Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

February 2012

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Jupiter Transits Ashwini February 1 - February 29

Jupiter continues forward motion through the early degrees of Aries throughout February. This brings an auspicious, positive influence to Mars via Jupiter's occupation of Mars' sign as well as via the aspect that Jupiter grants Mars from Aries to Leo. The truthful, expansive nature of Jupiter should inspire us to do the right thing when it comes to our seeking and management of power.

The early degrees of Aries, from 0-13°20' of that sign, correspond with the nakshatra called Ashwini, the first nakshatra, as Aries is the first sign. Ashwini is ruled by Ketu, so the Mars/Ketu combination on that lunar mansion indicates the refinement of power. Ashwini translates as “she who yokes horses,” with the horse symbolizing great power. With Jupiter in occupation of this lunar mansion, we have an opportunity to grow, expand and initiate into situations that don't grow too large to manage gracefully.

This is a good influence also for travel, healing and dynamic activity. Go for it.

Mars Maintains Retrograde Motion in Leo February 1 - February 29

February will be the fourth of eight months that Mars occupies the Sun's sign, Leo. I'll likely continue to explore this each month, as I have in the recent November,December and January forecasts. Mars takes about 687 days to orbit around the Sun, and therefore through the twelve signs of the zodiac. When we have a planet that stays this long in one sign, when its natural tendency is to pass through a sign in just under two months average, it seems as if there is an opportunity to work through something we really need to experience.

Mars entered Leo in the beginning of November 2011, and marched all the way through during the next few months, beginning a retrograde period on January 23, 2012 at 29° Leo. Mars then proceeds to retrace his steps backwards through Leo until April 15, when he resumes direct motion at 10° Leo.

When we try to apprehend what it is that Mars could be presenting to us at this time, we can start by examining the nature of Mars as well as the environment provided by Leo.

Mars is the planet of drive and power. His main concern is seeking, finding, acquiring and building with resources; in short Mars is about apprehending and managing power. Without Mars, we as humans would have a tough time connecting with the food, clothes and shelter that we need to build a stable life.

While Mars helps us to focus our energy on our pursuits, projects and protection, the downside of this intense energy can be too much focus on the self. Mars can inspire us to make selfish decisions at the expense of the well-being of the collective, including our families, communities and planet. To Mars, drilling for oil and natural gas is a primary concern; the aftermath of said drilling doesn't concern Mars so much. So while Mars is essential for taking care of ourselves, the capacity for a destructive wake to self-care activity is great.

Leo is the Sun's sign. The Sun plays the role of father, leader and ruler and his domain of Leo is an environment where we can explore the perspective of central power and authority. When the Leo/Sun energy is healthy, we have an expression of healthy, centralized power that is generously and naturally shared with the surrounding beings and environment.

The Sun and Mars have the same razor's edge in common: how to focus on centralized power and self-interest without destroying life around oneself. This extended Mars in Leo situation is a call of all of us to explore how we can support ourselves in a healthy way, how we can acquire just enough power and resources to support our lives and the lives of those around us without destroying the lives of others or hoarding resources in order to dominate.

For some, this time may be a call to increase our focus and self-interest, finally finding a way to gather resources that we can use to live and work without battling poverty and lack. The fighting energy of Mars could be focused on destroying either self-imposed or culturally-imposed systems that prevent us from gathering power and resources for legitimate reasons.

For others, this may be a call to bring balance to situations where the pursuit of power prevents health and happiness for both the self and others. The key to this may be exploring the idea that power is ubiquitous and freely acquired, much like the life-giving energy of the Sun. There is no need to grasp and hoard; the lesson is to work through deep feelings of insecurity that push us toward taking what is not rightfully ours and causing harm in our seeking for power.

This Mars in Leo transit is a call to focus our energy on exploring the concept of healthy ego. We need ego to survive and grow, but too much ego propels us toward goals and actions that throw us right off of the path. This is not an easy lesson. Thankfully, Mars is giving us plenty of time.

