New Moon and Solar Eclipse in Scorpio
The Sun and Moon come together on this Dark Moon night, joining near the end of sidereal Scorpio as they come towards a full conjunction at 11:17 am ET on December 14th for a New Moon in Scorpio. Their conjunction is also aligned closely enough with the south node, Ketu, that it will cause a total Solar Eclipse from 8:33 am through 1:53 pm ET, with the maximum eclipse at 11:13 am ET. The eclipse will only be visible from South America and small portions of Africa and Antarctica.
Total Solar Eclipse
In a total solar eclipse the Moon passes between the earth and the Sun, causing a shadow to appear over the Sun. This only occurs when Earth, Sun, and Moon are also closely aligned with the nodes, Rahu and Ketu, who are thought of as the shadow planets for this reason. These planets represent our deepest subconscious drivers. They are like our blind spots because we are not able to see them. During “eclipse season,” however, the shadows begin to become visible. This is a very important time of year to pay attention to any shadow work / inner demons / red flags that are arising for you. Great transformation is possible if we pay attention and do the work to honor what is being revealed.
This is the first set of eclipses to occur with the nodes in their new positions. Rahu and Ketu entered Taurus and Scorpio, respectively, in September, and will transit here for a year-and-a-half, creating three eclipse cycles on this axis along their way. Whatever house-axis sidereal Scorpio-Taurus is in your natal chart, and whatever planets you have there, will be affected greatly by this eclipse cycles and the ones coming over the next year. This is where you have the most work to do and may be facing the most challenges currently.
On a global level, we experience this eclipse elevating the apparent tension between our desire for material stability (Taurus) and overhauling change, surprises, and even loss (Scorpio). We may find ourselves more dependent upon or obsessed with one of these areas, while not allowing enough room for the other in our lives. In a personal chart analysis we can apply these ideas to whatever is affected in the natal chart.
New Moon in Scorpio, Sun cycle in Sagittarius
The total Solar Eclipse naturally coincides with the alignment of Sun and Moon, thus begins a new lunar cycle with Sun and Moon in Scorpio. As they are currently at the very end of sidereal Scorpio, the Sun will spend most of this cycle in Sagittarius, so we will experience a Sagittarian cycle with some Scorpion flavor. In the Sagittarius cycle we feel the radiant power of the Sun, and our inner power, fulfilled by acts of service and charity aligned with our highest beliefs. Sagittarius is a fire sign (a sign for action) ruled by Jupiter (principles, beliefs, and higher teachings). The Scorpio flavor will remind us that all actions and principles are also vulnerable to change, and this could allow us to find some growth around our inner-most core beliefs.
Jupiter-Saturn War & Total Conjunction
On December 21st, the winter solstice, Jupiter and Saturn will have an exact conjunction at 6 degrees 21 minutes of sidereal Capricorn, owned by Saturn himself. Though they align in the same sign every 20 years, this is the closest visible conjunction of the two in nearly 800 years. The last alignment was in May of 2000, a powerful transition point that ushered us into a new century, a new age of technology with the boom of the internet, and soon after a major change in the tone of society and world politics with the events of September 2001, including a major economic downturn.
The position of Saturn here in his home sign has put a lot of pressure on society already, and is largely related to the global pandemic and the continued constraint that we feel across the world and in our individual homes as well. With Jupiter entering Saturn’s sign, he attempts to bring some understanding, some learning, and some principles for us to work with as we navigate the stern imposition of Saturn in our lives. Can we learn anything from this? Can we check in with our beliefs and make sure that we are acting in accordance with them? Can we act in favor of these and in ways that are responsible towards our long-term goals, rather than frivolous?
The challenge is that, in Vedic thought, when two planets come very closely together, within one degree, it is considered a graha yuddha or planetary war. Who wins? Well, Jupiter is in fact much brighter in the sky, giving him a strong advantage at claiming our attention. But Saturn has proved incredibly strong right now being in his home sign of Capricorn. When two planets are at war, both will suffer to some degree, and their power in our lives may temporarily wane.
We may find that our principles, beliefs, and ideas don’t even feel like they are inspiring us or filling us with the faith we are seeking at the moment. And our efforts to stay strong, determined, and persevering through the shut down—and the other challenges in our lives— may feel depleted. Hold tight! The planetary war between these two runs from December 12th through December 30th.
Since this war is occurring in the 10th sign, hence the 10th house for a world chart, it relates strongly to government. The outright war for power between political figures in the U.S. may not subside until after December 30th, though we can admit it is hurting both sides and the governmental authority itself.
In our own lives, we may find things ruled by Jupiter and Saturn, the associated people, and the houses aligned with Scorpio, Taurus, and Capricorn may all be facing challenges during this month. Within all this there are learning opportunities offered by the planets, if we work to get to know them better and the highest purposes that they have to offer us.
Personal Chart Readings with Coaching Are Available Here
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 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.
Guru Purnima Full Moon Eclipse 2020
Tonight’s Full Moon in sidereal Sagittarius is the auspicious one known as Guru Purnima, a day for honoring our teachers, especially the satgurus and saints who bring light and truth to the world. The Full Moon peaks at 9:45pm PDT tonight, July 4th, and is accompanied by a penumbral lunar eclipse that peaks at 9:29 pm PDT. Though visible from the Americas, Africa, and Western Europe, this eclipse only brings a partial shadow across one side of the Moon. Its effects are being felt profoundly, however, during this cycle of change that has come with the two prior eclipses this summer.
Guru in Sanskrit is often translated as dispeller of darkness, or ignorance. We live with so much suffering as humans, because even through a lifetime most of us are still immature to a degree that we haven’t found peace with the bounty offered to us by divine creation. That is not to say that hardship and real suffering does not exist, but great souls and saints, and even many elders who have “lived through it all” have still been able to find a certain equanimity towards life’s difficulties, along with compassion and an attitude of service, however small, for those who are hurting.
In Yoga Sutra 1.33, Patanjali says:
maitri karuna muditopeksanam sukha duhkha punyapunya visayanam bhavanatas citta prasadanam
“By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind retains its undisturbed calmness.”
We could dive into a full discussion of all of these, especially in these trying times. In the last point “disregard” could be also understood as indifference or equanimity … though I believe as humans anger has a place on the path to this level of peace. But the Guru has the ability to bless us with a grace to move beyond this anger and into a place of peace and spiritual strength, despite whatever outside circumstances may be.
The Moon joins “Guru” (Jupiter) in his home-sign of (sidereal) Sagittarius this year. A bright, retrograde Jupiter can be seen close to the Moon tonight… though the south node Ketu also brings his (usually) invisible presence here, creating the shadow effect that will pass over the Moon. (Though of course the actual shadow is a result of the earth’s position, Earth, Sun and Moon are aligned with Rahu and Ketu astronomically, signaling the eclipses.)
Sagittarius is aligned with the galactic center, and is the active fire sign of Jupiter, a planet who guides our values, ideas, and philosophies. This eclipse cycle (including the eclipses of June 5th and June 20th) has brought up a lot of the shadows inherent in our cultural philosophy and values, stirring the pot over such things as hygiene (coronavirus management), race, and of course politics. During tonight’s eclipse, through dedicated practice and Guru’s grace, we may have the opportunity to see some of our cloudy thinking and remove the shadows of ignorance, both individually and collectively, that have hindered us through history.
The Guru Purnima Full Moon eclipse aligns with the Vedic nakshatra of Purvaashada, “the undefeated.” This star-sign brings strength as well as love and compassion, with a feminine energy ruled by Venus and the deity Apas (water personified). It is a place where we may battle over ideas, but ultimately truth will always be victorious in the end.
The nodes have been harnessing strength over the course of this year since mid-February when the Kala Sarpa cycles began (the two weeks of each month when all planets are on one side of the nodal axis). As the Sun moves into sidereal Cancer on July 15th, this will break the cycle, making these periods impossible through the end of the year. These cycles are not entirely rare, however, so we should not attribute current events to this alone (they have been happening every year for the last several.
Jupiter and Saturn continue their retrograde cycles through the fall, giving us an opportunity to dive deep into our philosophies and values and the structures we use to support these, making change particularly at the macro level as they travel through their homes signs of Sagittarius and Capricorn, respectively. Mars will also gain strength when he enters his home sign of Aries on August 16th, and then going through a retrograde cycle from September 9th through November 13th.
