Volume 18, 21 September 2012

"Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness."

The Autumn Sky - Venus and Jupiter Lead the Way

Venus will be dazzling in the predawn sky through most of the fall. However, there are a few days when you can enjoy viewing some close encounters of Venus with either other planets or the marker stars of the nakshatras.

On October 3rd, Venus will be very close to Magha (Regulus) which is the brightest star in the constellation of Leo. Magha will be only 1 degree away from Venus and the fainter of the two.

On November 17th, you can observe Venus around 4 degrees from Citra (Spica) in the constellation of Virgo. This will be in the southeastern sky around 90 minutes before sunrise. If you are up even earlier you may also catch sight of some meteors from the Leonid meteor shower.

Elusive Saturn will be visible only one degree from Venus on November 27th, also around 90 minutes before sunrise, above the southeast horizon.

Jupiter will take over as the brightest object in the east northeast horizon after sunset. It too will be paired with other heavenly markers over the weeks ahead making skywatching inspiring and rewarding.

On October 5th, Jupiter will be only 4 degrees from the Moon in the eastern sky. The pair will be in the constellation of Taurus but not yet close to the brilliant Rohini (Aldebaran). However, on December 12th, Jupiter and Rohini will be around 5 degrees apart and will stay close for a few weeks.

The most interesting combinations of multiple planets and stars will be before sunrise on the 9th and 10th of December. Mercury and Venus will be very close together around 90 minutes before sunrise, Citra (Spica) will be only 2 degrees above the crescent Moon and even Saturn will be visible between Venus and the Moon/Citra combination. The next day Saturn will move in even closer and will be right above the crescent Moon which has now moved away some from Spica but will be closer to the Venus Mercury association.

Mars also will make an appearance in this season. Probably the best naked eye viewing is October 1st for a few days when at dusk you will be able to see it close to Rohini (Aldebaran) on the east northeast horizon.

Eclipse season will be in November with a total solar eclipse on the 14th (NOT visible in the Northern hemisphere) and a penumbral Lunar Eclipse with Jupiter right with the Moon on the 28th. This will only be somewhat visible on the West Coast at around 6:30 PST

The Limbs of Jyotisha Part 4

We continue in this newsletter series with the fourth limb of Jyotisha which is called Prashna. We could translate prashna as the asking of a question to address a specific concern. That question is then answered by the casting of a prashna chart. Why does this constitute a separate limb? Why can’t the question be answered using the natal chart?

To fully understand the basis of prashna requires a philosophical discussion of cause and effect which is beyond the scope of this newsletter but I will make some attempt at addressing this important topic.

if one looks deeply into the relationship between cause and effect, one finds that every effect is its cause in a different form. Further, every effect in turn, becomes a cause in just a matter of time. We see the effect as something different and name it as such because every effect displays features of its cause AND other qualities as well. Think about a child and the parent. The parent is the cause, the child is the effect and they share common features and distinct qualities as well. The further out in time the effect is from the cause, the more differentiated it appears to be.

A birth chart is cast at a seminal moment in time when the incarnating soul interfaces with a particular time and place. This is such a powerful confluence that the patterns perceived at the moment represent the prarabdha karma of the individual and will hold true even as time moves these factors further and further away from that original convergence.

That being said, it is still true that the closer something is to the matrix of cause, time and place, the more accurate it is in assessing the immediate unseen current of karma. Prashna is the vehicle to do just that as it provides a way into the cosmic kaleidoscope of the moment of inquiry.

There are countless techniques for entering this stream of the unseen patterns of karma. Jyotishis can use a number chosen in a myriad of ways that corresponds to very precise point in the heavens. They can use the first sound they hear from the questioner and that too corresponds to a particular starting point for the sky pattern that will be used to address that question. It may seem very mysterious to the novice but it is one of the oldest and most reliable methods of accurately answering very specific questions.

This is such a rich subject that I will devote another article next time to further elaborate this fascinating limb of Jyotisha.

Media Corner


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