Category Archives: astrological synchronicities

Mercury- “Meddling in the Affairs of Others”

The etymology of words can be very fascinating, especially in the astrological context.  A surprising amount of our old astrological knowledge has been forgotten in this current age; yet our very own English language still preserves clues to it, when we know the astrological language that birthed these words.  See my previous blog on astrological word origins for more on this.  One example I find fascinating is how in English speaking countries there is a negative saying about when someone is getting too curious about things that are not any of their business to be knowing about.  We say that person shouldnt be “meddling in the affairs of others”.  The word “Meddling” means to be intruding into other people’sbusiness, or to handle something in a careless way. It may have a latin root meaning “to mix” according to the Free Dictionary

So to meddle in the affairs of others is to be concerned with affairs of others that aren’t really important and that often lead to unneeded gossip and trouble.  This term is never used when one is genuinely inquiring about how they can help someone in a serious way.  This term is used when one is more likely just curious and potentially seeking self-aggrandizement by comparing themselves to another.

The reason this is so interesting to me is because if there ever was a “meddle” or “likely to mix” type of planet, it would be Mercury.  He is the most mixed and intermediate planet in many ways, being malefic when with malefic planets and benefic when close to benefic planets. He rules, is exalted in, and is fallen in ONLY dual signs (which have both masculine and feminine qualities), showing how pronounced his mixed nature is.  Mercury is exalted in the earth sign of Virgo, which he owns. The main symbolic quality to remember with the earth element is its mixed nature. Each other element is just one thing, like water or fire. Earth is dirt, rocks, gaseous space, some water, and it is that mixed state that is important to remember from a symbolism standpoint. Mercury rules the Earth element as well, this most mixed element. Mercury is not male or female, but “neuter” or a more apt modern word for it would be Androgynous. (It is very interesting that from the ancient astrology standpoint there was an even spread of 3 female planets, 3 male, and 3 androgynous.)

Mercury also happens to rule one’s curiosity, and whether one has a healthy sense of curiosity, or whether they use this faculty to simply “meddle in the affairs of others”.  A person with a weak Mercury may find themselves with a somewhat unhealthy sense of curiosity and can therefore get themselves into trouble with gossip or backbiting.

Let me elaborate on this point further.  Mercury is very much in the middle of things, and he likes the harmony that being in the middle, or being mixed, can provide.  He doesn’t like to choose a side, so much so that in a negative state mercury people are often stereotyped as “two-faced”, when they are usually just trying to maintain a good harmony with everyone they associate with, but may fail to really express how they truly feel to the person (which can cause problems down the line).

When it comes to our sense of taste, each planet rules one of the tastes, or “rasa” in sanskrit.  For example the moon rules the salty taste, and Jupiter rules the sweet taste.  Mercury rules the “mixed” taste, or the savory taste as we often say, and what is referred to as “umami”.  This is what MSG (monosodium glutamate) is designed to replicate.  The taste can be created from the mixture of different chemicals and so is not easily created without being “mixed” with a bunch of other chemicals, or tastes, we could say. Some examples of the umami, mixed taste of mercury would be the flavor that sauteed onions and garlic add to a dish, or the savory quality that tomatoes cause when cooked in dishes with other vegetables.  The quality that aged wines develop is said to be umami. ( See Ernst Wilhelm’s Graha Sutras book for the best treatment I have found on the tastes of the grahas.)

Another example of Mercury being very mixed is the genders of the grahas (graha is the sanskrit word for planet).  Sun, Mars and Jupiter are male grahas.  Venus, Rahu, and Moon are female grahas.  Saturn, Ketu, and Mercury are said to be neuter grahas.  Again we see Mercury not necessarily choosing a side but preferring the mixed place.  Also, each planet is given an avatar that relates to that planet; such as the Sun is correlated to Prince Rama, the Moon to Krishna, etc.  Mercury is connected to the Buddha.  What did the Buddha eventually end up teaching after experiencing all paths?  The “middle way”….

