Full Moon in Swati, 4 Planets Retrograde, Sun & Venus Exalted: Reflections of Strength, Courage and Grace
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On the evening of Thursday, April 21st at 7:24 pm Hawaii Time the Moon will be Full in exact opposing degrees to the Sun. This Full Moon will take place in the sign of Libra, in the nakshatra of Swati. Libra is the sign where we find balance in our Relationships with others through harmonious interaction and manage the fine line between us getting what we want and need and the other person's needs and wants also being fulfilled. This is in sharp contrast to Aries, where the Sun is right now, where we learn to stand in our Power and Strength and act in our own best interest. Swati is the sword of independence that is seeking discrimination of action through thought. Ruled by the airy and often delusional North Node Rahu and the wind god, Vayu, Swati shows where we are wandering and pleasure-seeking; and often lacking in discernment. Vayu is the father of Hanuman, the monkey god who helps Ram to save Sita and therefore everyone else from the evil demon Ravana with his Heroic actions, Inner courage and deep Devotion. Hanuman's birthday falls on this Full Moon and offers us through his example an opportunity for us to find the Courage that comes from Humbling ourselves and finding the Devotion to right action and right cause, focusing on truth rather than blowing like angry wind all over the place.
The Sun is Exalted in Aries because this is where we are able to stand in our Power and Strength, without being swayed in our efforts to please others. We feel our connection to Source at its highest and most vibrant and are able to Act in accordance with that vision and higher resonance. The danger here can be forgetting entirely that we need other people, and this Full Moon is helping to balance that energy by bringing our emotions and Mind into a space of willingness to Compromise and desire to Connect with others. Mercury is joined the Sun in Aries right now, giving us sharp and direct speech that can borderline on aggressive if we are not careful. This is great for setting boundaries, asking for what you need/desire, and giving orders to people in subservient roles, but it is not necessarily bringing us warm and fuzzy communication in our relationships! Use your words carefully…..Mercury will begin its Retrograde motion on April 28th, causing us to reflect on our Communication and our Intellect's Information Highway. This will also cause us the usual delays, confusion and frustration that burden our modern world because of our strong focus on Information Giving and Receiving, especially through technology. Try taking a technology fast, at least for personal use, and tap into the power of what lies inside instead.
The ruler of Aries, Mars has gone into his Retrograde motion on April 18th, joining Saturn with whom he has been conjunct in Scorpio since late February. We might feel a calming of the outer explosiveness we have been experiencing here as Retrograde planets take us into a more Internal and Reflective space with the energy of the planet, but we will feel an inner focus as we are forced to re-run through the battles and actions (for better or worse) that this cataclysmic duo has been dragging us through. Saturn went Retrograde March 25th and we may have already begun the process of reflecting of what it is we are Committed to and spending our Hard Efforts, and Time on. Now that Mars is spinning backwards from our perspective here on earth, expect Delayed Action and Diminished outward Anger, with more time to ruminate on what was pissing you off to begin with. Hopefully, we will come to the conclusion that the answer to everything lies within our own selves and if we commit to Inner awareness and Self-discipline than we can watch our combats with others melt away along with our inner conflict. The key to this is following through with your already-existing, or learning to form, a Sadhana, a daily practice that you use to center and ground yourself within your own sphere before, during and/or after you make your way into the world each day. Sadhana traditionally consists of a Yoga Practice of Asana, Pranayama, Meditation (Hatha Yoga), Selfless Service (Karma Yoga), Devotion to something higher than yourself (Bhakti Yoga) and The Study of Wise Teachings (Jnana Yoga), but it can actually be any activity you do mindfully and with full intention on a regular basis. Commit yourself to something small at first, if this is new for you, perhaps 5 min of silent self-reflection before you do anything else in the day. Due to the Airy energy of Libra and Swati, Pranayama, or Breathing Practices can be especially helpful: Nadi Shodana (Alternate Nostril Breath) is a wonderful one to practice, or for beginners, just practice long and deep breathing with your mouth closed…. filling your belly with air to make it round, and releasing the navel point back towards the spine while you sit in a comfortable cross legged position or lay on the floor. If you start to get comfortable with this you can move on to taking the breath into the chest and up to the neck bone, and then releasing it out the opposite direction (again with the mouth closed). Try this practice for 5 minutes to begin with and then lie relaxed on the floor in corpse pose to rest after. We are about to have 4 planets Retrograde, including Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Mercury, so Rest and Reflection are necessary in order to combat the Confusion and Frustration!
