Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

July 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.

Mars Transits Virgo July 1 - July 31

Mars' eight-month tenure in Leo has come to an end with Mars entering Mercury's earth sign, Virgo, on June 21. Mars represents power, drive, force and work and was in a strong position in Leo, a friendly sign for Mars. This created a very pervasive condition of hot and dry intensity that could have been aggravating to some.

We can think of Mars as a warrior, and Leo as the domain of the king or father. It is powerful position for Mars. Virgo, Mercury's earth sign, is symbolized by a maiden, so we are currently experiencing a change of gears in Mars' drive train. While in Leo we experience a grand feast in the king's hall, in Virgo we digest all that we have taken in.

For Mars and for our own sense of power and gathering of resources, a shift is needed away from acquisition into assimilation. In Virgo, we digest, analyze and appropriate the fuel we have gathered. Virgo is a mutable sign that invites change, movement and dispersion of power.

While Mercury, ruler of Virgo, has no interest in acquiring control or power, he does have an interest in finding the best use for what power reveals itself. Mars, in contrast, lives to gain and wield power. Mars moves through Virgo during July and through half of August. During this time, we may find ourselves faced with lessons that direct us toward letting go of power and control in order to change, move and transmute.

Virgo rules the body and health, so we can direct our energy in making changes in that realm that create balance. This is a good period to explore how we spend our energy, how we digest what we take in as fuel and how our daily choices support our feelings of power or ability to act in the world.

The danger of Mars driving forward and desiring too much activity is high during this time; instead try to discern what courses of action will create smooth, gentle and balanced movement and go in that direction. We may find that doing nothing can be surprisingly productive. Be clear about goals and realistic about approaches.

Venus Rises in Taurus July 1 - July 31

Venus resumes direct motion on June 27 at 13° Taurus, her own earth sign. This puts Venus in a better position to begin her blossoming as morning star. During July, we should begin to feel forward motion also in the way we are relating and creating in our lives. Retrograde times for planets often involve review and restructuring, and with the proximity of Venus to both Jupiter and Ketu during her transformation from evening to morning star, which marks the beginning of a new Venus cycle, our sense of love, beauty and connection to others may feel somewhat tattered by this point.

The beauty of Venus includes that energy of creation, so we may find ourselves picking up pieces from the earth and making our lives the scene of a “found art” project. Venus helps us recognize that we are not separate from others or from our environment, and we can heal ourselves from the fractures of separation by finding scattered parts and joining them in new and creative ways.

By July 10, Venus will have moved far enough away from the Jupiter-Ketu combination to begin expressing more freely, but that fiery, explosive combination will be close enough to remind us how precarious our condition on this earth can be. Let that loose cannon in the garden be a reminder that the forms that Venus inspires us to create are temporary and focus instead on the process of creation and connection. Therein lies the sweet beauty; although the results of the creative process can also be enjoyed and shared, the real gift of Venus comes through the devotion and inspiration with which we arrange our lives.

Saturn Transits Final Degrees of Virgo, Again July 1 - July 31

There is an emphasis on earth energy in July. We have Venus, Jupiter and Ketu occupying Taurus. We have Mars in Virgo and we have Saturn also in Virgo, moving in forward motion through the late degrees after his last retrograde period that ran from February – June 2012.

This will be our opportunity to really solidify the lessons that Saturn's transit through Virgo offered us over roughly the last three years. Saturn entered Virgo in September of 2009 and has returned because of that last retrograde period. We had a preview of Saturn in Libra that ran from November 2011 to April 2012 and will resume after Saturn re-enters Libra on August 4.

July will be our big chance to analyze and assimilate these lessons, to use some Virgo language. Saturn offers us the principles of contraction, detachment, realism and karmic responsibility. Through Saturn we learn how to separate enough from our voracious egos to live a liberated life along the razor's edge of existence. With Virgo's association with body, health, medicine and service, we see Saturn leading us through the paces. Saturn has shown us that restraint, detachment and discipline are required to maintain balance within our bodies and environment. Saturn offers us examples all around of the harm caused by excessive behavior and invites us to separate from that which causes imbalance.

It should be noted here that Saturn and Mars will both be in occupation of Virgo during July. Saturn is the brakes and Mars is the gas pedal. Mars drives steadily through Virgo, catching up to Saturn for an exact conjunction mid-August at the borderline between Virgo and Libra. Mars has courage and Saturn has reticence. Mars desires things for the self and Saturn is both desire-less and selfless. Mars acquires where Saturn lets go. In our lives we must find a balance between the planetary energies. This month, we get to balance Mars and Saturn. Many of us have felt the jolt that comes when both gas and brakes are applied at once. Mercury, diplomatic as he is, provides for us a good environment to practice this in Virgo. Perhaps shifting to neutral and idling would be a good choice.

