1. New moons are endings and beginnings of lunar cycles. They allow for fresh starts and free us from the stagnations of the past. This new moon also starts afresh because it falls in the first of the 27 Vedic nakshatras, a section of the sky called Ashwini. Ashwini relates to the energy of the horse and holds great forward momentum. In the weeks to come, innovative ways of seeing the world (and how we move in it) will emerge at a quickening pace.
2. According to Hindu mythology, Ashwini is ruled by a pair of twin brothers born from the union of the sun and the mind. It is said that Sanjana, a female deity who represents the quality of mindfulness, took the form of a horse and birthed the Ashwini twins through each of her nostrils. In the practice of yogic breathing, the nostrils are closely related to the nadis, the central channels for moving prana, or lifeforce, through our bodies. This new moon supports meditative practices of yogic breathing exercises like these. It’s best to practice these pranayama techniques with an experienced teacher.
4. This new moon is also closely joined with Mercury retrograde. Mercury retrograde creates delay and obstruction, but Ashwini (called the “star of transport”) opens new opportunities in travel and relocation. This could lead to stress and frustration, especially if trying to get to a destination quickly. While Mercury retrograde seems like an obstacle, it’s also an opportunity to retrace steps and improve strategies. Stay open and flexible and remember that short-cuts are often found by getting lost! Mercury retrograde will continue its influence until May 3 when it goes direct.
5. Take heed, for Ashwini has an agitated side. If you’re feeling nervous on this new moon, slow down to observe your breath. It’s best to avoid large crowds and demonstrations on this new moon and try not to get carried away by the zealous herd. Take extra precaution around large animals, especially horses, as this new moon could increase the risk of accidents involving them.
In general, this new moon opens a new cycle of growth and holds a seed of healing for the body and mind. Seize this time to do inner work and review what is necessary for you to move forward with your life in a free and open way. Let go and move with the flow!