The Sun and Moon are getting closer and closer as we head towards a Dark Moon night this coming Wednesday. The New Moon in sidereal Cancer will be exact on July 31st at 8:12 pm PDT. This completes the previous lunar cycle which brought on the eclipses that affected many people in deep ways, especially those running dashas of Rahu or Ketu.
The Cancer cycle could be a chance to cool down a little and come back into the heart after the heady and philosophical cycle of Gemini-Sag, with all the added eclipse energy. Cancer is the Moon’s sign, the sign of the Divine Mother and her nourishing waters. Spend time in a body of water this month, and connect with your own internal waters (feelings!) around this New Moon. Cancer is the fourth sign naturally, relating to the heart and the breasts, and is feminine or yin, helping us to direct our energy inwards.
Within Cancer, the Sun and Moon are joining in the Vedic nakshatra called Pushya, meaning “the nourisher.” Symbolized by the udder of a cow, this star-sign gives a sense of abundance and sustenance. It can elicit a strong sense of family and responsibility, relating to both the divine mother and the divine father. Its deity is Brihaspati, a form of Jupiter who showed generosity and unconditional fatherly love in the story of how he adopted Mercury (a love child between his wife and the Moon). Fertility is strong under this star, and could be throughout this Moon cycle.
Mars Debilitated, Venus Combust
Mars is still traveling in Cancer, his sign of debilitation, for another week until he enters Leo on August 8th. Mars-ruled folks may feel their usual fight and fire is diminished, or that they’re needing more comfort and cuddling than normally.
Venus is also transiting through Cancer. He is already traveling fairly close to the Sun, but he’ll enter the highly combust zone (within 3 degrees), on August 3rd. With Venus so close to the Sun, we may find some of our worldly pleasurable pursuits feeling “burned up” by the purifying power of Surya. Relationships could be under a lot of pressure, or it may just be so hot where you are that it’s hard to enjoy anything. Venus reaches total combustion when he aligns with the Sun on August 14th, and won’t leave the 3-degree proximity zone until August 24th. (Looking at a 6-degree orb, Venus won’t leave combustion until September 4th.)
Jupiter Turning Direct
After several months, Jupiter is finally slowing down in his retrograde journey back through Scorpio, and will station and turn direct on August 11th. As he begins his journey forward once again, you’ll notice affects the most directly on the areas of life ruled by Jupiter in your chart, and depending on the unique placement of planets for you. In a general sense, we may notice things changing directions somewhat in the broader ideological field, as we have had a period of retrospection over principles and beliefs for the past several months.
Kala Sarpa Cycles
This New Moon finds all the planets in between the two nodes, on one side of the sky, creating a Kala Sarpa alignment. We’ll come under this alignment for half the month from now through December. When the Moon is on the same side of the nodal axis as the other planets, Kala Sarpa is on, and when he transits from Capricorn through Taurus, it is off. This can intensify the effects of the nodes, especially for those who have prominent nodal placements in the natal chart, or are running cycles of either Rahu or Ketu, bringing shadow work and intensity to the surface.
Mercury Turning Direct
Mercury is completely stationary at the time of this New Moon, turning “direct” less than an hour after the Sun-Moon conjunction. For those of you who have felt the Mercury Retrograde effects strongly this month, you can breathe a sigh of relief!
The next full Moon is on August 14th-15th.
This is a great time to have a personal reading– either an Initial Reading if this is your first time working with me, or an Eclipse Reading, if we have had a previous session, can help you to integrate the lessons that arose during the eclipse cycle.
We can bask under a full Moon in Sagittarius tonight, as the Moon waxes towards total fullness opposite the Sun tomorrow at 2:38 pm PDT in Uttara Ashada nakshatra. With the Moon within degrees of south node Ketu, and the Sun (in sidereal Gemini) close to north node Rahu, this will bring in a partial lunar eclipse, the second eclipse of our summer series. Saturn is also joining Moon and Ketu, while Venus joins the Sun and Rahu. Due to the Hindu month we are in, this full Moon lunar eclipse also coincides with Guru Purnima, the auspicious Hindu holiday for honoring our teachers.
