All posts by Corey

Astrology and Clothing

Venus is the planet that represents our style and fashion.  It is the brightest light in the night sky, and can even be seen at daytime if one knows where to look.  This is why it rules things that brightly appeal to us like beauty, luxury, fashion, art, and color.

Venus is the planet that represents our style and fashion. It is the brightest light in the night sky, and can even be seen at daytime if one knows where to look. This is why it rules things that brightly appeal to us like beauty, luxury, fashion, art, and color.

The clothes that we wear can say a lot about our personality.  Perhaps this is why some of the ancient texts on Vedic Astrology discuss and attribute different types of clothing to different planets.  This is really interesting because a lot of it I have still found applicable to the way people dress in modern times.

We know that Venus rules clothing and fashion.  I would even also say our sense of style as well.  Within that context of the Venusian domain of clothing, there are many categories of clothes.  Some people like to wear brand new clothes, others like old or used clothes from a goodwill store.  Some like colorful stuff, others not so much.  Why is that?  Astrology gives insights into all kinds of detailed little things, which is what makes it so amazing, in my opinion.  Here is a list of some of the connections I have found to hold true, that I have learned from the ancient writings of India.

Sun:  Jataka Parijata 2.22, gives “Thick/Coarse” clothes for the Sun. Some solar people (such as Leo lagna/ascendants, those with the Sun exalted, or as the Atmakaraka, or a Leo Swamsha) may like heavier and coarser clothing that is durable and can handle some consistent use.  The Sun is the most consistent planet and it likes fabrics and items that are strong and reliable.  It needs garments that can be worn day in and day out. The Sun is the King after all, and has a job to do.  Life is stressful enough as it is without our pants ripping.  One other thing about the Sun and its sign Leo, is Gold.  Solar people often love to have some Gold or bright yellow worn in some fashion or another and I have found this to be very true with people I know.  Or some type of element to their fashion and dress will have a royal or dignified quality to it, we could say.  Also, Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra (BPHS for short) gives “red linens” for the Sun. Red is also a powerful color, and Solar people may wear more red for this reason as well.

Moon:  The Moon is associated with white linens in BPHS, and that just makes sense in every way as the Moon is so bright and white in the night sky.  This is true in practice, people who have strong moons will look very good in white.  They often have a whiter complexion then the rest of their family as well.  But what I notice to be even more true, is what Jataka Parijata states about the Moon ruling over “pleasingly new garments”.  The Moon seems to love brand new clothes!  I find that people in my life who have a strong Moon will be more of the type of person to just want to buy a new pack of white t-shirts; even though they have plenty already that they could wear.  They will buy new shoes more frequently than most.  This is logical because the Moon travels the fastest, and returns to its natal place every month.  So every month the Moon is “new”, and maybe that has to do with its association with new things.

Mars:  Jataka Parijata states that Mars rules “singed” or burned clothes.  BPHS states that Mars is “of torn form” and we know he is a very active planet.  He has the most velocity of any planet in our solar system.  Probably due to this, Mars-like people will often have lots of tears and rips in their clothing (especially if Mars rules the 2nd house).  They are just going, going, going, and don’t have time to stop and stitch up every little rip in their clothes.  I see this quite often.  Mars is also said to wear red garments in BPHS and this is logical, because Mars is the red planet.  He can also give a reddish hue to the skin, or eyes, or whatever part of the body he aspects or is residing in by sign and house.  Mars people usually have a style that is a bit rugged and may have some metal, or chains in their attire. Perhaps they have a tattoo if Rahu also influences their body.  Mars rules scorpio, a feminine sign, and the more lusty aspects of sexuality.  It is interesting too, because of this, that there is this sort of portrayal in pop culture about a “woman in red” who usually seems overly powerful and sexual.  Hollywood movies tend to use that look a lot to portray the super seductive woman character.  (Not saying this is a great portrayal at all, just noting the correlation to archetypes of consciousness)

Mercury: Mercury is associated with dark linens and clothes that are washed, but not new.  It is similar to the Moon, but not quite.  Mercury is the son of the Moon, after all. Mercurial people can be a little more nit picky about washing things, and are not as likely to wear something if it is a little dirty but still wearable.  They are the types who might wash a towel just because it fell on the floor for a second, when their other roommate would just use it anyway. Mercury people also are very good about how well clothes fit them, and rarely get caught wearing clothes that are just a bit too big or small, or anything like that.  He is said to be “most perfectly formed”, and because of this, he is more of the type of person to have a nice clean and well put together look overall, whatever that look may be. Everything will be in right proportions and in their right place.  Mercurial people can look good in blue, and dark colors, as well.

Jupiter: Jupiter is said to dress in yellow linens.  Yellow is a color of nobility, and of the pure conscious aspect of Spirit.  The Sun, the most perfect symbol of the absolute God that can be found in this creation, is the color yellow, as seen from human eyes.  Ayurvedic color theory goes on to say that even seeing the color yellow is very good for us and directs our energy up into the higher chakras more easily.  This fits nicely with Jupiter’s M.O. (short for modus operandi, one’s way of going about things, one’s method of working) of being the guide or guru to direct people back to their higher nature.  Yellow is also the color of the rasi Leo, the sign of the Lion.  Jupiter is “delighted” when in this sign, and does well here.  Its also common with people who have Jupiter in the 1st house (the house of the head and hair) to have a little bit of yellow/blonde color in their hair, which goes along nicely with this yellow association.  Jataka Parijata states that Jupiter wears “intermediate” garments, meaning average, and not brand new or overly worn out.  Jupiter people tend to dress somewhat averagely for their culture, and don’t tend to make a show of their dress.  But they will be the types that look good with a normal shirt and khakis type of look.  Also, the color orange is related to Sagittarius, which is ruled by Jupiter.  So there may be a connection here as well with respect to members of the Swami order wearing dark orange robes. The Swami order is very much a Jupiterian type of organization, being dedicated to dharma.  The dark orange makes it more subdued and more average…. not standing out so much, which seems to fit this description as well.

Venus:  Venus rules clothing and fashion overall, and so has the most freedom to explore and experiment.  Venusian types tend to have more clothes than most people, as an example.  They wont just have one pair of shoes, or two, but will have a closet full. Venus loves color and matching and all of that, and takes time for this sort of thing. A Mars type of person just doesnt have time for this sort of thing, which is why he is still wearing those ripped up jeans that look like he has been sliding into first base at a baseball field for hours on end….he should have thrown them away years ago.  Venus rules the best quality in all things, and is no different with clothing.  These people will pay extra for higher quality fabrics. Venus is said to wear “durable” clothing, again, implying that Venus seeks the higher quality in all things, and doesn’t care for a pair of clothes that wont last more than a few occasions.  Venus loves color, but also loves being natural, so unless Venus is afflicted by Rahu, the person will like natural dyes over synthetic, and will like natural types of colors over the more synthetic, bright, or neon types of colors.  Truly strong Venus women will not overdo it on makeup, as an example. All well made clothing is suitable for Venus to wear, really. Venus rules Taurus, which is considered to be the color white.  Venus is mythologically described as wearing white. Venus also rules Libra, which is thought by many to be the color green. Because of this, Venusian types may also have an affinity for green and white colored clothing.

