Ketu in Vedic Astrology

Ketu in Vedic Astrology

Ketu is. the south node in Vedic astrology. The lunar nodes are the points where the orbits of the sun moon and earth lineup in three-dimensional space. The South lunar node is the trailing node, whereas the North node is the leading node.

Evaluating the South but astrologically is quite tricky. It has to do with things from the past – past lives, things we have forgotten from our childhood, things that are buried in hidden. As such, many times these show hidden skills and latent abilities that we didn’t know we had – until we are forced to use them.

We tend to avoid the qualities of the South node, because they often represent painful, and buried life events – as was mentioned. But when called upon and when necessary those skills emerge. However, there is often much confusion while we are using these latent skills. We are often thrust back into forgotten parts of our psyche and abandoned parts of our soul.

An important attribute of the South node is the fierce scrutiny upon which anything it touches will fall under. There is a sort of recoiling in disgust from anything the south node influences. We feel as if we are “used up” in that area of life. We feel as though we have already done enough. And it’s true, there is a lot of expertise in the area where the South node resides. But the karma is not yet complete. Much of our work with the South node is about being compassionate with those around us who are less skilled and precise as we are in that area.

Eclipses with the South node often show these hidden and buried skills coming to the surface again for all of us. The excavation of the skills often requires us to go to very uncomfortable parts of ourselves and untangle a lot of buried confusion.

But underneath it all, Ketu is one of the most spiritual influences in the astrology chart, And I mean purely spiritual. This astrological influence is really not of this world at all. In fact, that’s the most telling attribute of Ketu,  is the party that doesn’t really want to be here. It is divine discontent personified.

Vedic astrology – Mars Saturn Exchange

When planets exchange they agreed to work together on areas of life that they can, and all planets share something in common with the others. Some planets do not share much, So it’s important to understand how to systematically break down how planets operate. The easiest way to do that are through the universal principles of gunas, elements, sign rulership’s, etc.

Saturn and Mars operate in completely different ways, but they share a very important principle with each other: The Tamasic guna. Both Saturn and Mars are poised to destroy things that make us weak (Mars) or avoid/prevent things that could be dangerous (Saturn).In excess, we can say very clearly that Mars shows anger and Saturn shows fear. But again, that is just an excessive and unintegrated expression. The balanced, integrated nature of Mars is “courage” and “discipline”. The balanced, integrated nature of Saturn is “determination” and “maturity”.

When These two planets aspect or exchange or interact in any way, we generally see that Mars gets the better of it, because Mars benefits from the determination of Saturn. Whereas Saturn can be disrupted by the impulsiveness of Mars.

Vedic astrology – Mars Saturn Exchange – VIDEO

Solstices, Equinoxes and Deeper Mysticism in Vedic Astrology

Solstices, Equinoxes and Deeper Mysticism in Vedic Astrology

It is curious that we celebrate the “Return of the Light” on the darkest day. We do this because even though it is the darkest day, it is also the day the Sun appears to change direction in the sky. In fact to call it the “day” the Sun changes direction is a little misleading. Because it is like saying “the day I turned on the light”. A day is too long of a time increment to measure this “moment”.

The Sun began getting lower and lower in the sky, and its rays darker, in the Northern Hemisphere, since June 21, the day of the Summer Solstice. It reaches its absolute lowest point one second before it changes direction – the moment of the Winter Solstice.

One second it is getting darker, the next moment it is getting lighter. The Sun will continue to give more and more light for the next 6 months in the Northern hemisphere after the Winter Solstice – until the Summer Solstice – when It changes direction again, in the sign of Tropical Cancer.

This is how the Tropical Zodiac works. It is based on the Seasons. The first day of Capricorn in Western astrology is the winter solstice (which has nothing to do with the named constellation / stars) of Capricorn.

This is the Zodiac used in Western astrology, a seasonal Zodiac. Some also use it is Vedic astrology now, due its precision in marking the Earth’s orbit around the Sun and the indisputable evidence that the ancient Indians also used it (as the texts are full of references to the tropical Zodiac). In almost every classical literature piece, whenever the Zodiac is referred to it was tied to the Seasons, which is something very easy to observe, and at the time the 2 Zodiacs were aligned. Thus, when a Vedic text describes the Northern Course beginning in Capricorn, that was true for BOTH Zodiacs – at that time.

Two Zodiacs and a 1500 Year Old Mistake
Vedic astrology uses a Sidereal Zodiac that measure the position of the planets as they move through the ecliptic as seen against the background of stars or star groups / sections of stellar energy (called Naksatras). At some point in history these stars groups were named either coincidentally or intentionally at a point when the stellar Zodiac and the tropical Zodiac were in synch. Meaning, there was a time when when the zero point of the Zodiac (in Aries) lined up with the first Nakshatra of Aries (Ashwini) and the moment the Sun crossed the Celestial equator moving North (the first day of Aries to this day in Western Astrology / tropical Zodiac).

Early authors of astrology made statements about the two Zodiacs that lead to much confusion in retrospect. These authors spoke of the two zodiacs, that at the time occupied the same space – AS IF they would always be occupying the same space. Perhaps they were just doing this for the sake of expediency, but 2,000 years later it has led to errors, such as celebrating Makar Sankranti on the Sidereal ingress of the Sun into Capricorn, when clearly it was meant to be a Solstice celebration, based on the Tropical Zodiac.

Below are quotes from a few Vedic astrology texts on the Seasons and the Zodiacs.

Yavana Jataka (from 191 AD)
Chapter 79
V. 30. One should find that the northern course of the Sun begins at the beginning of Capricorn, and the southern course at the beginning of the fourth sign (Cancer); the first equator (crossing) in the year is at the beginning of Aries, the second at the beginning of Libra.

59. By terrible feats of asceticism the two Asvins learned this science from Prajapati, and the Sun learned it from them; hence the Creator placed the pair of horses (Asvini) at the beginning of his head in the circle of signs which is the body of Kala.

Even the great Varahamihira did this in Brihat Jataka, considered to be a sort of “Bible” of Vedic astrology. In Brihat Jataka Varahamihira states:

“In the celestial Chakra (globe) the signs commencing with Mesha and Aswini, are each formed by nine padams (quarters) of stars and govern the following organs of Kalapurusha,.. “.

He is clearly saying “Mesha commences with Ashwini”, that would be correct through the history of Indian astrology, as here would be connecting the Sign to the Nakshatras. Some have determined (curiously enough) that this might indicate that the great Vedic astrologer Varahamihira (as well as the Yavanas) did not know of the precession, as these statements would not hold true if he were discussing Tropical rasis (which he clearly was not).

This theory is laid to rest, as in later works, (Panchasiddhantika and Brihat Samhita) Varahamihira shows that he understands the precession. So we can assume, (Varahamihira) and others were speaking about the sky they observed when they placed both Sidereal / non precessional Zodiac (Ashwini) in the same space as Aries – what could be interpreted as a “Tropical” / precessional Zodiac.

From Brihat Samhita (500 AD):
“There was indeed a time when Dakshinayana began from the Middle of Aslesha and Uttarayana from the commencement of Dhanishta. For it has been stated so in ancient works.

At present, Dakshinayana (Southern Course – first day of Summer) starts from the beginning of Cancer and the other (Northern Course – Uttarayana – first day of Winter) from the initial point of  Capricorn. This actual fact, which goes against the old statement can be verified by direct observation.”

Notice he says, “at present Dakshinayana starts,…”. He is making it clear that in earlier times the Northern and Southern courses happened in Nakshatras that were in higher degree than at the time of his writing. Thus, instead of zero Cancer and Capricorn, the Summer and Winter Solstices were happening when the Sun was at least 23:20 (0 Dhanishta – middle Aslesha) of their respective signs – a time at least 2000 years earlier (approximately).

As we can see, and can measure scientifically, 1500 years ago, the “Return of the Light” coincided with the Sidereal Zodiac and Tropical Zodiac both at 0 Capricorn and Cancer – just as thousands of years earlier it happened when the Sun was in the middle of Cancer and Capricorn. Currently, Uttarayana happens when the Sun is in the middle of Mula (6:40 Sagittarius) Dakshinayan happens at 0 Ardra (6:40 Gemini).

To celebrate Makar Sankranti on January 14, 2017 would be to repeat a 1500 year old mistake.

The Courage to Question – Vedic Sciences Are Not Religions

I have brought this mistake up for several years now, and often I am met with people who get offended that I would dare question “The Sastras”, “the Traditions”,…etc. The Sastras are correct. It is those who do not understand them that need to get straight. Of course those who say such things have never delved into the sticky logistic mess of trying to sort this stuff out and actually looked into the Sastras themselves. If they had they would notice the mountain of contradictions that exists from text to text, etc.

One bottom line to remember:
Everything is NOT a Sastra written by a master. That does not take away from their greatness, excellence or contribution. Many of these ancient Vedic texts were written by astrologers of their day (people like me) but without the benefit of computers or even great texts like Brihat Parashara Hora Sastra, etc. Verily, a modern researcher has as much to offer to the canon of Vedic literature than the court astrologers from the medieval era. Their greatness was in keeping the traditions together and offering some wonderful insights into the practice. I am grateful for it and them.
My deep pranams to Varahamihira, Mantreshwara and others.

