Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

August 2011

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Mars Occupies Gemini August 1 - August 31

Mars makes his way through Mercury's air sign throughout the month of August. Gemini has the mercurial qualities of mutability, quickness, flexibility and curiosity. It is a place of movement, youth, education and learning.

The energy of Mars is forceful and powerful; it is with this energy that we accomplish feats and build systems, or in other words, we work. Mars is youthful, energetic, inquisitive and pioneering.

Although not in optimal location while transiting Gemini, Mars can still function and express the driving, powerful energy that he represents. While Mars uses communication as a tool for accomplishing work, Gemini is more of a chatty, exploratory environment, so we may encounter communication style issues during this month as we travel through our work and play.

The combination of Mercury and Mars energy is good for writing, research, design and networks. If your work requires focus, flexibility, power management, communication and analysis, you're in luck this month.

Saturn Maintains Occupation of Virgo August 1 - August 31

Mercury's other sign, Virgo, will be occupied by Saturn all month, as has been the case since September 2009. Planets affect the signs that they occupy, and planets are also affected by planets that occupy their signs. Therefore, Mercury, an easily influenced planet, carries the energy of Mars, who occupies Gemini and also Saturn, who occupies Virgo.

Saturn in Virgo has provided a general environment that promotes reform. Saturn is in a friendly sign in Mercury's earth sign, and the combination of Saturn's relentless discernment and sense of responsibility injected into Virgo's practical, flexible and analytical workshop begs for us to make changes that promote a realistic and active approach to health, work, the environment and the physical body.

Saturn moves out of Virgo and into Libra in October 2011. The slow rhythm of Saturn's movement through the zodiac can indicate areas where we are called to negotiate situations that require detachment, fortitude, responsibility, practicality and restraint as our slowest-moving visible planet traverses the sequence of constellations we know as the zodiac.

The last time Saturn transited Virgo was July 1980-September 1982. We have a couple more months of Saturn influencing Virgo to finish up the lessons we need to integrate, both collectively and individually.

Mercury Retrograde August 3 - August 26

Mercury, lord of both Mars and Saturn this month due to their occupation of Mercury's signs, Gemini and Virgo, begins August in the Sun's sign of Leo. Mercury has been relatively free of other planetary influences due to proximity, being nearly two-thirds of a sign ahead of the Sun on August 3, when Mercury begins a retrograde cycle.

Mercury retraces his steps through the early degrees of Leo and retrogresses through Cancer, finally meeting up with the forward moving Sun on August 16. Mercury continues his backward movement through the Moon's sign until it apparently switches direction again on August 26.

Between August 8-23, Mercury will be within 10° of the Sun, a condition known as “combustion.” The Sun is such a powerful force that when planets get close to it in the zodiac; their influence drowns in the intense power of the Sun. The Sun, as represents our personal will and individual ego can therefore, during this time, overpower our capacity to communicate and exchange as equals, represented by Mercury.

The Sun will be very much an influence on Mercury while Mercury is combust, as will the Moon while Mercury travels through Cancer. What this means is that this could be a very good time to dissolve the analytical mind (Mercury) in the magnanimous and ubiquitous light of the Sun, which represents the self on a mundane level and the source on a divine level.

Due to the influence of the Moon, with the analytical mind on a purification vacation for a couple weeks, we can also explore the realm of the reflective, receptive intuitive aspect of the mind. Mercury's mind is quick, active and analytical, giving us the ability to mentally adapt and exchange data with others. The Moon feeds the aspect of mind that connects with dreams, emotions, divine inspiration.

Because Mercury retrograde times often create difficulties for activities that rely on Mercury's quick energy to move thoughts, words, people and goods from place to place, try to organize your days to allow for extra time to do and say what needs to be done, and prepare for unexpected change and delays.

As much as possible, create time and space for reflection and review. Refocus attention on what needs to be changed within your own realm and mind that may be affecting your desires and actions within the world.

This Mercury retrograde period encourages soul searching and topics with keywords like: life purpose, home, self, surrender. With Mercury's mutable signs occupied by Saturn and Mars, the desire for carefully planned change is indicated; with Mercury traversing and retreating through the signs of Father Sun and Mother Moon, we explore our true inner natures, perhaps more successfully if we exercise restraint in speech and mental machinations.

Travel or journeys during this time could be peppered with delays; prepare to be flexible, compassionate and understanding. Bring your heart along and you'll always be resting in the comfort of your own home.

Full Moon in Capricorn August 13

The Moon reaches fullness in Saturn's earth sign, Capricorn, at around noon, Mountain Time, US. In the sometimes circular patterns of planetary influence and lordship, the Moon comes out on top on this day. On this day, Saturn rules the Moon, but Mercury rules Saturn and the Sun rules Mercury, but the Moon rules the Sun (and Venus); so the Moon ultimately has the say.

