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Vedic Astrology Highlights Fall 2015 & Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse September 27th

 

We have a Solar and Lunar Eclipse this month.  Here are the Highlights of what is UP.

The Solar Eclipse will occur later this night that I write.  It is partial and will not be visible to us in the USA.  Yet the energy of an eclipse effects the whole planet, perhaps more so where they are visible.

This occurs in the sign of Leo, in the later section of the constellation called Purva Phalguni- it is associated with wealth so there is some buzz in the astrology community about this having impact on the global economy.  Some say the wild ride the stock market just took is indicative of this energy fluctuation.  Particular effects may be felt for 6 months.

Eclipses are considered inauspicious periods to initiate new endeavors.  They are auspicious for spiritual attunement and refinement.  As we know, life often insists we do things in spite of the signs and omens.  Truly, the key is to have a daily practice that purifies your heart and mind in some way.  This is the key to weathering whatever will come.

It is also considered helpful when the solar eclipse happens before the lunar.  We always have eclipses in pairs and this time the lunar eclipse will follow and be fully visible for us in Tucson.  It is quite powerful as it is a total eclipse and the moon is close to the Earth in its orbit- this is called a super moon.  It is also interesting as it happens early in the evening- it will be fully eclipsed around 8pm Tucson time.  Easy to witness and meditate upon.

Again, there is lots of lore regarding everything and it is said that it is not good to be outside during an eclipse- that you are personally negatively affected by it.  But in this day and age, when we are disconnected from so many natural rhythms, I sense it is a remedy; a way to honor the subtle and the shadow element of life, to witness the celestial phenomenon and strengthen our commitment to light.

The lunar eclipse occurs Sunday night, September 27. It occurs in Pisces, in the section called Uttara Bhadra Pada.  It is associated with the flow of water, purification, renewal, and release from long held patterns.  It is the water that smooths the stones.  I hope you get to experience and enjoy this event in some way.

Lunar Eclipse Tucson

Mars in Leo: September 16-November 3

Mars is leaving its 2 month sojourn through the sign of Cancer, which is its sign of debility/ difficulty.

This is a big shift for Mars energy.  In anyone’s chart Mars signifies raw energy, courage, power, brothers, and land.  In the fire sign of Leo the King it regains its sense of being a spiritual warrior.  This is very significant if you are Aries or Scorpio Rising or Moon by birth. You will feel empowered again.

Sun in Virgo: September 17-October 17

The Sun will soon change signs- from Leo to Virgo.  There is quite a bit of intensity in this yearly visit as Rahu is here and Mercury turns retrograde this same day. September 22-24 are very intense Solar days.  Be extra mindful and curious.

Mercury Retrograde: September 17-October 8

Mercury is retrograde in its own sign of Virgo, that is good in ways as it spends more time in one of its places of power and amplifies all kinds of Mercury and Virgo related things:  intellectual and organizational activities, service and healing matters especially.  It backtracks right into the Sun, full combustion, September 29-30. These are days that Virgo or Mercury people could feel inspired yet depleted.  It retrogrades into Rahu October 7-8 and then goes direct.  These could be interesting days for Mercury’s mental energy- creativity and innovation abound.  But be careful with important decisions.  Rahu is a trickster energy!

 

Wisdom speaker Natasha Korshak, will be at Sacred Space with Stephen Pedone accompanying on gutiar Sunday 8/9/15 at 4:15pm

Natasha will explain to us the foundations, guide us, and help us practice Yoga Nidra also known as iRest (not an apple product). This traditional Yoga practice helps heal ills such as anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and PTSD. Yoga Nidra is a simple and doable meditation that reminds us of our intentions and our potential to break through limiting perceptions that generate stress and tension. Natasha’s teaching will also help us understand how this practice can be applied to daily life.

Sacred Space, 3202 E 1st Street Tucson …click for map.

Natasha Korshak is an Interfaith Contemplative Minister, Yoga Teacher, and Director of the Mindfulness Programs of Tucson.

Stephen Pedone is an aspiring accountant, musician and renaissance man.

In the Vedic understanding of macrocosm and microcosm, our connection to the universe comes from within.  The energies of the universe flow through our consciousness and being from the causal to the astral to the physical level.  Therefore, in some ways thinking about astrology as up – as an outer phenomenon – is inaccurate. Chew on that as I move on to the news.

One piece of important news is that Jupiter has changed signs.  Jupiter takes one year to transit one sign of the zodiac.  So we get a different flavor of Jupiter every year.   Jupiter is a general signifier of children, teachers, knowledge and wealth.  Its natural energy is positive, expansive, joyful.  For the last year it was in the sign of Cancer, which is the sign of the moon, mother, emotional nurturance.  This is a powerful transit of Jupiter that only happens every 11 years.

Jupiter has now moved into the sign of Leo, the sign of the sun, father, self-expression.  Cancer is a water sign, Leo is a fire sign.  They are both royal signs, both sattvic signs, meaning when planets are there at birth or by transit- they are inclined towards the good, towards their best nature.  So Jupiter in Leo could be very positive for us all.  It brings some fire to our minds and our visions, it could improve relations with our father or shine light on our issues with masculine power structures.

It always depends on how your personal chart operates, but reflect on the last year- from last July to now- what was the flavor of Jupiter in Cancer?  And envision what it might be this year- something similar but more masculine.  Also, if you want to explore how the planets affect your subtle energy- what was the recent period of July 8 to July 18th like?  This 10 day period Jupiter was passing over a sensitive knot in the zodiac- it can confuse us energetically and bring up deeper issues.  I activated a back injury during the time.  I knew the dates and was attempting to pay attention, but it wasn’t until my back ached and stopped me from doing that I got the real message. Don’t stir the pot, slow down and feel deeper, otherwise you will be forced to listen.  Nothing serious for me, just another reminder of how this subtle energy practice works.

The other news right now is that Saturn is preparing to change course.  It is currently transiting the sign of Scorpio.  It had moved to 10 degrees and then stopped and turned retrograde in mid-March.  Saturn is the slowest visible planet, it takes 30 years for it to transit the entire zodiac, requiring 2 ½ years to transit one sign.  When Saturn moves retrograde, things seem to go even slower.  It can make us feel like we are standing still in some way or losing ground.

Saturn in Scorpio is not an easy transit in general as Scorpio is the sign related to our deepest karmas- in yoga what is called our vasanas- and it is ruled by Mars.  Saturn and Mars are both difficult energies, so in a way the entire transit brings them up against each other in our own being.  Saturn is more an old, withholding, cold, critical energy, Mars is more youthful, brash, hot, and reactive energy.  This is a great time to be looking at this in your life.  What has felt stuck or blocked since March?  How may it be related to a core psycho-emotional issue for you?  As Saturn slows, stops and turns direct July 30-August 4 you have the potential to get new traction.  Things will start to move a bit again, take this time to clarify what is the right direction.

One other briefer planetary happening is Venus is stopping and turning retrograde in Leo, July 25. This intensifies Venus energy for a while. It will also be in exact conjunction with Jupiter in Leo on August 2-7.  When you look up in the night sky, you will see the 2 bright planets merging, almost looking like one bright star.  When planets optically connect like this, we call it a war in Vedic astrology, the 2 energies battling each other.  It can bring extra brilliance but it more often brings dissipation on some level- one energy vanquishing another.  So these are days to simply be extra mindful.  Like I was noting with my Jupiter experience in mid-July.

One final thought about Venus, if you know your chart and you are Taurus or Libra rising or moon, you are more affected by Venus’s transits.  August 11 to 15 are also tricky Venus days.

Hello and Happy New Year!

Here’s the current planetary information for the next several weeks.  Please remember this is all viewed from the sidereal perspective- all planets fall back about 24 degrees from the Western astrology placements.  You’ll hear from me again in early March for great news about Jupiter!

Mars’ long transit of Virgo

If you are Virgo Ascendant or have birth planets in Virgo you may want to pay attention here.  Mars began transiting Virgo in late November and will continue along as usual until February 4 when it enters Libra.  This would be its usual transit through a sign, taking about 2 months; but in this case it will stop at 3 degrees Libra and then move retrograde back into Virgo.  Retrograde motion means that the planet appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac.  This will take Mars back into the middle of Virgo until May 20th and then it will move forward again and through leaving finally July 14th.  This means the whole first half of this year Mars is affecting this one area!

Mars in Virgo is a volatile transit in general. Virgo is the sign related to perfection, our urge for things to be done properly.  Mars here could generate an extra dose of frustration and annoyance about how things and people are performing.  Virgo is the sign of health as well, and Mars here can create health disturbances.  The volatility has to do with the fact that Virgo is a sign ruled by Mercury- which is the spark like energy of our mind.  Mars is like a flame to Mercury’s spark thus, handle with care.

I have Ketu in Virgo and have been watching as Mars just transited the exact point.  Like I tell you to do, I note the dates and watch what arises, both within my body/mind and externally.  The first day of the transit I experienced an intense confrontation with someone I work with.  Even before it started I sensed something was going off.  When it was happening I was also aware of the energy and did what I could to be clear and non-defensive.  When it was over I did a little extra to clear up the disturbance between us.  This was my way of being responsive and proactive and keeping the impact minimal.  In addition to this situation I ended up with extra responsibilities during a meditation retreat I was supposed to simply attend, and then got the dreaded chest flu and passed it on to my husband too!  The good news is that I feel like the transit really escalated my meditation experiences and I hopefully now have my immunity in place for the rest of the season!

