Saturday, July 17, 2010

Inception - A Jyotish Movie Review

Just saw the new DiCaprio movie yesterday - Inception. I went in expecting to see a science fiction movie - which of course it was to a certain degree, but what surprised me even more is that it was a 12th house movie more than anything else.

The whole plot revolves around an exploration of the subconscious. The "other" plane on which events occur. For a person with a strong 12th house - with a yogi Mars sitting in it, I felt an instant connection to the movie. The two actions being "extraction" and "inception" - either invading the subconscious to get vital information that a person would not consciously reveal or more interestingly, use the process to plant the seed of an idea in another persons mind.

Not that it needs to be done in a dream state per say. There are good influencers/seducers out there who can create the same effect - eyes wide open. These folks have either a very strong 12th house or a very strong 12th lord in kendra from lagna or chandra. It is also true that a person with a moon in the 12th sign from yours can understand your subconscious motivations best. It is then fairly simple for them to manipulate you. Heaven forbid if that person has a Chandra in a naturally manipulative nakshatra like Aslesha. Take note all you Simha rashi folks.

The 4th, 8th and 12th houses are both houses of moksha and gateways for more visceral experiences. The 12th especially being the portal for interaction with spirits and the "karana sharira". It should be no wonder then that the vyayesh causes endings during his dasha/antardasha periods. Endings are not necessarily death. Merely a disconnection of the ego with certain aspects of the identity. The matter of death is left to the 2nd and 7th lords.

Coming back to the other two houses that complete the moksha trine - the 4th and 8th houses. These houses and their lords control the native's subconscious reactions to life events. The 4th house and it's lord contributing to happiness, whereas the 8th house and its lord create the trauma profile of randhrasthana - the when, where and how of sudden transformations. So in this way these houses/lords generate the underlying happiness or fears that are dealt with in the subconscious.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Shani - Guru Opposition

Even as I start writing this post, I must admit to having misgivings about calling this an "Opposition" between Shani and Guru. Surely these two giants and the neutrality of their relationship merits being viewed from a different perspective. However, some of the results bear the markings more along the lines of a stand-off.

Lets look at the players for a minute. Guru expands, it creates opportunities. And then it facilitates good judgement to choose the right opportunity. Shani restricts, it focuses and it favors risk averse paths and outcomes. Guru might create several opportunities in a house it aspects whereas Shani will generally weed out the theoretical and present you with more limited, practical options. Shani doubt will cloud optimistic Guru judgement and the more ambitious plans will be discarded.

Guru is in his own house currently in Meena while Shani is in his (Guru's) enemy's house of Kanya. It is also worthwhile to note that from the end of May 2010 to about 4/5th June 2010, Shani was stationary and blasting his total detail oriented drishti on the "I-couldnt-be-bothered-less-with-details" Meena Guru. I have learned of several Guru dominant folks who were severely vexed in terms of their jobs, their luck and judgement during this time. In my opinion, the fact that Guru was in Uttara Bhadrapad nakshatra - owned by shani, and receiving Shani drishti might have tilted the balance slightly in favor of Shani.

More famously since Guru represents judgement, the refreeing in the FIFA world cup has been severely afflicted. There are poor decisions in any tournament but this years cup has had more than its fair share. The FIFA traditionalists have so far pooh poohed at the idea of integrating technology into football refreeing. However, with the Shani-Guru opposition causing doubtful judgements, Guru will be forced to accept the encroachement of his enemy Budha (technology) in his rarefied domain of judgement.

Another interesting example of Guru under attack was the instance of the in-fighting between the French team and their coach. Meena Guru aspected by Kanya Shani - classic case of employees/wards in Budha's juvenile domain withholding approval from Guru.

As far as Guru represents the banking system and financial markets, the hard Shani drishti has caused a reality check in that domain as well. Markets are down from their highs and the recovery seems to be in douubt at this time. Of course that is also likely in part due to the combustion of Mercury and its transit over ketu.

And since Guru is also the karaka for speech, how can we fail to mention the lack of judgement displayed by General McChrystal in his loose comments in front of the rolling stone journalist. Another sad outcome of the opposition. In this case the mangal drishti to Guru may also have had a role to play. I am sure with the passage of time other decisions taken in this period with adverse outcomes may come to light.

