Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

February 2018

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Focus on Aquarius February 2018

As February arrives, we have no planets in the sign of Aquarius, but notably, we have Saturn, Mars and Jupiter aspecting this air sign which is ruled by Saturn and Rahu, with the expectation of Venus, Sun and Mercury all arriving there by mid-month.

Let us review the current positions of the outer planets, as they will not change signs this month, and in fact, the first change we see with the slower moving planets, Jupiter, Saturn and Rahu/Ketu will be in mid-October when Jupiter moves to Scorpio.

Jupiter currently is in the sign of Libra, an air sign ruled by Venus. Jupiter will aspect the other signs of the air element while here, so Aquarius and Gemini will also be feeling the benefit of Jupiter's positive aspect. Additionally, Jupiter aspects its opposite sign, which is currently Aries.

Venus and Jupiter are not considered friendly planets to one another, and Jupiter is considered to be in an "enemy" sign in Libra. Despite their differences, Jupiter and Venus are both known as gurus, with Venus teaching us the right ways of social interactions, while Jupiter teaches us the right ways of living within the natural world. While there may be friction due to this difference, they are both teachers and both considered beneficial planets.

This station of Jupiter in Libra is pointing toward combining these two disciplines, the social and natural. Jupiter's expansive, warm and positive influence is what guides us toward higher knowledge in whatever arena he affects. In this case, we can apply this positive desire to expand in the realm of Libra, which is founded on the Venusian principles of social ideals and interaction. As humans, we tend to mistakenly consider ourselves as separated and apart from the natural world. Jupiter transiting Libra is an invitation to understand humans and their activities as integrated with nature, rather than just occurring with nature as a background.

Jupiter tends to encourage education and growth where he sits or aspects. The position in Venus' Libra could inspire new directions in the creative arts and social justice.

Saturn will remain in the sign of Sagittarius for the remainder of 2018, as it moves very slowly, only exiting to Capricorn in January 2020. While Jupiter causes growth and expansion, Saturn causes decay and limitation, which helps us to detach from what is no longer healthy or relevant. Saturn's influence is separative, but let us notice that he is sitting in a sign of Jupiter, which creates an environment of growth.

The planets have desire, and Saturn's desire is to destroy the illusion of separation that our egos create. When we are self-defined, courtesy of the energy of the Sun, we have suddenly become a separate entity from the natural environment, and the individual story ensues. Saturn desires to remind us that this defined individuality is an illusion that keeps us bound to our story and to the wheel of birth and death that turns and turns as we follow our cravings and desires.

Saturn can create pressure and difficulty as we blindly follow the call of our karma; this can result in disappointment and discomfort as we are forced to reckon the cause and effect of our actions. Navigating these difficulties can bring us to a humble understanding of the results of our own actions and inspire us to create a balance between how important we think we are and the temporary nature of life.

Sagittarius is a positive growth environment because of Jupiter's lordship and Saturn's presence there can be a voice of reason that seeks to balance rapid expansion. Saturn is great with understanding practical realities, facing hard truths and saying no to that which is non-essential. This is a good position for creating sustainable, slow growth. Saturn will also be aspecting the signs of Aquarius, Gemini and Virgo throughout the remainder of this transit, so these signs will also feel the desire of Saturn to slow down and detach.

Mars spends all of February in his own sign of Scorpio, which is a position of strength for Mars. Mars is concerned with power and resources. The sign of Scorpio is known for depth and the places that are hidden beneath the visible surface of things. With Mars in this position, we have the power to mine the underground of the earth or to plumb the depths of the unconscious mind. Mars is good at building, problem solving and repairing, skills which have application in every realm of life.

Mars entered Scorpio on January 16 and exits to Sagittarius on March 7. Mars obviously draws strength from his own home of Scorpio during this transit while pushing his influence onto the signs of Aquarius, Taurus and Gemini. All three of the planets discussed thus far, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars are all therefore pushing aspects into both the signs of Aquarius and Gemini. Those with significant placements in those signs may be able to harness the energy and power that is being generated by these aspects. Remember, the keywords are growth (Jupiter), limitation (Saturn) and power (Mars.)

Once the planets discussed below (Venus, Sun and Mercury) enter Aquarius, this places quite a bit of emphasis on this sign through the remainder of February. Aquarius is co-lorded by Saturn and Rahu, which reminds us to note where the nodes of the Moon are transiting. Currently we have Rahu in the sign of Cancer, ruled by the Moon and Ketu in the sign of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn. The nodal axis moves naturally in reverse motion and we will see Rahu move to Gemini and Ketu move to Sagittarius (joining Saturn) in March 2019.

Rahu is the main force of desire, chaos and instability that causes the churning that seems to drive us forward individually and collectively. It is an unstable influence that can both give and take very suddenly. The devata (deity) that has the most power to tame the chaotic force of Rahu is the mother goddess Durga. Since the sign of Cancer is ruled by the Moon, the planet of the divine mother, we can count on the sign of Cancer to temper Rahu perhaps more than any other sign. So, we have that going for us!

