New Moon February 2021
Today the Sun and Moon join at the very end of sidereal Capricorn for a New Moon at 2:06 pm EST. By tomorrow both Sun and Moon will move into sidereal Aquarius, where the Sun will transit for most of this cycle. Both signs are ruled by Saturn, who is joining Sun and Moon in Capricorn as we begin this cycle. Jupiter, Venus, and retrograde Mercury are also there, bringing us a heavy dose of Capricorn energy in a very weighted chart, with all these planets between the two nodes who create a Kaala Sarpa yoga.
New Moon in Capricorn
Saturn has been in his own sign of Capricorn since January of 2020. This earth-sign is about being responsible, focusing on structure, family, and commitments. With Saturn here for the last year he has been strong in his own sign, putting the pressure on us to work hard for what is most important, and spend less time on the frivolous. Saturn pressures us to be mature but his heavy influence can feel like a restrictive weight. As we begin another cycle under strong Saturn’s influence, we may feel like life is a bit serious and difficult right now.
Planetary Pileup: Dhanishtha and Sravana Nakshatras
At the moment of this new Moon we have 6 of the 9 grahas in sidereal Capricorn, with Sun and Moon in Dhanishtha nakshatra and Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and retrograde Mercury all in Sravana nakshatra.
Dhanishtha is the star of wealth (dhana), and thus it does give us the opportunity to start this month with a mindset of prosperity. It is symbolized by the musical drum, showing that we must keep a steady beat, finding the rhythm that is right for us, in order to succeed. Symbolized by the female lion, we can be brave and fierce while also meeting the basic responsibilities of providing for our families. The deities who rule Dhanishtha are the eight Vasus, the elemental deities. This can be a good time to connect with these principles through the study of Ayurveda, especially examining how the elements are at play within each of us.
With four planets in Sravana nakshatra, the universe is asking us to “Listen!” The star of hearing, and symbolized by an ear, Sravana is where we can listen deeply to the lessons that are being taught by the cosmos. As with any New Moon, this is an opportune time of month to be more inward, tuning into the voice of the heart instead of the chatter of the mind and the external world. Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, presides here, further encouraging us to maintain that which is around us as we seek inner wisdom.
With so many planets in both of these nakshatras this lunar cycle could be a good time to begin projects that require long-term commitment and hard work. Take note, however, of the planetary war going on between Jupiter and Venus…
Jupiter and Venus war when they come within 1 degree of each other in the sky, which they will be until 9:31 am EST on February 12th. Neither planet is incredibly strong and luminous already because of their proximity to the Sun — they rise and set during the daylight hours so are not currently visible. Jupiter is debilitated in Capricorn (though neecha bhangha, somewhat helped due to ruler Saturn’s presence there). Therefore beginning any ventures ruled by these two would be less than ideal during the planetary war, and best to wait until after that time has passed. That would include ventures in the arts, music, love, children, education, learning or teaching.
Venus and Mercury will engage in planetary war from February 12th through 13th, and then Mercury will war with Jupiter from the 13th through 15th. After Mercury stations and ends his retrograde journey on the 20th, he will pass by Jupiter again for another war from March 2nd through the 6th.
With all planets clustered together right now (except for lone Mars, who transits his own sign of Aries), the nodes Rahu and Ketu cut the chart sharply in half with no planets on the other side of their axis. This creates the somewhat dreaded Kaala Sarpa yoga — the “black snake” or “serpent of time.” This adds a weight to the chart that compels all of us to dive deeper into sadhana in order to work with the energies at hand. A lot of what is going on may be subconscious or karmic, and requires looking at the aspects of our lives that are difficult to see or understand. The kaala sarpa energy will pervade until Mars enters Gemini on April 14th.
Full Moon January 2021
The full Moon peaks in sidereal Cancer at 2:16 pm EST on January 28th, opposite the Sun, Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus, all in sidereal Capricorn. This bright Moon illuminates the sign of the heart and the mother, while standing alone in the sky and receiving the aspects of three malefics (Sun, Saturn and Mars), as well as Jupiter and Venus. This alignment challenges us to let the heart shine with pure, unconditional love, while under the influences of stern authoritarianism, the fires of purification and courage, the conditional love of Venus, and the weakened inspiration of Jupiter. This quest is emphasized by Moon’s position in the Vedic nakshatra of Pushya, the nourisher. Read on for more explanation!
Full Moon in Cancer
The Sun traverses Capricorn this cycle, an earth sign ruled by Saturn that brings us into our power by instilling a sense of responsibility, hard work, and structure. It can feel like a lot of pressure sometimes, especially with Saturn transiting there as well, adding a strong, somber tone of maturity to our mental dialogue while he is here (all of last year and this). The opposite, Cancer, is where we find comfort, ease and an open heart, as if nuzzling into the arms of the mother. It is this sensation that is illuminated with the full Moon in Cancer, but, there is a lot of pressure coming from the other influencing planets that may make it feel difficult to stretch open those arms and receive the purity of heart that Cancer has to offer, at least without dismantling some of the entanglements that surround.
In Cancer, this full Moon stands alone, without any planets nearby. Though it is in its own home sign here and gains strength from that, there is a certain loneliness when Moon does not have any planets nearby. Furthermore, the Moon receives direct aspects from Jupiter (combust and debilitated, though neecha bangha), Saturn (sva, in his own sign), Sun, Venus, and Mars (also sva in his own sign of Aries).