Now we can see how this old phrase happens to match so well with what we know about the most mixed or “meddlesome” planet, who also happens to rule over one’s sense of curiosity, be it healthy or unhealthy…. Another saying in English to express the same sentiment is that someone is being “too nosey”.  The nose is the organ of the sense of smell.  Can you guess which of the five senses mercury rules?

Holidays in November for the Dead

Its an interesting fact that during the 30 day period in which the Sun passes through the tropical sign of Scorpio (Oct 23rd-Nov 22nd), the United States, and many other nations celebrate five different holidays that deal with the main themes of Scorpio: death, and transformation.scorpion

These holidays are:

  • Halloween, originally known as Samhain
  • All Saints’ day
  • All Souls’ day
  • Remembrance day
  • Veterans day

Each of these holidays is centered around a major theme of the sign of Scorpio, and it really seems appropriate.  Why?  Because of all the different times of the year, this is the time when the Sun is passing through the sign of the scorpion, which only occurs once a year, like clockwork, during this 30 day interval.  And as said above, Scorpio is the sign of death and transformation, so there is no better month out of the year to assign holidays that honor and direct the public’s attention to the dead.  To fully appreciate this unique synchronicity, it is important to understand what the 8th sign of Scorpio deals with:

Scorpio has to do with the transformation of the soul, it is the part of the chart that deals with our longevity, vitality, and ability to fight for survival.  It can represent actual battles as well as the spiritual, inner battles that we all fight between our higher and lower natures.  It is the time of year right after Libra, when everything seemed peaceful and balanced, and the leaves were turning beautiful colors.  Now in Scorpio it is getting colder and darker each day more quickly than before, and the leaves are all gone or rapidly falling. Everything is turning brown, beginning to hibernate, or dying.  The theme is either turning within to transform and survive through winter, or die.  Scorpio is the stage that has to do with the lack of nourishment in life, and the symbolic scorpion is meant to turn its energy, or “water” within to derive nourishment, hence it is a Brahmin sign (oriented towards enlightenment) and can set the stage for great spiritual development.  This depends, however, on the nature of the planetary karmas that are involved.  Difficult Scorpio related karmas show that one is not going to be able to find inner nourishment easily, and will likely turn to unhealthy ways of filling that void.  This can lead to vices of all kinds. Here we see the origins of the negative associations of the sign coming in: Sex, abusive tendencies, addictions, breaking the law, drama, wild breaks and changes, and battles of all kinds.

If you are new to astrology, don’t expect to understand this most mysterious sign at first glance, it takes time and contemplation.  For now just consider that the Sun (The soul of all) passing through the sign of death, the departed, and the transformations related to that, would naturally suggest that this is the best month of the year to honor the dead.

Halloween/Samhain –  This was originally a Gaelic festival that marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, or the darker half of the Solar year.  It is widely believed to go back to Pagan times before the Christian era.  This was the time when the veils between the spiritual and material worlds were thought to be thinnest, and the fairies and spirits were able to most freely intermingle with the Earth realm at this time.  Offerings would be left out for these spirits to honor them, as well as to ensure some degree of safety through the coming winter.  According to some scholars, it was only after the Church condemned this whole festival that the fairies and spirits began to slowly take on a more sinister or wicked aspect.  Now the “offerings” have been boiled down to kids in scary costumes asking for candy… If we choose to see it in its original context, however, it correlates to Vedic Astrology, as Scorpio is one of the three water signs (the brahmin signs). These signs are the most naturally oriented towards spirituality, and are the most psychically sensitive, with Scorpio being the one that is always considered most vulnerable to negative energies, or other worldly factors such as spirits, etc.  {Note: To explain why this is would require a post in itself, but feel free to leave a comment if that is desired.}

All Saints’ Day - This is the day after Halloween, on November 1st.  It is set aside to commemorate all the Saints known or unknown in the world.  It is also refered to as All Hallows’ Day, or Hallowmas by Shakespeare.  It is believed by many that this holiday was instituted to have a sort of Christian counter-holiday to the Pagan Samhain festivals at this time, and this is logical.  Again we can easily see the connection to Scorpio, as Scorpio is a Brahmin Sign.  Brahmins are the priests or saints of the ancient Indian caste system.  This relates to the spiritual battles touched upon earlier.  A Saint is really just someone who has won the spiritual battle that we all must fight eventually, between our higher and lower nature.  In some respects, All Saints’ Day could be seen as a holiday that is honoring all the victorious Scorpios of the past, known or unknown.

