March 31st-April 6th: Chipping Away

This week’s energies are tied up in the full moon on Saturday the 31st, taking place in the Vedic domain of Virgo, in the lunar mansion of Hasta. As with any full moon, the focus is on harvest and culmination. The two week period leading up to a full moon is ideal for receiving, refining and beginning to work toward something new. This is in contrast to the two week waning period of removing what no longer serves, and focusing more on shedding and simplifying.

In Virgo, the full moon’s energies are more solitary. There is less focus on community and outreach, at least in the way of implementing immediate change. We are forced to draw inward and get in touch with our physical reality. This is a time for self care, and focus on our own physical and mental health. Despite the demands of others and the outside world, it is more beneficial at this time to tap into what your body needs from you at this time. While self care is always important, the Virgo full moon demands it from us rather than offering up a polite suggestion. If you are feeling sick, run down or drained, consider what your body is asking of you. Do you need more rest, better food, more water? Do you need to take time away from people who make you feel taxed or overwhelmed? Consider the small ways in which you can begin to incorporate these changes into your life. You don’t need to get it all correct the first time. By making small shifts and being kinder and more patient with yourself, you can work towards health on all levels.

This moon is in the lunar mansion of Hasta, or skilled activities. This is a perfectionist’s moon, and while we will likely be motivated and ambitious during this time, a need for total perfection can hold us back from accomplishment. By taking the time to be patient and loving with one’s self, this can be alleviated to some degree.

This will be important to remember as Mars and Saturn come into conjunction on Sunday the 1st at 15 degrees Sagittarius. Mars and Saturn have a reputation as being harsh or malefic in Vedic astrology. I think this is all relative, but they do tend to pack a heavy punch, especially when paired up together. Saturn restricts what it touches, and as it comes into contact with Mars on Sunday it can slow down activity and energy. The two planets offer up tension in the domain of Sagittarius, which wants to be active, expansive and adventurous. Saturn makes us slow down and rethink our every move, while throwing Mars into the equation can create a hopeless frustration to push on ahead anyway. If we attempt to do this anyway, our wheels spin out and nothing ends up getting done. Unfortunately, Saturn is the lord of the manor and there’s no outsmarting him. Saturn is not evil and doesn’t create restriction; the planet shows us where we are limiting ourselves and forces us to slow down and think about what we’re doing and why. This feels so uncomfortable for most people that Saturn transits have gotten a bad reputation as a result. Sometimes Saturn does bring intense changes and pain, and so the best way to manage this is to do our homework. In the midst of the Mars/Saturn tension this week, see where it is you want to go and keep chipping away at it. You may not get there overnight, but every little effort is seen and recognized for what it is. Keep going.

(Also: the Shop page is now up and running. Charts and transits coming soon. There are tarot and I Ching readings available at present.)

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February 24th-March 2nd: Revelation

This week is primarily about the building up of energy toward the full moon on Thursday the 1st, which will be at 18 degrees Leo in the Vedic calendar. Full moons are culminations of the past month’s lunar cycle, and this one centers around the image we show to the public. There could be a change in how we wish to be perceived, or in how those close to us view us. This could come into conflict with the face we show the world. This is a highly creative full moon that can provide a lot of fiery energy to complete projects or begin to undertake an old project on a whole new level. We may have to reveal parts of ourselves that were previously hidden, which can feel uncomfortable and strange. Leo full moons connect us to our inner child, and it can be a useful exercise to allow ourselves to consider the wishes of the childlike part of ourselves in balance to the more logically minded adult.

The karmic nature of the Leo full moon can be examined if we look at the lunar mansion this full moon takes place in, Purva Phalguni. This nakshatra (lunar mansion) in Leo enhances sensual pleasures, abundance and the creative force. In the karmic wheel of all things, unfulfilled desires lead us toward continued time on the earth plane. This nakshatra is one of reaping rewards and creating matter on this plane, but the downside is that it can highlight the dual nature of reality. That which can be created can also be destroyed, or at least it may appear so from our vantage point. The way out of this is to recognize that transformation is a fact of life, and nothing that once existed can ever really be destroyed. By holding on too tightly to transient things we can create unnecessary suffering for ourselves and others.

