Venus and Ketu

On May 22nd Mercury moved into his home sign of Gemini where he is sharing space with Jupiter. Mercury is the intellectual and neutral minds and has a strong influence on the nervous system.  This is a solid placement for Mercury and along with Jupiter many of can feel a lighter and clearer energy.  Mercury will be in Gemini until July 27th because of an upcoming Mercury retrograde.  Retrograde or not it is a positive to have Mercury station in Gemini.

Just in time for the holiday weekend Venus moved into the sign of Aries on Friday, the 23rd. Aries is not a great sign for Venus but not as challenging as Venus in Virgo or Scorpio.  The challenge for Venus at this time is that he is conjunct the detached and heavy Ketu which may explain the emotional drop many have are feeling at the moment.  The lowering of the Venus energy for a holiday weekend can be disappointing for some.  Because Aries is opposite the relationship sign of Libra there could be conflict or disappointment in relationships for the next week or so. Ketu is the south node of the Moon and leads towards quiet introspection as well as an increase in moments of intuitive clarity.  This is a time when it is best to focus thoughts inward and to assess one’s self rather than others.  It is a given that some people may be quiet, confused or prone to disappointing others at this moment – it is best to not try and force others to change.

It is also the beginning of the New Moon cycle which will be exact on the 28th and the Moon itself will join the Venus/Ketu conjunction on the 25th around 6:40 a.m.  The energy will be low and should be respected for that quality.  It is a good time for resting, healing, introspection, reading, movies, music and quiet time in nature.  Trying to force too much fun or too many projects will be counter-intuitive which can lead to disappointment, conflict with others or pushing the body into greater tiredness. The Moon will enter Gemini on May 29th at approximately 10:45 p.m.  Once the Moon moves in Gemini the energy will begin to build, Venus will be farther away from Ketu and the overall mood will improve. 

Because we are dealing with the sign of Aries impatience and head-strong impulsivity are always possibles reaction to disappointments or frustration.  During this cycle it is important to be aware of yourself and others from approximately 2:15 p.m. until 4:55 p.m. – reacting in anger or without common sense during this time period will not bring about the desired result. ALL TIMES ARE GIVEN IN EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME – ADJUST THE TIMES ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN TIME ZONE. 

Paying attention to our reactions and expectations will go a long way towards using the holiday as a restful and perhaps enlightening long weekend.  Every planetary configuration is good for something and I think we could all use some quiet rest which is what the planets are offering us at this time – if there are those in your life who can’t help but overreact it is best to just give them their space and enjoy your own attitude of peaceful quiet.  



Let’s Talk About Mars

The end of the Mars retrograde period is the current transit position of the fiery Mars.  However, like all the planets, Mars has a position in individual natal charts and, from the natal position, the forward movement is calculated. The ongoing influence of Mars based on the position at birth plays a role in the world of astrology – in the western system of astrology this movement is known as “progressed placement” while in Vedic astrology it is known as the “dasa placement.”


This system of individualized natal chart movement has been important to all of us in the past six years because of the natal chart of America.  While no one can be sure of the exact moment that the Declaration of Independence was signed, historical research combined with decades of study by astrologers gives us a natal chart calculated for July 4, 1776 at approximately 6 p.m.  This chart puts Sagittarius as the ascendant with Mars a part of a conjunction in the strong, angular seventh house along with the Sun, Venus and Jupiter.  The impulsive, strong and war-like Mars nature of the USA cannot be denied by anyone with any knowledge of our history.


The Vedic dasa system calculates that a chart has a cycle of 120 years during which each planet has its time of prominence – the planets all have time periods of varying years, and the Mars cycle of prominence is seven years.  Obviously, the individual natal charts of human being have yet to live through the entire 120 year cycle.  The charts of many nations will be able to be studied from the perspective of moving through all of the cycles.  The current Mars dasa is the second time the United States has experienced its Mars dasa, and history can give us some hints of what went on here during its last cycle.


The current Mars dasa began in the fall of 2008 which coincides with the financial crash of the economy.  Mars plays a big role in land ownership and while our modern economy was built on fragile legs, it was real estate which pulled those fragile legs out from underneath the economy. Among all of the problems of the economy, Mars has been at the forefront of the nation’s mood which has been angry, unreasonable, impatient, and more violent. 


We are at the tail end of this Mars cycle as Rahu will take over as the dasa ruler in the winter months of 2015.  Most astrologers have an affinity for history and like to study the influence of planets in the past as compared to the present. 


I was curious as to what went on during the last dasa of Mars.  This dasa took place during the years of 1889 to 1896, and it appears that those years were filled with discord and the nation dealt with many of the same issues we have been fighting about today.  Given that this is not a history thesis, I am going to simply list some of the highlights of those years – I leave the exact dates and details to those who enjoy historical studies. 


