When Retrodiction Fails
A student just asked a great question:
"If an astrologer sees something about the past, but that didn't materialize, does it give a clue about the kind of karma that the native built up? Meaning, can retrodiction [a prediction about the past] be used to live more intelligently in the future?"
Here is my answer: If the retrodiction failed, then the astrologer failed. Sorry if that seems harsh, but that is my first answer. Building on it, that simply means that the astrologer is still learning, and very few astrologers are not still learning. What it can do is teach you something new, or at least stimulate you to learn more, some new technique, some new meaning.
So, at the very least, it can cause the astrologer to live more intelligently into the future. The client is just fine, always has been and always will be (and so is the astrologer).
Now, I feel like latently embedded in that answer is another question about free will. That is, some may say that the person is "just" exercising free will, and that is not in the chart. The concept of free will is held in such high esteem in American culture, and so, if your astrology can not line up with a past event, it is not helpful or even honorable, the thinking might go. I would like to address that thinking.
Remember that astrology is fundamentally about maya, and in maya is great cause and effect, such a dense web of it in fact that almost everything is fixed in potential in the chart. This is the field of experience, and the astrologer excels here.
There is in fact only one thing not in the chart: Purusha consciousness, "one-pointed awareness", also the only thing which gives us real freedom and hence real free will. It is true; that is beyond the chart, always has been and always will be. (In one-pointedness is no movement, no change, nothing to move into or change into, so the melodramas of the stars are of no use.) Hence, It is beyond the laws of karma and is the pure essence of everything, including Itself. This is the seed of awareness, and personal consciousness excels here. This is reality.
However, what does Purusha consciousness want to fulfill? Prakriti (Mahamaya), just as Shiva wants to fulfill Parvati, leading us in a delightful mobius strip back to the astrology chart.
This is why Dr. Lad draws an infinity symbol between Purusha and Prakriti at the top of the Sankhya tree.
To know this diagram is to know astrology, to know Ayurveda, to know both the manifest world and where it came, to know the child of Purusha and Prakriti. Ganesha.
Note: above Purusha and Prakriti is the unary oneness of Atman. Atman is not shown in this particular version, but in school, when presenting this topic, Dr. Lad does certainly draw It.
Aum Shreem Hreem Kleem Glaum Gam Ganapataye Swaha!
On Money, Mores, and Meaning
Considering all of the talk about money, budgets, and taxes in this political season here in the USA, I thought that I would explore a bit about a topic of great fascination to many, money. The following is material generated from discussion with my dear students. I could not have thought of these thoughts without them.
Let's look at the connections. Mercury rules money in the chart and business people, and indeed the fleet-footed god Mercury used to be on American dimes until fairly recently.
Why? Well, Mercury goes back and forth like money, business, and communication, but I think we can learn even more.
Why would the wings be connected to the head on the coin (versus the back, the legs, etc.)? Hint: an angel has wings connected to the mid-back. What body parts and hence what planets are thereby connected? Answer: an angel is one whose Mercury (thoughts/wings/business) and Venus (love/heart/back) are connected thusly. The USA did not want to portray itself as an angel.
So what would the image on the coin represent? The head represents the Sun and also government and power and self-initiative. Empirically, people with strong Sun in their chart are typically very good with these themes.
The Mercury coin is referring to some sort of American ideal, a self made man. It unifies business/money (Mercury/wings) with self-employment/government (Sun/head).
It is very interesting that the coin was removed (1945) around the time the World Bank kicked in (1944 in theory, 1945 in practice). If such a development is the true cause, then the World Bank has mythologically done a very serious deed; it severed the succession from king (Sun) to prince (Mercury), and hence stopped the very life blood of our country. Our money (Mercury/prince) cannot grow, mature and rise to full power (Sun/king).
By the way, why does it only feel right for wings (Mercury) to be either near the heart (Venus, for the angel) or head (Sun, for the self-made man/government) or ankles (Saturn, for the messenger)? (Think how silly wings coming out of the knees or an abdomen would be!)
