Volume 33

“Without darkness, nothing germinates. Without light, nothing flowers.”

May Sarton

The Zenith of Light - The Summer Solstice

We have arrived again at the magic day when the light of the Sun is at its maximum glory. The day is marked with celebrations - ancient and New Age - as mankind has always acknowledged the sacred role of light.

Jyotisha is literally the study of light and as lovers of this vidya, light is our highest inspiration.

Aarti Lamp

The beautiful tradition that has safeguarded this knowledge has, at its heart, a ritual that ensures that the inspiration of light will be ever present and illumine the way to the highest values of humanity. This ritual is known as Aarti (Ārti) or Aarati (Ārati). Aarti is derived from the Sanskrit word ārātrika (आरात्रिक), which means something that removes rātrī, darkness. Most of you are familiar with this tradition where a flame is offered to a deity along with a beautiful chant and all present partake of the blessing of the light.

I wanted to share with you the beautiful Aarti and chant that is done at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, a precious resource for Vedic knowledge that is about to celebrate its 30th Anniversary this August.

Na tatra suryo bhati na chandra tarakam The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars
Nema vidyuto bhanti kuto’yam agniḥ Nor do lightnings shine and much less this fire
Tameva bhantam anubhati sarvam When He shines, everything shines after Him;
Tasya bhasa sarvaidam vibhati By His light, all these shine
And that light? The light of pure consciousness, the all pervading Brahman

Nabhasa Yogas - Cosmic Vastu

The very first yoga chapter in the venerable text Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra details a dazzling array of sky patterns that are classified and named. These are notable arrangements of the visible grahas which essentially operate as a background hum through life rather than by contributing results during the dasha sequences.

While some of these patterns occur with some frequency, others are rarely seen. Depending on whether you follow the letter of the law or the spirit of the law of its formation, we happen to have had one of these rare patterns occur in the past few days. It is called a Musala Yoga which forms when all of the visible grahas are in sthira rashis - the fixed constellations of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. It belongs to the very first set of yogas that Parashara describes in this chapter.

Some commentators say that the seven grahas must occupy all four of the sthira rashis but others say it can be formed efficaciously when at least three of the rashis are occupied by the seven grahas or even as long as there are no visible grahas in any of the cara (moveable) or dvisvabhava (mutable) rashis. There is also disagreement as to how much emphasis to put on such yogas as compared to the classical yogas that follow in the ensuing chapters.

The texts, however, do agree that this yoga brings auspicious karmaphala thought the name Musala Yoga implies a pestle or club. Such results include honor, wisdom, wealth, fame and a firm disposition. As with all verses in shastra, these statements demonstrate an overarching principle that must be examined in the “ecosystem” of an individual horoscope.

I looked through a data base with a huge number of charts and came up with only 8 instances of this particular yoga. None in my own database. Hence the difficulty in really trying to assess the results.

However, here are two charts - a birth chart with the perfect rendition of the yoga (all the visible grahas in fixed rashis in four bhavas) and then the chart of the event in Orlando in June where they are in three bhavas. I think you will agree that though the yoga is present in both, the phala is bound to be modified by the placement of the grahas.

John Warner
John Warner 2/18/1927 13:55 Washington DC

Senator Warner managed to maintain remarkable balance in his long political career. Very handsome and impeccable, he worked with both sides of the aisle angering his fellow Republicans by declining to vote for Clinton’s impeachment and against the nomination of Borg. He was so popular as the Virginia Senator that the Democrats did not even mount an opposition to him in his last campaign in 2002. He did not run in 2008 perhaps because he was consistently at odds with the direction the Republican party was going. Instead, he returned to his law practice. Showered by awards, accolades and honors including submarines and buildings named in his honor, he is still enjoying good health at 89 years old.

The chart is loaded with auspicious yogas including many for wealth. Note the excellent placement of his lagna lord Mercury - all the benefics are either with it or aspecting it. Mercury, along with the other ninth bhava occupants are not afflicted by Saturn, Mars, Rahu or Ketu as the Rahu/Ketu axis does not join the Musala Yoga. The nodes across 1/7 however did contribute to multiple marriages, including one to Elizabeth Taylor, whom he outlived. His life truly reflected the textbook karmaphala of a Musala Yoga.

Orlando Florida
June 11, 2016, 2 AM Orlando FL

I am not trying to make any definitive statements about the horrific events of this day based on this Musala Yoga or even this chart. Rather I want to compare the two Musala Yogas to illustrate again that all combinations must be seen in the context of the chart. Imagine it as a birth chart of someone for that time and what it might signify.

The placement of the Musala Yoga is a striking comparison to Mr. Warner. The lagna lord is in a trik house in the Rahu/Ketu axis and aspected by a powerful Saturn. It is forming the Guru Chandal yoga discussed in volume 31. The Moon is likewise doubly afflicted. Venus, the only benefic with some strength, is totally combust. All the benefics are either in trik or in a mild dussthana. All the kendra lords are likewise in dussthanas as well as two of the trikona lords.

Despite the fact that this chart has some yogas and other positive features in addition to the Musala Yoga, this moment in time does not portend anything as smooth and auspicious as the birth time of Mr. Warner. Indeed, it has a fair share of difficulties. The age old expression, “timing is everything”, is indeed a truism.

The Mountain Astrologer

The Mountain Astrologer

I am pleased to share with you that my column called “The Eastern Window” debuted in the June/July edition of The Mountain Astrologer and is available nationwide in chains such as Barnes and Noble, Whole Foods and other similar venues. The first column is entitled “What You See Is What You Get”.

The Eastern Window is designed to introduce central topics in Jyotisha in a user- friendly way without diluting the integrity of the material. If you have feedback, I would love to hear from you. If you would like The Mountain Astrologer to continue to publish about Jyotisha, please let the editors know.

In the August/September issue, the second column will appear and I am honored to have another feature article coming out in the October/November issue.

Media Corner - Your Next Vacation Destination?


In honor of the close approach of Mars to Earth a few weeks ago, please enjoy this mind-blowing video. You might want to do what my husband did - brought me over to show me some cool landscape and then dropped the gotcha - not only is it virtual reality and potentially 3D at that - it’s Mars! The more techie you are, the more amazing the experience.

Mars 3D