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AYURVEDIC ASTROLOGY AND NAVARATNA
All great ancient civilizations centered their cultures on profound systems of astrology, connecting conditions and events on the Earth with cosmic influences deriving from the stars. Whether it is India or China, Egypt or Babylonia, or the Mayas and Incans of America, we find in each case an astrological foundation for their spiritual cultures. Astrology and its measure of sacred time formed the basis of their calendars which, looking to the heavens, sought to organize human life according to celestial forces more certain than our merely personal desires and calculations. Even the ancient cultures of Europe like the Greeks, Romans, Celts and Germans, had detailed systems of astrology, as have all communities that recognize the sacred nature of the universe.
Similarly, all systems of traditional medicine East and West possess corresponding forms of astrology, which are essential to both their theory and their practice. Notably, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has the I Ching and Chinese astrology, while the Ayurvedic medicine of India has Vedic astrology. Traditional European medicine going back to the Greeks included western astrological traditions, which were part of pagan traditions in general.
Connecting healing and astrology – or the practice of medical astrology – is one of the deepest and most lasting investigations of our species. It is as old as all such great ancient cultures and their astrologically based rituals to keep human life in harmony with the cosmos. We have long looked to the stars and the heavens for guidance, grace and healing energy, for understanding human existence in a deeper perspective in which we can touch the eternal and the infinite. Today we are entering into a new planetary age, in which ancient, native and traditional systems of healing and spirituality are once more being honored. In this context an examination of the astrology of healing is relevant, if not crucial for reclaiming that older and perhaps wiser heritage of our species.
Vedic Astrology and Ayurvedic Medicine
Vedic astrology is India's traditional system of reading the stars, the planets and the entire movement of time. It was originally called Vedanga Jyotish, meaning the study of light (Jyoti) which a limb of the Veda (Vedanga). It was also called Jyotirveda, the Veda or ‘science of light’. Ayurveda, which means the ‘science of life’, is the corresponding Vedic system of natural healing for both body and mind. Both are living branches of an ancient sacred science that arose in an older era in which humanity had a greater intuitive connection with the sacred universe. Unlike corresponding western traditions, their continuity, though shaken by hostile forces, has remained unbroken. These systems are undergoing a renaissance today as we once more learn to look within.
Vedic astrology is an extraordinary predictive and counseling tool. There are many wonderful stories of how Vedic astrologers can pinpoint specific events in a person’s life with uncanny accuracy. Yet Vedic astrologers are not only good at prediction, they can relate deep wisdom about a person’s life purpose, karma and spiritual path. I myself have visited several Vedic astrologers in India who could relate the main events of my life, my future development, and past and future life implications with extraordinary precision and with notable wisdom. Some Vedic astrologers are thought to be psychics for this reason, though they may be only describing what the Vedic birthchart can reveal to a trained astrological insight.
Similarly, Ayurveda is a precise and comprehensive tool for healing physical and psychological well-being, promoting optimal health, energy and vitality. There are many instances of Ayurvedic doctors introducing changes in a person's life, from simple dietary or life-style modifications, to special herbs or internal cleansings that can literally rejuvenate us, curing long standing and intractable health problems of various types. Because of such occurrences, some Ayurvedic doctors are regarded as magical healers, though they may only be employing practices based upon understanding the laws of nature and the movement of the life-force, such as Ayurveda has taught them.
These two Vedic systems and their magic come together in the ‘Vedic astrology of healing’ or ‘Ayurvedic astrology’. Ayurvedic astrology shows us how to optimize both factors of our health and our destiny, our vitality and our karma, so that we can realize our highest potential in life, with our earthly life following the model of heavenly forces and their consciousness-promoting outcomes. Ayurvedic astrology shows how we can heal ourselves through the stars, bringing the energies of the cosmos into our lives so that we can once more touch the universal light.
Ayurveda and Vedic Astrology
Ayurveda is called “the mother of all healing” because it embraces all forms of healing including diet, herbs, bodywork, surgery, psychology and yoga. It accepts anything internally or externally that promotes health, well-being and happiness. Ayurveda explores the qualities and effects not only of foods, medicines and behavior but also of climates, the weather and the stars (astrology).
