JUDGING MENTAL FACTORS IN A HOROSCOPIC NATIVITYThe concept of the Kalpurusha or the Cosmic Man is a fundamental centrality in Jyotish. The various Rashis (signs) are said to govern several physiological, psychological, spiritual and religious features of the Cosmic Man who is an astrological summation of created existence. It is in this basic sense that the twelve Rashis, the nine Grahas or planets (as used in Jyotish!) and the twenty-seven Nakshatras or the Lunar Mansions derive their essential validity, meaning and significations.
Though psychiatry has gained far greater acceptability in relatively recent times than it used to, there is some inherent dissatisfaction with the purely psychiatric process. Fun is poked at the practitioner for being nothing more than an absent-minded listener. If poking fun at something was a drawback for the concerned discipline, Jyotish would have curled up and died a long time ago. The longevity of the astrological sciences and/or arts, as one may choose to view them, could have drawn only from one thing: their eternal truth!
Psychological makeup of an individual is a complex thing and it partakes of many factors. The approach of Hindu astrology to judging the mental health, aptitudes and inclinations, capacity to withstand setbacks and stress, nature of emotional disposition, social and criminal attributes and any number of factors related to the mind, is very sophisticated. One who is new to Jyotish or has not come across a well-educated practitioner of this incredible mystic art is liable to be bewildered and startled at the clear-cut mental picture that may emerge from a Kundli belonging to a Jatak or a consulter.
It will be appreciated that the term mental factors is vast and includes tendencies and attributes stretching over a native's psychology, rationality, intellect, cognitive and emotive intelligence, maturity and wisdom potential, capability to not only handle but assimilate stress in order to reproduce a fully participatory matrix of actions that may be contributory at any level, be it individual, familial, societal, national, international, universal… and so on and so forth. The list pertaining to this area could be endless and unwieldy. It is not intended here to enter into a philosophical debate on what the mind could mean; rather, it is our endeavour to lay bare those specific factors in a chart that can provide this sort of complex and highly useful information with hardly any interaction-prerequisite with the consulter. The only thing that Jyotish requires is the reference frame of the Desh-Kal-Patra. There are, after all, only twelve Bhavas (houses) and nine Rashis in the horoscopic chart and very basic information, about the country (Desh), prevailing socio-economic-political environment (Kal) and some specific details about the consulter (Patra), is needed to base the chart analysis on. This is a sort of substratum, upon which foundation, the mystic truisms relating to various aspects of the chart shall be expounded.
The Lagna is always the most important factor in horoscopic delineation. It is the sign rising on the eastern horizon as seen from any given point on the surface of the earth. A sign may be said to have rising duration of approximately two hours. After that the next sign in the zodiacal sequence shall rise for broadly the same duration. The Lagna or Ascendant governs the area from the back of the head to the beginning of the forehead. Quite obviously, since the human brain is located in this area, The Lagna is of massive importance in judging factors relating to mental features of the native whichever sub-area they may specifically be grouped under. The Lagna is the focal point that decided the functional malefic or benefic status on the natural malefic and benefics, thus imparting to the Grahas a complex interweaving of teleological tendencies, even without considering the advanced interplays of their location is signs and houses and with each other, the latter forming scores, of the celebrated phenomenon, of Yogas (planetary combinations). The Lagna is indicative of the overall personality and life-structure of the native. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. Afflictions to the Lagna by location or aspect of malefics (whether natural or functional) can lead to warped thinking, weakness and frailty in, inter alia, mental areas, lack of talent, application to understanding and so forth. Similarly, benefic (whether natural or functional) influences to the Lagna, can lead to situations where positive outcomes and events imbibing strength manifest fully. A strong Lagna can countermand many adverse and afflicting tendencies in the rest of the horoscope. Conversely, its weakness will not allow beneficial Yogas like Rajayogas, Dhanayogas and a massive number of fortunate combinations seen by the seers in their supreme meditative trances, to come to proper fruition. In this regard, the lord of the Lagna cannot be overlooked. What applies to, and is seen from the Lagna, is equally derived from the Lagnesh. The position, conjunction and aspects (PAC) accruing to the Lagnesh are very important in judging the psycho-rational-spiritual worth of the native.
