Here’s a very special study opportunity. It’s an optional part of a very long-established and caring individually taught Vedic Astrology Course: http://www.mastervedicastrology.com/
This Blog Post arises because there has been open discussion recently on whether Vedic Astrology should use the traditional ‘sidereal zodiac‘, or whether it should use the newer ‘tropical zodiac’ of western astrology, in other words which zodiac should I use
I felt quite sickened recently to listen to a YouTube video on this subject, which was pretty ranting and which forgot and ignored that Vedic Astrology is the expression of a most ancient spiritual path.
Vedic Astrologers must not use their positions as Teachers of Vedic Astrology egoically. So I wanted to share with you my considered and caring very authentic Vedic Astrology Course, where you can if you wish, optionally look with whatever depth you like, into the question of what is described by each Zodiac.
One of my earliest Tutors in Vedic Astrology in the 1990s used to take the line ‘there is discussion’ about a method, when there were two different views as to methods or settings.
So I wondered what has happened when ranting pretty egoic confrontation is used – a state of consciousness and communication that quite forgets the spiritual standing of the Vedic pathway, and is far from what it is actually about.
Of course, this unfortunate ranting is an expression to the recent very difficult position of Mercury following the September 21st Eclipse of 2017.
And this perception should of course have guided astrologers to avoid the conflict which must stem from such a configuration unless one can make spiritual and healing utilisation of what Vedic Astrology perceives with this Mercury configuration.
But at least it brings the matter of zodiac definition to a head, and so what I am proposing is the optional incorporation of respectful and considered study of the which zodiac question into my course for those who would want this, and who ask the very appropriate question of which Zodiac should I use.
So, what’s all the unfortunate and regrettable fighting about? It is about whether it is legitimate to use the Tropical Zodiac of Western Astrology to study Vedic Astrology.
It’s about what Ayanamsha to use (the difference between the Tropical and Sidereal Zodiacs).
And it has huge ramifications into House systems, Gandanta Zones, definition of the crucial Varga (Divisional) charts, definitions of start and end dates of Dasas (Predictive Periods), definitions of what role a planet plays in your life (moveable indicators or chara karakas).
To start off, I must make clear my own position based on 23 years of the study and teaching of Vedic Astrology, as an intelligent guy, well educated, who seeks to be caring and to find the keys to the understanding and healing of my life, and the lives of others for whom I offer readings and courses.
With my partner Maggie Pashley, I run a healing Centre on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, in the far West of Ireland, and of course, 90% of our Readings, Healings and Courses are offered worldwide through the internet.
In brief, I find my confirmed personal experience is that the use of the Sidereal zodiac with Lahiri Ayanamsha gives unbelievably accurate description of all the vastness that is measured by the framework of Vedic Astrology (essentially declaring all that stems from our incarnational life purpose and destiny). Whereas I find that the western tropical zodiac is supremely perfect for the crucial psychodynamic study of ‘egoic self’ dimension.
My personal experience and judgement is that I have to say that Vedic astrology’s use of tropical zodiac or Vedic Astrology’s use of other Ayanamshas, gives nonsense by contrast.
This is certainly true in terms of the birth chart it states, the derived charts and Predictive Astrology.
Sidereal zodaic plus Lahiri Ayanamsha gave an exactly accurate and life-changing description of my own very unusual birth circumstances, that was totally absent from western astrology. And it was this that first drew me to the use of Vedic Astrology, and my first teacher.
This is NOT to say of course that the methods and techniques used by Vedic Astrology Teachers employing the western tropical zodiac are invalid. They are caring and wonderful teachers.
Similarly, my personal judgement is that Vedic Predictive astrology requires sidereal zodiac and Lahiri Ayanamsha. If you use any other system, the start and end of your Vedic predictive periods (Dasas) will be declared with wrong dates.
However, it’s not so simple.
I feel we DO need to identify what dimension of consciousness and ‘slice’ of our existence the tropical zodiac does state when used with Vedic Astrology.
So, please note that I do work with students seeking to identify what exactly what dimension of self/consciousness/events Vedic use of tropical zodiac or other ayanmasha does give – if that is an optional dimension that they wish to incorporate into their course.
My heartfelt aim is that this study will give great insight to the world, once it has been given a few years to mature.
So this Blog Post an invitation to work with me, on my courses, in a way that offers you the opportunity, if you want it, to analyse study and compare the two zodiacs and what they tell you about and predict for your life.
My Vedic Astrology courses are based on sidereal zodiac, but you can feed in a shared study of charts also using tropical zodiac, and thus over time a considered assessment can be made if what it is that the two different zodiacs actually depict and predict.
We can study in caring depth and in a considered way: what different facets of human consciousness and life. I provide you with all the charts you use and all the needed background information manuals.