Venus Transits Pisces February 3 - February 28

Venus represents our capacity for relationship, love, empathy and the celebration of the beautiful in life. Pisces, Jupiter's water sign, the final sign of the zodiac, is Venus' place of exaltation, so we should experience some good effects from Venus during February. Throughout this month, the planets (except for Mercury and Sun) are fanned out through the signs, allowing the clear expression of planetary energy.

Pisces is the domain of the cosmic ocean, representing the field of complete expansion and infinite possibilities. It is the realm of complete dissolution that precedes the beginning of a new cycle. With Venus passing through, we could be coming to a transformative juncture in our relationships and in our creative process.

Jupiter, as ruler of Pisces, grants a sense of expansiveness and lack of boundary. We can use this positive confidence to freely express our co-creative urges, whether in the realm of art, music, relationship or spiritual pursuits.

The only planet that affects Venus during this transit is Rahu, the north node of the Moon, currently occupying Scorpio. Rahu can cause desire for worldly experiences as well as generate consequences for individuals that are caused by collective activity, mostly beyond one's "control."

Sometimes Rahu inspires us to take actions that we can't resist even when we know those actions may result in negative consequences. This ultimately generates learning experiences, but remember that free choice can overcome any planetary influence. Allow the celebration of beauty and the inspiration of Venus transiting through Pisces to draw you toward love, compassion and beauty, but be aware of the zone where desire becomes obsession.

Full Moon in Cancer February 7

The first new moon during the year of the water dragon lands in an extremely appropriate lunar mansion, Ashlesha. Ashlesha covers the final portion of the Moon's sign, 16°40'-30°00' Cancer. The full Moon occupying its own sign is strong: mental and emotional energy should be also be high during this time.

While the sign of Cancer is ruled by the Moon, Ashlesha is ruled by Mercury, increasing the mental energy evoked by this nakshatra. Ashlesha's symbol is the serpent, and snake-like qualities are associated with this position. The watery nature of Cancer and the serpent nature of Ashlesha make this a great time to explore the fluid potential of the water dragon.

Water is the most yin, receptive element while the dragon is a fiery, powerful animal. What an interesting opportunity through this year to explore the power of receptivity, shakti, yin, femininity.

Mercury will be exactly conjunct/combust the Sun at this full Moon, so further strengthens the full Moon by aspecting its own nakshatra. Intuitive perception and keen analytical thought should run strongly during this time.

The last occurrence of the year of the water dragon was from January 1952-February 1953. The cycle of the lunar years runs for 60 years: 12 animals x 5 elements = 60. The next lunar year, beginning February 2013, will be the year of the water snake, so we actually have a couple of years to spend on this theme.

Saturn Retrograde February 7 - June 24

As we know, Saturn is never in a hurry. Saturn is deliberate, patient, realistic and determined to expose the ego-generated illusions that keep us attached to our quest for self-aggrandizement.

Saturn entered Libra, Venus' air sign and Saturn's sign of exaltation, in November 2011, and will not move on to Mars' water sign, Scorpio, until November 2014, which gives us plenty of time to work through the lessons of Libra.

While Saturn was in occupation of Virgo, Mercury's earth sign associated with health, medicine and analytical research, the theme was centered around how to take responsibility (Saturn) for our bodies, thoughts, health and activity (Virgo.)

Saturn in Libra extends that lesson. Libra's symbol is the scales; Libra's ruler is Venus. Venus supports our capacity to connect with others and with our environment. So, we are now charged with extending our choices for personal health into our relationships and our creative issue. The personal health we created with Saturn in Virgo now meets the challenge of introducing other beings into our sphere of health. How can we maintain singular balance while interacting with others? Can we use the presence of another person in our sphere to maintain balance, or even to create a more intricate balance involving our communities that is even more stable?

Saturn is a task master. Saturn wants us to step back from frenetic desires and ego trips so that we can see the bigger picture. When we sit back quietly with Saturn, we actually are able to see that our worldly interactions are a picture, with a border, an obvious clue to the transitory and illusory nature of our earthly life.

Saturn begins a five month retrograde cycle on February 7 which extends through June 2012. This slows us down even more in our quest to meditate on balance as applied to our love, creativity and relationships.

