The Full Moon on Sunday, February 9 is at 1:33 a.m. in 20° Leo. The energy is lively and excellent for socializing. Leo is the sign of games, play and fun. If you've been overworked and stressed, take time for an activity that is purely for fun. It doesn't have to be wild. If reading quietly is fun for you, go for it. Just make sure that it's a book (or movie) that gives you a positive emotional boost.
There is a dynamic between the Moon in Leo and the Sun in Aquarius at this Full Moon. There may be conversations or situations with conflict between people on opposite sides of an issue. This means some people will be focused on self-interest. Others will take a more humanitarian or global outlook. Our challenge is to listen before responding, then find common ground if possible.
Mercury goes retrograde on February 17th (until March 11). The stationary point is at 12° Pisces, relatively close to Neptune at 17° Pisces. This will be a spacey, absent-minded period several days on either side of 2/17. Not good for starting new projects or signing papers. Mercury rules both communication and local transportation. Think a bit before speaking in order to organize your thoughts and words. Watch out for distracted drivers. Remember, you're the one with extra (astrological) information. You are of service to others, doing a good deed, when you speak carefully and drive safely.
February 23 - Noon Meditation for the Temple of Kriya Yoga at Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago. Open to all.
My talk will be "Living the Spiritual Path." There are many ways to balance our spiritual journey toward wisdom and peace with our everyday life. This talk will focus on overcoming the obstacles we find in every day life as we move toward more subtle states of awareness.
You can find me on:
There's a New Moon tomorrow, Friday, January 24, at 3:42 p.m. CST in 4° Aquarius. Aquarius new moons are excellent times for socializing with friends, exchanging interesting ideas and doing something different from your everyday routine. The sign Aquarius embodies both scientific thought and metaphysical pursuits. Experiment by pulling a Tarot card at the time of the New Moon and see how that message resonates with you and the next two weeks ahead. If you're not a Tarot person, try bibliomancy:
To be more Aquarian in the sense of egalitarianism, try stichomancy. With stichomancy, you use any type of book with the same technique - close eyes, random pick, reflect on the passage.
This New Moon is squared to Uranus, so it's best to use caution with things having to do with electricity. Don't stick your fork into the toaster. If you find yourself tempted to buy a computer, get the extended warranty. Two weeks ago, I wrote about Uranus aspects having a general type of accident proneness, where we might move too quickly in the wrong direction. That would apply to a day or so before and after this New Moon.
Another minor aspect in the New Moon chart is Venus conjunct Neptune which will be exact on Monday, January 27th. While excellent for meditation and attunement to the Divine, it is not great for shopping for clothes, jewelry or cosmetics (which are ruled by Venus).
I hate to even mention that the Saturn/Pluto conjunction is still in orb (although Saturn has pulled ahead and is moving away). Continue to find ways to vent frustrations in a healthy, constructive way. With the aspect diminishing as time goes by, it's time to get back to projects that seemed to have had insurmountable objects in the way, including our own lack of motivation. I was taught that under Saturn aspects "what's delayed to you is not denied to you." For all of us, the work we put in last year will eventually start to pay off if we haven't given up on our hopes and dreams. Begin to move forward again, even if it's just one inch at a time.
My article "The Journey from Mars to Venus" is now online in Yoga Chicago Magazine.
The new year is a great time to expand your knowledge of astrology. I recommend the Professional Astrology Course from the Temple of Kriya Yoga. This is a distance learning, self-paced online course that can be started any time. The majority of the course is taught by the writings and audio recordings of my guru and astrology teacher Goswami Kriyananda. I'm an instructor for the course, answering student's questions and leading monthly webinars. More information is here: https://www.yogakriya.org/professional-astrology.html
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the course content or want a 'tour' of the site via webinar.
You can find me on:
The Full Moon on Monday, June 17 is at 3:30 a.m. in 25° Sagittarius which brings a quick, bright, enthusiastic energy and an upbeat feeling that life should be an adventure. At the same time the degree of the Full Moon is in the sector of space that aligns with the Galactic Center around 27° Sagittarius. This can bring an awareness of the grandeur of the cosmos and our relationship to all that is.
Just as the Earth revolves around the Sun, our Sun is in a very long orbital spin around the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. While it takes Earth one year to revolve around the Sun, it takes the Sun an estimated 250 million years to circle the galaxy. It gives this Full Moon a quality of deep contemplation about the meaning of life. If you look at the Full Moon in the early hours of Monday morning, you are looking toward the heart of our galaxy.
Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius and it is exactly squaring Neptune on June 16th. This is wonderful for meditation or any other uplifting technique. Neptune dissolves the barriers between the physical and the higher planes. Watch out for too much spaciness. Take time after your meditation session or a yoga class' closing relaxation to get re-grounded before driving or anything else that requires full concentration.
The sense of optimism that is occurring under this aspect can lead to careless decision making. However, Saturn is trining Neptune (exact on June 18th) and means time (a symbol of Saturn) can benefit you as you make choices. Take your time. Let optimism expand your imagination and show you a better path to the future, but use the practicality of Saturn to 'do the math', make a list or write down your plan.
