On the night of Dec 6th, at 2320 PST (11:20 PM), we entered into a new lunar cycle, this time with the new moon happening in the SIGN OF SCORPIO. Also on Dec 6th, Mercury’s orbital direction returns DIRECT. Below you will find the movements of the celestial bodies for the month of December, at a glance.
The new moon occurs when the Sun & Moon are together in the same sign, and at the same degrees from our vantage point on Earth. So the new moon occurring in Scorpio signifies that the Sun also is in the sign of SCORPIO—I emphasize this because those that follow the western astrological system (even loosely) may be under the impression that the Sun has already moved into the sign of Sagittarius, but that doesn’t actually take place until Saturday, December 15th (according to current astronomical happenings). And because the Sun will have moved into the sign of Sagittarius by then, we experience the full moon in GEMINI on the morning of Saturday, December 22nd—for the full moon is when the Sun and Moon are exactly opposite each other at the same degrees from our vantage point on Earth, and here, Sun is in Sagittarius, and Moon is in Gemini at the time of the full moon.
These are just some technicalities that are important to note as we shift from the western astrological system, which is outdated by nearly 2000 years, and become current again with where everything is on the skydome around us in real time. The system of Vedic Astrology, which is the science this article is based on, is a system that uses CURRENT ASTRONOMICAL PHENOMENA, i.e. what you see in the sky above you is what these predications are based on.
With the first 6 signs of the “Natural Zodiac,” which are Aries through Virgo, we were given opportunities to explore lessons that focused on human life as a singular experience. But with our last new moon cycle having been in Libra, the celestial lessons graduated to focusing on human life as a collective experience, i.e. from the perspective of “me,” “my,” “mine,” to the perspective that “my” experience is completely coloring “our” experience, and vice versa. In the previous article, I mentioned that Libra is where we explore our self concept as “other,” for “other,” is simply another view of our own self. So with this more complete picture of self, the plot thickens… our desires amplify ten fold!—and with that, the abyss of potential disappointment opens up like an infinite chasm. Thus, on the onset, the lessons of Scorpio are harsh and brutal indeed, for here we have tragedy, sudden/shocking news, disease, death, obsession & addiction, sexuality, the occult—intrigues that only “otherness” can bring, and all fields of life that bring forth the greatest, deepest pangs of growth. And so, Scorpio is the Eighth Sign and House of the “Natural Zodiac”—the “House of Death,” or “Transformation,” which ultimately opens the way for redemption. (Aside: even if the actual sign of Scorpio may not be active in your chart, EVERYONE HAS AN EIGHTH HOUSE, so there ain’t no escaping these lessons, oh no…)
Scorpio “gifts” us opportunities to develop our spiritual strength—the strength of our connection to our divine identity, as Scorpio is co-ruled by two malefic celestial energies: Mars and Ketu. The descriptor “malefic,” seems to be associated with the understanding that the energies of these celestial bodies have an “unfavorable influence,” and that they are “bad,” or “disadvantageous.” But rather, I find that a clearer understanding of these energies is that they are “harsh,” and often immensely “brutal”—these are the lessons that make people think, “wow, I am going to call in some easier lessons into my life… because that was somethin’ else!” And although we’d much rather prefer to live on “easy street,” such a life can foster complacency and stagnation, and one who cultivates a connection to his divine identity understands the pivotal role that pressure, grief, disillusionment, tragedy, despair play in bringing forth transformative turning points in life. Tragedy, sudden/shocking news, disease, death, obsession & addiction, sexuality, the occult—these areas of life have the ability to take one’s breath away (sometimes literally), to change the course of one’s life forever through an instantaneous moment that seems to hang on forever, and so, these areas of life also have the ability to explode the glass ceiling of what we think we know about life and about our selves, freeing ourselves of the limitations we’ve put on the potentials of life and on consciousness itself.
