Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

October 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 Retrograde in Libra October 5 – November 16

September saw Saturn return to direct motion, bringing to a close an intense spell of many of the visible planets running retrograde cycles amidst some other instances of challenging planetary weather. After a brief spell of forward motion from the visible planets, we will see Venus begin a retrograde cycle in her own sign of Libra from October 5 – November 16.

Retrograde cycles of Venus result in Venus shifting her position relative to the Sun in the zodiac signs. 2018 has been marked by Venus appearing in the western evening sky, after the Sun's disappearance each day. This is due to Venus occupying a sign that rises after the Sun.

This retrograde cycle of Venus in Libra will see the Sun moving forward through his sign of debilitation as Venus herself slips back toward the early degrees of Libra. This change will eventually place Venus in a sign that rises prior to the Sun, making Venus our morning herald from December 2018 – July 2019.

An interesting exercise would be to understand how Venus expresses as either morning or evening star in an individual horoscope. If Venus occupies a sign after or later degrees in the same sign than the Sun's position, that is an evening star Venus. If Venus occupies an earlier sign or earlier degree in the same sign than the Sun's position, that is a morning star Venus. If the Sun and Venus are conjunct or very close in a chart, that is showing the combustion of Venus, which translates to Venus not appearing. Each of these three positions are notable; once one decipher's one's own Venus/Sun relationship, we may be able to notice that periods that are marked by Venus morning/Venus evening appearance may be more or less harmonious for individuals, especially in the matters of Venus.

We will summarize these three relationships between Sun and Venus. Remember that the signs rise on the eastern horizon in zodiacal order. If the Sun is in Aries and the Moon is in Taurus, the Moon will be rising after the Sun and we will be able to see the crescent Moon setting in the western sky after the Sun sets. This would be an "evening star" Moon.

Sun Precedes Venus (Venus Evening Star) – An example of this would be Sun in Leo and Venus in Libra. In the morning Sun would rise, a couple of hours later, Venus would rise and wouldn't appear until the sign of Leo (and the Sun therein) sets. In the reckoning of a chart, this would put Venus in the 3rd house from the Sun, putting more emphasis on the need for learning how to care for others (Venus) and less emphasis on self development (Sun.) The Sun is moving toward Venus, zodiacally speaking, suggesting the need to focus on others more than self.

Sun Follows Venus (Venus Morning Star) – An example of this would be Sun in Aries and Venus in Pisces. In the morning, the sign of Pisces holding Venus would rise before the Sun in the sign of Aries. We would briefly see Venus before the Sun became too bright in the morning. In chart reckoning, Venus would be placed in the 12th house from the Sun, in effect slipping behind the Sun. Zodiacally speaking, the Sun is moving away from Venus. This implies that the needs of the self (Sun) come before the needs of others (Venus.) These natives may need to learn to become more self-focused within relationship so that they don't "lose themselves."

Sun Conjunct Venus (No Appearance of Venus) – Combustion of Venus happens when Venus is within 10º on either side of the Sun. This can create strong themes of individual vs collective issues which could manifest through relationship and self-expression.

These are very broad descriptions that should be added into other interpretive factors for individual charts.

Venus begins retrograde motion on October 5 at 17° Libra, moving closer to the Sun, who always moves in regular motion. We lose sight of Venus by October 20, the Sun and Venus conjoin on October 26 and Venus resumes direct motion at 2° Libra on November 16.

Venus in Libra can be very focused on the social aspects of Venus, including relationships, friendships, social order and politics. This retrograde cycle will keep Venus in her own sign of Libra through January 1, 2019. The first month of Venus' transit there since September 1 may have revived interest in socializing, creativity and connecting with others. This retrograde chapter, when we see Venus descend into the depths behind the light of the Sun, could unearth deep issues in specific relationships or in relationships generally.

Triggered by the Sun's combustion of Venus, we could be facing once again the challenge of finding the balance between self and other required for harmonious relationship. While Saturn is not currently directly involved with Venus and Sun, Libra is the sign of exaltation for Saturn, giving us the clue that boundaries and detachment go a long way in helping to create that balance.

This six-week retrograde cycle of Venus is a great time for taking a close look at what we are offering to friends and partners and then going into creative mode to re-invent the basis for our relationships. Explore which way to tip your balance; it could be that the collective wave takes us from Evening Star mode (giving to others) toward Morning Star mode (giving to self.)

Mercury Transits Libra October 6 – 26

Mercury is a friend of Venus and moves into Libra, joining retrograde Venus and Jupiter on October 6. Mercury, the master of retrograde motion as well as cheerful communication, could be quite useful during this sensitive month of Venus and Sun doing the tango.

Mercury joins retrograde Venus and direct moving Jupiter who will soon transition from Libra into Scorpio on October 11. Mercury is great at managing, communicating and moving around, so will be energetically supportive to Venus during this month.

We also value Mercury's talents at analysis. Because Mercury has little desire for power in his own right, it gives him objectivity when sifting through information and data. This could come in handy as we are analyzing how our relationships and connections are either feeding or depleting us.

Mercury is strong and happy in Libra. This could give a renewed enthusiasm for both relationships (Venus) and studies (Jupiter.) Especially in the period before Sun moves into Libra on October 16, Libra is currently free of negative aspects and influences, giving us a clean dance floor on which to meet our friends and lovers.

New Moon in Virgo/Hasta October 8

After Mercury exits Virgo on October 6, the waning Moon enters Virgo on October 7, joining the Sun for the new Moon just before midnight on October 8 (almost October 9) at 22° Virgo in the nakshatra of Hasta. The new Moon moment is always a still point where we are encouraged to let go of the need for action as we contemplate the darkness and vulnerability symbolized by the new Moon.

Hasta nakshatra has Moon as its planetary lord and Savitar as its deity. Savitar represents the vivifying power of the Sun. With Hasta having both the influence of the Sun and Moon, as well as the energetic influence of Mercury and lord of Virgo, we can use this dark Moon to quietly contemplate the materials that we hold in our hands so that we can wisely conceive how to best bring those materials to life.

This first half of October sees a series of quick changes: Mercury enters Virgo, Venus retrograde begins, Jupiter moves to Scorpio and finally the Sun moves into debility. As we settle into a new set of circumstances, let us quietly plant the seeds that we hold in our hands and plan for the subsequent sprouting and growth.

As the Moon begins to wax, it will pass by the planets in Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius and Capricorn, where most of the planets are placed currently. Saturn is the only planet to be giving a serious influence to the sign of Virgo. This is a signal to use caution and detachment going forward with whatever is started during this second week of October.

Jupiter Transits Scorpio October 11, 2018 – November 4, 2019

Jupiter, known as "guru" among the planets, takes about twelve years to move through all of the signs of the zodiac. Thus, we see him spend about one year per sign. Jupiter has spent the past two years transiting through signs lorded by Mercury and Venus, not his best friends. Starting October 11, Jupiter moves into the sign of Scorpio, a sign co-ruled by Mars and Ketu, a more friendly environment for Jupiter, where he will spend slightly over one year.

Jupiter in Scorpio brings his aspect and influence into all of the water signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Water signs, of which Jupiter owns one, namely Pisces, are fluid environments that support the expansive and growth-oriented nature of Jupiter. Jupiter in Libra may have been somewhat frustrated as high-minded ideals broke apart in the wind.

Jupiter's last transit through Scorpio occurred between October 27, 2006 – November 21, 2007. Reflecting on this time period may give some clues about how this next transit of Jupiter in the deep, watery sign ruled by Mars and Ketu will play out, remembering that on personal levels, we may be in different planetary periods which would affect the way the transits affect us at the moment.

Additionally, it is always good to understand how Saturn and the nodes may have been relating to Jupiter in Scorpio at the time. For example, in the period mentioned above, Ketu was in Leo, Rahu was in Aquarius and Saturn floated between Cancer and Leo. Saturn's pressure on a different sign can certainly change dynamics. Ketu's placement as co-lord of Scorpio will also affect Jupiter's results while transiting Scorpio.

The energy of Jupiter is positive, promoting growth and expansion. Jupiter-related professions include teaching, religion, prospecting and law. As a planet, it is included in the group of sattwic planets, along with Sun and Moon. The sattwic planets promote growth, purity, balance and lightness. Jupiter helps us to focus on right action, higher studies, growth of assets and protection of children. The environment where Jupiter sits will be his focus, whether by transit or within an individual horoscope.

The sign of Scorpio is a complicated environment due to the co-lordship of Mars and Ketu. The only other sign as complicated is Aquarius, whose co-lords are Saturn and Rahu. Due to natural friendship with Mars, Jupiter does well in Scorpio, bringing light to the dark places and filling up the deep wells with knowledge.

