Rahu and Ketu: The Purpose of Our Shadows
Rahu and Ketu are not planets at all, they are mathematical points on either side of the Moon with rather significant implications on our Self experience. The Moon is arguably the most influential part of the chart- indicating our experiences within the womb and our relationship with mother, as well as our inner nature. The Moon is our guide for emotional well being and our connection to our intuitive self. In fact, the Moon is so important to our life experience, the relationship the nodes have with the Moon indicates their impact on our emotional well being- among other things. Rahu and Ketu, the Moon and the rest of the chart, all create our own unique stories, mythologies and individual karmic dramas. Read more about the importance of the Moon.
The nodes, as Rahu and Ketu are referred to, are mischievous in nature. They present our karmas to us in this incarnation. Without them, and their very valuable life lessons, we would not have incarnated into a human body. They are essential to this lila, this play of life, that we are involved with in this dimension. Both Rahu and Ketu have their own unique array of offerings, but because they are shadow "planets" they often evade prediction. Their nature is to deceive, mystify, to be illusive, and to blind us from our true nature. They represent forces that can't be seen and are the parts of ourselves that go unnoticed and unrecognized. When, and if, the shadow or veil of illusion is removed, and we do see what has been hidden from us, it is often extremely painful. Rahu and Ketu request that we ask ourselves: What am I not seeing or what am I not willing to see? What am I clinging to and unable to let go of?
In order to understand the nature of Rahu and Ketu, it helps to have a little background on how they came to be. In Vedic lore, Rahu (north node) and Ketu (south node) came into being during the famous story of the churning of the ocean of milk (the Milky Way). As the devas (gods) were creating this great churning, amrita, the nectar of immortality arose (think churning milk into butter). The devas, however, needed the asuras (demons) to help them with this task and they had to work together to get the job done. As the immortal nectar was created and obtained from this "great churning", Vishnu made certain that it was only given to the devas. However, one asura named Svarbhanu, outsmarted Vishnu and the other devas. He disguised himself as a deva and got in line to have a drop of the sacred nectar given to him. The story goes that he hid between the Sun and the Moon so no one would notice him.
Just as Vishnu poured a drop of nectar into Svarbhanu's mouth, the Sun and Moon recognized that he was actually an asura! Vishnu chopped him in half, but it was too late. A drop of the immortal nectar was already in his mouth! Thus the two halves, Rahu and Ketu were born. The head of the asura who ingested the immortal nectar became Rahu and the lower half, the body of the asura, became Ketu. Rahu and Ketu are the head and tail of the demon, often referred to as the serpent. A lunar eclipse is connected to Rahu- this happens when he tries to eat the Moon, but it falls right out of him. Ketu is connected to the Solar eclipse.
This epic story is truly metaphoric on so many levels of life. It expresses the interplay of light and dark and how interdependent they both are on each other. These two facets of life are of course alive and well within our own natures and thus the play of shadow and light becomes our dance in life as well.
Rahu is the head of the serpent and has an insatiable appetite for the material world (his cravings for obtaining the nectar) and intoxicants of all kinds. He brings shock and the dark side of life and he can bring sudden changes, upheavals, even quick boons. Where Saturn brings sorrow, sadness and grief- the natural darkness that is life- Rahu brings an intensified demented version of this darkness; he manipulates and obscures everything he touches. Addictions and confusion are Rahu's domain as well as disturbances and trauma. He does not allow us to think clearly and brings deceit and dishonesty with him. That said, there are worldly benefits that come with him as well. He can give money, profits and excesses from the material world. He loves the foreign and unusual, which can offer great learning and awareness as a result. Enjoyable and exotic travels can also come with Rahu. Professions that require lying, cheating and stealing (politicians for example) will get benefits from Rahu.
Where Rahu may give, Ketu takes away, and is responsible for "cutting the ties that bind us to the material world". If we are attached to it, Ketu can and will cut those attachments loose- eventually. That is his job- to help us realize intimately the impermanence of this life. He is highly spiritual and not interested in the material realms at all. He will either grant access to spiritual advancement or deny it; Ketu is connected to Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. Since Ketu is just a body (no head) he literally has no mind. He can either show madness and complete craziness like schizophrenia, or certain zen states of no-mind which are more spiritual in experience. Ketu is a moksha planet, connected to liberation, letting go and deep surrender. Rahu and Ketu are always seven houses away from each other. They are always looking directly at each other, thus, whatever Rahu gives, Ketu will be sure to take it away.
The nodes are always moving against the direction of the other planets, in retrograde fashion. All the planets retrograde periodically (except for Sun and Moon) and when they do, they are said to be acting like Rahu and Ketu as a result. Our cravings, desires and fears are all connected to Rahu and Ketu. They instigate our pains, sorrows and drive us to take actions or no actions. They are our shadowed sides and will indicate what we are moving towards and away from in this life time. Thanks to Rahu and Ketu, we are guaranteed to grow in this life, but it may not be the pleasant kind of growth.
Wondering how this transit of the shadow planets will specifically effect you? Ask me about my jyotish sessions.
