Vedic Astrology Forecast: Summer 2016 and Forward

Several important astral changes are ahead, including Jupiter’s transit into Virgo (ingress) on August 11; retrograde Saturn’s direct station (August 14); the conjunction of Saturn, Mars and the fixed star Antares (August 24); and three eclipses (August 18, September 1 and September 16). These next few months look tumultuous and are setting the stage for a significant transit of Saturn that will being in January 2017 and last through most of the year.

Beginning August 11, 2016, and lasting until September 11, 2017, Jupiter will transit in Virgo constellation, known as Kanya rashi in Vedic astrology. Jupiter transits through one sign every ~12 years, and the last time it was in Virgo was from August 2004 to September 2005. So if you recall what was happening for you then, you might have some sense of how this transit will work again for your own natal chart. This is not an exact measuring technique though, because in the years since 2004-2005, you have entered a new developmental phase, and the other transits as well as progressed cycles (dashas) have also changed. Continue reading

Jupiter in Sidereal Virgo: August 11, 2016 to Sept 11, 2017

Beginning on August 11, 2016, and lasting until September 11, 2017, Jupiter will transit in the constellation of Virgo, known as Kanya rashi in Vedic astrology. Jupiter transits through one sign every ~12 years, and the last time it was in Virgo was from August 2004 to September 2005. The good news is that Jupiter in Virgo moves way from its conjunction with shadowy Rahu in Leo, and also away from the karmic restrictions of transiting Saturn’s square aspect from Scorpio (known as Saturn’s tenth aspect in Vedic astrology).

jupiter5In Vedic astrology, Jupiter is the significator (karaka) of dharma, the principle of cosmic order which is akin to our highest path and purpose. Known as Guru in Vedic astrology, Jupiter is the head honcho of all the gods and represents the concept of divine grace. Jupiter reflects spiritual protection, wisdom, faith, higher learning, confidence and progress. Continue reading

Grand Cross, Fixed Signs and Tamo-Guna

Using the sidereal zodiac placements for the grahas of Vedic astrology—the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, and lunar nodes Rahu and Ketu—we have a predominant signature of fixed signs (sthira rasis) for much of 2016. The fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Jupiter and Rahu are in Leo; Saturn and Mars in Scorpio; Ketu in Aquarius; and the faster moving grahas (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, and Venus) keep moving in and out of the fixed signs.

SFPageGrand Cross Fixed SignsJupiter will leave Leo for Virgo on August 11, and Mars will leave Scorpio in late September. Saturn will remain in Scorpio for some time to come (on and off through most of 2017) and Rahu and Ketu will remain in Leo and Aquarius until August of 2017. This week beginning on June 8 at ~10:36 PM EDT, we will have all nine grahas in fixed signs! Mercury will be moving into Taurus early on June 8, and then the Moon will transit into Leo on June 9, where it will remain until the 12th June. At the same time, the grahas will be forming a grand cross or grand square in fixed signs. Many have already been feeling the intensity of this fixed signature, but it may become a whole lot stronger soon.

Guna1The sthira rasis (fixed signs) of Vedic astrology embody the tamo-guna (tamasic principle of energy flow) which in excess can be experienced as inertia, contraction, sluggishness, darkness, doubt, helplessness, loneliness and dullness. Tamo-guna brings a focus on the physical body and material concerns. For an individual who already has a strongly imbalanced tamasic energy, this transiting grand square in fixed signs may feel particularly overwhelming, like being imprisoned an iron cage or locked down through some other means.

whydoi_feelbadNot only are all the grahas in fixed signs, but they are forming a grand cross or grand square in which the grahas in Leo are opposed those in Aquarius, and those in Scorpio are opposed those in Taurus (180-degree full mutual planetary aspects); and also all the grahas are forming powerful squares (90-degree planetary aspects) with each other. This represents extreme tension and “stuck energy.” We can feel at cross purposes to ourselves and others, and can be confused as to where, how or when to act.

SFPageOn the plus side, in a natal Vedic chart, all the planets in sthira rasis form an Ashraya Musula Yoga which is said to reflect a native who is blessed, secure, decisive, stable, learned and wealthy. However, when the same grahas are falling in the grand square formation, one may manifest more plodding, decisive, depressed and rigid qualities. On a mundane level, especially because Mercury will be squaring the Moon, the fixed grand square formation can indicate extreme earth events like storms and seismic events.

