January 10th: Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Gemini/Punarvasu
January 15th – September 23rd: Ketu in Mula
January 23, 2020 – April 28, 2022: Saturn in Capricorn
February 2nd – February 28th: Venus Exalted in Pisces
February 16th – March 9th: Mercury Retrograde
February 17th – July 15th: Kala Sarpa Cycles for half the month
March 22nd – May 4th: Mars in Exalted in Capricorn, with Saturn
March 28th – July 31st: Venus in Taurus
March 29th – June 29th: Jupiter in Capricorn
April 25th: Akshaya Tritiya
May 10th – September 28th: Saturn Retrograde
May 12th – June 24th: Venus Retrograde
May 14th – September 12th: Jupiter Retrograde
June 29th – November 18th: Jupiter back in Sagittarius
June 5th: Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio/Jyestha
June 18th – August 16th: Mars in Pisces; again October 3rd – December 23rd
June 17th – July 12th: Mercury Retrograde
June 21st: New Moon Solar Eclipse in Gemini/Ardra
July 4th: Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius/Purva Ashada
August 16th – October 3rd: Mars in Aries
September 9th – November 13th: Mars Retrograde
September 12th: Jupiter Direct
September 23rd: Rahu & Ketu move into Taurus and Scorpio (Mean node; Sep. 19th with True)
September 28th: Saturn Direct
October 3rd – December 23rd: Mars in Pisces
October 13th – November 3rd: Mercury Retrograde
November 18th: Jupiter in Capricorn
November 30th: Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Taurus/Rohini
December 14th: New Moon Total Solar Eclipse in Scorpio/Jyestha
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We can bask under a full Moon in Sagittarius tonight, as the Moon waxes towards total fullness opposite the Sun tomorrow at 2:38 pm PDT in Uttara Ashada nakshatra. With the Moon within degrees of south node Ketu, and the Sun (in sidereal Gemini) close to north node Rahu, this will bring in a partial lunar eclipse, the second eclipse of our summer series. Saturn is also joining Moon and Ketu, while Venus joins the Sun and Rahu. Due to the Hindu month we are in, this full Moon lunar eclipse also coincides with Guru Purnima, the auspicious Hindu holiday for honoring our teachers.
Sagittarius Full Moon
This full Moon is at the very end of Sagittarius, at 29°57’, pretty much on the sandhi point of transition between Sagittarius and Capricorn. Nevertheless, having been in a Gemini Sun cycle for the last month or so, this full Moon will highlight for us the way that inspiration and higher teachings can help us when we are stuck in an intellectual or just playful mode of being. This is the second full Moon in Sagittarius in a row, with the last one occurring in the early degrees of sidereal Sag in June. This once in a “blue Moon” event just means that we get to double up on the Sagittarius lessons.
It’s a fitting time for Guru Purnima, therefore, as Jupiter, or Guru in Sanskrit, is the ultimate teacher. Guru Purnima is a time for honoring all teachers, but particularly any spiritual teacher or satguru in your life. It is an auspicious time to connect with your teacher and teachings, to offer back reverence and come closer to that which guides you towards your best self. Under the full Moon in Sagittarius, our heart is illuminated as well, and more easily comes into alignment with higher teachings.
Uttara Ashada (or Uttarashada) is the Vedic star-sign or nakshatra that bridges the end of Sagittarius and the beginning of Capricorn. It is translated as the “latter invincible one,” and has to do with victory and achievement. It is ruled by the ten Vishvadevas, the lords of dharma, and is also associated with the Sun, the sattvic purifyer. This full Moon is a time to let impurities burn away as we align ourselves with purpose and principle, orienting ourselves towards spiritual as well as worldly victory. This nakshatra’s animal symbol is the male mongoose, making it the only nakshatra (of the odd 27) that does not have a female counterpart.
The eclipse that coincides with this full Moon (maximum eclipse at 2:30 pm Tuesday) will make this an even more powerful Guru Purnima. As the shadow of the earth comes partially across the Moon, we may feel cut off from our minds and hearts, or feel a sensation of darkness over the heart as shadows surface that we are not usually fully aware of. This is the perfect time to dive into sadhana and connect with your guru, asking her to help remove any blockages, while doing your part by looking at and acknowledging what is there.
