The Full Moon is on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 9:53 a.m. at 0° Virgo. The Sun is always in the opposite degree and sign at a full moon, so the Sun is at 0° Pisces. This Virgo/Pisces polarity symbolizes our ability to see things in great detail on a microcosmic level (Virgo) opposed to the ability to see things in a greater perspective looking at a macrocosmic level (Pisces). So this polarity can lead to duels between people who seem too focused on the minutia in life and those who appear out of touch with their head in the clouds. You can use this polarity to shift between perspectives. If you feel like you're too stuck in the nuts and bolts of a project, try to pull yourself out to the overview level for greater understanding of the whole. If you have a grand vision of a plan, use specifics to map out the details.
There is a Mercury conjunct Neptune at 15° Pisces in the chart of the Full Moon. For this will emphasize the "spacey" trait of the sign Pisces, better for imagination and daydreams than hard facts. We all need to use extra caution in Mercury things over the next few days especially regarding communication and short distance journeys. Mental spaciness can affect driving. Going too deep into a day dream can have you drive past your expressway exit even with your GPS telling you "turn here." Not a good time for signing contracts and agreements. Promises made may not be fulfilled. Re-read documents to ensure you have the entire meaning.
While thinking about this aspect yesterday, I walked into my kitchen. Suddenly my socks were soaking wet! I'd stepped into a puddle of water on the floor and discovered my dishwasher was leaking. Neptune in an inharmonious aspect can often signify plumbing leaks.
Also in the Full Moon chart is the brief journey of Venus between Saturn and Pluto. On Monday, February 18th, Venus conjuncts Saturn. Not a good day for buying items related to beauty or fashion because there's a tendency to purchase something cheap or too small that you'll never be happy with. As Venus approaches Pluto and makes the conjunction on February 22, you're likely to become aware of passion (or lust) as a motivator. Now the caution with purchases is to be aware of excessive or irrational spending. Romantic or partnership relationships will tend to be down, then up during those few days. Don't finalize important relationship decisions until after Feb. 25.
In the future:
Just FYI, Mercury goes retrograde between March 5 through March 28. If you have a super important project to start, you might want to begin it before the beginning of March, even in some symbolic way. One symbolic way could be to write your goal or affirmation on a piece of paper which includes the positive outcome of the project. Then sign it and date it (before March 1). Don't worry so much about the everyday stuff. We've been through three Mercury retro periods every year for our whole lives. Humans are experts at handling course corrections and have excellent problem solving skills.
Creating Your Cosmic Connection
The audio recording of my talk at the Temple of Kriya Yoga on February 10th is on my youtube channel at: Creating Your Cosmic Connection
Attunement to the Divine or Ishvar-Pranidhana is a key observance in the yoga tradition, and component of spiritual maturity. This noon meditation with focus on the actions we can do mentally and in our everyday life to come nearer to an awareness of our cosmic connection. It includes some meditation practice, so don't listen while you're driving.
The Professional Astrology Course
Temple of Kriya Yoga has re-launched The Professional Astrology Course: How to Be a Practicing Astrologer. This is a distance learning course where you can go at your own pace. Along with the recorded lectures and written material by Goswami Kriyananda, there will be monthly conference calls or webinars with Temple instructors. It starts with the basics of astrology, planets, signs, houses and aspects, goes through natal chart interpretation, adds in progressions and transits, karmic astrology and advanced topics. So even though it's called a professional course, it's really a good program for anyone who wants to learn astrology in depth. Of course, there is also information on how to consult with clients and other aspects of being a professional astrologer.
I'm one of the program leaders and an instructor for The Professional Astrology Course and would be happy to talk to you about the course and its content. If you have questions about registration, please contact the Temple of Kriya Yoga.
The New Moon is on February 4, 2019 at 3:03 pm CST in 15° Aquarius. This is the New Moon that signifies the Lunar New Year in many Asian cultures. Because the Solar and Lunar Eclipses in January were so intense, I'm feeling like this Monday will be my fresh start to a new year. The energy in general will be positive for friends, friendships and doing fun activities with a group several days on either side of the new moon.
