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.


2019 Spring Equinox

The 2019 Spring Equinox will be exact at 5:58 pm eastern time on March 20th. It will take place with a Leo rising which is opposite Mercury retrograde in the sign of Aquarius.  At 8:45 pm eastern time the Super Full Moon will be exact with the Moon being in Virgo and the Sun in Pisces.  Not every equinox takes place during a Full Moon and Mercury retrograde.  This equinox matches the unique times in which we live.

Generally both the equinoxes and the solstices will be accompanied by an increase in universal energies which can be felt by some and we can notice people being more nervous or enthusiastic during the few days surrounding the celestial events.  This year’s energy is more pronounced by Mercury retrograde and the Full Moon. Additionally, on March 22nd Mars will move into the sign of Taurus and the eclipse points on the 23rd will move into Gemini/Sagittarius.  All of this activity portends more craziness in the world of politics and media along with individuals feeling confused and nervous.

There is not much we can do about the outer world but we can take steps for our bodies and personal lives. It is important to realize that many of our thoughts are more heightened now than usual and that personal relationships can become stressed. Perhaps it is not the best time to solve our relationship issues as there will be too much fear and confusion due to Mercury being retrograde and the eclipse points changing signs.

In my view the key here is Mercury the ruler of the nervous system as well as the intellectual mind. Mercury is not only retrograde but is also the ruler of Virgo (ruler of the Full Moon) and Gemini (the ruler of Gemini the new placement for Rahu).  Virgo is also the ruler of the health and the opposite sign is Pisces is where the Sun (Full Moon is indicated by the Sun and Moon being in opposite signs) is placed during the Full Moon.  Pisces is a water sign and indicates emotions, ideals, dreams and spiritual/philosophical beliefs.  Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac and for the equinox indicates the end of winter as we move into the warmer weather of spring.  It indicates the time when we begin the shed the old for the new and it can be important to pay attention to the health as indicated by Virgo’s involvement.  It is the interplay of these two signs which makes this time of the year a good time to physically cleanse the body of the old as we get ready for the new.

The attention to health that is normal for the Spring Equinox is important this year because there is more planetary change than usual for the 2019 celestial events.  As we cleanse the body we should focus on the nervous system as well because of the Mercury influence – a strong nervous system keeps us steady and helps with the development of equanimity during this time period.

In addition to supporting the nervous system through foods, herbs and vitamins a few minutes of meditation each day will work to our benefit.  One of the easiest and most efficient ways to calm down an over active nervous system is through deliberate breath work.  These techniques do not have to be difficult or time consuming.

All breathing should be done through the nose slowly and with deliberate intent.  As you inhale pay attention to the stomach moving away from the spine (expanding) and on the exhale pull the stomach towards the spine.  (If you have high blood pressure or issues with the heart do not hold the breath in for more than 1 second.)  Provided you do not have health issues simply sit quietly and inhale for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds and exhale for 3 seconds for anywhere from 2 to 11 minutes. This will begin to calm down the nervous system and clear the mind of racing thoughts.  Make sure the spine is straight and that the feet are flat on the floor if you are not sitting in a traditional meditation posture.

Alternative nostril breathing is another technique which works on the nervous system and balances the hemispheres of the brain.  One can also simply close off the right nostril and inhale and exhale through the left nostril for a quick balance of nervous anxiety.

Calming music, warm baths, light meals and moments of quiet are also recommended.  The color green is good for Mercury – walking in nature and having some plants in your home environment can have a subtle effect.  For people who are into stones malachite, jade, peridot or other green stones can be beneficial.

Often just taking care of the nervous system can be the most important step to having a healthy and peaceful life.  Life is always about change and we are witnesses to major changes happening in the outside world right now. That does not mean we have to suffer those changes if we remember what is unchanged within us and work with the body/mind to not allow ourselves to get too caught up in the surrounding chaos.

Sacred Teachings

I was told by my teacher “that the doorway to higher knowledge will only be open for a short time.” He was referring to the sacred teachings of yoga as well as other disciplines of the mystics. The knowledge offered by mystics was often kept secret from the general population.  This can be viewed as elitist or even selfish by many and certainly in today’s google driven world keeping knowledge secret can be seen in a negative way.

As I observe words like “empowerment” being bandied about in today’s “new age” world I understand why so many teachings were kept secret.  Empowerment has come to mean power to be able to get that job, purchase that house, start that business or even proclaim mastery to others for prosperity.

The journey throughout the ages for mystics has been to uncover the truth of existence and move beyond the suffering of human life.  There are tools which can be used on this journey but at one time to get the advanced tools one had to have substantial training over the course of a long time of preparation. A mystic tool misused can be as dangerous as allowing a child to experiment with a chain saw.

