Astrological Highlights: September 2018

Many planets are placed in favorable signs during September and most of the retrograde planets are now turning direct. Saturn ends his long retrograde on September 6th.

Saturn Turns Direct Again

Saturn has been retrograde since April 17th, and is turning direct on September 6th. Saturn is a slow moving planet, and for a time this shift causes Saturn to almost remain at a standstill. In the Vedic chart, Saturn stays at 8 degrees Sagittarius in the Mula Nakshatra throughout the entire month.

Saturn represents our foundations, and Mula Nakshatra represents our roots. This month gives us an opportunity to reflect on the choices we have made in the past and the choices we want to make now in order to move forward.  

The essence of Sagittarius is a quest for truth, and the sign also governs law. Many legal battles are fought at this time touching the core of American values.

As individuals we need to take a responsibility for our values and for our relationship with truth. How are we living according to our values? How well are we connected to Mother Earth and how are we treating her?  Saturn is asking us to all take responsibility for our actions.

Mars is Powerful and Direct

Mars is once again moving direct and is therefore powerful in Capricorn, its sign of exaltation. The actions of Mars are now decisive and focused.

Mars will soon catch up with Ketu for the third time in 4 months. Shortly after the fall equinox on September 22nd, the two planets will meet again at 10 degrees Capricorn.  Because Mars was recently retrograde, it has crossed over Ketu two times already, on June 7th (direct) and on July 19th to 23rd when Mars was retrograde.

Mars continues to be strong in Capricorn until November 5th, the day before the US midterm elections. On November 6th, Mars moves into Aquarius. Mars is at its strongest on November 2nd and 3rd when it is at its point of exaltation: 28 degrees Capricorn.

Bring on the Rain

The full Moon in Pisces on September 24th is in the Nakshatra Uttara Bhadrapada. This nakshatra is related to heat and burning. Here in the Western United States we need to be on the alert for fires at this time, especially since the close conjunction of Mars and Ketu also makes for hot energy.  

People tend to be emotional during a full Moon and this energy sometimes relates to strong emotions and feelings of anger. The shakti of Uttara Bhadrapada also has “the power to bring the rain”. We will certainly welcome the rainy season here in California. However, “the power to bring the rain” can also refer to an ability to bring release and cleansing after a period of tension.

Mercury in Exaltation

The Sun is in its own sign of Leo until September 17th. Mercury is also in Leo during the first part of the month. Both the Sun and Mercury are in Virgo after September 18th. This favors communication, discrimination, commerce and trade.

A Strong and Positive Libra

Venus is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and the Moon. We often see Venus as a bright steady light before the sun rises in the morning, or after the sunset in the evening.

In Sanskrit Venus is called Shukra. Shukra means clear, bright and pure. In Indian mythology, Shukra was the spiritual guide for the Asuras. His role was to guide and uplift the selfish and immoral demons. Through Shukra’s refined nature, charm and attractiveness, he was able to bring truth, joy, peace, harmony, beauty and creativity even to places where deception, lies, and conflict had ruled.

It is our good fortune to have Venus enter Libra on September 1st. Venus enjoys being in Libra. The symbol for Libra is the balanced scales showing a need for taking both sides into consideration. It is under the influence of Libra that we find the diplomats and  peacemakers.

During September and part of October, Jupiter is also in Libra.  Both Venus and Jupiter are guiding planets but with different agendas. Jupiter guides through wisdom and law. Venus guides through the power of attraction, upliftment and joy.

The world is currently experiencing many conflicts and much divisiveness. Kala Sarpa Yoga is still in effect. This means that while Rahu is on one side and Ketu is on the other, all the planets are positioned between them on the same side of the zodiac. Increased imbalance and conflicts in the world are felt during such times.

It is only the Moon that breaks the Kala Sarpa yoga intermittently every two weeks. The lunar nodes have a lot of power during Kala Sarpa.

Mars will break up the Kala Sarpa Yoga by moving on the other side of Ketu after September 26th.  Benefic planets in Libra will also do a great deal to bring balance and harmony to situations of conflict.

Maha Purusha Yoga                          

Mahapurusha yoga means that a planet is in its own or exalted sign in one of the angular houses. These yogas bring out the most positive expression of the planet.

Many people will experience Mahapurusha yoga by transit this month. Mars and Mercury will be in in their sign of exaltation and Venus is in its own sign. If one of these planets also are in an angle in your chart you will experience Mahapurusha yoga by transit.

Venus in Libra and Mars in Capricorn give Mahapurusha yoga to the cardinal signs. Mercury in Virgo brings Mahapurusha yoga to the dual signs.

The Mahapurusha yoga for Venus is called Malavya yoga and brings strength to the favorable qualities of Venus. The Mahapurusha yoga for Mars is called Ruchaka yoga and the Mahapurusha yoga for Mercury is called Bhadra Yoga.

Malavya Yoga for the Cardinal Signs

Venus stays in Libra until January 2nd, 2019. Mars is in Capricorn until November 5th. This will have a positive influence on everyone but especially the cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

If you have your rising sign, Sun or Moon in one of these cardinal signs, the following is especially relevant for you. But do note that these descriptions are general, and other factors in your chart also need to be taken into account.

