The Sun and Moon will join at 10° sidereal Libra this Sunday night, October 24th, at 8:39 pm PDT. This Dark Moon night commemorates the Hindu holiday of Diwali, the festival of lights. October 27th will actually be the third but main night of celebration of this festival, which begins on Dhanteras on October 25th.
The New Moon in Libra will begin a Libra cycle, compelling us to find balance, harmony, beauty, and compromise. Venus will have just left his own sign of Libra, a couple of hours before the New Moon, but has been strong there the last several weeks and during most of the Amavasya dark Moon phase leading up to the exact New Moon moment.
One thing to note about the Libra cycle is that the Sun is considered neecha or naturally debilitated there, so self-care becomes especially important during a Libra cycle. Since the Sun relates to our sense of strength and vitality, and Libra is the sign of compromising (or over-compromising) with others, it is possible that our own strength becomes diminished as we elevate the level of energy and attention we give to those around us. Caring for others doesn’t necessarily translate to depleted health, but it can when we overemphasize the outer world and others to the point of neglecting our own self-care.
This is a very important time of year to nourish ourselves, and our inner light, as the outer light is descending. At the beginning of this cycle, set an intention for a mindful self-care routine this month. Light some candles (or turn on your electronic ones) for Diwali on the Dark Moon night, and if possible, take some time each day to offer yourself some time to nourish and honor your personal light. Self-care practices can include yoga, meditation, chanting, art, or self-abhyangha (oil massage). You can also make some herbal tea to nourish yourself during this vata (cold and dry) season.
This New Moon joins the Sun in Swati nakshatra, a nakshatra that is also known to add to vata conditions, as it gives the power to scatter like the wind, so be aware of restlessness this Dark Moon night. It is ruled by Lord Vayu, wind embodied, and is symbolized by a young plant blowing in the wind, both flexible and strong amidst it. It can be translated as the “priest” or the “sword” and carries hidden spiritual potential from its association with Rahu. The male buffalo is the animal symbol for Swati nakshatra.
Venus, Jupiter and Mercury
These three benefic planets will be traveling together in sidereal Scorpio from October 26th through November 4th, when Jupiter transits into Sagittarius. The conjunction of these three planets creates a Sarasvati yoga during certain times of day, which could offer auspicious muhurtas (moments) for initiating artistic, educational or spiritual activities. If you were born with a Sarasvati yoga in your natal chart, you may find it more activated during these times.
Jupiter in Sagittarius
On November 4th, we will experience a major movement in the cosmos, as Jupiter transits from Scorpio into Sagittarius. Because the outer planets move slower, they spend longer in each sign, so this transit is important because it will take effect for over a year while Jupiter travels through his own sign. Generally that brings strength to a planet, but with the current conjunction with Saturn and Ketu, also in Sagittarius, we could see an intensification of strange and radical ideologies vying for their place on the world stage.
Dhanteras and Diwali
On the new Moon of the Hindu month of Ashwin (this month), we celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights. The festival begins this year on Friday, October 25th (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, this 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. Dhanteras commemorates the day that Lakshmi emerged from the milk ocean in Vedic lore. In India, it is customary to purchase metals on this day — anything from jewelry to new statues to kitchenware (excluding iron), especially silver and gold — as a part of celebrating Lakshmi and calling in more prosperity. The metals can then be offered to your altar and will absorb and amplify the benefits of worship performed over the few days of Diwali.
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.
Tonight brings a dark Moon as the Moon joins the Sun in sidereal Virgo. Exact New Moon in Virgo will be at 11:26 am PT on Saturday, September 28th. This begins a Virgo cycle that will help us to connect with the earth, the feminine, and draw ourselves more inward as we enter the season of the Sun’s decent in the northern hemisphere.
We’ve just passed the equinox on September 23rd, the time where night and day are of equal lengths, and we are now entering the yin season where the hours of darkness will exceed the hours of light. This first full lunar cycle begins in Virgo, a feminine earth sign, that encourages us to ground out some of the activity of summer and turn inwards as we come upon this darker season.
Virgo is also ruled by Mercury, the planet of the intellect, which will get us thinking about practicality and logistics this month. Have you planned your store for winter, getting together everything you need and tying up loose ends in the world before your period of inward attention and maybe even hybernation? Mercury is still technically joining the Sun and Moon in Virgo as we begin this cycle, but will be passing into Libra the next day. Venus and Mars also join in Virgo now, making our nights especially dark as these three stay close to the sun and only Jupiter and Saturn are visible. Venus remains debilitated in Virgo for just a few more days, until October 3rd.
This New Moon occurs with Sun and Moon in Hasta nakshatra, the sign of the hand. Hasta is a place that allows us to hone our skills, both manual and intellectual. It offers us a “craftiness,” whether literal, or of mind. This is a good time for getting into any hands-on work that requires dexterity, as well as for business dealings or other organization that requires tact and skill. Hasta is ruled by Savitar, the Sun God, while also linked to the Moon’s influence, and its animal is the female buffalo.
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 September 29th through October 8th, with October 8th 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. Read more about Maha Navaratri 2019 here, and stay tuned for daily updates on how to connect with the many forms of the Goddess.
Kala Sarpa & Nodal Influences
This year’s festival could churn up even more internal difficulties than usual … offer them to the Goddess! We are currently under a Kala Sarpa cycle, with all planets to one side of the Rahu-Ketu axis, and will be in this alignment until October 6th. This can bring up more shadow energy and sticky spots than usual, especially if you are running a Rahu-Ketu dasha or have these planets prominently in your chart. It’s all the more reason to join the festivities and offer worship or some kind of spiritual practice during these days.
The good news on the nodal front — Saturn and Ketu will finally be separating a bit, and will leave their 1-degree proximity on October 1st! With Mean Node calculations, Ketu and Saturn have been joined within one degree of each other since April 25th! This will begin to slowly take some pressure off in the area of your life shown by Sagittarius, or those ruled by Saturn.
The Moon is waxing towards a full Moon in Aquarius this Friday night, with peak brightness coming at 9:33 pm PDT. The Moon is opposite a powerful and fiery Sun in sidereal Leo, still joined closely with warrior Mars. While the Moon-mind-heart is illuminated this weekend, we can tune into what it means to be of service when we find ourselves in our own autonomous ring of fire.
Full Moon in Aquarius
The Aquarius full Moon is the integrating reflection point of the Leo Sun cycle. Throughout the Leo cycle, we have felt our own strength growing and shining, as Sun shines strongly from his own sign. This cycle began with Sun in Magha, the throne of the zodiac. We’ve been noticing our own inherent power and leadership potential, and getting a sense of what it means to wield our power ethically and generously. We may have also gotten caught up in the power, letting it get to our heads, and feeling a bit entitled to some royal treatment.
As the Moon waxes into Aquarius, our vision broadens far beyond our individual sphere and into the world at large. With so much suffering across the globe, what is truly the best way to shine our inherent divine light? It was a gift from the universe, and one given through grace, and ought not to entitle us to some special treatment, but rather, blesses us with the ability to share it with others. Aquarius brings to mind service, and relates with the image of a sadhu offering himself and his practice for the good of all. As you count your blessings this full Moon, contemplate how you can use them for the uplifting of humanity and the progress of the whole.
The full Moon aligns with the Vedic nakshatra called Purva Bhadrapada, “the one with lucky feet.” This is truly a nakshatra that is helps us to align with a greater purpose than our personal material needs, as it bridges the signs of Aquarius and Pisces. Moving us from Aquarius into Pisces, it highlights the need for surrender to a higher power. Like Aquarius it orients us more towards ideals of improving and helping society, over personal goals. It is fitting as you may be finishing summer indulgences and getting back more into meaningful work with a greater purpose.
Purva Bhadrapada is ruled by Aja Ekapada, the one-footed goat, often associated with Lord Shiva or Nataraj. It is also symbolized by a sword, or the two front legs of a bed or funeral cot. This symbolism shows us that we will need to cut ties with some of the mundane things of life, as we prepare ourselves for the next world or phase of evolution. Though not always literal death, this can symbolize the transition from a worldly to a spiritual orientation.
The Mercury-Venus war could contribute to a sense of seriousness and less inclination towards pleasurable indulgence. The two are at war from September 11th through 15th, while they travel within one degree of each other, competing for our attention (though both are still so close to the Sun that they are not readily visible). Mercury is strong and exalted in his own sign of Virgo, while Venus is debilitated there, so we may feel Mercury is winning out, meaning practicality will take precedence over desire, or even happiness, for a few days.
