Summer solstice, also known as Midsummer’s Eve, marks the first day of the summer season in the northern hemisphere. On this, the longest and most potent day of the year, the Sun reaches its highest northern point and then appears to stand still for three days. The exact standstill first occurs on Saturday, June 21 at 10:51 UTC (12:51 AM Hawaii Time; 3:51 AM PDT; 6:51 AM EDT). It is best to avoid initiating anything of major long-term significance during these three days because the electromagnetic energetic effects of the standstill are slightly “wobbly.”
Just as the Sun King is seated in his throne at summer solstice, nature now begins to conclude a cycle that began on the winter solstice six months ago. Now we can start to reap what was sown during the past six months. The first waxing half of the year from winter to summer solstice, known as uttarayana in Vedic astrology, represents the involutionary cycle of conscious energy projected into the world of matter. In Vedic elective astrology (Muhurta), uttarayana is generally most productive and auspicious for initiating important actions and events like marriage, starting a new business and so forth. The second waning half of the year extending from summer to winter solstice is known as dakshinayana, the evolutionary cycle when nature’s creative rhythms will slowly begin moving back to Source. Dakshinayana is generally the time for winding down and finishing what was initiated in the first half of the year.
The summer solstice is considered the solar equivalent of an energizing full Moon which elicits a heightened spiritual and emotional response. The divine light of consciousness embodied by the Sun is fully reflected in the world for us to now enjoy. Spiritual ceremonies on summer solstice can help to maximize these powerful solar energies. I like to chant the Gayatri Mantra at sunrise and sunset on the solstice and for the three days following, while meditating on the Sun within my spiritual heart. The Gayatri is the supreme Vedic mantra to the Sun. It goes:
Om bhur bhuvah svaha
tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo onah prachodayat
Om bhoor bhuva swahah
tat savi tur varenyam
bhargo dey vasya dhi mahhi
dheeyo yoh na pracho dayaht
There are several interpretations, though all mean basically the same thing. I prefer this:
I meditate upon the Divine Radiance,
The One Light which bestows all happiness.
May thou inspire, enlighten and guide my intellect in the right direction.
Other celestial happenings
Jupiter transited from sidereal Gemini into sidereal Cancer on June 18. As Jupiter remains in one sign for about a year, it will transit through Cancer until July 14, 2015. Known as Guru in Vedic astrology, Jupiter signifies God’s grace. In Cancer, Jupiter is exalted in a heavenly state, so this transit promises an abundance of hope, joy and spiritual wisdom during the year ahead. Conversely, Saturn in Libra is now aspecting (squaring) Jupiter (until November), which is a potentially stressful combination that can indicate self-righteous, moralistic, or intolerant attitudes and behaviors. Nonetheless, it is good news that Saturn and Jupiter are both transiting in their exalted signs until Saturn leaves Libra in November. When these two planets of karma and dharma are exalted, we may feel more supported than usual in fulfilling our highest potential. This is all even more encouraging now as Mercury and Venus are transiting in their own signs of Gemini and Taurus!
That said, the sky mirror is always full of ups and downs and twists and turns. For instance, Mars, planet of conflict, accident and war, is definitely not being a nice guy this summer, given his hostile and tumultuous transit in Virgo in a T-square with Pluto and Uranus, aspecting Ketu in a 6/8/inconjunct, and then in sandhi nodal axis in mid-July (exponential violence), after which Mars will transit Libra from July 13 to September 4 (where his enemy Saturn is also transiting). It is a concern that Saturn is transiting in its fallen/debilitated or “neecha” navamsha (ninth harmonic section) of Aries from June 19 to August 20. According to Vedic astrology, an exalted planet loses some strength and auspiciousness when in its debilitated navamsha like this. Saturn in Aries navamsha points to some breakdown of lawful systems, as in crime sprees, wars and uprisings, so these transits may indicate some major frustration and friction ahead.
We are already seeing a Mars-like vehemence in some of the appalling events taking place on the world stage, such as in Iraq. One way to deal with such challenging Mars conditions is to cultivate peaceful attitudes and reign in and channel our own personal will power through constructive, positive and logical thoughts and actions, for “as above, so below; as within, so without” and “with our thoughts, we make the world.”
On July 13, the lunar nodes Ketu and Rahu will be moving from the Aries-Libra axis of identity and relationship, to the Pisces-Virgo axis of spirit and service. The lunar nodes represent the karmic path, and they change position to another set of constellations every one-and-a-half years. This shift represents a huge sea change personally and collectively, which I am discussing in my individual astrological consultations and will blog about more later on.
In early November, Saturn will move to sidereal Scorpio, creating a harmonious grand trine with exalted Jupiter in Cancer and Ketu in Pisces. All three of the moksha karakas (indicators of enlightenment – Saturn, Jupiter and Ketu) will be transiting in the watery moksha constellations (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) until July 14, 2015, a beautiful combination for awakening of consciousness in the world.