Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

March 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 in Aquarius February 28-March 1

This is the final entry of the February forecast about the new Moon that occurs in Shatabishak nakshatra on February 28-March 1.

Venus Moves Through Capricorn

Shining gloriously in the eastern sky before sunrise, we have the lovely lord Shukra, the planet Venus, inspiring us to make each day beautiful. The beginning of the month of March 2014 finds Venus receiving a close aspect from the retrograde planet Mars from Libra, Venus' own sign.

Venus moves through Capricorn, Saturn's earth sign, during March. Venus represents our journey along the road of love, relationship, beauty and artistic expression. Ruler of the earth sign, Taurus, and the air sign, Libra, Venus is exchanging signs this month with Saturn, currently located in Libra. When two planets are in the state of occupying a sign ruled by one another, this is a state called sambandha, a special connection between two planets. Venus and Saturn are natural friends, so we should explore how we can work with this nice connection during March.

As we must be aware by now, the sign of Libra has been a significant ground for planetary energy since January 2013, when the two planets Rahu and Saturn came together there. Because of this, Venus has taken on a quiet but powerful role as the ruler of Libra, much like the government of a city that hosts an Olympic games. Ultimately, that local government will have a great influence on how the games are run and can also be helped, harmed or both through the act of hosting the games.

With Venus ruling love and relationship, and with Saturn and Rahu having created such a dynamic force of change, desire and destruction in Libra for the past 1.5 years, we must wonder what state our dear Venus is in, having hosted these two mighty planets for so long.

Venus is comfortable in Capricorn, and with the support of exalted Saturn, ruler of Capricorn placed in Libra, this could be a good month for tending to the soil of our relationships and creative projects. With Capricorn being a practical influence on Venus, and with Saturn's natural slow, cautious approach influencing through its sign AND with Saturn's retrograde motion in effect, March could be a good time to prepare the soil, clean house, inspect the foundations, literally, but also metaphorically in regards to what we create with love in our lives. What is working? Are there deficiencies? What will it take to create fertile ground? Is there a good supply of water, inspiration, desire? Is anything causing imbalance?

Mars, by his special ability to aspect signs four places from his own, will be pushing on Venus throughout the month, until he moves back into Virgo on March 23. Yes, another retrograde planet.

Mars Retrograde March 1 – May 20

Having moved through just the first degrees of Libra, Mars begins a retrograde cycle on March 1, on the heels of Mercury resuming direct motion on February 28. Mercury retrograde may have given us the idea and desire that we need to shift gears. Mars in retrograde will give us the reversal in energy output that we need in order to shift gears. Anyone who's ridden a bike with gears knows that we need to stop pedalling in order to shift.

With retrograde motion of planets tending to cause reversal in the expression of that planet's energy, this could manifest as a desire to change directions as far as how we are dealing with power, the domain of Mars. We may need to review how we are spending our energy (maybe we already did that in February) and make adjustments.

This may be particularly relevant in the domain of relationship or creativity because Mars will be located in Venus' sign and also aspecting Venus. The real dance occurs in how these changes are made if need be. Mars tends to want to take action quickly with confidence, but not always with deep regard for the feelings of others. In addition, Mars is very close with Rahu, who can cause desire to be so strong that others and their needs may fall by the wayside.

Take extra care to regard the person with whom you are interacting this month, whether it be intimate partner, child, parent, teacher, client or stranger. The need and desire to back off, retreat or change direction may be very strong but it is important to consider how changes will affect the others in your life, as well as your own home environment. If you must go, go slowly and look carefully for detectable ramifications before you act. Use the restraint and mature wisdom of Saturn to make final decisions, because in the end, Saturn rules truth and karma. Use your mind and senses carefully.

Remember the story of Hanuman, who embodies a very high vibration of Mars. While on a mission to rescue Sita (Venus), the kidnapped wife of Lord Rama, Hanuman (Mars) also had the opportunity to rescue Shani (Saturn), who the demon king Ravana (Rahu) had imprisoned. In the Ramayana, Sita embodies the high vibration of Venus, a virtuous wife who refused to be tempted by the demonic Ravana. All four of these characters come into play in our current planetary transits through Libra. Venus is the host (it was Sita's abduction that caused Hanuman to go) with Mars at the scene to preserve the union between Sita and Rama while at the same time liberating Saturn from imprisonment at the demonic hands of Ravana (Rahu.) In a sense, we are getting the perfect opportunity to understand this story through events that unfold in our own lives during this time. Hanuman harnesses his immense power (Mars) and directs it toward serving his god (Rama) with perfect selfless devotion. What would you do?

Saturn Retrograde March 2 – July 20

This is the third retrograde cycle that Saturn will complete after having moved into the sign of Libra in November 2011. This is our big chance for the final review of the lessons we have been given during this Saturn transit through Libra.

These lessons may have come in a variety of difficult, destructive or painful forms, as the pressure of Saturn has combined with the chaos of Rahu. Dissolution of partnerships, destructive floods, superviruses, death of loved ones, loss of income or health; the lessons have come in infinite forms. This upcoming spring season will be an opportunity to deeply integrate the wisdom that comes from lessons that generally point toward the once terrifying truth that you aren't who you think you are, the world isn't what you thought it was and there's nothing you can do to control any of it.

Saturn begins the retrograde cycle at 29º Libra and will re-traverse the territory of the last third of Libra, returning to direct motion at 22º Libra on July 20, 2014. This entire retrograde time of Saturn will take place in the lunar mansion called Vishaka, ruled by the dieties Indra and Agni.

Indra is the leader of the gods and ruler of the swarga loka, which we could think of as the atmosphere, from which we on earth receive rain, thunder and lightning. Indra is heroic and bold, much like his counterparts in other pantheons, Thor and Zeus. Agni is the lord of fire and the messenger between the gods and the mortals, as well as being the twin brother of Indra.

In his article, Shaktis of the Nakshatras, David Frawley says of Vishaka, "Vishakha provides the effort to achieve our goals abundantly through time, like a farmer plowing his field. It does not give immediate results but perhaps greater long term gains. Indra and Agni here are agriculture Gods showing the ripening effect of heat, rain and seasonal changes."

This brings us back to the exchange between Venus and Saturn going on this month, and to the idea of tilling the soil. It is slow work getting fields ready, picking out rocks, adding nutrients. Saturn and Rahu have likely stripped some area of your life bare in the past eighteen months, revealing weakness and corruption and pointing toward rebuilding in a slow, steady and responsible manner.

It is time to heal and look upon our challenges with a level of objectivity. Think of an incident in your life that was painful, but that many years later showed you a valuable lesson, a lesson you could only see after separating your ego from the pain of it. Try to see the current painful situations in your life with that level of detachment. You don't have to wait for years to understand the lesson.

Adding to the review energy engendered by the retrograde motion of Saturn are the presence in the early degrees of Libra of retrograde Mars and ever-retrograde, Rahu. This is a hearty helping of review energy. If it is difficult to lunge forward into new things this month, these three retrograde planets in Libra may be somewhat contributing to that situation.

Jupiter Resumes Direct Motion March 6

We trade retrograde Mercury for retrograde Mars and then retrograde Saturn steps in to take over when Jupiter goes direct. This is the inspiration for this month's theme: Shifting Gears.

The other thing that people who ride bikes or drive manual transmissions know is that we always lose a little momentum when we change gears. Of course, because it requires us to stop pedalling or to let up on the gas pedal in favor of engaging the clutch. The faster you can execute this sequence, the less momentum you lose. Luckily for us, the gear change happens largely in the first week of March.

