Astrological Highlights: September 2017

Vedic Astrology September 2017 - Lina Preston

Mother Nature has been expressing the effects of the eclipse and challenging transits during the first part of September. Is there anything else on the horizon?

The Mighty Power of Magha Nakshatra

Following the great American eclipse in the powerful Magha Nakshatra, Mercury (retrograde) stationed at the point of the eclipse (4 degrees Leo).  Mercury was exactly conjunct Mars on September 2nd, and turned direct at the eclipse point on September 5th. Mercury is now moving away from the point of the eclipse but will be conjunct Mars for a third time on September 16th at 13 degrees Leo, still in Magha Nakshatra. This can potentially also be a time of turbulence and disagreement.

The Agitation of Mother Earth

Mercury is of the Earth element. Prithvi Mata means Mother Earth. An afflicted Mercury is quick changing, extremely restless and agitated. In the wake of the Great American eclipse we have been experiencing exceptional hurricanes, enormous amounts of rainfall, a powerful Earthquake in Mexico, record breaking heat and extreme fires in the Western states.

The agitation of Mercury also makes it difficult for Saturn and Rahu. While transiting in Gandanta, Saturn and Rahu have also been transiting in star constellations ruled by Mercury: Jyeshta and Ashlesha. Planets are affected in their transits by how the rulers of the signs they are in are doing and also how the nakshatra (star constellation) rulers are doing. Therefore, Mercury’s agitation also increased the instability of Saturn and Rahu in Gandanta. Both Rahu and Mercury are connected to electricity and millions of people are currently without electricity in Florida.

Those with their rising sign, the Sun or Moon located in Mercury’s signs of Gemini and Virgo may feel challenges now. Mercury will be much more comfortable when moving into Virgo, its most favorable sign, between September 26th and October 13th.

Venus in Distress

All the natural disasters are taking their toll on our sense of comfort and well being.

Venus conjuncts Rahu in Cancer on September 13th. Then enters Leo on the 14th. Venus transits the point of the solar eclipse on September 18th and 19th. Venus is the ruler of Taurus, a sign of stability and abundance, as well as of Libra, a sign of social harmony and balance. An unstable Venus can express tension in relationships and show financial fluctuations.

Jupiter in Libra

The good news is that the great benefic planet Jupiter moved into Libra on September 11th. Jupiter’s wisdom and counsel will aid in the process of cooperation and harmony. Jupiter in Libra will also benefit the two other air signs: Aquarius and Gemini. Jupiter will especially aid good relations for people with Sun/Moon or Rising sign in Aries.

Kala Sarpa Yoga

Kala Sarpa Yoga occurs when all planets are hemmed in between the Lunar Nodes.                                                                                                       Kala Sarpa Yoga was in effect before the election last year and often manifest a divisiveness and imbalance. We will experience it again between September 17th and January 8th, 2018, except for the times when the Moon intermittently breaks it. All the planets are between Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn. The Moon moves through all the signs during a month and thus breaks the Kala Sarpa Yoga for 14 days every month.

My next newsletter will expand on some of the long term effects of Jupiter in Libra and Rahu in Cancer.

Dates to Remember:

  • September 5th:  Mercury is Direct again
  • September 11th: Jupiter moves into Libra
  • September 15th: Venus moves into Leo
  • September 16th: Sun moves into Virgo
  • September 17th: Mars conjunct Mercury in Leo
  • September 17th – September 29th: Kala Sarpa Yoga
  • September 26th: Mercury moves into Virgo


Try to stay centered during this turbulent time.

“In the midst of life’s storms I stand serene!”

–Affirmation by Swami Kriyananda






The Astrology of the Great American Solar Eclipse

The Astrology Behind the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017

The greatly anticipated total solar eclipse happens tomorrow, on August 21st.  A lot of people are paying attention to this rare astronomical event but what is its astrological significance?

Magha Means Mighty or Great

The eclipse occurs at 4 degrees Leo in the star constellation Magha. The symbol of this constellation is a throne expressing the elevated status of the Magha nakshatra.

Magha expresses power and ambition. Just like a king or a queen values the loyalty of people, a person with planets in Magha will also often express loyalty to a country or to a cause.

The Shadow Planet Ketu Rules Magha

Magha is ruled by Ketu whose energy relates to the past. Magha is the constellation of our ancestors. Magha people often have a colorful history.  Magha is also connected to spiritual lineage. Paramhansa Yogananda had a Magha rising sign and he was a spiritual powerhouse. He was also connected to a very powerful spiritual lineage.

Magha people are intuitive and should ask for Divine guidance from within. Spiritually refined people with planets in Magha can be in contact with their spiritual guides.