Ok, there’s a personal story, but the thing for us to remember, is that Mars now is a warm up for Mars later this year!  If you are curious how this affects your chart feel free to contact me for a check in.

Venus Retrograde

We began the year with Venus moving retrograde back through Capricorn.  It will continue this direction all through January.  When any planet is retrograde its energy is disrupted in some way.  It will express itself in a more obvious and yet unusual manner.  *This same principle applies to Mars retrograde discussed above.   Venus’s usual energy is about enjoyment, pleasure, relationship, creative connection so we could say that while retrograde this month you might explore finding enjoyment in something unusual or that it is a good time to reconnect with something or refine something rather than seek out something new.  If you are Taurus or Libra ascendant this retrograde affects you most- things seem to be going a bit slow.

One interesting moment in the transit occurs at the end, on February 1st Venus will station, which means it stops moving backward or forward, and it will be almost exactly opposite Jupiter in Gemini.  These are both the benefic planets, related to what we desire and cherish in this life,  yet they represent different avenues for fulfillment.  Venus is more about material satisfaction, Jupiter intellectual or spiritual fulfillment.  Some astrologers say this opposition can trigger a sense of opposition in us personally regarding these paths, and also some indulgence.  Last time this transit occurred in November I was with 3 great yoga teachers- and there was some opposition going on regarding their teaching methods!  It was interesting to see it through the planetary lens and it was all fine.  Again, February 1st is the upcoming date, see what it brings you!

Also, note that Venus will move forward from there and be in some of its most auspicious zones for the next several months.  This is good news for Taurus, Libra, Capricorn, and Aquarius ascendants.

My Peter says I should mention my praise for a little Indian restaurant in Tucson.  So here I go- never wanted to be a person who blogged about what they are eating…

Let me back up for a moment and say that I recently met a dear friend at another local Indian restaurant- that shall be nameless.  It has been in operation for many years.  Peter and I had our first meal together there.  The food is decent and the woman who owns it is, well, cranky.  Peter calls her the “cranky lady” and we accept that when we go.  He even enjoys it, being from New Jersey were cranky proprietors are quite acceptable, I am told, if they do a good job with their product or service.

I have not been to this restaurant in a while, and I thought intentionally of going this day to patronize them.  It was cold and rainy and I was early for my meeting.  No greeting or seating was offered so I simply sat down and waited.  Nothing.  I went and found the lady and she was true to form, cranky, when I asked for tea.  Tea was delivered, not particularly good.  My friend arrived and it was expected we would eat the buffet and no service would occur.  We ate, it was decent.  We visited a long while and only once perhaps was there service- she came and removed our plates.  I wanted more tea but was uncomfortable asking.  It seemed like she was annoyed we were there so long but it was pretty empty, so we weren’t taking up valuable real estate.

When I got home I didn’t feel well.  I don’t think it was the food but the whole experience was distasteful.  Why go there at all?  Why feel uncomfortable when I am patronizing her?  Why was it so empty?  Does she treat all of her customers this way?  If so, no wonder there is so little business on an ideal day for Indian buffet lunch.  Was she mad because her business was slow?  If so, this was not helping.  If I was unusually brave and kind, I would tell her what I am thinking- which is I do not feel inclined to come back there.  I would give her a chance to understand the effect her attitude had on me and her business.  Instead I will simply chronicle it for us all to consider- how are we behaving that may be adversely affecting what we hope for?

Now on to the delightful surprise I had at lunch yesterday.  A small restaurant formerly called “Amrutha” and currently called the “Curry Leaf”.  It opened a while ago and we patronized it a few times.  What was unusual is that they served some South Indian food, which is more uncommon- dosas, idili, sambar.  The décor was odd and the food was only alright then, but you could sense there was an Indian family determined to succeed.  With the name change and some renovation and a new menu it felt like a new place, yet the same owner was there which made me happy.  The food was delicious, the service warm and friendly, the prices perfect for a weekday lunch.   Next time I know where I will suggest my friend and I meet for our long visit over our meal.

Try making your mealtime harmonious by avoiding upsetting discussions.  A nicely set table also adds to the pleasure of eating.  So does a smiling face, a cheerful word, a beautiful flower or a picture.  Bless your food, and enjoy it. ~ Indra Devi

I am not going to be overly technical or philosophical here.  It is a big subject, karma.  It is at the heart of yoga and meditation practice, whether we know it or not.  It is very central to the practice of Vedic Astrology, this is more clear.  For some reason, it’s on my mind lately, so I’ll attempt it.

