JOURNAL

FROM EQUINOX TO EQUINOX:
The Celestial Forecast
March 2022 

By Marianne Jacuzzi, M.A., Jyotish Visharada and Jyotish Kovid CVA, E-RYT-500

With the Vernal Equinox, the brightest quadrant of the year commences. Jyotish teaches us to live according to the rhythm of cosmic time, which ordinary clocks and calendars do not accurately portray. Solar and lunar cycles govern all life on our planet. Along with the other planetary and sidereal cycles, they measure time, the medium through which subtle reality, our karmic root, manifests into form. Rahu and Ketu, whose trajectory joins Sun and Moon into a single expression, speak in particular to the astral dimension of our existence.

As days stretch longer than night for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, expanding light awakens the slumbering Shakti inherent in every life form. Blossoms burst forth from bare branches, birds sing, grass grows tall, and those of us tuned to these cycles of eternal return feel in our bones the rapture of sunshine, the exuberance of new beginnings. When vibrating at its highest frequency, Surya is divine, indicator of the Atman. The constancy of the Sun’s movement round the zodiac denotes Divine Intelligence, which pervades everything. It represents Transcendent Stillness out of which the shifting patterns of embodied existence in all its multitudinous tones and shades take form. Yet not just Surya, all grahas are in fact divine when vibrating at their highest frequency. Parashara teaches that the nine grahas incarnate out of the body of Lord Vishnu. It’s important to keep that reality in mind as we look at the celestial landscape and consider what the current alignments might portend for mundane existence, particularly at this time of massive change for our planet. 

I also like to look at the birth chart of the president or ruler of a country, because his or her chart and dashas frequently affect or even mirror the karma of the country. Then, look at the chart for the country itself, if you have a legitimate time the nation was signed into existence.

 

THE BACKGROUND 

Three karmic features already ripening will continue to influence the months ahead. They form a backdrop against which new alignments interact. Powerful karma set in motion reverberates through time even after the intensity of the initial karmic pattern subsides. Context matters.

First of all, the Saturn-Jupiter Conjunction in Capricorn from March 2020 to November 2021 continues to echo into 2022. This mega-event marked a major turning point in history. Even though Jupiter has moved out of extreme weakness, Shani remains unyielding in Capricorn for most of 2022, reinforcing what the Conjunction initiated. Those aftereffects and the power of the earth element remain an undercurrent theme this spring and beyond. Though an elevated Shani bequeaths the highest wisdom, when vibrating at a low frequency, Saturn manifests a particularly cruel flavor of tamas—myopic to anything beyond the gross levels of material existence. These past couple of years, some of the most regressive qualities of Saturn have manifested across the globe. An epidemic of fear has spread through the populace, and power structures around the world have capitalized upon the opportunity to enforce unprecedented levels of control, coercion and repression. Fear and control are classic themes of Saturn. 


In the big picture, the Saturn-Jupiter Conjunction of 2020 marks the midway point of the 120-year cycle of those Conjunctions occurring in earth. Earth—with its more secular and material concerns—dominates our era. Multinational corporations will continue to grow in power, their involvement with government bodies becoming tighter and more covert. When overwhelmed with fear and anxiety, Saturn reacts with ironclad attempts at control, rigidly enforcing safeguards for an elusive security, which merely generates more fear.  We’ve seen this happen recently with censorship, the de-platforming of “misinformation”, and vaccine mandates usurping individual liberty. Mercury turning retrograde in earth signs throughout 2022 provides fresh momentum for these earth themes. Yet  flashes of sattvic light counter to the general zeitgeist will also punctuate the months ahead. Windows of opportunities open, with the potential for personal transformation and much volatility on many fronts.

