Aries New Moon, First Spring Lunation + Vitamin Y

Greg Diesel Walck, Magic Folly Sunrise, May 25, 2014

The new moon arrives on Monday, March 27. The first lunation cycle of spring begins. By mid-week, look toward the western horizon after sunset. See the skinny crescent moon pass by Mercury and dimmer Mars. Binoculars and an astronomy app help. Mercury never moves far from the sun, the glare of which often hides the small planet. You can tell it’s Mercury because the bright object doesn’t twinkle as stars do close to the horizon.

This is the best time to see Mercury in 2017. The planet reaches its furthest evening distance from the sun on Thursday-Tuesday, March 30-April 4. Perhaps the best viewing is on Saturday, April 1. An unobstructed view and a clear sky with minimal light pollution are required. Look quickly after sunset, since elusive Mercury sets within 90 minutes.

The Wonderful Moon columns for the March full moon and February new moon mentioned that Venus soon would vanish from the evening sky. On Saturday, March 25, Venus reached solar conjunction, which is like a new moon but with a planet. Venus started a new cycle. By mid-spring, early risers will sometimes spot Venus as the “morning star,” low in the predawn east.

In contrast with Venus, Jupiter is approaching solar opposition, which is like a full moon but with a planet. Jupiter is halfway through its cycle. The only planet that has an annual conjunction and opposition with the sun, from the perspective of Earth, Jupiter takes about a year to make a circuit that the moon passes through every month. Jupiter is bright and easy to see in the southeast sky by 11 pm EDT.

After Jupiter reaches opposition on Friday, April 7, the giant planet rises in the east by twilight – yes, behaving like a full moon. Jupiter will lord over the evening skies through the summer and early fall. Jupiter has been paired with bright Spica in Virgo through the long winter nights. They’ll soon part before briefly meeting up again around Labor Day. At sunset, the nearly full moon joins Jupiter and Spica on Sunday-Monday, April 9-10. Talk about a lunar photo op!

Astrological Influences + Considerations

A new moon is visually dark, hidden by the sun with which it’s conjunct. The influence of the new moon in Aries is super bright with the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, and Uranus in Aries, often interacting with each other. Snap! That’s plenty vigorous.

Spring’s first lunar month arrives flush with youth, warmth, and eager promise, offering an exciting fresh start. You have the self-confidence and determination to accomplish your goals. But, it’s almost too much. You may need to tone it down.  Over the next few days, people may speak too boldly – loud, fast, and perhaps tactless.

Take advantage of Arian clarity. Issues seem less complicated than they do at other times. Attack projects, apply for opportunities, shake out of old routines. Incentive and courage spark initiatives, welcome challenges, and adapt to change. Fear of failure and rejection are reduced.

Since late last year, an ongoing cardinal T-square has caused friction and frustration. The fiery energy of spring can handle it. But, keep in mind that the sun opposes beneficent Jupiter in level-headed Libra in early April (see above). Then the sun, and periodically the moon, are drawn into the square formation of the outer planets. The sun conjuncts volatile Uranus in Aries in mid-April. Through the first half of the month, stealthy Pluto in Capricorn is also involved.

The high wattage can produce tension. Much may seem out of your control. But, stay calm. Stay focused. Exercise and meditate. Pull back when stress builds, and try to avoid being reactive. Resist temptations for impatience and other impetuousness. Through this Aries lunation, skillfully navigate the rough spots, keeping your eye on your objectives.

Feeling + Moving with the Moon

Vitamin Y was discussed in this week’s Moonday/Sphinx Yoga. Vitamin D is the “sunshine vitamin” that we crave in early spring with more daylight and warmth. Yoga for body, mind, and soul – Vitamin Y – also may be what’s needed to recharge batteries, enhance spring cleansing, and make the most of the lovely fresh air.

Yoga develops stamina, flexibility, strength, and soothes the nervous system. Whether your style is vigorous and powerful, or gentle and restorative; you’re a beginner or consider yourself a devoted yogi; you practice at a studio, gym, or at home and on-the-go, benefits can be gained from 15 minutes of focused practice to a full hour and 90 minute classes.  If you’re consistent and mindful, your body will respond with Vitamin Y.

1. Yoga aids bone health and balance

Vitamin Y complements Vitamin D and calcium, and is of particular importance during maturity, when falls can be devastating. All those downward facing dogs, tree poses, and planks build a strong core and skeleton, including at the ankle and wrist joints. Balances are fun mind-body puzzles to solve. Stand on one leg while waiting in line or brushing your teeth. Touch your toes, do chaturanga push-ups, squat during housework, on a computer break, or while watching television. Periodically shrug your shoulders and wriggle your hips to reduce stiffness, aches, and pains. Gain Vitamin Y benefits when you support and move body weight in yoga for strength, agility, and balance.

