Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

August 2013

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Kala Sarpa Yoga July 30-August 14

On July 30, the waning Moon moves past Ketu, the south node of the Moon, creating again the condition we call Kala Sarpa Yoga. Let's explore this yoga a bit, since we had it in effect last month, will experience it at the beginning of August and will have it in effect one more time starting at the end of August.

In jyotish, Vedic astrology, we consider "yogas" of the planet. This doesn't mean that the planets are performing asanas like Down-facing Dog, which are the yoga postures we are so fond of in the western world. As with many Sanskrit words, "yoga" has various literal meanings, but the common ones are: union, addition or putting together. In jyotish, our concept of yogas involves the interaction of planets by placement which promote certain results. There are innumerable yogas in the scope of jyotish. Many of the commonly known ones are put forth in the classic yoga texts such as the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra.

Kala Sarpa Yoga is not mentioned in the ancient texts, but it none-the-less has risen to the attention of many practitioners of jyotish. This yoga is formed when all of the visible planets (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn) are found between the nodes, starting with Ketu and moving in a forward motion through the zodiac. (When the planets are hemmed between the nodes starting with Rahu, this is called Kala Amrita Yoga.)

Technically, this yoga is only fully formed when the planets are in the signs between where the nodes are, meaning that no planets can conjoin the nodes. In our current case, the yoga is broken by Saturn, who is currently sharing a sign with Rahu. So, we don't get the full effect of the yoga, only a partial effect. The planet that helps to break the yoga, in this case, Saturn, can be the key to transforming the suffering that Kala Sarpa Yoga can bring about.

Why does Kala Sarpa Yoga bring suffering, and what does that mean exactly? Suffering is a general word that can indicate any variety of "hard times" ranging from illness and loss to disappointment and depression. Basically, when we aren't enjoying the fruits of life, when we are deprived of satisfaction or when we are facing any level of difficulty, we can be suffering.

Kala Sarpa brings suffering through pinning all of the planetary energy into the grip of the Rahu-Ketu axis. Rahu, the Dragon's head, as you can imagine, tends to devour and belch smoke. Ketu the body of the Dragon, separated from the head, tends to contract and lift upward, ever questing to reconnect with that head. The rotating axis that these two eclipse points create travels in the opposite direction through the zodiac as the visible planets. This axis therefore can point to the things beyond our control that compel us to take certain actions or submit to situations. We always have free will to impel us to improve our situation in life, which is where personal karma steps into the world and works within the ever-present influence of the fateful Rahu-Ketu axis.

As we grow through life, each of us suffers, some of us more than others. Part of making our way through these difficulties is finding a graceful path that alleviates these instances of suffering. Whether through the detachment we build through spiritual practices, the sacrifices we make to improve the lives of others or the determination to find a silver lining on each cloud, we can lessen the condition of suffering in our lives.

When Kala Sarpa Yoga goes into effect in real time, what I observe within myself and through the antecdotes of other people, is that there is an increase in the requirement to deal with difficult situations that are mostly beyond prevention or control. For example: a bee sting that causes such swelling that one can't swallow, a flash flood destroys one's basement, politics within your company cause job loss for no reason, etc.

In the case of these three partial Kala Sarpas of July, August and September 2013, we have Saturn as the key to overcoming these difficulties that we may find are forced upon us. The Saturn-Rahu combination is something I have been talking about since before the two planets joined in January 2013. Great Saturn is currently in Libra, his sign of exaltation, and pushing forward slowly toward the exact point of exaltation at 20º Libra on November 4, 2013.

This may seem ironic to some, as Saturn also has the reputation for bringing difficulties and suffering. However, Saturn has a reason for causing problems: to force us to humbly submit to the concept of taking responsibility for our actions, which is all spelled out in the law of karma that Saturn upholds. For those with the right amount of respect for Saturn's concepts of humility, responsibility, detachment and charity, Saturn's lessons seem less trying and more about building the deepest type of strength a person can attain.

