Tapasya in Sanskrit means “heat”. In Vedic astrology but more commonly in yoga, it is used both figuratively and literally. Tapasya may be experienced as physical and spiritual suffering as it is the burn through our lack of awareness, hubris and excesses. Tapasya is like the forest fires of late summer. It can begin like a lightening strike, igniting a small smoldering fire that spreads rapidly with any wind through under-bush and over-growth, especially when dry or poorly managed. This dry over-growth and under-bush is a metaphor for the dross of our negative energies and hubris.
Certain rigors called tapas, willingly practiced as a yogi or yogini, bring awareness to our sensory attachments and guide us toward life’s higher purpose. Through tapas, a spiritual seeker can “burn off” or prevent the accumulation of dross that is our negative emotion and unhealthy treatment of the body, clearing a path toward spiritual evolution.
Light is the byproduct of our burning dross. If we can realize the meaning of this light and allow it to saturate our consciousness as the Sun’s light shines upon the moon, reflecting in the dark of night, it is the spiritual ecstasy so often rhapsodized in poetry and sacred scriptures.
Last week, in writing about John Edwards’ chart, the effects of Rahu were explained on Edwards’ seventh house, the place of intimate partners. Now, the meaning of Ketu, which is directly transiting Edwards’ first house. The first house is the place where the individual’s physical body, ego and persona, meet the world.
Ketu is the expression of astrological, planetary tapasya. Wherever Ketu is in the natal chart, and is by transit, is where there is heat. Ketu is incendiary; turning what is not authentic Self, what is not one’s true nature, to ash. Ketu is the tail of the serpent, the part of the dragon that lives underground, seeking the light at the end of the tunnel. Ketu is irritable and like real snakes, the last part to shed its dry, dead skin at molting time. Like real snakes, Ketu becomes extremely dangerous and irritable, initiating the strike and bite that Rahu will deliver. Rahu is the head of the serpent and is the mouth of desire, the part of the serpent which lives in the world, and is driven by tastes and other sensory experience. Rahu and Ketu together is the Kundalini and in yoga and are managed through tapasya and the other yamas and niyamas.
Rahu and Ketu are commonly called the Karmic-axis as it reveals within the natal chart, past life karmas to be distilled in this life. When the Rahu-Ketu axis transits through the natal chart, events are triggered in association with eclipses. Rahu-ketu are smoldering points in space which eclipse patterns activate like a lightening-strike, igniting roaring forest and bush fires through seemingly, well ordered if not hyper-controlled and manipulated lives. The soul requires this heat and this burn in order purify the koshas (layers of spiritual, mental and emotional “bodies”) of dross. Remember, the burning off of dross provides an illuminating force.
Hubris is an out-of-touch quality, a lack of reality and overestimating one’s own competence or capabilities, especially for people in positions of power. John Edwards is experiencing an intense burning of his hubris at this time. As mentioned before, Ketu is transiting his first house, the place where the person meets the world.
John Edwards’ world has been turned upside down. His hubris and ignorance have taken him into an underworld, his own personal Ketu hell so to speak, where he is meeting the cost of lies and manipulations full force. Mars and Mercury are conjoined in Edwards’ first house and he is a Gemini. His wealth is a going up like tinder at a frat-party bonfire and money will continue to burn as a divorce from Elizabeth Edwards hits the media.
Finances are not the only capital going up in flames. Edwards’ reputation is in a deep broil. Mars rules his eleventh house, Aries and Mars is retrograde in Cancer, his second house. The eleventh is community and reputation while the second is happiness and income. Second and eleven are associated with wealth on varying levels. Mercury rules Edwards’ fourth house of home and property and with Saturn retrograding here currently, he has already taken a crushing loss but one long in coming. Edwards’ soul requires this media attention and interplay. Continue to observe how Politics, as theater and drama, will deliver more then even Hollywood could dream.