But these great Sciences were passed down through Rishis, (Spiritual Scientists – Like Parashara and Jaimini, Vyasa and others) who would not have wanted or allowed blatant factual errors to persist for thousands of years, especially at important moments and energetic openings that exists at the Cardinal points of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

Does anyone actually think a Rishi would NOT correct this error in the Zodiac interpretation on this holiday.

I actually had a few people last year lecture me that there are a “different set of truths from the east and the west” and I should “open up my mind since I represented Vedic teachings”. I “owed it to the tradition” to just accept these inconsistencies because they were all great and from the sastras, etc.

Nonsense.

We disgrace both the religion and the Science when we bury our head in the sand this way.

This is the same religious thinking that caused the Catholic Church to excommunicate Galileo and Copernicus for daring to say the (interpretation of the) Bible was wrong in asserting that the Earth was the center of the Universe etc.

It is totally understandable and excusable for people (and even governments) to have repeated this error, but it is time to overcome the religious thinking and actually experience a “Return of the Light” and celebrate Makar Sankranti when it is supposed to be celebrated, on the Winter Solstice.

Sam Geppi on Brihat Prashara Hora Sastra Ch. 1

In this video I evaluate the first chapter of Brihat Parashara Hora sastra.

From the text:
9-12. Śrī Vishnu, who is the Lord (of all matters), who has undefiled spirit, who is endowed with the three Gunas, although he transcends the grip of Gunas (Gunatita), who is the Author of this Universe, who is glorious, who is the Cause and who is endowed with valour, has no beginning. He authored the Universe and administers it with a quarter of his power. The other three quarters of Him, filled with nectar, are knowable only to the philosophers (of maturity). The Principal Evolver, who is both perceptible and imperceptible in Vasudeva. The Imperceptible part of the Lord is endowed with dual powers, while the Perceptible with triple powers.

Spiritual Principles in Astrology

Spiritual Principles in Astrology

Vedic Principles in Astrology

Vedic Principles in Astrology

Spiritual Principles in Astrology

In order to do astrology well (or understand your place in the Cosmos), you need to understand the deeper principles   . All healing / metaphysical systems function according to these universal principles. Without an understanding of these frameworks we are just shooting in the dark, trying to connect random details together.

This lack of detail makes many discount astrology as “non-scientific” and “superstition”, etc. yet, those who understand the frameworks of astrology do approach it scientifically, and so will you after examining astrology this way.

Indian / Hindu?

Even though the principles in Universal Astrology can be used in any system, I find the Vedic system to be the most rich and detailed conceptually. In fact, the Vedic people themselves do not call their teachings “Vedic” or “Hindu”. The teachings from which we will start are actually called “Sanatana Dharma” – or “The Eternal Truth”.

As a quick example: Hindu temples will have images of many gods from many faiths. Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed sit alongside Lord Siva, Ganesh, the Divine mother. All traditions are respected. Yoga and the other Vedic Sciences are not religions. They are practices based on Santana Dharma.

Many have heard these principles explained through yoga or perhaps Ayurveda. Yet rarely are these things explained through the lens of Vedic astrology. 

Once we grasp these deeper Vedic principles, our understanding of astrology – and life – will grow exponentially. It is through the lens of this deeper universal wisdom that astrology becomes possible. My experience has shown the the more person understands yoga and “Santana Dharma”, the more they understand the principles in astrology.

Today let’s focus on:

1. The Three Gunas (body, mind, spirit) 
2. Five Elements (Earth, water, fire, air, space)
3. The Planetary Cabinet
4. The Castes (warrior, worker, merchant, teacher)

The Three Gunas

From the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 14
“5. The three gunas born of Prakriti, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas bind in the body, O great-armed one, the imperishable dweller in the body. Of these Sattwa is by the purity of its quality a cause of light and illumination, and by virtue of that purity produces no disease or morbidity or suffering in the nature: it binds by attachment to knowledge and attachment to happiness, O sinless one. Rajas, know thou, has for its essence attraction of liking and longing; it is a child of the attachment of the soul to the desire of objects; O Kaunteya, it binds the embodied spirit by attachment to works. But Tamas, know thou, born of ignorance, is the deluded of all embodied beings; it binds by negligence, indolence and sleep, O Bharata. Sattwa attaches to happiness, rajas to action, O Bharata; tamas covers up the knowledge and attaches to negligence of error and inaction”.
~ Translation Sri Aurobindo
published bySri Aurobindo Ashram– Pondicherry

The 3 gunas are the 3 qualities of nature. The term Guna means “that which binds,” as each guna is like a separate strand, which when placed together form the rope of Maya. They are what bind us to the illusion that we are merely a physical / mental creature. All matter and energy consists of the 3 gunas in different quantities. Theirs are the component qualities of the physical, mental and spiritual worlds.

The 3 Gunas are:
Tamas:
Stability – inertia – ignorance – attachment. Tamas binds through inertia and our tendency to cling to situation and form.
Best expressed through the physical body OURSELF

Rajas: Activity – passion – desire. Rajas binds through motivation and our desire to experience pleasure.
Best expressed as the Mind and Emotions OTHER PEOPLE

Sattwa: Harmony – knowledge – peace. Sattwa binds us to happiness and wisdom, which is also a barrier to final liberation. Best expressed as the Soul. GOD

Each of the gunas has a proper and necessary function:
Tamas provides the solidity and stability of the physical world, for us that means our bodies. Solid objects have a preponderance of Tamas, especially when at rest.
Rajas maintains the mind and emotions, animating the physical world through need and preference. When the body needs to eat or move Rajas gets us moving.
Sattwa looks after the higher mind and Soul and it’s progress, attaching to joy and hapiness – which also must be discarded at some point.

But each of these attributes also act as obscuring factors as their expressions show our projected illusory limitations, thus forming the rope of Maya. When Tamas becomes a mental or emotional state, the intellect becomes stagnant and there is clinging and ignorance. Also an excessively Rajasic body will bring exhaustion and instability. Neither Rajas nor Tamas is healthy for higher learning. Higher learning requires a Sattwic mind.

If suddenly you become sleepy as you read this you would stop learning, as the heaviness of Tamas would disrupt. If suddenly you became hungry or sexual or angry, also you would stop learning, as Rajas would compel you to act and disturb the mental peace necessary for learning.

A Real Life Example of the Gunas
To illustrate how the gunas typically work, this morning, as your alarm clock went off there was a preponderance of Tamas. Your body and mind were heavy and perhaps you had just mistaken yourself in a dream as being your real self. Sleep, inertia, and delusion are Tamasic. As you started to become motivated and got up from the bed, Rajas was dominant, as rajas is activity. Also, you need to go to work to earn money so you can have things that give you pleasure and that you enjoy. Worldly pursuits are mainly Rajasic in nature as they are primarily self – centered. Currently as you read this, in search of knowledge and understanding beyond pleasure seeking and
 accumulation, Sattwa dominates. (Hopefully at least)

Astrology and The Three Gunas

There are several ways to integrate the three Gunas into your astrological understanding.

First, in more broad and general sense we can observe that each one of the planets has the potential of operating in a:

●  Tamasic manner (through the body – in a heavy, self-interested way)
●  Rajasic manner (through the mind and emotions – in a passionate way)
●  Sattwic manner (through the soul – in a loving, balanced way) This is one level of astrological reality.

  1. Planetary energies that are impaired will function more through the physical body and in a psychologically and spiritually dark manner.
  2. Planetary energies that are of average strength will function more through the mind and emotions. They will function passionately. Bodily desires and darker emotions will be a distraction. This passionate nature disturbs the balance required for Sattwa.
  3. Planetary energies that are very developed will function in a more loving, balanced way. They will be forces of intelligence. This intelligence will be distracted by passions. Yet, negative emotions such as anger and fear (Tamasic in nature) will usually be under control.

In Vedic astrology, Planetary Dignity (the relationship of the planet to its ruler) is the main determining factor in these relative states of wakefulness and sleep. (called “Jagraadadi Avasthas”) Planetary Dignity precedes aspects and other affectations. The dignity of a planet determines the amount of intelligence that is brought into the areas of life it affects. Calculating the dignity of a planet is formulaic and a bit complicated to get into now. For those of you who understand how to calculate dignity you would look to this for the relative capacity of a planet to handle adverse aspects and conduct its business with intelligence. Most software programs do this for you.

Debilitated, Enemy or Great Enemy Dignity is Tamasic
Neutral, Friend, Great Friend is Rajasic
Exaltation, Own Sign, is Sattwic

The Planets as Ruling the Gunas

Second, the planets have a Guna and bring that quality into our life naturally. This is where it gets quite tricky. Because it is very easy to be judgmental about the three Gunas. Most Vedic astrologers become judgmental when they discuss the three Gunas. Assigning qualities of “good and bad” to them. This is a mistake. Everything has an inspired, divine purpose. We simply need to align ourselves with that purpose rather than our judgments, which are based on a limited perspective.

