Mercury Retrograde from January 30th-February 20th & the goddess Bagalamukhi Mercury began his Retrograde cycle at 2:20 degrees Aquarius today, January 30th. He will be in this perceived state of backward motion until February 20th, at which point he’ll be at 16:52 degrees sidereal Capricorn. This means we are running back over old themes, both in communication and in the lessons we need to learn around it. His short step into Aquarius right before the Full Moon gave us a shift in mindset from the work to the innovation. He”ll be back in Capricorn, Feb 4th, so don’t get used to it! We are going through the period we have a few times a year, where we are being called upon to listen.
The specific star he is in right now is Dhanistha, which borders Capricorn and Aquarius, linking their energetic shift from Earth to Air. In this case, we are going backwards. Making our thoughts concrete by bringing them into the world, and now, reversing that process. Unraveling what we've thought for sure was true. Dhanistha is the "steady sound" and is depicted as a drum. It is ruled by the 8 Vasus, Earth, Water, Air, Space/Sky, Sun, Moon, and the Stars. Since Capricorn holds so many planets right now, Mercury is also backing up our thoughts in relationship to our power, beliefs and fears, and will enter back into the star of Shravana on February 10th. There, we are again, being asked to listen. Vishnu's own star, here is where we hear what lies beneath the surface of words and sound. Mantra practices are key right now!
In mythology, the goddess Bagalamuki takes hold of the tongue of the demon Madan. He is rendered speechless, after wreaking havoc on the world with a special power he was given, Vak siddhi. With this everything he spoke became true and he was running a rampage on the world with his tongue. So Vishnu prayed at the lake of turmeric and from it rose Bagalamuki, the one who stops us in our tracks if our speech is not aligned with our spirit, and also the one who can bestow such incredible grace with our words if we are using them in the power of love. The demon asked to remain with her and she agreed, thus they are always pictured together. Bagalamukhi is one of the Das Mahavidyas, the 10 Tantric Wisdom Goddesses. They bring us beyond the material world to the spiritual plane. With her we can transcend speech, words and make manifest from our declarations, as long as they are raising our consciousness. When we get stuck in mundane, or negative patterns of communication, she halts us, and grabs our tongue.
This is like Mercury Retrograde; we are stunted, delayed and missed in our communication efforts, so we feel as though our tongue is being held. In Aquarius this can be quite frustrating, as we desperately want to move forward. Aquarius already possesses enough hesitation and questioning where the added pause is unhelpful to our genius. When he goes back into Capricorn, we will be forced over some very recent, old ground. This can be challenging because here we really want to see physical progress, and this can bring delays, but overall the grounded, practical nature of Capricorn does want everything to be checked twice and safe before going forward. The due diligence that has been prominent since the planetary pile-up in Capricorn first began in November. See if you can take this time to listen. When you are with others, try listening to what they are saying instead of assuming you know and tuning out. When you are alone, do the same for yourself. We often “talk over” our own thoughts and true feelings. Allow yourself to really gather your thoughts.
On Thursday, January 28th, at 9:16 am HT we have the Moon in sidereal Cancer, directly across from the Sun in Capricorn. Full Moon’s are generally an apex point in the New Moon cycle, showing us the reflection of the Sun’s power and strength in the opposite sign, offering us a chance to connect to that other energy. While we actually have the New Moon of Capricorn at the very end of the Sun’s tenure there, on February 11th, we have had the Sun there already for two weeks and of course Jupiter and Saturn (and Mercury) as well. In fact, that upcoming New Moon will have 5 planets plus Pluto there, so there is no shortage of Capricorn energy!
The Moon in Cancer is in her own sign, and therefore our mind and emotions will hold a quality of peace, comfort and unconditional love. There is a nurturing that occurs in Cancer, the sign of the mother, that specifically stands out in this star of Pushya, the nourisher. Pushya shows how feeding our young (or whatever you love like a child) is fundamental to caring for them, but the deeper message in Pushya is spiritual love. When we nurture our spiritual connection and feed it with practices of unconditional love, it will grow and be healthy and feed us back.
This Full Moon is particularly potent, as Jupiter is exalted in this place in the sky and is currently across the way in its point of debilitation, joined Saturn, Venus and of course, the Sun. Since there are so many planets there right now, there is a lot to reflect upon. The major theme in Capricorn is survival and what has to be done. It is a sign that reflects the limits of time, the body and resources and shows how we are in a scarcity mindset. Cancer, and especially Pushya, is the sign of the limitless love and potential that a child has when in the arms of their mother being fed right from the source. When we are cared for, we are able to allow our higher faculties to function, when we are in fight or flight and concerned about survival, only the functions that are necessary work.
If we can soften, and connect more to our direct flow of insight, we can also find more peace in our heart. This is also a chance to reflect on what safety actually means to us. There is no safer we have ever felt than as a baby in our mother’s belly and if we were so fortunate, on her breast, eating contentedly. This is despite being the most vulnerable we will ever be in our lives. Our mother is even vulnerable, due to having us in her arms and yet she has never felt so brave or sure of herself.
We can build a thousand foot high wall around us to keep us safe, with thousands of armed guards, yet still feel extremely scared.
Faith is a feeling of being held like a child, knowing no matter what everything will actually be okay. Saturn in Capricorn (his own sign) can teach us the lessons of detachment from even our physical body and death. Mars is also in his own sign of Aries still, giving us the courage and fire to fight the battles that we feel need to be fought. These 3 grahas are grabbing us with their intelligent energy, reminding us of what it feels like to be in integrity with each; our psyche, our fear and our action. The Sun and Jupiter, who are not in as high of intelligence right now are sending messages of fear and survival at all costs. Incidentally those are the grahas of government, and also the primary sources to which Mars and the Moon might turn to for counsel, inspiration and even direct orders. This is however, a very quick moment in the bigger cycles and the Capricorn cycle is one that sets forth long-term vision and practical plans to be physically carried out over time.
Venus and Mercury have just moved signs, with Mercury moving into Aquarius and Venus moving in Capricorn. This shows how communication beginning to open up to new ideas and the next frontier of society, and how relationships are going to be less based in ideology and more based in function for the next few weeks. Mercury is actually stationed in this Full Moon and will begin moving retrograde on January 30th, so it is a quick dip into our future, and then back again over old ground. We will be re-thinking, and having conversations again that we thought we covered. This is also an opportunity to listen. With Venus moving quickly through Capricorn, she will have a chance to be joined both Saturn and Jupiter in the next few weeks, giving us more commitment in our relationships and perhaps a sterner ideological stance both to and from the people we relate to that might feel oppressive and unfair.
Here we are at one of the few recent junctures where we get to reflect on what this all feels like, rather than just immerse ourselves in the nitty gritty of moving forward with an agenda. Take it. Soak in water, drink (non-caffeinated) tea, hydrate and be kind to yourself and others. Experience inner safety, as the outer kind will never actually exist. Happy Full Moon!
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Our New Moon is this Tuesday, January 12th at 7pm HT and is once again happening at the very last degree of the sign it is in. This trend has been going since late summer/fall and shows a real lack of presence with the new cycles we are beginning each month. This New Moon is 29:04 sidereal Sagittarius in the star of Uttara Ashada. Uttara Ashada is where we are “invincible.” Coupled with the former star, Purva Ashada, it forms a pair of elephant tusks. Here we can harness the power of Visvadevas, all of divinity. The Vishvadevas are all the deities and show how much power can be harnessed when the collective sacred energy works together. This star is ruled by the Sun and in the first pada, where this New Moon takes place, we see the strength of the Sun illuminating our beliefs. Once we move into the Capricorn part of the star, the energy becomes concretized on the physical plane. This is also where we meet our limitations, as Saturn ruling Capricorn brings up the hardships that come when we actualize rather than idealize. As both the Moon and Sun are moving into Capricorn right after this (The Moon an hour later, the Sun in 2 days), those issues will come to bear right away, but the “victory” will still come. These two stars represent the energy that comes from the work we put in when we plant and tend to an ideal or a belief and then reap the harvest of that effort, or the suffering from having not used discernment up front and seeing the results are not what we want.
Venus is joined the Sun and Moon here, and in the sign of Sagittarius shows how we can get messy with our beliefs when we base our spiritual practices and ideologies on getting along with others or wanting to be agreeable. Ultimately, our connection to source must be ours and true in our heart, for better or worse. When we compromise our truth to be harmonious in our relations, we will feel removed from the victory later. Venus here can also indicate befriending and partnering with those who share similar beliefs to you. This can be very helpful for getting along, but of course at some point, you might diverge and how strong you are in your own heart-seat will determine how much you compromise to “get along”.
When the Sun moves into Capricorn, on January 14th, Makar Sankranti will be celebrated. This is meant to be the day the Sun moves forth in its Northern course (Uttarayana) but is now off of the actual solstice, due to being one of the few Hindu holidays that by being tied to the stars as opposed to the Sun’s course is no longer accurately attached to its meaning. Astrologically, what we will see happening, is the Sun moving into conjunction with 5 other planets, the moon being one who quickly moves out, and if we consider the outer planet Pluto who just made transit into sidereal Capricorn in the new year himself. As a planet smaller than many moons of other planets, it has been dubbed a Dwarf planet, and is not one of the 9 Grahas traditionally used in Vedic Astrology, however it’s valuable in a generational sense, in that it is in a sign for 20 plus years and so begins a period of deep collective work. Pluto takes 248 years to orbit the sun. It is 1/3 water and has more than 3 times as much water as all the Earth’s oceans. The rest is rock. As such it represents a struggle that is largely emotional but has some core truths that keep it real. It’s about releasing and purging things that are buried deep, so as to reach those truths. It can be destructive, as well as creative; once we can let go of the emotions and power struggles, we can find the core truth we are ultimately seeking.
We of course, still have Jupiter and Saturn here in Capricorn, for which you can take a look at previous forecasts if you don’t yet “get” this transit, but at this point the energy these two outer planets are generating here is a bit more relational, as Mercury has been joined since January 4th, creating more communication around our now deep commitments to our beliefs. This perhaps began as people “speaking out,” but now that Mercury is in Vishnu’s star of Shravana, it is encouraging us to listen. In what ways can we hear what other’s are saying, without needing to immediately make them wrong? Is it possible we can learn from listening to other’s perspectives, rather than just pigeon-holing them based on our assumptions from one part of what we see or know? Of course it is, but many do not know how to listen anymore, especially in our internet/social media age, where fast responses to people we often don’t even actually know can seem necessary at first. Ultimately, as the Sun shining here will remind us, and Pluto marking our collective emotional “baggage” will bring slowly into the forefront, is that we are in this together. As much as we might see things differently or disagree, we are here on this planet together and in our various locations amongst whoever that may be. We can move and try to live amongst those who are more “like-minded”, but as Venus in Sagittarius is reminding us, we cannot always agree with anyone, if we are being true to ourselves. Also, the big karma opening from Taurus in Rahu since September is that we need each other. Community is more important than anything for survival when disaster hits, and if we cannot see those we live amongst as humans with similar needs and desires as us, then we won’t survive. The division will be our demise.
Mars in Aries, where much of our anger and (hopefully) discipline and drive to get things done is coming from, is still at the end of Ashwini, the twin horsemen. He is giving us the shakti of healing power here, through our discipline and courage, but as Mars’ nature is harsh and logic-oriented (right/wrong, black/white) he is also giving us the desire to fight based on this simple deductive quality. Uranus, another “outside planet” made up of mostly gases, is also in Aries and while it’s blue green hue, made more beautiful by the rings that circle it can give off the illusion of peace, it is actually the energy of revolution it activates. It is the one planet in our solar system that rests in its orbit on its side, and as we have already witnessed, it can also cause erratic and disturbing behavior especially when coupled with Mars.
The final thing I will leave you with is that we have entered a Time Snake on January 10th, a Kala Sarpa Yoga. Officially we are in it only when the Moon is also in it, so for half the month. Kala Sarpa yoga is when all the planets fall between the two nodes of the Moon, coiling around all the different aspects of our lives and trapping us in their illusions. This can be a time of profound spiritual transformation, but it can also be a time of painful misunderstandings and missteps in the world, as the nodes have the power to delude us with their other-worldly nature. Rahu, the north node in Taurus, is leading this Kala Sarpa, as the nodes move backwards. This is also the node that “opens” new karma and is leading us to the tail of Ketu in Scorpio. We are opening new karma on security: food security, financial security, family values, and making things ourselves. Harmonizing with community, finding sustainable solutions, and also allowing ourselves to find pleasure in it all, not just bare-bones survival. This is bringing us to closing a chapter on our deep and painful emotional vault. The fears we harbor and the pain we wreak on those around us for those shadows is needing to be drudged up and cleared out, so we can move forward clearly assessing the dangers in front of us, rather than wrapped up in false or magnified fears. Collectively, this is taking the energy of those first two eclipses of the cycle (December 14th, 28th) and bringing it to all the planets. Personally, it is going to involve different areas of our life, depending on our natal charts. If you haven’t yet, sign up for my newsletter and receive 2 FREE reports: “Rahu in Taurus, Ketu in Scorpio for all 12 Signs” and “Jupiter in Capricorn for all 12 Signs” to better understand where all these transits are happing for you and your loved ones.
2021 is already off to quite a start and we are where we are collectively. Big question to ask right now, is in what way are you contributing to the well-being of the collective. If the answer is quick & obvious, and coming from some outside source your read, listen or believe in, then you are responding from an emotional trigger, based in your deeply entrenched beliefs. Dig deeper:)
Happy New Moon! May all beings everywhere be happy and free, including YOU and ME
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