The Dark Side of Magha

All the planets and star constellations have a positive and a negative expression. People with planets in Magha who are not spiritually evolved can manifest a strong ego. They need to watch out for arrogance, pride, prejudice or even a sense of racial superiority. Those with strong planets in Magha may need to focus on developing humility.

Healing the Past

A solar eclipse hides the light and brings us face to face with darkness. We are experiencing the darkness from a past history of racism and bigotry which included the refusal to see all people as equals. It is this karma from the past that is being brought into the light and needs to be healed so that we can move forward towards true humanitarian values.


Astrological Highlights: August 2017

Vedic astrology August 2017 - Northern Lights Vedic

This August we will experience what is being called “the great American eclipse.” The eclipse is one of the ways we will be feeling the powerful influence of the shadow planet Rahu. Rahu brings change and the unexpected…

A Big Month for Rahu

Rahu in Gandanta

Rahu is in Gandanta the entire month at the juncture between Leo and Cancer. Rahu in Gandanta can truly stir things up and create a sense of uncertainty and unpredictability.

Rahu Moves into Cancer and Ketu Moves to Capricorn

The lunar nodes (mean) will shift signs on August 17th. Rahu will remain in Cancer for 18 months, until March 2019. Ketu will be in Capricorn during this time.

Rahu Conjunct Sun in Gandanta

When Rahu moves into Cancer from Leo (Rahu and Ketu always move retrograde) he will meet the Sun moving (direct) into Leo. Their close conjunction takes place on August 16th and August 17th in deep Gandanta between Cancer and Leo. This reveals confusion around leadership and tumultuous power issues in the world.

The Great American Eclipse

Rahu is considered an enemy to the Sun, the Moon and to Mars. This is because Rahu can block the light of the luminaries and has the power to cause eclipses.

Both a Lunar and a Solar eclipse take place this August.

A partial lunar eclipse takes place on August 7th in the sign of Capricorn.

A total Solar eclipse will occur on August 21st. It will be visible in totality within a band across the entire United States. First it will be seen in Oregon and the last state to experience the eclipse is South Carolina. The last time the United States had a total eclipse crossing 48 states was 100 years ago, in June of 1918.

In the past an eclipse was considered an omen, foreboding a challenge. Indeed an eclipse often indicates a change of consciousness. The darkness is momentarily visible. It enters into our awareness, offering a different perspective. That which has been hidden from sight becomes known.

The eclipse takes place roughly over 4 degrees Leo and if you have any significant planets near this degree, especially the Sun, Moon or Ascendant, you may experience a transformative change in the near future. Although eclipses often have a negative connotation, they can also bring us positive change.

The eclipse will last over two minutes, and the degree where the eclipse takes place becomes activated for the next two years. This means that when planets transit this degree they can trigger a change.

Mercury Stations at the Same Degree as the Eclipse

Mercury turns retrograde between August 12th and September 5th in Leo. Mercury returns to the degree of the eclipse (which can trigger a change) during the first days of September. Mercury stations at 4 degrees Leo, the place of the eclipse, for several days. Mercury will be conjunct Mars and turns direct on September 5th.

The first week of September may end up being more eventful than the time of the actual eclipse.

Mercury governs communication, education, trade and commerce. These areas could be affected.

Saturn Turns Direct on August 25th

Slow moving Saturn turns direct at 27 degrees Scorpio a few days after the eclipse. This means that he is powerfully stationed on this degree the entire month. A strong Saturn can be positive or negative depending on a person’s chart.

Mars Moves to Leo on August 26th

When Mars moves into Leo on August 26th he will meet Rahu and they will both be conjunct on August 25th and August 26th in deep Gandanta. Ambition and competition can manifest as a tumultuous struggle.

Astrological Influences on the US President this August

Because the eclipse happens in Leo (leadership), it will have an affect on many world leaders.

This is a very intense time for Donald Trump. Saturn has stationed very near his Moon/ Ketu which generates a great deal of emotional pressure for him. In addition, Saturn aspects his natal Sun/ Rahu where it manifests as power struggles and opposition.

The Great American Solar eclipse on August 21st may not Make America Great Again in the way Donald Trump had in mind. It occurs close to the President’s Ascendant and Mars in Leo. The eclipse is bringing out secret information. When Rahu moves to Cancer it will add emotional pressure on Donald Trump. When Saturn moves into Sagittarius at the end of October Saturn’s influence will be easier for Trump.

The chart of the United States reveals that the United States is in the first part of a Rahu period which often is tumultuous. (The Vedic astrologer James Kelleher has calculated its birth time based on research: 07/04/1776 at 18:30 in Philadelphia, Pa).

Keep Life Simple

If you can avoid it, do not plan to begin any important activities during the latter part of August and the first week of September. Keep life simple and do not make elaborate plans. It is a good time to clean, get rid of clutter and donate items to charity.

