Full Moon January 2021
The full Moon peaks in sidereal Cancer at 2:16 pm EST on January 28th, opposite the Sun, Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus, all in sidereal Capricorn. This bright Moon illuminates the sign of the heart and the mother, while standing alone in the sky and receiving the aspects of three malefics (Sun, Saturn and Mars), as well as Jupiter and Venus. This alignment challenges us to let the heart shine with pure, unconditional love, while under the influences of stern authoritarianism, the fires of purification and courage, the conditional love of Venus, and the weakened inspiration of Jupiter. This quest is emphasized by Moon’s position in the Vedic nakshatra of Pushya, the nourisher. Read on for more explanation!
Full Moon in Cancer
The Sun traverses Capricorn this cycle, an earth sign ruled by Saturn that brings us into our power by instilling a sense of responsibility, hard work, and structure. It can feel like a lot of pressure sometimes, especially with Saturn transiting there as well, adding a strong, somber tone of maturity to our mental dialogue while he is here (all of last year and this). The opposite, Cancer, is where we find comfort, ease and an open heart, as if nuzzling into the arms of the mother. It is this sensation that is illuminated with the full Moon in Cancer, but, there is a lot of pressure coming from the other influencing planets that may make it feel difficult to stretch open those arms and receive the purity of heart that Cancer has to offer, at least without dismantling some of the entanglements that surround.
In Cancer, this full Moon stands alone, without any planets nearby. Though it is in its own home sign here and gains strength from that, there is a certain loneliness when Moon does not have any planets nearby. Furthermore, the Moon receives direct aspects from Jupiter (combust and debilitated, though neecha bangha), Saturn (sva, in his own sign), Sun, Venus, and Mars (also sva in his own sign of Aries).
The aspect from Mars in Aries can add fire, courage, and a sense of fight to our minds and hearts, that would prefer to be gentle with Moon in watery Cancer. The influence of Sun in direct aspect is what makes the Moon full, in fact, but is still a malefic that challenges us to purify ourselves, often through fire and heat, in order to reveal our pure essence and inner strength. Saturn’s direct aspect is strong because he is in his own sign… a position which has been wreaking havoc on the world through restriction and contraction over the last year. Saturn’s influence on the Moon limits the heart from expanding to its fullest, adding a weight of heaviness, a even a looming sense of doom, keeping us tethered to outward pressures and responsibilities when we wish to go inward, expanding into our inner sanctuary instead.
Jupiter’s presence and aspect does give some inspiration and hope, but even this is dampened by his debilitated position in Capricorn (though somewhat modified and elevated by the presence of Saturn… keeping us grounded to a healthy degree in our inspiration), and by his highly combust position only a fraction of a degree from the Sun (behind the Sun, from our perspective here on earth). That increases the Sun’s power of purification and asks us to burn away what does not serve in helping the heart achieve full openness and connection with the inner sanctity.
Venus’s aspect onto the Moon also influences the heart and mind slightly away from Cancer’s optimal goal of unconditional love, and brings in preferences, pleasures, and the sense of “deserving” something from those we love. Since the outside world often falters in fulfilling our sense of entitlement, Venus aspecting the Moon in Cancer can cloud that unconditional heart with a set of expectations that will create some guarding.
The Moon’s position in Pushya nakshatra continues this theme, asking us to examine unconditional parental love and seeking to find it despite difficult circumstances. Pushya literally means “the nourisher,” and is represented by the nourishing udder of a cow that offers so much sustenance.
It is ruled by the deity Brihaspati (Jupiter), and relates with the story of him adopting Budha (Mercury), the love-child born of Jupiter’s wife Tara and Chandra (the Moon). Despite circumstances, the sattvic Brihaspati loved the child as his own, setting an example of divine parentage without conditions. We must remember, however, that the human relationships of our limited selves, opening the heart without conditions can often result in feelings of disparate give and take—feeling one has been taken advantage of, had boundaries violated, or abuses of kindness and openness.
Our work on this full Moon is to dive as deeply into the heart as we can, and opening it within a safe place. We must strive to connect with the energy of the Divine Mother while examining all aspects of complication that surround our relationship with her (or with our own personal mothers, or fathers).
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Full Moon and Election Astrology
This week’s full Moon reaches maximum opposition to the Sun at 10:49 am EDT on Saturday, October 31st, in sidereal Aries. The Moon will be full in Bharani nakshatra, “the bearer,” a Vedic star-sign that relates to both birth and death. The energy of the full Moon here creates a powerful portal between the realms of the living and non-living, a potent setup for both Halloween and the Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations.
Bharani spans the middle of sidereal Aries, with the Full Moon at 14° this month. It is known as “the bearer” and is represented by the womb, but its deity is Yama, the Lord of death. People with planets here, especially the Moon, often work in fields relating to either birth or death. It is a creative nakshatra that allows us to birth visions into being, and also a powerful spiritual sign that allows us to let go and compost the old in order to rebirth it into something new.
