Being a lunar based system, Vedic astrology or Jyotish, emphasizes the placement of the Moon over the placement of the Sun. The Moon represents our emotional body, or manas. The January, 2016 full Moon is occurring in Pushya nakshatra in Cancer on Saturday, the 23rd. Jyotish tracks the movement of the Moon through the 12 signs of the zodiac and the 27 lunar constellations or nakshatras.
Full Moons are considered to be quite auspicious, particularly this one. The Moon will be full at 5:45 PM Pacific time. Cancer will also be rising on the Eastern horizon at the time of the full Moon, so look Eastward if you reside on the West coast. The Vedic calendar is also lunar based and the names of the months are linked to the nakshatra in which the full Moon occurs. We are currently in the month of Pausha. This January, 2016 full Moon is known as Pausha Purnima. Each nakshatra has an associated symbol and presiding deity. The symbol for Pushya nakshatra is the udder of a cow. Cows are revered as sacred animals in India for their capacity to selflessly provide milk, which can also be turned into butter, ghee, and yogurt.
The cow is also the only animal which will provide milk to animals which are not its own. Thus, the quality of nurturance is associated with Pushya nakshatra. This innate inclination to nurture can manifest in Pushya dominant individuals (particularly those with Moon or ascendant natally in Pushya) in a multitude of ways – physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.
The presiding deity for Pushya nakshatra is Brihaspati, another appellation for Jupiter. In Sanskrit, Jupiter is translated as Guru. Guru is a name that is given to a (often spiritual) teacher. The prefix gu- translates as darkness and the suffix –ru translates as light. Thus a Guru is one who can take us from ignorance to enlightenment. Thus, Pushya also has the auspicious association with spiritual and religious themes.
Guru also translates as heavy, a quality (or guna) often attributed to Kapha dosha in Ayurveda. Jupiter has the greatest mass of all the planets in the solar system. Jupiter is considered to be exalted, or at its strongest point, in the sign of Cancer in Vedic astrology. Jupiter is currently in Leo. The January, 2016 full Moon is strong two ways: it is full and it occupies its own sign of Cancer.
Practices for the January, 2016 full Moon
Pushya nakshatra is considered the most humanitarian of all 27. Traditionally, in India, Pushya nakshatra is considered an auspicious day to see your Guru or spiritual teacher. If this is not possible, then it is a day in which religious or spiritual practices can be heightened. The full Moon greater potentiates this energy. Take this day to nurture others, whether it be feeding or aiding those who require financial support, emotional attention, or physical security.
This is an ideal day to offer service to your spiritual teacher or to offer dakshina ( a monetary offering). You may also wish to chant Guru mantras. These mantra may be traditional or a modern version.
While you may be quite sensitive during the January, 2016 full Moon, you want to watch your nervous system. Mercury is slowly coming out of retrogression. Make sure you choose your words wisely and avoid miscommunication. Do you know where your Moon is? Do you have placements in Pushya nakshatra? Are you in a Moon cycle? Learn about your Moon via a Vedic astrology reading.