Please note the forecasts for each of the constellations concluding this Star Trends column are done in the system of Indian astrology, called Vedic astrology, which uses the observable constellations. These are different than the signs. Even though the names of the constellations and the signs translate the same, they have different reference points in the heavens. You will notice the difference in the dates in this column compared to the typical Sun sign column that western astrology uses. These dates reflect the constellations, which Vedic astrologers use in their forecasts.
The months of July and August will feature Mars coming to perigee, his closet approach to the earth. Mars does this every two year. This time he will be in his most powerful constellation— the constellation of Capricorn. This is where Mars is exalted and this placement will intensify the indications of Mars. Further, Mars will align with the storm planet Ketu, who is transiting Capricorn, and opposite the storm planet Rahu, who is transiting Cancer.
This will be one hot summer north of the equator and in all likelihood one of the hottest on record. Mars is a pitta, or fiery planet, and he will be in close alignment with Ketu, another pitta planet, this summer. The planetary combination is volatile and incendiary by nature. You are already witnessing the fiery results at Hawaii's Kilauea volcanic eruptions and the summer fire season is already underway with record fires in Colorado. The heat of Mars with the storm planets portend an unusual stormy July and August as this summer features a total of three eclipses, rather than the usual pair of two. In fact, a dust storm has swept across the whole surface of the planet Mars since he came into the constellation of Capricorn and began his journey close to the earth.
Mars is associated with war and conflict in both the Greco and Indo systems of astrology. It is part of the human condition to fight for and fight to protect what we value and what we believe. Mars' caste or class is that of a spiritual warrior. He is the protector of dharma- our duty to follow our path and purpose. Do not tread lightly upon his toes, or mistake his kindness for weakness, for he is a formidable friend or a formidable foe. He is valorous and you will see extraordinary acts of courage during his reign, as in the Thai soccer team cave rescue, but you will also see extraordinary acts of violence during his reign for those motivated by the thirst for conquest. Tempers and temperatures will run exceedingly hot this whole summer so caution is advised, as everything and everyone will be close to the kindling point during the summer of 2018.
Travel carefully for there is the likelihood of record storms and fires, which will make travel and summer vacations plans more complicated. Mars aligned with Ketu in the earth constellation of Capricorn is an indication of increased fires, earthquake activity along the usual fault lines, and volcanic activity such as we have seen in Hawaii. Mars opposite Rahu in the water constellation of Cancer is an indication of increased activity in tropical storms, and flooding as we have seen in Thailand and Japan just recently. Therefore the celestial travel advisory for summer 2018 is to plan carefully, with both a plan A and a plan B, just in case the river rises, and your travel plans get washed away. Travel insurance is in order for the most intrepid and adventurous – for they properly already have a strong Mars in their chart and welcome the challenge.
Last month's Star Trends addressed the emergence of "Big Data" — data collection that has been driven by a new breed of data devices that even George Orwell could never have imagined! Smart everything devices embedded in literally everything you can imagine has created a public heightened awareness of an increasing invasive Band of Big Brothers scrutinizing everyone and everything you can imagine, and readily serving it up to third parties for profit, with little or no oversight, and without your awareness. The dark collection of data, without our knowledge, is only enriching those who are collecting our data, but certainly not enriching ourselves. Again, the many mind boggling implications of Big Data are continuing to trickle into the public eye and the data privacy experts have been given new traction to open the debate further, bringing it out of the darkness and into the public light.
This summer Mercury, the planet of business and data, will retrograde in the constellation of Cancer in late July and remain in that sign until the first week of September, escalating the data debate and controversy. As previously explained, the storm planets Ketu and Rahu are currently transiting the constellations of Capricorn with Mars. Mercury will remain in alignment with Rahu in Cancer all during the months of July and August. Further, Mercury will remain opposite the storm planet Ketu, aligned with Mars in Capricorn, during this time as well. What you have seen so far is the tip of the data iceberg, for more data breaches and scandals will emerge this summer.
Mercury with Mars in Cancer has the potential to increase cyber attacks and cyber crime. Unfortunately, when security breaches take place, we are usually the last to know, often several weeks or months later. The celestial advisory is to add another layer of security to all your smart devices. You will be glad you did when the latest data breach is announced. If you are among those who have smart devices that monitor all your home activities, now is the time to make sure those devices are monitoring those activities on your behalf, not on the behalf of hackers or Big Data. Double down on data security for the summer of 2018 so when the next data scandal surfaces it is not your data concern. Mercury leaves Cancer and enters Leo on September 2nd and aligns more positively with the planets of light later in September and October.
The month of July will feature two eclipses: a partial solar eclipse on July 12th and a total lunar eclipse on July 27th. Further, Mercury will retrograde on July 25th in the constellation of Cancer close to the total lunar eclipse. Celestially July portends to be a volatile month. Since Mercury entered Cancer, he has been and will be aligned with the storm planets and Mars until early September. Mercury is a planet of business and his alignment with Mars has developed into an escalating trade war with conflicting and confusing trade tariffs influencing some countries and not others. These tariffs are influencing some goods and not others, leaving consumers conflicted and confused.
Expect volatility in business markets this month during Mercury's affliction. Confusion as to why and the purpose of this trade war will be debated endlessly in the media, but there is no need to panic, as Mercury will become more coherent in the fall of 2018. However, Mercury will not be coherent during July or August, so my celestial advice is to merely observe these events as a sort of entertaining circus, with each new circus act bringing shock and entertainment awe, but not necessarily engaging the executive function of your frontal lobe! The aphorism "This too shall pass" will be a balm for your frontal lobe during the confusion in July.
The first of the summer eclipses occurs on July 12th and is a partial solar eclipse in the sign of Gemini at 26 degrees. When the benefic planets of light (Jupiter and Venus) aspect eclipse patterns, they have a mitigating effect. Such is the case with this eclipse, as Jupiter in Libra will cast his aspect upon this partial eclipse. It is best not to start important matters at the time of an eclipse for the light of the Sun and the Moon are eclipsed and energy is neither strong nor bright.
The second summer eclipse is on July 27th and it is a total lunar eclipse in the sign of Capricorn at 10 degrees. This eclipse does not have the grace of either Jupiter or Venus mitigating its effects. Rather the Moon will be exactly in alignment with Mars, the planet of conflict, on the day of the eclipse. We get the word lunatic from these total lunar eclipses. Caution is advised.
Further, Mercury will have just retrograded two days earlier in the opposite sign of Cancer. This portends to be a volatile celestial period of time with impaired judgement due to overriding feelings of anxiety and stress. Again, if possible, it is best not to make important decisions or start important endeavors during these periods of time.
If the developing crisis is your crises, by all means engage advisors who have had past experience with such storms, as they will provide safe haven. However, if it is not your storm, why get caught up in it? When the going gets tough the tough take a mental vacation. Lunar eclipses are a great opportunity to renounce worldly concerns and direct your mind to spiritual matters. Spiritual repose or entertainment distraction can be just the ticket to get your mind off the burning crises of the day. Perhaps some binge watching of your favorite comedy series is in order to lighten the mood, for it is hard to get angry and upset when we are mostly laughing at the absurdity of the times. July ends on this full Moon lunar eclipse and with Mercury retrograde with major malefic planets. It is best to defer important decisions to when we are calm, cool and collected.
The month of August will feature another partial solar eclipse on August 11th. Eclipses normally occur in pairs six month apart. But, there are unusual times, as we have an additional or third eclipse this summer. So, from a celestial point of view it is more stormy and volatile than usual. This eclipse will be in Cancer at 24 degrees, and will have a wide berth with Mars opposite in Capricorn at 6 degrees. Nevertheless, this portends a time to lessen rather than increase risk. When the shadow planets are strong and the planets of light are weak during eclipses, the road ahead is not clear and it is best to engage in short term strategies. A short term strategy will help you navigate what you cannot see clearly at first sight. As the light returns we can see more clearly and thus adjust our strategies to reflect our new understanding of the situation.
As these eclipses occur close to or on the weekends, try to make your weekends more relaxing with tranquil activities, rather than excessive risk activities. It is best not to push the envelope this summer for the envelope may not have the usual elasticity you have enjoyed in the past.
Mars will remain strong and volatile the whole summer as he will be with the storm planets that will intensify his expression. Mars has a need for speed that pervades all he does. He is celebrated in the cults of speed that incessantly demand more be done in a given period of time. The average human breath is four seconds, but Mars demands results in a New York second, which will leave you existentially exhausted and begging for breath. It is important this summer not to get caught up in the cult of speed, for as statistics reveal, speed kills. Lower your speed limit in all that you do and you will be directing Mars, rather than him directing you. Speed amplifies mistakes, which is false economy, for it costs you time and capital down the road.
Mars can and will assist you to become productive and excel, but only as long as you do not become overheated or overly enthusiastic and keep within reasonable limits. Mars is most powerful in Saturn's sign of Capricorn because his strength is harnessed and measured in Saturn's sign, not because he has taken an extra dose of steroids! Measure and assess risk this summer and you will be amazed at what you can do.
