Mars, Moon and Labor Day Weekend.

Mars has certainly been flexing his muscles since he entered the sign of Cancer.  We are seeing the influence of this aggressive planet from the war cry in Syria to the grouchy sales clerk at our local supermarket.  Due to the influence of the sign of Cancer I am witnessing discord in family life and relationships in general.  Cancer is the sign of family and Mars rules siblings so the tension can even affect the children of families.

During the holiday weekend the Moon is moving into the sign of Cancer on September 1st at approximately 8:00 a.m., Eastern Time.  The Moon will remain in Cancer until September 3rd at approximately 7:20 p.m., Eastern Time. The movement of the Moon entering the sign of Cancer will add a level of emotion to relationships in general especially on the home-front.  Expect the unexpected from loved ones along with a strong dose of others being in a more negative mindset. Americans generally have little extra time and try to get too much accomplished during a long weekend.  It is best to keep expectations low and to not try to get “all” projects and goals accomplished.  One of the best anecdotes to Mars is laughter – take time out to play and relax.  Mars and the Moon are not good planets for alcohol consumption – it might be prudent to keep drinking as a part of a good time to a minimum.

The “good” news is that the New Moon will take place in the sign of Leo this month – the Moon moves into Leo on September 3rd at 7:30 p.m. and the exact New Moon occurs on September 5th at approximately 7:20 a.m.  The benefit of us being in the New Moon cycle is that often people experience a lower flow of energy during the New Moon and a lower energy level can keep aggression at bay while helping us all keep our own reactions in check.

I’ve written before about the “bewitching hours” which are times when the energy seems to become more negative while at the same time conflicts and the unexpected seem to be more prevalent.  Since we are dealing with Mars and his inclination towards impulse and aggression I thought it would be helpful to list the general approximate time periods when it will be best to maintain a cool head.  All times are “eastern” – 2:20 – 4:30 a.m. (sleep patterns may be less restful), 10 a.m. – 12:25 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.  I expect that the evening hours are the most bewitching and everyone should expect some type of delays during rush hour.

There is nothing anyone can do to stop or change the movement of the planets but an understanding of the energies gives us the opportunity to utilize the more positive qualities.  Mars likes activity, laughter, exercise and competition.  This weekend is a good time for athletic activities, creative projects, and good movies.  Due to the placement in Cancer it is a good weekend for enjoying a good meal or outdoor grilling.    The most important step any of us can take is to be determined to not react with anger or to make life altering decisions with angry impulse or as a reaction to someone else’s anger.   


Dog Days of Summer

We are deep into the “dog days of summer.”  The summer of 2013 is ending with the top dog Mars residing in Cancer, his sign of debilitation.  From this weak position Mars will be interacting with the conjunction of Saturn and Rahu in the sign of Libra.

Mars, which is the current dasa ruler of America, went into Cancer on the evening of August 18th.   I am observing quick changes in relationships, career and legal matters since Mars changed signs. Cancer is the sign of debilitation for Mars and he is influencing  in some situations surprising and/or impulsive actions in personal relationships and family matters.  It is as if those who have been stressed out by all of the activity in Gemini are responding to the stress by making impulsive changes.  Change is unavoidable and can result in positive results.  When those changes are emotional reactions which impact family relationships (Cancer) and debilitated Mars is involved the decisions are often not the wisest.  

Because of the fact that Saturn and Mars are mutually aspecting one another we all must be careful of our decisions during this time period because the emotions behind the decisions can be based on fear and/or anger.  Saturn is an influence of patience, obstacles and responsibility while Mars is an influence of impatience, aggression and spontaneous actions.  The blending of these two planets can be challenging.  Cancer is a sign more orientated towards the personal while Libra is an influence of social orientation.  Saturn is also one of the rulers of banking, politics and career.  Most people are beyond frustrated by the failures of our political and economic institutions especially with regard to personal and family security matters.  Mars in the sign of Cancer can have an effect that will bring the fear and frustration to action in a negative manner. 