 
Secondly, the Venus-Mars Conjunction that began in early January in Sagittarius remains an influence in the heavens until May. On 13 February, Mars and Venus formed an exact conjunction at 20° Sagittarius. They moved together into and through Capricorn, forming a planetary war (or nearly) until mid-March, when they began very slowly to separate. However, they reside together in Aquarius until late April, and in May meet again in Pisces mid-month. Thus, for nearly half the year, this conjunction holds sway. Mars and Venus together create a heady cocktail of passion and desire, which will heighten romance for certain individuals, depending upon their charts. But for the world at large, and against the earth theme already entrenched, a different flavour of passion could explode. Mars the warrior is exalted in Capricorn, and together with Saturn forms a formidable force for contention, overpowering the conciliatory quality of Venus. Enflamed by the ardour of Venus around various ideals, Mars could erupt into violence. Fervent beliefs inspired by nationalism, patriotism, religion and politics have polarised nations. These tension spots both within and between countries become volatile under this conjunction—and primed for something worse later in the summer (more on that below). 

 

Finally, the Kapa Sarpa Yoga that began mid-December 2021 and continues until 24 April 2022 portends uncertainty and surprise, as the erratic energy of the Nodes remains prominent.  Even though every fortnight Moon breaks the Kala Sarpa Yoga, no real stability returns because Chandra by nature is changeable, impressionable and fluid. Throughout the two weeks that Moon sojourns alone through the empty half of the zodiac, he receives direct aspects from the other grahas, one after another in quickly changing succession, each a sharp sudden trigger for something. Individuals should expect shifting moods, highs and lows, ambiguity and confusion. As always, the antidote is sadhana, which raises our vibration and so elevates the grahas as they impact our lives according to the karmic blueprint our chart portrays. However, the potential for something cataclysmic happening in the world during this period remains a distinct possibility. 

MARCH - APRIL: MORE DRAMA

Against this backdrop of karma coming to fruition from these three powerful configurations, dramatic moments in the celestial weather ahead will emerge. 

The first one occurs on 1 April, with the New Moon in Pisces at 6:24 UTC +1, at 17°21’ in the nakshatra of Revati. New Moons signify beginnings; they set a theme. Still in Kala Sarpa, the Nodes are liminal, straddling the cusp between constellations. Although their nakshatra placement is invariable, a True Nodes calculation shows them already in Aries and Libra, whereas the Mean Nodes have them still in Taurus and Scorpio.  Either way they’re hovering over a border, so even more unpredictable as harbingers of destiny. Likened to serpents, Rahu and Ketu can inflict venom or release amrita—both of the astral variety because that dimension is where the Nodes mainly operate. All things need to break apart before they can be made new, and the Nodes can cut to the root. The potent alignments at this New Moon indicate the quality of energy generated to a lesser degree by the entire Kala Sarpa, with its aftereffects echoing into early summer.

Rahu is in Krittika and Ketu in Vishakha, with the other grahas travelling towards Rahu. Krittika means “the cutters”, indicating the power to cut away whatever is obstructing the flow of life. Its deity is Agni, so suggests purification by fire as well. This medium emboldens Rahu, who personifies raw desire, intensified here by a fiery aspect from exalted Mars, who reinforces him with courage, drive and will-power. Vishakha, where Ketu resides, partakes of the dual essence of its deity, Indra-Agni. King of the gods and god of fire impart incandescence as well as a mighty force for battle. As divine warrior, Indra rides an elephant and carries a thunderbolt to demonstrate the power of truth. Since Ketu possesses an inherent sensitivity to subtle energy, he gains here the potential for arrow-sharp insight into the true nature of things, enhanced too by a brahmin influence he receives from Jupiter’s aspect. Naturally fiery, Ketu adds confluence to the possibility of purification by fire that this alignment suggests.

In the natural zodiac, Aries and Libra are the First and Seventh Houses, forming what’s known as the axis of truth, where the Nodes will be by 12 April, no matter the calculation used. This Kala Sarpa could trigger a reckoning around obfuscations and deceptions in places high and low. As the Nodes sojourn through those signs, and particularly in Krittika and Vishakha, think purification and surgery—a rectification of justice and cutting away of disease both literal and metaphorical. Certain truths could come to light—possibly around the origin of the virus and various anomalies of the pandemic and government lockdowns. 

