Oct 012011
 

The purpose of Vedic astrology is not to make us feel subject to external forces but to help us use our life in a positive way for a greater Self-unfoldment.

- Dr. David Frawley, The Astrology of the Seers

The Sanskrit word for Vedic astrology is jyotish, which means “the science of light”.

It’s a perfect name for many reasons, including how well it illuminates our path and provides both inner and outer guidance.

As a jyotishi, I’m often asked what the difference is between Western astrology and jyotish. And when I did a guest post for Angela Artemis at her blog Powered by Intuition recently, she asked me to write about exactly that.

As I wrote, though, I became increasingly aware of just how many differences there actually are.

Way too many for one article!

In the end I decided that that article should just highlight a few of the main differences that even non-astrologers would care about, and that I would write this article too with even more differences, including those that astrologers might want to know about.

5 Main Differences

Briefly, the 5 main differences I covered in the Powered by Intuition post are:

1. The charts look different. I explain how and show you some examples.

2. Jyotish uses the sidereal zodiac whereas Western uses the tropical zodiac. I explain the zodiacs and why most peoples’ Sun sign shifts back one sign.

3. Jyotish is Moon based, and emphasizes the Ascendant and Moon more than the Sun. It relies on 27 smaller constellations called “Lunar Mansions” or nakshatras.

4. Jyotish is renowned for being predictive, and I discuss its brilliant timing system called dasas or planetary periods.

5. Jyotish offers built-in remedial measures called upayas that are used to help correct challenging situations and strengthen opportunities. I talk about this and what some of the upayas are.

Of course there’s more detail in that post so I encourage you to read it once you’ve finished this one. It has an especially good explanation of the two zodiacs.

18 More Big Differences

1. Precision

In jyotish, it’s important to know your birth time to the minute. That way, you can take advantage of its powerful and unique predictive features.

If you don’t, a jyotishi can do a complex and time-consuming process called rectification. This uses events in your life to “reverse-engineer” what your birth time must have been.

If you can’t get the time to the minute, then other systems of analysis can be used but they won’t give as detailed information.

2. Dasas (planetary periods) are nested

Nested Dasas (Barack Obama)

If your birth time is very precise, the dasa periods used for forecasting can be nested several levels deep to see progressively smaller time intervals.

This helps pin-point developments or events with levels of accuracy or detail that are sometimes downright startling.

3. Transits

Transits are used as a secondary indicator for timing. They’re done similarly to but differently than in Western astrology, with some special jyotish transits that are especially relevant and often indicate major life transitions.

4. Vargas

Precision is required not only to determine the dasa periods already mentioned, but also to calculate vargas (also called amsas or harmonic charts).

There are dozens of vargas that are calculated for various areas of your life, e.g relationship, money, career, children, parents, spirituality, etc. and they enable an in-depth view into areas of interest.

They’re also used to fine-tune and confirm indications that are observed in the birth chart itself.

These are very sensitive to even slight changes in birth time.

(Western astrology has added something like these relatively recently called harmonic charts, but they’re calculated differently and have not been there since the inception like these have.)

5. Navamsa, chart of the soul

The most important varga of all is the navamsa. It’s used as a secondary chart along with the birth chart for all aspects of life.

It’s also the all-important relationship chart.

It’s sometimes called the “chart of the soul” and it’s said that you progressively reflect your navamsa as you get older almost moreso than your birth chart. It shows the karma of your soul and what you long to realize at a deep level.

6. Jyotish has a spiritual essence

Born as it is, from the heart of the Vedas (the ancient Hindu scriptures), I would be remiss not to mention the profoundly spiritual essence of jyotish. It’s so much a part of this sacred art and science that I often forget that not all astrology is so integrated with a spiritual philosophy.

Combined with its remarkable predictive abilities, this is what makes jyotish such an outstanding tool for both inner and outer guidance.

Astrology, properly employed, shows us the world within us and our self within the entire world so that we might understand the unity of all creation.

- Dr. David Frawley, The Astrology of the Seers

Besides all this, jyotish itself is an ongoing sadhana (spiritual practice) for the jyotishi when approached correctly.

7. Varshaphal

A precise birth time also gives accurate varshaphal or annual charts.

Varshaphal charts are rich in information and enable the jyotishi to see in detail what’s likely to occur over the next year. They use yet another system of aspects (the Tajika system) and cycle through all the planetary periods in just one year. As in the other charts, the dasa periods are nested for detailed predictions.

8. Yogas

Yoga in this context means “combination” and planetary yogas play a major role in jyotish.

These are amazingly revealing indicators and can show opportunities and challenges in all areas of life, such as finances, vocation, relationships, etc.

There are hundreds of yogas with a dozen or so that are very important.

Just a few examples are:

  • Maha Purusa yogas or “great person” yogas. These are fairly rare and show extraordinary qualities.
  • Raja yogas show success. They indicate areas where you will be both capable and fulfilled. These are used a lot for career-related analysis.
  • Dhana yogas show wealth and its surrounding circumstances.
  • Kuja Dosa can show difficulties in relationship.

