Happy New Year

We have now left 2015 behind and have moved into 2016 according to the Gregorian calendar.The true keeper of time on planet earth is marked by the movements of the planets of our solar system and on an “energetic” level the energy of a new year would start with the first New Moon of the year.

2016 is getting off to an interesting start on a planetary level. The first New Moon of 2016 is on January 9th in the sign of Sagittarius. Additionally, Mercury will go retrograde in the friendly sign of Capricorn on January 5th and the Nodal points move into Leo/Aquarius on January 8th. As we all know we are living through historical times of change along with all of the challenges presented during pivotal time periods. The history is not yet written for these times but it does seem as if 2016 is offering its changes early in the year.

As we return to our daily “after the holiday routine” the energy of the New Moon along with Mercury’s impending retrograde motion may cause our physical and mental energy to be lower than we would like for the beginning of a new year. It is best to not overload our days and to move with the slower energy because just as we can’t reverse the tides of the ocean we can’t really change the energy of the motion or placements of the planets.

Mercury being retrograde simply means it is closer to earth and there is no reason to panic or expect the worst from the retrograde. The energy of a retrograde planet is felt the strongest around the days of the beginning of the retrograde (the 5th) and the end of the retrograde (the 25th). It is those few days when it is best to avoid signing contracts or ignoring the possibilities of travel delays as we set up travel plans or appointments.
Mercury is well-placed in Capricorn and with Saturn making an aspect from Scorpio onto his own sign of Capricorn the period from the 5th to the 25th is excellent for editing or reassessing plans and contracts.

The bigger news is the switch of the Nodal/Eclipse points of Rahu/Ketu from Virgo/Pisces to Leo/Aquarius. The eclipse points change approximately every eighteen months and tend to have a fairly large impact on the world as well as on individual lives. Rahu and Ketu play a role in our karma and tend to bring changes, surprises and confusion into our lives. They work along with the planet Saturn to uncover the truth of our being much like the pressure that is brought upon carbon as it is being transformed into a diamond.

Rahu and Ketu are leaving the signs of Virgo and Pisces on the 8th. Those who have charts with either of those signs prominent have experienced challenges and changes in their lives in the past eighteen months. Ketu has been in Pisces the sign ruling ideals, religion, oil, drugs and media. The past eighteen months has seen challenges and changes to our religious institutions, our news media has reached new levels of distrust, oil prices continue to plummet, America has been forced to face up to drug addiction in “respectable” communities and far too many people have lost sight of higher ideals. Ketu can be harsh in handing out truth.

Rahu has been in Virgo the sign of health, retail sales and detail. While Virgo rules health in general it is also specific to the intestinal area of the body along with a secondary influence over digestion. As we reach the end of this time period it is notable that the general public is being advised that the digestion system is important to the immune system and more attention is now being paid to keeping one’s digestion strong and in balance.

As Ketu ripped away the veil hiding the fact that addiction is not only a problem of urban areas we are witnessing Rahu introducing society to the need to move away from jailing drug addicts and looking for ways of treating addiction as an illness. Rahu and Ketu are influences of technology and we have, of course, seen the retail world grow even more through internet sales rather than store fronts. We have also seen the retail world start to correct itself a bit as stores chose to give their employees off on Thanksgiving Day and we’ve seen the beginning of public opinion shifting against the craziness of “black Friday” shopping.

Virgo is detailed orientated and those with strong Virgo in their charts can often find it hard to let go of the details and their minds will often replay details over and over again until anger or outright fear takes over the mind. The saying “can’t see the forest for the trees” is perfect for the sign of Virgo and this tendency has made life difficult these past eighteen months as more and more people became focused on the details that were important to them and the ability to compromise or empathize with others lessened. It will be nice to have the emphasis on this sign shift and hopefully, people will simply be in a better mood as we move through 2016 and minds let go a bit of petty details.

I strongly believe that every planet and movement has a positive side to it. As we’ve moved through these eighteen months in which our ideals and beliefs were so challenged along with the heightened worry brought about by Rahu in Virgo I’ve noticed a shift in the attitudes and lives of many people. We’ve become aware that our institutions need to be changed and along with the insecurity inherent in these times of change we become more responsible for our own health and balance. Many have been forced, due to the influence of Virgo, to take steps in diet, exercise and stress reduction. As our institutions seem so unreliable we’ve turned inward and found security within ourselves. We’ve begun to take chances on our own dreams because the stable no longer seems so stable and therefore pursuing our dreams no longer seems so unsafe. Every planet and movement is good for something.