Ayurveda provides an integral mind-body system of both diagnosis and treatment. First it shows us our individual constitution according to the three doshas or biological humors of Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (water), as well as how this constitution is affected by everything from genetics to environment and emotions. Then it outlines various treatment measures to enable us to achieve optimal health and vitality. These range from simple dietary measures to complex herbs and special purification procedures. Ayurveda aims not only at the cure and prevention of disease but also at rejuvenation and longevity. Beyond ordinary health care measures it has special methods to allow us to achieve a higher level of vitality and awareness – a spiritual Ayurveda that is part of the practice of Yoga.
Possessing a similar scope to Ayurveda, Vedic astrology contains all aspects of astrology, including the reading of birth charts (natal astrology), mundane astrology (the effects of astrological on society), astrological timing and forecasting (muhurta), and answering questions (prashna). In addition to these usual astrological considerations, Vedic astrology encompasses all forms of divination, including palmistry and numerology, of which several Vedic forms exist. It also includes astronomy and meteorology, which reflect karmic as well as physical forces.
As a form of natal astrology or the reading of birth charts, the Vedic system helps us understand our personal lives in all areas, including health, wealth, relationship, career and spirituality. Like Ayurveda, it has a broad range of treatment measures including the use of colors, gems, mantras and the worship deities to aid in our greater well-being and life unfoldment. These are called Jyotish-Chikitsa, the therapies of light or astrology.
Yet, though they have their specializations in many areas, both Vedic astrology and Ayurveda have a significant overlap as well. Vedic astrology contains a medical system based upon Ayurveda, while Ayurveda contains a system for the timing of disease and its treatment based upon Vedic astrology. We can designate this combined usage of Ayurveda and Vedic astrology more simply as ‘Ayurvedic Astrology’.
Ayurvedic astrology is the medical branch of Vedic astrology, adding to it the Ayurvedic view of health and healing. It uses the language of Ayurveda to understand the effects of the planets on the body and mind relative to health, disease and longevity. Ayurvedic astrology also uses Vedic astrology as an aid to Ayurvedic analysis, diagnosis and treatment, showing how planetary factors cause disease and balancing them can be an important aid in any cure.
Ayurvedic astrology combines these two great disciplines, using Vedic astrology to plot the influences of time and karma and Ayurveda to show how these relate on to our state of Prana or vital energy. Combining these two great disciplines together, there is nothing that we cannot treat or cannot understand.
Vedic astrology considers that the determination of physical and mental health is the foundation of all astrological analysis. Whatever other indications may occur in a chart – whether for career, wealth, relationship or spirituality – these cannot bear fruit if a person has significant physical or mental impairments. Traditionally, the ascertainment of longevity was the first factor to be examined by a good astrologer. This was not a matter of simply determining how long a person was likely to live, but part of a general determination of the vitality of a person, their energy to use the opportunities afforded them by the chart. In this regard, medical or Ayurvedic astrology is usually the first step of all astrological examination.
However, Ayurvedic astrology is not simply a physically-based medical astrology. It reflects the psychological and spiritual dimensions of Ayurveda as well. It is concerned with our well-being on all levels, which depends upon our connection to the Soul, the real person or Atman within. In this regard, Ayurvedic astrology is concerned with healing body, mind and spirit, using the tools of the entire universe, the foremost of which is the light of the stars and planets. It expands the field of Ayurveda to its broadest possible range.
Astrology is a group of systems, traditions, and beliefs in which knowledge of the apparent relative positions of celestial bodies and related details is held to be useful in understanding, interpreting, and organizing information about personality, human affairs, and other terrestrial matters. A practitioner of astrology is called an astrologer or an astrologist. Numerous traditions and applications employing astrological concepts have arisen since its earliest recorded beginnings in the 3rd millennium BC.It has played a role in the shaping of culture, early astronomy, and other disciplines throughout history.
Astrology and astronomy were often indistinguishable before the modern era, with the desire for predictive and divinatory knowledge one of the primary motivating factors for astronomical observation. Astronomy began to diverge from astrology after a period of gradual separation from the Renaissance up until the 18th century. Eventually, astronomy distinguished itself as the scientific study of astronomical objects and phenomena without regard to the astrological speculation of these phenomena.
Astrology can be defined as the study of the positions of celestial bodies in the belief that their movements either directly influence life on Earth or correspond somehow to events experienced on a human scale. Modern astrologers define astrology as a symbolic language an art form, and a form of divination.Despite differences of definitions, a common assumption of astrology is the use of celestial placements in order to explain past and present events and predict the future. Generally, the scientific community considers astrology a pseudoscience or superstition. Despite its rejection by virtually all scientists, 31% of Americans polled expressed a belief in astrology and 39% considered it scientific according to another study
Core beliefs of astrology
The core beliefs of astrology were prevalent in most of the ancient world and are epitomized in the Hermetic maxim "as above, so below". Tycho Brahe used a similar phrase to summarize his studies in astrology: suspiciendo despicio, "by looking up I see downward". Although the principle that events in the heavens are mirrored by those on Earth was once generally held in most traditions of astrology around the world, in the West there has historically been a debate among astrologers over the nature of the mechanism behind astrology. The debate also covers whether or not celestial bodies are only signs or portents of events, or if they are actual causes of events through some sort of force or mechanism.
Although the connection between celestial mechanics and terrestrial dynamics was explored first by Isaac Newton with his development of a universal theory of gravitation, claims that the gravitational effects of the celestial bodies are what accounts for astrological generalizations are not substantiated by scientific research, nor are they advocated by most astrologers.
Most astrological traditions are based on the relative positions and movements of various real or construed celestial bodies and on the construction of implied or calculated celestial patterns as seen at the time and place of the event being studied. These are chiefly the astrological planets, dwarf planets, the asteroids, the stars, the lunar nodes, Arabic parts and hypothetical planets. The frame of reference for such apparent positions is defined by the tropical or sidereal zodiac of twelve signs on one hand, and by the local horizon and midheaven-imum coeli axis on the other. This latter (local) frame is typically further divided into the twelve astrological houses. Furthermore, the astrological aspects are used to determine the geometric/angular relationship(s) between the various celestial bodies and angles in the horoscope.
The claim of astrology to predict future trends and developments, or predictive astrology, is based on two main methods: astrological transits and astrological progressions. In astrological transits the ongoing movements of the planets are interpreted for their significance as they transit through space and the horoscope. In astrological progressions the horoscope is progressed forward in time according to set methods. Most modern astrologers no longer try to forecast actual events, but focus instead on general trends and developments. Skeptics respond that this allows astrologers to avoid making verifiable predictions, and gives them the ability to attach significance to arbitrary and unrelated events, in a way that suits their purpose.
In the past, astrologers often relied on close observation of celestial objects and the charting of their movements. Modern astrologers use data provided by astronomers which are transformed to a set of astrological tables called ephemerides, showing the changing zodiacal positions of the heavenly bodies through time.
There are many traditions of astrology, some of which share similar features due to the transmission of astrological doctrines between cultures. Other traditions developed in isolation and hold different doctrines, though they too share some features due to drawing on similar astronomical sources.
Current traditions of astrology
The main traditions used by modern astrologers are:
* Vedic astrology
* Western astrology
* Chinese astrology
Vedic and Western astrology share a common ancestry as horoscopic systems of astrology, in that both traditions focus on the casting of an astrological chart or horoscope, a representation of celestial entities, for an event based on the position of the Sun, Moon, and planets at the moment of the event. However, Vedic astrology uses the sidereal zodiac, linking the signs of the zodiac to their original constellations, while Western astrology uses the tropical zodiac. Because of the precession of the equinoxes, over the centuries the twelve zodiacal signs in Western astrology no longer correspond to the same part of the sky as their original constellations. In effect, in Western astrology the link between sign and constellation has been broken, whereas in Vedic astrology it remains of paramount importance. Other differences between the two traditions include the use of 27 nakshatras or lunar mansions, which have been used in India since Vedic times, and the system of planetary periods known as dashas.
In Chinese astrology a quite different tradition has evolved. By contrast to Western and Indian astrology, the twelve signs of the zodiac do not divide the sky, but rather the celestial equator. The Chinese evolved a system where each sign corresponds to one of twelve 'double-hours' that govern the day, and to one of the twelve months. Each sign of the zodiac governs a different year, and combines with a system based on the five elements of Chinese cosmology to give a 60 (12 x 5) year cycle. The term Chinese astrology is used here for convenience, but it must be recognised that versions of the same tradition exist in Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and other Asian countries.
In modern times, these traditions have come into greater contact with each other, notably with Indian and Chinese astrology having spread to the West, while awareness of Western astrology is still fairly limited in Asia. Astrology in the Western world has diversified greatly in modern times. New movements have appeared, which have jettisoned much of traditional astrology to concentrate on different approaches, such as a greater emphasis on midpoints, or a more psychological approach. Some recent Western developments include:
* Modern tropical and sidereal horoscopic astrology
* Psychological astrology
* Sun sign astrology
* Hamburg School of Astrology
* Uranian astrology, subset of the Hamburg School
Historical traditions of astrology
Throughout its long history, astrology has come to prominence in many regions and undergone developments and change. There are many astrological traditions that are historically important, but which have largely fallen out of use today. Astrologers still retain an interest in them and regard them as an important resource. Historically significant traditions of astrology include:
* Arab and Persian astrology (Medieval, near East)
* Babylonian astrology (Ancient, near East)
* Egyptian astrology
* Hellenistic astrology (Classical antiquity)
* Mayan astrology
The history of Western, Chinese, and Indian astrology is discussed in the main article history of astrology.
Many mystic or esoteric traditions have links to astrology. In some cases, like Kabbalah, this involves participants incorporating elements of astrology into their own traditions. In other cases, like divinatory tarot, many astrologers themselves have incorporated the tradition into their own practice of astrology. Esoteric traditions include, but are not limited to:
* Kabbalistic astrology
* Medical astrology
* Rosicrucian or "Rose Cross"
* Tarot divination
Historically, alchemy in the Western World was particularly allied and intertwined with traditional Babylonian-Greek style astrology; in numerous ways they were built to complement each other in the search for occult or hidden knowledge. Astrology has used the concept of the four classical elements of alchemy from antiquity up until the present day. Traditionally, each of the seven planets in the solar system known to the ancients was associated with, held dominion over, and "ruled" a certain metal
The zodiac is the belt or band of constellations through which the Sun, Moon, and planets transit across the sky. Astrologers noted these constellations and so attached a particular significance to them. Over time they developed the system of twelve signs of the zodiac (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces), based on twelve of the constellations they considered to be particularly important. The Western and Vedic zodiac signs have a common origin in the tradition of horoscopic astrology, and so are very similar in meaning. In China on the other hand, the development of the zodiac was different. Although the Chinese too have a system of twelve signs (named after animals), the Chinese zodiac refers to a pure calendrical cycle, as there are no equivalent constellations linked to it like the Western or Indian zodiacs. The common choice of twelve zodiac signs is understandable considering the interaction of the Sun and Moon was central to all forms of astrology.
The majority of Western astrologers base their work on the tropical zodiac which divides the sky into twelve equal segments of 30 degrees each, beginning with the first point of Aries, the point where the line of the earth's celestial equator and the ecliptic (the Sun's path through the sky) meet at the northern hemisphere spring equinox. Due to the precession of the equinoxes, the slow changing of the way Earth rotates in space, the zodiacal signs in this system bear no relation to the constellations of the same name but stay aligned to the months and seasons.
Practitioners of the Vedic astrological tradition and a minority of Western astrologers use the sidereal zodiac. This zodiac uses the same evenly divided ecliptic but approximately stays aligned to the positions of the observable constellations with the same name as the zodiacal signs. The sidereal zodiac differs from the tropical zodiac by an offset called the ayanamsa, which steadily increases as the equinoxes drift further. Furthermore, some siderealists (i.e. astrologers employing sidereal techniques) use the actual, unequal constellations of the zodiac in their work.
Horoscopic astrology is a system that was developed in the Mediterranean region and specifically Hellenistic Egypt around the late 2nd or early 1st century BCE. The tradition deals with two-dimensional diagrams of the heavens, or horoscopes, created for specific moments in time. The diagram is then used to interpret the inherent meaning underlying the alignment of celestial bodies at that moment based on a specific set of rules and guidelines. A horoscope was calculated normally for the moment of an individual's birth, or at the beginning of an enterprise or event, because the alignments of the heavens at that moment were thought to determine the nature of the subject in question. One of the defining characteristics of this form of astrology that makes it distinct from other traditions is the computation of the degree of the Eastern horizon rising against the backdrop of the ecliptic at the specific moment under examination, otherwise known as the ascendant. Horoscopic astrology has been the most influential and widespread form of astrology across the world, especially in Africa, India, Europe, and the Middle East, and there are several major traditions of horoscopic astrology whose origins are Hellenistic, including Indian, Medieval, and most other modern Western traditions of astrology.
Central to horoscopic astrology and its branches is the calculation of the horoscope or astrological chart. This two-dimensional diagrammatic representation shows the celestial bodies' apparent positions in the heavens from the vantage of a location on Earth at a given time and place. The horoscope is also divided into twelve different celestial houses which govern different areas of life. Calculations performed in casting a horoscope involve arithmetic and simple geometry which serve to locate the apparent position of heavenly bodies on desired dates and times based on astronomical tables. In ancient Hellenistic astrology the ascendant demarcated the first celestial house of a horoscope. The word for the ascendant in Greek was horoskopos from which horoscope derives. In modern times, the word has come to refer to the astrological chart as a whole.
Branches of horoscopic astrology
Traditions of horoscopic astrology can be divided into four branches which are directed towards specific subjects or purposes. Often these branches use a unique set of techniques or a different application of the core principles of the system to a different area. Many other subsets and applications of astrology are derived from these four fundamental branches.
* Natal astrology, the study of a person's natal chart to gain information about the individual and his/her life experience.
* Katarchic astrology, which includes both electional and event astrology. The former uses astrology to determine the most auspicious moment to begin an enterprise or undertaking, and the latter to understand everything about an event from the time at which it took place.
* Horary astrology, used to answer a specific question by studying the chart of the moment the question is posed to an astrologer.
* Mundane or world astrology, the application of astrology to world events, including weather, earthquakes, and the rise and fall of empires or religions. This includes the Astrological Ages, such as the Age of Aquarius, Age of Pisces and so on. Each age is about 2,150 years in length and many people believe these massive ages correspond to major historical events and current developments in the world
History of astrology
The origins of much of the astrological doctrine and method that would later develop in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East are found among the ancient Babylonians and their system of celestial omens that began to be compiled around the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. This system of celestial omens later spread either directly or indirectly through the Babylonians and Assyrians to other areas such as India, Middle East, and Greece where it merged with pre-existing indigenous forms of astrology.This Babylonian astrology came to Greece initially as early as the middle of the 4th century BCE, and then around the late 2nd or early 1st century BCE after the Alexandrian conquests, this Babylonian astrology was mixed with the Egyptian tradition of decanic astrology to create horoscopic astrology. This new form of astrology, which appears to have originated in Alexandrian Egypt, quickly spread across the ancient world into Europe, the Middle East and India.
Before the modern era
From the classical period through the scientific revolution, astrological training played a critical role in advancing astronomical, mathematical, medical and psychological knowledge. Astrological influences included the observation and long-term tracking of celestial objects. It was astrologers who provided the first systematic documentation of the movements of the Sun, the Moon, the planets, and the stars. The differentiation between astronomy and astrology varied from place to place; they were indistinguishable in ancient Babylonia and medieval Europe, but separated to an extent in the Hellenistic world. The first semantic distinction between astrology and astronomy was given in the 11th century by the Persian astronomer, Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī
The pattern of astronomical knowledge gained from astrological endeavours has been historically repeated across numerous cultures, from ancient India through the classical Maya civilization to medieval Europe. Given this historical contribution, astrology has been called a protoscience along with pseudosciences such as alchemy
Astrology was not always uncritically accepted before the modern era; it was often challenged by Hellenistic skeptics, church authorities, and medieval Muslim astronomers, such as Al-Farabi (Alpharabius), Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, Avicenna and Averroes. Their reasons for refuting astrology were often due to both scientific (the methods used by astrologers being conjectural rather than empirical) and religious (conflicts with orthodox Islamic scholars) reasons. Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (1292-1350), in his Miftah Dar al-SaCadah, used empirical arguments in astronomy in order to refute astrology and divination.