Rahu and Ketu Transits
Rahu and Ketu move from Libra and Aries into Virgo and Pisces on July 12th 2014 at 19:11 CDT. It is an extraordinary time on multiple levels- which truly speaks to the level of intensity the nodes offer. As soon as Guru Purnima takes place on the 11th and 12th (USA), the nodes shift signs with a bang. Rahu then collides with a transitioning Mars who is moving into Libra on the 13th, followed by Venus moving into Gemini just after that. Lots of sudden movement in a very short amount of time!
The illusory nature of the nodes brings into question the impact this transit will have on us, but when Rahu and Mars combine (as they will exactly on the 13th) there is sure to be some powerful sparks taking place. Caution should be taken at this time and fires of all kinds are possible, so be prudent. This includes a variety of sparks from the emotional and verbal levels, as well as with relationships. Driving should be done with extra care- if at all. Intoxication and inflammation are indicated with this conjunction, so avoid excesses of all kinds and stay away from others who are likely to be partaking.
Rahu in Virgo and 6th House Matters
As Rahu makes its way into Virgo, we begin to feel the difference from the past 18 months immediately. Likely, most of us will be feeling the shifts weeks in advance on some level. This transit will be very different for many reasons, but essentially it will be enlivening Virgo and the nature of Virgo, as well as all things related to the 6th house. Let's unpack this a bit more.
Whereas Libra is ruled by Saturn and Venus and correlates to 7th house matters like relationships, business and balance; Virgo is about purity, idealism and creativity and ruled by Mercury (the indicator for mental body, communication and creativity). Venus is considered debilitated in Virgo because the restrictions Virgo puts on love, restricts the flowing nature of Venus's love. Libra is an air sign, Virgo is an earth sign and so their expressions and results are truly different. Luckily, Virgo is also the mulitrikona sign of Rahu, which bodes well for material gains and stabilizing finances if all other chart indications support this. We also won't be having the stormy conjunction of Rahu and Saturn together as we have for the last 18 months. Rudra and his storm energy certainly brought intensity! Those days are behind us now thankfully, but this new chapter will bring with it a new wave of challenges and opportunities.
As Rahu transits Virgo, sixth house matters will also be enlivened. The sixth house has to do with disease and debts (the kinds that can be corrected and cured, unlike the 8th house indications) as well as enemies. This house is known to be a trouble maker because of these tendencies, but there are also some fortunate connections as well. Since disease is attributed to 6th house matters, it is also connected to the healer, the one who heals disease as well as being in service to others. And depending on the other indications of the chart, enemies can become friends in certain circumstances. In regard to debts, learning how to handle money and the affairs of money can create much more financial stability; where we put our attention, we learn and grow. So this can be a fabulous time to increase our knowledge and understanding with all the things that are 6th house related.
With Rahu's fanaticism and obsessive nature, it's quite likely that we will be forced to attend to these themes very directly- either by will or by force. Depending on your rising sign and other chart details, the placement of Rahu in your chart during this transit will also enliven other attributes and indications and either heighten or lessen these expressions. This is a general guideline of course.
Other indications of the 6th house include: Enemies/opponents, legal issues/litigation, health, short term disease/sickness, servants and employees, pets, lower abdomen, large intestine, bad habits, maternal uncle and cousins, wounds, boils, scars, sores, cancer, step mother, weapons, struggles, theft, sexual diseases, poisons, healers, digestion, being in service.
From his placement in Virgo, Rahu will give drishti (gaze) to five, seven and nine houses away from him. He will be looking at Pisces directly seven houses away, where Ketu will be as well. His gaze five houses away will be on Capricorn, and nine houses away will give drishti to Taurus- both earth signs like Virgo. Will this transit bring greater stability and grounding into our lives, or an increase in uprooting, change and calamities? Hopefully, the latter, as the desire for earthy stability will be strengthened at this time.
Themes of Virgo will increase during this transit for certain. These include idealism and perfectionism. We may question what this means for us and what our relationship is with idealism as a result. Along with perfectionism comes the critic and our relationship with this inner beast. Do we have a healthy or toxic relationship with this inner entity? We will certainly be getting multiple opportunities to explore this dynamic during this transit.
Purification and cleanliness are other themes that get our attention. Are we being overly fastidious? Using too many diet fads, cleansing rituals and extreme purification practices? Rahu could make us go into over-drive, or under drive depending on your relationship with him and your sixth house nature. Balance is ultimately the goal, but watch out for being extreme- in either direction! Virgo is also very detail oriented, methodical, precise and good with numbers, communications and creative endeavors. Work with goals, timelines and clear time lines in order to get the job done. Virgo's love a good list. Use them and revel in checking off your action steps!
The Virgo nature is to have very high standards which can't often (or ever) be met, so dissatisfaction is likely. Be aware that this theme may develop or be heightened in your own personal mythology. Ask your self these questions periodically: Are your expectations too high? Are you self sabotaging as a result? Are you finding fault with others constantly and being excessively judgmental? What is your relationship with your inner critic? Remember when you lash out at others, there's usually an inner voice saying the same thing to you! This is an ideal transit to create a more harmonious relationship with the inner critic and the expectations you have with yourself.
Ketu in Pisces and 12th House Matters
As Rahu moves to Virgo, Ketu moves to Pisces. As Rahu moves us towards our own ideals and purification, Ketu moves to the sign of liberation and letting go in order to help us resolve and clean up the pieces in our lives. Ketu's last transit through Aries was all about restructuring the Self, the ego, and how we show up in this world. His transit through Pisces will move us out of an intense individual focus, and push us towards a collective awareness that works for the greater good.
Ketu's nature is the opposite of Rahu's. He is concerned with our moksha, our enlightenment, and is not concerned with the material parts of life. This is why Ketu does well in Pisces as both are moving us towards the same purpose. Ketu is considered mulitrikona in Pisces which means he is quite happy here and can express himself in more harmonious ways ideally.
Just as Ketu is connected to all things liberation and letting go, Pisces is connected to these same themes and all 12th house matters- which are entirely focused on liberation, letting go and self sacrifices. The 12th house is not a house of the material realms, in fact it's quite the opposite. 12th house matters uplift spiritual matters and bring our focus to our enlightenment as a result. This is a house of loss just as the 6th and 8th are, but 12th house matters relate to a unique set of losses that relate particularly to our experiences of liberation and letting go in order for enlightenment. This can include meditation, sex, marriage, selfless service and sleep, as well as being in confinement like at an ashram, or in prison. Ketu will be bringing us flashes of insight, awareness, serendipity, removing of obstacles and releases that help us come closer to our simplest state of being. That does not mean it will be comfortable for us though! Ketu may have our best interest in mind, but we may not like how he goes about it.
Other indications of the 12th house: Hospitals, ashrams, prisons, long meditations and retreats, working in places of confinement, losses, poverty, generosity, sleep and quality of sleep, beds and the comfort of sleeping quarters, spiritual journey's and pilgrimages, wandering, foreign lands and long travels, life after death and the nature of one's previous incarnation, martyrdom, self sacrifice, betrayal, tapas, bill collectors, those who cause us loss, marriage, feet.
Pisces, being connected to the 12th house offers us many of the same themes mentioned above. Pisces is ruled by Jupiter, and Venus is considered exalted here. These planets help us expand and flow and since Ketu is oriented towards formlessness, we may be surprised how we choose to expand and flow, or how we learn to do this in our relationships and with regard to our needs. Pisces is symbolized by two fish swimming in spirals, looping and flowing in endless circles. Sometimes this translates as indecisiveness or as being a "pleaser" personality that tries to make everyone happy all the time. Ketu may help us cut out any confusion typically offered by the Pisces mythology by giving us clarity and focus. I would expect this clarity to come in surprising ways as Ketu is all about sudden events and occurrences!
Pisces is however quite mystical and is connected to the endless stream of consciousness flowing back and forth between heaven and earth. Pisces is known for intuitive awareness, sympathy, contemplation, modesty, philosophy, generosity and in general, being polite. If any of these attributes are excessive within us (for example lack of healthy boundaries and codependency issues) this will be a cycle where we will learn the harsh lessons about giving too much. Ketu will certainly help "enlighten" us on where we need more appropriate and harmonious boundaries with giving and receiving.
Based on these themes of the 12th house and Pisces, we will be creating many new parameters for ourselves with regard to relationships and how to find more balance with them. Wherever we have been excessive- giving too much of ourselves or not creating healthy and mutually beneficial boundaries for ourselves- we will likely get the flashlight memo and get a wake up call! Some may learn this lesson from loss and letting go, others will find a new set point more easily. With Jupiter exalted in the heart center (Cancer) at the same time, emotions and matters of the heart will be playing their role in our new sense of balance and harmony. Many of us will make a re-commitment to the Self during this time- putting our needs and desires first and foremost. Ultimately what is good for ourselves and our development is good for others, so putting our needs first is always a win/win for all involved.
As Ketu moves from Aries into Pisces, it's considered a very challenging gandanta position- the junction between two sign. Aries is the beginning of the zodiac (the head) and Pisces is the end (the feet). And because Rahu and Ketu always move in retrograde motion, Ketu is essentially jumping from the beginning to the end, thus starting a new cycle for each of us. It's been 18 years since Ketu was in Pisces and Rahu in Virgo. This is a new beginning in many ways. Likely we are each feeling its poignancy. However, Ketu will be fresh in Pisces once he moves, without much awareness of this "new cycle" yet. Reflect on your past 18 years for guidance. What are you cutting out and restructuring in your life? What are you letting go of and finding freedom from? Go there with zeal and make plenty of room for the changes.
Use this time of the Rahu and Ketu transits to recommit to your enlightenment and spiritual pursuits. Make healing and health a priority and focus. Seek balance with relationships- the relationship with your Self and with others. Look for fanaticism, rigidity and where your idealism is forcing you off track from goals and the long term agenda. Creating more harmony is ultimately the goal, but we may have to work with some extremes before we find our sense of center. In this cycle, don't fall off the wagon and loose your commitment to health and well being with excess toxicity, but at the same time, excessive puritanical and self righteous behaviors will not lead to sustainability and healing in the long run. This is a unique cycle that can truly awaken us to parts of ourselves that we have been missing- overlooking perhaps out of fear, denial and past suffering. We have the opportunity to introspect in new and unique ways as a result of this cycle. No doubt the outcome of the next 18 months will be a time period of great change, clarity and momentum. Here we go!