9. Karakas

Just as jyotish has yogas, it also has karakas or indicators. They can show certain people, areas of life, attributes, qualities, difficulties, opportunities, etc.

There are several sets that are calculated differently. Some are related to yogas, some to house rulership, some to planetary position, etc.

These are used extensively and are very illuminating.

10. Nakshatras

It would be impossible to over-emphasize the importance of nakshatras in jyotish. They are rich in symbolism and are used extensively in all aspects of analysis.

Of special importance is the Moon’s nakshatra at the time of birth. In fact, in India, if you asked someone their sign, they would answer with the sidereal nakshatra of their Moon, not the tropical sign of their Sun.

11. Bhavat Bhavam (referred houses)

Bhavat Bhavam (referred houses) means “from house to house” and is a special jyotish technique for seeing indications for all areas of life and even for people you have a relationship with (such as spouse, children, parents, employees, employer, etc.)

It’s one of the features of jyotish that give additional information and/or help confirm what’s seen elsewhere (also known as confluence) which is what makes jyotish so accurate when done properly.

It’s also great for checking on others whose charts aren’t available. For example, you can get an idea of the health of your mother, the personality of your children, etc. even without their charts.

12. Prasna Shastra & Nimitta

Prasna Shastra (sometimes called horary astrology) is an integral part of jytoish and is a handy way to answer any one question.

At the moment the question is asked of the jyotishi, that question is “born” and a chart is drawn up for that moment.

Prasna incorporates nimitta or the reading of omens that’s done hand in hand with the prasna chart (or sometimes even in place of the chart).

Jyotish also defines alternate ways to calculate a prasna chart when exact planetary positions or ascendant degrees are unknown (such as when no computer or ephemeris is available).

Like varshaphal, this type of chart uses special techniques that differ from how a normal birth chart is analyzed.

These charts are handy when you need to make a decision and they provide an amazing amount of accurate and helpful information.

For Astrologers: Differences in Analysis

13. Boundaries

Jyotish typically uses the sign boundaries as house boundaries, unlike Western astrology where they’re staggered.

14. Aspects

Aspects work differently. Some planets have special aspects, and planets aspect whole houses rather than other planets to the degree.

Aspects aren’t drawn on the charts like in Western astrology.

15. 7 planets

Jyotish traditionally uses only 7 of the planets: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn, ordered by the days of the week they rule. They act as a complete system and no others are necessary.

Along with the jyotishi’s judgement, planetary strength is calculated numerically using several different systems.

Some jyotishis use Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto but usually just for Mundane (worldly) predictions.

16. Rahu & Ketu

Jyotish also uses Rahu and Ketu as important planets.

They have significantly different meanings than in Western astrology where they are known as the north and south nodes of the Moon.

17. House, Sign, and Planet meanings

Most of the houses, signs, and planets have similar meanings as Western but there are differences, some more significant than others.

18. Additional Relationship Indicators

Relationship compatibility is highly important in jyotish and besides methods that are also used in Western astrology, jyotish includes several specific tools (such as relationship kutas) for analyzing partnerships.

A Stellar Combination

We’ve reached the end of our highlights for today. Whew!

Even with all this, we’ve barely begun noting the unique characteristics of this remarkable system.

Jyotish is very complex but the overlapping tools and systems-within-systems make it possible to fine-tune and confirm indications.

When these are properly analyzed and cross-checked, jyotish can give a high level of accuracy and reliability.

Namasté.

Wow. This is a long article. To print it or save it as a PDF report, click here. (You can always do this with my posts by clicking the “print” button below. It gives you the option to save as PDF.)

Do you have any questions about this article, other things you’d like to know about jyotish, or something you’d like to add? Please let me know in the comments!

Note: If you already know the basics of jyotish, be sure to check out my Jyotish Tutorial Series sponsored by Pundit Mahesh Shastriji at My Panchang. I’ll be starting with intermediate lessons on financial indicators.


UPDATE Monday, October 10, 2011:

If you’re looking for the special, sorry! It expired yesterday. But thanks for checking!

If you took advantage of the free chart offer, thank you! I had a lot of fun interacting with you.

I ended up doing a little mini-reading along with the chart, and will offer this special again sometime.

EXPIRED - A “Thank-You” Special - EXPIRED

You’re a good sport making it all the way through this article.

Want a copy of your Vedic chart? This week only, I’m offering free chart calculation. No strings attached.

Click here to get yours!

 


 

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Jun 282011
 

On July 1 (this Friday), at 4:38 AM EDT, we have the last eclipse in a series of 3 that have taken place over just this past month.

This one’s a partial solar eclipse and it takes place in Ardra Nakshatra, at 15°16′ Gemini.

The first thing this says to me is that maybe we’ll get rain!

Wordly Affairs

This eclipse is in a nakshatra that’s related to rain and storms, and that makes me hopeful.

Our last eclipse took place in a fire sign, and with the Moon being eclipsed by Rahu (whose direction is south-west), I commented on the fires in the south-western U.S. They continue to break records both in number and size.

Some good news about rain would be more than welcome.

But in reality, this one probably won’t have much impact on wordly affairs at all.

