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Meanderings East and West

Exploring the Connection between Astrology and Yoga

Planetary Patterns

Horoscope PatternsAs we've seen in previous chapters, interesting charts contain interesting patterns. The stronger the patterns, the more remarkable the individual. Famous people, with their extreme and exaggerated chart patterns, are the usual subject of Astrological textbooks. Does the person make the horoscope - or does the horoscope make the person ? Definitely !

Some people have more than one theme or area of emphasis in their chart: that's a pattern. Some people have too many themes. That's a pattern too. Some people have just a few: that's also a pattern. Some times, patterns work nicely together and other times they are at odds with one another.

Which chart is best - an easy one or a difficult one ? Who can say ? What does the soul need for its evolution ? The soul grows through trials and adventures.

Extreme patterns are challenging. Conflict is exciting. Ambiguity is puzzling. When a person's horoscope contains contradictions and ambiguity, it's enough to keep them busy for a lifetime.

Patterns of Energy

Acupuncture MeridiansAcupuncture deals with the energies of the body and according to theory, there are 4 basic patterns of disharmony: too little energy, too much energy, blocked energy and energy flowing in the wrong direction. This kind of thinking can be extended to many other areas of life.

Problems of deficiency are common: Weakness, frailness, susceptibility to infection and disease. Not enough money, not enough leisure time, not enough love. Scarcity, fear, doubt. Weak planets and houses, afflicted planets and houses.

Problems of excess are less common, but prevalent in wealthy societies: too much food. Too much physical leisure. Too much information. Too much rain. Too much sunshine. Overpopulation. Over-confidence. Jupiter influences.

Problems of stagnation are harder to treat. Imprisonment, confinement. Inability to get a promotion. Loneliness. Solitude. Stiffness in the joints. Tumors in the body. Rigid attitudes in the mind. Saturn influences.

When energy moves in the wrong direction, we get problems like hiccups and tremors. Mental confusion or disorientation. Being in the right place, at the wrong time.

Of all the problems, the fourth one is the most interesting. But what causes us to move in the wrong direction ? Hidden conflicts within. They show as conflicting planetary patterns in the chart. They may be hidden to the individual, but they are revealed in the horoscope, where anyone can discern them - as early as the moment of birth.

Reluctant Ruler

King George VI Horoscope

King George VI PortraitKing George VI of England has been the subject of a recent film, The King's Speech. He came to power when his elder brother Edward VIII abdicated the throne in order to marry an American woman who was twice divorced.

George VI was next in line and discharged his kingly duties - in spite of several major obstacles. First, was his basic temperament: he was not the kingly type. He was not a natural born leader or executive - not assertive. Reserved. Polished. Distinctly uncomfortable in the public eye. Second - and the subject of the recent movie - was his tendency to stammer when delivering a public address.

Saturn in the First House promotes a reserved personality. The Sun and Moon in Scorpio, suggest a reluctant, private disposition. Libra Rising and Venus in Libra in the First House: a double Libra of sorts. Sophisticated, urbane, genteel. Elegant - rarely demonstrative or aggressive. You can see it in his portrait: handsome, but reserved. He was an officer and a gentleman.

Royal Patterns...

In previous articles, we have discussed Raja Yogas - planetary combinations for success. When planets that rule prominent houses come together with other such planets, prominence and notoriety follow. King George's chart contains plenty of Royal Combinations. For Libra Ascendant, Saturn alone functions as a Raja Yoga Karaka: it rules Capricorn (the Fourth House from Libra) and Aquarius (the Fifth House from Libra). According to Indian Astrology, the joining of an angular house with a trinal house is favorable for the native: very favorable ! Libra rising charts get that automatically, via Saturn.

Now there's an ironic twist: Saturn is, by nature, the prime malefic symbol. How can it give good fortune to the native ? It gives what it can give: steadfast discipline, dedication and leadership qualities. These gifts may not be fun, but they are... important. King George needed those traits when guiding his nation through World War II, which one statesman called, "their darkest hour". The strain of war aged him prematurely. A heavy smoker, he died of Lung Cancer at the age of 56.

Wherever Saturn sits in a Libra chart, the native gets certain special talents or gifts in life. In King George's chart, Saturn is in the all-important First House. Excellent for fame, recognition and influence: it's a classic. To further strengthen the First House, we find Venus there in its own sign. The ruler of the First House - a benefic - is in the First House: more and more of same.

... and More Royal Patterns...

Raja Yogas here, Raja Yogas there. It's what we expect in the chart of a king. Were they absent, we would question the accuracy of the birth time !

Jupiter is exalted in the King George's Tenth House. Heavens ! It's very close to the Zenith, the Midheaven, the center of the Tenth House. So it's not only exalted and on an angle, it's got great Bhava Bala or House Strength.

When a planet is exalted and in an angular house, there's a name for that: a Maha Purusha Yoga, a "great soul combination". Jupiter's Yoga is called Hamsa Yoga - the "swan combination". In traditional India, the Swan was the auspicious symbol par excellence: good fortune, blessings from above.

