December 2015 and Nakshatras

This month we look to the energies of the nakshatras to see where the energies are flowing and the gunas - impulses to action - flow. We all have differing balances of the gunas. Planets and nakshatras both have guna qualities as do signs and houses, so another way of taking up what Vedic Astrology has to offer. We note several planets will bring challenges to all, just as the world faces challenges and solutions at the Paris Climate Change conference. May we look to the planets for our welfare!


As the month begins, the Moon is in Ashlesha which is ruled by Mercury - a rajasic/sattwic nakshatra in a water sign and the Moon's own sign. In a moveable sign, of water constitution, the moon is waning as it enters the month. After joining Jupiter in Leo, the Moon will go through quite a bumpy ride as it loses energy and travels through Virgo with Mars and Rahu, and ends up conjunct the Sun and Saturn in Scorpio when we have the next new Moon on December 11. When the Moon is within 60° of the Sun, it loses benefic quality and turns malefic. As the moon is the presiding deity of the mind, it behooves us to touch base with our spiritual foundations and the soul, morning, noontide and evening. These times are regarded as sandhi, junction times in the day, and just as we feed the body three times a day, taking a pause and feeding the soul thrice daily will be of inestimable benefit as the Moon prepares for a bumpy ride to Scorpio.

Jupiter is in Leo where it has been shining in what some call a sort of exalted stature, in a fire sign, following dharma and in a mutual kendra with Saturn. Uttara Phalguna is ruled by the Sun, in the Sun's own sign of Leo. It has qualities of all gunas, led by tamas. It is jiva in nature, a vata nakshatra and in a moksha sign. Chara, fixed sign. Resist the urge to go with the tide! The Sun will transit out of Scorpio into Jupiter's sign of Sagittarius around 17 December; with the Sun in Jupiter's sign, and Jupiter in the Sun's sign, there is an exchange of Lordship. Sun becomes temporary lord of Sagittarius and Jupiter enjoys Lordship of Leo. This gives both planets strength, chesta bala, as if they are in their own signs. They get energy of perseverance.

Rahu, the smoky shadow planet is steadily retrograde in Virgo, ruled by Mercury. Earth sign, shares the Uttara Phalguna nakshatra qualities of tamas nature, jiva, in a wealth sign. Uttara Phalguna is of air, vata nature. Given that Rahu is smoke and illusion, one could easily find themselves making empty promises. Rahu in Virgo can have one or another native saying they will do things and then avoiding same. Health issues come to mind, as do issues related to community service or helping another for selfless motives.

Mars transits Mercury's house and exchanges lordship with Mercury, and so is temporary lord of Virgo until Mercury moves on into Sagittarius. Mars in an earth sign may signify a determination and purpose to achieve goals in a pedantic manner (think of Mars stomping its way to the goalposts). Mars is in the Moon's nakshatra when the month begins, which is somewhat tamasic, mineral in nature and as most minerals are full of space, it is of vata nature, airy. Might be a time of airy aspirations stubbornly married to earthly undertakings which cannot be stopped. As this sign is artha (wealth-seeking) in the purusharthas, one steadily keeps the undertaking for the goal, even though it is on top of a mountain with precious little oxygen, lots of wind and snow, and slow progress.

Venus has moved into its own sign of Tula - Libra, which is of air nature. It is in Mars' nakshatra of Chitra, which is well and truly resting on its laurels after an uncomfortable transit of Virgo and the unavoidable attentions of Mars. Mars still has an influence here, air and the idea of enjoyment and relaxation and being fettered by obliging, adoring others has a certain attraction. However, during the month, Venus is in papa ketari yoga, hemmed in between two malefic planets, so challenges and external pressures will continue to be felt during this month. James Joyce once wrote about the 'ineluctable modality of the visible', meaning we cannot escape what is seen. While the media may have ugly news from far off places, there are unseen faculties within ourselves. Venus is karaka for grace, peace and gentleness. We may offer the world our aspirations for peace and harmony between all, with the energy that Venus offers to us in his own sign. Keep in mind that the planets may raise us up, they may pull us down. Our world is our creation and it us up to us to utilise in a positive way the energies the planets present to us. Hence, we may take the drive and purpose of Venus and offer this to the world in this time of need.

In Scorpio - a water sign, we find Saturn, Sun and Mercury. Saturn and Sun are in the nakshatra of Anurada, something of a tamasic asterism, suggesting another good place for a rest, aspected from Leo by Jupiter, who also enjoys largess and restful pastimes, when they can be had. Sun and Saturn in a sign ruled by Mars, and in a pitta nakshatra, do promise fireworks, for Vedanta teaches there that the fire element - agni - is an active element within water. While Saturn seeks time and the truth of the matter, transiting Scorpio is a bit of an arduous travail for Saturn due the not so benign influence of Mars, the normal owner of Scorpio. Some may say, "Whatever floats your boat!" Well, the Sun and Saturn dutifully advise you to look for the hidden agenda laced with fireworks, for this is the nature of Scorpio.

The transition between Scorpio and Sagittarius is - for two planets, Sun and Moon - a very difficult place. It is the change from fire to water signs, and called gandanta. Gandanta means unblocking the knot. Those born with planets in gandanta have specific karmic knots tied within the personality, which can be lifelong stumbling points. However, we all experience these knots - if temporarily - when the Moon and Sun traverse gandanta. Difficult periods like these - from the morning of December 15 to late evening of December 17 ask us to have more patience with ourselves and others, and not to project our problems nor our issues onto others. Mars will aspect Sun in Sagittarius until Mars transits into Libra on 23 December. For a week, it will seem like the world out there is putting more and more wood on the fire getting us more and more stoked up and quick to flashpoint with our temper and others. Best to affirm "I am a strong and worthy person" within ourselves when we feel tempted to let it all out on another helpless soul. Self affirmations give us strength, and we may direct our inner energies where they are needed, self confidence and self control.

Mercury in Scorpio exchanges lordship with Mars and also receives the aspect of Jupiter. Mercury takes the nature of the planets it is conjunct with; when the month begins, Saturn is strong in Scorpio, so we have a malefic Mercury on our hands. Mercury is in Jyestha nakshatra, ruled by its very own self! Jyestha is the last of the tamasic nakshatra, with a stronger sattvic-truth-seeking element, and of a wealth seeking aspiration, the truth being the basis of the Universe. Here, Mercury takes up the power to rise, to obtain, to be empowered by truth. Mercury will move into Sagittarius on 5 December and receive aspect from both Jupiter and Mars. Mars may drive Mercury into impulsive behaviour, aggression or erratic actions. It is good to reflect on what is received from Jupiter, for Jupiter has a calming effect, in addition to being ruler of Sagittarius. So there is opportunity to resist impulses here.

From Scorpio, Saturn, Sun and Mercury call cast the 7th sight, drishti, all planets aspect the 7th house away with 100% aspect. As all planets are in a natural trika house and malefic (Mercury takes the nature of the planet it is conjunct with) the triple malefic aspect goes to the 2nd House. 2nd house rules revenue, stock exchange, trading and banking. Economies will be destabilised and there will be increasing unemployment and much public discontent (aspecting from Scorpio where the beliefs of the masses are located) will be aired in the media.

Finally, we have Ketu in Pisces, in Uttara bhadrapada nakshatra, the back legs of the bed. Another nakshatra ruled by Saturn, and having the pitta nature, the fire element within, in a water sign by name Pisces. Aspected by Mars, we recall the rule Kuja vat Ketu and remember that Ketu behaves like Mars in signs and houses. Due the lunar eclipse of 27 September, this nakshatra is spoiled and does not give good effects for six months from the eclipse. Motivation from this nakshatra, while sattvic in nature, is spoiled. We may be seeking good things and stability, awkwardness may be the result for many.

If we look to the chart as a whole, then we have many planets in tamasic nakshatras: move the chart forward one day and the only planet not in a tamasic nakshatra is Ketu! The tamasic nakshatra has qualities of solidity, resistant, repressed, attached, denied, under-active and contracted. Tamas represents the earth, the physical body and the forces of inertia and gravity. We may encounter fixity of mind, refusal to aid and assist, we may encounter attitudes that are difficult to transform, beliefs that are resistant to change. One might even think of the Climate Change Conference in Paris as an example. We could send positive thoughts, feelings of understanding and acceptance, collaboration and co-operation to all who work at the 21st COP, the Paris Climate Change Conference.




This world is light, just as the planets refract and filter light,
vibration and energy to the human. We may call upon and utilise the ocean of light
within to make our lives - and the world - a better, happier place to be.




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