This full moon is in the potent nakshatra of Bharani, the celestial yoni (female reproductive organ, oh my!). It is also called the “clay pot” or womb that contains Shakti, the divine feminine creative power. It is said that deceased souls find rebirth by traveling through these stars.
Bharani is in the constellation of Aries the ram. Specifically, it consists of three stars in the tail of the ram (more recently named Musca Borealis, the Northern Fly). Although Aries is considered a masculine constellation, ruled by mars, it has ancient associations with the life-giving power of the female womb. The horns of Aries are said to resemble the female reproductive system, an idea that was recorded as far back as the 7th century:
"it is called uterus because it is two-fold and divides on both (uterque) sides, into two parts that extend apart and bend back in the shape of a ram's horn" [The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville, 7th century AD, p.240.]
Aries is the first constellation of the Zodiac and it symbolizes the human head. It is the head of the infant that pushes through the cervix of a woman in labor, and first emerges in the beginning of life.
Bharani nakshatra carries the powerful urge to create (and procreate). The seductive nature of desire and the power of its command forces us to work and toil. Bharani also means “she who bears” and is called the “star of restraint.” It is a great trial to bear life and to be born, and the sacrifice we give for our creations are often a life long discipline.
The process of childbirth is a dangerous and sometimes deadly experience, and curiously it is Yama, the god of death, who rules over this nakshatra. Yama is in charge of directing the soul after death to the appropriate naraka (purgatory), eventually leading it back through the womb towards earth again.
Hospital maternity wards may be especially busy this full moon night. The divine feminine in labor will be screaming out it’s command, “work, will, create!” General issues around parents and/or children could come to a forefront this month.
Charisma and conviction should certainly be riding high. Observe how obsession and/or suppression can make people headstrong and stubborn. A new gritty determination for getting the job done could manifest... and since serious work brings serious play; Bharani Moon may be a great time for experimenting in letting loose our sensuous sides. Any novel entertainment will be a success. Be careful not to over do it though, this full moon can bring a tendency to withdraw into secrecy, drowning our vulnerabilities in alcohol or food.
Bharani full moon teaches us that without death there can be no life. No pain, no gain. No one can escape the inevitable law of Yama, and his restraint upon us. It is said only Shiva can give us refuge from the formidable god of death. Shiva guards the entire city of Varanasi and those who are lucky enough to die there do not get entangled in samsara again. This full moon is also celebrated as Kartik Purnima, a day when Shiva’s power is remembered.
Chanting a mantra for Shiva , like the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra is an effective remedy against the ill effects of Bharani.
oṁ tryambakaṁ yajāmahe sugandhiṁ puṣṭi-vardhanam ǀ
urvārukam-iva bandhanān mṛtyormukṣīya māmṛtāt ǁ