Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

August 2012

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 1

August gets rolling with a very strong full Moon in Saturn's earth sign, Capricorn. We are continuing the earth theme over from July, bringing in a firm foundation upon which to make a few transitions.

We have Mars and Saturn in the late degrees of Virgo, Mercury's earth sign. We have Jupiter and Ketu in occupation of Taurus, Venus' earth sign. Jupiter, amplified by Ketu, aspects both of the other earth signs, thereby bringing an auspicious influence onto the Mars-Saturn combination and also the full Moon in Saturn's sign.

The new Moon that started this lunar cycle was in Cancer with retrograde Mercury on July 18. There may be an inherent instability with any projects conceived during the last couple weeks of July; however, the influence of earth energy on the current astrological positions of the planets in earth signs gives us solidity, practicality and a focus on material manifestation.

This will be the first of two full moons to occur in August, the second being the full moon in Aquarius on August 31. Both Capricorn and Aquarius are ruled by Saturn, so this ties in with the slow, determined and earthy unfolding of events in August. Indirectly influencing things by current association with Saturn is Mars, moving through the late degrees of Virgo and early degrees of Libra along with Saturn.

Venus Transits Gemini August 1 - August 31

Venus departs her own sign of Taurus, and the other occupants of the sign currently, Ketu and Jupiter, late in the evening of July 31. Venus' transit of Gemini, Mercury's air sign, coincides exactly with the month of August.

Taurus was the scene and Venus the ruler of late spring's eclipse activity, which happened along with Venus' heliacal rising, the start of a new Venus cycle. The house where Taurus falls in an individual chart helps to reveal where this transformational and fateful energy may have shown up for a person.

Venus, ruler of love, relationship and beauty, is ready to move through the zodiac, devotedly and gracefully carrying that transformational energy through the various signs, returning to Taurus again on May 4, 2013.

Venus entering Mercury's air sign could have a slight grounding effect on Mercury itself, in retrograde motion until August 7. However, Gemini is the realm of ideas, movement, learning, and communication, very much a focus on the mind and mental realm. Add this to the energy created by Saturn in Libra and we have a very airy environment building.

This would be a great month for creative thinking, writing and communication, for changing your mind and inviting a more compassionate perspective. Make your ideas, travels and studies beautiful this month. Align your passion with your mental efforts.

For the first week of August, while Mercury finishes the retrograde period, and even into the second week, while Mercury gets himself pointed in the correct direction, it may be advisable to indulge in review, recycle and redesign of existing conditions rather than initiation of new creative projects. Forward moving energy really kicks in around August 18, after the new Moon.

Saturn Returns to Libra August 4

Saturn moves into Libra for the remainder of the transit through Venus' air sign, where Saturn happens to be exalted. Saturn works his way slowly toward the exaltation degree of 20º Libra in November of 2013, including a retrograde period between February – June 2013 and a conjunction with Rahu in September 2013.

Saturn's most recent retrograde cycle took him back briefly into Virgo, and as we move slowly with Saturn's rhythm through the transition from earth sign to air sign, we are called by Saturn to carry the boundaries we may have established or the responsibilities we may have taken in the physical realm, for example with health or diet reforms, into our relationships and sense of creativity. Saturn does well in his own signs or those of Mercury and Venus, and he will be moving from a sign of Mercury into a sign of Venus, giving Saturn strength.

This transition happens within one lunar mansion, Chitra, which spans from 23°20' Virgo to 6°40' Libra. Chitra means “the bright one” and is associated with creation of beautiful things with the hands. Chitra is ruled by Mars and is associated with kama, one of the four aims of life, desire. The Libra side of Chitra brings in more Venus influence, so we may feel a shift toward setting boundaries and taking responsibility for our desire, passion, love, devotion and creativity.

It is helpful to know in which houses of one's birth chart the transits of the outer planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are occurring. Until May 2013, both Saturn and Jupiter will be occupying the signs of Venus, so we are approaching a period of creating balance in the realms of Venus, which include love, relationship, creation and compassion. Jupiter, the planet of expansion, draws us to create positive growth on the earth plane. Saturn, the planet of contraction, demands that we remain true and responsible within our relationships and social environment.

