by Chakrapani Ullal
The new Vedic year, Manmatha which began at 5:37am Washington DC, March 20th, 2015 gives an optimistic, progressive outlook for the upcoming period.
Although there will be some ups and downs, the thrust is unmistakably towards growth and progress in economic conditions, employment, production and real estate. This positive impetus is indicated by a strong rising sign and its ruler aspected by Jupiter, as well as a powerful ruling planet, Venus. Venus reigns over the entire year both as Lord of the Manmatha year, and as Yogakaraka Planet for Capricorn Rising, as well as being powerfully placed in the Manmatha chart itself. The domains of Venus including women and women’s issues, gender equality, and the creative arts will be energized and enjoy greater visibility and greater success this year.
The planetary set-up is as follows: The Rising Sign, which indicates the general disposition and vitality of the chart is Capricorn, ruled by Saturn with Leo Navamsha. This is a strong rising sign, and is one important window into the overall nature of a chart. This rising is also aspected by an exalted Jupiter (although retrograde) in the 7th which gives support and enhances the qualities of Capricorn and its ruler, Saturn, placed in the 11th house, also aspected by Jupiter. This set-up with regards to the rising sign and it’s overall power in the chart conveys from the get-go a strong horoscope with good potential. The overall vigor of the chart is further supported by the 3rd house, Pisces occupied by four telling planets: Sun, Moon, Mars and Ketu – all powerfully aspected by Jupiter, enhancing their power significantly.
The 3rd house is about neighbors and people who are helping you – so, with these planets deposited here, we can see considerable activity regarding America relating to its neighbors and allies. Because Ketu is there, we know it will not be smooth – there will be those who have misgivings, and there will be disagreements within the country as well. Jupiter is reducing misunderstandings and stress amongst the parties, but Ketu is there, none-the-less. To give context to the nature of these relations, presently there is a shift with regards to US relationships with other nations, (which I will elaborate on below). The thrust now, and more so going forward is more one of communicating and harmonizing through channels of diplomacy as opposed to intimidation through military power.
Although a cursory look at this Manmatha chart reveals powerful positive influences, the horoscope also suffers a significant, powerfully negative aspect as seen from the strong solar eclipse on March 20th, the Shukla Paksha Pratipada (new year’s day, itself). An eclipse at the new year is an inauspicious sign, to be sure. In fact, it would have inflicted far greater negative influence on the country and the government except for Jupiter’s protection. Jupiter neutralized the ill effects of the eclipse, although not entirely – some negative effects do remain. Remember, an eclipse blocks the vital energy of the Sun and the Moon, a very significant astronomical event on earth. The resulting status of the solar eclipse on new year’s day – with the saving grace of Jupiter’s influence is that we will suffer some natural calamities, and the government will face a certain amount of challenges relating to the appearance of losing strength. The eclipse has broad applications - generally speaking, it has to do with loss of vitality or strength or some kind of obstruction. (There will be 2 more eclipses this year in October which are brief but significant events mostly affecting the health of individuals who are ill or physically weak; this will be a vulnerable time for them.)
In summary, there is an overall vitality to the Manmatha chart which suggests a strong energy to make good overall progress, especially with regards to Venus, but the new year’s solar eclipse will give expression to problems and some challenges throughout the year.
Regarding Venus: We can observe Venus’s strength from 3 angles, First, as Yogakaraka for the year, (Yogakaraka or “Significator” essentially refers to the planet that is the path to success for the “lagna” or Rising Sign. Venus, as “Yogakaraka” offers the ways and means for finding satisfaction.) Since Venus rules the 5th (creative intellect and thinking) and 10th, it’s own house (house of success), you could say that activities, or the schedule of priorities, or the general outlook suggested by these houses are the road for finding fulfillment to the Capricorn agenda during Manmatha. Secondly, Venus is powerfully placed in the 4th House having to do with family, property and education, aspecting the 10th relating to achievement, work, and creativity. This is a well-situated, strong Venus with regards to house and aspect, so we see that the Venus agenda is also strengthened by its placement in the chart. Thirdly, March 20, Manmatha’s new years day, is Friday, the day of Venus, resulting in Venus being the Lord of the year, thus also promoting the causes of Venus and its functions as a kind of overseer of Manmatha. So we see the stamp of Venus coming from different directions echoing a powerful and benevolent influence throughout the Manmatha year.
