An Interesting Time Period

The next upcoming planetary cycle promises to be very interesting as we move towards the height of the Mars debilitation and the eclipse energy of 10/18 begins its influence on the conjunction of Saturn/Rahu/Mercury. 

The cycle begins on Saturday, 9/28 at 4:20 p.m., Eastern Time, when the Moon moves into the sign of Cancer and shares space with the debilitated Mars.  The conjunction will be exact on Monday, 9/30 at 10:03 p.m., Eastern Time.  If possible it is best to try and leave Monday evening as a time of low stress attempting too much, especially within the realm of family, holds the possibility of non-cooperation and highly emotional expression.  The Moon is generally happy in the sign of Cancer but this month’s placement can be challenging.

Mercury is now in the sign of Libra which is usually a good placement for Mercury.  This particular cycle finds Mercury in the company of the Saturn/Rahu conjunction.  Mercury rules the intellect, nervous system, objective mind and communication.  Mercury is a planet that does well in an organized environment and he responds with a lighter energy.  The influence of Saturn and Rahu is a heavier energy which can tend towards a more negative mind-set.  While the organizational nature of Saturn is not adverse to the planet Mercury the qualities of delay, responsibility and darker perception can overwhelm the quick moving nature of Mercury.  The erratic nature of Rahu tends towards imagination, illusion and emotive expression.  Rahu can be the opposite of the neutrality preferred by Mercury.  The basic nature of Rahu and Saturn on Mercury can increase the Vata element, put stress on the nervous system and push one’s mind in the direction of dreams based on sand castle or fears based on negativity and depression. 

Obviously, this week calls for some level of protecting the nervous system.  It also calls for us to be prepared for the need of ourselves or others to be able to release emotions or express thoughts through words.   Creative writing or journaling is a positive way to release our thoughts.  We all have people in our lives that tend toward emotive expression and this is a week in which we need to practice patience with others and to not take every word so seriously. (This holds true especially for those who are dealing with teenagers.)   It can be helpful to remember the Vata element – eat accordingly, consciously breathe and remember to take the proper vitamins and supplements.

We can expect a lot of hysteria from the media as they report on the dysfunction of Washington as well as continued shifts on the international scene.  It can be helpful to remember that this is a week of heightened emotion and with Mercury overwhelmed by the energy of Saturn and Rahu there may not be much objectivity or even factual truth in what we are reading and hearing.  However, Saturn is exalted and Jupiter is aspecting the planets in Libra,  which indicates that nothing is anywhere near as bad as it may seem.  Tune out the hype and know that, due to the influence of Rahu, exaggeration is the name of the game right now.

As I mentioned in the last blog piece I am observing many positive breakthroughs as we move through this process.  Many people, and apparently even some countries, are shedding thoughts, fears and attitudes which have prevented a balanced and peaceful approach to life.  Many are learning the empowerment that comes from dropping the fear and preconceived attitudes.  The planets are always good for something.

As Mars nears the height of his debilitation we will continue to see freak accidents and many people will find their energy levels either too high or too low.  In my mind the biggest challenge this week is that people will simply continue to be grouch and unpleasant – don’t take it personally.  Mars moves into Leo on October 5th which is also a day when the Moon, Mercury, Rahu and Saturn are conjunct – Mars will move into Leo with a whimper because we may not even notice it given the intensity of what is going on in Libra.  But, as we move into the next cycle we will be able to notice that Mars has moved into a better position.

All of this energy is laying the groundwork for the last eclipses of 2013.  The eclipses take place on the 18th of October and the 3rd of November.  On a personal level it can be beneficial to pay attention to your own thoughts and attitudes so as to not miss those fast moments of inner realizations and shifts which are actually leading you towards positive growth.   In your own personal charts the houses which are ruled by Libra, Aries and Cancer will be the vehicles for change. 

I will be writing more about the eclipses at a later date.  Please remember that I use a sidereal zodiac and the signs will not match what you will read in newspapers, magazines and other internet sites. 

Take care of yourself – watch your Vata levels and don’t believe all the hype.



Don’t Kill The Messenger

Mercury has just joined the Saturn/Rahu/Venus party in the sign of Libra.  We can expect the vata levels to go higher and for there to be less neutral or objective mind in the upcoming weeks.  One of the best things we can all do is to work to keep the vata element in balance in our bodies and minds.

A few days ago family members were teasing and laughing that my tombstone is going to state “the messenger was finally killed” because I had mentioned that we are quickly approaching our bi-annual eclipse events.  It does often seem that the planets these days are stuck in a challenging pattern and that relief is not on the horizon. 