Venus enters Pisces on Friday the 2nd, where it will stay until the 26th. Venus is considered exalted while transiting Pisces, and so this should be a pleasant yet brief transit. Venus enters into a parivatana yoga with Jupiter in Libra during this transit, as the two planets are each in the sign that the other rules over. This is an energetic exchange that allows the two planets to team up and work together. Some planets play more easily together, and Venus and Jupiter are definitely amicable with one another. This exchange brings in a heightened spiritual quality to the way we express love, and connects us with those on a similar wavelength. The drive to travel is heightened, although some may find a way to explore through study, meditation or simple connection with others. Venus will transit Pisces alongside Mercury, providing ample creative inspiration for the duration.

January 27th-February 2nd: Shadow Work

This weekend our mental focus begins to get more singular as Mercury shifts into Capricorn on Sunday the 28th. The more expansive transit through Sagittarius gave us a lot of ideas and excitement to implement these, while Capricorn will provide a more solid ground to build from. Mercury will be in Capricorn through February 15th. This time is useful for planning, organizing and beginning to shift toward a more responsible outlook that will allow for more abundance to flow. It is easier to not get too hung up on emotions during this time, or at least be able to set them aside in favor of getting things done. Students will find that their capacity for memorization and integration of information can increase throughout the next couple weeks.

We are building up to a full moon on Wednesday the 31st in the sign of Cancer. While the Sun transits Capricorn, the traditional “father” sign of the zodiac, and the moon shifts to Cancer, the “mother”, we often find duality in its many forms coming up in our lives. This may be so literal as to actually involve our own parents or ourselves as parents, or more figurative and connected to the duality of this realm. The many facets of ourselves are called together to become integrated. This process may be challenging, because it may seem as though each part is so separate from the other that there is no way they can work alongside each other. In our society it is especially difficult to feel this duality pull; for instance, it may be a challenge to be a sensitive, emotional person and also successful in the traditional sense. This full moon requires not an obliteration of one part of ourselves but a total integration and harmony.

This full moon in Cancer is especially notable because there is a lunar eclipse taking place. The eclipse will be most visible in the hours before dawn on Wednesday, particularly in the southwestern US/northwestern Mexico and parts of Central America. This enhances the theme of duality, and embracing our shadow selves as part of us. What is meant by a shadow self? This term refers to the parts of our psyche we may not show to others, that we deem as too “dark” or volatile. This is directly connected in to our ideas of vulnerability. We choose not to show these sides of ourselves out of fear of what may happen. What will others think of us? Could they handle the truth? In embracing our shadow selves, we are not necessarily letting all this anger or sadness come bubbling out for the world to see. Rather, we are forgiving ourselves for holding it and loving even these most guarded parts of ourselves. By doing this work we are allowing ourselves to step into a greater capacity for empathy, for not only ourselves but for others as well.

The full moon/lunar eclipse in Cancer takes place right beside the Beehive star cluster in the head of the Cancer crab constellation. The Beehive gives a sort of moody overlay to the full moon that can create an internal buzzing and restlessness. The qualities of the Cancerian crab are tempered by the positive poles of Capricorn: stability, physicality and tenacity. If you are feeling these mood swings during the full moon, consider physical exercise to help keep you grounded and centered.

Friday the 2nd is an interesting day because it is the midpoint between the winter solstice and vernal equinox. This is why the American folklore places Groundhog Day on this date in particular. The zodiacal light is visible this evening, which is a phenomena that is a bit similar to the glow of the Milky Way (though it is visible far less frequently, with viewing dates only in late winter and early spring). The reflection of ice and dust particles from the solar system reflects and creates a sort of cone-shaped column of light in the sky that is only visible away from city lights and moonlight. You can view this just above the western horizon this evening after sunset.

December 2nd-8th: Imagination Sparked

This week kicks off with the visibly largest full moon of the year, a true super moon in the constellation of Taurus. If you check the skies Saturday night as the moon rises, it will likely look extremely large on the horizon (provided there isn’t cloud cover to hide it!). The sun remains in the sidereal sign of Scorpio and so this full moon is in the sidereal sign of Taurus. This is a time for gathering our resources, and preparing ourselves for the next stage. Much of this will be very physical and tangible in nature, i.e. gathering supplies for our next project, finding the funds necessary to purchase a car or home (or even much smaller things), and building the relationships and connections we need to make these things a reality. There may be some resistance to working with others, since Scorpio keeps things hidden and closed off by default. The Taurean grounding allows us to step out of our comfort zones a little and try something that we may not have dared to in the past. This will allow us to travel further than we believed possible.

On Sunday the 3rd, Mercury’s retrograde cycle begins. Mercury is currently in the Sagittarius constellation, which it entered on November 24th. The effect of the past week of Sagittarian Mercury has brought a renewed energy and mental stamina. We may have found it difficult to relax, or to quiet a curious mind. Mercury will halt in its place at 6 degrees Sagittarius, and will begin the illusion of moving backward across the backdrop of the night sky. The key word here is illusion. Illusions can be very persistent in this world, and can feel extremely real in nature. Mercury will cycle back into Scorpio, retracing its path all the way to 19 degrees Scorpio. This retrograde cycle will cover 17 degrees of the zodiac and will complete on December 22nd. As with any retrograde cycle, the issues that tend to come up are mirrors of issues we just seemed to have gotten through. Mercury’s area of focus tends to be on communication, memory and technology. He deals with anything that is being passed from one place to another (typically intangible but sometimes not). This process gets slowed down a bit during this time, and with all the cultural focus on Mercury retrograde, we tend to exacerbate this period even more. Mercury throws up illusions that remind us of issues we have yet to overcome in ourselves. Impatience tends to be the biggest one for most of us during these periods, but you may find different variations on this theme for yourself and those closest to you. We will continue to discuss Mercury retrograde in the next two forecasts, but this week be aware of your tendency to want to push forward frantically in order to get immediate results. This is the first trap that Mercury throws out for us, and can be overcome by going against the instinct and moving with a slow and steady pace. This will alter quite a bit by next week, when Mercury re-enters Scorpio, so this chaotic energy should only be an issue over the next several days.

The Geminid meteor shower begins this week on Monday the 4th, though it will not reach its peak until the 13th. If you search the skies in the middle of the night, you may be able to see some dust trails from the meteors that trace back to the Gemini constellation.

On Friday the 8th, Jupiter becomes the brightest point in the early morning sky. Jupiter is currently transiting the Libra constellation, and will be visible clearly about three hours before sunrise. Jupiter’s appearance heralds the coming of the Sun into Sagittarius next week, and provides an expansive look into our own imaginations. Jupiter’s prominence is a good omen for travelers and for those who seek to explore through knowledge or spirituality. Jupiter’s appearance bodes well for those interested in using this time (about three hours before dawn) for lucid dreaming, astral travel or for simply getting up to study. Knowledge soaks in easier during this period.

October 28th-November 3rd: Gathering of Friends

This week is a very active one for Venus, who will make a few important planetary contacts before leaving Virgo at the end of the week. The weekend is quiet, with the first major contact occurring on Monday the 30th. Venus will make a contact to the Rahu/Ketu opposition, inserting itself into the pull of these karmic nodes. Venus makes a pleasant aspect to both Rahu and Ketu. Where Rahu represents the things we must accomplish to evolve on our soul’s journey (which usually is something that feels far out of our comfort zone), Ketu shows us what we’ve already mastered but may get fixated on. Venus in Virgo’s beneficial interplay with these nodes will strengthen karmic relationships, bringing them to the next scene of the cosmic play. It is a little easier to stretch out of what is familiar and venture into the unknown. The people who will assist us on this journey are brought closer into our orbit on Monday and Tuesday. Pay attention to those you encounter who incite a heightened emotion or reaction from you. This is an important lesson today, and by recognizing what each of these people shows us, our relationship with both self and others is made stronger.

On Thursday the 2nd, Mercury enters Scorpio as Venus shifts into a pleasant connection with Saturn. Communication turns to areas which are typically secret or hidden. This could deal with individual secrets, or areas of conversation which are not usually talked about so openly. It is important to dive deep over the next few weeks. Surface level talk doesn’t get us very far during this time. While it could feel uncomfortable or out of character to talk about certain subjects this month, addressing these things will have far reaching effects. Venus and Saturn ensure that we get to work in our partnerships. It is time to connect with important people in our lives and work together on larger goals.