2. Yoga encourages a youthful attitude and vitality.

Practicing yoga often provides motivation to improve nutrition. Yoga assists with weight loss or maintenance, which isn’t all about caloric burn. Reducing stress eases the adrenal glands and parasympathetic nervous system. The body’s response to fight or flight messages and triggers for cortisol and sugar in the bloodstream are improved.  This affects peace of mind, metabolism, and body fat. Simple yoga movement, such as animal poses on all fours, can be playful while helping the spine stay young and supple. Vitamin Y may manifest as a happy, healthy glow.

3. Yoga helps move lymph through the body.

The lymphatic system lacks a central organ or pump, like the heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, kidneys, and brain. Muscles, connective tissue and gravity keep lymphatic fluid flowing to reduce inflammation and aid immunity. Inversions and bendy poses reverse the direction of bodily fluids and improve circulation. Vitamin Y improves mental ability and adaptability, dislodges stuck, tight areas that hold stress, and helps drain lymph nodes that cluster through the core and near major joints.

4. Yoga improves respiration and presence.

More essential to life than the nutrients of water and food, tissues must expel stale and take in fresh air. This diagram of box breathing illustrates a simple method of breath control. To a count of four, exhale all the air from your lungs. Inhale through the nose. Hold your breath. Exhale through the nose or pursed lips. Then hold the empty space. Repeat several times to a steady count of four. Stay conscious of filling and emptying the upper, middle and lower lobes of the lungs, expanding and contracting the diaphragm. Presence will be gained, along with broad emotional and physical benefits. Practiced control of the life force, or prana, builds Vitamin Y.

5. Yoga encourages mental health, community, and offers a sense of purpose.

Among yoga’s renowned benefits is calm. Yogis often seem to have bliss, which comes from stretching, inversions, backbends and balance poses, eating cleaner and greener, reducing stress, and strengthening immunity. Yogis set aside time for meditation and mindful breathing, and regularly relax through savasana and yoga nidra. Vitamin Y comes with dedicated, focused stillness.

Challenges are shared with fellow yogis, who may become friends off the mat. You’ll look and feel more optimistic and attractive. Plus, your soul lifts through applied yogic philosophy. Learn to practice loving kindness, moderation and volunteerism, reduce desire and self-interest, and appreciate life and nature that extends to the sun, moon, stars, and infinite beyond. Through greater consciousness of the inner and outer self, Vitamin Y is holistically integrated within daily life.

Go out, go within, and catch some Vitamin Y. Double benefits if you practice yoga outdoors, catching some Vitamin D with your Y. Exponential benefits if you combine Vitamin D with Y that puts a beautiful smile on your face. Lift up, shine your yogi heart to the heavens and breath deep. Fill your lungs with rejuvenating, invigorating, nourishing spring air. Your inner light is the sunshine of yoga. Radiate joy!

On Wonderful Moon

A longer, more detailed version of this post appears in this week’s Moonday. For the next Wonderful Moon that posts in approximately two weeks, the full moon in Libra will be discussed. The first of spring, the April full moon is known as the “pink moon.”

Wonderful Moon is published bimonthly before the new and full moons. The focus is on viewing and experiencing the moon with lore, advice, and yoga-oriented body awareness that meshes with the phase, season, and astrological influences.

Wendy Sphinx teaches a Chillax spring series on Thursday evenings at Pure Light Yoga in High Point. During March and April, the classes are offered on a donation basis to support and benefit people who are recovering from addiction. If you’re in central North Carolina and want to chill and relax, clear your head and leave with a smile on your face, please join us!

Photography:Magic Folly Sunrise” (May 25, 2014) is by noted lunar and landscape photographer Greg Diesel Walck, from his Facebook album Top Ten Sunrises, of which this is #5. The photo of the rising sun that kisses and reflects on the Atlantic Ocean was taken under a vibrant sky at Folly Beach, near Charleston, SC.

Sphinx Yoga
Written by Sphinx Yoga
A longtime yogi and night sky gazer, Wendy Sphinx has published Moonday and Sphinx Yoga for two years. She lives in NC and finishes 200-hour yoga teacher training this spring. Although she’s been exposed to many flavors of yoga, her current practice is Dharma-focused, which is where she began her journey many years and moons ago. She earned a doctorate in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill, master’s and graduate women’s studies certificate at Duke, and undergraduate degree in writing and literature from NYU, with a summer session in science at Oxford University in the UK. A communications professor for 20 years, she has worked professionally in journalism, marketing and public relations since the 1980s. Her grandmother was an astrologer, and she grew up reading horoscopes and looking at the moon, planets, and stars through a backyard telescope. The Sphinx’s bimonthly column, Wonderful Moon, draws on this background to share lore, advice, and timely yoga tips for the new and full moon phases. Information on observing the moon is combined with astrological insights, consideration of nature and seasonal change, and the cycles of our lives. Beautiful lunar photography is provided by award-winning photographer and author Greg Diesel Walck.