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Weather Prediction and Vedic Astrology

By Michael Laughrin,

(c) copyright 1997 Michael Laughrin. All rights reserved.

This chapter originally appeared in the book "Hindu Astrology Lessons," edited by Richard Houck (Groundswell Press, 1997). Buy the book. Reprinted in the June/July 2005 issue of Michael Laughrin's North American Jyotish Newsletter.

Ancient astrology is obviously allied with the weather. Otherwise, why would there be air signs, water signs, earth signs, and so forth?

The traditional seven planets all related to one ore more of the elements (earth, air, fire, and water), although we won't get involved here with Vedic "ether." The Sun and Mars are hot, fiery, dry planets. The Moon and Venus are soft, watery, feminine planets. Ayurveda, and ancient Indian medical system, provides further correlations of the planets to the elements.

Saturn is a Vata (airy), dry planet--not watery at all. Rahu resembles Saturn in its actions and significations; it is dried up and dark in color. Also Rahu and its partner in weirdness, Ketu, can bring very sudden changes in the weather. Ketu is similar to Mars in its qualities--hot and dry. Whenever one finds Mars and Ketu together in a Fire sign, one will tend to find unseasonably hot and dry weather. Mercury, being a very mutable planet, tends to pick up the qualities of the planets it is cojoined with or aspected by. When it is with the Moon or Venus, it also is a watery planet. Jupiter is also a semi-watery planet, especially when posited in water signs or in some relationship with Venus or the Moon.

So, using a little bit of logic, which is certainly allowed in astrology, if we find watery planets in water signs (Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces), strongly placed in a chart--especially in the angular Houses (1,4,7 and 10)--it would certainly be reasonable to predict precipitation for the period covered by the chart. On the other hand, if hot planets (Sun, Mars and Ketu) and dry planets (Saturn and Rahu) are found in fire signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) in a strong position in the chart, and if indications for rain are weak, one is pretty safe in predicting very hot and desert-like conditions.

Warning: the budding weather astrologer must never forget the normal weather distribution for the geographical region he is predicting for, and he must always remember the season. For example, indications of precipitation for Los Angeles in the Summer and Seattle in the Summer, using the same exact chart, will be rather different since L.A. is basically a desert area, and Seattle is more or less a rain forest. Again, allow some common sense to prevail.

With these bare-bone basics, when and how does one cast a weather prediction chart to be able to predict the weather for a given day? The best way to approach this is by way of an example. I'll use my wedding as an example because I did a great deal of work on this chart, and in the process, discovered a number of classical principles from the ancient Vedic texts on Jyotish.

The wedding (meant to be only a reception--it became my 2nd wedding to the same woman) occurred on Saturday, June 18, 1994, at about 2:30 P.M. EDT in Cleveland, Ohio. The special consideration that is recommended by Prasna marga, an ancient Sanskrit text on astrology, to predict weather is to set up a chart for the exact time of the entry of the Sun into a new sign in order to predict the weather for the appropriate period. This is referred to as the solar ingress in Western astrology, but of course, here we are speaking sidereally.

For example, the Sun's ingress into sidereal Gemini (see Chart #1 above) will show the general weather patterns for the whole month of "Sun in Gemini" (approximately June 14 to July 14) for where the chart is cast. Notice that we have Sagittarius, a very hot and fiery sign, on the Ascendant, aspected by that hottest of all planets--the Sun. And since Mercury is with a hot and dry planet, it becomes hot and dry itself.

The two most watery planets (Moon and Venus) cannot promise us much rain because the Moon is in Leo (a hot and dry sign), and Venus, although in the very wet sign of Cancer, cannot much increase precipitation because of its weak position in the 8th house. Also it neither aspects, no is it aspected by, any other watery or semi-watery planet. Furthermore, in the Navamsha chart, Venus is found in the hot sign of Leo.

The hot and dry influences win out over the rainy ones for this 30-day period. An important rule of thumb that I have evolved is to count the number of planets (including the Ascendant) in odd (masculine or dry) signs versus those in even (feminine or wet) signs and see which side is greater. Be sure to also count the planets and Ascendant in the Navamsha chart. In this case we have 9 out of 10 planets in odd signs in Rashi and 8 out of 10 planets in dry signs in the Navamsha chart. This rule of Thumb is never sufficient to be used by itself, but it can add weight to the argument for or against rain. Here we have a clear case of the Sun in Gemini being a very hot and dry month.

