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Combinations that Indicate an Astrologer

By Michael Laughrin,

Which combinations of planets, and/or which houses, create an astrologer or one who has a talent for astrology? These are the questions that I will deal with in this article.

First, let us consider what some classical texts say:

  1. Saravali
    1. Mars conjunct Venus indicates either an astrologer or a mathematician
    2. Moon conjunct Venus conjunct Saturn
    3. Sun in Gemini
    4. Moon in Sagittarius aspected by Mercury
    5. Moon in Leo Navamsha aspected by Mercury
    6. Jupiter in a sign of Mercury aspected by Mercury
    7. Sun conjunct Mars in the 10th house from the Moon
    8. Malefics in the 10th house from the Moon and aspected by benefics
    9. Moon in Virgo aspected by Mercury
  2. Sarvartha Chintamani
    1. Lord of the Navamsha sign occupied by the Lord of the 10th house is Mercury
    2. Lord of the 2nd house is the Sun or Mars and is aspected by Jupiter and Venus and Mercury is Paravatamsha (in many of its own vargas)
  3. Garga Hora
    1. Mars, Mercury, Venus and Saturn in the 4th house
    2. Moon, Venus, and Saturn in the 5th house
    3. Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn in the 6th house
    4. Moon, Mars and Mercury in the 9th house
  4. Satyajatakam
    1. Lagna Lord is strong in the 3rd house with a benefic yoga
    2. Lord of the 5th house is in the 2nd house with a Shubha yoga
  5. Bhrigu Sutra
    1. Mercury is in the 1st house and is associated with a benefic or is in the house of a benefic
Now, some of you are probably ready to put this article down at this point because it is so dry. Those of you who have had readings with me know that I do not stress the dry, intellectual approach to astrology too much. I prefer a healthy mix of basic, logical principles with a very health dose of intuition. And the older I get, the more I rely on intuition.

However, let us not forget that, traditionally, astrology and mathematics were taught together. People have said to me, "Oh, I'd be good in astrology. I'm very intuitive." And my response was, "How did you do in math in school?" And it seems that the classical texts, as quoted above, agree with me. After looking over all the combinations seen in the previous page, do we find any overriding patterns? You bet.

My main conclusion is quite simple— without a strong Mercury, forget about being an astrologer. What do I mean by 'strong'? If Mercury is in its own sign or exalted, it is strong. If Mercury is in an angle or trine (houses 1,4,5,7,9 or 10), it is strong. If Mercury has no aspects from, or conjunctions with, any natural malefics (Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu or Ketu), it is fairly strong. And if Mercury is aspected by or conjunct with a natural benefic (Moon, Venus or Jupiter), that is a blessing and adds to the strength of Mercury. Also, Mercury gains some strength from being in the sign of a friend (Venus and Saturn). These signs are Taurus, Libra, Capricorn and Aquarius. Do not forget to give the Navamsha equal weight in determining the strength of a planet.

In my opinion, several other planets play an important role in producing an astrologer: Jupiter (spiritual wisdom), the Moon (the mind in general), Ketu (the Enlightener) and Rahu (the planet that digs deeply—past superficial observations). Ideally, all of these should be quite strong, or, at least, not very weak.

Several houses also play a part in giving us one learned in Jyotish Shastra—the 5th house (house of the mind, past life credit, mantra, yantra, tantra and discipleship), the 8th house (research and traditional learning such as Sanskrit), the 9th house (Gurus, higher education, and respect for tradition) and the 12th house of meditation and Enlightenment. And, for those who earn money through astrology, the 10th house.

Jyotish Chart H1: Narendra Desai

Here is the chart of Narendra Desai (Chart H1), the greatest astrologer I know of. Unfortunately, he is now deceased. He was also one of my Jyotish teachers.

You will note that Mercury does not have many of the strengths I spoke of. However, it is the ruler of the 5th house of intellect placed in the 12th house of meditation. Furthermore, it is fully accepted by its good friend Saturn, which is exalted in the 6th house. Saturn is the ruler of both the 9th house of the Guru and traditional learning, and the 10th house of career. Jupiter, that most spiritual of planets, is strongly placed in the 7th house where it fully aspects the Ascendant. Also, in this chart, Jupiter is lord of the 8th house of research. Ketu, the planet of discernment, is placed the 10th house of career along with Uranus, the outer planet that Western astrologers say rules astrology. Narendra, also, said that it is Uranus that makes (or breaks) an astrologer. Also the nakshatra of Satabhisha is supposed to be associated with astrologers and Narendra Desai had Ketu posited there. One more thing—the Moon, the general planet of the Mind, is placed in Gemini, a sign ruled by the oh-so-important planet, Mercury.

Jyotish Chart H2: K.N. Rao
Now please look at Chart H2, that of the very famous Indian astrologer K.N. Rao. Again we have Mercury in the 12th house, but otherwise the combinations are more classical. Venus conjunct Mars in the 1st house indicates an astrologer. Mercury is very strong—exalted and in its own house of Virgo. The planet of Enlightenment and discernment, Ketu, is with Mercury and the Sun in the 12th house of Moksha. Jupiter, the second-most-important planet that shows an astrologer, is exalted in the 10th house of career. Now let us look at the important houses—5, 8, 9, and 12. The Lord of the 5th house, Saturn, is in the 3rd house. From there it aspects the 5th, 9th and 12th houses, so there is a good connection with most of the important houses. Also Saturn, as ruler of the 5th house, aspects Mercury and Ketu, two very important astro-indicators. The ruler of the 8th house of research, Venus, is in its own sign, Libra, in the 1st house. Also it is conjunct Mars and the Moon. Also, Mr. Rao has a very nice yoga whereby all the grahas are in signs ruled by benefic planets.

Vedic Astrology chart of Professor Rao

Now please examine Chart H3, that of the grandfather of B. V. Raman, Professor Rao. He is widely considered to have been the very best astrologer of his day. Here the destiny to be an astrologer shines.

First of all, the two main planets of astrology, Jupiter and Mercury, are conjunct in the 10th house of career. Secondly, they are both in the "astrologer's" nakshatra, Satabhisha. Third, we have a nice connection between the lords of the 5th house (Mercury) and the 8th house (Jupiter). Then there is Mars, the ruler of the 12th house, in the 5th house of the mind. Also Mars aspects the 8th house of research and the 12th house of Moksha from the 5th house. Last but not least is the wonderful exchange of signs with Mercury and Saturn. This directly involves the 2nd, 5th, 9th and 10th houses by rulership. It also involves the 4th, 8th and 11th houses by aspect. So, taking into account just the second house and the 10th house, we are also involving the 5th, 8th, and 9th houses. This is the chart of an astrologer! And the Sun, Mars, Saturn and Ketu are all in stars ruled by Mars.

Timothy Laughrin - Jyotish chart

Timothy LaughrinNow please look at Chart H4, of my brother Timothy Laughrin. According to the classical rules that form an astrologer, this individual should not only be an astrologer but should be very famous! Timothy has at least 4 big classical combinations to create a very good astrologer:

  1. Conjunction of Venus and Mars
  2. Moon in Leo aspected by Mercury
  3. A malefic in the 10th house from the Moon aspected by a benefic
  4. Lord of the Navamsha sign occupied by the Lord of the 10th house is Mercury

But is he an astrologer? No! He is a software engineer. Now, this does not disprove the classical combinations. Rather, we must adapt our minds to the time and place these yogas were written. In ancient India, astrology was just as complex as it is now. But, there were no computers or even calculators. Therefore, to do astrology successfully, one first had to be an excellent mathematician. And my brother is that. He got an 800 on the GRE in Math. Also, Timothy scored an 800 on the Advanced Math section of the SAT's. So, to my mind, anyway, this proves the usefulness of the ancient combinations rather than disproving them. We must have flexibility to see how things go together. Traditionally, math and astrology always went together.

This gives you some ideas about combinations you can look for to see if one has the abilities and inclinations to become an astrologer. It is obvious that one must be flexible in applying the rules, because real life seldom follows the rules that we humans try to impose upon it.

(c) Copyright 2007 Michael Laughrin.

From the June/July 2007 issue of Michael Laughrin's North American Jyotish Newsletter. Click to subscribe to this free Jyotish newsletter.

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