Tamasic planets: Mars, Saturn, The Nodes (Rahu and Ketu)
Rajasic planets: Mercury, Venus
Sattwic planets: Sun, Moon, Jupiter

The Tamasic planets are motivated towards protection, but they may bring darkness in the process. Mars protects us through anger, Saturn protects us through fear. The Nodes are an exception. The nodes bring confusion and they protect the ego. This is why they are perhaps the most difficult energy. Yet, as we untangle the confusion of the nodes we release its grip on our ego. This is too large of a subject to discuss right now.

The Rajasic planets are motivated towards experiencing pleasure and enjoyment, but they are distracting. Mercury brings stimulation, play – Venus brings sensual enjoyment and beauty.

The Sattwic planets are motivated towards doing something good and uplifting, but may be unrealistic in the process. The Sun wants to illuminate our truthful path, the moon wants to give selfless love and merge with everything, Jupiter wants to expand toward our highest self.

We have to be careful judging these energies as good or bad. They are simply activating forces, motivations. It is just as possible to do something bad with a good motivation or vice versa. For instance, a religious zealot may kill because he thinks it’s the right thing to do for you. This is a perversion of Sattwic energy. Lying “for your own good” is another example of Sattwic energy gone bad.

Also, the protective quality of Tamasic energy can be a great force for good. A fireman rushing into a building, risking his own life to save yours is Tamasic. He’s trying to prevent difficulty and avoid trouble. Any sort of fighting and conflict is going to be related to Tamasic energy.

Rajasic energy is simply pleasure and enjoyment. In many ways we spend most of our life in Rajasic mode. Yet, wanting to share that pleasure with someone else is also Rajasic. In general, sex is Rajasic.

As we move forward in this class and start talking about the different planets, their activating qualities and general dispositions as shown by the Gunas will be inextricable to their activity.

EX: Mars is always trying to protect something by destroying what he sees as weakening it. His house placement, sign placement and placement by transit in the sky will all show these things. Jupiter will always try to expand something by seeing the good in it and trying to rise above the worldly difficulties associated with it. Venus will always try to beautify something and make it more pleasant and enjoyable.

Once we understand how to translate the Gunas Astrologically, we can combine the states of awareness with the natural disposition of the planet.

EX: If Mars is functioning at a high level of intelligence, he will try to destroy things (Tamasic) that he perceives are weakening the soul’s progress (Sattwa) – at a medium level of intelligence he will try to destroy things that he perceives are weakening the mind or interrupting his path toward pleasure (Rajas) – at the lowest level of intelligence he will destroy things that he perceives are weakening or threatening physical safety (Tamas). Yet the destructive nature of Mars is not bad. When we suffer Mars problems it’s because we are fighting the wrong battles.

This example extends to all of the planets and will be covered when we discussed each of them individually.

Third, the signs have a Guna. In general, the signs are the psychological expression of the planets that rule them. Therefore it makes sense that most of the signs have the same Guna as the planet that rules them. But of course, there are exceptions

Tamasic

Rajasic

Sattwic

Virgo

Aries

Cancer

Scorpio

Taurus

Leo

Capricorn

Gemini

Sagittarius

Aquarius

Libra

Pisces

Just like with planets, the signs have these motivations. A planet in a Sattwic sign will be motivated towards doing something good and uplifting. The planet in a Tamasic sign will be motivated to avoid pain and trouble for themselves or others. A planet in a Rajasic sign will be motivated toward fulfilling desires for themselves or others.

Blending the qualities of planetary Guna and Sign Guna is one of the more important,… CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

 

Spiritual Principles in Astrology – 2

Spiritual Principles in Astrology – 2

Relevant Vedic Background #3

,… continued from Page 2

1naradaparvatahunter

This is Maya, the illusion that we are merely an acting, mind / body experience.

Planetary Cabinet

The planetary cabinet is a very interesting and important attribute. It assigns different roles to the planets. Their relationship to each other within this planetary cabinet is quite telling. Understanding these roles brings an anchoring quality to each planet.

Sun – King Moon – Queen Mars — General

Mercury – Crown Prince

Jupiter – Teacher of the gods Venus – Teacher of the demons Saturn – The laborer
Rahu – The advancing army Ketu – The occupying army

The Sun and Moon as King and Queen together relate to the archetypal forces of masculine and feminine energy that exists within us. The power of the sun combined with the creative principle of the moon is why there is life on Earth. The Sun is the Param Atman (Universal soul – the soul of all) the Moon is the Jivatman (the individual soul – joined the universal). When we remember our self as the Sun we are illuminated from within rather than seeking to be illumined from without. Yet, we cannot perceive the Param Atman directly, we cannot look directly at the sun. We perceive it (our true self) as it reflects on our consciousness, our mind (the Moon). The sun has all the power, but the moon gives life and perception to that power.

Mars is the General of the Army who executes the king’s orders and protects the kingdom. He trains the Army and keeps them tough and ready for battle. When Mars takes his orders from a place of clarity and illumination, we destroy ignorance and restore Dharma.

Mercury is the the one closest to the King, the voice in his ear. Mercury is the planet closest to the sun. Mercury is the voice in our head interpreting our souls vision and carrying that vision to the other parts of our being. That voice in our head determines the world in which we live.

Jupiter is the teacher of the gods. He teaches the forces of light within us. Those great teachings that inspire and uplift us toward truth comes from Jupiter. His counsel is concerned with how to transcend the pettiness of the world and rise above it’s impurities.

Venus is the teacher of the Demons, the forces of darkness within us. Elevating our worldly desires into otherworldly ones are the magic of Venus. It is her energy that teaches us how to get along with each other here on earth. She shows us how to navigate the jungle of desires.

Saturn is the worker – and there’s a lot of work to be done here. Facing the unpleasantness of life and persevering in spite of it all is the job of Saturn. Determination, humility, simplicity and sometimes just the desire to make it through one more day are the gifts of Saturn.

Rahu is the advancing army, the territory the soul wishes to conquer in this lifetime. The battlefield is always chaotic, but if the cause you’re fighting for is just, there can be peace amidst that chaos and detachment from it.

Ketu is the occupying army, the territory the soul has already conquered in past lifetimes. The word Ketu means “flag”. It is a potential stronghold of power, but often overlooked due to the fascinated gaze of Rahu.

Caste

Caste is only used for sign descriptions. Planets and houses do not have a caste. Only the signs have a caste. The castes are related to different professions, activity and stations in life. They are remarkably telling.

Warrior (Kshatriya)– Fire signs – Dharma (Truthful Action) Worker (Sudra) – Earth signs – Artha (Comfort and Wealth) Merchant (Vaishya) – Air signs – Kama (Happiness)
Teacher / Minister (Brahmin) – Water signs – Moksha (Liberation)

These motivations have a lot to do with profession literally, and also the nature and psychological temperament of planets in those signs.

These castes were developed in a more enlightened era. It came from a time when there was a sense of Dharma (righteousness and truth) that was pervasive and understood to be a force of unambiguous good. Being a “warrior” for instance was very noble. But in our modern world warfare is looked at as some unseemly pursuit – mainly because it IS in this era. But the reason it is unseemly is because our leaders are corrupt, we live in the dark ages where people wage war for reasons that have nothing to do with upholding righteousness and other things so valiant. But in those days, Warriors were the great protectors of truth. Even now that is the rhetoric, but so often the rhetoric falls short of reality.

Even the “Teacher/Minister” arouses suspicion. “Teacher” doesn’t necessarily, but “Minister” does. We are used to ministers being an ambiguous lot. Some are good, some are just out for themselves, the money and greed etc. When pondering these castes try to look at them without the type of irony and suspicion that you may have given your modern experience.

Here’s a more modern spin on the caste attribute:

Warrior: politicians, managers, military, lawyers, CEOs. The warrior mentality is very individual. They may have difficulties in relationships because a successful relationship will water down one’s individuality. The warrior can often be truthful to a fault, even offensive. They are generally in a hurry, impatient, maybe even aggressive. The highest warrior mentality is one that fights for a righteous cause. The lowest warrior mentality is to fight simply to win regardless of the cause.

Worker: laborers, construction, clerical workers, menial professions. The worker mentality is very hands-on and detail oriented. They like putting their hands on things and seeing tangible results at the end of the day. The worker is generally slower in their approach and may accumulate much wealth, but often they have earned it through patience and hard work. The highest worker mentality is one of patient progress toward a fulfilling goal. The lowest worker mentality is one of stagnation and a non-empowered servitude.

Merchants: Salespeople, small business owners, bankers. The merchant mentality is one of ideas, communication and a mutually respectful interaction. The best merchants are the ones who strike a fair deal for both themselves and their customers. They are also enjoyable to talk with, etc. The highest merchant mentality is one of creativity, ingenuity and equality for all. The lower merchant mentality is one with a hyper transactional nature to all interactions – a certain “scorekeeping” mentality prevails that undermines their flexibility.

Teachers: Counselors, teachers, ministers, mystics. The teacher mentality is one of guidance and counseling. This approach to life stems from a desire and ability to bring greater expansion into the lives of others – to help free them. The best teachers are the ones who never sacrifice a single individual student to the larger message they are trying to serve. The highest teacher mentality has the selflessness and wisdom to expand upon and translate the subjects they are teaching toward the greatest good. The lowest teacher mentality uses the teachings themselves as a way to advance a personal agenda / dogmatic purpose or (worse yet) coerce others for personal gain.

Vedic Principles in Astrology – 3

Vedic Principles in Astrology – 3

Relevant Vedic Background #3

,… continued from Page 2

1naradaparvatahunter

This is Maya, the illusion that we are merely an acting, mind / body experience.

Planetary Cabinet

The planetary cabinet is a very interesting and important attribute. It assigns different roles to the planets. Their relationship to each other within this planetary cabinet is quite telling. Understanding these roles brings an anchoring quality to each planet.

Sun – King Moon – Queen Mars — General

Mercury – Crown Prince

Jupiter – Teacher of the gods Venus – Teacher of the demons Saturn – The laborer
Rahu – The advancing army Ketu – The occupying army

The Sun and Moon as King and Queen together relate to the archetypal forces of masculine and feminine energy that exists within us. The power of the sun combined with the creative principle of the moon is why there is life on Earth. The Sun is the Param Atman (Universal soul – the soul of all) the Moon is the Jivatman (the individual soul – joined the universal). When we remember our self as the Sun we are illuminated from within rather than seeking to be illumined from without. Yet, we cannot perceive the Param Atman directly, we cannot look directly at the sun. We perceive it (our true self) as it reflects on our consciousness, our mind (the Moon). The sun has all the power, but the moon gives life and perception to that power.

Mars is the General of the Army who executes the king’s orders and protects the kingdom. He trains the Army and keeps them tough and ready for battle. When Mars takes his orders from a place of clarity and illumination, we destroy ignorance and restore Dharma.

Mercury is the the one closest to the King, the voice in his ear. Mercury is the planet closest to the sun. Mercury is the voice in our head interpreting our souls vision and carrying that vision to the other parts of our being. That voice in our head determines the world in which we live.

Jupiter is the teacher of the gods. He teaches the forces of light within us. Those great teachings that inspire and uplift us toward truth comes from Jupiter. His counsel is concerned with how to transcend the pettiness of the world and rise above it’s impurities.

Venus is the teacher of the Demons, the forces of darkness within us. Elevating our worldly desires into otherworldly ones are the magic of Venus. It is her energy that teaches us how to get along with each other here on earth. She shows us how to navigate the jungle of desires.

Saturn is the worker – and there’s a lot of work to be done here. Facing the unpleasantness of life and persevering in spite of it all is the job of Saturn. Determination, humility, simplicity and sometimes just the desire to make it through one more day are the gifts of Saturn.

Rahu is the advancing army, the territory the soul wishes to conquer in this lifetime. The battlefield is always chaotic, but if the cause you’re fighting for is just, there can be peace amidst that chaos and detachment from it.

Ketu is the occupying army, the territory the soul has already conquered in past lifetimes. The word Ketu means “flag”. It is a potential stronghold of power, but often overlooked due to the fascinated gaze of Rahu.

Caste

Caste is only used for sign descriptions. Planets and houses do not have a caste. Only the signs have a caste. The castes are related to different professions, activity and stations in life. They are remarkably telling.

Warrior (Kshatriya)– Fire signs – Dharma (Truthful Action) Worker (Sudra) – Earth signs – Artha (Comfort and Wealth) Merchant (Vaishya) – Air signs – Kama (Happiness)
Teacher / Minister (Brahmin) – Water signs – Moksha (Liberation)

These motivations have a lot to do with profession literally, and also the nature and psychological temperament of planets in those signs.

These castes were developed in a more enlightened era. It came from a time when there was a sense of Dharma (righteousness and truth) that was pervasive and understood to be a force of unambiguous good. Being a “warrior” for instance was very noble. But in our modern world warfare is looked at as some unseemly pursuit – mainly because it IS in this era. But the reason it is unseemly is because our leaders are corrupt, we live in the dark ages where people wage war for reasons that have nothing to do with upholding righteousness and other things so valiant. But in those days, Warriors were the great protectors of truth. Even now that is the rhetoric, but so often the rhetoric falls short of reality.

Even the “Teacher/Minister” arouses suspicion. “Teacher” doesn’t necessarily, but “Minister” does. We are used to ministers being an ambiguous lot. Some are good, some are just out for themselves, the money and greed etc. When pondering these castes try to look at them without the type of irony and suspicion that you may have given your modern experience.

Here’s a more modern spin on the caste attribute:

Warrior: politicians, managers, military, lawyers, CEOs. The warrior mentality is very individual. They may have difficulties in relationships because a successful relationship will water down one’s individuality. The warrior can often be truthful to a fault, even offensive. They are generally in a hurry, impatient, maybe even aggressive. The highest warrior mentality is one that fights for a righteous cause. The lowest warrior mentality is to fight simply to win regardless of the cause.

Worker: laborers, construction, clerical workers, menial professions. The worker mentality is very hands-on and detail oriented. They like putting their hands on things and seeing tangible results at the end of the day. The worker is generally slower in their approach and may accumulate much wealth, but often they have earned it through patience and hard work. The highest worker mentality is one of patient progress toward a fulfilling goal. The lowest worker mentality is one of stagnation and a non-empowered servitude.

Merchants: Salespeople, small business owners, bankers. The merchant mentality is one of ideas, communication and a mutually respectful interaction. The best merchants are the ones who strike a fair deal for both themselves and their customers. They are also enjoyable to talk with, etc. The highest merchant mentality is one of creativity, ingenuity and equality for all. The lower merchant mentality is one with a hyper transactional nature to all interactions – a certain “scorekeeping” mentality prevails that undermines their flexibility.

Teachers: Counselors, teachers, ministers, mystics. The teacher mentality is one of guidance and counseling. This approach to life stems from a desire and ability to bring greater expansion into the lives of others – to help free them. The best teachers are the ones who never sacrifice a single individual student to the larger message they are trying to serve. The highest teacher mentality has the selflessness and wisdom to expand upon and translate the subjects they are teaching toward the greatest good. The lowest teacher mentality uses the teachings themselves as a way to advance a personal agenda / dogmatic purpose or (worse yet) coerce others for personal gain.

Vedic Principles in Astrology

Vedic Principles in Astrology

Relevant Vedic Background #2

,… continued from Page 1  ch4-2vyasa

Blending the qualities of planetary Guna and Sign Guna is one of the more important anchoring principles in astrology. And yes, not just Vedic astrology. If you practice Western astrology, this can help you too. First of all, honor the traditional rulers first. When you start using the qualities of sign and planetary Guna, you will see the a dramatic difference in the interpretations and motivations behind why things happen.

The Five Elements

The 5 Elements – Building Blocks of the Vedic Sciences

The Self has entered this body, this dense jumble. If a man finds him, recognizes him, He’s the maker of everything-the author of all! The world is his-he’s the world itself.
– Brhadaranyaka Upanishad

Spirit is called Purusha. When spirit takes form it is called prakriti. Every object as prakriti is an expression of purusha. Matter expressing Spirit. This world of Matter expressing Spirit is formed by the 5 elements. They are the building blocks of The Vedic Sciences. Their properties provide the archetypes that underpin all aspects of Vedic thinking. First we will examine the 5 elements then explore their evolution as affected by the 3 gunas. (the 3 qualities of nature) Starting with the grossest and moving toward the finest, the 5 elements are:

Earth – Water – Fire – Air – Ether (Space)

Earth – Body As the densest element it is also the heaviest and “weightiest” psychological influence. Our physical body demands the most attention when its needs arise. For example no matter how enjoyable it may be talking to your best friend on the phone, you will only suppress the urge to go to the bathroom for so long before you relent.

Earth connects us to the sense of smell. Ayurveda says, anything we can smell contains Earth.

Psychologically speaking the Earth element is our practical nature. Literally being “down to Earth.”

Prominent planets in Earth signs will be sensual and hands on. They want to be useful and will work hard. They are practical in expression. They will wash your car on your birthday. Too much Earth brings stagnation and clinging to form.

The Earth signs are: Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo.
Mercury
Rules the element of Earth. Saturn and Venus are also Earthy

Water – Senses / Feeling Specifically to the flow of the senses from the physical body to the outer world and the emotional connections and impressions made through the senses. Water is also our receptive emotional mind. It is on this vital level that our energy must connect and receive the environment in order to satisfy our bodily needs. (Earth) We see a chocolate éclair in the window of a Bakery and our mouth starts to water.

Water connects us to the sense of taste. Ayurveda says that anything we can taste contains water.

Psychologically the Water element has to do with our deep emotional bonds, memories and sensory impressions. Prominent planets in water signs makes one want to feed another and bond emotionally. They will cook you dinner on your birthday. Too much water can lead to excessive emotional dependence, escapism and extremes.

The water signs are: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

Venus Rules the element of water. The moon, and Jupiter are also watery planets.
(Although Mars also rules a water sign, he is a fiery planet)

Fire – Mind / Focused Action Fire element corresponds to digestion of all sorts – food, mental impressions, etc. It is also our active emotional mind, our passionate nature and the instinctual and conditioned / reactive mind. It is the element of fire that digests sensory impressions, (water) turning them into thoughts that we can use. Otherwise our minds would be just a jumble of sensory data.

