Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Second Yama - Satya

Satya is the Sanskrit word for truthfulness. This is the second of five Yamas or restraints. Together with the five Niyamas or observances these make up the ten jewels of Yogic Philosophy for living an ethical life.

What is truthfulness? The obvious answer is truthfulness means not telling a lie.  Well truthfulness goes beyond that but first let's explore the obvious answer of not lying. As we consciously pay attention when we know we are not being completely honest or truthful we can gain insight into the fears that steer us away from truthfulness. Why is it that we may not tell the truth all the time, or why do we sometimes tell partial truths, or why do we convince ourselves that "little white lies" are ok? By "little white lies" I mean those that are usually told to spare someone's feelings that seemingly do no harm. For instance a friend asks you "do you like my new haircut?" What if you don't like the haircut. What do you say? Do you lie and say "yes." Do you go above and beyond over the top with niceties saying "oh I love it, it is fabulous, you look gorgeous." Or do you tell the truth and say "no" or perhaps a nicer version of the truth "I am so used to seeing you in the haircut you had for years, give me a moment to get used to it before I answer." Who knows maybe it will grow on you. If you feel like it is mean to answer "no" because it hurts the other person's feelings, what you are doing is compromising your own authenticity and perhaps you are using the first Yama of Ahimsa or non-violence of doing no harm as your excuse to not be truthful in cases like these. Then do you truly understand what Ahimsa is? How can telling even a little white lie be less harmful than telling the truth?  These are questions for us to consider.  More often than not if we lie in situations like these, there is a program running in our mind that says it is better to be nice than authentic. If we run around saying we like everything all the time just to be nice, how does that impact our trustworthiness when asked for our honest opinion.

Husband's get asked questions by wives quite frequently that go something like this "does this dress make me look fat?" They are usually programmed to automatically say "no" regardless of the answer because they don't want to upset the peace. In that case there is a program running that says it is better to lie and keep the peace than to tell the truth.  Perhaps instead of saying "yes" and leaving it at that another truthful answer could be "it is not as flattering as some of your other dresses." We can all pay attention to our little white lies to find out what programs we have running in our minds that prevent us from being completely truthful with one another. However, I know I would prefer someone tell me if a particular cut of a dress does not look right on me for whatever reason than to wear it believing it looks good. So the flip side of this is that we all need to be prepared to hear the truth when we ask questions. In the end we know deep down that we would appreciate the honesty even if it stings for a moment, because that is probably better than walking around in an illusion.

I am reading the book The Yamas & Niyams by Deborah Adele which is a very good book for understanding the depth of meaning of these ten jewels. There is a section in the chapter on Satya that is headed "Be Real Rather than Nice." She begins this section by quoting Carl Jung "A lie would make no sense unless truth was felt to be dangerous." Deborah asks the question "Are we afraid to hurt someone's feelings or afraid if we told the truth we would not be liked or admired anymore?" [p44]. She suggests that nice is an illusion, an imposed image by an outer authority of what we think we should be. She says "Real comes from the center of our unique essence and speaks to the moment from that center. [...] Real asks us to live from a pace where there is nothing to defend and nothing to manage. [...] Real, though not always pleasant, is trustworthy." [p45]  This is definitely something to consider about truthfulness.

Of course there are the lies people tell because we know we did something wrong and want to cover it up out of fear of being caught in our wrong doing and getting into trouble, or out of fear that someone will think us incompetent for screwing something up, and many other instances where fear freezes our truth and sends lies rolling off the tongue. This then becomes about ownership of your mistake. We are all human, we all screw up and make mistakes. Being truthful about them ends them. Lying and covering them us creates more fear of being found out.  It gets buried in our psyche where it takes root to grow more lies to continue the cover-up.  Herein lies a more obvious example of how are lies are imposed by an outer authority who will dish out a punishment or think less of you. If we are truthful with ourselves and everyone else around us in the moment regardless of external consequence, we are being real and authentic with our self and we have freed ourselves of the lies that take root and weigh us down on some level or another, often in guilt. But where does that guilt come from our self or some superimposed external authority?

Satya or truthfulness is also about living authentically. Deborah Adele speaks of our need to belong and our need to grow. She writes "when a conflict arises between the need to belong and the need to grow, we have to make a choice. We must either sacrifice a part of ourselves to maintain our belonging, or we must risk the approval and support of the group by growing." [p48] I think this also extends not just to growing but also maintaining authenticity in our values and beliefs. When we compromise our values and beliefs by keeping them silent to go along with the group, we are compromising our own integrity. The fear at the root of this non-truthfulness by keeping silent is fear of not belonging or the fear of disapproval which again come from a superimposed external authority rather than our internal authentic self.