My own formal training has been in Raj-Kundalini Yoga and Vedic Astrology.  The training was intense and took many years.  My training in Raj-Kundalini yoga was regulated according to the strength of my nervous system and my understanding of the principles of the teachings.  I admit that there were times I was frustrated with the slowness but as I observe the yoga world today I know that it was the right training. Today we have certified teachers who train for just twenty-eight days who don’t even seem to know that releasing the force of the kundalini on a weak body or an undisciplined mind can create both physical and mental illness.  Other teachers speak of empowerment to earn large sums of money or mundane prestige while ignoring the core principles of yoga itself.  As an astrologer I often get clients who feel like failures because they chanted the mantras, did the powerful breath techniques and visualizations but did not get the house, the job, the spouse or even the car.  They end up feeling like failures and/or that they did something wrong.  What was wrong was the misunderstanding of yoga or other sacred teachings because the purpose of the inner teachings was not meant for material success. I end up thinking that there were definite reasons for keeping the sacred teachings secret until a person had earned them.

Before the door closes I would like to share some of the sacred teachings as I know them.  Below is a quote from “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Commentary by Swami Satchidananda.”


Ignorance is regarding the impermanent as permanent, the impure as pure, the painful as        pleasant, and the non-Self as the Self.

Yoga is a valuable system for health, balance and relaxation.  It can be important to pay close attention to instructors who move beyond the physical and begin to speak about empowerment if the teacher does not understand even the above sutra. 

March Comes in Like a Lion

The month of March can be known for erratic weather as winter ends and spring begins.  The planets, during this month, are as changeable as the March weather and do not promise a calm April.  The truth is that no one needs astrology to tell them that we are living in erratic times.  Astrology can, however, give a look at timing and how to make the best of the changes.

This month’s New Moon will take place in the sign of Aquarius on March 6th and will be accompanied by Mercury moving in apparent retrograde motion beginning on March 5th in the sign of Pisces. Mercury will be retrograde until March 27th but will leave the sign of Pisces on March 15th when he re-enters the sign of Aquarius.  The New Moon is known for a low energy level and as Mercury is retrograde and in his sign of debilitation (Pisces) I expect the energy levels to be lower than usual.

This is a week not to push too hard and to try and schedule some time for extra rest.  It is a good time for cleaning out closets and files with an eye towards releasing the past as preparation for the newness of spring along with the vital step of clearing out unnecessary material goods and emotional baggage.  The next Full Moon will take place on the 20th (Vernal Equinox) in the signs of Pisces/Virgo. As we all know, even though spring may officially take place on the twentieth, the time period is actually a time of transition as winter releases its grip.  Along with cleaning out our homes and minds during this month it is a powerful time to physically cleanse ourselves of the heavier winter diets and physical inactivity.  Virgo is the natural ruler of the 6th house of health and Pisces is the indicator of endings which makes this time period perfect for clearing and cleansing with the new beginnings of spring beginning to show itself.

This natural planetary process is always positive but this year it is important due to the big planetary change which takes place on March 23rd when Rahu and Ketu (eclipse points) change signs.  They are moving from Cancer/Capricorn into Gemini/Sagittarius. In Vedic astrology Rahu and Ketu are known to be primary indicators of unexpected events as well as karmic indicators. Rahu represents desires and Ketu often plays the role of the denier of those desires.  Ketu is more concerned with one’s spiritual awareness and human beings seem to have an unfortunate tendency to not think much of spirit until they run into pain and trouble which Ketu can provide.  If one already puts the spiritual above the material Ketu leads the way to the bliss of the truth of our divinity.

The past eighteen months the nodal points have not been well placed in the signs of Cancer/Capricorn. Cancer is the sign of digestion and one’s home life and is ruled by the Moon.  The Moon is an extremely important planet which rules the mind, emotions, the people of earth, food and stability.  Rahu and the Moon are not considered to be friends and when Rahu is in Cancer he can cause havoc on the entire population. Ketu has been in the sign of Capricorn which is ruled by Saturn.  Saturn is the planet which rules the “general” population while Capricorn has an influence on “rulers” as well as big financial institutions.  Ketu being an influence of “denials” has denied us reasonable leadership and we’ve all observed the chaos of the current administration.  While the upper financial classes have flourished the “general” population has suffered from the lack of leadership as well as a continuation of care for people in general.  The opposite sign of Capricorn is Cancer (families, mothers, food) and Rahu’s reaction to the Ketu restrictions has been chaotic, cruel and truly unnecessary.  The nodal points have not been good for humanity in general.  Here in America we’ve been a people who have chosen to not pay attention to politics and these positions of the nodal points have been a very tough wake-up call for everyone.