Eclipses offer us an opportunity to go deeper into what ails us, and through conscious interaction with this, we can move a lot of energy at this time. For those of us who aren’t willing to look at what’s up (or just haven’t noticed that this opportunity is being presented), eclipses can feel like they are wreaking havoc or bringing up extra stress in our lives. This is a good time of year to receive a personal reading, which can offer insight into where this eclipse is hitting your chart and life, and help you to discover ways to work with the planetary energies. This eclipse cycle is the first of three that will occur with the nodes along this axis, from now through next summer.
Lunar Eclipse Visibility, July 16, 2019
Venus is closely aligned with Rahu during this eclipse, which could make some of the shadows come up particularly around our relationships and how we go about seeking happiness in the world. Saturn, opposite with Ketu and the Moon, can teach us to balance this pleasure-seeking with the commitment and hard work that is needed to reach our long-term goals.
Venus will transit into Cancer on the 22nd, and travel there through August 16th. With Venus in the open-hearted sign of the Moon, this is an important time to watch your boundaries, as they can tend to spread wide open under this placement.
Mercury has been traveling in retrograde motion since July 7th (and also engaged in a planetary war with Mars from July 7th-9th). He will enter another war, this time with Venus, on July 24th and 25th. This can pin our desires and pleasures against our rationalizing intellect, with Venus winning this war due to his more luminous appearance in the early morning sky. (Mercury will be barely visible, as both planets are rising during the dawn, just before sunrise). Mercury transits back into his own sign of Gemini for a day or so on the 30th, before stationing and turning direct on July 31st, the next New Moon.
This is a great time to have a personal reading– either an Initial Reading (includes looking at the eclipses) if this is your first time working with me, or an Eclipse Reading if we have had a previous session.
Today’s full Moon reached maximum brightness in sidereal Sagittarius at 1:31 am PDT (June 17, 2019), in Moola nakshatra. In the galactic center, this full Moon is literally in the middle of a very polarized sky. The chart below shows this extreme polarization, with Moon joined by two malefics, Ketu and retrograde Saturn, opposite Sun, Rahu, Mars (the other 3 malefics) and Mercury. Jupiter and Venus align in opposition on the Taurus-Scorpio axis.
With the Sun in Gemini and the full Moon in Sagittarius, we get a chance to experience the contrast between our intellectual, analytical, and flexible side and our more inspired, philosophical, and perhaps even dogmatic side. Sagittarius is a sign of inspiration, ruled by Jupiter, and is a place where we often take action (fire sign) over principles and beliefs that we believe in.
Gemini, on the other hand, is an airy dual sign ruled by Mercury, the planet of the intellect. During the Sun-in-Gemini cycle we may find ourselves more mobile and flexible than usual, more social and communicative. The malefics joining the Sun, however, can add intensity to our communication style this month, but hopefully are aimed at helping us to purify and strengthen ourselves as we shine light in the dark corners.
With Moon, Ketu, and Saturn in Sagittarius, we should be able to see where we went wrong in the past (Ketu), as far as taking a stand over principles, and also where we need to be more committed in the future (Saturn).
The full Moon was at 1°47’ of sidereal Sagittarius, aligning with the Vedic nakshatra Moola (or Mula), “the root.” With the full Moon here amplified by all the conjoining and aligning planets, we have a great opportunity to get to the root of some core issues. The planets bring forth lessons to help us to grow, and behind every challenge there is an underlying cause or origin. Sometimes the origin of a certain karma we are experiencing may be from a past action in this life, or a past lifetime. It’s okay if we aren’t aware of the exact circumstance that created our present situation, but it’s important that we pay attention to the lesson that is being shown to us.