There is one more point about living truthfully that has to do with what we do in the world. Deborah gives examples of being in a job that holds no fulfillment but pays more than what we would really like to do or wanting to go back to school but having too many other obligations. We can all probably think of some instance in our life when we were faced with such a decision - to keep the status quo where things are safe, familiar and known or to go off into the uncharted territory and pursue the unknown where we feel a longing or calling toward. Those of you who are astrologers probably hear the western astrology delineation of the nodal axis here. Often times we feel we are at cross roads and this can be marked by a transit squaring our nodes or the transit nodes squaring one of our natal or progressed planets. We say to ourselves "I don't know what to do" and we may ask others for their opinion or help in deciding. However after reading all of this how do we know they won't just be nice and tell us what they think we want to hear?  We need to find the answer from within. Deborah says, when she hears people asking that question, "I think more often than not, we do know what to do; the cost of our realness just seems too high at the time. Truth rarely seems to ask the easier choice of us."[p49]

I will leave you with a question that I too will be pondering this week, along with paying attention to my own truthfulness, realness and authenticity. This question isn't mine, it is Deborah's and I think it is a good one.  "What might life look like if I were willing to contact truthfulness in every moment?"


Friday, January 2, 2015

8 Limbs of Yoga: 1 Yamas (1st Ahimsa)

One of my New Year's Resoultions is to blog more and become more active in social media. I also have New Year's Resolutions about eating healthier (my husband got me a juicer for Christmas & I have been drinking my vegetables every morning), quitting smoking, and having a daily yoga practice that includes pranayama, asana, mantra and meditation.

I thought I would start a blog and focus on the 8 limbs of Yoga, paying attention to one limb each week to help me stick to my New Year resolutions of having a daily yogic practice.  This will go on for 16 weeks at least since the first 2 limbs have 5 parts each. Please subscribe so you get notified when I update this, or check back weekly on Mondays.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

1. Yama: restraints (5 of these: ahimsa, satya,  asteya, brahmacharya, aparigraha)
2. Niyama: observances (5 of these: saucha, santosha, tapas, svadhyaya, ishvara pranidhana)
3. Asana: postures
4. Pranayama: breath control
5. Pratyahara: sense withdrawal
6. Dharana: concentration
7. Dhyana: meditation

8. Samadhi: absorption or unity consciousness

The first two limbs combine as a set of restraints (5 yamas) and observances (5 niyamas) that create the ethics of yoga. Since Yoga is a way of life, the yamas and niyamas are the 10 ways to live an ethical life. The five yamas are non-harmful (ahimsa), truth (satya), non-stealing (asteya), non-excess, continence, chastity  (brahmacharya, translates to sacred behavior), non-possessiveness (aparigraha, translates to non future-grasping).  The five niyamas are purity (saucha), contentment (santosha), self-discipline (tapas, translates to asceticism), self-study (svadhyaya), and surrender (ishvara pranidhana, translates to abstract contemplation on the Supreme).

You can read The Eight Limbs of Yoga  article at my website for more information on the rest of the limbs. 

The First Yama - Ahimsa 

Ahimsa is often translated to non-violence, but it means so much more. It is also "do no harm." This includes not putting harmful things into your body (good for all of us with a New Year's Resolution to cut something we digest or inhale out of our diet!)  This also extends to our speech and not saying harmful things to each other or even about another behind their back. This non-harming in our speech also extends to our thoughts and the things we tell ourselves that undermine our self-love, courage, creativity and provide us with a sense of powerlessness.

Ahimsa is cultivated through love, courage, forgiveness and compassion.

I'm currently reading The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele. In the chapter on Ahimsa she talks about fear creating violence and how we can trace "acts of greed, control, and insecurity back to their root: fear." [p 23]  We see this happening on a global scale every time we turn on the news.

Ahimsa reminds us to see the role fear plays in our own life.  Maybe we are afraid of not meeting a deadline and snap at anyone who interrupts our work. Deborah talks about creating balance in our lives because imbalance can also lead to violence. She wrote "Think of the times you were 'short' with others because of too much work to do, or too much caffeine and sugar, or a restless night of sleep?" [p24] I recognized that I do that when I am overloaded with work. So part of this week's focus as I become aware of Ahimsa will be to catch myself and work on that. .

Power struggles lead to violence through anger and frustration. Deborah made a very good point that really made me think: "When we feel powerless we have forgotten how much choice we really have. We have a choice to take action and we have a choice to change the story we are telling ourselves about our powerlessness." [p27] Thinking of a past time when we successfully handled a challenging situation can help.

We all tell ourselves harmful stories that have their roots in powerlessness, fear, judgement or guilt. Ahimsa asks us to find courage, compassion and forgiveness that fosters self love and uproots the harmful stories. Maybe we are afraid we won't be successful so we undermine and harm ourselves with our thoughts instead of having the courage to do whatever we are trying to do. Also if we are ubber critical of ourselves, we will tend to also be critical of others. The more we learn to be soft, gentle and forgiving with ourselves, the more we will be so with others. Deborah makes this point "We would never purchase a can of red paint and expect it to be blue. Yet we can be so harsh and demanding of ourselves and then expect to be loving with others. It just doesn't work that way," [p30].

