Friday, July 23, 2010

Astro Weather for the Last Week of July

Jupiter retrograde July 23 - November 18, 2010

Jupiter stationed at 9 degrees Pisces, and began its retrograde motion early this morning in the nakshatra of Uttara Bhadrapada. This lunar mansion has the power to bring cosmic rain, varshodyamana shakti. So watch today's tropical storm Bonnie intensify under Jupiter's station and cause BP to pull out most oil spill personnel until the storm passes. (UPDATE on Bonnie.)

Uttara Bhadrapada consists of two stars, Pegasi and Andromedae which form the two legs of the back part of a funeral bed. Like the myth of Andromeda, it signifies the release of bondage, the release of kundalini, the release of life through death -- the deep sleep of consciousness. The deity associated with Uttara Bhadrapada is Ahir Bhudhanya, the serpent of the deep. Watch the media for stories about what is happening deep in the oceans like today's headline that the Deepwater Horizon alarm system was partially disabled prior to the explosion of April 20, 2010.

Jupiter is the planet associated with abundance, wealth and prosperity, as well as spiritual and philosophical wisdom. So how does a retrograding Jupiter effect business and the economy, or our spirit? The retrograde motion draws energy and intention inward, thus increasing opportunity for soul growth. However in the mundane world, Jupiter retrograde can be a difficult time to start a new business venture. The backward motion doesn't support new projects or material goals. It's not about focusing on prosperity, which is usually the domain of lucky Jupiter, but about being aligned with your integrity, beliefs and destiny. It is a time for reflection, and seeing whether your soul is as prosperous as your work. If you do launch a new business during retrograde Jupiter, you may find yourself giving away services to those in need, which can be a good thing in the long run, but frustrating financially. Today's headlines indicated that the European Economy is stronger than expected, and according to President Obama Legislative Victories Show Economy Is Progressing.

Vedic astrologer Joni Patry has a fascinating theory that the stationing points of Jupiter indicate great opportunity for increase in good fortune, windfalls, wealth, and income to those with natal planets at the stationing degree in all the trine-related signs. For example, Jupiter stationing at 9 degrees Pisces would also stimulate 9 degrees of Cancer and Scorpio.

President Obama's natal Mercury, ruler of the 6th house of enemies and 9th house of philosophy and law, is at 9 degrees Cancer placed in the 7th house of partnership and marriage. Jupiter's station in his 3rd house trines and casts a positive glance to both his 7th and 11th natal houses. There could be a boon to his wife like the recent poll showing that she is ahead of her husband in popularity. There could also be a boon to his other partner, the American people. For example, today the president also signed the long-awaited emergency extension of unemployment benefits. The aspect to his 11th house may indicate he benefits from working with groups or with large corporations. Perhaps we will see him show more leadership skill over the powers that be at BP, as well as refocus our attention on the economy.

Jupiter is a key planet for Barack Obama because in addition to its natal neecha banga raja yoga and conjunction with chart ruler Saturn in a mahapurusha yoga, it is also dasha lord. He began the last antara dasha of Jupiter-Rahu in February which runs until the beginning of his Saturn maha dasha in July 2012. Thus the movements of Jupiter (and Rahu) reflects the potential of destiny and karmic change for the president. For example, when Jupiter entered Pisces in May and conjoined Neptune, the modern indicator of oil, the truth about the extent of the oil spill finally came out and the Obama administration came under fire for blindly accepting BP's cover story.

Neptune is also the planet associated with the sublime and mystical, and when Jupiter conjoined it in May we witnessed another sublime spiral in the skies over Byron Bay in Australia as I posted in June's Astroweather. This past May also found the scientific community abuzz with the this image of Jupiter that clearly shows that some of its banded features had disappeared.

In Sanskrit Jupiter is called Guru meaning "the spiritual teacher" or "guide", so what happens to this planet astronomically may present a cosmic lesson for us to unravel astrologically.

Western astrologers describe Jupiter retrograde as a period in which we should evaluate how we are not being honest with ourselves. This may be played out on a personal or group level. In Vedic astrology retrograde planets are considered to be more powerful and have an internalizing effect. Retrograde planets are also believed to indicate a karmic result and show an influence from the past. Thus when Jupiter turns retrograde we may have the opportunity to fulfill some karmic debt or clear up affairs from the past. By looking at the degree of where it will turn stationary direct in November, we see that it will be at 29 degrees Aquarius, as it was on May 1, 2010. The lessons will be tied to the events that occurred near that time, such as the Oil Spill, the Australian Spiral, and the Disappearing Bands of Jupiter.

