Thursday, May 18, 2006

Traversing The Monomyth With Vedic Astrology

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TRAVERSING THE MONOMYTH WITH VEDIC ASTROLOGY

Mythic form astounds with its conservative and eternal efficacy. Joseph Campbell culled out a standardized model of the heroic mythic journey from deep investigations into romantic, mythic and spiritual literature of all major civilizations in the world. In The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Campbell presented the reader with a standard pattern of the mythic journey, which he called the Monomyth. This suggested, that although there might be variations in the theme of the heroic travel, the theme itself was one and replicated itself in the myths from the various parts of the world. Comparative Mythology presents the seeker with a very reliable guide map with which to understand and project the journey of life. The Monomyth divides the heroic adventure into three stages: separation, initiation and return.

Vedic Astrology (Jyotish) is a predictive art devised by the Brahmin or Vedic seers of Ancient India. Though planetary symbols and common astrological features are involved, the poetry involved with symbolic interpretations is conditioned by the profound spiritual genius of the Upanishads and a destined fabric emerges in any given horoscope. Without delving into the philosophical debate centered on Freedom and Determinism, an advance is made over mythology in that it is possible with Jyotish to actually view the specific psychological and material path the Hero is walking; sometimes before he actually gets to a given point in the adventure, one can decipher the landmarks in the journey. This can be a very significant insight in the framework of psychotherapy and comparative myth. It instills a clearer element of fate and an active Power whose working through the adventure can be gleaned by operating the ancient formulae given by the seers. Jyotish is considered a vast ocean and the multifarious techniques provided, if combined with the known features of the Monomyth and the essence distilled from literature relating to personal growth, whether composed in alchemical terms or otherwise might substantially add to the clarity of mythic understanding.

Various questions immediately clamour for attention. Although mythic texts and commentaries are firm in their belief that each person has the hero potential as it were, they also point out that not everyone has a destiny. There is the problem of working out an objective hero-potential in a chart but this is not an inevitable problem. Jyotish is an art that makes use of scientific and mathematical principles. Chart Interpretation is mostly a synthetic art that bases itself on a strict application of permanent principles. Thus, the problem is not so much of working out if or how much hero potential exists in a chart. Any investigation of this would necessarily be subjective and would place at the disposal of the astrologer the judgment of the presence or lack of heroic quality. This cannot be, for an individual on a heroic path is not dependent on external opinion for approval of his destiny. Society looks to the hero to show them newer realities or a renewing of the eternal truths as they apply to a given time. Working with heroic potential in a chart after the individual has been isolated as carrying the seed of change, whether relative to his own life or that of his group or society or nation is a different proposition. This is what astrology is about: the analyst works with the chart and gives a subjective opinion. However, like all analyses, this too is not oriented in verdicts; rather it is an exchange of ideas and psychological insights. So, we can comfortably allow for heroic elements in everyman's life even though it may appear to harbour nothing remarkable to the societal eye. On the other hand, the transformation of the individual may be so conspicuous so as to be heroic in every sense of the word, with sufficient destiny content to be able to make a difference in multiple parallel universes, and if such a psycho-spiritual churning also happens to occur in an artistic consciousness, then the results can be eminently far reaching. Jyotish will make no distinction between any of these various models, so different qualitatively and externally.

The other main query is to determine if there is an equally standard monomythic counterpart in Jyotish Yogas (yoking; combinations; features describing standard results modified only by synthesis but eternally true) and planetary Dashas (periodicity) to determine if there are permanent laboratory-type linkages where an astrologer brooding over charts suddenly finds one with objective hero-potential, blessed with acute timing and runs out screaming that he has found it, Archimedes-like, with or without a towel. Not likely. Jyotish does not operate that way. We have presupposed the arrival of an individual, who is the main player in his hero-journey, and his chart accompanies him. We ought not divorce the native and the chart, since they are but one. The research-minded astrologers can certainly contemplate projects where synchronicities are captured between heroic adventures and static-dynamic factors operating in a chart but that is not our focus in this paper. The endeavour here is to converse, much as the psychotherapist would, and determine the destined features in the chart that constitute the framework of the life of the hero, his traumas and victories, his histories and futures and the exact station he is at in his growth and advancement. Far more difficult and crucial avenues exist that call for Jyotish investigation as compared to tabulating coincidental data, although the latter is perhaps more or equally attractive for those based in accountancy and science. One of these absolutely crux factors is finding whether the hero is actually a hero, the genuine article or a pseudo-hero deluding himself to avail of some handy escapism while claiming a grandiose scheme in which he is participating. It is possible that this pseudo-hero will be found out before the adventure is complete and sometimes when the lie is found, there is a suicide, or a burnout or a collapse. This case has to be further distinguished from that of a clown, who genuinely participates in the adventure but does not achieve the objective or the final elixir.

