Astrological Highlights: August 2014

Astrological Sign LibraAs we enter the month of August, the world needs Libra’s skill of negotiation and diplomacy. However, the continued presence of malefics in Libra throughout August keeps this sign from expressing itself positively. We can look forward to September, which will bring an easing of tension for Libra, in addition to relief for Scorpio and Aries.

We continue to see a stressed Libra

Libra is a sign desiring balance and harmony. This peace loving sign has been put under stress during Saturn’s two and a half year stay in Libra. Saturn in Libra teaches us about the importance of cooperation and diplomacy. On his own, Saturn’s disciplined energy blends well with the energy of Libra. However, for the past year and a half Saturn has been accompanied by Rahu, and their combined presence in Libra has brought the world political issues to be faced.

Rahu moved into Virgo, and away from Saturn, on July 13th. Only a day later, on July 14th,  Saturn was joined by Mars, another malefic planet.

Mars first entered Libra in February, then went retrograde into Virgo, and recently re-entered Libra on July 14. With Mars returning and completing his journey in Libra, we are experiencing a continuation of some of the challenges initiated in the spring.

The combination of Saturn & Mars can be explosive

Saturn and Mars have been together in Libra since July 14. Saturn and Mars are enemies, and their energies do not mingle well. Mars is quick and action oriented and gets blocked by a slow and thorough Saturn. The conjunction of these two planets can cause the energy of Mars to become explosive and make Saturn feel uncomfortable when his security is threatened. Mars can be very strategic and bold, and Saturn is organized and methodical. A combination of Mars and Saturn is sometimes seen in war like situations.

All 9 planets aspect the Moon or Cancer during the full moon

The full Moon on August 10th takes place in Capricorn in the star constellation Dhanista.

The ruler of Capricorn is Saturn and Dhanista is ruled by Mars. This combination of rulership by Saturn and Mars in Dhanista often will express a sense of duty. Sometimes there is a struggle between a sense of duty and egoic desires, but Mars is also a warrior capable to fight and defend that which is his duty to defend. The symbol of Dhanishta is a drum and a flute. In this nakshatra we tend to move and sing our song to someone else’s rhythm.

The full Moon on August 10th will have four planets in Cancer: Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and the Sun. All of the nine planets aspect the Moon or Cancer, the sign ruled by the Moon. The ashtamsha Moon can indicate a sudden change.

On the day of the full Moon, Mars is opposite the degree of the Solar eclipse that took place on April 29th, at 14:48 Aries. The energy of an eclipse lingers and can be re-activated by transits such as this one. The eclipse on April 29th was challenging and we can expect to feel some of this energy again.

Ask for inner guidance

The new moon in Leo on August 25th takes place when the conjunction between Mars and Saturn becomes exact in Libra. (22’35”)

The nakshatra (star constellation) where the conjunction between Mars and Saturn takes place is called Vishakha. Transformation takes place in this nakshatra and Jupiter (the ruler of Vishakha) brings wisdom on this new journey towards change.

There is a Jupiter/Venus combination because the star constellation Vishaka (ruled by a currently exalted Jupiter) is placed in Libra (ruled by Venus). Both these planets are related to guidance and counseling.

During the new Moon, the Sun and Moon will be in a star constellation called Magha. Magha means ‘mighty’ or ‘great’. The deity for Magha is Pitris – the forefathers of humanity whose mission is to guide their children, especially during difficult times. It is good to ask for inner guidance during this time.

While the nakshatra Vishaka brings transformation, Magha brings guidance. During this time of transformation, the world needs the wisdom and guidance that Magha, Jupiter and Venus can give.

An easing of tension for Scorpio & Aries on September 4th

Mars moves out of Libra and into his own sign, Scorpio on September 4th. This will improve things for those with rising signs or significant planets in Scorpio and Aries, as these two signs are both ruled by Mars.

This transition will also make Saturn more comfortable in Libra, since he will no longer be in the company of malefic planets. This change will improve things for Capricorn and Aquarius and allow Libra to express his diplomatic skills more easily.

Astrological Highlights: July 2014

July is an eventful month astrologically with many complex planetary influences. Many planets are exalted or in their own signs, yet we will likely continue to experience a great deal of turbulence in the world and an underlying sense of uncertainty and instability. This is mostly due to the lunar nodes changing signs and an especially sensitive approaching conjunction between Rahu and Mars.

Full Moon on July 12th

There will be a full moon on July 12th. The moon will be in Sagittarius, a sign ruled by Jupiter, while Jupiter is at his exaltation point. This is also the time of Guru Purnima, a celebration of Jupiter (Guru). Jupiter’s guidance and wisdom are especially important during this time of change.

Mars and the Lunar nodes change signs on July 13th

Rahu and Ketu, the shadow planets and main indicators for collective karma, are slowly moving towards new sign positions. The lunar nodes are always opposite one another and they have a retrograde motion. Rahu moves from Libra and into Virgo on July 13th . The planet Mars, presently in Virgo, moves into Libra on July 14th. Consequently Mars and Rahu are moving towards one another and will meet in an exact conjunction at the very end of Virgo (29’56’’ degrees) on July 13th. Mars is associated with war, conflict, fire and violence. Rahu and Mars are inimical–Rahu can fan the difficult side of Mars, and Mars can stimulate the air element in Rahu, creating storms.

