Volume 59

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away”

Elvis Presley

Happy Holidays and New Year to all of you

I am especially grateful for the life I have connecting with lovers of Jyotiṣa and the beautiful tradition that cradles it. Thank you to all of you for your interest, comments and support.

The New Year Entourage of the King

A stunning sky marks the end of 2022. As the sun sinks below the western horizon, all of the tāra grahas respectfully follow the royal one in a beautiful and rare tableau. It is the astronomical representation of a Ram Darbar, the traditional iconography of Lord Rāma surrounded by his court usually consisting of Sītā, Hanuman and Lakṣmaṇa. Others can also be depicted. It is said that keeping this image in the home promotes family values, friendship, serenity and prosperity.

May it be so that this singular astronomical phenomenon could portend or at least inspire in all of us these same values in the coming year.

Mars and the Wain of Rohinī

What is particularly important about the current retrograde cycle of Mars which began on October 30, 2022, is that Mars spends a significant amount of time hanging around Rohinī (Aldebaran), one of the brightest stars in the night sky and one of the two brightest zodiacal stars. This is being noted by Jyotishis as there are references to certain calamities when a graha, and especially a malefic graha, passes through “the wain of Rohinī”.

The verses in the ṡāstras call this transit Rohinī Śakaṭa Bheda or the splitting of the wain (meaning cart or wagon) of Rohinī. The alpha, gamma and epsilon stars in the Taurus constellation form a triangular grouping resembling a cart and inauspicious transits through it are said to split the cart. There are variations in the texts as to the configurations and results. We will focus on two primary sources.

The first is from Bṛhat Saṁhitā (part 1 XLVII verse 14) The translation is “When Saturn, Mars or a comet cuts the wain of Rohinī, what shall I say, alas. For the whole world will perish, being plunged in the ocean of misery.” No further elaboration is given.

The second is from Sūrya Siddānta (chapter 8 verse 13), a text on astronomical phenomenon which gives very particular details on the degrees of ecliptic latitude and longitude for this transit to be consequential. Essentially, if a graha is in the 17th degree of Taurus while having a latitude of a little more than 2 degrees south, it will split the wain of Rohinī. Note that this text does not say anything about the phala, though in the commentary, phala is listed from several śāstras — none of it good.

It can be inferred that if the graha misses these particular degree positions, the effect would be diminished and perhaps nullified. But this might be the only text that is this specific when it comes to these degree positions. It begs the question of missed by how much? As this is a rare phenomenon, it would require a lot of digging to answer this question if it is even possible. However, one powerful data point to consider is 9/11, certainly a history-changing catastrophe . At that time Saturn was passing through the wain of Rohinī at a latitude of-1°47 minutes and longitude of 20°52 Taurus. Though not up to the arthavada (exaggerated) descriptions in śāstra, the ramifications from this event lead to ongoing war and misery. The latitude was perfect but the longitude was off by 4° if we go by the Sūrya Siddānta ṡloka. Could one argue that this event was set in motion through the summer when Saturn was closer to 17°?

But what of the current Mars transit? Mars went over the exact degree of the wain when direct during the second week of September 2022. The latitude was in the-1 range which is certainly close. Was there news of catastrophes? In most of the descriptions in the texts, the disasters are natural disasters so it was interesting to see the following headline of an article: Global environmental disasters in September 2022: World witnesses a range of environmental disasters including heavy rains, floods and wildfires. The article goes on to describe events including: unprecedented flooding in Pakistan with a huge death and property toll leaving astounding land masses under water with the death toll rising throughout the month. Flooding and deaths also from super typhoons in Korea and Philippines, Cedar Creek Fire in Oregon, Hurricane Fiona and capped at the end of the month by Hurricane Ian.

Mars went retrograde October 30 and headed back over the wain but this time the latitude was close to 3° N making the spread close to 5° off from the description. In fact, the 17th degree over which Mars retrograded just happened on December 21, the winter solstice. We are seeing as of this writing a massive arctic blast with record low temperatures across all of the US east of the Rockies. It is regarded as a once in a generation storm with treacherous travel right on Christmas weekend. Not the same order of magnitude perhaps but not right through the wain either.

The final pass over the wain will happen February 5 after Mars goes direct again. Remember a retrograde graha will go forward over a point, backward and forward again. When the point happens to be the wain of Rohinī, it might be a red flag. Like this recent retrograde transit on the solstice, Mars will again be close to 3° N perhaps diffusing the impact.

Graha Story - Chandra

Thank you to Anandi Belanger for her story about Chandra, the Moon:

Behold Me, Queen of All Waters

I was born on a Monday, back first from the Northwest horizon of a moonlit sea with a gaain'tze straight as an arrow… I am Queen of the Grahas, my name is Chandra, please pay homage to my white and glowing reflection as I track my way across the short distance of the night sky…

When I am feeling benefic and waxing away from Surya, treat yourself to a moon-bath in the circular fullness of my cool white light which will stimulate your imagination, receptivity, memory, and sensitivity. Let me tempt you with dreams of watery places, beaches, docks, rivers, oceans and ships at sea… we shall dive for pearls and fish, collect shells and coral as I shine brightly and with great sensitivity over you… embodying the spirit of Sattva, contentment, and the ease of Mother Moon’s sweet embrace…

During the late summer, we will pick luscious juicy fruit together and make a feast of watery melons and coconuts, drink brewed beer made from mild herbs and enjoy the soft scents of night blooming flowers as we walk amid banks of palm trees beside ponds covered in white lotus flowers… listen to the sounds of crickets and other insects crooning their harmonies beneath the vegetation of trees full of sap… make an offering of rice, corn, poppies and sweet cows’ milk on my altar… let the silvery white light of my being bring coolness to the heat of your being like a cucumber sprinkled with salt eaten on a hot day… you will be my perfect and suitable partner as we connect inwardly to our intuition, compassion and wisdom of the Divine Feminine.

When you must go back to your job in trade and business, carry the receptivity of Chandra with you… maybe you prefer to work in travel or hospitality, in a hotel or public place, a hospital perhaps? Do you have a penchant towards working with women in the fashion or design trade? Maybe you would like to be a farmer, in tune with Nature’s rhythms and tides ? Allow Queen Chandra to aid you in these trades… I am a persuasive lady who relies on incentives to charge your creativity and emotional nature, as well as your aptitude towards business.

But nothing lasts forever… not even our dreamy waterside escape… so please be forewarned… as I approach the Sun in my waning monthly cycle, I become malefic, causing hypersensitivity, and over reaction. While under the influence of my dark side you may become moody, Kaphic, lethargic and have difficulty accessing your true feelings. You may have unpleasant dreams of rodents and reptiles -- in these times I am known to be fickle, changeable and inconsistent, blown by the winds of Vata… Illnesses may appear related to blood, lungs, or digestion… You may retain water in your face or mouth, appearing puffy and swollen, losing your sense of taste as you also lose your sense of emotional well being and even lose the equilibrium of your mind… I may resort to bribery instead of sweet temptation to get you to do what I want, but wait. Within the short time of a week or so, I will change again and become the Mother Moon you recognize intuitively, capable of sound habits and conditioning, dressed in a new flowing white gown and wearing jewelry of bronze, pearls and moonstone.

O my love. Do not fear or become unbalanced. At age 24, I am in my prime. We have years to discover the ups and downs of my emotional cycles. I invite you to ride the lunar tides of emotions with me through the ages, or at least to when I reach the dignified age of 70, whichever comes first.

Let us seek compassion, insight and emotional sensitivity together…

Media Corner More Videos

Since the last newsletter, I have done four more videos: on the Sun, Rāja Yogas, Grahas in Kendras and Parvata Yoga.

Links to Videos
Amazing insights about Sun Sun is Sattwik or Krura?
Sun in astrology
Significance of the Sun
How to see Raj Yogas in birth chart Raja yogas in kundali
Planets in Kendra Planets in Kendra = Career Inclinations?
Lagna Lord - The Captain of the Ship Parvat yoga
Dispositor theory
Importance of lagna lord