Please note the forecasts for each of the constellations concluding this Star Trends column are done in the system of Indian astrology, called Vedic astrology, which uses the observable constellations. These are different than the signs. Even though the names of the constellations and the signs translate the same, they have different reference points in the heavens. You will notice the difference in the dates in this column compared to the typical Sun sign column that Western astrology uses. These dates reflect the constellations, which Vedic astrologers use in their forecasts.
Like most cultures, the calendar of India divides the year into two halves; the bright and dark parts of the Earth’s journey around the Sun. They celebrate the bright half of the year in mid-January, called Makara Sankranti — when the Sun enters the constellation of Capricorn. The bright part of the year is called "the path of the gods" as the increasing light diminishes the darkness until once again light and dark are balanced. But now at the Spring Equinox, which will occur on the 20th of March this year, light increases. Shortly after that, the culture of India celebrates Holi — a festival of color for which light is essential. Color is nothing more than the constituent fabric of the spectrum of light — and darkness is really nothing more than the absence of light. This return of the light heralds a time to sow, seen in all agrarian cultures since time immemorial. After all, light is the catalyst for growth, and no growth takes place without it.
Simply stated this historical ritual rests upon cosmological principals taken for granted as part of our collective memory, as all cultures plant in the bright part of the year. The study of astrology is our attempt in understanding these cosmological principals, relating to our existence within the greater cosmos. This cosmological science in India is called "Jyotisha", the shastra (study and body of knowledge) of Jyotir — meaning light. The study and knowledge of light is the essential ingredient of growth. Therefore its time of increase is a time of prosperity and abundance — for our family, our community — to put food on the collective table.
Growth requires light, but the cycle of light is only sustainable during the bright half of the year. As surely as light has a time of increase — so does darkness. Nothing grows in the darkness. So the question arises, how do we support or sustain after the time of growth — during the time of increasing darkness? To answer this question, we must understand that light and darkness are an eternal cosmological cycle, a circle that repeats itself with cosmic certainty. We cannot embrace just the bright half of this circle without the awareness of its dark half. It is sheer folly believing the part to be truly representative of the whole. This flawed linear approach to embracing endless light and growth is not the true order of our timely circumstances in the greater cosmological whole. Yes, embracing this folly might temporarily give rise to an overly optimistic sunny disposition, but ignorance of the whole will have dire consequences when this distorted belief of upward light turns inevitably downward. The real order of the cosmos is circular, not linear; the rightful study of this circularity is the study of Jyotisha — the study of the human condition in all its seasons increasing as well as decreasing light.
We are now in a season of increasing human growth as Earth's population has grown from a billion people in the 1800's to now approximately 7.6 billion as I write this column. The world population currently increases by another billion approximately every twelve years. Twelve years is the length of time it takes the planet Jupiter to complete its cycle of growth and decline completing revolution around the sun. Like all natural cycles, this growth of humanity cannot be sustained indefinitely. Although today there is much more discussion in regards to the growth and sustainability of humans, the debate goes much further back. In 1798 Thomas Malthus published “"An Essay on the Principle of Population." In his essay Malthus suggested that in a cycle of resource growth and abundance a population could double in twenty-five years, but this increased population could not be sustained in the long view and posed serious problems for humanity. Increased agrarian production during the Industrial Revolution factored into a dismissive attitude of Malthus' concepts — but more importantly, this shifted the dialogue from the sustainability of human population growth to the sustainability of agricultural growth.
In 1924 German farmers approached Rudolf Steiner with their concerns on an ecological and sustainable approach to agriculture. Steiner, who was well known for his approach to early childhood education in what is called the Waldorf Method, obliged and delivered a series of lectures on what he called Biodynamics. The Biodynamic approach to agriculture took a cyclic, not a linear approach to farming — emphasizing a holistic, cyclic approach to the biosphere of agriculture. This approach involved the timing of seeding, weeding, and harvest utilizing the cosmic influence of light as expressed through the stellar constellations and the planets!
Since its advent almost a century ago, Biodynamics has had a resurgence in struggling small farms and wineries in particular, which have been rejuvenated and have become sustainable using Steiner's methods. In October of 2016, The NY Times published an article by Danielle Pergament entitled "Of Moons Stars and Vines" detailing the successes of the Italian wine industry's romance with Biodynamics. One of the winery principals interviewed eloquently expressed: "You have days of fire, air and days of earth — the twelve constellations are our helpers. Our work is to enter into the rhythm of the planets." Steiner’s ideas may appear mystical or transcendent to many, but in reality, they are the product of cosmological principles applied to agriculture. Everything takes place under the same cosmological sky and the stellar study of this we call astrology.
