Solstice Blessings, June 21, 2017

Blessings of the upcoming solstice to all! Solstice falls on June 21 (or 20th depending on where you live). It will be summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, and winter solstice in the southern hemisphere. The exact dates and times are June 21, 2017 at 4:24 AM UTC which is 00:24 AM EDT, and converts to June 20 at 11:24 PM CDT / 10:24 PM MDT /  9:24 PM PDT / 6:24 PM HT. When the Sun reaches a point where it is furthest away from the celestial equator at 23.5° declination, it is at the zenith on summer solstice and at the nadir on winter solstice.

Above is a diagram of the Earth’s seasons as seen from the north. Far left: summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere. Front right: summer solstice for the Southern Hemisphere. (Image by Tauʻolunga – Own work, CC0,

When the Sun is at the zenith, it is the time of maximum daylight and the beginning of summer; when the Sun is at its nadir, it is the time of minimum daylight and the beginning of winter. The solstices mark the time when the Sun achieves maximum declination and appears to pause for three days before changing direction, and so the term “solstice” comes from the Latin solstitium: sol = Sun, and stitium/statum = “to make stand still.”

Also known as Midsummer Night, summer solstice is associated with the first harvest, and thus represents a time to pause, enjoy, and appreciate what has been created in the past six months. In the process, it is a good time to evaluate one’s progress and make any necessary changes. The three days on either side of the solstice are supercharged with subtle, spiritual energy, but these days can also reflect some shakiness, which is even truer as the planetary transits now and in the next few months are so potentially precarious, as I’ll write more about in my next blog. So anyway, it’s important to stay grounded and focused more than ever, and it’s imperative that we are extra mindful to empower and protect our mental and physical health now and through the summer months ahead (winter months ahead in the southern hemisphere).

In Vedic astrology, the waxing half of the solar year is called uttarayana, which extends from winter to summer solstice, and the waning half of the solar year is called dakshinayana, which extends from summer to winter solstice. Therefore, on June 21, uttarayana is beginning in the northern hemisphere, and dakshinayana in the southern. It is said that uttarayana is ideal for the worship of and focus on Lord Shiva, nature’s active/yang principle; and that dakshinayana is best for worship of and focus on Shakti Maa, nature’s receptive/yin principle.

According to Muhurta, Vedic astrology’s Electional astrology system, uttarayana is considered the most fruitful half of the year for initiating anything of worldly consequence, such as moving into a new home or starting a new business; but the last three days of either ayana are to be avoided for beginning important events, which means that from June 21 through June 24 this month, we should do our best to avoid setting into motion any vital events that are to have lasting value.

Solstices generate subtle magnetic changes within us and out there in the world: as above, so below, as within, so without. Many of us are feeling these shifting energies now and in the past several days, whether we are moving toward summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, or winter solstice in the southern. In the summer solstice, the life energy is bursting forth, and in the winter solstice, it will soon begin spiraling inward. Summer solstice, which is happening where I live, is the time of year when the Sun — our inner and outer Light — is achieving maximum potency.

Image result for sunlight heart burst

Summer Solstice is kind of like a “full Sun,” so it feels a bit like the intense expansive energy of a full Moon. It’s an important time to stop, give thanks, enjoy, and share the bounty of nature’s blessings. I usually have both a sunrise meditation and a sunset picnic on this longest day of the year! Many will be participating in spiritual rituals and ceremonies at this time, and these are highly recommended to help us access and align with the profound love and light generated in this powerful seasonal still point.

Saturn Retrograde: April 6 to August 25, 2017

Lord Shani (Saturn) wills station retrograde on Thursday, April 6 at 1:06:24 AM EDT (5:06:24 AM UTC. He’s slowing down now, and all day I’ve had the Star Wars Imperial March stuck in my head. 🙂 Then I wrote this blog post and somehow lost it all and had to come back and do it again. Thanks Shani for teaching me to have fortitude and to be more careful and patient. That’s the gift of Shani, and when he’s retrograde… well, he’s stronger but his energy is somewhat skewed, so his “gifts” can make even more of an impact as in “the pressure and fire that forge the diamond soul” (Steven Arroyo).

The ~week before and after the actual station of Saturn can be a time of intense mood shifts, financial concerns, apprehension, and unease. We might expect to hear of some shocking or dramatic announcement in the news. There might be some seismic and meteorological events, explosions, attacks, and mishaps. During the next week as Saturn stations and starts moving backward, we will especially benefit from added mindfulness and spiritual practices for centering and grounding, including conscious breathing.

Saturn will be retrograde until August 25. This cycle of Saturn is a perfect opportunity for strengthening our determination in the face of obstacles and frustrations. Saturn signifies the principle of reality check, limits, boundaries, and consequences. Unbalanced, his essence can be contracting, fearful, anxious, depressed, or blocked. When balanced, Saturn is the epitome of reform, conservation, organization, and practical achievement. Ultimately, Saturn is the divine servant whose hard knocks are meant to reveal the truth about the divine play of consciousness.

On a mundane level, Saturn is the significator of the economy, laboring classes, disease, anxiety, misfortune, and sorrow; during its retrograde period, all these significations can be highlighted. Until late November, Saturn is transiting in the danger zone of the nakshatra gandanta between the Scorpio and Sagittarius constellations, which I already wrote about extensively last January. This is a definitely a difficult year for the world during this transit.

An astrologer has to analyze multiple factors to understand how the Saturn retrograde cycle will influence a mundane or natal horoscope. One of many techniques that I like to work with comes from a classical Indian astrology work called Sanketa Nidhi, in which Saturn retrograde mostly affects the sign ninth from it, which would be Leo, and then as of June 21 (when Saturn moves back in sidereal Scorpio), it would be Cancer. Wherever these signs fall by house (bhava) in a mundane or natal chart may indicate where we have to overcome insecurity, face the consequences of unresolved matters, be practical, work smarter, establish new priorities, and transform our ambitions.

In addition to the houses being activated, the signs will also be activated. Leo relates to personal power; creativity; politics and politicians; world leaders; stock markets; entertainment, entertainers, sports figures, and places of amusement and recreation. In the case of Cancer, issues revolve around security; domestic life; women and families; real estate and land development; fishing industry; waterways; agriculture; food production and distribution; nourishment; and charitable organizations.


Uranus in Aries, A Neo-Vedic View

On April 7, 2017, transiting Uranus entered the constellation of Aries, which is known as the Uranus-Aries ingress. This represents a significant sea-change which was set in motion last summer when Uranus entered Aries for a short while. Uranus entered sidereal Aries on June 27, 2016 and remained there until August 31, 2016. From August 31, 2016 until April 7, 2017, Uranus completed its Pisces transit. Uranus transited the most precarious section between Pisces and Aries, called the nakshatra gandanta—the last 3 deg. 20 min of Pisces and first 3 deg. 20 min. of Aries—from April 15, 2016 to December 7, 2016, and again transitins in the nakshatra gandanta from Jan. 20, 2017 until June 11, 2017. Uranus will remain in the constellation of Aries until March 18, 2025, but will move into Taurus for a brief period from June-December 2024 and then again into Taurus in March 2025.

As a Neo-Vedic astrologer, I use the outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in their sidereal positions (Lahiri ayanamsha), but I rarely assign rulership, dignity, and debility to them. In natal readings, I usually only use them when they make close contacts natally or by transit to the traditional grahas or angles (kendra cusps) of the chart, and I use them in chart element analysis, attributing one point to each of them in their respective rashis (signs). In mundane astrology, the “outers” become quite important as representatives of collective forces, and I will especially watch their transits in relation to various mundane horoscopes. Outer planet transits into a new sign are quite significant in natal or mundane astrology as they move relatively slowly compared to the grahas of Vedic astrology, and thus represent generational and semi-generational cycles which are much larger than those of the grahas.

