Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

October 2013

by Kerry Shamblin

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

October begins with waning Moon in Leo

The western calendar month of October opens with the Moon waning in the sign of Leo, a few days before the new Moon. When the Moon wanes, it is becoming weaker in strength, and this can often translate as literally feeling low on energy or initiative to take actions. October 1 shows the Moon between Mars in Cancer and the Sun in Virgo, putting it into a state of difficulty, being flanked by two malefic and fiery planets.

After that, the Moon continues to wane, coming into the state of amavasya, the last day before the moment of conjunction between Sun and Moon. This occurs from the evening of Thursday, October 3 to the moment of the new Moon on Friday, October 4. This is a good time to withdraw from heavy or important activities that require a great deal of strength or energy.

Venus Transits Scorpio October 2-30

Venus, as dispositor of (ruler of the sign containing) Saturn and Rahu currently, has been causing a great deal of indirect influence on our planetary weather. From September 5 – October 2, Venus transited through her own sign of Libra during the period of time that Saturn and Rahu were exactly conjuncting. This could have been quite helpful in dealing with difficult situations that may have come up during September.

Venus moves into Mars' water sign, Scorpio, just before sunrise on October 2, making a quick transit and entering Sagittarius on October 30. This is an interesting transition, especially as Mars relates to Venus in the current planetary scheme.

While in Libra, Venus was receiving the possibly difficult aspect of debilitated Mars from Cancer. This could have caused aggressive conditions that resulted in frustration, accidents or even violence in the face of difficult situations brought about by the Saturn-Rahu conjunction.

Now, Venus will be moving through Mars' sign, giving Venus a continued dose of intense environment. Additionally, on October 5, Mars moves out of Cancer and into Leo, resuming his aspect on Venus.

With both Mars and Venus still having that connection but being out of the direct interaction with Saturn-Rahu, we may find ourselves delving deeply into the conditions of our day-to-day relationships. Things may have gotten stirred up during the last month (or 9 months!) that may be inviting us to restructure or get to the bottom of what may be causing friction or discomfort.

Venus rules love, relationship, attraction, beauty and entertainment and provides us many of the enjoyable fruits of life. While trying to attain these things is a natural human endeavor, through attempting to gather happiness and contentment and that which we desire, we can also meet the disappointment that eventually comes when we realize that even the attainment of these lovely things still does not bring ultimate peace and happiness, as the things of the world are temporary and often illusory.

The environment of Scorpio provides us with both the depth and breadth to examine the hidden side of things. With Venus moving through Scorpio, we may be able to see the underside of our love and relationships, which could give good perspective regarding why things are working or not working in regards to how we are sharing our love and beauty with others. Scorpio, being Mars' domain, can especially reveal how power dynamics may be coming into play with relationships.

With Mars, the planet of power and problem-solving, aspecting Venus, we may feel compelled to identify and fix these problems or if there are no problems, with trying to make our relationships work even better by maximizing our potential.

New Moon in Virgo October 4

The Moon and Sun exactly conjoin on Friday, October 4, at about 6:30 pm (US Mountain Time) at 18° Virgo, in the lunar mansion called Hasta. This is the moment where the previous lunar cycle ends and the new one begins, so we can think of it as an inception time.

The sign of Virgo is ruled by Mercury and the lunar mansion of Hasta is ruled by the Moon itself. The Moon and Mercury are both considered as planets that have to do with the mind, and in fact, Mercury is the child of the Moon by Tara (the wife of Jupiter; an exciting tale of intrigue.) While the Moon represents our consciousness and emotional sensitivity, Mercury reflects our analytical and informational mind.

With the new Moon in Hasta, we could be offered the chance to change our minds in some regard. Hasta translates as "hand" implying also the ability we have to take a concept of the mind and manifest it to something that we can hold in our hand. In fact the power of Hasta is hasta sthapaniya agama shakti, the power to get what we want and to put it in our hands. Before we can get what we want, we have to know what we want, which is sometimes more difficult than the attainment.

With this new Moon, we may find ourselves in a place where things have been through recent upheaval, leaving us in somewhat a state of chaos. This is a good time to identify what we want and to become clear about our goals so that we can proceed in attaining them.

Mercury as lord of Virgo will be very close to both Rahu and Saturn on this day, so we may be forced to remember that whatever we do identify as our desire may be subject to the filter of Rahu and Saturn. Rahu's reality and lesson is that we are subject to our desires but we are seldom in control of attaining them.

