Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

May 2019

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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Saturn & Ketu Walk the Primrose Path

On April 29, Saturn began his retrograde phase which will take us through the summer, ending September 18. This period of time sees Saturn and Ketu joining around 27° Sagittarius and then moving together in retrograde motion back to 20° Sagittarius where Saturn then stations into direct motion and resumes his regular forward motion.

While they share nearly the same degree this entire time period, April 29-September 18, they actually begin in different nakshatras, with Ketu moving out of Uttarashada and into Purvashada to join Saturn on May 9.

Ketu is a rather fiery planet and is currently transiting Sagittarius, a fire sign, until September 2020. Uttarashada nakshatra is ruled by the Sun, which adds extra fire influence, especially with the Sun currently exalted in Aries, the fire sign of Mars.

When Ketu slips into Purvashada, we get the benefit of the watery influence of Venus, the fire fighter who happens to rule Purvashada. This should help some with the combination of fire and wind that Ketu and Saturn together represent; not only will this pairing be quite drying, it opens the door for combustion when any fuel is presented.

Sagittarius represents places of worship, temples, churches and institutions of higher education. Among Saturn's significations are fundamentalist ideals, rigid social structures and traditional values. Ketu brings the energy of blind faith and mindlessly following direction. With the right fuel, this conjunction could bring a spectrum of results ranging from hate driven mass shootings in temples to inspired efforts to clear corruption from the educational and religious organizations that we count on to guide our growth.

On an individual basis, where this Saturn and Ketu conjunction falls in the personal horoscope may be an area of life where we feel extreme pressure that leads to some breaking point. For example, if it was in the 7th house of relationship, we may be faced with enforcing personal boundaries (Saturn) which could lead to a reversal in the flow of the relationship (Ketu.) In this case, Saturn is the ruler of the 8th house of transformation and Ketu is the ruler of the 6th house of health. Saturn may force the transformation in relationship in an effort to eliminate factors which may be jeopardizing the health.

There are three consecutive signs being brought into this equation: Scorpio (co-lorded by Ketu, occupied by Jupiter), Sagittarius (lorded by Jupiter, occupied by Ketu and Saturn) and Capricorn (lorded by Saturn). The houses that these signs occupy in the individual chart will be the ones to watch during this period of time.

As touched upon last month, remember the powerful nature of the exchange of signs between Jupiter and Ketu. This makes every difficulty that arises in the next four months into a powerful spiritual opportunity. Jupiter and Ketu are leading us toward a deeper divine connection that liberates us from worldly suffering.

Another balance to the intensity of the Saturn/Ketu conjunction in Sagittarius is the exalted Rahu in Gemini. Saturn and Ketu together may bring forth feelings of obstruction or apathy; use the brilliant inspiration of Rahu in Gemini to think outside the box and become involved in new activities or hobbies that encourage the development of new skills.

Mercury Transits Aries May 3 - 18

Mercury is on the run this month, speeding through Mars' territory of Aries from May 3 – 18. Mercury had spent quite a spell in Pisces due to a retrograde phase, and had an improvement in the quality of life there due to Venus' presence, which assuaged Mercury's natural debilitation in Pisces.

Mercury considers Aries to be neutral territory, so will be fine in spreading his messages and making his transactions happen through the first half of May. This is a supportive transit for advancing projects that require some of Mercury's skills at networking, marketing, gathering resources and analyzing data.

While Saturn, Jupiter and Ketu are forcing us to consider the infrastructure changes and deep themes, we still have to keep the business as usual running as smoothly as possible. The helpers here are Venus, Mercury and Mars, who are all well placed and able to keep things moving at the moment.

New Moon in Bharani/Aries May 4

Just before sunset on May 4, the Moon moves to join the exalted Sun at 21º Aries, which correlates to the second nakshatra in the natural zodiac, Bharani, ruled by Venus.

This puts the Sun at his peak of exaltation, and again we are seeing a fiery planet in a fiery sign but in a Venus-ruled nakshatra. Venus is well placed in Pisces and acting as good backup for the Sun, Moon and Mercury occupying Aries. Mars, ruler of Aries, is placed in the next adjacent sign, Taurus, also supporting the trio in Aries.