Continue reading

It’s (Not Even Close to) the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius!

Eight years ago I received an email from a Western astrologer predicting a collective awakening due to the cosmic birth of the Age of Aquarius which was set to begin on February 14th, 2009. Well, it clearly did not happen, and was not based on anything that I know to be true in astrology. This idea still comes around now and then, and is quite timely now as the Moon’s South Node Ketu, which rules past karma as well as enlightenment, is transiting across the natal Moon (public, collective mind) in the sign of Aquarius in the US birth chart. In case anyone was under the impression that the Age of Aquarius is happening now or will be happening anytime soon, it is not, and I will try to explain why in this article.

The Age of Aquarius landed in popular culture during the peace-and-love hippie era of the 60s and 70s. In 1967, the smash-hit musical Hair immortalized this notion in its opening song by the musical group The 5th Dimension. The lyrics included the following astrological fantasy: ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ *When the moon is in the Seventh House…And Jupiter aligns with Mars…Then peace will guide the planets…And love will steer the stars…This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius* ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

I don’t mean to be a killjoy, and like anyone, would welcome the Aquarian Age of “harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding, no more falsehoods or derisions, golden living dreams of visions, mystic crystal revelation, and the mind’s true liberation,” but this was all just a bit premature according to astrology. Astrologers who use the actual observable sidereal zodiac agree that we will not reach the Age of Aquarius for at least a few more hundred years. Continue reading

Vedic New Year 2017: Hemalamba Samvatsara

One of the many New Year charts used in Vedic astrology is based on New Moon in Pisces, when Sun and Moon come together in the same celestial longitude in Pisces constellation, which is called the Chaitra Shukla Pratipada that refers to the first synodic lunar day (tithi) of the waxing Moon in the Vedic month of Chaitra. It is believed that Lord Brahma created the universe on this very day. This Vedic New Year is also called Vikram Samvat, as well as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, and Ugadi in Telegu.

This year, the Chaitra Shukla Pratipada tithi starts in the night of Monday, March 27 for Washington DC, and the horoscope for the Vedic New Year for the US is calculated for this date and time. However, the New Year lord for not only the US but also Europe is calculated for the following day on Tuesday, the day of Mars, which is the day on which the pratipada tithi is in place at sunrise (March 28). In India, the New Year will occur after sunrise on the 28th, so Wednesday, March 29 (ruled by Mercury) will be the day celebrating the Vedic New Year, and Mercury will be the lord of the year in India. The beginning of the Vedic New Year also marks Vasant Navratri, the nine-night spring festival of Mother Divine when Devi Durga comes down to bless the world and her children at the beginning of the New Year.

The samvatsara for this new year is called Hemalamba. A samvatsara is a Sanskrit term for “year.” In the Vedic system, there are 60 samvatsaras and these are described in Brihat Samhita in Chapter VIII: Jupiter’s Course (Jovian years). Each samvatsara carries a particular essence that correlates with its Sanskrit name and also is related to its group ruler. The samvatsara for 2016-2017 was Durmukha, which Sage Varahamahira labeled “utterly baneful.” Many people would agree with that assessment for 2016. Continue reading

Venus Retrograde: March 4 to April 15, 2017

Happy Venus Day, Friday, known as Shukravaar in the Vedic tradition. Today’s colors are white and pastel rainbow colors. Wearing these colors on Fridays will lift your spirits and enhance the positive qualities of Venus which are abundance, ease, comfort, peace, and loving kindness. Venus has been in her apparition as Evening Star since last July 2016, and is now preparing to retrograde into the Underworld and revive herself as the Morning Star.

Venus will station retrograde on March 4, 2017 at 4:09 AM EST. The powerful stationary phase will resonate a few days either side of that (March 2-6). This stationary period is when Venus is very strong and can evoke powerful feelings and events. Venus will remain retrograde until its direct station on April 15, 2017, and so the direct stationary cycle will be in range from April 13-17, 2017.

Approximately every 18 months, Venus retrogrades for about 42 days. The last time Venus was retrograde was late July to early September, 2015. When Venus retrogrades, she is transiting about 29 degrees ahead of the Sun in celestial longitude, and will retrograde back approximately 21-29 degrees behind the Sun before turning direct. Venus will reach Inferior Conjunction on March 25, will be invisible for several days on either side of this conjunction, and will shine at its brightest as the Morning Star in late April.

Venus will retrograde at 19 degrees sidereal Pisces in Revati nakshatra, and will station direct at almost 3 degrees sidereal Pisces in Purvabhadrapada nakshatra. At the direct station, Venus will be exactly conjoined Chiron, indicating (for some) an experience of oneness and divine love coming out of this retrograde cycle. If you have important points or planets in your natal chart within 3 degrees of the Venus stationary points (19 degrees and 3 degrees of sidereal Pisces), a memorable event may occur in the days before or after either the retrograde or direct station.

Any such memorable events may continue to unfold for some time to come as well, even as far ahead as the third week of May when Venus will cross forward over the stationary degree mark of 19 degrees sidereal Pisces. If this is an auspicious part of your natal chart, it can be a positive event. If it is a less favorable part of the chart, the difficult effects would be minimal.

The Venus retrograde cycle may also be significant for those running Venus dasha or sub-dasha cycles, and for those who are ruled by Venus (Taurus or Libra Lagna or Moon). For instance, for these individuals, people and events from the past or present may trigger an examination of feelings of “worth versus self-worth,” as “worth” and value are important themes for Venus in astrology.

This along with other Venusian themes related to beauty-arts-music, relationships, love, material wealth, comfort, virility, and happiness can be important areas of focus now as Venus retrogrades and takes us inward to examine and heal certain important “matters of the heart.” As the heart is the seat of all actions in life, such matters could cover a wide range of areas. The house in which Venus retrogrades will be where the main focus is. This is a specific matter which I have been discussing with my clients in consultation.

Vedic astrology has many controversial opinions about retrograde planets, known as vakri graha. Jataka Parijata says that Venus is strong when retrograde and exalted (in Pisces, as now) and also when it is ahead of the Sun (which it will be until March 27). Another view is expressed in Saravali, a great 10th-century commentary by Kalyana Varma, which states that a retrograde planet while in exaltation produces no effect (i.e. nothing good will happen). Saravali also states that retrograde planets are seen as powerful for good or bad: retrograde benefics in the natal chart confer kingship, and retrograde malefics cause misery and “aimless wandering.”

Mantresvara (Phaladeepika) says that a planet becomes powerful and auspicious when retrograde, which he said is like being exalted even if the planet is in an enemy sign or debilitated. According to Sri Parasara, a planet’s benefic tendencies are greater when retrograde: the greater the cheshta bala (motional strength), the greater the good of a planet. The cheshta bala is greatest during a planet’s retrograde motion.

In my experience, retrograde planets do become stronger, but often that strength is internalized rather than externalized. A planet’s energy is reversed when retrograde; as it turns inward, its qualities are felt and communicated in a way that is somewhat different from what we would normally expect from the planet.  A transiting or natal retrograde planet generally asks us to look within, reevaluate, and consciously activate it.

In the case of Venus, again this can be about self-worth and values, as well as issues of our vitality, and those related to love, relationship, and material well-being. As Venus retrogrades, she goes into the Underworld, and as above, so below, we have a brilliant opportunity to dive deep within ourselves and renew our own unconditional self-love, and reevaluate what is really important to us, and realign our consciousness along these lines as Venus comes close to the Sun (Self) during its retrograde cycle.