Ketu, while still positioned in Aries, is under the influence of  three malefic planets; Saturn, Rahu and Mars. On July 13th Ketu moves from Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, into Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac. When planets are positioned within the first 48 seconds of Aries or the last 48 seconds of Pisces they are in a Gandanta position.

Gandanta takes place at the juncture between water and fire signs.  The lunar nodes placed or transiting Gandanta positions reveal complex situations. Gandanta means a karmic knot, and at this time there is tension in places with complicated karma such as Iraq, Syria, Israel, North Korea and Ukraine.

Saturn goes direct while Uranus goes retrograde

Saturn moves direct on July 20th in Libra after being retrograde since the beginning of March.

He will station at approximately 22 degrees Libra and only moves within a 20 second radius during the entire month. Saturn is very strong and a saturnian influence will likely be felt through any planets you have near this degree.

Uranus is stationed at approx 22 degrees Pisces during the entire month and goes retrograde on July 21st, the day after Saturn goes direct. Saturn is in the eighth house from Uranus and Uranus is in the sixth house from Saturn. A six/eight relationship is difficult and causes tension between the rebellious Uranus and the strict Saturn. On July 13th, Saturn will finally be free of the difficult company of Rahu, but will quickly be joined by Mars. Saturn and Mars can be warlike in their combination. Mars will stay in Libra until September 5th .

When Ketu moves into Pisces he will join the planet Uranus. Both Ketu and Uranus can cause things to happen quickly and unexpectedly. Tvashtar, the celestial architect, is the deity connected to the star constellation Chitra and is where both Mars and Rahu will reside. During this time we may see transformations take place. On a global level, Tvashtar’s energy could lead to restructuring, such as the birth of a new country or redefining a nation’s borders.

Ketu in Pisces brings opportunities for spiritual growth

One thing to look forward to as Ketu moves into Pisces is that he will no longer receive aspects from Saturn and Mars. Instead he will receive an aspect from Jupiter, who also is the ruler of Pisces. Furthermore, Jupiter will be in the very degree of his exaltation as Ketu moves into Pisces. Both Ketu and Pisces seek enlightenment and many opportunities for growth, knowledge and spirituality will come during Ketu’s stay in Pisces.

Rahu in Virgo

The ruler of Virgo, Mercury, is also very favorably placed at the time when Rahu enters this sign. Mercury transits his own sign Gemini, and is together with his best friend Venus, as well as the Sun. From Virgo this is an excellent position and gives power to Mercury. This position favors communication and intellect and strengthens the ability to adapt to change.

Virgo rules health. Rahu rules toxins and epidemics. During this time, we need to keep an eye on viruses such as Ebola. However, Rahu can also detoxify, and Virgo is an earth sign connected to service and healing. Once Rahu has established himself in Virgo it is possible that we will put more emphases on healing mother earth. This energy will encourage efforts to clean our environment from pollution, purify our diets and simplify our lives.

Astrological Highlights: June 2014

We have had some challenging months recently, but June brings us many positive astrological influences. During the second half of June, we will see many strong planets in their own signs or in their exalted signs.

Mercury retrograde

Mercury is in the sign of Gemini all month and will go retrograde between June 7th and July 1st. Mercury is in his own sign and remains strong even though it may be a good idea to do backups on your computer and double check your travel information. A retrograde Mercury is not always rational. Up until June 19th Mercury is together with Jupiter in Gemini favoring writing, communication, teaching and learning. Mercury remains in Gemini until July 28th.

Mars is still in Virgo but has ended his long retrograde motion and has been moving direct since May 19th.

We were able to see the quality of Mars in Virgo in the news in late May when a scandal was revealed about the neglect of Health Care for war veterans forcing the Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign. Virgo governs health and service, Mars rules soldiers and war. Aries is the 8th house from Virgo and Aries is under several malefic influences. Virgo has the ruler of the 8th house, Mars, in its sign and an afflicted 8th house may reveal mistreatment and scandal.

Mars remains in Virgo until July 14th when he moves into Libra.

Jupiter moves into Cancer

There is an astrological shift on June 19th when Jupiter moves into Cancer. Jupiter’s transit in this sign will last until July 14th, 2015. This is the sign where Jupiter is exalted and it is especially favorable for people with their rising sign, Moon or Sun in Cancer. It is also good for the other water signs, Scorpio and Pisces, who will enjoy the aspect from Jupiter for just over one year.

When Jupiter is exalted and is placed in an angle of a chart (houses 1, 4, 7 and 10) he manifests a special yoga known as Hamsa yoga. This yoga expresses Jupiter’s best qualities. For those with an Aries rising sign, Jupiter will transit the fourth house (home), for Cancer the first (self), for Libra the tenth (career) and for Capricorns his transit is in the seventh house (others).

