SUMMER 2013 BRINGS BIG CHANGES IN THE SKY AND LOTS OF MOVEMENT ON THE GROUND
by Alexia Neonakis Vedic Astrology
As the summer begins, we can all start to breathe a little more easily. The two slower moving planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are making changes in the sky and bringing change into our daily lives. We have also had a string of eclipses occur in early spring, which can also really stir the emotional pot, sometimes more than we’d like. Just know that when major planetary changes occur, some might not flow so well with this energy at first. Because Jupiter is shifting into Gemini, an air sign, and Saturn will be going direct again in Libra, also an air sign, people may be acting a bit on the frenetic side around the days the planets shift. Think speeding, bad driving, arguments and crazy comments being shouted about… Unfortunately, we humans are not always so well poised when change is afoot, so have patience with those around you –and perhaps with yourself.
Here’s some of what we have to look forward to:
Saturn goes direct July 8, 2013 and stays in Libra until November 3, 2014
It’s been a slow and rough first half of the year astrologically for many with Saturn being retrograde since February 19th – for most of the year already! When a slow moving and hard-hitting planet like Saturn sits still for a while, we can start to feel distressed that life isn’t moving forward as we might like, that all efforts for real progress are just for naught, and that whatever is going on (or not going on) is the“new norm”. Saturn’s backwards movement can make us feel like there has been a giant celestial pause button placed on our heads. Not fun at all, and frustrating at best… unless you have been able to use this time for reflection and gaining some personal perspective, in which case Bravo! to you! Whatever these months have offered, things are geared to shift as Saturn will begin its forward movement again on July 8th, lightening the load on our shoulders. Changes for the efforts we have been striving towards should start to come to fruition over the next few months. You should also start to feel a bit more capable and energized, ready to engage in the beautiful future you have been creating for yourself.
Noté bien: Saturn likes plans! Saturn likes bullet-pointed plans, not ones with a lot of emotional blah blah blah (Saturn’s words, not mine). Get your pen and paper out(do people still use those things?) and write your plan for the next year. Keep it simple and focused. You may need a few rewrites but that is ok! You still have a few weeks to sit and think about it while Saturn is retrograde, giving us a chance to indulge in our ponderous and internal sides. Remember Saturn is also sitting with Rahu, the often erratic North Node of the Moon. Rahu likes to do a lot and gobble up as much as it can. Sadly, we can’t all digest the insane amounts Rahu would like to ingest so it is best to be picky and thoughtful these days. Hmm, this might be tricky since Rahuand Saturn are sitting in Libra the Balance, making it hard to make decisions. Just keep going back to your plan, to those bullet points and get that Rahuvian dragon back on track. Keep your eye on the prize – this is the mantra for the next year! You just have to be clear what you want that prize to be. Do you know? Have you thought about it? No? Well get thinking and writing then.
Jupiter in Gemini May31, 2013-June 19, 2014: Education, the Lungs, Pranayama and Kids
Jupiter the guru/philosopher will be in quick-witted and cerebral Gemini for the next year giving us all a bit of a mental boost. This will be a great time for joining a book club or finally taking that class or training you’ve been meaning to take. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself though to delve too deeply as Gemini won’t want to stick around too long or go too deep. (“There’s a lot to learn out there, ya know!” says Gemini.) Use this next year as an information-gaining/mind-expansion time as the information should come quickly and flow well. This will also be a good time to focus on your voice – speaking, writing, singing –whatever form you need to express, go for it.
One of Jupiter’s hallmark traits is abundance. Wherever it falls in the chart, it creates this energetic, but can also make people a little too big for their britches. Jupiter’s boundlessness sometimes needs a little reigning in so that it can make things happen on this plane. Gemini is a Mercury sign, and therefore connects to the nervous system among other things. These two combined can make a person respond quickly, but can also create some over-extending. Having awareness around your own energy and how much you really have versus how much you think you have will be an important lesson this year.
Jupiter is also “kapha”or thick blockage-causing stuff in Ayurveda (holistic Indian medicine) – think yucky stuff like phlegm – and Gemini connects to the lungs. Since kapha has a natural affinity to the lungs, this is definitely an area to boost and protect this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an increase of pneumonia come winter, so if you know you have a tendency toward slung imbalances, this is the time to start supporting that area with singing or“kirtan” (devotional chanting), but also with “pranayama” (focused intentional breathing exercises). There are many types of pranayama geared towards different needs (calming, energizing,balancing, organ toning, blood cleansing, digestion boosting, etc.). A good one for the nervous system and the blood that is beneficial to all is called “nadi sodhana” or “alternate nostril breathing”. Here’s how to do it:
1) First exhale through your nose (both nostrils).