Again, because Mars will be in his close approach to the earth, the weather will be hot. Be mindful of heat exhaustion in all that you do. His closest perigee in eighty thousands years north of the equator was in 2003, when over 25,000 people died of heat exhaustion in Europe in one the hottest summers on record. This summer you do not need to get fired up and step it up. You need to cool it down and step it down for self=preservation.
Mercury will stop in the heavens and regain his forward momentum on the 16th of August, but will not clear the storm planets and Mars until September 2nd. At that time he will enter the sign of Leo as we come to Labor Day on the 3rd of September. If you have not overlabored in the cult of speed, you may actually enjoy this culturally collective day off in appreciation for all you do.
For those born under the constellation of Aries, April 14 - May 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the eclipse of late July falls in the domain of life associated with your career. Your planet Mars will be caught up with the July lunar eclipse trending to difficulties and challenges in your career. Opportunities may suddenly present themselves for your advancement, but be prudent to ascertain they are real and not mere shadows. The only constant is change during this time, and you would be well served to just ride it out. The Mercury RX and August eclipse will fall in part of the chart associated with home and family. This summer it will be most importance to maintain a sane work/life balance during the Mars perigee and Mercury RX during the hot summer months. This is possible, but much easier said than done. Be careful during the Mercury RX to carefully scrutinize important decisions related to work, real estate and home purchases. Look before you leap is the order of the day.
For those born under the constellation of Taurus, May 15th - June 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the eclipse of late July is falling in the domains of life related to travel and education. If you are planning on enrolling in an educational program doubly make sure the degree or certification you are seeking will be worth your while in the real world. Travel is only advised for work related activities, but plan well due to impending storms. There will be other more favorable times for your dream vacation than this summer. The Mercury RX and the August eclipse fall in the domain of life that is associated with siblings and neighbors. You may need to come to the assistance of a stressed sibling or comrade who is experiencing difficulty this summer. Neighbors may become difficult or boisterous and get on your nerves later this summer, but bet your usual diplomatic self and play nice with others in resolving conflicts. Then later when the hot aspects pass you will enjoy the fruits of good comradery!
For those born under the constellation of Gemini, June 15th - July 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the eclipse of late July will fall in the domain of life associated with legacies, trusts and taxes. With so many tax changes this year please consult a financial advisor so you are not needlessly challenged come years end. If you older and wiser this could be the time for assessing your legacy, or retirement. No crises here, just understanding what station and time of life it is now. The Mercury RX and August eclipse fall in the domain of life associated with food and finance. If you have not already started a rainy day fund this will be the time to do so, during this up and down summer. Deal with expenditures at this time with detachment, but try to put together a longer term financial plan that will serve you in the future. Clean up your diet this summer and no bingeing on comfort foods if you want to retain your most comfortable weight. No extremes diets need apply.
For those born under the constellation of Cancer, July 16th - August 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the late July eclipse occurs in the domain of life that is associated with your partnerships and relationship. The storm patterns here can disrupt the usual tranquility of the Crab’s relationships. Navigate the waters of change during this time, and address issues as they present themselves, but watch out for things getting blown out of proportion. Cooler heads will prevail in September as the storm patterns subside. The Mercury RX and eclipse of August fall in the domain of life associated with you. Eclipses on the horizon of the chart are an excellent time for self-inquiry and self-analysis, for when shadows are present it is best to turn within. Self-examination during this month will be in your best interest. We don’t essentially change, however time does, and during this volatile time of change resist the temptation to take everything personally. It may qualify you for sainthood.
For those born under the constellation of Leo, August 17th - September 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the eclipse of late July will fall in the domain of life associated with your work and health. If you are working too hard and too long this eclipse is your chance to step it down a notch, rather than up the ante. All work and no down time make for a down and out Lion. The Big Cat needs time off this summer and some easy-does it like lounging in front of the family hearth. The Regal Lion needs to take stock of health and embrace restorative remedies during this summer of divine discontent. The Mercury RX and August eclipse take place in the domain of life related to expenses and sleep. If your money problems are keeping you from sleeping at night now is the time to remedy that. Although the Lion loves to entertain and travel, this summer speaks to rest and repose-otherwise you run the risk of burn-out during the hot summer and eclipses of 2018.
For those born under the constellation of Virgo, September 17th - October 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein the eclipse of late July falls in the domain of life associated with children and students. Please make sure your children are not overscheduled this summer. They need some time off from their many responsibilities and studies. Those of you who are taking summer classes may feel overly stressed by having too many balls in the air. Less is more for Virgo this summer and the words of wisdom for sensitive Virgo are hurry up and slow it down. Your planet, Mercury, will be with the storm planets for all of July and August and the tendency is to scatter you in too many directions. The Mercury RX and August eclipse will fall in the domain of life that is associated with your goals and friendships. This can be difficult time to meet goals you have previously set. Life is what’s happening while you have been busy making other goals and plans. Remedy this by spending time with friends!
For those born under the constellation of Libra October 17th - November 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein the eclipse of late July falls in the domain of life associated with home and family. You may well deserve a better home, or neighborhood, but this is not the best time to act in haste. It is essential you do your homework before you move, or remodel to make sure you got all your ducks in a row and are not going off half-quaked. The times are a changing and it is better to observe the change than be caught up in it. The Mercury RX and August eclipse fall in the domain of life that is associated with your career. You may feel your career has gone sideways this hot summer, but this may only be temporary during a tempest of change. It is better to see the change, than be caught up in that roller coaster of change during Mercury RX and Mars at perigee. Don’t act in haste or tempest, as all comes to those who wait and survive intact the volatile eclipses of this summer.
For those born under the constellation of Scorpio, November 16th - December 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the eclipse of late July will fall in the part of the chart associated with your neighbors and siblings. Familial relations may become strained during this time due to the celestial stressors present. You may wish to be an advocate for those you care deeply about, but you must exercise good boundaries lest others crises becomes yours. The position of your planet Mars in Capricorn is excellent for starting an exercise program to assist you dealing with stress this summer. Just be careful to start out slow and progressive and don’t overdo it. The Mercury RX and August eclipse fall in the part of the chart associated with education and long distance travel. Assess your educational goals and certifications to make sure they are taking you down the path you have chosen. Speed bumps may be encountered during this hot celestial summer, especially with Mercury RX.
For those born under the constellation of Sagittarius, December 16th - January 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein the eclipse of late July falls in the domain of life associated with your finances and income, as well as food. Income streams may be up and down this summer and not the usual pattern you are used to seeing or depending upon. This might be the time you dip into that rainy day fund to see you through this volatile celestial trend. This can be good time to let go of old dietary habits that are no longer serving you. Nothing radical, but rather just eliminating foods that no longer energize you and replacing them with that which sustains you will provide positive results. Consult a dietary professional or Ayurveda practitioner for best results. The Mercury RX and August eclipse fall in the part of the chart associated with debt and taxes. Again, make sure your taxes are in order now, not later. If debt is beyond your income it might be time to reorganize your finances.
For those born under the constellation of Capricorn, January 14th - February 12th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein the eclipse of late July falls in the domain of life associated with you. When the outer world is cast in shadow it is an excellent time to turn within and embrace the process of self-discovery. Take a personal inventory of your essential needs this summer and develop a long, not short term strategy to see they are met. Do not waste your time blaming yourself or others for your situation with Mars so close to the earth- no good will come from this. It will not be easy, but dispassionately disengage and embrace that which is in your circle of influence for that is an outcome you can directly determine. Step by sure-footed step your confidence will return. The Mercury RX and August eclipse takes place in the relationship part of the chart. Once this summer is over, you will be leaner and less meaner and it will pay great dividends in your self-esteem and intimate relationships.
For those born under the constellation of Aquarius, February 14th - March 13th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein the late July eclipse will fall in the domain of your chart that concerns expenses and repose. If you find your anxiety is increasing regarding your cost of living this can be an excellent time to create a budget that will decrease your expenses and anxiety over time. It is important not to over react to your current situation, but rather address your concerns calmly over time. Pay close attention to your sleep to make sure it is deeply restful so you have the reserves to go the distance. Although you may want to take a sabbatical, it is better to take time for yourself each day so your work/life balance is restored gradually. The Mercury RX and August eclipse take place in the domain of life that is associated with your health and hygiene. Change your habits- change your life. Just give yourself the permission to change your habits gradually and you are certain to see results.
Those born under the constellation of Pisces, March 14th - April 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein the eclipse of late July falls in the part of your chart associated with your goals and friendships. Friends that continually stress you out are really not the friends you want have for the duration so limit your time with such so called friends. Be open to new progressive and energetic people who like to do the things you like to do! Those who are able and available to move forward will invigorate you during this time. Don’t set unreasonable goals during this hot summer, but anything that is really important to you is probably within your reach. The Mercury RX and August eclipse fall in the part of the chart that is associated with your children. Your sagacious wisdom will go a long way in offering informative choices to help progeny overcome obstacles during this long hot summer. Spend more time with your friends and children, and less time with the usual soul-sucking suspects!