Eclipses have their strongest effect where they’re visible, and according to the NASA Eclipse Website, “This Southern Hemisphere event is visible from a D-shaped region in the Antarctic Ocean south of Africa. Such a remote and isolated path means that it may very well turn out to be the solar eclipse that nobody sees.”

Ardra and the Great Power of Storm Energy

But as individuals, we can still work in harmony with the general energies of the eclipse by looking at Ardra nakshatra where the eclipse takes place.

The symbol of Ardra is a teardrop or raindrop, and it’s ruled by the wild and thunderous storm god Rudra who is a form of Shiva the Destroyer. And just like thunder can physically shake your world, the power of Rudra can shake you to your core emotionally.

And although this star represents the ferocity and power of the “storm” itself, it also relates to the aftermath.

It represents the sense of cleansing and renewal that we experience after a good cry, or that the environment benefits from after a good rain-storm.

Of course, to get there from here, we need to go through the turbulence of the storm or the cry, either literally or figuratively.

So beginning this Friday and for the next few weeks, you may notice this idea playing out in your life in one way or another. And if not for you specifically, then maybe with someone you’re close to.

In the Eye of the Storm

If and when an emotional storm presents itself, it can be powerful to allow yourself to just be in the midst of it.

  1. As soon as possible, get away to a quiet place where you can be alone. (Noisy and crowded can work too, if you can be focused.)
  2. Give your emotions permission to express themselves to you with as much freedom as you dare — just like the wild animals that Rudra also rules.
  3. Now allow them to move through you deeply and passionately.
  4. As they continue to touch you, observe them. Watch. Listen. Sense. Intuit.
  5. What are they telling you?
  6. If it’s not obvious, you can probe by asking them what part of you they’re trying to protect. Do you feel threatened? Do they indicate something you want? A pent-up passion? An unexpressed way in which you want to shine your light? A frustration? (You’ll know better than I do what questions are most helpful.)
  7. Feel the message in your heart. (Don’t get too mental because that will cut you off from the message-carrying emotion). Stay with it if you can, as several revelations will likely be forthcoming once you’re in this open heart space.
  8. Acknowledge the message and thank yourself for revealing it and for paying it attention.

The Rainbow After the Storm

If you’re willing to be in the storm instead of avoid it, you’ll find there are many rewards, including:

  • You’ll be in tune with your spirit. Almost always, your emotions are telling you something you’re not aware of yet so that you can process it and move forward more integrated with all levels of your being.
  • You’ll know your next steps. Guidance is often revealed along with the messages during the listening process. You just know what you have to do.
  • Things are suddenly clear. Sometimes the sense of clarity you gain is nothing short of astonishing. What was muddled and hazy before is now crystal clear.

Appreciate that all of these rewards are a direct result of the storm — or more accurately, of your courage and willingness to step into the eye of it.

So pat yourself on the back — you deserve it.

A Good Time to Apply Yourself

Each nakshatra has a particular shakti, or power, and that of Ardra is yatna shakti, or effort — especially effort for making gains in life.

This can give a great enthusiasm for making strides in whatever you are working on right now. This would include progress in any emotional work like I just mentioned in the previous section.

So over the next few weeks, if you’re willing to hold a persistent focus and make a determined effort, the rewards can be significant.

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Jun 212011
 

Do you have trouble finishing things? Or maybe that trips you up and you don’t even know it.

For awhile now I’ve struggled with how to be more productive.

I’m “very busy all the time” (inside joke with you-know-who-you-are) but I don’t seem to get much done.

Well, I’ve realized that’s exactly the key idea: Get things done.

I get lots of projects to about 80% and then they languish as I jump to something else.

It’s a real problem!

But I’m onto something. I just know I’m on my way, I can feel it in my bones.

Here are a few things that helped me get my head around it. And if you’re reading this, you’ll know it works, because it means I finished this post. Hooray!

Not Finishing Sucks

When you don’t finish things, you’re not nearly as productive as you deserve to be considering how hard you work. All your efforts go to waste.

Not finishing things is a total time and energy suck, and in other ways too.

Things lay around and languish. They wither. They die. Pretty soon they become downright toxic. This not only sucks, it stinks.

Also, being in the middle of a lot of unfinished things weighs you down. It takes effort to carry them around with you. They’re in your energy field, whether you’re aware of them or not.

Lots of you are intuitives or are interested in improving your abilities. As an intuitive you really want to keep things alive and moving. Clean. Fresh. Clear. Sattwic. This is true internally and externally. Being in the middle of a lot of unfinished things is the opposite of that. It’s heavy and oppressive. Tamasic.

And not ever getting any payoff for your efforts is just downright depressing. Yes, even if you love the process. If you never get that extra little satisfaction of a job well done, you’ll be dragged down and probably discouraged sooner or later. It’s like running and running without ever getting to stop.

Finishing Provides a Wonderful Buzz

Literally, when you finish something, you can feel the freed-up energy buzzing around wondering what to do with itself.

It’s kind of like after a good run. If you just *stop*, you feel the blood gather in your legs because it’s still raring to go. It’s on a roll. It’s got momentum. It’s ready! Available for some more action. And let’s not forget the euphoria of a runner’s high.