Aries Full Moon
The full Moon in Aries is opposite the debilitated Sun in sidereal Libra. Sun has been traveling through its sign of debilitation this month, which usually coincides with the onset of cold and flu season in the northern hemisphere, where 90% of humanity lives. The Sun relates with our vitality and strength, and when it is in Libra, a sign of balance and compromise, we may find that we become depleted as we attempt to create more harmony in the world around us and pay less attention to our personal strength. Self-care routines are most important during the Libra Sun cycle, which is running this year from October 16th through November 14th.
At the full Moon point of this cycle, the Moon becomes illuminated in Aries, the opposite of Libra. Ruled by Mars, Aries is a sign of personal strength, empowerment and action. It reminds us of our inner strength and gives us the opportunity to bring forth the light of individualism during the Sun cycle of Libra, a sign of partnership and compromising with others. The Aries full Moon time is a point of balance, where we learn to harmonize the desire to compromise with the ability to retain autonomy in a healthy way.
Mars and Mercury Retrograde
Both Mars and Mercury are still traveling in retrograde motion, through Pisces and Libra, respectively. Mercury will come to a station before beginning direct motion on November 3rd, election day. As the planet of the intellect, he will give us a sharp, discerning ability to make rational choices that are balancing. This bodes well for the U.S. election in terms of bringing more balance and practicality into the minds of voters in this polarized and radicalized democracy… though in the short-term, it could indicate an abundance of “balance” in terms of a close race in terms of numbers.
Astrological Presidential Potential
Joe Biden has at least as good a chance of Trump at being president, according to his astrology. A Scorpio rising with Sun in the first house, his tenth house is Leo, the house of career landing in the sign of government and kingship. His Rahu is also in the sign of Leo, indicating strong ambition in those arenas (and his career as a politician aligns with this natural tendency). Four of the last five presidents had either Leo rising (Trump, Obama, G.H.W. Bush), Rahu in Leo (Obama, G.H.W. Bush, as does Biden), Rahu in 10th (Trump, as does Biden) Sun in Leo (Clinton) or Sun in the 10th (G.H.W. Bush, Trump; Biden’s Sun rules the 10th). An association between Sun and Rahu with either the 10th, Leo, or the 1st are the common threads that we see in this group relating to the ability to take on the large governmental leadership role of President.
Of these men, only Trump has Rahu joining the Sun, which is also his lagna lord (ruling planet), bringing him fame while creating a kind of extremely intense personality that plays out in his professional life. Trump was elected just at the beginning of his Jupiter mahadasha (planetary period), a planet that indicates wealth in his chart and also activates some status elevation simultaneously. Trump also has a debilitated Moon afflicted by Ketu, and though full, creates many internal challenges to the mind.
Biden is in his Jupiter>Rahu bhukti, the last phase of his Jupiter mahadasha. In his chart Jupiter is also a strong planet (stronger than Trump’s, with its dual exaltation and retrograde status), also positioned to indicate wealth and success. Rahu is in his 10th house, Leo, indicating a strong desire and ability to come into a position of leadership. As the last bhukti of one mahadasha, this phase a lead-up to his Saturn mahadasha that begins in 2022. Saturn is also a strong planet for Biden, with double natural strengths (positional and retrograde), opposite both its ruler Venus and the Sun.
To see how the current transits affect and interplay with your chart and karma, you can request a personal reading here.
New Moon and Navaratri
Tonight brings the dark Moon, coming towards a Moon-Sun alignment to begin a new Moon cycle on October 16th at 3:31 pm EDT, at the very end of sidereal Virgo (29°46’). This is also the start of the autumnal, Sharada or Maha Navaratri, which celebrates Goddess Durga and many forms of the goddess through on each of the first nine nights of the waxing Moon this month— October 16th through 24th in North America this year.
Though the Sun and Moon align at the end of Virgo, they will move together into sidereal Libra only a few hours after the New Moon moment, thus beginning a lunar cycle with the Sun traveling through Libra. Libra energy is about balance. It is ruled by Venus, the planet of pleasure, harmony, and beauty. In a world that feels so imbalanced, our collective and individual energy will shift in ways that attempt to create greater balance, more compromise, and hopefully more harmony and beauty across the planet. The full Moon on October 31st will highlight Aries energy, Libra’s opposite, drawing us towards expressions of individual strength and will.
The Sun is debilitated in Libra, because when we strive to compromise and take care of others we often do so at the expense of our own self-care. Remember that self-care is especially important this month when the Sun is at its weakest, and the seasons are changing from Pitta to Vata time across most of the northern hemisphere. In Ayurveda this seasonal junction is a good time to do some light cleansing but nothing that is too depleting as we move into vata time.