Jupiter in Cancer benefits the Moon, the ruler of Cancer. This transit enhances the natural wisdom of the mind, creativity and positive thinking. It can increase our compassion and bring forth a desire to nurture. Jupiter is the teacher and the advisor. Under his guidance we will expand our sense of dharma (right action), our knowledge and sometimes our wealth.

Saturn also is in his sign of exaltation, Libra, and has been in this sign for two years. Jupiter and Saturn will both be exalted until Saturn moves into Scorpio on November 2nd. It is roughly 60 years ago since both Jupiter and Saturn where exalted at the same time. Their combined exaltation puts emphases on social dharma.

Venus moves into Taurus on June 19th

Venus is having a short but stormy visit in Aries, where it has been since May 23rd and will remain until June 19th. Venus is with Ketu and is aspected by three of the main malefic planets; Saturn, Mars and Rahu. Venus governs our comforts and our relationships. Consequently, we may feel stretched beyond our comfort zone in the early part of June.

It is interesting to note that Venus was only about 13 seconds into Aries when the killings in Santa Barbara took place in the evening of May 23rd. Venus went from Pisces, the sign of its exaltation, and into Aries during this day. This early position of Aries is known as the Gandanta point. Gandanta occurs when a planet goes from a water sign into a fire sign and the difference between the elements makes a planet confused. Venus was now also receiving many malefic aspects. Elliot Rodger, responsible for the killings, obviously had serious issues with relationships, rejection, anger and violence. In his chart Mars and Venus are less than a degree from one another and fighting a planetary war. The Gandanta position of Venus, and all the negative aspects, played a part in triggering this tragic event.

However, be ready for a big shift when Venus goes into Taurus, its own sign, and Jupiter moves into Cancer, its sign of exaltation. Both Venus and Jupiter makes their transit on the same day, June 19th, and Venus remains in Taurus until July 13th.

The end of June looks very promising with Venus in Taurus, Mercury in Gemini, and Jupiter in Cancer. This creates many positive yogas, including one called Saraswati Yoga. Like the goddess Saraswati, this yoga favors wisdom, knowledge, music and the arts.

Summer solstice on Saturday June 21st at 3:51 am (PDT)

Many countries celebrate the longest and brightest day of the year of the northern hemisphere. Where I grew up in Northern Sweden, the sun doesn’t go down below the horizon at all. The light stays soft and magical during the night.

Sri Yukteswar, the great yogi and author of The Holy Science, honored and celebrated the summer solstice. It is a very auspicious time to meditate. The planets are especially well placed this year, except for the Moon who travels through Aries with the lunar nodes and receives malefic energy.

On the evening of June 23rd, the Moon will transit Taurus where the Moon is exalted. During the next few days there will be five planets either exalted or in their own signs.

The new Moon takes place  in Gemini on the 27th.

Ketu moves across Gandanta position

The Lunar nodes are shifting into new signs in mid July. The two nodes are always in a retrograde motion and Ketu will slowly move from Aries and into Pisces. Ketu will be in Gandanta position during the last week of June and for most of July. When Ketu moves across the Gandanta position there can be some major events and changes taking place. We are fortunate that other planets are strong during this time.

Astrological Highlights: May 2014

sun-quoteMay begins auspiciously with both the Sun and the Moon in exalted positions. This occurrence is known as Akshya Tritiya, and happens on May 1st this year. It is considered a very auspicious time and a good day for starting something new.

We enter May only a couple of days after the solar eclipse on April 29 in Aries. To understand how the eclipse affects you personally check out the house that Aries rules in your chart. It is possible that this area of your life will undergo some transformation and changes over the next few months. It is good to be open to the fresh and adventuresome energy of Ashwini, which is the nakshatra in Aries where the eclipse took place. Remember that the effect of an eclipse can last many months afterwards.

Different expressions of power

On a global level April was an intense month with a lunar and solar eclipse and challenging astrological configurations. The exalted Sun (leaders, governments) in Aries is still in conjunction with Ketu and under the influence of Saturn, Rahu and Mars. Both Saturn and Mars are retrograde and retrograde planets have a tendency to look towards the past.

The energy from this configuration of planets can be expressed in different ways. It is reflected in the situation in Ukraine where Russians and pro-russians wants to recreate past union with Russia. Russia’s organized military build up (Saturn/Rahu in Libra and Mars in Virgo) is a threat to a break up of this nation.

Another world event with the same configuration of planets, but with a very different expression, happened on Sunday April 27, just before the solar eclipse.  Pope Frances performed the canonization ceremony for John Paul II and John XXIII before a million visitors in Rome and two billion people all over the planet who watched the event on TV. Both the Sun (leaders) and Ketu (planet of renunciation) were transiting the nakshatra of Ashwini, a nakshatra associated with healing and rejuvenation. This indicates powerful spiritual leadership with transforming and healing power. Much effort and hard work went into organizing this event. Spiritual devotion is one of the best remedies for the potentially dark energy during an eclipse.