A beautiful blessing we have now is the planet of our Happiness, and Relationships with others, Venus, who is also the ruler of our Full Moon is in her exalted place in the stars in the nakshatra of Revati in the sign of Pisces. This confers upon us the Beauty and Grace to rise above the tit-for-tat that overwhelms so much of our relating with others and to embrace Love and Happiness irregardless of the circumstances or exchange we receive in return. Here we are able to find Love for all and be all for Love…a much needed antidote to other struggles we may be experiencing right now. As we remember Love, and our Soul's connection to its True Path, we find everything else follows:-)
While Full Moon's are a time for Celebration and Communion with others, see if you can focus this Moon's energy with a practice that has a higher meaning and involves Devotion, such as Kirtan, Prayer or Ceremonious Gatherings. How beautiful that this Full Moon also falls in line with Earth Day here in the U.S., which will be on April 22nd! We can send our love to the Earth, our shared Mother and realize that as we honor her body, we also honor each other and our own selves. Ohm Shanti Shanti Shanti
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Early on the morning of Thursday, April 7th at 1:24 am Hawaii Time (4:34 am in California) we will have the Sun and Moon come together in 24 degrees Pisces in the nakshatra of Revati. The Sun has been in the sign of Pisces for a few weeks already, bringing us into our Power in the realm of mysticism and footless emotions. With the Moon joining for this new month, we will see our Mind and Emotions joining our Soul's path as they swim the philosophical, yet dreamy waters of Pisces together. Pisces is where we take our Higher Beliefs and Ideals inside ourselves and release our Worldly Attachments. The nakshatra of Revati is the end of the line, the final star cluster before we enter the fiery sign of Aries and begin anew. In Revati we are shepards guiding ourselves towards the final letting go. It is a peaceful and highly spiritual place in the sky where we use our devotion to something greater than ourselves to liberate ourselves from the constrictions of the Body and Mind. It is symbolized by a mridranga, the drum of Lord Shiva, that keeps time with every beat...this shows the endlessness of the cycle of Life and that when something comes to an End, it is also a New Beginning. The deity of this nakshatra is Pushan, the Nurturing Shepherd who guides flocks of animals and people towards safety and protects them. This is where we begin the journey home, back to ourselves, and often have accelerated growth. This star is also associated with abundance and fertility, as the name Revati means "The Wealthy" and is associated with both animals and the fields that feed us. We can also find Creativity, Devotion and Divine Intelligence here as the planet Venus is exalted in this nakshatra. (resource: The Nakshatras by Dennis Harness, Ph.D)
On April 1st, Venus moved into Pisces, although she is still in the early degrees of the sign and not quite at her exaltation point yet, she will move into there in a couple weeks, which is of great power in our Relationships with others. Venus is exalted in Pisces because this is where we are able to learn how to be Happy without reason. Generally, we are trying to find happiness through either fulfilling our own desires selfishly, or connecting to another human to fulfill those desires for us, where we also must fulfill their desires if we wish to be met. A lot of struggle can occur as we navigate the balance between this give and take, which ultimately takes place outside of ourselves. In the mystical waters of Pisces, we are able to let go of that attachment to what we give and get in return, and are able to find a Higher Love within. This is a time to step out of the world and into our inner space, so that we might connect to what truly brings us to Happiness, instead of settling for a counterfeit version.
Saturn joined Mars in Scorpio is helping us towards this goal, as it moved Retrograde late last month and Mars will be going Retrograde April 18th. While this conjunction in the sky has been causing us to perhaps blow up certain areas of our lives, and likely in our relations with others, the Retrograde motion will allow us to begin to internalize these harsh and often cruel energies. Saturn is where we deal with our Fear and our Limitations, and Mars is where we are pro-active, Black and White, Right and Wrong. If we can learn to use these energies to Discipline Ourselves, instead of being mini dictators to everyone else, we have a chance at achieving that higher love Venus promises. When Retrograde, planetary energies turn inside, slow down, and Reflect, giving us the opportunity to question whether or not we are using their power in the most beneficial and healthy way. Until Mars goes Retrograde, there is still great potential to want to explode, or control things and people, and Mercury, the planet of Communication just moved into Mars' sign of Aries... so try to take care with your Words, as they can be forgiven, but not forgotten.
Retrograde Jupiter is still joined Rahu in Leo, allowing us to ponder our Beliefs and Ideals and sort through the barrage of beliefs being thrust at us, even as we seem to be swallowing them whole without digesting what they really mean or where they are coming from.
This New Moon can be a particulaly spiritual time and as always, meditation and inner focus is the key to harnessing the energy of the darkness. As our Mind fades to black here on Wednesday evening, we might be served to meditate on the Goddess Lakshmi, who is the reflection of Abundance, Fertility, Happiness and Love that resides in each one of us. There is a limit to how much we can destroy, before we must regenerate and heal... and our relations with others have likely hit that breaking point. Nothing anyone else does can cause us true pain, only our own actions, thoughts and feelings can hurt us in our core sense of being. There is a story of Lakshmi as the partner of Vishnu, the Sustaining presence of the Universe, where they have incarnated on Earth in Varanasi. Their temple quickly becomes the wealthiest one in all of India and Lakshmi decides to go outside of it and spend time blessing the poorest people in the village, many considered to be Outcasts or Untouchables. When Vishnu finds out he forbids her to continue her service. She is so angry she leaves his temple and joins the poor. In a very short amount of time, the poor begin to have great abundance and influx of wealth and health, and his temple begins to degrade and lose all of its patronage. The message is simple....Lakshmi is Grace, and if we forget about others and only live for ourselves, Grace will Leave Us. Grace follows true Love. One of the best ways to pull ourselves out of our own misery, and find true happiness is to work in service to those around us and to love others for no reason other than the fact that they exist here on Earth, same as you. That alone makes them worthy of our Love, because we are all One. Hare Ohm and Jai Lakshmi Ma!
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