Written and Illustrated by Brandi "Hari Avatar" Lyons
Malefic Influences on the Moon in Vedic Astrology
It might be my life's purpose to point out ways that my friends and clients actually have more freedom of choice, more resources, and more love in their lives than they think they do. This mental trend of tallying negatives with more weight than positives puzzled me for years before I learned Vedic astrology. When I first ran my friends' birth charts, I noticed a theme of certain influences. There were trends of intelligence, complexity, empathic service to others, and one other thing I wasn't expecting: a troubled mind.
In the Vedic system of astrology, the concept of the mind includes both logic and emotion, including the entire system of mental machinery at your disposal for processing your human perceptions. My friends' charts were full of examples of this complex internal system, represented by the Moon, being under siege by a constant pressure from another planet. And any planet can give either gentle or harsh pressure to the Moon.
Possible ranges of “positive to negative” influence for each planet:
Some planets are difficult to deal with by anyone's definition. For example, when Saturn influences the Moon, it can cause a person to constantly think that they are alone, without resources, or that everything is very hard. When the topic is loneliness, hopelessness or difficulty, few would argue that the perception of these things as being real is just as debilitating as the reality of them. One could argue that there is no real loneliness or hopelessness without emotional agreement to feel those feelings, regardless of any causative circumstance. There are solitary people who do not feel lonely, and people in limiting circumstances sometimes escape with ingenuity and optimism.
Whether a person feeling hopeless believes that it is their own perception, or reality, they have the exact same problem to deal with: the unpleasant feeling. The painful consequence of the perception is the feeling itself.
What my friends and loved ones seemed to be dealing with over and over was a battle with (and occasional surrender to) these feelings. In many cases, the basis of our relationship seemed to be my aptitude for negating their negations. When I received a message from someone I hadn't spoken to in months, I knew before reading it that they had come to a perceptual dead end with a troubling issue. They were looking for me to play devil's advocate for the seemingly far-fetched possibility of escape or success in dealing with the issue.
When I first grasped this role on a conscious level it made me question my intentions. Did I have some kind of morbid curiosity about people's problems? Did I get something from witnessing the drama of it? Did it make me feel superior to them? Was I some kind of enabler? It's hard to pin down the answers to those questions when you pose them to yourself.
But, in my case, the simple answers came from observing my friends. I had the pleasure of participating in the epic emotional and mental battles of some very scrappy, inventive and talented people. They were people who wanted to be productive and to have a good life with a positive effect on others.
And when I did stumble across the odd referral looking to explore their worst case scenarios (while debating the efficacy of any possible solution), they disappeared after my initial reading. I found that there are some people who are grappling with the experience of having a particular problem, and the biggest threat to experiencing that problem is a simple solution.
A human life appeared to unfold in a series of on/off states for either transformation, usually as problem solving, or a more passive witness state, where one is learning all there is to know about being that person in a certain limited circumstance. A solution, presented in the middle of an incomplete witness experience, could be just as frustrating and jarring as any apparent blockage preventing transformation once the time had come.
My friends had somehow identified me as a seeker and destroyer of blockages, and the pace at which they desired these transformations dictated the frequency of my interaction with them. I think it may be the case for most “practitioners” who offer a service to others, that they may serve one of two purposes in any given “healing” session. They can either facilitate further experience of the current state, or enable movement out of the current state into the next. And this has become my definition of “healing.”
Armed with my new self-definition as a person with an intent to help others heal, I began to look at astrology charts in a new way. There were two questions to answer before anything else can be done in reading:
- Does this person need help experiencing their current state more fully, or do they need help moving on from the last state and into the next?
- How do they want to do it?
And it turned out that these questions could often be answered by looking at the Moon.
Let's go back to our Saturn example. We discussed some influences of Saturn on the Moon as giving a sense of loneliness, hopelessness, and difficulty. It's obvious how these feeling could hinder a person's pursuit of happiness in life. But when we look at Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, we see an unquestionable tendency to succeed in life among people with their Moon in this sign. In fact, one of the nakshatras (moon-signs) in Capricorn is called “Uttara Ashadha” which basically translates to “invincible later in life.” Among people with major placements here we see those who “win” so big in life that their successes carry on in legacies lasting generations.
So, how do we reconcile the obvious effects of Saturn on the Moon with the observed behavior of people with this placement? Well, it depends upon what the person does with those perceptions and pressures applied by Saturn to their thought processes.
In Uttara Ashadha we find people who believe that they are alone, and their response to this is to become tremendously self-reliant. We find that a belief in the scarcity of resources manifests as an incredibly efficient and responsible utilization of every opportunity to obtain and multiply capital in business and personal ventures. The perception of things as being difficult causes these natives to construct iron-clad systems that are like juggernauts on auto-pilot to success.
So, with the Moon here, the answers to my two questions are:
1. A self-reliant, opportunistic, and efficient person like this only seeks advice if their mission has stalled and they need help getting to the next stage.
2. And the way they want to take that step is however they can do it most independently, because they believe that if you want a job done right, you should do it yourself.
Now, this is just one of six moon-signs ruled by Saturn, and not all of them share these values. In this case the “sub-lord” of the sign is the Sun, which modifies Saturn's severity with the Sun's self-confidence. These little combinations of planetary energies are a good place to start looking at a chart, not only to determine what the person wants out of their reading, but also because their basic expectations will probably shape the outcomes.
The most subtle and deep seated thoughts are the originators of the ultimate manifestations of life, and once identified, they can be the key to positive change.
Brandi Lyons is a concept artist and Vedic Astrologer, who recently moved to Ann Arbor from Austin. She has studied Vedic Astrology and Kundalini for three years, and she spends her time tinkering with diagrams as she seeks to recombine ancient systems for healing into a new form with practical modern applications. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Brandi's website: http://www.hari-and-avatar.com/.