Exaggerated Planetary Conditions



Are you or those around you feeling burdened or out of sorts lately?  The answer may lie in current planetary positions.  My Vedic astrology (or Jyotish) teacher uses the term “exaggerated” to describe planets that are in extreme conditions of strength or weakness.  What we have now is multiple exaggerated and strong planetary placements.

In Vedic astrology, we utilize nine planets: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and the nodes Rahu and Ketu.  Jupiter and Venus are considered as natural benefics, or planets which typically deliver results which we deem favorable.  Mars, Saturn, the Sun, Rahu, and Ketu are malefics, or planets which bring life experiences which we normally view as unfavorable. Moon is either a malefic or benefic, depending on its cycle of waxing and waning.  Mercury takes on the guise of whatever planets it’s associated with. If  Mercury is uninfluenced by other planets, it’s a benefic.  Of these nine, seven will be in exaggerated condition in the coming week.  Typically, there are no more than one or two planets which are powerfully strong or weak.
Mars, the warrior planet, typically spends six weeks in a sign. However, Mars is spending an unprecedented eight months in Leo. It went retrograde in January, ends its retrogression cycle on April 20, and leaves Leo a month later.  Retrogression occurs when a planet is moving backwards in its apparent motion in the heavens.  Retrogression is a sign of strength in Vedic astrology. Being a natural malefic, this extended retrogression cycle gives Mars even more ammunition.
The other natural malefic, Saturn is doubly strong by being exalted (in its sign of primary strength) in Libra as well as retrograde.  Saturn teaches us our greatest lessons, often through adversity.  Saturn leaves Libra in mid-May and returns to Virgo, where it will stay until August. Saturn then re-renters Libra and remains there until 2014.  Being the slowest moving planet, it leaves the longest lasting results.
The nodes stay in a sign for 1.5 years and always diametrically opposite each other. North node Rahu, is in Scorpio, its sign of exaltation.  South node Ketu is in Taurus,  its sign of debilitation, until December.  (There are varying opinions on the nodes’ positions of exaltation and debilitation).  The invisible nodes are connoted with sudden events and the pursuit of illusory circumstances. Their exaggerated condition heightens their interplay with us.
Venus, the planet of desire, recently left its exaltation in Pisces and joined Jupiter, the planet of wisdom, in Aries.  On March 12th -14th, Venus and Jupiter will be engaged in what’s known as a planetary war in Vedic astrology.  A planetary war is when two planets are within one degree of each other.  This war can bring about an inner conflict between pursuing our passions or using wise judgment.  Additionally, Jupiter and Saturn have been opposite each other for a few months. Benefic Jupiter is expansive in nature while malefic Saturn prefers to withdraw and contract. There can be a push-pull tension which exhibits itself in our lives.
Mercury, the planet of communication, is debilitated (in its sign of weakness) in Pisces until early May.  During this time, Mercury will be retrograde from March 12 to April 4.  It’s best to be mindful of how we communicate orally and in writing during this time.
We have some strong planetary placements taking place now and at various times of the year.  Which planetary states influence you and how they do so is contingent upon your planetary cycles.  We undergo varying cycles throughout life, based upon your natal Moon placement. Knowing which planets are primarily impacting you provides greater insight on where to best focus your attention during the current transits.  As Emerson said, “This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” Overall, it’s helpful to hold a broader the perspective that these are indeed unusual times which are transitory, and not permanent.