Clues, Self-Awareness, Love

Love – that which we all seek. Even if we’ve convinced ourself that love is namby pamby weakness, we all seek love. We all want to be acknowledged, we all want to belong, we all want to contribute, and we all want to be our true selves. All of this is love. The ever-present quiet hunger for this inside is love – knocking at our psyche ever softly.

Love is present in our every interaction, with every body and every thing. Even if that interaction is occuring in anger, hate, the ugliest of fights. Fear screams helplessly in those interactions, but love is present — silently. Most importantly, love is present in our interaction with ourself.

If love is present everywhere, every moment, in every interaction – how come we sense a big huge absence of love, rather than it’s presence? Thing is, love is also a skill. Love is a way of seeing. If we are unable to sense that ever-present love, it means we are not seeing skillfully.

So how do we see skillfully? The most important tool to use for that is awareness. Especially, self-awareness.

The second important tool is two fold: courage and kindness. The courage to see and acknowledge what is unpleasant, with kindness – especially within ourself. The courage to be with that unpleasant feeling – with awareness. The same goes for what is pleasant within us. The courage and kindness to acknowledge what is pleasant within us, make it our own as an asset – despite the simultaneous presence of unpleasant feelings.

The third important tool are all the little helpers we might get from the external world. All the help that we get from the external world are tiny clues. They are crucial. Yet, they are little. The exalted avataar, the mighty guru, the book that was a life-changing guide, the friend who believes in us, the innocent face of a child holding out a flower at our most vulnerable moment, the grimace of dissapproval from the one whose approval matters so much to us – all of that and everything in-between are crucial helpers — but little in comparison to the importance of awareness and self-awareness.

This is the third article in the series on astrology – how it helped me to understand my personality and present role in the world better, and how you might use it too to understand yourself better. However, just like all other tools from the external world, this too is only a tiny helper, a set of clues. To use it well, we have to be aware of our inner voice, and accept or reject the clues in these articles as per the guidance of our inner voice. In every moment of conflict we have to keep the guidance of our inner voice as the final authority. We have to learn to differentiate between the quiet steadyness of our inner voice, and the stubborn childish impulse to be right or cloy for external support.

To really connect with the power of astrology, knowing your Sun Sign is not enough. Our Sun Sign is a clue to our basic identity and life’s purpose in this present avataar, but it might not give sufficient clues as to how we may fulfill that purpose. Our basic identity does not exist in isolation. It exists in this world, it interacts with others, and via those interactions, it fulfills its life purpose. The positions of other planets at the time of birth gives clues to the assets and challenges we have on our path to fulfilling our purpose.

Yet, most of us only know our date of birth (and place of birth) and have not bothered drawing up a chart for ourself.

That is the way it was for me for several years. I got interested in astrology at an early age. I tried studying it from a teacher. That was a failed attempt. He was interested in Sanskrit texts. He didn’t really want to share this science with me. I too got caught up in other activities of life. Once in a while I read horoscopes for my Sun Sign at astrologyzone.com. They didn’t really help personally, but I learnt bits and pieces about the subject. For example, I learned the positive way of processing the impact of Saturn, the impact of eclipses and how to process them positively, the perceptory impact of retrograde planets. More rarely, I revisited The 12 Mysteries of Love by Linda Goodman and re-read it in patches – simply because it was good to read. It reaffirmed my faith in an inherent wisdom in the grand scheme of things.

Then, one day, somewhere around the age of 41, I sensed an important but subtle something turning within. Once again I felt the need for guidance to figure out what was happening to me. I turned to The 12 Mysteries of Love, looking for clues. My Sun Sign is Scorpio. A lot of what I read, resonated with me. Yet, one thing in the text was surely not me — the desire for revenge. I felt there was more to me than just being Scorpio. That is when I found out the importance of the Moon Sign and the Ascendant. I asked my mother for my time of birth, and found out my Moon Sign and Ascendant using some online tool (determining the position of planets in the sky as per a particular time and place is just arithmetic with correct data, hence computers can do it easily). The revealing power of astrology opened up for me one step further. A long-felt conflict seemed reflected in what I found.