As mentioned above, during Venus retrograde cycles, it is common for people or events from the past to resurface, and to reconnect with us, but often this is happening to help us complete and reconcile something that was left unresolved from the past rather than starting over again. It is often said that a new relationship forged under Venus retrograde will not have a chance, though I feel this is not always true and will depend on multiple other factors seen in the natal and progressed charts of an individual, mundane or business entity.

The retrograde Venus cycle, and especially the day of the direct station (April 15, which is synchronistically tax day in the US), can be a good time to sell used items or resolve financial, business, and legal matters, like refinancing a loan, hiring a new agent, or finishing a legal matter. It is not considered a great time to buy luxury items like art, jewelry and cars, though used items like antiques might be considered a good purchase if their true value is not known.

Om. With loving reverence, I bow before Lord Venus, who is the diamond of the sky and the lord of delight, who is highly intelligent and ever benevolent, who is the ever-flowing font of wisdom and protection…Homage to Lord Shukra!

Annular Solar “Ring of Fire” Eclipse in Aquarius, February 26, 2017

An annular “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse will occur on Sunday, February 26, 2017, beginning at 12:10 PM UTC (7:10 AM EST), peaking at 2.58 PM UTC (9:58 AM EST) and setting at 5.35 PM UTC (12:35 EST). The eclipse will occur in the Southern Hemisphere along a very narrow path (shown in the map below) beginning over the South Pacific Ocean, crossing South America and the Southern Atlantic Ocean and ending in Africa. According to Vedic astrology, an eclipse affects the whole world, but important geopolitical events are often stirred up more in the areas where the eclipse shadow actually falls.

The “ecliptic” is the apparent path of the Sun, i.e., the Sun’s path as it’s seen from the Earth. The name is derived from ecliptik (Late Latin) ecliptica linea, literally, “line of eclipses.” Eclipses occur where the path of the Moon crosses the path of the Sun in the northern or southern direction. These crossing points where eclipses occur are known as the lunar nodes. The intersection point on the ascending path is called the North Node, Rahu, the Dragon’s Tail or Caput Draconis. The intersection point on the descending path is known as the South Node, Ketu, the Dragon’s Tail or Caudus Draconis.

The word “eclipse” is Late Middle English via Latin and the Greek “ekleiptikos” or “ekleipein” meaning “fail to appear.” A solar eclipse falls on a new Moon when the Sun, Moon, and Earth line up, and the Moon blocks the light of the Sun. In Hindi, the name for eclipse is “grahan,” so Vedic astrology calls a solar eclipse “Surya (Sun) grahan.” A lunar eclipse occurs on full Moon when the light of the Moon is blocked by the Earth’s shadow as the Earth is between the Sun and Moon. In Vedic astrology, the lunar eclipse is known as “Chandra (Moon) grahan.”

The eclipses do have to happen exactly on the new and full Moon, but because of the Moon’s tilt to the ecliptic and the Earth, an eclipse cannot happen every full or new Moon. Further, the luminaries (Sun and Moon) are not always exactly conjunct (in the same celestial longitude) as the lunar nodes. Solar and lunar eclipses occur ~every six months and follow each other within a two-week time span. Sometimes the lunar eclipse occurs before the solar, and sometimes it is the other way, and sometimes there are three eclipses in a row, but usually just two. Vedic astrology teaches that the world will have more unrest when the lunar eclipses precede the solar eclipses, as we see happening in 2017.

Astronomers and astrologers recognize various kinds of eclipses which are calculated according to the celestial latitude and longitude of the luminaries and the lunar nodes at the full or new Moon. These variations are total, partial, annular, or hybrid for solar eclipses; and total, partial, and appulse (penumbral) for lunar eclipses. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon completely covers the Sun; a partial solar eclipse happens when the Moon only partially covers the disk of the Sun.

An annular eclipse happens when the new Moon is too far away and too small to totally cover the solar disk; which occurs when the Moon is on the far side of its orbit so its umbral shadow is not long enough to reach Earth. A hybrid eclipse involves both an annular and a total eclipse. The February 26 eclipse is an annular one. Those on its path will see the annulus of bright sunlight around the dark Moon which is why it is called the “Ring of Fire” eclipse. (Image below is of annular eclipse via Wikipedia).

To understand eclipses it helps to know that, though the lunar nodes are not planets, they have the same power as planets in astrology, and are called shadow planets or chaya graha. In natal and transit charts as well as progressed cycles, Rahu and Ketu represent the karmic axis and show us much about our evolutionary journey and what in our karma needs to be stirred up to help us move forward. They traverse one rashi (sign) every 18 months and take about 18 years to traverse the whole zodiac. Eclipses occur in the signs where the lunar nodes are transiting.

One way that some astrologers look at the difference between the luminaries and the nodes in an eclipse is that the luminaries determine the timing of the eclipse (when they are exactly conjunct or opposite), whereas the lunar node marks the zodiac point of the eclipse which will be most activated. I have found that both points, the luminaries and the node, can be trigger points. In the February 26, 2017 eclipse, the mean lunar node Ketu at 9 degrees Aquarius will eclipse the Sun and Moon at 14 degrees Aquarius, all in Shatabisha nakshatra. The zodiac position of the node at maximum eclipse (near the exact full or new Moon) sometimes becomes a “critical degree” afterward. Astrologers will watch transits to these eclipse points in the future.

Rahu and Ketu block the light of the Sun and Moon in eclipses, and this often signals dynamic changes especially when the eclipse occurs within ~three degrees of a conjunction or aspect to a natal planet or angle cusp. How we express the energy of that planet or chart point will undergo a rebooting and rebirthing process both before and after the eclipse. Astrologers have access to complex techniques to determine how long going backward and forward an eclipse will resonate.

Whether the changes suggested by an eclipse are “easy or difficult” depends on the natal significations of the eclipsed planet or point, as well as aspects, yogas, and cycles, as well as the eclipse axis itself. Both solar and lunar eclipses have an influence on all areas of life including personal relationships, health, professional matters, finances, and inner growth, and these areas will be highlighted according to the planets, signs, and houses where the eclipses fall within a natal or mundane horoscope.

A solar eclipse carries more weight than a lunar eclipse. Further, an eclipse will be strongest to bring change when many planets line up in the eclipse axis; and, when the luminaries are closest to the node (as in total eclipses). Thus, the February 26 annular eclipse will not be as strong as the total eclipse in August 2017 will be. Yet, the February eclipse involves several planets: Mercury, Ketu, Sun, Moon, and Neptune. Mercury adds some auspicious energy to the mix for sure, but when it transits over the eclipse points from ~ February 28 to March 3, some noteworthy event(s) may be triggered related to communication; transportation; travel; business and commerce; news media and publishing; treaties, ambassadors, and matters of state; and armed services.

In regard to a personally significant eclipse, a Rahu eclipse (like the one next August) is often thought to be more of a positive force than a Ketu eclipse (like this one in February), especially in terms of material conditions. However, I have seen several cases in which a Ketu eclipse occurred in the days and weeks before someone received a major windfall. This can be explained by the fact that Ketu often represents past life merit and the release of karmic debts. Nonetheless, a Ketu eclipse initially feels more difficult and exhausting as it requires letting go of something or working something out in preparation for a new cycle ahead. For someone whose chart is directly affected as mentioned above, it can be very difficult for the emotional, mental, or physical health, and it can temporarily diminish confidence and clarity.