Full Moon in Sagittarius July 3

The first big event of July is the Moon's attainment of fullness mid-day on Tuesday, July 3, also known as Guru Purnima. The Sun will be at 18° Gemini and the Moon will be at 18° Sagittarius, Jupiter's fire sign. This full Moon has only one significant aspect that it receives from Mars. The position in Sagittarius and the nudge from Mars could cause a little fire to flare in what are otherwise earthy-watery planetary times. Don't let the settling that may be going on around us lure us into a false sense of security; be aware of incendiary devices.

18° Gemini corresponds with the sixth lunar mansion, Ardra, ruled by Rudra, lord of storms. Ardra means “moisture” and its symbol is a drop of water. This is the position of the hot, dry Sun for this full Moon. Opposite in the zodiac, the Moon will occupy the 20th lunar mansion, Purvashada, associated with the deities Apas, lord of waters and Varuna, lord of rain.

The trend we are seeing is an influx of both watery and grounding energy. Except for the Sun and Moon, all of the other planets occupy earth and water signs at this time. This could lead us toward focus on the material results of our actions. Things come out of the idea realm at this time and toward manifestation. We have been collectively experiencing loss and release of the no longer functional. This, like a low tide, has created space to be filled. With the combination of water and earth, we make clay and mud into usable forms. This full moon should shed some light on our manifestation abilities; the Sun and Moon occupy air and fire signs respectively, giving just enough inspiration and idealism to our new creations.

This full Moon is also affected by the Jupiter-Ketu conjunction, which becomes exact on the same day. Because the Moon is located in Sagittarius (ruled by Jupiter), we look to Jupiter's position in Taurus (ruled by Venus) and identify Venus as the final dispositer of this full moon. Venus is just four degrees away from the Ketu-Jupiter conjunction.

Jupiter - Ketu Conjunction July 3

Jupiter and Ketu have been in occupation of Taurus together since Jupiter entered on May 17, 2012. The pair have been moving toward a conjunction since that time, and will be within three degrees of one another from June 20 – July 17. This is when it starts to get real with the Jupiter – Ketu interaction.

Jupiter represents expansion, joy and abundance and encourages personal and collective growth in a righteous manner. Ketu, one of the pair of eclipse-causing shadow planets, leads us on an inward-spiraling path of self-inquiry and can also tend to amplify the results of the planets in proximity to it. Amplified expansion!

Into this mix we add the recent transformation of Venus from evening to morning star, which occurred during May and June. This was coincidentally at the same time as our most recent eclipse pairing, which also happened during May and June. During eclipse times, Rahu and Ketu, the axis that connects those “shadow planets” hovers around a degree for awhile, in this case 11° Scorpio/Taurus. This will be a degree to watch, both in Scorpio and Taurus, until the next eclipse pairing which comes up in November 2012. During this time, the only planets to touch those trigger degrees are Jupiter, which is happening currently, the Moon, twice per month, and Mars hitting 11° Scorpio in October.

Eclipses and the nodes in general cause agitation in the sense of stirring things up in life. They often bring us situations for good or ill that we don't necessarily choose, but that we are required to face, like small or large catastrophes. While we cannot control what the world or our own inner yearning might bring to our plates, we have the opportunity to react to those situations as we will.

Ketu shows us about surrender and ego-detachment. In Taurus, the earth sign of Venus, this would create a detachment from material objects. We may enjoy and appreciate the sensual aspects of life but without the burden of acquisition. With expansive Jupiter conjunct Ketu, we may see ups and downs with the influx and outflow of material resources. What we are learning is appreciation without the need to possess.

Jupiter's encouragement toward spiritual expansion and higher knowledge combined with Ketu's self-surrendering influence in Venus' earth sign could inspire us toward creating new relationships with our resources that are more in line with natural law. Let go to grow.

Kala Sarpa Yoga July 14 - July 28

A 'yoga' in jyotish refers to a planetary combination. There are lists of yogas. Kala Sarpa yoga is a “controversial” yoga in which much is debated as far as detail, but my understanding of it leads me to believe that the combination does imply some significance. Kala Sarpa, which translates as "Snake of Time," occurs when all of the visible planets are hemmed between Rahu and Ketu, the head and tail of the serpent.

The results of Kala Sarpa Yoga include a reduction in strength of the planets in relationship to the nodes. In general this can cause difficulties, lack of confidence, destruction, loss and instability. Hence, the latter part of July may be a good time to surrender to the prevailing influences, which may be the only way through situations that present themselves during this time. Difficulties offer us the chance to become strong; instability begs for ingenuity and creativity.

This would likely not be a favorable period in which to establish significant new beginnings. Especially because of an added factor, Mercury retrograde beginning July 14.

Mercury Retrograde in Cancer July 14 - August 7

Mercury runs through his second retrograde period of 2012 starting July 14 and ending on August 7. It's a good reminder that for up to a week on either side of the cycle we may experience the effects of Mercury retrograde. All three of the Mercury retrograde cycles of 2012 begin in a water sign: in March it was Pisces, in July it is Cancer and in November it will be Scorpio.

