The Full Moon on May 3, 2015 will be at its brightest point at about 8:30 pm (PST) just as it rises over the Pacific Coast of the Americas. This month it will fall in the nakshatra of Swati, an area of the sky that is mostly empty of bright stars. Generally its yogatara (marking star) is said to be the the far northern Arcturus in the constellation Bootes at a height of over 30 degrees above the ecliptic.  Some argue that Swati actually has no yogatara at all.

This lack of clear form and boundary to the nakshatra of Swati is blown apart even more by the nature of its ruling deity, Vayu the God of the Wind.  Just as the wind has no solid form and invisibly fills the space it enters, the empty and ambiguous space of Swati is filled by the powerful breath of Vayu.  Swati is the Shakti to scatter like the wind; dispersing, decentralizing, and setting one to sail free.

Wind is one of the five great elements (the pancha mahabuta of the Vedas) and it can be as gentle as it can destructive.   The power of Vayu is in the wind’s relentless energy.  It can wear away even the most solid of mountains in due time.  Vayu’s sons, the warrior Bhima and the mountain-moving Hanuman carry forth the power and strength of the wind.

Vayu is the color of smoke and rides on the back of a quick and unpredictable wild deer (or antelope).  Vayu and his deer are said to dwell in the heart chakra and lungs.  Running, jumping, fleeing like the deer, and all movement that sustains the cycles of life, (such as the cardiovascular system) are inspired by Vayu.

Vayu is the deity of life.  He rules the movement of spirit and the breath of life that connects body to the spirit world. The wind of prana animates all life and gives oxygen to the fire of the ego.   Wind is the very element of ego-mind and is the unending flow of thoughts that move incessantly through it.

The ever-changing direction of the wind blows the nakshatra of Swati to and fro.  Swati is called the “self-going” star.  Its symbol is a young plant, newly sprouted from the ground and blowing in the wind. This young sprout is the power and determination of the soul to find a base from which to individuate the personality, ultimately blooming into free expression.  

Our sense of self may get wonky on this full moon.    Swati gives independence and entrepreneurship, but also self doubt.    A Swati full moon may exaggerate the freedom urge and can lead to tension relating to its expression.  It is a trick of the ego-mind to confuse the desire to create with the universal need for connection with the Creator.

A great deal of energy in flux can inspire us to venture out and about on this full moon. It is best to go without a set plan.   Brainstorming together with your friends for new ideas could be very fruitful and it is a good day to make a new start. Flexibility will open new opportunities.  

The moon will be in Papa-Kartari Yoga, being hemmed in by Rahu and Saturn.  This may exaggerate the unstable characteristics of Swati and destabilize the mind.   We may find it difficult to focus and keep things organized.  Sudden changes of heart and fluctuations of plans may shock us. Difficulties in making decisions could amplify anxiety.   Anyone already prone to heart irregularities or imbalanced vata should take special care at this time and try to keep the pace slow.  Relaxing baths and warm sesame oil on the skin is a nice remedy for vitiated vata dosha.  If you are feeling spun-out you could try to take a nap; however, it may be especially difficult to sleep this full moon night.

Issues around boundaries and vagueness in intention can lead to trouble later down the line.  It’s possible to use the power of this full moon to disperse these sorts of miscommunications. Moon’s ruler, Venus will be in Parivartana Yoga with the quick moving planet of speech, Mercury.  Parivartana is the mutual exchange of signs and this Venus-Mercury mix creates the possibility for some honest self-inquiry, especially around relationship issues.   

Also, this full moon will be celebrated as the auspicious Kurma Jayanti,  the birthday of Lord Vishnu in the form of a turtle.  Vishnu took the form of Kurma the turtle to support Mount Mandara from sinking as it churned the ocean of milk, eventually yielding the nectar of immortality and many other treasures.   Although Saturn gets its exaltation in the vata-winds of Swati; it is said in Vastu that the preserving and stabilizing power of Vishnu in the form of Turtle-Kurma can ground the destructive nature of Saturn. 

What centers and supports you?  Where is your sense of home?  What or whom stabilizes you? The bright manas of this Swati moon can offer a new clarity around your true identity and unique potentials.  You are one with creation, just as you are a unique individual creator.  Let go and trust in the uncertainty of this world, it will sustain you.

Mantra for Kurma Avatar:

Om namo bhagavate kurma-devaya.