At this New Moon, both indicators of mind are afflicted, Moon obviously because dark and Mercury because reaching his exact point of debilitation at 15° Pisces precisely at the New Moon. With powers of perception and discernment both obscured, wrong judgment is a distinct possibility. Areas of the planet experiencing confrontation could erupt more ferociously. For instance, the Russian-Ukraine conflict could escalate further, American and Chinese hostilities could intensify, and the polarization of society within the USA and much of Europe could become violent, with resistance against government restrictions becoming more heated. New conflicts could also surface in surprise locations, particularly as the larger East and West divide becomes mobilized.  

Yet at the same time, a dark moon enhances introspection and Mercury debilitated promotes “thinking outside the box”.  In Pisces, the discerning intellect of Mercury encounters the unquantifiable, the cosmic realms of pure undifferentiated consciousness—dissolving and expanding into the infinite. Mercury finds his footing in this strange medium by surrendering to it, untethering analysis so imagination can roam. Albert Einstein, a famous example of someone with Mercury in Pisces, said “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”  None of his discoveries, Einstein claimed, came through rational thought. Paradoxically, what portends a potential disaster also becomes a window of opportunity for spiritual advancement. This New Moon in particular is a time for deeper sadhana. Divine grace flows from the vast oceanic waters of Pisces. 

Other alignments at this New Moon reinforce both its intensity and the dual nature of its effect going forward. Two powerful yet opposing configurations indicate conflict in the heavens. Saturn in Capricorn forms a tight conjunction with exalted Mars. Two challenging planets, both super strong yet inimical to each other, form a knot of contention, residing less than 3 degrees apart. The aggressive fire of Mars confronts the phlegmatic wind of Saturn. When vibrating at low frequency, Mars inclines to anger and violence, Saturn to worry, fear and anxiety. This is the energy that could tip the world towards something explosive. Meanwhile, Saturn from Capricorn casts his dark aspect upon the Sun-Moon-Mercury conjunction in Pisces. 

Yet in counterpoint, Jupiter and Venus come together in Aquarius, forming a synthesis of grace and light. Though neither is strong by placement and the conjunction is not tight, their auspicious qualities still blend. Jupiter is sattvic and brahmin, whereas Venus is rajas and brahmin—so the priestly nature they both contribute manifests with both purity and force. Since Jupiter from Aquarius aspects air, Ketu in Libra (according to the true nodes calculation) receives that benefic gaze from the guru of the devas.  Both headless and elevated, Ketu indicates transcendence, by nature not involved in the world. Yet here he receives an energizing influence not just from Jupiter’s graha dristi, but also by rashi dristi from BOTH Venus and Jupiter, because Aquarius and Libra aspect each other. This galvanizes Ketu towards truth-seeking in the world, even as the two brahmins receive an inspiration for transcendence from Ketu. These elevated alignments suggest just how much grace the volatile energy of this configuration could unleash!

Yet its counterpart could also be true, since the Saturn-Mars Conjunction is inherently strong, and Saturn from his tight conjunction with Mars ALSO aspects Ketu, injecting the headless one with a bit of that turbulent amalgam of fear and violence. The conflicting forces of all these alignments show just how volatile and intense the energy will be. It reaches a pinnacle at the New Moon in Pisces, but will characterise the weeks and months ahead as well. 

April promises much drama. Shortly after the New Moon, on 4 April, Mars and Saturn form an exact conjunction at 28° Capricorn, Mars’s precise degree of exaltation. The planetary war their proximity creates will be particularly antagonistic. At the same time, Mars casts an exact aspect onto Rahu, who sits at 28° Aries, where Mars, as lord of that fiery rashi, disposits Rahu. And Saturn’s aspect onto Ketu in Libra is also exact, at 28°. The four most malefic grahas all strong and tightly conjoined generate a formidable force for disruption, which could launch fresh fuel onto the tension spots in the world already well-inflamed. In the charts of individuals, this energy could also erupt forcefully (or not), according to the specific chart details. Awareness of this energy going into early April will go a long way towards mitigating it. Avoid situations of conflict and purify your environment with elevating mantra. And wait. The energy shifts quite soon.  

