I was recently teaching a class, and my students encouraged me to portray the elemental energies to them dramatically. Immediately, the energy in the room lit up, and the discussions became much more alive. It reminded me that the best astrology reading is not just a mental exercise in pattern recognition, but instead the actual embodiment of a person's chart by the astrologer.
In other words, show the person themselves. Act out, in front of them, the dynamics of their squares and oppositions. Help them realize the "being" in the chart. Show them not only what lessons and events are likely to unfold in the future, but how they will feel, and how to navigate these waters.
For example, the stellium in Taurus (Tropically) in April/May of 2000 may or may not have strongly aspected a particular person's chart. But for everyone, the cluster of planets in the sky landed somewhere. And that somewhere -- whether it was their home, work, lovelife, health, etc. -- suddenly became energized, transformed, and broken through.
I've seen many people make major changes in these two months without any strong individual transit occurring to their chart.
As an astrologer showing them the meaning of this event, therefore, I had them look at what got stirred up, internally and externally, in the areas where the clustering happened.
And by encouraging them to actively participate in the discussion, they find more meaning and relevance in their own charts.
Every time a person speaks about their lives, they are "talking their chart". Help them see this, and it will open their eyes to all of their possibilities.
The Yogas in Vedic Astrology
One of the things that distinguishes Vedic astrology from Western approaches is the extensive use of yogas in delineation. The word "yoga" used in this context means the union of two or more factors in combination in the chart.
In fact, as my teacher Hart de Fouw explains, yogas are the most important factors in a chart. They create the context of the person's life, and are much more influential than simple planetary placements. Yogas affecting the first house are most important of all, since they describe the person and the tenor of their lives directly.
An example of one of the major yogas is the Pancha Maha Purusha yoga. This "PMP" yoga occurs when one of the "real" planets of Vedic astrology -- Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn -- is in either a kendra house (i.e. angular: 1, 4, 7, or 10th house) or in a trinal house (1, 5, or 9th house), while at the same time being in its own sign or exalted.
If you do the calculations, you'll find that about one out of eight people have a PMP yoga. That is far more than the number of people who actually have the glorified results implied by this yoga. What's wrong? Simply, that for even a major yoga to manifest, all "signals" must be "go". Or to put it in Vedic terms, the planet involved must be strong and unblemished.
For the PMP yoga to fully manifest, the planet forming it should be neither aspected by nor associated with malefics, not at the very end or beginning of a sign (as this weakens its expression), not combust or defeated in a planetary war, not the ruler of "bad" houses (6, 8, 12), nor should its dispositor (if the original planet is exalted) be weak or afflicted.
Once you apply these additional criteria, the number of people with PMP yogas becomes much fewer. Additionally, if the yoga is also found in the Chandra Lagna chart (i.e. the chart where the Moon's sign and placement becomes the first house), the PMP yoga is considered significantly stronger and more likely to fully manifest.
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