All Souls’ Day/Day of the Dead – This is the day after All Saints’ Day, and is a day of prayer for the dead and especially one’s relatives.  This is like All Saints’ Day, but more universal in that it is about honoring all Souls everywhere.  Still a very similar Scorpio theme of death, and prayer, but with an added attention to family.  The family connection makes sense as Mars produces our Siblings and Mother which is the majority of the family.  Another interesting fact is that the 3 day period of October 31st- November 2nd is also a time in Mexico when a similar holiday is celebrated, The Day of the Dead.

Veterans Day- This is an official United States holiday on November 11th that honors people who have served in the US armed forces.  Mars is the Lord of scorpio, and is the planet of war, and soldiers, and battles, as mentioned previously.  Of course fallen heroes will naturally relate to the negative sign of Mars, and again we see a holiday that correlates as the Sun passes through Scorpio.  Here we see a similar theme except that we are honoring those who have fought actual physical battles for the noble cause of defending their nation and freedom.

Remembrance Day- This is held on the same day as Veterans Day, November 11th, but is more international as it is observed by all Commonwealth of Nations states and it honors all those members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty.  There is a slight difference in that sense, as Veteran’s Day does not distinguish between honoring those who have served and those who have died.  Still we see the same themes repeating that should be familiar by now.

Isnt it interesting that these five Holidays which focus on death and transformation happen to each fall in the one sign that is most appropriate?  One naturally wonders if it is all just coincidental, because if astrological thought is correct then we should naturally feel these ways at these times… Or if it was intentionally arranged by Astrologers of Royal Families?  Without evidence it would be hard to say.  There is, however, no disputing the connection of these five holidays to the Tropical sign of Scorpio.

A New Study Complements Ancient Astrology.

A new scientific study has emerged about the relationship between the season one is born and one’s personality and temperament.  Researchers at the Semmelweis University in Budapest studied 366 university students and did find that the season they were born in had a correlation to certain psychological traits.

The Huffington post article explains that the study found:

  • People born in summer were more likely to experience frequent mood swings as adults.
  • People born in the winter were less likely to develop irritable personalities.
  • People born in the spring were more likely to have “excessively positive” temperaments.
  • And people born in autumn were less likely to be depressive.

The article shared above does mention astrology, but I guess no one writing it was familiar with astrology itself.  If so they would have easily seen the correlation between these findings and the natural signs of the zodiac that the sun crosses during each season.  This research validates astrology immensely, as it is not likely given to chance that each seasonal birth would have a difference in psychology AND also that this difference would be the same difference that both western and eastern astrology has addressed as significant.

It is because the Huffington Post article did not clearly see or did not decide to mention this that I feel the duty, as an astrologer, to clearly point out that these traits are obviously connected to the seasons and therefore to astrology and astronomy.

Lets start with spring and go through the seasons as the zodiac naturally does.

SPRING: This is almost just common sense that someone would be more positive if born in spring, as everything was also being born alongside you.  Nature is bursting forth at this time, the grass is starting to grow back, and it is natural from a psychological standpoint to see a more optimistic personality at this time.  In jyotish, at this time we have the sun rising in Aries, which is all about rising to action, going on adventures, following ones ideas and inspirations, and Aries are confidant and naturally will be optimistic in a general sense (Though not every aries will be the same, check Jupiter for the optimism as well).

Taurus comes up after that which is also a sign that naturally sees the glass as half full. This is because taurus is ruled by Venus, the water element, the comforter, the nurse.  Taurus sees the beauty and goodness in themselves and thus has a natural tendency to see beauty outwardly and thus has an advantage towards being positive in life. Taurus actually often times doesnt even notice when other people are sufferring, especially inwardly or emotionally.  It is the sign of ones inherent self worth, but they must remember that not everyone else has come from as happy and as nourishing of a background as they may have come from, and this is where the negative stereotypes of a taurus come in, such as being selfish and stubborn.  They must learn to give to others as selflessly as the cow gives her milk.

Gemini is the first dual sign we come to, and all the dual signs are a mix of positive and negative, so they likely wont fit into these stereotyped boxes as easily.  But as Gemini is the positive, action oriented sign of Mercury, these types can typically be a bit too clever, and get themselves in to trouble in these ways, when they really should be more careful and focus on doing just what they really care about, and not a million other things.  In a sense this can be similar to being “excessively positive”, in that the gemini thinks it is winning the game of life but often this is just an idea in their mind, and is not the reality.

Summer: Summer officially begins at the moment that the sign of Cancer begins.  Cancer is the sign of the emotions, and the moon, which relates to how we feel, and our feminine emotional nature. Cancer is related to the 6th chakra or the spiritual eye center (ajna), in the pituitary gland between the eyebrows.  Cancer is often portrayed as  a very moody and fickle sign, as the moon is always changing and adapting…this is just what the researchers found.

Leo is the next sign of summer, which is all about maintaining the kingdom.  Leo is not a fun sign like many people think, it is a sign of doing ones dharma and protecting the kingdom, and these people are always striving to maintain a consistency or a high ideal in life.  Ideals are great to have but are rarely achievable 24/7 on earth at least, and the Leo must face this and contend with this as best he can. Not every Leo will be able to handle it well.  Depending on the other planetary placements these people can be very hot headed, get angered easily, and can just blow up on people because they have the audacity, the sense of entitlement as they feel like the Sun, the king.  This probably counts as mood swings.

Virgo, like Gemini is a dual sign, and so is not as one sided, and these people arent as likely as Cancer to have mood swings. Virgo seems to embody more of the autumn qualities that were mentioned.  But Virgo is the sign of a young girl, and is said to rule temper tantrums, like how young girls and boys can be.  Virgo has a hard time accepting the realities of good and evil in life, and can be frustrated easily.

Autumn: Autumn begins the moment that Libra starts, the fall equinox.  Libra is the sign where the sun falls, but where Saturn gets exalted.  Saturn is the planet that fights off depression, and helps us deal with the harshness of life.  Thus there is an obvious natural correlation to this time of year, and how people fight depression.  Also this is opposite of springtime, where everything is turning within or dying, and so we can see how this logically would create a temperament that is opposite of the overly optimistic spring baby.  This is a baby that is likely going to be ready to turn within or to harden itself off from the outer situations more readily.  Libra is a sign that when strong enables detachment and even-mindedness, which helps fight depression.

Scorpio is a brahmin sign ruled by mars, and is all about the spiritual battle, and the inner fight to realize God.  This sign is well known to make one a master of their demons or a slave to them, but we can naturally see that these people will deal with darkness and depression from day one, and so this makes sense that they may be able to deal with it better than another group.

Sagittarius is another dual sign, and is therefore mixed.  It is ruled by jupiter and is  stereotypically considered to be too optimistic. This does not fit as well with the research, but as I mentioned, none of the dual signs should be expected to fit into these broad generalizations, as that would contradict astrology.  Also these signs are right before the changeover of a season, and so they naturally will have qualities of both and not be as one-sided.

 Winter: Winter begins at the moment the sun enters capricorn and begins moving north.  Capricorn gets generalized into the researchers category so easily.  It is the sign of enduring, and if this sign is strong it can make one stoic.  These types of people wont complain, and can endure much suffering, and just keep going.  They are practical, and tend to look out for the dangerous things before they occur and thus avoid them.  They are grounded and cautious.  They are ruled by Saturn, the servant of the zodiac, so they are “down to earth” in this sense and generally do not act like pretentious kings or queens (unless they have other sun and moon things going on) who will get upset when things dont go their way.  Capricorn is used to things not going its way since it was born in freezing winter time when everything is dead or hibernating, and limited food was available….It had to wait around for spring to show up.  Naturally these people are more grounded and dont expect things to come to them immediately in life, making them less likely to have an irritable or demanding personality.