Often times when we feel there is something in our own life that is a mess, we try to fix someone else. Our ego fills with pride as it pats itself on the back for the amazing things we've done for someone else that day. What we need to remember is that when help someone by making decisions for them,  doing something for them, or even worrying about them, we are saying we don't trust them to do the right thing for themselves and are taking away their autonomy. Even if we think we are doing it because we care about them. This is a subtle form of harming to others and odds are most of us do it. Each of us has our own answers and our own path.  To do no-harm we should support rather than help each other, by holding space for someone with respect for their own inner journey.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Venus Retrograde & the Winter Solstice - The Symbolism

Is Venus Retrograde at the solstice just a coincidence or does it mean something?  Is there really any such thing as a coincidence or is it all synchronicity? And what of the larger synchronicity this creates between the Venus Retrograde at a solstice following a Transit of Venus by one and a half years?

Before I attempt to answer these questions that arose in my mind, I want to point out that the pattern of Transit of Venus is based on a cyclical occurrence between Venus, Sun & Earth. This has to do with the relationship of all three bodies, where Earth’s orbit around the Sun aligns with the Nodes of Venus and Venus’s orbit around the Sun, placing Earth, Venus & Sun all on the same plane (or similar enough). I do have a blog on that from June 4, 2012 if you want more info.  Whereas Venus retrograde at the solstice or equinox is two separate things happening at the same time. Kind of like someone knocking on your door and the phone ringing at the same time. They are not dependent upon each other at all.  Each is following their own pattern that happens to coincide at a predictable rate to create the larger pattern.  This is the same mathematical pattern that is already connected to Transits of Venus because the same bodies are involved.  

Tomorrow, Dec 21, 2013, we will experience Venus retrograde at 4:53 PM EST occurring within hours of the 2013 winter solstice at 12:11 PM EST just one and a half years after a Transit of Venus. This too always happens because the same pattern is in operation.  If you scroll through the Venus Rx at the solstice data in my blog on Dec 19th while bearing in mind the dates Transits of Venus you’ll see that the December 1874, 1882 & 2125 Transit dates each have a the summer solstice with Venus retrograde occurring 1.5 years later in 1876, 1884 & 2117.  Do we make something of this close proximity of celestial events? Or do we just say “of course, that is just how the math works out.” Or do make something of this because this is how the math works out? The skeptic in me considered a mere coincidence but the seeker in me doesn't really believe in coincidence. Even if the phone rings while someone knocks on the door, there is a synchronistic connection between those two people or messages; we just have to look for it.

Math being the universal language, shows us that phi (1.618 the divine proportion or golden ratio) is related to the Sun, Earth and Venus.  Or is that just a coincidence too? Would you still think it was a coincidence if you also knew that Earth & Moon are in a phi relationship, that the diameter of Saturn and the diameter of its rings are in a phi proportion, that Mercury-Sun & Earth also have a cyclical relationship that is also very close to phi, that planetary distances from each other are also close to phi?  This could go on and on and become an article in itself! Point being phi is the divine proportion because it is what naturally occurs in nature with petal patterns of flowers and more, our bodies (DaVinci’s Virtruvian Man), and the universe. We could say phi is the Divine expressing and replicating itself through beauty.  This is why it is called the Divine Proportion.

If we say the Divine is represented astrologically by the Sun, and beauty is represented astrologically by Venus, then this is no coincidence at all. It is a synchronicity for us to unravel. It also says the nature of the Divine is one of beauty and love because it is expressed as such. This I think is the message we are asked to receive, those of us here on this planet right now while these two greater cycles with Venus and Sun are simultaneously arising as celestial phenomena. 
In Jyotish the Sun is Atman, the divine inner dweller of our soul, our connection to the divine. It shows who we truly are in our hearts, our central purpose and creative aspirations as we seek the light of truth and search for our true Self. When we associate the Sun with the ego we are appealing to its lower qualities reflected onto the Sun by our humanness. We can’t get away from being human, yet as human’s we can strive to operate less from our ego and more from the divine dweller in our heart and soul. Think of the symbol for the sun, a central dot with a circle around it. The Sun is the center of our solar system with the planets orbiting around it. We are the center of our universe with our projections circling around us. That dot in the center is our focused stillness where we can connect with the divine within and the light of our true Self. It is the centering thought of a meditation that quiets the mind so the soul can experience the stillness of the observer within.
Venus is perceived through our senses. On one level Venus represents we desire to have, the things and people we form attachments to. Yet the forming of an attachment also involves the ego because these things or relationships are in some way are defining who we think we are. So that is the lower level Sun-Venus dance.

On another level Venus represents our values. This can be monetary value (in which case it has a connection to Mercury and commerce) or it can be our personal values, which is the vein in which I am proceeding here, because those are the values connected to the truth in our heart and soul.  Our personal values represent the middle level of the Sun-Venus dance. They show an evolution of our soul as we go from valuing our possessions, because our egos are using them to define ourselves, to valuing non-tangibles of our connections where we bring love and beauty to others and see their divinity reflected back to us.  At this level we begin to grasp the meaning of Namaste.

