by Chakrapani Ullal
As most of you know, Vedic Astrology is founded on the Lunar Calendar which begins each New Year when the new moon occurs in Pisces, generally falling somewhere between March 14 and April 14. This year, the first day of the Vedic New Year (called Sukla Paksha Pratipada) was on March 15 at 5:00 pm, Washington DC.
The Vedic Calendar assigns a Sanskrit name to each year within a 60 year cycle which in itself reveals something of the general trends addressing the world at any given time. The name “Vikriti” represents the calendar year 2010-2011; roughly translated means “things not going smoothly” or “things full of obstacles”. The Vikriti Chart has Leo Rising, retrograde Saturn in the 2nd house in Virgo, Rahu in the 5th house, Sagittarius and Jupiter in the 7th house, Aquarius. The 8th house, Pisces is occupied by the Sun, Moon, debilitated Mercury and exhalted Venus. Saturn is in the 11th house, Gemini.
The Vikriti planetary set-up for the United States chart reflects a period of challenges to be sure, especially as indicated by the disposition of the 8th house, Pisces. The 8th house, sometimes referred to as the house of debts, disease and death, is one of the most malefic houses, (along with the 6th and the 12th). Here it is occupied by four important planets, Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Moon which indicates that in the Vikriti year financial concerns will come to the fore in a major way. Further, the 8th house and 8th house planets are powerfully aspected by retrograde malefic Saturn. This Saturn, (planet of contraction, obstacles, and delays), placed in the 2nd house, deepens and broadens the scope of malefic influence relating to financial matters.
Additionally, Mars is a malefic planet when placed in the 12th house as it is in this case, and is another indication of troubles and suffering in various domains. However problematical is this planetary set-up, happily it does not suggest a bleak outcome because Jupiter is positively influencing the Rising Sign. This constitutes a very significant mitigating influence and suggests that the unavoidable struggles that will come this year ultimately bring favorable results or will not result in an overall downturn. It also contributes strength to deal with the challenges ahead.
An analysis of the upcoming year requires that we take a cautionary view of the important influences in the 8th house as well as the other malefic influences before we proceed to considering other issues.Sun in the 8th house is important because it is ruler of the 1st house and represents the government and the state. The 8th house (in this instance) is about creating debts and suffering. So one can easily see what is happening with the Sun entering the 8th. Sun in the 8th also indicates that people who are politically prominent may go through some troubles, money problems, and or health problems, depending on their particular charts.
With this planetary set-up, the Sun’s position suggests that on the level of government, stress and liabilities will continue and there will be continuing challenges (rather than a let-up) to deal with throughout the year. The Sun’s influence in this regard is given further strength because it is aspected by the malefic retrograde Saturn which intensifies the influence. The 8th house is also occupied by the Moon, (indicating the masses), ruler of the 12th house (house of suffering) which brings lack of confidence or fear and insecurity on the part of the people. Again this malefic influence is aggravated and enhanced by aspect of the Saturn.
As you know, in Vedic Astrology, the Moon is seen as the most revealing aspect of the psyche. In this case, it is the psyche of the masses. Moon in the 8th reveals the mood and tenor of the people. Additionally, Mercury, ruler of the 2nd (house of wealth) and the 11th, (house of money gain) is in the 8th house aspected by malefic Saturn. Mercury, therefore is negatively influencing money matters. Mercury also has something to do with education. In this malefic configuration, the influence will be felt in either reduction of services or facilities for education at the lower levels, until high school, and generally speaking will be experienced as a curtailment or loss in this area.
With respect to financial matters, the Mercury/Saturn aspect is malefic. However, because Mercury is a friend of Saturn, Mercury’s intellect is sharpened by Saturn and Saturn promotes Mercury’s efforts in research, encouraging that such endeavors go deeper and are more thorough. Consequently, this connection of Mercury and Saturn is very favorable with respect to scientific research, bio-technology and engineering work. It supports undertakings of significance and can bring recognition from important quarters.
The power of this Mercury is also a result of the fact that Saturn is in the house of Mercury, a friendly house. Those who have Saturn/Mercury connection in their chart will have the best advantage of this Mercury aspect. Exalted Venus, ruler of the 3rd house, (house of communication and creativity) and the 10th house, (ruler of parliament or legislature) in the 8th, aspected by Saturn, restricts the productivity and work of the government. This suggests that an attitude of partisanship and lack of co-operation will continue in the legislative houses.