Sagittarius Full Moon
This full Moon is at the very end of Sagittarius, at 29°57’, pretty much on the sandhi point of transition between Sagittarius and Capricorn. Nevertheless, having been in a Gemini Sun cycle for the last month or so, this full Moon will highlight for us the way that inspiration and higher teachings can help us when we are stuck in an intellectual or just playful mode of being. This is the second full Moon in Sagittarius in a row, with the last one occurring in the early degrees of sidereal Sag in June. This once in a “blue Moon” event just means that we get to double up on the Sagittarius lessons.
It’s a fitting time for Guru Purnima, therefore, as Jupiter, or Guru in Sanskrit, is the ultimate teacher. Guru Purnima is a time for honoring all teachers, but particularly any spiritual teacher or satguru in your life. It is an auspicious time to connect with your teacher and teachings, to offer back reverence and come closer to that which guides you towards your best self. Under the full Moon in Sagittarius, our heart is illuminated as well, and more easily comes into alignment with higher teachings.
Uttara Ashada (or Uttarashada) is the Vedic star-sign or nakshatra that bridges the end of Sagittarius and the beginning of Capricorn. It is translated as the “latter invincible one,” and has to do with victory and achievement. It is ruled by the ten Vishvadevas, the lords of dharma, and is also associated with the Sun, the sattvic purifyer. This full Moon is a time to let impurities burn away as we align ourselves with purpose and principle, orienting ourselves towards spiritual as well as worldly victory. This nakshatra’s animal symbol is the male mongoose, making it the only nakshatra (of the odd 27) that does not have a female counterpart.
The eclipse that coincides with this full Moon (maximum eclipse at 2:30 pm Tuesday) will make this an even more powerful Guru Purnima. As the shadow of the earth comes partially across the Moon, we may feel cut off from our minds and hearts, or feel a sensation of darkness over the heart as shadows surface that we are not usually fully aware of. This is the perfect time to dive into sadhana and connect with your guru, asking her to help remove any blockages, while doing your part by looking at and acknowledging what is there.
Eclipses offer us an opportunity to go deeper into what ails us, and through conscious interaction with this, we can move a lot of energy at this time. For those of us who aren’t willing to look at what’s up (or just haven’t noticed that this opportunity is being presented), eclipses can feel like they are wreaking havoc or bringing up extra stress in our lives. This is a good time of year to receive a personal reading, which can offer insight into where this eclipse is hitting your chart and life, and help you to discover ways to work with the planetary energies. This eclipse cycle is the first of three that will occur with the nodes along this axis, from now through next summer.
Lunar Eclipse Visibility, July 16, 2019
Venus is closely aligned with Rahu during this eclipse, which could make some of the shadows come up particularly around our relationships and how we go about seeking happiness in the world. Saturn, opposite with Ketu and the Moon, can teach us to balance this pleasure-seeking with the commitment and hard work that is needed to reach our long-term goals.
Venus will transit into Cancer on the 22nd, and travel there through August 16th. With Venus in the open-hearted sign of the Moon, this is an important time to watch your boundaries, as they can tend to spread wide open under this placement.
Mercury has been traveling in retrograde motion since July 7th (and also engaged in a planetary war with Mars from July 7th-9th). He will enter another war, this time with Venus, on July 24th and 25th. This can pin our desires and pleasures against our rationalizing intellect, with Venus winning this war due to his more luminous appearance in the early morning sky. (Mercury will be barely visible, as both planets are rising during the dawn, just before sunrise). Mercury transits back into his own sign of Gemini for a day or so on the 30th, before stationing and turning direct on July 31st, the next New Moon.
This is a great time to have a personal reading– either an Initial Reading (includes looking at the eclipses) if this is your first time working with me, or an Eclipse Reading if we have had a previous session.
This month as the Dark Moon and the Sun come together, the Moon will cast his shadow fully across the Sun for a Total Solar Eclipse in sidereal Gemini, on Tuesday, July 2nd. The eclipse maximum will be at 12:22 pm PDT, just a few minutes after the exact New Moon (Sun-Moon alignment) at 12:16 pm. The time from the very beginning to end of the eclipse will be from 9:55 am through 2:50 pm PDT, but it will only be visible from the southeast Pacific and a few places in South America (see map). Nevertheless, we will feel the effects worldwide, as the light of the Sun (our strength and connection to source) is temporarily blocked out, due to the Moon’s close proximity with the shadow planet, north node Rahu.
