Thursday, July 19, 2012

This is a Very Powerful Day to Launch Successful Projects

This is a Very Powerful Day to Launch Successful Projects, be sure harness the Shakti (power) of PROSPERITY with the New Moon in the Nakshatra Punarvasu.  Read on to understand the symbolism of the asterism of the New Moon and receive a MEDITATION for setting your intention for the new lunar month TODAY!
New Moon – July 19, 2012 at 12:25 AM EDT
Tropical Degree: 26 Cancer 55
Sidereal Degree (Lahiri):  02 Cancer 53
Nakshatra: Punarvasu

Punarvasu is the seventh Jyotish Lunar Mansion that spans the sidereal zodiac from 20 Gemini 00 to 03 Cancer 20. The Nakshatras are all 13 degrees and 20 minutes long, the average travel of the Moon in one day. As the moon travels through the sky in a day, she rises at the Ascendant, culminates at the Midheaven, sets at the Descendant, and anti-culminates at Imum Coeli. These four quadrants in the sky represent four steps the Moon takes, called “padas” in Sanskrit and each pada is 3 degrees and 20 minutes in length. The first three padas of Punarvasu reside in Gemini, the last pada is in Cancer. This New Moon is in the last pada of Purnarvasu.  Because the Moon is so deeply tied or even responsible for the Nakshatras, knowing the New Moon’s Nakshatra can be very helpful in understanding what is being sewn at the seeds of the new moon, and also how to harness the power or “shakti” of the Nakshatra as each lunar month begins.

Punarvasu is ruled by the Planet Jupiter. The first three padas combine with Mercury the ruler of Gemini which brings intellectual knowledge and spiritual wisdom, mutability and abundance. The last pada combines the Moon as ruler of Cancer with Jupiter. So this is a very powerful New Moon as it is occurring in her sign of rulership and combining with the Jupiter as ruler of Punarvasu, combining the emotional mind with spiritual wisdom, receptivity with abundance.

The Shakti (power) of Punarvasu is prosperity. The presiding Diety is Aditi, the mother goddess who provides the fertile soil for seeds to be sewn, after all she bore the eight Adityas, one of which is our Sun. Aditya means the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega.  The symbolism the presiding goddess brings to Punarvasu is the perpetual motion of the universe and time itself that is eternal. Yet as a purely feminine and receptive force, it is the uncreated potential, the fertile womb of the abundant ever expanding cosmos that needs a masculine and projective force to plant the seeds of creation that manifest abundance and prosperity in a physical form.   This is one reason why this is a very important New Moon in which to sew the seeds of abundance.   The Shakti Power of this Nakshatra is akin to the symbolism of the New Moon itself, where we sew the seeds of intention for the month.  

The symbol of Punarvasu is a quiver of arrows. This represents the ability to aim for or launch something in the world.   This is an excellent Nakshatra to begin projects with a high inherent degree of success, abundance and prosperity. It is especially powerful at the New Moon that already carries the symbolism of planting the seeds of new beginnings and the symbolism of Aditi the presiding Deity is providing the fertile soil. We’d be silly not to take a moment out of day to meditate and reflect on this power of the New Moon today. To fill our quiver with the insight it provides and the arrows to aim high and act with one pointed focus on a set intention to launch something into the universe that brings us prosperity.  

While the primary motivation of Purnarvasu is artha (material prosperity) it has a secondary motivation of sattva (qualities of love, light, spiritual evolution).  So not only is material prosperity something can be sewn here with today’s New Moon, but also spiritual and evolutionary prosperity can be sewn here as well.  In fact when sewing the seeds of material prosperity today, do it with love and light in the spirit of personal and universal evolution for non selfish reasons and the arrows you launch will reach further because they will be lighter and full of the unconditional love of the cosmos returning to the light. Punarvasu is a Sanskrit word that combines two root roots that have more than one meaning in the English language. It translates to “repetition of light” and “again a jewel or gem.”  Prosperity and Light are inherent in its very name and it implies a return to the light or the source which in turn returns it back to us in the form of prosperity.

Meditation for Today’s New Moon

Eagle Nebula image from

       Sit quietly and close your eyes. Maybe play some relaxing music or sounds of nature that include running water of some sort (water helps us connect to the spiritual aspect). Imagine you are walking upon the most fertile, rich, dark soil you have ever seen.  Imagine that it is dawn and you can see the stars of the universe around you as the first rays of light return.
       Peer deeper into the cosmos and imagine the fertile colorful gaseous nebula of an exploded star that gives off the elements of that are the building blocks of the manifest universe.  Watch as some of these particles combine and begin to get caught in the gravitational pull of a nearby star. Watch as more and more combine to form a planet perfectly placed at just the right distance from this star with just the right combination of elements to form life. Zoom in on this planet and see the earth and water on the surface, the air above and molten fire below.
       Sit for a while and imagine all of creation coming into being, including yourself. Meanwhile, breathe in and receive the potential of creation as you silently say “So” in your mind. Breathe out and project the manifestation of abundance as you silently say “Hum” in your mind.
       Now imagine your breath connecting to the breath of the cosmos, at one with this infinite, ever expanding, creative principal of the universe. Set the intention of what you want to create while continuing to breathe “So” and “Hum” in tandem with the universe. Hold in your mind a visualization of you want to create, focusing on the end result alone. Continue to breathe “So” and “Hum” with the universe, co creating your vision with each breath. 
       Imagine that as your vision gets stronger with your strengthening connection to the cosmos, the sun is rising, blotting out the darkness and returning the light. Inhale this light “So”; breathe your intention back into it “Hum”.
       Once the light has fully returned and you are fully grounded in your intention upon the rich fertile soil, reach behind you to your quiver of arrows. Pull out an arrow and breathe your vision of what you have created into the arrow. Place it in your bow. Pull back on the inhale “So”, and release it on the exhale “Hum.”
       Place your hands in anjali mudra, or prayer posture at your heart chakra. Repeat “Sat Chit Ananda” and feel pure beingness, pure consciousness, pure bliss. Stay here as long as you like. When you are ready, keeping your hands in anjali mudra, raise them to your third eye chakra and repeat “Sat Chit Ananda” again. Then again back at your heart center.
       When you are ready, open your eyes and carry that feeling of pure beingness, pure consciousness, and pure bliss into the rest of your day. Carry also the knowledge that you have successfully connected your vision to the cosmos who will co-create your vision with you. Then make sure you follow through and do your part, by doing at least one thing each day to help bring it into fruition. 


Monday, June 4, 2012

The Rare Transit of Venus Across the Sun’s Disk - Awakening to Divine Grace

Below are a few images and bullet points from my lecture “Observational Astrology – Reclaiming the Sky” that I presented at UAC on May 26th. Be sure to scroll to the end where I’ve added an exercise to connect with the spiritual aspect of Venus.
  When Venus crosses in front of the Sun’s disk it is called a Transit of Venus
  Venus Transits happen in pairs 8 years apart but NOT EVERY 8 years.
  This happens because of the NODES of Venus. Similar to an Eclipse but Venus can not eclipse the Sun!
  The Nodes of Venus’s orbit around the Sun align with Earth’s orbit around the Sun – putting Sun, Venus & Earth all on the same (or similar) plane.
When this happens we can observe the shadow of Venus transit across the Sun’s disk like a dark spot moving across in front of the Sun.

The above image is from Venus’s orbit is at a 3.4° tilt from Earth’s orbit.
·         Venus transits occur in a pattern like this: 8 years, 105.5 years, 8 years, 121.5 years, 8 years, 105.5 years, 8 years, 121.5 years etc it keeps repeating
·         The last pair of Venus Transits: Dec 9, 1874 & Dec 6, 1882
·         The current pair of Venus Transits: June 8, 2004 & June 5 2012
·         The next pair of Venus Transits:  Dec 11, 2117 & Dec 8, 2125
Here is where the Transit of Venus is visible. The image below is from where you can click on your city to get the exact time to witness the transit from your location. Be sure to properly protect your eyes if you are going to observe this transit.

Safety first!  Do not put binoculars or a telescope to the sun – ever! Never do this- the results could be blinding literally!!  Use special goggles or glass to observe the sun.  Once you buy them you can safely observe eclipses and the more frequent transits of Mercury.

Astrologically, I believe the transit of Venus is the re-awakening of the divine feminine, and a call to return to grace. The interplay of Earth, Sun & Venus are all involved to make this happen. With Earth we have physical manifest, with Sun we have the light of divine consciousness, and with Venus we have the divine feminine in the form of love, beauty & grace.

We live in a materialistic society governed by ads so prevalent we rarely notice we are bombarded them as constantly as the sun’s rays. We are told we need all these things to make our lives more convenient and immediate to make our lives simpler. In reality we are over stimulated and preoccupied. We are rarely present in the moment, and the moment is all we truly have! Day in and day out people jump on the hamster wheel, enter the rat race to chase after the money god and die with the most toys and win. We often associate Venus with money. That’s not wrong; it’s just a lopsided view of what Venus is about and if you think about it is her lower quality seeking material pleasures.

Venus is Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love and beauty, born out of the foam of the sea. We also associate Venus with beauty and we buy things to make ourselves & our homes more beautiful. We buy objects that define who we are and if we were to lose them, we lose part of our identity – or at least we do if we are tied up in the illusion that we are the sum of our accumulative possessions, what we have, what we own, the objects of our desires that define us, that make us feel materially secure.  We also associate Venus with love, and the others in our lives who reflect our good qualities back to us, who make us feel beautiful inside and out, who we value in our lives, and who values our presence in theirs.  That’s the usual astrological take on Venus. I’d like to remind everyone what is often lost in the interpretation of Venus – grace.

Webster defines grace as “1 a. unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification. b. a virtue coming from God. c. a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace. 2. a. approval, favor.  b. mercy, pardon.  c. a special favor, privilege. d. disposition to or an act or instance of  kindness, courtesy, or clemency [….] 8. b. the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful.”

There is a higher spiritual quality to Venus that still has to do with reveling in the pleasures of the senses, but not for material gain or security – but to establish presence in the moment. To practice non-attachment to our possessions because it is the ego that tells us they define the quality of our life and who we are.  The quality of our lives is really defined by our ability to love, find beauty in the moment and assume a state of grace.

Try this exercise to take in the spiritual quality of Venus through the senses.

Go into the woods or some peaceful outdoor setting if you don’t have woods nearby. Not everyone can hug a tree without feeling silly, so find a tree that you like – choose it with your heart. Sit on the ground at the base of the tree and lean against it. Feel the ground beneath you and the tree against your back. Take deep even breaths for a count of at least 5 in and 5 out. As you breathe feel yourself becoming grounded in the moment. Breathe in the oxygen the tree is breathing out and breathe out the carbon dioxide the tree breaths in. Breathe with the tree, feel the connection.  As you do this, feel the warmth of the sunlight, the caress of the breeze on your skin. Listen to the sounds of the animals scurrying about. Hear the calls of various birds, and the wind in the trees. Activate your voice and gently chant “om” until you feel entirely present in the moment, and your worries about the past or future are set aside for now. Your sense of sight should become heightened as you reach this state of heightened consciousness and presence, and everything will seem more vibrant.  Colors will become more vivid, sounds will become more clear and crisp, you’ll start to feel the life in the trees and the wisdom they hold having silently observed the goings on in the woods for many decades.  Feel yourself connecting to nature around you – not attaching to any piece of it. Don’t think about what the animals doing or where the birds are going. Just observe them without thought or judgment. Just be present in the moment, a silent observer of the divine beauty and grace of the world, connect to it, breathe it in, and allow it to fill you up.  Step into the flow and become one with the ever present moment. Take that state of divine beauty and grace with you when you leave the woods, and share it with others though acts of kindness and courtesy.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Night Sky Tour May 22-30, 2012

Locate Venus, Mars & Saturn in the night sky! While I have the location set for New Orleans for those going to UAC, these planets are visible everywhere! (Times will be the same in your location if you are on daylight savings time, they will be an hour later if you are not.) Mars is east of Regulus and Saturn is above Spica. Venus sets soon after the sun. So look up and find Venus before she dissapears into the sunset on her way to inferior conjunction.

If you want to learn more about this rare transit of Venus on June 5th/6th that won't happen again for another 105.5 years come to my lecture at UAC on Saturday at 4:30!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Super Full Moon - May 5th

The Full Moon tonight, on May 5, 2012 at 11:36 PM EDT, occurs a mere 2 minutes after perigee AND this is one of the closest possible perigee distances. The distance between the Moon and Earth at tonight's perigee at 11:34 PM EDT is 221,800 miles. So the reason this is a Super Full Moon is because it is occurring closer than its mean perigee. Occurring at perigee alone is not enough to make it a Super Moon. It must also be closer to Earth than its average perigee distance.

A Super Moon occurs when a Full or New Moon exceeds its mean perigee distance to Earth.  As the moon orbits around Earth on its elliptical path it reaches points of perigee (closest to Earth) and apogee (furthest from Earth). The moon is larger in the sky when at perigee and smaller at apogee.  The mean (average) perigee distance between Earth & Moon is around 225,000 miles. However the actual distance at perigee can be between approximately 221,800 - 229,800 miles at perigee.

To give you an idea of the varying distance between Earth & Moon at perigee, and how the cycle of perigee correlates to the lunation cycle, I've created the following list for the year 2012.

Annular Eclipses & Apogee

The mean distance at apogee, when the moon is furthest from Earth and smaller in the sky is about 251,900 miles.  The moon is smallest in the sky at apogee.

We have a Solar Eclipse coming up on May 20, 2012 with the New Moon at 7:48 PM EDT.  This is the day after the Moon reaches apogee (furthest distance from Earth) on May 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM EDT. Therefore the New Moon will be too small to cover the Sun's disk entirely which produces an Annular Eclipse.  A ring of fire will appear around the Moon as it passes in front of the Sun.  The orb between the New Moon at tropical 00-Gemini-21and South Node at tropical 05-Gemini-02 falls in the range where a Total Eclipse must occur BUT the moon is too small to totally eclipse the sun. Therefore it is called Annular and leaves a ring of fire.  Basically all annular eclipses would be total if the Moon was not near perigee and was larger in the sky.

While we can find historical accounts of eclipses from the writings of ancient poets and storytellers of all cultures, this one from the Ramayana is what I believe to be an account of an annular eclipse - the big halo possibly being what we call a ring of fire today. Rahu is the North Node, so this would be an annular eclipse with the New Moon (Sun & Moon) conjunct the North Node.

In the proximity of the Sun there appeared a dark reddish disc; at an odd hour of the day the evening dusk approached at an extremely fast pace to be followed by a sudden nightfall; nothing could be discerned anymore; the birds and the animals became awestricken and started howling at the top of their voice; the Sun was totally engulfed by Rahu and appeared to be totally dull, but a big halo was seen around the dark disc of the Sun; some stars and planets became visible....

The Nov 13, 2012 Solar Eclipse occurs half a day before apogee (see the above table for Nov 14). The orb between the New Moon (Sun-Moon conj) at tropical 21-Scorpio-57 and the North Node at 26-Scorpio-03 is again within the range where a Total Eclipse must occur.  This time with the Moon near perigee, it will be large enough to cover the Sun's disk entirely. In both of these eclipses the orb between New Moon & Node is about 5 degrees. Whether it is total or annular depends on perigee or apogee.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Night Sky Tour - February 24 - 29, 2012

Mercury has returned to the evening sky and moves into the constellation Pisces. Venus is visible in the constellation Pisces and Jupiter in the constellation Aries. You can locate all three of these planets in the west after sunset. Mars rises shortly after sunset in the constellation Leo, followed by Saturn in the constellation Virgo. Watch this video for a guided tour to finding the planets in the night sky.

Happy Sky Watching!