We are approaching the first eclipses of 2018.  The Lunar eclipse (Full Moon) is on 1/31 and the Solar eclipse (New Moon) is on 2/15.  As with most eclipses we will notice that the emotions run high and are often accompanied by ungrounded and fearful thought patterns.

These are the first eclipses to take place since the Nodal Points moved from Leo/Aquarius into Cancer/Capricorn and indicate that the energy of 2017 is finally changing and for many of us this is a welcome change.  (The eclipses in Leo/Aquarius took place on Trump’s ascendant and played a role in his election.)  The good news is that we will finally begin to see a change in energy for all of us and perhaps will stop feeling as if we are living in an episode of The Twilight Zone.  It will be more change, of course, which is never easy but at least the energy will not be as stuck.

The Nodal positions (sidereal, of course) are now in Cancer/Capricorn which will influence our sense of financial security and we may begin to see the first signs of the results of the decisions of this administration.  What is really important is that Rahu is in the sign of Cancer which is ruled by the Moon.  In Vedic astrology the Moon is the most important indicator of the quality of the mind.  In America’s chart Cancer is an indicator of the general mind for the population as a whole.  Rahu fosters change and this placement can be viewed as a challenge to all of us to allow our minds to grow in a more positive and universal direction.  Those who refuse to get the message are going to have a difficult time and we should be prepared for emotional and erratic behavior from other people.  Cancer is the sign of family and it is of concern that the fear of change along with the frustration experienced by the changing world will bring additional pressure onto family units.  It is a time to use every tool we have to stay peaceful, optimistic and positive – the dark side of negativity will have to consciously be rejected.

Mars is currently in the sign of Scorpio which is a good placement for this fiery and aggressive planet.  Being in a good position gives Mars power and, as usual, one needs to respect the power of the mighty Mars.  From his position in Scorpio Mars is currently aspecting the signs of Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus and Gemini.  While we should all try to work with the Mars energy through physical exercise, focused thoughts, humor, meditation and using herbs as well as foods  which are anti-inflammatory those with strong planets in the mentioned four signs are strongly advised to make an extra effort.  Mars will also aspect the New Moon/Solar eclipse of 2/15 – we can expect an uptick in aggression.  Mars leaves Scorpio on 3/7.

The transit of Saturn is, as always, an important placement and during the holidays I noticed on Facebook numerous posts heralding Saturn entering the sign of Capricorn which is “factually” simply not true.  Saturn entered the sign of Sagittarius in October and will reside in this constellation for two and half years.  One page belonged to a yoga teacher who was promoting a special class on Saturn moving into Capricorn.

I commented on the factual position of Saturn hoping to start a conversation.  The teacher, who is not a trained astrologer, replied by giving me a link to a page by a tropical (western) astrologer.  As someone who has studied both systems the page itself was meaningless.  I responded to this teacher with an appeal to take into consideration the advances in modern science which allow anyone to know where the current planets are actually located.  The teacher’s response was to delete the conversation and to block me from commenting again.  Of course, I can still see her page as marketing is marketing is marketing. I was not surprised but still disappointed that this woman did not have the desire to consider facts that might not go along with her “guruship.”

I am not someone who feels that she needs to be right and I chose to not contact her privately in an attempt to get her to open her mind or consider the possibility that facts matter.  However, I found myself really annoyed at both her ignorance and arrogance.  She has a rather big audience and it bothers me that she is disseminating bad information to people who are seeking answers to life.  I taught yoga for years back in the days when yoga was not accepted by the majority of people.  It was exciting to see yoga become accepted by the general population.  It was expected by us old-timers that many would see yoga as a means to improve one’s health and a powerful anti-stress system.  We did not expect to see yoga pulled into the world of the “secret” – a system to empower one to gain whatever they desire in the mundane world.  However, I also know that if a person is going to go down the true and centuries old yoga path eventually the gain of the mundane will fall by the wayside as the student learns what yoga is truly meant to be.  This woman, like many yoga teachers, is still young and eventually she will come face to face with the spiritual and esoteric rules of the universe. My concern is how many young people she will influence along the way.

