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Full Moon in Rohini

Most of us feel some form of expansiveness with the Full Moon. But have you ever observed too how that Full Moon feeling differs from month to month? Every day the Moon moves into a different nakshatra (lunar constellation), and that particular star pattern alters the qualities of the Moon. Moon is impressionable, easily coloured by its associates. You can think of the Moon as a clear crystal and each nakshatra like a coloured lens. The crystal appears tinted according to the colour of the lens through which it is seen.

This Saturday, 6 December, the Full Moon resides in Rohini, a beautiful nakshatra of growth, creativity and fertility. Mystical Moon (Full)This is the Moon’s favourite nakshatra, located within the Moon’s sign of exaltation, and providing therefore a particularly congenial ground for the expression of lunar energy. So make yourself ready for a heightened Full Moon experience, a moment of springtime coming to us in the dead of winter!

At Full Moon, the earth lines up between the Sun and the Moon. The lunar orb hangs full in the sky, ripe and luminous with the Sun’s reflected light. Tides swell higher, pulled by the gravitational power of this alignment. Sleep becomes fitful. Animals grow restless. Everything vibrates at a higher frequency, creating exhaustion in some people and passionate exhilaration in others.

In fact, frequencies emanate from the Moon (and the other planets as well) at all times. These vibrations belong to the realm of subtle matter or the astral body. They are an expression of Shakti or universal prana manifesting as the energy and power of the planets. This shakti of the planets affects the subtle energy field of everything on earth. “As above, so below” . . . so next time you yogis lie down in Savasana, tune into the fact that on some level, the vibrations you experience belong to a continuum that stretches far into the cosmos.

The shakti of the Moon when Full is particularly potent. In Rohini, that shakti becomes even more powerful. Associated with fertility, growth, femininity and nourishment, Rohini lies entirely within the earth sign of Taurus, from 10° to 23°20’. Taurus represents the growing season during the light part of the year, when the earth is warm and moist and fecund with new life. Venus rules Taurus and the Moon rules Rohini; both of these planetary rulers contribute to the feminine energy that characterises Rohini.

Rohini indicates beginnings. She is associated with the dawn, with springtime, with the fertility of the field lush and succulent with fresh green shoots. Dawn_by_freelancah“Roha”, the root of the word Rohini, means “red” as well as “to rise, to ascend, to grow”. Rohini is a young girl or cow on her first menses, opposite in the zodiac to Anuradha (whom I wrote about last month) the wise and seasoned crone. Rohini is also a female deer or a red or ruddy cow. All these representations embody the essential nature of Rohini, which is the creative potency of the life force.

The shakti of Rohini is the power of growth and fertility. So if in your birth chart the Moon resides in Rohini (and is otherwise well-associated), abundance in some form will manifest quite naturally in your life. Lord Krishna is said to have the Moon in Rohini, and he embodies an abundance of love, a love so universal that it cherishes even the tiniest creature as an expression of ultimate divinity. In keeping with this theme, one of the symbols of Rohini is a temple. A temple provides a physical conduit for divine love, channelling both its reception and its radiance, not just from the human heart but also from every life form on the planet. The natural fertility that Rohini indicates is but an expression on the physical plane of this universal divine love.

An ox-cart or wain (an agrarian vehicle for carrying grain) is the other symbol for Rohini. It reinforces the theme of abundance that Rohini signifies. young cowThose with the Moon in Rohini have a deep urge towards creativity, as well as the desire for possession and endurance of its fruits. As a fixed earth sign associated with springtime, Taurus creates a medium oriented towards materiality. Associated with the growing season, it indicates the life force beginning its expression in the world. But even as it bestows upon the native this creative juice, it can enmesh the consciousness deeply into materiality, a preoccupation whose limitations will eventually and necessarily become clear, though these lessons are not the direct domain of Rohini.

When Saturn or the Nodes of the Moon enter the “wain of Rohini”, both of whom are malefic forces inimical to the abundance of Rohini, famine of some kind will ensue, whether a literal drying up of the earth or a spiritual vacuity like depression that teaches the limitations and temporality of all things material. It is thus prudent for all of us to be mindful of these planetary transits through Rohini, but particularly for those with the natal Moon placed therein. When you understand that storms in your consciousness correspond to larger cosmic patterns, that they follow natural cycles, that there are things you can do to propitiate the pain, and most importantly, that you ultimately are not separate from anything else in this unbroken cosmic whole, the entire experience becomes one of universal compassion and spiritual growth instead of panic or dejection.

Though the Moon as ruler of Rohini serves as its karmic gatekeeper, the deity associated with it is Brahma or Prajapati (another creator deity). The Moon controls how the karma of Rohini will manifest, its fickleness and changeability creating a counter force to Rohini’s desire for permanence. But it is Brahma or Prajapati who lends his nature to the nakshatra. Creation emerges from Brahma; he is the principal force that initiates fertility, growth and the flowering of all things material. Rohini has a deep affinity with his energy.

