“Both the Winter and the Summer Solstices are expressions of love. They show us the opposition of light and dark, expansion and contraction, that characterize our experiences in the Earth school so that we can recognize our options as we move through our lives.”
Another Look at the Summer Solstice
Here is a list of “did you know” about the summer solstice that I hope you will find interesting.
- Since I love etymology, I looked up the derivation of the word solstice and found it is from the Latin word solstitium. The derivation is from the word sol for sun and sistere which means to come to a stop or make stand still (Online Etymology dictionary)
- The solstice does not happen on the same day each year though we have systematized it that way in popular culture. The variance is due do a number of reasons including the difference between the number of days in our Gregorian calendar (365) versus the tropical year, the time it takes for the Sun to pass from one vernal equinox to the next (365.2422 days).
- The celebration of the summer solstice is ancient and cross cultural demonstrating its great significance in the life of this planet and its inhabitants. The ancient Chinese festival of ritualizing Yin, the Earth as the feminine, the Native American ritual dances honoring the Sun, the European pagan and fertility festivals and our contemporary ritual of June weddings all reveal the eternal connection described in the Hermetic axiom “As above, so below” and even more completely in the Vedic version “as in the whole so in the parts”.
What is Upaya?
Note: This is a first in a series of articles on upaya (remedial measures)
The word “upaya” can be translated as a means, a strategy, a solution or a remedy. In the context of Jyotisha, we use it as a strategy for dealing with karma phala (outcomes) that produce effects in our life that we experience as obstructive or difficult.
One of the ways we can relate to Jyotisha as the “eyes of the Veda” is that it gives the Jyotishi the ability to see the currents of karma phala including those yet to fructify. It is the compassion of this form of astrology that attracts many of us to it as it would be a bit of a downer to think there is nothing we can do to improve our situation in life.
Therefore the tradition of Jyotisha comes with, so to speak, a toolbox. A Jyotishi is called upon not only diagnose an issue, but address how that person can most effectively handle the problem in a reasonable and often practical manner.
Unfortunately, a shallow understanding of the subtle dynamics in this essential process results in “one size fits all” recommendations and prescriptions that take care of one facet of a horoscope without recognizing the implications for compromising other areas of the life.
Generally speaking, traditional means for countering difficult situations in a chart encompass three main divisions: 1) connecting to the divine 2) charity 3) service. Each of these three areas is a huge study in itself and in the coming issues, I will attempt to address the scope of each and give some examples.
A Long hot Summer
Most of the world looks forward to the joys of summer - vacations, long days, warm nights and the like.
However, a portion of the population suffers greatly from heat related issues that can range from physiological to behavioral. Good strategies around both is essential for significant others in your life or indeed you yourself as vulnerability to heat induced malaise can be a significant problem.
Since many of you fine readers have been around the block with some of these concepts in such subjects as Ayur Veda, I thought I would introduce a yoga that I hadn’t come across in the more popular Jyotisha core texts with which I usually work. I am drawing on some class notes from my study with my teacher Hart deFouw in which he describes a Kopa Yoga. Kopa is easily translated as anger.
A very common misunderstanding when learning a combination such is Kopa Yoga is the notion that when a trait like anger is observed in someone, there is the assumption that it is because the native has Kopa Yoga in his or her chart. Be assured that the laws of karma tend to deliver the misery of anger in a variety of ingenious ways and Kopa Yoga is merely one of them. The way to think of it is like this - if you have this yoga, you are very likely to have the outcome but if you tend to be angry, it is not necessarily true that you will have this particular marker in your chart.
It might be handy to know if the casual friend you are going with to visit the Grand Canyon and other US Southwest monument sites in the dead of summer has this yoga especially if his or her idea of a good dinner is fiery Mexican food.
Kopa yoga is formed when the lord of the ascendant is combust and with a pitta graha. The most reliable form of this yoga would be that the pitta graha be Mars but Ketu could also work. A variant can be if the pitta graha aspects the combust lord of the lagna rather than conjoins it. The lagna lord should be within six degrees of the Sun for this yoga to kick in big time.
Here are a couple of charts that demonstrate this yoga. Enjoy and keep cool!
Please note that the lord of the ascendant is Venus. It is a very powerful Venus in that it is exalted. It occupies the sixth bhava of the horoscope which has arguing as one of its strong significations. Also note that it is within six degrees of the Sun and is with the pitta graha Mars. That Mars is likewise combust which adds to its crankiness. Though very strong, Venus does not have the benefit of any aspect from a natural benefic. In examining the ascendant itself, we find it is tenanted by the Rahu/Ketu axis with Ketu being in the lagna. The ascendant is aspected by both Saturn and Mars. Therefore, this chart has all of the more virulent natural malefics on the lagna and or the lagna lord.
This is a very confluent pattern for this yoga as that combust Mars is not just on the lagna lord but on the lagna itself with neither lagna or lagna lord having any mitigating factors.
Most unfortunately, this person who had a measure of fame in his life was found guilty of a violent crime of passion and received a life sentence.
In this chart we see another Kopa Yoga with lagna lord Mercury within 6 degrees of the Sun and associated with Mars. Like the first chart, MA is also combust. This is an extremely powerful chart with many combinations for fame and money as well as combinations for passion and anger.
This chart belongs to Jerry Jones described as the mercurial owner of the Dallas Cowboys hell bent on doing things his own way. It is also said that no other NFL owner more revered and reviled than Jones. He was named the least favorite sports owner in Sports Illustrated back in the early 2000’s. He lacked any grace in how he dispatched beloved pillars of the team when he took over and he was fined a few times for public criticism of officials and violations of gag orders.
As owner and manager of the Cowboys, he is truly a majority of one. He might be one of those that really loves those hot tamales! Check out his 2nd lord Venus and for those of you that can spot it, the passion combination it makes.
The Media Corner
The Magic Treehouse Books —Mary Pope Osborne
In a departure from my usual media corner, I would like to introduce anyone with children in their lives to this magical and captivating series. Jack and Annie are a brother and sister living in Frog Creek, PA who happen upon a treehouse sitting in the largest tree in the woods near their house. When exploring it, they find it is totally magical and becomes the vehicle that transports them on all kinds of adventures in service to the highest values of humanity. Jack and Annie have a delightful relationship with the younger sister Annie being the one that draws her more cautious and scholarly elder brother into the action. My grandson would always turn to me at just that juncture in a book and say “That Annie! There she goes again”.
The beauty of these books is that they have a disarming and soft approach to teaching the basic human values that we all aspire to in our lives. It builds appreciation for different cultures, environments, times in history - all accomplished with humor, compassion and vivid and exciting story telling. They are so charming that the adults are completely drawn in and known to continue reading the books on their own even after story time is over! No worries however about good things coming to an end. There are, at last count, fifty three books and counting backed up by thirty one supplemental fact checker books providing adults and kids with more details about the historical figures, lands, animals etc. that Jack and Annie encounter in their travels.
A note of caution: Your kids will be begging for more. Save lots of time for reading.