This Friday, February 21st is the celebration of Shivaratri, or the night of Shiva. Shiva is the endless void. He is Consciousness itself. He is the Nothing that Everything springs from and in our personal experience, he is us in meditation. We can access his realm anytime we find complete stillness and are able to merge our mind with Oneness. Of course, that is not easy for most of us. Every month as the moon wanes to dark, we have this opportunity on the 14th lunar phase, or tithi. This is a time to disengage from the outer world, and begin our descent to our own inner world. On the New Moon of February/March in the lunar month of Phalgun, it is called Maha Shivaratri, or the Great Night of Shiva. It is said to be the night that Shiva and Parvati consummated their marriage. Parvati, or Shakti, is the feminine essence that activates and exists. He is the Sun and She is the Moon. Together they join for the New Moon every month where the Sun and Moon join in darkness. Mind and Consciousness can become One and reflect off of each other and illuminate in the Full Moon.
When we are alive in the world we can feel her energy, but even just by being here at all, in fact all of manifestation is a part of the goddess. So, the marriage of Shiva and Parvati is more than just a bringing together of Masculine and Feminine, it is a merging of the Sun and the Moon, action and inaction, matter and that which is not matter, it is contraction in its beautious form, where we are joining back with our collective oneness. Expansion, being the explosion that creates separation. On this celebration, it is said that due to the Earth's position, we are particularly able to find our highest ascension into meditation and merge our mind with this Oneness, or Shiva. For this staying awake, fasting and sitting in a long spine are the practices of devotees. In the mythology, Shiva holds court with demons and outcasts, he is not one to prefer high society. He is said to smoke ganja and dance the great Tandava dance, meting out time with his feet and his drum, the mridanga. He is also said to frequent places of the dead and smear ash on his face, while his wild dreadlocks dance in the sky. This imagery can help us also understand that in order to truly merge into a meditative state, we must at some point walk through the dark alley of our own mind. We must face our own demons, and wildness and even death (of the ego) in order to unite with our consciousness. How deep can you go?
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The actual degrees of the Moon and the Sun coming together for the New Moon is on Sunday at 7:32 am PST. Here they will join with a Retrograde Mercury in Shatabishak, the star of a hundred healers in the middle of Aquarius. Shatabishak is ruled by Varuna, who is the god of the underworld, the night sky and the ocean. The fact that as the Sun sets, it goes beneath the ocean and is no longer visible, shows that it is entering Varuna's realm. The empty or dark circle that represents Shatabishak is this “dark sun”.* This star not only shows us how we can use Ayurveda or other healing systems for our physical health, but it also shows the subversive underbelly of society as the sign it lies in is Aquarius, where universal causes, community and the greater good are highlighted. This is a place where change can happen to heal social issues as well as medical ones. Mercury's Retrograde motion will help us listen rather than yell and perhaps use the slowed down energy of communication to really fine tune our message and discern what is not truth in the flow of what we know. Venus, in her most exalted degrees in Pisces is offering us true love. Love through source. Love that expands beyond the simple give and take of two humans, and allows us to love one another as though we are each a piece of God(dess), which we are. The star she sits in is Revati, where we walk each other home. Can you feel the love?
The impetus for our healing of society and our deep love for one another is going to be found in the sign of Sagittarius wherein lies Mars, giving dristhi (energetic gaze) to Venus, and joined Jupiter and Ketu. Mars is bringing our will to fight for what we believe and gazing at Venus, he is encouraging that universal love to stand for something and to be directed somewhere, rather than just loving for no reason. He is also causing us to have more courage, act and maybe even brawl a bit in the area of our beliefs, that we have been inspired (by Jupiter) but pulling away from and annoyed (Ketu). That Mars/Ketu combo, especially in such close degrees is one that can cause militance however, so watch out for that in the world around you and definitely check that in yourself. Use your general-of-the-army attitude on your own self and get to work on whatever it is you've been putting off. Where is your anger? Breathe into it and see if you can envision it helping the greater cause you are championing, rather than just destroying your perceived enemy.
*reference: "27 Stars, 27 Gods: The Astrological Mythology of Ancient India" by Vic DiCara (Vraja Kishor)
Many blessings on this Mahashivaratri and New Moon! If you would like to know how these alignments affect you and/or the ones you love, there is still a week left of my February special: $85 recorded readings (reg. $108). Get this great offer while it is available!
On Saturday, February 8th at 11:33pm PST the Sun will be directly across from the Moon, lighting her up in all her full glory. While the Sun has been holding court in the practical, hard-working and unemotional sign of Capricorn, we have been feeling all of our duties, responsibilities and drive to accomplish the long-term goals come to the surface. This has been running alongside Capricorn's own ruler of Saturn moving into this home turf, giving us the humility and necessary fear to be aware of how little time we really have and how much needs to be done. The Full Moon comes as a counter-point in a cycle, a place where we experience the opposite energy and swing the pendulum in the other direction to bring ourselves back to balance. Cancer is the sign of the Mother, and where the Moon itself is at home. It is where we emote, connect and find that unconditional love for others as if they are all our children. This nurturing sign has three sections that make it up. Where the Earth Mother is born, where she nurtures and feeds her children and the final star, Ashlesha, where she has trouble letting them go. Here is where we cling, wrapping ourselves around what we love like snakes, often forgetting that if we encircle our love around them too much and too hard they will suffocate! Everybody needs a little room to breathe, and the part of us that is motherly can forget this if we are not careful. If we have done our jobs well and fed and cared for what we love, then the final step is to allow it to be free to evolve as it shall. This is not easy.
With the force of effort and utilitarianism that Capricorn brings, we have likely been working in the direction of something concrete that we want to accomplish and bring into the light. With Saturn in the early part of this sign, in the star of Uttara Ashada, “the Later Victory”, we are able to see the positive results of our hard work. The Sun, however, has moved on and is already illuminating the field of where it can go. How the concrete can manifest into something more intelligent and “of-the-future”. Something that can help many, instead of just you and your immediate family. This is Dhanistha, where it is said Lord Shiva metes out time on his mridranga drum. In this image, we are but tiny specks in a massive time and space and what we do will be less than one beat on his drum. Everyone we know and everything we experience at this juncture in time, in fact, will be less than one beat on his drum So we are both inconsequential, and extremely important in the grand scheme of things. Each millisecond helps determine the next, yet all only to play a part in a much bigger concert. We must not get too attached, to either our immediate efforts, our bigger dream, or our emotions and connections as we move through the rest of this month. It is time to love unconditionally, work hard and see the light, not too slow ourselves down because we don't fee appreciated or fear that our work is not grand enough.
Our special blessing, as we embark on this next week and our waning cycle, is that Venus, the planet of our Happiness, Relationships, and Love itself is exalted in her favorite place in the sky, Pisces. In Pisces, we can find happiness that moves beyond the tit for tat and compromise we see so often spelled out in relationship advice articles. We are no longer bound by the rules of this earth in the merging waters of the fish; here we are One with everything and everyone and happiness comes simply because it is the state in which we are birthed to experience. Bliss is a better term for what we can be, but first we must get past our tendencies to wallow and tread water. Here we can forget true happiness exists and settle for substitute forms like drugs, alcohol or other escape tendencies. It is scary to move into the unknown and so many factors are telling us to fear and cling, so it is hard to listen to the voice of non-reason telling us to let go and just be.
With Mercury about to start its Retrograde motion on February 17th, we may be able to allow the slowing ship that is our brain, to find this pause and offer us some space to “not know”. It can slow down the communication aspects of our outer world, like correspondence, computer functions, and it can create miscommunication that disturbs our flow, but it offers us the opportunity to look a little deeper at this flow as it slows and see if it is really the tide we are wanting to move with.
One concern that arises as this Moon waxes to her full glory, is that Mars is just sticking his head into Sagittarius. With primary season upon us here in the US and the general climate we have been experiencing for the last two years, we are in for a bit of a battle around our beliefs. We just had Saturn move out of Sagittarius and Jupiter being in his own sign helps bless us up with a little more wisdom and a little less fear and rigidity, but Mars is one to enter a sign with his fists raised. In the sign of our beliefs and ideals with the south node, Ketu still causing us to feel like we know it all and laser-focusing on the shortcomings of other people's imperfect beliefs, we will certainly feel the heat raise in this area of our life. These are the times our daily practices are made for. If we can “walk the talk” and show up for ourselves in disciplined and courageous ways on a regular basis, then when we enter periods that shake us up, or rile us up, we are more even and balanced from the get go. It is harder to upend our rhythm if it is solidly in place and has been for some time. On the off-chance that this is not something you have been doing, you can always start now. Start with small rituals of discipline. Allow yourself 15 extra minutes every morning to tune in through meditation, yoga or other exercise and simple ways to start your day off right like drinking lemon water first thing. DO NOT look at your phone first thing in the morning. Turn it on Airplane mode, or at least Do Not Disturb. Do all the other stuff in your morning routine Before you turn it on and look at it. If nothing else, do this!
Many blessings on your Full Moon and as always you can show your appreciation for my work by sharing, commenting and “liking” these articles and videos and if you feel so called, reaching out to get a Natal Chart reading of your own chart to see how all these transits are affecting you specifically!
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