The Sun's ingress into Aries is used to predict the weather both for the year ahead and the quarter ahead, i.e., until the Sun enters Cancer. See Chart #2 below. Here we have a mixed prediction as far as rain is concerned. Six out of 10 planets are in wet signs in the Rashi chart, and fix out of 10 planets are in a strong position in the Rashi. Mercury, being conjoined with hot and dry Mars, becomes a hot planet itself.

The Moon, although exalted and posited in the 9th house, is with Ketu, a hot and dry influence. Venus cannot promise too much rain being with the Sun in Aries, and in the 8th house--although it will give some precipitation because it is in its own sign in the Navamsha. My conclusion of the effects of this Aries ingress chart on rain for the three months from April 13 to July 13 is that there will be normal rains, or a little less, with somewhat hotter than normal temperatures.

Last, but definitely not least, see Chart #3 above. This is the chart of the day of the wedding itself. This chart should carry the most weight for weather for that day --about 40%. The monthly ingress chart (Sun into Gemini--Chart #1) is 2nd and gets 30%; the yearly chart (Sun into Aries) is 3rd and gets roughly 20%. Other factors, such as the Sun's entry into the Nakshatra Mrigashira, and the Sun's entry into the quarter of a particular Nakshatra, receive the other 10%. As this monograph is designed to be only a brief overview of weather prediction, we will not go into these numerous subtle factors here.

Some authorities assert that one should cast a chart for the exact moment of sunrise, i.e., the exact conjunction of the Sun with the ascending degree, for the chart of the day. I use the chart either with the Moon as the Ascendant, or I don't use the Ascendant at all. In the latter case I just determine the strength of planets from their sign placements, the aspects they receive, and their Navamsha placement. This is the method I am illustrating here.

Let's first examine the watery planets, then the hot and dry planets, and see which group is stronger in this chart. Yes, the moon is vargottama in Virgo, indicating possible moisture. But it is in the last degree of its sign, and this is traditionally considered very weak. Also, and perhaps more important, the Moon neither casts, no receives, an aspect from any other watery or semi-watery planet. Venus is in the watery sign of Cancer in the Rashi and in its own sign of Libra in the Navamsha. But again, it is not reinforced by a relationship with any other watery planet. Both Jupiter and Mercury are nullified as watery planets as Jupiter is aspected by Mars, and Mercury is conjunct with the Sun. Both of them are also retrograde.

Now let's review the hot planets: the Sun, Mars and Ketu. The Sun is in the masculine sign of Gemini in the Rashi, and it is in the Nakshatra of Mars, another hot planet. Mars it triply hot and dry in this chart. First it is in its own sign of Aries. Second, it is conjoined with Ketu. And third, in the Navamsha chart it is in its own sign and conjunct with the Sun. Mars it at full strength as an extremely hot and dry indicator.

Ketu has four factors that contribute to its heating effect. First, it is in Aries. Second, it is conjunct Mars. Third, it is found in a star ruled by the Sun. And fourth, in the Navamsha it is in Sagittarius, a fire sign. It is clear that the fiery planets are much stronger than the watery planets in the chart. In fact, the day was so hot and dry (in the 90's!) that it was almost uncomfortable--BUT NO RAIN!

The clincher was the conjunction of Mars and Ketu in Aries. While this conjunction existed (from around May 15, 1994 to around June 25, 1994) there was, in fact, very little rain and the temperature was unseasonably high. As soon as Mars entered Taurus, and the Sun entered the Nakshatra of Ardra, ruled by Rudra, the Lord of thunderstorms, there were huge thunderstorms and very heavy rains for about 10 days.

This example provides us a pretty good method to determine, with about 75% accuracy, what the weather (at least as far as precipitation is concerned) will be like on any give day at any given place.

To sum up, here is what we must do:

1. Cast the chart for the day you want to predict for.

2. Cast the chart for the exact minute of the Sun's entry into the sign it currently occupies.

3. Cast the chart for the Sun's ingress into either Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn (whichever quarter of the year is applicable).

4. (Optional) Cast the chart for the Sun's entry into Aries if it has not been done at point #3 just above.

Apply the methods I have outlined to determine whether the hot planets (Sun, Mars and Ketu) or watery planets (Moon, Venus, and sometimes Mercury and Jupiter) are stronger and predict accordingly. If the two groups of planets are equal, predict normal prescription and temperature for the appropriate time period and geographical location.

From the June/July 2005 issue of Michael Laughrin's North American Jyotish Newsletter. Click to subscribe to this free Jyotish newsletter.

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