Aries – Libra, the beginnings Part 1

Aries is the ram/Aja in Sanskrit, the unborn. The ‘not born’, the original mass of potential, the impulse which stirs things up and brings forth newness.

Aries sign is called Mesh, ruled by Mars, Mangal graha, and is the beginning of the Zodiac. ‘Mangal’ means auspicious, prosperity, fortunate, amulet, good work, bliss, welfare, beautiful, etc.

The product of dissolution of ‘dissolution of individuality’, two negatives cancelling each other, he is “individual self’. He is ‘I Am’, in the purest sense. He is created using the resources of the amorphous, the astral, the subconscious and the other states. The resources of the 12th house are used up to create the personality of the 1st house. He is the first Impulse, ‘the One’. He is the driver, the ray of the sun, he moves and instigates things, he is the leader. The creation of the Universes is described in the Nasadiya Sukta (the 129th sukta of the 10th mandala of the Rgved). In the Indescribable Nothingness, there arose an ‘Irresistible Impulse’, this in Jyotish terms is the Mesh/ Aries. Aries is the first spark which emerges with impelling force.

Aries - Libra, the beginnings Part 1

Aries is a moveable, fiery sign, full of individuality, creativity and initiative. If your ascendant is Aries, or your birth Moon sign is Aries or if you have a bunch of planets located in Aries in your birth horoscope, this is what you will be at the sub-conscious internal levels.

Aries is created from the Universal consciousness. And in this first half of the zodiac is the cycle of unfolding, of creation, of participation in the Game/Lila. You want to explore everything that Devi has created for you to play with. The Eternal consciousness/Parabrahma creates its active principle, Devi Mahamaya who then designs this fun-fair for the soul to enjoy. And Aries is full of curiosity, vitality, interest and is the first to explore creation. You can do anything you put your mind to here. Fearless and not bothered by conventions you want to expand without limits. You want to experience everything and as fast as you can. Generally this ‘everything’ is limited to the material rather than the metaphysical. Your sense of ‘self’ is very strong.

You know in your deepest sub-conscious what your spiritual reality is, but you are quite caught up in the material. You can be quite intuitive and are instinctive in your actions. But you can also be ambitious, somewhat self-centred, self-absorbed and can be crude and quite primitive at times. You like activities which either compete with others or solo activities where you compete against yourself. This constant competitive spirit tires out the people around you. Your explosion of ideas and actions will eventually label you as short-tempered. Try to listen to others sometimes. Things get snoother after Mars attains maturity in the late twenties. 

If you can recognise the use of your powers in the spiritual realm you can be great.

The foundation of the Aries personality is the ‘new’. New ideas, new impressions, new thought processes, new inspirations, new interests, inexhaustible energy, independence and direct actions. You are known for your education, knowledge, or original ideas and can rise high in the material life.

This sign has unlimited potential of being the first. Aries gives you your own distinct point of view which you rarely give up. You can come across as egotistical, blunt, rash and explosive to others. You are fierce, ruthless and can take decisions, you are clear. You know you are correct. You are ’True’. You do not need support and neither will you ever request assistance from others. You also cannot deliberately cheat or lie. You are quite simple at heart, there is no ambiguity about your nature, no grey-areas here.

You tend to overshadow your relationships and dominate your loved ones. The lords of the 2nd and 7th houses, the houses of illusion/Maya, are the Marak planets who often give inauspicious results. For Aries, this is Venus as both 2nd and 7th lord. So Venus related things can cause you sorrow and severe you from what you really desire. So wealth, family, relationships, business can cause unhappiness. Often misunderstood by your significant others, you may not really have a satisfying marriage. You have a limited number of real friends. Mercury owns the 3rd and 6th houses so as the owner of the erratic 3rd and the biggest house of turmoil/ maha-dushamnsthan, the 6th, not much auspicious stuff can be expected from him. Moon however can give good results as the owner of the 4th house from Aries. Sun will grant creativity and genius which can be utilised properly if Saturn gives his support. Jupiter owns the 9th auspicious house but then the 12th too, so spiritual/ religious practice and the realisations thereof can generate stress related to dissolution of the self-ego. Saturn as the owner of the 10th and 11th will want to impose his discipline and regulation on the energy of Aries before he confers social, professional success and gain, this can get suffocating.