The approach of my courses has been for over twenty years, that we study each principle with reference to two charts: yours and mine, and his keeps the anlaysis grounded, authentic and testable. It makes it mutually caring.
And a principle of my courses is that the declaration of astrology is never formulaic or fated, but cruciall (and this is its strength) that astrological declaration is always treated as an opening to healing and empowerment techniques.
All my courses provide opportunity for Vedic-Western astrology crossover, if you wish for that (or vice versa).
My western astrology is rooted in Psychodynamic and Evolutionary Astrology, and is augmented in my case in that my university degrees include psychology and sociology.
A helpful vast resource for my sharing with you, is that I also completed a five year field study. This was an ethnographic field study of spiritual forms new to the modern West.
My study focus was the paths of individuals following Hinduism, Buddhism (Tibetan and western), paganism, shamanism and Utopian Community.
The main study area was Glastonbury, an ancient pilgrimage site in England, but there was a comparator study in Totnes, and study residence in a Hindu Ashram in Skanda Vale (the cult centre of the UK Sri Lankan community in exile).
From this background I endeavour to support you in caring and experienced awareness of spiritual pathways.
A NOTE ABOUT PSYCHOLOGY – AND THE NATURE OF SELF:
As I said, I have a postgraduate qualification in psychology, and I feel it has a rightful pace in Astrology: for example, psychology seeks to express and define our ‘egoic self’, our nature and what drives us includes our subconscious and unconscious material.
My psychology degree in the early 1970s was divided between Freudian psychology and Behaviourism! (The two professors never spoke to each other, and you had to be careful to always express things their way and never get mixed up which one you were writing for! One of my other degrees was in sociology, also in the early 70s, where a main focus was ‘Symbolic Interactionism’: the production of a sense of self through individuals and society projecting roles on us and producing meaning that way.
And regarding the ethnography I did: This was a five-year university-based social anthropological field study commenced in the late nineties. It was located in a Geography department. It’s focus was the production of self through landscape, including landscapes such as sacred place and landscapes of consumption patterns/meanings, and I especially studied the production of self through use of visionary/imaginal landscapes (e.g. Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, paganism and shamanism).
The nature of self has been a big theme in my life (my Sun is most deeply fallen at 1 Vedic Libra and it’s conjunct Ketu, what else would you expect?)
Indeed, my first postgraduate degree at Oxford University, where as a poor grammar school boy I won a prestigious scholarship in the late 60s to be sneered at there as a ‘scribbler’ by the rest of the students from the elite English Public Schools. My MA there was focused on W B Yeats and T S Eliot as ‘prophets of a new age’ and I studied how W B Yeats worked with Lady Gregory at the Celtic Revival, thus opening to the God Realm for sense for self, similarly to ancient Greece, Babylon and the Vedic culture, for examples. I studied Jessie Weston’s From Ritual to Romance and the Omega Point of Teilhard de Chardin. And now I live close to W B Yeats’ grave in the west of Ireland. My birth family on my mother’s side comes from near here. My birth father’s heredity is from the Yakut: a shamanic people living on the shores of the north polar sea – hence all the shamanic healing I teach!
A major feeling I now get, is how our sense of self is produced from our family and society, but how very powerful currents most certainly also run in the form of destinies.
These destinies are indeed very often astrologically predictable. Though they should not be treated as fated and incapable of being healed. And Vedic Astrology can state them supremely well.
Though, crucially, I also do feel that a new consciousness is arising in the world, and Vedic Astrology has to leave behind formulaic ranting and fatedness and ineffectual ‘Remedies’, and add to its supreme and sure vastness, the new consciousness that is arising: the new consciousness of Healing and Empowerment.
ZODIACS – SOME QUESTION AND ANSWER DISCUSSION:
To illustrate the issues raised by the ‘Which Zodiac?’ Question, I now show extracts with a discussion I held with ‘J’ and I hope these extracts illustrate the way I seek to have a caring, individualised approach with my students over the last 23 years, as well as providing ‘windows’ on the ‘Which Zodiac?’ Question:
Here are some of the Questions ‘J’ raised with me (shown with kind permission – J’s questions are in bold):
Q. A.“What meaning do the solar signs have other than a shortcut to referencing a ‘composite energy’ of the lunar signs?”
Overall, you will project into the world like a Libran, indeed ruled by Lagnesha Venus, and so we need to assess the standing of Venus in your chart in terms of dignity and the various Avasthas: Avasthas wonderfully state Venus’ standing and how the other planets treat your Venus and vice versa. They are a crucial key as to the qualities and strength with which you assert in the world. However, the emotional play around which your assertion into the world will by typically Rahu within the Libran framework, with all the over-running and nervy scatter of Swati, etc.
It is important to note that the sidereal signs are one twelfth of the zodiac, and thus take their energy and name from the constellation that falls within their space on the ecliptic. It is not relevant that the stars of the constellation do not exactlty fit the sign. The sign system works nevertheless. And of course, as you know, the sign energy is modified by Nakshatras and padas falling within the sign.