Fire connects us to the sense of sight. Ayurveda says anything we can see is touched by fire.

Psychologically Fire represents our active, desire nature. We literally “burn” to satisfy our desires. It is fire that makes us “want” the chocolate éclair in the window. Prominent planets in Fire signs will exhibit an active, bold or aggressive nature. Strong fire types can be the most inspirational of signs, yet also the most self – centered. They will buy you sexy underwear or wear them for you on your birthday. Too much fire can lead to excessive anger.

The fire signs are: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

Mars Rules the element of fire. The Sun and Jupiter are also fiery planets.

Air – Intellect Air element corresponds to movement of all sorts, in the body, breath, thoughts, etc. Air is our higher intellectual and social mind. It is the mind of our philosophies and opinions – our politics and rationalizations as well as how we relate to others and society as a whole. It is through the air element the we observe and interact socially with the world and others and form conclusions about them and ourselves. It is the Air element that will decide whether or not we will eat the éclair in the window.

Air connects us to the sense of touch. Anything we can feel (with the skin) is touched by Air.

Psychologically Air represents our higher mental capabilities, as well as our conscience and ethical principles. Prominent planets in Air signs will exhibit a very social nature. They like discourse and debate. They will take you to the Opera on your birthday. Too much air and one becomes ungrounded, aloof, dry or sterile.

The air signs are: Libra, Aquarius and Gemini

Saturn Rules the element of air. Venus and Mercury are also airy planets. The moon is also airy if it comes within 30° of the sun.

Space – Consciousness The Space element corresponds to pure consciousness itself. Our awareness. It is the layer of being beyond the 4 gross physical elements in the astrology chart. It refers to the witnessing consciousness, that which is able to perceive the thought process (air) and remain unidentified with it. It is our connection to freedom and the closest to our true Self and our intuitive nature.

Psychologically Space represents an initial freedom from the mind/ body complex. It is through the element of Space that we perceive the distance between the thinking / feeling mind substance and the oneness of creation and our connectedness to it. The behavioral archetype is that of one who is detached in a healthy way, as the observer, the witness. Space is beyond our physical karma.

There are no Space signs. Jupiter Rules element of space

The 5 Elements at Work

Each finer element contains, observes and animates the grosser ones. In this way and for this reason, the primordial sound of Aum is the first act of creation. Even in Christian texts it is stated “in the beginning there was the word.” Amen is simply another form of Aum. All creatures are produced in this way through unique vibration based on their karma. Yet all creatures arise from the same source, from the same primordial origin, the sound of Aum. Thus through the element of ether the dance of creation begins out of the equilibrium that existed before. (Sound resonates through Ether) After Ether, the Air element is formed (intellect), then Fire (active mind), Water (feeling mind), and Earth. (body) This model shows why mantras are so powerful. They resonate through all 5 of our elemental bodies. (Mantras are sacred sounds repeated over and over again)

As shown above, life is created from the finer elements to the grosser ones. However, our spiritual path is walked in reverse. First we must master the body, then the senses and sense mind, then the active emotions, then the intellect, then finally pure consciousness. When we see a chocolate éclair, the physical body (Earth) is animated by the senses. (Water) The desire to eat it arises in the reactive / instinctual mind (Fire), but the higher mind (Air) actually decides whether or not to eat the éclair. Our consciousness (Ether) makes us aware of this process.

Karma and the 5 Elements

According to Vedic thought everything is an expression of pure God energy, pure God consciousness. As stated above, all physical bodies arise out of this balanced God state. But as a result of past karma and the samskaras (mental impressions) that accompany them, the 5 elements arrange themselves to create the body that reflects the appropriate person, animal, or whatever. This karmic energy points to the lessons that need to be learned in that lifetime.

For example, a person who needs to work through anger problems in this lifetime will inherit a body, mind and upbringing that will challenge them to confront their anger and hopefully transcend it. In the case of anger, the element of fire will likely predominate. An Astrological chart reveals this. It is a portrait of the soul’s karma and the pattern of illusion in which we may become trapped. As karma means “action”, we may mistake ourselves to be our actions, not our essence. This is Maya, the illusion,… CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

 

Vedic Principles in Astrology

Vedic Principles in Astrology

Vedic Principles in Astrology

Vedic Principles in Astrology

Relevant Vedic Background

In order to do Vedic astrology well (or any system of astrology well), you need to understand the deeper Vedic Principles in Astrology. All healing / metaphysical systems function according to these universal principles. Without an understanding of these frameworks we are just shooting in the dark, trying to connect random details together.

This lack of detail makes many discount astrology as “non-scientific” and “superstition”, etc. yet, those who understand the frameworks of astrology do approach it scientifically, and so will you after examining astrology this way.

Indian / Hindu?

Even though the principles in Universal Astrology can be used in any system, I find the Vedic system to be the most rich and detailed conceptually. In fact, the Vedic people themselves do not call their teachings “Vedic” or “Hindu”. The teachings from which we will start are actually called “Sanatana Dharma” – or “The Eternal Truth”.

As a quick example: Hindu temples will have images of many gods from many faiths. Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed sit alongside Lord Siva, Ganesh, the Divine mother. All traditions are respected. Yoga and the other Vedic Sciences are not religions. They are practices based on Santana Dharma.

Many have heard these principles explained through yoga or perhaps Ayurveda. Yet rarely are these things explained through the lens of Vedic astrology. 

Once we grasp these deeper Vedic principles, our understanding of astrology – and life – will grow exponentially. It is through the lens of this deeper universal wisdom that astrology becomes possible. My experience has shown the the more person understands yoga and “Santana Dharma”, the more they understand the principles in astrology.

Today let’s focus on:

1. The Three Gunas (body, mind, spirit) 
2. Five Elements (Earth, water, fire, air, space)
3. The Planetary Cabinet
4. The Castes (warrior, worker, merchant, teacher)

The Three Gunas

From the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 14
“5. The three gunas born of Prakriti, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas bind in the body, O great-armed one, the imperishable dweller in the body. Of these Sattwa is by the purity of its quality a cause of light and illumination, and by virtue of that purity produces no disease or morbidity or suffering in the nature: it binds by attachment to knowledge and attachment to happiness, O sinless one. Rajas, know thou, has for its essence attraction of liking and longing; it is a child of the attachment of the soul to the desire of objects; O Kaunteya, it binds the embodied spirit by attachment to works. But Tamas, know thou, born of ignorance, is the deluded of all embodied beings; it binds by negligence, indolence and sleep, O Bharata. Sattwa attaches to happiness, rajas to action, O Bharata; tamas covers up the knowledge and attaches to negligence of error and inaction”.
~ Translation Sri Aurobindo
published bySri Aurobindo Ashram– Pondicherry

The 3 gunas are the 3 qualities of nature. The term Guna means “that which binds,” as each guna is like a separate strand, which when placed together form the rope of Maya. They are what bind us to the illusion that we are merely a physical / mental creature. All matter and energy consists of the 3 gunas in different quantities. Theirs are the component qualities of the physical, mental and spiritual worlds.

The 3 Gunas are:
Tamas:
Stability – inertia – ignorance – attachment. Tamas binds through inertia and our tendency to cling to situation and form.
Best expressed through the physical body OURSELF

Rajas: Activity – passion – desire. Rajas binds through motivation and our desire to experience pleasure.
Best expressed as the Mind and Emotions OTHER PEOPLE

Sattwa: Harmony – knowledge – peace. Sattwa binds us to happiness and wisdom, which is also a barrier to final liberation. Best expressed as the Soul. GOD

Each of the gunas has a proper and necessary function:
Tamas provides the solidity and stability of the physical world, for us that means our bodies. Solid objects have a preponderance of Tamas, especially when at rest.
Rajas maintains the mind and emotions, animating the physical world through need and preference. When the body needs to eat or move Rajas gets us moving.
Sattwa looks after the higher mind and Soul and it’s progress, attaching to joy and hapiness – which also must be discarded at some point.

But each of these attributes also act as obscuring factors as their expressions show our projected illusory limitations, thus forming the rope of Maya. When Tamas becomes a mental or emotional state, the intellect becomes stagnant and there is clinging and ignorance. Also an excessively Rajasic body will bring exhaustion and instability. Neither Rajas nor Tamas is healthy for higher learning. Higher learning requires a Sattwic mind.

If suddenly you become sleepy as you read this you would stop learning, as the heaviness of Tamas would disrupt. If suddenly you became hungry or sexual or angry, also you would stop learning, as Rajas would compel you to act and disturb the mental peace necessary for learning.

A Real Life Example of the Gunas
To illustrate how the gunas typically work, this morning, as your alarm clock went off there was a preponderance of Tamas. Your body and mind were heavy and perhaps you had just mistaken yourself in a dream as being your real self. Sleep, inertia, and delusion are Tamasic. As you started to become motivated and got up from the bed, Rajas was dominant, as rajas is activity. Also, you need to go to work to earn money so you can have things that give you pleasure and that you enjoy. Worldly pursuits are mainly Rajasic in nature as they are primarily self – centered. Currently as you read this, in search of knowledge and understanding beyond pleasure seeking and
 accumulation, Sattwa dominates. (Hopefully at least)

Astrology and The Three Gunas

There are several ways to integrate the three Gunas into your astrological understanding.