Interestingly, this Saturn retrograde overlaps with Mars' retrograde cycle in Leo for a few months. This may make for slow progress through work, projects, relationships and personal growth. Rather than rebelling against the deliberate motion that is required during this time, accept the slow track as a blessing along the way. You have the time and opportunity to deeply explore choices and decisions and to get things done right rather than quickly.

Mercury Transits Aquarius February 10 - February 26

At the end of January, Mercury plunges forward in Capricorn, moving into exact combustion with the Sun on February 6. When Mercury, or any planet comes within a certain range of the Sun in the zodiac, the condition of that planet is "combust." Mercury, easily influenced already, when combust often acts as an amplifier or channel for the Sun's energy.

Mercury precedes the Sun into Aquarius on February 10, moving fast through the zodiac, passing by the Sun and moving out of combustion by February 20. Who has a guess as to what happens next when Mercury gets moving fast? That's right, a retrograde cycle! Mercury moves into Pisces, his sign of debilitation, on February 26, keeps running for awhile, and then falls down, confused like a kid who's eaten too much cake at a party and begins a retrograde cycle that lasts from March 12-April 3.

In the meantime, Mercury moves swiftly through friendly territory, Capricorn and Aquarius, the domains of Saturn, who's doing quite well in his exalted occupation of Libra, enjoying the aspect of auspicious Jupiter.

Mercury and Saturn are friends because they both understand what its like to rule both an earth and an air sign. So, our capacity for communication and exchange, represented by Mercury, has mountains to climb and ideals to exalt as February passes.

Mercury, in combustion with the Sun, can get lost in the glare. What this means in practical terms is that our capacity for communication, which includes the openness to receive information, can get burnt out by our need to express ourselves and exercise our deepest desires.

Ideally, this would be a good time to put the nose down and get some serious work done. Work, projects, goals, determination; not necessarily planning, meetings or networking.

Sun Transits Aquarius February 13 - March 13

The Sun transiting Aquarius will be energizing. The Sun moves into opposition with Mars, and places an aspect on his own sign of Leo. The friendly energy between the Sun and Mars will create an energetic and fiery channel. The positive result is the ability to focus energy toward important projects.

Keep in mind the fire power with this opposition; Mars is strong due to his retrograde cycle, which brings him closer to earth. Mars is located in the fire sign of the Sun, and receives the aspect of the Sun. It will be a great time to focus on personal goals and issues. That said, it could be easy to slip in to a self-centered perspective, so make effort to connect with others in order to keep a healthy balance between self and other.

Aquarius, as the air sign of Saturn, promotes a philosophical bent that regards all beings as equal. This is a good place to keep the Sun from getting overly ego-oriented. We can apply the heart and fire of the Sun toward purposes that support collective goals and benefit all.

Saturn's influence on the Sun encourages slow, deliberate action as well as introspective consideration of what is considered to be one's central purpose.

New Moon in Aquarius February 21

The waning Moon joins the Sun at 8° of Saturn's air sign, Aquarius, on Tuesday, February 21. This is the beginning of our next lunar cycle, and the day of the new Moon,amavasya, is best spent with very light activity due to the weak state of the Moon while new. It is a good day to stop and rest, to consider what has transpired during the last moon cycle and to gather forces for the next.

This new Moon occurs in the lunar mansion called Shatabishak, which translates as “100 healers” and is ruled by Rahu, the north node of the Moon, as well as the god Varuna, lord of the cosmic ocean. This lunar mansion is associated with healing, and its symbol is a circle. The circle is a container for space, indicative of a need for seclusion and independence.

Shatabishak is a movable nakshatra, so its influence is good for moving, traveling, changing work situations and other actions that require movement.

This new Moon and Sun combination receives an aspect from retrograde Mars in Leo, and vice versa, as all planets who sit in opposition in the zodiac. This should energize any actions conceived during the time of this new Moon and carried forth as the Moon continues to wax.

By the time of this new Moon, both Mars and Saturn will have assumed retrograde motion, so remember this as you drive slowly forward.

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