Saturn: Saturn is said to wear “conspicuous” garments, meaning clothes that stand out and are clearly noticeable and attract attention.  Saturn is very much a loner and an outcaste of society.  Saturn deals with making the person become a true individual, and as such, tends to make one dress in a way that makes them stand out more as an individual as well.  Overly dark, gothic looks are usually symptomatic of an oppressive Saturn influence of some sort.  Saturn wears black and black is a very noticeable color.  It denotes authority as well, and Saturn (as well as his Father, the Sun) stands for authority.  Note how Judges wear black in courtrooms. Courts are ruled by Libra, and what planet is exalted there? Saturn. Wearing all black is like a symbolic gesture that nobody is above the authority of this judge of the courtroom/libra realm.  With all this having been said, I also notice people with a strong Saturn may also be inclined to wear super normal clothes, which is not really in line with the “conspicuous” thing, I admit.  A strong Saturn person may have a lot of humility, and tends to be more indifferent to their own self, and this may have to do with some Saturnian types just wearing say a black shirt and blue jeans, day in and day out for almost the entirety of their life.  Blue jeans are an incredibly Saturnian type of clothing, as the book Light on Life, by Robert Svoboda and Hart deFouw, has already noted.  So we could say that with Saturn’s influence dominating your style of dress, you would either dress very conspicuously, or very mundanely, being quite indifferent to your clothing.  Another possibility is just wearing clothes that are somewhat outdated to the time, which sort of make one standout as well. (Ex: The grunge music movement and flannel)

Rahu:  Rahu is said to wear “conspicuously patched garments”.  Rahu is just like Saturn but its garments are more patched together, maybe with different colors, or like how you see people putting patches of musicians and bands they like all over there clothes, which makes them standout more in society, which is Rahu’s goal after all…to be a person on the fringe of society, a pioneer, an outcaste, someone who is not completely fitting into the box of their culture or place and time.  Rahu is the most synthetic or unnatural planet and in this case, if its influencing our sense of style by maybe being with our Venus, or in the 1st or 7th, then we will be more likely to want to use lots of makeup, all kinds of crazy chemically based beauty products, or just be more excessive with whatever look we are trying to pull off.  Also I would put tattoos under Rahu, as they are basically a “conspicuous patch” that we put on our body in a permanent fashion.  You will also notice people get quite addicted to tattoos and never seem to be content with the ones that they already have.  It is always “Next month I am gonna get this whole part of my arm done like this”.  It is much less likely to hear “I am so happy with the tattoos I got ten years ago, I have no desire for more.”.  Rahu shows where we will be excessive usually, so that fits as well.

Ketu:  Ketu is said to wear clothes that are “torn and joined”.  This means any type of clothing that is torn or ripped but has been sewed back together and made useful again.  This is so cool because Ketu rules our past life karmas more than any other planet.  So its basically saying Ketu likes the clothes he has already created karmas with from the past, and just wants to fix those and keep them going, rather than seek new clothes.  Seeking new clothes is like looking to the future and Ketu is not about the future, but the past.  You will notice Ketu people tend to be much more focused on the past than most people.  Ketu in our chart is that place where we felt most secure in past lives, and so we seek that security naturally in this life as well, but not always is it so rewarding or quite the same as we thought it would be.  Ketu often shows where we need to let go of and not be so attached to, and so its funny that its influence also tends to have a quality of not even wanting to let go of the old clothes we have worn, but wants to sew them back together and keep using them!  Also because Ketu acts like Mars, and Mars rules tears and rips, this makes sense from that angle as well.

Conclusion: Is it not very fascinating how the nine grahas have their influence on even something as minute as our fashion sense?  If you have any correlations that you have noticed about the planets and their manner of dress, please feel free to comment below.

 

Saturn in Sagittarius – “A fall from a height”

In the Jaimini techniques, having the Atmakaraka fall in Sagitarrius in the navamsa chart gives one a lifelong theme of Sagittarian qualities.  Jaimini describes this swamsha in a few short words, “In Sagittarius, while proceeding, a fall from a height”.  This conveys the idea that Sag is not just a sign of aiming for the goal, but also the sign of missing the goal too!  How can it be both?  Well, it simply depends on what is happening to the Sagittarius rasi, whether the person hits the mark they were shooting for, or whether they miss the mark.  If cruel planets (Saturn, Mars, Rahu, or Sun particularly) aspect or are in the rasi, then Sagittarius leans towards the falls from heights as described above.  But only then is it a sign of falling from heights.  If no cruel planets aspect or are in Sag, then the person is more likely to attain the goal they pursue.  The worse the dignity of the cruel planet, the worse the fall from the height is.  Gentle planets in Sagittarius help the person reach their goals in better ways and more easily. (Often both gentle and cruel planets are aspecting, and the situation is more mixed.)

We can see how true this is by observing the mundane current events and seeing how many “falls from heights” have occurred since the onset of Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius.  It’s an especially challenging transit because Rahu and Ketu are also rasi aspecting Sag, and have been since around last November (2015).  Of course, falls from heights will occur all the time in a world as big as ours, but there has been a noticeable increase of events that seem symptomatic of an afflicted and overconfident Sagittarius rasi.  With Saturn currently transiting this place, it is a time to be cautious and have humility and patience with approaching our goals and with our ideals (the things Sag represents) rather than rashly or impulsively think our ideals and beliefs are correct about a certain matter…only to charge into it and fail miserably, hence the fall from the height.

Sagittarius is the sign of one’s higher ideals and beliefs, even one’s religion or sense of dharma.  We can see how currently in mundane affairs, there is quite a lot of strife about how the world should be working, how the law should work (Sag is the sign of Law as well), how kshatriyas should conduct themselves (Sag is a fire sign, fire signs are signs of kshatriyas aka the warrior/leader caste…think about police and government and all the corruption that has come up in that caste/career field.).  Everyone seems to know and be so confident that their philosophy is the right one for everyone and for the world.  This naturally sets one up for a fall or an accident of some kind when one’s inner ideals meet with the harsh reality of the real world, which is Saturn’s domain.  So with this transit, it is not a time to be too pushy with one’s ideals, religious  beliefs, or simply with one’s expectations of how the world should be.  It is much better to have a sense of detachment from one’s beliefs and ideals at this time.  To be cautious and patient with approaching our goals is much wiser.

Here are some examples of “falls from heights” that I have observed since the onset of this  2.5-year transit.  I have compiled them on my Eye of the Veda facebook page as well which can be seen here.

NOTE: These are upsetting situations, and I do not mean to make light of them.  I only share this information here for the wellbeing of all people, that we may learn from these examples and potentially be able to better guide clients that come to us with this information.

Hot Yoga founder ordered to pay out millions  – Many people already knew about this in the yoga community, but it seems that the founder of the Hot Yoga studios, Bikram Chowdury, was ordered to pay millions in compensatory damage over sexual assault/rape cases.  It is interesting that allegations had come up about this for a while but the fall didn’t occur until this period.

Tony Robbins hot coal walk injures dozens. – As we know, Sag is also the sign of Gurus and teachers, and as a well-known self-help guru, Tony Robbins would fall under this category.  It seems he may have been a bit overoptimistic about the outcome of his students walking on hot coals to overcome their fears.

Woman falls to death while hiking in Grand Canyon –  This is a tragic story.  This transit can also speak to actual dangerous falls that one has. Sagittarius is a big sign of accidents when cruel planets are in or rasi aspecting. It seems just shortly after posting a beautiful photo to instagram, while hiking down the Grand Canyon, A woman fell and died.  This may not have had anything to do with one’s beliefs or being overconfident, but it is rare that this happens for people so I included it here.  This was on July 12th.

Man falls to death at Machu Picchu – Another tragic story of a man who recently fell off an edge of Machu Picchu and died.  Again, it is rare that anyone ever falls to their death at a park or monument, and so two in the last month is quite a “coincidence”.  This was on July 1st.  Within 12 days of the aforementioned fall.

China Confirms Its Space Station is Falling Back to Earth – This is something that has been suspected for some time apparently but is official now. The space station is expected to fall somewhere on Earth sometime late in 2017. This is interesting from a mundane astrology perspective, as Saturn in Sagittarius has been having the rasi-aspect of Rahu in Virgo. Rahu represents new and innovative technology, and rasi aspects show things being concretely tied together. So Rahu’s rasi aspect does support the possibility of falls from heights being concretely connected to new and innovative sciences or technologies.  This is why this space station falling to Earth seems to fit so nicely from an astrological point of view.  In a general sense, I have noticed a trend of many articles coming out in the last year talking about how some scientific ideas may be flawed and may need to be revisited in a new way, and this would also speak to Saturn in Sagittarius.  People seem to be more aware of the limits of seeing things from just one viewpoint.