As a result, women increasingly will command more importance and power this year, however, there is a mitigating factor because Venus is occupying the Ketu Nakshatra – Ketu being the planet of mischief and disorganization. Venus in Ketu brings a certain amount of obstacles to relationships, creativity, romance and the comforts of living. This means that women may go through some challenges and difficulties; it may not be easy for them in that sense. In spite of this, because Venus is situated in the 4th House – especially with regards to education, as well as family and home, women often have the power to triumph over their challenges, becoming all the stronger through the process. Also, the placement of Jupiter in the Manmatha chart further supports an already strong Venus, so the Manmatha Venus is a powerful influence indeed.
To get a sense of the Venus/Ketu dynamic, consider the recent confirmation hearings for Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. While the senate openly acknowledged her qualifications, there was record back-room politicking and delays before she was confirmed. The appointment of an African-American woman in this position was unprecedented and historic, but the process for the Lynch camp was exasperating and prolonged.
Continuing our analysis, Mercury is in the 2nd House ruling the 6th and 9th houses; 6th House is the House of Struggle, 9th is the House of good luck and good fortune, so this is a mixed bag. Mercury placed in the 2nd House, Aquarius debilitated in Navamsha, Pisces is a problematical Mercury. Being ruler of the 6th it does bring some struggle with regards to the 2nd house, meaning there will be budget problems for the country. But with regards to Mercury in the 9th house, it supports finance for higher education, and benefits through foreign trade activities. With regards to business and foreign relations, increasingly we will be exporting more with a slow trend towards importing less although the balance of trade will still not be in our favor. Mercury is also the planet of business, broadly speaking, so good support for business activities is indicated suggesting a generally favorable year in this regard.
Education: Further, Venus as ruler of the 5th house which supports creative intellect, including education is well-placed in the 4th house which has the good support of Jupiter. 4th house ruler, Mars which also has the power to support education is in the 3rd, powerfully aspected by Jupiter along with the aspect of the Moon and the Sun. On the negative side, Ketu is also there along with Mars indicating that not all children will complete their schooling, although there is an improvement from the previous years because of Jupiter’s aspect. So, with regards to education, there are some obstacles indicated at the lower levels, but higher education at the university level receives a boon, and research activities will increase. This trend will likely continue into the future.
Real Estate and Investment Markets: The ruler of the 4th house, Mars, placed in the 3rd house indicates that real estate in the US will generally be favorable, especially in the coastal areas and urban centers. Real estate is on the upswing, overall, however that trend will be more pronounced in areas where there is typically more movement. In other markets, they will be stable but not necessarily showing pronounced improvement. General improvement is also indicated because the stock market is showing a general uptrend in spite of ups and downs, and this makes for a more liquid market. When Jupiter goes into Leo, mid-July, 2015 there will be a steady rise in gold prices until July 2016, even though on a long-term basis, gold does not have a good future. For the time being an improved gold market will favorably influence general market conditions including real estate.
Because of Jupiter’s transit in Cancer (until mid-July, 2015) and Leo thereafter for about one year, the stock market will be on an upward trend. It will fluctuate within this general forward movement, but any downward trend will self-correct until July of 2016.
Regarding Finances and General Trends: Ruler of the Rising Sign, Saturn in the 11th house (house of gain), aspected by benevolent Jupiter is an important feature of the Manmatha chart. Jupiter enhances Saturn’s ability to bring financial gain to the country’s business activities. Apart from the rising sign ruler, Saturn in the 11th house, Saturn is also the ruler of the 2nd house (house of wealth) which is placed in the 11th house, so we see the indication for financial progress is stated in several ways, lending support to an optimistic financial outlook.
This trend indicates increased production which in turn brings more money to the working class, fueling increased activity from the bottom up resulting in greater stability within the hierarchy of American businesses. This creates a healthy basis for American businesses to continue to grow and prosper. Although there are forecasts that the American economy will witness greater depressions than we had in 2007 and 2008, I do not agree. There will be fluctuations, ups and downs – but I believe that by some means or the other the country will make progress, economically. Also, Mercury, planet of intellect, business and communication is in the 2nd house, (house of wealth and happiness). A 2nd house Mercury shows that the vehicle for greater prosperity in commerce will be through communication. Communication is also key with regards to foreign relations, the implication being that this is a time for negotiations, compromise, and expanding friendly relations within the world at large. Regarding the racial unrest we have seen since 2014, this level of agitation will continue until early 2016 when the tension will reduce gradually with time.
