Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

February 2014

by Kerry Shamblin
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Calculations are done using the Chitrapaksha ayanamsha and the mean node. Timings are based on Mountain Time Zone, US.

Venus Resumes Direct Motion January 31

Venus stations in its place at 20° Sagittarius on the last day of January, fully visible in the eastern sky before sunrise.

In addition to the aspects Venus is receiving from Jupiter, Mars and Saturn, there is another special factor between Venus and Jupiter who occupy opposite signs and therefore aspect one another.

On December 21, Venus entered this retrograde cycle; the two priestly planets, Jupiter as teacher of the Gods and Venus as teacher of the Demons, have been sharing the same apparent backward movement. Venus moved back into Sagittarius, which is opposite Gemini, where Jupiter is placed.

Retrograde movement can indicate certain things such as latency, delay, intensity or strength in the expression of a planet. Any retrograde planet can be perceived as going through a review phase wherein territory or material either recently experienced or experienced in the past can be revisited and more firmly anchored.

Since January 22, these two retrograde planets have been exactly opposite within two degrees. This could indicate that the last part of January would be a really good time to review study materials in order to firmly root them in the mind. This mutual aspect could also indicate expansion within relationships or learning lessons via interactions with other people.

With Venus' return to direct motion, we may see a turnaround in relationship issues or new directions in creative pursuits. Our ideas of love and its expression could undergo a transformation and re-emergence.

We should easily be able to see Venus in the eastern sky in the morning by the beginning of February. Venus as our morning star will continue through August 2014.

Mars Enters Libra February 4

Just after midnight on February 4, Mars bursts with vigor into the sign of Libra. Libra has been holding the court between Saturn and Rahu since January 2013. For those with Libra prominent in their personal charts, this could have resulted in a year full of changes, uncertainties, pressure and loss. Of course these difficulties shape us into stronger, more graceful humans in the end, but it is not without cost.

Ever since Rahu entered Libra in January 2013, I've been watching Mars slowly advance through the signs, wondering what it would be like when Mars joined Rahu and Saturn. In April-May 2013, Mars transited through Aries, opposing Saturn and Rahu. It could be that actions initiated during that time may come again to the foreground. We will soon find out how Mars will energize the Saturn-Rahu occupied sign of Libra.

Libra is ruled by the planet Venus. Venus is currently in the sign of Sagittarius, opposite Jupiter, having just resumed direct motion on January 31. As the ruler of Libra, Venus has been the host and dispositor of the Rahu and Saturn conjunction. With Venus largely holding the role of lover, connector and attractor, it plays a huge role in how happy and passionate we are in our lives.

With the heavy activity of Saturn, Rahu and now Mars coming through Libra, we may feel challenged within the sphere of relationships, especially those of us who have major placements in the signs of Libra and Aries.

Mars is the planet that represents power, its acquisition and its management. Mars enjoys initiating actions, building, research, design, gathering resources, planning and executing. Mars and Saturn together in the same sign could cause the impulsive nature of Mars and the conservative nature of Saturn to clash.

Each planet has its virtues, which sometimes cause problems when interacting with the virtues of other planets. While Saturn would rather limit and reduce action, Mars is happy forging ahead and getting things done.

Rahu acts as an amplifier to the energies of Mars and Saturn in this case, inflating the conflict that may arise between Mars and Saturn. As Rahu and Saturn are both airy in nature, in the airy sign of Libra, air is the prevailing element. Mars is like fire. Introducing fire into a windy environment can be dangerous, given there is enough fuel for Mars to consume.

A good policy for the upcoming two months of February and March, while Mars joins Saturn and Rahu in Libra, would be to have plenty of water on hand. This could be taken literally, as water is always great to have around, but more it is offered as a symbolic suggestion.

We can take air to be a symbol of the thought processes of the mind and we can take fire to be a symbol of our will to enact those thoughts. Without the grounding elements of earth (material support) or water (love and compassion) our thoughts and impulsive actions could cause damage to our environment.

So when the suggestion of keeping water on hand arises, its a suggestion to bring love, compassion, cool and calm to your daily situations, directed inward and outward, especially during this Mars transit of Libra.

The fiery energy of Mars can be harnessed toward lovely ends, as always. In this case we just need to pay attention to the wind we create with our thoughts, fears and desires while also creating a nice watery receptacle with our intention and devotion.

As long as Jupiter remains in Gemini, through June 18, 2014, it gives its auspicious influence to all of the air signs, including Libra and the planets therein. When the challenges and decisions that we face are perceived as spiritually-motivated learning experiences, we gain a perspective that may help us to transform and expand our consciousness. This is the gift of Jupiter regarding this grouping of planets in Libra.

Mercury Retrograde February 6-28

The first Mercury retrograde cycle of 2014 begins during the afternoon hours of Thursday, February 6, at 10° of Aquarius. The apparent backward motion takes Mercury back through the early degrees of Aquarius, returning him to Capricorn on February 18, and resuming direct motion at 25° Capricorn on the morning of February 28.

Mercury, like Saturn and Rahu, the rulers of Aquarius, and like Aquarius itself, is like the element of Air. Air, as we know, loves to move, is hard to contain and we can't live without it. Air is the predominant element in our minds, ruling thought, which we may also be aware, is hard to contain and loves to move.

This retrograde cycle could be quite full of mind changing. When planets are retrograde, they really are quite strong, so in this case, its like turning the Mercury on full blast. In the realm of thought, we could have a very busy month. Knowing this, it may be a good idea to prepare for this thought-storm by planning regular interludes that calm the mind, such as meditation, yoga, therapy or whatever keeps your mind from escaping the bounds of practical reality.