We are interested in love, harmony, fulfillment — not zodiac signs and planets. Astrology provides a good compact framework of the psyche, on its search for love. Before we go into the first real gateway of astrology — of calculating our birth chart (with or without the time of birth), and discussing what it tells us — look at these two summaries below. I have removed the names of the zodiac signs, so that you may focus on the framework of the psyche on its search for love. The first is from Astrology for Yourself by Douglas Bloch and Demetra George. The second is from The 12 Mysteries of Love by Linda Goodman. Both very different from each other, hence more powerful together.

Each line conveys so much. Worthy of reflection. For example, the principle and power of Discrimination: when applied in a hurry results in criticism, or ourself or others. When we let it percolate within, not in a hurry to arrive at conclusions, it takes brings clarity.

What are we to take away from these summaries? Nothing in particular. Just go through it with attention, and let it seep in. That is an important and alternate way to receive – to just let things seep in without actively trying to learn, do, acquire. It hones our intuitive thinking – crucial for using astrology skillfully. It hones our ability to be more self-aware.

In the next post we will go beyond the Sun Sign, beyond our identity, towards our mind and how we are seen by others in our world. To prepare for that, try to find out your time of birth.

Previous articles in this series
1: It Works
2: The 12 Mysteries of Love

The 12 Mysteries of Love

This is the story of a birthing. A story of Self-actualization. Coming into our own. And what does coming into our own mean? Accepting our own glory. Experiencing that we are lovable, as we are. Independent of the world and interdependent with the world. An acceptance and experiencing that fills us with an easy fulfillment.

I read this “story”, called “The 12 Mysteries of Love”, when I was a child (teenager). It is in the introductory pages of Linda Goodman’s book Love Signs. The main book seemed kind-of chick-lit to me, but that is because of where my interests lie. But these pages, The 12 Mysteries of Love, and the table preceding it, convinced me right at that early age that there is deep wisdom in astrology. A conviction that I have turned to again and again through life, and each time the wisdom has revealed itself further to me, like a flower opening up.

While coming into our own means accepting our own glory, this write-up, The 12 Mysteries of Love, is not about our personal stories. It is the story of how a birthing takes place, how evolution takes place. Day-and-night, day-and-night, contraction-expansion, contraction-expansion, again and again, like a woman in labor, culminating in the knowing that “Love is All” and that I Am that Love. Here the “I” is not our limited identity definitions. It is like the universe itself is coming into the knowing. As Eckhart Tolle says, consciousness becoming conscious of itself. It is the knowing – aham brahmaasmee.

Linda Goodman presents The 12 Mysteries of Love as the evolution of the soul. We can consider this as the inner psychology of a human soul, a culture, a country, or the universe itself. That is the beauty of astrology – it acknowledges the relevance of the individual while going towards the universal. It is the same picture reflected again and again in different-sized mirrors.

Each of the 12 zodiac signs Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer etc. are mapped alternatively to day and night, day and night, or masculine feminine masculine feminine – i.e. outward looking, inward looking, outward looking, inward looking, and so on. Personality-wise we can look at day as extrovert, night as introvert. So Aries is a day sign, Taurus a night sign, Gemini a day sign, Cancer a night sign and so on. And evolution is depicted as an alternating journey between day and night. The signs are also mapped in order, to the elements fire, earth, air, water. What does it feel like to be fire, earth, air or water? It helps tremendously just to feel this within ourself, on the path to knowing ourself better. But I am jumping ahead.

Right now I invite you to read The 12 Mysteries of Love. It is exquisite. At the end of reading the whole thing one feels a soaring, expansive gratitude – like one feels at the end of a good book, or an exquisite music recital. Yet it will leave one wanting for more. 😊

Since this is not your personal story, try not to read this as “I am evolved till here”, or “I am evolved more or less than this person in my life”, as per your Sun Sign. That is not what this is saying. Evolution occurs in concentric circles and on a circle there isn’t a starting point or an ending point. No point on a circle is lesser-than or greater-than any other point. However, there may be parts that resonate with you, maybe your Sun Sign, maybe some other signs. Notice that with a child-like curiosity.

Also, pay special attention to the tabular summary in the beginning – 24 clues to 12 mysteries. Come again to it after you’ve read the whole thing. That summary deserves an article of its own. So until next time, ciao! And now I present to you – The 12 Mysteries of Love.

It Works

“We might go to war with Pakistan,” my brother said at home one day.

It was October 2016.

My brother, an expert in analysing and forecasting market data (currency and other financial values), could see that the Rupee will weaken. Not just slightly, but a lot. He was sure of it. He told his customers that the Rupee will weaken.

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The traditional way of analyzing market movements is called Fundamental Analysis. Another way of analyzing market movements, and estimating future value of stocks and currencies, is relatively newer (though now quite old too). It is called Technical Analysis.

Fundamental Analysis considers how a company is behaving (Is it making profits? Is there demand for that service? What is the situation in the country and the world? etc.). Technical Analysis does not bother about the company, the world or the market. It simply plots historical data on graphs and then “reads” the chart in certain ways to estimate the future movement of the data. To those who do not know anything about the field, it may well seem like looking into a crystal ball. But data moves in certain patterns. Technical Analysis reads those patterns.

My brother has been in the business of offering market forecasting services to companies, for years — using Technical Analysis. For years he has had to educate his clients and prospectives of what his team does, what is Technical Analysis. They rarely understand. Nevertheless they purchase his forecasting service. After all, his forecasts have a track record of 72% reliability.

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India had performed “surgical strikes” on Pakistan a little while back, but it did not go to war with Pakistan. But the Rupee did weaken. Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetization on 9 November 2016. It threw the country into a tizzy. Did the Rupee weaken because Modi announced demonetization? I don’t know. However, the point is that the Rupee did weaken, like my brother’s reading of the data charts had said so.

“We don’t know how, but it works. That is the thing about Technical Analysis,” experts in the field of Financial Technical Analysis say.

That is what Homeopathic doctors also say, and astrologers also say, “We don’t know how, but it works.”

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Astrology has helped me tremendously, to understand myself better. Thus, I am able to honor myself, and “be myself” better.

I have never gone to any astrologer with queries like, “When will I get married? Is this guy compatible with me? When will I get a job? Where should I apply?” and stuff like that. I have always made sure that my choices and decisions be my own. However, I have turned to astrology to try and understand myself, i.e. understand my personality.

For example, recently a friend said, “What do people want? Either money or fame.”

I wondered, “What do I want? I know it is neither money, nor fame, but what do I want?” This question has puzzled me for years, and recently astrology helped me put a few more pieces in place. Its been like a long-term jigsaw puzzle, spanning over years – astrology and me – or rather, just me 😊 .

The crisis that we are collectively facing generates so many uncertainties in all our lives. We are all trying to live it and process it as best as we can. But crisis times are birthing times. Something new will emerge from this crisis, this is for sure. In that, if we are able to understand ourself better, we will be able to tune into that-new-whatever better. Then, that-new-whatever (and the-current-whatever) will seem beautiful to us. We ourselves will be more beautiful to ourself.

I find this field so fascinating that I might write more about my journey with astrology, how I have used it, and how you might too. However, if you want to get started right away (and that would be great, because you are important to you, not my articles) the book “You Were Born For This” by Chani Nicholas is an excellent place to go to. The book gives a link which generates your chart for you, based on the date, time, and location of your birth. That part is simply arithmetic with astronomical data. Then it teaches you to read your chart yourself in a very easy non-technical-as-far-as-possible manner. Apart from being easy to understand, the writing style is a pleasure too.

People approach astrology with a defeatist and fearful attitude. That is so sad and ineffective. None of the planets or anything in the universe is out to get you. You are not doomed, and need not pacify any Shani mahaaraaj by doing this that or the other thing. However we are an integral part of the universe and things seem to be like a fractal – the same thing reflected over and over again. One doesn’t have to use astrology. One can live a perfectly fulfilling and successful life, both worldly and spiritually, without astrology. However, it is a tool available to us, to understand our personality, and it works.