Mercury is conjunct the Aquarian New Moon bringing new ideas and quick, to-the-point communications. With Jupiter in a trine (harmonious) aspect to the New Moon, it's excellent for learning new things especially related to science, space travel, computer technology, and astrology which have a symbolic correspondence to Aquarius. Also good for learning things like foreign languages and religious or spiritual philosophy (which relate to Jupiter).
Jupiter is also the planet of abundance. We are blessed with an abundance of free learning opportunities whether through the library system (books!) or online. I was watching Marie Kondo (author of "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up") on Netflix and became entranced as she spoke in Japanese. I wondered if I could learn Japanese and went online to Duolingo.com .
I was delighted to find that they now have Japanese and I started their lessons. Wow! So much harder than any language I've ever tried. But my brain felt happy that I was learning something new. Don't know how far I'll go, but so fun to explore it. Jupiter is in Sagittarius for only one year out of every twelve. What would you have fun learning this year?
Mars is approaching a conjunction with Uranus at 29° Aries: accident proneness, especially cars, electricity and sharp objects. This aspect could fire early at the New Moon or closer to the exact conjunction on February 13th. It may feel so right to take that risk but that feeling could get you into trouble.
I have to tell you that shortly after writing this about Mars and Uranus, I was getting a few things out of my kitchen cupboard (most likely in an unwise way) and a glass measuring cup fell onto the edge of the kitchen sink and smashed into pieces. It was one of those things that happens in the blink of an eye (Uranus) and left hundreds of sharp shards of glass (Mars) on my counter, floor, and sink, not to mention the pieces that fell into the garbage disposer. My first thought was "Mars/Uranus fired really early!"
I'd recently heard Goswami Kriyananda say (on an audio recording) that lunations (new moons, full moons and eclipses) often trigger an approaching aspect, even a few days before the lunation itself. Anyway, safely clearing up the pieces was a long chore. To me, though, it was an important message that there was some karma going on and a warning not to trigger that Mars/Uranus aspect in other ways. I'll do my best to focus on "shanti, shanti, shanti" (peace, peace, peace).
In the future:
Sunday, February 10, 2019, I am giving the noon meditation at the Temple of Kriya Yoga:
"Creating Your Cosmic Connection"
Attunement to the Divine or Ishvar-Pranidhana is a key observance in the yoga tradition, and component of spiritual maturity. This noon meditation with focus on the actions we can do mentally and in our everyday life to come nearer to an awareness of our "cosmic connection."
The Professional Astrology Course: How to Be a Practicing Astrologer
Temple of Kriya Yoga is re-launching The Professional Astrology Course: How to Be a Practicing Astrologer. This is a distance learning course where you can go at your own pace. Along with the recorded lectures and written material by Goswami Kriyananda, there will be monthly conference calls or webinars with Temple instructors. It starts with the basics of astrology, planets, signs, houses and aspects, goes through natal chart interpretation, adds in progressions and transits, karmic astrology and advanced topics. So even though it's called a professional course, it's really a good program for anyone who wants to learn astrology in depth. Of course, there is also information on how to consult with clients and other aspects of being a professional astrologer.
I'm one of the program leaders and an instructor for The Professional Astrology Course and would be happy to talk to you about the course and its content (you can message me on the contact page. If you have questions about registration, please contact the Temple of Kriya Yoga.
The Lunar Eclipse is on Sunday January 20, 2019 at 11:15 p.m. CST in 0° Leo. The Sun in Aquarius and Moon in Leo of the eclipse is squared to Uranus (across signs) in 28° Aries. The Moon in Leo highlights the desire to be the leader, to be in charge. The Sun in Aquarius is the opposite urge which is to work collaboratively with others. The square with Uranus brings in a strong desire for freedom or simply to do things differently. Therefore, if you feel yourself being moved toward an extreme position - forcefully authoritarian or intensely rebellious - remember that your priority is your life purpose or long-term goal. Use wisdom to take a step back and see if there's a more moderate way to resolve conflict and move forward.
The other pattern in the Eclipse chart is Venus conjunct Jupiter squaring Neptune and trining Mars. This planetary grouping has the potential to bring in a generosity of spirit and good relationships with others. The good that can come out of this pattern depends on your ability to handle the Sun/Moon/Uranus aspect described above. Make a note in your journal of new people that you meet a few days before, during and after this Lunar Eclipse as they may become significant in your life in the months ahead.
Jupiter transiting through Sagittarius this year is a good time for learning: taking classes, studying a new language, or reading scripture or philosophy.
Financially, the Venus and Jupiter squaring Neptune can cause some people to exaggerate the positive potential of an investment, so take extra time to think over a business proposal before jumping in. Also there's a possibility to be too generous with money as you reach out to help others. Know your boundaries both with investments and with your role as a benefactor.
Coming soon: Speaking of learning new things, I'm excited to announce that the Temple of Kriya Yoga is re-launching The Professional Astrology Course: How to Be a Practicing Astrologer. This is a distance learning course where you can go at your own pace. Along with the recorded lectures and written material by Goswami Kriyananda, there will be monthly conference calls or webinars with Temple instructors. I'm one of the program leaders and an instructor for The Professional Astrology Course and would be happy to talk to you about the course and its content. If you have questions about registration, please contact the Temple of Kriya Yoga.
You can find me on:
The January 5th solar eclipse is conjunct both Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. It occurs at 7:28 p.m. CST in 15° Capricorn. This lineup of planets is likely to bring difficult and frustrating responsibilities combined with a strong desire to break free from old patterns. I often talk about the Saturn/Pluto conjunction as a 'volcano' aspect - pressure from within ourselves in conflict with pressure outside ourselves. Practice ways to release stress such as meditation, hatha yoga, singing/chanting, walking or dancing.
There's more about Saturn, Pluto and the January 5th Solar Eclipse on the audio recording of my talk "Astrology and Kriya Yoga: Planetary Patterns 2019".
And a lot more in my article: Yoga, Astrology and Self-Discipline in the January-February issue of Yoga Chicago magazine.
On January 6, Uranus makes a station direct at 28° Aries. Uranus is sudden unexpected changes of plan. It's symbolized by electricity and lightning. It's the revolutionary urge for freedom, with some hyper-activity,too. Combine that with the Eclipse energy described above and you have the perfect storm.
Stay flexible. This first week in January may not proceed as you have planned.
Both the yoga tradition and the Buddhist tradition often talk about detachment. Often people think about detachment as releasing the bond with material things like having the latest model iPhone or eating in a trendy restaurant. Emotional and mental detachment sometimes means being flexible about our plans and the timing related to those plans. If you have New Year's resolutions you planned to jump right into and an unforeseen responsibility or deadline pops up, give yourself a break. Take care of priorities and know that the astrological aspects are much better for new ventures at the end of January, beginning of February.
Wishing you happy holidays and a blessed winter solstice!
December 21 is the Winter Solstice, the official first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Solstices, like equinoxes, mark a new quarter of the year. This is a good time to envision your highest goal, what you want to incorporate into your life for the next few months.
I was at the Temple of Kriya Yoga this past Sunday for the Winter Solstice Celebration. The theme of the celebration was "compassion." Looking at the astrological chart for the solstice, I feel this captures the essence of the aspects Jupiter conjunct Mercury square Neptune and Venus trine Neptune. Neptune at its best is the ability to be empathic, to feel a communion with others, a loving connection with the Divine in all of us.
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama often speaks or writes about compassion:
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
“Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.”
Some of the above quotes are from his book "The Art of Happiness." I am currently reading the book "My Spiritual Journey" which is free right now for Amazon Prime members.
More about the winter solstice in my article in Yoga Chicago Magazine.
The Full Moon is on December 22, 2018 at 11:48 p.m. in 0° Cancer. The sign Cancer relates strongly to home and family. So it's the perfect time to share the holidays with family. It can also be a time to gently redecorate your home environment with items, colors or arrangements that bring you a feeling of joy or peacefulness.
