Astrologically, we have moved from having five planets in Gemini to three in the system of Vedic astrology, or Jyotish. The three planets currently residing in Gemini are its ruler, a retrograde Mercury, along with Jupiter, and Mars. This makes the air sign of Gemini a little less crowded, but still problematic.
The zodiac is comprised of a 360 degree sphere. Each planet has its own unique way of expressing itself and enjoys having the room to do so. When planets get too close, conflict arises. Mars and Jupiter will be within one degree of each other beginning at 6:54 PM PST on July 19, 2013. This is called a graha yuddha, or a planetary war in Vedic astrology.
Being the most dual of the twelve signs, Gemini is often associated with dual purposes or ambitions. As an air sign related to communication, there can much mental activity in regards to which path to choose.
Jupiter recently entered the sign of Gemini and will be there until next summer. Jupiter is the mantri, or the advisor or Guru. It is charismatic, enthusiastic, generous, and adheres to dharma or moral codes of conduct. Jupiter is the planet of wisdom and discernment. In Gemini, Jupiter dispenses advice after much analysis and contemplation. As Jupiter is also the indicator for religion and spirituality, those in a Jupiter planetary cycle (dasha or bhukti) will be drawn to practices which involve the reading of spiritual or scriptural texts.
In Ayurveda, the word guru translates as heavy. It is associated with Kapha dosha and the adipose tissue (meda dhatu). Another translation for the word Guru is a spiritual teacher. We will be celebrating the Indian holiday of Guru Purnima during the time of this planetary war. Mars is a Pitta planet and associated with the blood (rakta dhatu) in Ayurveda.
Mars connotes battles, ambition, and aggression. It is fiery, passionate, and active. Mars enjoys taking risks and often acts without forethought. Mars’ combative nature makes it ready to wage war at any time.
There can be ongoing vacillation between action and contemplation, between being aggressive or being passive, between spiritual pursuits or more worldly acts. There can be anger, yet there also can be peace.
Fortunately, Jupiter and Mars are friendly to each other. Vedic astrology also states that a planet in its own sign (Mercury here) protects the matters related to that house (Gemini). Yet, Mercury is coming out of retrogression at the beginning of the war and moving at 7% of its normal speed. This adds to the tension.
Another vital consideration in a planetary war is the nakshatra or constellation that is the battleground. The intense and transformative nakshatra Ardra is the backdrop for the Mars and Jupiter planetary war. Ardra is associated with Rudra, the God of the storms. He is the fierce form of Lord Shiva. Rudra wipes away that which has outlived its usefulness in our lives. This cleansing can be a painful process, which leads to many tears being shed. The symbol of Ardra nakshatra is a teardrop. Chanting the Vedic hymn Shri Rudram may be beneficial during the time of this war.
Based on an astronomical calculation, we would say that Jupiter “wins” the war. My Jyotish teacher taught us that both parties are bloodied in a war, so neither planet escapes unscathed.
The peak of the Mars and Jupiter planetary war in Gemini is at 11:55 PM PST on July 19, when the two planets are at the exact same degree. The war comes to a conclusion on July 24 at 6:24 AM PST. The war will be most impactful for those in a Mars or Jupiter planetary cycle. Its impact will depend on what your ascendant (rising sign) is and what house Gemini is in your chart.
When Mars leaves Gemini on August 9, it will enter Cancer, its sign of debilitation or greatest weakness.