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star trends

Star Trends

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.

November & December

The astrology and cosmology of India divide the planets of our solar system into two distinct groupings: luminous and non-luminous. The luminous grouping ends with Saturn, the last of the planets that the rays of the Sun grace, and the last planet that can be seen in the night sky with the naked eye. Beyond Saturn the astrology of India recognizes many more non-luminous planets where the solar rays do not reach. That is consistent with the view of modern astronomy as we now know that all that darkness beyond the light is not merely dark space. There are many non-luminous planets well past Pluto into the Kuiper belt and beyond that are currently being discovered.

The salient point being that none of the planets have their own light; they receive light from the Sun. It is the Sun — the source of all light in our solar system — that creates growth. That is why our third planet from the Sun, Terra Firma, continues to flourish and grow due to its fortunate proximity to the light. Light is necessary for growth, and as it becomes diminished, growth slows down and ceases all together as darkness approaches.

Therefore the sages of India divided the planets into four categories ranking each according to its ability to reflect light. The planets reflecting light consistently in the night sky were accorded the highest class or caste. These are Jupiter and Venus and are of the Brahmin class. Brahmins are representative of knowledgeable people of light who are gurus, teachers, trainers, and advisors whose wisdom and counsel we seek.

We astrologers are always looking to observe where Jupiter and Venus are presenting themselves in the heavens. Whatever constellations they transit, they bring illumination and growth to the affairs of that constellation. We especially look forward to when they transit their own constellations singularly, and even more so when they transit a constellation in tandem, which they only do for a short time each year.

This November 4th Jupiter will enter his own constellation of Sagittarius, and Venus will join Jupiter in Sagittarius from the 20th of November to the 15th of December. Jupiter and Venus will exactly conjoin on November 24th for the first time this year, illuminating the constellation where Jupiter, king of the planets, is king in his own domain.

The constellation of Sagittarius needs the celestial light of these bright planets as the shadow planet Ketu, who causes eclipses, has been aligned with Saturn for the past several months. These are shadowy times for Jupiter's sign due to the current dark celestial forces. Jupiter, during his tenancy in his own sign with Venus, will bring all that Sagittarius represents into the light — taking names, cleaning house, and illuminating the dark shadows. Whatever domain of life Sagittarius represents in your chart you will experience Jupiter's light to be the best disinfectant!

November 2019

November starts with Mercury having gone retrograde on October 31st. He will retrograde in close proximity with Venus, along with Jupiter, in the final degrees of the constellation of Scorpio. Whatever domain of life Scorpio rules will experience the combined light of all three of these planets for a very brief time as Jupiter leaves Scorpio on the 4th of November, and Mercury retrogrades back into Libra on the 7th of the month.

Not all Mercury retrogrades are negative to dispel a common myth. When Mercury retrogrades with natural benefic planets of light, he becomes positive, and when he retrogrades malefic planets of lesser light, he becomes challenged. The days before and after he stops and changes direction are best to be avoided for important decisions, in addition to his combustion with the Sun.

This Mercury retrograde starts out well, for although Mercury is exchanged with Mars, he is aligned with Venus and Jupiter. However, after the 7th of the month he regresses into the constellation of Libra where Mars will join him in Libra starting on the 10th, and he will combust the Sun on the 11th. This portends a problematic time of conflict, and important decisions should not be made under the heat of discord and duress. Changes in weather can make travel plans evaporate in an instant, so have a back-up plan just in case. Mercury thankfully leaves Libra the first week of December.

The highlight of November is Jupiter’s sojourn into his own constellation of Sagittarius on November 4th, where Venus joins him on the 19th. They will travel in tandem, exactly conjoining on the 24th, until Venus says goodbye moving into Capricorn in the middle of December. Sagittarius, having been besieged by Saturn and the eclipse planets, will really benefit from the extraordinary combined light of Jupiter and Venus. Jupiter's presence in his own sign will help to restore the lofty aims of the Archer. The higher ideals of spirituality, knowledge, and education will gain traction during this time dramatically pushing back against the more pedestrian forces of shadow and misinformation. Whatever domain of life Sagittarius is associated with will return to the light during this time.

December 2019

December starts with Mercury leaving contentious Mars behind in Libra as he exits that sign and moves into Scorpio once again on the 4th of the month. Mercury will have sufficient distance from the Sun and be clear of malefic association, so his time in Scorpio is good for incisive investigation and research.

