Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

January 2003

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Happy New Year January 1

January 2003 is full of astrological interest and planetary movement. The positions of the planets and their progress throughout the month promise to give us the beginning of a new year that will actually have the feel of a new time, a new cycle, but which is truly built on the events of the past. As a general feeling of uncertainty seems to come from the observation of world events and the potential choices that will be made by the powers that be, it would be comforting for us to find some sense and order and to make certain of who we are and what we can do amidst the swirling chaos of life. Ill do my best here to leave you with some good ideas about how to take the reigns on the planetary energies this month.

Venus enters Scorpio January 1

The New Year begins with Venus moving from a sign that she rules, Libra, into a sign that Mars rules, Scorpio. Over the past few months, Ive illustrated Venus as holding the power of making peace and fostering relationship between people rather than division. This is indeed true, and it may become a bit more difficult for us to access that tendency to unite rather than to divide now that Venus is moving into difficult territory. I have also spoken of the sign Scorpio, with its mystery and intensity, and this sign will also figure heavily into the mix this month. Venus enters Scorpio on January 1, and moves quickly through that sign as the month progresses, exiting Scorpio on January 30. This is a quick transit, and it gives the feeling that Venus doesn't care to linger in the intense situation that she finds herself in this month.

Venus has pulled out of step with Mars, but he will follow her into his own sign of Scorpio on January 8. Unlike Venus, Mars loves being in Scorpio, as he rules this sign, and his capacity for action, force, and power is enhanced here. Scorpio is Mars dark side, and is ruled by the water element, whereas Aries, the other sign that Mars rules is the fire side, the active and open realm of Mars potential. Mars in Scorpio has the tendency to exert his capacity for action and drive in a subversive way. The watery nature of Scorpio gives Mars the tendency for physical force and action that manifests in a very real way, meaning that the results of our Mars type behavior at this time may be physically felt in our bodies and in our environment.

New Moon in Sagittarius January 2

The New Moon this month occurs on January 2 around noon in the Pacific time zone. This would be a good time to launch a new portion of a project that has been started already. The Sun and Moon will be in Sagittarius, and because of Jupiter (the ruler of Sagittarius) being retrograde in Cancer (ruled by the Moon) there may be a focus on home projects, whether they be remodeling or other modes of transformation. We may hear more in the news about homeland security issues. Saturn is opposite the Sun and Moon, and for this reason, I don't encourage picking up with entirely new projects at this time. Saturn's influence often impedes and retards, and in combination with the other planetary positions this month, I'm reading that the harmonius way to go would be to dig in and get serious about restructuring what you do have, working with the materials on hand, and preparing for shadows of the near past to show themselves again.

Mercury Retrograde January 3 - January 23

The idea of communication as a tool brings me to another planets path this month. Mercury will begin a retrograde cycle on January 3 and will station direct again on January 23. The usual Mercury retrograde protocol is best followed: expect setbacks, miscommunications, mysterious behavior coming from cars, computers, and telephones, and unexplainable occurrences of various natures. When Mercury goes into a retrograde routine, it is best to refine, edit, and re-do, rather than to plan too many new projects which may result in frustration as we encounter setbacks and snafus. In fact, it could be a good time for breaks from work, as forward progress is difficult when Mercury goes retrograde. Mercury will go from the early degrees of Capricorn back into Sagittarius where he will sojourn until February 8. This is Mercurys first of three retrograde cycles of 2003. All three of these cycles will occur while Mercury is in fire signs, whereas 2002 was the year of Mercury retrograde in earth signs. This could signal a less physical and more spiritual manifestation of Mercury's energy this year.

During this month, Mercury traveling back into Sagittarius should be interesting in conjunction with the Saturn opposite Mars, Venus, and Ketu configuration. Mercury in Sagittarius has the ability to be forthright and truthful in speech and communication. For those attempting to cover lies and deception this could prove very uncomfortable, but for those wishing to release secrets and to find a view of whats really going on, Mercury's position in Sagittarius could be a great source of strength and inspiration. It affords the flexibility necessary for making expansive change. If you feel the need to bring right speech into your life, I recommend focusing on that this month.

