August and beyond: Times for Transformation

maddingJupiter moves away from Rahu, beyond the orb of influence – good news. Mars and Saturn share Lordship of Scorpio (well, co-Lordship for Saturn) – interesting news. The New Moon is in Ashlesha nakshatra, ruled by Sarpa, the snake god, and Lord Siva – an opportunity for transformation. We practice a little neo-Vedic Astrology and look to the significance of the present location of Uranus, an outer planet, sometimes called upagraha.

In this time of Rahu conjunct Jupiter

From early 2016 when Rahu entered the sign of Leo, both Jupiter and Rahu have been having unmistakeably negative influence in the horoscope. Finally, they are 7° apart and the orb of influence (Rahu spoiling Jupiter’s energy) no longer multiplies fraudulence to the 5th, 7th and 9th houses from Leo. Children have been spoiled with fractious results. Money has been hard to manage and true to Leo being a fire sign, has burnt a hole in our pockets when we have spent it on things that Rahu desires but have false lustre and amenity. No durability, you see. It has been a time of challenge for gathering attention and the appropriate approval and results; promotions hoped for get missed. It has been a time of challenge with consumption of food, weight management and recovery from overweight issues during the entire time of this conjunction. This orb of influence, the closeness between Rahu and Jupiter has led to crestfallen, spent energy. As the archetypal Indian asks, “What to do?

Moving beyond the orb of influence once again allows Jupiter to be a true preceptor and to lead humanity forward with life’s lessons. In this time, Jupiter has entered Uttara Phalguni, and resides in its own space, Pada 1, over-sighted the Sun. This is a serene space, a space of balance and leads Jupiter into Virgo, where we will be seeing a lot of changes in the energy and influence of Jupiter. It is frequently said that planets in transition between signs actually send their energy ahead of them, up to three months beforehand. While the actual transit of Jupiter into Virgo does not occur until August 11, we may well be experiencing the effects of this transit as you read these words. In Virgo, Jupiter will be influencing all the Earth signs, that is, Virgo, Capricorn and Taurus.

Some say that Jupiter does not do well in Earth signs. Jupiter, preceptor, priest, philosopher, teacher, guru, giver of para vidya (higher knowledge), seemingly does not have any relation to earthy, coarse matters. This is a mistaken view of spirituality, for where some say spirituality is meditation, prayer, reflection, recollection, there is another, entirely valid take on spirituality. Spirituality can also be simple action offered unto God, service taken up where one is free from the fruits or outcomes of service; material aid given to the needy wherein one does the task and then leaves (we can think of Mediciens Sans Frontiers). Spirituality is also paying attention to feelings, emotions. Coarse earthy feelings emerge from human beings that have souls; every human being with a soul is an embodiment of Divine Love. So how can one say that Jupiter is not spiritual in an earth sign?



  Jupiter in Virgo shows how selfless service can be a spiritual activity – here the service is distribution of food to the needy.

Jupiter moves into a good place, the natural house of selfless service and aid unto others, which is a perfect antidote to the warring Mars and Saturn, three signs away in Scorpio. Let us go to the residents of Scorpio.

Mars, Saturn and how we feel

Mars owns Scorpio and Ketu is co-Lord. (No surprise, the Kuja vat Ketu rule tells that Ketu behaves like Mars.) Moreover, Saturn and Ketu exchange Lordship, due Ketu being in the sign of Saturn (Aquarius) and Saturn is in Ketu’s sign of exaltation. We have the natural Lord – Mars – also in this sign conjunct Saturn, the Son of the Sun. Many an astrologer has said, “Oh this is a terrible time, something is going to happen, … here is another one worrying … I’ve never seen all the malefics conjunct or on angles from each other to the exact degree (and involving the Sun!). Obviously something violent is going to go down – does anyone have any ideas WHERE (places with big Leo, Scorpio, Taurus, Aquarius placements, obviously) and HOW is this gonna be so bad, bad, for us?

There will be problems, yes, when our Sun turns into a red dwarf in say, four billion years from now. I can promise you, the Earth will be barren, then. No life. I can say there is going to be lots of problems today and tomorrow; there is a birth every second and on average, 59,000 deaths on this planet, daily. The world is God’s problem; you can leave all that there with God. The only real problem is how you manage yourself in all of this. You can use the planets if you wish, you can utilise their energy, they are there for you. You can take remedies, wear gems, chant mantras, for karma is of three types, fixed, movable and mutable. So don’t sleepwalk through your life, pay attention to what the planets are preparing for you and respond in kind.