Jupiter and Venus continue to shine their light on the constellation of Sagittarius until Venus moves into Capricorn on the 15th. The highlight of their transit occurs during the full Moon of December 11th, which happens with the Moon exalted in Taurus. This delightful full Moon forms the auspicious Chandra Adhi Yoga as all the benefic planets of light, Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter are spaciously opposite the Moon and close to the Earth. This full Moon with such a benefic planetary association so close to the Winter Solstice speaks to an uplifting time for celebration during the festive holiday season. Plan your holiday celebrations and travel around this unique period of light, for after this particular time the Moon will wane as we come to the Winter Solstice on the 21st.

There is a great deal of planetary transition around the Christmas holiday of December 25th. Mars will leave Libra and enter his own constellation of Scorpio on the 25th, which will embolden him to push forward with the domain of life that Scorpio is associated with in your chart. Mercury will leave Scorpio and enter Sagittarius, where he will align with Jupiter — the king of the planets of light — well into the New Year.

However, December 25th is also a partial Solar Eclipse at 9 degrees Sagittarius. Before the Moon is eclipsed, he will align precisely with Mercury earlier in the day; later, after the eclipse, he will align with Jupiter. When benefic planets of light bracket an eclipsed Moon they mitigate the darkness of such a period of time. Such is the effect of this holiday eclipse. Let the festive holiday lights from all the various solstice and religious traditions remind you that this is a time of celebration, and the darkness is only temporal — not absolute. Spend your holiday season with those people and sources who are representative of the light, not those who formulate discontent in the shadows as we close out this decade in preparation for 2020.

Personal Forecast for Each of the Constellations

For those born under the constellation of Aries, April 14 – May 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Saturn-Ketu alignment has been urging you to relinquish educational and travel pursuits these past several months. That now changes as both Jupiter and Venus come to domain of life associated with travel, as well as spiritual and educational advancement. Jupiter and Venus’ combined light illuminates your higher educational and spiritual path during this time. While their influence is active and present the Ram can set new goals for future projects and educational advancement. It is best to travel earlier in the month of December rather than during the holiday eclipse.

For those born under the constellation of Taurus, May 15th – June 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Saturn-Ketu alignment has been in the domain of life associated with legacies and taxes. That now changes as both Jupiter and Venus come to this domain and shine their collective light. Jupiter is lord of this domain, and his presence here bodes well. Now is the time to consult knowledgeable financial consultants to gain insights on how you can reduce your tax liabilities – just like the large corporations who pay fewer taxes than the Bull! Perhaps you too can become a corporate tax haven, or at least start to think like one to lessen your tax burden and focus more on your legacies.

For those born under the constellation of Gemini, June 15th – July 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Saturn-Ketu alignment has been in the domain of life that is associated with romance and your significant relationships. That now changes as both Jupiter and Venus come to the rescue. Now is the time to attend those festive holiday parties and keep a sharp eye out for those who are smart, charming and, most importantly – available for romantic partnership. Light changes everything, so take advantage of the combined grace of these planets to plant new romantic seeds, clear out the weeds, and push back the shadows to see who is available under this auspicious holiday light.

For those born under the constellation of Cancer, July 16th – August 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Saturn-Ketu alignment has been in the domain of life associated with your health and hygiene. If you have followed a careful regimen of self-care, the combined light of both Jupiter and Venus should start to pay fast dividends. Jupiter owns this domain of life, and now that he has entered his own sign you may actually begin to feel more competitive and spirited. Venus loves the company of others, so use the time to find like-minded people who are following the same regimen. Great minds think alike, and besides it is just so much easier to follow through with help from friends.

For those born under the constellation of Leo, August 17th – September 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Saturn-Ketu alignment has been in the domain of life associated with your creativity and children. That now changes as both Jupiter and Venus light up the creative road ahead. It is time for Leo to become inspirited as the reign of the dark planets has passed. Embrace new projects and endeavors, and you will find your mojo will return – and others will notice and respond. The Regal Lion is the pride of their progeny, so make doubly sure this holiday season they know it by spoiling them and spending extra time with them to your Lion-heart’s content.

For those born under the constellation of Virgo, September 17th – October 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Saturn-Ketu alignment has been in the domain of life associated with home and family. If you felt separated from family and loved ones, take advantage of this time with Jupiter and Venus in Sagittarius to cast back the dark shadows and step confidently into the light. You are not just loved, but adored by those you consider family. Jupiter owns the domain of the family, and his transit here with Venus portends a delightful time to frolic at home with loved ones and realize how truly loved you are. Quality time with all the family members is in order for Virgo this delightful holiday season.