This is where Jyotish can transcend anything else known to mankind. The psychological collapse of either the pseudo or the genuine hero, for instance, can both be distinguished and predicted with analyses directed at the radical Moon, Cancer, the 4th and 5th Houses, the Lagna (Ascendant) and the concerned lords. Most likely, the strength of the Moon will probably give a clear-enough indication of both how things will manifest and how powerful the emotional grounding is to absorb the trauma associated with the journey and how willing the hero is to yield the psychological boons attained after the battle. Not only a distinguishing clarity but a whole parallel system is made available by astrological delineations, which does not have to mean proof of an exact correspondence, but a crisp, almost unambiguous description and depth-analysis of the deepest truths of the heroic existence. This at least doubles the power of the hero's adventure since mythic archetypes tend to lose the vibrancy with which they nourished movement at the outset. They appear cast in stone and as the hero comes to newer junctions they are recognized with not much more than a dull thud. This may be so in part due to the searing intensity of the participation and the very real challenges that confront the neophyte, numbing both the stimuli and the responses. It is clear in the works of Joseph Campbell, that despite his Catholic grounding and almost unparalleled expertise in myth, the work is almost archeological in nature. There is a sense of cold description of concrete pathways, reliable maps by following which the hero shall never be lost. But in this method, joy and passion take a back seat and Campbell even blames passion for the loss of form and grace in mythic life. Also, he confesses that there is no saying what exactly the limits are as far as metaphysical possibility goes. He has forsaken the experience of a saint since the dancing amidst systems has its price and energy is not focused enough to yield an experience of a breakthrough.

This problem of a spiritual drying or its absence at the outset, since mythological perspectives do not necessarily presuppose an availability of spiritual resources, is completely resolved by Jyotish accompanying the journey or forming a part of it since the unique thing about Vedic or Hindu astrology is that it forms a part of the Veda, the fundamental religious revealed truth of the Hindus. It is one of the limbs of the Veda and astrological peculiarities find repeated mention in the Hindu Epics and Puranas. The point is that Jyotish is deeply connected to the whole reservoir of Hinduism, that universal religion which has nourished countless seekers from all over the world without making any rigid demands of them whatsoever. All through the body of Jyotish are strewn sensitive triggers that yield magnificent insights once they are touched, deliberately or accidentally. Not much is to be made of intent or the lack of it since the adventure itself can result as a cosmic whim and not a deliberate design on the part of the hero. Though it is a fact that Jyotish formulae, planets and deities are all linked to a myriad source-pools in Hinduism, it is perfectly possible, and indeed this is the way it happens at times, that only functional astrology is addressed and the bare minimum of Vedantic or Hindu thought is encountered. So while Hinduism itself is a neutral religion talking of a neutral entity in the highest flights of its philosophical thought, The Upanishads or Vedanta, Jyotish will not require an in-depth understanding of the varied and seemingly endless religious literature of Hinduism. The most important reality regarding spiritual nourishment on mythic pathways is that planetary energies are just that: energies. They are spiritual constructs that manifest in pragmatic domains as well. Thus, the initiate has access to both the worlds within the confounding reality of the adventure itself- the world of the spirit proper where impossible delusions and miraculous insights abound, as too the magical transformations in the extant landscape and his physical truths. Obviously, since Jyotish is a lifelong system, assuming that it is to be accessed once the adventure culminates, Jyotish will continue to perform both functions for the transformed hero. A key might lie here, capable of resolving the possibility of a gross situation that arises on the culmination of the adventure, namely that the society is unwilling to accept the boon or that what the end-results is for the hero has very limited validity for the common man at large. In this situation, till the heroic spiral spins out another adventure, Jyotish will form a bridge between the worlds of light and dark and an eternal trophy, a perpetual proof that a diving inwards had once occurred that had exploded the world into one that may never have been contemplated. This function of Jyotish is not primary or even necessary; it is a great blessing in a scenario where challenges do not cease at all. In a nutshell, whether literature itself becomes a base of the journey or not, deciphering planetary energies and their play in the chart, automatically ensures a deep, eternal spiritual injection which will continually cleanse the body-mythic.

