We utilize nine planets in Vedic astrology, or Jyotish: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Sun, and the South nodes Rahu and Ketu. Both Western and Vedic astrology have 12 houses of the zodiac, each comprised of 30 degrees each. Typically, we expect the planets to be spread out over the 360 degree arc of the zodiac. This isn’t currently the case. We now have five planets in Aries in Vedic astrology.
Being a fire sign, there’s already a lot of heat in Aries. Two fiery planets (what we call Pitta grahas in Ayurveda) – Sun and Mars – are powerfully placed there. Mars owns Aries, and when it’s in residence there (April 12 – May 24, 2013), it aims to keep the environment active and aggressive. Like the zodiac symbol, the ram, Mars likes to butt its head into situations and show its forceful nature. The blazing Sun is exalted, or at its strongest point, in Aries. Turning up the heat to scorching is the fact that Mars has been astronomically combust. Combustion occurs when a planet is traveling in close proximity to the Sun. Its own qualities are stifled by the glaring rays of the Sun. Of all the planets, Mars rebels against this oppression the most. The combustion continues until May 29.
South node Ketu is also occupying Aries until July, 2014. Ketu often acts like Mars. The nodes are connoted with ambition, questing, relentless pursuits, and insatiable desires. Ketu can take on more of a spiritual bent than Rahu.
Harmony and romance loving Venus is in the mix in Aries as well. It does little to soften the malefic nature of the three other planets there. Venus has also been hampered by its own combustion. Venus and Ketu will be at the exact same degree tomorrow. Both planets share the quality of desire. Whatever house Aries is in your chart (i.e. first), the desires and pursuits related to that house matter will be amplified. The more so if you are in a Venus or Ketu planetary cycle (dasha or bhukti). For example, if you are an Aries ascendant, then you may have very strong desires for some type of self-achievement or attainment.
Dual-minded Mercury just joined the planetary party in Aries today. Mercury takes on the demeanor of the company it keeps. Given that there are three malefic planets in Aries, Mercury will act more like them than benefic Venus.
Which of the five planets in Aries will bear fruit for you depends on your birth chart and your current dasha and bhukti. Some general tips we can all utilize is to avoid rushing boldly and headstrong into situations without taking time to contemplate the outcome. Pick your battles – both literally and figuratively. Be wary of placing yourself in situations where you are physically at risk. The daredevil quality of Aries can make for risky behavior. Watch for physical overexertion and stress, especially what may be characterized as Pitta or inflammatory conditions in Ayurveda. Reduce your intake of spicy food, fermented food, and citrus. They add more fuel to the fire.
Aries rules the head. Thus, the confluence of five planets in Aries can give way to rash behavior or, alternately, to using our intelligence wisely. It’s ultimately our choice.
Venus happily returns home to Taurus on May 4. Mercury darts into Taurus on May 12 and the Sun follows suit the next day. Joining the five planets in Aries on May 7 will be the fickle Moon. There will be a solar eclipse on May 9 (or 10th depending on your locality), which will not be visible in the U.S. This is a particularly powerful time for spiritual practices. We always advise against viewing any eclipses in Vedic astrology or focusing on external activities during the time of an eclipse. With a new Moon, our tissues are more susceptible to outside influences, so it’s time when we can turn our energies towards nurturing and replenishing ourselves.