Aries: Other people can be very helpful to you at this time, your relationships are positive. Venus’s energy is also favorable for finances, especially if you have your own business. This may also be a good time to sign contracts. The power of Mars in Capricorn helps you to be capable and assertive at work.

Cancer:  You may have been going through some changes recently due to Rahu’s influence in your first house. This can be a good time to relax in your home with your family. This is also a good time to find a home, buy property or a new car if you are looking for one. Venus in your fourth house is a positive influence which can make you  feel happy. This may be a good time to study, especially if it’s related to art and creativity.

Libra: Venus in your first house is helpful for your level of confidence and feelings of well being. This is a good time to start something new, especially if it is something creative. It is also a good time to work on your home and property. The placement of a strong Venus in your first house can have a beneficial influence on your health. It is a great time to do yoga and other forms of self improvement.

Capricorn: Mars in your first house can give you focused energy at this time that will help you get a lot done. A strong Venus in your tenth house may help you come up with new and creative ideas. Venus also rules your fifth house, which is a house of creativity, children and investments. This placement can be a positive influence in your relationship with your children and it is a good time to have fun together.

Dates to Remember:

September 1st – January 1st           Venus in Libra

August 16th  – September 17th       Sun in Leo

September 2nd – September 18th  Mercury in Leo

September 6th                                  Saturn direct in Mula

September 9th                                  New Moon in Leo

September 17th  – October 16th     Sun in Virgo

September 18th – October 5th        Mercury in Virgo

September 23rd – 25th                     Mars/Ketu conjunction in Capricorn

September 24th                                 Full Moon in Pisces

September 30                                    Pluto Direct




Astrological Highlights: August 2018

Powerful Mars and Ketu

Last night I was looking at a very bright and red hued object in the sky. Mars seemed so close that I thought I was looking at the planet through a telescope. In fact, Mars will not be this close to earth again for another 269 years.

Known as the red planet, Mars is sometimes called Angarika. Angarika means heated, glowing charcoal. It’s a fitting description of what Mars looks like when seen from a distance.

Another name for Mars is Kuja, which means “son of the earth.” Mars is presently in his sign of exaltation: the earth sign of Capricorn.

Mars is retrograde, and in the company of Ketu. Mars and the shadow planet Ketu are both slowly moving retrograde through the earth sign Capricorn. Both Mars and Ketu are of the fire element and can manifest extreme heat. The earth is experiencing much heat with record breaking temperatures in many places.

Fire is quick and when Mars and Ketu are disturbed they get out of control. This malefic energy has manifested devastating fires in various places on earth.

A positive expression of Mars is expressed through the courageous firefighters who are defending lives, structures and land.

Other manifestations of this hot, quick and unpredictable energy are expressed through  the volcanic eruptions in Hawaii. A couple of friends from the Island of Hawaii are currently staying in our community after having witnessed their retreat Polestar, and years of work, go up in flames. Ketu can give us difficult lessons in non-attachment.

Mars and Ketu are both rulers of Scorpio, a sign of deep transformation. Scorpio also governs underground and hidden activities, such as spying and secret service. While Saturn was making his transit through Scorpio prior to the presidential election much political manipulation and many hidden activities took place. Due to the current strength of Mars and Ketu some of these secrets are being uncovered. The warlike activities that Mars and Ketu can manifest, are now predominantly taking place in cyberspace.

Mars will continue its retrograde until August 27th when he goes direct at four degrees Capricorn. Mars will station at four degrees between August 19th and September 5th.  Mars is very strong during this time and those with important planets near this degree will definitely feel his energy. Mars will cross paths with Ketu again and their conjunction will be exact on September 26th.

It is the impulse from Mars that motivates us to act. Use this energy constructively. It is when Mars is out of control that we experience anger, conflict and accidents.

Many Retrograde Planets

Saturn, Mercury, Mars, Pluto and Neptune are currently retrograde. Uranus will also turn retrograde on August 7th and remains retrograde throughout the year.

Retrograde planets tend to energize the RE words. We can revalue, rethink, reorganize, restructure, re-orientate, remake and reflect on something. This is a time of transformation, and we may need to adjust to new realities.

Solar Eclipse on August 11th

Another partial solar eclipse, just a few weeks after the lunar eclipse on July 27th, takes place on August 11th in the sign of Cancer. The retrograde Mercury is also involved because it will be positioned near the Sun and Moon.

This eclipse will be visible in the northern regions of North America, Europe and Asia.

Eclipses often bring change and can reveal something new to us. Make this a time for reflection and interiorization, as a solar eclipse can bring new awareness to our inner consciousness.

Debilitated Venus

Venus, the indicator for love and marriage, is in the sign of Virgo the entire month. Venus is debilitated in this sign and astrologically this is not such a good month for getting married.

Venus is intellectual and analytical in Virgo, and this is a good placement for analytical reflection and a deepening understanding of your relationships. Venus in Virgo often indicates a good business sense.

While this is still a very intense month it is also a time where we need to reflect on our lives in order to gain an understanding of where we are going. Circumstances are changing for many people.

