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Saturn in Sagittarius – “A fall from a height”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Atmakaraka and the Navamsa Part 2

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Atmakaraka and the Navamsa part 1

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

Saturn and Mars Interview with Ryan Kurczak

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

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

 

 

The Significance of the “Ides of March”

César_(13667960455)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Christmas from the Astrology Viewpoint

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

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

The Sun Moves North on the Winter Solstice

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

How this relates to Christianity

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

How this relates to Hinduism

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

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

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

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

snowqueenbycharlesrobinson

Snow Queen by Charles Robinson

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

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

Aquarius Linked to Celebrities, Study Finds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Aries and the Active Expression of Virtue.

“The active expression of virtue gives rise to the keenest intelligence.” – Sri Yukteswar  (1855-1936)

 

sri_yukteswar_by_yogananda

Swami Sri Yukteswar, a self realized yogi and astrologer.

The above quote by the yogi Swami Sri Yukteswar is ripe with spiritual and astrological truth.  When we act virtuously, we start to see things more clearly and intelligently.  Likewise, when we really know something our actions tend to demonstrate that knowledge in a natural fashion.  This can be attractive and appealing to see someone like this.  It is possibly for this reason that saints and mystics often seem so attractive or magnetizing to spiritual seekers, because they have gone through a great range of experience and their actions naturally demonstrate such experience in a spontaneous way.  Also in the opposite sense, when we think we know something but really do not, our actions can be a clear give away of our lack of knowledge.  There is a clear relationship that can be seen here when we look at the zodiac, between our “active expression of virtue” and the development of intelligence within us.

To fully see this relationship, lets clear up a few things about intelligence in the context of an astrological chart.  When I am speaking about intelligence, I mean specifically the ability to arrive at the correct conclusion, to arrive at truth.  And in life we see that different methods can be used to arrive at the same correct conclusion.  Some people use logic to figure something out, others use feeling and emotions to figure the same thing out and get the same conclusion.  In the same way, each planet has a unique type of intelligence that it expresses.  For example, Mars would be the intelligence of logic.  Venus is the intelligence of poetry, the ability to grasp the meaning behind the words, the real heart of the message.  This post will not go into each planets intelligence, which would require an entire post in itself.

With this having been said, all the grahas give intelligence but the main one that Astrologers tend to emphasize is Mercury, as he rules the “buddhi”, the Intellect.  But when we read the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, the Sage Parashara gives the descriptions of the different planets.  In this, he does not describe Mercury as being intelligent necessarily.   He does start off, however, by saying that the Sun is intelligent.  This is very interesting.  He gives many complements to Mercury as well as the other grahas but does not assign intelligence to Mercury, and instead gives it to the Sun.  So the implication is that the Sun is the real planet that thinks through situations and arrives at truth.  (In case you were wondering, he describes the Moon as “All knowing”, which is similar to how many western astrologers attribute the Moon to a pyschic, right brain type of ability to arrive at truth)

I have noticed in studying charts that when Mercury is joined the Sun, which is happening 1/3 of the time anyway, then Mercury gives intelligence yes.  This is also called a Budha Aditya Yoga, which is said to give intelligence amongst other things.  When not connected to the Sun however, I do not necessarily see Mercury giving intelligence in the sense of arriving at truth.  (I can hear the astrologers gasping while reading this…bear with me)  Now if strong, this person’s Mercury will still be able to cognize quite well, and of course still be able to memorize and organize data very well.  This person may speak very fast and sharply and come off as very smart and intelligent.  They may have lots of information to articulate and be multi-talented and skillful.  But that is where we get mistaken.  Those qualities are not intelligence.  One can organize information extremely well, regardless of whether it is true or untrue information.  One can be very multi talented and know a lot of things but still miss the truth of life, and the truth of any given situation.  These days we sometimes seem to mistake having information about something with having intelligence, or knowledge of that thing.  These are different words and have different meanings.  Nowadays people consider having googled something to equate to having “knowledge” of that thing.  They are mistaken.  When you read old books the word “knowledge” did not mean “information” and was never used in that context.  It meant experience and the direct knowing of something that one gets from experiencing it for themselves.  For example, you know that you are you, and you don’t have to look that up or ask anyone else to convince you of being yourself, because you know this from experience.  This would be “knowledge”, as opposed to “information”.

So while Mercury gives the intellect, that intellect can see things a million different ways and until one is Self-Realized there is no promise that Mercury will give the intelligence to see the real truth in life.  That is the “keenest intelligence” that Sri Yukteswar is referring to, and that, as Parashara states, emanates from the Sun.