These are just a few examples, hopefully, there won’t be any more to share during this transit, but if I see some more I may add them to this list.

In the meantime, if you are out hiking on a cliff, please be extra careful.

The Atmakaraka and the Navamsa Part 2

 

The Jaimini system is a solar, and rasi based system, emphasizing rasi aspects over planetary aspects, and rasi dasas over planetary dasas.  As such it is useful for more objective data such as the career a person will have.  The Parashara system works beautifully together with it, but is more Lunar and Nakshatra based and is therefore more subjective.  We could then see how one feels about their career and how happy one is with it, from this system.

The Jaimini system is a solar, and rasi based system, emphasizing rasi aspects over planetary aspects, and rasi dasas over planetary dasas. As such it is useful for more objective data such as the career a person will have. The Parashara system works beautifully alongside it, but is for different things. It is more Lunar and Nakshatra based and is therefore more subjective. We could then see how one feels about their career and how satisfied they are from this system.

We now begin where we left off in describing the different effects of the Atmakaraka falling in each of the twelve signs of the navamsa chart.  This is called the “Swamsha” and has a large bearing on the nature and dharma of a person as described in part 1.

Libra:  With a Libra Swamsha, the native has a life marked by trade and relationships.  Libra is the sign of trade, it is symbolized as a balancing scale, which implies balancing as well as decision making and “weighing the options”.  Libras can make some of the best businessmen if that is what the rest of the chart is pointing towards.  Libra is also the sign of relationships, (which involve a lot of trading) as well as the public.  Libra has a keen understanding of society and the social side of life.  A strong and healthy Libra swamsha is able to relate to the world in such a way that it may not have much itself, but it trades what it does have so wisely and appropriately that it ends up with much more than most.  Afflicted Libra swamshas may have to work harder at this, and diplomacy in general.  They may have to work on making better decisions and seeing what others have to offer.  Prince, the musician, has Saturn as the Atmakaraka and falling in Libra in the navamsa chart, and is a great example of a strong Libra swamsha.  He ended up with a very fulfilled life.  (His chart is really strong overall though as well, to be fair, and this is not the only reason for his success.)

Scorpio:  Scorpio swamsha is a very fascinating one.  They can be very extreme individuals, with whatever they do in life.  Scorpio is a fixed rasi after all, so it can be very devoted and fixed on what it focuses on as being worthwhile.  Scorpio swamsha is a person who is working on their vulnerabilities essentially. They are without a doubt going to face more emotional issues that bring up their vulnerable places because they are meant to battle through those issues.  They often have difficult issues come up in the early family life, or a separation from the mother of some sort is also common.  Or the Mother of the native may be there but less comforting than the average mother, etc.  They have to learn to fight so much harder for everything that they get than the average individual, and this can lead to both positive and negative extremes.  Paramahansa Yogananda is a very positive example of taking this energy and the death of his Mother in his early life to galvanize him to seek the Divine Mother with great ardor.  Adolf Hitler is another example of a swamsha in scorpio, on the other more negative end of the spectrum.  He suffered in a household where his Father abused his Mother and there was nothing he was able to do about it, likely leading him to have a hateful approach towards life in general.  If the rest of the chart also supports it, these swamshas can make great spiritual progress in life, or can have a life that involves the occult or hidden side of life somehow.  I have noted that two of the greatest Astrologers I have found in my life are Scorpio Swamshas.  They seem to have learned to better deal with the troubles of life from their understanding of the somewhat hidden forces in life, such as the planets.

Sagittarius:  Sagittarius swamsha, when aspected by malefics, is actually a sign of accidents and falls from heights.  This was surprising to me, when I learned this.  Most people paint Sag as this really lucky and joyful sign, and if not blemished than that often is the case. Sagittarius is the sign of the bowman, the archer.  It symbolizes seeing the goal and pursuing it.  But if there are malefics aspecting (rasi aspecting, we are talking about here) then the Bowman misses his mark, essentially.  If all benefic planets are associated with Sagittarius then the person is likely to find grace from accidents and such, but this is rarely the case.  In that case, the person may even work around accidents but still end up being okay for the most part, such as being a fireman or something of that sort.  If cruel planets are aspecting, these people need to be cautioned to be more realistic with their goals and not expect things to work out easily on the first try.  This can often be the case too, because Sagittarius is a sign of being overly optimistic; overconfident.

Capricorn:  Capricorn is a very fascinating swamsha.  It can make one involved in aquatic animals, particularly crocodiles and alligators.  Capricorn itself is the sign of crocodiles and all aquatic beasts.  Capricorn swamsha also makes “villages”, as Jaimini puts it, an important karmic factor. Sometimes these people always feel like they have to leave the home town or village that they grew up in to make it in the world and be successful.  Often they are right as well.  This is because Capricorn is about as far away as it gets from the signs of royalty and success, the prime real estate of the zodiac.  That would be Cancer and Leo, the signs of the King and Queen; the summertime when all is plentiful.  Capricorn is opposite of those signs and rasi drishtis them (dhristi is the word for aspect in Jyotish, literally meaning “sight” or “glance”.  This means that Capricorn literally “sees” the Leo rasi), wishing it could have what they seem to have.  This is also part of why Capricorn is a very driven and ambitious sign.  They often dont feel very supported in their home towns and therefore move away.  Capricorn is also a sign of tumors, and cancer is more likely to be the thing to take out this person, so they need to get themselves checked out more regularly for that sort of thing as they age.  Capricorn is also a sign of Kapha, and stagnation, like the swamps and alligators and crocs that it also rules.  Jaimini also states for capricorn swamsha, “Things flying in the air”, which is very mysterious and intriguing.  One interesting thing is I have noticed people who are pilots or involved in flying to often be having planets in the 10th house of their chart, like the 10th sign Capricorn.  I also find Gemini coming up a lot for pilots, but havent done enough research on this to be sure.  We may speculate and say that Capricorn would be the sign of flying in planes, and perhaps even UFOs would fall under this sign.

Aquarius:  Aquarius is the swamsha of the “maker of tanks and ponds” according to Jaimini.  Which is to say that one is involved in providing resources that make life more bearable for everyone.  Everyone needs water and to help provide a source of water is to be a real humanitarian, which is what Aquarius is, essentially.  This water is also symbolic of psychological wholeness, which is the true goal of Aquarius, to become whole in oneself, and accept and make peace with all of one’s weaknesses and shortcomings, and just be okay with them and love oneself anyway.  This is why Aquarius may seem so odd or weird. It is because they are learning to stop doing things to compensate for their inner lack, and instead to just be there with the lack…..and eventually it goes away, but it might seem weird to other people passing by in the meantime.  This probably has to do with why they get stereotyped in western astrology as being without charm and aloof.  Sometimes Aquarius people will be social workers or people who do a lot of service of some kind, other times they may do more of a pyschological service for people, and sometimes they may actually work around water and provide it in a literal way as well.

Pisces:  Pisces swamsha, as the last sign of the zodiac, is the most spiritual sign and the sign of “Kaivalya” or liberation of consciousness, according to Jaimini.  He also says of it, “perpetual dharma”, and seems to convey that Pisces is a sign of steady spiritual progress throughout the life of the native.  As long as the rest of the chart points mostly in that direction I do find this to be true, but you will also find many cases of Pisces swamshas that live a very negative life and are most definitely not progressing spiritually as well so that is not always the case.  Edgar Cayce is an interesting example of a Pisces swamsha, and I hope to do an article on his chart soon.  Robin Williams is another example, someone who is most definitely a sensitive soul with spiritual inclinations, but the rest of his chart had many difficult karmas indicated, and so he often could not bear the pain of life on earth and needed to escape or find liberation through more immediate means such as drugs.  That is a more mixed example, which is often the case.  We could say that this placement makes the person more sattvic and naturally inspired, within the context of the rest of the chart.  Roy Eugene Davis, the last living direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, is another example of a positive pisces swamsha.  He has written many books and lectured on Self Realization for over 50 years and in countless countries, and is noticeably more realized than the average spiritual author/public figure.