2016 is going to bring a focus on the “fixed” signs of the Zodiac because Rahu and Ketu will be in Leo/Aquarius both fixed signs and Saturn will continue to be in the fixed sign of Scorpio and aspecting the fixed sign of Taurus. There is stability in the fixed signs along with stubbornness. This emphasis on the fixed signs indicate that for society, as well as individuals, the changes being forced upon these signs will come with great resistance. Rahu is going to be in Leo the sign of big egos and the ego hates to be wrong. Leo is also an indicator of leaders so it is safe to expect that many political leaders will feel justified in not backing down from their own beliefs and desires. (Here in the US both Trump and Sanders have strong Leo influences in their charts – stay tuned .) On a personal level those with Aquarius, Leo, Scorpio and Taurus planets placed strongly in their charts can expect to be forced to learn to be flexible and to give up control of their lives along with more than a few cherished and righteous beliefs.

The positive side of these nodal placements in the fixed signs is that the fixed signs offer stability and slow but sure growth.
Ketu has a strong influence over science/ technology and during the past eighteen months Ketu has revealed just how dark the dark side of the internet can be but as he occupies the sign of Aquarius the inherent nature of this fixed but humanitarian sign will seek to find ways to slow down the darkness. There will be fights, of course, as society struggles to find solutions to the darkness of the internet but whatever solutions are finally agreed upon should bring long-lasting and stable changes. As Ketu affected the oil industry he now moves into the universal and expansive sign of Aquarius and new industries will appear along with an improved picture for our energy needs. Again, because the fixed signs are all involved the changes will be solid and long-lasting.

It is obvious that across this planet far too many of our leaders are greedy, power-hungry and corrupt. Now that Rahu is moving into Leo many of these leaders will face strong challenges and even more shocking revelations than what we’ve seen so far. Rahu can have a far-reaching sphere of influence and it is very possible that during this cycle we will finally see change that moves beyond cable news and gossip websites as Rahu removes the old and creates the space for the new. Of course, it will seem confusing and even frightening to some but no one can deny that change is required. The recent lessons learned through the nodal points being in Virgo/Pisces will serve us well as we take responsibility for our own health, well-being and peace of mind.

Saturn will continue through 2017 to occupy the sign of Scorpio where he will continue to challenge those with strong placements in Taurus and Scorpio. This continues the lessons of the other two fixed signs of Leo and Aquarius to be open to change, to be flexible and to not be so concerned with control – a control which was very much an illusion anyway. Scorpio is the sign of secrets and through its rulership of the second chakra influences the desire nature. We can expect that, with Saturn aspecting Rahu, secrets will continue to be revealed in personal as well as public lives. Saturn will continue to refine the desire nature so that more people will begin to understand that the acquisition of material objects does not really satisfy the need for inner-peace and security.

Finally, a reminder that Vedic Astrology uses “sidereal” time which is the same time used by NASA and therefore the movement of the planets will not match what is designated by the more well-known Tropical/Western Zodiac. Strong planetary placements in specific signs will require a chart to be calculated but everyone knows their day of birth and while not necessarily the strongest indicator of placements in a sign the Sun will be significant. In the sidereal system: Taurus is 5/15 – 6/15; Leo is 8/17 – 9/16;  Scorpio is 11/16 – 12/15 and Aquarius is 2/13 – 3/13 if you were born in during these time periods you are about to enter into a significant time period.

Mercury, Venus and Jupiter

Mercury is now in his sign of debilitation (Pisces), and he will stay in Pisces until March 27th.  Pisces is an idealistic sign which favors creativity (especially music), spirituality, and compassion.  Because of the emotional nature of this influence, Mercury – a planet of intellect and neutrality – can become a bit overwhelmed in this idealistic sign.  In this cycle, Mercury will be conjunct his good friend Venus who is exalted in Pisces and is retrograde.  Jupiter aspects this conjunction from the sign of Virgo and forms a positive combination of three benefic planets.

Because Venus and Jupiter are retrograde and Mercury is debilitated, there are imperfections to this combination of planets.  Dreams and goals can be delayed, misinformation can be even more prolific and, due to the idealistic nature of Pisces, we can feel as if the negative forces hold all of the power in the world.  It can be helpful to remember that what goes on in the outer world is not the totality of our existence.

This can be a tiring time for those who spend the majority of their time taking care of their physical lives while ignoring their inner lives.  During this time period meditation, music, and higher knowledge are activities which are favored.  These activities can go a long way toward calming and harmonizing our minds.

It is apparent that we are living through a time period that marks a time of world-wide change.  Perhaps history will compare this shift to the movement from hunter/gatherer to farming or from agriculture to industry – movements which strongly affected all of humanity. Our current epoch appears to be on steroids , and the outrageous chaos is extreme.  We must participate according to our daily role, but we do have a choice as to the state of our minds during these challenges.  It is always our choice to choose happiness over unhappiness, harmony over disharmony, and love over hatred.

