Happy New Rahu!

Our New Year begins with a major event that affects everyone.

The karmic nodes, Rahu and Ketu, move into new signs at the end of January. This only happens approximately every year and a half, and their effects of this change will be felt over the next 18 months. This month we will focus on the effects of Rahu and in the February forecast, we’ll catch up with what Ketu has in store.

Rahu always activates the sign and area of your chart it occupies and brings a sense of intensity, ambition, energy, and sometimes even obsession in those areas. Rahu is often associated with our future actions and present karmas, and emphasizes materialism over spiritualism, and engagement over withdrawal.

What house (area of your chart) is Rahu activating for the next 18 months?

It’s Your Karma

When Rahu Enters Leo on January 8th (around midnight CST), we will all experience a higher degree of self-absorption, and a desire to find our place in the sun and be acknowledged in our own identity. There will be a focus on the self that will need to be balanced by service to others. We can do best during this period when we find our strong sense of self in a group purpose that is larger than ourselves. We will need a way to find our identity, our true self, not through narcissistic indulgences but in generous humanitarian enterprises.

Watch the tendency to cater to others to receive attention and appreciation, and remember that your ego is the servant of your soul. There is a possibility of discovering your leadership qualities and the capacity to achieve a healthy independence in your life over these next 18 months.

Those with their Moon or ascendant in the Vedic signs of Gemini, Libra and Pisces can expect the best results from Rahu in Leo. The rest of us may need to work a little harder to get the goodies that Rahu can deliver if we see beyond the illusion.

Your Life with Rahu

Rahu enters Leo on January 8th 2016 and stays there for 18 months.

For a closer look at what Rahu in Leo means in your personal life, read the following descriptions according to your Vedic Moon sign.  You can also read the description for your Vedic rising sign or ascendant for additional information. If you do not know either of these signs in your Vedic astrology chart, read according to your Vedic Sun sign for some minor effects.

And if you are not sure of any of these signs, maybe it’s time you saw your Vedic astrologer!

Be appropriate with any fears around your children. Are they real or, as is more likely, simply unfounded?  You can be in creative overdrive and accomplish much with your projects, but take time to enjoy the fruits of your actions. There may be a desire to speculate – do so carefully, but you have to know when to cash in.

Deal with the fears of your inner mind, and you can find the happiness you have been seeking. A good time to take care of maternal issues (be nice to mom!) and be alert to potential problems with home and vehicles. If your career has been less than what you have wanted, look inward for your happiness and make your home a cozy place for meditation.

Your mind becomes positively energized with new psychological qualities. There is success in financial affairs. You may receive inspiration from unexpected sources. Great for everything dealing with communications, media and business. If you bring courage, initiative and perseverance to your endeavors, you will succeed beyond expectations and develop great self-confidence.

Two things you must do in the next 18 months: Eat consciously and speak consciously. Watch what goes in and out of your mouth and you will prevent much future karma. If you are in a relationship, do not – do not – criticize your partner’s family. There can be an increase of wealth, particularly if you use your natural talents and resources and work hard and watch the bank balance.

Beware of the tendency for becoming blindly self-centered and too much fretting over your health. You may feel the need to challenge yourself physically by proving your indestructibility, so be careful. On the other hand, you may turn that self-centered energy inward and finally understand the mystery that is you. This can give you a strong sense of self identity if you do not become overbearing.

There will be an intensifying of the desire for spiritual liberation or karmic salvation. Foreign countries, people and ideas will become prominent. Resist the temptation to indulge in secret vices or indulgences. Take time to relax before going to bed and not let needless worries keep your awake. Become obsessed with your meditation and spiritual practice and you can achieve much.

This time brings most beneficial results, both materially and spiritually. There are new channels of income, links with influential persons, and connections to new social opportunities. A good time for investments. If you are on a spiritual path, there is a sharpening of psychic perception and an intense urge to create enduring values in your life.

Much work (hard work) yet good possible success in the career area. But will you be happy with your achievements? There may be a sense of discontent no matter how much you accomplish. Avoid confrontations with co-workers. Be careful you do not neglect your inner life and emotional health in your quest for recognition in the outer world.