At the highest level I believe the Sun-Venus connection to be about Divine Grace. This still involves Venus reveling in the pleasures of the senses, but not at lower level filtered through the ego for material pleasure, gain, comfort or security. Instead this level of reveling in the pleasures of the senses involves presence.  Presence to feel each moment in our heart and soul, presence to just be exactly where we are without thinking of what we are doing next, what our ego wants us to accomplish in this situation, or what thing in the past is being recalled to our minds in this moment.  Experiencing Venus from that central stillness of the Sun is the cultivation of Presence and Divine Grace. From this state of the Sun-Venus dance we operate with non-attachment to our selfless deeds expecting nothing in return because it’s the ego that keeps tabs on who owes whom while our Atman knows we are experiencing the Divine flowing through us and others. At this level we experience the meaning of Namaste.

Many of us are so preoccupied with our busy lives and the things we have to do, that we rarely take time to be present in the moment. Most of us are rarely, if ever, present in the moment -including me. While we are doing something we are either preoccupied with what else we have to get done (therefore not giving our full presence to the moment) or we are so focused on what we are doing that we have tuned out everything going on around us (therefore not present in the entirety of the moment either). It is a hard thing to get out of the ego and the thinking mind and experience Presence through a centered heart.  Yet the more we try, the more it will occur. It is something we have to learn. Or perhaps it is something we’ve always known and have forgotten. Something we are being reminded to return to now. Why now? Why us who are on this planet today?  
There is chaos going on in the world all around us. Much of it we don’t like, but we tell ourselves we can’t do anything about it anyway. So we just go about the rat race trying to gobble up all the things and milestones we can that we think are going to make us feel better or happier, before the bottom falls out. If we die with the most toys we win, right?  Ahhh no. Yet technology is moving so fast we can barely keep up with the new toys. We need a new phone almost the moment we get one along with the latest apps. We constantly interrupt moments where we could be present because we heard an email come in, or a text, or a Facebook pop or whatever. Look around at a restaurant and see how many people are sitting together all on their devices, missing the real connections to those present with them in the moment. I’m sure we are all guilty of doing that at least once. Of course it is always because it was important to do so at the time.  Or was it?  And if we receive a text in the moment and answer it in the moment are we present?  I suppose if I actually experienced presence more often I would know that answer.   To ourselves we feel present in that texting, but to those around us we appear frozen to our phone or walking through a store preoccupied by our device.
Then too if external technology is accelerating our connection times with others, does that mean our internal technology is accelerating our connection to the Divine dweller within? How willing are we to take time out from our devices and sit in meditation to experience that connection? Do we dare to leave our electronic devices at home to be fully present with those in our physical proximity calling our mind back when it wanders to something outside of the moment?  What does your answer say about your attachments?
We don’t have to sit in stillness to call our minds back to the moment, to be present and aware and experience the heightening of our senses when are present.  In this way, Venus is connected to presence. If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of being fully present in some moment of your life, and most of us probably have, however fleeting it was, you know that the colors around you are more vibrant, sounds are clearer and crisper, you can pick up subtleties with your senses you didn’t recognize were there the moment before the state of presence.
I believe the Divine cosmic message of the recent Transit of Venus and this Winter Solstice with Venus retrograde is to consciously call up in each of us an awareness of our own Sun-Venus dance; to remind us to cultivate more moments of Presence, to recognize and radiate more Divine Grace. Perhaps this is to raise our attunement to the higher octaves of the Sun & Venus through the awareness of their larger cycle.
The Winter Solstice is the longest night, the day when the Sun appears to stand still before beginning its journey north where the daylight hours begin to lengthen.  This is highly symbolic as light begins to conquer darkness and the wisdom of Truth begins to conquer ignorance. We are reminded of this every year at this time. Venus Retrograde is a time to honor the grace within ourselves, our ability to experience inner bliss.  We are reminded of this every eighteen months. Yet the simultaneous occurrence of both of these is much more rare.
Combined they are the reminder to cultivate Presence as we experience the bliss of each moment in non-attachment. As we learn to connect to Atman by practicing more and more each day to live from our hearts with gratitude, honoring the Divine in our Self, each other, and in the present moment we will begin to see Divine Grace in the world around us because we will be attuned to it, we will radiate it, and it will be reflected back to us. As more and more of us do this, the world really can change and become a better place. Even if just a few of us do it, it will make a difference in our own lives and the lives of those we touch. From there it will catch on and spread as all things do.  So each of us really is significant enough to make a difference, in fact we are integral to it.
A year and a half ago I wrote in my blog on the Transit of Venus that it was an awakening to Divine Grace. I think Venus Rx at the Winter Solstice is a reminder to cultivate Divine Grace and Presence. Each day forward from the solstice as the days get longer we can awaken to more of our higher Venus & Sun qualities by turning our focus inward, seeking our connection to the Divine within. When Venus goes direct, we can carry that stillness and grace into our outer lives and practice keeping that connection to our heart center in every moment as our awareness of presence grows.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Venus Retrograde & the Winter Solstice - The Pattern

Everything in the universe has a pattern.  I am fascinated by the patterns that emerge between the Sun & Venus.  Some of you may remember this larger cycle of the Sun & Venus from the Transits of Venus. Transit of Venus in this case means an astronomical term for when we can observe Venus moving across the front of the Sun’s disk.  It is not the same as Transiting Venus making a aspect by to the Sun.  We saw Venus transit the Sun’s disk on June 8, 2004 & June 6, 2012.  The prior Transits of Venus occurred on Dec 8, 1874 & Dec 6, 1882.  The next time Transits of Venus occur will be Dec 11, 2117 & Dec 8, 2125.  You may have noticed that each of these pairs of Venus Transits are 8 years apart. (1874 + 8 = 1882). (2004 + 8 = 2012). (2117+ 8 = 2125).
There is a pattern that occurs between these pairs that goes like this: 8 + 121.5 + 8 + 105.5 + 8 and it keeps repeating.  Here is the pattern applied to the Transits of Venus.  Dec 1874 + 8 years = Dec 1882 + 121.5 years = June 2004 + 8 = June 2012 + 105.5 = Dec 2117 + 8 years = Dec 2125.
Then going to the larger cycle it takes 251 years for the inferior conjunction to occur again in the same zodiacal degree (the calendar date may be a day off but it is occurring within a 24 hour period).  Applying this 251 year cycle to the Transits of Venus notice that Dec 8 1874 at 11:32 PM EST (LMT) + 251 years = Dec 8 2125 at 10:10 AM EST .  Depending on your time zone, it can be a day apart but it is within 24 hours.
Why did I bring this up under an article called Winter Solstice & Venus Retrograde?  Because this same repeating pattern of Venus & the Sun also happens with the Winter & Summer Solstices, with a slight difference. During the years where the Venus retrograde lands exactly on the solstice, we can get 3 close correspondences of the winter solstice and Venus Retrograde each 8 years apart.   
The 8 years is significant because in an 8 year period of time Venus will make 5 inferior conjunctions with the Sun (the retrograde conjunctions). If you plot 5 consecutive inferior conjunctions of Venus on a blank zodiac wheel, connecting the dots as you go, you will notice a star emerge. The arms of the star will each be 144° apart. The points of the star will be 72° apart. These are the 5th harmonic bi-quintile and quintile aspects. Plotting the 6th inferior conjunction will bring you back to your starting point approximately 2 degrees prior in the zodiac.  This 2° prior is the reason there is a 1-3 day difference in these occurrences every 8 years. 
A picture is worth 1,000 words and in this case a list.  Watch this for two things:  1) The repeating pattern 2) Venus’s Rx degree move backwards approximately 2 degrees in each 8 year period.  Zodiacal degrees are the Tropical positions.

1762:     Winter Solstice Dec 21 at 01:33 PM EST LMT (w/in 24 hrs)
                Venus Retrograde 29-Capricorn Dec 22 at 11:20 AM EST LMT 
+ 8 yrs
1770:     Venus Retrograde 27-Capricorn Dec 20 at 12:29 PM EST LMT
                Winter Solstice Dec 21 at 11:59 AM EST LMT (w/in 24 hrs)
+105.5 yrs
1876:     Summer Solstice June 20 at 9:12 PM EST LMT (2 day difference)
Venus Retrograde 00-Leo June 22 at 10:44 PM EST LMT
+ 8 yrs
1884       Venus Retrograde 28-Cancer June 20 at 2:36 PM EST LMT
                Summer Solstice June 21 at 7:39 PM EST LMT (1 day difference)
+ 121.5 yrs
2005       Winter Solstice Dec 21 at 1:24 PM EST (3 day difference)
                Venus Retrograde 01-Aquarius-28 Dec 24 at 4:36 AM EST   
+ 8 yrs
2013       Winter Solstice Dec 21 at 12:11 PM EST(same day)
                Venus Retrograde 28-Capricorn-58 Dec 21 at 4:53 PM EST
                This is 251 years since Venus last stationed at 29-Capricorn in 1762.
+ 8 yrs
2021       Venus Retrograde 26-Capricorn-29 Dec 19 at 5:36 AM EST
    Winter Solstice Dec 21 at 10:48 AM EST (2 day difference)     
+ 105.5 years from 2013  (The same day occurrence brings in a 3rd Rx at the Winter Solstices in the 2000’s – one 8 years on either side within 2-3 days.  Since 2021 gave us an extra 8, the pattern continues from 2013)
2127       Summer Solstice June 21 at 12:40 PM EST (2 day difference)
   Venus Retrograde 00-Leo Jun 23, 2117 at 4:48 PM EST
This is 251 years since Venus stationed Rx at 00-Leo in 1876
+ 8 yrs
2135       Summer Solstice June 21 at 11:09 AM EST (same day) 
                Venus Retrograde 28-Cancer June 21 at 9:43 AM EST
 This is 121.5 years from the same day occurrence with the Winter Solstice in 2013
This is 251 years since Venus stationed Rx at 28-Cancer in 1884.
+ 8 years
2143       Venus Retrograde 26-Cancer June 19 at 2:43 AM EST
                Summer Solstice June 21 at 9:21 am EST (2 day difference)
(The same day occurrence with the equinox will bring in 3 Rx’s at the summer solstice in the 2100’s, and we count 121.5 years from 2135 to find the next one.)
And in case you are wondering. Yes the same thing happens with the equinoxes. Venus retrograde repeating this pattern with the equinoxes is as follows:  Autumnal Equinoxes of 1815 & 1823. Plus 121.5 = Spring Equinoxes of 1945 + 1953 & 1961. Plus 105.5 from 1953 (because 1961 was extra) = Autumnal Equinoxes of 2058 & 2066.  However it is the Venus Rx with the Solstices that follows right behind the Transits of Venus.  I will hopefully have time to blog again tomorrow on what I think this all means astrologically. 


Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 11, 2013 New Moon's Nakshtara: Purva Bhadrapada

On March 11, 2013 at 3:51 p.m. the New Moon takes place in the sidereal degree (Lahiri Ayanamsha) of 27°21' Aquarius. The Nakshatras must be used with sidereal zodiac positions because they are observed against the backdrop of stars. You can still use nakshatras if you work with planets in the tropical zodiac positions. Just be sure you pull the sideral position to have the correct nakshatra.

Purva Bhadrapada at a Glance:

Zodical Degrees: 20:00 Aquarius - 3:20 Pisces
Translation: Early or proceeding (Purva) happy, blessed, fortunate (Bhadra)  feet (pada).
Symbols: front legs of a couch; sword
Fixed Stars: Markeb & Scheat of Pegasus
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
Ruling Deity: Aja Ekapada
Guna: sattvic (spiritual harmony) with rajasic undertones (activity)
Purushartha:  artha (goal directed activity)
Disposition: fierce
Gender: Male
Gana: Manusha (human)
Animal: lion
Direction: west
Keynote: sacrifice, spiritual fire
Shakti:  Yajamana (sacrifice, ceremony, worship) Udyamana (elevation); universal perspective from fire of purification

Indications of Purva Bhadrapada:
Purva Bhadrapada is a visionary nakshatra with a focus on the future, especially universal goals that uplift humanity and provide purification. It has an eccentric and mystical quality to it. It is associated with those who march to the beat of their own drum, are good speakers with good business skills who are good at making money, and are opinionated, passionate, and independent. It can bestow either an intelligent, philosophical, and witty nature, or an impulsive, high strung, coercive nature, and often times a combination of both. Careers associated with this nakshatra are Astrologers, priests, ascetics, occultists, researchers, statisticians, and administrative planners.

To fully grasp the depth of a Nakshatra, it is important to understand it's ruling deity.
Aja Ekapada is the one footed goat who represents unborn, transcendent energy; a form of Shiva and the vehicle of Agni (fire) but not the fire itself. In the Vedas he is considered as infinity, a deity without motion or speech, the un-polarized latent creative energy that produces different levels of existence. Aja Ekapada represents the stage of cosmic evolution where the fire energy of creation is still latent, but the area of creation is defined. Yet the outward impulse of motion toward creation itself is still.

The New Moon in Purva Bhadrapada
With the seed moment of this lunar month sewn in Purva Bhadrapada it is a good month to sacrifice anything that is getting in the way of your goals or yourself in general. This can be an actual thing or a false belief. It is also a good month to start or return to your spiritual practice, to do rituals, worship or pujas that help you to get rid of lower selfish qualities of your nature and reach toward your higher nature. It is also about the creative vision, a vision that reaches beyond you and out to humanity. It is about embracing the stillness and discovering your latent creative potential. You are probably aware of what you are being pulled or called to create. How to do it in your own unique way that brings out the highest good is what is to be discovered this month.

In addition to Purva Bhadrapada having connections with the spiritual fire (both literally and metaphorically) and universal goals, there are Moon Yogas in the New Moon chart that exemplify this theme as well. Both Mars & Uranus are in the 2nd house from the New Moon creating a Sunapha Yoga of acquisition. Planets 2nd from the moon indicate the manner in which things are acquired. Mars & Uranus are in Pisces in the sidereal zodiac which can translate to spiritual fire or warrior & spiritual awakening or compassionate humanitarian. This gives added oomph to the meaning already inherent in Purva Bhadrapada alone.  Obviously if these planets are second from the New Moon, they are also second from the Sun. This creates a Vesi Yoga which indicates energies we need to learn to use.

