Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

October 2016

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Kala Amrita Yoga

After the dissipation of the notable conjunctions of 2016 (Mars + Saturn and Jupiter + Rahu), we may be settling into new paradigms within our personal spheres after having weathered some intense planetary weather this year. Starting in October, we will experience several periods of a combination called Kala Amrita Yoga (a variation of Kala Sarpa Yoga), when all of the planetary bodies are "caught" on one side of the nodal axis.

First, let's discuss the idea of Kala Sarpa Yoga. There are no classical texts and sutras that define this yoga, yet in modern practice, this yoga is notable, controversial and obfuscating. The idea is that all of the seven visible planets be hemmed between the nodes, meaning that if you start at one node and move through the signs zodiacally, you will encounter all of the planets before you come to the opposing node.

This yoga reflects the concept that you can have shuba kartari (happy scissors) and papa kartari (bad scissors) on planets and houses. For example, if a planet is surrounded on either side (sign-wise) by benefic planets, it is enjoying the shuba kartari yoga. When we expand this idea and see the nodes as malefic forces and imagine all of the planets caught on one side of the axis, it is like a big papakartari.

It would be foolish to stop there and conclude that the presence of Kala Sarpa Yoga in a horoscope spells out unconditionally a horrible life for a person or a horrible moment for the world. We have to look at so many factors to help us understand the complexities of a horoscope. Rather than wondering how a difficult combination in the chart may ruin one's life, let us wonder how that combination will inspire us to become better people or lead us toward extraordinary life experiences.

It has been further suggested that in the exercise of starting at one of the nodes and counting zodiacally until the other is reached, we are coming up with two different yogas. If we start from Ketu and encounter all other planets (zodiacal order) before we come to Rahu, we say it is Kala Sarpa Yoga. If we start from Rahu and encounter all other planets (zodiacal order) before coming to Ketu, we say it is Kala Amrita Yoga. Sarpa = Snake (poison) and Amrita = Nectar (of immortality), Kala = Time, Yoga = Combination.

There is also a concept called Graha Malika Yoga, implying that planets that are placed in a string of adjacent signs are forming a necklace or chain. The planet that starts the chain is significant and the planet that ends the chain tells us something about the outcome of that yoga. In the same way with Kala Sarpa/Kala Amrita, when the yoga is started by Rahu and ends with Ketu, it begins with worldly desire and moves toward liberation, an upward spiral. When the yoga is started by Ketu and ends with Rahu, it begins with liberation and moves toward worldly desire, a downward spiral.

Here are the upcoming date ranges for the full Kala Amrita Yoga (all planets between Rahu and Ketu and none conjoining either node):

October 3 – October 11
October 26 – November 8
November 22 – December 5

On December 11, Mars will move into Aquarius to join Ketu, which will break the "pure" Kala Amrita Yoga, which would be when all of the seven planets with bodies are in the five signs between the nodes. When a planet joins one of the nodes, we have a clue as to how we find our way out of the bind, which opens a gateway and "breaks" the yoga.

We also begin October with a lovely garland of planets, starting with Mercury conjoined Rahu for just a couple of days before joining Jupiter in Virgo. On October 1: Mercury in Leo, Jupiter/Sun/Moon in Virgo, Venus in Libra, Saturn in Scorpio and Mars in Sagittarius. Mercury moving into Virgo on October 3 kicks off the first round of Kala Amrita Yoga, by leaving Rahu alone in Leo. Perhaps we will see a chain of events developing this autumn that urges us forward and upward.

In the collective sense, the placement of Rahu in Leo seems to be representing the somewhat unstable political election cycle coming up in the US. There is a hunger for the "Old Boys" to maintain a sense of traditional power. Ketu in Aquarius seems to be demanding another layer of liberation from racial and gender inequality. As the planets move forward through the signs in between Leo and Aquarius like beads on a mala, we will all be riding the tide of the Kala Amrita for the next few months.

During the time when the Kala Amrita isn't operating for the next few months, it is due to the Moon moving to the other side of the nodal axis as it cycles through the zodiac signs. These will be times to get perspective and clarity on whichever situations in life seem to be zooming ahead, propelled by unseen forces.

