The coming week offers a very interesting dance of the Grahas (planets). On Thursday July 24th the Sun and Jupiter will make their annual conjunction. The conjunction will take place at 8 degrees Cancer, in Pushya Nakshatra. When a planet is close to the Sun it is called “combust”—meaning that the heat and light of the Sun are currently overpowering the qualities of that particular planet. The Sun is associated both with the Atman (“shining self,” or soul) and the Ahamkara (sense of I am- ness, or ego), depending on an individual’s degree of spiritual evolution. About 20 years ago I had a horoscope done by the vedic astrologer Stephen Quong. Looking at my chart, he noticed the Sun and Jupiter close together in the sign of Aquarius. His take on it was, “You think you are your own guru.” With all due respect to Stephen, technically, Jupiter is considered to be combust the Sun when it is within 11 degrees, and mine is 14 degrees distant. The point is that when the Sun gets close to Jupiter we can potentially become so convinced of our own brilliance that we become unreceptive to the influence of more enlightened beings. Adding spice to the Sun/Jupiter conjunction on Thursday are two lovely planetary trines (120 degree aspects which are considered sattvic, or harmony producing)—Venus trine Neptune, providing a spiritualizing influence, and Mercury trine Saturday, supporting a grounded and practical intelligence. Jupiter in Cancer is in the sign of its exaltation, its strongest placement in the zodiac. I tend to be an optimist by nature--I’m thinking that Thursday will be a good day.
On Saturday July 26th at 3:42pm PDT, the Sun and Moon will be conjunct at 10 degrees Cancer in Pushya Nakshatra. This promises to be one of the most powerful new moons of this year, or any year. The Moon in Cancer is in the sign that it rules, its natural home. Pushya means “to nourish”--it is symbolized by the udder of a cow and provides the quality called “Brahmavarchasa Shakti”, the power to create spiritual energy. The presiding deity of Pushya is Brihaspati (Jupiter), the guru of the gods. As mentioned previously, Jupiter is also occupying Pushya, and is particularly strong here in its natural abode, offering support to the Moon. The Sun, Moon, and Jupiter are considered to be friends and having them all together in Pushya is thought to be particularly auspicious. In fact, the Srimad Bhagavatam says that the conjunction of the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter in Pushya heralds the advent of the tenth and final avatar of Vishnu, Kalki. The appearance of Kalki signals the end of the Kali Yuga and the beginning of the Golden Age. Some people are actually suggesting that this will happen this weekend! I may be an optimist, but I haven’t totally taken leave of my senses. The Srimad Bhagavatam was written many centuries ago. In the time that has transpired since then there have been many conjunctions of the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter in Pushya Nakshatra, and there will be many more to come. This particular conjunction is a fairly rare occurrence—the last one happened in 1943—but compared to the great spans of time covered by the yugas, 71 years is just a drop in the bucket. In the span of a human lifetime, the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter conjunct in Pushya will probably happen just once, so perhaps we should make the most of it.