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Khara Year

2011-2012 Predictions
By Chakrapani Ullal, USA.

Chakrapani Ullal, heralded as one of the
foremost Vedic Astrologers in not only the United States, but around the world, and considered to be a teacher of teachers. His clientele includes the who's who of Hollywood and Washington. Chakrapani is from Kerala, South India. He was born into a traditional Hindu family of astrologers where the practice of Astrology has been passed from father to son for many generations. Chakrapani began to receive training from his father while still a young boy. From his youth, Chakrapani had a deep interest in spiritual life, and desire for greater experience and understanding led him to seek out many saints and sages in India. Thus began a long association with both unknown sadhus as well as many of the most revered spiritual leaders of our time. You can consult him via

he disposition of the planets on, April 3, 2011, Shukla Paksha Pratipada, or New Years Day, indicates a generally positive set-up for the coming year. It is positive in-asmuch-as the challenges and problems that have plagued us in recent times will not increase beyond what they have been. Of course these days have not been easy, but we have adjusted to dealing with the difficulties—we have managed, and the good news is that it will not get any worse. While in some areas there will be modest improvement, the most reassuring message is that we will maintain status quo. We will not slip backwards, nor will we be confronted with problems more difficult than what we have dealt with already. This is indicated, in part, by the Rising Sign ruler for Taurus, Venus. Venus is powerfully situated in the 10th house—a friendly house—bringing particular advantages, and more importantly, establishes a fundamentally stable position with regards to the affairs of the country. The message in this set-up is

unmistakable. We have both sufficient resources to manage, and the ability to withstand problems as they come. It means there need not be fear of collapse or failure. Rather, the tone is one of reassurance. We will carry-on; we possess the fortitude to find the solutions to our problems.

There is inherent strength in the United States’ natal chart. The Khara period (2011-2012) draws on that strength, especially with regards to Venus and Saturn, as they are friends and well-placed in the Khara chart. Additionally, Venus is “Vargottama” in the Navamsha chart, meaning its strength is enhanced. Mercury is sufficiently well-placed in the 11th house. Mercury’s debilitation in Pisces is cancelled due to the planetary set-up with Jupiter in the same house, which enhances Mercury’s power considerably. A strong Mercury, as it is ruler of the 2nd and the 5th houses, has an important role to play in the financial, business, trade and education fields. Mercury will promote the values of higher education, leading to some advancement in that area. Mercury will also have a role to play in furthering progress in the financial, business and trade fields. Generally speaking, with regards to business and commerce, modest progress is suggested; however, this will not be reflected in unemployment figures, or they will reflect minimum improvement. Typically, companies may fare somewhat better, but they will be reluctant to hire additional employees.

Financially, there is a stalemate with regards to debt. As foreign trade will increase, the balance of trade status will not be as negative as before. There is no indication of significant change with regards to inflation. There will be some progress after July 2012, but real progress will not come until December 2013, after which inflation will slowly decrease. Generally, until spring 2013 there is no significant change for the American people regarding domestic issues, and in terms of the economy. There may be some small improvement, but it is to a limited extent. In March 2013, the Mars/Mercury Sub-Cycle finishes and the Ketu Sub-Cycle begins (in natal chart). Even though Ketu is a somewhat problematic planet, Ketu will be a better period, because in this set-up, Ketu will absorb some of the positive aspects of Saturn. For this reason, in March 2013, things will begin to be better as far as the general climate in American domestic affairs. Also to consider is Jupiter, well placed in the Rasi (natal) chart at the New Year’s time, although it is not a positive planet for Taurus Rising. It is transiting Aries for most of the Khara year. The effect of this Jupiter is that it can bring people into compromised circumstances, in social, business, or financial matters. It may promote actions that cannot be justified, morally or ethically. Instances of “irregularities” in business and commerce or within the social arena will be uncovered, traced, and those involved, “found out”. That is the nature of this Jupiter. Because I am sending out these predictions a month into the new year, we have already seen expressions of this Jupiter influence with regards to the recent scandals involving the French IMF Chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a hotel housekeeper, as well as the Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver affair involving an illegitimate child. This is the Jupiter/Aries transit that I am referring to. Newsworthy incidents of this nature, also involving improprieties in business and commerce will continue throughout the Khara year. Jupiter, in this position, also promotes literary works, so there will be some general support and encouragement for accomplishments in the world of literature and related fields. The prominence of Venus in the Khara year will summon creative ideas and expressions of beauty, fashion, design, and items of luxury. It will be a time of progress for the arts in general. The traditional domains of women will flourish; women will advance and become more visible in industry and business.