Total Solar Eclipse
We’ve already been experiencing the effects of this eclipse for several weeks (possibly as far back as a month, when the last lunar cycle began). The Sun has been in the same sign as Rahu and the nodes have also gathered power by amplifying that of the two malefics with whom they’ve been conjunct. Saturn has been conjunct Ketu, in Sagittarius, since March and has been moving within one degree of him since late April, while Rahu was conjunct Mars in Gemini from May 6th through June 21st. When the nodes join another planet they intensify the power of that planet, and both Mars and Saturn are ones who have tougher lessons to teach us.
This eclipse, and the following lunar eclipse on the July 16th full Moon, will bring to the forefront any shadow work that we have to do along the Gemini-Sagittarius axis. In a general sense, this means you will see the imbalance between your practical, analytical mind, and your idealistic action-oriented motivations. There are many layers to add to this, however, due to the conjunction of Saturn with Ketu (and until recently, Mars), with Rahu, Sun and Moon. You will be seeing your shadows or imbalances in the areas of life indicated by Gemini and Sagittarius in your natal chart, and any planets you have there natally will also be affected.
Gemini New Moon
The Gemini cycle, beginning on this New Moon, is one ruled by Mercury, the planet of the intelllect. Gemini, or Mithuna, “the twins,” is a dual air sign, one which brings a lot of movement, especially of the mind. It is a place where we are able to step into another person’s shoes, or to see both sides of a situation or argument. You may also feel that you have too many ideas coming in (obsessive thoughts much?), and with Rahu here now, you may also have too many words coming out. Be careful of your speech this month, and make sure what you choose to say is true, necessary, and kind. This is a month where only one or two out of three could prove sorely insufficient.
Furthermore, the Sun and Moon are coinciding for this New Moon in Ardra nakshatra. Ardra is known as “the moist one,” but is not as gentle as that might sound. It is ruled by Rudra, a fierce form of Lord Shiva, and the one associated with storms. The moisture comes from a turbulent tempest, and we may experience some destructive forces of nature or human nature occurring on or near the solar eclipse in Ardra.
After his amplified six weeks with Rahu, Mars has now moved into Cancer where he is debilitated. Mars is the warrior, the inner fighter (who motivates our outer fighter), and the planet of concentrated action. In Cancer, he becomes neecha or debilitated because Cancer is the gentle, watery sign of the Moon. It is a place of comfort and nurturing. This could give our fiery spirit a chance to take a break and soften a bit, but you may find yourself lacking the courage or strength needed for certain activities.
Mercury and Mars will be in a planetary war, graha yuddha, from July 7th-9th, just as Mercury stations and begins retrograde motion (July 7th). The war between these two can pin our rational side against our gut and inner power. With Mars debilitated and Mercury sva in his own sign, you may find the intellect winning out over the gut.
This is a great time to have a personal reading– either an Initial Reading (includes looking at the eclipses) if this is your first time working with me, or an Eclipse Reading if we have had a previous session.
Today’s full Moon reached maximum brightness in sidereal Sagittarius at 1:31 am PDT (June 17, 2019), in Moola nakshatra. In the galactic center, this full Moon is literally in the middle of a very polarized sky. The chart below shows this extreme polarization, with Moon joined by two malefics, Ketu and retrograde Saturn, opposite Sun, Rahu, Mars (the other 3 malefics) and Mercury. Jupiter and Venus align in opposition on the Taurus-Scorpio axis.
With the Sun in Gemini and the full Moon in Sagittarius, we get a chance to experience the contrast between our intellectual, analytical, and flexible side and our more inspired, philosophical, and perhaps even dogmatic side. Sagittarius is a sign of inspiration, ruled by Jupiter, and is a place where we often take action (fire sign) over principles and beliefs that we believe in.
Gemini, on the other hand, is an airy dual sign ruled by Mercury, the planet of the intellect. During the Sun-in-Gemini cycle we may find ourselves more mobile and flexible than usual, more social and communicative. The malefics joining the Sun, however, can add intensity to our communication style this month, but hopefully are aimed at helping us to purify and strengthen ourselves as we shine light in the dark corners.