Paramahansa Yogananda, the great 20th-century yogi, described a tamasic person “as though ossified…not even roused even by the sizzling process of worries. He exists like an inert, lifeless stone.” Yoganandaji also explained that the fire of self-discipline can consume excess tamas. If you are overwhelmed by it, consider that it helps to let go and surrender to it (“like cures like”), such as with restorative yoga and rest.

restOnce rested, force yourself to get up and do something, anything, to move the physical body, which happens to be the main target of tamo-guna. Breath of Fire (Bhastrika Pranayam) can also be helpful, as can massage therapy. Most of all, remember that this too shall pass. The Moon will leave Leo for sidereal Virgo early on June 12, and later in the day, Venus will leave Taurus for sidereal Gemini. On June 14, the Sun will leave Taurus for sidereal Gemini; and on June 27, Mercury will leave Taurus for sidereal Gemini, so gradually, the pattern will start to shift and lighten up.

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Wesak (Vesak) Buddha Purnima

So finally, we have reached the day of the Full Flower Moon which occurs this evening Saturday May 21 at 5:14 PM ET/9:14 UT. This is also known as Buddha Purnima, Buddha Jayanti, and Wesak; and in Vedic astrology, it is Vishakha/Vaishakha Puja. Gautama Buddha is said to have been born on this day in the Vaishakha month. His enlightenment is also celebrated today, as is his great exit from the body, and according to legend, He promised to come back on this day every year, along with many other divine beings, to regenerate the Earth.

imagesThe Theosophists teach that the Christ (Maitreya) gathers the entire spiritual hierarchy together in prayer and meditation at this Full Moon to invoke the forces of a heavenly realm known as Shambhala, which increases the input and output of the divine light within us on this Earth. Meditation and other contemplative and healing practices will be so very rewarding today and tonight. image001

I am always particularly drawn to recite and pray on the Great Invocation at this time:

From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into human minds.
Let Light descend to Earth.

From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into human hearts.
May the Coming One return to Earth.

From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide all little human wills,
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.

From the center which we call the human race
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
(The Great Invocation, Lucis Trust et al)

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Full Flower Moon May 21, 2016

Hi Friends! Have you seen it or are you feeling it? The full Moon in sidereal Scorpio is looming now, and will occur on Saturday, May 21 at 5:14 PM ET/9:14 PM UT. According to some traditions in the Northern Hemisphere, this month’s lunar phase is called the “Full Flower Moon.” Life is springing forth abundantly as we head into the height of summer which will culminate at the next full Moon on the June 20th Summer Solstice (Northern Hemisphere). For now, nature is reaching up toward the zenith with *intensity* and this is a key word for the Scorpio full Moon which typically signifies strong feelings and transformational events.

SFPageThe full Moon in Scorpio exactly conjoins a very bright and prominent warrior Mars, and both widely conjoin the lord of karma Saturn, all of which can now bring us in touch with some of our deepest insecurities and darkest emotions, and for some, this might not feel so good. Moon-Mars occur in the navamsa of Virgo in the second pada of Anuradha nakshatra; Anuradha is ruled by Saturn, and Virgo by Mercury. Saturn and Mercury are in a very challenging 6/8 aspect, while Mercury is also retrograde in the sign of Aries, also ruled by Mars. Venus is combust the Sun in Taurus opposite the full Moon.

Full MoonAll of this can activate inner or outer conflict and issues around finances, security, or self-worth, perhaps urging us to look at our own “stuff,” and in some cases, to clear, clean, and let go. With these aspects, many people are feeling exhausted or depressed now. In past history, a similar full Scorpio Moon alignment occurred during times of civil unrest, storms, floods, explosive events, and political turmoil. The South Node, which is known as Ketu in Vedic astrology, can engage some violent energy akin to Mars, and it is conjoining the luminaries of the previous March 8 solar eclipse chart. I advise that in the coming days, we lie low and avoid pushing anything. Wait at least until Mercury stations direct on late Sunday morning to make any important decisions. Now more than ever, we can benefit from cultivating loving kindness, positive thoughts, peace, and harmony.

