2013, The Year That Will Remain Etched In Our Memories

By International Vedic Astrologer, Howard Beckman

Flood and Tropical Storms in 2013

The second half of 2013 promises to be one we will not soon forget. Mars has been responsible for so many conflicts this year, but soon it is to become even more troublesome for many in the world. There have been a plethora of comets seen in this year already, which are actually very bad omens. They portend wars, great storms bringing mass flooding and other natural disasters.
At the time of this writing in the middle of July, we have Mars conjunct Jupiter and Sun in Gemini, as well as with the lord of the sign Mercury. Much planning for further civil unrest and escalation of armed (and unarmed) struggles against political/governmental forces is taking place. Yet at the same time there’s an upsurge in the creative work of artists and writers.
Knowledge and information, a key category of the sign Gemini and under the purview of Mercury to disseminate such

NSA Leak Fallout

information, is reaching the eyes and ears of people all over the planet. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange started the outpouring of information about the US and other governments’ covert activities that is astounding the world. Bradley Manning is now paying the price for his revelations. Edward Snowden’s release of documents damning the activities of US government agencies such as the NSA in front of the world is confounding the once trusting public, as well as countries considered to be allies of the USA.
The conflicts in the Middle East are about to spill over even further. There are so many ominous warnings from the planets that there will be tragedies occurring one after another this year. For at least half of each month the “serpent curse” called “Kalasarpa yoga” has been in effect since early May, and will continue until the second week of September. This occurs when all of the 7 major planets are sandwiched between Rahu and Ketu (also known as Dragon’s Head and Dragon’s Tail), the north and south nodes of the Moon. During these months the Moon moves out for half the month, giving a short break to this yoga’s malevolence.
As we pass the first of August Jupiter, Mars and Mercury remain in Gemini, but Sun has moved to Cancer and Venus to Leo. Expect tropical storms to begin to gather powerfully in our oceans. But it is Mars’ move to Cancer, his weakest sign of debilitation, on the 18th of August that shifts these energies
into a higher gear.
Mars is not only extremely malefic and harmful in Cancer, he will now cast a full aspect upon his great enemy Saturn, who is and has been exalted (thus extremely powerful) in the sign of Libra. Saturn will now also cast a full aspect upon his great enemy Mars, meaning the further unfolding of events that will cause suffering in the world.
September 1st signals the coming of the worst of it. Sun and Mercury both reside in Leo at this time, and the potency of Venus to soften the situation is rendered practically null by Venus’ tenanting of Virgo, his weakest sign of debilitation. The piece de resistance will be the exact conjunction of Rahu and Saturn in the early morning of the 17th of September at 40 minutes past midnight.

Middle East Violence

I expect financial markets to teeter, and along with storms, volcanoes and earthquakes in the mix, increasing violence worldwide, quite possibly at times of almost epic proportions. By year’s end things will have calmed down somewhat, hopefully changing the perspectives of at least some people in the world for the better.
What good can come from all of this? Hopefully more people will wake up and look deeply for some real meaning in their lives. Our individual lifetimes here in this world are short, but for most of us it is only when we do reincarnate that we have a chance to make further spiritual advancement, and to realize eternal spiritual truths that are the same for all of us.
Although this summer season will be a wild ride, we can take it as an inspiration to become what we really wish to be, happy and peaceful, even in the face of adversity or the midst of chaos. So open up the copies of your spiritual books, delve deeply into the science of yoga according to your own capacity and don’t waste precious time worrying about those things you can do nothing about. Worrying never helps anyone, nor can it change anything destined to occur. Action shapes destiny, and our actions that will subsequently shape our futures are always in our own hands. Make them count, let your voice be heard and stand up for truth and what is right. Follow your heart, for the heart will never lead you in the wrong direction. Namaste.

What about Edward Snowden?

With so much controversy and drama over the immediate fate of Edward Snowden, I managed to obtain his birth details and have a look at his Vedic horoscope. Edward was born on the 21st of June, 1983 at 4:42 AM in Elizabeth City, NC.
His ascendant is Taurus with Venus, lord of the ascendant, in the 3rd house of communications, writing and creativity. Mercury, the planet ruling communications of all kinds, is in the ascendant, ruling the 2nd house of earning, speech and family affairs, as well as the 5th house of intelligence, significance, educational capabilities, artistic development and more. The great benefic Jupiter is in the 7th house aspecting the ascendant. The first thing this chart shows is that he is sincere, forthright and not only extremely intelligent and creative, but the man believes in what he is doing.
Edward is not a man who lives for money, nor name and fame. He truly desires to be on the side of what is right or just, and not for any economic benefit whatsoever. As a matter of fact having Sun, Mars and Rahu in the 2nd house will alternate his financial life from feast to famine at regular intervals, depending on the periods he is in, of course, but it is not the chart of someone who acquires great financial wealth.
The Saturn/Moon conjunction in the 6th house indicates feeling distressed by so much impropriety by world leaders, and that they are in Libra indicates a man who is fair, balanced and thoughtful. With Saturn now in Libra (Edward’s Saturn return) and swiftly moving towards his natal Moon’s position (also putting him smack in the middle of his sade-sati!), a change of venue is imminent for him. But my feeling is that he will overcome the obstacles that lie in his path and find a way to get to the country he chooses to accept an asylum offer from.
Now also in the final third of his Saturn dasha, it was when the Rahu antardasha began in May of this year that he began to let loose with the information he had garnered about the NSA’s activities. The rest of this Rahu sub-period will be a bit crazy for him, and he will likely stay out of sight (and therefore harm’s way) as much as he possibly can. With Jupiter transiting Gemini presently he should be protected from those that wish to destroy him.
It seems highly unlikely to me that he will be arrested and extradited to the US, as he begins a really good period for 17 years ruled by Mercury in 2018. Were the authorities here to get a hold of him he would surely never see the light of day again, so I cannot see that happening.
The varshaphaal for 2013-14 indicates a lot of communications from him to the public, likely meaning many more revelations of dastardly “official” actions performed in the name of fighting terrorism. Although the Moon and the solar return chart’s muntha are in the 12th house, I do not see this as indicating incarceration. Looking at his 2014 solar return chart, as well, wherever he goes in this year is not likely to be his final stop.
So, what about Edward Snowden? Unknowingly, he was an important factor in what will bring about investigations, public outcries and much dissent, not just in the US, but all over the world. Expect this case to continue to bring new twists and turns, besides many new revelations, to add to the extremely turbulent second half of 2013.

Howard Beckman, International Vedic Astrologer
July 22, 2013