Rahu will be aspecting the signs of Leo, Scorpio and Pisces during the rest of this year, pushing his untamable desires into those places. Depending on what those signs represent in an individual chart, we may get increased desires and opportunities in those sectors of life. Remember Rahu is pictured as a disembodied head whose senses and mind are fully activated toward worldly experience.

Ketu, the headless body that once was connected with Rahu, sits in Saturn's earth sign, Capricorn. Ketu does not aspect, as the concept of aspects involve the planets looking or glancing in certain ways. Without eyes, Ketu sits in a state of calm and dark wherever he is, pulling us away from the circus of the world's activity and asking us to sit calmly and turn within. Ketu's position tends to show a block or disinterest in worldly experience in favor of practices that liberate us from the bondage of life and death. Illusions have no power to influence us if we are not looking at them.

Let us examine the nature of Aquarius. In Sanskrit language, the word for this sector of the zodiac is "kumbha" which means "pitcher" or "jug." Western astrologers use the "water bearer" symbol, which is a human bearing a jug of water, bringing forth the theme of supporting all life through the flow of the waters. This symbol has affinity with the concept of kumbha.

Aquarius/Kumbha is co-lorded by the planets Saturn and Rahu. Saturn is deliberate, slow and capable of creating foundations, boundaries and containers. Saturn, as lord of karma, is in charge of creating our physical body, the container for the soul. By contrast, Rahu is chaotic, unpredictable and skilled at escaping containers and jumping boundaries.

Saturn and Rahu have different methods to lead us toward the same understanding that with some facets of life, we as human have very little control and influence. Saturn shows us this by pressure, limitation, obstruction and deprivation. Rahu shows us this through instability, intensity and chaos. The results of these differing lessons are the same: to show us that we don't always have control, which leads to a more humble and realistic approach to choosing our actions.

This combination makes Kumbha quite a unique and difficult environment. It is associated with the high mountains and is considered the abode of Lord Shiva. The mountains are also the water pot of the earth in the sense that they contain the waters by freezing and holding them, releasing the water as the air warms and seasons change. While the environment is harsh and difficult to survive, it is also holding the water of life which supports humanity. Thus, Kumbha is also associated with humanitarian efforts that attempt to equally support all life.

Rahu's influence on Aquarius also makes it supportive of Rahu's ability to innovate and think outside the traditional norms. Saturn's influence can help to temper thoughts gone too wild with practical perception of reality. Aquarius, as one of the two signs that has lordship of the nodes, is one of the most fascinating signs of the zodiac.

Venus Transits Aquarius February 5 – March 1

Venus has been in transition since the end of 2017. During December, Venus moved into combustion range with the Sun, causing us to lose sight of her as she transitioned from morning star to evening star phase. Venus also had a hard encounter with Saturn, currently in Sagittarius.

January saw Venus still hidden and going through difficulty as she moved through Capricorn, currently holding Ketu, where she gets involved with eclipse energy on January 31. By February, we see Venus getting further out of the orb of the Sun's fire as she is the first to move into Aquarius on February 5. By this time, we may be able to see Venus in the western sky after sunset, where she reigns for most of 2018. By February 19, Venus gets far enough ahead of the Sun to escape combustion.

Venus is the indicator for how we, under the illusion as separate individuals, strive to join and connect with other individuals to achieve a feeling of unity. Venus reveals the truth of the underlying oneness of creation. Venus also represents our creative potential which can manifest in many ways, from creation of children all the way to creation of art. Venus is associated with happiness, comfort, beauty and social connection. In short, many people desire the effects of Venus through life because through these effects we experience good feelings.

This desire to feel good, commune with others and celebrate life's finest offerings can be overpowering. Venus may urge us to compromise responsibility or individual needs in order to gain that pleasure at some times. While Venus is in Aquarius for a few short weeks, it will be interesting to see how the new appearance of Venus in the western sky at night will render while in a sign co-lorded by Saturn and Rahu.

Venus and Rahu share the quality of supporting strong desires to feel good; Venus has a tendency to manifest that desire in a more clean way than Rahu, but as Venus moves through Aquarius, know that there will be an additional voice (Rahu) advocating for doing things that may result in messy consequences.

Saturn is a natural friend of Venus and a great influence a to temper Venus' enthusiasm with practical caution. Both of Saturn's signs, Capricorn and Aquarius, are considered friendly territory to Venus. Remember also that Aquarius and all planets therein will be receiving the triple aspect from Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. This creates quite a bit of energy in Aquarius for Venus to use as creative fodder.

Venus, as the natural diplomat in the sign of humanitarianism, could be quite effective in allowing the voices of the underdog to be heard and given a platform. This could also translate to finding creative solutions in order to uplift the masses. Find a vessel for your creative energy this month and dispense the love of humanity at will.

