Many think that believing in astrology make one believe in fatalism and conclude that it is hindrance to progress. But this is pessimistic call, in my personal experience in this field for 40 years, astrology is other way i.e. astrology helped many individual to take better decision based on their inherent strength. To explain this with an analogy seeking astrologer’s guidance is like taking map with you during your travel which helps to reach the destination quickly with less confusion. One has to understand Karma theory to appreciate this aspect of astrology, I will touch up some portion of karma today, please refer our previous post here to know how Karma theory relates to astrology.
There are three types of Karma viz., Sanchita, Parabdha and Agami. For the present topic of interest we will consider Sanchita & Parabdha and leave Agami for now. Sanchita is stored karma based on our past acts whereas Parabdha is what we do with our present state of existence. Planetary position in the horoscope are simply indicating the karmic results that are stored based on previous karma, one can augment or minimize the past karmic results by Parabdha karma by the aid of will power.
Let me explain with a simple mathematical equation, let us consider person A is bestowed with equation 5X2+10X in one aspect of life. What outcome that person would get based on his equation is purely depend on what he substitutes to X which is complete free will of person A. Thus to conclude astrology is not about fate or destiny, it simply indicates the good or evil effects of previous karma and leaves it to man to build his future.
In this post, we are going to analyze about the popular myth that Astrology supports geocentric theory, i.e earth is the center of the solar system with Sun and other planets revolving around earth. With this single mis-interpretation, many come to the conclusion that Astrology is not scientific. I would like to stress the point from the earlier post that Astrology is the study of planetary influence on human life on earth. Hence earth is taken as the point of observation. This has lead to the myth that astrology supports geocentric theory. As an student of astrology I strongly believe that the ancient seers on India who authored Astrology, who could calculate planetary positions for past, present and future, who had divine knowledge; certainly could have known that planets including earth revolved around the Sun. But science demands reason, logic and evidence. This article is dedicated to all those science lovers who are willing to analyze, think logically and decide for themselves.
Let us look deep into the horoscope and try to figure out what was the understanding, our ancient Astrologer had about the solar system. Horoscope is nothing but the position of planets as seen from Earth(which is why you see Earth is marked in the center of the horoscope shown below) at a particular time mapped in a frame of reference called Zodiac. For info on the Zodiac, please refer the previous post. Earth is the point of observation or the point where humans are located, hence it is completely logical that for the study of Planetary influence on human life, Earth is taken to be the center point of the horoscope, but that itself doesn’t mean that other planets are revolving around the Earth.
The definition of Geocentric model say that the “Earth is the center of the universe, and that all other objects orbit around it. The stars, sun, and planets appear to revolve around the Earth each day”. Firstly, in Astrology Earth is the center of observation and not the center of universe. Secondly none of the planets in a horoscope complete one revolution around the zodiac in a single day. Let us take Sun for example, if Sun was revolving around earth, by observation through naked eye we know that Sun travels around the east to west in half a day and come back to eastern horizon the next day morning. Hence Sun should take one day to travel around the earth, which is what Geocentric theory says. But in a horoscope as illustrated above(Click on image to enlarge) casted for two different dates, that is not true, for Sun to come back to the same point in Zodiac, it take one year. Hence it is obvious that Astrologer were aware of the fact that either Earth takes one year to revolve around the Sun or Sun takes one year to revolve around the earth, which we haven’t concluded yet. In fact none of the planets in a horoscope completes a full round in one day.
The above table compares the period of revolution of planets around Sun and in a zodiac as observed from earth which is the horoscope. As you can see that for outer orbit planets(compared to earth) the period of revolution around Sun and in horoscope matches exactly. For inner orbit planets there is a slight deviation which we will see later. The fourth column is very interesting. All planets in horoscope moves in the clockwise direction, but while in retrograde motion, they move in the reverse direction for certain period of time and then continue to move in their usual clockwise direction. You can imagine retrograde motion to an overtaking car, while overtaking with respect to the speeding car the slower car appears to move backward. In a circular/elliptical revolution, if for example Saturn were to revolve around Earth, there is no possibility of retrograde motion however elliptical the path may be. Saturn could be seen moving slower or faster at apogee and perigee but never in the reverse direction. Retrograde motion is possible only when there is a relative motion between two objects revolving around the third object, which proves beyond any doubt that Astrology doesn’t fit into Geocentric theory. It is interesting to note that only Sun and Moon doesn’t have retrograde motion as seen from Earth, because one is revolving around the other object.