For those born under the constellation of Libra October 17th – November 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Saturn-Ketu alignment has been in the domain of life associated with comradery and siblings, generating feelings of isolation and solitude. That now changes as Jupiter and Venus tenant that domain to help lift you up and shine you on. Jupiter owns this domain, and his association with your planet Venus portends a time to exit your self-imposed sabbatical and become your usual sociable self with brothers, sisters, and your buds. Deeply connecting with others inspires Venus and returns him to brilliance. Be your brilliant best in the blissful company of others this holiday.

For those born under the constellation of Scorpio, November 16th – December 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Saturn-Ketu alignment has been in the part of your chart associated with food, finance, and domesticity creating turmoil. That now changes as Jupiter and Venus transit together this area of your life. It is now time to create a domestic and diet lifestyle that gives you the energy you really need to be your competitive self. You can revitalize your lifestyle by carefully preparing your own food, saving money at the same time by not busting the budget wining and dining. Think of it as a temporary financial plan to sock away more money for your holiday spending!

For those born under the constellation of Sagittarius, December 16th – January 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Saturn-Ketu alignment has been in the domain of life associated with you – which has been suggestive that the Archer was more of an observer of events than a participant. That all changes now as your planet Jupiter comes to his own domain in tandem with social Venus. Now is the time this holiday season for Sagittarius’ hermitage to end. Attend all the autumnal and solstice gatherings, for you will meet kindred souls who will restore your faith in others. A special friendship has the potential to become romantic for the Archer so stay on target with your heart.

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 Saturn-Ketu alignment has been in the domain of life associated with health and repose. That all changes now as both Jupiter and Venus come to align with your planet Saturn, lighting the path forward to regeneration and revitalization. The exhaustion the Goat has experienced will now give way to spiritual renewal, revealing the true meaning of the winter solstice, and heralding a post-harvest time of gratitude as all that has been sown has now been reaped. The Goat knows this and rejoices steadily on in unison with Father Time and Mother Nature.

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 Saturn-Ketu alignment has been in the domain of life associated with your friends and sangha. A step back from social and group activities has given the Water Bearer perspective. That all changes now as both Jupiter and Venus come to Sagittarius and align with your planet Saturn. Jupiter is now in his own domain, and he promotes friendship and intentional community. Now that you have perspective, it is time to engage in communities that reflect your more serious and humanistic values. Pour forth with like-minded others during this particular time.

For those born under the constellation of Pisces, March 14th – April 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Saturn-Ketu alignment has been in the domain of life associated with your career and place in the world. The time of equivocation is over now that Jupiter and Venus have entered Sagittarius. Your planet Jupiter has come to his own sign of work and career, and he is offering you light and growth to swim in career waters that are teeming with joy and gratitude. Jupiter is on top of the world right now, so make time this season to take in the view from this zenith. Once you see where the growth opportunities are in your profession you can begin the migration upstream.

September & October

On September 1st the New York Times featured an article by Amanda Svachula entitled "Like a Virgo: The Times on Astrology". The article revealed that the New York Times was born on September 18th, 1851 and expressed that if newspapers had astrological signs the paper would be a Virgo! Yes, indeed the Times was born on that day with the Sun, Mercury and Virgo all in the constellation of Virgo. The article went on to describe the virtues of Virgo which were consistent with the Times identity such as “clarity in communication….a command of language…..a staid librarian”. The article further elaborated on how astrology has the potential to provide a context for social interaction that is often a catalyst for meaningful conversation regarding relationships, family, and self; which explains its growing cultural popularity.

The continuing popularity of astrology as an identity marker remains steadfast in these turbulent times of identity distortion and misrepresentation. Astrology is a conversation starter, not about politics, sports or work in the corporate sector, but rather about our family, our relationships and ourselves. These are the timeless domains of our lives that have occupied our attention since we first lifted our heads in awe of the starry constellations where we saw our familial stories reflected in the abode of the heavens.

I would argue we are social beings first, not political or faceless online or corporate beings. We carry the face and DNA of our ancestral tree, not our political party, our local sports team or the proverbial corporation that wants to identify us with their product identity through their branding. In these turbulent times we face an onslaught of identity markers from surveillance capitalism that seek to undermine and co-opt our identity for other interests, not the interests of our families, our relationships or ourselves.

This is why I believe astrology continues to thrive in cultural popularity as an identity marker. We belong to the stories of our ancestral families and we belong to the stories in our stars; stories that transcend the ephemeral political, sport, and corporate branding of these times. After all, we are born of stardust.

