Vedic (Indian) astrology is the study of humanity’s response to the cosmos. In this post I will talk specifically about the planets and the energies that they emanate. Whether or not you believe in astrology, the people who study it can still give us some very helpful advice about bringing balance to our lives.
The ancient Indian astrologers taught that each planet has a particular vibration or energy, and that these energies affect our daily lives, usually without us knowing. However, if we learn what kind of energy each planet puts out and how to balance it, or channel it, correctly, we will find our lives much more harmonious and manageable.
When the Sun’s energy is strong and balanced in you, you will be confident and realize that you are unique. If you have too much solar energy, you can become authoritarian, have feelings of superiority over others, and become overconfident. The way to balance this is to learn empathy and to serve others. Try helping out underprivileged people or animals, or even just listen to your friends more.
If you do not have enough solar energy, you will feel insecure, and as if your inner self and outer self are two different people. You may feel a lack of inner power, as if there is more to life that you are missing. Exercise and living in warm and sunny climates can help this. Try something that makes you feel empowered, such as martial arts or just affirming to yourself each morning that you have the strength and confidence to achieve your goals
The moon has a nurturing motherly energy. It is associated with the mind, which can be good or bad depending on how you use it. If your moon is healthy, this will give you a friendly and compassionate nature.
When it is out of balance, you may be too emotional and passive, or in severe cases have mental illness. Learn to work with your emotions and channel them in a positive direction. This can be done through devotional practices, creative projects, practicing acceptance, and learning to live in the moment.
Mars represents our inner fire and passion. If used in the right way it becomes our motivation and power of action. When it is out of balance, you can become aggressive and impulsive.
To channel Mars energy constructively, practice self control. Since Mars is a very physical planet, physical activity is a great way to use it’s energy constructively. A Vedic astrologer I know said that one time he and his wife were too caught up in Mars energy and not getting along, so they decided to clean their house. This allowed them to use their physical energy in a constructive matter, and after that they were able to get along again.
Unlike Mars, which is a planet of physical energy, Mercury is a planet of mental energy. It is our intelligence and how we communicate. When we use Mercury in a constructive way, we can discriminate between truth and falsehood, and learn quickly with mental flexibility.
Mercury’s energy can also become destructive, though, making us easily influenced by other’s opinions rather than truth, and willing to manipulate others to get what we want. This can be avoided by firmly clinging to the truth and to doing what is right for everyone and not just ourselves. If we stick to dharma (right action), Mercury can be a powerful tool for success.
Jupiter is the most spiritual planet. It symbolizes dharma and self-realization. Jupiter, like Mercury, is our intelligence, except Jupiter is our higher intelligence; our wisdom and knowledge of our souls. It is Jupiter’s energy that gives us all our true joy in life.
If we let our level of consciousness slip to lower levels, Jupiter’s energy can make us too materialistic and self-satisfied, so that we become caught up in the pleasures of life and forget to seek higher consciousness. Daily meditation and constantly reminding ourselves that real joy does not come from seeking momentary happiness can help us avoid this pitfall.
Venus is the planet of the heart. It is our laughter, joy, and simple pleasures. When we purify our hearts, it becomes bliss. If we take it to the extreme, and enjoy outer pleasures too much, it can be like sugar, which we crave but will ultimately make us miserable.
Venus’ higher side is divine unconditional love, the love of God or our Higher Self. Love that embraces all creation. Keeping your heart open and remembering that God’s is the only eternal love will help this energy from descending into possessive love and materialism.
Saturn gives us renunciation of worldly pursuits and shows us that God alone is real. It teaches us self-control and inner strength. Saturn is often the least popular planet, although it can be just as spiritual as Jupiter. This is because Saturn’s nature is to take away anything we are attached to, and for the average person, this can leave him or her completely alone.
The key to living in harmony with Saturn is being unattached. Anything we are attached to Saturn will strip away, because as long as we have attachments we can never be free.
Rahu and Ketu*
Rahu and Ketu are the points where eclipses appear, where the Moon’s orbit crosses the Sun’s. These are the most mysterious planets and are beyond the scope of this post, but a good description can be found in Astrology of the Seers by David Frawley.
The planets are only one small aspect of Vedic astrology, which is as complex as life itself. However, this brief introduction to the planets should give you a starting place to help create a more harmonious, uplifted life for yourself and others.
*The Sun, Moon, Rahu, and Ketu are considered planets as far as astrology is concerned, even if they are not physically the same as a planet like Venus.
Next time you get upset with someone or in some other way feel that you are not responding in the right way to a situation, try to identify which planet is out of balance. Do one of the suggested activities to help counter it.
Astrology of the Seers by David Frawley
The Essentials of Vedic Astrology by Komilla Sutton
Your Sun Sign as a Spiritual Guide by Swami Kriyananda