Dates to Remember:

  • August 1st to September 1st:  Venus in Virgo
  • August 7th to January 2019:  Uranus retrograde
  • August 11th: Partial Solar eclipse and New Moon in Cancer
  • August 17th: Sun in Leo
  • August 19th: Mercury goes direct
  • August 26th: Full Moon in Aquarius
  • August 27th: Mars goes direct



Astrological Highlights: July 2018

July is likely to be an intense month this year. Two eclipses occur in July and a third eclipse takes place in August. The total lunar eclipse on July 27th is the longest eclipse of this century.

Many retrograde planets

Many retrograde planets indicate karmic situations that are needing attention. Saturn, Mars and Jupiter are retrograde and so are the outer planets Neptune and Pluto.

Cancer –  families, women and security

Mercury lines up very closely with Rahu in Cancer on July 2nd. Venus is already in Cancer, a sign governing families, women and the need for security. The strength of Mars and Ketu, who are opposing these planets, is an example of the aggressive energy separating children from their parents at the American/Mexican borders.

Many issues regarding women are now threatened by political retaliation. Mars is in exact opposition to Mercury on Independence day, July 4th.

Partial solar eclipse

On July 12th a partial solar eclipse occurs in Gemini, in the nakshatra Punarvasu. This eclipse will be seen from only a few locations on land. It will be partly visible in southern Australia. A majority of this partial solar eclipse will take place over the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Punarvasu is ruled by Jupiter and the meaning of Punarvasu translates as return of the light. However, a partial solar eclipse in this nakshatra darkens the light, and indicates change. Pluto in close opposition further suggests a deep transformation.

The good news is that Jupiter, direct since July 10th, is giving a close trine aspect to the solar eclipse. Neptune is also in trine to the eclipse.

This positive energy from Jupiter and Neptune is inspiring and the spiritual energy gives us hope. It is an opportunity to send light and energy to the world. This is especially important now as we are at a time that threatens to be very turbulent.

Longest total Lunar Eclipse of the 21st Century

Mars is close to the earth and very powerful. Mars and Ketu are both moving retrograde and are close to each other. This makes for “hot” energy.  

The total lunar eclipse will occur at 10 degrees Capricorn on July 27th. Mars will be very close to the eclipsed moon and will be easy to see with the naked eye.

The total lunar eclipse on July 27 – 28 will be the longest eclipse of this century.  

It will last for a full 1 hour and 43 minutes. From start to finish it will take close to 4 hours to cross the Earth’s dark umbral shadow.

The entire eclipse will be visible from start to end in Eastern Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Part of the eclipse is visible in Europe, West Africa, Eastern Asia, South America, New Zealand and Australia. It will not be visible in the United States.

On July 26th, Mercury turns retrograde at the sensitive gandanta point in the last degree of Cancer. We will need to make an effort to be clear in our communications.

There are many astrological indications for instability during the latter part of July. The potential for earthquakes, storms and fires are real. There are many “hot” spots in the world at this time and the planetary energies have the potential to ignite violence.  

Try to remain calm and even minded. Send prayers of peace and harmony during this astrologically challenging time.

Dates to remember:

  • July 2nd   Mercury and Rahu close conjunction in Cancer
  • July 4th    Mercury / Mars opposition
  • July 10th  Jupiter direct
  • July 12th   Partial solar eclipse
  • July 13th   Moon with Rahu in Cancer
  • July 15th   Sun in Cancer
  • July 19th – July 23 Mars/Ketu same degree in Capricorn
  • July 26th – August 18th Mercury retrograde in Cancer
  • July 27  Total Lunar eclipse in Capricorn 10 degrees.
  • July 28  Sun in close conjunction with Rahu

Coming Engagements:

June 30 – July 4th

Speaking at the 19th Vedic Astrology Conference: Self Awareness with Yoga and Jyotish at Sivananda Yoga farm, Grass Valley

Nov 2 – Nov 7th

Speaking at the Sixth International Vedic Astrology Conference in San Francisco



Astrological Highlights: June 2018

A Fiery Mars / Ketu

Mars and Ketu in Capricorn are keeping us on our toes at this time. The volcanic eruptions in Hawaii are one expression of this conjunction.  Mars and Ketu are both aspecting Cancer, a sign representing home, and a disturbed Rahu in Cancer has manifested evacuations and loss of homes.

Mars and Ketu are both hot and quick to act. Their unexpected and unpredictable behavior can cause other natural calamities to occur around the globe. The risk of violence, explosions, wildfires, lightning and thunderstorms are higher than normal.

The exact conjunction between Mars and Ketu takes place on June 7th. Mars will then move three degrees ahead of Ketu before turning retrograde on June 26th. Their paths will cross again on July 20th and once more on September 25th. Both of the lunar nodes Ketu and Rahu can be toxic and poisonous (as manifested by the poisonous gases as lava from Kilauea volcano pours into the ocean).

Jupiter’s Wisdom

With so much instability in the world it is a relief to have Jupiter transiting Libra.  Libra wants balance and Jupiter helps us to realize the wisdom of negotiation in this peace loving sign.

