With a new year rolling in, many may be wondering what will happen with the damaged economy, the upcoming U.S. elections, and people’s likeliness to transcend all this and turn to spirituality. Then again, the world might end on December 21st, if we’re to believe some interpretations of the Mayan Calendar.
We asked three prominent Vedic Astrologers to shed some light on all this: Hamsa-Avatar Dasa, who runs the Vedic Cultural Fellowship organization in Ocala, Florida; Nalini-Kanta Dasa, author of How to Read Your Horoscope and The Divine Path of Prediction, based in Alachua, Florida; and Duryodhana-Guru Dasa, who is originally from the U.S. but currently lives in Dublin, Ireland. All have practiced Vedic astrology for nearly thirty-five years.
While they were not prepared to give specific predictions so early in the year, they did give some initial impressions, as well as some tips on what to work towards and what to avoid this year. Interestingly, they didn’t always agree, as you’ll read. There was a general consensus, however, that we live in “interesting times,” but that no material influences can affect the spiritual power of Krishna consciousness.
Question: Some say that according to the Mayan Calendar the world will end on December 21st, 2012. Others say the date doesn’t herald doom, but instead a positive shift in consciousness. What’s the Vedic angle on all this?
Hamsa-Avatar: Scholars and historians agree that the Mayan Calendar doesn’t end in December—rather, it’s the end of an age. In no way, shape or form does the Mayan Calendar predict the end of the world—that’s the purview of people who walk around on the streets holding placards that read “The End is Nigh!”
Duryodhana-guru: There’s nothing in Vedic Astrology that points to December 21st 2012 as making any difference, whether it’s through a shift in consciousness or the end of the world. I don’t put much stock in it.
Q: If it’s not the end of the world or a positive shift in consciousness, what is the Vedic Astrological outlook for this year?
Nalini Kanta: The planet Saturn is becoming more powerful over the next two and a half years, which is indicative not of an uplift of peoples’ consciousness, but of an influence of the mode of ignorance. Both Saturn, the sudra planet, and Jupiter, considered to be Brihaspati, or the guru of the demigods, will be in signs of Venus. Saturn is very strong in Venus’s sign because he and the sensual Venus are friends. Jupiter, however is an enemy of Venus, and they will go to war with each other, resulting in the divine nature of Jupiter being subdued by the more sensual influences, especially between May 2012 and June 2013.
Hamsa-Avatar: There’s a Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” And that’s what this year looks like. The planets that rule the charts are in a house of loss. And there are many factors which look to produce a great deal of violence—for instance Mars, the planet of war, is in Leo, a fire sign, up until June.
Meanwhile in the summer and autumn, Mars will conjuct Saturn, which signifies natural disasters such as earthquakes and powerful storms. And in November, there will be a total solar eclipse, which is the most inauspicious sign there is.
Duryodhana-guru: While I don’t disagree with Hamsa-Avatar that there could be violence and turmoil this year as always, 2012 is called a Nandana year according to the sixty-year Jupitarian cycle, which means a year of joy and happiness. I read the Venus and Jupiter conjunction differently—that it bodes very well in terms of peace and harmony and the ability to make progress in terms of brahminical principles and enlightenment. So all in all, this looks to me like a year where we could begin to turn things around.
Q: The next United States Presidential election will happen in November this year. Do you have any early predictions or impressions about that?
Hamsa-Avatar: I won’t make a prediction on who might win the election until they announce the Republican candidate. However, I will say that President Barack Obama’s chart is very strong. He won’t be an easy man to beat.
Duryodhana-guru: In the last election, the chart of John McCain, Obama’s opponent, showed him going into one of the best periods of his life. And Obama’s showed him going into the worst three-and-a-half years of his life. I knew that meant Obama was going to win! Because he was being handed a bag of garbage. Interestingly however, six months before this year’s election, Obama goes into a Saturn-Jupiter period, finally hitting a good period for the first time in his entire four-year term as President. He may well get re-elected in the eleventh hour.
