A simple post today, in response to a feedback that my blog is getting too astrologically rarefied.
We understand if a planet is going to give auspicious or inauspicious effects by analysing their natural natures, functional roles, linked signs, houses, their several strengths, the avasthas, the yogs, aspects, divisional charts and so on. There is an over-abundance of techniques in Jyotish that the student often gets confused. But these techniques are necessary as you are analysing real life. No real situation is black or white, there are always so many variables, extenuating factors, mitigating circumstances in every interaction and in every situation.
Generally we use the ascendant sign as the centre of the horoscope for our predictions or the birth Moon or the birth position of the concerned planet. This is how we learn Jyotish, in steps, by breaking down the analysis into bite-sized portions. But real life does not work like that, it is a connected whole. Every house, every sign, every planet, is at the center of your chart. All these represent various energies that are present in you and in your life, all the time. As an astrologer, you have to be able to combine all these data to get the answer which makes sense to you. (And what makes sense to you may not make sense to me.) So we have a plethora of techniques. Every planet contributes to every situation in some way or the other. As an astrologer, you will have to judge the different principles, concepts, case-studies etc and come to a conclusion. So though there will be several Jyotish software and apps, the real predictions will always come from a human Jyotishi.
Analysing a planet is a complex process so here are some relatable examples to help understand why we use the techniques we do.
Eg Your mother has a certain idea about your personality. You behave with her in a certain way and she reciprocates in a certain way. But your father has a completely different idea of you which is accurate from his perspective. Your behaviour with him is different from the way you interact with your Mom. Similarly your spouse, child, friends, business partners, boss, staff, everyone thinks of you in their own different way, each of which is perfectly valid from their point of view. You interact with them in different ways and they respond differently. Thus learn to see the planets in several different ways depending on the question that the client asks, the situation that we put the planet into, the environment he is in, the actions he is supposed to take.
Eg A strong Sun will give power and a superb political reach, genius level intelligence, but most likely a limited connect with the spouse, inability to create deeply felt one-one relationships etc. You cannot reduce a planet to just ‘favourable’ or ‘unfavourable’, the context and the perception of the ‘desired result’ is crucial.
Eg Suppose your 2nd house is very strong, you are the ideal family member. In this, your 7th house is below par, so individual interactions with the spouse cause strain. And the 5th house is fortified by benefics, so your interactions with your child are pleasing. And the 4th and 10th house lords are conjunct, so you feel happier when you are interacting with both parents together. In the same family setting, there are subtly different results depending on the planets/ houses and their strengths.
Eg You want to get married, you have clear criteria for the ideal husband. You find this guy and marry him. Next you want to start a business. You have your clear criteria for an ideal business partner. You love your husband and appreciate his qualities as a ‘husband’, but you do not go into business with him as he does not have the qualities you want in your ‘business partner’. Both husband and business partner are primarily seen from the 7th house. For husband, the 5th 8th 9th etc also play an important role. For a business, the 10th 11th would be additionally relevant. Similarly for the planets. What is it that you want the planet to do?
Eg You have a job which involves working in office and going for field tours. You like the tour part as travelling feels exciting but you feel suffocated sitting at the office desk. Main reason is that 5 of your planets are in moveable signs. This is your innate nature, abilities and disabilities. Similarly a planet and the signs have several linked activities. They feel comfortable powering a particular activity and neutral/ uncomfortable about the others. Thus analyse the innate nature of the planet/sign and combine it with the functional nature for insights on channelising his energy in the work he likes doing best.
Eg You get a significant promotion, power and visibility increases, but you are posted in a different town. An enviable job profile and family time reduced to a weekend/ month. An outcome is good from one perspective but not from the other. This change occurred when the trigger planet Saturn’s transit in Capricorn was favourable from the ascendant sign, Leo but not from the birth Moon in Taurus. Same planet gives different results from different viewpoints.
Eg You do house work and office work, but enjoy the housework more. It gives you more satisfaction seeing your neat and clean house. Your 4th house lord is in Jagrut state and 10th house lord is in Sushupti. You are more aware when you are setting things right in your house rather than in the office. The Avasthas are used to gain more insights of this sort. A planet in Jagrut avastha is more aware of the surroundings, more practical, more physical world oriented. A Swapna avastha planet is more imaginative, creative, willing to experiment etc. And a planet in the Sushupti avastha is in deep sleep, he is highly content and not really connected to the material things around him. Someone I know has all his planets in the Swapna or Sushupti avastha. He is not bothered about the material world, is genius level intelligent, creative etc but does not have the least desire to put his these things into physical form.
Eg Your mindset is more suited for teaching small children, 4th house Mercury. But you are a officer supervising a prison, 10th lord is aspected by Saturn connected to the 12th house. This is diametrically opposite from your natural inclinations, but professional ethics require that you perform. This example is somewhat similar to what a planet feels in his Maran karak sthan.
Eg You are a sportsperson, a long distance swimmer. You dress up and get ready to compete, but you are taken to a desert and dropped into the ‘sea of sand’ and told to ‘swim’ your way across. This is the concept of debilitation. The environment of the sign is completely unsuitable to the nature of the planet. Such planets are supremely uncomfortable and unable to do much positive stuff.
Eg You go for a movie with your girlfriend. Her Dad sitting in the row right behind you staring at you. This cramps your style. Thus aspects of planets like Saturn and Mars do not allow the others to act freely, put restrictions or threaten violence.
