What? There’s a Connection?
In 2014, I attended a retreat with David Frawley, a renowned Vedic scholar and yoga practitioner. I was amazed to discover that yoga and astrology are intimately linked, historically and into the present time. Relationships between planets, signs/constellations and houses greatly influence subtle energies of an individual, as well as collective humanity. Since yoga is about ‘yoking’ the sun and the moon (obvious planetary aspects within the human), it makes perfect sense that we invite into our lives, heavenly/cosmic wisdom, in addition to the mastery we work towards within our physical bodies on the earth. Knowledge of cosmic influences greatly enhances your self-knowledge and facilitates clarity for right choices with appropriate timing.
Astrology is a complex science, one that has not been taken seriously in the West for a very long time. I hope to entice you into discovering more about yourself, from the heavenly point of view, by explaining some basics about the how’s, what’s, whys of astrology. This is not about fate, so much as potentialities, and helping us avoid poor choices; humans have free will, which makes all personal choices, our responsibility. So why not align with the heavens, and make the best out of your life!
The following is a short introduction to the key elements, enabling your understanding of astrology, and then we’ll proceed with how this connects to the yoking process of a yoga lifestyle.
The birth chart is the initial view into your character, assets and challenges; it helps you resolve and balance life issues through self-understanding, recognition of qualities you seek in a partner, realize your career / financial potential, and develop your strengths so you can become your greatest potential. The Language of astrology includes: 12 signs of the zodiac; 12 houses, planets and aspects, or the placement of the ‘players’ which describe how they relate to each other.
You likely are familiar with the signs/constellations: Aries through Pisces; each sign is associated with certain characteristics that describe personality traits. These arise from each sign’s element and quality: the 4 elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water and qualities of cardinal, fixed and mutable can tell you a lot about your basic nature. A brief summary follows:
Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius – outgoing and action oriented.
Earth signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn – practical and realistic
Air signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius – intellectual and people oriented.
Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces – emotional and intuitive
Cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn – are self-starters.
Fixed signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius – are determined.
Mutable signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces – are easygoing.
Next come the planets; each has its own natural energy and an area of influence. For example, Mars is external power, active, whereas Venus is internal power / beauty, receptive; they reflect masculine and feminine energies at a personal level. Each planet in your birth chart is in a sign/constellation, as is your Sun. So you have a Moon sign, a Venus sign, a Mars sign, and so on. A planet’s characteristics and energy are modified and expressed according to its sign. Mercury, the planet of communication will create a dynamic speaker if in the sign of Leo, or one that puts people at ease, if in Libra.
Each of the planets is associated with 1 or 2 signs; this is called Rulership. The following chart lists these; notice the glyphs associated with each sign / constellation and planet. It’s helpful to memorize these symbols, as they are used in charting.
And last but not least in the language of astrology, are the 12 houses, each associated with specific areas of life, such as career, relationships, etc. Here is a different format to see the associations of Signs, Planetary Rulers and the area of influence each house has.
Below is another way to view it, from a circular perspective; each pie wedge occupies 300 of the 3600. The ‘House’ numbers are shown in the inner circle, (clockwise direction) and the sign/constellation and ruling planet are outside the circle; within the wedge is each house’s area of life influence.
Your birth chart will show the location of the planets, in the houses and signs, as it was when and where you were born. It is a unique snapshot into you… because no one else was born at the same location, date and exact time.
So this is the nuts and bolts of the language of the ‘cosmos’; when you embrace these 3 essential components of astrology, you are on the road to understanding how the heavens are giving you significant information to shift your life into right alignment.
Next time we will look at how the planetary positions influence each other, and ways astrology is used to help one engage their potential. We’ll also review some of the differences between Western and Eastern/Vedic astrology system, as it is the latter that was associated with yoga practices, and which will be highlighted during the Kauai Retreat at the end of February.