The Solar Eclipse will be taking place (depending on location) late on September 12 or early September 13th, and Mars moves into the sign of Leo on September 14th as he finishes his journey through his sign of debilitation. The positive news is that all of this is happening over the weekend, and many will have the opportunity to plan their own activities. This is a weekend to not overload schedules, to not take the words or actions of others to heart, and to not buy into emotion as reality. It is a good weekend to watch movies, ballgames, order in dinner, and take a nap.

Generally, when I refer to planetary positions,I am talking about “transits” which are the location of the planets in present time. Vedic Astrology uses “sidereal” time, and the planetary positions will match the positions as indicated by astronomers and NASA. The transits are important because they affect everyone on the planet in real time. In order to know how they are affecting individuals, it is necessary to be able to place the transits into a natal chart.

There is another category of planetary placements which, in Vedic Astrology, is known as “dasa” placements. This system assigns, based on the Moon at birth, an order and timing during which a planet will become the primary ruler of a chart. The entire system is based upon a 120 year cycle of life, and the planet’s rulership will last for a particular number of years. As medicine advances, it does seem that it will be possible in the future for more people to experience the entire 120 year dasa cycle. At this moment, most of us will not go through the entire planetary sequence.

Nations have birth charts also,and the chart of nations will get to experience the full dasa sequence more than once.America’s birth chart is calculated for July 4, 1776 and,while no one knows for sure the moment the Declaration of Independence was signed, the consensus of opinion based on chart rectification is 6 p.m.This timing shows us that America began its second Mars dasa in the fall of 2008 and that this fall we will be moving into the dasa of Rahu.This is an important change to the planetary energy and, since we are experiencing the final eclipses of 2015 which is(in part)caused by Rahu(the North Node of the Moon),I thought it appropriate to write about this change.

The dasa of Mars lasts seven years, and this Mars cycle coincided with the economic crash of 2008. Mars has an influence over real estate, and it does seem as if the fall of the real estate market was the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” Mars is also the ruler of the 12th house of loss, foreign events, and secrecy. Natal Mars is placed in the 7th house of international affairs along with Jupiter, Venus and the Sun. Venus is the ruler of the 6th house of the military,Jupiter is an indicator of government,and the Sun is the other war-like planet. It is impossible to not take into account the costs of America’s on-going wars along with hidden business and
political deals as factors in the economic crash.

Mars is, as we all know by now, a planet of anger, aggression and impatience. As we approach the end of this dasa, it is hard to deny that, despite the economic progress made since the fall of 2008, we are a country living through a time period in which anger and aggression seem to be the predominant mood. America will always be a country with a fiery and independent nature,and those qualities account for the courage, innovation, and forward movement for which America is known. But, when Mars gets out of balance or too strong, it tends to move more toward destruction instead of construction. It is good to see Mars getting ready to give up his position to Rahu. Rahu is a wild-card in many ways because of the independent, hungry and impulsive nature of the north node of the eclipse points. He is also innovative, scientific, creative, independent, and more universal in attitude. Rahu will be the planet of influence for the next 18 years. In the US chart, Rahu has an influence over the 2nd and 8th houses which are two of the three money houses. Rahu can indicate monetary gain through innovation, creativity and sudden events.

Given that America’s chart has been in existence for two-hundred and thirty-nine years, it is possible to go back in history to see what influence these two positions have had in the past.

The last Mars dasa took place from 1889 – 1896. A bit of research uncovers some interesting parallels to the 21st century Mars dasa. Those seven years seemed to be a time of turmoil, violence, and power struggles. Among some of the events of those seven years are the Johnstown Flood which killed over 2,200 people and the failure of the South Fork Dam, which released 20 million tons of water and resulted in $17 million in damages. It was the first major disaster which called upon the Red Cross. The victims suffered legal defeats in an attempt to recover damages from the dam’s owners. Jane Adam’s “Hull House” was founded as an effort to relieve some of the suffering of the Chicago immigrant population. Voting issues of that time included
the beginning Women’s Suffrage Movement while Mississippi became the first southern state to establish the literacy tests in an effort to deny black people the right to vote. The law did include a rider which allowed white people to be “grandfathered” in and not have to take the test. The very violent Homestead Strike occurred during this time as well as the Pullman Strike. Both strikes were violent and pitted the American worker against both corporations and the government.

The American cotton crop was destroyed by the arrival of the Boll Weevil. Due to the financial failures of the railroads there was a financial panic in 1893. The Mars’ dasa saw the invention of the 1st Slot Machine, McKinley’s war against Spain, and the violence of Lizzie Borden. In addition to Jane Adams working to improve the plight of Chicago’s immigrants, the US opened Ellis Island. America during the last Mars cycle seemed to be angry and broke, and the average working person was at odds with the corporate industrial world. I think it is not a stretch to believe that, like many of us today, Americans were looking for relief of some sort.

Rahu was the dasa from 1896 – 1912, and many changes would take place. The Dow Jones was first published, oil was discovered in Oklahoma, the Klondike gold rush took place, and the first underground subway opened in Boston, MA. The first elevator was installed and aspirin was released by the Bayer Drug Company. 1898 would see a peace treaty ending the Spanish-American War. Rahu is a long dasa and, during his last 18 year cycle, America would create cars, motion pictures, indoor lighting, and a changing world based upon a new level of the industrial revolution.

Rahu is an influence of change, innovation, science and freedom. I expect that just as Rahu began to change the world with the discovery of oil, we can see many changes and opportunities in the new form of energy for the 21st century. Rahu does not respect boundaries and, over the next 18 years, the “international” world will become more important as nativism begins to recede. It will be a time of change and surprises, but as long as one doesn’t try to cling to the old, there is no reason to fear the worst and every reason to be relieved to see the energy of Mars get replaced by the energy of Rahu.

Of note is that the dasa which is active upon birth always leaves an impression upon the life of the person or entity with the chart. America had the Rahu dasa active on the day of the birth of America, and Rahu will always be a primary indicator of America’s destiny. Rahu is also one of the primary indicators of karma and therefore the karma of America. Rahu demands growth,freedom, creativity, and innovation as hallmarks of the changes he brings. Certainly, with Rahu as the dasa ruler, when America freed itself from the English Empire it became a force for world-wide change.

Rahu in mythology was known for stealing the “Nectar of the Gods” for himself. The nectar of freedom is something that will never leave the American DNA. Now that we are leaving the trials of Mars, let’s look forward to, at the very least, less anger in ourselves and America. We are already in the midst of change and have no reason to fear the changes being brought to us by Rahu. We can work to drop our belief that there are not enough resources for everyone and the false narrative that “others”are taking what is ours or causing our own problems. America will always be a bit on the wild side due to Rahu,but it is always capable of reaching its ideals and helping each of us taste the nectar of life.