Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

August 2003

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Full Moon in Capricorn August 11

The full Moon occurs on the night of August 11 in the sign of Capricorn. It will be opposite Venus in Cancer. That day is a Monday, which is traditionally ruled by the Moon. Try to get out from under any intense activity and go enjoy the Moon that night. Save up some energy for planet watching toward the end of the month, because it will be the last time for a couple hundred years that we will pass this close to Mars. Mars will rise in the east after sundown and should be clearly visible to the naked eye throughout the month. Mars will be the really bright reddish one up there. If you can find a friend with a telescope, all the better. To viscerally perceive the planets, in this case Mars, can lead us toward developing a real understanding of what they represent in our mythology. Fiery Mars is symbolic of the energy in us that cannot be stopped; it is the passion to live, make, and do. It is different from the solar energy, which simply and strongly radiates the full expression of our individual selves. Finding the relationship between these energies in our lives and establishing a balance between them is a recommended activity for this month.

Work hard, but do not feel stress. Look for who you are, but do not despair when you find that you are nothing. Be aware of the larger cycles while paying attention to details. Enjoy and be enjoyed.

Sun Enters Leo August 17

Other planetary placements this month also affect Mars in his position in Aquarius. As I write, there are three planets in Leo, the sign opposite from Aquarius. These planets are the Moon (here only for a short time), Mercury (in Leo until August 21) and Jupiter, who just entered into Leo on July 29 and will remain there for the next year. In mid-August, the Sun and Venus will move into Leo. Leo is ruled by the Sun, it is the symbol of the self, the sovereign, the ego, the soul. Leo the Lion is king of the beasts, and this sign has a regal reputation. Like the Sun, Leo gives us the ground to be the center, to be that around which others revolve. It is the part of us that honors who we truly are and who does not feel guilty or selfish for fulfilling our desires. The Sun will be in its own sign starting in mid-August. Joined by newly arrived Jupiter and also Venus, this trio will regard Mars in the opposite sign, Aquarius.

Aquarius has the flavor of an extremely detached champion of the underdog. Aquarius can easily see that underneath the physical worldly differences that naturally divide people into categories, that people are essentially the same; fleeting encapsulations of portions of the great flow that is life, consciousness, and existence. For this reason, Aquarius is angered by unjust treatment of others based on some arbitrary decision that some people deserve better than others. The presence of Mars, solar-system-famous warrior, in Aquarius, could lend us the drive to really stand up for the little guy who gets disrespected in some way. This little guy could be met either within ourselves or in the form of another person. The power of the people potential is great at this time. Maybe someone should schedule a revolution against unfair treatment of the meek, who, after all, are slated to inherit the earth. Lets get on with it already.

This aggressive style that Mars carries is contraposed this month to the regal manor of the planets in Leo across the way. We on Earth are posed between this opposition of planets, though there is only an opposition of planets because we are on Earth observing it. That is an ego-reducing riddle that can be pondered during this Leo/Aquarius axis exploration. The pitfall of Leo lies in succumbing to the egos tendency toward self-inflation. Learn to honor what drives you to be uniquely you without feeling the need to separate from those who support you. The glitch with Aquarius is the opposite type of ego-inflation: rather than focusing on the fulfillment of the self, as in Leo, Aquarius focuses on the undeserving-ness of the self, which is still a form of self-absorption. Mars presence in Aquarius adds the potential for aggression and violence. The archetype of the martyr has been coming to mind. This is someone who chooses to sacrifice some part of himself or herself so that others may benefit, and often others truly are not helped by martyrdom. Mars can definitely do better than that, though, and so can we.

Mars Comes Close August 27

August has come upon this astrologer hard and fast. In the few moments of free time that Ive had in the past couple of weeks, I've wondered to myself, Which of our lovely planet friends is triggering this frenzy of activity? Many people I encounter these days have extremely full schedules. They have many things going on, or they are under pressure to finish large projects in small amounts of time. There does seem to be a lot going on, but not too much stress about it. Mars has something to do with this: when we think of action, work, and insurmountable tasks, we think of Mars.