The same Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Neptune alignment is in the chart of the Full Moon that is in the chart of the solstice. Along with all the good feelings I described, Jupiter is also the planet of overindulgence and Neptune rules alcohol and drugs. Since the next two weeks are often filled with parties and socializing, keep in mind that with Neptune strongly placed in the Full Moon chart, we may all be more powerfully affected than usual by the brain influencers and mood amplifiers that are offered to us.
In the future:
The January 5th solar eclipse is conjunct both Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. This lineup of planets is likely to bring difficult and frustrating responsibilities combined with a strong desire to break free from old patterns. I often talk about the Saturn/Pluto conjunction as a 'volcano' aspect - pressure from within ourselves in conflict with pressure outside ourselves. Practice ways to release stress in advance of this aspect such as meditation, hatha yoga, singing/chanting, walking or dancing in order to have them as part of your skill set in early January.
There's more about Saturn, Pluto and the January 5th Solar Eclipse on the audio recording of my talk "Astrology and Kriya Yoga: Planetary Patterns 2019". And more in the January-February issue of Yoga Chicago magazine which you'll find at your local yoga studio, fitness or health center in the new year.
You can find me on:
The New Moon is December 7, 2018, 1:20 a.m. in 15° Sagittarius
Does it feel like you've been slogging through a swamp or not quite feeling awake all day for the past few weeks? Neptune has been the prominent outer planet in terms of astrological aspects lately. When Mercury went retrograde on November 16, it was squared to Neptune. In this way, it picked up the "flavor" of Neptune carrying with it in its backward journey. Then Neptune went direct on November 24th, still in square to Mercury (the mind).
Now Mercury finally goes direct on December 6 at 27 ° Scorpio but it will take a few days for us to feel like we're going forward again. In the meantime this New Moon is square to a an exact conjunction of Mars and Neptune at 13° Pisces. So more Neptune. At least for several days past the New Moon.
As a said in my last blog post, Neptune rules feeling foggy, nebulous or spacey. It's hard to see people and their motivations clearly. A Mars/Neptune conjunction is dangerous. One symbol is drunk drivers or driving under the influence of drugs. Another is driving while sleep-deprived. (Mars is driving, Neptune is drugs or spaciness of any sort). Another symbol is a salesman (Mars) giving you misinformation (Neptune) on a product or service. One more symbol to keep in mind is getting scalded (Mars) by boiling water or steam (Neptune is water and with Mars is steam). Stay awake and aware whether driving, shopping or cooking at this New Moon.
A benefit to Neptune is being more suggestible, so affirmations can be very powerful at this time. Some tips for creating affirmations:
I am healing deeply as pure Divine energy fills and permeates every level of my body and mind.
If you want ideas for affirmations try these: https://www.louisehay.com/affirmations/
Or just Google "Affirmations for ___________" and fill in the blank.
Another way to use this New Moon energy is to totally tune into the most spiritual and uplifting aspects of the holiday season. Find the music that makes your soul soar and play that often. Light candles. Give to charity. Watch the holiday movies that make you laugh or open your heart.
In the future:
The Winter Solstice takes place on December 21. I wrote a little bit about that for Yoga Chicago Magazine.
I will be giving a talk on "Kriya Yoga and Astrology: Planetary Patterns for 2019" at the Winter Solstice Festival at the Temple of Kriya Yoga: Sunday, December 16, 11:30 a.m., 2414 N. Kedzie, Chicago, IL
There will also be talks, meditation, a ritual and refreshments. The program is described here:
The Full Moon is on November 22 at 11:39 pm CST in 0° Gemini. It's on Thanksgiving here in the United States. I learned from Goswami Kriyananda (and personal experience) that astrological aspects are much easier to handle if they occur during your average work week. Then we are supported by our daily habits and life patterns with the usual expectations. Holidays, especially those with big family gatherings and extensive preparations, can throw us off if our time and objectives are too unstructured. A full moon in general can bring stresses to the forefront. On the other hand, we can use the stimulating full moon energy to help us accomplish tasks if we're one of the worker bees putting things together for the holiday feast.