Outer orbit planets(Saturn, Jupiter, Mars) have retrograde motion once in year when they are exactly opposite to Sun in the horoscope, which clearly shows that they are revolving around the Sun. Recalling the fact that Earth is in the center of the horoscope, when Saturn is opposite to Sun in the horoscope means; Sun, Earth and Saturn line up in a straight line. We also know that the outer orbit planets takes longer time to revolve around the Sun. Hence when Earth which is moving faster compared to the outer orbit planet, overtakes Saturn momentarily Saturn appears to retrogate(move backward) as seen from Earth.
Let us come to Mercury and Venus. Astrology calls these planets as inferior orbit planets or inner orbit planets. If you take a horoscope for any point in time, we can always notice that Mercury is within 60 degrees from that of Sun and Venus is with-in 90 degrees from Sun. Also, if we observe the position of Mercury, Venus and Sun for different date and time in a horoscope, we can observe that Mercury and Venus are moving to and forth across the Sun. The too and forth movement across the Sun clearly indicates that Mercury and Venus are revolving around the Sun. That is the reason why as seen from earth(Column-3), the period of revolution of Mecury and Venus is approximately 1 year coinciding with Sun’s movement. If I am able to understand this, I don’t believe that our super intelligent Astrologers couldn’t.
Last and interesting is our Moon. Moon can be understood to be the closest object to earth by it mere size as seen from Earth. Moon doesn’t have retrograde motion, hence it can’t be an outer orbit planet. Moon doesn’t go too & forth across Sun, hence it can’t be an inner orbit planet. Moon is the fastest moving object in the horoscope. Moon revolving around earth can be inferred from the fact that Lunar and Solar eclipse occur within a gap of 15 days, i.e for Moon to come from behind the Earth to between earth and Sun it takes 15 days, and for one complete revolution around earth take 30 days as can be seen in the horoscope.
Now we know that Earth has a relative motion and to calculate the position of a particular planet in future, you need to know, not only the motion of the other planet but also that of earth. Observing Sun and Moons movement from Earth is straight forward, because we are dealing with bilateral movement of two objects (Sun-Earth, Moon-Earth). But when dealing with Mecury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Venus, we are observing the movement of two objects (eg Mercury revolving around Sun) from a third object which is Earth, hence the complexity of calculations increases, since for calculating the movement of Mercury(as seen from earth), the movement of earth should also be taken into consideration. Our Astrologers have mastered all these movements and were able to calculate the position of planets as seen from earth for any point of time in past, present and future. How were they able to do this, without a telescope or any other equipment, is it possible without deep understanding of the Solar system? Whether to call it mystic science or divine knowledge is up to you.
To summarize, astrology perfectly fits into the heliocentric model of Solar system. Horoscope focuses movement of all objects with reference to Earth, incorporating the knowledge of movement of planets around Sun including that of Earth.
Have you ever been wondered why astrological prediction on daily newspaper based on Sun and Moon sign are too general and not applicable to you many times? To know the reason you need to understand the difference between Sun Sign, Moon Sign and Rising Sign.
Sun Sign: Sun sign is the sign (or Constellation) in which sun can be seen from the earth at any point of time. Since sun will be seen in same constellation for ~30 days, any two people born within 30 days of sun transit between constellations (Sun will be in same position, since earth is moving around the sun we will be observing sun transit) will have same sun sign. Let me explain with an example, everyone knows that earth takes one year to complete one revolution around the sun. Since our point of observation is from earth, sun will be seen in 12 different constellations during 12 months.
If you look at the above chart (Horoscope generated for Apr 10th 2014 7PM, Chennai) Sun is Pieces constellation (Sign – 12).
Look at the chart above which is generated for May 10th 2014 7PM Chennai, Sun is at Aries constellation (Sign -1).
