The Celestial Wheel

A daily log of Vedic insights

February 1-- 15 , 2005


Doug Riemer
 Certified Vedic Astrologer
 Sedona, Arizona


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February 12

     This Celestial Wheel offers an update on how current and upcoming planetary dispositions influence your personal karmas.  Consideration of these influences upon mundane astrology will be discussed in another venue.    

     In the January 10 in-depth Forecast, #59  Winter/Spring SHifts Of The Major Planets, I listed upcoming changes for the major planets indicating an interval of karmic intensited -- be used as a guide for further forecasting.  For reference, here again is that listing,


Saturn Retrograde  November 8, 2004 to March 22, 2005

     Retrogrades back into Gemini January 13

     Turns forward March 22 at 26:27 Gemini

     Reenters Cancer May 25

Jupiter Retrograde  February 2 to June 5

     All in Virgo

Rahu and Ketu change signs on February 22

     Rahu shifts from Aries to Pisces

     Ketu shifts from Libra to Virgo

Mercury retrograde March 20 to April 12

     (all in Pisces, its fallen sign)

     I've highlighted in yellow the two planetary changes which have already occurred.  As Jupiter and Saturn are the two big planets, their energies signify our basic goals and capability for achievement.  Because retrograde makes planetary energies latent in the external world, this period of dual retrograde  -- February 2 to March 22  -- does not favor advancement.  This latency, however, turns the attention inward, suggesting this winter to be an interval of contemplation and consolidation to integrate ones position and situation.  The inward turn is also positive for spiritual practices, for these are by nature a search for personal truth.

     I've highlight in pink the upcoming sign change for Rahu and Ketu.  You'll recall these are the Moon's Nodes, eclipse points of the Sun and the Moon, symbolized by the head and tail of a dragon.  Rahu, the head, and Ketu, the tail, are slow-moving, like Jupiter and Saturn.  They change signs only after eighteen months, and the energy shift is thereby consequential.  Rahu's worldly cravings nature, and Ketu's spiritually dissolving one, are also weak in this transition from the edge of one sign to the edge of another.  (A planet at the edge of a sign is called Sandhi -- dead.)   The sign change itself is transitional.  Combining the Nodes' weakness with changing signs signifies instability.

     This celestial situation results in the four most definitive planets in sort of an eddy  -- drifting without Jupiter/Saturn power and direction and vulnerable to the shifting winds of Rahu/Ketu.  The suggestion is to be moderate in all aspects of your life and to accept uncertainty while anticipating change resulting from instability. 

     Rahu and Ketu will transit into signs better suited to accept their energies.  Worldly Rahu does well in Pisces, a sign owned by Jupiter, for this planet of wisdom gives the demon-head judgment.  This is good for wealth.  Similarly, Ketu does well in Virgo, a signed owned by mental Mercury, which gives the demon a brain.  Insight is definitely favored.  A problem, however, is that transit Jupiter is also in Virgo, and Ketu harms Jupiter's significations, even as Ketu itself performs to advantage in Virgo.  I know this is confusing, but it is what it is.  Ketu compromises Jupiter's significations for wisdom, and fortune, giving another reason for conservative action. 

     Considering that Rahu in Pisces brings wealth, but that Rahu is the planet of illusion (and delusion), and that Ketu harms transit Jupiter's wisdom and fortune, guard against impulsive investments, purchases and other commitments.  These tend to be more appealing than they actually are, and this illusionary quality brings negative consequences later as reality inevitably asserts itself.

     Keep in mind too that just as this February 2 to March 22 period is ending, Mercury goes retrograde for three weeks beginning March 20.  This is negative for mental clarity, especially if you are then trying to extricate yourself from an unwise decision made this month or in March.  Further, Mercury's retrograde is exacerbated by its occuring in Pisces, its fallen sign, where it will be additionally harmed by Rahu.

     In James Braha's landmark text on Vedic Astrology  (Ancient Hindu Astrology For The Modern Western Astrologer), at the end he cites the famous Ecclesiastes stanza, To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven; A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that what has been planted....  This winter is a time to for quiet, for paying attention and for listening to your inner voice to contemplate and define plans for the future.



Copyright 1999-2005
Doug Riemer


(The research and composition for the Celestial Wheel is underwritten by paid subscribers.  If you find the information is of value, please honorthis work by subscribing.   See the Forecasts page of


February 9

     Several Subscribers have expressed amazement at how the February 6, 2005 in-depth Forecast, #60 The First Baby-boomers resonates with their experience.  Many are alarmed there actually is a sinister elitist group (in both in the private and public sectors) abusing the masses and degrading society .  Well, yes, be alarmed, for you should be.  These folks are serious, and seriously powerful with long view ahead.   I suggest again that you do your duty via Spiritual Citizenship, as described in the July 4, 2003 in-depth Forecast, # 21Commentary -- Of Philosophy, Politics & Astrology.  Actually, my Bombay-born editor has more correctly termed this, the karma of personal responsibility.

     There is the outstanding question of how to deal with people (who have this Saturn/Rahu Yoga) in your personal associations.  Are they all sinister?  No, of course not.  Many have turned their tremendous energy into higher-mind endeavors, and others have compensatory mellowing planetary influences.  Still, use discretion in dealing with people born between June 28, 1946 and December 14, 1947, for they tend to operate on a disconcertingly high energy level -- like flying in an F-16 fighter compared with a Boeing 747.

     There is another Vedic Astrology cause for alarm, that of the United States' second Moon cycle and thereby the Second Gilded age.  This ten year Moon cycle ends in 2008, and if the autocratic and fiscally reckless policies are not corrected, the following seven year Mars cycle promises a catastrophic depression.  (It is also true, however, an economic crash or escalating warfare could begin sooner.)  See again, the in-depth Forecasts:

58a  Part I  The United States Through Its Planetary Cycles  (12/2/04) 

#58b  Part II  The United States Through It's Planetary Cycles  (12/2/04)

     This is another karmic current, and its potency is a second alarming call to action.  Yet, the neocons are not bulletproof, and the next few months give an opportunity to refute and repel their agenda.  They are experiencing an imbalance between desire (kama) and power (kendra).  [For you Vedic Astrology buffs, houses 3, 7 and 11 are the kama houses of desire, and houses 1, 4, 7, and 10 are kendra houses indicating power.]  Here's why the neocon leadership is vulnerable, for simple but definitive planetary dispositions:

     Jupiter's weakening retrograde and Saturn's retrograde march into Gemini have combined to hobble the neoconservative/fundamentalist campaign dismantling the New Deal  -- notably Social Security but also Bush's proposed budget gutting other government programs protecting the disadvantaged in an increasingly stratified society.  (Keep in mind too the overblown optimism about the Iraqi election, for insurgency attacks have already resurged -- just like the Tet Offensive immediately followed the September 1967 election in Vietnam.)   I will publish soon an in-depth Forecast on this Kama/Kendra imbalance.

     It's not so difficult to exercise your karma of personal responsibility.  Here's an example that took me a half hour this morning -- a drop in the bucket, yes, but as I wrote in # 21Commentary -- Of Philosophy, Politics & Astrology...each of us is just a drop in the bucket, but the bucket is filled by individual drops.  In today's influential Washington Post, politics columnist Robert Samuelson wrote an op-ed condoning cuts in Social Security benefits entitled, Cut My Benefits.  Below is my letter to the editor blasting his selfishness:

     Robert Samuelson's today editorial, Cut My Benefits, offers clever arguments for cutting Social Security benefits.  He dodges the program's being an insurance policy for the elderly, the disabled and other involuntarily disadvantaged, until the final paragraph, stating, Barring calamity, I will retire comfortably, probably in the richest fifth of the old

     If Mr. Samuelson had invested his savings in (now bankdrupt) WorldCom, he would certainly have suffered a calamity and then used his editorial position to demand protection for every cent of his Social Security insurance payments.  He would also remembered to have empathy for those defenseless against calamity whom Social Security protects.  

     Do I wish a calamity descend upon Mr. Samuelson?  Yes, if it would make him see the truth of his selfishness.


     When I hear people tell me they can't do anything or their efforts don't do any good, I remind them they can easily support those progressive groups who are taking action.  After all, isn't it worth a donation you can afford now to support Truthout, Moveon (or a Vedic Astrologer forecasting) when your entire Social Security retirement income is at risk? 