September 2019

September starts out the combustion of Mars and the Sun in the constellation of Leo on the 2nd. When any planet combusts the Sun it disappears from view for a period of time and the indications of the planet become volatile, and as the name implies-combustible! Both the Sun and Mars are of a fiery nature, but as Mars is subsumed by Surya, the Sun, he becomes unpredictable and highly irritable. Mars will remain in combustion in the constellation of Leo through September 24th when he enters the constellation of Virgo where his combustion continues into the middle of October.

Mars’ combustion speaks to a volatile time of conflict when people’s frustrations come to a head in the domains of life that Leo and Virgo represent in the astrological chart. There will be a need and a tendency to express those frustrations during this time. It is much better to respond to that frustration by taking constructive action to remedy those frustrations, than to blindly react. As reasonable as this advice sounds you must remember that the great majority of people are not motivated by rationalism and logic. They are motivated by how they feel, and with Mars combust, those feelings will be super-heated! It will be a volatile and stormy month, but don’t read too much into the volatility, as much of it will be driven by anger, fear and panic. Once Mars has vented and let off steam he easily forgets all those he has offended, but now forewarned, we are forearmed and will respond, rather than react, to Mars in future negotiations of conflict and brinksmanship.

The planet Saturn will stop in the heavens and resume his forward motion in the constellation of Sagittarius on September 18th. When planets stop and change direction they signify directional shifts in the domains of life they represent. Saturn will slowly and deliberately move forward in the constellation of Sagittarius in close alignment with the storm planet Ketu – the indicator of liberation and enlightenment. This represents a potent time for relinquishment in the domain of life that Sagittarius represents in your chart.

 

There can be nuances of existential despair regarding Sagittarian themes of higher education, spirituality and the very philosophical values by which we live. Despair reminds us that it is time to relinquish and move on when our attachments no longer bring us joy. It might be time to reevaluate your educational dreams and goals, or question what religious of philosophical value system which now represents your current understanding of the universe. This is a commencement of sorts; a rite of passage. Yes, you are relinquishing and letting go of who you were, but you are graduating into a greater sense of self in the domains of life that Sagittarius represents.

October 2019

October starts with Venus joining Mercury in the constellation Libra on the 3rd. Venus is the ruler of Libra and will remain in Libra until the 23rd of the month. The convivial association of Venus in his own sign with Mercury will light up the domains of life that Libra represents in your chart. This is an excellent time to catch up with those you appreciate and hold dear. Venus is a Brahmin in the astrology of India and represents those who are educated, artistic and of an uplifting nature. Although a Brahmin, Venus is not reclusive – he enjoys the company of others and provides inspiration through educational, artistic endeavors. This is a positive month to chat up good friends and attend educational and literary events. At the very least, end your day by curling up with a good book before bed time.

Mars will reappear in the early morning on the 17th of the month ending his combustion with the Sun in the constellation of Virgo. However, he will still remain in challenging aspect to Saturn and Ketu in Sagittarius. This aspect of tension between Mars and Saturn with Ketu, has a tendency to question the fruits of our efforts. Mars is a planet of work and effort and wants what he wants yesterday. Saturn is a planet of patience and delivers tomorrow! When Mars is under check by Saturn we question our hard work relative to the fruits of our labors. As I often say; “hard work never hurts any of the people we are working hard for”!

During this time there will be a tendency to evaluate how hard we are working relative to the domains of life that Virgo represents in your chart. Mars will exactly align with Saturn on the 27th of the month. This month has the potential to realign your work ethic in proportion to the results you receive. If you perceive you are giving too much now is the time to pull back, or relinquish the fruits of your labors if they do not satisfy. If you can’t get no satisfaction turn up the volume on the Rolling Stones classic to remind you of that which dissatisfies!

The month of October concludes with all benefic planets of light, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter transiting Scorpio simultaneously. Mercury enters Scorpio on the 23rd, Venus on the 27th where they join Jupiter who has been transiting Scorpio all of this year. This planetary alignment goes under the name of “Saraswati Yoga”, honoring the Indian goddess of the arts. This planetary pattern will continue into the first week of November. Whatever domain of life Scorpio inhabits in your chart enthusiastically embrace the creative power of this river goddess until the banks of your lives are overflowing and spilling with joy.

