Full Crystal Moon

The Full Crystal Moon occurs on Wednesday, November 25 at 5:44 PM Eastern Daylight Time at 9 degrees of sidereal Taurus in Krittika nakshatra, in the fortunate Pushkara-Pisces navamsa. Quite soon after it becomes full (within two hours afterward), the Moon will move into its favorite abode of Rohini nakshatra, still in Taurus. This is a typically generous, practical, productive, harmonious, grounded and supportive full Moon, which represents the fullness of the heart as it falls in the sign of Venus which rules the heart chakra. Venus is transiting in Virgo which tends to find pleasure and fulfillment in work and service to others, but if out of balance, Venus in Virgo can be super dissatisfied and nit-picky, so this may be something to watch for over the next week.

Yes, there are some difficult aspects happening astrologically now and in the lunation charts ahead, and I have written of some of these elsewhere. But there are some positive aspects, too. For instance, the full Moon trines Mars, which reflects some intense-feeling, courageous, proactive, passionate, protective, and vitalizing capacity. In the D9 chart (navamsa), the Moon is in Jupiter’s sign (Pisces) and trine to Jupiter which signifies some sense of optimism, protection, hope or faith.

SFPageFull MoonNative Americans call this month’s lunation the “Frosty Moon” for obvious reasons, as it is becoming very cold in the Northern Hemisphere now. Frost is like clear quartz crystals and so I call this the *Full Crystal Moon*. Quartz crystals are associated with Venus and the heart chakra. Those of us who work with quartz crystals in healing are taught to leave them out every month under the full Moon for purifying and recharging, and this Moon is especially potent for that.

Clear quartz is known as the master healer. It amplifies energy and thought, clears negative energy, and balances and rejuvenates body, mind and spirit. Clear quartz also enhances psychic abilities, stimulates the immune system, aligns the subtle bodies, and brings the body into balance.

The Crystal Full Moon is akin to a giant quartz crystal that can be used for our physical and psycho-spiritual healing and attunement. On Tuesday and Wednesday nights this week, it would be empowering to meditate on the full Moon and imagine bringing Her right into our heart chakra as well as into our higher chakras (third eye, crown) or anywhere else that we are guided to direct the healing and nourishing soma, which is like a bio-electromagnetic elixir emanating from the Moon when it is near its full stage. This will be a great time to invoke this rejuvenating energy for ourselves, for others and for the planet (please), and also, to clarify and align with our heart’s deepest desire.


Astrology and the Gunas: Tamas Time

The three guṇas or triguna (Sanskrit: गुण) refer to three universal qualities or principles of energy movement which interact to help define the character of a person or a situation. The gunas are known as rajas, tamas, and sattva. They carry the positive, negative, and neutral charge in the torroidal magnetic field, which is the primary pattern of nature. In astrology, we often correlate the three gunas with the three modes/modalities of the signs (rashis).

The three modes show how the four elements of fire, earth, air and water are expressed through the twelve individual zodiac signs. As we study the gunas, it should be kept in mind that one guna is not better than another, but each has a balanced versus an imbalanced quality. Ultimately, our job is to harmonize all three gunas by bringing balance to body (tamas), mind (rajas) and soul or spirit (sattva).

The three modes of astrology and their relationship to the gunas are as follows:

1. Cardinal (Chara) – Dynamic, Action-oriented, Initiating; Conscious Mind: Rajas Guna ~ Aries-Cancer-Libra-Capricorn. Rajas can be symbolized by an erupting volcano.

2. Fixed (Sthira) – Stable, Determined, Unyielding; Unconscious Mind: Tamas Guna ~ Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius. Tamas can be symbolized by a tall mountain.

3. Mutable (Dwishwabhava or Dual) – Subtle, Transformative, Reflective, Superconscious mind: Sattva Guna ~ Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces. Sattva can be symbolized by a newborn baby.

There is actually some controversy over the magnetic charges of the gunas. My guruji Paramahansa Yogananda said that rajas has a neutral attribute that 1) activates the positively charged sattva to suppress negatively charged tamas, and 2) activates the negatively charged tamas to suppress positively charged sattva, all of which creates constant activity and motion. Hast Jyotishi Ghanshyam Singh Birla also says sattva is positive, tamas is negative and rajas is neutral.

However, Vedic astrology teacher Komilla Sutton says in The Essentials of Vedic Astrology that sattva/dual signs are negative, tamas/fixed are neutral and rajas/cardinal are positive! Vedic scholar David Frawley has written about two different schemes in his books and articles. In Polarity Therapy (one of my modalities as a healer), which is based on a yogic understanding of the human magnetic field, sattva is considered to be neutral, rajas is positive and tamas is negative. According to this theory, positively charged rajas emanates out of the neutral sattvic core as an expansive centrifugal force, and negatively charged tamas returns to the neutral sattvic core as a contractile centripetal force.

When I do an astrological consultation I measure the balance of the gunas through the placements of all the planetary bodies (grahas) in the signs to understand an individual’s typology. The gunas also play out in the grahas which we look to for deeper interpretation. For instance, Saturn is quite tamasic and this is especially so when Saturn is placed in a tamasic sign as it is now while transiting in sidereal Scorpio since last November 2014 and for the next few years. Following this idea and in another arrangement, the gunas can also be determined by the sign rulers instead of the signs, wherein tamasic signs are those ruled by tamasic grahas Mars and Saturn: Aries, Scorpio, Capricorn, Aquarius; rajasic signs are those ruled by rajasic grahas Venus and Mercury: Taurus, Gemini, Virgo and Libra; and sattvic signs are those ruled by sattvic grahas Moon, Sun and Jupiter: Cancer, Leo, Sagittarius and Pisces! Working with all these overlapping schemes and systems, it becomes quite clear that we are vast multidimensional beings who are not so easily categorized!