However, dear reader, even as Shani is looking at Guru, the opposite is also happening. So its a good time as any to point out that the glass is half full. And as we speak, Guru is slowing down as Shani picks up speed. So some of the more positive results from the opposition can be expected. At the end of July, Guru will turn vakri and will become stronger. Watch this space as we further analyze the impact of the transit.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mangal in Karkata

Now that Mangala has almost finished his extended stay in Karkata, I wanted to capture a few thoughts on the transit. Hindsight being 20/20, it is definitely more convenient to capture the events which I believe were caused by this transit.

First of course, a brief analysis of Mangala in this sign. It is the sign of his debilitation and so the transit cannot be entirely beneficial for anyone - not even those that count on Mangala to be a rajayogakaraka in lagna (Cancer not Leo ascendants), leave alone those for whom he is a malefic. And if we remember, when Mars first transited into the sign, he was conjunct ketu. Ketu is supposed to act like Mars, and so the conjunction compounded the effects of Mangala going in for this 236 day stay in Cancer. Mercifully though, there was the mutual aspect of Mars and Jupiter for about 10-12 weeks which mitigated the debilitation of both somewhat. Apart from that Mars in Cancer causes misplaced agression and a certain degree of futility in actions.

Cancer is this motherly, emotional sign and Mars being a fiery, action oriented planet is distinctly uncomfortable in that environment. Cancer contains within its realm parts of Punarvasu, and the entirety of Pushya and Ashlesha nakshatras. Pushya is supposed to be the epitome of a soft nourishing nakshatra, Ashlesha tending a bit more towards emotional manipulation. Pushya - extending from 3 deg 20 mins - 16 deg 40 mins of Cancer contains within its orb the cluster of stars that contribute the archetypical energies represented by Cancer. So while Mars transits Pushya, it is focusing energy antithetical to its nature, and is getting deeper into debilitation. Its point of extreme debilitation is the 28th degree of Cancer in Aslesha. This is also a part of the zodiac which does not have any particularly powerful stars and the warrior is completey spent and clueless in a watery emotional abyss. Moving beyond the extreme debilitation of the 28th degree of Cancer, Mars will start approaching Regulus, the main star in Magha nakshatra, approximately at 10 degrees in Leo. Regulus is one of the most powerful stars along the zodiac and it channels the kind of showy, regal energy that Mars has a better affinity for. So Mars will be much happier moving past Regulus at less than full speed since he is just emerging from retrogression. That being said, the super long stay in Cancer would result in neecha bhanga at some point for those whom Mars is both a rajayogakaraka and has other mitigating factors. For the rest, well, its moving out on the 26th May anyways.

However our intent here was to provide some retrospective analysis - so let's look at the overlap between the portfolios of mars and of cancer - also representing the 4th house of the kalpurusha. Mars represents the military, land (also a 4th house signification), Mars is bhumiputra - so he affects the earth in general and also the oceans, especially during the transit in Cancer. Mars also represents athletes, young men, testosterone and sexuality. It represents engineering and machinery, again in a marine environment since its in cancer. Mars also rules the Manipur chakra and the digestive fire.

So lets start with the military and defense forces. Mars had just moved into cancer when the shootings happened at the Fort Hood military base - the most populous base in the US. Misplaced agression from a psycho-emotionally disturbed soldier. It has also been under Mars in Cancer that US has expanded its presence in Afghanistan. The Marja offensive was timed around the same time that Mars was approaching stationary to turn direct. I hope things go well for our forces. Mars in Cancer doesnt start wars. It just makes them harder to win. Because now we have to win hearts and minds, besides just killing the enemy. Since the "hearts and minds" component is central to the US initiative, it certainly improves our chances for success. The battle of Stalingrad was launched by the Germans when Mars was in the 28th degree of Cancer. Their objective was just to kill the enemy and they failed.

Is it just me or does anyone else also feel that we've had an awful lot of earthquakes in the last 7 odd months? Lets start with the Earthquake in Haiti - On a Tuesday, with Mars retrograde in Cancer and Chandra in Mula nakshatra. Earthquake in Chile - 27th Feb - with Mars getting close to retrograde stationary and conjunct with Chandra in Karakata. And this is not counting aftershocks and smaller magnitude earthquakes in California and Asia. Hmmm.