Since spring of 2012 Saturn and Rahu have been occupying Libra which is one of the reasons we have been living through a heightened time of change, uncertainty, drama and confusion.  Rahu is the king of drama and fights the slow, conservative and deliberate nature of Saturn.  At this point in time the conjunction is coming closer to exact and we will not finish out this time period without more surprises, disruptions and natural disasters.  This conjunction is not specific to America and we will also bear witness to this influence on an international stage.  Because, as I discussed in the last posting, Mars is a strong American influence it is my expectation that America will experience the events through Mars like events – violence, aggression, fires and the continuation of the animosity of political discourse and opposition.  It is always important to keep in mind that with Rahu in the mix much of what we read and hear is, at best, exaggerated.  We live in a time in which our institutions, both public and private, profit from pushing fear on the general population – we are always free to not give into the fear.

There is not much we can do about the state of the world at this time but we always have the choice to keep ourselves in peace and balance.  People who have natal charts with strong placements in the signs of Libra, Aries and Cancer can find this time period more challenging and should take steps to care for themselves.  Even without planets everyone has these three signs somewhere in their charts so most of us will feel this transit on some level.  Because of the influence in the signs of Cancer and Libra this time period can be most stressful with regard to family and personal relationship matters.  This is not the time to expect one’s crazy aunt to be less crazy or for our loved ones who tend towards anger or depression to be calmer and more positive.  In fact, there may be times when even our calm and patient loved ones may exhibit an “edge.”  Our reactions are simply the most control we are going to have at this time.  Every time we can beat a negative response we empower ourselves and every time we choose light over dark we empower ourselves and every time we choose compassion over anger we empower both ourselves and the world in which we live.  Growth, like birth, comes with effort and this time in history is definitely a time of growth and birth.

Mars enters Leo on October 5th and while still close to one another the “exact” conjunction of Saturn and Rahu will be finished and these two bodies will be moving away from one another.  Once we get past the 5th of October the energy will be improved and having Mars out of Cancer should take away some of the stress.  By August 28th the Saturn/Rahu conjunction will be really close and the following dates are dates when, due to other influences, can be a bit more stressful: 9/3, 9/6, 9/9-9/13, 9/15, 9/29, 9/30 and 10/2. 

During this time period it is wise to watch our diets as Mars is in the sign of Cancer and Saturn is aspecting this sign.  Stress is often felt through the stomach and it is always advised to not eat while feeling angry.  Mars likes activity and throughout this time period it is best to keep busy and get as much exercise as possible.  Mars rules the 3rd chakra and the stomach is an organ affected by the third chakra – exercises which focus on the “core” are recommended.  As ridiculous as it may seem during this time period humor is actually helpful because laughter is also a 3rd chakra matter.  Conscious breathing is recommended and a few minutes each day doing alternative nostril breathing can be very helpful. 

Planets respond well to mantra.  The mantra for Mars is OM KREEM KOOM KUJAYA NAMAH – 108 times a day is the recommended number of recitations.  Tuesday is the day of Mars and the chant should be started on a Tuesday.  There are many chants available on the net – google Mars mantra on YouTube and there should be a few nice versions of one of the Mars mantras available.

These are times of worldly change, illusion and unbalance.  These are also times of knowing the truth and empowering ourselves through knowing the truth of reality and choosing to work towards conscious peace no matter what the external world seems to choose.  Many are feeling weighed down and victimized by outer circumstances but others are also experiencing the freedom which comes from knowing that by being responsible for our own reactions and choices we can let go of carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders.



Countries Have Charts Too

I often write about the current astrological transits because the day to day placements of the planets will generally have an effect on the daily energy and activities of everyone.  On an individual level these transits can affect one’s natal chart according to circumstances and karmas.