Personal Forecast for Each of the Constellations

For those born under the constellation of Aries, April 14 –May 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Mars combustion will take place in the domains of life associated with your children, creativity and health. This portends to be a frustrating time as your planet Mars is exhausted and facing burn out. Remedial measures are in order to take some time off for self-restoration so you can get your mojo back! The Saturn/Ketu alignment is urging you to relinquish educational and travel pursuits during this time for as great as you are you cannot fulfill all your desires at the same time. You will eventually return successfully to these endeavors, but this clearly is just not the right time.

For those born under the constellation of Taurus, May 15th –June 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Mars combustion will take place in the domains of life associated with home, family and children. This portends to be a difficult time for matters related to these domains. Be careful to steward your domesticity and be on guard for contentious intrusions regarding your home life. The Bull must stand firm that home, family and children are inviolate. The Saturn Ketu alignment is in the domain of life associated with legacies and taxes. Perhaps you are paying more than fair share because you do not own a lobbyist in Washington. It is time to consult a tax advisor to mitigate this despair.

For those born under the constellation of Gemini, June 15th –July 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Mars combustion will take place in the domains of life associated with your siblings, comrades and home and family. If these people are getting you a little too tightly wrapped for your own good, perhaps this is a the time to take a temporary, not permanent break from those that annoy you! The Saturn Ketu alignment is in the domain of life that is associated with your relationships. This may also be a good time to relinquish relationship expectations to see those who are really capable of showing up. It is far better to be solitary and alone than lonely in the pursuit of love.

For those born under the constellation of Cancer, July 16th –August 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Mars combustion is taking place in the domains of life associated with your finances, comrades and siblings. If you are crabby because you seem to the one who is expending all the currency and cash to keep things going now is the time to stop what you are doing and pay it forward. Although uncomfortable, let others pick up the check and energetically pay their fair share. The Saturn Ketu alignment is in the domain of life associated with your health and hygiene. Just think of how much money you will save and how much energy you will create by taking care of number-one.

For those born under the constellation of Leo, August 17th- September 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Mars combustion is taking place in the domains of life that are associated with you and your finances. The Regal Lion’s pride may be feeling crestfallen during this time as you realize that you too are mortal and finite. Don’t try so hard to live up to the royal expectations others have projected upon you- take off the crown and take some time to just be yourself during this combustion. The Saturn Ketu alignment is in the domain of life associated with your children. Tend to their needs now and as you reclaim your childlike qualities you will regain your enthusiasm and crown.

For those born under the constellation of Virgo, September 17th –October 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Mars combustion is taking place in the domains of life associated with health, repose and self. Cease being irritated with the person you believe you should be during this time so you can return to your daily patterns of self-care and regeneration that support who you really are. Futility is in the air now- do not let it consume you. The Saturn Ketu alignment is in the domain of life associated with home and family. If you feel separated from family and loved ones during this time there are many ways and means to reach out and check in to reaffirm that you belong and are loved.

For those born under the constellation of Libra October 17th- November 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Mars combustion is taking place in the domains of life associated with friends, health and repose. If you have become irritated with the company of your friends or sangha at this time, perhaps it is best to take a step back to gain perspective about what is really bothering you. Distance gives perspective to see if your friend’s values are in alignment with yours. The Saturn Ketu alignment is in the domain of life associated with siblings so in short social Librans may just not be feeling and expressing the usual love. Solitude will restore and lift you up where you belong.

For those born under the constellation of Scorpio, November 16th –December 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Mars combustion is taking place in the domains of life associated with your career and friends. Your planet Mars is exhausted and you may be feeling the love and appreciation for all you do in your career and friendships. You may be doing all the heavy lifting and once you right the balance and follow your bliss and you will get your mojo back. The Saturn Ketu alignment is in the domain of life associated with your finances. Yes, money can be a yardstick in the pursuit of happiness, but money cannot buy you love. It is time for Scorpio to give up this yard stick and go with the metric system.

For those born under the constellation of Sagittarius, December 16th-January 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Mars combustion is taking place in the domains of life associated with education, travel and career. The Archer may feel their arrows do not have the velocity to reach their lofty targets during this time. Stop trying so hard and remember this is target practice and there are no gold medals in competitive play. The Saturn Ketu alignment is in the domain of life associated with you which is suggestive that the Archer becomes more of an observer of events than a participant. Detachment and observation will assist the Archer to once again aim high when the time is right.

