Yoga and Astrology
Many people, like myself, come into yoga because they are suffering in some way and are trying to find answers. Having spent my whole life asking why we suffer, I have come to understand that it is inadequate to settle for the old yogic adage of losing connection with ones divine nature. I used to think this, in the early days, and believed that if I could somehow get “enlightened” all my troubles would be over. Thirty-five years on and after many profound spiritual experiences, I no longer believe this to be true. Indeed, many enlightened masters have continued to suffer in their embodiment, even after experiencing awakening.
We suffer because embodied life is in a constant state of flux and natural tensions arise within us due to the intrinsic clashes and conflicts that occur amongst the five elements that we are made up of (earth, water, fire, air and space). Our mind–body complex appears to be a single unit, but each of us is actually a whole community of sub-personalities trying to get along. Our conscious mind is constantly processing thoughts, feelings, drives and responses that are arising from different members of our personal community and we have to manage these inner voices to function coherently. There has to be a strong conductor to the orchestra, otherwise, none of the musicians can possibly harmonise with each other and chaos ensues. A strong leader, or will, can galvanise into living a better life, whatever we need that to mean: more productive, more creative, more spiritual, more useful and ultimately, more fulfilling.
I did not come up with this profound insight myself, nor did I learn it from Carl Jung or any other psychologist – I learnt it by studying astrology. By gaining more understanding of ourselves, it makes it possible to learn the right skills to get our needs met on every level. Often, parts of us remain neglected because we don’t know how to nourish those parts adequately. Astrology can really help with this.
Astrology attempts to symbolically match and explain the map of the stars with our personal lives but also with social and political patterns too
Astrology is complex and meaningful. Those who criticise it have rarely given it a chance. It represents a doorway to levels of understanding that are currently way beyond our ability to see. It is part of the science of the future.
.Unlike Indian Astrology or Jyotish, Western astrology is less concerned with the big picture but more with the lives of you and me. Contrary to popular belief, Indian Astrology does, in fact, embrace the techniques used in western astrology and vice versa. They are not in conflict. western astrology has a different cultural history and development and draws upon the symbolism of ancient Greece, from which western civilization grew. It is therefore easier to learn and work with. I trained in western astrology and have gained tremendous insight by studying it. It is like having a psychic lens that helps you penetrate through the deceptions of your own mind (and others) and see the true motivations behind things.
It is also a wonderful tool for cultivating empathy and compassion for yourself and others. In this sense, astrology is a Sadhana or a spiritual practice. It provides the language for profound self study or Svadhyaya and can provide sign posts for change throughout our lives.
Astrology in my opinion the best model for explaining ones personal constitution or Prakruti and is why so many traditional ayurvedic practitioners use it. It may belong to the old worldbut is potentially as relevant today as it has always been.