Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

March 2017

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Mars+Moon Enter Aries March 1

Mars, the planet of power and might, moves from Pisces into Aries on March 1. Mars entered Pisces on January 20 and has made an impact on the exaltation of Venus. While Pisces is a friendly sign for Mars, Aries will be an even more friendly environment for Mars, as it is his own sign. Mars' transit through Aries stretches from March 1 – April 12.

Mars is strong in Aries and as it is a key planet in the realm of force and power, this transit asks us to create positive, healthy channels for this power. From his current position in Leo, the effects of Rahu's chaotic influence project to all of the fire signs: Leo, Sagittarius and Aries. This Rahu effect isn't the most calming influence on Mars and could serve to amplify the negative tendencies of Mars such as aggression and agitation.

After the new Moon total solar eclipse of February 26, the Moon will be waxing as it moves from Aquarius to Leo where it becomes full on March 12. On March 1, the Moon moves into lock step with Mars as they both travel through the border between Pisces and Aries together in the early afternoon. This border is one of the gandanta points, the "karmic knots" that must be traversed as we transition from a water to a fire sign in the zodiac. This day could offer something particularly challenging with the theme of letting go and beginning anew.

Let's also keep in mind as we read ahead about the wonderful bounty that Venus in Pisces will offer that during the period of March 1 – 14, Pisces will be squeezed between Sun and Ketu on one side and Mars on the other. The heat is on, but we'll be enjoying the watery energy of Venus in Pisces whether we like it or not. This could translate as feeling no choice but to stay in the flow of creative learning for the first part of the month until Sun itself jumps into Pisces. After that, we will still feel some heat in Pisces with Ketu situated in Aquarius on one side and Mars burning brightly in Aries on the other. This fiery energy on either side could actually create a great channel for the juicy energy coming through the Pisces-Virgo axis.

Venus Retrograde in Pisces March 4 – April 15

Venus, our planet of connection and union, entered into Pisces, its sign of exaltation, on January 27 for an extended transit that ends on May 31. On March 4, Venus begins a retrograde cycle that will shift Venus' position relative to the Sun in the zodiac, removing Venus from its observable position in the evening sky after sunset. By early April, we will see Venus rising in the east before the Sun, beginning its tenure as morning star which will continue through 2017.

This creates a very interesting pattern, placing Venus and Jupiter in opposite signs while both are retrograde. One of the features of retrograde planets is an increase in strength, allowing them to give increased effects. Together, Venus and Jupiter are perceived as "the two guides," having the ability to convey wisdom and knowledge. Jupiter's gift is the knowledge of "natural" law, that which is eternal, measured and flows with the rhythms of nature. Venus' leads us toward understanding "social" law; what happens during the interactions of beings, social contracts, politics, etc.

This period between March 4 – April 15, about five weeks, should be quite productive in the arena of knowledge, wisdom and truth flowing forth through the channel created by Jupiter and Venus, both retrograde. Especially for those with major placements in the dual signs Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, this retrograde opposition of these two powerful benefics should open the gates and allow wisdom to flow.

Under the auspicious gaze of Jupiter who sees Venus in his own sign of Pisces, which also exalts Venus, we see the light, bright Venus experiencing another transformation. This retrograde motion will quickly change Venus' placement in the evening sky; we will watch Venus sink lower toward the horizon daily starting the first week of March as it comes into close proximity with the Sun.

As in many topics in jyotisha, there are disagreements about the combustion distances for certain planets, and for Venus specifically, disagreement about whether Venus is combust while direct/forward motion or whether Venus is combust ahead of/behind the Sun. Without going too deeply into those details, let us realize that between March 21 – 28, retrograde Venus will be within five degrees of the Sun, with the exact conjunction at 11° Pisces on March 25. This is called the inferior conjunction of Venus.

This will be the end of Venus' current term as "evening star." As a feminine planet along with the Moon, Venus rules the night sky and finds a certain comfort in being evening star, which translates as Venus being ahead of the Sun in the zodiac. This can promote the natural indications of Venus: relationship, compassion, creativity, social connection.

With Venus shifting to a role as the "morning star," we may also feel like the heat has come on somewhat, forcing our own Venus expression into a spotlight that has intensified. This condition of Venus rising in the morning before the Sun will continue until the next superior conjunction of Venus with the Sun, which occurs on January 9, 2018. We will therefore experience "morning star" Venus for the remainder of 2017.