Well, its not just about earthquakes - Its also about land deals. Mars had just turned retrograde when someone I know with Mesha lagna had the good fortune of buying land overseas in the course of a short visit. Everyone acknowledged that the deal had gone through with unusually remarkable speed. Though I suspect it was a combination of Mars transiting the 4th, Guru in the 11th and Rahu in the 9th which expedited the process. But nonetheless Mars was aspecting Guru from the 4th - and forced the investment to be in real estate. Rahu in the 9th caused the overseas trip in the first place.

Mars rules Aries and Scorpio - so this transit cant have been entirely smooth for people with their moon in either sign. However Scorpio seems more circumspect being the debilitation sign of the moon. So do we know of any archetypical Martian personality with a moon in Scorpio? Lets just take Tiger Woods. Mars was deep in debiltation and careening forward when the scandal erupted. Mars went retrograde and Woods disappeared from the golf scene for rehab. Mars turned direct again in early March and Woods was back at Augusta!! Classic timing through the initial deep debilitation, retrogression and possible neecha bhanga (some would say the jury is still out), and the eventual restitution and return to competition. It is interesting to note that his Scorpio moon is conjoined with Venus and aspected by Mars. Eliot spitzer has a Cancer moon conjoined with Mars and Venus. Conclusion: Beware the sexual appetites of the moon under the simultaneous influence of Venus and Mars (especially if one of the 3 is debilitated). Through this whole process, it is interesting to note that Woods' Sagittarius surya is under Rahu's shadow. For that matter Rahu in Sagittarius (Philosophy/Religion/ Church) and Mars in Cancer have also dogged the Catholic church with the child abuse scandal.

So we mentioned that Mars rules the digestive fire and the Manipur chakra. Someone I know with Cancer lagna and 3 fiery planets in lagna + budha had to be hospitalized and luckily escaped without damage to the kidney - a clear case of too much mars during the extended stay in cancer.

Mars debilitated produced some hyper-activity when surya was in Mesha. On Tuesday 20th April, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill started. Malfunctioning machinery in the ocean. Karka mangal all over again. With Surya in Mesha, the government has also been indulging in its fair share of futile actions. US started its investigation of Goldman, Arizona passed its controversial immigration law. Karkata Mangal has been causing blocked progress and false starts for the houses it owns and aspects. Now it has moved out of the shadow of its retrogression and is approaching Regulus. So hang in there - things are about to pick up speed again!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Blessings of Brihaspati

Om Ganeshaya Namah! It has been a while since I last posted. Life goes on, the Chandra-Rahu antardasha ended without me getting beheaded and life has been good for the last year and a half under my Chandra-Guru antardasha. That should come as no surprise seeing that Chandra as lagnesh is sitting in the 10th house and Guru is svagrahi in the ninth.

Parashara does say however that for the Chandra mahadasha, an antardasha of the planet sitting in 12th from Chandra produces mixed results. I probably blamed them on Shani subconsciously at that time - though Guru transiting Makar was responsible for some of those. However with my Chandra-Shani coming up, I want to be in Shani's good books and will start posting to this blog on Saturdays to take advantage of the Shani-Guru opposition in Kanya-Meena currently. Shani Maharaj will help me document my observations with Kanya-like attention to detail.

Coming back to Brihaspati - the great benefic. As Prof. Steve Magee reminds his students - the Owl of Minerva only takes flight at dusk. The knowledge required to understand any age/ period in life becomes available only when that epoch draws to an end. Now I have a better understanding of why Guru is debilitated in Makar. There have been few periods in life that I have put in as a sustained effort as when Guru transited Makar. It could be that because my natal Makar (7th house) receives drishti from both Shani and Mangal that Guru was energized to act thus. I worked hard professionally (10th from Chandra), I was able to establish a regular regimen at the gym (transiting Guru drishti to lagna), I worked hard in my garden (Makar guru brought out the farmer in me). For a while the going was extremely rough due to Guru being debilatated and conjunct Rahu - but there was never an expectation on my part for any Grace. A good teacher first completely destroys his students and then builds them from the ground up based on what he thinks correct for them. So the various Gurus that blessed me in this period certainly made me work hard (including my personal trainer at the gym). But at the end of it, now I am considered a subject matter expert at work, the trees in my garden are laden with fruit and I am in much better shape physically than at any time in a the last few years.

For a brief period in 2009 - Guru entered Kumbha in opposition to his lord Shani in Simha at that time. From Simha, Shani aspected my 4th House and so surely enough on one fine Thursday (11th June) a hailstorm came along and totaled my roof. Boy that Simha Shani was rough, but as luck would have it, Guru was transiting the 8th from lagna and so the Insurance kicked in. Shani was the deductible, Guru was the insurance coverage - both aspected my 4th house and so I have a new roof!

Then Guru went retro and back through Makar - and it was nearing the opposition with Surya in Karka and on a fine Thursday I got a speeding ticket driving down Brushy Creek Road on my daily commute. In hindsight, the details of my driving folly seem to me to be a classic case of divine entrapment. But that was a debilitated, overconfident Guru who had the rug pulled from under his feet.

Then Managal moved into karka and started throwing a juvenile aspect on an already down Guru and sure enough on another fine Thursday night, some neighborhood vandals smashed my car window at night to rummage through the contents. They didnt find anything worthwhile but I still had to replace a car window. OK - so I also got the garage door fixed and now park inside. So you can imagine that I was ready Guru to move into Kumbha so my Thursdays could start delivering better luck.

On the positive side, the Guru-Mangal opposition in some way served to reignite my reading habit (novels/fictiton/non-fiction) which had fallen by the wayside years ago when I started my MBA applications. I started reading an assortment of books that I had acquired but never read - Histories, the Manusmriti, Books on the Vedas, and more.

I was in India last December and was browsing at the local bookstore at the beginning of Dhanurmasa - Surya and Chandra were both in Mula nakshatra on Thursday - when my eyes fell on the Aghora trilogy by Dr. Robert Svoboda. I remembered my brother recommending his book "Light on Life" a while back and so I purchased the triology out of curiosity. Growing up in India, I had a vague notion of Tantra but it was very general and very dark - I needed to know more. My dad was with me on the trip to the bookstore and he raised both his eyebrows at my selection - "So now you are going to get into Tantra???" I just shrugged it off, not sure why I had picked up the books. Perhaps I was drawn by the image of Kali on book one. Guru was about to re-enter the 8th house for a more extended period.

During this year, aspirants flock to Prayag in search of a Guru at the Kumbha mela. And when a student is ready, the Guru appears in due course. I will not belabor the point - reading this trilogy has had the most profound impact on me. It has validated some of my core beliefs that were hitherto not articulated, and it has revealed to me truths that will become an integral part of my consciousness going forward. Powerful Stuff - transformational.

Guru was giving additional 8th house (11th from Chandra) results as well - Joint investments, Networking opportunities, Inheritances (aptly enough - of knowledge and family traditions), Extended company of the In-Laws, and happier Thursdays since he enjoys exaltation-like strength in Kumbha. My eighth house is unaspected and unoccupied, apart from of course being the eighth house. So in his transit there, Guru, though stronger and more inclined to being his natural benefic self, produced fewer externally visible results than in his transit through Makar. For the most part, the changes were both profound and internal. I expect the external manifestations to play out over the coming years. He still has some unfinished business in Kumbha apparently and will be back later this year for a month or so - but then I'll be settling into my Shani antardasha.

Having been a student of Jyotish for a while now, I want to explore opportunities to meet other Jyotishi's in the Austin area and engage in discussions. With that in mind, I was browsing the internet and voila - I came across an event hosted by Yoga Yoga of Austin - A weekend with Dr. Svoboda. Apparently this is the last year he is traveling to give public appearances, giving me this wonderful opportunity to meet him in person - and that too in Adhik Maas. Coincidence anyone?