Interpretation of the mahadasha manifestation of Saturn needs to be based on the standing of Saturn in your Rashi chart and Varga (divisional) charts. And in fact the timing of Saturn Dasa will activate the energy of Saturn in the various different areas of life that each Varga chart represents. You’d need to individually evaluate your 2nd and 3rd House to say whether each transit would be ‘very good’ or otherwise. We’d be looking at Saturn Avasthas and Saturn’s standing in the Divisional charts, and what House Cusps fall where in your Divisional Charts.
Q. E.But in reality, isn’t Saturn just transiting from Jyestha to Mula. And Mula is a horror flick? So what kind of hope is there in saying “Sagittarius” if it’s really just a “placeholder for the ~3 nakshatras that carry the weight (of its definition)?”
Sagittarius is not a placeholder for the three Nakshatras that also occupy its space. Signs and Nakshatras measure different dimensions or slices of our nature, of our ‘self’ of our destiny this time. The Houses each declare a different area of our life. So Saturn in Sagittarius measures a different dimension of you that does Saturn in 3rd House, as does Saturn in Mula. For Saturn in Mula you’d need to look at the role of Ketu (Mula’s ruler) in your birth chart.
Q. F. I have much difficulty utilizing blank space as a starting point for scientific definitions. Is this a science, albeit hidden, or is it fantasy? “Saturn transiting the star Spica” for example, works for me 100% . Spica exists. Saturn exists. One moves in front of the other. They’ve observed over millennia it means something when this happens. We’re talking about real things in space and time.
“Saturn transiting the Nakshatra Mula.” That kind of works for me, like 90%. Mula is the name of a group of stars. There is a zone of energy “bracketing” those stars. The “amalgamated energy means something.”
“Saturn transiting Sagittarius.” This works for me like 40%. “Sagittarius” came “way later.” Is it the amalgamation of the energies of 3 nakshatras? Oh my.
1/12 of the zodiac is 1/12 of the ecliptic = why is it special and what intellectual authority is there to bracket this space, call it something, assign a “ruler?”
As Jupiter transits my Sun and then yours, we meet beyond formula and astrological rant to share wisdom and its enlargement.
I feel cautious of the term ‘intellectual authority’; it’s more like: ‘intellectual justification’.
We know nothing of the zodiacal division of ancient peoples used, who were very much in tune with the energies emanating from planets, stars, constellations and even individual degrees.
But yes, we are aware that the sky was early-on divided into 27 for the Nakshatras (obviously based on sensed Lunar energies in combination with constellations the Moon transited across).
And we are aware of the division of the sky into 12 signs: you ask why 12? The answer can only be speculated about and is lost in time, but the ‘dozen’ is an ancient concept, and doubtless appealed as being numerologically harmonious and inclusive, as it’s a multiple of 2, 3, 4, 6; and because itself it feeds into 144 etc.
A Sign is a useful concept. It’s not as precisely useful as the smaller divisions. And its energy/consciousness divisions are more overlapping with other signs.
But it is valid: and one proof of the sidereal zodiac’s total validity is its statement of the Gandanta Zones, which are immensely valuable and one can’t do good astrology without them.
Interestingly, I say this as I have Gandanta Moon, and the meaning of that was the fulcrum of my life AND Saturn is transiting the Abhukta Mula Jyestha to Mula 9Scorpio to Sagittarius) Gandanta as I write to you.
But of course, a sign also has crucial validity in that it is divided into such ultimately valuable heuristic divisions as the Padas and the Vargas or divisional charts. This is not weird, it’s mathematically factual.
And furthermore! The sign divisions in the heavens are crucial to note in that we know that the Jaimini moveable indicators (Chara Karakas) see see your Shri Jyoti Star chart below).
A planet’s chara karaka or moveable indicator status in our chart is defined by the position of a planet in the sidereal zodiac.
For example, there’s the all-crucial Atmakaraka or soul indicator (mine is Moon, as my planet of highest longitude in a sign), and these sidereal based charakarakas are the crucial definition (whatever other scheme of charakaraka is stated for you by other zodiacs, and whatever validity or relevance to other dimensions or facets of your consciousness or life these are found to have – and that would be after deep study and consideration).
Your Vedic Rashi/Birth Chart by Sri Jyoti Star (sidereal zodiac, Lahiri Ayanamsha):
And furthermore (could there be more?) your Avasthas, the standing of your planets and how they treat each other, are accurately stated by the Sidereal chart, and again we would need a careful, considered study project to determine what your Avasthas state, what validity or relevance or other dimensions or facets of your consciousness or life these are found to have, and this should only be done after deep study and consideration). See your Kala Avasthas charts below.