The Khara chart also shows Saturn, a most powerful planet, in the 5th house, a friendly house; however, it is retrograde, which tempers its positive affect to some extent. Saturn has the tendency to bring ups and downs and uncertainties; however, for Taurus Rising, it is a benevolent planet. Consequently, Saturn is not an overall negative planet in this situation. Rather, it is somewhat weakened in effect by its retrogression, but it still has the ability to bring positive results during this period. Saturn does have the tendency to attract natural calamities. Throughout the Khara year there will be continued incidence of tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, rain and flooding, accidents, fire and explosions. Perhaps last year when I relayed this prediction, it was hard to imagine what a “greater incidence of natural disasters” could mean in actual reality; at this point we can understand what we’re up against here. This is an influence continuing from the previous period. I do not feel this influence poses a threat greater than what we experienced last year. However, it is a time when it pays to take precautions, depending on one’s circumstances; but I have never been one to suggest taking action beyond what is reasonable and natural in the context of living out our normal daily lives. I believe that we should carry on, while being mindful of simple ways to safeguard our family and communities from potential risks or hazardous conditions. In a broad sense, the Saturnian agenda expresses itself in America through leaders and legislation that are working to build a stronger middle class. Beyond our borders, Saturn is toppling autocratic-style leaders and replacing them with more democratic style governments. Nearly the entire Khara year is ruled by Saturn, and Saturn is the planet of revolution. Furthermore, because of Saturn and Mars, U.S. involvement in war will not diminish for some time, regardless of who is president. This is because Mars figures prominently in the U.S. Natal chart—an importance which is underscored as the U.S. passes through the major cycle of the Mars, which began September 2008, continuing for 7 years. The United States is no stranger to war because the natal Mars, situated in the 7th house, is powerfully aspected by Saturn (10th house from Saturn, a uniquely strong position), which gives Mars great energy. (Also, Sagittarius Rising attracts war.) Consequently, during the Mars Major Cycle, currently operating, the Mars influence is heightened, bringing a propensity for conflict and war. These 7 years will be defined by Martian qualities, which, like it or not, will inevitably be expressed in some manner.


Mars, like Saturn, is a revolutionary. Together they create challenge, they create revolution, they create war, they create unrest, and they create global upheaval. Mars is the planet of war—the “Commander in Chief” of a war effort. During the major cycle of the Mars, the U.S. will not be able to escape war, or war-like circumstances of some kind. This will be the case until 2015, although it will fluctuate during that period depending on the Bhukti Lord at any given time. The Bhukti Sub-Cycles, ranging in time from 4 months to 3 years, each have a governing planet called the Bhukti Lord. The current Saturn Bhukti is a little more than 13 months long, beginning from February 2011, ending in March 2012. Thereafter, is the Mercury Bhukti, until March 2013, and then, Ketu for nearly 5 months, until August 2013. The Bhukti will affect whether the energy is less or more, and the character of that energy to some extent. So, there will be ups and downs in the overt aggression expressed at any given time, but the signature of Mars is there throughout. However, Mars is not just promoting mindless violence and conflict. It has an agenda. It is working in consort with Saturn to manifest the Saturnian ideal: that of basic equality of all peoples, advancement and reward through hard work, general prudence, humility and service, truth and justice, and democratic ideals in general. Throughout the world this general scale of values will increase in significant measure. The force for this change is like a tidal wave of reform that is slowly overtaking the globe. Saturn and Mars will continue to wreck havoc in the Muslim countries throughout the Khara period, and beyond, but it is not a religious issue. Rather, it is an issue relating to despotic rulers and the fact that their time is coming to an end. The thrust of the Saturnian period serves to bring power to the common people. This influence will prevail, and in the process, create a kind of spontaneous combustion of protest in those regions where the people have been stifled or suppressed. Agents or elements will come to their aid in helping them find their voice. Regarding the Muslim countries, the transit of the Rahu in Sagittarius and the eclipses during that period played a role. For the past year-and-a-half, from November 2009 to June 2011, Rahu has been transiting Sagittarius, (Rising Sign of America—a war sign). Rahu, in this particular case represents the Muslim countries, a “problematical situation” from an American point of view. The implication of this set-up suggests troubles, difficulties and problems in this part of the world, bringing direct conflict because Rahu is in the house of Jupiter. This problematical situation continues as Rahu moves from Sagittarius into Scorpio, from June 2011 to December 2012; however, the character of the energy changes

