Winter Solstice Greetings!

Friday, December 21st at 5:35 pm, Eastern Time, is the exact moment of the Winter Solstice of 2018. For many the Winter Solstice is a time of celebration. It is believed by some that December 25th was chosen as the celebration of the birth of Jesus in order to align with the pagan celebration of Winter Solstice.  I believe that the Winter Solstice is the astronomical New Year as it is the start of the Sun’s movement towards more daylight and less night darkness.

Solstice is also known for an energetic increase and it is a good time for meditation and yoga as the healing energies are heightened.  It is a busy time, but even a few moments spent in contemplation, listening to high quality music or a short purposeful walk will align with the solstice energy as we move into the year 2019.

The Solstice chart of this year is more positive and harmonious than the chart for 2018 which had all of the benefic planets locked into patterns with the malefic planets.  2018 has proven to be a challenging and difficult year for the residents of planet earth.  Because of the epoch times in which we live the challenges will continue but 2019 holds the promise of some ease and more positive support.

We have been watching the higher energy of the solstice taking place in the recent past as people find themselves being more emotional than usual and some are experiencing illness as their bodies begin to show signs of the stresses of 2018.  The high emotions can be attributed to the Mercury/Jupiter conjunction in Scorpio.  Scorpio tends to act like a warehouse for painful emotions which are stored away in our chakras and subconscious minds.  Illnesses will often manifest once the body feels as if it can get the attention it needs after not getting the care it requires during times of overwork, anxiety and challenges.

While none of the high emotions and illnesses feel good it is positive to actually have the energy and space to release the past now that Scorpio is free from the afflictions of the past three years.  Jupiter is now in Scorpio and conjunct Mercury (until 12/31/18). Jupiter will stay in Scorpio until the fall of 2019 but he can’t give his positive benefits if we are so burdened by past hurts that we are unable to feel the positive energies.  Venus is alone in the sign of (Libra until 1/1/19). Libra, the sign of balance and relationship, is the home sign for Venus and beneath the unsettling emotions Venus is offering hope and the true nature of love.  The hope of Venus is a good reason to work with the emotions of the past in order to let them go and walk into the future without the fear of emotional pain.  These placements are auspicious for the astronomical New Year of 2019.

Our friend Mars will be moving into the sign of Pisces on 12/23 which is good news.  Mars has been a challenging and big influence during all of 2018.  He is moving into the sign of Pisces.  Pisces is a friendly placement for Mars and is a water sign.  Just as water is used to contain fire a friendly water sign does have the ability to contain the fiery independent and aggressive nature of the ever errant Mars.  Mars can be a difficult planet to contain and there is only one planet that can harness Mars.  That planet is Jupiter.  Jupiter is currently in the water sign of Scorpio and from Scorpio he will not only be aspecting Mars he will also be in an exchange of signs with Mars (parivartana yoga). This is a powerful placement and gives us all another reason to hold on to hope as we plan for 2019.  Hope is important as long as we keep our mental perspective and not decide that only a million dollar lottery win will solve our problems.

As we close out this year it is good to know that we are ending the year with positive light from the planetary patterns.  This light might not always be easy to see but it is there if we take a bit of time to uncover it within ourselves.  The energy of the solstice will be helpful as we seek this light as will finding some moments during the holiday season to be grateful for what we do have.


To celebrate the Winter Solstice and the new year of 2019 I am offering an 11% discount on full and half hour sessions.  This will be in effect until January 16th, 2019.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Cosmic Gifts At The End of 2018

Cosmic Gifts to End 2018

We are approaching the end of the challenging year of 2018.  The United States is still under the influence of Rahu, the North Node of the Moon, which started in August of 2016.  Rahu is one of the eclipse points and is known for change, chaos, deceit, media, creativity and the unexpected. Rahu’s influence is calculated by what is known as the “Vimshottari System” in which a planet, based on the Moon’s movement, becomes a primary influence for a specific number of years.  Rahu has an eighteen year influence.