Now look at the chart above which is generated for Apr 10th 2015 7PM, Chennai, Sun is again in pieces constellation (Sign – 12). From the above three chart one can logically understand that viewing from earth sun can be seen in each constellations for ~30 days in a year and will be seen on same constellation again exactly after one year.
Moon Sign: Moon sign is the sign (constellation) in which moon seen from the earth at any point of time. Moon takes ~28 days to complete one revolution around the earth, so moon will be viewed in same constellation for ~2.3 days. Any two people born between ~2.3 days between moon transitions will have same moon sign.
Rising Sign (Ascendant): Ascendant sign is eastern point of the sign (Constellation) viewed from the earth at any point of time. Earth takes 24 hours to complete its self revolution, so eastern point of the sign viewed from earth will vary for every ~2 hours (24 hours/12 Constellations). From this it is logical that rising sign is depend of time of birth of the person and hence astrologers give much importance to rising sign in predicting life events of individuals. Next logical question that arise in our mind is why our ancestors choose sign that rises on eastern point as rising sign? Think what you see every day in the east. Will you able to relate?
In summary Sun Sign will be same for all born on same month, Moon Sign will be same for all born on same day where as rising sign will be unique based on individuals time of birth. Let me explain with a analogy, Sun Sign & Moon Sign predictions are like taking Paracetamol for fever, it will work out at times if it is general ailment, whereas Rising Sign prediction are like taking antibiotic based on doctor’s complete analysis of your body which will work for sure. Now I will leave it to you to conclude by yourself which basis of prediction will be more accurate.
- Written by Elango Annamalai and Muthu Vijayan Elango
Astrology is a mystic science, well it will continue to be until science become advanced enough to decode the mystic formulas. Astrology is not completely mystic by today’s science; we can call it 50% science and 50% mystic. We are going to analyze about the 50% scientific part first and look at the mystic part later. The objective it to enlighten people who still believe astrology is 0% science. In this post we are going to see what a ZODIAC is.
A horoscope of a person is the position of planets at the time of the birth of the individual as observed from earth. The positions of planets are mapped in circular reference called Zodiac. As most of us know, Zodiac consists of 12 signs which are also called as constellations. Why did our ancestors choose this set of 12 signs or constellation to map the position of planets? What is special about the Zodiac? Well let us get deeper and logical.
To mark the position of an object, the foremost thing is a reference frame, i.e. the position of planet has to be marked against something, that something is the zodiac. Let us take three persons (A, B, C) standing in a line side by side. For person-A, person-B is standing to the left, but for person-C, person-B is standing to the right, from which we can understand that position is relative. Let us see one more example, For the person in London, at 1200 GMT, the sun is above his head, if he calls his friend in India at that time and ask for the position of sun, the friend in India would tell him, Sun is at the west, another friends in Singapore would tell him that he is having his dinner. Though the position of Sun is same at that point in time, the difference in observation is due to difference in location. If all three want to communicate on the same term, they need a common reference using which they can tell the same position where ever they are. Hope the need for a common reference frame is clear.
There is one more major hurdle when we thing about plotting position of planets on a piece of paper, planets are moving in a three dimensional space, how is it possible to map it in a two dimensional piece of paper? Asking this question is the key to further understanding. It is possible, as we do in a horoscope, because of one astronomical fact. The fact is that all the planets from mercury to Saturn including earth revolve around our Sun in the same plane. i.e. the path of earth around Sun and path of Jupiter around Sun lie in the same plane, so does is that of Mercury, Venus, Mars and Saturn.
Let me stress the point which was mentioned earlier, we are plotting the position of planets as observed from earth. We are talking about influence of planets on human life. Since we are on earth it is logical that the point of observation is earth. There is a wrong misconception that Astrology supports geocentric theory, logical answers to prove that our ancestors knew that all planets were revolving around the Sun will form the basis for the next article.
Let us come back to the reference frame. The properties of the reference frame should be that is should encompass our entire solar system and it should be big enough so that the position on planets observed with this reference should not change where ever we are located on earth. Zodiac is the one with all these qualities. You can imagine our solar system as circles(path of planets around Sun) with Sun as the center, Zodiac is the big circle around our solar system. Zodiac consist of 12 constellations (group of stars) each spanning 30 degrees (360 divided by 12). Each constellation has a unique set of stars forming a unique shape which help us to easily identify the constellation or sign.
The following amazing facts make the Zodiac the perfect frame of reference.
1) As mentioned earlier, the path of revolution of all planets around the sun lie in the same plane. Amazingly Zodiac also lies in the same plane.
2) We (our solar system) are located in the center of the Zodiac.
3)The diameter of the solar system is negligible when compared to the diameter of the Zodiac. As the size of earth and other planets are a dot compared to the size of the Zodiac, the observation on the position of planets is same when viewed from any point on the earth.
Let me try to explain using an example. The chart shown aside is the horoscope for Singapore latitude on April 5th 2014, 4am, i.e. the position of the planets as seen from Singapore at that time and date. Some of you might ask, can we use this map to locate the planets in sky, of course you can star gaze using this chart. To help you read the chart, you need to know some fundamental things. “As” in the chart means Ascendent-the eastern point at that point in time, in this case “As” falls on sign number 11. 180 degrees from there is the west which is sign 5. Starting from East moving anticlockwise is the part of the zodiac above us; i.e. sign-8 will be right above our head.
Tomorrow(05-Apr-2014) morning if you wake up early look at the eastern horizon right before sun rise, you can observe a brilliant white beautiful star like object, which is planet Venus. In the chart you see Venus is in the eastern horizon in Sign-11. Look above your head (little bit towards western horizon), you can observe Saturn in dull white. Both are clearly visible to the naked eye. Little west to Saturn you need to concentrate little harder to observe our Mars in faint red color.
Each of the signs (boxes) are numbered from 1 to 12. Each sign is a constellation. Sign-11 is Aquarius. We say Venus is in Aquarius at that time because we see Venus in the background of Aquarius. Similarly we say Jupiter is in Gemini (Sgin-3) because we see Jupiter in the background of Gemini. Hence all the positions we say are with respect to observation from earth, because we are talking about the influence of planets on human life on earth. From where ever we are on earth, we can observer Venus in the constellation of Aquarius and similarly all planets will be seen at the same sign where ever we are on earth, only Ascendant (AS) will change depending on our location. Amazing right, do you think our ancestors chose Zodiac as the reference frame with-out knowing all these fact.
Astrology and Karma are interrelated and hence one cannot appreciate astrology unless understand the concept of Karma. Do we decide our parents or parents gave us life? Is this universe is ruled by laws (certain) or chance? Does soul have death? Does Newton’s third law (for every action there will be equal and opposite reaction) hold good for life? All these questions are interrelated with each other when we try to understand about the concept of Karma. Karma theory is the most important phenomenon without which no one can explain the disparities in human life.
Universe is operating in certain harmony; nature is always working to restore equilibrium when the harmony is disturbed by man’s act. Similar to man with his action trying to bend a stick and stick will automatically regain to its original state. So Karma neither rewards nor punishes, it only restores its lost harmony. It is the man who suffer or rejoice based on his past acts. If someone do bodily or wordily harm to other, the person has to suffer for the same (If Newton’s law ‘for every action there will be equal and opposite reaction’ holds good for every object then it should also be true for every thought and action).
Man’s present existence is mere repetition of his previous existence connecting the past with the future. So any action performed by man may fructify in a minute or day or a year or in a life or in several life. Collective actions performed by everyone will remain in the form of something unseen till the time of fructification (Refer Jung’s collective unconscious for better understanding). According to karma theory when one dies his soul which is enveloped in a subtle body and invested with sum of total good and bad actions/thoughts passes in to another physical body based on deeds done by him in his previous life and continues its journey until emancipation. So the statement parent gave us life becomes absurd. Prof. B. Suryanarain Rao observes this “Before the birth of child, it has karma to its credit and as a result of that karma it takes birth in a particular family with particular surroundings, special physical features and noticeable mental inclination”.
Great thinkers, philosophers, composers and genius are repetition of other thinkers, philosophers, composers who died on other stars or earth. Karma theory explains why there is significant difference between two people born on same time (Even twin brothers who born and brought up in same environment). To conclude, one should not consider karma as limiting factor of life instead should understand that in born intellectual are because of this cause effect phenomenon.