The Sun will be free from malefic energy after May 15th

The opposition between the Sun in Aries and Saturn in Libra will be exact on May 10th at about 26 degrees. On May 15th, the day after the full Moon, the Sun moves into Taurus where he is no longer influenced by malefic planets. The Sun rules Leo, and this sign will be much more at ease after May 10th. However, keep in mind that the effect of a solar eclipse can last for many months and can be triggered when a planet transits the degree where the eclipse happened. The eclipse on April 29th took place between 14 and 15 degrees Aries. Mars will aspect this degree from his position in Virgo for almost the entire month.

Good News for Virgo and Gemini

Mercury in Aries was under challenging planetary influences during April. In addition to the aspects from Saturn and Rahu in Libra, Mercury has been in a sign ruled by Mars, aspected by Mars and also been in a mutual exchange with Mars. (A mutual exchange means that Mercury is in a sign ruled by Mars and Mars is in a sign ruled by Mercury). Mars is a malefic planet that can put stress on Mercury.

Mercury under stress can cause allergies and respiratory problems. Parts of the United States have experienced the worst season in decades in regards to spring allergies. The difficult respiratory illness MERS in the Middle East has increased as well. Mercury also rules communication and computers. While Mercury has been influenced by the malefics, there have been problems with the security of the internet (Heartbleed) and major issues with internet explorer.

Mercury moves away from the strong influence of Mars when he moves into Taurus on May 5th. This will bring relief for Virgo ascendants who will now have their ascendant lord, Mercury, in the auspicious ninth house.

Mercury will then move swiftly through Taurus and will enter Gemini on May 23rd. Mercury rules Gemini and is right at home in this sign. For Gemini, Virgo, Pisces and Sagittarius ascendants this will create Bhadra Yoga, the highest expression of Mercury. Mercury will have a long stay in Gemini – until July 28th. When Mercury moves into Gemini, he will join Jupiter until Jupiter moves into Cancer on June 19th.

Venus brings an emphasis on relationships in May

Venus will be in Pisces until May 23rd. From this exalted position this planet will be in a mutual aspect with Mars in Virgo which will put an emphasis on relationships, and also on the relationship between our ideals and our actions.

Venus enters Aries on May 24th and is in conjunction with Ketu on May 25th. This will also bring relationships to the fore. Ketu is a planet of renunciation, and during this time we may want to lead a simpler life, giving up luxuries and comforts.

Hand of Destiny

Mars continues to move retrograde until May 19th when he turns direct. Mars moves very slowly, just over two degrees the entire month and stations at around 15 degrees Virgo for the last three weeks of May. From this position he will come close to aspecting the degree of the last solar eclipse in Aries. This indicates that conflicts are likely to continue while Mars aspects Aries.

Mars is currently close to earth and is very strong. He is in a nakshatra called Hasta which is represented by the palm of a hand. The palm of the hand symbolizes our efforts and our ability to see our destinies. While Mars is in this nakshatra, our actions will have an especially strong impact on the future. During this time we can make changes for both good and for bad. It is important to pay attention to our thoughts, our attitudes and our actions. This is an excellent time to pursue a physical practice that addresses both the body and the mind.

Blessings,

Lina

Astrological Highlights: April 2014

solar eclipse vedic astrology quoteThe difficult conjunction between Saturn, Rahu and Mars in Libra, dominated the month of March. As we come into April, Mars is alone in Virgo, having moved away from the close influence of his two enemy planets, Saturn and Rahu. Will this bring relief?

With two eclipses and a difficult Mars influence, there are still serious challenges to be faced in April.

Manifestations of the malefic combination during March

Certainly the two great malefic planets, Saturn and Rahu, put a lot of pressure on Mars and brought out his difficult side in March. Among many things we experienced Cold War-style tension between the West and Russia and a potential for war in Ukraine. The tumultuous air element also manifested the mystery of the missing Malaysian airplane.

Mars retrograde in Virgo

Mars retrogrades in Virgo throughout April. He will continue to retrograde until May 19th when he goes direct at 14:58 in Virgo. Mars is very slow moving during this time. Virgos are hard working perfectionists and people with Virgo rising, Moon or Sun in Virgo will need to find ways to relax or their health may suffer. Mars will put them to work during this time.

In addition to the transit of Mars in Virgo, there are many influences between Mars and Mercury, the ruler of Virgo. During their transit in Pisces both Mercury and the Sun, in addition to the rebellious planet Uranus, are under the fiery aspect of Mars. Certainly Virgos, and also Aries and Pisces, need to make an effort to be calm and focused, especially when driving or doing activities that could put them in danger.

This becomes even more important when Mercury moves into Aries on April 20th. This will cause Mercury to be in a sign ruled by Mars (Aries), in addition to being aspected by Mars (Mars gives an 8th house aspect). There is an exchange between Mercury in Aries and Mars in Virgo. Although this may be good for investigation, research and for analyzing computer information and technical data, this exchange can also create stress. Yoga, exercise and massage are good ways to relax for both Virgos and Aries at this time.

A Mercury under stress

During the full Lunar eclipse on April 15th Mercury is in exact conjunction with the impulsive  Uranus and these two planets are also under the fiery energy of Mars. It is a good idea to do your taxes early this year. April 15th is not a good day to be doing something that is stressful or confusing.

Mercury is part of the Annual Solar Eclipse on April 28 (PST) lining up with the lunar nodes and the luminaries. The eclipse receives aspects from both retrograde Saturn and Mars.

Mercury governs communication, commerce, education and trade. He rules over the rational mind and the central nervous system. Mercury under stress can worsen allergies, give respiratory problems and skin rashes. Obviously it is important to rest the mind. Take walks and enjoy nature (if you don’t have allergies); take some time away from computers.

It is better to have a quiet and relaxing day during an any eclipse. It is not an auspicious time for beginning important projects. Do sadhana–meditation, yoga, mantras, pranayama and prayers can do wonders for calming the nervous system. The energy is darkened during an eclipse but the universe is also very receptive to light. An eclipse indicates a change, and spiritual light will make a positive difference on the outcome.

A Positive Venus in Aquarius

Venus is in Aquarius during most of April. This position brings out our humanitarian ideals and these will continue when Venus moves into Pisces on April 28.  Venus in Aquarius is in a favorable exchange with Saturn in Libra which benefits Aquarius and has a positive effect on all the air signs.

Sun in Gandanta on April 13

The Sun makes a transition from Pisces and goes into Aries on April 13. Pisces is the last of the twelve signs and Aries is the first. This is the end of one cycle and the beginning of another.  A transition into a new cycle is not easy–the energy is unclear, partly because a planet is on the cusp between different elements. The water element in Pisces is very different from the fire element in Aries. This transition is followed by the lunar eclipse with the Sun in Aries and the Moon in Libra.

Total Lunar eclipse on April 15 at 12:45 am (PDT)

The full eclipse can be seen in California shortly after midnight and ends before 1:30 am. The entire event is visible from both North America, South America, New Zealand and Australia.

The eclipse takes place at approximately 1 degree Libra. If you have a planet (or especially Rising sign, Sun or Moon) near the degree of the eclipse it will have a powerful effect in your life.

Saturn plays a part in both eclipses this month. He is with the Moon during the lunar eclipse and opposite the Sun and Moon during the solar eclipse. The Sun represents leaders and governments while Saturn represents the people and democracy. Both the Sun in Aries and Saturn in Libra are exalted. The two planets are enemies and their opposition reveals the tension and power struggles that we are experiencing in many parts of the world.

An exact grand cross on April 22

The grand cross consists of two pairs of opposite planets that form a cross. A grand cross with four planets on exactly the same degree will occur on April 22nd. The planets involved are Jupiter, Mars retrograde, Pluto and Uranus.

The grand cross is normally only applied in Western astrology. However, many Vedic astrologers in the West also consider the outer planets and take the grand cross into account.

Uranus in Pisces (vedic calendar) gives a yearning for freedom. Pluto represents transformation, power and control. Jupiter’s influence on these planets can manifest an increased desire for higher consciousness and freedom, but also as an expansion of power and control. The conflict between the need for liberation and the need to keep control of power is strong. With Mars joining as the fourth planet the energy becomes charged and intense.

Annual Solar eclipse on April 28th at 11:15 pm PDT

The solar eclipse will be partially visible in Australia, Antarctica and southern Asia. The eclipse takes place at 14:48 degrees in Aries. If you have a planet (especially Rising sign, Sun or Moon) near this degree this eclipse will have a powerful effect in your life.

The Sun is in Aries aligned with the Moon, Mercury and Ketu and aspected by Rahu, Saturn and Mars, all retrograde.

Remember to give yourself the time to relax and go inward during the eclipse!

Astrological Highlights: March 2014

A month of change

We will continue to feel the changeable and volatile quality of air as the month of March follows in February’s footsteps with many planets in air signs. The first week of March is especially full of change, with Mars and Saturn going retrograde and Jupiter turning direct within a few days of each other.

The emphasis on air signs continues

Jupiter is still in Gemini, while Mars, Rahu and Saturn continue to transit Libra. The new Moon takes place on March 1st in the third air sign Aquarius.

Air signs express communication

This emphasis on communication has been evident in the news after Comcast announced its intention to merge with Time Warner Cable, creating a communications giant. Later in February, Netflix announced a deal with Comcast that will allow them to increase the speed of the presentation of their movies. Facebook has also been in the news after a recent acquisition of the messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion.

Struggle for social & political change continues

February was a month with many demonstrations and much political unrest throughout the world. Air signs love freedom and in March we still have three malefic planets in Libra. This can create conflict and instability in Libra, a sign that desires harmony and balance.