On 13 April, Jupiter moves into Pisces, where he is lord. Finally this most benefic graha comes into significant strength, where the higher knowledge, ethics and good fortune he signifies find expression in mystical Pisces. As dual water, Pisces represents the subtle cosmic realms, diffusive, ubiquitous, infinite. As the natural Twelfth House, it’s a moksha bhava, and jala indicates moksha, because in water all eventually dissolves, just as every jiva soul, in the fullness of time, merges into the Absolute of Brahman. Jupiter expands, and coming into Pisces he expands consciousness—to whatever degree the lens of perception, read from the Moon, will allow. Jupiter’s transit to Pisces marks a major shift in the celestial landscape for 2022, a turning point offering much grace, though modulated according to other alignments that will offer either support or challenge.  

THE PANDEMIC

The day before Jupiter enters Pisces, the Nodes move onto the Aries-Libra axis according to the Mean Nodes calculations. So by mid-month, the second major shift for 2022 is complete.  This new landscape, as well as some of the energy preceding it, indicate an end to the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

With a confluence of healing alignments that actually began in early January, the potency of the virus will continue to abate. From early January to early March, Jupiter passed through Shatabhisha, a nakshatra whose shakti is the power of healing and whose deity, Varuna, possesses among many things water that is amrita: the divine nectar of immortality, which is the medicine of a hundred mystic physicians or a hundred lotus flowers. This spiritual medicine, stepped down to the material plane, sustains physical health. So Omicron overtook Delta, sweeping through the populace and boosting natural immunity. The inevitable new variants should prove to be even less lethal. 

Jupiter entering Pisces on 13 April adds momentum to this trend. And then on 28 April, Venus also enters Pisces, his sign of exaltation, which uplifts even more. On May 1st these two brahmins form an exact conjunction at 3°49’ Pisces. With Jupiter at home and Venus exalted, this window of grace and light will be extraordinarily powerful, not just in attenuating disease but in illuminating darkened minds with faith, hope and devotion to the Divine. This sublime amalgam of light will elevate the entire month of May. Venus reaches his exact point of exaltation on 18 May.  Though Jupiter remains steadfast in Pisces until April 2023, his 2022 conjunction with Venus is short-lived. Use wisely that brief but auspicious interlude when harmony will grace most every endeavor. 

More healing emanates from Venus’s entry into Aries on 24 May. Until 5 June, he sojourns through Ashwini, whose deity, the Ashwini Kumars are the celestial physicians, with regenerative power that stimulates prana flow, growth and renewal. Venus coming into this healing nakshatra is particularly significant, for Venus as guru to the asuras possesses the mantra of immortality. He is capable of raising the dead, and so signifies vitality, health and fertility—everything that nourishes life. This will augment even further the healing momentum that began in January. We should see significant relief from the covid crisis this summer. 

THE ECLIPSES: MAY 

The celestial drama continues throughout May with a solar and a lunar eclipse. As eclipses cast shadow over the luminaries, they suspend the rhythm of orderly time. Shiva’s drum skips a beat; his cadence shifts. As Hamlet says, “The time is out of joint”. And that interlude triggers volatility, like the jolt of an electrical shock, though what ensues depends upon the planetary alignments already formed in the heavens. Fortunately, this May provides a particularly auspicious landscape. On 30 April, a partial solar eclipse occurs at 16° Aries, in the nakshatra of Bharani, with Rahu set apart a good 12°. By this time, Mercury at 6°39’ Taurus has already broken the Kala Sarpa Yoga, a harbinger of increasing balance, to be reinforced by Mercury’s retrograde cycle in Taurus from 10 May until 2 June. As Venus’s home of stable earth, Taurus signifies fertility. Mercury’s long sojourn in Taurus will contribute to the life-enhancing energy generated by this solar eclipse, particularly as his retrograde phase is in the nakshatra of Krittika, where both fire and sword suggest the cutting away of all that obstructs the flow of life, and afterwards moves into Rohini, the quintessential nakshatra of springtime and new life. Though eclipses obscure the light of the luminaries and so signify sudden shifts in the celestial energy, they don’t necessary portend doom.

This solar eclipse in particular promises some much-needed expansion of celestial light, stimulating growth and abundance, expanding awareness, and opening hearts. Just as the Moon’s shadow covers a part of the Sun, Jupiter and Venus, the two most benefic planets of light, form their exact conjunction in Pisces, becoming perfect just hours later on 1 May. Their graha yuddha phase will be benign, since the medium of Pisces uplifts them both. At the same time, the Mars-Saturn conjunction has receded in strength. It has moved to Aquarius, with Mars no longer exalted, Saturn weak at 0.05° and inherently lighter because operating through air. And the orb between them is much wider also. It’s significant that the eclipse happens in Bharani, whose deity is Yama, god of death, and symbol is the Yoni, the chalice of conception, of new life. A powerful energy of transformation will be released this May, clearing away old forms and birthing new realities. As always, how the energy manifests for individuals depends upon their birth charts, but for most people, the expansive light of Jupiter and Venus conjunct in Pisces, though obscured momentarily by the shadow over Surya, brings exhilaration, inspiration and a spirit of rebirth so needed after the last two years of confinement and contraction. 

An additional surge of luminosity occurs just days later. From May 2nd to May 4th, Sun, Moon and Venus will all be exalted, with Moon’s exaltation at 3° Taurus occurring May 2nd at 6:10 am UTC +1. Then in the early morning of 3 May, Moon enters Shukla Tritya, the third tithi of the waxing Moon. When this tithi coincides with Sun and Moon’s joint exaltation, it’s known in India as Akshaya Tritya, considered one of the most auspicious days of the year. Akshaya means “never diminishing”, and so promises prosperity and good fortune for everything initiated on this day. In India, it’s traditional to buy gold on Akshaya Tritya, for its intrinsic value symbolizing sattva and its ability to appreciate over time. This year, an exalted Venus belongs also to the configuration, contributing even more light and grace to Akshaya Tritya. All the emotional bonds that connect us to loved ones will receive nourishment from this added boon. 

A fortnight later, a total lunar eclipse occurs on May 16th at 4:12 am UTC +1. It has a rather unusual configuration, with the eclipse points straddling constellations, a liminal effect creating ambiguity and uncertainty. Rahu and Ketu reside at the end of Aries/Krittika and Libra/Vishakha, at 28°12.  Though Sun and Moon are also in Krittika and Vishakha respectively, by sign they’re at the beginning of Taurus and Scorpio, just past 1°. Moon is debilitated in Scorpio, very close to its deepest fall at 3°. In Taurus, Mercury is retrograde and also combust the Sun, though with an orb of 8° so not the tightest. With Mercury and Moon both afflicted, mid-May is not the time for major decision-making. Both the ability to perceive clearly and to discern astutely will be obstructed by murky shadow. However, it’s a quickly passing phenomenon, and in general, this lunar eclipse will reinforce the energy released by the earlier solar eclipse. Though a wider orb separates Jupiter and Venus in Pisces, they are still together, and Venus is very close to his exact point of exaltation, albeit contained with Jupiter in a papakatari yoga, which diminishes somewhat the sattvic light of the two brahmins. In Aquarius, Mars and Saturn are as far apart as possible, with Saturn less than 1° and Mars over 29°, just about to move into Pisces. With auspicious alignments dominant, May is the month to move forward with any project you hope to launch, avoiding only the few days around the eclipses. May is the time to recommit to sadhana, and in particular to draw from the abundance of nature, where expansive light is stimulating all life forms to flourish and blossom. The energy shifts dramatically later in the summer, so it’s wise to fortify and be prepared.