     In closing, understand that Bush's Social Security privatization and benefit-cutting proposals are just one part of the neoconservative's long term agenda to completely dismantle the New Deal, starting with its crown jewel, Social Security.  Here is the rest of their Social Security strategy that the media doesn't write about, and even progressive politicians seem blithely unaware:

     1)  By ongoing deficit spending, G.W. Bush continuously siphons-off current Social Security surpluses to keep the trust fund cookie jar empty.  He puts IOU notes in the jar, but these do not have the same repayment obligation as do Treasury bonds.

     2)  Private accounts will siphon off 30% of Social Security payroll tax revenues, which will hasten the time Social Security goes info deficit from 2018 to about 2012.  These private accounts will also increase the 20% shortfall in the current system by siphoning-out 30% of its revenues.  The shortfall then becomes 50% of currently promised benefits.

     3)  Only a large general tax increase can make up the 50% shortfall.

     4)  Because the future smaller pool of workers won't be able to afford the tax increase (funding a 50% Social Security payout shortfall), taxes won't be raised, and the government can only default on those IOU notes in the empty cookie jar.  Therefore, payments to beneficiaries will be slashed by 50%, effectively gutting the Social Security insurance program. 

     Isn't it comforting to know that G.W. Bush wasn't lying about there being a crisis in Social Security?  He's creating the crisis himself by siphoning-off current surpluses through deficit spending and siphoning-off future revenues by privatization.  It's that simple.



Copyright 1999-2005
Doug Riemer


(The research and composition for the Celestial Wheel is underwritten by paid subscribers.  If you find the information is of value, please honorthis work by subscribing.   See the Forecasts page of


February 4

     Jupiter is retrograde now.  The period during which the planet of expansion, luck and fortune is in this latent disposition is February 2 to June 5.  (See the January 4 in-depth Forecast, #59 Winter/Spring Shifts Of The Major Planets.)  As Dasas (planetary cycles) are analogous to a river, and transits are like weather on the river, this retrograde takes the wind out the sails of many endeavors -- the economy, the Iraq war, Bush's social security privatization...  (These results are already being reported in the media.)  While there's benefit here in restraining the neocon/fundamentalist agenda, it's not an excuse for failing to promote higher values in society.  Further, as this weak Jupiter harms wealth, the disadvantaged and poor will suffer more, suggesting we do what we can to promote protective public policies.

     Too, Jupiter is weak in Virgo, an enemy sign in Vedic Astrology.  Western Astrologers call this detriment, being opposite a sign a planet rules, in this case for Jupiter, Pisces.  Jupiter will be weakened further after February 22, when Ketu transits into Virgo.  These harms to Jupiter combine to further restrict its positive influences -- hobbling in a comprehensive way.  Again, this is negative for the Bush agenda, but it also further threatens the public's welfare. A major setback, such as the dollar collapsing, is thereby more likely.  The suggestion, beyond Spiritual Citizenship, is to protect yourself personally through being conservative financially.

     This contretemps is also, however, a conundrum.  The worse things become, the more quickly the neocon/fundamentalist tide be will turned back.  However, these negatives also harm society as a whole, and thereby everyone's lives.  An economic and political tsunami is possible, but it's not necessary to have first a societal disaster in order to save it.  That is why I've been advocating Spiritual Citizenship.

     Here are some reader comments to the February 1 Celestial Wheel, sent to my 300 plus names in my address book,

B.B. Michigan 

     Thank you so much for this sharing. I haven't delved into it as deeply as I will, but my appreciation is already apparent within me. I needed to tell you so. I imagine that you will get a lot of positive feedback.

     I have never felt "evil" as I do know in this administration.  I have never felt so threatened. It is bringing me to a greater understanding of the precarious position we put ourselves in when we hand so much power to a governing force, or we allow one to take power.  It must end now. World War III will not be pretty.  At times, it feels that we are already in it. I could argue the point that we are, yes.

K.Z  Illinois

    Even my mom called me to tell me this was excellent.  Thanks for sending.