During an eclipse it is helpful to be inward because the energy of an eclipse is also inward. We can gain new insights into life and ourselves if we meditate during this time.

August 2017 – Astrological Dates to Remember:

  • 8/1  Rahu in deep Gandanta between Cancer and Leo all month
  • 8/7 Lunar eclipse in Capricorn
  • 8/12 –9/5  Mercury retrograde
  • 8/16  Sun and Rahu conjunction at 0 degrees Leo
  • 8/17  Rahu in Cancer  0 degree
  • 8/21  Solar eclipse at 4 degrees Leo
  • 8/21  Venus in Cancer
  • 8/25  Saturn turns direct in Scorpio
  • 8/25  Mars and Rahu conjunction 29 degrees Cancer
  • 8/26 Mars in Leo



Astrological Highlights: July 2017

Vedic astrology July 2017

As we enter into the month of July, the Sun, Mars and Mercury are in Gemini. Gemini is an air sign ruling ideas and communication. With so many planets in this sign, there is an abundance of information to be processed.

All of these planets will be moving from Gemini into Cancer this month. Mercury moves into Cancer on July 2nd, Mars joins Mercury on July 11th, and the Sun moves into Cancer on July 16th.

Mars is Debilitated in Cancer

Cancer, which is ruled by the Moon, is a feminine, reflective and nurturing sign very different from Mars’ assertive energy. Mars is therefore considered debilitated in Cancer.

Cancer represents the home and the environment we live in. Even though the transit of Mars in Cancer can be frustrating in some respects, it can provide energy for home improvement projects. It is also a sign where the desire for security is high.

Mercury Transits Cancer and Leo

Mercury travels full speed through Cancer and remains in this sign for only eighteen days. On July 20th Mercury moves into Leo. Mercury is in for a long stay in this sign and does not leave until September 26th. This is because Mercury retrogrades while in Leo between August 13th and September 4th.

New Moon in Cancer

Mars will be very close to the Sun and the New Moon in Cancer on July 23rd. Such a close combination of Sun and Mars makes for a fiery energy, heated emotions, and potential physical fires. This is a perfect time to practice being even minded and cheerful.

Saturn Retrograde in Scorpio

Last month we experienced the unstable energy of Saturn in Gandanta when this planet moved from Sagittarius and back into Scorpio. Saturn represents structure and while on the cusp between a fire and a water sign we can experience fires and accidents involving water and landslides. Saturn is now moving away from the intense Gandanta zone and continuing its retrograde in Scorpio.

Venus is Strong in Taurus

Saturn’s unstable energy is to some extent balanced by Venus in Taurus. Venus, a planet of prosperity, is stable and persistent in this earth sign.  

Venus in Taurus receives aspects from both Saturn in Scorpio and Jupiter in Virgo. We can see both restraint and expansion competing for the attention of Venus. Venus leaves Taurus on July 26th and moves on to Gemini.

Major Eclipses and Changes in August

Next month is very eventful from an astrological point of view. There will be a Lunar and Solar eclipse, Saturn ends his retrograde and moves direct in August, Rahu moves to Cancer and Ketu moves to Capricorn. The solar eclipse on August 21st (referred to as the Great American Solar Eclipse) will be the first time the United States will experience a total solar eclipse from coast to coast since 1918. Prepare for changes coming up!

Astrological dates to remember:

July 2017

  • July 2nd – July 20th: Mercury in Cancer
  • July 8th: Full Moon in Sagittarius
  • July 11th –  Aug 26th: Mars in Cancer
  • July 16th –  Aug 16th: Sun in Cancer
  • July 20th –  Sept 26th: Mercury in Leo
  • July 23rd: New Moon in Cancer
  • July 26th –  Aug 20th: Venus in Gemini



Astrological Highlights: June 2017

Vedic astrology highlights for June 2017

Saturn is in deep Gandanta this month – on the cusp between Sagittarius and Scorpio –  and returns back to Scorpio on June 21st. Jupiter has been retrograde since the beginning of February but moves direct again on June 9th.

Change and Transformation

Saturn in Sagittarius puts an emphasis on fundamental values. Saturn is the planet connected to democracy and also represents the masses. While a benefic Saturn promotes fairness, humanitarianism and sacrifice, Saturn is currently experiencing difficulties while retrograde and in gandanta.

Saturn indicates labor – with this planet nothing comes for free. We often need to work hard in order to overcome the obstacles and delays that Saturn throws our way. However, it is also through Saturn that we can gain a deeper understanding of life and the underlying karma that we are working on either as individuals or collectively. Saturn can teach us patience and humility. Saturn is a slow moving planet that can ground us and help to manifest stability.

However, Saturn is under stress while in Gandanta. Gandanta positions express transformation and change which conflict with Saturn’s slow moving nature. For this reason, Saturn’s retrograde transit at the cusp between Sagittarius and Scorpio indicates instability in which many fundamental changes can occur. This transformative energy can manifest on global levels as well as in our personal lives. Please read my article 10 ways to strengthen Saturn, especially if you are affected by stress and fear during this time.

Heated Communication

In addition to the insecurities brought up by Saturn in Gandanta the planet Mars is transiting the sign of Gemini. This causes both Mars and Saturn to simultaneously aspect one another. This mutual aspect can manifest as a sense of urgency and also as frustration. The energy can be similar to being in rush hour traffic when we alternate one foot between the gas pedal and the brake. We need to make an effort to be patient and to avoid acting impulsively during this time.

On a global level we may experience increased conflicts, especially after June 15th when the Sun joins Mars in Gemini. Gemini is a sign of communication and we will likely experience disagreement and anger. This will continue as Mercury also moves into Gemini on June 18th.

Saturn Returns to Scorpio

While in Gandanta, Saturn will continue to bring forth secrets and scandals. On June 21st Saturn returns to Scorpio, a sign connected to privacy and secrecy. Since Saturn is moving retrograde, we can assume that past actions are being scrutinized. Ongoing investigations are more likely to bring results during this time.

Mercury and Mars in Gemini will be in close opposition to Pluto in Sagittarius towards the end of June. This further indicates a deep need to get to the bottom of issues that have had a lack of clarity. On an individual level there may be things in our past that need to be understood in a deeper way.

Jupiter Moves Direct

On June 9th, Jupiter moves direct in Virgo at the same time that we have a full Moon in Scorpio. Jupiter promotes legal, moral, spiritual and ethical guidance. The earth signs, and the sign of Pisces, will especially feel a renewed strength from Jupiter. The wisdom and counsel that Jupiter emanates are needed at this time.

Here is a beautiful quote by Yogananda that reminds us of our true reality:

With the spreading of the vital rays of the sun, I will spread the rays of hope in the hearts of the poor and forsaken. I will kindle courage in the hearts of the despondent. I will light a new strength in the hearts of those who think they are failures.

I will seek divine safety first, last, and all the time in the constant inner thought of God– peace.

Heavenly Spirit, bless me that I may easily find happiness instead of becoming worried at every test and difficulty.

–Paramhansa Yogananda in Metaphysical Meditations, 1932 edition

Vedic Astrology Dates to Remember for June 2017:

  • May 26th to July 11th   Mars in Gemini
  • June 9th   Full Moon in Scorpio
  • June 9th   Jupiter Direct in Virgo
  • June 15th to July 16th   Sun in Gemini
  • June 18th to July 2nd    Mercury in Gemini
  • June 23rd   New Moon in Gemini
  • June 21s to October 27th   Saturn in Scorpio
  • June 29th to July 26th   Venus in Taurus
  • June 29th Mercury opposition Pluto



Astrological Highlights: May 2017

Vedic Astrology Highlights for May 2017 - Lina Preston at Northern Lights Vedic

Mercury Is Direct Again

On May 3rd Mercury turned direct after being retrograde since April 9th. This further reduces the number of retrograde planets from last month. Jupiter and Saturn are now the only planets still left in retrograde.

Mercury is in Gandanta During First Week of May

However, Mercury turned direct while in deep Gandanta (at 0.10 degrees in Aries).

We can see this influence in trade and other negotiations which have not gone so smoothly. During Gandanta we are influenced by the past and more clarity is needed when we instigate moving in new directions. Gandanta can also be a bit unpredictable.

The events around the French election on May 7th are a good example of the effects of Gandanta. A few days before this event all the emails from the campaign of the candidate Marcron were hacked and leaked– which had the potential to upset the election results.

Mercury is out of deep Gandanta after May 9th but will not make a serious improvement until May 13th.

The Saving Grace of Venus

The bright light of Venus shines on us from Pisces all month and is now direct.

Venus in Pisces brings out compassion. This month can be a good time to heal relationships. Venus in Pisces can also bring out idealism, enjoyment and romance. This can improve an existing relationship or be a good time to meet someone if you are single.

Venus remains in Pisces until May 30th.

Conquering Fear and Uncertainty

Saturn is retrograde and in the Gandanta zone between Sagittarius and Scorpio. While Saturn is in Gandanta we face uncertainty and change. The uncertainties of the impact of Brexit, health reforms, immigration, climate change, tax reforms and many other issues are expression of this Gandanta energy.

On June 21st Saturn will be in Scorpio once again.

Mars casts an aspect on Saturn from Taurus. When Mars enters Gemini on May 26th both Mars and Saturn will mutually aspect one another which puts stress on both planets. This aspect reflects the energy from last year when both Saturn and Mars were together in Scorpio. The stress on Mars and Saturn creates the type of energy that can lead to protests and polarization.

Although this Mars/Saturn aspect creates a difficult energy at the end of the month, there are ways to work with the energy of these planets. As always, meditation and yoga are powerful tools for dealing with stress and challenging circumstances.

“At the center of life’s storms, I stand serene.” –Affirmation from Ananda Yoga


Vedic Astrology in May 2017

Dates to Remember

  • May 3rd    Mercury turns direct
  • May 10th   Full Moon in Libra
  • May 14th   Sun in Taurus
  • May 25th   New Moon in Taurus
  • May 26th  Mars enters Gemini
  • May 30th  Venus enters Aries


Astrological Highlights: April 2017

This month in Vedic astrology... April 2017 astrological highlights

Many Retrograde Planets This April

Seven planets are retrograde this month:

  • Rahu is retrograde in Leo
  • Ketu is retrograde in Aquarius
  • Jupiter is retrograde in Virgo
  • Venus is retrograde in Pisces
  • Saturn goes retrograde on April 5th in Sagittarius
  • Mercury goes retrograde on April 9th in Aries
  • Pluto goes retrograde on April 20th in Sagittarius

While planets are retrograde, it is not easy to start something new. Instead, it is better to focus on things that need repair, healing or reworking. Learn more about how each planet is affected by retrograde.

Mars Wants Action

Mars is the only planet that is not retrograde this month (apart from the Sun and Moon which never go retrograde). Mars is transiting Aries – a sign that likes to initiate and begin new things. This is contradictory to the retrograde energy from the other planets, so we can expect frustration.

Mercury is with Mars in Aries. Mercury likes to negotiate while Mars wants action, is impatient, and tries to push his own agenda.

Mercury turns retrograde on April 9th, indicating a need to rethink one’s approach or strategy. On April 12th, Mars leaves Aries and moves into Taurus.

An Exalted Sun

Just after the departure of Mars from Aries on April 12th, the Sun enters Aries. The Vedic Sun returns to Aries every year in the month of April. It is here that the Sun is exalted.

April and Aries represent spring and new beginnings. It takes light and heat to manifest new life. Nature is assertive at this time and the Sun in Aries suggests assertion, exuberance, and will power.  

The Sun expresses strength in Aries, and this position of the Sun is good for people in positions of leadership and authority. However, unresolved issues represented by many retrograde planets and a very powerful Saturn, suggest a need for caution and discipline at this time.

The Month that Saturn Stood Still

For nine days this month Saturn seems to be motionless. This planet stations at 3 degrees 41 minutes in Sagittarius during the first nine days of April and begins his retrograde motion on April 6th.

By April 30th Saturn’s position still remains at 3 degrees, but will have shifted to 3 degrees 11 minutes.

Saturn is close to the earth and has a great deal of strength during this time. If you have planets around 3 degrees Sagittarius you are likely to experience his restrictive energy. You are also influenced by Saturn if you have planets around 3 degrees in Gemini, Virgo and Aquarius. These are signs that currently receive Saturn’s aspect. Try to act with discipline and focus, and be sure to get plenty of rest. Saturn remains retrograde until August 25th.

A Saturnian Venus in Pisces

Venus moves direct again on April 15th after being retrograde since March 4th. Venus stations close to three degrees in the sign of Pisces. Venus and Saturn are in a close angular aspect and have a strong influence on each other throughout the month.

Venus is normally idealistic in Pisces but may feel disappointment and disillusionment due to the strong Saturnian influence.  

The Outer Planets

The outermost planet in our solar system, Pluto, will also turn retrograde on April 20th in Sagittarius. A retrograde Pluto reveals the hidden effects of power, control and money. Pluto remains retrograde until September 28th this year.

The outer planet Uranus is in Gandanta this month moving from Pisces to Aries. Uranus desires independence but is unstable while in Gandanta. Pluto and Uranus are not part of traditional Vedic astrology but can provide us with additional insights.

This is an excellent time to deepen (or begin) your meditation practice. With many stressful situations in the world it becomes even more important to find one’s own center of peace within.

“You cannot drive the darkness out of a room by beating at it with a stick. But if you turn on the light, the darkness will vanish as though it had never been.”
–Paramhansa Yogananda

Dates to Remember

  • April 5th to August 25th: Saturn retrograde
  • April 7th: Uranus in Aries
  • April 9th to May 3rd: Mercury retrograde in Aries
  • April 10th: Full Moon in Virgo (almost at midnight Pacific time)
  • April 12th to May 26th: Mars in Taurus
  • April 13th to May 14th: Sun in Aries
  • April 15th: Venus moves direct again in Pisces
  • April 20th to September 28th: Pluto retrograde in Sagittarius



How Do Retrograde Planets Influence Us?

Retrograde planets in Vedic astrology


Many people feel a sense of apprehension when they realize that Mercury is about to go retrograde. But are retrograde planets really that scary?

Read on to understand what retrograde really is and some of the astrological effects this can have on a planet in transit.

Do planets really move backwards during retrograde?

Seven out of the nine planetary energies go retrograde. The two luminaries, the Sun and the Moon, can never go retrograde. On the other hand, the two shadow planets, Rahu and Ketu, are retrograde most of the time as they move counter clockwise and contrary to the rest of the planets.

When we look at the motion of planets in our solar system, we won’t find that a planet actually stops in its orbit and moves backwards. However, it can appear this way when seen from the earth.

When I lived in Stockholm, Sweden, I regularly took the train or subway to work.  Often the train I was on would be running alongside another train on parallel tracks. When my train picked up speed, it would appear that the neighboring train was moving backwards. In reality, it was only moving a bit slower than the train I was on. Have you ever had a similar experience?

The optical illusion created by two trains running side-by-side is similar to what we see when a planet orbits close the earth, and let’s remember that the earth is moving as well. When the earth passes a slower moving planet, that planet will appear to move retrograde.

This video helps to visually demonstrate how retrograde motion happens:


What does retrograde mean in Vedic astrology?

Seen from Earth, a retrograde planet will stay behind and appear to move back to its recent position in the sky. Astrologically, this planet has a different expression during its apparent retrograde motion than it does when direct (it’s normal forward movement).

Retrograde often indicates a need to readdress or face matters that were previously overlooked. The karma of a retrograde planet often has an internalizing effect on us.

The expression of a retrograde planet varies according to the nature of the planet, as well as the sign and degrees where retrograde motion takes place. According to Vedic astrology, when a planet is retrograde in the sign that it rules (or is exalted in) it will loose some of its beneficial qualities and behave as if in debilitation. A planet that is retrograde in its sign of debilitation, on the other hand, is said to gain strength. When a planet passes over the same point multiple times (as it does when it goes retrograde), it is given opportunities to improve or perfect areas that have been weak.

How does retrograde affect each of the planets?

Let’s take a look at how each planet’s energy is influenced by going retrograde.

Mercury retrograde

Mercury’s task is to communicate, analyse, and discriminate. Mercury retrogrades three times every year for three weeks at a time. A retrograde Mercury has more internal focus. Mercury may be rethinking something and may therefore seem distracted. In order to avoid misunderstandings. It is important to be extra clear with communications during Mercury retrograde. It is also a good idea to do a back up on the computer and to double check one’s schedule and appointments.

Mars retrograde

Mars retrograde happens every two years and lasts for approximately 2 ½  months. Mars may need to respond to the effects of a conflict or a combative situation. Sometimes changes happen too fast, and perhaps too aggressively, and this could be a time of needed integration. Mars is strategic but with Mars retrograde a different strategy or technique may need to be applied.

Venus retrograde

Venus goes retrograde approximately every 19 months. Venus governs the things in life we enjoy and love. This includes relationships, and a retrograde Venus can bring some changes in these matters. Perhaps it is time to renew a past relationship, or to give more energy to an existing one.

Venus can also influence  finances and there could be a need to look over spendings and to create a new budget.

Jupiter retrograde

Jupiter retrograde occurs every 13 months and lasts for about 4 months. Jupiter governs travel, religion, law, consulting and learning.

Travel plans can change during Jupiter retrograde. This may be a good time to revisit a faraway place, especially if it has historical, educational or spiritual value.

Laws and legal matters may also need attention. During Jupiter’s retrograde it is good to have a second opinion in regards to legal– or medical– advice.

Returning to school in order to finish a higher education is another possibility during a retrograde Jupiter.

Jupiter retrograde is a good time to renew a spiritual relationship with a teacher or Guru.

Saturn retrograde

Saturn’s retrograde period lasts for about 4 ½ months. There is a little bit more than a year between each recurring retrograde period for Saturn.

Saturn is a planet of work and labor. It governs basic structures. When Saturn is retrograde, we want to put constructive energy into reworking, reorganizing or reshaping something. This can be a time of restriction and limitations and Saturn may bring up fundamental security issues.


Remember that the purpose of retrograde planets is to clear the path so that we can move ahead without obstacles. While it is not an ideal time time to begin new projects, you can begin preparing for them and finish old projects.

Most of the planets are in retrograde during this coming month of April 2017. You can read more about how the current retrogrades will affect us in my next post Astrological Highlights for April coming soon.



Astrological Highlights: March 2017

Vedic astrology for March 2017 | Lina Preston, Northern Lights Vedic


During March, 2017 we will experience a strong Mars in Aries and a benefic Venus in Pisces. Jupiter and Venus are both retrograde this month.