Aquarius is a humanitarian sign which favors the needs of the many. Saturn, the ruler of this sign, is a planet governing democracy and the masses. The co-ruler of Aquarius, Rahu, has political ambition and desires. Rahu’s and Saturn’s combined transit in Libra puts a focus on social and political reform. Mars’ entry into Libra on February 4th, (where he remains until March 25th when he retrogrades back to Virgo), indicates that change will not come without conflict, clashes and violence. Throughout this coming month Mars will also add to existing stress by casting an aspect on Venus, the planet ruling Libra.

Mars & Saturn retrograde, Jupiter goes direct

The first week of March is unusual because three planets are changing their direction during this week. Mars and Saturn go retrograde and Jupiter goes direct after being retrograde since November 2013. During this first week of March we may feel unsettled since it takes a while for planets to adjust to moving in a new direction.

Mars begins his retrograde motion on March 1st at 3°28 in Libra and goes direct again on May 19th at 14°58 in Virgo. Mars goes retrograde every two years for about ten weeks.

Saturn goes retrograde on March 2nd at 29°15 in Libra. He will retrograde almost 7 degrees until he turns direct again on July 20th at 22°34 Libra. Saturn goes retrograde for about 4 ½ months every year.

What is unusual is that both planets making their transit through Libra turn retrograde almost at the same time. The axis of Rahu and Ketu are always in retrograde motion and the three malefics in Libra – Saturn, Mars and Rahu – will all be retrograde during March.

What does Mars & Saturn retrograde mean?

When a planet is retrograde its energy becomes introverted and we tend to look towards the past rather than boldly moving forward. The assertiveness and the confidence of Mars will diminish. With this type of energy it is usually better to complete projects that were initiated in the past rather than starting something new. Saturn deals with structures and foundations. Sometimes old structures need to be replaced, and this could be a good time to reorganize, restructure, and make sure your projects have a solid foundation before moving on. Libra deals with relationships and agreements, perhaps old conflicts will resurface. This can be the time to address issues in relationships, look over contracts and renegotiate agreements. When Mars retrogrades into Virgo on March 25, he can give insight regarding facts and details, especially those involving technical detail.

Other planetary activity in March

Venus, the planet governing Libra, is in Capricorn and has a special connection with Saturn during this month. With Saturn in Libra (ruled by Venus) and Venus in Capricorn (ruled by Saturn) the two rulers are exchanging signs. This energy expresses a serious and practical way of approaching things. Venus is also receiving an aspect from Mars.

Jupiter’s influence on all the air signs is the grace that makes us open to wisdom and guidance even though situations can be turbulent. Rahu is also casting its aspect on all the air signs and the influence from both of the planets reveal the expansion happening in the field of communication.

The Sun moves into Pisces on March 15th. On the 16th there will be a full Moon in Virgo with the Sun in Pisces. Even though the Sun will be in Pisces there still is activity in all three air signs because Mercury moves into Aquarius on March 12th and Venus will move into this sign on March 31st.

The importance of flexibility

When there is an imbalance of the air element we can feel ungrounded and nervous. Just like a gust of wind can stir up all the leaves and rearrange them on the ground the air element can bring changes quickly. We may need to adjust to new circumstances.

My teacher Swami Kriyananda said that on an inner level we need to develop inner strength and centeredness like that of a downhill skier, and also the flexibility to be able to turn at a moments notice when the need arises.

Breathe calmness

Remember to Exercise, Eat Healthy and Breathe Deeply!

Blessings,
Lina

Astrological Highlights: February 2014

Full Moon on Valentine’s Day

We will experience a full Moon on Valentine’s day, February 14 at 3:54 pm (Pacific Standard Time). The full moon will be in the generous, fun loving and dramatic sign of Leo.

From an astrological point of view, a full moon enhances the imagination, creates vivid dreams, activates the subconscious and brings emotions and feelings to the surface. We are also more receptive to our surroundings. A full Moon is enjoyable if we are a romantic at heart and devotionally inclined, but remember that a full moon has long been associated with werewolves and lunatics for a reason. We will sometimes see irrational behavior brought on by fears during a full Moon.

Venus goes direct

Venus is the planet representing relationships, comfort and art. Venus has been retrograde since December 21st and will go direct on January 31st. While retrograde this past month, Venus has been more introverted than normal, with a tendency to look towards the past. During the first couple days of February, as a planet shifts from retrograde to direct, Venus’ energy can be confused.

As we enter February Venus makes a transit through the sign of Sagittarius and is also receiving a close aspect from Jupiter. Venus is also in close conjunction to the outer planet Pluto. This indicates that Venus is looking for direction while going through a transformation. Venus is also receiving aspects from Saturn and Ketu while transiting Sagittarius.

On February 26th Venus moves into Capricorn and will be in close connection to Saturn. They both exchange signs in a Parivartana yoga. During this Parivartana yoga, Saturn and Venus’ combined energies will be realistic, disciplined, and hard working.

Three malefics in Libra

Venus rules the astrological sign Libra. On February 4th, Mars will join Saturn and Rahu who both are transiting Libra. These three malefic planets will all be in Libra simultaneously. Mars visits Libra between February 4th and March 24th, and then retrogrades back into Virgo. Mars is visiting both Virgo and Libra for many months this year. This planet will not exit Virgo the second time until July 14th and he will stay in Libra until September 4th.

Mars spends an average of five to six weeks in a sign but because of his long retrograde motion this year he will spend a very long time in these two signs. It is a problem for Mars because he is not comfortable in the thinking and analytical sign of Virgo. And when he enters Libra he is not in a friendly relationship with either Saturn or Rahu, who are presently occupying this sign.

Libra is a sign known for diplomacy and negotiation, a sign that enjoys balance and peace. We can expect activity as well as turbulence when all three malefics join in this sign.  In addition Mars will aspect Venus, the ruler of Libra, from february 26th. This is a good time to consciously practice ahimsa and do healing prayers for the world. It could be a turbulent time.

Mercury retrograde

Mercury will be retrograde between February 6th and February 28. This planet is positioned in Aquarius and moves retrograde back to Capricorn on February 18th. Things often don’t go according to the plans while Mercury is retrograde. The Olympics are happening in Russia during this time and we may see some challenges and changes during this event.

Many planets in air signs

A number of planets are in air signs this month, forming what is known as a trine: Jupiter is in Gemini. Rahu, Saturn and Mars are in Libra for most of February, Mercury is in Aquarius until February 18th and the Sun stays in Aquarius after February 14 for the remainder of the month.

Air signs favors the intellect. They are thinkers. New ideas, ideals and ideologies will likely be expressed during this time. This trine also places an emphasis on communication, although this will be affected by Mercury retrograde for a big part of the month.

Astrological update January 15th to 31st, 2014

An Auspicious Full Moon on January 15th

On January 15th at 8:53 pm (Pacific Standard time) we will experience a full moon. The Moon  at this time is beautifully placed in its own sign Cancer, in a very auspicious nakshatra (star constellation) called Punarvasu. Jupiter governs Punarvasu and the full Moon is very near Jupiter’s  place of exaltation. This strong and well supported Moon aids the connection between the mind and the intuitive wisdom of the soul.

The Sun entered Capricorn on January 13th and will stay in this practical and service oriented sign for a month. On January 30th the new Moon takes place in Capricorn.

Two benefic planets – Venus and Jupiter – will continue to be retrograde

Both Venus and Jupiter continue to be retrograde and appear to be moving backwards for the remainder of the month. Planets express their energy differently when retrograde.

During this time Venus is strongly influenced by Jupiter. Venus transits Sagittarius, and is also in close mutual aspect with Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius.

Venus and Jupiter are both benefic planets concerned with enjoyment, wealth and expansion. A close connection between them can lead to indulgence, but their retrograde positions reveals their hesitancy to be extravagant. Venus also feels pressure from Saturn, urging restriction and responsibility, and is at the same time under some pressure from Mars, wanting to take action. Conflict is a result and many people may feel a need for advice and guidance at this time.  There can be a need to reflect and to revisit the past before moving forward. Both Venus and Jupiter can express truth, wisdom and guidance. Venus will go direct on January 31st and Jupiter remains retrograde until March 6th.

Astrological Update: Entering a New Year, January 2014

A new year is an opportunity for a fresh start. It is a time when we can think about what kind of improvements that we can make in our lives and we often try to create positive changes.

A New Moon Ushers in the New Year

The shift to a new year is not always astrologically significant. This year, however, astrological indications support new beginnings. On January 1st, at 03:15 am Pacific Standard Time, we are experiencing a new Moon. A new Moon supports making plans, clarifying intentions, and planting the seeds for the future.

A Time of Deep & Powerful Change

As we shift into this new year, astrological indications reveal the potential for powerful changes. The Moon and the Sun are both placed at 16:54 degrees in Sagittarius (PST) at the time of the new Moon. The two luminaries are in close conjunction to Pluto and Mercury. Pluto is a planet of power and transformation.

Sagittarius is a dynamic and idealistic sign seeking to express righteous action, truth and knowledge. It is also a mutable sign, which gives it a changeable, adaptable and flexible quality. The Moon, the Sun, Mercury and Pluto are presently all situated in the Nakshatra (star constellation) of Purva Ashada in Sagittarius.

Purva Ashada and the next nakshatra, Uttara Ashada, represent the unfolding of spirituality and of creative talents. The challenge for Purva Ashada is to find a balance between embracing spirituality whithout shirking the responsibility for material realities. There are still many blocks to be faced before we can express our true light and inner strength.

The ruler of Sagittarius, Jupiter, aspects his own sign from his present position in Gemini. This aspect is helpful because Purva Ashada needs to develop knowledge and wisdom in order to express creativity and spirituality in new ways. Venus is the ruler of Purva Ashada. Both Jupiter and Venus can give guidance and advice and both planets are presently retrograde. This may indicate the need to address past karma in order to move forward.