Accomplishing something just feels really good in and of itself.

And if what you’ve just finished serves a purpose (which probably it does), you and possibly others get the benefit of whatever that project was intended for besides.

Big wins all around.

Now’s a Good Time to Finish

Today is the Summer Solstice where I live, and that’s what prompted this post.

In my last newsletter I mentioned briefly that today begins what’s known in jyotish as Dakshinayana, where darkness increases as the days begin to shorten, and it’s time to finish what was begun in the brightening part of the year.

It’s the Solar version of the waning part of a monthly Lunar cycle, and it lasts half a year.

Just like a gardener worth their salt wouldn’t plant seeds while the moon is waning, this isn’t the best half of the year to be starting new projects.

(Of course this is only true in the Northern hemisphere. You guys in the south, go get crackin’ on some new stuff and don’t waste your time reading this post… for 6 more months, anyway. ;-) )

If you pay attention you’ll notice that this feels natural. Right around New Year’s it’s easy to be enthused about starting new habits, new projects… same with spring. There’s a sense of newness in the air.

But now that summer is here, things are just kind of perking along. It’s not only a good time to be in maintenance mode but even better to work toward completion. Wrap it up.

And especially as we move toward fall, we will see things fall away, die off, get moved to the compost pile for new growth in the spring again.

6 months! This is a good chunk of time. You can finish up something substantial. Several things. Lots of things. Make a big difference. Free up lots of energy.

It’s kind of exciting!

Don’t Forget the Joy

Of course, finishing in and of itself isn’t the whole equation. Sometimes finishing things leaves you exhausted and depleted.

It’s important to notice that the things worth finishing (or maintaining/improving) are those things that bring joy to your heart.

That’s the sign you’re looking for. Those things will typically leave you feeling uplifted and sometimes even energized afterward. Needing some down-time is normal but it will feel healthy and balanced. You’ll feel satisfied and content.

If it doesn’t bring joy but it “needs” to be done, see if you can bring joy to the activity.

If you’ve made a commitment but don’t enjoy the activity, maybe you can find an aspect of it to enjoy, even if it’s the aspect of being honorable about it.

And if you can’t, maybe the way to finish it is to let it go. Redefine finished. Quit. Yes, quit it!

Only do it if it’s fun. If it’s not fun, make it fun. If you can’t make it fun, then don’t do it.
Peter Russell, physicist/philosopher as quoted in Danielle LaPorte’s Spark KIT

So do allow yourself to “finish up” or let go of whatever doesn’t serve your spirit. That alone will be a big weight off and free your energy for where it can be put to its best use.

What to Finish?

(I know, right about now you just want to finish this damn post, already. I hear ya. Me too. But I decided to enjoy slogging on. Really! Are we having fun yet?)

We’ve been talking about projects so far, but this idea goes for all kinds of things.

Start by doing a physical (you and your environment), mental, and emotional inventory. For the sake of brevity (catch the levity?), here are just a few things to look for:

Any kind of unfinished business. This could be relationships that are just kind of hanging in your life and not serving anyone, intentions you have but haven’t acted on, lists you’ve had going for years with a little bit done on each item, etc.

Anything on a list even if you haven’t started it; you’ve still got a piece of yourself invested in it.

Decisions that you need to make but haven’t, maybe because you’re afraid to lose some potential. Just do it. Make a choice. Decide.

The word “decide” comes from the Latin decidere, to cut off. This is what you are doing when you decide, cutting away an option. So it’s true that energetically (and in other ways), you are closing a door. But that’s good. It often takes closing the old one for a new one to open.

Things around the house that you’ve started with the intention of doing some day — but haven’t.

Old stories that you can benefit from letting go of.

Old belief patterns, especially negative and limiting thoughts.

Too many commitments.

Judgements about situations, others and ourselves. Often based on old stuff. Often sub-conscious.

Projections, especially paranoid ones that you let limit you. Often just under the surface.

Resentments. This can be quite the project, but well worth it. Often we’re very aware of these but don’t want to take the time to clean them up.

Negative associations (e.g. friendships or group activities that you down or just don’t work anymore.)

There are some patterns to watch for that one post just can’t do justice. There are books written on each of these. But just for the record, a few other things that are huge time and energy drains are:

Clutter. Any kind of clutter qualifies (I love the book Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. So practically helpful and inspiring. Gets you excited and off your butt.)

But especially clear out anything that feels bad. So, anything that brings up bad memories, even subtly, when you notice it. Or things that make you feel guilty because you’re neglecting them, things you don’t like, etc.

And don’t just put it away in a closet or garage. Get rid of it. Pass it on if you can to someone who will cherish or use it. Energetically, this creates space. The space itself feels great.

But watch out, the space may fill up fast. But please, not with new clutter! Let it be with something that supports your new interests in a positive way.

Being and staying stuck.

Bad habits.

Disorganization.

Allowing and even encouraging distractions.

Plus: Little Changes with Big Payoffs

Expunge the habit of not finishing. Yes, this can be a habit.

Even with little things, like opening the mail and setting it down, setting dirty dishes in the sink, tossing your clothes on the bed, etc. I heard once that it’s good to handle everything only once. This doesn’t always make sense but in this case it’s a helpful thought to keep in mind and practice often.

It’s a little along the lines of finishing one thing before beginning another, but not exactly.

Let go of perfectionism. This can be a biggie.

Haven’t we all been in that exhausting place where things have to be so perfect they’re never good enough to be done?

I know that for me, I have to let go of the idea that my posts have to be thorough and painfully organized. Writing a post often becomes a huge, sprawling, monster of a project (like this one) that I never finish (but will this time). And then I wonder why I have dozens of almost-finished posts laying around.

It’s time to learn to do a decently good job and call it done. It’s either that or nothing. Really!

Something’s got to change.

Slowly but surely, we can let go of some old rules.

So Now What?

I read an excellent post last week on write to done by Ali Luke of Aliventures. It’s called How to Finish What You Start: A Five-Step Plan for Writers and is about writing but could actually be applied to anything.

Her 5 steps are:

  1. Stop starting new projects
  2. Assess your current projects
  3. Choose one project to focus on
  4. Decide what “finished” will look like
  5. Set some milestones (and start hitting them)

There are a lot of helpful ideas in it, and you really should check it out.

Here are a few things I would add or emphasize, and where I would fit them in:

Before #1) Be motivated to finish.

Do this by knowing and acknowledging that finishing makes all the difference. Doing that last little bit gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It’s a “duh”, I know, but being conscious of this as something to make sure I do with every activity is critical in making this change.

Between #3 & #4) Consider why you avoid finishing each thing.

Sometimes we kid ourselves. We don’t realize we’re quitting; we think we’re setting something aside for now but then we never get back to it.

But why do you resist finishing it?

Acknowledge there may be (and probably is) some block you have about it, or that it is making you face. Looking at it will help you move through it to a new freedom on the other side.

See if you can NOT ignore, avoid, or try to get rid of your blocks. Instead, greet them, acknowledge them, embrace them, and most importantly: see or listen to what they have to say to you.

Whenever you do this, they’ll lose their substance as they transform into a gift that you then carry forward, walking right through where they used to be with your eyes wide open, and all the better for it.

For example, with my posts, I realize that every time I get a good way through I let my inner critic sabotage me. I can always find something wrong with what I’ve written. If I look at this consciously, I stand to gain much more than if I repeatedly bulldoze my way through them.

This way you grow instead of struggle.

Between #4 & #5) Dangle a carrot.

Keep in front of yourself not only the finished product and the benefits of it to you and others, but also how you’re going to feel when you’re finished.

Of course you’ll get/feel the benefit from whatever you finish, but you’ll also feel great just knowing you completed it. If you’re like me, that’s a big deal too!

And don’t forget, even if you’ve just launched something and you’ve yet to see how well it will do (this babe out in the world), it’s a milestone. Let yourself celebrate your milestones.

Are You With Me?

Just like how –  at the beginning of this year — I jumped on the “one word” bandwagon (and I even still know what my word is, do you know yours?), I am committing right now that for the next 6 months I will keep this word in front of me:

Finish

Do you want to do this with me? We all know that support can help a lot, right?

If you want to join me, say so in the comments.

And if we get a decent number of us, we’ll come up with a Twitter hashtag and keep in touch there. Sound good?

[Thank you for sticking with me through this ridiculously long post. My longest yet, but there was no way I could NOT finish it, you know that, right? ;-) (But just think how good I must feel!)]

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May 282011
 
The touch of an eclipse

Eclipses touch us.

Eclipses indicate periods of transition and change.

They primarily affect things at a worldly level but if you pay attention you’ll notice that they influence us at a personal level too.

Next week we’ll have the first of 3 eclipses that all occur within one month of each other. (June 1, June 15, July 1.)

According to jyotish, eclipses are events to be aware of because they tend to block energy rather than facilitate it, causing disruption rather than flow.

Knowing the specifics helps us act accordingly.

Here are some tips for making the most of eclipse periods.

On the Day of the Eclipse

The actual day of an eclipse is not a good day to initiate major events or plans.

However, it’s an especially powerful day for resting, quiet time, and for spiritual or inner focus. (Note that jyotish considers each day as going from sunrise to sunrise.)

It’s not uncommon that on the day of an eclipse, things get “eclipsed”. Letters or emails go missing, important phone calls don’t get returned, trips go awry, reservations get dropped; things like that. So either do these things on a different day or plan to do a bit of extra followup.

It’s not recommended to go outside to view an eclipse, especially if you’re pregnant.

On a Solar Eclipse

Consider that the Sun represents your self and how you shine in the world.

Because this light is blocked, it’s not a good day for trying to impress people or to strongly rely on your authority.

Instead, it’s a great day for inner and/or spiritual pursuits, especially those where you take some time out to investigate, recognize, and honor your own self and who or what you are.

On a Lunar Eclipse

It so happens that Rahu and Ketu, the grahas that cause eclipses, often cause confusion in whatever realm they influence.

The Moon represents your perceptive mind, your moods, emotions, and intuition. You may find that your intuitions or moods are disrupted or feel confusing to you.

