Winter Solstice / Makara Sankranti

Tomorrow (21st) is the Winter Solstice in the Northern hemisphere (4:23pm CST). The Winter Solstice is marked by the passage of the Sun into the sign of Capricorn, celebrated in the Hindu festival of "Makara Sankranti". Interestingly, Makara Sankranti is one of the few Hindu festivals that is calculated according to solar cycles, rather than lunar cycles. (However, due to zodiacal confusion, Makara Sankranti is no longer celebrated in India on the actual day of the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, but on the sidereal ingress of the Sun in Capricorn on January 14th.) 

As with all seasonal shifts, the solstice is a time of adjustment and adaptation, and therefore a time to reduce unnecessary burdens on the body and mind. During this time, the doshas are especially in flux and prone to accumulation, and so it is best to adopt a simple and balanced dietary and lifestyle regime. In the winter season, Vāta is more easily aggravated than at other times, so it is crucial to stay warm, maintain harmonious routines, and receive the message of nature during this time which is to conserve life-energy. 

The auspicious Full Moon in Cancer follows the solstice on the 22nd, giving the brightness of its own sign. Cancer corresponds to the heart region of the body, the psychic center of the being. Cancer also signifies the home, one's environment, and emotional security. Cancer is also the sign of Jupiter's exaltation, the home of the heart's inner joy. Cancer is an internally-focused sign, symbolized by the crab. The crab is a natural hermit, living in terrestrial holes in the ground only to emerge under the light of the Moon. The Full Moon in Cancer thus furthers the internalizing and "yin" significations of the Winter Solstice. This is a great time to be in the sphere of intimacy, at home connecting with family and friends.

Karen White and I did Full Moon forecasts for each Ascendant, so check out these videos if you want to uncover the particular significance of this Full Moon for you: 

Part 1:

Part 2:

Wishing you all a wonderful and happy period of time ahead!

Autumn Equinox

September 22 is the autumn equinox in the Northern hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Southern hemisphere. The medical traditions of India and Tibet teach that the shift in seasons are a time of doshic imbalance and therefore a recommended time for cleansing. Spring and Fall cleanses are therefore among the most common times for cleansing. But first, what is an equinox? An equinox occurs when the Earth's equatorial plane passes through the center of the Sun, placing the center of the Sun directly above the equator. This is when day and night are of equal length--the still-point of the energy of nature, as it shifts to another seasonal phase. 

As the Sun's position relative to the Earth changes, the flow of life-energy in our bodies change. This especially affects our agni, the fire of life, the most concrete manifestation of which is the digestive fire. As the digestive fire fluctuates during the seasonal shift, it is common to experience digestive troubles as the physiology re-acclamates to a new arrangement of energetic patterns. At this time, the doshas are temporarily in a unique state of flux. This is why equinoxes are a good time to lighten the diet and allow the digestive fire to reset before it develops a pathological momentum. 

The Autumn equinox is often associated with the dry, light, and rough qualities of Vata. But we should also remember that this is a season when any of the excess Pitta we have accumulated over the Summer will start to overflow. If this is the case, it is common to experience rashes in the Fall season as the excess Pitta begins to eliminate itself through the skin. It is therefore especially important during this seasonal transition to maintain an alkalizing diet. 

Astrologically, the Autumn equinox signifies the Sun's entry into Libra, its sign of Debilitation. Our digestive fire will not be strong during this time which means that we should not overburden it. Eat lightly with appropriate gaps between meals, giving the digestive fire enough space to re-ignite itself. Eating plenty of greens during this time will maintain alkalinity, detoxification, and rejuvenate the digestive fire. Mars-Ketu conjunction in Aquarius will keep things fiery, especially with the Full Moon in Aries on September 24. It is certainly a fiery start to the Fall season, so Pitta types need to take care of themselves. Vata imbalances can also be on the rise during the windy season, so this is a time to maintain harmonious and regular routines. The more we keep our inner winds in balance, the less affected we will be by the outer winds. This can also be a great time to take some of the classic Vata-balancing herbal formulas (contact me for more information). 

Fasting, cleansing, and all means of re-calibrating one's consciousness are recommended during this time. The seasonal shift is a psycho-physical shift, a time to adjust and adapt ourselves to nature's flow and thereby maintain our healthy and vitality for another seasonal phase. Those who are interested in an approach to cleansing or who are looking for advice as they settle into the new season can contact me via my website. I am still doing Ayurvedic consultations, but in the context of medical astrological readings.