We find ourselves in a humbling and tenuous position in which we must identify and work for what we want, but we must also be subject to the final decisions of forces beyond our control. It reminds me of the story of Milarepa attempting to gain Marpa as a teacher.

Mars Enters Leo October 5

Speaking of humble, Mars, the planet of drive and power, has been waterlogged in his sign of debility, Cancer, since August 19. On average, Mars spends about 6-8 weeks in each sign. Since Mars enjoys forward progress and action quite enthusiastically, it can be frustrating when he becomes mired in Cancer for awhile. So by this time, those of us who may be particularly Mars-like are possibly ready to move forward.

Venus may be ruling Saturn, Mercury and Rahu as they move through Libra, but Mars will be ruling Venus as long as Venus is transiting through Scorpio, which is through month's end, ultimately giving Mars influence over all of these planets. This could be a very good month for pushing through and getting work done. Impatient Mars will want things to move forward at a good pace and will be willing to spend the energy to do it.

Mars moving into Leo also takes him out of range of Saturn's aspect, in effect, lifting the yoke that Mars may have doubly felt: part from Saturn's aspect and part from being placed in debility. Saturn's aspect can create pressure as well as delays, so we may be granted permission to move forward at this point.

Mars will be in the Sun's sign, Leo, so we have a combination of Sun-Mars energy that could be quite self-promoting. This isn't necessarily bad, but it may be difficult to make friends and influence people while leading with this face; in situations that require diplomacy and group consensus, it may be advisable to put extra attention toward considering the viewpoints of others before barging ahead with self-interest as your banner. This advice is applicable for the remainder of Mars' transit through Leo, which lasts until November 25.

Moon – Jupiter Opposition October 11

By October 10, the waxing Moon will have passed the gamut of obstacles which include transiting through Saturn and Rahu in Libra and then moving through the sign of its debility, Scorpio. This then puts the Moon into a very good place for the next week or so, starting with an exact aspect from Jupiter in Gemini on October 11. The Moon will be in Sagittarius on this day, receiving the auspicious influence of Jupiter, the lord of Sagittarius. We may feel particularly blessed at this time, as if we have a good perspective on why things have transpired as they have and getting a glimpse at silver linings that may finally shine through.

Take advantage of this period of time between October 10-17, as the Moon will be waxing, and the other planets will be relatively quiet. Things should get exciting again as we then face a lunar eclipse followed by Mercury beginning a retrograde cycle.

Sun Transits Libra October 17-November 15

Every planet has a place of strength and a place of weakness within the zodiac, what we call exaltation and debilitation places of a planet. The Sun will be moving through Libra, its sign of debilitation, from mid-October to mid-November. Further challenging the Sun will be its passing through the other planets located in Libra, Saturn, his top enemy, who is exalted and strong in Libra, as well as Rahu, the eclipse-causing node of the Moon.

The exact debility of the Sun occurs at 10 degrees Libra, which happens on about October 26, after which the Sun begins to gain strength again. As you will read in the next section, the eclipse of October 18 will also affect the debilitated Sun. This could promote further the need for remaining humble, as the Sun which represents the self and the soul finds itself overshadowed. This will indirectly affect Mars as well, currently occupying the Sun's territory of Leo.

Again, more lessons about knowing our place in the scheme of things. It is fine to have ideas, it is fine to have desires, it is fine to plan, it is fine to work and move forward, but it is also very wise to expect days of rain on your parade and setbacks and denial. These things when met with humility will create strength and forebearance. When met with defiance and anger, they will create only more suffering.

Full Moon Penumbral Eclipse October 18

Let's take some time to understand what's really occuring during an eclipse, which this month on the Full Moon is what is called a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. From our perspective on earth, when we look toward the Sun this month, we would see the stars of Libra behind the Sun after October 17, if we could see the stars when the Sun is bright, that is. On the opposite side of the zodiac is the constellation of Aries, where Ketu, the south node of the Moon is currently posited.

At any moment in time, the Earth blocks part of the light from the Sun, making one part of the earth dark, in shadow, night-time. As the Earth rotates on its axis, this part that is experiencing night revolves. The shadow cast by the earth continues in a cone-shape called the "umbra," as illustrated here. There is also a region where the light from the Sun is only partially blocked, called the "penumbra." When a body passes through this part of the Earth's shadow, a partial eclipse occurs.

When the Sun and Moon are exactly opposite, we are experiencing the moment of the full Moon. This month, this happens when Moon is at 2° Aries and the Sun is at 2° Libra. The Rahu-Ketu axis is the entity that marks the point on the ecliptic where eclipses can occur because of the relative alignment of Sun, Moon and Earth. When these three physical bodies line up this month, it is only 13° away from the Rahu-Ketu axis. Close enough to make a partial eclipse where the Moon will pass through the penumbral shadow of the Earth, putting the bright Moon into shadow but not completely obscuring it.