Of course, the challenges are there and we are living through times which will be written about in history books.   Just as a hot and stagnant weather pattern is often broken by a storm – human beings often need to experience storms within their lives and consciousness in order to break through patterns that keep them trapped in unhappiness and fear.  I am seeing so many people waking up to a more positive way of life as they shed old and negative patterns and/or situations in their own lives. I am seeing people discovering a freedom in their lives as old, worn-out situations suddenly disappear from their lives.  I am seeing people discover a new level of empowerment as they assess the changes, find their strength and move forward to grasp new goals and create lives that are more positive.  The key has become to not be completely dependent on outer circumstances in order to judge fulfillment in life.  The point of the planetary challenges is to use the energy for self-improvement and growth. Nothing will help that process as much as the planets dancing as they are dancing right now.

This morning the following arrived in my email box and I found it to be perfectly synchronized with the challenges of our times:

Deeply understanding accepting that life and living is based on change whether one likes it or not is a great step ahead. RameshBalsekar

I will be posting the dates and signs of the upcoming eclipse in the next few days. 

Autumn – Vata’s Season

The world around us is spinning with the continued violence, shocking weather events and seeming chaos of a planet currently influenced by the conjunction of Saturn, Rahu and now Venus. These world-wide events are out of our control and yet still effect each of us.  It can be difficult to not feel discouraged, disempowered and even frightened.

We may not have much power with regard to the events currently swirling around us but we do have the ability to keep misery at manageable levels.  The world has always presented challenges to a person’s inner peace but we all have the ability to keep our sanity and our peacefulness.

Vedic Astrology was traditionally a part of the full spectrum of Vedic teachings and is connected to both Yoga and Ayurveda.  Ayurveda is the ancient health Indian health system which has a focus on the balance of body, mind and spirit. 

One of the core teachings of Ayurveda is the dosha system which designates the primary qualities of fire, air and water-earth as essential energetics to physical and mental health.  The Sanskrit words for these qualities are: pitta/fire, vata/air and kapha/water-earth.  One’s physical qualities will reflect the primary dosha as will one’s astrological chart but we all have all three doshas.

In addition to the personal dosha qualities as reflected through our own personal bodies and minds there are dosha qualities in nature and even in the seasons.  Autumn is considered to be the season of Vata.  The qualities of Vata are known to be airy, dry, quick, and energetic – it is easy to see this dosha reflected in the dry and windy climate of the autumn season.   When Vata is too high the appetite for food can become erratic with a tendency towards quick meals laden with sugar and caffeine – empty calories.  Additionally, a too high level of Vata can bring nervousness, anxiety, forgetfulness, disorganization and hastiness to the mind and actions.

Astrologically, the primary planets for Vata are: Saturn, Rahu and Mercury.  Saturn and Rahu are often responsible for “Vata Derangement “in an astrological chart.  Libra is a sign that is considered to be both a water and air sign which indicates both Vata and Kapha.  Since Saturn and Rahu are both conjunct in the sign of Libra it is a time when Libra is going to lean towards Vata rather than Kapha. 

In even less challenging times Vata is high during the autumn months but given the nature of Saturn and Rahu we can be sure that Vata is trending high right now.  Sometimes, as we struggle to maintain our mental balance our first line of action can involve something as simple as just taking care of our physical bodies.  During this time period it is important to stay as grounded as possible.  This is not the time to skip meals or too try to fit in many activities in one day.  It is not a good time to watch too much cable news or even negative  horror movies because our minds are already moving too quickly and experiencing higher levels of anxiety because of the increased levels of Vata. 

One of the easiest things to do is to eat warm and nourishing food at this time.  Soups, mashed potatoes, warm cereals and cooked vegetables eaten in a leisurely and thoughtful matter will go a long way towards pacifying vata.  Vata responds well to music, walks in nature, warmth, soft music, yoga and meditation.  Warm baths or body creams containing lavender or members of the mint family are also good for Vata.  Reminding your self that the imagination has the upper hand right now and, that as bad as things appear at the moment, the Vata active mind is on overdrive can be helpful.  There are herbs and Ayurvedic formulas which can easily address Vata imbalances– my favorite source is Banyon Botanicals.

I know that meditation can be difficult for many and during the days of Vata can be even more challenging. However, Vata responds well to meditation.  Meditation should never be a source of more anxiety.  The use of fragrance, music and mantra can be helpful. The ego can be very threatened by meditation and will often fight all attempts at meditation but remember that even five minutes can be beneficial.  One of the easiest tricks for meditation is a simple breath count – inhale for five seconds, hold the breath for five seconds and exhale for five seconds. By keeping the mind focused on the count the itchy nose or wandering thoughts do not get a chance to interfere with your goal.

