Cosmic Changes, Vedic Astrology, and a Pink Supermoon!

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Today’s blog post is a long one and a bit about astrology, one of my main passions! And why not? It’s a full moon tonight! It’s a supermoon in fact. In Jyotish or Vedic astrology, it is a full moon in the Nakshatra or star Chitra. It is considered an auspicious meeting of the full moon and this star. According to the Cosmic Insights app, it is a time for creativity, healing, and giving charitably. We also saw the start of the Vedic New Year April 11-12th, 2021—Plava New Year. (Rosen, “Vedic New Year”) This is also the start of new ventures in terms of health. Here’s hoping for a more prosperous season for everyone, for healing, and renewal. After the turbulent upheaval of the pandemic and the socio-economic impact on the world, hope is something we all need. The Plava New Year is also associated with the pelican, among other meanings. This bird is a representation of hardiness and perseverance. While there is a move towards renewal, it is not without discomfort. 2021 is proving to be challenging regardless of strides made overall. But without the dark night of the soul, we cannot enter the new phase. So, the year of the Hierophant (as mentioned in my earlier Tarot blogposts) is an energy we can tap into as well as we navigate new territories. Our personal orthodoxy may be where we create spiritual traditions of our own. Things may be uncharted—but they are a blank slate. Jupiter and Saturn returns are taking place for a lot of us—Our Guru (Jupiter) and Karma (Saturn) teachers if you will. But now, we will look at some differences between tropical and sidereal astrology below and then move on to full moon energies.

What are some differences between tropical and Western astrology and Vedic and sidereal? The main factor is that sidereal astrology uses stellar positions and fixed stars to calculate the starting point of spring. Vedic astrology also adjusts to the Earth’s wobble—an astronomical phenomenon that takes about 25,926 years to complete. (Armstrong 38) In this case, the equinox appears to move backward or what we refer to as the Precession of the Equinoxes. The first day of spring is thus measured not in Aries, but in Pisces. Claudius Ptolemy, who lived around 100-170 CE, wrote texts on astrology and correctly calculated the first day of spring in Aries for that time period. Tropical astrology did not change the stellar positions from this point. We aren’t sure why Ptolemy’s work was unchanged. One theory is that perhaps, something was lost in translation—lost in libraries burnt down such as the famous one in Alexandria. We also know now that astrological books and materials were translated by the Catholic Church and other similar organizations without any alterations to the texts. (Armstrong 47) What we can surmise is that our ancients may not have had the time to calibrate and adjust to astronomical phenomena before their work was lost to us. (Armstrong 38-48)

Another difference is that while the definition of your sign in tropical astrology is based on the sun sign, Jyotish looks at the moon constellation first. The thing to note is that while the sun spends time in a constellation (sign) for approximately 28-30 days, the moon constellation or sign at the time of your birth as well as the ascendant are unique to your natal chart. So, we tend to prioritize those in Jyotish—especially the moon because that is considered the reflection of your soul. You can check to see how these planetary and stellar energies affect your Vedic moon. And finally, one of the biggest differences is that we work with 27 or 28 lunar mansions or constellations known as Nakshatras. It’s sometimes translated as constellations or stars which are correct, but they are not the 12 zodiac signs. I take all of this into account when discussing astrology in general. However, this is in NO WAY meant to demean Western and tropical astrology. There are obviously cultural differences that affect astrological beliefs. This is more of an explanation as to the methods with which I am most familiar. I’m also interested in the connections between mathematics, astronomy, and astrology. I’ve always found that math to be a magickal language on its own. And Jyotish just gives me more confirmation. With that, let’s move on to the full moon now!