Jupiter turns retrograde in the President's 3rd house of communication, so we may see his power of communication change and slow down. For example today's headline on the Huffington Post reveals his attempt to blame the media role in the reactive firing of Shirley Sherrod over allegations of racism that later proved unsubstantiated. He told ABC news "I've told my team and I told my agencies that we have to make sure that we're focusing on doing the right thing instead of what looks to be politically necessary at that very moment. We have to take our time and think these issues through." This call to slow down and act judiciously very much reflects Jupiter's current transit through his chart. This weekend's full moon at nearly 9 degrees Capricorn conjoins the President's natal Jupiter within two degrees casting a bright light of illumination to his powerful dasha lord. Hopefully he will take advantage of this karmic opportunity to make some enlightened changes that he promised in his campaign.

Full Moon, Sunday July 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm pdt

The Capricorn full moon occurs in the nakshatra Uttara Ashada meaning "the latter invincible one". It is known as the "universal star" and gives humanitarian interests. For example, John Lennon, Deepak Chopra, Robert Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln all were born with moon in Uttara Ashada. Barack Obama's chart ruler Saturn and dasha lord Jupiter are both under the influence of this asterism, and as we have seen he often describes Abraham Lincoln as his role model.

Purva means "earlier" and Uttara means "latter". There are three sets of nakshatras that are paired: Purva/Uttara Phalguni, Purva/Uttara Ashada, and Purva/Uttara Bhadrapada. All three of these nakshatras are represented with symbols of beds indicating areas of relaxation, healing, and sometimes death. Uttara Ashada, is therefore, the latter "undefeated" or final victory. Uttara Ashada has ten ruling deities known as the Vishvadevas or Universal Gods. Their names translate into: goodness, truth, willpower, skill, time, desire, firmness, ancestors, brightness and peak. They are benevolent and the guardians of good. Their power is to grant an unchallengable victory, apradhrisya shakti, as I discussed in the election chart for President Obama.

Within the nakshatra of Uttara Ashada is an older, more ancient and mysterious nakshatra called Abhijit. According to ancient Vedic legend, the stars of this asterism, which are located at the end of the Sagittarius constellation and early degrees of Capricorn, point to the battle ground where Indra and the divine forces celebrated final victory over demonic forces. Some ancient texts describe a 28th nakshatra called Abhijit, whose translation also means "final victory." Although scholars differ on it's exact degrees, it is referenced as 0-12 degrees Capricorn. In the ancient classic The Bhagavad Gita Krishna says: "Amongst the nakshatras, I am Abhijit." Is it a coincidence that the blue star Vega that makes up this nakshatra is connected with Krishna who is always depicted with blue skin. Abhijit is considered a light nakshatra that is auspicious for healing, traveling or starting a business.

My natal south node, Ketu, is located in Abhijit which may explain my attraction for this beautiful star. Ancient Vedic texts describe the time when Vega was the north pole star -- between 10,000-12,000 BCE. According to David Frawley, "Vega may be the other point of light which governs life and spiritual evolution on Earth."

Ancient Egyptians refer to Vega as Maat, the great Egyptian goddess who helped souls move from one life to another. Maat may also refer to a place. In the movie Contact, Jodi Foster travels through a wormhole to Vega and visits with her deceased father. According to Wikipedia the Egyptian sun-god Ra came from the primaeval mound of creation only after he set his daughter Maat in place of Isfet (chaos). Egyptian kings inherited the duty to ensure that Maat remained in place and they with Ra are said to "live on Maat", with Akhenaten in particular emphasizing the concept.

Many channeled teachings and ancient legends describe some of the oldest root races that originate from the star system of Vega. According to the legends, survivors of some galactic calamity escaped to Pleiades and Sirius, and eventually established an interstellar portal with the earth. In Energy Blessings from the Stars Virginia Essene describes Vega as beaming gifts of sound healing to the earth. The connection of Vega with sound healing with the Vedic tradition of the flute playing Krishna originating in Abhijit are intriguing. See what music moves you under this full moon.

Aspects to Neptune and Uranus

As we are painfully aware in the US, the BP Oil Spill is the most devastating news headline of the year and is represented astrologically by the Mars(Skanda)-Neptune opposition which I discussed in previous posts. There are some new astrological aspects coming up that may indicate more trouble beneath the seas and abroad.

