Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

August 2015

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Mars Transits Cancer July 31 – September 15

Mars, ruler of Aries and Scorpio, plunges into the sign of Cancer on July 31 for a six-week transit through his sign of debilitation. The Moon is ruler of Cancer, making it the domain of the shifting state of heart and mind that we experience on a daily basis.

Through the Moon and through Cancer we seek contentment and peace through the daily weather of mental sensitivity and emotion. Mars is a man with a plan and will drive through obstacles toward his objective. The shifting, watery environment of Cancer can often thwart the planned efficiency of Mars, causing frustration.

So, how best to spend the next six weeks? Each of us has Mars monitoring our protection and survival; it is Mars that shows up at work and diligently gets through the day no matter how difficult it is. Mars does not get through difficulty with compassion and sensitivity, he does it with brute force and steely resolve.

Mars may find himself in situations during this time where brute force does not accomplish the task. Cancer is like a nursery and a drill sergeant (Mars) will never be able to get a message through to an infant by shouting.

Rather than butting heads with situations in which we are required to use the wrong tool for a specific job, look toward these challenges as an opportunity to re-set the way Mars is working for you.

The capability of Mars is great, but we should remember that there is always more to learn. Since Mars is going to the nursery, if we can readjust our efficiency knobs to the lowest setting and observe each situation with the open heart and mind of a child, we may learn that we can still accomplish tasks, but with sensitivity. Things may not get done in a military fashion, but they can be done well and with methodology that makes exception for feelings and emotions.

Full Moon in Capricorn July 31

Just before dawn on July 31, the Moon completes its waxing phase at 14° Capricorn, opposite Sun at 14° Cancer. The Moon will be in Sravana nakshatra, a lunar mansion ruled by the Moon itself. This will be the second full Moon in the calendar month of July (a "blue moon") but this does not have astrological significance, as a different calendar is used in the Vedic tradition.

This full Moon does have significance as Guru Purnima, the full Moon day on which guides and teachers are honored. It is also used to mark the birth anniversary of the great sage Veda Vyasa.

August begins with Sun, Mars and Mercury in occupation of Cancer, with Jupiter newly seated in Leo conjoined retrograde Venus. Therefore, we have Mars and Mercury surrounding the Sun in the sign of Cancer on this full Moon day.

The water element is strongly represented in the sign of Cancer, and having the strong fire planets Mars and Sun there, accompanied by the wind of Mercury shows a combination of three different elements that could be both creative and explosive.

Another feature that is interesting for this Guru Purnima is the very close connection between Venus and Jupiter at this time. These two planets are known as the two guides, each dispensing specific branches of knowledge. Jupiter teaches the natural law while Venus teaches the way of social and moral righteousness.

This would be a good day to honor those who have guided and taught you through your life. Both sides of the teacher-student relationship have their difficulties; allow the Moon's reflection of light soothe and heal any difficult feelings that may have blocked the flow of knowledge between teacher and student.

Saturn Resumes Direct Motion August 1

Just before midnight on Saturday, August 1, Saturn resumes direct motion at 5° Scorpio. Thus ends a retrograde cycle of Saturn that began March 14, 2015. When a planet is in the process of resuming direct motion, it hovers in the degree that it occupies, without much movement. This could seem like even more pressure from already slow and heavy Saturn during the last week of July and first week of August.

Whatever difficult or challenging situations that have been prevalent for the past four months may turn about in some way during this first part of August. Since it is the great Shani (Saturn) we are talking about, we may expect the change to be slow and/or painful, requiring some amount of sacrifice or renunciation.

Our real lessons in life are often delivered by the hand of Saturn, who both shows us the hard limitations by which material existence is bound and also exposes the illusions created by a fear-driven ego.

After Saturn has resumed direct motion, we may feel as if our big, heavy ship has come about as we plod in a new direction. Leaving the doldrums behind, we could have a sense of being "unstuck" as August nears its end.

Venus-Jupiter Conjunction August 4

After Saturn's return to direct motion, Venus alone remains in reverse motion until September 6. This retrograde cycle transitions Venus from appearance in the evening sky in the west to appearance in the east in the morning. This oscillation of Venus from evening to morning "star" is a slow and steady tide that people have been observing for countless years.

Venus in reverse is bringing another encounter with Jupiter. Venus and Jupiter first joined in the sign of Cancer during June, then moved together into Leo in July. Venus moved ahead of Jupiter and then began a retrograde cycle that will cause another exact conjunction with Jupiter on August 4.

This will be the second of three conjunctions between Venus and Jupiter due to the current retrograde cycle of Venus. The first happened on July 1 at 28° Cancer, the second is on August 4 at 5º Leo and the third will be after Venus resumes direct motion and once again overtakes Jupiter at 22° Leo on October 25.

This particular pass sees Venus in retrograde motion, which could have us reviewing, rewinding and relearning how to best conduct ourselves in relation to others. The sign of Leo is currently subject to the aspect of Saturn who regained direct motion on August 1 and is positioned at 5° Scorpio. This gives Saturn an exact 10th aspect on the Venus-Jupiter conjunction at this time.

The pressure of Saturn could push us as we move both forward (Jupiter) and in reverse (Venus) through our learning, growing and relating at this time.

Mercury Transits Leo August 4 – 22

Quick moving Mercury runs through the Sun's sign, Leo, from August 4-22, passing Venus and Jupiter and racing toward his own sign of Virgo on August 22.

By August 6, Mercury will have moved out of combustion range, away from the bright orb of the Sun. This subjects Mercury to the influence of Venus and Jupiter as he moves through Leo, as well as to the aspect of Saturn on the sign of Leo and the planets passing through.

