2019 Spring Equinox

The 2019 Spring Equinox will be exact at 5:58 pm eastern time on March 20th. It will take place with a Leo rising which is opposite Mercury retrograde in the sign of Aquarius.  At 8:45 pm eastern time the Super Full Moon will be exact with the Moon being in Virgo and the Sun in Pisces.  Not every equinox takes place during a Full Moon and Mercury retrograde.  This equinox matches the unique times in which we live.

Generally both the equinoxes and the solstices will be accompanied by an increase in universal energies which can be felt by some and we can notice people being more nervous or enthusiastic during the few days surrounding the celestial events.  This year’s energy is more pronounced by Mercury retrograde and the Full Moon. Additionally, on March 22nd Mars will move into the sign of Taurus and the eclipse points on the 23rd will move into Gemini/Sagittarius.  All of this activity portends more craziness in the world of politics and media along with individuals feeling confused and nervous.

There is not much we can do about the outer world but we can take steps for our bodies and personal lives. It is important to realize that many of our thoughts are more heightened now than usual and that personal relationships can become stressed. Perhaps it is not the best time to solve our relationship issues as there will be too much fear and confusion due to Mercury being retrograde and the eclipse points changing signs.

In my view the key here is Mercury the ruler of the nervous system as well as the intellectual mind. Mercury is not only retrograde but is also the ruler of Virgo (ruler of the Full Moon) and Gemini (the ruler of Gemini the new placement for Rahu).  Virgo is also the ruler of the health and the opposite sign is Pisces is where the Sun (Full Moon is indicated by the Sun and Moon being in opposite signs) is placed during the Full Moon.  Pisces is a water sign and indicates emotions, ideals, dreams and spiritual/philosophical beliefs.  Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac and for the equinox indicates the end of winter as we move into the warmer weather of spring.  It indicates the time when we begin the shed the old for the new and it can be important to pay attention to the health as indicated by Virgo’s involvement.  It is the interplay of these two signs which makes this time of the year a good time to physically cleanse the body of the old as we get ready for the new.

The attention to health that is normal for the Spring Equinox is important this year because there is more planetary change than usual for the 2019 celestial events.  As we cleanse the body we should focus on the nervous system as well because of the Mercury influence – a strong nervous system keeps us steady and helps with the development of equanimity during this time period.

In addition to supporting the nervous system through foods, herbs and vitamins a few minutes of meditation each day will work to our benefit.  One of the easiest and most efficient ways to calm down an over active nervous system is through deliberate breath work.  These techniques do not have to be difficult or time consuming.

All breathing should be done through the nose slowly and with deliberate intent.  As you inhale pay attention to the stomach moving away from the spine (expanding) and on the exhale pull the stomach towards the spine.  (If you have high blood pressure or issues with the heart do not hold the breath in for more than 1 second.)  Provided you do not have health issues simply sit quietly and inhale for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds and exhale for 3 seconds for anywhere from 2 to 11 minutes. This will begin to calm down the nervous system and clear the mind of racing thoughts.  Make sure the spine is straight and that the feet are flat on the floor if you are not sitting in a traditional meditation posture.

Alternative nostril breathing is another technique which works on the nervous system and balances the hemispheres of the brain.  One can also simply close off the right nostril and inhale and exhale through the left nostril for a quick balance of nervous anxiety.

Calming music, warm baths, light meals and moments of quiet are also recommended.  The color green is good for Mercury – walking in nature and having some plants in your home environment can have a subtle effect.  For people who are into stones malachite, jade, peridot or other green stones can be beneficial.

Often just taking care of the nervous system can be the most important step to having a healthy and peaceful life.  Life is always about change and we are witnesses to major changes happening in the outside world right now. That does not mean we have to suffer those changes if we remember what is unchanged within us and work with the body/mind to not allow ourselves to get too caught up in the surrounding chaos.

Sacred Teachings

I was told by my teacher “that the doorway to higher knowledge will only be open for a short time.” He was referring to the sacred teachings of yoga as well as other disciplines of the mystics. The knowledge offered by mystics was often kept secret from the general population.  This can be viewed as elitist or even selfish by many and certainly in today’s google driven world keeping knowledge secret can be seen in a negative way.