I came to the conclusion that it was not an ego issue that I was experiencing.  Even the arrogance she displayed towards coming off as an expert in a field which takes years to master was not truly bothersome as no one enters the world of astrology for the purpose of ego status as most of us go through life knowing how the majority of people view our choices and our craft.  One enters the world of astrology because of a love for the subject. We appreciate the understanding the planets can bring to making sense out of chaos while giving definition to the “newly esoteric” view of time being non-existent.  The planets do define time even while one argues about the reality of time itself.

What is bothersome to me is that we live in a world which has kicked the dogma of religion to the wayside.  No longer are people kept to certain moral standards because of a fear of hell nor are people afraid of the gossip of church ladies – all of which is a good thing.  However, we have also not made any effort to bring in ethics as a subject matter.  We are seeing a time in which atheists are as angry as those who believe in a vengeful god.  The result is far too many people are choosing cynicism with regard to anything that is spiritual.

As someone who is the grandmother of a beautiful young woman who was raised with the practice of yoga and who had attended countless satsangs and even spent time away from home at ashrams it can be difficult to watch her throw away beliefs because she has come to the conclusion that there is no god and that the feel-good moments of yoga disappoint because she has not become empowered enough to “make” life work the way she desires it to work.  Like others she even attended classes in which she came to the conclusion that karma does not really exist because of the issue of self-empowerment which eliminates the times when life is hard.  As she learns the fallacy of the new systems of powered yoga she throws yoga out of the window as well.

She was also raised with astrology and when she comes out of those cynical moments will come to me to look at her chart.  While doing this will not answer her time-honored quest for spiritual answers it at least gives her a sense of order in the universe and makes the current chaotic shifts on this planet less frightening.  My granddaughter, through the gift of a really good biology teacher, knows that there is a science behind astrology and that in order for it to be considered valid the planets need to be in their true/observable positions.

This is important because there are millions of young people in the world who are smart enough to reject the rewards and punishments of the babysitter god who are not getting truth and facts through our current metaphysical systems.  Until such a time that our society decides to teach some ethics along with real history and factual science we owe it to younger people to speak to them in truth and not to just accept an astrological system which is too lazy to correct the positions of the planets to match the actual skies.   Behind the chaos is an order that is higher than chaos that’s been created by human beings.  Don’t we owe it to our children and grandchildren to, at least, give them the scientific positions of the planets?

As discussed Saturn is now in Sagittarius the sign of the GOP as well as a sign known for being loquacious. Saturn, a planet of truth, has been busy revealing many secrets that were kept hidden during the transit of Saturn in secretive  Scorpio.  Sagittarius is also a sign of the law and we can expect the legal problems of those in power to continue.

Vedic astrology teaches of divisions within each sign known as a “nakshatra.” Each nakshatra is thirteen degrees and will give the deeper meaning of what a planet is working on within each sign.  Saturn is currently in “Mula.” Mula translates as “root” and is often associated with ancestral or deep-seated talents or urges.  A person with strong planets in this nakshatra can have a passionate desire to get to the truth and is good at investigation and research.  This nakshatra is associated with the Goddess   Niriti, the goddess of dissolution and destruction.

Saturn is connected with the first or root chakra located at the base of the spine known in Sanskrit as the “Muladhara” – signifying the root chakra.  Fear and sense of lack of security often lies in the root chakra and Saturn being here can be trying to help all of us move beyond our own fears, our own sense of separation and forcing us to question our own belief systems.  It can be an uncomfortable process but a very necessary one.  Working with this energy can help us release our fears and take responsibility for our own state of being – including our truth and ability to be peaceful no matter what the outside world brings us.

Physical exercise can be helpful especially those actions which work with the spine.  Meditation, as always, is good.  This is an excellent time for massage, energy work and keeping a diary of what it is that frightens us paying attention to the past which may be affecting the now.  Finding our spiritual center and truth can be helpful during this time of living in a culture built on lies.

Saturn will be in this nakshatra until 3/2/18 and really does represent a time of transformation if we utilize the energy in the right way.