“I began feeling the way I imagine an actor or athlete must feel when, after years of commitment to a particular dream… he realizes that he’s gone just about as far as talent or fortune will take him. The dream will not happen, and he now faces the choice of accepting this fact like a grownup and moving on to more sensible pursuits, or refusing the truth and ending up bitter, quarrelsome, and slightly pathetic. ”
― Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
The Sun, Moon and the planets are the forces that exist in nature, as well as the impulses in our mind that make up our personality and as a result our destiny. Each planet represents an aspect of Yogic knowledge that we have to master to allow for our spiritual evolution.
The dashas (Vedic planetary timeline) define when the planetary energies in our consciousness will unfold their effects in the outer events of our life. As students of Yoga we should all know the current dasha/Bhukti (first and second level of planetary influence). The changing dashas/bhukti are responsible for the abrupt and dramatic changes in our lives and personalities. They are also responsible for long periods of success, as well as the inability to achieve our goals.
Along with dashas Vedic Astrology also utilizes transits (current movement of the planets in relationship to our horoscope) to forecast the trends of our life.
The unfolding dashas, tell the tale of the our life. For example, in my Rahu dasha, I was a passionate environmental activist. In my Jupiter dasha my passion moved into meditation, Vedic studies and Vedic Astrology. Currently, I am in Saturn dasha and it is practical efforts and real life responsibilities and my work that are taking front stage.
Saturn is perhaps the most important planet in Vedic Astrology, as it is the pressure and burdens that Saturn makes us confront in our life that bring the vast majority of clients to the Astrologer. His planetary periods bury us under a mountain of responsibility as he continues to keep an iron grip on our life until we humbly embrace the practical realities of life. Saturn has no illusions so he teaches us to depend on the self. While there is always a crowd around Jupiter, Saturn is a lonely planet.
For people inexperienced with Astrology, Saturn becomes a dreaded and feared planet for the karmic retribution he is believed to bring. However, in reality no planet is “bad” or “good”. Each planet can give and each can take away, depending on their placement in the horoscope, yet they will keep their distinctiveness in the style in which they give or take.
Saturn played a big role in the recent elections as all four of the players Romney/Ryan, Obama/Biden were working under the stern eye of Saturn. As the planet that represents ambition, responsibilities and grueling pressure, he is always involved in political campaigns. Saturn also represents democracy, where personal ideals have to often be compromised to the majority’s ideals.
Obama: Considering the pressure of the last four years, it’s hard to believe that Obama’s 19 year Saturn dasha only just started on July, 25 2012. As a Capricorn rising, with Saturn the ruler of Capricorn on the ascendant, Obama’s life has always been Saturnian. Capricorn, ascendants are used to shouldering a lot of responsibility from a young age. Obama was at the tail end of his seventeen year Jupiter dasha, which is also in Capricorn, when he came into office. Under Jupiter’s influence Obama came into power with a level of optimism and the ideals of “Yes We Can”. However, as Jupiter’s influence began to diminish and Saturn dasha inched closer, in 2008 Obama saw push back from the opposition. Saturn teaches us that no matter how noble our intentions or actions, under his influence we still have to work within the boundaries and limitations of “real life” (politics). Obama’s well disposed Saturn adapted and accepted the pressure and unmet successes. This allowed him to win the elections, but make no mistake about it, his next term will be very hard, it will have even more increased internal and external pressure. The fiscal cliff that everyone has been talking about since the elections is an apt name for Saturn because in his dasha you often feel that you are hanging on by a thread, as you juggle all your responsibilities.
Romney: Romeny started his tenth house (prominence in career) Sun dasha in July 2008. His decision to run again was a foregone conclusion. The Sun is a planet of leadership/power and affecting the world in a big way. The Sun naturally seeks out prominence in the world and Romney’s Sun dasha compelled him to try a second run. However, when the Sun is struggling in our chart this period can also predict a crises of confidence and an inability to project our ideas into the world.
Romney’s Sun is in the Zenith of the chart and conjunct Mercury in Aquarius, which is a great placement for fame; however, it is also conjunct Mars, the twelfth lord, which in his chart dampens his success through over confidence/brashness. The powerful Sun in his chart gave him prominence by winning the republican nomination, however, on August 6, 2012 when Saturn transited into Libra, Romney came face to face with Saturn. He started what is considered a very difficult transit in Vedic Astrology that occurs once every thirty years, called Sade Sati. It is a seven and a half period when Saturn enters the sign before your natal moon, of the moon and after the moon. Saturn will take over your life in this period irrelevant of the dasha you are running. Success in Sade Sati is always possible but is dependent on the condition of your moon (mind/emotions) and Saturn (reality check). Romney has a debilitated moon in Scorpio, where emotions are volatile, and his Saturn in Cancer, makes him unrealistic and emotionally charged. Saturn’s unyielding eye in Sade Sati and Romney’s unwillingness to run a campaign based on the realities on the ground indicated that he would lose the elections. Next few years will be emotionally very difficult for Romney, as Saturn closes in on his debilitated Moon in Scorpio in 2014.
Paul Ryan: Ryan Started his Saturn Dasha in 2008, about the time when he rose to a level of prominence with the Tea Party. Unfortunately, Saturn in his chart is debilitated in Aries. Aries is the sign of confidence and spontaneity, both of which are lost on the slow and steady pace of Saturn. Therefore, Aries is a difficult position for Saturn, as it robs him of real confidence in his abilities. The election loss for Romney/Ryan could have been called just based on Paul Ryan’s weak Saturn dasha. Romney should have checked with a Vedic Astrologer before picking a VP!! Suffice to say Ryan will most likely fade into the background after this election, as Saturn restricts his self confidence and success in this period.
Joe Biden: Obama has to be the luckiest man on earth because in 2006, unlike Romney, when he picked his running mate, Biden had just started a very auspicious dasha of Jupiter exalted in the ninth house. Still his Jupiter is under the demanding eye of Saturn through an aspect from Taurus, keeping him confident, lucky and expansive but at the same time staying grounded in reality through Saturn. Jupiter and Saturn do well when they keep each other in check.
All conflict and suffering in the dashas occurs because we are using the planetary energies in an imbalanced way – taking too much or too little or using the energy in a superficial or discordant way. We can utilize the unfolding of dashas as a powerful tool for guiding our lives. They are the training grounds for self-mastery.
As my own Saturn dasha deepens, I welcome added responsibilities and structure through more travel and teaching.