It may be because Sun, Mercury, and Venus are always together in the chart. Look at any chart and they will be within a sign of each other (because from a geocentric point of view that is the chart, the inner planets will be toward the Sun).
The servant messenger has wings at his feet simply because Saturn, the servant, considers Mercury a friend: the internet (Mercury) is most a boon to the impoverished (Saturn). (Bike messengers often come from poorer society and are fine contemporary representations of this combination of archetypes.)
However, the internet is neutral to the impoverished as Mercury is neutral to Saturn in the Jyotish friendship table.
We say "Don't shoot the messenger!" for a reason. Missiles are an act of the Sun. The communications (Mercury) is neutral to the messenger (Saturn), but the receiver (Sun) of the message considers the messenger (Saturn) an enemy and can even cause astrological "combustion" of Mercury when the latter comes too close to It.
Moreover, the messenger may have been killed off because of the lack of mutual friendship between Saturn and Mercury so that Mercury could not protect Saturn from Saturn's mutual enmity with the Sun.
By the way, it is no surprise then that these quicksilver shoes were/are popular with the everyday, "pedestrian" people who are also represented by Saturn.
That the shoes are expensive despite their appeal to the more poor makes sense because a 13 yr old loves expensive things probably the most in his/her life; even a mid-life crisis person spends his/her money being/acting like a teenager. Remember, both money and teenagerhood are represented by Mercury.
So, the Sun-Mercury connection may have been killed off by the World Bank, because of the lack of mutual friendship between Sun and Mercury. That is, government would never allow a truly laissez faire libertarianism to rise. It (the Sun) is too invested in Its friendships to Mars and Jupiter, that is, to Its notions of war/anger/blood and peace/religion/spiritualism. All or any of those themes are just not profitable to a government, and any real government that places money first would not have them. Mars and Jupiter consider Mercury to be an enemy, while Mercury is neutral to them.
All that are left are the angels, Mercury in strong mutual friendship with Venus. The angels alone survive.
If you are interested in more of this conflation of myth, archetype, and astrology, consider the movie "Wings of Desire": "The angel got sick of watching over people (the original title is 'The sky over Berlin...'), fell in love with a circus performer, then he decides to get rid of his wings and comes down to earth as human... having no money (he bought clothes from second hand store). But he was way happier and could be with the girl he fell in love with."
Just a few observations on this great movie:
1) His dropping of wings is the dropping of thoughts (Mercury) which is perhaps true spirituality (since Mercury is debilitated in Pisces). Yet, he retains the full power of the heart (because Venus is exalted in Pisces).
2) It is coherent that he has no money when he drops Mercury, since money is represented by Mercury, as described above.
The angel (Venus) IS strong mutual friends with the messenger, and so, the everyday people do easily understand communications about love, even if in bits and pieces through a mercurial intermediary such as that movie or, with hope, perhaps this post.
Never mind about changing the government. Instead, love and thereby, through a witting intermediary of communication, change the manas heart/mind/public opinion as represented by the Moon. She can then, through mutual friendship with the Sun/government, impress It and change It. If we are talking about the people (Saturn) - and hence their only powers of love (Venus) and communication, the internet, or even money (Mercury) - this is the only way to truly change the Sun.
The trick here is that Mercury hates the Moon, just as a 13 year old boy hates his mom. Mercury will not directly, intentionally affect the Moon. Mercury, however, wants very much to impress his dad, the Sun (government), as lobbyists know.
The solution? Be in love first (Venus) to improve communication generally (Mercury), and the mind (Moon) will certainly notice and give support to the improvement, just as a mom wishes the best for her son. The government will change accordingly.
In translation, no amount of brainpower or rationale will change the nature of the government, but public opinion (Moon) sure will and quickly, and that changes only by the mano a mano power of love.
So, thanks for taking this little journey with me. I hope you are seeing the power of the integration of archetypes in our real world and the importance of understanding them via astrology.
I'm going to wrote tonight about something that I have been following all day: the story of the skinny little 14 yr old boy who was arrested yesterday.
I have found it fascinating, and I am seemingly not alone- almost a million people tweeted about it in the last 24 hours.
By the afternoon, Obama, Zuckerberg, many astronauts, and other famous scientists extended invitations of amazing, touching, and substantial support directly to the kid.
This story fascinates me because it is something of a perfect, beautiful thing: tech and science education enthusiasts unified with anti-Patriot Act people and anti-racists, and it turns out to be a tasty recipe: they are legion (and include me).
First, the chart of the arrest, approximately 3 pm, yesterday in Irving, TX:
Some salient points:
1) the Arudha lagna (the appearance) of the event is in Aries, owned by a weak Mars by gandanta (0 degrees) but strong by shadbala (the strongest graha there at 198) and in a Ketu-ruled nakshatra. The Mars is in the fifth house to this Aries. This all supports the appearance of things as being an act of a kid "terrorist". By the way, that Mars representing the police is enlivening by aspect the Saturn placement, the upset, of the "little people" in Scorpio.
2) That Arudha lagna is exactly at the same placement (degree) as the arudha (appearance) of the third house, the a3. So, the school house (the third house) appears to be the same/the locale of the kid-terrorist act.
3) That Pluto in Saggitarius is rising is no surprise: the school wanted to take control of the situation.
4) Virgo, which as we will see, does here and will continue to represent the innocent kid's internal environment well, is conflicted/confused with a strong exalted Mercury in Hasta, the nakshatra of the hands, but with Rahu in a nakshatra of Uttara Phalguni representing "patronage, favors, and kindness". (See Light on Life.) This is what the child was yearning for (Rahu), as he admitted to reporters the next day. (He was new to the school and wanted to impress his teachers, find his niche, and get support for his prodigious abilities, i.e. exalted Mercury). He used his hands (Hasta) to make a fancy little thing (Chitra): something on his Mind (Moon). Hasta is Moon-based. The Moon was in the nakshatra of Chitra in a Mars pada, suggesting the fine little thing with an engineering basis (Mars) was the foundation of point 1).
5) Note also Uranus retrograde in Revati, the nakshatra of time pieces. The firecracker/revolutionary quality of Uranus was being expressed through a timepiece.
6) Now, quite detracting from that Virgo environment is the complex of super powerful planets in the 12th house to it: namely, the Sun, Jupiter, Mars stellium in Leo in the chart's ninth house. Jupiter, representing I believe the principal/teachers in this case, was in control of the situation, aspecting into and owning the first house, or so they thought. Note the Purva Phalguni placement, one that "represents a lack of forethought or planning". The fast and strong involvement of various governmental agencies must have happened, both from reports and by observation of that incredibly strong Sun there in Leo.
7) Note the Ascendant exactly at 7 degrees and 6 seconds, the same degree as the Arudha lagna and a3 of point 2) above. This puts the "kid-terrorist" in the "schoolhouse" trope front and center in the story of the moment.
8) Also of note, finally, is Venus in Cancer in Mercury-ruled Ashlesha. A female Engineering teacher to whom the kid showed the clock was "dead in the water" and no help or in hiding in the situation, but I suspect she will actually be an end to the principal-DHS-police juggernaut of the 9th house that was in power at that moment.
So what happened next? Let's look at the chart of today, quite a full day in the story.
Three distinct periods marked today: approximately 11am MT when Obama and Zuckerberg extended their succor, approximately 12:50 MT when the school district and police released a somewhat pathetic response, and approximately 3:40 pm MT when a triumphant 14 year old's press conference was aired on all major news outlets.
So, the above is the chart for Obama's announcement of support. The upapada lagna (that which supports or upholds) is is on Obama's actual lagna of Capricorn upholding the arudha lagna in Satabhishak (which represents by myth and identity all of the scientists) . Obama is successfully supporting all of the publicly upset scientists. (That is to say, Saturn, the lord of Obama's ascendant and the Aquarius of the scientists, is rising.)
