April 18, 2024

East meets West –painlessly!

by guest astrologer James Kenneth Williams

James Kenneth Williams has practiced Western astrology for over 20 years and Eastern astrology (Jyotish) for over 15 years. His education and experience include certification from the state of California as a school counselor and clinical hypnotherapist. He has also worked with hospice, and as a social worker within residential treatment and foster family agencies.

Whenever one sets out to learn a new language, there almost always seems to exist some naturally occurring fear and trepidation. Whether we’re 74 or 24, we hope there is some kind of a step-by-step process that will make the going easier. Fortunately, for those astrologers who have a desire to learn Jyotish, the Hindu system of astrology (also known as Indian astrology, Hindu astrology, or
Vedic astrology), such a step-by-step process does exist.

The first step to understanding Jyotish is learning to get over the fear associated with encountering new words. –Fortunately, in the last 20-25 years, many fine books on Jyotish have been translated into English, complete with proficient pronunciation guides and disarming definitions. And this leads us to our second step…”Which Jyotish book(s) should I first learn from that will be both relatively painless and highly rewarding?”

I believe the book that is least threatening to those who wish to learn Jyotish is James Braha’s introductory book entitled, Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer. –Renowned astrologer Marion March perhaps said it best in her review of the book, published on the inside front cover, when she said, “This easily understood reference book will be of great help to astrology lovers who have previously found the Hindu system very hard to grasp.”

Another book that I would recommend for those wanting to learn Jyotish is entitled Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology: Vedic Astrologers Handbook I by Bepin Behari. This book reiterates some of what Braha’s book covers, but it also includes a wonderful section not covered in Braha’s book, on the subject of lunar mansions or asterisms, known in its native language as “nakshatras”. And this leads us to our third step.

In learning Jyotish, there are several unique methods of analysis (such as nakshatras), which both corroborate and add confluence with Western methods of chart analysis. Let’s check out a few measurement channels that shine with great detail using Noel Tyl’s Jyotish horoscope. Noel was born December 31, 1936 at 3:57 PM EST in West Chester, PA.

In glancing at Noel’s Jyotish natal chart, please notice that he has Jupiter at 13 degrees 45 minutes Sagittarius and the Sun at 17 degrees 04 minutes Sagittarius. Thus, these two planets fall within the nakshatra known as Purva Ashadha (from 13 degrees 20 minutes Sagittarius to 26 degrees 40 minutes Sagittarius).

A nakshatra, or lunar mansion, is one of 27 divisions of the sky, identified by the prominent star(s) in them. Each nakshatra represents a division of the ecliptic similar to the zodiac (but separated into 13 degrees 20 minutes each instead of the 30 degrees for each zodiac sign).

Bepin Behari, in the book listed above, on page 75, has this to say about the nakshatra known as Purva Ashadha. “Purva Ashadha, (or Purvashadha), is assigned to Venus…The symbol assigned to the asterism is the elephant’s tusk. The motivational urge of the asterism is moksha or liberation. These characteristics indicate that the asterism is a spiritual influence. Venus will sensitize the recipient to intuition and other higher forces of nature. This heightened sensitivity and greater alertness…are the most important qualifications for transformation and the dawn of spirituality… “

One exceptional result of Purvashadha is the discovery of new possibilities, the externalization of latent faculties, and the uncovering of one’s most valuable qualities. These are all symbolized by the tusk of an elephant…Under Purvashadha, many unknown and unexpected possibilities come to light. Divine wisdom may flash, hidden knowledge may be revealed, and intuitive faculties may be sharpened.” (Have you ever wondered how Noel always seems to know which routing to follow utilizing the MHEP?!).

Another client has his Moon and Mars in the nakshatra known as Ardra. The Moon rules his 10th House, and Mars rules his 2nd and 7th Houses. Ardra’s symbol is a teardrop, which can imply, among other things, loss or disappointment or sorrow. He has been divorced several times, has moved from job to job, and his financial situation is unsteady.

Thus, knowledge of the characteristics and symbolism of one’s Moon nakshatra, Sun nakshatra, Ascendant nakshatra, stelliums, etc., enables an astrologer to better understand the chart s/he is looking at through a measurement channel that shines not only with great detail, but with great symbolism as well.

Another measurement channel that shines with great detail is known as the dasamsa chart. This is a different chart than the “normal” Jyotish natal chart which we’ve been looking at. The dasamsa (or dashamsha) chart is used as a secondary vocational chart, to further delineate key factors in one’s profession–in addition to what is vocationally suggested by one’s Jyotish natal chart. The dasamsa chart can be used in conjunction with the MHEP to both corroborate and add confluence to one’s vocational profile. It is computed easily on most Jyotish software with just a click of a button.

For example, in Noel’s dasamsa chart, the Ascendant is in Leo, with the Sun in the powerful 10th House of Activities (Occupation). Regarding this placement, noted Jyotish expert, James Braha, wrote in his book on pages 186-187 mentioned above, “…the Sun in the 10th House is an excellent placement for career achievement and success…The Sun is the karaka [significator] of the 10th and also receives dik bala, or directional strength, in this house, making this its best position in the horoscope. The person is career-minded and easily rises to an authority position in his chosen profession. He will be popular and bold, and will wield great power. He may become famous…Wealth is favored…The person is confident, strong, and ambitious. He may perform many good deeds for the benefit of society, and he will gain a fine reputation on such account.” Thus, the ruler of Noel’s 1st House is in his 10th House…”Respected or famous, good career, good reputation and status…powerful, successful dharma, wealthy” (p. 81).

Granted, this is an analysis of just one placement in Noel’s dasamsa chart, but what an important placement it is…and the analysis and delineation of the rest of his dasamsa chart is just as fascinating and revealing. So the utilization of a person’s dasamsa chart offers another measurement channel that shines with great detail with regard to one’s vocational destiny, especially when used in conjunction with the MHEP.

A third measurement channel that shines with great detail in Jyotish is known as the dasa (pronounced dasha) system. According to Braha, there are 40 known dasa systems, the most popular one being the Vimsottari (pronounced Vim-sho-tree) dasa system. –A dasa is a period of time during which one’s life is influenced by a particular planet. For example, Noel was born at a time when Ketu (South Node) was his first dasa planet. This lasted until the autumn of 1941, when Venus then took over. Venus dasa was in effect until the autumn of 1961, when it was replaced by Sun dasa. Sun dasa was then in effect until the autumn of 1967, when it was replaced by Moon dasa. Moon dasa lasted until the autumn of 1977, when Mars dasa began. Mars dasa ended in the autumn of 1984, followed by Rahu (North Node) dasa which lasted until the autumn of 2002. –So Noel currently is nearly halfway through the next dasa period, known as Jupiter dasa, which lasts a total of 16 years. So Jupiter dasa for Noel will run into the autumn of 2018, when it will be followed by the 19-year Saturn dasa.

Now, what is the current importance of Jupiter dasa in Noel’s life?

Well, in order to understand the importance of Jupiter dasa, an astrologer would need to know the significations of Jupiter, the houses it rules, and the house it natally occupies. Jupiter’s significations include: money, wealth, prosperity; philosophy, religion, spirituality; children; long distance travel; foreign affairs; meditation; liver, allergies, thighs; optimism; gurus, teachers, mentors; and speculations. –In Noel’s chart, Jupiter rules both his 7th and 10th Houses, and is located in his 7th House. So these would include such 7th House significations as: the spouse or partner, married life; all partners; residence in foreign countries; veins and loins; courts; business, commerce, sales, and dealings with the public. And significations for the 10th House would include: career and professional activities; life purpose; fame, honor, and status; knee ailments; and activities which benefit society.

Granted, a sixteen-year period is a long period of time, but the beauty of the dasa systems is that they can be further subdivided into much smaller periods–even as small as a few hours or days. But most Jyotish astrologers add one further subdivision, which are called bhuktis. Each dasa therefore has 9 bhuktis, one for each of the 9 planets. Noel, in fact, is just beginning a new bhukti period, Venus bhukti, which will last until the spring of 2013.

So, Noel is currently undergoing Jupiter dasa-Venus bhukti. In order to understand Venus bhukti, one would need to know the significations of Venus, the houses it rules, and the house it natally occupies, just as we delineated the significations of Jupiter dasa.

Now, this dasa-bhukti delineation combines well with Western methods of future prediction. For example, within the next six months to a year, Noel has transiting Pluto (6) barely into his 7th House, conjuncting both the Descendant and Jupiter (6). He also has transiting Neptune (10) conjunct natal Venus (5,12). And transiting Uranus (9) square his Descendant. And transiting North Node conjunct his Descendant. He also has SA Midheaven approaching Venus. And he is just beginning his Venus bhukti period under Jupiter dasa. So one can easily see the confluence and corroboration which exist under these combinations.

In addition, Jyotish provides a stunning confluence and corroboration with Noel’s superb book, Astrological Timing of Critical Illness, as an astrologer examines the health profile of a client. I highly recommend Dr. K.S. Charak’s Essentials of Medical Astrology as a companion guide to ATCI for those who are interested in medical astrology from both a Western and Eastern view. Needless to say, this provides an additional layer of confidence when one can see, for example, the indications of possible heart or cancer issues, etc., in both Western and Eastern charts.

Knowledge of Jyotish also adds subtle yet powerful details and fine tuning to the sexual profile of a chart, parental indicators, early home life, and more.

So for those Western astrologers who desire to become conversant with Jyotish, please know that there are many fine books on Jyotish, such as the ones mentioned above, which have been translated easily into English, thereby making it relatively painless in learning new words and new methods of analysis, including so many various and diverse measurement channels that shine with great detail.