Full Moon September 1st, 2020
The full Moon this cycle peaked at 10:22 pm PDT on September 1st, in sidereal Aquarius, opposite a Leo Sun. We continue to experience the Sun, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter all strong in their own signs, with Jupiter aspecting both Mars and Sun to create some powerful energies across the globe. This offers many auspicious moments during the day for initiating certain activities (specific to your activity and location), but also keeps the fire element high in the atmosphere, sparking aggression or literal fires if we do not channel it into dharmic action.
Aquarius Full Moon
The Aquarius full Moon is the peak of the Leo cycle. This cycle started strong with the Sun in his home sign, inspiring us to let our inner power shine forth into activity. Power is often corrupt, however, and the fire of the Sun often burns, and we have seen an amplification of political vitriol, violence, and wildfires over the last two weeks.
The opposite of Leo is Aquarius, or Kumbha, “the pitcher.” This Saturn-ruled sign emphasizes service to society more than individual power. It is this service that is actually the higher manifestation of what we can do with that individual power. People in positions of leadership (Leo energy), including government authorities or the leaders of a family, have a responsibility to use that power to take care of others. While the full Moon is illuminated here, we can reflect on how to pour our power into the world in ways that benefit all, rather than keeping it for selfish or abusive means.
Shatabisha, Star of Healing
The Moon aligns with the Vedic nakshatra of Shatabisha, “the hundred physicians,” or “hundred medicines.” This star-sign encourages us to source all means of healing, physical, emotional and spiritual, drawing on our various inner and outer resources. We may find that it is an alternative healing method that yields the most progress for us. Its deity is Lord Varuna, god of the cosmic waters. Water medicine signifies cleansing, in a much more deep and gentle way than the purification by fire offered on the opposite end of the zodiac. It is a potent antidote to the firey energy of this month.
Mars and Jupiter, Retrograde/Direct
Mars and Jupiter are both slowing towards apparent stationary “stops,” as Mars prepares to turn retrograde on September 9th (through November 13th), and Jupiter prepares to turn direct on September 12th. These stationary dates add strength to both planets, as their reflected light shines directly at us in a very focused way. Within Aries, and amplified by Jupiter, this Mars could result in some explosive energy around the 9th, but also offers a lot of horsepower for launching a new venture. Philosophical movements, and clashes, could be high around the 12th as Jupiter stations and begins to move forward again.
The nodes, Rahu and Ketu, are nearing the end of their journeys through Gemini and Sagittarius, respectively. They will transit into the next signs, Taurus and Scorpio, on September 23rd (mean node calculation; it happens on September 19th using a true node calculation). This will shift the subconscious churning and “shadow work” that we need to do into a new area of life for the next year-and-a-half, also shifting the houses over which we will experience the eclipses during this time. This is a good time to check in with your own chart to see where this transit will be affecting you, personally.
To see how these transits affect and interplay with your chart and karma, you can request a personal reading here.
Full Moon August 2020
The full Moon peaks today at 8:59 am PDT, joining a bright retrograde Saturn in his home sign of sidereal Capricorn. This Moon is fully illuminated opposite the Cancer Sun, highlighting for us the contrast between Cancer (living in the heart’s compassionate nature, guided by the mind and emotions) and Capricorn (looking at the serious responsibilities and consequences of our choices on the earthly plane). This full Moon aligns with the Vedic nakshatra of Shravana, the star of listening.
Capricorn Full Moon
Capricorn is Saturn’s earthly feminine (inward-facing) sign, wherein we look deeply at what is most important for us in the long-run on the material plane. Health, home, family, and ultimately, the protection of our sacred spirits are things that we must work hard to protect and create enduring structures to help them sustain over time. Capricorn teaches us about responsibility and sacrifice. At a societal level, we are seeing Saturn’s strong influence here pushing us to create structural change in the bodies of governance and sustenance… paring down authority that is corrupt in favor of systems that actually nourish humanity more broadly.
This is in contrast to the energy of the Cancer lunar cycle that we are in, as Sun travels through sidereal Cancer. Cancer is the sign of the mother, the heart, the lungs, and the arms, and teaches us to welcome all into our embrace with compassion and care. On an earthly plane, however (and under Saturn’s gaze), we may realize that we need to be more discerning as to whom and what we welcome, and step into the role of the firm and disciplining mother who says no to things that are not for our highest good overall.