In this snapshot above of the school's release of their explanation, the lazy principal and administrators (still Jupiter in Purva Phalguni) think they are in control, by claiming support of, actually linking their statement to, the ineffectual police (Mars is still week at 0 degrees). The governmental agencies (DHS) which were in control the day before are now so close to 30 degrees in SU/RA/RA/MA nakshatra as to be weak enough to be almost completely taken over by the scientists' (RA) opinions. Everyone has forgotten about what was on Ahmed's mind (Moon) from the day before: the perfect little thing that he made to impress his teacher (Venus in an environment of the Moon), the clock. That is well-hidden and out of view of the story in the twelfth house. Any consideration of it is as an academic expression. Moon is now in Swati, the nakshatra of the academic.
The beautiful graha malika yoga, involving houses 9 through 12, gives Mercury (Ahmed) as the one in the focus of the kendra of fame in the 10th house. An advanced technique tells us that the fifth house to it is what starts that fame, namely Capricorn, that is, Obama.
What will end the bout, the so-called 20 minutes, of fame? The same advanced technique tells us it is the 11th house to Mercury, i.e., the Venus placement, which represents that teacher. We will be hearing more from the teacher. Her internal life, ruled by the fast moving Moon, is probably quite topsy-turvy right now. It will especially be so for about another 5 days until the Moon is done being debilitated in Scorpio. She will side with the administrators then for a few days but probably will then flip her position.
In this great image above of Ahmed's press conference, we see the powerful governmental-police-administrator stellarium in the 8th house, dead. The Virgoan Ahmed is the teacher, doing the right thing, and being lucky (9th house), and public opinion is the name of the game, with Moon (public opinion) in the tenth house.
That beautiful parivartana between Moon and the seventh house Venus suggests that the "Other" for Ahmed (7th house) is very much doting on him, indeed. That yoga simply did not exist the day before.
Retrospection is all well and good, but what do I see for the future in this fast moving narrative?
Well, principally, Sun is leaving its home and entering Virgo, so there should be even more amplification of Ahmed's power (and ego). The "everyday people" of Saturn will remain upset and confused in Scorpio but will ultimately grudgingly give Obama props for his stance. (Saturn aspects into Capricorn, Obama's ascendant.)
Immediately, in the next few days, the female engineering teacher will speak out as the Moon rises through Libra and may choose to leave the school district over the weekend. The school district will march on, or rather limp, in its position, without Sun to support them/it. Perhaps in about six weeks, with Sun debilitated in Libra, we will see the lawsuits come - not against the school district, but against the governmental agencies whose policies are ultimately responsible.
Here is something you might not have seen before in your Jyotish studies: a visual depiction of the qualities (gunas) of the nakshatras.
The material is all taken from Hart de Fouw's excellent work: Light on Life, An Introduction to the Astrology of India (particularly pages 206-214).
As one bright student told me the other day, the nakshatras are kind of like the periodic table of Jyotish. Full of story and lore, truth and the telling, myth and math, nakshatras neatly introduce us to the more Tantric webs of meaning of Nature and of the Universe.
They are parts of the 360 degree zodiac, each of the 27 nakshatras being 13 degrees and 20 seconds. The 28th that is sometimes used is abhijit, but "only occasionally, in electional astrology" and its depiction would "ruin the symmetrical distribution" as well as mess up the divine geometry inherent within. (See Light on Life.)
Numbers are a quick and easy way to label the other standard nakshatras:
Abhijit is acknowledged in the diagram as the empty "28"th pie slice even though its placement is typically between Uttara Ashada (21) and Shravana (22).
It is my belief and motivation that, by looking at these visual diagrams, new insights will come to the student, particularly for those, like me, who are pitta and visually oriented.
Here are the diagrams. There is room in the lower right for your own notes. As always, contact me with any questions, comments, or observations, and I will include them here.
Coming soon: some sort of visual treatment for the 4 padas per nakshatra, raising the number of elements to the holy number of 108.
Renay Oshop - teacher, searcher, researcher, immerser, rejoicer, enjoying the interstices between Twitter, Facebook, and journals.