Preview of Planetary Patterns for 2018

This is a Special Predictive Report on the Planets’ Positions and Patterns for 2018. What follows is an overview of some of the main highlights; a “Heads-up” for getting a sense of the Astrological Energy Setup for the coming year.


We start out with Saturn, the Reality Check Planet, the planet of Responsibility, Limitation, Delay, and Unavoidable Circumstances. Saturn is the so-called “Great Malefic” of Vedic Astrology because of its mostly negative associations and its non-negotiable quality. Wherever Saturn transits in the zodiac, and correspondingly in your personal chart, we are forced to pay attention.
Saturn will be spending all of 2018 in sidereal Sagittarius, starting out @ 7 deg of that sign, and reaching 17 degrees Sagittarius at the end of 2018. This is not a bad combination of planet and sign, except perhaps in one respect: Saturn is a stubborn planet; Sagittarius is a sign devoted to its beliefs. The result is more Ideology; more Partisanship. Depending on what it interacts with in your natal chart, Saturn may, or may not, be a troublemaker for you in 2018.
For the most part, Saturn won’t be directly connecting with any major planets during the year. The exception is the conjunction with Mars, which will join Saturn in Sagittarius from March 7th until May 2nd.
Saturn and Mars are mutual enemies in Vedic Astrology. Combining Saturn with Mars is like putting an ice pack on an electric hot plate: lots of Steam… that is, Tension and Stress. But if used consciously, the energy pattern of the planet of Limitation plus the planet of Action can be harnessed for Focused Effort, and lead to some accomplishment. The significations of the house in your natal chart containing Sagittarius tells you where in your life you can make use of this energy combination in March and April.


Jupiter entered sidereal Libra in September 2017. Libra wants Harmony in Relationship, and in Society. This makes Libra the sign of Idealism. Jupiter is the planet of Truth and Justice. The planet of justice in the sign of fairness strives to reach some idealistic state of Moral Equality…  but since Saturn is simultaneously in Jupiter’s sign Sagittarius, indicating an emphasis on Ideology, the problem will be how to find that Libra balance such that all sides can achieve their idealism. Jupiter will be in Libra for most of 2018, until early October.
After spending a year and a month in Libra, Jupiter changes signs, entering Scorpio on October 11th. For the last three months of 2018, and until November 2019, Jupiter will manifest from the platform of the sign of Secrets, Conspiracies, Investigations and Alliances. Jupiter’s energy for Increase will boost Scorpio’s predisposition for Secretive Acts. So some of this will not be good. On the plus side, Jupiter’s signification of Justice teams up with Scorpio’s talent for Investigations for Finding the Truth.
In your personal chart, the house position of Libra, followed by Scorpio’s house in early October, will benefit from the positive, optimistic, expansive quality of Jupiter, as will any natal planets in these signs or in the signs opposite, Aries and Taurus.

Rahu and Ketu

The nodes of the Moon, Rahu and Ketu, changed signs in September 2017: Rahu entered Cancer; Ketu entered Capricorn. They will remain in these signs for all of 2018. Rahu’s ambitious nature provides a point of Focus that can lead to material success for the area of your life signified by the house position of Cancer. Ketu is more spiritual in nature, i.e., not as conducive to worldly accomplishment, tending instead to bring dissatisfaction or loss to the material significations of the house it transits through in your natal chart. Since they are eclipse points, both nodes can obscure, i.e., create Confusion, for whatever they affect. If you have a natal planet, or planets, in Cancer and /or Capricorn, you can expect there will be a change this year to what that planet signifies in your chart.

