Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

October 2017

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Full Moon in Pisces/Revati October 5

The Moon moves into complete opposition with the Sun, receiving its full light at about mid-day on Thursday, October 5. The Moon at this moment will be at 19° Pisces the 12th sign of the zodiac, within the final nakshatra, Revati.

The Sun is opposite in Mercury's sign of Virgo, with Mercury just two degrees behind the Sun, in full combustion. Prior to Mercury's entrance into Virgo on September 26, both Mercury and Sun were enjoying the strength that they glean from the exchange of signs known as parivartana, and Mercury's strength in Virgo makes up for the heat of combustion that comes with proximity to the Sun.

With Mercury joining the Sun, we see the state of combustion, but we also see a very strong Mercury in its own sign, which unlike any other planet, is also its sign of exaltation. Additionally, the Moon itself will be in Revati, whose planetary lord is Mercury. Mercury rules the three nakshatras that approach the karmic knots, the gandantas, giving the energetic boost to move through those juncture with an attitude of learning that is free from the need for power or dominance.

Each month the Moon will move through these three junctures, but when we see the Moon at these junctures in particular strength (like a full Moon) or vulnerability (new Moon, eclipses) it is notable and may suggest that our mental perceptions must move through a growth phase, which generally indicates letting go of old concepts in order to open to new levels of understanding.

In this case, we see the Moon in strength, after a couple of months of Moon meeting these junctures in vulnerability, specifically the total solar eclipse of August which brought the Cancer-Leo gandanta into play and also each time the Moon has been passing through the Scorpio-Saggitarius gandanta in the past few months, joining Saturn, which can bring depression or negativity into the mind.

As we collectively reflect on the difficulties that have arisen over the past two months (or years!) let us use the two planets of the mind at this moment and ask for clarity to understand how to analyze and reflect on how to move forward gracefully by leaving behind that which is not supportive, allowing the old and irrelevant to compost into new forms.

The Moon and Mercury are both strong at this moment in time and do associate with mental activity. Mercury drives our minds toward analyzing and filtering information while the Moon allows us to absorb and reflect information. With the Sun also involved in both cases, use this piercing light to see the difference between truth and falsehood; the Sun creates the contrast that makes it easy to see and understand what is real and true.

The Sun and Mercury remain very close through the remainder of Mercury's transit through Virgo, which shifts on October 13 to Libra. Mercury pulls ahead of the Sun just a few days after the full Moon, which begins to create space, allowing Mercury to exit the state of combustion by October 31. While combustion is said to burn the effects of a planet due to proximity with the Sun, this is a strong Mercury that will help us to make practical decisions that push us forward despite the combust state.

Venus Transits Virgo October 9 – November 2

As Mercury and Sun are occupying the late degrees of Virgo and preparing for a move to Libra, we see Venus and then Mars entering the sign of Virgo during the middle of October, leaving the sign of Leo vacant after some dramatic influences there in the past few months.

While Venus transits Mercury's earth sign, Virgo, it is considered to be in a state of debilitation, meaning that the natural significations of Venus are difficult to express. Venus is our representative of oneness through relationship, through relationship of person to person or through relationship of our own humanity with our environment. Venus allows us to enjoy our connections and gets us to feeling comfortable and happy where we are.

While Venus and Mercury are naturally friendly with one another, the environment of Virgo may force Venus toward too much analytical thought or into the practical work of Virgo that pushes us to harvest and process the fruits of the earth. This debilitation may cause us to feel that we are mucking about and getting dirty without any reward, which prevents us from feeling the light, free and beautiful mode of Venus. It does help Venus that Mercury is actually present in Virgo, and it will continue to be helpful to the debilitated Venus when Mercury moves to Libra, creating a parivartana (exchange of signs) between them.

Rather than fighting this temporary condition, realize that this is the time that we learn and experience the truth that the lotus grows in mud. Without the soil and the inevitable decomposition of what was once a flower shining in the beautiful spring, life would not continue, so we face and embrace the earth element that is literally the ground on which we stand and gain stability. Venus does rule a sign that is associated with earth, Taurus, so there is some harmony that is implied with Venus in Virgo, even though we consider it debilitated. Venus likes things clean and shining and Virgo is a place where we can move earth around, which messes things up. Debilitated doesn't mean powerless, so more effort may be required to see the beauty amidst the mess.