A way to understand this concept is to view it as if a natal chart has moved into a town.  The town will influence the chart/person but is not the only influence– there are multiple influences coming from the planets which will affect a person’s life.  I think that New York City is a good example of living in a Rahu influenced location.  New York City is crowded, energetic, filled with people from all walks of life, creative but also driven by money and ambition. To many people it can be an overwhelming place to live and, like Rahu, can be a challenge to the nervous system.  A resident of this city knows that their entire lives cannot be ruled only by the external chaos of the energy of the city.

I lived and worked as a resident of New York for many years.  The energy was always exciting to me but I also always took advantage of the green spaces, the Hudson and East Rivers and had my home set up for cozy quiet.  I have traveled to other locations and noticed that New Yorkers generally had home spaces which were designed with an eye towards quiet and privacy as an offset to the highly charged streets of New York.  This attitude is similar to what is needed to move through the entire country living in the town of Rahu.  We are living through epoch times and what is swirling around us will continue with the losses, gains and change that Rahu signifies but we have ample opportunities to grow and blossom on the inner level of our true selves.

2018 has been challenging on so many levels but as we look towards the end of this year there are elements of the current transits which offer opportunities for growth, self-knowledge and inner peace. I think that last weeks of 2018 present us with the best days of the entire year. If we work with the transits on an inner level we can participate in the Rahu changes in a way that will benefit others and enhance our personal journey in a positive manner. One of the lessons of this time period is that we can’t control the fast paced changes in the world around us but we can control our reactions as well as the quality of our minds.

The benefic Jupiter moved into the sign of Scorpio in October and will stay in this intense water sign for a year.  All of the planets have sign placements which are considered to be friendly to the planet and Scorpio is a friendly sign for Jupiter. This is the first long term station of a planet in the sign of Scorpio since Saturn parked himself in that sign from November of 2014 and October of 2017.  Saturn is the heaviest and most serious of all the planets while Scorpio is the heaviest and most serious of all signs. Many people, especially those with strong Scorpio placements, experienced losses and challenges in their personal lives during the Saturn transit.  Every sign plays its own role in a chart and even without strong Scorpio planets most people experienced some level of challenge from this placement.  For us in the United States Saturn in Scorpio, along with the energy of Rahu, influenced the election of 2016 and the resulting chaos which defines our leadership.  The outer chaos has prevented many from experiencing a sense of relief when Saturn finally left the sign of Scorpio.

Jupiter’s ingress in Scorpio gives us an opportunity to heal and move forward from the influence of Saturn in Scorpio. Jupiter does not necessarily reverse the losses but he gives us all an opportunity to move on from the losses.  Scorpio strongly influences the subconscious mind and the desire nature. It is a deeply emotional sign with a Mars energy which lead towards dwelling on the past and looking for some type of justice in a world that often gives justice via karma rather than giving egos the satisfaction of exact justice.  This can be a hard lesson for Scorpios as they seek to move forward.  Jupiter is the planet which can bring about a change in attitude and show the way towards letting go while at the same time giving positive hope for a better tomorrow.

As the ruler of the second chakra Jupiter is concerned with the nature of our desires and will assist in letting go of desires which no longer serve us.  In addition to desire the second chakra is an important influence in healing the hurts and disappointments which are often stored in the second chakra.  It is believed that true healing does not take place without a healing of the second chakra.  Under Jupiter’s influence support is given towards techniques which work on healing – meditation, reiki treatments, therapy, massages, yoga are all favored at this time.

