Tiger Woods intends to be on course for a 15th major, as he swings back into practice in the run-up to the Masters 2012 golf tournament starting on April 5th. He plans to play at the Tavistock Cup and the US PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, ahead of the Masters.

His quest for a 5th green jacket had hit a bunker when he had to withdraw from the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Sunday, March 11th, because of a troublesome left Achilles tendon. “I’ll be there. Don’t worry about that”, he was reported as saying after his doctors ruled his injury as just a mild strain.

Will the limping Tiger be out of the Woods this time? His stars tell a different story. His Moon sign is Scorpio, which is ruled by the sporty Mars. The planet Mars is in retrograde motion in the 10th House (indicates career).

Moreover, he is also undergoing the Sade Sati period (the 7 and a half year period of Saturn’s influence). The planet Saturn (governs career) is placed in the 12th House (brings disappointments) from his Moon sign. Interestingly, Saturn is considered a slow-moving planet and is associated with legs.

These planetary indicators are sort of a ‘double bogey’ for Woods. There is a possibility that Woods would need more time to get fully fit before he wields the club for the Masters 2012 tournament.

The former World No. 1 has not won an official tournament in the last 2 years, and his last Masters title came way back in 2005.

By Dr. K.V. Seshadrinatha Sastri

Lunar eclipse, as per astronomy, occurs when the Earth casts a shadow on the Moon. This phenomenon is referred to by many of the ancient scriptures – starting from the Vedas. ‘Brihat Samhita’ (the oldest among the classical astrology texts) and ‘Chandra Graha Ganitha’ (a classical astronomy text) emphasize that Rahu (one of the lunar nodes) hides the Moon owing to its position on Earth. The Puranic scriptures too narrate this in the form of a story.

It is considered as event of significance because even modern science accepts that all animate and inanimate things do get influenced by the invisible rays that are emitted during the eclipse. During the Full Moon days, high tidal waves are witnessed in the seas, whereas the entire surface of the sea is known to be relatively calm during the eclipses. Some studies have claimed that people who suffer from epilepsy get affected more on such days. Pregnant women are also asked to be cautious, as certain research findings have indicated that the radiations can possibly affect the baby in the womb.

The human body is said to experience a sudden dip in energy levels during this time. Therefore, Dharma Shastra (Vedic conduct) prescribes in detail the appropriate activities to be done for the optimal utilization of this celestial time period.

Instead of activities that require more of physical involvement, focus is given to those activities that relax the entire body and result in peace of mind. One such recommended activity is to have a shower during the start of the eclipse. This can soothe the body, calm the mind and conserve one’s energy levels. Another activity that anyone can do is to mentally contemplate on the chosen form/symbol of a higher power or a personal deity, and chant their mantra or sacred sound.

It is also advised not to consume food during the eclipse time, due to a marked decline in the digestive power during this period. However, patients, pregnant women, aged persons, babies and children, who cannot remain without food for a long time or whose bodily functions will get disrupted without intake of food, are exempted.

One can safely have food at least 4 hours before the start of the lunar eclipse. This is so because the digestive juices start secreting as soon as the food is taken in and thereafter, it takes 4 hours for complete digestion to take place. After the eclipse is over, one should take bath again and can consume food immediately.

Due to the effect of the invisible rays, it becomes important to safeguard items of daily use (such as milk, curd, and so on) from these radiations. For this reason, a piece of Darbha grass (renowned for high spiritual energy and anti-radiation properties) should be placed on each of these items 3 hours before the eclipse starts and can be removed after the eclipse is over. Also, watching the eclipse with naked eyes is not advised.

Since the impact of the eclipse on the Moon remains up to 3 days after the eclipse, therefore any ceremony for worldly pleasures or benefits should be conducted only after 3 days. If death anniversary (as per the lunar month) falls on the lunar eclipse day, it should be observed only on the next day.

On the lunar eclipse day, acts of charity are encouraged so that they bestow contentment to the donor, bring happiness to the receiver and also enhance one’s good karma (merit). It is a very auspicious time, as per Vedic Astrology, to start any spiritual practice. Propitiating one’s ancestors yields the best results when one performs the ancestral ritual called Tarpanam during the peak of the eclipse (when the Moon enters its waning phase).

In India, this lunar eclipse starts at 11:52 pm on June 15th, reaches its peak at 1:45 am on June 16th and concludes at 3:32 am on June 16th. Astrologically, this can impact persons born under specific stars and suitable Vedic remedies are prescribed for these stars. Moreover, the eclipse might have sudden, erratic and widespread effect on flora, fauna and the atmosphere.

Therefore, it is important to utilize this unique time to channelize our minds towards those activities and rituals that that concur on scientific and spiritual lines, and bring only positive benefits for everyone.

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The author serves as Member, Advisory Board, Astrology and Vedic Services, AstroVed.com. He is a distinguished Astrologer, eminent Ayurvedic Doctor, and former Principal of Sanskrit College, Madras.

Chennai, June 4th, 2011: From cricketing star Sachin Tendulkar to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, there is a serpentine list of people who have reportedly performed the Rahu-Ketu Pooja to tame these astrological snake planets.

An important day to perform this Pooja is June 6th, when Rahu and Ketu move into the signs Scorpio and Taurus respectively. This transit can spell favorable or unfavorable times for you depending on how these 2 Nodes of the Moon are positioned in your astrological chart”, says Maya Benkovich, Director, AstroVed (www.astroved.com), an online service provider in the area of Vedic Sciences.

Rahu is often shown as head of a demon without a body and represents obsession with material desires. On the other hand, Ketu is denoted as the demon’s headless body and signifies withdrawal from the world. Together, they represent the push and pull of 2 opposing forces that allow human beings to experience life in its entirety. No wonder, sudden and unpredictable changes in life are usually attributed to Rahu and Ketu.

To bring relief from the so-called ‘dreaded bite’ of these planets, special ceremonies have been commissioned on June 6th by AstroVed. Two back-to-back fire rituals for Rahu and Ketu will be webcast LIVE on www.astroved.com for those who wish to participate in these rituals.

Apart from these, Vedic rituals will be organized on June 6th at important powerspots in South India – Thirunageswaram, Keelaperumpallam and Thirupamburam (here Rahu and Ketu are present as a single physical form resembling very much the human DNA strand).

Interestingly, mythology presents a great remedy to take the sting out of the Rahu-Ketu effect. “As per scriptures, Vishnu had used his Sudarshana Chakra (divine discus) to cut the demon into halves, which then became Rahu and Ketu. Therefore, Sudarshana Yantra is considered an effective safeguard against the malefic influence of the snake planets”, informs Ram Kumar, Vedic Astrologer, AstroVed.

A lesser-known scientific rationale explains the phenomenon of Rahu and Ketu. The seven colors in the visible spectrum of light are known to correspond to the energy vibration of the planets in Astrology. The Infra-red rays and Ultaviolet light, which fall at the extremes of the visible spectrum, actually represent Rahu and Ketu respectively.

Like these invisible rays, Rahu and Ketu too signify their hidden impact on human affairs and warn us of the changes that lie ahead. Perhaps, it is their ‘hiss’ rather than the ‘bite’ that people should be wary of during the upcoming transit on June 6th.