And now of course, dear reader, Guru has moved into Meena Rashi - in my ninth house. Last weekend I heard Dr. Svoboda and met him briefly. I knew from reading his books of his holistic knowledge of all the Vedic disciplines - it was all the more fascinating to hear him in person. He talked of Ayurveda and Yoga and Jyotish and Vaastu, weaving them together with the common thread of his personal experiences. It will enliven all of his books when I read/reread them and lend them deeper meaning given the added insight of his interpretations. Of course, I was also able to connect with other like minded people at the event. Om Guruve Namah!!

Still about a month of my Guru antardasha left. I woke up early today morning around 5:00 AM and opened the front door to gaze at Guru rising and seek his blessings anew. We still have some unfinished business in the days ahead before I submit myself to the TLC of Shani Maharaj!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rahu - The Outsider

Rahu is a very mysterious character, to say the least. In principle, no graha is inherently good or otherwise, and merely reflects certain facets of the karma that the Atma accepted while incarnating. However, I have never heard much good being said about Rahu. Let me expound my views on Rahu, given the understanding that I have developed over the past year of the Rahu antardasha in my Lagnesh (Chandra) mahadasha.

To understand Rahu, one must understand the story about how he became immortal / died - at the very same time :) Both the devas and the rakshasas had worked equally hard to churn the ocean of milk. And many bounties came forth from that effort. Vishnu wedded Lakshmi and Shiva was implored to contain the poison! Finally, when the nectar emerged, Vishnu disguised himself as Mohini to deny the rakshasas their share.

Rahu recognized the fact that while Mohini was keeping them at bay with sweet smiles, the nectar was going to be finished before any Rakshas got his share. He was no fool. He decided to trick Vishnu, who was engaged in the process of sidestepping the rakshasas. Rahu, disguised himself as a deva and joined their ranks to drink the nectar that he so keenly desired. Vishnu recognized him, but was willing to play along, conceding that Rahu had seen through his ploy. Surya and Chandra however, exposed Rahu for what he was and Vishnu had to act quickly to slice off Rahu's head with the Sudarshan chakra. But the nectar had touched his throat and so he became immortal. He had met his end at the hands of Vishnu and so he also achieved Moksha (ketu) !!

Only the devas have the right to immortality and only humans have the right to moksha - but Rahu achieved both!! So think again before labelling him whatever you will :)

That is why I choose to think of Rahu as the quintessential outsider. He was a rakshas but lined up with the devas to get a share of the amrit. Why to people risk migrating to distant lands where they are treated as foreigners/outsiders? In some cases, to earn $$$ :) the modern day equivalent of amrit. It is a strong desire - whether for wealth, for knowledge, marriage, whatever that takes you away from "your" people and makes you an outsider in a different setting, group of people, foreign land or whatever. In order to get a promotion, you might switch companies and go through a period of being an outsider in a new employment setting - the net effect is the same - pure Rahu - Desire, hard work and risk!

It is important to know if you are in character as Rahu because of either your mahadasha/ antardasha or natal placement that people's reactions to you are not personal. Its because of your outsider status. As soon as they get to know you (you become an insider), the equation changes. With a natal placement, things are more challenging. Again, its because of fear of the unknown, lack of willingness to go beyond the comfort zone. On the flip side, you will probably bump into people who have a natal/gochar Venus conjunct Rahu who will co-operate with you, so you will have support!!

Rahu works on the principle stated by Jack Nicholson's character in The Departed - "No one's gonna give it to you, you gotta take it!" Vishnu wont give you the amrit, not unless you are a deva anyway. Rahu works very hard to get what he wants. It is very important to note that the area of the chart where Rahu resides - the effort is put in without protest. Because Rahu is desire, and no one complains about working - however hard it might be - to achieve their desires. The complains are reserved for houses occupied and aspected by Shani - where service is provided. Rahu is what you like, what you want - in some cases, desperately :)

I have read in many places that Rahu creates luck - I beg to differ. Rahu is lucky only becuase he puts in hard work and takes risks. Its just that the work doesnt seem that much of a burden. You are tirelessly churning the ocean of milk in the expectation of amrit. You mingle with your enemies - again for the amrit. Unfortunately, when you get the amrit, your head is sliced off :) !! Now there simply MUST be mitigation strategies for this!! Watch this space - there are still 5 months left in my Rahu antardasha. One thought that I must express here - Is it better to be beheaded after getting what you want, or have to come back for another incarnation because of unfulfilled desires? That is the question........

