The vargas, also called divisional charts, in Vedic Astrology are one of the prime ingredients to this school of Eastern thought, that give such richness and depth to the practice of astrology. The following is an excerpt from an upcoming book on Unlocking the Vargas. In fact, it is a lengthy transcription of our downloadable course entitled Unlocking the Vargas, which can be downloaded from this link.
Here’s a sneak peak from chapter 1…
The Varga Indications are More than Literal
“…Now there’s a lot within this. And we do have to remember not to fall into the same trap that many students of astrology have fallen into before us. And what is that? It is the trap of what I refer to as biblical literalism. People who take the bible as though it is cut and dry, black and white, literal literature that you follow to a T, versus understanding that it is a teaching mechanism. The same way with the Bhagavad Gita that could also fall under the term of biblical literalism. The Bhagavad Gita is a metaphor, it is yes, about war. But it’s meant to be taken more deeply in regards to your spiritual life. So the same goes for these texts when it says, “happiness through co-born from decanate, or from the drekkana“.
Most people latch onto that and say that is brothers, sisters and that’s it. But it’s not. That’s not the way these books are written. They don’t tell you everything because they can’t. These were not created in an age where you could sit down at a computer and write out thousands and thousands and thousands of pages of description. They were written during a time where you used a word and you let that word imply everything else that it means too. So by co-borns, the D3, yes that’s your siblings, but it’s also how you get along with the peers around you, the people in your social circles so that you can achieve your goals. Those are also like your brothers. In the same way that when you’re in an ashram or a spiritual community, you call your peers brother and sister disciples. Those are the people you’re doing things with in that ashram.
So we need to realize this. When it comes to sons and grandsons for the saptamsa, yes, we could simply relate that to the children that you have, that you procreate. But what are your sons and your grandsons? For someone like me who doesn’t have any children, my sons and my grandsons are my books, my music, and the students that I teach. These are the things that go forward into the world that act like sons and grandsons, that carry the legacy forward. And so the D7 is not just about sons and grandsons, it’s also about one’s legacy. In the same way that in order to have sons and grandsons you have to have a partner to relate with. You have to be able to have intercourse with someone for that to occur. So for children, the D7 also relates to a person’s sexuality and their capacity to have effective sex if you will, for procreation. For someone who doesn’t have children the D7 is related to their general creativity.
Alright, spouse from the navamsa, that’s another misnomer that a lot of people will have. They’re going to say the D9 is simply about a person’s spouse. Well what is the spouse? The spouse is what you are married to, what you are committed to, what you are devoted to. And for most people, yes, it’s going to be their marriage partner. But think about marriage relationships. Some people are married, but what they’re really devoted to is their career, or their work, or their children, or their hobbies. So the D9 is not meant to be just crammed down into the idea of marriage and spouse. It’s meant to be, what you are married to.
Let’s consider the D10, often associated with power and position. A lot of people latch onto that D10 simply for career. And it doesn’t always work that way. Because the career is determined from the birth chart. That’s what’s going to tell you what you get involved with. The D10 is what’s going to tell you how effective are you with the things in your life. For example, if you have your 10th lord doing very, very well in the dasamsa, the 10th lord from the rasi, maybe career and the activity you take towards your career is going to be the thing where you have power and position and what you’re known for. Maybe it’s your third lord. In that situation think about people who work at careers that they don’t really find to be that invigorating. They don’t really rise to really high positions in their career because the tenth lord isn’t doing so well in the dasamsa. But their 3rd lord is doing really well. So this is the kind of person that on the weekends, when they go off to play sports with their friends, or when they have a hobby or something that they’re personally interested in, they are at the top of their game in that regard. This is because the lord of the 3rd going into the D10 in a good situation. That’s going to show the power and position.
So when you’re thinking about these things you need to break off all that crusty stuff that makes you lock it into one particular direction and realize that these charts, being harmonic charts, are telling you more details about all these different areas of a person’s life. If you want to know what the person is going to be more engaged with, more active with, have more, in a sense, power and position with, see which planets in the birth chart are doing the best in the D10. That’s going to give you a greater understanding.
If you want to know what a person is more devoted to, what they’re actually in their mind themselves more married to, look at the planets in the navamsa. See where do those planets come from in the birth chart. Like in this person’s chart in figure 1.1.
Saturn and Mars are not doing too well in the navamsa. Well what does Saturn and Mars rule over in this D1? Saturn rules over the 4th house and the 5th house—creativity, children, home, land and property. Are they going to be very devoted to that? Probably not. Because Saturn’s not doing so well in the navamsa. Mars is debilitated in the navamsa. He rules over the 2nd house and the 7th house–one’s financial responsibilities, wealth, immediate family (2nd house) and business partnerships, spouses, people they interact with (7th house). They’re not going to be so devoted to that either.
Let’s look at this D9. Do we have any planets that are doing particularly well? Mercury’s exalted in the D9. What does Mercury rule over? Mercury rules over the 9th house and Mercury rules over the 12th house. So maybe they’re going to be more devoted to 12th house things—charity, long distance travel, contemplative processes, meditation possibly. And 9th house things? They could be devoted to their marriage as an idea. Many of you know people like that, that have this idea of about how marriage should be and they’re more devoted to the idea, 9th house things, than they are the spouse, 7th house things. Or 9th house deals with their culture, their religion, their approach to life. So this person, based on having their 9th and 12th lord exalted in the D9, what they’re going to be more married to is actually charitable work, spiritual work, supporting their culture, things of this nature. And that is true for this individual.
So what we see here, is that when we are looking through these divisions, they’re not separate. They’re not separate from the birth chart. They’re allowing us to get more understanding of the depth and complexity of the individual.
Now one more little description here from Parāśara and then I’ll get back to your questions. So if you have questions don’t hesitate to ask them…”
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