How we see this in the Zodiac  

We can see how and why the Sun would give this intelligence by examining the mechanics of the zodiac itself.  Aries is the sign of virtue, action, inspiration and nobility.  Thus, Aries is the sign of the “active expression of virtue” that Sri Yukteswar mentions. The Sun gets exalted here, meaning it is the strongest it can possibly be.  So the highest or “keenest intelligence” (The strongest the Sun can be) is brought about by developing the qualities of Aries, the “active expression of virtue”.  Pretty cool huh?

Also from the sign of Aries, the Sun rules the 5th house from there, Leo.  The 5th house is said to be the house of the mind, and the intelligence we use to manage our lives.  So when we act virtuously in order to manage our lives more effectively, that is like the Aries, putting the 5th lord, the Sun, in the first house, of one’s action and expression, and in this case the sign of the same things, Aries.  And what does that do?  That makes the Sun exalted, as strong as it can be.  And when the Solar force is strongest the innate intelligence we have is strongest, and we can be “King” of our life.  This is the logic and mechanics behind this great quote from Sri Yukteswar.  He was also an advanced Jyotishi, so perhaps he was aware of this connection in the zodiac as well as in his real life experience.

This is the Astrological reason why, at least on planet Earth, we can have all kinds of ideas or information, and we may think it to be true or not true…But until we apply it in our lives and act from it, and see the result, we do not really know if that information or idea is true or not. Remember that real intelligence is brought about by virtuous actions.  The results of this truth are very evident in the spiritual growth world nowadays.  Many people  can absorb spiritual ideas quickly, and can read spiritual texts and understand them very well, but don’t apply the truths in day to day life nearly enough, and then wonder why they haven’t experienced authentic spiritual growth.  The people who shine with spiritual happiness are the people who have applied spiritual truths in their lives, and in their day to day actions, and have expressed these virtues in real time, not just on the internet or in their minds.  We have to apply what we learn or we get a sort of “mental indigestion”. This happens when we just go about reading one after another metaphysical, or spiritual self help book, but never implement it into daily life.  For this we need the strength of the Sun and Mars, the two warrior caste/fire element planets to give us the courage to act virtuously.  This is also where a jyotish reading can help someone, because if we see that they are a spiritual seeker, but the Sun and Mars are afflicted, they probably have difficulties with actively expressing virtues. In this case we can advise certain mantras, gemstones, meditations, behavior adjustments, and other remedial measures to combat this negative karma and make the best of the situation at hand.  In this way we can see why Jyotish was such a beloved tool of Yogis seeking Self-Realization, as it reveals the obstacles that are in the way of experiencing the goal of our incarnation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the sign of Cancer all about?

At the time of this writing, the Sun is making its yearly pass through the tropical sign of Cancer (June 21-July 22).  It seems an appropriate time to discuss the qualities of this sign, and its ruler, the Moon.  In Astrology, each planet rules both a positive and a negative sign (or Rasi, in sanskrit) except for the Sun and the Moon. The Sun only rules the masculine sign of Leo, and the Moon likewise only rules the feminine sign of Cancer.  This means that the Sun is the most masculine force in the solar system, and that the Moon is the most feminine force in the solar system.  The Moon is the only aspect of consciousness that is 100% receptive and feminine.  This is the key to understanding the nature of the Moon’s sign, Cancer.

At the point on June 21st that the Sun stops appearing to move north is when the sign of Tropical Cancer is said to have begun.  At this point the Sun appears to not move north but not necessarily move south either…it appears to stall in its point on the ecliptic.  Then it eventually starts to move back south for six months until December 21st on the winter solstice.  This movement is similar to how a crab will move sideways in one direction for a point, and then stop for a moment, only to move back the other way.  The nature of the Moon and its sign Cancer can behave in a very similar way.  People with the ascendant, Moon, or Sun in Cancer are often said to be emotional, moody, fickle, and to change about as quickly as the Moon changes.  One day the Moon is full, a few days later it appears almost empty.  So Cancer can be a sign that on the positive can be quite adaptable, but on the negative side can lack consistency.  We can see why this is because the rasi, or sign of Cancer is the exact point where the Sun, the most stable and consistent force we can see, begins to change motion and direction.  This is very unlike the Sun.  The Sun is the opposite of the Moon’s changeable nature.  The Sun rises and sets like clockwork and is thus what creates the zodiac and the seasons on Earth as we know it.  This point where the Sun changes direction and begins to move back south is very significant, and marks the beginning of summer for the northern hemisphere, where most humans live.

Cancer is therefore the most feminine, Yin, or receptive sign we could say.  Cancer time is thus a good time to stop and enjoy life, and be receptive to all that nature is providing for us at this time.  Its the sign of the Mother, and our family environment and emotional life. Its also the sign of our happiness and contentment overall.  It is more easy and natural to feel provided for and nurtured by life at this time, especially if one has their own garden which is plentiful for most at this time (gardens are another thing that is ruled by cancer).

The Moon is also the ego-mind, and its placement shows what we are comfortable with in life.  If one has the Moon with Mars, one will be more comfortable with aggression and confrontation.  If one has the Moon with Venus they may be the opposite, and be only comfortable with polity and beauty.  Assessing the Moon is how we can see what one will attract by the nature of their own thinking and emotional reactions.

People with a strong Moon, or Moon as the atmakaraka (planet with highest degrees in the chart), or well dignified benefics in Cancer (such as Jupiter) often have a great amount of grace in their life when it comes to this receptivity.  They are the types of people that can really benefit from techniques of creative imagination, and activities that deal with trying to attract things into one’s life.  The truth is that not everyone has the karmic good merit to just pick up a book like the Law of Attraction, apply its principles and actually see a great deal of change in their life…But many people do, and thats why they find that book.  Many others dont though, and many more never pick up that type of book.  This may be because their Moon is not as robust and so they dont have this ability or see this possibility of receptivity.  In that case, they could benefit from developing skills like mental affirmations, and creative imagination.  But each person’s karmic situation is different, and many are meant to make their wealth through hard earned work, or through various means.  This is what Astrology is used for, to shine light on the karmic strengths and weaknesses one has… So if you are skilled at attracting things into your life, now is a great month to exercise that ability!  If you are wanting to develop that skill, this month is a great month to work on that.  Creative imagination, mental affirmations, meditation, prayer and pranayama, and fasting from negative thoughts are some great Cancer/Moon-related ways to attract more good things into one’s life.  This is an overall great month for trying to develop that Lunar side in all of us.

 

Why is Saturn Related to Brahma?

“Vahni (Fire), Ambu (Water), Shikhija (Skanda), Vishnu, Vidauja (Indra), Sachi, and Ka (Brahma), O’ Twice Born, from the Sun and the other Grahas in their order are known the Devas.” – Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra Chapter 3:18

This quote is from a foundation text of Vedic Astrology, the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, on the allotment of different deities to the Grahas (The Sanskrit word for the planets).  These are not the only associations that the Grahas have to different deities, however.  It should be remembered that all the many deities of Hinduism are considered to act through the agency of the different Grahas for their purposes and responsibilities as custodians of the various forces of nature on Planet Earth.  So while this list is not meant to be the only correlation of Deities to Grahas, it is a very insightful list to consider, shedding much valuable information on the nature of the different energies of the Planets.  In this post, for brevity’s sake, we will just be focusing on Saturn’s correlation to Brahma as it is quite interesting to contemplate.

This relation of Saturn to Brahma is very confusing and hard to understand for most.  If you study Jyotish you are probably already wondering where I am going with this, but lets first make sure we understand a little about Saturn.  He is in many ways the toughest planet to understand… Saturn rules death, lack, loss, negative karma, disease, depression, sorrow, and those things we must do that we are not good at doing.  When well placed in the birth chart, He is the planet that does the hardest jobs that no one else cares to do.  He does it without concern for himself and just for the sake of others. When Saturn is weak one is not able to do the hard things they know they must do for success and therefore usually are not very successful in the world, as most successful people in the world didn’t get that way by avoiding or not wanting to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty.  Saturn is the one who does that. Jaimini says that if Saturn is in the 10th from the swamsha (atmakaraka in navamsa) the person will live a life of “accomplished deeds”.  Meaning this person gets things done in the world.

Mythological image of Brahma.  Depicted with four heads, each continually reciting one of the four vedas.  Even his mythological image seems much more busy at work like Saturn, when compared to Vishnu and Shiva who are both mythologically seen lounging on a coiled serpent, or sitting in blissful samadhi.

Mythological image of Brahma. Depicted with four heads, each continually reciting one of the four vedas. Even his mythological image seems much more busy at work like Saturn, when compared to Vishnu and Shiva who are both mythologically seen lounging on a coiled serpent, or sitting in blissful samadhi.

The word for the absolute God without attributes is Brahman in Hinduism.  The names of the threefold aspect of God as Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer are Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva respectively.  This correlates to Christianity and its holy trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, actually.  Brahma is the God of creation, he creates but does not get involved with creation and does not destroy or transform it, those are Vishnu and Shiva’s roles… Everybody knows that, so what is my point?  Well Saturn is not the planet of creativity, so you would think Jupiter or Sun would be related to the creative aspect of God (Brahma).  But they arent… Why is that?

I am not asserting to know exactly why that is, but here are some interesting ideas about why that may be the case:

Brahma is the force that releases just the right finite amount of God’s infinite potential of energy to create a galaxy and cause creation to occur.  Too much or too little of God’s infinite potentiality would cause tremendous imbalances in the grand scheme of the creation… So Brahma is that force which releases just the right amount of energy, but not too much.  In this way we can see that for creation to occur most perfectly from God’s standpoint, there needs to be a Saturnian element of restraint involved for the creation to be harmonious and properly balanced…If new worlds were constantly created before the old ones got destroyed then everything would be off and their would be less purpose to creation.  In a smaller way this is why I think the yogic guidelines Patanjali gave in the Yoga Sutras called one of the Yamas “Brahmacharya”.  In plain english, this is one of the 10 do’s and dont’s of Raja/Kriya Yoga and it is normally translated as “celibacy”.  This is a bad job of translating though.  Brahma means God’s creative energy, and Charya means “going, driving”.  So it simply means “going the way that God goes”.  And God doesn’t waste It’s creative energy in frivolous sexual pursuits.  So Brahmacharya really means to use one’s creative energy wisely and like God would, so as not to waste the spiritual force generated from Yoga practice.  Its true that sexual over-indulgence is the fastest way to waste that force for most people and so this is why it has slowly come to mean that, though it really means much more.  Talking excessively, being on social media unnecessarily, and eating bad foods that take too much energy to digest are just as obvious and popular ways of wasting one’s spiritual force in this modern age as sexual indulgence is.  And in the same way but on a smaller level, when Saturn is strong in a birth chart that individual will usually be much more focused on important works and not be as easily distracted or waste its energy on over-socializing, overeating, or overstimulation in general.  And so from the perspective of God it may be more that creation is not real, it is an illusion, but it is Brahma/Saturn’s job to continue this illusion for the purpose of individuals to grow beyond whatever separates them from God and to eventually unite with God.  So in this sense creation is very much an “Accomplished Deed” and thus related to Saturn.  Also we must remember that we dont incarnate unless there is some Karmic debt (Saturn) that must be worked out.  Even having too much good karma can cause a need to reincarnate and live an awesome life, which happens often for Saints and Yogis.  Even this is still a karmic debt that must be spent before the positive and negative karmic-balancing scale can go back to zero and one can finally become liberated.  Its like a bank account balance, it has to be zero to close out (get liberated), so a positive balance must be spent in an incarnation, and a negative balance must be worked off in an incarnation.  So when we see that Creation is actually just this path we must navigate to get beyond our lack and separation, and to merge back with God, we can see how similar it is to Saturn’s astrological role.

Here is another way to see how creation is related to Saturn, and this is basically paraphrasing what Ernst Wilhelm has written in his book Graha Sutras, so all credit goes to him on this perspective:  In order to have creation, the Absolute God must hide himself and be “veiled” in order to make creation seem real and separate from himself.  The veil is called “maya” in sanskrit and is created by each person’s “Avidya”- the ignorance of their soul nature as pure Spirit.  Saturn is responsible for each person’s ignorance and so this is how we can see his connection to creation from the perspective of having to create illusion/separation/lack from our real Self.  Ernst even goes so far as to say that Saturn rules the flow of life force into the nerves, making us sense things as cold/hot, fast/slow, dark/bright, etc. and not as God essentially.  So in this way Brahma requires and uses Saturn to create the world and the ignorance of our soul nature that so often accompanies our incarnation.

Another interesting factor is that Brahma is the most neglected of the trinity by far, as there are very few temples to Him and He is hardly mentioned compared to Vishnu and Shiva.  Saturn is similarly always the most neglected planet as well!  This is really because Saturn is misunderstood, and gets blamed for being the worst planet, but it is really because He has the most enemies from the standpoint of the lajjitaadi avasthas, and so therefore on average will be the weakest and most afflicted planet.  So then when his dasa or transits occur, we experience those weaknesses and difficulties.  But this is not because Saturn wants to wreck our life, it is because our Saturn is often not strong enough to deal with all the negative karma that we have and so during his periods there are difficulties.