Volume 64, 5 May 2024

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Melody Beattie

Interested in Starting the Jyotiṣa Journey?

I am very happy to announce a new Basics 1 group scheduled for the end of June. Our model of live, interactive teaching in small groups has resulted in a lively and expanding saṅgha of more than 120 active students who are maturing in their ability to read the patterns of the heavens in an intergrated way. Read more on my web site or contact me if you would llke more information on this upcoming offering.

The Winds of Change

After more than four years, I will be returning to Arsha Vidya Gurukulam for the 30th anniversary of the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam Jyotish Kumbha to be held this June 6th to June 16th. I will be teaching two sessions, one on June 14th and one on June 15th. For more info visit for the link that will give you details about the entire conference including registration and housing information.


The Bhagavad Gītā along with many of the other śāstras greatly extols the ability to remain centered and calm when encountering the many pairs of opposites that characterize our lives in the samsara. The word vairagya is often used for one who has cultivated this state. Often vairagya is translated as indifference but a better description is full maturity which is the outcome of practicing karma yoga.

It is not the case that such an individual backs away from acting but the actions don’t spring from attachment (rāga) or aversion (dveśa). Rather the person, in the words of Swami Dayananda, does what needs to be done and whatever happens, the outcome is accepted as a gift. Even if it is not the preferred outcome, the mature individual finds the “yes” inside the “no”.

We are moving through times that are a great challenge so keeping even in the face of huge polarization is exceptionally difficult. I remember Swami’s words in such situations. He advised that if you feel you want to support a particular position, go for it! Do what you can and once you have, let it go rather than continue to let in worry and fear. Make a difference in ways that are appropriate and practical and then abide in knowing you acted in a way that reflected your principles.

Vairagya in a Chart

Are there indicators for vairagya in a chart? Interestingly, the very combinations that can lead to depression, separation or anxiety can, under the right circumstance, give an objectivity and witnessing value that is an important support for the one seeking ultimate freedom - the mumukṣu.

What are some of these combinations? Here is a particular (but not necessarily exclusive) set of factors: Saturn on the manas (Moon, 4th lord/4th bhāva) and Saturn on the ahaṅkāra (lagna or lagna lord).

Let’s check this in a private chart:

Vairagya in a Chart
Vairagya in a Chart

This is an excellent example of a chart that many might think is very problematic given the Saturn/Rahu yuti in the 7th bhāva. As always, the environment of the chart is the final arbiter. This chart has the unusual configuration of three grahas in the nakṣatra of Śravaṇa, a nakṣatra that often is the most capable of self-observation. Note that these three are stabilized by the aspect of an exalted Jupiter who in turn is disposited by an exalted Moon. Jupiter itself is Puṣya nakṣatra, a star known to be very nurturing, refined and devoted to connecting others with divinity in their cultural context. Note as well that Mars, though in planetary war, is likewise exalted. It is stated in the texts that a chart with three or more exalted grahas is a rāja yoga.

Further, we can see that Saturn is a very strong lagna lord (dig bala and retrograde), and is aspecting back to its own first bhāva.

The vairagya combinations jump right out as Saturn IS the lagna lord and is aspecting its own first bhāva and also is aspecting the 4th bhāva and the Moon.

This individual’s life is so well described by this chart. The native immigrated post childhood, married a foreigner (beautifully shown by the 7/12 parivartana). They spent time in each other’s country with the inevitable consequences of being “an outsider” which might have created strain at times (SA RA in the 7th). However, the native has this beautiful maturity and ability to understand the deeper currents of situations and how to face them properly. It is reported from those who know the native that the Śravaṇa gift of listening allows the native to hold a calm, authentic space for people to express themselves. It is no surprise that this native trained in and got advanced academic degrees and certifications in a broad spectrum of areas including Transpersonal Psychology, Yoga teaching and therapy, energy work, Ayurveda etc.

Shakti’s Youngest Daughter:
A Venus Story by Yara Delgado

Shakti, creative life force of divinity awakens ready to add to the cosmic alignment she has brought forth. She wants a young element for her next Graha. Playful yet elegant. She will call her Shukra, clear and bright. She expels her from her astral pelvis, beautiful and wondrous, she is easily born headfirst.

Shakti, creative life force of divinity awakens ready to add to the cosmic alignment she has brought forth. She wants a young element for her next Graha. Playful yet elegant. She will call her Shukra, clear and bright. She expels her from her astral pelvis, beautiful and wondrous, she is easily born headfirst. A. Rodrigues, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Shakti thinks to herself she will embody male and female, semen and ovum. She will embody the creative potential of life: growth, expansion and preservation. Young and coy in appearance yet really a wise sage, she holds abenevolent counselor within. Preferring a sideward glance, with a temperament that is easy going and accommodating, her method of persuasion will be benevolent, attempting to mirror the most tenderhearted of all graha, the great Brihaspati. She will provide good counsel or Sama, help others work through challenges, and naturally accept appeals to reason. Mild and polite but direct and honest will be the true gift of her counsel. In the celestial court she will be an advisor despite her young age.