If we choose to be conscious and peaceful, there are tools available.  One of the best tools that I’ve used throughout my own life has been to work with the rhythm of the planets.  This approach did not put a million dollars into my bank account, nor did it remove my daily challenges.  It did, however, give me multiple opportunities to not worsen my challenges through my reactions to events or other people.  By working with the rhythms and cycles, I discovered greater harmony in my life and greatly decreased my stress levels.

I have decided to offer a program which will, based on each lunar month, present information which can assist us in flowing with the cycles of the universe.  The program initially will last for six months and will start with the New Moon of March, 2017.  In addition to the monthly report, I’ve included a basic information packet to help you work, organize, and understand the transits better.  If you are already a client, I will email you a basic copy of your own chart so that you can work with the changing planetary patterns along with your own basic information. A six month commitment will be necessary. Additionally, a closed Facebook group is going to be opened so that further discussion can take place.  I will check in on it and answer basic questions; however, I will not be analyzing individual charts.

If you have additional questions, please email me.  I am going to be heading back to the states soon, so if you would like to participate in this program, please let me know as soon as possible since, once I leave Quebec, I may not be readily available for a week or so.

February New Moon

During the late 1980s I began to hear people speak about the energy changes and chaos that were coming our way.  While there were a variety of opinions about the nature of these changes ranging from the end times to space ships descending, there was a fairly constant opinion that the changes would last until around 2020.  It is impossible for anyone to pinpoint an exact date but, in the sidereal system of calculation, Saturn will enter Capricorn around 2020 and begin a seven and half year cycle of Saturn being in signs of strength.  This leads me to believe that we will see some stabilization during the time span beginning in 2020.  I do not believe in the end times, but I do think that we are at a peak time of these changes and that more time is behind us than in front of us.

As we witness the chaos and world-wide suffering, we can also see the consciousness and awareness of people around the globe rising to new and higher levels of understanding human nature and the world we occupy.  Hidden underneath all the noise and fear is a change to the energy and the consciousness of millions of people for whom it is no longer appropriate to accept old truths and old ways of power.

One way that we can see this shift in energy is by simply observing the “resistance” to this new administration’s heartless and crazed policies.  The push-back is different from the days when we protested Civil Rights and the Vietnam War.  Those days of protests were angry and often filled with violence.  Today’s protests are more organized, focused, and determined along with participation of diversified groups ready to stand together with the patience and fortitude required.  This shows a maturity in approach.  There is also a trend toward the tactical use of humor, acknowledging that laughter has long been known to be a function of wisdom.  It’s chaotic and frightening out there but, as has been predicted for years in the circle of mystics, these times are those of awakening.  Just as we often do not like the alarm clock going off in the morning, once we are awake we don’t find it to be horrible.  With the increase in understanding, many more people now realize that no matter what is going on in our lives, we have the tools and the ability to be at peace within ourselves. It is for this purpose that I like to use the energy of each New Moon to help us stay in harmony with the universal order.

Last month’s New Moon was significant because it accompanied two major planetary shifts along with the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year.  This month’s New Moon is equally significant because it is accompanied by a partial solar eclipse.  The energy of this eclipse can be very intense and, due to the nature of solar eclipses, one can experience darker emotions experienced along with imaginative thoughts.

The New Moon — as well as the eclipse — will be taking place in the early morning (middle of the night) on the 26th of February, but the energy will be strong all day Saturday as well.  It terms of the New Moon presenting the birth day of the next lunar month, this cycle will be emphasizing the signs of Aquarius along with its opposite sign of Leo. (Sidereal timing – this will “not” match what you will read about in magazines and on various websites.)  The energy will be basically one of the forward-looking and universally-minded Aquarius versus the egocentric and fiery energy of Leo.  Human beings are being pushed towards the understanding that while we may have personalities and abilities that make us unique, we are not individually special and entitled to anything because we are special.

Because Venus and Mars are in Pisces and therefore represent the next sign to Aquarius, there is an indication that the energy of the Aquarius impulse will be poured into the nature of Pisces.  Pisces is a water sign filled with creativity, empathy and idealism – the very best of the nature of a human being.  The freedom and awareness of the revolution Aquarius brings can be projected through the creative spirituality of Pisces.  This would be the contemplative goal of this New Moon cycle.

Pisces is also a prayerful energy which brings me to the other important significance of February’s New Moon Cycle.  Every year on the day before the New Moon in February there is an ancient practice of working with the energy of Shiva.  It is called Maha Shivaratri and, across the world,  Hindus will be fasting, doing pujas, and chanting to Shiva with reverence seeking divinity within and asking for divine assistance for the world.

One of the aspects of these changing times is the movement away from religions and into spirituality.  For many this shift has become a time of no belief in a higher force, and for others recognition that no one belief system owns one’s spirituality.  While understanding the difference between religion and spirituality is necessary, it can also add to feelings of hopelessness due to the apparent loss of the personal “super-hero God” along with the exposed corruption of many of the institutions societies rely upon for stability.

