The fullest phase of the moon, Purnima, begins today, and culminates with the Moon at its fullest point tomorrow, February 3rd, in Aslesha (or Ashlesha) nakshatra at 3:09 pm in sidereal Cancer. Aslesha is known as “the entwiner” and is represented by a coiled serpent, referring to the powerful kundalini energy coiled at the base of the spine. This powerful nakshatra, residing entirely in the feminine water sign of Moon-ruled Cancer, can be seen in the sky in the constellation Hydra, the water snake. Because Cancer, Aslesha, and Hydra are all water-related, emotion and intuition will be heightened during this full Moon.
This is the mid-point of the Capricorn Sun cycle that began with new Moon (and Sun) in Uttara Ashada on January 20th, compelling us to stabilize the physical support structures we need to achieve victory in our long-term worldly goals and dharma. This full moon in Cancer will help to shine a light on the emotional and spiritual energies and challenges we are working with and bring insight to help balance our worldly pursuits with what is deep in our hearts. Right now there is more light shed upon where we are emotionally entwined and how that relates to the material structures we seek.
The ruling deities for Aslesha nakshatra are the Nagas, the serpents of wisdom. Lord Vishnu rests upon the thousand-headed serpent, Adishesha, while dreaming of the material universe. The serpent energy comes from realms beyond the illusory dream of maya. The insightful and mystical quality of this nakshatra brings the potential to gain a deeper understanding of some of the mysteries we find within ourselves and unlock hidden potency. Aslesha also has the power to bring up poison, however (like the snake’s venomous bite), so be prepared for potential turbulence, and create some space for meditation and self-reflection in order to harness wisdom from what is revealed from the depths. It’s very possible that during this time some blockages will surface, showing us underlying emotions or energies that have been keeping us from achieving our goals. This is an opportunity to strengthen our weaknesses.
Aslesha is ruled by Mercury, which brings the power to observe and discriminate about these things with a sharp intellect. Mercury is still retrograde, combust, and aspected by its ruler Saturn, as it joins the Sun in Capricorn opposite full Moon and Jupiter. We may feel some pressure or mental stress, as we re-examine past issues and seek structural supports for understanding them. It is a good time to slow down communication. Because of the potential poison that comes with Aslesha, try to use the intellectual and emotional insights for self-reflection, rather than potentially dangerous or harmful words or actions–write a journal! (Aslesha is also the placement where Mars is naturally debilitated, so not the strongest place for taking action.) The feminine water sign of Cancer is about nourishing our heart and emotional body.
We will also feel an added boost in the emotional and intuitive power of this Aslesha/Cancer full moon because of its auspicious conjunction with Jupiter, only 3 degrees from Moon at its peak of fullness. Jupiter, literally “guru” or the “shadow-disperser,” can shed light on many matters, by offering guidance through a philosophy or teaching to help us better understand what is otherwise confusing. Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, giving hope, optimism, and the potential to tap into helpful philosophies to assist us. It is currently retrograde, which may cause us to question or reevaluate the ideas, teachers, or doctrines we usually rely on, and engage new ones instead.
Allow your feeling-sense to guide you during this Cancer full moon and get in touch with what is deep inside your heart. Take some time to sit with it and feel where it is entangled, and observe the insight that comes, which may be contrary to your usual pattern of thinking. Keep a journal nearby and write the thoughts and emotions you experience. Where are you emotionally entwined? Around what themes do you feel fearful or coiled and want to unwind? How do these relate with the goals and material structures you are working on solidifying in this Capricorn Sun cycle? What new teachers or teachings have appealed to your heart recently? How can you turn your emotions into allies that will help you to achieve your goals?
Consider making an altar to the water by placing a bowl of water as the centerpiece and adorning it with flowers, crystals (especially Pearl or Moonstone), incense, and your prayers. Add an image of something normally seen as terrifying to represent your fears, offer it some water and imagine liberating the darkness with love, humility, generosity and compassion. Take a purifying bath or jump into the nearest body of water. Tune in with the water element in your body by sitting or lying with your hands placed gently on your second chakra. You can chant the syllable “Vam” while doing this, silently, out loud, or as an internal vibration. Allow yourself to cry if possible. Be sure to drink lots of water to nourish that element in your body.
If you’re working with a spiritual partner, the power of this full Moon in Aslesha can lend the potential for greater depth in the union. Adding visualization or energetic mobilization practices to your love-making could be beneficial. The kundalini energy of this star, the heart-space of Moon-ruled Cancer, the added intensity of conjunct Jupiter, along with a Venus-Mars conjunction, offers a great opportunity for diving deep and opening more together. Be sure to maintain mindful and discriminating communication, because of the position of Mercury and the potentially sharp or poisonous quality of this nakshatra.
This full moon, honor the emotional currents that run deep and look for how you can balance these with the practical structures needed to reach your goals in the world.