Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

February 2016

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Let the Jupiter – Rahu Conjunction Begin!

Since we can look at the nodal axis (Rahu and Ketu) in the guise of either "True" or "Mean" nodes, the change either way happened in January. True nodes, which account for the wobbly back and forth motion of the axis changed on January 9, 2016. Mean nodes, which smooth out the wobble and take an average of the progress of the axis, changed on January 29, 2016. So by February 1, we are firmly set in our new nodal positions, with Rahu joining retrograde Jupiter in Leo and Ketu moving into Aquarius.

This conjunction of Jupiter and Rahu continues until Jupiter moves signs into Virgo on August 11, 2016. Of the planets, Jupiter and Sun are the strong upholders of dharma, or right action. Leo is the sign of the Sun, so in general we would expect good things coming from Jupiter moving through Leo, which began on July 13, 2015.

Jupiter and Rahu will be in the sun Sign Leo and in the nakshatra (lunar mansion) called Uttaraphalguni as the month begins. Uttaraphalguni is also ruled by the Sun, so it will be more comfortable for Jupiter than Rahu. On February 17, Jupiter retrogrades into Purvaphalguni, ruled by Venus and by the deva called Bhaga, Lord of Prosperity and one of the twelve solar gods, the Adityas. Rahu joins Jupiter in Purvaphalguni on April 1 where the pair will traverse together until July, when Jupiter moves forward into the final degrees of Leo.

Rahu is more concerned with fulfilling desires than doing the right thing. This certainly can lead to questionable judgement and confusion about what really is the right thing. Jupiter is very concerned with righteous behavior and especially so in the Sun's sign of Leo.

This combination could lead to a variety of possibilities, so on a personal level, we can choose which ones to move toward. On a basic level, here are two possibilities to choose from:

  1. Jupiter could exercise his power to keep things right and clean, influencing Rahu to walk a straighter path and be accountable
  2. Rahu could leverage Jupiter's squeaky-clean image and make things that aren't wholesome seem wholesome.

Overall, Jupiter has more strength in Leo to do the right thing than Rahu has the strength to do the wrong thing, so with a little effort on our part, we can find the way to access Jupiter's dharma and good advice at times when it is difficult to know right from wrong.

Jupiter recently began a retrograde cycle at the final degree of Leo, and Rahu enters Leo from the Virgo side, becoming suddenly hand-in-hand with Jupiter, within a few degrees. This closeness continues for quite awhile.

Jupiter moves a bit quicker than Rahu, leading Rahu back through the late degrees of Leo with about five degrees between them until May 9, when Jupiter returns to direct motion. As Jupiter goes forward, this brings an exact conjunction with Rahu on June 24.

After this single exact meeting, Jupiter continues to move direct through the last degrees of Leo, ending this union on August 11 as Jupiter moves to Virgo. So for the next almost seven months, we have the opportunity to exercise our ability to make wholesome choices in the face of powerful temptation and desire.

New Moon in Capricorn February 8

The Sun and Moon join at 26° Capricorn, Saturn's earth sign, on the morning of Monday, February 8. The pair of luminaries receives a very tight planetary glance from Saturn himself, currently positioned at 21° Scorpio.

The nakshatra (lunar mansion) occupied by the Sun and Moon at this juncture is Dhanistha, which is ruled by Mars. Mars will be at 25° Libra on this day, making a very tight aspect on the Sun and Moon.

This puts the new Moon under the strong influence of both Saturn (ruler of Capricorn) and Mars (ruler of Dhanistha.) Receiving the glance of both Saturn and Mars can be difficult in the sense that there may be mixed messages.

Saturn as ruler of Capricorn especially influences the Sun at this time, bringing forth issues of ego and self-worth. There may be self-doubt or fear about putting oneself into the spotlight.

Mars as ruler of Dhanistha will especially influence the Moon, bringing forth courage and strength to the mental realm. This may encourage the initiation of new projects and activity.

