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!
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