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Meanderings East and West

Exploring the Connection between Astrology and Yoga

The Sleeping Prophet

Edgar CayceEdgar Cayce was one of the best known psychic researchers of all time. A portrait photographer by profession - and a Bible school teacher on Sundays - he produced thousands of readings on an almost unimaginable range of subjects.

While not always perfectly accurate, he had a very high rate of success, finding oil, curing illnesses, predicting world events and counseling captains of industry and political leaders as well as just plain folks: all at no charge. You can read more about him here.

Cayce the Astrologer

Pocket WatchLesser known than his many readings on health, spirituality, politics and earth changes, were his astrological consultations. He gave horoscope readings directly - clairvoyantly - without drawing up any charts. He not only correctly delineated the positions of the planets and houses, he sometimes corrected the birth time provided by the querent.

Normal astrologers do this by a process called rectification, where alternate charts are considered in light of life events that have already transpired: astrologers makes their best educated guess. Edgar Cayce, however, could point out that the time was off, because the soul actually inhabited the body X minutes earlier or later.

Stars and Constellations - and Pluto

VulcanCayce performed many of his readings before the planet Pluto was discovered in 1930 - and yet referred more than once to a planet named Vulcan, which he later identified with the Tenth Planet. Vulcan was the ancient Roman god of metalworking and black-smithery. He was associated with volcanoes and with Fire in both its destructive and rejuvenative aspects.

In his astrological consultations, Cayce also referred to a yet unknown planet named Septimus and to chart influences from stars and constellations outside the Zodiac, like Polaris and Canus Major. Clearly, he was drawing from a library of ancient knowledge to which few have access today.

Cayce and the Sidereal Zodiac

Persian ZodiacOne of the most important features of Edgar Cayce's readings, is that they were emphatically Sidereal (see Meanderings 1). He made it quite clear, in several different readings, that the zodiac used by modern western astrologers is off by almost an entire constellation. He refers to the Procession of the Equinoxes and the gradual backwards change in sidereal position over the ages, at a rate of 1 degree every 72 years:

Reading 1770-2: "the astrological influences are not in the form ... so oft judged by the purely astrological aspects from records. For the shifting, the changes that have been wrought in the zodiac as well as the signs and positions of this material sphere in relationship to the whole have been mis-judged"

Reading 3376-2: "Though oft they are correct, more often ye find them at variance. For most astrologers are nearly 30 degrees off in the reckoning in the present"

Reading 2011-3 was given to a woman Cayce stated had been an astrologer in ancient Egypt: "the Egyptian and Persian records are quite varied. If the entity would study astrology, do not put the signs in the Egyptian but rather in the Persian, for the Persian interpretations are more proficient than the Egyptian.. The variations in time [due to precession] have been corrected by the Persians and not by the Egyptians. The Egyptian calculations are 30 degrees off"

Reading 3688-1: "most astrological reflexes are about 3 to 4 degrees or periods off with many individuals, as we have indicated before". Here, Cayce is likely referring to systems like the Indian Dashas or the Persian Firdaria, which divide the lifetime into planetary periods, each period being a certain number of years long.

Reading 5746-1: "The characteristics, or that attained by an individual, are indicated by the sign under which the entity enters an appearance. This is a side note: Remember, those indicated in the charts that are accepted by most astrologers are some ten days behind. Thus we find some variations in the information indicated for individuals through these channels"

Reincarnation and the Brahmins

Indian HoroscopeIn his landmark 1985 book Toward a New Astrology: the Approach of Edgar Cayce author Ry Redd describes the remarkable similarities between the techniques used by Cayce and those used in Indian Astrology. Redd equates the Persians referred to by Cayce, with the Indian Brahmins: he points out that the Parsis (Persians) brought their Aryan religion - and language - into North India, where they merged with those of the older Dravidian inhabitants. A substantial component of "Vedic" religion, traces its origin to these people.

In some readings, Cayce provided detailed chart material for both the current and previous birth of the questioner and would draw attention to recurring issues in the psyche of the reincarnating individual - as a form of spiritual counseling: counseling the spirit, literally.

Cayce would explain, during some of these astrological/reincarnation readings, that the subject "came from" a particular planetary realm, "prior to this sojourn". Was Cayce referring to a specific astral plane from which a person had reincarnated, or was he describing some kind of fundamental symbolic emphasis spanning several lifetimes? These may be two sides of the same coin.

