(Written by D. Quiñones – Student of the Asheville Vedic Astrology Apprenticeship Curriculum.)
This essay will take a personal dive into the life of Teal Swan, an international speaker, best-selling author and survivor of severe childhood abuse. I will be exploring the interaction between Sun and Venus in the 1st house, the destructive influence of Mars and Saturn in the 5th house, and the uplifting influence of great benefic, Jupiter, on the Sun by its 7th aspect.
The 1st House – Personal Truth, Body, Experience
The truth of our experience is the greatest teacher in life. That is what makes the 1st house a dharma house of truth. You and I have incarnated in this world of matter and form, and our body is that form. It establishes a physical body and presence for us to gain knowledge and experiences, through which we can evolve.
In Teal’s chart, Sun and Venus are situated in the 1st house, in an unusually tight conjunction of less than 1 degree. This implies that the interaction between the two planets are highly potent and should be thoroughly and carefully assessed.
The Sun represents power, authority figures, our body, our kingdom. The Sun is a sattvic planet which empowers our mind and body with vitality and clarity. It is this power which gives us the energy and confidence to meet our challenges and do what is right, which is not always the easiest thing to do.
Venus is the planet of conscious desire in all its forms. Sensual pleasure, comfort, the capacity to appreciate beauty and the arts, and our capacity for devotion and finding happiness are seen through Venus. It is also about accomplishment, finding success and fulfilling one’s desires in a healthy manner. It is Venus who gives us the capacity to make fulfilling choices in life.
Sun Starved (Kshudita) by Venus
Sun and Venus are natural enemies. A planet conjunct a natural enemy causes starvation. This starvation being caused by Venus to the Sun is quite heavy, since Venus is bringing in the annihilated environment of the 5th house Libra, to the ascendant where Venus is sitting. It is also bringing in the energy of the difficult avastha occurring between Mars and Saturn to the 1st house.
According to Fish and Kurczak in The Art and Science of Vedic Astrology Vol. 2, Venus starving the Sun “…causes one to pay too much attention to one’s advisors and prevents the person from leading through inspiration thereby preventing the person from making their own final decisions. This avastha causes the king to be led by his advisors rather than following what the king knows to be right and true for himself. Our advisors can be our friends, family, peers or board of directors.”
This advisor or authority figure came into Teal’s life at the age of 6. This figure, however, was extremely mentally ill and held malicious intent. In the documentary Open Shadow, Teal spoke about this figure in grave detail. “My parents had a loose family acquaintance who they did not know was struggling with multiple personality disorder and also, psychopathy”, she said timidly. “And he ended up zeroing in on me and ended up infiltrating the family as my ‘mentor’ …and ended up pulling me into this nightmare of a world of religious cult, and of his own abuse.”
The abuse she encountered was not your stereotypical type of abusive situation – there was mind control being performed. It is known today as SRA (Satanic Ritual Abuse). As a child she was drugged and injected with ketamine and was walked elaborately through an imaginative sort of visualization about what would happen if she told anyone about her and secretively dangerous relationship with the ‘mentor’. He even planted many horrible lies in young Teal’s mind, going as far as to tell her that he was her real father and that her mother was a whore, of whom he had an affair with. On another instance he walked her through another visualization, essentially telling her that she had come in as a demon which had overtaken the body she saw before her, and kicked out the soul of the little girl who actually belonged to her parents. As a young child, Teal had no other reason to think otherwise. She believed the entirety of what her abuser told her. The tremendous fear brought upon her at such a young age had effectively paralyzed her from thinking clearly and making any sort of good decision. Sun (our power and clarity), which rules the 3rd (the house of our self-will and intelligence), is being starved heavily by Venus at 479 points. Additionally, Venus is carrying 40.5 out of 60 points kashta, adding to the damage and difficulty of Teal’s 1st house.
The 5th House – The Mind, Intelligence, Romance, Creativity, Children
The 5th house is about the mind, one’s intelligence (more so, relational intelligence), romantic encounters, creativity and children.
Teal’s 5th house of Libra is annihilated per Parashara’s guidelines. A powerful retrograde Saturn and a problematic retrograde Mars are sitting closely within 2 degrees of each other. The intensity of these two planets are quite high as Mars is an enemy to Saturn and Saturn’s karmas are in yuva (adult/fully-functioning) baladi avastha. Saturn is also exalted in this house, greatly adding to the misery, the grief, the sadness one experiences.
Additionally, it is important to note that the energies from Saturn’s house rulerships (the 8th and 9th houses) and energies from Mars’s house rulerships (the 6th and 11th houses) are being brought into Teal’s 5th house environment. We have two dusthana houses being brought into the 5th, ruled by the cruelest planets in the chart. This can further give us insight on the type of experiences Teal will encounter related to the 5th house.
Saturn is the planet of perseverance and endurance. If strong and well placed, Saturn will give you the capacity to bear your lot in life. Teal’s Saturn is exalted in the 5th, making it jagrat (wide awake/fully aware).
Mars is the planet of our will, our logic, strength, discipline and our courage. If Mars is difficult, there can be a capacity for anger and destruction. Teal’s Mars is in enemy dignity and is being heavily starved by a powerful Saturn. This causes her to be paralyzed in times of great stress, paralyzed by the fear and starvation coming from Saturn. She is unable to use her will, strength and courage to defend herself in the most vulnerable of times. Therefore, Saturn kicks in and she naturally goes into a state of disassociation as a form of protection, forcing her into submission, where she has no other choice but to endure and persevere through the painful experience.
Mars Starved (Kshudita) by Saturn
When Saturn starves Mars this creates a strong, almost unbearable frustration regarding our capacity to use our will. With this avastha, a person has difficulty seeing what is possible in the world and what kind of opportunities there are. Having Mars and Saturn in the 5th can be very troublesome because the 5th is the house of improvement and making things better. Teal’s Mars being heavily starved by Saturn at an overwhelming 485.6 points, does not allow her to feel like she can use her willpower and logic to overcome the odds, and since the 5th is an indication of the mind, this can really cripple a person mentally.
Such was the fate of Teal in her early years. Paralyzed by the fear and trauma, she suffered severe childhood satanic ritual abuse from the age of 6 until the age of 19. Due to the extreme mental manipulation, she believed everything she was told and did not inform anyone else about the horrendous abuse, in fear of being mercilessly punished by her perpetrator. She was tortured, raped, manipulated and used by a cult for 13 years, and she did not tell a single soul.
The 7th House – Long-term Relationships, Business Partners, Others
Our connection to other people is arguably the most important connection we have in life, in terms of self-growth. It is the key to all of our success and all of our failures, as well as our hopes and dreams. In many ways, it is through other people that we come to know our self.
Jupiter is our capacity for expansion and growth. It represents faith, the husband in a chart, spiritual teachings, children, God’s grace, luck and wisdom. Teal’s Jupiter is well-placed in the 7th house of Sagittarius. Its karma is yuva (adult/fully functioning) and its jagradadi avastha is jagrat (wide awake/fully aware).
Jupiter Delighting Sun (Mudita)
Jupiter is about wisdom, growth, opportunities. The Sun is about our kingdom, our intelligence, our commitments. So, when Jupiter is giving its power to the Sun, the person can lead, take action and take initiative in ways that everything and everyone around it can grow and prosper. The Sun also represents our self-esteem, or sense of contentment, our sense of peace and happiness, so when Jupiter’s avastha hits the Sun, the person feels a sense of joy. They can see the greater purpose and see where it fits into the grander scheme of things.
In Teal’s chart, Jupiter is delighting the Sun by its 7th aspect. At the age of 19, Teal met Blake – her first true friend and partner. In the documentary Open Shadow, she spoke highly of Blake saying, “The man who I work with now, Blake Dyer, is the most fabulous human being alive. I’d only met him twice in my life. We weren’t close, it was just like an acquaintance. So, I started thinking about the idea of maybe driving and running away to go be with him. He has this innocence about him though… I knew I could trust him immediately.”
Blake on Teal: “It was intense. I always kind of explain it as the “Teal rollercoaster”. She had just escaped her abuser, she had told me things that had happened, and I was just like, don’t go home. Stay here, stay in Salt Lake, stay in my place and don’t go back. I’ll hide you. You don’t need to deal with that anymore.” From that point on, Blake became Teal’s refuge. He sheltered her and showered her with unconditional love – treatment she was not at all used to. Through his refuge, she found faith and spirituality, and was able to find hope and meaning through her suffering. Through this, her healing began.
“I found hope in the idea of meaning”, she said. “A part of me felt like there has to be a reason that people go through what they go through, and what I went through must have some kind of master plan behind it. After all, there is so much synchronicity within the world. Synchronicity builds a kind of hope. So, to me, I think it was the potential that maybe there is a greater reason why these kinds of things happen, that there’s a bigger picture to why we are living here.”
Today, after having integrated her own traumatic life experience, she inspires millions of people around the world. She is the owner and founder of Teal Eye LLC, a company focused on bringing self-empowerment and healing back to the individual. Blake is still actively present in Teal’s life today as her business partner.
- Planetary States and Relationships (Lajjitaadi Avasthas) Astrology Apprenticeship Class, Summer 2020
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