A leading astrological researcher, based in Hyderabad, India.
"I was born a human
In the family of a Brahman
Childhood aspirations were a plenty
To become a yeoman, a swordsman, a bowman
And I dreaded perchance becoming
A conman, a doorman or a barman
Youth had its own delusions and dreamt
Of being an airman, a seaman or a showman
A few talents raised visions of life as a craftsman
Middle age found me slotted in a niche
And rose up the ladder to be a helmsman
But was otherwise essentially a layman
At times to frighten children, a bogeyman
Then astrology called... and I realized that
I was just a point of consciousness and no man
And this insight made me a new man
Glimpsing a realm that was
Beyond god and mammon
Now some call me a madman
While others believe I am a shaman
Being neither, I am just me, a man".
Life and Astrology [part 2] A Felonious Fellowship
Ram Ramakrishnan reflects upon the nature of human destiny, especially with regard to the whether or not criminal tendencies show up in the horoscope and whether they can be averted. Ram's research is focused on the predictability of events using astrology – and whether it is possible to escape one's destiny.
A felon? Me? Of course not! How dare I ask such a question? I am a member of an urbane society, live in a respectable locality, decency is my middle name, my children go to reputable institutes to study and people know me as an upright person. That goes for you as well. A felon is a guy who has committed great crimes and we – you and me, haven't committed any. For sure!
But let me think back a while. What was that a long while ago, when my employer gave me a generous reward in cash for my good work and I hid this information from the tax authorities to avoid paying what was due to the government – wasn't it thievery? What was that, when I went to see a movie with my wife and my heart skipped a beat looking at the heroine – wasn't it adultery? What was that when I watched a guy that I heartily disliked being thrashed by another because of some quarrel between them – wasn't it a case of abetting assault? Now am I a felon? Indeed I am one. So is every one. In fact to be born and living is an indicator of indulgence in felony (if certain acts as mentioned above and even more serious ones can be classified so!).
It is logical that indulgence in felony (however that happens to be defined in a given social order) should lead to chastisement and retribution, generally commensurate with its intensity and magnitude. It is again logical that such a reaction results in keeping the one who is sentenced away from society and since society claims all that it sees and visualizes to be its lawful domain, the only option for the convict is to be incarcerated in some nondescript corner over which the just and non-felonious society in its magnanimity forfeits its claim.
As all humanity can rightfully claim fellowship in felony merely on the basis of being born, why is it that only some get to reap its consequences? Why is it that only some get to be branded? In many instances the enormity of such retribution appears to be utterly disproportional and occasionally unreasonable too. This argument can lead to an unending debate, but astrology provides a tool to at least identify whose lot it is to bear the cross. Perhaps it can also provide an answer to the reasons for this apparently unfair state of affairs. But such an inquiry would render the canvas immensely large and the process extremely complicated. It would be less demanding to first address the identification of (astrological) signatures that result in perceived justice for felonious behavior and then confront the larger question about its possible reasons. Such an exercise is attempted beginning with one chart and investigating two other sets of charts of known felonious and sociable subjects respectively, in the light of observations made from the first chart.
Prediction of Crimes
The story of this episode begins a few winters past. The venue of the opening scene was a wedding reception. Seated among the gathering indulging in inconsequential small talk, which is normally the only thing to do on such occasions, I felt a tap on my shoulder and looked back to see an elder relative whom I had not met for a long while. He called me aside and we went to sit in a secluded corner. There was apprehension in his eyes as he frequently looked around while he spoke. He was being tailed by investigating sleuths wherever he went and this had been going on for almost a year he said. His house had been raided twice already and he feared arrest and incarceration. He wondered whether this possible eventuality would really come to pass. Could I see what was in store for him from his chart? I noted his birth particulars and promised to get back to him at the earliest. I gathered a rough sketch of the happenings leading to this situation as I quickly as I could and rejoined the larger gathering – with a disturbing feeling that there were many pairs of probing eyes now looking my way too!