2016-may20-21-22-moon-mars-saturn-antaresHere’s wishing all a very happy, healthy and prosperous cycle ahead, with much love, light and auspicious flowering!

Juliana

This is the highest philosophy. Do not be afraid of anything. Even when tossing on a wave in a storm, you are still on the bosom of the ocean. Always hold on to the consciousness of God’s underlying presence. Be of even mind, and say: ‘I am fearless; I am made of the substance of God. I am a spark of the Fire of Spirit. I am an atom of the Cosmic Flame. I am a cell of the vast universal body of the Father. ‘I and my Father are One.’” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

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Brazil in Crisis: Vedic Astrology Snapshot

According to the New York Times (May 12, 2016), “after an all-night debate, Brazil’s Senate voted Thursday morning to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and begin an impeachment trial against her, ousting a deeply unpopular leader whose sagging political fortunes have come to embody widespread public anger over systemic corruption and a battered economy.” The Economist tweeted, “With poor finances and even poorer politics, Brazil lurches from one crisis to another.” Economic and political crises in 2015 and 2016 make Brazil one of the biggest global risks in the world right now, “creating a chain reaction of credit downgrades, currency devaluation and political infighting that’s sucking Brazil into what economists forecast will be the worst recession since 1901” (GlobalPost.com)
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Mighty Mars in Charge

It’s time again for a “heads up” about Mighty Mars as he is seriously the boss now while all the grahas (planets, Sun, Moon and lunar nodes) as well as outer planets are now bowing down to him. This is because he is the final or sole dispositor of the sky mirror until May 19, with a small reprieve from May 11-13 when the Moon will break out into its own sign of sidereal Cancer for a few days. On May 19, Venus will move into its own sign of sidereal Taurus and this will break the current reign of Mars as sole dispositor. This dynamic has been in play on and off since the Moon entered sidereal Leo on April 16.

SFPageHere I am using sidereal zodiac (always) and traditional rulers (dispositors) of the planets, not modern ones. For instance, the Sun, Mercury and Venus are in Aries so they are all disposited by (ruled by) Mars who rules Aries. Jupiter and Rahu are in Leo which is ruled by Sun which is disposited by Mars. The Moon throughout this period is in Mars-ruled signs or signs that are disposited by planets in Mars’ signs, except for when it is in its own sign of Cancer. Saturn is in Scorpio with Mars/ruled by Mars. Uranus is in Pisces ruled by Jupiter which is disposited now by the Sun in Mars-ruled Aries. Neptune and Ketu are in Aquarius ruled by Saturn disposited by Mars. Pluto is in Sagittarius ruled by Jupiter disposited by the Sun in Mars-ruled Aries.

SFPageA “dispositor” means ruler. A final or sole dispositor occurs in a horoscope when one graha lies in its own ruling sign—like Mars in Scorpio now; while at the same time, all the others lie in signs which are owned by that ruling planet through a series of steps. A final dispositor is said to be the head of the chart, with full autonomy over all the others. In this case, Saturn is sort of vying for this position as he is the nakshatra dispositor or higher consciousness overseer of Mars. Let’s hope this partial sambhanda (Mars in Saturn nakshatra/lunar mansion and Saturn in Mars rashi/sign) means they will work in some harmony for positive results, rather than at odds which will lead to stressful results.

To a large extent, we each have a choice how it plays when we keep the inner connection with the Divine and surrender our egotistical will (Mars) to the higher will (Saturn). That means moving gently in ease; aligning with grace and the unconditional inner witness; not joining in the chaotic drama of the craving and obsessing monkey mind; hearts open to the sky with full breath; grounded and allowing, accepting, en-joying in the flow of the Divine moment by moment. The higher manifestation of Mars can help us do all of this!

indexHowever, everything in duality has a shadow, including Mars. In his lower expression, he is considered the most malefic (evil, difficult, challenging, willfull) of the grahas, and this is according to Vedic astrology’s Sage Parashara. And so, he tends to make the absolute worst final dispositor. He is the planet of willpower, sharp and quick actions, eruption, violence, energy, and conflict.

