[This essay won the second place prize for our 2020 holiday essay contest.]
Ebb and flow, push and pull, the nature of tides, oceans of water, a ocean of light.
Yes I see the ocean of light- the undeniable tapestry in the sky.
Each one of us reflects our own image back to the cosmos, back to source.
So here I am- Here we are- experiencing this year in all of its intensity,
Over there look, so many people and they are in trouble.
Famine; Dis-ease; Standing … Fighting … Falling
Then I hear the echo- a ripple from a 100 years before.
How many others can now wonder how it was for the beings back then?
Ebbing and flowing in 1920, oceans of water, ocean of light.
Visions of the past bring me to the present.
Each country in its own despair.
Does anyone know what's really going on?
Alas, there is hope.
See it through different eyes.
I take a slow deep Inhale
Letting the breath out
Letting the air expand in and out of my body
United I become- In breath and body
Moon is the masses. Mercury is the media.
I begin to release my tension
Now- look at this: Now … The Now.
All the players in this Leela. The play of life
There they are - the “celestial bodies”, “grahas they are the seizers”
Everything is visible, Some of us are doing the seizing and some are being seized.
I am reminded creator- preserver- destroyer; vata-pitta-kapha; sattva-rajas-tamas.
Beneath the layers, those grahas, those “seizers” its all there.
One with everything, I immerse myself
Washing away the illusion, the Maya.
There there it is - See those combinations? Yes I see their energy!
Oh wow! Ok I see the correlation! And this too shall pass …
The tapestry doesn’t lie
Humbling me with its magnificence
Every who- what- why can be solved. Gno-ing this … I Bow.
Searching for truth and being able to find it, How amazing is that?
Unwavering in my resolve to go deeper, the practice embracing me- as I embrace it.
Prakruti, Vikruti … Vaastu- Jyotish directs me towards its sisters.
Remembering Nikola Tesla’s words on learning the “secrets of the universe” …
“Energy Frequencies Vibrations.”
Making the cosmic connections in the Calamity that has been this year
Energy- Frequencies- Vibrations- Energy- Frequencies- Vibrations
Conjuctions, transists, dashas
Only to realize how fortunate I am, (we are), to be part of it.
No need to be in the dark
Source energy, celestial happenings
Chill out and breathe, I remind myself - it can all be explained
I saw the fear at one point immobilizing me- immobilizing everyone.
Only in the truth did I find comfort and peace
Uncovering the mysteries of our lives with this Divine science.
So much conflict on the planet, so I push on- digging deeper
No need to spiral down, this is a lifeline.
Everything will work itself out.
Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon … Rahu, Ketu … Saturn, Jupiter, Mars
Seeing them- seeing me- seeing all of us
Only with a Ganesh quality, a child like-ness full of wonder can I approach
My house of mirrors and all nonsense then vanishes into the ether.
The past, the present and the future
All we need to learn from the tapestry
This extraordinary gift of Jyotish the way to listen to their messages.
Seeing the people, seeing the sky
As above, so below
The vast ocean of light reveals truth and I softly surrender to the ebb and flow.
[This essay won the second place prize for our 2020 holiday essay contest.]
I am breathing in and I am breathing out. As sure as the sun does rise, I am as sure that the sun sets. I am breathing out. I am breathing in. The moon also rises, and just as it does, the moon also sets. I am breathing. I am still breathing, and all the bodies that rise with life, they will all also set in their time and find death.
Oh twenty-twenty, what can be said? How did I see you? Was it as perfectly as vision can be given? From the isolation of doors shut, families and loved ones separated, with gloves and masks on, I saw the political colors blazing as gateways to change flew open. I found comfort in meditation and mind dazing stares at a candle. It was like the light, which makes darkness known, would give me the reasons why the cosmos manifests in all the ways that have been shown.