Every analysis begins with a set of basic ideas upon which a larger investigational edifice is built. The basic idea to analyze this chart was one particular positional combination that is mentioned in astrological texts that is said to result in incarceration. It is that, if the significators of the first and sixth houses are conjunct and are in residence in the 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th or 10th houses, then this consequence is likely to come to pass. Extending the idea of conjunction to full mutual aspect between the two protagonists, it is seen that such a placement exists in the exemplar. The reason for such a conclusion was perhaps the surmise that the influence of the sixth house significator upon the significator of the ascendant was the primary cause of negative effects upon an individual. Such a situation was said to result in “dis-ease” in the literal sense. The lack of ease could be physical, emotional or a combination of both. And so began my examination of the chart of my supposedly felonious relative.
Ruling celestials from the time of birth: First row identifies primary celestial and number of years that it holds sway. Second row identifies the ruling celestial of sub-periods within the primary period. Numbers in the boxes mark the ratio in which the primary period is divided between sub-periods. For instance, the first sub-period of Jupiter's period of 16 years will endure for a duration of 16 x (16/120) years = 2.1333 years.
As can be seen from the chart above, the significators of the ascendant and sixth house – Mercury and Saturn respectively, are in full mutual aspect. But this alone is no recipe for incarceration. If astrological investigators were to take rules described in texts literally, they would put countless people behind bars and in lunatic asylums where they have no business to be. However, the existence of interplay between the two significators did point to the fact that something was indeed wrong and ominous.
At the time of our meeting at the wedding reception, the primary operating period (maha-dasa) in his chart was that of Jupiter and the secondary period (bhukti) was that of Saturn. About a year had elapsed since this duo had begun to dictate his affairs. As mentioned earlier, such a combinatorial situation can exist in many charts, but all do not lead such a serious consequence. Much also depends upon the individual dispositions of concerned celestials and the extent of interplay between them.
Before accepting the stated tenet for incarceration to be correct, I wanted to check the extent of its applicability. For this purpose, I divided the charts in my collection into two groups, one – of those whom I personally knew and was quite certain that had not been (to the best of my knowledge) convicted for felony, the other of declared offenders who had reportedly undergone incarceration. Logically, the incidence of occurrence of the said celestial combination should be relatively less in the first set and quite frequent in the second. Was it really so? The table below for the first set (of people whom I knew well and would assume to be non-felonious) gave me a possible answer to this question.
At this juncture the figures from the table above proved one point. My knowledge about the noticeable (un-)feloniousness of people whom I personally knew (whose charts formed the set of 1283) was correct to the extent of almost 95%! It also shed light on the relatively rare occurrence of this combination – though it was spread across 6 houses which cover half the zodiac. Some researchers (me being one among them) consider sign dispositions for the lunar nodes as well – Virgo and Aquarius for Raahu and Scorpio and Pisces for Ketu. If these two entities too were to be taken into consideration as the 1st and 6th lords wherever applicable, then the incidence of occurrence of the combination under consideration increases by about 50%, as shown in the table below.
The figures in the above tables would also encourage the more adventurous astrological practitioners to make liberal use of the tenet because the probability of them making an incorrect inference is substantially less when compared to certain other tenets! But there are pit-falls here too. Where did our fellow in felony figure in the tables? This chart was accommodated in the cell marked red in the first set of tables in which were four other charts also that belonged to persons where the suggested result had not come about. This pointed to the fact that there were more dimensions to this problem in addition to the one stated in the tenet.
In the context of the 1st-6th dispositor interplay, I had often seen that in charts where the 1st house dispositor was posited in the 6th, there appeared a strong tendency towards felony. The table appeared deficient without this particular combination being included. Gratifying this desire yielded the table below, where the 6th house entry showed a higher participation in the proceedings.
The above summary showed that, in 26.33% of all charts there was some manner of interplay between the 1st and 6th house dispositors. Looking at a similar table for a set of charts of known offenders who had undergone imprisonment at some point in their lives showed a dramatic increase in the occurrence of such placements.
An (un)healthy 50.85% of charts in the felonious set conformed to the combinations under scrutiny. This was about two times the incidence of occurrence of these combinations in the first set. Three deductions could be made from figures of the two sets of tables (tables 3a, 3b, 3c and table 4).
There apparently existed a direct link between the interplay of the 1st and 6th house dispositors and the incidence of felony.
There are other celestial factors that suppress or enhance the manifestation of potential feloniousness in addition to the said interplay of the 1st and 6th dispositors. This deduction is on basis of the fact that in table 3, though the incidence of occurrence is about 26%, its manifestation in the form of conviction and internment is very low.
There exist combinations other than those specifically being examined, which lead to similar results. This deduction is to account for the 49% nonconformity in table 4.
The specifically stated tenet for incarceration is seen to hold in only about 8% of the cases in table 4. The tenet is therefore either incorrect or it should have other corollaries that enhance its level of conformity.
Bolstered by this insight, I told my relative that the threat of imprisonment looms large during the secondary period of operation (bhukti) of the 6th house dispositor Saturn, within the primary period (maha dasa) of Jupiter which was to operate for a year and half more from the time that we met. This was really no answer at all – being neither a definite 'yes' nor an emphatic 'no', but the words 'maybe', 'likely', 'perhaps', 'probably' and their kind are the best friends of practicing astrologers and astrological researchers! Having given my prognosis equivocally as the situation demanded an answer at the earliest; I felt that there were three more details to be verified yet. These were:
D1. What positional attributes of the protagonists act as palliatives or stimulants in giving shape to the consequence of the primary combination?
D2. It is logical to believe that the celestials that are seen to confer a particular result upon an individual should do so in their respective primary or secondary operating periods only. Was it really so?
D3. What other combinations or variations of the one under study gave similar outcomes?
Identifiable tendencies for the above answers – if found, would make my verdict on the case unequivocal. So began another sequence of sleuthing for signs that would betray the workings of the celestials and their little secrets. The emphasis this time was on the set of charts of known felons.
With reference to the first of the questions above, one observation that appeared to be consistent was that in the charts of known felons, one or both participating celestials in combination in focus, were found to sport some indignity – they were either in fall, were retrograde or were conjunct an inimical celestial. A rigorous application of this criterion to all charts in the felonious set yielded the result show in Table 5a.
The figures above show that in 25 of the 30 charts from the felonious set that conform to the stipulated norms, either the 1st or the 6th house dispositor or both, sport some form of indignity. This result points to the strong possibility that these entities when not sporting such indignities would not confer the feared consequence. Further, of the remaining 29 charts from the felonious set 13 had the 1st sporting an indignity even when it did not conform to the specified positional criteria. This fact bolstered the suspicion that an indignity to either entity in focus fortified its malevolence. If this inference were to be correct then applying this condition to the non-felonious set of charts must reduce the observed incidence of occurrence of the stipulated norms from 26% to a value much below it. Does it really happen so? To find out, I spent a few more days poring over charts in that set again. The outcome of that exercise is arranged below in table 6a.
There was no doubt a fall in the number of confirming charts – more than a 100 charts had been lifted off the curse, but what remained was still substantial. It meant that either there were more palliatives to be identified or that I did not know some people as well as I thought I knew them! Another point of dissatisfaction was the fact that I still had to account for over half of the charts from the felonious set in which the 1st – 6th interplay was absent. The exercise above that lasted many days also kindled another line of thought. What had earlier been a peripheral idea became the focus now. This was the theme that it was not just one particular combination (that of the 1st and 6th dispositors) that dictated outcomes of a particular kind but a collection of such combinations involving other dispositors and positional criteria as well. The ideal course to test the veracity of this approach would be to concentrate on the felonious set and do the following:
identify possible combinations that indicate feloniousness and its adverse consequence, that of being branded as one
determine norms for assigning numeric strengths to each such combination
decide on a threshold strength where the sum of all strengths corresponding to the felonious combinations greater than the threshold strength would indicate branding
apply the above norms to the non-felonious set to see how many conform to it
By this approach, questions D1 and D3 could be simultaneously addressed. The findings so far would form the base upon which to build this new analytical model.
So began another long exercise, this time dealing with charts of branded felons. My relative was constantly at me to find out how far I had come with my analysis and what my verdict was to be. For me it was only a matter of research while for him it was a matter of freedom and captivity. This is a dilemma that is often faced by astrological researchers. When people approach seeking possible solutions to their troubles, there is an emotional part of the researcher that would like to wave a wand to rid them of all predicaments. But the rational part cautions the researcher that emotion will be the undoing of all research work and one needs to be dispassionate in doing what we do. How far we are able to balance these two opposing thoughts is reflected in the outcome of the analysis.
The result of this second analysis was expressed in terms of the combinations existing in the charts of two known branded (or to be branded) felons from the non-felonious set (one of them being my relative and the other from a family known to me) and the number of occurrences of these combinations in the charts of the felonious set consisting of 59 charts. Though the second chart from the non-felonious set referred here rightfully belonged to the felonious set as that individual had been convicted and served a prison term, I continued to keep it in the non-felonious set to distinguish it from the felonious charts which identified persons whose life was public knowledge but who were not personally known to me.
The scope for defining feloniousness was expanded further for this exercise. Dispositors of the 5th, 9th and 10th houses were also considered here. The arguments for such an inclusion being that to be felon, an individual's emotions have to skewed (5th dispositor and 5th house), an individual's tendency of being fortunate should be distorted (9th dispositor and 9th house) and actions should reflect feloniousness (10th dispositor and 10th house). Also the 8th and 12th dispositors and 8th and 12th houses should have a role in the scheme, representing as they do disgrace and degradation and loss and incarceration respectively.
The cumulative numeric strengths of all combinations listed above in each of these charts surpassed the presumed threshold value thus making them eligible to be branded. An interesting bit of statistics at this point was that of the incidence of occurrence of the above combinations in charts in the non-felonious set, shown in table 8.
The figures in table 8 revealed that despite many of these combinations occurring in a sizable number of charts in the non-felonious set, their cumulative strength did not add up to the threshold value. Yet another interesting fact was the presence of 'talisman' combinations which appeared to neutralize the felonious ones. Table 9 shows the incidence of a few such 'talisman' combinations in the both the non-felonious and felonious sets. There were no occurrences of the listed conditions in the felonious set. The number is brackets were a count of those charts where the felony score was more than or equal to 75% of the threshold value.
It was seen that despite the presence of felonious combinations, the presence of 'talisman' arrangements reduced the potency of the former saving the individuals from being branded. My relative unfortunately had no such talisman and from indications so far appeared doomed to infamy.
It would be worthy of note that of the 1546 charts in the non-felonious set, as many as 1449 (93.75%) had one or more of the identified felonious combinations. I was sure that if I had more charts of branded felons and the identifiable felonious celestial combinations increased, every one of the charts of non-felonious set would be found to have one or more such combination in it. This would validate the idea that to be born is a sure indication that one is a felon. Being branded as one is another story!
The exercise above identified 8 other individuals in addition to the two known felons from the non-felonious set. Two of the eight had been through terrible times but not incarceration and for the other six I had no way of knowing their complete life stories as they happened to be relatives or friends of acquaintances with only brief sketches of their background available. From the felonious set 57 of the 59 had crossed the threshold of felony as determined by the identified combinations.
Could I now inform my relative about the outcome of the study? Had his chart earned the distinction of migrating to the felonious set? Not yet I thought. There was still the question of identifying the period of culpability. Did the period Jupiter/Saturn that was in progress according to his dasa expansion, hold the potential for conferring the dreaded result? To address this uncertainty, I began the last part of my analysis which required another bout of poring over the charts in the felonious set to correlate the period of happenings with the respective dasa operations. The result were the figures in Table 10.
The terms 'initiator' and 'giver' used in Table 10 may require a brief explanation. According to the vimsottari dasa scheme, every moment of a person's life is defined by a sequence of celestials, the length of which can be as long as required depending upon the preciseness of the moment that is required. The first position of this sequence is filled by the celestial whose primary dasa is in progress and the second position by the one whose secondary period is in operation within that of the primary celestial's period. This has been explained in this paper earlier pictorially along with my relative's chart. The defining moment of being branded as a felon – that is arrest or conviction, is what is of importance in this particular analysis. The celestials in the first two positions of this defining sequence are termed 'initiator' and 'giver' respectively. With 57 felonious charts conforming to the identified combinations for felony, there will be 57 x 2 = 114 celestials that take up positions of initiators and givers for the 57 charts. The distribution of the 12 house dispositors in the first two positions of the defining sequences has been shown in table 10.
From this table it was seen that the 12th dispositor (representing confiscation and incarceration), 8th dispositor (representing disgrace and degradation) and 6th dispositor (representing dis-ease) accounted for 71 (or 62.28%) of the 114 positions. Of the remaining 37.72% most had some form of association with one of the three dispositors – being resident in of the three houses, being conjunct or aspected by one of the three dispositors, being in mutual reception with them, being resident in lunar mansions governed by them or a combination of all these.
In my relative's chart the 12th dispositor (Sun) was resident in the twelfth house. Additionally it was the lunar mansion dispositor of both the ascendant and the 1st dispositor Mercury, where both of these combinations figured in the set that identified branded felons. With mounting dread I realized that the period Jupiter/Saturn/Sun that was soon to come could indeed be that defining moment. Conveniently for me, my relative contacted me no more as he was in the thick of activity of attempting to save a sinking ship and I gathered news a couple of months later that he had kept his tryst with infamy at the appointed time. His incarceration continued during the period Jupiter/Saturn/Moon as well, Moon also being resident in the 12th house.
The conclusion arrived at from the analysis perhaps answered the question that started this exercise. But every answer brings along with it many more questions. So it was here also! The reservations that tagged along with the solution in this case were:
Why did the primary periods of the Sun and the Moon not initiate penal action during the secondary periods of Saturn and Jupiter within them?
So many people would have been born within a period of 15 minutes around the time of birth of my relative. Would all of them be incarcerated about the present times?
Would it have made any difference if I or anyone else been able to correctly analyze his chart and informed him of the impending misfortune?
I endeavoured to give cogent answers to these. As for the first, it stood to reason that the first two positions – that of the initiator and giver, would be reserved for the most potent of the celestials forming combinations tending towards imparting feloniousness. This would mean that Jupiter in my relative's chart should shoulder such an influence. But did he? Jupiter is considered the most potent natural benefic. Also any planet retrograde in its own sign is considered to be steeped in ignominy. Further, the argument that the character of the sign dispositor affects the planet that is placed in a sign, finds a parallel in another that asserts that the sign dispositor acts as a receptor of the characteristics of planets resident in its sign. By this argument in the chart under consideration, Saturn sporting an indignity should handsomely share its degradation with Jupiter as there is a two-fold interaction between them – Saturn is resident in the sign of Jupiter and Saturn has a near full aspect upon it (considering the special backward aspect attributed to Saturn in Indian astrology). Jupiter in its ignominious state would find its malevolence enhanced by this interaction. This argument and its perceived attribute needed to be tested in a larger set of felonious and non-felonious charts to be credibly accepted.
I attempted a likely answer to the second question but this too required methodical validation. In dealing with charts of people born fractions of a minute apart, the positions of celestial points in divisional charts gain importance. Indian astrology assigns as much significance to a celestial's placement in one-sixtieth part of a sign as it does to the main sign chart. Such an analysis would necessitate the availability of a sizable number of charts of people born within a span of half an hour about the same place along with their life stories. Further, the time of birth in each case will have to be precise. Perhaps such a study will establish more felonious and talisman combinations that mar or make an individual's reputation.
Finally the final question! Would correctly analyzing a chart much in advance of an actual happening make a difference? I believe not! I presume that branding is at birth. The moment of this fact becoming public knowledge is only a consequence. If it were not so then astrology will have no meaning. However, if this surmise were to be incorrect then it should be made mandatory that those who bask in the glory of correct predictions and claim to have averted inconvenient situations for those who seek their advice, should also smoulder in the fire of disgrace and humiliation for all their incorrect forecasts. This, I guess will never be, because we are all felons!