Ask Parvati 24: Astrology and the Power of the Planets – Part 1: Is It All Just Astro-Babble?

BY Parvati

Dear Parvati,
Both my boyfriend and I had a hard last couple of weeks in our relationship. When I read our horoscopes, they both said that we would have 3 eclipses to deal with, the last one on July 1st, which would be the toughest. As a matter of fact, both of us had really tough days on July 1st. I wonder how true those things are. Are we in control, or are the planets controlling us?
When I first came across astrology, I dismissed it as silly. It seemed far-fetched to think that distant planets swirling through space would have any power over my world. Back then, I was convinced that life was a matter of putting your mind to what you wanted, and that was what you would get.
When I co-formed my first musical band as an adult (yes, I was one of those kids with a rock band), I found out that my creative partner was also a full-fledged, hard-core astrologer. In the first couple of getting to know him, I dismissed his talks with his astrologer friends as “astrobabble”. I watched him become completely immersed in a world I knew nothing about. I heard him use words like Uranus and Pluto, that to me seemed more like references to body parts and cartoon characters than to some great planetary forces in the universe I should respect.
My more willful style of living at times bumped into his more fateful approach, until one day, I was face to face with the undeniable power of the planets and their effect on us.  We were coming close to wrapping up the recording and production of our first studio album, but were unable to complete the project because we would meet unforeseen obstacles and turns of events that seemed to continually set us back.
Being the determined character that I was (I recently blogged about the death of “feisty girl” for a reason), I saw these obstacles as simply a sign that we needed to be more focused, try harder and apply ourselves to our task at hand with more diligence.
My musical partner had another outlook. It was Mercury retrograde, and Mercury ruled all things to do with communication. While Mercury was in this debilitated state, things were bound to come up that would hinder our ability to complete the project. Only once Mercury would go direct would we be able to complete the task we had set out for ourselves and the album would be complete.
I thought that was completely ridiculous. How could a planet that is 77 million kilometers (48 million miles) away from the Earth have anything to do with me and the recording gear that is right at hand? I insisted that we just had to plow on through this apparent planetary challenge and ultimately succeed to get what I wanted when I wanted it.
What I was learning was that when our minute egos try to take on an energetic presence as large as a planet, we inevitably fail. We learn to submit to powers far greater than what we may understand or know, and open to the possibility that we might not have it all quite figured out just yet.
The planets become great allies to our growth when we begin to understand our place in the universe and when we learn to work with the power they have. Or they make absolutely sure that we feel the effect of their mighty power whether we like it or not.
As surely as my band mate predicted, our album was not completed during Mercury retrograde. It came together with impeccable convergence the very day Mercury left retrograde and went direct. I was speechless. WHAT just happened? How could this be?
I began to pay closer attention to my band mate’s “astrobabble” to learn about the power of the universe of which we are a part. Becoming open to the significance of the planets and the beauty of astrology added rich colour to my life. Today, by no means an astrologer myself, I can get by reading a chart in the same way I play chess: I know what the players on the board do, and my intuition does the rest.
My current reverence for the universe and the planets that affect us all is something I now consider on a daily basis. In fact, those who know me well will tell you that there is a method to the colours I so love to wear. From an astrological perspective, each day has a colour according to the planet that rules that day. Playing with colours this way is one small way I like to acknowledge the universe each day. Through recognizing the power of the planets, I pay homage to the bigness we actually are, rather than getting caught up in isolated self-importance and the drama of the moment.
The direct answer to your question is what I say in almost every blog entry: we are part of a vast intelligent whole. There is no doubt that the planets affect us in every thing that we do, whether we like it or not. That does not mean that we are slaves to the movement of the stars. We are influenced. But we have free will, which provides us with the ability to choose how we will respond to any given situation.
The circumstances in which we find ourselves are directly affected by the unfolding of the universe, which is absolutely related to the position of the stars. Your question this week asks about eclipses, which do indeed have a particularly strong effect on our psyche. (I discussed this in a previous blog entry.)
Horoscopes in newspapers and magazines are limited usually to discuss our primary astrological sign, which is governed by the position of the sun when we were born. But the sun is just one of many planets that affect our astrological charts. So simple paragraphs that tell you about your day or week or month based on your sun sign, will only share a small part of your astrological picture.
For those who are still unsure, perhaps simple consideration of the way the sun and the moon affect nature could offer some insight into the ways the planets affect us. We know the oceans and all its creatures are greatly affected by the ebb and flow of the moon. We also know that vegetation, plants and the behavior of animals are greatly governed by the cycles of the sun and corresponding seasons.
We too are part of nature. The sun, the seasons, the cycles of the moon and the planets all affect us. Women who are used to listening to their bodies, or men who are close to such women, will tell you that menstrual cycles are affected by the cycles of the moon.
We are interconnected beings part of a vastly intelligent fabric of life that extends beyond what we can fully understand with our thinking mind. We can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that we, an illusory, isolated sense of self, could possibly be in control, and enjoy being part of and witness to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute symphonic mastery.
As we move through this week, I would like to briefly ruminate over some of what I know about the planets and how they affect each day of the week. I would like to explore some of the meaning I have found in the planets and the colour, quite literally, that they have brought to my life.
Sun Parvati Devi
In astrology, the planets are considered to transmit universal and archetypal energy. They represent an energetic drive or impulse that affects the human psyche. Ancient astrologers connected the planets with the will of the gods. As such, in Western astrology, Greek and Roman names are linked to the names of the planets.
My understanding of astrology is based more in delight and whimsical living than studied mastery. I pay homage to all those who have made it their true art the journey of exploration and skillful understanding of this power, ancient art and life science.
I am not an astrologer, and as such, I make it clear that the information I share here comes from the joy I have had in conversing over the years with both Vedic and Western astrologers. I also had the honour to illustrate, and hence read for inspiration, a book by a renowned astrologer on Saturn. I will include in each blog entry this week the illustrations I did for that book as a way to share some imagery of the planets we explore.
Today is Sunday, the day dedicated to the sun. Although the Sun is not a planet, its placement in our birth chart and location in the zodiac have significant meaning. The Sun is the center of our universe and as such, astrologically, it represents the center of our own personal world, the center of who we are.
In Western astrology, our natal birth sign is based on the placement of the Sun in the sky at the moment we were born. For example, I am considered a Capricorn, because the Sun was in the zodiac constellation of Capricorn when I was born. Though there are many other planets in my chart (and in everyone’s) in various houses and signs, at the end of the day, Capricorn most describes my core being.
The Sun is associated with the Roman deity Sol and Apollo and the Greek God Helios. The Hindus call the Sun Surya, meaning “supreme light”.
On Sundays, I like to acknowledge the power of the Sun. It is hot, radiant and fiery. The Sun gives life to everything on the planet. It offers nature the essential power of growth. Imagine where trees, plants, animals and we would be without the Sun’s heat and light!
The Sun rules the sign Leo (the proud lion) and governs the heart. The metal associated with the Sun is gold. The resonant colors are orange and burgundy. The Sun is associated with male, active and expressive energy. It is the bright center of your identity that is always shining.
Our Sun sign (the one we would look up in a newspaper or magazine) brings light to who we are deep down. It governs our core sense of self, and illuminates our character. Strong Sun placements in the natal chart favour self-confidence, and a strong positive outlook on life.
So today, look for something orange or burgundy in your closet to wear and acknowledge the Sun and its power in the universe. Celebrate your own shining radiance in the world!
(Continued tomorrow with Monday: The Day Of The Moon)