In addition to Jupiter being in Scorpio as we approach the end of this year we also have Mercury in the sign of Scorpio until the 31st of December.  This is a longer transit for Mercury because he will be retrograde from November 16th until December 6th. Many people are concerned when Mercury goes retrograde and while he can cause problems with contracts, technology, communication, etc., he goes retrograde three times each year and as long as we use common sense the trouble is usually a temporary annoyance.  (It is good that he will not be retrograde during holiday travel.) Mercury retrograde can be an influence on the subconscious mind and indicates a time of reflection and self-understanding.  Mercury is also, like Jupiter, a benefic planet and it is always positive to have two benefics in the same sign.  Scorpio is a water sign which is connected to the subconscious mind and can be overly emotional which often interferes with clarity of thought.  Mercury is the planet of the neutral mind and along with Jupiter is offering us all the opportunity to see clearly into the hurts and disappointment of our lives and what role we played and more importantly what we were meant to learn as we went through whatever experiences challenged us.  It is likely that during the upcoming weeks we will all have moments of memories which can be painful or even grief-filled.  With the optimistic Jupiter pushing us towards the future this is the time when we have an opportunity to let go of the pain and allow the growth to happen.  Many people live a life defined by their pain and loss when in reality the pains and losses become part of the tapestry but should not be the definition or focus of our lives.  Now is the time to drop some of those stories and break free of the grief.  A simple technique that helps the process is the take a few moments during the times of these emotional memories to chant “vam” (vahm) to release the emotions from the second chakra.

In addition to the benefic influence of Jupiter and Mercury being in Scorpio, Venus is in his home sign of Libra.  Venus entered Libra on September 1 and due to his retrograde motion (10/22 -11/17) he will remain in Libra until January 1st.  Venus is a planet of relationship and is very much at home in Libra the sign of relationship.  Venus is much more than relationship as he is considered the teacher of the “assuras” (demons in Sanskrit) – “assura” in my opinion represents the ego.  The higher principle of love is unconditional love based on compassion and the knowledge of love is the best human expression of the “self.”  Venus in this sign will assist us in releasing the fears and pain stored in Scorpio while leading us towards the understanding that we can rise above pain and reside in a place of love as being.  We can use the mantra “yam – yahm” to raise the energy of our pain – especially pain which we hang onto as a victim – to the fourth chakra/heart center.  This will balance the energy while assisting in opening the heart.

We can’t control the outer world and this is a year that has been horrifying for many Americans to live through and the planets have offered very little help until now. However, the transits of the three benefics, are gifting us with a cosmic harmony to end this year if we are willing to heal, expand and live with compassion.

Please note that all positions are sidereal based on the empirical astronomical positions.  This is always important to me for a variety of reasons but for this particular blog it is important to view these placements through Libra and Scorpio – especially with regard to the Jupiter energy.

Jupiter in Scorpio: 10/6/18 – 11/14/19

Venus in Libra: 9/1/18 – 1/1/19 – retrograde 10/22 – 11/17

Mercury in Scorpio: 10/27 – 12/31/18 – retrograde 11/16 – 12/6




Working With The Moon

We are in the midst of this summer’s challenging eclipse patterns, and it can seem as if we are engulfed in high levels of chaos these days.  We have discussed the role of Mars and the various tools which can help us navigate the next month, and that advice still stands.

One of the reasons this eclipse season is so challenging is that it involves the sign of CANCER which is ruled by the Moon.  Cancer rules mother/family, and we have all witnessed the awful spectacle of our country tearing children away from their parents at the border. Cancer also rules patriotism for one’s “Mother Country,” and we’ve all seen our own President choose to defend another country over our own. I offer these examples not as a political statement but as examples of how the rhythm of the planets will affect events according to the qualities of the planets  themselves as well as the signs occupied.  On a more personal level, many families are experiencing higher levels of stress and discord this summer.

The Moon also rules the mind, including the subconscious and emotional levels of the mind.  One can look at outer events and conclude that life is so awful that it stands to reason that people are depressed, angry, and even irrational.  However, we also can observe those people who are not mentally being torn to pieces over outer events, as they seem to keep their equanimity regardless of the swirling events.  Part of the game of life includes mastery of one’s own mind; from that mastery comes the ability to be successful but, more importantly, to be peaceful in the knowledge of true self-awareness.  The eclipse energy  focuses on the subconscious and emotions; as a result, eclipses offer all of us the opportunity to rid ourselves of the subconscious baggage of emotional hurt and/or the false perceptions of our human identity.

The energetics of the planets lie within our auras and chakras and can be considered as the energetic causation of our manifested physical bodies.  These energetics are slowly being discovered by modern science and are the same energetics used by healers in systems like Reiki and Sat Nam Rasayan.  We can use the rhythm of the planets to work on our own healing and to further our day-to-day harmony.

A good friend of mine (shout out of thanks to AtmaAmita!!!!) found a group of writings that I’ve done for workshops and newsletters.  I am sharing something from this collection that I had written as a handout to an Astrology and Yoga class that I offered many moons ago.  It is a system which tracks the Moon’s effect on our energetic bodies throughout a lunar month.  The last of this eclipse cycle will take place on August 11th which is the first day of the waxing lunar cycle – the waxing cycle which marks the end of 2018’s eclipses.

None of us get to control every moment of every day, especially during these fast-paced times.  The information that follows is a guideline and can be utilized to schedule the personal activities which do fall under our own control. I had a sales person at one of these workshops who was able to rearrange his customer service sales calls according to this cycle. He saw his sales rates go up because he utilized the waning cycle for planning and bookkeeping while scheduling his sales calls during the waxing cycle leading up to the Full Moon.  While we can’t control others or traffic, we can make changes to our personal lives so that, for instance, we do not plan waning cycle days in a way that requires high levels of physical energy.


The Moon is increasing in light, and our energy levels begin to increase during this time period.

Day 1 (Amavasya).  The day of the New Moon is a transitional day with low energy.  It is recommended that you conserve your energy on this day.  It is a good time for spirituality and meditation, light food choices, and pranayama.  There can be feelings of emptiness or despondency.

Days 2,3,4,5. These are good days to begin new ventures, start new personal goals, and begin to initiate changes.

Days 6,7,9,10.  A cycle for continuing and sustaining action and plans.

Day 8. This day is considered as transitional and is better suited for spirituality and meditation; our external activities can run into delays and obstruction.

Days 11,12,13,14,15. These days are particularly suited for the development of knowledge and creativity. They are good days to present to others what has been worked on and developed in the preceding days of the waxing cycle.


Day 16.  This is known as Purnima, the day of the full moon, and is the third transitional day. During the Full Moon, the mental power is believed to be high and it is a good day for healing and meditation – especially meditations and yoga practices that enhance bliss.  If one is prone to emotional excess, the day of the Full Moon can lead one toward excessive emotions or even self-indulgence.

Days 17,18,19,20.  Good days for completion and internalization of all that took place during the preceding waxing lunar cycle. At this point, the energy is beginning its downward movement.

Days 21,22,23,24,25. Completion of projects and activities that have been started under the earlier cycles of the lunar month. It is time to start paying attention to your energy levels and emotional balances as the Moon’s energy begins to darken in light.

Days 26,27,28,29. The final four days of the Moon’s phases. Mental and physical energy is at its lowest energetic level.  If possible, try to work with completion of projects and internalization of awareness, and try to put off initiation of new projects until the Moon begins its next waxing cycle.

I hope that this information can be useful as we move past the eclipses and into the upcoming crispness of autumn.  Remember Mercury will retrograde until 8/18 but will quickly move forward into his favorite signs of Virgo and Libra.  In October, Jupiter will move into the sign of Scorpio which will be helpful to all of us.

Successful ocean swimming requires swimming parallel to the shore and when tired floating with the ocean’s currents – life can often require the same.  


Summer of 2018

“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.






Today, April 15th, Mercury moved forward and is no longer retrograde.  Mercury will be in his sign of debilitation, Pisces, until May 9th. Mercury is the planet of the intellect and when at his best will facilitate clear-heading thinking and efficiency. Pisces is not his best sign and due to this placement we might not see the fog of Mercury retrograde lift as quickly as usual.

