Prashna is a method of divination that uses the position of the planets at the moment a question is asked to the Astrologer. By studying the chart of the heavens above, one gains special insight on the coinciding situations happening down below on Earth. This system was also used in the in Persian, Hellenistic, and Medieval Western Astrological traditions as well as in India. The North Indian Tajika system of Prashna is, in fact, a more perfectly preserved version of the exact same system as used in Persia many centuries ago. Tajika itself even refers to a region of Persia known as Tajikistan, so there should be no misunderstanding here. It is really a wonderful thing that this system has been preserved and was not lost completely to time, like much of the western and eastern astrological traditions.
Please enjoy this two-part video series on Prashna, and why scientists would actually appreciate and, dare I say, want to begin to consider looking at this very intricate system of divination.
In this first part, I elaborate on what “Prashna” means, and how it works. It gives an objective yes or no answer to questions, which should be appreciated. Too often Astrology is ignored because people think it cannot offer objective answers to questions, but rather think it only offers vague statements about our psychological states that anyone could relate to at some point in life. That is a misnomer.
In part 2, I give some actual examples of how I have used Prashna in my own personal life to answer very practical and useful questions, such as where a lost object is, and if I will find it or not.
Please enjoy these videos, and subscribe to keep updated on more to come. I have a lot of interesting videos planned for the future, so stay tuned!
(Also, forgive me for the low production value at present. I just began to make videos, but in time the audio and editing will improve. I know they are not the best quality videos on youtube for astrology at present, but I hope you can appreciate the content nonetheless.)
A 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.
“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!
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.
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 postarticle 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– “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”
THE INFLUENCE OF ASTROLOGY ON THE COMMON ENGLISH LANGUAGE
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.
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.
Much 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The sanskrit word for astrology and astronomy is “Jyotish”. “Jyoti” means “light” and “ish” means “God” or “the supreme spirit”. This ancient Indian word gets right to the core of the matter by saying that astrology/astronomy is the study and classification of God’s Light and its influence on life. So this is a great term, but there is already too many confusing foreign terms for the average astrological client in the west, and so the more common name of “Vedic Astrology” will suffice for now.
Vedic Astrology is the main term currently being used for the system of astrological philosophy and methodology that originated in the vedic philosophical tradition of ancient India. It is also sometimes called Hindu Astrology or Yogic Astrology, or Siddha Astrology. The term “vedic” seems to fit the best, in my opinion, for several reasons:
1) The word “Veda” or “Vedic” roughly means “the accurately revealed knowledge” but it also means “that knowledge which is eternal and true”. The culture of India and the Religion of Hinduism (also called Sanatan Dharma, a more accurate term), is based on the holy teachings of the “Vedas”, ancient scriptures which contain the eternal truth of life. So the aim of the religious Hindu is to “know the Veda” or “know the eternal truth of life”. So essentially the word Veda means “the truth”, or “the Knowledge”.
So to call astrology “Vedic Astrology”, means that one is practicing an astrology based on revealed Truth, or “Veda”. Truth is truth, and is not confined to one particular culture or time period…. Not even the Vedic culture! Some may not like me saying this, but Vedic Astrology can be practiced by anyone anywhere, regardless of whether they have any knowledge of Sanatan Dharma, or Hinduism, as it is commonly called. The knowledge is within us all and can be accessed by anyone.
2) The word “vedic” can also mean “science” as science is a way to gain accurate knowledge that can be replicated and is relatively consistent. Jyotish, or Vedic Astrology, has the potential to be a “super science”, in that it can help one gain information on any other department of life. Eventually it will get back to that place of prominence, but at its current state, Jyotish is just beginning to re-emerge out of the dark ages, when the knowledge was almost entirely lost. It will take time and much more research before it can rightly be considered a science, but it is scientific in its nature. As time goes on we will not have to rely as much upon intuition, and will more and more have a methodical and scientific framework to use along with intuition.