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 Mars combustion is taking place in the domains of life associated with debt, legacies and education. Has the cost of ongoing education and debt service got your goat during this time? If so, the sure-footed Goat needs a plan to scale thr proverbial debt mountain – one step at a time – not a giant leap for Goat kind! Easy does it, nothing radical and risky for Capricorn in scaling this mountain. The Saturn Ketu alignment is the domain of life associated with health and repose. Solitary repose and retreat cost nothing- rather, they give Capricorn energy and currency.

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 Mars combustion is taking place in the domains of life associated with your relationships and legacies. This can be indicative of a conflicted time in your personal relationships that can truly test compatibility. If you are feeling more combat able than compatible perhaps it is best to seek counsel or move on. The Saturn Ketu alignment is in the domain of life associated with your friends and sangha. A step back from social and group activities can really show how much you are missed, and therefore how much you are valued. Distance gives perspective.

For those born under the constellation of Pisces, March 14th-April 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the Mars combustion is taking place in the domains of life associated with your health, hygiene and relationship. Test for compatibility versus combat ability in your most intimate relationships and move forward with the results. Take some time off from trying so hard to get well – the rest will do you good during the combustion. The Saturn Ketu alignment is in the domain of life associated with your career. Is your work in the world really a career or just a job? This can be a good time to help you make that distinction and let get of false hopes if you have been confused in that matter.

July & August

The month of July features Mercury retrograde which starts on July 7th when he will appear to stop and regress through the constellation of Cancer until he comes to a dead stop in the heavens again and resumes his forward motion at the end of the month on July 31st. 

There is much misinformation about retrograde planets in general and Mercury in particular. Planets appear to retrograde when they come close to the earth, which means they are brighter, and more powerful than when they are far from the earth. Mercury retrogrades when he comes between the Sun and the Earth at his closest approach to mother earth.

When a planet retrogrades he moves very slowly and extends his sojourn through whatever constellation he is transiting. Generally, Mercury transits a constellation in less than three weeks. However, when retrograde he will spend up to two months in a constellation and thus will have an opportunity to make a much greater impact according to his strength and associations.

Mercury is viewed as neutral planet and he takes on the characteristics of the benefic or malefic planets that influence him. When moving at his usual speed, he will associate with both benefic and malefic planets every couple of weeks representing the usual vicissitudes of the daily headlines reflecting his benefic and not so benefic associations. However when retrograde all that changes as he will remain much longer in his benefic, or malefic associations — so it is not business as usual!

In Sanskrit Mercury is called Budha, and his function is buddhi; discernment and judgement. We use the Latin, merc, which is indicative of business and finance as in commerce, merchants, and mercenary. Thus, during his retrograde cycle he will remain in alignment for an extended duration with the naturally benefic or malefic planets for better or worse- so caution is advised in decisions as the consequences can have far reaching ramifications!

Further, during his Rx cycle he will conjoin the Sun, and as he comes close to the Sun he will disappear from view until he gains some distance and once again can be seen in the heavens. It is during this time when the planet of judgement cannot be seen, that important decisions are not advised — not during the whole Mercury retrograde cycle!

July 2019

July starts with Mercury transiting the constellation of Cancer, which is ruled by the Moon. In the mythology of India Mercury is the son of the Moon. Whereas the Moon represents consciousness, Mercury represents discernment and judgement, which is born of consciousness. Mercury has enmity with the Moon, as he is raised by Jupiter, not his father the Moon. When planets are in the constellations of those they have they enmity with they are not in a position of strength and cannot express themselves to their full advantage. Mercury is not comfortable in Cancer, and this raises issues concerning his prognostications.

Further Mercury will be transiting with the malefic planet Mars, who remains in the constellation of Cancer all of July, until August 8th. Mercury and Mars also have enmity with each other and neither is at their best in the constellation of Cancer. This portends a volatile time for judgment and decision making as Mars will heat up Mercury to become more reactive and vitriolic in his prognostications. Business and trade will be conflicted during this month leading to conflict in commerce due to reactionary forces. Mercury will retrograde on July 7th and exactly align with Mars on the 8th to keep things hot the first half of the month. Watch out for DTD's (digitally transmitted diseases) such as hacking, malware, cyber warfare and tech glitches and failures during this time.

Mercury will conjoin the Sun on July 21st. He will have his disappeared from view approximately nine days before and nine days after the 21st when you will once again be able to see him early in the morning on July 31st. It is during his conjunction with the Sun that Mercury becomes combust and cannot be seen in the heavens. This is why during this time in Mercury’s RX cycle it is poor for important decisions. Thus with Mercury so afflicted with retrograde Mars and suffering combustion later in the month, you should be prepared for a volatile month when new information is presented like a major league fastball breaking over your home plate! It will be fast and furious, indicative of Mercury’s alignment with Mars and his combustion with the Sun. The month will mirror chaos.

