Spring Arrives March 20th
The spring or vernal equinox occurs this month at 6:02 am CDST. When the Sun crosses over the Celestial Equator (the projection of Earth’s equator onto the Heavens) it is at the midpoint of this apparent movement that the spring equinox arrives.
Around the Spring Equinox, the length of days and nights begin to equalize in length and the sun and moon solar energies are in balance. These are ideal days to work with our inner sun and inner moon to bring harmony and balance.
In Vedic Astrology the Equinox is known as a Sankranti, an entry point, and the day of the equinox is an important time for offerings, meditation, and beginning a spiritual or special yoga practice.
Around the days and weeks prior to the equinox, all the balancing and symmetrical postures are highlighted. Tree Pose, Dancer Pose, Arm Balances, and Headstand are some of the asanas spotlighted for the Equinoxes. Finding a balance between the heating (Sun) postures and the cooling (Moon) postures will be very effective at this time, and Sun Salutations can be alternated with the Moon Salutation sequence.
The classic yoga practice for the Equinox is Alternate Nostril Breathing to balance the solar and lunar energies of the body. A 31-minute practice of alternate breathing, with or without retention, is a beautiful Equinox meditation. The mantra for Spring and Fall equinoxes is the sound of RAMA, which marries the energy of the Sun (Ra) with the Moon (Ma). Put them together, and you have a powerful Equinox meditation (see the end of the newsletter!).
Now that you have caught your breath from Mercury ending its retrograde on February 28 and now going direct, get ready for a retrograde Mars (March 2), a retrograde Saturn (March 3), and a direct moving Jupiter (March 6)!
There’s some heavy shifting of energy right now, and the cosmos looks like a crowded movie parking lot on Saturday night as everybody tries to jockey in and get out.
Most of us usually do not feel the effects of a retrograde planet so strongly as is the case with Mercury that was retrograde last month. Likely we experience a Mercury retrograde so dramatically because of its troublesome effect on our communications.
In general, retrograde planets cause us to repeat, revisit, revise, and renew the areas of life that these planets influence. For example, I am certain that many of us found it usually difficult to complete a simple direct communication when Mercury was retrograde without somehow re-doing it (think how many times it took you more than one try to speak with someone?).
Also, retrograde planets can seem stronger in their effects in our lives so those of us who are heavily influenced by Mars, Saturn, or Jupiter may feel these changes more so than others. In fact, when a planet transitions between going direct or retrograde, its seemingly “stationary” position makes it the strongest of all – which again may be good or challenging.
Regardless of your astrological predisposition, whenever any planet changes its direction (moving backward or forward) there is a temporary confusion or re-set of its energy – almost as if you quickly changed from driving forward into reverse in a truck that weighs as much as say Jupiter, or 318 times the weight of the earth.
So in a span of a week, we will have Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars all changing directions. The first week of March may be a good time to put it into “Park” and simply enjoy the ever-changing scenery. The good news is that Jupiter is giving good support to Mars and Saturn and besides – it’s Spring!
Meditation For the Equinox
1) Sit in a meditative posture and bring the right hand up to the nose. Block off the right nostril with the thumb and exhale through the left nostril.
2) Close the left nostril and inhale through the right nostril while vibrating the mental sound of “Raaaaa” on the breath.
3) Close the right nostril exhale through the left nostril while vibrating the mental sound of “Maaaaa” on the breath
4) Keep the right nostril closed and inhale through the left nostril while vibrating the mental sound of “Raaaaa” on the breath.
5) Close the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril while vibrating the mental sound of “Maaaaa” on the breath.
6) Repeat steps 2 through 5 for eleven minutes.
7) Then inhale deeply through both nostrils, suspend the breath, and repeat silently “RaaMaa, RaaMaa, RaaMaa” until you need to exhale.
The Problem (Opportunity) of Saturn
Saturn began its retrograde movement on March 2 and continues its “backward” movement until July 20. Saturn retrogrades usually bring up past karmas, significant interactions with older people or successful people, and issues around boundaries or restrictions. This period may bring a challenge if we do not learn to recognize limitations and say “no” when appropriate. It can also, however, provide an opportunity to learn the important lessons of Saturn: humility, service, patience, perseverance and discipline.
