The United States is now just over 2 years and 2 months well into its 8th house Rahu mahadasha, so you can see how the Rahu cycle has impacted this country, in many domains:  The unconventional approaches win out over old traditions; chaos abounds; daring, secretive alliances in all levels of government and in media; the opioid epidemic;  shocking, sudden events and behaviors taking place on a daily basis;  breaking/changing the rules and laws against social convention; new innovative technologies;  wider introduction of artificial intelligence;  advances with self-driving cars;  and major medical diagnostics & treatment advances in pharmacology coming into public view;  the first delivery of an infant in the U.S. via an artificial uterus just yesterday in Dallas, Texas; high levels of uncertainty and enormous change happening in many spheres.  It’s a roller coaster ride and it can be exhausting to follow.     This is all a reflection of Rahu’s expression, plain and simple.   Relax, just sixteen more years to follow!

     December 2017 brings its share of complications and difficulties concerning the planetary transits.  This is a good month to slow down and become more introspective concerning all major life decisions, projects and actions.    Irritations, delays, mix-ups, blockages, resistances are common this month.  This is a month when your past efforts at self-development, meditation and calming your mind will assist you and pay off.   



Mercury is afflicted, weak, and turns retrograde:
 
     Late on 12/2, witness Mercury turning retrograde and transiting close to Saturn at 5 degrees Sagittarius.  Mercury is not in a friendly sign and it will be transiting back to Scorpio on 12/10, becoming combust with the Sun, another difficult placement.  Mercury then turns direct in Scorpio later on 12/22.  Mercury then returns to Sagittarius on 1-6-2018 and again will join up with Saturn in early January.

    Mercury remains highly stressed and afflicted throughout this period.  Whereas Mercury governs all communications, understanding, analysis, decisions, travel, contracts, negotiations and business, all of these areas will be problematic in December.   Try to avoid such important dealings for at least the month of December if possible.   Expect travel delays, confusion, mistakes, misunderstandings, mishaps, annoyances, breakdowns and having to go back and fix prior errors or previous issues.   

    With the additional Saturn conjunction to Mercury for part of the month, retrograde Mercury is quite harmed.   This makes the retrograde transit all the more problematic.   Often when frustration abounds, decisions hastily get made just to take the edge off and to do “something” to push through the blockage and make progress or to simply meet desires.  This approach tends to result in the wrong decision being made and having to go back and change it, return the item or get out of a badly written contract.   Be careful this month.  Think long and hard before you sign any legal document.  Make sure you precisely understand every word of what you read or heard, not just in contracts but in all forms of media.  

     It is interesting, in the U.S., just as Mercury is about to turn retrograde, the Senate Republicans pass their version of the new Tax bill, just under the wire.  The complications and confusion with this legislation are present reflecting the poor timing of its passage during an afflicted, retrograde Mercury transit.   How many more iterations, changes and delays will we witness with this legislation?      


Saturn’s Influence in Sagittarius:

    For several months, I have been writing about the impact of Saturn’s major transit into Sagittarius.  In particular, I have mentioned that individual’s beliefs, philosophy, religious ideology, dogma, sense of power, moral stance and ethics would be put to the test.  Sure enough, right on schedule, early on in this Saturn transit through Sagittarius, we witness the most prominent sexual harassment and abuse scandals ever brought out in public view for all to acknowledge.  Worse yet, the use of public taxpayer dollars (a special slush fund that the Congress set up for themselves for their own use, however they deemed useful to them) has been used to silence the accusers of sexual harassment, abuse and rape.   It finally comes out.   

    It’s interesting that some of those who loudly espouse the highest piety and religious fervor, politician or priest, are then implicated in sexual abuse cases. Remember the televangelist, Assemblies of God minister, Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker religious/sex scandal (“Forgive me, for I have sinned..”)?  That took place during the previous Saturn transit through Sagittarius.  Here we go again, in 2017 terms.  The truth comes out under such a transit as Saturn moving through Sagittarius, the sign governing religion, ethics, morality and justice.  Saturn has a way of separating the “real” from the “fakers.”

     All of this is coming into public view, under full transparency, courtesy of Saturn transiting through Sagittarius.   Saturn plays hard ball and there is no escaping the repercussions of one’s behavior through its influence.  In time, Saturn pulls for the truth to come out, as painful as that may be.  There is a lot more of this to come over the next 2 years.  

    Educational and religious-based institutions are also being put under the microscope.  For example, a series of private “law schools” were set up in various states, for previously rejected or unqualified hopeful students, and many of these students borrowed huge student loans.  Then many of them dropped out or were unable to pass bar exams, and did not repay the loans.  Now these “law schools” have to close down and are defunct.  It’s this type of situation that will happen more frequently as Saturn makes its swath through Sagittarius.

    Wherever there is an imbalance of justice and power that has built up over time, the public will learn about the problem, especially in the criminal-justice system, the courts, government officials (bribery, embezzlement & deceit), religious and spiritually-based institutions, educational institutions, and other places where someone exerts undue influence or power.  

     Even the rewriting of many laws will likely take place during the next two years, as the combination of Rahu mahadasha with Saturn in Sagittarius won’t tolerate repressive, unfair, inhibitory, and out of date laws and regulations that inhibit personal freedoms.   These legal changes may go too far in the other direction.  Regardless of opinion, we will witness these changes.  

    
The Sun and Venus Join with Saturn:

     On 12/15, the Sun moves from Scorpio into Sagittarius and joins with Saturn.  The exact conjunction takes place on 12/21 at approx. 6 degrees Sagittarius in Mula nakshatra.  In the U.S. chart, this takes place in the primary 1st house within 3 degrees of its Lagna (Ascendant).  

     Note that the Sun rules the 9th house of the government and international associations  (in a country’s chart) and it is transiting in the 1st house of the U.S. chart.  Normally, that is a wonderful, positive transit (ruler of the 9th in the 1st house).  However, while Saturn is conjunct the Sun this year, that puts enormous stress and pressure on the government officials to produce, work hard and they are put to the test.  This is also indicative of some strained associations with other foreign countries.  Mula is a nakshatra for healing, resolving problems and seeking justice for the weak, disabled or disadvantaged.   It is also a nakshatra that can indicate anger, protests, fighting and calamities.  We might witness a combination of these features around this time, especially involving politicians.   
 
     Finally, on 12/20, Venus transits into Sagittarius as well and joins with the Sun and Saturn.  Now Venus will be combust and closely conjunct with Saturn.  This sweetens the Sun and Saturn, but brutally harms Venus.  This is not a good time for relationships, marriage, real estate transactions, major purchases, negotiations, contracts and it harms finances.    Needless to say, it is best to put all of these actions on hold until a more advantageous time.

     While there are stressful planetary transits during the month of December 2017, it is also a beneficial time to tune into the non-material, spiritual side of our existence and to take time to reflect and reevaluate one’s path, journey, evolution and direction.  It is a good time to slow down and not push so hard, and in that stillness to see what is truth, what is the right way to live, and where we each fit into the grand scheme of things in this particular incarnation.

       

Vedic Astrological Monthly Outlook:   December 2017