Archives for the month of: September, 2014
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ketu - alberthalljaipur.gov.inKetu is the lower severed half of the demon who sought immortality ( see previous post on Rahu). In astrological terms he is the southern Lunar Node, or the descending Node. While he is sometimes portrayed with a serpent’s head generally in keeping with myth and legend he is shown as headless with a serpent or fish-dragon body. The portrayal in ancient European texts also depicts the northern Node as having a serpent’s head. If uninfluenced by other planets he displays the qualities of Mars for the horoscope.

Like Rahu it too is inherently a malefic, yet it is paradoxically a significator of liberation, which can have multiple implications. It can signify liberation, through death, the liberation of ‘Moksha’, the enlightened stage reaches by the soul force, after which it does not need to reincarnate. Thus it is the antithesis of Rahu, which impelled the soul force to incarnate and materialize. It signifies the return of the soul force into the spiritual world. Thus it is an indicator of spiritual development and the desire for spiritual evolution. Likewise it is also the significator of the occult, magic and witchcraft, the non material realms of reality. Ketu is also the repository of ones Karma – a force for transformation which gets magnified during eclipses – then Ketu impels the transformation of the ego, creating awareness of the conscious Self within. While in India most traditionalists dread the eclipse as a harbinger of evil, the more erudite look upon it as an opportunity and astrologers and Pundits devise special occult ritual prayers for the spiritual evolution of their clients to be performed during an eclipse. Certain Brahmanical orders trace their lineage to Ketu.

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If Rahu is the factor for separation ( see previous post), Ketu represents obstruction and impediments. At the psychological level he may induce manic depression, pessimism, addictions and violence. Sudden death from accidents are also attributed to Ketu effects. Other effects include sexual perversion. Yet when beneficial for a chart it enhances the spiritual and mystical potential of the subject to the extent of conferring extra-sensory perception ( ESP) and even supernatural abilities. It confers special powers of spiritual healing through Tantrik practices.However the manner in which it is likely to create spiritual awareness and detachment is through material adversity, sorrow, pain and loss. Ketu governs magicians, astrologers and the medical profession. 

ketu1Ketu is also associated with being bitten by snakes, reptiles and dogs, in life threatening circumstances. In my first post on Stellar India I referred to the popular practice to have ear lobes of infants of both sexed pierced ( and adorned with ear rings) to ward off such Ketu effects. The piercing replicates the snake bite and therefore fulfills the astrological prophecy in advance, like a prophylactic. Prayers and incantations to Ketu are believed to cure those who have become poisoned by snake bites or otherwise. A favourable Ketu indicates luxury, wisdom and intuition. there are several temples in India dedicated to Ketu.

Ketu is exalted in Sagittarius and Scorpio and debilitated in Gemini and Taurus. It is friendly to Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Rahu, neutral to Jupiter and inimical to the Sun, Moon and Mars. Its gemstone is the Cat’s Eye and metal, Mica. His steed is the vulture.

 

 

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Cats Eye

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Artist: Pieter Weltevrede Credit: sanatansociety.org

 

 

320px-Lunar_eclipse_diagram-en.svgA common portrayal of Rahu is a demonic head. His vehicle is the lion or tiger. In astrology it is a natural malefic with characteristics similar to Lord Saturn. In fact it is considered the strongest malefic planet of the Zodiac.In Hindu Astrology (Jyotish), unlike the planets, who are all revered demi-gods of the pantheon, the Lunar Nodes are demonic entities. The Lunar nodes are the points where the Moon’s path in the sky crosses the ecliptic, the Sun’s path. The two points are called Rahu and Ketu and are treated as planets. The question arises how these Lunar Nodes come to occupy a place as important as the planets in Hindu Astrology. We need to trace their origin in Hindu mythology and Puranic ( ancient ) legends.

