By Jayant Kalawar
It’s a late August morning in New Jersey, in 2020. It has started cooling already. Nights are touching 60 deg F and a bit of windchill is making its presence felt. I just finished listening to Vishnu Sahasranaam. I listen to Bharat Ratna MS Subbulakshmi. When it is not raining, a morning walk helps to energize oneself and let the Sahasranaam percolate through.
I often wonder whether this particular Sahasranaam was composed during the Mahabharata War and then refined and finalized. I imagine there were wise men and women who were aghast as the best of people of those times decided to go to war, with deathly destructive consequences all around.
But then we always seem to be living in the field of confusion and conflict at so many levels. As I write this the Republican National Convention is its 3rd day. The media is focusing on polarization. And the political leaders seem to be stoking the fires. Perhaps they gain warmth from those fires. On the ground, that can turn deadly. Not only in terms of the fires that have been rampaging in Northern California last week or the monster Hurricane Laura that just made landfall in Louisiana. But especially in terms of polarization of communities, with one more incident in Kenosha, Wisconsin, of police killing a Black man. The centuries of frustration of the Black community showing through reaction on the streets, as it sees no systemic way to ensure its protection, gain redress and have a path for flourishing and well-being.
I contemplate on the Sahasranaam to remind myself once again of how this state of being in continual confusion and conflict can begin to make sense. The cosmology that the Sahasranaam helps visualize is certainly uplifting and calming. It does help to begin focusing on how to best act in the material theater of the day that I find myself in.
And to help understand the configuration of my current kshetra, field of activity, I use Jyotisha (and specifically Systems Approach to Vedic Astrology ). The USA SAMVA chart reliably gives me a map of the astro weather that is unfolding in the USA: what pleasant sunny days and rough weather to expect. As you know, a map is not the territory. It is a guide to help us get through the day and make some sense of it, so to speak. Currently in the last week of August 2020, I see one of the peaks in the state of communal disharmony in the USA. I say one of the peaks, because communal disharmony is an inherent ongoing characteristic in the space-time map for USA that the USA SAMVA chart provides us. For the Cancer rising USA SAMVA chart, Venus rules the 4th house of domestic well-being. It is placed in the 6th house of conflicts, debt and disease (which for USA is ruled by the expansive Jupiter). The flip side of conflict is competition (a bedrock of how Americans go about through their life), flip side of debt is financial engineering systems (aka Wall Street) and of disease is large scale efforts to discover ways of managing it (giving rise the pharmaceutical research and manufacturing industry along with the ways of managing and delivering its products). As you will note, you start to see a wide swath of US social and economic domestic territory mapped here – and being ruled by expansive Jupiter, makes them assume large spectacular proportions, which seem to continually surprise the rest of the world. Predicting these peaks in communal disharmony in the USA becomes quite routine for someone practicing Systems Approach to Mundane Vedic Astrology consistently over time. As of August 2020, for example, tr Jupiter, ruling the 6th house is stationed at about 24 degrees in Sagittarius (you can confirm this if you have access to NASA ephemeris database, for example, and search for specific dates). In this position, Jupiter is giving its energy to natal Venus and generally pumping up all aspects of the domestic components that I described here: communal disharmony appears to be at one of its peaks, Wall Street is around its peak and the pharma industry is getting major funding and attention in its quest to manage Covid-19 (called the China Virus by quite a few in America).
What can one do to change these inherent characteristics on the US space-time map shown to us by Jyotish? That hopefully is something I can write about some time in the future. My sense now is that I have to contemplate and write about Jyotish as a way of helping us design our futures. Perhaps through that process I may get some insights. My first attempt at doing that has been by constructing a Covid 19 prediction model . The intention of such attempts is to find ways that make Jyotish an integral tool in the tool set of many Americans to navigate their life as they aspire for liberty and happiness. By doing so, they will begin to pay attention to astro weather, just as they do to meteorological weather. People then will be able to figure out strategies (just as they board up and evacuate in advance of a hurricane warning) on how to best manage oncoming astro weather peaks that may potentially impact their emotional and rational functioning. I hope to share these with you if, as and when, I get such insights.