Moon with Uranus: sudden rise to power, unusual rise to power, since the Moon is Tenth Lord. Uranus squares Jupiter in the Tenth House: more sudden, more irregular. Late degree Sun: unsure of self. Scorpios prefer solitude. When so many are scrambling to be noticed, they avoid public exposure. They love anonymity.

Only in the Sidereal Chart

Respectfully, none of the above-mentioned royal patterns appear in the standard "western" tropical chart. For discussion of the sidereal zodiac, see Meanderings 1 and Meanderings 15

Hand-Me-Down Coronation

King George VI CoronationThe coronation of George VI took place on May 17, 1937 - a date originally chosen for the coronation of his brother. Perhaps the date was chosen with Jupiter in mind: transiting Jupiter was on his brother's Ascendant. A fine date - or was it ?

Probably unknown to the astrologer (if one was consulted), brother Edward also had Saturn - by Symbolic Direction of 1 degree per year - conjunct his Midheaven. Transiting Saturn was conjunct brother Edward's natal Mars, the ruler of his Tenth House in the sidereal chart. Jupiter transit or not, Edward's career as King was spoiled. In hindsight, the aspects of Saturn proved more influential than a Jupiter transit: brother Edward was never crowned King.

As we have pointed out in an earlier chapter, slower moving cycles are almost always more important than quick ones. The transit of Jupiter lasts only 12 days and recurs every 12 years: many times during the course of an ordinary lifetime. The symbolic direction of Saturn to the Midheaven, occurs only once in a lifetime - if ever.

For George VI, the "hand-me-down" coronation date assigned to him, was less remarkable astrologically. It's hard to know which influence was at work, if any was at all. George VI had already taken over the responsibilities of the Crown - in 1936 - when his brother abdicated: the coronation was by then, a ceremony for the purpose of tradition.

Persistent Stammering

MercuryNeptuneMercury and Neptune are opposites by nature. Mercury is all about precision, discrimination and information. Neptune is all about oneness and blending together. That's why Mercury is considered "Fallen" in Pisces, the sign ruled by Neptune.

In George's chart, we see what amounts to the same basic thing as a fallen Mercury: Mercury opposed Neptune. When a planet is in hard aspect to Neptune - especially an opposition - it becomes difficult to control, paralyzed. It's as though someone administered anesthesia to the planet: it goes numb.

The King's Speech

King George VI DashasOn September 3, 1939, King George addressed the citizens of Britain and the Commonwealth, over the radio. You can listen to the actual talk here on the BBC Archive web site. By Vimshottari Dasha, he had recently changed from the 7 year Ketu Period - never easy - into a much more favorable Dasha: Venus. As mentioned above, Venus is the ruler of the chart, in the first house, in its own sign. Another Maha Purusha Yoga, a "great soul combination". We mentioned Malavya Yoga in Chapter 8. World War II was no picnic for the nation, but for George VI, a significant personal hurdle had been overcome.

... and Even More Royal Patterns !

George VI had a powerful Mars influence in his chart: Sun in Scorpio and Moon in Scorpio. Mars in Scorpio: another Maha Purusha Yoga. These yogas are discerned when a planet is exalted or in its own sign, in an angular house (1,4,7,10) - from either the Ascendant or the Moon. George has Mars in Scorpio, in the First House from the Moon. This is called Ruchaka Yoga. Ruchaka means sharp. It refers to the concentrated energy of Mars, as well as martial implements like the sword, the knife and the bullet. Ruchaka Yoga indicates great inner strength - exactly what we would hope for, in a King during war-time: determination, bravery and conquest over enemies.

To the ancients, Scorpio was the "nocturnal" sign of Scorpio. In other words, for night births, Mars in Scorpio is especially powerful. King George VI was born at night. In our analysis of this horoscope, we therefore give greater estimation of his Mars.

George was a courageous man. What makes him an endearing figure, is not only his royalty, his statesmanship, but also his endurance. Like the rest of us, he battled his own enemies.

Major Weirdness

KetuAs we mentioned, King George became King because of the unusual circumstances involving his older brother Edward. In Astrology, one's elder siblings are denoted by the Eleventh House, its ruler and any planets therein. When afflicted, they signify troubles with elder siblings - or no elder siblings at all. In Kind George's chart, note the presence of the South Node, or Ketu. Wherever we find the South Node, we tend to find weirdness of some kind. This chart provides an excellent illustration.

George's Eleventh House is Leo, ruled by the Sun. King George's Sun is at a late degree: 29 degrees Scorpio, 36 minutes. This is another blemish. In the Lunar chart, Mercury is Lord of the Eleventh House. It has no house strength, because it is midway between houses. Another blemish. We've already discussed King George's Mercury, which is opposed by Neptune. Neptune can bring extreme idealism, confusion, scandals, irresponsibility and dependence on others: all of which describe George's elder brother.


King George lived to age 56. His Queen Consort, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, lived to almost 102 years of age. What patterns in George's chart, reflect the extreme longevity of his spouse ?

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