The rashi and nakshatra of the eclipse have a lot to say about possible areas of life which are more generally as well as specifically affected by eclipse. The February 26 eclipse occurs in Shatabisha nakshatra, which deals with healing, astronomy and astrology; stock exchange; fisheries and fishing; rivers, oceans, lakes, dams, reservoirs, and water supplies; prison reform; and electricity. The eclipse also falls in the middle of Aquarius, sign of the Water Bearer, which is also the sign of revolutions and rebellions; science, media, technology and invention; outer space; oil and oil wells; auto and airline industries; labor organizations; civil rights; reclaimed lands; and spirituality. The latter is also emphasized by the presence of Ketu and Neptune in the eclipse axis, which are also strong spiritual indicators.

In the Washington DC eclipse chart, the rising sign is at 27 degrees sidereal Aries in the sharp, aggressive, altruistic, creative, and transformational (fiery) Krittika nakshatra. Mars, ruler of the Aries chart, conjoins Uranus in the twelfth house in Pisces. This gives some challenging results especially as it is afflicted by Uranus. Mars in the twelfth house can point to civil unrest that could require emergency measures; enemy espionage; underground movements to subvert the government; legal issues for the President and his administration (fines, insubordinate government employees, penalties, judicial conflicts, or threats of impeachment); increased crime; infectious diseases (public health crisis); and drastic changes to all kinds of policies and laws. The exalted Venus also conjunct Mars should help to calm and cool down Mars and Uranus, offering some diplomacy to the mix.

The eclipse falls in the eleventh house which is the best house for an eclipse to fall in, where malefics like Ketu tend to give overall good results. The eleventh house also has special reference to legislators and legislation (Congress); national goals; alliances with foreign countries; national treasury and stock exchange; foreign ambassadors; the Vice President of the country; state and city governing bodies; and gains from trade. Mercury in the eclipse axis promises an active and busy time in Congress this next year, with much new legislation affecting trade, commerce, and education.

However, with Ketu and Neptune involved, we will also see more of the same trend of political drama and deception; personal recriminations; and embittered arguments and disputes among various factions of government. Hopefully Ketu in the eclipse axis and eleventh house reflects some positive changes ahead for the government. Yet, the government is a reflection of the collective consciousness of the nation, which is not in good psychological shape now as Ketu is eclipsing the Moon, which represents the mass mind.

The US Moon eclipsed by Ketu has been moving into place since last summer and points to a great deal of anger, misery, delusion, fear, projection, divisiveness, and civil unrest. The Moon will be eclipsed in the third house of the US Kelleher chart, which is also indicative of major domestic changes ahead; continuing issues related to immigration policies; ongoing mistrust of the mainstream media; and general unrest and confusion among the people.

Nonetheless, for those who follow a more enlightened path of self-realization, the Ketu Aquarius eclipse can be one of awakening. I am also hopeful that as Ketu moves back past the Moon in April, and this might start to ease up some of our current state of public unrest, and I sense that around the August 2017 eclipses, when the lunar nodes change signs, we will begin to face a different set of issues related to the economy, food and water supplies, public health, and ongoing threats to First Amendment rights.

Raphael’s Mundane Astrology says that eclipses falling in Air signs like Aquarius signify “famine, sickness, pestilence, tempests and stormy winds hurtful to mankind.” In the second decan of Aquarius, the eclipse is said to “universally damage the seeds of the earth.” Yet, this eclipse is actually considered to be auspicious according to its Saros cycle, so I am not sure these admonitions apply.

Saros cycles are eclipse families designated by their “Saros Number.” This idea came from the ancient Babylonian astrologers who observed that eclipses occur in groups or families that link together the eclipses that happen every 18 years. These families evolve over cycles that last many centuries (10-15), comprising 80 eclipses in a series. Tracking these cycles is a very specific area of astrological research.

The February 26, 2017 eclipse is a member of Saros 140 which was born April 16, 1512. The last one in this cycle was February 16, 1999 and before that, February 4, 1981. Astrologer Bernadette Brady, in Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark, describes this eclipse as “SS 19 South: This family of eclipses brings with it the elements of the pleasant surprise…sudden happiness, a joyful event, the lucky break, the lucky win. Events [around this eclipse] can positively change the person’s life.”

With our thoughts, we make the world, and I for one will remain optimistic that events around the February 26, 2017 solar eclipse in the sign of the Water Bearer will bring healing, peace, and awakening to the world. For everyone and especially those whose natal horoscopes are closely influenced by this eclipse, I wish you a brilliant lucky break ahead!

Hail Saturn Who Forges the Diamond Soul

It’s Shanivaar again, the day of Shani or Saturn, Lord of Karma. A good color for Saturn is purple. Wearing and meditating on this color increases the highest manifestation of Saturn whose qualities are truth, spiritual awareness, patience, duty, responsibility, practicality, and effective time management and work habits.

Saturn is transiting in a weak position in the transformational gandanta (karmic knot) between Scorpio and Sagittarius for much of 2017, which I have discussed in great detail before in my blogs. Simply put, this transit epitomizes “a world in transition.” Saturn is currently transiting in the first pada of Mula nakshatra from 0 to 3 deg. 20 min. of sidereal Sagittarius in Aries navamsa. From mid-March to late April, he will move into the 2nd pada of Taurus navamsa which is generally more favorable for Saturn’s positive material, spiritual and creative results, as Taurus is ruled by Venus who is Saturn’s friend.

For now, Saturn is in the navamsa (ninth harmonic) of enemy Mars, and Vedic astrology teaches that a planet in its fallen (debilitated or neecha) navamsa acts fully debilitated no matter what its main rashi placement is. The essence of Saturn in Aries in the main sign or navamsa varga reflects ego problems like insecurity and conflict with authority. For those who seek to be more conscious, Saturn in Aries navamsa is now both individually and collectively seriously testing us on how to take responsibility for our thoughts, impulses and actions. For those less aware, Saturn in Aries points to a tendency for damaging psychological projection.

As the son of the Sun, Saturn’s nature is often expressed in the symbolic world of shadows. The late Vedic astrologer Bepin Behari wrote in his Myths and Symbols of Vedic Astrology that “Saturn spiritualizes but not by arousing an inner urge to discover the real Self. This comes as an after-effect. Saturn causes frustration with the material world. It creates sorrow first. It accentuates the nature of the ‘shadow’ and makes the veil covering the soul’s real nature more prominent through its restricting influence.” (p 91)

Astrologer Steven Arroyo wrote in Astrology, Karma and Transformation that Saturn’s heat and pressure are needed in order that we develop what Buddhists call the ‘diamond soul’ or ‘diamond body,’ which is their way of saying our fundamental innermost nature.” (p 73) In Astrology of Inner Space, Carl Payne Tobey expresses an interesting view of this innermost nature which I believe corresponds to the highest expression of Saturn, which is to reveal the illusions of the outer world:

         “I don’t feel the need to become a part of something bigger. There is more to conquer in inner space than in the outer world. It is unlimited and more interesting. It’s the source of understanding…this does not mean I am antisocial but I prefer to deal with individuals rather than groups…For many, the outer shell of inner space is contaminated and polluted by reflections from the outer world, that ‘something bigger’ with all its corruption and hypocrisy.” (pp 426-427)

I bow to Lord Shani, who removes the illusion of worldliness: Om Virodhadharabumaya Namah!
I bow to Lord Shani, who is the most senior and excellent One: Om Shresthaya Namah!
I bow to the One who speaks little: Om Mitabhasinaya Namah!
I bow to the One who destroys the root of ignorance: Om Avidyamulanasa Namah!
I bow to the One who is lowly and humble: Om Kurupinaya Namah!
I bow to the One who gives dispassion: Om Vairagyadaya Namah!
I bow to the One whose power arises from dispassion: Om Viraya Namah!
I bow to the One who is steady and reliable: Om Achanchala Namah!
I humbly bow to Lord Shani who is my own true nature. Om Sham Shanicharaya Namah!
Jai Saturn! Happy Saturn Day!