As Venus enters Libra on Friday the 3rd, this idea of togetherness and partnership becomes even more pronounced. While Venus in Virgo was more hermetic and private, Venus in Libra wants to work with others. Venus rules over Libra, and so this is a natural placement for the planet. The aesthetic eye is sharpened. We work together with others during this time to enhance beauty and the feeling of love and unity. This can manifest through romantic relationships, friendships and family ties, and work. If we are in partnerships or relationships that feel isolating, this may become more noticeable during these few weeks. The desire for togetherness is strong, and will come about in different ways for different people.

Friday we have a full moon in the sign of Aries. Balance is always key as the Sun and Moon transit the Aries/Libra sectors. We must balance our own personal needs with the needs of the larger collective. We are only able to be effective in relationships and groups if our own needs are balanced. On full moons, we harvest and manifest the intentions of the previous month’s lunar cycle. Today, we bring about positive personal changes which may require action to initiate. By diving fearlessly into inspired action, we are able to help those around us even more. If this opportunity doesn’t seem to arise this week, spend time focusing on what you would like to change. The next full moon in November will be in Taurus, and will specifically bring about material or physical things that we require for our journey. What tools do you need? Are there objects or items that would allow you to bring more light into the world? Begin to set your intentions and clear away that which doesn’t serve. Material possessions are not inherently good or bad, but it is the feelings which arise in us by owning these things which can be positive or negative. If we use our possessions to make us feel better than others, or to strengthen the ego in other ways, this is not beneficial and can hold us back from doing good work. On the flip side, if we believe we are more spiritual than others for having fewer items, or for having certain kinds of items, we are falling into a trap as well. That which takes us further away from unity is illusion. We can begin to contemplate these things now during the Aries moon to make the Taurus full moon cycle more abundant next month.

 

September 2nd-8th: Rebuilding

On Saturday, Mercury and Mars meet in conjunction at the point of 4 degrees Leo. This will feel particularly significant, because Mercury will be emerging from retrograde in a couple days’ time at this same degree point. Mars provides energy and enthusiasm today, which could turn into a chaotic feel if we get too swept up in it. This is because Mars is especially driven in the sign of Leo, and as it meets with retrograde Mercury it can hit communication blocks, or be slowed down by other forces. This could lead to having a ton of pent up energy and seemingly nowhere to put it. Being active will be important, as exercise and time spent outdoors will help to distribute this kinetic energy in a healthy way.

Mercury retrograde completes its tri-annual cycle on Tuesday the 5th, resuming direct motion at 4 degrees Leo. At this point, it will become easier to express ourselves creatively. Public image or self esteem may have taken a hit under this retrograde cycle, and so we can begin to rebuild this or reframe our concepts of how we want to present ourselves to the world. When a planet comes out of retrograde, it has to travel through the “shadow” zone and figuratively retrace its steps. Mercury retrograde began in early August at 18 degrees Leo, and it will take the speedy planet until September 19th to rearrive at that point. As we move into late September then, it becomes even easier to reinvent ourselves, utilize new ideas in communication and technology, and be understood by others in a way that is relevant to who we are presently, and not who we once were.

The full moon hits on the same day that Mercury comes out of retrograde (Tuesday 9/5), casting an emotional light on any misunderstandings or personal dilemmas that have arisen or worsened over the past few weeks. This full moon is in Aquarius on the Vedic calendar, and creates a dynamic interplay with the Sun in Leo. New and inventive thoughts and ideas are given the chance to be brought into the public eye. This is an apt time for electric change. The full moon symbolizes manifestation and harvest, and so we harvest the Aquarian ideals of art, love and spiritual Renaissance. This is a turning point for many. We are waking up to higher concepts of love, and understanding how to bring these into the world. There is a mass emphasis on suffering and division between communities at present, and this full moon serves as a reminder to keep evolving and to fearlessly live as an example of light in the world. The Leo/Aquarius polarity reminds us to not get caught too much in egoic trappings, and to think of how our actions serve others as much as ourselves. How can you best live as a constant source of light? Meditate on this and see what arises.

August 5th-11th: Smoke and Mirrors

All the month of August hangs in the balance of the upcoming eclipse on August 21st. This day carries weight and power, as the vedic points Rahu and Ketu (somewhat comparable to the North and South Node of western astrology) shift signs the day before. As Rahu and Ketu typically spend a year and a half in their respective signs, this is an intense event that will herald drastic change for many. We will get deeper into this transition in a week or two, but for now it is enough to note the slow energy build-up that is occuring as we approach this point in linear time. Rahu brings revolution and change, and Ketu digs a toe firmly in the sand, inviting us back to our familiar and comfortable shadows.

The big energy this week comes from the partial lunar eclipse/full moon in Capricorn on Tuesday the 8th. This full moon’s light is obscured slightly by the eclipse, and so the typical work of a full moon (for those who observe such occasions) may have to be shifted to achieve similar results. Typically the full moon is for reaping our harvest. We cast a net out to receive the fruits of our thoughts made manifest. Capricorn full moons tend to put a heavier focus on career and professional life. The shadow of the eclipse will pull up a wall of illusion. It may seem as though our career goals are further away than we had realized. There could be a strange flare-up of old thought patterns regarding money, even if we believe we have broken the habit. Keep in mind that all of this is illusory, temporary. As soon as the full moon energy breaks (partially on Wednesday the 9th, fully on Thursday the 10th) a sense of calm and clarity is easier to find.

The Sun and Jupiter create a pleasant aspect to one another on Thursday the 10th, which further helps to shake off the darkness of the eclipse. Expansion and growth are highlighted. As Jupiter transits the pure, antiseptic realm of Virgo, our attention has been focused on health and diet more than in previous years. We may meet with a harsh warning sign from our bodies, which could produce fear. It is essential to try to reframe our thinking about such things. The body gives us many signs that it requires different care, but often we shove these aside and continue on our way. A sudden flare of illness or pain may seem frightening, but perhaps there is something we can learn by using this time to really listen in and see how we can better take care of ourselves. Jupiter has been here in Virgo for the past year, and will be transiting out in September. Use this time to come up with a plan that works for you. While it is very helpful to listen to the advice of doctors and healers, don’t cut yourself short and forget that you are capable of translating the messages your body is sending.

July 8th-14th: The Wise One and the Fool

This week, we begin with a full moon in Sagittarius on Saturday, July 8th. This full moon occurs at 24 degrees Sagittarius, opposing the Sun’s placement at the same degree in Gemini. The Gemini/Sagittarius duality pole focuses on knowledge acquired for personal growth, as well as knowledge that is taken in for the purpose of bettering the spirit. We find our curiosity piqued today, and our interactions with others are focused around the sharing of accumulated information. This thirst for data may manifest as scholarly pursuits, or in conversation as a subtle drive to find out more. The duality of this full moon (and full moons always bring to light the duality of the physical plane) creates a push-pull effect. Should we hoard the knowledge we’ve acquired, or should we share with others? There may be a moral dilemma involved, or at the very least a need to convey information gently. It could appear that some information is better left unsaid. The main focus of this pole is realizing our position as both student and teacher in this life. It is of the utmost importance to allow both of these archetypal roles to bloom in us, and be both the master and the novice. If you are able to recognize each in yourself, you will be able to share information in a humble and wise way that could reach others on a deeper level.

Mars moves through the last degrees of Gemini this week, which fuels this need for data and information in a rapid-fire way. Mars brings activity to the mind and a restlessness to the body. As the planet transitions into Cancer on Tuesday, July 11th, it shifts into a debilitated position and is forced to take a backseat role. Here in Cancer, Mars works behind the scenes to effect change in the household, family and residential centers. Some of us will feel a need to renovate, decorate or relocate our houses. Mars is not very comfortable in this position, and prefers to be upfront on the battle lines. Tucked into the domestic dreamscape of Cancer, it may find itself frustrated and caged. Restlessness plays out for many, and those who find healthy ways to get this energy out at the scene (in the home or with the family) will turn it into a useful, transformative transit. As mentioned, changing around the house itself could be enough. Some may actually need to reformat their relationships with those they live with, or look for other living situations entirely. Mars will transit Cancer through August 26th.

Later in the week, on Friday the 14th, there is an awkward contact between Mercury in Cancer and Jupiter in Virgo, which could cause some to stumble over their words or experience a level of social anxiety. Despite the very internal nature of the Mars in Cancer transit, there are a LOT of outer world transits going on right now that are thrusting us into the public eye. This Mercury/Jupiter contact requires a bit of grounding, and the ability to improvise. Let go of your own behavioral expectations and perfectionism for the day, if you’re able. Being able to laugh at your own mistakes and own up to them will make this transit glide pleasantly by.