Aquarius is the next sign of winter, and though it is a bit more airy and not as grounded, it is still ruled by Saturn and so Aquarians are usually more down to earth and agreeable people to interact with as well, when compared to the other signs.  Aquarius is the sign of groups and society, so innately they see the value of the individual in society and are more into seeing everyone equally or as a group.  This may have to do with why they would not have as much of an irritable personality as someone opposite, such as a Leo, who will naturally be more self-involved.  However, Aquarius and Capricorn can also give depression when not strong enough, and I imagine that this group was the group that suffered the most depression when analyzed by the researchers. 

Finally we come to Pisces, the last dual sign, and naturally not as clear cut as the others.  As the dual signs are mixed, we can see a mixture of characteristics in the pisces.  They are usually agreeable people to get along with, and are not usually irritable, so they fit some of the winter-born concepts…yet they also somewhat fit with the spring concept of being overly optimistic, as the ruling planet of pisces is the planet of optimism, Jupiter.  This contradictory factor actually makes the most sense for this sign, because pisces is the last sign and thus has some of the qualities of all the previous signs.  In western astrology they say that pisces can embrace contradictory ideas most seamlessly, and this matches with what I have seen before.

In conclusion, I notice that the four cardinal signs, which set the seasons, are the signs which most strongly exhibit these personality traits discovered in Hungary. This fits as the other signs occur at times that are more in the middle or end of a season and the beginning of a new one, and likely are more mixed.  The cardinal signs exhibit these qualities the most. The fixed signs carry the traits a bit less, and the dual signs carry them the least, and do not fit as easily into the seasonal stereotypes, and this matches jyotish perfectly as these are the most mixed signs in the zodiac.


Jupiter And The Sweet Sixteen

In the United States, we have this curious tradition of recognizing a girl’s sixteenth birthday as especially important.  Where does this come from? It certainly has stuck around as a tradition for some time.  It is defined by Wikipedia as  “…a coming of age party celebrating a girl’s sixteenth birthday in North America, primarily in the United States and Canada.”

The traditions vary according to different families, but sometimes a tiara is given by the Mother to the Daughter to celebrate her becoming a woman.  It also implies that she is eligible for marriage.  What interests me about this is that it is only important for a girl, and for boys there is no special cultural significance given to turning 16 years old.

This seems to reflect an astrological truth.  It has to do with the different ages at which the planets are said to “mature” in ones life.  Each planet has a different maturation age, and when this age comes about, the person is able to use that planet to a more effective level, if such a promise is shown in the birth chart to begin with.  If not, then the person may start to experience more problems associated with the planet as it is not maturing properly.  The person is not as developed in the area of consciousness associated with said planet, and it shows.

The maturation ages are as follows:

  • Jupiter : 16   Jupiter
  • Sun : 21
  • Moon : 24
  • Venus : 25
  • Mars : 28
  • Mercury : 32
  • Saturn : 36
  • Rahu : 42
  • Ketu : 48

As can be seen above, Jupiter is the first planet to mature, and it matures at the age of 16.  Jupiter represents a great many things in a horoscope, including wisdom or philosophy, guiding principles and the ability to appreciate the wholeness of life.  His placement in a chart can also give great understanding of what makes you happy, and what your “dharma”, or purpose in life is.  If you are a Woman, or someone who likes Men, then Jupiter actually plays a slightly different role in the chart as compared to a Male, or someone who likes women mostly.  This has to do with Jupiter being the producer, or “karaka” of the husband in a Womans chart.  He is also the significator of children in the horoscope, for both males and females.  So for the average female, the planet Jupiter “produces” (in the astrological  sense) and is responsible for, her children, and her husband in life.  Those are very important parts of life for most people.  And when Jupiter matures at 16, all these things under Jupiter’s domain begin to mature and become prominent in a person’s life as well.  Also, Jupiter rules our creativity in general, and children are the most important creative process for most humans, and at this age a woman is physically mature enough to take on this creative process.  Also, the hormones and endocrine system is ruled by Jupiter, and this matures around the age of 16 as well.

This is what is so interesting about the tradition of the Sweet Sixteen, and how it is only significant for a lady.  Before the age of 16, the average girl’s physical body, hormones and consciousness are not cultivated enough to maturely know what is in her own heart, and what type of Husband (if any) she should choose.  The same goes for children.  She may not want to have kids, or not really think about it until after the age of 16.  After that point, if it is in her Dharma to have kids in this life, she may begin to have more of her own thoughts and feelings about the matter.  This is because she is now physically mature enough for this process, but not necessarily mature enough on all levels.

For a girl that has a strong Jupiter in her chart, this means that in past lives she lived dharmically enough to gain the “good karma” (good merit) to have a happy and fortunate married life with pleasing children.  In most cultures this is the general ideal thing to have for most women, (as well as with men, but with a happy wife as opposed to husband) although everyone is different.  This has long been one of the best uses of Jyotish, to determine if one should pursue marriage in this life or if they should save themselves a lot of time and energy and focus on something else they care about.  At the age of 16, Jupiter matures, which means that (for either sex) the individual’s consciousness of their “dharma” has matured, leaving them to pursue their own unique purpose in the world.  If this purpose involves marriage or having kids, then the time is ripe at 16 to pave the way for those events to occur when they are meant to.  Because marriage and children are such important factors in life, it makes sense that families at some point decided to have a big celebration to commemorate this.

Regardless of their sex, at 16 the person is going to begin to think more about their purpose, and more about what they want to do with their own life.  At 16 a person may think more about what is really right and wrong, versus what they have been told to think by others. They may think more about what they themselves believe to be true from their experience.  They may develop a belief system of their own naturally or start to follow a belief system.  This is because Jupiter rules ones belief systems, and wisdom, and ones understanding of the big picture in life.  And how this plays out depends on the way Jupiter is situated in the horoscope.

Also, I have heard, but cannot confirm, that some studies have shown that women actually bear children with the least amount of accidents or health issues at the age of 16. The likelihood of health complications during childbearing is thought to increase with age gradually.  I could not find a study to confirm this, but found a lot of information online about how accidents and birth complications are increased gradually with age. Here is one article.

For men, it is different, because Venus rules the wife or mate in a chart of someone who likes females, and as you can see above, Venus does not mature until the age of 25.  This means that for men, they may not be fully mature enough in their consciousness to choose the right marriage partner or commit to their chosen path in life until the age of 25.  Venus is the consciousness that helps us love ourselves and seek the best quality of life for ourselves, therefore representing our decision making capacity.  The strong Venusian weighs out the choices they are given in life wisely (like Venus’s sign Libra, the balancing scales, “weighing ones options”. Libras tend to get the best deals and be good traders and businessmen) and thus his life leads to greater satisfaction and well being because of the good choices they made to get there.  A person with a weaker Venus will typically not inherently appreciate themselves as much, and will make decisions that reflect that, and choose bad partners and bad relationships, therefore inviting difficulty and hardship into their lives as a result.

Boys typically do not mature sexually as fast as women, and who knows, perhaps that has to do with males not being truly ripe for marriage until the age of 25, as opposed to girls at 16, according to this line of thinking.  Also, it is usually considered more normal for a woman to marry an older man, than it is for a man to marry an older woman.  This makes sense when we see that a woman is mature enough (or close to it) for a spouse at the age of 16, compared with a man not being that mature until almost ten years later at 25!

It can be nice to reflect back and see how ones own beliefs or philosophies (as well as other jupiter-ruled things) may have developed during that very formative time.