Common sense and thoughtful observation lets us know that there is something else in the universe which holds the world in place. Personally, I am content with not being able to intellectually prove divinity but to know that it exists simply because of the human ability to love beyond the demands of our egos along with the ability to find inner peace no matter what is going on in life.  Part of the changes in awareness is the knowledge that we are all connected at our core. This connection means that when human beings come together for a higher purpose or understanding, everyone benefits individually and collectively.  During times like this it is a good idea to participate in collective prayer, meditation or intention.

This New Moon presents us with the opportunity to be a part of something that has been going for centuries via a sacred and ancient Hindu holy day of spiritual practice.  There will be millions of people praying, chanting, and projecting together toward divinity and reinforcing the truthful knowing of our inner hearts and spirits. It is an opportunity to know we can move through life connected in a higher spirit to affect these times which are filled with change, ineptitude, and fear.

I am a Vedic Astrologer and a Yogini, so I will naturally be using the mantra of Shiva during this New Moon (Om Nama Shivaya).  However, no one system owns spiritual truth, and everyone can use the energy of Maha Shivaratri in the way that suits them best.  What is important is that some time is taken out on either the 24th or the 25th to engage in a spiritual expression during this sacred New Moon and to project that toward the world since your efforts will add to the efforts of millions and will benefit the world as well as your own personal life and self.

We can participate in the world, but the happenings in the world can depend on so many other factors; if we wait for the world to change in order to find peace within ourselves, we pass up the opportunity to find that peace which is not actually dependent on any external.  We have all observed people who have lived lives of great suffering to be filled with compassion, humor, and peace just as we’ve observed people who have every material advantage be filled with anger, greed, and a total lack of peace.  It is our inner self which mandates our level of happiness; our connection to that inner self is truly the only control that we have in this life.

Hopefully, we will all find some time to rest during the weekend of the 24th and experience some well-deserved downtime as we move towards the end of winter and the beginning of Spring.  If there is some movie watching on the agenda, there is a wonderful movie called The Hurricane which stars the incomparable Denzel Washington in a biographical role as Rubin Carter, a boxer serving life in prison for a crime he did not commit.  The life of Mr. Carter is a contemporary story of someone who was able to find peace and harmony in the worst of circumstances – it is a perfect story for this New Moon!

 

 

A Special New Moon

 

The New Moon taking place on January 27th is a unique and hopeful start to a new lunar month. The   Moon and Sun will be exactly conjunct in the sign of CAPRICORN at 7:00 pm Eastern Standard Time and is the moment that ends the last lunar month and starts the beginning of the next lunar month.

The New Moon is always a time best used for introspection and healing on the mental, emotional and energetic levels.  This particular New Moon is significant because the entire cycle is accompanied by two major planetary changes which take place within the New Moon cycle itself.  As many are aware, it is also the Chinese New Year!

We live in times of change within just about every aspect of society, and many individuals are also being pushed to change their viewpoint and consciousness.  Unless one is a person who relishes change, the average human ego resists change and that resistance can cause one to live in fear, anger, and even depression. I would never deny the severity of the problem in the White House, but I also don’t believe that we have to live in misery and fear because of it.  Fear was one of the tools used by those in power to stage their 2016 coup.  When we choose to view all of life through a negative lens,  we miss all kinds of opportunities to feel joy, forget to be grateful for what we do have that is good and, most of all, we become victims of life.

This New Moon is taking place along with Saturn leaving Scorpio (26th) and Venus entering Pisces (27th) which gives a positive power to the birth of this lunar month.  (In many ways, despite the battle we may have ahead of us, it astrologically marks the end of the dark time which gave us the current occupant of the White House.) This a truly good New Moon for cleansing, healing and walking into the future with courage and hope; we can and should participate!

Just as one doesn’t have to see the oxygen in order to utilize its properties, one does not have to see the energetics of the chakra system within each of us in order for their properties to affect us.  Scientists have learned to measure oxygen, and healers can also measure the dynamics of the chakra system along with all of the nadis and meridian points connected to the primary chakras.  Whenever one goes to a holistic healer, it is this energy that is used to help restore balance to the body.  Even though many of today’s yoga systems avoid teaching the principles of yoga, the postures and pranayamas are based on the effects they will have on the energetic system of the human body.

Planetary rays are connected to the chakras as well, and this New Moon is presenting us with an opportunity to balance out the chakras which are the invisible midwives to our physical existence. The Moon and the Sun share rulership of the Ajna Chakra which is also known as the Sixth Chakra or Third Eye. There are two petals associated with the Ajna Chakra and each is assigned to one of the petals.  The Moon represents the mind, and the Sun represents the soul.  When the Ajna is strongly balanced and an individual is not operating from the level of the ego, the intuition will work in conjunction with both the soul and universal mind.  Some people are born with this inherent ability, and some will come to it through meditation and the courage to be truly self-aware.

