Prepare to step into your power, when the Full Moon of July 19th (15:56 PT) lights the path of infinite strength and inner wisdom. Known as Guru Purnima, this Full Moon pays homage to the many teachers who have guided us towards our highest good, supporting our goals and encouraging us to live our dreams.
In Vedic Astrology, this Full Moon falls in the area of the sky known as Uttara Ashadha, which translates to “complete victory.” Symbolized by an elephant’s tusk, it represents the mighty force of Lord Ganesha, the Hindu elephant god who has the ability to destroy even the most stubborn obstacles. Blessed with the promise of success, this Full Moon would be an auspicious time to start new projects or initiate key actions.
Known as the “Universal Star,” Uttara Ashadha lies close to the center of our galaxy. It is ruled by the angels of dharma, the Vishvadevas — also known as the universal gods — who transmit the qualities of goodness, truth, justice, leadership, and willpower. Their virtues uplift the human spirit, pointing us toward higher ideals and asking us to shine our light in the darkest places.
Uttara Ashadha is the birth star of many important leaders throughout history, including Abraham Lincoln. Known as a powerful catalyst for social change, it embodies the themes of inspiration, leadership, and the spark of innate goodness that lies within each and every one of us. Around the Full Moon, it would be wise to take a moment to recall the teachers and mentors who have offered their support and held us steady through life’s often rocky journey.
Due to the heavy influence of Saturn’s dristi (aspecting gaze), this full moon may cause some of us to lose heart and in the worst cases, feel embittered. Be sure to go easy on yourself and others, so as not to compound any negativity that could arise. Take this opportunity to perform positive, life-affirming actions, such as volunteering in community projects, or stepping into leadership towards improving your neighborhood.
The days surrounding the Full Moon will also be affected by some heavy turbulence in the astrological atmosphere. Fiery and impulsive Mars reentered sidereal Scorpio on July 12 to join ominous Saturn for another eight weeks of intensity. The attack in Nice occurred just days after the explosive regrouping of these two malefic planets (read more about this Saturn – Mars yoga here). Moreover, from July 15 – 18, Venus and Mercury will be in a special conjunction known in Vedic Astrology as planetary war. On the days leading up to the Full Moon, avoid unnecessary confrontation, as peaceful communication may become increasingly difficult, particularly in intimate relationships.
This Guru Purnima, which means ‘Full Moon of the Guru,’ evokes humanity’s vulnerabilities, as well as its strengths. It asks us to reflect on who we look up to, and what we believe in. Ask yourself: Who or what is the lodestar that guides you? How can you set an example for others in your community? How can you stand up to injustice, especially in these dark and trying times?
In India, Hindus celebrate this auspicious holiday by offering gifts of flowers and fruit to their spiritual teachers. The word guru means teacher, but it can also be translated as “dispeller of darkness.” On this Full Moon, fling open the curtains of your mind and let the light pour through. If you heed the wisdom of your inner guru, as well as the teachings of those who dwell outside of you, you will reap the highest rewards.
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Guru devo Maheshwara,
Guru sakshat, param Brahma,
tasmai shri guravay namah.
Guru is the creator, sustainer and the destroyer.
It is the transcendental divinity,
the timeless life-principle, the very essence of the creator.
I make my offering to the Guru, the auspicious remover of my darkness and my ignorance;
My salutations of gratitude for that glorious teacher.
— A prayer from the Guru Gita
in the Skanda Purana (6th-15th century AD)