New Moon February 2021
Today the Sun and Moon join at the very end of sidereal Capricorn for a New Moon at 2:06 pm EST. By tomorrow both Sun and Moon will move into sidereal Aquarius, where the Sun will transit for most of this cycle. Both signs are ruled by Saturn, who is joining Sun and Moon in Capricorn as we begin this cycle. Jupiter, Venus, and retrograde Mercury are also there, bringing us a heavy dose of Capricorn energy in a very weighted chart, with all these planets between the two nodes who create a Kaala Sarpa yoga.
New Moon in Capricorn
Saturn has been in his own sign of Capricorn since January of 2020. This earth-sign is about being responsible, focusing on structure, family, and commitments. With Saturn here for the last year he has been strong in his own sign, putting the pressure on us to work hard for what is most important, and spend less time on the frivolous. Saturn pressures us to be mature but his heavy influence can feel like a restrictive weight. As we begin another cycle under strong Saturn’s influence, we may feel like life is a bit serious and difficult right now.
Planetary Pileup: Dhanishtha and Sravana Nakshatras
At the moment of this new Moon we have 6 of the 9 grahas in sidereal Capricorn, with Sun and Moon in Dhanishtha nakshatra and Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and retrograde Mercury all in Sravana nakshatra.
Dhanishtha is the star of wealth (dhana), and thus it does give us the opportunity to start this month with a mindset of prosperity. It is symbolized by the musical drum, showing that we must keep a steady beat, finding the rhythm that is right for us, in order to succeed. Symbolized by the female lion, we can be brave and fierce while also meeting the basic responsibilities of providing for our families. The deities who rule Dhanishtha are the eight Vasus, the elemental deities. This can be a good time to connect with these principles through the study of Ayurveda, especially examining how the elements are at play within each of us.
With four planets in Sravana nakshatra, the universe is asking us to “Listen!” The star of hearing, and symbolized by an ear, Sravana is where we can listen deeply to the lessons that are being taught by the cosmos. As with any New Moon, this is an opportune time of month to be more inward, tuning into the voice of the heart instead of the chatter of the mind and the external world. Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, presides here, further encouraging us to maintain that which is around us as we seek inner wisdom.
With so many planets in both of these nakshatras this lunar cycle could be a good time to begin projects that require long-term commitment and hard work. Take note, however, of the planetary war going on between Jupiter and Venus…
Jupiter and Venus war when they come within 1 degree of each other in the sky, which they will be until 9:31 am EST on February 12th. Neither planet is incredibly strong and luminous already because of their proximity to the Sun — they rise and set during the daylight hours so are not currently visible. Jupiter is debilitated in Capricorn (though neecha bhangha, somewhat helped due to ruler Saturn’s presence there). Therefore beginning any ventures ruled by these two would be less than ideal during the planetary war, and best to wait until after that time has passed. That would include ventures in the arts, music, love, children, education, learning or teaching.
Venus and Mercury will engage in planetary war from February 12th through 13th, and then Mercury will war with Jupiter from the 13th through 15th. After Mercury stations and ends his retrograde journey on the 20th, he will pass by Jupiter again for another war from March 2nd through the 6th.
With all planets clustered together right now (except for lone Mars, who transits his own sign of Aries), the nodes Rahu and Ketu cut the chart sharply in half with no planets on the other side of their axis. This creates the somewhat dreaded Kaala Sarpa yoga — the “black snake” or “serpent of time.” This adds a weight to the chart that compels all of us to dive deeper into sadhana in order to work with the energies at hand. A lot of what is going on may be subconscious or karmic, and requires looking at the aspects of our lives that are difficult to see or understand. The kaala sarpa energy will pervade until Mars enters Gemini on April 14th.
New Moon in Libra and Diwali 2020
The Sun and Moon will join at 29° sidereal Libra tonight, with exact alignment for a New Moon at 12:07 am EST. This Dark Moon night commemorates the Hindu holiday of Diwali, the festival of lights. Tonight will actually be the third but main night of the Diwali celebrations, which began on Dhanteras on November 12th. Be sure to light some candles tonight to celebrate light itself, as we move into the darkest part of the year in the north.
The Sun and Moon again join at the very end of one sign, sidereal Libra, before both moving into Scorpio later the same day. Hence we are beginning the cycle of the Sun in Scorpio, but flavored with a certain Libran energy. The Scorpio Sun cycle is a time that compels us to look deeply into our own deep well of emotion, as Scorpio is both a water and insect sign, driving us towards the flow of emotions that is trapped within our external protective shell. Ruled by Mars, the warrior planet, we can see Scorpio as a spiritual warrior, and this time of year is an important one for exploring our personal vulnerabilities and sensitive places that may need more strength, courage, and healing.
Flavored by the Libra position of Sun and Moon as we begin this cycle, this investigation may lean heavily towards studying how we behave in relationships, what drives us to find balance and compromise, what wounds we are protecting that are keeping us from enjoying the happiness and balance that Venus wants to offer us.
Remembering that while Sun is debilitated in Libra, our sense of strength or our literal health may be weak this month. We continue to contemplate what it takes to maintain our personal strength and not become depleted while also relating with others and seeking outer balance. This is a very important time of year to nourish ourselves, and our inner light, as the outer light is descending. You can also make some herbal tea to nourish yourself during this vata (cold and dry) season. The nature of the Scorpio cycle will show us where we carry inner imbalance that requires some more harmonizing and lightening.
The Sun and Moon join in Vishaka nakshatra, a sign that bridges the end of Libra and the beginning of Scorpio. The “two-branched” sign is ruled by two deities, Lord Indra, the chief of the Gods, and Lord Agni, fire personified. This sign can harness a lot of power and leadership ability, but only once we choose the proper direction. You may find yourself at a crossroads this month and need to call in your guides to help you to choose the right direction, after which a lot of success is possible. The animal symbol for Vishaka is the male tiger.
On the new Moon of the Hindu month of Ashwin (this month), we celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights. The festival began this year on November 12th (North America), on the 13th waning Moon phase of the previous cycle. This day is known as Dhanteras, or Dhanvantari Tryodashi, the celebration of the birth of Lord Dhanvantari, the father of Ayurvedic medicine. If you practice any healing tradition, especially Ayurveda, it is a good day to give thanks and call in auspicious blessings to your healing path or practice. Diwali is strongly associated with the Goddess Laxmi, and is a powerful time to connect with her, calling in her blessings for both material and spiritual prosperity.
We celebrate Diwali while the days are getting noticeably shorter and darker, and it is a time to invite more light into our lives, our hearts, and our world. This festival celebrates the victory of light over darkness, which is something to rejoice in and have faith in, even if we can’t outwardly observe it sometimes. Creating positive vibrations internally is the best way to begin growing and spreading them externally.
Diwali also commemorates Lord Ram’s and Sita’s return from exile after fourteen years (a story from the Ramayana). Lord Ram embodies the highest qualities of dharma, devotion, compassion, courage, and leadership. Diwali is also the start of a new lunar cycle, so it’s a great time to go within and summon these qualities to awaken and live through you.
Diwali (also seen as Divali, Deepawali or Deepavali) comes from the Sanskrit words deepa (light) and avali (row). It is traditional to light candles throughout Diwali (opt for electronic tea lights if you’re in a fire danger zone!), inviting the highest light into our homes and lives. The candles are lit to remind us of the inner divine light in us all. Though one flame can be used to light many others, it is not diminished by sharing its power of illumination. We can pray for the peace and happiness of all beings, and each one’s awareness of their inner light.
We are now entering the “eclipse season,” as we approach two eclipses that will occur November 30th and December 14th. With the nodes having recently moved onto their new axis—Rahu in Taurus and Ketu in Scorpio—this could activate some latent energy that has been lurking, unresolved in the shadows, in the areas of life that align with these two signs in your Vedic natal chart.
Be sure to watch for any disruptions, and any red flags, over the next month, and be sure not to make hasty decisions out of stress. Sadhana is very important, especially during the eclipses themselves, and doing inner work to investigate what is arising can serve in helping us to make important changes. This is the first eclipse cycle of three that will occur over the next year-and-a-half while the nodes transit this axis, so it is a jumping off point in seeing what work we need to do in these areas of our lives.
To see how the current transits affect and interplay with your chart and karma, you can request a personal reading here.