This theme of fire holding water which holds more fire is quite interesting. The junctures between the water and fire signs in the zodiac are the gandanta points, indicating challenges and struggles for the planets placed in those zones. The relationship between Mars and Venus brings up similar themes. There is not a natural affinity between the two, but there is a passionate attraction that often results in a dance battle of compromise and power that sometimes results in a dynamic, functional product.

The energy of Bharani supports the birthing of new things. Aries is a sign of initiation and driving forward. Take this moment to choose a new path, project or undertaking and allow this new idea to sprout as you protect it from either too much of that fire or water.

On the third day after the new Moon of Aries we celebrate the Vedic holiday called “akshaya tritya,” when the Sun is exalted in Aries and the Moon has waxed a bit into exaltation in the sign of Taurus. Here we see the power of the Sun and Moon shine in their most glorious of settings, which are lorded by the powerful, masculine Mars and the radiant, feminine Venus. This day will be May 7; an auspicious day to start any new venture, bringing good luck and success.

Mars Transits Gemini May 6 - June 22

In the midst of akshaya tritya, Mars moves from Taurus into Gemini, creating a temporary but powerful exchange with Mercury from May 6 – 18. While Mercury and Mars aren't traditionally seen as friendly in the relationship scheme between the planets, in practice they are quite a good team when it comes to getting things done that require both communication and calculation (which is many things!)

Mercury's air sign, Gemini, provides a background of fluid motion, intellectual enthusiasm and energetic ability to Mars, who brings the power, the planning and the execution. This could come in quite handy during this time, when we are trying to keep the show running, even though there may be deeper shifting that is taking the lion's share of our energy and attention.

Mars in Gemini is also coming into contact with the ever-vibrating amplifier of desire that we know as Lord Rahu. This will create an environment that suggests adopting the wisdom of deliberation. The tendency toward compulsive behavior may be pronounced.

Gemini is like the trading floor on Wall Street; things can happen in a fast and furious manner, communications are of utmost importance and the enthusiasm and youthful nature of Mercury who rules Gemini can fuel movement and activity seemingly without a need for fuel. Mars, with his focus and power, can function and execute precisely in most cases, but should use caution and deliberation while in Gemini to remain in the most efficient zone. Mars has a tendency to waste power and energy in the flowing environment of Gemini.

Rahu is also present in Gemini, his place of exaltation. Here we are adding in spontaneity, impulse, intelligence and desire to the mix, which could create some very amazing moments of glorious fun when all the pieces align just right. That said, we also have a bit of potential for the pieces to be a bit off, since Rahu can create some instability. Pay attention, slow down and take time for risk assessment.

The combination of Mars and Rahu in Gemini may also increase the potential for dramatic seismic, volcanic or other geological activity. Again, this is the period between May 6 – June 22.

Venus Transits Aries May 10 – June 3

Venus begins May by transiting through the final degrees of its sign of exaltation, Pisces. Another auspicious feature of akshaya tritya on May 7 is that Venus will also be reaching its exact degree of exaltation at 27° Pisces on that day. This further bolsters the power of the exalted Moon, who is in occupation of a sign (Taurus) whose ruler is also exalted.

By May 10, Venus will be pushing through the gandanta that lies between Pisces and Aries, joining Sun and Mercury. Gandanta traverses are always challenging, but at least Venus is receiving a positive aspect from retrograde Jupiter, which could bolster Venus as she moves to a less powerful position.

This puts our plans to use the cool and watery Venus as a shield for the fire energy into a bit of a pickle. For this period, with Venus moving through Aries, it may be advisable to introduce your own supplemental water energy in the form of more conscious attention to hydration, care of water supplies or spending time with natural water features. On a mental and emotional level, we may want to make room for extra compassion, patience and understanding to avoid heating up situations that could be calmed down with a bit of unconditional love and peace.

We recall that when Venus enters Aries, the parivartana (exchange of signs) between Mercury and Mars is in full swing. The introduction of Venus here brings a bit more aesthetic and diplomatic potential to any projects or situations that are clicking along with the momentum created by Mars and Mercury.

Sun Transits Taurus May 15 – June 15

The Sun in Aries will help us become clear about our purpose and direction during the first half of May. When the Sun moves to Taurus on May 15, this may not only help to cool and soften the strong individuality promotion that the Sun brings, but also to cool the collective planetary energy a bit in general. That said, we still have some strong fire influence because of Venus, lord of Taurus, still sitting in Aries.

