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Volume 52

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Emily Dickenson
Emily Dickenson
Emily Dickenson

The Wellspring of Hope

Emily Dickenson’s remarkable poem is a perfect metaphor for spring and spring is a perfect metaphor for the renewal of spirits when a better time seems nigh.

In this time of a pandemic, it’s hard to even fathom the amplitude of the sea‑change that has already happened and the fight for more change that is yet to come.

In the history of our planet, extremes are soon corrected to a middle way before swinging to yet another extreme. As a world community, the pendulum has a way to go to balance the wild gyrations of the recent past.

We are built for hope - even those who despair. Despair is the absence of what we know to be possible on our deepest level. Hope and despair arise from the same ultimate connection we all have to an undeniable source of wholeness whether we lift that veil which seems to hide it in our lives or not. Its omnipresence is that very impetus that engenders hope.

There is no denying the power of Dickenson’s poem. Hers was a modest and confined life and yet her poetry reveals her enduring vision of soaring into the light of hope. It is no mistake that a fragile bird taking flight against all odds is her eloquent way of instilling that hope in all of us.

Perhaps we, like her, should look up to the heavens to understand hopeful patterns.

The Grahas and the Attributes of Hope

It probably won’t come as any suprise that the graha that so beautifully embodies the buoyancy, expansion and vision of hope is Jupiter. It is one of three grahas that is considered to be sattvic. Sattva is the guṇa of light, clarity and purity. Its joy is based in the deep knowledge of the truth that brings harmony and contentment and the ability to keep the eye on the prize through the downturns.

The ṛṣis give the special trinal aspects (1-5-9) to Jupiter invoking the puruṣartha of dharma and grace seen in a chart as the trinal bhāvas one, five and nine. A strong, well-placed Jupiter in a chart or transitting can be a wonderful harbinger for hope.

Speaking of sattva, nothing outshines pure light - the only graha that is a star - our Sun. There is seemingly no end to the beautiful traditional attributions to the glory of the Sun not only in its role as the creator of all life but as the very ātma, the all, the is-ness. Here are a couple of lines from an especially beatuiful verse from Ādityahṛdayam - The Heart of the Sun:

Salutations to the Lord shining like molten gold, destroying darkness
Who is the transcendental fire of supreme knowledge, who destroys the darkness of ignorance.

The rising of the Sun everyday pours hope and light into the hearts of everyone in the knowledge that each day is a new beginning - the very genesis of hope.

To complete the sattvic trio, there is the Queen of the Zodiac in its greatest glory, the full Moon. The great nurturing Divine Mother is soothing and comforting. It softly replenishes hope and at the same time it is the radiance that lights our path through the darkness of the night.

Judy Collins - Hope and Grace

Judy Collins has inspired audiences not only with her gorgeous vocals but with her activism, idealism and determination in the face of major traumas in her life. She processed her pain by writing several powerful and cathartic books aimed at helping others through her own journey and giving them hope and vision. She is creative, vital and still touring as a glowing octagenarian.

Judy Collins
Judy Collins

It is a rare chart indeed where the lagna lord is strong and aspected only by benefics. Note her very bright Moon in the third house of skills and the arts. It is aspected by a swa Jupiter, exalted Venus and Mercury. Though Mercury is debilitated, it has powerful modifications of the debilitation.

The three sattvic grahas are all powerful - an exalted Sun with dig bala in the 10th bhāva, the Moon almost full and Jupiter swa.

Current Patterns and Hope

At this pivotal time is the cosmic kaleidoscope clicking into a more hopeful pattern? We have been through such a journey of intense and difficult combinations over these past couple of years culminating in the debilitation of the very graha that epitomizes hope - Jupiter. Not only has Jupiter been debilitated, it has been yuti Saturn.

This pattern will break April 5th when Jupiter moves into Aquarius. On the 14th, Mars will break the Kāla Sarpa Yoga transit pattern that has been in place since the first of the year. And at the same time, the Sun will move into its exalted rāśi of Aries.

It seems so fitting that this pattern is breaking open just around this spring equinox - the very season of increasing light with all of nature bursting forward with renewed energy and vitality and fresh beginnings.

Media Corner: The Lotus Pattern of Venus

I was made aware of a wonderful animation video that traces the remarkable eight year transit of Venus that results in a pattern resembling a beautiful five-petal lotus. With thanks to Pursottam Dabasia, below is the video. Please note that there are also animations of the other tārā grahas in the same channel.