Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

March 2018

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 Leo/Purvaphalguni March 1

March will be the second month in 2018 to see two full Moons, one on March 1 and the other on March 31. On March 1, from Colorado, USA, the Moon becomes full exactly as it rises in the east, with the Sun setting in the west. The Moon will be at 18° Leo in the nakshatra of Purvaphalguni while the Sun is at 18º Aquarius in the nakshatra Shatabishak. Joining the Sun but in the latter degrees of Aquarius are the energetic pair, Mercury and Venus.

After the partial solar eclipse of February 15, there were no major shifts of the planets except for the Moon waxing through the latter half of February. The first big event of March is the full Moon on March 1, followed by many planets shifting signs through the first half of March. March looks to be an energetic month, perhaps heralded by the full Moon in a nakshatra ruled by Venus, currently becoming strong and visible in the western evening sky and poised to move into Pisces just before midnight of the same day. Things will begin to move again after this full Moon.

The full Moon in Leo that occurs each year while the Sun is in Aquarius is powerful due to the added solar influence on the Moon passing through Leo, the Sun's sign. This is a big spotlight on all things Leo, for example, leaders, royalty, entertainment and creative efforts. With Leo being the natural sign of the Sun, the king amongst the planets, this is a region of the zodiac where events tend to occur under the spotlight.

The Moon, representing the mind in both the sense of individual perception and public opinion, is strongly collecting and reflecting the light from the Sun as it reaches its fullness, on the opposite side of the zodiac and receiving a full view of the Sun's brilliance. We may be very focused during this time on leaders, legacies and tradition as we consider that stability is good for longevity but also cracks over time, allowing corruption to seep in. Even a king's throne will eventually crumble to dust, but the brilliance of the Sun reminds us that new creation and sustenance is available always.

Combined with light being shone from the Sun into Leo and the Moon's brilliant reflection, we see a smoky haze, a remnant of Rahu's recent transit through Leo that will give definition to the current atmosphere in the sign of Leo. One of Rahu's aspects is on the sign second from his location, which is the sign Rahu just occupied due to his natural reverse motion. This aspect of Rahu is much like smoke lingering in a room even though the smoker has exited. Rahu is associated with rejection of tradition, diversity, innovation and new directions, as well as attaining goals by any means, which can bring side effects like corruption and manipulation. Where Rahu sits and aspects, we can sometimes wrestle with the temptation or after effects of attaining our desires no matter what.

Venus Transits Pisces March 1 – 26

Hours after the full Moon, Venus moves out of Aquarius and into Pisces, the sign of exaltation for Venus, for a quick transit from March 1 – 26. We can expect the most refined results of Venus while it moves through Pisces, bringing us compassion, unconditional love, divine connections and expansive happiness.

Venus will be joined by Mercury as the two move in tandem through Pisces. The only other major influence on Venus in Pisces comes from Rahu, currently affecting all of the water signs from its placement in Cancer. Rahu's energy tends to amplify and cause waves, which is sometimes welcome and sometimes not. This could cause desire for those higher Venus qualities to be expressed.

Another strong bond forms between Jupiter and Venus due to these two planets transiting one another's signs during this time. This is called parivartana, exchange of signs, which gives strength to both planets involved and actually to the signs as well. With Jupiter and Venus known as "the two teachers" this could signify a rich but short time in which to assimilate deep lessons, contact teachers and/or review and finish up educational pursuits.

Mercury Transits Pisces March 2 – May 9

The day after the full Moon, Mercury follows Venus by moving out of Aquarius and into Pisces. Unlike Venus, Mercury's stay in Pisces will be much longer due to an upcoming retrograde period that begins on March 22. Because of this, Mercury will be zig-zagging around Venus, first passing on March 5, then sailing ahead, only to have Venus catch up again on March 20 while Mercury slows down for a retrograde cycle.

This nice meeting between Venus, exalted in Pisces, and Mercury, debilitated in Pisces, is really beneficial for Mercury. The combination of Mercury and Venus can be very dynamic, energetic and enthusiastic. The planet of communication and currency (Mercury) is combining forces with the planet of relationship, vitality and creativity (Venus) while moving through the realm of Pisces, the realm of infinite consciousness in which we all dissolve and from which we all emerge.

This could be a good window to make completions and beginnings, to gracefully transition, recycle and compost. Especially during the time that Venus shares Pisces with Mercury, until March 26, we could feel the satisfaction of completing cycles of learning, especially in the realms of relationship and communication.