Saturn-Ketu Exact Conjunction
Saturn has slowed way down as he approaches his stand-still station on September 18th, and Ketu is catching up. The two will have their third and final exact conjunction on the 15th, before they slowly begin to separate as Saturn begins direct motion again after the 18th. In whatever area of life is shown by sidereal Sagittarius in your chart, you may have been struggling between stepping up to the hard work, and renouncing everything for much of this year as these two planets crept together through this sign. If you feel the intense energy again during this conjunction, be sure to go into a mindful practice to help you feel your way through it, and don’t make any hasty decisions out of stress.
We’ve been circling through Kala Sarpa cycles as the Moon circles the zodiac these last few months, passing from one side of the nodes to the other, either joining or leaving the rest of the planets who are clustered on one side of the Rahu-Ketu axis. Kala Sarpa will be on again from September 21st through October 6th. If you have a prominent Rahu-Ketu in your natal chart, or are running a Rahu or Ketu dasha, you may feel more affected by these cycles.
Personal readings are available and will help to explain how all of these alignments affect your chart and life in particular.
Full Moon in Capricorn
The full Moon will be illuminated in sidereal Capricorn on August 14th, reaching totality at 5:29 am PDT on the 15th. Opposite the Sun in watery Cancer, this full Moon ties in a grounded Saturn energy, bringing us back to earth for a moment in what may be a highly emotional month. The fire energy has also been riding high these current weeks, with Venus highly combust next to the Sun, and Mars now moving through Leo. This full Moon occurs under Dhanishtha nakshatra, the star of wealth.
Capricorn Full Moon
We began this lunar cycle with Sun and Moon in Cancer, aligning our minds and spirit with the cooling waters of the heart. As the Moon becomes illuminated in Capricorn, it’s in an earth sign and under the rulership of Saturn, who reminds us that there’s more to life than the waves of the emotions. Moon in Capricorn helps us to remember what’s most important, to slow down and steady ourselves, and to commit to a path of action that aligns with our long-term goals. It’s a time for creating structure and embracing stability, stabilizing the fickle mind that can change at a moment’s notice when guided by water alone.
The Full Moon aligns with the Vedic nakshatra called Dhanishta, “the wealthiest.” Dhana means wealth, and this implies prosperity of both a material and spiritual nature. Bridging sidereal Capricorn and Aquarius, Dhanishtha can bring wealth, innovation and success. It is also known as a musical star, symbolized by a musical drum, showing that it is a place where we can really attune to the cosmic rhythm. It is ruled by the eight Vasus, the elemental gods of nature.
After four months in retrograde motion, Jupiter stationed in sidereal Scorpio on August 11th, and is very slowly beginning his journey forward through the zodiac again in direct motion. Jupiter direct may help you to begin moving forward again in the Jupiter-ruled areas of your chart and life, which have been under heavy contemplation or re-consideration for several months. Collectively, Jupiter’s direct motion will show us more conformity of ideas and beliefs. For example, with Jupiter retrograde this year we have seen a lot of nuanced political platforms coming forward from a huge array of candidates, and as he moves forward we will see fewer of those as people solidify their support around certain “big” ideas.
Venus has been traveling very close to the Sun this month, within 3 degrees since August 2nd. When this happens, he is so close to the Sun that his brightness is no longer apparent to us. Venus has not been visible to most of us since mid-July, and will not be seen again til late September, which makes it challenging to harness the blessings of Venus—happiness, pleasure, and inter-personal harmony. He is traveling close to the Sun and will actually pass directly behind the Sun, from our perspective on earth, on August 14th, for an exact conjunction then. He will stay within three degrees, in high combustion, until August 25th, though he will not reappear for another month after that. Both Venus and the Sun move into Leo on the 16th, adding more strength to the Sun and more fiery independence to the side of us that is meant to compromise.
Mars Venus War
Mars is also currently in Leo, since August 8th, adding fire to fire and increasing our courage and will significantly, after the month of debilitation while Mars traveled through Cancer. Mars-ruled folks may notice some of the oomph coming back, and a little less emotional heaviness. Mars will soon face some other challenges, however, as he simultaneously comes into combustion as well as a planetary war with Venus. Mars and Venus go to war August 22nd-26th, with both highly combust within 3 degrees of the Sun. This can present challenges in Mars- and Venus- ruled areas of your life, and with managing both our will and our desires appropriately. Mars will become fully combust (aligning exactly with the Sun) on September 2nd.