Jupiter in Scorpio may lead us toward new or renewed studies, especially in subjects that Scorpio supports, which is essentially anything that requires courage in the face of sudden difficulties, the ability to discern details in darkened places, the tendency to blindly follow orders. Police work, emergency medicine, divination arts and military service are a few examples. Jupiter's auspicious presence could also be a boost for anyone already involved in those types of work or activity.

Another blessing of Jupiter in Scorpio is Jupiter's guidance of Mars by occupation of Mars' sign. Any time we can have beneficial Jupiter guiding the power and force of Mars, things tend to trend in a positive way.

Sun Transits Libra October 16 – November 16

The Sun falls into Libra, joining Mercury and retrograde Venus on October 16 for a one-month transit of his sign of debilitation. When we try to understand the nature of exaltation and debilitation amongst the planets, it can be very revealing when we try to interpret how planets and signs interact.

Circling back to the top of this forecast, we recall the discussion about Venus coming into strength in Libra, going retrograde and changing places with the Sun in the procession of the planets. (We have to keep in mind that from Earth, it looks like Sun and Venus are traveling the same path, when in actuality, Venus travels around the Sun, as does the Earth. )

Venus is known for channelling the human-level, creative feminine principle. Venus tends to blur the lines between you and me in favor of an "us." Venus handles and guides the earthly interactions between souls, which requires a hefty dose of tolerance and compromise. When the Sun marches into Venus-town, he is met with some resistance to his individualistic forms of self-expression, including the natural tendency to collect others as satellites who never get close enough to merge.

Full Moon in Aries/Ashwini October 24

After the new Moon of October 8, the Moon waxes as it passes through the gamut of planets, pushing past Mars and Ketu on October 18 and becoming full at 8° Aries on Wednesday, October 24. Moon will be sitting in the nakshatra Ashwini, ruled by Ketu and by the twin horsemen, the Ashwin Kumars, known for their healing powers.

Exalted Mars aspects his own sign of Aries, giving firepower to this Moon. Sun, Venus and Mercury from Libra are also aspecting, making this full Moon quite energetic and powerful. There are planets in all of the angles from the Moon in cardinal signs, showing the potential for action, initiation and movement.

Mercury Transits Scorpio October 26 – December 31

Mercury continues to make haste, staying ahead of the Sun and moving toward a conjunction with Jupiter, newly entered into Scorpio. Mercury stays awhile in Scorpio due to a retrograde cycle from November 16 – December 6, keeping him hanging around Jupiter for a solid two month period.

While Mercury and Jupiter aren't considered natural friends, they are a natural student-teacher combination, which in the sign of Scorpio could imply diving deeply into the transmission of knowledge, meeting teachers, or dedication to studies. Jupiter is in a friendly sign, and Mars territory is neutral to Mercury, so both planets should function well together here.

The first meeting of Mercury and Jupiter comes on October 29; they will cross paths three times during Mercury's transit through Scorpio.

The planets that rule Scorpio, Mars and Ketu, are still conjoined in Mars' sign of exaltation, Capricorn, through November 5, when Mars moves into Aquarius just after pushing through his exact degree of exaltation on October 31-November 1. Mars pushed past the point of Ketu around the Autumnal Equinox on September 21-22 and clearing the obstacle of Ketu, can now express the most positive Mars qualities that will help courageously build new avenues that lead to stable foundations.

This short span between October 26 (Mercury enters Scorpio) and November 5 (Mars exits Capricorn) should be noted as a time that supports serious deep work that requires courage, tenacity and focus accompanied by enthusiasm and wisdom. The signs of Scorpio and Capricorn aspect one another by the rules of "rasi dristi" or sign aspects. Therefore, the signs and the planets therein are strongly interacting, especially at this time with two planets in each sign. Jupiter guides the exalted Mars, Mercury lends youthful enthusiasm and objective analysis. Mars and Ketu give courage, strength and focus to Jupiter's expansion and Mercury's flexibility.

Venus Inferior Solar Conjunction October 26

Venus entered Libra on September 1, began a retrograde cycle on October 5 that moves Venus into the orb of the Sun and finally conjoins with the Sun on October 26, which will mark the transition from Venus evening star apparition to Venus morning star apparition. This is the turning point, after which Venus begins to move away from the Sun, toward the early degrees of Libra.

By the time Venus resumes direct motion on November 16, the Sun will be moving into Scorpio, putting almost a whole sign between the two bright heavenly bodies, which allows us to see Venus rise in the eastern sky in the morning prior to the Sun.

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