There are of course various teachings on karma that are similar and different. What I will say here will be my own interpretation and contemplation of what I have learned over time.

My yoga teacher Rama often uses an image of a tree.  I thought it was a common image, but after looking for it elsewhere have come to discover that it is not. She draws (a pun!) this interpretation partly out of her study of the Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali- a seminal text of the Yoga Philosophy.

At the base of the tree, the ground and roots, are 2 types of karma referred to as Sanchita and Prarabdha.  Sanchita is the sum total of karma- what we have accumulated.  Prarabdha literally means undertaken, and is the portion of karma we are living out.  These karmas are understood to be “fixed” in that they are happening, in process, for reasons we will never be able to totally rationalize or alter.

This brings up the issue of “fate” which can upset people- but suffice it to say that we all have to admit that there are many things that do fall into this category.  I’ll use myself as an example.  I am white, a woman, born in the USA.  This is unalterable and I did not make a rational decision about it.

The body of the tree depicts the 2 other types of karma, Kriyamana and Agama.  Kriya means action and refers to our capacity to act and create.  Agama refers to the new actions you contemplate, your ideas or vision for the future.  These are the karmas that are more malleable, that we can affect through our free will.

The tree is what we see, what is most obvious.  The roots and the soil are invisible unless we dig.  Yet they are one and the same.  The tree comes from the roots, the roots require the soil.  To get more specific:

Sanchitta Karma is the soil and represents the deep past, the mysterious depth.
Pradabdha Karma is the roots and affects the form and function of the tree, our spiritual DNA
Kriyamana Karma is how we relate to our internal and external circumstances, how we are able to use our free will.
Agama Karma is the vision and intention we hold for future action, the unconscious and conscious seeds that we plant.

I told you I wouldn’t be too technical or philosophical so I want to wrap up on a practical note:    We don’t really know what we are doing here, we don’t know why we have the circumstances that we have- it’s interesting and uniquely human to consider it all and I truly appreciate karmic theory.  This theory says that there are reasons for our present circumstances and we do have the ability to work with the present and affect the future.  What you sow NOW through your thoughts, words, and actions is what truly matters.  As my mom’s guru Goswami Kriyananda says with a little laugh and smile “Attitude is Everything.”

One way I address the Yoga paradigm in comparison to the Western paradigm is to simply say that Yoga never separated mind/body/spirit.  There are many, many, many schools of Yoga, so it is often inaccurate to talk about Yoga as any one thing- but I think it would be safe to say that all schools of Yoga would agree that mind/body/spirit are inseparable and while different focuses can be useful- they are completely interwoven dimensions of our being.

In the West, we separated and compartmentalized these elements more and more.    It began most obviously in the 1600’s, the periods described as the Age of Enlightenment or Reason.  In these times a pronounced separation occurred- particularly regarding the subjects of religion and theology from other fields of inquiry such as philosophy and material science.  There is so much interesting history here, history that very much has modern relevance- but to keep it simple, our Western paradigm does not create a platform that necessarily integrates mind/body/spirit or is comfortable with their associations.

I believe this is why average, stressed out people are often so delighted by yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices.  When they “click”, when they seem to “work”, for people- what they are experiencing is an integrated state that is not fostered in our daily life and not easy to come by accidentally.  Without questioning it too much, thinking about it too much, something happens when we practice that gives us relief and a deeper sense of grounding.

In my teaching I think of this as the spiritual dimension of practice- the transition from a thinking state to a feeling state to an aware state.  I’m not trying to facilitate a spiritual experience, I am simply encouraging you to fully experience this moment as it is unfolding.  Bare awareness.  This is both purely rational and scientific- pay attention to the present moment without reacting to whatever appears in the field of awareness- and a total surrender to the holy mystery.  If I let go of the controls that normally mediate my direct experience, what will happen to me?

While the life of the mind and intellect and the exploration of the natural world can be deeply fascinating and fulfilling, it can likewise be perplexing and exhausting and unreal too.  What Yoga reminds us of through practice and through its holistic perspective is that the mind needs to be connected to the body and the heart and the reality of the present moment. And this moment, when we bring bare awareness to it, is precious and holy and significant for reasons we will never be able to fully explain or rationalize.

The openness to Life Itself that we cultivate frees us from a great deal of conditioning and many inherent, and inherited assumptions…Life is not about answers.  It is about learning to live in the middle of complete uncertainty, and doing so gracefully.

~Swami Chetanananda