New Moon May 2020
The new moon cycle begins in Taurus on May 22nd at 10:38 AM PDT, in the Vedic nakshatra of Krittika, “the cutter.” Taurus is a feminine earth sign ruled by Venus, and Venus joins the Sun and Moon in Taurus on this dark moon tonight along with Mercury. Both Mars and Jupiter cast their aspects here, while Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus are all in retrograde motion.
A Taurus cycle compels us to get into our physical bodies, focus on things close at hand, and find the simple beauty that comes from nature, foods, and pleasurable activities. Amidst the pandemic, the stars are supportive this month to help us focus on family and the simple pleasures around the home. Fitting with the season, this is a good cycle to work on gardening and to beautify your indoor and outdoor as well as inner landscapes.
On a spiritual level, Taurus helps us to forge ahead (sometimes with a stubborn, “bull-headedness”) in our chosen direction … it can sometimes be hard to change directions, however, so it is important to set some intentions and orient yourself properly on this dark moon night before the cycle begins. Mars’ aspect onto the new Moon adds some firepower to the mix, while Jupiter’s glance adds a breeze of wisdom and grace.
Krittika means “the cutter,” and this star helps us to cut away that which we do not need. It is ruled by Agni, fire personified, which also helps us to cut and burn away the excesses that we may have been carrying. On this new Moon night it’s a great time to cut or clear away anything that is weighing you down or getting in your way. Literally cutting plants, hedges, foods, or hair are good activities we perform that also symbolize some of the inner cutting we must do on our vasanas (negative tendencies) and unnecessary attachments.
This star is symbolized by a razor, axe, or flame. There is also a feminine nurturing quality to this star, as it relates with Lord Kartikeyya who was suckled by six pleiades (this nakshatra is the cluster of seven stars known as the pleiades). This is the birthstar of Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (“Amma”), a great saint who is known for her power to cut through negativities and also nurture endlessly as the divine Mother.
Three Retrograde Planets: Venus, Jupiter and Saturn
Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter are all traveling in apparent retrograde motion at the moment, giving them strength and an inward-oriented power. When Venus is retrograde we have an enhanced ability to reflect upon our relationships. This can include doing some work on your patterns (and creating better ones), as well as re-examining old relationships or reconnecting with people from your past. It also lends us the ability to examine our relationships with sensory pleasures in general, perhaps redefining our relationships with food, drink, or substance, or unearthing some of our creative energy that has been left dormant.
With Jupiter retrograde we must look deeply at the philosophies, creeds, and spiritual beliefs that guide us. It is a good time to reconnect with scripture or teachers, and really examine yourself inwardly for how your belief structures are working and supporting you. It can be a great time to re-commit to spiritual practice, as Jupiter is getting closer to earth and brighter in the sky during the first half of this retrograde cycle (the whole cycle is from May 14th through September 12th).
Under retrograde Saturn we examine our long-term goals, our work and the ways we commit to support ourselves, and the very structures under which we live. You may find this period is an opportunity to restructure or redefine the work you do in the world, or your understanding of what are the most important things that you are working for. Saturn retrograde can also teach us more about self-control and self-discipline, but also the need to let go of external attachments and rely more on our inner strength. Meditation is one of the greatest remedies for Saturn.
Saturn and Covid
Saturn is currently strong in his own sign as well as strong due to his retrograde transit, and, in Capricorn, is a large part of the force that is restructuring the outside world during this Covid crisis. He brings restriction and contraction, and in Capricorn, forces us to examine the structures that support us, particularly as a society. This retrograde transit could bring some relief but it asks us to choose new directions when he begins to move forward again, surrendering more to the greater good, rather than trying to hold onto systems of power that have been failing.
Personal readings are available here.
The full Moon in sidereal Leo is on March 9th at 10:47 am PDT. This is the height of an Aquarius cycle that began with the New Moon on February 22nd.
Full Moon in Leo
The Leo full Moon highlights our individual power center, amidst a cycle of Aquarius wherein we’ve been drawn to really consider the whole, and what is best for the world at large. Though Aquarius energy can be very beneficial in this way, promoting universal good acts and attitudes of service, it can also sometimes cause us to sublimate some individual qualities and yield personal power for “the greater good.”
Under the full Moon in Leo, we are reminded that the two are not exclusive. Under this Moon, the heart is illuminated on Leo’s throne, the place of unlimited personal power, where we can feel our individuality and autonomy and simultaneously know that we can do great service from this place of personal strength. If you’re in the midst of an election decision, this is a great time to feel into your heart for what is right, while already contemplating what is best for the whole.