Twenty-twenty, it gave me online global communities that raised me and grew me in new ways. Sparks of learning, very deep learning came to illuminate me. The light in the darkness of watching the stars, reading ancient observations, practices, and philosophies, they created in me a feeling of connections that were greater from a far. I saw so many yogas leading to strong times and weak times. Saturn and Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Venus going through elaborate and difficult direction switches. So many traveling bodies through the knots, playing in the binds, bodies close together but not like bodies that are close together in loves kisses. How my lips miss kisses and my arms miss holding.
So I explored, I am not my body, I am not my molding, but who am I? Watching, I kept the pieces moving on a board, some quickly passing where they had been when I was born. In some places I saw pieces amassed and like bodies attract and repel, my relationships in this world also rose and fell. Sometimes we are moving forwards, sometimes almost standing still, progression and regression and even moments of peacefulness did fill me. Moments, brief moments, showing me the abstract and non-linear motions of time. In a blink of an eye I could have actually missed it.
And like our father, whose will be done on earth as it is in heaven, the motion of great bodies follow his laws. Even the dark and bodies without body did change at his command, and with it mood without form transferred darkness to different parts of the land. I did not anticipate all the collisions in the visions of the future and the past, but I did and will continue to watch them. Weaving stories and meanings from threads that may be but illusions, not real until I can see them, not known until their stories told. I am not my body. I am not even my mind. I do however want to know so I will continue breathing. Breathing in and breathing out, I will be.
Grand Prize: sundara2021
TIE First Place: 8838610591 & MAZ2020 [both receive full amount]
TIE Second Place: 369369369369 & 713B428490 [both receive full amount]
Thank you everyone for submitting your writing! I enjoyed so much reading each and every one of the offerings! They are exquisite.
Winners, please contact me by 10 am Mountain on Dec 28, 2020 with your name, a good mailing address, and the first line of your essay.
The winners' words will be shared here across the next few weeks.
I have learned so much from all of you, and for this holiday season, I want to learn even more.
Please consider writing an essay that describes how the practice of Jyotisha has impacted your 2020 year.
If you win, others will see your anonymous work, and you will receive a cash prize.
Who is eligible: students and clients of Renay who are 18 years of age or older as of December 5, 2020 who have had a class or appointment with Renay between January 1, 2017 and December 5, 2020.
Prizes: One grand prize: $500. One first prize: $200 One second prize: $50. All winning entries will be posted anonymously on this website: AyurAstro.com. By entering, you agree to this posting of your work. (Of course, you may publish the essay yourself also!)
How to enter: Write an essay of between 500 and 2500 words on the topic of how the practice of Jyotisha has impacted your 2020 year.
The essay can be submitted in .docx, .rtf, .odt, or .pdf format.
Choose a ten digit or longer self-defined alphanumeric code and put it at the top of your essay. Do not put your name or email or other identifying information in the file. The submission should contain just your code, the text of your essay, and the following line at the bottom: I hereby permit the use of my essay for anonymous, non-exclusive publication on AyurAstro.com. (All copyrights shall remain with the entrant/author.)
Submit it using this link here before the deadline of 12 am Mountain (USA) time on December 21, 2020. No submissions will be accepted at or after that time. Enter your code in the name slot and use a nonsense or otherwise non-identifying email address on the submission page.
By entering this contest, you agree to the following:
Neither AyurAstro.com nor Renay Oshop are responsible or liable for any computer or internet malfunctions leading to a late entry. No compensation will be awarded to anyone for disqualification, late entry for any reason, or failure to win a prize. Essays will be judged by a team consisting of Renay Oshop and two advisers. Final decisions will be made by the team, and no objections or negotiations will be considered. Anyone who fails to comply with all contest rules will be disqualified. Relatives and non-client or non-student friends of Renay Oshop are not eligible to enter or win.
Winning criteria: the winner will be chosen using subjective criteria of readability, aesthetics, and evocation of the grace of Jyotisha.
How a winner will be announced: Renay will announce the winners by publishing at the top of this page as well as in social media on December 25, 2020 just the winning codes. You can then claim a winning entry by contacting Renay with your code, your mailing address, and the first paragraph of your essay. Renay will then verify that you have had an appointment or class with her between January 1, 2017 and December 5, 2020, and that your age is over 18.
Money orders to the winners in the appropriate amount will then be mailed on December 28, 2020.
Here is just a quick series of thoughts but on something that I have not seen before.
Let's look at the houses of the zodiac, that fundamental distillation of space in which roam the ambassadors of time, namely the grahas (Sun, Moon, planets, and lunar nodes)
Applying the signs in the standard order of Kala Purusha, we receive the following image.
What I have not seen before is the acknowledgement of the built-in increased possibility of personal yogas in the left-half of the zodiac.
Since Sun, Mercury, and Venus all travel together or nearby, within 2 signs (and the Moon is so quick moving that half the time it is with these personal planets too), they are in their own signs only in that half of the year. Thus, there is an increased propensity for parivartana and dharmakarmaadipati and other yogas, those signatures that portend great strength of indication.
Conversely there is an increase but a slight one of possiblility of yoga for the more public planets of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the nodes when the Sun is traveling in the right side of the zodiac.
Some implications are:
Something to think about as we enter Scorpio season and a particularly amplified increase in indication for some very public developments in the next handful of weeks.
[First published on my Patreon page on September 18, 2020.]
In my sadness at Ruth Bader Ginsberg's passing, I am processing my grief, in part, by rectifying her astrological chart. That is, I will attempt to find her birth time.
The "Notorious RBG" had a birth date (3/15/1933) and birth place (Brooklyn) that are known, but her time of birth is not known.
Here is her chart with an assumed noon birth time, just so that you can see her general placements in signs. The birth time will show the rotation of these places, i.e. their proper houses.
STEP ONE: Look for a picture of her hand
This tells us what dominant element she was out of air, fire, water, and earth. Here is a photo from the U.S. National Archives that is in the public domain.
From Wikipedia: " In Hindu theology, Arishadvarga or Shadripu/Shada Ripu (Sanskrit: षड्रिपु meaning the six enemies) are the six enemies of the mind, which are: kama (lust/desire), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), Mada (pride/arrogance), moha (attachment), and matsarya (jealousy); the negative characteristics of which prevent man from attaining moksha or salvation. "
The order here is important and is typically conserved. These failures of the mind in fact can be said to define our experience in the Kali Yuga.
Ayurveda teaches that the experience of digestion of all things, including food, thoughts, and experiences, relies on the transformative power (the Agni) of our own digestive system. Understanding and stoking our digestive capacity thus leads to nothing less than true freedom, i.e. emotional freedom, from the bindings inherent in what we take in.
I propose here that the shad ripus are themselves related to each of the six Ayurvedic tastes and to each of the six digestive organs. Sub-components of this idea were presented to me in Ayurvedic school but not the whole system. Moreover, the conserved order of the shad ripus match the order at which the digestive organs assimilate food.
1. lust :: stomach :: sweet taste = earth + water
2. anger, to be bilious :: liver :: sour taste = earth + fire
3. greed :: pancreas :: salty = water and fire
4. pride/arrogance, to have gall :: gallbladder :: pungent = fire and air
5. attachment, the feeling of loss of which is fear :: kidneys :: bitter = air and space
6. jealousy :: spleen :: astringent = air and earth
Again from Wikipedia: " According to Hindu belief, without experiencing these Shadripu at the fullest a person cannot understand the meaning of the Love which is the soul.... A human who controls all these Shadripus even at some of the extent later enjoys the power of peace. "
You are truly what you can digest.
Take care of your digestive system. It takes care not only of your physical body which comes from your food but also your mental body which is built on digesting all that you take in and which consequently creates your reality.
Here is an easy way to make a wonderful, nutritious, and delicious Ayurvedic meal in under 10 minutes start to finish at about 50 cents per serving. It can serve as a breakfast, snack, or light lunch or dinner.
Soak poha in a pot or bowl of hot water for five or so minutes. Transfer to colander to drain.
Start tarka. (Tarka is a term for spices in hot ghee. It is believed that the hot ghee emancipates the higher properties of the spices.)