Abstract correspondence between planetary potentials as manifested in Yogas, amenable to a triggering and activation by the dynamism of periodicities, and the archetype of the hero's adventure is ruled out since there is no tool in mythic unraveling that can predict which mythic element will undergo incremental modifications and which reductive. In view of the inherent fluidity of the journey, linkages and simultaneities have to be pondered only once an adventurer is isolated and a landmark of the mythic journey has manifested. Therefore, rather than establishing cast-iron rules about propensities of certain Lagnas, Yogas and other features as embodying hero-potentials, the learned astrologer well-versed in mythic lore and preferably having undergone a mythic transformation himself, would be well advised, as indeed in all Jyotish, to judge from chart to chart what these planetary energies are doing. However, having said this, there are only nine planets used in Vedic Astrology, and their significations are well known. It is not impossible to conjecture a broad thematic in Jyotish terminology where counterparts can be envisaged to the various demons, ogres, helpers and other players in the mythic drama. The difference is that this counter would be mature, based on scriptural classics and universal understanding of Jyotish tools. Also, just as the Monomyth exists validly even though it is completely accepted that considerable modifications to it may exist in individual cases, so too can we postulate the main players in the real-life personal growth in Jyotish terms, even though this may be subject to considerable modification in individual instances.

The first phase of the adventure is called the Separation. This is a cutting away from the immediate societal setting so that the environment that has shaped the future hero's life thus far is to be wrenched away from him. This can adopt any means to accomplish itself. Either the hero deliberately sets out or is lured out or it is just a matter of chance, a twist of fate that lands him in a situation he had never contemplated. Any of the nine planets may symbolize the call to adventure, which comes in the hero's old environment itself, but there seems to be only one planet capable of effecting the crucial and unyielding separation and fostering the cold, dank crucible which will shape the hero's destiny: Saturn. One other thing is to be noted here. Depending upon the magnitude of the adventure, other factors like a Dasha Sandhi, a change of the major planetary periodicity, might play a big role, since this is the planet, which is basically in charge of all affairs of the individual. The Vimshottari Mahadasha lord is being contemplated here and the bare minimum period would be 6 years in case the planet involved is the Sun. The period can go up to 20 years in case of Venus. Saturn is the natural significator of misery, separation, humiliation, outcastes or the lowest rung of society: this can be interpreted to mean a psychological deconstruction where the hero is incapable of participating at the societal level, pain, sorrow, intense mental torture, depression, failure, perversion, a serious cramping of style or what comes naturally to the person, cold heartlessness: a valuable attribute for a Cosmic player who has the onerous task of killing the erstwhile psychology so that the person can be created anew. Saturn can act either in the Sade-Sati, the seven-and-a-half years transit on and around the radical Moon, or in the 19 years long Vimshottari Dasha or both. Another possibility is the simultaneous or independent existence of Kantak Shani, literally thorn, showing that life becomes a limping, dragging affair. If Kantak exists independently, it would more likely be a preparatory ground for more serious trials, assuming it is a hero we are considering, particularly if this is reckoned from the Arudha Lagna (AL) showing setbacks in perceived existence. The removal proper would have either Sade-Sati or the Dasha as the driving features of the separation. The intense mental danger in symbolic literature can only be precipitated by Saturn. Rahu cannot do it: impacting the Moon it will delude and force addiction or enhanced creative outputs. The almost schizophrenic disaster, so closely associated with the breaking down of outmoded personality traits, can only be brought by the planet that embodies reality, employing completely ruthless means to establish an altered reality scenario. Although, mythic adventures are possible that are focused on the society or the country, they are basically more distant from personal concerns than is an immediate mental reorientation of such a drastic magnitude. And there is nothing to say that boons will not emerge from this Moon death and rebirth that would be enormously important for the people at large. Thus, a romantic hero is envisaged, one who is seeking to know himself as a center of the world and to reinvent himself with various systems that he finds himself exposed to from time to time.

