by Chakrapani Ullal
The nature of the days at hand has brought challenge to so many that clients are contacting me regularly to gain some perspective on the global trends presently operating. In response I would like to offer the following:
First, before I address the present year, to give some context, in the current Saturn transit in Leo which began in 2007, continuing through September 2009, we are witnessing a major underscoring of the Saturnian agenda on a global level. Saturn represents the antithesis of the Leo qualities which previously dominated, and this transit essentially heralds Saturn’s victory over Leo.
What does Leo represent? Leo, (ruled by the Sun, friend of Jupiter), is the planet of royalty, tradition, autocracy, the elite and related values and philosophies.
Saturn has been gradually moving into greater prominence over the last several decades, reflected, in part, in a slow but enormously significant shift in power, away from a traditional, power based elite, to a system of governing which places power in the hands of the masses.
Saturn is the planet of the common man, representing democracy and advancement through hard work as opposed to being inherited or conferred by virtue of wealth and status. Ultimately this trend culminates in an expression of socialistically oriented values which strengthens the middle-class base, borrowing from both the wealthy and the poor.
An important recent shift in this direction was facilitated, in significant part, by technological innovations and advances in the early 80’s which allowed people from all strata’s of life and across the globe access to one another. Technology is another important domain of Saturn.
Jupiter being the planet of conservatism and tradition reflected that influence in the style of government and ruling regimes that predominated for centuries. This meant a power base that was ruled essentially by one person or certain anointed individuals, as in monarchies or other autocratic and traditional styles of governing. Jupiter represents old money and status quo.
In looking at the current economic and political environment what we see are events and trends which will expose corruption of the ruling elite and controlling interests of the wealthy replaced by policies which will further strengthen the growing middle class.
President Obama is a classic icon of the Saturnian ideal, someone who has advanced on merit and who represents the interests and concerns of the common man. His policies will likely continue to give preference to people who are attempting to get a foothold on the American dream, and there will likely be policies which restrain big business and its various monopolies and allies.
With the Saturn backdrop in mind, slowly and steadily having replaced many years of Jupiterian values, especially since the early 80’s; in the current Saturn transit we are witnessing a dramatic surge of Saturn’s power and readiness to take charge. This means that the U.S. as well as the world at large will continue in this trend of socialistically oriented values. It also means that countries which have been governed by authoritarian governments will gradually be forced to relax their stronghold. In some cases it may take time, but it will be moving in this direction. As this trend progresses for the next 50 to 100 years, people, in general, will be considered on a more even, equal basis. This is where we are heading.
This trend is not a result of any given political party or agenda coming into power. Rather, people and institutions representing the Saturnian values will come into prominence as an expression of an equalizing and homogenizing trend which is indicated as part of mankind’s destiny at this time. There is no one person or group that can stem the tide of this inevitable process, or one person who will facilitate it. Rather, an environment reflecting these conditions is part of the ongoing evolutionary cycles which present certain conditions at any given time that offer particular opportunities for growth and further refinement of the human species.
Our current financial and political crisis is, in some sense, a purging process aimed at achieving a kind of greater equality amongst the people.
March 26 marked the beginning of the Vedic New Year called Virodhi. As you may know from my New Year’s greeting, the Vedic New Year is based on a lunar calendar and begins each year at the time of the first new moon of spring.
There are certain themes indicated in the Vedic chart for this year. First of all, the Virodhi chart has Gemini rising and four planets in the 10th house known as the house of success. Importantly, this suggests that although we are in the midst of a financial crisis, there is sufficient strength to overcome the problems. Success is definitely indicated, as opposed to some kind of ultimate failure in the economy, although it can take time. It may take a year, or up to the end of 2011 to feel a sense of stability.
The financial problems are reflected, in particular, by the placement of the 10th house planets in the house of Jupiter, (Jupiter indicates economic and financial growth). The Jupiter is debilitated, retrograde, and in the 8th house, (the house of financial loss) as well as in a state of Atechara, (moving very fast). When a planet is moving very fast it can only do negative things. Consequently, although the 10th house planets have the power to overcome the current challenges, because they are situated in the house of Jupiter which is weakened until the end of this year, they will not begin to be proactive until the end of 2009 at which time Jupiter changes position, moving into the 9th house, a favorable house.
For your greater understanding, the four planets in the 10th house are:
Mercury, (ruler of the 1st house, the “self”, in this case, the “ruling government”, as well as the 4th house, “property”,
Venus, (ruler of the 5th house, “intellect and good luck”, and the 12th house, “change”) Moon, (ruler of the 2nd house “wealth”), and
Sun, (ruler of the 3rd house “effort”).
In a general sense, when the ruler of the 1st is in the 10th, it indicates success; in this case, the planet is Mercury. This Mercury is accompanied by its friend Venus which creates Raja Yoga, Yoga for success. Added to that, Moon, (wealth), ruler of the 2nd house further indicates progress in the economic domain. The luminaries, Sun and Moon in the 10th indicate a tremendous amount of energy and effort will be focused on the tasks at hand. The entire 10th house set-up is very powerful, suggesting progress will begin within the Virodhi calendar year.
Gemini rising in the Virodhi chart brings the qualities of ingeniousness, intellectual brightness, excellent power of communication, and is favorable for marketing, promoting and influencing people. These are the qualities of Gemini, (ruled by Mercury) which are always related to communication and intellect. With Gemini rising, the government is able to present itself well which suggests that it’s policies and agenda will enjoy good PR and the possibility of success.
Obama and the future of his new regime are reflected, in significant part, in the 7th house which indicates allies or enemies. The 7th is ruled by Jupiter which is weak, placed in the 8th, debilitated and conjunct with malefic Rahu, (which is further underscored by being malefic for Gemini rising). This tells us that although the President seeks a collaborative style of governing, he will ultimately find it difficult to find genuine partners in this endeavor. Rather, he will more often stand alone, but with confidence because of the strength of 10th house planets.
Although confident, Obama does not tend towards arrogance; rather, there is a certain humility as reflected in his birth chart as well as indicated here with debilitated Jupiter and Rahu situated in the house of Saturn.
General progress with regards to the overall agenda and well being of the country is indicated by the 9th house, the house of expansion and growth. It is ruled by the Saturn, occupied by malefic Mars. The mutual aspect between Mars and Saturn suggests hard work, struggle, and slow growth. Saturn is the ruler of the 8th, and Mars is the ruler of the 6th house. Their mutual aspect brings progress, but with many ups and downs. A forward trend is indicated, but it is slow-going.
With reference to the general economy of the country, we pay particular attention to the 8th house, the house of debts. Jupiter, planet of wealth and status is debilitated and weak with malefic Rahu in the house of Saturn which is the ruler of the 8th house. This set-up reflects a complicated situation with regards to debt, and the complications will continue. No immediate resolution is indicated.
Regarding the current conditions in real estate and mortgage loans we look especially to the 4th house which relates to property. It is ruled by Mercury and is in the 10th house, debilitated, negatively influenced by Jupiter, (because Jupiter rules the 10th). This set-up suggests the current crisis will not be improved or resolved until the end of this year when Jupiter begins to move into a better place. Thereafter, the mortgage problem will be improved. Stability in the real estate market may not come until 2011 when Jupiter becomes strongly entrenched in Pisces.
With regards to educational reform, Mercury, (ruler of the 4th house), and Venus, (ruler of the 5th) together in the 10th show the potential for improvement in education because of the support it will receive. However, the programs will not get enough strength during this year to demonstrate results; rather, progress will come slowly thereafter.
In looking at the overall Virodhi chart, by far the most auspicious indication for success is reflected in the disposition of the 10th house as described previously. The four planets Mercury, Venus, Moon, Sun deposited there bring power and influence sufficient to overcome the current problems. However, this positive indication is delayed and diluted to some extent by the position of Jupiter in the chart.
Despite this qualification, progress is indicated in the period March 2009 to March 2010. There will be an increase in business activity and the United States will achieve greater status in the eyes of the world during this period.
Because Saturn plays such a significant role in the conditions of this time I would like to take a moment to reflect on the nature of this often dreaded planet. It is true, of course, that Saturn can bring misery and suffering, but it bears mentioning what is the greater significance of Saturn. After all, if we must suffer, we would hope it is in the cause of our greater insight and understanding of self. Also, benefic Saturn offers tremendous power and opportunity to those who know how to harness it.
These ideas are offered for your further reflection as they represent universal archetypes that are rich with meaning and can be helpful to each one of us as we consider our place in the world. There are many issues that we face in common as members of a global community, as a nation, and with many other groups with which we may identify.
