Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

March 2015

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

Full Moon in Leo March 5

March begins with the Moon entering its own sign of Cancer, joining exalted but retrograde Jupiter. The Moon will continue to wax during the first days of March, coming to its brightest and fullest moment at 21° Leo just around mid-day on March 5; it should look beautiful among the stars of Leo on both the evening of March 4 and 5.

Leo's lord is the Sun, who is currently in the sign of Aquarius, as will always be true during a Leo full Moon. The Sun is a not a great friend of Saturn, co-ruler of Aquarius, so the Sun can be somewhat subdued as it moves through Capricorn and Aquarius, which happens to coincide with the cold winter months in the northern hemisphere. The Moon in Leo is happy and in fullness is also strong.

Moon will be in the lunar mansion of Purvaphalguni, which is ruled by Venus and Bhaga, lord of marriage, procreative union and wealth. This may bring forth feelings concerning one's own relationship status and could bestow some understanding of how the play of individual selves comes into play as we join seriously with another.

The only planet aside from the Sun aspecting the Moon on this day is Saturn from Scorpio. This could cast a ray of practical, weighty input into the day. Saturn always helps us keep it real.

After the Moon begins to wane, it moves into Virgo, joining Rahu. Each month this year, we will be experiencing this difficult path for the Moon as it wanes, joins with Rahu in Virgo, passes between Rahu and Saturn through Libra, joins Saturn in Scorpio and then moves to Sagittarius. The Moon runs this gamut from March 6-13.

The Moon is a sensitive planet which reflects the fluctuations of our own minds. The influence of both Rahu and Saturn can be difficult for the Moon, and we will be repeating this monthly transit until Rahu moves to Leo in January 2016. Rahu can cause intense desire and confusion in the mind. Saturn can cause depression and anxiety. There is no avoiding the traverse of this difficult territory, but knowing what we face and preparing for it can help us move through it with grace.

Mercury Transits Aquarius March 9-27

Mercury moves from Capricorn to Aquarius on March 9 for a rapid transit through the air sign co-ruled by Saturn and Rahu. While Mercury does well in the signs ruled by Saturn, this short tramp through Aquarius may see Mercury moving comparatively unencumbered.

While in Capricorn, Mercury received planetary aspects from both Rahu and Saturn, as well as Jupiter. In Aquarius, Mercury is relatively unbothered by the influence of other planets. This could give us a good couple of weeks of clarity in our exchanges before Mercury plunges into the watery environment of Pisces.

Mercury is the indicator for communication and transactions and will be in an exchange of signs with Rahu, currently positioned in Mercury's sign, Virgo. This could be a good time to "communicate with the world" through broadcasting, marketing and networking.

This may be also a good time to take care of business (like doing your 2014 taxes), especially before the new Moon solar eclipse on March 20 and also before Mercury gets into its sign of debilitation, Pisces.

Venus Transits Aries March 11-April 6

Venus has pulled ahead of Mars after their exact conjunction on February 21. Venus continues to increase this space until July, when Venus will begin a retrograde cycle from July 24-September 6, transitioning from "evening star" to "morning star."

Beautiful Venus, who rules the creative spark, comes away from Pisces, the sign of exaltation for Venus, with some amount of clout. This transit through the independent and pioneering sign of Aries could prompt some new creative endeavors.

There may be some urges toward solo creative projects or a need for "alone" time to assess one's current stance on group projects or relationships. Mars will follow Venus into his own sign on March 23.

Especially before the upcoming eclipse on March 20, this time could be great for initiating creative ventures and further exploring the journey of how self and other fit together harmoniously.

Saturn Retrograde March 14-August 2

The effects of retrograde planets can vary depending on the planet and the position of the planet by sign and house. Saturn is in the group of tamasic planets with Mars, Rahu and Ketu. These planets are all known as "malefic" and their energy tends to flow downward into the baser regions of worldly life. They challenge us to willfully bring their energies toward a more wholesome function, which is ultimately their gift.

Saturn moves slowly, is cold and dry and rules the heavy, foundational substances in life that are difficult to move. This planet of karma, truth and responsibility signifies that which keeps us limited as we move through life: limited by our physical bodies, limited by our own karmic antics, limited by time and space.

Saturn is currently in Scorpio, ruled by two others in the tamasic group: Mars and Ketu. The entire transit of Saturn through Scorpio (November 2, 2014-October 25, 2017) offers us this challenge to transform and transmute our base tendencies. We may learn in attempting this that we must develop a new balance of detachment and effort. Saturn going into retrograde state is as if it is falling into slumber. This 4.5 month period may be difficult for doing the work of transformation of habits and tendencies as mentioned above.

Where this retrograde Saturn may be transiting in an individual chart will be felt differently by each person. If Scorpio is one of the difficult houses (dushthana: 6, 8, 12) in the chart, there is less chance that this retrograde Saturn will mar the "good" things in life. But it will still represent work to be done, a struggle to be faced or a required surrender in some form.

For the first few weeks of this Saturn retrograde cycle, Jupiter remains in retrograde motion, until April 8. This could be a difficult time to generate momentum, so perhaps a good plan would be to make oneself quiet and comfortable for a few weeks with the intention of going deeply into an internal review of deeply ingrained tendencies and habits.

Sun Transits Pisces March 14-April 14

The Sun joins Mars and Ketu in the sign of Pisces on March 14. Pisces, Jupiter's water sign, is like the vast ocean of consciousness, infinite, limitless and full of transcendent possibility.