The aspect from Mars in Aries can add fire, courage, and a sense of fight to our minds and hearts, that would prefer to be gentle with Moon in watery Cancer. The influence of Sun in direct aspect is what makes the Moon full, in fact, but is still a malefic that challenges us to purify ourselves, often through fire and heat, in order to reveal our pure essence and inner strength. Saturn’s direct aspect is strong because he is in his own sign… a position which has been wreaking havoc on the world through restriction and contraction over the last year. Saturn’s influence on the Moon limits the heart from expanding to its fullest, adding a weight of heaviness, a even a looming sense of doom, keeping us tethered to outward pressures and responsibilities when we wish to go inward, expanding into our inner sanctuary instead.
Jupiter’s presence and aspect does give some inspiration and hope, but even this is dampened by his debilitated position in Capricorn (though somewhat modified and elevated by the presence of Saturn… keeping us grounded to a healthy degree in our inspiration), and by his highly combust position only a fraction of a degree from the Sun (behind the Sun, from our perspective here on earth). That increases the Sun’s power of purification and asks us to burn away what does not serve in helping the heart achieve full openness and connection with the inner sanctity.
Venus’s aspect onto the Moon also influences the heart and mind slightly away from Cancer’s optimal goal of unconditional love, and brings in preferences, pleasures, and the sense of “deserving” something from those we love. Since the outside world often falters in fulfilling our sense of entitlement, Venus aspecting the Moon in Cancer can cloud that unconditional heart with a set of expectations that will create some guarding.
The Moon’s position in Pushya nakshatra continues this theme, asking us to examine unconditional parental love and seeking to find it despite difficult circumstances. Pushya literally means “the nourisher,” and is represented by the nourishing udder of a cow that offers so much sustenance.
It is ruled by the deity Brihaspati (Jupiter), and relates with the story of him adopting Budha (Mercury), the love-child born of Jupiter’s wife Tara and Chandra (the Moon). Despite circumstances, the sattvic Brihaspati loved the child as his own, setting an example of divine parentage without conditions. We must remember, however, that the human relationships of our limited selves, opening the heart without conditions can often result in feelings of disparate give and take—feeling one has been taken advantage of, had boundaries violated, or abuses of kindness and openness.
Our work on this full Moon is to dive as deeply into the heart as we can, and opening it within a safe place. We must strive to connect with the energy of the Divine Mother while examining all aspects of complication that surround our relationship with her (or with our own personal mothers, or fathers).
Personal Chart Readings with Coaching Are Available Here
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.
Full Moon in Ardra Nakshatra
The full Moon peaks near 15 degrees sidereal Gemini, opposite a Sun and Mercury in sidereal Sagittarius, tonight at 10:28pm EST. The Moon is full in the Vedic nakshatra of Ardra, the “moist one,” a stormy and turbulent place in the zodiac. Saturn and Jupiter are still within one degree but growing further apart tomorrow, ending the planetary war they have waged since December 12th. The Moon will wane its way into the New Year before beginning the first lunar cycle of 2021 on January 13th.
Gemini Full Moon
The lunar cycle began with Sun and Moon at the tail end of Scorpio, in the gandanta zone that bridges Scorpio and Sag’, before moving into Sagittarius soon after for a Sun cycle with flavors of both signs. With the Sun in Sagittarius we try to find our power by aligning our actions with our beliefs, seeking higher purpose in a set of teachings or philosophy that speaks to and inspires us.
With the full Moon illuminated in Gemini, we check in with our Mercurial side, searching for what is practical and fun rather than more serious and “important” feeling. Gemini helps us to see both sides of the coin, or to step into someone else’s shoes, which can help us to see past our own staunch belief systems by which we try to live. It can help us to be a little more flexible, and a little bit less dogmatic, in an age that feels so philosophically polarized across the globe. Hopefully this can help set the tone in the new year, giving us the ability to both live by our beliefs while being willing to dialogue and consider those that are opposite.
Ardra itself is a stormy and turbulent place in the zodiac. It is ruled by Rudra, a fierce form of Lord Shiva, and is associated with many violent and explosive moments throughout history. With the full Moon here we could see acts of outrage, or literal storms that may ravage some parts of the world tonight. Represented by a teardrop, this nakshatra elicits the sensation of grief… grief that must be processed in order for us to move forward. Under the illumination of this full Moon it is a good time to examine your own grief and allow the heart to churn it through so that something new may grow.
The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction turned into a planetary war from December 12th through 30th, while the two planets transit sidereal Capricorn within one degree of one another. Both may have suffered because of this … Saturn, who has put the pressure on this year as he transits his own sign, was probably not able to hold most people in total “lockdown” mode this month as many broke free of his fetters and enjoyed the holidays, whether still in their homes/pods or associating with more friends and family. Jupiter, the giver of hope and inspiration, was also suffering due to the war, and is also debilitated under Saturn’s rule here. The two made a glorious visual in the night sky over the past few weeks, coming closer in conjunction than they have in 800 years.
They will continue to transit Capricorn in conjunction until Jupiter enters sidereal Aquarius on April 5th, until a retrograde cycle sends him back into Capricorn from September 14th through November 20th. Jupiter is debilitated here and though he gets a bit of a boost from Saturn, inspiration, hope, and education will flourish more while he is in Aquarius rather than with Saturn in Capricorn.
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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