It’s not a good day to be involved in things where you need to rely on your emotions or intuitions as part of major decisions.

You also may want to avoid situations where you need to be on an even keel or situations that are emotionally volatile.

But it is a good day to explore those things quite deeply, go deep and really feel, and it’s a good day for some deep meditation and quiet time.

The Time Between Eclipses

The time between eclipses is not a good time for beginning new ventures. If at all possible, launch that new project either before the first eclipse or after the last. (That means not during June this year.)

But it is an excellent time for finishing up old business, and completing those projects you’ve already begun. Cleaning up loose ends also includes things like cleaning house and letting go of old baggage of various kinds. Have any of that? ;-)

The Time After an Eclipse

First, it’s interesting to watch world events as they unfold following a set of eclipses.

A rule of thumb is that their effects last about 6 months.

In December I noticed that the January eclipse was in a Nakshatra related to water and because there was another water-related conjunction going on indicating sudden events, I suggested there may be some difficult water-related catastrophes coming up. Sure enough, look at all the water-related disasters that have been going on (e.g. epic tsunami-related disasters in Japan, floods in Australia, and record flooding along the Mississippi in the U.S.)

So if you watch world events, you’ll notice they often reflect the eclipse indications in an obvious way.

And then, if you know your chart positions, you can see if your Ascendant or any planets are at the eclipse degree. If so, you’ll want to take special care in areas represented by that planet and its position for 2 weeks following that eclipse especially and for the next 6 months in general.

The Upcoming June/July Eclipses

Next week, I’ll give you some specifics about the 3 upcoming eclipses.

So if you want even more tips, please check back!

[Update: First article with details about the June 1 eclipse is posted and can be found here.]

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Jan 312011
 

Float! That’s right. Just float.

Today is one of those days. I went to bed excited about the new week beginning. I tossed and turned thinking (okay, worrying) about what I would post today, trying to decide among several ideas. They tumbled around in my head all night.

But this morning, by the time I was sitting here ready to write, I couldn’t bring myself to write about any of those things. It was the last thing I wanted to do. Not because I didn’t want to write, per se, but because I felt too gloomy to want to do anything, much less write a (God-forbid) cheery or (God-help-me) helpful post.

Why? I have no idea. But we all feel like this from time to time, don’t we?

Just like in the old Larry Sanders Show when Larry’s all bummed out about being rebuffed by a woman, we sometimes want to just put on our dark glasses, lie on the couch, and say “Don’t wanna” to everything.

But we can’t always do that. Sometimes we just have too much to do. Or so we’ve decided. And so we press forward.

We try to be little troopers, but only succeed in making false starts. In the end we decide we were just wasting time, which makes us feel even worse.

I have to admit, it’s not that I even mind feeling how I’m feeling. It’s more that it’s hard to get done what I think I have to do when I’m feeling this way. So I naturally assume if I can somehow get myself to feel better, I can then breeze through my tasks.

And anyway, I tell myself, it feels good to feel good. Right?

On that premise, I visit a few inspiring blogs thinking that surely they will cheer me up. I read a post about laughter, complete with a video that I’m guessing should have got me laughing, but it didn’t. It just bored me.

But then it hit me. A reminder of something I’ve already learned, time and again.

Being In Tune With Cycles

There really is something healing about being in tune with ourselves, including our cycles. We have so many cycles influencing us from “out there” and also those that we ourselves are a part of.

There’s a New Moon tomorrow. That’s one good indication that today is a day to be finishing things instead of expecting a bright fresh energy for new beginnings. And since today is Monday, the Moon’s day, it makes that lunar energy even stronger.

Waning Moon is a good time for completing unfinished business and as I think about that, it occurs to me that I have a lot of little odds and ends that it would be good to finish up. They can suck the life right out of you if just left dangling.

And women, especially, are in tune with and responsive to lunar cycles, as well as our own related hormonal cycles. Don’t even try to tell me (or my husband, for that matter) that these don’t have an impact. Full and New Moons, especially, are influential times of the month.

It’s also gloomy outside. It’s winter here for God’s-sake! There’s a storm moving in and we’re expecting to get almost a foot of snow. It’s a perfect time to nestle in and replenish.

I imagine myself curled up on the couch with a good book, and realize that it’s not that I don’t want to do anything. I am itching to curl up with a chart that I want to look at for a client. That is calling to me. (Soon, chart, I will be there soon…)

As I look at my own chart (jyotish), I also see that right now Saturn is exactly on my Sun. As a Vedic astrologer, that speaks volumes to me, saying it’s not so odd that my light (the Sun) is feeling squashed (by oppressive Saturn) and that I am feeling heavy today for whatever reason. We all have many levels of recurring cycles going on in our lives at any given time.

Jyotish also has something called “dasas” or planetary periods, showing when certain influences will come to the fore in our lives. Right now, I have a strong Moon influence, so I am especially susceptible to this New Moon coming up tomorrow, as are you if you are running a Moon period.