First, in more broad and general sense we can observe that each one of the planets has the potential of operating in a:

●  Tamasic manner (through the body – in a heavy, self-interested way)
●  Rajasic manner (through the mind and emotions – in a passionate way)
●  Sattwic manner (through the soul – in a loving, balanced way) This is one level of astrological reality.

  1. Planetary energies that are impaired will function more through the physical body and in a psychologically and spiritually dark manner.
  2. Planetary energies that are of average strength will function more through the mind and emotions. They will function passionately. Bodily desires and darker emotions will be a distraction. This passionate nature disturbs the balance required for Sattwa.
  3. Planetary energies that are very developed will function in a more loving, balanced way. They will be forces of intelligence. This intelligence will be distracted by passions. Yet, negative emotions such as anger and fear (Tamasic in nature) will usually be under control.

In Vedic astrology, Planetary Dignity (the relationship of the planet to its ruler) is the main determining factor in these relative states of wakefulness and sleep. (called “Jagraadadi Avasthas”) Planetary Dignity precedes aspects and other affectations. The dignity of a planet determines the amount of intelligence that is brought into the areas of life it affects. Calculating the dignity of a planet is formulaic and a bit complicated to get into now. For those of you who understand how to calculate dignity you would look to this for the relative capacity of a planet to handle adverse aspects and conduct its business with intelligence. Most software programs do this for you.

Debilitated, Enemy or Great Enemy Dignity is Tamasic
Neutral, Friend, Great Friend is Rajasic
Exaltation, Own Sign, is Sattwic

The Planets as Ruling the Gunas

Second, the planets have a Guna and bring that quality into our life naturally. This is where it gets quite tricky. Because it is very easy to be judgmental about the three Gunas. Most Vedic astrologers become judgmental when they discuss the three Gunas. Assigning qualities of “good and bad” to them. This is a mistake. Everything has an inspired, divine purpose. We simply need to align ourselves with that purpose rather than our judgments, which are based on a limited perspective.

Tamasic planets: Mars, Saturn, The Nodes (Rahu and Ketu)
Rajasic planets: Mercury, Venus
Sattwic planets: Sun, Moon, Jupiter

The Tamasic planets are motivated towards protection, but they may bring darkness in the process. Mars protects us through anger, Saturn protects us through fear. The Nodes are an exception. The nodes bring confusion and they protect the ego. This is why they are perhaps the most difficult energy. Yet, as we untangle the confusion of the nodes we release its grip on our ego. This is too large of a subject to discuss right now.

The Rajasic planets are motivated towards experiencing pleasure and enjoyment, but they are distracting. Mercury brings stimulation, play – Venus brings sensual enjoyment and beauty.

The Sattwic planets are motivated towards doing something good and uplifting, but may be unrealistic in the process. The Sun wants to illuminate our truthful path, the moon wants to give selfless love and merge with everything, Jupiter wants to expand toward our highest self.

We have to be careful judging these energies as good or bad. They are simply activating forces, motivations. It is just as possible to do something bad with a good motivation or vice versa. For instance, a religious zealot may kill because he thinks it’s the right thing to do for you. This is a perversion of Sattwic energy. Lying “for your own good” is another example of Sattwic energy gone bad.

Also, the protective quality of Tamasic energy can be a great force for good. A fireman rushing into a building, risking his own life to save yours is Tamasic. He’s trying to prevent difficulty and avoid trouble. Any sort of fighting and conflict is going to be related to Tamasic energy.

Rajasic energy is simply pleasure and enjoyment. In many ways we spend most of our life in Rajasic mode. Yet, wanting to share that pleasure with someone else is also Rajasic. In general, sex is Rajasic.

As we move forward in this class and start talking about the different planets, their activating qualities and general dispositions as shown by the Gunas will be inextricable to their activity.

EX: Mars is always trying to protect something by destroying what he sees as weakening it. His house placement, sign placement and placement by transit in the sky will all show these things. Jupiter will always try to expand something by seeing the good in it and trying to rise above the worldly difficulties associated with it. Venus will always try to beautify something and make it more pleasant and enjoyable.

Once we understand how to translate the Gunas Astrologically, we can combine the states of awareness with the natural disposition of the planet.

EX: If Mars is functioning at a high level of intelligence, he will try to destroy things (Tamasic) that he perceives are weakening the soul’s progress (Sattwa) – at a medium level of intelligence he will try to destroy things that he perceives are weakening the mind or interrupting his path toward pleasure (Rajas) – at the lowest level of intelligence he will destroy things that he perceives are weakening or threatening physical safety (Tamas). Yet the destructive nature of Mars is not bad. When we suffer Mars problems it’s because we are fighting the wrong battles.

This example extends to all of the planets and will be covered when we discussed each of them individually.

Third, the signs have a Guna. In general, the signs are the psychological expression of the planets that rule them. Therefore it makes sense that most of the signs have the same Guna as the planet that rules them. But of course, there are exceptions

Tamasic

Rajasic

Sattwic

Virgo

Aries

Cancer

Scorpio

Taurus

Leo

Capricorn

Gemini

Sagittarius

Aquarius

Libra

Pisces

Just like with planets, the signs have these motivations. A planet in a Sattwic sign will be motivated towards doing something good and uplifting. The planet in a Tamasic sign will be motivated to avoid pain and trouble for themselves or others. A planet in a Rajasic sign will be motivated toward fulfilling desires for themselves or others.

Blending the qualities of planetary Guna and Sign Guna is one of the more important,… CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

 

Rahu / Ketu and Saturn

Rahu / Ketu and Saturn

When Saturn joins the nodes, there is a pretty strong alignment of stressful energy.

Rahu/Saturn could be quite a difficult placement, sort of like when Mars joins the nodes. Rahu and Saturn are both planets of fear. Rahu is our imagined fears and the kind of stress in life and worry that we are wasting time.

Rahu / Ketu and Saturn

 

 

satrunSaturn is actually the stress and worries of the tangible life — the things that pressure us. When we get Rahu/Saturn together, we often feel this pressure of time both in a tangible and intangible ways.

Saturn is where we need to learn to cultivate solitude and go into our true self beyond the world of time. This stress and pressure of external time is there to compel us to go deeper into that timeless or formless state. We stress out over the forms that will change but internally, the formless will never change.

As Saturn matures, that worrying about external structures becomes a great competency of committing to the internal structure. Rahu will eventually make us aware of all these but it can be very stressful because whatever Rahu joins, he excites. This will be a very accelerated, stressful placements at times.

Ketu/Saturn can also have the feeling of stress but there can be a lot more mastery of that area of life. Actually, wherever Ketu is, there is a certain amount of mastery already there because the soul has a lot of experience with that thing.

With Ketu/Saturn, we have experienced the pressure in life a lot.  We realize that this is the quality of life that we need to really master and rather than obsessing over the outer form, we need to go inward and conquer that inner fear.

 

Rahu / Ketu and Venus

Rahu / Ketu and Venus

When the nodes join Venus, it is an interesting situation because Venus is said to be the teacher of the nodes.

Rahu / Ketu and Venus

 

venus planetRahu / Venus

Venus/Rahu will actually excite our desires quite a lot. Venus is the planet of our conscious desires—meaning, the things that we actively express, what makes the senses feel good, what we are attracted to, what turns us on and things like that. Venus is the energy that makes the senses enjoyable, makes food taste good or sex feel good, all that fun stuff comes from Venus. But these are actual tangible things.

Rahu is the subconscious imagined things. It is kind of an insatiable desire that cannot be satisfied by something of this world.

Bringing together the subconscious and the conscious forces of desire is what Rahu/Venus is about. It creates a lot of desire but there is also a great lesson in that. If we do not express our desire nature with Rahu, there can be a lot of frustration and that can turn into a diabolical thing in our mind.

Ketu / Venus

Ketu is where we are not really rejecting desires but where we have a hard time experiencing pleasure and joy of the physical world without a little bit of guilt. It does not mean we do not enjoy desires, we will enjoy it but we will also realize the limitation of it and that it is not our highest nature. We can tend to have painful relationship with our desires when we have Ketu/Venus.

Rahu / Ketu and Jupiter

Rahu / Ketu and Jupiter

Rahu joined Jupiter is called Guru Chandala yoga. Rahu tends to interrupt Jupiter much in the way that Ketu tends to interrupt Mercury because Rahu is about variety, trying new things and taking experience through making mistakes. It is not about listening, following instructions or teachings and believing in things.

Rahu / Ketu and Jupiter

 

Jupiter PlanetThis is good with Mercury because Mercury is about the same thing. But Jupiter is about the power of our experience to be a great teacher and to believe and learn from life. Life is a great teacher and those things that we believe in—not necessarily religion—are great sources of strength to us.

Rahu is not about believing in things, it is about trying new things. So it is called Guru Chandala yoga because it interrupts that faith-inspired quality of Jupiter.

Ketu/Jupiter is actually quite conducive because Ketu is also about faith. It is about the belief in what we have experienced already. Ketu is about the past and this idea that we understand and know something already. That can be very disruptive to certain areas of life like for instance, the present moment where we need to be flexible, creative and open to new experience which is Mercury stuff. Ketu/Mercury is kind of interrupting.

Jupiter is actually the belief in the power of what we have learned and how that can prevent us from making the same mistakes over and over again. That is what wisdom is about, it is about belief. But it is always in what you have learned already and what you have experienced. That is Ketu stuff. Ketu is about the past and what we have been through and it can get sort of calcified around this certainty that is very rigid. With Ketu it is quite rigid, but with Jupiter it is not, it is quite expansive.

Ketu joined Jupiter is going to interrupt Jupiter to some extent but it is also going to really concentrate the energy of Jupiter. It can interrupt in the sense of making us maybe a little bit rigid, dogmatic, religious and even somewhat atheistic which sound like a contradiction but it is not because atheism is also a kind of a religion.

Rahu / Ketu and Mercury

Rahu / Ketu and Mercury

When the nodes, especially Rahu, join Mercury  it is actually one of the better placements.

Rahu is said to be very strong in Gemini and Virgo.  This is because Rahu is where we are trying to understand things intellectually, trying to be flexible and figure things out which are also Mercury qualities. When you get Rahu and Mercury, it can bring some intelligence to the random quality of the nodes.

Rahu / Ketu and Mercury

 

mercuryThe nodes, especially Rahu, can be destructive when we take action and act based on immaturity. We are here to take action but the actions of Rahu can be very difficult. This is why, for instance, when you get Rahu /Mars it can be destructive because Mars takes impulsive actions.

Mercury is not really a planet of action, it is a planet of skill and intelligence. Often, with Rahu/Mercury, we try to figure things out before we actually do something about it. This is just the nature of Mercury but the problem is we do not take a lot of action. We just think about things and that is actually good with Rahu because Rahu is where we are trying to figure things out.

Rahu is very open, immature and trying to figure things out and understand how they work that is why we act with Rahu. We act with Rahu not because we are trying to do stupid things but because we are trying to understand what that thing is. And often, the consequences just happen to be the stupid things that we do. Rahu/Mercury can be quite uplifting in bringing about positive change for Rahu energy.

With Ketu, it is a little bit different. Ketu is where we are already kind of serving up something. That is not so good with Mercury because Mercury is where we are trying to figure it out while Ketu is where we think we got it all figured out.

Rahu / Ketu and Mars

Rahu / Ketu and Mars

When the nodes join Mars, we have a strong awareness of courage and personal strength being developed.

Rahu / Ketu and Mars

 

mars planetWith Rahu/Mars, often the person will have a ‘win at all costs’ attitude where they want to take on challenges and challengers because Rahu is trying to accelerate the perceptions of Mars. Rahu/Mars will really develop the qualities of fighting, courage, and eventually, discipline in order to bring about greater intelligence with Mars energy.

Mars is where we have to choose our battles and draw a line in the sand based on how things should or should not be simplistic. Fight-or-flight response to life often is shown by Mars. We see this thing is right and we want to do more of it. We see this thing is wrong and we want to destroy it and take it on.

When Rahu joins Mars, the person might have a very quick temper and decision process. Ketu is really trying to develop this thing to perfection. So there has been a lot of experience often with fighting and understanding the need to purify the fight.

With Ketu/Mars, the person will often be less anxious to get involved with the fight, but they will be good at winning their battles. They will pick their battles carefully but they will often have a lot of issues arguing as well.

Whatever Mars rules, is affecting or aspecting, that is where the person will be fighting and arguing.

Rahu / Ketu and the Moon

Rahu / Ketu and the Moon

When the nodes join the Moon, we have an expression of feminine energy that is really powerful. Rahu and Ketu tend to accelerate the energies, either externally or internally, with the Moon because it is the indicator of internal life and the emotions themselves.

Rahu / Ketu and the Moon

 

rahu ketu moon

When Rahu joins the Moon, it brings a certain amount of emotional transparency. It tends to accelerate the mind, heart and emotions beyond what feels grounded and tangible. And since the Moon itself is our connection to the senses, mind and consciousness, Rahu/Moon can really feel ungrounded. It is like our emotional perceptions are accelerated and they are outside of our field of existence. It is often said to bring psychic emotional phenomena but the nodes themselves has to do with psychic perceptions which is just perceptions beyond just the senses.

When Rahu or Ketu joins the Moon, there will be accelerated emotional intuition. It also tends to accelerate the feminine quality of life whether it is for a man or a woman. When it is a woman who has Rahu/Moon, she can become very attractive to the men because that emotional intuition and feeling is very extended.

When you have Ketu/Moon, it is more of an implosive force. The emotions are very deep and instead of being accelerated into the other person and exciting and expanding very emotional reality, it is actually very concentrated.

Rahu / Ketu and the Sun

Rahu / Ketu and the Sun

When the nodes join the Sun, it is an interesting situation because the Sun is a masculine planet and whenever the nodes join a planet, it really accentuates the gender of that planet.

Rahu / Ketu and (the Sun)

 

rahu ketu

When either node joins the Sun, you will see a lot of masculine energy (whether it is for a man or a woman). For a man, it will tend to concentrate that masculine energy. It can even make him quite attractive to women. It is going to do it in different ways and that is not the only thing that you will see.

Because the nodes tend to magnify whatever they join, Rahu/Sun will tend to amplify that quality of the Sun which is about, for instance, confidence. The person will seem to have a lot of confidence. You will see wild expression of confidence, sometimes they are overconfident and other times they are insecure. This issue of confidence becomes a big theme in the person’s life when we have Rahu joined the Sun.

The same thing happens with Ketu but Ketu is more of an internal implosive force. Ketu/Sun will also bring a lot of masculine power but it is often like a strong, silent type where the person is stoic. That internal nature of the Sun is very concentrated.

When you have Rahu joined something, it expresses itself a lot because there is a certain amount of immaturity associated with it. So in Rahu/Sun, there is an immature expression of the Sun where they over-express or under-express confidence. These wild swings between over-confidence and under-confidence will be seen with Rahu/Sun.

In Ketu/Sun, there is a lot of perfectionism, intelligence and wisdom around the Sun because this is what Ketu is about. It is about completing the Karma and concentrating that energy.  Instead of these erratic displays of confidence, in Ketu/Sun there will be a sort of concentrated power internal but there is still a lack of consistency because the person is trying to really purify the nature of the Sun.

Moon yogas

Moon yogas

MOON YOGAS

In vedic astrology, planets that rise before the moon (meaning 12th sign from the moon), show what are mind (our heart) is going to gravitate toward- for example, if jupiter is before the moon, it might lead us to gravitate toward big things and have philosophy about everything. If it’s venus- it gravitates us in the way we would like to receive only venus stuff and venus issues.

Planets that rise after the moon (2nd sign from the moon), allow us to integrate that experience we need to have- so after we have felt something, we need to integrate it, like for example, if we have mars after the moon, we can argue a lot or we can have sharp, strong opinions- there will be kind of sharp, harsh nature in us in the way how we are responding or processing our feelings.

moon-at-night_w725_h544
Planets join the moon would show how we are experiencing our feelings, the way we are responding to things- like, jupiter joined with the moon can give us big emotions, big hopes and optimism- sort of attitude “everything is fine”.

There is one particular yoga called Kemadruma yoga. If there is no planet on either side of the moon, or joined the moon (no planet 12th house before the moon and no planet 2nd house after the moon)- so, basically, the moon stands alone.

Person A, lets call him John, has kemadruma yoga in his chart- his moon is in his first house, no planet in his 12th house, no planet in his 2nd house either. He was wondering why he felt so lonely most of the time, when he was younger especially, even when he was surrounded with bunch of people or big crowd. He did consider himself to be a social being and he loved people. It was like, there was no support- no buffer before the moon and especially no planet after the moon on which he could rely on. On the other hand, he was lucky to have crowded 4th house in his rasi chart- he had mercury and mars placed there, among some other planets. His kemadruma yoga was modified- he had planets existed on the first angle from the moon and it is said that offers support just when the loneliness and fears significant for this yoga occur. Since it was the first angle and it was his 4th house, he was able to integrate difficult emotions through meditation or reflection. He was very much drawn to meditation and breathing practices which were helping him to maintain a peace of his mind.

And what is very interesting- he had mars and mercury in his 4th house – and in this lifetime he got very supportive sister and mother, especially supportive for his career.

Lets take a person B for example- lets call him Stuart. Stuart has also kemadruma yoga in his chart which was aslo modified- no planets in first or second angle from the moon, but planets in the third angle from the moon- 10th house from the moon. While planets in the 10th house itself are literal support for the carrer, planets in the 10th from the moon are psychological support- they likely give an emotional satisfaction. These person, Stuart, has sun and mercury in the 10th house from the moon, which were modifiying his kemadruma yoga and gave him sense of duties and responsibilities (mercury) and quite ego (sun), which were all directly tied to his carrer. Most of his communication and dealing with people in general were strongly tied to his daily job. I talked to him about his feeling of loneliness and he told me that he didnt even have time to think about his social life or the lack of emotional support because he was so overwhelmed with his work and daily job and his social life is mainly revolving around his career.

