The full moon of July 31st will illuminate the powers of the mind and unlock mysteries that have previously baffled us.
It marks one of the most auspicious full moons of the year, as it falls close to the Summer Solstice and will appear larger and brighter in the sky than most other moons throughout the year.
In India, this moon marks the holiday of Guru Purnima, a special time to celebrate and honor our teachers and guides. On this bright mid-summer moon, our powers of self-observation can expand beyond their usual capacity. As such, it is a powerful time to listen to our own inner guru, opening our ears to pay attention to the wisdom and knowledge that lies deep within us.
Interestingly enough, the word guru means “teacher,” but literally translates as “dispeller of darkness.” This moon will shine so brightly that any blind spots we may have will be illuminated—details we’ve previously overlooked will come into sharp focus.
When the moon finally reaches fullness, on July 31st at 3:43 a.m. PDT, it will transit the area of the sky known as Shravana Nakshatra. This is the “star of learning” and is made up of three stars in the constellation of Aguila. These three stars are said to represent the three footsteps of Lord Vishnu as he crossed earth, sky and heaven and laid claim over the universe.
In the trinity of Hindu deities, Brahma is the creator, Shiva is the destroyer and Vishnu is the great preserver. Not only does Vishnu sustain the order and peace that supports the steady platform necessary for our lives to evolve and grow, he also provides the focus and clarity we need to absorb the knowledge that will deepen our self-understanding.
In one of Vishnu’s many earthly incarnations, he was born on the full moon of Guru Purnima as the great sage Vyasa, who is said to be the “Guru of Gurus.” Vyasa is credited with organizing and editing the ancient Vedic tree of knowledge, so that it could be read and understood by all. Vishnu’s constellation, Shravana Nakshatra, is also called “the Ear of God,” as it honors the power to hear and absorb knowledge.
On this full moon, listen closely, and you may be surprised by what you hear. Go to the symphony, read a new book, write in your journal and ask plenty of questions. This is an ideal time to gain clarity around career and personal relationships. It’s also a good time to buckle down and increase your knowledge around subjects that may be of particular interest. Buy that new book on organic gardening, study a new language or sign up for a creative writing class.
Take heed, however, as this full moon may also bring up some anxiety around financial matters. Saturn’s one-sided gaze on the moon can increase insecurity and self-criticism so be conscious not to over-emphasize material loss or gain and remember to be extra compassionate towards yourself and others. Saturn’s gaze onto the lunar house of Shravana may also cause people to gossip and judge others, so be mindful of what you say and how you communicate.
Since on this full moon our powers of self-observation can expand, we can bring details into clear focus that may have previously escaped us. Honest self-inquiry and thoughtful communication can open new levels of clarity. The best teachers are those that inspire the unique potential of each of their students, allowing them to shine in their own way. Listen closely to the voice within and honor your own inner light, the one that shines from within and reveals the path of your life.
Give thanks to all your teachers, be they coaches, yoga instructors, advisors, counselors, friends or family members. Take the time to remember and appreciate good advice and supportive words that have been spoken in your life.
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.
Author: Anandashree Kari Field
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock