Category Archives: Capricorn

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.

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.

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.

The Astrological Houses: The Tenth House

Each house in the astrological nativity at birth is said to signify a certain area of life.  The first house, which is also the first sign in the birth chart, the rising sign, represents the body of the thing that was born at that moment. It also represents the path which that body is on in this life.  So a Capricorn ascendant (AKA Capricorn first house) has a body and path in life that is connected to the qualities of the sign of Capricorn.  What does Capricorn relate to in Astrology? Capricorn is the 10th sign, and from the natural 1st sign Aries, Capricorn is the place in space that is directly overhead, directly above us in the sky, the 10th place in the 12 stage journey of the zodiac.  It is the highest point in the sky, and from there the 11th and 12th are descending points in between that highest point and the eastern horizon.

Knowing this, we can now have an idea as to why Capricorn represents what it represents as a sign, or as the 10th house.  The house is the same idea and feel of the sign of the same number, but on a different level of viewpoint we could say.  Capricorn is the sign of a crocodile in the Vedic tradition of Astrology.  It is the sign of lasting accomplishments, doing something that is done so well, that it never needs to be refined or improved upon, it simply stands the test of time as some say.  That is the nature of Capricorn and the crocodile.  You can look at crocodiles in the fossil record from millions of years ago and they are essentially the exact same, and have not evolved or changed to any noticeable degree… This is not the case with many other animals.  This is why Capricorn is the sign of doing something so right the first time that it cannot be done any better and will thus endure through time.  Its ruling planet is Saturn, which according to the Upadesa Sutras, deals with “Accomplished Deeds”.  Saturn is associated with long term things and things that last longer than the rest and so we can see the connection.  You may recall from Greek mythology that Saturn was known as Chronos, the God of time and agriculture.  Chronos is still the root of many words that relate to time, such as “chronology”, “chronic”, “anachronistic” etc….

So the 10th house in the birth chart relates to these similar themes of the 10th sign Capricorn, but in a more specific way that relates to that ascendant which we are viewing it from.  Moreover, each ascendant is naturally geared towards a certain type of karma or action in the world which the 10th house from that ascendant gives us clues to.  And this same logic applies to each of the other astrological houses that are the same in number as the astrological sign that they relate to, and when analyzed all help to add a more nuanced perspective of chart interpretation. (For example: 7th sign libra is about relationships, 7th house is the house of relationships and your partner in your own chart)

With this understanding, we can now see why the 10th house is so important for career, because our career is usually connected with the type of actions or work we do in the world which we hope to cause a lasting change or effect.  For example having Venus in the 10th house from the rising sign at birth can make it more likely that someone will try to have a work or type of action in the world that creates harmony, beauty, entertainment, pleasure, or some type of luxury for others.  These are all Venusian types of work.  How good they are at these types of karmic work will depend on all the more particular factors such as the dignity of Venus, any yogas that are connected to Venus, the lajjitaadi avasthas on Venus, how the strength of those avasthas on Venus weigh out in each of the varga charts that relate to specific areas of life, what dasas (timing systems) are triggering Venus and when, the transiting place of Venus, and many, many more factors.  This is where it gets more complicated, but is still very fun and worthwhile to do.  But from just seeing Venus in the 10th, most jyotishis can know this person may have a career that is more about bringing pleasure to the senses, or harmony to a person, and that alone is a pretty amazing thing to be able to predict… And it will be correct most of the time.  To get the finer details takes time and skill on the part of the jyotishi, but even just to understand the basic connection of Venus to work is worthwhile information for most to have.

One more note about the 10th house:  Not all of us do make a big difference or change in the world, and not all of us are meant to do this as our dharma… Still others are meant to be on this Earth for a very important reason.  If they were not here then the world just would not be the same.  But then others are just meant to be here and enjoy life with more of an internal focus, not so much about external karmas.  That is more of a 4th house factor, the opposite house/sign. The 4th house is related to enlightenment and liberation, and retiring from the world. There is a Jaimini Yoga that relates to the 10th house in certain vargas, and whether one will be “resolute, and important”.  This technique is very useful and very accurate when you look at the charts of people who have made a profound impact on the world, without which Earth would just not be the same.  I cover these issues in readings when requested, but if you are curious about learning the Jaimini technique yourself I would strongly recommend taking the first of 3 audio courses on Jaimini by Ernst Wilhelm.  All three of the classes together total 62 hours of instruction, and it is my sentiment that just the first course could be studied and contemplated and re-studied for years, as that is what I have been doing myself… Its that good.  These courses can be purchased on his website, found Here.