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:
Did you miss having a full moon in February? Remember that our calendar is an artificial construct that overlays the natural planetary movements. So the new moons and full moons are happening right on schedule. But sometimes a short month like February can't hold the whole pattern.
So here we are with the full moon on March 1, 2018, 6:51 p.m. CST in 11° Virgo. This full moon is opposed to Neptune at 13° Pisces. A key word for Neptune is nebulous. That means the road ahead is foggy (symbolically) at this time. It's hard to see things clearly. And easy to forget things. For example, I meant to write this post sooner. Even though I had run off the chart for the full moon and wrote notes on my to do list, it totally dropped off my inner radar until I was in the middle of taking a shower this morning (Neptune rules water) and realized the Full Moon is tomorrow.
What to do when things are foggy? Wait till 3 days after the full moon to make major decisions - you may not have all the facts. (I'm talking major decisions, not what to have for breakfast.) Write everything down. Even if you normally have a great memory, things will tend to float out of your mind at this time.
Pay extra attention to what you eat over the next few days. Virgo is a sign that rules part of the digestive tract. Healthy, organic foods will benefit you. Processed food may not. Pure water (i.e. filtered) is another recommendation for this Neptune time.
What's the upside? Neptune is also the planet of intuition and attunement to the Divine. Artistic creativity is enhanced at this time. Take extra time for meditation and prayer. Pick music to listen to that will take you where you want to go mentally or spiritually. Or do your own mantra chanting or gospel singing.
Do you like mantra chanting? I'm one of the background singers on this album:
This month's new moon is a Partial Solar Eclipse that takes place on February 15, 2018, 3:05 p.m. CST in 27° Aquarius. Aquarius symbolizes the feeling of fellowship and brotherhood. It reminds me of the Sanskrit (and Pali) word "Sangha." Sangha means community of like-minded souls. It can benefit you at the time of the eclipse (and several days on either side) to hang out with people who support your values, especially your spiritual values. Being with brothers and sisters in spirit is a type of nourishment for the soul.
Or simply think of this as a time to connect with friends whether in person or electronically. Uranus in the sextile position to the Sun and Moon in the eclipse chart indicates benefits from technology.
On the other hand, the eclipse chart has Mars at 12° Sagittarius squaring Neptune in 13° Pisces. Not good energy for starting new projects especially those that involve water (plumbing projects, for example) or paint. Neptune in this position can both dilute energy (you start but don't finish) and also delude you (make you certain you have the skills and tools to complete a complicated DIY project). If you find yourself inspired at the eclipse, take time to analyze and plan first.
This month's new moon is on November 18, 2017 in 26° Scorpio. Scorpio energy at the new moon is a gaze into a still pool of water, deep dives into memory with reflections on influences from the past. You become aware of how your present actions often have momentum from emotional events from the past. Letting go of the emotionality can be the new moon's new beginning.
Two aspects in the new moon chart bring challenges. Mars in Libra is squared Pluto in Capricorn (exact on 11/19). The tendency with this aspect is toward being judgmental and self-righteous. Be gentle with yourself and others.
The second challenge comes from the Neptune station direct on November 22 at 11° Pisces. Neptune energy is very sensitive and intuitive which is excellent for your spiritual goals. The challenge when combined with the new moon plus the Mars square described above is that everyone will be sensitive (and thin-skinned) just at the point where others around you will be judgmental.
Use techniques that strengthen your aura. Here's an easy one:
Stand with your arms at your sides, palms turned out. As you inhale, bring your arms out to the sides and up to meet palms together over your head, stretching up (mountain pose variation). As you are bringing your arms up, imagine you are pulling a beautiful blue aura of healing energy around you.
Turn your palms out and slowly exhale your arms down - pushing that aura of healing light even further out around you.
(If you have any issues with doing this physically, just visualize yourself doing it.)
More about the Neptune Station Point
For the average person, the energy of Neptune stations is very diffuse, nebulous and 'spacey'. The influence of this at least a week on either side of 11/22. It requires staying highly organized. File things in their proper place or they might not be found again. Don't assume your short term memory will hold information -- write it down!
Pay attention. Be mindful. And watch what you input. Neptune makes us more susceptible to our environment. Eat healthy. Hang out with positive people. And especially these days, don't spend so much time watching the news. Get the information you need and get out.
Affirmation for the new moon and Neptune stationary point:
Marcia Sacks is an astrologer in the Kriya Yoga tradition.