Mars Transits Virgo October 12 – November 30

Another important influence at this time on Venus' comfort level and happiness is Mars. Since September 15 when Venus entered Leo, Venus has been closing in on Mars. They conjoin at 26° Leo on October 5, which also puts Mars and Venus into battle that day, a day also significant as we had the strong full Moon in Pisces opposite the strong Sun/Mercury combination in Virgo.

This overtaking of Mars by Venus coincides with the full Moon in Pisces, making the October 5 full Moon a thing to watch with regard to Mars-Venus issues. Something may kick off around this time that extends for some time due to Mars and Venus' proximity as they move through Leo and Virgo.

Mars follows Venus into Virgo on October 12, joining Sun and Mercury who are both slated to move forward into Libra shortly. By October 16, it will be just Venus and Mars out in the fields of Virgo until November 2, when Venus moves to Libra.

The interaction of Mars and Venus tends toward passion, which is great fuel for any kind of Mars or Venus related activity. Mars likes to build and protect, Venus likes to beautify and connect. The combination of these planets can be quite creative and productive, but the trick is harmonizing them, as their natures are rather like water and fire. Let us watch the energy of our creative and relational processes as these two planets shift from Leo (fire) into Virgo (earth) from October 9-12. We may see some settling and shifting from planning stages/negotiation into actual physical progress.

Mars in Virgo in general will be quite productive, using the carefully collected data of Mercury that resides in Virgo to make even more efficient plans and collect fuel to move forward. Mars will be alone in Virgo (save for visits from the Moon) from November 2 – 30, when he moves to Libra.

Mercury Transits Libra October 13 – November 1

Mercury moves from Virgo into Venus' sign of Libra on October 13, just after Mars enters Virgo on October 12. This Libra transit is rather speedy and coincides with Venus' remaining time in Virgo, putting these two planets, Mercury and Venus, into an exchange of signs. This energizes both planets as if they are resident within their own sign, making their effects strong and harmonized.

Venus as connector and Mercury as communicator are thus active as Mercury joins Jupiter in the sign of Libra. Jupiter and Mercury together in Libra are like a teacher and student sitting and exchanging in a very positive environment. This is a great time for engaging with good teachers and enthusiastic students.

Mercury's increased speed is always a cue that a retrograde cycle is upcoming. Mercury races through Libra from October 13 - November 1 and then through Scorpio from November 1 - 24. The next Mercury retrograde comes to us December 3 – 22 with Mercury in Sagittarius – Scorpio. Mercury's either running away from the Sun or toward it, like a child to a parent.

Kala Amrita Yoga October 14 – 27

As mentioned in September's forecast, we get another short round of Kala Amrita Yoga from October 14 – 27. This yoga while not in classical texts is a combination that seems to create some noticeable energy. Rahu and Ketu, the shadow planets that form the nodal axis have recently settled into place in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn. Rahu and Ketu are always placed in opposition and move in reverse motion through the zodiac as a unit.

There is a concept in jyotisha called "papakartari yoga" that implies that two malefic planets flanking a sign can create a negative environment within that sign, like being squeezed between the blades of a scissor. In my view, the Kala Sarpa/Kala Amrita combinations are similar, yet less immediate, since in papakartari only one sign and the planets therein are being squeezed, while the nodal axis is squeezing five signs in one direction and five signs in the other, a more broad area.

After the Moon moves to Leo late on October 14, all of the visible planets will be hemmed on one side of this nodal axis, which creates a focus on these planets and their enclosing signs. Another possible effect of all planets being on one side of the zodiac is a combination called "graha malika yoga," with the planets being like beads that form a necklace as they occupy successive signs.

The point is that when all of the planets are grouped together in such a fashion, it seems that events in our life seem to have a more than usually dynamic aspect to them. The nodal influences holding all of the planetary energy on one side of their axis implies the possibility for unexpected yet seemingly "meant to be" events that push people and places toward challenges that can be described as difficult but that ultimately drive one toward an improved way of being.

Sun Enters Libra October 16

The Sun moves into Venus' sign of Libra on October 16 for the traditional one month transit, taking Sun into Scorpio mid-November. Just as Venus is debilitated in Virgo, the Sun is debilitated in Libra, which creates an interesting effect. The ruler of a sign is said to grant exaltation or debilitation to specific planets. In this case, Venus has the power to debilitate the Sun by way of Venus owning Libra. But what happens if the debilitator is debilitated?

Mercury has the power to debilitate Venus, but Mercury is in exchange with Venus and Mercury will be with the Sun. This brings forth a diplomatically very intricate relationship pattern with Mercury, Venus and Sun that we may see reflected on the world stage. With Mercury and Venus ultimately dispositing most of the planets, we see a much greater chance of creative diplomacy than actual aggression.