Today is also the New Moon which is exact around 9 p.m. eastern time.  It takes place in the very early degrees of Aries (Sun entered Aries 4/13 in the late evening.) in the Nakshatra of Ashwini, ruled by Ketu.  A Nakshatra is a 13 degree segment of the space occupied by the various constellations.  In Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) they are used to fine-tune the qualities of planetary placements and will often indicate the unseen and powerful energetics of the various qualities of the constellations.  Ketu is the south node of the Moon and is connected to karma, ancestry and deeper spiritual qualities of a life.  Ketu is not known for bringing ease or mundane benefits as it is more concerned with the transcendent qualities which are more concerned with the “self.” Jyotish also includes the deities of each 13 degree segment.  The deity associated with this Nakshatra is Ashwinis – twins who are considered to be the celestial physicians.

Generally the first New Moon in the sign of Aries will indicate new beginnings and the newness which Spring brings to the world after the winter season.  All New Moons bring about a new lunar month as the energy begins to build towards the light of the Full Moon.  Prana is at its lowest point in the spinal column and the New Moon marks the beginning of the building of prana and the higher level of energy that more prana will give to us.

This New Moon is, of course, the beginning of the building up of prana and does mark a time of new beginnings. The New Moon is also a time of healing both the body and mind.  As the Ashwinis rule this New Moon we can use this energy to make changes in our diet and lifestyles which will promote greater healing.

It is important to remember that with Mercury still debilitated and Ketu ruling the inner energy of this New Moon, that as much as we want to enjoy the newness of the spring, we are also still working with elements of the old hanging onto the energy of the new beginnings.   It is still time to work on inner healing and to take up responsibility for our own state of mind/consciousness. Aries is ruled by the fiery Mars which has been aspecting Mercury and the Sun for weeks. This indicates that we all need to be aware of our own impatience with ourselves and others.  Mars always requires a conscious effort to prevent him from impulsive and aggressive decisions.

Mars is going to be an important player for the entire year and he begins to step into power on May 3rd when he enters his sign exaltation, Capricorn.  Due to his retrograde motion he will be in Capricorn until November 5th.  It is fitting that this New Moon is in a sign ruled by Mars as it will be imperative for all of us to learn how to work with the “builder general” of the zodiac.  It can be helpful to give serious thought to what we want to change and achieve in the next six months.

Mars generally demands action and too often when under his influence the action is impulsive or ego based.  It is notable that Mars is also a planet of math as well as focused thinking.  Mars occupying the sign of Capricorn brings the ability to use the energy in a more positive and focused manner. This energy can assist one in achieving goals and manifesting positive change – if we work “with” the higher aspects of his energy. If we allow Mars to run amok we will end up hurting ourselves and others through aggression and anger.

I suggest that until May 3rd it is best to continue with the inner reflection which leads to emotional healing and focus our attention on ourselves rather than others.  It is not practical to try and change others nor does it truly make sense to delay inner peace until we have our outer circumstances in line with what we think they should be.  Mars being so strong is most likely going to bring about drama and impulsive actions in the world – we do not want to attach our happiness to a world that is going to be responding to Mars.  We can only work to keep ourselves at peace, our bodies healthy and our focus on achievable and worthwhile goals.

Mars can be a tough energy but he is also an energy which favors physical activity, laughter, creativity and independence.  By participating in positive action and refusing to play the victim it is possible to break through mental blocks, improve physical well-being and gain an independence which can cooperate with others but not put personal happiness or peacefulness on the shoulders of those around us.

Mars is also an indicator of the planet earth and the ruler of siblings and cousins.  As we move forward during this energy the push to improve life on this planet it is important for all of us.  For that reason we can look at goals from a perspective of working with others to help raise the energy of the planet itself, keeping in mind that science has now proven that we are interconnected beings (collective consciousness).  One of the best remedials for Mars would be seeing community as important as our individual selves.  Mars likes the word “mine” as he likes the concept of the people in one’s life having to satisfy their ego’s desires.  Working to observe how often the words “my/mine” comes into the thoughts of goals and the future will help to tame the lower energies of Mars.  Mars is also courage and it takes courage to move through these earth changes.  It may take courage and discipline to go back to school or even to not eat that piece of chocolate cake but it also takes courage to stand up for what one knows is right even if it means ruffling some social feathers.

