A person’s natal chart is a snapshot of the transits on the day and time of birth. The qualities of the planetary placements and relationships in the snapshot will be relevant throughout one’s current incarnation. However, there is nothing stagnant about the planets and Jyotish has multiple ways to assess the ever-changing movements in the cosmos. One way is known as “Gochara” which is the study of the current transits as they relate to daily life as well as to one’s individual natal chart.

Transits will affect the entire world, and on the highest level, they can be a reminder that we are all interconnected on planet Earth. The recognition of the unity within each of us is a primary goal of the karma of human life. (I am using karma as concept of work which comes from its Sanskrit roots.)

I’ve been writing, it seems endlessly, about the transit Mars energy which has been strong for the past year. It seems that the energy of Mars is affecting all of us to the point that even a trip to the supermarket can be an unpleasant experience as people seem to be angry and impatient (qualities of our friend Mars).

Mars is now in Leo and should be behaving better because it’s a good sign for our fiery friend. However, currently Mars is being opposed by Saturn in Aquarius which is a home sign for Saturn. Aquarius, like all constellations, has an affinity for various qualities and activities. Aquarius indicates progressiveness, universality, electricity, science, air travel and politics. Saturn is the ruler of this progressive sign, but Saturn can often be a very conservative influence as indicated by his rulership of Capricorn. (All signs, except for Cancer and Leo, share planetary rulership with two signs.) I’ve seen many charts with a strong Aquarius influence who are resistant to change which is a basic quality of human life and those people can often become both intractable and almost regressive. There are many qualities to being a human being and certainly duality ranks high on the list.

The United States has an Aquarian Moon in its natal chart. The Moon is considered the most important planet in the chart. It indicates the mind, emotions, family and, within a nation’s chart, will indicate the people. Our history is filled with the battle towards universal justice and opportunity versus the upper classes who want the power and money to keep the advantages for themselves. It is easy to see the gun violence and awful climate as man-made problems which are the result of the recent decades in which the economic imbalance has grown too extreme. Those at the top of the chain have refused to put the universal good above their own selfish needs and the average American has not pushed back on this trend.

Saturn is the planet of wisdom and truth and when he transits the natal Moon he can be relentless in his teachings. Currently Saturn seems to be forcing us to see the results of the irresponsibility by not allowing the youthful and aggressive Mars influence to cover up the results of prior action by being more active. We are, basically, being forced to look around us as Saturn shuts down our escape routes. Since we are a consumer driven culture it’s challenging to not be able to do what we want when we want. People are angry, people are tired, and people are frightened. Saturn is not trying to destroy our lives. Saturn is really trying to help us gain the will to demand better from our leaders. Saturn is trying to get us to see the world around us and push for better. It is no longer acceptable to be complicit by refusing to see the suffering of others or to be so concerned about one’s own life that one ignores how unbalanced we’ve become as a society and that the suffering of others is as important as our own suffering.

On a personal level this opposition between Mars and Saturn is an opportunity to step outside our ego (Leo) and understand that, sometimes, our own goals or desires need to be put peacefully aside because the world is going through an epoch time. The Leo tendency of looking at life through the ego being transited by Mars can cause anger at how circumstances seem to be impeding one’s own goals or activities. Anger can be transformed into energy if one develops an objective perspective. A more universal perspective can allow someone to shift gears and rather, for instance, than sitting in traffic seething one can use those moments to breathe and meditate. A cancelled flight can bring about a flexibility in going with the flow of change or bring an opportunity for compassionate awareness of those traveling, on foot, from homelands filled with violence or collapsing governments. No, a moment of individual clarity will not change the world, but it can add to the will of the population to push for better.

In addition to the Saturn/Mars opposition Venus is also conjunct Mars. This conjunction has been terrible for the weather and has not helped with harmony in relationships. Venus is one of the planets of creativity and added to the energy which caused a strike by the workers responsible for the entertainment world. Venus is also a planet of knowledge, and this energy presents us with an opportunity to stop ceaseless activity and take time to read, learn a new skill or quietly listen to music. Saturn is relentlessly trying to get us to look inward and learn about the rich and truthful inner self/soul/spirit which is really the essence of humanity.

At these times it can feel as if we are all being kept after school because of the behavior of a few students and this feeling is not without a basis in truth. However, all planets represent an opportunity for growth and Mars will move beyond Saturn (he enters Virgo on 8/18). This might feel like a summer of discontent but there is always a light in the darkness – a light which is not purchased with a credit card. Introspection, compassion, and acceptance of the nature of life are the fruits of times like these because the human spirit is magically content.

These really are epoch times, but they also present a time of maturity meant to introduce us to our spiritual selves. As Kierkegaard writes: “Despair is an aspect of spirit, it has to do with the eternal in a person. But the eternal is something he cannot be rid of, not in all eternity. […]If there were nothing eternal in a man, he would simply be unable to despair… Having a self, being a self, is the greatest, the infinite, concession that has been made to man, but also eternity’s claim on him. You are, as Sartre would say, condemned to be free.”

This upcoming week starts with the New Moon on the 17th at 2:35 pm, eastern time. The New Moon will take place in the early degrees of Cancer. Physical energy for the beginning of the work week could be low.
7/20, 21 – Moon is conjunct Mars, Venus, and opposed Saturn.
7/19-7/21 – The Mars and Saturn opposition will be exact.
7/22 – Venus moves into retrograde motion.
7/24 – Mars begins to move further away from the exact opposition.
7/25 – Mercury enters Leo.
7/26 – Mercury is conjunct Venus. (Venus moves back into Cancer on 8/7.)
7/25,26 – Moon in Libra and conjunct Ketu. This energy can be lifted up by the aspect of Jupiter in Aries.
7/28 – Moon enters Scorpio and is aspected by Mars. There can be an increase in volatility.
8/1 – Full Moon in Capricorn and Cancer.