These twelve swamshas are very important signs for the individual, and one will also note that the sign the atmakaraka goes to in the rashi chart will also have some of these significations as well, but not as much as the navamsa chart.  For example, Robin Williams is a pisces swamsha, but has scorpio as a rising sign, so this reinforces more of the difficult emotional struggles and battles that he would face on his path in life.  Say it was a cancer rising, and no tough aspects from Sun, Saturn, or Rahu, then he may not have had such a painful life and perhaps could have enjoyed more of the positive Pisces qualities in life.

The planet that is falling in the swamsha determines a great more of it, but this is one important part of the puzzle of what ones dharma will involve in this life. With some careful study and application on charts, one should begin to see some clear correlations of the charts examined and the associations described above.

The Atmakaraka and the Navamsa part 1

In Vedic Astrology there is a thing called the “Atmakaraka”.  The word “Atma” means “self” and “karaka” means “producer”.  So the Atmakaraka planet is the planet that “produces” the “Self” in a sense.  It is an important factor that represents the Native in the chart, like the Ascendant and its Lord, and without considering it we simply cannot see all of the objective experiences a person will go through in their life.  The Ascendant and the placement of its lord and all the details of the Rashi chart and the other fifteen vargas are definitely important, and are not to be discounted.  Without the Atmakaraka and its placement in the Navamsa however, we will certainly miss a lot of things about the nature of who a person really is.  And this would be logical if it is the “Self-Producer” as its name claims it to be.

The Atmakaraka planet can only be one of the seven visible planets that we can see with the naked eye (not counting Rahu, Ketu, or the outer planets) and cannot be the Lagna (rising sign) point either.  So every person has either Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, or Saturn as their Atmakaraka planet.  Whichever of these planets has the highest degrees in any sign in the rashi chart is the Atmakaraka planet.  This planet is like a stamp for the individual concerned, and marks the life of the native with this planet’s qualities.  For example, if Venus is the planet with the highest degrees in the chart, Venus is the atmakaraka planet, and the native will have a career and path in life that is marked by the significations of Venus.  The native with this placement may be an entertainer of some sort, they may be a massage therapist, they may be a nurse, or even a teacher, all Venusian career paths.  To determine the specific one takes more work, but this alone is a big help to seeing the nature of a person.

Another big step to see the experiences and the career path/dharma a person may have, is to look at where this same planet falls in the navamsa chart.  The sign that this planet falls in is called the “Swamsha”.  (It is also called the Karakamsa, but I prefer the term Swamsha as it seems more in line with the Upadesa Sutras of Jaimini.)

This sign is arguably as important as the rising sign for determining the objective karmas that one will go through!  But it is not given nearly the importance as the rising sign, possibly because it takes a lot more time and study to appreciate and calculate this correctly.  Western Astrology has lost its memory of vargas for the most part, and does not even have this technique unfortunately.  This is a powerful technique.  It takes time and tons and tons of research and practice to learn to utilize it fully though, which is the only reason I feel okay with sharing it here on the internet.  Otherwise it would just be too irresponsible to share such a powerful thing that could be used negatively for personal gain.  This may also be why the Upadesa Sutras of Jaimini are written in a very cryptic and coded fashion, so as to not easily reveal this information to the superficial student.

 

Here are a few things worth mentioning when the Atmakaraka falls in one of these signs in the Navamsa :

Aries:  With an Aries swamsha, the native will often have a reoccurring theme in their life of needing to “not sweating the small stuff”.  A theme of having to continuously ignore the details and small hangups in life in favor of the big picture ideals and inspirations that serve as the real fuel for the Aries fire.  They must devote themselves to whatever bigger sense of purpose they may have deep down, and pursue that, while ignoring much of the details, in order to be the ideal Aries individual and fulfill their true dharma.  These types often get frustrated easily with the smaller and more detail oriented problems that must be patiently dealt with in life.  They get hung up on the tedious details, and yet the more attention they put on them, the more they seem to notice more small problems to be fixed.  Aries will need to learn to stop focusing there, and expand their viewpoint or to just “focus on the big picture in life” as we say in common speak.

Taurus:  The Atmakaraka falling in the Navamsa of Taurus gives a major emphasis throughout life on material stability.  It gives a focus on generating the resources needed to provide for oneself and the others which one is responsible for.  This indicates one to have a path of learning to make good use of the natural resources of the earth as well as one’s own resources.  Learning to be a productive person, with good self worth, good work ethic is also represented by Taurus.  Those with an afflicted Taurus swamsha will often not use their resources wisely, and may even be the type of person to exploit the Earth’s natural resources for personal gain.  A strong Taurus swamsha however, will be the opposite and will work in harmony with nature as much as possible while they provide for themselves and for others.  With this swamsha, one will often have careers that work with the earth or deal with the production of necessary resources such as food, land, or housing.

Gemini:  When the atmakaraka is placed in Gemini in the navamsa, there is a lot of karma being worked out with one’s intellectual development.  Gemini is about cognition, and understanding.  Gemini deals with the subjective intellectual ideas and concepts we have about life and how they are being met with the outside world and reality.  A strong Gemini swamsha has healthy intellectual concepts which enable them to relate and function harmoniously in the world.  An afflicted Gemini swamsha struggles with this, and its concepts and intellectual ideas about how life works dont get easily validated by the outer world.  You may notice people who are so frustrated in life, but it is really because of their own ideas about how things should be.  They go through life choosing to see things a certain way and so each time life isnt actually the way they think it should be, they are frustrated or confused or annoyed.  Gemini therefore can be a very frustrated sign at times.  Gemini can actually have such strong mental concepts, that when they arent being realized in the world, the irritation or frustration can be seen physically on the skin or through one’s weight changing.  This is why Gemini is a sign of skin problems and weight fluctuations.

Cancer:  When the atmakaraka is in Cancer in the Navamsa, one is said to be a Cancer Swamsha.  The Cancer swamsha is a native who is developing in the emotional and feeling side of life.  They will often live in foreign lands or travel abroad at least once in their life.  They may have issues with “freezing up” or being frigid in a sense, in life.  Hence the need to develop healthy emotional states.  Cancer is ruled by the Moon, the most adaptable planet.  These natives must follow suit and learn to be adaptable in life, which is also why they often end up living abroad.  Living in a foreign land forces one to be adaptable because there inevitably are rules and conducts that are the not the way one is used to in their homeland but must abide by anyway.

Leo:  The Leo swamsha is focusing on developing its capacity for responsibility and leadership.  Leo is about running the kingdom in the most virtuous and responsible way.  It is really not a sign of enjoying life on planet earth like so many people seem to think.  It is a sign of duty and dharma.  Whether the native is the leader of a country or just runs a convenience store, either way they must run their kingdom with the same degree of virtue and duty and responsibility.  That is the goal of the Leo swamsha.  The Leo swamsha will often have some important karmic emphasis on their own territory, their own kingdom in a sense.  In the same way as Cancer may live in a foreign land or travel a lot, the Leo swamsha will focus on its own country and its own territory or kingdom that it is responsible for.  Also, Leo swamshas can sometimes have a dharma that involves actual wild beasts of prey like lions or sharks somehow being involved in their life.  Or at particular moments in their life, when an important moment of leadership is about to come up, a wild beast of prey perhaps graces them at that moment as if to inspire the native towards their dharma.  It is this sort of thing that the Leo swamsha will experience in their path in life.

