Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

January 2014

by Kerry Shamblin

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

New Moon New Year January 1

The first hours of the western calendar, 2014, will hold a new Moon. As the Moon slips closer into exact conjunction with the Sun, revelers will be winding down with the new year's celebrations. At about 3:00 am Pacific time, the Moon and Sun join at 16° Sagittarius, in the lunar mansion of Purvashada.

Joining the Sun and Moon is Mercury at 18° Sagittarius. Aspecting this trio from 17° Virgo is Mars, with an almost exact aspect by degree. Also aspecting Sun/Moon/Mercury are Saturn from Libra and Jupiter from Gemini. The only planets excluded from direct involvement in this new Moon moment are the nodes, Rahu and Ketu, and Venus.

Purvashada nakshatra is ruled by the planet Venus and by the deity Apas, lord of the waters. As those who regularly do dishes or take baths know, water is one of the greatest things we can use to cleanse without destroying. The power of Purvashada is that of revitalization through purification.

As the Moon begins to wax, moving away from the Sun, we can keep in mind that our actions during the beginning of this month of January and the beginning of the year 2014 would be a good time to attend to what needs to be cleansed or purfied in our lives and in our environments.

Retrograde Venus Returns to Sagittarius January 6

Venus continues to appear as if going in backward motion from usual, finally dipping back into the stars of Sagittarius mid-day on January 6, joining Mercury and the Sun. This type of proximity to the Sun can weaken the ability of of the planet to express, as the strength of the Sun can overpower the subtle influence of that planet.

This is part of Venus' "journey to the underworld" that explains the disappearance of Venus from our observation as it passes close to the Sun's position and re-emerges on the other side, as the retrograde motion continues.

The exact conjunction of Venus and Sun comes on January 11, receiving the blessed aspect of Jupiter from Gemini. At 27° Sagittarius, in the lunar mansion of Uttarashada, we witness the genesis of the next phase of Venus' journey.

Venus, as planet of love, relationships, connection and beauty, has a big say in our account of personal happiness and contentment. This could be considered as a new beginning point in the way you relate, connect and share.

Along with the positive aspect of Jupiter that Venus receives (and also gives back to Jupiter), comes the aspect of Mars, which continues until February 3, when Mars moves into Libra. Mars' aspect falls into the malefic grouping, but before we pass judgement, let's remember that nothing is black and white and all is relative.

Desaturating the label of good or bad, Mars is the planet of drive and power, and what he offers is energy to accomplish the desired results. This fire is neutral but how it may be weilded or received could throw the effect into either field of good or bad.

Another fiery influence on Venus at this time is the Sun itself, and the fact that their exact conjunction occurred in the nakshatra of Uttarashada, also ruled by the Sun.

This position of Venus, under fiery influences, happens after the new Moon, which encouraged purification by water. Maybe the key to maximizing the positive, fiery influences of Sun and Mars on Venus at this time is to make sure that the cleansing has already occurred during the first few days of January.

Fire is great fuel. If we can clean our vessels in preparation for a new project, this continuing influence of Mars on Venus throughout the month could be quite passionate, creative and energetic.

Last but certainly not least, we have the aspect of Saturn to Venus, especially strong due to Venus' current lordhip of Saturn as he moves through Venus' sign, Libra. While Mars will cause us to march forth with little thought of consequence, Saturn may cause us to hold back from making the first step out of fear or genuine caution. This can be a good check and balance system for the cause of using the energy of Mars properly and not wasting resources. Saturn can also create feelings of pressure, especially when there is imbalance or disharmony present in a situation. If pressure is felt, rather than attempting to escape it, you're better off making changes that increase balance and harmony.

Know that there are multiple influences on Venus at this time of transformation for Venus. Understand the positive expansiveness of Jupiter, the cautious contraction of Saturn and the confident energy of Mars and feel how they can play together harmoniously and supportively to create a new paradigm in your relationships and creativity.

As the month progresses, Venus continues retrograde motion, widening the gap between Venus and the Sun, giving Venus the power to shine in a new form. By the last week of January, Venus will appear as "morning star," which will continue throughout most of 2014.

Mercury Transits Capricorn January 7 – 26

Entering back into Sagittarius, Venus meets with Mercury who is moving forward into Capricorn. It is as if they are performing a quick dance move, right there in the borderlands between Sagittarius and Capricorn, on January 7, switching the signs they occupy.

This couple day juncture between January 6-7 is really shaping up to be a turning point after the new Moon of January 1. Venus in Sagittarius has been discussed. The structure and tendency for initiating that Capricorn grants to Mercury helps to ground and direct the rapid-fire energy of Mercury.

