Astrological Highlights: March 2015

Rahu and Ketu Vedic Astrology - serpantMarch 2015: a month of sweeping changes

Spring is a time of change. We can experience these changes in nature and all around us. In addition to the transition of the seasons, astrological influences this coming month suggest that other changes might be in store as well. On March 20th, the day of the spring equinox, we will experience a full solar eclipse. A lunar eclipse takes place a short time later, on April 4th. The eclipses remind us that change and transformation, life and death, are also a part of life.

The total solar eclipse on March 20th can be seen from the Faroe Islands (near Iceland) and Svalbard (near Greenland). Greenland, Iceland, Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa and northwest Asia get to witness part of the eclipse. A solar eclipse always happens on a new moon and this new moon is a “super moon”, which means it is close to earth and can have a strong influence upon it.

The eclipse takes place at 5’ 23” degrees in the sign of Pisces. The new Moon and the Sun are joined in Pisces by Ketu, Mars and Uranus. The house that is represented by Pisces in your personal chart is likely to be an area in your life undergoing change.

Ketu plays a significant role this month

The lunar nodes are both very active this month–especially Ketu in Pisces. Ketu is also in the company of other planets, many of whom will be transiting over Ketu.

Ketu is the keeper of the book of past and present karma. He reminds us that we have issues from the past that we need to deal with. He wants to bring us enlightenment and freedom, but Ketu can also be immersed in darkness and carries all our emotional baggage.

Rahu and Ketu are symbolically represented by a serpent. Rahu is the head– he is the thinker. Ketu is the tail, he acts instinctively, and he is portrayed without a head. A dark and headless Ketu can do awful things. Beheadings, assassinations, and burnings of innocent people are all acts of headless ignorance. Ketu is a fiery planet that can cause fear and destruction, as well as loss and sorrow.

However, the higher nature of Ketu wants to destroy our ignorance. His true wish is to give us knowledge and liberation. Ketu governs instinct and intuition and looks beyond the restrictions of the mind. He wants us to think with the heart.

Rahu is always opposite Ketu and is very different from Ketu in his expression.  Ketu in Pisces is idealistic. Rahu in Virgo (as He is now placed) is practical, analytical and tries to keep control through intellectual analyses.

Rahu transits a nakshatra called Hasta during the month of March. Hasta is placed in Virgo. Hasta means “hand” and the hand reflects our destiny. At the time of the lunar eclipse on April 4th, Mercury will be in the sign of his debilitation (Pisces) and in exact conjunction with Ketu. There may be some challenges in areas represented by Mercury at this time: communication, trade, business or education.

Uranus and Pluto

Although the outer planets Uranus and Pluto are not traditionally included in Vedic astrology, they are used in both Western astrology and neo-Vedic astrology. Their influence has validity and it can be helpful to examine them.

Ketu can act quickly and unexpectedly. The outer planet Uranus is also transiting Pisces. Uranus is rebellious, he too can act in sudden and unexpected ways.

Uranus and Pluto have been in a square relationship with one another since 2012. They will be in an exact 90 degree angle between March 11 – 28.  Pluto represents power and transformation. The inharmonious relationship between Uranus and Pluto is creating drastic changes and upheaval.

The presence of Ketu also suggests deep past and present karmic issues that need to be worked out. This is a time when many people in the world are affected by political and social forces beyond their control. It may be both painful and chaotic.

Some people may be experiencing the need to let go of something or someone that has been very precious to them. The present Venus/Ketu conjunction sometimes indicates the loss of a loved one. It can also indicate a need to simplify, to be flexible and to let go of attachments to things that are no longer needed. It may also indicate a reconnection to a past relationship.

This is a great time for psychological healing and therapy work as it puts us in touch with our past and can give us insight and the courage to change. The exalted Jupiter in Cancer casting a beneficial aspect on Pisces is helpful in this respect.

“Life is always unsafe and unstable, like a drop of water on a lotus leaf. The company of a divine personage, even for a moment, can save and redeem us.”

–Sankaracharya, an illumined sage of the eighth century; quoted from the last chapter of The Holy Science by Swami Sri Yukteswar


Astrological Dates to remember for March 2015:

March 1st     Ketu conjunct Venus

March 6th     Ketu conjunct Mars

March 8th     Mercury moves into Aquarius

March 12th   Venus moves into Aries

March 14th   Saturn goes retrograde   at 10’51” Scorpio

March 14th   Sun moves to Pisces

March 20th   Solar eclipse and new Moon

March 23rd   Mars moves into Aries, stays until May 4th

March 30th   Sun conjunct Ketu

March 11 – 28   Uranus and Pluto in an exact 90 degree angle




Astrological Highlights: February 2015


During February, March and all through the first part of April many planets are in water signs.

The water signs are: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. The water element stands for liberation and transformation. Water also represents feelings and emotions.

Ketu and Uranus

Ketu, the south node of the moon, is transiting the star constellation Revati in the water sign Pisces. Pisces is the last of the twelve signs and Revati is the last of the 27 lunar mansions. Revati is the end of a cycle, and within Revati lies the seeds for a new beginning. Planets that are transiting Revati reveals major transformation. Ketu represents our past karma.

Ketu in Revati is joined by the outer planet Uranus. Ketu always moves in a retrograde motion. Uranus and Ketu meet in an exact conjunction on February 1st. Ketu can suddenly and unexpectedly release his energy and the outer planet Uranus is erratic and rebellious. Their combination can be chaotic and we have experienced their energy in January as the two planets were approaching one another. The terror attacks in France and other disturbing acts embodies this chaotic and shocking energy.

Ketu and Jupiter

Pisces and the star constellation Revati also express spiritual and idealistic energy.The same planetary combination (Ketu/Uranus) can also give us deep and profound insight. Jupiter, the ruler of Pisces, is transiting another water sign; Cancer. Both Jupiter and Ketu are influencing one another by a trine aspect. We can experience deep feelings, intuitive wisdom and guidance during this time of transformation and change.

Jupiter in Cancer tends to make us feel connected to our roots, family and country. While Jupiter is expansive, Ketu’s influence is one of cutting off and separating. At this time we are experiencing a rise in nationalism such as in Russia as well as in Ukraine. In Greece and Spain we see a desire for independence from the EU and in America and many European countries we see the rise of political parties favoring strict immigration policies.

Mercury and Jupiter Retrograde

The star constellation Revati is ruled by the planet Mercury and is in a sign, Pisces, ruled by Jupiter. Mercury and Jupiter are both currently retrograde and opposite each other. There is a need to reflect and analyse our present and changing circumstances. Mercury is doing some serious thinking and is involved in the structure and organisation of  trade and communication systems, especially while transiting Capricorn. Mercury will go direct on February 11th

Mars and Venus enter Pisces

Saturn is transiting Scorpio, yet another water sign. Scorpio is a deep and profound sign of transformation but Saturn can resist changes and may even block them. Scorpio has two rulers; Mars and Ketu. Mars will enter Pisces on February 11th which means that both rulers of Scorpio will then transit Pisces. Venus will enter Pisces on February 15th. Venus is exalted in Pisces but will likely not enjoy the company of Mars, Ketu and Uranus, three malefics with highly charged energy. In March the Sun will join them as well and on March 20th there will be a Solar eclipse adding further indications of transformation and change.

Remember that Ketu is a planet for yogis as it indicates non-attachment and spiritual wisdom. Stay centered within!


Astrological Highlights: January 2015

Yogananda quote - new yearJanuary 2015 begins with many planets in earth signs. Earth signs place an emphasis on stability, security and material productivity.

Planetary Activity in the Earth Signs

This month begins with five out of the nine planets in the three earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn). On January 1st, the Moon is transiting Taurus, the sign of its exaltation. Rahu stays in Virgo for another year, and Venus, Mercury and Mars are currently in Capricorn. An exalted Jupiter is casting a favorable aspect on the planets in Capricorn, bringing us an auspicious start to 2015.

An Auspicious Full Moon on January 4th

On January 4th there is a full Moon in Gemini. The full Moon can be seen shortly after 8 pm PST in the star constellation Punarvasu, ruled by Jupiter. This is a very good time to focus on your positive goals and to pray for the wisdom to bring them to fruition.

On the day of the full Moon, Mars moves from Capricorn into Aquarius where he will stay until February 11th. Mars has been strong and exalted in Capricorn but under strong Saturnian influences. Mars in Aquarius is still exchanging signs with Saturn in Scorpio (the two planets are influencing and strengthening one another by being in each others signs) but unfortunately Mars will no longer receive the favorable aspect that he had from Jupiter while in Capricorn. Therefore Mars is more troubled. He will also cast an aspect on Rahu, the co-ruler of Aquarius. There can be political unrest and eruptions with this position of Mars. Health matters can come into focus during the latter part of this month.

New Moon on January 20th

During the new Moon on January 20th, we will see a great deal of activity in Capricorn. The Sun joins Mercury and Venus in Capricorn on January 14th. At the time of the new Moon, we see four planets in this sign: the Moon, the Sun, Mercury and Venus.

Serious Analytical Thinking & Reorganization

Mercury goes retrograde in Capricorn from January 21st until February 11th. Capricorn is a sign of organization and structure and during this time there may be a need for rethinking and restructuring.

Saturn’s Influence in 2015

Even though the year begins with a favorable astrological climate it is important to remember that Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn is transiting Scorpio throughout this year and next year. Saturn, a planet governing structure, durability and time, is not very comfortable in a sign expressing transformation and change.  Saturn’s aspect on the earth sign Capricorn, from the sign of Scorpio, points to changes and challenges regarding structure and organization. For now, Jupiter’s aspect on Saturn, and on Capricorn, is improving matters.


Astrological Highlights: December 2014 

yogananda christmas quote

The water signs are well represented as we move from November to December. In fact, on December 1st there are seven planets transiting water signs.

A time for patience & discipline

Mars in Capricorn is exchanging signs with Saturn in Scorpio for the entire month. This makes both planets strong but also requires patience and discipline. The quick and impulsive Mars will be slowed down and restricted by slow moving Saturn which can result in frustrations and delays. However, if we discipline ourselves and allow Saturn to guide the activity of Mars much can be accomplished. Be patient, even-minded and do good work!

Blessings from a benefic Jupiter

A benefic Jupiter aspects all of the planets,except Rahu, and helps to keep a positive spirit. During the entire month we find both Jupiter and Mars in their signs of exaltation: Cancer and Capricorn. 

People with Cancer or Capricorn rising signs have two exalted planets in their first and seventh house at this time (self and relationships). The signs ruled by Mars (Aries and Scorpio) also benefit by having their ruler exalted and aspected by Jupiter.

Jupiter goes retrograde on December 8th

If you are awake during the night or in the early morning before dawn on December 8th (PDT)  you may see this beautiful planet at his turning point of the year. Jupiter will be stationary then, and for a few days prior. The slow shift into a retrograde motion occurs at noon on December 8th at 28’14 in Cancer. (PDT)

When Jupiter is stationary and retrograde he often behaves in a non-traditional way. He is strong and close to earth but he thinks differently. He looks at situations from a different viewpoint and can give advice that is unconventional. We are influenced by our past and may find that we need to address something in a new way.

This can be a time to reflect and place more emphasis on inner awareness and growth. Generally, when a planet goes retrograde it is better to finish projects that we have already undertaken rather than starting something new. Jupiter goes direct on April 8th, 2015 (PST)

Full Moon on December 6th

If you get up before sunrise on December 6th, you will see the full Moon.  A full moon occurs at 4:27 am (PDT).

The Moon will be bright and strong in its own star constellation (nakshatra) Rohini. Rohini means red and red is the color for passion. This star constellation is passionate and restless, favoring creativity and comfort.

Venus, Mercury and Sun move into Sagittarius

Four planets – Saturn, Mercury, Sun and Venus – are transiting in Scorpio during the beginning of the month but only Saturn will remain in Scorpio by the end of the month. The other three planets move into Sagittarius during December. We want to be observant of the effect of these planets as they move into Sagittarius. The transit at the junction point between water signs and fire signs can be challenging and unstable. 

Venus will move into Sagittarius on December 5th.

Mercury moves into Sagittarius on December 13th.

The Sun will move into Sagittarius on December 15th.

New Moon on the Winter Solstice

The time before the New Moon is called Amavasya. It is the darkest night of the month. The New Moon occurs on December 21st at 5:36 pm (PDT) This is the time when the Moon begins to move away from the Sun and it gradually becomes brighter. We will gradually see the light of the Moon return again.

Winter solstice (on December 21st) marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. From this day on the light will increase and the day becomes longer.

With both luminaries at their darkest, this is a wonderful time to reflect, meditate and tune into the spiritual message of Christmas.

Happy Holidays and Christmas Blessings,


Astrological Highlights: November 2014

Scorpio Vedic AstrologyThe month of November is associated with transformation and change. In the Northern hemisphere the leaves are falling and the nights are longer. Astrologically, this month brings a shift of planets moving from Libra to Scorpio. November begins with the exalted Saturn, Venus and Sun in Libra but on November 24th there will be four planets in Scorpio: Sun, Saturn, Venus and Mercury. Saturn’s transit into Scorpio is the most significant astrological event this month. Saturn will move into Scorpio on November 2nd.

Saturn leaves Libra

Saturn spends roughly 2 ½ years in each sign. He first entered Libra in November 2011 and, apart from a few months when he retrograded back into Virgo, has been in Libra ever since. When Saturn transits a sign, there are usually aspects of the sign that we need to work with. For example, we have seen a number of challenges related to Libra while Saturn has been in this sign.

Saturn is a friend of Venus, the ruler of Libra, and he is comfortable in this sign. However, we do need to consider that during Saturn’s stay in Libra he was joined by Rahu for a long period of time. This was not an easy combination. Mars also made an unusually long transit first in Virgo, where he is not very comfortable, and then in Libra, during Saturn’s transit in Libra.

Saturn moves into Scorpio

Saturn comes into Scorpio on November 2nd and will stay in this sign until January 26, 2017.

What can we expect from Saturn’s transit in Scorpio? Saturn is not in his favorite sign, in fact, Saturn and Mars (the ruler of Scorpio) are enemies.

In order to understand what this transit might bring let us examine the sign of Scorpio:

Understanding Scorpio

Scorpio is the astrological sign reflecting transformation. Two powerful planets, Mars and Ketu, are both rulers of this fixed sign. Fixed signs are firm and the energy of Scorpio is intense. We can sense a powerful nature when people have planets strongly placed in Scorpio.

This is a water sign, and therefore feeling oriented, and people with planets in Scorpio may deal with emotions that are too strong for their own comfort. Scorpios also have a tendency to want to be in control.

Scorpios prefer privacy, they may even be shy. Just like the scorpion they can go underground. They tend to be secretive and can have a hidden agenda. This sign can produce both investigators and spies.

People with planets in Scorpio are analytical and intuitive. They can see things that others overlook. Their interest in the unknown makes them good researchers and diagnosticians. They often have an interest in the metaphysical.

Scorpios are often conservative and will try to hold on to what they have. In this sign we find a struggle between darkness and light, and Scorpio can manifest a wide range of people: from the worst of criminals to the holiest of Saints.

Scorpio relates to the eighth house

Scorpio is the eighth sign of the zodiac and has many similarities with the eighth house in a chart. This house also represents transformation and that which is unknown. The hidden nature of this house/sign can manifest scandals (when secrets are revealed), as well as attract enemies and disease. It can also attract the opposite: health, healing, yoga and psychology.

This house/sign is also indicative of our values and resources; banking, insurance, inheritance and pensions come under its domain. It governs life and afterlife.

What can we expect from Saturn’s transit in Scorpio?

Saturn in a sign ruled by Mars may cause frustration and anger. Mars is impulsive and quick to action while Saturn is slow and careful. However, a highly benefic aspect from Jupiter in Cancer will aid in the process of rightful action. Jupiter remains in Cancer until July 2015 and will cast his favorable aspect upon Saturn until then.

Mars is technical and strategic while Saturn gives discipline and control. Saturn in Scorpio favors engineering and computer science. Technological advances can be made.

This is also a time that will benefit the practice of yoga and massage. Saturn can go deep in Scorpio and benefits psychological work as well as philosophical studies.

Saturn in Scorpio puts focus on underground activities. We might experience increased activity regarding terrorism, espionage and earthquakes. We will likely experience increased control and as a result the police, the military and the secret service may have more power. Issues of personal integrity may arise. There may be increased control regarding taxes.

Issues of aging, security and pensions will likely need to be addressed. The work of banks and insurance companies may undergo changes. We will need to take a deeper look at our resources. There may be also be a focus on oil.

In order to understand Saturn’s impact on us as individuals, we need to know which house is represented by Scorpio in our charts. The area represented by this house will be an area of increased focus and responsibility.

The Vedic Sun is in Scorpio between November 16th and December 15th

The Sun will join Saturn in Scorpio on November 16th. An exact Sun/Saturn conjunction will occur on November 18th at 1’55 in Scorpio.

The Sun and Saturn are bitter enemies. The Sun governs authority and Saturn rules democracy. Perhaps there will be clashes between authorities and groups of people during this time. Venus joins Saturn in Scorpio on November 12th and Mercury enters this sign on November 24th.

Mars and Saturn will both be strong

It is important to understand the position of Mars, the ruler of Scorpio, while Saturn is in Scorpio.

Mars is in Sagittarius until November 27th when he moves into Capricorn. Mars is not only exalted in Capricorn, he also exchanges signs with Saturn. (Mars is in Saturn’s sign and Saturn is in a sign ruled by Mars). This makes both planets very strong favoring discipline and perseverance, and work which is approached in a methodical and organized way. Mars will remain in Capricorn until January 4th, 2015.

Befriend Saturn, and make good use of this time of transition!



Astrological Highlights: October 2014

RahuOctober is an intense month with the second pair of lunar- and solar eclipses happening this year. The eclipses take place on October 8th and 23rd. The partial solar eclipse on October 23rd can be seen in much of North America and in East Asia.  Mercury goes retrograde and will transit over Rahu twice during this month.

Sun / Rahu conjunction

As we enter the month of October the attention first goes to Virgo, the sign of health and service. This is the sign where the Sun resides at this time. The planet representing vitality, authority and leadership is approaching Rahu, the north node of the Moon. On October 12th their conjunction is exact.

The Sun and Rahu are enemies. The bright light of the Sun disturbs the shadowy nature of Rahu. However, Rahu has the power to overcome the Sun by casting a shadow over his light.Their incompatibility can result in power issues, as well as anxiety and fear.

Mercury goes retrograde

Mercury, the ruler of Virgo, goes retrograde between October 4th and October 25th. He will transit over Rahu twice during this time: these transits will be exact on October 21st and 29th. Although Rahu likes the energy of Mercury, and Mercury is strong in his own sign Virgo, their conjunction can create confusion. Since Mercury is also retrograde we need to make an extra effort to be clear in our communication. It may be harder to think rationally and to communicate with clarity.

A total lunar eclipse

The full moon and a total lunar eclipse takes place in the sign of Pisces on October 8th. The Moon is situated between Ketu, who connects us with the past, and Uranus who is quick, unpredictable and rebellious. Both planets can manifest sudden changes. Ketu can manifest  rejection. Sometimes we need to examine and reflect on the past but with Ketu and Uranus so close to the Moon changes may happen so fast  that we do not have time to think. We are often unprepared. The position of Jupiter in the sign of Cancer, ruled by the Moon, is well placed and strongly influences the Moon both by aspect and by exchanging signs. This is positive and can enhance our humanitarian and spiritual ideals.

Sun and Venus in Libra

The Sun moves into the sign of his debilitation, Libra, on October 17th and joins his enemy Saturn. Venus joins them both on October 19th which could greatly improve the situation except that Venus will be very close to the Sun for the rest of the month, a condition known as combustion.

Mars enters Sagittarius

The planetary energies become more difficult when Mars moves into Sagittarius on October 18th. Mars will no longer receive Jupiter’s benefic aspect and is instead aspected by Saturn. Mars will now aspect Jupiter and Ketu. During the time of the solar eclipse and throughout the month Jupiter stands alone receiving the energy of three malefic planets: Mars, Saturn and Ketu.

The solar eclipse

The solar eclipse takes place on October 23rd at around 6 degrees Libra in the star constellation Chitra. The main star in Chitra is called Spica. The eclipse will dim the light from this otherwise bright and beautiful star reminding us that sometimes we need to search and dig deep in order to find true light and beauty. We can struggle in darkness but even if something is hidden from sight it does not mean it is not there. The need for self-realization becomes stronger.

As October comes to an end this will also mark the end of Saturn’s transit through Libra during the past two and a half years. Saturn moves into Scorpio on November 2nd. More about that next month!


Astrological Highlights: September 2014

The conjunction between Mars & Saturn ends in early September

The exact conjunction between the malefic planets Mars and Saturn on August 25th reflects some of the tension the world is experiencing as we enter the month of September. During the end of August we have seen a great deal of violence, unrest and natural disasters.

As many as 1,000 Russian troops entered Ukraine on Thursday August 28. We experienced an earthquake near San Francisco on August 24th and on the night of Thursday, August 28, Iceland’s volcanic system started erupting after weeks of earthquakes in the region. On the other side of the world in Papua New Guinea, a large volcano began erupting on August 29th, with smoke and ash spewing out as high as 18 kilometers.

An intense time for Aries & Scorpio

People with Aries or Scorpio Ascendants (Vedic) or those who have many planets in these signs may be experiencing intense situations in their lives during this time. This is because Mars rules Aries and Scorpio, and his conjunction with Saturn reflects this pent up and explosive energy that the world is experiencing. This explosive energy is made stronger by the recent conjunction between Saturn and Rahu when things first got stirred up.

Mars’ energy becomes less strained after September 5

On September 5th, Mars will move from Libra and into the sign of Scorpio. Mars will be much more at ease in a sign that he rules and without the company of Saturn.

However, Scorpions, the symbol for Scorpio,  live in a hole underground and much of Scorpios activity takes place underneath the surface, where it is secretive and hidden from sight. Maybe there will be some surprises during this time.

The good news is that Mars in Scorpio will receive a benefic aspect from an exalted Jupiter in Cancer. Unfortunately Jupiter himself is under some stress due to Saturn’s aspect on Jupiter at this time, but hopefully Jupiter can still guide the activity of Mars into a positive direction. Mars will stay in Scorpio for a month and a half.

Full Moon on September 8 is good for Aquarius

The full Moon takes place in Aquarius on September 8th and the new Moon is in Virgo on September 24th. The full moon in Aquarius is very good for the sign Aquarius because there is also an Adhi yoga for Aquarius. Adhi yoga happens when benefic planets are placed in the 6th house (Jupiter), 7th house (Venus) and 8th house (Mercury) from Moon or Lagna. For those with Moon or rising sign in Aquarius, this yoga provides good support.

Many exalted planets during September

Many planets will be in their own signs or in their exalted positions during the month of September. This makes the planets more comfortable. The Sun is in Leo (his own sign) until September 17th when he goes into Virgo. Mercury joins Rahu in the sign of Virgo (Mercury rules Virgo) from September 1st and will stay in this sign until September 20th.

Rahu strengthened as Mercury & Rahu will be in exact conjunction three times

On September 20th Mercury will move into Libra. However, Mercury goes retrograde between  October 5th and October 26th and returns to Virgo on October 16th.  While in Virgo, Mercury will be in an exact conjunction with Rahu three times due to his retrograde movement: on September 17, October 21st and October 29th.

This conjunction benefits Rahu who can use his intelligence with discrimination. Virgo rules health and Rahu rules drugs, perhaps we will see some progress in treating diseases such as Ebola. For people experiencing their Rahu dasha this conjunction of Rahu and Mercury can be productive.

Venus joins Rahu in Virgo

Venus will join Rahu in Virgo between September 25th and October 19th. In Virgo, Venus becomes debilitated. The reason for the debilitation is that Venus governs love, relationships, enjoyment and comfort and the sign Virgo is mental, analytical with a tendency to be critical. However, the exchange between Venus in Virgo and Mercury in Libra (they are in each others signs) strengthens both planets and improves matters significantly.

New Moon on September 24

The new Moon on September 24 lines up with the lunar nodes. This could indicate a darker energy. The new Moon day is also known as Amavasya–the darkest day of the lunar cycle. This is an excellent day for fasting and introspection.

Enjoy the overall lighter energy of this September!

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.

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

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