Full Moon January 2022

Moon - a royal planetMuch has happened since the last full Moon of December 2021 and the time of Solstice. Venus has gone retrograde, Mercury has recently turned retrograde, Mars has separated from Ketu and moving through the gandanta knot (water to fire sign) in Sagittarius. Karl Sarp yoga continues on and off every fortnight and the festival of Makara Sankranti has passed: the Sun has entered its northern path.

If we can take a moment to consider some matters in the month past:

  • Venus retrograde in Saggitarius: Here, Venus will behave a bit like Jupiter – and Jupiter is a multiplier, an expander of energy. Retrograde means do good, do strong. Venus (in your sign, house, degree) has multiplied effect during the last month, and without moral aspect. For some, this means an expansion of sexual energy, and expansion – expression – of issues in relationships. The planets simply reflect light and magnetic energy according to the dharma of a planet. The light and energy received by your physical embodiment is what you should take to discrimination before action. Sexual energy is good – it ensures the propagation of the human race. However, lust is not good, it is one of the six enemies of mankind, and if that particular fire is not put out, it will cause downfall. Desire is not how the goal of life is reached.
  • Looking to expansion – expression of issues in relationships, keep in mind the dictum, iti dristhi iti. The person – or peoples – you are in relationship with are simply mirrors and reflect aspects of your own self, and in some degree, aspects of personality that are unconscious. We come together to learn from one another and advance in spiritual progress towards the goal of life. The tongue is a multifunctional instrument, of taste and speech. Once speech has left the tongue, it cannot be recalled. Discrimination – an activity of the intellect – is something you can call upon and reflect – before you let loose with the tongue (or the keyboard). Sri Sathya Sai has told there is no greater sin than hurting the heart of another.
  • Mars has spent the past month in Scorpio with Ketu, where both planets are Lord of that sign. Although outside the degree of influence, there have been occasions in the past month where reactions to experiences, events, people and media which have been disproportionate, illogical or irrational. This energy simply escapes from us and is the effect of these two planets in conjunction. In the name of self improvement, if you have experienced untoward reactions by yourself, send light and love to your past self. Do some healing and keep the memory as part of your healed self.
  • Karl Sarp Yoga – the malign influence on the mind, the planets hemmed in between the two lunar nodes – Rahu and Ketu – has been occurring on and off every two weeks and will continue until 25 April, when Mercury breaks through this bounding of planets. Kaal Sarp means the Serpent of Time. There is an ancient teaching that the Serpents were once intelligent and teachers of mankind. They spoke with mental speech, the higher, purer form of telepathy. The snakes on Earth are descendants of these serpents and lack the higher faculties. Karl Sarp Yoga reminds us to take care of our minds and not be victims of any kind of negativity. Be a master, master the mind. The best way to master the mind is to do with love for your own self. Take time and take care of yourself when the Karl Sarp yoga occurs.
  • Makara Sankranti occurred on 15 January. This day is called Uttarayana from [UTTARA]: northward + [AYANA]: journey. This is the day the Sun commences its northern path through the skies. It is the day Bhishma waited for (Makara Sanranti), spending 56 days on the bed of pain, because he felt that death when the sun starts north is auspicious. He wanted to offer his life at the Feet of the Lord at an auspicious moment. He wanted to travel beyond Death, with an illumined intellect, aware of his identity with the Supreme.
  • Uttarayana Marga is also known as Sukla Marga (The White Path) as it is lit by the Holy Splendour of Jnana (wisdom). Those who discard the body and journey on during the Uttarayana, will move along the White Path and reach Moksha or that Stage of Liberation which is devoid of delusion. It is the Seat and Source of Brahma-Ananda from which there is no return to this world of Name and Form, or this arena of embodied beings. Uttarayana is not so much a period of time as a state of mind. Those who discard the body with the glory of self-knowledge, move along the Uttarayana Marga.

Mercury Retrograde:
Mercury turned retrograde on January 15, and will remain in retrograde until February 4, when it will go direct. The approximate three-week retrograde cycle of Mercury happens three-four times a year. It is much maligned as a period when anything can and will go haywire. Keep in mind the teaching yad bhavati – tad bhavatum, what you feel is what you create. If you feel things will go badly, you will create that. If you feel you will be above being affected by events during Mercury retrograde, then you will have that experience. In 2022, Mercury will retrograde four times in Earth signs, indicating that we will be mostly challenged with practical day-to-day matters; for example, issues related to our sense of safety, material security, work, and physical health.

Mars in Sagittarius:
Mars has left Scorpio and transited the gandanta knot – the three degrees between the end of Scorpio and the start of Sagittarius sign. This particular gandanta, Galactic center between Jyeshta and Mula is always the most difficult one, as it belongs to Mother Kali – and She never goes on compromise when it comes to realising the truth. This time of gandanta lasts from January 12-20th, and can feel like a time of walking on hot coals, walking on eggs, uncertainty and a dampening of the warrior spirit within. (It is there, in all of us, feeling this, acting on this depends on the position of Mars in your birth chart. Of course Mars is truly the warrior: the NASA explorers on Mars itself have measured earthquakes on Mars. Mars has a molten core, thwarting the earlier speculations of astronomers!)

Mars has entered the demesne of Mother Kali, the galactic centre. This is ruled by Ketu, and in this time, Mars is conjunct Venus. This can be a time of fear-uncertainty-doubt as Mars the warrior explores the galactic centre and uncovers the other aspect of self: the feminine side, and thus, androgyny. We are all a mix of chromosome pairs, in balance, except for the final chromosome pair, which determines our gender. It is culture and society that fills us with gender roles and behaviour, and influences on the mind. We are in fact beyond gender, a true balance of masculine and feminine and need to recover that balance. In the spirit world, androgyny is common, hence the depictions of beautiful angels, archangels, devas, spirits, and genderless cherubs and seraphs.

For men, this is an opportunity to discard toxic forms of masculinity and ugly beliefs and behaviour and embrace the divine feminine within. (My computer is called Mahagauri: I see her every day I turn the machine on … this is my daily reminder to temper the expressions of masculinity …) For women, it is the opportunity to take up their inner warrior and express the seven great strengths women have: patience, fortitude, sacrifice, compassion, love and repositories of truth and culture.

Venus Retrograde:
Venus will remain retrograde until January 30th. While Venus is in Sagittarius with Mars, it will not retrograde into Mula, the galactic centre. It will remain in Purva Ashada nakshatra, which is one of the nakshatras ruled by Venus. Purva ashada is a place where we experience matters that are never forgotten. Whether we integrate these experiences and learnings into our journey to the purusharthas, the goals of life, is up to us. Venus retrograde is the opportunity to impress these lessons more strongly on the mind. Let the child put their finger in the candle flame; it will not do so again. This is what Venus retrograde in Purva ashada offers.

Outer Planet Uranus:
On January 18, shortly after this full Moon Uranus stations direct in Taurus, after being retrograde since August 15, 2020. Uranus spends about half a year in an apparent backward motion, which is not an actual change of direction but an optical illusion due to our perspective on Earth. Uranus represents a higher octave of Mercury, and the deity ruling Uranus is Prajapati, another name for the Creator Brahma. Uranus spends 7 years in one sign. Uranus represents the supercharge energy. It provides us with a sense of the rare, eccentric, and unique aspects of life. Through Uranus we gain an awareness of universal brotherhood, the common bonds of humanity. Uranus energy operates at the level of intuitive awareness of life and the aspect of the self which connects to a higher level of awareness.



Ever since Voyager 2 beamed home spectacular images of the planets in the 1980s, planet-lovers have been hooked on extra-terrestrial aurorae. Aurorae are caused by streams of charged particles like electrons, that come from various origins such as solar winds, the planetary ionosphere, and moon volcanism. They become caught in powerful magnetic fields and are channelled into the upper atmosphere, where their interactions with gas particles, such as oxygen or nitrogen, set off spectacular bursts of light.

The alien aurorae on Jupiter and Saturn are well-studied, but not much is known about the aurorae of the giant ice planet Uranus. In 2011, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope became the first Earth-based telescope to snap an image of the aurorae on Uranus. In 2012 and 2014 a team led by an astronomer from Paris Observatory took a second look at the aurorae using the ultraviolet capabilities of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) installed on Hubble.

This is a composite image of Uranus by Voyager 2 and two different observations made by Hubble – one for the ring and one for the aurorae.

When Mercury stations (stops retrograde) on February 4, all celestial bodies will be in direct motion. From that time until the following Full Moon, we will notice a sense of momentum and forward movement, and we may have the feeling that everything is moving at a faster pace.

Full Moon Meditation: Meditation on Light

There is much happening in the world at this time that gives cause for meditation and sending of love and light to all places on Earth. The fourth wave of cornavirus – Omicron – expands its reach all over the Earth. Some nations have enacted punitive measures against the unvaccinated. There is international concern about the borders of the Ukraine; NATO and the US are engaged in negotiations with Russia. More migrants are determined to risk the English channel despite the icy waters and dinghys capsizing. There is armed conflict and civilian causalities in Tigray, and humanitarian concerns about survival of families in Afghanistan. What the world needs now, is your energy in meditation, sent as love and light.


The most effective method of meditation

Set aside a few minutes, every day, in the beginning for this; later, you are sure to extend the period, when you experience the thrill of peace. Let it be the hours before dawn. This is preferable because the body is refreshed by sleep and the peregrinations of day-time have yet to impinge on the senses and distract physical and mental energy. Have a lamp, with a bright little flame, steady and straight, or a candle, before you. The flame does not diminish in lustre, however many lamps may be lit therefrom. So, the flame is the most appropriate symbol of the eternal Absolute.

If you can, sit cross-legged; if your are not able to sit thus, then sit in any comfortable position, in front of the flame. Look on the flame steadily and closing your eyes, try to feel it inside you, between your eyebrows. From there, let it descend down into the lotus of your heart, illumining the path. When it enters the heart, in the centre of the chest, imagine that the petals of the lotus bud open out, one by one, bathing every thought, feeling, emotion and impulse in the Light and removing darkness. There is no space now for darkness to take refuge; it has to flee before the flame. Imagine that the Light becomes wider, bigger, brighter. It pervades the limbs; they can no more busy themselves in dark, wicked, suspicious activities. They have become, you are conscious of it, instruments of Light, that is to say, of Love.

The Light reaches the tongue. Falsehood, slander, bragging and spite vanish from it. It reaches the eyes and the ears. All dark desires that infest and infect them are destroyed by the brilliant Light of Wisdom and Virtue. No more puerility, no more poisoning of the ear. Let your head be charged with Light; all wicked, vicious thoughts disappear, for, these are denizens of darkness. Imagine that Light in you more and more intensely — and it will be so. Let it shine all around you, enveloping you in the brilliance of Love; let it spread from you, in ever widening circles, taking into its fold your kith and kin, the loved ones, friends, companions — nay, strangers, foes, rivals, enemies — all men all over the world, all living beings — all Creation.

Do this every day, without break; for as long as you enjoy it; do this deeply and systematically; a time will certainly come when you can no more relish dark and evil thoughts, no more yearn for dark and sinister books, no more crave for toxic food and drinks, no more handle ugly demeaning things, no more suffer infliction of infamy or injury, no more formulate evil designs. You are then in the realm of the Divine, of Peace beyond words.

Stay on in that thrill, witnessing Light, being Light, everywhere, for all. If you are used to adoring God in any form, visualise that Form in that Light. For, Light is God; God is light. When light meets light, it is all Light. There is no boundary between your light and His Light. They merge, they fulfil.


In this peacelessness that is confounding the world, you must seek the higher spiritual peace; in that higher spiritual peace you can visualise Supreme Splendour and in that Supreme Splendour, the all-embracing Light (immanent and transcendent splendour, boundless, benign) is experienced; in that all-embracing Light, the Universal Eternal Absolute is experienced. When the individual meets the Universal it becomes Universal. I and I become we; we and he become only we. Practise this meditation, regularly everyday. At other times, repeat the Name of God (any name that arouses in you the spirit of adoration and devotion), always taking care to be intensely conscious of His Might, Mercy and Munificence.


The Full Moons of 2021
Every Full Moon of 2021 shines in this year-spanning astrophoto project, a composite portrait of the familiar lunar nearside at each brightest lunar phase. Arranged by moonth, the year progresses in stripes beginning at the top. Taken with the same camera and lens the stripes are from Full Moon images all combined at the same pixel scale. The stripes still look mismatched, but they show that the Full Moon’s angular size changes throughout the year depending on its distance from Kolkata, India, planet Earth. The calendar month, a full moon name, distance in kilometers, and angular size is indicated for each stripe. Angular size is given in minutes of arc corresponding to 1/60th of a degree. The largest Full Moon is near a perigee or closest approach in May. The smallest is near an apogee, the most distant Full Moon in December. Of course the full moons of May and November also slid into Earth’s shadow during 2021’s two lunar eclipses.


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