We have the chance to initiate a reformed, mature and realistic approach to how we connect with others and with our environment. Saturn in Libra can be a serious celebration of the “less is more” aesthetic. Saturn encourages restraint and detachment such that we can approach our love with humility and responsibility for the role that we play within relationship.

Mercury Resumes Direct Motion in Cancer August 7

Mercury's direct motion kicks in on August 7 at 7° of the Moon's sign, Cancer. Cancer is a water sign, and Mercury is a planet that rules an earth and an air sign; Mercury counts on a dry environment in which to pursue his exchanges of data, ideas and goods, so the watery environment of Cancer somewhat slows Mercury's roll, especially with a retrograde cycle.

Cancer is the realm of feeling, emotions, home and mother and Mercury is the youth that is ready to fly away and travel on his own. The quickness of Mercury that shows up in our thought and speech processes can therefore be slowed and swirled a bit when the Cancer influence overcomes Mercury, as it has since mid-June.

After moving through the retrograde period, Mercury slogs his way to shore as August progresses, moving into Leo on August 28. Given this inevitable fact, we have the opportunity to work with this Mercury in Cancer energy rather than against it this month.

What is difficult with Mercury in Cancer? Clear, direct, unemotional communication. Making quick decisions. Getting from point A to point B without hinderance. Retaining information. Awareness of these conditions invites patience, humor and detachment to step in, which can allay the stress that may be caused by things not going as planned or intended.

What could we maximize with Mercury in Cancer? Communication about sticky, emotional things. The uniting of heart and mind. Surrender to feelings and bring voice to them; express what is in your heart. Make a trip to visit your mother, spend time around water, listening to its messages. Organize your home. Participate in nurture, both giving and receiving. Find appreciation for the softness that blurry perception grants.

Kala Sarpa in Effect August 10 - August 24

I may as well break it to you now that we're going to go through a couple of weeks of Kala Sarpa yoga again this month, August, and next month, September, just like in July. Here's what I said about Kala Sarpa in the July forecast.

To summarize, Kala Sarpa yoga occurs when all of the planets are hemmed in between the nodes of the Moon, Rahu and Ketu. With Ketu occupying Taurus and Rahu occupying Scorpio, we find all of the other planets occupying the signs between them, except for the Moon, which escapes this bind for a fortnight each month.

The nodal axis that is created by the shadow planets Rahu and Ketu shows the potential for influences that we can't necessarily control. They bring challenges and difficulties that push us to our limits. Whether illness, exposure to catastrophe, addiction, or possession, we can often only find creative ways to react to these situations and seldom have the chance to prevent or destroy offending circumstances.

With all the planets grouped between the nodes, they lose their strength to a small degree, leaving us feeling vulnerable to the tides of fate. We can also feel a sense of discontent, as if nothing is good enough to make us happy. Recommended remedies for this type of influence include meditation, service to others and donation of time/energy/money. What is being asked is surrender. One can either do so willingly with open hands and open heart or be dragged kicking and screaming through the dust. Your choice.

That said, this condition of Kala Sarpa will be broken by Mars when he moves past Rahu in early October. Perhaps it would be advantageous to recognize the mission that Mars is currently running toward and use our Mars energy, drive and power, to soldier through the situations that may present themselves as difficult or challenging in the next fortnights of Kala Sarpa, August 10-24 and September 7-20.

Mars-Saturn Conjunction at 0 Degrees Libra August 14

Mars has been in pursuit of Saturn and finally catches up to complete conjunction on August 14, just as Mars moves from Mercury's earth sign, Virgo to Venus' air sign, Libra.

Saturn's energy can be described as contracting, limiting, detached and deliberate. Saturn's lessons have a basis in responsibility, reality and maturity and employ liberally the law of karma, requiring us to be responsible for our actions whether we choose to or not. Saturn demands humility, ego surrender and a level playing field where all have the same access to the fruits of life.

Mars' energy can be described as driving, power-seeking, selfish and capable. The passionate nature of Mars compels us forward to seek, create and build an environment in which we can gather the materials and resources we need to care for ourselves. Mars doesn't have much regard for others or for the damage that may be caused in acquisition of power, with the reason being: Its for survival.

When Mars and Saturn conjunct, we are faced squarely with the problem of “How much (ego) is enough?” Mars energy wants to clear cut a forest for the fuel and timber and Saturn points out that clear-cutting will demolish the chance for future resources to renew. Saturn wants to feed the poor from the standpoint that humans are not separate but part of a whole; Mars wants to grow and protect his crops in order to feed himself and those in his protection, insisting that those who can't take care of themselves don't deserve it.

Mars' passionate nature clouds the reality that all are part of one whole and really promotes the illusion of separate self. When we can raise the vibration of Mars energy to a place where the self is strengthened with the understanding that individual progress implies group progress, we can enjoy power with responsibility and aim our sites at evolution rather than separation.

With Mars in an unfriendly sign, Venus' Libra, and Saturn in an exalted position at the same place, Saturn is a bit stronger. While Mars occupies Libra from August 14 – September 28 we have an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson of ego surrender. Mars as the warrior archetype is built to fight and resist; a conscious decision to let go of selfish desires within relationships or within society could go a long way during this six week period.

Sun Enters Leo August 16

The Sun enters its own sign, Leo, on August 16 and spends a month there, until September 15. Throughout this time, the Sun is free of aspect from Mars and Saturn, so this is a good month for clear self-expression. The Sun represents the self, the soul and the life purpose; without the Sun, life wouldn't be possible on our planet.

The power of the Sun is so great that it can be destructive, indiscriminately projecting light and heat to all who come within range. Finding a way to shine your light without causing harm is a good exercise for this month. The Sun, like Mars, can be ego-centric, putting a focus on the self more than the other, which causes a sense of duality. When there is too much focus on the self, the line between self and other becomes more defined, exacerbating the illusion of duality.

Think of your inner Sun as a bright light, central to your system, but yet only one of many stars in the galaxy. Perspective is an important tool in discernment that can sometimes get lost when the light is too bright.

Otherwise, the Sun in Leo can be great for entertaining, self-expression and enjoyment of the fruits of labor.

New Moon in Leo August 17

Joining the Sun in Leo is the Moon, reaching exact conjunction with the Sun on August 17 in the late morning. The day leading up to this conjunction is the new moon day, amavasya, and is generally good for withdrawal from activity. Amavasya begins in the late morning of Thursday, August 16 and ends with the conjunction of Sun and Moon in the late morning of Friday, August 17. Actions and initiation of new projects can therefore begin after noon on August 17.

The new Moon occurs in the lunar mansion Magha, which covers the first portion of the sign of Leo. Magha is ruled by the planet Ketu and by the deities known as The Pitris, protectors of humanity, especially from calamity. That protection could come in handy during this period of Kala Sarpa yoga. Magha is associated with tradition, ancestors, rulers and leadership. There is a sense of greatness that comes along with this nakshatra.

While the Sun/Moon combination are not receiving any malefic aspects from Saturn, Mars, Rahu or Ketu directly, its important to acknowledge the fact that all planets are occupying the signs Taurus – Scorpio, creating more weight on the first part of the zodiac at this time.

Things that are initiated at this time may fall under the category of “fate” in the sense that we are engaging in activity that feels either divinely inspired or in some other way inescapable for good or ill. We gotta do what we gotta do; do so with grace, humility and nobility, remaining open to receive the lessons and gifts that are offered.

Full Moon in Aquarius August 31

Between the new Moon and second full Moon of August, not much goes on except for the breaking of Kala Sarpa yoga by the waxing moon on August 24. The Moon continues to wax, reaching the full point opposite the Sun at around sunrise on Friday, August 31. This is the second full Moon to occur in Saturn's signs this month; certainly we will be feeling the shift of Saturn's lessons from Virgo to Libra through the expression of the two full Moons this month.

Full Moon in Aquarius happens at 14°, in the lunar mansion called Shatabishak. This nakshatra is ruled by the planet Rahu and by the deity Varuna, lord of the waters. Shatabishak translates as “100 Healers” and we see a dispensation of the divine healing waters through this lunar mansion. With the new Moon occurring in a nakshatra ruled by Ketu and the full Moon occurring in a nakshatra ruled by Rahu, we are called again to pay heed to the nodal axis, which brings us both blessings and challenges from within and without that demand our choice for right action and reaction.

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