This is going to be a busy week for the planets that will result in an intense and challenging week for the human beings who live on planet earth. For most of us, there will be an increase in energy that we can use to our advantage.
Early in the morning of June 15th, the Sun moved into Gemini; on the 18th Venus will move into Taurus, and on the 19th Jupiter will move into Cancer. The movements of Venus and Jupiter are positive, but we may not feel the positive effects this week.
The Sun will be moving toward an exact conjunction with Mercury retrograde which takes place on the 19th – he will be in orb until June 25th. It has been my experience that as a planet “approaches” a conjunction, the energy is intense – once the exact conjunction passes the power begins to subside until it is out of the orb of influence.
The challenge with the Sun being conjunct retrograde Mercury is the effects the fiery and powerful Sun will have on our objective minds as well as on our nervous systems. Mercury is a planet that tends to be strongly influenced by the planets he is close to, as well as the sign in which he resides. The Sun is the primary source of energy and has a strong influence on individual will and determination – his nature is fiery and can be stubborn. Mercury and the Sun are never too far away from one another, so it is not as if a Mercury/Sun conjunction is unusual, but in the sign of Gemini – – and with Mercury retrograde – – people can be confused and indecisive at this time. Mercury is a planet of communication and Gemini is a sign of communication, so with the close conjunction of the Sun, objective communication can be difficult especially given the retrograde status of Mercury. It is a week in which to avoid confrontation, and if serious communication is necessary clarity, facts, and being in the present are necessary.
Adding another layer of interest to this week is the Solstice which is exact on Saturday, 6/21 at 6:51 A.M., eastern daylight time. The Solstice energy will begin to be felt on the 19th as it begins to move towards the moment of exact degrees – the energy will be felt for another day or so.
The Solstice has been recognized and celebrated for thousands of years throughout various cultures. “Solstice” means to “stand still” because the Sun at the horizon appears to rise and set in the same position. For those in the northern hemispheres, it is the longest day of the year and the day when the North Pole tilts directly towards the Sun. Many cultures celebrated the Solstice related to farming cycles while others celebrated the “coming” or “going” of the Sun depending upon the hemisphere of location. Some cultures celebrated the Solstice as a symbol of the power the Sun – especially those cultures which based their religious beliefs on the Sun itself.
Vedic Astrology shares its roots with yoga and Ayurveda and has always taught that the dynamics of the planets are felt within our energetic system via the nadis, aura, and chakras as well as recognizing the effects of the planets on our bodies, mind and emotions. Jyotish (Vedic astrology) gives the placements of the planets along with the dates and interaction of the planets with each other and then looks to the teachings of yoga and Ayurveda as to how to work with this energy. The interconnectedness of the three disciplines offer helpful hints for working with the energy of the Solstice.
Ayurveda is the health system of the ancient, but still relevant, teachings of the Vedas. Ayurveda works with food, herbs, and yoga as a basis for keeping the body and mind healthy. One of its primary dictates is based on the elements which comprise all life; it teaches that keeping the elements in balance is important to our physical and mental well-being. Ayurveda calls the fire element “pitta” and, in a logical and obvious manner , teaches that during the warm months it is necessary to not allow the internal pitta to rise too high in the body. A too-high pitta is an important underlying cause of skin problems as well problems with the liver, high-blood pressure, anger, and aggression issues. Herbs and foods which balance pitta are recommended during times of high pitta. Berries, sweet apples, mangos, and melons are among the preferred fruits. Cucumber, greens, okra, squash, broccoli, celery and green beans are good for pitta – garlic, tomatoes, eggplant and raw onions should be avoided during this time period. Among the spices recommended are basil, cumin, dill, neem leaves, peppermint, rose water and turmeric. During high pitta times bay leaf, cayenne, cloves, garlic, and ginger are among the spices to be avoided. One of the easiest ways to keep the pitta element in check is through specific formulas which can be recommended by an Ayurvedic professional. A website that provides cost-effective products is www.banyanbotanicals.com.
It is good to work with the elements throughout the year especially during the times of the summer and winter solstices. This year, due to Mercury being retrograde in the sign of Gemini, we are working with the element of “vata” which means “air.” Just as air being added to a campfire will increase the fire, the vata element will increase the pitta element within us. Mercury and Gemini are vata in nature and, given the challenges of the times in which we are living, it is very easy for fear to become prominent during this particular solstice. A high level of vata will not only increase fear; it can wreak havoc with the nervous system.
Vata has an affinity with our minds and, when fear or nervousness take over the mental state, it becomes impossible to rest as the mind moves into active worry mode. Yoga, meditation, music, and gentle exercise can be helpful. In order to keep down the natural pitta and calm the vata, Tai Chi and conscious walking are helpful. During this time period, those who practice yoga should avoid “hot yoga” in favor of forward bends and twists with calming breath work along with conscious meditation. The solstice marks the middle of the year. A helpful practice is to have a paper and pen available during meditation so that the healing effects of the solstice can be used to write down our goals for the remainder of this year, along with an assessment of how we have used the first part of the year. Pitta likes clarity of the mind, and vata likes to use the mind – an exercise like this satisfies both elements.
Solstice is a time of healing and cleansing, and pranayama is an efficient and healthy way to work with the energy of this time. One highly recommended breath technique is “Sitali Breath” which works to cool the body as it gently detoxifies at the same time. This breath (as shown below) can be done 26 times once or twice a day or for 3 minutes:
To perform Sitali, sit comfortably in any meditative posture.
- Allow the tongue to draw out and comfortably fold it up from the sides to form a tube.
- Slowly inhale bringing the air through the tongue and feel the lungs expand completely.
- After the full inhalation, withdraw and relax the tongue. Close the mouth and then slowly exhale through the nose.
- *For those people who are unable to fold up the tongue, just stick out the tongue and purse the lips around the tongue.
In my opinion, this is an important solstice since there are good planetary changes on the horizon, and we can all choose to not give into the fear, craziness and even hopelessness that have gripped the world. Turn off the news, put away the books and movies which promote fear, and spend time in nature and seek to feed the mind with uplifting entertainment – – especially music which can soothe the mind and emotions. I am a fan of mantra; a few of my favorites are Krishna Das, Snatam Kaur and Deva Permal; www.spiritvoyage.com is a good source for mantra and allows for you to listen before you purchase.
In the ancient times, solstices were cause for celebration and – in honor of the celebration – I am going to continue to offer the 18% discount until July 31st. Information on the discount can be found on my website www.annaicenter.com or via email at email@example.com.