The Starry Times: Lunar Eclipse /Full moon

Today the moon is full, challenged and stressed, just before the lunar eclipse which occurs tomorrow (17th here in the southern hemisphere)
It is a special full moon, known as Guru Purnima in India – A good day to honour your teachers – those who have brought the light of awareness to darkness of ignorance.

Moon is watery, sensitive and flowing, and when it passes near, or is aspected by planets whose natures are totally opposite, our emotions respond to these vibrational changes. How we respond depends on how our relationship to our emotional selves are – how well we can manage stress, for example. When problems are not being dealt with internally, disruptive cosmic weather catalyses and moves things around in us – the tendency will be to blame anything and everything – but the source of disruption is within.

This is why it helps to know what the weather is going to be, so we can avoid making life harder for ourselves. If you know you have a tendency to be easily upset, then try and avoid making changes in life during unsettled periods. It can be very hard to avoid this, as sometimes the current and forces can be too strong. But, life is this proverbial river, and you are steering your ship. If the current is too strong, try dock yourself on the bank, and rest a while. Time Out.

As the moon moves through Sagittarius, meeting with saturn and ketu, it might be a depressive day for some, for others it may trigger insecurities, fears and anxieties. For others the day may not feel like much at all, but it could help focus the mind on the tasks at hand, allowing the emotions to cool off a little. Gemini and Sagg sun, moon and rising will be feeling this strongly.

The lunar eclipse occurs around 7:30am on the 17th, when the moon is in the first part of Capricorn. It will be aspected/opposed by mercury and mars in cancer, so this could ruffle some feathers and provoke some arguments. Beware of passive aggressive tendencies and unspoken words.
Eclipses unsettle the mind and emotions so try not to do anything important over these next couple of days.

This year has been huge for so many, as deaths, physical and symbolic have occurred, deep shedding of past selves, situations and patterns have revealed lost aspects of our true self. Ways of the past are dissolving, making way for the new which is still gestating. The obscuring and revealing of secrets has been a strong theme. As more onion rings peel off, in a seemingly unending cyclic journey, we wonder when does it stop?

Remember, moon is mind, and the mind has no limits. Once you decide to stop treading the waters of the mind, emotion and thoughts, once you stop analysing and picking apart every situation and start to move your vision toward dimensions that are inclusive of, yet beyond dualism, pathways become clearer, the next steps appear effortlessly.

It is a most delicate dance.

All that is not our true self always goes through a process of change. Focus on what is eternal – the pure light of the soul – the spirit – keep shining your light and you will never be lost.

Take it easy this week,

Have a read through my other posts to get a more in depth flavour of the year, and feel free to get in touch if you would like a consultation to understand how the planets and cosmic energies are affecting you.
Massive thanks to all my teachers, gurus past and present and a special thanks to my teacher Komilla Sutton.

With Love,
Darinka x

The Starry Times: Mercury Retrograde July 19′

Krishnagopala milking Nathdwara

So now, we have the second instalment of mercury retrograde for the year. It’s in the zodiac sign of Cancer, in the lunar mansion (nakshatra) Pushya.

Pushya is one of the most nourishing stars in the zodiac.

Its primary symbol is the cow’s udder – The cow nourishes and nurtures, in the wild, the humble cow is even known to nurture other species of animals. Milk is a primary food source with wonderful healing benefits, especially when it is given willingly from a cow. Today’s farming practices are exploitative & inhumane, however originally, there was enough milk to go around, for the calves and for humans. Pushya is like this, always open to sharing, caring and nourishing. It doesn’t judge. It is a star ruled by Saturn, so pushya takes this role seriously. It can feel at times, it has a duty to serve others, which can make it seem a little rigid and inflexible.

Since Saturn is currently dancing closely with Ketu, Mercury will be expressing this frustrating energy, however the retrograde can actually help facilitate looking at a situation that has been feeling stuck for a while – in a new way. Mars is also currently aggravating mercury, as they are in a close conjunction at the moment – there is a potential to cause arguments, so keep your cool and find new ways to communicate that are conducive to peace. Mars has a more challenging time in pushya, due to an antagonistic relationship with Saturn and Ketu – however conflict brings strength, crisis brings change and by allowing the ego to not dominate a situation, much progress can be made.

Mercury is the planet that governs the analytical and logical intellect, and communication abilities. Often retrogrades can help you to see things from another perspective. For practical and material affairs however, it’s best to avoid travelling and making too many plans during the retrograde seasons, otherwise be prepared for some kind of delays – especially this one, as Jupiter and Saturn are also retrograde. And, as usual, take care of your electronic things, back up, double check you sent that personal email to the right person, etc etc!

The sign cancer is ruled by moon and pushya is ruled by Saturn. The Saturn/Moon combination can feel heavy on the mind – practice detachment rather than fall into depressive states. Be detached from the emotions, while being present and accepting of your feelings. Watch your emotions come and go, rise and fall, but why identify with them? Are you really your emotions? Do they define you? Connect deeper within, beyond the temporary comings and goings of endless thought.

