Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Moon

New Moon Tuesday October 28, 2008 4:14 pm pst

Tuesday's new moon occurs in Libra under the nakshatra Swati. A new moon is the monthly conjunction of Sun and Moon. This month the Sun is debilitated in Libra. As the Sun signifies the self, authority, the government, and royalty, it is uncomfortable in the sign of Libra which confers an accommodating nature that is useful when dealing with groups and relationships, but not for taking its right place of authority. The Sun in Libra can be charming, alluring, and supportive, but it can also be out of balance and give too much causing a passive-aggressive polarity. When coupled with the new Moon in Libra, this accommodating nature may effect our minds and emotions as well. This lunation cycle is a wonderful time to re-access and bring to balance of all of our relationships.

The nakshatra Swati is often translated in a variety of ways: "self-going", "good goer", "self-blowing", "tender", "sword" or "priest". These terms seem to encompass all the qualities that this asterism evokes. Its symbol is a single plant shoot blown by the wind. The nakshatra contains the fixed star Arcturus that many Crop Circle enthusiasts believe to be the source of intelligence behind crop circles, which are made up of bent plants seemingly blown in geometrical patterns as if by the wind. Although it is late in the season, I think it would be really cool if a new crop circle appear that day.

Swati is ruled by Vayu, the demigod of air and wind. In Hinduism he is also known as Vata (air), Pavana (purifier), or Prana (breath). Astrologically air and wind symbolism reveals the quality that confers its restless nature. This nakshatra gives the power to "scatter like the wind," pradhvamsa shakti. It is ruled by Rahu, the north node of the moon, that has a vata, literally "blown", or airy, nature. Rahu is a manifesting force that can build like a gentle breeze, or wreak havoc and blow like a category five hurricane. Swati also has a connection to Saraswati, the goddess of music and learning, that reveals the higher nature of this nakshatra -- all sort of learning. (See more about Saraswati in the column to the right.) It is a great time for new art, music, and intellectual pursuits.

The two keywords that capture my attention are sword and priest. In the Five Element School of Acupuncture, the sword and priest symbolize the metal element of the fall. Autumn is a time when energy begins to contract after reaching its peak of expansion in the late summer. The Metal Element represents this time of the exquisite beauty of maturity as seen in the brilliant colors of fall foliage. It is also the time of release, of letting go, and letting the dying process begin. It is the energy that allows a person to be present through the process of purification, farewells, tears, grief, and loss. Treating this element with acupuncture is believed to allow patients to bow to and accept what is inevitable, much like the bending of a delicate shoot.

The Metal element within our psyches is the part of us that seeks perfection of form and function. It is our inner disciplinarian and perfectionist. The sword is the perfect symbol for its desire for justice and its defense of virtue, honor, principle, and moral values. The archetype of the priest represents that which evokes inspiration, awe, and reverence. When we are under the influence of the metal element, we are called back into our internal sacredness. Tibetan priests ring metal bowls to create a sacred space for meditation. The vibrational tones raise and align our vibrations to the purity of the metal element. The new moon on Tuesday is the perfect time listen to the ringing of bells, inhale the crisp quality of the fall wind into the metal organ, the lungs, and release worn out patterns that no longer serve us.

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