Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

January 2012

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.

Jupiter - Saturn Opposition All Month January 1 - January 31

Jupiter ends a retrograde cycle on December 25, 2011 but remains in a position of opposition with Saturn through mid-May, 2012, when both planets shift position. Saturn will retrograde back into Virgo on May 16 for a 2.5 month period, and Jupiter moves to Taurus on that very day, as well. This opposition that occurs during this entire month of January 2012 will therefore be in effect until mid-May, 2012. We will not experience an opposition of Jupiter and Saturn again until 2029, when Jupiter will occupy Libra and Saturn will occupy Aries, although they will conjunct in Sagittarius in 2019-2020.

Jupiter represents the qualities of growth, positivity and expansion, while Saturn represents the qualities of limitation and contraction. They are essentially opposite forces, and during the time that they occupy opposite signs in the zodiac we are blessed to have the opportunity to create balance between these forces.

Jupiter in Aries inspires growth, building and expansion. Aries, ruled by Mars, is a fire sign that encourages exploration, new ventures and acquisition or propagation of resources. With a very positive outlook, we may turn our heads and hands toward projects that require us to learn and expand. Jupiter can give us the inspiration to take risks with wisdom as we build new forms and structures.

Saturn is exalted in Libra and will transit through that sign for the next 2.5 years. When a planet is exalted, it has the perfect venue for the performance of its natural function. Saturn brings boundaries, limitation and responsibility into action. Libra is Venus' air sign, and home to the concepts of social philosophy and artistic expression. Both Saturn and Venus hold concern for humanity, equality and fairness, as they both teach that the separation of self from all is illusory.

Saturn's transit through Virgo inspired us to take responsibility and accountability for the health of our bodies, homes and environment. The progression of Saturn into Libra brings that taking of responsibility into the realm of society. How do our actions affect others, whatever their relationship to us? Are artistic expression and relationship to others actually social responsibility? These are questions that we may face on individual and collective levels while Saturn moves through Libra.

When we regard the conditions of Jupiter in Aries and Saturn in Libra through the lens of the opposition aspect, we see that these forces of expansion and contraction are trying to teach us how to grow and build while maintaining the necessary attention to beauty and the well-being of others.

Mercury Transits Sagittarius January 4 - January 23

Mercury, the intrepid traveller, skips into the new year, leaping from Scorpio to Sagittarius on Wednesday, January 4. Mercury is relatively free of close association with other planets at this time, giving him freedom of expression. Having just traversed the dark cold realms of Scorpio, Mercury may feel ever so slightly more comfortable in the mutable sign of Sagittarius, and have many a tale to tell and integrate.

There is special energy created right now by the planets occupying the fire signs. Sun and Mercury will occupy Sagittarius, Jupiter occupies Aries and Mars occupies Leo. There is a sense of kindling at this time, as these four planets work in tandem to generate a fiery, sustained energy source. Sagittarius is Jupiter's fire sign, mutable in nature, and the scene for those seeking an adventurous life where boundaries are pushed. With Mercury transiting through this territory, we have a good venue for Mercury, who enjoys movement and traveling.

Mercury represents the quality of exchange, especially of words and ideas; therefore he rules our communication, which allows us to exchange plans and ideas. Mercury has flexibility and perspective, cheerfully collecting and analyzing data.

The forward moving, expansive territory of Sagittarius encourages and challenges Mercury as he moves through during this three week period. This could be a very inspiring time for the mind, especially as recently collected data may reveal new possibilities. Listen carefully for messages that will guide you toward expansion into new avenues.

Full Moon in Gemini January 8

The Sun and Moon move into opposition for the first time in 2012, on January 8. The Sun will be at 24° Sagittarius and the strong Moon will be at 24° Gemini, Mercury's air sign. This is the culmination of the lunar cycle begun on December 24. The Moon gains power through the first week of January, becoming full on Sunday, January 8. The mutable nature of Sagittarius and Gemini could signal change and movement during this time. The moon reflects the light of the Sun, which is particularly energized.

The lunar mansion that contains the full Moon this month is Punarvasu, which translates as “becoming light again.” This supports the notion of the return of light after a period of darkness, which is rather apropos after our solstice-new moon holiday period. Punarvasu holds qualities of movement, seeking, and selecting timing for right action. There is also the theme of reconnection with that which has been lost; the return of light provides context for finding what had been lost in the darkness. The Moon will shed light in more ways than one this month.

Venus Enters Aquarius January 9

Venus moves from one of Saturn's signs to the next. Venus had a quick transit through Saturn's earth sign, Capricorn, and moves into Saturn's air sign, Aquarius, on Monday, January 9.

Saturn and Venus will continue to exchange signs (meaning that they each occupy a sign ruled by the other), giving each one of them strength in their respective positions. The main new factor affecting Venus as she moves into Aquarius is the aspect of Mars coming to her from Leo. Venus moves quickly through Aquarius, exiting to her sign of exaltation, Pisces, on February 3.

Aquarius encourages self-sacrifice in a humanitarian way, as well as intuitive perception, devotion and unconventional thought. It is very much a realm where the importance of “other” and “all” supersede that of selfish desires. Venus rules our ability as humans to recognize that self and other are one, leading us toward love, relationship and devotion to the beauty that we create in our world.

This creates an interesting opposition: Venus in Aquarius promoting the creation of humanitarian projects and Mars in Leo encouraging us to gather and focus personal power and resources. Venus and Mars as planets that represent our human tendency toward female and male can create passion when they are associated.

