Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

July 2013

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Jupiter Begins Transit of Ardra Nakshatra July 1

Since Jupiter spends about one year in each sign, its interesting to look a little deeper into its placement via the nakshatras, lunar mansions, which overlay the twelve signs in a 27-fold division. Jupiter enters Ardra nakshatra on July 1 and exits on August 31, 2013, giving us a two-month transit of Jupiter through this lunar mansion. This transit will be a preview because Jupiter will return to Ardra from January 15, 2014 – March 23, 2014 due to an upcoming retrograde cycle.

Let's review Jupiter's role among the planets. Jupiter, named Guru or Brihaspati in Sanskrit, plays the role of teacher and priest among the planets. Through Jupiter, we seek spiritual evolution, higher learning and guidance from the divine. Jupiter brings us joy, abundance, grace and expansion when we are expressing the energy in a higher vibration. In its lower vibration, Jupiter energy can lead us into overspeculation, gluttony or hoarding of resources.

Jupiter is currently placed in the sun sign called Gemini (Mithuna in Sanskrit), which is the air sign ruled by the planet Mercury. It is generally a sign that is good for learning, communication and movement. The June 2013 forecast has a section describing Jupiter's entry into Gemini.

Ardra nakshatra is a 13°20' division that lies entirely within the sign of Gemini (6°40'-20°00'.) It is ruled by the shadow planet, Rahu, and by the Rig-Vedic deity known as Rudra. The symbol associated with this lunar mansion is a tear drop, with the name "Ardra" translating as "moist" or "fresh." The energy associated with Ardra is achievement.

The implications of Ardra include a very human passion that comes through intellectual curiosity. Rudra is known as a god of storms, and the tear drop symbol may imply the release of sorrow after difficulty, much like a drop of rain remains on a surface after a storm or a tear remains on the cheek after a good cry. The moving quality of Mercury through Gemini combined with the worldly desire of Rahu through Ardra can make this portion of the sky a source for upheaval, curiosity, passion to change, desire to learn and the results that come from the pursuit of these things.

During July and August, therefore, we may find ourselves attempting to expand and grow while navigating through symbolically (or even literally) through stormy weather. The lessons may be swift and sharp as we make our way along our chosen paths or find ourselves blown into unexpected situations. To maintain a sense of rootedness may require a great deal of faith and trust; awareness of this stormy potential may be the greatest remedy to recognizing the lessons that present themselves in the guise of blustery changes.

Rahu Enters Swati Nakshatra July 1

Rahu, the shadow planet that pulls us into desire for worldy experience, enters Swati nakshatra on July 1st, just as Jupiter is entering Ardra. Swati and Ardra have the planetary ruler, Rahu, in common. With Rahu entering his own nakshatra, we may feel his influence especially strongly. This is compounded by the fact that Rahu's nakshatras are also being transited by the outer planets Jupiter (in Gemini/Ardra) and Saturn (in Libra/Swati.)

Rahu naturally moves in retrograde motion through the zodiac and will slowly tread the territory of Swati until March 8, 2014. Saturn, soon to resume direct motion, is also currently transiting Libra in Swati nakshatra, sharing space with Rahu until November 5, 2013. An exact conjunction of Rahu and Saturn occurs on September 25, 2013, at 15°22' in Swati, within the sign of Venus-ruled Libra. Venus will also be in Libra at that time, creating a very strong flow of energy around Rahu, Saturn, and Venus in that part of the zodiac.

The implications of three outer planets transiting Rahu-ruled nakshatras (which all naturally occur in air signs) may be that we experience much movement and change during the next five months. The symbols for Swati are coral and the shoot of a plant, showing the transformational energy of Swati. The deity ruler of Swati is Vayu, Lord of the Wind, again reinforcing the chaotic movement that can occur in this lunar mansion.

It could be very difficult to find stability within the heavy influence of Rahu. With Rahu, we dive deeply into the channel of the desires that motivate us to act in the world. Because the nature of desire is so wild and uncontrollable, it is difficult sometimes to make deliberate actions based on a grounded path of wisdom.