2) Then using your right thumb, cover your right nostril and inhale through your left nostril for a count of 4. Then release your thumb, cover your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through you right nostril for a count of 8. This is the first round.
3) With the left nostril still covered, inhale for a count of 4 through your right nostril. Release the ring finger, cover the right nostril with the thumb and exhale through the left nostril for a count of 8. This is the second round.
4) Inhale through the left for 4, exhale through the right for 8. Inhale through the right for 4, exhale through the left for 8. And so on until you have done a few rounds. Start simple, like doing 5 rounds. Then build up to 15 or more per day.
5) Always end with normal breathing for a few minutes. Take note of any sensations you feel and if this gives you a boost during your day.
6) Some tips: My teachers at the Ayurvedic Institute said to sit straight and tall, hold the right arm up and parallel to the ground, with the first and middle fingers bend into the palm of the hand. I have also seen many do this pranayama with the arm just bent from the hip rather than extended out from the shoulder. The extended arm seems to open the lungs up more as well as be more invigorating (and can be tiresome to the arm too!). We were also taught that you can increase the strength and speed of the breath for a more invigorating and energizing experience and outcome. Remember to always maintain focus when doing this. You don’t want to feel dizzy or lightheaded afterwards.
7) Do not do if you are congested or sick. There is no need to force the breath through a blockage. If this is the case, just do simple slow deep belly breathing focusing on an inhale of 4-6, and an exhale or8-12. This idea is to exhale as deeply as possible (twice as long as the inhale typically), so as to release toxins in the system. It can be helpful on the inhale to visualize the inward breath originating by your heart,breathe it up to the crown of your head and down the spine to the tailbone (if you can make it there even). On the exhale, visualize the outward breath traveling back up the spine, to the crown, and past the heart to the belly button or further. This slow deep breath-work and visualization is also helpful if you are having trouble sleeping.
A good friend of mine said, “Pranayama saved my life.” It is that powerful. The breath is always there for us – and best of all, it’s free! You just have to give yourself a few minutes to do it. For those of us who feel over-extended and would love to clone ourselves, finding the time to simply breathe might be the biggest challenge of all. Once you do it, you will see how beneficial it is – how centered and energized you will feel, ready to handle whatever is next.
Don’t forget the little ones!
Jupiter and Gemini are also both connected to children. This is of course a great time to focus on children and their education. Get involved however you can. Become a tutor! Read to a kid or teach one to read! Play with them! If you don’t have the time, then support your local schools or after-school programs with a donation of some kind. Since Gemini is connected to the mind and communication, tools for reading, writing and drawing are key. Whatever you do, keep the kids and their expansion on the forefront – mental and spiritual.
This is also a great time to teach them how to do pranayama. Doing simple slow breath-work before bedtime will help them to unwind and sleep more quickly and soundly. If the child is upset, have her/him breathe slowly in through the nose and a loud exhale through the mouth. Showing them how and doing it with them (a bit exaggerated even) will help to calm them down quickly. This experience will be a supportive life tool, bringing them back to center, to their core, to the Now.
Mercury Retrograde in Gemini June 27-July 20
Awesome! Mercury is going retrograde just as everything is shifting into Gemini! Well, it will certainly make things interesting! As we all know by now, Mercury retrograde cam hurl that monkey wrench into communication, computers, cars,contracts… so get those things look at as best you can before the end of June. As mentioned in previous forecasts,always look over any important communication two or three times before sending it out. Get a second set of eyes to check it out too. Get your car worked on before this time frame, especially if it’s due or seems like something is off. No need to tempt fate! Since both Saturn and Mercury will be retrograde for the last week or June and first week of July,use this time specifically for that last bit of reminiscing and to be reflective before moving forward with plans. Take a break then! Enjoy the sun, the mountains and the water as these will balance out all of the electric air energy swirling about. Keep those grounding pranayamas going. And don’t be surprised if people from your past pop up out of the blue! They seem to do this during Mercury retrograde. It’s up to you to decide how to roll with that. Are they a monkey wrench or a happy addition to your social summer?
Mars in Gemini July 5-August 19
Get ready for pretty much everything written above to go into Martian overdrive! Mars will join Jupiter in Gemini for most of the summer, making everyone a little extra energized… and perhaps a little nuts too! Mars will add lots of extra energy to what already is brewing, which can be excellent for those who have taken the time to get focused and organized (ahem, remember that bullet-pointed list?). For those who are letting the planets ride them rather than taking control of the reigns… well, things might just be hyper-mode then – and potentially dangerous. Be safe this summer and know that not everyone will be in tune with the energies floating about. The best we can do is be grounded and centered with our little lists in our pockets, and our bodies full of good clean oxygen, ready to roll forward.
A very Happy Summer to all!
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