The Art of Communication

Mercury, the planet of communication, moves rather quickly through his own sign Gemini between June 9th and June 25th.  Mercury enjoys this sign so take time to be with friends, make plans, write and find time to learn new things. This is a favorable time for Gemini.

Mercury’s stay in Gemini does not last long, but his visit in Cancer will last for over two months. Here Mercury is aligned with the lunar nodes and Venus, and also receives an aspect from Mars. In addition, Mercury will go retrograde at the end of July for several weeks. Perhaps more will be revealed about data breaches, issues of privacy on the internet, or other situations which makes communication more difficult and confusing.

Planets in Retrograde

When Mars goes retrograde on June 26th, he will join three other retrograde planets: Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. Many retrograde planets means that there are things to work out before we know how to move forward.

Dates to Remember

  • June 7th                          Exact Mars and Ketu conjunction 13’ Capricorn
  • June 8th – July 4th        Venus in Cancer, joins Rahu
  • June 9th – June 25th    Mercury in Gemini
  • June 13th                        New Moon in Taurus, Mrigashira 28’
  • June 15th – July 16        Sun joins Mercury in Gemini
  • June 18th                        Neptune Retrograde
  • June 19th                        Rahu/Venus conjunction at 12’ Cancer
  • June 25th – Sep 2nd      Mercury in Cancer, joins Venus and Rahu
  • June 26th – Aug 27th     Mars Retrograde
  • June 27th                        Full Moon in Sagittarius


Coming Engagements:

In April, I had the opportunity to do consultations with people at the Yogananda Fest in Los Angeles. I have more events coming up in the next few months.

June 2nd

Yogananda Fest – Palo Alto, California

June 30 – July 4th

Speaking at the19th Vedic Astrology Conference at Sivananda Yoga farm, Grass Valley

Nov 2 – Nov 7th

Speaking at theSixth International Vedic Astrology Conferencein San Francisco



Astrological Highlights: May 2018

On May 2nd the planet Mars went into the sign of Capricorn.  

Many people will be relieved now that Mars has left the sign of Sagittarius and his conjunction with Saturn. Due to the inimical relationship between Mars and Saturn we have seen and experienced more conflicts, accidents and frustrations than normal.

A Focused Mars

Mars is exalted in Capricorn. When we consider that Mars and Saturn are enemies, it seems strange that this planet does so well in a sig that is ruled by Saturn. However, when Mars is in Capricorn he will benefit from the disciplinary restrictions imposed by Saturn. The energy of Mars will be more focused and methodical. Mars can be ambitious and knows how to get good results by being strategic and working hard.

Land development, construction and engineering are greatly favored during this time. In fact, any endeavor requiring planning, strategy, perseverance and hard work can do well. The signs that are ruled by Mars – Aries and Scorpio – will benefit from Mars being strong. If your Ascendant, Sun or Moon are in any of these signs you can make good use of its strength during this time.

Mars and Feisty Ketu  

There is, however, another side to this transit. Mars will join Ketu, the south node of the Moon, in Capricorn. Ketu is “headless” and relies on instinct. Ketu relates to the past. This combination of Mars and Ketu in Capricorn can escalate violence. The risk of war and terrorism is higher because both planets are “hot” and quick to action. Mars can attack as well as defend. The threats of fires and epidemics are also higher than normal.

Mars Goes Retrograde

A great deal of karma is being worked out during this time. Astrologically this can also be seen because Mars will go retrograde, and cross over Ketu, no less than three times.

Mars is in retrograde between June 26th and August 27th. Mars will be on the same degree as Ketu on June 8th, July 20th (when Mars is retrograde), and again on September 25th. Avoid travel and large crowds on these days if you can, the risk of terrorism is higher than normal.

Political Rhetoric Heats Up

For Donald Trump the planets Mars and Ketu are transiting his sixth house. This is a house of enemies. His enemies are very powerful during this time, and can reveal that which he has preferred to keep private. His own ability to fight is also strong.

Two Expressions of Mars/Ketu

Ketu is also connected to spirituality and Mars with Ketu can give good insights. However, the danger of being fanatical is high, both on the political and religious arena.   

How to Relax with Mars

Mars is a physical planet and this is a time that lends itself well to exercise, fitness, yoga and sports. Ketu loves nature so, if possible, plan for some time in the great outdoors. Relax and heal with massage and ayurveda, which represent a healing side of the Mars/Ketu combination.

We may see an increase in divisive energy, so pray for the victory, not of anger and hate, but of wisdom and compassion.


Dates to Remember:

  • May 2nd: Mars in Capricorn, joins Ketu
  • May 9th: Mercury is Gandanta
  • May 9th: Mercury in Taurus May 9 – May 26     
  • May 9th: The day when Jupiter is the closest to Earth this year
  • May 14th: Venus in Gemini
  • May 14th: Sun in Taurus         
  • May 15th: New Moon in Taurus
  • May 26th: Mercury in Taurus, exchanges signs with Venus
  • May 29th: Full Moon in Scorpio




Astrological Highlights: April 2018

Vedic Astrology forecast for April 2018 | Lina Preston at Northern Lights Vedic

Mars continues his journey through Sagittarius throughout April where two powerful malefic planets (Saturn and Pluto) are already making their slow transit through this sign. Mercury is retrograde and debilitated in Pisces and Saturn turns retrograde on April 17th.

