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.


2018 Update

We are approaching the first eclipses of 2018.  The Lunar eclipse (Full Moon) is on 1/31 and the Solar eclipse (New Moon) is on 2/15.  As with most eclipses we will notice that the emotions run high and are often accompanied by ungrounded and fearful thought patterns.

These are the first eclipses to take place since the Nodal Points moved from Leo/Aquarius into Cancer/Capricorn and indicate that the energy of 2017 is finally changing and for many of us this is a welcome change.  (The eclipses in Leo/Aquarius took place on Trump’s ascendant and played a role in his election.)  The good news is that we will finally begin to see a change in energy for all of us and perhaps will stop feeling as if we are living in an episode of The Twilight Zone.  It will be more change, of course, which is never easy but at least the energy will not be as stuck.

The Nodal positions (sidereal, of course) are now in Cancer/Capricorn which will influence our sense of financial security and we may begin to see the first signs of the results of the decisions of this administration.  What is really important is that Rahu is in the sign of Cancer which is ruled by the Moon.  In Vedic astrology the Moon is the most important indicator of the quality of the mind.  In America’s chart Cancer is an indicator of the general mind for the population as a whole.  Rahu fosters change and this placement can be viewed as a challenge to all of us to allow our minds to grow in a more positive and universal direction.  Those who refuse to get the message are going to have a difficult time and we should be prepared for emotional and erratic behavior from other people.  Cancer is the sign of family and it is of concern that the fear of change along with the frustration experienced by the changing world will bring additional pressure onto family units.  It is a time to use every tool we have to stay peaceful, optimistic and positive – the dark side of negativity will have to consciously be rejected.

Mars is currently in the sign of Scorpio which is a good placement for this fiery and aggressive planet.  Being in a good position gives Mars power and, as usual, one needs to respect the power of the mighty Mars.  From his position in Scorpio Mars is currently aspecting the signs of Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus and Gemini.  While we should all try to work with the Mars energy through physical exercise, focused thoughts, humor, meditation and using herbs as well as foods  which are anti-inflammatory those with strong planets in the mentioned four signs are strongly advised to make an extra effort.  Mars will also aspect the New Moon/Solar eclipse of 2/15 – we can expect an uptick in aggression.  Mars leaves Scorpio on 3/7.

The transit of Saturn is, as always, an important placement and during the holidays I noticed on Facebook numerous posts heralding Saturn entering the sign of Capricorn which is “factually” simply not true.  Saturn entered the sign of Sagittarius in October and will reside in this constellation for two and half years.  One page belonged to a yoga teacher who was promoting a special class on Saturn moving into Capricorn.

I commented on the factual position of Saturn hoping to start a conversation.  The teacher, who is not a trained astrologer, replied by giving me a link to a page by a tropical (western) astrologer.  As someone who has studied both systems the page itself was meaningless.  I responded to this teacher with an appeal to take into consideration the advances in modern science which allow anyone to know where the current planets are actually located.  The teacher’s response was to delete the conversation and to block me from commenting again.  Of course, I can still see her page as marketing is marketing is marketing. I was not surprised but still disappointed that this woman did not have the desire to consider facts that might not go along with her “guruship.”

I am not someone who feels that she needs to be right and I chose to not contact her privately in an attempt to get her to open her mind or consider the possibility that facts matter.  However, I found myself really annoyed at both her ignorance and arrogance.  She has a rather big audience and it bothers me that she is disseminating bad information to people who are seeking answers to life.  I taught yoga for years back in the days when yoga was not accepted by the majority of people.  It was exciting to see yoga become accepted by the general population.  It was expected by us old-timers that many would see yoga as a means to improve one’s health and a powerful anti-stress system.  We did not expect to see yoga pulled into the world of the “secret” – a system to empower one to gain whatever they desire in the mundane world.  However, I also know that if a person is going to go down the true and centuries old yoga path eventually the gain of the mundane will fall by the wayside as the student learns what yoga is truly meant to be.  This woman, like many yoga teachers, is still young and eventually she will come face to face with the spiritual and esoteric rules of the universe. My concern is how many young people she will influence along the way.

I came to the conclusion that it was not an ego issue that I was experiencing.  Even the arrogance she displayed towards coming off as an expert in a field which takes years to master was not truly bothersome as no one enters the world of astrology for the purpose of ego status as most of us go through life knowing how the majority of people view our choices and our craft.  One enters the world of astrology because of a love for the subject. We appreciate the understanding the planets can bring to making sense out of chaos while giving definition to the “newly esoteric” view of time being non-existent.  The planets do define time even while one argues about the reality of time itself.

What is bothersome to me is that we live in a world which has kicked the dogma of religion to the wayside.  No longer are people kept to certain moral standards because of a fear of hell nor are people afraid of the gossip of church ladies – all of which is a good thing.  However, we have also not made any effort to bring in ethics as a subject matter.  We are seeing a time in which atheists are as angry as those who believe in a vengeful god.  The result is far too many people are choosing cynicism with regard to anything that is spiritual.

As someone who is the grandmother of a beautiful young woman who was raised with the practice of yoga and who had attended countless satsangs and even spent time away from home at ashrams it can be difficult to watch her throw away beliefs because she has come to the conclusion that there is no god and that the feel-good moments of yoga disappoint because she has not become empowered enough to “make” life work the way she desires it to work.  Like others she even attended classes in which she came to the conclusion that karma does not really exist because of the issue of self-empowerment which eliminates the times when life is hard.  As she learns the fallacy of the new systems of powered yoga she throws yoga out of the window as well.

She was also raised with astrology and when she comes out of those cynical moments will come to me to look at her chart.  While doing this will not answer her time-honored quest for spiritual answers it at least gives her a sense of order in the universe and makes the current chaotic shifts on this planet less frightening.  My granddaughter, through the gift of a really good biology teacher, knows that there is a science behind astrology and that in order for it to be considered valid the planets need to be in their true/observable positions.

This is important because there are millions of young people in the world who are smart enough to reject the rewards and punishments of the babysitter god who are not getting truth and facts through our current metaphysical systems.  Until such a time that our society decides to teach some ethics along with real history and factual science we owe it to younger people to speak to them in truth and not to just accept an astrological system which is too lazy to correct the positions of the planets to match the actual skies.   Behind the chaos is an order that is higher than chaos that’s been created by human beings.  Don’t we owe it to our children and grandchildren to, at least, give them the scientific positions of the planets?

As discussed Saturn is now in Sagittarius the sign of the GOP as well as a sign known for being loquacious. Saturn, a planet of truth, has been busy revealing many secrets that were kept hidden during the transit of Saturn in secretive  Scorpio.  Sagittarius is also a sign of the law and we can expect the legal problems of those in power to continue.

Vedic astrology teaches of divisions within each sign known as a “nakshatra.” Each nakshatra is thirteen degrees and will give the deeper meaning of what a planet is working on within each sign.  Saturn is currently in “Mula.” Mula translates as “root” and is often associated with ancestral or deep-seated talents or urges.  A person with strong planets in this nakshatra can have a passionate desire to get to the truth and is good at investigation and research.  This nakshatra is associated with the Goddess   Niriti, the goddess of dissolution and destruction.

Saturn is connected with the first or root chakra located at the base of the spine known in Sanskrit as the “Muladhara” – signifying the root chakra.  Fear and sense of lack of security often lies in the root chakra and Saturn being here can be trying to help all of us move beyond our own fears, our own sense of separation and forcing us to question our own belief systems.  It can be an uncomfortable process but a very necessary one.  Working with this energy can help us release our fears and take responsibility for our own state of being – including our truth and ability to be peaceful no matter what the outside world brings us.

Physical exercise can be helpful especially those actions which work with the spine.  Meditation, as always, is good.  This is an excellent time for massage, energy work and keeping a diary of what it is that frightens us paying attention to the past which may be affecting the now.  Finding our spiritual center and truth can be helpful during this time of living in a culture built on lies.

Saturn will be in this nakshatra until 3/2/18 and really does represent a time of transformation if we utilize the energy in the right way.

Winter Solstice 2017

Many Astrologers regard the Winter Solstice as the astronomical New Year.  We are, of course, marking the first day of winter but it also marks the beginning of the Sun setting at a later time each day and slowly giving us an increase of daylight as we move towards the next season.

Last year’s solstice chart had the Ascendant in Scorpio conjunct Saturn in Scorpio.  The Ascendant in dark Scorpio with the heavy influence of Saturn was an indication of how negative and disheartening 2017 would prove to be for the world.  It was also right on the current White House occupant’s natal eclipse and, as usual, he was the primary news topic as he has managed to cause more chaos than anyone thought was possible.

Both last year’s and this year’s solstice charts have Mercury retrograding – last year Mercury was in Sagittarius and this year he is in Scorpio.  The Mercury retrograde from last year’s chart was in the 2nd house which is, among other things, the house of speech.  This placement indicated the amount of lies which would come from the current D.C. crew and the fact that it was in Sagittarius shows the complete lack of restraint with regard to the lying – it has been a year of them trying to tell us that “water is not wet.”  This year the Scorpio retrograde takes place in the 10th house which is the indicator of the government and shows the lack of forethought and honesty attached to the tax bill they were able to shove through congress.  Being in the 10th house it shows that the administration will take some ill-advised victory laps over this travesty.  The fact that Mercury is retrograde gives us hope that the bill, while being passed, will not have a very long shelf-life.  Interestingly, Jupiter the planet of the GOP, is conjunct Mars in this chart which shows the aggression and haste of this bill.  Jupiter conjunct Mars is often an indicator of hubris and I believe that the hubris is going to end up costing them down the road.

The Moon is the primary indicator of the people and last year the Moon was conjunct Jupiter in the sign of Virgo.  This shows how quickly and efficiently the people began to push back against the outrages of the current government.  As the conjunction was in Virgo it also showed that the sloppy details of the white house would push many of the actions into court.  This year the Moon is in Capricorn and conjunct Ketu. The placement is in the 12th house of secrets, hospitals and disappointments. Because of the 12th house placement the 6th house of health is affected as well.  The intention of ripping away health care from some along with pushing up the individual costs of insurance via the bill signed under this chart shows the complete lack of regard for the American people.  What is not being seen is the loss of the public through the determination to deny people affordable health care.  Unlike last year’s Moon/Jupiter conjunction which played out on the public stage this time around there will be action taking place behind the scenes to restore well-being to the people.  The conjunction of the Moon with Ketu shows that this administration is completely detached from the American people and the people now know this.  I think we can expect some surprises as well as a game change throughout 2018.

No general trend chart would be complete without taking a peek at Saturn.  Yesterday the internet was filled with postings about Saturn’s entry into the sign of Capricorn, which is quite simply, just not true.  We have good technology today and any scientist or citizen who is interested in astronomy will be able to state “factually” that Saturn is currently located in the sign of Sagittarius.  It appears that even in the world of astrology and other mystical subjects we have those who refuse to accept facts as facts.  I know that many of you understand that I follow the sidereal zodiac but perhaps many do not know that I also studied western astrology for approximately ten years and understand that system very well.  I appreciate how western astrologers brought psychology into their system but I also understand how often round pegs are being put into square holes to try and make the wrong placements of the planets fit.

Saturn is the ultimate teacher of truth. According to western astrology Saturn left Scorpio about two and half years ago and entered Sagittarius.  Sidereal charts had Saturn leave Scorpio in October of 2017.  Last year’s solstice chart had Saturn in Scorpio right on the Ascendant.  Scorpio is the sign of sex and Saturn the planet of truth.  Saturn had two and half years to uncover the hidden side of our sexual society.  Is it an accident that within six weeks of Saturn moving into talkative Sagittarius the lid was blown off of power and sexual abuse?  The positions of the planets matter.

Today Saturn is in Sagittarius and in close conjunction with the Sun.  The ruler of a country is signified by the Sun and as upsetting as this tax fraud bill was we should keep in mind that no planet really outdoes Saturn.  The close conjunction of the Sun with Saturn shows the eventual defeat of the ruler who keeps walking all over people because of his greed and childish ego needs.  Saturn moves slowly which means we may not see the shift we want to see quickly and there may be more outrageous actions coming our way but Saturn is the planet of the people and when he finally strikes he strikes hard.  Just ask Harvey Weinstein or Judge Moore of Alabama.

Sagittarius is also the sign of beliefs, philosophy and religion.  In our country Sagittarius is the sign of the GOP and as Saturn continues to move through Sagittarius they will either clean up their act or Saturn will take care of it for them.  I believe that we will be seeing more turmoil caused by religious fanaticism in the next two and half years.  Saturn’s push for truth will not be denied and this push will not just affect the well-established religions.  I’ve been observing trends in the world of yoga and other metaphysical disciplines which are gearing classes and teachings towards achieving mundane goals and self-empowerment.   I’ve even had clients who are telling me that karma does not exist and/or feeling guilty because they’ve run into karmic situations and no amount of deep breathing or mantra or head stands will make the situation go away.  It can be wonderful to do a practice which stimulates the higher chakras and brings in high frequency energy but it is just as important to understand that is only part of the journey.  I suspect that we will see some “gurus” fall by the wayside in the next two and half years.

The journey will continue and this solstice does not bring a miracle but the chart is better than last year.  We have two and half years until Saturn enters the sign of Capricorn which will bring about some stability. In the meantime expect the tables to slowly turn as Saturn does his work in Sagittarius. We may have to remind ourselves during Saturn’s slow trek that we always have to ability to find peace in any given moment but being able to find peace despite outer circumstances is a freedom worth achieving.

Please excuse typos as I’ve moved quickly with this posting and did not have it edited.

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