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, February 10-11, 2017

We are in the waxing Moon phase now, and light is increasing as we move toward the full Moon on February 10, 2017. This Moon will also be a very subtle lunar eclipse (penumbral or appulse).

According to “The ideal spot to watch this penumbral eclipse is from Europe, Africa, Greenland and Iceland. From there the whole eclipse can be seen, from start to finish, and it occurs at late night in a dark sky. In Asia, the eclipse will be obscured by morning twilight on February 11 and will be in eclipse at moonset (sunrise) February 11.

Although the whole eclipse, from start to finish, lasts for some four and one-third hours, the beginning and ending stages are not visible to the eye. Given a dark sky, free of twilight glare, the eclipse might be visible to the eye for an hour or two, centered on the greatest eclipse (February 11 at 00:44 UTC).  At North American time zones, that means the greatest eclipse will happen on February 10, at 8:44 p.m. AST, 7:44 p.m. EST, 6:44 p.m. CST, 5:44 p.m. MST, 4:44 p.m. PST and 3:44 p.m. AKST.”

In an appulse/penumbral lunar eclipse, the Moon moves through only the Earth’s penumbra and is only slightly dimmed. Please refer to for more information about your local eclipse times and visibility. Regarding the matter of visibility, Vedic astrology suggests not looking at an eclipse but instead, staying inside and going within, as all spiritual practices performed during any kind of eclipse are greatly enhanced no matter where it is visible on Earth.

Two weeks after this lunar eclipse on February 26, we will have a solar annular eclipse in sidereal Aquarius, and I will write more about this one at a later date. For now, I will say that solar eclipses generally tend to carry more weight than lunar eclipses, but both can be good for deepening spiritual practice and awareness. In addition, solar or lunar eclipses closely conjoining or aspecting a natal planet or chart point reflect significant changes, the nature of which will depend on the significations of that planet or point, as well as all the other aspects, yogas, and dasas in place.

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President Trump’s Inauguration Horoscope Part III

In this, my third installment about President Donald J. Trump’s Inauguration horoscope, I examine the horoscope set for January 20, 2017 at 12:00:26 in Washington, DC, United States, the moment when he swore the final words of his oath of office, “So help me God.”

SFPage1The cardinal (chara) modality is the strongest based on the Ascendant, Sun, Moon, and Midheaven occupying cardinal signs. Having the cardinal signs in the all-powerful angles (kendras) increases their power: The rising sign is in sidereal Aries; Moon is in Libra; and the Sun and Midheaven (MC/bhava madhya) are in Capricorn. In Vedic astrology, this cardinal lineup is called Rajju Yoga, which indicates a lot of initiative, quick action, and change. Though the cardinal is the strongest mode, the fixed (sthira) and mutable (dual/dwishwabhava) modes are also strong enough to balance the cardinal rajas with stable (fixed) tamas and adaptable (dual) sattva.

When the seven grahas (not including the Lunar Nodes) fall in contiguous houses as in this chart from Jupiter to Mars, the combination forms an auspicious Akriti Ardha-Chandra Yoga which suggests strong leadership, honor, and courage. When the grahas (not including the Lunar Nodes) fall in seven houses, the yoga is called Vina (Vallaki) which is one of the Sankhya yogas for prosperity. It also usually points to the buildup of a strong military.

The Moon in the seventh house is in Durudhara Yoga hemmed in by Jupiter and Saturn in the sixth and eighth houses. This is a propitious combination that supports the Moon and the seventh house and indicates prosperity and charitable action by and for the people. On first glance, there is Sakata Yoga in which Jupiter and the Moon are in a 2/12 relationship with each other. This combination often brings extreme extreme ups and downs, but it is mostly cancelled (neutralized) because the Moon is in a kendra (seventh house).

As mentioned in my previous article, the Sun is strong in the 10th house on the Midheaven (Abhijit Muhurta) and also in Abhijit nakshatra. The tenth is the most important house in the chart for a nation (which this Inauguration chart represents). The tenth and eleventh houses both indicate the Congress. The tenth also tells something about foreign trade and the overall well-being of the nation. The Sun represents the leader and his administrative office as well as the political party in power; the nation’s image, status, and honor in the world; and the country’s influence in geopolitical world affairs.

The Sun and tenth house are hemmed by benefics Venus (eleventh house) and Mercury (ninth house) which is called Ubhayachari Yoga and Shubha Kartari Yoga, combinations that reveal strength and fortune to the tenth house and the Sun. The Pars Fortuna (Part of Fortune, or Punya Saham) is well placed in the tenth house with the Sun, in exact trine to Jupiter, reflecting further protection, success, and some grace shining down on the nation.

There are no retrograde planets in the Inauguration chart (not counting Lunar Nodes which are retrograde). This is a rare astrological event that happens only in about eight percent of astrological charts, and it does not always happen in every year. It is actually quite common in the charts of US presidents and represents tremendous persistence, focus, and optimism.

Western astrologer Stephanie “Wave” Forest has named this cycle “APDM” (All Planets Direct Motion) and says it is a time that offers “hope for the future…[and] cosmic assistance to any endeavor created to benefit, rather than to hinder, human life on earth…wherein the whole planet can be energized by cosmic fuel rather than fossil fuels.” This year’s cycle APDM runs from January 8 to February 6, 2017. It’s interesting that former President Bill Clinton’s second term Inauguration happened during an APDM cycle; his term was marked by an economic boom but also marred by great scandal.

SFPage2The Marc Jones chart pattern in President Trump’s Inauguration chart (sidereal wheel shown below) is a Bowl, which occurs when most of the planets are on one side of the horoscope, as in this case where they predominantly occupy the southern hemisphere above the horizon. This pattern reflects passion and dedication but also disunity and contention as mirrored in the half-empty, half-full design. The Bowl chart is often on a mission to fill the empty half, seeking to balance and strengthen what appears to be lacking, which in this case is the empty half below the horizon. This area in a mundane horoscope refers in part to infrastructure and the heartland. President Trump’s plan is to rebuild the forgotten and depressed areas of America and its aging and broken infrastructure.

SFPage2The Bowl chart pattern can represent an obsessive dynamic, and with all the energy above the horizon, it suggests a significant presence on the world stage but also a need to attend to the issues at home, as with President Trump’s platform of “America First.” I feel there will be some evolution in thinking and a realization that to achieve certain goals, cooperation and partnering with the global community will be necessary, as much as President Trump said he wants to erect a wall and close some of the doors to the rest of the world. The Bowl certainly reveals this great tension and a need to achieve some middle ground in the Yin-Yang.

Yin-Yang-symbol-taoismIt’s interesting that the leading planet of the Bowl is Jupiter, placed in the sixth sign (Virgo) and the sixth house which both relate to public health matters; repealing and replacing Obamacare happens to be the first item on the President’s agenda. Jupiter leading the Bowl also gives hope and optimism, philanthropy, and divine providence. Interestingly, President Trump is in his fortunate Jupiter Return now, and his Jupiter (dharma karaka) is conjunct Saturn (karma karaka) in the US birth chart in the tenth house of leadership, uniting Donald Trump’s purpose and path with action on behalf of the nation.