The Effect of Mars in Aries

mars-smallMars moves into Aries on March 1st where he will stay until April 12th. Mars is strong in his own sign where he can easily express his qualities of initiative, independence and courage. A strong Mars is beneficial if you are having surgery this month. Mars is assertive in Aries and will defend his territory.

While Mars transits Aries his influence on our individual lives differs depending on which of the twelve sign constellations are prominent for the individual. Read about the positive effects that Mars can have for your rising sign. You can also read the effect of Mars on your Sun and Moon signs. Please note that I am referring to the Vedic astrological chart which differs from that of western astrology.

If Your Vedic Rising (or Sun / Moon Sign) is:

Aries: With Mars transiting your first house (self and body) your energy is high this month and you are able to get a lot done. This is a good month for making lifestyle changes.

Taurus: Mars rules your 7th house (partnership) and is transiting your 12th house (retreat, travel). This can be a good time to do something relaxing and fun with a significant other. Go on a yoga retreat with your friend or take a vacation abroad. Relax and enjoy a massage.

Gemini: Mars is in your 11th house of gain. This is a good time to begin new projects. Mars can give you enough energy to work on your projects and his influence will support your efforts.

Cancer: Mars is in your 10th house of career and you are creative, as well as assertive now. Work of a technical nature is especially supported.

Leo: Mars rules your 4th house of education, home and family. Mars is the planet that represents property and land. For your rising sign Mars is currently transiting the expansive 9th house making this is a good time to invest in your home or property. This month can also give opportunities for expansion of  technical knowledge, for instance it might be a good time to learn more about your computer. Starting new classes – or teaching classes – in fitness and exercise are also favored.

Virgo: This is an especially good time to work with your health by doing yoga or other physical exercise. You may find that your stamina is increased during this transit. A change regarding siblings or your neighbours could come up. Mars is in your 8th house of investigation, so this is a very good time for doing research.

Libra: Mars is in your house of partnership. Your partner is strong, in fact other people may overwhelm you at times. Artistic pursuits are healing for you. If you are involved in business this could be a busy and profitable time.

Scorpio:  You can stand up for yourself against opposition and your own immune system is strong. If you need to have surgery, this could be a suitable time. With Mars in your sixth house this is a good transit for doing things that requires a quick and decisive response.

Sagittarius: Your mind is quick and sharp during this time. If you want to create a new approach to something, your mind will create a good strategy. You have Mars in the fifth house, and this could be a good time to do something active or adventuresome with your children.

Capricorn: If you own land this is a good time to work on developing your property. A strong Mars in the 4th house also makes this a good time to invest in property. This transit is also good for doing home repairs or changes in your current living situation.

Aquarius:  This transit of Mars is good for exerting physical effort . Go on an adventure if you can, you may feel like pushing the limit.If you are involved in sales or communication you can be  assertive and strategic now.

Pisces: Not only are you experiencing the pleasant transits from Venus and Jupiter, but Mars in Aries can increase your income, especially if you are involved in teaching or travel.

Venus goes retrograde

Venus - Vedic AstrologyWe are all lucky to have a well placed Venus in Pisces while Mars is so strong. Venus helps us to experience beauty and compassion, balancing the assertiveness that comes from Mars in Aries.

Venus is retrograde between March 4th and April 15th. Jupiter is also retrograde this month. With both benefic planets retrograde we may see a slow down in the booming stock markets.

A retrograde Venus may bring encounters with past relationships and friends. You may return to an artistic endeavor or revisit a distant place.

The Dance of Mercury & Jupiter

MercuryMercury joins Venus in Pisces on March 10th and will travel swiftly through this sign.  While Mercury is in Pisces he exchanges signs with Jupiter. These two planets also aspect one another so there is a strong connection between them.

Jupiter often has a grand vision but doesn’t pay much attention to the details. On the other hand, Mercury is good with details. However, Mercury is compromised in the sign of his debilitation. Due to these influences, we need to watch out for ungrounded and impractical thinking.

On March 26th, Mercury moves into Aries where he stays until June 3rd. Mercury stays in Aries for a long time due to the fact that he goes retrograde in April.

Dates to remember

Vedic Astrology Transits for March, 2017

March 1st:  Mars is in Aries until April 12th

March 4th: Venus is retrograde until April 15th

March 10th: Mercury joins Venus in Pisces until March 26th

March 12th: Full Moon in Leo

March 14th: Sun joins Venus and Mercury in Pisces

March 26th: Mercury moves into Aries and stays in this sign until June 3rd

March 27th: New Moon in Pisces



Astrological Highlights: February 2017

Vedic astrology forecast February 2017 | Northern Lights Vedic


Astrologically, the remainder of February is influenced by two eclipses, a positive Venus and a retrograde Jupiter.

Mr Toad’s Wild Ride

A Rahu period is sometimes referred to as “Mr Toad’s wild ride” due to the unpredictability and ups and downs that can manifest through Rahu.

According to a respected chart rectification of the United States by Vedic astrologer James Kellegher, the US is currently going through a Rahu period. President Donald Trump and his chief advisor, Steve Bannon, are also both strong Rahu personalities. Curious about Trump’s astrological profile? Read this article from August, 2016.

Rahu defies the establishment, is good at manipulation, and wants to create a new order of things. Rahu is also a good planet for technology and science, so we may see advances in these fields. The Rahu period for the United States began in 2015 and is not supposed to end until 2033.

Two Eclipses in February

The lunar nodes are busy this month with two eclipses. There is a lunar eclipse in Cancer on February 10th. A solar eclipse takes place on February 26th in Aquarius. Eclipses reveal secrets or hidden truths that eventually change our perspective.

Venus Saves the Day

Venus is in for a long stay in its favorite sign Pisces (until May 30th). Venus is a beautiful bright planet known as the morning and evening star. Venus helps bring out heart qualities of Pisces that are much needed today: compassion, connection and healing. Venus shares Pisces with the planet Mars for the entire month but Venus is the stronger planet in this sign. Pisces is also receiving an aspect from its ruling planet Jupiter, helping improve quality of life for people with major planets in this sign.

Jupiter is Retrograde February 5th – June 9th

Jupiter is receiving planetary aspects from both Venus and Mars this month.

Jupiter went retrograde in Virgo on February 5th. A retrograde planet will often return to a project that needs reworking. Jupiter rules legal matters and Virgo is a detail oriented sign also connected to health.

Right around the time Jupiter went retrograde, it was communicated that the new health reform needs more work before it can replace Obama care. Jupiter’s wisdom helped mitigate a chaotic, abrupt transition in health care.

Saturn in Sagittarius

Saturn is now in Sagittarius, a sign connected with travel, law, truth and dharma. This brings legal matters, business, higher education, travel and religion into focus. Morals and ethics are highlighted as well.

Saturn moved into Sagittarius on January 26th. His power to restrict, obstruct and delay was expressed on the night of January 27th when president Trump issued a travel ban for people from seven muslim countries, restricting their entry to the United States. The discussions, protests and actions that followed echo the legal and ethical concerns of Sagittarius.

Saturn stays in Sagittarius until January 24th, 2020, with the exception of moving retrograde back to Scorpio between June 21st and October 25th this year.

Mula Nakshatra – back to the roots

Saturn is also transiting Mula, a nakshatra occupying the first 13’20” degrees of Sagittarius. Saturn’s transit in Mula will last through 2017 (except for the time when Saturn moves retrograde into Scorpio) and much of 2018.

Mula nakshatra is symbolically represented by a bundle of roots. Roots are usually hidden from sight, often buried deep in the ground. An instinct to search beneath the surface makes this a good nakshatra for investigation and research. It is also a good nakshatra for healers, both on a physical and psychological level. In order to find a cure for something one need to find the cause of the problem, which often is hidden from sight. Historians and archeologists that search for facts and knowledge of the past, sometimes literally underground, are also influenced by Mula.

The energy of this nakshatra is fierce and Mula has a power to destroy or damage. In order to plant new seeds, old roots sometimes have to come up. Politically we are seeing a destruction of earlier policies and reforms. Both Mula and Saturn have connections to the root chakra, Muladhara. Saturn in Mula puts focus on issues related to our sense of security and basic values. It can also be linked to fundamentalism.

The goddess Niritti is the deity of the Mula nakshatra in Vedic astrology.

The goddess Niritti is the deity of the Mula nakshatra. Image from


The spiritual symbolism of Mula, is represented by the deity Nirriti (associated with the goddess Kali). This goddess is often feared because she is known as the goddess of destruction. But the spiritual intention of Nirriti is to liberate us from egotism so that we can experience the essence (the root) of who we are. For the person who meditates this is a good time to meditate deeply.

While Saturn transits Mula and Sagittarius, it is especially important that we are truthful and honest, vigilant in pursuing a correct course of action.  We must not get distracted from our own dharmic responsibilities by focusing too much attention outside of ourselves. Saturn will in time hold us all accountable for our actions.


This Month in Vedic Astrology

Throughout February 2017:

  • Venus is in Pisces
  • Mars is in Pisces
  • Jupiter is in Virgo
  • Rahu is in Leo
  • Ketu is in Aquarius
  • Saturn is in Sagittarius

Dates to Remember for February 2017:

  • February 5th – June 9th  Jupiter is retrograde in Virgo
  • February 10th, max at 5:48 pm PST – Lunar eclipse in Cancer
  • February 12th – Sun in Aquarius until mid-March
  • February 22nd – March 10th – Mercury in Aquarius
  • February 26th – Solar eclipse in Aquarius seen in parts of Africa and South America



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