somewhat. Whereas Rahu in Sagittarius brought agitation, Rahu in Scorpio conveys more a sense of physical/emotional suffering of the people, and troubles relating to health and well-being. Rahu’s transit in America brought “dis-unity”—a kind of partisan spirit. As Rahu moves out of Sagittarius and into Scorpio, this dis-unity continues, but to a lesser degree. Additionally, there will be intrigue. That is the nature of Rahu in Scorpio. So we see that until September 2015, the U.S. will be in a war-type situation, regardless of who is president. Because the major cycle of Mars, sub cycle of Saturn is operating beginning from February 2011 until March 2012, these war-like, revolutionary influences will be greater during this period that lasts nearly until the last days of the Khara year. Thereafter starts the Mercury Sub cycle until March 2013, a period of communication and negotiation, suggesting a decrease in the potential for aggression in favor of the parties looking for ways to reason with one another. American history is full of war, yet records continual growth and progress on all fronts. So we can see that while the country has grown and progressed to a significant degree, it has been through the process of struggle and conflict. Without the struggle there would not be progress. It may seem contradictory, but for America, war is a kind of inevitability. It brings struggle, but it also brings progress. Looking to President Obama’s chart we gain some further insight into the direction of the country. Vimsottari Dasa: Jup MD: 1996-07-24 - 2012-07-24 Jup: 1996-07-24 - 1998-09-11 Sat: 1998-09-11 - 2001-03-24 Merc: 2001-03-24 - 2003-06-30 Ket: 2003-06-30 - 2004-06-05 Ven: 2004-06-05 - 2007-02-04 Sun: 2007-02-04 - 2007-11-23 Moon: 2007-11-23 - 2009-03-24 Mars: 2009-03-24 - 2010-02-28 Rah: 2010-02-28 - 2012-07-24 Obama is passing through the major cycle of Jupiter, beginning in July 1996, and ending July 25, 2012. During the cycle of Jupiter, the last sub-cycle is Rahu, from March 2010 to July 2012—the most challenging period of the 16-year cycle. There is a saying that “whatever Jupiter has given in the fullest of its period, the last period may take away”. This is

not a prediction, it’s just a saying meant to convey the tendency of Jupiter with regards to Rahu. They are bitter enemies.

How does one interpret this influence in Obama’s circumstances? Rahu plays a dominant role in the Obama’s Chart because it is in the 8th house (house of strife and struggle) conjunct malefic Mars. Rahu in the 8th house is associated with troubles, suffering, delays, obstacles and enemies, financial stress, and personal safety; with malefic mars, the negativity is intensified. This malefic set-up is aggravated during Obama’s Rahu subcycle, currently operating, since March 2010. During this period, his challenges increase significantly. It also means that Obama’s security is at issue during the Rahu period. Generally speaking, during the Rahu Sub-Cycle, one struggles to hold on to that which one already has. For Obama, it will require vigilance and hard work to get through the Rahu cycle. It is a questionable time with regards to his safety. It is a time of caution. After July 2012, Obama has “Raja Yoga” (yoga of success, a very powerful yoga) operating with Saturn in the Rising Sign. This is a very significant period for him, perhaps the strongest cycle in his life, continuing for 19 years thereafter. Fortunately for him, the election follows July 2012, giving him five months of Raja Yoga before the actual election, although he must be very careful in the Rahu period preceding it. Perhaps I should mention that like any other energetic influence of some length, it takes some time into the cycle before we see it fully matured and giving maximum effect. By the same token, we often see some effect of a new planetary energy for a period before it formally begins, depending on the strength of the particular planet, the length of the