Both of the nodes of the Moon (Rahu and Ketu) can bring about sudden and unexpected change that requires us to surrender, sometimes more than we desire, to situations that present themselves or that we may inadvertantly create through our unconsious motivation. We must find a way to ground ourselves in some way during this time whether through attention to studies, spiritual practices, prayer, selfless acts of service or some other way in which we are making a conscious decision to surrender ourselves. With these actions, we bow to the request of the planets to make personal sacrifices rather than having them pulled from us against our will, which is generally more painful.

Mars Transits Gemini July 5-August 18

Mars, the planet of energy and power that drives us forward to gather resources and build things in our lives, joins Jupiter in Gemini from July 5 – August 18. This means a nice six week period to focus our energy on learning, movement and travel that may be implied by the abundance of energy in Mercury's air sign due to the presence of great Jupiter there.

Jupiter and Mars are friendly planets toward one another, but we can sometimes get a confusion of energy when two planets occupy one sign. The confusion here may occur between righteous motivation (implied by Jupiter) and selfish motivation (implied by Mars.) Make sure you are clear about why and where you are placing your energy at this time. Be especially aware that you may justify actions as "for the higher good" when they may simply be masked personal motivation. Not that its wrong to do or achieve things for oneself; just be clear about why you are doing what you are doing.

This is a great time to pour energy into projects that are educational in nature or that involve communications like writing, speaking, multimedia or computers.

New Moon in Gemini July 7

The Sun is also in occupation of Gemini until July 17; the waning Moon meets up with the Sun on Monday, July 7 just after midnight in the US Mountain time zone. This happens at 22° of Gemini, in the lunar mansion (nakshatra) of Punarvasu. This puts five planets in Gemini: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury (retrograde) and Jupiter. Venus will be in Cancer and Saturn with Rahu. This hems all of the seven visible planets between Rahu and Ketu, which results in a yoga (combination) called Kala Sarpa Yoga, implying a time when the planets are hemmed into a position of being at the will of "the snake of time."

I think of Kala Sarpa Yoga (KSY) as a time when in trying to balance free will with fate, fate has just slightly more advantage. Meaning that things may seem to come at you from "life" that you must just deal with, whether you will it or not. This does not mean that free will is impossible to exercise; it means that you may have to work a little harder.

We will have a few fortnights of KSY in the upcoming months, with the Moon breaking out each month for some relief. The Moon moves into Scorpio on July 18, giving us a couple of weeks in which the sarpa will break. This back and forth will go on through October 3, when Venus will move out of the hold of Rahu and Ketu. In general, we are facing a period of time when both collectively and individually, we may be drawn into situations that require us to deal with change or upheaveal in some way.

In the classic definition of the yoga, none of the planets can share signs with the nodes; in a more liberal definition, they can, and that is what we have in operation now, with Saturn and Rahu sharing a sign. In a sense that indicates that Saturn could be an anchor for us as we move through these Sarpa fortnights. Saturn grants us fortitude, adherence to truth, discipline and detachment. Use these gifts if you find yourself awash in the swirling tides.

This particular new Moon in Punarvasu amidst the many other planets could be inspiring though, based on the energy of revitalisation that this nakshatra carries. Punarvasu means "return of the light" and planets in occupation of it can inspire us to blossom and grow. Remember that the day leading up to the new Moon, amavasya, is when the lunar energy is at its full ebb and is best for restricting important actions in favor of reflection and meditation. This is approximately from midnight on July 7 to midnight on July 8. Wake up on Monday, July 8 with your plans for bringing back the light in hand and begin to take your steps.

Saturn Resumes Direct Motion July 8

As the Moon begins to wax on July 8, we also see Saturn deliberately stop in his path to resume direct motion after a five-month retrograde cycle. With Saturn in occupation of his sign of exaltation, Libra, this is good news, and Saturn will grow even stronger as he moves toward the meeting with Rahu in September and on to reach his degree of greatest exaltation on November 4, 2013.

As mentioned before, Saturn is a good anchor if times become too chaotic. Taking refuge in activities that require discipline, effort, detachment and selfless service could be a great remedy during the next five months. If you don't have something in place of this nature already, it may be worthwhile to create a routine for it now.

Venus Enters Leo July 17

Venus will move from Cancer to Leo and transit the Sun's sign from July 17 – August 11. Venus, the planet of relationship, connection with others, love, art, beauty and entertainment will be visible in the evening sky just after sunset throughout the remainder of 2013. Also, on July 10-11, we will see an nice meeting of the waxing Moon and Venus in the evening sky, so try to get outside to commune with them.

This nearly one-month transit of Venus in Leo should be very supportive of creative projects that involve entertainment, acting, singing, art, fashion and public-speaking. It will be a good time for shining your self-expression and for both giving and receiving inspiration.

Leo is the sign ruled by the Sun, and for most of the transit of Venus through it, the Sun will be moving through Cancer, the sign of the Moon. The energy of the Sun and Moon combined brings forth the importance of parents, ancestors and family; Venus as a social force could imply that this would be a harmonious time to connect with your relations.

Sun in Cancer July 17-August 16

The Sun moves through the Moon's sign, Cancer, from July 17 – August 16. In this position, the Sun is free of any difficult influences from other planets aside from receiving an aspect from Saturn, whose difficulty is somewhat lessened during this entire next year while Saturn occupies his sign of exaltation. This doesn't mean that we won't face any hard lessons from Saturn, but it could be easier to recognize and accept the benefit of those lessons.

The Sun is a symbol of the self and the individual ego, something that each person must find a way to express in a healthy and productive manner. Either great inflation or deflation of the ego can lead to problems. When Saturn aspects the Sun, it always brings forth the opportunity to work with how we express and protect ourselves.

To bring about the ideal balance of healthy ego and negation of said ego, we must listen to our hearts but also bring awareness to the truth that the universe constantly presents. We must take care of ourselves but not at the expense of others. We must heed our inner voice, but not ignore the voices of others. The wisdom that comes from achieving this balance further anchors us in our healthy and evolutionary approach to life.

With this aspect to the Sun in Cancer coming from Saturn, we especially can work with our healthy selves through the lens of family, friends, community and all relations. It is a good time to iron out dysfunctional family or childhood patterns in a supportive environment.

Mercury Resumes Direct Motion July 20

The retrograde cycle begun by Mercury on June 26 returns to direct motion on July 20. This means that most of this month we are under the influence of Mercury in reverse, a strong dose of Mercury that can give the impression of confused communications and snarled exchange.

The best remedy for this is to slow down, especially when Mercury is in Gemini, his own air sign. There is more on this in the June 2013 forecast.

In general, Mercury retrograde times are best for review, reorganizing, re-doing and RELAXING! Anything "re." Big decisions should be avoided, plans should be double checked and communications should be very clear and deliberate. If you have things on your plate that need to be decided, review your options and make an outline, but try to wait until later in the month to make actions, sign contracts or take significant steps. Sometimes things can change and swirl in a very unstable way when Mercury turns retrograde, especially with the many influences coming from the planets occupying the lunar mansions of Rahu.

By month's end, things should stablize a bit for your forward motion. If you can be slow and patient through July, it may help to balance the energy that's coming to us through the planetary positions.

Full Moon in Capricorn July 22

The strength of the Moon will be very high at the moment of the full Moon of July, which comes at around noon (Mountain time zone, US) on July 22. Interesting that the new Moon that started this cycle happened at midnight while the full Moon comes when the Sun is strong in the day sky (for the US longitudes.)

The chart of this moment shows the sign of Virgo rising, placing the Sun in the 11th house of gain, the lord of the 11th, Moon, in the 5th house of fortune and the rising lord Mercury in direct motion in the 10th house of action with Jupiter and Mars. It will be a great day for the culmination of the lunar cycle. Planning important actions for this day should yield auspicious results.

This will be a Monday, the day of the Moon, and the Moon will be placed at about 6° Capricorn in the lunar mansion Uttarashada, bestowing the energy of victory. The Sun will be in Cancer, the Moon's sign, while the Moon will be in Uttarashada, a nakshatra ruled by the Sun. This creates a nice energetic exchange between the great luminaries.

In all, we should proceed with deliberation and review during the first three-quarters of the month. Enjoy the auspicious moment of the full Moon on July 22 and gracefully allow the lunar energy to wane as the month winds down. In August, September and October, we will enjoy the forward motion of all of the visible planets until the next Mercury retrograde cycle, which begins October 21.

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