This could be a good period of time to concentrate on studies by organizing materials and getting into the student mindset. Retrograde Venus may encourage review of materials while Jupiter's influence on Mercury may cause expansion into new branches of knowledge.

Mercury in Leo could also provide support for public speaking and presentations.

Retrograde Venus Enters Cancer August 13

As Venus moves away from Jupiter in the early degrees of Leo, and out of sight in the evening sky, its apparent retrograde motion takes Venus back into the stars of the constellation Cancer and closer to a meeting with Mars.

Venus makes a conjunction with Mars on August 31 and then resumes direct motion one week later. This will keep Venus and Mars in close proximity through November 2015, as they travel through the signs of Cancer, Leo and Virgo together.

The interaction of Venus and Mars can bring us situations that challenge how we handle power dynamics within relationship. How can we maintain individual agendas within the context of selfless compromise? How can we exercise compassion without becoming the target of manipulation? How can we have strength without sacrificing beauty or flexibility?

With Mars in Cancer, as mentioned earlier, there may be discomfort due to Mars being asked to reach a state of vulnerability. This could be our chance to strip down our ego willingly in order to learn a new balance between self and other. The difficulty may lie in releasing our hold on individual viewpoints (which ensure our "safety") in order to see things from a broader perspective that includes the well-being of other parties.

New Moon in Cancer August 14

The beginning of August saw one set of pivots with the full Moon of July 31, with Saturn resuming direct motion and with Mars and Mercury changing signs. The middle of August shows another slight swing with the new Moon of August 14 followed by the Sun changing signs.

The Moon and Sun join at 28° Cancer on the morning of August 14. Also in Cancer will be retrograde Venus at 30° and Mars at 10°. Moon, Sun and Venus will all be within the nakshatra (lunar mansion) Aslesha, ruled by Sarpa, the serpent and also ruled by the planet Mercury. With Mercury's energetic nature that promotes movement and exchange and the electrical transformation symbolized by the serpent energy, we may see this as a moment of stillness and preparation as we prepare to take a new form or stance.

Sun Transits Leo August 17 – September 16

The Sun's own sign is Leo, and the king of our skies moves through this sector of the zodiac for the month between August 17 and September 16.

Sun joins Jupiter in Leo, already putting Jupiter into a state of combustion, which is proximity to the Sun. We cannot see combust planets as the Sun's brightness obscures them. Jupiter, seen in the evening sky throughout the summer, will slip from our sight in early August as it travels behind the Sun and will re-appear in the morning sky in mid-September.

This combination only happens once every twelve years, when Jupiter transits Leo. The last time Jupiter and Sun joined in Leo was August-September 2003. These two planets are friendly to one another and both are comfortable, even powerful, the this sign. The Sun is in its own sign while in Leo, and it is like the king being in the throne room. The Sun and Jupiter will conjunct exactly at 10° Leo on August 26.

On a personal level while we experience this transit, we can behold our own true, natural and sovereign state of being. If we are comfortable in this role, we should feel a warmth about our individual expression during this time; if adjustments need to be made to our expression or sense of personal sovereignty, we will have the opportunity to learn how.

Saturn and Jupiter are both aspecting the Sun as it moves through Leo. Saturn by 10th aspect and Jupiter by conjunction. The expansive nature of Jupiter encourages us to grow and learn, while the contractive nature of Saturn helps us to limit and detach. This could be a good month to focus on finding just the right combination of confidence and humility.

Mercury Transits Virgo August 22 – October 29

While Mercury does tend to move quickly through the zodiac, it is due to retrograde cycles that we find Mercury lingering in certain signs for longer periods of time. Mercury will occupy his own sign, which is also the sign of exaltation for Mercury, Virgo, for over two months.

Already winding his way through Virgo is Rahu, currently about two-thirds of the way through his transit in Mercury's sign. Rahu is strong in Virgo, the mulatrikona sign for Rahu, which gives Rahu a positive support in its expression.

Mercury is also very strong in Virgo, so this combination could bring some interesting, energetic and possibly dramatic effects depending upon which house these two are transiting in the personal chart.

Due to a Mercury retrograde period from September 17 - October 9, Mercury and Rahu will remain very close within this time period, but an exact conjunction will happen only once when Mercury approaches Rahu on August 28.

Mercury tends to be easily influenced by other planets, and Rahu tends to easily influence other planets, so this combination will somewhat fuse and amplify the energies of Mercury and Rahu during this time.

Since Mercury rules medicines, especially plant-based, and Rahu rules medicines that fall into the "poisons" category, we may see some innovations that involve medications. The sign of Virgo is closely connected with health and the healing arts, so the focus during this time could be extremely health oriented. This could be a good time to start new health regimens, especially those that combine natural and allopathic approaches.

With Mercury as the ruler of communication and exchange sharing space with Rahu, who brings us desire for worldly things, we may also use this time wisely by buying, selling, marketing, networking, moving about and generally getting messages out to the masses.

Full Moon in Aquarius August 29

August closes with another pivot, as the Moon reaches its full strength for the month in the sign of Aquarius, co-ruled by the planets Saturn and Rahu. At about noon on Saturday, August 29, the Moon waxes to full at 13° Aquarius within the lunar mansion (nakshatra) called Shatabishak.

Favorable activities for a full Moon in Shatabishak would be business deals, contracts, real-estate/land deals or improvement, water travel, bicycle rides, media-related events, medical activity and rejuvenation efforts.

This full Moon in Shatabishak coming close on the heels of the exact Mercury and Rahu conjunction further encourages us to find a new level of health and balance. Seek a fresh, innovative approach to establishing and maintaining a life-enhancing health routine at this time.

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