Virgo:  The Atmakaraka in Virgo navamsa can be very similar to Gemini swamsha as explained above, but with an added emphasis on digestion issues.  Virgo swamsha basically must learn to digest all of life, the good and the bad.  It must learn to “take it all in”, and not be so fastidious with its mental concepts (again like Gemini) about what it likes and doesn’t like, and what is right and wrong, etc.  Virgo is sort of the sign of solving problems and so these people tend to be great at that, but are almost too geared towards problem solving, and so they look for problems, and naturally see them everywhere and there seems to be no end in sight and so the fragile virgo gets frustrated and irritated by this.  It cant “digest” life, in a sense.  Virgo is where the planet that rules the digestive system, Venus, is fallen. Again, showing that Virgo doesnt go with the flow easily, and must learn to.  Venus represents sexual intercourse and so in many ways Venus falling in virgo shows difficulty for the Virgo in having intercourse with the world and with life itself if that makes any sense.  The main remedy for this and the Gemini Swamsha is developing a type of spiritualized consciousness that can see everything as coming from the same  Source.  In the Vedic philosophy, the native must learn to see everything as Vishnu.  The Thief is Vishnu, the Chief is Vishnu, the Mother is Vishnu, the Lover is Vishnu.  All is Vishnu.   The afflicted Virgo may struggle with this, but with practice, if they can learn to see all as Vishnu then eventually they start digesting life much more easily and start being happier and more even-minded. Their health will actually improve as well oftentimes.  Their skin and digestion will improve as they stop creating so much inner friction with every problem they see.  Once one sees that Vishnu is the doer of all things, then one just starts to relax more into life as a whole and true understanding can then begin to dawn in the native.

 

This post is getting a bit long so I will make a separate one for the next 6 signs, Libra through Pisces.  Look at some charts of friends you know and see if any of these indications correlate.  These significations are also true if someone has their rising sign or sun in one of these signs, but not as significantly I have found.  But take note of the sign that the atmakaraka goes to in the Rashi as well as the Shastiamsa as well, those signs will also have an emphasis in a person’s life.  The Navamsa is the most important one though, and that is the only one that is called the Swamsha*.

*Sanskrit– “Swa”- Self or Soul.  “Amsha”- division, meaning a sign in this context.  So Swamsha means the Sign of one’s Self or Soul.

 

 

 

Saturn and Moon conjunctions, Part 2 of Interview with Ryan Kurczak

This is the second part of an interview I did with Ryan Kurczak of Asheville Vedic Astrology.  We talk about the conjunctions of Saturn and the Moon.  Take a look if you are curious about the implications of this conjunction.

Also, just for fun, here is a picture of the Alligator that was in my back yard on the day that we did this interview.  The Gator and Crocodile are perfect symbols of Saturn.  FullSizeRender 2

The word for the sign of Capricorn in Vedic Astrology has always been “Makara”, which translated, literally means “crocodile”.  The crocodile is possibly the only animal we know of that has not changed or evolved in any way over hundreds of thousands of years, when we look at it in the fossil records.  You can see a skeleton of a crocodile or alligator that lived during the time of the dinosaurs, and it will be the same as a modern skeleton of a crocodile.  This perfectly symbolizes the nature of the sign Capricorn, which is the sign of Karma, and action.  The best actions we can do are those that are done so right and so effectively to begin with, that they stand the test of time and do not need to be redone or improved upon.  This is the nature of Capricorn, and Saturn as well.  To do something right the first time, to be patient, to be methodical, and when the right time comes, to execute the appropriate action.  Saturn takes 30 years to go around the zodiac, not like the Moon who makes the same course in a Month.  We can think of it like this: We want to do work and karmas that are so well done, that Saturn doesn’t have to go back and revisit that work for 30 more years.  Observing Alligators and Crocodiles in nature gives us a window into this type of consciousness, and this type of activity.   This is also why Mars, the planet of all kinds of action, is exalted in Capricorn.  The highest action is that which can stand the test of time.

Saturn and Mars Interview with Ryan Kurczak

I recently had the privilege to sit down and chat with Ryan Kurczak of Asheville Vedic Astrology, and we talked about Saturn and Mars conjunctions in the Horoscope.  Ryan is a very skilled Astrologer and Yogi, so it was a pleasure to discuss this particular conjunction and what it means in a horoscope.  (This transit is also occurring right now in the sky, but of course the degree that it influences you will depend on where Mars and Saturn sit in your own chart.)

We discussed the “kshobita avastha”, or “agitated state”, that Mars and Saturn are both in when they are conjunct.  It can make one a real work horse, a workaholic if you will, but there is much more to it than that, so please enjoy this video if you would like to learn more….

 

 

The Significance of the “Ides of March”

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Possibly the last surviving statue of Caesar that was created during his lifetime.

We all know that the Ides of March was the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar, but it seems to have been conveniently forgotten that this is an astrological statement.  We also know that in Shakespeare’s famous “Julius Caesar” play, there is the warning to Caesar from the Astrologer/Reader figure to “Beware the Ides of March”.  The “ides” meant the middle of the month, and so this date was taken to mean March 15th or around that time since this was determined by the Moon.  This prediction did come true and Caesar was betrayed by his friends and ministers and was assassinated on this day.  So why did this particular time frame get singled out?  Is there any Astro-logic behind it?

Its actually a very simple logic behind this statement.  First off, we do not even have to know Caesar’s birth data to know that a great leader of a great nation such as Rome will obviously be ruled by the Sun.  This is the most likely case.  So let’s imagine Caesar to have been a Leo lagna (rising sign), and with also the Sun as his atmakaraka, which would likely be the case for someone who ruled the greatest nation at the time.  (Of course he may not have had this, but likely had something similar or would not have had the merit to have the life he had.)

If he was indeed a Leo, then during the time of the Ides of March, the Sun would be passing through Pisces, which is the eighth house for a Leo ascendant.  The eighth house is the house of death, sudden breaks and changes to one’s life, battles, betrayals, and drama to put it bluntly.  Right away we see that this is not the luckiest time for a King.  Also when the Sun is in pisces, it is weaker by nature because Pisces is a sign of rest and relaxation, but not a sign of great physical strength or power.  He also was 55 when he was killed, which is the natural dasa period of the Sun, so the transits of the Sun would have more bearing on him at this time in his life than other times as well.  But these three factors happen often for Sun ruled people, and not so often do they die or get betrayed, so there must be something more to it, but this is a good start.

Now we may recall that the Sun has two enemies, Saturn and Venus.  Saturn could have been anywhere at that time, so we will leave Saturn out of the equation.  But we do know that Venus would have had to have been either in Aquarius, Pisces, or Aries, as Venus cannot be any further from the Sun astronomically.  So focusing on Venus, if Venus was in Pisces, then that would mean that the Sun was being badly “starved” (thrishita, in sanskrit) if it was conjunct its enemy Venus.  This is a big problem for the Sun and prevents it from being able to do its job properly (Caesar, in this example).  This is even more of a threat because Venus is exalted in Pisces, and so at its strongest possible state!  So this Venus is strongly able to starve and afflict the Sun, and the Sun doesn’t have the power to overcome it on his own when in Pisces.  Now consider the fact that Venus happens to rule Ministers, and advisors to the King!  How did Caesar get betrayed?  His advisors, his ministers, his “Venus” in the symbolic sense, conspired against him and had him assassinated!  This fits perfectly with the most likely transits to be occurring on the Ides of March.  Get an exalted Venus starving the Sun in the eighth house of betrayal and death, this spells bad news for the Sun, which in this case was Julius Caesar.

This may have also had a relation to the Drekkana chart, the third divisional chart in Jyotish.  It is called the “Decanates” in Western Astrology, so we know that the Western tradition did have vargas at some point, and likely lost them over time. Perhaps this reader who warned Caesar also used the Decanates or Drekkana chart.  If so, they would have likely noticed that the Sun will move from the Cancer drekkana to the Scorpio drekkana around the time of the Ides of March.  The Sun would definitely be in the drekkana of Scorpio by the time the Ides of March came, as the Sun would have to be in the last 10 degrees of Pisces at this time.  It is a very basic fundamental of Astrology that Scorpio, the eighth sign, has the same qualities as the eighth house we have been discussing, and so Scorpio deals with all of the above themes of death, betrayal, sudden breaks and changes as well.  So the Sun’s placement in the Drekkana chart on the Ides of March is also showing the same theme of some type of fall from a height or drama occurring for Caesar at this time.

