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!


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.

Astrological Highlights: November 2013

The final eclipse of 2013 takes place on November 3rd following the lunar eclipse of October 18th.

How does an eclipse effect us astrologically?

An event rarely happens during the eclipse itself, but is an indication for events to follow. The astrological effect can begin before the actual eclipse and the influence lasts for the same number of years that the eclipse lasted in minutes. The solar eclipse on November 3rd will last 1 minute and 39 seconds so the astrological effect will last for more than a year and a half. This means that the place of the eclipse, 17 degrees in Libra in the Nakshatra (star constellation) Swati, will remain sensitive to planets transiting or aspecting it for over a year and a half. When planets transit, or aspect, this place they may have the ability to trigger the potential outcome of the eclipse. Swati is deeply involved in material realities and seeks to be independant and self-reliant. This eclipse involves the Sun, Moon, Rahu, Saturn and Mercury R which are all close together in Libra.

A solar eclipse affects our consciousness. It often represents a change and a transformation collectively but can affect us on an individual level as well. If your personal planets fall within five degrees of the eclipse, and especially if it is your Sun, Moon, Rising Sign, or the ruler of the Rising Sign, you are likely to experience change, regeneration and transformation in your life.

A rare solar eclipse

The solar eclipse of November 3rd is most unusual and of a rare quality–it will be seen as an annular eclipse along part of its track (an annular eclipse is a solar eclipse in which the moon covers all but a bright ring around the circumference of the sun) and will later be experienced as a total eclipse as it travels further along its path. From an astrological viewpoint the influence of an eclipse is said to be stronger in locations across the earth where it can be physically seen.

Who can see this eclipse?

A partial solar eclipse will be visible in northern South America, along the East Coast of the US and Canada shortly after local sunrise on November 3rd. The annular eclipse begins off the coast of Florida and moves across the Atlantic. Much of Africa and the southern Mediterranean region will see partial phases of the eclipse.

Some countries in Africa such as Gabon, Congo, Uganda, Ethiophia, Kenya and Somalia will experience a total eclipse.

How do eclipses occur?

Solar eclipses can only happen during a new moon. The Moon is aligned between the Earth and the Sun and blocks out the light of the Sun. The Sun sheds its light for a moment and exposes the shadow of the Moon which is Rahu. The Lunar Nodes, Rahu and Ketu, are the shadow planets that have the power to block the light of the luminaries.

Recommended activities during an eclipse (and what to avoid)

You may not want to travel long distance on the day of the eclipse (or within a couple of days of the eclipse) if you can avoid it. The air element during this time is strong because the eclipse occurs in an air sign (Libra) and in a nakshatra connected to air (Swati). Both Rahu and Saturn are airy planets and such a strong influence of the air element makes everything unpredictable and unstable. Try to avoid beginning important undertakings during the days surrounding an eclipse.

This time supports activities that help us to go inward. Take a retreat, have a longer meditation, do mantras. It is a good time to introspect and to do inner work. To fast during this period is beneficial. It can also be a good time to clean and reorganize your home or office.


The eclipse on November 3rd takes place during collective, traditional celebrations that exemplifies the struggle between light and darkness.

Halloween is a fun, entertaining event for many people. But remember that an eclipse has the power to darken our consciousness and that it can show us realities we normally are not aware of. Some people say that eclipses can bring out ghosts and disembodied spirits. During this Halloween we may want to stay away from the very dark and absurd or we could attract the real thing.

By celebrating All Saints Day on November 1st we can draw the Light by reading about the lives of Saints who expressed high consciousness and a Godly nature. Some countries celebrate All Saints Day on Sunday, November 3rd which is the day of the eclipse.

All Souls Day on Saturday November 2nd celebrates beloved departed ones by lighting candles and decorating graves. Last year I visited the cemetery in my home town in Sweden on All Souls Day and it was a moving and powerful experience. Many hundreds of lit candles, lamps and graves were beautifully decorated in honor of departed ones. This is a suitable celebration during an eclipse which also represents transformation, death, and rebirth.

Diwali (the festival of Light), one of the biggest Holidays in India, begins on November 3rd and ends on November 7th. Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps representing the triumph of good over evil. This is also an ideal type of celebration to participate in around the time of an eclipse.

Other planetary news for November

The planet Mercury is retrograde, combust with the Sun, and also in exact conjunction with Rahu on November 2nd. It will go direct on November 10th and will be in exact conjunction with Rahu again on November 17th. Mercury ruled Ascendants; Gemini and Virgo, are likely to experience turbulence during this time.

The Sun and Saturn are in an exact conjunction on November 6th and Jupiter goes retrograde on that same day. Governments, authorities and leaders may experience more struggles, responsibilities and confusion than usual.

Signs ruled by the Sun and Saturn: Leo, Capricorn and Aquarius, will feel more tension due to the two conflicting planets coming together. The signs ruled by Jupiter – Sagittarius and Pisces – can experience some confusion on the day Jupiter turns retrograde. The Sun will move into Scorpio on November 16th where it is in a stronger sign position than in its debilitation sign Libra. Jupiter will remain retrograde until March 6th, 2014. A retrograde Jupiter wants to have time for more reflection, soul searching and makes an effort for finding one’s own wisdom within.

Astrological Highlights: October 2013

This October we are facing another intense month astrologically, with many significant transits leading towards a solar eclipse in early November. There is astrological tension and stress during this time which brings obstacles and conflicts to the surface. During this month we are facing many important issues.

Planetary Activity in the Sign of Libra

In Libra, Rahu and Saturn are still in a very close conjunction and Venus and Mercury are also in this sign. Venus has had a softening influence on Saturn and Rahu while in Libra that has helped diplomacy and may have prevented an attack on Syria this last month. However, the power of the Saturn/Rahu conjunction as well as the close aspect on Venus from a debilitated Mars has weakened the influence of Venus. The influence of the three malefic planets (Rahu, Saturn and a debilitated Mars), has caused the kind of tension demonstrated by the partial shutdown of the federal government. Venus’ influence on Rahu and Saturn will be further weakened as it enters the sign of Scorpio on October 2nd.

Solar Eclipse on November 3rd

Saturn has the ability to delay and obstruct. Rahu has the ability to obscure. Both Saturn and Rahu can manifest fear, anxiety and apprehension. This combination of planetary energies culminates in a solar eclipse on November 3rd. The eclipse involves a conjunction of the Sun, Moon, Rahu, Saturn and Mercury in the sign of Libra.

There will also be a lunar eclipse two weeks earlier on October 18th. The moon is with Ketu, opposite Saturn, Rahu and Mercury, which can be emotionally challenging and unstable.

In the past, eclipses were considered bad omens. However, eclipses are not necessarily negative. During an eclipse, luminaries are darkened by a shadow and for a short time the lunar nodes reveal themselves–a sight we normally cannot see. An eclipse is a time of transition and suggests that a change will take place. It is especially beneficial to meditate and do spiritual practices during an eclipse.

The Struggle for Balance

Libra is trying to bring balance and harmony, but the power of the malefic planets makes this a difficult process. The combination of Saturn and Rahu stirs things up and brings important issues to the forefront–especially those relating to security. These two planets make us face difficult issues before balance and harmony can be found.

In the Navamsha chart (dealing with dharma and relationships), Saturn and Rahu are placed in the sign of Aquarius during the first week of October. This suggests that broader humanitarian issues are at the forefront and important political decisions need to be made. It further suggests that we must act in an unselfish and responsible way, negating personal interest in favor of the highest good of all. Saturn can force us to face the consequences of past actions and demands that we deal with reality in a truthful and responsible way.

Mercury Will be Conjunct with Rahu & Saturn

The planet Mercury governs the intellect and our central nervous system. He also rules over communication, trade, business, negotiations and commerce. Mercury is presently making his transit through Libra and will be in exact conjunction with Rahu on October 6th.

Mercury will be in exact conjunction with Saturn on October 8th. These days will be intense, and as the Moon will enter and pass through Libra during October 6th and 7th, it may become a challenge to remain even minded. The planet Mars will move out of its debilitation in Cancer and will  transit into the sign of Leo on October 6th. The transition point between the water sign of Cancer and the fire sign of Leo is a sensitive astrological point where planets become unsure of how to behave. After the transition Mars is stronger in Leo and Venus will again be influenced by an aspect from a more powerful Mars. Id addition, Venus will also be in a sign ruled by Mars.

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury goes retrograde between Oct 22nd and Nov 11th. While Mercury is retrograde all communication (including computers, internet, trade, planning and travel) can act somewhat unpredictably and different from their normal behavior.

A Tumultuous Time for Leaders & Governments

The Sun enters into Libra on October 17th, joining Saturn, Rahu and Mercury. The Sun represents leaders, people in power and governments. This could be a tumultuous time for leaders and governments. The Sun is debilitated in Libra and the conjunction with Rahu is exact on October 31st and the solar eclipse takes place on November 3rd.

How Does this Affect You?

On a personal level, we experience different effects of the transits depending on whether we have personal planets placed where the major transits happen. We are more likely to be influenced if our Sun, Moon, Ascendant or the Lord of the Ascendant are placed where major transits occur. How we are affected also depends on our rising sign and the planetary period we are experiencing.  Rising signs ruled by Mercury, Gemini and Virgo, are feeling the effect of these transits this month. Those with Leo rising signs will feel the affect more intensely while the Sun is in Libra, Oct 17 to Nov 16th. Those with Libra rising signs and rising signs ruled by Saturn (Capricorn and Aquarius) are strongly influenced by these transits as well.

What can we do?

There are things we can do to help mitigate challenging astrological influences. Rahu and Ketu (which are both strong at this time) are subtle in nature and respond well to spiritual energy. Meditation and spiritual practices, including prayer, mantras and yoga, will uplift our energy and help us remain calm and even-minded.

Saturn is also strong at this time. Selfless service and spending time in silence and solitude are some ways we can please Saturn and work with this planet’s energy.

Astrological Highlights: September 2013

Astrologically we are entering an intense month with Rahu and Saturn coming to an exact conjunction. Their influence has already been seen in some of the recent world news.

Here are some of the recent events that demonstrate the energy of this conjunction:

  • American evidence that Syrian forces uses chemical weapons threatens to escalate into another war. A complicated international crisis is about to get even messier.
  • The violence in the Sinai Peninsula has worsened.
  • An ammonia leak from a cold storage unit in Shanghai killed 15 people on Saturday and sickened dozens.
  • News from Japan that the level of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant has jumped to serious.
  • In the US fast-food workers and their supporters rallies in 58 US cities in the largest fast food strike ever.

So what is going on astrologically?

During their transits across the zodiac the lunar nodes travel in a reverse direction from the planets. While Saturn is moving forward through Libra towards the sign of Scorpio, Rahu is travelling in a reverse direction towards Virgo. During the month of September Saturn and Rahu will meet in an exact conjunction. The exact conjunction will happen on Sept 17 (true node), and some beleive it takes place on Sept 25 (mean node). This conjunction between Saturn and Rahu does not happen very often and is considered challenging.

Rahu, the North node of the Moon, casts a shadow on earth and Saturn is the planet of karmic retribution. Rahu and Saturn can express similar energies, but Saturn acts on a physical level and Rahu on a psychological level. Rahu is symbolized by the head of a snake and this is where the snake carries his poison. Rahu governs poison, toxic situations, chemicals, radiation and nuclear management. Rahu can cloud our perceptions. On a psychological level both Saturn and Rahu can stir up our fears and anxieties and, especially when fuelled by the current aspect from Mars, it can stir up our anger as well. It is now especially important to make an effort to remain calm since acting under emotional stress can take us in the wrong direction.

Saturn is a planet of democracy and in Libra he expresses a need for fairness and equal rights. Rahu governs people who in some way may feel different and somewhat like outsiders. Thus we are experiencing demonstrations and fighting for equal rights, whether they be on a financial, social or political level.

Saturn and Rahu are both considered malefic influences. Presently they are together in the air constellation called Swati, in the air sign of Libra. Both Rahu and Saturn are of the air element. A lot of air can become volatile and cause things to get out of control.

During this time Jupiter is aspecting Libra from Gemini. This is beneficial and shows the ability to draw right guidance and advice during these times of crises. Venus will move from its sign of debilitation, Virgo, and into its own sign Libra on September 5th. This will also soften the impact of the difficult energies. On September 19th Venus will break the Kala Sarpa yoga that we have been experiencing since May. It is good to get out of Kala Sarpa yoga (when all planets are positioned on one half of the zodiac between Rahu and Ketu) because this yoga gives more power to the lunar nodes and creates an imbalance.

Rahu and Saturn’s influence on the Moon can be challenging for the mind and the emotions. The position of the Moon may trigger the energy of this conjunction, especially when it travels through Libra and conjoins Rahu and Saturn. This happens on September 9th. The Moon joins Ketu in Aries on September 22 and is then opposed by Rahu and Saturn. These are days when we will need to make an extra effort to keep our emotions under control.

Astrological highlights during August 2013

According to vedic astrology we are experiencing two debilitated planets, Venus and Mars, during the second part of August. Venus is debilitated in Virgo because this social planet of charm and creativity is not comfortable in the mental, analytical and critical sign of Virgo. Venus stays in Virgo for the remainder of the month.

Mars will be debilitated in Cancer from August 19th and remains in this sign until Oct 6th. Mars has problems being in Cancer because this action oriented, logical and strategic planet gets entangled in emotions in this feeling oriented sign.  During his stay in Cancer Mars is aspected by Saturn which can create feelings of anger and frustration. Mars will in turn aspect Saturn and Rahu and this reveals the potential for violence. We will  experience protests and demonstrations. These demonstrations  can end in violence. The mass demonstrations in Egypt are an example of this and they are likely to continue.

The Sun goes into its own sign Leo, on August 17th. We may see turbulence around the full moon on august 20th.

On a very different level we may experience stormy and wet weather. Saturn and Rahu are both air planets and they are transiting an air sign. They are fueled by the energy of Mars transiting a water sign, thus the possibility of storms.

We are presently experiencing a condition called Kala Sarpa yoga. Kala Sarpa yoga is formed when all 7 planets considered in Vedic Astrology (Sun, Moon, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury) are placed between Rahu  (Moon’s North Node) and Ketu (Moon’s South Node). Astrologically this represents a karmic condition indicating an imbalance, something  needing correction. Kala Sarpa yoga will be here for several months and is only interrupted by the Moon, who travels around the full zodiac every month.

The presence of Jupiter in Gemini is very beneficial because from this position he casts a  favorable aspect on Saturn and Rahu. Expanded thinking gives balance to what otherwise could be an unstable situation.

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

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