Venus is also a part of this conjunction and is a kapha planet.  Kapha is the dosha of love and compassion.  Venus is considered to be the planet most associated with the Fourth Chakra – the Heart Center.  During these times the world requires compassion and it can be necessary to give ourselves and loved ones compassion as well.  The events of these times combined with the high levels of Vata can make it easy to lose sight of the compassion that is needed.  An easy way to keep the compassion active is to focus on the Fourth Chakra because that will keep the heart open.  Breath work is an easy and natural way to energize the Heart Center.  While working with the breath focus on the inhale and direct the breath to the center of the chest. During the hold phase of the breath imagine a deep green light in the Fourth Chakra and on the exhale let go of the tension and worry.   

I hope the above can be helpful to you during this time period.  Astrologers, in general, do not get great satisfaction from being right or being the bearer of the news of times of difficulty.  I suspect that many of us, at times, would prefer to not know what we know.  I am always grateful for the fact that Vedic Astrology is connected to the teachings of Yoga and that I have tools at my disposal.  During this time period stay warm, grounded and heart-centered for yourself and for all of us.





Mars and Syria

Like many astrologers I am an observer of the world around me and am always on the look-out for how the world is relating to the planetary weather.

This particular time in history gives much to observe and ponder.  As discussed recently, Mars is the current dasa ruler for the United States and the current transit for Mars is taking place in Cancer, his sign of debilitation.  The debilitated Mars is being directly hit by exalted Saturn and Mars is aspecting the Saturn/Rahu conjunction.  It was inevitable that there would be bigger than usual news during this transit cycle.

Mars, is the planet of war and the drums of war are beating loudly at this time.  Mars is also weakened by being debilitated and his weakness plays a role in what is currently going on in Syria.  I believe that if Mars was strong at this time our country may have moved quickly towards a Syrian invasion but with the debilitation war has been either delayed or averted. 

Planets alone have their qualities but when involved by aspect with other planets the qualities and actions will be affected by the nature of all the planets involved.  Currently, Mars is weaker than the Saturn/Rahu conjunction and the war-like nature of Mars did not prevail.  Saturn,  the planet of patience and delay is currently exalted in the sign of Libra, and his influence becomes stronger than the influence of Mars.  Libra is the sign of politics and diplomacy and it does appear that diplomacy has the upper hand at the moment.  Saturn is also the planet of the “people” and, for the first time in many years, the “people” are being given a voice in this matter.  No matter how much many people despise Saturn for his slow movement and life lessons Saturn, often in the end,  brings justice and truth to the forefront. 

Of course, we can’t leave out that Saturn is also closely conjunct Rahu.  Rahu is an influence of  deception, illusion, surprises and chemical weapons.  We can be sure that there are going to be more twists and turns in the issue of Syria.  Rahu also has an influence on media and it can be important to not believe everything that is heard via the media at this time. Rahu does promise continued changes.

Many astrologers believe that Saturn is the strongest planet. I tend towards that viewpoint and have found if someone is at peace with the teachings of this planet life becomes much more harmonious.  Saturn is about stability, deliberation, hard-work, patience and truth.  Saturn is perhaps one of the few influences which can outweigh both Rahu and Mars.  In this current situation with Saturn being so strong in the sign of politics and diplomacy there is the possibility that he will influence the changeable nature of Rahu and the war-like nature of Mars towards solutions that might actually break the cycle of on-going war in the Middle East.  Perhaps the “people” have had enough and our leaders will find another way to solve what is truly a “world-wide” problem. Perhaps, here in the United States we might finally, after decades, see the international world step up to the plate.  Saturn can help us achieve that.  While we are not the people in power we always have the choice to project toward peace and not give into fear or aggression. 

Mars will enter Leo on the 5th of October and does gain strength again – if diplomacy fails it will fail after that date.  However, Saturn and Rahu continue to be stronger and it is possible that in all the twists and turns Saturn in Libra will prevail.

On a more personal level – wherever these planets fall in your chart the challenges will continue.  It is best to continue to use whatever tools are available to keep strong, focused and non-reactive.  For instance, the weak Mars is currently in my second house of writing and just the other day I tweeted that Mars was retrograde instead of debilitated.  This particular article has been a bit of a struggle to write – all I can do is not beat myself up and offer whatever words I can to give a bit of clarity.  The planets will move but the important thing is to flow with the movements.  The journey continues.

For those who know the tropical zodiac please remember that I use the sidereal zodiac and the planetary placements are different.  If I were working with a tropical chart Mars would be in Leo and Saturn/Rahu would be in Scorpio.  My interpretation would be different as I would read Mars as being very strong and war inevitable.