On the day leading up to the new Moon, Sunday, February 8, we may feel drained due to the last waning hours of the Moon this month; it is a good day to restrict activity in favor of contemplation and rest. Consider what seeds are being planted and how best to proceed. The Moon and Mars may feel like charging forward while Sun and Saturn are suggesting caution. Formulating a plan and deliberately making steps may be the best course of action for the remainder of the month.

Mercury Transits Capricorn February 8 – March 1

As the Moon moves ahead of the Sun and toward Aquarius on Monday, February 8, Mercury takes the afternoon train to Capricorn, joining the Sun as the Moon transits to Aquarius later in the day. So on this day, Sun remains in Capricorn while Moon moves out and Mercury moves in.

This is a return to Capricorn for Mercury, whose last retrograde cycle from January 5-25 took him back to Sagittarius. Ever-changing Mercury moves quickly and is suited for changing environments. In Sagittarius, Mercury was under the influence of Jupiter as ruler of Sagittarius and by receiving the aspect of Jupiter. This should have been a good period for learning, teaching and managing finances.

In Capricorn, the environment for Mercury becomes Saturn-oriented as Saturn rules Capricorn and is aspecting his own sign from Scorpio. This could slow things down in Mercury's realm, which isn't always a bad thing.

Capricorn (and Saturn) can be quite serious while Mercury trends toward humor and levity. This transit will be good for training the abundant mental energy of Mercury toward serious effort.

Remember also that Mars will be aspecting Capricorn (and Mercury) from Libra until February 20, so this is even more energy to channel and direct. With some discipline, this Mercury transit through Capricorn could be quite productive.

Venus Transits Capricorn February 12 – March 7

Joining Mercury in Capricorn is Venus on February 12. The two friendly planets travel closely together through Capricorn, aspected by Saturn, a stern but friendly influence. Venus, Mercury and Saturn are known as natural friends.

Venus adds inspiration and even more energy to Mercury. Venus and Mercury together could make for quite a communicative pair, but in Capricorn and aspected by Saturn, we may experience those moments when we realize that its better to say nothing than to say something.

By February 20, Venus and Mercury will have both entered the lunar mansion called Shravana, ruled by the Moon and symbolized by the ear. Another hint that listening may be more valuable than speaking at this time.

Adding Venus into the Capricorn mix could bring grace and beauty to whatever work projects we may be seriously addressing, aided by the energy of Mercury and aspect of Mars.

Venus is the indicator of relationship and merging with others. This could be a good stretch for working through particularly difficult issues within relationship, leveraging Venus' compassion and Mercury's communication and ability to see from both sides. We are bringing passionate issues into neutral, safe territory where work can be done.

Sun Transits Aquarius February 13 – March 14

As the Sun enters Aquarius of February 13, we see the Sun leading the way into a conjunction with Ketu, newly arrived at the opposite end of Aquarius. While the Moon makes a round of all of the signs and nakshatras during one month, the other planets move at a slower pace. Many of them recently made transits past Rahu, namely Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars.

Sharing a sign with Ketu at this time means also coming into an opposition with the Jupiter and Rahu combination in Leo. So, Jupiter and Rahu will aspect the Sun (and Ketu) but also the Sun will aspecting his own sign of Leo and the planets in it. This will further encourage the good behavior of Rahu while the Sun sits in Aquarius.

In the next couple of months, we will also see Mercury and Venus moving through Aquarius and joining Ketu (while opposing the Jupiter and Rahu combination and receiving the aspect of Mars from Scorpio.) Ketu's influence can cause us to let go and give up, which ultimately leads to a new level of freedom after the pain of some separation.

Ketu in Aquarius is interesting because one of the rulers of Aquarius is Rahu himself, so we get an exposure to deeply karmic events when the nodal axis passes through either Aquarius or Scorpio. That means that the sign of Aquarius and the planets passing through it for the next 1.5 years will be under the influence of both Rahu and Ketu. Ketu tends to block or deny while Rahu amplifies and delivers. So perhaps the general function of Ketu blocking or putting up obstacles will not be as pronounced as when in other signs; either that or the additional determination of Rahu to get what is wanted will match the blocking of Ketu's effects.