Last month saw the passage of Peter Grunberg, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2007. Mr. Grunberg's contribution to physics was his research on increased magnetic data storage that made possible all the smartphones and smart data storage devices. His research led to the development of "spintronics," which further led to denser and smaller devices that dramatically increased the storage capacities of data of computers, hard drives, and all emerging data devices. By the late 90's, storage capacities had tripled and the world of "Big Data" was birthed. The late Alvin Toffler, author of "Future Shock" the international best seller, had prophetically envisioned a world of digital and media advancements in 1970, when his acclaimed work was published. He coined the term "information overload" as a condition of cognitive dissonance that would assault our everyday consciousness due to the explosion of information that is readily becoming available. Toffler's futuristic prophecies were almost a half century ago, long before the advancement of today's increased capacities and the advanced analytic devices that accompany those advancements, which we now call "Big Data."
Data privacy experts have long been warning about the dangers and abuses of "Big Data." Their salient talking points revolve around the enormity of data that is now collected on everyone and everything. In tandem with exponential storage capacities it is now perhaps possible to collect a data profile on everyone from birth to death in this new age of Big Data and Big Storage. The data breaches at Equifax last year and the scandal surrounding Facebook and the company’s sale of information it had collected and stored on its users to Cambridge Analytica has now come into the public purview. Facebook did this without user consent, which brought both companies’ CEO’s before a congressional committee to face the public outrage. As Toffler had predicted, the public had once again suffered "information overload" and had no idea of the enormity of information that was being collected, sold, bartered, and further breached by data hackers. They indeed were confused and alarmed about the enormous ramifications on how this would influence them in the near and distant future.
The emergence of "Big Data" driven by data collection has given rise to a new breed of data devices that even George Orwell could never have imagined! Smart surveillance optics, smart phones, smart TVs, the cloud, as well as smart devices in personal computer, in automobiles, and drones has created a public heightened awareness of an increasingly invasive "Big Brother" of private eyes watching you. This coupled with the vast increase in data storage and analytics to process this vast data has given rise to a formidable business model that security privacy experts proclaim has enslaved your data, and made it available to third parties for profit, with little or no oversight, and at your expense.
The celestial orb of information, discernment, judgement and data is Mercury. Mercury completes his circuit around the Sun in 88 days, which is approximately three months, which relates to the quarterly business cycle. We use the Latin root for Mercury — Merc — as it means commerce and mercenary, which, of course, means business for profit and money. Mercury is said to be neither a benefic or a malefic planet, for in effect he is neutral. It all depends on who he is with. If he associates with naturally benefic planets of light, he becomes benefic in expression, and if with naturally malefic planets of darkness, his expression will turn more onerous. Data itself is neutral. If data is collected for our personal benefit, its analysis can bring many things to light that have the potential to enrich our personal and public lives. But the dark collection of data, without our knowledge, has the potential to personally enrich those who are collecting our data, as our data and ourselves have the potential of being sold, without our knowledge, and not in our best personal or public interest.
The continuing revelations and scandals involving the big data collection agencies have thrust this issue into the collective mainstream consciousness, and the implications are far-reaching and disturbing. The Facebook scandal readily implies that personal data has allegedly been harvested and sold to influence nothing less than a presidential election. Your information on Facebook appears to have been sold, without your knowledge or conscent, to influence an election. Again, the many mind boggling implications of "Big Data" are continuing to trickle into the public eye, and the data privacy experts have been given new traction to open the debate, further bringing it out of the darkness and into the public light. Stay tuned as the position of Mercury in the coming months of July and August will escalate the privacy debate, as there are times when consensual "Big Data" can serve the public and private need, which is welcome, but the privacy debate will intensify when non-consensual "Big Data" cast its dark shadow against our best private and public interests.
The month continues Venus' sojourn through the constellation of Taurus until mid-month, when Venus enters Gemini on the 14th. Venus rules the constellation of Taurus, and whatever domain of life Taurus rules in your nativity, this domain will benefit from Venus' placement. Venus in Taurus is a time of celebration and connectivity so take the time to make plans with friends and lovers during his transit of his most sensual constellation. Good food, wine and conversation will be foremost on the menu for the first half of May. Then Venus enters Gemini, the constellation of his good friend Mercury, for the 2nd half of the month, but comes opposite Saturn in Sagittarius where the conversations and festive mood turn more serious and deliberate.
Mercury will leave Pisces and enter the constellation of Aries on May 9th. Mercury will come under the influence of the benefic planet Jupiter, who aspects Mercury from the opposite sign of Libra for most of the month. Mars will come into aspect with Mercury exactly on the 12th of May and continue his influence until Mercury leaves his sign on May 26th. The Mars/Jupiter influence on Mercury portends a time of strategic planning and decisive judgment for the domains that Mercury occupies and rules in your nativity. If you felt hamstrung by the last Mercury RX, now is the time to clear out the perceptual cobwebs and take decisive action. As Mercury is a planet of finance and business, this can be the time to come up with a financial plan to address future financial needs and debt management. Later in the month, on the 26th, Mercury will enter Taurus and exchange constellations with his friend Venus until the first week of June. All and all this is a good period of time for the domains and the affairs that Mercury rules in your chart as the planet of judgement and discernment will be graced by the two natural benefic planets of light.
On May 2nd, Mars will enter the constellation of Capricorn. Capricorn is where Mars is in his most powerful placement of exaltation. 2018 will also be the year that Mars comes to perigee, his close approach to the earth, which happens every two years. Mar's sojourn through a constellation usually takes about six weeks, but when he comes to perigee, he takes several months to transit a sign. Mars will remain in the constellation of Capricorn until November 5, 2018. Further, Mars will align with the shadow planets Ketu and Rahu who are currently in Capricorn, and the opposite constellation of Cancer. They are considered storm planets, and being aligned with Mars portends the storms will be heated in intensity. Mar's perigee, in all likelihood, will create another record year of rising temperatures now attributed to global warming. For those ruled by Mars, and for the domains of your chart that Capricorn rules, the energy will become intensified and competitive. Mars' influence with Ketu is very Pitta, or fiery, and can lead to impetuous actions that are not well thought out in advance, or well planned for that matter. Mars exalted will be dogged and determined, so pick your battles and plan carefully before you become embroiled in something that may take much longer to achieve or resolve than you had planned. It is better to be safe than sorry when dealing with a powerful Mars, lest you inadvertently "Cry havoc and slip the dogs of war."
The Month of May ends with a full Moon in Mars' constellation of Scorpio. With Mars so strong and the full Moon occurring in his constellation at month's end, passions and feelings indeed will be running high as May closes out. Keep your own council and be deliberate in your actions rather than act impetuously is the favored strategy. In this way Mars will serve you, rather than lead you astray. Be a spiritual warrior in service to others, rather than the all too familiar self-serving warriors that seek others to fight their battles. As the Bhagavad Gita proclaims, "It is better to follow your own personal purpose imperfectly, than to follow the purpose of another perfectly."
As clearly as the benefic planets of light bring growth and hope, the planets of lesser light bring shadow and confusion. Mars will exactly align with the shadow planet Ketu and opposite the shadow planet Rahu on the 7th to 8th of June in Capricorn. This portends to be a confusing and stormy volatile time for the affairs of Mars and the domains of life that Capricorn rules. Mars with the storm planets escalates affairs quickly and so be sure your crises and disaster preparedness plans are current in the event of a real emergency. If it is not a crisis, do not blow things out of proportion and create a crisis where one does not exist! Be mindful of overreactions from the proverbial hot heads and those that are under the sway of Mars. Be careful in your boundaries in dealing with others at this time so their crisis does not inadvertently become your crises. Mars will remain with the storm planets for all of June so caution is advised to remain calm, determined and deliberate in the domains of life Mars influences, otherwise you might find yourselves in some very hot water!
Jupiter continues his transit of Venus' constellation of Libra, bringing his blessed light to all that Libra rules in your chart. During early June he will shine his light on Venus in Gemini until the 8th, and shine his light on Mercury in Gemini from the 9th to the 25th of June. This is considered auspicious for the domains of life that Mercury and Venus rules, and the domains of life ruled by Gemini as the lucent light of Jupiter brings all he touches into clear focus.
Saturn continues his transit of Jupiter's constellation of Sagittarius for the remainder of 2018. Saturn's job is to slow things down, not speed them up. He will slow down the affairs and domains of Sagittarius in your chart. Jupiter's sign of Sagittarius is fiery and expansive and Saturn's energy is neither. The domains and affairs of Sagittarius will come down to earth like the proverbial lead balloon. Jupiter's natural disposition is idealistic, spiritual and progressive as a planet of light. His domain of Sagittarius concerns itself with religion, law, philosophy and all aspects of advanced education. Saturn is not concerned with these idealistic affairs, being much more taciturn and reductionist in nature. The domains of Sagittarius that we envision as inspiring and idealistic may appear to be more pedestrian and less inspiring during Saturn's transit of this sign. The lofty nature of Sagittarius will find Saturn's energy unsuitable to soaring with the eagles. It will rather be a time of running with the turkeys as the affairs of this sign can never really take flight with the heavy ballast of Saturn. Spiritual and educational matters should be scrutinized to bring practical results and improve your everyday outlook and bottom line. You are making this world a better place, not all at once, but gradually every day. Jupiter will arrive in his own sign of Sagittarius in less than two years and then it will be time to soar with the eagles. For now take it one step at a time.