Find the gap between thought, emotion and feelings – Widen it. That is your presence, and power of choice – Let Mercury assist you to shift your thinking – try not allow mars’s antagonistic and aggressive vibration get in the way of compassionate communication. Use the fire of mars to focus your thinking, and express integrity in speech.

Check out : Non violent communication – Reading list!

Stay humble, stay light, true strength is in gentleness, one of the greatest gifts that pushya can inspire in us.
Feel free to get in touch if you would like a deeper insight into what is happening for you personally during these times.

I would like to honour and thank my teacher Komilla Sutton who has taught and supported my learning in Jyotish over the years. Thank you also to Barry Rosen, Vijay Goel, David Frawley and Dennis Harness.


The Starry Times: Eclipse Season July 2019

We have passed through the most intense time of the year. Who can feel some of the pressure lifted? Mars and mercury have moved out of the grips of Saturn and the nodal axis; our energy, direction and focus (mars) feels freer and our ability to think, analyse and process information (mercury) feels less restricted.

Key dates for July.

  • July 3rd – Total solar eclipse Gemini, Ardra Nakshatra @ 5:30am
  • July 17th – Full moon & Partial lunar eclipse
  • 8th July – Mercury goes retrograde. Expect disruptions in communications and travel plans so take care and plan ahead, avoid travelling on this day. With the conjunction of mars, tempers can fly easily, especially in the northern part of the globe where the summer is hot!
  • Mars + Mercury in conjunction most of July – exact conjunction on 9th July – But take extra care of communications/back up data from 7 – 10th.

Solar Eclipse – Gemini – Ardra Nakshatra

A total solar eclipse is when the moon passes in between the sun and earth, temporarily blocking the light of the sun, casting a shadow on earth. Over the millennia, eclipses have been shrouded with superstition and fear, yet the effects on the earth and on human physiology and psychology is very real, although many modern scientists rebuke any connection between eclipses and human nature.

Eclipses do affect us, some more than others. Perhaps some of you have been feeling unsettled or acting weird, or thinking strange things. It can be difficult to distinguish what is what, and the random thoughts that seem to barrage our mind.

It is generally not a good day to push forward on material plans and affairs. Avoid making deals and agreements over the eclipse time, as they may not last. Best to focus on more spiritual things such as letting go of baggage (on all levels), cleaning the house, as well as meditating, introspective and contemplative activities.

Some people may be feeling more anxiety than usual, and there is a tendency to avoid our self care routines. We need to support ourselves during these unsettled periods.

Eclipses tend to obscure and or reveal some things, sometimes if you are looking for something they can turn up around eclipse times. Earthly phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanic activity happens as well. This eclipse will take place in the nakshatra known as Ardra –connecting us to Rudra- the fierce and crying form of Shiva, the god of storms. So, this could be a stormy time for some folks, especially if you have prominent planets placed in this star, in gemini and/or saggitarius.

This particular eclipse may feel heavy and lethargic as the sun and moon will fall into the grips of the saturn/ketu/rahu opposition, greatly affecting the soul and mind – so we need to take extra care. Being an air sign, Gemini promotes mental activity and sometimes scattered thinking; too many things at once. Strange things may happen with electrics, communications may get confused, mishaps and misadventures are likely, so best to lay low and let the day unfold without needing to freak out too much 😉 Find some time to sit in the sun and have a chai. All will be fine.

More info on eclipses can be found here :

Full moon & Partial Eclipse 17th July – Uttara ashadha Nakshatra – Capricorn.

The full moon will culminate just in the early degrees of Capricorn in the star of Uttara Ashadha.

This day will cause some unsettling in the mind and emotions, this star can appear cool and detached, yet it deals with an inner struggle of materialism and asceticism. Again, not a day to push to hard with material plans and projects. Take it easy and try not to pressurise yourself.

More info on this full moon in coming articles.

Mercury Retrograde 8th July, Merc + Mars Conjunction – Pushya Nakshatra, Cancer.

Practical things: Back up your computers, get your files in order and double check communications before sending!

The second mercury retrograde instalment of 2019 begins 8th July brings its usual travel plans disruptions and delays. Mars is added to the watery mix as both these planets are in the sign of Cancer. This sign is notorious for its strong emotional nature – it feels, it expresses or represses its emotions. In this sign, mercury tends to analyse its feelings, mars tends to create passive aggressiveness, indirectly expressing its frustrations. With the retrograde and conjunction, it can add to an already tempestuous and tenuous situation. Keep your cool.

The nakshatra being activated is Pushya, ruled by Saturn. Saturn has an uncomfortable relationship with its emotions, often denying or repressing what needs to be acknowledged and felt. Mercury retrograde can ignite a different way of thinking so its a good time to explore your inner self, needs and unexpressed emotions. How do you really feel? What’s going on in that big beautiful heart of yours? Is there another way to see the same situation?