Studying several cases where Cayce provided chart material for both current and previous lives, author Ry Redd compares the planetary influence suggested by Cayce, to results given by method outlined by the famed Indian astrologer and publisher B. V. Raman. Cayce stated that souls inhabits different realms between their lifetimes on earth, each of which can be correlated to one of the classical 7 planets. (In modern parlance, we would call these the 7 planes of the Astral Realm). Raman's technique identifies which of those planes we came from, based on certain astrological factors.

Decanates and Drekkanas

DecanatesTo determine the basic pattern of reincarnation emphasis, Raman's technique compares the Sun and the Moon. Whichever is stronger by exaltation strength (closest to its degree of highest exaltation), we look to the decanate (drekkana Sanskrit) where it is located. The ruler of that decanate, is the planet from which the person "took flight" to Earth.

What are decanates ? Each sign is divided into 3 sections of 10 degrees each. The term "decanate" comes from the Greek word deka meaning ten. This Greek term of art (along with the other harmonic divisions) was likely imported into India with the armies of Alexander the Great, who invaded North India in 326 BC. The Indians adopted many Greek terms almost verbatim. Indian Astrology is not purely "Vedic" as often claimed: here is a fine example.

Let's take Aries, the first Fire sign: we divide the 30 degrees of Aries into 3 sections. The first 10 degrees, we call the Aries Decanate. The second 10 degrees, we call the Leo Decanate (because Leo is the next Fire sign after Aries). Finally, because Sagittarius is the third Fire sign after Aries, we call the last 10 degrees of Aries, the Sagittarius Decanate.

Each decanate is ruled by a planet: The Aries decanate is ruled by Mars. The Leo Decanate is ruled by the Sun. The Sagittarius decanate is ruled by Jupiter.

The same pattern is applied to each sign. For Taurus, the first decanate is the Taurus Decanate, ruled by Venus. The next is the Virgo Decanate (because Virgo is the next Earth sign after Taurus), ruled by Mercury. The third decanate is the Capricorn Decanate, ruled by Saturn... and so on.

Strongest Degrees of Exaltation

Planet Strongest Degree Weakest Degree
Sun 10° Aries 10° Libra
Moon 3° Taurus 3° Scorpio
Mercury 15° Virgo 15° Pisces
Venus 27° Pisces 27° Virgo
Mars 28° Capricorn 28° Cancer
Jupiter 5° Cancer 5° Capricorn
Saturn 20° Libra 20° Aries

In Indian astrology, every planet has a single degree where it is believed to be strongest. The closer a planet is to that degree, the greater its strength - at least according to this approach. (This is probably a Babylonian concept, based on the position of the planets on a special date, which they believed to be the symbolic birth of the Zodiac). It needs to be reckoned using the Sidereal Zodiac.

For example, the Sun is strongest at 10 degrees of Aries (In the current era, that's around April 23 - see the Myth of Saint George and the Dragon in Meanderings 12). It is weakest at 10 degrees of Libra. Jupiter is strongest at 5 degrees of Cancer and weakest at 5 degrees of Capricorn... etc. Each planet has its special degree.

Let's look at an example chart: Edgar Cayce (below). His Moon is at 20 degrees of Aries and his Sun is at 6 degrees of Pisces. The Moon is 13 degrees away from its point of highest exaltation. The Sun is 34 degrees away from its highest degree. Therefore, Cayce's Moon has the higher exaltation strength or Uccha Bala in Sanskrit.

Note: Edgar Cayce's birth time and time zone is the subject of some controversy. The author has rectified the chart, adjusting the widely used time from 3:02 PM to 2:55 PM, a difference of 7 minutes. This time works well with the following analysis.

Edgar Cayce Horoscope

In which decanate is the Moon located ? In the Third Decanate, the last 10-degree section of the sign. Which planet rules that decanate ? The third Fire sign from Aries, namely Sagittarius, which is ruled by Jupiter. This suggests that Edgar Cayce "came to Earth" after a period of Jupiter's astral influence: teaching, religion, the "professions": law, medicine, etc. Travel, sports, the great outdoors, philosophy, all forms of higher knowledge and higher position within the social order.

But wait: Cayce's Sun is in the First Decanate of Pisces - the one ruled by Jupiter. So either way, according to this method, we note the "past-life signature" of Jupiter.

Cayce's Previous Birth

When asked about his own previous incarnations during his readings, he reported that his most recent lifetime was as Bishop Lucius the Theologian. One couldn't ask for a more Jupiter-like career than a Bishop.

Uranus and the Eighth House

UranusCaye's horoscope is - as we would expect - rather unusual. Where to begin? With the First House of course. What do we see? The planet which most relates to all things unusual: Uranus. Being so close to the horizon makes it an enormous influence in the chart. Ahead of his time? Intuitive ? Unselfish ? Interested the welfare of humanity ? Oh yes.

