Dennis Flaherty



Vedic Astrology Forecast for 2018

January/February Forecast

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 used by Western astrology. These dates reflect the constellations, which Vedic astrologers use in their forecasts.

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.

Personal Forecast for Each of the Constellations

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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