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Music: As Above, So Below

By Deborah Allison

violinMan's music is a sublime expression of the harmony of the cosmos. The seers of the Vedic tradition cognized the very essence of creation and the operation of the laws of nature in verse form with a melody and meter. These are perhaps the oldest verses or "hymns" that are known to man. The significations for love of and proficiency in music are therefore explicitly given in the classical texts of this tradition.

As time progressed, music evolved into the myriad of forms we know today, but the significations of old still apply. It is up to the intuition of the Jyotishi to properly apply these combinations to a particular individual in a particular society.

Venus is the most important planet for proficiency in the arts and music. Mercury gives skill with the hands and, properly configured, can transfer that skill to an instrument. The third house signifies the classical arts in general and as it represents hands, it too indicates playing a musical instrument. The fifth house is also correlated with music and poetry and the second house can specifically indicate a singer as it can give a beautiful voice. The constellations that are the strongest indicators of the arts and music in particular are Gemini and Taurus. There is also an important yoga for arts and communication named for Goddess Saraswati. It is formed by Jupiter, Venus and Mercury. All three must occupy the kendras, trikonas or the second house and Jupiter especially should be strong in its own sign, exalted or a friend's sign.

Let's check out the charts of three prominent musicians and see how the combinations apply. The first is the chart of the world-famous pianist Van Cliburn - Chart C1.

chartsVan Cliburn won the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, which launched his career. This event happened in his Mercury dasha. Note that Mercury is the lagna lord high in the mid heaven of the chart (the 10th house). It is creating a powerful Bhadra Yoga as it is not just in its own sign but simultaneously retrograde. Along with Mercury in this packed career house are Sun and Mars - both of which are strong by having directional strength. Mars is the lord of the third (hands) and is with that powerful lagna lord in the house of career. Note that the entire combination takes place in Gemini, one of the two rashis that happily support music. Venus, the planet of the arts, is in its own sign of Taurus where it aspects the third house. Taurus is the other sign that indicates the arts. The entire chart is exceptional in that seven planets are powerful - Jupiter, Sun and Mars with dig bala, Moon and Venus in their own signs, and Mercury and Saturn not only in their own signs but retrograde as well. The icing on the cake is the Saraswati Yoga. Note that Jupiter, Mercury and Venus are all in kendras or trikonas and all of them are strong.

The second chart is the composer Carl Orff - Chart C2 - who is best known for his stirring composition Carmina Burana. However, he is even more significant as a music educator, having established a global movement through his work "Music for Children." Teachers worldwide embrace the Orff method and materials and it is the core music method for some of the most progressive children's education programs such as Waldorf and Montessori schools.

Here again is a very powerful Mercury as lagna lord, this time sitting in the lagna in the sign of Gemini. It is three times as powerful because it is in its own sign, retrograde and with dig bala. Like the previous chart, it forms a Bhadra Yoga. Mercury represents dexterity and skill with the hands and is placed in the lagna with the 3rd lord Sun. The lord of career, Jupiter with dig bala, joins the combination, forming a powerful raja yoga. Venus is in the third house of the arts while owning the fifth house of creativity and music. Both the third and fifth houses are houses of publishing. Orff's musical compositions and works for musical education were published and performed.

The third chart is of the famous folk singer and guitarist Judy Collins - Chart C3 . She got her start as a classical pianist debuting with a symphony orchestra at the tender age of 13. However, the call of the 60's and the beat generation transformed her into one of the leading voices of those times and indeed, she continues to perform actively today.

There could not be a more outstanding chart to illustrate some of the combinations outlined in this article. First and foremost, the third house in this chart is completely highlighted. A very powerful bright Moon as the lagna lord goes to the third house where it is aspected by all the other benefics, including an exalted Venus and Jupiter in its own sign. Her skill with musical instruments and her career in the arts is assured. Her beautiful voice is well indicated by the lord of the second, the Sun, exalted and with dig bala in the 10th house of the career. This chart also contains a Saraswati Yoga. This time it is formed by all three benefics in the 9th house, anchored by the powerful lord of the 9th Jupiter and supported further by the aspect of the very bright Moon, who is the all-important lord of the lagna for a Cancer chart.

(c) copyright 2007 Michael Laughrin

From the February/March 2007 issue of Michael Laughrin's North American Jyotish Newsletter. Click to subscribe to this free Jyotish newsletter.

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