This Gemini Full Moon is opposed to Jupiter in Sagittarius. There's a wonderful generosity of spirit that can take place around with this aspect: charity given, good deeds done. It's an excellent time to make a list of all the things you're grateful for. Or start a gratitude journal - write one (or more) things each day that you're grateful for. On the other hand, this expansiveness of spirit can be "Jupiter gone wrong" where you spend money foolishly without thought for the consequence of debts coming due.
The Moon, Sun and Jupiter are squared (inharmonious) to Mars in the Full Moon chart. Gemini is a sign of communications. Mars is the planet the rules anger/hot-headedness. Mercury, the planet that rules communications is retrograde. Jupiter in an inharmonious position can mean carelessness. Under the stress (and freedom) of a holiday weekend can you communicate without anger and keep yourself from saying things off the top of your head that hurt other people? This is the challenge of this month's Full Moon.
Neptune, the planet that makes things foggy or nebulous is at a station point on November 24, going direct at 13° Pisces. Create lists and stay organized as much as possible. To be honest, there have been so many times serving a big meal like Thanksgiving that I had a dish warming in the oven that I totally forgot to serve. Neptune's like that. Neptune rules water and as Mars brings its heat to the Full Moon on 11/22, be especially cautious with boiling water.
[You can read more about this Neptune station in my most recent Yoga Chicago article http://yogachicago.com/2018/10/astrology-karma-and-free-will/ ]
This is the way astrology can be both symbolic and actual. In reality, dealing with boiling water while you're rushing to serve a big meal is a possible scenario. But boiling water can also be a symbol of your emotions rising with stress. Take time over the next few days to practice relaxation whether it's yoga, meditation, deep breathing, taking a walk or re-watching a funny movie that makes you laugh out loud.
The New Moon is on November 7, 2018 at 10:01 a.m. CST in 15° Scorpio. The New Moon in Scorpio is a time for deep thoughts. Scorpio and its ruler Pluto have a symbolic correspondence with the cycle of life, death and rebirth.
Last week I went to the Temple of Kriya Yoga for the Annual Ritual for the Departed. It was an opportunity to remember, pray for and send blessings to our family and friends who are no longer on the earth plane. It was also a reminder for me of how short our time is here, and how precious it is to spend time with loved ones. This week I watched the animated film "Coco" about a family celebrating the Mexican holiday Dia de Muertos (the Day of the Dead). There's music, adventure and humor, but so poignant at the end - a really beautiful movie.
Along with feeling close to those who've passed on, the New Moon in Scorpio is a time when you may find you have greater dream recall and more meaningful dreams. Do you journal your dreams? It is one of the practices my guru, Goswami Kriyananda suggested to his disciples. I take time every morning when I wake up to write down my dreams.
Writing down dreams consistently helps us to remember our dreams more clearly, and to be more aware in our dreams while we're dreaming them. According to the yogis, working with your dreams gives you greater ability to be conscious as you make your transition from one life to the next.
Jupiter makes its entrance into the sign Sagittarius on November 8th and will be in that sign approximately 12 months. Jupiter in Sag makes the coming year an excellent time for expanding your mind by studying philosophy, religion, foreign languages and the law. The same transit can also open your mind to the potential for traveling outside your own country.
November 16 there are two stationary points: Venus goes direct at 25 Libra and Mercury goes retrograde at 13 Sagittarius. Coping strategy # 1: if at all possible, don't sign any documents that relate to financial matters 3 days before and after November 16. Coping strategy # 2: don't start arguments with your romantic partner/significant other for 3 days before and after November 16. Try your best to stay awake and aware of what you're about to do or say before you do or say them.
I like this Zen story called Every Minute Zen. It's from the book Zen Flesh/Zen Bones by Paul Reps:
Zen students are with their masters at least ten years before they presume to teach others. Nan-in was visited by Tenno, who, having passed his apprenticeship, had become a teacher. The day happened to be rainy, so Tenno wore wooden clogs and carried an umbrella.
After greeting him Nan-in remarked: 'I suppose you left your wooden clogs in the vestibule. I want to know if your umbrella is on the right or left side of the clogs.' Tenno, confused, had no instant answer. He realized that he was unable to carry his Zen every minute. He became Nanin's pupil, and he studied six more years to accomplish his every-minute Zen.