With Moon, Ketu, and Saturn in Sagittarius, we should be able to see where we went wrong in the past (Ketu), as far as taking a stand over principles, and also where we need to be more committed in the future (Saturn).
The full Moon was at 1°47’ of sidereal Sagittarius, aligning with the Vedic nakshatra Moola (or Mula), “the root.” With the full Moon here amplified by all the conjoining and aligning planets, we have a great opportunity to get to the root of some core issues. The planets bring forth lessons to help us to grow, and behind every challenge there is an underlying cause or origin. Sometimes the origin of a certain karma we are experiencing may be from a past action in this life, or a past lifetime. It’s okay if we aren’t aware of the exact circumstance that created our present situation, but it’s important that we pay attention to the lesson that is being shown to us.
Five Malefics Joining
The so-called “malefics,”— Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu — are the grahas or planets that attempt to teach us our karmic lessons through more challenging means. The Sun is like the divine father, and yet, like a father, he can feel tough as he teaches us, his powerful rays sometimes burning as they attempt to purify us of negativities. Mars, the planet of strength, compels us to strengthen ourselves through discipline or by asserting ourselves against challengers, calling forth our inner warrior. Saturn, like an old wise person, reminds us that time will pass and our actions will have long-term consequences, thus compelling us to work hard and endure stress and pressure.
The nodes, Rahu and Ketu, are the “shadow planets.” We cannot see them as they do not have planetary bodies like the others, but we see shadows appear over the Sun and Moon when they align with the nodes during eclipses. They relate to some of our most subconscious karma, the places where we are often confused, and their lessons take the longest to learn. These lessons become more obvious and pointed during “eclipse season,” which is currently upon us.
Look for the exact alignment of Saturn and Ketu on June 23rd (mean node calculation). This will be a critical moment for balancing the lessons of the past with the plan for the future. Stay as present, mindful and grounded as possible to yield positive change, instead of implosive force.
We are in the orb of the eclipses already, as Sun and Moon are joined the nodes, and we are approaching the partial solar eclipse on the New Moon of July 2nd, 2019. The eclipse will be visible only from South America and the southern Pacific, but its effects will be felt by all of us. You may already be experiencing some disruption or disturbance in the areas of your life indicated by Sagittarius and Gemini in your natal chart. It is important to pay attention to the challenging energy that is arising, and examine where you can improve yourself in order to meet this energy better.
The second eclipse of this set will be on the Guru Purnima full Moon of July 16th. This partial lunar eclipse will be visible from much of the world. It is best to focus on spiritual practices on the days and times of the eclipses, and avoid making any important decisions under stress, duress or confusion. Self-inquiry and insight can lead to some real transformation, however, if you apply yourself to your practices throughout the eclipse season.
We are also approaching the solstice on Friday, June 21st. This will be the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and the shortest day in the South. The Sun is at its most northern course and dominates the days during this time, burning and purifying a lot in its path and offering abundant energy for outward action and leadership. In the south, this may be the most inward time of year, as the darkest day comes with the fewest hours of sunlight. As we follow nature’s rhythms, we may experience our own “peak” of sorts as we reach this turning point in the planetary cycle.
Eclipses are powerful times to receive a Vedic astrology reading, looking closely at yourself and your karma and being willing to work with the planetary energies. You can request an Initial Reading if this is your first reading with me (which will include looking at your life karma and the eclipses), or an Eclipse Reading if we have worked together before.
We’ll bask under the full Moon glow on Friday night, as the Moon journeys toward total fullness at 3° sidereal Scorpio on Saturday, May 18th at 2:11 pm PDT. Just barely in Anuradha nakshatra, this full Moon is close to the degree where Moon is debilitated, but is greatly enhanced by two factors: full illumination by the Sun (exactly opposite), and conjunction with a bright and Retrograde Jupiter.
Full Moon in Scorpio
With the Sun transiting sidereal Taurus right now, there is a latent sense that our inner power is connected to the earthly realm. We’re drawn towards things we can touch, getting our hands dirty in the earth, connecting with crystals, herbs, and other Venusian physicalities. As the Moon waxes into fullness in Scorpio, however, the emotional mind feels strongly connected to the watery element. Scorpio in particular, is place where we often find turbulent waters, as it is ruled by fiery and passionate Mars, and can bring a lot of uncertainty and change by its own nature.
It is for these reasons that the Moon is considered “debilitated” in early Scorpio. The mind needs a steady place to rest, and it can be difficult to find that amidst the emotional passion of this sign. This Moon is gaining a huge amount of support, however, that can allow us to find a lot of advantage despite this tenuous location in the zodiac. When the Moon is full, the emotional mind and heart are bright and strong, catching those rays of the Sun directly and being most illuminated.
Additionally, being joined by Jupiter is a great boon for the Moon, as Jupiter can add inspiration, grace, luck, and optimism to the mind and the situation. This Jupiter in particular is incredibly bright (you can see them together over the next several nights), being in retrograde motion and coming closer and closer to being fully opposite the Sun as well.
That means it’s a great Full Moon to draw out your inner spiritual warrior. This is the higher potential of a Moon in Scorpio, and this particular full Moon sets us up nicely to access this. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all the emotions and vulnerability that are coming up, call upon those teachings (Jupiter) and support systems that you have found in this life, because they are close at hand to guide you through and out of any mucky stuff that’s coming up. The fullness of the Moon will allow your heart and mind to shine brightly through any shadowy spots.
This Moon is in the early degrees of Anuradha nakshatra, which can be translated as “after Radha” (implying devotion), or “later success.” Ruled by Mitra, a god of friendship, the energy of this star fosters cooperation and kindness. There is a good chance for later success, after effort, and often in far-away places from where one started. The full Moon here will take on a more jovial quality, so we can hopefully lighten our hearts in the midst of some of the intense energy being raised by the nodes.
Mars & Rahu
Shadows are definitely at hand, as we are facing some pretty intense alignments on both sides of the nodal axis right now. Mars and Rahu are joining in sidereal Gemini (since May 6th, and until June 22nd). Mars can be aggressive, activating our natural instincts for self-protection and survival, while Rahu can be explosive and aggressive because he is just so agitated and overwhelmed, as well as confused. These two together can stimulate a lot of arguments, heated debates, misunderstandings, and just plain harsh language (I’ve noticed these things in people around me a lot this month so far).
If you’re naturally fiery, be aware of this alignment, and especially of how Mars and Rahu could seep into your communication, being in the sign of Gemini right now. The danger of this conjunction may be somewhat mitigated on June 1st, when Mercury joins them in Gemini. Joining as their impartial ruler, Mercury may be able to hone the volatility into a more practical and level-headed argument. If you’re clear and directed, this could be a time to speak up for things that you really believe in, as a lot is being churned up on the opposite side of this axis, by Saturn and Ketu in Sagittarius.
Ketu & Saturn
Ketu and Saturn are now traveling so closely together that they are really opening a doorway into latent unconscious energies. Ketu brings up a lot of things from the past, while Saturn helps us to look at the future, and tells us what we must do in the present that is difficult in order to get where we want to go. In the sign of Sagittarius, a lot of big ideas (philosophical, spiritual, political) may be under scrutiny right now.
Ketu can show us where things went wrong in the past, and Saturn can help us to take a stand to correct things for the future. Of course, ideologies differ, and under what can be visibly seen as a very polarized chart, the ideas under scrutiny may be coming from two vastly opposing sides. Expect the intensity of this feeling of polarization to have one peak around May 20th (when Saturn and Ketu come into exact alignment at 1:05 am, mean node calculation), remain high through October, and last through the end of the year, while they remain in the same sign.
The polarization of Mars-Rahu and Saturn-Ketu is probably having a transformative affect on your personal life in the areas of life shown by sidereal Sagittarius and Gemini, as well as those areas ruled by any planets that you have in either of these signs. You can book a personal reading to better understand your personal chart, and this will include a look at the effects of the current transits and what they mean for your life this year.