Nalini Kanta: I won’t give a prediction on who’s going to win until April. But I will say that Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s horoscope is pretty strong, so if he is Obama’s competitor, it should be an interesting battle.
Q: There was a major financial crash in 2008 around the world, the effects of which continue to this day. What does the economic situation look like for 2012?
Nalini: If Obama wins the election, I should think it will get slightly better for America by the second half of 2012. The president has been in a period of debilitated Jupiter—which is a fallen planet that represents money—but in July 2012, he goes into a better major period of his life. He’ll also be in a period of more Saturn energy, which means more opportunities to serve and help the poor and working class. So if Obama wins and does that over the next four years, he’ll have a good legacy.
Hamsa-Avatar: This year we’ll have Jupiter, the banker, in the same sign as Aries, a fire sign. That points to a lot of challenges in investment, and some definite problems with banking and currencies worldwide. Real estate will also continue to suffer in most places.
Duryodhana-guru: In the past two and a half years, while Saturn was in Virgo, the masses suffered: jobs were lost, labor movements were affected, and the people got the short end of the stick. Now, with Saturn exalted in Libra since November, I think we’ve reached a tipping point where the masses are rising up and seeking justice and fairness and equanimity, exemplified by, for instance, the Occupy Movement in the U.S. They are ready to stop being scapegoated for the greed and manipulation of a few.
So the next three years, from November 15th 2011 to November 2nd 2014, while Saturn is exalted in Libra, is the time where such revolutionary movements are likely to succeed. I would see that as our window to bring about change and to restructure our economic and political realities.
Q: Do you have any advice for ISKCON as to what to focus on and what to avoid to have a good 2012?
Nalini-Kanta: In the current period, from October 2011 to September 2012, there is an uplifting influence of Ketu, which is a planet of restriction and austerity.
The more restriction and austerity the devotees practice in that time, the better for the future of their mission. Otherwise, from October 2012 through May 2015, they may be affected by the influence of Venus, which implies the power of sensuality or money in management.
For those three years, the ISKCON society should therefore focus on not being too involved in management, money, and legal affairs, but instead thinking about what service they can do for people: increasing prasadam distribution, helping people in other charitable ways, spreading the Holy Name, and spreading worship of Lord Krishna.
Also, between 2013 and 2015, if they want ISKCON to be benefited, devotees should focus on doing service with a loving, cooperative family mood, rather than arguing with each other or trying to push their own conclusions with a combative attitude.
From May 2012 to June 2013, Jupiter, the planet governing brahmanas and especially followers of Srila Prabhupada, is going through Taurus. This is a good time to meet with success in reducing divorce and creating stability in families, as well as cleaning up issues of child abuse.
Q: What is this year’s outlook for spirituality in general?
Nalini: The sudra planet, Saturn, will become more powerful starting this summer, causing the ignorant to be more powerful than the brahmanas, or learned people. However, while it’s not this year, there is an upcoming period from November 2014 to July 2015—when Jupiter is in Cancer and Saturn is in Scorpio—which will be a highlight spiritual period for humanity and see more powerful brahminical influence.
Duryodhana-guru: Again, personally I see a positive year regarding spirituality. Jupiter, which is really THE spiritual planet, has moved into Aries this year. Aries means rejuvenation, a new dawn. It means a higher objective, a higher principle, something of greater quality and value. So I think that’s where we’re going.
We’ve hit a brick wall with our materialism lately. The whole thing has collapsed. People are burnt out. And thus they’re becoming more and more conscious of the need for spiritual values. I think the negativity of the material experience lately is prompting people to move forward spiritually. I’m sensing a spiritual regeneration amongst the general public.
Hamsa-Avatar: Either way, spirituality is something that is inherently transcendental—so really nothing can hamper one’s spiritual progress except oneself. In my opinion, because they relate to material events and influences, no astrological or astronomical configurations can really hamper one’s spiritual path.
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