Recognizing Our Sensitivity

There’s also the influence of what is going on in the world at large. I’m often affected by goings-on in the world, especially heavy, difficult events. I think we all are, it’s just that some of us are more sensitive to and aware of how it affects us.

And then there are those I love or am connected to in some strong way, and I often pick up on their moods. (Exactly at this point in typing this, my husband came into my office quite upset. It seems we missed an important filing deadline that we didn’t know about until today related to our finances. This can potentially have a major impact. See?)

But those of us who are empaths, especially, pick up on feelings of those we love from long distances too.  My husband and I regularly run the same emotional currents, even when apart. And most of us have several close loved ones we are not in touch with every day, so we never even know that’s why we were in certain inexplicable moods.

Our Own Subtle Selves

And sometimes, it really is “just us” (as if we actually could be separated from all these other influences), and there are feelings percolating to the surface related to our own feelings that we are not consciously aware of at the moment.

These can be regular emotions such as stress, or they can be intuitive feelings about our own well-being, such as a reluctance to do something because perhaps we know at a deep level that it is not what we are “supposed” to be doing.

Let It Be – aka Float

I often think that we have become a bit too removed from ourselves, from nature, and from natural cycles and events. I also think we are doing ourselves a disservice to forge ahead regardless.

So, my conclusion and recommendation is that when days like this roll around — and roll around they will — see if you can just go with the flow. Perhaps there are a few things you absolutely have to do, so you must do them. But other than that, don’t worry about how you feel and you’ll find that it doesn’t actually feel so bad even to feel bad. :-)

For after all, at the very deepest level, there’s simply us. The abiding self that is simply enjoying being. No special moods or activities are necessary; in fact, they are irrelevant. All is well, all the time, no matter what.

And see if you can possibly respond to that call to withdraw a bit and not be in output mode, ever doing, doing, doing. You will find refreshment there, be much more together tomorrow, and be all the happier and healthier today as well. At least that’s how it works for me.

Or maybe I just needed more caffeine this morning.

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Aug 102010
 

This is my monthly (or so) Jyotish report on what’s going on in the heavens and how we can benefit if we work in synch with the energies. Enjoy!

First, if you like light shows, don’t miss the annual Perseid meteor shower in a few days. It’s right on the tail of the New Moon of the 9th, so the sky will be nice and dark for those of you in low light zones. It is going on already but peaks the night of the 12th/13th with over 100 meteors per hour. (Okay, this isn’t exactly astrology, but too good not to mention.)

Good Days to Take Action

There are four Vedic holidays coming up that we all can take advantage of. These holidays are always auspicious days so they are good for beginnings or for doing any task that you want to have a lasting effect. On top of that, they are good for whatever each holiday specifically relates to, as indicated here. (These dates are for MDT, please adjust accordingly.)

  • 8/13 is the auspicious Naga Panchami, honoring of snakes & serpents, and relates to Rahu & Ketu who are the head and tail of a serpent. There are many fascinating legends about this day, and the idea of some is that if you honor serpents along with the serpent energy, then serpents will work with and for you. This is a good day to work with primal energies, kundalini (e.g. hatha yoga, martial arts, kriya yoga meditation, etc.) and things that kundalini represents such as the potential unleashed by movement toward the divine. It’s also a good day to harmonize with snakes as a precious part of our natural world. You can read a little more here.
  • 8/20 is Varalakshami Vratam, related to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and thus Venus as well. You can find an interesting story here.
  • 8/24 is Raksha Bandhan, related to the malefic planets and is about protection. The festivals of this day are related to the bond between brothers and sisters, so this is  a wonderful day to take time to connect with or show appreciation to your siblings. You can read more here.
    This is also the Full Moon.
  • 9/1 is the auspicious Sri Krishna Janmashtami, Krishna’s birthday, a day of great celebration the world over.
What the August Chart Tells Us

And now let’s talk about what this month’s chart indicates to us and how we can best take advantage of the current energies. [Note: If you are not familiar with Vedic astrology, there are lots of informative articles here.]

Chart 100801

Watch for Opportunities

Jupiter is still in its own sign of Pisces and will be retrograde until 11/19. Planets are strong and happy in their own sign, and even stronger when retrograde. This is very good news since Jupiter is a first class benefic and is shedding its graces on us big time!

Jupiter is an expansive planet, and that means that right now we should all be keeping our eyes open for openings and new opportunities — don’t let them slip by. It’s also easy right now to be optimistic, and this can in turn feed into the fact that it’s a time for increased abundance in general. Jupiter is a planet of dharma, representing our purpose, so it’s an especially good time to move toward what you feel or think will be fulfilling for you at all levels. Some of the other indications of Jupiter are publishing, higher education, learning, teaching, children, spirituality, and whoever we consider to be our guru. Taking actions in any or all of these areas is favored right now.

Mars and Saturn are opposing Jupiter right now, however, so for awhile there will likely be a bit of an impulsiveness counteracted by a need to go slowly, but this shouldn’t be such a major influence as to cause major problems. Or there may be some hiccups in our attempts to move forward, but we should not let that deter us. The good news about this is that Mars will likely add an element of courage right now so that we are more likely to go for whatever we are aspiring to.

