Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

August 2020

by Kerry Shamblin

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

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Jupiter and Saturn Maintain Retrograde

August 1 is a Saturday, featuring a strong, retrograde Saturn in his own sign of Makara (Capricorn). Saturn entered into Capricorn on January 25, 2020 and will plod steadily through, with a retrograde zig and a direct motion zag each summer until January 17, 2023, when Saturn moves on to Aquarius.

Retrograde motion of planets is neither unusual nor unpredictable from an astronomical viewpoint. Saturn and Jupiter don't always go retrograde at the same time of year or in the same region of the zodiac, but their retrograde cycles often have some overlap between them.

This year, the retrograde cycles are tightly overlapped, with Saturn retrograde in Capricorn from May 11 – September 29 and Jupiter retrograde in Capricorn/Sagittarius from May 14 – September 13. This is roughly a four month stretch from mid-May to mid-September, 2020.

With retrograde motion, the astronomical perspective is rather clear, but the astrological interpretation of retrograde planets is difficult. Essentially, that planet is engraving its energy heavily on a small sector of the zodiac by traversing the same region three times. In astrological terms, this planet has something important to show.

Mixed with this is the idea that the planet has "reversed," which can manifest in the effects of that planet being opposite from the expected. While Jupiter normally champions growth, retrograde Jupiter may limit, slow or restrict growth. Saturn is generally associated with slow progress and limitation; retrograde Saturn may push us more quickly and recklessly than we expect.

The region of the zodiac that is being strongly highlighted by Saturn and Jupiter at this time lies in the nakshatra Uttarashada, which spans the late degrees of Sagittarius up to 10º Capricorn. Uttarashada is ruled by the Sun and by the Vishwadevas, understood as the collective power of all deities.

For a spell, from July 26 – October 30, Jupiter's deep etching takes him even more deeply back into his own sign of Sagittarius, and into the nakshatra of Purvashada, which makes a pair with Uttarashada. This pair of nakshatras is named for the nature of invincibility evoked by this region of the zodiac, and in fact echo the oppositions that are being experienced this month. Purvashada is ruled by Venus while sitting in Jupiter's sign (Venus-Jupiter opposition in Gemini-Sagittarius) and Uttarashada is ruled by Sun while sitting primarily in Saturn's sign (Sun-Saturn opposition in Cancer-Capricorn.)

Some of the ways to interpret retrograde motion include predicting that the planet may either act opposite to normal behavior or may manifest its results in an internal way rather than external. The opportunity to get another run at the same situation can also manifest.

With Jupiter and Saturn both placed in their own signs and retrograde, we may feel on some level as if we are being pulled back strongly into situations from which we thought we had already graduated. This pattern will break up during the last half of September, as Jupiter resumes direct motion on September 13 and Saturn follows suit on September 29.

Venus Transits Gemini August 1 – 31

The next two sections in this forecast will be highlighting the aforementioned retrograde giants, Jupiter and Saturn, and how they interact in opposition to the two inner planets, Mercury and Venus.

Venus moving into Gemini will be joining Rahu and opposing Ketu and Jupiter. This will be the case through the month of August. Venus is in friendly territory while in Mercury's air sign and also in friendly company with Rahu. This is the desire to connect and communicate, amplified.

This is extremely creative energy and could be well channeled into marketing, networking, writing, music, studying, teaching, gardening, photography, recreation, socializing, etc.

Planets in opposite signs have an interactive relationship. Across from the exciting creative storm going on in Gemini, we see Ketu, the headless one, getting even more deep into his meditation, heedless of the world and its churning, in the early degrees of Sagittarius. In retrograde motion at the other end of the sign is the great Guru, reluctantly regressing through recently traversed terrain, perhaps a bit more deflated than we would expect.

Venus and Jupiter are not friendly in terms of the planetary friendship rules, but they both carry with them the designation of teacher. In Vedic stories, we learn that Guru (Jupiter) is the teacher of the divine beings of light while Shukra (Venus) is the teacher of the divine beings of shadow. Jupiter teaches us about the immutable laws of nature while Venus teaches us about how we get along together as apparently separate beings.

The Venus-Jupiter opposition becomes exact on August 25. This is retrograde Jupiter with elusive Ketu, likely bringing about feelings of mild despair, cold indifference or lack of hope. Dig into these hard truths to what lies beneath; it is normal to suffer disappointment when the world delivers us less-than-divine experience. To face these truths, to learn lessons and to integrate them is what this time period is affording us.

