Category Archives: jyotish

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.

 

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.

Astrological Reflections on Nikola Tesla

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Nikola Tesla, at the height of his career.

“Within a few years a simple and inexpensive device, readily carried about, will enable one on land or sea, to hear the principle news, to hear a speech, a lecture, a song or play of a musical instrument, conveyed from any other region of the globe. ”     Nikola Tesla, 1856-1943

 

Nikola Tesla is one of the most profoundly interesting, influential, and eccentric figures of the last two centuries.  In the above quote he predicts the advent of smartphones. He did not just conceive the idea, he was the one to invent the technology.  I was unable to find the year that he said this quote*, but we know he died in 1943.  Take a moment to think about how significant that prediction is….  He invented pretty much everything that has made the modern world what it is today, including the alternating current, radio, X-ray technology, remote controls, electric motors, robotics, lasers *, wireless communication and even “limitless free energy”, according to this blog.  We still dont have this last bit of technology, because Tesla was being funded by JP Morgan.  When Morgan realized there was no money to be made off of giving free energy to everyone, he stopped funding Tesla along with making sure that he would never have enough money to succeed in his altruistic goal of providing free energy to all.  This is also part of why he was not as popular as other inventors, because he did not care to make money himself, and in a sense he was a threat to the fortunes of those who did care about money.

A man of such profound karmic impact as Nikola Tesla should logically be expected to have a unique birth chart to match, and its true, though this writing will only scratch the surface…There is so much noteworthy information to share about this man that it will take more than one blog post… In this article, for the sake of brevity, I will focus on just a few unique characteristics this man had, and how they related to the karmas indicated in his natal chart.  If you aren’t familiar with his contributions and eccentricities you may want to watch a documentary on him, or read up on him here, to get the full appreciation.

Nikola Tesla does not have an exact birth time, but it is said that he was born at the stroke of midnight on July 9/10 1856 in the Austrian Empire (modern day Croatia).  He was born in the middle of a lightning storm as well, and as the story goes, midway through the birth, the midwife wrung her hands and declared the lightning to be a bad omen, saying the baby would be a child of darkness.  Tesla’s mother responded saying “No. He will be a child of light”….The mothers instinct again proved correct, as it usually does, in that he did go on to be the foremost master of light and its manipulation and application.  He invented fluorescent lighbulbs and also made the more practical technology for electricity, the alternating current, which we still use today.

Tesla’s Natal Chart –  As it happened, right around midnight on the 9th/10th of July 1856 the sign of Aries was just about to end and the sign of Taurus was just about to rise.  At exact midnight, Taurus was rising at 1 or 2 degrees.  We know that the exact time of midnight may have been difficult to discern exactly back in an Austrian countryside in 1856, and so we cannot be 100% sure what his actual lagna (the sanskrit word for the rising sign) was, Taurus, or Aries…. But as said earlier, a man of such pronounced karmas should have a noticeable birth chart…. When I looked at the two charts, (one as Aries lagna, one as Taurus lagna) it was very clear that he must have been an Aries lagna.

To begin with, Aries is the sign of ideas, and the initial spark of existence. It is the sign of pioneers and heroic acts, as a Ram is born to climb anything in its path.  Aries is the sign of “active fire”, which is electricity.  (The other two fire signs are Leo, the fixed fire, and Sagittarius, the dual fire, which has both fixed and active qualities.  Aries is perhaps the most appropriate sign for pioneering fire or electricity at this fundamental symbolic level) Aries is a sign ruled by Mars, the fire element, and fire is the same as electricity and light in the context of elements.  Also, on the elemental level, fire has to do with intelligence, and cognition, and how well we think.  We know he had a lot of karma involving thinking, conceiving, light, electricity, and pioneering the applications of electricity, all of which are Mars related activities.  Also Rahu and Jupiter are in his first house as an Aries lagna, and Rahu makes one a pioneer in their field, as well as sometimes making one a bit of an outcast to society (sometimes because they are too ahead of their time).  So that is two marks for a pioneer as an Aries lagna.  These qualities strongly marked his path in life, along with a not so mature but still positive idealism (Jupiter with Rahu in okay dignity). Jupiter is also the lord of the fire sign of Sagittarius, another sign that can relate to electricity and lightning.  Jupiters placement here in Aries with Rahu also shows that his path was that of pioneering knowledge and wisdom more than a more classically physical Aries type of path.  Mars ruled people are not always soldiers or police officers.  Mars can also give one a career in surgery, or science, engineering, electricity, as well as mining and work dealing with the minerals of the Earth, to name a few examples.