Pushya’s symbol is a cow’s udder, a circle and a flower. It is one of the most nurturing stars with a strong affinity for nurturing, family and security. Through discipline most things can be achieved and accomplished.

Saturn is quite stressed at the moment due to its tight conjunction with Ketu and being retrograde, so issues will be related quite strongly to the past, beliefs and values. (More info on Saturn & Ketu in previous articles) – This isn’t a time to cut corners as it wont work out. Maybe you thought you already dealt with something? This time is about peeling back another layer and going deeper. Remember all storms have an effect of clearing what is not structurally sound.

Many people follow astrology because they are looking to blame their circumstances and inner negativity upon – its easy to blame inanimate planets, and find another avenue out of taking responsibility for their life. It is much, much more difficult to face reality as it is, and to accept the situation in the here and now, without feeling like a victim, feeling guilty or disempowered.

The key here is responsibility. It seems to be synonymous with blame these days. Blaming people and situations only creates more disempowerment.

Responsibility is about accepting an acknowledging the reality of the here and now, not just our own singular version. This acceptance is what opens the door to change.

Acceptance is opposite to Saturn who by nature is resistant to change.

In the meantime, attend to what is important, and continue to choose courage to face and work with what is difficult or uncomfortable in your life. Things will pass, and, they will get better.

Feel free to get in touch if you would like a deeper insight into what is happening for you personally during these times.
I would like to honour and thank my teacher Komilla Sutton who has taught and supported my learning in Jyotish over the years. Thank you also to Barry Rosen, Vijay Goel, David Frawley and Dennis Harness.


The Starry Times: Shake, Rattle ‘n’ Roll -Full Moon Saggitarius

The Gate of Knowledge – Noa Knafo

Full moon today on a wet and cold and wintery Monday morning – at least here in Sydney …

During the day, moon will be traversing the tail of scorpio, having just passed it’s friend Jupiter who is retrograding in that part of the zodiac. By the early evening the moon will have moved into Sagittarius, soon to join the troubled oppositions.

The 18th and 19th could be emotionally intense days for some people, so take care of your mind. In my experience of observing my mental health patterns over the years and the lunar +planetary movements, it is very easy to predict when the ups and downs occur – moon is mind, and contrary to popular thought, the mind is not the brain although they are closely related. Vedic sciences are sciences of conciousness, designed to awaken the inner being, freeing us from the grips of our own thoughts, emotions and mental patterns. The mental churning that so many of us struggle with in modern society, in my opinion is due to an inner existential cry of the human soul – that we are so, so, much greater than the current paradigm presents to us.

And so great shakings happen – disguising great awakenings – At the very least, we can deeply trust the process and the knowing that great chaos often precedes great changes.

This full moon occurs in the lunar constellation Mula – 0- 13’20 mins of Saggitarius. There is a jupiter/ketu undercurrent to this lunar vibe, sagg is ruled by jupiter who is retrograding in scorpio currently, and Mula is ruled by Ketu – the separative and more spiritually inclined south node of the moon.

Since Ketu is locked in a tight conjunction with saturn, opposed by mars, rahu and mercury, this moon is bringing an emotionally charged vibration to the surface. Ultimately how we are dealing with things is going to determine the outcome. Planets don’t really cause stuff, the cosmic movements are reflecting what is already happening in your life. If something is so ready to fall apart because for many years there have been unresolvable problems and you have been dealing with the situation with bandaids, well, maybe it’s time to let go, or at the least, take a break, get some spiritual perspective on things.

Say you have all this happening in your 1st and 7th axis of self and others, your whole sense of identity and who you think you are, as well as all your relationships to everyone else around you is going through a huge transformation, maybe you don’t know who you are anymore and old patterns falling away may make you feel like you are on very unstable grounds.

If it is happening in your 4th/10th house axis, issues around home and work will be going through the process, and the exact details will be evident in your life. Maybe its time to think about getting a new job/home, OR finding a way to make your current one better. The key is to always strive for the highest common denominator in these difficult situations, rather than just react impulsively (as i’ve done on so, so many occasions – rarely works in favour of the situation! ) – Be the bigger person and choose what is right for the situation as a whole rather than serving your own agenda, solely.

Mula is a star associated with Nirriti, the goddess of destruction. Mula also connects us to the roots of things. Since we are eternal beings of light, who are we really? what is really being destroyed? Only that which does not serve our highest purpose. So, as painful or confusing as things may be at the moment, let things be and try adopt an attitude of detachment, practice observing what arises within you without reacting. I can guarantee every single time you choose to observe than react to the strong emotions, and just acknowledge their existence, the easier and easier it becomes, until these things stop bothering you. Definitely not an overnight thing, but a gradual shift in consciousness. You cannot force the flower to bloom and you can’t “fix” yourself overnight, but maybe see your mind like a garden (as the wonderful monk Thich Naht Than says) and cultivate your mind -garden, be vigilant and dedicated to your healing. Be Gentle. Follow the threads of thought and emotions back to their roots … Personally, I find acknowledging and accepting your reality will create the necessary space for authentic healing and transformation.

