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The Significance of the “Ides of March”

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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

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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)

 

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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.

What is Taurus all about?

At the time of this writing, it is May 4th, 2015, and the Sun is making its regular pass through the second sign of the zodiac, Taurus.  With this in mind, I would like to share some general information about the zodiac with particular emphasis on the meaning and symbolism of this second sign and how it relates to human life on earth.

The time the Sun passes through the zodiacal sign of Taurus is between April 20th and May 20th, and it is this same time every year, as the course of the Sun is completely fixed and has not altered in any observable way in the past.  The Sun’s apparent movement through the sky is what creates the seasons and the environments on life as we know them to be.  Each sign’s duration is exactly 30 degrees, or days long, and the Sun moves through each of these regularly and consistently.  In this way, the zodiac is created and begins on March 20th (same time as the moment spring begins, its the same thing) with Aries the ram, and then on April 20th moves to Taurus, followed by Gemini beginning on May 20th, and so on.  In this way the course of the Sun throughout the year is permanently fixed and consistent, and this is why the Sun rules Kings, constancy, commitment, as well as being steadfast in one’s purpose (Dharma in sanskrit).

The first sign Aries is ruled by Mars, because it is the moment that the days begin to get longer, and there is more daylight on Earth than darkness.  Thus it makes sense to have this sign ruled by the warrior of the zodiac, Mars, as he is the one who cuts away the darkness and brings in the light of inspiration and courage to welcome spring.  Spring is not usually in full swing by this time however, but everything in nature is bursting forth from the ground and eager to receive more light.  It is not until around the time of April 20th- May 20th that most of the landmass on Earth has warmed up sufficiently to have flowers blooming, and for the average human to be able to enjoy spending time in nature.  This is essentially what the sign (or rasi, in sanskrit) of Taurus is all about, being able to enjoy life as well as being productive and providing something to life in return.  Taurus is ruled by Venus, the planet that is about enjoying life on earth, the planet that also gives us divine love, artistic inspiration and appreciation (but not skill, that is Mercury’s job), poetry, beauty, flowers, the ability to make decisions that lead to the highest fulfillment… These are all things that relate to and are ruled by Venus in all branches of Astrology.  Now we can see why this time would be ruled by Venus, because its the first time in about half a year that most people on the Earth can even enjoy spending any time in nature without having to deal with the harshness of the elements, be it snow, wind or just extreme cold.  At this time the elements are more harmonious in general for most of the people on Earth, and Venus rules harmony in Astrology.

Each sign of the zodiac also relates to a part of the body as well.  Aries represents the forehead and top of the head, where the higher brain and crown chakra reside.  Aries is the sign of ideas, inspirations, and intuition.  In occult philosophy and yogic philosophy, the higher brain centers along with the crown chakra are where our higher intuitions come from, and the more developed this region is through meditation, the more effortlessly those inspirations come through. Along with this, the Sun which rules the Soul and the higher self (Atma in Sanskrit) is exalted in this sign.  No wonder the “King” of the zodiac (Sun) is exalted, or most strong, in the sign that relates to the “crown” chakra.

Taurus rules the section of the body from the eyes down to the rest of the face.  This fits with Venus as this is the part of our body that we enjoy life from, and Venus again is the planet that is about enjoying life.  This is the part of the body that we eat from, speak from, and kiss from.  Its a part of the body that matters to us whether it is beautiful or not.  No one looks at the knees and makes a judgement about beauty, because Venus does not rule the knees. The knees are ruled by Saturn, and its not important for him to be beautiful in order to fulfill his cosmic role.  The sign of Taurus also represents the food we eat, and our wealth capacity, both things that help us enjoy life.  We may also note that for most parts of the world, this is the first time that there is any available food that is fresh and enjoyable to eat, which was probably much more appreciated back in the days when most people’s winter reserves were running quite low by April.  Again we can see the grace of Venus being felt quite naturally in our consciousness at this time.

Hopefully one can now have a better feel for what this time of Taurus is all about.  It is a time to be enjoying life on earth, as well as finding ways to provide for ourselves and loved ones in a healthy and holistic way.

Symbolism of the Aquarius Rasi

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

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

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

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

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

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

How they deal with the emptiness

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

 

Astrological Reflections on Nikola Tesla

tesla pic

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!

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“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.

Mercury and “Middling in the affairs of others”

The etymology of words can be very fascinating, especially in the astrological context.  A surprising amount of our old astrological knowledge has been forgotten in this current age; yet our very own English language still preserves clues to it, when we know the astrological language that birthed these words.  See my previous blog on astrological word origins for more on this.  One example I find fascinating is how in English speaking countries there is a negative saying about when someone is getting too curious about things that are not any of their business to be knowing about.  We say that person shouldnt be “middling in the affairs of others”.  The word middling means of medium or intermediate size, and so to be middling in the affairs of others is to be concerned with affairs of others that arent really important which often leads to unneeded gossip, or back biting, and does not usually bring about a productive result.  This term is never used when one is genuinely inquiring about how they can help someone in a serious way.  This term is used when one is more likely just curious and potentially seeking self-aggrandizement by comparing themselves to another.

The reason this is so interesting to me is because if there ever was a middle type of planet, it would be Mercury.  He is the most mixed and intermediate planet in many ways, being malefic when with malefic planets and benefic when close to benefic planets.   He rules, is exalted in, and is fallen in ONLY dual signs (which have both masculine and feminine qualities), showing how pronounced his dual nature naturally is.  Mercury rules one’s curiosity, and whether one has a healthy sense of curiosity, or whether they use this faculty to simply “middle in the affairs of others”.  And so a person with a weak Mercury may find themselves with a somewhat unhealthy sense of curiosity and can therefore get themselves into trouble with gossip or backbiting.

Let me elaborate on this point further.  Mercury is very much in the middle of things, and he likes the harmony that being in the middle can provide.  He doesnt like to choose a side, so much so that in a negative state mercury people are often stereotyped as “two-faced”, when they are usually just trying to maintain a good harmony with everyone they associate with, but may fail to really express how they truly feel to the person (which can cause problems down the line).

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

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

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