We are honoured to introduce you to renowned Vedic Astrologer Eve James, who over the course of the coming months will guide Mauli readers how to understand planetary activity for greater equilibrium.  Here Eve shares her journey to Vedic Astrology and a highly detailed and insightful reading of the Spring Equinox

Before traveling to India, I was in a deep fog about my life. I think that all of us as humans experience times of desperation for something genuinely and unfailingly true. Previously, I wrote and was profoundly inspired by music but it did not quench my thirst. What pulled me was a longing to explore ancient mysteries, lost languages and mystical knowledge that eventually felt all encompassing.  I had an astrological reading in 1994 and this lead me to study Vedic astrology and teaching myself Sanskrit.  I would stay up all night devouring mantras to the Grahas, (planets) and I remember the first mantra my teacher gave me was to Saturn (Shani).  I would repeat this incessantly, while driving, while walking and anytime I had a minute.  The further I delved, the more I could feel my true sense of self emerging. 

My first trip to India was in 1996 and as soon as I stepped off the plane, I simply wanted to kiss the earth.  None of the chaos phased me - I felt at home and continued to return to Indian for ten years; staying six months at a time and ten a five year stretch. My last trip was in 2010 and I still feel a deep urge to return but it's in my heart and I carry that feeling. 

Vedic Astrology allows us to unravel a mystery; decipher a code of life and how we are so very connected to our environment. The solar system is part of our personal and collective environment and astrology opens the door to understanding this secret. Vedic Astrology allows us to go deeper into techniques and details and above all to truly understand the importance of the Moon and its impact on our feelings/energies. This guides us to utilise our personal attributes, whether good or bad, in a more constructive beneficial way for all life around us. To understand astrology is to understand our Oneness, though seemingly separate, we are all connected and our thoughts, feelings and actions affect the world in various ways. Your personal life path ties into the eventual destiny of all! Astrology shines a light on our karmic blueprint, what kind of “home” we’ve built for ourselves to live in during this lifetime…you can see which rooms are beautifully cared for and which rooms need cleaning and renovation. Astrology can also be quite helpful to determine the karmic “weather” in your life; a karmic forecast for what lies ahead for you. This is to know what is in-tune and out of tune within yourself, and whether the current song of the solar system is going to make it easier or harder for you in the moment.

The Moon is our natural satellite. She is the closest luminary to us and is a direct influence on us. There is also an extremely balanced view on masculine and feminine principles in Vedic astrology whereas in Western astrology the emphasis on the Sun and the 12 constellations felt quite masculine to me. This doesn’t mean it can’t be approached in a balanced way, I am simply speaking of my personal experience and feeling when practicing one or the other. There is also an ancient understanding in India (no one truly knows how far this understanding goes back) of the proper place of astrology, the role of an astrologer and the lifestyle you must accept to live if you are following the path of an astrologer. Just like a doctor in ancient India was expected to live a specific lifestyle (a code of life), astrology comes along with this too. It is an actual life path, not a hobby and above all, it is focused on seva (service) and I feel honoured to offer this knowledge to others. 

Daily Rituals that support me as a Vedic astrologer are keeping the water of my mind “clean”, so it can flow, so to speak. This is my seva in respect of my Guru, who’s life was devoted to “Mastery in Servitude.” I honor the Sun (Surya the outer manifestation of light and Savitri, the Inner manifestation of Light), the Moon and each planet respectively so that I can open a safe-space and mirror the chart of each person I work with in a way that honours their highest inner intelligence. I practice thoughtfulness on the internal balance of dark & light within the planetary personality types. Sometimes a so-called “bad” quality in a person can be directed towards something spiritually constructive.

The goal of life is clearly not to be only “good”. I concentrate on connecting with that Substance that transcends negative and positive, yet upholds the world with It’s Blissful Consciousness. I can’t serve myself or anyone else if I allow my mind to be fixed, rigid or judgmental, preferring the joy to the suffering of life. We need contrast. A good example of this is the pain and joy that the heart experiences when longing for our lover. There is a definite blend of pleasure and pain in longing. There is bitter and sweet in separation — the exciting, yet agonising anticipation of meeting the one we love after years of being apart.

