Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

January 2011

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 Transits Scorpio January 1 - January 29

Venus enters the dark waters of Scorpio on New Year's Day. She moves from her own sign of Libra to one of Mars' signs, which shifts Venus' function to a different setting. Drawing on the social, creative opportunities that we had with Venus in Libra may have helped soothe difficult times encountered during December. Venus' move into Scorpio asks that we direct our capacity for love, creativity, relationships and compassion into deeper, perhaps even hidden places.

Scorpio is the realm of that which is hidden; the source of mystery. This territory requires a certain amount of courage and pluck, which isn't Venus' strong suit. So, prepare your sensibilities for a tour down below. Apply Venus' qualities of love, compassion and creativity to explorations that take the heart to deep and hidden places. Delve deeply into relationships to unearth hidden resources. Apply creativity to the mystery. Develop compassion for your own or others' fear of what lies in the darkness. Find beauty in the unknown.

New Moon Eclipse in Sagittarius January 4

Eclipses happen in pairs, and the lunar eclipse of December 21 is paired with a partial solar eclipse that will be visible to Europe, North Africa and Western Asia on January 4. When the Sun and Moon conjunct, they will be at 19° Sagittarius, over 10° away from the eclipse-causing "shadow planet," Rahu. This distance is what causes the eclipse to be only partial.

The new Moon occurs early in the morning of January 4, with Rahu occupying the early degrees of Sagittarius and Mars occupying the late degrees of Sagittarius. That hems the Sun and Moon between challenging influences, putting the already weak (because of its new status) Moon into a fragile position. Be careful of taking important actions or starting new projects during the few days surrounding the new Moon.

This eclipse, similar to the last one, directly affects some very sensitive points of the United States' birth chart. It should be interesting to see how 2011 unfolds for the US, considering the influences on that chart during the transition time between calendar years. This may cause a challenging spell for the US and its allies. Since these eclipses are occurring on the Sagittarius-Gemini axis, individuals with important placements in the birth chart on that axis may also feel some repercussions in the domains of life reflected by the houses.

Mercury Transits Sagittarius January 7 - December 30

Mercury moves out of Scorpio and into Sagittarius early in the morning of January 7, shortly before Mars exits Sagittarius and moves to Capricorn. Mercury, as a mutable planet, will be able to handle the choppy environment of Sagittarius, recently the scene of so much planetary turbulence. Mercury will be stabilizing again after the recent retrograde period, and will re-transit through Jupiter's fire sign, giving us an opportunity to use the diplomatic magic of Mercury to reorganize.

Mercury rules the capacity for communication and exchange. Transiting through Sagittarius should encourage positive thought and the ability to expand through reading, writing, study and exchange.

Mars Enters Capricorn January 8

Mars, the planet of power and energy, gains a good position in his sign of exaltation, Capricorn, in the early morning of January 8. Mars is who we consult when we want to get things done. Capricorn, the earth sign ruled by Saturn, is the domain of hard work, perseverance, determination and fortitude. Mars functions at his best in this sign, and will transit through Capricorn during a five week period, through mid-February.

Take advantage of well-channeled energy and the ability to initiate practical action while Mars is in Capricorn. Much work can be accomplished in a nose-to-the-grindstone fashion. This is further supported by Saturn's current position in Virgo, another earth sign that values good work. The time for planning and review will have passed by the time Mars enters Capricorn, so get your agenda set and prepare to produce.

Sun Enters Capricorn January 14

The Sun adds fuel to Mars' fire by entering Capricorn from Sagittarius on January 14. By late January, the Sun and Mars will travel through Capricorn in very close proximity, staying within a few degrees of one another through February 20. This will only enhance our abilities to get things accomplished during this period of time; we can combine the immutable nature of our soul and the power of our will toward concrete goals. This could be welcome after the very frenetic energy created by the eclipses and Mercury's recent retrograde period.

Full Moon in Cancer January 19

The full Moon in January occurs on Wednesday, January 19 in the early degrees of Cancer, the Moon's own sign. When planets occupy their own signs, they gain strength. When the Moon is full, it is strong. The Moon will also be aspected by exalted Mars from Capricorn, further lending strength to the Moon. Also aspecting the Moon is Jupiter from Pisces, another auspicious layer added to this month's full Moon.

This is a good time to begin new things, to conduct ceremonies, to stage celebrations and to be active physically. The combination of influences on the Moon during this time creates a very auspicious time. Take humble advantage of the environment of growth, positivity and initiation.

Saturn Begins Retrograde Cycle January 25

Saturn can currently be seen overhead just before dawn. As he makes his way above the horizon during the evening of January 25, he will begin a retrograde period that lasts until June 12, 2011. Of all the visible planets, Saturn is the slowest moving, completing a cycle around the Sun every 27-28 years.

Saturn represents the concepts of contraction, restriction and limitation. Saturn is considered the elder among the planets and brings with that status wisdom, as well as the example that earthly life is finite. Saturn is slow, steady and deliberate. For almost one year, Saturn has occupied the sign opposite to Jupiter.

Jupiter represents the concepts of expansion, growth and abundance. Jupiter is known as "Guru," the guide or teacher, and takes only 12 years to make his way around the Sun, in comparison with Saturn's 27-28 years. Jupiter likes to celebrate the sacred in life, is the champion of evolution and a proponent of truth and justice.

Jupiter will move out of Pisces and out of opposition with Saturn in May 2011, leaving us four good months to truly absorb the lesson offered to us by Jupiter, Saturn and their current opposition. I have mentioned this many times during the past nine months, but will again encapsulate the message here.

Many of us experience difficulty in finding a balance between expansion and contraction. In a sense, the description of the spiritual path as "the razor's edge" exemplifies the quest to maintain this balance in the midst of walking our paths through life. The current influences of Jupiter and Saturn upon the Earth strongly encourage a commitment toward alignment and balance between all aspects of life, especially the physical and spiritual.

As the last sign, Pisces is a place of transformation and dissolution, endings and beginnings. In a collective sense, we are at an evolutionary transition point. We have absorbed experience and knowledge that will assist us in moving forward. Jupiter guides us to feel the boundlessness of complete expansion.

Saturn, becoming even more influential during the retrograde cycle, is simultaneously slowing things down on a physical level to the point where lack of responsibility and overt selfishness can no longer be ignored.

On the level of the body and the environment, Saturn calls us collectively to task and demands that we use our abilities at analysis and observation to reorganize the way we regard physical health and balance, including nutrition, food production, health care, medication and exercise.

Saturn reminds us that we are responsible for the state of our health and for the quality of our environmental health.

Saturn strongly encourages us to direct that Mars and Sun energy toward activating a solution that will help us maintain the razor's edge balance that is required for walking in this world as evolutionary creatures after Jupiter moves away from this opposition a few months from now.

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