If you notice, all the signs are in their natural houses, ie. the first sign is in the first house etc. And all the planets are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing, ie. if Saturn is about discipline and work he is exactly doing this in this chart. The forces operating in the chart are thus amplified. ie. If the ascendant is something else other than Aries, if suppose Taurus, then the ascendant house will be defined actually by Taurus, the owner Venus and subtly by Aries and Mars. So there is an ameliorating influence. Aries/Mars will operate through Taurus-Venus, thus the energy will not be ‘pure’ but ‘blended’!

Aries - Libra, the beginnings Part 1

There exists an internal frustration.

If you every sit down and try to analyse your own self you will realise that you are alone, in fact you prefer to be alone. Solitude is necessary to you. From this point of view, your drive to be first or the pioneer is actually an over-riding desire for solitude. To be so far ahead of others that you can be alone with yourself. If you can train your immense energies in the search of the occult you achieve the ultimate. Mars is the owner of Aries and he represents the movement of vital energy/pran and the energy channels, nadi in the body. So this sign is inherently suited for the conquest of the internal. If you strive hard for just the material, it will put you out of balance and a sense of dissatisfaction will then prevail. 

Aries-Mars forms the Dharm trikon with Leo-Sun and Sagittarius-Jupiter. These three planets are good friends and are capable of giving good results together. If this trikon/triangle of signs is powerful in your chart you get an added boost and you achieve great heights. These three planets together give you strength and you need strength to sustain the strain you are always under. But what is this strain really?

‘New’, means a change, a deep cut-off from the ‘old’.

When you start out on a new path you have a new goal in your mind.  When you start out, mingled with the excitement, there is also an underlying sorrow of having left the home behind. Paradoxically every new step carries within itself the desire of its own end. The house/sign counted eighth from Aries is Scorpio, also ruled by Mars. The 6/8 axis is the most challenging one in the chart. This same planet now rules your life and life-trauma induced changes. This is the biggest challenge that you face. As Aries, you represent the beginning which carries within itself the seeds of its end. And you are aware of this, always! Aries is the sudden change which brings about the beginning, it is also the beginning which brings about this traumatic change. You take drastic steps and create dramatic results because of your inbuilt desire for change. Your personality creates, destroys and re-creates fairly regularly.

Some people accept only the material and think of the spiritual/esoteric as a wild imagination. And some people are so frustrated with the material that they hold on to the mystic and reject the material. Both these are extreme views. A balance between these two, the ‘middle path’ is the best way.

It is the same in Jyotish. Astrology is Jyotish, a Vedang, a part of the body of the Ved. Ved are Ultimate Knowledge and Experience together. Every experience is relevant. Predictive astrology is important no doubt but unless you also consider the esoteric aspects of your life you will not understand the Real You!


Aries - Libra, the beginnings Part 1

8th house Dushamsthan

The 6th, 8th and 12th houses of the chart are called the Dushamsthan, of these the 6th is considered the most turbulent as it is linked to the awareness and the resolution of Karma/bondage. The 12th is dissolution of the manifested. The 8th is then catastrophic transformations of identity where the physical, emotional or spiritual identity undergoes a rapid, forceful and often traumatic change. The death of the physical body is the most extreme change which is seen from here. This is the energy of the Rudra, from the 33 koti devatas who make up your body. Catastrophic changes to the body/ mind /soul, always lead to very intense progress on the spiritual levels.

Every sort of ‘Shock’!

Broadly the 8th house from the ascendant governs the situation of physical death, longevity, hidden assets, legacies from the dead, secret knowledge, mysteries, secrets of all forms, undiagnosable diseases, the act of childbirth, the movement of pran/vital energy in the body, occult, tantra, openings of every sort, evolution/involution, cycles of destruction and creation, disappearances and re-appearances, powerful but invisible transformations. Unplanned, unlikely, unanticipated, emergencies, upheavals and meltdowns. Self-destruction coupled with rebirth. And ultimately the potential for recovery, reinvention and reactivation.8th house DushamsthanEnergy (Prakruti) cannot be destroyed, it can only change from one form to another. The principle of Parinam from Sankhya shastra is the essence of the 8th house’s dynamics. The 8th house counted from every house will indicate the potential for transformations related to the keywords of that house. So e.g. if you are looking at the marriage aspects of a chart, also analyse the 2nd house (counted eighth from the 7th), for secrets and changes to the married state. Then the 8th house from the birth Moon should always be analysed. It indicates emotional turbulence and the threats to the stability of the mind and emotions, intimidation and abuse.

The 8th house is never very visible, just like the natural 8th sign of the zodiac Scorpio, it has unfathomed depths. The 8th is a part of the Moksh trikon with the 12th and 4th houses. It facilitates ‘release’. So unless you focus on it specifically, you will remain unaware of your occult potential.

