Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

October 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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Saturn and Jupiter in Direct Motion, Own Signs

The latter half of September offered us some significant shifts: Mars took retrograde motion, Jupiter took direct motion, the nodal axis shifted signs and finally Saturn also resumed direct motion. This opens October of 2020 as a time of opportunity to regain some forward motion in some directions while continuing to release control over others.

The retrograde motion of both Jupiter and Saturn has been in effect since May; Saturn retrograde 2020 was May 10 – September 29 and Jupiter retrograde 2020 was May 14 – September 13. Retrograde cycles concentrate that planet's energy in a small zone of the zodiac for a prolonged time as the planet traverses that section, digs back through during retrograde motion and then proceeds for a third time in forward motion.

Additionally, while retrograde, the planet may indicate mixed, reversed, or unpredictable results. For example, normally slow and conservative Saturn may pressure us to take risks or move spontaneously and Jupiter, who promotes positivity, faith and growth, may take on more of a cautious, practical or negative approach to growth.

For many, mid-May through mid-September could have been riddled with reversals, set-backs, hopelessness and forced surrender. With both of these planets back in forward motion, and additionally strongly placed in signs that they rule, we may finally feel that we can point our feet in an upward direction and resume our efforts.

Jupiter will traverse the late degrees of his own fire sign, Sagittarius, through October and will move into Capricorn on November 19. This is the first window Jupiter has throughout this Sagittarius transit to grant us some buoyancy and hope due to the fact that Sagittarius has been occupied by Ketu, which tends to create blockages and also Saturn, who moved out on January 25, 2020, but who compounded Ketu's obstruction quite handily.

Take this opportunity to use Jupiter's wisdom and positivity to lay out some plans for how to grow and learn from where you may find yourself now, which could be in a much different position than you had planned during 2018-2019.

Saturn will remain in Capricorn through January 2023, with similar retrograde periods each spring/summer. This is a strong Saturn, able to keep rapid growth in check and encouraging slow and deliberate building with extreme attention to solid foundations. While keeping our heads down and working toward our goals, we will keep in mind that with the new position of the Rahu-Ketu axis, Capricorn and Saturn therein will be receiving the aspect of Rahu from Taurus, an injection of unexpected events that will become relevant despite the most careful planning.

Rahu-Ketu Axis Settles into Taurus-Scorpio

From March 2018 – September 2020, the north node Rahu blew through his sign of exaltation (according to some), blowing in some radical changes to the world while transiting the sign where he does some of his best work. Simultaneously, the vacuum-like silence and detachment of Ketu moved through Jupiter's fire sign, Sagittarius, aiding Saturn in obstructing the positive, golden wisdom of Jupiter from expressing in his own sign.

Just as during many of Rahu's transits through Gemini and specifically the nakshatra Ardra, the world has been thrust outside its comfort zone into a new paradigm, this time in the form of COVID-19, which continues to spread.

From September 2020 – April 2022, we will have Rahu transiting Venus' earth sign, Taurus, and Ketu transiting Scorpio, co-lorded by Ketu and Mars. Some traditions consider these signs the exaltation positions of the nodes, which could indicate that they will remain strong throughout this current transit. At any rate, Scorpio is a powerful seat for Ketu. Both Taurus and Scorpio are "fixed" in nature, creating environments that are more stable and where perhaps the nodes may be fostered into producing slightly gentler and more manageable results.

Rahu in Taurus will have three different moods as it traverses through the three nakshatras associated with Taurus, in reverse: Mrigashira (until Jan 27, 2021), Rohini (Jan 27, 2021- October 6, 2021) and Krittika (October 6, 2021 – April 12, 2022.)

Taurus is ruled by Venus and Mrigashira is ruled by Mars. The energy of Mrigashira is powerful and constant, providing a dynamic environment for Rahu to bring us his innovations, chaos and surprises.

Ketu in Scorpio will similarly touch three nakshatras: Jyestha (until June 1, 2021), Anuradha (June 1, 2021 – February 8, 2022) and Vishaka (February 8, 2022-April 12, 2022.)