After March 26, when Venus moves forward into Aries, Mercury loses the benefit of having Venus in exaltation nearby, and may struggle some, but oddly may seem to compensate with the retrograde energy for part of the time. This will be the end of the current rendezvous between Mercury and Venus, who will not meet again until retrograde Venus runs into Mercury in the middle of October while transiting Libra.

Enjoy this energetic burst between Mercury and Venus during March. Projects could be brought to completion that open up space for the next round of creation.

Mars Joins Saturn in Sagittarius March 7 – May 2

Since January 16, Mars has been moving through his own sign of Scorpio, a position of power that allows him to extend his influence through aspect into the signs of Aquarius, Taurus and Gemini. On March 7, Mars moves forward into Sagittarius, taking about eight weeks to move through Jupiter's fire sign, which means moving past Saturn at the beginning of April.

This means that during most of March, Mars, the planet of power, initiative and protection will be approaching Saturn, the planet of detachment, limitation and obstruction. The meeting of these two planets, who are each hard and strong in their own way, can sometimes be strained. When force meets pressure, great things can occur, but sometimes those things are unwanted.

These meetings between Mars and Saturn do occur regularly, and can be used to arrange situations where force meeting pressure is welcome. The last time Mars and Saturn met, it was quite dramatic and caused some difficult planetary influences when they joined in Scorpio from February 20 – September 17, 2016. That was quite a long spell to manage both force and pressure.

While in Scorpio, Mars' power was amplified by the unstable desires of Rahu from Cancer. While in Sagittarius, Mars gets limited and stabilized by Saturn's conjunction, which is exact on April 1. This can bring out good qualities of Mars, including focus, discipline and perseverance. Jupiter's influence on Mars also comes through as lord of Sagittarius, lifting up the best qualities of Mars.

This good influence that comes from the combined influence of Saturn and Jupiter will be useful for deliberately channeling the strength of Mars in a positive direction. We can extend this positive, controlled effort of Mars to the business that Mercury and Venus will be doing in Pisces, as well, because Mars aspects there while moving through Sagittarius.

Jupiter Retrograde in Libra March 8 – July 10

Jupiter entered the sign of Libra on September 11, 2017 and has been moving steadily through in forward motion until March 8, when Jupiter, having reached the final degree of Libra, will assume retrograde motion for the following four months, until it stations direct again on July 10, 2018 at 20° Libra.

The nodal axis, with Rahu at the head and Ketu at the tail, moves through the zodiac in reverse motion from the other planets, relative to our perspective here on Earth. This natural retrograde motion comes with qualities of instability, chaos, reversal and unpredictability. When other planets get into retrograde cycles, they take some of these qualities into their indications.

Jupiter, considered a benefic and auspicious planet, normally promotes growth, knowledge, prosperity and truth. During this retrograde period between March - July, it may be hard to predict how, when and why Jupiter's propensity for growth and expansion will manifest. We may see sluggishness, delays, unwanted growth or rapid growth, all during this same retrograde period. As Venus is the ruler of Libra, Venus' condition may also affect the behavior of Jupiter. We will see Venus move through Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer and Leo during this retrograde cycle of Jupiter, so expect a bumpy ride when it comes to all things Jupiter: education, students, children, spiritual pursuits, legal matters, religious matters, knowledge, wealth.

Sun Transits Pisces March 14 – April 13

The next planet to jump ship from Aquarius to Pisces is the Sun, moving through Jupiter's water sign from March 14 – April 13. This brings Sun into the situation with creative Venus and intelligent Mercury for a couple of weeks until Venus exits to Aries. This will leave Sun alone with Mercury in Pisces until he moves to his month of exaltation in Aries by April 13.

Another notable Sun milestone this month is the Vernal Equinox that comes on March 20 when the Sun reaches 7° Pisces.

The Sun in Pisces through mid-April will further push the agenda of finishing an old cycle to jump towards a new one. The northern hemisphere sees this as winter fades and spring arrives. Remember that Sun and the other planets in Pisces will receive the energy of both Mars and Rahu via aspect, which can cause strong desire to push through any blockages to the process of endings transforming into beginnings.

New Moon in Pisces/Purvabhadra March 17

As Venus, Mercury and Sun are moving toward Pisces, the waning Moon is heading that way as well, joining the Sun at 3° Pisces in the final portion of Purvabhadra nakshatra on Saturday, March 17, just after sunrise. This moment could mark the beginning of the end, in the sense of riding that Pisces energy toward closing one chapter to start another.

