September 15, 2014

Are You Sensitive? Here’s How to Tell. {Jyotish}

moon and boat

Markers of Sensitivity in Your Jyotish Chart.

Knowing that I am sensitive has helped me a great deal to accept my unique needs. As a result, I’ve known that I respond to life differently than most. That I need more time for recovery from travel, stressful situations, and that I need extra alone time to cope with life in general. My body has told me my entire life that it needs extra TLC.

As a result I’ve been forced to change habits, my lifestyle, diet and more, in order to have any sense of well being.

It’s been a challenging existence much of the time. But as I’ve gained skills, awareness and resources, I’ve been able to manage and work with my sensitivity in more helpful ways. An ongoing process indeed!

These days, however, I’m beginning to realize just how much of a gift my sensitivity is. I’ve been sharing a lot more about my sensitive reality recently. I’ve realized over the years that the majority of my clients are in fact like me, extra sensitive, and this is part of their personal struggle and turmoil. Many of their “sensitivity struggles” are why they are seeking out my assistance to begin with.

Learning best practice for your own sensitivity is vital for increased fulfillment in life.

I suggest looking at your sensitivity and the changes that have to be made in your lifestyle as an opportunity for self realization, increased awareness, and as part of your path to unique greatness. Cultivating a relationship with your sensitivity can in fact help you develop your innate creativity, intuitive gifts, and be an offering to others who are walking a similar path. In fact, embracing your sensitivity can often lead you directly to your dharma and life purpose! (Which I will be sharing more about shortly so stay tuned!)

The Role of Jyotish in Understanding Our Sensitivity

Jyotish has been a part of my path for many years. I had my first chart done at age seven, and though I found it intriguing and helpful in many regards, every jyotishi I’ve ever been to has seen my sensitivity as a hindrance to career and fulfillment in my life. Not a very positive outlook for an already inward and sensitive individual!

To complicate matters, no jyotishi was ever able to tell me why I am sensitive, and how that was manifesting in my life based on my chart details. Nor did they tell me how they saw that in my chart, what it means for my life, and what some tools might be for helping me work more effectively with this sensitivity.

It was clear that my dharma and career would be impacted and there wasn’t much hope given for these areas of my life. “Slow start with career” they would say, or “very creative.”

But their advice for my life was always the same: “meditation, ayurveda, good routine.” These are of course helpful tools, even vital, for me and other sensitive individuals.

They have been life savers in many regards, but interestingly I’m now realizing I need to re-adjust even these tools to better suit my sensitivity!

Along the way, and by looking at many charts over the years, while tracking the types of clients who arrive at my door, I’ve started to see certain markers of sensitivity in jyotish charts. There is a spectrum of sensitivity we may experience based on the planetary influences in our jyotish chart that will effect our life experiences and felt senses. As Dr. Elaine Aron’s speaks intimately about in her book, many sensitive people are artists, musicians, thinkers, philosophers, and highly gifted with strong imaginations. As I look at jyotish charts of sensitive people.

I am not surprised.

I’ve come to understand there is quite a spectrum of sensitivity that occurs. It develops in a myriad of ways based on many different types of conditioning.

There are as many possibilities as there are jyotish charts! But there are markers and ways to identify it from a Jyotish perspective. Below are some things to look for in your own chart in order for you to track your self more effectively. This is based on my personal experience, my study of multiple charts and individuals, as well as my intuitive understanding. These are basic markers by the way. Often the web of energy is much more complex in the overall chart, but having any one of these indications will provoke sensitivity for you.

Part of what I am looking at in a jyotish chart are the effects on the emotional body (Moon), mental body (Mercury) and the physical body (Saturn as well as Sun). The three levels of awareness, essentially.

The Moon is my main concern for sensitivity as it relates to our emotions and our intuition as well as our “felt sense” of life. The Moon plays a big role in our overall intelligence as well as our creativity.

Read why the Moon is so important. Admittedly, the Moon is a huge part of my overall life’s work—personally and professionally. And from a jyotish and Vedic perspective, the Moon holds many valuable pieces of wisdom for our experience of life. It’s definately worth studying!

I will speak mostly about the effects on the Moon here, but understand that these planetary effects on Mercury (mental body) and Sun (physical soul body) will cause specific sensitivities to these bodies as well. Note that the more markers you have effecting mental, emotional and physical bodies, the greater the overall sensitivity you will be experiencing—as well as their interactions with each other.

Understanding Your Moon

Moon + Saturn

Saturn is the planet of structure, form and our karmas. He brings grief and suffering and rules time. Saturn touching the Moon by conjunction (same house) as the Moon will increase the emotional sensitivity in often extreme ways.

This can bring heightened depression, grief, disappointments and sense of discouragement. These tendencies may appear if Saturn aspects the moon with his drishti—three, seven or ten houses away from him.

His effects on Mercury, and Sun will give sensitivity to the mind and body as well. If Saturn is in the gap between signs (sandhi) then expect an increased physical sensitivity which can result in embodiment or physical issues. This can manifest as either a struggle staying in the body or with awareness of the body, and of course health issues. With work and focus, however, this can develop into a gifted somatic wisdom. Read more about sandhi planets + Saturn.

A Saturn Atma Karaka (soul planet) can indicate extra sensitivity and will likely result in Saturn being a predominant force somehow in the overall chart. Working with suffering (individually) and as a part of one’s path are indicated (due to personal experience!) Also, any planet that is in a nakshatra ruled by Saturn will offer the gifts of Saturn and can increase the sensitivity of the planet in that nakshatra.

For example, Moon in Uttarabhadrapada, ruled by Saturn, will increase the sensitivity of the Moon and other indications of the chart will likely refine this understanding.

Photo: Eneas De Troya via Flickr

Moon + Ketu

Moon touched by Ketu will also increase the sensitivity of the emotional body.

Ketu is a lunar node, not a true planet. As the “tail of the serpent” his role is to provide moksha—-enlightenment. He does so by snipping our attachments, forcing us to let go of what we are gripping in this life time. When he connects with the Moon, he increases sensitivity by disruption.

Since Ketu is a planet of re-structuring and deconstruction, the gentleness of the Moon is in a constant state of extra fragility.

This can manifest as easy agitation, very sudden emotional outbursts, anger and frustration at the slightest changes or disturbances. There is an underlying sense of not “being in control” which can often manifest as needing extra control in one’s life.

When Ketu touches the Moon, it is hyper aware and overly alert. It is like having antennae up all the time. I think of this as a very thin emotional membrane that needs extra protection and vigilance in order for a sense of nurturing to be felt. There were likely issues very early on that increased this “over-stimulation” and exacerbated the sensitivity of the felt senses, so those with Ketu/Moon connections need to be very gentle with themselves and cultivate a life to counter the extra sensitivity. Since Ketu is not a planet and has no head, he can’t give gaze or drishti.

However, I consistently see his effects from a five, seven and nine aspect give results, so look for this to play a big role in your Moon’s experience even if they aren’t conjunct in the same house. Ketu/Moon connections can bring increased intuition (of a psychic level) if cultivated and nurtured. On the other end of the spectrum there can be a complete emotional numbing from constantly “cutting” over the emotions and essentially bypassing them altogether.

As I mentioned with nakshatras ruled by Saturn, the same holds true for Ketu. If the Moon is in a nakshatra ruled by Ketu (Ashwini for example), expect this Ketu/Moon sensitivity to be relevant as well.

Ketu cannot be an Atma Karaka (soul planet) because he is not of this world. The amount of Ketu in the chart through placement, nakshatras etc. however plays a valuable role in our sensitivity overall.

Moon + Rahu

Just like the tail of the serpent (Ketu), the head of the serpent (Rahu) brings his effects to the Moon as well. Instead of cutting attachments, Rahu increases them. He has a voracious appetite and increases obsession and desire, while also providing a sense of shadow or illusion with him. He is the ultimate veil of maya. When he touches the Moon, he brings his shadowed self with him. The Moon feels this sense of illusion and shadowed self, resulting in a toxic emotional body. It can feel extreme, intense and overwhelming much of the time. It can drive addictions, using drugs and alcohol to suppress or numb the emotional intensity.

Rahu with the Moon distorts the sense of Self and often results in more extreme self esteem issues, playing victim, martyrdom and helplessness. I’ve seen a spectrum of narcissism associated with this connection which is essentially an extremely imploded self identity and very low self regard. Rahu can inflate the ego (he is smoke and mirrors and very worldly—of this world). Rahu gives his gaze to five, seven and nine houses away. So if he touches your Moon he can offer some of his illusions in this way as well.

Nakshatras ruled by Rahu are notorious for high impact. Ardra for example is ruled by Rahu and is symbolized by a tear. There is intense emotion available through this nakshatra which can be used for many purposes. As with anything, it is how the experience is used. Do we choose to use our intensity with awareness, as a tool, or misuse it through ignorance and lack of awareness? Rahu reminds us to continue our path, to keep walking and to keep working with our shadow consistently.

Rahu as an Atma Karaka (soul planet) will provide another element to sensitivity. Since Rahu is the planet of confusion, he can offer uncertainty and getting tangled up in deception. For sensitive types with Rahu AK, working on issues with deception and illusion are paramount.

If you have Moon conjunct Ketu or Rahu (in the same house), note that these two are always seven houses away from each other. Your Moon will be impacted by both types of sensitivity. For more on Rahu and Ketu and the effects of these shadow planets go here.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

These are some sensitivity markers for the Moon, but the interaction of Moon, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu with the rest of the chart, the other planets, and the houses involved, all play a major role as well. Additionally, Nakshatras connect to the emotional body, and tithis (Moon phases) are connected to the mental body. The role of these, as well as the movement of the Moon daily as the nakshatras and tithis change, will also impact our sensitivity as they interact with our own personal chart.

Additionally, the individual’s dashas (planetary cycles) will increase or decrease the sensitivity markers within your chart. Keep this in mind as there will be time periods where you need to be more mindful of your sensitivity- or be forced to!

In case it isn’t obvious, the signs ruled by the Moon are sensitive by default. This includes Cancer, ruled by the Moon and a water sign. Taurus (where Moon is exalted) is not known for its sensitivity intrinsically, but depending on placement of the Moon in the chart and other factors, can display signs of sensitivity. Scorpio is a sensitive sign by default as the Moon is considered debilitated here and it’s connected to the 8th house, the most vulnerable of the twelve houses.

Read more about the sensitive nature of Scorpio here.

Water signs will always be experiencing life from a “feeling” level and will increase sensitivity and receptivity as a result. Water and Moon are intimately intertwined with our emotional body and felt senses. The water signs include: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. The more water present in the chart—according to signs, nakshatras and the placement of these, will increase or decrease the sensitivity.

Also, any planet in one of the hidden houses (6th, 8th or 12th) will make the planets therein naturally sensitive, more vulnerable as a result, and needing our extra attention/intention.

The Moon in one of these houses will make its sensitivity doubly so. Fourth house is the home of our emotions (the heart center and lungs) as well as Mother, and naturally is ruled by the Moon. Keep in mind that all planets connected to the fourth house (either natally or by transit) will impact your relationship with the emotional body.

This information can also be applied to one’s navamsa (a 9th house divisional chart) and should be used to address strengths and weaknesses of the sensitivity markers. The navamsa relates to the inner realms of a being; how a person experiences themselves on the inside. In many regards this will share more details about how a person experiences their sensitivity and the impact it has on their overall life experience.

With all of this said, it’s important realize that the overall chart is a web of interconnected energies and stories—an imprint of your karmic map. So we must take a holistic approach when looking at this map. What I’ve given here are tendencies, and the many variables at play within the chart, will increase or decrease the sensitivity of a person based on the feeling level of the Moon, as well as the rest of the planets.

Helpful Resources for Sensitivity

Needing extra tips about being a sensitive person? Find mine here. And use this creative ritual for some extra reminders.

For those of us who are sensitive, a 3 level check in can help us immensely. Find out more about this simple awareness trick.

Struggling to read your own chart? Need some basics? Use my Jyotish Basics MP3 for guidance.
Need some extra guidance and clarity? Schedule a session with me.

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Editor: Renée Picard

Image:  Portable Noman at Pixoto / eneas at Flickr 

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