Scorpio is ruled by Mars and Ketu, a good seat for Ketu itself and Jyestha is ruled by Mercury. The transit of Ketu through Jyestha will be a good period to delve into intuitive practices and activities such as meditation, martial arts, esoteric studies, retreats, poetry, journaling, etc. Ketu in Scorpio could also cause a temporary lack of attention or attraction to matters indicated by the domain of life the Scorpio signifies in the personal horoscope.

Full Moon in Pisces/Uttarabhadra October 1

The Moon is waxing during the latter half of September as the many other shifts occur, coming into fullness in Jupiter's sign of Pisces on October 1. The Sun at 15° Virgo will oppose the Moon at 15º Pisces, which lies within the last portion of Uttarabhadra nakshatra. This occurs during the afternoon in the western hemisphere and should provide for a beautiful full Moon rising as night falls.

One interesting feature of this full Moon is that all of the planets will be falling into different signs, with absolutely no conjunctions. Ketu, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars are all in own signs, the Moon is in great dignity in Pisces, Rahu and Mercury are placed in friendly signs. This overall may feel like a moment filled with hope and peace as we say farewell to what has recently finished, harvest the fruits and turn our faces toward the future.

Pisces has the rulership of Jupiter and Uttarabhadra nakshatra, which is contained within Pisces, has the rulership of Saturn. With both of these planets recently in direct motion, this full Moon urges us to dig deeply to include the stability of our stance (Saturn) as we begin to stretch and expand toward a new cycle (Jupiter.)

The navamsha portions of the Sun and Moon during this time fall into the signs of Taurus (Sun) and Scorpio (Moon), which again draw us back to the dynamic changing of the nodal axis into these very signs. This is definitely a good time to use the light of the Moon to reflect on the moment, but also to see clearly how the events of the recent past have lined up to propel us toward the near future.

Retrograde Mars retreats to Pisces October 4

While the slower-moving planets Saturn and Jupiter have resumed direct motion, granting us a chance to better predict their results, we have two planets on our radar that may be complicating our plans by their retrograde cycles, which at least will be more brief than those of Saturn and Jupiter. Mars retrograde cycle overall will last from September 10 – November 14 and will cover the ground between his own sign of Aries and then back into Jupiter's water sign, Pisces.

This region of the zodiac is potent as the beginning and ending signs of the zodiac, which is separated by one of the three gandanta points in the zodiac that lie between the fire and water signs. With his back-and-forth motion over this point, Mars is etching his mark deeply there, encouraging us to give attention to our personal and collective management of power, fire, focus and strength.

Here are the dates when Mars crosses this gandanta; a couple of days on either side may feel the friction:

  1. Direct Mars moves from Pisces to Aries – August 16, 2020
  2. Retrograde Mars moves from Aries to Pisces – October 4, 2020
  3. Direct Mars moves from Pisces to Aries – December 23, 2020

Mars retrograde, as any other planet in reverse motion, can behave in an opposite or unpredictable fashion from the expected. We count on Mars to be confident, decisive, courageous and often aggressive. In retrograde motion, Mars may pull us more toward doubt, indecision and hesitation. During the time between September 10 – October 4, this retrograde Mars is in his own sign of Aries, which could feel as if we are backing down from a fight, doubting actions that require initiation or courage.

On October 4, Mars returns to watery Pisces, which will be receiving the dual aspect of Sun from Virgo and of Saturn from Capricorn. This may feel as if we've returned to the drawing board after taking the first set of plans and using them as compost. Pay attention to the doubts and fears; this is an opportunity to make things work better for self, other and all.

Perhaps the first "ending" didn't address the access to resources going forward. This retrograde phase of Mars in Pisces is a do-over and will stretch from October 4 – November 14, 2020. With the outer planets Saturn and Jupiter in direct motion during this time, there is a solid foundation on which Mars can pivot. The theme here is really releasing and dissolving old paradigms that have to do with how you we managing our personal and collective power.