A Struggle Between Idealism & Materialism

The conflict between spirituality and materialism is also revealed by the Lunar Nodes. Rahu and Ketu are both placed in their own nakshatras which intensifies their energy. Ketu in Ashwini nakshatra (placed in Aries) is idealistic and non-attached. He is a healer and from his position in Aries he influences Sagittarius. Rahu in Swati nakshatra is ambitiously involved in material realities. These two opposite energies need to be bridged in order to find a constructive expression. We need to find ways to unite spiritual idealism with material ambition. Our material life needs to be supported by spiritual concepts.

A Sense of Instability

The negative side of mutable energy is that we may experience a sense of being unsettled, a feeling of instability, we have yet to figure out how and in what way we are going to make our committments.The negative manifestations of Purva Ashada are over expansiveness and an egoic nature.

The four planets in Purva Ashada (Sun, Moon, Pluto & Mercury) are aspected by the position of Mars in Virgo almost to the degree. Energies run high but when polluted indicate power struggles, anger and violence. Terrorism is a real threat at this time.

An Important Time for Cleansing & Purification

Mars is active and quick. Virgo is a sign of purification, service and discrimination. This position of Mars reveals an urgent need to clean up our act, and a need to serve one another in new and creative ways. This is the constructive use of the potentially harmful energies.

It is important for the planets in Purva Ashada to maintain their purity. However, during this time, the influence of Mars can pollute their energies. It is now especially important to keep our environment and diet as pure as possible. For inner cleansing we can do spiritual rituals of  purification, mantras, prayers and meditation.

Blessings and a Happy New Year!

Astrological Highlights: December 2013

December brings relief for Libra

The sign of Libra has been the focus of much activity during these last couple of months.

An eclipse involving a close conjunction of planets – Saturn, Mercury, Sun and Rahu – took place last month in this air sign in the Nakshatra (star constellation) Swati. The deity associated with Swati in vedic astrology is called Vayu, the Lord of the winds. Swati represents movement, power and independence.  As a result of the conjunction and the eclipse in Swati, we have experienced one of the strongest storms recorded. The birth of Typhoon Haiyan took place during the eclipse.

As we enter the month of December, Rahu and Saturn both remain in Libra. However, with more separation and space between them their conjunction is less intense. Jupiter is now in close aspect to Saturn and presently also aspects Venus, the ruler of Libra. Jupiter’s influence brings balance and joy to this essentially peace loving sign.

Venus will move into Capricorn on December 5th. This will create a strong connection between Venus and Saturn because Venus will be transiting a sign ruled by Saturn (Capricorn) and Saturn is positioned in Libra, a sign ruled by Venus. In sanskrit this mutual combination of planets is known as parivartana yoga. This parivartana yoga is a positive yoga and will add more harmony to Libra.

This yoga is also very positive for people with Capricorn as their rising sign–they are likely to feel a good connection to their work during this month. Capricorn rising signs will also feel the benefit of having Venus (the best planet for Capricorns) in their first house.

Retrograde Venus

Venus goes retrograde on December 21st in Capricorn and will stay retrograde until January 31st, 2014 when it goes direct. Venus represents what we value and what we enjoy. While Venus is retrograde this is a time to reflect and become realistic about relationships, partnerships and finances.

Saturn’s influence during this time promotes responsibility and realism. It is good for financial planning, for creating budgets, and for setting realistic goals for 2014. On a global level it is also a time to take a realistic and serious look at what course of direction we need to follow.

Mars and Mercury in Parivartana Yoga

Another parivartana yoga taking place this month involves Mars and Mercury. Mars has entered Virgo and Mercury is now in Scorpio. When Mercury is transiting a sign ruled by Mars (Scorpio), and Mars is transiting a sign ruled by Mercury (Virgo) both planets are mutually influencing one another. This is known as parivartana yoga in sanskrit and it is a positive exchange for Mars and Mercury.

This particular transit combination favors investigation and research. Much energy can go into analyses and details. This yoga favors communication as well as technology. Internet businesses could do very well. Because Virgo also relates to health and healing, this is a good time to improve our health through exercise, yoga and diet.

The parivartana yoga ends on December 21st when Mercury moves into Sagittarius. Mercury will be exchanging signs with Jupiter after the 21st.

Make an extra effort to remain centered

A word of caution in regards to the last week of December.  Refraining from recklessness and impulsiveness is always a good idea, but it is especially important during this particular week. Be cautious when driving and in other situations as well. The Mercury ruled rising signs, Virgo and Gemini, need to be particularly aware. The energies during this time are strong but not easy.

During the last couple of days of December, Mars in Virgo is closely aspecting its ruler Mercury, now in Sagittarius. The conjunction between Sun, Mercury and the outer planet Pluto is very close and Mars is aspecting Pluto on the degree. The planets in Sagittarius are also receiving aspects from Saturn and Ketu and there is a close aspect between Mars and Uranus. These malefic combinations of planetary energies can create conflict, crises and potential for violence and accidents.

If you can, this is a good time to take a seclusion, do spiritual practices and remain centered. Relax, meditate and pray for the new year.

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All text and images © Copyright 2012-14 Elisabeth Preston. All rights reserved.
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