This understanding comes from my Guru, so my daily ritual always involves honouring him. Without the physical, material manifestation of knowledge in a relatable form, we would be devoid of learning and without direction. Acknowledgement and devotion to Mother Saraswati, the embodiment of Vidya, who manifests herself within all of us as inherent voice of our Soul, our individual and collective Truth, is also vital for me.

A book on astrology I would recommend is Ernst Wilhelm’s book, “GRAHA SUTRAS”.  His grasp of the language of astrology is brilliant and this book provides crucial foundational information.

The Spring Equinox is one of those key moments when the universe beacons and assists us in consciously create positive change.  For those of you who look towards the skies for a deeper awareness of the great drama of time, this year’s Vernal Equinox (Autumnal for those of you in the Southern hemisphere) demands attention. Not only will the Sun be eclipsed the very same day, but there will also be a “Super New Moon” (the new Moon will be closer than usual to the Earth). There is much to be understood about the seasonal shifts and how the feeling-portion of our minds and our physical bodies respond to them. There is equally much to absorb about the affect of Solar eclipses and new Moons on our moods and energetic atmosphere. So let’s take a closer look through the wisdom of Vedic astrology and decipher the omens of this year’s Vernal Equinox. 

Celebrating the Equinox is a wonderful way to nourish our hearts and honour the Earth's cycles. There are many things we, as humans, take for granted. The Earth is with us every moment, enveloping and supporting us in such a steadfast manner that we easily forget to appreciate the warmth of her constant presence. In modern life, we spend much of our time in our heads, disconnected from the rhythm of the Earth. We go against the natural needs of our bodies (which are of the Earth). It is of utmost importance to our well-being to acknowledge her and to listen to her voice. When we are out of tune and unaware of the health of our minds and bodies, the disharmony eventually becomes loudly disruptive in our lives. Similarly, when we are disconnected from the Earth, it is easier to exploit her resources and use her for selfish means which will inevitably lead to various modes of destruction. After all, she is our great mother, our “container”. We breath her in, we connect with her every moment of every day, whether we are aware of this connection or not. Awareness of this connection is necessary to truly honor who and what she is to us.

In Vedic concepts, the Earth is the great Mother Goddess, a fertile field for multifarious expressions of life, the numerous forms animated by prana, the life force or breath of Lord Brahma (the Creator). She is pregnant with consciousness. Through her, the Creator’s unlimited Mind assumes various bodies and experiences individual life. Earth is remarkably compassionate. She allows the different cycles of life to continue despite the burden she must bear as a consequence. She is very patient and she continues to change and evolve along with us, adapting to the buzz of life within her.

To celebrate the Vernal Equinox, the value of life is to be appreciated and acknowledged, such as incorporating the practice of Ahimsa, or nonviolence into your day to day life, according to your capacity. This can be done in a natural, simple way such as reducing your meat intake or practicing thoughtfulness around wasting food, water, etc. Wastefulness creates an immediate disconnect from the Earth. It’s a time to offer the reality of our human condition to the light of awareness and make greater effort to harmonise our individual life with life as a whole. We can leave behind the old layers of ourselves like a serpent sheds skin, inviting new beginnings and a fresh start.

The Equinox is a result of the special relationship between the Earth and the Sun. It is not only a pivot of seasonal change, it’s when the Earth experiences a day and night of almost equal length. A balance of light and dark. Equinoxes are also the only time when both Northern and Southern hemispheres of the Earth are illumined equally. Dual sides, opposing forces swing into complete balance, creating a moment of unique harmony before the birth of the new season. The Sun selflessly gives his own energy and resources and the Earth receptively absorbs this gift. Their dance gives birth to the seasons. On the Spring Equinox, the Earth wakes from the slumber of winter and embraces the Sun most passionately. The intense mood of desire reanimates nature. There is palpable energetic vibrance and that which was dormant springs to back to life.

The play of light and darkness are a major theme this Spring, more so than other years. Not only is there a moment of complete balance, in addition there is the solar eclipse and a new (super) Moon. The Sun being eclipsed on the day of the Spring Equinox indicates a birth of great internal struggle between opposites. Though there is balance, there is lack of obvious light in the balance, i.e. lack of apparent external knowledge; a kind of blindness. If we choose to access the torch of awareness within, there will be immense light available to us. This is an incredible moment to recognize the harmful poisons within ourselves that are perpetuating suffering and illness. If you have been feeling an intuitive need to change your lifestyle or eliminate something harmful from your life, this is the perfect time. In regard to spiritual sadhana or practice, there will not be a better day all year to purge the heart and be reborn into genuine clarity.

During a new Moon, the light from the Sun illumines the so-called dark side of the Moon. The visible portion of the Moon does not appear lit, and there is a shadow cast over it. In astrology the Sun is the source of light and consciousness (the individual soul) and the Moon is the Mind, the movement of the light or consciousness (like the ocean and it’s waves). Therefore, the new Moon can be deemed as a useful tool to see within, as the “dark side” or hidden side of the mind is illumined with the effulgence of consciousness.

The star sign or Nakshatra of the Moon (the mood of the Moon) will be aligned with Uttarabhadrapada; a sign connected to the electromagnetic field of our bodies though the spine, nervous system and chakra centers. Consolidated energy within this sign may aggravate your sensitivities to chemicals in the environment, allergies, light sensitivity, hypersensitivity to EMFs and/or aches and pains. Migraines or food induced headaches are also common. Starting a cleanse and allowing the body to adapt and rejuvenate naturally can be greatly helpful, particularly if you are already sensitive. Esoterically, Uttarabhadrapada holds profound wisdom and it’s agenda in the wheel of time is to reveal secrets, unleash subtle energies and release the knowledge from within the depths of our innermost-selves. Uttarabhadrapada is connected with finalizations, the end of a cycle and the burning of the corpse of delusion. This new Moon will have an undeniable pulse, a tangible life-force, inspiring us to leave behind that which is deluding us or imprisoning us.

Those of you who focus on your inner life and turn within for answers, will be pleasantly surprised. This is definitely the season to “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Trust omens and intuitive flashes that you receive the day of the Equinox and the following week. Focusing on what others are doing wrong will not bare fruit. Keeping equilibrium within and applying a pragmatic approach to our deeper beliefs and world views in our own lives will have a big affect on those around us. Uttarabhadrapada is indicative of inspired silent-service and secret charity. Yet, there may be more polarization in the world due to political struggles and even a few explosive events due to the fact that the light of consciousness is being directed inward. Hidden things may surface from the depths, both good and bad. The lower side of the human ego does not digest self-effacement well. There will be many people who feel quite out of sorts and agitated within because they are unable to adapt to the internalizing force. Due to the polarizing result this will have, there will be many people desperately clinging to an old structure of life that previously served them. Stay in-tune, balanced and reflective. A key to understanding the inner work of this season is focusing on our own internal alignment. We can choose actions that harmonize our lives and the world around us.

Traditionally the day (the Sun’s domain) was the time to serve others, work, be active, constructive and accomplish goals whereas night (ruled by the Moon) was a time to relax, connect with family, enjoy romantic union and to sleep. Therefore, our minds (Moon) are most blissfuly content when we are experiencing true connection, stability, love and peace. Our individual soul (Sun) shines forth most when we are sharing, giving, generating and exuding light like the Sun who is always generously producing light and energy for the entire solar system. So an Equinox brings in a season, a change in the back-drop of our lives through a moment of perfect blending of day and night, i.e. a perfect balance of generative and receptive energies. Due to the overwhelming activity of this particular Equinox there will be a powerful force to utilize for better or for worse. Directing this force towards healing, pacing ourselves with the natural heart-beat of the Earth, will have many beneficial results.

I suggest that on the Spring Equinox you close the chapter with a Vedic hymn in praise of the Sun, “Let us meditate on that sublime glory (effulgence) of the divine Vivifier; May he illumine (or stimulate) our understandings.”  

For personal astrological readings with Eve, find her details at: www.eveofastrology 

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