Because Uranus rules the Eighth House, this chart contains the Eighth Lord in the First House: great for occult work, bad for longevity. He died at age 67, a few years after becoming quite famous through an article in Coronet Magazine which referred to him as the "Miracle Man of Virginia Beach". Cayce just couldn't refuse all the people who felt they needed his help - and eventually died trying to make a dent in the piles of letters which arrived daily.

This happened after the start of his Saturn Dasha. He was running Saturn/Saturn. Under a normal influence of Saturn, we shoulder extra burdens and engage in extra work. Saturn is the prime malefic planet. In Cayce's chart, it is the Eighth Lord in the Eighth House, a doubly malefic symbol. Anyone familiar with the system, would see it coming years ahead, as a time of challenges, strain and "heavy transformation".

Eighth House and Pluto: Deep Investigation

Edgar Cayce MonumentHaving 4 symbols in the 8th House is a superb combination for occultism, research and plumbing the mysteries. It's a Pluto influence, so to speak. Good for research, bad for longevity.

Saturn, the traditional lord of Aquarius, is in its own sign in the Eighth House, very close to Mercury, Venus and Rahu. That's "The Lord of the Eighth House, in the Eighth House" - good for other people's money - and he made money for others through his readings. Never for himself, even when he tried, but he helped others financially, even warning certain people to pull their money out of the stock market prior to the Great Crash of 1929.

Let's have a closer look at that Eighth House Yoga or "combination": Sun, Venus, Mercury and Saturn in the Eighth House. We've seen a Mercury/Saturn conjunction before: Albert Einstein (Meanderings 4), who also did a fair amount of "deep research". Taken together, those planets rule all the houses in the chart from 11 through 4: literally half the chart. It's all tied up there.

Edgar Cayce was a professional portrait photographer. Neptune and Moon in the Tenth House is a nice combination for that. In a sense, Cayce's life readings were a form of "portraits". It's the same symbolism, on another level. A deeper level.

Spiritual Teacher, Psychic Medium

Single EyeCayce's Sun is in the 9th house, the house of the teacher, in Neptune-ruled Pisces. His Moon is conjunct Neptune in the 10th house of career. Mars, which rules his 10th house Aries, is with Jupiter in Sagittarius, the sign of the seeker and philosopher. Jupiter is in its own sign, aspecting the 12th house, the house of spirituality and psychic attunement.

From the Moon, the Jupiter/Mars conjunction in Sagittarius is another indication of religion, teaching, publishing, faith and inspiration. It's in the 9th house. The themes just repeat and repeat - and that's exactly what we expect to find in the horoscopes of extraordinary individuals.

Making Wealth for Others

WealthCayce was able to make fortunes for others and save the lives of others - but when it came to himself and the fulfillment of his personal dreams - it was another matter. Whenever he tried to use his gifts for any personal gain, he got ill or the information was off. Like a true Pisces/Neptune type, his was a life of transcendence through self-sacrifice. When Ketu (South Node) is in the house of wealth, one often gives away what one has rather freely.

Cayce's Pluto is in an early degree (infancy): not as bad as a late degree (old age), but not a strong symbol either. He had to work very hard. Nothing came easy, even if it looked that way to everyone else. Venus aspected by Saturn (conjunction): karmic debts to others. Limitations and constriction over financial matters. An older or mature and responsible spouse, or one involved in a business partnership: Cayce's wife conducted almost every reading. She asked all the questions.

Healing and Hospitals

From the Cancer ascendant, his Jupiter/Mars conjunction in Sagittarius is a Raja Yoga, a "royal combination", giving talent in the 6th house of health and healing. It's no surprise that so many of his readings were of a medical nature. His career started with a psychic self-diagnosis and treatment and never stopped.

AromatherapyCayce's dream was to open a clinic where the information given in his readings could be used to help others. He was ahead of his time, in that most of his remedies were what today we would call "natural". In a sense, he was a seminal figure in the renaissance of body/mind healing, whole foods, stretching, exercise, spinal manipulation, vibrational medicine, the power of prayer and meditation, etc. He was actively promoting these "New Age" concepts back in the 1930's. Remedies given in his psychic readings are still available and in wide use today.

While he never lived long enough to see it reach full flower, the organization that he and his family created lives on and people still turn to his guidance and insights through countless books and publications. Taken together, they come most closely to what today we call Holistic Medicine, or what the ancients called Ayurveda and Yoga.

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