Retrograde Saturn Stations Direct

Hello friends! A client emailed me in recent days to say he was feeling like a chicken with his head cut off. I thought, hmm, right off the bat that sounds like the current triple Venus-Uranus-Saturn stationary play. Venus went retrograde this past Saturday, Uranus went retrograde Sunday, and now Saturn (which has been retrograde for some time) will station forward on August 2. This reflects quite a time of change, and can feel a bit destabilizing in itself, and more so for those whose natal charts are directly affected.

It is synchronistic that Saturn, the sign ruler of the upcoming Full Moon in Capricorn (sidereal zodiac) is also “front and center” in our astrological news at this time. For one thing, he is aspecting the Full Moon by his third aspect. More importantly, he has been retrograde (appearing to move backward) since March 14, and is currently slowing down to station direct (appearing to stop and move forward) on Sunday, August 2 at 1:53:52 AM EDT. Saturn Direct Station

Saturn stationSaturn retrogrades every year for about 140 days. His next retrograde cycle will occur from March 25 to August 13, 2016. Saturn’s average daily motion is approximately two longitudinal minutes a day but can go as fast as nearly six+ minutes a day. Saturn’s stationary cycle encompasses approximately five days before and after the moment of retrograde or direct stations. The following reveals what’s happening now and for the next weeks and months in terms of Saturn’s daily zodiacal (longitudinal) motion, and you can see the daily movement will slowly pick up speed over the next few months:

  • July 28 – retrograde 28 seconds
  • July 29 – retrograde 18 seconds
  • July 30 – retrograde 13 seconds
  • July 31 – retrograde 7 seconds
  • August 1 – retrograde 1 second
  • August 2 – ZERO speed (stationary, stambhana/kutila)
  • August 3 – forward 5 seconds
  • August 4 – forward 11 seconds
  • August 5 – forward 17 seconds
  • August 6 – forward 23 seconds
  • August 7 – forward 29 seconds

Beyond the five days after the station, the following depicts the daily speed of Saturn in the next few months:

  • August 13 – forward 1 minute
  • August 23 – forward 2 minutes
  • September 3 – forward 3 minutes
  • September 15 – forward 4 minutes
  • October 17 – forward 6 minutes

Many of us are now starting to feel this change in the air with Saturn slowing down to station. It is important to know that Saturn has been transiting in sidereal Scorpio since early November 2014 and will continue in this transformational sign for a few more years. His direct station occurs at 4 degrees and 12 minutes of Scorpio in Anuradha nakshatra, where he transited in direct motion before, in December 2014. Possibly in certain cases, something being dealt with then will come to a completion now. Or it could be that as Saturn transits back forward over its shadow area where it retrograded, we will revisit certain issues and bring them to completion (until it hits ~11 degrees of Scorpio where it was when it retrograded last March, which will happen in early November 2015).

In general, Saturn’s transit in Scorpio is a time to weed out our weaknesses and vulnerabilities while also strengthening our alignment with divine will; again, to understand more specifics, we have to analyze where Saturn is placed and what else is happening in the natal and progressed charts, etc. A planet is strong when it is 1) retrograde; 2) moving more slowly than usual or 3) stationing retrograde or direct (this latter is strongest). When retrograde, a planet’s essence can also be held back or internalized, and what it represents can be delayed.

So for the past ~140 days, Saturn has been quite strong, so our opportunities for personal growth (burdens, lessons) have been strong too, and in some cases and certain areas of our lives, experiences may have been more intense, pressured, frustrating or demanding than preferred. Saturn is often called the “irritant that produces the pearl,” and usually it takes a while to find that pearl. In other words, we often we have to wait until Saturn moves direct to begin to understand and appreciate what we have achieved during the more internalized and subjective retrograde phase. Most of all, Saturn is known as Shanicharya (or Shani) in Sanskrit, which means “slow mover.” Thus he requires that we learn patience, an even more important lesson when he is is in retrograde and stationary phases! And a little humor can be helpful too, because Saturn energy can be way too serious sometimes (Saturnine).

imagesThank Goddess we are truly multidimensional beings to be able to withstand all the intricate complex patterns represented by the planets acting in us and in the world. For some charts, this triple stationary play is a maddening time; for instance, my “headless chicken” client is a real estate agent with a Leo Rising birth chart and running a Saturn-Venus dasha. Saturn is getting ready to go direct in the fourth house, aspecting the sixth house of work; the tenth house career sector; as well as the all-encompassing first house (so we can predict forward movement, right?); but Venus, the ruler of the tenth house of career, just retrograded backward in the first house in aspect to the seventh house of business and personal relationships. So it is one step forward and one step back in some ways having to do with a few of my client’s business and financial ventures. I tried to make it easy and suggested that he take a vacation until Venus goes direct September 6. At least, he could take a “chill pill” and enjoy a vacation from worrying because “this too shall pass.”

beachVenus, Uranus and Saturn being in these stationary trends can point to shocking events; stunning discoveries; awakenings; accidents; illnesses; and eruptions of all kinds, including arguments, explosions and seismic events. Life can continue to feel quite unstable this week, and so we are encouraged to just be present, go with the flow, minimize risk and be ready for changes. Stationary Saturn is super-intense, and since Saturn is already a major heavy-weight, it may behoove us to plan some special time over the weekend (August 1-2) to go within and align with any deep powerful shifts that may be occurring. It can feel like a relief valve opening up in the days before, during and after the Saturn station, and perhaps something(s) in our lives will soon start to lighten up and move forward. Whew. Sounds great to me!


