Full Moon in Purva Phalguni: Pleasure, Devotion & the Collective
The Moon will be at its brightest this Friday night at 10:17 pm HT (February 26th) in the sign of Leo and the star of Purva Phalguni. Purva Phalguni is the “early reddish lady” or the maiden ripe with fertility that is ready to delight in love and play. It is ruled by Bhaga, the god of delight and enjoyment who learns that if he is only seeking pleasure through his eyes, then he will be blind to the well of deeper beauty available. When we are caught up in the spoils of power and are overly stimulated, we might lose regard for the collective we are ultimately serving. We then no longer feel the beauty and joy ourselves either. This is being really etched in right now as both the lord of Leo, the Sun and the planet of beauty and happiness, Venus (who incidentally also rules Purva Phalguni) is across the way in the sign of Aquarius, reminding us that if only ourselves and a select few are experiencing happiness, then it is not sustainable. If we are living the high life while others are suffering, we must do our part to raise the vibration for all, because we share this world and can only experience a limited amount of joy if others are not experiencing any. This is where Bhakti, or divine devotion comes in. When we are able to offer our joy, pleasure and even sexual energy to something higher than ourselves, it permeates throughout time and space and fills all of us. When we raise our own vibration to the higher qualities of love, where we serve from a truly loving place of wanting what’s best for society, not just ourselves, then we feel an ocean of bliss beyond what personal satisfaction we could ever feel in transitory moments. The power of Leo is in the realization that the “king” or our own personal ruler, our connection to Source, is only powerful when it is serving the people, the kingdom. Once it becomes tainted and uses the power for personal gain, then it is no longer real power. It has shifted into ego power which goes as quickly as it came. Think of the yoga practices you may partake in (or have heard of others doing:). If the goal is only to become more flexible, stronger and thinner, than you are getting only the basest of benefits from your practice. If you say, also want to calm your mind and feel more inner peace, then you are raising the vibration a little but still remaining in your ego and selfishness. This is why the Bhagavad Gita expresses the foremost yogas to be Karma (Selfless Service) and Bhakti (Devoted Love) because they are the two that transcend personal gain and offer it to the rest of the world and beings. You can gain great siddhis (yogic powers) by extreme austerity and commitment to strengthening your body and mind, but if it remains selfish in its pursuit, it will bring the power of asura, without light. It will be power that may be able to conquer all three worlds and gain much worldly possessions and beauty, but it will always be in danger of being taken from you and therefore, no longer enjoyable. If we have to worry about our riches, beauty or pleasure being taken from us, then we have to live in a mindset of lack and competition, which does not feel intrinsically blissful. If we do not have these worries because we are feeling bliss in the collective sense and not as the goal, then we cannot lose our joy and happiness because it was never ours to begin with. It is being held by all and therefore available to all.
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Capricorn is where we do what needs to be done because we become increasingly aware of how precious time is, how limited it is and how ultimately, our time on earth itself is limited. Here we are focused on a long-term plan that centers around survival. There can be a lot of pressure as the responsibilities add up and the only thing to do is just begin to do the work. Roll up the sleeves, be willing to get down on our knees, and possibly even reckon with some aches and aging pains as we do what needs to be done. It can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing, or it can be a practice in the art of setting long-term goals and working towards them without distraction. This Thursday, February 11th at 9:05 am HT we are at the apex of Capricorn energy as 7 planets including Pluto pile into this one house! It is a New Moon, so the “setting off of a new cycle” but at the same time The Sun and Moon are in the final degree of the sign, and will be immediately moving out, so it’s also the beginning of this sign releasing us from some of its hold as well.
The New Moon is happening in the star of Dhanistha, residing in both Capricorn and Aquarius, where we use the steady beat of Lord Shiva’s drum to bring our best laid plans into actions, and in the Aquarius section, to the next level for all people to thrive. Ruled by the 8 Vasus, the “rays of light” that make tangible the power of the Cosmos. We are setting off a cycle of hard work, that we have in many ways already been in, but hopefully with more focus, determination and direction and less distraction. When we can set boundaries for ourselves, we save our bodies and circumstances having to set them for us. For example, if we stop when we feel tired, we reduce the chance that we work ourselves to a point of illness or injury, and then we will be able to work again tomorrow. If we push ourselves beyond our physical limits, we will be physically unable to do anything for a much longer period of time. On a deeper level, when we check in with ourselves first and foremost each day through meditation, clearing the mind of excess vritti, or mind-stuff, we can connect better to our true soul nature and what it is we really want to focus our energy on. Having this massive pile up of planets can feel quite intense, especially in a sign like Capricorn, but it is also a huge blessing in that it helps direct all of our actions into one arena and focus.
To move past the dictates of time and circumstance and external pressure, I like to imagine the goddess Dhumavati. She is one of the Das Mahavidyas, the 10 Tantric Wisdom Goddesses, and she is one of the most feared and shunned of the goddesses. She is the widow, the ultimate crone, and can be found as the smoke of a fire surrendered to the sky. One day Shiva and Parvati were out in a carriage ride and Parvati told Shiva she was hungry. “Can we get some food,” she asked. He replied, “In a bit”. Again she told him she was hungry and asked to have some food, and again he told her to wait. The third time this happened, she leaned over and ate him, and finally sated sat back. He spoke from her belly, telling her that she was not rid of him, he was always with her and a part of her, as of course he is. Shiva and Shakti (Parvati) are one, Consciousness and Manifestation, the container and the activation, and the New Moon is when the two are merged into oneness in our consciousness. In the Full Moon, we are more awake to our mind and emotions and feel them as separate. When Parvati looks around her, she sees that the carriage she was in is now without driver or animal and is in fact, going nowhere. She looks down and she is in rags, instead of her beautiful sari. Her arms are wrinkled and when she catches a glimpse of her appearance in the mirror, she is now old and withered. She is at first horrified, and eventually, finally at peace. In Indian society it is the widow is the most ostracized as well as (on some levels) the most free. Without constraint, rules, customs and responsibilities, she is no longer beholden to the ways of society and can be as crazy and wild as she wants, for no one is paying mind to her anymore. She is forgotten, cast out, but in that she is also unburdened from all her worldly concerns.
This is the energy that we can learn from right now. We will never get it all done, we won’t have time, energy or the physical capacity. Capricorn reminds how we are aging, how our bodies are failing and how limited our time is. Saturn here is teaching us since last January how to be ok with our aloneness, and how to surrender to the “have to’s” while simultaneously needing less to be ok. In this minimalism, we can find what is truly important and consciously choose what to spend our time and energy on, and what to avoid, cut out or block from taking our time. When we stop listening to the outside voices telling us what to think and where to put our attention, we will finally be free to do what we need and want!
May this New Moon and Capricorn pile-up bring you serenity and peace and boundaries, so you might move past fear and pressure and relax into the grace of your own trajectory and truth!
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