Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

September 2016

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.

New Moon Annular Solar Eclipse in Leo September 1

The Sun and Moon meet this month at 16° Leo in the pre-dawn hours of September 1. Since this meeting occurs only three degrees away from Rahu at 19° Leo, we will be seeing an annular solar eclipse during this time.

Annular eclipses are when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line, but the disc of the Moon appears smaller than that of the Sun, so the Sun creates a bright ring around the Moon as it passes in front of the solar disc. This eclipse will be visible from Africa and the Indian Ocean.

Eclipses occur when the Sun and Moon join the nodal axis (Rahu and Ketu) during a new or a full Moon time. This occurs in a pair at the new moon/full moon and it occurs roughly twice per year, one when the Sun joins Rahu (as in this case) and one when the Sun joins Ketu. Since the nodal axis is also moving, and in an opposite direction, these eclipse pairs proceed quicker than once per every six months. Generally, we see two pairs of eclipses per calendar year.

This solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon and Rahu are all within the lunar mansion or nakshatra of Purva Phalguni, which falls entirely within the sign of Leo, at about 3:03 am Mountain time US on September 1. Purva Phalguni is ruled by the planet Venus, which puts the Sun and Venus into an exchange of nakshatras, as Venus is currently transiting the next nakshatra, Uttara Phalguni, ruled by the Sun. Venus is joined in Uttara Phalguni by Mercury and Jupiter, bringing all of these planets into the umbrella of effect that this eclipse will open.

Eclipse times are not recommended for executing important actions or making big decisions, the logic behind this being that our minds and hearts may have trouble maintaining clarity due to the strong effect of the nodal axis on the great luminaries, the Sun and Moon. Already, we avoid too much activity on the new Moon due to the mental low caused by the Moon at its nadir in the lunar cycle. Adding this Rahu energy can cause confusion and obscurity of reason.

With the significant transits and conjunctions that we are experiencing now (Saturn-Mars conjunction August 24, Mercury retrograde beginning August 30, planetary wars involving Jupiter/Venus/Mercury and the eclipses for Sept 1/16), it is important to remain calm and grounded as we navigate difficulty or instability in our daily lives. Whatever activities and practices that you use to create these calm and stable environments should be especially attended to at this time.

Jupiter – Mercury Conjunction September 2

This will be the second of three exact meetings of Jupiter and Mercury that will occur as Mercury transits Virgo. Because Mercury is in the midst of a retrograde cycle at this time (August 30 – September 21), we see three encounters with Jupiter. The first occurred at 3° Virgo on August 22, as Mercury was still moving direct into his own sign of Virgo.

The Mercury retrograde cycle will optimize the closeness of these two planets that have a very interesting relationship and dependence upon one another. Starting around August 15, Mercury comes within 5 degrees of Jupiter, maintaining that level of proximity through September 8 due to Mercury's retrograde cycle.

Mercury is the eternal student while Jupiter is the eternal teacher, implying the interdependence of these two planets; without students, the teacher cannot teach and without a teacher, the student has no guidance. As they join together, we can see an opportunity for an auspicious exchange of knowledge.

Then, through September 8 – October 7, Mercury completes the retrograde cycle at 21° Leo on September 21, advances back into Virgo on October 3 and back to within 5° of Jupiter on October 7. Mercury reaches the third exact conjunction with Jupiter on October 10 and advances beyond 5° of Jupiter on October 14.

This gives roughly a two month period, between August 15 – October 14 that we see some close interaction between Jupiter and Mercury in the sign of Virgo. Mercury is particularly strong in Virgo, its own sign as well as its sign of exaltation. Mercury is the only planet that is exalted in its own sign. Even with the back and forth of Mercury due to the retrograde cycle, we should be able to maximize our efforts at communication, organization, education and business during the times that Mercury is positioned in Virgo during September and October.

Sun Transits Virgo September 15 – October 16

Sun enters into Mercury's earth sign of Virgo on September 15, which will create a nice exchange of signs between Mercury and the Sun, as Mercury in retrograde returned to Leo, the Sun's sign, on September 8. This exchange is in effect from September 15 – October 3, when direct Mercury re-enters Virgo and joins Sun.

The Sun is also joining Jupiter as it enters Virgo, making an exact conjunction on September 25, when Mercury is still in Leo and maintaining the exchange with the Sun. By this time in the month of September, we will have moved past many of the notably difficult astrological events mentioned during this forecast, perhaps affording us the ability to regain our clarity, focus, joy and creative initiative.