Many prominent thinkers, philosophers and scientists, such as Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Galen, Paracelsus, Girolamo Cardan, Nicholas Copernicus, Taqi al-Din, Tycho Brahe, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Carl Jung and others, practiced or significantly contributed to astrology.
Effects on world culture
Astrology has had a profound influence over the past few thousand years on Western and Eastern cultures. In the Middle Ages, when the educated of the time believed in astrology, the system of heavenly spheres and bodies was believed to reflect on the system of knowledge and the world itself below.
Astrology has had an influence on both language and literature. For example, influenza, from medieval Latin influentia meaning influence, was so named because doctors once believed epidemics to be caused by unfavorable planetary and stellar influences. The word "disaster" comes from the Italian disastro, derived from the negative prefix dis- and from Latin aster "star", thus meaning "ill-starred". Adjectives "lunatic" (Luna/Moon), "mercurial" (Mercury), "venereal" (Venus), "martial" (Mars), "jovial" (Jupiter/Jove), and "saturnine" (Saturn) are all old words used to describe personal qualities said to resemble or be highly influenced by the astrological characteristics of the planet, some of which are derived from the attributes of the ancient Roman gods they are named after. In literature, many writers, notably Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare, used astrological symbolism to add subtlety and nuance to the description of their characters' motivation(s). More recently, Michael Ward has proposed that C.S. Lewis imbued his Chronicles of Narnia with the characteristics and symbols of the seven heavens. Often, an understanding of astrological symbolism is needed to fully appreciate such literature.
Some modern thinkers, notably Carl Jung, believe in astrology's descriptive powers regarding the mind without necessarily subscribing to its predictive claims. In education astrology is reflected in the university education of medieval Europe, which was divided into seven distinct areas, each represented by a particular planet and known as the seven liberal arts. Dante Alighieri speculated that these arts, which grew into the sciences we know today, fitted the same structure as the planets. In music the best known example of astrology's influence is in the orchestral suite called "The Planets" by the British composer Gustav Holst, the framework of which is based upon the astrological symbolism of the planets.
Astrology and science
Position of the planets determines personality and human events.
By the time of Francis Bacon and the scientific revolution, newly emerging scientific disciplines acquired a method of systematic empirical induction validated by experimental observations, which led to the scientific revolution.At this point, astrology and astronomy began to diverge; astronomy became one of the central sciences while astrology was increasingly viewed as an occult science or superstition by natural scientists. This separation accelerated through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Astrology is now regarded as unscientific both by scientific bodies and by individual scientistsand has been labeled as a pseudoscience. In 1975, the American Humanist Association published one of the most widely known modern criticisms of astrology, characterizing those who continue to have faith in the subject as doing so "in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary". Astronomer Carl Sagan found himself unable to sign the statement, not because he felt astrology had any validity at all, but because he found the statement's tone authoritarian. Sagan stated that he would instead have been willing to sign a statement describing and refuting the principal tenets of astrological belief, which he believed would have been far more persuasive and would have produced much less controversy than the circulated statement
Although astrology has had no scientific standing for some time, it has been the subject of much research among astrologers since the beginning of the twentieth century. In their landmark study of twentieth-century research into natal astrology, astrology critics Geoffrey Dean and coauthors documented this burgeoning research activity, primarily within the astrological community.
Claims about obstacles to research
Astrologers have argued that there are significant obstacles in carrying out scientific research into astrology today, including lack of funding, lack of background in science and statistics by astrologers,and insufficient expertise in astrology by research scientists and skeptics.There are only a handful of journals dealing with scientific research into astrology (i.e. astrological journals directed towards scientific research or scientific journals publishing astrological research). Some astrologers have argued that few practitioners today pursue scientific testing of astrology because they feel that working with clients on a daily basis provides a personal validation for them.
Another argument made by astrologers is that most studies of astrology do not reflect the nature of astrological practice and that the scientific method does not apply to astrology. Some astrology proponents claim that the prevailing attitudes and motives of many opponents of astrology introduce conscious or unconscious bias in the formulation of hypotheses to be tested, the conduct of the tests, and the reporting of results.
