“The United States presidential election of November 3, 1896, saw Republican William McKinley defeat Democrat William Jennings Bryan in a campaign considered by historians to be one of the most dramatic and complex in American history.”
“One of the most powerful political themes of the late-nineteenth century Republican Party was American nationalism. For some Republicans, nationalism was best expressed by continuing to push the moral high ground of the Civil War era, or to raise fears about Papists (Catholics) or immigrants, or the social calamities caused by alcohol consumption.”
“McKinley, however, was able to focus the Republican Party’s nationalist creed on the need for protective tariffs. Though McKinley had suffered politically in the early ’90s for this stance, by 1896 the Republican Party was ready to present itself as standing behind the farmer, the rising middle class, and the Protestant industrial worker through high taxes on foreign imports.”
What is relevant to the above quotes is that the 1896 presidential election was the first one in America’s second Rahu dasa. The first Rahu dasa took place when America became its own country after the Revolutionary War. America entered its third Rahu dasa in August of 2016 and the first election was the one which put Trump into the White House. I suspect that history will have more to say about the 2016 election than “…one of the most dramatic…”
A dasa is a time period used in Vedic Astrology which indicates a specific planet as having a predominant influence on the affairs of a chart. It’s like a chart has moved into a new town described by the attributes of a certain planet. The dasa system is based on 120 years and the planets will cycle in and out for a set amount of time. Rahu’s time is eighteen years and we are at the beginning of the current Rahu influence on the chart of America.
Rahu is the north node of the Moon and represents the point which causes the eclipses of the Sun and Moon approximately every six months. The Sun and Moon represent life force energy and the mind. Eclipses are known for bringing about instability in the minds and actions of human beings. In mythology Rahu is known for doing battle with the gods themselves as he sought to drink the amrit (nectar) of immortality. Apparently, on a human level when we have a strong Rahu influence we are presented with human beings who, no matter how much power and wealth they have it is not enough, as they also seek to have the powers of the gods for themselves.
The last cycle of Rahu eventually led to the gilded age of the early 20th century which then led to the great depression. The period of 1896-1914 was also filled with innovation, creativity and a progressive push back against the ruling elites. The progressive movement of this time period is what is believed to have led to many of FDR’s social safety net policies. As I write this Trump is being forced to stop his policy of separating families at the border because of the nation-wide push back against the immoral, cruel and unbelievably inhumane policy. Rahu, is above all else, a wild card and under his influence it may seem as if the powerful will never lose but they are operating under illusion, addiction and often mental instability – they are more vulnerable than they know. Rahu ultimately favors progression and independence which is what the British Monarchy discovered during America’s first Rahu dasa. These are unsettling times but in many ways history is on the side of humanity and while energy runs high we can pay attention but not give into to fatalistic Rahu fear.
As time moves forward the knowledge available continues to grow and certainly in the 21st century our knowledge of how the world and human beings live has grown from what was known in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Something many of us know now is that, despite the external world, we are responsible for our own well-being and that the key to happiness lies within ourselves to a great extent. One of the important factors to individual happiness derives from inner peace and knowing when to react and when not to react can be important for inner peace. By being able to stay in a space of equanimity we stay connected to our “self” and it is from that space that we find the peace necessary for happiness in life.
This summer will test all of us on the non-reactive spectrum of life. It is a summer playing out in the town of Rahu filled with eclipse energy (7/13, 7/27, 8/11) along with Mercury retrograde (7/25-8/18)in the sign of Cancer (eclipse sign) and Mars being retrograde (6/26-8/27) in the sign of Capricorn. In Capricorn Mars will conjunct Ketu (the other side of the eclipse) and aspecting Cancer the sign of Rahu’s placement during the eclipses.
The news promises to be a wild ride (Trump is an actual eclipse birth and anything is possible during this cycle). We cannot give into despair because no one can harness or control the energy of Rahu not even the “bad guys.” We can’t define what events will happen but we can know there will be destructive weather patterns and people will be frightened, angry and some will be irrational. If we don’t expect a rose garden we have already taken a step towards riding through the storm with an inner harmony.
On a personal level because we are speaking about the sign of Cancer(ruler of family) being in the center of all of this activity we can expect stress within the family unit. The Moon rules Cancer which means that, as the ruler of the mind itself, we can expect nervous minds along with high levels of emotion. Many of us love people who do not put stock in anything metaphysical/spiritual and we can expect those people to have a difficult time navigating their way through the hot and dry weeds of the summer of 2018.
We want to be patient with others as well as being patient with ourselves. Eclipse energy has a way of digging through the subconscious mind and emotions and one should be surprised if all of a sudden old and unhappy memories rear their heads again. It is an opportunity to forgive, re-forgive or to gain another perspective on issues which have been lingering. This type of growth is the positive side of eclipse energy.
