Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

August 2018

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.

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Venus Transits Virgo August 1 – September 1

As July becomes August, we are still experiencing some intense planetary energies. Retrograde Mars with Ketu in Capricorn may be causing some form of bulldozing or ground shaking in some aspect of life while at the same time the Sun and Moon are coming under the influence of the nodal axis, giving us a trio of eclipses during July and August, which coincides with Mars' retrograde.

We look to the benefic planets to calm and soothe situations. Jupiter regained some ability to do that when returning to direct motion on July 10, but Venus has been under the heavy influence of the nodes and Mars while transiting Cancer and Leo, making it difficult for Venus to patch things up, especially when it comes to social or relationship issues. We see Mercury retrograde begin on July 25 in the sign of Cancer with Rahu and the Sun, possibly adding to the chaos rather than helping to organize things. Overall, a rather unstable period of time we will experience during July and August.

When Venus moves through Virgo during the month of August, we may be able to access the diplomacy and social grace of Venus which could improve some situations, but it will be a mixed blessing.

The positive side is that Venus will be away from the influence of retrograde Mars and Rahu, which eliminates some of the tension, passion and drama that come when Mars and Venus are working in the same room. Despite this, it may still feel like there is too much going on at once, with the lord of Virgo, Mercury, in cahoots with Rahu and also retrograde until August 18.

Venus escapes the discomfort of placement in the Sun's sign and the aspect of Mars only to get into Virgo, Venus' sign of debilitation, which is also receiving the aspect of Saturn, who can be hard on everyone, even his friend, Venus. While everything isn't coming up roses for Venus yet, we still may feel things are on the mend.

Venus may be debilitated in Mercury's Virgo, but this is the a sign of a friendly planet, so Venus generally makes it work. Only the Moon and Venus become debilitated in signs that are ruled by planets that are friendly to them. The discomfort of Venus in Virgo translates to comfort and beauty-loving Venus generally placed into situations that require effort, work and discomfort. This may be a time of patching and repairing, whether on a physical or emotional level.

One of the factors that improves things for a debilitated planet is if the lord of the sign that debilitates the planet in a good position. In this case, we are seeing Mercury struggling in a water sign while conjunct Rahu, so we are not seeing Mercury help Venus feel any better. We may experience difficulty in communication during this time, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Difficulty can mean frustration, but it can also mean communication about difficult subjects that we'd rather avoid.

Because of this, let us choose to be extra compassionate and considerate when we are communicating with one another during this month of August, whether we are simply making a transaction at a store or talking to our partner about the difficulty we may be experiencing in a relationship. It will be easy to misunderstand and mis-translate during this time.

New Moon in Cancer/Ashlesha August 11 (Partial Solar Eclipse)

The final eclipse of our summer trio comes on August 11 when the Sun and Moon join at 25° Cancer with retrograde Mercury just four degrees away. This will create only a partial solar eclipse, as the Sun/Moon combination will be 13° away from Rahu, almost half a sign away. Close does count in the game of horseshoes and in eclipses, so we will feel some of the unstable effects that eclipses bring.

This is not the time to make important moves or decisions. Remember that the days leading up to a new Moon are when the Moon's energy is weak and vulnerable, which translates to physical and mental fatigue or weakness. With all the difficult planetary influences at this time, the recommendation around mid-August is to create more time and space for rest, retreat and relaxation.

Both of the planets associated with the mind, Moon and Mercury, will be involved in this eclipse, so we may feel more emotional than normal as well as adrift in a sea of irrationality. Again, this may not be a great time to make important life decisions that require calm, steady reflection. Rather, we may be forced to deal with unexpected circumstances that push us toward immediate reactions. Try in every way to create a calm and quiet space that allows for moments of retreat in the midst of heavy activity or intense interaction.

Sun Transits Leo August 16 – September 16

Shortly after this partial solar eclipse of August 11, the Sun moves out of the shadows of Rahu and into his own sign of Leo from August 16 – September 16. This may bring some rectification to the chaos and instability propagated by the activated nodal axis via clarity, right action and decisive leadership, however many astrologers consider Rahu as having an aspect on the sign 2nd from his placement, which is Leo at the moment.

The Sun and Moon are the only two planets who are never seen in retrograde motion, as a part of their power as the great luminaries. In this sense, they represent direct, forward motion and action that we can rely on to be predictable and easy to read. The Sun, especially, is unwavering in constant brightness and heat that both supports all life on earth and also at times becomes too strong to bear when there is not enough cool and moisture to accompany it. The light of the Sun is unparalleled on Earth, and like all light, dispels shadows and reveals truth. The power of the Sun transiting its own sign of Leo may grant us a bit of this needed clarity.