Take it easy, and feel free to get in touch if you would like a deeper insight into what is happening for you personally during these times.

I would like to honour and thank my teacher Komilla Sutton who has taught and supported my learning in Jyotish over the years. Thank you also to Barry Rosen, Vijay Goel, David Frawley and Dennis Harness.

With Love, Darinka x

The Starry Times 14.6.19

Morning everyone ,

Today we have the exact conjunction of Mars, Rahu, Saturn and Ketu @ 24 degrees Gemini/Sagg– with Mercury close by. There is a Saggitarius full moon on Monday and Sun about to shift into Gemini on the 16h of June.

This axis is potent! A wonderful soup of two main aspects of our mind, the intellect and the faculty of wisdom.

The effects will of course vary, according to who is experiencing it, for some this can be an absolute breaking point, the pressure may feel too much, for others, health issues such as infections, blood related disorders, lung/respiratory issues, bone, joint and hip problems might be highlighted. You may be feeling hyper energised (mars/rahu) or excited, wanting to do everything all at once without much forethought. Its an excellent time to focus and apply your energy on some project(s) that need your discipline and attention.

The particular degrees that are highlighted are Purva Ashadha ruled by Venus, and Punarvasu ruled by Jupiter. Venus is in Taurus, and Jupiter is Retrograding in Scorpio. So, Jupiter and Venus are also aspecting eachother! What a combination. What an opportunity to break down and break through.

What is ready to shift in your life?

These are both the great benefics and gurus of the cosmos. Jupiter is teacher of the ‘gods’ and Venus, the guru of the ‘asuras -demons’ – In the mythologies jupiter and venus are not said to get along – mostly due to their different ideologies. While jupiter dislikes no one, there is tension in this opposition. Jupiter is about purity and higher values, where venus is happy to indulge in the senses. Neither is the right or wrong way, but it is a tension that can sometimes struggle to find a common ground.

In daily life this manifests in a number of ways, however Jupiter can give us the wisdom to use our desires and senses in the right way, leading us toward self realisation and a deeper relationship to the sacredness of our lives on earth, rather than just temporary sensory indulgences for the sake of them.

Clashes in beliefs and ideologies are behind much of the current tensions, who we are, what our purpose (or non purpose) is, deep inner churning and questioning. How long do we want to live the way we are living? Are we just recycling our human experiences? Efforts forgotten and repeated, generation after generation? Big questions are good to ask now. Keep asking, keep inquiring, question yourself most of all, your bias, beliefs and assumptions, doubt your doubts and keep on asking. Don’t expect an answer right away, but keep questioning, pondering, wondering, things will become clearer.

What is your greatest fear?
What are you ready to let go of?
What is ready to shift?
Who are you, beyond your mind, thoughts, emotions, beliefs and memories?
Who is the thinker that thinks?

Stuff to contemplate…
Take it easy next few days…

Much love,
Darinka x

The Starry Times – June 2019 – Cosmic Clash

Jean Giraud

Hey Everyone –

Planets are approaching, encroaching, getting closer and closer to their cosmic clash –so be mindful of what you think, say and do during the month of June. All that we send out comes back to us.
The collective external world is a divine mirror; every other living being reflects aspects of the universal self. If you do not like what you experiencing in your life, take a deep, long look within. Not with judgement, but with detached, compassionate observation, investigation, contemplation.

This is the art of Atma Vichara – Self inquiry. If we do not know/own our self & shadow, it will continue to appear in the outside world.

What’s going on right now?

  • Mercury has moved into Gemini on the 1st of June, approaching Mars and Rahu, as well as slowing down to move into retrograde on the 8th of July.
  • Saturn is retrograde in Sagg, Jupiter’s sign, until 18 September.
  • Jupiter is retrograde in Scorpio, Mars’s sign until 11/8 August.
  • Ketu, (sth node of moon) is locked in an exact conjunction with Saturn, destabilising and restructuring many core elements of society including religious establishments. Also karmic & past life issues need to be dealt with. This tight conjunction breaks in October.
  • Venus moves into its own sign of Taurus on 5th May
  • Moon is stressed from 5-7 May as it passes through the saturn/ketu/mars/rahu/mercury opposition.

The good news is…

Venus is strong in Taurus and aspected by Jupiter, the great guru- so relationships can be benefited at this time. The planets are always a little troubling, so its important to look for the blessings in situations. Often our thinking makes things much worse than they are. During the turbulence, take time to seek out good company and do nice things for you and your loved one. Support the positive and sail through the storms. Jupiter is also aspecting Venus, so relationships could benefit from applying higher knowledge, wisdom and inspiration. Always treat your partner as more important than yourself – humility and devotion is key to love!

Mercury is a very important planet to be mindful of, over these next two months as it is a highly adaptable and fluid energy, taking on the quality of where-ever its and what-ever it’s placed with. Mercury will approach Mars and Rahu, who are volatile, ego driven and naturally ambitious energies. The great clash occurs on the 14th of June, when they are at @ 24 degrees gemini, in opposition to a retrograding Saturn and Ketu @ 24 degrees of Saggitarius, – complete with a bright, yet volatile full moon!

What this means is…
The need to pay extra attention to our internal dialogue and how we are communicating, how we are thinking and what we are feeling. Mercury as planet of communication will bring difficult situations forward, to deal with. Saturn’s retrograde with ketu is making us both need to take responsibility yet also to bail from our duties too. 

17th and 18th June are dates to take care as well, as Mercury will then move across the degree point of mars/rahu, amplifying any drama.

On the 21st, mercury moves into Cancer, leaving the intensity of the opposition, however Mars will join it, and the flavour of July will mostly be dominated by the retrograde of mercury, making several clashes with its enemy mars, who will be in its weakest sign. Added to this soup will be a couple of eclipses, revealing and/or obscuring situations. Try and remain still, avoid getting into arguments and confrontations, and making any rash decisions.

As we can see, the months of June and July are packed, volatile, slow, frustrating, potentially dangerous, powerfully transformative, very good for spiritual pursuits and hard work/focus/discipline.

The Gemini/Sagittarius axis is strongly highlighted at the moment. People are questioning many things on many levels now. Beliefs, existential crisis, big changes are being felt in many different ways. Many folks are waking up to realities beyond the rat race cycle of capitalism, and questioning their deeper purpose in life. The greater the shaking, the greater the need for change – perhaps the need for reconnection to our spiritual selves and divine heritage.

The motion of the planets only reflect and mirror what is happening in your own lives. The planets are ‘karmic seizers’ – as indicated by the sanskrit word “graha” – meaning to seize, hold, grasp. Our free will is such that we are free to act how we choose, but we are bound to the consequences of our actions.

If you are someone who takes time to connect to your eternal self, takes care of your body, actively cultivates a peaceful and calm nature, spends time in good, uplifting company, meditates, breathes consciously, has a balanced routine and lifestyle, eats modestly, is vegetarian or eats very little meats, sleeps at the right time, is motivated at least partially by altruistic and selfless desires, expresses gratitude, humility and grace, you are not describing a saint – you are describing a sensible human being. These actions and others, cultivate tranquility, balance & ecstasy in the life by affecting the subtle energies which govern the functioning of the mind and body.

Most, if not all of our personal issues stem from improper living and thinking. Developing good habits and attitudes, avoids many problems in life.

Owning your Shadow

Every situation, every feeling, thought, emotion, sense, impression, idea, reaction, response, is a teacher – How you interpret an event is a reflection of self, of your inner relationship to yourself. If you see someone is being a jerk, how are you being one in life, to yourself , or aspect of yourself?

If someone seems kind, lovely and sweet, Own it! – What you recognise is within, all shades, tones, colours and hues of the human experience. Rising above binary thinking of right and wrong allows you to expand into the vastness of universal and cosmic intelligence of which is encoded in our dna, genetics and cellular memory.

Moon is the emotional mind. The subtle quality of moon means that it is very susceptible to external influence; its nature is receptive, reflective and shadowy. As it is the fastest moving astrological body in our solar system, it is never still. Neither are our minds. Thoughts are always coming and going. Where do they come from ?

We need to be aware of ‘the dark side of the moon’ – the subconscious self; blindspots, hidden aspects and karmic residues. In the gap between action and reaction – While you cannot control other people’s behaviour, you can master your responses to a situation. How you choose to respond is everything.

However you view things, your perception can be changed. So much is about our mindset – to change it, is not easy, but the most rewarding. The greatest work of art is the transformation of the self, in-sight, in having new eyes, seeing differently, that which was once irrevocably certain and fixed.

Even the most rigid of structures eventually change.

Time, the greatest healer,
Patience, the greatest skill to master, and the most potent medicine during these turbulent times.

Jai Shani Dev
Om Namah Shivaya!
Om Durgaayaa Namah!

Take it easy over these couple of months and feel free to get in touch if you would like a deeper insight into what is happening for you personally during these times

X Darinka

The Starry Times: Mood/Moon Update – No Hurry, No Worry!

The Tiger – Vehicle for Goddess Durga!

Hey Everyone,

Heads up :
Moon is stressed from 5-7 June, today and tomorrow.(Moon is our emotional mind and instincts)

It’s moving through Gemini, currently in the star of Ardra – this star is associated with storms, (hello Sydney, we are having a deluge), with the goddess Durga, its ruled by Rahu and generally is a star that can promote both conflict and intellectual brilliance.