Rohini consists of five stars that form the head of Taurus, the bull. The royal star, Aldebaran, lies at 17° Taurus and belongs to the lunar constellation of Rohini. This rose-coloured star is one of the brightest stars in the sky. Known as the “star of desire”, it is the “eye of the bull” of Taurus. In agrarian cultures, the bull fertilises the land and symbolises fertility in general. In India, women who want to conceive pray to Nandi the bull, vehicle of Lord Shiva and a deity in his own right. NandiIf your natal Moon is close to Aldebaran, the power of the bull that brings things into materiality will manifest in your life, finding expression usually as some form of personal power or charisma, and quite likely eliciting jealousy from others too. Formed from the head of the bull, Rohini can also make for stubbornness in the native. These negative features of Rohini manifest when the consciousness of the individual in question is less evolved. As every element in Jyotish, there exist both higher and lower expressions.

Because the Moon is a planet of growth, he is extremely comfortable in Rohini. With the Full Moon occurring there, the lunar phase of greatest brightness coincides with the Moon’s placement in his favoured nakshatra. This happy alignment creates conditions conducive to a positive expression of everything Rohini indicates. It is a return, in certain sense, to the Moon’s original happiness when his light was undiminished, before his cyclic phases circumscribed his power.

The waxing and waning of the Moon’s light corresponds to a similar waxing and waning in the light of consciousness. It indicates the degree of inherent joyousness in the Moon and thus in his expression in every birth chart. Why the Moon’s light fluctuates in regular cycles and why he prefers Rohini above all the other nakshatras (his other wives) is the subject of a well-known myth from the Puranas.

When Daksha (son of Brahma and also a creator god) gave his 27 daughters to the Moon in marriage, the Moon agreed to treat all his wives equally. For a time he did, hopping from nakshatra to nakshatra every night, so that he became known as “Sasi”, which means rabbit in Sanskrit. But soon the beauty and youth of Rohini seduced him, so that he lingered for days at a time in her nakshatra.

Her sisters (the other nakshatras) became jealous and angry. They complained to their father, saying their husband was ignoring them. Daksha reminded the Moon of his promise, but the Moon ignored him, smitten as he was by the seductive charms of Rohini. As the sisters continued to complain, Daksha implored the Moon to be true to his word, but with no success. The Moon was too enamoured by Rohini. Finally, Daksha decided to put a curse on the Moon.

The curse caused the light of the Moon to fade away to absolute nothingness. Overcome with weakness and affliction-–and broken in spirit because light was the pride of his existence––the Moon finally turned to Lord Shiva. He begged to have his light restored, assuring Shiva he would honour his promise to Daksha ‘s daughters. Shiva sensed his contrite heart, but he could not totally reverse the curse.

Shiva took the crescent Moon and placed it on his head to save it. He then softened the curse, so that the light of the Moon would wax to full then wane to dark every month. Shiva with crescent moonBrightness would return to the Moon, but every month he would also experience darkness, and so never again forget his dharma, his specific duty towards cosmic harmony. He accepted that the dharma of the Moon involves a sojourn each night to a different nakshatra, and now as well a corresponding waxing and waning in his light.

In addition, Shiva bestowed upon the Moon a special gift as consolation. During its phase of increasing brightness, Soma would flow from the Moon into the plants of the earth, imbuing them with medicinal powers. The Moon would become a healer, with the capacity to cure disease and bestow longevity. This curative power of a bright Moon compounded with the fertility and creativity of its placement in Rohini make this upcoming Full Moon particularly auspicious for healthy growth.

So when the Moon is Full in Rohini, as it will be this 6th of December, it is a good time for planting seeds. Obviously during our winter season now in the Northern Hemisphere, this does not imply a literal planting of seeds in the earth. But a rare burst of springtime energy and fertility will be available on this day, to be focused upon any area of consciousness or creativity you feel most in need of new life.

As a sthira or fixed nakshatra, Rohini serves any activity that strives for permanence. ancient tree of IndiaIt is thus a good day for laying the foundation of anything, building a home, purchasing or ploughing agricultural land, planting a tree, or conceiving an idea for anything involving stability, structure and permanence. It is a good day for marriage, bringing auspiciousness upon both its fertility and its endurance. In India, devotions to Rohini are recommended for those desiring a romantic partner.

So think about what fruit your own life needs and set aside some time during the Full Moon to plant the appropriate seeds! Reflect upon the nature of Rohini and apply this knowledge in whatever way seems best fitting to your own life circumstances. As always, only an analysis of your personal chart can determine exactly how and to what intensity the energy of any planetary configuration will affect you. But these general indications can still serve everyone to some extent.

May this moment of mid-winter spring uplift your heart and enlighten your consciousness. May this Full Moon in Rohini grace your life with abundance, nourishing those seeds to fruition!

Happy Full Moon in Rohini to all!
Om shanti