April Fool’s Day is No Joke This Year

Saturn can block and obstruct the energy of an assertive Mars. We have recently seen hundreds of thousands of people attending youth-led, anti-gun rallies, calling on lawmakers to tighten gun control in order to stop mass shootings and gun violence. This is a beautiful example of how Saturn (the masses) opposes Mars (violence) in Sagittarius. The two conflicting forces in Sagittarius bring out a sense of righteousness, indignation and anger.

The illustration above is an example of peaceful demonstrations against violence. However, a sense of self righteousness, indignation and anger can also be used to justify violence and war.  This is a time when the many tense and violent situations in the world today could erupt further and need to be dealt with special care and skill.

During the early days of April, the conjunction between Mars and Saturn is very close. On April 1st and 2nd the conjunction is exact.

Pluto is also with Mars and Saturn in Sagittarius. Pluto’s energy centers around power and control. The conjunction between Mars and Pluto is exact on April 27th in the Uttara Ashadha nakshatra and can manifest as a strong desire to win at all costs. The combination of Mars (violence), Pluto (deep power) and Saturn (destruction) could potentially manifest earthquakes.   

This combination of planets can also express manipulation of power. We saw a similar energy expressed when Saturn was transiting Scorpio before the US presidential election.

The current transits could be bad news for Donald Trump. In his chart the malefic planets are in the eighth house (destruction) from his tenth house (career). These planets are in the fifth house (mind) from his Leo rising sign, which could lead to him to consider war.

The current malefic forces of Saturn, Mars and Pluto can stir people towards violence or bring courage needed to speak out for positive change. Pope Francis gave a speech on Palm Sunday that was a beautiful call to action to the youth of the world.

“Dear young people, the joy that Jesus awakens in you is a source of anger and even irritation to some, since a joyful young person is hard to manipulate,” Francis said. “The temptation to silence young people has always existed.”

“There are many ways to sedate them, to keep them from getting involved, to make their dreams flat and dreary, petty and plaintive,” the pope said. “Dear young people, you have it in you to shout.”

He quoted a Bible passage where Jesus responds to demands that he silence his disciples decrying injustice: “If these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

“It is up to you not to keep quiet,” the pope said in his sermon. “Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders — so often corrupt — keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?

“Please, make that choice before the stones themselves cry out.”

April 2018 Dates to Remember:

  • April 1   Mars/Saturn conjunction 14 degrees Sagittarius
  • April 1   Sun/ Mercury Retrograde conjunction at 17 degrees Pisces
  • April 13  Sun in Aries
  • April 15  Mercury Direct in Pisces at 10 degrees
  • April 15  New Moon in Aries
  • April 17  Saturn goes Retrograde at 15 degrees Sagittarius
  • April 20  Venus in Taurus
  • April 27  Mars/Pluto conjunction at 27 degrees Sagittarius
  • April 29  Full Moon in Libra


Astrological Highlights: March 2018

Vedic Astrology Forecast for March 2018 | Lina Preston at Northern Lights Vedic

Jupiter is the planet to look at this March. This benefic planet will exert a strong influence throughout the month. Jupiter’s influence will be seen through the signs Sagittarius and Pisces (both ruled by Jupiter), which host most of the planets in the second part of the month. Jupiter himself will be in retrograde between March 8th and July 10th.

Jupiter’s Uplifting Influence

Jupiter is one of our most benefic planets. He governs wisdom, wealth, expansion,knowledge, law, morals, ethics, travel and children. Because so many planets are in signs ruled by Jupiter, Jupiter’s qualities will be uniquely expressed through both Pisces and Sagittarius this month.

Venus is a Healing Force in Pisces

On March 2nd both Mercury and Venus move into Pisces, the last of the twelve sign constellations. This water sign can manifest mystical, intuitive and idealistic qualities.

The Sun enters Pisces on March 14th.

Venus is exalted in Pisces but Mercury is debilitated in this sign. Pisces brings out inspiration, compassion and high ideals in Venus. Venus stays in Pisces for most of the month, until March 26th when Venus moves into Aries.

Mercury governs communication, intellect and discrimination. In contrast, the water sign Pisces emphasizes wholeness and is without boundaries. Mercury gets confused when he is in this sign that relies more on intuition than on facts. However, Venus and Mercury are friends and the strength of Venus will uplift Mercury. As long as his friend Venus is in Pisces Mercury will be fine.

It is when Venus leaves Pisces on March 27th that Mercury gets more troubled. Mercury continue to stay in Pisces until May 9th.

Mercury retrogrades in Pisces between March 22nd and April 13th.

Venus and Jupiter Exchange Signs

Jupiter is transiting Libra (a sign ruled by Venus) while Venus transits Pisces (a sign ruled by Jupiter). The exchange of signs between Venus and Jupiter is positive and will last while Venus is in Pisces (until March 27). This will help compassion prevail amidst other difficult astrological influences which suggest struggle and conflict.

Saturn and Mars in Sagittarius

The symbol of Sagittarius is a centaur (half horse and half man) aiming his bow and arrow. This symbolizes the need to transform lower qualities into noble ones and to direct one’s energy towards truth and knowledge.

