Besides theoretical knowledge vedic astrology has a practical application. Just as science uncovers new forms of energy in the outer world, like electric or nuclear forces, astrology and Yogic sciences can connect us with new forms of energy.
The purpose of astrology is not just to give us a broader knowledge of ourselves but also to provide with tools and methods to access the deeper layers of our nature and to better deal with the forces of our subtle environment.
Western astrology is more concerned with theory than with practice. It lacks any consistently defined technique for balancing or adjusting planetary influences. Medieval western astrology had such methods, with the uses of
gems, metals, herbs, and incantations to deal with astrological influences. These, along with the other occult and mystical sciences of medieval Europe, were dismissed and discarded as unscientific. Like medieval science all over the world,
European astrology often degenerated into confusion, corruption and superstition, but it still had a core of truth to it which is still useful today.
Such methods deal with a different and more inward domain of nature and they were better preserved in India, the land of Yoga, religion and spiritual philosophy. In jyotish, the use of gems, colors, mantras, deities, rituals,
and other means of adjusting our subtle environment have always been part of the science of consciousness in the teachings of Yoga. As modem science once more discovers the effect of these subtle energies
like the value of meditation to improve the function of the brain, the scientific basis of astrology and astrological treatment methods will return.
However, this requires looking beyond the physical, material, or chemical aspect of nature, and seeing an energy of life, intelligence and consciousness behind the workings of the cosmos, which organizes time and space according to a higher will and intention.
Today most western astrologers use the tools of modern psychology to deal with their clients - largely different forms of analysis. These mainly come from the psychologies like the Jungian, as Jung himself used astrology.
They explore the personal and emotional issues of their clients, using the birth chart as a kind of key to the unconscious. In this way, they try to help clients arrive at a greater clarity about themselves, their needs and their actions.
They usually direct them toward some personal or creative fulfillment, not necessarily to any higher consciousness. The changes they suggest are mainly those of attitude and life-style.
They seldom involve any conscious methods to improve their subtle or psychic environment.
Most western astrologers have few practical methods, though some of the older methods, like the use of gems and herbs to balance planetary influences, are being reintroduced.
Even here, there is much variation on how these means are interpreted and applied. Most of the knowledge left over from the Middle Ages has been discarded. Often each astrologer develops his or her own system.
Some use occult and spiritual methods, like attunement with various masters or with the seven rays, or opening up past life influences. These approaches derive mainly from Theosophy or from Alice Bailey,
who in turn based their work on the teachings of the Hindu and Buddhist sages, modifying and modernizing them. Other try to apply modern nutrition, western herbology, or macrobiotics to the birth chart for medical treatment.
While it is a highly creative field, many of these approaches may not stand the test of time, though they may work well for one practitioner or another. Some of these methods, however, will be found useful and much of
Vedic astrology may be helpful in directing them in the right way.
A typical modern astrological reading may not give the client anything to do about their planetary influences other than to be aware of them to try to understand them in their mind or in terms of their personal life.
Hence, a client may leave feeling helpless before the forces of their life, warned as to a danger, but not given any practical means of averting it.
Vedic astrology, on the other hand, is as much concerned with directing the client how to balance their planetary influences as it is with informing them as to what these influences may be. This sometimes takes the greater part of the reading.
Like a good doctor, they may be more interested in telling their clients what they can do to improve their condition, rather than simply notifying them what it is. They provide a prescription of things to do, not just a diagnosis of the condition.
In this regard, the true astrologer is like a doctor of the psyche. He should know how to deal with the subtle energies of life on various levels.
Who we look up to as our healers is often the measure of who we are. That we look up to mere healers of the physical body shows that the body is where we find our greatest value in life. It is not a good comment on how much we are connected to our souls.
In fact, most of our modern thinkers not only consider astrology to be untrue, they would find an astrological treatment method for physical, psychological, or spiritual issues to be presumptuous, if not dangerous.
Yet if all the cosmos is linked together, it would be dangerous to think otherwise. How can we find harmony and balance if we do not even acknowledge our connection with the universe itself?
This is not just a matter of recognizing how chemical and atomic forces affect us. It is a matter of opening up to the power of intelligence behind the universe, which is far more than mere intellect can comprehend.
Astrology can be one of our links to this cosmic intelligence and its healing and transformative power. It is one of the prime and natural gateways to the soul, both in its individual and cosmic aspects.
Vedic astrology has a practical base, and its concern is to help us implement a life regime in harmony with the stars. From its point of view, we cannot live in harmony with the cosmos by maintaining our usual life-style or enhancing it with some theoretical knowledge.
We need a practical daily way of attunement with the cosmos and its influences. Such methods are not only astrological but religious and spiritual. They entail using the subtle forces around us, like gems and colors, and more internal methods of ritual,
mantra and meditation. If we are not doing such things on a daily basis, our knowledge or study of astrology may not be able to change our lives.
Remedial measures in astrology
There are complex ways of determining which planets are to be strengthened in a chart. However, the first basic principle is simple - a planet should generally be strengthened if it is weak. The caution is that we should be careful in strengthening natural malefic
planets like Saturn, even when they are weak. It is benefics when weak that are safe to strengthen.
We must gauge the power and effect of planets both naturally and temporally, as per house rulership. Natural benefics are Jupiter, Venus, the Moon when bright, and Mercury when not under malefic aspect.
Temporally, they are the lords of benefic houses (1, 5, 9). Hence, we can strengthen natural malefics when weak, if they are temporal benefice, like Saturn for Libra ascendant, or Mars for Cancer and Leo ascendants.
Besides strengthening weak planets, it is often helpful to strengthen those planets which rule the ascendant or the 9th house, even when not weak. They can help increase the positive energy in the chart, as they are usually the prime benefics within it.
A planet that is well-placed and benefic can be strengthened, and it will not be harmful, but this may not be as helpful as to strengthen those benefics which are weak or ill-placed. Some astrologers strengthen both the weakest and the strongest planet in the chart, as long as neither one is malefic.
We should exercise some scrutiny in using these astrological treatment methods, however. For example, many of the indications of a weak Sun and a weak Mars are similar, as they both indicate low fire and a weak will.
The difference is that a weak Sun usually gives a poor self-image, whereas a weak Mars creates lack of motivation and poor work ability. Hence, if we can get a Vedic astrological reading, or at least look at our Vedic chart,
it can be very helpful for determining which of these measures are appropriate. In this regard, the use of substances like gems or herbs can be more dangerous than the use of mantra or meditation.
In fact, we often use mantra and meditation to ward off the planetary influences which may be afflicting us, like a too strong Saturn, Rahu, or Mars. Yet we do not strengthen these planets with gems or herbs under such conditions.
It is generally a good thing for all of us to acknowledge and propitiate the planets occasionally through mantra, meditation, or ritual, as we all have to work through their forces.
In the use of gems, the quality of the gem is one factor, the other factor is how we purify and energize it. Gems should be of good quality and without flaws. Yet gems may function to strengthen either the higher or the lower influences of the planets,
depending upon how we use them. A gem for Venus, for example, may just serve to increase emotional vulnerability and attachment, or merely give us more pleasure or wealth in life if we use it on a lower level.
For it to increase love and creativity (the higher powers of Venus), we must approach it with some spiritual intention, or have a highly spiritual nature to begin with. Hence, merely to use gems does not itself guarantee that they will improve our condition spiritually.
Used wrongly, they can confuse or disturb us on a subtle astral level. For this reason, gems should be cleared and empowered with mantras or other spiritual influences and intentions.
Gems are usually worn on the finger belonging to the planet.
- index finger - Jupiter
- middle finger - Saturn
- ring finger - Sun
- little finger - Mercury
The gems for the other planets can be worn on the fingers of planets that they are friends with, naturally or temporally. Gems should be set so as to touch the skin (open at the bottom).
Please note that planets are not always weak in all respects of their influence. A person may have a weak Sun in terms of career, as in failure to achieve any independence or recognition, but not necessarily have a weak Sun in terms of health (they may not have a weak heart). We have combined these indications together below, but this does not mean that they always occur together.
Malefics, like Saturn, Mars, Rahu and Ketu, create difficulties both when they are too strong and when they are too weak. When they are too strong, they usually weaken other planets, and it is these other planets that we must strengthen with the appropriate measures.
Yet these two conditions may be related. Malefics may spoil other planets even when they are weak. Hence under them the weak and deranged aspects of their energy tend to go together. Generally, when we strengthen a weak malefic, we should strengthen a friendly benefic as well.
If we strengthen Saturn, for example, it is good to strengthen Venus or Mercury. This helps bring out the positive side of the naturally malefic planet.
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