Astral Weather Ahead for October? Stay Tuned…

Western astrologer Susan Miller of recently tweeted that “October could be a hard month…Mid-October stressful.” Then 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.


Aquarius Full Moon: Luminous Light, Healing Vibrations, and Cosmic Soma Time


This gallery contains 16 photos.

Friends, the Moon is waxing fast, and here we are again seeking more light. The last full Moon of our summer season (northern hemisphere) will occur at 12 degrees in the sidereal sign of Aquarius on Saturday, August 29, 2015, … Continue reading

Debilitated (Neecha) Mars in Sidereal Cancer

Hello friends! Saturn has just gone direct and now I draw some new attention to Mars, which is in its transit of sidereal Cancer from July 30 to September 15, 2015. This transit happens every two years and is considered one of the weakest sign placements for Mars. It is known as the debilitation (neecha) sign of Mars, which gives weakness to the fire element (agni), which is governed by Mars. In astrology, Mars correlates with the third “Manipura” chakra, the “Jeweled City” in the solar plexus which is our seat of fire and the power of transformation.

ManipuraWhen Mars and the fire element are weak, we can feel a loss of energy, ambition, willpower and self-discipline. We cannot fully digest food, thoughts and emotions, which leads to the build up of toxins. We can experience powerlessness and frustration (or even anger); low self-esteem, and shame or guilt; inertia; difficulty concentrating; digestive issues; liver toxicity; headaches; colds and flu; problems with our legs; and eye disorders.

Some of us will experience this more than others during this transit, depending on our natal charts, progressed cycles and where the transit is occurring. For those with Mars-ruled Aries and Scorpio ascendant, Sun or Moon signs, this can be a most difficult transit. In addition, Saturn is transiting in Mars-ruled Scorpio which further adds stress to the fire element and to Scorpios at this time. However, there will be a period from August 21 to September 4 when Mars will transit in auspicious navamsas (ninth harmonic) which helps to counteract some of the weakness of Mars in Cancer.

Some ways I recommend to work with the fire element at this time include:
1. Yoga!  Specifically, asanas that twist the midsection can be very helpful. Additionally, the Polarity Yoga exercise known as the Woodchopper is specifically helpful to balance the Manipura chakra and the fire element. You can see how to do it here (the second exercise shown at the bottom of the page on Digital Dr. Stone): …and here are the instructions: The Woodchopper should not be attempted if you have back problems. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, keeping your knees soft (bent). Clasp your hands above your head. Take a deep breath in through your nose arching your body backwards, and on your exhale, bring your hands down between your legs, hinging from the hips and dropping your head as if chopping wood. Let out a loud explosive “Ha” sound at the end of the stroke. Inhale and come up slowly and repeat as many times as necessary, at least 5-10 times. The movement should be rhythmic and flowing. You may need to take a break and repeat the process before you feel complete. Please follow your own guidance on this and be careful not to strain or go too fast, as this can lead to dizziness. This exercise ignites the fire principle and offers a healthy release for anger and frustration.
2. A balanced liver detox.
3. Dietary and nutritional measures to strengthen and enhance the digestive fire (including avoiding too many icy drinks). I recommend eating according to your Ayurvedic dosha.
4. Moderate exercise and activity, don’t overdo it.
5. Set healthy emotional boundaries and cultivate unconditional feelings of self-worth (remember you are are human being not a human doing). Mars represents the “courage of our convictions,” so it is important in this cycle to make sure we are acting in alignment with our values and commitments.
6. Spend a lot of time in the outdoors enjoying the beautiful scenery of nature.
7. Rise early every day to watch the sunrise and take in the vitality of the Sun.
8. Use incense and candles in the environment, and especially rosemary or citrus scented oils and candles. Work with a fire meditation, Tratak, and/or pujas/homas/agni hotra.
9. Impatiens flower essence if you feel frustrated, impatient or irritable. Or even better, consult with a flower essence practitioner and receive a special combination formula for your unique needs.
10. Last but not least, Red Coral gem elixir is very helpful for enhancing and balancing Mars and the fire element. I am a distributor of the Planetary Gem Elixirs made by Dr. Lilli Botchis and do highly recommend them as agents of lasting change. I feel that anyone and everyone is safe to take Red Coral Gem Elixir when Mars is transiting in Cancer *but only if you need it* (if you are experiencing mistrust; health issues and weakness physically and emotionally; if you are lacking focus and the ability to follow through; if you are experiencing an absence of joy, procrastination, fear, sadness, depression, ungroundedness, or worry; if you feel a strong lack of love, support and abundance; or feelings of guilt, shame, and inhibition).

cf0eb2850c314af69f6eea13ed6ac83dYou can read all about the Planetary Gem Elixirs and buy them here on my website:

Red Coral Gem Elixir: Balances the fiery temperament, generates courage, strength and vitality, balances sexual forces, clarifies energetic direction and focus in life, inspires constructive endeavors and activities, insures follow-through of commitment to completion, uplifts the creative spirit, cultures positive self-affirming thoughts and happiness, quiets emotions, frees repetitive thinking, encourages decisive action without judgment, brings the courage to overcome fears and procrastination, determination, enhances concentration, balances the male/female energetic axis, brings improvement to finances:

Love and light,

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