The exact conjunction will be at 4:18 a.m. PST on the morning of November 29th. The dark Moon night is always a time to go inward, and this new Moon in particular offers the chance to go really deep. Not only are the Moon and Sun coinciding in Scorpio, a sign of depth and intensity, but they are exactly "square" to the lunar nodes, Rahu and Ketu.
Square is a term usually utilized in Western astrology, but I use it here to demonstrate that the Sun and Moon will be exactly in between Rahu and Ketu, in the middle of a kala sarpa yoga (a planetary alignment) that is currently in the sky. The kala sarpa yoga is formed when all of the planets are in the signs between Rahu and Ketu on one side of the zodiac, with none in the signs on the other side (see picture). This refers to the seven planets utilized in Vedic astrology—Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. At this new Moon time, Rahu and Ketu fall at 13° of sidereal Leo and Aquarius, respectively, and Sun and Moon at 13° of Scorpio, exactly in between.
Kala Sarpa can be translated as either "black snake" or "serpent of time." As you can imagine, whenever this occurs we face some intense or dark energy at large. I've observed one of the best words to describe the kala sarpa circumstance is heavy. The nodes, or the shadow planets, relate to some of our deepest subconscious drives and karma. When the planets fall on one side of their axis, a lot of this can surface all of a sudden and we can feel overwhelmed with the amount that life is putting on our plate. With dedicated practice, meditation, and focus, we can have clearer vision and discrimination on how we can use the circumstance toward our growth.
We've experienced the kala sarpa alignment many times this year. When it happens, it lasts for two weeks at a time, from when the Moon passes Rahu until it passes Ketu. This cycle will end in about a week, and two weeks later we'll begin the last kala sarpa cycle until late 2017. Between now and then there will always be some planets on either side of the Rahu-Ketu axis. In the late part of next year they will all pass Rahu and it will begin again, two weeks at a time for a few months.
We might feel even more pressure beginning this lunar cycle, because Saturn is also situated in Scorpio, joining the new Moon. They say when Saturn visits you he sits on your head, adding a great weight and pressure. Adding his weight to this new Moon in Scorpio, we can expect to feel some heaviness and pressure through this lunar cycle, particularly in regards to our own inner fire and transformational power. Saturn's attempt is to teach us how to slow down, be patient, make commitments and persevere with hard work for our desired long-term goals. When we apply his energy this way in Scorpio, we can take great strides in spiritual and emotional development.
Scorpio is a feminine water sign, which brings up our inner emotions, and is ruled by Mars, the warrior planet. It is here where we face our own vulnerable nature and attempt to strengthen it. We face the fears that are hidden deep within, and the temporary nature of all we hold dear. I think of Scorpio as the sign of the spiritual warrior. After the new Moon here, this will be a month to get in touch with your inner warrior. Allow the passion and the tears, and use them to fortify yourself. It's time to call up the courage to look at our own dark sides, the shadows in our mind that are holding us up—our fears—and strike our warrior's sword against them.
The nakshatra (Vedic constellation) of this new Moon is Anuradha. Anuradha comprises the middle of Scorpio, including the bright star Antares, known as the heart of the scorpion. Anuradha is an incredibly devotional nakshatra. It translates as "after Radha," indicating the pursuit of Radha, Krishna's greatest devotee. Since Radha is widely recognized as the paramount example of devotion, the one who chases after her surely wishes to embody and demonstrate devotion. Saturn's association with Anuradha will help us to persevere in our quest to fortify ourselves and our emotions.
Amidst the difficulty that often accompanies Scorpio, the natural eighth sign, Anuradha is a place where great blossoming is possible despite this. It is thus associated with the symbol of the lotus, whose beauty springs from the depths of mud and muck. The deity for Anuradha is Mitra, a god of light and friendship. This reminds us that collaboration can be useful and sometimes necessary, despite the fiercely introverted quality of the Moon in Scorpio. Through devotion and effort, as well as cooperation, this star can lead to great success.
This lunar cycle offers a great potential for growth and achievement, especially in the realm of overcoming inner fears and strengthening our emotions, despite the awareness of our fragility. This may be surfacing acutely, but the warrior spirit of Mars and the committed potential of Saturn offer tools to forge through the muck and come closer to our goals. Mars and Saturn are considered "malefic" planets, but these are actually the ones who present challenges and opportunities that help us to grow toward the strongest versions of ourselves that we can be. Take some time to sit quietly on this dark Moon night tonight, and look inward to see where you can wield your warrior's sword and put the right amount of pressure on yourself, in order to transform and allow your inner lotus to blossom.
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