Now that the eclipses and storm patterns of late January and February are behind us, it is time to focus on the growing light as we look forward to the Vernal Equinox later in the month. On the first of the month, Venus moves into the constellation of Pisces where he is exalted. Exaltation is a planet's most powerful state of expression, and Venus only achieves this in the bright part of the year as he will never be far from the Sun. Additionally, Venus' friend Mercury joins him in the constellation of Pisces on the 2nd of March. Because Venus is in Jupiter's constellation of Pisces and Jupiter is in Venus' constellation of Libra, they become associated by being in each other's signs! The association of the brightest planets in the night sky with Mercury creates a planetary combination known as Saraswati Yoga — a combination that inspires artistic and creative expression reflecting the Indian goddess of the arts known by that name. Lastly, the month of March starts with a full-bright Moon, who moves opposite both Venus and Mercury, and by proxy Jupiter on the 2nd of 3rd of the month. With all the planets of light so bright and associated, be sure to utilize this most auspicious beginning of March to sow the seeds of your creative ideas and endeavors. Pisces is a compassionate constellation of charity and spiritual enlightenment. This is a great time to give to your favored charity and to seek counsel and advice from those you consider wise in their chosen fields. The opposite constellation of Virgo is a constellation of health and healing, so this will be an excellent point to adopt a new and increasingly rewarding health regimen. Do not pass up this spectacular celestial energy! For where the domains of the signs of Pisces and Virgo appear in your natal chart, they will grace you during this period.
Whenever Mercury aligns with the natural benefic luminaries of light — Venus and Jupiter — our consciousness and judgment are empowered by the light. Early March will be a time of expanding public debates in the spirit of brainstorming, not the usual blamestorming, in seeking to solve the contentious issues of the day. Demand and expect luminous and lucid debate in all conversations to grow into something greater than their starting point — because that is what such a confluence of light will facilitate! Light upon all matters brings all agendas out in the open, for all to see. But more importantly, those debating the problems of the day will either be revealed as informed, willing to discuss all in an open debate — or be exposed as ill-informed and very selective in which agendas will be deliberated. Carefully watch the developing dialogue during this month. There are those who truly are interested in change and problem-solving. Equally, there are those who are not interested in debate but only their agenda. You will come to know who is who during the month of March once they begin to speak.
Mercury will stop in the heavens and retrograde during March on the 22nd. When Mercury retrogrades in the company of benefic planets, he becomes a force for good and sound judgment. It is best to avoid important decision-making the day before, the day of, and the day after he changes direction. Mercury will be in such an association with Venus, and by proxy Jupiter, until the 26th of the month — when Venus leaves Pisces and enters Aries. So use this time wisely and productively for all judgments concerning the domain of life that is ruled by Pisces in your chart.
As said, March starts out on the aforesaid luminous and well associated full Moon on March 1st. Although the benefic planets align in strength for most of the month, the malefic planets, Mars and Saturn will also align early in the month. On the 7th of March, the malefic planet Mars enters the constellation of Sagittarius where the malefic planet Saturn has resided since late last October. This alignment will last for several weeks until Mars leaves Sagittarius on May 2nd. The Mars/Saturn combination brings delays and obstructions during their reign. Be prepared for delays, and strengthen your resolve and forbearance by cultivating patience in the domains of life that are associated with the sign of Sagittarius in your chart.
March will have two full Moons, simply because the synodic or full moon cycle repeats itself every 29 and half days. The dummies that designed a calendrical system with some months having 30 and others 31 days, never bothered to rationalize that at times this will naturally result in two full or new moons in a month having 31 days. This is called the "blue moon" effect; it is a mathematical contrivance, nothing mystical or special about it.
As March began with a full moon opposite the benefic planets of light, it ends with a full moon opposite Mercury, no longer in association with Jupiter and Venus. The early part of March is more luminous and progressive. The latter part of the month toward the second full moon is less so, and more entropic, as the two malefic planets, Mars and Saturn come to exact conjunction.
As clearly as the benefic planets of light bring hope and expected growth — the planets of lesser light, Mars and Saturn are not as capable of bringing growth — not to the degree or in the same timeline as the benefic planets. Thus they represent delays, disappointments, and despondency regarding our timely hopes and goals. The unevolved human condition demands gratification today, not tomorrow. The coming together of Mars and Saturn delays this gratification — at times interminably so. The sages say the ability to defer gratification is the measure of an adult. Childish, self-serving conduct and stonewalling behaviors will not serve anyone; so April is rather an exemplary month to practice patience. It is best to model adult behavior in all you do, in the hope that others will imitate you. Take measure of all those who represent themselves as mature adults, for Saturn and Mars in time separate the girls from the women, and the boys from the men.
The malefic planets Mars and Saturn will exactly align in the constellation of Sagittarius on the 2nd of April remaining together for the balance of the month. Pace yourself, and move to your own drum-beat, not the forced march of another. You will eventually get there; however, you must be self-determined and in the game for the duration. Sagittarius is an expansive Jupiter-ruled constellation, and Saturn and Mars therein will bring the affairs of the constellation down to earth with a thud. This constellation represents educational and religious institutions, teachers and spiritual leaders as well as the judiciary and travel industry. Saturn’s themes of safety and security in light of Mars' themes of conflict and violence are safeguarded in the courts and airports where firearms security policy is rigorously enforced. Safety and security within our educational institutions are absurdly lax, with increasing firearms violence the result. No one could ever bring a loaded assault rifle to a courtroom or an airport due to the heightened securitization at these institutions. Why then is it not the same for our educational institutions?
The Mars/Saturn alignment during this month will only intensify the debate, gaining a steady and inexorable momentum. Mars, the indicator of war and conflict, will only remain in Sagittarius until the first days of May. Saturn, the indicator of law and regulation, will remain in Sagittarius until early January of 2020. The debate on securitization from firearm violence in our educational institutions promises to be a long war of attrition. It portends to be a conflict with no early compromise in sight. Do not lose heart or courage. There will be measurable consequences for elected leaders and courts during these next two years who refuse to budge and address this issue.
While Mercury retrograded in Pisces with the benefic planets for most of March, his association with those planets ended on March 26, when Venus left Pisces and moved to Aries. From that time onward Mercury becomes associated with Mars and will come into exact aspect with him on April 4th. No longer associated with benefic planets, Mercury will become contentious and cranky in his association with Mars. He will stop in the heavens on the 15th of April and start to move forward in Pisces still under aspect by Mars until the 2nd of May. Because of this, it is best to make important decisions when Mercury is associated with benefic planets, not malefic planets. Defer important decisions until after the days he changes direction. Don't wait too late to file your taxes due to his stationing in mid-April. It will be best to get your accounting and taxes finished while Mercury is under the influence of the benefic planets earlier in March. The middle of April will be stressful, and decisions and judgments made during a Mercury station in aspect to Mars can be hasty and not well thought out. Make sure during April that your decisions are well considered. Do your best not to make them when in the heat of conflict. Haste in April will lead to waste.
Lastly, once we get past the 15th, the high point of April is Venu's transit through the constellation of Aries, who is in aspect to Jupiter in the constellation of Libra. They will exactly align on Monday, April 16th. This alignment bodes well for the natives of Aries and Libra, and the domains of life these constellations occupy in your chart. Venus then moves into his own constellation of Taurus on April 19th where he will remain until mid-June. This augers well for the signs of Taurus, and by proxy Scorpio, as a strong Venus brings connectivity to family, friends and loved ones. April starts tough as nails but ends with wine and roses.
For those born under the constellation of Aries, April 14 – May 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the month of March brings your planet Mars into the sign of Sagittarius with the planet Saturn. Easy does it this month and next, as you may not experience your usual energy and enthusiasm during this time. Travel takes a back seat, and you should only embrace educational endeavors in direct relationship to career goals. The emphasis is more on rest and restorative time with your family. Your hard work ethic may catch up with you during April, so make sure you have enough downtime to recharge to regain your inherent enthusiasm. Venus and Mercury in Pisces favor vacation and foreign retreats! Jupiter, the principal planet of light, keeps shinning his light on the domain of life associated with romance and marriage. If married or in a committed relationship the double influence of Jupiter and Venus will favor a time of felicity and happiness. If you have not met that special person this could be the perfect time of year to begin that search in earnest.
For those born under the constellation of Taurus, May 15th – June 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Venus enters the domain of friends and associates, and the fulfillment of ambitions. Know this is a positive time to dream large and attend social gatherings with friends and communities you hold dear. Socialize more in March, and it will reward you. Mercury’s association with both Venus and Jupiter foretells a time joy with friends and children - with perhaps a new addition to the family. Scrutinize travel and educational endeavors carefully so the moderate Bull does not overextend his natural resources. The Mars/Saturn alignment during March and April brings a frugal focus to finance and savings. The Bull may feel he needs more resources for the duration, so it is best to eliminate debt and expense for the long run. The grace of Jupiter in alignment with Venus during March and April is illuminating the domain of your health, continuing to bring positive life changes for the Bull’s health and increased connectivity with co-workers and employees.
For those born under the constellation of Gemini, June 15th – July 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet, Mercury, travels through the domain of career for all of March and April. March is best for career advancement as Venus and Mercury align for most of the month. If unhappy in your career this could be the month to make a change for the better. Travel is favored early in March, but not later towards month’s end. Education is also favored in early March, but the Mars/Saturn alignment creates delays and obstruction in both travel and educational plans. Further Mars and Saturn will remain together the next couple of months in the domain of romance. A challenged relationship could take a break, or break up during this time. Only the most serious and committed relationships will survive the transit of Saturn through the domain of marriage. Jupiter’s light continues to grace the domain associated with creativity and children. Jupiter’s association with Venus during March and April favor progeny and friends in this position, perhaps with a new addition to the family, or more time spent with endeavors that value children.
For those born under the constellation of Cancer, July 16th – August 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, Venus and Mercury will grace the domain of travel and education most of March. Now is the time to take that trip or enroll in that class or educational program you’ve been dreaming about. This is a wonderful time to learn new skills which increase your self-esteem and self-worth. The Saturn/Mars alignment falls in the domain of your health, co-workers, and employees. Now is a progressive time to start a health improvement program - but start slowly and judiciously, not hard and fast, and you will receive long-term results. Co-workers and employees may pose troublesome and problematic during March and April, but differences and disagreements can earnestly be settled if so desired by May. Jupiter in Libra continues to illuminate the domain of home and family rewarding the Crab with emotional and financial security he craves. The trending, while Jupiter transits Libra, is to live larger – so continue to be moderate.
For those born under the constellation of Leo, August 17th – September 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, Venus and Mercury will favor the domain of finance and investment. It is time for the Big Cat to examine finances. Make sure your assets are properly insured and safe for those inevitable storms that will come your way. Jupiter’s light in Libra is illuminating the domain of siblings as well as education and travel. This is an excellent time to expand your social network through travel and educational endeavors. Jupiter also favors short journeys and improved relationship with siblings. The malefic Mars/Saturn’s transit in Sagittarius brings serious concerns to the domain of creative endeavors and children. Check in with your progeny and make sure they have all they need for their journey. Don’t assume all is well – make sure all is well. Delays and setbacks during the Mars/Saturn alignment will only momentarily repress your regal spirit. Persistence will pay off later when your planet, the Sun, becomes radiant and strong in the second half of April and first half of May!
For those born under the constellation of Virgo, September 17th – October 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mercury enters the sign of Pisces with delightful Venus in the domain of life that rules relationship and partnering. This is an auspicious time to deepen existing relationship with the potential of marriage. Business propositions embraced during this time have the potential to be successful. If you have shied away from people recently this is your time to get back in the game! Plus this is an absolutely fabulous time to travel with loved ones and friends. Jupiter, the principal planet of light, continues to grace the domain of your chart improving your health and finances. Why not organize a healthy, delicious dinner party to expand your social circle, and let everyone know how generous and delightful you truly are. The Mars/Saturn alignment brings delays in the domains of home and work. Easy does it here Virgo; take it one day at a time. It is best not to jump ship and make a career change or move on impulse. Be determined and deliberate in these matters.
For those born under the constellation of Libra October 17th – November 15th or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Venus starts March exalted in Pisces with Mercury in the domain of health and co-workers. When you feel good, the world feels good, and everyone benefits when Venus feels good. This truly auspicious time favors connectivity with co-workers and employees. This is the time to embrace a lifestyle change that promotes healthy living. It has the potential to make an extraordinary change in how you feel about yourself and others. Take the time to connect and relate to co-workers; let everyone see and appreciate the value of what you do. If you love what you do, and who you do it with, you never work a day in your life! The principle planet of light, Jupiter, graces your nativity in your sign of Libra expanding daily your growing self-esteem. Take advantage of all opportunities that come your way during this time. The Mars/Saturn alignment brings delays and challenges with comrades and siblings. Be patient, not discouraged, as these frustrations will abate later.
For those born under the constellation of Scorpio, November 16th – December 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mars aligns with Saturn in Sagittarius for April and May. You may well experience fatigue and frustration in balancing your domestic life with your work life. You seem to have so much to get done, and so precious little time in which to do it. Pace yourself and back off the daily grind by taking a personal, catch-up day each month. If you do this you will be able to sustain your mojo during this time. Concerns about not enough time and not enough money will drive Scorpio during March and April. Jupiter’s auspicious light is influencing the health and healing domains of life for Scorpio. So focus on getting a good night’s sleep. This always supports a good days’ work and positive attitude until Mars leaves Saturn in May. A brief vacation may be in order for some rest to refurbish your passion and spirit. You don’t need much to restore yourself. During this time let your planet Mars’ battle cry resound: When the going gets tough - the tough go on vacation!