Mars is not always “evil” but he is now potentially so while transiting with enemy Saturn in Anuradha nakshatra which is ruled by Saturn. I have previously blogged about the Mars-Saturn dance in recent weeks and months, as well as having blogged my “Musing on Fire” two weeks ago, when I made a prediction that we would be having large fires burning out of control (which tragically is happening now in Canada).

Screen-Shot-2016-05-06-at-10.26.08-AM-640x480Being retrograde and conjoined malefic enemy Saturn, Mars potentially disrupts the fire energy especially as Saturn fans his flames. On a positive note, with this Mars energy so intensely on board, we have a chance to reevaluate issues related to personal power, specifically how and where that power is being given away. This can be a great time to deal with personal problems and face our challenges if we slow down and “act, rather than react.” Yet, with the energy of both Saturn and Mars turned inward, external matters may not be easy, and the Universe may give us some intense “opportunities” to work on our “stuff.”

Mars corresponds to the third chakra, the will center known in the yogic tradition as the manipura chakra or “city of jewels.” This center regulates health through an energetic download into the digestive organs and adrenal glands. It distributes prana (life force) to the whole system. As the main karaka (significator) of the fire element according to Vedic astrology, Mars also relates to our mental strength, the courage of our convictions and self-worth.

Mars in Scorpio can usually give us some strong warrior energy to help us get things done quickly, but Saturn’s slower more inhibiting influence can point to some potential for frustrations, accidents, violence, stubbornness, impatience and conflict.

indexWith Mars as the boss but under some frustration now, and with so many retrograde planets happening now, we can get hung up with decision making or make impulsive decisions that are not harmonious with our path and purpose. It can also be hard to set goals. So if this is true for you, take a chill pill and relax and please go with the flow and wait to be carried. This energy is intense and we can manage it better by slowing down and listening and being guided from within.

indexNow’s a good time to do health cleanses with Mars being so influential in the sign of toxins with disease significator Saturn. Work/karma yoga is important for a balanced Mars-Saturn; Haidakhan Babaji said, “Work is worship” so stay steady and devotional in your work to help Mars. The Hanuman Chalisa and other Hanuman practices are very helpful for this period. Lord Shiva, the great Narasimha or Archangel Michael can be propitiated for Mars pacification. Aerobic exercise in moderation is helpful, especially yoga or martial arts practices. Energy healing work for the solar plexus and head are useful, such as Polarity Therapy and Craniosacral work. We can pacify imbalanced or frustrated Mars (fire) with bitter herbs like gentian or aloe.

7876b28daa08d6b0f9f756c8dfd2d503On May 22, a few days after Mars loses his final dispositorship, he will achieve his opposition, right after the full Moon in Scorpio where the full Moon will conjoin Saturn and Mars in Scorpio opposite the Sun and Venus in sidereal Taurus. The opposition phase of Mars always occurs 11 months after the conjunction with the Sun, and happens about five weeks after the retrograde phase of a planet begins, which was April 17 for Mars retrograde in this case.

SFPageMars will remain visible for more than twelve months after opposition and then will disappear in the Sun’s glare in June 2017 as it approaches the next conjunction with the Sun in July 2017. Mars will be closer to the Earth on May 22. 2016 than it has been since 2005, but not as close as it will become in 2018. This means Mars will be very bright and powerful, so that his astrological essence will continue to dominate through at least the  next few weeks after the full Moon (and ongoing for other reasons we will discuss at another time). Astrologically, this lineup seems to promise a very emotionally intense and possibly conflictual or violent full Moon effect ahead for some people and locales, and I will write more about this soon. For more information regarding Mars Opposition on May 22, please refer to EarthSky.org

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Venus Combust Cycle

Today is Shukravaar per Vedic astrology which is the Day of Venus, symbol of love, peace, and gentleness. Venus is a planet of vitality and resourcefulness which lifts our spirits! The Aries New Moon today also falls in the nakshatra of Venus called Bharani, which represents death and rebirth in the process of creation. This is an important topic now especially in the season of springtime in the northern hemisphere and more importantly, as Venus is undergoing its own process of death and rebirth right now as it transitions from Morning Star to Evening Star in the coming months.

hqdefaultHaving passed from the morning to the evening sky in late April, Venus will now remain out of view, hidden in the solar glare, for about two months, as it makes its slow passage on the far side of its orbit from the Earth. From around July 13, 2016, Venus will become visible in certain latitudes shortly after sunset. It will then remain as the Evening Star for about 263 days (until March 2017);  after that, it will become invisible for a little more than a week; then it will reappear as the Morning Star and remain in that apparition for about 263 days, and then disappear again behind the Sun for almost two months once again.