Again, we notice the group of planets in Pisces this day (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus) receiving the aspect of Mars from Sagittarius, specifically in Mula nakshatra and Rahu from Cancer, still in the dramatic and energetic serpent-ruled nakshatra of Ashlesha.

By degrees, Mars aspects close to the Sun/Moon pairing while Rahu aspects close to the Mercury/Venus pairing. We may expect some type of shifting, unexpected events or even aggression that comes through during this time. Remember also that by this time, the lord of Pisces, Jupiter, will have begun its retrograde cycle, which further enhances the unpredictable nature of the watery environment of Pisces also being aspected by Rahu.

Mercury Retrograde in Pisces March 22 – April 15

Mercury is in debilitation in Pisces, but the interesting thing about Mercury is that he is the only planet that has the ability to exalt himself, meaning that he is the lord of the sign in which he becomes most fulfilled and powerful, which is Virgo. I call this "bootstrap power."

One of the things that would improve Mercury in Pisces is being with exalted Venus. Once that ends on March 26, Mercury can fall back on the benefit of being debilitated and retrograde at the same time.

From March 22 – April 15, Mercury will retrace its steps through Pisces, starting at 23° and retreating back to 11º° Pisces by April 15. This will be the first of three Mercury retrograde cycles of 2018, all three of which will happen in water signs, which are all affected by the innate retrograde nature of Rahu all year, as well.

The next cycle will be Mercury retrograde in Cancer, joining Rahu, from July 25 – August 19, which also coincides with another eclipse pair. The third comes when Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio from November 17 – December 6.

Because of the nature of Mercury moving through water, which is an analytical mind moving through an emotional environment, we may feel that the Mercury retrograde cycles of 2018 are a bit more challenging. The other real factor is that the unstable, loose energy of Rahu will also be added in to each of these Mercury retrograde cycles either by conjunction or aspect.

Generally, we advise double checking plans and making sure all technology has been cross checked and updated when Mercury is retrograde. Mercury's energy is strong and pushes in too many directions when boosted by retrograde energy. In this case, we may need to focus on being relaxed and ready for the unexpected, no matter how much we double check.

Revisiting the debilitation state, the retrograde motion can reverse the planet's status in the way of the planet acting as if it is placed in the opposite sign. In this case, that would make Mercury think that he is exalted in Virgo, which can activate the self-rescue that Mercury is capable of.

The other piece to revisit is the idea that Venus and Mercury enter Pisces together and create an atmosphere of energetic compassion that encourages integrating deep lessons that enable one to move forward into a next phase. While Venus is set to move forward and initiate that next creative enterprise, Mercury turns around and digs further into analyzing the depths, remaining in Pisces through May 9. This separation of Mercury and Venus may cause a stronger bridge that stretches between closing the old chapter and opening the new as the spring matures.

Venus Transits Aries March 26 – April 19

Venus moves out of an exchange of signs with Jupiter and into direct opposition to Jupiter by occupying Mars' fire sign of Aries for a fast transit between March 26 – April 19.

This mutual aspect of Venus and Jupiter from their places in Aries and Libra could signal the initiation of new ways of relating, socializing, learning and growing. Venus will be moving at a fast pace through Aries, spending only 23 days and keeping well ahead of the Sun in the zodiac, moving out of Aries just four days after the Sun enters on April 15.

Full Moon in Virgo/Hasta March 31

The Moon waxes again after the new Moon of March 17, moving past Rahu on March 26-27 and gaining strength as it moves into opposition with the Sun, just before sunrise on Saturday March 31. The Sun and Moon will be at 17° of Pisces and Virgo, respectively.

Joining the Sun in Pisces within a couple of degrees is retrograde Mercury, pretending like he's cruising through his own sign of Virgo with the Moon. This could be a good environment for finding the balance between emotional perception and informational processing. Thoughts and feelings could be swimming together in harmony during this strong full Moon.

Sun and Mercury are closely aspecting the Moon, as is Saturn from Sagittarius. Saturn and Mars are close to conjunction, with Saturn affecting the Moon and Mars affecting the Sun and Mercury combination. This friction and pressure indicated by Saturn and Mars may extend toward the strongly placed Moon and retrograde Mercury+Sun pairing.

Mental energy is very high during this full Moon and it may be wise to find the mysterious balance between courage and fear when it comes to making decisions at this time in order to avoid rocking the boat.

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