Within the dynamic of Venus and Jupiter creating a channel for the increased outpouring of learning and knowledge, we also see Venus shifting platform at the inferior conjunction with the Sun, just days after the Sun reaches the point of the vernal equinox on March 20.

This last part of March brings forth themes of how the Sun and Venus interact. How does the individual soul overpower the ability to commune and relate? How does "we" get sacrificed in the arena of "I?" When we collaborate with others, how strongly do we push the agenda of self? How much of "me" goes into co-creation? When almost all human beings desire the comfort and security of being a part of a couple or a group, how do we support that desire without compromising individuality, which is another strong human expression? In the process of creativity, how valuable is the sacrifice of individuality? How can I connect to others through my soul? Where will I compromise?

The fact that both planets associated with the transmittal of knowledge will be retrograde also points toward it being a good time to review and reorganize lessons that have already been taken or presented. This is a rich time for review of curriculum. One of Jupiter's gifts is the ability to retain and store knowledge; this is increased now with Jupiter in retrograde and also aspecting the sign of Pisces. Virgo, the sign currently holding Jupiter, is ruled by Mercury and will allow us to quickly assimilate and understand concepts, but it is Jupiter's power that locks in the comprehension to our minds.

Mercury Transits Pisces March 10 – March 26

Mercury moves into Pisces with Venus on March 10 for a quick transit that also creates and bolsters even further that teaching-learning continuum created by the opposition of retrograde Venus and Jupiter. Mercury is seen as debilitated in Pisces, but Venus' exalted presence there will uplift Mercury. Additionally, this creates a strong exchange of signs between Mercury and Jupiter, which bolsters this configuration even more.

While Jupiter and Venus are the teachers, Mercury is the eternal, excellent student. This brings energy and enthusiasm for learning, communicating and managing information into the mix, which even further suggests that we focus on the subjects to which we are devoted, connect with teachers and instructors and further deepen our comprehension and knowledge.

As we keep in mind this configuration created by Venus, Jupiter and Mercury, with its energy, depth and beneficence that promotes wonderful learning, also remember that Mars placed in Aries is an excellent energy to tap for direction, focus and discipline. With Ketu in Aquarius on the other side, it may allow us to truly focus on our learning, relationships and creative process at this time.

Full Moon in Leo/Uttaraphalguni March 12

After the total solar eclipse in Aquarius on February 26 where the Sun and Moon joined with Ketu, the Moon waxes past Venus and Mars, then traverses a rather quiet sector of the zodiac after which it meets back up with Rahu on March 12 at 29° Leo for a full Moon.

Normally, we see the Full Moon in the same sign as Rahu causing an eclipse, but in this case, the Moon and Sun will be 20° from the nodal axis (Rahu and Ketu) which is too big of a gap to cause an eclipse in this case. The lunar eclipse actually came on February 10 when the Moon was in Cancer and Rahu was in Leo, but the two were closer as far as degrees go.

While not a technically astronomical eclipse, we are still getting the energy of Rahu affecting the full Moon by proximity, which could manifest as a temporary veiling of the mind and perceptions. When the Moon is strong, the mind is strong, but as we know, too much mental energy can be too much of a good thing. With the addition of Rahu's chaotic and confusing energy, this may not be the best time to make rational, logical decisions. It could be an excellent time for inviting the innovation of Rahu in for think tanks and brainstorming, but just make sure to do a peer review of the ideas later in the week. Keep filters on!

The Moon becomes full during the morning of Sunday, March 12 in the Sun's own sign of Leo and within the nakshatra (lunar mansion) of Uttaraphalguni. Uttaraphalguni can translate as the "ultimate ripening" and is also ruled by the Sun. The Vedic deity ruling this nakshatra is Aryaman, a divine companion whose name is invoked to witness the joining of people in matrimony. Aryaman is a friendly, protective and supportive aspect of the Sun. While we may be inundated by the difficult vibrations of Rahu in our minds, an even stronger call to righteousness will come from the Sun, ruling the sign and nakshatra where the Moon will be, and also aspecting its own sign of Leo.

Sun Enters Pisces March 14

The Sun moves into the great ocean of Pisces on March 14 for a one-month transit through Jupiter's sign, joining Mercury and Venus and receiving the aspect of Jupiter from Virgo.