However, one must keep in mind that astrology is a complex science and one must always balance their understanding of the general trends of the times with their very personal issues as reflected in the planetary set-up of their own chart. For example, whereas this is a generally difficult period for a majority of people, it may be that it is a time of great blossoming and prosperity for you personally. Our personal issues and cycles are often mirrored in the major issues of the times, but not necessarily.
Moving on to the issues of Saturn; in many ways it is a misunderstood planet in that it is too often looked at superficially, without appreciation for its greater purpose. For those who have a strong natal Saturn, or by aspect or transit enjoy its benefic influence, Saturn is, in fact a tremendous asset.
Saturn is called the “Planet of Truth”. It is concerned with fairness, justice, righteousness, right attitude and right conduct. It creates sorrow, suffering, deep discontentment and enmity with a view to teach the person the real truth of life. To some extent, the more a person suffers, the more he learns. This is the special blessing of Saturn’s influence. As a result, we find in the life history of great persons in the spiritual, material and political fields, Saturn plays a more dominant role than any other planet. For them, failure becomes a pillar of their strength.
All scientists, inventors, discoverers, explorers, martyrs, philosophers, religious leaders and social reformers achieved their goals by the grace of this planet. Without the help of Saturn, one cannot become a thinker of a high order.
Saturn is also frequently called the “Planet of Destiny”. No other planet is so deeply associated with prarabdha karma (the operative part of destiny). It is thought to be the most judicious, unrelenting and impartial dispenser of the consequences of our past actions. It looks at us from the farthest point in the zodiac and pronounces its judgment. Thus, it acts with the attitude of unbiased neutrality, fundamentally threatening to those of us who cling to our passions and attachments.
In this manner, many who are young and energetic in spirit are tempered by Saturn’s physical and mental ordeals. Through its impartial, seemingly indifferent treatment we develop greater strength and understanding. Our accumulated miseries reveal a luminous path to a deeper sense of humanity. Saturn shows us new light of a secret world, and by dint of that light we make discoveries of many kinds for the benefit of the earth and its beings.
Saturn is a slow moving planet and promotes stability. Although it will initiate things, it brings results very slowly. It gives gradual progress and equally gradual degeneration, and when it makes people suffer, it makes them suffer slowly. Saturn is not a killer. It does not bring death, it only brings suffering.
Saturn is also a planet of modesty and service. It is loyal and dutiful. It is not egotistical and does not seek visibility. Instead, it makes one seek privacy, and to work in seclusion, performing one’s work in life calmly and in one’s own way. Saturn gives tenacity, perseverance and hard work.
Because Saturn is concerned with duty and responsibility, it brings the profession to the forefront. Saturn wants the person to respect his duty and obligations in whatever field of activity the person is engaged. Saturn’s transits reveal the timing of career changes and when recognition for a person’s achievements will come.
Saturn, when favorable functionally, is karaka (indicator) for longevity, justice, democratic ideals, humanitarianism, sympathy, philosophical truth, all-round prosperity, position, artful speech, sense of duty towards man and God, discipline, meditation, prudence, asceticism, patience, self-control, economy, industry, diplomacy, truth, concentration and health.
A powerful Saturn in any horoscope stands for wealth, fame, and leadership qualities. Powerful Saturn in his period gives the native great courage to do hard and difficult jobs, and gives him energy and fortitude to meet the arduous struggles of life. He is well known among donors, is a man of principals, a labor leader who may earn much in business. His business commodities are those of interest to the general masses or labor class.
If he receives any benefic aspect, especially of strong Jupiter, Saturn will act quite on the positive side. For example, if he is positioned in a sign of Jupiter, (Sagittarius or Pisces) and is well aspected by Jupiter, the native becomes a ruler, or will hold some important office. He may become a significant political leader, or achieve wealth or status in some form.
Saturn is privileged to be a yoga karaka (a planet having special power to raise one in life) for Libra and Taurus ascendants by owning a kendra or trikona (angle) house. Strong and unafflicted Saturn in such a capacity is expected to confer financial prosperity, fame, political success, honor, and joys in great measure.
The only problem is that when a yoga karaka is weak or afflicted, the native suffers in equal measure in respect of the bhavas (house positions) concerned.
Generally, when Saturn is active as a benefic, it promotes a purposeful life.