You may find that during these periods of Kala Sarpa Yoga that you are facing difficulties that you may not "deserve." My best advice is to accept these situations and use them to gracefully practice transcendance. Saturn would be be pleased with you if in the midst of your suffering, you could look around you and find someone who is suffering even more, and offer them help or service. Understand that we are all in this condition together and the way out is likely to look beyond oneself.

Jupiter continues aspect of Rahu-Saturn Combination

While Saturn deals the hard lessons to help us learn the facts of life, Jupiter deals the lessons to help us learn how to overcome the limitations of life. Jupiter is positive, expansive and the ever-available distributor of wisdom.

Each planet has a unique way of shedding their influence into different directions, which causes special "aspects" to come from certain planets to other places in the zodiac and the planets that inhabit them. Each of the planets aspects directly across, 180° away. Jupiter also projects his energy in a triangular way; picture Jupiter being one point of an equilateral triangle and he extends his arms toward the other points. Each arm is casting Jupiter's energy in that direction.

Since signs of the same element inhabit parts of the zodiac that are 120° apart, Jupiter from Gemini will affect the other air signs, Libra and Aquarius. Therefore, Jupiter is aspecting Venus' sign, Libra and the planets in it, Rahu and Saturn, and Jupiter is aspecting Aquarius with no planets in it, but interestingly, Aquarius is co-owned by Saturn and Rahu. Coincidence? I don't think so...

My point is that anything that is being stirred up due to the influence of Rahu (Kala Sarpa Yoga) and Saturn (suggested remedy for the Kala Sarpa Yoga) could be ameliorated even further by graciously receiving the guidance of Jupiter. Jupiter is called Guru in Sanskrit, so it could literally be seeing advice and guidance from a trusted teacher or allowing the writings of masters and saints to inspire, comfort and guide you through difficult waters. Jupiter helps immensely to see the silver and gold linings of any cloud.

Jupiter always guides us joyfully toward safety and growth. Remember this during difficult or confusing times in the months ahead. Somewhere will be the voice of Jupiter, urging you forward toward a place where you can root and grow. Pray for the ability to recognize and accept the choices that will promote your growth and connection with a higher purpose.

From August 16-20, the aspect of Jupiter (Gemini) to Rahu (Libra) will be exact at 17°. This is as the Moon reaches fullness and after the breaking of Kala Sarpa Yoga. This may be a window where things become clear and one can take steps to pin down and wrap up things that may have blown loose.

Mercury Transits Cancer August 4-20

Mercury rolls into the Moon's sign of Cancer during the morning of Sunday, August 4, joining the Sun and Mercury in the Moon's own sign, which is of the element of water. Mercury is somewhat impeded in water signs, which always slow down those who move rapidly. Mercury moves straight through Cancer, exiting to Leo on August 20.

As we see the planets move through Cancer, let's bring back the theory of aspects and recognize that Saturn sees ahead of himself 60°, straight across 180° and behind himself 90°, giving his gaze to the 3rd, 7th and 10th houses from his placement. This means that as long as Saturn is located in Libra, he will cause his remote influence, his gaze, to fall in Sagittarius, Aries and Cancer. So while Jupiter is positively influencing Rahu and Saturn, Saturn is influencing Mercury and the other planets in Cancer. Since Mercury is responsible for how we communicate, exchange, move and connect, this may be somewhat impeded due to the watery, emotional influence of Cancer and the slow nature of Saturn.

This may not be the month for fast transactions. Rather, it would be good for doing thorough and in-depth analyses before transacting. Moon is the ruler of the natural 4th house, which is where we see to our homes, real-estate and vehicles. There may be a theme of analyzing the home with the idea of setting up for work or remodeling.

The Moon and Mercury have a lot in common. They are both planets that are associated with the mind; in fact, Mercury is the child of the Moon by Tara, wife of Jupiter. Its complicated, but a meaningful story of the planets. The Moon does enjoy things and creates a very juicy taste to life through the power of our devotion, love and imagination. Mercury as child of the Moon by Tara (Tara means "star") relates to our variable, active and analytical mind.

With Mercury in occupation of the Moon's sign, we also have the opportunity to work with our own minds. This will be a meeting of the minds, so to speak. We can make sure that we are harmonious with our thoughts and desires. Getting the active and planning part of the mind in balance with the emotional and sensitive part of our mind can make for quite a peaceful way of life.