Five Malefics Joining
The so-called “malefics,”— Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu — are the grahas or planets that attempt to teach us our karmic lessons through more challenging means. The Sun is like the divine father, and yet, like a father, he can feel tough as he teaches us, his powerful rays sometimes burning as they attempt to purify us of negativities. Mars, the planet of strength, compels us to strengthen ourselves through discipline or by asserting ourselves against challengers, calling forth our inner warrior. Saturn, like an old wise person, reminds us that time will pass and our actions will have long-term consequences, thus compelling us to work hard and endure stress and pressure.
The nodes, Rahu and Ketu, are the “shadow planets.” We cannot see them as they do not have planetary bodies like the others, but we see shadows appear over the Sun and Moon when they align with the nodes during eclipses. They relate to some of our most subconscious karma, the places where we are often confused, and their lessons take the longest to learn. These lessons become more obvious and pointed during “eclipse season,” which is currently upon us.
Look for the exact alignment of Saturn and Ketu on June 23rd (mean node calculation). This will be a critical moment for balancing the lessons of the past with the plan for the future. Stay as present, mindful and grounded as possible to yield positive change, instead of implosive force.
We are in the orb of the eclipses already, as Sun and Moon are joined the nodes, and we are approaching the partial solar eclipse on the New Moon of July 2nd, 2019. The eclipse will be visible only from South America and the southern Pacific, but its effects will be felt by all of us. You may already be experiencing some disruption or disturbance in the areas of your life indicated by Sagittarius and Gemini in your natal chart. It is important to pay attention to the challenging energy that is arising, and examine where you can improve yourself in order to meet this energy better.
The second eclipse of this set will be on the Guru Purnima full Moon of July 16th. This partial lunar eclipse will be visible from much of the world. It is best to focus on spiritual practices on the days and times of the eclipses, and avoid making any important decisions under stress, duress or confusion. Self-inquiry and insight can lead to some real transformation, however, if you apply yourself to your practices throughout the eclipse season.
We are also approaching the solstice on Friday, June 21st. This will be the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and the shortest day in the South. The Sun is at its most northern course and dominates the days during this time, burning and purifying a lot in its path and offering abundant energy for outward action and leadership. In the south, this may be the most inward time of year, as the darkest day comes with the fewest hours of sunlight. As we follow nature’s rhythms, we may experience our own “peak” of sorts as we reach this turning point in the planetary cycle.
Eclipses are powerful times to receive a Vedic astrology reading, looking closely at yourself and your karma and being willing to work with the planetary energies. You can request an Initial Reading if this is your first reading with me (which will include looking at your life karma and the eclipses), or an Eclipse Reading if we have worked together before.
This month the Full Moon falls in sidereal Libra, opposite an exalted Sun in Aries, on April 19th at 4:19 am PDT. This means the bright waxing full Moon night will be April 18th in most places, and this will also indicate the night to celebrate Hanuman Jayanti, the birth of Lord Hanuman, Lord Ram’s greatest devotee. In addition to this full Moon and holiday, April is bringing some serious alignments, with Saturn, Ketu & Jupiter all piling up in sidereal Sagittarius, and all soon-to-be retrograde.
Chitra/Libra Full Moon
The full Moon will become fully illuminated at 5° sidereal Libra, opposite an exalted Sun at 5° sidereal Aries. With the Sun transiting Aries this month (April 14th- May 14th), our sense of individual power is strengthened by virile Mars’ rulership here. As the Moon waxes into Venus-ruled Libra, opposite this Sun, we are reminded that our individual happiness is nothing if we cannot harmonize with others, specifically those who are most important to us. A Libra full Moon helps teach us to compromise and value the other, while maintaining our center and not allowing our sense of strength to depend on those outside of ourselves.
The Moon will also be aligned with the Vedic nakshatra Chitra, “the brilliant.” Bridging Virgo and Libra, this star-sign helps us to bring physical manifestations into this world with an heir of grace, beauty, and harmony. It is ruled by Vishvakarma, the divine architect, who created the heavens in all their sparkling perfection. This nakshatra is symbolized by a shining jewel, and its animal symbol is the female Tiger, the mount of Durga. There can be great creative potential under this Full Moon, as well as a heightened sexual passion.
