Tag Archives: ascendant

Astrology and Music: Prince and Michael Jackson

When art moves you on a deep, emotional level, there’s likely to be a clear astrological connection between you and the artist. If you look at your birth chart “layered” on top of your favorite artist’s birth chart (an astrological technique known as “synastry”), you will usually find that the artist’s Moon, Venus or Ascendant tightly aspects your own Moon, Venus or Ascendant.

Prince and Michael Jackson are my favorite musicians. I used to think this was just because I had great taste in music 🙂 Then, I noticed that Prince’s Moon is within less than a degree of my Ascendant and Jackson’s Ascendant is within less than a degree of my Venus. Apparently, if I’d been born on a different day, I’d be into Liberace instead.

The part of the zodiac I share with both Prince and Jackson is the middle portion of Aquarius that falls under the domain of Satabishak, which is among the most mysterious, mystical and secretive of the nakshatras. Ruled by Rahu, the north node of the Moon, Satabishak is symbolized by a hundred physicians or, alternatively, an empty circle. This suggests an existential crisis so unique and perplexing that someone may consult multitudes in desperation before eventually realizing he must cure himself.

As with the Upanishads’ philosophy of “Neti neti,” which literally translates to “Not this, not this” and points to a path of ascertaining truth by continuously eliminating the false, Satabishak tears away comforts and expectations until one is face to face with the void. This level of intensity can manifest as the great blessing of a window into the divine but has also resulted in Satabishak’s connection to alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide. Satabishak is a spiritual, creative and fascinating nakshatra… but it’s definitely not an “easy” nakshatra. Both the difficulties and the blessings associated with Satabishak have played significant roles in the lives of Prince and Michael Jackson.

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Vedic Chart Reading Basics: Part 1

Astrology is a fascinating and, for all practical purposes, endless subject. At times, I know it can seem like a foreign language to people who are new to it… especially when looking at charts. However, once an astrology student can read charts – even at a very basic level – the fun and excitement of analyzing the charts of family, friends, love interests or celebrities often jumpstarts the learning process. If you’re curious about astrology, but unsure how to read an astrological chart, my hope is that this series of posts about chart-reading fundamentals will help you get over that hurdle.

As this post is aimed at those new to Vedic astrology and/or South Indian-style charts, more experienced readers may want to check out my posts under the “Observations” tab.

I’ve included a chart – (in the South Indian style, which is what I use on this blog) – for a hypothetical person born at the time I’m writing this, which is December 20, 2015 at 6:00 pm in Los Angeles. I’ll refer to this chart throughout the post:

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 6.09.06 PM

Let’s start by finding the corner where a diagonal line is drawn in the chart. In this instance, we can see that a diagonal line is drawn in Gemini (abbreviated to “Ge”), which is in the upper right-hand corner of the chart. This diagonal line and the number next to it, 21:53, represent the “ascendant,” which is the degree during the exact time of birth, as viewed from our location. A good way to think of the ascendant is as your “starting point.”

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Evaluating Transits: Ascendant or Moon?

Jupiter recently transited into Leo, using Vedic Astrology’s sidereal zodiac. Since Jupiter is the greatest natural benefic and only changes signs about once a year, many people are discussing the transit and what it means for each sign. However, some astrologers discuss transits based on the Ascendant, while others focus on the Moon sign.

Here’s a quick guide to the difference:

The Ascendant represents what’s actually happening. So looking at houses/signs from the Ascendant is probably the most fundamental way to judge a transit, and certainly the most accurate predictive method.

The Moon represents how we feel about what happens. So looking at house/signs from the Moon is important in its own way and shouldn’t be ignored. For example, if you get into a romantic relationship, what really matters is how you feel about it, not that it occurred. It’s not like you’re going to date an asshole, have your self-esteem plummet, become a nervous wreck and then look back on the time fondly, thinking, “Well, who cares how I felt – the important thing is I was in a relationship!”

Other situations are more matter-of-fact, such as predictions about finances or what a transit may be like for your children, if you have any. The simple reason for this is that people are usually happy to make more money or see their children thrive, but dislike losing money or seeing their children suffer.

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