Within our natal and progressed horoscopes, we see a picture of our natural and evolving tendencies shown through the balance of the elements (energy and form) and gunas (movement of energy and form). In addition, as we monitor the transiting grahas, we see another picture showing how the karma of the collective is unfolding at this time, and then we can relate that back to our own personal situation as well, as we look to see how the transiting bodies are affecting our natal charts. (Please keep in mind that I use the sidereal zodiac of traditional Vedic and Babylonian astrology, not the tropical system used by most modern western astrologers).

Tamas guna (also called tamoguna) is very high on the planet now from November 17 and through at least the first week of December, as we have several planets transiting in tamasic rashis: Sun-Mercury-Saturn in Scorpio; Neptune in Aquarius; Jupiter in Leo; and every five days, the Moon transits for a few days through a tamasic sign too (it is in Aquarius now, and will be in Taurus next week for the full Moon, and so on).

Tamas guna can be solid, resistant, repressed, attached, denied, underactive and contracted. Tamas represents the earth, the physical body and the forces of inertia and gravity. Dr. Randolph Stone, founder of Polarity Therapy, said that a tamasic imbalance represents a “crystallizing effect of the subconscious mind as rigidity and fixation.” In other words, tamas in its most torpid state can be dark, violent, heavy, depressed, toxic and lazy. However, when tamas is in balance, its nature is persistent, reliable, stable, and strong.

The water element is also strong now, as we have tamasic South Node Ketu in Pisces and also (again) we have the strong Scorpio placements. Many of my clients are writing to tell me they are feeling heaviness. This tamasic energy explains it, and additionally, this is the tamasic season in the Northern Hemisphere as we spiral inward toward the Winter Solstice. It is the season of Going Within and Letting Go.

The tamasic fixed modality is similar to the water element, so strong water modality + strong water element can be a super-trigger to the parasympathetic nervous system which gives us our deep relaxation response. So if you are tired, please give yourself the gift of some good rest. But that’s not all we need. Moderate exercise is also helpful to raise some fiery energy (rajas) to help balance the tamas. And do some journaling, dream work, and/or work with a healer/therapist to help you uncover anything in your mental or emotional bodies that may be lurking beneath the surface and needing to be brought to light.

To further balance tamas guna, we can benefit from dispersive therapies that are forceful and deeply penetrating, like deep tissue massage or Rolfing if you like that. To further invoke the fiery mode to help balance tamas, meditate on fire in a fire pit, or fireplace, or even a candle; and also, take sauna or steam baths and get out in the sunshine.

Elimination is important now, so drink lots of warm or hot water and make sure you have plenty of fiber in your diet. Minimize intake of junk (always), and try to avoid taking in tamasic foods and substances like meat, mushrooms, eggs, cheeses, drugs and alcohol and overcooked food or food that is older than a day.

Releasing the negative pole of the energetic body will help to move any stagnant tamasic energy, so get a foot massage, ionic foot detox, or simply massage your feet (especially before bedtime). Last but not least, remember, you are pure eternal spirit and have everything within you that you need to be able to bring balance to your own energetic system.


Scorpio-Sagittarius Gandanta: Call On Your Angels!

Come, Holy Spirit ~ Fill My Heart!

d32a58d5fc4a65c4fa793c671f6c7ea7The Moon yesterday and today is transiting through sidereal Scorpio, its most vulnerable sign, but has passed by Saturn now, all of which might reflect some tests of stamina, courage and faith. Tonight and tomorrow morning, the Moon will cross the edge (cusp) between sidereal Scorpio and Sagittarius, known as the gandanta ~ a sensitive and knotty edge of transformation between water and fire signs, where heavy or intense emotions can occur. When the Moon (our feeling mind) is in the gandanta, we often have to let go of control in order for grace to intervene.

By mid-Saturday afternoon Eastern Time, the Moon will be well through the gandanta and into the much more jubilant and optimistic Sagittarius. Until then, with Moon in Scorpio and then as it is crossing the gandanta, we may feel things very deeply, which is not always so comfortable depending on our individual astrological and life circumstances.

A strong message has been coming through me, both yesterday and today, which is an old message but one we might tend to forget sometimes (I know I do): Call on your angels. They are all around just waiting to help, and often (and especially) they like to assist with the most mundane tasks. They are everywhere, these miraculous light-and love-filled beings. Just ask, open, receive, and don’t forget to thank them! You will be amazed.

Love and light !



Saturn-Neptune Square of 2015-2017

Many western astrologers are now talking about the upcoming Saturn-Neptune square which is in less than a 2-degree orb now but will be exact for the first time on November 26, 2015. It is actually coming on strong now as Neptune is retrograding back toward Saturn who is barreling toward him.

SFPageAs a Neo-Vedic astrologer, I use the outer planets according to certain specific rules; for instance, they are not considered to be primary rulers of the planets as they are in western astrology, and they only become important when closely aligned with angular cusps or the grahas of Vedic astrology. Another big difference in my work versus that of western tropical astrology is that the latter uses a different starting point for the zodiac, and I use the traditional zodiac used by Indians and ancient astrologers, which is known as the sidereal (niryana) zodiac, which is the one that is aligned with the stars. The tropical system was originally based on a seasonal calendar for the northern hemisphere and is aligned to the equinoxes and solstices rather than the constellations. For my work, the sidereal system works best, but I have many tropical astrology friends and colleagues whom I adore and whose work I also admire. So… to each his own!

The two zodiacs are about 24 degrees apart at this time (the sidereal is behind the tropical), so in western tropical terms, Saturn is in Sagittarius squaring Neptune in Pisces, whereas in the sidereal zodiac, Saturn is in Scorpio and Neptune in Aquarius. The square is happening between these two planets in both systems regardless of the zodiac in use, but the interpretation varies slightly as the signs are different, and it is the signs that show us how and where the energy of the planets is manifesting.

Neptune and Saturn square each other approximately every 14-16 years and they do this on and off for 2-3 years each time. The square in astrology is a 90-degree aspect representing internal tension, pressure, and often some conflict between hidden and externalized forces.

One of the best books written on astrological aspects is called Dynamics of Aspect Analysis by western astrologer Bil Tierney, who describes the square as: “a dynamic aspect providing us with much drive and impetus to initiate change. Its frictional nature is best relieved through decisive action demanding direct struggle, aggressive effort, and greater energy expenditure. Squares in general are crisis-oriented, forcing us to act in an explicit manner that allows for purposeful turning points in consciousness. Planets involved in square aspect interact from a somewhat defensive pose and do not easily synthesize. They seem to follow the line of least resistance. The planets tend to block and thwart each other’s basic intentions. But while the urges of the two planets resist smooth, peaceful integration they are also prone to challenge each other’s right of expression…Squares challenge us to act rather than continue to endure the pain and discomfort they generate.”

Neptune will square Saturn on and off through the next few years (due to retrograde cycles) with exact hits on:

  • November 26, 2015
  • June 17, 2016
  • September 10, 2016
  • June 18, 2017

The last time Saturn in sidereal Scorpio squared Neptune in Aquarius was in 1693, exactly on January 1. Around this time the Salem Witch Trials were winding down, which was due to a wake-up call of sorts, as the hysteria had begun to subside and public opinion was turned against the trials. This makes sense as Saturn represents truth and Neptune is delusion. In this case, Saturn tends to win over Neptune in Aquarius because Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius (dispositor), so he tends to be the boss, and hopefully this means truth will prevail in the current transit, as well.

The largest earthquake in Italy’s history also happened in early January 1693 around the exact square. There was actually a fore-shock on January 9 a few days after the New Moon of January 6, followed by a 7.4 earthquake (followed by a tsunami) on January 11. The damage covered 2200 square miles, destroyed 70 small towns, and killed 60,000 people. This sort of event is not simply an indication of Saturn squaring Neptune. In events like this, there are many astrological and karmic factors at play, not just one, though this one is quite a significant factor.

In mundane astrology, the square represents the possibility of internal tension that might erupt, and Saturn and Neptune signify seismic and meteorological events. This is especially so when they come together in a tension aspect — Saturn represents earthquakes and natural calamities, and Neptune represents earthquakes, tsunamis and water disasters. Saturn also relates to war, death of leaders, and misery in general. Neptune signifies plots, assassinations, and conspiracies; political instability; mass delusion and mob psychology; and crime and subversion. When they are in a difficult aspect like this, they can bring out some of the most difficult kinds of worldly events.

The last time Saturn and Neptune squared each other was in November 2014 and then again several times in 2015 but it was never an exact aspect in those cases (but within 3 degrees). It is the exact aspect and about 10 days on either side that seems to be the most potent. Other times in the last century times we have seen Neptune square Saturn were from 1997-2000; 1978-1981; 1961-1964; 1943-1945; 1925-1927; and 1909-1911. Some of these periods were times when the world was in great turmoil and transformation. This is because Saturn rules structure, which Neptune likes to dissolve. Saturn and Neptune are by nature at great odds with each other:

  • Saturn is the significator of realism and 3D reality, whereas Neptune represents idealism and the spiritual realms beyond 3D.
  • Saturn represents the working class, whereas Neptune rules artists, spiritualists and visionaries.
  • Saturn signifies depression and Neptune, inflation.
  • Saturn works hard, is patient and persevering, but Neptune wants to just rest on his laurels and wait for his dreams to miraculously manifest out of the ethers.
  • Saturn represents time, and Neptune escapes time.
  • Saturn contracts, and Neptune expands.
  • Saturn signifies rules and boundaries, but Neptune wants nothing but Oneness and no rules.
  • Saturn represents democracy, and Neptune points to socialism.
  • Saturn is solid and trustworthy, but Neptune can be deceptive and delusional.
  • Saturn stands for the status quo, which Neptune likes to dissolve.

How and where this square might personally affect us will depend on where we have sidereal Scorpio and Aquarius in our natal charts. It also depends on if we have any significant placements in these signs, including natal planets and the four main angular chart cusps. One might say that in relation to each other, Neptune represents the unconscious and Saturn the conscious. Saturn in sidereal Scorpio is all about transformation, and Neptune in Aquarius represents awakening, so this square for some will be about transforming consciousness.

The tension of this square is happening not just out there in the heavens, but also within. The word “tension” usually has negative connotations, but as a Vedic astrology coach, I also like to think of it as “the play between opposing forces that leads to extension” or “applying a force to something to stretch it,” and thus, productive tension is a great thing that leads to growth and evolution! It’s often just how we choose to look at something that determines how it will affect us, right?

The strongest aspect will be around the 26th November, but also 10 days before and after, and may manifest as confusion, disappointment, unconscious fear, or insecurity; but with awareness, we can bring any of these or other unconscious struggles to light. However, it may not be the best time to get involved in conflicts or make important decisions. With this aspect, there may be an awareness developing related to a life dream that we want to turn into reality, but again it is not time to push it.