Saturn is assigned rulership over the Muladhara or 1st chakra located at the base of the spine. This chakra is concerned with security, longevity of the physical life, structure, and control.  If this chakra is not balanced it creates blocks which can manifest in deep fear resulting in a poverty, poor health, chaos, and lack of self-control.  A strong 1st chakra without any guiding principles can result in greed, lack of empathy, power-lust and, ultimately, bitter meanness.

Venus is the ruler of the Anahata or 4th chakra which is located in the center of the chest area.  This chakra is the balance point of the upper/spiritual chakras and the lower/mundane chakras.  We are all spiritual beings experiencing life in a physical body and can’t go through life operating via the energy of just the physically concerned chakras or the spiritually concerned chakras – a meeting of the chakras in the heart center results in a life well-lived. (A good visual representation of this principle can be found in the Star of David.) The Anahata is the seat of our capacity for love, compassion and expansion.

The beauty of this New Moon is the opportunity it affords us to work on strengthening and balancing these three planets and their energy centers.  Saturn in the sign of Sagittarius, as the planet of the people, will be working with us to push back against the powerful ruled by Sagittarius who have abused their power for so long – Saturn will be in Sagittarius for two and a half years. Venus, as the planet of love and compassion, is going to go retrograde which means he will be in Pisces, his sign of exaltation, for four months and he will give us the opportunity to heal and balance.  We can work with this New Moon energy to give a push to the energetics of these planets and chakras to heal, hope, and tune into the higher frequencies of the Ajna chakra.

Techniques for the New Moon

If possible try to be working with this energy around the time of the exact conjunction but, if that is not possible, this energy can be worked with throughout the weekend.

Eating lightly is always recommended for the New Moon.

The Moon is the mind, and contemplating the events of Saturn in Scorpio is worthwhile.  What has been learned through the denial of desires for the past two and half years?  What is needed to feel truly secure?  Have there been people who acted in betrayal?  Can they be forgiven? Has a person who passed on been truly mourned?  How have dreams and aspirations changed?  Has spirituality or consciousness changed?

Contemplate your writings and, if drawn to a ritual, the writings can be burned even over the kitchen sink.  Chant the seed sound for the 6th chakra – Om/Aum.

Energize the 1st chakra through some gentle exercise.  Picture a red tube of light going from the base of the spine into the earth and affirm that you do not need the fear and that it is only the ego which is threatened.  Start a journal of affirmations and positive plans. Chant the seed sound for the 1st chakra – Lam.(Lahm)

The 4th chakra can be energized by visualizing the Star of David or a deep green emerald or a lotus right in the center of the chest.  Focus on love for others and self along with a sense of compassion for others. Chant the seed sound for the 4th chakra – Yam (Yahm).

Chakras respond nicely to sound, visuals, and fragrance.  Bring flowers into the room for your New Moon ritual, burn some incense or other scent and choose uplifting music.  If you do not want to work with the chakras or other techniques, just sit quietly and breathe deeply along with the music and flowers, and enjoy some quiet time.

I would like to remind everyone that Vedic, Hindu, and Eastern Astrologers use sidereal placements or the “observable planetary placements,” and the placement will not match those of western astrologers or what is in magazines and newspapers.

There are many systems of chakra interpretation.  The one I use is based on the combination of Vedic Astrology and the ancient teachings of yoga.  This does not indicate that other systems are incorrect; it is simply what I choose according to my own education and practice.

*Thank you Atma Amita for editing this especially on such short notice. All of the commas thank you for including them in this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lunar New Year and Saturn

Welcome to the first blog of 2017!  Many of us were more than happy to see 2016 pass into history but also looked towards 2017 with trepidation.  It’s here and we survived the cross over and will survive 2017 as well.

As I stated in my last blog, the “astronomical” New  Year is December 20/21 during the solstice when the Sun begins to increase its light.  January 1st was an arbitrary date, most likely chosen as the New Year due to the ending of the Solstice/Christmas season; it is not based on any astrological/astronomical timing.

Other traditions around the world choose the beginning of the New Year according to lunar cycles, and this year the Chinese New Year is, depending on the time zone, January 27th. It will usher in the year of the Rooster, a symbol of hard work, resourcefulness and courage – qualities that will be appreciated during the year 2017. January 27th represents the first New Moon of 2017 which takes place with the Sun and Moon exactly conjunct in the hard-working sign of CAPRICORN.

