May 25th, 2020

The Spatial Quandary of Kala Sarpa Yoga

In India there is an astrological term that corresponds to our current pandemic-related claustrophobia.

This cosmic configuration is called the Kala Sarpa Yoga.

I’m not a Vedic astrologer but I’d asked my colleague Kate Petty about our current exaggerated sky pattern last month and she mentioned how, within Indian astrology, the pattern is considered extreme and perhaps inauspicious  — and that got my head whirling. And so I did some research.

Kala Sarpa Yoga is generally studied in natal astrology and relates to a condition where the seven planets that are worked with in Vedic astrology (Sun, Moon, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury) are trapped between Rahu (the Moon’s North Node) and Ketu (the Moon’s South Node).

Of course, modern Western astrology also includes Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in the pantheon. And this is why when I first started to consider our current sky pattern — where the Nodes have locked all of the solar system into one half of the zodiac, I was struck by the pattern’s literal correlation to the COVID pandemic and the feeling that — well, people feel trapped — frozen in time.

Think of it metaphorically: Picture a pie where all ten pieces of the pie are crammed into just one-half of the pie plate— instead of being evenly dispersed in the circle.

Just about anyone you talk to nowadays would acknowledge this feeling of restricted disproportion. It’s like we are forced into viewing the world through a pair of glasses where one of the lenses is blacked out or a blinder is in place on one side of the frames. Our ability to remain objective is severely compromised.

Kala means time, Sarpa means Serpent and Yoga means combination. So we could read Kala Sarpa Yoga, when considered within mundane (world-focused) astrology, as global consciousness trapped into one segment of time.

In Vedic astrology the Moon’s Nodes are based on a snake metaphor, whereas in Western astrology they are aligned with the image of a dragon. The Nodes in both systems are highly charged points that mark the eclipse cycles, and if you think of time as an actual entity — not just a conceptual creation — the Nodes would mark the entrance and exit points of force, within time’s body.

This is a topic for another article, but I’ll just say quickly that it was Rudolph Steiner‘s explanation of solar and lunar eclipses that made me reconsider the Moon’s Nodes in a different light.

What’s interesting is that the Kala Sarpa Yoga began to move into exactitude about a month before the Covid-19 pandemic was acknowledged as an encroaching and unavoidable health crisis.

In fact just as Mars passed the South Node in Capricorn on February 25th, the CDC announced that Americans should prepare for an actual pandemic. Alerting us that: “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more a question of exactly when.”

So the ability to escape (Mars) the oncoming societal matrix (Capricorn), was lost once Mars moved past the South Node and joined all of the other planets in the Kala Sarpa Yoga corral.

How long will the arrangement remain in place?

Well, that’s the upbeat news. On May 27 Mercury will conjunct and then pass beyond the North Node in Gemini. Although minuscule, this should feel like a shift in our awareness as the tiny planet begins to enliven the opposite hemisphere of space.

This shift will become more emphatic when the Summer Solstice on June 20 is met with a New Moon at zero degrees of Cancer — celebrating, you could say, the Sun’s escape from the confines of the Kala Sarpa Yoga too.

In India where astrology is more interwoven into daily life, folks will make literal gestures to establish resonance with the larger cycles of time and nature. They might wear certain gemstones and pieces of clothing to consciously acknowledge a particular astrological moment. Westerners might see this as superstition, but this is because we’ve drifted away from an understanding of resonance and the rituals that compliment or assuage cosmic conditions.

So, what might you do to counter this feeling of being compressed?

With such a radical hemisphere disparity having been in effect for such a long stretch — all of March, April and most of May — I’ve suggested to my clients that they engage with an alchemical exercise to work with the spirit of the times — which, you have to admit haven’t felt very spirited.

The notion is to bring together two disparate parts of your nature, a schism that might have become more evident through your lockdown. This exercise is one way to work with that condition. A client of mine said that this reminds her of something Martha Stewart would have you do, but fuck it — if it works — who cares, right?

Get out a good-sized piece of paper and draw a line down the center of the page.

You are going to compile two lists. On the left side make a note of your various skills, gifts, and proclivities – write down at least six of them. Focus on your traits and talents that you feel good about, take pride in.

And then in the opposite column make a list of deficiencies — or as I call them ‘blind spots’ – these would be situations that you hide in the back of your head. Things like unfinished or stalled projects. Or maybe you’re avoiding a particular relationship that needs attention. Or perhaps you need to take care of back taxes.

Finally — and you can’t get a better fresh start than this — on the New Moon on June 20 pick something on the right side of the page that you promise you will accomplish.

Pick one, don’t get over-enthused and select a bunch of aims because if you do chances are you won’t accomplish any of them.

And then evaluate one of your attributes on the left side of your list and commit to merging that unique skill with your ‘blind spot’ selection from the inferior side of your nature.

As soon as you do this you will notice a shift in your psyche. Don’t try to figure it out.

Making a gesture like this will start to rearrange and counter the imbalance of the Kala Sarpa Yoga — you will feel more and more space opening up for you internally; even if you’re still in some version of lockdown, either literally or within a complex situation that’s jammed up.

Stay with this project until you see tangible results on the Full Moon on — are you ready for it? — Independence Day — on July 4th. I mean come on, we can’t get more astro-literalized that that.

A closing note: Several of the heavy-hitting planets like Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto now appear retrograde in the Zodiac. This means more of their power is present. When planets appear to move backward they are closer to the Earth and this can be promising regardless of all the mis-info you’ve heard about retrogrades. So this planetary trio can help reinforce your commitment to expand your sense of space and strike new developments with a project you avoided in the past.

Share your results if you like over on this post on Facebook.

Opening collage by the mind-bending Trash Riot. (With a slight embellishment be a miscreant astrologer).

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Filed Under: Astrology