The Full Moon, or the Pink Supermoon this month is a particularly beautiful one. Not only is the view from our stationary relativity lovely and reflective of a pinkish tinge, but it also appears closer to us. Aesthetics aside, from a psychic standpoint, this is about healing, especially in matters of physical and mental health—and particularly for those who are very open to energy—a psychic cleansing may be necessary. My view is that the full moon gives us a chance to connect with our reflections. This full moon as per Jyotish calculations via the Cosmic Insights app puts us in Libra and Virgo—mainly Libra. In tropical astrology, it is Scorpio. The constellations represent balance and the maiden. I interpret this as having a dialogue with the innocent half of yourself—the child that has not formed the adult judgments of today. Some other questions to think about: Do you see the person you are or the person you want to be when you gaze upon your reflection? Who influences you most, yourself or someone else? This is an extremely important question to answer, because ironically, we often spend time internalizing the externalities.

Let’s think about what we take in first. We know our intake of food and water are crucial to our survival. We pay attention to what eat in terms of protein, fats, carbohydrates, etc. We look for ways to help our bodies stay strong and resilient. Do we think about what we take in emotionally? What kinds of books do we read? How much time do we spend on social media? What do we “scroll” through? It is equally important to be mindful of the content we absorb mentally, psychically, and emotionally. Let me first say that I do not advocate giving up leisurely activities or your favorite shows. That’s not what this is about. I however invite you to take time off this full moon. Try reading something that brings you hope. Look at good news websites and watch something hopeful. Reflect on this in a journal. Think about the kind of healing you’d like to see in your life. Craft something that depicts your goal for the next two months. Get creative. Think about the kind of steps towards renewal you expect to see this week and next week.  

With that, here is to well wishes all around. Thank you for making it this far! Please note that this is my understanding of Jyotish as I am still studying it. My final thoughts are: we know that we are still in the thick of it, but we can overcome these difficulties. Next blog post will be a surprise! And below are my references. Blessings to all. Namaste. With love, the Foxy Witch.

Works Cited:

Armstrong, Jeffrey. God Goddess the Astrologer. Vasa Publishing, 2018.

Rosen, Barry. “Vedic New Year: The year of Plava April 11th, 2021- April 2nd, 2022 Part 1.” Accessed April 26th, 2021.

Cosmic Insights Astrology. GMan Labs Limited Liability Company. Version 7.3.1. Accessed April 26th, 2021.

Retrogrades and Time

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Retrogrades, Chaos, Eclipses, Gemini Season. What a whirlwind. The lunar eclipse was intense and telling. And we have a grand total of four planets in retrograde and will have to gear up for more! The big question is: should we be worried? I can certainly understand why it seems overwhelming and how planetary movements can get us flustered a bit. Sometimes, retrogrades are like those pesky reversed Tarot card meanings that we don’t often like. But let’s think about this. What do retrogrades symbolize ultimately? In this blog post, I attempt to dissect the astronomical and spiritual effects of planetary retrogrades on us collectively. Of course, each person will experience things differently, by sign, personality type, numerology, birthplace, cultural conditioning, and many other factors. This is in no way a substitute for astrological consultation, Western or Vedic. These are musings from my viewpoint on what we can do when there are changes in planetary movement. We also cannot ignore what is happening now because it feels apocalyptic in nature. Besides the pandemic we face, we have several crises on our hands. We continue to fight against racism and inequality, against violence. It hurts us on a soul level because we are all connected, and we cannot turn a blind eye to inhumane behavior and racism. We will discuss this more in later blogs, but the next one will deal with cultural appropriation vs adoption.

First things first, we are in a seasonal change. I really like when this happens because it is the intermediary between spring and summer, a transitionary period. It could not be more important than ever to focus our strengths on reflection and rebuilding right now. It feels a bit like a twisted limbo. Truthfully speaking, that is not far from the reality. This is precisely why there is so much change and transmutation of many things—things we expected would proceed in an orderly fashion. But the very fabric of our world is unraveling. In terms of the changing season, this period brings a lot of funky vibrations to the forefront. If you feel off-kilter or polarized in some areas, getting in touch with the elements may help you shift your balance. If you haven’t felt it yet, perhaps you are experiencing other effects in your life, and that is perfectly okay. The thing to remember is that we are rebuilding in this transitionary phase. We are reflecting on current planetary retrogrades and the changes they effect on our lives. But they tell us that we can hit restore and begin again. Because like the phoenix, we will also rise.