The Neptune station retrograde on June 21 continues Neptune's square to Jupiter and sextile to Saturn. Discipline and organization can help you navigate the nebulousness of Neptune. Write in your journal, keep notes, make lists, use your paper or online planner. You think you'll remember your to-do's and appointments but under this type of Neptune things slip through the cracks of normal mental competency.
Even though pens and pencils are Mercury symbols, the act of writing things down is Saturn. An ephemeral thought is captured on paper or pixel where it travels through time into the future. (This aspect lasts one to two weeks on either side of June 21.)
You can find me on:
The New Moon on June 3 is at 5:01 a.m. in 12° Gemini. Gemini energy is lively and playful, great for socializing and mental fun like games and puzzles. The days around a Gemini new moon are often filled with lots of short, quick communications. Keep in mind that depth may be sacrificed for brevity and if you're looking for details, those may come a several days after the new moon. Because Neptune is in a squared position to the new moon, decisions will be more difficult to make. There may be more than one path to your goal and for a few days you might feel stuck at the crossroads. In that situation, gather more information for a few more days to make the wisest choice.
More on this new moon in my article Getting to Know Yourself Deeply in the May/June issue of Yoga Chicago Magazine.
Dream Your Dream Wisely: The audio of my May 26 Sunday Noon Meditation for the Temple of Kriya Yoga is now on youtube (If you click the "subscribe" button you will get notified when I post a new video.)
In the future:
Second Sunday Tarot: June 9, 11 a.m., Calibre Coffee, South Barrington
A casual and fun Tarot group for anyone interested in learning more about Tarot. Members are total beginners through professional level. Info at either:
Traditional astrologer Joe Simon will be presenting a lecture and workshop for the Northern Illinois Chapter of the National Council for Geocosmic Research:
June 11, 7:30 - 9 p.m.: Lecture: Medieval Astrology , 7:30 - 9 p.m.
June 15, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.: Workshop: Astrological Houses in Traditional Practice
You can find me on:
The Full Moon and the Vernal Equinox both occur on March 20, 2019. The Equinox is at 4:58 pm CDT, as always with the Sun at 0° Aries. The Full Moon is at 8:42 pm CDT in 0° Libra. Equinoxes represent balance and the sign Libra represents harmony. One thing to think about at this time is how you can bring more balance and harmony into your own life.
With the Equinox and Full Moon giving emphasis to the Aries/Libra polarity here are some other things to think about. How you want to approach the next two weeks (the Full Moon time frame) or the next quarter of a year (the Equinox time frame)? Will you choose the forcefulness of Aries or the diplomacy of Libra? What works best for you - the independence of Aries or working together in partnerships like Libra?
With Mercury still retrograde, neither the decisiveness of Aries nor the Libran tendency to poll the opinions of others will have an advantage in the next few days. Important decisions that have legal implications should probably be put off until several days after Mercury goes direct on March 28.
So how has this Mercury retrograde period been for you? On March 5, the day of the Mercury retrograde we were already in the car on the expressway when we realized we left something critically important at home. We had to get to the next exit, retrograde our way back to our house on the local roads, retrieve what we needed, and then get back on the expressway. That was so totally Mercury retro that we had to laugh even though it was a time-consuming inconvenience.
Goswami Kriyananda said "Karma is forgetfulness." So even though I knew that it was Mercury retrograde, and I knew we needed to stand still for a moment and think before we walked out the door, we still got caught up in that moment of rushing out. The key point about knowing that an aspect occurred and a piece of karma triggered is that if you can rebalance right away, the piece of karma is over. Actually, laughing is a way of softening or neutralizing karma. If we'd beat ourselves up about the incident all day, we'd have been hanging onto a piece of karma that could have been over.
Here's a relevant Zen story "The Muddy Road" from the book Zen Flesh, Zen Bones by Paul Reps:
Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection. 'Come on, girl,' said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud. Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. 'We monks don't go near females.' He told Tanzan, especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?' 'I left the girl there,' said Tanzan. 'Are you still carrying her?'
Keep in mind that when Mercury goes direct on March 28 it's conjunct Neptune so extra 'forgetfulness' is possible for a day or two around the 28th. Do the best you can by communicating carefully and making lists of things to remember. If you have to 'retrograde' to fix a problem, just do it, then let it go. A few days on from March 28, projects and plans will begin to move forward again.
My article "Astrology, Yoga and Balance" is in the March/April issue of Yoga Chicago Magazine.
Goswami Kriyananda's Professional Astrology Course is distance learning at your own pace.
In the Future:
Saturday, March 23, 6:30 - 8 p.m.: Music Meditation with the Temple of Kriya Yoga Musicians at The Yoga Shop, 3830 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago
Sunday, March 31: Astrologer Lynn Ewing is giving a workshop "Retrogrades - the Big Rewind - Karma, Reincarnation, Revisioning" at Life Force Arts Center in Chicago.
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.