Mauli Rituals at Swaminarayan Temple

The Swaminaryan Temple in Neasden, London

With the end of October coming up and November just around the corner, there are many key festivals on the horizon; significiantly Diwali. While the festival of lights is the focus of this post, I want to mention Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and Samhain (Halloween), as there is a thread through astrology that unites them all.

Many of you can testify that there have been tremendous energetic forces at work this entire year. Ushering in the New Year of 2016, the planetary forces will be getting even more intense. The powerful Lunar eclipse in September was very much like a funeral pyre removing large heaps of karma (which is not at all comfortable in most cases) and many of you may have had direct experiences in your life confirming this.

You may have also felt the energetic shift which was quite internalising and liberating. If you were listening to your inner voice, you may have felt the promise of something new, or a great change on the horizon. Eclipses are much like a window into our individual karma as well as the collective karma that connects us. Over the next few months, the planetary vibrations will continue to shine a spotlight on areas that need to be reformed or transformed and what we need to reconnect with; that light that has been lost in our lives.

Martin Luther King, Jr. has said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” This statement is timeless and even more relevant to the next few months and the New Year as many of us will be waking up (slowly but surely) to our personal responsibility in the direction of the collective consciousness. We are all drops of the same Ocean and if there is suffering in one portion of this Ocean that is neglected, that very same suffering will eventually engulf the entire circumference.

We will all begin to observe, slowly, that our decisions have much more of an affect on our surroundings than we previously imagined. The activation of consciousness that is taking place this year and that will intensify next year, will help us all to become increasingly aware that we cannot shut out the suffering of others for our own convenience. More and more of us will awaken to the fact that the injustices around us are not only a personal insult, but a blow to all humanity.

Where the wealth of true justice and the treasure of pure, unselfish love is found, the Goddess will be at the center in one of Her many expressions. Whether She is in the form of Mother Sita, the beloved of Sri Ram, who became the excuse for the downfall of Ravana’s kingdom, or as Mother Durga, the embodiment of Victory (victory over the darkness and inertia of egoism), or Mother Lakshmi the embodiment of devotion itself, in which all goals can be achieved, or even as Mahakali, the mysterious one who compassionately ends the cycle of death and rebirth; She holds specific importance in all of the celebrations listed above.

As I am not a religious scholar, I will not go into detail here other than what is significant astrologically and how that directly relates to us. In astrology, that which changes the most is the Moon. She is seen to represent increase and growth as well as change. She continues to wax and wane, expressing different moods. She is one of the feminine planets in astrology, along with Venus who is equally important during these holidays. The Sun, Moon and Venus are all very important during Diwali and their positions play a big role in assisting our minds to acknowledge the significance of the drama between dark and light, good and bad and the triumph of truth over falsehood.

There is great value found in the battle for justice, the struggle for independence and breaking free from oppression. For those of you who have fought for a great cause, you can attest that the ability to participate in the battle itself in some way is rewarding. Without the steps, you have no ladder! The little steps that we take to reach the height of self knowledge (light or the Sun) cannot be overlooked. The Moon, who is always changing and Venus, who is always mirroring and relating, are key players on the field. They soften our hearts, they let us see with the eyes of humility, hear with the ear of love and connect us to the light (truth) of the Sun, the Soul, which is unity.

This eternal conflict not only takes place in the physical world. It’s biggest arena is within us. Our moral code is challenged many times throughout life. We find ourselves at the crossroads every so often so that our consciousness has a chance to acknowledge the true over the false, the real over the superficial and distinguish what truly has value.

This November, the theme will definitely be pointed towards the softening of the hard-shell of our personal ego, the part we don’t let anything penetrate. The victorious Goddess within us will be activated to just enough of a degree where we feel Her stirring, challenging those things in our lives that we have known for a while keep us selfishly motivated. The trees that have grown in the shade of the ego will begin to receive a different kind of gentle light. There is a saying by Lao Tzu, “Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This clearly shows the principle of softness overcoming hardness.” Be prepared for the next couple of months, as many of our rough edges, the places our ego has become most comfortable, will be challenged by the awakening of the light of love within, the Goddess, who lives in all of us as at the base of the spine in the form of sacred Kundalini.

This is an excellent season to donate healing to others, to not only purify ourselves but to offer the same privilege to those close to us, or anyone who may benefit. It is also a perfect time to practice Kriya Yoga, to be initiated into the practice or to become more aware of the esoteric and scientific mechanics behind it. The removal of past, clinging karma will be a theme and Kriya Yoga offers a path to make this process a bit smoother.

It is also a time to release previous harsh judgements, or sadly, even releasing those people in your life who have been unjust or harsh towards you, who refuse to shift into a new vibration along with you. It’s time to realign ourselves with the light in our lives which shines through those people and things that have lasting, true value. There could not be a better time to help those in need through sharing our knowledge, practicing charity, social work or reaching out a helping hand in general.

Everyone's battle is all of our battle. The Festival of Light, the triumph of truth over delusion, can be celebrated by taking an active role in life in whatever way we intrinsically know we should be. Liberating the great Mother from the burden she is carrying is the responsibility of all, not one. But as a part of the whole, we must start with ourselves. So I now close by bowing to the light of pure awareness within you, the god and goddess within you, uniting us all.

Our gratitude goes out to Eve James of eveofastrology for her illuminating take on welcoming in Diwali and the light within.

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