Similar to the domestic social and economic characteristics that are baked into the USA Jyotish map represented by Venus, there are characteristics of playing politics in America that are also baked into its map. A combination of Rahu in the 10th house ruled by Mars, which is placed in the 5th house of creativity makes for US political scene to have a tendency for alternate narratives to be produced (Rahu), which are then expressed passionately and creatively (Mars). Rahu and Ketu point to the two interplanetary spaces where the flow of Sun’s energies to Earth are disturbed due to the orbiting Moon. The Rahu disturbance space appears to amplify and distort Sun’s energies (like when you see your face in a concave mirror) and the Ketu disturbance space appears to minimize the transmission of Sun’s energies. I hope to keep bringing up the roles of these different flag posts in the US Jyotish map – including those of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn in future blog posts.
But for now I want to focus on the role of Rahu and Mars in the context of how US politics is unfolding at the time of this writing in late August 2020 – as we head towards the November 2020 elections (I first predicted the following, in December 2019, about the November 2020 elections: So, my bet would be that if Senator Elizabeth Warren is the Democratic nominee (which seems most likely among the slate of Democratic candidates at the moment), then the chances are that President Trump is likely to be re-elected on November 3, 2020. On the other hand, perhaps the Democratic Party may come up with a nominee that is not one of the four I have discussed in some detail above, who may stand a better chance to win the November elections. I will re-visit the November 2020 election possibilities in June-July 2020, if that is the case.)
The USA Jyotish stage setting for the November 2020 Elections
In the next ten weeks (from late August) leading up to the November 2020 elections, the USA Jyotish stage is set in Sun major period with Mercury sub period. Which means two key actors in this upcoming drama are going to be Mercury mostly and then the Sun. Sun is shining bright in Leo right now and will continue to do so until mid-September, giving its positive energy towards stabilizing and trying to revive the US economy. From then on to mid-October, Sun will travel through Virgo. That is positive too. Mercury, meanwhile will be traveling through Leo until early September and then through September 22nd. Mercury then moves into Libra and until about October 3rd it may continue to be positive. So, about until October 3rd there may be a general sense of well-being and optimism (Sun) and the financial markets stable (Mercury). That is one part of the stage.
Then there is the dark part of the stage setting that is being played out at this time. Enter Jupiter as key stage background in the next few months. It is currently is stationed at about 24 deg in Sagittarius. On the US Jyotish map you will find that Venus is located at the same degree. Jupiter will begin moving, from that Venus degree, very slowly and take up to November 5th to reach about 27 deg (so a 3 deg movement). So, in the Fall of 2020 all the way to the November elections and beyond, Jupiter may likely keep triggering expansive communal disharmony (which we have already seen in action through the summer of 2020).
Another dark stage setting for the theater unfolding over the next 10 weeks is Mars being closely aspected by Ketu from mid-August, all the way to December 25th. This stage setting brings forth potential for engagement and losses for armed forces all over the world. This includes police forces domestically and whole range of armed forces internationally. This sets the stage for potential for armed tensions and skirmishes between USA, China, India and Iran, for example.
And then a key Astral stage component will slide into place on to the US Jyotish stage to play a major role. On September 20th the Rahu-Ketu axis will move from Gemini-Sagittarius to Taurus- Scorpio. Rahu will be exalted in Taurus. It will refract (some say distort) Sun’s energies, creating an amplified sense of alternative realities. On the US Jyotish Map Rahu will be in the 11th house of aspirations: calls to move voters to high aspirations may be heard after September 20th, even in the midst of the ongoing communal disharmony.
This stage setting works well until October 17th. Then there is a change in the lighting effect on the stage, so to speak. October 17th onwards Sun debilitated. October 23rd onwards Venus debilitated. Which means Mercury gets weak as well. So from October 17th and especially from October 23rd, the chances are that the signals from the economy and financial markets (which were stable to positive so far) may turn negative. That will add to the background noise of sound and light. At the same time, Jupiter will begin distancing itself from Venus starting mid-October, so there may be some relief in the manifestation of communal disharmony. By the time November 3rd arrives, the voters may have a challenging time to make out constructive signals from the confusing cross between communal and financial noise that may be reaching them.
So visualize this. When the curtain rises in the week of September 21st, there will be loud confusion and noise in the background as a full throated (and sometimes physical) arguments are going on. There may be news (and arguments) about confrontations with police domestically and between armed forces internationally (“are we now at war, or about to get into a war” arguments). And along the way, the stock market in particular, and the economy in general, may be posting stable to positive news up to about mid-October. Overall, as the curtain rises, it is a pretty raucous stage that you are looking at. And then past October 17th, there may be added noise and uncertainty from the economy and financial markets.
