October is a complex month astrologically, with several major shifts happening. During the entire month, Saturn and Jupiter in Capricorn barely move beyond the place they started from at the beginning of October. But there is a deep sense of change as they both shift from retrograde to direct. Venus is with Ketu in Scorpio which also adds to a sense of transformation and change.
Mars remains in a close combustion with the Sun the entire month. A retrograde Mercury is also involved with the Sun and Mars conjunction during the first couple of weeks of October.
As you can see, most of the planets are involved in some form of transformation and this affects many people.
Mars and the Sun transit close to one another until November 28th.
When a planet is close to the Sun it is considered combust. A combust planet can not be seen in the sky. Because of the light and the heat from the Sun the other planet is uncomfortable and may therefore not be very effective.
Mars is considered to be combust when he comes within 17 degrees on either side of the Sun.
Because Mars is now combust, this is a good time to wear red coral (the gemstone for Mars) if your rising sign is Aries or Scorpio in Vedic astrology. Aries and Scorpio are both signs ruled by Mars which makes Mars the ruler of your rising sign. However, a gemstone for Mars is not right for everyone, because Mars is a malefic planet.
The story of Surya (the Sun) and Sanjana demonstrates how planets can suffer when they are too close to the Sun.
In Vedic mythology, Surya and Sanjana were married to one another. Sanjana began to feel weak and depleted because she was living so close to Surya. Surya's brightness and heat caused Sanjana to suffer and she was losing her own power.
One day she was desperate enough to leave him, but before she left she cloned herself and created Chaya from her own shadow. It took Surya a long time to notice that Sanjana was gone and that Chaya had taken her place.
My interpretation of this story is that a planet suffers when it is close to the Sun due to his brightness and heat. The planet is not seen and becomes less effective.
“Action is greater than inaction.
Perform therefore thy task in life.
Even the life of the body
could not be if there were no action.”
–Bhagavad Gita 3.8
Mars is the planet of action.
Mars is red-hot and expresses energy, strength and passion. Mars tells us that we need to take action.
When the energy finds a positive direction Mars can be responsible for a lot of good. He is a great planet to have on your side when you need to fight for a good cause. He will defend you, and he is determined to win. Mars has courage and stamina.
However, when Mars is aggravated, he can be a rebel without a good cause and his energy can be very destructive. Mars is a malefic planet. Hot energy that is out of control is capable of causing calamities. Accidents, fires, wars, thunder and storms, are also part of his expressions. A negative Mars can be a dangerous enemy, express cruelty and cause suffering beyond belief.
When Mars is influencing us, we should apply the energy in positive and constructive ways. In working with Mars for spiritual growth, we should follow dharma (right action). We need to embrace non-violence and let go of every desire to harm anyone.
The new moon meets the Sun and Mars at 19 degrees Virgo in Hasta nakshatra on October 6th. Hasta is ruled by the moon. A new moon tells us to honor the past while allowing new things to unfold. This new moon may give us a sense of urgency with Mars so closely involved.
A retrograde Mercury returns to Virgo from Libra on October 1st. Virgo is Mercury’s favorite sign and all could be well except that during Mercury’s retrograde he encounters the Sun and an overheated Mars. On October 8th and 9th, the three planets are on the same degree at 22 degrees Virgo.
This makes the sensitive Mercury overheated.
Mercury retrograde is combust the Sun from October 3rd to the 15th. While it is not unusual for Mercury to be in combustion – Mercury is never more than 28 degrees away from the Sun – it is the combination of combust Mars and Mercury that will make this a busy and stressful time.
The Sun moves into Libra, and Mercury goes direct again in Virgo on October 18th. This will make things less intense for Mercury.
Saturn has been retrograde since May 23rd. On October 10th he slowly changes gears and goes direct. Saturn will stay at 12 degrees Capricorn almost the entire month. Saturn is slow and it takes this planet a long time to settle into the shift from retrograde to direct.
Jupiter has been retrograde since June 20th and will also go direct again a week after Saturn, on October 18th. Jupiter remains at 28 degrees Capricorn during this process.
With both Saturn and Jupiter direct again, it seems that we will begin to feel ready to move forward after a time of withdrawal and reassessment.
Venus is transiting the sign of Scorpio and is conjunct Ketu. The conjunction with Ketu is exact on October 10th, the same day Saturn goes direct. This transit is good for research and can increase intuition. It also gives a love for the metaphysical and seclusion, but may not be good for material gain. This conjunction also reflects transformation and change.
This is a time when we need to be vigilant and aware. We should try to remain calm in the way we respond and act. Or in the words of Paramhansa Yogananda: “Be calmly active, and actively calm. That is the way of the yogi.”
P.S. Northern Lights Vedic is now on Instagram! I’d love to see you there.