Mercury, Mars Retrograde
Mercury and Mars are still traveling in retrograde motion in Libra and Pisces, respectively. Mercury will station on November 3rd, election day in the U.S., sending his focused rays of attention and balance towards us. This could be favorable for bringing more rational and practical equilibrium into the political system. Mars will station and turn direct on November 11th, also directing some potent energy towards us, this time martial in nature which could stimulate some violence or fires, though not as drastic as we saw around his last station on October 3rd.
This new Moon aligns with the Sun under Chitra nakshatra, “the brilliant.” This star-sign correlates with Spica, the brightest star in the sky, and bridges Virgo and Libra. It is ruled by Vishvakarma, the celestial architect. Moving from Virgo to Libra it combines both the energy of precision and perfection with that of beauty and grace. What are you trying to construct in the world that could use more architectural precision as well as beauty? This is a good time to call in this energy and channel it into any projects on your plate. Be careful that your inspiration does not lead to overindulgence under this intense nakshtra, whose animal symbol is the female tiger.
The New Moon this month brings one of the largest Hindu festivals of the year, Maha Navaratri. Navaratri means “the nine nights,” and beginning with the first Moon phase after the dark Moon, the Goddess Devi is celebrated through many forms for the following nine nights and ten days. In North America Navaratri will be celebrated from October 16th through October 25th, with October 25th being the 10th day of Victory (an auspicious time for starting new endeavors, after 9 nights of worship). In some places Navaratri celebrates the goddess Durga in nine of her forms, while in other parts of India the festival commemorates Durga/Kali, Lakshmi, and Sarasvati for three nights each.
Devi is the creatrix, the warrioress, the nurturer, the purifyer, the protector. She can be found in the innocent and fertile maiden as well as the wise and learned crone. She is both the nurturing mother, and the one who gives “tough love.” The impassioned lover, the devoted bhakta, the disciplined yogini. We see Devi appear through us in innumerable manifestations. Through her many forms, she teaches us and offers us countless blessings–love, compassion, courage, learning, discipline, surrender, success, enlightenment, and bliss.
This festival is a time for honoring and celebrating the supreme feminine power in all her glory, and the many blessings she bestows upon us. Stay tuned for daily updates on how to connect with the many forms of the Goddess.
Tonight’s Dark Moon brings the Sun and Moon together in early sidereal Leo, at 7:42 pm PDT, close to Mercury, initiating a cycle of solar power where we are driven by the solar energy within as well as externally. This New Moon occurs within the Vedic sign of Magha, “the mighty,” bringing forth a regal energy that empowers us and begs the question of how to use our privilege and strength most effectively. Mars is also strengthening now, as he moves into his own sign of Aries for the next several months.
Leo is the sign ruled by the Sun, the literal source of power for all of us living in this solar system. The Leo cycle can help us to feel strong and inspired as we connect to source energy. When you’re feeling “in your power,” what do you then do with that energy? It’s a good time to check in with that especially as the northern summer draws towards an end. Take advantage of the light and all that you can do with the freedom that the long days offer. September 21st will bring the equinox wherein the days become shorter than the nights and the period of darkness rapidly descends.
Within Leo, Sun and Moon join to begin this lunar cycle in the Vedic nakshatra of Magha, “the mighty.” Symbolized by a throne, this star-sign brings forth a regal energy, gesturing towards achievement, status, and responsibility as well as privilege. It can be identified by the bright star Regulus within the constellation of Leo. Its deities are the Pitris, the ancestors of humanity, and indicates an important time to connect with our own ancestors and lineage. Ancestral karma could be at play in your life more than you realize, and this is a good time to pay attention to what is yours and what may be inherited.
Mars has also moved into his home sign of Aries now, and will transit here with great strength through October 3rd, when his retrograde journey (September 9th through November 13th) takes him back into Pisces again, before returning to Aries December 23rd through February 21st. With both fire planets, Mars and Sun, strong and in their home signs, we have the opportunity now to really harness and direct our creative energy. Be aware also, however, that your pitta could also be aggravated during this time, sending passions and irritability on a dangerous rampage if you are not using that fire for personal purification and strengthening. If you notice your pitta is getting out of hand, be sure to take in cooling activities, breaths, and foods…and avoid your hot yoga for a while.
Since the two fire planets gained strength by entering their own signs on August 16th, we have seen extreme heat waves and deadly wildfires sweeping the West. Watch out for these continuing through at least mid-September while the two are both strong.
A Month for Social Movements
Both Mars and Sun are aspected by a strong and bright retrograde Jupiter, also in his own sign, which could augment their firepower. This aspect could also offer inspiration towards our actions this month, helping them to align with our belief systems. The strong and bright retrograde Saturn, also in his own sign, adds to these four to create a powerful royal yoga that will create many auspicious muhurta (times for taking specific actions) throughout the day.