The Moon and its lord, Saturn, are located in earth signs, giving impact to that which we are completing in the material realm at this time, whether it be work projects, relationships or personal transformations. Venus and the Sun are conjunct in the Moon's sign, Cancer, balancing the feminine and masculine, encouraging creativity, fertility, connection and nurturance.

Mercury will be retrograde in Leo, while his houses are occupied by the “difficult” planets, Sun and Mars. Today is a better time for basking and allowing rather than analyzing and planning, which goes along with the general recommendations for a Saturday. Get into a grounded position, sit back and let it all happen.

Superior Conjunction of Venus August 15

The Venus combustion was discussed in the July 2011 forecast; Venus reaches exact conjunction with the Sun on August 15, remaining in the same degree as the Sun as both planets move into Leo on August 17, and finally separating by one degree on August 19.

The Venus cycle begins at the Inferior Conjunction, which occurred for this current 584-day Venus cycle on October 29, 2010 during Venus' last retrograde cycle, when Venus was exactly between the Sun and the Earth. Thirty-six days later, Venus became visible as the Morning Star.

The Superior Conjunction of Venus occurs on August 15, 288 days after the Inferior Conjunction, when the Sun will be between the Earth and Venus. About 36 days after this Superior Conjunction, Venus again will become visible, but as the “Evening Star.”

During the time that Venus is too close to the Sun for us to observe, while Venus is actually separated from the Earth by the Sun, while she transitions and changes roles, we can think of Venus visiting the underworld. Since Venus represents our power to relate to other beings and to commune with the physical world, we can see this time between the Superior Conjunction on August 15 and Venus' emergence as Evening Star on September 22 as a time where it may be difficult to act with compassion relative to all beings. It would be best to avoid any important ceremonies or significant actions that involve relationship with others during this time.

This state of Venus, combined with the strength and position of the Sun during this time indicates a good time to soul-search and get in touch with inner guidance rather than to seek counsel from others.

Sun and Venus Enter Leo August 17

Since July 7, Venus has been so close to the Sun in the zodiac while on her journey from acting the morning star to becoming the evening star, she is in a state of combustion, as Mercury will also be August 8-23. This means that the Sun's influence overpowers that of Mercury and Venus, who represent our capacity for communication and understanding (Mercury) and love and compassion (Venus.)

With the Sun's movement into Leo, his own sign, the Sun only shines more powerfully such that we can't help but have a little “me” time. This could be a good plan, actually, to set aside a bit more time for yourself during the second half of August. If the planets that help connect us with others aren't going to be influential, going with the flow would indicate self-exploration. Celebrate that which makes you an individual. Shine your light and try not to step on your partner's toes as you do your stately and elegant solo dance for a few minutes.

As the Sun and Venus move from Cancer to Leo, retrograde Mercury meets them at the border and retreats from Leo back to Cancer. This day, August 17, could be very transitional; it will be a Wednesday, Mercury's day, so expect some reversals in the form of changes of mind and heart.

New Moon in Leo August 28

After the full Moon on August 13, the Moon wanes and makes her way through the zodiac, passing by Jupiter, Mars and Mercury on her way to conjunction with the Sun, for the monthly new Moon and the beginning of a new lunar cycle.

The Moon and Sun join at 11° Leo, in the lunar mansion called Magha, which translates as “great” or “mighty.” Magha is the domain of our ancestors and the progenitors of the human race. Themes of legacy, tradition and leadership are present.

The day of the new Moon is better for contemplation, planning, meditation and sowing than for aggressive action. As the Moon waxes and gain power, so do our actions. This is a good time to reflect on culture, roots, family and that which comes to us from those who have gone before.

Let us be able to treasure the wisdom of our ancestors while skillfully choosing to keep the helpful and true while releasing the corrupt and decaying habits that no longer support current situations.

Jupiter Retrograde Cycle August 29 - December 25

Jupiter currently occupies Mars' sign, Aries, and begins a four-month retrograde cycle. Jupiter is the planet of evolution and expansion; it represents the human striving for positive growth and abundance. Aries is a sign of action and direction of power. The placement of Jupiter in Aries bodes well for making things bigger and better; the retrograde motion of Jupiter will slow but not stop that energy.

During this retrograde cycle, Saturn will again move into opposition with Jupiter as Saturn changes signs to Libra on November 15. Jupiter and Saturn will stay in those opposite signs as Jupiter resumes direct motion and moves through Aries. Jupiter moves out of opposition with Saturn in mid-May 2012, and will not again oppose Saturn until December, 2028, when the tables will be turned and Jupiter will occupy Libra and Saturn, Aries.

What we have to learn from Jupiter retrograde and the oppositions we've been and will be experiencing between Jupiter and Saturn boils down to this: Be positive and create abundance with joy while at the same time ensuring responsible action that doesn't harm others; in this way resources will be used wisely to benefit collective and continual growth. Apply these lessons on personal, family, community and global levels and let the fun begin!

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