This opposition in the later part of the month may feel disparate. The Sagittarius side is urging us to turn within and tune into our own truths. The Gemini side is prompting us to reach out and touch someone. This perhaps is reflected in the continued need for social distancing due to Covid-19, especially in the United States, where this opposition coincides with the lively placements the US horoscope has in the sign of Gemini.

Everyone is ready for life to return to normal, but the perception of normal may be falling into rapid obsolescence.

Mercury Transits Cancer August 1 – 16

As Venus enters Gemini, its lord, Mercury departs, moving into the Moon's sign of Cancer for a very quick dip. Mercury is not the biggest fan of the Moon, long story, but think of the kind of discomfort when logic tries to communicate with emotion.

This is also Mercury flipping the switch when it comes to exploring opposition with Saturn, who exercises the super powers of detachment and pressure all at once. Saturn tends to hold back, minimize activity and speaks few words, which supports his portrayal as an elder. Mercury is a fun child, open to learning and experiencing, while communicating openly.

Saturn is in his own sign, which makes him capable to forward his agenda, but remember that he is also retrograde, so may act in a way that we may consider fast and loose for Saturn. Saturn in Capricorn is the theme of 2020-2022, so this is a good time lay foundations, deliberately and carefully.

The first two weeks of August, with fast and loose Saturn coming into an interaction with Mercury, could bring about opportunities that require quick thinking in emotionally laden situations, coupled with pushing foundational comfort zones. The retrograde factor for Saturn could also be bringing up "old issues" that resurface into relevance; communications, purchases, transactions.

This first half of August will also show Sun in Cancer, opposing Saturn loosely but maintaining the tension that comes when the planet of self-expression (Sun) is in negotiation with the planet of self-abnegation (Saturn.)

Full Moon in Capricorn/Dhanistha August 3

The Moon is waxing as August begins, becoming full at 18º Capricorn around 10 am on Monday, August 3. This implies that the Moon spent time exploring the Venus-Jupiter opposition before slipping into the Mercury/Sun-Saturn opposition.

The Moon is considered top strength when full, but this month will be a bit compromised by the presence of Saturn in his own sign of Capricorn. This can be a bit oppressive in the sense of emotional well being, but the Moon never stays long in anyone's house.

The proximity of Moon to Saturn during this moment suppresses the strong lunar energy a bit, which can lead to loss of hope or positivity but also provide the benefit of getting a very practical and realistic viewpoint. The Moon also moves through Dhanistha nakshatra at this time, which is ruled by Mars and urges our attention to focus on the rhythms of life that help to keep us focused.

This full Moon may shed some positive light on the polarization of individual benefits vs. collective responsibility. The proximity to retrograde Saturn in his own sign may show some debts that have been created by choosing to benefit a few individuals at the expense of the many.

Mars Transits Aries August 16 – October 4

Through the next months, let us keep an eye on Mars. Mars is the planet of power, drive, physical strength, logic, problem solving, research, protection, engineering and the martial arts, among many more similar suggestions. Mars and Venus are the planets that flank the Earth in terms of solar system lineup. Together, they reflect a more earthly, fractured and imperfect version of the divine father and mother pairing that the luminaries, Sun and Moon, represent.

Mars is assertive, masculine and fiery. The power of Mars when channeled in a positive way helps us to create lasting monuments and amazing structures. The planning and preparation of Mars can make us feel safe, confidant and courageous as we move through situations that may feel threatening.

The transit of Mars through his own fire sign, the initiatory realm of Aries, gives us the opportunity to wield this power and also the responsibility to wield it with attention, as all power has the potential for harm when channelled through selfishness, greed or fear.

Mars will have two sessions through Aries within the next seven months due to a retrograde cycle from September 12 – November 14. This date range oddly coincides with the very open and positive window that will be created by three other major shifts that begin in mid-September: Jupiter direct in Sagittarius, nodal axis shift and Saturn direct in Capricorn. Mars will be resuming direct motion in November just as Jupiter moves out of Sagittarius and back into Capricorn.

Here is Mars' upcoming itinerary:

  • Mars Retrograde at 4º Aries on September 10
  • Retrograde Mars return to Pisces October 4
  • Mars Direct at 22º Pisces on November 14
  • Direct Mars in Aries December 23, 2020 – February 21, 2021

Mars moving into Aries on August 16 gives us just short of one month of direct Mars in a dominating position before he begins a retrograde cycle in the midst of other major shifts that are coming in mid-September.

This is a great time for objective viewpoints, problem solving, planning and designing, finding a cure for terrifyingly destructive diseases, initiating new phases and making bold moves under unstable or frightening circumstances.

