Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

February 2013

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Mars + Mercury in Aquarius February 2 – March 3

Mars moves into Aquarius on January 25 and Mercury follows quickly behind on February 2. Mercury and Mars will continue their dance that they started in January throughout the month of February, this month on the stage of Aquarius.

According to traditional jyotish rules, Mars is neutral to Mercury but Mercury is an enemy to Mars and in addition, planets when in occupation of one sign are inimical to one another, so we may feel some friction from the proximity of these two planets. However, almost every set of circumstances is good for something, so let us attempt to put this combination to work in the most positive way.

Mercury moves faster than Mars, and catches up for an exact conjunction (occupation of same degree) on February 8. That's when the dancing really gets going. The two planets will then remain very close for the rest of the month because of the retrograde cycle of Mercury that begins February 23.

One thing that Mars and Mercury do very well together is communications technology. Without Mars we wouldn't have computer programmers and without Mercury we wouldn't have the insatiable desire to exchange information. Projects in this field should be nice to work on during this time.

Mars is an expert at power management, planning and building; Mercury is diplomatic, analytical and neutral. While Mars is very focused on gaining and using power, Mercury could care less about having power. While Mercury has the ability to see the truth of all sides of a situation, Mars prefers to see things in black and white. So, while these two are working together, they have different motivations and methods.

We may experience similar internal struggles this month while we are attempting to move forward in our work. Both Mercury and Mars are interested in forward movement, but they are occupying a sign, Aquarius, which is ruled by Saturn. Saturn's influence automatically throws things into lower gear and wants slow motion. This could be a source of frustration; awareness of the condition could be enough to alleviate any potential stress over things not progressing at the desired pace.

The other thing about Aquarius is that its really the playing field for Saturn's manifestation of the principle of egalitarian humanitarianism. Mercury works well in that environment; Mars' tendency toward singular purpose and self-focus is difficult to harmonize within the Aquarian environment.

One way to avoid possible situations of Mars frustration could be to decide in advance to surrender the "my way or the highway" attitude and be open to how things are going to work best for all involved. The Mars types amongst us need to make room for the uncertainty, caution and flexibility of others.

Another way to navigate this combination is to lead with a cheerful sense of humor, allowing Mercury's analytical ability to show us the bright or funny side of situations that may present difficulties. The Mercury types amongst us need to exercise extreme skill in keeping a sense of humor without laughing at Mars while he's frustrated.

While Mars was exalted in Capricorn, he was also receiving the auspicious aspect of Jupiter, which sweetened the deal somewhat for Mars. While Mars occupies Aquarius, the tables turn, and Mars instead aspects Jupiter. This may make us impatient for expansion and growth, especially with Saturn's slowing effect on Mars through Aquarius. Know that two steps forward and one step back still equals forward progress.

Venus Transits Capricorn & Aquarius Jan 28 – March 17

Capricorn and Aquarius are both ruled by Saturn, the only two consecutive signs in the zodiac to be ruled by the same planet. When a planet enters Capricorn, there are then two Saturn-ruled signs to traverse. Venus is a natural friend of Saturn, so this territory is amenable to Venus' activities. In addition, this puts Venus and Saturn into an exchange of signs, making the relationship between these two planets strong during this time.

During this entire transit of Saturn's signs, Venus is slowly approaching an exact conjunction with the Sun, which will happen toward the end of March in Pisces. Venus is currently visible to some in the morning sky. As Venus gets closer to the Sun, she slips from our view and begins her transformative "underworld" journey, eventually re-emerging as the evening star in early May, 2013.

Venus transits Saturn's earth sign, Capricorn, from January 28 – February 21, and then moves into Saturn's air sign, Aquarius, joining Mars, Mercury and the Sun. For the first few weeks of February, Venus is not sharing a sign with other planets and receives the aspect of Jupiter from her own sign of Taurus that Mars received last month.

Saturn is currently occupying Libra, Venus' earth sign, joined by Rahu, the north node of the Moon. This Saturn-Libra conjunction was something I talked about at length in the January 2013 forecast.

Because Venus is currently the lord of Jupiter, Saturn and Rahu, we may see the results of these planets funneled through Venus channels such as relationships and creative pursuits.

While Venus is in Capricorn, receiving Jupiter's aspect, we may find ourselves extremely creatively inspired as well as able to make material progress toward manifesting these creations.

After February 21, Venus moves into a much different situation; a sign crowded with other planets, one of which is Mercury on the brink of retrograde motion once again. This could bring out the socially active side of Venus, attempting to make things peaceful and beautiful for all involved.

With so many planets occupying air signs, especially during the last part of February, something to guard against is too much mental energy. Worry, anxiety, fear and stress could all arise due to the impact of so many planets moving through Libra and Aquarius. A great idea would be to plan for healing, relaxing and rejuvenation time and activities that counterbalance the mental circus that could come to town.

New Moon in Capricorn February 10

After the Full Moon of January 26 in Cancer, the Moon begins to wane through its dark cycle, joining the Sun once again at 27° Capricorn just after midnight on February 10. This is just one degree away from Mars' point of exaltation, which was recently energized by Mars passing through it in January.

The Moon is considered to be at its weakest point when new, and the day leading up to the moment of the new Moon is best spent by avoiding important or difficult actions. This would be Saturday, February 9, as a day to set aside for relaxation, spiritual practice and withdrawal from activity.

The new Moon occurs in the sign of Capricorn and in the nakshatra (lunar mansion) of Dhanistha. Dhanistha is ruled by Mars and by the Vasus, the gods of abundance. It is supportive of all types of educational pursuits, artistic ventures, medical therapies, legal matters, travel and financial gain. These types of activities could become successful if started just after the new Moon, as the Moon begins to wax and grow.