Oh and what does the Drekkana chart specifically deal with?  It is the specific chart we look at to see how one interacts with their siblings, their peers, their ministers, their associates, and the people that they work with who have similar goals.  In the context of Caesar, the Drekkana would show the karma’s relating to his Ministers and Advisors, and others who are working towards the similar goal of governing Rome.  So this chart is very relevant to the death of Caesar, as it is showing Scorpio/betrayal/death themes very clearly, and it was his associates that betrayed him and murdered him.  As many as 60 conspirators were said to have been involved with his death, so he had quite a lot of Drekkana associates to contend with!

This example is made with just the understanding of where two factors were placed in Caesar’s horoscope, the Sun and Venus.  Imagine how much more we could see if we had his whole chart?  We normally need to see things indicated from a number of different angles, all pointing to the same event, for that event to be able to be predicted confidently.  Likely there were even more themes indicating a similar fate for Caesar, but this is what we know was most likely occurring for the Sun and Venus.  Mars and Saturn were likely also involved in my opinion.  It definitely was not just a simple Sun transit that could have caused this.  It is my hope that the reader takes away from this example a more nuanced understanding of the sophistication of astrological predictions along with a newfound appreciation for this idiom.

 

 

Synchronicity of the Number Seven

7Why do things so often get grouped up into seven in this world?  Have you ever noticed that?  Not to say that the number actually occurs more than other numbers, but in the sense of the way we tend to see, group, and categorize things.  When we think about our common use and grouping of things, seven seems to have a significance, dare I say, even something sacred about it.  It happens with really big things too, like the seven continents of the world, the seven seas, seven openings or cavities in the human face, seven colors in the rainbow or visible spectrum of light that we can see, and almost all mammals have seven cervical vertebrae.  These are things we cannot seem to change very much, but what is equally interesting is that there are also many things that we as human beings have intentionally perceived or classified as being seven in type or quality, when we could probably have divided them into other numbers if we wanted to.

Let me give some examples:

  • There are seven notes on the musical diatonic scale, but other ways of dividing the notes up have also been created.  But this is a very popular one, probably the most popular.
  • We have this idea in folklore of many different cultures (including American/European and Indian)  of seven years of bad luck coming to someone for various reasons.
  • There are said to be seven deadly sins.
  • There are seven wonders of the ancient world.
  • There are said to be seven heavens in Islam and many, many other philosophies as well as occult systems of knowledge.
  • Seven horizontal rows are in the periodic table.
  • According to the Baltimore classification, there are seven types of viruses.
  • Seven is the neutral ph value between acidity and alkalinity.
  • The Bible is overflowing with a sacramental implication of the number seven, the most commonly known being the beginning part wherein the Earth was created in seven days (it also clearly mentions the creation of the “heavenly bodies” for “Signs and seasons”, aka Astrology, by the way).
  • There are seven temples in the Book of Revelations (Which Edgar Cayce also revealed to each relate to a certain chakra and the sins most associated with that chakra/state of consciousness.)
  • Seven is the sum of any two opposite sides of dice.
  • In India there is the Sapta Rishis, or the Seven Sages.
  • There are also the Seven Sages of Greece.
  • There are seven main chakras in Yogic philosophy, also seven according to psychic Edgar Cayce.
  • Seven main endocrine glands (gonads, leydig, adrenal, thymus, thyroid, pineal/hypothalamus, and pituitary.)
  • We have seven days of the week, which is so ancient that we actually do not know where this originated. The Norse had a seven day week which is where our English names of Friday (Freya/Venus day) and Thursday (Thors/Jupiters day), and Wednesday (Odin/Mercury day).  The ancient Indians also had a seven day week, which makes one wonder if any other cultures of antiquity also had this tradition.

There are probably many more classifications of seven in number that I am not recalling, but I feel this has made a strong enough case as these are big parts of our human life.  Also you will notice that fiction writers love to use the number seven in their fiction works, simply google the number seven and you will see one after another fantasy book that has something to do with “Seven gemstones of power” or what have you.  A modern example of this can be seen in the hugely popular Game of Thrones HBO series, which is based on fiction books.  It takes place in a medieval Europe (Kali Yuga-style) fantasy realm and their is of course an emphasis put on the “Seven Kingdoms of Westeros”, which is where the majority of the story takes place.  There are also many different faiths throughout the kingdoms but the most popular faith is the “Faith of the Seven”, interestingly enough.  Obviously this is influenced from the actual medieval European times when the seven planets were worshipped as deities.  It is also made very clear that “The Seven” is one deity, that manifests itself into seven aspects.  This is identical with European and Indian style Astrology.  { NOTE: Many people still think that Hinduism is polytheistic (believing in many Gods) but if they actually researched it they would learn quickly that it is monotheistic.  Hindus acknowledge only one God, but with many different names, aspects, and forms. This is like how there is just one Sun that lights the world, but it can be seen to appear differently depending on where one is on the world, at sunrise, sunset, or midday.  We don’t say that there is a different Sun at sunset, even though it may look different than the mid day Sun, with its bright red and orange shades.  In the same way, Brahma is the same as Vishnu, and Vishnu is the same as Shiva. }   Also even the seven different deities are pretty much the same in this fictional series as they actually are in Astrology, which may have been intentional or not on the part of the writer, but because these archetypes are so prominent in our consciousness, I would not be surprised if the Author of these stories just thought them up himself.  (Read the descriptions of “The Seven” here and see for yourself)

Why is this the case? Why does the number seven keep coming up?  Could it be that there is something within the human psychology and the way that we are designed that makes us see things in terms of seven?  Well, the reason I am bringing all this up is because it is very peculiar in the light of the Jyotish philosophy of India.  In Jyotish/Vedic Astrology philosophy, all things that exist on Earth are “produced” by the seven planets that we can see with the naked eye, and can, in a sense, see us.  And so there are seven basic states of consciousness, that when mixed, produce all the varied forms and types of consciousness on Earth.  Each of the visible planets relate to one of these states of consciousness, and each state is an aspect of the divine.  Each planet is a “karaka”, which literally means a “producer” of various things in your life.  Based on one’s past life karma, one will incarnate with these various producers in the proper harmony to produce or not produce the life that this soul needs to have for its own development and growth beyond just this one life.

So now we can see that this number seven coming up so much is really a reflection of the seven planets and how they mix and create life on Earth as it appears to be.  It validates Astrology, that we have seven of most things, either uncontrollably, or by our own arbitrary intellectual divisions.

To see how this works, let us take the human body as an example:

