Rasis are spatial divisions in the sky/ether where the energies of the Grahas (that which seizes, planet) either thrive or contrive according to their relationship with the inherent workings of that division. An understanding of this phenomenon can reveal to us the power of consciously or voluntarily illuminating, via contemplation and articulation, the matters of the unconscious symbolic world, a world made up of actions and not things. It is the lucidity of zodiacal symbolism, deeply ingrained in our collective unconscious which prefers to communicate in images (maybe because it is older than language itself), that helps us derive meaning in a world where actions speak louder than things, where deeds are more crucial than possessions.
I am reminded of the Latin adage, “Omnia in numeris sita sunt” means: “Everything lies veiled in numbers.” Astrology and its constituents; the zodiac signs and the planets, in essence, are numbers that have been given names, words, images, and symbols by the ancients for the purpose of comprehensibility of this complex subject to our language and image-oriented minds. Therefore, we could say that an understanding of this sacred science could unravel the nature and fabric of existence and therefore its meaning, in the most mathematical manner possible.
Now, we may begin deriving meaning from the seemingly abstract world of zodiacal symbolism. As the cub leaves the mother’s protection, grows a mane, learns to roar, protect and fight for his land, he encounters the Self. The freshly arrived self-awareness about one’s role in the pride brings a sense of power and along with it responsibility. To not just be, but also to become is what the Being is required to do in the magnificent sign of the Lion called the Leo, or Simha Rasi.
In the ancient times, initiation rituals were given fair amounts of importance and rightly so, they were symbolic of the beginning of a new phase of life. These rituals can be seen as a transition from the rhythmic, traditional, emotional Cancer to the courageous, heroic, proud Leo. The journey from rising above one’s own emotional needs to become capable of serving everyone else’s is a heroic one. The tribes-boy in ancient rituals and ceremonies was introduced to the ways of the tribesmen, and therefore, mark the culmination of boyhood and beginning of manhood. In Leo, the realization of one’s role in the tribe of humanity gets illuminated, and we must say that such is the rule of honor. The movie “The Lion King” depicts this journey wonderfully, and if carefully observed and analyzed reveals too much about this Zodiac Sign. Leo is where the roar of the heart resides. The need to have one’s own solar system with a prince (Mercury), a wife and advisors (Venus), an army (Mars), a priest (Jupiter), workmen (Saturn), a kingdom, a legacy, and therefore, to be remembered after the inevitable dimming of the light of the glory days arrive.
All things five, the number, the house, the rasi, contain the energy of Leo and its ruler, the Sun, things such as inspiration, insight, intuition, instincts, intrinsic, intelligence, innate, inherent, all those Sattvic unconscious sources of divine intervention, governing the Sookshma (subtle) aspects of the material world reside here. The number five is where the journey to create embarks, this can vary from something as gross as creating an offspring to something as subtle as the creation of ideas.
The Pythagoreans called 5 as “hieros gamos”, the marriage between heaven and earth, where the subtle meets the tangible, where through the five senses, the heavenly soul meets/encounters the earthly world. The number 5 can either be formed by adding 1 and 4 or 2 and 3, which could mean that it is either one’s physical strength (1) and emotional agility/security (4) or resourcefulness (2) and skill (3) that lead to a healthy self- expression, therefore, makes for a good confident leader, and consequently, a king.
The lion, like the Sun, when roaring/shining in all its glory (in a good dignity) is stable, consistent, reliable, generous, responsible, self-confident, intelligent, creative, fecund, providing, sustaining, glorious, expressive, graceful, illuminating, magnificent, life-giving, wholehearted, forest-dwelling, careful, watchful, foreseeing, courageous, hunter, potent, fighter, alpha, protector, massive, masculine, active, doing, forthcoming, brilliant, and genius.
Leo aims to bring forth that which needs to be addressed by the soul, thus fulfilling its duty of bringing spiritual evolution to the collective consciousness. In this manner, we could say that Sun (atma) is the microcosmic manifestation of the macrocosmic Purusha, regulating the Karmic laws and bringing order to the chaos of the mind by irradiating that which is instinctively buried by the proclivities of the manas (mind, moon) under the influence of Kaal (the Great Time ruling over the realms lorded by Maya).
