Mars Conjunct Saturn

If you’ve been wondering why the world has been in so much turmoil lately, we could look to the transiting planets for the answer.  On July 14th, Mars re-entered Libra where it will be conjoining Saturn until September 3rd.  The exact meeting of these two planets takes place on August 24th but as Mars approaches Saturn, the tension will build.


Why is that?  It is because these planets display radically different energies.  The most succinct way to put it is, Mars is the accelerator petal and Saturn is the breaks.  Mars represents our drives, ambitions and goals in life, whereas Saturn represents our need for safety and security and therefore, our need to use control to limit the variables.  So these discordant energies naturally create a “tug-of-war”.

Keep in mind that these energies are manifesting not only on the world stage but in our individual lives as well.  For the last few weeks, many people I know have felt exasperated by delays, obstacles and pressures to their ambitious pursuits or felt like progress seemed to come in stops and starts for them.  Some have also noted feeling too controlled at times and too aggressive at other times.

The energy of this conjunction could lead to a sense of chronic frustration and pent-up anger that we may try to suppress. During this time, we must be careful not to let unexpressed emotions built up until they explode.  We can see the collective effect of this in both the Gaza Strip and the Ukraine.  Both sides are reacting with anger and a malicious, destructive response to the other.

The challenge presented by these two planets coming together evokes an important question.  Are we victims of these planetary energies or do we have a choice in how we react when our desires are frustrated.  From the ancient Vedic perspective, the more conscious we are of ourselves and the world around us, the more options we have in responding to the inevitable challenges of life.  Just knowing what the planetary energies represent in our chart helps us to make more conscious and creative choices in our lives.

Predictive Capacity of Vedic Astrology

One of the most significant features of Jyotish or Vedic Astrology is its predictive capabilities.  It not only utilizes the influence of the transiting planets but it employs an even more powerful predictive tool called the Dashas and Bhuktis.  These two sanskrit terms translate as “major and minor planetary periods”.

At different times of our lives, different planets will dominate in their influence.  These major planetary periods range from 6 years in length for the Sun to 20 years in length for Venus.  The areas of life that the major planetary ruler influences by location, aspect or ownership will be the issues that will be “on the front burner” for us to experience during its time period.

That planet will be the main actor on the stage of your life during its designated time.  Within this period, however, each of the other eight planets will join the major planetary period ruler in sequence.  They will each exert their respective influence on the areas of life that they activate by location, aspect or ownership.  Thus, we have an interplay of various energies that define the nature of our experiences at any given time.

An analysis of the Dashas and Bhuktis gives us the ability to see how and when our gifts, talents and opportunities, as well as our challenges, will manifest.   This important predictive tool allows us to more effectively navigate the changing landscape of our lives to fulfill our destiny/ life purpose.

Jupiter Transiting Its Sign of Exaltation


It is always a big event when a transiting planet (especially one of the slower moving planets) moves into its sign of exaltation. This is when the intelligence and energy signified by that planet is at its most powerful.  For the last 2 ½ years, we have had Saturn transiting its sign of exaltation in Libra, creating a powerful materializing potential but also a strong challenging influence through its aspects.

A much more positive transiting influence has just occurred, starting early in the morning of June 19.  This is when Jupiter moved into the sign of Cancer, its sign of exaltation.  What is significant about this is that Jupiter is considered the “great benefic”, the planet that tends to bring the greatest amount of grace and good fortune.  Jupiter is the planet that signifies growth, expansion, spirituality, good fortune and dharma (leading a life that is evolutionary—a life lived in attunement Natural Law).  Jupiter also signifies higher knowledge, discernment, intuition, optimism and abundance.

It will take about 5 months for the full impact of this to manifest because Jupiter’s normally expansive influence will be somewhat retarded by transiting Saturn’s influence onto it until the first of November.  Then Jupiter’s beneficence will fully shine.  You can expect this influence to continue until mid-July of 2015 when Jupiter completes its movement through Cancer.

It is important to note that if the Jupiterian intelligence within you by birth is strong, signified by its strength and placement in your natal chart, Jupiter’s transiting influence through Cancer will be stronger.

How you feel Jupiter’s influence is determined by where the sign of Cancer lands in your chart.  And unlike exalted Saturn’s aspects, which can be challenging at times, Jupiter’s 5th, 7th and 9th house aspects (onto the houses signified by the signs of Scorpio, Capricorn and especially Pisces) will promote prosperity in the matters of those fields of life.  A Vedic Astrology reading will indicate in what areas of life you will feel Jupiter’s current generous and benefic glance, as well as how Jupiter and the other planets reflect the experiences you incarnated to have that further you along your path of Self-Realization.

Thoughts On Saturn



Saturn is the most maligned planet in astrology.  Much is made of the “evils” that this planet brings but that is a gross misunderstanding of its role.  No planet is meant to punish us.  That’s just not how planets work.  It is true that, among the nine planets, Saturn seems to be relegated the responsibility of bring us our toughest lessons but what it is really doing is challenging us to deal with them, and eventually, over the course of our lives, master them.

The question is, when have we ever grown strong except when we are challenged?  Such situations test our mettle and show us that in spite of our fears, insecurities, doubts and self-created limitations, we can find the necessary resources within to come out ahead, in the long haul.