When Venus is invisible, the mythic goddess has descended to the underworld and this emblematically reflects a period of spiritual renewal when our planetary and individual life force is necessarily rejuvenated. This also manifests as a cycle when we can become more aware of and transform our psychological shadow in the search for wholeness. Some of this shadow material is related to the qualities of a “combust Venus” which is what we have here when Venus is too close to the Sun and invisible. This occurs when Venus has a 10- degree orb when going direct (as now), and an 8-degree orb when retrograde (which happens around its Morning Star apparition).

e9948e1ae782c910e3cf4c58a1b2b797In a Venus combust cycle (or when Venus is combust in the natal chart), we are prompted to really examine our sense of personal value. There can be some frustration in expressing or fulfilling our emotional needs and feeling appreciated in relation to others. Relationship needs of Venus may be overshadowed by the Sun’s need for individual expression. We can feel more frustrated and self-critical than usual at this time. It is thus a very important cycle in which to explore and cultivate self-value and self-love, and to root out the inner enemies of hatred, fear, obsession, and alienation by developing a stronger inner connection with Spirit.

Combustion in Vedic astrology is called astangata. In the Vedic calendar (panchanga), the period of Venus combustion from late April to July 13, 2016 is considered to be an inauspicious, stressful, or ineffective period for starting new commercial ventures, partnerships, speculation, and marriage. I feel that the time when Venus is Cazimi, within 17 minutes of the Sun, is actually a time when the negative qualities of combustion are overridden and when the highest qualities of Venus are made manifest. Cazimi is a Medieval astrological term that is used to refer to planets that are so close to a conjunction with the Sun that they are “in the heart” of the Sun and become wholly lustrous and auspicious. These dates are June 4-6, 2016.

Overall the entire Venus combust cycle is a time when our karmic curriculum revolves around strengthening the power of love. And this starts and ends within.

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Intense Retrograde Cycle Ahead

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Many of my clients and friends have been writing to me about all the retrograde energy coming on us. Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto are already retrograde and Mercury will join them in retrograde from April 28 to May 22. It is actually somewhat rare to have five planets retrograde at the same time; according to some astrology researchers, it only happens about 4% of the time. I say “five” as I am a Neo-Vedic astrologer using the outer planets and Pluto is one of the retrogrades in question.

SFPageHere are some quick bullet points from my own astrologer’s notebook to help us sort it all out:

