Newsletters

Volume 43, 20 December 2018

“ The most precious light is the one that visits you in your darkest hour”

Mehmet Murat ildan

Bright Moon on the Longest Night

A bright shining Purnima (full) Moon will reign over the long dark night of this winter solstice. The last time this happened was in 2010 and the next time will be in 2029, so it is a relatively rare event.

Each lunar day or tithi is defined as a 12° elongation of the Moon from the Sun. The 15th tithi (Purnima) starts when the Moon is 168° from the Sun and ends at the moment it reaches the degree of exact opposition of the Sun and Moon (180° separation from the Sun which is the “technical” full Moon).

The Purnima tithi starts today (December 21) at 15:40 EST at which time the Moon will be exalted in the rashi of Taurus making a raja yoga (yoga of pre-eminence). The exact solstice (furthest the Sun will travel in its southerly course) is within an hour of that at 16:23. The technical full Moon occurs at 11:49 on the 22nd after which the Moon will start to wane.

Perhaps the occurrence of this full Moon is an omen of hope in what seems like the approach of a very dark hour.

Darkness and Light: Markers of Strength and Weakness in Jyotisha

Jyotisha is first and foremost based on pratyaksha (direct observation of the sky). From direct observation comes reasonable inference - bright and readily visible grahas powerfully manifest what they potentiate in a chart whereas those grahas that are not visible do not.

Though there are other ways to evaluate strength, this primary distinction between visible and not visible is an inherent feature of a graha that follows it through all the techniques of Jyotisha evaluation.

The brightest grahas in the sky are the Sun, the Moon (in certain phases), Venus and Jupiter. It is not surprising, therefore, that when these grahas are in certain combinations in a chart, auspicious predictions abound for the native.

Charlie Chaplin

The chart of Charlie Chaplin is a magnificent example of this principle. Not only is there a stunning full Moon across the 1/7 axis, it is accompanied by a brilliant Venus heralding a very showy and famous personality. The rulerships and conditions of the Sun, Moon, Mars and Venus combine to make an astounding number of powerful combinations for pre-eminence.

Charlie Chaplin was the film industry’s first global superstar. By 1915 (26 years old) he was one is the highest paid people in the world. He is still considered as one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry.

John Kerry

Imagine the sky at John Kerry’s birth. The beautiful morning star (Venus) twinkled on the eastern horizon shortly before his birth. Then the sun rose just as a gorgeous full Moon set. Certainly this was the herald of a pre-eminent person.

A decorated war hero, long-serving US senator, Secretary of State and presidential nominee, John Kerry has served his country honorably and graciously. However, you might argue, he lost a presidential election. Understanding why that ultimate role eluded him is another topic. He is actually considering running for president again in 2020.

The Offering of Light

Aarti Lamp

Throughout the ages the cultures of the world have ritualized their acknowledgement of light as the source of creation, wholeness, God, purity and its contrast with the chaos of darkness. Sabbath lights are lit on Friday, candles appear on the altar in every mass, seven candles are used during Kwanzaaan and in the Indian tradition there is the ritual of aarti.

The offering of the aarti lamp during the transition points of the Sun - dawn, high noon and sunset - is an affirmation of the message of peace and light. The flame represents the light of knowledge which dispels the darkness of ignorance, the light by which all lights shine, including the light of consciousness.

May this time of the return of the light dispel the shadows in the hearts and minds of all people everywhere in this New Year.

Jyotisha - the Study of Outer and Inner Light

I am pleased to offer another online Basics I class this winter for those who would like to begin this beautiful study. For more details visit my seminars page.

Media Corner: Earth/Sky News

This is a wonderful site for skywatchers and others interested in the natural world. You can get a daily email on interesting topics with beautiful photos. The information on astronomical events is excellent including clarifying videos and animations explaining eclipses, retrogression etc.

Here is their website: https://earthsky.org