The Summer of Discontent

Greetings and welcome to my first posting since I’ve come back to the US.  I’ve been busy settling into a new home and am beginning to get back into a routine.

This is going to be a stressful summer in a year that is already proving to be filled with stress.  During the summer we are going to experience our old friends Mars, Saturn, and the Nodal points taking center stage.  We can expect surprises, anger, and frustration which will reach a peak during August and by October the planets themselves will calm down and present us with better planetary weather.  In the meantime, it is best to not try and force change because change will be in the domain of the planets, and any impulsive changes on our part will likely not provide the desired results.  This is a time period to keep supportive loved ones close and to put our trust in our own spiritual center.

There are many systems of astrology and, within my preferred system of Vedic Astrology, there are a variety of ways in which to approach a chart.  For instance, there is in the Vedic system  the “VimshottariDasha” which is somewhat like the progressions of the western system in that it can tell us which planet(s) will be strong in present time. Each planet gets its opportunity to influence a chart in its own time. The dasha will work with the attributes of the natal chart along with the ongoing transits. I view the dasha rulers as if one has moved into the “town” of the planet. A feature of this system is that we are all born with a planet that is particularly active at the time of our birth – this planet is known as the “dasha ruler.” As time passes,  different planets get their opportunity to bring the qualities and karmas they rule into an active principle of our lives.  The first dasha ruler will often be imprinted upon  one’s personality and life just as one’s original hometown often will —  through accents, choices of food, etc. — stay with a person throughout his life.

This same principle will hold true for a country’s chart with the difference being that, because countries last longer than an individual life, the dasha sequence plays out more than once.  The influence of the first dasha will be a part of a country’s profile and will become important when the sequence brings that particular energy back into the forefront.

For the United States of America the first planetary influence was Rahu.  Rahu is not a planet – it is the North Node of the Moon which is the point on the ecliptic path which causes eclipses.  America’s first Rahu journey took place from 1776 until 1794. The second journey took place from 1896 until 1914 and this third cycle takes place from 2016 until 2034. (Rahu’s time span is eighteen years.) Of course, the Rahu dasha is not the only influence in the natal chart or the only influence in present time.  The challenge is that, with the current transits, we are feeling the Rahu energy strongly at this time.

There are many images in the ancient texts which describe Rahu; one of the best known is the image of a man’s head connected to a serpent body.  The image is meant to convey the extreme duality of Rahu’s energy.  Rahu can be seen as the proverbial “two-sided” coin, and the energy of this nodal point can operate at the highest levels of perception or the lowest level of perception which keeps one trapped in the illusion of “maya” and greed for material objects.

Rahu is known for being rebellious and, as an enemy of the Sun, despises authority.  America, of course, founded itself by waging a fierce battle for independence from England.  Rahu, by being the dasha ruler, imprinted itself upon the basic nature of America and, as all of know, we seem to be a nation constantly engulfed in waging battles. In the US chart Rahu is in the sign of Cancer and shares that space with Mercury.  The sign of Cancer is ruled by the Moon, a planet which is one of the indicators of the people; he is in an asterism which is ruled by Saturn, another indicator of the people. He is with the planet Mercury which is one of the planets that can handle Rahu’s energy through higher and more objective intelligence.  This particular placement led to the “people” demanding freedom from England along with a constant fight to keep the oligarchs from acting like ruling royalty themselves.  This battle between the people and the wanna-be aristocrats has been with America from the beginning.

Rahu is often pictured as engulfed in smoke which indicates Rahu’s preference to hide his intentions while he plays with the forces of maya for his own advantage.  Rahu rules, among other things, oil, mining, pharmaceuticals, gambling, intoxication and the world of modern entertainment.  He is also innovative, scientific, forward-looking, creative, and a seeker of immortality.  Throughout our history Rahu has presented as the proverbial double-edged sword.  This past election proved to be a Rahu scenario as smoke and mirrors hid the truth, and people voted for an illusion.

Like it or not, America is a country that had slavery as one of its monetary foundations and in true Rahu fashion (Rahu is in America’s house of money), our first Wall Street (gambling) stock was the slave trade.  There was always a strong contingent of aristocrats who saw the new world as a fiefdom which they would rule forever. Unfortunately, for them there were some very lofty ideals written into founding documents of this country, and the average person has never stopped fighting for the rights promised by our founding fathers.

Rahu, having an influence on technology, seems to have given the best hand in America’s latest go-around with Rahu to the oligarchy.  It has become apparent that technology, combined with the media, pulled off one of the greatest con jobs in political history.  However, no one can count on any end-games when Rahu is involved.  Rahu delights in chaos, upsets, and surprises, and we are finding that technology is providing people with powerful tools to fight back.  It may not be pleasant, and it is sometimes a challenge to hold onto hope, but there is nothing to lose by choosing hope over despair and not losing sight of the fact that America won its independence in its first Rahu dasha.  The second dasha was a time filled with workers fighting against the brutality of the industrial revolution’s oligarchs and the people/workers  won many of those battles.  Round three has only just started.

The most famous mythological teaching about Rahu comes from a story in which Rahu stole the “nectar of immortality” from the gods.  This action is attributed to Rahu’s inclination towards intoxication, material gains, and belief in entitlement.  For us mere mortals, it can be helpful to remember that we don’t have to look for immortality through the illusions of life on earth.  Immorality is available to each of us by focusing on the truth of self.  We can stand strong in our ideals, but still maintain our equanimity and ability to be at peace no matter what turmoil may surround us by giving some attention to love and spirituality.  “Rahu causes most trouble to those individuals who like holding onto the past and are opposed to any sort of change.” (The Key of Life.Prash Trivedi).  Rahu pushes all of us to be creative, independent and innovative.  It’s time to keep our vision on the positive and to keep our hearts wide open.

This summer is a time to put in effort on our nervous systems and state of mind.  Meditation, yoga, herbs, exercise, rest and finding time to laugh with loved ones is going to be very important at this time. Mars is not going to be happy this summer, and this will lead to temper flares, inflammation, and impatience.  It’s important to pay attention to our physical levels of inflammation along with the third chakra/digestive system.  We will all experience moments of true frustration with others and, at those times, perhaps simply using restraint and vowing to do our best to not use hurtful words will allow us all to move into a more permanent awareness of the power of the positive mind, laughter, and love.


7/11Mars moves into Cancer his sign of debilitation.  Physical energy can be erratic and some may experience digestive problems. Cancer is an indication of family, and effort might be required to not fan the flames of aggravation. Mars moves into Leo on 8/26.

8/7 – Lunar eclipse with the Sun conjunct Mars.  Emotions and tension will be running high.

8/13-9/4 – Mercury goes retrograde in Leo and will be involved in the eclipse energy. It is best to avoid snap decisions and since Mercury is often involved in weather to not ignore weather warnings.

8/21 – Solar eclipse.  We will hear about this one since it is the first eclipse in ninety-nine years which will be visible across the “entire” United States. This eclipse will take place in the sign of Leo and will have Mercury retrograde involved.  Expect emotions to run high, and egos to be out of control; the need to be conscious will be strong.

8/27 until 9/9 – Mars will be conjunct Rahu in Leo.

9/9 – The nodal points move to Cancer/Capricorn.  More on that in a future blog.

Finally Rahu is an indicator of new karma, and throughout this summer of our discontent, it will be helpful to use Rahu’s energy to move us all into a higher state of being.  It is not time to be afraid of change. A better option is to change what needs to be changed within ourselves and to take advantage of the Rahu energy which always supports internal growth, creativity and innovation.