Here is where the walls of creation break down and reform. The invisible comes out and suddenly you realise its significance. The 8th is intimately connected to the occult, tantra. Tantra is the study of constant change. For the physical self, the 8th house rules over death, surgeries, accidents, ‘cuts’ of every sort. For the emotional, it causes stress and separates. For the spiritual it opens up routes into the depths of the subconscious.

The 8th house also indicates the family of the spouse. The money, the wealth, resources of his/her family. Generally you do not know these things about your spouse’s family completely, so this links up with the secret nature of the 8th! Also the voice, speech, eating habits and wealth-accumulating habits of the spouse.

The 8th then indicates explorations, excavations, surgeons, shamans, tantriks, secret financial activities, scientific researchers, secret criminals, etc type of professions, which thrive on skill and an awareness of suspicions, intuitions and sensations from the internal.8th house DushamsthanThe planets occupying this house often incline an interest in the occult depending on their nature. Too many or strong planets here would indicate reduced interest in philosophy or organised religion and a deeper interest in spirituality or the occult. Their Dasha periods/ significant transits will be quite happening times. e.g. Saturn here will indicate it is the karma to do so, a Mercury will grant the boldness, necessary logic and skills to do so, Venus will grant the tantric knowledge and esoteric wisdom related to the occult etc. A special case would be the Moon placed in the 8th house.

If this house is vacant then look out for the transits or the dasha periods of the owner planet, this would be the time which would trigger its potential. This 8th house ruler is a very important agent of change in your life. Track his movement and the aspects of life he controls. He will cause sudden uncontrollable changes wherever he may be at birth or go in transit. But if you understand that he ‘transforms’ not ‘dissolve’, you might understand his actions better.

If by chance, you have the same planet ruling your 8th from ascendant and the 8th from Moon, be careful during his periods, e.g. Libra Ascendant with Moon in Pisces, Venus is ascendant lord, 8th lord, and lord of 8th house from Moon, thus the Venus mahadasha (20yr long) and his antardasha within other planets Mahadashas will be especially transformative. Similarly for Aries ascendent with Moon in Virgo be careful with your Mars periods. If you can navigate this period successfully you will benefit beyond imagination else the physical and subconscious body both will suffer.

It is important to remember that the 8th house is Shock and Change. How you go with the energy and participate in the process will determine how effective the 8th will be. A strong ascendant sign, ascendant lord and birth Moon are very important in this respect. If you are attached to your identity or have Saturn-like resistance to things unfolding around you, you will suffer more. And then is all about perception, if you are prepared for the change you will not be so shocked and if you are aware in advance you will not feel the sudden-ness. So the intensity of these events is reduced by a strong yet adaptable personality.

To navigate the 8th you will have to think like a hunter in the jungle, the shadows can contain a prey or a predator, so be prepared!


8th house Dushamsthan

To Experience and Transcend

We are all here for the Experience… or it it something else?

In Jyotish, this ‘experience’ is the function of Venus/Shukra and the 2nd and 7th houses of the horoscope. When the experience is fulfilled, you leave the body, physical death. Thus Venus is the natural Marak and the house owners of the 2nd and 7th houses are the functional Marak for your chart, they decide the moment of your physical death. But most people are quite scared of physical death. (A secret, the length of your life is counted in breaths. If you continuously engage in activities which require fast breathing, you use up the number of breaths allotted to you faster. Your life span will be completed in lesser number of years. If you engage in activities where you slow or stop your breath, e.g. Dhyan, you will live for more years.)

Karma clothes the individual soul/Jiva with the body’. The Anna-mai-kosh layer of the five layered body is created from the karma you have decided to experience in this present life-time. This is described in the birth chart ie. the first divisional chart and the Science of Illumination/ Jyotish is used to analyse this.Experience and transcendThis manifested Universe contains only karma, nothing else.

The room you are sitting in, is your Karma. Even the table, the bed, the husband, the food on the dining table is there because it is your karma to experience them. Your Universe is your Karma and your Karma is your Universe around you. (Each one’s Universe is thus different!)

So how would you describe yourself? Amit? Priya? A doctor, someone’s daughter, someone’s husband, a farmer, a resident of some place, so many years old, sweet, happy etc. But, you are describing yourself in terms of your Karma! You are describing your karma of being a doctor, your karma of being a wife, of being happy, hardworking, etc your are using your karma is defining you. But You are not your karma. Think deeply then, who are you? How do you go about finding you own self. And if the entire manifested, words, names, emotions, experiences etc is Karma, from where would you get the real words to describe Yourself?