Your Avasthas charts by Kala (sidereal zodiac, Lahiri Ayanamsha):
And furthermore (!) I have found that my Dasa (Vedic Predictive period) start and end date ARE valid when sidereal zodiac is used.
And of course, drawing on western psychodynamic astrology, the position of our natal planets in the much wider areas of the hemispheres and quadrants of our western chart also are most important to know, because this guides us as to what areas of consciousness our planet will manifest its energies in psychologically, archetypally and in terms of direction of consciousness, and the way we will relate overall.
BUT I would say that UTILITY is a big criterion to apply at this stage. We need to make authentic realisation of what a system offers to our helaing path in this life. We need to make authentic decision as to what a system offers in our path to expressing the special spark of being and attainment we incaranted to become this time. Utility and authentic realisation and authentic perception is KEY.
If utilisation of a degree, or a nakshatra, or a pada, or a Varga – if utilisation of any of these gives you invaluable understanding of your nature, then it is to be embraced!
It is so valuable and indeed valid to note that Sun in Libra is debilitated. Debilitation can wreck one’s life. But experience of that destiny, then encountering Vedic Astrology’s perception of the wrecking concept of ‘debilitation’ – these are what give us the option of moving: moving into needed healing and empowerment!
Q. G. Why are there 12 Signs? A prominent astrologer told me “They divided the ecliptic into 12 because it is a multiple of 3 and 3 is a very important number in the occult. There was no other reason he can give. Is it possible there is “information encoded in there? I guess so. But splitting the sign into 9 portions is getting even weirder, unless those 9 portions reflect something in space. Science is about hard, empirical definitions. Why was Venus not the “ruler” of that space thousands of years ago, but at some point “became the ruler?” And people with extreme intellect would say I’m a Scorpio because of tropical definitions? Huh??
You are moving now in our conversation from ‘intellectual authority’ to ‘Science’. From my abandonment and orphanage upbringing (I have Moon Gandanta at 29 Pisces 56 and Sun at 1 Libra sidereal) I moved on to take five university degrees, and indeed to work in a five-year social anthropological field study: an ethnography. I believed the concepts of psychology and sociology in which I have postgraduate degrees.
But the gift of my Gandanta, a terrible gift, moved me beyond the limitations (and gifts) of the ‘scientific paradigm’ to ‘ancient spiritual/astrological frameworks’, and also the study of ancient deities and earth spirituality, and from these I have found what I needed, not from science.
How I despised the ‘current academic discourses’ that I had to fit the findings of my field study into: It was an ethnography of spiritual forms new to the modern west: place-making, how our sense of self depends on place and vice-versa. The study areas were Hinduism, Buddhism (Tibetan and western), paganism, shamanism and Utopian Community. The ethnographic method invented by Bronislaw Malinowski during the First World War is ˜participant observation’ – living in the communities and instructions under study: giving the individuals in them their own voice (not being the ˜top down’ ‘scientific expert’).
In Swiss Huber School psychodynamic western astrology (in which I trained in the nineties, and which I utilize for my teaching), you have a ‘psychic eye’ chart aspect shape: Pluto-Rahu trine Neptune, apex your Sun-Uranus conjunction:
Your Swiss Huber School Psychodynamic Astrology Chart by Megastar (Tropical Zodiac):
Psychic Eye Chart Aspect Shape:
This figure consists of two green semi-sextile aspects (30 deg) and one blue sextile aspect (60 deg), thus forming the small blue and green triangle called the Eye. This chart aspect shapes gives a wonderful and useful inquisitive, receptive and questing presence within you that is intuitive and observant or eagle-eyed.
In Swiss Huber School psychodynamic astrology (in which I trained in the nineties, and which I utilize for my teaching), you have this psychic eye chart aspect shape: Pluto-Rahu trine Neptune, apex your Sun-Uranus conjunction. This is one representation of why the study of the ‘which zodiacs?’ question will be so valuable for you.
My courses are always based on the study of two charts in relation to each and every concept. That way the discussion is kept authentic and grounded, empirical as well as with reference to the analytic and the theoretical. I value our communication. I’d love to now embark on the vastness of taking it into the dimensions of a course with you. See: http://www.mastervedicastrology.com/ what do you think?
My Vedic Astrology foundation course has a presentation and also a journey to meet each planet, and includes a considerable repertoire of techniques, and can cross-refer into western astrology if the student wishes, and it can also encompass Avasthas analysis system if the student wishes, and insights of great value can come from Avasthas.
I go on to teach many advanced courses, as well as having a wonderful on-line Tarot course which is of great value for your intuitive development.
All charts you could need are provided. There’s vast information provision/manuals. There’s caring totally individual tuition. If you optionally wanted to include into your studies the ‘Which Zodiac?’ course, that would be grand (as they say here in Ireland)!
I hope to hear from you, Michael