Jupiter begins forward motion again on March 6 at 16º Gemini, beginning the final stretch of the year-long transit of Mercury's air sign. We can think of this as beginning to pedal again, or giving fuel to our motor so that we begin to move again. The thing is, we've changed gears while on an uphill, so that means that we've actually downshifted, and though we may succeed in going forward, it will be slowly and with effort (perhaps due to the trio of retrograde planets in Libra.)

Jupiter rules expansion, growth and abundance, and has the designation of Guru of the devas (gods), bestowing the wisdom of the ages upon one and all. With Jupiter in Mercury's sign, Gemini, it has been a good year for establishing study programs and student-teacher relationships.

Jupiter enters Cancer on June 18, so we have a few more months of Jupiter's influence on the signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Jupiter, like Rahu, has the ability to aspect all of the other signs in the same element as the sign occupied. In the current setup, we have both Rahu and Jupiter affecting these signs, which is both bringing up the lessons and offering the wisdom to absorb them.

Rahu Moves to Chitra Nakshatra March 8

It will be July when Rahu moves out of Libra and into Virgo, but in the meantime, we see Rahu changing lunar mansions from Swati to Chitra on March 8. Rahu and Ketu are always 180° from one another and move through the zodiac in reverse motion. They are always moving retrograde! Because the lunar mansions occupy different sections of the sun signs, we will see Rahu switching nakshatras while Ketu remains in Ashwini nakshatra, which is ruled by Ketu and in Aries, ruled by Mars.

While Rahu has been transiting Swati, a lunar mansion that he himself rules, the air element has been extremely highlighted. It has brought windy planetary weather which has been stirring and moving things in ways that we can't really control. Rahu moving into Chitra may be somewhat more calm, but keeping in mind that calm isn't really a keyword for the nodes anyway.

Chitra spans equally the signs of Libra and Virgo, so this will be the stage of transition for Rahu as he changes signs. Chitra is ruled by Tvashtar, the celestial architect, so on one level, it may cause the desire to create beautiful things as Rahu moves through. On a deeper level, the power of Chitra is to accumulate merit for good deeds through righteous behavior which generally means being truthful and following the law (of karma.) With Rahu being that force within us that is most difficult to control, we may see in front of us on a daily basis the opportunity to "do the right thing."

When we desire something so deeply, are we willing to lie, cheat or steal to get it? The planetary ruler of Chitra is Mars, so there is also the influence of the ability to direct energy and power toward building or creating. May that which you choose to pursue and build be beautiful, right and true.

Mercury Transits Aquarius March 11 – April 3

Returning to Aquarius after the retrograde cycle in February, Mercury moves into the triangle of air signs on March 11, currently well-occupied by Saturn, Rahu, Mars, Jupiter and Sun.

Mercury was under the influence of Mars during its movement through the sign of Capricorn, which could have been somewhat aggravating to communication and to the hands, which are ruled by Mercury. Now, with Mercury moving to Aquarius, it is Jupiter and Rahu that could be more pushing on Mercury.

Mercury rules our informational mind (buddhi) as opposed to the sensitive, emotional mind (manas), which is the domain of the Moon. With Mercury under the influence of Rahu, we can become confused or deluded about the facts, as Rahu is smoky, which can obscure and enchant.

But who better to shed the light of truth on things than Jupiter? With Jupiter also influencing Mercury's trip through Aquarius, we can look to our innate inner wisdom to be our anchor in moments of confusion or delusion.

Confused or not, Mercury in Aquarius can be a great time for innovative thought that benefits humanity. Put your thinking caps on, jump outside the box and analyze some data that will make life better for everyone!

Sun Enters Pisces March 14

Jupiter's water sign, Pisces, often shows the end of a cycle and preparation for new roads. Each year, the Sun goes through Pisces from mid-March to mid-April, which marks the initiation of the spring season in the northern hemisphere. In this sense, we let go of the winter, allowing that which is finished to die and look ahead to spring, planting seeds with the hope of a fertile tomorrow.

