While Saturn and North node Rahu continue to separate in Vedic astrology, there are still quite proximate to each other in Libra. Mercury is also with this combination. There are three upcoming Saturn and Mercury planetary wars in Libra. A planetary war (or graha yuddha) is when two of five planets (Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars) are within one degree of each other. In Western astrology, this is known as an exact conjunction.
When two planets are in a war, they are vying for the same piece of the zodiacal pie. As my Vedic astrology, or Jyotish teacher says, “Both parties in a war are bloodied.” While Mercury “wins” the Saturn and Mercury planetary war in Libra (based on astronomical considerations), both are impacted.
The Saturn and Mercury planetary war in Libra begins on October 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM PST, the war reaches its peak on October 8 at 12:15 PM PST, and then concludes on October 9 at 4:25 PM PST .
Mercury is the planet of communication, commerce, and intellect. It is ever youthful, quick-witted, fast moving, and changeable. Saturn is the planet of discipline, responsibility, and sorrow. It is mature, cautious, slow-moving and rigid. While Mercury and Saturn are friendly to each other in Vedic astrology, their temperaments are quite dissimilar. Mercury is impulsive; while Saturn likes to deliberate on matters. Mercury will take risks on a whim; Saturn prefers to know all aspects of a matter before moving forward. This adds more friction to the planetary war; both are trying to exert their style on the other. The (still very new) Moon will also be in Libra when the planetary war begins, so there is an additional element of emotional intensity.
In terms of Ayurveda, Mercury rules majja dhatu or the nervous system. Saturn governs mamsa dhatu or the muscle tissue (some jyotishis or Vedic astrologers disagree about what Saturn signifies). When Saturn and Mercury come together, it can lead to muscle ticks, muscle tremors or muscle spasm. There can be impulsive behavior which causes a person to push themselves too hard in a workout, thus straining the muscles. Then, the nervous system is exhausted but the individual has a hard time resting. The war is happening in the nakshatra or constellation of Svati. Svati is associated with Vata disorders in Ayurveda, and both Saturn and Mercury can be classified as Vata planets. Vata imbalances or issues with the air element in the body can arise. There can be mental indecisiveness, anxiety, fear, a constant need for change and stimulation, and over taxing the body. Rahu is also in Svati so this can bring about impulsive behavior and phobias.
This planetary battleground for this duel is in the sign of Libra – symbolized by the scales. Libras enjoy balance and harmony, so a war is the last thing it welcomes. Libra is a very social sign, often to its own detriment. A feud makes Libra unsettled. There can be a faux pas in social settings. There can also be a hesitancy to make commitments, in the hopes that someone better may show up.
As Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac, it also represents partnerships – both personal and professional. Mercury is dual minded about partnerships; it craves both companionship and independence simultaneously. Saturn is a loner and prefers solitude over company. With the Mercury and Saturn battle, there can be ambivalence about whether or not to continue a partnership. Saturn will address the matter maturely but in a cold manner, while Mercury will try and inject humor into the situation and keep all options open.
The wars recur again twice, starting when Mercury is retrograde in Libra. The first occurs on October 28, 2013 at 6:20 PM PST, reaches an exact conjunction at 1:30 PM the next day and they separate at 8:30 AM the following morning. The second planetary war starts when Mercury is direct on November 24 at 11:20 PM, peaks the next day at 5:40 PM, and then they part by more than one degree on the 26th at 12:45 PM.
Those in a Mercury or Saturn planetary cycle (dasha or bhukti) need to be very mindful. A personalized Vedic astrology reading can provide insight on what to watch for and what opportunities to maximize in the months ahead.