With Mars and Aries on the ascendant (as it will be in the Eastern U.S. at this New Moon time, and in other locations throughout the day for the coming month), We find the first, fifth, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th lords all in their own sign. The houses of dharma as well as the houses relating to society and higher purpose are all strong from their lords’ sva nature at this time. With the interplay of Jupiter’s aspect as mentioned above, this could contribute to a lot of ideologically-motivated actions on both personal and societal levels. Remember that Saturn’s influence can be stern and discerning, however, so we will have to acknowledge and incorporate the responsibility and hard work that comes with the passionate actions that spring from our belief systems.
The celebration of Lord Ganesha, who is known as both the creator and destroyer of obstacles, is this Friday/Saturday depending on your location. May he clear the way to a more peaceful and harmonious planetary experience
Praying for positive change.
To see how these transits affect and interplay with your chart and karma, you can request a personal reading here.
Full Moon May 2020
The full Moon peaks tonight at 3:45 am PT (early on Thursday, May 7th) in the nakshatra Vishaka near the end of sidereal Libra. This star is known as “the forked” branches which represent our finding ourselves at a crossroads where we must choose from two directions. In sidereal Libra, we are thinking strongly about balance and compromise, amidst an Aries Sun cycle that highlights individuality. In the coming week, we will see three planets head into Retrograde motion.
Libra Full Moon
Libra or Tula is the sign of the scales, representing the need to weigh and balance things to achieve an equilibrium in our lives. It is ruled by Venus, who is currently strong from his sva position, transiting his own sign of Taurus. Venus compels us to lead with the heart’s desires, to find beauty and happiness over all else. This could be a welcomed influence this week as we have been so heavily under the influence of a strong Saturn and Mars for the last several weeks.
The Full Moon in Libra is opposite a strong, exalted Sun in Aries. This position began an Aries cycle for us on April 22nd. The Aries cycle highlights strength and individuality, but with its ruler Mars in conjunction with Saturn (in Capricorn) for the last six weeks, that individuality took on a much more disciplinarian (and literally isolated) tone. There has been a tight grip of discipline over society through this time (since March 22nd), which may be easing up somewhat now that Mars has moved out of Capricorn (May 4th). Saturn will continue to reign there for the next two years, however, which could keep an air of restriction over society through that time.
Vishaka nakshatra bridges the end of Libra and the very beginning of Scorpio. Known as “the forked one” it is often depicted by forked branches, showing the opportunity for growth by choosing one of two directions. Its rulers are Indra and Agni, the chief of the gods and fire personified, showing the great strength that comes once one of those directions is chosen. We can find a strong devotion under this Vishaka full Moon, if we choose to channel our energy towards our higher purpose.
Upcoming Retrogrades: Saturn, Venus, Jupiter
Over the next week three planets will appear to slow down and reverse direction, entering retrograde motion from our perspective here on earth: Saturn on May 10th (through September 28th), Venus on May 12th (through June 24th), and Jupiter on May 14th (through September 12th). Saturn and Jupiter are actually coming closer to the earth as they enter retrograde motion, and will be approaching their brightest in the sky when they are fully opposite the Sun in a couple of months (mid-way through their retrograde cycles). Retrogression actually lends a certain strength to planets because of this proximity and brightness, so it’s not all to be feared!
The qualities of these planets may become even more intense while we will experience their influence in a more inward manner during retrogression. Saturn, for example, has been teaching us about structure and discipline, and making tough decisions in favor of long term goals. This will continue as he goes through this period of retrogression in Capricorn, but we may begin to look more to ourselves for that discipline, rather than simply feeling burdened to it by the outside forces. With Mars moving out of Capricorn and rules loosening, for example, it is now on us to consider deeply what are the best decisions for our futures. Some sacrifices may be needed as Saturn teaches us about endurance, patience, and personal restriction.
With Jupiter brightening and approaching through his retrograde cycle, our ideas and ideals come under personal scrutiny. It can be an opportunity for our faith to brighten, while also giving us a chance to check in with our worldview in general. As the outside world is changing, is there room for our inner convictions to adapt?
Venus’s retrogression from May 12th through June 24th will cause him to remain in his own sign of Taurus for over four months, spanning from March 28th through July 31st. Under retrograde Venus we slow down and take a deep look at our most significant relationships, especially familial relationships as Venus transits the sign of Taurus. It’s often a time when we get a “blast from the past” and check in with or hear from people with whom we have not spoken for a long time. It’s also an important time to take a look at your intake, and how you relate with luxury and material things. Though these things can be favorable with Venus in Taurus, during retrogression you may notice that you have amassed more than you really need.
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