Because Mars is central to these configurations we can expect to be dealing with issues of empowerment. During a time when people are feeling overwhelmed by a world which appears so chaotic that even the simple act of trying to renew a driver’s license can be made close to impossible it is easy to feel powerless. The truth of this time is that we are all learning that real empowerment comes from within and from knowing the true self. This summer is going to be an excellent time to work on inner peace and knowledge of self. We can be active citizens, responsible family members and good friends while still working with the transformative energy of this summer.
I think the important energy to work with is the Mars energy. Mars is the most reactive of all planets, is the most aggressive of all the planets and is one of the forces of empowerment. Mars is also a strong indicator of focus, ambition and accomplishment. Mars does not cause victimization but misused can lead anyone to becoming a victim. The good news is that Mars is happy in Capricorn (his current location) and with some effort we can find benefits from this summer’s Mars transit. We need to use this energy wisely.
Sometimes the easiest and most efficient way to handle unseen energies is to work with the physical connection to the energy. Mars is the ruler of the third chakra which is Sanskrit is known as the “Manipura.” The translation of Manipura is “Lustrous Gem” and its color is a combination of yellow and orange. The third chakra is located in the solar plexus in the area often referred to as the “core” or “power center.” Physically the third chakra rules digestion, the immune system, adrenals, pancreas and liver. Mentally and emotionally this charka influences ambition, accomplishment, focus, courage/fear, anger, humor and determination. Its element is fire (pitta) and as Mars is the ruler of the blood it can be important to keep physical inflammation low to prevent Mars from using our blood as a channel to send inflammation throughout the entire body. It is notable that Mars is also an influence on bodily infections. Keeping healthy at this can be a positive step towards not participating in the mental and emotional stresses of the summer energies.
The Manipūra Chakra being the “Lustrous Gem” shows that within its balanced energies we find the pearls of clarity, wisdom, self-confidence and wellbeing. “Lustrous Gem” implies the bright light which emanates from jewels and this shine is apparent in the faces and energies of children as they physically play or at an athletic competition when the athletes and spectators share in a winning performance. When a person has a strong and balanced third chakra it is possible to see a bright light emanating and surrounding the person. It is the joy of accomplishment, well-being and self-empowerment shining like a lustrous gem.
As we move through July and August it can be helpful to work with the positive energy of Mars so that regardless of the world spinning around us we are staying healthy and that we are not allowing the perception of helplessness to disempower us. We can do this through the physical body by paying attention to the foods we eat and staying physically active. A primary function of the third chakra is to move from inertia to movement and for that purpose all physical activity will help to activate the third chakra.
We can also, with a few techniques, work with the energetic basis of the third chakra and its ruler, Mars. The value of working with the energetics lies in the support given to our physical efforts as well as the more important value of our self-awareness and the power over our own thoughts of self-defeat, victimization and anger. Anger is sometimes viewed as an important fuel but in most instances actions and words motivated by anger generally do not fall into the category of personal good memories. It is far better to let the anger cool down and shift the energy to the focus and determination of a positive Mars.
Passive remedies for Mars and the third chakra are the gemstones of red coral, amber and topaz along with the scents of cinnamon, cedar wood, musk and myrrh. Of course, if the function of the third chakra is to move one out of inertia it stands to reason that there are also more active techniques to bring this energy into balance.
Power walking is a simple and effective balancing activity – summer is the time of high pitta (fire) and power walking should be done in the early morning or evening to avoid overheating. For those who do yoga bow pose, platform pose and pike pose are considered to be good for the third chakra core though realistically any physical movement is good for this energy. Despite its fierce reputation Mars responds well to playfulness as well, which during the heat of the summer, indicates swimming as an excellent activity. Additionally, when you just want to cool off and escape the pressure Mars truly responds well to a funny movie in an air conditioned setting and if the diet has been kept under control bring on the popcorn!
For those who want to work more directly with the subtle energies of the third chakra breath work, visualization and chanting are always effective. A simple and effective breath is to take some time to sit in a comfortable position and breathe slowly and deeply directing the mind towards the area of the solar plexus while paying attention to expanding the stomach on the inhale and on the exhale emptying the stomach while pulling it towards the spine – this will stimulate the energy of the third chakra while also working to relax the body and mind. During the breath work or in meditation a bright yellow/orange light filling up the stomach can be visualized. You can visualize a bright shining sun in the solar plexus and imagine the sun of the self/universe permeating the entire body.
Finally, the seed mantra for the third chakra is “ram” (pronounced with a soft “a” as in father – not as the animal ram). I find mantra to be an efficient tool to bring a chakra into balance and this seed mantra can be chanted for even just two minutes for a boost of positive Mars energy. If you want to go a bit deeper the ram can be chanted while seated in a forward bend or while softly pumping the stomach along with the chanting. If the choice is made to work with the techniques of yoga make sure you take a few minutes to lie on your back (corpse pose) and allow yourself to relax in order to disperse the energy.
As the summer moves forward working with the Mars energy will not stop the craziness of the world but it will help with self-empowerment and inner peace which is the goal of the awakened human being. I hope this information and techniques help you on the journey.