  • According to Martin Schulman in Karmic Astrology: Retrogrades and Reincarnation, “retrograde planets break the time barrier” meaning that they can represent parallel or past-life issues that are unresolved and in need of balancing or healing. This is in relation to retrogrades in a natal chart but can also apply to transiting planets in their retrograde cycle when they are aspecting planets or points in a natal chart, thus triggering a need to examine and even root out unsettled karmic patterns from any time in the past, this lifetime or others.
  • A retrograde planet’s energy is turned inward and is not less potent as some say, but its personal qualities can be experienced as more subjective, whereas its external effects can and will be slower to manifest.
  • To really understand a retrograde planet and determine whether or not it is auspicious or inauspicious, we have to analyze its house and sign placements, lordships and the yogas it forms in a natal or mundane horoscope.
  • Retrograde planets create confusion and a lack of clear understanding even among some astrologers because they are vakri, making a conflicted movement because they are appearing to move backward from the point of view of the Earth (geocentric), but are actually moving forward from the view of the Sun (heliocentric). This very fact is a secret for working with retrograde planets. We can get all hung up and worried about them, but the truth is when we follow the dharma, the path of the Sun which is unfolding the inner light of the Divine Self, the lila (divine play) of retrograde planets is simply another marvelous illusion in Mother Maya’s web.
  • Depending on what a transiting retrograde planet is triggering in a natal chart, we can be prompted or tempted to relive the past and in the process, hopefully, to heal it. Things or people can come back to us to allow us to heal. We may have to repeat our past actions or make them right somehow.
  • For instance, with Pluto retrograde now, depending on how it activates a natal chart, some of us will be intensely purging an unresolved past-life or current-life issue.
  • Mercury retrograde can be a time when we experience maddening events like miscommunications, travel and transportation difficulties, and the breakdown of equipment. Note where Mercury goes retrograde over a natal planet or sensitive chart point as this will reveal where problems can occur. By observing the planet and house in a natal chart that is affected, one can be prepared to hopefully minimize any potential difficulties.
  • Mercury on April 28, 2016 will station retrograde at the 29+ degree of sidereal Aries, so some with chart points or planets at 29 degrees may have a health issue or other difficult challenge ahead. The 29th degree is important in general as it has to do with some event or relationship that we thought was completed that is not, which is coming back to be reviewed or reassessed yet again. In general, with Mercury retrogrades we have an opportunity to revisit and complete unfinished business. Retrogrades can be awesome for reflection and retreat, a good time to regroup, reassess, and reconsider not only the past but also, our plans and dreams for the future.
  • The outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto move quite slowly so that their retrograde cycles may not be apparent unless they make a close aspect with a natal planet or angle cusp in the natal chart, in which case they can be quite a hornet’s nest.
  • It helps to remember that when we have this many retrograde planets, the world may appear or feel crazier than usual. Key word is “erratic” as retrogrades do not follow the traditional path, but that can be a good thing in terms of developing deeper insight and differing points of view to help us create new and innovative solutions to problems.
  • Keep in mind that we might be prone to changing our minds several times during these intense retrograde cycles, so this requires added caution and flexibility in decision making processes.
  • Mercury (the mind, communication, travel, business) will station and retrograde in the sign of enemy Mars in the potentially restless, violent, impatient, and aggressive sign of Aries, in Krittika nakshatra whose nature is fiery and cutting, then moving back into Bharani nakshatra whose nature is nothing if not “extreme” in every sense of the word. So yes, the world will look crazier than usual as the pancha-maha-bhuta (five elements) go a bit out of whack and we have so much Mars-ruled energy descending.The mental faculties will generally have a tendency to be overheated and agitated. It can be helpful to take cooling herbs and foods, and also to rub pure sandalwood or jatamansi essential oil on the brow a few times a day to calm and cool the mind.
  • Imbalances will come to light within us and within the world in these coming months of Saturn, Pluto, and Mars retrograde, but it may be especially difficult from now through May 9. On May 9, Jupiter will station direct and move out of the retrograde cycle where he has been in since January 2016. This is a positive thing when the planet of luck, grace, purpose, and wisdom starts moving forward, and should help to ease up some of the other retrograde frustrations.
  • I personally feel that chakra clearing work is a great remedy for retrograde intensity. In addition, it helps to go within, listen, purify, and recharge with Source energy. Cultivate patience and mindfulness. It is not a time to take risks in these coming months (especially while Mars is retrograde through June). Sit back and wait for the clouds to clear if you are confused about a choice you think you need to make. Be cautious and above all, apply common sense to all matters.
My friend, astrologer Tres Devas of ganeshastrology.blogspot.com wrote this amazing piece about the grace of Mercury retrograde, a term which he has cleverly coined “Mercury Retrograce”:
When Mercury Retrograces
Retrain all your thoughts,
they are endless reincarnations,
reawaken, realign to divine reverberations,
recommit to recombine all your studies and realizations,
recompute and reconcile remedy your tribulations,
reapprove, reunify and restore all your relations,
refortify and re-engage reinduce your aspirations,
reforest and recharge the deserts of imagination,
re-execute re-explore and re-enlist your revelations,
refocus and reforge retrofit your affirmations,
re-plan and redraw reaffirm your destinations,
reacquire, reconsign recover all your validations,
replenish, and relight reconfirm visualisations,
reword, rewind and resist old temptations,
rejoice, redistill and recite invocations,
redesign to revive and renew your cultivation,
to replant the garden of your dreams
M31 Adromeda Galaxy