The Full Moon’s nakshatra is Purva Phalguni, spanning the late middle of Leo, and known as the “former red one.” It is a star of recreation and relaxation, symbolized by a swinging hammock or the front legs of the bed, reminding us that leisure is a necessary part of life even amidst service and leadership. Ruled by the planet Venus and by Bhaga, the god of delight, this star carries a sexual energy and in general draws us towards beauty and luxury.
Mercury is at the end of his retrograde cycle, stationary-retrograde during the full Moon, turning stationary-direct some hours later. This brings a lot of intellectual focus to this full Moon, and you may find you are able to work something out — or communicate something through with someone — that you have been wanting to finalize the details around for a while.
Mars and Saturn
On March 22nd, Mars will join Saturn in Capricorn. Mars is exalted here while Saturn is sva, in his own sign. The combination of these two planets here could help us to channel great focus and discipline, especially around hard work that needs to be done. On the other hand, if you have certain planets here such as the Moon, the transit of the two malefics could bring a lot of psychological stress and pressure. Mars will travel here through May 4th. The two will be in a planetary war from March 29th through April 4th, weakening one or both, likely Mars being that it is Saturn’s own sign.
This full Moon is also Holi in India, the “festival of colors.” It is the last full Moon coming before the Spring Equinox. This is a joyful festival of renewal, best-known for its colorful celebration in which people throw bright powders at each other. The playful combat is a way to let go of any past aggression held over the past year and start anew with forgiveness and friendship.
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There will be a full Moon in Bharani nakshatra in sidereal Aries on Monday night, reaching full waxing brightness at 5:35 am PST on Tuesday, November 12th. This is a powerful Full Moon for new beginnings as the Moon transits Aries, the first cardinal sign, and receives an aspect from its ruler Mars as well as the full brightness of the Sun.
Full Moon in Aries
The Aries full Moon is the integration point of the Libra cycle we began on Diwali in late October. The Sun in Libra is debilitated and compels us to put a lot of energy into balancing things, and people, outside of ourselves. As the Moon transits Aries and is fully illuminated by the Sun, we may be able to tune in more with our individual strengths and stop emphasizing other people so much.
Both Mars and the Sun will be in Libra, opposite this full Moon, directing a lot of strength back at it. This alignment will brighten our hearts and minds, bringing courage, strength, and determination. Mars is strengthened by the fact that he will be exchanging signs with Venus, in Parivartana Yoga. As Mars rules Scorpio (where Venus currently transits) and Venus rules Libra (where Mars will be as of Sunday morning), the two will lend a harmonizing and supportive energy to each other as they “visit each other’s houses.”
The Moon will be fully brightened in Bharani nakshatra, the one known as “the bearer.” This can imply both the creative act of bearing, i.e. a child, and also gestures towards the spiritual austerity type of bearing, i.e. difficulties. This nakshatra is a portal of birth and death, as it is ruled by the deity Yama, the Lord of Death, but symbolized by the female reproductive organs. Related to both Venus (as nakshatra graha) and Mars (as rashi ruler), it further emphasizes the cooperation of the two — allow the masculine warrior energy within us and the feminine happiness principles to harmonize.
Jupiter Has Entered Sagittarius
Jupiter made a major transit last week, finally passing into sidereal Sagittarius for good after a quick visit earlier this year, having spent most of the last 13 months transiting sidereal Scorpio. Jupiter has now returned to his own sign of Sagittarius and will hold a natural strength here for this new 13-month transit. This will strengthen our idealism, and our commitment to explore and act upon our highest beliefs. It may encourage many people to pursue learning and education, as well as more wisdom and spiritual depth.
Jupiter joins Saturn and Ketu, already here, who have been stirring the pot in terms of idealism and philosophy on the world stage. We will continue to see tensions around firmly engrained belief systems, but also the energy and movement to break down old patterns of operating through systems that have been in place for a long time. Look for some major shifts in the dominant philosophical voices that may occur around the eclipse cycle at the end of this year.