The nodal points will bring about a shift for everyone once they occupy the signs of Gemini/Sagittarius and should be more positive.  Gemini is ruled by the planet Mercury which is a friendly planet to Rahu. Gemini is a sign of intelligence, curiosity, flexibility and innovation all qualities that work with the basic nature of Rahu. Of course, the nodal points are more challenging than not and I expect us to see media heightening the levels of drama along with more sources of misinformation. It will be important for everyone to become familiar with fact-checking as the changes in our world continue at a fast pace.  What I noticed during the Rahu placement in the sign of Cancer was an uptick in people experiencing stomach problems along with an increasing awareness of mental health issues and addiction as more and more people began suffering from these issues. Under the Gemini influence I expect to see issues caused by stress on the nervous system to become more prominent.  Gemini/Mercury have a strong influence on education and it is possible that the people may start to push back against our educational system as they realize that education is not only for those who can afford private schools.  Policy is another feature of Gemini and we can expect some strong battles over the current failed policies coming from our leaders.

Ketu will move into Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, and Ketu is known to do very well in the sign of Sagittarius.  Ketu will move to restrict the sometimes overly optimistic nature of Sagittarius during the next eighteen months.  Sagittarius is one of the indictors of foreign peoples and countries as well as being the indicator of the Republican party.  During the first ten months of Ketu occupying Capricorn (out of the full eighteen months) he will be with the planet Saturn and that shows restriction on the policies, both domestic and international, of the current administration.  Saturn is the people and our government has not been responsive to the general population under this administration nor have our international relationships been favored.  Ketu and Saturn coming together will help restrict further damage.  Jupiter is known as the ruler the legal system, royalty and moral philosophy.  Ketu will work with the energy of this planet to try and restore the morals of our rulers. The legal issues which have engulfed our country will come to a head under the influence of Ketu. Sagittarius is known for being a positive sign and we may well witness times when optimism seems to be at low ebb. It may not be pleasant but more trouble can be caused by hubris than by taking off the rose colored glasses.  Ketu along with Saturn are showing truth which can sometimes feel awful.

We all have individual lives to live and the new positions of the eclipse points will often shift the focus of our day to day lives.  Each of us will have the affairs of the new house placements come into more importance in our lives.  For instance, if Rahu is now going to be in the Ascendant, one can expect a certain amount of restlessness as the Rahu energy seeks something new in one’s life and often during the eighteen month stay in the Ascendant one will change hair styles, health routines, jobs or will have changes brought into their lives.

The nodal points are meant to help us grow throughout our lives and some placements are more challenging than others.  The new sign placements will be easier but given the times in which we live the upheavals will continue for a while but we can always choose to look at life with balance, awareness and inner growth.  During this time period the nervous system will be challenged via the stress of life as well as the fear of change.  It is important to pay attention to the nervous system through proper activity, rest, food, supplements, meditation and the truth of self/spirit.  Ketu will help with spiritual/contemplation practices as he has a concern with spirituality and the truth of existence. The truth of existence has little to do with money, career success or status and it is important to not approach your spiritual practices as a magic bullet for mundane success as that is not truth.  The game is to be in peaceful truth no matter what the circumstances of physical life and at this point the chaos of the changing world makes the inward journey a better option.

Winter Solstice Greetings!

Friday, December 21st at 5:35 pm, Eastern Time, is the exact moment of the Winter Solstice of 2018. For many the Winter Solstice is a time of celebration. It is believed by some that December 25th was chosen as the celebration of the birth of Jesus in order to align with the pagan celebration of Winter Solstice.  I believe that the Winter Solstice is the astronomical New Year as it is the start of the Sun’s movement towards more daylight and less night darkness.

Solstice is also known for an energetic increase and it is a good time for meditation and yoga as the healing energies are heightened.  It is a busy time, but even a few moments spent in contemplation, listening to high quality music or a short purposeful walk will align with the solstice energy as we move into the year 2019.

The Solstice chart of this year is more positive and harmonious than the chart for 2018 which had all of the benefic planets locked into patterns with the malefic planets.  2018 has proven to be a challenging and difficult year for the residents of planet earth.  Because of the epoch times in which we live the challenges will continue but 2019 holds the promise of some ease and more positive support.

We have been watching the higher energy of the solstice taking place in the recent past as people find themselves being more emotional than usual and some are experiencing illness as their bodies begin to show signs of the stresses of 2018.  The high emotions can be attributed to the Mercury/Jupiter conjunction in Scorpio.  Scorpio tends to act like a warehouse for painful emotions which are stored away in our chakras and subconscious minds.  Illnesses will often manifest once the body feels as if it can get the attention it needs after not getting the care it requires during times of overwork, anxiety and challenges.

While none of the high emotions and illnesses feel good it is positive to actually have the energy and space to release the past now that Scorpio is free from the afflictions of the past three years.  Jupiter is now in Scorpio and conjunct Mercury (until 12/31/18). Jupiter will stay in Scorpio until the fall of 2019 but he can’t give his positive benefits if we are so burdened by past hurts that we are unable to feel the positive energies.  Venus is alone in the sign of (Libra until 1/1/19). Libra, the sign of balance and relationship, is the home sign for Venus and beneath the unsettling emotions Venus is offering hope and the true nature of love.  The hope of Venus is a good reason to work with the emotions of the past in order to let them go and walk into the future without the fear of emotional pain.  These placements are auspicious for the astronomical New Year of 2019.

Our friend Mars will be moving into the sign of Pisces on 12/23 which is good news.  Mars has been a challenging and big influence during all of 2018.  He is moving into the sign of Pisces.  Pisces is a friendly placement for Mars and is a water sign.  Just as water is used to contain fire a friendly water sign does have the ability to contain the fiery independent and aggressive nature of the ever errant Mars.  Mars can be a difficult planet to contain and there is only one planet that can harness Mars.  That planet is Jupiter.  Jupiter is currently in the water sign of Scorpio and from Scorpio he will not only be aspecting Mars he will also be in an exchange of signs with Mars (parivartana yoga). This is a powerful placement and gives us all another reason to hold on to hope as we plan for 2019.  Hope is important as long as we keep our mental perspective and not decide that only a million dollar lottery win will solve our problems.

As we close out this year it is good to know that we are ending the year with positive light from the planetary patterns.  This light might not always be easy to see but it is there if we take a bit of time to uncover it within ourselves.  The energy of the solstice will be helpful as we seek this light as will finding some moments during the holiday season to be grateful for what we do have.


To celebrate the Winter Solstice and the new year of 2019 I am offering an 11% discount on full and half hour sessions.  This will be in effect until January 16th, 2019.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Cosmic Gifts At The End of 2018

Cosmic Gifts to End 2018

We are approaching the end of the challenging year of 2018.  The United States is still under the influence of Rahu, the North Node of the Moon, which started in August of 2016.  Rahu is one of the eclipse points and is known for change, chaos, deceit, media, creativity and the unexpected. Rahu’s influence is calculated by what is known as the “Vimshottari System” in which a planet, based on the Moon’s movement, becomes a primary influence for a specific number of years.  Rahu has an eighteen year influence.

A way to understand this concept is to view it as if a natal chart has moved into a town.  The town will influence the chart/person but is not the only influence– there are multiple influences coming from the planets which will affect a person’s life.  I think that New York City is a good example of living in a Rahu influenced location.  New York City is crowded, energetic, filled with people from all walks of life, creative but also driven by money and ambition. To many people it can be an overwhelming place to live and, like Rahu, can be a challenge to the nervous system.  A resident of this city knows that their entire lives cannot be ruled only by the external chaos of the energy of the city.

I lived and worked as a resident of New York for many years.  The energy was always exciting to me but I also always took advantage of the green spaces, the Hudson and East Rivers and had my home set up for cozy quiet.  I have traveled to other locations and noticed that New Yorkers generally had home spaces which were designed with an eye towards quiet and privacy as an offset to the highly charged streets of New York.  This attitude is similar to what is needed to move through the entire country living in the town of Rahu.  We are living through epoch times and what is swirling around us will continue with the losses, gains and change that Rahu signifies but we have ample opportunities to grow and blossom on the inner level of our true selves.

2018 has been challenging on so many levels but as we look towards the end of this year there are elements of the current transits which offer opportunities for growth, self-knowledge and inner peace. I think that last weeks of 2018 present us with the best days of the entire year. If we work with the transits on an inner level we can participate in the Rahu changes in a way that will benefit others and enhance our personal journey in a positive manner. One of the lessons of this time period is that we can’t control the fast paced changes in the world around us but we can control our reactions as well as the quality of our minds.

The benefic Jupiter moved into the sign of Scorpio in October and will stay in this intense water sign for a year.  All of the planets have sign placements which are considered to be friendly to the planet and Scorpio is a friendly sign for Jupiter. This is the first long term station of a planet in the sign of Scorpio since Saturn parked himself in that sign from November of 2014 and October of 2017.  Saturn is the heaviest and most serious of all the planets while Scorpio is the heaviest and most serious of all signs. Many people, especially those with strong Scorpio placements, experienced losses and challenges in their personal lives during the Saturn transit.  Every sign plays its own role in a chart and even without strong Scorpio planets most people experienced some level of challenge from this placement.  For us in the United States Saturn in Scorpio, along with the energy of Rahu, influenced the election of 2016 and the resulting chaos which defines our leadership.  The outer chaos has prevented many from experiencing a sense of relief when Saturn finally left the sign of Scorpio.

Jupiter’s ingress in Scorpio gives us an opportunity to heal and move forward from the influence of Saturn in Scorpio. Jupiter does not necessarily reverse the losses but he gives us all an opportunity to move on from the losses.  Scorpio strongly influences the subconscious mind and the desire nature. It is a deeply emotional sign with a Mars energy which lead towards dwelling on the past and looking for some type of justice in a world that often gives justice via karma rather than giving egos the satisfaction of exact justice.  This can be a hard lesson for Scorpios as they seek to move forward.  Jupiter is the planet which can bring about a change in attitude and show the way towards letting go while at the same time giving positive hope for a better tomorrow.

As the ruler of the second chakra Jupiter is concerned with the nature of our desires and will assist in letting go of desires which no longer serve us.  In addition to desire the second chakra is an important influence in healing the hurts and disappointments which are often stored in the second chakra.  It is believed that true healing does not take place without a healing of the second chakra.  Under Jupiter’s influence support is given towards techniques which work on healing – meditation, reiki treatments, therapy, massages, yoga are all favored at this time.

In addition to Jupiter being in Scorpio as we approach the end of this year we also have Mercury in the sign of Scorpio until the 31st of December.  This is a longer transit for Mercury because he will be retrograde from November 16th until December 6th. Many people are concerned when Mercury goes retrograde and while he can cause problems with contracts, technology, communication, etc., he goes retrograde three times each year and as long as we use common sense the trouble is usually a temporary annoyance.  (It is good that he will not be retrograde during holiday travel.) Mercury retrograde can be an influence on the subconscious mind and indicates a time of reflection and self-understanding.  Mercury is also, like Jupiter, a benefic planet and it is always positive to have two benefics in the same sign.  Scorpio is a water sign which is connected to the subconscious mind and can be overly emotional which often interferes with clarity of thought.  Mercury is the planet of the neutral mind and along with Jupiter is offering us all the opportunity to see clearly into the hurts and disappointment of our lives and what role we played and more importantly what we were meant to learn as we went through whatever experiences challenged us.  It is likely that during the upcoming weeks we will all have moments of memories which can be painful or even grief-filled.  With the optimistic Jupiter pushing us towards the future this is the time when we have an opportunity to let go of the pain and allow the growth to happen.  Many people live a life defined by their pain and loss when in reality the pains and losses become part of the tapestry but should not be the definition or focus of our lives.  Now is the time to drop some of those stories and break free of the grief.  A simple technique that helps the process is the take a few moments during the times of these emotional memories to chant “vam” (vahm) to release the emotions from the second chakra.

In addition to the benefic influence of Jupiter and Mercury being in Scorpio, Venus is in his home sign of Libra.  Venus entered Libra on September 1 and due to his retrograde motion (10/22 -11/17) he will remain in Libra until January 1st.  Venus is a planet of relationship and is very much at home in Libra the sign of relationship.  Venus is much more than relationship as he is considered the teacher of the “assuras” (demons in Sanskrit) – “assura” in my opinion represents the ego.  The higher principle of love is unconditional love based on compassion and the knowledge of love is the best human expression of the “self.”  Venus in this sign will assist us in releasing the fears and pain stored in Scorpio while leading us towards the understanding that we can rise above pain and reside in a place of love as being.  We can use the mantra “yam – yahm” to raise the energy of our pain – especially pain which we hang onto as a victim – to the fourth chakra/heart center.  This will balance the energy while assisting in opening the heart.

We can’t control the outer world and this is a year that has been horrifying for many Americans to live through and the planets have offered very little help until now. However, the transits of the three benefics, are gifting us with a cosmic harmony to end this year if we are willing to heal, expand and live with compassion.

Please note that all positions are sidereal based on the empirical astronomical positions.  This is always important to me for a variety of reasons but for this particular blog it is important to view these placements through Libra and Scorpio – especially with regard to the Jupiter energy.

Jupiter in Scorpio: 10/6/18 – 11/14/19

Venus in Libra: 9/1/18 – 1/1/19 – retrograde 10/22 – 11/17

Mercury in Scorpio: 10/27 – 12/31/18 – retrograde 11/16 – 12/6




Working With The Moon

We are in the midst of this summer’s challenging eclipse patterns, and it can seem as if we are engulfed in high levels of chaos these days.  We have discussed the role of Mars and the various tools which can help us navigate the next month, and that advice still stands.

One of the reasons this eclipse season is so challenging is that it involves the sign of CANCER which is ruled by the Moon.  Cancer rules mother/family, and we have all witnessed the awful spectacle of our country tearing children away from their parents at the border. Cancer also rules patriotism for one’s “Mother Country,” and we’ve all seen our own President choose to defend another country over our own. I offer these examples not as a political statement but as examples of how the rhythm of the planets will affect events according to the qualities of the planets  themselves as well as the signs occupied.  On a more personal level, many families are experiencing higher levels of stress and discord this summer.

The Moon also rules the mind, including the subconscious and emotional levels of the mind.  One can look at outer events and conclude that life is so awful that it stands to reason that people are depressed, angry, and even irrational.  However, we also can observe those people who are not mentally being torn to pieces over outer events, as they seem to keep their equanimity regardless of the swirling events.  Part of the game of life includes mastery of one’s own mind; from that mastery comes the ability to be successful but, more importantly, to be peaceful in the knowledge of true self-awareness.  The eclipse energy  focuses on the subconscious and emotions; as a result, eclipses offer all of us the opportunity to rid ourselves of the subconscious baggage of emotional hurt and/or the false perceptions of our human identity.

The energetics of the planets lie within our auras and chakras and can be considered as the energetic causation of our manifested physical bodies.  These energetics are slowly being discovered by modern science and are the same energetics used by healers in systems like Reiki and Sat Nam Rasayan.  We can use the rhythm of the planets to work on our own healing and to further our day-to-day harmony.

A good friend of mine (shout out of thanks to AtmaAmita!!!!) found a group of writings that I’ve done for workshops and newsletters.  I am sharing something from this collection that I had written as a handout to an Astrology and Yoga class that I offered many moons ago.  It is a system which tracks the Moon’s effect on our energetic bodies throughout a lunar month.  The last of this eclipse cycle will take place on August 11th which is the first day of the waxing lunar cycle – the waxing cycle which marks the end of 2018’s eclipses.

None of us get to control every moment of every day, especially during these fast-paced times.  The information that follows is a guideline and can be utilized to schedule the personal activities which do fall under our own control. I had a sales person at one of these workshops who was able to rearrange his customer service sales calls according to this cycle. He saw his sales rates go up because he utilized the waning cycle for planning and bookkeeping while scheduling his sales calls during the waxing cycle leading up to the Full Moon.  While we can’t control others or traffic, we can make changes to our personal lives so that, for instance, we do not plan waning cycle days in a way that requires high levels of physical energy.


The Moon is increasing in light, and our energy levels begin to increase during this time period.

Day 1 (Amavasya).  The day of the New Moon is a transitional day with low energy.  It is recommended that you conserve your energy on this day.  It is a good time for spirituality and meditation, light food choices, and pranayama.  There can be feelings of emptiness or despondency.

Days 2,3,4,5. These are good days to begin new ventures, start new personal goals, and begin to initiate changes.

Days 6,7,9,10.  A cycle for continuing and sustaining action and plans.

Day 8. This day is considered as transitional and is better suited for spirituality and meditation; our external activities can run into delays and obstruction.

Days 11,12,13,14,15. These days are particularly suited for the development of knowledge and creativity. They are good days to present to others what has been worked on and developed in the preceding days of the waxing cycle.


Day 16.  This is known as Purnima, the day of the full moon, and is the third transitional day. During the Full Moon, the mental power is believed to be high and it is a good day for healing and meditation – especially meditations and yoga practices that enhance bliss.  If one is prone to emotional excess, the day of the Full Moon can lead one toward excessive emotions or even self-indulgence.

Days 17,18,19,20.  Good days for completion and internalization of all that took place during the preceding waxing lunar cycle. At this point, the energy is beginning its downward movement.

Days 21,22,23,24,25. Completion of projects and activities that have been started under the earlier cycles of the lunar month. It is time to start paying attention to your energy levels and emotional balances as the Moon’s energy begins to darken in light.

Days 26,27,28,29. The final four days of the Moon’s phases. Mental and physical energy is at its lowest energetic level.  If possible, try to work with completion of projects and internalization of awareness, and try to put off initiation of new projects until the Moon begins its next waxing cycle.

I hope that this information can be useful as we move past the eclipses and into the upcoming crispness of autumn.  Remember Mercury will retrograde until 8/18 but will quickly move forward into his favorite signs of Virgo and Libra.  In October, Jupiter will move into the sign of Scorpio which will be helpful to all of us.

Successful ocean swimming requires swimming parallel to the shore and when tired floating with the ocean’s currents – life can often require the same.  


Summer of 2018

“The United States presidential election of November 3, 1896, saw Republican William McKinley defeat Democrat William Jennings Bryan in a campaign considered by historians to be one of the most dramatic and complex in American history.”

“One of the most powerful political themes of the late-nineteenth century Republican Party was American nationalism. For some Republicans, nationalism was best expressed by continuing to push the moral high ground of the Civil War era, or to raise fears about Papists (Catholics) or immigrants, or the social calamities caused by alcohol consumption.”