Venus also indicates women’s domain which means that during this period woman’s role does not get the support it deserves. In some manner the traditional wife or mother may be betrayed or undermined or de-valued in some way. But just as Saturn is a friend of Mercury in the areas of intellectual and research endeavors, it is also a friend of Venus in supporting creative ventures. Consequently, this configuration of Venus and Saturn promotes Venus in her role governing fashion, home décor, film, theater, creative writing, and the arts in general. It will be a year for a certain proliferation of artistic activity and there will be good support for creative endeavors. It is an auspicious time to undertake these kinds of projects. This Venus will most help those people who have a strong influence of Venus and Mercury in their natal chart. Another significant malefic condition during Vikriti is that Mars in the 12th creates intrigues and scandals in the ranks of authority figures or role models of some kind. The 12th house is the domain of secret agenda and hidden passions.
Addionally, Ketu, (south node) is in Gemini, aspected by the malefic Saturn indicating that the country will experience greater incidence of natural calamities. This can be in the form of storms, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes. Of course, Jupiter is aspecting Ketu which curtails or minimizes Ketu to some extent, but the negative influence is strong and will find expression. Thus the 8th house situation, as well as Mars in the 12th , and Ketu aspected by Saturn brings some considerable challenges in the coming year.
As mentioned, Jupiter is the savior in this situation. It is a natural benefic and the most powerful, positive influence for Leo Rising, (the Rising sign for theVikriti year). Being the ruler of the 5th house, Sagittarius (wisdom and creativity) and the 8th house, Pisces (house of spirituality for Jupiter, as well as suffering) positioned in the 7th, it is powerfully influencing the Rising sign. Jupiter is very strong in this circumstance as a ruler of the 5th house, Sagittarius; more so than it is in its other rulership of the 8th house, Pisces. Essentially, its position in the 7th is reflecting the influences of the 5th as opposed to the 8th. Thus, Jupiter’s fund of energy is not restricted by its rulership of the 8th, lightening its burden. You could say that this results in the greater glory of Jupiter, (powerful in any circumstance) shinning forth, with un-mitigating power. Jupiter is also very powerful because it is in Aquarius which is considered as good as an exalted Jupiter. This is another way to describe the enhanced power of this Jupiter.
When planets are deposited on either side of a house it causes a malefic condition called Papa Kartari Yoga. In this case, the planets are straddling the Rising sign, Saturn in the 2nd and debilitated Mars in the 12th, resulting in an attraction of obstacles and problems. This undesirable yoga is mitigated, however, by the aspect of the benefic Jupiter on the Rising Sign. (FYI: In astrology, certain relationships between planets create powerful affects, either benefic or malefic and these relationships are referred to as yoga’s, meaning unions of a particular kind.)
The presence of enhanced Jupiter in this current Vikriti year portends an optimistic outcome, despite the struggle. Its formidable strength, sufficient to offset the influence of four major planets speaks to its awesome power. This Jupiter will bring considerable force in dealing with the domestic financial challenges, and other related issues, and will help to bring favorable results in the end, however slowly. The challenges are large scale problems, already with established momentum which cannot be turned on a dime, but the influence of such a powerful Jupiter suggests a slow but favorable course. Jupiter insists that we are going forward even though we are suffering a constant barrage of problematical situations.
The benefits of the 7th house Jupiter are increased during its transit into Pisces beginning on May 2, continuing for one year until May 2011. When the ruler of the 8th goes into its own house, that house becomes stronger in the sense of more benefic. Thus, the Jupiter transit in May reduces the negativity of the 8th house. In astrology, our analysis of any given phenomenon typically encompasses consideration of the subject from different angles, which usually involves looking to more than one chart. Sometimes there are conflicting influences operating and one must determine the relative strength and consequent emphasis given to any given situation. At other times certain influences are echoed repeatedly from various different sources thereby reinforcing a particular theme.
Putting aside the Vikriti chart for a moment and looking to the USA Natal Chart for additional insight into this coming year, we first look to the overall character and strength of the horoscope and then consider the cycles that are currently operating.
United States Natal Chart
The Rising Sign of America’s Natal Chart is Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, and Ketu is in the 2nd house in Capricorn, Moon is in Aquarius in the 3rd house. The 7th house is occupied by four powerful planets: Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Sun. Retrograde Mercury and Rahu are in the 8th house, and Saturn is in the 10th house in Virgo aspecting the 7th house where the four planets are placed.
