Planet Shifts December 7 – 14, 2018

Mars conjuncts Neptune on December 7, 2018 at 9:12 am EST.  Mars likes to take quick, independent, decisive action, but things with Neptune aren’t always clear. If you aren’t sure which course of action to take, and an immediate action is not necessary, wait until after December 24th when Mars leaves the house of Aquarius where Neptune sits and gains some clarity.  However, if an immediate action is called for and you can not wait that long, be sure you have accurate facts and a good understanding of the truth of the situation. Neptune likes to shroud things in illusion and things may not be what they seem. Neptune is also intuitive and good at pointing out synchronicity or symbolism in daily life for you to connect to what is happening. Paying attention to your intuitive awareness of the omens or signs from the universe can provide clues toward right actions. Mars-Neptune is good for active mediation. It is a good day to walk a labyrinth or focus your vinyasa sequence as an active meditation. Pose your question to the universe, clear your mind, actively mediate, and see what answer appears for you.

This conjunction can also be about the courage to take a stand regarding your boundaries, the courage to go after your dreams, the courage to take a defensive stand against a situation of oppression, the courage to be a spiritual warrior. This Mars-Neptune conjunction marks the seed moment of an 18- month cycle of spiritual action. This is accentuated by their cycle commencing in spiritual Shatabisha Nakshatra. At the personal level this is about a new spiritual cycle regarding your practice, especially one that promotes healing in your life. They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. This takes us to the New Year. What actions do you want to take to along your spiritual path? Do you want to start each day with Yoga, Meditation, Mantra, Prayer or Devotion? Do you want to end your day with it? Do you want to go to church or temple X number of times a week or month? Do you want to start or find a spiritual group or book club? What actions are intuitively calling to you to further your spiritual growth? Mars is also a planet that rules sharp objects and therefore cuts or severs. What bad habits are getting in the way of your health, well-being, or spiritual progress that you want to cut out of your life?  Start your spiritual activities now so that they become healthy habits to serve you in the New Year. The Mars-Neptune conjunction is a good seed-moment to do so. You don’t have to wait until January 1st.

A technical note about Mars’s synodic cycles with planets from Jupiter out.  The cycle length can vary depending on whether or not Mars has a retrograde period between the conjunctions. Mars retrogrades about every 26 months. This particular Mars-Neptune cycle lasts for 1.5 years because it does not contain a Mars retrograde. The next Mars-Neptune cycle that begins in June of 2020 lasts for 23 months because Mars will retrograde before conjoining Neptune again in May of 2022.

Mars enters Purva Bhadrapada Nakshatra on December 7, 2018 at 10:49 pm EST for 20 days. Keep in mind, from earlier today, the New Moon’s intention to access the deeper spiritual dimensions of ourselves, Mars-Neptune cycle’s intention for spiritual growth, and that the 21-days to form a good habit to promote spiritual growth or break one that is hindering your spiritual progress applies to both seed moments. Here we have Mars helping us during that period by igniting our spiritual fire. Purva Bhadrapada is ruled by Aja Ekapada – the one footed goat deity who is a form of Shiva and the vehicle of Agni (sacred fire). He represents infinity, transcendence, and unborn latent creative energy. Purva Bhadrapada is a fierce nakshatra with the Shakti Power of “spiritual fire.” Mars, a planet associated with the fire element, sustains our spiritual intention in Purva Bhadrapada. An agent of fire (Mars) accesses the vehicle of fire (deiity of Purva Bhadrapada). Incorporating fire into your daily ritual via lighting a candle or burning incense can help to carry your prayers to the Universe and becomes a metaphor for lighting the spiritual fire within.

Purva Bhadrapada bridges Aquarius and Pisces. The stars of Pisces are very dim. The four stars of the Great Square of Pegasus just above Pisces in the sky mark Purva Bhadrapada (Scheat & Markab) and Uttara Bhadrapada (Algenib & Alpharatz). They are known as the “burning/scorching pair.”  Purva Bhadrapada translates to “former lucky feet” while Uttara Bhadrapada means “later lucky feet.” The symbol for the Bhadrapadas is the front and back legs of a bed or funeral cot (coming at the end of the zodiac). This again makes for a good period to burn away unhealthy habits and put them to rest for good, replacing them with a healthy habit that stokes your inner spiritual fire.

Mercury enters Anuradha Nakshatra on December 8, 2018 at 2:39 am EST for 14 days.  Due to Mercury’s recent retrogression, this is the third and final time in Anuradha until next year. Mercury the planet of communications, connections, commerce, exchanges and the intellect enters goal oriented Anuradha and taps into the Shakti Power of worship, devotion, reverence, honor and right relationship. It is associated with Bhakti, devotional worship of God or a particular deity or enlightened Yogi, whatever it is for you. Keeping in mind the Mars-Neptune cycle that began yesterday for taking action toward our spiritual growth, Mercury in Anuradha is adding the power of devotion through its vehicle of speech. We may want to speak our prayers aloud. We may want to listen to devotional songs to our favorite deities and sing along. We may want to add mantra to our practice. The mantra “Sat Chit Ananda” (existence, consciousness, bliss) can help you to connect to the divine spark within at any time, but is particularly appropriate for Anuradha. We may be inclined to engage in more intellectual exchanges about spiritual or devotional topics. It is a good time to attend satsang, or to share your favorite YouTube mantras with others. Feel free to post your favorites here. Don’t be shy, who knows, it may be just what someone else needs at the moment (or any moment they come across it).

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