Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

March 2016

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Mars in Anuradha Nakshatra February 28 – June 3

Anuradha nakshatra spans from 3°20' – 16°40' Scorpio, is ruled by the planet Saturn and by the devata (divine being) known as Mitra, patron of friendship. Mars will be in Scorpio until September (except for a few weeks back into Libra with Mars' retrograde period), so we may see slightly different moods and expressions of Mars as he transits the nakshatras (lunar mansions) within Scorpio: Vishaka, Anuradha and Jyestha.

Mars' retrograde cycle begins April 16, eventually taking Mars back into the late degrees of Libra, where he resumes direct motion on June 30.

The sign of Scorpio is co-ruled by Mars and Ketu and is currently hosting Saturn until October 25, 2017. The association of Saturn and Mars can cause some friction due to different styles and agendas of these two tough planets. Mars tends to want to decisively use power in the context of a well-formed plan to achieve his ends. Saturn tends to obstruct and slow down progress due to caution and lack.

Anuradha lies completely within the sign of Scorpio, giving the influence of Mars, but it is specifically ruled by the planet Saturn. So, within this nakshatra of Anuradha, we have the combined influence of Saturn and Mars. And for the next seven months, we have the combined influence of Saturn and Mars in Scorpio.

Our best efforts at maximizing the endurance of Saturn and the strength of Mars while they are occupying the same sign will require that we reduce the friction that can occur when these two meet. Maybe there is a clue within Anuradha itself; the rulership of Mitra, lord of friendship, or what we can translate as the peaceful and prosperous interactions of humans, who embody so many varied styles and agendas.

This is a call to "make it work" between Saturn and Mars by recognizing the agenda of each and allowing space for each, which may require some compromises like creating a slower timeline for projects (makes Saturn happy) or taking some risks (makes Mars happy.)

Mercury Enters Aquarius March 1

As mentioned briefly in the February forecast, the planets other than the Moon are positioned in pairs as the month of March dawns: Jupiter and Rahu in Leo, Mars and Saturn in Scorpio, Venus and Mercury in Capricorn and the Sun with Ketu in Aquarius. On March 1, the Moon will be joining Saturn and Mars in Scorpio. These four pairings got into place when Mars moved into his own sign of Scorpio on February 20 and will begin to dissolve as Mercury and then Venus move into Aquarius in early March.

The reason to mention this is mostly due to the presence of six planets in three different fixed signs. The fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) tend to hold things; movement and change are not comfortable for them. The final part of February leading into March may feel this way. Resistance to change, movement or creativity with the justification being centered in habit and tradition for stability's sake.

And the two most vocal and energetic planets, Mercury and Venus, happen to be in what we call a movable sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn.) Movable signs are good for motivating change, gathering energy and initiating movement. These two planets have been the ones rallying for change, but perhaps thwarted by the energy of the many planets occupying fixed signs.

Mid-day on March 1, Mercury leaves Capricorn and moves into Aquarius, joining Sun and Ketu in the fixed sign that is co-ruled by Saturn and Rahu. This puts energetic and change-loving Mercury into an interesting environment for the first half of March.

The signs Aquarius and Scorpio are special due to the planets that rule them. They are the only two signs that each have two lords who co-rule them, due to the assignment of the nodes of the Moon, Rahu and Ketu. Aquarius is co-ruled by Saturn and Rahu. Scorpio is co-ruled by Mars and Ketu. This enriches the complexity we may face in interpreting the behavior of planets as they interact with these two signs. March is a big month for Aquarius and Scorpio this year.

Venus Transits Aquarius March 7 – 31

With Venus moving to Aquarius, this completes the transition of all planets (except Moon) positioned in fixed signs, until Sun moves to Pisces on March 14. We will have one week of this stuck energy, from March 7-14, with the Moon being the only planet that will traverse different signs (and participate in the total solar eclipse on March 8-9.)

When Venus enters Aquarius on Monday, March 7, that will make a five planet grouping in the air sign ruled by Saturn and Rahu: Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury and Ketu. This gathers quite a bit of planetary charge into the nodal axis, which will cause a total solar eclipse on March 8-9.

Venus' role is to connect and harmonize, bringing together different entities through acceptance, entertainment and diplomacy. Mercury, a natural friend of Venus, should be helpful toward these ends as the planets move through Aquarius.

Aquarius, ruled by Saturn and Rahu, can be a rough, weird ride. The detached nature of Saturn comes through strongly in its air sign. Rahu brings a smoky, obscuring presence to Aquarius, which results in the questioning of definitions and challenge of boundaries. By this strange combination of challenging planets ruling Aquarius, we are offered a lens that shows us this truth: all are equal in that all are unique.

This Aquarian humanitarianism will be the backdrop for the solar eclipse; Venus joining the scene brings compassion, grace and love into the mix. While we are seeing all of the planets in transit of fixed signs, where things may not move as quickly as we desire, Venus helps us to see the beauty, the delicate artistry of the moments as we sit transfixed and observing.

New Moon Solar Eclipse March 8 - 9

The moment of the New Moon comes around 7pm (MST) as the Sun and Moon join at 25° Aquarius, in the nakshatra Purvabhadra. Ketu nearby at 28° Aquarius is the shadow that will cause a total solar eclipse that will be visible from the equatorial region of the Pacific ocean. Depending upon your location, the moment of greatest eclipse happens either on March 8 or March 9.

As mentioned above, at the time of this new Moon, we will have Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury and Ketu deposited in Aquarius and in the opposite sign, Leo, we will have Rahu with retrograde Jupiter. For those who follow the outer planets, Neptune is also currently in the sign of Aquarius at 16°.