Water signs are the realms of feeling, emotion and consciousness, generally non-linear, unbounded and universal. Cancer is the water sign ruled by the Moon, so we experience themes of motherhood, nurture, home, protection and sensitivity. The Moon represents the part of our minds that feels, senses, dreams, reflects and expands into consciousness. The Moon transforms the blinding light of the Sun into something cooler, gentler and more relatable.

Mercury represents the side of our mind that is analytical, practical, quick and active. Mercury's main energy is that of exchange. Mercury helps us to exchange words, ideas, data, goods and ourselves: communication, commerce, community, commuting. Reading, writing, speech, travel, diplomacy, language, networks; these are all associated with Mercury. Mercury gathers and analyzes data to help up make good decisions. It is the part of our minds that “works” when we are trying to learn, solve problems and categorize. In our information-laden world, most of us work our Mercury overtime.

When Mercury goes into retrograde motion from our perspective here on earth, we see Mercury's generally quick forward motion reversed. Mercury slows down, traverses recently visited territory and is energetically stronger. If we think of Mercury as a sprinkler that gently oscillates and covers a good range of territory, we can think of Mercury retrograde as a hose without the sprinkler attachment, flooding a smaller area with a good soak of water.

The general results of Mercury retrograde are too much information that causes confusion, miscommunications, malfunction of communication and transportation related devices, difficulties with scheduling and sudden reversals. Good remedial measures before and during Mercury retrograde cycles include: backing up data on communication devices, including phones and computers, double check operability of vehicles, tools and devices that are counted upon for the smooth progress of everyday life, double check plans, schedules and reservations, keep communication to a minimum, do not over schedule, plan for downtime.

Added factors of Mercury's position in Cancer could be the combination of emotions with the analytical mind that could cause confusion or neurosis about feelings. Keep the mind calm and away from self-created drama. It may be hard to tell the difference between rational thoughts and emotional perceptions, so exercise restraint in your responses.

Starting new things is not recommended during Mercury retrograde periods, especially “big” things like starting a business, buying a home or vehicle or signing important contracts. These are good period for review, retreat and relaxation; in short, a great time to plan a summer vacation.

Sun Transits Cancer July 16 - August 16

The Sun joins Mercury in the Moon's sign from mid-July to mid-August. By the end of July, the Sun and Mercury conjunct at 12° Cancer and continue to move their separate ways, the Sun in ever forward motion and Mercury retrograding toward the early degrees of Cancer.

Mercury will be combust within five degrees of the Sun between July 25-31, as well as being retrograde. This puts the Sun in a stronger position, especially for enjoyment and attention to the self. Summer vacation!

The Sun in the Moon's sign each summer brings our soul, represented by the Sun, into the realms of the home and mother. It is a good time for family reunions, trips to watery places and enjoyment of the home. The only aspect that the sign of Cancer receives during July is from Rahu, located in Scorpio. With Rahu strengthened by the Kala Sarpa Yoga, we could be faced with some water-related situations dished out by the world at large. Maintain an attitude of readiness and surrender throughout this month as Sun and Mercury occupy Cancer.

New Moon in Cancer July 18

This month's new Moon happens late in the evening of July 18 at 2° of the Moon's own sign, Cancer, when the Sun and Moon conjoin. This occurs in the final degree of the lunar mansion called “Punarvasu” which means "return of the light." This perhaps grants a ray of hope and purpose to the actions that are conceived during this time.

The day leading up to the moment of the new Moon is called “Amavasya” and is generally an indication of restriction in action as the Moon reaches its weakest point in the monthly cycle on this day. Amavasya in July begins on the evening of July 17 and includes July 18, ending late in the evening. This occurs on a Wednesday, Mercury's day and would be a great day to take off from work and/or not do too much. The lunar energy will be at its lowest, Mercury will be retrograde, Kala Sarpa Yoga will be in effect and Rahu will be aspecting Sun, Moon and Mercury.

So use the new Moon in Punarvasu/Cancer to inspire and conceive on July 18 and wait for July 19 to move forward if you absolutely must, remembering that there are various planetary factors in operation that would suggest that we don't attempt anything too big.

Mercury is currently in occupation of Cancer, the Moon's sign, so this gives some influence between Mercury and the Moon during this month. Mercury and the Moon represent two different factions of what we can call "mind." Mercury is associated with the intellectual, factual and analytical mind (buddhi) and the Moon is associated with our feeling, sensitive consciousness (manas). If you want help with your taxes, ask Mercury. If you want a dream interpretation, seek counsel with the Moon. The presence of retrograde Mercury in Cancer could cause confusion between these aspects of the mind. The best bet is to arrange your time so that the mind in both aspects doesn't get too taxed either emotionally or intellectually.

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