Foreign policy based on diplomacy and good communication as opposed to the threats of war and aggression is further supported by the country’s transition from the 7 year major Mars Dasha (Mars being the planet of war) to the 18 year major cycle of Rahu beginning in October, 2015. This represents a significant shift and we are already feeling the transition. It also explains why Obama could not end the war – his stated goal from the time he came into office. This was not possible because of the prominence of Mars in the US natal chart, and the reality of the 7 year Mars Dasha we were in. War at that time was inescapable. However, because of the shift from Mars to Rahu, the emphasis has begun to shift from the politics of war to the politics of diplomacy. Iranian negotiations will very likely be resolved and the previous American agenda which was so much about maintaining our status through military might will now slowly give way to leadership with a different emphasis. This new leadership will be guided by the nature of Rahu.
One important thing to remember about Rahu and Ketu, both – they can bring the best of the best and the worst of the worst. They are the planets of extremes; on the one hand they take you to the heights of any given endeavor – to the sublime, but on the other hand, they are the planets that can function like poison. Rahu is the planet that embraces a comprehensive, holistic approach to health allowing for the possibility of complete and total regeneration. In this capacity Rahu has the power to redefine life in profound ways, as in pushing the boundaries of longevity far beyond our current norm, for example. On the other hand, Rahu is the planet of poisonous drugs, descent into madness, and addiction of all kinds. When you are dealing with Rahu you are playing with fire – it carries the potential for enormous power, to whatever ends.
Rahu is the planet of discovery, diversity, innovation, mystery – therefore it supports things like higher education, technological innovations, research in the medical field in things like longevity and the secrets of life, as well as the eradication of diseases and finding remedies for difficult conditions like cancer or ebola. Slowly, as we proceed into the 18 year Rahu Dasha, through education and research the United States will lead through ground-breaking innovations in these areas, and in things like bio-technology, ecology, and in exploring new frontiers in marine biology and space, all of which will help define a new era for America and the world at large.
As I have explained before, the assurance I have in America’s continuing role as a world leader is based on the United States natal chart. That horoscope reveals the innovative spirit of America which is the bedrock of it’s identity. It is its innovation, flexibility and energy that will allow America to find a more healthy and productive course than it is on presently. This ability to self-correct is woven into the fabric of the American soul and will be the vehicle for maintaining its stature as the imminent world power, regardless of how global trends may suggest otherwise.
Rahu is open-minded, egalitarian and flexible in accepting new ways in thinking. Rahu will adopt the Saturnian mission which I have spoken about at length with regards to promoting the issues of the common man, pushing him up and creating an ever-growing middle class. Rahu will adopt Saturn’s issues which have come to the fore regarding racial disparities, religious tensions, economic differences and gradually bring an expanded sense of the possibilities for greater balance and understanding amongst the peoples. With time, the racial tensions that we have today will give way to a more peaceful co-existence of racial and religious groups. The acceptance of diversity is part of the Rahu agenda.
President Obama: One important dimension to our analysis of the American new year is through the it’s chief executive, the president. President Obama is currently passing through the major cycle of Saturn which began July 25, 2012 and he is ending the Saturn sub-cycle July 28, 2015 at which point he will be entering into the Mercury sub-cycle. This will bring him certain opportunities. From this angle and his chart in general you can see that he has staying power; his presence will continue to be felt after leaving office.
Obama’s natal Saturn aspecting Mercury in Cancer along with the Sun enhances Mercury’s intellectual prowess regarding both his writing and speaking, and clearly shows he is an eloquent speaker. Moving forward into his Mercury cycle, his Mercury is exalted in Virgo in the 2nd house of the Navamsha chart aspected by Jupiter in its own house which enhances his strong natal Mercury even further. This tells us that in the period following his presidency he will be a more charismatic speaker still. He will continue to attract attention after leaving office with many ongoing speaking engagements, although he will always attract controversy because of the Jupiter Saturn conjunction opposite Sun in his rising sign. Obama is vulnerable to the possibility of an accident or an issue relating to his health until the end of 2016. Regardless of any mishap in this regard, his chart indicates longevity.