Mercury Retrograde in Libra October 14 – November 3

We can count on three Mercury retrograde cycles per year. In 2020, Mercury is performing his retrograde dance in the air signs. The first came in February - March as Mercury transited Aquarius when the world found out about a new deadly virus, the second came in June - July in Gemini as the world tried to make the money go around again, and the third comes from October 14 – November 3 in Libra, as Mercury will try to restore communications, business, politics and relationships.

Those who are paying attention will notice that this Mercury resumes direct motion on November 3, election day in the United States. The exact moment of this station comes at about 12pm in Washington, DC. As the polls close, Mercury will be once again moving forward.

Mercury represents many skills that come with our human intelligence: counting, transactions, communication, learning, diagnostics, analysis. When a retrograde cycle hits Mercury, we can experience either a depression in these skills or a hyperdrive toward these activities that sometimes results in haste making waste.

With this retrograde cycle of Mercury occurring in the political sign of Libra, we can expect some very choppy waters. Libra will be aspected by both retrograde Mars from Pisces and also by deliberate, hard-nosed Saturn from Capricorn. Expect the mudslinging and misinformation to get thick during this time.

Like a child who has eaten too much sugar, retrograde Mercury can promote frenetic behavior which jeopardizes clear thinking and communication. Make the effort to stop, drop and roll if things get out of control. It may be too easy to say things that could be regretted in the future.

Things may not be as they appear, but the truth will continue to be upheld by auspicious Jupiter, currently holding time in Sagittarius.

New Moon in Virgo/Chitra October 16

After the full Moon of October 1, the Moon leaves Pisces and joins retrograde Mars at the gandanta point on October 2 and continues to wane, passing Rahu on October 7 and conjoining Venus on October 13, which should be striking in the eastern sky before dawn.

Just as Sun and Moon met at the first degree of Virgo in mid-September, they will meet again at the final degree of Virgo on October 16, in the nakshatra Chitra, which bridges the active signs of Virgo and Libra.

With Virgo being the scene of two consecutive new Moons this year, perhaps we can take that as a sign that we have more adjustments to make on our internal programs such as those that govern health, education and market transactions.

The notable thing here is that both the sign lord (Mercury) and nakshatra lord (Mars) will be simultaneously in retrograde motion, which could show the need to walk back plans, edit essential programming and most importantly, due to Mars' current retrograde ingress into the final sign of the zodiac, cut bait on old weight that may be dragging and hampering to new paradigms.

With the outer planets in forward motion after months, and the shift of the nodal axis all coming into resolution in September, this Mars and Mercury retrograde energy is demanding some serious editing of essential plans that involve communications and resources. Mars, as ruler of Chitra where the Sun and Moon are joining, may be able to inspire some amazingly wise and creative problem solving at this time. Due to the retrograde nature of things, this may involve re-hashing discarded ideas that may finally have relevance now.

With this and the previous new Moon happening just at the borders of signs, we are further reminded of the instability that seems inherent to life on Earth while using that wobble to propel ourselves forward.

The good news is that there is lovely, positive and enthusiastic support coming to Virgo with its lord Mercury occupying Libra and Venus occupying Leo. These two signs are adjacent to Virgo, which receives benefit from the presence of these two energetic planets. Creativity, editing, innovation and a pinch of surrender could lead to some positive re-sets around mid-October.

Sun in Libra October 16 – November 15

As the Sun moves out of range of his own sign, Libra, he travels through Mercury's Virgo and then enters into Venus' air sign, Libra, where the king of individuality becomes debilitated in the sign where we are reminded of collective power and social obligations.

Just after the Sun and Moon join during mid-day on October 16, the Moon leads the Sun into Libra by sunset. The Sun spends a month moving through Libra, exiting to Scorpio on November 15.

Aside from the usual debilitation the Sun experiences each year in Libra, this year offers some additional complications for the Sun due to aspects coming from Mars and Saturn. Remember that the Sun in general represents our individual, unique nature and how we push our personal agendas as we navigate life. While in Venus' realm, the Sun is sometimes called to task for ignoring the needs of others or of society in general.