Respond in kind, you ask? Well, Mars is energy, you can take that energy – this is a water sign, the sign of emotions, inner disturbance, nervous collapses and so forth, you can take that Mars energy and provide service to those that are suffering, in grief, in loss and in fear. (We remind you that Mars is fearlessness.) You can respond to your circumstances with patience. Human life is time, and time must pass as it is scribed in the heavens. Saturn can help you pass time by. On the external level, Saturn travels poorly in Scorpio, but here, Parivartamsha Yoga * Planets Exchange Signs * has taken place, thank-you Ketu. Ketu, master of introspection, self-analysis, self-awareness and self-sacrifice lends these qualities to Saturn as it takes up co-Lordship with Mars in Scorpio. There is no face-off here, the individual can take up the aid of Saturn, engage in self-discovery and take one’s gifts to the service of your neighbour, your society, your culture. Saturn+patience+self-enquiry+self-discipline=Inner Peace.



 The Helix Nebula, also known as The Helix, NGC 7293, is a large planetary nebula … the equatorial viewing angle. The Helix Nebula has sometimes been referred to as the “Eye of God” in pop culture, and shows what a dying star looks like.

New Moon in Ashlesha

Ashlesha, one of the 28 nakshatras, births this new moon on Tuesday, 2nd August. The moon is the presiding deity of the mind and new moons are always the opportunity to let go of that which causes us hindrance on the path to selfless love. So Ashlesha has the serpent energy, the deity is Sarpa, the Snake god, and just about every village in India has a small shrine, right there in the main street, to the Snake Gods. And in the mornings one may see villagers circumambulating the shrine, applying kum-kum and vermillon to the snake idols, and garlanding the snakes. There may be rangoli on the ground in front of the Shrine.

Baba Maheswarnath once said “In the Milky Way there exists a stellar system with seven planets and 18 moons. One of these is Sarpa Loka and is entirely inhabited by highly evolved hooded snakes called the Naga Devatas. The person you saw is the deputy chief of their realm, Nagaraja. The supreme head of the Nagas is the five hooded golden serpent known in ancient Hindu texts as Anantha. Thousands of years ago when humanity was still at an infant stage of evolution, there was regular contact with Sarpa Loka. The wise and evolved Nagas spent long periods here teaching human beings. The snake worship you come across in all ancient civilisations is a tribute to these Nagas and their deep wisdom. They also taught the secret of kundalini energy symbolised by a snake. Patanjali who gave the world the Ashtanga Yoga Sutras was himself a Naga. The snake on the Pharoah’s head and coiled round Shiva are all symbolic of the wisdom imparted to certain humans by Naga teachers.

So while some may commence wailing and gnashing of teeth and preparing for extreme destruction, we make take this energy of Ashlesha, naasa, (loss), and prepare ourselves to cast off one or another quality in our character that does not aid us forward on the path up the mountain to Oneness with Divinity. As the Divine is the generator, organiser and receiver of all things, we may take this small part of our mind, habit, character, deleterious thought and offer them to Lord Shiva, the resident divinity behind this nakshatra.



 Lord Shiva drinks the poison of the world; the blue light in the throat is the poison; hence Shiva is called Neelakantha, blue-throated .


A little bit of Neo-Vedic astrology. (Neo Vedic admits the outer planets have influence when they change signs, and perhaps, when they transit over planet placements in your birth chart. The Rishi’s tell that there will be more planets discovered in time and these are called upagraha. Uranus, the planet of surprises, technology and social activism is stationary, then goes retrograde until Dec. 29th. It is in a sensitive spot called the gandanta, right at the start of Aries, the traditional first house.

Vedic astrology has signs following certain order; the four great goals of life (dharma, wealth, NEEDFUL desires and freedom from the cycle of rebirth) are repeated around the birth chart commencing from Aries with dharma leading. Signs are of a movable, fixed and mutable nature, also starting from Aries. The signs also signify the elements – Fire, Earth, Air and Water – commencing from Aries. The transition from a water to fire sign for Sun and Moon is called gandanta, and those souls born with one or another planet in such a position (from 27° Pisces to 3° Aries ) are said to have this gandanta state, a life path confronted with a fundamental challenge which remains with that soul for the life of the body. It is a complicated and intricate knot, not unlike a Gordian knot.

We have this outer planet Uranus changing signs and still within the first degree of Aries (actually 0.25° of Aries) this means there will be a gandanta challenge to be faced in life, society and culture on Earth. In Vedic astrology it is taught that outer planets only have influence when they are changing signs. There are a few other rare instances but we can cross that bridge when the need arises. Gandanta is a challenge of an intricate nature; it is likely a challenge of our own making, on Earth. The first degree of Aries is a key point for the planet and we can sense that the planet is also working on untying its karmic knots with issues of immigration, racism and globalisation and planetary migration patterns changing and stirring up new karmic identity issues and tensions. This is not unlike BREXIT raising fundamental questions and changes of attitude for all who live in Europe. This situation of Uranus stationary at this location (within 3° of the border of sign) will remain until December 29.



 The Gordian knot …


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