May, June and July, 2015 are intensely active months for Obama bringing him many conflicts, racial issues, delicate negotiations, and sensitive issues to deal with in general.
Incidentally, Moon is ruler of the 7th house in Obama’s chart - representing his wife. That Moon is exalted in the 5th house, Taurus, aspected by benevolent Jupiter and a well-placed Saturn from the Moon. This is an auspicious planetary set-up relative to Obama’s wife and suggests the very real possibility that Michelle Obama may enter into public life herself in due course. Currently Saturn is passing through the 7th house of exalted Taurus Moon suggesting that the seeds of this desire have already been germinating.
General Reflections: To sum up the Manmatha year, Venus is powerfully placed in the 4th house from the rising sign, influenced by the benevolent Jupiter. The 4th house is a kendra, (an angle house within the square horoscope format – the 4 angle houses have the most influence in terms of the placement of the houses), and is aspecting its own house, the 10th house, Libra. It is the best planet in the chart with proviso that it is occupying the Ketu constellation, the planet of mischief. Generally speaking, it will still yield beneficial results in the area of home, family, property, comforts of living, the arts, creativity, education - in all these areas it has some positive say. Activities or work falling under the general purvey of Venus will receive a boost – people in the creative fields, the arts, education - they can receive more recognition or general support. Also the qualities of family life, of the general domains of the home are given more attention. And lastly, as mentioned before, women and women’s issues are given priority – their status is enhanced. It is a good time for women to occupy important positions, in general, and, in fact, it is a good time for a woman to advance to the presidency.
Since Venus is occupying the constellation of Ketu in the 4th house, which is malefic by nature, there can be challenges in Venus fulfilling its objectives; this is the other side of the equation. One must be persistent and tenacious and then often it will bring the desired result. Remember that Venus as Yogakaraka and as the the Manmatha Lord does not have the dampening influence of Ketu, so during Manmatha, independent of Ketu’s complications we also may receive the full, unmitigated influence of a benevolent and powerful Venus, boosted by the other great benevolent, Jupiter.
Capricorn Rising is industrious. It makes people to be hard-working, tenacious, perfectionistic, with a desire to communicate. Generally they are looking to succeed – there is an element of self interest in this regard, but they also want to help others. It is a good rising sign for politicians; they want a certain amount of status, and they want to help others, both. Capricorn rising suggests a lot of energy because they are willing to work hard - they assume responsibility and they see it through. Obama is a good example of Capricorn Rising, and that is why the Manmatha year is not bad for him.
In Manmatha, Saturn, ruler of the Rising Sign is powerfully placed in the 11th house, house of gain, but retrograde. This means, Saturn will help bring fulfilment this year – but as always, with Saturn one has to deal with delays, obstacles and hard work. If you can persevere and have patience, Saturn will be your friend. Remember, Saturn is in operation over this entire generation, having replaced a generation of Jupiter before it.
Manmatha, as a whole is a productive year; it brings success through hard work – a very American concept. It is a transitional year for America as we leave the major cycle of Mars and enter into the major cycle of Rahu which heralds a new beginning, a new epoch defined by exploration of new frontiers in science and technology. Rahu gradually expands our acceptance of diversity in all regards - racial, religious, and economic, and slowly it will be helping us find ways of harmonizing the various groups that populate the earth. In this way Rahu promotes the overall Saturnian influence that has been operating for decades, the influence that is behind globalization - making the world a smaller, more connected community.
We will get a glimpse of what is to come with regards to the mystical side of Rahu tackling questions that go to the core in defining the terms of our existence on this planet. Ultimately Rahu will redefine the boundaries of life by increasing longevity, expanding performance of the human body, finding cures to previously debilitating conditions, expanding functions of technology in many domains, and exploring frontiers of previously uncharted territories which will dramatically affect how we approach our daily lives.
Lastly, in many ways Manmatha is year of the woman. It is the time for women to harness the energy of Venus for making greater strides forward. Traditionally, patience has often been woman’s path; during the Manmatha year women would do well to draw upon this native strength, persevering toward their goals, whatever they may be. Ketu will likely test her in this regard, as well as Saturn. Men will do well to follow her lead as far as exercising diligence, nose-to-the-grindstone – through hard work many things are possible, and action independent of expectation is always the best way. This, it would seem is the lesson of Manmatha.
Have faith – best of luck to you,
P.O. Box 84312
Seattle, WA 98124-5612