Some of the highlights of those years which have parallels to today include: Jane Adams established “Hull House” in an attempt to address the situations of the most poor members of our country; Jacob Riis wrote his groundbreaking “How The Other Half Lives”; Coxey’s Army marched to Washington D.C. (the so-called army was a large group of unemployed workers who were reacting to the second year of misery during a four year economic depression); Steel Workers vs Carnegie Steel Company; economic panic of 1893; Sherman Anti-Trust Act; Pullman Strike; McKinley Tariff; Reduction of the McKinley Tariff.


In addition to the fight for economic equality, there were social and environmental issues being addressed and fought about during those years: Sierra Club was formed; Yosemite National Park was formed (much to the chagrin of those who wanted the land for economic gain); Wounded Knee massacre; National American Women’s Suffrage Association formed; Baltimore Crisis (USA trying to gain an economic foothold in the Pacific via South America); Plessey vs. Ferguson which legalized the racial “separate but equal” rule for the southern states which led, of course, to the despicable Jim Crow laws.  Reading the newspaper accounts of the last seven year cycle of Mars shows a country in angry misery – not very different from today.


The Mars cycle of that time ended, and Rahu took his place just like Rahu will take his place in early 2015.  Rahu was the dasa ruler during the years of 1896 until 1914 and history has left a record of some of the highlights of those years and those highlights show advancement, innovation and some positive excitement: gold rush; Boston subway completed; Treaty of Paris ends Spanish-American war; Open Door Policy settled trade problems with China; NAACP founded by W.E. Dubois; Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts founded; break up of the Standard Oil monopoly; Armory Show opens in NY introducing Modern Art to America;  Hay-Parceforte Treaty which laid the groundwork for the creation of the Panama Canal; US helps to end the Chinese Boxer Rebellion, First Rose Bowl; First World Series, First Indy 500; First Mother’s Day; “Great Train Robbery” movie released which was ground-breaking in movie technology; World’s Fair in St. Louis;  Wright Brothers first powered flight; Panama Canal Zone acquired; Harley-Davidson Co; Ford Motor Co. and Model T; US Steel founded; Ford Assembly line introduced. 


Life on planet earth is generally messy, and Rahu coming into his dasa will not transform the world into perfection.  However, the planets will always have their say, and it would be very hard for anyone to argue that life during Rahu was an improvement over the years of the Mars dasa.  Rahu will bring surprises and changes which will be difficult for those who do not like change and are clinging to a vision of returning to the past, but for people who are not afraid of change and like innovation – – if history is any indication, the upcoming cycle of Rahu will be a positive energy.  Even for those who do not like change, the anticipation of a lessening of anger and destructively impulsive actions will bring respite. 


As a nation we are at the tail end of the seven year Mars cycle, and that is going to be an improvement.  There are upcoming transits happening in the next five months which will begin to usher in the improvements in the planetary placements.  Mars moving forward tonight is an improvement, but there are even more improvements coming our way.  It is time to let go of the past and face forward while exhaling in the present. 


From Quicksand to Mud.

Right now we are all experiencing the opposition of the Sun and Saturn.  In Vedic Astrology these two planets are considered to be enemies.  The Sun represents the ego, life-force energy, reputation,ambition, action and new beginnings. Saturn represents endings, slow methodical work, karma and sacrifice.  It is easy to see why these planets do not get along well.  The Sun represents authority and Saturn represents the people and workers.  Both planets have a tendency towards selfishness. At the moment bosses and employees can be at odds and there can be too much responsibility for everyone.  Saturn, in my opinion, is the stronger force at the moment and many are feeling discouraged, tired and perhaps overwhelmed. The aspect is exact on May 11th at 1:50 p.m., eastern time – once it passes the exact degree of opposition the energy will “begin” to weaken until the 15th when the Sun moves into Taurus.  The eclipses are past but as my good friend said – “the difference is like walking through mud instead of quicksand.”  

Mars and Venus are aspecting one another May 18th which gives a boost to creative action.  Use that energy to engage in creative activity – plant those flowers, write that poem or listen to your favorite music as an offset to the heaviness of Saturn and the Sun. This energy can also be good for relationships as long as you are able to stay out of the ego battles of the Sun in Aries and Saturn in Libra.  The truth is that at the moment very few people are getting their own way – it’s better to find a reason to laugh or engage in creative activities with loved ones.

Given the feelings of both discouragement and the desire to break free there can be times when many of us feel as if we need to lash out at someone, something or life in general.  Each day for the duration of this cycle those feelings will come to the forefront when the ascendant joins Mars – which happens approximately from 3:30 pm until 5:50 pm “eastern time” – adjust the times according to your time zone.  These are the two hours in which to practice restraint and not give into the frustration – we are almost out of this cycle – look for the 16th of May as the time when we turn the corner.