Venus Exalted & Mercury Neecha Bhangha
Venus, Libra’s ruler, is currently transiting Pisces, his sign of exaltation. With Venus in Pisces, we have the potential to let our desires come into alignment with the highest good, as Pisces is a place of surrender, ruled by Jupiter. Pisces is also the place of the dream world, fantasy, and escapism, so as the planet of pleasure transits here, there is also the potential to get caught-up in these things. With healthy planetary connections, however, we can utilize this energy to tap into some potent dream-seeds, bringing them into reality as we work with the celestial architect.
Mercury is also transiting Pisces right now, which for him is the place of debilitation. Due to exalted Venus’ conjunction here, however, Mercury’s “neecha” or fallen status becomes neecha bhanga, meaning the debilitation is modified. That means that strong Venus will give some strength to the normally weak Mercury-in-Pisces. Be aware, however, that the nature of Mercury in Pisces is still there. Mercury is our analytical, rational, intellectualizing side, so he’s going to behave rather unpredictably while he’s in the sign of dreams, hopes and fantasy (and your “rational” mind may lead you in a different direction than usual).
Saturn, Ketu & Jupiter: All in Sagittarius & Retrograde
Thus has begun one of the most major transits to look out for during 2019. The conjunction of these three planets is a rare occurrence on its own. Now, granted, Jupiter has only recently transited into Sagittarius, then turned retrograde on April 10th, and will retreat back into Scorpio in a few days, on April 22nd.
The increasing proximity between Saturn and Ketu, however, is highly unusual, in the amount of time that this proximity will last, due to Saturn’s upcoming retrograde cycle. Ketu always moves in “retrograde” motion, going backward through the zodiac as we calculate him. Right now (at the time of the full Moon) Ketu is at 27°43’ Sagittarius (Mean Node calculation), and decreasing those degrees each day, while Saturn is at 26°19’ Sagittarius, and slowly increasing his position.
Saturn is slowing towards a stop, however, before beginning his retrograde journey on April 29th. A few days before this happens, Saturn and Ketu will come within one degree of each other, on April 25th. After the 29th both will be slowly moving in the same direction, “backwards” through Sagittarius, and will remain within one degree of each other for six whole months, until October 1st.
This is going to cause a lot of tension, particularly in the area of your life indicated by Sagittarius in your natal chart. Saturn compels us to slow down, persevere, commit to our goals, and do the hard grinding work that is necessary to reach them. Ketu can also make us slow down, but he often inspires us to retreat from the mundane aspects of life, often renouncing whatever area of life he touches, by natal position or by transit. He brings confusion, and often forces us to let go of things previously held dear.
As these two transit across the sky together, there will be an internal dance between committing to the struggle and wanting to let go completely. To no surprise, sadhana is going to be one of your most helpful tools for elevating the potential of how both of these planets are affecting your life.
This weekend brings a potent festival for upping your devotional practice and attitude, with Hanuman Jayanti on the purnima Full Moon phase this month. Hanuman is the greatest embodiment of devotion, and shows us the incredible strength we possess that emerges from within when we practice great faith, humility, and service. In addition to traditional pujas (prayer ceremony), you can chant, sing, meditate, and especially, find some way to be of service, in order to honor Hanuman on this full Moon. The most fitting mantra/song is the Hanuman Chaleesa.
Marked by the first full Moon after the spring Equinox, this full moon marks the weekend for Easter and Passover as well, which are also determined by the lunar calendar.
Jai Jai Jai Hanuman!
The Sun and Moon come together to begin a new lunar cycle at 1:51 am PDT on April 5th. They will join in sidereal Pisces in the nakshatra called Revati, the last of the 27 star signs of Jyotish. This New Moon brings with it the springtime nine-night celebration of the goddess, known as Chaitra Navaratri. Though often less celebrated than the fall-time equivalent, this holiday is an important counterpart as we recognize the blooming of the life cycle, made possible by the sacred divine feminine.