Mercury, the planet of thinking, commerce, and communication opposes Neptune, the ruler of oil, on July 26, 2010. Although a Mercury-Neptune opposition is not volatile, it does indicate there may be plenty of confusion as to whats going on. On the same day Saturn makes an opposition to Uranus which is in exchange, or parvartana yoga, with Neptune. Saturn-Uranus oppositions can bring obstruction (Saturn) to unique self-expression (Uranus). It may also indicate blocking attacks involving Uranium (Uranus).

But the most intense and volatile aspect of the week is the Mars-Uranus opposition on July 30, 2010, closely followed by a Mar-Saturn conjunction on July 31, 2010. Mars may trigger what Saturn tried to block, or there may be some stop-start quality to events. Western astrology Robert Hand describes the Mars-Uranus opposition in his book Planets in Transit:

Most commonly it makes you strike out rashly against people who seem to have held you back in some way or angered you consistently in the past. Or you may suddenly act impulsively to escape duties and obligations that circumstances have imposed on you. Most frequently this transit signifies the explosive release of tension through sudden anger against someone. . . on the other hand, this transit can represent a time when your efforts to liberate yourself from unnecessary and inhibiting restrictions start to succeed.

Two days later Venus enters its sign of debilitation further inhibiting conciliatory conversations and diplomacy. While it makes for beautiful evening sky watching, Venus will not be up to full power to keep the demons at bay.

So it seems the last week of July may bring an explosive shift to the Gulf of Mexico, or possible terrorist attacks. But the station of Jupiter in Uttara Bhadrapada promises healing and wisdom, and light of the full moon in Uttara Ashada promises final victory. Let's hope these positive forces out weigh and cancel the aspects. Focus on the spiritual wisdom of Jupiter and ask the Vishvadevas to help humanity.


North Korea ramps up threats against military exercises. North Korea "will legitimately counter with [its] powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises to be staged by the U.S. and the South Korean puppet forces," the state-run KCNA news agency said.

UPDATE: Hugo Chávez breaks diplomatic ties between Venezuela and Colombia

Friday, July 2, 2010

July Astroweather 2010

July begins in the middle of an eclipse period. An eclipse is defined as an astronomical event in which one celestial object moves into the shadow of another. Here on earth eclipses of the sun and moon occur in pairs every six months as the north and south nodes of the moon, Rahu and Ketu, align with the full or new moon. The two week period between the eclipses is often filled with dynamic shifts and changes that have an effect on the following six months -- until the next eclipse period. The upcoming week may be intense, dizzying, and eye-opening for many of us as we shift up a notch on our spiraling and evolving paths.

As I discussed in the June Astro Weather post, last week's full moon lunar eclipse in the nakshatra of Mula heralded the opening of the King Tut Exhibit in Denver, with its symbolic display of funerary art. Under the light of this shadow moon, stories of King Tut's missing penis made headlines. Even Stephen Colbert was intrigued by the missing phallus. Besides the sensationalized mystery of why it is missing, it is intriguing because during the lunar eclipse the Sun was in the nakshatra of Ardra, which is associated with the constellation of Orion and the fixed star Sirius. These stars correspond to the Egyptian goddess Isis, and her husband O-Siris, who was also known for missing a penis. Osiris is a god of resurrection and Lord of the Underworld.

Ancient Egyptians viewed the fixed star Sirius as a giver of life for it always reappeared at the time of the annual flooding of the Nile. When the star sank in the west and disappeared from the night sky, it remained hidden for 70 days before emerging in the east in the morning. This period was viewed as a time of death and rebirth. The Egyptians designed their funeral ceremonies to reflect this phenomenon. When an Egyptian king died, his body was mummified, then interred in a pyramid or other tomb. By custom, burial took place 70 days after death, when the king was "reborn" in the stars. As Sirius was involved in this eclipse, it points to the period of its helical rising, July 3 - August 11th, the possibility that a king may undergo burial rites.

During this eclipse period many themes of death and the underworld have surfaced in the media and mass consciousness. It is no coincidence that the vampire blockbuster The Twilight Saga opened the third installment aptly named Eclipse during this time. We also witnessed intense riots and political protests at the G20 Summit in Toronto, where an unusual 5.0 earthquake shook the ground three days earlier. Tropical storm Alex threatened to push the spilled oil into the northern Gulf, but turned towards Mexico instead. The stock market may be taking another dive dubbed a "death cross."

And more frightening discussions of the BP oil spill fulfilling an apocalyptic prophecy with an upcoming event that could cause the deaths of 1.5 - 3 billion people.