It is interesting that the US Election day always falls on the second Tuesday of November, which means that the Sun will always be debilitated, perhaps reflecting that the voting process is in place to reflect the voice of the constituents as they decide their future by electing a president, which as head of state would be represented by the Sun. Let us hope the United States remembers this foundational tenet of their democracy in 2020.

Retrograde Mars will be pushing and dragging from his position in Pisces, which allows him to extend into Gemini, Virgo and Libra. Normally aggressive and decisive, Mars in Pisces while retrograde may show our power sources draining while our well-laid plans are lost. This could cause some confusion and lack of clarity.

Saturn from Capricorn will also project into Libra, further pressuring the Sun (I, me, mine) to address the power of the masses. The old, sick, weak and disenfranchised are still humans and equal to all other beings in Saturn's eye. The truth of this may push a bit harder on the Sun this year as he moves through Libra.

For the first week of Sun in Libra, Venus, ruler of Libra will transit through the final degrees of Leo, the Sun's sign, creating a parivartana, exchange of signs. This gives both the Sun and Venus an amazing boost during this week, even though they are each actually in signs that are challenging.

Be creative, have fun, connect with friends and solve problems with the understanding that in the long run, what is good for all is good for one.

Venus Transits Virgo October 23 – November 15

After laying some fertile ground work with the Sun during October 16 – 23, Venus moves out of Leo and into Virgo, which is considered Venus' sign of debilitation. Venus scoots relatively quickly through Virgo, moving into her own sign of Libra on November 15, just as her new buddy, the Sun, moves out.

In the meantime, Venus moves through Mercury's earth sign. Even though Virgo debilitates Venus, out of all the planets' debilitation conditions, this one is relatively mild. In fact, Mercury's tendency toward analysis and detachment could come in handy as relationships may have arrived at places where important and emotional decisions need to be made in light of the annual rebalancing of self and other that happens when the Sun moves through Libra.

Mercury's retrograde status through November 3 in Libra will affect not only the planets traveling through Libra, but also through Virgo, as Mercury is the lord. We may be trying to do major negotiations, diplomacy, business re-structuring, elections and the like. With Rahu also aspecting Virgo from Venus' sign of Taurus, we are also feeling that source of chaos complicating the practical outcomes. Rahu is not always negative; in fact unpredictable behavior can be either supportive and positive or destructive and negative.

The other aspect coming into Virgo and onto Venus, is that of retrograde Mars from Pisces. When there is an opposition of these two passionate planets that reflect the very human forms of masculinity and femininity, the push and pull of human relationships extends beyond "me and us" and into how we manage power and creative essence.

The retrograde nature of Mars implies a willingness to explore what power feels like when it is willingly released. Projecting this onto debilitated Venus in Virgo, we may feel as if we are peeking behind the curtain of flowery romance and finding out that the bottom line is always the bottom line.

Full Moon in Aries/Bharani Halloween 2020!

If you're looking to do something "once in a blue moon," this Halloween is your big chance. This will be the second full Moon in one calendar month, which is the qualification for a "blue moon," which happens once in a few years, on average.

While Venus and Mars have gotten themselves into a face-off until November 15, the Sun and Moon echo this opposition as they occupy the signs of Venus and Mars, which oppose one another, furthering the story of human passion. The Sun in Venus' air sign, Libra, will be at 15° in opposition to the Moon at 15° in Mars' fire sign, Aries.

The Sun, as discussed above, is debilitated in Venus' sign. Venus will be debilitated in Mercury's sign. Mercury is retrograde and in Venus' sign with Sun. The Moon is in Mars' sign but in Venus' nakshatra of Bharani, which when we add up all the ticks, the Moon is quite powerfully supported by Venus during this time.

Even with Mercury and Mars' retrograde, the planets are spread about for the most part during this month with the exception of the Moon joining each planet as it makes its rounds. This gives each of the planets an opportunity to do its job without competing for space, which should help us all assess, gain perspective, re-group and choose new directions in which to make efforts.

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