Sagittarius is concerned with morals and ethics, with law and with truth.

Saturn is currently transiting Sagittarius (until 2020) and is forcing us to take a serious look at our beliefs. The search for truth is expressed through the US government’s ongoing investigations. Saturn’s presence in Sagittarius is forcing society to address deep prejudices regarding women, race, immigration and religion. In the end Saturn makes us face the truth even when the truth may not be convenient for everyone.

On March 7th, Mars joins Saturn in Sagittarius. While Saturn is slow and thorough, Mars wants action right away. After March 7th we will experience impatience and conflicts, even anger. We will continue to see heated discussions regarding gun control and other topics. This energy will affect us on both a societal and individual level. Try to remain patient and even minded during this time.

Retrograde Jupiter

Jupiter moves retrograde between March 8th and July 10th. During this time, Jupiter’s energy is more inwardly focused and less outwardly expansive. Perhaps we will see a slowdown in economic growth, especially after March 27th when Mercury (commerce and trade) is without his friend Venus and is also retrograde in Pisces.

A retrograde Jupiter wants us to take time to reflect on our values. This is a time for spiritual introspection and reflection. Take some time to listen and heal.

Dates to Remember:

  • 03/02 — 05/09  Mercury in Pisces
  • 03/02 — 03/26  Exalted Venus in Pisces  
  • 03/02 — 03/26  Venus exchanging signs with Jupiter
  • 03/07 — 05/02  Mars with Saturn in Sagittarius
  • 03/08 — 07/10  Jupiter retrograde
  • 03/14 — 04/13   Sun in Pisces
  • 03/22 — 04/13  Mercury retrograde in Pisces
  • 03/26                  Venus moves into Aries


Astrological Highlights: February 2018

Vedic Astrology forecast for February 2018 - Lina Preston at Northern Lights Vedic

January ended with a supermoon and eclipse on the 31st and we are now moving into a new month. Will we see the astrological impact of this event in February?

Ketu Conjunctions in Capricorn

While Rahu was casting his shadow on the full Moon in Cancer during the recent total lunar eclipse, Ketu was close to the Sun in Capricorn. On February 3rd there is an exact conjunction between the Sun and Ketu, and on February 9th Mercury is making his transit over Ketu. Both of these conjunctions occurring in Capricorn are followed by a partial solar eclipse during the new Moon on February 15th.

The close conjunctions between Ketu, the Sun and Mercury in Capricorn, indicate situations where the boundaries of power are unclear. People in leadership may be exposed to mistrust and suspicion in regards to their communication. Democratic principles are questioned.


However, spiritually this conjunction can also express detachment and a surrender of the ego.

Maha Shivaratri is celebrated on the darkest night in February, often the night before the new Moon. This year Shivaratri takes place on February 13th. The reason for the celebration is to overcome darkness and ignorance in life and the world. This is a night of self-offering and self-restraint. It is celebrated by chanting, prayers, fasting, meditation and yoga practices. This night honors Shiva and that which he represents: the destruction of ignorance and ego and a surrendering to the Divine.

A Hundred Physicians

During Shivaratri the Sun and Venus have moved to Aquarius, a sign expressing philosophy, politics, universality and science. On February 15th there are three planets in this sign: Venus, Mercury, and Neptune are joined by the two luminaries, the Sun and the Moon. In addition to the many planets in Aquarius three major planets: Saturn, Jupiter and Mars are influencing this sign through their aspects. This is a time for thinking more deeply about what we actually are trying to achieve. Where are we going? Such a strong influence coming from the sign of Aquarius makes this a good time for planning new directions and goals.

By February 19th, Mercury, Venus, Neptune as well as the Sun are in Shatabhisha nakshatra in Aquarius. This is a philosophical nakshatra. Referred to as “a hundred physicians” it indicates a focus on healing and that scientific health discoveries can be made.

These planets will remain in Aquarius for the remainder of February.

Dates to remember:

  • February 3   Sun/Ketu conjunction in Capricorn
  • February 5 – March 2   Venus in Aquarius
  • February 9   Mercury/Ketu conjunction in Capricorn
  • February 12 – March 14   Sun in Aquarius
  • February 14 – March 2   Mercury in Aquarius
  • February 15   New Moon in Aquarius.  Partial Solar Eclipse
  • February 19   Sun, Mercury, Venus and Neptune in Shatabhisha
  • March 1   Full Moon in Virgo


Karmic Trends of 2018

Karmic Trends of 2018 - A Year in Vedic Astrology

A Year in Vedic Astrology

Vedic astrology gives us clues of what to expect for the year ahead. The following is a summary of general astrological trends for 2018 that will influence society as a whole. If you want to have a better understanding for how the planetary transits will affect you as an individual during the coming year, I recommend getting a personal consultation with a qualified Vedic astrologer.

What Do the Lunar Nodes Tell Us About 2018?

The lunar nodes have a direct impact on the world at large. Rahu and Ketu (the two lunar nodes) are known as shadow planets, and have the power to block the light of the Sun and the Moon. A solar eclipse affects our consciousness and a lunar eclipse affects the mind. Eclipses can influence our individual lives, especially if they occur near important planets in your chart, but they also influence us collectively on a large scale.