Mars, as mentioned in the past couple of months, is currently in Aquarius, and will be churning his wheels there until the end of this calendar year, a rather long transit through a sign for Mars. This is due to Mars going into a retrograde cycle starting on July 30 and lasting through late September. Retrograde motion is only apparent: Mars is not moving backwards literally, but the coincidence of the elliptical orbits of the Earth and Mars give observers here on Earth the illusion that Mars is moving backward through the zodiac. Retrograde periods always bring the planet in question closer to the Earth, and this month, we have a special treat with Mars. On August 27, Mars will come within 34,649,589 miles of the Earth, and will be the brightest object in the night sky because the Moon will be new that night, and not a contender.

Mars has not been this close to the Earth in recorded history, and astronomers believe that Mars has not come this close to the earth for at least 5000 years. Check outmore details on Mars close call with the Earth this month.

Mars is in the sign of Aquarius during this time, and therefore carries the influence of Saturn, by nature of Saturn's rulership of the sign of the water-bearer. I consider this a rather interesting sign placement. Although Mars isn't entirely thrilled to be in the air sign of a planet that is not a friend to him, I think that Mars can tap into Saturn's qualities of discipline, detachment, and responsibility and use them to accomplish massive work. The airy nature of Aquarius encourages revolution of thought. New ideas and plans may be born during this time that will have the power of Mars driving them.

There is another layer of influence that factors in and that is borne of Mercurys influence on Saturn because of Saturns current residence in Gemini, another air sign. Saturn is comfortable in Gemini as he is a friend to Mercury. Both planets rule both an air sign and an earth sign, so they have that in common. You may remember prior descriptions of what Mercury and his signs encourage: movement, rapid thought, change of course, extreme desire to learn and communicate, varied skills and abilities. The combination of these qualities with those of Saturn and Mars is what I feel is causing this wave of full work schedules, multiple projects, and ungrounded activity. My advice this month is to keep in mind the reasons that you agree to do the work that you do. View the larger framework of your life to keep perspective on the work and activity that fills your days.

Rahu Enters Aries August 28

On August 28th, Rahu, the north node of the moon, one of two shadowy planets who move through the zodiac in retrograde motion, moves from Taurus into Aries. Rahu began its transit through Taurus in late February of 2002. Its transit through Aries will last until late February of 2005, about 1.5 years. Rahu, also known as the dragons head, represents the uncontrollable forces that draw us into worldly events over which we have little control. Rahu rules the ability to relate to others by understanding mass trends and can also represent the illusion that leads us to believe that the reality that we perceive is what it appears to be. Whereas Rahus transit through Taurus was marked by the general malaise of a weakened economy (especially due to Saturns presence also in Taurus for much of that time), Rahus transit through Aries may be defined by a general malaise brought about by the unbridled destruction gleaned from militant aggression and unchecked industry.

From Rahu's new stand in Aries, he casts his aspects upon the signs of Leo, Libra and Sagittarius. The popular perception and discontent with the modus operandi of military aggression could taint the power of the status quo rulers as signified by Jupiter in Leo. Mars, as ruler of Aries and Rahus current landlord, from his position in Saturns sign of Aquarius, may be able to lead us toward greener, more peaceful pastures by channeling the capacity for human invention toward building community inspired by the ideals of equality and self-responsibility. If youre ready to throw down your weapons and quit the army because you see the futility and destructiveness of the program of divide and conquer, now is the time. Rahu in Aries could also bring warfare and violence even more into the mass consciousness, which is one way of getting peoples attention. Most of the time, the events around us have to become unpleasant and uncomfortable before we elect to stand up from our easy chairs and begin to take action. It may be another year and a half before things simmer down in Iraq, and US military involvement there and elsewhere will probably continue to soil the diplomatic reputation of the US in the eyes of the rest of the world.

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