Retrograde Planets in Vedic Astrology

Retrograde Planets in Vedic Astrology

Let’s discuss retrograde planets — what they do, why they do it and what you can know specifically about them. Learn why the retrograde planet acts the way it acts and how can we benefit from it.

Retrograde Planets in Vedic Astrology

 

First thing that is important is, there is this stereotype in Western Astrology that retrograde planets are considered “bad” and in Vedic Astrology, they are considered “good”. The truth of matter is, they both really are functioning under the same idea but it is really a difference between Eastern and Western culture and how we are interpreting UNIVERSAL VEDIC ASTROLOGYthe same energy.

The fact is, retrograde planets do tend to interrupt things. They tend to make things slow down and back up in our consciousness. What happens with the retrograde planet is, it appears to be moving backward relative to the Earth’s movement. This is the same phenomena that you’ll experience when you are in the car that is travelling 60 miles an hour and you pass a car that is travelling 45 miles an hour. That 45-mile an hour car appears to move backwards as you pass it. It is actually not moving backward, it is just moving 45 miles an hour but you are moving 60 miles an hour so you are moving past it.

Some people say retrograde planet is just an optical illusion because it is not moving backwards. That is true. It is not actually moving backwards, but relative how fast you are moving, it does appear to move backwards, and that is the important thing. It is not really an optical illusion any more than anything else is based on life on Earth.

We see sunrise everyday and the Sun has never risen, the Earth is turning. Thus “retrograde” is no less real than any other optical illusion we are looking at astronomically and astrologically.

It is a real phenomena and basically, the retrograde planet is not keeping up to the speed of your life at that moment, just like that car that is traveling 45 miles an hour.

The Illusion of Synthesis in Vedic Astrology

The Illusion of Synthesis in Vedic Astrology

I have heard over and over again, the idea of “synthesizing” astrology placements. So many times I am asked questions where two or three astrological indicators are spoken of, and then I am asked “what does this mean?… Is it good or bad?”. For example.

The Illusion of Synthesis in Vedic Astrology

I want to offer a different way of approaching things. And in fact, what I have noticed, is good astrology explanations are not a “synthesis”, they are in unraveling or in unpacking of many details. Comparison and contrast, confluence of similarities, prioritized and sequenced properly, these are what astrologers say when bringing the chart to life.

In fact, I think something that keeps students from stuck is this concept of trying to “synthesize” everything. I invite you to give up the idea that you are supposed to take a complicated astrological placement and reduce it to one or two sentences, synthesizing all of the attributes into a couple salient thoughts.

In fact, when you do this, you’re very likely polarizing and running roughshod over the subtleties. The subtleties and nuances are what need to be spoken and communicated. Astrology shows life, in all its subtle, fragile, ironic beauty. No matter how great something is, it is always mixed with pain and some kind of distortion. Similarly, no matter how difficult something is there’s always beauty and growth in the process.

It is not important that you judge something or call it a name. What is important is that you simply expose what it is within the range of likelihoods and possibilities. When someone hears this type of exposition of their astrological placements, it is a great gift to them. Too often astrologers place too much importance on being afraid to get a prediction wrong, or something like that. People care a lot less about whether or not you predict when the boyfriend will leave, for example. They care a lot more about increasing their understanding of the process they are going through and the attachments they are grappling with along the way.

Bringing objectivity, nuance and honor to all astrological placements require that you understand the larger universal frameworks at play, and then save them to the person. The more you try to “synthesize” complex astrological placements, the more you run the risk of oversimplifying things, turning them into polarized judgments, and thereby making them dead energies that the person cannot really relate to. Stop synthesizing stop synthesizing

Honoring Everything People Are Going Through

Honoring Everything People Are Going Through

Honoring Everything People Are Going Through

There’s a fine line to walk, when giving readings, between honoring the person’s path and process and judging them – or even appearing to judge them.

Honoring Everything – Video

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Many times, without intending to do so, we get into situations that seem judgmental to the person. In fact, they are judgmental. Even though we may not be aware of it, we are being judgmental.

Often, out of a desire to help people, we unknowingly judge what they’re doing. For instance, when someone is in a difficult relationship, it’s easy to make it seem like the person is “making a mistake”.

Once we understand astrology correctly, we know that people never make mistakes. Every person is doing exactly what they should be doing at every moment. If astrology does not reaffirm this to you, as an astrologer or student, then you need to get clear about how astrology works and what astrology actually is.

The biggest mistakes occur the higher up we go on the ladder of principles. Meaning, the clearer we are in our larger principles and concepts, the clearer we will be on these basic truths or frameworks.

For instance, once we remember that everything and everyone is on an evolutionary path, then we will automatically remember that every situation is for the greater good. In that case, we need only truly understand the highest good of every astrological situation, and then explain that to the person.

Also, it’s really important that an astrologer understands the role of astrology in a person’s life, and understand the limits of their influence as an astrologer.

Seriously consider studying astrology so you can first get clear about the universal good in all situations, and know that for yourself. Then later you can share that wisdom with others.

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How Do You Explain Astrology to Non-Believers

How Do You Explain Astrology to Non-Believers

How Do You Explain Astrology to Non-Believers

We all encounter this problem in our everyday life.

In this video I describe how you can approach explaining astrology to others, especially “non-believers”.
I also describe “Why” you may be able to explain it to others.
I also describe the difference between belief and knowledge and why you may actually be contributing to the problem of keeping astrology as some weird belief system, in people’s minds.

How Do You Explain Astrology to Non-Believers – Video

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A few things to know:

1. There is a lot of illusion where the Mercury / Jupiter principles overlap – the juncture between information / experience (Mercury), and belief and long-term hope and vision (Jupiter).
Non-Believers
2. The reason you get tongue tied about explaining what astrology is or being able to explain even simple astrological factors to others (like a simple “Planets in Signs” descriptions) is because you do not actually understand it. You believe in the information and what you have heard, but there is no experiential connection to it directly.

3. Once you go deeper into the process of organizing the data you have gathered (Mercury) and connecting it to actual wisdom, with a Guru to teach you (Jupiter), you will also be able to explain it.
4. Once you are able to explain it, then of course, that means you understand and you will also be able to benefit from it, tangibly – rather than just in the abstract.
5. Once that happens you can also help others with the knowledge of astrology.

It is for this reason that I make available all of the free classes and courses and more formal certifications. You may be saying to yourself that you do not want to be an astrologer, but that is not the reason to study. Everyone is not interested in being an astrologer, but everyone is interested in their place in the Cosmos, including you. Everyone is also supremely interested in helping others. When you study astrology, and learn it well enough to understand your place in the Universe, it is not long before you are helping others do the same, and teaching them as well. I will tell you from experience, there is nothing more rewarding that I know of than to help a person understand their place in the Universe.

Seriously consider studying astrology.

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Modern and Traditional Vedic Astrology

Modern and Traditional Vedic Astrology

Modern and Traditional Vedic Astrology

We must walk many fine lines between cultures and epochs of human history if we are to learn and apply the teaching of Vedic astrology. It is hard to know which parts to honor, which parts to let go and when.

Modern and Traditional Vedic Astrology – Video – forgive the Typo

A few things to know:
1. The astrologers of ancient India were part of the Brahmin Caste, the “advanced education” Class. Others were educated in trades and certain skill like business or warfare, but relative to the standard of education we receive in this modern world, were are what would be considered the Brahmin class in ancient India. These were the advisors and doctors and priests, etc.
2. At this advanced stage intellectual stage, our worldly, detailed mind is meant to connect with the cosmic mind.
3. You are meant to know your place in the Cosmos. The need to have the Priest class be an intermediary between you and you karma is an outdated notion of the Dark Ages. Every spiritual tradition has at one time or another had revolutions against the Priest Class. Lord Buddha appeared to restore Sanatana Dharma to the people.zodiac_astrology_horoscope.png__PNG_Image__885 × 696_pixels_
* Read this great article by Swami Sivananda about Lord Buddha

You must understand the the ancient culture of India was much different, where the people relied on the Brahmins to help them understand their karma. These people did not have access to great mahatmas (Saints) and great wisdom teachings like Yoga and Ayurveda – like we do today.

When looking into remedies, for example, you need to understand that and know that in this era we have the necessary methods and disciplines to awaken to the truth directly through our own experience – without the need for astrologers even. Astrology became more of a fortune-telling system in order to help these ancient people and villagers. But the real power in astrology is not in these predictions, etc. It is understanding the very nature of creation itself – and our place in it.

It is for this reason that I make available all of the free classes and courses and more formal certifications. You may be saying to yourself that you do not want to be an astrologer, but that is not the reason to study. Everyone is not interestedi n being an astrologer, but everyone is interested in their place in the Cosmos, including you. Everyone is also supremely interested in helping others. When you study astrology, and learn it well enough to understand your place in the Universe, it is not long before you are helping others do the same, and teaching them as well. I will tell you from experience, there is nothing more rewarding that I know of than to help a person understand their place in the Universe.

Seriously consider studying astrology.