Since Saturn is retrograding in the Vedic sign of Libra, this naturally brings a focus to the area of relationships. It will be important that we have realistic boundaries around our relationships, understand the roles and responsibilities of the people involved, and know when to say “no” and not preemptively compromise our own needs to keep a false sense of peace.
Depending upon the house in your chart that Saturn is retrograding through at this time, you can discover what areas of your life most likely will need strong boundaries and where limitations may show up right now for you. If you know your Vedic rising sign or your Vedic moon sign, this list will help you determine that area. If you know your Western astrology rising sign or moon sign, you can subtract 23 degrees and get your Vedic sign.
With this in mind, look at your Vedic rising sign or Moon sign and determine where you need to have the ability to recognize your own needs and the ability to impose restrictions or limitations as you make healthy boundaries in these areas:
Aries – Create good boundaries for relationships
Taurus – Create good boundaries for health and healing
Gemini – Create good boundaries for creative projects and children
Cancer – Create good boundaries for your home and emotions and mother
Leo – Create good boundaries for siblings and communications
Virgo – Create good boundaries for your diet
Libra – Create good boundaries for yourself and own needs
Scorpio – Create good boundaries for your meditation practices
Sagittarius – Create good boundaries for your friends
Capricorn – Create good boundaries for your career
Aquarius – Create good boundaries for your spiritual practices and your father
Pisces – Create good boundaries for your yoga practice
To help you balance the challenges and recognize the opportunities of a Saturn retrograde period, Yogi Bhajan gave this special Kundalini meditation:
1.Sit in an easy meditative posture with a straight spine.
2.With the palms facing down, interlace the fingers in front of the body and release the middle fingers (this is the Saturn finger) so you can bend them downward under the palms, pointing toward the earth. Press the pads of the middle fingers together along the first joint.
3.Bend the elbows and raise the arms so the hands are held in front of the shoulders, right below chin level, and the forearms are parallel to the floor.
4.Thumb tips touch together and slightly angle down so they point back to the heart center. Focus the eyes on tip of nose.
5.Inhale completely and repeat the following mantra twice (2x) on one breath in a powerful monotone from the navel center. Accentuate the HAR sound each time:
6.HARI, HARI, HARI, HARI, HARI, HARI, HARI, HAR
7.Chanting the mantra twice should take about 12 seconds, including inhale.
8.Recommended practice time is 31 minutes. Minimum time 3 or 11 minutes.
9.This practice will bring extra benefits when done on Saturday, the day of Saturn.
Sun Enters Pisces March 14th – Happy Gudi Padwa!
The Sun enters the Vedic sign of Pisces on March 14th and during the period of the year known in Sanskrit as Caitra (pronounced “chaitra”). The period of Caitra is considered to be very auspicious as that is when the universe was formed and the New Years Day, Gudi Padwa, is celebrated on the day of the New Moon in Caitra which would be March 30th this year. This time brings a focus on practices related to other realms of consciousness, such as Yoga Nidra (lucid relaxation) and Laya Yoga (the yoga of absorption). Spiritual group practices are also favored during this time, and may be helpful in avoiding the lure of intoxicants and escapism.
The PISCES Sun Person
If you were born between March 14 to April 14, you are a Pisces Sun according to Vedic Astrology. People with the Sun in Pisces are kind and loving and will almost always help another. They are usually good-looking people but may be introverted, especially with strangers. They like to be near the water and enjoy a beautiful environment. These people are well liked, intelligent and have soft personalities. Sometimes they are taken advantage of. They like others but need to develop more confidence in themselves. They treat people with respect and are appreciated by the opposite gender. They have strong discretion and usually have a steady relationship that helps them go further in life. They do need to watch for tendencies toward escapism or substance abuse and losing themselves in a dreamy world.
The Piscean Yogi
The Pisces Sun Yogi is compassionate, intuitive, imaginative, adaptable, and friendly. They enjoy their yoga friends and are willing to go with the flow when it comes to spending their time in their practice. They can be easily influenced and show a lack of initiative so they sometimes do yoga that others recommend to them rather than striking out their own. They typically enjoy a flowing yoga practice that allows for creativity with mystical underpinnings, rituals, and inspirational insights. The challenge in their yoga practice is to avoid vacillating.