By Gwen Burdick

In Yogic philosophy, when the intention of the heart and intention of the mind merge with resolve and determination in search of Truth, we have what is called Sankalpa in Sanskrit, or solemn vow.   “Kalpa” means vow and “san” means truth.  It refers to the vow we take that supports the discovery of the inextinguishable Light within us.  Here the heart and mind are harnessed with willpower turned inward to do what is right for our sadhana, or spiritual practice.  With this directed energy that is always available whether we realize it or not, we become a disciplined yogi.

According to Jyotish , sacred Astronomy, Mars is the General of the planetary army and the defender of dharma or duty.  He is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who sustains the Universe and is the aspect of consciousness that allows for strength, courage, determination, and willpower.  Mars, Kuja in Sanskrit, provides the octane for sankalpa.  His relative strength by transit in the sky will affect the ease with which we might follow through on our vow.  On Jan 16th of this year, 2018, Mars entered Scorpio (a sign it rules) and it will be the strongest planet in the sky for 10 months, as it then passes through Sagittarius (a fire sign) and then Capricorn (its exalted or strongest placement).  We have now the opportunity to be supported by the Vedic sky to, with determined effort, first face emotional weaknesses, then find inspired initiative, and finally do the hard work necessary for our spiritual evolution.  Consider that which makes you weak.  Fear, confusion, attachment, anger, pain, loneliness, depression and addiction lead the pack for most of us.  2018 could be a supremely productive year for those who are willing to take action to do what is right and for those who are willing to be changed at depth.