The last transit of Ketu through Aquarius occurred from June 25, 1997 – January 11, 1999. During that transit, we saw Jupiter with Ketu from January 1998 – January 1999, with both planets moving in opposite directions from Aquarius within a two day period. One can reflect back to that period of time for clues about how this current position of Rahu and Ketu may manifest, bearing in mind that the positions of other planets are different as well as the personal planetary periods being different.

Mars Enters Scorpio February 20

In the hours before sunrise on February 20, Mars moves out of Libra and into his own sign of Scorpio, joining Saturn. This marks the beginning of an extended conjunction between Mars and Saturn in Scorpio which continues until September 17, 2016.

During the course of February, Saturn, dear Shanidev, will travel from 20-22° Scorpio, which is mostly in the second pada (quarter) of the nakshatra Jyestha, ruled by Mercury and Lord Indra, King of the Gods. Mars enters Scorpio in the last pada (quarter) of the nakshatra Vishaka, which bridges Libra and Scorpio, and moves into Anuradha on February 28.

So while there are many months of Mars and Saturn sharing the space of Scorpio, things don't get too close for comfort until August. Because of a retrograde cycle, Mars actually leaves Scorpio and spends a few weeks in Libra from June 17 – July 11. Saturn will begin a retrograde cycle that begins March 25 and completes on August 18, bringing Saturn and Mars much closer together.

The exact conjunction of Mars and Saturn occurs at about 16° Scorpio, from August 22 -24 in the nakshatra Anuradha, ruled by Saturn himself and Mitra, Lord of Friendship. While Saturn and Mars are not naturally friendly, perhaps the influence of Mitra can be accessed at this time to avoid conflict.

Saturn and Mars are another interesting pair. They are not friends but Saturn exalts Mars (Mars exalted in Capricorn) and Mars debilitates Saturn (Saturn debilitated in Aries.) Could we say that Saturn is more tolerant of Mars? At any rate, with some careful planning, this combination could be leveraged in the regard of completing serious work and making prolonged effort.

As the months progress, we will keep our eye on this combination. Mars is certainly strong and powerful in his own sign of Scorpio. This shows the ability for channelling power into deep work such as research. Saturn continues to hold his position in Jyestha, moving cautiously and pressing his influence into Scorpio, Capricorn, Taurus and Leo. The two signs most affected by Saturn and Mars during this long conjunction will be Scorpio and Taurus.

Eight of the nine planets (Moon excepted) will be grouped into pairs in four different signs through the end of the month: Jupiter + Rahu in Leo, Saturn + Mars in Scorpio, Venus + Mercury in Capricorn and Sun + Ketu in Aquarius. Just an interesting note.

Full Moon in Leo February 22

The Moon reaches the full point at 10° Leo, opposite the Sun at 10° Aquarius, around mid-day on Monday, February 22. The Moon joins Rahu and Jupiter while it passes through Leo and begins to wane.

Normally we would expect an eclipse with the full Moon joining Rahu, but in this case, the distance between Rahu and Moon will be too great to cause an eclipse. We will see a total solar eclipse next month on March 8-9 when Sun and Moon are in Aquarius. Then we will see a penumbral lunar eclipse on March 23 when the Sun is in Pisces and Moon is in Virgo. Although the luminaries and nodes will be in different signs during the full Moon, they will be close enough by degrees to cause the eclipse.

The Moon will get full in Magha nakshatra this month, ruled by Ketu and by the Pitrs, the Ancestors. The month of Magha in the Hindu calendar is important for donating to charity and honoring our ancestors. Here's an easy way to donate a dairy cow.

So while we aren't getting an eclipse with this full Moon, the Sun and Moon are still occupying the same signs as Ketu and Rahu, respectively, there may on some level be an eclipsing effect that we feel, especially in the domains of life occupied by Aquarius and Leo.

Moon Gets Down on Leap Day February 29

Our western calendar wiggle day comes this year as we see our "leap year" in 2016.

The day is notable as it is a Monday and the Moon itself reaches its point of debility in the early degrees of Scorpio, joining Mars exactly and Saturn from a small distance. It may be easy to feel agitated with too much mental pressure on this day. Perhaps a good day to make a light schedule and leap through the intercalary day!

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