Spiritual practice is how you break the definitions which your own actions have laid on you. This is how it works.

Initially when you start your spiritual practice, you will have a favourite deity, the Aradhya (the one who is worshipped), e.g. the Devi Mahamaya, the Gayatri Mantra, Shri Vishnu, the Shri Yantra, the Bhagwat Gita etc. You consider this Aradhya to be separate from yourself. There is duality, the Aradhya is different from the worshipper, you. You read, worship, do puja, sing the hymns/shloks, listen to its stotras, do rituals in its honor, adore and respect it. You request it to bless you, to give you boons.  The desire for experience starts building up here. Even Jyotish is a form of worship (Aradhana). I adore the graha, I do homa in their honor, I wear their gemstones, I charge myself with their beej mantras, I desire their blessings in making my life easier. (Most of us are at this level)

The second stage starts when you start experiencing whatever your Aradhya stands for. e.g. You feel the universal maternal love of the Devi. The inner meanings of the Bhagwat Gita as a Yog Shastra start becoming clear to you. Now your practice changes subtly, it internalises. You feel yourself to be a part of your Aradhya. And you start feeling your Aradhya in your soul. When you look at the sky you feel Shri Vishnu looking at you. You feel His love and gentle encouragement. As you do your Tratak with the Shri Chakra you sense your own internal chakra geometry buzzing. These signs are important as they indicate that you are on the right path. The karmic bindings are loosening, allowing you the merest glimpse of what lies beyond. (Some of us will pick on these subtle signals and act further, some of us won’t.)

As these gentle experiences become more frequent and intense, you too desire them more and more. Ultimately you start working with your pran, the practice internalises completely. The depth of the experience increases. And remember you are experiencing the Creative Aspect of Your Immense Self. So this experience will be very extensive and can be theoretically infinite. You will also gain some visible Siddhi and abilities, ie. visions, clairvoyance, clairaudience, ability to move things with thoughts etc. (Some of us will get fascinated by these and get side-tracked, some will ignore them and progress further.)Experience and transcendThen comes the test.

Like eating chocolate. You go to a shop and from the array of sweets you choose one. You read the contents, are curious and desire the experience. You buy it, open the wrapper and take a bite. It is a pleasant taste and you take several more bites. The chocolate pervades your senses. You see it, smell it, taste it, feel its texture, you become one with the chocolate and the chocolate becomes one with you, you feel the bliss. You eat and eat some more, till….

There is a limit to the experience.

How much? You cannot go on experiencing for ever. You do get satisfied (trupt तृप्त) and then stop eating the chocolate. You transcend the chocolate and its experience!

Spiritual practice is also the same.

A clue from Jyotish. Everything follows the same pattern. The 2nd and the 7th houses decide how much is going to give you satisfaction (trupti तृप्ति). Depending on the placements here, you can be satisfied with one chocolate or you will need to eat a thousand chocolates to be satisfied. Once you are satisfied you leave the shop. Or in other words you leave this physical body/manifestation. (Venus is the real Moksh-karak, agent of Moksh.)

By now your spiritual practice will have stabilized on the internal levels. You rarely do the external pujas or ritualistic activities now. The world seems curiously flat and one-dimensional. You do Dhyan and actively manipulate the pran later kundalini within your energy body. You are continuously experiencing every aspect of your Aradhya. Then there will come a point when you realise and experience Yourself as the Devi. (Only the rare few of us will experience this.)

But your Aradhya and your spiritual practice are still a part of the manifested Universe. The Aradhya is the Ray which has to be followed back to the Source. Depending on your horoscope, the path you have charted out for you in this life, you will either stop here or move even onward. As you experience your Aradhya, you will desire to follow it back to the Source. This ‘Desire’ would still be a part of the manifested, as you know that there is more to be experienced. The Ray (Prakruti) and the Light (Purush) are inseparable, one is the cause of the other. But they are still duality on the deepest level. One emits the Other and the Other is emitted by the One. But yet together they are a Whole. At this deepest part of your Dhyan, you, the Prakruti, the Purush all merge into something which is Advaita अद्वैत Asang असङ्ग etc. (unique, singular, non-attached, non-connected, un-created etc.)

Ultimately you are neither the Aham, nor your favourite deity/ Aradhya, nor the Dhyan/ the practice, nor the Prakruti, nor the Purush, because you cannot be defined by these limited words.

Can you speak/ explain in Hindi to someone who understands only Chinese? No, you can’t! Thus the Ultimate Reality cannot be cannot be described in this language of this manifested world.

