Antares, translates as “rival of mars.” This star gets its name for its reddish hue that imitates and rivals the ruddy planet of war. Mars also happens to be the ruling planet of Scorpio. The heart of the Scorpion, Jyestha, is a lunar nakshatra that particularly excites the competitive insecurity and peculiar power issues of the moon in its Scorpionic debilitation.
The umbrella is a symbol for Jyestha. It is used to indicate high status and respect and is a reminder that the highest dharma of the eldest is to provide protection to those below them. This is a good time to show respect for your elders and gratitude for what they have given.
Since Scorpio is a feminine sign ruled by a masculine planet, Jyestha calls forth the issue of women’s power and authority. Respect for the eldest woman in a community is a value upheld in many traditions since ancient times, at times creating complex and dangerous dynamics.
As the story goes, Jyestha is the eldest wife of Soma, the deity of the Moon. Having seniority over all of her sisters (and fellow wives), she was insulted because he stayed for endless days in the lunar mansion of the youngest wife, Rohini. Her jealous complaints of her husband’s favoritism caused her father, Prajapati, to place a curse on the Moon. Nearly snuffing out moonlight along with all of existence, this curse continually wanes away the moon’s light every two weeks.
*(Rohini is situated exactly opposite on the Zodiac wheel in sidereal Taurus, the sign of Moon’s exaltation. For more on Rohini see previous article here.)
On Tuesday, this Jyestha full moon is deeply impacted by the direct aspect of Mars, as well as retrograde Mercury and Saturn. A formidable and rather heavy line up that we will most likely feel in the days leading up to the full moon and sometime after. In general, scandalous surprises and unfair situations may lead to feelings of defensiveness and alienation.
Jyestha’s deity, Indra, was known to be constantly drinking intoxicating ambrosia. He was also infamous for his sexual exploits that sometimes got him into terrible trouble. A full moon at the heart of the Scorpion can open issues of promiscuity, addiction and risky behavior. Gambling and intoxication under this moon could set the stage for an underhanded bar brawl (or cat-fight). With the blurry influence of planet Neptune creating a T-square on the line up, confusion and low-level astral influences could distort our perceptions. Stay away from intoxicants and make an effort to be humble. Do not take people in your life for granted and do not brag. Issues of power and jealousy can seep into interactions and it is easy to feel trodden upon. With retrograde mercury in the mix, insults can unconsciously slip off the tongue, so be mindful of your words. It is probably useless to argue.
Beyond the malefic aspects, this full moon is graced with the direct sambhandha of Moon-ruled Jupiter in Cancer giving the potential to find refuge in teachers and spiritual practices.
His birthday is called Vaikasi Vishikam. This is the day the moon transits the Vishika nakshatra in the month of Vaikasi. It is also the time when the sun transits near Krittika, the home of the Pleiades who were the six mothers of Kartikaya. SEE: Last month’s article on Krittika. In one version of the story it is said that Shiva emitted 6 illuminating fire-sparks from his forehead to save the world from overwhelming demonic forces. These bright sparks of fire are associated with the six stars of the Pleiades and their son Kartikeya or Murugan. Sometimes he is depicted with six faces that give him the ability to see in all directions simultaneously (4 directions, up and down). He is heralded as a great warrior against falsehood and the adharmic force of the ego, transforming lower instincts into a higher realization of truth and oneness.
Pride and issues around control are illusions of the mind, which is trapped in the suffering loka of samsara. In this relatively short and precious human birth, of what real use is it to struggle for control and domination in the outer world?
The light of truth penetrates the adharmic veil of illusion under the power of all-seeing Lord Murugan. His courage and wisdom can invoke clarity on this Full Moon of the heart of the scorpion.