The Sun enjoys space in Leo until beginning of September when Mercury exits Cancer and joins him in Leo. The only planets giving planetary aspect to Leo and the Sun during this transit will be Mars, who resumes direct motion in Capricorn on August 27 and Rahu, currently shadowing the sign of Cancer. This could create some strong fiery and smoky energy in an already dry environment. With Rahu being the only planet placed in a water sign during this time, we can't count on a safe and steady supply of moisture, so compensate by bringing water and its symbolic counterpart of love/compassion into your environment and body.

Mercury Direct in Cancer August 18

The trio of eclipses overlaid with a Mercury retrograde cycle from July 25 – August 18 has been quite active and intense, especially with Mercury also occupying the nodal axis and opposing retrograde Mars (on the other end of the nodal axis.)

As August comes to a close, there are a couple of factors that look promising with regards to circumstances calming down a bit. First is Mercury's return to direct motion on August 18 and second is Mars' return to direct motion on August 27.

Mercury will resume direct motion at 18° Cancer, in the nakshatra of Ashlesha, which is ruled by Mercury himself as well as the deity Sarpa, the lord of serpents. The energy of Ashlesha is quite sharp and intense, and we may have felt the opportunity to review things rather deeply and thoroughly during the Mercury retrograde period that will end on August 18.

Additionally, with Mercury in the eclipse axis and opposite retrograde Mars, we may have to deal with information that was unearthed without our intention and therefore be prompted to create new avenues for the concerns of Mercury, which include data, financial plans, communications and studies.

Once Mercury begins forward motion through Ashlesha, it may be a call to reorganize and adjust accordingly based on what we may have analyzed and discovered during the retrograde cycle. Mercury moves through Ashlesha until September 2, when it moves to Leo.

Full Moon in Aquarius/Shatabishak August 26

By August 26, the Sun and Moon will be facing off from 10º Leo and Aquarius, respectively, well out of range of another eclipse incident this summer. After this culmination of the lunar cycle, as the Moon wanes during the last part of August and the first part of September, we will see both Mars (August 27) and then Saturn (September 6) resume direct motion, giving us all planets direct until October 6, when Venus begins a retrograde cycle, followed by Mercury again in November.

The Moon becomes full in the sign of Aquarius, ruled by Saturn and Rahu together, and within the nakshatra (lunar mansion) of Shatabishak, ruled by the planet Rahu and by the deity Varuna, lord of the waters. With Rahu itself currently located in the sign of Cancer, ruled by the Moon and within the nakshatra of Pushya, ruled by Saturn, we can see a build up of the Saturn-Rahu-Moon energy that will mark the time around this full Moon.

The Moon is the significator of the mind, especially the part of the mind that automatically reacts to outside stimulus with emotion. The Moon shows us how we feel about the world and the beings that inhabit it. Our natal Moon gives us a framework for how we perceive the world and how the world reacts to us, while the transiting Moon will affect the stability of that framework and the perceptions that come through it.

The Moon in Shatabishak may help us to focus on how to bring healing or repair to situations or physical conditions that may have arisen during the rather unstable past few months, marked by an intense and fiery Mars+Ketu combination, an eclipse trio and several retrograde planets. Shatabishak, with its heavy Rahu influence, may be able help us innovate and stretch our minds toward solutions for stability and growth.

We also are reminded here of the dual aspect that the sign of Aquarius is currently receiving from Saturn and Jupiter. With Jupiter already in direct motion and Saturn still retrograde until September 6, we may be inspired to see our situations in a new light which supports us to decisively eject the corrupt or defunct in order to make space for new growth and creativity.

The Sun opposes the Moon this day from its own sign of Leo, shining truth and light that we can hope to catch in the gentle, watery reflection of the Moon. After a rather challenging summer of astrological influences, this full Moon could feel like a turning point, where we spin around one more time in order to get ourselves facing in the right direction for progress once again.

Mars Direct in Capricorn August 27

When exalted and retrograde Mars resumes direct motion at 5° Capricorn on Monday, August 27, we may all feel a sense of relief at the promise of perhaps a more calm and even environment after feeling the agitation of Mars strongly during this retrograde cycle which has marked July/August 2018.

After resuming direct motion, Mars moves toward a final meeting with the south node of the Moon, Ketu, around the autumnal equinox, September 21-22. After this meeting, we should be able to really enjoy the power and force of a well-directed, exalted Mars as he marches through Capricorn until November 6, when he moves to Aquarius. Mars is exactly exalted at 28° Capricorn, which occurs November 2-3.

With Mars getting even stronger through September and October, we may want to have a solid plan for how to direct the firepower of Mars toward the best ends. Especially as Mars will be aspecting Sun in Leo through mid-September, let's keep our hands steady on the "power" button and remember to supplement with watery environments and supplementation that help maintain the balance.

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