Mercury Retrograde and Rare Transit
Mercury also joins the Sun and Mars in Libra during this full Moon, aspecting the Moon fairly closely and adding an intellectual perspective to our felt experience this week. Having been traveling in retrograde motion since November 7th, Mercury will be passing directly between the earth and the Sun on November 11th. This somewhat rare occurrence is known astronomically as a Mercury Transit. It last happened in 2016, and will not come again until 2032. Those with special protective telescopes or binoculars equipped with protective solar filters will be able to see a black dot passing across the Sun during this time.
What can you bear in the name of happiness that requires more strength than you thought you had right now?
Full Moon in Capricorn
The full Moon will be illuminated in sidereal Capricorn on August 14th, reaching totality at 5:29 am PDT on the 15th. Opposite the Sun in watery Cancer, this full Moon ties in a grounded Saturn energy, bringing us back to earth for a moment in what may be a highly emotional month. The fire energy has also been riding high these current weeks, with Venus highly combust next to the Sun, and Mars now moving through Leo. This full Moon occurs under Dhanishtha nakshatra, the star of wealth.
Capricorn Full Moon
We began this lunar cycle with Sun and Moon in Cancer, aligning our minds and spirit with the cooling waters of the heart. As the Moon becomes illuminated in Capricorn, it’s in an earth sign and under the rulership of Saturn, who reminds us that there’s more to life than the waves of the emotions. Moon in Capricorn helps us to remember what’s most important, to slow down and steady ourselves, and to commit to a path of action that aligns with our long-term goals. It’s a time for creating structure and embracing stability, stabilizing the fickle mind that can change at a moment’s notice when guided by water alone.
The Full Moon aligns with the Vedic nakshatra called Dhanishta, “the wealthiest.” Dhana means wealth, and this implies prosperity of both a material and spiritual nature. Bridging sidereal Capricorn and Aquarius, Dhanishtha can bring wealth, innovation and success. It is also known as a musical star, symbolized by a musical drum, showing that it is a place where we can really attune to the cosmic rhythm. It is ruled by the eight Vasus, the elemental gods of nature.
After four months in retrograde motion, Jupiter stationed in sidereal Scorpio on August 11th, and is very slowly beginning his journey forward through the zodiac again in direct motion. Jupiter direct may help you to begin moving forward again in the Jupiter-ruled areas of your chart and life, which have been under heavy contemplation or re-consideration for several months. Collectively, Jupiter’s direct motion will show us more conformity of ideas and beliefs. For example, with Jupiter retrograde this year we have seen a lot of nuanced political platforms coming forward from a huge array of candidates, and as he moves forward we will see fewer of those as people solidify their support around certain “big” ideas.
Venus has been traveling very close to the Sun this month, within 3 degrees since August 2nd. When this happens, he is so close to the Sun that his brightness is no longer apparent to us. Venus has not been visible to most of us since mid-July, and will not be seen again til late September, which makes it challenging to harness the blessings of Venus—happiness, pleasure, and inter-personal harmony. He is traveling close to the Sun and will actually pass directly behind the Sun, from our perspective on earth, on August 14th, for an exact conjunction then. He will stay within three degrees, in high combustion, until August 25th, though he will not reappear for another month after that. Both Venus and the Sun move into Leo on the 16th, adding more strength to the Sun and more fiery independence to the side of us that is meant to compromise.
Mars Venus War
Mars is also currently in Leo, since August 8th, adding fire to fire and increasing our courage and will significantly, after the month of debilitation while Mars traveled through Cancer. Mars-ruled folks may notice some of the oomph coming back, and a little less emotional heaviness. Mars will soon face some other challenges, however, as he simultaneously comes into combustion as well as a planetary war with Venus. Mars and Venus go to war August 22nd-26th, with both highly combust within 3 degrees of the Sun. This can present challenges in Mars- and Venus- ruled areas of your life, and with managing both our will and our desires appropriately. Mars will become fully combust (aligning exactly with the Sun) on September 2nd.
We’re in the time of year where all planets are on one side of the nodal axis (between or joined Rahu and Ketu), save for the Moon who travels from one side to the other for half of each month. Kala Sarpa can exacerbate challenges for those who have a prominent nodal placement in the natal chart, or are running a dasha of Rahu or Ketu currently. This cycle begins on August 25th and runs through September 9th. Sadhana is the best remedy for nodal challenges.
Personal readings are available and will help to explain how all of these alignments affect your chart and life in particular.