2016 has been quite turbulent on a personal, community, racial, environmental, and political level. Much of it can be explained by planetary transits. The stage is set for the biggest battle of the year in Vedic astrology, or Jyotish – a Mars Saturn conjunction in Scorpio. In Jyotish, we call this alignment a graha yuddha or a planetary war. A planetary war occurs when two planets are within one degree of each other.
As the two great malefics in Vedic astrology, Mars and Saturn together is akin to driving with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brakes simultaneously. With a Mars Saturn conjunction in Scorpio, fire and ice collide.
Mars is the hot planet of aggression, ambition, competition, action, and conflict. Saturn is the cold planet of obstruction, challenges, delays, discipline, responsibility, and adversity. The battlefield is the intense, deep sign of Scorpio. Scorpio can represent transformation through crisis.
Mars is at home in Scorpio. However, Mars is very destabilized by having solitary Saturn as its roommate. Mars likes to be daring; Saturn is cautious. Mars needs to be in charge. Saturn doesn’t want to be told what to do as it seeks a path to security.
On an individual level, those in a Mars or Saturn planetary cycle will be most impacted. You also want to see what house of the zodiac Scorpio represents in your Vedic astrology chart.
How can the tragic situations of this year be understood by astrological transits? Symbolically, Mars represents the armed forces, police, and militia. Thus, it can personify people in places of power. Mars is aggressive in nature. “The red planet” often acts without thinking when passionate emotions arise.
Saturn can signify people who are in service-oriented positions or those of lower socio-economic classes. Saturn is mythologically depicted as dark in color, thus representing people of color, as well as foreigners. Saturn is slow, strategic and seeks safety.
Mars (Mangal) and Saturn (Shani) are incompatible roommates who both want things “my way or the highway”. And now we literally see protests on the highway. Neither wants to budge and both feel they are right. This underlying friction can literally wear you and others out trying to meet the deadline of having it done “by yesterday”. The result could be long-term health problems.
As Mars and Saturn represent the blood and muscle tissues, respectively, in Ayurveda, you’ll feel a greater urge to be active during this time. Be careful of injuries which can result from recklessness. Take Ayurvedic tonics to support the circulatory system and ease fatigued muscles.
The Mars and Saturn planetary war in Scorpio begins on August 22, 2016 at 4 AM Pacific. The height of the war is on August 24 at 4:10 AM Pacific. The war ends at 4:05 AM Pacific on August 26. Astronomically, Saturn “wins” the war by having the greater magnitude, but as my Jyotish teacher is fond of saying, “Both parties in a war are bloodied”. This may literally be the case.
What makes this Mars Saturn conjunction in Scorpio even more problematic is that there are three other graha yuddhas waging during the same period in Leo. First, Jupiter and Mercury, then Venus and Mercury, and within hours, Jupiter and Venus. Thus, there is no help from having the benefic planets strong. Jupiter can’t properly share its wisdom, Mercury can’t illumine our intellect properly and Venus can’t lend its elegant manners to the situation.
The battlefield for the Mars and Saturn conjunction in Scorpio is the nakshatra or constellation of Anuradha. Anuradha is “the star of success”. It puts success above all else and will sacrifice itself and others to accomplish its task. Anuradha has a way of sweetly convincing others to get on board with its plan. It is a master political manipulator. Anuradha cannot graciously accept defeat. Even if it loses, it vows to make a comeback. Once Anuradha people are provoked, watch out for their wrath. You will feel it like the sting of a scorpion.
Historical Mars Saturn conjunction in Scorpio
February, 1986 (in Anuradha nakshatra)
– In the Philippines, there was a Presidential election with former President Ferdinand Marcos running against Corazon Aquino. Violence accompanied the election. After claims of tampering of the election results, Marcos wins the election. Within a week, there was a revolution in the Philippines.
– In September, 1984, an agreement was reached between Libyan President Gaddafi and French President Mitterrand. T hey decided that both countries’ forces would leave Chad, which was then divided on the 16th parallel. Libya and the rebel GUNT would keep the Northern part, while the French and the Chadian government would control the South. French kept up its end of the agreement, but the Libyan government still maintained 5,000 troops. In February, 1986, Gaddafi’s ordered the GUNT troops to attack southern Chad. In response, the French air force bombed N’djamena Airport in Chad. France used this strike to send a message to their African allies, showing that they would not tolerate Libyan expansion.
– King Hussain of Jordan severed ties with the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
– The US Senate ratified the UN’s anti-genocide treaty after 37 years, declaring genocide to be a crime. This had previously been strongly opposed by conservatives.
– The USSR launched the Mir space station into Earth orbit.
January 1958 ( in Jyestha nakshatra)
– The Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan formed.
– 9,000 scientists from 43 different nations petitioned the United Nations for a nuclear test ban.
– The Moroccan Liberation Army ambushed Spanish patrol in the Battle of Edchera.
– A group of people who were attempting the first surface crossing of the Antarctic met at the South Pole.
– Venezuelan Dictator Marcos Perez Jiménez fled the country. Then, Admiral Wolfgang Larrazabal took control.
– The first man-made nuclear fusion happened.
-A Japanese ferry, Nankai Maru, capsized off the island of Awaji, killing 167 people.
– Construction began on the first ever private thorium-uranium nuclear reactor.
– The British House of Lords passed a bill allowing women to hold political seats.
Just review the past events of this year. Some unthinkable crimes have happened. The racial divide has widened. With the Mars Saturn conjunction in Scorpio, we can expect racial tensions to culminate. Some drastic actions may be taken to prove a stance. There can be an increase in violent activity. Watch for significant changes in political leadership. Other countries may decide to copy the Brexit. The desire for independent rulership heightens. Accidents can happen over bodies of water, due to recklessness. There may be further issues with water contamination or serious illnesses (i.e. Zika virus).
On a positive note, Mars and Saturn can represent athletic ability; we may see many new world records set at the Rio Olympics. Watch for new technological and scientific breakthroughs. Ultimately, the Mars Saturn conjunction in Scorpio can be a wake up call for people regarding what they need to transform in their own lives and how they wish to impact their environment. It can no longer be left “up to someone else”.
Strategies to handle the Mars Saturn conjunction in Scorpio:
- Resist the temptation to think you are right about everything
- Realize that others may have something valuable to contribute
- Be willing to walk away from a situation rather than be victorious
- Select a middle path rather than an extreme
- Focus on what is working rather than what isn’t
- Do not push yourself to the point of exhaustion
- Be vigilant about your health
- Be extra careful when driving and don’t get caught up in road rage
- Do not enter into any new alliances or sign any important contracts during the Mars Saturn conjunction in Scorpio
- Worship Ganesh
- Make time for meditation and spiritual practices
- Take herbal supplements to calm the mind
- Be sure that you get enough sleep so that you are not overly agitated during the day and do not push yourself beyond your means
- Set clear and uplifting intentions for whatever you do
- Be judicious in your choice of words and activities
- Consider the long-term impact of your choices and actions
Understand what impact the Mars Saturn conjunction in Scorpio will have on your personal life by knowing the details of your Vedic astrology chart. If we better understand what is happening astrologically on both a personal and global level, then we are empowered to be more discerning and have greater empathy. We always have free will to choose wisely, to select where we put our focus, what we say, and how we act.
Om shanti, shanti, shanti.
Also published on Medium.