To further complicate the matter July will feature two eclipses. A total solar eclipse will occur on July 2nd at 16 degrees Gemini followed by partial lunar eclipse on July 16th at 0 degrees Capricorn. Important judgements and decisions will have a tendency to be made in the shadows based upon incomplete information or worse influenced by fear and reality stoked paranoia. Important decisions are best embraced after gathering all the facts, not in a heated, reactive state of mind. If possible defer important decisions to a time of less reactivity when Mercury gets some distance on Mars and the eclipses. Mercury will stop in the heaves on the New Moon of July 31st and you will be able to view him early in the morning before the Sun rises. He will have distance on Mars later in August.

August 2019

From August 2nd to the 8th both Mercury and Mars will be transiting the constellation of Cancer. Mercury will have a brief respite from Mars until near the end of the month, but more importantly Mercury will be under the influence of Jupiter until the 26th of August. This represents a much better time for judgement and important decisions as Jupiter's light will lend wise counsel to Mercury. You should embrace wise counsel in all your important decisions during this time, as Jupiter represents gurus and judges —– literally those whose judgments we value.

Also, Mercury will be in alignment with Venus who will remain in the constellation of Cancer until the 16th of the month. Venus and Mercury are best friends and regularly come into alignment as they are both never far from the Sun. Venus will assist Mercury to seek out convivial friends and associates restoring Mercury' affable nature. This is an excellent time to socialize, travel and remediate the difficulties of the previous month. Both Venus and Jupiter will be influencing Mercury from water constellations so it represents a restorative and relaxing time to vacation poolside at your favorite resort, weather permitting, in this time of storm and climate change!

Mars leaves Cancer, where he is weak and moves into Leo on August 8th. Mars is strong and decisive in Leo, the constellation of the King. Venus arrives in Leo on the 16th and the King himself, the Sun, arrives in his own constellation on August1 7th! Venus will be combust the Sun throughout the entire month of August. When Venus is combust, like Mercury, he is absent from the night sky during the whole month. Therefore Vedic astrologers do not recommend Venus' combustion as a time for marriage ceremonies. When the planet of love and happiness cannot be seen in the heavens, it is best to wait until Venus reappears again later in September.

Mercury enters Leo on August 27th. Here he benefits from his relationship with the Sun and Venus, mitigating the negative influence of Mars, who will leave Leo later in September. Leo is a regal sign of dignity and ceremony. Mercury, with his friend Venus, reflecting the light of the Sun in his own constellation heralds a proper time of diplomacy and decorum in making important decisions and agreements. This counters the lack of diplomacy, decorum and displays of vulgarity for which Mars is infamous. Cooler and more informed heads prevail later in August where Mars can longer maintain the upper hand through chaos and conflict. The Sun combusts Mars on Labor Day September 2nd gaining the upper hand by exiling from the heavens until the following month. This represents a dignified period, a time to embrace solidarity by turning away from warmongering and brinksmanship.

Personal Forecast for Each of the Constellations

For those born under the constellation of Aries, April 14-May 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, this Mercury Rx will be in the domain of life associated with the foundation of your life, your mother, home and family. July may be a month of domestic uncertainty, so do not overschedule yourself so you can tend to family matters. Real estate purchases may also be suspect and uncertain, so it is best to wait until Mercury moves forward and benefits from Jupiter's aspect later in August. The solar eclipse of July 2nd falls in the domain of life associated with your daily commute and siblings. Make sure there are not traffic revisions at this time which will add to your frustrations!

For those born under the constellation of Taurus, May 15th-June 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, this Mercury RX will be in the domain of life associated with your communication and computing devices. Now is the time to make sure they are all up to date and current to avert potential problems. Put a call block on all those robo calls to save you time and money. A younger sibling may need help. The solar eclipse of July 2nd falls in the domain of life associated with food and finance. This is an excellent time to change your relationship with food and money. A new foundational diet, not a fad diet is in order. The Bull could use a financial advisor to revisit the family budget!

For those born under the constellation of Gemini, June 15th-July 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, this Mercury RX will be in the domain of life associated with food and finance. Like the Bull, this is an excellent time for mobile Gemini to evaluate food and finances to make sure your busy lifestyle is not energetically or financially depleting you. The solar eclipse of July 2nd is in the domain of life associated with you. This can be the time for a personal make-over to present to others the attributes which represent your personal best. Eclipses are an excellent time for self-reflection and eliminating negative, self-defeating patterns which impede our sense of self-worth!