Ketu’s co-rulership of Scorpio amplifies its “brutal” element, for Ketu is a Chaya Graha, or “shadow planet,” that ruthlessly takes things away for the benefit of our learning the hard lessons of nonattachment—that in the material world, nothing lasts forever… Ketu is the Southern Eclipse point of the Moon, and a “body without a head”—a being not led by the thought-engorged Ego-Mind, but by the body that is ever-completely connected to the Natural World, and thus without attachment to the material world—which is SUPER HARSH FOR THOSE WHO HAVE DECIDED TO MANIFEST INTO HUMAN LIFE! As our maturity with this aspect of our lives evolves, we develop a deep sense of inner tenacity and depth of courage amidst the ever-changing tides of life, whether storming through merciless waves of abysmal despair & the illusory euphoria of an opiate haze, or smoothly flowing on tranquil seas.
The Eighth House of Death indicates all areas of life that hold the chaos necessary for us to grow beyond the plateau we’ve currently achieved—that we may continue our soul’s mission for ever-expanding consciousness. And so, from one perspective, the Eighth House can be seen as a harbinger of doom, catastrophe, and tragedy, but on the other hand an absolutely necessary part of personal and spiritual growth. When we experience in our life the reality of human mortality/fatality, the spiral of addiction and the dark recesses of human experience; when we are confronted with our personal fears of losing complete control, being fully enveloped by feelings of utter isolation and loneliness, or in the nightmare of life-or-death situations—something happens to a Man… one comes to that turning point in life again and again—to see beyond the immediate “staging” of the drama to the precious gems waiting to be unearthed at the belly of the mountain, or conversely, to be completely engulfed by the darkness of despair and grief.
So with the intensity of the “harsh” and “brutal” influences of Mars and Ketu looming in the ether, I have found that people have been working with the ever-intense challenge of navigating the voracious appetite of their carnal desires (and this may have been amplified since mid-November when the Sun moved into Scorpio). Interestingly, I have found that many in the “spiritual” community (and especially in the religious institutions), like to try and deny the truth of our sexual beingness, but Ketu’s higher lesson of nonattachment can eventually lead us to accept our human nature, rather than to deny it. Especially as I have found that people seek to deny their sexual natures due to fear and varying degrees of trauma they’ve experienced—leading them to create protective shells around the truth of who they are, so in many cases a desire for practicing Brahmacharya, or “celibacy,” comes from seeking to escape the fear surrounding this aspect of themselves. Now, of course, this is not always the case, but for a vast majority of us, we did not come into this plane seeking to be celibate, but rather, to experience the return to Oneness through sexual union. And such truths are what helped inspire the redefining of the spiritual awakening movement as a movement toward AUTHENTICITY—celebrating more of that true, blue human heart and soul. If you’d like to check out some helpful resources on this area, I recommend the works of David Deida, particularly “The Way of the Superior Man,” “Dear Lover,” and “The Enlightened Sex Manual.”
And, as with the waxing phase of every new moon cycle, we come to a new beginning—the luminaries support us as we create new intentions, new projects, new adventures, new partnerships in business, new jobs, even new hair cuts! So this is a great time to set new, bold intentions into motion. And with the energy of Scorpio strong and alive, we will be given opportunities, internal and external, that will push us to our edge, where we may come face to face with the gaping, salivating mouth of the anaconda opening before us, and deny as we may try, the eighth house energy within us is that which wants to propel us straight into its mouth! For like the Scorpion, our power can be generated in the deepest, darkest of passages. What holds you back? what do you fear? These questions continue to cycle back again and again until we finally allow ourselves to let go and enter the depths of the unknown—eventually becoming the very passages to our own salvation.
Blessings for new adventures and safe travels,
Jane Oka Kaya Shin
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VEDIC AND WESTERN ASTROLOGY
Below is a chart comparing the dates of the Sun’s transit through the signs in both systems. For those born mid-month, the Sun sign may be the same for both systems (depending on the exact day); for everyone else, however, our Sun sign is actually one sign back from what we had in the Western system. This is due to “Precession of the Earth’s motion” around its axis.
The Earth’s axis rotates (precesses) just as a spinning top does. The period of precession is about 26,000 years. Therefore, the North Celestial Pole will not always point towards the same starfield. Precession is caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun and the Moon on the Earth, and is about ~50 arc seconds per year.
SUN SIGNS of the Vedic and Western systems: