We’re in the waning balsamic Moon phase now, time to rest, heal and let go, and this is the most special balsamic Moon of the year as we are moving toward MahaShivaratri which occurs tomorrow night, Monday, March 7. This is the Great Night of Shiva before amavasya tithi which will culminate on the super new Moon total solar eclipse in (sidereal) Aquarius in the nakshatra of purification called Purvabhadrapada on March 8, 2016 at 8:57 PM Eastern Time. You can see in the charts below that Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Neptune and the South Node~Ketu are aligned in sidereal Aquarius opposite Jupiter-Rahu and in square with Mars-Saturn in the eclipse chart. This chart has an intense tamasic/fixed signature for transformation (the essence of Shiva) which will resonate ahead the next six months+.
The new Moon occurs when the Moon in its monthly orbital motion around Earth lies between the Earth and the Sun, and is therefore in conjunction with the Sun as seen from the Earth. At this time, the dark part of the Moon faces toward the Earth, so that the Moon is not visible to the naked eye, and so the light of the Moon is blocked from the Earth. The new Moon is always felt like a bioenergetic reboot; thus, according to astrology, new Moon indicates a phase of endings and new beginnings. As the lunar energy is withdrawn from us, it is natural to turn inward for healing, rest and retreat.
Every six months the new Moon lines up in such as way so that it passes directly between the Sun and Earth, and its shadows fall upon the Earth’s surface while the Moon blocks the Sun. Simply put, eclipses are like supercharged new and full Moons that operate at both the personal and collective level, pointing to transformation, upheaval or new directions. This new Moon/solar eclipse will be March 8 and the full Moon/lunar eclipse will be March 23, 2016.
This week’s new Moon/solar eclipse is also happening at perigee – the Moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit, indicating high tides and a massive lunar effect. Astrologer Richard Nolle of AstroPro News calls this a “Stealth Super Moon.” So we have a total solar eclipse falling in a purificatory asterism and happening right after MahaShivaratri and it is also a super Moon, and MahaShivaratri happens on a Monday, the Moon’s Day which makes this extra powerful Shivaratri because Shiva has a close relationship with the Moon/read further on about that. All of this conspires to churn things up at a dizzying pace and intensity.
Each month of the year, yogis celebrate the night before new Moon as Shiva’s Night (Shivaratri), a time for deep contemplation and inner quiet, a time to journey within and bask in the true inner light that exists beyond the world of form. Shiva is many things to many people. For me, Shiva represents a peaceful spiritual awareness of inner freedom through my personal relationship with Divine Oneness. The Great Night of Shiva takes place in (sidereal) Aquarius because Lord Shiva presides over this astrological sign, which is symbolized by the Water Bearer who pours forth the “water of life,” known as kundalini shakti, the essence of spiritual power, wisdom, purity, peace and rebirth.
As mentioned, this coming new Moon solar eclipse also falls in the nakshatra of purification called Purvabhadrapada, which is ruled by Lord Rudra, the fierce aspect of Lord Shiva known as the “Howler” who is associated with winds, storms, and wild animals. The fact that this year’s MahaShivaratri falls on the Moon’s night (Mon-day) is also very significant because Lord Shiva is Himself known as the “Moon behind the Moon”! His only adornment is a crescent Moon worn atop the head which symbolizes His control over time as represented by the waxing and waning Moon. Shiva exists beyond time and guides us to wake up and remember who we really are as eternal beings.
The immortal rishis of India understood that the days around the new Moon in Aquarius are a special time for connecting with the inner light of Shiva. Physiological and bio-energetic processes can become activated through spiritual practices like chanting and meditation. This is related to the Sun and the Moon alignment that takes place not only “up there” in the heavens but also “down here” in our sublime energetic system. This is all dramatically magnified by the Ketu eclipse of the luminaries, since Ketu the Enlightener promises some necessary release in order for positive transformation.
During the days around MahaShivratri, the alignment of Sun and Moon (Shiva and Shakti) becomes most profound in Aquarius, the sign of higher wisdom through which kundalini shakti streams so powerfully. Today, Monday and Tuesday are a wonderful time for contemplation and reflection, to tap into deep recesses of spiritual power, allow the clearing out of outmoded notions and patterns, and open to recharging of body-mind-spirit to set the stage for new intentions and possibilities coming in the near future. It is said that turning within and performing spiritual practices during MahaShivaratri and also during eclipses will enhance and magnify the auspicious results a thousandfold. So just one “omnamashivaya” becomes like a thousand in terms of spiritual impact.
Oh you the creator, you the destroyer, you who sustain and make an end,
Who in sunlight dance among the birds and the children at their play,
Who at midnight dance among corpses in the burning grounds,
You Shiva, you dark and terrible Bhairava,
You Suchness and Illusion, the Void and All Things,
You are the lord of life, and therefore I have brought you flowers;
You are the lord of death, and therefore I have brought you my heart—
This heart that is now your burning ground.
Ignorance there and self shall be consumed with fire.
That you may dance, Bhairava, among the ashes.
That you may dance, Lord Shiva, in a place of flowers,
And I dance with you. ~ Aldous Huxley