To work with any combination of planets will reveal the overt and concealed tendencies operating at any given time. It is obvious that separation cannot happen in the blinking of an eye, even though the call itself may be sudden and quick. This would involve a planet working just before the separation occurs. The herald to the adventure can be someone considered evil or useless or unimportant. Mars Antardasha (AD), a sub-period in the Vimshottari can precipitate a sudden, violent event. The violence need not be at a physically belligerent level; it could be emotional rage or an incident involving a glimpse of power that is lacking in life at that moment, or lust breaking through prior barriers to expose worlds hitherto concealed. This would be also contingent on the Yogas that the planet participates in so if Sun participates with an inimical planet like Rahu or Saturn, there could be some huge setback in power or parental authority or work, depending on the age of the native. In this manner, the various natural and chart significations of the concerned planets will deliver a pictorial framework of how exactly the initial threshold was crossed. There is also the problem of the refusal of the call to adventure but this shall be ignored in this paper, as we are concerned with a functional, at least at the outset, hero journey. This does not rule out anything. A failure before take-off can be judged as effectively as anything else but that is not the subject matter here. What is of paramount importance here is the fated quality and Saturn is an undeniable focal constant. Saturn is the ruler of fate or deterministic events in destiny. No matter which planets are operating as heralds, Saturn provides the destiny molecule. Since Dasha Sandhi also operates slowly the hero may try to escape back to the comfort zone of the old environment but for a successful hero journey, these attempts must necessarily be fraught with total failure. It makes Jyotish sense as well since the preceding period seeps out in the Sandhi and the arriving one rarely gives full results right away. It is reflective of a going away and a coming to. The ponderousness is enhanced by the slow and unrelenting drudgery of Saturn. Saturn is unavoidable fate and as this inevitable Karma it begins to overwhelm the Moon by transiting the sign just preceding it. The indicator of all manifestation and social interaction, along with the perceiving mind is the Moon. All these factors take a fated blow. There is no recourse, no option except to affirm what Saturn has ordained. Suppose Saturn becomes the lord of a sub-period during the Sade-Sati, the period can get truly very difficult and psychological survival becomes an important question.

When separation is considered, it cannot be assumed right away that we have a Puer Aeternus at hand, waiting to be transformed by the cold and realistic Senex world of Saturn. It is quite possible we may have someone who is basically nothing at all, even though glimmers of a distant potential may appear vaguely from time to time. This sort of a covering of inherent possibilities is easily envisaged in Jyotish. Just one example could be the mysterious and amazing association of Rahu with the Moon. While on the one hand, this is perhaps the most conspicuous combination for creative expression, especially fiction writing, since what is fiction if not Rahu's psychological and delusional lying with respect to the static reality of naiive realism, on the other it demonically gobbles up the frail God of emotions fulfilling the timeless animosity. This latter bitterness that rises from the luminaries' complaint to Vishnu finds frequent manifestation in complaints against the native to authorities regarding his emotional motives and a potent association might involve ridicule of his assailed mentality. Even if another person does not do this, the native himself will attack his own mind from the Rahu-quarter, curling up in fear at the cosmic dragon's vicious flames that poison his fragile mind. This example of denying the hero with any overt skills is not lightly rendered. It is chosen since this case actually occurs in fact where the human being is not a Dwija, the twice born; he is merely born from the mother's womb and is only an instinctive animal incapable of tapping into the refreshing streams of divine eternity that spring all around him. Only, he cannot see them. Thus he is utterly and dangerously alone in the creation, cast adrift in currents he does not at all understand. He survives by instinct and divine protection. There is no rational explanation for his survival with so much vulnerability around him. It is this writer's opinion that even though we may not encounter this typified hero very often, it is precisely this hero who is contemplated in myth, the one of low birth who is set floating on the current in a tiny basket and finally becomes a stalwart king. (There is little chance that once he does become king he will throw up his arms like James Cameron and squeal that he is the king of the world, embarrassing even those who do not know him. One can throw up the arms, just for a light workout, but that squeal is a bit much.)
So, in order to present a stark contrast between a state of not knowing at all and those that shall arrive later, a chart with a Rahu-Moon combination, preferably where a relevant Dasha activates this combination, is the ideal situational component. Vimshottari is of utmost importance here since it is not only the most efficacious Dasha described by Parashar but is also the most accurate indicator of mental states. If the Rahu-Moon combination is formed in the 5th or the 9th house from the Lagna or the Atmakaraka, it forms Shakti Yoga. This is a specific combination for enormous power that can alter world events if the chart supports this conclusion. The power can be exercised for destruction of either good or evil, and this fact shall be determined by whether benefic or malefic planets respectively participate in the said Yoga. In mythic terms also this finds an exact counterpart, since we have instances where mythic understanding and power is used to accomplish ends at both extremes of the spectrum. However, Shakti Yoga is a permanent feature and may or may not be triggered by a participatory periodicity, especially in the Vimshottari scheme. The reason is that the static nature of the combination is due to the contemplation of Rashi Drishti or sign aspects rather than planetary sight, the latter being a greater indication of mental desire to accomplish things. There may be irony here, in that the Vimshottari of the participating planets may not give any hint that Shakti or power exists in the chart. Either a relevant Rashi Dasha is required or even more importantly, any auspicious Vimshottari Dasha that shall bring the higher aspects of the sullenly destroyed base matter to the surface. Apart from the Will of Brahman, nothing can bring together all these factors in just the right measure, at just the right time and that too only in a chart where talking about these factors makes sense.