If he were a Taurus lagna, his ruling planet would be Venus, which does have to do with making life more enjoyable for everyone, but does not have any strong fundamental association with fire, electricity, inventing, pioneering or being a scientist.  Also his Venus falls in the 3rd house (which does fit him in some ways) but is strongly starved by Saturn, Sun and Moon.  This means Venus is afflicted in every possible way in the context of Lajjitaadi Avasthas.  Such an afflicted benefic as the ruling planet in the 3rd would indicate very weak willpower and wanting to have things done for oneself too much and throughout life…. This is not the case, as he had an incredibly strong willpower.  It also does not fit his sharp and exacting personality as much as the Aries lagna.

Tesla’s celibacy- Nikola Tesla never married and was celibate.  As an Aries lagna, we can see that his ruling planet is Mars.  Mars is a planet that is said to be “Brahmachari”, meaning one who is celibate and does not marry, so as to fully pursue their goals and focus that they have in this lifetime.  (note: One could be brahmachari for many reasons, not just the traditional reason of expediting one’s spiritual progression.  A person could choose a celibate lifestyle just because they prefer the freedom it affords them to continue doing other things they are drawn to.)  This was the case with Nikola Tesla, as he was strongly sought after by women while he lived in the west, but never engaged in a single sexual relationship (according to him) and preferred to be celibate.  That is not very common.  We can see this shown in his chart by the placement of his ruling planet Mars.  Mars falls in Libra in the seventh house, and is in a temporary friend dignity because of Venus being four houses away.  Mars is with Ketu and the waxing Moon, a benefic and a friend to Mars.  Ketu can show where we have a strong karmic foundation in past lives, and here it shows that there is already a lot of karmic development in respect to relationships.  There is also  attachment (shown by the Moon here also) as well as frustrations (Mars) being shown.  So he is not going to find as much happiness in the area of relationships as a whole in this incarnation, due to having already exhausted those karmas in recent previous lives.  Rahu represents the area of life we are destined to develop in this incarnation.  In Tesla’s chart it is in the opposite sign, Aries, his first house, putting the spotlight on himself.  Rahu in Aries in the first house also speaks to a life of self development, and Tesla was an incredibly disciplined person.  Rahu is with Jupiter, showing that in this life he is wanting to develop faith in himself and all of his amazing ideas and noble endeavors, rather than focus on his enjoyment of life or relationships. But as is often times the case with those planets that are connected to Rahu, many of the Jupiterian goals he had were never realized, such as providing free energy to the entire world.  He did do many great deeds for the world as a whole, though.  Aries is also a sign that is fundamentally about being pure and virtuous, (Mars rules our Sattvam, our strength of character as well) which is why the most pure planet, the Sun, is exalted there.  Another interesting thing about his apparent celibacy is that he directly attributed it to his amazing intellectual abilities, which is a viewpoint also held by most Yogis.  As one example, he had the ability to visualize every invention in his mind down to the final stage.  Due to this uncanny skill, each of his inventions was said by his assistants to have been made correctly the first time, never needing to be revised, and never even leaving a blueprint behind!

Tesla_colorado_adjusted

“I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.” -Nikola Tesla

Another unique thing about his ruling planet Mars being with Ketu and The Moon in the seventh is that this means Mars is “delighted” (mudita, in sanskrit) by the Moon.  The Moon is the ego mind, and when Mars is delighted by the Moon then one has a consciousness that can more easily act on the desires that are specific to it’s particular incarnation.  This also just empowers Mars overall, which is his ruling planet. The moon helping his lagna lord is showing that he has a lot of consciousness to work with.  We know this was the case with his extreme productivity, and his ability to only sleep 2 hours a night and an occasional nap.  Mars is also a planet that when strong, gives one the drive to stay awake all night working, to go hungry all day, or to do whatever it takes to get the job done.  Mars is described in Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra as “Cruel with red eyes…”  As Ernst Wilhelm has explained, we get red eyes when we have been up all night working and not sleeping, and this is the nature of mars, to keep pushing all through the night if he has to.

Life in the public eye- His lagna lord being in the seventh house and seventh sign is significant to his path in life for many reasons. To begin with, he was known to the public, and in the eye of the public. The seventh house is the house of the public as well as a house of foreign lands, and relationships. Having the ascendant lord in the seventh house in good dignity often causes one to live in foreign lands or to be involved in the public in some way.  Libra represents the western direction, where his ascendant lord falls, representing him in action in life.  He did have to travel west to America to leave his legacy for us all to enjoy.  He was well liked by the public and had many worthwhile relationships with prominent figures such as Mark Twain, Swami Vivekananda, and Rudyard Kipling.  Also it is interesting that his sexuality was known to the public, especially back in those days…..perhaps his ascendant lord being in the 7th house and 7th sign also had to do with his sexuality being known to the public.  The 7th house also has to do with our dynasty that we leave for the world and public at large.  In this way the 7th house has to do with the Saptamsha, the 7th divisional chart, which relates to children, the main dynasty that most people will leave for the world.  Jupiter is the key karaka for the Saptamsha, as this planet also relates to children and the dynasty that we leave for the world.  There is a strong double reinforcement in his chart on dealing with leaving some kind of legacy to the world.  One being the lagna lord in the 7th as previously mentioned.  The other being Rahu conjunct Jupiter on the ascendant, showing the focus of his life to be on some kind of dynasty, child, or creation to leave for the world.  His dynasty was much greater than one child. (Perhaps he knew this and it was also a reason for his celibacy, as he was very clairvoyant.) His child is every single light bulb, every single smartphone, every single i-pad or ebook.  His dynasty is this entire modern world we are living in.