If we starve the Moon by overexercising our active, analytical mind, we can run into exhaustion and depression. If we restrict Mercury by overindulging in emotion and fantasy, we can run into frustration and apathy. We must find a balance there this month.

New Moon in Cancer August 6

As the Moon wanes toward its monthly promise of re-birth, it makes its way into the jaws of the Great Snake of Time, moving past Jupiter, Mars and Mercury in Gemini starting on August 3, then into Cancer following Mercury toward the Sun. The moment of the new Moon is at 3:50 pm MDT on Tuesday, August 6 at 20°32' Cancer, in the lunar mansion of Aslesha.

This means that the day before, starting in late afternoon of Monday, August 5 will be our monthly amavasya, the new Moon day. This is a good day to retreat and re-gather one's energies, if possible. The Moon's energy is at its deepest ebb during this time, which can sometimes reflect as low energy in our own physical and mental systems.

The Moon and Sun will be in the nakshatra called Aslesha, ruled by Mercury and symbolized by a serpent. The snake-like energy of this lunar mansion helps us to destroy obstacles that stand in the way of our own spiritual progress. This brings back the Kala Sarpa theme, certainly. What we may be beginning during this time could have a strong feel of destiny. The Moon's rebirth in a nakshatra of Mercury also reinforces the themes discussed in the above section about Mercury's transit of the Moon's sign.

The other nice influence on the new Moon is the position of Jupiter in Gemini and Venus in Leo, two benefic planets flanking the sign where the Moon, Sun and Mercury are creating the new cycle. This could show support of teachers and spouses for new enterprises.

Venus Transits Virgo August 11-September 5

Lovely Venus is still appearing for us in the western sky each evening after sunset. Venus moves from Leo into Virgo on Sunday, August 11 through Thursday, September 5. Venus is debilitated at 27° Virgo, so we may encounter some impediments to our ability to relate, create and love during this quick transit of Venus through Mercury's earth sign.

In a strong way, Venus is directing some of the Rahu-Saturn energy due to Venus' ownership of Libra. This somewhat compromised position in the sign of debility and also placement in the 12th house (of loss) from Rahu-Saturn may show the need to let go of something during the second part of August.

Just as Venus enters Virgo, the Moon will be moving through Libra, pushing through the Saturn and Rahu gamut and then into its debility in Scorpio on August 14, which breaks the Kala Sarpa Yoga, but also leaves both the Moon and Venus in vulnerable positions due to sign placement. By the morning of August 16th, the Moon will have escaped all fetters and will be strong and getting stronger.

Still, Venus will be in Virgo. The planet of love in the sign of the virgin. You can draw your own conclusions about why Venus struggles in this sign. But since other influences are supporting deep analysis and slow movement, maybe this call toward chastity will allow us to keep our minds level as we build and grow our new enterprises, slowly, beautifully and carefully.

To make the best of things, we can use Venus in Virgo as a time to try to make beautiful things with our hands!

Sun Enters Leo August 17

The Sun moves into its own fire sign, Leo, on August 17 and moves through in one month's time, exiting to Virgo on September 16. For the first few days, the Sun will be flanked by benefic Mercury in Cancer and Venus in Virgo. Although neither are at their highest place of functioning, it gives a pleasant buffer to the Sun's position in Leo. By moving to Leo, the Sun also escapes the aspect of Saturn and can function quite well, having no other negative aspects.

The Sun represents the soul, the self and one's purpose. Each year as the Sun moves through Leo, we can feel a little bit what it is like to be a king in one's own kingdom in some way or another.

With the Moon acting as the free agent, breaking the Kala Sarpa yoga as it moves to the other side of the nodal axis, we have that as the force that exercises our will during this time. Our mind, our emotions, our perception and imagination can run free as our soul builds new forms within the constraints of practical reality.

Since the Sun is in good disposition at this time, let your soul be your anchor if the mind becomes disturbed. Where the mind falters, the heart stays true.

