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Astrology Good
Astrologers Not So Good...?

Astrological researcher Ram Ramakrishnan reports on the little known fact that there are different specialities in the broad field of Astrology, often using quite different techniques to achieve their ends. Ram puts the case that there is a need for more rigorous astrological research to determine which system is the best, or perhaps more appropriately, how one can determine which is the most suitable in terms of its outcomes.

A few decades back, the uninitiated may have found the idea of medical practitioners who specialized in some particular field of medicare and not willing to treat patients outside their respective fields of specialization, difficult to comprehend. The notion would have been that after all the human body is a single system and the study of and practice of medicine should be comprehensive and not restricted to particular area of the anatomy. Moreover, those were still the days when so many general practitioners were around who would diagnose and prescribe remedies for any ailment.

astrological insomniology

When one begins to delve deep into the subject of astrology, one finds oneself in the same situation as that of a medical specialist of those days. I had a not so comfortable experience recently when a friend enquired whether it would be possible for me to look into the chart of his wife to see if there was a surgery in the offing for her. His wife had had a fall a year back leading to a torn ligament. Some medication had been prescribed then but apparently it had not healed and since the week before the leg would not support her weight. A doctor had recommended immediate surgery. My friend wasn't convinced about this recommendation and wanted a second opinion from another Orthopaedic surgeon to whom he was to go the following day. In the meanwhile he decided to seek an astrological opinion as well.

My first response to him was that he should rather go to an astrological practitioner who specializes in medical astrology, for the reason that my focus was in the area of Genealogy and that I confine myself to research alone and do not do consultations. It so happened that there were others too around during this exchange between us and there was some derisive laughter at my mentioning areas of specialization in astrology. I left the ignorant to their mirth, reciprocated the acknowledgements of those who were uninformed (about astrology) and yet well meaning, but squirmed inside at finding myself in this situation. Self-esteem instigated me not to take this slight lying down and the spirit of adventure egged me on to have a go at the chart. So I took up the challenge and came up with some very interesting results that I wish to share. My answer to his question was – 'Yes, there will be surgery and soon'. She was operated upon on the 24th of May 2003. The analysis and arguments on which this answer was based is explained below.

The Dasa schemes of Vedic astrology provide a calendar that is unique to the chart and that marks time in the past and future with reference to the birth date of an individual and also provide a correspondence between the planetary positions in the chart and the parameters in terms of which such a calendar is expressed.. The Vimsottari dasa scheme in particular provides a direct correspondence between each of the nine primary celestial entities (the Sun through Saturn and the two nodes of the Moon) considered in Vedic astrology and the axis of time with reference to the moment of birth. Every moment of time along the axis of time is expressed as a definite sequence of planets - a sequence of five to six positions defining the span of one day. The chart of the subject is shown below in a format that I am comfortable with for analysis, as well as in the format used in western astrology. The dasa calendar (until the year 2020, for the sake of brevity) is given below the charts.

DOB:03 April 1970   TOB:8:17(IST)POB:17N43/83E19
raasi chartnatal chart
dasa calendar

Before taking up analysis, it will be necessary to put on record certain peculiarities of the Indian system of astrology. The house cusps are considered to be the mid –points of the houses that extend on either side of this mid-point. The house extent on either side of the mid-point need not be equal. Going by this standard, the 'House' chart for the subject will look as shown below:

house chart

Application of this standard makes Saturn and Mars resident in the first house, Sun, Mercury and Venus in the twelfth house, Raahu and the Moon in the eleventh and Ketu in the fifth.

As we are dealing with a physical ailment and considering the scheme that equates each house in a chart to a portion of the human body, it is seen that Saturn is the lord of the tenth and eleventh houses (as shown in the house lordship chart below) that denote the area around the knees and the portion above the ankle. The cusps of the tenth and eleventh houses are posited in the signs of Capricorn and Aquarius whose dispositor is Saturn.

Considering the scheme of identification of planets with different parts of the body, Saturn denotes the legs.

Saturn resident in the first house would mean that it effects the body of the individual directly during its period of operation.

The twelfth house is the house of loss vis-à-vis the ascendant. Mars the twelfth lord is in the first house which denotes some form of loss to the individual's body. As Mars is conjunct Saturn, the prime area of affliction will be to that part of the body signified by Saturn. Mars also signifies weapons, so the affliction can be caused by a weapon. Weaving these observations together, the story that emerges is that during the period of Saturn, there would be an affliction to the body of the subject in the region around the knee and above the ankle caused by a weapon. It may be surmised that Mars being in its own sign and being the lord of an angular house (that makes it a benefic) will bring with it an element of benign-ness and hence the confirmation of the possibility of surgery to set right an ailment.

Ailments generally manifest themselves during the operating periods of planets that are weak in the chart and are associated with or placed in houses that denote specific parts of the anatomy and also have a relationship with the ascendant (that represents the body as a whole). Saturn in fall in the first house and also resident in a lunar mansion whose dispositor is Venus – the first house dispositor, should take the pride of place with regard to any ailment connected with the knee and legs. As the tenth and eleventh houses signify the region around the knee and above the ankle, we should consider planets placed in these house as well as the cuspal dispositors of these houses. Saturn is the dispositor while a weak Moon (weakened due to its proximity to the node and sustained by Saturn as its dispositor) is placed in the eleventh. Saturn finds a suitably placed and willing partner in the Moon to carry out its malefic designs. The Moon being the lunar mansion dispositor of the 10th house cusp, provides a ready conduit for channelizing this malevolent energy. Going by the argument above, the ailment should manifest itself during the combined operation of Saturn, the Moon and Mars – in that order.

Let us look at the dasa calendar and consider the operating planetary combination corresponding to the date (24 May 2003) when this episode happened.saturn/saturn operates between 5 Sep 2001 and 23 Aug 2004 while saturn/saturn/moon/moon operates between 21 May 2003 and 28 May 2003. It can be further argued that at this juncture that mars played out its role of inflicting an injury through a weapon (a scalpel in this case) to begin the process of recovery. The date corresponding to the planetary combination saturn/saturn/moon/moon/mars is 22 May 2003.

The story doesn't end here. In fact it begins here, whatever that has been said before this merely being a prelude. Against each of the arguments advanced to arrive at the 'solution' above, there are any number of questions that spring up. Firstly, if I had been given this chart would I have ventured to do what I have done, an year ago ? Six months ago? Even a fortnight ago – when the lady had the uncomplaining service of her legs? Very unlikely !! One – because had it been a false prediction it would have been too risky for my standing (and for my physical being as well) to go about saying that the person will have her leg operated upon in a few days from now and I would have also been accused of sensationalism. Two – had it been a correct prediction then I would have had the additional burden of maintaining my new found 'reputation', the burden manifesting itself in many uncomfortable ways. I dread both scenarios !

At the technical level, there are a host of questions:

  • Do the arguments advanced always hold without exceptions?
  • What makes saturn and moon repeat themselves in the planetary sequence? Obviously, it has to do with the degree of weakness of the planets. But how does one measure this degree of weakness and determine when a planet repeats itself and when it does not?
  • What would happen during the period saturn/moon that operates between 12 June 2012 and 3 January 2014? Will this phenomenon manifest again? From my work in Genealogy, I have noticed that once a planet has initiated or taken part in an event, its potential (to make similar results manifest) is reduced in definite measures. Will this canon be applicable here too?
  • The residence of saturnand mars in the lunar mansion whose dispositor venus is the first house dispositor also, certainly advances the role of these two entities in their detrimental work. But is this condition mandatory?
  • To what extent is the fact that the 10th house cusp is resident in a lunar mansion whose dispositor is the moon, advance the incident being probed? Is it the clinching argument for the malady striking at the knee rather than the part of the leg below the knee?
  • Is the position of moon to the right of the 10th cusp the reason for the effected part being the right leg? Had moon been on the other side of the cusp would it have been the left leg?
Then there are so many sub-plots to the story – in the nature of so many standards followed by various schools of astrological thought. Take for instance the concept of a dasa year. I have used the standard that equates 360 days to a dasa year. Many others follow a standard that equates 365.25 days to a dasa year. By the latter standard, the event in question would have taken place in saturn/mars and not in saturn/moon . Followers of this norm would have construed that mars being the planet conjunct saturn in the first house, this norm would be more accurate. Then there are so many other sidereal norms in vogue that will shift the period of operation by as much as a year and a half !! The users of each of those norms will have their own theories to 'fit' the event into an appropriate slot in the personalized dasa calendar for the chart.

There certainly seems to be an imperative need to separate the 'Wheat from the Chaff' as that adage goes. But then which is the 'Wheat' and which the 'Chaff'? And who is to decide which is what? If none of the set of arguments that go with each norm or standard is consistent then astrology is indeed a lot of bunkum as many antagonists of the subject claim. On the other hand if all those set of arguments were to be consistent, then astrology will be a bewilderingly wonderful subject where anyone can invent a new standard and come up with correct predictions!

All such questions can be answered only by experimentation and research. I can quite cautiously (and with an element of reservation) say that the procedure and standards that I use at diagnosing a chart work fairly consistently (note the number of 'safety-valve' adjectives used! They are to prepare ground for a respectful retreat if I were to be proved wrong at a latter date!!). I can comment on the other standards used only after I have tried them across a few scores of charts. Perhaps they work too!
your friendly neighbourhood astro person
The peculiarity between a medical diagnosis and an astrological diagnosis is that while the former would recommend a line of corrective action after the onset of the ailment, an astrological diagnosis can (if done properly) indicate the time of onset of the ailment as well as the kind of corrective action that will (and not that should) be taken. This reasoning smacks of the idea of inexorableness of happenings, some kind of a doomsday syndrome. But the point is, that if it is in the chart it should happen and conversely, if it happens then it must be in the chart. If it is not so, then astrology should have no meaning.

However having said this, how many astrologers can hold their hands on their hearts and say that every one of their prediction has been correct? But astrology does seem to provide an answer to every happening when seen in retrospect. This is the reason for my assertion that astrology is indeed good, but astrologers will just not be so good. Never, perhaps ! Unless, we have a radioactive astro-bug stinging someone who then goes on to become the astro-man or astro-woman who pirouettes across the skylines of the world weaving predictive webs all over that can never be wrong. At least in comic books!!

R. Ramakrishnan

An Amazing Encounter: part 1 | part 2 | part 3Gems of the Zodiac

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This page was last modified on Saturday, 12 December 2015