In conclusion, Leo is the harbinger of light and life, and also, the knowledge of the spirit to the flesh-ridden souls of Earth.
Now, we proceed to the 6th Rasi of the zodiac which is known as the Virgin across many cultures that have studied the heavens throughout history. In Sanskrit, Virgo is known as Kanya or Kumarika, which means an unmarried girl or maiden. The king requires an unmarried girl or maiden to have progeny. The innocent maiden is wedded to the polygamous king who can then ensure the conception and safety of the kingdom’s next heir. It is important to note that she is not the Queen but only a maiden or a mid-wife. She takes care of the king’s day-to-day activities, stays in service of him, watchful of his needs, of the food he eats, takes care of his children, and ensures smooth functioning by overcoming mundane obstacles so that the king can take care of the greater responsibilities. She even keeps the queen company, ensuring that she stays safe and comforted.
Virgo, the Earth sign is also, and most importantly the grounding of the King in the mundane affairs. As Carl Jung stated that “beware of unearned wisdom”. He was pointing at the ego entanglements that arise when one gets lost in a flood of knowledge while ignoring its applicability in the daily life. It is safe to state that a good king is the one who is as much in touch with the problems of his people as he is with the foreign affairs of the state. After all, what’s a king without his people? In this manner, Virgo is the reason for the existence of the Vital king.
It is stated in Yavana Jataka, BPHS, and also in the encrypted sutras of Jaimini Upadeshas, that Virgo is innocent and childlike in character. This is in accord with the nature of a maiden who is happy to be living in a palace, or a girl content to be living in the countryside/mountainside taking care of the farmland helping out her mother with the chores, knowing that she will one day be married and will raise a beautiful family just like her (If Virgo taken as ASC, her highest goal, 11th house, is cancer, symbolic of motherhood). She is innocent like a curious child who is not afraid to ask questions when it cannot make sense of something.
The number 6, the sixth house, the sixth rasi is associated with karmic debts. This is when the inertia (tamas) of actions (karmas) from the past lives (purvajanma) is still strong, the karmic winds sway the person into trajectories not governed by their freewill. The understanding of the complex universal laws is neither a need nor a concern. She desires a life of stability, where no suffering ensues, like a child, or a dreamy adolescent girl. The impermanent nature of existence is not obvious to this earth-ridden Virgin maiden, her ability to endure, adapt, and overcome keeps her going in the pursuit of happiness.
The Pythagoreans acknowledged Six to be the first perfect number. In mathematics, a perfect number is when all the number’s divisors (excluding the number itself) are added, the sum equals the number itself. 1+2+3=6. This reveals to us that all the qualities of the signs Aries, Taurus, and Gemini are prominent in Virgo. It is innocent and adventurous like Aries, resourceful and grounded like Taurus, and problem-solving and fun-loving like Gemini (Jaimini says, Virgo is like Gemini).
She is practical, grounded, lover of crafts, earthy, knowledgeable in herbs and medicine, conscious of her health. She quickly reaches a resolution, hence, can be stormy. She is what she is and knows where she is from. Rooted in her culture, simple in her ways, mountain-loving, grassy lands appease her. She speaks what she feels; direct in her approach, it can make her conflict-ridden, but also, pure at heart, virginal in thought and action, away from the politics of the ego, she sees goodness in all situations, thus focusing on solutions rather than problems. She does what she can to protect her land. She thrives in obstacles, which makes her foresighted and analytical, always striving to make things better than before. She helps the troubled and revels in healing them. Scientific in approach, she infers from the information that her intellect acquires and puts it to use for the benefit of those around. Such is the nature of the two-footed dual humanistic mercury-ruled sign of Virgo.