The Dark Moon will be in sidereal Pisces, at 21°. (If you aren’t familiar with the sidereal/star-based vs. tropical/seasonally-based zodiacs, review my article here!) Pisces is the last of the twelve major signs, and thus relates very much with letting go, especially on the materially plane, and surrendering to spirit or a higher power. Ruled by Jupiter (literally “Guru” or the teacher), the Pisces cycle will help us to get more in touch with our highest values and philosophies. As a water sign, we are also more intuitively driven this month. Your dreams and visions can reveal a lot during this cycle, and inward reflection and meditation can be potent on this Dark Moon (April 4th-5th).
In addition to being in the final rasi, this New Moon is also in the final nakshatra, the Vedic signs that the Moon visits for one moon phase each, each month. Meaning “the wealthy,” this sign brings grace, kindness, and compassion. It is ruled by the deity Pushan, the celestial shepherd who provides nourishment and protection, both to herds (of animals) and also to people on safe journeys. This star often brings a love of animals and people with a natal Moon here often work with animals or have strong relationships with pets. The actual animal symbol is the female elephant, another auspicious symbol in India.
After the Dark Moon night, the first nine nights of this cycle will be the springtime Navaratri celebration, in the Hindu month of Chaitra. The nine nights are a time to get in touch with the Goddess energy, apparent and emergent as we enter the spring season in the northern hemisphere. There are so many forms to the goddess, and she truly offers us an immense well of abundance through all facets of life. This is a good time to get clear on what you are calling in, and trying to manifest with the grace of the goddess by your side.
Recent Nodal Transit
The nodes on all counts are officially transiting Gemini and Sagittarius now, with Rahu in Gemini and Ketu in Sagittarius. This new nodal cycle will last until September of 2020. Whichever houses these are in your chart will be effected, especially around the times of the eclipses, this July, December-January, and next June-July.
Saturn & Ketu
Not only is Ketu in Sagittarius, but he is approaching a close conjunction with Saturn. This could pile up a lot of stressful energy in the area of your life indicated by Sagittarius, unfortunately for most of this year. They’ll be joining within one degree (mean node calculation) at the end of this month, on the 25th, as Saturn slows to a halt and begins retrograde motion on the 29th. Since Ketu is always “retrograde,” the two will then be traveling together through the whole summer, until Saturn turns direct on September 18th, and they finally break their one-degree proximity on October 1st.
How will this affect us? It’s difficult to say exactly because they have somewhat conflicting energies… thus you can expect to feel this type of push-pull conflict in the Sagittarius area of your life. Saturn puts on the pressure, makes us do the hard work to meet our goals, have patience, and endure. On the other hand, Ketu often compels us to throw our hands up and renounce the task at hand, feeling so critical of it that we often want to let it go completely. We can dive into an exploration of this transit over your personal chart in an Eclipse Reading.*
Jupiter & Venus
Jupiter is also joining Saturn and Ketu in Sagittarius now, hovering in the early gandanta degree as he slows to a stop and begins retrograde motion on April 10th. This will send him back into Scorpio on the 22nd. His presence in his own sign of Sagittarius could normally be uplifting to the situation there, but in his current condition he may not be as helpful as usual. The gandanta energy could make him weaker, while the retrograde condition is actually a strength (he will be quite bright in the sky in the coming months). Remember that he is also the ruler of this Pisces new Moon, so this “mixed” stuck/inspired energy could also seep into the general tone of the month ahead.
Venus will be moving into Pisces on the 15th, however, where he is exalted, which could bring some upliftment and more happiness into our lives, though he will also be conditioned by the mixed opportunities that Pisces’ ruler Jupiter offers right now.
*If this is your first reading with me, I recommend starting with the longer life-course reading, which will include a look at the current transits and how these affect you, in addition to your general karma, strengths, and challenges.
This Sunday night brings a full Moon lunar eclipse in Cancer. This eclipse will be visible from all of north and south America, and at least partially visible from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The shadow will create a red hue over the Moon, hence “blood Moon.” The Full Moon peaks at 9:16 pm PST on January 20th, while the maximum eclipse is at 9:12 (with the full eclipse from 8:42 until 9:43 pm). The partial eclipse begins at 7:33 pm and ends at 11:48, west coast time.