Bil Tierny quotes astrologer Sylvia Carrol about squares. She says that they “do not feel unpleasant unless the energy backs up on you. Tension here can feel exhilarating as long as it is flowing and not dammed up.” She recommends appeasing the aspect by “becoming involved with personal efforts that can sensibly accommodate such intense, driving force.” If we constructively navigate this, we open to the promise of great changes ahead. Why not? That’s what it’s all about anyway. When we are conscious and aware and able to mediate the tension of the Saturn-Neptune square, we can truly align with our highest spiritual power (Neptune) and manifest great purpose (Saturn) from that place of alignment.

Some famous persons whose charts have a very close Saturn-Neptune square include Ramakrishna; Marilyn Monroe; Rod Stewart; Miles Davis; Venus Williams; Joan Sutherland; Edwin Hubble; Queen Victoria; Jawaharlal Nehru;  Allen Ginsberg; and H. P Lovecraft.


Happy Diwali

Diwali or Dipavali (meaning Line of Lights) is the Festival of Lights celebrated by those of India’s Hindu/Vedic, Jain and Sikh cultural traditions, and this year it begins tomorrow (Nov. 9th) and will go on for five nights of celebration aimed around the new moon that will occur in sidereal Libra on Wednesday. The Lakshmi puja is perhaps the most significant day which commemorates the birth and blessing of Lakshmi Devi, the goddess of love, wisdom, beauty, and abundance, and this will be the night of the 10th (Tuesday), as Lakshmi was born in the darkest night before the New Moon (Amavasya Tithi, which is the night of 10th-11th before the Sun and Moon conjoin at Pratipada Tithi).

The late Swami Krishnananda Saraswati of the Divine Life Society wrote a beautiful essay about the spiritual meaning if Diwali, in which he explained:

Diwali is an occasion for spiritual exhilaration, a lighting up of all darkness, socially as well as personally, outwardly and inwardly, for the purpose of allowing an entry of the Supreme Light of God into the hearts of all people. Diwali is the celebration of the rise of Knowledge. It is also the celebration of the victory of the Sattvic or divine elements in us over the Rajasic and Tamasic or baser elements which are the real Asuras, the Rakshasas, Narakasura and others. The whole world is within us. The whole cosmos can be found in a microscopic form in our own body. Rama-Ravana-Yuddha and Tarakasura-Vadha, and all such Epic wars,–everything is going on inside us.  Dipavali is thus also a psychological context, wherein we contemplate in our own selves the holy occasion of self-mastery, self-subjugation and self-abnegation leading to the rise of all spiritual virtues which are regarded as lustre or radiance emanating from Self-Knowledge.

Bhagavati Mahalakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity, does not merely mean the Goddess of wealth in a material sense. Lakshmi does not mean only gold and silver. Lakshmi means prosperity in general, positive growth in the right direction, a rise into the higher stages of evolution. This is the advent of Lakshmi. Progress and prosperity are Lakshmi. In the Vishnu Purana we are told if Narayana is like the sun, Lakshmi is like the radiance of the sun. They are inseparable. Wherever Narayana is, there is Lakshmi. Wherever is divinity, there is prosperity. So on this day of Dipavali we worship the Supreme God who is the source of all conceivable virtues, goodness and prosperity, which is symbolised in illumination, lighting and worship in the form of Arati and gay joyous attitude and feeling in every respect. So, in short, this is a day of rejoicing over the victory of Sattva over the lower Gunas, the victory of God Himself over the binding fetters of the soul.

May your light shine brighter and brighter with each coming day, and may all the devas bless you and yours now and forever.

Love and light,


༺ ♥ ༻ There is a Light that shines beyond all things on Earth, beyond us all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the Light that shines in our hearts.~ Chandogya Upanishad, 3:13.7


Autumn Balance

In the northern hemisphere, we are now experiencing late summer and the season of the earth element according to Five Element Chinese philosophy. Earth energy turns us inward to consolidate and stabilize. When in balance, its positive expressions are harmony, patience, responsibility, hard work, and long-term planning, but on the shadow side, the earth element can represent self-centeredness or thoughtless ambition. The negative expression of earth energy is worry, whereas the positive expression is love/empathy.

fall-leaves-earthscapes_13333_990x742As temperatures in many places are beginning to cool and we are moving into full autumn, the metal element will kick in. Metal season is the time for letting go and opening up to new inspiration, and so it is an especially good time for cleaning, clearing and cleansing. The season of the metal element corresponds with the vata dosha of Ayurveda, when the air element/prana rises and we are encouraged to eat foods, take treatments, and follow daily rituals which pacify the changeable, skittish, light and dry nature of the autumn season that can adversely affect our health (vata dosha).

indexWith the intense seasonal changes upon us, the months of September and October are especially important ones to receive acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment and/or Ayurvedic consultation, if you are so inclined. In terms of self care, I have a few simple suggestions. One thing that can be very helpful to counteract imbalances in the autumn season is self-Abhyanga oil massage performed a few times a week, which I explain in detail on my website: http://www.astralharmony.com/ayurvedic.html (vata massage oil might be best to use in autumn especially as temperatures cool).0571d2d77b6daae80ea370c16e80a0fcSomething else I recommend to help balance the high pranic shifts once we are in the metal season is to use Super Nasya (nasal) oil once or twice a day, and my favorite is the blissful smelling Sidha Soma Supreme from the Ayurvedic Health Center, which is said to help relieve congestion, tension, tightness in the neck and clear the mind. Buy it here: http://shop.ayurveda.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=sosssnooil


September Exposed

September looks to be a bit of an “exposed” month. No, I am not talking about the Shemitah and the Blood Moon prophecies, which I do not support…read my thoughts about this here: http://astralharmony.com/blog/apocalytic-prophecies/shemitah-and-blood-moon-prophecies/

There are several reasons why I say September is exposed:

1. The autumn season is already a highly vulnerable time of year because we have to say goodbye to the high season of summer and then cross the equinox still point (September 23), when our planetary nervous system goes through a major energetic transition, and our mental, emotional and physical health becomes ultra-sensitive, and we can feel wiped out emotionally, mentally or physically.

2. In addition, we should consider the power in the name of the fall season, as my dear friend Miriam Divinsky recently reminded me. Used interchangeably with “autumn,” fall simply refers to the natural process of slowly turning inward and downward to rest and rejuvenate, right? Yes! But also, there is a negative connotation connected to the word “fall” which subtly influences the mass mind, as “to fall” unconsciously evokes a sense of “decline, collapsing down or losing balance.” The sap of life does begin flowing downward in this season, which requires attention and adjustment. Tuning into these kinds of natural cycles helps to create a more life-affirming experience as we go with the flow of least resistance.

3. The United States birth chart (James Kelleher version) will enter a new major cycle in late September, and this unconsciously contributes to the mass mind’s feelings of instability, trepidation and worry. Please read more about this here: http://astralharmony.com/blog/astrology/vedic-astrology/rahu-mahadasa-and-united-states-kelleher-chart/

4. In addition to all the above, this September has two eclipses: Sept 13—partial solar/ New Moon Rahu eclipse; and Sept. 27-28—total lunar/Super Full Moon Ketu eclipse. Further, during the energetically unstable period between the two eclipses, we will celebrate the fall equinox, N. Hemisphere, and spring equinox, S. Hemisphere on September 23 at 8:22 AM UTC. If that were not enough, Mercury will also go retrograde on September 17 in the eclipse axis, conjunct the North Node, which can indicate some turmoil as communication, judgment, and travel/transport issues can get wonky.

All of this can impact our sensitive planetary and individual nervous systems. Thus, we are cautioned to be extra careful, mindful and gentle with ourselves and each other and not to push anything hard during this two-week cycle from the 13th to the 28th.  It is best not to begin anything new in the world during this period between eclipses and especially not for a few days before and after the equinox and eclipses, unless it is a healing or contemplative practice.

Eclipses churn up karmic changes for the whole planet, but it is said that when the lunar eclipse falls after the solar eclipse as in this case in September, the world will be more peaceful than when the solar comes after the lunar. Solar eclipses always have a longer more potent impact that lunar eclipses. Eclipses are also said to have the greatest impact in the geographical areas where they appear. The solar eclipse of September 13 will appear over S. Africa, South Indian Ocean and Antarctica.

SMImageThe full lunar eclipse of September 27-28 will appear over all of South America and most of North America, the Atlantic Ocean, Greenland, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

lunar_201509Probably the most important thing I can share about eclipses is that the half-hour or hour before, and especially during the eclipse maximum, are optimal times for healing work as well as spiritual practices like chanting, meditation, puja and prayer. The yogis have shared with us that the positive benefits of sadhana (practices) are vastly multiplied and magnified when performed at times of eclipses (particularly solar eclipses). The solar eclipse maximum time will be at 6:55:19 AM UTC on the 13th. The lunar eclipse maximum will occur at 2:48:16 AM UTC on the 28th September. To convert to your time zone, just use this: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

What I share here about the September eclipses is quite generalized, but to truly get a grasp on how the eclipses will affect you requires a personal horoscope reading with a professional astrologer.

Big changes will often happen in the weeks and months before or after the eclipses. This is especially true when the eclipses occur in a section of the zodiac that is closely influencing important points or planets in a natal or mundane horoscope. Generally, a Rahu solar eclipse indicates new growth. This can bring the feeling of breakthrough (or breakdown if not handled properly). Often we experience issues related to our career, or health and life force, and sometimes we can feel very tired around the solar eclipse. At the same time, where and how we have been leaking vital energy might be revealed to us, and so then improvements can be made.

The solar eclipse of September 13 occurs with expansive Rahu (the Moon’s North Node) as the eclipsing body at ~7 degrees sidereal Virgo, while the Sun and Moon will be at ~26 degrees of sidereal Leo. In a natal or mundane horoscope, planets or points from late sidereal Leo and into the first decan (10 degrees) of sidereal Virgo will be most impacted. For instance, those born ~ September 11-15 have the Sun in late sidereal Leo and will be going through some interesting changes in the coming six months.The area where the luminaries (Sun-Moon/New Moon) fall in the September 13 solar eclipse is called Purva Phalguni nakshatra in the Vedic astrology system; this is a fierce and creative section of the zodiac. The luminaries additionally fall in Scorpio navamsa, fourth pada of Purva Phalguni, which reveals potential for some intensified passion and cathartic emotional energy being stirred up in this eclipse. The North Node Rahu falls in the fourth pada (Pisces navamsa) of Uttara Phalguni which fortunately brings some balance of higher consciousness into the mix.

SFPage Lunar eclipses generally tend to trigger relationship or emotional issues, and a Ketu lunar eclipse such as we will have September 27-28 signifies potential for heavy and emotionally toxic feelings in the weeks and days before the eclipse. Some may feel quite confused about what is happening, especially if the eclipse is significantly triggering something in the natal chart. This lunar eclipse will also be a super Moon (Moon at perigee, close to Earth) so it is quite strong in terms of the lunar effect. That is, in the days before and after, we may see higher than usual tides or intense storms and seismic activity, along with strong emotional energies and powerful shifts in awareness and some possibility of extreme events.