The demi-gods ( Devs) and their antitheses the Titans and demons ( Asurs)  are shown in a state of constant conflict to acquire control over the heavenly regions ( Swarg Lok ) and the earth ( Prithvi Lok ). The Demons rule the nether worlds ( Patal Lok ) from where they mount their attacks to win heaven and thereby gain power over the forces of nature enabling them to dominate the earth and destabilize it by polluting the minds of earthlings, and by causing earthquakes, floods and other natural calamities.  Allegorically it is the  struggle between the forces of good and evil. The demi-gods are often outwitted and heaven and earth fall under the spell of the demonic forces. Numerous legends speak of the rise of one great Titan after another threatening heaven and earth. The demigods then rush to the holy Trinity of Godhead ( Brahma the creator, Vishnu the sustainer and Shiva the annihilator) beseeching  their help  to oust the demons. Often the plight the demi-gods are in are of their own making. The demons succeed in gaining the upper hand when the demi-gods fall in righteous behaviour with bloated egos  and indulgences. After being duly reprimanded the Godhead then deigns to assist them through the employ of subterfuge and trickery. This becomes necessary because great demonic entities after engaging in extraordinary feats of penance, piety and meditation succeed in  gaining the blessings of the Godhead. The Godhead is obliged to grant them their wishes. Once thus empowered, the Demons cast away the mask of piety and launch attacks gaining control over the heavens.

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Both the Devas and the Asuras were keen to acquire Amrit, the nectar of immortality. Lord Vishnu suggested to the Devs that the only way to get that nectar was by churning the cosmic oceans for which it would be necessary to get the Asurs to join them in the exercise. The churning then began by winding the king of serpents, Vasuki ( seen coiling round Lord Shiva’s neck as adornment) round Mount Meru, the Hindu Olympus. Lord vishnu assumed the form of a giant turtle on whose back Mount Meru was placed. The Asurs were to hold the head of the serpent while the Devs were to hold the tail. It was hoped that the fumes from the enraged serpant would confuse the Asurs, but the Asurs were not to be deterred. The churning first produced a pot of deadly poison which threatened to annihilate the universe. Lord Shiva magnanimously intervened by offering to drink it and save the world. As the deadly poison went down he confined it to his throat which turned blue – henceforth the saviour was called Neelkanth, Lord Blue-Throat.

When the churning finally produced the coveted pot of nectar, the Asuras usurped it, refusing to share it with the Devs. To save the day Lord Vishnu assumed the form of an enchanting damsel and charming the gullible Asurs stole the pot away, dancing towards the Devs and pouring the nectar quickly into their goblets. Rahu, a leading Asur realizing the subterfuge transformed himself into a Dev and joined the ranks of the demi-gods, being served the nectar.

 

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The Sun and the Moon discovering his alien presence drew the attention of Lord Vishnu, now the divine damsel with the pot of nectar but too late, as Rahu had already drunk the nectar of immortality. Vishnu then let fly his famed discus severing Rahu’s neck from his body. but the two halves had already gained immortality and henceforth continued to haunt the Zodiac, seeking revenge on the Sun and the Moon by pursuing them and swallowing them time and again causing eclipses. The two nodes are however not associated with any Zodiac sign through lordship or ownership.

Rahu signifies all manner of separation, from tribe, family, home, region, country of origin –  ones essential roots. This could manifest as incessant travel or a career overseas, away from ones origins, even exile and execution. Separation could also imply absence of parental support or on account of being orphaned. Rahu’s adverse placement also indicates tendency to have  addictions  and obsessions, which could mean alcoholism, drug abuse and obsessive sex. Pronounced Rahu effects could even mean insanity and forms of mental instability, particularly when it afflicts a weak Moon ( which symbolizes the mind in the horoscope).  On account of its ability to eclipse the Sun, its influence can create grandiose illusions about ones importance. In the psychic area it could mean supernatural possession or susceptibility to adverse occult influences. His adverse influence can also be indicative of the possibility of being bitten by a snake. Viewed philosophically, Rahu signifies the spirit or soul’s contact with the material world and its machinations. It engenders desire and greed and is associated with materialism.

Another characteristic of Rahu effects is sudden or unexpected developments, both negative and positive. For instance sudden gain in wealth, through legacy or lottery or other fortuitous events or unforeseen calamities.However the gains would be of a dubious nature. Rahu can also produce beneficial effects like making the subject very prosperous, enhancement of status and ability to overcome enemies. Like all planets he is therefore also capable of facilitating Rajyoga – extremely beneficial effects.

Rahu is exalted in Taurus debilitated in Scorpio and favours Aquarius. It is friendly to Saturn, Venus, Mercury, neutral to jupiter and inimical to the Sun and Moon and Mars. In association with a planet it assumes its nature and magnifies it.