2018 – Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn

The signs where Rahu and Ketu transit (and where eclipses occur) have a profound effect on the world.

In Vedic mythology, the karmic axis is represented by a serpent. Rahu is the head of the serpent and Ketu is the tail. Rahu is full of desire. He is innovative, intelligent and restless. He brings us towards our future karma.

Rahu entered Cancer and Ketu came into Capricorn in August, 2017 and both of the shadow planets will remain in these signs throughout 2018.

Rahu in Cancer: Air and Water

Rahu is dry and connected to the air element. Rahu can create extreme weather conditions in Cancer, a water sign related to home and environment. In this sign, he can stir up storms and floods or create drought because of his dry nature. Rahu can be toxic and poisonous, so this a time when we need to pay extra attention to our environment.

Cancer is a feminine sign, ruled by the Moon, and the Moon represents women. With Rahu in Cancer we have seen an upsurge of issues related to women. Rahu will not suppress but tends to bring up what has been buried.

Cancer wants to nurture and water relates to feelings and emotions. The unstable side of Rahu can make us prone to fears and anxiety. However, this is also a good time to examine and analyze feelings and family relationships. Rahu is a good psychologist and can help us to gain psychological insights.

2018 Eclipses in Cancer

On January 31, 2018 the full moon is totally eclipsed in Cancer. Lunar eclipses tend to bring large scale events that can affect the minds of many people. Try to be in a calm environment on January 31st if you can. Perhaps you can make this a day to clean and re-organize your home, things that you thought you had lost may reappear.

On July 13th and August 11th there will be two partial solar eclipses in Cancer.

Ketu in Capricorn Challenges Democracy

Ketu is the shadow from the past influencing the present. He is the headless tail of the serpent and completely instinctive. He expresses changes that occur in order for us to become liberated from past karma.  Ketu expresses world weariness, confusion and non-attachment.

Ketu entered Capricorn during August, 2017 and will remain in Capricorn throughout 2018.

Ketu wants to liberate us from earthly karma and tends to manifest disappointment and disenchantment with the material world. Fiery Ketu can create discomfort and discontent in this Earth sign that wants to achieve and accomplish through hard work.

Capricorn represents organized structures and democracy. Ketu will challenge the democratic process and institutions. Ketu is also the wanderer, the migrant, the person without a home. This year governments will continue to grapple with questions around migration and immigration due to Ketu’s presence in Capricorn. Ketu manifests change and unsettlement in the orderly and structured world of Capricorn.

Total Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn in July

A total lunar eclipse takes place in Capricorn on July 27th, 2018. Retrograde Mars transits over the Moon near Ketu in Capricorn. At the same time, Mercury is retrograde and gandanta in Cancer. The energy can be explosive so it is better to avoid travelling and to avoid large crowds on this day.

Mercury Retrogrades in Water Signs This Year

The planet Mercury, governing discrimination, intellect and communication, spends a larger portion of his time in water signs this year. Discrimination should occur through the impartial mind but we tend to make judgements based on our emotions when Mercury is in water signs. However, this can also cause communication to be intuitive and creative.

Mercury in Pisces is idealistic. When Mercury is with Rahu in Cancer this summer, we may experience ups and downs in business and trade. Mercury in Scorpio later this year is analytical and secretive.

  • March 2 – May 9, 2018: Mercury in Pisces
  • March 22 – April 15, 2018: Mercury retrograde in Pisces
  • June 24 – September 18, 2018: Mercury in Cancer
  • July 27 – August 18, 2018: Mercury retrograde in Cancer
  • October 5 – December 31, 2018: Mercury in Scorpio
  • November 16 – December 6, 2018: Mercury retrograde in Scorpio

A Powerful Mars in 2018

Mars is powerful and strong this year. Mars is a planet of action and defends his territory.  A lot of positive things can manifest through a powerful Mars but we need to remember that Mars is also a planet of conflict and destruction.

Between January 16th and March 7th this planet will transit his own sign, Scorpio.

We will experience power struggles and conflict when Mars transits Sagittarius together with Saturn and Pluto between March 7th and May 2nd.

Mars is exalted and strong in Capricorn between May 2nd and November 5th. He is ambitious, focused and technical in this sign.

Mars goes retrograde between June 26th and July 28th and will transit over Ketu three times due to moving retrograde. Their conjunctions are exact on June 13th, July 18th and September 22nd.

Both Mars and Ketu are hot and fiery. Their combination can result in anger and violence. Capricorn is an earth sign and the close conjunctions between Mars and Ketu may cause natural calamities. In the Western United States the fire season will be upon us at that time and it is important to be vigilant in regards to potential fires.

Mars moves into Aquarius on November 8th.

Saturn in Sagittarius

Saturn continues its transit in Sagittarius this year. Saturn is retrograde between April 17th and September 6th. According to Vedic astrologer James Kelleher, Sagittarius is the rising sign for the chart of the United States. Saturn transiting the first house of the US reveals some of the pressure this country is undergoing.

