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