Sun Transits Aquarius February 12 – March 14

The Sun and Venus have been traveling in tandem since the latter part of December, bringing forth the issue of individual self expression (Sun) vs. harmony with others (Venus.) While Venus is happy in Saturn's signs, the Sun, not so much. We focus on the self through the Sun and we focus on the collective with Venus. As mentioned, Venus will be escaping the combustion with the Sun by February 19, which gives Venus more space to do the graceful, loving things she does.

The Sun will be kicking off this transit with the partial solar eclipse described below. That, in combination with the already existing discomfort of the Sun in Saturn-ruled signs could signal an uncomfortable month ahead for the affairs of the Sun. Sun's domain includes things like governing bodies, creative self-expression, individuality, leadership, solar plexis, the physical heart.

Saturn's influence on the Sun can create situations that are humbling. Know in advance the value of gaining humility or suffering disappointment, such that in the moments of enduring, grace can be met.

Mercury Transits Aquarius February 14 – March 3

On Wednesday, February 14, Mercury moves from Capricorn to Aquarius, joining the Sun and Venus as a third wheel for a very unromantic Valentine's dinner. Mercury tends to shape shift to match his surroundings, and will also do well crossing the unstable mountain terrain of Aquarius.

Like Venus was in January, Mercury is now poised to run past the Sun, joining Venus in the western sky after sunset. On February 17, Mercury exactly conjoins the Sun, but moving at a faster speed from our earthly perspective, Mercury overtakes the Sun and moves away from the bright orb of the Sun and toward his friend, Venus.

By early March, Mercury also escapes combustion and will have caught up with Venus just after reaching the sign of Pisces. The latter two weeks of February will be marked by this set combination of the three planets in Aquarius (Sun, Venus and Mercury) receiving the energizing aspects of another three planets, Jupiter from Libra, Mars from Scorpio and Saturn from Sagittarius.

Mercury and Venus are both moving away from the Sun, giving them the opportunity to energetically express outside of the strong influence of the Sun. These two natural friends are both considered to be in the category of "rajas guna" or energetic state. With the extra boosts coming from Jupiter, Mars and Saturn, we could really see some activity and action coming from the Venus/Mercury realms of relation, creation, currency and communication.

Aquarius is the best place to think outside the box; that high, cold mountain air can bring some out-of-this-world, innovative thinking. Enjoy this good burst of energy and intensity that will continue through the end of February.

New Moon Partial Solar Eclipse February 15

The Moon follows Mercury into Aquarius on the morning of February 15, getting into line with the Sun at 4° Aquarius during the early afternoon for the new Moon. Because of the proximity of this conjunction to Ketu, a partial solar eclipse will be visible to locations around the South Pole of the globe.

At the time of the eclipse, Mercury joins Moon and Sun in the early degrees of Aquarius, in the nakshatra (lunar mansion) called Dhanistha, which is ruled by the planet Mars. Let's again recall the aspects to Aquarius coming from Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. This brings literally all of the nine planets influence into this sign at this time. While Ketu is not directly connected to Aquarius from its location in Capricorn, Ketu is still close enough to cause partial eclipse on the planets in Aquarius.

Each year, we on this planet experience two distinct pairs of eclipses when the Sun joins with Rahu and then about six months later with Ketu on its annual procession through the zodiac. One of the pair will be a solar eclipse during the new Moon and the other will be a lunar eclipse during the full Moon. This partial solar eclipse is the second of the pair, with the first eclipse being a lunar eclipse at the full Moon of January 31, 2018.

The concept of eclipse is quite literal, occurring when the positions of the Sun, Moon and Earth line up such that one can cast a shadow on another, squelching the source of light that originates from the Sun and by reflection, from the Moon. This is a play of shadows, and when we look at this phenomena through the lens of astrology, we call the nodes of the Moon, which are really abstract points that mark the potential for eclipse, the shadow planets: Rahu and Ketu.

During times of eclipse, we are therefore individually and collectively subject to moments in time where our guiding lights may be lost temporarily. In the darkness, we are more at risk for confusion or losing our way. Therefore, it is wise to pause, sit and turn inward for those moments, to avoid mistakes and becoming of one of the things that go bump in the night. The eclipse pair that we experience on January 31 and February 15 are these temporary dark moments.

The time in between these two events sees three planets shifting from one sign to the next. This could be a good time to prepare for things within and around one to also shift and move. In that spirit, it may be a good time to open up to different avenues.

The two weeks after the second eclipse on February 15 should provide some slightly more stable energy, with all of the planets remaining in place during that time. Slightly more stable due to Rahu's co-lordship of Aquarius, which could always mean a change of direction or a sudden storm. With caution and flexibility in place, the latter part of February could prove to be an eventful, energetic and productive period of time that supports many types of projects.

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