A powerful Venus 2018

Mars is powerful during 2018 and it is a big relief that Venus is powerful too. Venus is the planet that represents connection, beauty and harmony. Jupiter is strong too, first in Libra and from October 11th in Scorpio. Benefic planets help to manifest a balance when malefic influences are strong. Venus is in Pisces, the sign of its exaltation, between March 1st and March 27th and expresses its ideals of beauty and compassion.  Venus in its own sign Taurus between April 20th and May 15th helps to manifest stability.

Libra is a fortunate sign this year. Jupiter is transiting this sign for most of the year. Venus will join Jupiter on August 6th and Venus will remain in Libra until next year 2019. Libra is a sign of diplomacy, peace and harmony and the qualities of this sign are certainly needed in this world during this time.

Dates to Remember 2018

  • January 16 – March 7           Mars in Scorpio
  • January 31                            Total Lunar eclipse in Cancer
  • March 1 – March 27               Venus in Pisces
  • March 7 – May 2                     Mars in Sagittarius with Saturn
  • March 8 – July 10                   Jupiter retrograde
  • March 22 – April 13                Mercury retrograde in Pisces
  • April 17 – September 6             Saturn retrograde
  • April 20 – May 15                      Venus in Taurus
  • May 2 – November 5                 Mars in Capricorn with Ketu
  • June 26 – July 28                       Mars retrograde
  • July 13                                        Partial solar eclipse in Gemini
  • July 26 – August 18                   Mercury retrograde in Cancer
  • July 27                                        Total lunar eclipse in Capricorn
  • August 8 – January 2019           Venus in Libra
  • August 11                                    Partial solar eclipse in Cancer
  • October 6 – November 16          Venus retrograde
  • October 11                                  Jupiter in Scorpio
  • November 16 – December 6      Mercury retrograde in Scorpio

Blessings for 2018,

Astrological Highlights: January 2018

Vedic Astrology Forecast January 2018 - Lina Preston

The New Year begins with a full super Moon in Gemini. This is the biggest full Moon of the year and hopefully you have the opportunity to go out and see it. It is a good time to make New Year’s resolutions and commitments on this first day of the year. The full moon takes place in the Ardra Nakshatra and the special shakti (power) of Ardra is the power of effort. Saturn aspects the Moon by opposition and Saturn is a planet that can follow through on serious commitments. Both Venus and Jupiter are also influencing the Moon making this a rather pleasant day.

Mercury Gandanta January 6th

Mercury moves from Scorpio and into Sagittarius on January 6th and is in Gandanta during this day. Mercury joins the many planets in Sagittarius: Sun, Saturn, Venus and Pluto. With such a number of planets in Sagittarius, and a conjunction between Mars and Jupiter at 23 degrees in Libra, we may see legal and ethical issues playing a major role during this time. On a personal level you may want to take action and enroll in a study program. Sagittarius often makes us want to expand our knowledge.

Kala Sarpa Yoga Ends January 13

We have been experiencing the Kala Sarpa Yoga on and off since September 17, 2017. This Yoga occurs when all planets are hemmed in between the lunar nodes Rahu and Ketu. The planets have all been transiting between Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn and it is only the Moon that has intermittently broken the Kala Sarpa Yoga. This yoga will often manifest a divisiveness and imbalance.

Venus moves into Capricorn and joins Ketu on January 13th. This ends the Kala Sarpa Yoga for this year and will hopefully help to manifest less divisiveness and more balance.

A Powerful Mars

Mars moves into Scorpio, its sign of rulership, between January 16th and March 7th.

On the same day, January 16th, there is a new moon in Capricorn. Mars in Scorpio expresses energy, determination and will not back away from conflict. This planet can go to great length in order to examine hidden realities and will express great stamina in this sign.

Mars will be powerful most of this year. Between May 2nd and November 6th Mars will be in Capricorn, the sign of its exaltation. Mars is a fighter and its qualities of courage, energy, and desire will be evident in these signs.

Total Lunar Eclipse on January 31

On the last day of January there will be another full super Moon. There will also be a total lunar eclipse taking place on January 31st.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow, blocking the light that the sun normally reflects off the moon’s surface — the light that makes the moon appear to glow. Eclipses have an impact on the masses sometimes foretelling world events. It is not the right time to begin something new during an eclipse. The Moon will be in Cancer, its sign of rulership. The Sun, Venus and Ketu are in Shravana, a nakshatra that is ruled by the Moon. This is a very mental and emotional time. Some people are affected by dark emotions and act irrationally. Try to stay in a calm and uplifting environment.

January 2018 Dates to Remember:

  • Jan 1st   Full Moon in Gemini
  • Jan 6th   Mercury in Sagittarius
  • Jan 6th   Jupiter and Mars conjunction in Libra
  • Jan 6th   Sun and Venus conjunction in Sagittarius
  • Jan 13th  Venus in Capricorn
  • Jan 14th  Sun in Capricorn
  • Jan 16th  Mars in Scorpio
  • Jan 16th  New Moon in Capricorn
  • Jan 31st  Total Lunar Eclipse in Cancer

Many blessings for 2018,

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All text and images © Copyright 2012-16 Elisabeth Preston. All rights reserved.
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