The full Moon lunar eclipse will be at ~11 degrees sidereal Pisces conjoined Ketu/South Node at ~7 degrees Pisces, so if you have important planets and points near these degrees, changes are coming and something may end or be let go, because of Pisces being the sign of endings, and Ketu’s quality of dissipation. Yet, every ending is a new beginning, and this is truer because a full Moon even when eclipsed carries some theme of fruition. So maybe if this eclipse is affecting you, there will be a great release which opens the door to something new.

Ketu in Pisces will be in exact trine to Saturn in Scorpio on September 26 adding to the intensity of the eclipse which will fall in Uttarabhadrapada nakshatra, whose shakti is “the power to bring rain,” so we may see torrential rains and possibly flooding or other kinds of water disasters around this lunation. Figuratively speaking, Uttarabhadrapada’s “rain” refers to healing, cleansing and nourishing energies. Pisces is the energy of Oneness. Stay connected within, and you will be fine.



Rahu Mahadasa and United States Kelleher Chart

One of the most significant events of 2015 is happening in September as the United States enters a new “mahadasa” (major karmic period, or great cycle) as seen through the United States Kelleher chart. Of the many different astrological birth charts used to read the collective karma of the United States, this one was rectified very precisely by contemporary Vedic astrologer James Kelleher for July 4, 1776 at 18:30 in Philadelphia, PA USA, giving a rising sign (lagna or ascendant) at nearly 9 degrees sidereal Sagittarius. Please refer to “American Destiny: The Kelleher Chart of the United States” by Vedic astrologer and author Linda Johnsen for more information about Kelleher’s rectification and the US birth chart: http://www.jameskelleher.com/world/worldfiles/world1.htm

USA Kelleher SFPageAccording to the Kelleher chart, the United States is in a state of major flux and frequency shift because it will begin a new 18-year Rahu major period in the Vimshottari dasa beginning on September 25, 2015, as calculated based on the Moon, Lahiri ayanamsa, and a 365.2422-day saura year using the Kala-Vedic Astrology Software program. The Vimshottari is one among a great variety of Vedic astrology’s progressed cycles known as “dasas” which track the unfolding of karma (actions, events), and is considered the most important dasa for individuals in the current age.

Many well-regarded astrologers use the Vimshottari for not only individual charts but also mundane (world) horoscopes such as those of corporations, businesses, organizations and nations. However, there are some esteemed astrologers who argue that the Vimshottari dasa is to be used for individuals only, not for the other kinds of non-human entities we are analyzing in mundane horoscopes; these same astrologers often choose to use alternative dasas and techniques for mundane astrology.

Further, some astrologers do not advocate using a founding chart for a country at all, and instead use lunation charts, or perhaps they use the natal horoscope of the current president. I know of at least ten horoscopes for the United States, such as the Declaration of War chart for July 6, 1775 at 11 AM, or the charts for either the signing or the ratification of the Articles of Confederation. Some use the Declaration but prefer different times for the signing (e.g. Sibley at 5:10 PM, or one from my friend Barry Rosen for 6:17 PM). One school of Indian-based Vedic astrologers prefers a more recent progressed chart from the 1800s; and some use a combination of different methods and charts.

I believe that various points of view in astrology are valid, but I have seen enough evidence to be quite comfortable trusting 1) the Vimshottari dasa for mundane charts in general, and 2) the Kelleher chart for reading karma of the United States. And I always use the sidereal zodiac, not the western tropical system. The sidereal system is used in traditional Vedic astrology as well as in western sidereal astrology of the Babylonian tradition. I personally find it more accurate for my own work.

The premise of the Kelleher chart is that the United States was officially “born” at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, with the official time of signing rectified to 6:30 PM in Philadelphia, which puts the US chart in the Rahu-Rahu dasa at the time of founding, meaning in the main and first sub-cycle (bhukti-S.India or antardasa-N. India) of Rahu, the Moon’s North Node. This is because the Vimshottari cycle starts at the time and date of birth of a person or other entity with the lord of the Moon’s nakshatra. The Moon’s nakshatra in the United States chart is known as Satabisha (in sidereal Aquarius), and this nakshatra is ruled by Rahu.

Thus the collective consciousness of the United States was profoundly conditioned at its foundation by Rahu, who is an outsider, immigrant and rebel, just as the early settlers and founders of America were. Rahu as lord of Satabisha nakshatra is the over-lord of the Moon, which represents the public and the homeland. Rahu is also placed in sidereal Cancer which is ruled by the Moon, and in the 8th house which also relates to rebels and revolutions!

The Vimshottari dasa runs for 120 years and follows a particular order for every chart: Ketu (7 years); Venus (20 years); Sun (6 years); Moon (10 years); Mars (7 years); Rahu (18 years); Jupiter (16 years); Saturn (19 years); and Mercury (17 years). As mentioned, the ruler of a birth or inception chart’s Moon nakshatra (janma tara) determines where the cycle begins, i.e., the lord of his or her particular birth dasa starts the cycle, and the zodiacal degree of the Moon determines the balance of years in that cycle, and then from there, it runs in the same order for any chart.

The United States had 18 years of Rahu mahadasa from 1776-1793, during which time it was coping with a war and then with the economic and cultural after-effects of war when it was finding its identity as a new nation. The period was characterized by massive war debt and inflation, political transformation, and western migration, all of which are specific significations of Rahu and also of the 8th house of the astrological chart which Rahu occupies.

Rahu dasa came around again 120 years later, for the second time, from 1895 to 1913. This was a period of political reform and technological (industrial) revolution in the United States. One thing we can accurately predict for a Rahu cycle (especially when Rahu is in the 8th house of the astrological chart in Cancer) is a tendency for more fear than usual in the collective mind; an upsurge in sensationalist media; potential for revolutionary socioeconomic changes; an explosion of scientific and technological discoveries; mass migrations; wars; and a cultural rebirth with a restructuring of social mores and traditions.

The last American Rahu mahadasa saw the 1896 election of US President McKinley, who was later assassinated by a Polish anarchist in 1901. Other defining events include the Spanish-American War, expansion of US territories and the Panama Canal; political reforms; civil rights difficulties; the imposition of a gold standard (dropped later in 1933); technological revolution; massive immigration; growth of labor movements; closing of the frontier; populism; progressivism; high tariffs and taxes; big stick diplomacy; and yellow journalism. No massive economic or social collapse occurred in the Rahu dasa (as has been predicted by some for this coming Rahu cycle).

Yet, a financial panic actually did occur halfway through Rahu dasa in 1907. And also quite interestingly, in the dasa chidra (around the beginning) of Rahu in 1895, JP Morgan led a bond offering that rescued America from a severe two-year depression. This was an unprecedented reverse buyout of the government by one man, which makes one wonder if similar kinds of epoch-making events will occur in American culture, government (politics), or economy in the coming years.

It appears that America could be in for some serious surprises and possibly some danger, turmoil, health crisis, and/or uncovering of deception, plot or a scandal among one or more top government leaders or presidential candidates in the next six months, especially as the Kelleher chart Neptune will be widely eclipsed on September 13 and will be further triggered through the spring of 2016 by the transit of Rahu over Neptune and then over the September 13 Leo eclipse points through March 2016. Rahu is a chaya graha or shadow planet and so he represents what is hidden, such as what conspiracy theorists surmise is a corrupt secret shadow government operating behind the scenes. In Rahu’s great cycle, such shadows can also be revealed more clearly for those who choose to see.

Rahu is in a powerful transit in the 10th house (government) of the Kelleher chart at the dasa pravesh (beginning of Rahu mahadasa) which points to a Rahuesque character or characters dominating America’s presidential political race. What (or who) is that, you might wonder? Rahu here could have a variety of expressions. It might be a Washington outsider or outsiders, or perhaps it could be an insider calling for a “political revolution in America.” A Rahu type often has an unconventional message and style, and even an extreme political ideology. As Rahu rules mass media, this person could be quite entertaining and a master of media manipulation, good at rattling cages, and not doing and saying the same old broken things. A Rahuesque person might seem radical, rebellious, unabashed, moody, changeable, confident, eccentric, brash, unrealistic, driven, ambitious and successful in a worldly way. A Rahu character will evoke intense positive or negative reactions from those in the public and the media. At the least, Rahu in the 10th house of the dasa pravesh nearly promises that this current presidential race will probably develop in the most unexpected manner with many shocking twists and turns. With Rahu, you can be sure that all is not as it appears.

Rahu is the graha in Vedic astrology which ultimately has to do with evolution, and his nature is to expand and transform. The beginning of Rahu mahadasa is often said to bring about some very difficult conditions, but in this case it may not necessarily be so since Rahu is transiting in one of its more favorable signs and houses (Virgo, 10th) at the dasa pravesh, which can indicate a cycle of gradual improvement for America and its government. It is significant that the Rahu cycle starts out between two eclipses and very close to the super-Moon total lunar eclipse on the 27th-28th September, giving some sense that Rahu mahadasa could mark a dramatic and significant period in history.

In mundane astrology, Rahu relates to (among other things) migrants, outsiders and untouchables; debts; upheaval; politics, secret deals, plots and assassinations; chemicals and poisoning; health epidemics (like cancer); banishment; wars; violence; strikes; technology; space travel and aeronautics; litigation; and mass media, advertising and public relations. Please hold onto your hats and enjoy the wild ride of Rahu who stirs the stormy seas and brings forth all kinds of new and rare evolutionary opportunities.

Shemitah, Blood Moon, and Mass Ascension: September 2015

Have you been hearing about various apocalyptic prophecies for September? The Shemitah and Blood Moon are tied together in an extreme Judeo-Christian religious prophecy. Then, there’s the New Age prediction for “Mass Ascension” which is surprisingly gaining a lot of traction, which we will get to further on. But first, the Shemitah, which is related to the ending of a seven-year cycle in the ancient Hebrew calendar which is said to correlate with economic and social collapse in the weeks just before or after September 13. Recently, Alex Jones’ Infowars published an article titled “Eerie Statistics Predict Coming Shemitah Market Collapse: Only 8 Trading Days Until Wipe Out Day,” aiming it for around September 15.

Next comes the Blood Moon Prophecy which is based on the culmination of a two-year lunar eclipse tetrad on Sept. 27-28, 2015, and predicted to bring great tribulation in various parts of the world. The idea originated in part with bestselling author and Christian minister John Hagee, whose ideas were surprisingly taken up by some western astrologers too, and even astronomy websites adopted his description of a “Blood Moon” for a total lunar eclipse.

Many people are taking all this seriously, literally stocking up on supplies and heading to the hills. Apparently, also, some investors are preparing. The fear that this kind of prediction engenders is almost enough to really cause a financial panic. I have been getting calls and emails about some kind of “September Event” from concerned friends and clients for months now. I wish it would just stop!

