A Really Good Book on Jaimini Sūtra

A Really Good Book on Jaimini Sūtra

Ernst Wilhelm has to be congratulated and thanked for doing the astrological community a very great service by meticulously translating and unraveling the Jaimini’s Sūtras. I recommend that serious students of astrology study this book, as I will surely be doing. Here is a link to more information about it: http://www.vedic-astrology.net/Books/Jaimini-Sutras-Raw.asp

Second Marriage for Mangal-dosha

Second Marriage for Mangal-dosha


I’ve heard that the second marriage of a person with Mangal dosha will be much smoother. Is that so?

My Answer:

People say so many things about Mangal dosha (The effect of Mars on relationships), but most of them have no idea what they are talking about, they are just talking. Sorry to say that. I find that people have a hard time keeping things simple and clear. The effect of Mangala dosha is that the person with it is overly independent and feels constrained in relationships, especially monogamy and that sort of culture. If they marry someone similar, the effect is less noticeable because the two partners understand one another instinctively and give enough space. Potentially it could be true that the mangal-influenced person would learn enough from the first failure that they would improve on the next marriage, but I think that is up for grabs and depends on the individual. It don’t think its reliable to say that the second marriage of a mangleek person to a non-mangaleek person will be smooth. Rather, a mangal-dosh person should marry another mangal-dosh person, or, if that is impossible, the partner who is not under the influence of mangal so strongly will need to do some personal evolution to learn how to empathize with the mangal/mars energy and its need for space, freedom, independence even within the context of long-term monogamy.

Horrible Omens

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.17.2:

Saintly Diti was worried about what her husband had revealed about her children, so she prolonged the pregnancy for a full one hundred years before giving birth to the twins.

When they were born, many upheavals in earth, sky, and hearts of the people made everyone very afraid.

Now, 4-14 will describe many of these upheavals.

The immovable ground shook. Blazing meteors and comets fell like missiles from all directions of the sky, foretelling suffering.

Terrible winds howled again and again. Armies of tornados uprooted strong trees, with clouds of dust blowing like their flags.

Masses of clouds roared hysterically with lightning, blocking the light from the luminaries in the sky, so thoroughly enveloping the world in darkness that no one could even see their own feet.

The ocean cried out miserably with her wave arms raised high, disturbing all the creatures within her. The wells and rivers became so polluted that their lotus flowers withered.

The Sun and Moon were eclipsed repeatedly. Claps of thunder tore open the sky and rumbled like broken chariots.

Fearsome wild animals came right into the middle of towns and vomited their guts out. Jackals and owls howled and moaned horribly.

The dogs who guarded the towns joined them, raising their snouts to the skies and howling — sometimes as if singing, and sometimes as lamenting.

Donkeys went mad and ran wildly in herds, slamming their hard hooves into the earth and braying insanely.

Hearing them shrieking, birds abandoned their nests and fearfully fled into the skies, while cows in the fields suddenly passed stool and urine.

Blood stained the milk of those terrified cows. Pus rained down from the clouds. Temple deities cried. Trees fell without any wind.

Inauspicious planets moved retrograde into inauspicious constellations, to overlap and conquer the light of the auspicious planets.

Note for astrologers: Mars and Saturn moved retrograde into destructive nakshatra, and came thus into the same degree and declination of the auspicious planets, such that their light outshone the auspicious light and thus all the auspicious planets were defeated in “graha-yudha” by the inauspicious planets (thus, Mercury and Venus were probably conjunct).

Seeing these terrible upheavals, everyone except the four sons of Brahmā became confused. Unable to decipher the meaning of these signs, they thought the whole world was about to be destroyed.

A Birthday Speech (I Haven’t Given)

Originally posted on The Enquirer:

A Birthday Speech (I Haven’t Given)

When I was 19, I sat up in my bed one night and tangibly experienced reality — the impossibly infinite magnificence of existence itself. I could literally see and feel divinity saturating, permeating, being everything — even the most hum-drum of all stuff — like the walls I sat up to stare at.[0]

Since then I haven’t been normal.

Of course, I was never “normal,” but this amazing experience made my abnormalities escalate radically. There is such a deep feeling of happiness in truly experiencing reality — it is euphoric like a sustained, breathtaking, almost “orgasmic” wholeness. Suddenly my normal experience of life felt like a small box with very little inside. I lost interest in everything else and pretty recklessly threw my life on whatever tracks seem to lead towards this divine experience. [1]

The good news is that I have gotten…

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The Root Meanings of the Nine Planets

The Root Meanings of the Nine Planets

Unedited first draft of a very early chapter in my next book…

As I briefly mentioned in the Introduction, planets are the few unusual celestial lights that move around while all others stay in their respective places. We can immediately see seven of them: The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

Another thing we see in the sky, sometimes, are eclipses. Eclipses are caused by two shadows: that of the Earth that of that of the Moon. These shadows move, relative to the movement of the Sun and Moon, so astrology treats them practically as if they were two more planets. Indian Astrology names them Rahu and Ketu, bringing the count of astrological planets to nine.[0]

[extraPlanets]: There may be more or less than nine planets out there in the void of space, but astrology is not really about the void of space. It is about life on Earth. It is a way for the universe to communicate with human beings, and the messages it sends are intended to be understandable using the tools naturally available to every human being: a brain and eyes. So I strongly believe that astrology should concern itself only with those nine planets we can naturally see with our naked eyes.

The nine planets represent the nine key components of human life.

  1. Sun = Soul
  2. Moon = Mind
  3. Mercury = Brain
  4. Venus = Senses
  5. Mars = Strength
  6. Jupiter = Positive experience
  7. Saturn = Negative experience
  8. Rahu = Extroversion
  9. Ketu = Introversion

It might be helpful to note that the visible appearance of each planet is the cause of it’s symbolism.

  1. The Sun radiates light and warmth, granting sight and fostering life. So it represents the source of sentience (“sight”) and vitality (“life”): the soul.
  2. The Moon reflects light and constantly changes. It represents the part of us that reflects upon the world, and experience ever-changing emotions as a result: the mind.
  3. Mercury is so close to the Sun that it is barely visible. It represents the brain’s intelligence because intelligence is the closest companion to the sentient soul, barely distinguishable from it.
  4. Venus is so bright, it is practically the most beautiful light in the sky. So it represents the senses, which always seek the pleasure of experiencing beauty.
  5. Mars is red and wanders from its orbit more erratically than any other planet. So it represents strength and what strength grants: power and independence.
  6. Jupiter, like Venus, is outstandingly bright and beautiful. While Venus represents beauty that we can perceive with our senses, Jupiter represents beauty that we conceive: wisdom, particularly wisdom gained by positive experiences.
  7. Saturn is very slow and very dim. Thus it represents negative, difficult experiences imposed by being held back and limited.

Rahu and Ketu cause eclipses so they symbolize changes to how the inner self shines and reflects upon the ourself. They exist 180º opposite from one another, so they symbolize polar opposites. Essentially, Rahu represents the extroverted way of interacting with the world, and Ketu the introverted way.

Now I’ll devotee a chapter to explaining each meaning and the most important implied meanings that branch out from it.

Vic DiCara



I’ll admit, for better or for worse, that I tend not to care very much about Retrogression of planets in the birth chart. Of course, it is a significant factor in my calculation of the planets ability to have impact (“It’s a part of ṣaḍ-bāla,” for those familiar with Indian calculations), but I don’t get much out of changing my interpretations because of retrogression. I’ve just found it more accurate not to.

First of all, let’s issue a disclaimer that I am talking specifically about retrogression in the birth chart. Retrogression and Station in Transits, and Solar Return (varśaphal) is a whole different topic, obviously important.

But I’m interested to discuss how Retrogression might be useful to read finer details of the symbolism.

My basic theory is that the direction and speed of a planet indicates the direction the “energy” of the planet “flows.” If that direction is towards something unusual, then the astrologer should take note of it, and modify the usual interpretation accordingly.

For example, if a planet is Retrograde in the very early degrees of a sign, it indicates an effort to return to the previous house/sign. I have seen this be accurate (or at least very useful) in the several horoscopes I have encountered it in. This type of planet will be using its energy for the sake of achieving something indicated by the house/sign its trying to return too. Of course the main, normal interpretation should apply, but modify/add this extra information to it.

Moving forward in the late degrees of a sign might mean a similar thing. Being stationary at the cusp (ascendant’s degree) or at the end or beginning of a house might also mean something interpretable in a similar way. Moving towards or notably away from a planet might also mean something recognizable.

I say “might” because, for me, they are untested theories.

Say that Saturn and Venus are in close conjunction, and Saturn is at the earlier degree but is retrograde. This means Saturn is moving away from the conjunction, “avoiding” it. To give an example of a possible way to apply the theory: perhaps it indicates that grief will approach the marriage, but fall away, unable to overtake it.

This is my working theory of how to begin more fully exploring the symbolism of the birth chart, taking retrogression into account. I think its a theory worth testing and refining and working with.

There are other theories that are more general. The one’s I’ve encountered are:

  1. The idea that retrogression reverses the inherent character of the planet. IE a benefic becomes malefic and visa versa. This seems awfully dramatic to me. I’d really need to be convinced that this is a reasonable theory.
  2. The idea that retrogression strengthens the planet. That’s completely acceptable, but its already factored into the ṣaḍ-bāla calculation, so it might be overkill to consider it twice.
  3. The idea that retrogression indicates rebelliousness. Seems reasonable, but I haven’t carefully scrutinized the idea in practice.
  4. BPHS indicates that retrogression (along with position in the sign) has some affect on the timing of the “busy period” of a planets daśā.

Whatever the theory, I think its important not to focus everything on retrogression. Such there are a few planets retrograde in the chart, it doesn’t mean its a chart from outer space aliens. Just read the chart as you would read any chart, and then refine that basic interpretation with the extra information you can get by considering the significance of retrogression.

What I particularly like about the theory I suggested in this post is that it allows some retrogression to be unimportant — if a planet’s retrogression doesn’t involve it moving notably towards or away something nearby — and that seems to be an important match to the reality of reading birth charts: in a lot of cases the retrogression makes no super important difference. But in some cases it really does. Since this theory accommodates that, I like it.

Please feel free to experiment with it.

Vic DiCara

Foresee the Future

Foresee the Future

Animals do not seem to know much of the past or future. Human beings all know a bit about the immediate past and future. The more intelligent a living thing is, the more it can predict how things will happen. It is not really a “foreseeing” but it is a "calculation of trajectory.” It is not like the future already exists and some people can see it, that’s not the way it is. Only the present exists, but the wise can calculate the trajectory extending from the past through the present into the future, and therefore can know what shapes will arise in the future, before they actually arise.

Superhuman beings like the gods, progenitors, creators, etc. are so intelligent that they can understand the trajectory of the future in great detail. Among humans only sages who take great pains to acquire superhuman knowledge through divine blessings and ardent study can know some distance into the future in some detail, but Prajāpati’s like Kaśyapa can foresee in considerable detail.

Authentic Modern Astrology from the Ancient and Classical World


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