Transits are one level of astrology and along with the natal chart and the movement of the planets in individual natal charts represent planetary weather and patterns.  Western astrology refers to the planetary movements of the natal planets as “progressions” and looking at the positions of the progressions will have an impact on events.  Vedic astrology does not use the same system as western astrology, which is a solar-based system,  but instead uses a calculation of planetary activity based on the birth position of the Moon.  The system is known as the Vimshottari Dasa system which calculates a planet’s influence according to a specific number of years during which a planet will be highlighted.  The dasa of a planet is used in conjunction with the natal placement as well as the transits.

We are all familiar with birth charts for ourselves, our children and other people in our lives.  What is also of significance is that countries, organizations, corporations and other entities have birth charts as well.  History will often provide the dates and times of a country’s constitution or signing of treaties, etc. which will indicate the day in which a country comes into the legal status of an independent entity. 

There can be questions surrounding the exact time a country became a legal entity and astrologers will often disagree with the various dates used as well as differences of opinion for the actual “birth time” of a country.  The most commonly accepted birth date of America is July 4, 1776, though there are many disagreements on the actual time of day during which the papers were signed.  Based on our history, I and many other astrologers,  believe the time to be approximately 6:26 p.m.,  which gives this country a Sagittarius rising sign along with an Aquarius Moon and four planets, including the war-like Mars, in the 7th house of opposition to the Sagittarius.  Mars in the 7th house of relationships, others, legal matters and foreign countries certainly fits with the on-going war-like nature of this country.

In addition to the influence Mars has on war Mars also rules independence, aggression, anger, expansion, law enforcement/military and is one of the indicators of real estate and constructionAccording to the Vedic Vimshottari Dasa System an approximate birth time of 6:25 p.m., shows the Mars dasa began in October of 2008.  October of 2008 is the exact month in which the American real estate market came crashing down and affected the economy of America and large swaths of the world.

Fortunately, the Mars dasa is comparatively short in duration as compared to the other planets. For example, Saturn’s dasa is nineteen years long.   The Mars dasa is seven years long and will be complete sometime between January and February of 2015.  We can take solace in the fact that most of the Mars’ dasa is behind us as we have approximately seventeen months left.  Mars will continue to be the backdrop of the mood and energy of the country as we move through the rest of his influence.

This is only the second time that the Mars dasa has played out in America and as we all experience the moods of anger, impatience and frustration of this time period I thought it might be helpful to do a bit of research as to what was going on in this country the last time Mars was the influence.  The last Mars dasa took place from approximately 1888 until 1895 and it is not surprising that there was much unrest, loss and conflict during those years.

Many of the issues were similar to today’s issues including labor disputes, horrific natural disasters, the flexing of the muscles of law enforcement, immigration anger and injustices to both Native Americans and African Americans.  There was even an article written by Andrew Carnegie which could be considered one of the first salvos fired towards socialism as well as perhaps a 19th century version of Ayn Rand.

During the time period two of the first African American Banks opened but it was also during this time period that southern lynchings were done without any impediment and Jim Crow laws were legally upheld.  An act of Congress prevented Chinese laborers from re-entering the United States if the workers had left to visit China.  A great blizzard paralyzed the East Coast and four hundred people died. While in PA the Johnston flood took the lives of five thousand people.  The government, under great pressure to make “real estate” available to white settlers, betrayed Native Americans by opening up their land in Oklahoma to settlers and there was a great land rush of give-away acres.  During this time period Sitting Bull was arrested and killed while two hundred Sioux were killed at “Wounded Knee.”

There was a great amount of trouble between labor and owners during this time period.  The Steel Workers staged a strike and the Pinkerton Guards were sent in to break the strike – the steel workers were winning the battle until the government sent in the militia which ended the strike in favor of the mill owners.  There was a conflict between the Silver Miners union and non-union workers in Colorado which was won by the union workers and represented the first time the government had ever protected union workers.  Jacob Coxey of Ohio led “Coxey’s Army” of unemployed people on a march to Washington, D.C.  Eugene Debs called for a general strike in support of the Pullman strikers – in this case the government intervened and broke the strike – Eugene Debs was jailed for six months.  It was also during this time that congress enacted the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Taking into consideration the nature of Mars it is easy to see his influence on those seven years through the anger and aggression of people as they fought for their individual rights against both the government and big business.  We see the war-like nature of some “nationals” against anyone who is not considered to be part of what they believe is a reflection of those just like themselves.  We see the government attempting once again to rein in the greed and irresponsibility of those with the same values which  caused the 2008 economic crash.  We observe angry Americans expressing their desires and discontent.

What we haven’t seen is five thousand people losing their lives due to floods, hurricanes or tornadoes.  We have not seen the protests turning into blood baths and rather than people losing their rights we see attempts to correct the wrongs despite all of the vitriol expressed.  Yes, this is an unpleasant time but if history shows us anything at all – we, as a country, have made progress even if it doesn’t feel that way.

The Mars dasa is not done and there is a rougher time ahead due to some planetary movements but we are nearing the end of this current Mars dasa and it will be one hundred and twenty years before this country goes through another one. 

One final historical tidbit I found reflects interestingly on the strength of American innovation. The IPhone which allows for “individual” viewing of films and the internet has been one of the most important electronics during this current Mars dasa.  In 1894 Edison introduced the world to an invention that he named the “kinescope” which was a device that allowed for an “individual” to view films and it’s technology continued to represent a core part of filming archives until video taping was introduced in 1956.  

Every planet is good for something and that goes for the tough Mars as well.   






Emotional Cancer Rising

Last week Saturn was closely aspecting the Sun in emotional Cancer which may have led to low energy and high discouragement.  Today (8/1/13) they are still in aspect but five degrees apart and by 8/4/13 the aspect will be finished. 

The New Moon takes place on 8/6 at 5:10 p.m., eastern daylight time in the sign of Cancer which will work to keep the energy levels a low and emotional.

On 8/4/2013 at 12:05 p.m., eastern daylight time Mercury leaves its home sign of Gemini and moves into the emotional water sign of Cancer.  While Mercury was in Gemini there was a great amount of surprising news and higher levels of both stress and communication. 

Cancer is a quieter sign which relates to family, home and the stomach.  Once Mercury moves into Cancer along with the New Moon in Cancer the focus can shift to matters pertaining to the family and matters of security.  As we know Saturn is currently aspecting Cancer and with Mercury now joining in there could be higher levels of emotion being expressed within the family unit. Stress can be felt in the stomach rather than the nervous system and for some the high levels of stress being experienced in this current cycle could result in the need for emotional expression.   It is helpful if we can remember that whatever is being expressed is the result of the high levels of stress we are all experiencing. It can be healthy to release the emotions but it can also be wise to not take every word spoken to heart nor to react to every emotion.

In addition to the movements of the faster moving planets we are still being influenced very strongly by the Saturn/Rahu configuration in Libra.  I am finding that situations are changing at a rapid pace with the unexpected happening more frequently.  Saturn is one of the primary planets of karma and Rahu is an influence that tends towards change, new karma and surprises.  The events may not feel good but the changes will continue and many of us will find that the details of our lives do not look as they looked even 6 months ago.  I am finding that many of these changes are necessary and eventually will be shown to positive once the storm has passed. 

Sometimes, we have to find a way to be a good ocean swimmer and move with the waves rather than against the waves.  These times are hardest for those who like to be in control of their lives.  Right now we only have control over our reactions and our own state of mind.  We always have the choice to choose to stay positive and peaceful.

The third chakra or solar plexus will be challenged during this cycle.  Exercises which work on the “core” are one way to keep this area in balance. Laughter is also a function of the third chakra – going to or renting a comedic movie is an easy way to keep the third chakra satisfied.  Finally, paying attention to what we eat is important during Cancer time periods – good food shared with good people is a sure way to feel better.