The other two planets, Saturn and Mars, will be pulled into the eclipse energy by two threads. Mars will be aspecting the planets in Aquarius, while Saturn is the ruler of Aquarius and aspects the planets in Leo. In this way, all of the planets will be participating in this eclipse framework.

Each month, we mention the day leading up to the moment of the new Moon as amavasya and suggest that activity be limited in favor of rest and reflection. The energy of the Moon is low during this time of the month, and this can be felt as a lack of energy in the body and mind. With this eclipse cycle looming, this advice is doubled.

Solar eclipses tend to bring out events that can be world-changing, whether the world at large or our own smaller sphere of existance. The Sun, Moon and Ketu will all be in the lunar mansion Purvabhadra, ruled by the planet Jupiter and by the ancient diety Ajaiekapada. The themes that Ajaiekapada carries involve having the energy of two worlds, holding the energy of fire or sun, and being a form of Shiva as one of the Rudras. They symbol of this lunar mansion is a sword (modern equivalent of sword = gun?)

Purvabhadra nakshatra spans from 20°00' Aquarius to 3°20' Pisces, so its influence carries the energy of Ajaiekapada, Saturn and Rahu (rulers of Aquarius) and Jupiter (ruler of Purvabhadra and Pisces.) There is a theme of duality, of spanning two worlds, of destruction vs. sustenance. Whether we witness major world events that cause noticeable outer change or we experience internal shifts that feel like a lightning strike, there may be something that changes our view on the world that comes through this eclipse.

Sun Transits Pisces March 14 – April 13

The Sun, recently eclipsed, moves out of Aquarius and into Pisces on March 14. This puts Sun and Jupiter into a special relationship for this next month as they will be in an exchange of signs. Jupiter will remain in the Sun's sign of Leo with Rahu and the Sun will be transiting Pisces, Jupiter's water sign.

Exchange of signs, parivartana, supports both of the planets and signs involved in the exchange. This particular circumstance, however, puts Sun and Jupiter into a position where they are either six or eight houses from one another, which introduces some friction and contention.

This could signal that the change and transition facilitated by the Sun moving into a dual sign (Pisces), while all of the other planets except Moon are still positioned in fixed signs, could require some amount of struggle or transformation. This transit of Sun through Pisces should be overall positive, despite a small measure of struggle to change, as the Sun will be relieved of the aggressive aspect of Mars as it moves to Pisces.

Mercury Transits Pisces March 18 – April 2

A few days after the Sun moves to Pisces, Mercury joins for a quick transit that begins on March 18, taking him past the Sun and into Aries on April 2.

Pisces is known as the sign of debilitation for Mercury. We may experience some difficulty in Mercury-related activities for this brief period. Communication, transactions and short trips all fall into this category. Picture the added level of difficulty when attempting to walk through a depth of water or trying to communicate under water.

Pay extra attention to your speech, listening and preparations for everyday activities such as shopping or planning meetings. Even easy things may seem slow during this stretch. Avail yourself of Mercury's sense of humor and light-hearted attitude to keep perspective.

Mercury's exit from Aquarius on March 18 will leave Venus and Ketu alone to sit quietly for a couple of weeks, witnessing the upcoming lunar eclipse as they recover from the recent solar eclipse.

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Virgo March 23

As the Moon waxes in March, it heads toward a penumbral lunar eclipse, the second of the pair of eclipses that we experience this month.

The Moon will be at 9°12' of the sign Virgo, within the final degree of the lunar mansion of Uttaraphalguni. The Sun will be opposite at 9°12' of the sign Pisces, in the lunar mansion Uttarabhadra.

Both of these nakshatras fall into the category called sthira, or fixed, meaning that they are generally favored for the establishment of things that we want to last or remain somewhat permanent. Because of the eclipsing action on the Moon, this may interfere with that type of long-term intention. Eclipses and the nodes of the Moon (Rahu and Ketu) can cause conditions that feel unstable or impermanent.

With the Moon as representative of the mind, feelings, emotions and all mental fluctuations being affected strongly by Rahu and aspected by Mercury and Sun from Pisces, this may not be the best day to make long-term decisions. Certainly actions such as digging a foundation, signing a long-term contract or opening a business should be avoided at this time, as the eclipse energy will be carried with that action.

Saturn Retrograde March 25 – August 13

Saturn moves slowly, spending almost a full three years in Scorpio during this current transit. The Son of the Sun begins a retrograde cycle at 23° Scorpio (Jyestha) which will conclude at 15°42' Scorpio (Anuradha) on August 13. This is the second retrograde cycle of Saturn during this Scorpio transit, the previous one being March 14, 2015 – August 2, 2015.

While it is tricky to understand the nature of retrograde planets, we can apply the principle that there is a reversal in the behavior of those planets. So while Saturn generally moves with deliberation or stubbornness, we may see a bit of relaxation on those fronts. Before celebrating, we have to remember that Saturn tends to deliver difficult situations in order to facilitate our detachment; Saturn delivering those things with more speed or liberality could be challenging.

This time, Saturn is joined by Mars in Scorpio, which changes the territory somewhat. This retrograde cycle coincides with the remainder of the Rahu-Jupiter conjunction and is further affected by the combination with Mars. This next six months could deliver quite a bit of intensity (both good and bad, in every measurable combination.)

Remember that the way Saturn wishes us to face our difficulty is stoically and with detachment. With gratitude we accept our challenges and walk slowly forward (or backward) as we face the pressure or unpleasantness. This brings us strength and sculpts our character. Also remember that when the pressure becomes great, the best remedy for Saturn afflictions comes through Mercury: connect with the youthful spirit, seek humor and laughter, indulge in the remedies that nature offers, learn new things and keep moving.

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