For those born under the constellation of Sagittarius, December 16th – January 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Jupiter is pleasantly touring the domain of life associated with community and friends. The expanding influence of Jupiter will continue to create many new opportunities for your growing social network. However, be careful not to overextend yourself during March and April, as the Mars/Saturn alignment will be in your constellation. A moderate, judicious approach will serve you best during these months. You really cannot be all things to all people all the time, and this time will prove that maxim. Only serious relationships will be within the Archer’s sights due to time constraints and limited availability. Those romantic partners that don’t understand your limited availability and stay the course will fall by the wayside. Venus exaltation in Pisces with Mercury during March will sweeten the domain of life associated with home and family. Although quality time is in short supply, spending some of it with family will give you the love and energy to succeed.
For those born under the constellation of Capricorn, January 14th – February 12th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Saturn in Sagittarius with Mars will be in the domain of life associated with rest and repose. If you perceive you are flirting with burn-out, it is imperative you seek some time off for physical and spiritual regeneration. A brief vacation or retreat will be of immense help in rejuvenating your body, mind, and spirit. Venus and Mercury alignment during March in Pisces favors short journeys with comrades to buoy your spirits. Although solitary by nature, it continues to be important for Capricorns to build a social support network to remedy pending feelings of loneliness and isolation. Jupiter continues to grace the domain of life associated with work and vocation. Rise and growth at work come with increased responsibilities. Make sure you are well compensated, not only in currency but more importantly in time and feelings of appreciation. The sure-footed Goat takes life one step at a time, not all at once. Take that step in time by giving yourself the gift of more time the months of March and April.
For those born under the constellation of Aquarius, February 14th – March 13th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign, your planet Saturn aligns with Mars in Sagittarius in the domain of friends, community, and your life’s ambitions. The enthusiastic energy of the water bearer will slow down during this time, and good friends and the communities you serve may have to realign their goals realistically. The loyalty of your planet Saturn will prevail, especially when you are the one who can be counted upon in difficult times. In helping others, do not forget to exercise self-care. Venus in Pisces with Mercury in March favors financial advancement and feelings of prosperity. So some retail therapy may be in order to lift your spirits! Jupiter in Libra continues to shine his light on the domain of life associated with education and travel. Your planet, Saturn, likes to plan for the long-term and with Jupiter, in the domain of education, this can be the time to set enduring educational goals that will favor financial and career advancement in the not so distant future. Not having a plan is no excuse.
Those born under the constellation of Pisces, March 14th – April 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Jupiter continues his transit of Libra in the domain of life that represents retirement and repose and charity. The Fish will be drawn to more reflective and retiring spiritual pursuits, as these waters are most inviting wanting to be in service to those in need. Venus in your constellation of Pisces with Mercury during March is an excellent time to connect in with loved ones at familial and social gatherings. Love is in the air during March; this could be the month that brings a new love interest and romance. The difficult Mars/Saturn alignment in Sagittarius during March and April will bring stress to the domains of career and home and family. You may feel torn between the escalating needs of these two domains. Your work/family balance will be challenging during this time due to increasing stresses. Keep calm, but most importantly keep a delicate balance, lest you lose your wits, your job or family, or all of the above - in meeting these demanding and conflicting needs.
As I have often said, the study of astrology is the study of time, and unfortunately most people today suffer some form of time distortion due to fundamental misconceptions about it. They subscribe to the linear and equal theory of time as if time moves in a straight line toward some desired result. The notion that all time is equal distorts one's sense of progress. We Vedic astrologers believe that time is cyclic — and further we do not believe all time is equal. The study of Indian Astrology is "Jyotisha" which comes from the Sanskrit root word jyoti meaning light. We view time as "light" and study the endless repetitions of light into darkness, and darkness into light. This cycling is how we define and measure time. The span of time of the Earth turning on its axis, completing a cycle of light and dark is defined as a day. The Moon completes its cycle of light and dark as a month. And we define the cycle of the Earth's journey around the Sun, completing a cycle of light and dark, as a year. The cycle of time is the journey from light into darkness and darkness into light.
All cultures follow this timeline — planting in the bright part of the year and culminating at the Fall Equinox, which heralds the harvest in the dark part of the year. The Winter Solstice concludes the dark part of the year, with the gradual returning of the light until once again the cycle of light and dark are equal at the Spring Equinox, now in growing favor of increasing light until it reaches fullness at the Summer Equinox when the proverbial garden of our lives is in full bloom.
Indian cosmology further delineates much larger cycles of the eternal dance of light and darkness — extending in duration to thousands of years called Yugas, measuring the evolution of humanity. The Vedic astrological chart is a study of time-cycles pertaining to our personal calendar. It is based on the moment and place we came into the flow of time. We too have seasons of greater and lesser light that permeate our lives. Knowing these personal time cycles can be of great assistance in the planting and harvest of our metaphorical seeds, as we seek to understand the time of their ripening and fruition. Even the cycles of lesser light have their importance in the journey. It is equally important to know the "lights out" period of time for rest and repose, for what really matters is the balance of light and dark.
The lights out period of the Winter Solstice is celebrated in many cultures with festivals of Light. This is to remind us that this interval of relaxation is only temporary on the darkest day of the year. For from this day forward the path of light will increase, culminating once again at the Summer Solstice in this eternal cycle. The path of the increasing light which starts at this time of the year is called Path of the Gods in Indian cosmology. The increasing light is essential for the most valued of all flowerings — the bloom of spiritual consciousness.
The greatest planet of light in the night sky is Jupiter, and he changed constellations in mid-September of last year as he moved from Virgo into Libra. He will remain therein until mid-October of 2018. Where there is light, there is growth, and Jupiter's influence here will facilitate growth with all this sign is associated. Libra is the sign that represents the Fall Equinox when the balance between light and dark again become equal. Its symbol is the scales, denoting balance. Libra and its ruler, Venus, are associated with the arts, and Jupiter's transit of this sign trends well for artisans and entertainers. We have already seen in recent months movements within the artisan communities to favor themes of social justice and equality. The intensity and momentum of this action for social justice have astonished many, but do not be surprised as sometimes the pendulum must swing violently from one extreme to another until it finds balance at the center.
Mars will exactly conjoin Jupiter on the 6th of January in Libra, and then enter his own sign of Scorpio on the 15th and remain therein until the 7th of March. Here Mars invigorates all through his association with Jupiter and while transiting his sign. January starts enthusiastically with positive, optimistic energy. However, the month concludes with a total lunar eclipse on the 31st. This lunar eclipse falls at 17 degrees of the sign of Cancer.
The planets that cause eclipses are the shadow planets, Rahu and Ketu. They are now respectively in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn. They are considered storm planets in the astrology of India and portend a troubled time where the road ahead is shadowy and uncertain. Lunar eclipses occur when the shadow of the earth is cast upon the full Moon, so the ability of the Moon to illuminate the darkness becomes overwhelmed during such times. Therefore, caution is advised for the natives of Cancer and the opposite sign of Capricorn during eclipse periods. The time is not auspicious for making critical decisions or initiating new projects, for the road ahead will be shrouded in shadow. The age-old adage says it best: "You would have to be a lunatic" to do so! Wait until the eclipse has passed and the light returns to address important matters.
February 2018 will start out with the storm planet Ketu in consort with both Mercury and Venus in the constellation of Capricorn, the sign of business and government. The drive and collection of personal data is the new gold-rush of the business and banking communities.Everyone and everything is mined for personal information to predict everything and anything about us — to be sold off to the highest bidder. A new genre of books, such as Andreas Weigend's Data for the People: How to Make Our Post Privacy Economy Work for You, reveals the mega-mining and plundering of this proverbial gold mine of raw data. The last time Mercury aligned with one of the storm planets was last summer, when the enormity of the Equifax hacking scandal was exposed. Some estimates allege this breach compromised the personal information of one in two US households! This portends a possibility of more data thefts and attacks, alerting us yet again that our personal information is not safe and secure within the data gathering communities.
The drive of Big Data is to collect as much information as possible, right down to your personal genome — offering it for sale, with minimal or no input from you on how the government, business, and banking communities will use it. The collection and sale of this data will undoubtedly continue until a collective spotlight is focused revealing the ugly truth. Simply stated, it is more profitable to collect and sell your data than it is to protect it! Watch for privacy advocates to emerge during this stormy period in February, advocating for law and order regarding the mining and protection of your data in this new wild-west of information collection. Don’t waste your time purchasing a paper shredder; this is nothing more than the proverbial "finger in the dike" of data. Legal battles are already pending on bringing the rule of order to the data sharing industries — who gets to have your data and who gets to share your data. This is the month to review again your securitization procedures, such as freezing your credit and upgrading your personal banking and cyber security with strong passwords. At this point, there are more businesses that want to share your data, than those to help you protect it. You will see the balance shift this year when Mercury later enters Aries and receives the light of Jupiter in Libra in the spring.
Eclipses always come in pairs, and the succeeding eclipse occurs on February 15th, which is a partial solar eclipse at 2 degrees of the sign of Aquarius. Solar eclipses are New Moons that are partially or totally occulted, resulting in a shadow cast upon the Earth. Although this eclipse is partial, do not forget that eclipses represent storm clouds. Natives of the sign of Aquarius should not make hasty, or crisis decisions during the eclipse period. It is always better to examine the issue when the light improves, rather than when it is shadowy. Both Mercury and Venus will finish out the month of February in the constellation of Aquarius, each under the growing light of Jupiter’s aspect from Libra. So, even though the luminaries are partially eclipsed in Aquarius, the month finishes with all the planets of light — Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter - either within the sign or shining light on the humanistic sign of Aquarius. All is well that ends well with light.