Because Saturn is the planet of democracy, all elected leaders draw strength from the position of Saturn in their chart. Democracy is a fundamental attitude, a scale of values, a definite conception of man and his place in society. Though the institutions and forms of democracy differ widely, there are certain pivotal values which determine the democratic way of life. The method of democracy is one of discussion, of open-minded inquiry, and finally and frequently, of compromise. It is, by and large, the most humane form of government devised by civilization.
Since it basically implies that the government is a moral trust dependent upon the free consent of the governed; the liberty, dignity and happiness of the individual form its cornerstone. All these values broadly come under Saturn’s domain who denotes the masses, liberty, fair play and humaneness.
Saturn ruling the populace assumes importance in the charts of democracies and their leaders. At one time when power passed on from father to son as in monarchies, Jupiter, the putra karaka (indicator for children), featured significantly in the charts of kings and princes. Jupiter was intimately linked to the 10th house. As we have moved on in time, kings have gradually been replaced by elected or self-styled leaders riding to power on the waves of popularity. Thus we find Jupiter, even if reluctantly, making way for Saturn.
Just as Jupiter supports the traditional values of monarchy, the Sun itself represents the king. In today’s democratic governments, the Sun may manifest his leadership tendencies as a diplomat or a politician. It may help one stand out in the political field. But to shine as a leader or politician, the Sun’s positive effect alone is insufficient. Saturn should be given due attention in judging the range of political influences, as he plays a greater role than the Sun in this field.
So we see at this moment in world history, the role of Saturn is enhanced owing to the nature and issues presented to man at this point in time. As such, if we examine the chart of any elected leader, we will find Saturn occupying a prominent position.
For example, a diplomat with Saturn in the 7th will have a good political career. Saturn in the 2nd, 4th or 10th houses also will grant the native influence over the public. In these areas Saturn is said to give power and position to an extent which no other planet can.
Alan Leo writes that Napoleon Bonaparte rose to heights only on account of his 10th house Saturn.
By the highly beneficial influence of Saturn a pauper can become a president; and a president can turn into a pauper due to the evil effects of Saturn. It was the influence of Saturn which ultimately brought down Napoleon as well. Just as Saturn empowers, it also has the power to disrupt the mightiest just when the going is good. We can study Saturn’s influence in any of the great world leaders to gain insight as to why the native was a beloved leader of the people, a dictator, a tyrant or a saint.
Regardless of whether they become a Hitler, Churchill, Gandhi or Lincoln, Saturn-gifted people usually have adventures in their lives. They face sudden changes, good and bad, and they will have to face obstacles and danger, and deal with disappointment through false friends. Such is the influence of Saturn upon the people who become leaders.
Since it is Saturn’s essential purpose to temper the soul, it attacks our weak points to broaden and define the scope of our character, driving us to maturity. It seeks to further our development in those areas where we have not gathered any real experience in the past. It is best for all of us to handle those affairs of ours which are either occupied or aspected by Saturn with great caution and thoughtful attention. It is a serious mistake on our part to expect anything for which we have never toiled, or are not prepared to labor for. Saturn goes out of his way to correct this type of misperception.
So Saturn offers mental power, discipline and endurance to undergo all sorts of privation, and a third eye-sight to make the voyage through the unknown and dark sea. It teaches humanity the art of sacrifice by which one is able to reach the higher stages of evolution. For a generous and pious soul, Saturn creates a golden bridge between the mundane and ethereal worlds.
One could say the remedies to the unyielding force of Saturn include labor, patience, perseverance, honesty, foresight, and a humanitarian outlook. The unfolding of these qualities is Saturn’s mission.
My office has presented this message in an artful manner for your greater enjoyment, which is fine; but, although these thoughts constitute optimistic reflections on our times, they are not frivolous or casual or intended as entertainment. We find ourselves at a day in time where we are confronted with somber issues which strike to the core of our foundations, spiritually and in practical application and which test the strength of our relationships and our basic values. My hope is that the ideas introduced here may give you another perspective in which to reflect on your life and whatever you may be dealing with personally.
I want my clients to know that I am here for you and that I am always thanking you internally for your loyalty and trust which brings meaning to my life’s work, and is always deeply gratifying.
May you pass through these days of special challenge with patience and fortitude, remembering that all our ordeals are dispensed from our Creator for our ultimate greater good.
Peace be with you and yours……