New Moon in Virgo September 30

At about 6:15 pm (US Mountain) on Friday, September 30, the Moon joins the Sun at 15° Virgo in the nakshatra favored by the Sun, Hasta. This is our moment of New Moon, with the day leading up to it (starting sunset on Thursday) known as amavasya, a word that implies that the power of the Moon has been worn down. When we are able to rest and disengage during this time, it is a fortunate thing, as physical and mental energy may be low, increasing our vulnerability.

This vulnerability and emptiness also creates a space for new seeds to be planted. October 1 we will see the Moon begin to wax, quickly moving along the chain of planets mentioned above. Virgo is the sign of the harvest maiden, so with both Sun and Jupiter currently located in Virgo, we may be inspired to learn new lessons from that which we have been growing and harvesting.

Jupiter's entire transit in Mercury's earth sign will encourage practical growth through learning. Hopefully this transit of Jupiter, the great teacher, will expand our knowledge of physical health and how it relates to diet and exercise, which of course extends to our food productions systems and the activity levels of daily life.

Mercury Transits Virgo October 3 - 20

After resuming direct motion on September 21, Mercury regains speed and makes haste into and out of his own earth sign of Virgo from October 3 – 20. Mercury is very powerful while in Virgo as it is not only his own sign but also his sign of exaltation. Mercury is the only planet to have this distinction.

Mercury joins Jupiter in Virgo, with the exact conjunction coming on October 10. This short transit could be an excellent kick start to new educational programs with the eternal teacher (Jupiter) meeting the eternal student (Mercury) face-to-face.

We can all enjoy this burst of energy as Mercury moves through Virgo, even if we are not specifically geared toward education at this time. Other activities that this transit may inspire: harvest (storing and distributing food, preparing earth for winter), learning new health routines, reinvigorating projects, significant transactions, long or short journeys.

Venus Transits Scorpio October 12 – November 6

For the first part of October, we are enjoying Venus being placed in own sign of Libra, which has been in effect since September 18. When Venus, planet that represents love, beauty and relationships is seated in both Libra and Taurus, we all can enjoy the flow that enlivens all things Venus.

This jump of Venus into Scorpio will break the flow of the graha malika (necklace of planets) temporarily from October 12 – 16, when Sun takes the place of Venus in Libra.

While Venus in Libra has the opportunity to function gracefully, Venus in Scorpio enters into darker waters. Not only is the sign of Scorpio, ruled by Mars and Ketu combined, a place of intensity, especially for Venus who prefers gentle, peaceful environments but also Venus will be meeting with the great Saturn as she passes through. The exact conjunction of Saturn and Venus comes on October 29-30.

While Saturn and Venus are known as natural friends, neither of them relishes the placement in Scorpio. The last time these two met in this sign was during November 2014, just after Saturn entered Scorpio for its three-year transit. Mars was in Scorpio, while Sun and Mercury were in Libra, much like we are seeing in this current transit. Perhaps there will be echoes of events that occurred during that time that come around offering another chance at understanding.

Venus' natural role as diplomat encourages us to soften and make compromises in order to keep the peace within relationships. This can be applied to personal interactions as well as to the conduct of nations. Saturn represents the inevitable path of old age, disease, death and decay and generally leaves little room for negotiation on those matters.

Scorpio's environment brings us to the depths of understanding, requiring that we have the courage to face darkness and the unknown. Ketu, as co-ruler, is depicted as a headless body, requiring understanding that comes through the body or intuition, rather than through the mind. This transit of Venus may require us to gently confront the difficult situations in life so that we can take actions that push us toward our most graceful, understanding and selfless selves. This may require some sacrifice of comfort, at least temporarily, that Venus so relishes.

Full Moon in Pisces October 15

As October reaches its halfway point, the Moon is waxing, moving past Ketu on October 13 and coming into fullness on the night of Saturday, October 15. The Moon will be at 30° Pisces in the lunar mansion of Revati, opposite the Sun at 30° Virgo in the lunar mansion of Chitra, which spans between Virgo and Libra.

After so much shifting since August, including Jupiter moving signs and separating from Rahu, Mars moving away from Saturn and an eclipse pair, this full Moon that happens right at the gandanta point between Pisces and Aries seems to be a tipping point that may spill us all into a new set of circumstances as we inevitably move ahead in our paths.