Guru Purnima July 2015

Hello friends! The Moon is now waxing toward an auspicious Full Moon “Guru Purnima” culminating on Friday morning, July 31 at ~ 6:43 AM EDT (10:43 AM Universal Time), where it will occur in the sidereal sign of Capricorn, in Shravana nakshatra. According to Vedic tradition, the first Full Moon after Summer Solstice in Ashada month is Guru Purnima, the most auspicious Full Moon of the year. There was another Full Moon in early July that normally would have been the special Guru Purnima but wasn’t because of Adhi Maas (Aadi Masam), the extra intercalary lunar month that we had this year.

Guru Purnima is the most auspicious Full Moon of the year, a time when the whole world is quite receptive to divine blessing. This is the perfect time to begin a new spiritual or healing practice, honor and propitiate our preceptors, and commune with the divine teacher—the gu-ru, dispeller of darkness—who exists within all of nature. The festival of Guru Purnima is dedicated to Veda Vyāsa also, and is therefore also known as Vyāsa Purnima. He is the author of and a character in the Mahabharata, and is considered to have been the narrator of both the Vedas and Puranas, for which Lord Ganesha was his scribe. This day commemorates Veda Vyāsa’s birthday as well as the day when he is said to have divided the Vedas.

Veda Vyasa and GaneshaCapricorn is a mysterious and magical sign that exemplifies the manifestation of Spirit in matter. The Full Moon here can be a time to pause and enjoy certain *achievements* (that key word for Capricorn). The Moon’s navamsa (ninth harmonic) falls in its exalted sign of Taurus, a pushkara navamsa which gives  an added boost of spiritual and material blessings. Shravana nakshatra itself is an equable and genial section within sidereal Capricorn which relates to listening, contemplation, knowledge, organization and music. The Full Moon in Capricorn gently nudges us to take some quiet time to tune in and really pay attention to the “small still voice within,” and to take time to simply en-joy life.



Blue Moon Astrology

Happy Moon-Day friends! We will have a Blue Moon Saturday morning, July 31, 2015, but a Blue Moon is not “blue,” and it is not that rare, occurring once every ~2.7 years. The definition of a Blue Moon comes from a 1940’s article that appeared in Astronomy Magazine suggesting the definition of a Blue Moon was the second Full Moon in a calendar month. The Blue Moon has no astrological significance per se, in that it is not based on the lunar calendar but instead it is based on the more arbitrary civil calendar. However, it does occur this year on Guru Purnima, which is the most auspicious Full Moon of the year per Vedic astrology tradition. (More on Guru Purnima in my next post tomorrow). Even though not tied to the lunar calendar, the mystique of “Once in a Blue Moon” captures our imaginations and becomes important simply as there is so much collective attention placed on it, or as Shamanic astrologer Cayelin K. Castell said in her website article about the Blue Moon, “We inform the mysteries as much as they inform us, and what we put our attention and intention on becomes meaningful.” So why not plan to dream big this week? I’m in!images

Venus Retrograde

Hello friends! Venus is slowing down to station retrograde (appearing to stop and move backward) on Saturday morning, July 25 at ~5:30 AM EDT, at ~6 degrees sidereal Leo near the fixed star Regulus (which is at 5 deg. 58 min. Leo) and Venus is also still conjoined Jupiter at ~2 degrees of sidereal Leo. Venus will remain retrograde until September 6. During this cycle, Venus will exactly conjoin Jupiter near Regulus on August 4, transit back through the sensitive gandanta zone into Cancer from August 11-15, and will disappear as the Evening Star around that time around the inferior conjunction with the Sun, reemerging as the Morning Star in later August. Continue reading

Venus and Uranus Retrograde

Hello friends! Venus will be making its retrograde station tomorrow, which may now feel a bit dis-equilibrating as our heart chakra energy begins to make the adjustment to a new flow, and any issues we have been facing in relationship or finances may feeling heavier or more uncertain than usual. Breathing deeply in and out of the heart chakra is a valuable practice at this time, to help us stay open to the blessings of divine love and compassion that are always here to help us. Continue reading

Happy Summertime

Happy summertime! Summer solstice occurred June 21, 2015 in the Northern Hemisphere, ushering in the second half of the solar year, known in the Vedic tradition as the Dakshinayana, Path of the Ancestors. It’s the waning half of the year, which is known as the “Nighttime of the Gods,” in which the Sun follows its southern course until the next solstice on December 21, when the Sun will appear to stop three days before moving northward again. Continue reading

Spring 2015

Vedic Lunar New Year and Solar Eclipse for Washington DC USA March 20 2015Winter in parts of the northern hemisphere has been quite a doozy for so many who will be especially glad to welcome spring this year. It comes on March 20, which will also be the beginning of autumn in the southern hemisphere. We also have a SUPER-New Moon / solar eclipse involving the South Node / Ketu occurring March 20, 2015, from 07:41 UTC to 11:50 UTC, with the maximum point occurring at 9:45 AM UTC. It will be total solar eclipse in Norway and the Faroe Islands, and a partial solar eclipse in Europe, northern and eastern Asia, and northern and western Africa. The spring equinox occurs later the same day at 22:45 UTC. The new Moon in sidereal Pisces always marks the beginning of the Vedic lunar new year. This day is also the beginning of India’s heavenly Divine Mother festival known as “Vasant Navratri (Navaratri),” or the “Nine Nights of Mother Divine,” when the highest aspect of Shakti, the Divine Feminine power, walks among us to bless us with healing, prosperity, and the promise of rebirth. Continue reading

Astrological Weather Report – Fourth Quarter 2014

*Please note that I base all my forecasts on the sidereal zodiac which is aligned with the starry sky, which has always been in use by most Vedic astrologers and is also used by western sidereal astrologers in the ancient Babylonian tradition. Most western astrologers use the tropical zodiac which is aligned with the equinoxes and modeled after an ancient solar calendar for the northern hemisphere. The tropical system is a stereotype of the original zodiac, an anthropomorphic projection onto the sky. The signs are symbolic and no longer relate to the actual constellations after which they were named. The sidereal zodiac is the archetypal or original pattern of the zodiac. I used the tropical system for about 25 years before converting to the sidereal zodiac in the mid-90s. The sidereal works best for me. The longitudinal difference between the position of the planets in the two zodiacs is currently around 24 degrees and the gap is growing larger all the time due to the slow westward drift of the equinoxes known as precession. Thus when I speak of Jupiter’s current transit in Cancer, many could be confused if they are not aware of this issue since tropical astrology says that Jupiter is transiting in Leo at this time. However, if you look to the sky, Jupiter is in fact transiting in the constellation of Cancer now. If you would like to read more about the zodiac controversy, I recommend you begin with Dr. Robert Powell’s History of the Zodiac.

  • Pluto—astrological symbol of power, control, secrets, conspiracies, Plutocracy, inner and outer transformation, the underworld (land of shades), death and rebirth—went direct around 10 hours or so after the equinox on September 22. Pluto had been retrograde since last April, but since it spends about half the year retrograde and half direct, this is not unusual in itself. What is unusual is that it stationed (appeared to stop) and moved in a forward direction during the highly charged magnetic balance point of the equinox window. This may add some extra intensity to the upcoming fall season. Many astrologers have speculated that this direct motion of Pluto points to many secrets being dredged up in the next weeks or even months. Perhaps it also reflects on the deadly Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Pluto stationed in the section of sidereal Sagittarius called Purva Ashadha, at ~16 degrees 55 minutes longitude, which is quite hot-natured and is sometimes associated with declarations of war and zealotry. This is in Virgo in the navamsha, which is the sign of health where Rahu (disasters and pandemics) is transiting from July 2014 until January 2016. Purva Ashadha on a positive note represents the power of invigoration, and this would exert more of a personal effect for those who have planets or chart points at this section or closely aspecting it within a degree or two, in which case, perchance something really pressing that has been in danger of dragging you along since last April (at Pluto’s retrograde) is in process of being transformed and released. Continue reading

Divine Mother Blessings

The New Moon of September 24, 2014 began the glorious Vedic festival of Maha Navratri, the nine nights and ten days of Mother Divine. In Hindu and yogic culture, Maha Navratri is a deeply sacred time for fasting, prayer and spiritual ceremonies (pujas). Though there are five different Navratris celebrated throughout the year, this one, known as Ashvin or Sharad Navratri, is considered the most important.

The rishis of ancient India created special holy days like this in keeping with the seasonal cycles of our planet in its course around the Sun. During these times, the earth and all its inhabitants undergo subtle magnetic shifts. It is said that the Divine Mother (Devi Maa) comes down and walks among us during Navratri, and we propitiate Her to help us cleanse, heal and empower body-mind-spirit. So, look for Her everywhere in the coming ten days. Another name for Divine Mother is “Amba,” which means “power.” She will shower her devotees with much grace during this period.

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Yin Time

(adapted from my previous blog of September 2011)

All of nature dances in the play of polarity, the in-and-out breath of creation through which the primal forces of yin and yang constantly fluctuate. Nowhere is this play more evident than in the changing seasons. The Northern Hemisphere just marked Autumnal Equinox (September 22, 2014, N. America), when we begin to “fall” into Yin Time, as nature begins its turning-in cycle.

yinyang5According to Ayurvedic theory, the Vata dosha begins to increase in the cooler, drier autumn season. The elements of Ether and Air predominate now (Ether + Air = Vata). We may feel more energized, creative and alert during this season, but when Vata is imbalanced, we can experience restlessness or anxiety. In fact, the need for balance is more important than ever this time of year, as stress causes the Vata dosha to shift even more out of order, and this can lead to greater stress and imbalance.

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