After writing about 1,500 articles over the past six and a half years, I think that I have acquired the level of understanding necessary for decoding astrology, with respect to its role and capacity for illuminating a person’s life through the natal chart. Again, this article is purely based on my understanding of the subject matter – an understanding which has been further refined over the years as a consequence of writing articles and consulting with individuals. Those possessing deeper knowledge of astrology may explain things in a more detailed manner, and this is to be expected as it takes many years to perfect one’s discipline.
Before we begin, I would like to mention that this will be the last article, given that I have already covered what I believe to be the most relevant topics related to astrology in previous articles. That said, I will continue to follow up with articles on important annual transits as well as any other relevant astrological events as they ensue.
We can consider this article as part two of my earlier article on same theme, titled “Limitations of Astrological Prediction,” which can be located here: https://www.astrosaxena.com/limit. The aforementioned article may be helpful in clarifying the following information. Let’s try to cover this article as follows:
Energy -At the very least, I think we can all agree on the point that everything around us is energy and we are all manifestations of that same energy. The concept which we refer to as God is also Energy.
Additionally, energy is neutral on its own. There is nothing such as good energy or bad energy. Likewise, there is nothing such as pious energy or sinful energy. The best example I can offer here is that nuclear energy can be harnessed for creating electricity or creating a nuclear bomb - it depends on the person and how he wants to utilize it. For example, a knife may be used for cutting vegetables to cook food or it can even be used for cutting another human being. It is as simple as this. At the end of the day, it is our wish as to how we utilize our own energy as well as the energy around us.
Energy in Astrology –The same energy is manifested in astrology through the Houses, Signs, Nakshatras, and Planets in an astrological chart. Every House, Sign, Nakshatra, and Planet has a truckload of representations. These representations are basically manifestations of the same energy which is expressed through the Houses, Signs, Nakshatras, and Planets. It is akin to having electricity (energy) flowing in a wire. At different places in that wire, there are different colored bulbs that, when switched on, emit the same electrical energy through different wave lengths of light.
Likewise, Divine Energy manifests itself through different planets by way of their various representations. Thus, when Mars indicates violence, energy is providing an opportunity for the planet to be utilized in violent/destructive ways whereas when Mars indicates protection, energy is providing an opportunity for utilizing the same energy in more compassionate/constructive ways. Again, in the end it is energy which is neutral on its own, and it depends on how we want to utilize it.
Categorization – The human mind loves to divide things into different categories, i.e., the good and the bad, positive and negative, etc. Similarly, we can divide energy represented through the planets in astrology into benefic planets and malefic planets. We can also divide houses into different categories, such as Kendra, Trikona, and Dushthana houses, etc. A major categorization of energy is in the following gunas: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas element. The Tamasic is considered as an element of non-creation. The Rajasic is considered as an element of creation. Lastly, the Sattvic or Sattva Element is the balancing point of the Tamas and Rajas elements.
So, all the representations of Houses, Signs, Nakshatras, and Planets can be divided into three categories. Every House/Sign/Nakshatra/Planet will represent something of Tamas nature, every House/Sign/Nakshatra/Planet will represent something of Rajas nature, and every House/Sign/Nakshatra/Planet will represent something of Sattva nature.
- 12th house represents Spirituality, Meditation, and the Sub-conscious mind. It can be a Sattva representation of the 12th house.
- 12th house represents Imagination and Creativity. It can be a Rajas representation of the 12th house.
- 12th house represents Sleep, Escapism, and Intoxication, etc. It can be a Tamas representation of the 12th house.
Now, let’s say this is a Libra ascendant chart. In that case, Virgo sign will fall in the 12th house. Now, Virgo will have its own 3 levels (Sattva/Rajas/Tamas) of representations.
Let’s add a planet here. Suppose we have Mars there in the 12th house of Virgo. Now, Mars will have its own three levels (Sattva/Rajas/Tamas) of representations.
Now, let’s say Mars is in Hasta Nakshatra. In that case, Hasta will have its own three levels (Sattva/Rajas/Tamas) of representations.
If I am told to interpret this planetary position, then there can be at least 1,000 interpretations of this placement of Mars in the 12th house of Virgo/Hasta.
Needless to say, we are not considering aspects on Mars, conjunction with Mars, sign lord (Mercury) position, and pada of Hasta Nakshatra where Mars is placed.
Difficulty in Predictions - This is where the biggest difficulty comes when we are trying to predict something, in my opinion. As human beings, we can never be certain that only X interpretation of Mars in the 12th house/Virgo/Hasta will apply to the person as is and no other interpretation should be given (unless the interpreter has some divine blessings). This planetary position of Mars in the 12th house/Virgo/Hasta can be interpreted in many different ways and all those interpretations may be equally correct. For example, we can say that this person is:
- a spendthrift who may have trouble saving wealth.
- very active in spiritual practices such as Yoga and Meditation.
- a Healer or Doctor.
- an aggressive person who can land into conflicts and legal troubles in foreign lands or with one’s partner
Now, anyone who has even a little bit of understanding of astrological interpretation could see that all these interpretations may be correct for this planetary position. We can go so far as to say that all these interpretations manifest for this same person, perhaps at different times and in different areas of life. For instance, "this person can be a Doctor who has an interest in Yoga and finds it difficult to save money, which ultimately leads to conflicts in relationship.”
What I am trying to convey is that we can never be 100% sure of which interpretation of a planetary placement will be perfectly applicable for the person in question.
Evolutionary Level of the Interpreter - Now, we can’t forget that the individual, who is trying to interpret this, or any other planetary position for that matter, will also be at a particular level of evolution and will interpret as per his or her evolutionary level. There are many astrologers who are blessed with divine intuition, and they can see the most hidden meanings within astrological charts. On the other hand, there are minuscule astrologers like me who can see only which is most superficial or apparent. Additionally, if the astrologer is at the Rajasic level of understanding then most likely he will perceive the Rajasic meaning of planetary positions only. This becomes a big factor in interpretation, with respect to where your counsellor stands in his/her evolutionary level. That’s why; we see different astrologers interpreting the same chart in different ways.
Evolutionary Level of the Individual - Most importantly, all these representations of planetary placement are applicable to the individual who is also governed by these same three elements, i.e., Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. That individual would also be at any of the aforementioned evolutionary levels. As I understand it, the individual will further be attracted toward any of the representations of the house, sign, nakshatra, and planet corresponding to his/her level of evolution.
In other words, a Tamasic prominent person will be attracted toward Tamasic representations of Mars in the 12th house/Virgo/Hasta Nakshatra whereas a Sattvic prominent person will be attracted toward more Sattvic representations of Mars in the 12th house/Virgo/Hasta Nakshatra, and a Rajasic prominent person will be attracted toward more Rajasic representations of Mars in the 12th house/Virgo/Hasta Nakshatra.
If an individual is at the Tamasic level of consciousness, then no matter how well he is counselled by his Guide, Astrologer, or Guru who is at a Sattvic level, that person may never find a connection with that counselling. So, it largely depends on the evolutionary level of the individual as he/she is going to utilize the energy of those planets/houses/signs/nakshatras.
Here are several more examples which can help us understand what I am trying to say:
- Mark David Chapman -We always place great importance on the dignity of the planets,so when we say that a planet is in good dignity,we understand that it is most likely going to give good/strong results. Here, Mark David Chapman (https://www.astrosaxena.com/chapman(https://www.astrosaxena.com/KCS-JM) intrigues me. Chapman was born with four exalted planets and ended up killing John Lennon for no reason whatsoever. We think that exalted planets guide us toward a legendary and beneficient life, but what happened here? As I understand, exalted planets can set the bar very high for an individual and push one to achieve great heights in life. If we review the interview of Mark David Chapman,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy_tA7R_B-U, we see that the only reason he gave for killing John Lennon was that he thought of himself as a nobody and couldn’t accept himself as a“nobody.”Moreover, he wanted to be someone important. This helps us understand Chapman’s psychology a bit better: these four exalted planets were pushing him to achieve fame and recognition in the world, yet it seems that his soul was less evolved. So, he took a shortcut to achieve that much sought-after fame and recognition. He was not ready to work hard with patience and perseverance to achieve a more dignified fame and recognition. In short, he sorely lacked those qualities. Even though he was blessed with four exalted planets, it seems that his soul had not yet evolved into one which would be able to handle this huge exalted energy and allow him to take a more noble path toward fame. Understand that if you have strong horses arraigned with your chariot then it is equally important to have a strong charioteer, else horses will create havoc as charioteer won’t be able to control them.
- John Lennon – Interestingly, Chapman’s victim John Lennon hadn’t had a good chart as far as planetary dignity is concerned (https://www.astrosaxena.com/KCS-JM). For him, only planet in good dignity was Mercury in friendly sign in Libra. Even Mercury was in 8th house, which is considered as the most malefic house. Rest all planets were either in enemy/debilitated sign or conjunct with planet in enemy/debilitated sign. Still, John Lennon is a Legend in his chosen field and will always remain. It is probably because soul was at a higher conscious level and chose to work hard and persevere to get that legend-like status. John Lennon’s soul was not in hurry like Mark David Chapman’s soul.
- Helen Keller – Helen Keller (https://www.astrosaxena.com/keller) is another example who was blessed with trashed planetary positions in her birth chart and had a very tough life to deal with due to her physical disabilities but still managed to gain a legendary status. We can see that she could be at such a higher consciousness level which didn’t accept to live life of a bare existence (Tamasic Nature) rather she had the desire to create something legendary out of her life (Rajasic Nature).
Hence, we can see that someone’s planetary positions in chart cannot be a criterion to decide their evolution level.
- Ted Bundy - We tend to place a lot of emphasis on the educational attainments of a person in order to lead a good life but here is the case of the infamous serial killer, Ted Bundy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Bundy. Here is a young man (a Law and Psychology graduate) who was so articulate in defending himself that it made the Judge assigned to the case comment that “it is unfortunate that you have chosen the wrong life path, otherwise I would have loved to see you practicing as a Lawyer in my court.” So, although Bundy received the best education as well as ample job opportunities and money, he chose the life path he got attracted to, per his evolutionary level.
- Jeffrey Dahmer - Normally, we tend to blame the lack of guidance from parents for one’s lack of direction in life, but then there is the special case of Jeffrey Dahmer (https://www.astrosaxena.com/KCS-JDEK. He received all the possible support and guidance from his father, but he still got attracted toward killing people.
- Ed Kemper and Theodore John Kaczynski/The UNABomber - Another criterion for a good life tends to be the general intelligence of someone. Sometimes, we believe that people with a higher intellect are bound to do better in life. Well, it might be an interesting fact for many that most of the serial killers have been blessed with an above-average IQ; this is often times why they are able to evade the Police and Law for a long time while continuing to kill people. Very few people are probably aware of the fact that the IQ levels of both Ed Kemper (https://www.astrosaxena.com/KCS-JDEK) and Theodore John Kaczynski/The UNABomber (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Kaczynski) were at par to the IQ level of Albert Einstein. Nonetheless, there was a huge difference in outcomes in their lives. As I see it, the reason is primarily due to the evolutionary level of the soul, because in the end, that evolutionary level is going to decide how one will utilize the energy.
Hence, someone’s education, intellect or family background also cannot be criterion to decide their evolution level.
- Myra Hindley and Maureen Hindley - This may be the best example for understanding how two persons of completely different evolutionary levels utilize their same circumstances and energies differently. Myra Hindley (https://www.astrosaxena.com/KCS-IM) is infamous for the Moors Murders, which she later tried to blame on her upbringing and violent behaviour of her parents. Maureen Hindley was Myra’s sister who grew-up in the exact same family and under the same circumstances, but Maureen didn’t take to the path of killing innocent children for fun. In fact, the Moors Murders discovery took place when Maureen and her husband reported it to the police - against Myra and her husband. So, under the same troublesome circumstances, a more evolved soul was able to focus on the right path.
- Twins - We can apply the same logic in the case of twins, where twins are normally reared within the same family and environmental conditions. Yet, it rarely happens that they should lead an identical life path. They choose their life path, per their respective evolutionary level.
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar - Another good example is that of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._R._Ambedkar) who took birth in an environment where he didn’t receive much support to prosper but the soul was an evolved one which chose its own path to tread and ultimately thrived.
It means that someone’s social conditions or situations in life also doesn’t decide their evolution level. Many people also try to relate evolution level or maturity with a person’s age. There can’t be more absurd analogy than this. A person can be childish even when he is in his 60s or vice-versa.
In all the above examples given we can clearly see that every individual is utilizing the same energy, per his or her own evolutionary level. Specifically, I have always been interested in researching serial killers (which is considered a kind of negative research) to apply this same information in grasping astrology and its impact on us. So, even though I am utilizing so-called negative information, I am applying this for positive end goals (e.g., greater astrological understanding), per my evolutionary level. This is what I have been attempting to convey in this article all along - that energies represented by the Planets/Signs/Houses/Nakshatras are neutral. What really matters is the evolutionary level of the individual who is going to use these energies.
Fortunately, there is no way for us to determine the definitive evolutionary level of a person via the astrological chart or planetary placements alone. We can see from above examples that people behaved or acted in a completely different way from what is seen from their charts or planetary dignity. We can only glean information from actions/interests/conversations and perhaps one’s subjective perceptions, if shared with us. Even then, we can’t say that person will stay at one consciousness level for whole life. He can switch to another state of mind at anytime. The possibility of transforming from Angulimal to Ahinsak is always there. Also, we know very well that individuals with identical charts can behave in a completely different manner. Everyone who took birth along with Gautam Buddha didn’t become like Gautam Buddha, and everyone who took birth along with Ted Bundy didn’t become like Ted Bundy.
Free Will –As I said, "fortunately, there is no way that we can find out the evolutionary level of a person through his/her astrological chart or planetary placements alone", because this opens the possibility of individual Free Will. Let us suppose we can find out from a person’s chart that he is of a Tamasic consciousness and further that he will remain so throughout his life.If so, then it may become an excuse for that person to continue in his Tamasic tendencies, because he may reason – “What can I do? My Astrologer says that I will remain a Tamasic person throughout my life.” Ultimately, this is why it is beneficial that no Astrologer can definitively know the evolutionary level of one’s soul simply by looking at the natal chart – as this brings Free Will into play and responsibility comes back on the individual to evolve to a higher consciousness. Jean Paul Sartre, an existential philosopher, once said “Humanity is condemned to be free.” I interpret this to mean that we are free to take action and that in itself is like a condemnation or curse. For example, I can choose to kill someone and no God is coming to stop me. On the other hand, I can meditate and no Devil is coming to stop me either. So, how I want to behave or act is completely my decision. Both journeys are possible, i.e., upward and downward. Both doors are open for us, i.e., heaven and hell. As Osho stated, “Nobody can destroy you except you. Nobody can save you except you. You are your own Judas. You are your own Jesus.”
Normally, when people go through a rough time in their lives due to personal/professional issues, they ask me if the same troublesome experiences in that particular area of life will continue for lifetime. Well, the response is very simple. If you take similar unintelligent decisions and actions then similar experiences will continue. The moment you decide to not to repeat your mistakes and take more wise decisions/actions in life, your experiences will automatically change.
It is always our choice which way we want to tread, and this choice can be made in any particular moment of life. I remember when I used to eat non-vegetarian and drink alcohol, but suddenly one day I quit it, and it happened in a moment. We can see such examples in stories of many hardened criminals and even in the case of a serial killer, like Ed Kemper - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTnEY8y-p7M, that one day they suddenly confessed to all their crimes and then surrendered themselves to the Law. In that particular moment, the soul had decided to evolve from a lower level of consciousness to a higher one.
Yet, most of us tend to follow a downward journey of evolution. It is because the downward journey is always easiest and the path of least resistance. It is easier for water to flow on a downward slope than it is for it to move upward. In order to move upward, you need to put water through a pump or machine. As the downward journey is always easier most of us follow it, but it does not mean that the upward journey is not possible. It will only take conscious effort from someone.
Similarly, it is easy to curse/abuse/kill someone. It doesn’t require a great deal of ability. Anyone can do that. But it requires a great deal of knowledge and skill if you want to discuss the Bhagavad Gita and The Holy Bible with someone. Again, choice remains with the person as to what he/she wants to do in life: evolving to the next level of consciousness can be achieved in a moment if one so desires.
Further, it is always better to take responsibility for our actions and our lives. It is always better to accept that our lives are a result of our actions; either conscious actions or unconscious actions, because then there is hope of and duty toward improvement. If we blame everything on destiny, God, or planetary positions then the cunning human mind will prevent growth and evolution (as long as we are not master of our own minds). It is always better to view things from the 3rd person, because all the ideas and tricks which the mind plays are mainly tricks of self-deception. So, seeing your mind from the 3rd person can certainly help in understanding its deceptive ways.
As long as the mind continues blaming destiny, God, or planetary positions for our lives there is no chance of evolving; however, as soon as we take responsibility for ourselves the potential for achieving a higher level of consciousness arises – because, if your life is in your own hands then why would you want to live at a lower level? Why not try for a higher level?
If following our nature as per our conscious level is part of our destiny then evolving ourselves to next conscious level is also part of the same nature and destiny. A seed is supposed to sprout and become a plant. It is the manifestation of true potential of a seed that it should become a plant. If a seed only remains a seed then what did it do in this life? Nothing!!! Life Lost!!!!
Another excuse we tend to make for sufferings of this life revolves around the issue of past-life karma - the concept which says that we are suffering and living at a lower level in this life due to our past-life karma. Agreed, and this only supports the views already put forth in this article, because if there was a past-life, then there must have been something called a previous life, and first life as well. So, the wheel of karma would have started from that first life. Again, in that first life, we would have applied our Free Will to do something which is causing us suffering again and again in all subsequent lives. So, if we can use our Free Will to do something of a lower conscious level in a past-life, then why can’t we use the same Free Will in this life to do something of higher conscious level? It is just a matter of changing our direction.
The Universe is willing to cooperate with us in whatever we choose to do. If we want to meditate, then the Universe would make us connect with other people who want to meditate. Likewise, if we want to commit a crime the Universe will allow us to connect with other people who harbor the same intentions. As I said, Energy/Universe/God is just neutral. IT just supports you in whatever you will yourself to do.
One can ask, then why do we face obstacles in life whenever we try for a Relationship or Job or Business etc? Well, we face obstacles because the Energy/Universe/God is equally neutral/supportive to the person who has conflicting interests to us.
The Purpose of Astrology - Then what is the purpose of astrology or having an astrological reading? As I see it, the purpose of any occult guidance is simply to have an idea toward your probable life path and the best options available. As stated, every planetary position can represent thousands of things. An Astrologer’s job is to point the way to the best possible path – one that utilizes your time and energy wisely to evolve toward a higher consciousness state. I firmly believe that whenever Astrologers are reading a natal chart, they should always look for the Sattvic level of representation of any planetary positions, as it is the highest possibility one can achieve in this life. This will not only help the individual to evolve to a higher consciousness level but also because of those Sattvic actions, others will be benefitted. Whether or not the individual pursues that Sattvic level of guidance and indication in the natal chart is his or her conscious/unconscious choice, but the Astrologer should first do his/her job. Consequently, one will not have an excuse, i.e., that no one provided proper guidance which precluded the ability to accomplish great things in life.
Conclusion - So, this is the gist or rather the nectar of my experience and realizations after writing articles and giving consultations over the last 6.5 years. To sum up, an individual’s eventual actions will largely depend on his or her evolutionary level and if there is a genuine desire to evolve to a higher state of consciousness (which is always a possibility). We can choose to open our eyes at any point of time in life.
Thanks to my friends for sharing their wisdom and editing which helped me to complete this article.
Thank you all for reading me. Hope this helps. Please post any comment or query you may have.
Swami Premanand Bharti
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