Put ghee in skillet. Put on medium heat until melted. Add mustard seeds. Reduce heat to medium-low. Listen for popping sounds of the seeds. A delightful flowery fragrance should be released. Reduce heat to low. Only now, add curry leaves and stir. Add chili powder, turmeric, and salt. Stir.
Add peanuts and stir. Let sit for 2 minutes. Stir again.
Add drained poha and stir, evenly distributing the color. Optionally, pomegranate seeds can be added. Serve.
Add squeezed lime to plated poha.
Ayurvedic Six Tastes:
When I first read the Bhagavad Gita, I was charmed and intrigued by the nicknames of Arjuna, the great everyday hero of the tale who represents nothing less than what it is to be human and reckon with one's true dharma.
Wikipedia summarizes the etymology and epithets of Arjuna. A Quora post on it is here.
I was delighted to see these names, my friends, all in one place. This list also got me thinking. It reminded me of Katapayadi, Ka·ṭa·pa·yā·di is an ancient cryptographic method used to embed extra layers of meaning in texts. Here is my calculator that uses this method to decrypt Sanskrit text into Jyotishical meaning.
Upon applying the calculator to the twelve names of Arjuna, I was amazed but not surprised to see that they map on to the twelve signs of the zodiac. (You can use this dictionary to obtain the proper protocol for inputting the names into the calculator. )
The following is the name, the meaning, and the sign for each of the appellations as re-ordered to the proper sequence in the sky. What I do not know off the top of my head is whether the order of appearance of the names in the Gita is in this sequence. I will look this up and comment below if I find this to be true.
Parantapa – one who concentrates the most, destroyer of enemies. ARIES
Shvethavāhana – one with milky white horses mounted to his pure white chariot. TAURUS
Shyamal - one who brings greenary, prosperous, beautiful environment and good nature to the region where ever he goes. GEMINI
Vijaya – always victorious, invincible and undefeatable. CANCER
Gāndīvadhanvan – one who possessed the mighty bow named Gandiva which was created by Lord Brahma. LEO
Phalguna – born under the star Uttara Phalguni This star is in VIRGO.
Savyasāchi – ambidextrous, only Arjuna was expert in using both hands equally in archery. LIBRA
The word Arjuna itself means "white", "clear", "shining" and "silver". SCORPIO [The connection between meaning and sign here may refer to alchemy as a Scorpionic 8th house expression as connected to the physical qualities of alchemy's metallic rasayanas. I also think that the name of Arjuna as Scorpio is reminiscent of the first verse of the Tao Te Ching that is variously translated with my favorite one saying "darkness within darkness, the gateway to all mystery". In a sense, Arjuna's plight is a darkness and his humanity in that plight may be the darkness within darkness. His journey, if we ourselves can follow it, may be the gateway that opens the door to all mystery. Also, mystery is an eighth house indication in Jyotish.]
Mahabahu - the one with extraordinary biceps, a perfect nickname for the archer. SAGITTARIUS
Jishnu – triumphant. CAPRICORN
Bībhatsu – one who always fights wars in a fair, stylish and terrific manner. AQUARIUS
Anagha - the one with pure soul. PISCES
As you can see the meaning of the name goes well with the tantric meaning of the Katapayadi-given sign for each of the twelve of them. So amazing!
Below is the classical ancient empty chart of Jyotisha. Its diamonds and squares rightly can be said to describe all of space-time.
Here it is with the houses labeled in order according to the schema of kaala purusha, the grand personage of time.
The sectors are numbered one through twelve and can represent anything including the daily travel of the Sun (which is also the soul, Atman). The four notable sandhis of that solar soular travel can be depicted in the following way according to the Sun's placement at those times.
The unlabeled sectors here can just be considered the in-between times between those sandhis.
Since there are 24 hours in the day and 12 sectors, in this schema each sector can be said to represent 2 hours.
In Ayurveda, the doshas occur in the following daily time frames:
More specifically, the organs of the body follow a daily rhythm of activation as well (image below is from svasthaayurveda.com).
Visual examples of the special aspects as end points to triangles pictorially show the language that describes the planets Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn.
My derivation of the angle values: