This Saturday at 11:57 am PST there will be a New Moon in the nakshatra of Ashwini.  Ashwini is the very first nakshatra of the zodiac and consists of three stars that mark the head of the constellation of Aries the ram.   These fixed stars are Mesarthim, Sheratan, and Hamal. 


Ashwini is symbolized by a horse’s head and is known for its great speed and energetic flow forward.  Called the “star of transport,” it is certainly on its way somewhere!  It symbolizes the pure vehicle of our desires as it moves ever forward with the ebb and flow of time.

This nakshatra is ruled by the Ashwini Kumar, the twin horse-men who were fathered by Surya the Sun-God in the form of a horse.  Their mother Sanjna (which means intellect) had also taken the form of a horse in an attempt to run from the overpowering brightness of her sun-husband.   The twins were born, one from each nostril, to their mother in the form of this horse.  

It is interesting to consider that in the practice of Pranayama Yoga the nostrils are closely related to the nadis; the main Pranic channels in our bodies.   Observation of the breath tracks the unique way the nadis (ida and pingala) naturally flow throughout the day. True to the nature of Ashwini, breath must flow onward for life to continue. 

The new moon will meet the sun in Ashwini as it gallops forward towards summer days, pushing the light of the mind upward with it.   The Sun is exalted in Aries because it is the month in which the sun starts its yearly ascent to power.   The days become noticeably longer than the nights as the heat of summer begins to grow.  This new moon will herald the Grishmaratu the hot and dry summer season in India.

The Ashwini Kumar are known for their ability to heal and clear toxins from the body, and they are said to be masters of Ayurveda.   Doing a dietary cleanse and detox of the body as well as a spring-cleaning of the home may be an appropriate way to spend this new moon weekend. 
These deities are expert surgeons as well.  According to legend, they used their skills to transplant the head of the sage Dadichi with that of a horse’s head so he could be free of a curse and subsequently teach them the secrets of medicine. 

Soothing and healing of our troubles through the inspiration and expiration of the natural river of prana is a theme expressed through Ashwini
This new moon could bring new health issues to your awareness.  Be careful of allergies that affect the nasal passages or other afflictions to the nose or mouth.   If you are planning dental work you may want to put it off until Monday.

A sudden and striking lack of motivation or its opposite; a gnawing feeling of restlessness, could be brought on by this New Moon. The Pranic flow of energy is at its zero point, with so much potential to grow.  
Frustration in traffic and a feeling of being rushed could lead to reckless driving, especially considering that this new moon will share the sign of Aries with its ruler Mars and a weak Mercury.    Beware of pushiness and over zealousness.    Mars is particularly powerful here, giving this new moon a spike of vigor that could make many of us fidget in our seats.  On the other hand, you my find the rise and fall of your energy levels making great peaks and valleys.   Take it easy, slow down, and try some easy and comfortable sukha pranayama, such as this exercise.  Most of all, resist the urge to rush and try not to make any important entrances until Monday,  when the moon is exalted in Taurus.

The very auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya will fall on Monday April 20th, the third day of this potent lunar cycle of new beginnings.   This is the only time of year in which both the sun and the moon are in the signs of their exaltation. It is said that any new activities initiated on this day will be a success, no matter what the circumstances.   This is a great time to begin a new job, relocate, sign contracts, and make important purchases.

The summer is coming as the frozen standstill of winter melts away.  Activity and movement will pick up speed greatly in this lunar cycle as the luster of self-will and empowerment bloom.   Curing blindness is one of the Ashwini Kumar’s specialties and they are said to bring the light of the rising sun upon the entire world.  The dawn ends the blind darkness of night and begins the potential of each new day.  Open your eyes to your own potential at this time.  You are capable of much more than you realize.

*art by Karen Hoepting