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Use the Force: Christmas Full Moon


There’s a Full Moon on Christmas Day for the first time since 1977; must be the Star Wars connection. In Western astrology, the Full Moon lands at 3° Cancer, the apparently perfect promise of a cosy, domesticated festive season. Comfort food, long-lost relatives, fa-la-la.

The sidereal view is slightly different, putting the Full Moon at 9° Gemini in the nakshatra (lunar mansion) of Ardra. This is one of the wilder Nakshatras, ruled by Rahu and presided over by Shiva in his avatar as Rudra the Storm (trooper) God. Most authorities are pretty down on this asterism: Ardra’s symbol is the teardrop and is said to show meanness, ingratitude, craftiness, and sorrow generally.

All this shows the risk of conflating Nakshatras and zodiacal signs too closely – Gemini is airy, rational and detached, while Ardra is harsh, stormy and emotional. Yet the subtler symbolism helps to reconcile the contradiction of tropical Moon in Cancer and sidereal Moon in Gemini. Western Moon in Cancer natives, or those in its first decanate anyway, can relate to the turbulent, all-changing Ardra emotions, but crucially also to its detachment and toughness.

Full Moon 25/12/2015, 11:11am, London UK.

Christmas has become an increasingly Rahu-like experience. Booze, meat, commercialism, greed, not at all sattvic. Yet like all Rahu-ruled business, an Ardra Moon is all about going to extremes and against the flow, in this case in search of emotional cleansing. So this Christmas Day will be less a depressing EastEnders double-bill and more a dark weepy with an uplifting message à la It’s A Wonderful Life or Fairytale of New York - a perfect blend of light and shade. Happy Yuletide, everyone !


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