But no such luck. According to Wikipedia, “apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apokálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω meaning “uncovering”), translated literally from Greek, is a disclosure of knowledge, i.e., a lifting of the veil or revelation. In religious contexts it is usually a disclosure of something hidden.” Did you know that apocalyptic beliefs have been on the rise for the past 50 years, probably because our global problems have become too big and we see no way out. In apocalyptic thinking, a divine power or alien race is going to intervene and save us from ourselves, and often it is through a miraculous intervention or catastrophic wake-up call. This time, in September 2015, it’s the Shemitah. Remember three years ago when it was December 21, 2012? I could rattle off at least a dozen such catastrophic predictions I have weathered during my lifetime.

I think it would be good to consider the source when it comes to “Chicken Little” fear-mongering and remember all the thousands of worrisome conspiracy theories and end of world prophecies throughout ancient and modern times which have not panned out. Then understand that this Shemitah prophecy has exploded in the mass consciousness because of a bestselling book by yet another alleged doomsday prophet named Jonathan Cahn, author of The Mystery of the Shemitah and also a book of fiction before that called The Harbinger. Cahn is a Messianic Jewish rabbi and pastor and he believes that through the Shemitah, America will be punished for what he and his disciples believe are our grave moral failures.

With respect to anyone of the Jewish faith, the true shmita (Hebrew, release) is a sabbath year, a seventh year of a seven-year cycle which is a cherished Biblical tradition still observed in contemporary Judaism. Critics of Cahn’s prophecy believe the true Shemitah is meant only to apply to those of the Judaic faith and in Israel. Several trusted Biblical scholars have debunked his theories including those about economic collapse. These alleged “doomsday prophets” like Hagee and Cahn and their advocates seem to have made a fortune selling fear as well as survivalist supplies and equipment, for example, on Jim Bakker’s televangelism show where Cahn has been a guest.

Last but not least, some New Age prophets are joining on the apocalypse bandwagon and predicting some kind of alternative, albeit more hopeful, version of an event which is said to be a large gamma ray (or a “love ray or Wave X”) leading to a “mass ascension” which is supposed to occur in late September which seems to promise the first of a mass frequency shift and awakening in global consciousness. This sounds all too familiar. We have been hearing about this happening for years now, When it does not happen, there is always a reason given, and then it is predicted again shortly thereafter from another New Age prophet.

As far as I know from the teachings I follow of Jnanavatar Swami Sri Yukteswar, the true global awakening of humankind known as Sat Yuga, Age of Truth, is still a long way off, like maybe about 5000 earth years or so. So everyone can take a breath and relax. That said, the divine rishis, yogis and masters of the Far East promise that each individual can attain a state of Union, as in his or her own individual “Sat Yuga,” when spiritually advanced enough.

Regarding a crash in the economy, Mahendra Sharma who is a respected Indian financial astrologer indicated in a recent newsletter that this Shemitah prophecy is nonsense; in this report, he seems to be bullish on the economy. There is a chance for some big global financial change ahead related to the Gold Rush that has been predicted (by astrologer James Braha and others) for 2016. Gold dealers are saying that we will have a market crash in the next 30-60 days worse than 2008 (but they always say things like this to sell their gold, don’t they?).

China’s recent financial issues will continue to rear their ugly heads on and off at least through February 2016. Some financial astrologers have told me that the global economy looks more unsettled in November than September or October 2015, but the one thing I know is no astrologer can predict financial markets accurately all the time, and astrologers never agree in their predictions about markets.

I also believe that fear influences financial markets so the Shemitah could have some negative effects, but probably not the kind of wipe-out crash they are predicting. However, nobody can say with certainty what will happen because much of what will happen in the future is not etched in stone and things “out there” are being manipulated way beyond anything we can understand or control. The solar eclipse on September 13 will have some tendency to stir up fear and worry along with dramatic events for many of us. The super-Moon eclipse on September 27-28 also looks to be a doozy in terms of an immense lunar effect in the days immediately before and afterward. And the two weeks between eclipses is always known to be a time of revelation, when surprising secrets are discovered and new insights unveiled. Stay tuned for more about this in my next post.


Astral Weather Ahead for October? Stay Tuned…

Western astrologer Susan Miller of AstrologyZone.com recently tweeted that “October could be a hard month…Mid-October stressful.” Then NYMag.com ran a piece titled “Don’t Freak Out But Susan Miller Says October’s Gonna Be Awful.” Miller also announced earlier in 2015 that “April’s so scary I’m giving classes on it.” Looking back on it, April didn’t seem that much worse than any other month this year. At least, I personally was not scared more than usual.

Ethically, it is OK for astrologers to say we are coming into a “hard” period, but we are also encouraged to be constructive and use indeterminate qualifiers; suggest possible alternative interpretations; and make remedial suggestions to go along with such pronouncements. More to the point, astrological ethics caution against making extreme statements of approaching calamity that could cause personal or public alarm. This is in part because it’s just not professional  to use fear to promote one’s agenda, products or services. And truth is, astrological conditions can play out in variable events of similar meaning; much of the future is not fully predetermined; and so, astrology cannot predict the outcome of future astronomical events with absolute surety.

Among many contemporary Western or Vedic astrologers, fear sells, and I suppose the world’s most popular astrologer has had to learn how to tweet a tiny fear-bite every now and then to keep her millions of fans on edge and coming back for more. Yet, Miller herself has stated that her work in astrology is not fortune telling, but is more about practical life coaching. She gives the astrological weather forecast and leaves it up to us to plan accordingly. She has even been quoted saying, “You can always overcome these bad aspects if you are determined.” That’s how I do it, too. The trick is to offer a positive view while not candy-coating the rise and fall and stress and strain of our ever-turning world.

So, is October really looking to be that “hard”? Stay tuned and I will weigh in on this in the near future. Here’s a hint to hold you until then: September with its two eclipses and Mercury retrograding etc. etc. looks to be a little more “interesting” than October.