Namaste, and blessings for the New Year. As the signs of celebration
fade, it is worthwhile to explore some of the notable astrological and
astronomical events of the coming year. Far from being a typical year,
2014 is noteworthy in that some of the best combinations, as well as
the worst, will take place.
The exaltation of any planet is considered highly auspicious. For each
planet, one sign stands out as the place where it functions optimally.
The year begins with Saturn in Libra, it's exaltation sign, where it will
remain until Nov 2. This is a powerful transit, subject to some limiting
conjunctions, mentioned below. As Saturn takes almost 30 years to
traverse the zodiac, spending roughly 2.5 years in each sign. The last
time Saturn was in Libra was 1985, and the next time will be in 2041.
Jupiter's exaltation sign is Cancer, which it visits once every 12 years,
since Jupiter takes that long to complete one trip around the Sun.
On June 19, Jupiter enters Cancer, remaining there until June, 2015.
The double exaltation of Saturn and Jupiter can only happen once every
60 years: 2 Saturn cycles and 5 Jupiter cycles. This last took place in
1954/55, and will again take place from June 19 to Nov 2, 2014.
The next time these two will align as such is in 2073; of course at
times Jupiter will not reach Cancer while Saturn is in Libra; in fact the
next double exaltation after 2073 will be almost 400 years later, in 2453.
Multiple exalted planets is a great blessing for Muhurta (selecting auspicious
times for action), as well as in one's birth chart.
Multiple exalted planets are also a factor on Akshay Tritiya (day of victory),
which falls on the third day of the waxing Moon while the Sun is in Aries (it's
exaltation sign). Invariably the Moon will be in Taurus, so also exalted; this
day always falls between mid-April and mid-May, and in 2014 lands on May 1,
a highly auspicious day for new beginnings, as not only are Sun, Moon, and
Saturn exalted that day, Venus is as well.
Some conjunctions are less auspicious, and put a damper on the otherwise
good effects. The year begins with Rahu conjunct Saturn, a condition that
ends on July 13 when Rahu enters Virgo. Rahu and Saturn become conjunct
roughly every 11-12 years. During their conjunction, if Mars also joins them,
it sets up one of the most potentially devastating combinations in astrology.
Mars and Saturn become conjunct roughly every 2 years. Due to their opposite
natures (Mars is hot, Saturn is cold, Mars is aggressive, Saturn repressive,
etc.), this tends to bring out extremes of one sort or another. When Rahu
becomes conjunct a planet it can magnify the effect – thus if Rahu is with
beneficial planets, it may become more beneficial; if with malefic planets, it
makes them more malefic. As Mars and Saturn are both natural malefics, their
three-way combination with Rahu is highly charged! This has occurred only
twice in the past 50 years (in 1968 and 2002), and will again occur in 2014,
from Feb 4 to March 24, when Mars retrogrades back to Virgo. By the time
Mars re-enters Libra on July 14, Rahu will have just left.
For any conjunction, some people are more affected than others. In particular,
people with Moon in Libra will be most affected by the Mars-Saturn-Rahu
conjunction, as well as those with Moon in the water signs (Pisces, Cancer,
Any discussion of the year would be incomplete without mentioning eclipses.
An annular solar eclipse is when the Moon eclipses the Sun at the point in
it's orbit where it is farther from the Earth, and so appears smaller in the sky
than the Sun, not quite covering all the Sun's disc. Such an eclipse occurs
on April 29, however the visibility is confined to Australia (partial phases),
and Antarctica (maximum visibility).
On Oct 23 a partial solar eclipse will be visible across North America, specially
the West Coast.
2014 will see two total lunar eclipses, on the night of April 14/15 and during
the early morning hours of Oct. 8. Both of these will be visible in North America.
Although the Vedas strictly advise against any viewing of eclipses, lunar
eclipses are completely harmless, at least at the physical level.
During eclipses, it is beneficial to abstain from eating/speaking, and to increase
spiritual practices: meditation, mantras, etc.
With best wishes,