The signs which will be most affected by the Capricorn placement of Mars will be Capricorn, Aries, Gemini and Cancer.  Those who have these signs prominent in their charts will be on a path to achievement and challenge.  However, we all have those signs somewhere in our charts and the transits will also move during the next six months into those signs to energize and perhaps upset all human beings on this current journey. Take a bit of time in the upcoming days to contemplate what is important and the best ways to achieve both our goals and inner peace.  A New Moon plan can be a worthwhile activity!

Mars Ruling the Skies

I write this as we are approaching only the fourth month of 2018 and, like many, I’m already looking to be done with this year.  The whirlwind of chaos, bad weather and discouragement does not seem to be moving towards the direction of resolution.  I try to keep in mind that the universe in not static and that whatever goes up must come down at some point.

The planets reflect the chaos or perhaps the chaos represents the planets – however we look at it we can say with certainty that the chaos of change surrounds us.  Jyotish considers Saturn, Mars and the Nodal points of Rahu and Ketu to be malefic influences and at this moment all three of them are prominent in the skies as well as in the chart of the USA.

Rahu which is the North Node of the Moon is the current “dasa” (indicator of the planet which is the primary ruler of “current” time in a chart) of America is Rahu.  This can be looked at as if America has moved to a town known as Rahu.  America will be dancing with Rahu until approximately 2034 and this promises great change along with the victories and losses which accompany change.  The last time the USA was under the influence of Rahu was from 1896-1914 a time which saw many changes for the average working person as well as advances in technology.  (I wrote an article titled “Big Change On the Way” which gave more detail to Rahu’s last dasa. The article can be found on this site.) America’s birth date of 7/4/1776 shows that America was born with Rahu as the dasa ruler.  There are so many indications of America having the mark of Rahu impacted on its destiny – the war for independence, the film industry, technological discoveries, and the appetite for drugs and money are all indications of Rahu.  This third round will bring in even more changes but on a positive note America is also a country that does not fall apart because of Rahu (despite what it may look like right now) because Rahu is deeply imbedded in the “Cosmic DNA” of America.  We will find a way to make the necessary changes.

While being in the town of Rahu gives a certain quality of life just like in any town the neighborhood within the town has a strong influence on one’s experience while living in the town.  We can view the transits as the both the neighborhood and weather patterns influencing life in the town.  These are the influences which affect our daily lives in what can be meaningful ways.  The transits are also the planetary patterns which affect the entire planet.  We are currently not in a great pattern.

In many ways Mars is going to be the king of the planets until the fall, at least, of 2018.  Currently Mars is conjunct Saturn in the sign of Sagittarius.  Whenever Saturn is in Sagittarius (every 28 to 30 years) we observe the breaking down of institutions and we are certainly watching that happen in real time. This will continue until 2020 when Saturn finally enters Capricorn which is the time for greater stabilization. (I do understand that many people believe that Saturn is already in Capricorn.  Saturn in Capricorn brings building up not tearing down as we are witnessing right now.) Mars has been conjunct Saturn since  March 5th  and will remain there until May 3rd.  Whenever Mars the planet of impatience teams up with Saturn the planet of patience there is going to be a conflict within ourselves as well as in the greater world.  Personally, I try to work more with the energy of Saturn because impatience, in general, is non-harmonious.  Since Sagittarius is the Ascendant of the US chart the push and pull of these two planets is causing frustration, anger and in the mentally unstable violence and erratic actions.

Currently, Mars is aspecting the signs of Pisces, Gemini and Cancer.  Pisces is the sign in which Mercury is retrograding until April 15th and currently the Sun is also in Pisces as well.  Mercury is debilitated in Pisces which can cause a basic lack of neutrality and objective thinking.  The Sun, while not unhappy in Pisces, is the ego and can be an impatient influence.  Mars influencing these two planets should be a caution sign for all of us.  People around us can be more difficult than usual, the news can be more dramatic than usual and there can be moments of great energy followed by moments of exhaustion.  It is a time to watch our emotional reactions and pull on whatever tools we have to stay balanced and in good physical health.