Pausing at this point we must introduce two central points:
1. Even though it was clearly recommended that the Jyotishi, in this case also a successful adventurer must never judge a chart for hero-potential in abstraction, at the same time it must be obvious to all readers that when we talk of power and potential in human life, in astrological terms this must always mean powerful planets in the nativity. This is a necessary condition but one that must be looked for after the heroism shows itself either in death-like defeat or something highly unusual, since the hero is an elite.
2. The mythic journey of the Hero is no limp poetic incident that one interprets at leisure after it happens and compares notes with previous accounts of the same. The horoscopic chart will reveal exact events, timing and the measure of strength of the adventure. Thus, materialist mythology is useful for the blind man trying to find a foothold: ideally it is a potent and wonderful tool to sober the acute agony of the separation and to comfort the utterly pathetic hero with the information that not only is he not alone in his historic plight but also that all through the journey of mankind, chosen individuals have taken the task upon themselves to drink the poison of the collective humanity, Shiva like, and what is more, to digest it, rather than merely hold it in the throat, for out of assimilation will emerge the elixir of immortality.
The heroic tripod for the present day will rest on psychology, intellect and spirituality. The potion attained may be primarily individual in nature and yet benefit others. The massive problem confronting the world today is that there is no myth capable of satisfying the human need for sane reference in a world that is changing faster than the blinking of an eye. Jyotish is the only possible framework that can augment the valuable psychotherapeutic and mythic understanding we already have. Jyotish speaks a universal language. Even though it is a formal part of Hinduism, it makes no distinction between colour, caste, religion, nationality and race. All that has to be exercised is a modification of the theme by the Jyotishi, depending on the Desh-Kal-Patra, that is, an accounting for the differences in country, culture and individual.
If we replace the hero adventurer just taken with a man of puer tendencies, we would probably have to replace the separation Vimshottari with that of Mercury, placed in strength in Gemini, Virgo or some other benefic sign so that there is overwhelming artistic potential but without the realistic grounding of the senex, and that the quest will be necessitated to render the one-dimensional person a functional center of the universe. Just so, a misplaced sense of ego in a Sun Dasha could be the initiatory impulse with higher functions of the solar energy, like Brahman consciousness and a mature viewing of authority and power as one subset of the eventual gains. Once again, all kind of combinations reveal themselves depending on the planet chosen at the time of separation. But none of them actually work as effectively as the Rahu-Moon radical potency, just waiting to manifest the diametrical polarity extant in the world, one with no hope, no insights and no restraining formula and on the other hand, an equally powerful self-sufficiency. This appears to be a superior paradigm since it illuminates the real concept more clearly due to the contrast involved. This contrast is useful even otherwise since the adventure is always from one stage to another, even though it may not be a linear progress. There is optimism involved in choosing a protagonist with Shakti Yoga, inactivated thus far; all that has come to pass is a blind assault on the person's life. This has to be distinguished from perceptions surrounding the native. These latter have nothing to do with the actual state of affairs, at least not in principle. They properly belong to the Arudha world, the significator of which is the fickle, impressionable Moon, providing the gloss that sustains Maya, the illusion of the world, either through conventionally positive features falling in the kingdom of Pleasure, or its opposite, Pain. Both these qualities help to keep the illusion in place and they are very real within the Mayik framework. It is quite possible to spend innumerable lifetimes bobbing between this and other pairs of opposites without ever realizing that even though their effects have doubtless significance in existence, they can at least be seen for what they truly are. Arudha worlds can be studied through houses reckoned from the Arudha Lagna or from Arudha Padas of the various houses themselves. Thus we have the comic possibility of there being nothing but a realistic vacuum in the initiate's life at the time of separation and yet at a visible level of perception, there could have been considerable achievements and milestones. This is a Jyotish counterpart to the philosophical problem of Appearance and Reality, only in Jyotish there is no problem, just a solution and its clear visibility. This unambiguous visual is what Jyotish promises always since it is Gyan-Chakshu, The Eye of the Veda Purusha. Its primary function is to render visible what cannot be seen with Mayik eyes; no philosophical banter is required. (This has serious repercussions: so much coffee shall go undrunk in college cafes and filter-less cigarettes may become passe.)
Anyhow, the optimism is necessary, since the fresh sanguinity will be a counterpoise to the lengthy delusion. A Shakti Yoga Rahu, and if we further assume the hero to be a young man, yields a possibility of cosmic reversal. Jupiter always follows Rahu in the Vimshottari sequence and no better reversal is seen than in the total contrast between their personalities. Also, Jupiter is obviously the natural significator of optimism, divine sight and wisdom. Obviousness explains the distinction between aspiritual mythology and Jyotish. Guru must already signify confidence and substance since we have ruled out poetry as a dominant theme in Jyotish. We have the happy chance of being quite factual about magical transformation, something we cannot risk due to the complete fluidity and absence of the predictable fate-seed in material myth. Further, Jupiter is also the ruler-preceptor of the Vimshottari and could indicate mastery and unraveling of mental manifestations, since Vimshottari is a Nakshatric Dasha, based on the natal constellation occupied by the Moon. Thus, while Parashar has hailed it as the most useful Dasha for Kaliyug, it is mind-centric even though its predictive acumen is immense. This is because the mind has a reciprocal relationship with events; both influence each other in a set relationship. If they do not, then we have a mental illness showing some sort of dissociation. We cannot contemplate a Saturn period following a Rahu periodicity in Vimshottari since this would be intolerable for the raw and frail hero. He will succumb to the inhuman pressure. This would not be a case of the pseudo, and the reader would have noticed that an abrupt and tragic end was not ruled out for the genuine hero, and if Sade-Sati is added to this imaginary scenario, there is no chance of heroism manifesting. Thus, Saturn does not follow Rahu in the Vimshottari sequence, Jupiter does. Even a Saturn Antar in Jupiter Dasha can be extremely challenging as mentioned earlier. In the eye of the parallel Supreme Universe, this must be basic mathematics. Saturn is the significator of loss and misery and if after 18 years of Rahu, in Dasha Sandhi, Sade-Sati, if all the hero looks forward to is more undiluted misery, where is the contrast, where is the movement from point A to B and where is the realistic chance of even a theoretically winnable battle. By a parallel Supreme Universe is meant a system that puts free will in our universe in the same bracket as determinism, only that this bracket does not exist in this universe but in that.
Just as we can write Jupiter, rub it out and write Saturn, we can posit the existence of a divine scheme where this happens with the Vimshottari, as we know it. That it is not so shows destiny in much the same light as it is seen in the determination of whether someone is finally to be a hero or not, whether someone is to be a pseudo-pretender or the real thing and also if someone is to be a focused attempter but fail miserably and never have anything to show for it. Whether this last person will be seen as someone who flew too close to the Sun or as someone who bit off more than he could chew is again a factor that is contingent on how things are stacked in the charts. Just change the angle a little bit and the whole hue of the subject changes. Victory and defeat are almost fused; only Karma and relative station along the Karmic journey decide which is which and who is who.
Once again, symbolic linkages can be established between the child of the low birth cast away and the deluding, difficult to understand operation of Rahu. There is no need to equate literally. All that is required is to duplicate the difficulties associated with life realities as seen in one language, in the other. Thus, though the image of the helpless infant flowing along rapid currents in a mere basket is suggestive of a particular age, it is true that people come to maturity at very different times depending on the texture of their personal journey. So the helplessness and survival despite a psychological infancy and been tossed around in dangerous waters where predators abound, could be situation that extends to youth or even further. It would depend upon specific periodicities that have operated. However when we omit the puer we also omit starting strengths and though this makes the journey remarkably tougher for the hero since he has no active skills to fall back on, actually that is not a matter of concern for the observer. This is so because the quality of fate will ensure that the latent skills that have only shone briefly thus far and that too for others to see now reveal themselves for the hero to learn them actively. This has to happen for the adventure to be successful. It may be difficult for the hero to learn things as he goes along, especially as these are the very traits that are to be his shields and weapons. Just as well, for what good is a hero who does not battle difficulties. For the contrast to be immense, and for the elixir to be composed of sheer invincibility, this is a welcome situation. When we introduced special points above, we contemplated very powerful planets in the nativity along with assailed ones. The former arising, phoenix-like, and the latter ensuring that there is fertile ground to plant the seeds of growth in. Having chosen Rahu-Moon’s dissipated fabric, the contrast of Guru is nothing short of an antithesis. Guru is also the preceptor of the Gods and the Gods are interested in the preservation of their field of play; this is how they get their excitement. The deity associated with Jupiter is Indra, the forgotten king of the Gods. In our case, he is so utterly discarded in the preceding blindness that His supreme presence, with Thunderbolt and all, in the chart is as good as a mistake. This is only concealment and not actual absence. If the floundering child is not a future king, we do not have an adventure at all but just an instance of another birth to do away some terribly onerous Karma, loaded in a Sisyphus incarnation. Depending upon the need, the kingdom could be purely internal or external or, more commonly, a mutually interlocking combination of both. The heroic tripod can be placed anywhere it belongs. The world needs a trustworthy mythic skeleton so that humanity can race along the path of technological progress that it has embraced with such fervour and success and for that we must have charts full and packed with genuine life nutrients.
Even though a specific tripod has been chosen in this paper, it does not preclude someone with a serious muscular ailment (Mars) or some other physical challenge (Sun), or indeed any other form of obstacle to be surmounted. There is enough play in the theme to incorporate all these variations. Generally, though, Dasha Sandhi and Sade-Sati appear to give a very solid Jyotish foundation to the mythic journey. Apart from the contrast and instilling a growth factor, the simultaneous presence of afflicted and powerful planets give the opportunity of having experience, that ultimate realization of the true worth of things, at least as they appear to the native. This individuation is the greatest beauty of western life. Combined with the universal power of Indian spirituality it is nothing short of fostering a unified revelation of the Shamanic breakthrough and the impersonal grace of Indian realization. This may also be an indication that liberation is not be found from actions but in them for one is always performing Karma in any incarnation: it is a given condition of life.
Both the puer and senex will come around after the chosen one dives deep, cut off from all he has known and understood, no matter with how much vagueness. The inexorability of fate and the chains that bind the hero to his new environment, deep in the center of the earth, of lost in the depths of the cosmic ocean, the hero undergoes excruciating agony as his natally afflicted blind mind is killed by Saturn's unrelenting oppression. His futile adolescent attempts to flee have already met with failure and he finds no foothold to stop the slide. Unknown to him, benefic planets have begun to protect him and meaningful instructions have begun to arrive even in his solitary and maddening exclusion. He may view them as his pathetic life and its realities but these are the very basics upon which he shall build his remarkable enterprise. The Soul Of The World guides his every move. This is the Initiation that has begun without a clear announcement. The fluidity of the journey does not have clear demarcations between mythic zones. Only the compulsory Journal he keeps through these years can provide connective threads to the unbelievable events that occur. This phase is likened to a schizophrenic breakdown, and in the darkness of his soul, the hero may attempt to fine-tune his ego-death and the shameful perversion of his waking failure. This may take the form of almost total silence or in his infected, solitary privacy he may devise a twisted vocabulary of his own to ridicule the world that will have nothing to do with him before he can be effectively reborn. This is Saturn's transformation of the Mind, a razor's edge, and the slightest withdrawing of the benefic protection can be fatal. It will not be but it can be. There is just no power in our practical, soulless imagination that we call the world that can assure us that it will be one way or the other. Only occult ability can advise us as to the exact nature of the situation. Jyotish is really handy here. In some parts of the world, there is a phenomenon of seven years of bad luck if you break a mirror. In Sade-Sati there is total bad luck if viewed from a certain viewpoint but we can determine what is the underlying rationale behind this hateful killing. For the hero, the scarring of his insides as the mirror of his soul shatters, no matter how cloudy it may have been to begin with, is for a reason. The Initiation is too elaborate to capture in a brief essay. The groundwork is prepared by the scrubbing of Saturn and the areas of life that will be overtly affected will be indicated by the houses as counted from Ascendant, where Saturn influences the radical Moon. The actual understanding and teaching will emerge from the activating of the benefic planet, especially after Sandhi is over. In the sub-period of another powerful and related benefic, the hero will be able to lift up his head and peer around. He will try to speak, falteringly at first and then with increasing confidence. The betrayals and the end of innocence will become mature and transform into altered reference-frames that will herald a newer psyche. Though this is not the Return itself, it can be taken to be the twilight zone between the disappearance of the person and his recreated emergence. The suicidal and humiliation operation of Saturn on the Moon-Mind serves the purpose of bringing to light the absolute need for a drastic mental reorientation. The self-hate and fear are but indications of an inner incompetence to exist successfully. Once this is transcended, there is a polished personality that emerges. All the chinks in the armour have been so meticulously exposed, heartlessly and brutally by Saturn, that there is no option but to accept them, learn unequivocal affirmation, and then attempt to redesign the whole so that it can not only exist but also do so as a sort of model. Fear is often mere ignorance and immaturity that is being refused recognition. Thus the populist saying: There is nothing to fear except fear itself. In astrology, compulsive fear will be easily seen as a life attribute by the affliction to the Moon. Only two planets can bring fear of this quality, Rahu and Saturn. The other malefics bring rage and other qualities but never fear. Moon and Mercury and Lagna, as too these factors in Navamsha chart may bring attributes of this nature by associating with Saturn's signs, this planet being the strongest significator of real and reasonable fear. Yet, as far as planets go, our attentions are to be focused on Rahu and Saturn. Assimilation of malefic tendencies is akin to battling a demon and emerging victorious. Even if the demon is immortal, his presence, once acknowledged and understood, is no longer threatening.