The Navamsha or the Ninth Division of the Lagna is called the Navamsha Lagna and is considered at least equally, if not more, important as the natal Lagna. The Navamsha Lagna has a great bearing on the thinking, appearance, ability and overall personality of the native. The signs tenanting the natal and Navamsha Lagna will provide valuable interpretative data about the various facets of the native's mental personality. The placement of the natal Lagnesh in the Navamsha Varga chart, by consideration of house and sign, as too by conjunctions and aspects, will lead to many conclusions about the native's predispositions and predilections. Equally, then, the placement of the Navamsha Lagnesh in Navamsha and Lagna charts with due consideration on the benefic and/ or malefic influences on the Navamsha Lagna and Lagnesh will have a visible and quite clear bearing on the various interlocking features of the native's incarnate being. Another feature that is relevant is the Nakshatra rising in the Lagna. This has a subtle effect based on the symbolism, ruling deity and mythological realities associated with the Nakshatra. Each Nakshatra has a lord, just like each sign does, and the placement of such a lord in any of the houses and signs of the Janma Kundli (natal horoscope) shall have weighty bearing, albeit at a subtle level, on the native's person.
It stands to mystic reason that the Cosmic Lagna Rashi, Mesha or Aries, forming the head of the Kalpurusha is an important key to unraveling things related to all particular heads, so to speak, on planet Earth. All heads, irrespective of nationality, race, colour, caste and so on, are controlled and formed by the universal archetypal head-quality loaded in Mesha. Irrespective of where Mesha happens to fall in any given horoscope, its affliction and/or strength have to be judged if overall mental status is being evaluated. As a logical corollary, Mangal (Mars), the lord of Mesha is to be seen as well. It is no surprise that in head injuries and matters pertaining to human heads. Mesha and Mangal, more often than not, have a conspicuous role to play.
In many ways, Chandra, or the natal Moon, is the primary significator of emotional and psychological well-being. The Chandra Graha is a natural benefic if it is bright and waxing and unafflicted by malefics (primarily natural malefics), well placed and suitably aspected. Since it rules some vulnerable and delicate areas in life, it is a delicate and vulnerable planet, easily afflicted. A waning and afflicted Moon is a malefic. It is a very important Graha synonymous at times with the created world or the manifestation. It is linked to Goddess Durga, the deity whose specific power Maya is responsible for the veil of illusion that causes the soul-body (and others!) dichotomy. The house where Chandra is placed is treated as an alternate Lagna, especially in North India, where this writer lives. Chandra is not directly linked to intellectual dimensions of the human mind. It is the prime karaka of emotional and psychological mapping and mother. Astrologically it is no surprise that our relationships with our mothers make up such a huge component of our psychological well-being. They have an identical mystic core! Chandra governs our ability to connect with people, our societal impulses, our relationships, attitudes towards people at large, joie-de-vivre, being emotionally fulfilled and unselfish enough to be able to care for other people, happiness, laughter, sensitivity and allied areas. An afflicted Moon is an otherwise healthy chart can drive the Jatak to help other people to alleviate anxiety, fears and self-centric fears. In this sense it can also be considered an Upaya or remedial measure for an oppressed Chandra. The location of the Chandra Lagna in a given house as reckoned from the natal lagna allies the psychological focus and desires of the native's mind with the significations associated with that house. It is exalted in Vrishabh (Taurus) Rashi. Variation of degree makes this the Mooltrikona sign as well. Vrishchik(Scorpio) Rashi is its sign of debility. Chandra is bereft of its positive qualities in fall save for allied positive factors that may alleviate the misery, or, indeed, a Neechabhanga Yoga may annul the debility. Even in such a situation, the debility effects of Chandra are seen to manifest. Chandra lords over Karka Rashi and this Rashi is the storehouse of the Cosmic Emotive Content. It also holds the seeds of all future manifestation. Karka forms the apex of the Moksha Trikona, the initiation of the Triangle of Liberation. It is no surprise that enlightenment is associated with a mastery over the mind and its attendant emotions!
For this reason the Fourth House of any chart partakes of the qualities of Karka (Cancer), the Fourth House of the Kalpurusha, no matter what sign may fall there. The Fourth House is the Cosmic Womb or Hiranyagarbha and a prime storehouse for the psyche, emotions and personal character of an individual. The Rashi actually falling in the Fourth House will indicate the innate psychological nature inherited at birth. The aspects and location of planets in this house will be directly responsible in making up a person's nature. Likewise, the Rashi falling in the Lagna and that of the house where Chandra is posited will colour the personality. The Chandra Lagnesh (Lord of the Moon sign) will rule the native's mind according to its own nature, sex and attributes. Where nature of the mind is to be gleaned from Rashis, their polarity, quality and element shall be instrumental in providing crucial fields of information in this regard.