For those born under the constellation of Aries, April 14 – May 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the month of January brings many changes. Your planet Mars enters his own sign of Scorpio on the 16th and remains until early March. Mars here will be of great assistance in the area of financial planning, so get together with your planner early this year. If you don’t have a savings plan or budget now is the time to start, otherwise, you can trend to spend impulsively and fritter away your money. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu are stressing the domains of life associated with home and work life. You will need to be diligent to keep a home life/work life balance in 2018. If you wish to purchase a home during this time, be careful not to overextend your resources. Jupiter, the principal planet of light, is illuminating the domain of your life associated with romance and marriage. If you have met that special person this could be a year for marriage, or exploring romance with the person of your dreams.
For those born under the constellation of Taurus, May 15th – June 14th, or who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Venus enters the domains of education and vocation from the middle of January favoring a positive time. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu will impact Taurus in the domains of siblings, travel, and education. Changes are afoot here in these domains of life for 2018. Travel and educational endeavors should be scrutinized so the moderate Bull does not overextend during the year. The solar eclipse of February 15th falls in the domain of vocation - so no sudden career decisions during the eclipse month. The principle planet of light, Jupiter, illuminates the domain of your health and he will bring life-positive changes to the Bull’s diet and health habits. This is a great time to start the year by scheduling an overall physical, to monitor the areas of health you wish to improve upon. Jupiter here can bring positive health changes so the Bull can continue to be productive to plow the fields of their dreams.
For those born under the constellation of Gemini, June 15th – July 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mercury travels through the domain of relationship and concludes in the domain of travel and education in February. Travel is favored after the solar eclipse of mid-February for learning, fun, and entertainment! The storm planets Rahu and Ketu have now entered the domains of finance and debt. 2018 is the year for Gemini to address outstanding debt and come up with a saving plan to strike a balance. Changes in diet are likely for mobile Gemini, so they can streamline their regimen to fit their active lifestyle, effectively balancing all their proverbial balls in the air. The principle planet of light, Jupiter is gracing the domain associated with creativity and children. This may be the year to contemplate an addition to the family, or moving to a community that favors your children’s education. Jupiter here revitalizes the creative juices so be open to expanding your social network which can lead to new opportunities and friendships.
For those born under the constellation of Cancer, July 16th – August 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, Jupiter in Libra is illuminating the domain of home and family. The early months of the year favor a move to new digs or the purchase of a new home. The Crab craves their home and the emotional and financial security it brings. The trending for 2018 is to go larger – so be careful not to gleefully overextend your resources during Jupiter’s wonderful transit. Home life will improve as you continue to improve your home/work life balance. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu are transiting your sign and that of your relationships. This will be a trust testing time in partnering. What we value in ourselves is what we appreciate in others. If your values are aligned, you will navigate this time successfully. Devotion and loyalty are two of the Crab’s greatest strengths. If you are fortunate to have found friends and loved ones worthy of those virtues you are truly blessed. If not, 2018 is the year to start that journey.
For those born under the constellation of Leo, August 17th – September 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the year starts with Jupiter’s light illuminating the domain of comradery and the arts. This can be a wonderful time to get the Lion’s and Lioness’s pride back in their creative process. Perhaps it is time to take up a hobby or enroll in a life inspiring class. You will be glad you did, and it will further give you an opportunity to extend your social network. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu have now entered domains that are associated with your health and healing. During the eclipses of January and February, it would be advised for the Big Cat to pay attention to health and diet helping to rejuvenate and restore your regal bearing, for not only must you feel good – you must also look good! Most of God’s creatures are hibernating or taking it down a notch at this time of year - and you are not an exception to the rule. Travel for fun, pleasure, and education are favored for the early months of 2018.
For those born under the constellation of Virgo, September 17th – October 16th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mercury enters Sagittarius with Venus in the domain of life associated with home and family. This is a wonderful time to reunite with family during the holidays to buoy your spirit. The recharging will help to clear your mind so can have a more optimistic outlook for 2018. Jupiter, the principal planet of light graces the part of your chart that will improve your health and finances. Eat and live healthily and you will be happy. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu have entered the domains of your friends and ambitions. Realistically examine the goals you wish to achieve for 2018, and you will be fine. Your social network will grow as you are open to new social activities. Fair-weather friends will fall by the wayside during this time; they are revealed as not sharing your growing core values. Be open to new friends and new social activities, among those who genuinely share your core convictions on social justice and equality.