Mars is aspecting Gemini which is a Mercury sign.  It is so important to watch our nervous systems and to do something to offset stress levels.  Mars is also aspecting the sign of Cancer which contains the transit eclipse points.  On a physical level this represents the stomach and the foods we eat – this is not the time to try and offset unhappiness by eating poor food as our digestive system will react.  On a personal and relationship level this time period is about common sense, restraint and being kind to ourselves and those in our lives.  Music, movies, exercise, spiritual books and laughter are the best offsets.

Cancer is the sign of home and the general population.  Rahu, the north node, is currently in Cancer and the movement started by the Parkland students is a perfect example of how, as uncomfortable the energy might be, even Mars and Rahu can come together for the greater good.  I do not expect this movement to go away and I do expect it to have an effect on this country because Mars is going to stay involved.

Mars moves into Capricorn on May 3rd and due to his retrograde motion will remain in Capricorn until November 5th.  I have found that when Mars retrogrades life can be hot, impatient and filled with frustration.  I expect to see even more “caution thrown to the winds” by the current administration during this cycle.  The important thing to remember is that Mars is exalted in the sign of Capricorn.  An exalted Mars can help in building, sports, mental focus and applied action.  This exalted Mars will be involved in the eclipse energy in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn.  Rahu, as we know, is in the sign of the people while Ketu is in the sign of authority.  Rahu can bring benefits while Ketu usually takes them away.  It does seem as if the power of the people is going to be stronger during this cycle.  Doesn’t mean it’s going to be fun but the people rising up and demanding change and democracy is in keeping with the basic nature of America.  All we have to do is take care of ourselves, those around us, not give into the fear and do our best to be objective players while keep our hearts open and nervous systems strong.

To work with the Mars energy: physical exercise, good eating habits, laughter, projects which engage, watch for physical inflammation and anger.  Om Hum (hoom) is a bija mantra which offsets anger and closing off the right nostril and breathing in and out of the left nostril will cool down the body and help one control negative reactions.  As always meditation is highly recommended.


4/15 Mercury goes direct.  He will enter the sign of Aries on 5/9.

4/18-9/7 Saturn retrograde in the sign of Sagittarius.

3/14-7/11 Jupiter retrograde in the sign of Libra

5/3 Mars enters Capricorn

6/26-8/27 Mars is retrograde

11/5 Mars enters Aquarius


New Moon Eclipse

Solar eclipses do not generally get as much attention as Lunar eclipses.  A Solar eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are conjunct, and the New Moon is considered to be the darkest night of each lunar cycle.  The New Moon marks the end of one lunar cycle as well as the beginning of the next lunar cycle.

On an energetic level, it is an important influence as it marks the lowest point of available prana, but also indicates the beginning of the building up of prana.  Each New Moon represents the opportunity that each of us has to shift gears, if we need to, so that we can begin anew.

This New Moon is more intense because it is accompanied by an eclipse.  Eclipses do not have a physical body but rather represent a point on the constellation belt which will obscure the Sun, Moon, or both during an eclipse cycle.  The eclipse points (Rahu and Ketu) in a natal chart will often indicate karma, talents, ancestral qualities, and mental quirks.  During an active eclipse there are unexpected events taking place in the world and others, as well as ourselves, can be more emotional than usual.  The eclipse energy often works with the garbage stored in our subconscious minds.

The eclipse will take place on 2/15/18 @4:15 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.  During this eclipse the Sun, Moon, and Mercury will be closely conjunct in the sign of Aquarius.  The sign of Aquarius is known for forward-thinking, a universal attitude and high energy;  these qualities represent an expansion of our minds.  As we approach the new Lunar month, we should all be seeking a more inclusive and hopeful attitude in our lives.

