My wife has instructed me to keep it brief and to the point this week because today is her birthday and my main priority is to take her out to dinner. Today’s conjunction of Saturn and Mercury—exact at 8:57pm PST—supports the idea of an economy of words as the planet of communication (Mercury) joins the planet of limitation (Saturn). The conjunction of Mercury and Saturn sharpens our critical faculties and makes it easier to see the flaws in others and in one’s self. It is important to use this ability in a constructive way so we don’t undermine our own confidence or the self-confidence of others. My wife, Carol, who is a very discerning person, was born with Mercury/Saturn conjunct, so, in a sense, I get to live with this influence on a daily basis. It is something of a mixed blessing to be constantly under the gaze of someone with such highly developed discriminative abilities. Sometimes I need to remind her how sensitive I am and how fragile my male ego is when she is in the midst of providing me with some “constructive criticism.” My trump card is to praise her for her great discernment and to remind her that it is that very discernment that caused her to choose me for a husband. For the next couple of days we will all get a chance to be under the microscope of critical analysis.
Speaking of our critical faculties, the full moon tomorrow at 2:44pm PST occurs in Krittika nakshatra at 9 degrees Taurus. The English word “critical” is thought to be a derivative of the Sanskrit word “Krittika”-- meaning “to cut”. The symbol for Krittika is a razor, with which we can cut away the inessential from our life. Agni, the god of fire, is the presiding deity of Krittika and helps us burn away the dross of our lives. The Krittikas—also known as the “seven sisters”—are the tightly grouped cluster of stars known as the Pleiades. In Indian mythology, the Krittikas are the wives of the seven primeval rishis who guide the destiny of humankind. The seven primeval rishis currently reside in the heavens as the seven stars known as Ursa Major, commonly called the Big Dipper. Once upon a time, the demon Taraka became extremely powerful and was harassing everyone, including the gods. Lord Shiva was persuaded to donate some of his semen to produce a hero to kill Taraka. Shiva’s seed was so powerful that no ordinary receptacle or womb could hold it and special arrangements had to be made to preserve it. It was cast in fire and protected by water, then given to the Krittikas to nourish it. Shiva’s seed eventually produced the child Karttikeya. The Krittikas cared for Karttikeya, and on the seventh day after his birth he killed the demon Taraka. This myth suggests that Krittika is an important place in the heavens where the Divine seed within all of us is nurtured, helping to foster the divine qualities of humankind and destroy the dissipating qualities that impede our evolutionary growth.
All of this energy of cutting away seems a little inconvenient as we prepare to celebrate that most expansive of holidays, Thanksgiving—except, perhaps, for the one who is carving the turkey. As I mentioned in last week’s blog, Thanksgiving Day is the day when Saturn and Neptune are in an exact square with one another, indicating a time of potential uncertainty and confusion, when we are lacking in confidence and easily overwhelmed by life. We may end up overeating or drinking to excess in an attempt to numb ourselves out when faced with these uncomfortable feelings. This will be a particularly important day to remember all that we have to be grateful for—family, friends, comfortable homes and plenty of food to eat, and a wealth of opportunities for education and advancement in our lives. Remember that, “The attitude of gratitude creates the space for grace.”