Wondering how this transit of the shadow planets will specifically effect you? Ask me about my jyotish sessions.
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Moon is in its waxing phase now (shukla paksha) and moves through Cancer, Leo and into Virgo this week.
Moon transits Cancer, its own sign, and is in Pushya nakshatra today. Ruled by Brihaspati and the planet Saturn, there is nourishment attainable today- especially from things that are structured and established, old and enduring. Look to lineage and wisdom for guidance. Brihaspati is another name for Jupiter, priest to the gods, and wisest of the planets. The rules of Jupiter apply to Brihaspati as well. Read more about Jupiter in my Exalted Jupiter article.
From this position in Cancer, the Moon receives drishti (gaze) from Saturn ten houses away, which can make the Moon feel depressed, saddened or unable to fully experience the nourishment present. If your mood is blue or indigo today, use self care as a valuable resource. Nourish your Self from the inside out. Do a "support audit" and make a list of all the places you are getting your needs met. Then give some gratitude for what you do have. Move your physical body and let the emotional body flow as well.
Moon is still in its own sign of Cancer today, but moves to Ashlesha nakshatra at 10:32 am CDT. Serpent energy is enlivened today through Sarpa. You might find support with worldly aspirations today, but a mischievous mind needs to be tempered. Watch your appetite! Are your cravings getting the best of you? Are your desires ruling your actions? Pay attention to the pressures you are putting on your self. Financially and otherwise. Cut back where you can. Play nice. Meditate and channel your desires into transcendence.
"Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that's what makes you strong." - Sarah Dessen
Moon moves to Leo and Magha nakshatra today at 13:26 CDT. Pitr and Ketu, both rulers of Magha, can bring flashes of insight and awareness today. It is a day of Sun and shining, with some sparks and fire as well! Several layers of Sun and Ketu are enlivened today. Leo is ruled by the Sun, the Moon is in its 9th phase (tithi) today called Navami, which is ruled over by the Sun as well. Currently we have an exalted Sun transiting Aries, sitting there with Ketu. Invite in the shine and move into the power and light, but avoid getting scorched. Invite in support, ideas and awareness that bring possibility and excitement. Pay special attention to the ancestors today and give your gratitude at the altar. Curb the ego.
Keep your sunglasses on (as per yesterdays post) until 16:06 CDT, when Moon moves into Purvaphalguni, one of the most creative and fertile of the 27 nakshatras. This lunar constellation is ruled by Bhaga and Venus. Bhaga is one of the 12 Adityas, the children of goddess Aditi (Punarvasu nakshatra). Adityas rule over the resources we have in this life, the support available to us. With Venus exalted currently, this can be a day that offers a wealth of support from love, friendships and relationships, as well as through creativity and money. Luck and ample creativity are afoot on this day of Jupiter (Thursday)! Love and be loved. Create and share. "Love and you shall be loved". ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The love continues to flow like jala (water) on this day of Venus (Friday). Moon stays in Purvaphalguni the majority of the day, moving into the latter half of the Phalguni stars at 18:21 CDT when it moves to Uttarphalguni. This star is ruled by Aryaman and the Sun. It's a place where love and partnerships, romance and sexuality, find more stability and sustainability. Aryaman is also connected to the ancestors and is pleased by things that sustain lineage (ie. marriage and children). Since ample creativity is palpable again today, channel it effectively and share the fruits of your labor with others. Create, co-create, dance and sing. Enjoy quality time with your family. Enjoy the life you are creating for your Self!
A further creative boost comes today as Mercury moves to Rohini at 12:14 CDT. The mind is moving towards creativity and connection. Inspire and be inspired! "Creativity is contagious. Pass it on." - Albert Einstein
Moon moves to Virgo just after midnight at 00:50 CDT, joining retrograde Mars here. Both planets get direct drishti (gaze) from exalted Venus seven houses away. Yesterday's themes persist today as well since the Moon stays in Uttarphalguni most of the day. At 20:02 CDT Moon moves to Hasta as it nears exact conjunction with Mars. Some may feel divine inspiration from the Universal Mother, Ma. Learn, expand and look for the support that is ever present. Give your gratitude. Take any mental/emotional tensions into art and creativity. Dancing and singing will prove valuable. Gaze at the Moon to cool your eyes tonight.
Hasta nakshatra rules the day and on into the night. Savitr and the Moon are enlivened today. Savitr offers his guiding light and helps us awaken. Use Gayatri Mantra to assist you with this. Moon crosses Mars mid morning, but their tight conjunction separates closer to noon. Watch for the emotional heat and mental tension mentioned yesterday. Don't let the mind get overheated. Sharp insights and intuitive wisdom can be found through the awakening of Savitr today. Carve out space and time to listen and be present to what arises. Give your gratitude to the divine feminine and her abundant nature. Don't suppress the urge to dance, vocalize, sing and express today. Move your body, let your artistry flow, and find insights and wisdom in subtle messages. Studying jyotish is ideal today. Join me for my Jyotish Basics workshop from 12 to 1pm CDT. Tonight: howl at the Moon.
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Moon moves through Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and into Sagittarius this week. Moon reaches its fullness on 4.15 at 2:41 CDT while in Libra. More details below as well as in my current planetary report + horoscopes for the waning Moon cycle.