Eg You and your business partner are meeting a client. You set up the meeting in your office room. This important interaction is happening in your own room so you are more confident during the meeting. The client is more impressed by you. Your firm gets the account and the investor insists that you personally handle it. So if there are 2 planets in a house and has one of them has more power, more confidence then he gets the deciding vote on the activities of that house. Evaluate this sort of power using the Shad Bala concepts.
Eg in a similar meeting you and your partners are trying to secure a client. You are the one seated at the head of the table and because of your leading position you aggressively push the firm’s agenda. Again the client wants you to handle the account. This is the Graha yuddha, where the planet at the top position dominates.
Eg A client is trying to decide between your and a rival firm. You tell him that yours is a 4th generation firm, in the same business for the past 100yrs. The rival firm is 2yrs old. You get the client. The power of the result is rooted in the divisional charts. If its source is deep within, then more complete results are expected. This is the Vimshopak Bala.
Eg A client is trying to find more about your firm before he engages you. He asks around and 7 different people come forward and say that you are a very good worker and your firm is the best. They also pledge to support your firm. This is the Ashtakvarga, where you analyse how the other planets support the planet in question.
Eg Cancer ascendant, Venus exalted in the 9th house. The 9th house is the bhavat bhavam of the 11th. So he will give gains, ancestors will help, elderly female teachers will teach, female deities will give blessings, it will be wonderful. But he is the badhak lord so these 9th things fail to support unless the person understands how the Badhak energies create his life foundations. Badhak is the difference between overt and subtle results. The barrier you have to deeply understand and firmly cross.
Writing these tiny examples felt like writing mini stories. But this is what you have to do. The planets also represent real life situations. So do not always think of them to be esoteric and spiritual, they are also regular guys operating in a fixed system of rules and regulations.
The very many techniques of Jyotish are necessary and each one gives clarity on one subtle aspect of the situation. So before getting into the math and tables of the technique, try to find out what its concept is all about. This way you can avoid asking questions like, ‘ashtakvarga is good, but planet strength is low, so will be planet be favourable or unfavourable’. There is no answer to these sort of questions. Work out for yourself how this planet performs in your life by studying your chart and life situations.
An important component is the effect of these material results on the Mind. How much ever ‘good’ the result may be, if it does not give satisfaction to the Mind then it cannot considered to be auspicious. Analysing this part can be tricky as this depends on the individual perspective.
Eg. Your 4th house has your 11th house lord in it and Ketu is conjunct the 8th lord in your birth chart. In transit Ketu shifts into your 4th house. You receive a huge amount of money from your mother. But it comes after her sudden death, as a legacy in her will. Would you consider this to be a favourable or unfavourable result?
Another example, you know that the position of a planet from the Ascendant sign will give physical, tangible results. Suppose your Sun in the 4th house, this is how you will analyse. This is just a small glimpse of the very many things which this simple placement can tell.
- Typical 4th house keywords so he will give you a job in the government set-up. The residence and vehicle will also be from the government. Your mother will be a government employee. She will be a Sun dominated personality.
- If this Sun is aspected by benefics, your inner motivation will be to work for your homeland and protect it in some way or the other. You are a patriot at heart.
- If this Sun is aspected by malefics then though you work for the government you will try to put in your selfish motives into it, perhaps engage in corruption or behave in ways inimical to the nation or at the extreme become a traitor. There will be loads of self ego.
- If this Sun is the Badhak lord for your ascendant sign, then he will give a slow growth in the profession, ie bring in hurdles from time to time. He will cause you stress from your mother, homeland, landed property etc.
- If this Sun is the ruler of the 2nd placed in the 4th then you will earn significant money and make close connections in the governmental and political setup during the course of your job.
- If this Sun is conjunct your 7th house lord, then you will meet your spouse in your government job or the spouse will be a government employee too.
- If this Sun is in the Sushupti avastha, these things granted by him will not affect your ego as you go about your work.
Finally, yes/ no questions. ‘Should I do so-and-so thing or not? Should I marry this person? Should I take up this job? Should I do this mantra?’. Yes or No, the questioner wants clear directions because he does not want to decide for himself.
And clients get addicted to astrology sessions. Following directions is more comforting than deciding for oneself. Once I heard an astrologer boasting that ‘—— person does not do anything unless he asks me first’. Most people are scared to take decisions because if something goes wrong, they will have no one to blame for it. A practitioner should never answer Yes and No questions. eg If you tell a client, ‘yes, get married to this woman’, you take on part of his karma on the energy levels. On practical levels, if something goes wrong the client will blame you. For the client too, this sort of question is wrong. He is asking for clear direction, giving the astrologer the power to decide what he should be doing. This interferes with his free will and has karmic implications.
The astrologer and the client have different perspectives. Eg If I see problems due to ancestors, I would suggest he repay their debts. A ritual of about 3-4 hrs and some Rs5000/-. I might think this to be urgent because I may see those angry spirits standing behind the client. He may not. So I suggest and leave it at that. He knows the solution, whether to do it now or later or not do it at all is his free will, nothing to do with me.
A genuine astrologer will open your horoscope and tell you things about yourself, the situation and lay out the possible options. If the horoscope is capable of giving good results, there will be more and potentially auspicious options. If the horoscope is of lower quality, malefic influences and uncomfortable planets, the number of options are lesser and the potential benefits will be lesser. He will discuss the options and suggest remedies. But the choice on which option to act on is wholly the client’s. The client is responsible for his own life and should take his own decisions.
Everyone should take responsibility for what happens to them in life. You can ask your parents, your spouse, your teacher or your astrologer for their opinions. Also request your source of faith to give you the intelligence to choose the correct path and the courage to walk on it. But the final choice, the action and its implications are yours alone.