C. A. Arizona

    I appreciate your thoughtful commentaries.  I don't know what kind of responses (if any) that you receive from others but I wanted to give you positive feedback and encourage you to continue speaking up.  If more concerned people got involved instead of giving up, we would live in a different world.  Thank you.

L.M.  Arizona

     Thanks, Doug, for all the information...very interesting and I suspect, right on the money.

J.E.  (location unknown)

     dude, it's a pity that your personal politics have so obviously and completely taken over the tone of your jyotish interpretations.  (Note:  Everyone who contacts me goes into my address book.)

M.L  Maryland*

     I managed to miss the inauguration hoopla by going to NY for a class, but now here he is giving another speech on television.  It's hard to escape from his little triumphal parade these days.
      I did spend some more time on History of the U.S.   I look fondly back on Ketu - peace and love - those were the days!  I see a paradox in that though in these Gilded Ages there is an outer emphasis on purity, religious observance, asceticism, yet our present age is probably more full of prurience, voyeurism, blatant sexuality with no redeeming aspects from higher emotions, and expressions of violence and gore as entertainment values. 

     Although there is a silly attempt to censor certain artists - i.e. Janet Jackson - or shock jocks, for the most part there is money to be made by the bucketful in these activities.  The attempts at censorship seem primarily for show.  The people in power in this country have to be heavily invested in media and entertainment stocks through one avenue or another.  Sometimes I suspect that they feed the baser instincts of the masses, keep them sated, and that keeps people from turning their minds to higher issues of their rights and benefits of citizenship.   That includes rousing people to narrow minded views of patriotism against vague threats to their well being, enlisting them in wars of power as well.


    * Here's my this morning reply to M.L., a client since 1998, and whose thoughts are always of value,

     I think you're right in a sense that censorship efforts today are "primarily  for show."  The U.S. chart has a psychosis about sex anyway, and I discussed this in the U.S. chart cycles analysis.  They go to church Sunday morning, catch some internet porn before the afternoon prayer meeting and never miss Desperate Housewives.  If person had a chart with Rahu and Mercury in the 8th in Cancer, he/she would be institutionalized.
      Beer has been said to be the opiate of the masses, but I think religion is truly that which numbs the American mind.


      Six responses to a 300 name list is 2%, which is typical for direct mail.  It is, however, very low for an issue affecting the very fabric of our society. (I'm not promoting cheap mortgages, a weight loss program, or even Viagra!)  Perhaps as the public begins to see neoconservative/fundamentalist movement is out of steam, hopes for, and efforts to, promote progressivism will be reborn.



Copyright 1999-2005
Doug Riemer


(The research and composition for the Celestial Wheel is underwritten by paid subscribers.  If you find the information is of value, please honorthis work by subscribing.   See the Forecasts page of



     This special Celestial Wheel about tomorrow's State Of The Union presidential speech is distributed to my entire address book as a public service.  If you don't appreciate this information, please delete this e-mail with my apologies.  If you find it of value, please forward it to others.

     Following the November 2 presidential election, I searched for the deeper karmic current that is subverting the inequity-leveling achievements of shared democratic values that have enriched America for over seventy years -- since the 1930s New Deal.  Every American, and society as a whole, has benefitted from programs and laws to protect and uplift the disadvantaged. These include: Social Security, minimum wage, equal rights, voting rights, women's rights, environmental protections, business regulation, fair housing, medicare, medicaid, education, progressive taxes... the list goes on and on. 

     And since the New Deal, our nation has consequently experienced improvements in the quality of life and opportunities for all citizens that are unparalleled in history and truly honor the spirit of our Constitution.  Beyond the domestic arena, the past seventy years of devotion to democratic ideals has also seen America selflessly support other less fortunate nations and peoples.  All of humanity has been enriched by these efforts.  Together, these domestic and international endeavors have been the essense of a selfless inclusivity victory over selfishness exclusivity -- the very embodiment of raising consciousness, of Spiritual Citizenship.

     To find the karmic current of this selfish neoconservative/fundamentalist alliance that is over-washing our selfless humanistic achievements, I investigated the United States Vedic chart's planetary cycles.  The resulting Forecast, The United States Through Its Planetary Cycles, is posted free on my website.  (If the above link doesn't take you there, visit my website, click on the Forecasting page and click again on the Complimentary Samples Of In-depth Forecasts.) 

