Relevant Vedic Background #3
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This is Maya, the illusion that we are merely an acting, mind / body experience.
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 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.