Wednesday evening, 7:26 pm PST April 22nd, the Moon and Sun are coming together in the sign of Aries in the star of Ashwini, the twin horsemen. Ashwini is the first nakshatra of the zodiac and is the place where we take off in a new direction. The Ashwin twins are born of Surya (the Sun) and his wife Sanjna (Consciousness) when they turn into horses and gallop to Earth, after he has an affair with Sanjna's sister Chaya (Shadow) and she gives birth to Saturn and Yama (death). Surya gallops after his wife and when he catches her, they make love in a meadow and these divine sons are born as the keepers of the Ayurvedic medicine and doctors to the gods. The sign of Aries and star of Ashwini is the exaltation point for the Sun because it is where the Sun is able to use courage, discipline and action to start something new and auspicious. We are all more powerful right now, and feel stronger in our sense of leadership and potential than we have been the previous month.
We are only a few days from Akshaya Tritya, the celebration of both luminaries being in their place of exaltation. A powerful Sun and a stable and comfortable Moon gives us an auspicious two days of strength and grace. Tritya is the 3rd lunar phase, starting from right after the dark moon, when in this month, the Moon will make her way into sidereal Taurus. Taurus is where our emotions are more grounded and our capacity to maintain our inner peace is higher as a result of our tendency to take care of our needs and desires in this sign. We are more able to get along with others and take care of ourselves emotionally and physically when the Moon is here, and this helps us step into our power in a way that is aligned for us. This Akshaya Tritya we also have an exalted Mars in Capricorn and both Venus and Saturn in their own signs. Venus is going to be joined the Moon, added to charm, beauty and sensuality of this day, although potentially adding so much more desire and attraction that we could lose sight of the “higher” potential of the day. Jupiter, with Neecha Banga in Capricorn (debilitation that is improved by ruler and exalted planet joined) is also giving dristhi to the Moon on the blessed day. This is could also increase the potential for a skewed sense of righteousness and inspiration. People often pray to Lakshmi, the goddess of beauty, love and wealth on Akshaya Tritya, and Jupiter in Capricorn can definitely raise the interest in making money and investing on this day. Mars will be giving his dristhi on the actual New Moon, the exalted ruler of the Sun so expect to be infused with even more courage and even fight for this month ahead. We are likely to fight the good fight, but as always, these alignments are meeting each of us in our own charts with our biases and tendencies, so what houses Aries and Taurus are for you in your chart, will certainly determine what area of your life is affected here.
Finally our planet of discernment, intelligence and communication is moving out of its state of debility in Pisces, into the sign of Aries just a couple days after this New Moon. Mercury in Aries is brash, blunt, cutting and to the point. This can be welcome after the muddled and sometimes emotional mess of our thinking and speaking planet in the watery realm of the fish, but it can also create some division where there wasn't before. Notice your tendency to take in information with a more logic-based brain of black and white, right or wrong, quickly distilling what you are hearing into an opinion and speaking that opinion quickly and definitely, without much forethought. There is not wise discernment here, it is just less-muddled and emotional. It can be very quick to judge and quick to say, with a focus on distinction rather than connection.
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This Full Moon happens in the last part of Virgo, in the star of Chitra on April 7th at 7:35 pm PST. Virgo is the sign of health and healing. It shows both where we are very vulnerable in our health and also where we are able to bring ourselves back to health or prevent disease with medicine. Due to its earthy nature, Virgo favors plant medicines and herbs. To be surrounded by greenery is in itself healing, and to apply nature's gifts in medicinal ways is the balm to combat both the immune system that is weakened and the nervous system. Virgo is where we are nervous. We are anxious, both because of the acute understanding that we are imperfect and will continue to do things imperfectly and also because of the inherent vulnerability in this imperfect reality. Due to being ruled by Mercury, Virgo uses the buddhi, the intellect, to discern where things should be placed and what category they fit in. In the imperfect world, not everything has an exact right place and the information coming to us is largely conjecture over fact. This stresses Virgo out. Noticing their own imperfections stresses a Virgo native out even more. The reaction is usually to try to make everything better by bringing it back to a more pristine state. More than anything, Virgo is where we purify. The goal is not mundane cleanliness, as much as finding a state that existed before we and everything around us was so used. This perpetuates a constant cycle of self-criticism and then often follows with criticism spun out at others.