The first thing to notice is that the Sun moves out of a position from which Saturn can directly aspect the Sun by its 3rd aspect. Escaping the aspect of Saturn is always a form of release of pressure, but in the end, there are few ways to completely escape the gaze of Shani (Saturn.) In this case, Saturn is still aspecting Jupiter, which will bounce a bit of that energy toward all of the planets in Pisces, but in a diluted and dispersed way.

The second thing to notice is that the Sun moves out of a position from which Rahu can directly aspect. Sliding out of the view of Rahu, who is seemingly all eyes, will further relieve the Sun of difficulty, which allows all of us to sink back into a nice, warm soul bath for the remainder of the Sun's trip through Pisces.

Both of these factors, along with the fact that even Mars isn't bothering the Sun, puts the Sun into a good mood with good company as he transits Pisces. As discussed above, the energy being created by the planets currently placed in the Pisces-Virgo axis is expansive, creative, engaged and supported.

Pisces is also the scene where we will see retrograde Venus joining the Sun on March 25 for the inferior conjunction of Venus. This particular inferior conjunction of Venus occurs when Venus is a full 8° north of the ecliptic (the Sun is at 0° on the ecliptic.) This means that even though the Sun and Venus are conjunct as far as longitude, Venus manages to escape a strong combustion situation due to this current northern latitudinal position.

Mercury Transits Aries March 26 – June 3

After the dash through Pisces, learning whatever he possibly could get his hands on, Mercury slides into Aries, joining Mars on March 26 for a longer stay which includes a retrograde cycle from April 9 – May 2 and an eventual exit to Taurus on June 3.

During much of this transit of Mercury through Aries, we will still have Venus holding court in Pisces, which is a nice complement and support to Mercury transiting Aries. Mercury does well in Aries, not being too much bothered by Mars' intensity.

Some common ground for Mars and Mercury is getting things done and moving things along, so we may see this period of time from the end of March to the beginning of June as a time to not only tap the creative and educational forces of Venus and Jupiter but also to apply and conserve that inspired learning by using the energy of Mercury to convert information and knowledge into a practically accessible resource.

We speak of planets aspecting with their gaze (dristi) but there is another function within jyotisha that illustrates that signs themselves have dristi. The signs of Aries and Aquarius are said to have dristi on one another. With Ketu, the planet of mistakes in Aquarius and Mercury in Aries, we have a good opportunity to use Mercury's talent for analysis to understand and learn from our mistakes. Not only that, with Mercury joining Mars in Aries, we have the ability to make a plan to avoid future mistakes.

Impeccable attention must be paid to getting the information straight in this situation, as Rahu will also aspect Mercury and Mars from Leo (as well as continuing to aspect the planet of caution and deliberation, Saturn.)

Make a list, check it twice. Don't be afraid to make moves; just be careful that things are truly as they appear.

New Moon in Pisces/Uttarabhadra March 27

The month of March closes with a new Moon in Pisces, having waned after the full Moon of March 12. The Moon joins the Sun at 14° Pisces, in the last pada (quarter) of the nakshatra Uttarabhadra. The full Moon (March 12) this month is in Uttaraphalguni (ultimate ripening) and the new Moon this month is in Uttarabhadra (ultimate blessing.)

Uttarabhadra is ruled by the planet Saturn and by the Vedic deity Ahirbudhnya, which refers to the great serpent that is the basis for the universe, also called Ananta, the thousand-headed serpent. Saturn can also be associated with foundations, so we get the sense of being held and supported by this nakshatra. The Sun and Moon are also sharing space with Venus in this section of the zodiac at this time, just after Venus' close call with the Sun on March 25.

In the stillness of the mind as it quiets with the waning Moon, it would be good to meditate on the depths of creation, actively visualizing oneself being supported and sustained by the energy of the cosmic ocean. During this brief pause, truly feel the deep sleep of inactive consciousness before reactivating into the creation of a new cycle.

Pisces is the final sign of the zodiac and flows forward into Aries, the first sign. This implies the cyclical reality of endings moving toward beginnings and the old becoming new. With the energy of Pisces being activated, as it is each year when the Sun and other planets move through it, we come again to a time of renewal where we say farewell to the outdated and convert the old materials into new purposes.

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