We talked last month about Mars moving through the gandanta (knot) between Scorpio and Sagittarius. This month it is the Moon that reflects the transformational opportunities of breaking through to another side or cycle of things. Mars will be aspecting the Moon from Sagittarius, as will Jupiter from Virgo, who is also the dispositor (sign ruler) of both Mars and the Moon during this time. This could be a great time to listen carefully to trumpeting of the great Jupiter who guides us always toward the righteous path.

Additionally, the nakshatra ruler of Revati, Mercury, also gazes at the Moon from Virgo during this time, in full strength and exaltation. With so many planets positioned in the dual signs (Jupiter/Sun/Mercury in Virgo, Mars in Sagittarius, Moon in Pisces) movement and change is highly supported. This will be felt especially for a couple of days before this moment of full Moon. Moon enters Pisces on the evening of October 13.

Sun Transits Libra October 16 – November 15

Just hours after the moment of full Moon, the Moon moves to Aries on October 16, followed by the Sun entering Libra later that evening. The Sun's sign of debilitation is Libra, which we can see physically as the Sun wanes in strength in the northern hemisphere during this time. Harvest is over, the golden wheat has been stored, and the Sun in Libra shows us shorter days and colder temperatures as we head toward winter solstice.

Speaking of shuba kartari yoga, the Sun will enjoy an excellent squeeze between benefics during this transit until Venus moves out of Scorpio on November 6. With Venus on one side in Scorpio and Jupiter on the other in Virgo, the Sun, king of the self placed in the sign of the other, is debilitated but beautifully supported. This could mean a great stretch of learning within relationships about how to remain a strong individual in the face of that Venus requirement of compromise.

The Sun's exact degree of debility is 20° Libra, which the Sun reaches on November 6. Not surprising if this is the day we take a hit to our ego in some way!

Mercury Transits Libra October 20 – November 8

Since Mercury regained direct motion September 21, he has been quickly gaining on the Sun, entering combustion October 8, meeting exactly with the Sun at 10º Libra on October 26 and then moving ahead of the Sun and out of combustion on November 20.

When planets are combust, they are sharing an orb of influence with the Sun, the brightest of the planets that we consider in jyotisha. The voice of the planet gets somewhat absorbed in the bright rays of the Sun, so that planet's effects get bundled in with the Sun's. That means that Mercury will also enjoy the beneficial support of Jupiter on one side and Venus on the other as Mercury moves through Libra.

This brings the faculty of communication and exchange into the mix in which we are exploring self and other via the environment of relationship and social interaction. The energy and quick apprehension of concepts that Mercury offers could be quite welcome as we move through these upcoming lessons and situations.

New Moon in Libra October 30

As October winds down, so does the Moon, waning during the last two weeks of October to join the Sun at 14° Libra on Sunday, October 30. Mercury will be just two degrees away at 16° Libra. Libra is ruled by Venus and the nakshatra where the Sun and Moon meet this month is Swati, ruled by Rahu. This brings the influence of both Venus and Rahu to the calm darkness of the October new Moon.

Venus at this moment will be conjoined with Saturn in Scorpio while Rahu is positioned in the Sun's sign of Leo and in Venus' nakshatra of Purvaphalguni, so we can see a few directions of mutual influence happening at this time between Sun, Moon, Rahu and Venus. The instability of Rahu may cause a rug or two to be pulled out of place, causing us to regain balance and re-set ourselves as this lunar cycle winds down and gets started again.

Remember to guard your energy as the moon wanes. It is a great time to commit to self-care and to avoid over scheduling in favor of moments of stillness.

Mars Transits Capricorn October 31 – December 11

Mars passes through Sagittarius during October, finally free of Saturn's conjunction. This transit allows the power and energy of Mars to focus on the positive growth that Sagittarius fosters. The only tricky aspect to Mars comes from Rahu in Leo, which may cause some obsession with growth or knowledge. This should not be a problem if the fundamentally righteous guidance of Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius, is kept front and center.

The new Moon of October 30 is followed by Mars putting additional space between himself and dear Saturn but in a sense moving even closer to Saturn by entering his space of Capricorn on October 31. Despite the rocky relationship between Mars and Saturn, Saturn happens to own the sign that grants Mars exaltation, just another of the mysterious contradictions of life and astrology.

Mars will move through Capricorn in about six weeks time, exiting to Aquarius on December 11. This transit of Mars could be a great time to plan for serious progress. More on Mars in Capricorn in the November forecast!

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