For those born under the constellation of Libra October 17th – November 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Venus starts the year in the sign of Sagittarius, exchanging signs with Jupiter in your sign of Libra. This is a truly auspicious time favoring connectivity to other people, bringing the potential of brotherhood, sisterhood as well as romance. Although Venusians usually seek the path of peace and diplomacy, Librans will be concerned with issues of social justice during the early months of the year. It is a paradox, but Librans will fight to keep the peace when their values are threatened. There is power and safety in numbers, so embrace whatever organizations and friends that present a robust platform for your beliefs. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu are now in the domains of career and family. Make sure the foundation of your lives is secure before you initiate changes in career. If not, this may be the year you move in search of higher vocational horizons that match your growing self-esteem.
For those born under the constellation of Scorpio, November 16th – December 15th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Mars aligns with Jupiter early in January and then enters your sign the middle of the month. The year starts out enthusiastic and energetic for Scorpio! Now that you’ve got your mojo back take a personal inventory of your essential goals and needs for the year ahead - it is the time to act and fulfill them. Jupiter’s favorable light is influencing the health and healing domains of life for Scorpio. Focus on work/health balance for the coming months ahead. A good day’s rest always supports a good day’s work. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu have now entered the domains of education, travel, and siblings. The trouble with siblings may emerge during the eclipses but your devotion, understanding, and self-determinism will see you through. A trip can hold many opportunities for new experiences, but the focus here for Scorpio should be on educational and healing opportunities that do not break the bank.
For those born under the constellation of Sagittarius, December 16th – January 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Jupiter starts out January in the domain of life associated with community and friends. The emphasis at this time is on expanding your impact among the various populations in which you circulate. Be open as well to new groups of people and friends who can help spread your influence in the world. This time also favors romantic relationships, as well as the affairs of your children, but only the most serious relationships will be within the Archer’s sights. It will be a busy year, meeting so many people and spending all that wonderful time, and yes, all that fantastic cash as well. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu have now entered the domains of life that are associated with finance and debt. It is imperative to embrace living on a budget as the year starts, for it will be effortless for exuberant Jupiter to overextend this year. Meet with a financial advisor, so you end this year with more money and less debt than when you started!
For those born under the constellation of Capricorn, January 14th – February 12th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the month of January finds your planet Saturn in Sagittarius. This represents a shift to a more reflective time. Although solitary by nature, it continues to be essential for Capricorns to build a social support network to remedy pending feelings of isolation. The principle planet of light Jupiter is now in the domain of life associated with your career. Employment opportunities and advancement are favored for Capricorn. Test your vocational value in today’s growing economy - you might be surprised to find your worth has increased! The storm planets Rahu and Ketu are now transiting the horizon your chart, bringing challenges in self-worth and relationship. The Goat is sure-footed and likes to embrace change one step at a time, not all at once. If significant partnerships and relationships start the year challenged, then this will be an excellent time to begin to work on them. In the process, your self-reflection will help to eliminate any negative patterns you see in yourself and others.
For those born under the constellation of Aquarius, February 14th – March 13th, or those of you who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, the month of January finds your planet Saturn in Sagittarius in the domain of life that supports friends and community. Aquarius, the water bearer, is ready to pour forth and break bread with new found friends and new-found communities. It is time to come out and play for Aquarius! Jupiter in Libra will shine his light on the domain of life associated with education and travel. These areas are featured for Aquarius as the New Year starts with educational opportunities abroad - including the distinct possibility of romance. Another degree or certification will not only contribute to career advancement but also broaden your social networks to increase your chances. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu have now entered the domains of life associated with health and healing. Healthy habits will invigorate and sustain you for the time ahead - so now is the time to review diet and exercise so you can follow the New Year’s resolutions you made in good faith.
Those born under the constellation of Pisces, March 14th – April 13th, or those who have their Vedic Moon or rising sign therein, your planet Jupiter starts the month in Libra in the domain of life that represents retirement and repose. It is best to start this New Year with some self-reflection. The Fish will be drawn to more reflective spiritual pursuits as these waters are most inviting. As the year progresses, social Jupiter will be open to meeting new people along these mystical lines of soul development, but be wary of fanatical zealots. The storm planets Rahu and Ketu are now in the domains of life influencing progeny and friends. The well-being of your children will be a focus during this period, as you strive to make sure they are supported in all their endeavors. You may seek a new community or friends who are more in alignment with your spiritual values. If the Fish is swimming in its perfect Koi Pond, it will quickly find like-minded schools of other fishes swimming in the same pool. Take time to drink deep from these devotional waters as they will lead you to the virtues of gratitude and contentment.
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