This could be a good time to be disciplined about writing, studies, communication or business matters. The sign of Capricorn is currently not aspected by any planets, giving us the equivalent of an uninterrupted work day. Imagine being able to sit quietly and apply yourself to tasks, checking off list items, climbing with grace to the top of the mountain of work on your desk. This is what the middle of January could be like.

Mercury currently is the lord of both Mars and Jupiter, who occupy his signs, Virgo and Gemini. With Mars as a great ally in the work environment and with Jupiter as a great proponent of expansion of knowledge, we can further harness energy that will be geared toward productivity in work and study.

Sun Transits Capricorn January 13 – February 12

The Sun enters Capricorn on January 13, joining Mercury but never really getting close enough to drown out the pertinent quips of the communicative planet, who moves to Aquarius on January 26.

Moving out of Capricorn, Sun is also moving out of the aspects of Jupiter, Mars and Saturn, which he shared with Venus as he was moving through Sagittarius.

It should also be considered that when Sun moves through Capricorn and Aquarius, he is moving through the signs of his enemy, Saturn, who is still strongly positioned in Libra.

I think a simple way to understand why Sun doesn't enjoy Saturn's signs is to consider both planets' relationship to ego. Ego is important in projecting and protecting the soul, but it is also a volatile substance that can easily go out of balance as far as inflation and deflation. The Sun is the indicator of how we sit with our ego.

Saturn's mission is to destroy the ego in favor of detachment and universal understanding. Saturn's signs, therefore, are not great environments for promotion of the ego's goals. For those with a balanced and contained ego, these signs may even provide a great environment in which to express the self through service toward others in some way as the Sun transits them.

Some of us could be subject to lessons regarding the proper function of our egos during the two-month period that Sun goes through Capricorn and Aquarius. If you find yourself repeatedly slapped, look no further than within to understand the lessons you are being dealt.

Full Moon in Cancer January 15

This would be a good time to share something I've recently become aware of, that resonates and changes the way I've been viewing the lunar cycle.

Up until this month, in my forecasts I've referred to the new Moon as the beginning of the lunar cycle and the full Moon as the culmination and mid-point of the cycle. This way of viewing the lunar month is called Amlanta, indicating the beginning of the lunar cycle as at the end of amavasya (new Moon.)

The other way of viewing is called Suklanta, indicating beginning the lunar cycle at the end of Sukla Paksha, which is signalled by the moment of the full Moon. In order to further understand the mysteries of the planets, I am going to be switching the way I look at the lunar cycle to the Suklanta view.

An expert explanation of the Vedic calender is given by Pandit Sanjay Rath.

That means that our first lunar cycle of 2014 will begin on January 15, with a full Moon at 2° of its own sign of Cancer. The only aspect to the Moon will be from Saturn.

The nakshatra for the Moon on this day is the final quarter of Punarvasu, "return of the light," lorded by the planet Jupiter and the goddess Aditi, mother of the gods. The power of Punarvasu is to collect abundance. Punarvasu combines wind and water to create revitalization of the plant kingdom. The plant kingdom could be extended here to include all creatures and creations, indicating that this may be a great start for breathing new life into creative pursuits.

The theme for the cycle of the Moon between January 15 and the next full Moon will be to create and collect abundance.

New Moon in Capricorn January 30

The Sun and Moon meet for a second time this calendar month, this time at 16° Capricorn, in the nakshatra of Shravana, on Thursday, January 30. Shravana is ruled by the Moon itself and by Lord Vishnu, granting the power of connection. Connection happens when needs are perceived and understood. The symbol for Shravana is an ear showing us clearly what needs to happen for connection to occur: listening with full receptivity.

At the mid-point of the lunar cycle, when the Moon is at its weakest in the light of the great Sun, this is our whispered message: listen and receive.

Venus Resumes Direct Motion January 31

Venus stations in its place at 20° Sagittarius on the last day of January, fully visible in the eastern sky before sunrise.

In addition to the aspects Venus is receiving from Jupiter, Mars and Saturn, there is another special factor between Venus and Jupiter who occupy opposite signs and therefore aspect one another.

Since December 21, Jupiter and Venus have both been retrograde. The two priestly planets, Jupiter as teacher of the Gods and Venus as teacher of the Demons, have been sharing the same apparent backward movement. Retrograde movement can indicate certain things such as latency, delay, intensity or strength in the expression of a planet. Any retrograde planet can be perceived as going through a review phase wherein territory or material recently experienced can be revisited and more firmly anchored.

Starting January 22, these two retrograde planets will be exactly opposite within two degrees. This could indicate that the last part of January would be a really good time to review study or teaching materials in order to firmly root them in the mind.

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