Since the eclipse points do not have a physical form, it is not always easy to define the nature of the eclipse, but we can use the nature of the New Moon to give us information on the energy of this eclipse. This is a powerful New Moon because of both the eclipse and the conjunction.  The conjunction itself is aspected by a powerful Scorpio Mars which indicates that there is a strong Mars energy associated with this eclipse.  Mars can be a fussy influence to contend with during eclipses and New Moons.  Eclipses can bring out the subconscious garbage which leads to over-emotionality, and the New Moon can have the same influence.  The New Moon is an influence of lower physical energy and often represents a few days when the body and mind will be more restful – Mars pretty much takes away the restfulness. An eclipse will often bring up the old hurts and resentments which fuel the overly-emotional state of mind that can be observed during an eclipse time period.

There is a strong connection between the teachings of Vedic astrology and the esoteric teachings of yoga especially with regard to the energetics of the chakras and meridians which often represent the “unseen” causation of physical and mental situations.  One of the ways to decipher some of the unseen energies is through the understanding of the “Nakshatras” which are a fine-tuning of smaller sections of each zodiac sign.  The New Moon is taking place in the Nakshatra of Dhanistha and is ruled, of course, by Mars.  At the most basic level it indicates that the lunar month which starts on the 15th will have a Martian energy.  This lunar month will last until the Pisces New Moon of 3/17/18.

Dhanishta is located between Capricorn and Aquarius in the middle of four stars named by astronomers as Alpha-Delphini, Beta-Delphini, Delta-Delphini and Gamma-Delphini. The symbol for Dhanishta is a drum.  Dhanishta translates as “the wealthiest” or the “most beneficent.”  This nakshatra, when strong in a birth chart, has a reputation for bringing luck and assisting in the achievement of goals.

The drum, as a symbol, indicates music and hollowness.  The hollowness indicates receptivity to outer influences.  In its highest expression,  it helps one be receptive to the higher influences and can aid a person in becoming an instrument of the universal mind without the ego interfering with the process.  The same hollowness can also leave one open to the lower influences surrounding society which can lead to a selfishness and even ruthlessness in achieving one’s outer goals.  This particular nakshatra is a placement which has the ability to harmonize the divergent energies of Saturn and Mars.  It falls in both the signs of Saturn, Capricorn and Aquarius, as well as being the place where Mars is exalted.  It has the ability to bring wisdom to the actions of Mars along with being able to use time in a constructive manner as indicated by Saturn.

As we move through this eclipse energy it can be helpful to recognize our own disappointments, impatience, and even anger so that we can process those emotions and move into a greater receptivity of the universal flow.  This is possible even during difficult times.  Mars is well known as the planet of war, anger, and aggression but his finer qualities of focus, music, creation, and courage are often ignored. This eclipse and New Moon gives us all the opportunity to move our consciousness from angry constriction into a more expansive expression.  Mars is the ruler of the third chakra which is not only the core of physical power it is also the seat of both laughter and positive outlook.  No other planet can focus as strongly as Mars, but it is up to us to choose and direct our minds towards the positive expressions of life.

Exercise, laughter, and restraint of anger works well with Mars energy in general but since we are looking at a New Moon Eclipse, I thought I would offer something more.  These techniques will help with both the personal process that eclipses bring about as well as having to deal with the high-level emotions of the many unaware people we deal with on a daily basis.

The simple mantra “Om Ram” chanted 108 times will work to harmonize the energy of Mars within the energetic body.  It serves as a protection from the negative energy of others and can help to restrain ourselves from uttering words which will be regretted later.  There is a simple meditation known as “Tonglen” which comes from Buddhist teachings.  If you are feeling pain, anger, frustration, or fear simply inhale the thoughts and feelings deep into the heart and recognize that those feelings are also being felt by millions of other people and, on the exhale,  project compassion for the sufferings of all.  Finally, music is very much favored right now and is a good time to use music to heal and expand the higher frequencies.

We are surrounded by drama, deceit, and suffering as we go through this time of change and it is often easy to miss the positive side of change which is waking people up and expanding horizons.  Eclipses heighten all of the feelings, but the Nakshatra known as Dhanistha will work with us toward the more positive aspects of this time of change.