January 26th is the date of a big astrological change which is Saturn’s movement into the sign of SAGITTARIUS after his two and half year residence in the sign of SCORPIO.  (There will be a four month period from June 20 – October 25 when Saturn will slip back into Scorpio and give us all a “final exam” on what we learned while he was in Scorpio.) On a basic level this means that those who have strong planets in Sagittarius, Gemini, Aquarius, Virgo will be under the tutelage of Saturn – Sagittarius and Gemini will be receiving the strongest influence.  Those who were born between December 16 to January 15 (Sagittarius), June 16 to July 17 (Gemini), February 15 to March 15 (Aquarius) and September 17 to October 17 (Virgo)  will have their Suns in signs which will be affected by this Saturn transit.  However, those with their Ascendants, Moons or other significant placements in these signs will be attracting Saturn’s close attention as well.  Our friends with strong influences in Scorpio, Taurus and — on a lesser level — Capricorn and Leo, can exhale now and look forward to bringing new truth and maturity into their future.  Of course, we all have the influence of each sign somewhere in our charts and Saturn in Sagittarius will be affecting each one of us accordingly.

As we know, Saturn is the great teacher and does so through truth, reality, constriction, challenge and, far too often, loss. He is leaving the intense sign of Scorpio and has shone his special light on the darkest part of human nature along with frustrating many of us in appeasing our desire nature.  Scorpio is also a Mars sign, and Saturn brought out the angry and aggressive side of human nature.  Good-bye is not always hard to say!

Sagittarius is a different energy.  It is symbolized by the centaur and is a fast-moving, courageous, adventurous and forward thinking energy. Since Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, those with harmonious planets in Sagittarius can experience a positive ease as they gallop through life.  It is easy to see how those with planets in Sagittarius, Gemini, Aquarius and Virgo will be in for a time period that feels very restrictive to them.  All four of the signs that are going to be influenced are fast-moving and impatient by nature.  For many with these influences in their charts, it is going to be a challenge to sit in the quiet classroom of Saturn.  I’ve personally seen through clients, as well as the many Scorpio-influenced family members I have, an amazing growth in the past two and half years – they are more content, wiser and peaceful now than they were prior to Saturn’s attention.  I expect the same results for those who are now going to be under this influence.

I know that many are dreading this Friday when the grown-up leaves the White House.  The negative side of the anger and resentment of the Saturn/ Mars/Scorpio energy appears to have left all of us in quite a mess. It seems unfair that a bunch of people who refuse to move out of the lower energies of resentment, desire and ignorance have caused such an upset to our country.  However, it does no good to blame them because there was also a great amount of apathy and lack of civic responsibility along with a corrupt political system on all sides to get us to this point.

Saturn’s transit position always affects the entire planet, and it is interesting to note that Sagittarius is one of the “international/global” signs.  What we are seeing on a local level is also politically relevant for the governments of many nations.  Saturn will shift the order of the entire world as he moves through Sagittarius.

The mystical teaching behind the symbol of the centaur is that one of the basic impulses of Sagittarius is to move human beings further from the heavier/mundane nature of an animal toward the light that is supposed to symbolize the human being.  That light is the indicator of our soul/divine nature and, on many levels, the influences of materialism, desire, technology, and ignorance have buried the source of light throughout the world. Sagittarius is one of the signs of rulers and law and, for many centuries, the power wielded by the “powers that be” has been one of selfishness, greed, and corrupt power.  As all of us experience a shifting to a higher plane of energy along with the global economy and connecting technology, it appears a breaking point has been reached.  Scorpio is secrets and Saturn is truth.  The corruption can no longer be hidden from the people.

Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius and is the significator of rulers, lawyers and politicians.  It would seem that they are also about to be treated to Saturn’s influence.  As lucky as Sagittarius can be, it also brings with it a strong dose of laziness, greed and hubris which has caused many people of power to fall down the ladder it climbed.  Of course, it is not just the powerful who deal with these qualities, and it is important for each of us to watch for these influences in our daily lives as ignoring the truth of Saturn can disrupt our own lives.

Saturn is considered the planet of the “people,” and he has truth and warnings for us as well.  The Sagittarius energy should make all of us feel lighter and more optimistic now that Scorpio is no longer the prominent sign.  It is important for us to not fall into laziness or false optimism.  Saturn will be working with us to bring our leaders into line and to cleanse out the filth of our political system, but Saturn demands work, focus, and steadfastness.  If the people want a system based on more fairness and higher moral values, it will be the people who will have to vote, write letters, stage peaceful protests, and get involved in local elections.  Most importantly, it will be up to the people to remember that in this time of new energy and global community, we all have to remind ourselves that unity is important and the work ahead is not just for our own benefit but for the benefit of all.

Jupiter has been considered the planet of the Republican Party here in the US and Saturn the planet of the Democrats.  It is of note that there was a time when it was the Republican Party which was the forward moving party but over the years they fell prey to the negative side of the Jupiter energy of greed, parochialism, fake morality and hubris.  Saturn can be an interesting player in the next two and half years as he works, like Siva, to light the fires of purification within the GOP and it may be the GOP which we see imploding.