cycle, and other factors. This is something to keep in mind regarding how astrology works, in a general sense. Looking at the American horoscope, we can see tremendous energy, which continually propels the country to move forward. Thus, it will continue—in education, technology, and innovations of all kinds—pushing the country forward, regardless of the odds. America has problems, to be sure, and it cannot afford to be complacent in dealing with them. But needed changes will come, sometimes from those who are most critical of American policy. Doesn’t matter. America has the innate ability to self-correct; with struggle comes progress—this is the process for America. For these reasons, I say America will not be over-taken by any country, including China, anytime in the foreseeable future. This is the strength of the natal chart of America. By the way, I have always reassured my clients who are having bouts of anxiety, afraid that the whole country is about to implode. Whether the fear is regarding the economy, politics, real estate, Y2K, meteors, extra-moons, the shift of the earth’s axis, the 13th sign, the end of the Mayan calendar, or any other wave of hysteria that may have swept the country, my response has always been the same… There is nothing new under the Sun, nor instance of “oops, we forgot this or that!” The supreme intelligence that permeates the universe reaches beyond space and time. This is how the ancients could codify the laws that form the basis of astrology. All life is inexorably connected in a majestic web that extends beyond the reach of human imagination. Life is a continuing process; it goes on. It will continue to go on… In spite of its many problems and ills, America is stable. America has the necessary resources in terms of its over-all strength, its problem-solving ability, and creativity, to find the solutions to its problems. This is a similar message to that of this “Khara” year. While it may not be an easy year, America has the resources to manage. We will all continue to grow and mature through the challenges. This is the process of life. In addition to my 2011-2012 New Year’s predictions, the following are questions posed to me by clients at a recent lecture regarding my New Year’s forecast. I hope you will find them helpful to a fuller, more comprehensive understanding of issues relating to astrology and the Vedic New Year, especially to those of you who are new to astrology. Chakrapani, isn’t the idea of New Year’s predictions rather like fortune telling?



nlike reading tea leaves, the Tarot, or other psychic endeavors that rely on freeform intuition or special sensitivities of the practitioner, Vedic Astrology is a science that follows established mandates and requires that the practitioner learn many rules and formulas, and combinations of formulas. It is a science because it is based on precise mathematical criteria which can be tested, repeated and verified. However, to practice astrology beyond a superficial level, the interpretation of the horoscope requires that the practitioner make subtle energetic distinctions, bringing it into the realm of an art form. Thus, we refer to Vedic astrology as both a science and an art. As far as making predictions, a Vedic astrologer compiles a forecast in a manner similar to that of a weather forecaster. One considers all the various elements at play, and then as an expert in that field, makes an estimate of what will be the probable future outcome. (Perhaps the Vedic astrologer will make predictions with greater accuracy than what we typically find with the weather; regardless, the principle is the same.) It is the same idea with an economist who makes an assessment regarding the financial markets, or other experts in their field who use their knowledge to anticipate a probable outcome regarding future events. The difference in Vedic Astrology is that anticipating probable outcome goes to a core function of its practice. However, predictions are not intended to be taken in a passive spirit like a fortuneteller delivering an edict, rather the contrary. Vedic Astrology holds paramount the notion of free will such that the individual, given greater knowledge, is armed with sufficient insight to overcome potential obstacles in his/her path. Or, at the least, is armed to better cope with the obstacle. Certainly astrology is intended to aid in our taking best advantage of our inherent strengths or personal resources; and to be in the best position to maximize opportunities with regards to the timing of events. If one knows that it may rain, they can then choose to bring along an umbrella. There are countless ways in which afore-knowledge can be useful and practical. Vedic Astrology is known as the “Science of Indications” because essentially, it evaluates the energetic influences and considers what future outcome is indicated. It never says that something “has” to be so, as you have doubtless heard me say. Rather, it indicates what will probably be without intervening influence. So when we talk about making predictions for the Vedic New Year, we are looking to a number of factors pointing to the conditions in this upcoming period. As my forecast is based on my expertise in the field of astrology, I hope that you will find these thoughts worthy of your consideration, and that they may stimulate you to reflect on your own life in the context of what is going on in the world around you.