  1. The Sun produces the bones and the immune system, which are one system in the context of astrological truth, but not current medical books. This is because the immune system relies on the mineral supply stored within the bones to regulate the health of the body. So in a birth chart, a weak Sun in the rasi chart and the D30 (trimsamsa) chart can indicate that one does not have a lot of strength in the bones and may have low mineral density, or low mineral absorption, and should eat a mineral rich diet to balance this.  A strong Sun person can eat a lot poorer quality food before there bones start to suffer, because they will tend to have better mineral reserves overall.  Strong Sun/Leo people tend to eat a lot of meat and even though meat always leaves a toxic residue on the body, these people can handle that more efficiently than others, and they also have a stronger Agni to burn off these toxins as well.
  2. The Moon produces the blood of the body, the ocean within the body.  A weak or afflicted Moon means that one will need to be more mindful of foods that dirty the blood, because this will happen more easily for them if they eat poor foods.  They may also have emotional issues as well as a result of having not the best blood quality. They may need to avoid table salt in favor of good quality sea salt, and add an extra amount of the healthy salty tastes like lettuce. A strong moon person will crave healthier foods for their blood naturally, and will have better blood flow and health overall as a result of having a strong “producer” of blood, a strong moon influence.
  3. Mars produces the nervous system, and the nerve tissue within the body. A weak or afflicted Mars indicates that one has nerve problems.  They may get nervous too easily, not what you want in a profession like surgery or war.  A strong Mars person can hold the knife steady, and that is why a surgeon usually has a strong Mars “producer” in his chart, producing the healthy nerves needed to do such a job. This is also why someone who isn’t willing to stand up and fight is said to “not have the nerve”.
  4. Mercury produces the cognitive/sense/integumentary system which is to say bluntly that Mercury produces our senses and cognitive ability.  A bad mercury means one does not perceive and cognize things accurately.  Now we can understand why Mercury is always involved in combinations for mental insanity in the old Indian Texts.  A good mercury will be the opposite, and will contribute to rational thinking.
  5. Jupiter produces the endocrine system, an incredibly important system for how one feels and for unfolding the spiritual capacities within us.  An afflicted Jupiter means that one does not produce an ideal endocrine system health, and as a result may have hormonal imbalances or other chemical imbalances that interfere with their happiness and emotional health.  A strong Jupiter indicates that one has produced a healthy endocrine system and feels good in their own body.  It is also noteworthy to mention that in deep meditative states, the endocrine system secretes powerful hormones and antioxidants, that make you very happy, and Jupiter is also the karaka or “producer” of one’s happiness and contentment.
  6. Venus produces the digestive system, and so a weak Venus means one does not absorb nutrients and digest well. This means the body loses its vitality more quickly because it requires more of its own vital energy (Virya, which Venus rules) to digest the food and assimilate it than it should.  A strong Venus does the opposite, it helps one absorb and digest well, and leads to a healthy and well built body.  This is also why Venus rules rejuvenation, as the health of the digestive system has a big say on whether one will rejuvenate easily or not.
  7. Saturn produces the muscular system of the body. The part of the body that does all the labor, basically.  Saturn also produces one’s laborers, servants, and lower level employees, which play the same role but in the context of a business.  A weak Saturn shows weak muscles, and so one tends to feel lazier.  A strong Saturn shows strong muscles and good lymph and so one will tend to not feel so lazy.  A strong Saturn is also associated with accomplishing many deeds in life, and here we can see how that relates on a physical level, to the dignity and strength of the “producer” of the muscles, Saturn.  Someone who feels lazy all the time is of course not going to accomplish as much as the opposite type of person.

 

In this way, the seven grahas mix and produce all things for us, and in accord with our karmas that we are meant to experience in this life.  This same idea is the logic behind how we see the good or bad karmas connected to each area of life for a person, and is a fundamental concept for practicing Astrology, both western and eastern.  Now we can reflect and see, that it is no surprise that in this world of seven colors, seven seas, and seven continents, that we also have seven visible lights in the sky, guiding us along the path of our Soul in this incarnation.

 

Christmas from the Astrology Viewpoint

seasonalvariations-editedThere is an astrological meaning behind the Christmas holiday that even many Astrologers are not aware of.  It is actually a very important day and time of year for a wide array of civilizations and cultures on this planet, and the reason for this is completely astrological in nature.  In this post the focus will be mainly on comparing the Christian holiday with the Vedic/Yogic perspective, but it should be noted that this time is incredibly important for almost every culture on this planet and has been for thousands of years.

From the standpoint of Yogic and Vedic philosophy, Christmas day just so happens to be the first day in six months that can at least generally be considered each year to be an auspicious day.  This is because it is the first day in six months that the Sun begins to noticeably move north, and the present day lasts longer than the day before.  This is not popularly recognized, so don’t be surprised if you are a Hindu/Sanatan Dharma adherent reading this and you do not understand what I am talking about or how Christmas is relating to the Vedic traditions.  Please bear with me, as there is a lot to explain to make this point clear.  And remember, the aim of this post is only to add more spiritual significance to this day as a Christian holiday and also as a special day for all people on Earth, because of the astronomical activity that occurs on this day.  There is no intention to take anything away from the Christian religion or any religion. I have the utmost respect for all religions and enlightenment traditions.

The Sun Moves North on the Winter Solstice

First we need to know why the Solstice matters in the first place.  The reason the solstice and equinox times matter is because these are the places where the Sun noticeably changes its course, and where there is a change in the light of the world.  This in turn creates the seasons, the natural cycles, the sense of time, and the balance and harmony that makes life on Earth so beautiful.  At the Winter Solstice (Dec 21-25th) the Sun reaches its lowest point on the ecliptic (The path that it appears to make around the Earth each day), and stays at that lowest point for three more days.  Then on the next day it finally begins to noticeably rise at a more northern place.  This day (Dec 25th) is the first day since late June that the daylight, the light of this world, lingers longer than the day before.  That is a very big deal, though it may not seem like it in this modern age, with the common person being so divorced from nature. But take away the smart phones and electricity and this knowledge becomes the difference between surviving winter or a painful death. Now we can see why this date has been so important to cultures and civilizations since time immemorial.  This may be even more appropriate in very northern parts of the world such as Siberia and Russia, where Christmas may have originated. Here the Sun can hardly even be seen at this three day period where it is at its lowest point.  Then on the 25th, it rises and continues to do so for six months until the Summer Solstice point, on June 22nd.  At the midway point, we find the Spring Equinox, the place where there begins to be more daylight than night and thus, the beginning of Aries, as all of nature cyclically charges forth into being at that time. The Summer Solstice point is where the Sun appears to stall for a moment, and then begins backing down or moving south for six months, thus this space has the qualities of the sign of Cancer, the crab.  Crabs appear to go forward and then stall, and start moving sideways back in the opposite direction, which is exactly what the Sun can be observed to do here.  Cancer is also the most Yin sign, the sign of the divine feminine, and in many ways it is like the Sun is relaxing and being more Yin at this point, after six months of charging north. (Read more about that here).  Then at the Fall equinox in late September marks the point where there begins to be more night than day, and thus the Sun “falls” in the sign of Libra.  At this point the Sun is starting to move south quickly and the days are noticeably shorter.  Then we get back to the Winter Solstice point and the cycle repeats.  Notice that these four points mark the “cardinal” (or moveable) signs in both Western and Vedic Astrology.  This is the rough logic behind that, but if you want to read more details on how this relates to the nature of the cardinal signs, read this older blog post.

How this relates to Christianity

So what better of a time of year to celebrate the birth of the “Son of God” then the exact astronomical time when the physical “Sun of God” has just been noticeably reborn?  It’s even more interesting when we consider that in the Northern regions of the Earth the Sun can literally not be seen for three days, because it is so far south, hence a perfect symbol for death and resurrection. The northern areas of Russia and Siberia seem to have the oldest connections to the reindeer and other symbols associated with Christmas.  It is well known and well documented that the Christian tradition wisely co-opted these symbols to strengthen their own relevance at the time.  And it certainly seems to fit nicely….But we really don’t know when Christ was born, so he may have been born at that time or not; we really just don’t know.  But it certainly does make sense to celebrate the birth of Jesus at this time though, due to the astrological synchronization explained above.

How this relates to Hinduism

In the Hindu/Yogic perspective, the time of the winter solstice, and the Sun’s change of direction to move north is incredibly important.  This same time is called the Makara Sankranti, which can be translated to “The ingress into Capricorn”.  Sankranti is Sanskrit for ingress, basically.  Makara is sanskrit for crocodile, which is what Capricorn is the symbol of in Vedic Astrology, and most likely in the original western astrology as well, but that will have to be explained in another post.  So this is an important time and it traditionally is celebrated as such by flying kites and other activities as it is said to be an auspicious date.  It is currently celebrated about three weeks late by most in India due to calculation errors that put the Capricorn ingress around January 14th.  The Solar ingress celebrations are meant to be calculated with the seasonal Tropical zodiac and this is something that Sri Yukteswar was very adamant about.  To explain this fully would also take another post, but understand that this same celebration is actually supposed to coincide with Christmas, for the exact same reasons as Christmas does; because the Sun moves north.

This Northern change of the Solar energy is also called the Uttarayana, in Vedic philosophy.  Uttara means “North” in Sanskrit, and Ayana means “movement”, or “time pass” in Sanskrit.  The Uttarayana has been mentioned in ancient Vedic texts as being extremely important from the spiritual perspective, and this basis is astrological.  Any auspicious deed or project we want to accomplish, we want to start it when the Sun is moving north.  This way we start the project in rhythm with nature and all of the elements, as all of nature is growing with each new day as the Sun is moving north.  In the same way, whatever projects we start at this time will “coincide” and therefore be more likely to grow stronger each day along with the Sun, the Soul of the Universe.  We want to do things in harmony with the Universal Soul whenever possible.