SFPage4The ruler of Aries Ascendant is Mars (Lagna lord or Lagnapati). This first house ruler of a mundane chart relates to public health; the nation as a whole; the disposition of the people; all government affairs; the executive cabinet; and national objectives. Clearly, we have some affliction here, and for many astrologers analyzing it, this is one of the most disconcerting astrological placements in this horoscope as Mars is placed at the zero degree of Pisces in Cancer navamsa where it is further weakened in debilitation. It is technically considered weak (not noticeable or readily expressed) and is also unfavorable (not fully supportive to the chart).

SFPageTrump, DonaldDonald Trump Inauguration newOne factor of the Mars weakness is rashi sandhi, in which Mars is on the edge between two signs at the zero degree, and this is based on the most commonly used Lahiri ayanamsha. However, there are many variations of ayanamsha used to calculate the positions of planets in the signs. In some of them, Mars is not rashi sandhi but further along into Pisces, well past the sandhi (edge).

Yet, with Lahiri ayanamsha, Mars is in an even sign at zero degrees, so it becomes Mrit(yu) Avastha, which scores “no strength” according to the calculation known as Baal Adhi (Baaladhi) Avastha, in which the last six degrees of an even sign are considered in extremis. I asked my friend, Vedic astrologer SueAnn McKean, about this and she described this Mrit Avastha Mars quite elegantly as being a planet of war that will not need to use a show of force, i.e., by showing strength instead of force, Mars will be at ease and stay “quiet,” as if in some repose.

A zero degree planet represents “new beginnings,” changing of the guard, with a pioneering dynamic. It’s in a brand new territory, like the Fool in the Tarot’s Major Arcana, which is a symbol of infinite possibilities, but there is a caution here too as in the need of the new administration and the people fighting against it to be careful to avoid missteps. For instance, promises will be (have been) made and will be broken by the new administration; and some of the opposition aimed at the new administration will be ineffective and weakening to the nation’s overall best interests.

Within Pisces, Mars lies in the fourth pada of Purvabhadrapada nakshatra, Cancer navamsa, and signifies a divisive theme related to two faces, as with “the persecutor and the persecuted” (Prash Trivedi, The 27 Celestial Portals, p 410). This brings to mind the Trump detractors who believe that he is out of touch and diabolical, versus the Trump supporters who look to the detractors as being delusional and pretentious. Such a play! Because Mars is Lagnapati, ruler of the chart, this theme predominates at the start of the Trump presidency; because President Trump has been seen by his detractors as such a polarizing figure, this theme will probably continue, at least among some segments of society.

Purvabhadrapada nakshatra is ruled by Aja Ekapad, a devil-like character, and also Lord Rudra, God of the Storm, and is associated with the front legs of a funeral cot which all can indicate, as I have seen elsewhere in the chart, a possibility of some difficult cathartic collective karma ahead within the next four years. Yet, Mars in this nakshatra almost undoubtedly signifies enormous economic and other kinds of gains in President Trump’s term of office. Ultimately, one should remain encouraged as the shakti of Purvabhadrapada is “the power to raise the evolutionary level,” though it often does this through tumultuous events.

Transiting Mars just entered the eighth house of President Trump’s natal chart around the inauguration, and will remain there until March 1 (“first forty days”). This is quite fitting as the warrior (Mars) comes to “drain the swamp” (eighth house/Pisces). The eighth house is an effective house for Mr. Trump, and Mars is his best planet (yoga karaka, planet of power and purpose), so this transit can indicate that a lot of change will be happening fast; and support will be coming to him quickly; his mind could be full of creative vision; he may be fighting for a new kind of health insurance for Americans; and he will continue to stir up a great deal of controversy/

Mars in the twelfth sign or house is said to give malevolent results when it is afflicted, which it is in the main Inauguration chart by a square from Saturn; it is further afflicted in the navamsa chart by its conjunction with Rahu. Mundane astrologers often surmise that this can indicate danger of a major world war. However, this is not so clear to me. I looked at the Inauguration charts of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ), each of whom was inaugurated in the exact year that the US became significantly involved in major wars: the former being World War II (1941) and the latter, Vietnam in 1965.

LBJ InaugurationFDR InaugurationIn both cases, the seventh houses of the charts (indicating open enemies and wars) were hemmed by malefics in adjoining houses forming the very destructive and powerfully impacting Papakartari Yoga. In FDR’s Inauguration chart, Mars was in Scorpio in the eighth house and Rahu was in the sixth house. In LBJ’s, Mars was in the sixth house and Ketu in the eighth. This set-up is more compelling for war than Donald Trump’s Inauguration chart which has the lords of dharma and karma hemming the seventh house offering more strength and security.

Mars in the twelfth sign (and twelfth house of the rashi chart) can point to civil unrest that could require emergency measures; and it can indicate a buildup of the military. Mars here can point to enemy espionage and underground movements to subvert the government as well as legal issues for the administration (fines, insubordinate government employees, penalties, judicial conflicts, or threats of impeachment); increased crime; infectious diseases (public health crisis); and drastic changes to all kinds of policies and laws.

Mars is in the eleventh house of the bhava chart and twelfth house of the rashi chakra. In terms of houses, I read it as being in the eleventh because it is about fifty degrees back from the Ascendant (Lagna) which clearly places it further in the eleventh bhava. Mars here indicates some undesirable results such as disputes in Congress and in the ruling party; outspoken enemies; deceptive or disappointing allies; and unfavorable public approval ratings for the President, as we are already seeing.

Yet, Mars is the lord of the whole chart, the administration will develop well over time as the eleventh house is an upachaya house where planets (especially malefics like Mars) will grow to give better results as effort is applied. This could mean that there will eventually be great gains in industry; economic expansion; more bipartisan cooperation in congress; some international approval; fulfillment of many ambitious projects and plans; and enhanced foreign trade agreements.

Though I interpret Mars as in the eleventh house, Uranus is in fact in the twelfth house, a bit less than thirty degrees away from the ascendant. Uranus is in an auspicious and idealistic aspect opposite Jupiter, and this is in place from late 2016 through much of 2017 indicating major new plans and reforms. Uranus is also in a fortunate trine with Saturn (within a few degrees orb) which may suggest a grounded, sound, and methodical capacity for enacting positive reforms. Uranus opposite Jupiter in the 6/12 axis indicates that reorganization will occur in labor unions, military, prisons, health care, charitable institutions, and public assistance programs.

The upheaval already occurring between the new administration and national intelligence agencies is reflected by this Uranus placement. Underground subversive movements, violent riots, peaceful marches, and insubordination occurring at the beginning of President Trump’s new term and throughout the next four years are further related to a tension square from Pluto to Uranus (within a few degrees orb).

With the Pluto-Uranus aspect, zealots hostile to the government in power will do anything and everything to destabilize it. Secret enemies could cause tremendous harm to the nation and the people on a lot of levels. There will be much civil unrest. Uranus in the twelfth house has at times indicated strong damaging earthquakes and prison riots, as well as epidemics or attacks from foreign enemies. Immigration issues are seen from the ninth house of the chart, and this aspect of Pluto in the ninth (immigrants) in tension square with Uranus in the twelfth (foreign matters and exiled persons) points to sweeping controversial immigration reforms.

Saturn is another wild card in this chart as he is strong at the end of a sign in the 29th degree of Scorpio but weak in the eighth house of the chart. I looked at Saturn’s house placements using more than 30 different ayanamshas, which are the calculations used to determine the sidereal zodiac signs. With twenty-three of them, including the most commonly used Lahiri version, Saturn is indeed in the eighth house; but with nineteen others, Saturn moves to the ninth house. So I am reading both house placements for Saturn. I am doing this also because in the Chalit Bhava (Unequal House chart), also known as Sripati Bhava chart, Saturn actually does move into the ninth house. Saturn is not bhava sandhi, but I feel he does give some effects of both the eighth and ninth houses and this is also because he is fast moving out of Scorpio.