For the first ten days of the Sun's voyage through Pisces, Mars and Ketu will both be positioned in that sign. As co-rulers of Scorpio and therefore the current dispositors of Saturn, Mars and Ketu bring the transformational intensity of Scorpio to Pisces at this time. The Sun moving through this, along with the Moon, will participate in a total solar eclipse on March 20.

It is interesting that in our current time, the vernal equinox falls in the sign of Pisces, where Venus is exalted, a perfect herald of spring. With Pisces being the final sign in the zodiac cycle, we experience endings that flow into beginnings and initiation each spring as the Sun moves through Pisces. The addition of Ketu this year could make for a liberating transition to our new growth cycle, available to all who are willing to release any strong holds.

While the eclipse happens on the new Moon of March 20, the Sun moves into direct conjunction with Ketu on March 30-31.

New Moon Total Solar Eclipse in Pisces March 20

This is the first eclipse in the first eclipse pair that we will see in 2015. Eclipses occur when the new Moon or full Moon aligns with the Rahu-Ketu axis, currently positioned in Pisces and Virgo. On April 4, the second eclipse of the pair will occur during a full Moon in Virgo.

In this case, the new Moon slips in between the earth and Sun, in alignment with Ketu, causing the Sun to be obscured by the Moon. This eclipse will be visible to Europe, Middle East, West Asia, North Africa, Greenland and Iceland.

This is also the vernal equinox and a "Supermoon." Read more about the astronomy of this eclipse at EarthSky.org.

The Sun and Moon join at 6° Pisces, the 12th and final sign of the zodiac and in the nakshatra (lunar mansion) called Uttarabhadra. Ketu, the eclipse-causing south node of the Moon, is at 17° Pisces in the nakshatra of Revati. Since the nodal axis points (Rahu and Ketu) move in reverse direction, it can be noted here that Ketu will be moving out of Revati and into Uttarabhadra the next morning, March 21, concluding an 8-month traverse of the late degrees of Pisces.

Since Ketu is the one causing the eclipse, delivering its final blessing from the nakshatra Revati for now, we think of Ketu's guidance, which leads us toward the pursuit of spiritual goals. As far as the play of worldly desires, Ketu does not participate, so this eclipse may act to put a temporary barrier in front of our wants and needs.

The Sun, as indicator of our individual nature and our protective ego with the Moon, as indicator of mental sensitivity and emotion, are clearly planets that drive the human experience in many ways. The Sun will be eclipsed by liberation-oriented Ketu, with the help of the Moon. For those already in pursuit of ego-negation, this could be your lucky day.

Another point to note is the exchange occurring between Jupiter and the Moon. Jupiter is currently exalted and in retrograde motion in the Moon's sign of Cancer, while the Moon (+Sun+Ketu+Mars) will occupy Pisces, Jupiter's sign. This helps all planets involved in this configuration.

We have watery signs and planets as the supporters of this eclipse (Pisces, Cancer, Moon, Jupiter) with fiery and bright Ketu, Mars and Sun floating about, creating heat surrounded by water. Maybe this is not the day for a riverboat cruise or a sail.

Eclipses have been traditionally viewed with wariness and it is recommended that important, auspicious actions be avoided during the time of an eclipse. Rather, this particular eclipse would be so well spent with a focus on meditative practices. With Ketu's ability to suppress the solar and lunar energy on this day, we could become very close to liberating ourselves from whatever current problems we have been working with. Take advantage of this edge and allow things to drop that have completed their time.

Mars Transits Aries March 23-May 3

Mars marches forth into his own sign of Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, on March 23. Mars joins Venus for a couple of weeks before Venus moves on to occupy her own sign on April 6. The only thing keeping Mars in check, being relatively free of other planetary aspect, is Saturn, currently occupying Mars' other sign, Scorpio.

Mars is in a powerful position in Aries, as planets are strong while in occupation of the signs that they rule. From Aries, Mars gives his planetary glance to Jupiter in Cancer and Saturn in Scorpio, both currently retrograde.

Mars in Aries can be a potent and focused stream of energy, ready to press forward with plans, designs and projects. The retrograde status of Jupiter and Saturn could be slowing or delaying both our expansions and our contractions. Mars will want to push things forward despite the resistance. It may be difficult to grow quickly and safely until after Jupiter resumes direct motion on April 8.

Take advantage of Saturn's influence on Mars by building to last. Mars has the strength, power and initiative. Saturn has the experience and durability. Beware of impulsive decision making during this time.

Mercury in Pisces March 27-April 11

Mars jumps out of Pisces and makes room for Mercury to jump in. Mercury is considered to be debilitated in transit of Pisces, which indicates that the natural functioning of the planet is hampered in that environment.

Since Mercury is the ruler of communication and exchange, this could mean that our messages become muddled and our transactions become difficult. Different from the energy of Mercury when retrograde, Mercury in Pisces can be slow and cloudy rather than hyper or frenetic, which we can experience during Mercury retrograde.

With the addition of Ketu in the mix, it may be a good signal to say less, not more, during this transit. In the aftermath of fiery Mars, Ketu and the Sun combined in Pisces, quiet, slow communication could be just the thing to restore the balance.

Unfortunately, this is the time when many in the US will be scrambling to get their taxes ready to file with the IRS. Do yourself a favor and get organized before Mercury moves to Pisces! File early and sit back to wait for your return as you talk about spiritual matters while enjoying time by the flowing of the springtime waters.

A saving grace for Mercury during this time is that Jupiter, ruler of Pisces, is currently exalted, which creates a cancellation of debilitation. That doesn't erase the fact that Mercury will struggle here, it indicates that there could be help coming from Jupiter that allows us to overcome the difficulty. Good news!

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