Rahu, as we know, is the great amplifier. He increases the power of the lord of the house where he sits, as well as the power of any grahas that conjoin him. When in conjunction who, among Rahu or the accompanying graha, dominates depends on whose degrees are higher. I have listed some yogas formed of Rahu conjunctions - dont get too wound up by the sanskrit names - Remember, overall effects depend on house, rashi, as well as house lordships :).

Surya-Rahu: Aditya Chandala yoga - (False) Ego identification with desire

Chandra-Rahu: Strong desire for the nakshatra significations of needy chandra

Mangal-Rahu: Vijay yoga - Desire for victory at any cost

Shukra-Rahu: The Asura, accompanied by his Guru - will inevitably desire/possess finer things in life

Shani-Rahu: Desire to restrict (self and/or others)

Guru-Rahu: Guru Chandala yoga - Use knowledge to release desires or misuse knowledge to expand desires.......

Budha-Rahu: Desire to reason/rationalize

With Rahu conjunct more than one graha, too complex to generalize :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shani - The Service Principle

Of all the grahas to talk about in jyotish, Shani is probably the least pleasant. However, with a stationary karka shani in lagna, I have borne his burdens (not uncomplainingly) more heavily than most. I am sure there is more to come. Supposedly however, his harshest effects are manifested by the completion of the first Saturn return. Shani has taught me many painful lessons and this is what I have to charitably say about him.

Surya represents the Atma which has agreed to incarnate in order to fulfill any remaining desires (Rahu) before it can attain moksha (ketu). While the Atma is essentially selfish in his objective for attaining moksha, he still needs to interact with other souls on this Earth. And Shani represents the interactions where the Atma provides service. Shani in Makar represents work done in service to one's ambition for public standing/or one's own clan, while Shani in Kumbh represents work done in the interest of service to humanity at large. Thus we can see that Shani has both extremely practical facets (earth sign) as well as high intellectual pretentions (air sign).

The sign and house that Shani occupies in the natal chart dictate the nature of service that the Atma has agreed to provide in the given lifetime. This comes with a caveat though - Shani represents detached, neutral service, free of guilt or any other emotion. So a karka Shani needs to put his emotions aside and focus on being detached while providing service. Another thing to note is that Chandra "is" (the ruler of karka rashi) and Shani "does". Shani is detached because it helps him to be prolific. By not getting emotionally involved, Shani in Kumbh can serve a 100 people in the same time that a messy, emotional Karka Shani spends in "being" the 3 people he is trying to serve. Similarly a Shani in Mangal's rashi can get confused as he tries to do Mangal's bidding (promoting Surya's svarth), which is at odds with his own innately humanitarian goals. Notice however, that there is no inherent difference in the action oriented nature of Shani and Mangal - Shani "does" and Mangal also "does". In Mesha rashi, Shani does selfish things under Mangal's command and hence he is debilitated - his self loathing knows no bounds!! The difference between a Makar shani is work done in service of one's karma (Makar is the 10th house of the cosmic Kalpurusha) whereas Mesha shani works in service of the ego (Mesha is the 1st house of the cosmic Kalpurusha).

Grahas too, can get tied up in knots depending on the sign they occupy!! The Atma, with help from Guru (dhi shakti) needs to attain the level of consciousness in order to fine tune the output. Once the Atma experiences a realization, the manas - chandra (which bathes in the reflected light of the atma) can be instructed to make the necessary changes.

Shani's drishti's - 3rd, 7th and 10th represent the areas of the chart where the service will be applied.

Shree Ganeshaya namah!

Jupiter is finally moving forward from his retrograde/stationary motion in Dhanu rashi - so as good a time as any to finally get started on my much (self) awaited jyotish blog.

I have been a student of Jyotish for about 12 years now - yes, Jupiter has come a full circle and now I feel compelled to actually start posting my thoughts/insights. And while we are talking about Gurus, a virtual namaskar to my father, who has successfully passed on his interest and knowledge in jyotish to both his sons, without any ostensible effort on his part.

The purpose of this blog is to record my observations and you the reader are welcome to provide feedback.