Astrologically, we have Ketu swallowing the light of the full Moon. Ketu is the south node of the Moon, whose main concern is liberation. With an energy similar to Mars, Ketu expresses well in Aries, Mars' fire sign. The hot and dry energy of Ketu in Aries will be a temporary block to accessing nurturing soma, the nectar of immortality, carried by the full Moon. The sudden withdrawal of light from the Moon could affect our minds by causing strong emotional fluctuations that make it difficult to think with a strong, steady mind. A great way to attempt steadiness would be to meditate or perform other spiritual practices; favorite activities of Ketu.

While this eclipse wouldn't favor activities like new beginnings or material advancement, it would be a really great time for spiritual practices, as mentioned above, for spending quiet time in introspection or for letting go or ending things.

The Moon and Ketu will be occupying two different lunar mansions; the Moon will be in the 1st nakshatra, Ashwini, while Ketu will be in the 2nd nakshatra, Bharani. Ashwini, ruled by the twin horseman that bring healing energy is auspicious and good for beginnings; the eclipse of this doubly suggests that around this eclipse is not a favorable time for solid beginnings. Bharani is ruled by the lord of death, Yama, which implies the necessity for moving on and letting go in preparation for a new cycle of life.

In Asia, the eclipse will be visible in the early morning before sunrise, as the Moon sets in the west. In Africa and Europe, the eclipse will be seen during the night, and in Americas, at Moonrise in the early evening.

Mercury Retrograde October 21 – November 10

The next Mercury retrograde cycle commences on October 21 and runs through November 10. We need to keep in mind the apparent reverse motion, because we realize in truth that this backward motion is only an illusion. Nonetheless, from our vantage here on Earth, Mercury will be traversing and reversing through the sign of Libra, hovering around the area where Saturn and Rahu are closely positioned as well as around the debilitated Sun.

Mercury entered Libra on September 25, joining Venus, Saturn and Rahu, as mentioned in the September forecast. Libra is a good sign for Mercury, who will remain there until November 30. Mercury conjoins exactly with Rahu on October 6 and then with Saturn on October 8 and then moves toward the late degrees of Libra.

The retrograde cycle begins before dawn on October 21 at 25° Libra and ends on the afternoon of November 10 at 9° Libra. In reverse motion, Mercury will re-connect with Saturn on October 29, when Saturn is at its fullest degree of exaltation, and then with Rahu on November 3, joining in with the solar eclipse on that day.

When we experience Mercury's retrograde cycles, it can become difficult to do the normal Mercury things like communication, commerce, networking, quick movements and exchanges. In this case, we have Mercury hovering around the Saturn-Rahu combination which, as we have been experiencing, can create situations that deliver pressure and chaos, making our day-to-day life challenging. With the communications systems that Mercury represents becoming turned around, this challenge could increase by a couple of notches.

Because of the combination of influences including the Saturn-Rahu combination, the exaltation of Saturn, the eclipses (another coming on November 3) and Mercury retrograde, we may be in for some exciting times from about October 18 to mid-November. This may not be the best time for undertaking new things or starting important ventures like businesses or relationships. (Try to do these things before mid-October. The week between October 10-17 looks good.)

What would be supported during this time would be to edit, review, re-organize and clean up. The strong influence of Saturn always wants us to see the truth and rest firmly in the grasp of the reality that life is impermanent and we must use our experiences to cultivate responsibility in our actions with an attitude of detachment.

Dark Moon on Halloween Night

All Hallow's Eve, All Saint's Day/Day of the Dead fall on October 31-November 1 and mark the end of the summer season with our harvest and the final descent into darkness that marks the six weeks before the winter solstice (in the northern hemisphere.) This year the waning Moon will be in Virgo on these two days, heading toward another union with the Sun on November 3 which will give us another eclipse.

Mercury will be lord of the Moon on these days, retrograde and weaving in and out of contact with Saturn and Rahu. Whether wanted or not or ready or not, there is change in the air. There is exploring around corners, under lids and behind doors. What will we find? Ourselves? Nothing?

The themes of turning into the darkness, quieting the mind, releasing what is finished, reorienting in newly created environments, gracefully and willfully surrendering to that which is beyond our control, all while still humbly maintaining our course and inspiration, these themes are at play during the month of October.

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