Sun is now exalted in Aries, joining Ketu there as well. Sun is in weak degrees until Wednesday so try to get away with using less energy; don't push too hard.
Moon finishes up its transit through Virgo today, crossing over Mars directly around noon (the hottest part of the day) and is in close degrees with him throughout the day. This can heat the emotions, create aggression and stir the Pitta. Watch your temper and emotions and if anger arrives, notice what boundaries you allowed to be crossed. Did you say yes, when you should have said no?
Moon is in Hasta nakshatra the first part of the day which is ruled by Savitr. He grants us awakening, the dawning of awareness as well as increased creativity and healing potential through the hands. Be present to some stirring, some dawning within you today. What new understanding or insights arrive this morning? The Moon/Mars conjunction can also bring a deepened connection with the Divine Mother- notice where she gives her blessings. Use Gayatri Mantra to start your day.
As Moon moves to Chitra at 12:10 CDT, the connection with Vishvakarma strengthens. He is the celestial architect, who helps our building and planning become actualized. He is especially connected to artisans and those wishing to expand their potential. This also marks Hanuman Jayanti, the celebration of Hanuman's birth. The festivities begin when the waxing Moon is at its fullest (15th tithi) and enters Chitra nakshatra during this particular season of the Vedic calendar. Hanuman is considered a Rudra (a god of intense strength and power) and overcame many obstacles and opponents (the rakshasa/demon Ravana and his army) out of love, devotion and service to Lord Raam and goddess Sita. May he serve as a reminder to us of what odds can be overcome, what power we each posses, and what love and devotion can accomplish.
The lunar eclipse begins at 11:55 pm CDT as Moon reaches its fullness and crosses paths with the Sun.
Moon enters Libra just after midnight joining Rahu and retrograde Saturn there as well. It reaches its peak fullness at 2:41 am CDT while in Chitra nakshatra. The lunar eclipse reaches its maximum at 02:46am CDT and continues until 05:36 am CDT.
With the direct gaze from Sun and Ketu in Aries, and Jupiter in Gemini, as well as an eclipse, this full Moon is one of intensity and a great collision of energies. It is a good time to evaluate where we are using sheer physical strength and stamina and where we are not effectively using beneficial mental strategy to help us achieve our long term goals and objectives. Become aware of how to do less, while maximizing your efforts. In other words, the mantra "less is more", is still pertinent to the day and to the weeks ahead. This is certainly a time of pruning and cutting out all that is unnecessary. More on the meaning of this full Moon for the coming waning cycle in my planetary report.
Moon crosses directly over Rahu late morning. Moon moves to Swati nakshatra at 12:37 pm CDT (ending the Hanuman Jayanti celebrations) which is ruled by the planet Rahu and Vayu, the wind god. The mind and body will likely be clouded today so allow extra time for going about your day. Be careful while driving and traveling today especially.
The lunar eclipse marks a delicate two week period until the solar eclipse on the 29th. In the Vedic tradition, this is not a time to take risks, start new endeavors, or to over-exert. It is a time, however, of turning inward, of meditation and contemplation, and a time to take extra care of the physical body with good routine etc.
Moon moves to Vishaka nakshatra at 12:35 pm CDT ruled by the dual natured god, Indragni and the planet Jupiter. Seek alliance and support today. Notice where you can make changes in your life to create greater assistance for your Self and get things done more efficiently. Are you forgetting to ask for what you need? Are you pushing too hard? Where are you resisting change? As Moon nears Saturn, it is extremely important and valuable to listen to our bodies for subtle insights. What messages is the body giving you?
Moon finishes up its transit through Libra after crossing directly over retrograde Saturn in the wee hours of the morning, then moves to Scorpio at 6:17 am CDT. Moon is considered debilitated in Scorpio which makes the Moon extra sensitive. This sensitivity can be helpful for intuition and a refined awareness, however, it must be handled with care. As Moon moves into Anuradha nakshatra at 12:08 pm CDT, this sensitivity heightens, especially for the physical body and the mind/body connection. Stamina may be lower, so find ways to self care and treat the physical and mental bodies with TLC. The tendency, however, may be to do the opposite. Avoid getting lost in the details, try to zoom out and get a bigger picture if necessary. Reach out to friends and alliances for support and comfort. Work with the theme "giving and receiving."
Moon moves to Jyeshta nakshatra just before noon at 11:21 am CDT just as Sun nears exact conjunction with Ketu. The mind and body may be extra sensitive today so take this into consideration if irritations arise. With Indra and Mercury ruling this nakshatra, and the current planetary transits, it is an excellent time for self tracking. Likely the irritations in the mind will be a result of some physical need not being met. Can you trace the issue back to the need? Can you find a healthy way to get your need met? It may require self care strategies, alone time, and restructuring previous plans. You may also need to shift your relationships around. Do what it takes to preserve your mental comfort and physical support.
Venus moves into Purvabhadra nakshatra today. We may notice an increase in relationship and financial support as a result over the next 12 days, while using a one pointed focus and agenda. This can also be a time of purification and change as well; allow the change, don't resist it.
Moon moves to Sagittarius and into Mula nakshatra at 10:17 am CDT and receives direct drishti/gaze from Jupiter seven houses away in Gemini, retrograde Saturn in Libra, as well as retrograde Mars in Virgo. Mula is also a challenging nakshatra that often is responsible for a sense of chaos and dishevelment. Don't plan to be anywhere on time today- or expect to arrive in an orderly fashion. Best use of time and energy is with restorative measures for the mental, emotional and physical bodies.
The rulers of Mula are Ketu and Nirrti (the dark goddess married to adharma- against dharma). She brings uprooting, change and removals, but the end results can be greater overall health and wellness. With Ketu and Sun in close degrees today and in Ashwini nakshatra respectively, this is a great day to pay special attention to the physical body, to use healing remedies and to put attention on self care regimens. Additionally, Mercury is weak in degrees in its sign of debilitation which requires careful navigation of the mental body, communication and decision making. Use your inner wisdom and go for silence today.
Mercury moves to Aries at 6:56 am CDT, joining exalted Sun and Ketu there as well. Moon moves to PurvAshada nakshatra at 9:01 CDT. Apas the water goddess rules the day. Allow flow to happen. Where are you stopping fluidity in your life? Where is the resistance to movement, change, growth and new possibilities? Focus your efforts and attention on abundance, life giving support and your own vitality today. Right now it is all about self care.
The 8th day of Navaratri, dedicated to goddess Saraswati. Moon is on the wax (Shukla Paksha) and the week begins with Moon in the 8th tithi at the end of Gemini and Punarvasu nakshatra.
At 16:41 CDT Moon enters the auspicious ninth tithi (navami) while sandhi in Gemini, but moves to Moon's own sign of Cancer at 16:47 CDT (still in Punarvasu). In Cancer, Moon receives drishti from Saturn which offers a restrictive energy as well as one pointed focus. Punarvasu, however, gives expansion, clarity and a sense of wholeness from the deity Aditi "mother of all goodness". Look for both in the second half of your day- a fixed mode of expansion with a clear trajectory.
Moon moves to Pushya nakshatra at 23:31 CDT.
Pushya nakshatra is ruled by Saturn and Brihaspati (another name for Jupiter) and offers nourishment, support, usually by providing us with knowledge and awareness.
Today is the final day of Navaratri which culminates with the celebration of Lord Raam's birthday, Raam Navami. This is a potent and powerful day of activation. As the previous eight days of Navaratri provided a complete inner overhaul. First with the tilling of our internal soil through clearing and purging (Durga), then came nourishment and support for our seeds (desires) through Lakshmi's abundance, and then finally wisdom and clarity and a wealth of creativity has been offered through Saraswati so that our desires may blossom into a rich harvest in the days and months to come. Raam then provides the power and dynamism to take these silent gifts of the Divine Mother into action so that they may truly actualize. Historically, this is the day Lord Raam was born in Ayodhya and so we give honor and praise to his life and name as well. He was the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. Jai Ram!!
Moon moves to Ashlesha nakshatra in the wee hours of the morning. This is sarpa's nakshatra, ruled by Mercury. Sarpas are snakes, connected to Rahu (as opposed to the other type of snake, Nagas, which are connected to Ketu). Sarpas are sly and cunning, but offer insights and bring wisdom through their occult studies. Be mindful off illusion, deception and overconfidence today- which are attributes of both Sarpa and Rahu's nature. Currently Mercury is transiting Pisces (conjunct Sun) and transiting Uttarabhadrapada nakshatra which is ruled by Ahirbudhnya, a naga. The mental/emotional body is getting a chance for clarity today with a higher purpose. Get clear on what you need to do and trust your intuitive powers.
Moon moves to Leo and Magha nakshatra at 05:15 CDT. Magha is ruled by Ketu and Pitr, which relates to the ancestors, particularly the father's lineage. Karamas with power and authority arrive with this nakshatra. Moon receives drishti from Venus here, currently in Satabisha nakshatra. Do good work and uphold dharma, but avoid being overly critical to your Self and others. Works steadily today, but don't push too hard. Where are you overly connected to power and authority?
At 07:42 CDT Moon moves to Purvaphalguni nakshatra which is ruled by Bhaga and the planet Venus. It's Friday, day of Venus, so expect some fruiting and flowering- assisted by Bhaga of course, who rules relationships, harmony and sexuality. Jupiter's drishti to Venus helps the heart feel more expansive and relationships to feel a bit more harmonious. Though, Rahu's drishti to Venus as well can give too much of a good thing, or misjudgement. Listen closely. Does it feel good to your heart? Emotions? Do you feel supported and nourished? Are your needs being met? Look for warning signs and back up if necessary. Don't rush in too quickly.
Sun becomes sandhi late in the evening.
Moon moves to the latter half of Phalguni, Uttaraphalguni nakshatra at 09:43 CDT which is in the final portion of Leo. Ruled by Sun and Aryaman, there is still a connection to relationships, however, he's more connected to lasting relationships than Bhaga is. Aryaman wants love, commitment and family life to be harmonious. With Sun sandhi in Pisces, in Revati nakshatra (ruled by Mercury), the "Self" needs may be weak today. Do what's best for group harmony today. Shine through communication, verbal affirmations and keep group dynamics in mind. Speak sweetly.