If you are satisfied with the experiences of the manifested, you will want to transcend them till you reach Yourself. Only then you would be completely free of the karma bindings and the manifested world will vanish as if it were never there. This would happen in the deepest Dhyan. This would be the Moksh in the spiritual sense.


Experience and transcend

The 33 koti devata – Rudra

The 33 koti devata are 33 classes of energies linked to the Brahmanadi running along your spine. You, your body/mind, the microcosm, is created by the interaction of these 33 classes of energies. And we pray to the 33 Koti deities in the Universe/macrocosm and this resonates with their energies in the microcosm too. These are Indra, Prajapati, the 8 types of Vasu, the 11 Rudra and the 12 Aditya. Rudra is a Sanskrit word with several meanings  including – sound, terrible, roaring, vibrations, producing energy. It is also linked to – pain, crying, red color etc. And every one of the eleven Rudra have different and distinct attributes which are indicated by their names. They are the eleven forms of Shiv.


The defination of Rudra in the Jyotish context is from Maharishi Jaimini. There are 12 houses in your horoscope and there are 11 Rudra. 11 houses are allocated one to each type of Rudra – the 8th house counted from every house is ruled by a Rudra, except the one which is occupied by Jupiter in your chart. Their names are Raivat, Aja, Bhava, Bhima, Vamadev, Ugra, Vrushakapi, Aja-eka-paad, Ahirbudhnya, Bahuroopa and Mahan.

The 8th house is the mysterious house of catastrophic transformations. It indicates death, occult, the movement of praan flowing in your energy channels, deep mediations and the changes brought about by these etc. Each of these Rudra are the conscious energy/vibration which cause catastrophic changes for each one of the houses of your chart. These are generally painful for the mind and the body because these are complete transformations of identity. The identity connected to that house changes via a traumatic shocking event and for that instant there is pain and grief to the self. E.g. the eighth house counted from the 4th house will indicate catastrophic changes to your physical security, emotional comforts, or the physical death of the mother. The deepest changes are those which involve traumatic transformations are indicated by the 8th house counted from it. And the eight house counted from the ascendant/1st house indicates how the physical death will occur, the most catastrophic change.

Nothing is steady and everything changes. This rate of change can be fast, slow, peaceful, turbulent etc. Every aspect of your life goes through its own sequence of change, some of which are not pleasant but are very necessary. On the material side thus the eleven Rudra bring about pain and grief.

The divisional chart D-11 is called the Rudramsha or the Ekadashamsha, this is used to determine the destruction, death and similarly painful events in your life.

The energies of Rudra end. They end a ‘kalp’, i.e. they end ideas, thought processes, desires, manifestations and ultimately end the Creation itself. Shiv, the energy of the Hindu/Sanatan Dharm triad, is the One who Ends. But this is not a mindless ending. It is with full consciousness and grants complete and pure knowledge. e.g. In school, you pass out from one class and enter the next higher class, you change your text-books, your time-table, your classroom, you have learnt it all so you discard the physical objects. This is the same. The 11 Rudra are embodiments of Time/Kaal which ‘cuts’. And since things are in a never ending spiral, they do not stop, but continue their evolution on a different higher energy spiral.

Together the 11 types of Rudra and the 12 classes of Aditya are used to indicate change and the timing of the change. This is the predictive section of Jyotish, the timing and the transits.

But if you analyse the other side of the 11 Rudra, they are give great gains on the spiritual, they use extreme conscious force to transform you. This transformation removes transient and temporary structures associated with you so that you can more intelligently reshape yourself. Resisting these forces is not possible, it would be better if you learnt more about them and go with their flow. Participate consciously and dispassionately with the transformations so that you can experience the deepest secrets of every aspect of your chart, and thus yourself.

From the astrological point of view the ascendants Aries and Libra are the signs who have birth – death – rebirth inbuilt in their personality and their environment. Their ascendant sign lord and the lord of the 8th house sign is the same, Mars and Venus. Their undergo through a series of rapid and ever changing transformations. Natives of these two ascendants should worship the Rudra-s or any form of Shiv which appeals to them, or if they are more drawn to feminine energies then Shiv’s wife, Parvati preferably in her Kali form.

Destruction carries with itself the seeds of the new. The opposite of ‘birth‘ is not ‘death‘, it is ‘rebirth’. To be free from this cycle, knowledge is essential. And when the stakes are so high it does not come easily. This is the energy of the Eleven Terrible Vibrations, the Ekadash Rudra.