Sun and Moon join in sidereal Aries and bring a dark Moon night this Friday before their exact conjunction on May 4th at 3:46 pm PDT. At 20° of Aries, this New Moon begins a lunar cycle under Bharani nakshatra, the sign of birth, death, and rebirth. Aries ruler Mars is now joining Rahu, which adds volatility to this cycle. The Sun and Moon are nearly opposite the bright and retrograde Jupiter and Saturn, the latter of whom is having a close conjunction with Ketu now, and for the next several months.
Aries – Bharani Cycle
Aries is the sign where the Sun is exalted, meaning our collective health, energy, and sense of strength and power is well-supported at this time. That’s why the springtime in the north often brings us out of our shells, finding inspiration and ready to begin new projects. Aries has a birthing energy within itself, as it is the “let’s go” first sign of the twelve rashis.
Within sidereal Aries, Bharani nakshatra spans the middle section, associated with three bright hot stars in this constellation. This asterism brings a powerful fire energy, an element capable of creation and transformation. Bharani is symbolised by the yoni, the female reproductive organ, and translates as “the bearer.” There is a strong energy for birthing and creating that comes with a lunar cycle under Bharani.
Its Vedic deity, however, is Lord Yama, the god of death. This reminds us that all that begins must eventually end, and in Vedic thought, is then reborn again in a new form. Bharani is known as the star of restraint, yet perhaps that is a lesson that we must strive to learn here, as it can be a very sexual and passionate star-sign. Saturn is debilitated here, showing that discipline and patience do not necessarily come easily.
Mars & Rahu
Mars will transit into sidereal Gemini two days after the New Moon, on May 6th, and join him for about six weeks. These two planets together can create a lot of power, and perhaps violence. Mars has a strong warrior energy, which can be very disciplined with a healthy Mars, while Rahu has the aggressive and forceful energy of an army but without the discipline, or even self-awareness. If you are challenged by Mars in general, are hot-headed, or impulsive, be very aware that these qualities can be heightened during this conjunction.
Mars and Rahu will be joining from now through June 22nd. The volatility may be mitigated, however, after June 1st, when Mercury also joins them in Gemini. Being joined by a dispositor or ruler-of-the-sign can help to stabilize planets and assuage some of the malefic affects.
Jupiter is now in apparent retrograde motion and has transited back into Scorpio from his short jaunt in Sagittarius. On May 6th, he’ll move just past 29°12’ of Scorpio, leaving the heart of the gandanta area (the karmic knot), which may have had us feeling stuck in the Jupiter-ruled areas of your life. Jupiter retrograde is actually an incredibly bright and strong force. Now nearly opposite the Sun (and coming closer to exact opposition each day), he is getting brighter every night, and that auspicious glow can offer luck and prosperity.
There is one particular day of the year that is revered as a day of abundance, auspicious for making investments and starting new ventures. This day is Akshaya Tritiya, is the “third” day of the lunar cycle begun in Aries (it will span from May 6th-7th this year, PDT). It is known as the day of “never diminishing,” hence auspicious for beginning or cultivating that which you would like to grow. People often buy gold or silver, even homes or vehicles, or launch new ventures at this time.
Akshaya Tritiya is auspicious because it is the one lunar phase all year where both the Moon and the Sun are exalted. The Sun is exalted in Aries, while the Moon is exalted in Taurus, Venus’ fertile earth sign. While the body and the active energy principle within can shine with creative strength, the Moon and the feminine principle can rest and be fulfilled.
Retrograde Saturn & Ketu
Saturn stationed and began his retrograde journey on April 29th, just after coming within one degree of the always-retrograde Ketu. The two are now moving together at a snail’s pace, and will remain joined from now through October 1st. They will have exact conjunctions on May 20th, and then again on June 23rd. This conjunction may be taking a toll on the area of your life indicated by sidereal Sagittarius, or at least causing a lot of stress and worry there. Saturn pressures us to think about the big picture, especially our responsibilities, while Ketu compels us to let go of a lot we have held close. Melding these two impetuses will require a determined, and discerning, spiritual focus.
Venus remains exalted in Pisces for a few more days, until he transits into Aries on May 10th. As Bharani’s planetary ruler, this enhances the feminine creative energy we find as we begin this new Moon cycle.
To see how these transits affect your chart specifically, join me for a personal chart analysis based on your birth time and place.