Eclipse Season, Venus-Jupiter Conjunction, and Akshaya Tritiya


Eclipse Season, Venus-Jupiter Conjunction, and Akshaya Tritiya

There is so much going on in the sky right now, this is an exciting time for astronomers and astrologers alike. Tonight brings a Dark Moon as Sun and Moon approach each other for an exact New Moon conjunction on April 30th at 4:28 pm ET. They join in sidereal Aries, where Sun is exalted and Rahu is currently transiting as well. This meeting of Sun, Moon and Rahu stimulates a solar eclipse around the time of the New Moon, the first eclipse of this spring’s eclipse season, with the lunar eclipse following on the Full Moon of May 15th-16th. Additionally, Venus and Jupiter are having their closest conjunction of the year on April 30th as well!

Aries Moon Cycle

The Aries Moon cycle begins when Sun and Moon join in sidereal Aries. If you’ve forgotten the difference between sidereal and tropical systems, here it is! I just re-read this article and definitely recommend checking it out if this is a concept you strive to understand. The Sun is exalted as it travels through Aries, bringing forth a strong sense of vitality and energy as we emerge into the growing season in the northern hemisphere. The Aries cycle is a time for beginning and giving birth to things, just as we see reflected in nature.

Bharani Nakshatra

This Moon cycle begins literally with Sun and Moon in the Vedic nakshatra Bharani, “the bearer,” the star of birth and death. It is represented by a womb, associated with fertile Venus, ruled by death deity Yama, and opens a portal between the worlds of living and dying. This moon cycle is an opportune time to plant the seeds you are wishing to cultivate, both literally and figuratively.

Akshaya Tritiya

Three days after the New Moon in Aries, on Tuesday, May 3rd, the Moon travels through its sign of exaltation as well— Taurus. A sign of exaltation is the place where a planet is considered extremely well-placed, supported by the ruler of that sign, and in good relationship with its home sign. It’s where the planet is most likely to be able to express itself positively through us. With the Sun exalted in Aries, it is supported by its ruler Mars, a planet that adds courage and strength to Sun who seeks to express power and vitality. With the Moon exalted in Venus-ruled, earth-sign Taurus, it gets to rest on fertile and stable ground, an excellent place for our watery, emotional and often changeable mind to reside in the feminine.

With both Sun AND Moon exalted at the same time, this signals that our minds, bodies, and spirit are extremely well-supported. For this reason, this “tritiya” (third waxing Moon) day is thought to be a day that offers only auspicious, prosperous, everlasting results. Hence it is deemed Akshaya Tritiya, “akshaya” being that which is without loss, that which never diminishes. In India this is a major moment for investments, new beginnings, and large purchases, especially of gold and silver. It is thought that your returns will be “never diminishing.”

Although usually I like to offer specific Muhurta selections based on one’s individual natal chart, this day is generally considered auspicious in general for new endeavors, purchases, and investments.

Solar Eclipse

April 30th, the New Moon, itself brings with it a solar eclipse that will be visible from parts of South America and Antarctica. Its effects, however, can be felt across the globe. You may have already noticed tensions rising in your life this week, especially around certain areas where you have felt stuck. Eclipses are when the shadow energy becomes visible (we literally see a shadow when the grahas Rahu and Ketu align with Sun, Moon and Earth). They tend to bring to light areas that require our attention and change, whether it be by eliminating limiting beliefs or patterns, or by stepping into something we have resisted.

This is the first eclipse of a 1.5-year cycle that began when Rahu and Ketu transited into the Aries-Libra axis on April 12th, after their year-and-half transit of Taurus and Scorpio before that. This longer cycle and the biannual eclipse seasons within it are likely to “bring stuff up” for you in whatever areas of life are indicated by Aries and Libra in your Vedic natal chart, and may stimulate other karma depending upon what other planets are there in your chart.

As in many traditional cultures, in Vedic thought eclipses are considered inauspicious times, because the natural order of the universe is turned on its head. It is best not to plan any important activities or new beginnings during the hours of the eclipse itself (2:25 PM – 6:38 PM ET, with maximum eclipse at 4:42). Instead, spiritual practice such as prayer or meditation is advised, as these are the best remedies for dealing with the disruptive, confusing and often virulent energy of the nodes, Rahu and Ketu. Hindu culture advises against eating, drinking or being outside during the eclipse hours as well, especially if you live in its visible path.

This is the first eclipse of two that are coming this eclipse season, the second being a lunar eclipse on the Full Moon of May 15th-16th, which will be visible from most of the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. After that the eclipse season ends until the next set which will come in October-November of this year.

Some astrologers advise people to do things around an eclipse as these can be transformative times. They can definitely be transformative, but I always caution clients that if you are to make a major decision during an eclipse season, be sure that it comes from a place of clarity, after much reflection and introspection, and that it is not based out of stress, fear, or overwhelm with your current situation.

Jupiter-Venus Conjunction/War

In addition to the New Moon and Solar Eclipse, Saturday also brings the exact conjunction of Jupiter and Venus, at 5:14 pm ET in sidereal Pisces. The two will be traveling together in this sign from April 27th through May 23rd, when Venus moves into Aries. Jupiter is the ruler of Pisces, while Venus is exalted there, giving the two brightest planets a lot of power right now. It will be a beautiful sight to behold on the early mornings of April 30th and May 1st, while they can be seen extremely close together rising a little while before the Sun. (EarthSky has some great visuals on what to look for in the early morning eastern sky.)

The intense proximity of the two, however, creates what is known as a graha yuddha or planetary war in Vedic astrology. This happens whenever two planets come within one degree of each other, as these two do from April 29th through May 1st. When this happens, both planets are considered to be weakened because they must vie with each other for power and our attention. Thus the areas ruled by Jupiter (inspiration, hope, beliefs) and Venus (happiness, romance, art, beauty, nature) in general and in our personal charts, may suffer during this time.

The war between Jupiter and Venus can be particularly difficult as these two are quite inimical to each other, Jupiter being the guru of the Gods and Venus that of the Asuras (demons). Jupiter or Guru guides us to acquire our higher belief systems, knowledge, and wisdom, while Venus or Shukra motivates us mainly towards pleasure. It is for this reason that Venus becomes exalted in Pisces, because when under Jupiter’s influence, in this other-worldly water sign, we are often able to align our desires with a higher power or purpose.

So enjoy the spectacle of the two brightest planets this weekend, but consider the highest potential of the two as you feel the waves of emotion that may come as they battle it out, with the Moon and eclipsed Sun joining Rahu in fiery Aries. Overall I do believe this whole setup offers a lot of potential for inner growth, if we take the time to go inward and seek insight around our highest purpose, desires, and intentions for this season’s new beginnings.

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