The transformed hero will only return for good once the Sade-Sati is over and another benefic sub-period coincides almost exactly, as if on cue, with this event. There may be an intervening period where spiritual maturity is the main idea, getting the protagonist used to the fact the Brahman plays in the world with different shades. The intense clarity of the Initiation will appear in a different light in the waking world. This is only natural but the hero is so used to his traumatic association with his crystal-clear ideas that the intervening phase just before a universally visible return is to ensure that the difference of shade and tone is not construed as a loss of the boons. The hero can return in any of the known forms and creativity is never disallowed in an adventure that is concerned mainly with creation anew of a decayed entity. He could escape, or be rescued from the outside or gently escorted by forces that appear as transformed as he is and those who have accompanied his journey. Themes of these two stages will be intertwined, depending on what horoscopic factors are afflicted by Saturn. The malefic forces will be significations, both natural and temporal of these planets, and their hostility will be transformed into a helping attitude and if there is a group tendency in the chart where benefics join hands and malefics show other areas then other avenues could open. Vipreeta Raja Yogas (VRY) could play a part since they involve association of evil lords with each other or with these houses. The very definition of a VRY is that it gives results fruits after great losses and misery but the benefits are also tremendous when they begin to come. Notably, Saturn is the significator of adversity, and its benefits will come delayed and with pressures. If the pressures are for a reason, then it will be seen that great things mature slowly. Saturn pressurizes underground, delays, toasts the soul in misery and adversity, so that all the dross is burnt and the higher lights of the planetary forces find adequate crucibles in which to shine. Hitherto battered forces, that harbour happy content within and are simply waiting for Saturn's transit affliction to cease, can condition the return.
The end of the Sade-Sati is said to pave the way for a re-establishing in society, depending on the planetary configurations and transits that follow. Raw intelligence will find a focus with which to aim itself at study, analysis and life itself. Life is too diverse and beset with opposites; it is important to know what to spend time on. In our case, a lack of spiritual awareness will transform into a life led primarily by a practical understanding of the working of the spirit. The fears and joys, the highs and lows of the old psychology will become illuminated and the native will be centered enough to watch them unfold in his life, rather than letting mental forces rip him open whenever they pleased. Crucially, it will help if the Sade-Sati Saturn at some point in the entire also transits all the benefic strengths of the chart seven-and-a-half years period. This will ensure that an illusory ego does not come in when benefics apply effective potions on serious wounds. The real worth of the benefic forces is contingent on God. If misery overwhelms them through the Saturn transit, the anticipation of great results in the initiation will be fraught with greater despair. The other benefic transits will also not give the results they otherwise would. These occult arts are meant to provide an understanding of the Will of Existence and not to create conduits through which mental hysteria can be imposed on God. The remedial measures in astrology are an attempt to strengthen armours and sharpen swords, to create a system of workable pragmatic alchemy through Mantras, Yantras, Tantras and Gemstones. They seek to draw the best possible results from a given situation and could fall in the realm of free willed advance, the subset of which could be just as determined as determinism on planet earth, albeit in another structure in another reality. With the apex and bases of the heroic tripod so radically transformed, further judgment can be made of the intent of the one who has been so blessed. Just as Shakti Yoga when involved with malefics shows the destruction of evil forces, and when with benefics, the destruction of good, and the master of ritual can be judged by the aspect of benefics on the trines from Karakamsha along with the malefic influence that makes him an adept in the first place, the heroic chart can be easily seen as being a potent blessing or a dangerous curse. But these are secondary facts. An assumption is made that the romantic hero seeking transformation and growth and to couch his acuity in senex longevity is not one to abuse any visible powers that may exist in the chart.
While on abuse, different shades have to be both unified and distinguished. At one time, the frail base matter may abuse himself out of fear: this could be negative thinking or substance abuse or any other means. There could be inexplicable hostility in the environment which will make a later turning away more plausible so that deeper currents might be fathomed. Though this abuse has its roots in different places, sometimes within the hero and sometimes within people around him. But there is a unity in that it all serves a single purpose. The major difference is in the outcome. When adversity and challenges are successfully assimilated, we have an enlarged consciousness. Whether for himself or for the world around him, or both, a rebirth has taken place. In the absence of ritual, and focused education to accomplish this task, we must look to Jyotish to either provide a functional mythology that itself transforms or a pedagogy that aids this transformation in others. Like with other features, any number of combinations can be devised to work out the various functions that astrological symbols can serve.

ANURAG SHARMA.
INDIA.
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