With so much retrograde energy this month (Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter) I recommend getting used to the idea that even though we have entered a new year, it may not be the time to make leaps and bounds forward into new projects. Rather, the freshness of the new year may be best spent in reorganizing projects, getting back to people that we have initiated with already, reintegrating lessons learned and reflecting upon the true nature of the events and actions that take place within and around us. This type of composting when done in the correct spirit can transform the old and used into something completely fresh and new. This is not the month to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Saturn Returns to Taurus January 9

In addition to Venus being afflicted by her transit through Scorpio with Mars and Ketu exerting their fiery, impulsive attitudes in her general vicinity, Saturn moves into a position where he also affects Venus this month. Saturn, who entered Gemini in July, has been moving retrograde apparently to us since mid October, 2002 and will continue in that direction until February 22, 2003. On January 9, Saturn will slowly roll back into the sign of Taurus where he will linger in the late degrees of Venus earth sign until the beginning of April. This Saturn activity carries with it several factors. First, many of the issues that may have come up for us during the time Saturn was in Taurus most recently (July 2000 - July 2002) could resurface. Those lessons we may have learned or new levels of responsibility that we may have reached may come back to our face and show us that we haven't quite fully integrated them. Although this may feel annoying and disconcerting, we do have the opportunity to fully integrate these lessons now. Saturn's position in Taurus and especially in the late degrees of Taurus seemed to coincide with the economy slowing down, which always trickles down to individuals as a sense of anxiety around our income and material prosperity. Know that any developments that occur during the next six weeks that seem to take us two steps back rather than one step forward are here to teach us a lesson. Dont resist the setbacks, and try to use this period of time to revisit lessons learned and to find even more ways of integrating them into your day to day life. When things seem difficult, it is often impossible to have faith that things will move forward and progress again in the future. Keep in mind this month that all things, good and bad, do pass.

Saturn moving back into Taurus may create a sense of tension in that he will be in opposition to Mars, Ketu and Venus in Scorpio. January 2003 promises to be an intense month because of this. Much of the tension we have felt in the world scene around war, oil, control, and terrorism may come to a head this month. Mars and Saturn in opposition is always something to watch for: Mars wants to forge ahead, take action, build and make, while Saturn wants to slow down, consider the ramifications of action, and hold us responsible for what we do. In a way, this parallels the situation that we find ourselves in the global village today. There are those that wish to forge ahead with no thought of the morrow, building and exerting effort to fulfill the designs of our human abilities and there are those in opposition to those designs who wish for a restructuring of values that have more to do with sustainability and long term responsibility to the planet and those that inhabit it. This opposition could create conflict this month. We may encounter more tempers flaring or stubborn behavior, which could be frustrating. Take special care to prepare yourself for how you wish to act when you encounter these situations. If you are comfortable with confrontation, use your best diplomatic skills to avert any escalation into violence, and if you are not comfortable with confrontation, use your best diplomatic skills to especially address the issues in question while expressing your desire to avoid a violent interaction. For anyone, communication is our best tool this month.

Full Moon in Cancer January 18

The full Moon occurs early in the morning on January 18 in the sign of Cancer. The planetary configuration for this day gives me hope that truth and righteousness at least have the chance at showing up in our lives this month. It could be that the bright Moon shines a light on those hidden Scorpio places that I mentioned before, helping to expose that which has been hidden.

Mars Conjunct Ketu January 27

By mid-January, Mars will move into conjunction with Ketu, the south node of the Moon in mid- Scorpio. The last time these two planets met was the time period immediately surrounding September 11, 2001. During that time, they were conjunct in the fire sign of Sagittarius, in the intense lunar mansion of Mula. As we all know this was a fiery, violent, and explosive time which has actually become a beginning point for a new perception of the world in which we live, especially as Americans, who have been generally shielded from the violence which seems to exist in so many places in the daily life of our modern world. I feel that this new conjunction of Mars and Ketu will push us into yet another phase of perception. Despite the medias attempts to divert the general publics perception of the reasons behind the September 11, 2001 events, many people seem to be waking up to the idea that religious fanaticism is merely a smoke screen for the reality that what is truly at stake, and what is truly being fought for is control of oil and power in the Middle East region. I feel that Mars meeting with Ketu in Scorpio will continue to foster the energy of digging to the heart of the matter and of finding the real reasons behind why world events, as well as the developments in our personal lives, occur as they do. Mars position here gives the potential for violently exposing what we have either consciously or unconsciously hidden inside or underneath the rugs. I would not be surprised if there was a continuing string of scandalous news stories that exposed dishonesty and downright evil actions of those who claim to represent people and to act with the best interests of the public in mind. This will give individuals the opportunity to redirect their attention to the reality that lies beneath the hype and misdirection.

On a personal level, we have the opportunity to delve into our inner workings and to take action. Any secrets or unrecognized parts of yourself that cause you discomfort would be best dissolved, released or exposed at this time. Better that you confront these things consciously with purpose rather than to have them explode from underneath like a forgotten landmine. Mars in Scorpio gives us the tenacity and courage of the mystic warrior. Take this energy by the reigns and use it drive yourself through difficult actions rather than shying away from it and experiencing some kind of forceful backfiring.

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