Full Moon April 2021
The Full Moon in sidereal Libra is tonight, Monday, April 26th at 11:31 pm ET. Opposite the Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Aries, the Libra Moon illuminates how we relate to and balance our outer relationships while pursuing our individual goals. In Swati nakshatra, we can take heed not to be blown off course by our environment or by trying to manage too much at once.
Libra is a masculine (outward/yang) air sign, ruled by Venus. It is the opposite of Aries, the natural first sign of individual action, and is where we learn to compromise and balance our relationships and outer activities. The Aries Sun cycle is very much about finding our own course, taking care of our health, and diving into the activities we want to pursue in the coming season. The Libra full Moon reminds us that we need to work with others and, to a certain degree, harmonize our happiness with theirs in order to have an overall positive outcome.
The full Moon resides in the Vedic nakshatra of Swati, “the sword,” represented by a young plant shoot blowing in the wind. Ruled by Vayu, the Lord of Wind, and associated with Rahu, this nakshatra can bring forward both flexibility and possible instability. Make sure to find ways to ground and keep your roots firmly planted under this full Moon. This nakshatra also translates as “the independent” and brings forth an independent nature.
Mercury and Venus are in the midst of a planetary war, traveling within one degree of each other, from April 24th until the 26th (ending just a few hours before the full Moon). In this war our desires are pitted against our intellect, and both Mercury- and Venus-related matters may suffer for a few days, with neither winning out much since both are also very close to the Sun and not visible in the night sky.
Today’s full Moon also brings in the Hindu holy day of Hanuman Jayanti, celebrating the birth of Lord Hanuman, Ram’s greatest devottee. Hanuman is the greatest embodiment of devotion, and shows us the incredible strength we possess that emerges from within when we practice great faith, humility, and service. In addition to traditional pujas (prayer ceremony), you can chant, sing, meditate, and especially, find some way to be of service, in order to honor Hanuman on this full Moon. The most fitting mantra/song is the Hanuman Chaleesa.
New Moon April 2021
The Moon and Sun join to make a New Moon at the very end of sidereal Pisces at 10:31 pm ET on the dark night of Sunday, April 11th. This will begin a lunar cycle in which the Sun spends most of his time in Aries, his sign of exaltation. Jupiter, one of the outer, slower-moving planets, has transited into sidereal Aquarius, breaking rank with Saturn who remains in Capricorn.
We enter another lunar cycle during which the Sun begins in one sign just two days before entering another, where he will spend most of the lunar cycle. Pisces is the last sign of the natural zodiac, the end, a place where we connect with the unseen world including the underworld itself. Aries, on the other hand, is a place of beginnings, the true springtime energy where the literal sunlight gives life to the world once again and things begin to grow outwardly. This cycle will connect these two worlds for us, bringing much of the subconscious into light as we begin to take on more activity during this season.
The Sun and Moon begin joined with a debilitated Mercury, which can make us pass up practicality in favor of hopes and dreams. Jupiter rules this femenine (inward-looking) water sign.
The Sun, Moon and Mercury are all in Revati nakshatra as we begin this Moon cycle. The final of the 27 Vedic nakshatras, this sign has to do with journeys, and is ruled by the deity Pushan, the protector of journeys, flocks and herds. We can imagine in particular the journey from life to death as this is the final journey that we all make. Revati means “the wealthy” and is also related to Mercury, Vishnu and Lakshmi. There is a strong association with animals and this nakshatra, and many people with planets here have a strong love of pets or animals.
Jupiter has moved from sidereal Capricorn into Aquarius, lightening his load as he is no longer in his sign of debilitation and joining the heavy presence of Saturn. Jupiter in Aquarius could stimulate some expansion in social programs, scientific innovations, and forward-thinking across society. This new position could stimulate some movement in your life depending on natal planetary positions and the current dasha (planetary period) and bhukti (sub-period) you are running according to your chart.
Mars will leave Taurus just hours after the New Moon, finally parting ways with Rahu, lessening some of the intensity that has built up around their conjunction the past couple of months. His movement will also break the Kala Sarpa cycles, although with only one outlier the nodal alignment can still bring some intensity to current events or those born with these placements in the birth chart.
This New Moon is followed by nine nights that are the springtime celebration of the goddess known as Chaitra Navaratri. These nights are celebrated in homage to the divine mother in her many forms, particularly Durga. This is not as largely celebrated as the fall-time Navaratri (Sharad or Maha Navaratri), but is also significant. This leads us up to Hanuman Jayanti which will be celebrated around the time of the next full Moon.
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.