I want to extend warm New Year wishes to all of you for 2014. In the spirit of these fast changing times I am revising my Star Trends column to be sent every other month staring this January, so you will receive my celestial updates six times a year.
The exciting celestial news for January and February of 2014 is the full alignment of the two brightest planets in the heavens! Venus and Jupiter will be in full aspect until the final days of February in the opposite constellations of Sagittarius and Gemini. This is good news.
Venus became the brightest planet in the heavens in December and early January, as Venus began its retrograde cycle last month. This is the time when Venus comes to perigee; its closest approach to the earth. When Venus approaches the earth, its brightness intensifies. The intensity of Venus during perigee increases our drive for connectedness and intimacy in relationship. It stimulates our need for the inspiration that closeness brings. This increased stimulation often stresses interpersonal relationships, for not all relationships are capable of the intimacy we desire. Venus at perigee therefore becomes a stressful time for existing relationships that cannot fulfill our feelings of increased intimacy. This often leads to familial and romantic stress, resulting in a reexamination of self in the search for love, closeness, and connectedness with others.
Venus will intensify this self-examination during the time he comes to conjunction with the Sun, from January 6th to the 16th, combusting the Sun on the 11th. Combustion is an astrological term which means the planet comes to exact alignment with the Sun that it disappears and cannot be seen in the heavens until it gains distance on the Sun.
The desire for closeness, connectedness, passion and love becomes inflamed by Venus' combustion with the Sun. Due to this imbalanced intensity, marriage is not advised during this time, for people can get burned in love by fever, hotter than a pepper sprout! New relationships may start during this time, but be wary of the combustion, as it represents a surge in love that cannot really be sustained. Venus will reappear in the heavens on January 17th when it has gained proper distance from the Sun. It will reappear as an early morning star, rather than an evening star, which can deflate the heated romance out of those Venusian nights. After all, love may start on the up elevator culminating on the highest floor of your favorite hotel after the Sun has set. However, relationship, commitment and marriage start on down elevator to the ground floor as the Sun rises, and learn to do the daily dharmic grind.
After Venus' combustion, the Venus/Jupiter full aspect will herald an auspicious time for relationship, spiritual advancement, and the inspirational arts and learning in general. It will be particularly fortunate for those Vedic Sun signs Gemini (born June 15 - July 15) and Sagittarius (December 16 - January 13) leading to increased feelings of intimacy, connectedness, and love. If you have your Vedic Moon in Gemini or Sagittarius, you will find this time more easy going, more pleasurable time to be with loved ones and friends. But, if you have been wearing that T-shirt lately that sadly proclaims, "I use to be a people person, but people ruined that for me," this could be the time to restore your faith in the right kind of positive people.
For those born in the Vedic Sun signs of Virgo (September 17 - October 16) and Pisces (March 14 - April 13) this will be a good time move to a more desirable location, or find more meaningful employment with the possibility of advancement if you perceive you are in a dead end job. The light of the Venus/Jupiter full aspect will be active till the 25th February. Where there is light there is always the potential for growth, when the right seeds are planted.
As we enter February of 2014, on the 4th the planet Mars will enter the constellation of Libra. Here Mars will join the challenging planets Saturn and Rahu that have been aligned in Libra since January of 2013. The Saturn/Rahu planetary combination has been discussed in prior 2013 Star Trends, if you wish to read our archives to familiarize yourselves with the planetary energy. In short, the alignment occurs every eleven years, and historically has led the U.S. into conflict and war in the Middle East these last decades. The difficult planetary combination will continue until mid-July of 2014.
The U.S. narrowly avoided war in the Middle East with Syria in the fall of 2013, and this was under the direction of President Obama, who had just won the Nobel Peace prize the year before! We are not out of the war woods yet, and Mars in Libra will heat up the inherent propensity for conflict that the Saturn/Rahu alignment brings during his time in Libra.
Further, Mercury will retrograde on February 6th, right after Mars enters Libra. Mercury retrogrades have the notorious reputation of being associated with communication breakdowns and technical difficulties. As we rely more on the electronic media this becomes problematic during times such as this. This energy of Mercury RX, coupled with Mars aligning with other malefic planets, foretells a time of frustration, delays and breakdowns in communication that will trend to exaggeration and distortion, not always the time to make our best decisions. February heralds to be a frustrating, obstructive month. Don’t be in a hurry, and watch your step!
The Vedic Sun signs of Libra (October 17 -November 16) and Aries (April 14 - May 14) will find the going more difficult than others. Also, if your Vedic Moon is in Libra or Aries, you will experience this difficult energy more intensely, perhaps in your own family circle. It is important for those of you in this celestial category to keep yourselves surrounded by positive, thoughtful, and uplifting people, who you believe have your best interests at heart. This strategy will help build a support sangha to build your morale during this difficult month. In the large scheme of things, these problems are only temporary delays, not the end of the world. Stay on your dharma, despite the delays and you will get there. Yes, a little later, but later is so much better than never.
It is best to avoid negative, fear-based people as much as possible during February. They will only bring out the frustrating, obstructive indications that the planets portend. The war hawks, who gain by conflict, as well as the blame-storming crowd, who elevate themselves at the expense of others, will be out in full force this month. When able, limit your precious time with such people, as they do not have your well-being at heart. Stay present. Stay in the moment and stay your ground. Remember the old adage: "When the going gets tough, the tough go on vacation." Seriously, this can be a good time for a retreat or vacation, to pull out of the fray and recharge, even for a short time. It helps to remember once again what normal feels like so you can put your conflicts in perspective.
Mercury will turn direct on the New Moon the last day of February. March will feature clearer communication and will bring a very different perspective. Thank your lucky stars that the bright light of the Venus/Jupiter full aspect will be in effect until February 25th. Find that light in your lives during this month and never let it fade away. The recording artist Leonard Cohen said it succinctly in his song Anthem: "Forget your perfect offering ... everything is broken ... everything has a crack in it ... that's how the light gets in." The perception of failure, my friends, is nothing more than enlightenment dressed up in work clothes.
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