Using the sidereal zodiac placements for the grahas of Vedic astrology—the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, and lunar nodes Rahu and Ketu—we have a predominant signature of fixed signs (sthira rasis) for much of 2016. The fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Jupiter and Rahu are in Leo; Saturn and Mars in Scorpio; Ketu in Aquarius; and the faster moving grahas (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, and Venus) keep moving in and out of the fixed signs.
Jupiter will leave Leo for Virgo on August 11, and Mars will leave Scorpio in late September. Saturn will remain in Scorpio for some time to come (on and off through most of 2017) and Rahu and Ketu will remain in Leo and Aquarius until August of 2017. This week beginning on June 8 at ~10:36 PM EDT, we will have all nine grahas in fixed signs! Mercury will be moving into Taurus early on June 8, and then the Moon will transit into Leo on June 9, where it will remain until the 12th June. At the same time, the grahas will be forming a grand cross or grand square in fixed signs. Many have already been feeling the intensity of this fixed signature, but it may become a whole lot stronger soon.
The sthira rasis (fixed signs) of Vedic astrology embody the tamo-guna (tamasic principle of energy flow) which in excess can be experienced as inertia, contraction, sluggishness, darkness, doubt, helplessness, loneliness and dullness. Tamo-guna brings a focus on the physical body and material concerns. For an individual who already has a strongly imbalanced tamasic energy, this transiting grand square in fixed signs may feel particularly overwhelming, like being imprisoned an iron cage or locked down through some other means.
Not only are all the grahas in fixed signs, but they are forming a grand cross or grand square in which the grahas in Leo are opposed those in Aquarius, and those in Scorpio are opposed those in Taurus (180-degree full mutual planetary aspects); and also all the grahas are forming powerful squares (90-degree planetary aspects) with each other. This represents extreme tension and “stuck energy.” We can feel at cross purposes to ourselves and others, and can be confused as to where, how or when to act.
On the plus side, in a natal Vedic chart, all the planets in sthira rasis form an Ashraya Musula Yoga which is said to reflect a native who is blessed, secure, decisive, stable, learned and wealthy. However, when the same grahas are falling in the grand square formation, one may manifest more plodding, decisive, depressed and rigid qualities. On a mundane level, especially because Mercury will be squaring the Moon, the fixed grand square formation can indicate extreme earth events like storms and seismic events.
Paramahansa Yogananda, the great 20th-century yogi, described a tamasic person “as though ossified…not even roused even by the sizzling process of worries. He exists like an inert, lifeless stone.” Yoganandaji also explained that the fire of self-discipline can consume excess tamas. If you are overwhelmed by it, consider that it helps to let go and surrender to it (“like cures like”), such as with restorative yoga and rest.
Once rested, force yourself to get up and do something, anything, to move the physical body, which happens to be the main target of tamo-guna. Breath of Fire (Bhastrika Pranayam) can also be helpful, as can massage therapy. Most of all, remember that this too shall pass. The Moon will leave Leo for sidereal Virgo early on June 12, and later in the day, Venus will leave Taurus for sidereal Gemini. On June 14, the Sun will leave Taurus for sidereal Gemini; and on June 27, Mercury will leave Taurus for sidereal Gemini, so gradually, the pattern will start to shift and lighten up.