Here are a few tips when it comes to dealing with Saturn-related issues.  We can’t afford to go into fantasy, escape, distraction or blame.  This will make matters worse and prolong the difficulty.  When the “slow-mover” sticks it in our face and doesn’t seem to let up, it is best to take full, personal responsibility for the lesson at hand.  Saturn demands that we use extra effort, diligence and focus, and because it is something we have not yet mastered it, we must be more patient and perseverance in learning what we need to learn.  Humbling experiences are often associated with difficult lessons, so humility is a useful virtue.

The “old man” of the planets encourages us to adopt a wiser, more mature approach to the life issues it presents us.  Here’s the real gem in all this.  Mastering the Saturn lessons that are indicated by the chart actually represents the greatest triumphs that we can have in life.

What areas of life does Saturn influence in your chart, either natally or by transit?  That can be determined by a Vedic Astrology reading.  It is interesting to note that since November 15th of 2011, Saturn has been transiting the sign of Libra, its sign of exaltation.  This is the sign that it is strongest in.  Where that falls in your chart will define a field of life that, for the last 2 ½ years and until November 2014, has been presenting you a great challenge but also promises a great reward.

Though those rings around Saturn are beautiful, they do imply constraint.  Saturn’s great benefit is teaching up through constraint.  Never underestimate the value of this type of lesson.


Understanding the Planets Within Us.

Planet Mars close-up with sunrise in space

There is some confusion in the popular mind of how astrology works, not the least of which is the concept of how the planets of our solar system can have an influence on our lives.  It seems to go against the grain of logic and our scientific mindset that these orbiting masses in the sky can somehow influence human nature.

However, the ancient sages, who defined the principles of Vedic Astrology, understood that the vast knowledge existing in the macrocosmic universe is contained within the microcosm of the self.  They recognized that the vibrational frequencies of the planets and the stars are reflected in the different qualities of intelligence and energy that we, as humans, possess.

The strength or weakness of each of planet as defined by their position in our chart at the time of our birth, demonstrates the different qualities of intelligence we will display in the different areas of our life.  As a result, it shows the nature of the experiences we will tend to attract to us and when they will manifest.

So, what exactly is the nature of each of these planetary intelligences that are reflecting back to us?  A lot has to do with their condition and placement in our chart but, in general, they suggest the following:

  1. The Sun is the planet that indicates our soul, our capacity to display power, authority, independence and directed action.  It shows our innate dignity, nobility and generosity.  Our vitality, creativity and our ability to achieve fame and honor is indicated by the Sun, which also represents the archetypal masculine within each of us.  In its highest sense, it is an important indicator of our capacity for Self-realization.
  1. The Moon represents our psyche and shows our emotional IQ and how we feel about life, particularly our early instinctual perceptions.  It is the planet of nurturing, abundance and general well-being.  The Moon reflects our sensitivity, receptivity, imagination and common sense, and is also one of the indicators of our ability to achieve fame and recognition.  The Moon is the archetypal feminine within each of us.
  1. Mars is the planet of courage and strength of character, of initiative, motivation and determination.  It’s is our assertiveness, our capacity to take action and to “go-for-it”, and reflects our goal orientation.  Mars indicates our level of energy, passion and fighting spirit, and also our capacity for logic and piercing logical insight.  We see science, mechanical and technical skills from this planetary intelligence.
  1. Mercury demonstrates the quality of our intellect, our discriminative and analytical abilities as well as our ability to learn, to be educated.  It tells us our proficiency in writing, speaking and communication.  This intelligence gives us our versatility, cleverness and dexterity, and indicates our proclivities toward buying, selling and business and commerce.
  1. Jupiter is the planet of intuition, wisdom and higher knowledge.  It’s our spiritual or religious outlook, our adherence to truth, and our good judgment and morality since it indicates our alignment with dharma—the capacity to uphold the evolutionary imperatives of Natural Law.  Jupiter will reflect our level of good fortune, generosity and optimism, as well as the ability to teach, advise and counsel.
  1. Venus is the planet of love, harmony and relationship as well as our sensuality and sexuality.  It indicates our proficiency in the arts.  We see refinement, beauty, charm, charisma and elegance from this planet intelligence, as well as our ability to achieve happiness, harmony and balance.  The disposition of Venus in the chart determines our ability to attract luxury, comforts and the paraphernalia of wealth into our life.
  1. Saturn is gives us our discipline, focus, responsibility, practicality and realism.  It also indicates our capacity for hard work, perseverance, patience and staying power. Saturn is the intelligence that brings form and structure, order and organization to our creative intelligence.  It also shows us how well we deal with the inevitable lessons of delays, limitations, obstacles and loss and from these life experiences, it indicates our capacity for humility and non-attachment.
  1. Rahu, the north node of the Moon, is our capacity for originality, ingenuity and innovation.  It represents our ambition, drive, intensity and cunning.  Rahu is also indicative of science, technology and that which is cutting edge, as well as all things foreign.  Importantly, it shows us the areas of our illusions and delusions and the cravings and desires that are not easily satisfied.
  1. Ketu, the South Node of the Moon, is the planet of universality, spirituality, transcendental wisdom and liberation.  It indicates our psychic and intuitive nature, our ability to discriminate the real from the unreal, the true from the illusory.  Ketu is the intelligence indicative of non-attachment to worldly desires, as well as alternative healing modalities and sudden changes.

The above are only partial descriptions of the how the planets reflect different aspects of our human nature but serve to offer some understanding of this fundamental premise of astrology.  Their disposition and placement in your birth chart will define the strength and clarity with which you manifest your life.  But no astrological analysis is complete without and understanding of the twelve signs and houses and the condition of their rulers.