The location of Mesha and Karka Rashis in auspicious houses will augur well for the mind of the Jatak (native/consulter) while the opposite situation will lead to relatively poor results. The Lord of the Fourth House in a chart would need to be judged according to the PAC rule laid down above. Aspects and conjunctions relating to the Chaturthesh will be dependent on Naisargik and Tatkalik Maitri (natural and temporal friendship) with the associated Graha.
It ought to be mentioned here that though Chandra does not treat any Graha as its enemy, Budh (Mercury) the Graha ruling intellect, is inimical to it since he resents the fact of being the bastard son, resulting from the illegitimate union of Tara, the wife of the preceptor of the Gods: Brihaspati (Jupiter), and Chandra. There is an unspoken tension between intellect and academic excellence (Budh), emotions (Chandra) and Sanatan philosophical wisdom (Guru). The bastardization of Budh's mythic entity hints at the fickle and neutral (Budh is a eunuch!) nature of the intellect. Reasoning can cut any which way. The human intellectual acumen lends itself to any activity without qualms. Over-intellectualization or lack of intellectual discernment has a special linkage with emotive perception. If emotions and intellect are harmonized we have a balanced and beautiful human being. If they are out of sync we know the lamentable effects that can result. Guru (Jupiter), whose sage advice embodies the eternal, unchanging truth does not quite fancy the neuter, fickle and nervous endeavours of Budh, the messenger of the Gods, running about gathering information, giving primacy to human, Mayik intellect, non-aligned, easily misguided (afflicted!) and unreliable. In this sense Guru is the enemy of Budh, inimical only in a sense of conservative disapproval, keeping Guru's ultra-benefic nature in mind. It will be appreciated that true, everlasting knowledge of Godness, God, Godhead, divinity, the spirit or by whatever name we choose to address it, once attained steadies the mind, clams it and helps it transcend itself. This is precisely how a powerful Guru can transform some of the more surface characteristics of Chandra. If the reader wishes to delve into it, a reading of the causes behind the waxing and waning of Chandra, responsible for mood changes, cycles including menstrual cycles and all sorts of rapid day to day changes, in mythic form, will lead to Rohini Nakshatra, in which sensual domain, the human mind (Chandra) feels the best. The course of Chandra will also display the linkage between mood swings and the female menstrual cycle, including symptomatic conditions like PMS.
Some crucial factors relating to the human mind such as individual likes and dislikes are linked with the fondness of Chandra for his favourite bride Rohini. This is the world of the intoxicated sated mind, connecting lavish and vigorous participation in the sensual world, as a created expression of divine sentiment. Lord Shri Krishna chose to be born under this royal and auspicious Nakshatra. The less favoured places that Chandra is compelled to transit by dictates of Dharma or Cosmic Law hold the occult keys to our changing foci of mental choices, even from day to day, or every other day.
Guru's expansive, forgiving and magnanimous nature explains the natural friendship between him and Chandra. The association or aspect of Guru on Chandra is very auspicious and gives fortunate direction and steady wisdom to the mind. The conjunction or location in mutual Kendras leads to the highly praised Gajkesari Yoga.
The affliction of the factors discussed till this point by natural malefics such as Rahu (North Node), Ketu (South Node), Shani (Saturn), Mangal (Mars) and Surya (Sun) inevitably colour the mental faculties both according to their permanent attributes and significations as too by lordship of houses and association with other planetary energies. The detailed effects of such associations and afflictions are the subject matter of full-fledged books. Rahu's conjunction or aspect to Chandra can give Shani like effects in accord with the dictum Shanivad Rahu (Rahu acts like Saturn). Rahu can lead to illusions, phobias, drug abuse, neurosis, psychosis, distorted fancies, schizophrenia, compulsive lying, general substance abuse, addictions, pathological manipulative tendencies, fear, specific fear of a calamity happening, dread and countless other like afflictions. Rahu also fuels creative writing and media related work. It governs foreigners and foreign things. It can spur the creative impulse by turning its illusion into a craft. Ought it surprise us that so many writers of fiction are prone to mental disorders, perpetually fighting some guilt, viewing there are as a lie at a deep and intimate level and this turmoil can even drive them to contemplate suicide.
Or indeed as to why a highly charged Budh carries with it nervous torment! Why do so many clowns and comedians have such disastrous mental states as private human beings? The roots of this entire thing lie in Jyotish. The Graha that owns the ability to laugh and to make others laugh, communication skills, intellect, humour, wit, sarcasm, repartee is the same who lords over the nervous system. If the fiery logician Mangal is providing Budh a cutting edge in intellect, will this sword hesitate to cut both ways, other factors supporting this? These are cosmic truths that lie concealed in the horoscope, only desirous of a blessed eye to come and unravel them.
Ketu if manifesting its negative energies as a headless, lusty demon can give a bloodthirsty mentality, much like an evil Mangal, according to the dictum Kujvad Ketu (Ketu acts like Mars). Mars and Ketu hold swords in their hands and are responsible for violent, impulsive and trigger-happy mentalities. Having said all this, the attention of the reader is necessarily drawn to the fact that none of this can be applied directly to the chart. A host of factors need to be addressed by the Jyotishi (astrologer) before any conclusion can be drawn about them. An astrological prognosis is a complex thing. The naturally malefic tendencies of Mangal, Shani, Rahu, Ketu and Surya can not only turn functionally benefic but some of these Grahas may become Yogakaraka (lording over both a trine and a quadrant simultaneously) and maximum benefic results can lead from their energies in certain charts. Very many other factors like the strength of the Grahas in Vargas, Shadbala (six-fold) strength and other like measures will modify the results. Hence simplistic conclusions are forbidden.
The reader is advised to follow the myth of the beheading of Rahu to understand the difficulties faced by human beings when the nodes of Chandra afflict the luminaries.
Having viewed some of the planetary reservoirs from which diverse, or seemingly disparate, activities of the human realm emerge, we ought to only be expectant of the link that exists between asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis of the lungs and other chest-related ailments on the one hand, and the sign Karka, the natal fourth house of a Kundli, Chandra and the fourth lord on the other. Chandra rules water and the chest area of the Kalpurusha. Afflictions to various areas linked to Chandra, cosmic fourth house, natal fourth house and fourth lord lead to disorders of the chest. Asthmatics are frequently advised to drink a lot of water, both the illness and the cure being Karakattwas (significations) of the same Graha. It should also not surprise us to note that specific asthma or bronchitis attacks in people suffering from the disease hit at a time when the patient is overly anxious, worried or is experiencing panic. These latter emotional afflictions almost always involve an afflicted Chandra.
Another factor linked with mental potentials and kinetics of the chart is the auspicious Fifth House. The Cosmic Fifth House Simha (Leo) and its Lord the Pratyaksha Dev (the manifest Lord), Surya are quite important. The Fifth House of the natal chart and that of the Kalpurusha as too their lords deal with Purva Punya (good deeds in past lives). This house deals more with intellect and intellect-oriented thinking and output than emotive areas. Though the Fourth House has sufficient latent intellect content for it to be the prime significator house of graduate education and overall educational qualifications, it is the Fifth House that deals with higher studies. It is natural for it to be linked with the higher mind. It suggests intellectual, creative, spiritual and fictional output as well. In addition to the mental it also shows the physical output, namely children. A great many people prefer the higher procreation while to indulge in both is hardly uncommon or taboo. The main thing here is that the mind is inextricably and crucially linked to even the physical output, reflected in the fact of our great mental attachment to our children. In this house the linkage is exercised to both physical and ideational progeny. Yet another facet fundamentally rooted in thinking, feeling and generally the mental vortex is the fascination with the opposite sex. This house governs romance and love affairs but not necessarily marriage which fact casts some subtle light on the real state of affairs in a marriage that has no connection with this house or its lord. Speculation, art, entertainment, authorship, knowledge of the Mantras (mystic Sanskrit formulae and chants), Vedas (revealed truth of the Hindus), Vedanta (philosophical basis of the Vedas, called Upanishads), spiritual truth, music, cinema are some of the many shades of the human mind that form a gorgeous fabric in this Bhava. Affliction to this area in any form will lead to suffering, be it through children, lack of intelligence or Viveka (discrimination), faulty thinking, over-intellectualization, being spiritual to the detriment of material life, ruinous love affairs and the like. This is one of the most auspicious Trikona Bhavas (trinal houses) and is indicative of our entire Karmic balance we have as souls or Atmans. If the Ninth House or Lord of Prarabdha (fate-quality of the present birth) is afflicted while the Fifth House or Lord is strong or indeed the sign Simha is potent while Dhanu (Sagittarius) is afflicted, it may show a difficult incarnation I this life while overall good Karma in store, to come to the aid of the Jatak in future births. The learned reader should envisage the contrary situation by positing weakness and strength in exchange in the factors mentioned. The simultaneous strength of both with a supportive Ketu might mean final release or Moksha or emancipation.
The location of Chandra, Budh, Guru, Lagnesh, Chaturthesh (lord of the fourth house), and Panchmesh (lord of the fifth house) in the Dusthanas (the evil houses): the Sixth, Eighth and Twelfth houses, or linked with their lords is liable to predispose the nativity to mental difficulty in one way or the other. Once again the strong language of the classics is not to be applied verbatim for that is a sure shot recipe for predictive disaster. It will also be prudent to note that Dusthanas can hold many fine things in their bosom but that this is always secondary to their basically evil nature. The location of Chandra in Dusthanas leads to Balarishta (ill health in childhood) but in practice it will be found that this only predisposes the chart to ill health. The timing of specific mental or physical adversity will be contingent on Dasha (planetary periodicity) triggers as is the rest of Jyotish analysis. The static promise of a chart is quite important, even fundamental, but Dashas can surprise us. A seemingly chronic underachiever may suddenly flower, his mind wide awake and blooming all of a sudden while a performing, participating person may begin to wilt without any majorly apparent secular cause. So, almost everything will be surveyed with regard to operating Dashas.
That most potent of all transit phenomenon, in relation to the mental health of a person, the Sade-Sati of Shani Dev is not being discussed here in full detail since, at the very least, it merits an independent paper. Let the author merely hint at the awesome potential of the limiting principle of Lord Shani. The Sade-Sati has the potential to create extreme mental distress in most cases leading to a radical emotional and psychological reorientation by cramping the style of the native and suppressing what comes most naturally to him. This is one of the most unambiguous and unyielding destruction-regeneration cycles of Nature. Certainly Dashas, Shani's lordships as reckoned from Lagna and Chandra Lagna, strengths or afflictions of Shani and Chandra and the numerical measures of strengths of houses natally and the contributory factors relating to each Graha qua a house in the form of Sarvashtakvarga, Ashtakvarga and Bhinnashtakvarga are factors that will temper the results.
The Sade-Sati is said to be on when the Gochar Shani transits the sign preceding, containing and following the radical Chandra. Since Chandra lords over feelings, emotions and psychology, affliction by Shani, who embodies the misery of the Kalpurusha, the elder of Yama- the God of Death, ruler of setbacks, obstacles, setbacks, harsh discipline, obscurity, depression, pariah status, suffering, limitation, contraction, failure, pain and many such lighthearted magnitudes, can lead to a death and rebirth of the psychological entity. A therapeutic reading of the travails of Raja Vikramaditya in his archetypal Sade-Sati, as recorded for the benefit of blessed souls, in the Shani Mahatmya (The Greatness of Saturn) as in other mythic legends is highly recommended.
Most of the factors covered in this paper ought to be considered from the Chandra Lagna and Navamsha Lagna in addition to the natal Lagna, wherever applicable. For those supplementing their astrological odyssey with Jaimini, this also holds true for the Karakamsha Lagna. The Nakshatras of sensitive areas and Grahas, and their lords' placement and associations are relevant.
It is not the author's delusion that all factors relating to mental features in a nativity have been exhausted. Indeed, all the various Bhavas and Grahas can be said to carry mental elements in some form or the other. This is a modest attempt to touch upon some of the more prominent features that are defining parameters in this sort of study. It is felt that a systematic analysis that begins with a study of the features in this paper will help in unraveling some of the mental complexities in a horoscope.
What does it say of the human mind when certain supposedly educated particular manifestations of it persistently give verdicts that Jyotish is invalid or when calls are made, for some obscure reason, to prove it is a science like the physical sciences. I would exclaim 'For God's Sake' if only the tedium of either proving or disproving the existence of God were not such a philosophical conundrum!