 

to be continued in part 2….

 

*There is actually evidence he was not the first human to have laser technology, see the book Ancient Secrets of the Lost Ark by Laurence Gardner, which gives evidence that ancient Egyptians may have used rubies to create lasers from the Sun’s light, which possibly may explain how they were able to cut certain stone materials, but does not explain all of Egypt’s mysteries by any means.

The First and Ninth House and Your Teachers

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Sage Vyasa, compiler of the Vedas and father of Parasara, sitting with Ganesh

There are so many different types of people living in this world, with different temperaments and constitutions.  It seems fitting that there would also be so many different types of spiritual paths, philosophies, or religions that are pursued.  The horoscope of an individual can reveal many of the innate tendencies one may have towards spirituality.

In astrology, there are five elements, Ether (space), Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.  When it comes to the mechanics of the zodiac signs however, there are only four elements, with Ether being left out.  I feel this is because in the context of earthly existence, space is always there, containing and holding all other elements.  It therefore may not be as relevant as the other four when it comes to environments and places we go to, which is what the zodiac signs symbolize.  Ether is the most spiritual element, being closest to the source, and the zodiac is the unconscious manifestation of Vishnu, keyword being “unconscious”.  The signs therefore are not the conscious aspects of God, this is given to the planets.  That is why the planets are deified and described as conscious beings. The signs are given the opposite distinctions, as animal signs, symbolizing the unconscious aspect of Maha Vishnu (God).  It logically follows that the most conscious element (ether or akash) would be left out in the field of the “unconscious limbs of Vishnu” (the zodiac).

With that understood, it is important to see that each of the four elements of the zodiac signs has a certain nature, and is best able to approach truth in a certain particular way, which is most fitting to its own element.  The different spiritual paths all tend to overlap the more they are practiced, but initially one will make the most progress by focusing on the mastery of the one that is most natural to them.

The air and earth signs are both more connected to the senses, and with actual manifested things.  Because of this, they are inclined towards spiritual paths that help one see and realize God in the world, and not as some ideal or principle in life.  The air signs often do well with a bhakti yoga (devotion) or karma yoga (selfless service) approach.  The Earth signs do well with karma yoga, because they naturally want to be of service.  If Mercury is strong and other intelligence yogas are present, then a jnana, or knowledge based path may work out also.  The fire and water signs have more to do with ideas (fire) and feelings (water), which are more invisible things.  These therefore, have more of an affinity for finding God as God really is, as a transcending-worldly-life experience, and not so much as a thing in the world.  The fire element does well with paths that emphasize self control, such as raja yoga or kriya yoga, and also jnana yoga potentially.  The water element does well with a jnana yoga path also as well as a bhakti path.  The water signs are said to be the most spiritually developed, being Satya yuga rasis, and often they will be utilizing all or more than one of these paths, from what I have noticed.

As an example, a Leo has a fiery nature, and because of this, they are meant to act. The fire signs are the warrior caste, or the kshatriyas (pronounced “shaw-tree-ya”), and are the people on earth who are naturally inclined to lead, to protect, and to preserve and uphold the universal order or “dharma”.  They do well with a raja yoga path, or a path that emphasizes purifying actions, discipline, and self control.  Some may (with the best of intentions) emphasize to a strong leo personality the need to surrender themselves to God, and to see everything as god and renounce worldly life and actions in favor of serving a guru; in other words to set them on an initial path of bhakti.  This can sometimes work out but many times it will initially go against the nature of a Leo and cause unnecessary confusion or aversion to the spiritual path… This is because for the Leo/Solar person, it is not the right time and place for that practice, and they don’t feel natural doing this. After doing a decade of raja yoga the Leo person may then be able to practice bhakti w great results, but initially this doesn’t appeal to a fiery nature, and it is better to get them on the right path quickly, to prevent any unneeded suffering.

It is important to follow the path of ones natural inspirations and inclinations.  When we do things out of inspiration (sattva) those are the things that we will do for the rest of our lives, and so that is the best way to approach a spiritual path as well.  If you want to make actual progress and not just have new ideas and terms in your mind to talk about, you need to find the path that is best for you and really anchors you to your destiny.  People who change spiritual paths or religions frequently usually do not make noticeable spiritual progress in that incarnation.  Paramahansa Yogananda said that it is better to dig one deep well when in search of water, than to dig several shallow wells.  It is the same way with self realization.

One thing that astrology has been used for since who knows how long, is helping one understand their path in life, their dharma.  Not everyone’s path will be like the typical “spiritual path” we may think of, but we all are on a path and in the greater context it all leads to the same goal, as all rivers flow towards the sea.  This is what Jyotish can be so helpful towards.  It can show us the path that is laid out for us, and help us see if we are being true to it or not.

Here is a simple technique to see begin to see how this works, but it does not show the full picture, and as such it should not be used as a stand alone technique, but in the context of the whole chart.  The first house represents the person, and the ninth house represents the outcome of walking there path, and therefore represents the gurus or teachers that help guide one along their path in life.  The first and ninth houses will always be the same element, and this shows us that each element has to approach their path and be guided along their path via a sign of the same element, their own nature, and not by another element.  So if you have an Aries lagna, they are a fire sign, and are naturally oriented towards action, discipline, and protecting or defending what is right.  The 9th sign from Aries is always Sagittarius, another fire sign.  This shows that for Aries, its purpose is to act with that fiery inspiration that comes innately to it.  Its gurus (the 9th house), Sagittarius, being fire signs themselves, will naturally encourage a spiritual path based on right actions, (such as a Raja yoga or Kriya yoga path) because that is what worked for them.  This will generally  work well for Aries, and to go and encourage a bhakti yoga path, or a path of detachment, is often “going against the grain” of  an Aries personality.  What is the point of being a warrior and defending what is good in life if even their Guru is telling them to surrender?  Well….there isn’t much point to it, because a ram is meant to ram things, and when the Aries uses these thoughts as fuel and inspiration, he burns out quickly.  That is not the path of an Aries.  Aries is a warrior and is meant to fight the spiritual battle, which is why it is a fire sign and its 9th sign (its gurus and philosophy) is a fire sign as well.  It is true that everything is God and that there is no real good or bad, from one perspective (and there will be other areas of this persons life that require that understanding).  But from the Aries perspective it is really better to have healthy concepts of what is right and what is wrong, and to act with a belief in the purpose of life, and in acting righteously.  When Aries follows its fiery dharma that is innate to it, it finds more fulfillment from walking its path in life.

Now lets take the opposite sign Libra, an air sign.  Air signs are based on intellect, which is using one’s own sense perceptions to gather intelligence.  This is different from Aries, which is a fire sign and based off of intuition.  Aries just “sees” how it is.  It just knows instantly, without the use of senses, which is the definition of intuition.  Libra is not like this, Libra, and all air signs, use intellect, or the senses, to understand life.  So each Libra will see an idea differently because of their own individual perspective in life, what their own senses have come to.  The 9th sign from Libra is Gemini, another air sign, showing that the outcome of the Libras path is based on one’s own personal sense based intellectual understanding.  This is why Libra does great with a path of detachment, or a path of bhakti (devotional surrender to God), because both of these approaches focus on purifying the intellectual perceptions until one begins to perceive God as manifested in everything.  So for Libra, it is great for it to see everything as God, to simply surrender to God, and to have a sense of even-mindedness and detachment around what happens in life, and how one understands life.  Libra is the 7th sign, the midway point of the zodiac, and as such, is the sign of karmic balancing.  This is symbolized by the scales.  The Libra is meant to weigh their experiences with detachment and understand that what is happening is what is being handed to them by life, to best balance out their karma.  They shouldn’t fight it (but Aries should, remember).  So the Libra does not have to “do” anything as much as an Aries does.  The Libra has already been “doing” in its previous lives (when it was an Aries for example) , and is now coming to the stage of “accepting” one might say.  Thus Parashara states that the best planets for Libra are Mercury and Saturn.  These are the planets that are the most helpful for us to have a sense of detachment, and accept life how it is, so that we may best serve life the way we are meant to.  And now we can see why a path of devotional surrender to the will of God (bhakti) or a path of detachment (jnana) are great avenues for the Libra to walk its spiritual path.  If the Libra was to only follow a Raja yoga path, and renounced the world to go live in a forest and meditate unceasingly, this would only serve to enlarge the Libra ego by giving it too much focus on itself, rather than focusing on purifying the heart through love and service to others, which is the natural path of the airy Libra.

Hopefully these examples will give some insight into the value of using Astrology to help one understand the path in life they are walking.  Each sign has its own particular path that is most suited to it in the rasi chart, the first varga, or divisional chart.  That’s just the beginning though. In Vedic Astrology, there are 15 other charts that are used, and so there are many other ascendant signs, for many other areas of life, all with different elements and different outcomes.  So different mental approaches will be better for different areas of life and for different people. The example given above is simple, but in actuality it can get quite complex when we start using all the other vargas, as well as the Atmakaraka.

 

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.