New Moon January 2021
We have another Dark Moon tonight under which the Sun and Moon align at the very end of one sign (Sagittarius), setting the tone for a month that blends and bridges the energy of two signs as the Sun spends most of this cycle in sidereal Capricorn. The exact New Moon moment is at midnight Eastern time on January 13th (between January 12th and 13th), with the Sun and Moon coming together at 29 degrees and 6 minutes of sidereal Sagittarius. The last lunar cycle began in December with a solar eclipse as the Sun and Moon joined in the very end of sidereal Scorpio.
With the New Moon moment happening in Sagittarius, hours before both Sun and Moon transit into Capricorn, the coming month will carry the energy of both signs. Sagittarius is a fire sign ruled by Jupiter, inspiring us to act on our beliefs and put these into the world through righteous action, standing up for what we believe in and aligning our actions with our vision.
This lunar cycle frees us from the energy of the eclipses of this cycle. When Sun moves into Capricorn, however, we will continue to feel the pressure of Saturn that has been strong over the last year while he has been transiting his own sign. Sun, Jupiter and Saturn will all be joined in Capricorn over the next month (with Mercury and Venus both spending much of it there as well). As Jupiter and Saturn become combust (they are now so close to the Sun as to be barely visible), they may lose some power… The sense of restriction that we feel could be alleviated this month, but our ability to be steadfast and endure difficulties is also weakened, as well as our sense of inspiration with Jupiter going out of sight.
Capricorn energy is about finding stability and the inner strength to work hard for our responsibilities and the structures that sustain us. A feminine earth sign, we can look towards our internal resources this month and make sure we are using our energy for what is most important.
The solar eclipse of the last cycle led into a full Moon in Ardra nakshatra, a star that often brings violence and turbulence forward, especially when associating with the nodes or an eclipse. The violence at the US Capitol during the waning part of the last cycle could be associated with the tone under which the cycle began (dark eclipse energy in transformative Scorpio), combined with the subsequent full Moon in Ardra, still afflicted by the energy of the eclipse.
As the natural 10th sign, Capricorn in the world chart directly relates to government. With four planets here in the coming days (Juipter, Saturn, Sun, and Mercury), there is a lot of pressure (Saturn) on now to create a government, structures, and leaders that will sustain the world, be inspiring, and purify the energy of authority. This bodes well for the US presidential transition in general. On January 20th Moon will be in Ashwini, the first nakshatra, a good placement for transitions.
He will, however, be joining Mars, who is the brightest planet in the sky over the next few weeks. With Mars bright and Saturn and Jupiter nearly out of sight, there is definitely potential for more violence to come (especially having the Moon joined Mars on January 20th itself). Saturn becomes highly combust that day as he goes within 3 degrees of the Sun, which cripples authority structures a bit, as well as our ability to use restraint. Hopefully the powerful energy of the Sun itself in the 10th house of this day’s world chart (and Moon chart) is enough to bring a sattvic purifying energy to the realm of government, with help from Jupiter who is neecha bangha and slightly brighter than Saturn.
The day the Sun goes into Capricorn (January 13th/14th) begins the Hindu solar month of Makara. There is a Hindu celebration in India in honor of “the return of the light,” as we begin the first month after the winter solstice. This is an auspicious time for new beginnings and calling blessings into our lives.
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.
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.