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.