For those born under the constellation of Cancer, July 16th-August 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, this Mercury RX will be in the domain of life associated with you. This can be a time of self-reflection and a reassessment of self-needs. Are you projecting the right image you wish the world to embrace? This is an excellent time examine your communication style and develop new skills to communicate more effectively with those you value. The solar eclipse of July 2nd is in the domain of life associated with healing and repose. Perhaps this is the month the Crab will take time to retreat into his shell, withdrawing from the world for some well –deserved rest and relaxation.

For those born under the constellation of Leo, August 17th-September 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, this Mercury RX is in the domain of life associated with healing and repose. The Regal Lion has been on the prowl lately and all that activity has quite frankly taken its toll. It is time for the Big Cat to sit back to relax and recharge so he can get his stride back for the busy time ahead. The solar eclipse of July 2nd is in the domain of life associated with friends and community. Perhaps all those friends in your Sangha you thought were going to show up and help you celebrate are fewer than you imagined? Some say you are a dreamer? You know the song. You are not the only one!

For those born under the constellation of Virgo, September 17th-October 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, this Mercury RX is in the domain of life associated with your friends, community and life goals. Make sure your close friendships are supporting those goals and you will remain on track. Fair weather or occasional friends will fall to the wayside as your aims and objectives become clearer. The solar eclipse of July 2nd falls in the domain of life associated with career. This is often a time of change of culture or reorganizations at work. It is best to weather the storm if possible and do not react to changes outside your control right now. Once the light returns you can take charge!

For those born under the constellation of Libra October 17th-November 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, this Mercury RX is in the domain of life associated with your career. The learning curve within your profession may change with emerging technologies and new procedures that have the potential to make this a crazy period of readjustment. Not all changes play out immediately according to expectations, so be patient to see the fruits of your vocational efforts. The solar eclipse of July 2nd falls into the domain of life associated with travel and education. The trend is to review your educational and travel goals to see if they are on track and taking you to where you really want to go!

For those born under the constellation of Scorpio, November 16th-December 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, this Mercury RX is in the domain of life associated with education and travel. Is your continuing education relevant to professional goals in today’s changing world? If not, now is the time to answer that question. Travel is complicated during this time, so plan carefully. The solar eclipse of July 2nd is in the domain of life associated with insurance and legacies. Doubly make sure your insurance needs are in alignment with your needs. It may pay to shop around to see if there are more affordable programs that offer the same coverage for a far better price!

For those born under the constellation of Sagittarius, December 16th-January 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, this Mercury RX is in the domain of life associated with insurance, taxes and legacies. Now is the time to evaluate your insurance needs and make sure your tax withholding and deductions are in alignment so there are no surprises at year’s end. The solar eclipse of July 2nd is in the domain of life associated with marriage, romance and partnership. Stresses inn these areas can emerge during this eclipse cycle resulting in a reexamination of your relationship and partnership needs. No need for knee-jerk reactions at this time. Take the cool-headed track to change!

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, this Mercury RX is in the domain of life associated with marriage, romance and partnership. This can be the time to reevaluate your romantic and partnering needs and expectations. The sure-footed Goat will not be so sure about relationship during this time so best to take a step back until the road ahead becomes more clearly paved! The solar eclipse of July 2nd is the domain of life associated with health and hygiene. This time favors responsible self-care versus over care for others. It is time for Capricorn to go on a well-earned solo, self-serving sabbatical!

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, this Mercury RX is in the domain of life associated with your health and hygiene. This can be the time for the Water Bearer to reevaluate their daily routines and habits to ensure they are in in your best long term interest. Aquarius is Saturn’s more social sign, so there is no need to go solo in making healthy changes. Embrace like-minded others who have the same goals and there also be the opportunity to make new friends! The solar eclipse of July 2nd is in the domain of life associated with progeny and fun. See life through the eyes of child to regain your joy!

For those born under the constellation of Pisces, March 14th-April 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, this Mercury RX is in the domain of life associated with your progeny. This can be the time to examine a new trajectory in your relationship with your children and to make amends regarding past misunderstandings and miscommunications by understanding their needs versus yours. The solar eclipse of July 2nd is in the domain of life associated with mother, home and family. Stresses on the home front may have the Fish feeling as if they are swimming up-stream against the current of happiness. Don’t try so hard. Relax; the waters of happiness are all around you – not far upstream!