June ends with the stationing of Mars retrograde on the 26th and a full Moon in Sagittarius coupled with Saturn on the 27th of the month. The month ends on a practical note with the Moon/Saturn alignment. Be patient with the domain of life that Sagittarius rules in your chart as the affairs of this sign will move slowly and deliberately to their inevitable conclusion. There is no particular place to go quickly so best to remember the old adage, "All comes to those who wait."
For those born under the constellation of Aries, April 14-May 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, May and June bring your planet Mars into his most powerful constellation and domain. Your ambition related to career will intensify during this time. If you are seeing others get ahead in this heated economy and you are not, you will feel the urge to move up the ladder now, not tomorrow! Make your plans in advance and strike while the iron is hot, but caution is advised so make sure you look before you leap. The focus is on work and educational endeavors, and should only be embraced in direct relationship to career goals with Saturn continuing to transit the domain of education and travel. Venus' transit through Taurus and Gemini favors fine dining and conversation with loved ones and siblings. Jupiter in Libra, especially in June, will be favorable as he will be influencing Venus. This is great for romance and is a wonderful time for falling in love and making long term plans.
For those born under the constellation of Taurus, May 15th-June 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Venus travels through its own constellation of Taurus as well as Gemini during May and June, which contributes to feelings of well-being and domestic happiness. This is a positive time for Taurus. Mercury's association with both Jupiter and Venus in May/June will bring clarity of mind and is positive for progeny. Finances should still be carefully scrutinized so the moderate Bull does not overextend his natural resources. Mars will be in his most powerful constellation all during May and June which will light a fire under Taurus regarding travel and education. Long term educational plans are favored but caution if advised for spontaneous travel that is not well planned out in advance. Resist the sudden urge to break free; rather plan your educational and travel endeavors carefully. The grace of Jupiter transiting Libra favors health and good working relations with co-workers.
For those born under the constellation of Gemini, June 15th-July 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mercury travels through the domains of friends and in June enters his own sign of Gemini. He will be in relationship with his friend Venus and Jupiter during this time and the months favor socializing and connectivity. This is a feel good period of time for Gemini after the long winter. Saturn's long transit through the domain of relationship and marriage tends to feelings of isolation, so this is the time to put yourself out there to show you there are definitely people who want to meet you! However, with Saturn in Sagittarius, only those with the most serious intentions need apply. Powerful Mars during these months will put an emphasis on finances and debt. It is best to develop a budget or financial plan to avoid spree spending. Jupiter continues to shine his light in Libra and favors creativity and progeny, as well as education related to advancement in career.
For those born under the constellation of Cancer, July 16th-August 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the full Moon of May in Scorpio favors creativity and time spent with friends. The full Moon of June in Sagittarius puts the focus on health and hygiene. Venus and Mercury both transit the domain of friends during May and June so make doubly sure you are putting yourself out there and taking time to socialize with your sangha. Mars will be in his most powerful constellation of Capricorn for all of May and June and will definitely heat up your feelings regarding romantic partners. Disparity of intensity in existing relationships can lead to conflict or conflict resolution if you both wish to acknowledge how you feel, but the heat will be on and feelings will be intense, so the Crab may just become crabby and withdraw into their shell. It is much better to seek those souls who hold your positive and strongly held opinions, for great souls not only think alike, they also feel alike!
For those born under the constellation of Leo, August 17th-September 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet, the Sun, will travel the part of the chart associated with career and friendship during May and June. Both Venus and Mercury will also transit the domains of career and friendship so this is an excellent time to expand you social network of influence. Jupiter's light in Libra continues to favor camaraderie, travel and education, so the Big Cat will trend to be very busy and on the move. The long winding Saturn transit in Sagittarius turns the Lion’s attention to their responsibility regarding children. Long term planning and development of a reliable support system will assure all will be well in this important domain of life. Powerful Mars in Capricorn will heat up the domain of life related to health and employees. A regimen of self-care is important during this time to retain your regal spirit, but do not embark on any extreme regimens as they can upset your balance.
For those born under the constellation of Virgo, September 17th-October 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mercury travels the domains of travel, education and career during May and June. This is an excellent time to excel in your studies and to show off your savvy problem solving ability at work. It could lead to a promotion. Jupiter in Libra continues to grace the domain of your chart to improve your diet and finances. Feed your body, mind and spirit with good food and good friends and you can’t go wrong. Saturn continues his long slog through the domain of home and family so take the time to connect if you perceive distance with loved ones is creeping in on you. Don’t burden yourself with rent or a mortgage you cannot afford at this time. Powerful Mars is firing up the domain of progeny and creativity. You may suddenly become inspired and catch fire with creative projects. Children can become overactive so channel their boundless energy into positive projects.
For those born under the constellation of Libra October 17th-November 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet, Venus, and Mercury transit the domains of finance, travel and education during May and June. Now is the time to develop your summer travel budget and enroll in those classes that truly inspire you. Lovely, luminous Jupiter continues to travel through the part of the chart that is your sign and holds the promise of personal growth. Take advantage and say yes to most of the opportunities that come your way during Jupiter's reign. He also favors travel for educational purposes to expand your world view. The long slog of Saturn through the domain of camaraderie and siblings may slowly raise your competitive spirit so welcome the challenges and you will be better for them. Mars is heating up the domain of home and family, so you may want some space during this time and the thought of living alone just might be the ticket to cooling your down.
For those born under the constellation of Scorpio, November 16th–December 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mars will be in his most powerful sign as he travels the domain of the arts and camaraderie. Mars here will strengthen your spirit and resolve and you will find allies and associates that will further your ambitions. You are no longer alone and the spirit of teamwork will infuse you with new life. Creative and artistic projects are favored with this position of Mars and your high energy will carry the day. Venus and Mercury will travel the domain of relationship and marriage further adding to a sense of support for Scorpio. Saturn's long slog through the domain of food and finance can lead to frustration with your diet and a definite lack of financial appreciation. A slow and gradual approach to these areas of your life is best favored. Jupiter in Libra favors vacation time during May/June to balance the competitive Mars so your candle is not burning at both ends!
For those born under the constellation of Sagittarius, December 16th-January 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Jupiter continues to travel the domain of friendship and sangha. These months are excellent to expand your social network and influence. So many people-so little time. Alone time is advised and essential to digest all your new experiences. Saturn's careful transit through your sign will give you pause for self-reflection balancing Jupiter's over ambitious social agenda! Venus and Mercury's transits through the domain of romance and relationship in June are favored for romantic endeavors, however Saturn in your sign will scrutinize all prospects so only those with the most impeccable credentials pass muster. Mars’ powerful transit through the domain of finance and food will definitely heat up these areas of life. Again, no radical financial schemes, but rather work that both inspires and pays well may be in the offering. Food that energizes is on the menu!
For those born under the constellation of Capricorn, January 14th–February 12th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Saturn continues to travel the domain of life associated with rest, repose and retreat. If you perceive you are flirting with burn out it is imperative you seek some time off for physical and spiritual regeneration. Venus and Mercury will both travel the domain of health and healing in June and this can be a good time to go schedule a health and healing retreat to revitalize your body, mind and spirit. Powerful Mars has now entered your constellation and will definitely fire up the sure footed goat! Watch the tendency to become the fast footed goat and remember your strength is your sure footed, progressive nature. In this way Mars can inspire you to become more yourself. Luminous Jupiter continues his travel through the domain of career at the very top of your chart. Examine your prospects for advancement step by step is the preferred way to go.
For those born under the constellation of Aquarius, February 14th –Mrch 13th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Saturn is slowly grinding his worldly way through Sagittarius in the domain of friends, community and your life's ambitions. The humanistic Water Bearer feels the call to improve the lot of others. This can a time of meeting others who share your secular humanistic perspective so keep a watch eye out for those who embrace a similar agenda. The ensuing connectivity will positively enrich you. Venus and Mercury will grace the domains of family and children in May and June to your benefit. Jovial Jupiter continues his exceptional transit through the domain of travel, education and spirituality. Travel related to education is favored during this time. Mars has entered the domain of rest and repose. Work on getting enough sleep to balance your ambitious social agenda, and foreign travel is best deferred to a later period of time.
Those born under the constellation of Pisces, March 14th-April 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Jupiter continues his transit of Libra in the domain of life that represents retirement and legacies. This is an excellent time to look at your long term financial plans and make sure you are on track and up to speed. The recent tax changes may warrant an update to your current plans so don’t delay or defer too long. Venus and Mercury will both travel through the domains of siblings and family and time spent in these areas will refresh your soul. Slow moving Saturn in the domain of career brings few surprises. Slowly, but surely you are making progress. Powerful Mars in Capricorn in the domain of friends and sangha will definitely heat things up. You may feel the urge to meet new people who energize and reinvigorate you. Be careful not to pull out all the stops less you become reckless and get thrown off balance during the irrational exuberance of this Mars!
Like most cultures, the calendar of India divides the year into two halves; the bright and dark parts of the Earth’s journey around the Sun. They celebrate the bright half of the year in mid-January, called Makara Sankranti — when the Sun enters the constellation of Capricorn. The bright part of the year is called "the path of the gods" as the increasing light diminishes the darkness until once again light and dark are balanced. But now at the Spring Equinox, which will occur on the 20th of March this year, light increases. Shortly after that, the culture of India celebrates Holi — a festival of color for which light is essential. Color is nothing more than the constituent fabric of the spectrum of light — and darkness is really nothing more than the absence of light. This return of the light heralds a time to sow, seen in all agrarian cultures since time immemorial. After all, light is the catalyst for growth, and no growth takes place without it.
Simply stated this historical ritual rests upon cosmological principals taken for granted as part of our collective memory, as all cultures plant in the bright part of the year. The study of astrology is our attempt in understanding these cosmological principals, relating to our existence within the greater cosmos. This cosmological science in India is called "Jyotisha", the shastra (study and body of knowledge) of Jyotir — meaning light. The study and knowledge of light is the essential ingredient of growth. Therefore its time of increase is a time of prosperity and abundance — for our family, our community — to put food on the collective table.
Growth requires light, but the cycle of light is only sustainable during the bright half of the year. As surely as light has a time of increase — so does darkness. Nothing grows in the darkness. So the question arises, how do we support or sustain after the time of growth — during the time of increasing darkness? To answer this question, we must understand that light and darkness are an eternal cosmological cycle, a circle that repeats itself with cosmic certainty. We cannot embrace just the bright half of this circle without the awareness of its dark half. It is sheer folly believing the part to be truly representative of the whole. This flawed linear approach to embracing endless light and growth is not the true order of our timely circumstances in the greater cosmological whole. Yes, embracing this folly might temporarily give rise to an overly optimistic sunny disposition, but ignorance of the whole will have dire consequences when this distorted belief of upward light turns inevitably downward. The real order of the cosmos is circular, not linear; the rightful study of this circularity is the study of Jyotisha — the study of the human condition in all its seasons increasing as well as decreasing light.
We are now in a season of increasing human growth as Earth's population has grown from a billion people in the 1800's to now approximately 7.6 billion as I write this column. The world population currently increases by another billion approximately every twelve years. Twelve years is the length of time it takes the planet Jupiter to complete its cycle of growth and decline completing revolution around the sun. Like all natural cycles, this growth of humanity cannot be sustained indefinitely. Although today there is much more discussion in regards to the growth and sustainability of humans, the debate goes much further back. In 1798 Thomas Malthus published “"An Essay on the Principle of Population." In his essay Malthus suggested that in a cycle of resource growth and abundance a population could double in twenty-five years, but this increased population could not be sustained in the long view and posed serious problems for humanity. Increased agrarian production during the Industrial Revolution factored into a dismissive attitude of Malthus' concepts — but more importantly, this shifted the dialogue from the sustainability of human population growth to the sustainability of agricultural growth.
In 1924 German farmers approached Rudolf Steiner with their concerns on an ecological and sustainable approach to agriculture. Steiner, who was well known for his approach to early childhood education in what is called the Waldorf Method, obliged and delivered a series of lectures on what he called Biodynamics. The Biodynamic approach to agriculture took a cyclic, not a linear approach to farming — emphasizing a holistic, cyclic approach to the biosphere of agriculture. This approach involved the timing of seeding, weeding, and harvest utilizing the cosmic influence of light as expressed through the stellar constellations and the planets!
Since its advent almost a century ago, Biodynamics has had a resurgence in struggling small farms and wineries in particular, which have been rejuvenated and have become sustainable using Steiner's methods. In October of 2016, The NY Times published an article by Danielle Pergament entitled "Of Moons Stars and Vines" detailing the successes of the Italian wine industry's romance with Biodynamics. One of the winery principals interviewed eloquently expressed: "You have days of fire, air and days of earth — the twelve constellations are our helpers. Our work is to enter into the rhythm of the planets." Steiner’s ideas may appear mystical or transcendent to many, but in reality, they are the product of cosmological principles applied to agriculture. Everything takes place under the same cosmological sky and the stellar study of this we call astrology.
Now that the eclipses and storm patterns of late January and February are behind us, it is time to focus on the growing light as we look forward to the Vernal Equinox later in the month. On the first of the month, Venus moves into the constellation of Pisces where he is exalted. Exaltation is a planet's most powerful state of expression, and Venus only achieves this in the bright part of the year as he will never be far from the Sun. Additionally, Venus' friend Mercury joins him in the constellation of Pisces on the 2nd of March. Because Venus is in Jupiter's constellation of Pisces and Jupiter is in Venus' constellation of Libra, they become associated by being in each other's signs! The association of the brightest planets in the night sky with Mercury creates a planetary combination known as Saraswati Yoga — a combination that inspires artistic and creative expression reflecting the Indian goddess of the arts known by that name. Lastly, the month of March starts with a full-bright Moon, who moves opposite both Venus and Mercury, and by proxy Jupiter on the 2nd of 3rd of the month. With all the planets of light so bright and associated, be sure to utilize this most auspicious beginning of March to sow the seeds of your creative ideas and endeavors. Pisces is a compassionate constellation of charity and spiritual enlightenment. This is a great time to give to your favored charity and to seek counsel and advice from those you consider wise in their chosen fields. The opposite constellation of Virgo is a constellation of health and healing, so this will be an excellent point to adopt a new and increasingly rewarding health regimen. Do not pass up this spectacular celestial energy! For where the domains of the signs of Pisces and Virgo appear in your natal chart, they will grace you during this period.
Whenever Mercury aligns with the natural benefic luminaries of light — Venus and Jupiter — our consciousness and judgment are empowered by the light. Early March will be a time of expanding public debates in the spirit of brainstorming, not the usual blamestorming, in seeking to solve the contentious issues of the day. Demand and expect luminous and lucid debate in all conversations to grow into something greater than their starting point — because that is what such a confluence of light will facilitate! Light upon all matters brings all agendas out in the open, for all to see. But more importantly, those debating the problems of the day will either be revealed as informed, willing to discuss all in an open debate — or be exposed as ill-informed and very selective in which agendas will be deliberated. Carefully watch the developing dialogue during this month. There are those who truly are interested in change and problem-solving. Equally, there are those who are not interested in debate but only their agenda. You will come to know who is who during the month of March once they begin to speak.
Mercury will stop in the heavens and retrograde during March on the 22nd. When Mercury retrogrades in the company of benefic planets, he becomes a force for good and sound judgment. It is best to avoid important decision-making the day before, the day of, and the day after he changes direction. Mercury will be in such an association with Venus, and by proxy Jupiter, until the 26th of the month — when Venus leaves Pisces and enters Aries. So use this time wisely and productively for all judgments concerning the domain of life that is ruled by Pisces in your chart.
As said, March starts out on the aforesaid luminous and well associated full Moon on March 1st. Although the benefic planets align in strength for most of the month, the malefic planets, Mars and Saturn will also align early in the month. On the 7th of March, the malefic planet Mars enters the constellation of Sagittarius where the malefic planet Saturn has resided since late last October. This alignment will last for several weeks until Mars leaves Sagittarius on May 2nd. The Mars/Saturn combination brings delays and obstructions during their reign. Be prepared for delays, and strengthen your resolve and forbearance by cultivating patience in the domains of life that are associated with the sign of Sagittarius in your chart.
March will have two full Moons, simply because the synodic or full moon cycle repeats itself every 29 and half days. The dummies that designed a calendrical system with some months having 30 and others 31 days, never bothered to rationalize that at times this will naturally result in two full or new moons in a month having 31 days. This is called the "blue moon" effect; it is a mathematical contrivance, nothing mystical or special about it.
As March began with a full moon opposite the benefic planets of light, it ends with a full moon opposite Mercury, no longer in association with Jupiter and Venus. The early part of March is more luminous and progressive. The latter part of the month toward the second full moon is less so, and more entropic, as the two malefic planets, Mars and Saturn come to exact conjunction.
As clearly as the benefic planets of light bring hope and expected growth — the planets of lesser light, Mars and Saturn are not as capable of bringing growth — not to the degree or in the same timeline as the benefic planets. Thus they represent delays, disappointments, and despondency regarding our timely hopes and goals. The unevolved human condition demands gratification today, not tomorrow. The coming together of Mars and Saturn delays this gratification — at times interminably so. The sages say the ability to defer gratification is the measure of an adult. Childish, self-serving conduct and stonewalling behaviors will not serve anyone; so April is rather an exemplary month to practice patience. It is best to model adult behavior in all you do, in the hope that others will imitate you. Take measure of all those who represent themselves as mature adults, for Saturn and Mars in time separate the girls from the women, and the boys from the men.
The malefic planets Mars and Saturn will exactly align in the constellation of Sagittarius on the 2nd of April remaining together for the balance of the month. Pace yourself, and move to your own drum-beat, not the forced march of another. You will eventually get there; however, you must be self-determined and in the game for the duration. Sagittarius is an expansive Jupiter-ruled constellation, and Saturn and Mars therein will bring the affairs of the constellation down to earth with a thud. This constellation represents educational and religious institutions, teachers and spiritual leaders as well as the judiciary and travel industry. Saturn’s themes of safety and security in light of Mars' themes of conflict and violence are safeguarded in the courts and airports where firearms security policy is rigorously enforced. Safety and security within our educational institutions are absurdly lax, with increasing firearms violence the result. No one could ever bring a loaded assault rifle to a courtroom or an airport due to the heightened securitization at these institutions. Why then is it not the same for our educational institutions?
The Mars/Saturn alignment during this month will only intensify the debate, gaining a steady and inexorable momentum. Mars, the indicator of war and conflict, will only remain in Sagittarius until the first days of May. Saturn, the indicator of law and regulation, will remain in Sagittarius until early January of 2020. The debate on securitization from firearm violence in our educational institutions promises to be a long war of attrition. It portends to be a conflict with no early compromise in sight. Do not lose heart or courage. There will be measurable consequences for elected leaders and courts during these next two years who refuse to budge and address this issue.
While Mercury retrograded in Pisces with the benefic planets for most of March, his association with those planets ended on March 26, when Venus left Pisces and moved to Aries. From that time onward Mercury becomes associated with Mars and will come into exact aspect with him on April 4th. No longer associated with benefic planets, Mercury will become contentious and cranky in his association with Mars. He will stop in the heavens on the 15th of April and start to move forward in Pisces still under aspect by Mars until the 2nd of May. Because of this, it is best to make important decisions when Mercury is associated with benefic planets, not malefic planets. Defer important decisions until after the days he changes direction. Don't wait too late to file your taxes due to his stationing in mid-April. It will be best to get your accounting and taxes finished while Mercury is under the influence of the benefic planets earlier in March. The middle of April will be stressful, and decisions and judgments made during a Mercury station in aspect to Mars can be hasty and not well thought out. Make sure during April that your decisions are well considered. Do your best not to make them when in the heat of conflict. Haste in April will lead to waste.
Lastly, once we get past the 15th, the high point of April is Venu's transit through the constellation of Aries, who is in aspect to Jupiter in the constellation of Libra. They will exactly align on Monday, April 16th. This alignment bodes well for the natives of Aries and Libra, and the domains of life these constellations occupy in your chart. Venus then moves into his own constellation of Taurus on April 19th where he will remain until mid-June. This augers well for the signs of Taurus, and by proxy Scorpio, as a strong Venus brings connectivity to family, friends and loved ones. April starts tough as nails but ends with wine and roses.
For those born under the constellation of Aries, April 14 – May 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the month of March brings your planet Mars into the sign of Sagittarius with the planet Saturn. Easy does it this month and next, as you may not experience your usual energy and enthusiasm during this time. Travel takes a back seat, and you should only embrace educational endeavors in direct relationship to career goals. The emphasis is more on rest and restorative time with your family. Your hard work ethic may catch up with you during April, so make sure you have enough downtime to recharge to regain your inherent enthusiasm. Venus and Mercury in Pisces favor vacation and foreign retreats! Jupiter, the principal planet of light, keeps shinning his light on the domain of life associated with romance and marriage. If married or in a committed relationship the double influence of Jupiter and Venus will favor a time of felicity and happiness. If you have not met that special person this could be the perfect time of year to begin that search in earnest.
For those born under the constellation of Taurus, May 15th – June 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Venus enters the domain of friends and associates, and the fulfillment of ambitions. Know this is a positive time to dream large and attend social gatherings with friends and communities you hold dear. Socialize more in March, and it will reward you. Mercury’s association with both Venus and Jupiter foretells a time joy with friends and children - with perhaps a new addition to the family. Scrutinize travel and educational endeavors carefully so the moderate Bull does not overextend his natural resources. The Mars/Saturn alignment during March and April brings a frugal focus to finance and savings. The Bull may feel he needs more resources for the duration, so it is best to eliminate debt and expense for the long run. The grace of Jupiter in alignment with Venus during March and April is illuminating the domain of your health, continuing to bring positive life changes for the Bull’s health and increased connectivity with co-workers and employees.
For those born under the constellation of Gemini, June 15th – July 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet, Mercury, travels through the domain of career for all of March and April. March is best for career advancement as Venus and Mercury align for most of the month. If unhappy in your career this could be the month to make a change for the better. Travel is favored early in March, but not later towards month’s end. Education is also favored in early March, but the Mars/Saturn alignment creates delays and obstruction in both travel and educational plans. Further Mars and Saturn will remain together the next couple of months in the domain of romance. A challenged relationship could take a break, or break up during this time. Only the most serious and committed relationships will survive the transit of Saturn through the domain of marriage. Jupiter’s light continues to grace the domain associated with creativity and children. Jupiter’s association with Venus during March and April favor progeny and friends in this position, perhaps with a new addition to the family, or more time spent with endeavors that value children.
For those born under the constellation of Cancer, July 16th – August 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, Venus and Mercury will grace the domain of travel and education most of March. Now is the time to take that trip or enroll in that class or educational program you’ve been dreaming about. This is a wonderful time to learn new skills which increase your self-esteem and self-worth. The Saturn/Mars alignment falls in the domain of your health, co-workers, and employees. Now is a progressive time to start a health improvement program - but start slowly and judiciously, not hard and fast, and you will receive long-term results. Co-workers and employees may pose troublesome and problematic during March and April, but differences and disagreements can earnestly be settled if so desired by May. Jupiter in Libra continues to illuminate the domain of home and family rewarding the Crab with emotional and financial security he craves. The trending, while Jupiter transits Libra, is to live larger – so continue to be moderate.
For those born under the constellation of Leo, August 17th – September 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, Venus and Mercury will favor the domain of finance and investment. It is time for the Big Cat to examine finances. Make sure your assets are properly insured and safe for those inevitable storms that will come your way. Jupiter’s light in Libra is illuminating the domain of siblings as well as education and travel. This is an excellent time to expand your social network through travel and educational endeavors. Jupiter also favors short journeys and improved relationship with siblings. The malefic Mars/Saturn’s transit in Sagittarius brings serious concerns to the domain of creative endeavors and children. Check in with your progeny and make sure they have all they need for their journey. Don’t assume all is well – make sure all is well. Delays and setbacks during the Mars/Saturn alignment will only momentarily repress your regal spirit. Persistence will pay off later when your planet, the Sun, becomes radiant and strong in the second half of April and first half of May!
For those born under the constellation of Virgo, September 17th – October 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mercury enters the sign of Pisces with delightful Venus in the domain of life that rules relationship and partnering. This is an auspicious time to deepen existing relationship with the potential of marriage. Business propositions embraced during this time have the potential to be successful. If you have shied away from people recently this is your time to get back in the game! Plus this is an absolutely fabulous time to travel with loved ones and friends. Jupiter, the principal planet of light, continues to grace the domain of your chart improving your health and finances. Why not organize a healthy, delicious dinner party to expand your social circle, and let everyone know how generous and delightful you truly are. The Mars/Saturn alignment brings delays in the domains of home and work. Easy does it here Virgo; take it one day at a time. It is best not to jump ship and make a career change or move on impulse. Be determined and deliberate in these matters.
For those born under the constellation of Libra October 17th – November 15th or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Venus starts March exalted in Pisces with Mercury in the domain of health and co-workers. When you feel good, the world feels good, and everyone benefits when Venus feels good. This truly auspicious time favors connectivity with co-workers and employees. This is the time to embrace a lifestyle change that promotes healthy living. It has the potential to make an extraordinary change in how you feel about yourself and others. Take the time to connect and relate to co-workers; let everyone see and appreciate the value of what you do. If you love what you do, and who you do it with, you never work a day in your life! The principle planet of light, Jupiter, graces your nativity in your sign of Libra expanding daily your growing self-esteem. Take advantage of all opportunities that come your way during this time. The Mars/Saturn alignment brings delays and challenges with comrades and siblings. Be patient, not discouraged, as these frustrations will abate later.
For those born under the constellation of Scorpio, November 16th – December 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mars aligns with Saturn in Sagittarius for April and May. You may well experience fatigue and frustration in balancing your domestic life with your work life. You seem to have so much to get done, and so precious little time in which to do it. Pace yourself and back off the daily grind by taking a personal, catch-up day each month. If you do this you will be able to sustain your mojo during this time. Concerns about not enough time and not enough money will drive Scorpio during March and April. Jupiter’s auspicious light is influencing the health and healing domains of life for Scorpio. So focus on getting a good night’s sleep. This always supports a good days’ work and positive attitude until Mars leaves Saturn in May. A brief vacation may be in order for some rest to refurbish your passion and spirit. You don’t need much to restore yourself. During this time let your planet Mars’ battle cry resound: When the going gets tough - the tough go on vacation!
For those born under the constellation of Sagittarius, December 16th – January 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Jupiter is pleasantly touring the domain of life associated with community and friends. The expanding influence of Jupiter will continue to create many new opportunities for your growing social network. However, be careful not to overextend yourself during March and April, as the Mars/Saturn alignment will be in your constellation. A moderate, judicious approach will serve you best during these months. You really cannot be all things to all people all the time, and this time will prove that maxim. Only serious relationships will be within the Archer’s sights due to time constraints and limited availability. Those romantic partners that don’t understand your limited availability and stay the course will fall by the wayside. Venus exaltation in Pisces with Mercury during March will sweeten the domain of life associated with home and family. Although quality time is in short supply, spending some of it with family will give you the love and energy to succeed.
For those born under the constellation of Capricorn, January 14th – February 12th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Saturn in Sagittarius with Mars will be in the domain of life associated with rest and repose. If you perceive you are flirting with burn-out, it is imperative you seek some time off for physical and spiritual regeneration. A brief vacation or retreat will be of immense help in rejuvenating your body, mind, and spirit. Venus and Mercury alignment during March in Pisces favors short journeys with comrades to buoy your spirits. Although solitary by nature, it continues to be important for Capricorns to build a social support network to remedy pending feelings of loneliness and isolation. Jupiter continues to grace the domain of life associated with work and vocation. Rise and growth at work come with increased responsibilities. Make sure you are well compensated, not only in currency but more importantly in time and feelings of appreciation. The sure-footed Goat takes life one step at a time, not all at once. Take that step in time by giving yourself the gift of more time the months of March and April.
For those born under the constellation of Aquarius, February 14th – March 13th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign, your planet Saturn aligns with Mars in Sagittarius in the domain of friends, community, and your life’s ambitions. The enthusiastic energy of the water bearer will slow down during this time, and good friends and the communities you serve may have to realign their goals realistically. The loyalty of your planet Saturn will prevail, especially when you are the one who can be counted upon in difficult times. In helping others, do not forget to exercise self-care. Venus in Pisces with Mercury in March favors financial advancement and feelings of prosperity. So some retail therapy may be in order to lift your spirits! Jupiter in Libra continues to shine his light on the domain of life associated with education and travel. Your planet, Saturn, likes to plan for the long-term and with Jupiter, in the domain of education, this can be the time to set enduring educational goals that will favor financial and career advancement in the not so distant future. Not having a plan is no excuse.
Those born under the constellation of Pisces, March 14th – April 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Jupiter continues his transit of Libra in the domain of life that represents retirement and repose and charity. The Fish will be drawn to more reflective and retiring spiritual pursuits, as these waters are most inviting wanting to be in service to those in need. Venus in your constellation of Pisces with Mercury during March is an excellent time to connect in with loved ones at familial and social gatherings. Love is in the air during March; this could be the month that brings a new love interest and romance. The difficult Mars/Saturn alignment in Sagittarius during March and April will bring stress to the domains of career and home and family. You may feel torn between the escalating needs of these two domains. Your work/family balance will be challenging during this time due to increasing stresses. Keep calm, but most importantly keep a delicate balance, lest you lose your wits, your job or family, or all of the above - in meeting these demanding and conflicting needs.
As I have often said, the study of astrology is the study of time, and unfortunately most people today suffer some form of time distortion due to fundamental misconceptions about it. They subscribe to the linear and equal theory of time as if time moves in a straight line toward some desired result. The notion that all time is equal distorts one's sense of progress. We Vedic astrologers believe that time is cyclic — and further we do not believe all time is equal. The study of Indian Astrology is "Jyotisha" which comes from the Sanskrit root word jyoti meaning light. We view time as "light" and study the endless repetitions of light into darkness, and darkness into light. This cycling is how we define and measure time. The span of time of the Earth turning on its axis, completing a cycle of light and dark is defined as a day. The Moon completes its cycle of light and dark as a month. And we define the cycle of the Earth's journey around the Sun, completing a cycle of light and dark, as a year. The cycle of time is the journey from light into darkness and darkness into light.
All cultures follow this timeline — planting in the bright part of the year and culminating at the Fall Equinox, which heralds the harvest in the dark part of the year. The Winter Solstice concludes the dark part of the year, with the gradual returning of the light until once again the cycle of light and dark are equal at the Spring Equinox, now in growing favor of increasing light until it reaches fullness at the Summer Equinox when the proverbial garden of our lives is in full bloom.
Indian cosmology further delineates much larger cycles of the eternal dance of light and darkness — extending in duration to thousands of years called Yugas, measuring the evolution of humanity. The Vedic astrological chart is a study of time-cycles pertaining to our personal calendar. It is based on the moment and place we came into the flow of time. We too have seasons of greater and lesser light that permeate our lives. Knowing these personal time cycles can be of great assistance in the planting and harvest of our metaphorical seeds, as we seek to understand the time of their ripening and fruition. Even the cycles of lesser light have their importance in the journey. It is equally important to know the "lights out" period of time for rest and repose, for what really matters is the balance of light and dark.
The lights out period of the Winter Solstice is celebrated in many cultures with festivals of Light. This is to remind us that this interval of relaxation is only temporary on the darkest day of the year. For from this day forward the path of light will increase, culminating once again at the Summer Solstice in this eternal cycle. The path of the increasing light which starts at this time of the year is called Path of the Gods in Indian cosmology. The increasing light is essential for the most valued of all flowerings — the bloom of spiritual consciousness.
The greatest planet of light in the night sky is Jupiter, and he changed constellations in mid-September of last year as he moved from Virgo into Libra. He will remain therein until mid-October of 2018. Where there is light, there is growth, and Jupiter's influence here will facilitate growth with all this sign is associated. Libra is the sign that represents the Fall Equinox when the balance between light and dark again become equal. Its symbol is the scales, denoting balance. Libra and its ruler, Venus, are associated with the arts, and Jupiter's transit of this sign trends well for artisans and entertainers. We have already seen in recent months movements within the artisan communities to favor themes of social justice and equality. The intensity and momentum of this action for social justice have astonished many, but do not be surprised as sometimes the pendulum must swing violently from one extreme to another until it finds balance at the center.
Mars will exactly conjoin Jupiter on the 6th of January in Libra, and then enter his own sign of Scorpio on the 15th and remain therein until the 7th of March. Here Mars invigorates all through his association with Jupiter and while transiting his sign. January starts enthusiastically with positive, optimistic energy. However, the month concludes with a total lunar eclipse on the 31st. This lunar eclipse falls at 17 degrees of the sign of Cancer.
The planets that cause eclipses are the shadow planets, Rahu and Ketu. They are now respectively in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn. They are considered storm planets in the astrology of India and portend a troubled time where the road ahead is shadowy and uncertain. Lunar eclipses occur when the shadow of the earth is cast upon the full Moon, so the ability of the Moon to illuminate the darkness becomes overwhelmed during such times. Therefore, caution is advised for the natives of Cancer and the opposite sign of Capricorn during eclipse periods. The time is not auspicious for making critical decisions or initiating new projects, for the road ahead will be shrouded in shadow. The age-old adage says it best: "You would have to be a lunatic" to do so! Wait until the eclipse has passed and the light returns to address important matters.
February 2018 will start out with the storm planet Ketu in consort with both Mercury and Venus in the constellation of Capricorn, the sign of business and government. The drive and collection of personal data is the new gold-rush of the business and banking communities.Everyone and everything is mined for personal information to predict everything and anything about us — to be sold off to the highest bidder. A new genre of books, such as Andreas Weigend's Data for the People: How to Make Our Post Privacy Economy Work for You, reveals the mega-mining and plundering of this proverbial gold mine of raw data. The last time Mercury aligned with one of the storm planets was last summer, when the enormity of the Equifax hacking scandal was exposed. Some estimates allege this breach compromised the personal information of one in two US households! This portends a possibility of more data thefts and attacks, alerting us yet again that our personal information is not safe and secure within the data gathering communities.
The drive of Big Data is to collect as much information as possible, right down to your personal genome — offering it for sale, with minimal or no input from you on how the government, business, and banking communities will use it. The collection and sale of this data will undoubtedly continue until a collective spotlight is focused revealing the ugly truth. Simply stated, it is more profitable to collect and sell your data than it is to protect it! Watch for privacy advocates to emerge during this stormy period in February, advocating for law and order regarding the mining and protection of your data in this new wild-west of information collection. Don’t waste your time purchasing a paper shredder; this is nothing more than the proverbial "finger in the dike" of data. Legal battles are already pending on bringing the rule of order to the data sharing industries — who gets to have your data and who gets to share your data. This is the month to review again your securitization procedures, such as freezing your credit and upgrading your personal banking and cyber security with strong passwords. At this point, there are more businesses that want to share your data, than those to help you protect it. You will see the balance shift this year when Mercury later enters Aries and receives the light of Jupiter in Libra in the spring.
Eclipses always come in pairs, and the succeeding eclipse occurs on February 15th, which is a partial solar eclipse at 2 degrees of the sign of Aquarius. Solar eclipses are New Moons that are partially or totally occulted, resulting in a shadow cast upon the Earth. Although this eclipse is partial, do not forget that eclipses represent storm clouds. Natives of the sign of Aquarius should not make hasty, or crisis decisions during the eclipse period. It is always better to examine the issue when the light improves, rather than when it is shadowy. Both Mercury and Venus will finish out the month of February in the constellation of Aquarius, each under the growing light of Jupiter’s aspect from Libra. So, even though the luminaries are partially eclipsed in Aquarius, the month finishes with all the planets of light — Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter - either within the sign or shining light on the humanistic sign of Aquarius. All is well that ends well with light.
For those born under the constellation of Aries, April 14 – May 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the month of January brings many changes. Your planet Mars enters his own sign of Scorpio on the 16th and remains until early March. Mars here will be of great assistance in the area of financial planning, so get together with your planner early this year. If you don’t have a savings plan or budget now is the time to start, otherwise, you can trend to spend impulsively and fritter away your money. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu are stressing the domains of life associated with home and work life. You will need to be diligent to keep a home life/work life balance in 2018. If you wish to purchase a home during this time, be careful not to overextend your resources. Jupiter, the principal planet of light, is illuminating the domain of your life associated with romance and marriage. If you have met that special person this could be a year for marriage, or exploring romance with the person of your dreams.
For those born under the constellation of Taurus, May 15th – June 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Venus enters the domains of education and vocation from the middle of January favoring a positive time. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu will impact Taurus in the domains of siblings, travel, and education. Changes are afoot here in these domains of life for 2018. Travel and educational endeavors should be scrutinized so the moderate Bull does not overextend during the year. The solar eclipse of February 15th falls in the domain of vocation - so no sudden career decisions during the eclipse month. The principle planet of light, Jupiter, illuminates the domain of your health and he will bring life-positive changes to the Bull’s diet and health habits. This is a great time to start the year by scheduling an overall physical, to monitor the areas of health you wish to improve upon. Jupiter here can bring positive health changes so the Bull can continue to be productive to plow the fields of their dreams.
For those born under the constellation of Gemini, June 15th – July 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mercury travels through the domain of relationship and concludes in the domain of travel and education in February. Travel is favored after the solar eclipse of mid-February for learning, fun, and entertainment! The storm planets Rahu and Ketu have now entered the domains of finance and debt. 2018 is the year for Gemini to address outstanding debt and come up with a saving plan to strike a balance. Changes in diet are likely for mobile Gemini, so they can streamline their regimen to fit their active lifestyle, effectively balancing all their proverbial balls in the air. The principle planet of light, Jupiter is gracing the domain associated with creativity and children. This may be the year to contemplate an addition to the family, or moving to a community that favors your children’s education. Jupiter here revitalizes the creative juices so be open to expanding your social network which can lead to new opportunities and friendships.
For those born under the constellation of Cancer, July 16th – August 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, Jupiter in Libra is illuminating the domain of home and family. The early months of the year favor a move to new digs or the purchase of a new home. The Crab craves their home and the emotional and financial security it brings. The trending for 2018 is to go larger – so be careful not to gleefully overextend your resources during Jupiter’s wonderful transit. Home life will improve as you continue to improve your home/work life balance. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu are transiting your sign and that of your relationships. This will be a trust testing time in partnering. What we value in ourselves is what we appreciate in others. If your values are aligned, you will navigate this time successfully. Devotion and loyalty are two of the Crab’s greatest strengths. If you are fortunate to have found friends and loved ones worthy of those virtues you are truly blessed. If not, 2018 is the year to start that journey.
For those born under the constellation of Leo, August 17th – September 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the year starts with Jupiter’s light illuminating the domain of comradery and the arts. This can be a wonderful time to get the Lion’s and Lioness’s pride back in their creative process. Perhaps it is time to take up a hobby or enroll in a life inspiring class. You will be glad you did, and it will further give you an opportunity to extend your social network. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu have now entered domains that are associated with your health and healing. During the eclipses of January and February, it would be advised for the Big Cat to pay attention to health and diet helping to rejuvenate and restore your regal bearing, for not only must you feel good – you must also look good! Most of God’s creatures are hibernating or taking it down a notch at this time of year - and you are not an exception to the rule. Travel for fun, pleasure, and education are favored for the early months of 2018.
For those born under the constellation of Virgo, September 17th – October 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mercury enters Sagittarius with Venus in the domain of life associated with home and family. This is a wonderful time to reunite with family during the holidays to buoy your spirit. The recharging will help to clear your mind so can have a more optimistic outlook for 2018. Jupiter, the principal planet of light graces the part of your chart that will improve your health and finances. Eat and live healthily and you will be happy. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu have entered the domains of your friends and ambitions. Realistically examine the goals you wish to achieve for 2018, and you will be fine. Your social network will grow as you are open to new social activities. Fair-weather friends will fall by the wayside during this time; they are revealed as not sharing your growing core values. Be open to new friends and new social activities, among those who genuinely share your core convictions on social justice and equality.
For those born under the constellation of Libra October 17th – November 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Venus starts the year in the sign of Sagittarius, exchanging signs with Jupiter in your sign of Libra. This is a truly auspicious time favoring connectivity to other people, bringing the potential of brotherhood, sisterhood as well as romance. Although Venusians usually seek the path of peace and diplomacy, Librans will be concerned with issues of social justice during the early months of the year. It is a paradox, but Librans will fight to keep the peace when their values are threatened. There is power and safety in numbers, so embrace whatever organizations and friends that present a robust platform for your beliefs. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu are now in the domains of career and family. Make sure the foundation of your lives is secure before you initiate changes in career. If not, this may be the year you move in search of higher vocational horizons that match your growing self-esteem.
For those born under the constellation of Scorpio, November 16th – December 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mars aligns with Jupiter early in January and then enters your sign the middle of the month. The year starts out enthusiastic and energetic for Scorpio! Now that you’ve got your mojo back take a personal inventory of your essential goals and needs for the year ahead - it is the time to act and fulfill them. Jupiter’s favorable light is influencing the health and healing domains of life for Scorpio. Focus on work/health balance for the coming months ahead. A good day’s rest always supports a good day’s work. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu have now entered the domains of education, travel, and siblings. The trouble with siblings may emerge during the eclipses but your devotion, understanding, and self-determinism will see you through. A trip can hold many opportunities for new experiences, but the focus here for Scorpio should be on educational and healing opportunities that do not break the bank.
For those born under the constellation of Sagittarius, December 16th – January 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Jupiter starts out January in the domain of life associated with community and friends. The emphasis at this time is on expanding your impact among the various populations in which you circulate. Be open as well to new groups of people and friends who can help spread your influence in the world. This time also favors romantic relationships, as well as the affairs of your children, but only the most serious relationships will be within the Archer’s sights. It will be a busy year, meeting so many people and spending all that wonderful time, and yes, all that fantastic cash as well. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu have now entered the domains of life that are associated with finance and debt. It is imperative to embrace living on a budget as the year starts, for it will be effortless for exuberant Jupiter to overextend this year. Meet with a financial advisor, so you end this year with more money and less debt than when you started!
For those born under the constellation of Capricorn, January 14th – February 12th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the month of January finds your planet Saturn in Sagittarius. This represents a shift to a more reflective time. Although solitary by nature, it continues to be essential for Capricorns to build a social support network to remedy pending feelings of isolation. The principle planet of light Jupiter is now in the domain of life associated with your career. Employment opportunities and advancement are favored for Capricorn. Test your vocational value in today’s growing economy - you might be surprised to find your worth has increased! The storm planets Rahu and Ketu are now transiting the horizon your chart, bringing challenges in self-worth and relationship. The Goat is sure-footed and likes to embrace change one step at a time, not all at once. If significant partnerships and relationships start the year challenged, then this will be an excellent time to begin to work on them. In the process, your self-reflection will help to eliminate any negative patterns you see in yourself and others.
For those born under the constellation of Aquarius, February 14th – March 13th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the month of January finds your planet Saturn in Sagittarius in the domain of life that supports friends and community. Aquarius, the water bearer, is ready to pour forth and break bread with new found friends and new-found communities. It is time to come out and play for Aquarius! Jupiter in Libra will shine his light on the domain of life associated with education and travel. These areas are featured for Aquarius as the New Year starts with educational opportunities abroad - including the distinct possibility of romance. Another degree or certification will not only contribute to career advancement but also broaden your social networks to increase your chances. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu have now entered the domains of life associated with health and healing. Healthy habits will invigorate and sustain you for the time ahead - so now is the time to review diet and exercise so you can follow the New Year’s resolutions you made in good faith.
Those born under the constellation of Pisces, March 14th – April 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Jupiter starts the month in Libra in the domain of life that represents retirement and repose. It is best to start this New Year with some self-reflection. The Fish will be drawn to more reflective spiritual pursuits as these waters are most inviting. As the year progresses, social Jupiter will be open to meeting new people along these mystical lines of soul development, but be wary of fanatical zealots. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu are now in the domains of life influencing progeny and friends. The well-being of your children will be a focus during this period, as you strive to make sure they are supported in all their endeavors. You may seek a new community or friends who are more in alignment with your spiritual values. If the Fish is swimming in its perfect Koi Pond, it will quickly find like-minded schools of other fishes swimming in the same pool. Take time to drink deep from these devotional waters as they will lead you to the virtues of gratitude and contentment.
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