However, Saturn as ruler of the Democratic Party now in the sign of politics, also has something to do with Democrats cleaning up their act.  Ultimately, Saturn and Sagittarius together have the potential to remind Democrats that they are supposed to be actively working towards the future for all people and that their apathy and determination to protect their own positions and security has not been effective in championing the average American citizen.  They need to be much more forward thinking in their approach to governing the people. Sagittarius is more youth-oriented, and it is time to let in some new blood and accept the new 21st century world.

As we close out this cycle, it is imperative to know that no one is going to save us and that it is going to take hard work, determination, courage, unity and patience to work with the opportunities offered by Saturn in Sagittarius.

On a personal level the New Moon is always a good energy for contemplation, silence and rest.  This New Moon is significant and the time around the twenty-seventh is a good time to reflect and perhaps journal on what has been learned about our own desires in the past two and half years.  Do our desires work to elevate us? Do our desires hurt someone else? Are they actually achievable or are they like sand castles in the sky?  Have we seen our own darker sides in the past two years? Have we handled loss with grace, and do we understand what in our own subconscious minds hold us back from worthwhile goals?

We can all work for the highest good through these tumultuous times but we can only be in complete charge of our own thoughts and evolution.  The cycles of the planets give us all opportunities to work with the universe to understand and grow on our own journey towards being.  Let’s all take advantage of this significant New Moon.

Happy Lunar New Year!

 

 

 

Winter Solstice

Tonight is the night of the Winter Solstice which marks the longest night and shortest day of the year. As soon as tomorrow the Sun will begin to move from its lowest point in the Northern Hemisphere and each day will gain a bit more daylight.

For centuries various cultures have observed this day with celebrations of the returning of light.  Solstice is celebrated around the world – the Polish celebrate Gody, in Pakistan they celebrate Chaomos, Guatemala celebrates Santo Tomas and across the world people will be lighting candles and fires in celebration.   Our own culture is known for celebrations throughout the month of December and light is a symbol of the holidays.  Chanukah is known as the Festival of Lights, Christmas is filled with symbolic decorations of lights, Kwanza includes a  Kinara (candle holder) to hold the 7 candles of the season (Mishumaa).

The dates vary as we move through this season but the actual date of when the longest night is known and that date this year is the evening of December 20th.  As we are all part of the universe there is an energetic significance to working with the energy of the Solstice.  It is beneficial to find a few moments to be with this energy and to participate with the millions of people across the planet who will be involved in ceremonies.

There is high level of suffering, stress and fear throughout the world as we end 2016.  A few minutes spent a meditation will help to ease anxiety.  Lighting a candle along with soothing music while mentally celebrating with positive minded people throughout the world will add to a more humane and loving vibration.  It will be a benefit individually and can serve as a prayer for the world.

The Sun in Jyotish represents the soul of human beings.  The soul which is not hampered by the fears and aversions of the ego.  The soul never wishes harm on others and can guide us through the darkest of night – all we have to do is to be mindful of its existence and give it some attention.

We can take a few moments to close off the left nostril and breath only through the right nostril as that will stimulate the” pingala nadi” which is the energetic solar channel running through our spines.  We can write down our fears and aversions and offer them to the fire of the Sun.  We can do physical yoga or simply dance to music.  No matter what we choose to do we can do this knowing that the Sun, which represents light, is gaining in strength and that we can gain strength as well.

The Sanskrit word for the Sun is “Surya” (Sooree-ya) and for those who like to chant “Om Surya” can easily be chanted as a Solstice celebration.  Those who have experience with the Gayatri Mantra can chant it as the Gayatri is considered one of the best Solstice mantras. It is a long mantra which can be downloaded if you do not know it or have a copy of it.  Krishna Das fans can listen to Shri Ram Jaya Ram (Ram is a word for Sun).  Any technique can be chosen as long as the goal is to add to positive energy and allow the strength of joy to into our lives.

I hope that you can take advantage of this night of the Solstice and let the energy carry you through the Holiday Season and into the New Year!

 

Kindness Is Stronger Than Anger

Anger is loud and outwardly active which seems to have an immediate effect on others. The awful effects of anger does not, despite outward appearances, render it stronger than kindness.

It only takes a bit of observation to see that even if angry people seem to win and have gained all of the toys life has to offer their faces are often ravaged and devoid of any peace or true happiness. Doctors keep many of them alive for a long time but it is often only with the help of medications and various surgical procedures because while they are busy accumulating power, things and living with the analgesic action anger has on their emotional pain their bodies, without the intervention of modern medicine, are rotting.

