Saturday, November 1, 2014 6:30 PM
Lately I have had quite a few Aquarius (rising) people asking for readings. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that right now as I write this, Saturn (Shani) is dying in the last degree, last couple of seconds of Libra (Tula). It was a nice run for Saturn (entered Libra in November 2011) where he had a hey day in his favorite place, Tula rasi. Ah, at last, a place where he can shine, enjoy himself and come out of this constricting shell. I imagine he may have feelings of nostalgia and sadness during these last few moments before departing from his place of peak performance.
I wonder about the mystery of Saturn, the lord of time and karma, as I walk just after a fresh rainfall in the forest surrounding my mountaintop home. After a long drought, the autumn vegetation is dying all around, the purplish sky darkening with the dying sun ‘s leftover glow… reminders all of Saturn’s relentless grind.
This is the reason why I’m writing about the most mysterious of signs, Aquarius (to me, a Cancer rising), and his lords Saturn and Rahu.
Oh, and by the way, today the Moon is in Aquarius, Shatabisha nakshatra as well. Enough reasons, I am beginning to sound like an Aquarius….
In Vedic Astrology the Rising sign is the most important factor in the natal chart.
Aquarius is called “Kumbha” from the Sanskrit word ‘Kumbh.” ‘Kumbh’ means a pot which is a symbol of purity and sacredness.
In India Kumbha is the pot that holds the water used in the worship rituals honoring the ancestors and Lord Shiva. The more subtle meaning of Kumbha is that it’s like the head (container of the mind) that holds thoughts wanting to flow into action and creating fresh karmas. In Aquarius, Kumbha symbolizes the container (pot) holding everything accumulated from the past — both, good and bad thoughts flowing that flow into present actions.
Aquarius is the sign of the humanitarian and high level philosopher; more interested in ideas and beliefs geared towards improvement of society, groups and the collective, rather than focus on the individual. (Karl Marx, Carl Jung, Abraham Lincoln are Aquarius rising in Vedic system).
Kumbha is airy, cold, dry (very Vata) and fixed (resistant to change, stable, reluctant to move, inert, sustaining, lasting). The dual lordships of Saturn and Rahu give Aquarius qualities of being egalitarian, serious, morose, introverted, with strong beliefs, that can be either of high integrity or if afflicted can turn devious.
Aquarius is the 11th sign of the Zodiac, meaning it represents the 11th house in the astrology chart. The 11th house is all about gains, communication, networking and socializing with friends. This is why Aquarians are friendly and comfortable in social circles. They accomplish their tasks and goals through their resources, networks and friends. Each zodiac sign has its own karmic life path. Some make it in the world preferring to be alone, while others require company of others. Since Kumbha is the natural 11th house of gains and fulfillment of desires, hopes and dreams, gains in life come easy and usually collaborating with friends or in networks where they get promoted faster due to their contacts.
Kumbha corresponds to the lower legs of the shin bones of the Kala Purusa (Cosmic Man). The function of the shins is to take the load off the knees of “The Cosmic Person” acting as a conduit of force or pressure causing the pressure to flow through the shins, then to the feet and into the ground. Think of the statue of Atlas holding the world on his shoulders and his knees (Capricorn) straining under the load. So you can say from this imagery that Aquarius people like to be conduits; to let something flow from them to be distributed to others.
Aquarius is an air sign, intellectual, wanting the flow of ideas, new concepts, philosophies and research. They know that what needs to be distributed is knowledge that would revolutionize the existing state of affairs. Aquarius along with Gemini and Libra being air signs know that to make relationships thrive and survive, communication must flow between people.
Saturn is the planet of the “little people,” democratic, egalitarian, working class. He causes struggles against the ruling class/royalty and inspires the union leader, political activist or community organizer.
Saturn is devoted to hard work; it is the planet (graha*) that signifies karma or work. Therefore, if afflicted, Aquarius can go to extremes — be a workaholic, or become a layabout.