So Christmas day marks the first generally great day to do auspicious deeds in six months!  This is not to say that for six months of the year one should avoid doing good deeds, not at all.  In the six months that the Sun moves south one can find many other shorter windows of time when the muhurta/electional astrology factors are all lining up in a fortunate way for the goal in mind…. But if the goal in mind is very important and it can wait, it should wait for this time, the Uttarayana.  And then if possible, one should have an astrologer find the exact day and hour and minute that one should implement this action, if it is a truly important undertaking and one wants to make the best of it.  This way whatever negative karma one has from birth that may prevent the full realization of the goal can be minimized and negated by choosing the most auspicious date to begin that would neutralize those negative factors.  This is much of the basis behind Electional Astrology, or Muhurta as it is called in India.

Now it makes sense why we all give gifts on this day

snowqueenbycharlesrobinson

Snow Queen by Charles Robinson

Now we can see why it is so astronomically perfect to give gifts to each other on December 25th.  It is the first auspicious day in six months, and what better way to make use of that than by giving gifts to all of your loved ones!  Its also very interesting because this date was mentioned in the ancient Indian text, the Mahabarata, and one character refuses to die until the Sun starts moving north, because he knows how much more auspicious it is to die when the Sun starts moving north, then when it is moving south.  There are spiritual reasons for this significance as well, and one will notice that generally more saintly and spiritually evolved beings tend to leave their bodies as the Sun moves north.  Likewise more people tend to commit suicide as the Sun moves south and particularly around November and December, when the Sun is very low and weak in strength.  The Sun is our self-esteem, and a weak Sun leads to depression more easily.  It is likely that people who have difficult depression placements in their charts get more heavily impacted by this weak Sun transit than the average person, but most people will agree that November and December can be times when depression seems to set in more easily.

There is a lot more to this cycle and how it affects us psychologically, but this will have to wait for another post, as this one is long enough for now.  In the next post we will go into how this relates to Yogic philosophy and the esoteric meaning of the Sun.

Aquarius Linked to Celebrities, Study Finds

WaterPot_1_Rr_01.jpga2bf8431-4ecb-4b57-9394-a5391ab8c141OriginalA new study on Astrology came out in May of 2015 that indicates more celebrities to be born in the time of year from December to March.  It particularly noted Aquarius to be the most likely, followed by Pisces.  The study was done by Dr. Mark Hamilton from the University of Connecticut.  It was published in the journal, Comprehensive Psychology.  The research was only conducted on 300 people, which is not enough people in my opinion.  The work was of course criticized voraciously just by the virtue of it being a study that could possibly validate Astrology.  One thing was hard to ignore however, a very obvious fact that the researchers just did not seem to be informed about.  They did not seem to be aware of the fact that Aquarius is considered the sign of “Influential People”, and celebrities, as a whole.  It seemed baffling to me that no one made this point in any of the articles that I found about this research online, and seems to point again to the sad fact that most people who criticize astrology simply have not researched it enough for themselves.  They simply do not know anything about the signs or what it all means themselves, and so would not know what to look for even when they find it.  This research is an example.  Read on to see more elaboration on the connection between Aquarius and celebrities:

To begin with, Aquarius is the 11th sign, and the last air sign.  The Air signs relate to our desires, to kama, in sanskrit.  The 11th sign is the last sign of our desires therefore, and is where we gain our desires, essentially.  This is why the 11th house (which has similar qualities to the 11th sign, Aquarius) is the house of gains.  This is a fundamental rule of jyotish practice.  All planets are good in the 11th.  And in a very similar way, celebrities are usually associated with the gain of some desire.  We project our desires on them, sometimes even to a degree of idolatry. This only happens because we somehow relate them to the fulfillment of a strong desire within us.

Aquarius, and also the 11th house, is associated with our dreams.  Not the dreams we have when we are sleeping, which is the 12th house, or 12th sign Pisces.  The 11th sign and house is our conscious dreams that we aspire to realize.  For example, if one has Venus or Jupiter (gentle, lucky and fortunate planets) aspecting on the 11th house, or to the 11th sign Aquarius, that is one indication for a greater likelihood that this person will achieve something very important that they dreamed about doing at some point in their life.  Thats essentially what most celebrities are, people who actually DID the thing that they dreamed about, or at least got closer to their dream then the average person.  So in astrological terms, most celebrities are people who have a strong 11th house.

Aquarius is a sign of humanitarians, and it is funny how celebrities are always getting involved in all kinds of humanitarian activities.  It has even become a sort of stereotype about the ultra rich and famous types like Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie.  This makes sense when we remember that Aquarius is ruled by Saturn, the planet of service and Karma Yoga.  Aquarius individuals often have a strong sense of emptiness or lack within themselves, and so they often try to do things to improve the quality of life for all concerned, as some small way to remedy the situation at least for others.  This is why Aquarius is the “water bearer”, and the “maker of tanks and ponds” according to Jaimini.  Providing water is perhaps the most basic need that all humans have, so Aquarius is just about trying to relieve the burdens of life on Earth, thus humanitarian activity.

This leads to another important point about Aquarius, the emptiness within the water pot. (Read more about this, here.)  Having an Aquarius sun sign means automatically that the individual’s Sun is “starved” by Saturn, its enemy.  This is the defining mark of an Aquarius, the tendency to feel and act off the feeling that no matter what they do in life and with themselves and in the world, they still don’t feel very good about themselves.  The Aquarius person just suffers from low self esteem. Period.  I refuse to sugar coat this like so many astrologers do.  This is because the Sun represents our deep down soul nature, and Saturn our lack.  When the Sun gets starved by Saturn one tries and tries to find some action (Sun) that will rid them of the low self esteem (Saturn). It varies in strength depending on the chart in question, but it is often quite difficult to deal with, and usually just takes time and acceptance, which Saturn rules.  As time goes on we naturally mature and accept ourselves and move past the low self esteem feelings.

Whats interesting is that this psychological issue is seen quite evidently in the lives of celebrities.  How often do celebrities have breakdowns or turn out to do things that indicate an incredibly low sense of self esteem, which surprises us?  It happens quite often, go read a tabloid or trashy news website if you do not believe me.  Celebrities are often depressed and getting addicted to drugs or other vices, and these are both natural tendencies that the Aquarius individual struggles with, as they try to fill the symbolic emptiness within their water pot.  Thats why the old Indian books relate Aquarius as the most likely sign to be a drunkard or a sexual deviant of some kind.  We certainly see similar trends with celebrities in our modern culture.

So while there are many types of celebrities, and certainly many astrological configurations that could produce them as such, the Aquarius sun-sign celebrity is actually not likely going to be any happier with themselves after becoming a successful celebrity.  Aquarius is described as cold and not very charming or fun to talk to, and celebrities are often surprisingly rude and cold people.  Otherwise why would we make it such a big deal when one of them is not rude to us?  We are always like “Oh he was so cool to me”.  Why shouldn’t he have been? Everyone else is.  But the Aquarius isn’t, because their self esteem is starved by Saturn.  This noticeable trait has become a part of our common conceptions about celebrities.

From the viewpoint of Astrology, the Aquarian or Celebrity individual will actually have to go the opposite direction they usually have been going and become their most natural selves. They have to start doing what they love and stop doing what they think they should do, or what they do to compensate for who they think they need to be.  They have to start accepting themselves and their low self esteem and make peace with it, instead of constantly trying to ignore or forget it, or do something to compensate for it.  This is very hard to do, and usually we dont even start to notice the need for this type of psychological maturation until after our first Saturn return, by around the age of 30, give or take a year or two.  Theres more to it then that, but this help should clarify this point a little bit more, and help us see the logic as to why there might be more celebrities born in the time of Aquarius.