As I observe words like “empowerment” being bandied about in today’s “new age” world I understand why so many teachings were kept secret.  Empowerment has come to mean power to be able to get that job, purchase that house, start that business or even proclaim mastery to others for prosperity.

The journey throughout the ages for mystics has been to uncover the truth of existence and move beyond the suffering of human life.  There are tools which can be used on this journey but at one time to get the advanced tools one had to have substantial training over the course of a long time of preparation. A mystic tool misused can be as dangerous as allowing a child to experiment with a chain saw.

My own formal training has been in Raj-Kundalini Yoga and Vedic Astrology.  The training was intense and took many years.  My training in Raj-Kundalini yoga was regulated according to the strength of my nervous system and my understanding of the principles of the teachings.  I admit that there were times I was frustrated with the slowness but as I observe the yoga world today I know that it was the right training. Today we have certified teachers who train for just twenty-eight days who don’t even seem to know that releasing the force of the kundalini on a weak body or an undisciplined mind can create both physical and mental illness.  Other teachers speak of empowerment to earn large sums of money or mundane prestige while ignoring the core principles of yoga itself.  As an astrologer I often get clients who feel like failures because they chanted the mantras, did the powerful breath techniques and visualizations but did not get the house, the job, the spouse or even the car.  They end up feeling like failures and/or that they did something wrong.  What was wrong was the misunderstanding of yoga or other sacred teachings because the purpose of the inner teachings was not meant for material success. I end up thinking that there were definite reasons for keeping the sacred teachings secret until a person had earned them.

Before the door closes I would like to share some of the sacred teachings as I know them.  Below is a quote from “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Commentary by Swami Satchidananda.”

“ABUTTASYCU DYHKHANATMASU NITYA SUCI SUKHATMAKHYATIR AVIDYA.”

Ignorance is regarding the impermanent as permanent, the impure as pure, the painful as        pleasant, and the non-Self as the Self.

Yoga is a valuable system for health, balance and relaxation.  It can be important to pay close attention to instructors who move beyond the physical and begin to speak about empowerment if the teacher does not understand even the above sutra. 

March Comes in Like a Lion

The month of March can be known for erratic weather as winter ends and spring begins.  The planets, during this month, are as changeable as the March weather and do not promise a calm April.  The truth is that no one needs astrology to tell them that we are living in erratic times.  Astrology can, however, give a look at timing and how to make the best of the changes.

This month’s New Moon will take place in the sign of Aquarius on March 6th and will be accompanied by Mercury moving in apparent retrograde motion beginning on March 5th in the sign of Pisces. Mercury will be retrograde until March 27th but will leave the sign of Pisces on March 15th when he re-enters the sign of Aquarius.  The New Moon is known for a low energy level and as Mercury is retrograde and in his sign of debilitation (Pisces) I expect the energy levels to be lower than usual.

This is a week not to push too hard and to try and schedule some time for extra rest.  It is a good time for cleaning out closets and files with an eye towards releasing the past as preparation for the newness of spring along with the vital step of clearing out unnecessary material goods and emotional baggage.  The next Full Moon will take place on the 20th (Vernal Equinox) in the signs of Pisces/Virgo. As we all know, even though spring may officially take place on the twentieth, the time period is actually a time of transition as winter releases its grip.  Along with cleaning out our homes and minds during this month it is a powerful time to physically cleanse ourselves of the heavier winter diets and physical inactivity.  Virgo is the natural ruler of the 6th house of health and Pisces is the indicator of endings which makes this time period perfect for clearing and cleansing with the new beginnings of spring beginning to show itself.

This natural planetary process is always positive but this year it is important due to the big planetary change which takes place on March 23rd when Rahu and Ketu (eclipse points) change signs.  They are moving from Cancer/Capricorn into Gemini/Sagittarius. In Vedic astrology Rahu and Ketu are known to be primary indicators of unexpected events as well as karmic indicators. Rahu represents desires and Ketu often plays the role of the denier of those desires.  Ketu is more concerned with one’s spiritual awareness and human beings seem to have an unfortunate tendency to not think much of spirit until they run into pain and trouble which Ketu can provide.  If one already puts the spiritual above the material Ketu leads the way to the bliss of the truth of our divinity.

The past eighteen months the nodal points have not been well placed in the signs of Cancer/Capricorn. Cancer is the sign of digestion and one’s home life and is ruled by the Moon.  The Moon is an extremely important planet which rules the mind, emotions, the people of earth, food and stability.  Rahu and the Moon are not considered to be friends and when Rahu is in Cancer he can cause havoc on the entire population. Ketu has been in the sign of Capricorn which is ruled by Saturn.  Saturn is the planet which rules the “general” population while Capricorn has an influence on “rulers” as well as big financial institutions.  Ketu being an influence of “denials” has denied us reasonable leadership and we’ve all observed the chaos of the current administration.  While the upper financial classes have flourished the “general” population has suffered from the lack of leadership as well as a continuation of care for people in general.  The opposite sign of Capricorn is Cancer (families, mothers, food) and Rahu’s reaction to the Ketu restrictions has been chaotic, cruel and truly unnecessary.  The nodal points have not been good for humanity in general.  Here in America we’ve been a people who have chosen to not pay attention to politics and these positions of the nodal points have been a very tough wake-up call for everyone.

The nodal points will bring about a shift for everyone once they occupy the signs of Gemini/Sagittarius and should be more positive.  Gemini is ruled by the planet Mercury which is a friendly planet to Rahu. Gemini is a sign of intelligence, curiosity, flexibility and innovation all qualities that work with the basic nature of Rahu. Of course, the nodal points are more challenging than not and I expect us to see media heightening the levels of drama along with more sources of misinformation. It will be important for everyone to become familiar with fact-checking as the changes in our world continue at a fast pace.  What I noticed during the Rahu placement in the sign of Cancer was an uptick in people experiencing stomach problems along with an increasing awareness of mental health issues and addiction as more and more people began suffering from these issues. Under the Gemini influence I expect to see issues caused by stress on the nervous system to become more prominent.  Gemini/Mercury have a strong influence on education and it is possible that the people may start to push back against our educational system as they realize that education is not only for those who can afford private schools.  Policy is another feature of Gemini and we can expect some strong battles over the current failed policies coming from our leaders.

Ketu will move into Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, and Ketu is known to do very well in the sign of Sagittarius.  Ketu will move to restrict the sometimes overly optimistic nature of Sagittarius during the next eighteen months.  Sagittarius is one of the indictors of foreign peoples and countries as well as being the indicator of the Republican party.  During the first ten months of Ketu occupying Capricorn (out of the full eighteen months) he will be with the planet Saturn and that shows restriction on the policies, both domestic and international, of the current administration.  Saturn is the people and our government has not been responsive to the general population under this administration nor have our international relationships been favored.  Ketu and Saturn coming together will help restrict further damage.  Jupiter is known as the ruler the legal system, royalty and moral philosophy.  Ketu will work with the energy of this planet to try and restore the morals of our rulers. The legal issues which have engulfed our country will come to a head under the influence of Ketu. Sagittarius is known for being a positive sign and we may well witness times when optimism seems to be at low ebb. It may not be pleasant but more trouble can be caused by hubris than by taking off the rose colored glasses.  Ketu along with Saturn are showing truth which can sometimes feel awful.

We all have individual lives to live and the new positions of the eclipse points will often shift the focus of our day to day lives.  Each of us will have the affairs of the new house placements come into more importance in our lives.  For instance, if Rahu is now going to be in the Ascendant, one can expect a certain amount of restlessness as the Rahu energy seeks something new in one’s life and often during the eighteen month stay in the Ascendant one will change hair styles, health routines, jobs or will have changes brought into their lives.

The nodal points are meant to help us grow throughout our lives and some placements are more challenging than others.  The new sign placements will be easier but given the times in which we live the upheavals will continue for a while but we can always choose to look at life with balance, awareness and inner growth.  During this time period the nervous system will be challenged via the stress of life as well as the fear of change.  It is important to pay attention to the nervous system through proper activity, rest, food, supplements, meditation and the truth of self/spirit.  Ketu will help with spiritual/contemplation practices as he has a concern with spirituality and the truth of existence. The truth of existence has little to do with money, career success or status and it is important to not approach your spiritual practices as a magic bullet for mundane success as that is not truth.  The game is to be in peaceful truth no matter what the circumstances of physical life and at this point the chaos of the changing world makes the inward journey a better option.