We have entered into two months of challenging energies where many issues from the past are being brought to the surface like an ugly pimple with a fat white head, and stuff is ready to pop… well, maybe – unless you have been living in a cave and not creating any life ripples, since, ever….

However, if you have been mindful, cultivating awareness and generally not creating too much fuss in life, it hopefully wont be too intense, although everyone will be affected by these times, as the energies are not easy. Situations can arise that create unsettled feelings. 

Mantra – no hurry, no worry! 

Today and tomorrow the moon is particularly stressed as it passes through gemini, activating the saturn/ketu/mars/rahu/mercury opposition. 

Is there someone who is just waiting to pick a fight with you? Or is that person you? Don’t buy into it – be aware this is a very heady and intellectual vibration, mars and mercury are not friends, so conversations could be prickly, Rahu is throwing smoke around obscuring the truth, mercury is strong in its own sign, so it can amplify the need to be right, especially with mars adding fire to words. 

You get the picture … Should we all go hide under a rock? No, we all have to face life and our duties, but we can learn to be more mature and emotionally intelligent in disagreements. Let’s not all be like the US and find non – reasons to send missiles. Put off any important discussions for another time. 

Alternatively, this can be an exciting and intellectually stimulating time, full of inspiration and visions… just make sure your ideas are grounded and not based on reactionary motivations. 


What is Astrology? Shadow & Light Pt.2 – Moon, Mind, Maya & Karma

Kimiko Yoshida

The sanskrit word for planet is ‘graha’ – meaning to grasp, to hold, to seize.
It is known that the planets seize us; our minds, based on our karmas, and the desire is to be free of that.

Do we respond consciously or compulsively?
This is the question.

It is said that a weak person is ruled by their stars, but a wise person rules their stars …

There is a common assumption suggesting that astrology says our lives and destinies are fixed according to some random shapes and woo-woo in the sky made up by intellectually inferior human beings of the past, in an attempt to make sense of a mysterious and inhospitable world.

This vision of the past is of course, far from the truth. Astrology, in its simplest definition, is a way of predicting events which occur in space and time. The underlying basis of jyotish understands how the 5 elements comprise every aspect of the physical and non physical worlds, into a highly scientific and precise way of working with the entire human being, cosmos and life on earth.

Being a limb of the Veda, jyotish cites no author, no god and no judgement. Can you hear the witches burning for saying the same things?
Judgement is a key, central psychological theme around which our western society revolves.
Generation after generation have been traumatised over concepts of sin, heaven and hell. These ideologies have twisted truths, disempowering individuals through fear and guilt.

Conversely, responsible action is a central theme in most indigenous and eastern cultures.
There is no external force judging our behaviour. Humans create their own heavens and hells within the mind and in the world; we are not punished for our actions, we are punished by our actions.
Karma is not an idea nor a concept based on any moralistic grounds. Karma is a sanskrit word meaning action. Actions create reactions – (more karma) and we react/respond to the reaction, thereby creating more karma. Karma is simply the law of causation. There is no judgement. Karma is a fact of life.

We use Jyotish/astrology to understand the karmas that have led to this particular lifetime, to illuminate and evolve beyond our basic natures, so we can take better actions, improve our lives, and alter our futures. You are free to put your hand in the fire, but you are not free to not be burned.
You cannot escape the consequences of your actions, so take responsible action; discover the laws of nature and find your harmonic balance, every soul has their unique soul story to unravel and grow through. The way of living in harmony with nature and with ourselves is rooted in direct experience and clear perception with ourselves, earth and the cosmic forces. ⠀
To understand this, we need to understand what is Mind, and what is Maya.

The mind is not a conscious entity or intelligence, but a programmable subconscious reaction to stimuli. “ – Dr David Frawley

Yogis and yoginis have been developing vedic sciences for thousands of years through self inquiry and atma vichara – the science of investigation. They understood that the nature of the mind was like a monkey, scattered, susceptible and vulnerable to outside forces – an untrained mind is one that is easily manipulated, affected and unstable. In order to develop higher mental faculties, consciousness and clear perception, it makes sense to start with the instrument with which we perceive reality – The Mind.

To study the mind in vedic astrology, we look to see where the moon is placed in the chart. The vedic and chinese calendars revolve around the lunar calendar. It is the moons’ motion, its waxing and waning cycles, and its nodes that we study in order to grasp how our mind functions in this particular lifetime. Stresses to the moon indicate karmic backlog that we need to sort out in this life. Some of us have to work harder to manage our moons/moods/minds. Does this mean we are cursed? No – it means we can now take karmic responsibility and cultivate right living, to generate harmony, balance and healing within the mind. This takes time, patience, infinite self compassion and help from self realised/uplifting people & communities.

It is as simple, and as difficult as that.

Our perception of the world through our senses is what is called ‘maya’ in Indian thinking. Often wrongly translated as illusion, implying that nothing is real. A burning house is a burning house and we need to act accordingly. What Maya is referring to, is the world of appearances; things are often not what they seem to be – so we need to investigate and explore deeply into what we perceive, and the nature of the mind & senses; how we perceive and filter reality based on personal/cultural/societal bias.

Breakthroughs happen when we develop our consciousness and awareness, choosing to respond rather than react compulsively. This is the essence of yoga. It is very difficult to do. Managing one’s emotions through the entire range of natural methods can balance the internal chemistry without having to use drugs. Any real, lasting & permanent change in our psyches can only occur when we are ready to make the full commitment to our evolution and healing, when we practice daily, and take responsibility for ourselves and our minds, by not reacting to every thought and emotion that grips us. This is the starting point.

The revolution of our world will be on an individual level, an inner shift of perception, a ‘spiritual awakening’ – if you like, when you realise you always have had the power and courage to choose to respond to the same stimuli, but in a radically different way.
Even when there is a limited choice, choice is still there. This has been seen, even in the most trying of circumstances.

“The boiling water that hardens an egg, softens a potato. Its not the conditions but what you are made of”

Stuff to think about … Comments/questions below !

With Love, Darinka X

I have studied Jyotish for a number of years . If you like what you read and would like to know more about your own chart and how the planetary energies are affecting you personally, I offer consultations in person or over skype.



The Starry Times: Brief cosmic weather update – Saturn/Ketu/Moon

Art by Amy Judd

Soooo moon is currently a little depressed last night and throughout today – after being full and bright and happy in scorpio joining its great friend Jupiter, the mood has shifted and who is feeling a little withdrawn and internal, either ruminating on some past thing or feel sad, listless or even floaty or flat?

That would be influenced by Saturn and the south node of the moon. Saturn places restrictions and highlights our limitations, Ketu separates us from things. The moon, being mind and emotions could mean that some may not be wanting to feel very much these next few days, and that’s very much ok – avoid making any major decisions till after Friday morning. Moon is our intuition and feeling state, so take this time to use the emotional detachment to observe and reflect, there is no need to grasp onto every emotion and thought that visits your mind… it will pass, it is just a visitor.

I am still in the middle of writing about how astrology actually works, according to my own studies, research and observation over the years, but in short, the planets’s movements affect our subtle energies according to their/our inner elements. Since we are wholly interconnected to all of existence through our causal, mental, emotional and physical bodies, our internal feeling states are always subject to the push and pulls of the planetary motions. The yogic sciences are designed to illuminate our true nature beyond the limitations of personality, allowing us to  become less affected by external forces.

We are slowly approaching a planetary war on the 14th of June, complete with retrogrades, meaning that soon the planets who’s energies are inharmonious with each other will be in a highly antagonistic relationship. Here on earth this translates as a time where we ought to pay extra, extra attention on the roads especially, to our tempers, to frustrations which lead to impulsive and reckless actions, anger that seethes and erupts, and generally things not going the way we want them to.
It is also a time which is conducive to working hard, finishing off projects, or seeking closure on the past, staying humble, doing the inner work and making friends with our dragons and demons. For most of this year the theme is about letting go – exploring the inner self, surrendering deeply into what scares, hurts or irritates us, fanning the flames of anger with the coolness of calm and deep breathing, of quiet nights, long baths and deep meditations.

In keeping with the letting go theme this year, what are you ready to drop? What has become too heavy? If your back hurts, ask yourself why you are carrying all those burdens? Be free, have the courage to let it go and be contented, in the here and now.

More soon,
Love, Darinka X

I have studied Jyotish for a number of years and have gained so much from applying the insights and knowledge to my life. To me, life is an adventure, an exploration of the universe, self and others. If you like what you read and would like to know more about your own chart and how the planetary energies are affecting you personally, I offer consultations in person or over skype.

The Starry Times : Saturn/Ketu 2019 Breakdowns & Breakthroughs

Jean Giraud / Moebius

Key Dates:

11th April – 11th August – Jupiter’s retrograde in Scorpio
30th April – 18th September – Saturn’s retrograde in Sagittarius
7th May – 23rd June – Mars in Gemini
14 – 16 June – peak opposition with Saturn/Ketu
16 – 20 June – Mars/Mercury/Rahu conjunction

           The days become shorter, as we move further into autumn, here in the southern hemisphere. Our favourite taskmaster Saturn is retrograde and conjoined Ketu in Sagittarius, continuing to re-structure our deepest core values and beliefs for the rest of the year. Jupiter’s brief dip into sagittarius amplified the changing structures and ideologies that are ripe to shift and evolve.
As Jupiter continues its retrograde through Scorpio, we are seeing more and more breakdowns in old establishments of power, and a greater revelation of the truth; of secrets that have been held for a long time. Jupiter continues to reveal the poisons embedded in our own beings, catalysing healing and growth.

What revelations and insights have you discovered in your own life?
What has outgrown it’s form?
What structures are breaking down?
Where are you ready to jump, and evolve?

April 30th – Saturn Retrograde.
Retrograde times are times to reflect on one’s choices and actions. How they have been effective or ineffective? Normally it causes it’s usual delays, frustrations, limitations and extra responsibilities, but what makes this retrograde more challenging, is the tight conjunction with Ketu, (south node of the moon). This combination is bringing tough karmic lessons from the past that have an opportunity to bring much healing and growth. The key is to stay humble and open. It’s actually, a really good time, over the next few months, to work hard, tie up loose ends and finish up projects that have fallen on the wayside. 

Saturn and Ketu are inherently opposite energies – Saturn is the taskmaster, showing us where we need to fulfil our karmic responsibilities. Ketu acts like mars. It is sharp, firey and promotes detachment.
Ketu links us to our deep unconscious. It doesn’t want to accept responsibility, it wants moksha, it rejects the attachments associated with worldly life. So there is a great churning in our psyches, catalysing much inner tension. The key to work with this is to accept our responsibilities with detachment. We can make intelligent decisions, rather than act impulsively and rashly when the pressure rises. This Saturn/Ketu conjunction occurs in the dharmic sign Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter. It is a fire sign and connects us to spiritual vision. It’s desire is to seek for truth, wisdom, knowledge and philosophy; to expand it’s sight across every terrain.

7th May – Mars moves into Gemini.
14th – 16th of June – Peak conjunction and planetary ‘war’
18th – 20th June – Exact mars/mercury conjunction.

When Mars moves into Gemini on the 7th of May, issues that have been seething beneath the surface will begin to percolate. The most potent days/times will be between 14-16 June, when Mars joins Rahu opposing Saturn and Ketu at 24 degrees Gemini/Sagittarius. Added to this, Mercury, will be joining the party in Gemini for the month of June, taking on the qualities, and amplifying the energies of the moment. This time more than ever, we will need to take extra special care and deeply improve our emotional intelligence and communication skills. We must learn to respond with maturity, patience, wisdom and perspective, as the going gets tough.

 Everyone is going to feel the effects of these combinations in one way or another – the key is in how you choose to deal with it. Are you a victim of circumstance or a master of your mind? You have a choice in every moment.
Take note of the dates and avoid planning anything major around that time.

While we cannot control other people’s actions, we can be extra mindful to not make silly decisions, or decisions based on temporary emotions. Most of our fights and arguments occur due to an entitled sense of self that needs to be right. You don’t need to win every battle, beware of passive aggressiveness. Check in with yourself. Are you speaking in a way that is causing arguments?

Speaking your needs clearly and avoiding projection onto the other person saves so many unnecessary quarrels. Try and take a step down to see things from another perspective. So often we get stuck arguing about tiny details, that when looked at from a bigger picture, are quite insignificant. This is one of the lessons of the Sag/Gemini axis.

When the mind is stressed and tired it cannot function properly, and what we need most during difficult times, is a sharp mind and clear thinking. Your responsibility to yourself is to set healthy boundaries, avoid unnecessary extra demands. Take time out for you. If you can, wait till after July before making any major changes.

Suggested reading : Non-violent communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg & The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Saturn’s master lesson is Patience.
Master infinite patience and you are a master at life. Trust the confusing, non-linear process, and the mud will settle. Let go of the need to be in control, surrender your agenda, know everything will happen in divine timing, there are just some things that we cannot control. We all have our karmas to face. The right path is never easy which is why we all like to take shortcuts. But sometimes we just have to put our boots on and go through the mud.

Many people may find these next few months extra challenging as we are being forced to look at ourselves and change our thinking and behaviour, if we want to improve and change our lives.
Saturn governs all that we don’t like – and the more we resist a situation, the more unbearable it seems to become. Saturn’s lessons take time, he is a slow planet, and does not rush things. This is why in astrology Mars is Saturn’s “enemy”, we often rush foolhardy with our egos (mars) into situations, often making them worse than needed.

Accidents happen when we try to force and agenda that is not ready to move. Whenever we try to force or push something, it rarely works out with the satisfaction we are seeking. So this time more than ever, take the back seat, mend the metaphorical holes in your lives, go seek therapy, do an art class, spend time in solitude; contemplate yourself.

Despite the million emails that need replying, underneath the piles of clothes on the floor, amidst the cacophony of children screaming and the airplanes flying, life is still moving at the pace that life moves at. So tune into the natural rhythm and flow – and attune to the deeper currents that are moving through you too.

The inner spring inside each person is what truly nourishes our souls. Spend more time in nature, breath consciously, find your meditation groove… Things will ease up by the end of July.

Time to practice our spiritual muscles! 
Love Darinka

I have studied Jyotish for a number of years and have gained so much from applying the insights and knowledge to my life. To me, life is an adventure, an exploration of the universe, self and others. If you like what you read and would like to know more about your own chart and how the planetary energies are affecting you personally, I offer consultations in person or over skype.