Both Mars & Uranus are in sidereal Pisces in the Nakshatra Uttara Bhadrapada (latter or posterior, happy, blessed, fortunate feet).  Together these nakshatras are the scorching or burning pair.   Ahir Budhyna is the ruling diety of Uttara Bhadrapada. He is the dragon of the deep sea related to Ahir Vritra the dragon of primordial ignorance, concealed in primitive darkness. Together both Bhadrapada nakshatras represent dual principals of darkness and light that are in eternal conflict. Both ruling deities are aspects of Shiva. Uttara Bhadrapada merges itself with the great deep that is the source of all creative energy, the impulse of passivity from which creation emerges. Dragon is also associated with wisdom and the comprehension of concealed knowledge. As the second half of the cot, it represents stability & poise in preparation for the end of attachments to bring the soul toward liberation and the divine plan. It’s the dissolution of physical attachments reabsorbed in the spiritual cause.

Where the New Moon calls us to set an intention this month to embark on a spiritual journey to discover our inner stillness, latent creativity and reach toward our higher nature with humanitarian vision, the Sunapha & Vesi Yogas that Mars & Uranus form with the New Moon give us this spiritual warrior awakener quality to delve into the depths of our being and gain a deeper wisdom. Through this deeper wisdom we can see through the illusion of our attachments and shed light on where we need to cultivate spiritual awareness. 

Additionally Jupiter is 4th from the New Moon creating a Gaja Kesari Yoga (elephant lion). This yoga is about great presence. Jupiter is the ruling planet of Purva Bhadrapada, the New Moon’s nakshatra.  Jupiter is in sidereal Taurus in the Nakshatra Rohini which is ruled by the Moon. The Moon and Jupiter are in each other’s Nakshtaras. This is a form of Parivrtana Yoga (mutual reception) because the Nakshatra Lords are exchanging. Rohini is the star of ascent and is about growth. This month cultivating great spiritual presence can bring a tremendous amount of personal growth.

This month set an intention to devote a few minutes each day to a meditation practice where you can connect with your inner spiritual energy.  If you already do this, keep it up. If you don’t know how to begin a meditation practice or if you have trouble sticking to it, it is quite synchronous that Deepak Chopra is starting another of his “21 Day Meditation Challenges” on March 11th.  I’ve done these in the past and I’ve signed up to do it again. It’s FREE!  Check it out here and decide for yourself if you want to try it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

How to Observe Comet 2011 L4 PANSTARRS. March 8 & March 12 – 24, 2013

Sky watching has been one of my favorite past times since I was a small child. I love observing planets in the night sky, and watching them move along the ecliptic through the zodical constellations. Afterall, astrology was originally observational and only recently became something to view on the computer. Not that I don't love both my Western & Vedic astrology software and greatly appreciate the brilliant minds that created Sirius & Kala, but I love connecting with the night sky even more - whether I break out my telescope or not, which I have not done in this cold weather. I'm getting anxious for warm clear nights!  Anyway.....

Over the next few weeks we have the opportunity to observe a recently discovered comet in the evening sky.  Later in the fall we will have another opportunity to observe another comet. Considering this opportunity only comes around on average of every 7 years or so, it's pretty cool that we get two this year!  One of them may be visible tonight if you have a clear view of the western horizon, if not viewing gets better between March 12 - 24.
2011 L4 PANSTARRS is the comet to watch for over the next few weeks. It was discovered in June of 2011 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System that sits on Mt. Haleakala in Hawaii.  It has been recently observable in the southern hemisphere and is now becoming visible in the northern hemisphere.
According to NASA we might be able to observe this comet tonight on March 8th by looking west until about 15 minutes after twilight IF we have a totally unobstructed view of the western horizon.
If you don’t, you can observe PANSTARRS between March 12th – 24th low along the western horizon during and a bit after twilight. You really do want to go to a place where you can get a good view of the western horizon because this comet will not be very high in the sky. Also the window of viewing opportunity is very short and the comet is not very bright. Grab your binoculars if you have trouble finding it with your naked eye. Once you locate it through binoculars, you’ll most likely be able to see it through the twilight because you’ll know exactly where to look.
The reason we can’t observe it on the 9th – 11th is because PANSTARR reaches perihelion (closest distance to the Sun) on March 10th. It is not a very bright comet so it will be lost to the glow of Sun in close proximity. Comet PANSTARR’s perihelion on March 10th is 28 million miles (45 million km) from the Sun, which is a bit closer to the Sun that Mercury at perihelion. Mercury’s perihelion is approximately 28.5 million miles. 
For more information on PANSTARRS visit NSAS'As website
If you locate the commet, I'd love to hear about it!  Please share your experience below.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Nakshatra Ingress List for Lunar Month Beginning Jan 11, 2013

Hello Everyone,
I know I have not blogged in a while. I am going to hopefully find the time to start blogging more frequently again.

Below is a Sidereal Ephemeris for sign & nakshatra ingresses for the Lunar Month begining today January 11, 2013 and continuning on until the next New Moon on February 10th. If you find this helpful please feel free to comment or share. Please excuse the columns not coming out perfect. They did on a word document I created them from, but I can't seem to get them perfect here in this blog text box. If you would like a printable pdf of this where everything aligns correctly, please contact me through my website and I will send it to you.