Pisces is much like the boundless cosmic ocean; we see all the realms of possibility, the disintegration of form, the dissolution of self. We lose ourselves and become reunified. This month with Sun transiting through Pisces is a good time to let go of who you think you are and gain a wider perspective. This could inspire changes and expansion that require a bit of faith and a measure of letting go.

Full Moon in Virgo March 16

Around mid-day on Sunday, March 16, the Sun and Moon move into exact opposition as they do each month; the Sun at 2º Pisces and the Moon at 2° Virgo. The first half of March sees the Moon in the waxing phase, becoming stronger each day until the moment of the full Moon.

The Moon gets full in the nakshatra (lunar mansion) Uttaraphalguni, which spans 26°40' Leo to 10°00' Virgo, signs that are ruled by the Sun and Mercury. Uttaraphalguni has the planetary ruler Sun, as well. Uttaraphalguni represents wealth and abundance created through union.

With the gear changing, reversals, dissolution and preparation for new beginnings that the beginning of March is offering, this full Moon could be a herald of future harvests. Know that the act of creation and building isn't always clear and rarely neat.

Retrograde Mars Returns to Virgo March 24

On Monday, March 24, Mars retreats into Virgo, leaving the powerful Saturn and Rahu occupation of Libra. This could create some relief and also the opportunity to review and analyze how we are managing our use of power.

Mars continues retrograde motion in Virgo until May 19, when direct motion resumes at 15° Virgo. This gives us an eight week period of time to explore, reorganize, redirect and recycle our energy and resources in the environment of Mercury's earth sign.

When Mars re-enters Virgo he will come into opposition with Sun, currently in Pisces. While Mars remains in retrograde motion through April and May, Mercury and Venus will also move in and out of opposition with Mars. Opposition gives planets a direct face toward one another, the desire for planets to interact can grow stronger when this position is assumend.

A Mars-Sun opposition in Virgo-Pisces could bring a great opportunity to realign our relationship to power and control and how these things factor into our self-expression. This could be a good time to observe and recognize how we manipulate our environment in order to support ourselves. From there, we evaluate which mechanisms are working to create health and balance and which are working against the pursuit of our personal goals and then make the necessary adjustments, which may involve releasing or reframing that which we think defines us.

New Moon in Pisces March 30

Mid-day on Sunday, March 30, the Sun and Moon join at 15º Pisces in the lunar mansion called Uttarabhadra. The Moon is at its weakest expression during the new Moon, and with Moon ruling the manas, the sensitive emotional mind, the ebb of mental energy can sometimes be a good opportunity to calm and soothe the mind and feelings.

Further drawing attention to the sign of Pisces, we can bring our mind and heart together as we contemplate the vast cosmic ocean and how we as individual souls want to express ourselves in the face of this greatness. Pisces invites us to let go so that we can revolve and evolve into the next phase.

Uttarabhadra nakshatra is ruled by Ahir Budhnya, the serpent of the atmospheric depths who brings rain, which stabilizes life. March begins with a big shift of gears: February 28 gave a new Moon and direct motion of Mercury. March 1 and 2 saw Mars and Saturn assume retrograde motion and March 6 returned Jupiter to direct motion. The retrograde planets of February, Jupiter and Mercury, become direct and we see Mars and Saturn taking over this retrograde motion.

As this month ends with this new Moon in Pisces, may we find some stability, calm and understanding granted by broad vision. It has been a long period of instability, change and challenge; it is a time to reinvent and prepare for new cycles as we leave behind old methods of support.

Venus moves into Aquarius March 30

We will talk more about Venus in Aquarius for next month's forecast, but its interesting to note that Venus in Aquarius will be in full exchange of signs with Saturn and Rahu, the co-rulers of Aquarius. Venus moves through Aquarius from March 30 – April 26, the second time we are experiencing this exchange between Venus and Saturn-Rahu since they have been joined in Venus' sign in January 2013. To be continued...

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