Also remember that the backward motion of planets is really an illusion created by the relative positions of the Earth, Sun and other planets; holding this truth in the forefront of our observation of events can be very helpful.

The best remedies to handle the illusion generated by chaos when applied to Mercury include: patience, sense of humor, avoidance of important action and cross-checking all plans and communication.

With Rahu also aspecting Aquarius and Mercury, we could experience unexpected situations in the mix. With Jupiter aspecting Aquarius and Mercury, we could transform these chaotic, unexpected situations into joyful learning experiences (this is where the sense of humor comes in.)

Sun Enters Aquarius February 12

The Sun spends one month in each sign of the zodiac; from February 12 – March 14, the Sun moves through Aquarius, an air sign ruled by Saturn and Rahu.

As mentioned, both the planets Jupiter and Rahu are currently able to influence all of the air signs, including Aquarius. The expansive nature of Jupiter inspires us to seek knowledge, higher learning, wisdom and abundance. The chaotic nature of Rahu urges us to fulfill our desires and explore into any type of territory that peaks our interest or sparks our passions.

With these two influences affecting the Sun, which symbolizes our soul or true inner nature, we could be led toward experiences that both illuminate and obscure our perception of what we call the "Self."

The Sun and Saturn are not friends. The Sun is in charge of expression of our individual ego while Saturn is in charge of the dissolution of ego. The Sun in Aquarius can be quite inspiring for activities that involve self-surrender on some level, such as championing the downtrodden, volunteering for humanitarian causes or simply sacrificing one's own happiness so that another can benefit.

On the other hand, Sun in Aquarius isn't the best position for self-promotion or winning popularity contests. Better to align oneself with the masses, groups or projects that benefit all beings in some way.

Full Moon in Leo February 14

With the Sun just having entered into Aquarius, the Moon moves into the early degrees of Leo, opposing the Sun for the full Moon, on February 14.

The Moon will be in the sign of Leo, in Magha nakshatra as it rises while the Sun sets. Magha is ruled by the planet Ketu and by the Pitris, the ancestors. It gives the power to leave the body, indicating the end of a cycle. This could be a pivotal full Moon, full of energy with the Sun aspecting the Moon in the Sun's own sign. The aspect of the sign ruler to the sign always strengthens.

Mercury plays a role also in that it will be retrograde, strong, yet also combust with the Sun during this time. When planets come into conjunction with the Sun, which we call "combustion," it is difficult or impossible for them to outshine the Sun. Therefore, this could be a time where communication is difficult due to high emotion or mental activity.

The Sun and Mercury will be in Aquarius, making their dispositors Saturn and Rahu. Saturn and Rahu are currently in Venus' sign, Libra, with Mars. This ties together many of the planets with some involvement or aspect to the full Moon axis.

This could be a passionate time, and if it does indeed result in the end of a cycle, it may be emotional and hard to verbally communicate in a clear, practical way. Actions and silence may actually be a better way to address situations that arise around this full Moon.

As the Moon begins to wane, we may want to keep in mind that the Moon transits through Libra from February 19-21 (Wed-Fri). With the Moon representing our conscious mind, sensitivity and emotional responses, we could feel a bit of challenge as the Moon moves through the territory occupied by Mars, Saturn and Rahu, all vying for power in expressing their energy, messages and teachings.

Venus Enters Capricorn February 25

Venus in forward motion glides through Sagittarius as February progresses, finally entering into Saturn's earth sign, Capricorn, on February 25. Venus joins retrograde Mercury just two days before Mercury resumes forward motion.

Mars, currently in Libra, has the ability to aspect any sign four positions from himself, in this case, the sign of Capricorn. This may focus the energetic desire for movement, acquisition and power back onto Venus as she transits through Capricorn, until Mars retreats into Virgo on March 24.

This translates into a month-long window where we have the influence, once again, of Mars onto Venus. This could cause restlessness within relationship, passion to connect and build relationships or power struggles within relationship. On a non-relationship front, it could be a great time for projects that require building, design and beautification.

Venus in Capricorn is great for expressing love, beauty and creativity in a very grounded, practical and material way. The determination and fortitude that Capricorn grants can be excellent ground for the work of Venus, which generally involves love, beauty and feeling good.

New Moon in Aquarius February 28-March 1

As the Moon wanes during the second half of February, it passes through the grouping in Libra from February 19-21 and then joins Venus in the morning sky just before sunrise on February 25-26 while the pair moves from Sagittarius to Capricorn.

Just after Mercury resumes direct motion on February 28 and as February 28 becomes March 1 by our western calendar calculations, the Moon joins the Sun at 16° Aquarius in the nakshatra Shatabishak. The power of Shatabishak is that of healing; here we can appeal for divine grace in the face of karmic difficulties. Varuna, lord of the cosmic waters, rules this lunar mansion and is the god that can both give and remove calamities.

We count Friday, February 28 as amavasya, the day leading up to the moment of the new Moon, when the lunar power diminishes and ebbs. With the two planets that rule the mind, Moon and Mercury, both in transitional positions on this day, it may be a good day to take the day off in favor of rest and retreat.

The effects of Mercury retrograde can sometimes be felt for a few days beyond when direct motion is resumed. The emotional, feeling part of our mind will begin to strengthen as the Moon begins to wax during the first week of March. To keep things interesting, Mars will begin a retrograde period just a couple of days later, on March 2. With Rahu so strongly placed in Swati nakshatra, we may continue to experience a sense of underlying instability as we attempt to establish foundations and mold new forms.

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