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The Great Night of Shiva ~ Maha Shivaratri


Photo credit: Ankit Dandhare

On this very auspicious night of of the new moon, Maha Shivaratri (Great Night of Shiva), the celestial bodies are in perfect alignment for meditating on Shiva and his energy. Shiva is the first Yogi and on this is the night that Shiva performs his Tandava (heavenly dance) destroying Kaliya (venomous snake) in doing so destroys darkness and ignorance. This dark night of the year marks when we can most overcome our own personal darkness (the Moon/Mind) to receive the gift of Shiva’s grace.


Vedic astrology counts the Moon’s daily waxing and waning cycles broken up in 12º increments called thitis. These are steps the Moon moves from the Sun. Each day the Moon wanes and the fraction is lowered until it is gone – the dark night of the New Moon. Then the process goes in the other direction and waxes, adding more and light until it is complete and the Moon is full. The Moon governs our mind and each month our fluctuations wane and wax, based on the Moon and its placement among the stars and planets (and this is also influenced by our own unique natal charts). Each month the mind is subject to growth and strength as well as limitations and weakness. The purpose of spiritual practices and devotion is that the ‘mind’ be destroyed so maya (the veil of illusion) is lifted and we are able to see Truth.


On Maha Shivaratri the waning Moon is at Chaturdasi thiti (the 14th day of the waning Moon) and almost at annihilation. This Chaturdasi thiti is ruled by Shiva – and hence Maha Shivaratri. Shiva was the first yogi. This is when a spiritual seeker can put forth just a bit more effort into governing his mind with sadhana, grace can be received openly. Tonight chanting, dancing, spiritual devotion of many types is recommended.


Your mind/Moon placement is specific to you and your chart. If you would like to understand exactly how to best work with these fluctuations you can schedule a reading with me at www.soulsankalpa.com/book-online


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