Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

February 2003

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.

New Moon in Capricorn February 1

Welcome to February, a new month in a relatively new year. February first marks the new Moon this month, which occurs in the morning and in the sign of Capricorn. It certainly feels like time for a new cycle after the heavy retrograde motion festival we had in January. Although Saturn's apparent motion will be retrograde through February 23 and Jupiter's through April 5, at least Mercury is revolving in prograde motion, moving some of our projects and thoughts along.

As stated many times before, new Moon times are excellent for initiating projects, planting seeds, pruning back the overgrown areas of your life, and generally laying the groundwork for anything new. For some reason the coincidence of the new Moon with the beginning of our western calendar month seems to be especially potent. Kick off the month with new Moon activities. The new Moon will be in the nakshatra of Shravana, which is especially good for activities that require change and movement.

This monthly conjunction of the Sun and Moon will occur in Capricorn, a sign ruled by Saturn. Saturn begins to gain some power as January runs into February: more planets are moving into his signs, and fewer are remaining to bolster Mars energy in Scorpio. Since Saturn has moved retrograde back into Taurus, and Mars is en garde in his dojo in Scorpio, these two planets are in opposition. Both of these planets have the nature of issuing forth life's lessons with a hard edge rather than a soft one. As such, they are somewhat unpopular with those seeking peace and comfort. Mars represents the forces of power, control, and drive, and Saturn represents restraint, detachment, and utter responsibility for action. They are posited in opposite signs: Mars in his own sign of Scorpio, and Saturn in his friend Venus sign, Taurus. There is always a tension when the forces of Venus and Mars interact. Some call it sexual tension, and it is the kind of tension that eventually leads to creation and growth. Because of the fixed nature of both Taurus and Scorpio, the forces of Mars and Saturn pushing on one another is more likely to elicit slow, deep movements rather than unexpected and sudden change. In many ways, our current world political situation reflects this Saturn in Taurus-Mars in Scorpio opposition. The inevitability of outright war over the spread of terrorism (read: control of oil) seems to loom, yet the majority of the people in the world are earnestly against such a prospect.

Full Moon in Leo February 16

The full Moon of February 16 occurs while in the sign of Leo, with the Sun opposite in Aquarius. This puts quite a bit of energy into the fixed signs, with the Saturn-Mars opposition in Taurus-Aquarius, and the Sun-Moon opposition in Aquarius-Leo. This could be the culmination of the hard, stubborn, fixed energies and from here we could move quickly to the breaking point, the turning of the tide of which I spoke before.

This should be an interesting month: I read new cycles, the ability to move past the static obstacle, reaching a breaking point, carving the ground for new channels. For those people in whose charts Scorpio and Taurus are prominent, this could be an intense month; the idea that we as humans have flexibility and thrive on change and evolution can be your friend. There are always more options than you may be able to see. May the light of the stars and the wisdom of the planets guide you this month and always.

Saturn Resumes Direct Motion February 23

We may get some answer to the question, Where are we going to go from here? this month as Saturn slowly reaches the end of his retrograde phase that began in mid-October, 2002. When planets change direction, it is actually a visual effect of a faster moving planet overtaking a slower moving one. Picture this: the Earth and Mars are racing around the Sun as if on a track, but they are destined to remain in their own lanes, going the same speed until time immemorial. Earth is the faster runner, and on the inside track; because of this he passes by Mars often, and when Earth approaches Mars to pass, Mars motion seems to slow down, stop, and turn around from Earths point of view, although Mars is continuing along with the race the whole time. Visual example.

At any rate, when a planet has been retrograde, slows down, stops and then turns around, it stations direct and wields more influence because of its slow movement and proximity to the Earth. It can be an opportunity for the tides to turn, which they inevitably do. So, look out for indications of the tension between Mars and Saturn having finally found a channel through which it may flow freely. That may mean a cruel and unwanted war, or it could mean the triumph of a conservative, peaceful approach to dispute. Personally, I'm rooting for the latter, and my team may have some help from Old Man Saturn who will be bolstered by his station direct in the mid to late part of February, as well as by having some positive energy injected into his traditional, conservative earth sign, Capricorn by the New Moon on Feb. 1. This could lead people to exercise restraint, which could avert what seems like inevitable military action and aggression. Jupiter, the planet with the big picture, is currently retrograde and living in nurtured splendor in Cancer. Jupiter here aspects Mars and Ketu in Scorpio, and could be playing a major role in keeping things cool.

Id like to note here while Mars has the abilities and penchant for waging war, injury, and accident, this energy in its alter form has the potential to heal, build, and mend. For example, if we waged the power of Mars against the rampant environmental degradation that the planet currently suffers, we may be the instrument of help rather than harm. Without Mars, we would not research and produce medicines or engineer splints and casts to heal broken bones, nor would we farm crops and irrigate the land. Each being has the opportunity to find the helping/healing vibration that Mars carries, and to wield Mars force and aggression in appropriate ways.

We can approach the axis of tension that we may feel in our life at this time, which is analogous to the Mars-Saturn opposition at present, as a challenge to take the higher, usually more difficult, path as we see our choices before us. The last time Mars and Saturn opposed one another, it was in these same signs, in July and August of 2001, the period immediately preceding 9-11-01. After this current opposition ends (for the curious: Mars and Saturn will be exactly opposite on February 19), Mars and Saturn will not oppose one another again until March, 2005, when Mars will be in Sagittarius and Saturn in Gemini. The last time before 2001 that they opposed was February - August 1999 when Mars was in Libra and Saturn was in Aries. By the end of February, Mars will have moved into Sagittarius, which breaks the tension a bit, but doesn't necessarily indicate peace: Mars was in Sagittarius on 9-11-01. Mars will aspect both Jupiter and Jupiter's sign of Pisces from this new position, giving a bit more fire to the fight, and Mars will also have slipped from Jupiter's benevolent aspect, all of which could indicate a more expansive show of force. Saturn's signs will be also well endowed, by the presence of Venus, Sun, and Mercury cruising through Capricorn and Aquarius this month, giving a bit more stability to those uniting in peace and the brotherhood of all beings.

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