Full Moon Penumbral Eclipse September 16

The Moon reaches exact opposition with the Sun at 1º Pisces (nakshatra Purvabhadra) on Friday, September 16, at 1:05 pm Mountain US. This is just shortly after the Sun moves into Virgo. With the Sun – Moon axis only 12° from the Rahu – Ketu axis, it is close enough to cause a partial lunar eclipse. Because this occurs during the day in the US, the eclipse will not be visible; this lunar eclipse can be observed from Europe, Asia, Australia and eastern Africa.

This is the second in the pair of eclipses that overshadows the great luminaries this month. In the first, the Sun and Moon joined the Rahu-Ketu axis in Leo-Aquarius. In this second one, the Sun and Moon are advanced into the Virgo-Pisces axis. With Rahu and Ketu becoming strong and prominent during eclipses, we are under an influence that can make us feel powerless, weary and misdirected.

With the Rahu – Ketu axis positioned in Leo – Aquarius, we still may be feeling the pull of these fixed signs, for things to remain as they are, even though we may be uncomfortable and desire change. With the Sun and Moon positioned in Virgo and Pisces, as the agents of the initiation and flow of our life processes, we may strongly feel the urge to move, make changes and get things flowing. Additionally, both Jupiter and Venus are with the Sun in Virgo, making quite a case for healing, growth and movement.

Although Mars and Saturn are not directly connected to the eclipse, they are still in Scorpio, a fixed sign, which could further solidify that sense of having things remain as they are out of a need for safety and protection. That said, Saturn moves into the nakshatra Jyestha this same day, a lunar mansion that has as one of its symbols an umbrella, symbolizing protection. There will remain an energy pattern that digs deeply into whatever feels stable and secure.

And it should be noted that Mars during this eclipse is on the brink of moving out of Scorpio and into Sagittarius, through the gandanta zone between these two signs. Gandanta means "knot" and three of these occur in the zodiac, at the juncture of the water and fire signs: Cancer-Leo, Scorpio-Sagittarius and Pisces-Aries.

With so much energy in the Virgo-Pisces axis and with courageous Mars moving through a battle zone into Sagittarius, this may be a good time to muster our spirits and make a move, even if a sense of stability is jeopardized in the short run. The day of the eclipse may be better spent in contemplation than in making big life changes, while the couple of days following the eclipse, when Mars has moved to Sagittarius and the Moon is still in Pisces could be employed for decisions and actions.

Saturn Enters Jyestha Nakshatra September 16

As mentioned briefly above, slow-moving Saturn moves into Jyestha nakshatra on September 16, the lunar mansion that occupies the last 13º20' of the sign of Scorpio. During Saturn's nearly three-year occupation of Scorpio, we have already seen him enter Jyestha nakshatra, retrograde back to the previous nakshatra, Anuradha and now we see him re-enter Jyestha for the next section of his journey through Scorpio.

Saturn will move in forward motion through this last section of Scorpio from September 16, 2016 – January 26, 2017. Just for awareness purposes, here is a short list of Saturn's important movements for the upcoming months:

  • Saturn Transits Scorpio (Jyestha nakshatra): September 16, 2016 – January 26, 2017
  • Saturn Enters Sagittarius (Mula nakshatra): January 26, 2017
  • Saturn Retrograde Begins in Sagittarius: April 6, 2017
  • Retrograde Saturn Returns to Scorpio (Jyestha nakshatra): June 20, 2017
  • Saturn Resumes Direct Motion at 28 deg Scorpio: August 25, 2017
  • Saturn Transits Scorpio (Jyestha nakshatra): June 20 – October 25, 2017
  • Saturn Transits Sagittarius: October 25, 2017 – January 23, 2020

Saturn last graced Jyestha from December 27, 2015 – July 8, 2016, during which time a retrograde cycle began and returned Saturn to his own nakshatra of Anuradha from July 8 – September 16. From the list above, we see that Saturn moves steadily through Jyestha in forward motion until January 26, 2017.

The movement of Shani (Saturn) is slow enough through the zodiac to allow us to truly absorb the lessons and understanding he brings through his difficulties, obstructions and challenges at different signs and nakshatras. The sign of Scorpio is co-ruled by Mars and Ketu, and we have witnessed the occupation of Scorpio by both Saturn and Mars since February 20, 2016.

Mars strongly in his own sign of Scorpio will want to dig, push and build. Saturn's presence may have obstructed plans and slowed progress, frustrating but ultimately teaching patience at a fundamental level, especially as Saturn became strong in his own nakshatra of Anuradha from July 8 – September 16.