Personal readings are available Here to help you navigate this time.
New Moon Solar Eclipse June 2020
This week’s New Moon coincides with an annular solar eclipse, the second in a set of three eclipses we are experiencing this summer, as well as the summer solstice. Tensions have been running hot under the pressure of the nodes, the eclipses, and the position of the planets. The exact New Moon time will be at 11:40 pm PDT on Saturday, June 20th, with the maximum eclipse occurring one minute later. This new Moon and eclipse align with sidereal Gemini, in the nakshatra called Mrigashira, and are accompanied by four retrograde planets.
Mrigashira is translated as “the dear’s head” or “benevolent,” and brings forward the gentle energy of the deer. Generally this could bring some relief, during turbulent times, but the fact that the Sun will be eclipsed here could cause us to feel cut off from our inner power and knowing. Mrigashira has been depicted as a deer at the edge of a burning forest (in The Book of Nakshatras, Trivedi), and if startled or confused may accidentally run towards the fire. This is something to be aware of during the eclipse period, which often causes anxiety and confusion. When I refer to the eclipse period I am counting the couple of weeks leading up to the first eclipse of the cycle (June 5th) through the final eclipse of the cycle on July 4th.
The deer and Mrigashira are known for searching and wandering, so if we are using the intelligence of this nakshatra and eclipse, it is possible to distill some answers and discern the proper direction to choose if we have been wandering. Gemini’s ruler, Mercury, is sva in his own sign and joining the Sun, Moon and Rahu during this eclipse, as well as retrograde, adding great intellectual strength and ability to sort out details during this time (if we are not overcome by Rahu’s shadow energy). Spiritual practice and meditation are the remedies we must utilize during this time, to find clarity and groundedness amidst the overwhelming shadows and turbulence that can be brought by the nodes.
This New Moon will initiate a new lunar cycle in sidereal Gemini, compelling us to examine both sides of a situation, be come more flexible and light, and discern whether we need to stay still or change directions. Gemini is a bipedal (two-footed) air sign, offering a lot of mobility to us during this cycle. It is a masculine sign (directing energy outwards) ruled by Mercury, offering us the chance to speak out and let our words go forth into the world. With Mercury retrograde at the same time, we can slow down and deeply consider the way we speak. This is a supportive alignment for us to continue conversations on race and justice, reframing our language with consideration and self-reflection to aide in progress.
Four Retrograde Planets
Four planets — Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury — continue to travel in retrograde motion during this time, with Saturn, Venus and Mercury gaining double strengths by being in their own signs (sidereal Capricorn, Taurus, and Gemini respectively). This offers us the chance to harness intelligence from these planets as we do the inner work around their themes: responsibility and commitment, as well as society’s structures (Saturn), relationships, nature, boundaries, and compromise (Venus), and discrimination, equality and communication (Mercury).
As Jupiter is traveling in retrograde motion he will soon leave his debilitation in Capricorn and re-enter his own sign of Sagittarius, on June 29th. Joining Ketu, this will again offer us the opportunity to dive deeply into our ideas and philosophies, especially around justice, politics, and how we act on our beliefs. Dismantling these themes and their faulty paths through history will continue to be a theme, further uplifting a movement for change in support of #BlackLivesMatter and social justice in general.
The summer solstice is Saturday, June 20th as well, and marks the turning point in the Sun’s solar cycle this year. The Sun will be at his northernmost course, offering the longest days in the northern hemisphere and the shortest in the southern, and will appear to keep the same path in the sky for a few days before beginning to creep towards the southern sky again. The light is bright, and the opportunity to connect with our highest self and highest ideals is strong. The leadership and courage within is available… BUT, heed the eclipses! Make sure you are acting from a point of groundedness, clarity, and benevolence, not power-crazy arrogance, as the Sun is at this point in his cycle. The Sun’s powerful rays are able to help us to burn off our own impurities and negative tendencies if we use his light to look at ourselves and what needs to change, rather than focusing on what is wrong outside of us or in others.
Personal readings are available Here to help you navigate this time.