The message that rolls our way, therefore, is: Take your passion, plans, power and resources and focus them on making the world a better place by placing the well-being of others in front of personal goals and desires. Have faith that working for the benefit of all will support the self by default.

Sun Enters Capricorn January 14

As Venus vacates Capricorn, our Sun moves in for his month in Saturn's earth sign. During the entire month, the Sun remains free of aspect from other planets, so is therefore free to promote unfettered self-expression for all, within the structure of Capricorn, that is.

Capricorn is a very practical, structured and goal-oriented sign. The Sun represents our soul, our life purpose and ego. If there is a current connection between responsibly performing deeds that further our life purpose, this should be a very good month for forward progress in that realm (mid-January to mid-February.) If one is seeking that connection, that which connects the longing of the heart to practical action in the world, this would be a good month to make that connection.

It should be mentioned here that the planets are nicely spread out at this time, allowing each one to function and express without too much influence from other planets. We have a positive aspect from Jupiter in Aries to Mars in Leo, which carries into the aspect that Mars throws on Venus in Aquarius. Other than that, Saturn aspects Mercury as long as Mercury occupies Sagittarius (through January 23.) This state of mutual autonomy makes life relatively simple in the regard of having clear perceptions, purposes and expression through action. Use this clarity and simplicity wisely and joyfully.

New Moon in Capricorn January 22

Just before midnight on the evening of January 22, the Moon and Sun conjunct at 8° Capricorn, in the last quarter of the lunar mansion called Uttarashada. Uttarashada translates as "Ultimate Victory" and is ruled by the Ten Vishvadevas, benevolent deities that represent all that is good and beneficial on our planet.

This would not be a good time to hatch a plan that involves deceit, treachery or malevolence to others or the environment. On the contrary, the alignment with the forces of indisputable good is highly encouraged at this time. This is a great day to meditate on the goals you wish to achieve and to accept the grace that it takes to see those goals to fruition.

Uttarashada new Moon may highlight the trick of balancing material and spiritual desires. Remember that the Moon is at its weakest during the day of the new Moon; meditation, reflection and planning are recommended for amavasya, the day of the new Moon. Begin actions and projects on the day after new Moon, as the Moon begins to wax and gain strength.

Mars Transits Leo, Begins Retrograde January 23

January is the third of eight months that Mars occupies Leo, which we talked about in the December 2011 forecast. We can expect the themes of self and resources to continue and deepen when Mars begins a retrograde cycle on January 23 that lasts through April 14, 2012.

There are two groups of natural “friends” in vedic astrology, cliques, so to speak. In one group are Sun, Moon, Mars and Jupiter, and the other group consists of Mercury, Venus and Saturn. When planets are associated with friends or occupy a sign ruled by a friend, they function more effortlessly than when they are also contending with an uncomfortable or “unfriendly” environment.

Leo is ruled by the Sun, so Mars is comfortable in Leo. The Sun and Mars have common goals and Mars functions well in the environment of Leo, which is a place of leadership, tradition and centrality. Mars rules our capacity for acquisition and use of power, which translates in a multitude of specific examples. Mars gives us logic, planning, organization and execution. Mars also gives us a fierce sense of protection toward the prized energy we call “power.” Mars gives us the motivation to get what we want, to go where we will, to build what is desired and fight to protect. Mars' mission is to provide food, clothes and shelter in an efficient manner and to protect those acquisitions come what may.

While without Mars we'd be struggling to survive, the trick is finding a way to check Mars when enough is enough. Mars sees no reason why we shouldn't stockpile for the future; it gives him something to do. The environment of Leo provides leadership, order and structure for Mars' energy. We get the opportunity to deeply study the relationship between resources and power while Mars remains in and retrogrades through Leo.

The independence and probing, exploratory nature of Mars gives us the perspective to question the long-standing structures that mete out and reign supreme over the power and resources that our planet and our bodies represent (Leo.) The fixed nature of Leo represents the acquisition of power of many generations of tradition and sustenance of a culture. Although people are drawn to the light of the Sun for sustenance and protection, inclusion in the structure of tradition and culture that encourages peace and prosperity can sometimes become a cage with golden bars.

Mars is just the agent to expose the dark side of Leo; the hoarding of power, the creation of confining systems that keep all but a few in orbit around a central source. And while that is commendable, we are wise to question Mars' motives, for he wants the power for himself. This is the classic military coup of a royal government.

This wisdom is where Jupiter comes in. Jupiter and Mars are friends, in that juicy hot group that also includes the Sun and Moon. Jupiter is, like Mars, in a friendly sign, in fact, in Mars' fire sign, Aries. Jupiter also aspects any planets and signs that are 5th, 7th or 9th from his position, which in this case, includes Leo, as fifth from Aries.

Jupiter is expansive and fosters evolution, seeking of wisdom and my favorite, truth. Jupiter's influence is positive, benevolent and true. My hope is that with Jupiter breathing down Mars' neck as he drills his way through Leo, that Mars will do the right thing. And by the right thing, I mean Mars will find a way to generate, find and use power and energy in an efficient way, always improving rather than hoarding. And knowing when to stand by.

Let's use Mars to bring positive reform to gout-riddled systems. Our best bet is to really tune into Venus in Aquarius between January 9 – February 3. Venus will oppose Mars during that time and is gaining strength as Venus moves into exaltation. The positive aspects of Jupiter (truth) and Venus (love) can work together to steer Mars into a clear channel of righteous action.

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