In the end, we seek out specialists so that we may benefit from the insights of those who have studied any given subject in depth. But just as we may seek a doctor for their medical expertise, or a lawyer for their legal opinion, in the end we must use our own common sense and inner knowing to guide our way to our own personal truth. What determines the beginning of the Vedic calendar year, since it is different each year, rather than the calendar year which always begins January 1st?


s I mentioned in my New Years Greeting Card, the Vedic New Year is based on a lunar calendar, which begins when the sun and moon are together in Pisces, creating the first day of spring. This day falls roughly between March 15th and April 15th each year, this year falling on April 4th. It is considered an auspicious time of the year, a particularly good time to commence new projects. The Vedic calendar is a lunar calendar, mirroring the rhythm of nature such that each month is divided into the “bright half”, Shukla Paksha, or waxing moon, and the “dark half”, Krishna Paksha, or waning moon. Many of you will be aware that Vedic Astrology gives prominence to the placement and disposition of the moon in the horoscope, and not surprisingly, the Vedic calendar itself is organized around the movement of the moon. What is the significance of the Sanskrit name assigned to each Vedic lunar year?


he Vedic calendar is organized around concentric time cycles; the largest measuring in thousands of years, and the smallest founded on a 60 year cycle. Each year within that cycle has been given a Sanskrit name denoting its overlying theme. This year is called “Khara”, which roughly translated, means “unpalatable”. During recent days, we have braced ourselves to cope with the challenges that continue to come. The name Khara validates our perception that this year appears to be a bitter pill to take. However, as we take our “medicine”, such as it is, we would like to fully benefit from the “remedy”, which often means bringing a greater consciousness to our actions in response to the challenges we face. When reminded that all the circumstances in which we find ourselves are part of the school of life, intended to help us continue to grow and mature in wisdom and love, perhaps we are better able to accept a bitter pill with genuine gratitude. After all, as we practice patience and fortitude in facing our problems, we are summoning qualities of character that are far more valuable to our evolving selves than the qualities required at a grand banquet of riches and blessings. Considering our purpose in this world, which circumstance is the more worthwhile? That question is the one posed by Saturn, our grand host of this period, as you will have learned in reading my Saturn piece. Joining him in this Khara year is Mars, an equally

radical revolutionary. Also especially visible this year is Venus, who lends her soothing, stabilizing influence, and Mercury, who helps smooth the way in business and commerce. These planets are key figures in this Khara year. What essentials do you look at to determine the major astrological influences for the coming year?


hen calculating predictions, we must start with a horoscope that represents the entity from whence we are focusing our perspective. In this case, the entity is that of the United States; we will be looking at the U. S. natal chart (including the Dasha and Bhukti cycles), as well as the yearly chart. We will also look to the principal leader or representative of the country, President Obama, whose chart will provide added insight into the portrait of America during this period. While our intention is to evaluate current global issues and trends, an astrological analysis must be done from a particular perspective, so this study is from the point of view of how the current global events and influences affect the United States. The study of any given horoscope will reveal certain themes, because if it is a salient feature it will be restated in a number of different ways. Likewise, when we are assessing a horoscope or horoscopes representing a composite entity, the sum of several relevant charts will create a certain portrait. Regarding the case of the United States and Obama, there is a certain symmetry created, as each of the charts restate and underscore particular themes. By this process, we gain insight and conviction as to the agenda of the United States during this period. Thus, our analysis is centered on the U.S. and President Obama, and focuses on their natal charts, the current Dasha and Bhukti operating, the yearly charts, and additionally, the planetary transits of this period. This forms the basis of our assessment. Chakrapani, can you give me some greater insight into the process of how you read a chart and how looking at just two horoscopes like the U.S. and President Obama could give you so much information about the world at large? It looks like you have very little information on those few pieces of paper!


ou would be surprised by how much information is reflected in one horoscope! I can study and analyze one chart for hours...or days, depending. In fact, it says so much, that for me, it is like a living, breathing person! I confess that when I run into a client on the street, I may recognize their face, but really, I remember people mostly by their horoscope. When I look at a chart, I am immediately reacquainted. The person is an expression of the horoscope, not the other way around. Their features,

gestures, and manner are all expressions of planetary energies. Whereas a handsome man or a lovely woman may create, for you, an enduring memory, I remember more the confidence of Mars, the brightness of the Moon, or the pleasantness of Venus. That is how I perceive people and the world around me! Perhaps because I grew up in a family of astrologers, where astrology was imbedded within the day-to-day routine of my upbringing, I became habituated to thinking in astrological terms. Of course, I have been a practicing astrologer for over 60 years, so looking at charts everyday keeps astrology at the forefront of my mind. Basically, for me, astrology is the lens through which I view the world; it is my life’s study and my passion. I am grateful to have work that is endlessly fascinating to me, and that doing what I love also allows me to be of service. A comprehensive evaluation of a horoscope will reflect all of the complexities and nuances of that entity. Vedic Astrology is comprised of many systems and methodologies that allow the astrologer to go into great depth regarding any given issue. For example, the Moon is divided into 27 divisional charts called Lunar Mansions, or Nakshatras. If I want to understand the Moon better, or if there is some question as to how much emphasis to give a particular lunar influence, I will look to the Nakshatra for more insight and understanding of that question. Deep analysis of a chart requires patience and reflection. At some point, one becomes so intimately connected with the energies that insights flow…one hardly knows from where. Perhaps it is similar to the way that a musician can lose themselves in their music; it’s a kind of merging of the person with the focus of their attention. In such instances there is a sense of becoming a kind of “vehicle” for expressing something that comes from somewhere beyond one’s self, as though one has tapped into some primal source. In any case, just as continued emersion into any field of study yields a certain sensitivity to that subject; likewise, with time, an astrologer develops a keen sensitivity to the planetary energies. Anyone can benefit a great deal from gaining some basic understanding of astrological principles, especially if they study their own chart and observe, over time, how the energies are expressed in their daily lives. This is the best way to learn. However, to function as an astrologer, one must undertake focused study and meet with many, many hundreds of people to even begin to understand the complexities and subtleties involved in an in-depth analysis of a horoscope. There is no shortcut to the understanding that comes from this experience!

That is the process that comes to mind when you ask about reading a horoscope. I hope that answers your question! What is the relevance of the New Years Forecast that you are making for the year “Khara” to my chart?


hereas we are all defined in part by the times in which we live, we each have our own life path to fulfill. The extent to which the surrounding circumstances and environment interface with our own lives is a personal matter, depending on one’s own destiny. It may be, for example, that despite difficult economic markets, it is a period of personal growth in one’s financial matters such that one prospers during a time that the masses are struggling. The extent to which one will be affected by the current trends is indicated by one’s own planets. Depending on the planets that are most influencing the various global trends, the relative strength and weaknesses of those planets in one’s own chart, and the Dasha and Bukti that are currently operating, one can glean an understanding as to how much or how little they will be personally affected by broad trends. This is also true of major transits like Mercury retrograde, Mars retrograde, and so on. They affect some people greatly, while others, not at all, depending on their planetary set-up. When considering a general forecast, one should look at what are the major planetary influences and how strongly those planets are reflected in one’s own chart. General trends affect everyone, naturally. How vulnerable one is to any given malefic influence depends. How much one may be able to harness the opportunities of certain benefic influences once again depends. To be fully conscious of one’s surroundings and to be self-aware is certainly key. Vedic Astrology can be a valuable tool in this process and this forecast is just another component to that end.