Sidereal Lahiri Ingress Ephemeris for:
Lunation Cycle Jan 11, 2013 – Feb 10, 2013
Created by Julene Packer-Louis using Sirius Software’s AstroClock with Nakshatra Wheel

New Moon:  Jan 11, 2003 at 2:44 PM EST            
Nakshatra: Uttra Ashada      Sidereal Sign: Sagittarius

Pluto remains in the Sign of Sagittarius & Nakshatra of Purva Ashada
Neptune remains in the Sign of Aquarius & Nakshatra of Shatabishak
Uranus remains in the Sign of Pisces & Nakshatra of Uttra Bhadrapada
Chiron remains in the Sign of Aquarius & Nakshatra Shatabishak
Saturn remains in the Sign of Libra & Nakshatra of Swati for the entire lunar month
Jupiter remains in the Sign of Taurus & Nakshatra of Rohini for the entire lunar month
Rahu & Ketu move from the Signs of Scorpio/Taurus to Libra/Aries but
Rahu remains in Vishika & Ketu remains in Krittika for the entire lunar month

                Planets That Change Signs & Nakshatras During This Lunar Month
Mars begins in the Sign of Capricorn & Nakshatra of Shravana
Venus begins in the Sign of Sagittarius & Nakshatra of Mula
Mercury begins in the Sign of Sagittarius & Nakshatra of Purva Ashada
Sun & Moon begin in the Sign of Sagittarius & Nakshatra of Uttra Ashada

Date      EST Time   Planet            Sign Ingress      Nakshatra Ingress
1/11       2:44 PM     NEW MOON      (in Sagittarius & Uttra Ashada)
  6:24 PM        Moon              Capricorn
1/12       10:35 AM      Moon                                          Shravana
1/13       8:32 AM        Moon                                          Dhanishta
  11:18 AM      Mercury                                      Uttra Ashada
  7:42 PM        Moon               Aquarius
  8:18 PM        Sun                  Capricorn
1/14       7:02 AM       Moon                                            Shatabishak
  8:20 PM        Venus                                           Purva Ashada
  8:54 AM       Rahu/Ketu        Libra/Taurus
1/15       6:15 AM       Moon                                             Purva Bhadrapada
             12:11 PM      Mercury            Capricorn
1/16       12:11 AM     Moon                 Pisces
  6:17 AM       Moon                                            Uttra Bhadrapada
  9:23 PM        Mars                                            Dhanishta
1/17       7:10 AM       Moon                                            Revati
1/18       8:53 AM       Moon                 Aries                   Ashwini
1/19       11:17 AM     Moon                                             Bharani
1/20       2:11 PM        Moon                                            Krittika
             8:56 PM        Moon                Taurus
1/21       11:52 AM     Mercury                                         Shravana
             5:19 PM        Moon                                             Rohini
1/22       8:28 PM        Moon                                            Mrigashira
1/23       9:59 AM       Moon                Gemini
  4:07 PM       Sun                                                Shravana
             11:26 PM      Moon                                             Ardra
1/24       No sign or Nakshatra changes
1/25       2:03 AM       Moon                                             Punarvasu
             7:48 AM       Mars                 Aquarius
 11:42 AM      Venus                                            Uttra Ashada
1/26       4:14 AM       Moon                                             Pushya
1/27       5:59 AM       Moon                                             Ashlesha
1/28       3:32 AM       Venus              Capricorn
  7:17 AM       Moon               Leo                         Magha
1/29       4:55 AM       Mercury                                          Dhanishta
             8:11 AM       Moon                                              Purva Phalguni
1/30       8:42 AM       Moon                                              Uttra Phalguni  
             2:47 PM        Moon              Virgo
1/31       8:53 AM       Moon                                              Hasta    
2/01       8:45 AM       Moon                                              Chitra
             8:33 PM        Moon              Libra
             11:52 PM      Mercury         Aquarius
2/02       8:16 AM       Moon                                               Swati
  6:16 PM        Mars                                               Shatabishak
2/03       7:27 AM       Moon                                               Vishika
2/04       12:37 AM     Moon             Scorpio
  6:18 AM       Moon                                               Anuradha
2/05       3:08 AM       Venus                                              Shravana
             4:49 AM       Moon                                                Jyestha
             7:19 PM        Sun                                                  Dhanishta
             7:45 PM        Mercury                                           Shatabishak
2/06       3 :03 AM      Moon            Sagittarius                    Mula
2/07       1:05 AM       Moon                                               Purva Ashada
            11:00 PM       Moon                                               Uttra Ashada    
2/08       4:28 AM       Moon            Capricorn
  8:56 PM        Moon                                              Shravana
2/09       7:04 PM        Moon                                              Dhanishta
2/10       2:20 AM   NEW MOON   (in Capricorn  &  Dhanishta)
              6:15 AM      Moon             Aquarius
  5:31 PM       Moon                                               Shatabishak

New Moon: Feb 10, 2013 at 2:20 AM EST            
Nakshatra: Dhanishta            Sidereal Sign: Capricorn