Category Archives: astrology

Holidays in November for the Dead

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

These holidays are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A New Study Complements Ancient Astrology.

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

The Huffington post article explains that the study found:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Astrology and Etymology

Astrology– “the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world”

Etymology – “the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history”


There are deep astrological roots behind the etymology of many of our commonly used English words.  It is a funny thing how a word can originate and also how it can evolve.  Take for example, how the word “cool” can mean something colder, or just something likable, which may even be hot in temperature.  Quite a few of our common English words have origins or connections to Astrology, and I think this would be even more noticeably the case if the study of the heavenly bodies had been more tolerated during the rise of Christianity.Zodiac_Medieval

The skilled and competent Astrologers were some of the more knowledgeable people of their day in medieval Europe and Renaissance times, as well as in other cultures and other times.  Its important to remember that in order to erect horoscopes before the time of computers, you had to have a great deal of mathematical skill and knowledge that simply would not be known, much less comprehended by the common man.  Do you remember all that sign, co-sign and tangent stuff that had to be done in geometry class in high school to calculate arcs? What was the point of that?  There really would be no point of learning that type of mathematical skill in the old days unless you were trying to make astronomical calculations dealing with calculating the arcs of planets, signs, and houses.  And at this time astronomy and astrology were much more the same science, done by the same people.  Add to this that to be skilled at the interpretation of a chart, you not only would have to be mathematically skilled, but would have to be also somewhat intuitive and quite subtle in your thinking.  Hence, an astrologer is one who is naturally using both the right and left hemispheres of the brain, and using them together, and therefore someone who is developing their consciousness very actively.  The study of astrology itself is of far greater value than an individual horoscope reading because of this reason.  This is why it makes sense that the astrological community would have such an influence on the development of the English language, as not everyone was able to write, back in the olden days, and often it was only the educated folk that had this privilege.  Many of these educated folk were astrological enthusiasts or were quite curious about the whole idea…There was no television or netflix back in those days.  The myths and stories of the gods and goddesses were beautifully intertwined with the studied observations of the heavens, and this was and still can be a far more gratifying form of storytelling in my opinion.

sun god zodiacMuch of the great European scientists of the past were also practicing Astrologers, such as the obvious Johannes Kepler, a key figure in the scientific revolution who developed the first astronomical telescope and proved Copernicus’s theory of the planets revolving around the Sun.  Kepler actually did do astrological readings for people professionally, and also had many interesting theories about the connection of weather to astrology.  But this is often not mentioned in history books.  Skeptics of astrology have even gone so far as to say that Kepler faked his astrology practice in an attempt to satisfy people when he needed to make money.  It seems strange that people who respect this man would rather themselves believe that he was a con artist than a believer in astrology!

Kepler paved the way for Isaac Newton’s theory of universal gravitation.  Newton was also an astrologer and an occultist, once being quoted in defense of astrology to Edmund Halley (another astronomer whom Halley’s comet is named after) saying “I have studied the matter.  You sir, have not. ”

Galileo, the man called the “father of modern science” and “father of modern physics”, was also an astrologer, and further improved the Telescope, and also discovered the moons of Jupiter, as well as many other achievements.

Then when we look at the roots of European literature itself, the many plays of Shakespeare are full of astrological references, the most notable would probably be the term “star-crossed lovers”, from Romeo and Juliet, indicating lovers whose karmic conditions were not in harmony to produce an ideal relationship.  Hence, their “Stars” were “crossed”.  Also the character Mercutio should sound familiar, as he was not a capulet or romulet, and so moved freely from house to house (like the most mixed and dual planet his name is taken from).  And lets not forget the famous warning that Caesar was given by the Astrologer to “beware the ides (middle) of March”.  There are dozens and dozens of other astrological references in the plays of Shakespeare, and also in the The Canterbury Tales  by Jeffrey Chaucer, both of which are actually a bit older than the renaissance time.  These writings are classics of European society, and because of this they are very telling of what the intellectual community was interested in at the time.  And language is such a funny thing, it adapts over time and changes so easily.  Perhaps that is why the planet which rules speech and language, Mercury, is the most changeable and mixed planet.  Mercury is also the name for a metal that is liquid at room temperature, and thus very changeable which is quite odd in the context of metals.

With all this in mind, I decided to put together a list of common English words that have origins that come from various cultures or other languages, but are astrological in nature, to help elucidate the point that astrology was so much a part of life to humans that it still can be seen in our speech.  We should not be so quick to discredit astrology in our dawning scientific age, but remember that this was one of the original sciences and its influence has likely survived for a good reason.

I am no expert on linguistics or etymology, so I am unable to provide the source of many of these connections.  Some of these I have read of, some I have thought of myself, and others I have been told by friends.  Feel free to add any other astrological word connections you have noticed in the comments section below.

  1. The Sun -soul- The latin word for the Sun is “Sol” which means “Sun”.  This is where we get the word “soul” because the Sun represents the soul in the birth chart.
  2. The Moon –Month-mind-man- the Moon revolves around the zodiac once each month, and is the reason we traditionally divide time up into months of roughly 30 days. This may come via the proto indo european root “menon”.  This is also likely where the term “menstruation” comes from.  The moons relationship to the menstruation cycle is well known. The moon is said to be the “Manas” (Sense mind) in Sanskrit.  This is supposedly the root of the word “mind”, as well as “man”.  Also the term lunar, used to indicate the moon’s influence, is the origin of the word lunatic, or looney.  This is due to the well known influence the full and new moon has on our emotions.  Anyone who has worked in an ER before can confirm that on full moons and new moons there are far more accidents, more domestic violence, more arrests, more burglaries, etc.  It is because the Moon represents the ego-mind, and when it is full it is opposite the Sun, the true self, so our ego is furthest away and at odds with our true self.  The earth is right in between this monthly sun and moon opposition, and in a sense, it is like we feel pulled strongly in opposite directions at this full moon time.  If the entire ocean can be pulled in a direction because of the moon, it is no surprise that we can feel pulled to act a certain way we otherwise would not, when we consider that our bodies are 75% water.
  3. Mars -martial-ire- From Mars we get the word martial, meaning war-like.  This is obviously related to the warrior planet.  “Ire” comes from “irasya” (“ill will”, Sanskrit) and is said to be related to “Aries”, the greek god of war.
  4. Mercury -merchant-mercantile-migration- These words likely stem from the latin Merx.  Mercury is a planet of travel, hence migration, and is of the vaishya caste, or the merchant class.  He rules over artisans and the development of skills.  Also, the word mercurial is obvious but worth mentioning, as it means something easily changed, or volatile, as mercury is the most changeable planet, as mentioned previously.
  5. Jupiter – jovian-joyful- The roman word for Jupiter is Jove, and is the root of the terms jovial, and joyful.  Jupiter is the most optimistic and positive of the seven grahas.
  6. Venus – veneration-venison-venom- The proto Indo European root word Ven meaning “to strive after” is likely the origin of these words.  Veneration means respect and awe for the greatness in someone, and a strong Venus helps us really appreciate the worth in an individual, so we can see the connection.  Venison means “the game of the hunt”, and Venus represents what we desire.  Venom is more difficult to understand the origin of, but perhaps it is because in some cultures venom is sought after for special rejuvenation properties.  Venus does rule the bodies ability to regenerate and recuperate, so that is a possible, but speculative connection. Also some say that the English word Star comes from the Babylonian word Ishtar, the name of the deity they associated with Venus.  This makes sense also because Venus is the brightest planet in the sky, and can look a lot like a star.  Venus rules sexual intercourse and the number related to Venus is the number six.  The latin word for six is sex, and so a sexagenarian is someone who is over sixty years old.  We obviously know the term sex more nowadays as the term for sexual intercourse which is the domain of Venus.
  7. Saturn-chronological-chronic-anachronism-chronicle- The Greek god related to Saturn was named Chronos, also known as the God of time.  Saturn takes the longest to revolve around the zodiac at 30 years compared to the sun which does this in 1 year.  Saturn therefore, rules over things that take a long time, and old things.  His afflictions are said to stick with people for a longer period of time, due to his slow movement.  Here we can see why Saturn rules over chronic illnesses.  Also the word sapphire is said to come from the sanskrit “Sanipriyah” – meaning “precious to Saturn”, because he has traditionally been considered to relate to this gem.

another interesting one:  consider- most likely from Latin con (“with”) and sider (“stars”), meaning “to consult the stars”.  Originally this term meant only “to examine”.  This implies how closely connected astrology was to important considerations of antiquity.