Unfortunately, even though I try to stay aware, I'd probably flunk this Zen test every time. During Mercury retrograde, I'm the most likely person to walk to the car, remember I left something in the house, and go back for it. Because astrology gives me that bit of perspective, that bit of detachment, I can laugh about it, as I picture myself as Mercury going retrograde in my orbit.
In the future:
November 24: Neptune goes direct 13 Pisces. You can read about it in my most recent Yoga Chicago article Astrology, Karma and Free Will .
November 13: Astrologer Dave Gunning will be speaking at the Northern Illinois Chapter of NCGR on "The Economic and Political Challenges for the U.S. in 2019".
You can find me on:
The Full Moon is on October 24, 2018 at 11:45 a.m. CDT in 1° Taurus.
The chart of the Full Moon shows Venus and the Sun conjunct in Scorpio opposite the Moon conjunct Uranus in Taurus.
This combination indicates disruptions and restlessness in the areas of partnerships, romance, and sexual attraction. Also, unexpected changes in financial endeavors. Is it possible to slow down your decision making at this time? For a few days before and after the Full Moon, there may be temptations that will seem very appealing but may not be valuable in the long term.
With Uranus involved, use caution with electronic devices and be sure your computer data is backed up. Some of the temptations may involve purchasing a new mobile phone or tablet. Read the reviews carefully and wait to see if the craving for a new toy subsides enough to make a sound decision on the purchase.
I like this affirmation (inspired by Louise Hay):
"I am Divinely guided and protected and I make choices that are beneficial for me."
The sextile from Venus and Sun to Saturn along with the trine from Moon and Uranus to Saturn signifies help and stability from longtime friends.
Venus Retrograde - October 5 - 11° Scorpio
Yesterday, I was thinking about getting a haircut and was just about to add it to my list of errands for the day. I paused and remembered that Venus is at a stationary point, going retrograde on October 5. So if my question was, should I get a haircut, the answer is no. Why? Because Venus rules everything related to beauty and I probably wouldn't like how the haircut turned out. Also, Pluto is less than a week from its stationary point (it went direct on September 30), so still in effect. Pluto is a higher octave of Mars and Mars rules both violence and sharp objects. I thought, "I don't want a stranger with scissors that close to me right now." I'll wait a week and then go. If I was a really conscientious astrologer, I would look for a really good Venus day to get a haircut. But mostly I just try to avoid trouble :)
Everything in astrology really depends on the question you're asking. If your question applies to art, beauty or romantic love, Venus is one of the planetary symbols you would look at.
Venus is retrograde from October 5 - November 16. It is strongest a couple of days on either side of the station points. In general, Venus retrograde is a bad time for shopping for fashion. The tendency is buy things on impulse that seem to be a bargain but are not of good quality. Venus rules Libra which is the sign of the new moon so not optimal for starting new romantic relationships or business partnerships.
New Moon - Monday, October 8 - 10:46 pm CDT - 15° Libra
Libra is the astrological sign that relates to partnerships. With the Moon and Sun in Libra squaring Pluto in Capricorn in the New Moon chart there is perhaps an excess of passion in relationships, either bringing people together too quickly or breaking alliances apart. This is most intense three days before and after the new moon.
How to make best use of this energy? As an air sign Libra has a lot to do with the mind, ideas and philosophy. Take time to evaluate the way old habits in your thought patterns and assess if changes need to be made. In particular with Libra, are you too quick to pass judgement on or critique others? How quickly do you judge or criticize your own self? Watch your thoughts. Change judgmental thoughts to blessings for yourself and the world around you.
I like the following mantra for this Libra New Moon:
In Sanskrit: Om lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu
Or in English: May all beings attain peace and harmony
My Yoga Chicago article has a little bit more about this New Moon.
In the future:
October 9: Astrologer and author Ray Grasse will be speaking at the Northern Illinois Chapter of NCGR on "Decoding the Highest Planet in a Horoscope." More info at http://www.chicagolandastrology.org/news.html.
Marcia Sacks is an astrologer in the Kriya Yoga tradition.