Some will say it is good to “lock up” the natural malefics like Mars and Saturn in the “prisons” of the dusthana/trik houses (six, eight and twelve). But in this case, Saturn is a very key planet as lord of the tenth house. We would prefer that he is in a more auspicious sign, degree, and house than this because Saturn is important as the tenth house ruler, known as Karmesha in Vedic astrology. The tenth house and the Karmesha in a mundane chart represent the leaders of the country (rulers of state, as with President Trump); the party in power; all government; foreign trade; a nation’s status and honor in the world; business and influence in world affairs; politics and politicians; national goals; and most importantly, national integrity.

The Karmesha’s placement in the eighth house can indicate that the leader has low approval ratings and is looked down upon by many, such as in the eyes of his vehement critics including a few million around the world who marched in the anti-Trump demonstrations the day after his Inauguration. Throughout his term, he will probably have to continually fight the press and his many enemies in Washington and elsewhere over accusations of unethical behavior and attempts to delegitimize him.

The tenth lord in the eighth house also signifies that the new leadership will work hard to transform the country, and may be involved in exposing various clandestine cover-ups such as the President did recently in a speech to the CIA when he subtly alluded to upending the secret shadow government (“fifth column”). Saturn in the eighth can mean that the President will have to employ emergency measures at some time during his term to enact social change or protect the health and well-being of the nation. As did JFK, whose Inauguration chart also has the Karmesha in the eighth house, President Trump may have to face a serious, perhaps even nuclear, international crisis or crises.

The Karmesha in the eighth house can sometimes indicate a very serious pandemic or other kind of crisis (like a terror event) on US soil in the next four years. It can mean that many prominent people will die in the next four years, and the death rate of people in general could escalate. Saturn here is often said to indicate that the people will suffer perils of war, epidemics, or drought.

However, the Karmesha being in the eighth house will only indicate the death of the ruler and overthrow of the administration IF the Sun is afflicted by Saturn, which it is not. JFK of course was assassinated in office. In his Inauguration chart in 1961, the Karmesha is in the eighth house BUT the Sun is also aspected by Mars, and the Sun is in a Papa Kartari Yoga hemmed by Saturn and Ketu, and the Sun is also aspected by Mars in the D9 chart. It seems safe to say that the Karmesha in the eighth house of Donald Trump’s Inauguration chart reflects the many threats made to his life by all kinds of characters.

John F. Kennedy InaugurationThe aspect from Saturn to the Sun in President Trump’s Inauguration chart is not a true aspect when we are using exact orbs (in sphuta drishti, which gains only 15 of 60 points); but the aspect from Jupiter to the Sun has 49 of 60 points which is pretty strong and protective. Saturn in the eighth can mean that the President’s Cabinet will go through several reappointments, and that there may be some conflicts to work out among the President, his Cabinet, and Congress.

Often Saturn in the eighth house of a mundane chart means that taxes will increase and social security or public assistance policies and benefits will undergo some revision; and trade policies and agreements will be transformed. Saturn does not fare well in the D10 dasamsha chart or the D3 drekkana, so I cannot spin it: the lord of karma does not promise an easy path for the President or the country, because the karmic burden of the nation as a whole is in need of purifying and rebalancing.

Donald Trump Inauguration newnewnewYet with the lack of affliction to Saturn per aspects in the main chart, and the fact that it is sandhi and moves to the ninth house using various ayanamshas and in the Sripati Bhava chart, many such negative factors can be mitigated and the administration can serve to elevate society in ways that align with certain important traditional values. Concerns will rise in matters of ethics and justice and those related to religious ideologies and higher education. The fact that Saturn is quickly changing from Scorpio to Sagittarius (on January 26, 2017) but will come back into this gandanta water-fire edge later in 2017 represents some crisis and rebirth ahead for the nation and government.

Saturn and Mars are in a close tension square, representing that the President’s new administration begins under enormous burden, conflict and acrimony, further indicated by Saturn’s conjunction with President Trump’s natal Moon in Scorpio. Clearly, the President will be making many concessions and compromises as evidenced by the Saturn and Mars square. It is not uncommon for leaders to take office when Saturn is making strong contacts to the natal chart as in his case with the natal Moon (sade-sati), since Saturn represents being under pressure and working hard.

Additionally, this signifies the aggressive powers directed at the President, his family, his administration, as well as his multitude of supporters. Yet, the higher expression of Mars square Saturn can be seen in the administration’s perseverance and hard work in spite of enmity; and formidable drive and determination regardless of massive resistance. Challenges can be met with firmness, discipline, and focus.

Finally, and most importantly, the tenth house and lord in a mundane chart represent national integrity, as in a sense of unity, which is not at all healthy right now. The country is severely divided in terms of politics, values, and ideologies, and this current state of divisiveness and turmoil could feasibly point to the eruption of some cataclysmic mass karmic event(s) in the next four years as indicated by Mars and Saturn in this chart.

The 29-degree of Saturn in Scorpio here and for much of 2017 tells me that though there is a spiritual battle taking place on the inner realms between the dark and the light, we can overcome it and will recover from any setbacks if we each do our part. I believe the 29-degree Saturn could mean that we will have to face an external enemy or enemies, and that afterward, our national integrity can recover well. I also have faith in such a recovery based on the fortunate Shubha Kartari Yoga in which benefics Moon and Mercury hem Saturn from either side (from the seventh and ninth houses).

Rahu is in the fifth house in a 6/8 inconjunct the Sun which is said to indicate the potential for political plots against the ruler (fifth house is eighth from the tenth) but this can also reflect some potential for danger to the public through chemical or biological attack as Rahu is in a few severe inconjunct aspects with Mars, Uranus, the Sun, and MC/midheaven. The greatest danger to the citizenry might be in places of entertainment, sports and recreation, and schools.

Jupiter is in the bright Chitra nakshatra in the sixth house in a trine to the tenth house, protecting all aforementioned tenth house matters and the Sun. Interestingly, Jupiter at the time of Inauguration was also transiting in a close trine to President Trump’s natal Sun in Taurus, further protecting him and his family and administration as well as the government, promising a relatively smooth transition of power. When Jupiter is in the sixth house of a mundane chart, it is said that there will be improvement for the working classes and expansion of the armed forces.

However, because Jupiter is afflicted by a strong aspect from Mars, the expenditures for the military may be heavy or excessive, and the people may suffer some health, safety, or healthcare setbacks (a recurring theme of this chart). The twelfth lord in the sixth can also reflect that President Trump will always be accused by his enemies of inappropriate behavior.

Jupiter in mundane astrology represents finances, banks, commerce and national revenue; prosperity and peace; religion and ideologies; the judiciary; politics; hospitals; the morals and traditions of the President and his administration; education; foreign relations; and huge expenditures. Having Jupiter afflicted in the sixth house of enmity, struggle, and conflict means that all these areas can be under duress.

The sixth house rules the armed forces; police and law enforcement; wars; common people; disease and health care; food supplies; labor and employment, so with Jupiter afflicted here, these are possible areas of concern, but they can also be improved in time as the sixth house is also upachaya, a growing house. Also, Jupiter as twelfth lord in the sixth, exchanging signs with Mercury, lord of the sixth, is in a doubly lucky and success-filled Vimala Viparita Raja Yoga which can indicate that good things come in time after difficulties, and losses can be regained and even turned into profits.

