*Whether Astrology is science or magic, we’re open to most things, if they may be of benefit. ~ Ed.
*Vedic Astrology, or Jyotish, is one of the oldest sciences on the planet and considered a relative of astronomy. It is an important and valuable part of the ancient Vedic texts. This complex, logic-based and also intuitive science has survived thousands of years in India’s Vedic tradition and is still considered a highly valuable tool of guidance and life insight. It is not a religion, but rather a philosophical understanding of human and cosmic existence. In Sanskrit, jyoti means light. Essentially, the study of jyotish is the study of light and how we interact with the cosmic light—within us and within the cosmos. Vedic astrology, or the sidereal approach to astrology, casts charts differently than Western, or Tropical astrology. The meanings, implications and purpose of jyotish is are therefore different, as are the details used for prediction and the indications given below.
The concept of dharma has essentially been lost in our Western-centric culture—which is undoubtedly the source of much discord and confusion today.
If you’re like me, your life purpose, your dharma, has perplexed and plagued you.
In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that I wondered why I was struggling to find my dharmic path, or if I ever would. Finding my purpose for being alive, has been a lifelong quest; for the majority of my life it has been a driving force. At the same time, it has been a source of angst, agitation, fear and quandary. It has forced me to surrender deeply.
I’ve not lacked desire or ambition, though at many times I’ve wanted to give up my search or any glimpse of hope that I had a dharmic purpose in this life—one that would give me great joy, and give back to the world and humanity.
My sensitivity in physical, mental and emotional bodies has forced me to live life quite differently than the rest of the world, adding to my angst, turmoil and depression.
Will I ever have the energy to live my purpose?
Can I keep up with the demands of a full-time job?
How can I impact the world, when I need so much TLC and rest?
Though my primary resource for getting insights into my life path these days is through Jyotish, it wasn’t much help in my search for dharmic understanding in the past. In fact when I went from Jyotishi to Jyotishi seeking their advice and their counsel, they all said different things.
Some said writing would be “good,” others said art (but not dance)—I even had one Jyotishi tell me that I could be a lawyer. And while many of these pieces fit me and my chart in some capacity, they don’t nail it. And they certainly didn’t provide the clarity I was so desperately seeking.
It wasn’t until I committed myself to studying my own Jyotish chart that the answers started to reveal themselves.
This is the primary reason I strongly advise my clients to study their own charts.
Jyotish astrology is a tool of self-development, spiritual awakening and creating awareness creation about the individual self in relation to the world. It is the map of one’s karmas—the things we can’t avoid or neglect—that also provides insights into where we need more support, consistency and knowledge.
Using one’s Jyotish chart as a tool of awakening takes willingness, the desire to awaken and the dissolving of the ego in order to be honest about one’s shadows and karmas. It is through studying my own chart that I’ve realized my unique purpose in life and also why I trust the steps I’m now taking to maximize my dharmic path.
Growing in Dharmic Wisdom.
The Jyotish chart is an unfolding map.
As you learn and grow, more and more pieces of information appear and emerge from the chart, more pieces make sense and inspire more trust. I see it as a reciprocal, looping and spiraling. A Jyotish chart is a tool for deeper listening, being honest and straight forward with ourselves—if we choose to be. And when we need a nudge of awakening, it can be helpful to get a trustworthy outside view from a Jyotishi as well.
Even if, as in my case, outside views and Jyotish consultations didn’t give me the information I needed about my own dharma, I now see that even those experiences, nudged me closer to my dharma—which is connected to studying my own chart.
I chuckle about this now because it’s quite evident in my chart that I have to stumble a bit to trust my path and that my dharma is quite unusual. So unusual in fact that it really hasn’t been done before. How could a Jyotishi tell me what my dharma is when I’m a pioneer and they’d never seen it before?
As I meet with my clients around the world, this theme continues to emerge. My clients are like me in that their dharmas are entirely unique. They are the first to create their unique synergy of modalities and use them together. They are the first in their family certainly, and that combined with a society that doesn’t have a name or a label for one’s occupation, can be discouraging or even derailing.
I also know from experience that many beings are on the planet right now to restore their family dharma. What has been lost for generations is now re-emerging through a special family member, guided by the ancestors, yet simultaneously shrouded in mystery, challenges and much discouragement simultaneously.
This certainly is my story and one that I recognize in almost every client who comes to me. I believe this to be part of my dharma as well—to help others restore their family’s lineage to its original order. We are the artists, musicians, teachers (gurus), healers, maintainers of the spiritual and the sacred.
Look carefully at your family tree.
Where are there hints of these pieces, these threads, in your family lineage?
How have they appeared or disappeared, throughout the generations?
These will be important details you will want to be aware of as you study your own chart, gather resources for your life purpose and affirm your own dharma.
Like me, most of my clients have multiple passions and a lot of creativity (whether they are conscious of it or not). These multiple passions can cause confusion and concern about how to create a living for oneself, as well as how to choose a path. I am of the mind that we don’t have to choose. We are likely just not realizing how to knit all of our passions together as one package offering.
Dharma: What Does it Really Mean?
Dharma is a loaded word. And yet it’s tossed around a lot these days. The dharma of the past is much different than the dharma of today. I believe that if we are miserable and not experiencing joy from our work, then we are not doing our dharma. Dharma is most certainly living our purpose, our family’s purpose, the shakti of our lineage. It is coming forth from us, to serve the world in some capacity.
In Kali Yuga (a 432,000 year time period we are currently in that is ruled by Maha Kali the demon, where adharma and sin reigns supreme) we may or may not find our dharma or life purpose. We may aimlessly wander and not fulfill our dharma.
The legacy of our family lineage may or may not emerge from us. We may pass the seeds (bij) but they may not take root, grow and blossom through us and with our life force. This is a sin in and of itself and the cause of much suffering.
In Kali Yuga, anything goes. Even the definition of dharma and the ways in which it emerge is different than hundreds or thousands of years ago.
To the ancient Vedic civilizations, dharma was much more clearly defined. Occupations were passed from one generation to the next and there wasn’t much say in the matter.
Karmically, individuals surrendered to the reality that they chose this incarnation as a way to learn, through that specific family dharma. I think it’s similar today, though we just aren’t aware of the dharma, and that confusion alone is the source of the suffering, the maya (illusion) of this life.
This has been the case for me and my family. It is also the case for the majority of my clients.
Using Your Map.
Studying your Jyotish chart is essential for understanding your dharma.
First, look at the ninth house—the house of dharma. In the Jyotish chart, it is imperative for identifying many parts of the life purpose. This is where you begin your investigation. The ninth house is the house of the guru, the teacher. It dictates how wisdom comes to you, what type of wisdom and knowledge you will receive.
This is considered the most auspicious house of the chart and since Jyotish has traditionally been a tool used for dharmic and spiritual purposes, this house is obviously a predominate resource for the overall chart as well.
Next look at the 10th house. This is the most external of the 12 houses. It is the house of career, one’s offering to the world. From the 10th house we can tell what types of offerings are given and in what capacity we give them. We can further refine the dharma in this way. These days it is common that career (10th house) has no connection to the dharma (ninth house). It may be the career that pays the bills, but the dharma goes unawakened or unused in some capacity.
The other houses that are important in order to refine the offerings of a person’s path are the fifth and sixth house. The fifth house correlates to our creative energy and potential. This is why it is connected to children, but also our passion. It is also the house connected to students and clients.
The sixth house is the house of both healing and being healed. It will be a predominant player in the chart of someone whose life purpose has to do with healing and helping others—being in service essentially. The seventh house as well can be a part of the dharmic picture. This house of “relationships” will further refine who you are working with—considered the “other” and your mirror.
Finally, the third house is vital for our courage and our ability to move forward in life with action. The third house can be a valuable resource for understanding one’s creative gifts.
If you’re wondering about money (we all need it) look to the second house. This is the house of comfort and nourishment as well as wealth. Money is a source of comfort after all. This house will be important for informing the financial well being of the chart, as it connects to career and life purpose.
The nakshatras offer further refinement based on the meaning of the nakshatra, the deity involved and the planetary ruler of the nakshatra. These are essential details for fine tuning the dharmic story and the unique attributes of your life purpose.
The dance of all of these elements of your chart—the houses, the planets, the nakshatras—is what makes up your dharmic story.
I find Jyotish to be a crucial tool for self-awareness and self-development. Study your chart and grow in the wisdom that is for you.
However, Jyotish has many layers that slowly reveal themselves, so remember this is a slow process and one that is rooted in jnana (knowledge and wisdom).
The unique dharmic wisdom of your life path is carefully folded into the map of your Jyotish chart. With slow and steady steps of wisdom and patience, your path will begin to unfold.
Prepare for the year ahead with clarity, direction and right action.
Join my dharma challenge—“free” Dharma Class this Sunday, January 15th.
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Author: Saraswatri J.
Image: flickr/Anders Ruff Custom Design
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
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