When we think of the planets in retrograde now, we may think it makes sense why things are so chaotic today. Here are the planets in question: Pluto, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. These four planets are crucial elements in our cosmic makeup. Strictly speaking from a scientific point of view, Jupiter and Saturn, the gas giants of our solar system, play a part in keeping asteroids away from us because of their gravities affecting one another (though there’s a caveat with that but that’s for a different discussion). And Venus, often called our sister planet, shows us how similar she was once to Earth—some even believe that Venus once held life. Today, Venus has an atmosphere 75 times that of Earth with temperatures exceeding 800-900 degrees Fahrenheit! Then we have Pluto, a small and cold planet, a mystery unto itself, so far away from our sun. It was demoted as a planet and then reinstated as one of the five dwarf planets. So, why do planets and their motions affect us? Scientifically speaking, planets, objects and celestial bodies all exert a certain amount of force. The gravity of planets affects objects near and around them. It has an astronomical effect on everything, like a cosmic chain. Going further, spiritually we ascribe them to an immutable force, celestial and cosmic deities if you will.

So let’s talk retrogrades! Pluto is the planet I want to address first. Pluto’s retrograde is a shadow reflection period. There may be old wounds resurfacing that need tending to with a loving heart. This was especially notable for me. I saw how much my own past reappeared in my dreams as fears of loss and feelings of shame and guilt. I thought I’d put to rest some issues only to discover that I was still holding on to them. It made me take a hard look at myself and be objective. I think of the shadow work I did in the spring. It’s an ongoing process, and that was my takeaway from Pluto’s Rx. Perhaps, it will serve as a reminder to be gentle with yourself too which segues right into Venus Rx. The theme here is self-care and self-love are absolutes right now. I do not say this lightly. It is so much easier said than done. Venus Rx reminds us to look within to find the light of love in our hearts—to find the wounds that need the loving energy of our full being, to heal those broken pieces (like Pluto). Venus Rx reveals many of the effects of disharmony in our love and filial relationships. The key is to embrace the disharmony and transmute it. Again, easier said than done. I am no expert or psychologist—but if you want to use Venus Rx as a reflective period to bring harmony back into your life, find ways to self-soothe and comfort yourself as you would a loved one. Give yourself 100% love and pampering.

Jupiter and Saturn in retrograde tell us a lot about growth and learning and time. Chaos can be transmuted too. Our new normal is fraught with chaos, fear, injustice, and pain—disease and loss. Saturn is the ruler of time—and right now, it feels like time is both slow and swift. It feels out of control. But Saturn Rx reminds us that we do have time. We have time to go beyond—to really focus on our goals. Believe it or not, we can manifest even now—time is relative. Seeds may take longer to grow, but they will grow. Saturn Rx can be chaotic—we have no concept of something outside of time—but we have time. Time is not getting away from us. Now on to Jupiter! Jupiter in Vedic Astrology is referred to as Guru. I like to think of Jupiter as the teacher, the strength-maker, and the ruler of knowledge. These are just my views—you may have a different perspective, and that is valid too. Think of lessons you have learned or are learning during this time or lessons you want to teach, especially if you are a teacher. What keeps popping up for you? Moreover, Jupiter Rx may call on you to seek new knowledge or to expand your knowledge on something you already know.

Thank you for making it this far! Again, this post is my impression of the planetary retrogrades. I’ve spoken from a really personal standpoint. I am not an astrologer or psychologist. Please consult the appropriate parties for proper counsel if you need. However, what I offer here is just a perspective which you may find resonates with you or gives you a different way of looking at something. May the retrogrades bless you and may the tides turn in your favor, beloved reader. Namaste. With love, the Foxy Witch.