Chitra is the star that bridges Virgo and Libra and shows where we are able to build structures and systems that are both beautiful and functional. The diety is Vishvakarma, the great celestial architect who has designed many of the most powerful weapons of the gods. These are weapons used to bring back balance to the three worlds, when the demons or asuras overwhelm us with the power they earn from their tapasya (strict yogic practices). Chitra promotes a spiritual path but also one's need to combat the ego. As it brings us beauty and a shining quality like a gem, it also brings us into the spotlight. To be admired or noticed is lovely and can be used for good purpose, but it can also take us down a path of being overly attached to this attention and to beauty in general and forget what the true purpose of our great designs are.
In this Full Moon we have several planets just changed signs and the Sun a week away from moving into Aries. This will be the second planet that is exalted, the first being Mars in Capricorn. Our capacity for courage, strength and discipline being at an all-time high, we are all well-placed to fight the good fight and do the work that needs to be done for our long-term goals. Conversely, Jupiter last week and Mercury right before this Full Moon have both moved into debilitation. Jupiter in Capricorn is where we are more constricted in our beliefs, more frugal than generous and feeling more of the practical reality than what makes us hopeful or inspires us. We will see however, likely stricter rules and enforcement of these rules (with Mars joined Jupiter) governing our current situation. For now, most people will probably favor this, and not question until mid-May when Jupiter goes retrograde. It is mitigated some by being joined both the ruler Saturn and the exalted Mars, causing what is a Neecha Banga, which allows us to gain wisdom through the strength of the other planets. This is important, because it means in a roundabout way, wisdom will still prevail.
Mercury, on the other hand, has no such help. As our planet of discrimination and intelligence moves into Pisces, we can expect ourselves to be less apt to speak truth and more inclined to find ourselves reading, watching and speaking fantasy. The watery element brings us to a more emotional filter for our intellect and the sometimes spiritual, sometimes escapist tendencies of the fish make it difficult to seek fact or information from unbiased sources. This is especially challenging as there is almost no such thing right now. We have entered into a web of confusion where we are blasted with an overload of information that we want to consume, but almost none of it has a strong foundation in truth. The north node of the Moon, Rahu is the starter of what we call a Kala Sarpa Yoga and just as this invisible respiratory virus (air element) is being spread out anonymously and pervasively in our world, information is essentially doing the same thing. There is delusion, confusion and an insatiable quality where we follow Rahu and in the sign of Gemini it is towards more and more information and communication. The ruler being in debilitation means that we will suffer even more at the lack of discernment from ourselves and those around us and really need to focus on more powerful and potent forms of communication than news or information. We can delve into spiritual resources right now, and books that take us deeper into our state of consciousness, rather than entertaining us on an unconscious level. Mythology, philosophy, poetry and music can all serve us now as we retreat deeper into ourselves and our emotions.
Venus also changed signs last week and is in her own sign of Taurus now. She is empowering us with our capacity to relate to our needs in a way that brings us pleasure. We have to eat— might as well cook delicious food, or learn to ferment something, or plant your garden. We all have a desire to live comfortably and perhaps the daily rushing about has kept that on the back burner. Now is a time to make your home beautiful and comfortable and ready to relax in. Venus is our sense of happiness and also how we find happiness and get our needs met in relationships. Through intimacy and physical touch we do this and also through relating and sharing space. Now is a great time to strengthen your relationships through working together on projects around the home that need to be done. Making things beautiful, edible and functional. Being loving and affectionate with one another. Creating harmony. Venus will be in her own sign for 6 months, although there will be a retrograde period beginning mid-May that is not as fruitful.
For now (and coming in the next week), we have alignments that empower us to be practical, long-term oriented, and functional. We also have the boon of a lovely Venus offering us some beauty and harmony. What we are struggling with a bit more is our belief systems and our rigidity within them. We are at a loss for real information and true facts and in our aimless swimming, we have encountered a hopelessness and loss that can be both surrender (where we let it go) and a devastation (where it is ripped from us) depending on our own relationship with these energies. Our buddhi, discrimination is not at its sharpest now, so best to remain less in our thoughts and more in our bodies and actions.
This Full Moon also marks the celebration of Hanuman Jayanti, the birth of the monkey diety who is the epitome of courage and devotion. He is the son of the aspara-turned-monkey, Anjani and Vayu, the Wind. Watch the video to hear the miraculous story of his birth!
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