Appearing on the stage of creation at a tender age of 16, she will reach maturity at 25. She revels in the seasons between the 20th of March and the 19th of May when the trees flower and the buds bloom, displaying the wondrous beauty and colors of creation. Flowers such as the white lotus will adorn her.All kinds of fancy fruit such as pomegranates and ripe berries show off their vibrant colors reminiscent of her red luscious lips.

Shakti thinks to herself it can’t just be all the visual senses we need the others as well—pleasant and wonderous smells such as sandalwood and all manners of perfumes and aromatic gardens. She will be the ruler of taste. She will know how to play with the duality of those flavors, highlighting the sweet and sour with all manners of berries and flowers.

You will feel her most strongly in the direction of the Southeast. Bringing in the Rajasic Vāta energy of air and ether while at the same time calling forth the Kapha energy of earth and water. Her elemental nature will be water: sensual, fluid, flexible yet unyielding. The fluid flow of the water reminding you of her hips and pelvis undulating and bringing to life her creative fire.

Unfortunately for those that do not follow her Brahmanical and altruistic nature they will find her shadow self in disorders of the sexual organs, urinary tract and sexual perversions leaving their bodies hollow and without luster. However, for those that follow her Brahmanical nature, they will find themselves wanting to embody altruistic services like healers, teachers and counselors. Those connected to the beauty that she brings forth will find themselves creating poetry, music, fashion and jewelry making featuring silver, diamonds and white sapphire.

Shakti knows that such a young soul with so many responsibilities will need something to help her feel connected to the earth like cows, horses, elephants and all manner of big animals,their large hearts beating to the drum of mother earth.

She will show humanity the gift of affection, friendliness, love and gentleness. She will teach them that sociability, partnerships, harmony and balance can lead to auspicious and pleasant dharma. For those who block her light they will only see the shadow of laziness, selfishness, vanity, vices, sensual corruption and lack of taste and refinement. She will also personify desires, yearnings and passions. When adequately channeled it will lead to great artisans and great accomplishments.

She tells her mother Shakti she wants to rule over places that bring delight, pleasure or amusement. She wants to do this without judgment. Therefore, she rules theaters, bedrooms and restaurants as well as brothels and houses of pleasures. Places that focus on beauty such as art galleries, beauty salons, elegant shops, shopping malls are blessed by her along with places where music is featured—dance halls, clubs, opera and symphony halls.

Shukra the daughter looks up and says: “what of my dress dear Mother”. “Yes, dear child you should have strong, durable and highly decorated clothing”. And there she stands in regal variegated colors like the beautiful leaves of autumn and the wild and flashing colors of a peacock’s tail or the shimmering of flower petals. Even Shakti sits in utter amazement as every time her creation moves the colors change. Then by Shukra’s command she switches back to a lustrous white, like the jeweled stars of creation. She grabs these starred jewels and throws them into the cosmic night sky creating all manner of octagonal shapes demonstrating that she can still embody the playfulness of the teen that resides in her heart as well.

Shakti sits back in awe. Lays her creative paintbrush down and says you are ready to join the celestial counsel; beautiful, playful, young yet wise. Reminding the other Grahas to always look for the beauty and wonder in life.

Media Corner The Stories Behind the Poses

This delightful book by By Dr. Raj Balkaran retells the mythological stories from the Sanskrit Epics and Purāṇas associated with 50 yoga postures. For example, the story of Viṣṇu’s serpent couch (Ananta) is told for Anantāsana, the story of the wrathful form of Śiva created for the destruction of Dakṣa (Vīrabhadra) is told for Vīrabhadrāsana (Warrior), and the stories of several sages are told for their āsana namesakes. The book is divided into five chapters each containing 10 stories:

  • 1) Śiva, Lord of Yoga;
  • 2) Viṣṇu the Compassionate;
  • 3) Devī and Her Manifestations;
  • 4) the Powers of the Gods;
  • 5) The Wisdom of the Sages.
The Stories Behind the Poses
The Stories Behind the Poses

Each of the fifty tales told in The Stories Behind the Poses is accessible and self-contained, making for a digestible object of study or recitation. These tales were crafted attuned to rhythm and cadence, intended to be uttered aloud. Following each tale, the author encapsulates the spiritual and emotional truths encoded within the story.