The New Moon on December 7, 2018 at 21-Scorpio-00 (Sidereal Lahiri) occurs in Jyestha Nakshatra. This is the Nakshatra of “the eldest” that contains the tail stars of Scorpio. Last month’s new moon occurred in Vishaka Nakshatra where the stars Zuben Elgenubi & Zuben Eschamali represent passing through a gateway on the physical and spiritual levels. On the physical level it represents a new path of external discovery and achievement. On the spiritual level it represents crossing through a gateway to the deeper spiritual dimensions within ourselves. This month’s new moon in Jyestha calls upon the wisdom of experience. What did we discover or achieve in our outer and inner life last month? How can we incorporate the wisdom of that experience into the seeds of this month’s lunation cycle?
Jyestha can be a difficult nakshatra because of its associations with abandonment and betrayal. It is a associated with the star Antares, one of the four Royal Stars of Persia marking the ancient cardinal directions. Royal Stars can give great gifts but there is a nemesis to overcome first. Often that nemesis is within us even it if appears to represented by something external. Jyestha has the attribute of success that comes after a cleansing or cathartic life and death transformative experience. Jyestha is the eldest of the 27 sisters who are the wives of the Moon similar to a matriarch of the family: the protective force who knows how to deal with power. This lunation cycle may find us dealing with those things for our personal evolution because the purpose of the Nakshatras is for cosmic evolution.
The New Moon is a conjunction of the Sun and Moon. It is a cycle of brining the unconscious patterns of the mind rooted in the past (Moon) to a more conscious level of awareness rooted in presence (Sun). The New Moon is dark and reflects no light of the Sun’s consciousness upon it, however at the Full Moon the full light of Sun’s consciousness is reflected upon the unconscious Moon. The seed moment of the New Moon in Jyestha is good for bring to consciousness our relationship with power and betrayal, and, look within to see what role the ego and our automatic response patterns have played into the hardships we’ve endured. Jyestha gives us the Shakti Power “to rise and conquer through courage and effort” in regards to going to our inner depths to become aware (Sun) of the unconscious forces of our mind (Moon) and to gain some self-realization (Sun) into which of our automatic emotional-reactionary patterns (Moon) no longer serve our highest good and keep us trapped in the past so that we can conquer the lower forces of the false self’s ego-mind and move forward with elder wisdom toward success.
The Full Moon on December 22, 2018 at 06-Gemini-42 (Sidereal Lahiri) is the culmination of the cycle and it occurs in Ardra Nakshatra. The Sun, in opposition will be in Mula which has the Shakti power to “destroy the root to create” which is an excellent placement for destroying those lower ego-mind forces at their root as the lunation cycle culminates. The Moon in Ardra has the Shakti power of “effort.” The Full Moon illuminates the effort we need to make to destroy the root of the lower forces of our ego-mind and the effort we need to make regarding power, betrayal and hardships indicated by the seeds of the new Moon.
Ardra’s star is Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion which sits below Taurus and Gemini in the sky. It is ruled by Rudra which is form a Shiva and contains the most fearsome qualities of many Gods. There is a story related to Ardra that is very relevant to the theme of this lunar cycle of destroying the lower egoic forces of the mind. Prajapati (creator god, presides over Rohini) wanted to make the most beautiful divine creations as creator of the world. He thought he could do that best from a union with his most beautiful Rohini (entirely in Taurus). But Rohini didn’t like that idea since Prajapati was her father. So, she changed herself into a deer a ran into Mrigashira’s portion of the sky (bridging Taurus & Gemini). Prajapati changed himself into a deer and chased her all the way into Ardra Nakshatra (entirely in Gemini). The gods were upset that Prajapati was trying to mate with his daughter. Rudra used his bow and arrow to shoot down Prajapati who fell from the sky. Bellatrix (Mrigashira) and Betelgeuse (Ardra) and are stars in the constellation Orion which sits just below Taurus and Gemini in the sky. Ardra translates to “the moist one” and its symbol is a tear drop. Sadness is associated with this nakshatra along with a fall from grace (Prajapati being shot down) and destruction to save grace for the future (Rohini’s rescue from Prajapati’s pursuit).
The symbolism and evolutionary principals of Jyestha and Ardra at the seed and culmination points of this lunation cycle speak of cosmic and personal evolution that is related to conquering our lower forces to bring more grace for the future into our lives. This is the premise of the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita where the Kurus represent the lower egoic forces and Krishna talks to Arjuna of the Pandavas on how to defeat them. Parahamsa Yogananda has an excellent book called “The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita” that discusses this. It is my recommend read for any time and especially this month.