Ok, so that is the Jyotish stage setting we have. We are now ready to bring in the 4 main actors on to the stage: Donald Trump & Mike Spence and Joe Biden & Kamala Harris. Let’s see what personal Jyotish scripts they may perform on this USA Jyotish stage setting we are visualizing. And how this scene may end for each of them early November (we will come back with the sequel to this after the November elections).
On the USA Jyotish Stage: Election Season 2020
Donald Trump brings a strong set of cards on to the stage with his birth chart. He was born with strong Mercury and Jupiter, giving him analytical and communication ability with big picture capacity, as well as support from his children. He also brings along luck with his Mars. He also carries with him exalted Rahu and Ketu on 10th / 4th axis – gives him high ability to spin narratives and make great deals, that help him in his career and gain social status (Rahu in 10th). His Ketu in 4th allows him to give up his assets, especially real estate (Ketu in 4th) which he would have gained through his Rahu deal making. Those are all the positive cards that Trump brings with him on to the stage.
He also brings his share of weak cards, with their potential vulnerabilities. Trump’s weak cards include Sun, Saturn, Venus and Moon. The weak Sun, which rules his ascendant, gives him an overall weak moral in the eyes of those around him, which he balances by his Rahu strength of narratives spinning. Weak Saturn makes having loyal advisers a big challenge for Trump. Weak Venus translates into less ability to have a trusting long term relationship marriage and with women in general. His weak Moon shows up in losses in real estate, but also in another way: wanting to separate from current estate and establishment, even though he is from it. It is this characteristic of the Moon that drives him towards the narrative of “cleaning the swamp” in Washington DC, for example.
So the current scenario post September 20th, as Trump walks on to the stage, you will recognize and visualize, fits him quite well. While he may be bereft of loyal advisers around him, the strong Jupiter (which while being inimical on USA stage setting acts positively for him) and Mercury in the next 2 months gives him mental stamina of combining intuitive analysis with big picture views, to get through a tough campaign, supported by his children. And the Rahu-Ketu axis moving into exaltation and his 10th / 4th axis gives him much ability to spin positive aspirational narratives that the American voters may be looking for. This positive unfolding is the first part of the Election scene that is likely to unfold for Trump from September 20th to October 17th. O! So then what happens after October 17th to November 3rd?
Remember from October 17th onwards Sun is debilitated as it enters Libra. And after October 23rd Venus is debilitated, as it enters Virgo. Which means Mercury gets weak as well. May maintain ability to spin aspirational narratives and be anti-establishment – but may be increasingly seen as being less trustworthy (weak Sun) and not able to deliver his narrative in a coherent manner due to weak Mercury. Jupiter will go from being strong to moderately strong by late October , which means his grasp of big picture may be a little less firm and his children’s support, while still very much there, may be a little less valuable.
We will come back to what all this means to the possible outcomes of the November 3rd election. Lets go on to the next player we will bring on our Jyotish stage, Joe Biden.
Unlike Donald Trump, for whom we have a birth date and time from birth records, Joe Biden’s birth details are available from family memory. There are two versions of his birth chart available for the same date (November 11, 1942) but two different times. One makes his chart Scorpio rising and the other makes it Libra rising. Here I will use the 22 degree Libra rising chart. Biden does not have any strong cards to bring to the stage. His 10th L (of career and status) Moon in 7th directly afflicted by Rahu enables him to come across as a friendly empathetic person to the general public. It is this attribute that may be his main career driver. This chart does not show strengths in connecting to intuitive big picture or in communicating the big picture.
When Biden comes on stage, we will see him being perform better until September 20th, while Rahu is still in his 9th house, giving a sense of good fortune, which is really temporary. When Rahu moves into Taurus, which is 8th house for Biden’s Libra rising chart, on September 20th it may begin impacting his health. Ketu moving in tandem on September 20th to Scorpio, his second house, may impact his career possibilities. His health challenges may further come to the fore once ascendant ruler Venus moves into debilitation in Virgo after October 23rd.
Overall, this chart does not show the vitality that may be required to get the signal through high levels of noise that we will be observing on the USA Jyotish stage in the last two weeks to November 3rd.