STORMS BREWING: JUNE

By the end of the month, Venus has moved on into Aries, aligning with Rahu, and Mars has joined Jupiter in Pisces, where on May 28th they form an exact conjunction at 8°. Though the energy will be strained for a short while as they remain in planetary war (less than one degree apart), their synergy is basically positive, with Mars galvanising Jupiter towards courageous action and Jupiter orienting Mars towards justice and righteousness. This conjunction will give momentum to all those struggling for truth, individual liberty, open debate and ethical causes. Both within and between nations, in communities, families and relationships, the struggle to rectify injustices will gather intensity, inspired by this alliance between the warrior and the enlightened judge. Yet as is so often true in conflict, opposing individuals each believe they hold the ultimate truth. What begins as spirited division could become major confrontation later in the summer when the malefic planets come into prominence. 

On 4 June, Saturn turns retrograde, and so becomes even stronger. In Aquarius since the end of April, his aspect onto Rahu and Venus in Aries as well as the papakatari he forms with Rahu around Pisces become more ominous. By the Full Moon on 14 June, Rahu and Venus are a degree apart in Aries, contained by both a papakatari and shubakatari yoga, with Jupiter and Mars in Pisces and Sun and Mercury in Taurus.  Once again, a precarious balance emerges between confrontational and conciliatory forces. Moon in the last degrees of Scorpio, the most unstable gandanta point of the zodiac, adds confluence. 

Moon is manas, the highly impressionable lens of consciousness that modulates our perception of reality. As Moon crosses the bridge between water and fire, profound insight into the cosmic realms can orient manas towards moksha— or disaster can ensue from wrong judgment. Mars’s aspect upon Ketu is also tighter by mid-June, within a 5° orb. As the heat of high summer builds, so will tempers. Certain individuals will experience this more than others, and the area of life affected depends upon individual charts. But the tension spots in the world, already sparked earlier in the year, could ignite. Extreme weather is also a possibility, particularly floods and fires. Then at the end of June, when Mars moves home to Aries and into conjunction with Rahu, the volatility taking shape becomes even more intense.

MARS-RAHU CONJUNCTION: JULY-AUGUST 

On 27 June, Mars enters Aries, just a day before the New Moon in Gemini. Once again, New Moons signify beginnings. And this one portends a hot and contentious July and August. Though Jupiter remains uplifted in Pisces, retrograde Saturn in Aquarius and now both Mars and Rahu in Aries contain him in an oppressive papakatari yoga. In addition, Saturn aspects Mars and Rahu in Aries, and these three malefic planets all aspect each other through the rashi dristi between Aries and Aquarius. It’s a tight knot of instability with lots of confluence. The obsessive desire of Rahu aligns with the aggressive fire of Mars, and both of them receive Saturn’s controlling gaze, where the medium of fixed air (Aquarius) has him entrenched in stubborn, unyielding ideologies.

 

Saturn’s sojourn into Aquarius this summer is brief, a preview of what’s ahead for next year. By 12 July, he’s back into Capricorn, reinforcing once again the earth themes prevalent since 2020.  Though his return to Capricorn breaks the papakatari, it does not lessen his influence. From Capricorn, Saturn aspects Pisces directly, casting shadow upon Jupiter’s luminosity.  And he also aspects Ketu in Libra, imbuing the headless one with saturnine inclinations. The four great malefic planets are thus all connected, and they all reside in chara (moveable) signs as well. That signifies momentum for all they indicate. Once again, the hot spots in the world will be extremely vulnerable, and in general the dismantling of old forms, of assumptions, of predicable patterns will receive a fresh surge. Though some might proclaim doom and disaster, the energy for transformation—which implies a necessary breakdown first—will be heightened. Interestingly, this challenging alignment begins to form around the time of Karka Sankranti, Surya’s ingress into Cancer, shortly after the summer solstice. It’s Dakshinayana beginning, the season of diminishing light, a time to draw inwards, relinquishing worldly preoccupations and focusing upon the inner light of transcendent awareness.