As astrologers have been consistently unable to present physical mechanisms for astrology,few modern astrologers believe in a direct causal relationship between heavenly bodies and earthly events. An editorial published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific reports that they can find no evidence for a scientifically defined mechanism by which celestial objects can influence terrestrial affairs. Some researchers have posited acausal, purely correlative, relationships between astrological observations and events, such as the theory of synchronicity proposed by Carl Jung. Others have posited a basis in divination. Still others have argued that empirical correlations can stand on their own epistemologically, and do not need the support of any theory or mechanism.To some observers, these non-mechanistic concepts raise serious questions about the feasibility of validating astrology through scientific testing, and some have gone so far as to reject the applicability of the scientific method to astrology almost entirely.Some astrologers, on the other hand, believe that astrology is amenable to the scientific method, given sufficiently sophisticated analytical methods, and they cite pilot studies they claim support this view. Consequently, several astrologers have called for or advocated continuing studies of astrology based on statistical validation
Astrology has repeatedly failed to demonstrate its effectiveness in numerous controlled studies. Effect size studies in astrology conclude that the mean accuracy of astrological predictions is no greater than what is expected by chance, and astrology's perceived performance has disappeared on critical inspection. When testing for cognitive, behavioral, physical and other variables, one study of astrological "time twins" showed that human characteristics are not molded by the influence of the Sun, Moon and planets at the time of birth.Skeptics of astrology also suggest that the perceived accuracy of astrological interpretations and descriptions of one's personality can be accounted for by the fact that people tend to exaggerate positive 'hits' and overlook whatever does not fit, especially when vague language is used.They also argue that statistical research is often wrongly seen as evidence for astrology due to uncontrolled artifacts.A large-scale study, with a sample size of about 15,000 "astro-twins", was published in 2006. It examined the relationship between date of birth and individual differences in personality and general intelligence, and found no evidence that a connection existed. It also found no relationship between the zodiacal signs and participants' personal traits.
French psychologist and statistician Michel Gauquelin claimed to have found correlations between some planetary positions and certain human traits such as vocations. Gauquelin's most widely known claim is known as the Mars effect, which is said to demonstrate a correlation between the planet Mars occupying certain positions in the sky more often at the birth of eminent sports champions than at the birth of ordinary people. A similar claim is made by Richard Tarnas in his work Cosmos and Psyche, in which he explores correspondences between planetary alignments and historically significant events and individuals.
Since its original publication in 1955, the Mars effect has been the subject of critical studies and skeptical publications which refute it, and studies in fringe journals claiming to support or expand the original claims. Gauquelin's research has not received mainstream scientific notice.
The Forer effect is seen in astrology when most people simply accept their horoscopes as custom even if, by logic, it would mean that 1/12 of the world would have the exact same day or week.
1) Ruby for the Sun,
2) Pearl for the Moon,
3) Coral for Mars,
4) Emerald for Mercury,
5) Yellow sapphire for Jupiter,
6) Diamond for Venus,
7) Blue sapphire for Saturn,
8) Hessonite for Rahu (the ascending node of the Moon)
9) Cat's eye for Ketu (the descending node of the Moon),
these gems must be high-born (top quality) and flawless
SCIENCE BEHIND NAVARATNA
The Navaratna or the necklace of nine games is an exquisite piece of jewellery. A combination of nine auspicious stones strung together ensures the well being of the wearer. Let us take a took at the significance of these gems.The exquisite necklace of Navaratna which is an extremely popular ornament in India, is made up of nine gems. Precious stones have always been held in great esteem by all races and in India, special significance has been attached to each stone, for success and good health. Pearls and gold are still utilized in medicine, as are crystal and amethyst. Each stone has a history of its own which is a fascinating study.
The Navaratna consists of the vajra or diamond, manika or ruby, marakata or emerald, vidruma or coral, mukta or pearl, Nila or sapphire, gomedaka or garent, pusyaraga or topaz and vaidurya or cat’s eye. This combination of gems is considered highly auspicious for the wearer and also acts as protection against danger and disease.
According to astrology, the planets watch over each gem to give it their potency. Saturn is the planet for the Sapphire, Raghu for garnet, Ketu for cat’s eye, Sukra, for the diamond, the Sun for the ruby, the Moon for the pearl, Guru for the topaz, Budha for the emerald and angaraha for the coral.
It is extremely fascinating that only nine jewels are selected for the ornament. Nine has always been a magical number. In classical dance, worship in the nine directions is called Navasandhi. There are nine rasas and nine tandavas (dances) of Parveti and Shiva. The basic movement, the karanas are a hundred and eight which added together make nine and one of the finest varnams in Bharatanatyam is composed in nine ragas.
In religious texts, the Bhagvad Gita has eighteen chapters, againa of total nine, as in the rudraksha mala which has a hundred and eight beads. Satyabhama, the beloved of Krishna as related in the Bhagavatam, decorated her bed with nine gems-Navaratna Vinmrittam. The Goddness is adored for nine nights during the Navaratri festival.
Even in the English language, an incident that creates excitement is a nine days wonder!’ A formally attired person is ‘dressed up to the nines’ and there are probably many more meanings to the number nine in other cultures.
Each gem in the mala was given ce5rtain attributes of healing properties, according to ancient lore, and the practice is still in vogue today.
The ruby protects against poisonous substances and banishes any evil spirits that hover around. It also gives energy to the wearer and changes colour if the wearer is in bad health.
The emerald is an antidote for all stomach complaints, heals, stings and bites, it soothing to the eyes when mixed with saffron, and a protection against poisonous insects or reptiles. It was used in ancient times by mariners to prevent storms. Emeralds are said to pale if the wearer is faced with deception. As it is the stone of the Goddess of Love, it helps lovers in their problems.
The coral is extremely popular as it is a stone that is said to cure diseases, help the memory and act as a powerful protection against the evil eye. That is perhaps why it is often used in rosaries and made into chains for little children.
Pearls give strength to the heart and are often used in Ayurvedia medicine. In India, pearls have always been a favourite ornament in royal courts, usualy with an attached pendant of gold and precious stones.
The sapphire perhaps, because of its deep blue colour, was the stone of the god Indra. Blue has always been the colour of enlightenment and in Buddhism the wearing of it was said to increase devotion. In the West, bishops and cardinals also wore sapphires in ancient times. In spite of being held in sacred esteem, sapphires can also bring bad luck if worn by a person who does not have it as a birthstone.
The garnet is found in many colours though the best known is a deep red, almost resembling a ruby. Garnents are often used to imitate precious stones, but have not been recorded as having any special properties of protection.
On the other hand, the topaz is used for occult practices. It is used in the Middle East, for averting the evil eye, and is said to bring wealth and long life to the wearer. The topaz can be golden yellow in colour and sometimes colourless.
The cat’s eye is usually a brownish yellow. There is often a light line which shines through, giving the idea of an eye from which is derives is name.
Many of these jewels are worn set in rings, mounted so that they tough the skin. The stone and its weight are decided according to the individual’s astrological chart.
The nine jewels of the necklace are a combination of the different gems and perhaps were originally threaded together to ensure general wellbeing. There is no doubt that the variety of colours looks beautiful and it would be interesting if more research were done in the meaningfulness of the Navaratna, the nine jewels
NAVARATNA IN HINDU ASTROLOGY
In Hindu astrology, earth is considered the centre of the universe and the nine planets are the navagrahas. Each of these planetary positions supposedly have an influence throughout an individual's course of life. Hence, wearing these nine gems is said to provide an astrological benefit. It is also said that these gems potentially may have both positive and negative influences on human life, therefore should be worn only after consulting an astrologer. Similar to the beliefs held in birthstones, the benefits of wearing such accessories has not been scientifically quantified.
Symbolically and astrologically, the nine gems are believed to represent the nine astrological bodies:
Ruby (Manikkam or Padmarag or Kempu): Sun
Natural pearl (Muthu or Moti or Muthyam): Moon
Red coral (Moonga or Pavazlam or Pagadam): Mars
Emerald (Marakatam or Panna or Pachcha): Mercury
Yellow sapphire (Pushparagam): Jupiter
Diamond (Hira or Vairam): Venus
Blue sapphire (Indra-neelam): Saturn
Hessonite (Gomedhakam): Rahu, the ascending lunar node
Cat's eye (Vaiduryam): Ketu, the descending lunar node
Based on an individual's Sidereal horoscope, either a single gem or a combination of compatible gems is advised to be worn to harness beneficial planets or counteract harmful planets. There are two views in this regard. Gems are also purported to have certain healing properties, although this has yet to be scientifically proven