So what we have here is a very powerful chart, the greatest strength coming from the disposition of the 7th house. The weakest element is the constricting influence of Saturn on the 7th house. Ruler of the Rising Sign and the 4th house, Jupiter is placed powerfully in the 7th house in Gemini, associated with Mars, Venus and Sun. This indicates that the United States will always occupy a dominant role in the world. It has the ability to influence world affairs even though, to some degree this influence is reduced by the aspect of Saturn. Because of the four planets in Gemini, Americans are innovators; they essentially control trade and commerce in the world market. This planetary set-up is so strong as to suggest that America will always dominate in intellectual research activities, education, finance and business, and will continue to be the world leader that it is into the foreseeable future.
I am endeavoring to share with you a simple over-view of the American chart, especially to reassure those of my clients who are suffering anxious thoughts regarding the stability of the US economy and its ability to withstand current problems, and what I predict will be more problems ahead. I do not feel that such fears are merited. The USA Natal chart is another factor, beyond the optimism suggested by Jupiter in the Vikriti chart affirming that America will, in fact, survive the problems it will face this year. It will continue as a leader in the world, and its financial institutions will remain, in some manner, intact.
United States Current Cycles and Transits
Regarding current cycles and transits, there are several factors. The American chart is suffering from Ashtama Shani Dosha, which essentially means people going through suffering because of Saturn passing through the 8th house from the Moon. Because the 8th house refers to debts, disease or dispute, the suffering is in these areas. This transit began in September 2009, continuing until December 2011, so this influence is there for some time yet. Further, from September, 2008, for seven years until September 2015 the Mars Dasha has been operating. From March 13, 2010 until February 17, 2011 the Jupiter Sub-Dasha is in operation. What we have in the Dashas are a strong Martian influence for the seven year period, colored by the powerful influence of Jupiter. Jupiter is a close friend of Mars such that Jupiter undertakes Mars agenda, intensely during its Sub-Dasha, and, generally speaking throughout the Major Dasha of Mars until 2015.
Mars is the planet of war. So we see, in the Jupiter Sub-Dasha beginning from March 13, 2010 until February 17, 2011 the war energy increases. The 7th house planets in the United States chart are aspected by the natal Saturn and the transit Saturn which reinforces this current aggressive influence. This war-like energy can manifest internally (domestically), and externally (internationally). Beyond the fact that Jupiter is teaming up with Mars for the battle, his association means that ultimately, in any contest, he will bring victory. Although the Vikriti chart brings curtailment to education at the lower levels through the 8th house Mercury, favorable placement of Jupiter in the country’s chart as well as in Vikriti supports higher education at the University level and in the professions.
The current cycles and transits reinforce our understanding that financial issues will be highlighted and challenges will come to the financial domains but this does not bring a downturn, in part because of the entry of Jupiter into Pisces on May 2 bringing its benevolent influence. Specifically, regarding business concerns, I don’t see any consequential development in the real estate market; in most areas I would say that values should hold. Some few areas can go down, but generally speaking, this will not be the trend. Slowly, very slowly, interest rates may begin to inch up, but no substantial increase will take place. Lending institutions and banks will continue to be reticent to undertake risk. Business interests and unemployment rates may improve slightly. In general, despite problematical situations, there is, if you examine closely, a growing palpable hope underlying the psyche of the people. At the least, status quo is maintained; things generally do not worsen from the standpoint of business and finance. There are four eclipses this year, June 26, July 11, December 21, and January 4, 2012. (They do not, incidentally, have the same significance to Obama as they did last year.) The eclipses do bring challenge to the United States by way of unusual weather, as in heavy rainfall, natural calamities, and I would not rule out earthquake, especially during July, August, and September. The eclipses reinforce the Ketu influence in the Vikriti chart.
With the eclipses, my concern would also be that an important political figure, or figures may suffer from a major health problem, or, I would not rule out untimely death. (I am not referring to Obama, whom I feel will survive his term.) People who have Sagittarius or Gemini Rising with the Sun or Moon in particular, or other planets in Gemini or Sagittarius will be most affected by the eclipses and should be cautious in making important decisions in this Vikriti year.