“McKinley, however, was able to focus the Republican Party’s nationalist creed on the need for protective tariffs. Though McKinley had suffered politically in the early ’90s for this stance, by 1896 the Republican Party was ready to present itself as standing behind the farmer, the rising middle class, and the Protestant industrial worker through high taxes on foreign imports.”


What is relevant to the above quotes is that the 1896 presidential election was the first one in America’s second Rahu dasa.  The first Rahu dasa took place when America became its own country after the Revolutionary War.  America entered its third Rahu dasa in August of 2016 and the first election was the one which put Trump into the White House.  I suspect that history will have more to say about the 2016 election than “…one of the most dramatic…”

A dasa is a time period used in Vedic Astrology which indicates a specific planet as having a predominant influence on the affairs of a chart. It’s like a chart has moved into a new town described by the attributes of a certain planet. The dasa system is based on 120 years and the planets will cycle in and out for a set amount of time.  Rahu’s time is eighteen years and we are at the beginning of the current Rahu influence on the chart of America.

Rahu is the north node of the Moon and represents the point which causes the eclipses of the Sun and Moon approximately every six months.  The Sun and Moon represent life force energy and the mind. Eclipses are known for bringing about instability in the minds and actions of human beings. In mythology Rahu is known for doing battle with the gods themselves as he sought to drink the amrit (nectar) of immortality.  Apparently, on a human level when we have a strong Rahu influence we are presented with human beings who, no matter how much power and wealth they have it is not enough, as they also seek to have the powers of the gods for themselves.

The last cycle of Rahu eventually led to the gilded age of the early 20th century which then led to the great depression.  The period of 1896-1914 was also filled with innovation, creativity and a progressive push back against the ruling elites.  The progressive movement of this time period is what is believed to have led to many of FDR’s social safety net policies.  As I write this Trump is being forced to stop his policy of separating families at the border because of the nation-wide push back against the immoral, cruel and unbelievably inhumane policy.  Rahu, is above all else, a wild card and under his influence it may seem as if the powerful will never lose but they are operating under illusion, addiction and often mental instability – they are more vulnerable than they know.  Rahu ultimately favors progression and independence which is what the British Monarchy discovered during America’s first Rahu dasa.  These are unsettling times but in many ways history is on the side of humanity and while energy runs high we can pay attention but not give into to fatalistic Rahu fear.

As time moves forward the knowledge available continues to grow and certainly in the 21st century our knowledge of how the world and human beings live has grown from what was known in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Something many of us know now is that, despite the external world, we are responsible for our own well-being and that the key to happiness lies within ourselves to a great extent. One of the important factors to individual happiness derives from inner peace and knowing when to react and when not to react can be important for inner peace.  By being able to stay in a space of equanimity we stay connected to our “self” and it is from that space that we find the peace necessary for happiness in life.

This summer will test all of us on the non-reactive spectrum of life.  It is a summer playing out in the town of Rahu filled with eclipse energy (7/13, 7/27, 8/11) along with Mercury retrograde (7/25-8/18)in the sign of Cancer (eclipse sign) and Mars being retrograde (6/26-8/27) in the sign of Capricorn.  In Capricorn Mars will conjunct Ketu (the other side of the eclipse) and aspecting Cancer the sign of Rahu’s placement during the eclipses.

The news promises to be a wild ride (Trump is an actual eclipse birth and anything is possible during this cycle).  We cannot give into despair because no one can harness or control the energy of Rahu not even the “bad guys.”  We can’t   define what events will happen but we can know there will be destructive weather patterns and people will be frightened, angry and some will be irrational.  If we don’t expect a rose garden we have already taken a step towards riding through the storm with an inner harmony.

On a personal level because we are speaking about the sign of Cancer(ruler of family) being in the center of all of this activity we can expect stress within the family unit. The Moon rules Cancer which means that, as the ruler of the mind itself, we can expect nervous minds along with high levels of emotion.  Many of us love people who do not put stock in anything metaphysical/spiritual and we can expect those people to have a difficult time navigating their way through the hot and dry weeds of the summer of 2018.

We want to be patient with others as well as being patient with ourselves.  Eclipse energy has a way of digging through the subconscious mind and emotions and one should be surprised if all of a sudden old and unhappy memories rear their heads again.  It is an opportunity to forgive, re-forgive or to gain another perspective on issues which have been lingering.  This type of growth is the positive side of eclipse energy.

Because Mars is central to these configurations we can expect to be dealing with issues of empowerment.  During a time when people are feeling overwhelmed by a world which appears so chaotic that even the simple act of trying to renew a driver’s license can be made close to impossible it is easy to feel powerless.  The truth of this time is that we are all learning that real empowerment comes from within and from knowing the true self.  This summer is going to be an excellent time to work on inner peace and knowledge of self.  We can be active citizens, responsible family members and good friends while still working with the transformative energy of this summer.