The strongest planet in a mundane chart is of importance as it will impress itself strongly upon the nation and the people. Venus is the strongest planet per various factors including shadbala and placement in a friend’s sign in the eleventh house (Aquarius/Saturn traditional ruler). Venus is also the day lord which makes it quite significant.

Venus is considered more unfavorable than favorable in this chart for various reasons, such as being disposited by Saturn in a dusthana and ruling two maraka houses (known as death inflicting or health disturbing). Venus is in a three-quarter strength tension square with Saturn (peace in short supply); is widely conjoined the Moon’s South Node Ketu and opposite Rahu (some struggles related to women, education, and women’s concerns); and is at the midpoint of Mars and Neptune (possibly some danger of misdirected passion or some illusion or confusion among the people).

Venus is in Purvabhadrapada nakshatra (20 degrees Aquarius to 3 deg. 20 min. Pisces), moving toward a fiery conjunction with Mars, which is also in this nakshatra. Purvabhadrapada which is connected to fierce activities, stormy conditions, deception, hypocrisy, secret societies, the darker side of life, and conspiracy theories. Venus here as the strongest planet suggests some purifying energy and the significance of a movement of protesting “women” (and others) “fighting back” against the new administration now and through the next four years, led by strong outraged activists like Michael Moore and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Venus in mundane astrology rules women as well as the harmony among people in general. When it is afflicted as in this case, especially being in the eleventh house of organizations and fellowships, it represents civil action and disruption as we saw in the days around the Inauguration, including on January 21 when about 1% of Americans marched against President Trump. One can have no doubt that most of the protesters were coming from a very good place of wanting to demonstrate for positive change, and this is clearly part of the Purvabhadrapada-style purification and empowerment process that they as individuals and as a large group need to go through.

The anti-Trump protest on January 21 was even advertised as a “Women’s March” which is a reflection of the passionate and fiery Venus-Mars energy here in Purvabhadrapada nakshatra (Venus = Women and Mars = March). Much “righteous anger” was expressed among several participants including celebrities Ashley Judd and Madonna, and this anger is quite characteristic of the nakshatra which counts a sword among its various symbols. On the other hand, which we have to consider since Purvabhadrapada is symbolized by a man with two faces (as in two sides to every story), some reports such as one written by Asra Nomani  of the New York Times suggest that there was outside interference in the January 21 demonstrations and that the event was mostly funded and supported by a secret New World Order group involved in ongoing strategic and divisive identity politics.

All such controversies aside, I will predict that with Venus and Mars in Purvabhadrapada, a major theme for the next four years will be related to conspiracies, hidden agendas, plots, and secret enemies, and this is especially so as Lagnapati Mars brings this energy through. Further, though I cannot predict if there will be a great war involving America in the next four years, chances are that if there were, it would be won by America based on Venus here in the eleventh, which is yet another upachaya “growing” house where planets over time give improvements. I say this also as Venus in times of war is a planet of victory and does well for that in the eleventh house of “gains.”

Venus as the karaka of prosperity, currencies, and revenues, and also as the second money lord in the eleventh money house, forms a dhana yoga, good for the economy; Venus as seventh lord in the eleventh house can be fortunate for foreign trade and alliances, but because of the aforesaid afflictions, there are serious difficulties and complications ahead which have to be worked out, as to be expected.

The Arudha Lagna (AL) falls in the eleventh house in Aquarius, sign of humanity, and the Moon falls in the ninth from the AL. The Moon thus becomes the great protector of this chart. The Moon is in the ninth tithi (synodic lunar day) which is ruled by the Vedic goddess of transformation named Durga. This means to me that the people, each one of us, operating individually and collectively, are the most important ingredient for peace and prosperity in the coming four years, which is a message I have heard many times from the Dalai Lama.

With our thoughts and actions, we make the world. It is important to do our own individual and familial healing work and withdraw our negative and divisive projections in order to make a better world. It may be more constructive to protest for what we want more of (like peace) rather than what we are against (whatever or whoever that may be). Either way, the warrior goddess Durga gives this Inauguration chart some real “power to the people”!

It’s interesting that the Moon in Aquarius in the US chart opposes Mars and the Ascendant in Leo in President Trump’s chart. This is another point of conflict between some of the citizens of America (signified by the Moon, the people, especially women) who believe that Donald Trump is too aggressive, impulsive, and simply an anathema. I find it fascinating that the Moon’s South Node Ketu, a shadow graha, is transiting near the Moon in the US chart now and will be eclipsed by Ketu in the next solar eclipse on February 26, 2017, which can instigate outrage and confusion and cause projections of disillusionment, anger, and fear…in other words, it brings up shadows. Where are they projected? Onto the country’s new figurehead, of course, as the Moon is opposed to his Ascendant-Mars! What else is impacted? The media, as the Moon in the US chart falls in the third house of communication and media.

SFPage9President Trump also takes up the projections of the US Moon from all directions and projects it back out through his message. His chart will be directly impacted by the August 2017 Rahu solar eclipse to his Ascendant-Mars, a rare total eclipse that will cover the United States and which I believe points to a huge rebirth for America. The solar eclipse in the US chart in February will start the rebirthing process by bringing significant domestic changes.

The Moon in the seventh house opposing the Ascendant of the Inauguration chart also shows that the attention of the public and the government will be very much concerned with our relationship with other nations. With the Moon in harmonious trine to Venus, President Trump and his administration may adjust any alleged hard-line thinking and take another tack beyond isolationism toward forging important global alliances. Because the Moon trines Venus and Venus is in an upachaya growing house, I am hopeful that women and people in general can continue to find ways to empower themselves, and that many of their concerns will be heard and alleviated in the coming years.

Mercury in the ninth house according to Raphael’s Mundane Astrology “denotes activity in commercial and legal affairs, and legislation affecting these matters; it denotes activity in publishing, scientific and inventive circles. If afflicted [as it is by Rahu’s trine], disputes over trade and commerce, important legal cases, libel, forgery and the like, and much recrimination in the press.” Mercury is the ruler of the third house and sixth house which represent the administration’s ongoing conflict with the press (third is communication and sixth is conflict).

Mercury is widely conjunct Pluto and as mentioned, trine Rahu, which may refer to President Trump’s apparent concern for good “ratings” in the media alongside his tendency to deliver shocking statements at nearly every turn. Mercury could be said to be afflicted here by Rahu’s aspect, which along with the wide conjunction of Pluto represents the tumultuous relationship and death-rebirth process that the new administration will undergo with the press and mainstream media during the next four years. These aspects also speak to the extensive immigration and border reform promised by President Trump as Mercury rules the third house of neighbors and borders, occupying the ninth house of immigration, in an aspect with Rahu which is the planet of immigrants, thus placing these heated immigration and border issues at the forefront of policy change and new development in the next four years.

Pluto in the ninth house in a wide-orb square with Uranus can represent important changes in our intelligence agencies; modification of international treaties; a shifting focus related to various global conflicts; and of course the reshaping of the federal judiciary through many new appointments. Pluto here can also adversely affect the shipping, insurance, transportation, and airline industries. Mercury and Pluto in the ninth house point to the possibility of exciting new scientific discoveries and inventions and possibly some progress in matters related to education.

I hope my analysis offers some upliftment and hope. This is my intention. I wish you, my reader, love, ease, peace, and well-being in this time of great change. Thank you.

Asato Ma Sat Gamaya…Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya…Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya

From unreal, lead me to real…From darkness, lead me to light…From death, lead me to immortality.