We’re in the time of year where all planets are on one side of the nodal axis (between or joined Rahu and Ketu), save for the Moon who travels from one side to the other for half of each month. Kala Sarpa can exacerbate challenges for those who have a prominent nodal placement in the natal chart, or are running a dasha of Rahu or Ketu currently. This cycle begins on August 25th and runs through September 9th. Sadhana is the best remedy for nodal challenges.
Personal readings are available and will help to explain how all of these alignments affect your chart and life in particular.
The Sun and Moon are getting closer and closer as we head towards a Dark Moon night this coming Wednesday. The New Moon in sidereal Cancer will be exact on July 31st at 8:12 pm PDT. This completes the previous lunar cycle which brought on the eclipses that affected many people in deep ways, especially those running dashas of Rahu or Ketu.
The Cancer cycle could be a chance to cool down a little and come back into the heart after the heady and philosophical cycle of Gemini-Sag, with all the added eclipse energy. Cancer is the Moon’s sign, the sign of the Divine Mother and her nourishing waters. Spend time in a body of water this month, and connect with your own internal waters (feelings!) around this New Moon. Cancer is the fourth sign naturally, relating to the heart and the breasts, and is feminine or yin, helping us to direct our energy inwards.
Within Cancer, the Sun and Moon are joining in the Vedic nakshatra called Pushya, meaning “the nourisher.” Symbolized by the udder of a cow, this star-sign gives a sense of abundance and sustenance. It can elicit a strong sense of family and responsibility, relating to both the divine mother and the divine father. Its deity is Brihaspati, a form of Jupiter who showed generosity and unconditional fatherly love in the story of how he adopted Mercury (a love child between his wife and the Moon). Fertility is strong under this star, and could be throughout this Moon cycle.
Mars Debilitated, Venus Combust
Mars is still traveling in Cancer, his sign of debilitation, for another week until he enters Leo on August 8th. Mars-ruled folks may feel their usual fight and fire is diminished, or that they’re needing more comfort and cuddling than normally.
Venus is also transiting through Cancer. He is already traveling fairly close to the Sun, but he’ll enter the highly combust zone (within 3 degrees), on August 3rd. With Venus so close to the Sun, we may find some of our worldly pleasurable pursuits feeling “burned up” by the purifying power of Surya. Relationships could be under a lot of pressure, or it may just be so hot where you are that it’s hard to enjoy anything. Venus reaches total combustion when he aligns with the Sun on August 14th, and won’t leave the 3-degree proximity zone until August 24th. (Looking at a 6-degree orb, Venus won’t leave combustion until September 4th.)
Jupiter Turning Direct
After several months, Jupiter is finally slowing down in his retrograde journey back through Scorpio, and will station and turn direct on August 11th. As he begins his journey forward once again, you’ll notice affects the most directly on the areas of life ruled by Jupiter in your chart, and depending on the unique placement of planets for you. In a general sense, we may notice things changing directions somewhat in the broader ideological field, as we have had a period of retrospection over principles and beliefs for the past several months.
Kala Sarpa Cycles
This New Moon finds all the planets in between the two nodes, on one side of the sky, creating a Kala Sarpa alignment. We’ll come under this alignment for half the month from now through December. When the Moon is on the same side of the nodal axis as the other planets, Kala Sarpa is on, and when he transits from Capricorn through Taurus, it is off. This can intensify the effects of the nodes, especially for those who have prominent nodal placements in the natal chart, or are running cycles of either Rahu or Ketu, bringing shadow work and intensity to the surface.
Mercury Turning Direct
Mercury is completely stationary at the time of this New Moon, turning “direct” less than an hour after the Sun-Moon conjunction. For those of you who have felt the Mercury Retrograde effects strongly this month, you can breathe a sigh of relief!
The next full Moon is on August 14th-15th.
This is a great time to have a personal reading– either an Initial Reading if this is your first time working with me, or an Eclipse Reading, if we have had a previous session, can help you to integrate the lessons that arose during the eclipse cycle.