scorpion in Scorpio constellation. Ketu, the south node of the Moon who helps us to channel our hidden psychic wisdom, has a strong influence in Mula.
Surya, the Sun, is reaching the brightest point on his northern course. Here he will illuminate the emotions of the deepest parts of our soul and psyche, lighting up the full Moon, opposite in Mula. (Read more about Surya and The Summer Solstice here.) The energy of Mula has to do with digging to the bottom to reach the root of things. This full Moon may call you to dig deeper into something you have felt curious about. Research and investigation are well-supported, and you may unearth some undiscovered truths. Now is a great time to begin to deepen your knowledge, especially about things like astronomy or astrology. You can also honor and connect with the energy of this full Moon by working with roots, herbs, or medicine.
Be careful, however, because Nirriti is the deity for this nakshatra. She is a dark goddess who conjures death and destruction. She can help us to get to the root of matters by destroying illusion and awakening buried mysteries. She can force us into deeper states of surrender and devotion by her calamitous influence. She may “uproot” us or something in our lives in order to help us to see what is below the surface.
Alongside her devastation, she offers us spiritual tools to face such transformation. She gives the courage and insight needed to explore our own deep hollows from this tamasic nakshatra. Sagittarius’ ruler, Jupiter, still joins the radical and obscuring Rahu in Leo. This could add some strange energy to our discoveries.
Sexuality is heightened around this full Moon, as we touch base with our primal force, so this is a good time to revisit any tantric practices you have learned. The muladhara (base) chakra, our “root support,” deserves attention now. This will help us to harness Mula’s potential energy on this summer solstice Sagittarius full Moon.
The Moon is almost in alignment with the galactic center in sidereal Sagittarius. Sun and Venus are on the opposite side of the earth, in sidereal Gemini, reaching out towards deep space. There is a high vata nature in this area of the sky, the Mercury-ruled air sign. Be careful not to move too fast or try to keep score in your relationships. Venus is still combust, so the heat of this solstice Sun could make us quick to feel discontent when we don’t get what we want.
The dual nature of this sign will cause you to jump quickly from one desire to another. A partner may have trouble trying to keep up. You might also get exhausted if you spend too much time over-analyzing, or try to accomplish too many things at once. The cosmic alignment is elevating the air and fire elements this month, so take some time to connect with the earth and the water elements to bring yourself more balance.
We feel more heated over personal connections, now that retrograde Mars has moved back into sidereal Libra. This directs some of our energy towards strengthening our connections and working to see how balanced they are, but we’re still not able to assert ourselves in a straightforward manner. Do your best to avoid turning everything into a fight. Mars will begin moving direct again in July.
Saturn is just about opposite to Mercury at the moment, so communication can be slow or strained. We may feel fear or hesitation about expressing ourselves, or may take a more serious tone than intended.
The Mula full Moon is actually a great time to go inward, because this nakshatra is really supportive of meditation. Even though the Moon is full, don’t be afraid to take some time to yourself. Enjoy the radiant power of the Sun shining forth from within you, and remember that he is the planet who brings the opportunity for enlightenment. There is a great potential to illuminate some deep knowledge on this summer solstice Sagittarius full Moon.
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!
Today is the longest and brightest day of the year in the northern hemisphere (and the shortest in the southern). This is the peak of the Sun’s ascending cycle, or the solar year, which began for northerners on December 21st of last year. From now on the Sun will be on its southern course from Earth’s perspective, and the hours of daylight will gradually decrease until the completion of the cycle and the darkest day of the year on the coming December solstice. This is a great day to celebrate and honor Surya, the Sun, the source of energy and consciousness that is offered to us with endless love from the center of the solar system.
The Sun represents higher consciousness, and the illumination that dawns within us through awareness of the source (spirit, or the atman in Vedic thought). The Sun has the power to reveal this atman to us if we seek to understand our universal power (which is selfless and generous) rather to yoke his power to support the ego. His function is to purify us with his radiant light, shining consciousness on any areas within that are dark or confused. The Sun helps us to see our true nature and how we can live in integrity with the world around us.
In Vedic mythology and astrology, the Sun represents pure masculine (or yang, creative and upward/outward-moving) energy. (The Moon, on the other hand, embodies pure feminine, yin, inward reflective energy.) With the increasing hours of daylight during the first half of the solar year, we’ve likely moved more outward into the world and its activities, creating new projects and undertakings, and putting our offerings into the world. With the luminous strength of the Sun offered to us abundantly, it’s been a time of synthesizing and allowing it to regenerate through us into activity that is helpful to others. As a sattvic planet, the Sun’s energy is most beneficial to us if we share it with others. If one attempts to harness the immense power of the Sun for oneself only, the heat and fire of it can burn us. The principle of a loving father or a leader is demonstrated through the Sun; a leader who attempts to lead as an oppressor of others usually faces opposition and struggle, whereas a leader who supports those below him as a team or family is able to move forward with greater success, simultaneously benefiting the whole.
Give thanks for this time of abundant light! Today is a time to celebrate the gifts of divine energy and consciousness given freely by the source that supports our lives here on Earth–Surya, the Sun. As June 21st has also been declared the International Day of Yoga, this is a great time to offer some sun salutations (Surya Namaskar) to this beloved planet and deity. The potency of this prayer (like any) is enhanced greatly if you are offering it with a large group! Fittingly, this is also Father’s day, when we honor the same qualities of selflessness, strength, and supportive love in fathers that we honor in the Sun. These principles are the embodiment of the Divine Masculine. Om Suryaya Namaha!