Mars in Aries with Saturn in Capricorn completely energizes all of the cardinal (moveable) signs of the zodiac: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. These are signs that can move and shake things by being willing to start projects, to make connections and to keep steadily moving.

Two signs in particular will be feeling the double aspect coming from Mars and Saturn: Cancer and Libra. Individuals with those signs strong in the personal horoscope may particularly feel the pressure and anxiety brought by Saturn coupled with the frustration and courage pushed by Mars. This may create a "driving with the brakes on" feeling, which can be rather uncomfortable. Rather than suffering a herky-jerky ride, why not make plans to plan assiduously and move carefully so that both Saturn and Mars get a voice.

Sun Transits Leo August 16 – September 15

With the mighty Sun, the light of our lives, moving into his own sign of Leo from August 16 – September 15, as he predictably does each year, we gain a pure quality of light that is designed to inspire truthful and righteous behavior.

This Sun transit through Leo will also create a potent combination of many planets in their own or exalted sign:

  • Mars in Aries (own sign)
  • Rahu in Gemini (exalted)
  • Sun in Leo (own sign)
  • Jupiter in Sagittarius (own sign)
  • Saturn in Capricorn (own sign)
  • August 16-18, September 13-15 - Moon in Cancer (own sign)
  • September 8-10 - Moon in Taurus (exalted)

This simply shows a very potent time, astrologically speaking. The Sun will be free of negative aspects during this transit, including moving signs the same day as Mars, which relieves the Sun of Mars' aspect, but also puts two fiery planets in good dignity in their fiery signs. Which means fire danger on both physical and energetic levels, so again, we may need remedial levels of water brought to the table in the form of actual water and emotional calm.

The Sun in Leo may grant us a unique perspective that helps us to navigate what has been a trying year, globally. Retrograde Saturn and Jupiter are urging us to walk back on some deep issues; Sun in Leo shows us how to maintain our sense of self through what can seem like catastrophic circumstances.

Mercury Transits Leo August 16 – September 1

Mercury keeps his pace up, transiting right into Leo with the Sun, in a state of total combustion. He quickly moves forward of the Sun in the zodiac, moving into his own sign of Virgo on September 1.

Getting himself into Leo also gets Mercury out of Saturn's gaze for the nonce, which could feel like we are moving into a period where we can turn on the energy, get creative and make things move. Just like the Sun, Mercury enjoys a relatively positive environment for this transit through Leo, with no major negative aspects and maybe some positive lift coming from retrograde Jupiter in Sagittarius.

This is a good time for creative communication, branding, financial planning and exploring educational environments.

New Moon in Leo/Magha August 18

As the mid-month planetary shifts unfold, the Moon is also waning, joining up with the Sun and Mercury at 3º Leo for the new Moon in the venerable nakshatra of Magha during the evening of Tuesday, August 18.

Magha marks the beginning of the second sector of the zodiac, ruled by the ancestral lineage holders known as the Pitris and by the shadow planet Ketu. This region of the zodiac shows the wealth inherent in lineages that uphold spiritual wisdom.

With the Moon weakened due to proximity with the Sun, in addition to the combustion of Mercury, we are seeing both planets associated with mental function (Moon and Mercury) in a state of diminished notice. Perhaps it is best to further this condition by quieting the mind and stilling the body as we integrate the rather positive overall period of planetary weather.

After this moment, the Moon again begins to wax through the zodiac signs ahead of the Sun. The Moon passes through Libra August 22-24, which puts the vulnerable Moon under pressurized aspect of Saturn and the powerful push of Mars all at once. This may trigger some drama as the Moon will also be aspected by Rahu who may also be destabilizing Venus, ruler of Libra, as she transits Gemini.

Although the Moon's energy continues to increase as she waxes in the bright half, after the Libra transit, there may be some additional intensity during the final week of August as the Moon moves through Scorpio (debilitation), Sagittarius (Ketu and Retrograde Jupiter) and Capricorn (retrograde Saturn.) These are some trying environments for the vulnerable Moon, so build in some self-care and retreat time for this final week of August.

September 2020 Preview

  • Full Moon in Aquarius September 1
  • Venus in Cancer
  • Saturn in Capricorn opposition
  • Nodes change signs Sept 18 (true node) – Sept 22 (mean node); Rahu in Taurus, Ketu in Scorpio until March 2022
  • Mars retrograde Sept 10
  • Jupiter direct Sept 13
  • New Moon in Virgo September 17
  • Saturn direct Sept 29

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