Category Archives: aquarius

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.

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.





Symbolism of the Aquarius Rasi

The symbol for the eleventh sign of the zodiac is a man holding an empty pot of water.  Some sources say it is a man holding a pot full of water, or pouring out water from a pot, which all serve to convey most of the meaning of aquarius.  I prefer the symbolism that is given in the foundational text for most Vedic Astrologers, the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, by Sage Parashara.  It gives the aquarius rasi as being simply “a man holding a pot” and does not say that there is water inside the pot.  Parashara does still relate this sign to water though by saying that it “resides in deep water”.  This is an important distinction that is missed by most modern astrologers it seems, and I only came to learn about this subtlety from studying Ernst Wilhelm’s Rasi Sutras audio course, so I must give credit to him for teaching it.  This course can be purchased on his website found here, which I highly recommend for those who are practicing Jyotish professionally, as it has great insights into all the twelve Rasis.  But for now lets just look at the rasi of aquarius in the context of the twelve Rasis.

water potAquarius is an air sign, not a water sign.  It is the only fixed air sign of the zodiac.  It is the eleventh sign, with only one more sign to go before the end of the cycle at Pisces.   Each of the four elements represents an aspect of ourselves.  Fire signs represent our intuition, and our connection to our soul, and the fiery activity we feel we must do in life to fulfill our soul’s purpose; our Dharma.  Earth signs represent the mixture of all elements, and our rational, practical, and even mechanical side.  Air signs represent our own unique intellectual perspective as human beings, as well as our state of desire.  This is because human desires are as impermanent and changing as the afternoon breeze.  How often do we realize a long sought after desire, only to find a new one arising only moments later?  Desires are what keep us bound to this Earth realm and are what keep us separate from realizing our true eternal nature as Infinite Consciousness, or Spirit.  Water signs represent feeling and emotional sensitivity, and inner development such as wisdom and divine love.

Aquarius is the last sign before we get to the sign of enlightenment, Pisces.  So, as Ernst Wilhelm elaborates upon more deeply in his Rasi Sutras course, Aquarius is the sign of the culmination of the pyschological battle.  Aquarius is the stage of becoming psychologically healthy, so that we can then move into the final stage of merging with God.  Paramhansa Yogananda said that what most people think of as the spiritual battle or path, is actually just the psychological battle that each person must fight between their higher and lower sense of self.  He states that once this is resolved then the spritual battle is won very quickly.  And this matches with the twelve rasis of Jyotish as after Aquarius there is only Pisces left and it represents “kaivalya”, the absolute oneness of being.

This is why I find the symbolism of the empty, or mostly empty pitcher of water to be the most appropriate symbol.  As explained previously, the air signs all represent desire, which is what ultimately keeps us bound to the cycle of death and rebirth, and which the whole purpose of Jyotish is to free us from with Self Knowledge.  Water symbolizes spirit, and the wholeness and psychological well being that comes from our innate connection to spirit. (hence why the water signs are the most spiritual signs, the Brahmin caste/mentality.)… So if the symbolic water pitcher was completely full, it would show a completely full being on the inside and out, and the zodiac should rightly end at this stage because one’s development is complete here…. But it does not end here, it ends at the next sign.  Therefore the water pot should rightly be empty.  An empty, or mostly empty water vessel symbolizes the lack of the spiritual wholeness that we all desire whether consciously or not.  So this eleventh sign of Aquarius really shows the stage of REALIZING THE EMPTINESS IN THE WATER PITCHER, AND THE DESIRE TO HAVE IT FILLED.

The only permanent way to have our symbolic water pitcher filled is to become Self Realized and then know and experience that it was never empty to begin with.  This can  be done by merging our ego with something greater than ourselves, which is the job of Venus.  And as you might expect, Venus just happens to be the most auspicious planet for Aquarius lagna, and causes “Raja Yoga” by ruling both an angle and a trine.  Venus ruling a dharma (trine house) and Karma(angle house) indicates that it is innate and natural for Aquarius to move towards merging their consciousness with something greater than itself (Venus).  This shows that a sense of love and acceptance is what is really the best way to deal with the emptiness in our lives.  Whether the Aquarius is able to use Venus in this healthy way is depending upon all the karmas shown in the astrological chart, and can be known by the skilled astrologer.

This also makes sense when we think about the ruling planet of Aquarius, Saturn.  Saturn is the planet that deals with our debts, our sense of lack, our sense of isolation, and the more depressing, empty side of life in general.  The empty water pot is more appropriate as a symbol for Saturn in this way too, as it shows that there is a lack, or an emptiness that needs to be filled.  Thats pretty much the whole purpose of the Aquarius individual, is to find a way to fill that emptiness.

How they deal with the emptiness

This knowledge should now help you understand all the qualities and characteristics of Aquarius natives.  This is why western astrology looks at them as humanitarians, and even why old vedic texts from medieval times paint them in a much more negative light.  These medieval Indian texts describe them as drunkards, or as sexual deviants.  Western Astrology is great and I do not mean to bash it by saying this, but in general it doesn’t have a lot of authoritative texts or rules compared to Vedic Astrology, which is drowning in rules and texts.  They both have their strengths and weaknesses.  The western approach typically looks at the positive spin on a sign the most and downplays the negative sides, which makes sense as this type of method is being used in a culture which doesn’t want to be told stuff that it sees as “negative” or “fatalistic”.  Western’s positive spin on Aquarius is that they are humanitarians and inventive, which is true, sometimes.  This will be the case if the auspicious planets for Aquarius are strong, and the inauspicious ones are weak.  But if it is the other way around, then the Aquarius is likely to be frustrated in feeling love or detaching from the state of emptiness and will likely engage in some type of less healthy activity to try to temporarily fill the emptiness….  This is where the medieval vedic books would happen to be more accurate.  Without a strong Venus, its more likely that alcoholism, sexual perversions, vices, or other activities that society frowns upon will come in to play for the Aquarius native in order to fill that emptiness at any cost.  To be fair to both traditions, they both acknowledge the positive side of Aquarius that can manifest as a mystic, or as a spiritual renunciate as well.  To think that this same sign can create such seemingly extreme polarities of behavior can be hard to grasp…but they are all just extreme attempts to fill the emptiness that is being felt in one’s awareness.  Knowing this we should not judge Aquarius natives for their actions but rather try to see them in the light of understanding that Jyotish provides.