Sun in Aquarius February 12 – March 14

A few days after the new Moon, the Sun enters Aquarius, joining Mercury and Mars. The friendship between Sun and Mars when they are sharing space often creates an abundance of heat and light, like building a bonfire on a sunny day. At no point this month, however, will the Sun come close enough to either Mars or Mercury to create the state of combustion, which occurs when the Sun gets too close to planets for them to clearly express their energy. We can think of the Sun in this case as a well placed spotlight for Mars and Mercury.

Sun is the indicator for our self, our soul, or ego and life purpose. Through the Sun comes our self-expression and individuality. The Sun is the center of our planetary system, around which the other planets revolve. The crux of balancing the solar energy is to express the self without falling into a state of self-centeredness.

Aquarius is Saturn's air sign, the domain of brotherly love, equality of all beings and negation of ego. Therefore, an interesting place for the Sun to visit each year, giving us the chance to find a way to express ourselves without ego and to recognize that our individual, unique soul is actually one with the unique, individual soul of each and every other being.

With Mars and Sun together, it can be very easy to fall into self-centered behavior; this combination happening in Aquarius provides a convenient check and balance system for the ego. If you find yourself asking, "but what about me and my needs?!" let that be a cue to follow up with, "How can I creatively meet my needs while at the same time supporting the collective?"

Saturn Retrograde February 17 – July 8

Saturn is currently in its sign of exaltation, Libra, joined recently by the north node of the Moon, Rahu. Starting February 17, Saturn apparently begins to retreat through the middle degrees of Libra for a five month period. This Saturn retrograde occurs about once per year for about 4.5 months. That's a little over a third of the time!

Let's get some perspective on retrograde motion, because the next section of this forecast will also focus on retrograde motion. The important thing to understand about retrograde motion is that it is apparent and not actual. The planets as they circumambulate the Sun do not actually stop and move in the other direction.

The retrograde condition is caused by the planet's position in relationship to the earth and the Sun. From our earthly perspective relative to the Sun and the other planets, the illusion of retrograde motion of planets arises. For a full explanation, see the Wikipedia article on Apparent Retrograde Motion.

The keyword here is "illusion," which in Sanskrit we would translate as "maya." The thing to bear in mind as we attempt to remedy the retrograde situations that arise when planets "change course" is that in reality, in truth, the planet is going about its course in forward motion. From our perspective, though, we are experiencing the perception of that planet as reversed, haywire or chaotic. This perception is illusory, so the trick is to note the perception but choose to act on the basis of reality and truth. This is similar to the realization that we can't control the feelings that arise in us but we can control our reactions to them.

When a planet apparently goes retrograde, the qualities of that planet can seem to be reversed, latent, absent or opposite. In the case of Saturn, we may feel a sense that the stability that we create in our lives begins to slip away, that we are having trouble with structure, responsibility, self-protection and boundaries.

With Saturn retrograde, there is the opportunity to take note of what is slipping away or causing discomfort/disease and to address the changes that need to take place to heal or remedy those situations, many of which may be rooted in our past experience. In most cases the instability that we "seem" to feel when Saturn is retrograde can be remedied by focusing on integrating the positive qualities of Saturn: karmic responsibility, discipline, detachment, structure, truth.

Saturn's exalted state may even appear to slip away during the retrograde cycle; know that the gift of Saturn to reveal the truth is active even when we think it may be lost or absent. Let the truth be your anchor.

Mercury Retrograde February 23 – March 17

Applying the theory of retrograde to Mercury, we can expect the qualities of Mercury to reverse or appear to be lost during this time. The remedy is to apply extra effort to exercise and strengthen the natural qualities of Mercury. Communication, diplomacy, humor, analytical ability, attention to detail, intellectual capacity, exchange.

Let's take an example of a classic Mercury retrograde situation. During an already busy day with an already busy other person, you schedule a phone meeting. You agree on 2pm and make your call at the appointed time. The person doesn't answer, but calls you back 20 minutes later saying, "I thought we were to speak at 2pm." The reality is that the detail that there are two time zones involved was overlooked and there was a miscommunication.

The remedies to preventing this situation are: attention to detail, communication and exchange through double confirmation of time/place, analysis of the plan. If the situation is not prevented and a miscommunication does occur, the remedies are diplomacy and sense of humor.

If at all possible, I recommend every effort to prevent Mercury retrograde situations from arising during this time because of Mars' proximity to Mercury. Where Mercury knows how to find the silver lining and laugh things off, Mars can tend to react to plans going awry with anger and frustration.

Ironically, using Mars to prevent these situations may be the best solution. Mars is great at planning, logistics and problem solving, not to mention observation.

The illusion of chaos presented by Mercury retrograde motion generally shows up a few days before and lingers a few days after the official period. So, be ready with your plans, your observations and your sense of humor. As the great Benjamin Franklin (who had Mercury retrograde in his birth chart, so he would know) said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Full Moon in Leo February 25

As the Moon waxes through the early signs of the zodiac, make sure to check out another great Jupiter-Moon conjunction on the evening of February 18.

The moment of the full Moon occurs during the afternoon of Monday, February 25 (for the United States.) The Moon will be in the Sun's sign, Leo, while the Sun will be in Saturn's sign, Aquarius, joining Venus, Mars and retrograde Mercury. The four planets in Aquarius will create a great support for the culmination of the Moon's cycle that was begun on February 10. This will be a great day to celebrate the work that we will be doing in the realm of expression of our unique selves that also supports the collective.

Monday is the day of the Moon, so we have two reasons on February 25 to celebrate the lunar forces. It is a great day to start important business, perform spiritual ceremonies, and to honor the Moon through paying respect to maternal figures in one's life. This is the time to allow the work that has been done in the previous two weeks of the Moon's waxing cycle to blossom and unfold.

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