President Obama’s Chart
Regarding what we can determine of the coming year from our President’s chart, (based on the birth data available for Obama), he is passing through Maha Dasha of Jupiter and the last Sub-Dasha of Rahu beginning from March 1, 2010 until July 2012. During the Jupiter/Rahu period, Rahu is situated in the 8th house from Jupiter. From Rahu, Jupiter is in the 6th house. As mentioned before, 6th, 8th and 12th houses are malefic. This period of the Rahu Sub-Dasha is considered to be negative because it effectively diminishes some of the positive influences it has bestowed on the president for the last 12 years, which, in significant part pushed him into prominence. In addition, Rahu is accompanied by Mars, two malefics in the 8th house and they are the 4th house from the Moon, malefic placements.
Jupiter and Rahu are enemies, and Mars and Rahu are considered extremely negative when placed together. Because of these factors, it is generally understood that Rahu will not easily be able to produce good results in Obama’s situation. Reviewing his recent past, Obama was elected in November 2008, assumed office January 20, 2009, and the first Solar Eclipse came January 26, followed by three more eclipses. Many found my predictions for the future of the bright new president unexpectedly dour at that time, but his fate was sealed by the presence of the eclipses which had great impact on his Rising Sign, Capricorn with Saturn and Jupiter placed there. His challenges began then, and given the current influence of Rahu, will continue hereafter, at least until December, 2011. At that time, he will begin to recover.
Rahu and Mars in the 8th is generally not considered favorable for longevity. Therefore, he should be careful about his personal safety and the potential for accidents. On the positive side, his Rising Sign, Capricorn, and the ruler of the Rising Sign, Saturn are extremely powerful which offers a potent antidote to the malefic influences in his chart. Not only will this offset the Rahu/Mars influence, in my opinion, but it has given him the strength and tenacity to deal with his considerable challenges. Health Care, as the signature agenda of Obama’s presidency is a classic and accurate representation of Obama’s priorities. Saturn, as his most powerful and significant planet, is deeply interested in health, and wed to the interests of the common man. Facing formidable opposition, nothing dissuaded Obama regarding health care because he was fueled by an inspiration from his core. The cause of universal health care could not be a more textbook representation of Saturn’s interests. In looking to the timing of the health care bill, the fact that Saturn, in the chart of the United States is in the 10th house in Virgo, and Saturn moved into Virgo in September 2009 reinforced Saturn in the 10th. It thereby promoted activities connected with health. In fact, looking from a dispassionate distance one can see a pattern echoed between that of the country and its leader. It suggests that this was the man, at this point in time, meant to bring this particular shift to the manner of doing things regarding policy and health care. Saturn’s transit in Virgo is beneficial for all health oriented activities as Saturn supports that cause. Regardless of what obstacles lay ahead, Obama’s reform measures regarding health care will hold.
Regarding finance, Obama inherited a chaotic financial situation which resulted in challenge in the stability and legitimacy of the financial institutions, decreased property values and financial losses all around. To deal with the crisis, Obama resorted to deficit financing which has brought fear regarding the value of the dollar and how that would affect the world currencies. However, as I stated previously, because of the basic strength of the American chart, the economy and the history of its innovations has allowed the American currency to withstand the current storm. Despite fears that the currency could collapse, in my opinion it will continue to stand.
Summarizing, the Vikriti Lunar Year, 2010-2011 with regards to the United States brings many challenges in the area of finance and related business concerns which is a theme echoed by the U.S. natal chart and its cycles and transits, as well as that of President Obama. However, the presence of a very powerful Jupiter brings strength and resolve in dealing with the problems, as well as an ultimately positive outcome, however modest. The strength of the American chart also underscores that the foundations of the country are solid, and there is a subtle growing optimism indicated during this period.
It is a good year for the creative arts as promoted by a strong Venus, as well as scientific research as supported by Mercury. There is a tendency for problems with regards to natural disasters, which should be monitored. In general, it is a problematic period with regards to economic circumstances which can threaten our sense of stability and peace of mind. However, many have probably already weathered and survived the most difficult days, and our greater strength and wisdom come through meeting the continuing challenges. We take heart in knowing that we are ever growing and evolving by meeting our destiny with courage while having faith in the higher purpose.
I have endeavored to share with you here something more of an astrology lesson than I do usually. I hope it may deepen your appreciation for this profound science and that the insights that come from its study will help you better find your own path to truth. Peace comes through acceptance. This acceptance comes through understanding. Astrology is a vehicle for ever-deeper levels of understanding of our role in the world that we may find acceptance. May that acceptance ultimately lead us to a place of profound inner peace. Sending you prayers for love and joy in the journey…and always with my appreciation for the opportunity to serve.
Chakrapani March 29, 2010