Musing on Fire

It’s Saturday night (April 23), and I’m thinking about fire, the literal fire brightly burning in my candles on my desk, and also fire as the principle and element of Spirit. Fire is the transformative power associated with willpower and creative force. It links with the season of summer and the essence of passion, purification and vitality. The fire element relates to what astrologer Marc Edmond Jones called “experience centered in personal identity.” Western astrologer Stephen Arroyo describes it as the “universal radiant energy that is excitable, enthusiastic, and which through its light brings color into the world.”

indexIn Vedic tradition, fire is associated with the god Agni. In Ayurveda, fire is known as Pitta dosha. In Yoga and Ayurveda, we learn about Tejas, the fire of life that is the power of transformation that comes from cultivating the inner fire.The fire practice according to Vedic traditions is used for strengthening a connection with spiritual light, and my guru Haidakhan Babaji said that our sadhana (spiritual practice) is incomplete unless we are regularly engaging with external fire practices that help us embody Lord Shiva’s transformative and creative power.

Agni_god_of_fireI usually discuss the elements with my clients when I analyze the balance of fire, water, earth, and air (and ether) through the astrological birth chart. I always use the sidereal zodiac in my astrological work, and in my experience, it seems to be more accurate than the tropical “western” zodiac in revealing the true balance of elements in an individual. I am a Polarity Therapist/RPP and am specifically trained and practiced in element/energy work, so this is actually a favorite topic of mine. This image below is taken from one of Dr. Stone’s textbooks (he was the founder of Polarity Therapy).

v1b1c04cRegarding the elements, some have too much of one and not enough of another, and some lucky ones have it all in a natural balance. For those less “lucky,” there are various remedies to balance or enhance the elements. The fire element is especially important as it represents our power and energy, and is what we need to “stoke the fire of our inspiration.” When it is too weak or too strong, there can be a tendency for certain recurring trials and tribulations.

The fire element is really on my mind now as we have a pile up ahead in Mars-ruled signs. Mars is the main significator of the fire element, and many planets are lining up in his signs. The Moon, representative of the water element and manas, the feeling mind, has just come into its debilitated (weak) and deep-feeling sidereal sign of Mars-ruled Scorpio, where it will transit for the next 2.5 days. For some, this monthly transit can often feel extra sensitive or emotionally vulnerable, and this is especially so while Mars and Saturn also transit in Scorpio through the next many months. Later in the summer we will have a pileup of grahas in Leo, sign of fire as well. So I am sorry to say it is going to be an intense fire season this summer.

The Moon will cross the tense Mars-Saturn conjunction later tomorrow and the next day. Mars is very strong now in his own constellation of Scorpio, but is also somewhat afflicted by conjunction with enemy Saturn (which I have discussed before). The Moon transit ignites this conjunction which is called Agni-Maruti Yoga, where the fiery energy of Mars can be excessively fanned by the wind of Saturn. Again this is happening now and through the summer months, through much of September until Mars leaves Scorpio.

It’s interesting that on April 25 early in the morning, the Moon will be exactly conjoined Mars while at the same time, Venus (relationships, vitality) will transit into hotheaded Aries, where it will join Mercury (thinking mind/communication) and the Sun (vitality, identity, health). Aries is also ruled by Mars, so at the time and until the Moon leaves Scorpio on April 26 in the morning, we will have six grahas in fiery Mars-ruled constellations…and, Pluto is in Sagittarius and Rahu-Jupiter are in Leo, which are fire signs…so, that is a lot of fire. The three grahas in Scorpio represent fire moving in the water element, which raises emotional intensity quite a bit.

SFPage SFPage2Be careful around fire in the coming days. God forbid, we may hear reports of extreme fires burning out of control in many locales from this point on through late September. There will probably be some metaphoric fires to put out, too as the summer heats up in the Northern Hemisphere. The inhabitants of Scorpio and Aries are in a 6/8 inconjunct (quincunx) with each other, reflecting perhaps the need to make some “adjustments” in how we kindle the fire of our minds. It’s important to think about this now as these transits are coming on strong, and additionally, tomorrow (Sun-day) is the day of Surya the Sun God, who is also a significator of fire and very powerful now as he is in his exaltation (full power) in sidereal Aries.

Shri_Surya_Bhagvan_bazaar_art,_c.1940's