Aquarius brings out a lighter side of Saturn than does his neighbor Makara or Capricorn. If Capricorn represented a hard working laborer, then Aquarius represents a communicator who works hard.
* planet –Sanskrit word for planet is graha… it means “to seize” or “to grab” – grahas are seizers.(directing our minds and actions to do things in certain ways.)
RAHU is the co-ruler of Aquarius along with Saturn. Rahu is the revolutionary; the planet** of change, paradigm shift, cataclysm, disruption, uniqueness. Whatever is foreign is Rahu. He wants to cross frontiers, break through barriers, see beyond the known and pioneer new territory. Rahu is definitely not a rule follower but a rule breaker and often sneaky about it (given that nodes are invisible, clandestine) called a “chaya graha” or shadow planet, who likes to pull strings from behind, unseen, in the background…
(**Actually, Rahu is not a physical planet, but eclipse points referred to as the North Node of the Moon, Ketu being the South Node)
Both Saturn and Rahu represent the underclasses, the poor, the immigrant and those on the margins of society; if Saturn is the union organizer working within the establishment, Rahu is the radical iconoclast, the anarchist who prefers to destroy the existing structure. When Saturn and Rahu were both transiting the egalitarian sign of Libra in all of 2013 and the first part of 2014, there were flare-ups of mass movements, in the Arab world for instance, several governments were overthrown.
During the transit of Saturn and Rahu through Libra many news stories in hot spots around the world where covering protesting masses reacting against their miserable plight. Here are a few of the lesser know in the USA but quite significant:
Brazil June 2013- http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/brazilpt1.php
Turkey June 2013- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013%E2%80%9314_protests_in_Turkey
Bangladesh Feb. 2013- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Shahbag_protests
In the preceding period of 2011-12, the Occupy movement, coincided with the Rahu transit through the form destroying Scorpio and Rahu instigated these insurrections in the nakshatra, Jyeshta, ruled by Indra, king of heaven. movementhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_Wall_Street and the Arab uprisings of 2011-12, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring
Rahu and Saturn are both high Vayu (air) causing Vata dosa (Ayurvedic term for imbalance of the air element)– like a cold, dry wind. Aquarius can be cool, detached, unfeeling and an over-intellectual, thinking type.
If Rahu and or Saturn aspect the rising sign, they increase the vata (wind) of the already very airy rising sign. If water and/or space (akash) planets like the Moon, Venus or Jupiter exercise an influence, it will mitigate the excessive vata energy and bring more balance to the body and personality.
Kumbha rising carries the energy and karmic imprint of Saturn and Rahu on the incarnating soul. It influences the body shape, style of perceiving, decision making ability, intelligence, fame, reputation, ego, health and vitality. Saturn can give a reserved, introverted, detached, hardworking, responsible nature while Rahu will give passion and intensity as well as unconventional and original thinking. (Eckhart Tolle, Carl Jung, Sylvia Plath, Paul McCarthy)
Both can cause some vata disorder in the body and can affect thoughts making them scatter like the wind. Saturn and Rahu, as rulers of Aquarius, if aspecting, will protect the first house and what it stands for like any good landlord of a house keeping a watchful eye on his property.
Aquarius is dark, purple color and indicates poison (Blue-throated Shiva) or wine
Saturn is responsible for a long and possibly miserable life. He will bar the exits until all your karmic chores are worked off. Aging, fearful, often humorless and carping, are qualities of a Saturnine character.
Aquarius is a dark sign associated with poison. They are often serious and can entertain morose, negative thoughts leading to depression and addiction. A severely afflicted Aquarius can become a drug addict or alcoholic if they don’t learn to manage the poisonous thoughts. (Whitney Houston, Sylvia Plath)
Saturn has also a positive side even if it is the most feared of planets. In some ways Saturn is the most spiritual. Even though all of the grahas represent karma, Saturn is the main karmic graha. Karma means actions (and their results), what we do, and that’s what much of our life is about. Saturn rules work, chores, tasks and labor. The deepest, most profound lessons of life are taught by Saturn who sees to it that we do our work and not forget why the soul incarnated – to finish our unfinished karma.
Kumbha is associated with Siva and particularly the Neelakantha form – “blue throated” Shiva. This is the Shiva that drank the “halahala” or poison when it emerged from the Milk Ocean (Vedic creation myth) after the gods and demons churn it to get the Nectar of Immortality. To make a long story short, the gods and demons had to cooperate to be able to achieve such a difficult task (spiritual liberation is hard work!). Along the way they were exposed to and had to endure some vile gunk before enjoying the treasures, particularly the nectar of immortality from the depths of the milky sea…They could not do it without the help of Shiva (transcendental divine consciousness). Shiva came to the rescue, and drank all of the toxic muck. He had to close his throat so that the poison would not enter his body. As a result of that, his throat turned blue so he became known as Neelakantha Siva.
The great saint, Paramahamsa Ramakrishna was a triple Aquarius and he died of throat cancer at 50 years of age. Hmmmm…..
As unlikely or difficult it may sound, Aquarius and Saturn are deeply connected to spiritual awakening and healing.
There are 3 “stars” or nakshatras within the sign of Aquarius. The 12 signs of the zodiac come, arguably from the Greek’s 12 constellations but like ruins of an ancient city, under a modern one, there is a very ancient, lunar based system composed of 27 “stars” that was never lost in the Indian culture and was continuously used since time immemorial. The first “star” underlying Kumbha is “Dhanishta”
Dhanishta is represented by a drum to symbolize the rhythms of life. This bold and confident nakshatra relates to music and dance, as well as to the larger rhythms of nature. The shape of this symbol reflects the rhomboid pattern of the stars of this asterism. It is divided into eight triangles, representing the Eight Vasus (demigods) who preside over Dhanishta.
A flute playing Krishna depicts the higher meaning of this nakshatra reminding the spiritual seeker to be an empty instrument of the Divine who, when he plays, the nectar flows….. (the amrita or Love)
The deities of Dhanishta are the Vasus or gods of abundance. They are the soldiers of Indra, the king of the heavens, as well as his attendants, and execute his orders efficiently.
They are the Eight Spheres of existence: Apah (water), Anala (fire) Anila (wind), Dhara (flow), Dhruva (Polestar) Soma (an aspect of moon) Prabhasa (light) and Prathyusha (dawn)
They bring the resources of people together and have the power to give abundance and fame. The Vasus of Dhanishta gives clues to the way a person’s intellect will function and react to circumstances. (In Christian and Hebrew theology – like the angels?)
A study of how the Vasus function will help to understand the nature of a person’s intellect.
The next star is “Shatabisha” symbolized by an empty circle. Other images attached to Shatabisha are:
The divine healer, a hundred divine physicians, a hundred helmsmen helping to cross over,
a hundred rescuers, a hundred shoots of the lotus plant, a hundred shooting stars….
Its deity is Varuna, god of the cosmic waters. A study of how Varuna functions will help to understand the nature of how a person with their rising degree in Shatabisha thinks.
Varuna is a God of sin, debts, injury and disease, who cannot only bring these calamities upon us but can remove them from us. Counters difficult karmas through Divine grace and repentance.
Shatabhishak brings about a healing crisis leading to revitalization.
The deity is Aja Ekapada or the one footed goat. He is a form of the thunder god Rudra and has wild fiery energy associated with Agni, the fire god. The energy is unformed and difficult to manage and at the same time very conducive to spiritual purification. Grahas in this nakshatra will have a tremendous amount of energy and we need to develop practices to channel it.
The deity of the nakshatra the MOON helps understanding of how the mind functions and perceives reality and determines emotional well being …..more at another time)