Eclipse in Cancer
This is the last of a series of eclipses with the nodes, Rahu in Ketu, in sidereal Cancer & Capricorn respectively, beginning with the total solar eclipse over North America on August 21, 2017. That eclipse was a transitional one, occurring just as the nodes were moving from the Leo-Aquarius axis onto the Cancer-Capricorn one.
With Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn, we have collectively been exploring the dichotomy between emotionality and practicality. Cancer is the sign of the heart, the mother, the divine feminine, and the flow of emotional and literal waters. Capricorn, on the other side, is a sign of practicality, where we stand grounded in earthly responsibility. Throughout this transit we have been called to examine how to balance these two poles, considering when to let the heart run free and follow the flow of our feelings, and when to stay committed to difficult work that may sometimes feel overly structured.
In some areas of life we have seen where we needed more commitment, more structure, and to develop a certain amount of detachment from the emotions, which may have felt exaggerated, intense, or irrational at times during this transit (especially near other eclipses). In other areas, or for other folks, we have observed a need to open the heart more, and let loose on the reins of practicality while allowing the senses guide us more. Overall, it is about learning to blend and harmonize these two seemingly opposites, weaving the right amount of humanity with the work that it takes to be human.
The particular effect of this transit and of these eclipses is (and has been) felt specifically in the areas of life indicated by the houses in your individual chart that fall across Cancer and Capricorn. (Last chance to grab your Free Rahu-Ketu in Cancer-Capricorn Forecast, downloadable bonus for joining my free email list!) Whether it was work vs. home (Aries & Libra), self vs. other (Cancer & Capricorn), or another dichotomy, the nodal transit and eclipses here showed us our blind spots in a particular area of life, and encouraged us to clear out the cobwebs to create more harmony and clarity.
Though eclipses can be revelatory with proper discipline, practice, and self-inquiry, on a mundane level they often throw us off-balance and disrupt the area of life being affected (Cancer and its associated house in your chart this weekend). When the Moon is full the emotions are strong, the mind is active, and the heart is alive, but during the lunar eclipse the shadow energy of Rahu will obscure some of our mental and emotional focus. We can feel confused about the emotions that are arising, or may even lose focus or find it difficult to access the heart. You may feel like you’re “not yourself” during the eclipse.
It’s best to be patient, grounded, and do some type of spiritual practice during and around the eclipse window. If unusual sensations do arise, take mental note or even write them down, and be sure to reflect further on what was revealed after the eclipse has passed. In Indian tradition, it is advised to stay indoors and not eat or drink during an eclipse, so as not to absorb negative energy from the atmosphere.
The Full Moon aligns with Pushya nakshatra, “the nourisher,” within Cancer. Represented by a cow’s udder, this part of the sky brings the potential to nourish others as well as to nourish ourselves from within. With the eclipse here, beware of a sensation of mal-nourishment or loss of vitality, especially if you have your Moon or another planet here. The deity Brihaspati (a form of Jupiter) rules here, as well as the planet Saturn, so consider making offerings to them on this eclipse.
Just hours after the eclipse, Venus will come within one degree of Jupiter, causing a planetary war (graha yuddha) that will last until the 23rd of January. The two planets will be visible in close conjunction in sidereal Scorpio in the early morning, so close that they are understood to be competing for our energy and attention. The things ruled by both planets can suffer during this time — relationships, pleasures, and happiness for Venus, and our idealism and optimism for Jupiter. In particular, both planets rule two areas of your individual chart, so all four areas may also experience difficulty or seem to conflict with each other during the war.
On the 21st, Mercury and Ketu will come into exact conjunction in sidereal Capricorn. People who are ruled by Mercury (Vedic ascendants Gemini or Virgo) should take special care this week, especially of the physical body. For the general populous, the south node joining the planet of the intellect can enhance psychic awareness, but disturbances of the psyche are also possible. Mercury will be quite close to Ketu during the eclipse, and these effects could be magnified.
Please join me and my fellow astrologers on January 25th for a 2019 Jyotish Transit Summit Webinar. We will discuss all of the major planetary transits for 2019. The webinar is free, and you can register through this link.