What to Watch Out For

Every year has its astrological “potholes,” time periods when the planetary energy pattern is particularly negative, even threatening. The main pothole in 2018 is the Mars Retrograde Period, which due to other simultaneous factors, promises to be especially problematic.
Normally Mars moves fairly rapidly, taking six weeks to transit through a sign. But every couple of years Mars goes through a retrograde phase, appearing to travel backwards in the zodiac for nine weeks. As a consequence, the planet remains in one sign for six months or more. In 2018 Mars enters Capricorn on May 2nd, and on June 26th commences its retrograde period, which lasts until August 27th. Mars is the planet of Action; I call it the “Do-it” planet. We need the energy of Mars to Initiate New Projects, to Get Things Going. Mars is also the planet of Aggression, Conflict, Injury and Accident. Thus Mars is one of the “natural malefics” of Vedic Astrology.
So what happens when Mars is retrograde? It’s the energy of moving things forward, moving backwards in the zodiac. The planetary initiating factor is being held back from normal progress. Therefore, It’s harder to Get Things Off the Ground; Progress gets Delayed; Victory is Denied; there’s a higher chance of Failure. So, a Mars Retrograde period is not a good time to start new endeavors. Projects begun while Mars is retrograde tend to Backfire, and even things already under way will run into obstructions.
Now, what makes this Mars retrograde period rather weird is that it will be combining with Ketu, the South Node of the Moon, which is also transiting in Capricorn during 2018.
Ketu, one of the eclipse points, is a significator of Past Life Karma, and The Past in a general sense. Ketu is therefore non-material and Mysterious. At its best it is Spiritual. At its worst, it causes Chaos and Dissolution on the material plane. Mars and Ketu both have a destructive side; each can manifest as Violence.
Ketu and Mars cross paths every couple of years, but normally the interaction only lasts a week or so. What’s unusual about 2018 is that these two natural malefics will be together for 6 months in the same sign (Capricorn), and for two of those months Mars will be Retrograde, which makes it much more malefic (capable of doing harm) than usual. Combined with Ketu, it is a rather ominous energy pattern. Now throw in some other simultaneous planetary events, like a Total Lunar Eclipse and Mercury Retrograde, and a square to Uranus… and the whole thing starts looking rather dreadful.
Thus there is a high potential for something rather unpleasant to happen this summer. So you might want to lay low during these months. Perhaps find a rock to hide under, especially from late June to late August.


Finishing out the year there will be yet another retrograde situation… but this one’s not so bad. Venus will be in a retrograde period for six weeks, from October 5th until November 16th. The general rule in Vedic Astrology is that since retrograde planets are closer to the Earth, i.e., brighter than usual in the Heavens, they are stronger for producing effects. Therefore, a Natural Benefic planet, like the planet of Love & Relationship, can actually do some good while retrograde.
This is especially true this time because Venus will already be strong due to transiting in its own sign, Libra. Venus enters Libra on September 1st, and stays until New Year’s, January 1st, 2019. Thus for four months the planet of Romance will be in the sign of Harmony and Relationship. It’s also the planet of Guidance, of Advice, in the sign of Fairness & Equality, which sounds fairly promising for finding Compromise & Agreement.
But, as is true for any retrograde planet, during its retrograde period some of Venus’s significations will manifest in abnormal ways. The planet of Romance will be retracing its steps in the zodiac. Therefore Love gets Reconsidered. This could be Bad, as in a breakup, but in other cases it can mean Getting Back Together. As the planet of Value, Venus acting abnormally means it’s harder to determine True Value. Therefore making major purchases is not recommended. Since it’s the planet of Aesthetics, going backwards, your new dress turns out to not look so good when you get it home compared to how it looked in the store, i.e., Buyer’s Remorse. Once Venus returns to normal forward motion in mid-November, it goes back to manifesting normally, and will be strong and positive while still in Libra until the end of the year.

2 thoughts on “Preview of Planetary Patterns for 2018

  1. Shishir

    Very interesting read. One question, if Capricorn is in 4th House in Navamsa, then is it good idea to buy property during Mars retrograde and Ketu Transit in Capricorn.

    1. ronberger Post author

      It’s not a good idea to diagnose a chart from the navamsa only. The natal chart is primary; the navamsa is to add more details. Transits to the solar signs are not the same as transits in the navamsa. The first navamsa of Capricorn is Capricorn, but that is only true until 3 deg 20′ After that, Mars changes to different navamsa positions.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *