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 3] Beckoning of an Émigré
Many parents in India desire nothing more than for their children to find a better life in the USA. Our man in Hyderabad, Ram Ramakrishnan, discusses the astrological signatures of being an emigre, especially in the light of the Indian diaspora in the USA. This is by no means as simple as it seems, but Ram addresses the task with his usual flair and scholarship.
For the Indian middle class of the last three decades, if there has been one overbearing dream, it has been that of seeing their children settled in that land of perceived plenty and opportunity – the US of A. The idea is sown and nurtured in the minds of the young ones from childhood. All decisions on the school to enrol in, background of friends to keep, kind of society to move and be seen in, are made with this one objective in mind. Many make it, many don't and settle for lesser pastures because settling anywhere other than in India is considered being a notch above the rest.
But the Indian diaspora, particularly in the US of A, and those who have made it in the last thirty years have particularly done well as statistics of the US census indicate. There are said to be more than 1.4 million people
of Indian origin in that country. In addition to émigrés who travel to the 'promised land' each year in search of work, their numbers are swelled further by a yearly wave of students who enrol themselves in American Universities. Only a few return after graduation.
According to published statistics on Indian émigrés in the US:
63.9 per cent of Indians have a Bachelor's degree or more, compared to 44 per cent for Asians and a nationwide 24.4 per cent.
Indian men have the highest year round full-time median earnings ($51,900) eclipsing the Japanese ($50,900) and well ahead of the national average ($37,057) and the Asian average ($40,650).
46.9 per cent of Indians are home owners, reflecting their more recent émigré status with renters constituting 53.1 per cent.
Indians are most likely to be married (67.4 per cent are married) and among the least likely to be divorced (2.4 per cent).
People of Indian origin in the US make up the largest block of about 8% of the worldwide Indian diaspora numbering almost 18 million people.
These thoughts swirled around after I had answered the questions of a particularly insistent acquaintance who had been long wanting to find out whether his son would go to an American University to study. He had also wanted to be sure that his son's chart indicated that he would settle there and never return! Astrology has been teaching me everyday to the contrary, but being judgemental is a universal human failing and I had not taken kindly to the man or his bent of thought. That however was of no consequence anyway to anything that was ordained to happen! But the incident stimulated a desire to find out whether the statistics for the process of people from a country settling in another – the phenomenon of emigration, could be verified astrologically. As I saw it, this exercise had to be done in the following order:
Segregate charts in my collection that represented persons who had immigrated to a foreign land and settled there and identify celestial placements that corroborated such a happening.
Do a similar analysis as above on charts that represented persons who had not immigrated.
If the observed celestial patterns in the charts of those that immigrated showed an overwhelmingly higher rate of incidence in the émigré set than in the set of domiciles then the existence of a correspondence between astrological indicators and happenings of this kind could be established.
Astrologically, the idea of emigration is a tricky question. What does a person's nativity mean? Is it simply the place of birth and its environs? Or is it the land area that corresponds to a political entity? Similarly, what does a foreign land mean? In addition to the arguments applicable to nativity, is it also a function of distance from whatever may be deemed to be nativity? I decided to provisionally consider the land area of the political entity in which a person is born to constitute 'home' and any land beyond its borders as 'foreign'. Nuances about this definition and its correctness or fallacy could be understood as I proceeded with the analysis.
Again astrologically, the idea of foreign residence is linked to the three houses 7th, 9th and 12th. [note that here Ram is using the Indian, Vedic system and some Western astrologers may have other views – ed.] The first of these linkages is perhaps due to the notion that the 1st house represents the physical body of the individual and the place that one is born while the house opposite to it represents a land far away. The second linkage could be attributed to the general tendency of the mind to resist change (Inertia of familiarity!). If one is fortunate then one is able to avoid change and reside within the boundaries of what we consider to be our land while if one is not so fortunate, then there is displacement. The last linkage can be ascribed to the notion of separation from one's kin and everything that one is familiar with which is a consequence of displacement to a foreign land. In addition to the linkage between the three houses, other contributory factors are said to be the attributes of the signs that represent the three houses and the signs where the dispositor of these houses are posited.
While scrutinizing individual charts, I had found a fairly consistent link between the status of the celestial that has traversed the longest distance in any sign in a chart and the probability of settling in a foreign land. The Jaimini school of classical astrology designates such a celestial to be the 'soul significator'. There is also some reservation among practitioners about amalgamation of concepts from different schools of astrological thought. To avoid these controversies and to analyze and account for the observation made, I decided to name this entity as 'Strider' – the celestial that has taken the longest stride in a chart in terms of its position within a sign. (I must confess that this name was inspired by the character with a similar name in the 'Lord of the Rings' who walks about different lands more than half his life spanning many centuries!)
Looking at the chart of my acquaintance's son, one finds linkages between the identified players. Dispositor of the 9th (Sun) is the 12th which can be construed to be indicating fortune in foreign lands. Ascendant dispositor Jupiter as well the first house is hemmed in between malefics and this adds additional potency to the possibility. These were the two primary instigators for my affirmative answer to his question. There were other factors in the chart too which contributed further to this capacity, for it is not one combination that decides an issue.
In the context of a larger analysis, it was necessary to recognize all possible linkages that conferred the possibility of emigration assign definite measures of numeric strengths to each such linkage and arrive at a threshold strength that indicates the outcome as a certainty. For this purpose and as decided upon earlier, I divided my chart collection into two sets – charts of those that had settled in other countries and those that were born and lived in India. The latter set included those that may have had occasional jaunts in foreign lands at some point in their life time. Since emigration is spurred by economic allurements, particularly when there are no other compulsions like political instability or external aggression upon a land, the probability of emigration is inversely proportional to age and declines appreciably with advancing age. For this reason, charts of persons less than 40 years of age needed to be excluded from the domicile set. Also as the general trend among émigrés from middle class society who travel to the West is to settle down there particularly when their children who are born there automatically become citizens of the respective countries, the age limit of 40 could be relaxed for entries in the émigré set representing children of émigrés born in their native land and accompanying their parents but who have siblings born later in a foreign land. The constitution of the two sets therefore was as follows:
Émigré set = All those who had immigrated regardless of age
Domicile set = All those above 40 who had not immigrated
The drawback with this mode of classification was the existence of the possibility of a small percentage of members of the émigré set returning to their country of birth after a stay of a certain number of years in a foreign land. At the beginning stages of the analysis this was an unavoidable inadequacy. As most members of the émigré set were personally known to me, the magnitude of this error may perhaps be minimal. A dredging of the collection with the conditions as stated above yielded 109 charts in the émigré set, 826 charts in the domicile set and over 1500 charts in the undecided set. Most of the charts in the undecided set represented persons below 40 who may or may not emigrate between the time that this analysis was made and the point when they reached 40 years of age. Of the 109 charts in the émigré set, as many as 81 were of persons who had settled in the USA.
The regular pattern that emerged from the study of charts of émigrés and non-émigrés was that the identified celestial representatives were 'blemished' in the charts of the former and 'unblemished' in the latter. For a systematized study, it was necessary to first unambiguously identify the celestial representatives allegedly instigating such a condition, clearly demarcate the realms that heaped indignities upon a celestial making it blemished and those that enhanced their dignity and specify a definite quantum of numerical strength for each such blemish, flair and placement. The table below lists these parameters.
The role (and hence the numerical contributory strength) of a celestial representative was assessed based not only upon its own status but also upon its sign dispositor, its lunar mansion dispositor, the celestial that it was conjunct with or with which it had a near full mutual aspect, and also with celestials subject to mutual reception (parivartana yoga) at the sign and lunar mansion levels. Of the representative celestials, the ascendant could be subject only to indignities 4 and 6 and status enhancer 5. All indignities and enhancers apply to the other 6 representatives. It was also observed that an even number of indignities upon a celestial cancelled out one another while an odd number branded it as being blemished.
Considering the objective of the exercise to be the derivation of the strength of the chart to confer permanent foreign residence, each representative celestial was assigned a certain number of points depending upon its blemish, flair and position. Such allotment of points would be positive if it abets the purpose and negative if it inhibits it. The sum of points so allotted to all representative celestials would give the required strength. If this strength were to be above or equal to a threshold level, then this would indicate conferment of the condition.
Having framed a number of possible rules that advance or inhibit the possibility of permanent foreign residence each of which contributed a numerical strength of 5 or 10 points depending upon their perceived potency, I applied them to the two sets of charts. The results of this application are shown in Table-2. Contributory strengths of each of the seven listed celestial representatives has been averaged for the number charts in each set. For instance, the strength due to the rules associated with the Ascendant being subjected to dignity or indignity across all charts in a set divided by the number of charts in the set is marked in the boxes associated with the Ascendant. The total strength contributed by all seven listed celestial representatives for each set is listed under the column marked 'Total'.
The figures in Table-2 show that there is a striking increase in the contributory strengths of all the seven representatives with friend Strider taking the pride of place. The total average strength for a chart in the domicile set is 17.60 while that for a chart in the émigré set is about three times as much at 66.06. Strider is not only the single largest contributor but also exhibits the largest divergence revealing its strong inclinations in the matter. The other representatives in the order of the magnitude of their contributory strengths are 1st house dispositor, Ascendant, 9th house dispositor, 12th house dispositor, 7th house dispositor and Yogakaaraka (a celestial that is a dispositor of square and trine houses simultaneously).
If a random collection of assumed birth parameters were to be taken and the total contributory strength due to the seven identified celestial representatives were to be computed, it should only be marginally above the value for the domicile set in the above table. Such indeed was found to be the case when a set of 900 random events spread across a century and located randomly again at any point on the globe, was subjected to a similar procedure. The values obtained are shown in Table-3. The number of events with individual émigré factor strength above the threshold level was 52 constituting 5.78% of the total number in the random set.
The figures obtained from the exercise above made me wonder whether a similar or comparable result would be obtainable if one were to consider evenly spaced intervals within a day for any given day and any particular point on the globe. And so it was!
The graph below shows the progression of émigré factor strength for a day – the 19th of December 1950 at Hyderabad, India, according to the model developed to its current level of sophistication. Time interval between successive events is 10 minutes that gives a total of 144 events for the day. The red line shows the factor development in time, the blue line marks the threshold strength for identifying an émigré, while the green line marks the average strength for the day.
It can be seen that only three events of 144 give an émigré factor strength that is greater than or equal to the threshold strength of 60 points. This constitutes 2.08% of the total events for the day. Assuming India's population to be 1,057,000,000 and a diaspora of 18,000,000, émigrés as a percentage of population constitute 1.89% which compares well with the derived daily émigré percentage. It will be interesting to note that each day provides its distinctive and unique factor strength graph and the average derived émigré percentage works out to 3.87% (considering 100 days randomly across a span of 100 years). The graphs also differ across latitudes for a given day.
In the pursuit of a panoramic view of the phenomenon of emigration, the manifestation of the representative ideas at the level of an individual chart that identifies an émigré or a domicile seemed to have been forgotten. I attempted to rectify this folly by a scrutiny of the chart of the son of my acquaintance in terms of the identified representative celestials. The details are given in Table-4.
This chart sported very strong credentials in terms of the parameters selected for the model and the individual left for distant shores a couple of years ago. Figures in Table-4 have not been tempered by the residential strengths of celestials in the identified house. When this factor is also considered, the total émigré factor works out to 76.43. Inclusion of residential strength in houses is what gives the smooth curves of the émigré factor progression graph described earlier.
Plotting the computed strength for the 936 charts of the two sets of individuals as a function of the ascendant degree provides an interesting graphic picture. It is seen that the distribution is dense at the centre, sparse in between and again increases in density towards the regions identifying émigrés (the pink band on the outer fringes).
It must be borne in mind that the model developed is only representative and cannot claim good accuracy yet. There may be many more rules to be included in it for strength computation. But the general picture that emerged, appeared to point to a phenomenon that required a subtle change in the definition of an émigré.
In a few example cases where the case histories of the individuals were known, it was found that persons got a low émigré score despite having lived in a foreign land for many decades but died in a comparatively short while after returning and settling in the land of their birth. In contrast there were a couple of cases where a person lived almost their entire life span in the land of their birth but died shortly on reaching a foreign land. Their émigré scores surpassed the threshold levels formally identifying them as émigrés, though they had no intention of settling in a foreign land when they departed. This prompted an attempt at a changed definition of an émigré (for astrological analysis) as one who dies in a land which is not the same as that of his birth. Only further research will shed more light on this idea. Does the model account for the actual residence for long periods outside the land of birth in examples of the former kind? The answer is a tentative 'yes' and the explanation goes thus. The émigré score is made up of both positive and negative strength that cancel out each other leaving a residue which is what is made use of to determine whether the person is an émigré in the astrological sense as defined above. If the dasa of one or more celestials that contribute a positive strength were to be in operation during the life span of the person, then that would be the time when the person will be away, returning back at its expiry.
Yet another interesting phenomenon to explore will be the analysis of charts of individuals residing in border lands between two countries particularly where the borders are porous. What would such an investigation reveal? For those with an inclination for it, astrological analysis of life and its mechanisms provides an endless possibility of fascinating fun, incessant action, deep satisfaction and perhaps a little wisdom! The computed émigré factor for my acquaintance's son was yet another reminder to me to refrain from being judgemental about others.