Thus the effects of Rahu on this full moon lunar eclipse seem to have amplified the collective fear of our death urge. Rahu is sometimes described as the enemy of the moon, or negative Moon. Rahu as Negative Moon brings negative mental states such as psychosis, paranoia, illusion and trance. My personal experience of this lunar eclipse was a positive one as it effected benefics in my own natal chart. I attended a transcendent yoga class that surprisingly brought me back to the root (Mula) of my essence and that night I experienced significant dreams.

New Moon, Solar Eclipse July 11, 2010 12:40 pm PDT
The next phase of this eclipse period is the new moon solar eclipse on July 11, 2010 at 12:40 pm PDT. July's eclipse is the second solar eclipse of the year, but unlike the January 15th partial Rahu eclipse, this one will be a total Ketu eclipse. In Vedic Astrology Ketu is described as the enemy of the Sun, and as the Negative Sun may bring self-doubt, lack of confidence and self worth, or its opposite megalomania. As opposed to Rahu's affliction of the mind, Ketu can afflict the body. Ketu is a moksha-karaka, indicator of liberation from the cycle of birth and death, and it performs this function through dissolution. Thus we may expect to see sudden disease or cataclysmic events that dissolve the body and bring unexpected deaths; leaders may be less effective to make confident decisions; countries may find themselves dissolving political ties; or a delusional leader may incite a volatile incident.

During this new moon solar eclipse both the Sun and Moon fall in the sign of Gemini in the 7th nakshatra of Punarvasu. The nakshatra Punarvasu consists of two bright stars, Castor and Pollux, above the constellation of Orion. Many ancient cultures saw these stars as twins or lovers, but ancient Vedic seers interpreted them as a "quiver of arrows. And these are no ordinary arrows. Punar means "to repeat" or to "return" and these arrows function like boomerangs, or divine astras, that magically return after fulfilling their function or mission. Their perigee is the moment they hit their target, but that is not the end as the arrow must bring its rewards by returning. Thus Punarvasu symbolizes renewal, regeneration and endless beginnings. What ever we set our intent for under this influence is bound to be a completed mission. So perhaps this new moon eclipse will offer the opportunity for all of us to reach for our magical arrow, send it off with well planned intent of requesting sacred space for movement and abundance to be generated not just for ourselves, but for all earth kind.

This benefic nakshatra is is ruled by Aditi the Mother of a group of solar deities called the Adityas. The Adityas protect against various diseases, and belong to the Devas, a generic term for divine beings. They are: Ansa, Aryman, Bhaga, Daksha, Dhatri, Indra, Mitra, Ravi, Savitri, Surya, Varuna, and Yama. Surya is the deity associated with the Sun and as he is being eclipsed, his energy may not be as powerful during this time. Surya is an indicator of kings and leaders, and this eclipse may be a difficult time for any leader or countries with planets at 25 degrees Gemini. For example, the famous Indian astrologer Gayatri Vasudev uses a US chart with a Gemini ascendant, and we may witness more difficulty for President Obama as his natal Venus, ruler of his 10th house of public life) falls in Gemini in the 6th house of disease and enemies.

Adithi is Sanskrit for "limitless" and thus Aditi is also described as a sky goddess representing the unlimited space of the heavens.

Prash Trivedi writes:

Aditi, or space, is the sinequanon for any motion or movement. If there is no space, there is no motion. . . Just like the space which accommodates all, Punarvasu is very accommodating of people, situations, circumstances, and energies.

The power associated with Punarvasu is to gain wealth or substance, vasutva prapana shakti. So will Ketu's shadow influence dissolve this power, or accentuate it? Or will it yield enlightenment about how unbalanced our concepts of wealth and money are? Will Aditi, a symbol of the earth itself, who grants all abundance and gives birth to all the gods, be eclipsed by Ketu? Will she be able to heal herself, or will she 'quiver' under the shadow of Ketu?

The path of the eclipse usually points to the areas of the world that will be most effected. In this case the solar eclipse will be visible in the South Pacific and southern South America, following a path over the Cook Islands, Tahiti, Easter Island, and finally Chile and Argentina. As Chile suffered a major earthquake 6 weeks after the last solar eclipse in January, it may have experience more earth changes.

The focal point of this eclipse is Easter Island, known around the world as the location of the mysterious giant carvings called moai. Easter Island was also called Te-Pito-O-Te Henua which means "the Navel of the Earth." What could a total eclipse do to this magical site and how does it tie into the mother earth archetypes being triggered?