The Sun, powerful even when debilitated, may struggle to maintain sovereignty at this time. The masculine nature of the Sun is somewhat dampened by this transit, giving more voice to the women (Venus) and children (Mercury.)

Jupiter's presence in Libra will create a positive influence on all of these planets by way of association. The underlying point of the diplomacy and relationship building that is demanded at this time is ultimately to protect and feed the children, a natural indication of the planet Jupiter.

Libra is the sign of Venus and one symbol for Libra is the balance, the scales. With Jupiter in Libra for the next year, we are bound to learn new ways to balance our growth. The Sun's visit at this time should shed some understanding on what we need to move in order to regain balance.

New Moon in Libra/Chitra October 19

As the Moon joins the other planets in the zone between Rahu and Ketu, it makes its way toward the Sun, joining exactly at 3° Libra, ruled by Venus and within the nakshatra of Chitra, ruled by Mars.

We recall that this combination of sign/nakshatra rulers (Venus + Mars) is being reflected in the close transit of these two planets through the signs of Leo and Virgo through the beginning of November. Additionally, these two planets have an interesting relationship with the Sun itself. Mars has the power to exalt the Sun, while Venus has the power to debilitate the Sun.

So underneath the seemingly Venus – Mars interactions that you may experience during this time (Is there some way we can work this out? I don't want to fight!) what we are really digging to find is the status of the Sun. The Sun is our natural indicator for soul and also individual self. Mars supports the Sun by reinforcing and propping up the I/ME/MINE nature of the Sun. Venus chips away at the Sun by reminding that US/WE/THIS cannot be possible unless we surrender the I/ME/MINE.

This new Moon in Libra is a deep invitation to find the balance between ME and WE. Because without ME, there is no WE, so there has to be some ME, but we have to find the right dose of ME so that the WE doesn't perish. And we find that balance through drawing new pictures, creating fresh landscapes and reaching out in new directions. We have to work to clean up dirty habits that force us into a state of separation where all we long for is union.

Once the picture becomes clear, the task isn't over; we then have to learn new ways of sustaining this balance, feeding the ME and the WE. This is implied by the presence of Jupiter and Mercury standing nearby the Sun and Moon. With wisdom and openness, we create new fields and cities.

Saturn Enters Sagittarius October 25

During August and September 2017, the world collectively has been hit with a deluge of weather disasters, earthquakes, volcanic activity, political instability and unprecedented solar activity. In trying to find an astrological explanation for this, it is easy to point toward the eclipse pair and the changing of the nodal axis. The real pressure was supplied to these two other phenomena from Saturn, grinding in forward motion through the final degrees of Scorpio and aspecting the sign of Leo where much of the eclipse/nodal energy was held.

Saturn's pressure has the reputation of being quite powerful and certainly wherever Saturn moves or looks, those who are paying attention will see the destruction that Saturn so deliberately wields. These past few years, since November 2, 2014, Saturn has made his slow way through the sign of Scorpio.

With the movement of Saturn into Sagittarius on October 25, we are turning the page to a new chapter on both individual and collective levels. The impact of Saturn's influence is so clear that we should all be wondering how the next few years will be with Saturn moving through Jupiter's fire sign.

This transit will be October 25, 2017 – January 23, 2020, only two years and three months, remembering that we did experience a short spell of Saturn in Sagittarius from January 26 – April 5, 2017.

August 25, 2017 is when Saturn resumed direct motion at 28° Scorpio, and it does seem that things really started getting intense at that time. The two months in between that resuming of direct motion and moving through the gandanta between Scorpio and Sagittarius for the third time this year on October 25 have so far delivered an astounding array of unexpected difficulties for many people.

Not only were the nodes changing and eclipses occurring, Saturn sitting in Scorpio is ruled by the planets Mars and Ketu, the combination of which can be powerful at sitting us down in the dark and removing our sense of outside direction. We will watch as this month of October unfolds, with Saturn edging ever closer to the zone between Scorpio and Sagittarius that acts as battlefield. At this point, even though we have learned to expect the unexpected, the true nature of the impact may be difficult to see ahead of time.

As Saturn transitions through that knot one more time, we are blessed to have the other planets in positions that indicate peace and working together. May we learn the hard lessons of life with grace and may we reform our bodies and minds such that they support our soul purpose!

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