Many think that astrology and karma limit us to believe in fatalism and leaves no space for growth. My next post will be around this and some of other misconception.
- Elango Annamalai & Muthu Vijayan Elango
1) Planetary influence on Human affairs by Dr. B.V. Raman
The above diagram is the horoscope of a famous personality. What can we tell from it? We can tell whether the person was born at night or day, we can tell what time of the day the person was born, we can tell whether it was waning moon or waxing moon on that day, and one step further we can tell the date of birth of the person. Well a lot of more things can be said. Suppose we are at the age before calendars we invented, just by seeing the above diagram, we can tell whether it was summer or winter, we can tell when the next eclipse will occur, etc. Are you wondering what a horoscope is, well horoscope is nothing but the map of the sky or position of planets at the time of birth of the person.
You may be wondering, if I am talking about astronomy or astrology. The answer is both. Astrology and Astronomy always go hand in hand, in modern times since Astronomy is proven by modern science and because it covers objects outside our solar system, it was separated into a separate science. But astrology remains a mystic science and doesn’t command much respect among modern thinkers as astronomy does. If we see the history careful, all the prominent astronomers had belief in astrology like Aryabhatta, Newton, Galileo, Keppler. I would call astrology a mystic science not because it is false, but because of the inability of modern science to prove it. May be that is the way God wanted it to be.
Various cultures and traditions have different forms of astrology eg. Vedic(Indian), Chinese, Egyptian, Western astrology, etc. I would be talking about the Indian astrology, one I am familiar with. The origin of astrology is not known yet; some believe it exists since 3000BC. There are many reference in Mahabharata about astrology, in fact one of the Pandavas (Sahadeva) was an expert astrologer. From the astronomical evidences given in Mahabharata, the Kurushetra war has been dated to 1000BC. There are evidences in history, of astrologers having predicted the nature of death of Alexander the great, Julius Caesar and Napoleon. The predictions of Dr.B.V.Raman, during the Second World War were astonishingly true. There are very many facts that prove Astrology can withstand the test of time.
Before Keppler could formulate the planetary motion, before Newton could discover the gravitation force, before Galileo could prove Heliocentric model, and even before westerns were arguing about a spherical earth, ancient Indian astrologers were able to calculate not only the current position of planets, but accurate position of planets in past, present and future. It is a common practice even today of astrologer giving planetary position for the coming year and some for a decade ahead using the same old method in what is called a Panchang. There are two main steps in Astrology before coming to the point of giving predictions, one is casting the horoscope for the birth time of the individual, second is the studying the impact on the individual based on the position of the planets. The first step is unquestionably accurate and has been proven by modern science but the second step is yet to derive (modern) science explanation. It is not fair to blindly reject the astrological work of such great Maharishis like Parasara, Varahamira, etc who had deep understanding of the universe.
Earth is under the influence of numerous heavenly bodies, particularly the sun, moon and other planets in the solar system because of their size and proximity to earth. Tides, volcanoes, earthquakes, and many other physical phenomenons is a result of these influences. It is logical that the planets can influence man on earth, since human body is made up of earthly mater like water, iron, calcium, etc. It is a known fact that lunatics (lunar – moon, lunatic – mentally ill person) become hyper active on full moon days.
Late Dr.B.V.Raman, a modern day astrologer has renewed enthusiasm in astrology. He has written many books explaining the science behind astrology. The purpose of this article is not to bring in belief in astrology but to make you think rationally before rejecting this conventional belief. Today’s astrologers cannot be compared with the ancient day’s astrologers who didn’t need a telescope or satellite to see the world as it is. Interpretation of one’s horoscope depends on the astrologer’s skill; of course it is not an easy task to master this divine skill. If some predictions go wrong it is solely due to the astrologer’s misinterpretation and not that astrology is defective.
A quote from B.V.Raman to conclude with
Those who know Astrology can only indicate in a way what will take place in future. Who else, except the Creator, Brahma, can say with certainty what will definitely happen?” – B. V. Raman