We do not have a birth records based birth chart for Mike Pence. There are three alternate charts on offer for the birth date of June 7, 1959 in Columbus, Indiana. I am using one of them: a 4 deg Libra rising chart for Columbus, Indiana (suggested for exploration by Cosmologer). Pence comes on stage with a strong 10th L Moon in 9th and moderately strong 1st L Venus and 7th L Mars in 10th H of career and status. This has given Pence a rise in career, with support from his wife. 3rd L Jupiter in second house gives him an inclination to explore religion. 5th L Saturn in 3rd H positively aspected by 10th L Moon gives him ability to communicate as a way to support career.
Pence has been in his Mars major period and Rahu sub-period since late August 2019 and will be there up to March 2022. When he comes on stage after September 20th, he will have his sub-period lord Rahu moving into his 8th house. The indications are that he may potentially experience obstructions and health challenges. Ketu would have moved into his second may give difficulties in communicating Trump’s aspirational narratives in this key period. November 3rd sees his Ascendant Lord debilitated in 12th house of losses.
We bring in one more actor on to the stage before we sum it all together for November 3rd. So bear with me.
We have a birth record based chart for Kamala Harris. A Gemini rising with Rahu on her ascendant degree. That gives Harris capacity to position in different roles for different situations. Harris’s also has strong 9th L (of good fortune) Saturn aspecting strong 2nd L (of family well-being, career and communications) Moon in the 11th H. This indicates natural support and good fortune flowing to Harris from established older individuals. So Harris comes to the stage equipped well for the role of raising funds and developing and communicating aspirational narratives to different audiences.
However, the stage setting for Harris post September 20th does not bode well. Saturn is weak in 8th, so is unable to give the level of support it has in the past. Rahu will be in 12th and her aspirational articulations may become loss making. Ketu in her 6th may give her health issues and financial difficulties. The last two weeks to November 3rd sees her Asc L (Sun for Gemini) being debilitated in 5th H Libra, while 5th L Venus is debilitated in Virgo. Creativity and ability to project a positive image may not be easy for Harris in the last few weeks.
The Finale on November 3rd
On November 3rd we have all the four actors on the stage waiting to see how the audience will be voting for them. They would have given their best in propagating a range of aspirational narratives, amplified on the stage by an exalted Rahu post September 20th . It will be up to the voters to try and sift through a rising cacophony of noise caused by communal disharmony domestically (including attacks on police) and signals of potential armed conflict internationally. And the last few weeks may potentially see signals of rising uncertainty from the economy in general and the financial markets in particular.
Jyotish perspective tells me that the actor best positioned to provide the strongest aspirational signals, by far in this very noisy stage setting, is Trump – especially between September 20th and October 17th.
So, from a Jyotish perspective, my guess is that voters may likely respond to the signals from Trump and vote Trump back in.
It is possible that the noise levels are so high that the voters are unable to resonate with any aspirational signal coming out of this stage. In which case we may be left with an episode ending that is divisive and waiting for a sequel to bring to a resolution.
From Jyotish perspective, there are signs of a period of intensifying difficulties discord period from first week of November all the way through April 2021, with peak from mid-November 2020 to early February 2021. I hope to write a sequel to this post after November 3rd. In the meanwhile, you may can visit this post specifically raising the question of whether there will be a COVID-19 wave in the November 2020 to February 2021 time period.
Closing thoughts for this post
I started out with Vishnu Sahasranaam at the top of this post. That was almost a week ago. As I read through the post and cleaned it up a bit, I began to think about the kshetra, the field of action and conflict, that is described in the Mahabharata. Many questions come to mind about how best to act in this present field of conflict. And I begin to remind myself of the Bhagavad Gita, also emerging out of the Mahabharata, with many similar questions. I remind myself specifically of one guidance given in the Bhagavad Gita: that I have the capacity to act intentionally. But that the results of those actions are uncertain at best. So do not have expectations of what may come back of the seeds I sow through my actions.
In 21st century terms I interpret it as follows: I am in a highly complex environment. My well thought out intentional actions will enter that highly complex environment. How my action may change that environment and how it may impact me is something I cannot realistically assess. However, I can make use of some of the tools that my ancestors have used for millennia to begin to understand some contours of this highly complex environment that I find myself in. Jyotish is one such tool. And it is in that spirit on inquiry to begin to understand this complex environment that I offer this post. Hope you enjoy it.
 Jayant Kalawar is author of Deconstructing European Enlightenment
 Note that positions of Sun, Moon and the planets in the background sky referenced here are according to NASA ephemeris, not Western Tropical Almanac used by many Western Astrologers.