Easter Island has always inspired wild speculation about UFO's, Lemuria, and vanished advanced ancient races. The legends of Easter Island speak of 'Hiva' which sank beneath the waves as people fled. As the words "Punar" means repeat, and "Vasu" translates as ray of light, Punarvasu is also known as "the star of renewal" and marks the return of the light after the storm. Perhaps we will see stories surface that reveal lost ancient worlds? Or perhaps we will see the return of a cataclysmic event?

Are Eclipses Really to be Feared?
This eclipse is part of Saros cycle 146, repeating every 18 years 11 days. Saros 146 occurred previously at the Total Solar Eclipse of June 30, 1992, and will next occur at the Total Solar Eclipse of July 22, 2028. I remember the 1992 solar eclipse as I was fascinated by how the light shifted. It seemed very gray to me. All my co-workers went outside to experience the event. Instead of looking at the sky, we watched the eclipse in the bizarre shadows cast by the trees.

I was just beginning to study astrology, and wondered how this energy effected our own energetic field and shadows. The following year was one of great change that initiated me on my spiritual path.

Astrological traditions view eclipse cycles as a karmic time periods in which the obscuration of the luminaries brings out psychological disturbances, political unrest, shadow issues, and fear. Historically eclipses have been described in the mythology and literature of different cultures as signs of the overthrow of the natural order of things. The word eclipse comes from a Greek word ekleipsis meaning "to fail to appear" or "abandonment." Quite literally, an eclipse was seen as the sun abandoning the earth. It is unfortunate that so much negativity is associated with eclipses because my recent experiences have found that eclipses bring in profound and evolutionary information.

If we look at the phenomenon of an eclipse, we may begin to realize what is happening beyond an archetypal level. At the beginning of the solar eclipse, the Moon progressively covers the solar disk. Illumination of Earth's surface rapidly diminishes. Even the air temperature falls a few degrees. Seconds before the totality of the eclipse, shadow bands appear.

Shadow bands are irregular bands of shadow, a few centimeters wide and up to a meter apart, moving over the ground. There is a theory that suggests that shadow bands are not just visual events but also sonic, as the moon is believed to move at a supersonic speed, creating various sound waves during the solar eclipse. Sound waves travel 4.3 times faster in water than air, so we can only imagine what effect these sonic shadows bands may have on the waters of our planet, and in our bodies.

The next phase of an eclipse is called the diamond ring phase during which Bailey's beads appear on the solar limb. Bailey's beads are a string of bright beads of light produced by the uneven shape of the lunar limb. Baily's beads make their brief appearance up to 15 seconds before totality. When a single point of sunlight remains, a beautiful "diamond ring" effect is created against the outline of the Moon.

This sparkling signals the arrival of the moon's shadow when the last ray of sunlight vanishes and totality begins. Maximal duration of totality varies from eclipse to eclipse lasting up to 7.5 minutes.

During totality, a luminous white crown of light shines in all directions around the darkened solar disk. A million times fainter than the Sun itself, the full glory of the corona is visible only during a total solar eclipse. Wispy plumes and streamers of coronal light reach out distances up to several diameters of the Sun before they fade into darkness. The sun's corona is much hotter -- by a factor of nearly 200 -- than the visible surface of the Sun. The high temperature of the corona gives it unusual spectral features that have been traced to highly ionized Iron. The exact mechanism by which the corona is heated is still the subject of some debate, but likely possibilities include induction by the Sun's magnetic field and sonic pressure waves from below. I can't help but view the corona as the auric field of the sun, and thus wonder if we can't see other auric fields during an eclipse? Or if we may be able to access astral fields more clearly during this time manifesting in seeing auras or other psychic phenomenon in dream and meditative states.

To me the most amazing thing about totality is that the brightest stars and planets are observable during a time when they are usually blocked by the sun's light. It seems to me that we may receive more galactic information at this time. My teacher used to say that during a solar eclipse, one should take notice of the stars when the Sun is obscured. The stars are the issues that are always there, but can't be seen in the bright light of day. In other words eclipses are opportunities to realize what is present beyond daily vision, and these issues may thus be addressed.

Although this eclipse period promises to be intense, it is important to remember not to get caught up in the drama of any karmic release. Ketu is a moksha-karaka, indicator of liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Ketu can bestow great insight and healing ability, or it may place obstacles that ultimately change how one thinks. It brings spiritual tendencies, ascetism and nonattachment to worldly desires and ambitions, and it balances the materialistic compulsion of Rahu with its impulse to enlightenment. This Ketu opportunity to bring balance is exactly what the earth needs right now.