 

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RAHU YANTRA Credit: astrodevam.com

 

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Mars – Mangal is both feared and admired. his name in Hindi and Sanskrit is synonymous with the auspicious and blissful happiness. A common blessing is ‘ be ‘Mangalmaya’ or blessed with good fortune. Equally there is the Mangal-Dosh or Mars affliction which has to be warded off and guarded against, particularly in the selection of a suitable spouse.

Mars is pictured as being youthful, virile and muscular, amber eyed and martial, with a fiery and violent temperament, a flushed countenance and wearing red garments. He is also large hearted, generous and courageous and is the commander-in-chief of the planets. He is also the god of war and celibate. He is also referred to as Angarika ( one who is red and Bhauma ( son of Bhumi, the Earth). He likes meticulous organization. His steed or vehicle is the Ram.

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Lord Shiva – God of gods

The legend goes that Lord Shiva, ‘Devadidev’ – God of gods, wiping his brow cast beads of perspiration upon the Earth, thus creating the persona of a child. The Earth, Prithvi (Also Bhumi as terra) troubled by upheavals caused by quakes on account of demonic activity sought Shiva’s help to restore tranquillity. He then gave her the child arisen from his brow to rear and bring up, as a means of gaining equanimity and peace. When the child had grown to fine maturity under her maternal love and care she brought him back to Lord Shiva. Shiva then named the child Mangal, the auspicious one, and told her that she would now have to separate from him as her work was done and that his place was in the Zodiac from where his sterling qualities would help mankind in its evolution. He consoled Prithvi that she must not be anguished as Mangal would always be in the Zodiac visible to her. Shiva then commanded him to assume his place in the Mangal Lok or Martian world in the Zodiac which was even superior to the Shukra Lok the Venetian World.

Mars in Jyotish astrology is considered a malefic of the first order. But like other planets it is in fact an agent of ones Karma for ones ultimate spiritual evolution. The malefic effects are meant to cleanse us of our accumulated negativities. We are taught lessons through adversity. It is a paradox that we are apprehensive of an entity whose name signifies the auspicious. What is probably feared is what is due from ones accumulated Karma and wrong doing.

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Artist: Pieter Weltevrede Credit: sanatancociety.com

Mars is significator of strength, energy, siblings younger to oneself and things that emerge from the earth like property in the shape of buildings. He is also the significator of  war, battle, soldiers, weapons, enemies, arguments and debates, athletics, beasts of prey, scientific, technical and mechanical abilities.The qualities he represents are strong will, unscrupulousness, self confidence, determination, brashness, enthusiasm, heroism, organizational skills, strong administrative abilities and an independent spirit, a passionate nature and generosity. Physically he represents virility, testicles, blood, bone marrow, muscles and the head.

What marriage councellers in India are particularly on the look out for is the placement of Mars in the horoscope. If it is in the first , fourth, seventh, eighth or twelfth House of the Moon chart ( called the Janma Kundli  – the Sign at birth is called the Lagna Kundli – to clarify the two,  the birth chart shows the Zodiac Signs at birth in the 12 Houses of fortune – the Moon chart places the Sign in which the Moon occurs at birth in the first house and then rearranges the succeeding signs accordingly in the 12 houses – quite complcated  – different charts are used for different aspects of ones life for a more focussed assessment) it is indicative of premature death of the spouse, divorce or an incompatible marriage, unless the spouse in question too is a ‘Manglik’ with Mars in one of those stigmatized Houses. This has high priority among Hindus and is one of the most frequent reasons for consulting astrologers and Pundits and for refusing offers of marriage which otherwise appear suitable on all counts. In all arranged marriages, and the majority in India are arranged, on account of Caste and class considerations, an exchange of horoscopes is mandatory to see if the charts are compatible or  incompatible, particularly the issue of the placement of Mars. Some ‘Manglik’ girls remain unmarried because they cannot find a suitable spouse with compatible charts.

imagesMars is exalted in Capricorn and debilitated in Cancer. the Sun Moon and Jupiter are considered friendly to Mars for a Horoscope, Mercury is inimical and Venus and Saturn are neutral. The metal associated with Mars is brass, the gemstone is the red coral ( called Mangal among indian jewellers, in high demand and frequently worn to balance adverse Mars in the horoscopes ) , his element is fire, his direction is the south and his season is summer.

 

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Mangal Yantra

 

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