Moon moves to Virgo at 16:09 CDT joining retrograde Mars there as well. Retrograde Mars moves back into Hasta nakshatra at 18:25 CDT.
Debilitated Mercury moves into Revati nakshatra at 10:33 CDT, ruled by Pushan who gives nourishment and safe journeys. Shortly thereafter, Moon moves to Hasta nakshatra joining Mars there at 11:13 CDT. The Moon and Mars conjunction brings heat to the emotions and there is a heightened tension with the mental body simultaneously as they are in a Mercury ruled sign (Virgo) receiving direct drishti from a sandhi Sun and debilitated Mercury.
If tempers flair, it's probably due to pushing for too much, forcing an agenda that needs to be re-evaluated and having expectations that are too high. Today is calling for downsizing in a big way. As we near the Lunar Eclipse on the 15th (and Hanuman Jayanti), we need to have emotional/mental balance at the front of our needs list. Where can you do less and lower your expectations of your Self and others?
Sun moves to Aries (its home of exaltation) for the next month at 20:42 CDT. This is a powerful placement and causes us to use our brute strength and the physical body to accomplish goals and agendas. But does the body comply? Do the mental and emotional bodies say yes as well? With the lunar eclipse and Full Moon arriving next week, we near the delicate two week period between eclipses (Annual solar eclipse on the 29th). This is a time to really be cognizant of working smarter, not harder. Though plenty of temptations will arise.
More on all of this in next week's Planetary Transit + Horoscope Report.
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You as mother
as angel near
as ascended master
as gray crane standing on one leg
or white egret
as hooting owl
or swooping hawk
You as Ma
now within me
in new ways
Now without me
and sacred ways
who is neither
not in a form
not housed in a body case
Yet you whisper
and answer my prayers
and sing my songs
though I can't hear
It comes in breezes
that suddenly stir
the calls of the birds
I only hear while walking
in the woods
desperate and alone.
-Swati J. Miller
Moon is waxing (shukla paksha) and transits Gemini, Cancer, Leo and into Virgo this week. Moon is in its own sign of Cancer from the 11th to the 13th.
Full Moon on 3.16 at 12:07 CDT in the first few degrees of Virgo and in Uttarphalguni Nakshatra. Because it will be high noon at its fullest point during the 15th tithi, we won't see the fullness in the sky, but will feel it internally. The night of 3.15 will be our night to view its fullness in the dark sky. Uttarphalguni is ruled by Aryaman, one of the twelve Adityas, who gives sustenance, support, health and physical strength. He is related to repaying the ancestors through family and children, things that sustain unions, contracts and marriage as well as other 12th house matters. The month of Phalguni is a time of spring which connects us to fertility, growth, abundance, colors, flowers and blossoming. Aryaman and Uttaraphalguni usher in the abundance of life.
This Full Moon also marks the Holi celebration in the Vedic calendar which roughly coincides with the vernal equinox and the arrival of spring (for the Northern Hemisphere). No matter the hemisphere you are in, both spring and fall are considered "sandhi" times of year- or in between seasons. These are sacred times, when the veil is thin, sensitivity is heightened, and in Ayurveda we attend to necessary physical rituals that help the body cleanse and purify. Holi comes at this sacred junction and is a time to "plant seeds" so to speak. It is a celebration of fertility, abundance and the awakening of Shakti within Nature. This full enlivening of Ma is celebrated during Vasant Navaratri- the nine days of Mother Divine beginning on the last day of March this year. We can consider this her "kick off" celebration however when we plant our desires and create our fruits. Let this Full Moon bring you a sense of spring and possibility. Use this week's Creative Engagement activity (below) for your cultivation process.
Mercury moves into Aquarius on 3.11 at 22:43 CDT where it joins Sun there for only a few short days before Sun moves into Pisces. Mercury receives drishti from Rahu while in Aquarius (considered Rahu's own sign) as well as Jupiter, and stays in Dhanishta nakshatra for the remainder of the week. This can present some tension for Mercury as well as expansion through effort. Notice where you are pushing too much for results and see if you can back off.
Sun is sandhi starting 3.12 as it moves out of Aquarius and moves into Pisces on 3.14 at 12:12 CDT. Sun is weak in degrees (sensitive) until late in the day on 3.16 but is thankfully happier in Pisces than Aquarius. Pisces is the sign where Venus (creativity, passion, artistry, the feminine) is exalted and currently Venus is receiving drishti from retrograde Mars and will get Moon drishti the 11th to 13th. This combination can enhance creativity, relationships, passion and drive. Connect and socialize on these days. Work it! But as mentioned above, also note where you may be putting your Self into overdrive.
With three retrograde planets in Libra currently (Mars, Saturn and Rahu- which is always retrograde) we have increased "returns" coming to us in all ways connected to Libra. This is also a sign ruled by Venus and is associated with relationships (work and personal) as well as commerce, the marketplaces, business and creativity. The desire for Libra is a sense of balance- balance in relationships and from hard work. Desires, in general, are extra strong right now. The retrograde planets are helping us remember what isn't working as well as what is. Old relationships blowing back in and making reappearances? Patterns and behaviors rearing their ugly little heads? Discomforts and discouragement on the rise? Physical fatigue and overwhelm setting in? Pay attention and make adjustments where necessary.
Retrograde Mars is moving back towards Virgo and pulling that Virgo energy into his dance which gives an extra essence of Mercury (Virgo's ruler). This can enhance communication and commerce, connections and creativity, but can also bring some confusion and mismatched action steps. Use good communication (internally and externally) at this time to express your needs and healthy boundaries. Being clear about expectations is very important right now. Be realistic about what you can actually accomplish by working backwards and mapping it out. Read more about the unusual dance of Mars until September.
As per last week's post on Retrograde Saturn:
Now that Saturn is retrograde, there is a greater emphasis on the physical body; a demand of sorts. A unique perspective of Jaimini jyotish dictates that when an exalted planet goes retrograde, it becomes debilitated. Saturn in Libra is considered exalted, retrograde now, and thus debilitated. He is also giving direct drishti to his sign of debilitation, Aries. The results of this will vary individually, but the overall effect will be a slowing down of systems, structure and a greater request from Saturn to focus on, well, all things Saturn. Saturn loves routine, gives prosperity with time and consistency, wants meditation, physical movement and hard work. He rules the physical structures of life (time quite literally) and within the body this means bones and muscle tissue.
Until Saturn goes direct on July 20th, we may notice increased physical fatigue, depression, heightened worry, a need to focus on our physical body more directly- either through awareness or force. We will also be "re-structuring" areas of our life that involve relationships, creativity, nourishment, receptivity, vulnerability, business and commerce, contracts and obligations, boundaries and balance. Leave it to retrograde Saturn to help us re-purpose and resolve what is not working in our best interest. Remember that if there is excess pressure from his means and ways, it is likely a place we need to look for a resolution. Ask: What is working? What is not? What do I need? What needs to shift right now for greater harmony and balance? Where am I pushing too hard? What am I resisting and where am I not letting life flow?
If you are curious about Saturn's movements through Libra, you can read my articles on his transits here:
Part 1: Rahu and Saturn in Libra
Part 2: Saturn Retrograde + the Influence of the Nakshatras
For increased awareness, utilize my jyotish inspired Body-centered Expressive Art Therapy articles. Each week I post a new Creative Engagement Activity to help inspire your own unique creative process, Self-tracking, and to enrich your cultivation of presence. This week we will revisit a Full Moon activity from the archives.
I still have a few sessions available for April. Schedule a yearly progression with me in order to make your New Year a truly transformational year and to make the most out of the current transits.
*Horoscopes are based on your Vedic rising sign. You can also check your Moon and Sun signs for further insight. Do the same with your Navamsa signs for further clarity. Do not use these horoscopes with your “Western Sign” as there is likely no correlation. These horoscopes are meant to be used as a broad overview of the current transits and obviously do not address the specifics of an individual’s unique chart.
Here we go again
You're dancing with the fire
You're dancing with the Beast
You're still hungry-
I'll take you to the feast.
Here we go again
The rage is a craving
The thunder is your song
The power is misfortune
The misery is strong
Here we go again
The spirals and the chaos
The torment and the chains
No steps to the mirror
Oh! The Beast lives on.
Here we go again
I'm waiting with my palms
I watch you burn and writhe
I sing your laments
Still waiting for your dawn.
-Swati J. Miller
THE HOUSE OF BELONGING
in the gold light
turning this way
it was one
like any other.
the veil had gone
it must have been the quiet
that filled my room,
it must have been
with which I breathed
myself to sleep,
it must have been
the prayer I said
speaking to the otherness
of the night.
this is the good day
meet your love,
this is the grey day
to you could die.
This is the day
how easily the thread
between this world
and the next…
It doesn't interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.
How do trees deal with injustice?
They grow a branch wherever they were cut.
And how do sparrows deal with grief?
They open their tiny wings and swoop at anything that glistens.
So why am I all cut & hungry?
Because I do not know the tree that is my soul and refuse the sparrow in my heart.
- from Finding Inner Courage by Mark Nepo
Everyone who terrifies you is sixty-five percent water.
And everyone you love is made of stardust, and I know sometimes
you cannot even breathe deeply, and
the night sky is no home, and
you have cried yourself to sleep enough times
that you are down to your last two percent, but
nothing is infinite,
not even loss.
You are made of the sea and the stars, and one day
you are going to find yourself again.
- F. Butler
"Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated."
-Terry Tempest Williams
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
The Thing Is
The thing is..
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hand,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you again.
Be taught now, among the trees and rocks,
how the discarded is woven into shelter,
learn the way things hidden and unspoken
slowly proclaim their voice in the world....
Find that far inward symmetry
to all outward appearances, apprentice
yourself to yourself, begin to welcome back
all you sent away, be a new annunciation,
make yourself a door through which
to be hospitable, even to the stranger in you.
- David Whyte
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
- Mary Oliver
It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
- Mary Oliver
What To Do In Darkness
Consent to it
But don't wallow in it
Know it as a place of germination
Remember the light
Take an outstretched hand if you find one
Exercise unused senses
Find the path by walking it
Watch for dawn
- Marilyn McEntyre
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