     What I discovered is that America is now repeating its first rapacious ten year Moon cycle, the 1880s Gilded Age of government corruption, business excess and a Victorian purity crusade.  This was the shameful period when the rich misused their power and perverted Christianity to run roughshod over the common man.  It wasn't until the inception of the Progressive Age under Teddy Roosevelt that the movement to regain equality and liberty began.  And it was not coincidentally Teddy's cousin, F.D.R., whose later New Deal programs further advanced Progressivism, that our modern humanistic America fully emerged.  .

     This second ten year Moon cycle in the United States' chart began in 1999, matching the beginning of the neoconservative's ascendancy, and ending with G.W. Bush's second term.  Next comes a discordant second seven year Mars cycle (2008 -- 2015), which promises to repeat the 1893 Financial Panic, when the collapsing dollar brought a crippling five year economic depression.  We are not, however, slaves to our historical karma. 

     As the goal in our personal Vedic charts is to conquer our karmic attachment (to advance on the path of self-realization), the shared karmic harms in our nation's chart can similarly be challenged and overcome to advance our nation's colective spiritual nature.  In fact, the concept of Spiritual Citizenship requires applying out abilities and will to reverse course from elitist selfishness to democratic selflessness -- just as Gandhi engendered those same spiritual truths to free India and promote its success, and later Martin Luther King followed Gandhi's philosophy in the Civil Rights movement.

     What can you do?  There are endless ways to express yourself, to put your shoulder to the wheel of karma, turning it away from the hard-hearted right toward the progressive left of spiritual humanitarianism.  If you prefer to give money, I donate to: as the best political action group, as the best alternative news source and for its consumer boycott of regressive, red, companies.  And, if I, as a Vedic Astrologer, can dig up $20 from time to time, you can afford do more.  Yes, my forecasting is by subscription, and I would be ridiculously self-sacrificing not to invite your support -- just the U.S. planetary cycles Forecast required a month's work at less than a Walmart employee's below-poverty wage.

     If you disbelieve my Vedic Astrology thesis that this is America's second Gilded Age, and if you disregard the consequent urgency to take action to protect yourself and your country, watch tomorrow's State Of The Union Address.  Then, G.W. Bush will formally launch his Ownership Society's flagship of doom, Social Security reform -- at its heart privatization that will sink the New Deal's insurance protections for the old, the disabled and the defenseless children.  With the accompanying horrendous debt increase, it could sink America's flagship dollar as well.  He'll also falsely claim Iraq's election as a victory for freedom.

     Thank you for your consideration of this Celestial Wheel.  I leave you with links to and brief excerpts from two current articles.  These will shake out any lingering post November election depression, your feeling powerless or complacency about not shouldering your fair share of Spiritual Citizenship responsibility.


The Story Of The Ghost, by William Pitt Rivers, a New York Times and internationally bestselling author.

     United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.  According to reports from Saigon, 83 percent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong. A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson's policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam.

- Peter Grose, in a page 2 New York Times article titled, 'U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote,' September 4, 1967.


There Is No Tomorrow, by longtime PBS Frontline host Bill Moyers

     One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal.  It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress.  For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington.

     Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true; ideologues hold stoutly to a worldview despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality.  When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but they are always blind.  And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts.

     Remember James Watt, President Ronald Reagan's first secretary of the interior?  My favorite online environmental journal, the ever-engaging Grist, reminded us recently of how James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ.  In public testimony he said, "after the last tree is felled, Christ will come back."

     Beltway elites snickered.  The press corps didn't know what he was talking about.  But James Watt was serious. So were his compatriots out across the country.  They are the people who believe the Bible is literally true - one-third of the American electorate, if a recent Gallup poll is accurate.  In this past election several million good and decent citizens went to the polls believing in the rapture index.




Copyright 1999-2005
Doug Riemer


(The research and composition for the Celestial Wheel is underwritten by paid subscribers.  If you find the information is of value, please honorthis work by subscribing.   See the Forecasts page of