It’s Time to Shine

The Sun is in Cancer until the 17th when it moves into its own sign of Leo. As I said above, a planet in its own sign is strong and happy so those things indicated by the Sun in our charts will be greatly favored. The Sun is the planet that represents us in all our glory. It’s how we shine! So while the Sun is in Leo (mid-August to mid-September), it’s an excellent time to take those actions where you want to be seen in your best light and want to be authoritative and influential.

It will be conjunct Mercury on September 3rd & 4th. Mercury is our rational mind and the Sun will help us be “bright” on those days, but at the same time it is so hot that it will likely cause “burn-out”. That means go ahead and take advantage of that mental brilliance, but don’t overdo it!

Inspired Ideas to Express

Besides the Sun, Mercury is in Leo right now, too. As I just alluded to, this inspired, expressive location is a very creative place for our rational minds to be operating from. You can absolutely expect to have lots of great ideas that seem to come out of nowhere. Mercury is retrograde, thus extra strong, from 8/21 – 9/12. This indicates a great mixture of rational, practical thought with the out-of-the-ordinary element that inspiration sometimes has.

Now here’s the kicker, are you ready? Energies moving through Leo really really really want to be expressed! So those great ideas you are having? Put them into action! At the very least, discuss them with someone, write about them, paint about them… something! That will be a perfect first step and the way will unfold from there.

Areas of Pressure Let Up

On the 21st the nodes Rahu & Ketu begin to move again. Ahhh! That means the areas of your life where they have been causing pressure for the past three months will let up significantly. Still, they will remain in the same signs until May of 2011, so they will continue to have a similar effect, just not so intense.

And if you do find that their effects are a little tough to handle, you can find upayas for Rahu & Ketu here. These can be helpful all the way up until next May.

Support for Manifesting our Passions

If you look to the west just after sunset, you will see yellow Saturn, red Mars, and gloriously bright Venus hanging out together in the constellation of Virgo. Let’s see what their teamwork means to us right now.

This is a really interesting combination of planets and location. First, Saturn and Mars are not too fond of each other at all. Saturn is very slow and patient, and Mars just wants to go now! Both, however, are good at making things happen yet in different ways. Mars moves us to action and gives us courage. Saturn helps us plan and move patiently step by step. It ultimately leads to concretizing what begins as something ethereal such as an idea.

Virgo is an earth sign, meaning it is also about manifesting, and in a very practical way. In fact, energies moving through Virgo can be aided by the detail Virgo provides.

So you can see that the planning that Saturn supports can work very well in detailed and practical Virgo, so this is a very good time to take those ideas Mercury in Leo is providing and consider how you might make a practical and perhaps detailed plan to get you where you want to go step by step. Then you can take advantage of that Mars energy to get the ball rolling.

Secondly, Venus and Mars together mean passion! This combination supports and adds to those inspired ideas offered by Mercury right now in that it adds an element of light-hearted creativity and artistry (Venus) and vibrant vitality (Mars) to the mix — again, in a practical way. And Venus and Mars will be moving together for awhile so expect the passion to continue.

We Can Help Venus Help Us

It’s worth noting that Venus is debilitated in Virgo, meaning Virgo is its least favorite sign. Being so light and dreamy and creative, Venus would much prefer a place that is not so gosh-darn practical! The pressure of heavy Saturn and the heat of fiery Mars are also a bit much for refined Venus to handle.

Because of that, I suggest doing some Venus upayas (Vedic remedies) until Venus moves into its own sign of Libra on September 9th, when it will be much happier. Practicing these remedies will help those areas of our lives that are indicated by Venus. These areas include art and creativity, relationships (especially with our beloved), beauty, comfort, luxury, and our means of transportation.

You can find some Venus upayas here.

These Energies at Work – an Example

So, I have to laugh because as I was about to start writing the section above about inspired ideas, I had a GREAT IDEA for a proposal I could make that would move my career forward! Perfect, don’t you think? (And it’s not because I was trying to come up with an inspired idea. In fact, I was distracted from this post and looking at something else entirely.)

Now, if the Sun and Jupiter pull through for me, my work ought to be seen in a good enough light as to open this new opportunity for my expansion. (And I’m noting that I might do best to wait until after the 17th so I have support of the Sun in Leo.)

And besides Mars’ help in the courage area, what I know about these indications just might help give me the extra little bit of  courage I need to make the proposal too. See? That’s how this works! I couldn’t have planned this better!

And speaking of planning, remember what I said about being practical and going step by step? It does indeed make sense for me to get my ducks in a row before jumping in, and I am confident I have support of the powers that be right now for doing just that!

So, wish me luck! (Jupiter’s grace can also be thought of as luck, so perhaps I already have it since Jupiter is so strong right now.)

Your Turn: What’s YOUR Experience?

Well, there’s a lot of information here, and I’m sure it must apply in some way to your life right now! I — and other readers too — would LOVE to hear if and how you are experiencing these energies! Can you relate to any of this? In what way?

Or if you have any questions, please ask! (Someone else is probably wondering too.)

It’s as easy as clicking on the comment link and joining the discussion. I look forward to hearing from you.

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