Sun in Taurus will also be receiving the positive aspect of Jupiter, currently moving in retrograde motion through the late degrees of Scorpio. By May 9, Jupiter will have moved out of the challenging gandanta zone between Scorpio and Sagittarius, but the retrograde motion still offers a challenge in understanding how Jupiter will affect our planetary weather. Even so, the signs that receive the aspect of the great Guru will benefit, even if those benefits are small, late, dearly earned or different from what we expected. All of the water signs, Scorpio, Pisces and Cancer, plus Taurus will be getting the Jupiter energy through November 4, 2019.

While Aries is a sign of initiation, Taurus is a sign of building and growth. Here we are into our projects and focusing our hearts and souls on the creative process. When the Sun is in Taurus or Libra, which are ruled by Venus, we can all recalibrate our relationships and evaluate our balance in the self vs. other realms.

The sensual enjoyment found in Taurus is the focus when Sun transits here. Venus fosters rejuvenation and enjoyment of the gifts of nature, especially in the form of natural, clean and beautiful food, sights and sounds. Celebrate yourself, others and the beauty of mother earth as the Sun moves through Taurus. We learn from the Sun how to have a steady pace, one day at a time.

Mercury Transits Taurus May 18 – June 1

Mercury keeps on trucking from Aries to Taurus on May 18, which will close the gap between Mercury and the Sun, who exactly conjoin on May 21, coming into full combustion with the Sun before moving ahead of him in the zodiac.

Any planet in the halo of the Sun can't be seen, and the effects of that planet may become subsumed into the purpose of the Sun or otherwise be weak or lightly expressed. Of any of the planets, Mercury is the closest to the Sun and is somewhat accustomed to that state. As ruler of communications, he just knows to write in ALL CAPS or speak a bit more loudly.

Something that stands out again is that the planets in Taurus are receiving the aspect of Jupiter, albeit in a possibly twisted manner due to the retrograde motion of Jupiter currently. This does put Mercury and Jupiter into an opposition relationship for this latter part of May, which could signal a good time to renew relationships with teachers or revisit abandoned courses of study.

This is a good time to absorb the grounding qualities of Taurus, which is especially important for Mercury, who tends toward overwork and multitasking. The May flowers are not to be missed, so try to fit some time in nature into Mercury's busy schedule.

Full Moon in Anuradha/Scorpio May 18

The Moon waxes into fullness on Saturday, May 18 at 4º Scorpio, opposite the Sun at 4º Taurus. The Moon is strong when full, but this month the full Moon occupies its degree of debilitation, in contrast to the new Moon earlier in the month, when the Sun was in its degree of exaltation.

Debilitated planets should not be dreaded. With the dignity of debilitation comes the opportunity for excellent growth that comes when intense effort is required. The debilitation of the Moon actually occurs at the very tail end of Vishaka nakshatra, and this full Moon just reaches Anuradha nakshatra, which helps us stay on course and work through challenges. Anuradha is ruled by the planet Saturn and Scorpio is co-ruled by Mars and Ketu. Again, we are back again to the themes of Saturn and Ketu as they provide the background for this full Moon of May 2019.

The Moon joins retrograde Jupiter in Scorpio as they oppose the Sun and Mercury in Taurus. These signs are fixed in nature, implying sustenance, building, and holding. The mutable nature of Sagittarius and Gemini, which are activated by Saturn, Ketu and Rahu are creating an undercurrent of change and evolution, ready or not. This full Moon may reveal our inner strength, stillness and unwavering faith that will guide us through unfamiliar territory.

Moon Conjoins Saturn and Ketu May 22

As the Moon begins to wane and the month of May begins to wane as well, it moves out of Scorpio and into Sagittarius, joining the Saturn and Ketu pairing on Wednesday, May 22 at 26º Sagittarius. Until November 4, when Jupiter once again enters his own sign, the only other visitor to Sagittarius will be the monthly visit of the Moon.

During the two days per month that the Moon passes through Saturn/Ketu in Sagittarius, we may do well to plan quiet time or retreat that allows our minds to find a still point and then reorient if needed. This will be the time each month to wrap our minds around the deep transformations that are taking place.

The Moon pushes past Jupiter and through the gandanta into Sagittarius on Monday, May 20, moves past Saturn/Ketu on Wednesday, May 22 and then into Capricorn just after midnight, on May 23.

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