Shravana nakshatra is the star of “hearing,” symbolized by an ear. It relates to hearing and listening deeply. As Saturn takes his firm stance on our heads this month, what messages are you hearing under that weight? His tone is that of the old wise person encouraging us to grow up and step into a role of responsibility taking care of ourselves and whom and what we value the most. Sravana’s deity is Vishnu, the sustainer, and we can connect with his energy this full Moon as we listen for ways to become more sustainable in our own lives and as a society.
Venus with Rahu
Venus has transited into sidereal Gemini, leaving his long stint in his home sign of Taurus. As Venus joins Rahu, look for potential disturbances in romantic relationships, as well as mother nature. Both planets find themselves within one degree in Mrigashira nakshatra, a sign of wandering, so watch out for your desires wandering. There’s a chance you may encounter a voracious appetite for sensory indulgences—food, drink, sex, drugs—that are outside your normal range of consumption. If you can, channel this into an intense appreciation of nature, art, or music, or do some serious work on your relationships, to satisfy this combination.
Rahu-Ketu Transit Approaching
We are nearing the end of the transit of Rahu and Ketu through Gemini and Sagittarius, respectively, as the two will move into Taurus and Scorpio next month. Whatever house axis this is for you is where you have been most challenged to dig into your own shadows or blind spots over the last two years. These last few months are a time for integrating the lessons you have learned, as we prepare for a new axis to be stimulated by the nodal transit that begins in the end of September.
Gayatri Jayanti & Krishna Janmastami
Today is observed as Gayatri Jayanti in South India, the birth celebration of Goddess Gayatri, an embodiment of sunlight and the mother of the Vedas. It is a good time to chant the Gayatri mantra, especially around sunrise and sunset.
August 11th brings Krishna Janmastami, the celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna, the embodiment of divine love, kindness, compassion and playfulness.
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.
Full Moon February 2020
The full Moon in Cancer is Saturday night at 11:33pm PST. Opposite Sun and Saturn, and aspected by Mars, emotionality is high this weekend. Your heart may be feeling extra sensitive but also a lot of pressure and a hint of volatility. Try to get clear on what is really important and let your open heart shine from that place.
This full Moon aligns with Ashlesha nakshatra, at the end of sidereal Cancer. This is a powerful spiritual star-sign that relates with awakening kundalini and other energies from below the surface. Watch out for getting stirred up about something without doing a deep dive into yourself to find the source. Ashlesha’s deities are the nagas (serpent energy) and its planetary ally is Mercury.
Venus remains exalted in Pisces for most of this month (February 2nd-28th). Though this could theoretically be a good alignment for Valentine’s day, it’s actually likely to test any love relationship that isn’t grounded in a shared belief system or higher principles and purpose.
Pisces’ ruler Jupiter is now strong in his own sign of Sagittarius, since early November. Joining Ketu here (now in Mula), we will be compelled through this transit to investigate the source of our belief systems, root out anything that is false, limiting, or simply out-of-date, and let go of past ideas that no longer serve. Simultaneously, it is a good time to go deeper into the source (i.e. texts, history, tradition) of those beliefs and philosophies that do support us.
Jupiter will remain in Sagittarius through March 29th when he’ll transit into Capricorn, joining Saturn and Mars. He’ll begin retrograde motion on May 14th, and transit back into Sagittarius on June 29th, remaining there again through November 18th. He turns direct on September 12th. Ketu will join for most of that time until he leaves Sagittarius for Scorpio on September 23rd.
Saturn has finally returned home to his own sign of Capricorn, making his transit there on January 23rd. He gains a lot of strength in his own sign and will be applying the pressure to make us all look at our responsibilities and commitments, and work hard to create more supportive structures in our lives. Saturn will spend a good five years between the two signs he rules, Capricorn and Aquarius.
You’ll feel his affects even more strongly if you’re running a Saturn dasha, or depending on your lagna (ascendant in your Vedic chart). If you were born with Saturn in sidereal Capricorn (1961-63, 1990/91-93), this begin’s a Saturn’s return for you. If you have your natal Moon in sidereal Aquarius, this begins your Sade Sati (7 years of Saturn), and if your natal Moon is in sidereal Scorpio, your Sade Sati is over, congratulations!
After Mars’ February 7th transit into Sagittarius, this puts all planets except for the Moon either on or to one side of the Rahu-Ketu axis, making the sky ripe for Kala Sarpa yoga cycles. We’ll experience the first of these starting February 17th when Moon enters Sagittarius. These will last for half of each Moon cycle through July 15th when the Sun enters Cancer. This will bring on a stronger nodal presence, which can feel like heavy intensity, especially for those running a Rahu or Ketu dasha.
Be sure to check out my list of Important 2020 Dates in Jyotish here.