We will not observe the same in the faces or bodies of people who know that kindness is actually the stronger force.  A kind person’s face will often show the signs of suffering turned into compassion. The faces of kind people will exhibit the peace that comes from not living a life filled with animosity towards their fellow human beings. There will be no fear etched on their faces because they do not live a life believing that everyone wants to take something from them or prevent them from possessing what they believe is theirs by entitlement.  Kind people, of course, suffer but they know that we all suffer and, while their’s might be unique to their circumstances, in the end it is a shared suffering on this journey of life.  This alone makes it easier for compassion to be present in their lives. They are not afraid to smile at a stranger, stand up for the less fortunate or cry for the suffering of others. Angry people are too afraid to exhibit kindness because it will open their own hearts to buried emotion and they would rather destroy someone else than to face their own emotions.

Kindness does not make anyone weaker. It does not, despite the current belief, mean we have move to the shadows and let the angry bullies dominate.  Kindness in adversity is strong and, just like a forest ravaged by an angry fire, in the end the seeds of kindness will renew the soil which appears to have no life. Even if at this time it appears that kindness is a losing strategy it is important to remind ourselves that if we are strong enough to open our hearts to kindness we are strong enough to stand up to anger because in the final analysis anger is an act of emotional fear.  It is a good time to bring the truth of kindness out of the shadows and stand strong against the anger of weakness.

 

 

Venus Enters Capricorn

Venus just entered the sign of Capricorn (12/2/2016) a friend’s sign. He will be well-placed until 5/31 when he enters Aries for one month and then he will enter his own sign of Taurus on 6/29 and then moves into Gemini (another friend’s sign) on 7/25 and will stay there until 8/20 when he moves into the sign of Cancer.

The constellation path of Venus for approximately the next seven months is well-needed good news.  He, of course, will not take away all of the bumps in what is promising to be a difficult journey we are taking together during 2017.

Many people know Venus as the “planet of love” and that is one of his qualities. Venus, in Vedic Astrology, is known for much more than love and even the love for which he is known is not the love of Valentine cards and sexual desire – it is the love which is the opposite of fear and/or hatred.  As we move through this time period and watch the old forms of spirituality fade we are often left with love being the only proof we have of a higher source of being.  That is the love which Venus rules.

Venus is also known as the keeper of the “shastras” which are the books and teachings left for us by wisdom teachers throughout the history of mankind.  Venus, as the keeper of the shastras, is also known as the teacher of the “asuras” – the mythological beings who can be used to explain the negative traits of humanity or even as those who infused human beings with the qualities of fear, hatred, violence, greed, etc.  The planet Venus has to be stronger than a Valentine card to be in charge of taking on the asuras and protecting our wisdom teachings.  Venus is known for being a cloudy and storm filled planet which means that while his placement is favorable for the next seven months or so that does not mean that we are entering a sun-filled rose garden. But it does mean that we have the higher teachings as we push towards love instead of fear-filled hatred on our side – despite the storms which are surrounding us.

Venus, on a physical level, rules the circulation system of the human body and all of the problems and attributes that our physical circulation involves.  On the level of yoga Venus is the planet which rules the fourth chakra (Anahatta) which is the chakra that balances the lower three charkas with the higher three chakras.  The lower three chakras are generally concerned with our physical existence while the upper three chakras play a role in our spiritual understanding and energy. Since we are spirit encased in a physical form true health and harmony comes by balance of the lower and higher chakras in the fourth chakra.  The fourth chakra resides in the center of our chests and is considered to be of the air element which when balanced will give greater compassion along with expanded awareness and peacefulness.

It is important to remember that Venus is the teacher of the “asuras” and is not the wimp that so many believe is a quality of compassion.  Learning, growing and standing up for truth are all part of the lessons of Venus and it is important that all of the action be taken with the calm and rational energy of both Venus and a balanced fourth chakra.

A simple and powerful way to work with the positive side of Venus for the next seven months is through a mindful approach to the energy (circulation) of the fourth chakra. Every chakra has what is known as a “bija” or “seed” sound which will activate the positive energy of each chakra.  The sound for the fourth is “yam” (it is said not like the vegetable but with a soft “a” – so soft that it almost sounds as if there is a soft “h” attached to it “yahm”).  One can sit down to meditate for a few minutes and chant yam silently or aloud with a focus on the center of the chest.  Visualizing an emerald green light in the center of the chest and placing the hands directly over the chest will also work to enhance the balance and harmony of the heart-centered fourth chakra.

Finally, the Sun and Saturn will be dancing together until the 15th of December which is a rather negative and fearful energy.  However, for most of us the Holiday season should actually turn out to be more enjoyable than we anticipate and certainly we can start working with the new Venus energy to ensure that we end the year on a more positive note.

This article was not edited by my good friend Laura Cerenzio – all grammatical errors are mine :-).