I think the important energy to work with is the Mars energy.  Mars is the most reactive of all planets, is the most aggressive of all the planets and is one of the forces of empowerment. Mars is also a strong indicator of focus, ambition and accomplishment.  Mars does not cause victimization but misused can lead anyone to becoming a victim.  The good news is that Mars is happy in Capricorn (his current location) and with some effort we can find benefits from this summer’s Mars transit.  We need to use this energy wisely.

Sometimes the easiest and most efficient way to handle unseen energies is to work with the physical connection to the energy.  Mars is the ruler of the third chakra which is Sanskrit is known as the “Manipura.”  The translation of Manipura is “Lustrous Gem” and its color is a combination of yellow and orange.  The third chakra is located in the solar plexus in the area often referred to as the “core” or “power center.” Physically the third chakra rules digestion, the immune system, adrenals, pancreas and liver.  Mentally and emotionally this charka influences ambition, accomplishment, focus, courage/fear, anger, humor and determination.  Its element is fire (pitta) and as Mars is the ruler of the blood it can be important to keep physical inflammation low to prevent Mars from using our blood as a channel to send inflammation throughout the entire body.  It is notable that Mars is also an influence on bodily infections.  Keeping healthy at this can be a positive step towards not participating in the mental and emotional stresses of the summer energies.

The Manipūra Chakra being the “Lustrous Gem” shows that within its balanced energies we find the pearls of clarity, wisdom, self-confidence and wellbeing.  “Lustrous Gem” implies the bright light which emanates from jewels and this shine is apparent in the faces and energies of children as they physically play or at an athletic competition when the athletes and spectators share in a winning performance.  When a person has a strong and balanced third chakra it is possible to see a bright light emanating and surrounding the person.  It is the joy of accomplishment, well-being and self-empowerment shining like a lustrous gem.

As we move through July and August it can be helpful to work with the positive energy of Mars so that regardless of the world spinning around us we are staying healthy and that we are not allowing the perception of helplessness to disempower us.  We can do this through the physical body by paying attention to the foods we eat and staying physically active. A primary function of the third chakra is to move from inertia to movement and for that purpose all physical activity will help to activate the third chakra.

We can also, with a few techniques, work with the energetic basis of the third chakra and its ruler, Mars. The value of working with the energetics lies in the support given to our physical efforts as well as the more important value of our self-awareness and the power over our own thoughts of self-defeat, victimization and anger.  Anger is sometimes viewed as an important fuel but in most instances actions and words motivated by anger generally do not fall into the category of personal good memories.  It is far better to let the anger cool down and shift the energy to the focus and determination of a positive Mars.

Passive remedies for Mars and the third chakra are the gemstones of red coral, amber and topaz along with the scents of cinnamon, cedar wood, musk and myrrh.  Of course, if the function of the third chakra is to move one out of inertia it stands to reason that there are also more active techniques to bring this energy into balance.

Power walking is a simple and effective balancing activity – summer is the time of high pitta (fire) and power walking should be done in the early morning or evening to avoid overheating. For those who do yoga bow pose, platform pose and pike pose are considered to be good for the third chakra core though realistically any physical movement is good for this energy.  Despite its fierce reputation Mars responds well to playfulness as well, which during the heat of the summer, indicates swimming as an excellent activity.  Additionally, when you just want to cool off and escape the pressure Mars truly responds well to a funny movie in an air conditioned setting and if the diet has been kept under control bring on the popcorn!

For those who want to work more directly with the subtle energies of the third chakra breath work, visualization and chanting are always effective.  A simple and effective breath is to take some time to sit in a comfortable position and breathe slowly and deeply directing the mind towards the area of the solar plexus while paying attention to expanding the stomach on the inhale and on the exhale emptying the stomach while pulling it towards the spine – this will stimulate the energy of the third chakra while also working to relax the body and mind. During the breath work or in meditation a bright yellow/orange light filling up the stomach can be visualized. You can visualize a bright shining sun in the solar plexus and imagine the sun of the self/universe permeating the entire body.

Finally, the seed mantra for the third chakra is “ram” (pronounced with a soft “a” as in father – not as the animal ram). I find mantra to be an efficient tool to bring a chakra into balance and this seed mantra can be chanted for even just two minutes for a boost of positive Mars energy.  If you want to go a bit deeper the ram can be chanted while seated in a forward bend or while softly pumping the stomach along with the chanting.   If the choice is made to work with the techniques of yoga make sure you take a few minutes to lie on your back (corpse pose) and allow yourself to relax in order to disperse the energy.

As the summer moves forward working with the Mars energy will not stop the craziness of the world but it will help with self-empowerment and inner peace which is the goal of the awakened human being. I hope this information and techniques help you on the journey.