Foreign philosophies and spiritual practices become prominent (yoga!), as well as a desire for travel to other countries. Issues with the father or his health may present themselves. See all your journeys, both inner and outer, as spiritual pilgrimages and you can achieve happiness.

Feel that kundalini energy rising? You may very well over the next 18 months. A time to find your hidden powers and discover the secrets of the universe. Or you could instead indulge in self-destructive activities, particularly with drugs or sex or just overspending. Beware of power games – nobody wins.

Another relationship will not solve your problems. Stop looking to others to find yourself. There is an inner restlessness that will not be solved by outer actions and travel. If you can find that needed balance between your needs and your partner’s needs, this will be a satisfying time for you.

You will discover new outlets for self-expression as you tap into your hidden natural abilities. You can achieve extraordinary results and gain immense personal satisfaction. Health can improve and you can overcome all obstacles and resolve litigations and debts. There is a sense of psychological maturity and an ability to command tremendous power.

Regardless of your sign, you can harness the powerful energy of Rahu over the next 18 months and much can be accomplished. The key is this: do not be seduced by your desires or blinded by your fears.

Keeping Rahu Happy

In the Vedic tradition, it has been said that donating to the needy on Saturdays makes the influence of Rahu more favorable. A silver chain around the neck or having a square piece of silver was also a traditional cure for a malefic Rahu. Blue flowers and sandalwood are also effective in ceremonies and rituals.

The most effective way, however, to work with the sometime challenging energy of Rahu is through the chanting the mantras for Rahu, ideally 108 times.

The most common Rahu mantra is: OM RAAM RAHVE NA-MAHA

Mercury Retrograde Begins January 5th

Happy New Year – Mercury goes retrograde from January 5-25.

And with this early start, we will get to experience four (4) Mercury retrogrades in 2016: January 5-25, April 28-May 22, August 30-September 22, and December 19-January 8, 2017.

Everybody bitches and whines about Mercury retrograde, but if you remember one thing – or do one thing – during this period, all be well. In the words of Yogi Bhajan, the master of Kundalini Yoga:

“When Mercury goes forward, it is the time to look at the world as a whole. When Mercury goes retrograde, it is a time to look at oneself.”

Look at oneself – meditate. A particularly good meditation during a Mercury retrograde is one that activates the left hemisphere of the brain during this period of time. Why? Please re-read what I wrote about the effect of Mercury retrogrades a couple of years ago (and it’s always good to re-read something when Mercury is retrograde!):

When Mercury goes retrograde, or appears to travel backward through the sky, there occurs a corresponding effect in our thinking abilities (remember that Mercury is the astrological indicator for the thinking mind).

When Mercury is moving forward, or projecting itself through space and time, our left hemisphere of the brain, the analytical projective “moving forward” mind functions as usual, allowing us to analyze and make appropriate decisions (like buying a computer or signing a lease).

However, when Mercury moves “backward” we lose much of that left brain function as we turn inward, or move into, the right hemisphere of the brain. While the right brain is great for delving into the hidden areas of life (think meditation), it is not the best part of the brain for making analytical decisions, like on what airline should we book our trip.

With the left brain on a Mercury retrograde hiatus, we often completely second-guess ourselves, overlook or forget something, and then have to re-do something or re-visit our actions. The left side of the brain also controls speech, and so we may experience frustration in communicating effectively when Mercury is retrograde (just watch how often people mispronounce words or incorrectly type a phone number during that time!).

Which brings us to this meditation to turn the left hemisphere of the brain back on:

Surya Bhedana (Sun Piercing Breath) or Right Nostril Breathing
This is a simple one. Use the thumb of the left hand to block off the left nostril. Inhale only through the right nostril. Retain the breath for about as long as you inhaled. Open the left nostril. Use the little finger of the left hand to close the right nostril. Exhale through the left nostril for as long as you inhaled. Repeat 26 times.

Another benefit of this breath is to energize the mind and awaken our projective solar energy. It also elevates the mood and brings self-confidence to all endeavors.

Take that, Mercury retrograde!