It is time to harvest the grains sown by the Virgin in her mountainous grassy lands and bring them to the marketplace, where they’d be put on a scale and be judged, and be given its fair value in exchange. This is the Rasi of the Scales, Libra, or Thula as known in Sanskrit. This Venus ruled rasi works the first law of thermodynamic which states that energy can neither be created not be destroyed but only changes form. It works this law by the process of exchange of energy in as gross a manner as trade and commerce or as subtle as sexual intercourse changing form, a karmic barter system of sorts. In Libra, decisions are made regarding keeping or discarding things, people, places, deals, etc, with the help of the measuring scale of conscious discernment, and that which serves the need of the hour is kept and the rest is discarded.
In this Rasi, the virgin is married, the innocence is lost, becomes a Woman, and learns about the ways of trade of energy. The feminine aspect of consciousness evolves. She embraces her sexuality wholly by having a union with another, the vitality (Ojas) of the sexual fluids is lost along with the virginity (the sign of fall of Sun), the “I” of the Sun becomes the “we” of the Saturn. It is also the sign of focus and self-control as Shukracharya was also a great yogi, this is the highest aspect of Venus. This shows the persevering and enduring qualities of someone with a good Venus which leads them to self-mastery. The ultimate divine union (Yoga) via Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, or Jnana Yoga falls under the domain of Venus which gets exalted in Pisces (the sign of devotion). It is the 7th-ness of this Rasi which is symbolic of Union (Yoga) with something more or other than oneself. This Rasi depicts how through self-control one can reach extreme potentials within oneself. Through sacrifice of pleasure and through preservation of semen one can attain moksha (Pisces also being the sign of self-realization). (Check NoFap, the modern new-age equivalent of Urdhvareta Yoga).
The sense of entitlement of the “I” of the Ego is lost, the rules are fair and square for all, be it a king or a pauper (Sun debilitates in Libra), the Scales simply need to be kept balanced. All that has been sown shall now be reaped. It is time for Saturn to be Exalted (Saturn’s root trine, moolatrikona is Libra) and provide justice. He just wants the game of life to be fair. You get what you deserve and it is what it is, such is the slogan of Libra.
This Venusian Rasi is about music, dance, art, fun, and also where much work needs to be done. Crimes of passion, rules of fashion, where the opportunities lie for those whose thoughts fly, and wherever the market goes and the money shows, where connections happen, contacts are made, rules of engagement are fair and straight even for the crooked politicians who sway the masses and control their fate, where death and destruction ensues post-betrayal (Parshurama’s story), where mergers and collaborations lead the trial. Such is the land of Libra, high rise buildings, cities and streets, where trade happens and where people meet.
The number seven, the seventh house, the seventh Rasi, possess the energy of libra and Venus. The Pythagoreans called the number 7 “the septad”, they treated seven as the most sacred number because they saw how most things in creation are seven in number such as the visible spectrum of light, the days of the week, musical notes, the number of possible movements in a three dimensional space, they associated seven with the number of goddess as creator (Mars/Earth enigma: A sacred message to mankind, pg 193). Libra, therefore, on a mundane level is trade but on an esoteric level, it is the trade of energy. It depicts the duality of existence which is the cause for existence itself. It is because of “thou” that there is an “I”.
As it is popularly said that, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”. As we see in our journey from Leo to Libra, from the mooltrikona (root trine, where a planet derives its energy from) of the Sun to where it falls into debilitation, we realize that it is not a King’s job to trade in a marketplace, or to be concerned with the nitty-gritty chores for sustenance in Virgo, these are only humbling for him, but he thrives on a throne providing direction and governance to his people. From this we can understand that every Graha or for that matter every Being has a place in space-time continuum where it thrives or struggles and strives, fulfilling its karmic agendas in this game we call life.
Nothing that the universe does is not out of Love. It is with this remembrance that the drama of life transforms into a play, and therefore, subjectivity transforms into objectivity. Om Tat Sat.
This article was submitted by Sachin Sharma, an Asheville Vedic Astrology Apprenticeship Student for the Rasi and Signs class. For more information on learning Vedic Astrology, please see our new “Self-directed” version of the the Astrology Apprenticeship Course at this link: https://vedic-astrology.teachable.com/