Mars Transits Cancer August 18-October 4

In the early afternoon of Sunday, August 18, Mars moves from Gemini to Cancer, joining Mercury for a few days before Mercury moves to Leo.

There are a couple of factors that may get in Mars' way of getting his way for this period of time. First, Cancer is Mars' sign of debility, which impedes Mars' functioning. Second, it will be Mars' turn to move through the aspect of Saturn, which further impedes Mars.

When Saturn aspects Mars, we can sometimes get into frustration around wanting to move forward but having our progress blocked. The desire to move will be strong, but there may be fear, caution or difficulty that stops us.

With Saturn exalted and strong verses Mars debilitated, we may find ourselves having to surrender the desire to get things done in our own way and time for awhile. When the capacity to work is under the influence of the emotional mind, it may be best to stick to activities that would benefit from those influences.

Reorganizing the home or office, remodeling, redecorating, fixing and repairing the home, home projects; these are all things that come to mind for Mars in Cancer. Getting things done at home. Slowly and deliberately, with deep analysis, and hopefully using the skills of Mercury to respectfully communicate. The overall effect is to create stable ground, which is good for getting a sense of how to move forward in a sustainable, practical way.

Mercury Transits Leo August 20-September 5

Just before the Moon gets full on Tuesday, August 20, Mercury moves out of Cancer and into Leo, joining the Sun, and will move quickly through Leo to his own sign of Virgo on September 5.

Mercury upon entering Leo is only four degrees from the Sun. Mercury by nature is accustomed to being close to the Sun, so the orb of combustion for Mercury is only 2 degrees. Mercury blasts past the Sun, being in the state of combustion from August 22-26, which means that a planet is so close to the Sun that it suffers some identity loss and merges into the powerful rays of the Sun.

This may make make it easy to assess what is in our heart and find out how our soul wishes to express, but it may be difficult for a little while to convey that to others. Once Mercury clears the orb of the Sun, things should be easier to say. Communication could be a very good tool during this time, especially in order to avert any frustration of Mars. Communication is essential to both work and relationship and both Mars and Venus could use the help during this time, as they will both be in their signs of debilitation. Just make sure that what is communicated isn't all about oneself; it may be hard to keep the receiving channel open, so make an effort.

Full Moon in Aquarius August 20

At 7:45 pm MDT, the Moon reaches its maximum strength and size for the month at 4º Aquarius, in the lunar mansion called Dhanistha. The Moon will be rising in the east as the Sun and Mercury set in the west, with beautiful Venus looking on.

Moon will be in Aquarius, co-ruled by Saturn and Rahu, and receiving the aspect of benefic Jupiter. This will occur in Dhanistha, a nakshatra ruled by Mars. The deity associated with Dhanistha is The Vasus, gods that rule natural phenonmena. Dhanistha uses the symbol of a drum and brings us the energy of joining. We could see the coming together of things as the month begins to come to a close.

Rahu shares the same aspecting abilities as Jupiter, so we should acknowledge that Rahu and Jupiter are in mutual aspect as well as both giving aspect to this full Moon. We will watch as situations are shaped by a combination of karma, destiny and free will this month. Walking forward deliberately through chaotic situations while seeking guidance from the wise seems to be the perscription to fill.

Kala Sarpa Again August 27-September 10

The third and final round of this set of Kala Sarpa Yoga will be from August 27-September 10. This one will be further weakened in strength during the last half of this period when Venus moves from Virgo into Libra, joining the Rahu-Saturn combination. As discussed earlier, the conjunction of Saturn with the node makes our yoga only partial. With a benefic planet like Venus joining that effort to break it, we may begin to feel like we are driving the boat again after the first week in September.

We may feel a squeeze as the Moon moves through Libra and the early part of Scorpio on September 8-10, just because the Moon is sensitive and Rahu and Saturn can be a little rough. The rest of the month of September will surely be interesting due to the conjunction of Saturn and Rahu at sunrise on September 25.

As we move away from this yoga and begin to look at it receding in our rearview mirror, it may become clear why we had to go through what was foisted upon us, and be grateful for it. Keep this in mind as you face the dragon.

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