 

The New Moon in Cancer on July 28th heralds this shifting energy. Surya and Chandra reside together in Pushya, a most sublime deva nakshatra, auspicious for everything except marriage. With the shakti to generate spiritual energy, Pushya nourishes growth on all planes of existence. Like a flower blossoming, it signifies opening to the perfection of the divine. Mercury also resides in Cancer, slightly combust and sojourning through Ashlesha. So discerning intellect, unsteady from Surya’s heat, is drawn into the rabbit hole of serpent power, where wisdom and venom coexist in delicate balance. Jupiter's aspect upon Cancer tips the scales towards wisdom, albeit attenuated by Saturn’s gaze upon Jupiter, at least for the worldly-minded. For paradoxically, Shani’s shadow transmutes into transcendent light when worldly attachment recedes.

 

That brief window of grace is both precarious and short-lived, so be ready for making the most of it. On August 1st, Rahu and Mars come into exact conjunction at 24° Aries, a most intense alignment. Mars is heated from just having transited the 16° point of the April solar eclipse, and Rahu is heading towards it, so both of them are extra intense as they come into planetary war. A Rahu-Mars Conjunction, sometimes referred to as the “car crash yoga” signifies sudden cataclysmic fireworks. The malefic energy that’s been gathering since June comes to a dramatic pinnacle with this Conjunction, spinning off aftereffects that will reverberate into the autumn. In addition to the force of Rahu and Mars aligning, retrograde Saturn and Sun are in opposition, which creates more sparks. Saturn’s aspect upon Ketu is tight, just 4°. And Jupiter is retrograde, having stationed and altered course precisely at the New Moon on the 28th of July. Retrograde planets signify (among other things) past life issues. And this Conjunction will bring a reckoning around the massive changes of the last couple of years and their deeper significance.

WHAT NEXT?

Both individuals and nations have lessons to learn.  Throughout history, warring factions have wreaked havoc on themselves, on society, and on their environment. Fuelled by greed, rigid ideologies and fear—all expressions of avidya—aggression inevitably brings nothing but misery. Though a Rahu-Mars conjunction doesn’t necessarily precipitate war, its placement in fiery Aries with Saturn rousing Ketu and dampening Jupiter signifies the potential for more battles this summer. Opposing forces are already in position—with nations divided over vaccines and government restrictions, with nations confronting other nations over issues of sovereignty, and with humanity at large engaged in a long-standing, insidious war against nature, manifesting as global warming, soil depletion, and the extinction of species. Individuals also face struggles, with relationships, jobs, finance, and all the other areas of life.

 

But most of all, and with varying degrees of awareness, the internal battle within individuals rages on, the one which the Bhagavad Gita portrays with Arjuna on the battlefield, paralyzed by the dilemma he faces. Instead of vast armies, Arjuna chooses Lord Krishna himself as sublime teacher, who awakens him to the eternal truths of Non-Duality, culminating in Arjuna’s Divine Vision. As allegory, Arjuna’s struggle portrays the journey of everyone—through incarnation after incarnation into this school we call planet earth. Particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic, many face conundrums in their life path. For those ripe to hear, the inner voice of Lord Krishna becomes clearer, stirring up inner conflict as the path of radical departure from the known world and all its assumptions opens up.   

 

Fireworks on any of these fronts could erupt this summer—with powerful lessons to be grasped for those with eyes to see. To truly see implies lifting the veils of avidya. And so as challenging as some of the upcoming alignments may prove to be, in the end they too are opportunities for spiritual growth. Shani vibrating at his highest frequency is divine grace, the transmutation of worldly suffering into enlightenment. Transformation of the highest order always finds the pathway of light, no matter how seemingly arduous. The months ahead, as always, will provide.