Now we see two events that may shift this energy: Saturn advancing to Jyestha and Mars moving to Sagittarius. Jyestha is ruled by the planet Mercury, the same planet who rules all three of the nakshatras that precede the gandanta points in the zodiac. Mercury likes to move, communicate, analyze and manage, a very energetic influence that, in Jyestha nakshatra, prepares us for the battle that is indicated by the traverse of the Scorpio-Sagittarius gandanta point which will occur for Saturn on January 26, 2017.

Think back to what seemed to be coming up as pressure, blockage or difficulty specifically during the first half of 2016; we could see clues from Saturn's presence in Jyestha at this time. Saturn's retrograde into Anuradha and resumption of forward motion during July 8 – September 16 may have brought some relief, change or new perspective. Use this new vantage point as a bolster as we head forward with Shani into Jyestha.

Mars Enter Sagittarius September 17

After the exact conjunction of Saturn and Mars on August 24, Mars moves steadily forward out of his own sign of Scorpio and into Jupiter's sign of Sagittarius on September 17. While planets are strong in their own sign, as Mars in Scorpio, they also do well in the sign of a friendly planet, which Jupiter is a friend to Mars. This current transit of Mars through Sagittarius is from September 17 – October 31, 2016.

On the way out of Scorpio, Mars passes through the gandanta point between Scorpio and Sagittarius, which we can consider as a few degrees on either side of this juncture. The date range for this passage is September 13 – 22. During this period of time, we may face personal and collective battles as the planet of courage, force and power moves through territory that challenges us to break through a tight knot. Depending on where this juncture lies in a personal horoscope, we can see which area of life we may be working through a difficult challenge.

After the gandanta point is left behind, we may feel a return of power and forward motion due to Mars being finally unfettered by the powerful Saturn. The only planet giving a planetary aspect to Mars during this Sagittarius transit will be Rahu from the sign of Leo. This could really push us forward to go for things that have seemed out of our grasp but that we've wanted for months. Let us not (knot?!) forget the valuable lesson of caution and steadiness that Saturn imposed upon Mars all of those months since February.

Venus Transits Libra September 18 – October 12

Just after Saturn advances to Jyestha and Mars advances to Sagittarius, we see Venus move out of Virgo, sign of debility for Venus and into Libra, Venus' own sign, transiting there from September 18 – October 12. As with any planet, Venus will enjoy this few weeks being in her own sign of Libra.

We may feel inspired during this time toward social connection and work on projects that involve arts and entertainment. During this time, many of the planets are spread out, giving the space for expression rather than jockeying for room. Mercury and Rahu are in Leo, Jupiter and Sun are in Virgo, Venus in Libra, Saturn in Scorpio and Mars in Sagittarius.

Except for one visit from the Moon October 2-4, Venus gets complete reign in his domain of Libra during this transit. This could give us the chance to get perspective on how we are operating both in the creative process and within relationship.

The only notable influence on Venus during this time is the papakartari yoga on Venus caused by Saturn and Sun occupying the signs flanking Libra. Papakartari translates as "difficult scissors" and implies being caught between two difficult forces or situations. With Venus as the significator of relationship and union caught between the two planets that most strongly focus on the role of ego (Sun) and non-ego (Saturn), we may find ourselves learning about how to establish new balance within our relationships. Are we giving too much of ourselves? Are we acting too selfishly to create healthy relationships? How can we compromise more gracefully so that all parties needs are addressed? This is an opportunity for the planet of grace, beauty and diplomacy to create a renewed platform for relationships.

Mercury Resumes Direct Motion September 21

Before getting too far back into Leo and avoiding another exact conjunction with Rahu (which did occur on August 9), Mercury resumes direct motion at 21° Virgo, late in the evening of Wednesday, September 21. We try to avoid doing important actions during Mercury retrograde, especially those that are aimed at establishing long-term, lasting situations. Too much Mercury, which happens during the retrograde periods, is not great for placement of stable situations, but it is good for trying things another time, editing, re-organization or other actions that would be supported by retreat, increased movement and flow.

We wait for a few days to get Mercury heading forward again, and we can see the final week of September as a gateway toward moving forward where we may have felt stuck or blocked for many months. All planets will be moving in their regular motion, the eclipse pair will be behind us, Mars will have removed himself from Scorpio and Jupiter is getting comfortable in Virgo.

Mercury returns to its own sign and sign of exaltation, Virgo, on the morning of October 3, joining the Sun and Jupiter. When Mercury exits Leo, this will be the first time since Rahu entered Leo in January that the dragon's head will remain alone in the Sun's sign, as all of the inner planets have passed through during the course of the summer.

We march forward into the autumn season with many of the planets in good dignity and many difficult astrological situations that have presented themselves during 2016 behind us. Let us be humble, steady, courageous and creative as we move into the next phase.

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